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Writ of mandamus against City of Tulelake is unjust

by Rudy Hiley, letter to the editor of Herald and News 1/10/15

( see KBC webpage: Japanese demand for Tulelake 1000-acre monument)

     In July, a writ of mandamus was filed generally against the County of Modoc, the City of Tulelake, and the operators of the Tulelake Airport. It appears that the driving issue is an objection on the part of former internees, etc., of the Tule Lake Segregation Camp (via the Tule Lake Committee) to the construction of an airport safety fence designed to keep aircraft from dangerously conflicting with humans and animals.

   Things escalated and now the committee seems to want to (in league with the Park Service) invalidate the airport lease, decommission the airport and appropriate some 200-plus acres for seemingly sentimental reasons. This looks to be light years from having aesthetic and preservation problems with the construction of a protective fence without an environmental impact study.

   So let’s see, a nonprofit public benefit corporation has filed a vexing and disruptive action supposedly with public interest in mind, while they look into decimating an agricultural flying service upon which the surrounding farming communities gravely depend, not to mention the effect on lives, incomes and futures of all who are associated with that enterprise.  

   Why? Because internees were subjected to “turmoil and strife” some 70 years ago, which pales in comparison to the treatment suffered by involuntary guests of the Axis Powers.

   If deja vu paradox is their goal, they may be accomplishing such as borne out in their stated objective; “... to remember and preserve the camp’s important history and to prevent such injustices in the future.” Of course, now the Park Service plans to rebuild a nearby 2,675-foot fence.

   With the long train of prior abuses committed against the current citizens of the Basin, I uneasily hope that true constitutional justice will be brought into consideration in this current injustice, which seeks to cruelly mandamus. See the movie “Unbroken.”


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