Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Urban Land Institute conducts Technical Assistance Panel at Historic Wintersburg

 
   Last week, the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force was joined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) which will result in findings and recommendations regarding alternatives for the property's historic preservation.   

LEFT: The Urban Land Institute team at Historic Wintersburg, preparing for their inspection of the property. A dozen ULI panelists and ULI staff spent several weeks doing advance research and dedicated two days to working on the TAP in Huntington Beach.(Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.

   The ULI is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit research and education organization supported by its members.  Founded in 1936, ULI has more than 33,000 members worldwide, representing the entire spectrum of land use and real estate development disciplines working in private enterprise and public service.  

   Through the TAP process, ULI facilitates an open exchange of ideas, information, and experience to arrive at informed findings and recommendations for challenging land use issues.  The ULI strives to achieve a balanced approach through the selection of panelists and through the stakeholder interviews, engaging community members with differing opinions, backgrounds and expertise.

   The TAP process was facilitated for the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Trust), after a major fundraising effort in 2014.  The Trust and ULI have conducted similar efforts for historic properties with challenging issues and diverse stakeholders, such as the Houston Astrodome (read more at http://www.savingplaces.org/updates/urban-land-institutes-bold-report-declares-astrodome-can-and-should-live#.VXjCp0ZLUg4).

RIGHT: A ULI panelist talks about the century-old pines at Historic Wintersburg, with pioneer descendent Norman Furuta, whose grandfather planted the trees on the property.  Historic Wintersburg extends its appreciation to the Furuta family for continuing to be a resource for historical information. (Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.

   In 2012, the Trust and ULI announced a new research partnership designed to advance the preservation and reuse of older and historic buildings in major U.S. cities (read more at http://www.preservationnation.org/information-center/sustainable-communities/green-lab/partnership-building-reuse/#.VXjBJkZLUg4).  This effort was initiated with ULI Los Angeles, the same organization which conducted the TAP for Historic Wintersburg.


LEFT: ULI panelists sequestered themselves for stakeholder interviews and panel deliberations at Huntington Beach's Main Street Branch Library, which itself is on the National Register for Historic Places.  Our appreciation to the Huntington Beach Libraries for their assistance with the two-day ULI TAP. (Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.

   Stakeholder interviews were an essential part of the TAP process.  Stakeholders included the property owners Republic Services/Rainbow Environmental, Oak View neighborhood  residents, Ocean View School District, Oak View Elementary School teachers and staff, Oak View Renewal Partnership, City of Huntington Beach elected and appointed officials, and the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force.  Each stakeholder group had the opportunity to talk about issues, visions and suggestions for the property in a discrete setting to encourage open discussion.


RIGHT: The Huntington Beach Art Center also provided space for stakeholder interviews, in a quiet, private setting.  The Art Center is located directly across Main Street from the Main Street Branch Library and currently is hosting an exhibit on California Impressionism through July 4, 2015. (Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.

  A detailed ULI TAP report is expected to be finalized in about eight weeks (estimated to be in August 2015), with a release of the report coordinated with the Trust.  A public announcement regarding the release of the report will be posted here.

LEFT: Historic Wintersburg Task Force volunteer Barbara Haynes created an original work of art--representing the history of the Furuta goldfish and flower farm--for each ULI panelist. Panelists also received a canvas bag and tourism information from Visit Huntington Beach, and a signed copy of Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach. (Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.

Our thanks to those who supported this effort:

DONORS:
Over 100 financial donors from Huntington Beach and elsewhere in California and the West contributed to the fundraising effort, raising over $30,000 to make the ULI TAP possible, covering the logistical costs.  Additionally,  ULI panelists (representing experts from various disciplines in land use, preservation, economic development, and development) donated their time and expertise, bringing the actual value of the TAP analysis and report to over $100,000.  Donors will be recognized in the final report.

FACILITATORS:
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Urban Land Institute

STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPANTS:
Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force members and advisers
Republic Services / Rainbow Environmental
City of Huntington Beach elected and appointed officials
Mayor Jill Hardy*
Council Member Erik Peterson*
Oak View residents
Ocean View School District
Oak View Renewal Partnership
Oak View Elementary School teachers and staff

*City Council liaisons to the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force.

HOST VENUES
Main Street Branch Library
Huntington Beach Art Center 

LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT
Duke's 
Jan's Health Bar
Sugar Shack
De Guelle Glass
Visit Huntington Beach


Inside the children's wing of the Main Street Branch Library, prior to the start of the ULI TAP. Library staff held the weekly children's story time in another area of the Library in order to make this room available for this community effort. (Photo, M. Urashima, June 3, 2015) © All rights reserved.


DONATION INFORMATION: See our page on the City of Huntington Beach webiste, http://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/i_want_to/give/donation-wintersburg.cfm

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Historic-Wintersburg-Preservation-Task-Force/433990979985360

All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Court orders City to rescind 2013 CEQA action

-Updated June 3, 2015-

   Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler ordered Huntington Beach on June 2, 2015, to rescind within 45 days the 2013 California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) action---the Environmental Impact Report (EIR)---that rezoned the Historic Wintersburg property to commercial / industrial and included the approval for demolition.  Both actions are now moot.

   This action followed the June 1, 2015, Huntington Beach City Council meeting at which the Council voted to rescind the EIR and Statement of Overriding Consideration (the justification for demolition).

   Read the June 2 article from the Huntington Beach Independent at http://www.hbindependent.com/news/tn-hbi-me-0604-wintersburg-20150602,0,5201448.story

   Read the June 3 article from the Orange County Register at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/school-664113-company-city.html

   This week, the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is joined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) which will result in findings and recommendations regarding alternatives for the property's historic preservation.   

   This process involves a positive approach with stakeholder interviews to achieve broad community input.  Local stakeholders include: the property owner, neighborhood residents, adjacent school and school district, City of Huntington Beach officials and planning staff.  The National Trust will facilitate the technical assistance panel with ULI and provide input, including expertise in heritage tourism.

   We thank the many supporters, donors and businesses who are supporting this grassroots effort to save one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.  We will be posting updates as this process moves forward.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Memorial Day 2015: Kazuo Masuda remembered

 
ABOVE: The "Go For Broke" 442nd, the highest decorated military unit in history. Kazuo Masuda can be seen in the center of the front row, fourth from left.  He was a Huntington Beach High School graduate, born in Orange County, California, and the Masuda family were congregants of the Wintersburg Mission.  (Photo courtesy of www.the442nd.org) 

~Updated June 8, 2015~

  Kazuo Masuda and the Nisei who served in the U.S. military were remembered at a Memorial Day ceremony at Westminster Memorial Park.  The Masuda family story is important nationally, as this is the family specifically mentioned by President Ronald Reagan when he signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.  

   Kazuo Masuda will be one of three Nisei soldiers whose story will be featured in the upcoming Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition by the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of American History.   

   Congregants of the Wintersburg Mission and farmers in Talbert (Fountain Valley), the Masuda family story can be found at http://historicwintersburg.blogspot.com/2012/06/masudas-national-civil-liberties-icons.html

   The following is a transcript of the speech presented by Dennis Masuda, Huntington Beach, California, a descendant of Kazuo Masuda and member of the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force:

"Hate, discrimination, prejudice.  On this day, we should be talking about honor, sacrifice and heroes.  So let us talk about both.

Uncle Kaz, a man I never met but I know well.  Here is his story, the story of the Masudas, and the strong-willed Masuda women.

Kazuo Masuda, staff sergeant, #39168362.

Born November 30, 1918, about a mile from here in Westminster, California, he was one of 11 children born to Gensuke and Tamae Masuda.

A graduate of Fountain Valley Elementary School  in 1932 (Note: Fountain Valley was still known as Talbert at that time) and Huntington Beach Union High School in 1936.  Football, track, swimming and basketball.  He was only 5’4”!

ABOVE: Orange County-born Staff Sergeant Kazuo Masuda, a member of the "Go For Broke" 442nd, killed in action in Italy during World War II.
(Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

RIGHT: The honor guard prepares for the Memorial Day recognition of Kazuo Masuda, organized by the Kazuo Masuda VFW Post 3670. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

When I was about five, I remember my Dad and Uncle Mas looking through a picture album. I saw pictures of the family when everyone was much younger.  Then there was a picture of Uncle Kaz. Who was that I asked?  It was explained to me he was my uncle and that he died in the war.  At five years old, you really don’t have a concept about death or war.

LEFT: Dennis Masuda (left) with David Ono, anchorman with KABC-7 in Los Angeles, who also spoke at the Memorial Day event.
(Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.
 
I also noticed pictures of the family at places I didn’t recognize.  It was explained to me that it was at a camp in Arkansas.  I remember thinking my family went camping at a tar paper garage in Arkansas?  It wasn’t until years later that I found out what camp actually meant.  (Editor's note: This reference is for the Jerome Relocation Center in southeastern Arkansas.  The Masudas later were sent to the Gila River camp in Arizona.)

On October 17, 1941, Uncle Kaz was drafted into the military. Because of his dark skin, his buddies gave him the nickname, 'Arab,' which wouldn’t be a great nickname if serving today.

While training at Fort Ord, the attack on Pearl Harbor happened.  Then the discrimination began even in the military.  He was passed over for the signal corps because he was of Japanese descent.

RIGHT: The honor guard stands ready, preparing for the Memorial Day recognition at the grave site of Kazuo Masuda.  Many of the Wintersburg Village's Japanese pioneer families are nearby, due to last century's segregation at the cemetery. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

Right after Pearl Harbor, my grandfather as well as thousands of other Issei were rounded up and detained for months before being returned to their families.

February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 was signed and the internment process began.

LEFT: David Ono (left), KABC-7 anchorman, stands with Masuo Masuda, the brother of Kazuo Masuda.  Masuo Masuda--also a Huntington Beach High School graduate--served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) as a translator during World War II. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

For Japanese Americans, they were about to fight two wars: one against the Axis Powers in Europe, and the other, hate, discrimination and prejudice at home.

Many young Japanese American men volunteered for military duty.  If you look at the Japanese situation, they had to volunteer to fight because if they didn’t, there would have been a lot of fingers pointing and people saying they didn’t care about America.

Uncle Kaz said in a letter, “I and the rest of the combat team know what we are fighting for.  It is for us, our future in America.”

It was as the Japanese say, “for the sake of the children.” 

Uncle Kaz was a risk taker, according to his comrades.  On one occasion, he stopped an attack and forced the advancing troops to retreat with him just using a mortar on a midnight patrol on August 27, 1944.  Uncle Kaz encountered a German machine gun at a distance of six feet.  He opened fire with his Thompson sub machine gun while two of his comrades escaped.  This was Uncle Kaz’s last stand.

A few days later, on September 1, they found his body.  His buddies recalled Uncle Kaz always said, “Not a step back.  Never, you can’t win by going backward.”

RIGHT: The wreath placed by the Kazuo Masuda VFW Post 3670 at the grave site of Kazuo Masuda at Westminster Memorial Park. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

On September 11, 1944, the dreaded Western Union telegram arrived at the relocation camp in Arkansas.  “The Secretary of War desires me to express his deep regret that your son, Staff Sgt. Kazuo Masuda, was killed in action on 27th August in Italy.”

But, the war didn’t end there for the MasudasUncle Takashi was still in ItalyUncle Mas was in military intelligence ready for the invasion of Japan as an interpreter.   Victory in Europe came in 1945 and victory over Japan came in August.  But for the Japanese Americans, the war on hate, discrimination and prejudice was not yet won.

The next battle was fought by Aunt Mary.  She was bullied not to return to their home in Talbert.  But she held fast and returned September of 1945.  A victory for Aunt Mary and the Masuda women.

In December 1945, General Joseph Stillwell came to the farmhouse in what is now Fountain Valley and presented the Distinguished Service Cross to my Aunt Mary.  There was also a rally at the Santa Ana Bowl and a fortuitous meeting with a young captain named Ronald Reagan.  My grandmother refused to take the medal from General Stillwell, but did accept it from my Aunt Mary.  Another little victory for the Masuda women. 

LEFT: An avenue lined with American flags at Westminster Memorial Park. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

Uncle Kaz had one more battle to fight.  His body was returned stateside on November 9, 1948.  When the request for him to be buried at Westminster (memorial park), they said he would have to be buried in a dirt area in the far corner of the cemetery because it was a Caucasian cemetery.  Amid protests from various groups, the cemetery relented and he was buried here.  At that time, it was still away from the main cemetery.  If you look around, you’ll see many Japanese surnames here.  How ironic is it that now this spot is right near the middle.

When President Reagan was thinking about signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the redress to compensate the Japanese Americans, it was my Aunt June who wrote a letter to President Reagan reminding him about his speech some 43 years earlier at the Santa Ana Bowl and about Uncle Kaz.

RIGHT: President Ronald Reagan signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Present at the signing was a member of the Masuda family and Clarence Nishizu, another Wintersburg Mission congregant who had worked for the passage of the Act. (AP photo)

In that speech he said, 'Blood that has soaked into the sands is all one color. America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race, but in a way, an ideal.'  The President soon signed the bill after getting Aunt June’s letter.  Another victory for a Masuda woman.

LEFT: The military guard stands in respect, as the crowd gathers for the Memorial Day event. The guard provided a 21-gun salute during the ceremony for Kazuo Masuda, held in the cemetery that had segregated his burial in 1948, when his body was returned home. (Photograph, M. Urashima, May 25, 2015) © All rights reserved.

About every 20-30 years, hate, discrimination and prejudice has a new victim in America.  In the 1860s, it was the Chinese; the 1880s, it was the Irish; the 1900s saw the Italians as victims; the 1940s, it was the Japanese.  Mid ‘70s to ‘80s, it was the Vietnamese and after September 11, 2001, anyone from the Middle East or that believed in Islam felt the wrath.  After 9/11, the familiar calls to send them back or round them up and incarcerate them were heard again.

Hate, discrimination, prejudice.  If we don’t get rid of these, the next group that may be targeted could be yours.

Thank you for listening and for being such great Americans."

RIGHT: Dennis Masuda (right) with Gloria Alvarez, who also attended the Memorial Day event.  Both are members of the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force and alumni of Huntington Beach High School--at Historic Wintersburg in January 2013. (Photograph, M. Urashima, January 21, 2013) © All rights reserved.

READ: Feature on the VFW Post 3670 Kazuo Masuda Memorial Day ceremony in Rafu Shimpo, http://www.rafu.com/2015/06/a-soldiers-story/  

-------------------------------------------------------

   Our appreciation to Dennis Masuda for sharing his remarks and for his ongoing insight and support for the Historic Wintersburg preservation effort.  The Masuda family story and their role in President Reagan's signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 is part of the history represented by Historic Wintersburg, which if preserved, can be shared in a tangible way with future generations.

All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Our American Family: The Furutas of Historic Wintersburg airing today in both Southern California and in Northern California!

   Our American Family: The Furutas of Historic Wintersburg is on KOCE today in Southern California, 7:30 p.m. on the main channel.  Please check your provider listing for the channel number.

  Our American Family: The Furutas of Historic Wintersburg is on KQED today in Northern California, 11:30 p.m. on the main channel.  Please check your provider listing for the channel number.

   We hope you're watching California!  This is the story of an American pioneer family who helped settle Orange County, California, surviving tremendous civil liberties hurdles on their way to full citizenship.

   For a complete listing of public television stations across the country that are airing Our American Family: The Furutas, please go to http://www.ouramericanfamilytv.com/air-dates/

   To view the PREVIEW of Our American Family: The Furutas, go to  http://www.ouramericanfamilytv.com/

All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day: An Orange County Hero

   Join us as we honor an Orange County hero, Kazuo Masuda, who will be one of three Nisei soldiers whose story will be highlighted in the Congressional Gold Medal Digital Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  Read more on Nichi Bei about the digital exhibit, http://www.nichibei.org/2014/12/digital-exhibit-to-tell-nisei-veterans-stories/ 

   The Masuda family has an important place in the history of Historic Wintersburg as congregants of the Wintersburg Mission.  They also have an important role in the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, specifically mentioned by President Ronald Reagan at the signing of the Act.  Read more about The Masudas: National Civil Liberties Icons, Wintersburg Mission Congregants at http://historicwintersburg.blogspot.com/2012/06/masudas-national-civil-liberties-icons.html

   Descendent and Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force member Dennis Masuda will provide the keynote address.  He'll be joined by KABC-7 news anchor, David Ono, at the Memorial Day event.

   To all who served, we remember you.

All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Today, Our American Family: The Furutas of Historic Wintersburg airing nationally on PBS!

Right here!  Just scroll down to our April 27, 2015, post for more information and links to the stations, air dates and times across the country.  The producers' website will post new stations being listed each week.

This 30-minute program is for the entire family.  Learn more about the Japanese pioneers who helped settle the American West, in particular, Orange County, California.  This story moves the heart and explains the rarity and significance of Historic Wintersburg.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Historic Wintersburg book discussion in Heritage Museum's historic Carriage Barn

Kevin Cabrera, curator and Interim Executive Director of the Heritage Museum of Orange County, invites Historic Wintersburg into the Carriage Barn on the Museum's beautiful 12-acre property.  (Photograph, M. Urashima, August 2014) © All rights reserved.

   The Historic Wintersburg property contains Huntington Beach's last pioneer heritage barn.  The remaining barns of Orange County are a fading connection to our pioneer roots.

   Meet author of Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach (History Press), Mary Urashima, for coffee and a book discussion in the historic Carriage Barn at the Heritage Museum of Orange County this Saturday, May 2.  The event starts with coffee at 9 a.m., with the presentation at 10 a.m., followed by a book signing.

   The Heritage Museum of Orange County is located at 3101 W Harvard Street, Santa Ana, California, just west of South Fairview Street, with easy, free parking next to the Museum.  

   Stroll the historic plaza featuring buildings from the 1890s, floral gardens and citrus groves that recreate the old Orange County landscape on the Museum's 12-acre property.  Heritage Museum also has a new urban garden, the Gospel Swamp Farm, where they grow organic food for market.

   Learn more about Orange County's Japanese pioneers, see images not included in the book, and get an update on the preservation effort as Mary Urashima joins the Heritage Museum's Speaker Series 2015.  Books will be available for purchase.  For more information call the Museum at (714) 540-0404, or visit their website at http://heritagemuseumoc.org/

© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.