A Sign of Recognition for Japanese-American Soldiers


Dear Street Smart:

On the Moorpark Freeway, near New Los Angeles Avenue, there are signs that read: “Military Intelligence Memorial Highway.”

What does that mean? No one seems to know.

Craig Swanson

Newbury Park

Dear Reader:

The signs were placed along that stretch of freeway this past June after the state Legislature approved a request to honor the Nisei soldiers of World War II, Americans of Japanese descent who fought during the war.

“Their exploits during World War II are very little known to the American public,” said state Assemblyman Nao Takasugi, who helped get the memorials adopted.


“This is one way we can recognize their heroic efforts during the war,” he said.

Takasugi and others said dedicating the highway to the memory of those soldiers was appropriate because many of them were treated unfairly by the federal government.

“Fifty years ago, the Americans of Japanese descent were taken from the area and placed into camps,” the assemblyman said. “Many of them later volunteered to serve the very country that put them into these camps in the first place.”

By the way, two other stretches of a state highway are dedicated to the Japanese-American soldiers. They are both on California 99 in Northern California.

Dear Street Smart:

I love the big, lovely trees that line Loma Vista Road near Ventura College. But when driving east on Loma Vista Road, the lower branches obstruct the view of the traffic signal at the intersection with Ashwood Avenue.

You cannot see if the light is red or green until you are right underneath it.

They are beautiful trees and I don’t suggest that we cut them down. But who is in charge of pruning them to make sure our streets are safe?

Brenda Earner


Dear Reader:

Believe it or not, your City Council employs a “tree coordinator,” whose job is to monitor trees throughout Ventura.

“When we receive a request for tree service, the tree is inspected and we make a determination as to when we can place it on our schedule for trimming,” said Tim Downey, the city’s tree coordinator.

But “under the current speed limit, there is sufficient time to see the light before and provide enough space to stop sufficiently,” Downey concluded.

Nonetheless, he said the trees along Loma Vista Road near Ashwood Avenue are scheduled to be trimmed early next year. “We are going to be in that area anyway, so we are going to trim them,” Downey said.

Dear Street Smart:

Why is there no traffic signal where Grimes Canyon Road meets California 118? The already treacherous intersection has become even more so during the past few years with the increase in traffic on both California 118 and Grimes Canyon Road.

I know that there are many projects that need to get done, but this one should have priority.

The confluence of high speeds, heavy traffic, the adjacent busy train track, blind turns caused by a large group of thick eucalyptus trees and the lack of a right-hand turn lane must make this one of the most uniquely dangerous intersections in this area. What gives?

Terry Tom


Dear Reader:

State Department of Transportation engineers routinely check such intersections for safety and efficiency.

The corner of Grimes Canyon Road and California 118 was last inspected in March 1993, when analysts opted to remove a eucalyptus tree to enhance visibility, said Luu Nguyen, a Caltrans manager.

At that time, studies showed that a traffic light at that intersection was not warranted, based on volume and the number of accidents at the scene, Nguyen said.

But based on your letter, engineers will again review the corner to see if road conditions have changed since March 1993.

“Caltrans will conduct an investigation to determine if a traffic signal is warranted at this location, including the feasibility of installing a right-turn lane,” Nguyen said. “Our investigation is expected to be completed by the end of February 1996.”