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San Gabriel Valley Digest

La Verne : Hearing on Fireworks Ban

July 14, 1988

In the wake of a 75-acre brush fire earlier this month that was apparently started by fireworks, the La Verne City Council will hold a public hearing Monday to determine whether the community supports a ban on fireworks.

Mayor Jon Blickenstaff said the fire, which threatened several homes on the city's eastern edge, has helped generate public support for such a move. La Verne residents narrowly opposed a ban in an advisory vote two years ago.

"It certainly created a lot of community awareness of a problem that some of us have been concerned with for some time," Blickenstaff said. "I have maintained all along that we should prohibit fireworks in La Verne."

La Verne is the only city in the eastern San Gabriel Valley that permits so-called "safe and sane" fireworks, which emit sparks but generally do not fly through the air or explode. Blickenstaff said a ban would make it easier for neighboring cities such as Pomona, Claremont, San Dimas and Glendora to enforce their fireworks bans.

The only real opposition, Blickenstaff said, are service organizations such as the Kiwanis and Lions Club that depend on the thousands of dollars that can be generated from fireworks sales. "That's regrettable," he said. "But service clubs in other cities (that have banned fireworks) are still doing a good job."

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