SACRAMENTO — Sen. Ted Gaines (R-Roseville) March 27 addressed a crowd of Lake Tahoe business owners, public officials and concerned citizens regarding the economic harm facing the area if the annual 4th of July and Labor Day fireworks shows are forced to shut down.
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“Make no mistake, countless jobs and even entire businesses are on the line here,” said Gaines. “Cancelling the fireworks shows means between three-to-10 million dollars in direct losses for this community. People will be out of work and we will see ‘going out of business’ signs on store windows.”
The fireworks shows are under threat of shutting down because of a 2013 lawsuit filed by two Tahoe residents, Joseph and Joan Truxler, which challenges the ability of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (LTVA) to conduct the fireworks displays without a permit. LTVA has put on the events for decades, and also operates an extensive, next-day cleanup program that captures the fireworks debris as well as cans, bags and other trash that makes its way into the lake.
Gaines is furious with the lawsuit. “I can’t believe that people found some paper scraps on the beach and thought the solution was to attack an American tradition like 4th of July fireworks,” he said. “How about working with LTVA? How about organizing a volunteer cleanup effort to help strengthen the bonds of this community? How about anything besides environmental blackmail?”
“Generations of families have built memories around these fantastic fireworks shows and local businesses depend heavily on these blockbuster holiday weekends,” said Gaines. “I will fight to keep the shows going and make them bigger and better than ever.”
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.