Letters to the Editor — June 23, 2017

Fireworks company calls for legalization


Delaware has fallen even behind further in the inevitable path to legalization of consumer fireworks. This year, Iowa adopted a full-line consumer fireworks bill.

Delaware, Massachusetts and New Jersey are the only three states left that continue to prohibit all forms of consumer fireworks to be sold and used. Massachusetts had a failed bill a couple years ago, and New Jersey has a consumer fireworks bill currently active in the state legislature, having been approved by the Senate on May 25, 2017, by a vote of 35-1-4.

The use-injury curve of consumer fireworks is very attractive. Since 1994, when the industry began testing the products at the factory level in China before exportation to the U.S., the imports have increased from 117,000,000 pounds in 1994 to 285,300,000 pounds in 2015. During the same period, the injuries per 100,000 pounds of fireworks used has dropped from 10.7 to 4.2.

This represents an increase in use of 143 percent against a drop in the injury rate of over 60 percent. This is a dramatic contrast, and is a major argument against those who would continue to outlaw the use of consumer fireworks to protect the citizenry. Where are the anti-fireworks legislators when the discussion comes to outlawing the use of cigarettes and other things like that which cannot be used without causing harm to the consumer?

The reduction in the number of fireworks-related injuries is even more impressive when you consider the CPSC injury statistics include injuries related to professional display fireworks, illegal explosives, homemade fireworks and altered fireworks — none of which are consumer fireworks.

Remember, second U.S. President John Adams, in a now-famous July 3, 1776, letter to his wife Abigail, expressed that Independence Day “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this day forward forevermore.”

The time has come for Delaware to join 47 other states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico in legalizing the sale and use of some level of consumer fireworks.

Please enjoy the Independence Day holiday with your family and celebrate safely.

William A. Weimer, Vice President

Phantom Fireworks

Craft show a hit, thanks to many


The 13th Annual Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show was held on Saturday, June 3. Once again, this juried show presented over a hundred crafters with a wide variety of offerings on our boardwalk and bandstand, as well as on Garfield and Parkwood streets.

We want to give recognition to all those who make this excellent occasion possible. The Seaside Craft Show Committee begins each year in September to plan for the upcoming show the following June. However, it is the generous assistance of our town staff and volunteers the day of the show that makes the event happen.

The Bethany Beach Police are on hand from 6 a.m. until sometime after 7 p.m., when the last crafter has moved out. They provide the order that is necessary and appreciated in making things go smoothly from beginning to end. A very big thanks to Dean Sissler and our seasonal officers for their invaluable and friendly assistance.

Thank you also to Brett Warner and the other Bethany Beach Public Works staff members for attending to the many details that set the stage for a successful show. We could not do without their assistance both before and after the event.

Not least of our thanks is for the many volunteers who show up each year at 6 a.m. to mark booths and welcome the crafters, as well as assisting with the crafter parking at the Christian Church grounds. Maureen Killmer annually rounds up these folks, many who graciously return year after year, assuring that the day gets off to a good start.

This year that thanks goes to Carole and Ron Calef, Jim Lutrzykowski, Rick Morini, Joe Morris, Debby Hannan, Steve Piron and three of our town council members, Lew Killmer, Chuck Peterson and Bruce Frye. During the day, Carol Coyle and Margaret Young provided booth-sitting for crafters who needed a short break. Thank you one and all!

And finally, thanks to Maureen’s Ice Cream for the early-morning doughnuts and coffee we provide for our volunteers and crafters, the Disciples of Christ Conference Center for the parking area for the crafters and to all those who attended the show!

The Seaside Craft Show Committee

Gloria Farrar, Stacie Loftus,

Carol Olmstead Karen Taylor, Joan Thomas, Cheryl Wisbrock, Julie Malewski (Bethany Beach Events Director)