Loud and Lit Up New Year

Kassie Kometani, Editor

Everyone can agree that the small town of Kohala had its fair share of illegal fireworks this past New Year’s Eve. From Kahei to Ainakea arial fireworks were shooting off and lighting up the sky with impressive explosions. The residents of Kohala were getting their own private show but these fireworks are in fact illegal. According to an article from the Hamakua Times anything that rises above 12 feet is considered illegal. Fireworks that move off the ground more than a 12′ radius are also banned. As far as the fireworks blooming across the Kohala sky, those were definitely higher than 12 feet.

Community members are encouraged to report illegal firework activity during New Year’s Eve but for the close knit town of Kohala, no one feels good about doing so. Many people are against the ban on fireworks as well. They feel like it takes away from their celebration of the New Year. Children are not even allowed to light sparklers or fountains. For the fireworks they are allowed to light, they are only given a four hour window on New Year’s Eve from 9am to 1pm the next day.

Police may have turned a blind eye that night as it is unknown if anyone was arrested on New Year’s. It is doubtful the ban on fireworks will stop people from lighting them every year. For many people fireworks are an important part of their celebration and they are reluctant to heed to the new laws.