City honoree Dr. Roy Ebihara, who’s been welcomed “back to the homestead” for this year’s Pioneer Days celebration, shared some surprise information about his family during the Clovis City Commission meeting Thursday at the Clovis-Carver Library.
Ebihara’s older brother, Hiroshi Ebihara, served in the Army during World War II; ironically, in Japan, where U.S. Hiroshi was born. Another brother, Ben, served as a combat engineer during the Korean War.
Roy Ebihara, 80, also served in the Army, but remained at White Sands, where he tested the effectiveness of air missiles.
The commission proclaimed today as “Dr. Roy Ebihara Day.” When he approached the lectern, Ebihara, a member of Clovis’ Japanese colony, turned to the audience. Looking directly at members of American Legion Post 25, he said that members of his own family had fought for America’s cause.
Ebihara said his brother Hiroshi — also known as Hank — was his only sibling to not be born in the U.S. Hank was 2 years old when his father, already in the U.S., sent for Hiroshi and his mother.
Hiroshi was a member of counter-intelligence forces in Japan. Although not entirely sure of what Hiroshi did due to the secrecy involved with the position, Roy Ebihara said the family assumed Hiroshi’s job was to ensure that Japanese military leaders were court-martialed.
Ebihara said his brother Ben was wounded in combat.
The Ebihara family, along with other members of Clovis’ Japanese colony, were evacuated from Clovis following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Roy Ebihara, a retired optometrist currently residing in Ohio, has returned to his birthplace to accept an acknowledgment of what happened and an apology from the city.
“We accept the apology wholeheartedly,” Ebihara said. He attended the meeting with his wife, Aiko, and fellow colony members Lillian and Fred Kimura.
Ebihara and the Kimuras will serve as honorary Grand Marshals during today’s Pioneer Parade on Main Street.
The Clovis City Commission presented the keys to the city to five rodeo queens who were part of this year’s Pioneer Days celebration.
“A key represents trust,” said Mayor David Lansford during the presentation.
The keys were presented to Paige Nicholson, Miss Rodeo America 2014; Alexandria Tapia, Miss Rodeo New Mexico; Taci Shaffer, Miss Rodeo Arizona; Laramie Pursley, Miss Rodeo Montana and Lauren Heaton, Miss Rodeo Oklahoma.
Other presentations during the meeting included:
• A proclamation proclaiming June 2-8, 2014, as the 44th Annual Pioneer Days Celebration;
• A presentation of clocks to Distinguished Supervisor the Quarter Larry Hall and Distinguished Line Employee of the Quarter Frank Lucero for the period December 2013 through February 2014;
• A proclamation declaring Monday as Vintage Air Road Tour 2014 Day;
• Proclamation declaring Thursday as Texas 4000 Day.
Under new business items, the city commission tabled a request for approval of a letter of support for a reroute of Amtrak Southwest Chief Trains 3 and 4.
• A request for Bikers Against Bullying activities on Aug. 24 at Hillcrest Park was passed unanimously, minus a provision for a landing of a CV-22 at the park during the event. The commission removed the portion in question after concerns were expressed for the zoo animals.
• A resolution concerning the use of electronic equipment during city commission meetings will be placed on the next city commission meeting’s agenda.
• A request for approval of the Economic Development Tax Advisory Board recommendation for the renewal of the Economic Development Professional Services contract and an Economic Development summary report was passed 7-1, with Commissioner Fidel Madrid opposed.
All other new business items passed unanimously:
• Approval of the EDTAB recommendation of $15,000 from the Economic Development Tax Fund for an Economic Development Business Retention and Expansion study.
• Approval of the EDTAB recommendation for $10,000 from the Economic Development Tax Fund for a New Economic Development website/statistical database and real estate database.
• Approval of Industrial Park lease option agreement between the city of Clovis and Logisticus Projects Group, LLC.
• Approval for the New Mexico Agricultural Conservation District to write a grant application for agricultural water conservation programs and partnerships in an amount not to exceed $5,000.
The consent agenda was approved unanimously. Items on the consent agenda included:
• Adoption of ordinance to change a residential single family district zone to a neighborhood conservation mobile/manufactured home district zone.
• Adoption of an ordinance changing a mixed development district zone to a planned unit development, mixed development district zone.
• Adoption of an ordinance changing a residential multifamily district zone to a neighborhood conservation carport district zone (to include prefabricated and flat-roof type carports.
• Adoption of a resolution granting approval of the preliminary plat of Wyldwood Estates Subdivision.
• Adoption of a resolution granting approval of a preliminary plat of the L3IP subdivision.
• Adoption of a resolution approving post-issuance compliance procedures for tax-exempt bonds and loans of the city of Clovis.
• Request for approval of airport use agreement between the city of Clovis and Boutique Air.
• Request for approval of a memorandum of agreement between the state Department of Health and the city of Clovis to use the Clovis-Carver Library as a point of distribution for public health emergencies;
• Request for approval for funding of $1,570 for a water conservation plan update.
• Request of approval to create a special warning sign application and fee for Clovis city streets.
• Request for approval to award a city-wide mowing contract to Accents.
• Request for approval of closure of Grand Avenue between Main Street and the west side of the alley located between Main and Pile streets; and Pile Street between Grand and Fourth, from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on Monday for a Vintage Car Show;
• Request for approval of street closure and noise variance from 9 a.m. June 13 until 5 p.m. on June 15 at 812 Tatum Street from Lea Street west on Tatum Street for a group barbecue;
• Request for approval to allow Plains Regional Medical Center employees to hold a Fun Run/5k event at Hillcrest Park on June 21;
• Request for approval for Matt 25 Hope Center to hold a 5k Fun Run at Ned Houk Park on Aug. 8;
• Request for approval for Clovis Christian School to hold a fundraiser 5k Fun Run at Ned Houk Park from 6:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Aug. 30.
— Compiled by staff writer Vanessa Kahin