not innocent fun

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  • #905221

    JoB
    Participant

    I am one of the many pet owners who spent New Year’s eve trying to calm already tranquilized pets. The fireworks started with the first SeaHawks touchdown and literally did not quit in my Westwood neighborhood till 3 AM. By then my dog was a quivering mass roaming my house looking for any safety he could find.

    big deal.. right? No matter how much i treat my pet as a member of the family.. it’s only a dog, right?

    Well, no. Our neighborhood was the location of fatal gunshots this year.. and vets with PTSD live on this street.. as do new babies and a few elderly. the same fireworks that had my dog reeling in spite of the largest dose of tranquilizers i could safely give him left people reeling too.

    Those few minutes of “innocent” fun added up to hours of misery for many… a misery that is no longer confined to special occasions… unless of course you count any score for any major sporting team a special occasion.

    It’s particularly ironic that people who are outraged when someone else’s tree dumps leaves in their yard.. or blows those leaves during naptime .. or leaves a bag full of dog waste in their garbage can justify stealing the peace of their neighbors… it’s just innocent fun..

    unless of course you are the victim.

    #905222

    maryann
    Participant

    My Fauntleroy neighborhood is awful on New Years and 4th of JUly, and my little guy shakes and hides under the bed until morning (even with a tranquilizer). Most of my neighbors had similar situations with their pets. And most people don’t know that fireworks are illegal in Seattle. What can we do to stop this?

    #905225

    newnative
    Participant

    Unless enforcement were taken seriously, you can’t do much about fireworks. The discussion about this on Facebook got ugly once the pro-fireworks crowd started in with their usual blame-the-victim commentary.I’m sure most people do know that fireworks are illegal and just don’t care.

    #905231

    PangolinPie
    Participant

    I can’t use the words I’d like to, here, to express how much I hate the attitude of people who light off fireworks and shoot cannons. They KNOW it scares animals, they KNOW it makes veterans uncomfortable, and they KNOW it wakes people up. They just simply don’t care, and have decided that it’s more important that they have their loud fun. And in the last few years, it’s not just the fourth of July and new Years, it’s every Sunday during football season, and then also at random times.

    But the same conversations happen every year. People are unhappy and upset, and the fireworks people scoff and say “you should know it’s going to happen” and “if you don’t like it you should move” and “you should have prepared your dog” (that was an actual comment on Facebook!). Victim-blaming at its best. But it’s all just their way of saying “I am more important than you are.” And those people will not change. But I promise, if I ever see anyone lighting fireworks in my neighborhood, I’m going to call 911 until the cops show up. I’m quite sure that the police don’t care at all, but I’ll make myself annoying enough that it will add at least one voice to those protesting this selfish behaviour. I’d encourage everyone to do the same, until the police are forced to listen.

    #905234

    miws
    Participant

    newnative, there have been a couple of recent discussions about fireworks on NextDoor recently that have turned ugly as well and in the same manner as you describe. The current one, of course regarding the Seahawks/NYE fireworks, the other started maybe a couple months or so ago now, more specifically about the “Seahawks Cannon” that somebody sets off. The discussion has pretty much encompassed the Highland Park/S.Delridge/White Center/Shorewood/Arbor Heights areas. People have shared their stories about traumatized dogs (the Original Post was about a person’s dog being traumatized.

    In that earlier post, one of the neighbors went to the trouble of organizing a neighbor meet-up to get both sides together to civilly discuss the issue and see if a compromise could be worked up. I believe the original intent was to meet at a local coffee shop but there was so much interest expressed that the organizer reserved a room at the White Center Library.

    Within minutes, fewer than 10, IIRC, the meeting got ugly. There was yelling, swearing, and at least threats of physical violence, if not actual physical violence. The police were called, the meeting participants were kicked out of the library, and other people had already left out of fear of the violence getting worse. The organizer, who seemed to have nothing but the best of intentions of bringing neighbors together to resolve an issue was so humiliated that he left ND, although I believe he has returned.

    Both discussions have devolved into name-calling, and commenters going back-and-forth insulting each other. Also some nasty language. Makes me glad that WSB actually enforces their rules on commenters interacting with each other in a civil manner. I’m considering leaving ND these arguments and unenforced rules get so ridiculous. The minimal benefits I get from the site just aren’t worth it. (Yes, I know individual discussions, etc, can be muted).

    But, yeah, enforcement really needs to happen. Time and time again, for years, when I’ve read comments here on WSB, about fireworks, saying that the laws need to be enforced, in my mind I have agreed, *but*, have been of the mindset of how difficult, if not logistically impossible it would be to enforce, especially on July 4th, but repeated attempts at *civil* discussion, repeated reminders of how traumatizing the noise can be for pets and veterans, repeated reminders of the fire dangers and citing specific examples of homes burnt down by fireworks, and repeated reminders that fireworks are illegal in Seattle, and have very limited legality in Unincorporated King County, if not falling on deaf ears, are met with; “It’s only *one* day a year!” “Why don’t you just go out of town that day?” “Doesn’t bother *my* dog* any!” “They have tranquilizers/Thundershirts for your dog!”, “Why don’t you just board your dog for that *one* night?” “You’re Anti-American!”

    So, yeah, I really don’t have an answer on what to do other than maybe continued prodding of SPD/The Mayor/The City Council. :-/

    Mike

    #905242

    anonyme
    Participant

    Animals suffer from PTSD, and many pets in West Seattle (as well as their owners) have been so traumatized over the extreme, over-the-top use of fireworks here that they react at the sound of the first pop. This year, my cat went into a kind of shock/terror, where he became an immobilized blob trying to sink into the floor, licking and drooling. When I picked him up his limbs remained rigid, just like the animals you see rescued from situations of severe abuse. No amount of tranquilizers help, NOR SHOULD ANYONE HAVE TO RESORT TO DRUGGING THEIR PETS DUE TO THE LAWLESS AND RECKLESS BEHAVIOR OF OTHERS.

    The police have the gall to actually announce on TV that they will not enforce fireworks violations, and the only admonition goes out to those who might dare to call 911 to report abuse. There has always been a kind of backward approach to criminal behavior in Seattle. Commit a crime or exhibit outrageous behavior, and you get a slap on the wrist at best, with most people turning away in a passive aggressive manner. Complain about, or confront such behavior and you.will.be.punished. It seems to be a form of virtue branding, with many Seattleites congratulating themselves on their “tolerance” – even when said “tolerance” creates a situation that is dangerously intolerable, or, to put it bluntly – just plain stupid.

    Offhand, I’m thinking of a few things we can do to stop this. First, we have a new mayor and eventually a new police chief. Pressure must be brought to bear on these officials (include Herbold) to begin to enforce the laws of this city. Second, work on the restriction of fireworks sales, in White Center and elsewhere. I personally think the ban should be statewide. A valid case can and should be made that explosives should not be sold recreationally. Quite frankly, most fireworks use seems to have devolved to this category. Third, citizen action. At the very least, gather widespread audio/visual documentation of the scope of this activity, especially on the 4th, accompanied by affidavits of complaint and/or an online petition demanding that the law be enforced. The documentation could be supplied to numerous sources, both governmental, civil, and journalistic.

    There are other actions citizens could take, but then the lines begin to blur in terms of safety and legality. Of course, fireworks violators have already shown their contempt for such things but there’s no doubt in my mind that they would be the first to squeal and demand protection were they to be confronted.

    This year, let’s make it happen. Or rather, let’s make it STOP.

    #905261

    Michael Waldo
    Participant

    The police will do nothing. Polite asking has no affect. Maybe a large group of men with baseball bats confronting these selfish creeps would work. Theoretically of course.

    #905270

    jissy
    Participant

    anonyme: As a new-ish Building owner in White Center I can concur with you that something needs to be done — for the last 3 years we have had to hire private security and literally camp out in our parking lot with water and hoses to keep our building from burning down — there was a fire started in our shrubs ( 2 different years) by some people letting off fireworks in the parking lot next door that with a little gust of wind could have burned the whole block down. luckily we were on-site and called it in immediately.

    It has become my least favorite day of year where I live in fear b/c it’s White Center, can never go out of town or just enjoy the day with my family. Why they are legal ANYWHERE is just beyond me and agree with a Statewide ban. I have racked my brain as to how to make a change but you are right, since law enforcement clearly publicizes they aren’t going to enforce anything I always come back to then why bother.

    #905289

    newnative
    Participant

    Mike, yeah. I have seen enough examples of the behavior of Next Door to stay away. However, those same people who behave poorly there are likely the same people who come here and the various West Seattle pages on Facebook. I have seen one beloved person here in particular do the Jekyll and Hyde act.

    #905292

    EdSane
    Participant

    I personally enjoy the fireworks and believe that they should be legal on the 4th & New Years. The law as it is now is just a feel good piece as it’s not enforced because the vast majority of us are ok with fireworks. I did read through the complaints listed and my mind has not changed.

    Anyway, my reason for posting: In case this helps anyone this is what we use with our dog and it has worked out well to manage anxiety during fireworks:

    Pharma Hemp CBD Freeze-Dried Pet Treats 1oz/50mg 3oz/150mg

    #905322

    KBear
    Participant

    EdSane, no one should have to drug their pets because of pyromaniacal lawbreaking idiots. Go enjoy a legally sanctioned display, and stop blowing up our neighborhood.

    #905312

    JanS
    Participant

    Mike, I’m really sorry to hear about your Nextdoor. I am the lead in mine. I started the damned thing. If someone gets out of line, their posts are removed. We won’t tolerate it here. At least I try to not tolerate. I don’t actively monitor, because that’s not my job. But I do get notices.. I mainly use ND to post things I’m giving away, or selling. It keeps it in the immediate hood. But no one needs to be uncivil ever. Sorry yours devolves into that :(
    I spent NYE at my daughter’s near Bitter lake. Spent the night…it was quiet except for about 10 minutes after midnight. It’s seriously near Evergreen Washelli, so definitely a quiet neighborhood most of the time. As is Admiral District, where I’m at. I wonder why south of here is so much noisier…proximity to White Center where they are sold in June and July? If WC ever becomes part of Seattle, will that help it to stop, I wonder.

    #905350

    newnative
    Participant

    JanS, you just said you were not in Admiral District on NYE and then mention how quiet it is? I was there and there were plenty of fireworks going off, I didn’t attempt to go to bed until after 1:30am. There are fireworks and screaming during the Seahawks games as well. If you don’t watch the game, the noise seems random.

    #905359

    EdSane
    Participant

    @kbear I didn’t set any off this year but I did enjoy watching what other people did. There is no need to call people who enjoy the fireworks or utilize them idiots.

    Often times we live in bubbles that are sounding boards and I only posted because I’ve found a solution for my dog and also to offer the counter point that many people like me enjoy them when they are used and limited to specific days.

    #905367

    KBear
    Participant

    Sorry, Ed, but I stand by my characterization of people who set off illegal fireworks. They’re idiots. The harm they cause is real, as is the potential for even greater harm.

    #905387

    JoB
    Participant

    EdSane..
    if i dope my dog just short of overdose he can handle about an hour of fireworks… this New Year’s Eve .. with the game they started about 1 and ended about 3 AM. the only way to give my dog enough drugs to handle that is to overdose them. and yes.. you can overdose your dog on those treats you are giving them and it isn’t pretty. my vet tells me it’s a real problem lately.

    on the fourth of july the fireworks start about 2 to three weeks before depending on the weather and continue in my neighborhood for 2 to 3 weeks after.. depending on how large a supply the person who sets off their 3 a night until they are finally gone buys.

    this year i kenneled my dog for 10 days.. and he was traumatized by fireworks the night he came home… in the past when i had a dog that was even more traumatized i would leave Seattle for nearly a month… and still had to deal with fireworks when i got home.

    there isn’t really any place you can escape them.. i have tried the outskirts of national parks, the beach, the mountains in fire season and out in the middle of the desert. they are everywhere.

    in fact.. from the west end of the park at the community center her in the Westwood area you can watch a pretty impressive fireworks display on either the 4th or New Year’s eve… scanning the entire horizon.

    but the worst .. the worst is the “boom”… or what has been called the cannon. Some “really smart person” sets them off in our neighborhood at every opportunity…

    And it doesn’t just traumatize dogs and cats.. it traumatizes people too… even those who don’t suffer from noise sensitivities and migraines… especially young children, the elderly and vets with PTSD. I can tell you from personal experience.. there aren’t enough drugs for that.

    I get that fireworks are fun to watch… but just think.. we could have fireworks displays to rival those in japan if those who spent their dollars at the fireworks stands donated to local displays instead.. better fireworks with less fire danger and limited duration.

    that could be a win win for us all

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  JoB.
    #905435

    littlebrowndog
    Participant

    Our dogs were terrified, and the fireworks started early afternoon and continued until 3am. You cannot safely tranquilizer dogs for that long. Even worse, though, my husband is a combat veteran with PTSD. EdSane, would you suggest that he should also be tranquillized so that you and others can light off fireworks (illegally)? I am curious, are you a combat Veteran? Did you serve in Iraq or Afghanistan? Desert Storm? Somalia? Panama? Vietnam? Korea? WWII? Is a loved one in your immediate family a combat veteran with PTSD? Do you know how long after a loud boom a combat veteran with PTSD remains agitated and maybe even having flashbacks? Trust me, it is not just 5 minutes. Try potentially hours to even days. Are you willing to personally pay for a hotel room in that magical place where there will be no fireworks? These are not rhetorical questions, I am genuinely curious. I hope you answer them.

    #905479

    JanS
    Participant

    newnative…I will stand by what I said, which was “it’s a relatively quiet neighborhood most of the time” – notice, I was speaking generally. We may be in different parts of the Admiral District. I did not make myself clear. On other game days, even with wins, there are little to no fireworks celebrating TDs where I am at. YMMV..I have no idea where you live. And, yes, I was not here on NY Eve, but I have been for just about every NYE the previous 10-12 years, at least, and it’s relatively quiet where I am at. Relatively being the magic word. Again, I have no idea what part of Admiral you live in. I also don’t have a pet in my home that I have to deal with if there are fireworks. That makes a difference. I am also a night owl, so if, as on the 4th of July, things happen, it startles me, but I’m just dealing with myself, not an animal. Yes, I sympathize with those like JoB, who have a dog who can’t handle them. I never said I didn’t. And I agree with everyone speaking to Ed Sane…fireworks are illegal, period. There are no special people who are above the law. You enjoy watching those that neighbors set off, Ed? Maybe y’all should just go watch the fireworks at the Space Needle. You can make as many excuses as you want for your neighbors and yourself, but they are still illegal, breaking the law. I hope that clarifies things, Newnative.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  JanS.
    #905499

    newnative
    Participant

    I live on top of Bartell Drugs and have worked/lived here for 7 years. It’s a lot noisier here than my first apartments close to the Alaska Junction on California. I would move if I could afford to, it’s the noisiest place I have ever lived in. I don’t know if it’s noisier in White Center or Burien because I don’t travel that way on holidays or during games. I just know that fireworks are loud, startling and illegal. Fireworks during and after the games may not be frequent but that makes them all the more random sounding, ie. you can’t prepare for them.

    #905508

    JoB
    Participant

    newnative…

    i can see where even limited fireworks could be a real problem.. especially the booming kind… and where you live you must get a fair amount of that coming up the hill…especially if you are on that side of the building.. but relatively speaking it is quiet in the Admiral district in contrast with the Westwood district or those surrounding.

    my pup can handle random and loud. he can’t handle continuous for hours at a time.. or every night for weeks at a time. i think it is worse here because it is generally a quiet neighborhood…

    but it’s all relative.. isn’t it.

    #905449

    PangolinPie
    Participant

    littlebrowndog, I’m so sorry for what you and your husband are going through. I appreciate the fact that he sacrificed so much to serve. I would encourage you to post your story on Nextdoor and also the “West Seattle Connections” Facebook group, if you feel you can share it, because I know for a fact that some of the people who set off fireworks (and that damn canon) frequent those places. I would really like to see if they respond with the same “not my problem” uncaring attitude that they show for pets.

    #905519

    miws
    Participant

    FWIW, in the article that WSB published earlier this evening covering last night’s meeting of the Southwest District Council, it was mentioned that Gunner Scott of HPAC brought up the subject of the “Seahawks Cannon” to CM Herbold, so now we officially know that she is aware of the situation:

    HPAC’s Scott told Herbold that Highland Park has its own problems with noise – particularly the “Seahawks cannon” and other fireworks issues. Herbold said she has an “ongoing project with the SPD around fireworks” and has been trying to get information about how much enforcement they do, or don’t do. “They’re basically not enforcing it” is what she’s found so far. Even if they don’t enforce, she said, maybe there could be an effort to confiscate illegal fireworks and get people out of the habit.

    Mike

    #905520

    KBear
    Participant

    Sorry to report, Newnative, but the Junction is quite loud with fireworks these days. Especially on holidays and game days, but also on the days between.

    #905523

    EdSane
    Participant

    I’ve read all the comments and my stance has not changed. I wish we could put this to a referendum to the people as I believe the majority of citizens are with me on supporting the use of fireworks on specific holidays during set times.

    The ban is pointless as police are not going to go around and penalize thousands of people every holiday.

    #905524

    HappyOnAlki
    Participant

    So, EDSane, you can read littlebrowndog’s post and still think it’s OK? And when it’s not “specific holidays during set times” and never will be? Really?

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