Tule Lake Committee Files Lawsuit Seeking Injunctive Relief To Stop Transfer Of Tulelake Airport To Modoc Tribe Of Oklahoma

The following is a press release from the Tule Lake Committee.


A view down one of the streets of the Tule Lake
Segregation Center, November 3, 1942.
Photo: Francis Stewart
Photo courtesy Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives
Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

On August 23, the Tule Lake Committee filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, in Sacramento, seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the city of Tulelake from giving the Tulelake airport to the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma for the $17,500 cost of Tulelake’s legal fees in the transaction.

The action challenges the decision — giving Tulelake airport lands that occupy 2/3rds of the historic Tule Lake site — by defendant City of Tulelake, through its City Council, to defendant Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma, an entity connected by federal court judgments to repeated criminal frauds and frauds on courts, and an entity in active disregard of state and federal laws.

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Playwright and Activist Hiroshi Kashiwagi Decries “Another Fence At Tule Lake”

The following letter to the editor by playwright/poet and former Tule Lake incarceree Hiroshi Kashiwagi was submitted to the Herald and News, the daily newspaper in Klamath Falls, California, not far from the site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, in response to their story on the controversy about the proposed perimeter fence that would enclose the airstrip at the site (story linked below). It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.


Hiroshi and Sadako Kashiwagi.
Photo: Kashiwagi Family Collection

by Hiroshi Kashiwagi

I am the playwright/poet Hiroshi Kashiwagi. I am also a Tule Lake survivor, a No-No Boy and a renunciant—a recovered American.

It seems like we’ve lived with a fence all our lives, beginning at Arboga Prison, and then at Tule Lake Concentration Camp. I mean a barbed wire fence with guard towers and search lights at night, and sentries with guns that could explode in our faces.

Then, after we were released from Tule Lake, there was a symbolic fence, an imaginary one, to ward off the disdain and contempt of those in our own community toward us because we were confined at Tule Lake Segregation Center as “disloyals” and “troublemakers.”

Now, yet another fence at Tule Lake. This time a real one to cut off access to the camp site, the source of our painful memory, a sacred place we return to again and again for remembrance, for solace, for healing.

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National Park Service On Tule Lake Airport Fence: “We’ve Certainly Weighed In” On The Issue With FAA

Soji Kashiwagi of the Tule Lake Committee was one of several community members who railed against the proposed fence that would
enclose the airstrip at Tule Lake.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — On July 24, the National Park Service provided details and an update on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed perimeter fence that would enclose the airstrip at the site of the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument.

At their public meeting in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo to gather community feedback on how Tule Lake should be managed over the next twenty years, Mike Reynolds, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific and Lava Beds National Monument provided some background.

“It’s a public airstrip,” he said. “Modoc County leases the land to the City of Tulelake. It’s the City of Tulelake’s airstrip, so if we were all wealthy enough to own airplanes that are small enough, we could land there.”

“It’s an agricultural community,” he added. “The whole Tulelake and Klamath basin is primarily agricultural. The crop dusting business, which is critical to all that agriculture, is run out of that airport. 99 percent, or more, of the flights that take off are for crop dusting services. Spring, Summer and Fall, all day, sunrise to sunset, there’s little planes taking off every 15 to 30 minutes, providing crop dusting services.”

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National Park Service Is “At The Ground Floor” In Planning For Tule Lake

A former Tule Lake incarceree shared his
story during a National Park Service
meeting on July 24, 2013, in
Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

LOS ANGELES — For the past five weeks, and continuing through September 19, 2013, National Park Service (NPS) staff have been and will be traveling up and down the West Coast, meeting with former Tule Lake incarcerees and others, collecting their feedback on how the Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific National Monument should be developed and managed.

NPS staff began right around the site of the Tule Lake Segregation Center, with meetings in the towns of Tulelake and Klamath Falls, California, followed by meetings in Portland and Hood River, Oregon, and Auburn and Seattle, Washington.

Most recently, NPS staff was in the Los Angeles area, holding two meetings in Little Tokyo on July 24 and 27, with meetings in Carson on July 25, and in San Diego on July 26, in between.

“What we’re trying to do, being that Tule Lake is newly-established, we really want to get input from folks who want to help guide us, or give us advice on what Tule Lake, as a National Park Service unit, should look like,” said Mike Reynolds, Superintendent, Tule Lake Unit of the World War II Valor In The Pacific and Lava Beds National Monuments, following the July 24 meeting in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo. “I thought tonight was a great meeting, because we got a lot of a good input.”

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