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    Private Pyros Illegal In LB But Still Heard, Seen

    (July 5, 2004) -- Signs. Banners. Posters. Countless public warnings. The message that all privately possessed fireworks are illegal in Long Beach -- a law City Councilmembers explicitly urged city management to enforce aggressively this year -- was amplified by over a dozen officers (on top of LBPD's heavy holiday deployment) detailed to deal with pyro scofflaws.

    Figures on the number of people cited or charged as part of an arrest weren't available the morning after (we were told they won't be available until July 6, a regular return to work day), but with Lakewood and other nearby cities permiting state authorized private pyros, it was a daunting task.

    We heard and saw private pyros from dusk until nearly 11 p.m. in ELB near's world headquarters.'s security director, Oscar, a 9 year old retriever-collie mix, was unable to peruse his neighborhood "pee-mail," afraid to set foot outside.

    Earlier this year, several LB Councilmembers indicated they'd been beset by public complaints over private pyros...and favored a change in state law on the issue.

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