VOLUME 28 NO. 3 | JANUARY 10 - JANUARY 16, 2009

Names in the News

Last updated 1-8-09 at 1:23 p.m.

Miss Chinatown tries to break into Hong Kong

By Assunta Ng

Ni Jiang made Seattle proud when she captured the national title of Miss Chinatown Queen in 2008.

Hopefully, history will repeat itself with Jiang winning the Miss Chinese International on Jan. 17 in Hong Kong.

Jiang, 20, a University of Washington junior majoring in communication, left Seattle for Hong Kong on Dec. 23 to join contestants from all over the world, including seven contestants from China. The contestants will train in Hong Kong but the pageant will be held in Foshan on Mainland China.

Jiang is originally from the Sichuan Province in China. She came to the United States when she was 12 years old, and she speaks fluent Mandarin and Sichuanese.

Chinese pageants are typically plagued with controversies. In December 2008, the Miss Asia pageant was accused of deliberately omitting votes for some contestants. In other years, the media already knew who the winner was before the announcements. The question and answer portions are not designed to test the intelligence of the contestants but to get high television ratings.

Judges also prefer skinny contestants. The contestant’s figure counts for a lot. Jiang is aware of this preference.

To prepare, Jiang put herself on a special diet that is high in fruits and vegetables. She has lost weight. Her Chinese dance for the talent competition has been cut from six minutes to one minute. She has been working hard with her dance teacher, Li Hengda, for the past seven weeks.

“I will do my best,” Jiang said. “There are many factors to get placement (of titles).”

Jiang’s parents, owner of Seven Stars Pepper Restaurant in the International District, will be in China to watch the pageant.

Jiang’s mother, Nancy Li, said she has shopped for her daughter’s pageant appearance. Jiang was requested to bring five to six outfits, including cocktail dresses. Li said Jiang has worked very hard to prepare herself, and she is proud of her daughter.

Jiang has brought Dilettante chocolate with her for her new friends. She is excited to meet other contestants. But the stress will be high, she said, as the pageant is extremely competitive.

Whether or not she gets any titles, she looks forward to visiting San Francisco to be crowned as the the new queen in the national Miss Chinatown pageant after her trip to China. In the coming weeks, she will also participate in the biggest Chinese parade in the United States and its coronation ball.

Assunta Ng can be reached at assunta@nwasianweekly.com.


Husband and wife honored for philanthropy

The Martinez Foundation publicly recognized Jerry and Charlene Lee for their support at its gala in October. In addition to serving on the Martinez Foundation Gala Committee, the Lees provided invaluable input and counsel on the formation of The Martinez Foundation.

Jerry Lee has agreed to serve as an advisory board member.

As dedicated philanthropists, the couples have given years of service and support to several organizations throughout the Greater Seattle area.

The Martinez Foundation presented them with an autographed Mariners jersey for their support. The gala raised $433,000 for Latino kids and minority teachers.



New Asian American law school dean at UW?

Finalists for the deanship of the University of Washington School of Law will be visiting the university for interviews in January.

One of the finalists is Dean Jim Chen, a professor of law from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law University of Louisville. Chen joined the University of Louisville in January 2007. Chen is a prolific and influential scholar whose works span subjects such as administrative law, agricultural law, constitutional law, economic regulation, environmental law, industrial policy, legislation, and natural resources law.

Chen’s interview dates at the UW will be Jan. 12-13.



Lawyer with local ties wins Trailblazers Award

Nelson Dong was honored with the 2008 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Trailblazers Award at its conference on Nov. 19–23, 2008.

With more than 40,000 attorneys belonging to the NAPABA, Dong was singled out for his outstanding achievements, commitment to the practice of law, and overall leadership. The NAPABA’s regional governors and affiliates chose Dong as someone who has paved the way for the advancement of other Asian Pacific American attorneys.

2008 NEWS: The TOP 5 overlooked and the TOP 5 overrated

1. Taiwan gets a present from the United Statesnukes

What: On March 25, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne told reporters “four non-nuclear nose cone assemblies and their associated electrical components” had been mistakenly shipped to Taiwan, instead of the helicopter batteries Taipei had ordered.

2. The war neither heard nor seen

What: In 2008, a survey reported that an estimated 45,000 Congolese were dying every month from war, disease, and malnutrition. A total of 5.4 million victims died because of the Second Congo War (1998-2003).

3. A government shunned aid during natural disaster

What: Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar (Burma) on May 2, killing more than an estimated 146,000 people (double that of the Sichuan earthquake).

4. Christians persecuted in India

What: Christians, particularly those in seven Indian states — Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh — are victims of Hindu extremism.

5. Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Robert L. Barr — who?

What: Third party and Independent candidates are largely ignored in U.S. elections


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