Petaluma July 4th Fireworks—Last Show?

Fireworks at the celebration of the United Sta...

Image via Wikipedia

On March 17, 2011, I reported on the shortfall in monies for the upcoming July 4th celebration and fireworks show:

“According to Jan Mandrell of Parks & Rec: “Normally we shoot a $25,000 show. Without another $6,000 and we will only get a $20,000 show…(that) makes a big difference in the quality of the show and the size of the BANG for YOUR Buck!” In addition, Jan points out that unless they make the $6000 shortfall, there will be no entertainment and ”Children’s activities will be streamlined.”

As of this morning, March 28, 2011, they are still $5000 short. 

The good news is that the show will go on, albeit it will most likely be a smaller show and celebration unless the shortfall is made up quickly.  I suspect that this will be difficult if not impossible to achieve.

At least there will be a show thanks to the heroic efforts of Jan Mandrell of Parks & Rec and the assistance and support of the local Kiwanis Club. In these difficult economic times a special thanks goes out to the corporate and individual donors who managed to find the money to make a show possible.

Looking into the tea leaves of the future, it may be time to consider that the show this year should be the last. 

  • Raising money this year was understandably difficult and I see no reason why it will be easier next year.  Most likely it will be even harder.
  • Given the increasing pressures on City Staff to do more with less, and most likely to do even more with even less in 2012, I seriously doubt that they can continue (should continue?) to provide organizational and administrative support after this year.

Something to think about…

Spring (Soggy) In Petaluma

Today, I had planned to post a brief article recognizing or directing attention to the new blog header I created just for the season.

Instead, I am writing about…

…weather only a duck would love

On this first day of spring I got up early, unclogged a downspout, and noted the 2.5 inches of rain in the rain gauge. My scanner was crackling with county-wide police and fire traffic reporting wires down, trees down, trees into homes, flooded roads, and flooded intersections.  As predicted, the first in a series of storms with rain and high wind did their best to tax the resources of Petaluma and the other public safety agencies in Sonoma County.

As storms go it was not a “lollapalooza” as predicted by KGO Radio, but it was a significant storm nonetheless.  Given the fact that we are already waterlogged from past storms, this storm was bound to produce problems. The scanner traffic was proof enough.

During a lull in the rain (around 8:00 am) I took a quick walk around our East Side ‘Hood to see how we fared.  There were lots of branches and other debris in the landscape. However, on balance it was not too bad with this being the most dramatic scene I encountered…

The low-lying areas are flooded as usual…

As expected, the lake in Lucchesi is quite high, almost at level with the puddles on the other side of the walkway…

And of course, the creeks are running…

East Washington


A WORD OF CAUTION–It seems as if this has to be repeated every year: Do not drive through flooded roadways! You may not make it out. And if you encounter barricades, do not go around them.  In Petaluma, the police set up barricades on a flooded street and people were still driving around them.  Fortunately, their efforts were “rewarded” with citations.

Fireworks Show Saved???

The article in this morning’s Argus (Click Here) reported that the July 4th Fireworks show has been saved.  

However, as they are still $6000 short in donations, the show will not be as large as in the past unless they can make it up in the next week.

Certainly, the fund raising effort has brought the project to the point where there will be a show…

According to Jan Mandrell of Parks & Rec: “Normally we shoot a $25,000 show. Without another $6,000 and we will only get a $20,000 show…(that) makes a big difference in the quality of the show and the size of the BANG for YOUR Buck!” In addition, Jan points out that unless they make the $6000 shortfall, there will be no entertainment and “Children’s activities will be streamlined.”

In short, they are still seeking donations in any amount to meet the goal!

Anyone interested in contributing should make a check out to “City of Petaluma, Fireworks” and send it to Jan Mandrell, 320 N. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma 94954. You can also donate by calling 707-778-4380 or in person at the Petaluma Community Center. The City has also set up a link on its web page (Click Here) if you want to contribute online.  Simply click on the link and scroll down to Donations. You will need to create an account if you do not already have one.

Donations may be as little as a $1 and will buy a Star to be posted on the wall.

In closing, a special thanks to these contributors…

All the “world” seems to be in free fall…

There is no doubt that one’s outlook on life is affected by past life experiences and current age.  No matter how I sugar coat it, at age 66 I am desperately trying to avoid turning into a grumpy ole man…and failing in the effort. 

  • Perhaps my grumpy nature this morning is affected by the fact that we are preparing our tax returns for 2010. 
  • Perhaps my grumpy nature is also affected by the fact that yesterday I had a “coffee appointment” at Peet’s with another scoundrel of similar age and station in life. We both made it on time…except that each of us went to a different Peet’s.
  • Perhaps my grumpy nature is fueled by the just received solicitation from the Trident Society to “Act now to protect your loved ones later…before your loved ones lose thousands of dollars.” They want me to learn about the benefits of cremation and perhaps also win a free cremation! Just what I’ve always wanted…

The above notwithstanding, no matter where you turn today, you encounter stories of crumbling government budgets, diminished public services, thriving war and pestilence throughout the world, crashing financial markets, and unbelievable natural and nuclear disasters in Japan.

In the midst of this tsunami of bad news, Suzanne Maggio-Hucek posted an article that is worth a few minutes of your time. With one photo she says a lot about what one can do in these trying times. Click on I will to see her post.  I genuinely admire her optimism, even if I find it hard to share it at the moment. See below…

“Remember in this game we call life…
That no one said it’s fair”–Breakdown, Guns ‘N Roses

Click Photo to Enlarge