The festivities of the annual celebration of our nation's independence at Lake Murray will be a lot less festive this year, as the Lake Murray July 4th Music Fest and Fireworks Committee has decided to cancel the fireworks display and music fest.
Committee chair John Pilch, in an email to La Mesa-Mount Helix Patch, said that because of a threat of litigation by the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF), the popular event will not happen this year.
"Marco Gonzalez (CERF lead attorney) prevailed in lawsuits No. 3 and 4, due to the City of San Diego not completing a Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) as they reported they were working on last August. The three-member Lake Murray Music Fest and Fireworks committee did not wish to deal with personal liability exposure and the costs of litigation and decided to cancel the event this year," Pilch wrote.
Gonzalez, an environmental attorney, is a staunch opponent of fireworks displays over bodies of water, claiming that they can have harmful ecological effects on the water, and that further evaluation is needed. As Pilch noted, last week, Gonzalez and CERF won two lawsuits against the City of San Diego, because of the city's failure to properly complete an EIR about fireworks shows.
Pilch added that his committee is awaiting the results of a pending appeal that the city has taken to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
"We hope to hold the event next year, if the court rulings are favorable," Pilch wrote.
It was reported earlier this week by U-T San Diego that Gonzalez will choose not to challenge the annual fireworks display over La Jolla Cove, despite his previous victories.
In a , an overwhelming 70 percent voted that once-a-year fireworks displays should not be subject to CEQA laws.
For more updates about the Music Fest and Fireworks and other events in our area, please visit www.navajoevents.com.