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County to Explore Options to Help Return Popular Event to  Downtown San Jose

County to Explore Options to Help Return Popular Event to
Downtown San Jose

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San Jose

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Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved a request by Supervisor Dave Cortese to explore options to support the once-annual July 4th Community Event and fireworks display in Downtown San Jose.

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This event was a favorite destination of residents across the county but was eliminated as a result of budget cuts by the City of San Jose. Supervisor Cortese proposed to bring back the event to help cut down on the use of illegal fireworks around the holiday month.

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The proposal would provide $70,000, with $20,000 used for outreach and education about the dangers of illegal fireworks, and $50,000 supporting the event, including adequate police and fire safety personnel.  It also encourages a matching grant from the City of San Jose.

“I am very concerned about use of illegal fireworks on July 4, some of which is due to the lack of education about the dangers that illegal fireworks pose to the community and the lack of safe, regulated fireworks displays,” Cortese said.

Residents across the county have raised the issues in community meetings, asking government officials for help.

“We know that this is a problem in Santa Clara County,” Cortese said. “In 2013, fire departments in Santa Clara County responded to at least eight firework related incidents.”

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission 60 percent of firework related injuries in 2012 occurred around the month of the holiday, and illegal and homemade fireworks in 2012 were involved in all of the six reported fireworks-related deaths reported to the CPUC.

In 2011, 9,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms and an estimated 17,800 reported fires were started by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. These fires resulted in an estimated 40 injuries and $32 million in direct property damage.


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