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In the Pipeline: Saving Wintersburg, a page at a time

February 25, 2014|By Chris Epting

"Wintersburg Village's unique history is representative of the Japanese pioneer experience on the West Coast. Japan's post Meiji period ended the feudal system, creating in the late 1800s social changes that prompted Japanese immigration to America.

"Many who settled in the Wintersburg countryside were of Samurai ancestry, bringing an enterprising spirit to Orange County's businesses and farms. The village's history encompasses early aviation, archaeological discoveries, the county's oldest Japanese church, goldfish farming and overcoming discrimination to achieve civil liberties. Forcibly evacuated and confined during World War II, Japanese pioneers left an indelible mark on Southern California."

Urashima will hold a book signing at 2 p.m. March 9 at the Barnes & Noble in Bella Terra. I encourage everyone to come out and support this author and preservationist who has already contributed countless hours to trying to save one of this country's most precious historic landmarks.

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Remembering Kotsch, Willard

On a sadder note, you may have heard that Natalie Kotsch, founder of our International Surfing Museum, died last week after a long struggle with cancer. I was fortunate enough to have been friends with her; her smile and warmth are something this community will deeply miss. I will be writing more about my friend in the weeks to come.

Last year I wrote about Greg Willard, a former NBA referee who was also a vital part of Seaview Little League. He died last year after a battle with cancer, but I wanted you to know that at this season's Seaview Little League opening ceremony, a field was dedicated in his name.

A touching gesture for a gentleman missed equally by parents and young players. I will be including this site in the next edition of my book, "Baseball in Orange County."

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Student writing contest

It's time for the annual In the Pipeline high school student essay writing competition. This is the call for any high school student in Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley or Seal Beach to answer the following: Tell me about a special person, place or piece of history in your community.

I'm looking for things or people who I might not be able to find on my own. Submit 500 words or less and photos, if you like. Entries are due April 4. The winner will get to cut the ribbon at the spectacular Taste of Huntington Beach on April 27, as well as attend the food festival with family. Send entries to chris@chrisepting.com.

CHRIS EPTING is the author of 19 books, including the new "Baseball in Orange County," from Arcadia Publishing. You can chat with him on Twitter @chrisepting, chris@chrisepting.com or follow his column at http://www.facebook.com/hbindependent.

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