Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kinda like the exploding rabbit

I did not grow up in the Inland Empire, so I'm used to blowing things up during my childhood without government restriction.

When I moved to the Inland Empire in 1983, I was introduced to a whole new world - a desert land with great fire danger that necessitated restrictions on fireworks, even sparklers, in most Inland Empire communities.

With a couple of exceptions. Chino, of course, sells fireworks before July 4, and a number of community organizations perform their civic duty by selling things that you can use to blow yourself up.

Of course, Chino fireworks are only sold to Chino residents, and no one from any other city dares purchase them.

Yeah, right.

Well, Fontana is one of those cities that bans "safe and sane" fireworks. But not if Frank Ellis has his way:

Frank Ellis of Apostolic Faith Tabernacle helped Citizens For a Safe Fourth of July submit more than 9,000 signatures to the city clerk's office on Sept. 8, with the hope of overturning the City Council's ban on the sale of "Safe and Sane" fireworks.

"The nonprofits will miss out on a major fundraiser of the year," Ellis said of the ban that took effect July 5.

But Ellis is not alone in opposing the ban.

The group is a partnership of area nonprofits and Fullerton-based TNT Fireworks.

Before the ban, Apostolic Faith Tabernacle raised a lot of money from fireworks sales.

He said his church made about $20,000 a year in fireworks sales. The money goes to outreaches such as a local women's shelter and a van that shuttles people to community events, in addition to funding church operations, he said.

Right now the city is checking the signatures, a process that is expected to take place until mid to late October.

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