Illegal fireworks spark dilemma

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Soledad residents express concerns about noise

SOLEDAD — New fireworks regulations have caused concern for several Soledad residents, who vocalized their thoughts during the Soledad City Council meeting June 7.

Martina Shaw found a flyer in her water bill regarding the fireworks that would be allowed from noon to 11 p.m. for almost a week.

“Did you think about veterans with PTSD, animals, working people with little kids,” Shaw said. “I don’t think that anyone was even thinking before doing that.”

Shaw said that Fourth of July is one day, just like New Year’s Eve, and didn’t see why fireworks were allowed for a full week leading up to the holiday.

Another resident echoed Shaw’s thoughts and had talked with another Soledad resident who had reported illegal fireworks going off to the police. According to the resident, the police could not do anything about the fireworks because they had not seen the fireworks go off.

“I share your frustration, I lost two dogs to fireworks,” Mayor Fred Ledesma said. “One of the dogs got hit by a motorcycle on the Fourth of July evening and one ran away that we got back 19 months later. But, the problem is the illegal fireworks, and I think the frustration for our police force is there are people that don’t seem to have any regard.”

Ledesma said he had illegal fireworks going off in the area near him for three to five hours but has the dilemma of reporting the illegal fireworks and then living near the same residents for a number of years and be labeled the “jerk.”

On the other hand, the “Safe and Sane” fireworks provide a revenue stream for non-profit organizations in Soledad and provide a safer alternative to residents.

This year the fireworks show for July 4 is still up in the air on whether it will go on. There is a fundraiser set for June 15 to benefit the fireworks show.

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