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Roundtable: San Onofre To Shut Down, Cunningham Out Of Prison


Mark Sauer


Alison St. John, KPBS News

Amita Sharma, KPBS News

Dean Calbreath, San Diego Daily Transcript


San Onofre Permanently Shut Down

Southern California Edison has announced that it will permanently shut down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

SCE had recently announced that it wanted to restart the reactors, which had been shut down since January, 2012, by June 1 of this year. Today, the company essentially gave up because of uncertainty over the plant's future. SCE was looking ahead to a long road full of regulatory potholes, investigations and legal hurdles which, in the end, may have led to the same result.

Today's announcement was met with jubilation from anti-nuclear activists and relief from California Senator Barbara Boxer, who cited the plant's "defective re-design" in her statement.

Southern California had already endured one summer without energy from San Onofre. SDG&E, which owns twenty percent of SONGS, says that because of the Sunrise Powerlink and other sources, San Diego will have adequate energy this summer.

Cunningham: Out of Prison, On Parole

His sentence of seven years and four months completed, former San Diego Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham left a halfway house in New Orleans this week and may have moved to Arkansas, where he has family, or Florida, near some military buddies.

Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion, earning himself the title of Most Corrupt Congressman in History, a superlative given to him by media across the country, including publications such as Harper's Magazine.

At his sentencing, he wept and expressed remorse. But, on the way out of court, he told the bailiff the guilty plea was a mistake.

With bribes received from two defense contractors, Cunningham purchased a house in Rancho Santa Fe, filled the rooms with kitschy Victorian antiques and lots of Asian carpets, acquired a Rolls Royce and took vacations in Idaho and Hawaii.

His downfall started when Copley News Service reporter, Marcus Stern, noticed that Cunningham had sold his house in Del Mar Heights for a wildly inflated price. Stern, along with San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Dean Calbreath and Copley News Service reporter Jerry Kammer, began looking into the congressman's affairs. The team won the Pulitizer Prize for their investigation and later wrote a book, "The Wrong Stuff".

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