Anxiety and stress built up during the day as I wondered how things would unfold.
Anxiety and stress built up during the day as I wondered how things would unfold. News agencies I had contacted were calling to verify that the City Council meeting would be well attended, and of course I told them with confidence that at least 100 people would show up, (and of course I had no way of knowing). Laurie and I arrived at my first scheduled interview at San Onofre Surfing Beach a bit early. The reporter from NPR was a little late, so I had time to sit and contemplate the magnitude of why I was even there in the first place. Sadness washed away my anxiety about the day as images from the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster across the sea commingled with the pristine setting that was before me, perhaps similar to a scene six or more days ago on the shores of Japan.
The reporter from NPR showed up and taped about 20 minutes of my rambling, which I’m sure will be pared down to a little sound bite. Soon after, the reporter from Associated Press arrived and we went through the same process, but on video this time. Then we were off to do last minute preparations for the meeting. We arrived a bit early to discover the KCAL News Van in the parking lot. Before I could reach them, another cameraman approached me from CNN. Laurie got busy setting up the little memorial table when a radio reporter from Germany asked me for an interview. All along, things kept getting bigger and bigger, and all I could think about was if people were actually going to show up for the event.
By the time the meeting was about to start, people were streaming in, packing the chamber, standing room only with an overflow crowd outside, (although I should point out that some people were there for other reasons). I was not disappointed in the least. One nightmare averted while the real one roared out of control. Of course what really mattered was that San Clemente stood out for the world to see what we’re made of. It just so happened that the night began with a wonderful prayer and some great people being recognized, making us even more proud of our town. Then our speakers took the dais, one after another, with compassion, concern and unity. Each one was heartfelt and beautiful from varying points of view. It was wonderful to take part in, but tragic in so many ways. The City Council was moved to call for a full safety report from SONGS within 60 to 90 days. (there is still more work to do – but great beginning)
The rest of the story is better told by the links provided below, but I just wanted you to get a feeling of it from my perspective. Hopefully you can see that your participation means everything, regardless of what others do. You, the people, are what matters most, and you hold the power for change more than anyone else. Showing up matters. Writing emails or making calls or just talking it up with your contacts makes a huge difference. By getting involved we can give each other hope when all around us is much despair. Good job people! YOU hold the keys to a brighter future!
Here are some sources for you…
The Associated Press – http://www.youtube.com/watch?
The OC Register – http://www.ocregister.com/news/san-292351-onofre-nuclear.html
San Clemente patch – http://sanclemente.patch.com/articles/residents-worried-about-san-onofre-nuclear-power-plant-safety-after-japan-tsunami
KCAL – not yet released (we’ll notify you or let us know if you hear anything)
NPR – http://www.npr.org/2011/03/16/134602814/Japanese-Tragedy-Has-Calif-Worried-About-Nuclear-Energy
CNN – not yet released (we’ll notify you or let us know if you hear anything)
City Council Video – http://san-clemente.org/Videos/VideoList.aspx?Type=CC
La Opinion Newspaper – http://www.impre.com/laopinion/noticias/primera-pagina/2011/3/19/viven-con-temor-a-la-planta-en-246314-1.html#commentsBlock