Men’s Club: Fall 2015 Update

Last month we had a Fall Party, learned about nuclear power decommissioning, and recalled Dana Point development history.
Speaking of Fall Parties, we had a great one on October 13. The Men’s Club had a special Oktoberfest evening at the Community Center where the members of the club and a spouse or guest enjoyed German bratwurst and all the trimmings while listening to German music. A special thanks should be given to Jack Christianson and the ad hoc committee for organizing the event, to the dinner chefs, Jerry Koppang, Jack Sweeney, Jack Christiansen, to the BBQ chefs, Bob Borland and Al Glatt, and to the desert chefs, Suzanne Enis, Georgie Borland,Grace Glatt, Ann Christiansen, Nadine Allen, and Lee Sweeney. Suzanne Enis and Ann Christiansen set up decorations. German music, cold beer, bratwursts, potato salad, Jack Sweeney’s famous sauerkraut and an apple strudel type dessert, and many people yelling Prost, to the music of Linda Herman.
It doesn’t get any better than that. To top this one, we will need to start planning for the next one soon.
Tradition continued at both meetings as President Bill Tally opened with a well-deserved thank you to our breakfast teams.
On Sept 15 our guest speaker was Brian Sarno from the Design Engineering group of the Southern California Edison, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Brian gave us an update on San Onofre history and the current decommissioning process. Generating Unit 1 operated from 1968 to 1992. Unit 2 was started in 1983 and Unit 3 started in 1984.
Upgrades designed to last 20 years were made to the reactor units in 2009 and 2010; however, both reactors had to be shut down in January 2012 because of problems with the steam generators. Nuclear power plants are required to put aside funds for decommissioning while the plant is operating. The California Public Utility Commission regulates utilities that own nuclear plants in the state and has allowed SCE to collect those funds during San Onofre’s operating years. The money is collected from customers and invested in dedicated trusts.
The current balance in those trusts is $4.1 Billion. SCE and San Onofre owners have established three core principles for decommissioning: Safety, Stewardship and Engagement. Safety is all-inclusive but much effort is focused on moving spent fuel from wet to dry storage. Stewardship involves returning the site to the owners (US Navy and ultimately us) in good condition and prudent use of the decommissioning funding. Engagement involves presentations such as Brian’s visit to our meeting, and to community-led information panels. Key phases of the decommissioning process are Planning (5years), actual decommissioning activity (10 years), and License Termination (NRC approval of the finished job, 5 years). (The NRC allows 60 years for the decommissioning process.)
Three environmental efforts that are supported by the generating station are: San Dieguito Wetlands ($90 million), Wheeler North Reef ($46 million), and Hubbs Hatchery ($5 million).
On Oct 6, C.W. Gruenig introduced our guest speaker, Mayor Carlos N. Olvera, acknowledging his extensive resume as a Naval Officer, an engineer, and a public servant. Mayor Olvera held us spellbound as he recounted the history of Dana Point, placing emphasis on the many intertwining forces that turned a weekend destination, called San Juan By the Sea (at the turn of the 20th century), into our beloved city. He told stories of Sidney H. Woodruff, (famous for the HOLLYWOOD sign), who encouraged investors to purchase extensive land in the area to create a resort town. Many attempts to bring industry south from Los Angeles failed for a variety of reasons, the Great Depression, WWII, unfortunate timing. Even a plan to grow flowers and make perfume went under. One failure led to oil tycoon, Edward Doheny, donating the land for Doheny Beach State Park, California’s first state beach.
The town finally caught a wave in the 1950’s when surfing became popular and Hobie Alter became a wellknown producer of boards and “the cat” sailing hot rod. (Soon we may see a monument in recognition of Hobie and the surfing industry).
All of these stories provided a prelude to a discussion of the 1989 Planning Commission’s efforts that evolved into the Town Center concept and an ongoing effort to convert many small lots into larger businesses.
Many fascinating tidbits peppered the question and answer session. Such as: Monarch Beach’s name refers to the Monarch of Spain, not the butterfly, and our name first appeared when surveyors called the high spot on the headlands Dana’s Point.
When discussing the City’s investment in infrastructure intended to attract business investors to a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly town center, the Mayor indicated that we would recover much of this expenditure through an impact fee charged to new businesses.
Upcoming Events:
Nov. 17: Scot Black – All About Home Security
Dec. 1: Joe Muller, Dana Point Development Progress
Dec 15: Dana Hills Chorus- members are encouraged to bring our loved ones to the meeting for this treat
—Jerry Allen

Leave a Reply