The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

June 8, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fireworks and open burning need controls

— I am very pleased that lawmakers did not pass the stupid “fireworks” law. I think Daniel Hall, D-Wyoming, should be happy he did not push this and he might rethink his feelings on it for next year. The majority of citizens care more about the economy and a job to buy food, not stupid items like fireworks.

Every year, illegal fireworks are strewn all over the community on the Fourth of July and sometimes 10 days after, as some people have nothing else to do but celebrate days after the date. Every year, people are injured. There are police calls that waste time and equipment rushing to illegal fireworks, thinking its gunfire. How do we know that a percentage is not gunfire?

It starts brushfires and sometimes burns buildings, damages autos and personal property and causes personal injury to thousands. That is the reason it has been outlawed in West Virginia for years. Ours is a beautiful state with lots of forest and animals that need to live and breathe without the disruption of noise and fire.

I only hope that West Virginia will soon get into the 21st century and outlaw open burning altogether. Local neighbors burn everything in their garbage so they will not have to pay the $17 a month to have it hauled away. I do not burn things, so why should anyone else? It is a shame that you cannot walk outdoors in the Rural Acres/Canterbury Drive area most any evening without being choked up with smoke. A lot of older people cannot tolerate that.

I am thinking that open burners may soon have legal liability for smoke damage to homes nearby. That will soon be an upcoming issue so it needs to be stopped by state law. Fire departments agree with everything stated above for the same reasons.

I have no problem with the city or other organizers having controlled advertised fireworks displays. We enjoy those, knowing they are safe. But turning the public loose to use fireworks and decide if fireworks or food is more important is a total mistake.

Roger Via