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Fourth of July was a little too explosive

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Posted: Saturday, July 6, 2013 12:00 am

What happened to my favorite holiday — the Fourth of July? It seems like the decision to allow “Safe & Sane” fireworks in the city has exploded (pun intended) into illegal fireworks being allowed. Thursday night sounded like a war zone.

Before the law changed, this holiday was celebrated and was enjoyable. Now I believe, it’s traumatizing many animals and their families.

I love this country and celebrate our freedom and independence each and everyday, especially on the Fourth of July. How can we get back to a more controlled celebration and away from the chaos of last night?

John Francis


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  • robert maurer posted at 3:20 pm on Fri, Jul 12, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    Thank you,Ed. You nailed it. Here's how; we hear a boom and judging by our individual experiences, identify the sound in our own minds as a firecracker, gunshot,car backfire or a homemade bomb.Depending on our hearing or lack of it with age, these booms all sound different in different locations, such as in the city,country,mountains,canyons,etc. It is easy to misidentify the "boom", thus,"we're the same and you don't even know it.The "boom" if we're not expecting it,makes us jump instinctively."We're afraid and we try not to show it." The explosiveness is the change of personality in some of us when our reaction to booms,causes other problems, such as frightened young children and animals as some stated earlier, and that I witnessed at 2:30 am 7/6, when a young lady was calling and crying frantically for her escaped little dog after a thunderous 3 explosions.I wouldn't ever try to guess what a boom is. I run for cover. Better safe than sorry nowdays,with all the imbeciles allowed outside of jail or padded rooms.

  • Ed Walters posted at 6:23 pm on Thu, Jul 11, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Mr. Francis: You state that Thursday night sounded like a war zone, I will take it for granted you have been there and done that. A few M-80`s and assorted "bombs" might sound like the real thing, if you have ever been a part of live night fire, then you can say it sounds like a war zone, perhaps you have. I have.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:07 pm on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    It is always interesting, (and humorous) to see how one's ignorance of the world around them leads them to believe that they are an authority on others' knowledge or lack of it.

    For the benefit of those who mock, you would be surprised how American history, along with the history of much of the world is emphasized in the schoolrooms of other countries. Goes hand in hand with understanding how and why the US has been sticking its collective nose into the political, economic and social spheres of dozens of countries.

    Here in the good 'ol USA, we are lucky if the majority of students know where the United States is located, let alone any other country, or what our or any other country's history is.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:07 pm on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I found the following rather interesting (humorous): “. . . new citizens probably know more about American history than most native born citizens.”

    Sure they do (or at least they most certainly should) because they’re required to pass a test that includes some difficult questions about our nation’s history. However, I would like them to take that same test ten years later to see how they would fare. Unless someone studies history (or any subject for that matter) consistently, they do tend to forget. Most “native born citizens” don’t study American history beyond their high school years. So once they begin living their adult lives and other useful and useless knowledge is pumped into their brains, history drains out. For instance, how many out here now understands the purpose of the quadratic equation?

    On the other hand, I wonder how many illegal aliens know anything about American history, or whether they care about it. Or their own country's history.

  • robert maurer posted at 8:31 am on Wed, Jul 10, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    I don't remember a lot of details about the book,except what I needed to do a book report, back in 6th grade(69-70)school year at Lockeford School.I bought it from Bantam books through Mr.Thornton and the Bookmobile that used to come to the school occasionally.That book,as well as all my other childhood books were given to a lady who said she read it and enjoyed it also and wanted them for when her grandchildren came to stay with her, just last summer.After I read the book, I pretended I was blind(my mom thought it was a good idea)and wore a blindfold,walked from the livingroom to my bedroom without incident. On the way back through the kitchen though,I kicked a heavy wooden table leg, barefooted. If the book wasn't a tear jerker. then pretending I was blind was. The book was originally printed in 1957 and was reprinted in1994,but from what I saw and read, the cover is different and parts of the story have been changed from what we read so many years ago. There were 167 comments on it. and I only read the first page,but they all gave it a positive review and claimed that it was a good read.

  • Mike Adams posted at 7:42 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1572

    I think our relationship has always been positive. Aside from joe and robert and the serial plagiarist, most of the people here generally likeable. Even Jerome is a decent person. I think most of the time he's wrong, but then again, he probably thinks the same as me.

    Do you remember in the book, the older students put a metal rod in the new blind kid's sausage at breakfast so he couldn't cut through it? For clarity, I am referring to a breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean's, not slang for the male reproductive organ.

    I really liked that book and have thought of finding it on ebay through the years.

  • robert maurer posted at 5:49 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    ... and don't hang on to a hotwheels car that I put a bottle rocket in after I put it on the ground. "pain dance".

  • robert maurer posted at 5:17 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    My wife said it best,so many years ago, "we're the same, and we don't even know it, We're afraid and we try not to show it", Are you beginning to get a clue?I am who I am and you are who you are. Care to talk about explosiveness?

  • robert maurer posted at 4:08 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    I cannot comment here. Mr. Adams; I think you and I have a lot of things in common that I don't want to admit.

  • Mike Adams posted at 1:42 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1572

    Mr. Maurer: How incredibly weird!!! I read that book!!! It would have been in the late 60's, like '68 or '69. In our dumbness at the time, we actually discussed what an advantage it would be to be blind and have a guide dog.

    Fortunately, we never acted on our curiosity. As a point of safety, don't stand on a firecracker when it goes off either. Not a great trick like you think it might be, even in wing tips!!

    As I stated earlier, I did a lot of experimenting with blowing stuff up. Recently I purchased some of those exploding targets. They're binary compounds and are "safe" until mixed. Usually they are made of ammonium nitrate and mixed with aluminum powder. Well, just don't keep them in the garage when the weather is real hot. Mine absorbed water, I believe degrading into ammonium chlorate which is totally different. It also put out corrosive fumes that damaged many metals it came into contact with. The vapors, not the actual compound. I thought I was going to have to call the bomb squad. Once they cooled down, I could see they were converting back into their original compounds, once the water was driven off. I turned them into fertilizer and catastrophe and embarrassment avoided! But that stuff is just way to dangerous to have around. I'm sure some of it went off Thursday night. And Friday night. And probably Wednesday night as well.

  • robert maurer posted at 12:24 pm on Tue, Jul 9, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 488

    Fireworks are harmless in the eyes of those who have never witnessed, experienced, or even think about the possible scenarios that cause mis-haps. All fireworks demand respect, adult supurvision and forethought. There is no such thing as "safe and sane" fireworks. Afterthought is too late for a victim. A great book that came out in the early 70s titled"Follow My Leader" by James Garfield tells a story of a boy who was blinded by an exploding firecracker that a group of boys found and one boy lit,panicked, and thoughtlessly flung toward a boy whose life would be forever alterred, since he lost his eyesight and would be dependent on a seeing eyedog,(Leader) Hence, the title.It describes the guilt, sorrow,regret, and hope of the boys and parents in the story. It is still available, and should be read by all fireworks lovers before their next purchace.

  • Walter Chang posted at 6:58 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1189

    "they also probably don't know why we celebrate Memorial Day, Labor Day or even the original purpose of November 11th as a holiday"

    Jerry, nothing surprises me. I know of a verbose Archconservative/Retrogressive "Christian" blogger who doesn't know anything about Christmas.


  • Ted Lauchland posted at 4:19 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    My son grew up and joined the reserves and was part of the "Howizter" Unit. At least he was required to wear earplugs and have a total respect for the weapon . - Better to not stand anywhere close to it when it goes off if you have a choice.

    Funny they stopped doing the boat races at the lake on the fourth because it was too risky. Hope they bring it back too. Always did enjoy that.

    The idea is to celebrate independence not the war it took to get there or the foolishness of life threatening actions when there is no need.

  • Ted Lauchland posted at 3:59 pm on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Ted Lauchland Posts: 261

    Play with fire and you will get burned. Doesn't even have to be explosive. My niece's daughter will be paying that price for a long time. Sparklers may look innocent but think again. Blowing your fingers off might have been better. My heart goes out to her this past year.

    Forever learning about fireworks and their potential never quite gets us there. It's better to leave it to the professionals and then tell your neighbors what you think. Safer for everyone that is unless spite comes at you. The police and firefighters get worn thin. I quit going to Lodi Lake years ago when it got too crazy when someone tossed a firework over my son's head. M80s were heard this year as we now have a new crop of nutsoes.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:38 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    "Demand courtesy;" Encourage . . . courtesy" - and if that doesn't work get law enforcement involved?

    No, I don't think so. There's no law that would demand or encourage "courtesy." Just as we cannot expect everyone to like us (whoever "us" might be), people aren't always - if ever - going to be courteous at least to the level we might expect (especially where alcohol (or other mind-altering substances) which ARE usually at the heart of such behavior on July 4th . So I'd skip over the demanding and encouraging of courtesy and move to law enforcement.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:25 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    And it is sad that new citizens probably know more about American history than most native born citizens.

  • Wilma Bianchi posted at 9:21 am on Mon, Jul 8, 2013.

    wilma Posts: 1

    I couldn't agree more. I not only think Thursday was way out of control it was unsafe and terribly inconsiderate of all those who has to be at work Friday morning. In my neighborhood this was the problem for week prior and up till last night. It has taken all the fun out of the holiday for me.

  • Ben Sanacore posted at 7:25 pm on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Ben Sanacore Posts: 106

    It's just one day a year. We should celebrate it to the fullest! Regardless, Mr. Francis makes a good point about courtesy. There used to be a time when courtesy was widespread in this country. Though there are many courteous people, there are many who don't know what it means to be courteous.

    Maybe we should have a Courtesy Day. Maybe it should be just before the 4th of July. What good would that do? Maybe it wouldn't make much difference.

    Let's demand courtesy. Let's encourage people to be courteous. If we don't get it, that's what law enforcement is for.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 2:33 pm on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Indeed, they also probably don't know why we celebrate Memorial Day, Labor Day or even the original purpose of November 11th as a holiday.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 10:31 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    Many Americans don't know WHY we celebrate the 4th of July or what country we declared independence from.

    See for yourself...[sleeping] http://youtu.be/MkGP7s0SGtY

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:28 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Just look at the business in Stockton that turned into an 8 alarm fire from illegal fireworks - SFD estimates millions in losses to the company.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:17 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Please refer to my comments under Joe Guzzardi's column full of half truths and outright lies from Friday.

  • Mike Adams posted at 7:51 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1572

    Since the city allowed "safe and sane" (all they do is "emit a shower of sparks" or whistle) fireworks last year we have rapidly slid into anything goes, with all manner of cracks, bangs, and booms running semi-continously from July 1 to July 5. Like Mr. Morgan, the problem is the escalation of going from piccolo petes to larger and larger firecrackers and home-made brews of explosives (like exploding target's compounds).

    Most dogs are terrified of this and will do almost anything to get away and despite their owners best efforts, frantically jump, dig, or break through any barrier designed to keep them in. We had to keep ours heavily sedated with valium (from the vet.). Doors and windows closed, AC on, TV turned up.

    I'm not a prude when it comes to making things blow up or devising complicated explosive demonstrations and did this often growing up in the country. The neighbors could always depend on me to take it one step to far. But I never did anything that would make a neighbor's barn or house burn down, or (due to the distances between houses) rattle their windows. That all changed once I moved into town and I saw that the cultural mores of the community relegated that type of activity to a don't do that here.

    And for some reason (I believe just basically stupid) some of us think that the fourth of July means it's ok to shoot off guns. Hey morons....those bullets come down. The people around you live here because it's not Stockton!! How can someone be so stupid to go out and shoot all manner of firearms off in the air? Please, if you are one of these people, shoot your guns off in the house. If you have a basement, then do it there. Maybe when you blow off one of your wife's toes while she's in the kitchen you'll understand why shooting guns off in the air is not a good idea.

  • Mike Adams posted at 7:29 am on Sun, Jul 7, 2013.

    Mike Adams Posts: 1572

    It's clear to anyone who can read. Joanne is responding to Mr. Kinderman's post @11:16. Maybe next time, have someone tell you what the big words mean.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 9:26 pm on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    Joe, I didn't have any problems with the fireworks that were sold from the fireworks stands. It was the M80's, cherry bombs, and other illegal fireworks that did nothing other than explode.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 2:51 pm on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Perhaps at one time it actually was cheap labor that had those in power “forget” to tighten the borders. But this is not so important anymore as we seem to have as much of that level of worker as we need (11.1 million (or more!) of ‘em). No, I would think it’s either the actual votes garnered from those already here illegally (yeah, I do think more than a few are already casting ballots without actually being citizens) but most certainly upon the date when amnesty is finally granted (and it WILL be granted), liberals/progressives hope to obtain the lion’s share of new voters.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 1:08 pm on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913

    The City of Lodi had a financial interest in fireworks sales. In addition to the regular San Joaquin County sales tax of 8.25%, every fireworks stand in the City had to collect and additional 6% on their sales for the City of Lodi. The COL wanted as many fireworks sold as possible for the financial windfall.

  • Joe Baxter posted at 1:05 pm on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1913


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:47 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    No doubt that gun advocate, Will Rainwater, believes that people who complain about hearing loud explosions are wusses.

    Besides illegal fireworks, probably a lot of idiots out there shooting off their guns, celebrating the "right" to own one and act stupidly with it.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:44 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    This is off-topic, but to address some concerns below, it was the great communicator, Ronald Reagan, who in 1986 granted amnesty to illegals. Apparently, the great communicator forgot to communicate the need to secure the borders.

    Coincidence? Likely not. If we secure the borders where would all of the corporate interests get a cheap pool of labor to work the fields, clean hotel rooms, wash dishes, etc.?

    Ever since Richard Nixon declared the so-called "War on Drugs" in the late 60's, this country has been inundated with seemingly endless piles of cash for law enforcement from the local levels to the state and federal levels. We're practically a police state.

    Why has the border been ignored? The answer is obvious - we would lose that huge pool of cheap labor - jobs that Americans, even in these dire times, have refused to perform for the wages offered.

    Even with the current Senate bill, the GOP only signed on by being allowed amendments that spell out by NAME the corporations they wish to reward with barrels of pork - oh, I guess that would be called "no-bid contracts" - for the equipment to patrol the border.

    It's all a joke, Mr. Kinderman. All a joke.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:16 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Indeed! Mr. Francis's letter does reflect how not enforcing our laws ends up in lawlessness. I also wondering where the patrols were that should have brought these lawless citizens under control with their fireworks.

    Isn't this very much like what has occurred along America's borders? We've got the laws; we've agreed that the borders should be better secured - but we don't provide the patrols and other means to ensure that lawlessness is kept at bay.

    While Lodi should ensure that the next holiday when firecrackers and other such devices are permitted to be used within the city limits that sufficient police are on duty to enforce the laws, so we should also begin to secure our borders (especially between the United States and Mexico) and then patrol those borders with actual agents and high-tech resources to reduce the number of non-citizens from entering illegally.

    Great ideas! But didn't anyone see these things coming when it was decided to grant amnesty to illegal aliens in 1998 and then did nothing to secure the borders; and didn't anyone see these coming when it was decided to permit the sale and use of fireworks within the city limits but then didn't provide for sufficient patrols to ensure that fireworks laws were enforced? It seems like we keep missing something. Hmm, I wonder what it might be.

  • Josh Morgan posted at 10:52 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Josh Morgan Posts: 542

    I'm not quite sure how the use of illegal fireworks can be considered "wussifiation" or "being detained without due process"? All I do know is that there were continuous explosions in my neighborhood until the wee hours of the morning and my dogs were absolutely mortified although I took as many precautions as possible. I can recall being in the State of Washington with my father where fire crackers were legal at the time. We took them out into a vacant area where I was taught how to light the firecracker and run like hell! No neighbors, no pets and no safety issues.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 8:57 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Francis's letter clearly illustrates what happens when laws are relaxed and citizens believe that "safe and sane" includes "loud and dangerous."

    Their were obviously MANY in my neighborhood who were setting off firecrackers and cherry bombs (and the "fun" is only accelerated by placing these in soda cans to make them louder), but I was surprised by the lack of any type of patrols as there were in years before "safe and sane" became legal.

  • Will Rainwater posted at 8:47 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Will Rainwater Posts: 46

    Aaaand the wussification of America continues....

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 6:31 am on Sat, Jul 6, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    So, you were celebrating "freedom" Mr. Francis?

    Tell us more about how we can now be indefinately detained without due process.


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