Tag Archive | "2013"

BLOG: Santa’s list of heartwarming stories

BLOG: Santa’s list of heartwarming stories

By Assunta Ng

The other night, I dreamed about Santa Claus delivering presents to kids in the International District. I rushed to him, waiting for my turn.

Santa took a quick look at me and smiled, “You don’t need one.”

“Why?” I protested. Because of my age? Like a child being abandoned, I was almost in tears.
“You’ve already got it,” Santa smiled again and touched my face.

“Ho, ho, ho,” he roared and then disappeared in my sleep.

I woke up in the morning, feeling energized. And words just came pouring out from my brain, flowing to my fingers, and I couldn’t stop writing on the computer. So here you go…

Last Friday, I strolled from Chinatown to Seattle City Hall for a concert. When I arrived, someone patted me on the back and said, “The concert is over. Just go eat,” pointing at the refreshments.

It was Friday, Dec. 13, not my lucky day! Naturally, I missed it. Little did I know the best part of the program was about to be unveiled.

When I sat down, the emcee introduced my Seattle Chinese Post staffer to say a few words. I never heard her speak English before. It blew me away! It was short, sweet, and relevant.


From left: Fredo Von Brandenfels, Olivia Apolonio, Mia Yamada-Heidner, Grace Rothmeyer, Delaney Blanford, Kayla Tounalom, and Jay Zinschlag. (Photo by Evelyn Hou)

Next, a diverse group of Beacon Hill International School students performed a Chinese song called “Jasmine Flowers.” I don’t even know how to sing that song. These kids are fluent in Mandarin. They have studied Mandarin since they were in kindergarten. Then another Caucasian student told a story in Chinese. He didn’t have a script — he memorized the whole thing. What impressed me was that he wrote the story and designed the props himself. I completely understood all the words he spoke in Mandarin.

But that’s not the end of the story. A parent thanked me afterwards. She said the Asian Weekly wrote about Beacon Hill’s students’ Chinese program and that they needed to raise money to go to China to meet their Chinese pen pals. They have been writing to each other for a while. Last September, their Chinese friends from Chongqing visited them in Seattle. One reader responded and pledged to raise $5,000 for the group. Finally, the group raised enough money to go to China next year. Beacon Hill is now planning to raise funds for its second group to go to China.

When the Asian Weekly publishes stories, we never know what impact the paper will produce.

It’s important that people share with us how we have made a difference. That’s our reward.


Brad Goode and Ben Zhang (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

“Ninhao Seattle”

Can Brad Goode, KOMO 4 news anchor, speak Chinese? Just watch Ninhao Seattle (translation: “How are you Seattle”?). If you don’t speak Chinese, Goode can fool you.

Created by Ben Zhang, this project, which cost about $1.18 million, is to attract Chinese tourists and business investment opportunities. Zhang owns Greater China Industries.

Zhang plans to make 20 of these, he said. “I lived here since 1993. I would like to promote Seattle first. Following it, there will be Ninhao San Francisco, Ninhao Las Vegas, Ninhao Chicago, Ninhao Boston, and Ninhao New York.”

He predicts the program will make millions of dollars in profits. All will be donated to build a school in China for disadvantaged children. It’s a win-win for Seattle and the kids.

Goode’s voice is actually being dubbed in the program. In the meantime, Goode has worked with a University of Washington Chinese student to brush up on his Chinese.



Julianne Kumasaka dancing (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Julianne Kumasaka, an angel

Julianne Kumasaka is one of the founders of a senior activity program Kokoro Kai, part of Nikkei Concerns.

Most program founders eventually leave, but not Julianne. She has dedicated her time and energy to the program for 35 remarkable years. Her spirit of devotion, community, and loyalty speaks mountains about her compassion and personality. What a role model she is for the Asian community. Thank you, Julianne, for 35 years well done!


Martin Lau performing on the ehru (Chinese violin) (Photo by Hut Kwan)

Education makes a difference

I was in Hong Kong recently, hoping to watch former Seattleite Martin Lau perform. But no, it was sold out. I couldn’t get in to see the show. I was disappointed, but happy for Lau, whom I met in Seattle when he was just a child.

Who’s Martin Lau?

Lau, 37, is now a hot commodity in Hong Kong Cantonese opera circles. He is one of the top-paid tai-pans and youngest master of the art. He doesn’t just lead operatic orchestras for a successful opera troupe, but is one of the most sought-after private instructors in Cantonese opera singing.

And his students are on the list of who’s who in Hong Kong.

I first met the Lau family when he emigrated with his parents at the age of 6. He left Seattle and went back to Hong Kong to see if there were opportunities.

What’s unique about Lau is that he’s the only master who has a college background. He studied English and science at the University of Washington.

Recently, the Luck Ngi Musical Club celebrated its 75th anniversary with an elaborate program of Cantonese opera at the Meydenbauer Center. Lau returned to lead the 10-man orchestra.

So thank you, Santa, for your gift of ideas. You are my inspiration for this blog. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 52 | 12/21-12/27Comments (0)

EDITORIAL: 2014 looks promising for APIs in leadership roles

December has been a great month for Asian Americans in Seattle. First, Mayor-elect Ed Murray selected three Asian Americans for leadership positions. Then, in a surprising twist of fate, Mia Su-Ling Gregerson was appointed to the state House of Representatives. No one expected that.
Murray’s addition of Aaliyah Gupta, Mike Fong, and Hyeok Kim to his staff is a welcome sign that the new mayor is forward thinking in his efforts to create a City Hall representative of Seattle’s diversity. Read the full story

Posted in Editorials, Vol 32 No 52 | 12/21-12/27Comments (0)

Wendy Gonzalez is honored for her tech tenacity

Wendy Gonzalez is honored for her tech tenacity


Wendy Koh Gonzalez (Courtesy of Cycle30)

Wendy Koh Gonzalez was named on Connected World magazine’s “Women of M2M” list for 2013. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

NAAAP announces scholarships

NAAAP announces scholarships


Co-host Owen Lei and friends (Photo courtesy of NAAAP)

On Nov. 1, the National Association of Asian American Professionals–Seattle chapter (NAAAP) held its annual Scholarship Gala at the Westin Bellevue, with all proceeds going towards the scholarship fund. This year’s theme was the Great Gatsby. The event featured speeches by several well-known and influential members of the Asian Pacific Islander community, including a keynote address by Kollaboration’s associate director, Truc Hang.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Anwell Wang, Kirsten Garcia, and Michelle Pham. (end)

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Seattle volunteers bring typhoon aid to Philippines

Seattle volunteers bring typhoon aid to Philippines

http://www.nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/32_51/names_serve.jpgTwo Seattle residents are among those joining relief efforts in Tacloban in the Philippines, an area devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

UW Bothell names Rusdi Kirana to its advisory board

UW Bothell names Rusdi Kirana to its advisory board


Rusdi Kirana

Rusdi Kirana, president director of Lion Group, the largest private air carrier in Indonesia, has been appointed to the advisory board for the University of Washington Bothell School of Business. The council provides strategic guidance, helps build external partnerships, and deepens the school’s relationship with the business community.

Kirana is a native of Indonesia. He has been active with the UW Bothell School of Business, visiting classrooms to present guest lectures on leadership. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Chinese garden gets boost

Chinese garden gets boost


Supporters, including, second from left, Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, helped raise funds for SSCC’s Chinese garden. (Photo courtesy of SCGS)

The Seattle Chinese Garden Society raised more than $42,000 in its annual fundraising dinner, “Soaring Dragon Celebration,” at its location at South Seattle Community College on Nov. 9. The money will go toward the garden’s core operations expenses. (end)

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Thai PM dissolves house of Parliament, calls elections

Thai PM dissolves house of Parliament, calls elections

By Todd Pitman
Associated Press


Protesters who have been demanding Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s ouster will have to be satisfied with her decision to dissolve the lower house of Parliament for now. (Photo by Laura Love)

BANGKOK (AP) – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Dec. 9 she will dissolve the lower house of Parliament and call elections in an attempt to calm the country’s deepening political crisis. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20, World NewsComments (0)

Family of still-detained man hails vet’s release

By Gene Johnson
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) – The Seattle-area family of an American citizen detained in North Korea for more than a year is cheering Pyongyang’s decision to release 85-year-old tourist Merrill Newman and wondering when their loved one will come home. Read the full story

Posted in Community News, Features, National News, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

New startup lets users create own cloud-based schools

By Nina Huang
Northwest Asian Weekly

What do you get when one combines their passions of engineering and education? Read the full story

Posted in Briefs, Business, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

ID elects three to board positions

ID elects three to board positions

By Sue Misao
Northwest Asian Weekly


The job of preserving the look and feel of Chinatown falls to the International Special Review District. Read the full story

Posted in Briefs, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

“Space Battleship Yamato”

“Space Battleship Yamato”

By Andrew Hamlin
Northwest Asian Weekly

http://www.nwasianweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/32_51/movie_battleship.jpg“We’re oooooooooff in out-ter space/We’re leeaaving Moth-er Earth/To saaaaaaave the hum-an raaaace/Our Star Bla-zers!”

This theme rang out, starting in 1979, in my friend Tom’s bedroom, my friend Sam’s den room, and through American televisions all over the country. “Star Blazers” was the first anime to be shown in America, which boasted a through-line, an overarching plot. The episodes were not entirely self-contained, and had to be watched chronologically to follow the plot.

Despite this, or perhaps because of it, “Star Blazers” had millions of kids glued to their tubes. It helped spearhead the anime craze in America that persists today. Few Western viewers at the time knew that they were watching a dubbed and heavily edited reworking of the Japanese anime series “Space Battleship Yamato.” Read the full story

Posted in At the Movies, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Joy, luck, amazement, and identity: Amy Tan’s reflections on her latest book and more

Joy, luck, amazement, and identity: Amy Tan’s reflections on her latest book and more

By Vivian Miezianko
Northwest Asian Weekly

Amy Tan

On the evening of Dec. 5, enthusiastic readers of all ages, clad in coats and scarves, attended a reading by bestselling author Amy Tan at the University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle. Read the full story

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Features, Profiles, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

The Layup Drill — Athletes aid Philippines, the Black Widow gets honor, Pacquiao is back, and Tui time

The Layup Drill — Athletes aid Philippines, the Black Widow gets honor, Pacquiao is back, and Tui time


Doug Baldwin (Jeffrey Beall CC)

By Jason Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly

Welcome to another edition of The Layup Drill, in which we see athletes supporting typhoon victims; a legendary pool player; and a former UW star’s big shot.

Baldwin flies Philippines flag

During pre-game introductions at a recent home game against the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin ran out of the tunnel waving the Philippines flag in honor of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.


Pau Gasol (Keith Allison CC)

Baldwin, who is part Filipino, indicated that he has “too many family members to count” living in the Philippines, including his grandmother. All of Baldwin’s relatives in the Philippines are fine, but he still carried the flag to raise awareness and show support for others affected by the typhoon. Although there was some controversy because Baldwin carried the flag upside down, it was explained that it signifies a state of emergency for the country. The Seahawks partnered with the American Red Cross to collect money at the game and requested that people also donate online. Baldwin’s good deed proved to be good karma for the wide receiver — he scored a touchdown against the Vikings.

Gasol helps Typhoon victims

Baldwin was not the only professional athlete raising awareness for the typhoon victims. Before a recent game against the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol pledged $1,000 to the relief effort for each point he scored. Fortunately, Gasol had a great night, getting 24 points in a win against the Warriors. Gasol donated $24,000 to UNICEF’s efforts to bring aid to the devastated region. Gasol promoted his efforts to his 2.3 million Twitter followers, who responded by pledging their own money to the cause, based on Gasol’s performance. Former Laker head coach Phil Jackson pledged $50 per point and $50 per rebound on Gasol’s behalf, which came to $1,700. The Lakers also donated $150,000 to the Philippine Red Cross.

It is great to see Gasol, a Spaniard, taking part in aiding the Philippines. It was also very savvy to get his Twitter followers involved. It’s refreshing to see Twitter being used for good and not just for following celebrities and saying mean things about them.

Interestingly enough, Gasol was part of the 2008 Spanish Olympic team that was chastised for a racially insensitive photograph in which the team made “slant eyes” in a less-than-humorous poke at the Chinese team. It appears that Gasol is making amends for his past.


Jeanette Lee (Photo from blackwidowbilliards)

The Black Widow honored

Jeanette Lee, also known as the “Black Widow,” a professional pool player from New York City, was recently elected to the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Lee, a Korean American, is one of the most recognizable pool players in the world. She was given the nickname “Black Widow” because she would “eat people alive” at the pool table. Lee quickly rose to the top of the Women’s Professional Billiard Association’s rankings, winning a plethora of titles despite her physical ailments, which include scoliosis and arthritis. At only 41 years of age, the Black Widow has many more years left.


Manny Pacquiao (Global Reactions)

Lee was easy to spot on the pool circuit when ESPN televised billiard tournaments because she wore all black. Even though she is a proven pool shark, she is also a sex symbol — she has been featured in ESPN’s “Body Issue,” in which athletes shed their clothes and pose for the camera covering very little.

Manny Pacquiao wins; problems at home

The Philippines’ most popular athlete returned to the ring in November and defeated Brandon Rios by unanimous decision. Pacquiao was back after 11 months away and ended a two-fight losing streak. Many doubted whether Pacquiao would be the same, considering the last time we saw the Pac Man, he was lying face down on the canvas after being knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez. His wife, Jinkee, was in tears and begged Manny to retire after that loss. Pacquiao’s mother also requested that he move on from life in the ring. However, Pacquiao did not consider retiring.

With the questions surrounding his comeback, Pacquiao seemingly shrugged off questions about his return. But Typhoon Haiyan’s damage on the Philippines was a natural rallying point for Pacquiao. He pledged to win for the Philippines and donate to the relief effort.

Pacquiao’s latest fight took place in Macau, an island off the coast of China. This was in sharp contrast to his usual fights in Las Vegas, where big boxing events are normally held. One of the main reasons for the move to Macau was to attract the Asian market. It also helped Pacquiao in a number of ways.

First, it allowed him to stay at home in the Philippines, before leaving for Macau. Secondly, the plane ride was much shorter than the long trip to Las Vegas. Financially, Pacquiao benefits fighting outside of the United States because he doesn’t have to pay taxes on his guaranteed payday of $18 million. In addition, Pacquiao could have made up to $30 million, depending on how many people purchased the fight on pay-per-view. Even with a minimum payout of $18 million, Pacquiao faced some financial problems at home. The Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue froze his bank accounts, claiming the fighter owes 2.2 billion pesos ($50 million) in unpaid taxes. Although Pacquiao dedicated the fight to the typhoon victims and promised aid to the victims, he had to borrow 1 million pesos ($22,700) to purchase relief supplies and pledged to borrow more.

Pacquiao’s heart is where it should be, but falling into debt despite making so much money is concerning. Pacquiao’s representatives dispute the unpaid taxes, but the fact remains that he continues to fight to make money and it may begin to take a toll on his body. Regardless, he plans on fighting this spring, although it has not been announced who his opponent will be or where the fight will take place.


Marques Tuiasosopo (Photo courtesy of University of Washington)

Tui time for Husky bowl game

There was turmoil in Montlake recently when the University of Southern California (USC) hired Huskies football coach, Steve Sarkisian. Sarkisian left immediately for USC, leaving a big hole for the team to fill. The University of Washington (UW) has one more game left on its schedule – its bowl game. As a result, assistant coach Marques Tuiasosopo was chosen as the interim head coach to guide the Dawgs in their bowl game against the BYU Cougars.

Tuiasosopo, 34, played quarterback for the Huskies in their last appearance at the Rose Bowl in 2001. He began as an assistant at UCLA and then was hired by the UW to coach quarterbacks.

Although the Huskies have hired a permanent coach, Tuiasosopo should inspire the players for the bowl game and could prove to be a valuable assistant for the Huskies in the future. (end)

Jason Cruz can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

Posted in Sports, The Layup Drill, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

LETTER: Racism at restaurant?

Dear Editor,

If you think that Seattle is a city of diversity and respect, think twice. I’d like to share with you my dining experience that was racially motivated. Seemingly, it would only happen in the 1930s or 1940s. Read the full story

Posted in Letters to the Editor, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

LETTER: Restaurant responds

Dear Editor,

As the general manager of this restaurant, I am concerned with all feedback and address each and every one accordingly. Read the full story

Posted in Letters to the Editor, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

PICTORIAL: Top contributors honored

PICTORIAL: Top contributors honored

Photos by George Liu/NWAW


Mohan Gurung and Nepalese community


From left: Nam Phuong (owner of Nguyen’s Pharmacy), Janet Ung, Dorothy Wang, and State Farm agent Paulla Suy


Emcee Teresa Yuan (King 5)


From left: Nina Odell (Puget Sound Energy), Karen Tsao, and My-Linh Thai


Snoqualmie Casino’s Eric Booker and Dr. Austin Huang


From left: State Farm Agent Emily Hawkins, Bryan Yambe, and Heidi Park


From left: David Della, Sue Taoka, and Bob Santos


Mike Flood (Seahawks’ VP Community Relations), Dr. Jae Hoon Kim, and Rep. Cindy Ryu


From left: Nordstrom Diversity Affairs director Colleen Fukui-Sketchley, Dr. Bjong Yeigh, and Seungja Song


From left: Frieda Takamura, Rey Pascua, and Frank Irigon

Posted in Community News, Features, Pictorials, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

BLOG: Holiday gifts with an Asian f lair

BLOG: Holiday gifts with an Asian f lair

By Assunta Ng

Giving the wrong gift to the wrong person produces no joy. For Christmas gifts, I stay away from personal clothes, handbags, or hats. However, you won’t go wrong if you buy general gifts that reflect Asian culture.

Here are a list of suggestions I got from my staff and writers.


Chopsticks (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)


Jun Chen, Seattle Chinese Post graphics designer, bought chopsticks from Uwajimaya for her son’s grade-school teachers. She said the teachers were thrilled to receive the gifts. One said she never realized that chopsticks could be a work of art.


Tea (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)


Tea has less caffeine than coffee. It has health benefits — green tea possesses antioxidants and refreshes the mind.

Asian teas have such a variety that you can choose from all kinds of flavors and prices. Today, teas are nicely packaged and decorated, so you can simply give the tea without using wrapping paper. Besides, tea boxes can be recycled as containers for other things, such as candies and crackers. I use my tea boxes for business cards of foreign journalists.

For nutritious tea, such as ginseng, go to Chinatown herbal shops. There are huge selections of brands of ginseng tea in the form of both powder and leaves.


Sake (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)


Most people go to dinner parties with a bottle of wine. How about bringing the host a bottle of sake? Your gift will stand out from the others.

Sake is inexpensive. Uwajimaya has sake at $7.99 for a big bottle.


Adams Bench wine (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Another good idea is to buy local wine produced by an Asian American. Ben Zhang’s company, Greater China Industries, has created Leonetti and Adams bench Washington wines, which are made in Walla Walla. The wine is highly rated, and has been served at the White House for President Obama’s events.

Books for kids and adults

If you have trouble picking out a good book for your friends, my writer Samantha Pak recommends “Songs of Willow Frost” by Jamie Ford.

This book is about a 12-year-old boy named William Eng, who has lived at an orphanage for five years after finding his mother unconscious in the bathtub. On a special trip to the theater, he sees a woman on screen that he thinks is his mother. After this, he sets out with his friend Charlotte to try and find her. The book takes place in Seattle during the Great Depression. It was interesting to read about what Seattle was like during this time period. But it was also heartbreaking because William and Charlotte have come to accept the difficulties ahead of them, as one of them is Asian and the other is disabled. The journey for the two to find William’s mother is inspiring to read.

For children, Pak recommends the “Haruhi Suzumiya” series by Nagaru Tanigawa. The first in the series is “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.” The series follows a group of high school students in a club called the SOS Brigade, which exists to keep Haruhi Suzumiya happy, as she supposedly has the power to (unknowingly) destroy the world if she is not happy. This is a fun series filled with time travel, aliens, espers, and more. Each installment is a new adventure for the Brigade and while it isn’t in chronological order, due to the time travel, it is fairly easy to follow.


Bruce Lee (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

Little toys

Find the kid in you. Modern Trading presents a list of toys that adults would be fond of, too. Take the Bruce Lee imitation figures in kickboxing style. Once you see it, you will want one in your living room.


Lucky money

Lucky money

The U.S. Treasury has designed the exquisite Lucky Money Collection with decorative Chinese symbolism capturing the significance of the numbers “8888” and “168,” as well as the Zodiac celebrating the Lunar Year of the Horse. The number 8 in Chinese culture signifies having wealth.


Chocolate bears & Santas (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)


Who doesn’t love chocolate?

I never refuse chocolate. Uwajimaya has golden chocolate-shaped bears and Santa Clauses. It costs very little for a figurine to be put under a Christmas tree or on the fireplace mantle.


Mochi chocolate (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

The other option is mochi chocolate. It’s about $9.99 for a beautiful box in five flavors. I like all the flavors.

Asian restaurants and grocery store gift certificates

If you want to be really safe, go for gift certificates from Asian restaurants and grocery stores. Everyone needs to buy groceries.

Support Asian restaurants by introducing them to your friends. The food industry makes up about 60 percent of our community’s businesses. Do your part to help them.

Give a gift to your loved ones. You will see their smiles when they open it. The thrill and joy of opening a gift is almost universal among us. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Marching for $15

Marching for $15


Photo by George Liu/NWAW

About 150 people passed through the International District on Dec. 5 during a march from SeaTac to Seattle City Hall in support of Read the full story

Posted in Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

Diverse group of APA community contributors honored

Diverse group of APA community contributors honored

By James Tabafunda
Northwest Asian Weekly


Shining stars at the House of Hong on Dec. 6. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

The freezing outdoor temperature did not dampen the warm atmosphere of handshaking and extended congratulations inside the House of Hong Restaurant. Read the full story

Posted in Community News, Features, Profiles, Vol 32 No 51 | 12/14-12/20Comments (0)

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