Tag Archive | "Vol 31 No 2 | January 7 – January 13"

Wayne’s Worlds: Facebook banned: a social dilemma in China

Wayne’s Worlds: Facebook banned: a social dilemma in China

Wayne ChanBy Wayne ChanNorthwest Asian WeeklyAs a frequent traveler to China during the last 30 years, I always return home realizing that I missed something. Thirty years ago, the list of things I missed were some of the comforts of home — water you can drink from the faucet, air conditioning, and of course, my basic sustenance — Egg McMuffins.Of course, anyone visiting China now knows that times certainly have changed in the major cities. No, you still can’t drink water from the faucet, but who needs to when a Perrier or a Frappuccino is right around the corner?And I’m not kidding about the Frappuccino. There’s a Starbucks on every corner, and each time I go back, they’re building additional corners just so they can add more Starbucks. I come back home to the United States and I get frustrated that it takes me two whole minutes to find a Starbucks.Image by Stacy Nguyen/NWAW

Having come back from China this past week, I realize that what I really missed was something unexpected. This time, it had nothing to do with the little conveniences we all sometimes take for granted, at least materially speaking. China is chock full of Ferraris, Rolexes, and every little extravagance you can imagine.

Let me give you a hint — I normally would have shared my frustration at the one thing I really missed while I was in China, but I couldn’t, because the one thing I missed was exactly the thing that prevented me from sharing my concerns.

Time’s up — for those of you who haven’t guessed, I’m talking about Facebook, Twitter, and all the other sites that are banned in China.

Please understand, it’s not like I’m on Facebook day and night. I’m actually a relative newcomer to it. But being a writer, Facebook is a way for me to share my thoughts and get feedback before I put pen to paper (or in this case, words to a word processor). I compare it to a stand-up comic testing his material out in small clubs before he goes out on a major tour.

Being a cooperative sort, I thought maybe I should review some of my past Facebook and other social media activities and see if there was anything that I’ve written that could be construed as truly objectionable, which would justify a need to block it in the first place. The following are some of my recent posts.

— I’ve been on a diet for four weeks and have lost 25 pounds. Yesterday, I decided to take a break and had a Big Mac with a small order of fries and in doing so, managed to gain five pounds! Therefore, I am convinced that I’ve somehow managed to circumvent the laws of physics and/or come up with a way to solve all hunger in the developing world.

— I wonder if the person who came up with the idea for the movie “Snakes on a Plane” came up with the idea out of personal experience. If that’s the case, I have four words for you: “Crawdads Down Your Pants.” Don’t even ask.

— Whenever my wife is out of town and the primary responsibility of getting the kids ready for school falls to me, I spend most of my waking hours figuring out ways to feed my kids that require the least amount of work on my part — this includes preparation, cooking, serving, and dishwashing. This morning’s breakfast included leftover meatballs on bamboo sticks toasted in the oven and finishing half a carton of milk by drinking it round-robin-style.

In reviewing these three posts, based on my objective evaluation, I would rate the first one as embarrassing, the second one as mortifyingly embarrassing, and the third one as embarrassingly lazy.

Considering how these posts make me look, maybe the ban actually did me a little good. (end)

Wayne Chan can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

Posted in Column: Wayne's Worlds, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Ticiang Diangson honored with Seattle Management Association award

Ticiang Diangson honored with Seattle Management Association award

Ticiang Diangson

Ticiang Diangson, director of Seattle Public Utilities Environmental Justice and Service Equity (EJSE) Division of the Human Resources and Service Equity Branch, was awarded the 2011 Management in Race and Social Justice Award by the Seattle Management Association (SMA) on Dec. 8 at the Columbia Tower Club.  Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Kathy Hsieh named Seattle’s cultural partnerships and grants director

Kathy Hsieh named Seattle’s cultural partnerships and grants director

Kathy Hsieh

Last month, Kathy Hsieh was named director of the City of Seattle’s cultural partnerships and grants program. Hsieh has worked with the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs since 2003, originally as part of the community development and outreach team and then as part of the cultural partnerships and grants team as a community liaison.

Hsieh has previously served as board president for the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, chaired Freehold Theatre’s Diversity Scholarship Committee, advised for the KING-5 TV Community Diversity Advisory Council, served as ReAct Theatre board president, and helped to found Theatre Puget Sound. (end)

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Garfield High School Orchestra performs with Sanyo Band from Japan

Garfield High School Orchestra performs with Sanyo Band from Japan

Garfield High School Orchestra and Sanyo Band of Okayama (Photo by Tom Wolken)

On Dec. 13, Garfield High School Orchestra performed with the Sanyo Band of Okayama, Japan, at Meany Hall on the University of Washington campus. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors elects three board members, including API Betty Patu

Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors elects three board members, including API Betty Patu

From left: Michael DeBell, Kay Smith-Blum, and Betty Patu

At a Dec. 7 meeting, the Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors elected the following new officers for the 2012 calendar year:

Michael DeBell, president

Kay Smith-Blum, vice president

Betty Patu, member at large

Patu will serve on the executive committee with the president and vice president and will preside at board meetings in the absence of the president and vice president. The officers are elected for one-year terms. (end)

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

LIHI Awarded $10,000 from ID Rotary Club

LIHI Awarded $10,000 from ID Rotary Club

Shannon Woodman of the ID Rotary Club (second from left) with LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee (far left), Columbia Court resident (second from right), and LIHI staff Zena Dodson, Hannah Rudnick, and Ania Beszterda-Alyson.

On Dec. 15, the Seattle International District Rotary Club presented Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) with a $10,000 grant to help families with children living in transitional housing. The grant will focus on the needs of homeless, immigrant and refugee families living at Columbia Court in Seattle. Read the full story

Posted in Names in the News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Dentist from Alaska helps honor Nisei soldiers

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The day Pearl Harbor was bombed, Dec. 7, 1941, Brian Yamamoto’s father, Edward, was attending the University of Southern California on a baseball scholarship. Read the full story

Posted in National News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

‘Octomom’ case stuns one-child public in China

‘Octomom’ case stuns one-child public in China

By Alexa Olesen
The Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — The photo was undeniably cute. A studio portrait of eight babies in identical onesies and perky white cotton hats, sports an array of expressions from giggly to goofy, baffled to bawling. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13, World NewsComments (0)

Samoa and Tokelau jump ahead a day on New Year’s Eve

Samoa and Tokelau jump ahead a day on New Year’s Eve

By Keni Lesa
The Associated Press

 

APIA, Samoa (AP) — Sirens wailed and fireworks exploded in the skies over Samoa, as the tiny South Pacific nation jumped forward in time, crossing westward over the international date line and effectively erasing Friday, Dec. 30, 2011, from the country’s calendar. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13, World NewsComments (0)

Charges of United States bias as Taiwan election nears

By Peter Enav
The Associated Press

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Washington has been lavishing attention on Taiwan, stepping up official visits and saying it will likely allow visa-free travel to the United States. The moves are raising suspicions that America is trying to influence a tight presidential election here in January. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13, World NewsComments (0)

Stories about artists — NWAW’s monthly must-reads

Stories about artists — NWAW’s monthly must-reads

By Samantha Pak
Northwest Asian Weekly

“Drawing from Memory”
By Allen Say
Scholastic Press, 2011

From the time he was a young boy growing up in Japan, Allen Say knew he wanted to be a cartoonist.

Inspired by comic books, he drew what he saw, what he imagined, and what he copied from his beloved comic books. Say’s parents were not happy with this, wanting him to be a respectable citizen who can earn a living. But Say was not deterred.

“Drawing” is the true story of how Say, who grew up to become an award-winning artist and illustrator, moved away from home at the age of 12 to go to school. He became a pupil to Noro Shinpei, a well-known Japanese cartoonist — and Say’s favorite. Read the full story

Posted in On the Shelf, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (2)

Olympia Mayor Doug Mah bids farewell, though not ruling out return to politics

Olympia Mayor Doug Mah bids farewell, though not ruling out return to politics

By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly

Doug MahAfter 10 years in Olympia — four as its mayor and six as a city councilmember — Doug Mah finished his mayoral term at the end of last year. Mah was the second person of color to serve on the city council. He was also the first Chinese American in the country to serve as mayor of a capital city.Olympia’s constituents had known since January 2011. At that time, Mah announced that he would not seek re-election. He told The Olympian at that time that he was excited to complete his final year without the added complexity of running a re-election campaign.When he first joined the city council, one of the most meaningful projects he was involved in was the Olympia–Yashiro Friendship Bridge project, which was completed early in 2010. The project was years in the making though, as the original structure was destroyed in an earthquake in 2001.Olympia-Yashiro Friendship Bridge (Photo by Robert Cortright/Structurae)

“This was an important project. It taught me that size matters,” Mah said, somewhat jokingly, at the Sept. 19, 2011 meeting of Rotary Club of Olympia. “Size matters here because it was a big meaningful definitive project. It was more than just a bridge because it enabled us to connect our community. It was more than just a bridge because it enabled us to promote the values of this community. … It showed us how we were going to do projects, how we were going to do outreach.”

The bridge came in $750,000 under budget and was finished ahead of schedule. The bridge was named after Olympia’s sister city, then named Yashiro (now called Kato).

Artist illustration of Olympia's new Hands On Childrens Museum, slated to open in Summer 2012. (Photo from olywagov.com)

During his term as mayor, Mah was known for brokering a deal between the Regional Athletic Complex near Lacey and the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia.

Mah told The News Tribune he thought it was time to leave. He frankly told the Tribune that he wasn’t as passionate about his job in politics as he used to be, though he’s not ruling out a potential return later on down the line.

“I just feel it’s a good time to take on some different challenges,” Mah told the Tribune. “I just feel I need a little break.”

Mah was replaced by Stephen Buxbaum, a councilmember.

Mah earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Criminal Justice and his Master of Arts in Sociology and Demography from Western Washington University. A native Washingtonian, Mah moved to Olympia in 1989 to accept a job with the State Office of Financial Management following graduation from Western Washington University. He has held positions in state government as a research, policy, and budget analyst. He is currently employed as a policy manager with the State Department of Information Services.

Mah currently volunteers on the nonprofit Board of Directors for the Thurston County Foodbank and United Way of Thurston County.

Mah is married and has a 17-year-old daughter. The family lives in southeast Olympia. Prior to running for public office, Doug played drums with the Blues Torpedoes, a local blues band. The band’s locally recorded CDs can be found at any Timberland Regional Library. (end)

Stacy Nguyen can be reached at stacy@nwasianweekly.com.

Posted in Community News, Features, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

BLOG: What our political leaders have taught us about failure

BLOG: What our political leaders have taught us about failure

I am not insane.

People will probably accuse me of being insane because I’m starting my 2012 blog by talking about failures. I can imagine some readers’ reaction. “Don’t you have better things to write about?” Read the full story

Posted in Publisher Ng's blog, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (1)

COMMENTARY: Stereotyped impressions of North Koreans hurting Korean reunification

COMMENTARY: Stereotyped impressions of North Koreans hurting Korean reunification

Dr. Vernasius T. Tandia

By Dr. Vernasius T. Tandia
For Northwest Asian Weekly

Compared to about a decade ago, when there was widespread opposition to reunification, a growing number of Koreans now seem to be settling for it.

With increasing public discourse on the issue, including the current jostling over a mandatory reunification tax, the move appears imminent, at least from the South Korean side. Of course, widespread preparations are being anticipated with the Ministry of Unification taking the lead in establishing various structures for accommodating and integrating North Koreans, in case reunification eventually sees the light of day. Read the full story

Posted in Commentaries, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

WWU prof sheds light on drastic climate change in Alaska, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia

WWU prof sheds light on drastic climate change in Alaska, Sri Lanka, and Mongolia

By Jeffrey Osborn
Northwest Asian Weekly

Proceeds from McClanahan's current photo exhibit of Mongolia photos at Western Washington University will go to the Blue Sky Education Project, which provides scholarships to nomadic Mongolian children so they may attend public school. (Photo by Lauren McClanahan)

The human race has been considered a race of hunter–gatherers. Groups that lived inland hunted wild animals and when the opportunity presented itself, they fished in lakes and rivers. Alternatively, groups that lived by a coast relied far more heavily on fish from the ocean, naturally leading to the formation of villages near rivers that led to oceans to maintain a food supply. Read the full story

Posted in Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13, World NewsComments (0)

Conrad Lee,  Bellevue’s new mayor

Conrad Lee, Bellevue’s new mayor

By Staff
Northwest Asian Weekly

Conrad Lee

On the night of Jan. 3, Bellevue City Councilmembers unanimously voted for fellow Councilmember and Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee to serve as the city’s mayor. Lee is the first person of color to serve as mayor of Bellevue. Lee was also the first person of color on the city council, when he joined in 1994.

Lee came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1958 to attend college. He has lived in Bellevue for more than 40 years. Read the full story

Posted in Features, Profiles, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

Oakland mayor under fire over Occupy protests

Oakland mayor under fire over Occupy protests

By Terence Chea and Terry Collins
The Associated Press

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at Oakland’s Lake Merritt

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan made history in January when she became the first Asian American woman to lead a major U.S. city. Less than a year later, the Democratic mayor is quickly losing support on all sides of the political spectrum, mostly over her handling of the city’s Occupy Wall Street protests that drew heavy scrutiny.

Quan’s critics say she has struggled to formulate a coherent response to the Occupy encampment that has overtaken the plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. Police raided the camp on Oct. 25 and fired tear gas during skirmishes with marchers, before Quan allowed protesters to return a day later. Read the full story

Posted in National News, Vol 31 No 2 | 1/7-1/13Comments (0)

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