Tag Archive | "Vol 30 No 49 | December 3 – December 9"

Glitter gala raises $220,000 for Seattle Goodwill

Glitter gala raises $220,000 for Seattle Goodwill

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Seattle Goodwill President and CEO Ken Colling with Seattle Goodwill Board Chair Wayne Lau

On Nov. 9, Seattle Goodwill held its annual Glitter Gala at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle. The event raised $220,000, which will benefit Goodwill’s job training and education programs. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Robert Chinn Foundation presents 2011 Asian Hall of Fame awards

Robert Chinn Foundation presents 2011 Asian Hall of Fame awards

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From left: hall-of-famers Rich Cho, Eleanor Concepcion Mariano, Robert Chinn Board President Karen Wong, and hall-of-famer Teddy Zee (far left) with his significant other, Julia Lee

 

Known as the “Robbies,” since 2004, the Asian Hall of Fame awards, given by the Robert Chinn Foundation, serve to honor people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who have greatly contributed to the American experience. The awards event took place on Nov. 19 at the Asian Resource Center. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Lao Heritage Foundation holds Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner

Lao Heritage Foundation holds Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner

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Young performers at the Lao Heritage Foundation’s Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner (Photo from Lao Heritage Foundation)

On Nov. 12, the Lao Heritage Foundation’s Northwest chapter held its Fifth Annual Benefit Dinner at New Hong Kong Seafood Restaurant in the International District. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Seattle Parks and Recreation presents Denny Awards to volunteers

Seattle Parks and Recreation presents Denny Awards to volunteers

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Nancy Chang (left) and Nobuko Matsumori Anderson

On Nov. 29, Seattle Parks and Recreation presented six awards to individuals and entities that have volunteered time and energy to improving Seattle’s parks and programs. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (1)

Japan basketball team hires first female head coach

Japan basketball team hires first female head coach

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Natalie Nakase

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — A Japanese American woman became the first female head coach in the history of Japan’s professional men’s basketball league last Thursday, Nov. 24.

Natalie Nakase, who has experience as a head coach of a women’s team in Germany, was hired by the Saitama Broncos.

She replaces American coach Dean Murray, who was fired earlier Thursday for what the team said was a violation of his contract.

“I know these aren’t the best circumstances in which to be hired,” Nakase said on the team’s official website. “But I will do everything possible to get the job done. There is a lot of talent on this team.” Read the full story

Posted in Sports, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Glory days for soccer in tiny American Samoa

APIA, Samoa (AP) — Two days after winning for the first time in its soccer history, American Samoa stretched its unbeaten run to two games. Read the full story

Posted in Sports, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Vietnam vet shares his dark history, one peck at a time

By Donald Bradley
The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — At the very worst of times, John W. Nash came clean.

“If I tell you what I did over there, you won’t love me anymore,” he told his wife. Read the full story

Posted in National News, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

China’s school bus donation to Macedonia derided and criticized

China’s school bus donation to Macedonia derided and criticized

By Louise Watt
Associated Press

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A Chinese school bus

BEIJING (AP) — China’s donation of school buses to tiny Macedonia has touched off derision online, where Chinese have called the gift ill-considered given their country’s poor safety record and a recent crash that killed 19 preschoolers. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9, World NewsComments (0)

Obama, Clinton gamble on Myanmar

Obama, Clinton gamble on Myanmar

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (left) and Aung San Suu Kyi

By Matthew Lee
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is taking a foreign policy gamble by sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on a historic trip to the isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar this week.

The administration is betting that the first visit to the country, also known as Burma, by a secretary of state in more than half a century will pay dividends, including loosening Chinese influence in a region where America and its allies are wary of China’s rise.

But it will also gauge the Myanmar government’s baby steps toward democratic reform after 50 years of military rule that saw brutal crackdowns on pro-democracy activists, including the detention of opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Clinton left Washington on Monday and spent two days in Myanmar after a stop in South Korea. After talks with government officials in Myanmar’s capital of Naypyitaw on Thursday, she will see Suu Kyi on Friday in a meeting that will likely be the highlight of the visit.

Suu Kyi, who intends to run for parliament in upcoming by-elections, has welcomed Clinton’s trip and told President Barack Obama in a phone call earlier this month that engagement with the government would be positive. Clinton has called Suu Kyi a personal inspiration.

The trip is the first major development in U.S.–Myanmar relations in decades and comes after the Obama administration launched a new effort to prod reforms in 2009 with a package of carrot-and-stick incentives. The rapprochement sped up when Myanmar held elections last year that brought a new government to power that pledged greater openness. The administration’s special envoy to Myanmar has made three trips to the country in the past three months, and the top U.S. diplomat for human rights has made one.

Those officials pushed for Clinton to make the trip, deeming a test of the reforms as worthwhile despite the risks of backsliding.

President Thein Sein, a former army officer, has pushed forward reforms after Myanmar experienced decades of repression under successive military regimes that canceled 1990 elections that Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won.

Last week, Myanmar’s parliament approved a law guaranteeing the right to protest, which had not previously existed. Improvements have been made in areas such as media, Internet access, and political participation. The NLD, which had boycotted previous flawed elections, is now registered as a party.

But the government that took office in March is still dominated by a military-proxy political party, and Myanmar’s commitment to democratization and its willingness to limit its close ties with China are uncertain.

Corruption runs rampant, hundreds of political prisoners are still jailed, and violent ethnic conflicts continue in the country’s north and east. And, although the government suspended a controversial Chinese dam project earlier this year, China laid down a marker ahead of Clinton’s trip by sending its vice president to meet the head of Myanmar’s armed forces.

China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Vice President Xi Jinping pledged to maintain strong ties with Myanmar and encouraged Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to push for solutions to unspecified challenges in relations.

Myanmar also remains subject to tough sanctions that prohibit Americans and U.S. companies from most commercial transactions in the country.

U.S. officials say Clinton’s trip is a fact-finding visit and will not result in an easing of sanctions. But officials also say that such steps could be taken if Myanmar proves itself to be serious about reform. (end)

Posted in Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9, World NewsComments (0)

Reader’s Corner: Forced to flee: voices and visions from the Thai-Burma border, put on paper

Reader’s Corner: Forced to flee: voices and visions from the Thai-Burma border, put on paper

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Erika Berg

By Erika Berg
For Northwest Asian Weekly

In September 2007, the world’s attention was riveted by video footage of never-ending columns of saffron-robed monks streaming through the streets of Burma. Overnight, the government had removed all fuel subsidies, spiking food prices. Moved by the people’s despair, tens of thousands of Buddhist monks took to the streets in protest, chanting the Metta Sutta, a prayer of loving kindness.

One week later, machine-gun toting soldiers swarmed the streets. Foreign news crews were banned. The Internet was shut down. Dusk-to-dawn curfews were enforced. Gatherings of more than five people were prohibited.

Monasteries were raided. Monks vanished. Just like before Burma’s monk-led “Saffron Revolution,” police cracked down on anyone who dared to challenge the government’s authority.

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Nine official refugee camps, housing 148,000 refugees, dot the Thai-Burma border. They provide food and safety, but with confinement. Each camp is ringed by a barbed wire fence and guarded by Thai soldiers. To many, camp is the only home they’ve known. This painting was created by a refugee youth who resettled in King County. (Illustration provided by Erika Berg)

Four years after gasping aloud at an image of bloodstained monks’ robes draped from the rafters of a deserted monastery, my partner, 10-year-old daughter, and I found ourselves in Mae Sot, Thailand, the main gateway for refugees from Burma.

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Fleeing soldiers, villagers travel under the cover of darkness. This storyteller said, during the day, he held his breath. He was afraid he would be heard otherwise. (Illustration provided by Erika Berg)

Volunteering with refugee youth in Seattle, I had seen how the emotions conveyed and evoked by a narrative image, or “visual story,” could open hearts and build bridges of understanding. Inspired by the power of an indelible image, we had journeyed to the border town of Mae Sot to facilitate a series of visual storytelling workshops with refugee youth.

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17-year-old Saw’s dream for the future: “Justice.” (Illustration provided by Erika Berg)

As refugees, the youth had fled ethnic, religious, or political persecution. They had lost their families, homes, and homeland.

When we said we needed their help, they were visibly intrigued. Living in refugee camps, an orphanage, a shelter for child-trafficking survivors, boarding houses, and a city dump, their eyes sparkled — as if it had never occurred to them that their stories mattered.

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This storyteller recalled how his village, one of over 3,500 in the ethnic minority regions of eastern Burma, was burned down by the Burmese Army. (Illustration provided by Erika Berg)

Our oldest workshop participant was 23; the youngest was 3. Depending on their age, we asked the youths to paint their answers to two or three of these questions: Why were you forced to flee Burma? What did your journey to safety look like? What is/was it like to live in exile? What do you miss most about your homeland? What does freedom look like to you? What is your dream for the future?

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More than two million people have fled Burma as a result of outbreaks of violent conflict between government troops and ethnic minority groups struggling to defend their independence. (Illustration provided by Erika Berg)

Some of the youths’ stories clenched my heart: the torching of villages, killing of parents, abduction of siblings by soldiers conscripting new recruits. Others were joyful, recalling life before one child’s family in Burma was torn apart or scattered by civil war. Still, other stories were hopeful, colorful visions of one day returning to Burma as doctors and teachers to help rebuild their beloved country.

Listening to the youth share the stories behind their paintings, hearing the inner voice revealed and gradually emboldened by each vision, was the most humbling part of our month along the Thai–Burma border. We felt privileged that the youth entrusted their stories — 597 fluttering heartbeats — to our care. The closer one looks, the more powerful, more urgent, their messages.
Since 2007, ethnic minorities from Burma have comprised Washington’s fastest growing refugee community. (end)

To learn more, “Like” our Facebook page, “Stand Up for Human Rights and Democracy in Burma.” Look into volunteering with the Coalition for Refugees from Burma: www.allburmarefugees.org. Consider becoming a foster parent to a refugee youth with the Refugee and Immigrant Children’s Program, www.refugeechildren.net. Nothing could make the youth in our workshops happier than to learn that their “voices and visions” moved people to act on Aung San Suu Kyi’s plea: “Please use your liberty to promote ours.”

Erika Berg can be reached at eberg@lcsnw.org.

Posted in Commentaries, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

BLOG: Breaking bread with an ambassador — Part 3 of the Locke blog series

BLOG: Breaking bread with an ambassador — Part 3 of the Locke blog series

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From left: Madeline Locke, Rita Yoshihara, Emily Locke, Gary Locke, and Mona Locke (son Dylan was unable to attend.)

 

“What is your preference for lunch — Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Italian, or pizza?” asked someone from U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke’s office in Beijing. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (11)

BLOG: For Eli Lilly, China is the answer

BLOG: For Eli Lilly, China is the answer

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Eli Lilly’s CEO, John C. Lechleiter, and its corporate director of state government affairs Nate Miles (right)

 

The other day, I was talking to one of the most powerful men from Indiana. Gov. Mitch Daniels once worked for this man’s company, and the Republicans even toyed with drafting him to run against President Obama earlier this year. Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

EDITORIAL: APAs, own up to your talents

This week, we ran three stories about artists on our front page. We showcased movie producer and director Christina Yao, award-winning fashion designer Gahee Bae, and famed South Korean visual and multimedia artist Do-Ho Suh. Read the full story

Posted in Editorials, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Korean artist creates lit multimedia piece using SAM’s historical materials

Korean artist creates lit multimedia piece using SAM’s historical materials

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Do-Ho Suh

By Jason J. Cruz
Northwest Asian Weekly

“It was never my goal to be successful,” explains Do-Ho Suh.

Yet, the 49-year-old, originally from Seoul, is a rising star in the art community, with his exhibits showing all over the world.

He recently stopped in Seattle to discuss his new piece at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) before heading to London. Suh’s creation, commissioned by SAM, is part of “Luminous: The Art of Asia,” a new exhibit at SAM. “Gate,” the title of Suh’s piece, is a response to the historical material at SAM. It’s a multimedia presentation with objects projected onto a fabric background. Read the full story

Posted in Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Design student shuns fur, then becomes finalist in national contest

Design student shuns fur, then becomes finalist in national contest

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Gahee Bae

By Nan Nan Liu
Northwest Asian Weekly

Gahee Bae never thought she would become a finalist in the Humane Society’s annual Cool vs. Cruel contest.

She was wrong.

“Oh yes … I was surprised … I actually didn’t [expect to become a finalist],” confessed Bae, who recently graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle. “This contest … I wasn’t planning to enter. It was a requirement for class. There were so many garments that were better than mine. I didn’t really spend a lot of time on the contest, and I saw other students spend way more time than me.”

As humble as Bae sounded, her remake of Fendi’s latest runway dress, which originally used fur and leather, caught the judges’ eyes. Read the full story

Posted in Fashion, Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Director films movie about Enron-style greed, set in the 19th century

Director films movie about Enron-style greed, set in the 19th century

By Andrew Hamlin
Northwest Asian Weekly

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Director Christina Yao (left) with actor Jennifer Tilly, on the set of “Empire of Silver” (Photo from Christina Yao)

Directing, co-producing, and co-writing a multimillion dollar Chinese historical epic movie might sound like an impossible task, especially when you’ve never shot a feature film before. Read the full story

Posted in Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Our top 10 burning questions with Sung Yang

Our top 10 burning questions with Sung Yang

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Sung Yang

By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly

Born in Seoul, Sung Yang is the chief of staff for King County Executive Dow Constantine. In this role, Yang oversees and directs the executive’s major initiatives, the central coordination between policy, communications, and external relations, and the executive’s administrative staff and office operations.

Prior to joining the executive’s office, Yang was the chief of staff for Seattle City Light and served in senior posts for former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, former Gov. Gary Locke (as deputy director of a state agency), and former Seattle City Councilmember Martha Choe. Yang was an attorney prior to entering public service.

Yang earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Washington and currently serves as vice president of the Wing Luke Asian Museum Board of Trustees. He has also served on the boards of Asian Counseling Referral Service, Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation, Northwest Asian American Theatre, and is a past president of Korean American Professional Society (now the Korean American Coalition). Yang also taught at Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service.   Read the full story

Posted in Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Our top 10 burning questions with Steven Gonzalez

Our top 10 burning questions with Steven Gonzalez

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Steven Gonzalez

By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly

Justice Steven Gonzalez was recently appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court, the state’s highest court. He is the second Latino ever to be in such a prominent position.

For the past 10 years, Gonzalez served on the bench as Superior Court Judge, appointed by former Gov. Gary Locke.

Voters retained him as judge in 2004 and 2008.

During the early 1990s, he was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington. He was also a domestic violence prosecutor for the City of Seattle and an associate in business law at Seattle firm Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson.

Presently, Steven chairs the Washington State Access to Justice Board and co-chairs the Race and Criminal Justice System Task Force.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Read the full story

Posted in Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

Our top 10 burning questions with Sharon Prill

Our top 10 burning questions with Sharon Prill

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Sharon Prill

By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly

In November 2010, Sharon Prill was named publisher of the Yakima Herald Republic (YHR). As publisher, Prill oversees the day-to-day operations of the Herald Republic, including those of the El Sol de Yakima, a weekly Spanish language newspaper, Yakima magazine, and several other highly-regarded niche publications.

Previously, Prill spent five years at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where, in November 2005, she was named vice president of the interactive media and marketing departments. In 2007, Prill was promoted to senior vice president general manager of interactive media and audience development for Journal Interactive.

Prior to joining Journal Sentinel, Sharon Prill was interactive media director at the Tacoma News Tribune. She also spent nine years at The Seattle Times Company in various leadership and key roles in new media, advertising, editorial, operations, circulation, IT, human resources, finance, and marketing.

Prill hails from Honolulu and is a 1993 graduate of the University of Washington.  Read the full story

Posted in Profiles, Vol 30 No 49 | 12/3-12/9Comments (0)

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