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& MEDIA NEWS
AOKI ON "P.I."
Sam Chu Lin reports that on Guy Aoki's August 23, 2001 participation
in ABC's "Political Incorrect addressing racial slurs. Other
participants included comedian Sarah Silverman, Anne-Marie
Johnson, David Spade and MANAA's Guy Aoki.
Sarah Silverman was an obvious choice. In July 2001, she appeared
on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, during which she had used
the word "chink" in a comedy sketch. Guy Aoki, who had to
practically begged for a spot on the show because people weren't
aware that he is the co-founder and president of Media Action
Network for Asian Americans (MANAA),
a watchdog organization that advocates for fair portrayal
gave an impressive display of his debating skills," said actor
and activist George
Takei. "It was aggressive. It was articulate. It was witty,
and it was forceful. It was a powerful thing to see Guy performing
Hard-working Asian American bands (KIM and Enda)
were one of the top 50 qualifiers for the 'American Music
Awards Presents the Coca-Cola New Music Award.' The Coca-Cola
New Music Award competition was announced in June and received
more than eight hundred entries. (editor's note: unfortunately,
Enda recently reports that they didn't make the next stage.)
Mark Hsiao is a Juilliard-trained pianist who works at
the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. He made the news
when he and his "life partner" (Howard Koeppel) are sharing
their posh Upper East Side apartment with its million-dollar
views of midtown Manhattan with Republican Mayor Rudolph W.
Giuliani (and his body guard), who is presently separated
from his wife, Donna Hanover
Despite progress treating mental illnesses, afflicted
members of racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely
to receive inadequate treatment or none compared with whites,
according to a U.S. surgeon general's report issued Sunday
in San Francisco that calls on minorities and local governments
to close the health gaps.
Americans, research shows, suffer no more mental disorders
than do whites, but they were the least likely of the groups
studied to seek treatment. Only 17% of afflicted Asian Americans
and Pacific Islanders, whom the report tallies together, sought
care. "Shame and stigma are believed to figure prominently"
in the lower use rates, the report says.
MEN AND CHRISTIANITY
A North Carolina state legislator apologized on Aug.
22 for forwarding to fellow lawmakers an e-mail that claimed,
"Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity."
Don Davis, a white Republican, said he received the letter
on Aug. 17 and forwarded it to every member of the state House
and Senate. He said he didn't consider the letter racist.
humbly want to apologize if the e-mail forwarded from my office
on Monday night was offensive or disrespectful to anyone in
this General Assembly, state or nation," Davis said in a written
AT VIETNAMESE CONCERT
Close to 2,500 angry demonstrators rallied outside a
Vietnamese pop music concert at the Sun Theatre in Anaheim
on Sunday. The concert and protest underscored a widening
cultural divide between some older refugees and younger Vietnamese
organizers and others said the musical event was no more than
propaganda for Vietnam's Communist government. The show's
organizer, John To of San Diego, said the lineup included
internationally acclaimed Vietnamese singers and musicians,
and that love songs, not politics, were on the evening's program.
performers included Lam Truong, a 25-year-old singer who is
studying at Berkley School of Music in Boston--among the "cream
of the crop," along with singer Cam Van, a Vietnamese diva
who was in Orange County visiting an uncle and her drummer
husband, Khac Trieu.
Yoshiaki Shiraishi, the man who brought sushi
to the masses in Japan by serving it up on a conveyor belt
in fast food-type restaurants, has died. He was 87.
A former sushi chef, Shiraishi opened his first revolving
sushi bar, called "kaiten zushi" in Japanese, in 1958 in Osaka.
In the restaurants, customers sit around a bar like in a traditional
sushi shop. But instead of ordering directly from the chef,
they pick up their raw fish morsels off a conveyor belt. That
keeps labor costs down.
Pepsy Kettavong. A Laotian American, created "Let's
Have Tea" - a bronze sculpture of the civil rights crusaders
Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, will be officially
unveiled in tiny Susan B. Anthony Square in Rochester, N.Y.,
on Sunday, 81 years to the day after American women were extended
the right to vote.
Dispensing with pedestals, creator Pepsy Kettavong placed
the pioneer feminist and the former slave face-to-face in
sturdy Victorian chairs. At their side is a table holding
a teapot, two cups and two volumes - one possibly a law book,
the other a collection of poetry.
Douglass spent 25 of his most influential years as an orator
and abolitionist in Rochester, publishing The North Star journal
on Main Street. Plans are inching forward to open a "Douglass
education center" in a long-vacant Victorian hotel a block
from Anthony's red-brick house, which is now a museum chronicling
the women's rights movement.
Both were active in the anti-slavery and suffragist movements.
They met for the first time in 1848 when she was 28 and he
SEEKING AA CLIENTS
Merrill Lynch (Evan Ling & Hugo Zhang/City of
Industry), Salomon Smith Barney (Mindy S. Ross - Sr. V.P.)
& other companies' efforts represent the largest multicultural
marketing pitch for an industry that has taken heat for having
a less-than-diverse customer base and personnel pool.
They are targeting the lucrative Asian and minrity marketplaces.
The U.S. Census Bureau figures from 1999 show the median household
income in the Asian/Pacific Islander community was $51,205,
up from about $45,000 in the early 1990s and the highest figure
for any ethnic group. The 1999 median household income was
the highest ever recorded for African American ($27,910) and
Latino ($30,735) households.
In June, Schwab opened its first branch catering to Korean
Americans, an outlet in Los Angeles' Koreatown that brings
to 15 the number of Asian-focused branches nationwide that
have been launched as part of the company's Asia Pacific Services
program. Late last year, the company launched its Vietnamese
Services Hotline, featuring bilingual licensed representatives
to give information on various financial topics.
Highlights of Hollywood's fall film lineup include
the film "American Adobo" - a comedy about five Filipino-American
pals coming to grips with their romantic and professional
Savaged by the effects of the May 2000 nationalist
coup and the country's image of instability, the tourism sector
estimates it will have lost $112 million in revenue by the
end of this year.
Visitors' bureau marketing director, Bill Whiting, is pushing
to more than double Fiji's tourism income to $500 million
over the next seven years. That will mean attracting major
offshore investors to build the hotels and resorts to cater
for more than 800,000 visitors a year.
WAR II VETERANS
Aging Filipino veterans of World War II protested
at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in downtown Los
Angeles demanding medical benefits as former soldiers who
risked their lives for the United States. The orchestrated
plea was the latest public event designed to build support
for the veterans' decades-long fight for full pensions and
other benefits from Washington.
After Richard Labbe allegedly killed his neighbor
Thung Phetakoune, he told police: "Those Asians killed my
brother and uncle in Vietnam, call it payback time. If you're
not going to do anything about these Asians in my country,
then I will."
Earlier this month, a Rockingham County, N.H. grand jury charged
Labbe, a 35-year-old resident of Newmarket, N.J. with second-degree
murder and hate crime.
According to police, on July 14 Phetakoune had tried to break
up an argument between Labbe and Sam Chan, another neighbor
who had delivered an eviction notice to Labbe from the building
The case marks the first time the state has charged anyone
under the hate crime statute in a murder case, authorities
said. The law was enacted in 1990.
The affidavit says Labbe told police his attack was "payback"
for his losing relatives in Vietnam. His father later said
Labbe lost no relatives in that war.
MOTHERS SMOKING FIGURES
Hawaiian mothers had higher rates than any other
Asian or Pacific Islander women to smoke during pregnancy.
This is despite the national numbers dropping a whopping one-third
overall from 1990 to 1999, with the greatest successes occurring
among women in their late 20s and 30s. But smoking rates for
pregnant teenagers climbed during the latter part of the decade,
generally mirroring the smoking habits of teens overall.
APPOINTEE OF BUSH
The 33 years old Viet Dinh is the highest-ranking
Vietnamese American official in the Bush Administration, working
as assistant attorney general overseeing the Office of Legal
His past included 12 days in a boat with about 75 other people,
fleeing to Malaysia from Vietnam. His family's flight had
to be coordinated with his father's escape from prison, or
it could have meant death or jail for those remaining. They
were greeted by gunfire from patrol boats in Malayasia as
they pulled into harbor on June 12, 1978.
After a few months in Malaysia, they settled in Portland,
Ore. For two years, they picked strawberries, scrounging to
send money to Dinh's father and one of his sisters, who were
hiding out in Vietnam. Dinh also went to school, learning
English by reading Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.
In 1980 the family moved to Fullerton, Calif. Dinh's mother
-- who had been a teacher in Vietnam -- became a seamstress,
and Dinh flipped burgers at McDonald's, served pies at Pizza
Hut and swept floors. The family saved money to bring their
father to the U.S.,, who the Vietnamese government had placed
in jail because of his political position as a council membr.
He entered the U.S. in 1983.
Dinh received a scholarship to go to Harvard for four years
and another three years at Harvard Law school. He became a
research assistant at a Kennedy School of Government think
tank, and worked in Boston's budget office. He helped found
an umbrella organization for Vietnamese students in Massachusetts.
In law school, he homed in on his passion for the Constitution
and its structure -- the separation of powers. He developed
a conservative philosophy in which government should hold
limited powers to maximize the "zone of liberty" for each
person. He was the first and only Vietnamese American law
professor at Georgetown University.
Among the top 300 Bush appointees, the National
Journal analysis found that 26 percent were women and 3 percent
were Asian American.
APPOINTS 12 APA'S
Twelve Asian Pacific Americans are expected to
be appointed to senior positions in the Bush administration,
a move that shows President Bush's embrace of Asian American
talent and ability.
OF NATIVE HAWAIIANS
Hawaiians, while mourning the loss
of their culture are constantly fighting to reclaim their
- as seen in the recent Rice
v. Cayetano decision and reversal.
This is while Hawai'i has been called a "laboratory of race
relations" based on its carefully cultivated image as a place
where people of different cultures have historically
lived together and "fused." This image has a certain amount
of validity when Hawaii's racial "fusion" is contrasted to
that found in most of the continental United States.
For Native Hawaiians, the fusion has been forced at times
and cultural domination is a reality etched in daily existence.
Montreal Expo pitcher Hideki Irabu was suspended
for drinking himself into a stupor before a scheduled rehabilitation
start. Irabu was supposed to pitch for the Triple-A Ottawa
Lynx last Sunday, but he was so drunk that he had to be taken
to a hospital,
The Expos are not expected to pick up the option on Irabu's
contract for next season and, if they do not recall him, Irabu's
injury-plagued, two-year stay in Montreal might be over. Irabu,
obtained from the New York Yankees for three prospects in
1999, has had knee and elbow surgery since he last pitched
for the Expos on June 13.
WEST/99 MARKET MERGER
East West Bancorp, whose banks cater to the Asian
American community, are entering into a 10 year agreement
with 99 Ranch Market to offer supermarket banking. Agreement
will include joint promotions and shared marketing costs.
Buena Park-based 99 Ranch Market, which also caters to the
Asian American community, has 20 California stores, a Seattle
store and affiliates in Hawaii, Nevada, Georgia and Arizona.
East West, based in San Marino, has $2.7 billion in assets
and 30 branches, most of which are in Southern California.
She, an accomplished operatic
singer (mezzo-soprano), was engaged and longtime companion
to the recently deceased Troy Donahue.