Altadena's Fourth of July: Can You Hear Me Now

We live in a no-fireworks zone, theoretically speaking

In the early evening yesterday, Farnsworth Park was almost deserted; just a few families, packing up their picnic baskets. And as the night wore on, we who live in the area heard distant thunder, fireworks, yes, but nothing particularly threatening.  

And that seemed really strange, because over the years this neighborhood has been a popular launching pad for those who express their love for freedom and independence by lighting illegal firecrackers and bottle rockets, creating a monument of ash and broken glass for all to appreciate the following day.

So maybe times have changed. 

Or maybe not. Maybe the launching pad has never left town, just shifted a little, to the west or to the east.

Where do you live and, in spite of the ban on fireworks, did the bombs burst in the air, and the rockets glare red on your street? 

Revvell July 06, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Oh hell yeah. I was watching some beauties on Sacramento just north of me. Someone got some amazing stuff. To the west, some bombs and I don't know what else they call them. Oh! Starting again as I type!
Lisa Hastings July 06, 2012 at 03:48 AM
From 7:00 p.m. to past 11:00 p.m. there was lots of smoke and extremely loud fireworks on Alameda Street between Crawford and El Molino Avenues. The Altadena Sheriff told me last year that many people called to complain but that the people were probably using lookouts because when the Deputies arrived, the fireworks mysteriously stopped. Today, just like July 5th last year, there was a huge mess on the driveway where the fireworks were being set off and a large trash container filled with fireworks trash.
Richard July 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Harriet between Raymond and Highview is apparently a designated Cherry Bomb demonstration zone. Or so the numerous GIANT BOOMS that rattled the area would suggest. Lots of screamers, too.
Ninja Girl July 06, 2012 at 02:34 PM
I live near Mariposa and Glenrose - recently moved to this side of town from east altadena, and the difference is amazing. 4th of July over here was literally like a war zone, and I'm so angry at the fact that this behavior was allowed. The misc. neighbors were putting on a Rose Bowl/Disneyland like fireworks shows - I'm talking huge! And they were setting off the rockets with sparks flying everywhere - into the trees and all. The explosives were so loud. It was incredibly dangerous and I feared homes and trees would catch on fire from their careless acts. I phoned several times and complained - even gave an address! but from the ongoing explosions and sparks throughout the night, I don't think the sheriff ever came out. My dogs were so upset- when I lived on the east side, the sounds didn't bother them because they were so distant, and we didn't have such irresponsible behavior in that area. It angers me so much that rules are not enforced over on the west side. if rules were enforced, the bad people would either be arrested, or move, and this could be a happy, safe area to reside. Also, the fireworks haven't stopped. Last night, I went for a walk with the dogs and the same idiots started up again, completely took the peace out of our walk, and they continued their shooting off fireworks through late in the night! Again, no police activity! I haven't slept in weeks, because of course they started their mindless activity weeks before the holiday.
Leslie Aitken July 06, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Erika -- I am not far from you, and know exactly what you are talking about! The firecrackers began on Saturday night and continued intermittently until last night (the 5th). I have lived here for 36 years and this year was the most that I have ever heard and seen up here! We used to go to a friend's house on Del Sol and it is a regular extravaganza over there! Not only can you see the Rose Bowl fireworks, the surrounding neighborhood puts on quite a show!! I don't know why this year was so different -- maybe because a blind eye is turned to it.
Isabella Baumfree July 06, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Erika - perhaps you should seriously consider moving back to 'east altadena', it would definitely eliminate your sleepness nights and the enormous amount of stress that you are experiencing due to your relocating to 'west altadena'. I hardly think that residents who've been living in that neighborhood for years are going to move to acommodate you; don't think that 'bad people' don't reside on the east side. You have 11 months, that's plenty of time, if you start looking right now. Good luck.
Revvell July 06, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Here's a couple of suggestions ~ Next time Capt. Benedict does a "Coffee with the Captain" ~ show up! Next time there's a "Community Academy" (where they gang units and other detectives come and tell exactly what's going on and why things happen in Altadena as they do) ~ show up! If you'd like to have a group meeting to discuss things happening (or not happening) in your area, contact the sheriff's station and request it. Talk to those directly instead of venting (or in addition to) on a blog. Be PRO-active and see what YOU can do for your area. Want to participate more? Become a volunteer. It's free!
Leslie Aitken July 06, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Good points Revvell -- proactive -- it's more than just a skin care regime! That being said -- I will say that there were an inordinate amount of explosions over here this year. Not fireworks -- but firecrackers, screamers extrordinaire and full on explosions!! I even made a FB status about the explosions. Tough way to be initiated into the neighborhood!!
Revvell July 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Yeah, it happened here too. Got to watch some amazing fireworks on Wednesday from my office and yeah, I thought there were more this year as well as more fights, more deputies on the street and.... just more action in general. It was a tough night, it's over... let's all move on!
Lisa Hastings July 06, 2012 at 05:03 PM
This is a good idea because the Sheriff needs to hear from the community on this one so that hopefully next year some proactive plan is in place.
Laura Monteros July 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I already emailed the station regarding the lack of response and the rudeness of the dispatcher. Safe & Sane use seemed to be down, but the rockets and explosives were bigger and louder than ever. I'm afraid on the west side, it will take a massive fire or death of a child to get the sheriff and fire dept. to do much. In the past, they were much more responsive. This year, they did nothing but a couple passes with the helicopter. I think this may come up at an ANCONA meeting, and certainly should be addressed in future coffees with Capt. Benedict. I posted elsewhere on Patch about the problems, hope the fire chief and Capt. B. are reading this.
Ninja Girl July 06, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Thanks Revvell :) :) Like laura, I definitely plan to follow up w/ the sheriff's station on the same issues, and would love to attend the Coffee with Captain - I really appreciate your sharing this information, and am happy to know this community service is available. Thanks Leslie for your input, too! I agree Lisa, this is a great opportunity for all of us to create a voice and plan for next year! have a great weekend everyone :)
Robby July 06, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I absolutely love fireworks. Channeling my inner 14-year-old boy here. I'd be totally up for relaxing the ban on stuff like sparklers, or cones, piccolo petes, or those chinese firecrackers, if they'd concentrate instead on people setting off what appear to be freaking mortar rounds. Holy frijoles - anyone else hear/feel whatever that was that went off about 11:30pm on the 2nd? Pretty impressive, but a jerk move to do it at that time of the night.
Karin Bugge July 06, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Robby, as a kid I loved sparklers. Would race up and down the street twirling them like batons -- and it didn't seem like a dangerous thing to do. But then again, I rode my Schwinn without a helmet, so what do I know?
Laura Monteros July 07, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree, Robby, to some extent. I used to do sparklers, worms, and Chinese flowers (they skittered around on the pattio) with my kids and only stopped because it seemed hypocritical to call the sheriff for the massive displays down the street when we had our own mini-fireworks. Firecrackers of any size can be very dangerous, though, especially if they are set off in strings as they are intended to be, and I don't like anything that shoots into the air in this dry area. So why not just allow some of the safest things, limit them to people's backyards (so no cars blow up), and really crack down on the explosives and rockets? Anything to make it better.
Revvell July 09, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Susan asked where to find out about "Coffee with the Captain" and/or "Community Academy".... "Coffee with the Captain" is posted here and on AltadenaBlog. To find out when the next Community Academy is, contact Sgt. Randenberg ~ 626-798-1131.


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