DC Trawler

San Diego fireworks show suffers premature eradication

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Did you have a fun Fourth of July? Never mind, I’m just being polite. But no matter how much your Fourth sucked, it’s nothing compared to what happened in San Diego. The LA Times reports:

One of the largest Fourth of July fireworks shows in the nation was ruined in San Diego Wednesday after a glitch caused all the pyrotechnics to ignite all at once.

About five minutes before the Port of San Diego’s Big Bay Boom was to begin at 9 p.m., spectators saw a brilliant display of fireworks that shot up in only 15 seconds – an incredible disappointment to hundreds of thousands of spectators who had waited for hours for the 18-minute show…

The explosion was so bright and loud that some viewers initially thought the barges containing the fireworks had caught on fire.

Whoops! Well, at least San Diego had fireworks, even if they only lasted a few disappointing, difficult-to-explain seconds. As Oregon Live reported on Tuesday, a little town in Oregon got totally squawk-blocked:

The coastal town of Depoe Bay is about to experience its quietest July 3 in 19 years.

Town officials this year reluctantly announced they were cancelling the annual pre-Independence Day fireworks show, following pressure from federal wildlife managers who said the noise disrupts protected sea birds.

Business owners, dependent on the popular show for foot traffic, are not happy.

“It’s a great loss to our community,” said Peggy Leoni, co-owner of Trollers Lodge, a small motel in Depoe Bay.

But Rebecca Chuck, deputy project leader with the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said the move was necessary to protect species such as the Brandt’s cormorant that nest at Pirates Cove…

Chuck, the federal wildlife manager, said staffers used aerial photography, video footage and the naked eye to see how seabirds at the cove reacted to the boom of the fireworks. The study showed the nearby explosions had an impact. Seabirds were frightened away from nests by the noise, and returned to find that eggs had been damaged or eaten by predators, she said.

It’s good to know the feds are staking out birds’ nests to decide whether or not to ruin the Fourth of July. Your tax dollars at work.

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Jim Treacher