Best 21st birthday present ever!

April 29, 2009 at 7:12 pm 12 comments

The view!

The view!

For months community members in Jenkinsville, SC have been meeting, organizing, and growing more vocal about their frustrations with the local utility that wants to build two more reactors in a community that already hosts one unit.  So when I spoke with community members who were itching to move beyond just organizing to Nuclear Regulatory Commission deadlines, we set a date two Tuesdays from that Sunday.  At the time, I didn’t realize that was the Tuesday of my 21st birthday.  When it hit me, I knew it was going to be perfect.

So last night, we met at the local park, proudly owned and operated by the same utility that owns and operates the nuclear facility in Jenkinsville.  It boasts a “scenic view,” and it sure is a view.  Down by the water’s edge are covered picnic tables, a bit of beach for the locals to enjoy, a fishing dock and right across the water sits VC Summer. Beautiful!  We gathered around one of the picnic tables, enjoyed the summer weather and a cooling breeze off of the lake.  And as we–community leaders, youth activists and other no nuke activists–plotted how to stop two more reactors from being built in this community, we pulled strength and determination from the vision of devastation that lay across the water.

A vision of economic and human health devastation.  SCE&G has stated in their own environmental report that less than 10% of new jobs will go to residents of the county let alone the surrounding community and that they do not expect any economic stimulation for the Jenkinsville area as a result of expansion.  Furthermore, cancer rates have increased since the introduction of the first reactor and many local residents live off of the land: home gardens, fish from the lake and rivers and local game, to feed their families.

So sharing that community and mutual passion, creating next steps and a plan we all worked on together, knowing that we were organizing to do something to humble that boastful and unsuspecting utility that built a park and thought their contributions to the community ended there, was the best 21st birthday gift I could have asked for.  Knowing that each one of us sitting around that picnic table was determined with our lives to stop this proposed expansion gave me goosebumps that I blamed on the water’s winds and that, in this southern heat today, I cannot excuse away.  To learn more about the community organizing efforts in Jenkinsville, email Sara Tansey at and stay tuned!


Entry filed under: southern energy network.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Allison B  |  April 29, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I’m so proud of you! (and happy belated birthday!)

  • 2. lizveazey  |  April 29, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    wow that does sounds like an awesome birthday present! Happy Belated Birthday Sara! This wouldn’t have been possible without your commitment, passion and hard work, so congratulations!

  • 3. Paxus  |  April 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    curiously, your birthday present is not actually about you, it is about us. And we, in the form of me as our rep, are very happy to be reminded – that there is a lot of fight left in the young gal.

  • 4. willie  |  April 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    that’s great to hear! you’re doing great work. i appreciate you for it!

  • 5. Elaine"hillbilly#1"  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    oh my gawd, you, with your expansive charm are ‘walking the walk, and NOT just talking the talk.” I am sincerely thankfull for all that you do.

  • 6. Jeannine Honicker  |  April 30, 2009 at 1:43 am


    Thank you for your caring, your youth, and your determination. You will win this thinkg. I’ve been fighting nukes since 1974. Keep up the good work, and keep making it fun. Strange to say, the four years we fought the Hartsville (TN) plant that was billed as “The World’s Largest Nuclear Plant” were the happiest of my life. To be truly happy, I believe we have to be involved in something bigger than ourselves. You’ve picked the road to happiness.
    Please keep us informed.


  • 7. Breedlove  |  April 30, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Sara, I am so proud of the work you have done in Jenkinsville. For many years I worked as a reading consultant with Principal Evelyn Henry at McCrorey Liston Elementary and High School (way back then) and have a sincere and deep affection for the community.

  • 8. Steve Tansey  |  April 30, 2009 at 3:58 am

    Sara — you never did “do it the easy way!” Jenkinsville and its fine people maybe fighting a huge Goliath — but they have a virtuous sling-shot packing “never say die” 21-year-old — David — fighting on their side. I’m not a betting man, I’ll take those odds. Make your Daddy proud. I love you girl! Stay safe. Dad

  • 9. Joyce  |  April 30, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Ditto, ditto, ditto to everything everyone has already written…in particular your dad! And I too am very proud of you and honored to be your aunt!

  • 10. Tom C  |  April 30, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    Friends of the Earth sure is happy and honored that Sara is on the scene in Jenkinsville & South Carolina!

  • 11. Glenn  |  April 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Sara ~ YOU ROCK

    Thanks for putting your birthday magic up for the big stuff. Jeannine’s note brought tears to my eyes. She is right, these big truly important projects feed us back on so many levels.

    And she is right about keeping it fun too!



  • 12. Seth G  |  May 1, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Thank You for being so humble, genuine, and full of compassion for the world and people around you. You bring so much life and motivation to the world. I have nothing but respect and admiration for you Sara! You are a model for me to strive toward.

    Thank you for doing what you are doing and Happy Birthday!


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