Guest Column: Fourth in Incline needs to be family friendly
July 9, 2014
Despite warnings from my neighbors and friends, I attended this year's Fourth of July fireworks celebration down at the Incline Beach area.
I invited my daughter, her husband, my son and his fiancée to join me. The fireworks were great, but the goings-on at the beach area were a total embarrassment, not only to me, but I would think to all Incline residents.
The place was a total trash heap. The most common word heard began with an "f" and ended with a "k." There were numbers of people smoking not only cigarettes but marijuana.
I finally had to ask this crowd behind me to please go smoke their dope elsewhere as the marijuana smoke was overwhelming. And I think the average alcohol level must have been about a 2.0. I thought I had been time warped to Ft. Lauderdale during spring break.
Now, I realize that the Fourth is a huge money maker for the local businesses, and I assume for IVGID as well. But I also know that the local beaches are supposed to be for the enjoyment of the residents and their guests.
I can't believe that the good people of Incline Village would condone the kind of activity I witnessed on the Fourth. Frankly, I would never attend the fireworks show again and I would certainly never subject my family, guests or friends to that kind of rowdy, uncontrolled activity.
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I do have some suggestions for future Fourth of July fireworks celebrations:
1. Limit the number of people that can attend both the Village Green and the beaches to a reasonable number. I am thinking maybe 5,000? This can be done by issuing wrist bands in advance. Make the wrist bands available by Internet, mail or in person starting on June 1. Wrist bands quantities would be limited to 5 per household. If the wrist bands are not sold out by July 3, put them on sale at some designated location (not the beach).
2. Do not allow anyone access to the beaches or Village Green without a wrist band.
3. Do not allow alcohol on the beaches. Coolers and other parcels should be subject to search. And no alcohol should be sold at the Incline Beach snack bar that day, either.
4. Anyone acquiring a wrist band should be given written notice of the rules applicable on the Fourth. This should also include a ban on smoking. Anyone smoking or in possession of alcohol or any other drug should be subject to eviction from the premises.
I am not trying to quash the spirit of the Fourth of July holiday, but I would also like to see our celebration be more of a family friendly affair. I suspect that the vast majority of Incline residents would agree with me.
James Sepulveda is an Incline Village resident.