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Mas Okui was 10 years old when he was separated from his mother.
It was April 1942. Two months before, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 9066, which turned the West Coast into a military zone after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. American citizens and other residents of Japanese ancestry were evicted from their homes and held in internment camps across the country.
The Okui family was sent to Manzanar, in the remote desert east of the Sierra Nevada 200 miles north of Los Angeles. But Mr. Okui’s mother, who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, was placed in the prison ward at the Los Angeles County Hospital because she was pregnant with her fourth child.
She was reunited with the family behind barbed wire three or four weeks later, Mr. Okui said. But her absence remained with him.
“When you’re 10 years old and that happens to you — I pretty much sublimated that from my existence,” he said. “I don’t like to think about it, because to me it was so unfair. Painful things you kind of just block from your consciousness, and that was one of them.”
Mr. Okui, 86, is a retired history teacher who taught for decades at Gardena High School. For more than 30 years he has also led annual tours to the former campsite at Manzanar and taught workshops at United Teachers Los Angeles to help guide public-school teachers on how to educate their students about Japanese internment.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the Civil Liberties Public Education Act, which provided $ 3 million in state funding to expand education on Japanese internment. The legislation aims to link historic civil rights violations “with current civil liberties challenges.”
“We have to remember that the incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans without any due process of law began with an executive order, much like the ones that President Trump has been issuing,” Al Muratsuchi, the State Assembly member who sponsored the bill, said in 2017.
For Mr. Okui, news of President Trump’s Muslim ban in 2017 and the separation of immigrant children from their parents in recent weeks distressed him.
“When I saw those kids in cages, it reminded me of a dog pound,” Mr. Okui said. “What is my government doing with these children? It just doesn’t seem moral.”
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• The United States is preparing to shelter as many as 20,000 migrant children on four American military bases as officials now seek to keep immigrant families together after they are apprehended at the border. [The New York Times]
• Judge Dolly M. Gee in Los Angeles is expected to consider President Trump’s executive order that ended the separation of migrant families but now seeks to hold them together for an indefinite period. We dive into her background. [The New York Times]
• About 100 immigrant children who were already separated from their parents at the border are being housed in California. [The San Francisco Chronicle]
• And in the meantime, the House rejected a hard-line immigration bill and Republican leaders delayed a vote on a compromise measure. [The New York Times]
• Pacific Gas and Electric has already been blamed by state investigators for many of last October’s fires. Now it is warning that claims will probably exceed $ 2.5 billion. [The Sacramento Bee]
• The Supreme Court ruled that internet retailers can be required to collect sales taxes even in states where they have no physical presence. [The New York Times]
• In recent months, some have argued that Elon Musk’s late-night Twitter rants reveal a billionaire cracking under pressure. But those who know him best say this is nothing new. [Buzzfeed News]
• University of California campuses at Berkeley, Los Angeles and Davis did not consistently discipline faculty who were subject to multiple sexual harassment complaints, a newly released audit says. [The Los Angeles Times]
• The Antelope Valley Transit Authority wants to be the first transit agency with an all-electric bus fleet. It hopes to ditch all its diesel vehicles by the end of the year. [The New York Times]
• How did we get to be so self-absorbed? The answer might be traceable to Big Sur. [The New York Times]
• There’s not enough space here to list every pick by the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors and Kings. So just read our analysis of the N.B.A. draft. [The New York Times]
• Less than a month after ABC canceled the hit revival of “Roseanne,” the network has decided to go forward with a spinoff that will not include her. [The New York Times]
• This beautiful timeline provides a history of gay rights in San Francisco. [The San Francisco Chronicle]
• Here’s a window into a day in the life of some of the San Gabriel Valley’s hardest working dim sum makers. [laist]
• Our 36 Hours feature puts the spotlight on the Napa Valley. You may think you know about all the best spots, but our suggestions might surprise you. [The New York Times]
And Finally …
We had a delightful time writing and learning about Danniel the giant steer this week. And we are sorry if this is animal overload. But we must tell you about Koko the gorilla, who, like Danniel, very unfortunately died recently in California. She was 46.
Koko, you see, apparently had an aptitude for sign language, and as a result, endeared herself to fans around the world including Fred (a.k.a. “Mr.”) Rogers and Robin Williams. Koko played with Mr. Rogers’s sweater and told him that she loved him. She was reportedly crestfallen when Mr. Williams died.
She even liked cats.
You can read more about Koko and her expansive vocabulary here.
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.