Honolulu mayoral candidates weigh in on fireworks ban debate

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIPAHU, Oahu (HawaiiNewsNow) - While the Honolulu City Council faces another vote on banning fireworks on Wednesday, all five mayoral candidates gave insight on what they'd do if they're elected.

Donovan Dela Cruz and Rod Tam have a strong say on this issue, as city councilmen, they each have a vote.

But they do have different opinions on this controversial topic.

Tam is against a ban for cultural reasons, while Dela Cruz is for a ban, but with some restrictions.

"We need to figure out to come out with a permitting process for specific cultural events," Dela Cruz said.

But Tam feels it's a tradition we just can't let go.

"We live in a multicultural land, a land of different heritage and cultures and practices," he said.

Both Kirk Caldwell and Peter Carlisle didn't come out with a position, but they agree that tougher laws need to be in place.

"I do believe there needs to be stronger enforcement, both in terms of importation, in terms of aerial rockets that start fires," Caldwell said.

Carlisle said making an example of a person arrested for firing up illegal fireworks is the key.

"Once you find who that is, if you succeed in getting them, then you make darn sure in front of a judge, whose gonna make their life miserable for at least a year, including incarceration," he said.

Panos Prevedouros says he'd ban fireworks on July 4th, 2011, as a one time experiment to see how the community reacts.

"Then at that point, I will work with the council, HFD, HPD to craft a permanent solution," he said.

Public testimony is allowed before Wednesday's vote. If the council approves the bill, it would go back to committee and still would need to pass another vote of the full council before becoming law.

The ban would not include commercial fireworks shows.

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