Letter to the Editor: DWP’s “long, checkered history” on Manzanar

US NEWS MANZANAR 2 OCManzanar Committee Launches Letter-Writing Campaign In Opposition To LADWP Solar Ranch Near Manzanar

LOS ANGELES — On December 5, the Manzanar Committee announced the launch of a letter-writing campaign, urging community members to send letters to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) stating their opposition to the proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, a 1,200-acre solar energy generating station that would be constructed east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight with the Manzanar National Historic Site, which lies to the immediate west.

Although the proposed site would generate electricity that would be delivered to LADWP customers in Los Angeles, the site’s approximately one million solar panels, along with buildings, large equipment, transformers, a substation, transmission lines, and much more, would destroy a significant portion of the historic landscape surrounding Manzanar National Historic Site.

“The importance of maintaining and enhancing the physical characteristics of the Manzanar National Historic Site cannot be downplayed or overlooked,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “One of the most powerful parts of Manzanar is the unobstructed view, and that many of the structures, gardens and other features of the World War II American concentration camp have not been bulldozed over or destroyed by ‘development.’”

Although LADWP has supported the Manzanar Pilgrimage for many years, this proposal is yet another blot on their poor record regarding the site.

“LADWP has a long and checkered history regarding the establishment of the Manzanar National Historic Site,” Embrey noted. “LADWP opposed efforts to establish a National Historic Site at Manzanar, arguing instead for a local memorial park. Even as late as 1991, they continued their efforts to prevent the establishment of a National Historic Site under the auspices of the National Park Service.”

Embrey stressed that the proposed solar ranch represents new heights for LADWP’s insensitivity towards Manzanar.

“The very idea that any land in or around the Manzanar National Historic Site could be used for a massive generating facility would not harm the ongoing efforts to preserve and understand the tragedy of justice that occurred there is simply beyond insensitive, and it’s not just insensitive to the Japanese American community, the survivors of America’s concentration camps and their families,” Embrey lamented. “That gross insensitivity extends to the efforts of the National Park Service, and others who have worked so hard to bring this brief, but essential, part of American History to light.”

Community members are urged to send letters to LADWP in opposition to the Southern Owens Valley Solar Farm. Letters should be addressed to:

Nadia Parker
Environmental Planning and Assessment
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
111 North Hope Street, Room 1044
Los Angeles, California 90012-2607

Comments may also be sent via e-mail, and should be addressed to Ms. Parker at [email protected], or to Charles Holloway, at [email protected].

A form letter that can be used is available for download at: http://manzanarcommittee.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/sovsr-form-letter.pdf.

All letters and e-mails must be received by LADWP no later than 5:00 PM PST on December 20, 2013.

Those who would like to review the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the project can read it on the web at: http://www.ladwp.com/envnotices.

For more information, please call the Manzanar Committee at (323) 662-5102, or send e-mail to [email protected].

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Mark
Mark
8 years ago

Laborers at the solar farms in the Antelope Valley are making $42.00 an hour. projects are winding down and layoffs have started.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

…..And,once again,if this solar project does go through,which I’m hoping it doesn’t,it would be the same as when Sarah Palin’s friend was pushing for the “Cougar Gold” project up in the Bodie Hills a couple years ago,and lying about things,and how it would “save” Bridgeport,and how the waste from the… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

When when it comes to employment it has always been and will always be “Who you know, not what you know”. A friend from out of the area just landed a nice job with the county via the who you know method. I’m glad he got the job but also… Read more »

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

That’s nice Mark, but DW&P has already publicly stated that they will not hire a single new for the solar project here, not one.

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Russ Monroe

I didnt’ know that Russ, so no benifit other then some additional tax dollars for the county?

I think I’d tell them to pack sand and build elsewhere

Bdawg
Bdawg
8 years ago

While we’re at it, the farmers have a lot of nerve destroying the view shed from Whitney and Manzanar with their unbelievably insensitive round alfalfa fields!! After they’re gone we can start taking out all the rancher’s incredibly rude fences that are a sickening reminder of the atrocities that took… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

I have 9 grandchildren that I think about inheriting the mess we are creating today. So looking from there I say build all the green power generation we can. We should be showing them how great challenges get the best of what we can do. I also tell them about… Read more »

mongo the idiot
mongo the idiot
8 years ago

What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of meaning? Most all of us like money and electricity, so perhaps solar panels are meaningful in this way. We also like nature, perhaps the solar panels are not so meaningful in this regard because they impair something we cannot… Read more »

Joe
Joe
8 years ago

I think this area was proposed because the area is already heavily damaged from water export to the point DWP said let’s put in acres of PV panels surrounding these wells and we can pump as much as we want without having to be held accountable for drawdown impacts in… Read more »

MJA
MJA
8 years ago

You know, they built a hell of a lot of city around Pearl Harbor, and most would say it’s place in history will never be forgotten. December 7th, 2013 =

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  MJA

MJA – excellent point

🙂

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  MJA

Pedro , Thank you for the callout. Apologies to you and anyone offended by my harsh words and harsh joke . The non sense of racism does not need emblellishment nor should it ever need reminders. The history of what we have done to each other in this nation has… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago

It is time for the DWP to reconsider the Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch Project. Mr. Nichols, General Manager of the DWP has heard the response to the Project from the Communities of People who have all expressed opposition to the location, the scale, the expense, the CEQA process ,questions… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

You think you speak for the entire Owen’s valley. You don’t speak for me. Manzar is not a holy site. It’s not Golgotha. The idea that everything one can see from Manzanar is somehow sacrosanct is absurd. The U.S. has to be free from MidEast oil and LADWP’s project is… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Something to consider – why did DWP pick that exact spot directly across from the Manzanar museum and Historic Site when they have the entire Owens Valley that they own? The Japanese-Americans who have fought for the site wonder that as well. I don’t think anyone is objecting to solar… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Benett, you are in the best position to ask LADWP about that. Why don’t you? I think it’s a non-issue that has been seized and inflated beyond reason by people who have been fighting LADWP for so long that they are looking for any little thing to grab onto and… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Certainly, you are entitled to your opinion. So, are the Japanese-Americans and others who have objections to the project. For them it is not a non-issue. As Philip Anaya points out, they have their own reality that drives their views – just as you do. That’s worth respecting in the… Read more »

mongo the idiot
mongo the idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I think they are pumping at warp speed while we all talk about the Solar Ranch. Either that, or this is a negotiation ploy leading to the proposal of a less desirable area for the install. Either way, they are not stupid, and many of the valley residents want a… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

The site the DWP chose, if the account I read is correct, was once the landfill for the internment camp. It is not a pristine site by any means. It strikes me the proposed use is appropriate, and if you ever look at similar PV arrays, from two or three… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, you take those pictures yourself? 🙂

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

The absurdity Ken, is that anyone thinks we will become free of middle east oil by paving the planet with silicon. Your basic premise is dead wrong. The reason that the DW&P has said repeatedly, in public, on the record, that they have NO plans to build new transmission lines… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

KW. You have confounded once again. Speaking to the Owens Valley, actually speaking to the LADWP regarding the Owens Valley is the intent of the expression of ideas that come out of a viejo loco such as myself. How could anyone ever hope to speak for,understand or ever support even… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

After you all stop hyperventilating about how the possibility of seeing a solar energy plant somehow insults a whole culture, try reading my post again — slowly enough to understand what “…small step … ” means. BTW: The U.S. is not energy independent yet. Not without Canadian and Mexican oil… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, Chill. I for one am not frothing at the mouth but am interested in peoples’ views. Including yours, which would be more readable if it were less attacking.
Benett

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Ken, I just gave you concrete reasons for not doing this project. You choose to ignore them, then that is your personal issue. You are the one refusing to address fundamentals like: it’s too bad of an investment to draw in even ignorant investors. If you choose to ignore the… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Russ Monroe

Ken, Chill. I for one am not frothing at the mouth but am interested in peoples’ views. Including yours, which would be more readable if it were less attacking.
Benett

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

Mr. Warner, You seem to be expressing some ideas that many can agree with. You are expressing the idea that “There are a bunch of very good reasons why the LADWP Project should not be located there.” Exactly correct in my opinion. This particular story from the Sierra Wave ,this… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

At least try to quote me correctly: “There may be a bunch of very good reasons why the LADWP project should not be located there.” Not: ““There are a bunch of very good reasons why the LADWP Project should not be located there.” Why should I take your arguments seriously… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Both German and Italian nationals were interned during WWII, with the Germans being only second in number to the Japanese. By law any citizens of a nation we declare war on become an “enemy alien” subject to arrest, deportation or detention. This was the case of any Japanese, German or… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

DT, Germans may have been second, but not even a remotely close runner up. Look at the percentages of overall population imprisoned, percentage of natural born citizens, and impact on entire families and communities. Also compare Hawaii where fellow citizens and local government resisted “internment” for Japanese Americans and about… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
8 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Vincent Chin might not appreciate the joke, Philip. Get your point, but come on….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Vincent_Chin

http://www.pbs.org/pov/whokilledvincentchin/

PS. Thank You, Nelson Mandela.

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

Nice spin but not true. The power generated will go to the power grid and be used by any one using the grid for power not just LA. We are constantly closing areas to save them from destruction by visitors. Now we should not build anything with in eye sight… Read more »