Salisbury Press

Thursday, September 19, 2019

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Thursday, July 18, 2019 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Eastside residents want crackdown on firecracker ‘bombs’

The Fourth of July is long gone, but the sounds of the annual holiday are still ringing loudly in the ears of some eastern Salisbury Township residents.

The residents brought vocal fireworks of their own to the July 11 Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners meeting when they demanded a crackdown on firecrackers.

“I hate to use the word ‘fireworks,” Jamie Rindock said, adding, “These are bombs that are going off.”

Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners President Robert Martucci Jr., who represents Ward 1 on the east side, said, “I hear it. The windows rattle.”

“They’re horrific,” Jamie Rindock said. “We’re here to ask what can be done.”

Jamie Rindock, her husband, Ron, and residents Janice Anthony and Bonnie Thomasik, the latter who wrote a letter to the editor of Salisbury Press published in the July 10 edition, said the explosions are not the result of consumer fireworks, but rather are caused by half-sticks and quarter-sticks of dynamite and M-80s.

Explosives such as M-80s, M-100s, quarter-sticks and cherry bombs are banned in many states, according to the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Pennsylvania law in 2017 expanded “consumer fireworks” such as firecrackers, Roman candles and bottle rockets that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. Sparklers, caps and novelties were available prior to the law change. Professional-grade “display fireworks” require a municipal permit.

Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles, attending his last commissioners’ meeting as chief before his July 12 retirement, said, “When the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania changed the law, it made it very difficult to enforce.

“We would have to be there and see it [the firecracker] going off, so we can determine who set it off.

“The [Commonwealth] law is supposed to be updated,” Stiles added.

“We have to just put up with this until they change the law?” Ron Rindock asked.

“It’s basically every weekend,” Ron Rindock said. “It started Memorial Day weekend.”

Ron Rindock said six to eight firecrackers were set off July 6.

“Just so you know,” Commissioner Joanne Ackerman, who represents Ward 5 on the west side, said, “It’s happening over at Green Acres ... 10:30 p.m., 11 p.m.”

Jamie Rindock said the firecrackers are being detonated at a property on the north side of East Susquehanna Street. She said she can identify the person who she said is setting off the firecrackers.

Stiles said a township police officer would need permission to go on a property to determine the extent of firecracker detonation and identify the person who allegedly detonated the firecracker. Stiles said a letter allowing police access to a property could be sent from the property owner to the township police department.

“We’re concerned about what would happen if something catches on fire,” Jamie Rindock said.

“You can’t have your windows open. I go up to see my friend Jamie and we can’t sit outside,” Thomasik said to a reporter for Salisbury Press after the July 11 meeting about the firecracker noise.

“These people are making our lives miserable,” Thomasik said.