Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

All Fireworks Don't Have to Be Man-Made

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

All Fireworks Don't Have to Be Man-Made

Article excerpt

Byline: Bill Longenecker

When the cost of Jacksonville Beach's Fourth of July fireworks was made public one year, the figure of $50,000 almost stopped my heart. I have never earned even close to that much in a year in my life. It seems like far too much to pay for 15 minutes of rockets' red glare and things bursting in air.

This year, I saw two shows. The first was on the Fourth of July after working 12 hours. The second was on the sixth of July and it cost the city nothing. For 30 minutes on that dark morning, the ocean itself was my viewing platform for a spectacular quite-before dawn show.

Well offshore, a massive electric storm poured rain on the open ocean. The system was so far away that there was no sound of thunder at all. It seems very unfair for the ocean to get so much rain when at that time, the Beaches had been dry for over a week.

Seems like a lawsuit is in order. Or at least a Certificate of Irony should be issued. The ocean is likely wet enough and does not need that extra water. The ocean will get rain from over land anyway as the river carries some back to the sea.

That Thursday morning show was better than any human fireworks show at any price. Of course, it came in fewer colors and did not explode with showers of fiery sparkles, but it was free to all taxpayers.

Mine is a minority opinion on this. The beach looked to be loaded to near capacity on July 4. Many people spent their own money to fire off illegal fireworks. That's what freedom is all about, I guess. What a great example for our children.

On a more positive note, the renovation of the old Famous Amos building in Atlantic Beach is going well. The tasteful design fits the area nicely. Now a two-story building, it is not an overwhelming monstrosity and is likely smaller than some McMansions.

Not all builders have the bad taste shown by the mega condominiums being built from the Intracoastal Waterway in the west to the oceanfront in the east. One notable exception is the moderate twin building four-story project at Fourth Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach.

They have a large courtyard on the huge lot they created by taking in a street end. …

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