Manzanar Committee Denounces Inyo County Planning Commission Decision That Could Threaten Manzanar

Looking east from the visitor’s center at Manzanar National Historic Site. The floor of the Owens Valley, along with the Inyo Mountains in the background, are visible. But this view could be destroyed by large-scale renewable energy generating facilties if the County of Inyo opens the door to that kind of development in the Owens Valley.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy National Park Service

LOS ANGELES — The Manzanar Committee denounces the decision by the County of Inyo Planning Commission to approve the 2013 Renewable Energy General Planning Amendment (REGPA) to the County’s General Plan, which would open the door to the construction of large-scale, industrial-grade renewable energy facilities in the County, including an area within the viewshed of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

The 2013 REGPA, which now goes to the County’s Board of Supervisors for final approval, defines Renewable Energy Development Areas (REDA) where large-scale renewable energy generating facilities could be built in Inyo County.

Read more of this post

LADWP’s Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Is Deemed “Butchery and Rape” By Former Manzanar Prisoner

Hank Umemoto, a former Manzanar incarceree, and author of Manzanar To Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker, shares more thoughts on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, which would be built east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight from Manzanar National Historic Site.

The Manzanar Committee announced its opposition to the construction of the solar ranch near Manzanar on August 16, 2013. Our statement: Manzanar Committee Denounces LADWP Proposal To Build 1,200-Acre Solar Ranch Near Manzanar.


Former Manzanar incarceree Hank Umemoto, shown here speaking at the 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 27, 2013.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

by Hank Umemoto

Even after 72 years, I can vividly picture the magnificent expanse of bluish white reflection of the mid-morning sun dazzling amid the rusty color Inyo Mountain range in the backdrop that suddenly came alive at the gateway to Owens Valley. It was Owens Lake, but it was more than just a lake.

“Look,” mother said as she tugged on my arm. With a gleam in her eyes and a smile of exhilaration, she pointed at the lake. She had lost her life savings, was forcefully uprooted from her farm that she had toiled over thirty years, and was now being transported to a concentration camp in the Owens Valley called Manzanar. In the midst of gloom and despair, the spectacular vista of Owens Lake brought bliss and ecstasy to her, and perhaps to a millions more who were in similar distress.

This was May of 1942. Today, Owens Lake is just an oversize puddle, unquestionably an eyesore to millions who pass by the lake each year. It is truly a disaster caused not by natural elements. It was not an earthquake, and it was not a flood that caused such a calamity.

Read more of this post

Former Manzanar Incarceree Hank Umemoto Urges LADWP Board To Halt Plans For Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch

Hank Umemoto, a former Manzanar incarceree, and author of Manzanar To Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker, wrote the following letter to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, regarding their proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, which would be built east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight from Manzanar National Historic Site.

The Manzanar Committee announced its opposition to the construction of the solar ranch near Manzanar on August 16, 2013. Our statement: Manzanar Committee Denounces LADWP Proposal To Build 1,200-Acre Solar Ranch Near Manzanar.


Former Manzanar incarceree Hank Umemoto, shown here speaking at the 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 27, 2013.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

October 22, 2013

RE: “Japs’ Crap” – Proposed Plan For Solar Farm On Potential National Historic Landmark Site

Dear President Mel Levine, Vice President William W. Funderburk, Jr., Commissioner Jill Banks Barad, Commissioner Michael F. Fleming, Commissioner Christine E. Noonan:

Having spent thirty-nine months during my formative years at Manzanar, I visit the Owens Valley several times a year, perhaps because it has become a part of me; and once in awhile, trespass into your DWP property across the Owens River, and through the gate to the site of the Manzanar sewage processing plant.

Hopefully, some day, this site will be designated as a National Historic Landmark, since it is an integral part of the Manzanar National Historic Site It is also in close proximity to your proposed solar farm.

Read more of this post

44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage: In Photographs

Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

A few days have passed since the 44th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and the 2013 Manzanar At Dusk program, held last Saturday, April 27, 2013. Members of the Manzanar Committee returned to Southern California on Sunday after a lot of hard work, especially in the days just prior to the events, and of course, on Saturday.

By all accounts, this year’s Pilgrimage was a huge success. The numbers aren’t in yet, but initial estimates put the crowd anywhere from 1,400 to 1,700 people.

We’ll have more on the Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program in the coming days and weeks. But for now, here is our first photo essay on the Pilgrimage (photos from the 2013 Manzanar At Dusk program will be published separately).

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 143 other followers