The Fourth of July

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

July 3, 2012 1:13:43 PM PDT
4th of July memories? What are your favorites?

I think about my folks and my brother - and hanging out in a friend's backyard, with big spreads of food, and then walking to the public park to watch the fireworks.

And I think about watching fireworks on the beach with my own children, their eyes wide and lit up in wonder, staying up later than normal so as not to miss not a single burst.

However you spend tomorrow - yours truly will be working but thinking good thoughts about all those who aren't! - remember that these holidays help spark lifetime-long memories.

Enjoy, and please be safe. Keep this in mind: There are bans on fireworks, because of the heat, in cities and counties within 20 states; and fireworks are blamed for more than 15,000 fires and $36 million in property damage (2010 figures).

Tonight at 11, we look at the preps for tomorrow around the tri-state, and some of the fireworks shows happening tonight.

For a list of legal, public fireworks displays in our area, CLICK HERE:

And if you have any cool pix of fireworks, we invite you to send them to us one of two ways - sign on to or email

Speaking of memories, we remember two people who impacted our lives. The first is Andy Griffith, the 86 year old actor who died today at his home in North Carolina. Griffith was a TV giant - playing a beloved small-town, single-father sheriff who tried to light a common sense path to getting along. And he starred as a guitar-playing, crime-solving homespun lawyer named Ben Matlock. Who didn't like Andy Griffith?

And we're remember former astronaut Alan Poindexter, who twice survived space travel on the space shuttle, died yesterday in a personal watercraft accident in Florida. And died in horrible fashion: He was run over by his oldest son. Poindexter was just 50.

We're also in Brooklyn tonight at 11, where demolition - by hand! - has begun on the five-story brownstone that partially collapsed yesterday, displacing several families. It's a piece-by-piece process that will likely take up to 2 weeks.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Amy Freeze (in for Lee Goldberg) with her holiday AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.

One other note: I'll be working tomorrow, but this blog will take the day off. Have a great holiday.


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