Poor strategy on fireworks

A few years ago, I attended a Fourth of July cookout at a relative's home in Garden City. During the backyard gathering, the family dog, frightened by fireworks, escaped. A frustrated search for the pet ended hours later with hope that it would somehow return home on its own. It didn't. Sparing the grisly details, the dog was found dead a few days later by county road crews. The scenario of dogs who become frightened by fireworks and run away is repeated every year during the Fourth of July weekend. It becomes a worrisome time for dog owners and a busy time for animal control officers who round up the strays.

Now, the city commission is considering amending or changing the firework's ordinance to allow the sale and use of all types of fireworks within the city limits.

Pushing this notion is Garden City Fire Chief Allen Shelton who expressed his desire to align with the state's looser regulations. Shelton is quoted in The Garden City Telegram as saying that, even though residents break the fireworks code all the time during and leading up to July 4, that the sale of fireworks at communities near here further complicates efforts (to control them).

Yes, anybody who has lived here during this time of celebration knows that as soon as the fireworks are sold, they can be heard day and night for two weeks or more, no matter what the ordinance allows. Law enforcement can't keep up with the complaints from residents whose night's sleep is delayed because of the bombardment of powerful "non-aerial" fireworks. So, does this mean we should fold up our tents and give up the fight? I hope not.

We need less fireworks, not more. Less noise, not more.

As a retired U.S. Army soldier, I applaud the notion to celebrate our great American history with fanfare. But, I suggest it be done in a more controlled manner. Consideration should be given to all citizens, not just those who sell, buy and discharge fireworks. Try this one for size. How about a designated area, on the edge of the city limits, for celebrants to set off their fireworks? I think the area at the fairground, where the community fireworks display is staged, would be ideal.


Garden City

Fighting back on truck issue

In 2008, Finney County made CNN news as one of the newest minority-majority communities in the United States. At that time there were 20,500 minority persons living in Finney County. In light of this, my observation is that percentage-wise the minority community has no representation in community government. In light of the response at the county commission and the truck issue and the percentage of minorities there that are affected and the obvious lack of response of the county commission, I think instead of getting a local legal consul and fighting a losing battle, a more advantageous move would be to organize your community and as a group contact the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for advice. I would further suggest that the young man who appeared to be the group spokesperson start a minority awareness group and encourage your people to take a more active role in local government. There are three county commissioner positions expiring this year. I would think that with your numbers you could gain a seat and be represented. I am sure that you would know where your district was. Good luck.


Garden City