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Authorities gear up for another Fourth

July 03, 2012

For those celebrating Independence Day in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa, some street closures and regulations could affect the party.

Newport Beach police are hoping to cut back on roaming crowds and street parties by keeping all of eastbound Balboa Boulevard open to vehicle traffic — the first time in 10 years they will open the stretch to the west of 32nd Street.

They will still barricade Seashore Drive between 51st and 36th streets, and southbound numbered streets between Seashore and West Balboa Boulevard.

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Southbound Orange Street at West Coast Highway will also be closed between 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and early Thursday.

Any violations within Newport's Safety Enhancement Zone — a broad area generally between 32nd and 54th streets — will be triple the usual fine.

There will also be mounted police officers and surveillance cameras.

Unlike in Newport, where fireworks are illegal, Costa Mesa service groups, youth sports and philanthropic organizations are selling officially designated "safe and sane" fireworks from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The colorful displays can be discharged between 4 and 10 p.m. Firefighters recommend setting off devices out of the public right of way and as close to the curb as possible.

Used fireworks should be thrown in the trash, officials say, so that they are not swept into the storm drain. All storm drains lead to the ocean.

Fireworks are not permitted in Costa Mesa city parks, public parking lots or any school property.

— Mike Reicher

Twitter: @mreicher

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