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The news came as a shocker yesterday: the hobbled San Onofre nuclear plant, just north of the San Diego County border with Orange County, is going to stay offline for good. (The Washington Post has details, calling the closure “a new setback for the U.S. nuclear power industry.”)

Photo by Sam Hodgson

The shutdown is a great victory for those who oppose nuclear power but raises questions about how the region will keep the power on.

The LA Times wonders how much the closure will cost consumers, while a columnist says Southern California Edison should eat the expense instead of rate payers.

For now, though, “you, me and all the other 6.8 million paying customers of Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric, its minority partner in San Onofre, will be forking over more than $68 million a month.”

Check our San Diego Explained video segment to catch up on the issue and drop by The Plaza to give us your thoughts on the important issues and the not-so-important issue (will people ever get their minds out of the gutter?)

U-T Cleared in Ad Discounts

KPBS/inewsource says state officials have cleared U-T San Diego of wrongdoing in an investigation because there’s insufficient evidence that it gave special ad rates to GOP candidates.

In a letter to Francine Busby, the leader of the local Democratic Party, who complained about the matter to the Fair Political Practices Commission, the agency said “after review of your complaint and the evidence obtained, we found no violation of the Political Reform Act.”

The investigation by KPBS/inewsource published in April got major attention by suggesting that the newspaper’s rates for candidates differed based on their parties.

GOP Sticks Together, Gets Dem Support

When it votes, the City Council has almost always been unanimous in recent months. Nineteen times, though, it was divided. The Republicans almost always voted as a bloc, which isn’t too surprising, but there’s a twist: a couple Democrats — Council President Todd Gloria and Councilman David Alvarez — voted with them most of the time, according to a Voice of San Diego review.

Kevin Faulconer, Republican Councilman  (Photo by Sam Hodgson)
Kevin Faulconer, Republican Councilman  (Photo by Sam Hodgson)

The Sidewalk Shuffle

The city’s internal watchdog agency, the Independent Budget Analyst, supports a sidewalk survey along with just about everyone in city political circles. In a new report, it says: “Our office agrees that a clear policy must be developed as soon as possible. However, the City has a responsibility to keep sidewalks in a safe and usable condition regardless of whether the City or property owner pays for the repairs.”

• The Stumblr, our decrepit sidewalks blog, drops by North Park in the latest post.

City Political News Roundup

• The city plans to eliminate most cars from Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama on Monday as part of the mayor’s experiment, the U-T reports. There are hitches, including a fuss over the possible relocation of a valet service.

The mayor wants to temporarily close the scenic Cabrillo Bridge to cars on weekends starting in September. That will create a fantastic attraction for pedestrians, but at least one museum is still worried that closing the bridge will rob it of visitors.

• The city’s internal watchdog agency wants an update from the mayor’s office over what he wants to do about managed competition — allowing outside parties to bid to offer city services.

• Councilman Gloria supports a $1.2 million plan to give Civic San Diego permitting authority in an area surrounding the Village at Market Creek along the trolley’s orange line.

What We Learned This Week

• A retiring San Diego school district official is being a good p.r. until the end: he refused to get take the bait regarding criticisms of local education in an interview over a bottle of wine.

• The district’s top financial guy might be taking a powder.

• Our next VOSD quest: Understanding innovation.

• We learned just about everything there is to know about city parking regulations, and we’re sharing it with you.

• The Downtown Partnership is a private organization but it wants to act a lot like a government agency.

Quick News Hits

• VOSD sports blogger John Gennaro is dreaming an impossible dream in this week’s Sports Report: “a sweep of the Rockies would move the Padres into 3rd place in the NL West, and could move them into 2nd place if the San Francisco Giants get swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend.”

• The New Yorker magazine has a new map chronicling the rise of craft beer in the United States, featuring some fast-growing West Coast breweries. Wanna talk about it? Drop by The Plaza.

There sure has been a lot of news coverage of the local beer industry lately. Hey SDG&E! With San Onofre out of commission, beer hype may be the closest you can come to a renewable resource.

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego and vice president of the American Society of Journalists & Authors. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/rdotinga.

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Randy Dotinga

Randy Dotinga is a freelance contributor to Voice of San Diego. Please contact him directly at randydotinga@gmail.com...

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