Friday, October 7, 2016

Dear Editor - From Richard Clark

Dear Editor, 
As a long-time resident of Windham, I'd like to add my voice to the conversation that I understand that the town council is going to have in the future about fireworks. Fireworks are fun, exciting and if properly used, they are the traditional centerpiece of our patriotic celebration of American independence.

But now that Maine law has introduced new lenience, some towns, including Windham, have not imposed sensible restrictions.

This past summer my stretch of shore on Sebago Lake has become almost literally under fire, NOT just on the fourth of July, but for the entire summer season. It started in mid-June and continued through September. Lake shore properties seem to act like a magnet for those with fireworks and the tourists and renters apparently fire them off whenever they are here.

When I purchased lake shore property, I expected to, and indeed I do, pay much more in taxes for the privilege of living on the lake. But we no longer hear the loons, are deprived of our sleep (fireworks often don't stop at 11 p.m.), and our pets are petrified.  Night after night, the serenity of the lake has been broken by a lengthy and constant barrage of explosions. Unfortunately, the absence of local restrictions has been taken as license for thoughtless use of fireworks without consideration of others.

I'm not against allowing fireworks completely, but let's limit it to a few days a year. That's what some other towns and cities have wisely done. We don't need to celebrate Independence Day all summer long. Yes, enforcement raises some challenges. But so do speed limits, and that's no excuse to not have laws against speeding. Additionally, I believe our police and fire chiefs have expressed safety concerns.  Hopefully Windham will consider not only my concerns, but also the concerns of my friends, neighbors and family members by placing some restrictions on this annoyance.

Respectfully yours,  
Richard W. Clark

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