Lake Murray Fireworks Show Canceled for This 4th of July

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.

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.

john July 04, 2012 at 07:12 PM
well it's finally the 4th, thanks again Marco............you jerk!
john July 04, 2012 at 07:15 PM
damb right! time for the sensible citizens to stand up and get off the sidelines. lets stop being pushed around by the minority of whinners.
john July 04, 2012 at 07:21 PM
What shall we spend the $$ on from not having the fireworks? Plan B?
Batman July 05, 2012 at 02:28 AM
As I said in a previous post, this Mr.Gonzalez is obviously an anti-American and probably an anti-humanist also. Just the kind of sub-human rubbish our society can do without. Perhaps a class-action suit against him and his firm will get him out of our hair.The 30,000 plus people who normally watch the show should be able to pony up the legal fees. Mr. Gonzalez should be forced to pay for next year's Lake Murray fireworks show. Anyone interested in going after him? We should nix the tar and use super glue instead.
Gregg Ward July 04, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Fascinating...people who are upset that the annual LM fireworks and music show have been canceled are quick to blame environmentalists and people who are legitimately concerned about how fireworks may be causing damage not only to the aquatic life, but possibly to humans consuming the water. And yet these same folks say nothing about the fact that the City promised to do an Env. Impact Study on these things and didn't come through, AND the fact that lawsuit was NEVER directed at Lake Murray, only at the City. Why, for example, was there never a Plan B, such as Music without Fireworks? According to the LM 4th celebration organizers, they didn't want to apply for a permit for the music, without explaining why. Perhaps its because they lacked the money or the willpower or the organization skills? I love fireworks, I've seen a lot of terrific fireworks shows, and I've been to the LM celebration many times over the years, always enjoyed it. But I also care about the safety of the water we drink and of our environment. A safe, enjoyable alternative could have been found. But instead people point fingers and make harsh statements without really considering the facts or the options.


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