SCSQUARED halfPeter Cassimatis, San Clemente

“Special interest groups” and the San Clemente City Council seem to be in lockstep, and I believe not always to the betterment of the community. “Derail the Rail, Stop the Toll Road, Save Trestles,” running the Rib Trader out of town, reducing Ralphs to a postage-stamp size, North Beach non-redevelopment, Poche Beach water recycle system, Ban the Bag (failed, thankfully), fragmented signage policy and, most critically, sponsoring and supporting propaganda attacks on SONGS, backing a no-compromise position on MemorialCare Hospital closing and, way back when, discouraging building of the Nixon Presidential Library on the site now covered by yet another outlet mall.

Each of these issues were fervently backed by a well-meaning and generally misinformed core of citizens fed propaganda by groups with their own agenda, and often found a willing ally in the City Council. The feds, state and/or county have been embroiled in several of these issues with the direct involvement and often encouragement of the City Council.

Meanwhile, weekend traffic on I-5 is at a standstill for hours, rail ridership is a small percentage of what it could be, and Trestles is still the private domain of the privileged few surfers living in the area. MemorialCare shutters its doors, eliminating a couple hundred more jobs and leaving San Clemente empty-handed for any level of medical services, a fluid signage policy has merchants scratching their heads and North Beach non-development has left the area in shambles for decades.

Sometimes, it’s in the best interest of San Clemente for the City Council to simply say, “We hear you, we understand your position, but we represent the entire community.” Responding to the loudest voices often leaves the rest of San Clemente behind.

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comments (11)

  • Peter, I can appreciate having frustrations but this is so inaccurate and misleading that I am not sure where to start.

    Special interest groups assertion – Not accurate at all. If anything this is a pro-Resident council. The ones you have angst against are predecessors that were pro-Business only at the expense of residents. Keep in mind that the people behind the districting petition are a special interest group looking to allow further exploitation of San Clemente by limiting our representation to just one council member they can elect every 4 years. So beware of them.

    As for the – “Derail the Rail, Stop the Toll Road, Save Trestles,” running the Rib Trader out of town, reducing Ralphs to a postage-stamp size, North Beach non-redevelopment, Poche Beach water recycle system, Ban the Bag (failed, thankfully), fragmented signage policy and, most critically, sponsoring and supporting propaganda attacks on SONGS, backing a no-compromise position on MemorialCare Hospital closing and, way back when, discouraging building of the Nixon Presidential Library on the site now covered by yet another outlet mall.”
    Be aware your chronology is way off. Again most of this is about prior city councils. Have you not heard the expression Jim Outlet Dahl mall?? I agree the Gougelets were a mistake but none of the current council members created that mess.
    So with the exception of the MemorialCare Hospital blurb which is also a completely inaccurate representation — none of this was initiated by the current city council.

    The voters in San Clemente are fed up with rants, hypocrisy and false narratives. If you want to reach an audience try to instead pick one issue, provide some context & understanding, and then suggest a solution instead of just going nuclear.

    • @ Enrique Romero

      A handful of activist zealots made numerous false statements about San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and continue in their attempt to deceive the public. Some 1200 people have lost their jobs, we’ve lost a significant source of electrical generation, many millions will be spent (and passed on to the rate payer) to provide voltage support in the area (support not needed when SONGs was on line), and the decommissioning of SONGs has not been as well planned as it would have been had they another 12 years to plan it. The only winners here are the activist zealots who are the source of the problem in the first place. When a society allows those whose passion outruns common sense to steer the direction of policy, we inevitably end up in a mess, just like our current situation.

      • @David, your points about what happened with SONGS losing the public perception battle could be applied to any issue.

        My take on SONGS is that the refurbishment warranty issue was its downfall. At that point those most against nuclear energy saw the blood in the water and sealed its fate.

        Thankfully the demand on the grid is lightening up as a result technology advancements such as solar energy with more to solutions in the works.

        The important thing to point out for the public is that this is a federal dept of energy, state and public utilities commission area of authority. That the city nor its residents have any authority to shut down SONGS.

        • @ Enrique Romero

          Unit 2 was ready to go and the NRC was on board when Barbara Boxer back stabbed the community and the state which she misrepresents. She knew the zealots couldn’t shut San Onfore down on the merits of their claims, so she supported their delaying tactics. SCE couldn’t continue paying 1500 people with nothing to show for it so when Boxer got the ASLB to over rule the NRC and force SCE to first get a license amendment (this could take a year) prior to starting up, SCE through in the towel.

          “Thankfully the demand on the grid is lightening up as a result technology advancements such as solar energy with more to solutions in the works.”

          NO, we had a power outage about a year ago directly as a result of lack of generation, a power outage that would NOT have occurred had San Onofre been on line.

          Also, are you aware of how toxic the production of solar panels are? Did you see the Chinese city that rioted because the solar panel manufacturing plant had completely polluted their river? It was a plant that made solar panels for an American company. San Onofre didn’t pollute or produce GHGs; nuclear energy is the cleanest source of electrical power per MWHr of electricity produced.

          • @David, newer and safer nuclear technologies are overshadowed by significant negative public sentiment.

            I am aware of how toxic much of the newer energy technologies are. Have a look at the battery technologies hybrid and electric cars depend on today.

            I myself am interested in the furthering of harnessing wave energy. There is an amazing project underway in Australia where the wave energy is being used to not only provide power but also help with desalination needs. It even looks like they can make added money by selling the by product (the salt.)

            The purpose of this letter was to talk about San Clemente issues. Your points are of a much broader issue than just our city. Might be helpful if you shared your knowledge and experience in a productive venue to help make things better for us.

  • Don’t forget Target: the sale of the land to pay for a sports park that costs $25Million. That price is ridiculous; and I’m certain it was not the city’s decision, but rather Target insisted on it. That is, what better use of ifs funds used to purchase property than to have a sports park that brings parents from other cities to shop at Target while their kids practice some toddler’s sports.

    Now we are told to cover the operating costs of the part, claimed to be $1Million a year the outlet mall must have been built. $1M year to maintain a park is ridiculous.

    None of this adds up. Period.

    • @Thomas,

      Just clarifying a murky but key point.

      The developer has not handed ownership of the parks in marblehead coastal to the city yet. The outlet malls failure to generate the revenue, that the developers experts had forecasted, is what is causing the city to have to absorb the costs instead of having it offset as was originally planned.

      Keep in mind that none of the currently elected officials were advocates of this outlet mall fiasco. This was brought to us by elected officials before the turn of the century.

      This points you have made emphasize how important it is to have long term resident oriented thinkers elected instead of the self absorbed haters & ranters that want instant gratification for their own personal benefits and desires.

      In summary, we need to keep electing selfless leaders instead of selfish ones.

  • Why is the light at Vera Cruz and Paradiso a timed light now? I and many others are stopped for no cross traffic all the time. It is a steep hill that makes restarting a manual shift car very difficult after a stop. It makes no sense to the body public and is a hazard to traffic flow.

  • @ Enrique Romero

    “newer and safer nuclear technologies are overshadowed by significant negative public sentiment.”

    Nuclear technology has become unnecessarily expensive, an expense driven in part by law suits and interference by activists, and by overly burdensome regulations such as that driven by Linear No-Threshold which requires plants to reduce radiation dose to ridiculously low levels, levels far below what citizens receive from natural back ground dose or in a flight across the country.

    Significant negative public sentiment is an exaggeration that plays directly into the hands of the activists. The majority of Americans favor nuclear power.

    I am for what works and encourage further research into alternative power solutions but we need power now and thus America should build nuclear power plants ASAP…it is the cleanest source of power.

    “Your points are of a much broader issue than just our city.”

    It is the LOCAL tin foil hat crowd that are attempting to deceive the public on nuclear energy. Their activity is a warning to energy companies considering nuclear power of what they can expect to experience at every stage of the nuclear fuel cycle. We’ve already lost power once due to the shut down of San Onofre and these sirens of doom are in the process of going after Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. Its shutdown would mean another 2300 MW of GHG free energy having to be made up by other, more polluting means.

    • @David, It does not seem that Nuclear will make a comeback anytime soon here, or being implemented anywhere else in the US, with the leadership we have and Yucca Mountain being shut down.

      Have a look at the Wave Energy I mentioned. Not as potent as Nuclear but I found it fascinating.

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