South Shore fireworks shows in jeopardy

Fireworks may not light up the sky this summer on the South Shore. Photo/Howie Nave

Fireworks may not light up the sky this summer on the South Shore. Photo/Howie Nave

By Kathryn Reed

It’s likely the South Shore will not have a sanctioned fireworks display this Fourth of July, or even Labor Day weekend.

It all has to do with a lawsuit that was filed last year because of the trash that continues to this day to spill forth on beaches in Nevada – more than eight months after the pyrotechnic display – and the fact that the sponsoring agency refuses to seek a permit for the show.

The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority board has scheduled a special meeting for March 27 at 4pm. The agenda calls for first talking about the July 4 and Labor Day fireworks in open session and then going into closed session to do the same. The meeting is at 169 Highway 50, Stateline.

“At that time, we will be commenting on the severely harmful economic and environmental ramifications of the Truxler’s action,” LTVA Executive Director Carol Chaplin said in a statement.

Joan and Joseph Truxler filed a lawsuit last year against LTVA and Pyro Spectaculars, the company that puts on the show.

“We do not want the fireworks show discontinued. We want to protect the lake. And we do not get any money from this,” Joan Truxler told Lake Tahoe News.

The two sides had been mediating until this week when it was clear a resolution could not be found.

“We felt that the settlement didn’t occur because what was presented wasn’t really in the best interest of protecting the lake,” Truxler said. “And it wasn’t really in line with our principles that we think are important to protect the lake. We want a legally, enforceable permit.”

The LTVA has until Thursday to respond to the original lawsuit. The board could ask for a motion to dismiss or file a response that leads to discovery, depositions, and all the legal dealings – potentially ending with a trial.

Chaplin said all of this is “unfortunate” but said she could not add more than the official statement.

“There is middle ground. They don’t have to stop the show, but they should be getting a permit and they have not applied for a permit,” Mike Lozeau, attorney for the Truxlers, told Lake Tahoe News.

He added that even if the permit were not in hand, but that the process had started, it would show good faith on the LTVA’s part.

The Truxlers want an agency to be regulating what is put into Lake Tahoe – including fireworks. Their goal is to have this done via the Environmental Protection Agency regulations under the Clean Water Act. It issues NPDES, or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, permits to control water pollution.

The lawsuit claims the Clean Water Act is being violated. Court documents state, “Both the state of California and the state of Nevada have established water quality standards strictly prohibiting floating debris on Lake Tahoe and other waters. California’s water quality standards provide that ‘[w]aters shall not contain floating material, including solids, liquids, foams, and scum, in concentrations that cause nuisance or adversely affect the water for beneficial uses.’”

Truxler said she finds debris multiple times a week. It comes in the form of paper or cardboard, hard plastic and fuses. Some has writing in Chinese, some has the name of the company that launches the fireworks.

She first started calling agencies July 8. She said TRPA is the only one to return the call. But they don’t regulate fireworks.

“None of the agencies have walked the beach or discussed what we have found,” Truxler said.

The lawsuit does not impact the other fireworks shows around the lake.

The South Shore show has been going on for 30 years. Fourth of July, next to New Year’s Eve, is the busiest time in the area. The economic impact of losing the $100,000 pyrotechnic show would remain to be seen, but in the past tourism officials have said it brings in millions of dollars. The question is whether people would still come if the fireworks show were canceled.

Neither the July 4 nor the Labor Day fireworks shows is not on the LTVA’s website.

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Comments (102)
  1. BitterClinger says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Kings Beach has a phenomenal fireworks display, as does Truckee. I guess South Tahoe just doesn’t want the show to go on.

    Shame on the Truxlers. How they can show their face in public is beyond understanding after the damage they have caused by their actions.

  2. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Shame on your logic.

  3. Steve says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    This is unfair to residents and tourists alike. Gas engines are in the lake all the time, why can’t we pick up the debris?? Not that hard to do with a group of people and a few kayaks!!! No gas needed. Save the lake. Keep Tahoe blue. But keep Tahoe Tahoe!!!!!! It would be an economic disaster and when tourists learn that the fireworks are no more, the tourists will be no more. There goes jobs and such that allow us local to survive in our amazing town! Being new to Tahoe I feel this would do nothing good. All we have to do is clean up better. It’s not Exxon Valdez or anything. I bet those people don’t think about all the pollution their boats create in the lake. Sailboats only!!!! Keep Tahoe blue. And keep Tahoe Tahoe! Not to mention the children that look forward to that and the family altogether!! It’s a family affair that may be ruined by one group of people. No. That’s not democracy. At least have a vote on it! Shame in those who blame others yet do nothing to help. Shame on them!

  4. Local says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Boo Hoo to the Truxlers, move back to San Fran where you came from. JA’s.

  5. Pine Tree says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Regulation Regulation Regulation. That is not always the answer. I believe there are other ways.

  6. Gus says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Russia is on the March and can’t even celebrate our independance as we see fit.

  7. Pine Tree says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Regulation, Regulation, Regulation. There are better ways to do what is right.

  8. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    “The lawsuit does not impact the other fireworks shows around the lake.”

    I don’t believe for one minute that this law suit is rooted in protecting the lake and question why the Truxler’s would not have filed a lawsuit to prevent all fireworks shows on the lake if that was the case. I wish people like the Truxler’s would just remain in the Bay Area and not relocate to other areas determined to change those places to be like what they left. People like these are the reason I moved away from the Bay Area; they moved into my nice little Bay Area neighborhood and then starting telling everyone who’d been living there for decades what they had to do.

    I guess the economic impacts of eliminating the fireworks will only be affecting the South Shore. Good job Truxler’s of chasing away those pesky tourists who are the lifeblood of the local economy, and taking this fireworks display away from our local families and children. You should be feeling great pride in your actions (sarcasm intended).

  9. copper says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Some people try to do good; they’re to be admired, even if they occasionally misfire.

    Others imagine that they’re doing good by simply appearing on scene and lending their aura to whatever silliness they dream up.

    There’s a big difference between doing well and doing good. Doing the former does not necessarily mean that you’re qualified to do the latter. In fact, in my personal experience, it’s usually a disqualifier.

  10. Joby says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    It is infuriating that one couple can have any impact on an event that has taken place for so many years. Not only is this a celebration of the birth of the greatest country on earth, but a great South Shore tradition. These people need to move! Hopefully the community will attend these meetings and make this point clear. I’m not one that believes in legal action as reasonable people can resolve differences without whining and throwing money at lawyers, but how about a class action against the Truxlers for loss of income to the community. I will be there to voice my opinion, will they? Probably not, or at best legal representation, usually these type of people hide. Sickening…..

  11. Total recall says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Sometimes it takes an outsider to point out the obvious. The fireworks debris is littering the lake. End of story, you can’t have your fireworks and eat your cake too

  12. Chris O says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    Why don’t people go to the City or the County FIRST??? Instead they decided to get an attorney. And good for you for “calling”. If this was such a big deal to you, why didn’t you DRIVE DOWN to the City and place the bag on their desk and tell them.

    Again, more “concerned” people ruining fun in Tahoe.

  13. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    The LTVA, contractors, etc, could have just picked up their mess and none of this would have happened. It is too bad they didn’t.

  14. Perry R. Obray says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    If there are no vacant rooms for the 4th, ……Time will tell.

  15. TahoeDave says - Posted: March 24, 2014

    What a shame. These people need to move. They aren’t protecting ANYTHING! Go away, you are not wanted here. Thousands of people come together to watch the fireworks from the beaches of the lake and the surrounding mountain sides and celebrate our country’s independence. How can they reconcile ending all of this by a frivolous lawsuit? Shame, shame, shame!

  16. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Fireworks and keeping Lake Tahoe clean. Rather than telling the Truxlers to move away lets look for a solution so everyones happy.
    I’ve suggested this before but I’ll say it again. Starting early in the morning on July 5th a large contingent of volunteers in kayaks ,as Steve suggested, or any other non motorized craft, paddle boards, canoes, sailboats, start patrolling and picking up trash in the area of the previous nights pyro technic display. On shore we have volunteers walking the shoreline picking up debris thats already drifted in. This may be a process that takes several days depending on the wind but with the help of some of our service clubs, local environmental groups and just regular folks who want to do the right thing, it could be done. Perhaps South Tahoe Refuse could place a few dumpsters in various locations for disposal of collected waste. Lets make this a community effort and we all win!!!
    I was told once that this was not a practical solution but if we want to keep our fireworks show while keeping the lake clean it’s worth a try. I love Lake Tahoe and the fireworks, I think the two can coexist if we work together.
    Just tryin’ to help, OLS

  17. TahoeDave says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The Truxlers do not want to work together for a resolution. The only solution they see is to ban the fireworks. If they wanted to work together, they would have approached it differently than an immediate lawsuit. There was no attempt to solve this “problem”, just straight to litigation. What’s next, ban all human activity from the lake?!?
    I think I’ll sue to ban unreasonable funsuckers from moving here.

  18. Tahoe Gal says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I think majority have spoken…..time for the Truxlers to leave town.
    How about instead of paying your attorneys thousands, try paying for some clean up crews……But than again that is too logical and you would not be doing such a good deed and saving me…..

  19. tony colombo says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I see a slippery slope here- the definition of “floating debris” may, in the future challenge power boats, sailboats with bilge pumps, snowmobiles use your imagination. The plastic bag ban comes to mind. Be very afraid…Long live Independence Day!

  20. Haddi T. Uptahere says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Everyone is so eager to jump on these folks because the fireworks are a Tahoe tradition. Why them and not the ones who profit from this tradition. Shouldn’t they be responsible for cleaning up after themselves? Sounds to me like all they want is for someone to be responsible for their actions. There is no mention in this story of the steps the pyrotechnics company uses to follow up after the show. Are the fireworks just fire and forget? Having a permit requirement would at the very least make someone responsible. There is way too little of that here. Just a bunch of folks pointing fingers at other.

  21. Frank says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Here’s the truth, Bay Area lawyer, Mike Lozeau, represents League to Starve Lake Tahoe, “enemies” of West Shore against TRPA, development, businesses and anything tahoe. This is more foder for his law firm , they sue to get attention. Doesn’t matter which side of the lake they picked for the fireworks, they are all going to get shut down. This isn’t about the lake folks, this is about getting attention for the lawyers, getting Truxler’s attention and suing for the sake of suing it’s all they know

  22. Doug says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Move away Trixlers. Your games are not wanted here. Nor is your attitude.

  23. Frank says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Yo Haddi T, if no one issues the permits what are they supposed to do? Make one up? That’s how ridiculous this lawsuit is, there’s no permit to be had. Get real! Our businesses are going to lose a lot of money, we lost it this winter, and will be losing it again because some lawyer and the Truxler’s dont’ give a rat’s !_(#&! about our community, or the lake. Didn’t i just read that lake clarity got better last year or the year before, whichever it is, the fireworks are not ruining the lake, but you can bet all of our businesses closing will. But that’s what the League to Shut Down Lake Tahoe wants, no more businesses so their rich Bay Area friends can vacation here without any of us locals getting in the way.

  24. mrs.t says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    another case of NIMBYism by rich second home owners. Losing the fireworks on the 4th would be not a nail, but large metal straps around, the coffin of our already foundering economy. In addition to Steve’s marvelous suggestion, how about TALKING to the people who put on the show and SUGGESTING they place booms around the area of the fireworks to help contain floating debris, like is done with oil spills, just do it ahead of time.

  25. sunriser2 says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Total BS. The picture in the paper last fall says it all. Attention Wh%$@@**. How dramatic on the beach cleaning up after the fire works. How early did they have to get up to beat the HOA employees there?

    As I keep saying if the green collar leaches don’t clean up their act they will lose all credibility.

  26. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Well it looks like my idea to clean up after the fireworks fell on deaf ears. So I figure, what the heck, we may as well just let the filthy run off containing oil, gas, fertilizers and god knows what else flow from area streets, hwy 50, parking lots, the lawns in the keys, leaking sewage pipes from STPUD and golf courses flow directly into the lake. Oh…er…um, we already do that and that’s considered okay.
    My bad, forget about cleaning up after the fireworks or anything else for that matter. Just tell the people who expose a possible contamanint to the lake to move away. Don’t try to clean it up …in fact don’t do anything but point fingers.
    Just dump your toxic waste into the nearest storm drain as I’m sure it wont hurt the lake or the fish or the birds or the people who come from all over the world to see what was ONCE a pristine alpine lake. I’m all for continuing the fireworks as well as keeping Lake Tahoe clean. Both can be achieved. Thank You, OLS

  27. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Mrs T. I think the boom idea is great, as it would at least keep the debris contained untill it can be removed. Now we’re getting somewhere!!! Any other suggestions? Anybody? OLS

  28. CRJig says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The impact to the community economy, morale and pride would be widespread and devastating. In reality every lakes destiny is to eventually become a valley. Floating debris has very little to do with lake clarity. The main culprit is erosion, we are already working to correct the disaster that is the Tahoe keys with the Truckee restoration. Too end the firworks would be analogous to cutting off an arm because of an infected finger. People like the Truxlers can be found everywhere and are bred from the comfort of never having to fight to survive in anyway. They are tearing at the fabric of communities across America and are the reason hard working business owners fear for their livelihoods. At a whim they take litigious action with no stake in the consequences or impact beyond their petty view, looked at through a narrow lense. They should be ashamed but I am sure they are swelling with bureaucratic pride. I hope we can band together and reach amicable resolution, It’s just disheartening that we have to. Especially considering that energy could be well spent elsewhere.

  29. Haddi T. Uptahere says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Yo Frank, learn to read. The article says the EPA issues the permit.
    It is unfortunate that some small and even mid sized businesses in the area could suffer financial distress from this situation. Why not involve the SBA and take up a collection to pay for the clean up. You make your money, the lake stays clean and you put a little cash in the pockets of some people who would love the opportunity to have some kind of work.

  30. hikerchick says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    If we want our economy to thrive, retain our Fourth of July celebration and have a clean lake for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, let’s put our heads together and come up with a way to make it happen. Stop whining and get to work.

  31. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Okay, Now we’re gettin’ somewhere! Paddle craft for lake clean up, Mrs.T’s excellent suggestion of using a floating boom to help in containing debris for removal, Haddi T. Uptahere (love the name) suggestion of small and mid sized business kicking in for paid workers to help in the clean up. All good ideas!!!
    The EPA thing has me a bit scared ,but I’m hopefull if we show them as a community that we will have the lakes clarity as our main goal maybe they wont get involved.
    Lets show everyone in the Sierras that we can do this! That way other firework shows can follow our lead and SLT becomes an example of how to to do things right and from a grass roots approach! Old Long Skiis

  32. Jack Durst says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The fireworks on 4th of July and Labor Day are one of the single biggest tourist draws of the year, ending them would be a total economic disaster when the debris could easily be cleaned up by voulnteers. I am all for maintaining water clarity, but that’s really not the issue here: as mentioned above in the comment thread there are lots of ways a community could address the problems this lawsuit alleges without need for ending the main tourist draw on the summer season.

  33. Steve says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    When it passes a law like the Clean Water Act, government then has an obligation to reasonably enforce it. It should require the commercial enterprise or agency obtaining the permit to then take steps to comply with the terms of the permit to ensure the law is not being violated. If this means cleaning everything up after the event, so be it. Debris should not be left behind.

  34. Harvey Gunderman says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    It is sad that the trash accumulating on the beaches is what it took to bring this issue up at all. Lets put aside all the combustion debris that settles into the lake each and every year, and consider the trash that routinely accumulates due to the apathy of tourists. Is it our responsibility as locals to clean up after these slobs, just so we can enjoy combinations of 5 colors cast across the sky…Why can’t we care about our home and celebrate these holidays without damaging the ecosystems we so ignorantly kick around.

  35. reloman says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    This seems to be a case of bad reporting. By simply reporting that the fireworks wont be happening because the LTVA refuses to get a permit and not finding out what is involved with getting a permit and the cost doesnt tell the whole story. The EPA is not an easy agency to work with nor are they inexpensive. My bet would be that the annual permits alone would make the two shows cost prohibited and not one penny of the permit cost would go towards lake cleanup.
    For those of you who dont know, the LTVA does pay for cleanup crews to clean up after the shows, they even pay for divers to go down and pickup trash even trash that was not part of the show. Can they do a better job? Yes. I am positive if any resident called and said there is debris on this beach, they would have sent someone down for clean up. Everyone has to remember that we have a coastline of something like 72 miles and debris will travel, look at the things that hit the west coast after the Japanesse Tsunami.

  36. Max Dog says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    it’s truly amazing how ignorant people can be. our lake attracts visitors because of it’s beauty and what it has to offer. do you think if our lake was polluted and there was trash everywhere on the beaches that visitor’s would come to vacation here? after reading all the comments, it seems that money and jobs are the only thing most people are concerned about. maybe it’s you who should move back to the city where you can toss your trash any where you would like and people just ignore it. we have jobs because our lake is a treasure and people come to experience its beauty and pristine waters.
    i find it interesting that you have to get a permit to build a deck off your house or cut down a tree. why shouldn’t this fireworks company have to get a permit as well. seems like they do more harm than good when locals have to pick up tons of their expended firework debris after they leave! i agree that the fireworks show attracts many visitors and brings in money, but should that be more important than protecting our lake that attracts the visitors in the first place? jobs and money are extremely important to our economy, but if the lake is polluted, then we won’t have jobs and money! think of what we have here; “a jewel”, doesn’t anyone want to protect that???

  37. kelley says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Max, you are right but unfortunately greed and ignorance go hand in hand.

  38. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    “it’s truly amazing how ignorant people can be”

    No, it really isn’t amazing. From the comments, it seems that less than half of them read the article.
    You must be new here….
    The LTVA didn’t attempt to get another permit. They want to try this case in the court of public opinion. Instead of cleaning up after themselves. The phrase “this is why you people can’t have nice things” is appropriate here.

  39. reloman says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Also there is a lot more debris left on the beaches by the veiwers than from the fireworks, many beaches are cleaned up by volunteers the next day, l Know that El Dorado is.

  40. Observation says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    It’s worth noting an important oversight (or convenient omission of information) in the article. There is currently no injunction against any future fireworks shows that would prevent them from occurring. The lawsuit includes fines of up to $37,500 per violation under the Clean Water Act.

    This bit of information might have helped prevent many of the incendiary comments on this article.

  41. dumbfounded says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I am still not certain which court this lawsuit has been filed in, but if an individual (or two) can close the entire Lake due to “debris on Lake Tahoe”, there is something wrong. So, a leaf or a candy wrapper falls off a dock and the entire operation gets shut down? No.

    Sanity will prevail, hopefully. Judge, throw out this lawsuit as being entirely too vague and order the various alphabet soup agencies to take action to ensure the clean up.

  42. cheepseats says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    It’s deceitful to require the LTVA to ask for an EPA permit, since they won’t issue one. The Truxlers and their hired attorney friend already know that. It’s also incredulous, and tells you all you need to know about the Truxlers motive, that they aren’t going after the other shows on the lake.

    I agree with “Mrs. T” above … The end of the fireworks shows would mean an end to the South Shore as we currently know it, economically speaking. Of course, the irony is that the Truxlers will have to travel farther and pay more to supply their little (secluded) piece of personal heaven, since many of the businesses that I’m sure they frequent will be gone.

    I also agree with “Joby” … It’s time to fight fire with fire, and civilly sue the crap out of them for damages if this all goes down. The South Shore has nothing left to lose …

  43. suspicious mind says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    It is time to drain the lake. No lake, no problems.

  44. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Observation: It is in the article, but most people didn’t read thoroughly.
    ‘“There is middle ground. They don’t have to stop the show, but they should be getting a permit and they have not applied for a permit,…”‘

    “So, a leaf or a candy wrapper falls off a dock and the entire operation gets shut down?”
    Straw man. Illogical.
    “Sanity will prevail, hopefully”
    Ironic statement.

  45. dumbfounded says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    To my knowledge, there is no appropriate agency that will be able to issue the mythical permit. The foundation for the lawsuit cites California and Nevada Clean Water legislation, so the comment about debris is hardly a straw-man argument nor is it illogical. You might find something else to do, like pick up debris, cosa. The comments are becoming tedious. It is hardly necessary to nit-pick every word that everyone writes. This is a comment forum, not an english class.

  46. sunriser2 says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    We have to remember that besides the tax dollars the tourists bring to town the display serves a very important purpose.
    It almost eliminates all the private/illegal fireworks in the area.

    I would like to hear what the fire departments and law enforcement has to say on this matter. We need more Angora fires like a hole in the head.
    Do we want hundreds maybe thousands of drunks with illegal fireworks? At least now they are all in one place on the beaches. Two years ago I was walking my dog at the Taylor Creek parking lot on July 5th. The remains/trash from a very large private/illegal display were all over the parking lot. Do we really want to open the door to this kind of behavior?

  47. Ralph Miles says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I haven’t seen a significant amount of debris from fireworks, I do see a lot of other debris mostly caused by muskrats and why aren’t you people more concerned about the pesticides California wants to dump in the lake?!.

  48. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    “The end of the fireworks shows would mean an end to the South Shore as we currently know it, economically speaking”

    That is a bit of an exaggeration.
    Lake Tahoe is a natural wonder, not a fireworks venue.
    LTVA wants to try this case in the court of public opinion and shift blame away from themselves. If you throw your crayons all over the floor and don’t pick them up, you don’t get to play with crayons next time.

  49. SC Tahoe says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Don’t file for a permit. There hasn’t been a need to this point, no other firework displays have them, so don’t set the precedent. If the EPA were concerned they would have stepped in long ago.

    Assuming this suit was filed in Federal court, let it go to trial. Let a federal judge file an injunction to stop the fireworks. Then get a few senators and governors involved in the conversation to make things fun. The public needs to be on the fireworks side of this.

    In the mean time, make a serious and concerted effort to address the debris and keep it cleaned up.

    When do we get to see the pictures of the mountain of coyote tainted debris?

  50. Kenny Curtzwiler says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Relo: El Dorado beach as well as Regan beach are cleaned up by volunteers from K & K Services and have been for about 16 years on July 5th. They usually collect about 35 yards of trash. STR allows free dumping and K & K Services provides the labor, rakes, trucks, trailers and hauling. This same offer has been approached to the powers to be on the other side with no return calls either other powers being LTVA.

  51. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Sure, the Truxlers initiated the suit for what they saw as pollution to the lake and shoreline. To be honest after spending many 4th of Julys on the lake and sleeping on the boat I didn’t see alot of trash. Sure the occasional beer can, candy wrapper, cigarette butt or water bottle but not much else. But I do agree something should be done about cleaning up the beaches as well as the lake and not just on the 4th but year round.
    If LTVA doesn’t want to apply for a permit to have another fireworks show, well then thats their problem and our communitys problem as well.
    A disclcaimer: I don’t know the Truxlers. I just see alot of people blaming them for this whole mess. Yes, they pointed out the trash that was left behind by the fireworks show, boaters and beach goers but from I’ve read they didn’t get much response from the agencies they contacted.
    We, as a small town could have worked this out to everyones benefit, instead it’s turned into a witch hunt and threatening to running people out of town.
    If the LTVA doesn’t get a permit it’s on their shoulders as to why we don’t have fireworks on 4th of July. The ball is in your court LTVA. OLS

  52. orale says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Thank you OLS

    Cosa – love the crayon analogy

  53. Steve says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The idea that the fireworks debris could or should be cleaned up by volunteers in their kayaks is about as naïve, ineffective and temporary as offering a group hug. The permit, government agencies, sponsors, and fireworks company should all go to extraordinary lengths to ensure the area is as spotless afterward as prior to the show.

    Even the L.A. River has rules with stricter enforcement.

  54. reloman says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The LTVA does get a permit that is issued by one of the federal agencies that are required by law to enforce federal polution laws. This agency is the USCG. A permit from the EPA would take probable years with tons of studies to be paid for as well as huge annual permit costs. Have the USCG inforce it as they also have arrest abilities and their own Maritine Courts.

  55. slim says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I’m sure those folks meant well, but no matter if its the fireworks or tourist trash, the main thing is that is has to be cleaned up.
    How to do this?
    Very simple, get the doper prisoners and other low profile criminals, to get out there and clean these areas up 12 months a year. Why aren’t we using our inmates in these areas as they do use them to make license plates, etc. They could be put to use to do the constant cleanup and this controversy would be solved….

  56. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Steve and others. My understanding from a previous article was that the firework debris from the ordinance, not spent chemicals, was/is being cleaned up by volunteers; some were boating, snorkeling or diving to collect the spent ordinance casings debris. The actual area of the show is fairly small. If they need MORE volunteers to collect the debris, post it in the news outlets. I don’t have a problem helping out.

  57. Joby says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    It’s funny to read some of the comments about the negative impact of the fireworks display. For the last 15 years I have been on the water on the south east portion of the lake at 5:00 AM July 5th. Never have I seen anything that would negatively impact the lake. Economy and the Eco system run hand in hand, nobody wants to see anything that would damage the environment allowed to happen. I run a fishing guide service, without a pristine lake I have no job and that trickles throughout our community. Extremists on either side of the line need to be smacked upside the head with a dose of reality. There is always a better solution than a lawsuit. Good people, good neighbors and good community members can always find solutions. I agree with one of the previous posts, if these people really cared they would put up there legal fees to help the supposed clean up efforts!

  58. Dogula says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Agenda 21.
    Before y’all start screaming about tin foil hatted conspiracy theorists, think about it.
    The leftist/elitists who are in charge here don’t want the unwashed masses trampling on ‘their’ pristine wilderness. They want us all to stay herded into urban, planned communities. While they, the righteous, enjoy the splendors of the environment that they are busy “saving”. They’ve got the money, they’ve got the lawyers. And most of you are buying into it, letting them make laws and restrictions on where you go and how you go there.
    Enjoy Tahoe while you’re still allowed.

  59. copper says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I revisited this thread this afternoon and find that the trend seems to be going the same way that my personal trend is headed.

    I don’t doubt that the Truxlers love the Lake as much as anyone. We tend, often accurately, to dismiss the Lake “experts” as merely a bunch of temporary resident do-gooders looking out for their personal prejudices.

    But I think that the folks who would allow the beaches to be filled with the debris that the Truxlers have reported, in the interest of local economics, are simply a provincial version of the Objectivists who dominate our national political discussion whenever it turns to serving the public, rather than serving the needs of the folks who imagine themselves Plutocrats and believe they should control all economic undertakings.

    I think the Truxlers have a very valid point which needs to be addressed. Leave it for others to talk about the knuckleheaded drunks who drive families off the beaches when the fireworks start going off.

    In any case, thanks to the Truxlers for having the courage, however many regrets they may now be conjuring up, to contribute and face down the screwballs on a forum such as this.

  60. go figure says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Dog, you seem to be off your meds, cj is saving you a place in bend. Your rants are almost identical.

  61. Total recall says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    The fireworks influence on the lake goes beyond visible debris and floating trash. What about the ash and very fine debris that sinks and dissolves into the lake? Certainly these fireworks produce nutrients! It makes no sense to me that I have to spend $5,000 on my driveway Bmp in Meyers? Yet ltva is allowed to burn explosives directly over one of the clearest lakes in the world?

  62. sunriser2 says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Maybe the city and our marketing organizations can match the money they’re donating to the beloved snow globe event and pay the Boys and girl Scouts to clean up the mess.

    Might be enough money left over to build a plaque for the plaintiffs and their wonderful attorney.

    I think we should stop using their names so not to give them the attention they so desperately want.

  63. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Total recall, I agree with your assertion. I would add the “little guy” gets nailed heavily for the slightest infraction, lack of bmp’s, enlargeing a deck, letting a friend or relative park an rv in your driveway or, heaven forbid, in the public right of way for any period of time and in your’e in hot water. But if your a large corporate entity you can do damn near anything you want. A hotel built on lakefront property? no problem. Bulldoze low income property to transfer sewer units to a new property, that was previously declared unbuildable? no problem.
    This firework arguement will soon fizzle out and there will be no additional clean up of the lake or the beaches.
    If the sponsers of the show and the pyrotechnic co. don’t clean up after themselvesI’ll be out there in my canoe doing what I can ,as well as walking the shoreline, with trash bag in hand to clean up after the crowds have long left. Somebodys gotta do it. OLS

  64. Dogula says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    Those of you who are aligning yourselves with the Truxlers against fireworks displays here at the lake will probably get what you want. The EPA is drunk with power these days, and, through the Clean Water Act, will pretty much take all autonomy from any local districts where any body of water is concerned. Some of you will applaud that. I won’t.
    Centralized authority never benefits the little guy.

  65. copper says - Posted: March 25, 2014

    I haven’t seen much of anyone aligning themselves against fireworks displays, although someone will highlight posts that seem to do that.

    The issue is actually pretty simple, and should apply all the way around the Lake: you’re hired to put on a show; all we ask is that you clean up after yourselves. Why would the businesses that depend on tourism demand any less?

    Notwithstanding the fact that tourism has always looked for ways to charge the locals for tolerating their guests. They claim that locals should appreciate the fact that they benefit from the tourist dollar, but, for the most part, the tourist bucks go elsewhere – whether it’s a multi-national corporation or a hillside home above Zephyr Cove.

    Tourism is said to drive the South Lake Tahoe economy, but the entrepreneurs who drive tourism take their cut off the top. A large part of the top. I’ve never heard anyone in the tourism industry volunteer to pay to repave a road or build a new classroom. Although I realize that someone will recall a few notable and extremely rare and minimal exceptions.

  66. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    Dawg that is one crappy source. Worse than Fox News. And that Agenda 21 fear mongering is straight out of Glen Becks playbook. And you say you are above the Fox News BS… you are actually worse.
    Simple kindergarten rules. You make a mess, you pick it up, or you lose privileges. No use throwing a tantrum, it is your fault for not being responsible. If the fireworks really draw millions of dollars, surely they have the resources to clean up properly.
    No recess for the LTVA, they are throwing a tantrum, and will get detention. Boo Hoo.
    Someone call the WAH-mbulance.

  67. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    People. This is not “Agenda 21″ or some other nonsense. This is also NOT Brain Surgery, DNA splicing or a mission to Mars. The claim is that they do not want to stop the show, they want it cleaned up. The small amount of ash is not in question, it is the floating debris. I am thinking some sort of skimming net or any other ideas. No body know how deep pockets these people have and I say find out what the debris is and figure out how to clean it up, not take it to court.

  68. Dogula says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    Too late. Now the Feds are involved and it’s going to court. Once you invoke the Clean Water Act, it doesn’t matter how deep the Truxlers’ pockets are. And nobody’s going to be happy except the two people who started this mess.

  69. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    Since the LTVA is not filing for a permit for the fireworks or addressing the issue of stepping up the clean up of the trash in the lake or on the shoreline following one of the greatest fireworks displays on the west coast, I guess they don’t care about what this means to the community, economicaly and a much needed boost to our tourisim numbers to the area plus the pleasure it brings for so many, tourists and locals alike.
    And this group is supposed to be promoting our area as a place to come and visit and see all we have to offer??
    Oh well, I still have some old sparklers around here somewhere. OLS

  70. reloman says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    OLS most of your post are very fair to most sides. You dont really know what the LTVA is willing to do or not do at this point, you are just getting your information on what the foreign carpetbaggers are releasing to the public. The LTVA has released very little information probably based upon their lawyers advise. As far as a permit gose the do get a federal permit each year from the US COAST GUARD, and one of their duties is to inforce water polution.
    We have yet to hear what is involved in getting a permit from the EPA, what the cost involved is, and how long it would take to get. For all we know it could cost in the 6 figure amount each year and take years to get. Now I dont know this for sure but after all it is the EPA.

  71. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    reloman, point taken. Your probably right about the LTVA being advised by lawyers, hence their silence.
    I just wish the whole darn thing would get resolved and we get to enjoy the fireworks and a good clean up afterward. The 4th is on a friday this year so expect a HUGE crowd. OLS

  72. cosa pescado says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    “two people who started this mess” The people who lead clean up efforts and did not get a response after contacting various organizations?

  73. Common Sense says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    “No body know how deep pockets these people have”

    Has anyone ever heard of a “contingency fee”? Plaintiffs lawyers usually take cases for free. It’s how the system works. Go watch any movie about any lawsuit ever…. It’ll be in there. It’s common sense.

    Instead of inventing theories about money, motives, who these people “really are” or where they’re “really from” has anyone considered the possibility that they’re just telling the truth?

  74. BlueWatersAqui says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    Will repeat this from their opinion page:

    Been here almost 30 years and pick up trash year round on most of the south shore beaches. Seen around 10 firework shows, but pick up trash after every one. Majority of the fireworks’ remains wash ashore at Nevada Beach, Lakeside Park, Tahoe Meadows, Connolley and El Dorado beaches year in, year out. Maybe it is the price you pay for living lake front, but the amount of money and time on a lawyer could have been better spent on some exercise picking up firework trash or hiring some local youth/adults to come by and routinely remove the remains of the shows from your pristine beach.

    Be proactive in your community, get involved with your neighbors instead of using lawyers and lawsuits. Shame on you Truxlers for not using more commonsense or being more neighborly.

    And there is now a ‘Save Our Fireworks’ site on Facebook.

  75. Max Dog says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    please read the “voices” section for the truxler’s explanation of the lawsuit. it may clear up many question. I applaud the truxlers for their courage and agree that fireworks debris washing ashore is unacceptable. if the powers that be will not cooperate in cleaning up their mess, then other stronger measures need to be taken to hold them accountable. truxler’s…you are my heros! thank you for making a difference, and taking action when no one else has the courage to do something about this unacceptable issue!

  76. orale says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    The folks that put on these firework displays and benefit from them should take responsibility for the litter it causes.

    Personal responsibility, right?
    Its not the Truxler’s job to clean up after someone else. We all do it to a point because we love the Lake, but the comments saying they should change the legal fund monies to clean up monies are short sighted. The Truxlers are after a long-term solution, not one that goes away when they do. I can see that and I don’t even know them.

  77. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    I like most on this blog, have had my share of beach cleanup days after the Summer and a few times after the 4th on my on with family. The previous article on this news source said that the question was not the exploded ordinance/gun powder etc, it was the debris from the casings that washed up. Perhaps it is not all exploded debris? Perhaps some of it is just trash from boaters partying to hard and making a mess?

    We can’t butter our bread on both sides here; have a great show and leave the trash. If there is a problem with debris in Lake Tahoe, then it must be dealt with. I hope the LTVA and others that promote the Show have not forgotten this.

  78. Hmmm... says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    How anyone can blame the Truxler’s for the ‘problem’ here shows how prevalent the ‘somebody else should clean up my mess’ argument has become. All that is needed is for those who create the mess to clean the mess. Poor little Golden Goose. tasted like chicken…sorry but there’s none left for you. Buuuurrrpp.

  79. Riley Wyatt says - Posted: March 26, 2014

    Where’s the League to Save Lake Tahoe when all this is going on? They are conspicuous by their lack of involvement and comment. Search online and you will find that the Truxler’s lawyer has a represented the League in the past. Is there a connection? I smell something and am concerned. Maybe collusion. Do all 3 parties have a relationship and all of them hate fireworks? We love the Lake and the fireworks. Open talk and a solution is needed. Get of your high horse Truxlers and consider the bigger picture before its too late. Do you really want your legacy to be you were the ones who stopped the Lake Tahoe firework tradition? You’ll be the death of us.

  80. Djax says - Posted: March 27, 2014

    Yep, well there are laws for a reason. And many of those reasons have been because of the direct impacts to Lake Tahoe, major waterways and rivers, streams, throughout the State and the Nation. We do not dismiss one activity over another just because of ‘Patriotic Prowess’. Kudos for the Truxlers for stepping up. And yep, all the other ‘shows’ around the lake should be evaluated for their impact as well. Hey folks, think about it. It is because of the Clean Water Act and NPDES that we enjoy the beauty we see, not because everyone chooses to implement their own best practices, people have to be directed and practices have to change to ‘protect’ the environment we enjoy. If there were no laws Tahoe, sufficed to say, would not be clear and it would not be blue. As per the importance of Independence Day, my patriotism is not measured by fireworks. That’s like saying it’s the gifts and presents that make Christmas. Poorly placed values are no excuse for allowing damage to our environment. That said though, I agree, it does draw in some serious numbers of visitors and generates a vast income for the area for the local economy. There are many people up here, that are also longtime locals, that agree with the Truxlers. The idea is not to stop the activity, but find a solution. This whole ‘shame’ finger pointing business is ridiculous. Let’s get together and get on board to work on a solution.

  81. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 27, 2014

    Riley. The Truxler’s are NOT causing the debris/trash in Lake Tahoe. There is NO “high horse” here. The Truxler’s, like others, are sick of cleaning up after the party. Let’s come up with a solution.

    I will remind you that Yosemite used to have a “tradition” of hot burning embers being thrown over the Yosemite Falls during the summer, it was called Firefall. People paid lots of money to see that show too.

  82. reloman says - Posted: March 27, 2014

    Well the FIREWORKS have been canceled and will stay canceled unless the Truxlers can settle by April 4

  83. Moral Hazard says - Posted: March 27, 2014

    rock4tahoe, lets be very clear about this. LTVA offered to have multiple trash patrols over multiple weeks after the show. That is not good enough for the Truxlers. They refused to settle. Picking up the trash is not what the Truxlers are after or they would have settled.

  84. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 27, 2014

    Moral. Perhaps the LTVA should have taken a look at the rubish that can up onto the beaches at Marla Beach last year and been pro-active instead of re-active. We have all seen the rubish on the beaches after the 4th.

    The Truxlers claim they picked up two garbage cans worth of Pyro rubish at Marla Bay alone. Now, if I walked down to Edgewood beach and dumped two garbage cans of trash into The Lake, what might I expect would happen?

  85. Lynn says - Posted: March 28, 2014

    Maybe we just need to pack the Truxler’s up and move them out of town! Preferably out of the western U.S.!!

  86. Lynn says - Posted: March 28, 2014

    And Carol Chaplin you fold that easily. You need to be replaced as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  87. Lynn says - Posted: March 28, 2014

    If you don’t like cleaning up the you need to move people!!!!!

  88. Kathy says - Posted: March 28, 2014

    Think Positive , The FIREWORKS WILL GO ON,

  89. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    Yeah Lynn! Let’s stone the Truxler’s then tar and feather the bodies for display! That’s your answer… really? Unbelievable.

  90. Max Dog says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    at the ltva’s emergency meeting, ltva gave all in attendance the truxler’s personal information. I would call that intimidation and bullying at it’s best. ltva also failed to announce that there is a mediation in sacramento on Monday, mar. 31. in giving out the truxler’s personal information, it is like setting the rabid pit bull free. ….go get ‘em locals and strong-arm these people with threatening calls and hate mail. it’s not the wild,wild west anymore…locals please act respectable and be adults! i always believed our community was incredible, especially how we all come together when there is a crisis. let’s show this community and beyond how well we can behave.

  91. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    Max. In the 1980′s the Mayor of South Lake Tahoe was arrested for Cocaine sales and money laundering. How quickly people turned against Terry Trupp and started with the finger pointing and blame. But in reality, they were just hoping NOT to be next on the list.

    My point is, based a lot of comments above, that when things go bad in this town this community has no idea how to behave.

    “Release the KRAKEN!”

  92. Diane says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    LTVA did not give the phone number out, someone else did. Get the story straight before you spread more incorrect info.

  93. Gaspen Aspen says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    How does it feel to be the most hated couple in the basin? GO BACK TO THE BAY AREA!! Take your feeble minds with you. You will be shunned time and time again up here. You are NOT wanted here!!!!!!

  94. Total recall says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    Gaspen, why don’t you go back into whatever hole that you emerged from and direct your hatred elsewhere. It is your feeble mind that is to be shunned in this democratic civil society

  95. bike bum says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    I don’t feel like being diplomatic. The Truxlers are now a stain on the community. Just another wealthy couple from the Bay, imposing their views on our community by using a big time attorney. It’s sickening. Shame on them. After all, the impact to our community doesn’t impact them. They could have taken a half dozen other approaches to the matter, but they chose to cripple THE biggest holiday to our economy. Shaking my head. Are they bored? Are they discontent with their lives? Please tell me why the need to go this route?

  96. bike bum says - Posted: March 29, 2014

    …hmm….I failed to include the rest of my thoughts. That said, (their approach to this) Sadly, the one thing this community does when they disagree with something this big is to retaliate. South Lake Tahoe is very gifted when it comes to shunning people. Black Listing…whatever you want to call it. The whole shaming attitude is a bit hillbillyish don’t ya think? Yeah, yeah, they may have had it coming, but that don’t justify the actions of the LTVA.

  97. MARLA ZEPHYR says - Posted: March 30, 2014

    I heard this yesterday…city officials finally decided that maybe they should meet the Truxlers. I heard that they saw the saw debris with Pyro Spectaculars’ name all over it. I also heard that the officials were shocked and apologetic. The fireworks were clearly commercial debris.

    Here is the irony: The city officials were so sorry, but didn’t they first take the opportunity to ignore the Truxlers for 8 months? Didn’t they lambast them at the LTVA meeting as well as encouraging state officials to do the same? Again, it is ironic that the state officials never met the Truxlers, talked to the Truxlers, or viewed the Truxler’s debris, let alone place the entire 4th of July on the Truxlers?! Keep in mind that is the same group of officials who never bothered to answer the emails and phone calls that the Truxler sent months ago.

    And of course these are the same city officials who believe lake clarity has improved?!?!

    Yes, lets look into laser light shows. Yes, lets look into Green Fireworks.

    I also find it ironic that Pyros Spectacular is also responsible for a superfund site in SoCal. What does this mean? It means that the manufacturing of the fireworks that are shot off above our precious lake have completely destroyed the land and drinking water in parts of SoCal. In Rialto and Colton, the area’s groundwater is contaminated with trichloroethylene, TCE, and perchlorate, which has forced the closure of public drinking water supply wells in those cities. Wow!

    So, we celebrate our independence by polluting the lake and making sure that our neighbors down south don’t have clean water? Shame on us!

  98. rock4tahoe says - Posted: March 30, 2014

    Marla. Thanks for that tip. Let’s see if the city “officials” concur in public that the source of the garbage is from Pyro Spectaculars. However, after all the finger pointing from our “leaders,” I think they are working on a “new” excuse for public consumption.

  99. northbowl trees says - Posted: March 31, 2014

    Wasn’t there a meeting today between both sides? Does anyone know the results?

  100. Common Sense says - Posted: April 1, 2014

    @Bike Bum: consider the facts before you reach a conclusion.

    LTVA keeps saying: “We’ll do anything to protect the fireworks and the lake.”

    But, what have they done to date: pass a resolution to CANCEL the fireworks. What’s more, the Board’s resolution didn’t even address the underlying issue: pollution. All the meeting did was instill economic fear in the community, run a couple out of town, and hold small business owners hostage by LTVA’s refusal to take any action.

    Between July 8 and 10th, LTVA was contacted by regional broadcast media and the TRPA. What did they do in response? Nothing. They ignored the problem–even though they were asked directly to respond to the Truxlers. See below:

    What else could the Truxlers have done but sue? Wake up. LVTA has been sitting on this since July 10 and in the meantime risking Tahoe’s economy and ignoring the risk to the lake.

    Wonder why they might ignore this for so long? Check out Max Dog’s post here:

    Lew and Carol are apparently dating. Carol’s on the board at LVTA. The LVTA pays Lew. Does Carol pay Lew, her boyfriend, for prolonging litigation? Hell if I know, but LTVA’s obvious conflict of interest and repeated failure to respond to anyone raise serious concerns. A rational person would have addressed the problem when the TRPA called and reporters showed up. They ignored it. Strike anyone else as REALLY weird?

    So, what facts do you have on your side, Bike Bum? Don’t just disappear on me. Man up. Speak.