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Fireworks Sales Start in Newark

The sale of "safe" fireworks in Newark will take place through July 4.

The sale of fireworks has been an annual tradition in Newark for decades, and those brightly decorated sales booths are easy to spot around town.

The Alameda County Fire Department has inspected nine of 10 fireworks booths and signed off for sales to begin Tuesday at noon, according to department spokeswoman Aisha Knowles. The final booth will be inspected today (Wednesday), she said.

Each booth will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. through July 4. The use of Safe and Sane Fireworks in Newark are only permitted through July 4, Knowles said.

Booths can be found in the parking lots of Mowry Crossing by , the Lido Faire Shopping Center, Rosemont Square, , , and near at and off Thornton Avenue and Cedar Boulevard.

Newark is one of only three Alameda County cities permitted to sell and use fireworks designated as "safe." Union City and Dublin are the other cities allowed to sell and use fireworks.

The booths selling fireworks in Newark benefit non-profit organizations such as the , the Newark Optimist Club, Latinos Unidos de Newark and other local non-profits. 

The City of Newark has sold fireworks for decades and while the city had allowed the use of fireworks at parks in the past, all parks will be closed during this July 4 holiday because shutting them down has been found to be “more effective as far as policing illegal fireworks,” said Mayor David Smith.

“We encourage their use by families at their homes,” Smith added.

Commander Robert Douglas of the Newark Police Department, like Alameda County Fire Department, said the department has a “Zero Tolerance for Illegal Fireworks.” 

According to a press release from the Alameda County Fire Department, "any firework that flies in the air, darts across the ground or explodes is considered illegal in California. If it doesn't have the California State Fire Marshal seal on the packaging, it's illegal. The Fire Department utilizes fire investigators to aggressively enforce fireworks laws."

“The Newark Police Department will aggressively enforce all fireworks laws,” he wrote in an email to Patch.

Douglas added that while Safe and Sane Fireworks are legal to possess and use within city limits, they are only permitted from midnight on June 20 to midnight on July 4.

“Remember the use of legal fireworks should not be used in public parks or on private property.  Please respect the property rights of others,” he said.

Douglas – as well as city officials – are urging for individuals to take precaution during the holiday weekend.

“Enjoy the celebration of Independence and the use of legal fireworks, but please look after the little ones.  Please be responsible and supervise children around fireworks,” Douglas said.

City councilman Al Huezo said at the council’s June 23 meeting that he hopes Newark residents behave and practice being safe and sane when it comes to using fireworks.

Mona Taplin July 01, 2011 at 03:40 AM
Well James I see your comment is gone again. Mine for some reason sometimes print twice. Got a glitch in Patch somewhere I surmise. I also prefer fireworks to gunfire. Yeah, I know. guns don't kill, people do. But I don't like guns around kids, and kids are up late on the 4th.
Janet Zutler July 01, 2011 at 06:22 AM
Nika, can you tell us the names and locations of each organization selling fireworks, so we can choose which organization to support. Thanks.
James July 01, 2011 at 06:40 AM
Nika, I agree with Janet, it might be a good idea to list them out so people who want to support said Organizations can do so without having to waste time checking each one out. Janet, The one in the Bank of the West Parking Lot is usually the Optimist Club, while the one in front of CitiBank (Across the Street) is Latinos Unidos de Newark. The rest of the Locations seem to change hands.
Nika Megino (Editor) July 01, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Hi Janet. Thanks for the suggestion! I'll work on this today. And James is right in regards to the two he listed. I noticed the one near Sinodino's was for Newark schools and the one at Citibank near NewPark Mall was for Viola Blythe.
Mona Taplin July 01, 2011 at 04:41 PM
The fireworks booths are major fund raisers for several charity organizations such as the Viola Blythe Center. They are manned by volunteers who put in long hours standing on their feet selling fireworks to the public. Of course these booths aren't air conditioned,and it can get down right uncomfortable in a very short time. Some of these charities would be pushed into obscurity without this one time a year sales event and the help of the dedicated volunteers who staff them. Please buy your fireworks from them instead of the vendors who sell illegal stuff.
James July 01, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Some of you may be wishing to get something small and Illegal for the fourth like Firecrackers or Jumping Jacks (Flying). Did you know that the Legal Safe and Sane Fireworks at the Booths such as Monster Blasts, and Fire Krackles can be just as Loud as a Firecracker? No Re-engineering or breaking a Law is necessary, simply find a Aluminum Can or Bucket of considerable size, light em up and toss em in. I urge against anyone using Jumping Jacks, not only are they Illegal but they also cause a lot of destruction. Most often they don't fly straight up, sometimes they dart across the ground and end up on someones front lawn. I'm all for Illegal Fireworks, but please practice Safety when using them and try not to burn your Neighbors house down. Truth is, just about any Legal Firework can be Legally enhanced through simple means in order to get the effect your looking for. Ball is in your Court.
James July 02, 2011 at 09:23 PM
I wish people would supervise their kids when their playing with Fireworks! The hazards I saw today were just Idiotic plain and simple. Kids of 9 or 10 attempting to Alter Piccolo Petes to make em Pop, Teens trying to perfect a bottle bomb with printed Instructions from the Net. (They failed BTW) Emergency Crews are going to be busy. If you aren't old enough to know the Consequences or Risks and don't know how to do something then you don't deserve to have Fireworks. Simple!
Mona Taplin July 02, 2011 at 11:12 PM
I agree James, but this has been going on forever. Many, many moons ago when I was a child kids did some very dangerous things with fireworks too. I was going to describe one method but thought better of it because I wouldn't want to be indirectly responsible for someone getting seriously injured or killed by tring it. I remember another very dangerous episode though. Once when the US was going to test a rocket, my much younger brother decided to try doing his version of one. He went out in the center of Owasco Lake in a row boat so he wouldn't set anything on fire. The US rocket fizzled. My brothers didn't. It tipped the boat over end to end- not sideways- and dumped him into the lake. A miracle happened and he only had minor injuries. A guy in a motorboat saw it happen and rescued him,- he was my father's boss who owned property on the lake. My brother's little secret didn't stay secret for very long!
Nadja Adolf July 03, 2011 at 12:17 AM
Well, as someone who lives not all that far from Bettencourt, it would be nice if the officer of the law quit doing that. We have a neighbor who has a shake roof that is badly oxidized so we have to stay here every Fourth of July and wet down our yard,, sheds, and roof. The IR from a house fire next door could damage our property even though we have a Class A roof and Class A siding. I hate people who set off illegal fireworks. I hate having to run out and douse the little fires that arise when the nice aerial bomb misfires and lands in my backyard. I hate having to stay here every darn 4th of July when I could be anchored out on my little boat watching the big fireworks displays from the Bay or out camping. I think anyone who starts a fire through use of illegal fireworks should be chained to a stake and a large pile of illegal fireworks piled around them and set off in the public square. Interestingly enough, in medieval times the death penalty was rare and only used for crimes viewed as horrendous - including arson.
James July 03, 2011 at 12:43 AM
Mona, That sounds like it would be kind of awesome,lol. I guess I was taken aback by the fact that one of the Children's Mother's replied with "So what?" when I brought it to her attention. She said he'll learn his lesson when his hand gets blown off and went back into her house like nothing happened. Nadja, Bettencourt is one of my favorite neighborhoods to watch Illegals at in Newark. I think the worst Offenders are on Birkdale, every dang year stuff goes up and it comes down on fire in peoples yards. I'm all for Illegal Fireworks, but RESPONSIBLY! At least when I do Illegal Fireworks it's away from Homes, well the big stuff anyway.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2011 at 12:48 AM
I sure understand your point of view Nadja. We had the same problem last year. A couple of usually high flying fireworks drifted off course and spread sparks on my nextdoor neighbors roof and my roof and yard. fortuanately both are class 1, and I also wet down my yard and roof. Also I got out my hose and soaked down the tall dry weeds that line the fence on the unopened part of Cedar Blvd. I had to hire someone to do my own yard work because we are no longer able to do it, or I would go pull some of those weeds to prevent a fire. When I complained about the illegal fireworks last year, the response was "Gosh Mona. It only happens once a year so why not just ignore it?" Yeah sure. We only have to risk having our houses set on fire once a year. Big deal. And I'm sure anyone living in this aarea has heard the very loud fireworks set off at night around here. Oh boy am I ever looking forward to another fourth with all the idiots out with their "toys".
J. Conseco July 03, 2011 at 03:55 AM
love it or leave it. I was born on the 4th of July. Be thankful dynamite isn't readily available anymore.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2011 at 04:26 AM
My precious great great grandson was born on the 4th of July too.That gives me something to be thankful for. I'm NOT thankful for the illegal fireworks that are going on right now down the street from me.
James July 03, 2011 at 04:58 AM
The Yocum Brothers threw some of the best Fourth of July parties Newark has ever had! I remember one year the neighborhood was full of cars because a couple hundred heads showed up, people were parking their cars on the sidewalks and other peoples front lawns,lol. Someone busted out the Illegal Fireworks and all hell broke loose! Newark Cops ended up coming out like five different times that night and we'd pretend to disburse, they would leave then everyone came back LMAO.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2011 at 05:27 AM
I just emailed Chief Leal to ask what, if anything, we can do to have these people arrested. If it takes peeking over a fence with camera in hand I'll do it. I'm sick of trying to be a good citizen while others do all they can to drive us out of the city. They are doing a pretty good job of convincing me it's time to leave.
James July 03, 2011 at 05:38 AM
Mona, I do feel for you and others who have trouble tolerating the noise. You do know that the City has people in plain clothes with walkie talkies go around looking for violators right? Unfortunately they can't be everywhere at once. I've personally only known of a couple people to get busted for Illegal Fireworks and that was only because Newark PD was right there when they lit them off. Caught red handed.
Mona Taplin July 03, 2011 at 06:04 AM
It isn't just "noise" James. Last year was the first time I've had any complaints on the 4th,- complaints because of the extremely careless people who gave no thought about the fire danger they were putting us in, and the roof rattling, window shaking booming reminiscent of war zones. I hope there will be enough police in my area to prevent it from happening again this year,- but if the illegal fireworks already being shot off is any indication I think we are in for another hair raising situation. The big problem is when they do get caught they just get their hands slapped a little, and come right back and do it again.
James July 03, 2011 at 06:24 AM
Mona, Personally, I think Illegal Fireworks should be used on just the Fourth of July, but that's just me and only until a certain time. I think it's highly dangerous to be setting off bombs in the dead of night, launching who knows what over populated areas without taking safety into consideration. Even now as I type this, there's a crap load of Mortars and M1000's exploding in the sky about a Mile down the road from me. There's also at least one jack *&* in my own Neighborhood who keeps lighting off Bottle Rockets that fly past indiscriminately and hit peoples Cars.. There's no need for this on a Non Holiday after 10PM. I have often pondered why the City puts on this whole dog and pony show about Zero Tolerance, when year after year it's anything but. Why waste Paper telling residents to not light off Illegal Fireworks, when Cops just stand there and do nothing? It's such a farce.
J. Conseco July 03, 2011 at 07:08 AM
love it or leave it. Even the commis in china can lite works
Mona Taplin July 03, 2011 at 04:13 PM
I don't care anything about living like they do in china, or in any other country, but I guess you are right. We can love it or leave it to all of you who don't like having laws to follow.The reason that fireworks were banned to begin with is because of the serious injuries and/or fires they caused. I'm at a point where I hope a few of those people who insist on using illegal fireworks cause serious injuries to themselves . Then of course we would all be expected to feel sorry for the poor fool who blinded himself or blew his own hands off just trying to have a little "fun". Unfortunately far too often it is the children who get injured by the fun loving adults.
James July 03, 2011 at 07:58 PM
I have a friend who had a Pipe Bomb explode in his hand and even though he lost some digits he still messes with em years later. It's a Mathematics game, playing with Fireworks. Anything that goes up,certainly comes down that's why Trajectory, Chance, Wind Direction and Speed all need to be taken into account. Obviously, I can't speak for all but Personally, I don't let the Zero Tolerance "Ban" ruin my plans. Perhaps if NPD were more aggressive and actually lifted a finger to stop people like me, then I would most definitely re-think the next year. I believe this is the same for everyone who plays with Illegal Fireworks. NPD over the years have become rather soft when it comes to Fireworks Violators, I mean just look at the Violations they handed out in years past? You'll notice only a few compared to the hundreds of residents launching stuff into the sky.
James July 04, 2011 at 07:42 PM
It's the big night! Remember it's not about the Fireworks or the people who light them off but about America's Birthday. So Happy Fourth of July to everyone (Yes, even the City) and here's to many more.
Mona Taplin July 05, 2011 at 06:26 PM
We had a much better celebration last night than the year before. The police started patrolling our street early, and came by a few more times. Yes it was me who called and requested it. Thank you NPD! It did make a difference! We did have some illegal fireworks, but very little of the big stuff that disturbed me last year. I did hear the constant Boom! Boom! Boom! in the distance so know other neighborhoods weren't as lucky as ours. Nadja, how about your area? I hope it was better for you too.
James July 05, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Mona, I encouraged everyone I know to not do the big stuff in your area. My area on the other hand was Lit up, which was surprising because usually it's the deadest part of Newark on the Fourth! As Usual NPD Rolled through all the areas I was at, but didn't really try to prevent or catch the Illegal Fireworks. One Cop did stop and hassle a family of three for using Safe and Sane Fireworks, got a kick out of that. There were Fireworks going up all around him, and he screws with the Law Abiding people. Anyway one of the better years Newark has seen, because people were getting out to meet their Neighbors and co-existing. Only thing that really sucked last night was my Camera's Lens getting destroyed,lol. Someone threw an M80 my way, tried to get back but ending up tripping over a curb and the Camera hit the Deck. Shattered.Oh well, it was still fun! lol
James July 05, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Anyone drive by Big Lots this morning? The Parking Lot was trashed! I think that was the worst I ever seen it.
Mona Taplin July 05, 2011 at 09:24 PM
J ames, thank you but I wasn't complaining only about myself. Some of the big stuff is extremely dangerous to use. They also traumatize children. I know one little girl who still is frightened when she hears any loud noise,- a door slamming, horn blowing, etc.after being frightened by the noise last year. I've heard of other children this has happened to too. It can and does break the seal between dual pane windows. Have you ever had to pay to replace one? They are very expensive and don't forget that most home owners insurance has a big deductible. Remember the complaints about damage planes do when they break the sound barrier? Some Fireworks can and do cause the same damage. The police aren't breaking their necks to cite people with illegal fireworks because the courts are already so overcrowded that the DA is refusing to prosecute misdemeaners of this sort. That means we are going to put up with them until we find a way to put a stop to them. You mentioned the Big Lots parking lot. I'll bet the manager there was tickled pink to have all that mess to clean up because of thoughtless revelers who have no respect whatsoever for other peoples property. I bet they wouldn't feel the same way if they bought some acreage and a hundred or so people thought that looked like a great spot to have a 4th of July party complete with fireworks whether the owner liked it or not
James July 05, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Mona, Although I enjoy the big stuff, I find myself in agreement with you again. There was a little kid about three maybe four last night who heard a M1000 go off down the street from him and he screamed and cried. Then his dad lit off some Firecrackers and he cried more. This was the first year seeing that for myself, although I did find a few Kids who loved the Big stuff, but not all of them did. There was an older gentleman probably in his 60's or 70's, had a cane and was decked out in Marine Corps stuff. He strolls by one of the drainage ditches on the street and tossed down a M1000, talk about feeling the ground rumble! Apparently he had enough of the Firecrackers the kids were lighting off and decided to show them how it's done. I'd be lying if I said my Heart didn't skip a few beats, huge echo,very loud and I was literally 20 feet away or so. Afterward he asked "Are you laughing now!?". Everybody ended up disbursing from his Neighborhood,lol. As for Big Lots, I only saw about three workers picking up trash in the parking lot, but they did not look happy in the least.
Mona Taplin July 06, 2011 at 12:18 AM
Those are really my biggest concerns James. I use to love to go to see the awesome displays of fireworks and was always disappointed to see them end, too soon for me. I understand people not wanting their animals frightened. I used to have a dog till he died, and still have 2 cats who don't like the noise. But I think the impact fireworks have on little children and the damage they do are far worse than anything else.
Mona Taplin August 21, 2011 at 03:59 PM
August 21,- and yesterday afternoon and evening we were "entertained" by very loud fireworks some idiot was having "fun" with near Hazelnut, Beech Place, Indian Wells, Cyprus Point and Bettencourt street.
James August 21, 2011 at 05:00 PM
I got a similar wake up call the other morning, I was so nice that I opened my Window and yelled "Thanks for the Wakeup call", Although I didn't expect a Reply I got a "Your welcome",lol. Someone Lit a Thunder King Cake (M1000's) about 20 feet from my Bedroom Window. From what I can tell, they used a Cig as a Delay Fuse which gave them 3 - 4 minutes to vacate the area prior to Igniting. On the Bright side had they not have gone off I'd have overslept.

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