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In response to citizen complaints and city administrator's request, the school district agreed to find other ways to celebrate

The school district announced Tuesday that it would cease the use of celebratory fireworks at Canby High School football games. This comes in response to complaints from a resident who lives near the stadium and a request from City Administrator Rick Robinson.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Canby then Quarterback Trent Wakefield runs the ball during the 2018 homecoming game versus Lake Oswego, when Canby scored two touchdowns.

At the Aug. 21 Canby City Council meeting, Canby resident Paul Ylvisaker complained, for at least the second year in a row, about the noise from the fireworks that go off after the high school football team scores a touchdown.

Fortunately for Ylvisaker and unfortunately for Canby Football, the fireworks were somewhat few and far between last year as the most the team scored in a game was two touchdowns. Still, two sets of random blasts are enough to upset someone with a noise sensitivity.

Ylvisaker brought a doctor's note with him to the meeting, indicating that the loud noises trigger his PTSD and aggravate his stress and anxiety, therefore affecting Ylvisaker's ability to manage his chronic neck pain, per the note.

Ylvisaker also presented a petition signed by 53 citizens including himself, other residents who live near the field, Rackleff Place Assisted Living Director Alex Vice concerned about the facility's residents, and Sequoia Vet Clinic concerned about the impact of the noise on pets, according to the petition and Robinson.

Following Ylvisaker's testimony, Robinson sent a message to Canby School District Superintendent Trip Goodall to explain Ylvisaker's and other community members' concerns and to request that the district cease the use of loud fireworks.

"I am requesting that you discontinue use of fireworks that have an explosive component and any other explosive devices you would typically use at a football game," Robinson said in his letter to Goodall. "If it is possible to create a firework that provides the visual appeal without the percussive component, the game attendees could continue to enjoy the visual spectacle without inflicting the noise element on the neighborhood."

Robinson expressed sympathy for those in the Canby community who are sensitive to loud noises, particularly unpredictable noises.

"And a celebratory touchdown is kind of an unpredictable noise," Robinson said. "You know that it if happens at all, it will happen during the course of a football game, but you just have no idea, so really no way to prepare."

Robinson noted that the football fireworks differ from the 4th of July fireworks show in that the July show has a predictable timeframe, allowing residents to plan ahead.

The district quickly responded, informing Robinson on Tuesday, Aug. 27 that the district would cease the use of fireworks at football games.

"We will look for other ways to celebrate that do not include concussive blasts," the district said in a statement Tuesday. "We'd like to thank all the donors over the years who have funded this tradition, including Canby Boosters and Western Fireworks."

Robinson offered thanks to Goodall for the prompt response and his willingness to be sensitive to community members' needs.


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-263-7512
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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