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Mayor creates task force to ponder fireworks

Mayor Walsh today announced a task force to consider what to do about the exploding problem of fireworks in Boston in the few days remaining until July 4.

Among the members of the task force: The four at-large members of the City Council, including Julia Mejia, who has beendemanding action against illegal fireworks for weeks now.

Also on the task force, which is supposed to do something by July 4, which is next week, are representatives from the Boston Fire Department arson unit, the police community engagement unit and the mayor's office. Community members will be announced next week.

The mayor's office gave some parameters of the problem:

Fireworks calls to the Boston Police Department were up by a factor of 5,543% in June 2020, compared to June 2019. There were 139 calls last June and 7,844 this June, to date. Fireworks calls to service for the year were up by a factor of 4,145% since January, compared to last year. There were 201 calls from January to June in 2019 and a total of 8,533 calls in 2020.

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Comments

Forget it. By the time anything actually gets done and summer will be over.

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Want to handcuff the cops. Are we going to send social workers to talk about why people feel they need to light off boom sticks.

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90

How about the fire department get the funding for a task force, since they’re probably better equipped to deal with pyrotechnics? Why can’t we get creative on stuff like this? Fireworks arrests smells a lot like the War on Drugs (read: black people).

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25

Forget the noise and nuisance factor for a minute; The clear and present risk of fire should be at the forefront of this "Debate". Most of these fireworks are going off in Dorchester where wood balloon framed - ala. three deckers are packed on top of one another Just like last year, easily a row of them will go up in flames and families will be displaced. Guaranteed to happen again.

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14

After that happens or when some kid blows his fingers off then it will slow down for a week or so.

There's no shortage of fireworks in Hyde Park, either. Every single night for at least a month. Sometimes it starts before it is even dark. Who can afford to have/set off all these fireworks?

Fireworks arrests smells a lot like the War on Drugs (read: black people).

Is one race using fireworks more than other races?

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17

Is one race using drugs more than other races?

You reveal yourself, again.

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Probably not, but that's where enforcement and arrests will be concentrated. And that was the point of the comment.

The cops have done nothing about fireworks, proving their worthless asses need to be defunded. I for one am happy to give social workers a try.

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30

If the fireworks bother you, try speaking to your neighbors and asking them to stop. Imagine that, communicating with one another!

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18

so no cops needed then

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17

As most of us who live in the city know, communicating with your neighbors who are setting off fireworks is a joke.

I see some kids setting off fireworks in the park. Maybe they're my neighbors. Maybe they're not. If I recognized one of them I might talk to them. Otherwise it's an invitation to a fight. Last night in Dorchester there were 2 reports of targeting houses with fireworks because the residents had complained.

I actually have talked to neighbors who set off large loud fireworks in their backyard every July 4th. The owner simply lied to me and said he would stop. Believe it or not he did not.

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If the fireworks bother you, try speaking to your neighbors and asking them to stop

.

What could you possibly say to your neighbors that they don’t already know?

“Fireworks disturb and annoy people?” — they already know that.
“Fireworks put other people’s bodies and property at risk?” — they already know that, too.
“Setting off fireworks is inconsiderate of other people and is disrespectful?” Yep, they know that, too.
“In a participatory democracy, we get together through the mechanism of our elected government and decide what we are and are not going to do with our shared public space (including the air and the acoustic space); once those decisions have been made you don’t get to decide unilaterally that the rules don’t apply to you?” — they know that, too.

“Just talk to them” works when people are unknowingly infringing: “say, runoff from your roof seems to be damaging my wall,” not when they are deliberately doing so.

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"Um, hi. Sorry to bother you, and it's not that I dislike your pyrotechnic display per se, but here's the thing. It's 4 AM, and I have to work today. Is there any chance that you could stop setting off those fireworks?"

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize that people would have an issue with early morning fireworks. I'll never do that again."

(The next day the fireworks go off at 2 AM.)

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21

clearly you've never actually tried doing this.

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I've seen complaints on a neighborhood Facebook group about calling the cops on fireworks and being told they're just too overwhelmed by calls about them to do anything. If that's not an argument to reallocate budget, I don't know what is.

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The fireworks discussion goes the same way as the space saver discussion.

...in my local park, a block away, the 911 operator laughed. Then she said "sorry for laughing, it's just so overwhelming. All the calls are for fireworks". I told her I understood.

sure, it's an issue - but I'm thinking you'd rather have them sent to the scene of an assault, shooting, burglery, house break before a fireworks call, correct? Then again, for every call they're getting about fireworks, there's probably a followup call saying "don't come - we'd rather put up with the lawlessness than perhaps have people arrested for doing something illegal....."

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Are you suggesting that assaults, shootings, burgleries and house break-ins have also increased 5543% over last year? Just how busy do you think the police are?

Several large confiscations of fireworks have occurred - all done by the Boston Police - you must have been too busy trashing them to notice.

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Doesn't seem like the cops are doing much about it now, despite not being handcuffed.

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48

I don't blame them a bit for being reluctant to go after kids lighting fireworks. But yet, below is the result of 30 seconds of Googling.

And they are indeed 'handcuffed' to the degree that if they approach anyone related to fireworks, and things get out of hand for any reason, there's a chance they end up as the next Headline News story. For a crime that the DA will never prosecute, why take that risk, or even risk stuff like this? https://www.wcvb.com/article/crowd-surrounds-soaks-police-with-water-dur...

https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/large-quantity-fireworks-seized-ren...

https://boston.cbslocal.com/2020/06/07/mattapan-fireworks-gun-arrest-wes...

https://www.masslive.com/boston/2020/06/pile-of-fireworks-seized-by-poli...

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For a crime that the DA will never prosecute, why take that risk, or even risk stuff like this?

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The cops don't get to decide unilaterally what gets policed and what doesn't, and pull this "my way or the highway" crap.

The community and residents who pay them get to tell them what their priorities are and what the rules are for how they police.

Most jobs work like that. Time for cops to grow up.

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Penatly for fireworks possession. $10 to $100 fine and confiscation.

Penatly for selling fireworks, $100-$1000 and up to a year in prison.

https://malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws/parti/titlexx/chapter148/sect...

Don't blame the police. Don't blame the DA. Blame the legislature. We need new laws.

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Isn't there a penalty for disturbing the peace between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am? Do that night after night and you could very well end up in prison. What about a penalty for setting someone's house on fire? Or injuring someone (some of these people seem to have a sort of hand launcher and are aiming fireworks at people/houses/cars).

The cops aren’t handcuffed yet the city is overrun with fireworks and speeding drivers. This despite cops making $300,000.

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42

If the cops did anything about it you'd be the first one screaming that they violated someone's civil rights. So much for defunding the police. Call a social worker. And enjoy your good night's sleep LOL

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Great idea!

I'd like to see how many social workers put up their hands to take on that assignment - head out the the baseball field @ 3:00 AM to convince the people lighting fireworks that it's not neighborly!

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11

Butler Street T parking lot is a good location.

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18

How about New Hampshire?

Nah, they'd never allow it.

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This location is very close to the mayor's house. However a poster on 311 claimed there was an article in boston.com that said fireworks are going off nightly in Dorchester Park, which is also near the mayors house. So maybe Marty is hearing the fireworks already and just doesnt care.

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It's Karen.

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42

Nope. Sorry. People deserve a good night's sleep so they can get up and go to work in the morning. Congrats trustfund brat for living a life of leisure though.

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Me?

Holy Crap, you are way off.

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A lot of people won’t get that joke. It will go over their heads.

The "Karen" stereotype is from the suburbs, not JP or Dorchester. Most of the people complaining about the fireworks are white guilt liberals or minorities.

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17

"Karen" meme transcends petty geography

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13

Black, White Asian and Latino.

They call the police on Kids for doing kid stuff.

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Place undercover troopers at New Hampshire fireworks stores. When a vehicle from Massachusetts buys fireworks radio ahead and have troopers stop them when they cross the border and confiscate the fireworks.

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MA used to send state cops to NH liquor stores to watch for MA residents buying liquor up here. The NH governor had the cops arrested and sent back to MA where they belong.

Marty, what the #### is there to "ponder"?

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Please Marty do something. The firework problem has been ongoing for weeks, when you call 911, there does t seem to be any results. When I called, the best I can tell them is it appears to be at the cross section of these 2 roads. They get annoyed I don’t have the house number.. please just drive to that section and follow the noise that goes on for many hours until the wee hours of the night. Do something... Sigh.

Can the task force ponder the loud motorcycles too? They are worse than fireworks and now, at 11:30 pm they are still roaring and waking up my kids. I know the geriatrics that ride them are just looking for attention, much like the fireworks people, but I wish Walsh would pay attention and enforce noise ordinances and the illegal modifications that make some of them extra obnoxious.

Fireworks makes Mr. Snuggles and Ms Whiskers. so sad. Mr. Snuggles is Magoo’s poochmeister and Ms Whiskers is Magoo’s kitty. They are so cute the hijinks they get into. Magoo.

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Eight days from Independence Day, and our mayor has not an answer, but an intent to establish a task force. I wish Marty Walsh didn't think that his constituents are morons. How unpleasant. Does he think that anyone doesn't see through "task force?" What's he been doing this whole time? We already have a state government and a federal government. What tasks are left for him?

For Chrissakes, what did I say in here two weeks ago when this was a problem? Legal nightly window, and you bring them to the park to shoot them off with the supervision of a fire official. Let the kids make their own show. Why does David Mugar get to have all the fun? Go to Franklin Park, set up your music device, and give your fellow Bostonians a supervised show. I'd love to see that.

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that the fireworks would stop *after* July 4th, so the task force may yet find something to do.

Okay, I propose a compromise - this will allow people to have their pyrotechnic fun, blow off steam, neighbors can sleep, stuff gets disposed, nobody gets an arrest record.

Full blitz starting midnight tonight. Detain anybody caught with fireworks. Saturday evening put all of them and their confiscated inventory on a barge in the Charles River. They get to fire off all their remaining stock. Then - they have to sit on the barge the rest of the night and listen to the least-musically-talented of their aggrieved neighbors stage an atonal & dischordant substitute Pops concert from the Hatch Shell. Police get overtime. Everybody's happy except music lovers.

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The only real solution is to get at the source. New Hampshire!!! how much are their stores doing to prevent out of state residents from purchasing fireworks?

They're making money, so nothing I bet.

New Hampshire restricts the use of fireworks, but not their sale. They are fully aware that many of the buyers are not NH residents, and do not care.