By Doug Porter
The shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station was a significant blow to the nuclear power industry. Although the twin reactors were licensed to operate until 2022, a new steam generator system installed in reactor unit 2 in 2009 and unit 3 in 2010 failed less than two years after vibrations caused heavy alloy tubes in each steam generator to rub against one another.
Critics of Southern California Edison contend the utility and its supplier Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, hid the risks of the new system they installed. Hoping to sidestep the potentially lengthy process of obtaining a license amendment, the company appealed to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board for permission to restart unit 2 at 70 percent of capacity.
Following a negative ruling by the Board, the company announced plans for permanently closing the facility.
Now they’d like the California Public Utility Commission to grant them permission to make consumers pay for the utility’s mistakes. Edison took out full page ads back in August announcing their intention to ask the CPUC to stick users with some undefined portion of the $4.1 billion required to safely dismantle the plant.
Local activists are calling upon San Diegans to mobilize and attend the first Public Participation Hearings of the CPUC slated for October 1st (Tuesday), 2 pm-5 pm and 6:30 pm-9:30 pm at the Al Bahr Shriners Building, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd. They’re organizing under the premise of “What part of You Break It, You Buy It doesn’t SCE and SDG&E understand?”
For more information go here.
Mayor’s Race: And then there were Nineteen
Friday’s deadline for returning nomination papers with at least 200 valid signatures has passed and the City Clerk’s office reports that 19 of the 40 people who’d shown an interest actually turned in the paperwork. The signatures on the qualifying petitions will be checked over the next couple of days and those who’ve made the cut will appear on the ballot for the November 19th special election.
Here’s the candidate list, pending verification:
City Attorney Mike Aguirre
Councilman David Alvarez
Save Our Heritage Organisation director Bruce Coons
Councilman Kevin Faulconer
Ex-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher
Attorney Hud Collins
San Diego City College student Lexy Allen
Small business owner Gwen Coronado
Realtor Harry Dirks
Physician Steven Greenwald
San Diego State University student Michael Kemmer
Businessman Sina “Simon” Moghadam
Gun rights advocate Lincoln Pickard
Organic fertilizer salesman Mark Schwartz
San Diegans Draw the Line
On Saturday afternoon over 150 people rallied outside the Federal Building downtown, calling on President Obama to reject a permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline. San Diego’s gathering was one of roughly two hundred “Draw the Line” events nationwide, sponsored by 350.org and other climate action groups. Organized locally by SanDiego350.org, the action was also supported by Sierra Club San Diego, Women Occupy San Diego, Citizens Climate Lobby, the San Diego Green party, and Greenpeace.
Sierra Club Chair Lori Saldaña told the crowd, “When this fight started all bets were on the fossil fuel industry – everyone thought that the Pipeline would go through – but now it’s 50-50 odds. That’s because of you and me, and people just like us all around the country who have stood up to say ‘enough!’”
Unitarian Universalist Minister Beth Johnson shared her perspective saying, “We are here to draw the line, to name the lack of response to devastating climate change as a moral issue. We have a responsibility to the planet and to future generations to hold our government accountable to take immediate action on climate change. We are here now, and many of us are ready to risk arrest in the future to make it be known to President Obama, that we, the people say: The time is now! Reject this pipeline!”
Activist Gloria Johnson Moves On
Activist Gloria Johnson passed away this weekend. Although she was best known for her advocacy of LGBT issues, she was an active supporter of just about every progressive causes and demonstration in San Diego over the past fifty years.
In the early 1970s she worked with the National Organization for Women (NOW) campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment, moving on to fight for LGBT rights in the late ’70s when she helped defeat the Briggs Initiative – which would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools. In 1972, she worked for Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s campaign as the first African-American to run for President.
She joined the San Diego Democratic Club when it first formed in the late ’70s, working on the campaigns of Sen. Christine Kehoe, City Councilmember Donna Frye and Hillary Clinton for president to name a few.
Gloria made Advocate’s top 400 US gay leaders in 1984 was inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame in 2003, Woman of the Year in 2006 and honored as person of the year in 2009 by Gay & Lesbian Times.
She will be missed by all persons of good will in San Diego.
Why Teachers Are Precious
From Huffington Post:
We often hear about U.S. teachers being paid poorly for all the work they do to educate children. But did you know that 63 percent of teachers report buying food for the classroom each month with their own money? That’s just one statistic from a report put out by Share Our Strength, which surveyed teachers across the country about hunger in America‘s classrooms.
NPR reports the Volkwagon bus, the iconic transport of choice for free spirited types is driving off into the sunset of history at the end of the year. The story says the VW bus will be discontinued at the Brazilian Sao Paula plant because it “can’t be made with the air bags and other safety equipment that ‘the man’ wants it to have.”
“Germany shuttered its production of the minibus back in 1979, and Mexico followed suit in 1994. Since, Brazil has been the sole producer of the VW camper van. … The discontinuation of the VW minibus, the longest-produced model in automotive history, is sure to disappoint camper van enthusiasts around the globe, many of whom organize festivals and gatherings to commemorate its creation.”
The Associated Press adds that:
“VW produced more than 10 million Volkswagen Transporter vans globally since the model was introduced 63 years ago in Germany, though not all resemble the classic hippie machine. More than 1.5 million have been produced in Brazil since 1957.”
I admit to traveling up and down the California coast in the late 60’s in my roommate Jim Herman’s VW bus with a peace symbol painted over the front logo. I don’t think we ever made through San Luis Obispo without being pulled over by the cops.
Speaking of the 1960’s
Back in the day Tom Metzger was at the center of far right activity in Southern California, taking a high profile with the paramilitary Minutemen and late with various neo-nazi groups.
Don Bauder over at the San Diego Reader reports that he’s surfaced again:
Tom Metzger, former Fallbrook white supremacist and losing Congressional candidate, is involved in an attempt by neo-Nazis to establish an all-white beachhead in Leith, North Dakota, population 24. The town is resisting. The group intends to “plant the seeds of National Socialism in North Dakota,” according to its commander.
Some properties already purchased by the white supremacist group have been transferred to Metzger, 75, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, according to press reports. Local groups including Native Americans are vigorously opposing the effort.
In 1979, Metzger organized a patrol, the Klan Border Watch, to capture illegal Mexican immigrants. The next year, he won the Democratic Party nomination for the House of Representatives in the North County district, but was swamped in the general election. In 1983, he changed the name of his group to “White Aryan Resistance (WAR).”
The group eventually went bankrupt after a civil suit was filed contending it was involved in the murder of an Ethiopian student. Metzger claimed the white power skinheads affiliated with WAR had done a “civic duty” by killing the student, according to Wikipedia. Recently, he has lived in Indiana.
Check Out the SDFree Press Calendar
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltrain, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
On This Day: 1952 – Richard Nixon gave his “Checkers Speech”. At the time he was a candidate for vice-president. 1957 – Nine black students withdrew from Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas due to the white mob outside. 1962 – “The Jetsons” premiered on ABC-TV. It was the first program on the network to be carried in color.
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