Tag Archive | "Publisher’s Blog"

BLOG: Lunar New Year Confessions — It’s already an interesting year

BLOG: Lunar New Year Confessions — It’s already an interesting year

By Assunta Ng

“What’s going on in the community?”

This is a question I often get, and well, it makes me uncomfortable.

People assume I know everything being a newspaper publisher. But I don’t.

I’ve learned that “I don’t know” is not an embarrassing response.  I don’t feel insecure or have an ego issue that I am afraid to admit that I am dumb sometimes, and even make mistakes. Luckily, the internet often saves my day, and I will keep searching for answers for the questions I have. I respect Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In, in which she says, “Leaders should strive for authenticity and not perfection.”


Boom with a fan (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Who is Boom?

“Blitz is not available for the (Lunar New Year kids’) parade this Saturday as he is already attending a different event,” responded a Seahawks staff email to my request for the Hawks’ mascot.   “I could have Boom attend the parade,” he suggested.

Who the heck is Boom?

Instead of showing my ignorance, I replied, “It will be great to have Boom. Yes, please help us get Boom.”


Costume contestants on stage (with Boom!) (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)


Then, I went online to learn more about Boom, Blitz’s sidekick. Okay, I confessed that I didn’t know about Boom and even Blitz’s name until recently. I just wanted the Hawks’ magic touch to add to the Northwest Asian Weekly 6th annual kids’ parade/costume contest.

Kids just loved Boom at the parade, and wanted to hug, high-five and hold the mascot.

Oops, I didn’t clean!

“Did you clean your house for Lunar New Year?” asked a casual acquaintance on Lunar New Year’s Eve, Wednesday.

“No, I didn’t,” I said.

“You didn’t?!” He sounded like I had committed a sin.

“My mother-in-law cleaned the house and worked so hard to prepare ( for the arrival of New Year’s luck.)”

“Shut your mouth, I am not your mother-in-law,” I wanted to reply, But, I decided it’s not worth educating someone chauvinistic who thinks that a woman is responsible for doing it all, and that she should be responsible for cleaning her house.

Wednesday is Asian Weekly’s print day. We had the biggest issue of the year. I had my priorities straight, paper first, house-cleaning third.

Does it mean I won’t have luck this year just because I didn’t clean my home? Following traditions with common sense is a better way to honor our heritage.

Food is King

We gave out Chinese waffle crackers, children’s books, and lucky bags as prizes for finalists participating in the Asian Weekly’s kids’ parade and costume contest.

Nine of the participants chose crackers.

I wish I would have known the crackers would be so popular! They were eight times cheaper than the books. One family of five immediately opened the cracker packages and ate the sweets. They looked so satisfied. Next year, I will be prepared with plenty of crackers.

I will work hard to find sponsors next year so we can afford to give every contestant a pack of waffle cookies.

Have a Fat Chinese New Year?

I didn’t know what it meant when someone wished me a Fat Year last week.

Does it mean I should gain more weight?  Does it mean I don’t have enough fat to cook my meals?

Actually, it means “earn a lot of money, buy a lot of foods for celebrating Chinese New Year, and wishing family members are healthy and happy to enjoy the holiday.” I wouldn’t mind that at all.

With 40 pages and 44 pages for two consecutive issues of the Seattle Chinese Post and three issues of the Asian Weekly with 20 pages in February, it looks like we have a fat beginning.

But the print business is going through a very challenging time. We have to work very hard to achieve a fat year.

Unfortunately, three of my staff were sick last week, one after another. Several of us swallowed quite a bit of vitamin C to fight the flu. I got sick Sunday after deadline, when everything was done. Luckily my body understood how important deadlines are. I just told myself during busy days, “I cannot fall until the work is done.”

What a price we have to pay to make sure we can print!

Greed was dominant

The Lunar New Year Festival brought out at least 10,000 people to visit the Chinatown/International District. While I was happy to see so many people who wanted to be part of the festivities, I was not thrilled to see so many people who showed up due to greed.

People lined up for free goodies from McDonald’s, free fans from Delta Airlines, New York Life’s lanterns and the many more freebies.

Many were fighting, pushing, and getting more than their share like a swarm of bees sucking on their newfound honey. Knowing that there were coupons inside the Seattle Chinese Post, they kept coming to wait for our free issues. We hand out free copies of the Seattle Chinese Post every year during the festival. Every hour, people kept asking, “When will you distribute?”


Getting ready for the parade (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

C’mon, it’s only 50 cents a copy. You get a lot more in the Seattle Chinese Post than just a coupon.

BRAVO award for CID-BIA

The layout of the Lunar New Year Festival was refreshing. The stage was placed in front of the Bush Hotel at Hing Hay Park, enabling the whole audience to see the show. The kids’ pavilion was outside the park, on King Street, whereas it was inside the park in the past. That’s the way it should be.

The Chinatown/International District Business Improvement Area only has two full-time and a few part-time members. Yet, it was able to achieve so much by organizing several events during the year. The success of the CID-BIA is due to its innovation with the strong leadership of Don Blakeney and Mary Do. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 34 No 10 | 2/28-3/6Comments (0)

BLOG: Year of the Sheep is for weaving dreams — Eight is a lucky number

BLOG: Year of the Sheep is for weaving dreams — Eight is a lucky number

The Year of the Sheep is for imagination. Just look at celebrities born in sheep years: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Will Ferrell and others, how they create from nothing to something amazing. It’s time for you to make your Lunar New Year dream list.

The sheep celebrities have certainly inspired me to build my wish list. Instead of a list of 10,

I will only list eight, since eight is lucky number in many Asian countries. But if I can get some of my wishes, I will be as happy as a sheep.

Here you go:


1. Fresh Off the Boat unbeaten

“Fresh Off the Boat,” a pilot television series about an Asian American family on ABC prime time, drew over 9 million viewers in its first two episodes, since its debut three weeks ago. It’s about time we have our own show!!!

The last Asian American television show was two decades ago, featuring Margaret Cho in “The All American Girl,” which ended after 20 episodes.

My son taped the show to make sure his mom watches it dutifully every week. What it means is that young Asian Americans support it. They want to see their own faces and not just the white characters, white values, and white cultures.  It also indicates America is curious about Asian Americans, likes the idea of having such a program, and is ready to watch more. We can’t rely on only Asians to watch the show. To make it successful, we need non-Asians to cheer it on as well. The show’s premiere episodes point to it receiving acclaim from all audiences.

Sure, it stereotypes Asian Americans. Some critics said it wasn’t that funny. Still, I saw myself in the story—how at times, I raised my sons with an iron fist–forcing them to go to Chinese classes on Saturday when they protested. They understood that getting a bad grade would be the end of the world.

I was delighted to watch Asian Americans not being portrayed as sidekicks or second-lead characters, but rather, being the main stars. They were telling our stories, examining struggles, and making sacrifices when living in a new country.

I sincerely hope the show triumphs and lasts for a long, long time. This will encourage Asian Americans, young and old, to think seriously about going into the entertainment industry. Hopefully, this project would also lead to other Asian American characters and movies popping up in Hollywood, giving our community more opportunities.

So readers, watch it every Tuesday on ABC at 8 p.m. Parents, inspire your kids to follow their passion. Not everyone can be a computer expert, doctor, or engineer. Your kids’ possibilities are endless.

2. Ana Mari Cauce as UW president

University of Washington President Michael Young has announced that he will be leaving for the position of Texas A&M president in June.

“What do you think are Young’s contributions?” I asked some UW alumni.

“He has raised a lot of money,” they replied.  When I asked the same question for Young’s predecessor Mark Emmert, who left UW in 2010, several could instantly articulate what Emmert did for the Asian community and UW.  Emmert had a stellar performance in fund-raising for UW too. I have not met someone who felt sorry that Young is leaving.

Yes, he quits simply because the other school pays him more. Need I say more!?

It could be that Young never felt he belonged here. He doesn’t really open himself up much to others. UW Regents picked him through a national search, which was time-consuming, costly, and a minor return for us.


Provost Ana Mari Cauce

However, Young did make one significant contribution—the appointment of Provost Ana Mari Cauce, a woman and person of color.

Last week, the UW Board of Regents appointed Cauce to be the interim president. If the Regents were bold enough to do the right thing, they should encourage Cauce to apply for the permanent job and then pick her. A natural leader in many areas, she works well with people, including the faculty and community.

A female university president is a treasure, only 27 percent of university and college presidents are women. We have an excellent candidate now and it’s up to the Regents.

Don’t make the same mistake like last time–UW lost President Emmert and Provost Phyllis Wise, a Chinese American. The Board was unsupportive of the idea of Wise’s candidacy for the presidency. So she stayed out of the race and worked as interim president before Young’s arrival. Then, the University of Illinois approached Wise and grabbed her as Chancellor at Urbana-Champaign.

Please keep Cauce for the good of the UW.

3. Go Seahawks!

I am still proud of the team although the Hawks lost its Super Bowl championship.

The Hawks don’t get the respect and prestige they deserve–they are not even on the top 10 most popular football teams in the United States. But if they can prove themselves in 2016 with a championship, who would dare challenge their talents?

Yes, Hawks for a 2016 win! Yes, we can!

4. $15 minimum wage

The $15 minimum wage will be implemented in Seattle on April 1. It would be tough on minority businesses and even mainstream businesses.


Lester Holt

I pray for business owners not to be victimized by the $15 minimum wage, and that they will be able to survive by developing innovative measures, and be equipped with a fighting spirit in dealing with adversities.

5. Lester Holt as anchor?

Who would have predicted that Lester Don Holt, Jr. would be the interim anchor in 2015 for NBC Nightly News during Brian Williams’ six-month suspension?

(Williams has been accused of embellishing his role in a fighting helicopter during the Iraq War when he was actually in another plane.) If Williams doesn’t return, Holt will be the first person of color anchor for a major network.

Even though many said Williams deserves a second chance, and he does, there is a silver lining for the public to recognize that Holt can fill a big anchor’s shoes. So I am rooting for Holt to be a prime-time news anchor—if not for NBC, then one of the other major networks.

6. Great stories!

Did you know that many times the media, including newspapers, are dictated by good visuals? Maybe we don’t have the meatiest story in a certain week, but we can try to procure a good photo to complement it. So the story gets a front-page position even though it’s not important enough to be placed there. That visual can make all the difference.

In the Year of the Sheep, I hope we will have stories that won’t depend on that. I am not hoping for disaster and bad news, but perhaps with our readership’s help (send us story ideas!), we can really provide great and exciting stories–especially those which can lift the human spirit. Yes, we will still deliver the bad news, but hopefully it will be a year of good news.

We hope to see great things happening in the Asian community and people of color so we can present inspirational pieces and lessons for us all.

7. Speak up about mental health issues

Asian Americans who have mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, are often ashamed to admit that they need help. Asian culture pressures many of the patients not to seek help and support, due to perhaps “saving face.” Everyone deserves to have a quality life. No one should be afraid to make changes or be ashamed to talk about something they need support for. Be brave and seek help. Be consistent and unashamed in your search for support. Be vocal. There is nothing to be frightened or embarrassed about when it comes to depression or other mental illness.

My wish is to be able to use the Asian Weekly as a resource and hopefully make a contribution to our community. We tried to address this issue after hearing about Yale student’s Luchang Wang’s suicide in our recent editorial. You will hear from us more about the issue. If you have any thoughts, please let us know.

8. Enjoy, relax, and focus on your blessings

My job is stressful as a publisher. Every day, I search for ways and moments to enjoy, laugh, and relax. My wish for you is the same. Every day, I make a decision in the morning that I am going to have a great day no matter what happens and how lousy it might be. It’s easier said than done. It’s my goal in Sheep Year, though.

In 2014, I was successful most days, but still working on some glitches along the way. In the Year of the Sheep, I hope I can achieve my goal 99 percent of the time.

Happy New Year in the Name of the Sheep, the most peaceful and patient animal of all in the 12 zodiac signs. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 34 No 9 | 2/21-2/27Comments (0)

BLOG: Superstitions and traditions — Examining our strange Lunar New Year customs

BLOG: Superstitions and traditions — Examining our strange Lunar New Year customs

By Assunta Ng
Northwest Asian Weekly


Variety of red envelopes

Reminiscing about Lunar New Year during my childhood, I could count as many as hundreds of traditions my family followed. Some were fun, while some were silly and reflective of cultural defects.

As a child, I wasn’t smart enough to say, “Hey, just because it was done thousands of years ago in China doesn’t mean we have to do the same today!”

Nor was it my place to ask, “Why are we doing this?”

As an adult, I have skipped many of the requirements of the Lunar New Year to-do list due to two reasons. It isn’t meaningful to honor traditions if they are based on superstitions. It’s not practical to keep my cultural customs, living in America, which doesn’t celebrate the holiday like Asian countries, and not even normally celebrate other nations’ New Year.

So I made an arbitrary decision—only hanging on to the fun New Year activities and traditional food and crafts, to bring families and the community together.

Here is a list I will refer to before and after Feb. 19, the first day of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Sheep.

Yes, “red envelopes!”

When I was a child in Hong Kong, I would dream of having New Year every day because there was no school, and there was plenty of money and an abundance of fine food.

My family was poor. Seldom did my mother give me an allowance. My mother was able to give me lunch money during weekdays. (The Hong Kong school system didn’t provide free lunch for low-income students.)

I usually only bought two pieces of bread (about 10 cents U.S.) as opposed to buying a lunch box (about 60 cents U.S.). Then, I hid the rest of the money. Yes, I hid it. Because if my mom knew that I had money left, she would give me less the next time.
So Lunar New Year became my temporary financial savior because adults, all my relatives, would give us “lucky money.”

My mom usually let me keep all the lucky money.

Red envelopes are a popular tradition, and especially popular with the receivers.

Married adults are supposed to give unmarried friends and relatives lucky money. The money is put in red envelopes for good fortune.

I give red envelopes to my employees.

Ever since we’ve published the Asian Weekly, I have always handed out lucky money, as well as treating them to a sumptuous Lunar New Year lunch. It’s something they look forward to every Chinese New Year. Of course, I give red envelopes to my sons and some friends’ children since they are single.

I will stick to this tradition because everyone is smiling when I hand them money.

Pay debt the Chinese way

It would bring bad luck for the debtors next year if they don’t pay before New Year arrives, according to Chinese tradition. That’s what we should teach our children before they become adults. I endorse this custom totally. Settle your debt before you borrow again next year; it is the right thing to do. In the modern world, people are inclined not to pay on time and postpone payment as much and as long as possible. That’s why so many Americans have lost their credit and are in financial trouble.


Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW


There are lucky foods, especially when it comes to the Chinese New Year.

The New Year Cake, made of solid cake, nien go, combines glutinous rice flour with some sugar.  Eating the cake is a symbol that you will climb higher and higher every year.


Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW


Oysters signify that your affairs will be in order. If you don’t want something bad to happen, perhaps eating more oysters can ward off all those bad omens.


Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW


What about lotus seeds providing fertility? What about tangerines giving you wealth?

How about steamed fish granting you prosperity every year?

I don’t mind eating all those with my family and staff. I don’t care if it lands me fortune. It’s still fun to eat them anyway.

We can all buy our lucky foods at Lam’s Seafood and Uwajimaya if we don’t have time to make them.


Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW


Create the New Year look by hanging lucky posters, signs, and lanterns to decorate your shop, office, and home. These gestures make you feel festive. You can buy these items at Uwajimaya and Modern Trading.

I love to enhance my office with New Year greetings, but I never seem to have time to do it at home. Some folks might argue that if you don’t do it, you might have bad luck all year round. Sorry, I can’t help it. I would rather get enough sleep than sweat over New Year superstitions.

Avoid mean words

During the first two days of the Lunar New Year, we are supposed to greet friends and loved ones with “Gung Hay Fat Choy,” meaning “wishes for you to make lots of money.”

My parents and relatives got annoyed if anyone said anything like “You go to hell” at the beginning of the year. Now, if people say mean words, I just respond with, “Oh really,” and laugh. That’s a better defense mechanism than to be upset.

Today, we say the phrase “Gung Hay Fat Choy” so many times, as if it doesn’t mean too much. It’s more like a New Year greeting than actually meaning that the receiver will get wealth. The better greeting would be, “May your dreams come true.” “May you have good health.” “Million affairs will be in triumph.”

It doesn’t cost us anything to say nice things to others. So why make others feel bad?!

Cleaning is a no-no…

My mom used to clean our home before the New Year because cleaning means sweeping away your wealth. As she ages, she doesn’t do much. Could it be that she is wiser or she doesn’t remember to clean? Both. I try to schedule my cleaners to do the cleaning before the New Year. It’s thoughtful to do so, especially if your janitors are Asian immigrants.

Sometimes, it doesn’t work and that’s fine.

Go with the flow. And don’t blame yourself or rationalize that you have bad luck that year simply because you clean your house on New Year’s Day.

Washing dishes and showers are a “no-no.” But we can’t stop flushing the toilet! I can manage turning on our dishwasher two hours before midnight instead of that certain day. But a daily bath for me is essential to have a good night’s sleep. I cannot change this habit even if you guarantee me a thousand bucks. The day I came to America, I have been showering every New Year’s Day.

Perhaps, that’s the reason I can’t be a publisher of 20 newspapers, but only the publisher of two. I just disregard my luck with my act of bathing on the wrong day! But then, if I change my habits, I don’t think money will flood my house either. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 34 No 8 | 2/14-2/20Comments (0)

BLOG: Being blunt about race…

BLOG: Being blunt about race…

By Assunta Ng


DaNell Daymon, founder of Greater Works (left), and choir members perform at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church for Seattle Colleges MLK celebration (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)


My words were blunt and shocking even to myself when I asked community leaders to contribute to the Asian Weekly’s social justice issue. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 34 No 5 | 1/24-1/30Comments (0)

BLOG: 8 gifts at no cost that can boost your happiness

BLOG: 8 gifts at no cost that can boost your happiness


Ho, ho, ho, Christmas is cancelled!

Two parents posted on Facebook recently a photo of their three sons and announced they were cancelling their holiday with no gifts. Read the full story

Posted in Features 52, Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 52 | 12/20-12/26Comments (0)

BLOG: A dynamic duo

BLOG: A dynamic duo

By Assunta Ng


Carol Simmons and Vivian Lee (Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW)

It’s not easy to foster diversity at the University of Washington (UW) since it’s such a big school with Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 46 | 11/8-11/14Comments (0)

BLOG: Make her proud

By Assunta Ng

Former educator Carol Simmons knows how to express gratitude. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 46 | 11/8-11/14Comments (0)

BLOG: Congratulations to candidates…and voters

BLOG: Congratulations to candidates…and voters

By Assunta Ng


Mark Chow

Elections are an opportunity for us to speak our mind. Voters certainly spoke on the Nov. 4 election in Washington state. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 46 | 11/8-11/14Comments (0)

BLOG: Kenny G’s smooth approach to China ends up being silent

BLOG: Kenny G’s smooth approach to China ends up being silent

By Assunta Ng


Jackie Chan and Kenny G. (Photo from Kenny G’s twitter page)

Former Seattleite Kenny G, the popular saxophonist (especially in China), paid a surprise visit to the students’ protest in Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 45 | 11/1-11/7Comments (0)

BLOG: Is eating the only thing?

BLOG: Is eating the only thing?

By Assunta Ng


UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce (left) with friends enjoying the first dish. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

I have never encountered any YELP reviews at an Asian Weekly’s event. Last week, the review landed on my plate, and it was amazingly bad. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 45 | 11/1-11/7Comments (0)

BLOG: Satya needs a public relations consultant

BLOG: Satya needs a public relations consultant

By Assunta Ng


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella created controversy last week due to his comment that women should trust in karma for a raise and shouldn’t ask for better wages. This was said  at the Women in Technology conference. Why did Satya say what he said?

Three factors influenced his response. He was born and raised in India, where there can be a lot of disrespect for women. Some Asian cultural values don’t focus on self-expression. We are taught not to have opinions, but to conform to authorities and the elderly. We are raised not to impress, but to follow the rules. Some Asian cultures tend to shape us to be deep thinkers, rather than quick thinkers for social interaction. New in his CEO position, Satya is unequipped for multi-dimensional human and social issues. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 43 | 10/18-10/24Comments (0)

BLOG: Okimoto vs. Harrell is history

BLOG: Okimoto vs. Harrell is history


Dave Okimoto

By Assunta Ng

A friend told me recently that Dave Okimoto is going to run against Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell in 2015.

When I saw Okimoto, the former United Way executive, last Friday, I asked him,

“Are you running?” Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 42 | 10/11-10/17Comments (0)

BLOG: What will happen to the Louisa/Hudson Hotel?

BLOG: What will happen to the Louisa/Hudson Hotel?


Owners of the Louisa/Hudson Hotel, devastated by fire, with community members (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

By Assunta Ng

No one knows what will happen to Chinatown’s Louisa/Hudson Hotel, which was destroyed on the west side last December by a fire. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 38 | 9/13-9/19Comments (0)

BLOG: A silver lining for the Korean community

BLOG: A silver lining for the Korean community

By Assunta Ng


From left: Sam Chung, John Chun, and Steven Kim

Earlier this year, Sam Chung received bad news that he didn’t get Gov. Jay Inslee’s appointment for King County Superior Judge. But his friend John Chun did. He then assumed he would have to wait for his next opportunity. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 31 | 7/26-8/1Comments (0)

BLOG: Ken Colling spreads Good will around

BLOG: Ken Colling spreads Good will around

By Assunta Ng

Ken receives a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Goodwill President Ken Colling is known for his fancy ties. What touches his friends and colleagues aren’t his ties, but his heart.

At Ken’s retirement reception on June 6, about 200 people gathered at the Goodwill administration center, on Dearborn Avenue, to thank him for his 10 years of service at Goodwill.

How would Ken like to be remembered?

“A human being,” Ken responded when I asked what he would like for me to say when I introduced him at his party. No need to talk about his Goodwill work, he added.

Ken worked hard to change Goodwill’s culture and board, which had previously been made up of white males. Wayne Lau, executive director of Rainier Valley Fund Partnership, was a former board chair. The current chair is Markee Foster, an African American.

Ken has assembled “a talented and committed team” of men and women to contribute to Goodwill’s success, according to Scott Missall, a board member.

Under Ken’s leadership, Goodwill has more than doubled 11 stores (during the first 80 years) to 24, and enrollees for training programs increased six-fold to over 8,500 a year.

Donations have also doubled for retail stores, and revenue increased to 278 percent, thus raising the national ranking among Goodwill stores from 21st to 9th. Also, its donors jumped from over 700,000 to 2.3 million. Now, Seattle Goodwill is the No. 1 store in the nation for annual sales.

Ken’s Goodwill record is not easy to achieve as Edie Hilliard said at his retirement party, since Goodwill has many competitors, most of which sell junk goods and rely on donated merchandise.

BG Nabors-Glass waves a Ken-face flag, saying she is a ‘big fan’ of Ken Colling. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Dream not fulfilled

Even with a great report card for Goodwill, Ken has one dream that hasn’t been fulfilled — turning its old headquarters into an enterprise of housing units, retail shops, and Goodwill offices and training centers.

Unfortunately, some community activists had protested the project. One reason was that they wanted to get a free Vietnamese community center from Goodwill. The politics destroyed Ken’s dream and instantly changed Goodwill’s fate. He had every right to be furious. But he wasn’t. He chose to forgive, and even collaborated with people who protested his project.

Bob Santos, one of the protesters, said after the party, “Ken always came over to see if we were OK. He’s professional and gracious. He never took it personally. We didn’t agree, but I always liked him. He always calls to wish me a happy birthday every year. He’s very caring.”

There’s not a streak of meanness in Ken’s blood. He has an immense capacity to love his neighbors from the International and Central districts, to Rainier Valley and Little Saigon. He supported their events, including Tabor 100 and Urban League, and attended many of them. He partnered with the Center for Career Alternatives (now closed) for job training. He encourages his staff to engage in their communities.

Why Ken values Goodwill

At Goodwill, Ken has learned about “the strength of the human spirit.” He witnessed how their “students have endured and overcome hardships, which most of us cannot even imagine.”

He believes in Goodwill’s mission — providing “individual support and teaching of job skills,” which “can help so many people help themselves.

“I learned how helping a student, in turn, helps a whole family and friends have lives they feel proud of.”

A sample of colorful neckties Ken has collected since the mid-1980s. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Why funky ties

Yep, Ken has a collection of funky, as well as stylish, ties. Sometimes, he wears as many as four neckties a day, hopping to different events.

Director and actor Woody Allen once said, “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”

Ken’s love affair with ties is never about vanity. By wearing something groovy, it creates an ambiance and sets him apart from other people. It helps him to win friends and reconnect with old acquaintances. It’s his way of reaching out to strangers, stimulating conversation. Simultaneously, it satisfies his love for adventure and sense of humor.

Soon, people get to know his positive energy, compassion, generosity, sensitivity, and graciousness. That’s how his friendship begins with many people of color over the years.

How many ties does Ken own? He wouldn’t say. He has over 100 and he intends to have more.

Ken will retire on June 30. (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 26 | 6/21-6/27Comments (2)

BLOG: A win-win program for students, businesses, and UW Foster School

BLOG: A win-win program for students, businesses, and UW Foster School

By Assunta Ng


From left to right: Michael Chau, Vivi Nguyen, Sheetal Chhabra, mentor Faouzi Sefrioui, Simran Singh, and Rushika Mehta on a cruise courtesy of Argosy. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Minority business owners sailed on an Argosy cruise ship to celebrate success on May 20. The success they discussed wasn’t about making a million dollars or landing a big deal — far from it — but the significant results of a project they participated in are evident. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 23 | 5/31-6/6Comments (2)

BLOG: Helicopter tragedy hits home for journalists

BLOG: Helicopter tragedy hits home for journalists

By Assunta Ng


Scene of Tuesday’s helicopter crash near the Seattle Center (Photo from KOMO-TV)

The KOMO-TV helicopter crash near the Seattle Center on Tuesday, resulting in the death of the pilot and photojournalist, troubles me. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 13 | 3/22-3/28Comments (0)

BLOG: My ‘rainbow breakfast’ for health and taste

BLOG: My ‘rainbow breakfast’ for health and taste


Colorful, delicious, and healthy…

By Assunta Ng

If you saw me eating breakfast, you would say, “That’s fancy!” Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 12 | 3/15-3/21Comments (0)

BLOG: Winter Olympics not for Asian nations

BLOG: Winter Olympics not for Asian nations

By Assunta Ng

Did you see there were few Asian countries participating in the Sochi Olympics? Well, most Asian countries are located in the tropics. They’d rather go for Summer Olympics — tropical sports.

There were only 89 countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics, which was considered a record high, as opposed to over 200 countries in the Summer Olympics in 2012.


Ski equipment

The truth is, only the richer Asian nations, such as China, Japan, and South Korea, can afford to train their athletes for the Winter Olympics. Winter sports cost a fortune in training and equipment.


Kristi Yamaguchi (Photo from Kristi Yamaguchi facebook page)

Former Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, who won her gold medal in figure skating for America in 1992, said it cost her family over $1 million for her training. The skates are expensive. A figure skating costume by a famous designer can cost more than $35,000. Notice the athletes need to have three new dazzling outfits to compete for the short, long, and exhibition shows. No athlete puts on the same costume during these programs.

And oh, they couldn’t dress shabby for their practice either, as the reporters were watching and photographing. Their practice dresses looked just as stunning. Just to participate in the figure skating Olympics competition could cost over $100,000. That’s not including airfare and hotel.

Take another winter sport like cross-country skiing. The equipment, including skis, poles, gears, bindings, and clothes (jackets, boots, pants, face warmer, helmet, goggles, mask, gloves, socks, and beanie) are all necessary for the competition. The bill for these essentials is over $100,000. How can an Indian, Nepalese, Vietnamese, or Burmese citizen afford to foot the bill?



The good news is that the next Winter Olympics will be held in an Asian nation, South Korea, in 2018. I suspect more Asian nations will be more prepared to join the games.


Russian President Putin

President Putin, you need a makeover!

Russian President Putin never smiled during the Olympics until the closing ceremony. Didn’t his aides remind him, “Smile, you are on camera! The world is watching!”

President Putin, you don’t have to look so angry, stuffy, and tense. You are not a general, but a leader. You are not dealing with spies at the Olympics. This was your opportunity to change the image of the old Russia, and showcase the new Russia’s positive aspects. You just killed a golden opportunity!

Haven’t you learned anything from President Obama? Charisma can carry you a long way, win friends and even enemies, and cultivate surprising goodwill and influence.

Every time Obama travels outside the United States, thousands come to see him. Obama knows how to charm. He projects what a 21st century leader should be.

Mr. Putin, you really need an image consultant to soften you up or give you a makeover! (end)

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 10 | 3/1-3/7Comments (0)

BLOG: Ambassador Locke amused by rumors

BLOG: Ambassador Locke amused by rumors

By Assunta Ng


From left, Mona and Gary Locke, Lily and Fred Shiosaki, and Michael Shiosaki (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

The Chinese media have been stirring up all kinds of rumors since U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke announced his resignation. First they claimed that he resigned because of an affair, then they said he had liver illness. One Taiwanese newspaper even printed a story of his liver transplant on the front page. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 33 No 3 | 1/11-1/17Comments (0)

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