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Steven Knoblock

By Councilmember Steve Knoblock

The Good:

San Clemente may soon have the opportunity to become free of our dependency on imported water by developing our own source of fresh drinking water from the Doheny Ocean Desalinization Project currently being proposed by the South Coast Water District.

Ninety percent of our drinking water comes from hundreds of miles away in Northern California and the Colorado River. These sources could be threatened in a number of ways by manmade or natural disasters, including, but not limited to, regularly occurring major droughts and earthquake fault lines intersecting our regional water pipeline delivery system. 

Other coastal communities such as Carlsbad, Huntington Beach and Santa Barbara have already installed, or are close to installing, their own ocean desalinization plants.

San Clemente is at the end of the MET water delivery pipeline. If there is a serious interruption, we will be the most impacted and the first to feel the effects. If the day comes when disaster halts the flow of water to our homes, we don’t want to have to look at each other ashen-faced and wish we had all done something about it sooner.

An unlimited water supply is truly at our disposal. We should move forward with the SCWD on this amazing opportunity.

The Bad:

Our right to peacefully assemble is one of our most cherished constitutional rights, right up there with our freedom of speech and religion.

These freedoms are being eroded at the federal and state level and, sadly, by city government, too. Last month, the city council voted, 3-2—with myself and Councilwoman Laura Ferguson voting no—to restrict groups of 50 or more citizens from freely assembling in public places like parks, beaches, sidewalks and other public spaces, without getting permission in advance from city hall and paying a fee.

Groups including nonprofits, service clubs, churches, political parties or even family gatherings will now require advanced government permission or face arrest and fines.

The purported rationale for this draconian restriction of our constitutional liberties is that the city had to pay extra last year for enhanced police security for a local pro-Trump rally and an earlier Black Lives Matter rally. 

Securing and maintaining our liberties does cost, but the cost of restricting these liberties is much, much more expensive. Our sheriff’s deputies did a fine job at both events and should be respected and honored, for their courage and professionalism, especially at a time when many would disparage, berate and defund them. Our freedoms must remain free.

The Ugly:

A city ordinance provides that if any citizen unsuccessfully challenges a city ruling, they have to pay all city-related expenses, including hearing officer’s costs, the city attorney’s costs, independent legal counsel costs, consultants’ costs, the cost of staff time, etc.

This could cost a taxpayer thousands of dollars. Sort of like requiring someone who unsuccessfully challenges a traffic ticket, to have to pay the prorated salary of the judge, bailiff, court clerk, court stenographer, district attorney, and all related overhead expenses. 

The ordinance was recently rescinded. Unfortunately, the council adopted a revised ordinance—again with Ferguson and myself opposed—requiring citizens to pay a $500 fee up front before they can get a fair and impartial hearing. 

If the appeal is unsuccessful, none of the fee is refunded. This fee has a chilling effect on our citizens who may have a sincere disagreement with city hall.

P.S. My desire for our beautiful beach town is that our freedoms be preserved and advanced and that the rising tide of oppressive government regulations does not overtake us.

Steven Knoblock was elected to a two-year term on the San Clemente City Council in 2020.

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comments (22)

  • San Clemente has suffered a death by 1000 cuts. Those new in town like most of the city council have little idea. Here’s what happened for newcomers—

    They put the freeway through the mid of town
    build a nuke power plant that leaks
    NEVER study cancer rates
    Build a sewage treatment plant on prime coastal land
    Beg an outlet trash mall to be built on the last remaining virgin coastal canyons south of the Malibu.
    Foster one of the largest radioactive waste dumps in the world to be built inches from the mean high tide line on a crumbling fault ridden bluff in earthquake country….

    And NOW— BEG a record breaking huge high distribution- high truck traffic Amazon national distribution center to be built by the high school in some of our last space…

    The death by 1000 cuts is nearly complete.

    What a nightmarish self inflicted joke and travesty SC has become and remained. Thank Baby Jesus we have a meaningless second Amend sanctuary thingy. If the Amazon mess is continued I can assure every council member and local pol that we will come out of he woodwork to defeat it and your future in public office should you support it. Nothing personal but you are continuing to destroy what we love. It’s on. Election day is coming…..

    • San Clemente is a great town, always has been. Only numbskulls would decry the freeway we have…imagine if it were only a two-lane road.

      The Nuclear Plant didn’t leak. A cancer study was done but because it didn’t confirm the doom-sayers worst fears, they demanded more studies.

      The nuclear storage facility isn’t a waste dump.

      If the bluffs are crumbling and fault ridden in earthquake country, well, feel free to pack your bags and hit the road you sniveler.

      The 2nd Amendment is not meaningless at least not to those who still honor and respect the United States Constitution, clearly YOU do not.

  • David……… Not to address every word you wrote but I have to advise you of this—

    Mr. Burton is 100% correct. Just employ a little Google effort if you either don’t remember or are fairly new to town, but the plant’s leaks and safety violations were widely reported in the press over the decades AND safety violations etc. The plant now is actually a nuke waste dump. It stores nuclear waste, period.

    On the other point you raised……. I don’t think Mr. B. was saying the 2nd A is worthless. By golly I think we all love our guns. I think he was referring to the meaningless sanctuary city proclamation that the council passed. It actually does NOTHING.

    And…. the freeway through town was a good idea? Bwahahahahah—- good one !!!

    • Tim…when newspaper articles don’t know what the heck they are talking about, they misinform their readers. The leaks these articles address are the steam generator leaks from the primary system (radioactive) to the secondary side (non-radioactive), not liquid or gaseous leaks to the ocean or the public, i.e., they are contained within the plant’s systems.

      Safety violations are made public for EVERY nuclear plant and violations can be as simple as failing to follow the written procedure. Most other industries do not have their violations trumpeted in the press unless and until injuries or deaths occur.

      The plant safely stores used nuclear fuel, it is NOT a waste dump. This used fuel could be reprocessed to make new fuel like the United States used to do. It is currently illegal to reprocess this fuel but it is only a political decision away from being legal…again.

      A public acknowledgement of support for our Constitution, which is under constant attack by the left, may be legally meaningless, but it gives comfort and confidence among the law abiding that our city will respect those Constitutional rights.

      Imagine all that free-way traffic running down El Camino Real…and you think that would be a good thing?

  • FACT CHECK ALERT!!!

    If you type “San Onofre Nuclear plant leaks” into that Google search engine…… the very first page has about 6 articles of leaks over the years.There are pages and pages more….

  • Yes, there are pages and pages of articles talking about the very same steam generator leak which was from the primary side (radioactive) to the secondary side (non-radioactive) of the steam generator, NOT to the ocean or to the public at large.

    Beware of articles written by people who usually don’t know what they are talking about or who have an agenda, i.e., they lie.

  • Yes, there are pages and pages of articles on the very same leak, the steam generator tube leak of Jan. 2012. This was a leak from the primary side (radioactive) to the secondary side (non-radioactive) of the steam generator, not one to the ocean or to the public at large.

    Beware of news articles written by people who either don’t know what they are talking about or who have an agenda, i.e., they are lying.

  • And while you are at it; beware of anything posted by an employee of that nuclear power plant.

  • HAL!! Yes of course—- Mr. Davison always sticks with the frankly inaccurate utility company talking points, I am sure he means well………God Bless him…..yawn…… it’s not worth any response and the majority of folks see through it—- thank God the plant is shut down and God willing the storage issue will one day soon be fixed by the feds…….

    • Kimmer, feel free to elaborate on what you think was inaccurate in my statements. Your silence will confirm you’re just full of hot air.

      BTW, if my post was not worth a response, why did you respond?

  • Senor Davison– I’ll be happy to respond for Senor Kimmer—I’m pretty sure he thinks responding to u is a waste of time but I’m retired and can idol away the hours!!! It’s easy— Just Google Radioactive San Onofre leak and be patient. Scroll all the way down the first page and read everything and then on the next 4 pages. It takes time. But….. It shows much more leaking and DISCHARGING than in your letter, Much more— You’ll have to do your own homework little buddy. Many incidents over the years. And remember— Google only goes back so far– I have lived in town since way before creation of the dangerous now scuttled plant and the local papers, LA papers etc reported many DISCHARGES and leaks—

    In Fact– Many people will remember this one– Remember when years ago nuke waste was found BELOW unit 1??? The city widely publicized that it had to test our local city wells to determine if it got in the groundwater! Thankfully it did not.

    All of this is a tempest in a teapot because eventually, thank God, the plant was shut due to
    it’s long troubled history of leaks, discharges and safety violations.

    Have a super day amigo!!! I’m sleeping better now that the plant is shuttered!

    I’ll feel much better when one of America’s largest nuke waste dumps built with faulty thin containers on an eroding bluff feet from the rising ocean in earthquake country is moved!!

    • Señora McCleland–I’ll be happy to address your articles as soon as YOU post one to look at. You made the claim, it is up to YOU to back it up, not for me to research pages of articles for you. I’ll note that you have refuted a single thing I said.

      Are you enjoying paying more for your electricity since the plant was unnecessarily shut down?

      The storage of used nuclear fuel is not a waste dump, it is not on a bluff, and the containers are NOT faulty nor thin (5/8″ thick steal inside another iron cavity enclosure shell, inside feet of concrete).

    • I appreciate that you at least presented something, anything, in your attempt to bring light to the issue. This is more than I can say for the others here.

      That said, The Guardian article has some problems. First, the used fuel stored onsite is NOT buried. There is not a grain of sand or dirt atop this fuel.

      Next, it claims the steam generators were replaced without proper approval. This is not true as even the linked NRC article states. SCE had the proper approvals and only after the generators developed leaks (from primary to secondary inside the plant, not to the environment), did they have second thoughts as to the approval. The NRC was fully aware of these replacement steam generators and would have shut down the replacement immediately if they believed SCE didn’t have proper authority.

      In addition, the article attempts to frighten readers by saying the nearby faults could generate a 7.4 earthquake without ever acknowledging that the storage facility is built to withstand a far greater earthquake than have ever been experienced anywhere in California.

      Furthermore, the quote of a statement by Kris Singh (Holtec) is grossly misleading because his company preferred a different solution if a crack were to develop, a solution The Guardian chose not to mention.

      Finally, this is what the NRC had to say about storage of used fuel at San Onofre:

      “The NRC has thoroughly reviewed this issue and believes that the spent fuel can be stored safely on site at San Onofre. It can’t be moved off site because there is no federally approved disposal site for high-level waste, although we are currently reviewing two applications for interim storage facilities in west Texas and New Mexico,” the spokesman said.

      I hope this helps.

  • I think the reason so many folks don’t bother responding to you David is that you generally post things that the utility would say and frankly, people are smarter than that. I’m sure Bort could cut and paste any number of links to google articles which showed the previous leaks and discharges of radioactive gas. I mean I can see the many pages of them on Google myself!!!!!Of course the utility would say—- don’t worry, the NRC allows for these atmospheric discharges of radioactive gas within certain limits. But of course, frankly, again, people are smarter these days and they don’t just blindly accept the calming voice of private companies etc. Hey— they shouldn’t! I can’t count the times I have driven up to the beach there and seen the requited signs advising of a planned radioactive ocean discharge, 3 times, I’m not sure? And am I to assume the utility posted it every time? Folks are smarter than that I think.

    Now the NRDC does not permit leaks and safety violations at all, and yet they happened at SONGS for decades!!!!

    Google is a rich source of information about the troubled history of SONGS.

    https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/news/the-trouble-with-the-san-onofre-nuclear-plant/

    There is just a long history of trouble– accidents happen. Hey….remember when the employee fell in the radioactive cooling pool??? Or the leak found in the soil under a reactor? Or the outright safety violations?

    and– I have to respectfully disagree with you– the waste, the RADIOACTIVE waste IS stored on the bluff—- I was standing a few feet from it on Thursday.

    Question for ya— “if the containers did fail, whats the half life of the radioactive material?

    SKETCHY my friend.

    • Apparently, you think it is smart for people to discount what SCE, the NRC, and those who actually operate the plant say in favor of people who have no clue as to what they are talking about. I would think the wise would consider all points of view…I guess we differ on this.

      A quote from your posted article:

      “And one of San Onofre’s thick, concrete containment domes, the infamous twin structures that resemble breasts, wasn’t doing its job. A tiny amount of radioactive particles was escaping into the environment.”

      That is a false statement. When you believe journalists who don’t know what they are talking about and who have a vested interest in painting an alarmist picture, you are not wise. You can accurately say the new steam generator replacement project was a failure in the sense that the tubes leaked (from primary to secondary, not to the environment as the ignorant or dishonest claim) and did so in a manner never before seen in the industry, but it is dishonest to report narratives that are false in order to sell more newspapers.

      Feel free to post links to these “articles” if you think they support your views. The two thus posted do not.

      Regarding radioactive discharges, they are by design, not as a result of leaks or errors. They are fully documented and in accordance with the law. Your automobile exhaust is not regulated or measured except every 2-4 years when you get a smog check. Are you worried about that?

      Safety violations happen every where but no industry is as closely watched as the nuclear industry. If your procedure says to adjust your right side mirror on your car first, but you do the left side first, it is a violation even though it doesn’t really matter which mirror you adjust first.

      As to your comment on the bluffs, I’ve been on top of the fuel storage facility hundreds of times and from the top of this fuel, one looks up at the bluffs around them. Is this storage facility above the ocean, of course.

      As to the individual who fell into the spent fuel pool, he wasn’t even contaminated. If your idea of safe operations is one in which no problems EVER occur, there is only one place you’ll find THAT plant…in fantasy land.

      The answer to your question is that there are a number of radioactive nuclides inside each with its own half-life. For the longest lived, it is hundreds of thousands of years which is still shorter than the toxic materials in your solar panels which remain toxic…forever. Are you aware that the fuel is a solid?

  • Lots of trouble over the years— but the gov says–“relax”!!!!

    https://www.cnn.com/2012/02/01/us/california-nuclear-shutdown/index.html

    No one bought into that so the plant was finally closed! I, for one, don’ mind paying a bit more for power to keep us safer. In fact, I am adding solar this year!!

    Craig
    San Clemente

    • Your comment below is, of course, false.

      “No one bought into that so the plant was finally closed!”

      In fact the NRC was fully on board the plan SCE put forth. It was Barbara Boxer who stuck a knife in the back of the union workers and residents of California.

      Maybe you’re fine with paying more for electricity to calm your irrational fears, but did you consider that your neighbors may not be?

  • He also called TFG the greatest President ever.
    Malarkey.

  • YES HAL!! When he revealed that he loved to twice impeached disgraced president I think most of us stopped responding to his power company talking points…..it never ends with him but more importantly, it never goes anywhere convincing! Zzzzzzz

    Tim

    • Tim, my posts are NOT “power company talking points”, they are wholly my own. I no longer work for SCE. I do my own thinking and base my conclusions on the facts, not the fear, hysteria, and hyperbole of activist crack pots.

      Perhaps you are unaware that we live in a radioactive world. Some of the foods you eat contain radioactive elements such that your own body gives off radiation.
      Those who fly or live at altitude receive more dose than those at sea level. Granite counter tops and smoke detectors induce a radioactive dose. There are naturally radioactive sites around the globe that produce far more radiation dose than the public in San Clemente has ever received from the plant. Guarapari Beach Brazil, due to the Thorium in the sand, will give an individual 5X the radiation dose in one hour that San Onofre would give the general public in a year.
      All of this can be verified by simply googling either the NRC web site or just “world’s most naturally radioactive sites”.

      Regarding President Trump and Hal’s false claim that I said he was “the greatest President ever”, a little honesty would be appreciated. I have said that President Trump is the best President in 2 generations as demonstrated by his numerous successes that accrued to America’s benefit. The impeachments are a black eye on the Democrats, not on President Trump.

      You keep repeating that most don’t respond to me but yet, here you are, responding to me. Those who militantly refuse to consider the facts in favor of the narrative they have embraced, will never find factual reality convincing.

  • Well Mr. Davison (former SCE employee) has convinced me! Heck, he’s compelling and persuasive, what with all them facts and all!

    My only regret is that Trump (the disgraced and twice impeached president…) didn’t actually give San Clemente 2 more nuclear power plants and a few more million pounds of radioactive waste for our coast!

    Let the alternate facts flow like a mighty river!!!!!

    Tim

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