LADWP will come to Inyo for solar talk

Inyo Sups 2013In early March, the Inyo Supervisors fretted over how to invite the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to come to a Board meeting to talk about their Solar Ranch project across from Manzanar. DWP has accepted, and someone will show up at the Board meeting on April 15th.

During the March discussion over the invitation to DWP, Board Chairman Rick Pucci confirmed that he wanted to invite the City. He said he felt that the public and the Board should hear from LA directly.

The Board said if DWP accepted the invitation, they would send a list of questions for LA to answer. Supervisor Linda Arcularius optimistically pointed out that this could be “the first step in more public discussions.”

County Administrator Kevin Carunchio confirmed that someone from LADWP does intend to come up for the Board meeting on April 15th. He said tentatively that the time of their appearance should be 10:30am. Carunchio said the appearance would involve a general question and answer session but not on environmental document questions. He called it a chance for a “good update for the Board and the public.”

The Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch project, as DWP’s plan is officially called, would cover 1200 acres with one million solar arrays south and east of Independence across from the Manzanar Historic Site.

Public opposition to this project remains on high alert. The Owens Valley Committee specifically targeted that project for environmental dissent. The Manzanar Committee wants DWP’s plans scuttled. Bruce Embrey of that Committee appeared at last week’s press conference on solar and repeated that large-scale solar across from Manzanar would forever destroy the experience at the Historic Site. He said Manzanar was created for its desolate and isolated condition.

Still others flatly resent DWP coming to the Owens Valley for resources and leaving nothing for the people and the land.


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8 Responses to LADWP will come to Inyo for solar talk

  1. Eastern Sierra Local April 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    “He said Manzanar was created for its desolate and isolated condition.”

    This is actually incorrect; the original House Resolution 543 and Public Law #102-248 passed on March 3, 1992 doesn’t state that it was created for its desolate and isolated condition but instead was created to…

    “provide for the protection and interpretation of historical and cultural resources associated with the relocation of Japanese-Americans during World War II.” This is also listed on Manzanar’s website “Manzanar National Historic Site was established to preserve the stories of the internment of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II and to serve as a reminder to this and future generations of the fragility of American civil liberties.”

    When Congress passed this legislation in 1992 it was clearly defined: #1 why it was created and #2 where Manzanar was to be located.

    The area where this solar farm will be located is clearly outside of Manzanar’s location and is exempted from anything related to Manzanar.

    • bishop rocks April 8, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      Good research! Could you also pull up the legislation that actually created Manzanar, the desolate and isolated internment camp from World War II, not the tourist friendly NPS site from 1992?

      I’m not sure, but I think that may be what all the former internees are referencing…

    • Desert Tortoise April 9, 2014 at 10:52 am #

      I think this was a reference to the reasons why the camp was established where it was during WWII, and not a reference to it’s subsequent designation as a Natlional Historic Site. All the internment camps were located in isolated places to deter escape.

  2. Philip Anaya April 8, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    The logistics involved in the location and construction of Manzanar in the Owens Valley was no small matter in the early 1940’s. The Site was chosen for it’s isolation. The effect upon the Internees was desolation, being taken from their homes, separated from their livelihoods and family and deposited in into the empty high desert, their freedoms abridged. There is still that sense of the isolation and an awareness of desolation today . This purposed Industrial Solar project is not exempt from any concern.

  3. Ken Warner April 8, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    It would be more productive to use whatever leverage the people of Inyo County have to gain concession from LADWP. Like jobs, maybe lower utility bill rates, more water.

    Just saying NO! is not going to get the people much.

  4. Mongo the IDIOT April 8, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    I am disappointed that DWP would disrespect Asian Americans by compromising the isolation factor at Manzanar. This site is an important historical document, time will make it more so.

    On a lighter note…
    A friend of mine in LA just finished the prototype for his rainwater capture device.
    It’s basically a tub that sits in the street gutter with a water pump that is run by a waterwheel.
    This thing pumps the water from his gutter into a tank with an overflow to his lawn.

    • Russ Monroe April 8, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

      Mongo, if your friend has not dealt with the petrochemical contamination from street runoff, the water that is going on the lawn may be toxic. Street gutters collect runoff from private driveways that may have all sorts of contaminants dropped from autos or used to ‘clean’ them. Roadway runoff is particularly contaminated if it hasn’t rained for a long period of time. The resulting water may not only be something that kills the lawn, but if children and animals frolic on the lawn….. may not be a good idea without water quality testing and or substantial filtering or treatment.
      Don’t want to bring you down, but I would advise caution sir.

      • Mongo the IDIOT April 9, 2014 at 11:38 am #

        Good points Russ,
        Except this same water runs down L A river to the ocean where millions of people swim and fish. I used to live at the end of Balona Creek near Venice; you would not believe the filth that washes down to the ocean through there. I used to commonly get sick swimming in Santa Monica Bay, especially after rain. One time while body surfing I ran into a debris lode that contained a diaper and a feminine product; that was my last swim down there.
        My buddy did say that he wouldn’t water food with the runoff. Also, LA lawns are more for looking than playing, we rarely see people laying on the grass here. The whole lawn thing is for the illusion of tropical paradise amidst sprawling development and industry.
        Thanks Russ, I always enjoy your comments.


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