LATEST NEWS FOR DEC 2001
As we enter December, the spirit of Thanksgiving have a greater
meaning for all affected by the events of September 11, 2001.
In addition, it is hope that the upcoming Christmas holidays
will again provide reasons for hope and good-will in our future.
We invite you to discover prominent APA's such as Jeanne Wakatsuki
Houston, Debra Yang and Peggy/Andrew Cherng.
ARTISTS & LEADERS
FAREWELL TO MANZANAR
This book was published 30 years ago and 25 years since the
film about it was made. The September 11, 2001 tragedy has
made the Wakatsuki family story during WWII more resonant
because it illustrates what can go wrong in a time of national
stress when people seem prone to jump to conclusions along
to Manzanar," the story Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston co-wrote
with her husband, James D. Houston, has sold more than a million
copies since it was first published in 1973. It is read in
schools and colleges nationwide, where it is the standard
text on the Japanese internment. The book is not a sermon
on political injustice nor an essay on the Constitution.
Wakatsuki, born in Inglewood, was 7 years old, the youngest
of 10 siblings, when her family was uprooted from their comfortable
Santa Monica home. Her family was one of the first families
to be shipped to the internment camps and one of the last
to be released.
In 2001, 10,000 video copies of this film will be made and
sent to California schools and libraries. This John Kory-directed
film was restored and relaunch in video form to help educate
California students and the general public about the internment.
Backers include Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, Universal Studios,
the Civil Liberties Public Education Project of the California
State Library and members of the Japanese American community.
Universal Studios is underwriting the video project--producing
the copies and distributing them to every public school and
library in the state; publisher McDougal-Littell is providing
8,500 copies of the book and the teaching guide to be included
with the school videos. The Manzanar project is an offshoot
of the Commission for One California.
When the book, published by Houghton Mifflin, came out in
1973, it shed light on the often-ignored subject on the Internment
Camps. Fifteen years later, in 1988, the U.S. government formally
apologized for the internment of some 120,000 Japanese Americans
and offered reparations to survivors under the Civil Liberties
Wakatsuki Houston and her husband live in Santa Cruz and have
three children. When the couple married in 1957, Wakatsuki
Houston says her husband was her "blond samurai"--a man as
handsome as a Coca-Cola model and as rugged as a Japanese
warrior. "Wanting to marry a blond samurai reveals a lot of
my conflicts," she says.
Her self-image suffered because being Japanese American was
almost like being a criminal. Her parents treated her as inferior
to her brothers in keeping with the prevalent Asian bias against
females; segregation on ethnic grounds "added a second layer"
to her distress.
Her husband convinced her that the book was a story America
For more info on Manzanar, click HERE.
nta Monica Superior Court Judge Debra W.
Yang is the Bush administration's likely choice for U.S. attorney
in Los Angeles, center of the nation's most populous federal
This 42-year-old former federal prosecutor, would become the
first Asian American to serve as U.S. attorney for California's
Central Judicial District, which spans seven counties from
Orange to San Luis Obispo. The office prosecutes cases such
as major drug crimes, financial swindles and civil rights
This Los Angeles native's grandfather emigrated from Canton,
China. She graduated from Pitzer College in 1981 and Boston
College Law School in 1985. She then worked in two civil law
firms--one in Los Angeles and one in Chicago. From 1988 to
1989, she was a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Ronald S.
W. Lew in Los Angeles from 1988 to 1989. She spent one year
with the high-powered Westside firm of Greenberg, Glusker,
Fields, Claman and Machtinger.
In 1990, she joined the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles
and spent the next six years prosecuting, among others, kidnappers,
securities swindlers and computer hackers. Former Gov. Pete
Wilson appointed her to the Municipal Court bench in 1997.
When the court system was unified in 2000, she became a Superior
She has also been active in the Southern California Chinese
Lawyers Association (SCCLA)
and theAsian American Bar Association. (AABA)
AND ANDREW CHERNG
This couple built Panda Restaurant Group
from a single Pasadena location to a national powerhouse with
423 outlets in 34 states, with 5,000 employees and about $300
million in annual sales - the largest Chinese restaurant chain
in history. Their vision is to have 10,000 stores with 80
new stores this year.
group's business at its outlets in shopping malls and at airports.
Despite the Sept 11 tragedy, they anticipate sales growth
of 5% to 6% . Andrew Cherng cites the Starbucks coffee chain,
which is opening its 5,000th store after 30 years in business.
His latest competition is
P.F. Chang's China Bistro chain of restaurants and is launching
a chain of cook-to-order fast-service Chinese restaurants
named Pei Wei. As a result, Panda already has opened seven
Panda Panda cook-to-order fast-service restaurants, similar
to Pei Wei, in Southern California.
Panda Express' innovation
is, instead of just providing egg rolls, rice and chow mein,
Panda Express offers orange-flavored chicken, tofu with black
mushrooms, beef with broccoli and many other dishes conceived
by Chinese chefs and prepared on site by trained cooks.
In 1966, Andrew attended
Baker University, southwest of Kansas City. He has degrees
in applied mathematics from Baker and the University of Missouri.
It was at Baker also that he met Peggy, who has degrees in
electrical engineering and computer science after coming from
In 1972, Andrew Cherng bought
a shuttered coffee shop in east Pasadena and turned it the
first Panda Inn. Upon its success, they opened a second site
Panda Express started in
1983, when Donahue Schriber Real Estate (developers of the
Glendale Galleria shopping mall) asked Andrew Cherng whether
he could adapt the cuisine of his Panda Inn restaurant to
a fast-food setting in the mall by adapting recipes originated
by his late father, Ming-Tsai Cherng - who was a chef in Shanghai,
Taipei, Taiwan and Yokohama, Japan.
With the launch of Panda Express,
Peggy Cherng, who had been working as a software developer
for McDonnell Douglas and Comtal-3M, as well as raising three
daughters, became President and Chief Executive of the family
Today, Panda Express includes
eight outlets in Japan and five in Puerto Rico. Panda Restaurant
Group also owns five Panda Inn traditional restaurants and
nine Hibachi-San Japanese fast-food outlets.
Aside from the Panda Express
outlets in Japan, which are franchised, and 62 outlets in
the Midwest that are owned in a joint venture with financial
backers, all of the other restaurants are owned by the Cherngs.
This fact makes Panda one of the largest family-owned restaurant
chains in the world.
Expansion is still financed
by internal cash flow and it takes $300,000 to open a Panda
Company earns more than 10%
pretax on sales, which works out to more than $30 million
of the $300 million-plus in revenue this year.
Panda face a decision to sell
franchises to independent operators or sell shares to the
public to grow larger. Public ownership would allow more control
over quality than franchising would.
Another available choice
is selling Panda to a big company for a financial windfall.
EVENTS IN HISTORY
- Chinese workers arrives in Hawaii
- Memphis TN conference of plantation owners proposed substituting
Chinese labor for black slaves.
- Nineteen Chinese were massacred in Los Angeles. October
24 marked the worst incident of Anti-Chinese violence in America
up to that time.
- the Arizona Weekly Star ran an editorial in 1879 portraying
Chinese Americans as "an ignorant, filthy, leprous horde"
and "the most pernicious and degraded race on the globe."
Chinese workers were attacked in railroad camps and mining
towns and driven out of Arizona's mines and railroads.
- Filipinos were greatly recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters
Association as cheap contract labor when the Gentlemen's Agreement
of 1907 cut off the Japanese supply.
- Japanese plantation workers in Hawaii go on strike
- Duke Kahanamoku won his first Olympic gold medal and set
a world record in the 100-meter free-style and won a silver
medal as a participant in the 200-meter relay in Stockholm.
He represented the United States in the Olympics for the next
- Justice Sutherland, speaking for the Supreme Court in 1923,
said that Bhagat Singh Thind and other Asian Indians were
aliens ineligible to citizenship because they were not white,
as only whites and blacks could become citizens.
- In the Hanapepe Massacre, police attack union headquarters
in Hanapepe, HI where 16 sugar plantation workers and 4 policemen
- Truman grants full pardon to the Japanese Americans who
had been convicted for resisting the draft while they and
their families were held in concentration camps.
- These 85 interned Japanese Americans were prosecuted and
incarcerated because they refused to be drafted into the U.S.
military unless their rights as citizens were restored.
- FBI arrests the Hawaii Seven for communist activity. Their
fines and jail terms are overturned in January 1958.
- First Philippine Festival
of the Arts begins in New York City.
- National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium (NAPALC),
a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization was formed to advance
the legal and civil rights of Asian Pacific Americans.
- Maya Lin is honored by the NAACP as someone who has excelled
in the face of overwhelming odds.
- Patrick Oliphant's racist cartoon was an offshoot of the
recent stand off between the U.S. and China over the U.S.
spy plane incident.
The purpose of this section is the
to discover more about our dreams
our fears and our hopes and
invaluable and missing information
For additional and specific details on the information listed
below, please CLICK on the “Titles” listed below.
& MEDIA NEWS
BRUCE LEE FILM
is long gone--but his image is being digitally resurrected
in a $50-million martial arts film tentatively titled "Dragon
Warrior." The movie will be the first theatrical feature to
re-create a character in a major role through computer technology.
Shincine Communications, a major Korean film production company,
got clearance from the estate of the kung fu superstar, who
died in 1973 at the age of 32. Lee's widow, Linda Lee Cadwell,
and his daughter, Shannon Lee, hold the rights to his name
AMERICAN - ONLINE STORIES
The online exhibition of "A More Perfect Union: Japanese
Americans and the U.S. Constitution" at the National Museum
of American History (part of the Smithsonian Institution in
Washington, D.C.) is completed. Visit the site
to learn more about this tragic time in history - the Internment
Storr, one of four players of Japanese heritge in the
NHL (i.e. Paul Kariya, Stever Kariya and David Tanabe are
the others), shares his heritage with the community's youths.
Keiko Storr (his mother), supported and reminded him of his
heritage, along with his hockey talents. His eight years with
the LA Kings gives him the longest tenure with the team.
NEW APA FILMS
Discover and support newly-released films such as ABCD,
American Desi, The Debut and American Adobo. Learn more about
these films by clicking HERE.
APA'S ON TRANSITION TEAM
New York's Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg transition committee
include the following:
Wong - Asian Women in Business
C. Chang - Polytechnic University
Kui - AA's for Equality
Lee - New York Foundation
JET LI AND MEL GIBSON
"Invincible," a highflying martial arts adventure was
the brainchild of international action superstar with Oscar
winner Mel Gibson serving as an executive producer.Alliance
Atlantis, Mel Gibson, Bruce Davy's Icon Productions and
Li's Qian Yang International produced this film. Calibre,
a Canadian-based special-effects studio, created the 150
effects shots used in the film. Hong Kong action coordinator
and director Tony Ching oversee the complicated action sequences.
Queesistan is a stretch along Queens Boulevard from
Rego Park to Forest Hills to Kew Gardens to Briarwood is
a kind of Queensistan. In the local telephone directory,
names of restaurants and shops read like a Central Asian
map: Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Sogdiana, Beautiful
An estimated 50,000 Bukharan Jews live in Queens/Queensistan,
according to the New York Association for New Americans.
They are from the Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan,
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The
term Bukharan refers to all Central Asian Jews, whose history
in the region is said to go back 2,500 years, to the period
of the Babylonian exile
DEBUT HITS $1M!
In October 2001, "the Debut" passed $1,000,000 in total
domestic box office gross. This represents the amount of
money made in ticket sales from Northern California, Virginia
Beach, Guam/Saipan, and Southern California since March
STEPHEN CHAO RESIGNS
USA Networks' Cable TV President Chao will resign as
president of the media company's cable-television unit,
which will be folded into the new TV and film-production
Chao, head of USA Cable since March 2000, oversaw the company's
biggest cable-TV channels--USA Network and Sci Fi Channel-and
its developing networks. Chao
worked under Diller in the late 1980s and early 1990s at
News Corp.'s Fox TV network. Chao produced shows such as
"Cops," "Studs" and "America's Most Wanted."
Organization of Chinese Americans and Cathay Bank launched
their "911 Healing Hands Fund" in response to the September
11th tragedy. The national fund is a joint campaign committed
to addressing emergency needs and relief efforts.
Asia Society - renamed the Asia Society and Museum
will reopen after a renovation designed by the architect
Bartholomew Voorsanger. It doubles the exhibition space,
introduces a courtyard cafe and a multimedia visitors' center,
and connects everything with a floating staircase rising
through four levels.
Vishakha N. Desai arrival as director, contemporary Asian
and Asian-American art was brought fully into the picture
in a series of major, globe-leaping exhibitions. A wallflower
institution was thinking big.
BUSINESSES IN THE U.S.
Some Chinese firms see the U.S. as a land of opportunity
and are buying American businesses and their know-how at
a discount. Chinese
firms have money to spend and an incentive to go abroad
because their markets will become crowded after China joins
the World Trade Organization and is forced to open its borders
to technologically advanced foreign companies.
Chinese investors are a bright spot in an otherwise bleak
U.S. landscape of plant closures and job cutbacks, particularly
in the technology arena. The Chinese Enterprise Association,
a mainland China business organization established in northern
California four years ago, has 54 members, up from 18 in
July. "Every seminar we have is packed," she said.
Lon Hatamiya, secretary of the California Technology, Trade
and Commerce Agency, said his staff is engaged in confidential
talks with several mainland Chinese companies interested
in setting up shop in California. Their main focus is food
products, manufacturing and environmental technology.
Konka Group, a leading television maker, and Haier Group,
one of China's top appliance manufacturers, are entering
the competitive U.S. market to build a global brand awareness.
Haier America, which invested $40 million in a factory in
South Carolina, is selling its low-cost refrigerators, air
conditioners and freezers in stores like Wal-Mart and Office
Depot and already has captured 50% of the U.S. market for
The collapse of the technology bubble has created a buyer's
market in America, Chinese executives said. Li would not
disclose the price of his latest acquisition but said Holley
negotiated a "very good deal."
Ting Zheng, co-founder of LinkAir Communications, a Santa
Clara, Calif., firm that has developed a new chip technology
for high-speed wireless communications, has raised $33 million
from investors in the U.S. and Asia. He said that many mainland
Chinese investors are uncomfortable investing in high-risk
ventures that promise huge payoffs. "There
is tons of money available in China, but they are much more
conservative, not like venture capitalists," stated Ting
Zheng - co-founder of LinkAir Communications.
Yahoo's Ellen Siminoff, senior vice president of entertainment
and small business at Yahoo! Inc. has left the company.
is trimming 400 jobs to save money and condensing 44 business
units into six to create a more manageable corporate structure.
Yahoo Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Terry Semel unveiled
a plan that will trim the company's vaunted free services,
reduce its work force by 9% and bolster its now-young sales
force with a new group of seasoned veterans with 10 to 25
years of experience.
Ad income will continue to be Yahoo's most important source
of revenue, even as the company collects more fees for online
services and from e-commerce transactions. Yahoo will be
charging fees for services that have traditionally been
offered for free, such as online photo storage and personal
Yahoo will be the elimination of 400 jobs, or about 12%
of Yahoo's total work force. Even as it cuts jobs, Yahoo
is still looking to hire 100 employees in key positions,
for a net loss of 300 positions that represents a 9% work-force
A year ago, Yahoo relied on advertising for 90% of its revenue,
with service and transaction fees accounting for only 10%.
This year, service and transaction fees amount to 24% of
revenue, compared with 76% for advertising. During the next
three years, the split could move closer to 50-50.
Time, Inc. and AOL are shutting down AsiaWeek, along
with On and Family Life magazines, as the result an ongoing
advertising recession. AsiaWeek
one of Asia's two largest English-language news weeklies,
will shed 80 jobs. It was founded in 1975 and with a current
circulation of about 120,000).
Asiaweek's main competitor, the Far Eastern Economic Review,
recently merged its editorial staff with that of The Asian
Wall Street Journal. About one-fourth of the combined staff
was cut from the publications, both of which are owned by
Dow Jones & Co.
DRUM SONG EXTENDS RUN
This show, which brings back some of the show's original
songs, cuts a couple of others and keeps some standards, including
"I Enjoy Being a Girl," "Fan Tan Fanny" and "A Hundred Million
Miracles" - while receiving the blessing of the usually traditional
New York-based Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, will extend
the show's original limited run January 13, 2002 with Jennifer
Paz in the lead role.
Bruce A. Chew and David Bernstein (owners of PlayGirl.Com,
Crescent Publishing Group and other porn sites) were barred
from operating adult entertainment Web sites and agreed to
pay $30 million in refunds to settle charges they billed visitors
for a supposedly free online peep show.
of the $30 million in refund money not claimed will be divided
equally between the U.S. Treasury and the state of New York,
in one of the largest settlements involving credit card fraud.
to a government complaint against Crescent, visitors who disclosed
their credit card numbers as proof they were of legal age
to view adult content at Playgirl.com, Highsociety.com and
other Crescent Web sites later found their cards billed for
recurring monthly charges of up to $90. The billing scam generated
$188 million from 1997 to 1999.
Since the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act took effect
in April 2000, many adult sites ask for credit card information
to ensure that their customers are of legal age. But some
Web site operators then bill visitors without their consent.
EDUCATION TO CHINA
programs allows Chinese to get an American education without
leaving their homeland. The
students attend classes taught by American and Chinese professors,
use English-language textbooks and fulfill the same academic
requirements as their counterparts in the United States, for
about the same cost that US students pay.
has hit the world of higher education and receiving attention
from American academia.
U.S. institutions, CU Denver and a Kansas college, already
have set up shop in China to confer bachelor's degrees, among
others. Many American universities (i.e. Rutgers, etc.) allow
Chinese students to earn master's degrees in such fields as
hotel management, law and nursing without leaving their homeland
since the Chinese government has relaxed its restrictions.
54,000 Chinese students--the most from any single foreign
country-live in the U.S., most of them doing postgraduate
work, according to the U.S. government.