CHRIS HANSEN: Visitor not happy with constant sound of fireworks in the area

TO THE EDITOR:

I’ve been a visitor in your area from another state, arriving just before the Fourth of July weekend. I am staying in an otherwise quiet area which is very pleasant. However, since the second day of my arrival, I have had to endure fireworks of all noise levels on a nearly nightly basis.

It is now the end of July and it is still going on with lots of booms, large and small, at all hours of the night. In fact today, Sunday, in broad daylight someone decided it was a good idea to let off a very loud firecracker.

The constant nightly sounds are not only annoying, disrespectful to all those in any nearby vicinity, but downright cruel to anyone who does not enjoy obtrusive sounds in the middle of the night. I’m not talking about just a couple; sometimes it’s from all directions.

I’ve done some research and found that in 2012 the Michigan legislature authorized use of fireworks on a daily basis. Does that make sense? Kind of like polluting a town’s water for money.

I’ve spoken to several authorities in your area and have determined there are ordinances, with potential fines of $500 to $1,000 if they are violated; limitations on what can or cannot be used for fireworks; time frames for shooting off fireworks; restrictions on public property or shooting over a neighbor’s property; but apparently some don’t know that, or care.

Despite being told that there are many complaints that the sheriff’s office, at your taxpayer expense, have to deal with on a regular basis, no one has gotten the message that it is sheer stupidity to constantly shoot off fireworks in neighborhoods or near vicinity where people live — people who might include the elderly, small children or pets who are frightened by those ridiculously loud sounds.

In the U.S. there are 13,000 injuries from fireworks every year. How many injuries have there been in Manistee County due to fools shooting off fireworks? And who pays for those trips to the hospital if those who have been injured cannot or will not pay for their foolishness?

Maybe your community should get together and come up with ordinances that make more sense than what your state has issued. A good start might be not issuing permits to road-side firework vendors for extended periods of time.

Why would a tourist area that is trying to bring visitors here allow obtrusive behavior from its residents that would potentially hurt that tourist industry? Only your local officials could answer that question, but I would highly recommend it be a topic of discussion in a meeting on the subject.

After my experience, I could not recommend this area as a destination for visitors, and I have worked in both the entertainment and visitor industries for years. Best of luck with this in the future, and I hope you are able to resolve it.

Chris Hansen

Venice, Fla.

 

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