Archived Story

It’s time to bring back the fireworks

Published 4:26am Monday, July 8, 2013 Updated 6:30am Monday, July 8, 2013

As has been the case since 2009, there were no Independence Day fireworks in Fergus Falls this year. Back in the day, as the saying goes, the city used to put on a Fourth of July display at DeLagoon Park for all to see. City leaders, however, concluded the $15,000 display of patriotism was expendable at a time when the budget was tight.

Now, however, with the city budget apparently on much sounder footing, it may be time to revisit the fireworks decision.

It’s true that a fireworks show is not an essential service. But, then, neither are some of the other items on which the city has decided to spend its money. Unlike fireworks, some of these other projects don’t provide visible benefit to most residents. Nor do they enhance Fergus Falls’ reputation as a significant regional city.

Remodeling City Hall, for example, will no doubt be convenient for a few, but the expensive project is unlikely to affect the lives of most residents even once a year. In contrast, many residents not only from Fergus Falls but visiting the area enjoyed the fireworks show. Rich or poor, you could get a blanket, sit on a hill, and enjoy the fireworks free of charge.

These days, to enjoy fireworks of the same level, you either have to travel outside of Fergus Falls, be fortunate enough to own lake property, or buy fireworks which are technically illegal in Minnesota.

Considering the city council voted to remodel City Hall, a place only a fraction of residents actually visit — and then for no more than a few moments — it seems there’s a priority issue here.

We urge council members to consider funding the fireworks show next year, and to sharpen their pencils and find the funds to do it. It may well be that with a commitment and leadership from the city, a majority of the show could be privately financed.

Residents would prefer fireworks to some of the less publicly accessible projects the city contemplates. Let’s give them fireworks.

  • mike weller

    Yes please do so,that way brilliant people who are loosing fingers and thumbs most likely will watch the fireworks not play with them.

  • mike weller

    Meant “losing”.

  • kathleenmae

    No need to bring back fireworks. They are a waste of money. The noise terrifies animals and causes stress to humans. There were plenty of fireworks that went off on the 4th and several days thereafter.

    • Frizzel

      Stress to humans?

    • BrendanJanssen

      Says she who took issue with a concert that occurs biannually at the VFW…

    • Jake Krohn

      Henceforth, let us remember this day and comment as the birth of the Law of the FFDJ Comments Section:

      “If something can be criticized, it will be.”

  • Richard Olson

    PTSD may be a hilarious subject to some. But to a veteran with PTSD fireworks are indeed stressful and may bring back memories rather forgotten.
    I’ll sit back now and wait for the outrage with my comment.

  • Walt Henry

    Attempt at humor alert!–I suggest herding a bunch of radicalized Republicans, (no shortage of them from their responses to some of the more thoughtful comments made here), onto Lincoln Ave. and shout birth certificate, or Benghazi, or black president. That out to set off a bunch of fireworks.

    • Richard Olson

      Or we could tell Bill Schulz that Franklin Roosevelt rose from the dead and was looking for Bill as a possible room mate.

      • camobabe

        I believe I heard that someone sent FDR to that bathhouse in Chicago that Barry 0bama likes so much. Do you still have your membership?

        All the stimulus you need to sink into PTSD is to hear some say something like, “lower taxes! “smaller governmnt”, “”right of religion, free speech”.

        As to matter of spending for fireworks, which part of the city budget will you take the money from, fire dept? police? parks and rec? roads and streets? health care? education? Richard’s pension? movies and movies in the park? empoyees raises?

        • Walt Henry

          Camilla, FDR is dead. He died just before the end of WW2. Fergus Falls community fireworks USED to be paid for by the Chamber of Commerce and what ever they used to call the “downtown council” as a retailer’s goodwill promotion.

          • BillSchulz

            Larry, I have read your many pedantic lectures about facts, math, and history. So, I must correct your disinformation about the history of funding the fireworks.
            The city of Fergus Falls used to pay for the event.
            A few years ago the city council decided to stop paying for the pyrotechnics, citing the need to use the money for some other pressing needs.
            Angry letters to the editor and calls to the local talk show ensued.Accusations of greed and crushing the little people colored the air.
            Someone wrote to the paper that local people and businesses should donate the money for the program.
            Eventually funds were donated, and the display on the 4th resumed. (Costing roughly 60% of what the city usually spent).
            Then, economic calamity befell the country when Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and Harry Reid took control of the Congress and ordered the banks to give mortgages for homes to people who had horrible credit records, and avoided all gainful work so as to collect welfare; the Dems looked the other way while a lot of greedy banks bundled the nonperforming loans and sold them as investments, backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose leaders collected huge salaries and bonuses for throwing the nation into economic chaos.And, billions in campaign contributions of the Democratic Congress spinning the whole mess.
            A consequence of all this, beside rampant unemployment and wasteful spending by the Messiah 0bama, was a withdrawal of support from the businesses paying for the fireworks show.The businesses neeeded the money to stay afloat.
            You obviously didn’t know any of this, so I felt it my duty to advise you of your obviously innocent error.
            No need to thank me.

          • Richard Olson

            William Schulz, you should write history books for the “Creation Museum”. Apparently the only station available on your old wireless is Fox News.

            When the government told banks that “They must make loans available to minorities under the same terms and conditions and standards as white people” you tea baggers turn that language on it’s head in order to protect big banks by saying…. “Then, economic calamity befell the country when Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank and Harry Reid took control of the Congress and ordered the banks to give mortgages for homes to people who had horrible credit records, and avoided all gainful work so as to collect welfare”.

            Not only is your statement factually wrong, it is racism using code words.

        • Richard Olson

          Like I said, PTSD may be hilarious to some, one being Camilla Ryan. One would think a supposedly retired veteran of the Marine Corps would have more respect for veterans than to suggest that PTSD is so lightly caught.

          • Walt Henry

            Richard, are you sure Camilla is one of Romney’s 47% living off a monthly government check? And Camilla, before you write to tell me you earned it through your service, which, if true, you did, so too have all of the growing number of baby boomers who are now beginning to collect the social security they worked for. Veterans on pensions, federal employees on pensions, social security recipients, even some retired private employees who were forced by their employers to invest in a failing pension fund, the unemployed who have exceeded their state funding unemployment insurance, are all part of Romney’s 47%. (Why bring up Romney? He was the most recent standard bearer for the GOP and has anyone from that party condemned his use of that misleading number?)

          • Richard Olson

            I am relying on what she has said in the past. However, her lack of a public record and her professed disgust for people on a pension, especially a government pension and her heartless remark above, causes me to doubt it all.

  • BillSchulz

    So, Mrs. Ryan’s collects a pension that the government of the United States contractually agreed to give her to induce her to serve more than 20 years. And you cattack her for that? I wonder what all those alleged friends of yours in the VFW and American Legion would say about?

    But, I know for a fact that Camilla is not one of the 47% living off the government, as she works and earns considerably more than what comes in her pension check.

    And, what does her service and income have to do with the topic, public funding of fireworks?

    • Richard Olson

      Bill do you just hate facts or do you think none of us can remember what Camilla Ryan has written in the past?

      Camilla Ryan has whined and complained about public employee pensions on so many occasions it’s become tiresome. A supposed retiree of the United States Marine Corps is a public employee beyond doubt.
      That makes her whining about public employee pensions hypocritical.

      Lastly, her professed service has nothing to do with fireworks. It has everything to do with her belittling of people, including veterans with PTSD. THAT, BILL SCHULZ IS SOMETHING A REAL VETERAN WOULD NOT DO, ESPECIALLY ONE WITH 20 YEARS OF SERVICE.

      I sure am glad you don’t run interference for me like you do for Camilla, because I’d tell you thanks, but no thanks.

      • Walt Henry

        “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Mitt Romney famously said. “All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”
        (The actual percentage of people who receive some type of government assistance is at least 49%, and if you include things like roads paid for through our taxes or borrowed based on our promise to keep our commitments the percentage would be even greater.)
        Too often those among us who think they are not part of us or would be better off without us forget, they too, benefit from the things we do via OUR government. I like big displays of fireworks and have no problem paying a buck or two in taxes to pay for them. I hate the mosquitoes and don’t mind paying a buck or two to spray for them.

  • Walt Henry

    Mr Schulz, my history with Fergus Falls goes back quite a long time. But, except for political rant about Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Harry Reid you confirmed what I said. What you might not know is the downtown retailers, at one time, had so much say in local decisions, they could decide who made the high school basketball team. I was too young to have been affected by their power and in fact, think/thought the idea of a “Scandinavian Mafioso” controlling the spending of public money sort of “funny”. (haha kind of funny)
    AS for Camilla being on the government dole–I can understand how a non-combat veteran, even one of 20 years, can lack understanding about PTSD and I have no problem with ANY government employee collecting the pension they were promised. America has a moral obligation to keep her promises. But what I find hard to understand is how someone in Romney’s 47% can support the conclusions people draw from so large a number and say nothing to correct the impression it leaves when it is so obviously wildly inaccurate if not down right false. (There was, in the world’s history another political group who used wildly distorted numbers to persecute Jews in their attempt to gain power. I would think good American conservatives would not wish to use the same tactics as the NAZI’s and would instead promote the use of accurate facts, math and an accurate understanding of history.)

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