Statement by Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey On Inyo County REGPA, and LADWP’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch

The following are comments by Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey, delivered at an April 1, 2014 press conference at the Inyo County Courthouse, Independence, California, in which a coalition of organizations opposed to the County’s called for significant revisions to the proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA), which would open up large swaths of land, including portions of the Owens Valley that would intrude upon Manzanar’s viewshed, to large-scale renewable energy development.


Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Ellen Endo/Manzanar Committee

The Manzanar Committee is here today to urge the Inyo County Board of Supervisors to protect the Manzanar National Historic Site. Specifically, we hope the Supervisors will reject the false promises of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power about economic development and vote to maintain the environment surrounding the Manzanar NHS.

It took decades for our country to come to terms with the injustices visited upon the Japanese American community during World War II. But we did. America apologized and resolved to tell this story so it would never happen again. Through an act of Congress, the Manzanar NHS was created, and in 2004, a mere ten years ago, the National Park Service opened the Visitors Center at Manzanar.

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April 1 Press Conference Will Demand Changes To Inyo County’s Proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment And To Stop LADWP’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch

The following is a press release from the Big Pine Paiute Tribe, the Manzanar Committee, and the Owens Valley Committee.


View looking west, towards Manzanar, from the Inyo Mountains. Before and “after” simulation of what the view would
look like if the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch is built.
Photo courtesy Bill Helmer

INDEPENDENCE, CA — Concerned Residents of Inyo County and Los Angeles will hold a press conference on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 12:00 PM at the Inyo County Courthouse in Independence, California (see map below), to express their hope for significant changes in Inyo County’s proposed Renewable Energy General Plan Amendment (REGPA) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar “Ranch” (SOVSR).

The press conference will take place before the Inyo County Board of Supervisors weigh in on the REGPA that afternoon, beginning at 1:30 PM.

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Author And University of Hawai’i Prof. Eileen Tamura To Keynote 45th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage

PILGRIMAGE: Bus transportation from Los Angeles available. Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute also sponsoring a bus from Gardena.


University of Hawai’i
Professor Eileen Tamura
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Eileen Tamura

LOS ANGELES — University of Hawai’i Professor Eileen Tamura, author of the 2013 book, In Defense of Justice: Joseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality, will be the keynote speaker at the 45th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, scheduled for noon PDT on Saturday, April 26, 2014, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).

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LA Times Shows Indifference, Shortsightedness By Supporting LADWP’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch

On January 2, 2014, the Los Angeles Times published an unsigned editorial in support of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s proposal to build a 1,200-acre solar energy generating facility adjacent to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

You can read their editorial at: A Solar Array Won’t Hurt The Mood At Manzanar.

The Manzanar Committee submitted the following response to the Times’ editorial shortly after it was published, but they have apparently chosen not to publish it. As such, we are publishing it ourselves, and making it available to any publication that would like to print it.

The following is an official statement by the Manzanar Committee, written by Co-Chair Bruce Embrey.


Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey
spoke out against LADWP’s proposed
solar farm near Manzanar at a
meeting in Downtown Los Angeles
on November 16, 2013.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Ellen Endo/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar Committee is surprised and disappointed that the Los Angeles Times editorial board supports the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) proposal to build the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch (SOVSR), adjacent to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Contrary to the Times’ assertion, the SOVSR is not a quiet solar array nestled out of sight in the high desert. Instead, it will be a massive, two-square mile, or 1,200 acre, industrial facility with more than 1,000,000 solar panels. It will take years to build, disrupt the entire area, and dramatically alter the existing landscape. It is an ill-conceived project that will damage, not only the local environment, but the rich cultural, social and political history of the area as well.

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