HOW I PROTECT AUTOBAHN FROM FIREWORKS
By Garth J. Christie, MMC
As we approach the two-year anniversary of the Redford Township Board's petition to Governor Rick Snyder urging the repeal of Public Act 256 of 2011 it will help us go forward if we review how we got here. That public act did two things: 1) it allowed for the purchase and use of previously proscribed dangerous fireworks, notably loud obnoxious rockets, that leave the ground; and 2) prevents local municipalities from regulating these dangerous and obnoxious explosive projectiles. The paltry sum the State receives in sales tax is grossly outweighed by the loss of our peaceful enjoyment of our lives and property and the extra suffering they cause to returning veterans with PTSD, people with brain injuries, autistic children, and pets such as Autobahn, the most beautiful German Shepard dog you can imagine. About two dozen neighboring communities jumped onboard and we got great support from our State Legislators, Leslie Love and David Knezek; yet, still no response from the Governor. On one other occasion I wrote a governor on behalf of Redford residents. Jennifer Granholm did not directly address my concern but she thanked me for the letter and included an 8x10 autographed portrait of herself suitable for framing. We can expect nothing from someone who may be indicted for manslaughter over the Flint water crisis, so we must be extra vigilant as we prepare for this holiday's explosive onslaught by remembering what we endured before.
In previous years, the firecracker bangs began around noon and then morphed into sonic booms after dark and lasted well after midnight to 4:00 a.m. I toured about a half-mile-square area of my neighborhood and identified about half a dozen large fireworks parties with a lot of lawn chairs, plenty of plastic cups, and piles of explosives. The partiers launched from county park property at Puritan and Centralia, school property at Puritan and Lexington, and the church parking lot at Centralia and Student. There were other parties held in front yards where neighbors invited people over, so cars were parked on both sides up and down the street. Loud music added to the revelers' enjoyment as they quaffed cold beverages.
The next morning the air still stank from the explosions, and large piles of fireworks debris were left in the street. How did they dispose of the byproduct of the copious amounts of whatever it was they consumed in those plastic cups? All this made Autobahn sick and inspired me to petition the Governor to no avail which makes me sick.
We will get no help from Lansing, so I offer the following tips to protect your pets and yourself from the loud holiday explosions:
Close all your windows and doors snugly
Hunker down in your basement
Play the radio and television
Do your laundry – keep those machines humming
Run a fan, preferably the noisy kitchen exhaust fan
These measures will produce white noise and diffuse sound that will help mask the explosions.
In addition, it is not a bad idea to keep your garden hoses ready. Your house is in the landing zone of your neighbor firing rockets a few yards away. Of course, this will not replace the need to call the fire department; however, you could limit damage to your property. Also, a friend recommended a product that contains chamomile and lavender. He says it calms his 80-pound Golden Retriever.
Stay safe this holiday season and if you have any tips on how to cope with these explosives please share.