The 4th of July in Portland leaves me grateful for homeowner's insurance. How is it that we live in a state with laws prohibiting aerial fireworks, and we have a special police task force set to patrol on the fourth, and yet every yahoo in town shoots off mortars with little to no reprocussion? The number of inebriated residents lighting fire to explosives, shooting heavy metals and other pollutants a hundred feet in the air, in every neighborhood in Portland is astounding. After my house was showered repeatedly by my neighbors' mortars, I attempted to confront my neighbors directly and point out what they were doing. One individual had the gall to tell me that mortars are "harmless," so I walked away and called the police non-emergency line. I was told that because there was neither a fire nor an injury, the special task force would be sent out as soon as they could. It has been hours. Now my block is more of an unsanctioned Burning Man than a pyrotechnic extravaganza, and still no sign of the police. Should I really have to wait until my house is on fire, or someone loses a limb before the law is enforced? It seems to me that the amazingly lumpy streets and the withering public schools could benefit greatly from the hundreds of lofty fines that could be doled out by actually enforcing this law. Instead it's just a crap shoot to see who will lose a building or spend a night in the hospital next year. Portland, the city that works. Still no sign of the police.