By Tonya K. Townsell, Presidio of Monterey Public Affairs OfficeJune 29, 2010
PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - While service members and civilians are encouraged to celebrate and enjoy their Fourth of July holiday this weekend, they are encouraged to do so without fireworks.
No fireworks of any kind are allowed anywhere on the Presidio of Monterey, Ord Military Community or La Mesa Village, said Presidio of Monterey Police Chief Preston Proctor.
He referred to a memorandum regarding the installation fireworks policy.
"As the commander, I am committed to the safety and welfare of everyone working, living or visiting facilities at the (Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the Presidio of Monterey)," wrote POM Garrison Commander Col. Darcy A. Brewer. "The intent of this policy is to prevent injury to anyone within the confines of the DLIFLC, POM, (Ord Military Community) and any other personnel within our local military communities." This includes civilians living in Seaside in the Ord Military Community as well as service members.
The policy specifies that the sale, offer for sale, use, discharge, possession, storage, or transport of any type of fireworks within the installation, to include family and Residential community Initiative (RCI) housing without advance coordination with the installation fire department and commander's approval is prohibited.
The policy additionally states that fireworks certified as "safe and sane" by the state fire marshal's office are not to be discharged within the confines of the DLIFLC, POM, Le Mesa Village or OMC.
For those people who still are uncertain what firework are, the policy defines them as any device containing chemical elements and chemical compounds capable of burning independently of the oxygen of the atmosphere and producing audible, visual, mechanical or thermal effects, which are useful as pyrotechnic devices or for entertainment. This includes, but is not limited to, devices designated by the manufacturer as fireworks, firecrackers, torpedoes skyrockets, roman candles, rockets, Daygo bombs, sparklers, party poppers, paper caps, chasers, fountains, smoke sparks, aerial bombs and fireworks kits.
Bluntly put: The use of fireworks by individuals or groups not organized or approved by the command is prohibited.
People who are interested in going off federal land to use fireworks should know that can be costly as well as illegal.
As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, the Monterey Police Department is actively enforcing the ban on any type of fireworks in the City of Monterey. Fines for violation of the ban start at $1,000, according to a Monterey Police Department release.
Officers on all shifts will focus on high visibility and zero tolerance for fireworks-related crimes between now and July 4, the release says. Extra officers will be deployed over the holiday weekend to assist on the enforcement of the ban.
However, there are still fun, safe options for celebrating the nation's birthday.
The City of Monterey is hosting a Lawn Party at Colton Hall on the grounds of Monterey City Hall, Pacific Street, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 4. More information can be found at www.monterey.org/four.
The Lawn Party includes live music, entertainment, food booths and fun for all ages. This event is free and open to the public. Please leave your dogs at home and note that this is an alcohol-free family event.
Children's entertainment includes free carnival booths and games, face painting, strolling balloon artists and jump houses.
Additionally, the City of Seaside and the Seaside Parade of Champions are sponsoring a Fourth of July parade beginning noon Sunday in Seaside. The Seaside Parade begins at the corner of West Broadway Boulevard and South Fremont Boulevard and travels south to the corner of Fremont Boulevard and Harcourt Avenue.
This Seaside tradition features the San Benito High School Band, Monterey Bay Pipe Band and Jacob the 45-foot Whale. Other parade participants include local youth groups, clowns, classic cars and floating tropical fish.
The Presidio of Monterey will be represented by four marching platoons -- each platoon a different branch of the military -- as well as the Joint Service Color Guard.
For more information about the Seaside parade, call 831-899-6805.
However, for those people who feel they must see fire in the sky to celebrate the holiday, there are areas that will conduct aerial public fireworks displays July 4.
They are City of Hollister, Marguerite Maze Middle School; City of Gilroy, Gilroy High School; Scotts Valley, Sky Park; and Morgan Hill, Edmundson Community Park. Specific information about these events can be found through Internet searches using the above names with "fireworks."