I would like to publicly call on the City of Scotts Valley, in organizing this year's Fourth of July fireworks, to tone down the noise level very significantly. Last year's fireworks show was beautiful, but SO loud that I ended up going inside before the show was over, it was so awful. I felt really sad about that, as I enjoy sitting on my front porch to watch the show. A number of friends shared the same experience, and also related stories about animals getting freaked out by the noise level, including one tale of a small herd of deer getting hit while fleeing in a panic. Such decibels have a negative effect on mammals' nervous systems, triggering the sequence of fight/flight responses in the body. Some people have grown to associate this with a sense of power. When we face a true threat, and our body is flooded with adrenaline, it IS powerful, and we are able to do incredible things to save ourselves and others. I have experienced this personally, so I have a real appreciation for it. However, when there is no actual threat, it is highly detrimental to our physical, emotional, and mental health to have this physiological sequence triggered; and in those instances, it is a false sense of power. Also, excitement triggers the dopamine pathway in the brain, which is integral to the processes of addiction and depression, rather than actual happiness. This is too complicated to explain in the space of this letter, yet it is a neurological reality. Moderate levels of excitement are great, yet decibel levels like what was heard in last year's fireworks show are extreme, and any pleasure that some may derive only serves to trigger unhealthy neurological processes. Thank you for considering my request.
Pamela J. Clements