50 Non-Profits Sign Up for Anaheim Fireworks Superstore; Registration Deadline Extended Due To Strong Demand

According to the Honda Center, more than 50 organizations have registered during the last three weeks to participate in the Anaheim fireworks superstore that will operate in the arena parking lot from June 28 through July 4.

Due to strong demand, the deadline for registering to participate in this fundraising opportunity has been extended to Friday, June 5.

From the Honda Center:

“To date, organizations representing Anaheim-based youth sports, churches and schools as well as military and animal support groups throughout the city have registered to take part and raise funds. Organizations can enroll by simply visiting www.AnaheimFireworks.com.”

“Beginning June 28 and running through July 4, Honda Center will serve as host to the largest fireworks superstore in the state of California. The venue is planning to kick off sales with a special Independence Day themed movie night for the community on Honda Center’s massive outdoor screens located on the venue’s south facing side. The event will be free to the public and officially mark the return of fireworks sales in Anaheim after 29 years.”

As an aside, local gadfly and CATER President Cynthia Ward claims that last year’s city-wide vote (Measure E) legalizing the sale and use of safe-and-sane fireworks was nothing more than a secret money-making scheme by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. This is not a surprising claim given that the CATER crowd thinks just about anything they dislike is a self-serving conspiracy by a person or persons on their proscription list. Never mind that many freedom-minded people in and out of Anaheim have for many years supported re-legalizing this traditional American way of celebrating our liberty and independence. But when considering the merits of this conspiracy claim, it is helpful to recall the actual facts about how Measure E made it on to the June 2014 ballot.

At the Anaheim Charter Review Committee meeting of October 24, 2013, committee members were asked if there were additional revisions to the city charter they would like agendized. According to the meeting minutes, committee member Tom Dunn “requested the creation of a new section, Section 1214, to authorize the use and sale of fireworks in Anaheim.”

The Charter Review committee voted 5-2 the following December to approve Dunn’s proposed charter amendment, and the City Council subsequently voted to place it on the ballot at Measure E.

Who appointed Dunn to the Charter Review Committee? Mayor Tom Tait. Does that make both Tait and Dunn members of Ward’s latest Chamber conspiracy theory? According to her logic, it does.


  1. You almost did it, Matt. You almost posted an entire positive article without dragging some lame personal swipe into it.


    I hope that dig at Cynthia was worth soiling a post celebrating Anaheim charities getting a much needed boost.

    • Given your agreement with Cynthia’s conspiracy theory, and your general disposition toward online negativity, you’re really not in a position to criticize, Ryan. When you display the same shocked sanctimony toward your Orange Juice Blog colleagues when they engage in nastiness, then you can talk.

      • I think I can talk just fine without it, sir.

        While I’m happy to be associated with many of Cynthia’s conspiracy theories, you’re talking out of your butt here on this one.

        I hope that one day you’ll step back and reconsider your progress when being poked with a stick rather than flail about attempting to beat mosquitos. Your article is better off without the attack.

  2. Dan Chmielewski

    What a hypocrite you are Ryan. It’s all you do, taking personal swipes

    • Blah blah blah blah blah.

      Look Dan, I don’t pretend to be the shining example of principled behavior. I’m a hypocrite.

      Worse, I don’t care.

      That’s completely beside the point. Matt’s article is better off without the swipe. Full stop.

      But, if I’m being honest, of all the people in our small blog world, I fully expect that you are the very last person to appreciate why that’s important.

  3. “This is not a surprising claim given that the CATER crowd thinks just about anything they dislike is a self-serving conspiracy by a person or persons on their proscription list”

    You have it backward, Matt.

    The “CATER crowd” dislikes self-serving conspiracies by anyone, which is what makes us dislike those participating in them. Case in point, I once got along pretty well with both you and Dan C, until you both jumped into the mush pot with the pay-to-play crowd, and got nasty with anyone daring to oppose the wholesale giveaway of Anaheim tax money you neither generated nor will suffer the consequences for the loss of.

    As far as the conspiracy theory, tell your readers the WHOLE STORY Matt. Yes Tait’s appointee suggested the fireworks, and I suspect it may have been at the request of the Mayor, Tom has long advocated for the “freedom” of fireworks, see my response below. But it was Todd Ament, acting as Chair of the Charter Review Committee who ALSO headed the TNT funded public campaign pushing fireworks again, and TNT had nearly unlimited dollars to push an issue NOBODY in my memory asked for, while locals had no resources to fight back, not in an At Large Election where the campaign promises all things to all people.


    By the way, are you telling me neither the Chamber nor AnaheimBlog/Matt Cunningham were paid by TNT? Or are you once again advocating for clients without disclosure?

    So the campaign succeeds in convincing folks in every area of town their concerns are being addressed, only to find very few concerns are covered, and enforcement is limited to where to SELL them in order to protect the monopoly of one well connected friend-of-Council…but enforcement to keep our neighborhoods safe? Are you kidding? Tonight we learned the Halloween parade people are being charged more for Police presence for their event than is budgeted for enforcement for the whole week of fireworks sales city-wide. The public benefit for this is WHERE exactly?

    The Honda Center and TNT in turn will fund the July 4th celebration at Peralta Park, a celebration hosted by Canyon Hills Community Council, as posted right here at AnaheimBlog.
    “In addition to the monies each nonprofit raises through fireworks sales, Honda Center has also agreed to donate up to $100,000 to the Anaheim Community Foundation, as well as participate as the title sponsor of the city’s annual July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular at Peralta Park. The venue has teamed with TNT Fireworks, the industry leader of wholesale consumer fireworks in the nation, to be its exclusive fireworks vending partner.”

    The Canyon Hills people who are about to enjoy TNT’s generosity?
    Physical Address: 2400 E Katella Ave Ste 725
    Anaheim, CA 92806

    WAIT! That address looks familiar….
    Line 42a “The organization’s books are in the care of …..Todd Ament.” And the organization’s mailing address is the Chamber offices.

    List of officers, Directors, Trustees….
    Todd Ament, President
    Jeff Farano, Secretary
    Ross McCune Treasurer
    Lucille Kring, Board member
    Kris Murray, Board member
    Orin Abrams, Board member
    Leslie Swan, Board member
    Cindy Torres, Board member
    Brian Lambert, Board member
    Ament and Councilwomen Kring and Murray! Nice! Let’s read on:

    So the Anaheim Hills Community Council and Chamber of Commerce have a LOT of overlap, and the 990 forms http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2014/330/359/2014-330359254-0b371082-Z.pdf

    for AHCC tells us they kicked back $47,291 to Chamber in most recent available docs, so God knows how much will be funneled back this year given the generosity we know they must feel toward the folks who made is possible to not only sell fireworks again, but set up such an ironclad monopoly with no possible vehicle to participate other than signing on with Honda Center, that not only have they shut out any other retail opportunity that might be more convenient for West Anaheim (whose residents will buy in other cities and generate sales taxes for a community not encumbered with fire and law enforcement in Anaheim) BUT IT SHUTS OUT ANY OTHER FIREWORKS COMPANY WHO WANTS TO SELL IN ANAHEIM! Yep, that sure is some symbolic gesture of support for traditional American freedom and patriotism. Buy off a monopoly for your business while exposing to known carcinogens and black powder the most vulnerable pediatric populations already suffering from higher than average asthma, AND hand idiots we know to be consuming alcohol in higher than usual numbers lit stuff during a drought so bad fire teams no longer use water for training runs!

    The “Declaration” from the Canyon Hills Community Council claims they did not pay out on a personal benefits contract. But they paid the Chamber, (same as paying themselves) which in turn pays the CEO/President who is also the President of the Canyon Hills Community Council. You may recall that the audit of Chamber funds done for the Enterprise Zone review showed such a commingling of funds the auditor could not tell them apart. http://voiceofoc.org/2014/03/anaheim-enterprise-zone-audit-up-for-city-council-debate/

    Yep, I am the crazy one for seeing a conspiracy theory here…

    As far as my disagreement with Hizzoner…Mayor Tait and I have had very animated discussions regarding fireworks, and to some extent he admitted to being buffered from the impacts of the illegal fireworks that already turn my central Anaheim neighborhood into Beirut. Once I explained how horrific it already was before they were legal, he apologized for not knowing the other side of the story. This conversation took place on July 4th years ago, when Julie and Tom wanted us to hang out and we couldn’t and I had to explain why we needed to get home by dark to keep the dog from losing it. Even heading home before nightfall, as we pulled into the neighborhood there was a haze hanging overhead from smoke from fireworks nobody was supposed to have. Not a cop or fire engine patrolling all night, I watched idiots launching those airborne rockets right next to Angel on patrol and it got zero response there are simply too many of them, but please tell me how unreasonable I am to expect law enforcement already ineffective/insufficient is going to be a thing of the past in its entirety.

    Thankfully the dogs are doing much better this year, we have been working with them to calm them during stressful/noisy events and they will make it through this I can only hope that our neighborhoods do, as the Fire Chief reported cities that brought back legal fireworks all saw increases in illegal fireworks as well, once things were so out of hand that enforcement becomes impossible.

    Yeah, thanks for that Matt, Happy Independence day to you too. And to think we celebrate the overthrow of tyrant leadership imposing unfair policies to benefit their own special friends of the Crown. We’ve come a long way, baby. Right?

    • Dan Chmielewski

      “until you both jumped into the mush pot with the pay-to-play crowd” No, I’m just in the anti-Tait crowd but you can’t tell the difference.

    • Cynthia, I told more of the story of re-legalizing fireworks in Anaheim than in your entire, wacky screed, to which you have added some unique revisionist history and characteristic “When did you stop beating your wife” rhetoric. I might point out there was no organic citizen demand for single-member council districts, either. That issue was only on the ballot due to a lawsuit, and was funded by out-of-town, left-wing special interests — that didn’t bother you. Indeed, you teamed up with them. Finally, you might consider brushing up on the origins of the American Revolution.

      • It was only on the ballot because of a lawsuit because the council refused to put it on the ballot.

        The citizen’s committee assigned to this task recommended putting it on the ballot independent of the lawsuit. <– That's pretty darn organic.

        Get a mirror, get a sharpie, write "Revisionist Historian" on the top.

        • “It was only on the ballot because of a lawsuit because the council refused to put it on the ballot.”

          Ryan, the lawsuit was filed prior to the OCCORD/UNITE-HERE pressure group filing into the council chamber and demanded the council advance their political agenda for them. Even if your point was accurate, it would be irrelevant.

          “The citizen’s committee assigned to this task recommended putting it on the ballot independent of the lawsuit. <– That's pretty darn organic."

          You might want to do some fact-checking there, Ryan. Furthermore, you’re claiming it’s “organic” if this council-appointed committee recommends a ballot measure, but its not organic is a different council-appointed committee recommends a different ballot measure.

          • If it was accurate? Of course it’s accurate. You want to seriously deny reality? WOW.

            And I’m sorry that a citizen’s commission is irrelevant to you.

            It was also irrelevant to Kris Murray. I’m surprised by neither.

            • Anaheim Insider

              Ryan, Ryan, Ryan. The ACLU lawsuit spawned the Citizens Advisory Committee; it was a political response by the council to the lawsuit. Describing it as independent of the lawsuit is naive.

              Furthermore, the committee recommended asking the voters if they wanted to go to districts OR if they wanted to stay with the at-large system. Finally, one of the committee members changed his mind about districts after the preliminary vote and wanted to change his vote, but the liberals on the committee blocked a vote (which they would have lost).

              • I don’t care what it was a response to . . . or what the response was a response was a response to.

                The facts are simple: A committee of citizens wanted to put the measure on the ballot. It was darn organic. One might even say democratic.

                But hey– who really gives a crap. The measure passed overwhelmingly and this is supposed to be a post about charity.

          • And no I’m not. Read. It’s healthy.

  4. Larry Herschler

    I tell you, this is all snippy and nothing positive. I am not sure that any of you ever have anything positive to say. I am not happy about the set up for the fireworks either but guess what, in the scheme of things it really doesn’t matter. Yes, the city will make money, that is their business. The non-profits will make very little and the west side of town probably is going to buy their stuff in Buena Park. Really who cares.

    • Mr. Herschler, if you are an Anaheim resident I would suggest you have reason to care very much. The cost of fighting fires may very well increase, given bone dry drought conditions and the guaranteed increase of alcohol-soaked idiots running around with matches this summer. TNT is not going to pick up the tab for that fire coverage nor is the Honda Center/Anaheim Arena Management nor the Chamber or Matt and Dan. Indeed Matt and Dan don’t live in Anaheim but slam me routinely for giving a damn about what happens in my own home town. So there is good reason to care, sir. There is good reason to care that those who promoted the change to Anaheim’s City Charter are now financially benefitting from that change, with our City Council creating a monopoly that shuts out all other opportunities for additional retailers able to offer convenient sales locations to draw West Anaheim sales tax into the City coffers, and shutting out any other fireworks company from offering Anaheim residents a choice of products for sale. Free enterprise? Why would we need any of that for Independence Day?

      The Anaheim City Council has once again gamed the system, using their authority intended for the oversight of the public process for the public good, and instead twisting it to benefit the few, the proud, the friends of Kleptocracy. I find it alarming that these special deals for subsidies apply only to those in league with the Council, when was the last time they offered a sweet deal to someone they didn’t like in an effort to seek the best product of service without concern for personal preference? That is how unbiased professionalism is supposed to govern.

  5. Hysterical reading all of you pot stirrers. Bottom line – grew up in Anaheim and fireworks were always safe and sane except for that one fire. WHICH WAS STARTED BY A BOTTLE ROCKET. And since we have owned our own house in Anaheim under the ban? Bottle Rockets seen EVERY YEAR regardless. Idiots will always be idiots and the ban didn’t stop them.

    So VERY HAPPY and excited about fireworks this year. (Though not participating in the logistical circus at the Honda center.) Taking my dollars to Buena Park or Fullerton (much closer to me) and will patronize nonprofits there. And will be taking MANY dollars as my neighbors and I celebrate Freedom in America WITH OUR FIREWORKS.

    Given the craziness of the anti fireworks people – I think security should be assigned to those most vocal. Kind of worried THEY may set a fire with a sparkler to make their point HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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