Submitted by Kim Korsgren.
I am a Lakewood resident writing to urge the Council to make a broader stroke at the upcoming council meeting – in order to end the multitude of problems caused by fireworks and to ban fireworks altogether, once and for all, and to return our city to a preferred place to live in Pierce County! More citizens, more tax revenue? Yes! Although, I do appreciate the Council finally taking this step – to consider changes to our current rules – making a half step at this critical time of forward thinking, is a mistake.
My husband and I to chose to relocate to Washington and specifically to live in Lakewood because it is beautiful and we found a house we loved. As a retired Army veteran, my husband and I are pleased and proud to live near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We are homebodies and our yard is completely fenced. It is a safe place for our pets to go outside to lounge in the sun, lie in the grass, and to watch bugs and birds. We have several bird visitors in crows, stellar jays, hummingbirds, and sparrows that frequent our yard and we enjoy them. My husband and I like to sit outside to play backgammon and take in the wildlife, but this scene is completely shattered beginning in late June, day and night, continuing well past the 4th of July. The wildlife disappears for days, (who knows where they go) and our pets refuse to go outside.
Each summer, well in advance of the 4th, I must take my dog to the vet (an office visit expense) in order to purchase prescribed medications (prescriptions cost money) so that I can (drug my dog – which has proven necessary) for what is usually seven or more days of “warfare” that takes place in our normally peaceful neighborhood adjacent to Fort Steilacoom Park. Each year, to prepare for the onslaught, I am proactive. My dog wears a Thunder Vest, takes his medication, I turn on soft music, I plug in a pheromone diffuser, and after all of these, my dog still cowers in the bedroom closet, trembling and panting for hours. Holding him does nothing to comfort him. I must use these methods every year because they are the only remedies I have. The laws, as they now stand, are always broken. The police do not enforce the laws as they are now written. How will reducing the number of days of legal fireworks take care of this shortfall? There are other cities that have taken the steps to outlaw fireworks, now it is Lakewood’s turn. Could SumerFest be the city’s 4th of July event?
Won’t the Council members please consider the majority citizen opinion and step forward with leadership and confidence to consider how fireworks are not something Lakewood citizens need? Thank you for your consideration.