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MOORE ON MAUMELLE | Is it time to get serious about fireworks?

I have been fairly vocal about banning fireworks in Maumelle. So far, the city has only taken symbolic steps to curb the use of fireworks. I think there is state law governing the

size of the bigger explosives that can be fired, but I can’t find it anywhere. The city of Maumelle limits the time period from 4:30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. on July 4 only.

Now there will be a resolution introduced to double the fines if one violates the “time period.” It will be interesting to track how many tickets are written in the city for blowing up stuff up at the wrong time.

Last year we had a serious injury and recently an apartment fire because of fireworks. It’s just a matter of time before a house fire happens. None of the communities around us allow fireworks and our city sponsors a great fireworks show July 4.

I’m not sure who or what we are afraid of. The fireworks stand operator lobby? C’mon’, Council, have some guts and ban explosives in Maumelle. We don’t allow their sale in Maumelle. Why would we allow their detonation?

We mandate that people wear seat belts, stop at stoplights, maintain a certain speed and not shoot their neighbors even if they make you mad.

According to the National Fire Protection Association:

• In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 total structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires. These fires resulted in an estimated eight reported deaths, 40 injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.

• In 2012, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,700 people for fireworks-related injuries; 55 percent of 2012 emergency room fireworks-related injuries were to the extremities and 31 percent were to the head.

• The risk of fireworks injury was highest for young people age 15-24, followed by children under 10.

• On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.

I know the dogs that hide under beds and chairs all day on the Fourth will thank you and so will the homeowners who won’t have spark-spewing missiles flying over and into their houses.

Is Alderman Lewis a glutton for punishment?

Alderman Preston Lewis took to social media to officially oppose the indoor aquatic center. He clearly stated his opposition to the proposed center and the sales tax that would have to accompany it. If you’d like to read Alderman Lewis’ official position and the string of comments and criticisms that follow, go to Facebook and search “Preston Lewis for Maumelle.” To his credit, he responds to every question and criticism — and there are a bunch of them.

One reader told me it was time for me to move on and quit talking about the aquatic center. I agree. I am done with it, unless the Council puts it on the November ballot against the wishes of the people.

Is “high grass” legal?

I’ve have had several people write me about this and I know the mayor is aware of it. The grounds surrounding the Walgreen’s and Kroger seem to go un-mowed and are posing a traffic hazard due to visibility issues. It would seem that the owners would be easy to identify and the city could begin leveling fines for their failure to take care of this eyesore. I’ll check with the mayor’s office and report back next week.

Overheard at the coffee shop

A fellow patron at Morningside Bagels shared a story about his experience with Maumelle’s “ticket writer.” He’s the busy fellow who will put a green warning sticker on your trash can if you leave it out one day too many. He is the same guy who will ticket you if you decide to leave your ’84 Ford-150 truck on blocks outside your home for too long.

Seems the “ticket writer” is a bit overzealous, according to this patron. The complainant says every time he brings his boat into his driveway to work on it, the ticket writer is sure to be there and give him a sticker. One time the ticket writer even put the sticker on the wood finish of his boat when he could have put it on the boat trailer. The patron said that he even sent an e-mail to the ticket writer and told him it was going to be in his driveway. The ticket writer told him he forgot that he had told him.

Seems the ticket writer needs something to do. Maybe he could track down the owner of the overgrown lot.

See you on the Boulevard.

Neal Moore is COE (Chief of Everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. If you have a community concern or if you’re just irritated about something contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.

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