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Typical for the reporting style of the L.A. Weekly, Bill Bradley’s article “Twiddling Turbine” [March 16–22] contained both inaccurate and misleading information about the February 3 fire incident and shutdown of the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
While the fire in an adjacent electrical-switch-gear room was relatively small in scope, it caused significant damage. San Onofre officials were very forthright with their public explanation of the incident and the estimated repair time required, based on the available information. In fact, they initially indicated that the impact would cause Unit 3 to be out of service for at least several weeks. Only after a more detailed assessment and disassembly of large and complex plant equipment could we determine that the unit would require more extensive repairs, thereby extending Unit 3’s return-to-service projection to mid-June. Barring any major complications, we are holding to that schedule.
Finally, we must address your irresponsible assertion that the fire incident was somehow related to or the result of the refueling and maintenance work completed for Unit 3 in February. Through hard work, expert execution and great attention to detail, the San Onofre employees diligently completed the work in 32 days — 13 days ahead of schedule. To imply that this effort in any way fell short of the rigorous industry and regulatory standards by which all nuclear operations are conducted is an insult to the men and women who take great pride and care to ensure that they carry out their work professionally, thoroughly and safely.
Great efforts were made to help your reporter understand these facts, but unfortunately he was preoccupied by a sensational and socially irresponsible news angle.
Nuclear Communications Manager
Southern California Edison
BILL BRADLEY REPLIES: Mr. Golden says I asserted that faster-than-normal refueling of the Unit 3 reactor led to the accident at San Onofre. In fact, I merely noted that the refueling had been faster than usual. In any case, the question of Edison’s management and safety practices as the company tries to deal with reduced financial circumstances remains a serious one.
OUR MS. BROOKS
Re: “The Clampdown” [March 23–29]. Apparently your reporter Sue Horton had to go far afield — to Kim Brooks of the Children’s Law Center in Covington, Kentucky, and Mike Males from the Justice Policy Institute — to find negative responses to my proposal that Los Angeles County teens who bring guns onto school grounds or make terrorist threats be compelled to tour the county Coroner’s Office and see firsthand the results of gun violence. Both of those sources supported Horton’s preconceived notion that the proposal is meant to be punitive rather than preventive, and supplied the required quotes to make it appear that the program is a fit subject for ridicule.
The facts, however, are these: No one has suggested that touring the Coroner’s Office will single-handedly solve the nightmare of gun violence in our schools. But children — who get an unhealthy dose of pretend violence from movies and video games, where the player gets extra points for gunning someone down — may be awakened to the reality of such actions. If that happens, and if it saves the life of one child, the program is worthwhile.
Ms. Brooks is quoted as saying, “I would have extreme concerns about exposing children to morgues and the kind of psychological damage that could cause.” I have greater concerns about exposing children to gunfire from other students. We have seen, far too often, the kind of damage that does cause, not only to the victims and their families, but to our communities in general.
Mr. Males expressed doubt that “such ‘scared straight’ programs are effective.” On the contrary, Los Angeles County’s Teen Drunk Driving Program, through which hundreds of area teenagers have toured the Coroner’s facility and which serves as the model for the proposed program, has proven to be highly effective.
All of these points were discussed with reporter Horton, yet she — or one of your editors — chose to address none of them, since they would give the story a balance and fairness it sorely lacked. We are all seeking responsible answers to the plague of violence in our schools. Irresponsible journalism is just another aspect of the problem, keeping us further from a solution.
—Michael D. Antonovich
Mayor, Los Angeles County
Thanks to Sue Horton for adding some context to the rather sensationalized media frenzy over school shooting incidents. It cannot be overemphasized how many youth have suffered as a result of the actions of the few who have engaged in school shootings. The Weekly’s coverage of the real facts regarding school violence and the trickle-down effect it has on so â many students presented a much-needed balance to media coverage. Bravo!
Sue Horton is delusional. Just because there are fewer teenage school shooting sprees compared to teenage car wrecks, Horton thinks the school administrators are going overboard with their “no tolerance” policy. Hey, Sue, how many shootings occurred when you were in school? I graduated from Heritage High School in Littleton, Colorado (yes, the Littleton, Colorado), back in 1977. There were hardly any fistfights at school, let alone shootings.
Horton obviously thinks these little terrors should be mollycoddled, and given second chances, and understanding. Fuck understanding! Taggers should be publicly flogged! Teenagers are not “better than ever,” and many should definitely be treated like criminals. Get a grip, lady.
—Peter Barton Fletcher
EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Fletcher is an employee of L.A. Weekly.
NO SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
In the March 23–29 concert listings, Libby Molyneaux’s comments about the “Rock the Universe” shows are tacky and uncalled for. Christian rockers do have fans and groupies, but they are more likely to be supportive of our musical mission than trying to come on to us. Jaci Velasquez probably has her mom to thank for the spelling of her name, which rhymes with tacky and has no hidden meaning. If Satanists attend, they will risk being detected by the Holy Spirit–filled believers and may wind up not being possessed by their demons anymore . . . so they probably won’t come. And yes, most likely a lot of people attending will “get laid” — by their spouses when they get home. (There’s more to life than having sex with strangers.) Finally, Stryper weren’t that hot when they were hot!
Somehow my letter [“Here to There,” March 30–April 5] was edited [EDITOR’S NOTE: fact-checked, actually] into a state of incoherence by having the phrase “transit maps” changed to “public information campaigns.” My point was that Jerilyn Lopez Mendoza, in “A Vision for the City” [March 9–15], lamented that no L.A. County transit map exists when, in fact, one has been available since last summer and can be obtained for free from any MTA Customer Center, or by calling MTA Customer Relations at (213) 922-6235.
Southern California Transit Advocates
GATES’ ONE-NIGHT STAND
In “Take Me to the River” [City Limits, March 23–29], no sooner has Marc B. Haefele mentioned former county Department of Health Services director Bob Gates than he promptly cites two erroneous data: Gates stayed overnight, not “for several days,” at the hospital, and he did not have a stroke, regardless of any rumors.