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Make fireworks legal already

Date: 7/9/2015

Every year I get a letter from the folks at Phantom Fireworks essentially calling for the legalization of fireworks here in the Commonwealth.

Now I’m sure they make a fair amount of change from Massachusetts residents who travel to New Hampshire to sneak contraband fireworks back into the state.

The Commonwealth is clearly aware of the practice, as there were electronic signs on I-91 warning people about the outcome of smuggling fireworks back into the state.

Maybe I’ve followed under the sway of my libertarian friends, but I tend to agree with the legalization of fireworks if only because local police do nothing to try to enforce the law.

Why have a law on the books if everyone ignores it?

I waited up past midnight on the Fifth of July to see if two of my wayward cats were coming home and my neighbors were still shooting off fireworks in the street close to my house. In a lull I asked them when they were going to stop as it was past midnight and I wanted to sleep. Oh, they didn’t realize how late it was and we only have three more to light was the reply.

Managing not to release a couple of bombs of my own, I slammed the door.

If the police won’t come to enforce a law or two – fireworks, excessive noise – it’s time to realize the law is definitely outdated. It’s time to get rid of it.

Got to admit it’s ‘Merican to ignore law and common sense and fire off explosive devices after a day of drinking and partying. Yeah. ‘Merica.

What would be the advantages of legalization? A new source of revenue for retail and perhaps a new way to get some tax benefits. Slap a fireworks tax on them.

Another advantage would be some hard lessons about fireworks safety. Once a few people get hurt, I think people would begin to understand just how dangerous they could be.

Yet another would be the elimination of one complaint to area police so they can focus on other issues.

There could be money for local media outlets in the form of advertising. I’ll ask our vice president of sales to prepare a presentation.  

So, legalization it is! To the folks at Phantom Fireworks, I invite you to consider putting a superstore somewhere in Hampden County right off the highway for maximum exposure.

And to my neighbors, next year I’ll start my own fireworks display at about 3 a.m. in front of your house. I’m sure you won’t mind. It’s the ‘Merican way.

Good to see

It was fascinating to me to see how people reacted to Dr. Stephen Zrike, the state appointed receiver for Holyoke schools at his first public event. I had sort of expected some folks carrying protest signs outside of the Holyoke Public Library where he was appearing, but the opposite was true.

Not only was the room full of people listening him read to children and talk about a summer reading program, but people lined up after the presentation to speak with him and take photos.

While the issues about Holyoke schools are deep and potentially divisive, apparently some people are looking to Zrike for answers to the district’s problems.

It was heartening to see people willing to seek solutions together.

Thank you The Donald

I’ve never been a big fan of Donald Trump. I don’t think of him as a great businessperson but rather as a tireless self-promoter  who has used his natural abilities as a limitless gasbag to his own advantage.

He has, however, added a deeper element of lunacy to the Republican presidential race, if that was possible.

How a guy could talk about how jobs fleeing to China has hurt our economy while manufacturing his line of clothing in China is sheer brilliance. His steadfast refusal to acknowledge his own hypocrisy is either some sort of sign of being a sociopath or being the least political astute candidate to come down the ‘pike in years.

Either way, some people think he is what we need to “fix” the country.  

I can’t wait for the debates.

Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.