This year’s 9th Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration set for Saturday, May 18 at Civic Center in San Francisco boasts a scrumptious collection of pan Asian delights and sweets, along with the Bay Area’s most popular food trucks. Food vendors will be located at two locations at Golden Gate and Turk Streets (between Larkin and Hyde).
Be sure to come hungry! Here’s a look at what you can expect to taste at this year’s festival.
Adam’s Grub Truck
Mouth-watering Asian fusion sandwiches.
Old-fashioned lemonades with regular and diet options, fries, burgers, malt shakes and Mexican food.
Inspired by Asian street food, steamed or baked buns with creative fillings.
Delicious Kettle Corn
Kettle corn, freshly squeezed lemonade and bottled water.
Vallejo Cream-filled, pre-packed licorice which comes in 19 mouthwatering flavors
Barbeque chicken and kebobs; French bread for side orders.
Handmade, hand-wrapped artisan chocolates blending teas and spices from Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Jane’s Fresh Icy Boba
Assorted flavors of, what else, icy boba.
BBQ beef, chicken, pork, and ribs; papaya salad, sticky rice and Thai iced tea.
Irma’s Pampanga Restaurant
Comforting Filipino staples including pansit palabok, sisig and lumpiang shanghai.
Cupcakes sourced from local, sustainable and organic producers.
Quality cookies using only fine ingredients, such as Guittard Chocolate and pure sugar cane.
Japanese comfort food from the first mobile sushi truck in the Bay Area.
Deep fried calamari, jumbo prawns, catfish, French fries and BBQ tri-tip sandwiches.
Ramar Foods International
Popular Magnolia tropical-flavored ice cream and milk bars along with everyday Filipino household food items.
Fresh spring rolls, imperial rolls, combination plates, pork or BBQ chicken and Vietnamese sandwiches.
Indonesian cuisine, including satay, mie tek tek and nasi goreng, as well as box lunches and salads.
Sandwiches, sides and refrescos from Michelin star chef, Chef Carlos Altamirano.
Korean barbecued beef, pork, chicken and tofu.
Sun Tropics, Inc.
Tropical sweet drinks in assorted flavors, such as mango, Four Seasons, calamansi lime and coconut. Mango gummies also available.
Pad thai, BBQ honey chicken, short ribs over rice, stir-fried Hong Kong noodles and Thai iced tea.
Vietnamese Community Center of SF
Banh mi sandwiches, egg and shrimp rolls, salad and fresh fruit.
Testing for Hepatitis B and C is available all day at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration (AHSC) this Saturday, May 18 at San Francisco’s Civic Center as part of a nationally coordinated effort to increase community outreach for all Americans on the second annual National Hepatitis Testing Day, which AHSC helped to successfully launch last year.
A ceremony marking the event will be held on the Fulton Stage at noon with Mayor Ed Lee, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Hep B Free Honorary Chairperson Fiona Ma and other leaders, health officials and community members. The ceremony was organized by SF Hep B Free and SF Hepatitis C Taskforce.
Testing is provided by Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center and Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center.
“Sutter Health’s California Pacific Medical Center is commemorating National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day and proud to be supporting the health of the Asian American community by providing free hepatitis B screening at the Ninth Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration. We are truly honored to have the opportunity to help end this disease,” said Judy Li, DrPH, Region Vice President of Health System Innovation and Community Benefit.
San Francisco is joining with Los Angeles and New York City this year as the three largest metro areas most affected by viral hepatitis infection. Organizers in the three cities will coordinate events and air public service announcements on television about viral hepatitis and liver cancer prevention. Organizers are also collaborating with ceremonies in Washington, D.C. and Hawaii, as well as Santa Clara County and Alameda County in California.
The three-city campaign is being organized by AsianWeek Foundation, SF Hep B Free and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. Support for the ad campaign is coming from CBS Local Media, Gilead, Bristol-Myer Sqiubb and Genentech.
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer, with up to 5.3 million Americans infected. Most do not know they have the disease, and up to 15,000 Americans die every year from it. Hepatitis B is most prevalent among Asians and Pacific Islanders, with one out of 10 infected. However, medications are available to prevent almost all liver cancer caused by hepatitis.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the U.S. National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan with the goals of preventing new cases of viral hepatitis and ensuring that those already infected receive care to prevent liver cancer. As part of this plan, the second annual National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day aims to continue educating communities across the U.S. about the benefits of viral hepatitis prevention, care and treatment.
To join in the conversation about viral hepatitis during the month of May, please use the hashtags:
#HepAware for Hepatitis Awareness Month
#HTD for Hepatitis Testing Day
#HepRisk for the Hepatitis Risk Assessment
#KMH for the Know More Hepatitis Campaign.
To paraphrase an old lawyer hate joke – Q. What do you call 42,000 Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys in a pipeline? A. A good start…to being nominees for US Supreme Court. “We’re on the cusp of an Asian American justice,” said author and Dean Frank Wu, whose UC Hastings Law School churns out more APA law students into that pipeline than any other law school in the nation. “I am confident that if it’s not with the next appointment, then it will be the next one after that, we will see an Asian American wearing those [US Supreme Court] judicial robes…” Ingredients for Wu’s forecast – President Obama’s last term to appoint a relative young justice to serve long on the gerontocracy of US Supreme Court justices (average age is 67), with talk that the oldest and former President Clinton(1993-2001) nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, is ready to step down before Obama leaves…
FIT FOR A ROBE: The California State Supreme Court headquartered in San Francisco has been a cradle for talent for the US Supreme Court. Goodwin Liu, 42, landed in the State Court after the US Senate derailed him in 2011 for the western federal US Court of Appeals 9th Circuit (which is below the US Supreme Court) partially out of fear that President Obama was fast tracking him for the highest court in the land…Ming Chin, 70, appointed by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson in 1996 to the California Supreme Court, was also ripe for consideration during the Bush Administration (2001-09). Given Tani Cantil-Sakauye’s, 53, prominence as Chief Justice of the world’s largest court system (See “Potstickers” on 2/28/13 at tinyurl.com/an4leqp) should receive a look see. The list doesn’t stop there as US Supreme Court expert and author (The Nine and The Oath) Jeffrey Toobin in New Yorker magazine last month read off potential nominees, including Indian Americans – Obama’s Deputy Solicitor General Sri Srinivasan, 46, and California Attorney General and former SF District Attorney Kamala Harris and Vietnamese American in Jacqueline Nguyen, 48, of the SF-based 9th Circuit Liu was originally destined for. Obama in January nominated Srinivasan to the US Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, a launch pad for four of the nine current US Supreme Court justices…
BOXER REBELLION: How big are FilAms in Nevada? Boxer Manny Pacquiao rescued US Senator Harry Reid for a close re-election in 2010 (as well as supporting Jerry Brown’s resurrection as Calif. Governor) by stoking Filipino American turnout. Senate Majority Leader Reid – a Nevada Democrat and former Athletic Commissioner – reciprocated in 2012, calling for an investigation into Pacquiao’s controversial 2012 loss of his title… Senator John Ensign, Republican also from Nevada, showed up for Pacquiao’s May 2009 win for junior welterweight crown. In meeting the boxer, Ensign noted for the boxer in an ESPN story that he was one-eighth Filipino. After voting against FilAm veterans benefits in 2008, his FilAm cred however wasn’t put to the test when a June 2009 extramarital affair disclosure put an end to 2012 presidential aspirations and Senate re-election. The Roseville, Calif. native resigned in 2011…
MILK & TICS: If there’s ever a David vs. David contest – as in Supervisors Chiu vs. Campos for the 17th Assembly District seat (eastside SF) in June and November 2014, a compare and contrast between the two could be revisited on how they handled hallmark legislation two weeks ago. Campos was unable to rename SFO after Supervisor Harvey Milk, and is settling for renaming an airport terminal after the assassinated gay icon. So, no ballot measure galvanizing the LGBT community and raising Campos’ profile for a 2014 Assembly run…Meanwhile, Mark Farrell’s condo conversion legislation helping tenancy-in-common (TIC) owners but amended by Chiu is going back to SF Board of Supervisor committee for more debate. Chiu wanted a conversions moratorium amendment on Farrell’s legislation originally allowing TICs to bypass a conversion lottery for a $20,000 fee apiece into an affordable housing fund. Amendment has scored tenant points for Chiu after 2011 criticism for his swing vote allowing redevelopment of Parkmerced apartments. But homeowner, small property landlords and real estate interests aren’t pleased despite supervisor’s claim of a compromise for tenants and TIC owners…
LABOR’S NOT WORKING: With any US Supreme Court nominee, they’ll face wily Kentucky US Senator Mitch McConnell who’s gumming up confirmation for Obama’s nominee, Tom Perez for Labor Secretary, a post once held by McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao under President George W. Bush (2001-09). She had become the first Chinese American and APA woman cabinet member after Linda Chavez withdrew her name with the specter of facing a US Senate grilling over her employing an undocumented Guatamalan…
ISLAND POLITICS: Something about Asian, APAs, casinos and their politics…Philippines and China are at odds over islands in the South China or West Philippines seas. Who will China’s Macau root for in this November’s match between welterweight and Philippines congressman Manny Pacquiao and his US challenger Brandon Rios? Tensions escalated as Taiwan prepared to flex its muscles with sanctions and a military exercise after the Philippines apologized for its coast guard killing a Taiwanese fisherman in contested waters. The islands – also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam – are more than 900 miles away from Macau. Meanwhile, the US – calling for restraint – doesn’t have an island in this fight…
MAKING THE PUSH: Both Frank Wu and California Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Phil Ting noted it’s not a lack of talent for the high court. The issue Liu and other court nominees face is community support and pushing a judicial nomination thru the US Senate. Ting, honoring Wu as a leading educator this week for APA Heritage Month in the State Assembly, said of the first ever Latina American US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “We did not get a Latino jurist because the Latino community sat back and said ‘we’re going to wait.’” Hispanic bar and community leaders had advocated for the President and Congress to respectively appoint and confirm Latinos to the bench. “Confirmation isn’t always easy,” said Wu, noting his friend Goodwin Liu. “In the US Senate, there will be a fight, Sometimes a political fight…It’s crucial for Asian Americans to show that we are a force to be reckoned with. There are a lot of people who don’t take Asian Americans seriously. It’s hard to believe [with many APA political leaders] in San Francisco, or in California. But that’s true in Washington DC and thru out this land,” said Wu, former dean of Howard University Law School, which graduated future first US Supreme Court justice of color in Thurgood Marshall…
BAY AREA GIRL COMES HOME: Whatever goes around comes around for California State Assembly former Chief Administrative Officer Maeley Tom decades after interviewing a Capitol Tour Guide. Honored on May 3 after running the joint during the Speakership of Willie Brown Jr., Tom ended up getting a resolution honoring her from the same tour guide, Ellen Corbett, now California State Senate Majority Leader representing the 10th District (25% APA voters, including cities like Fremont, Milpitas, Union City and parts of San Jose)…The Tom trophy room in Sacramento got more crowded with the Senate resolution, a documentary about her and lifetime achievement award from the APA Democratic Caucus of Alameda County during a dinner led by Co-Presidents Calvin Fong andPhong La. “It’s a little like coming home,” said Tom, the Oakland Tech grad and political godmom from Westlake Jr. High and Lincoln School…
CIVIC HONDAS: Hondas do come in all makes and models, including the civic variety as Rep. Mike Honda discovered SF Board of Appeals Commissioner Darryl Honda at the Congressman’s ping pong fundraiser last month in Fisherman’s Wharf. Both carry that gregarious gene that’s game for politics…While Darryl’s had better success winning appointments (by the Mayor and former State Senator John Burton), Mike’s been in elective office since 1981 as a school board member…
MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at email@example.com and follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…
This was the question posed to me by a curious TV news reporter on May 7, just three days after a stretch limousine, carrying nine Filipino nurses to a bridal party across the San Mateo Bridge, suddenly burst into flames killing five of the occupants, including the bride. Ann Notarangelo, the reporter who is also the weekend anchor of CBS 5′s Eyewitness News, explained that she was only asking the question because it was on the minds of her viewers. She came to my office to interview me because she thought I might know the answer as I taught Filipino American History at San Francisco State University and I am the legal counsel of the Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California. Plus, I added, I am also married to a Filipino nurse. She said that she was frankly surprised to learn that 20% of all the registered nurses in California are Filipinos, a considerably large percentage since Filipinos number only 2.3 million (officially 1.2 million) out of a state population of 38 million.
“I just never noticed it before,” Ann told me, “because I generally don’t see people in racial terms.” But, she said, in reflecting back on all the times she visited friends and relatives in hospitals all over California, she now recalls seeing Filipino nurses everywhere. Not just in California, I said. Filipino nurses in the US may be invisible even when they are visible everywhere but not anymore. The video clip of the fire-engulfed limousine was the top story in the US over the weekend. The media reported that the limo fire fatalities included Neriza Fojas, 31, a newlywed bride who was planning to get married again in the Philippines in June; Michelle Estrera, 35, the bride’s Maid of Honor who worked with her at a Fresno medical facility; Jennifer Balon, 39, and Anna Alcantara, 46, of San Lorenzo, both of whom worked at the Fruitvale Healthcare Center; and Felomina Geronga, 43, who worked at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland. Americans also learned about the nurses who escaped the fire and were treated for burns and smoke inhalation: Mary G. Guardiano, 42; Jasmine Desguia, 34; Nelia Arellano, 36; and Amalia Loyola, 48. In a TV interview shown all over the US, an anguished Nelia Arellano blamed the limo driver for failing to stop immediately and for selfishly refusing to help them get out of the burning limo.
As the San Francisco Chronicle described it, “They came from little towns scattered all over the Philippines, hungry for the good life in America. A nursing degree was each one’s solo ticket over, and once they found each other, they became the best of friends.”(Families carry nurses’ model of caring”, May 12, 2013).
Menchu Sanchez is a 3rd wave nurse immigrant who has worked as an RN for more than 25 years, the last three years at the New York University Langone Medical Center. Menchu was in charge of 20 at-risk infants in the Intensive Care Unit of her hospital when Superstorm Sandy battered New York last October and knocked out the electric power to the hospital. Menchu organized the nurses and doctors to carry the babies in warming pads down 8 flights of stairs to safety. Menchu was invited to sit beside First Lady Michelle Obama at the State of the Union address of Pres. Barack Obama on February 12, 2013. In his speech, Pres. Obama cited Menchu as a role model: “We should follow the example of a New York City nurse named Menchu Sanchez. When Hurricane Sandy plunged her hospital into darkness, she wasn’t thinking about how her own home was faring. Her mind was on the 20 precious newborns in her care and the rescue plan she devised that kept them all safe.” Many Filipino nurses who entered the US on H-1work visas after passing the CGFNS tests benefited from the passage of the Nursing Relief Act of 1989 which provided for their adjustment to permanent resident status if they had H-1 non-immigrant status as registered nurses and had been employed in that capacity for at least 3 years. But the “sunsetting” of this law in 1995 effectively decreased Filipino nurse immigration to the United States. The passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1998 (IIRIIRA) further discouraged nurse immigration to the US. The passage of nativist legislation was fueled by fears of foreign nurses taking American jobs as former Washington DC Mayor Marion Barry complained : “it’s so bad, that if you go to the hospital now, you find a number of immigrants who are nurses, particularly from the Philippines,” Barry told the Examiner. “And no offense, but let’s grow our own teachers, let’s grow our own nurses — and so that we don’t have to be scrounging around in our community clinics and other kinds of places — having to hire people from somewhere else.” Grow your own nurses, that’s what the US did. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, US nursing schools produced close to a million nurses from 2006 to 2011. While the demand for Filipino nurses may have waned in the US, the demand for Filipino nurses in the rest of the world did not diminish. Filipino nurses working for the National Health System (NHS) in England drew international attention last February when Britain’s 91-year-old Prince Philip, while on a tour of a new cardiac centre in Bedfordshire, England, turned to a Filipino nurse and said: “The Philippines must be half-empty – you’re all here running the NHS.” Not quite, not by a long shot, your majesty. According to Reuben Seguritan, general counsel of the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), the Philippines is the world’s largest supplier of foreign-trained nurses with 429 nursing schools and 80,000 nursing students. To place this number in context, City College of San Francisco, with 89,000 students, does not have the resources to accept more than 75 students into its nursing program. The nursing students are chosen by lottery from a list of about 500 students who otherwise qualify for acceptance, a selective system practiced by community colleges all over California. Is there a fourth wave of Filipino nurse immigration to the US? Yes, but it hasn’t arrived yet. According to recent CNN report, “Demand for health care services is expected to climb as more baby boomers retire and health care reform makes medical care accessible to more people. As older nurses start retiring, economists predict a massive nursing shortage will reemerge in the United States.” The CNN report adds: “We’ve been really worried about the future workforce because we’ve got almost 900,000 nurses over the age of 50 who will probably retire this decade, and we’ll have to replace them,” [economist and nurse Peter] Buerhaus said.” The fourth wave may come as early as 2014 when the US Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, comes into effect and about 30-40 million Americans without any health insurance will finally be covered by health care insurance. LPG Marketer’s Association party-list Rep. Arnel Ty believes that Obamacare will “stimulate” the US hiring of foreign nurses. “This will hopefully spur US demand for new foreign nurses and other health practitioners such as pharmacists, physical therapists, medical technologists, radiologists, and speech pathologists,” Ty said. To another question posed by TV reporter Ann Notarangelo, I answered that I do not know the exact number of Filipino nurses in the US. All I know is that number, whatever it is, was significantly reduced by 5 on the evening of May 4, 2013. Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call 415.334.7800.
Executive Director Lisa Hasegawa of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and 14 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) leaders met with President Obama last week to discuss issues and challenges facing AANHPI families including implementation of the Affordable Care Act, how the President’s plans for immigration reform will affect our communities, and issues currently facing underserved Native Hawaiian communities.
“This historic meeting underscores the President’s commitment to our communities and certainly speaks to the growing political power of AANHPIs and the access we have in this Administration,” noted Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director of National CAPACD. “With AA and NHPI populations growing faster than ever before, we appreciate the opportunity to speak candidly with the President about many of the most critical policies affecting our communities today.”
The meeting was preceded by a discussion with senior White House officials including Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President; Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; and Tina Tchen, Chief of Staff to the First Lady.
“During the meeting, we shared our concerns about the 54% growth of the AANHPI poverty population since 2000 and discussed ways to ensure that this fact does not go ignored,” said Hasegawa. “In particular, I was pleased about the President’s openness to engaging with the Department of Interior and Native Hawaiian communities to address long standing concerns regarding inclusion and recognition by the US government. We look forward to continuing the discussion with the Administration and will work to ensure the voices of underserved AANHPIs always have a place at the table.”
“It was an incredible dialogue directly with the President on Native Hawaiian issues, as well as the larger Pacific region,” said Robin Danner, President and CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “We would like to see the federal government start and complete the task of promulgating federal rules on the Hawaiian Home Land Trust created by Congress over 90 years ago. Our community knows this has been the missing element that can change the future for so many families on the waiting list for the lands intended for them by Congress.”
Participants in this meeting included:
Jeffrey Caballero, Executive Director, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations
Gregory Cendana, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Kathy Ko Chin, President and CEO, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
Robin Danner, President and CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Lisa Hasegawa, Executive Director, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
Tom Hayashi, Executive Director, OCA National Center
Bill Imada, Chairman, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship
Deepa Iyer, Chair, National Council of Asian Pacific Americans & Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together
Daphne Kwok, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Floyd Mori, President and CEO, Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies
Mee Moua, President and Executive Director, Asian American Justice Center
Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director, Japanese American Citizens League
Doua Thor, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
Miriam Yeung, Executive Director, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Dae Joong “DJ” Yoon, Executive Director, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
- Coptic Christians: Bad Christians, Bad Bad!
- Egypt gets F-16s, Philippines begs for first jet since 1970
- Obama promotes new democratic Egyptian government
- Innocence Video and Copts
- Super Typhoon, Super Bad Ming Na Wen movie
- Benghazi again
- Check out Michelle Malkin on Fox
Bomb attacks, forced conversions of Christians, and other sectarian conflicts have been on the rise against the Copts, the largest Christian denomination in Egypt with the new government of Egypt. President Obama played a key role in the transition of Egypt from the dictatorial regime of Mubarak into the Arab-Spring inspired democratically elected government headed by President Morsi.
We are so happy with the progress there towards human rights, we’re still shipping them zillions of dollars worth of F-16s and M-1 tanks they don’t need (unless they are planning a re-do of the 1967 six-day war) . Meanwhile, the US hasn’t given the strategic Philippines a dime towards helping it buy Korea’s FA-50 Golden Eagle because it’s been too poor to afford any jets since it’s ancient bargain basement F-5′s fell into disrepair decades ago.
It’s not easy for westerners, especially Democrat-dominated Obama-committed Asians to make sense of what is going on out there, but this is what I’ve figure out in short form:
April 5, 2013 Friday Violence in Khosous rooted in a dispute between a Muslim family and Christian family flared up. Christians accused Salafis who were seen sexually harassing a Christian girl. Then sheikhs started incited against Copts and the church. Security police arrived to find clashes already taking place, as a nearby nursery and church were also burned. Forensic evidenced showed that at least four copts were shot by automatic weapons, and seven had died by April 11. A funeral for six who had died was set for Sunday, one intentionally set aflame
April 6, 2013 Saturday Deadly clashes erupted in Al-Khosous between as groups of Muslim teens accused Christian teens of painting offensive drawings on the gates of an Al-Azhar institution. Someone drew a gun and fired into the air, killing one boy with a stray bullet. Four Christians and one Muslim died in the violence that followed.
April 7, 2013 Sunday As Christian Copt mourners were leaving a funeral of a victim of sectarian violence at St. Mark’s cathedral in Cairo, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Church, they were were attacked by a mob of 20-40 youths using guns, machetes, stones and Molotov cocktails against the crowd. Police not only looked on rather than arresting the mob, but the police fired teargas and birdshot directly into the cathedral compound. Rather than using the armored vehicles to protect the compound, they allowed youths stand on top of their vehicles to attack, while one officer appeared to help one gunman take aim at exiting Copts. The government investigation blamed violent Copts who began destroying cars in the neighbourhood, leading to “escalation that resulted in a fight between mourners and people living in the area”, and the arrest of 4 Copts in connection with the violence, even though video clearly showed Copts were under attack by police and the mob outside the church. The ensuing riot, also called the “Siege of St Marks” lead to the deaths of two copts, with 84 were injured, including 11 Coptic Police officers. sparking uproar among the Christian community.
Yup, it’s as clear as day the Copts are the ones that should be arrested by the Egyptian authorities.
Breightbart EGYPTIAN POLICE IGNORE MUSLIM SLAUGHTER OF COPTIC CHRISTIANS
Newsmax Pope Shows Support for Embattled Egyptian Copts
Ahram Online Bishop thanks Muslims for protecting Christians in Egypt’s Al-Khosous
Observers of the whole Arab spring / Benghazi thing will note that the right bloggers think that it’s a bad thing that Obama has pretty much aligned the USA with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Qatar / Sunni side of the Muslim world, while the left bloggers think that’s a good thing for promoting democracy and world peace. It’s also interesting that that the “unreliable source” Walid Shoebat was the only guy who noticed that that “innocence” youtube video that caused the whole ruckus was created by Sam Bacile, a man with no official name but a bazillion aliases. He came out of jail for his terrorist connetions with zero background in filmmaking. Yet within a couple of months, he has a finished screenplay, does a professional casting call and auditions, crafts a low budget SAG contract, and has a budget big enough not only for b-grade actors and director (ok, if you want to see a really bad movie to see how far Ming Na Wen has fallen since Mulan, check out Super Typhoon) but hires out Hollywood’s only mideast backlot and pioneers a new blue screen technique. He screens a theater premiere complete with a “Innocence of Bin Laden” promo poster in Arabic that reads like it was written by Imam Anwar al-Awlaki or Zawahiri himself.
Nobody seem to think Bacile looks the filmmaker version of a “lone gunman” set up to be a patsy, knowing that the government will be too stupid to prosecute anybody behind him. Nobody would suspect anybody helped this fellow plan how to create and promote the film, or determine who decided to put so much effort into a stupid youtube video unless it was really, really important enough for somebody to invest half million or so, maybe to be used at a later date (like 9/11?). Bacile lied that he was an Israeli. His connections to the Copt and Christian evangelicals oriented towards Egypt looked equally bogus, as if the whole operation was engineered specifically to inflame hatred against Christians, Jews, and Copts in particular. But what do I know?
This whole Copt thing obviously has nothing to do terrorism here in the USA that any Asian American need to worry about. Asians obviously trust the excellent handling of the Libya security situation by Sec of State Hillary Clinton who have assured us that security was exactly at the right level, and President Obama who that night of 9/11 left the entire operation in the capable hands of his staff who determined that there was nothing the military could do. Asians certainly don’t need to hear any of the crazy stuff coming off that Fox news channel, especially Michelle Malkin who’s been on there a lot lately.
You probably saw it on national headlines, on May 5, bride Neriza Fojas died in a horrific fire with four of her nurse friends on their way to a party across the San-Mateo-Hayward Bridge in California while three of her friends and the driver who helped them out survived when the trunk of their stretch limo caught fire. She had married another fellow from the Philippines in Las Vegas, but was to return to Manila in their homeland for a formal wedding in JuneSomething is Fishy
Several things do strike me as odd about this, and many other “unrelated” accidents, crimes and explosions. One comment on one story stood out to me in the wake of the Boston bombings and the massive explosions at West Texas, Mobile Alabama and other incidents which few have heard about. Nobody but random people on comment boards are asking if any of these things could be connected, or if anybody is even considering the possibility of terrorism as a motive, let alone doing a thorough job of investigating:
I just hope they are not being inventive of new ways to kill who they determine are “the infidels” I do not understand why there are so many multitudes of explosions, bridges collapsing, plane crashes, fires than ever before in America. I do not think they are ALL accidents! Sorry, but the statistics are abnormal in past few years.The Driver’s Story Vs. The Girls
The women complained that once they smelled smoke they started banging on the partition, but the driver did not stop immediately. Instead, the driver explained he thought they wanted to smoke? The driver was Orville Brown, a San Jose man who had only been working for the company for two months. At first he said he heard tapping, but evidently did not stop until the fire had obviously worked its way into the passenger compartment when he knew in his own words “nobody could survive that”. He did help 3 injured women out. It’s not clear at all why after those 3 he did not help out the other 4 who were found trying to get through to the driver’s seat or when he opened up the rear doors. It is very odd that he immediately knew that it was probably an electrical fire that might have been smoldering for days. He definitely knew it wasn’t an explosion since he didn’t hear a bomb, so that means we definitely know nobody put a bomb in the trunk where the fire started, not at least one the State Patrol would be able to figure out right away. The police could have immediately suspected something was up, but instead this guy told his story on the radio, while comments all over youtube were wondering if this guy could have staged the whole thing to hurt a lot of people but make it look like an accident
We don’t know much about the driver’s exact ethnic and religious background. But for the record, it does matter if a affluent or indigent, White, Black, Asian, Catholic, Nazi, Mormon, Jewish, LGBT or vegan is involved in something suspicious because it brings in a whole cultural context. African Americans, ( converts to Islam up the chances, but some have invoked the name of Jesus and even European colonialism in murderous rampages as well) are over-represented in various jihad and non-jihad terrorist incidents, just as I have noted Asian American are even MORE over-represented and even deadlier as spree shooters and hostage takers in Virginia Tech and Discovery channel. (and I do have new theories to explain that as well) How tough is a security check for a limo driver?Not Your Average Car Fire?
I looked up limo fires, and I can’t find any others. Town Cars are similar to Ford Crown Victoria police cars which had a nasty habit of blowing up when rear ended like Pintos. But running cars of any kind never have trunk fires, and if they do flare up while driving, it is under the hood where the driver can see there is a problem. Overall 75% of highway vehicle fires are caused some car malfunctions, but fires caused by collisions cause a 60% majority of vehicle fire deaths.
The other headline stories look like crimes or carefully sanitized terrorism. On Jan 2007, 313 cars were set on fire in France over one night. A Seattle terrorist who didn’t like the War on Terror torched a number of police cars after shooting two cops. On January 2011, Ashley Turton an energy company lobbyist and wife linked to somebody important to Obama died in a curious car fire in DC. Forensic experts believe that 4AM, she woke up to drive to the airport, but instead of drinking coffee, got so drunk that when she got into the car at 5AM she fell unconscious, putting the car into drive, hit the wall, piercing the radiator through the grille, headlights start fire. Still unconscious, the car shifts into reverse so that it backs out 2/3 out of the door and stops where it is found. I am completely serious.Who Killed Robert Eric Wone Still Looking for Susan Powell Obama: No Idea Who Attacked Benghazi But When We Find Out They Will Pay
No wonder the DC cops still haven’t figured out who might have killed Robert Eric Wone, and Utah says they are still looking for Susan Powell as a missing person. For that matter, the entire Obama administration can’t name even one person or organization they could arrest or attack in the Benghazi case. Oh there are plenty of rightbloggers who have photos and videos of the attackers in clearly marked pickup trucks that say “Asar al-Sharia” which is Arabic for “The Radical Islamists No Longer Known as Al Qaeda” and say that they are backed by friends in Egypt, Yemen and Iran, but they are just saying that to hurt the Greatest President Ever.Other Bizzare Car Fires
In August 2012, 3 persons already shot were found in a burning parked car in Bangor Maine, two were arrested for murder, no motive. April 7, 2013 in East Bloomfield New York, a man is found dead in driver’s seat in a “suspicious fire”, no explanation or motive. Jan 8, 2013 McFarland Wisconsin, a couple leaves at 5AM, after only a short drive their car is found burning from a fire that started in the engine compartment, but they did not try to get out. Without any obvious evidence of murder, it’s ruled an accident. April 23, 2013 near Long Beach CA a man who had already been shot is found in a burning SUV, a 17 year old suspect turns himself in 4 days later with no clue as to his motive. Yup, that’s pretty much typical for a headline car fire.Accidents Happen
Could an innocent accident be a carefully staged terrorist targeted assassination On March 3, 2013 Julio Acevedo just happened to be driving through Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel. For some reason, he and a passenger floored the gas and rammed a large $20,000 2010 BMW he borrowed from a friend into a cab which happened to be carrying Orthodox Jews Nachman and pregnant wife Raizy Glauber, where they had to cut out of the twisted wreckage. Julio fled the scene in a hit-and-run, but he insists he was driving safely while trying to flee at high speed from someone who was trying to kill him. The collision was unavoidable as the cab was running a stop sign, and obviously driving fast in a rush to get to the hospital. A son who survived being born prematurely also died later.
In a glowing biography, the 44 year old suspect was born to an illiterate teenage mother, and raised in housing projects by his strict born-again Christians grandparents from Puerto Rico. But his life took a turn for the worse as was an ex-con who had spent nearly 10 years in prison for a fatal shooting. A rabbi asked why he fled the scene: “nobody thinks he wanted to kill somebody, so why run?” After being named and vilified in the tabloids as the suspect a callous monster, Acevedo turned himself in several days later in Pennsylvania. Asked if he played a part in the accident he said ” I couldn’t stop. Accidents happen”. Curiously, only a couple of zionist extremist sites like anti-semitism.net seemed to think this was a deliberate attack against Jews, while anti-zionist sites (like the “jewish terrorism” site that claims the blown off legs and blood in the Boston Bombing was fake) also noted the “accident” as if they wished they could take credit for it. Now I’m not asking Asian Americans to automatically take interest in Jewish issues, but in my book, people who wish bad things to happen to Jewish people tend to be bad to other kinds of people as well, including people in the Philippines.1997 Empire State Building Shooting?
Is it terrorism? Or just a guy with problems? It took 10 years to get the official answer. There is always a motive that makes sense for a mass shooting. From wikipedia
On February 23, 1997, Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, a 69 year-old Palestinian teacher, opened fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building. The gunman killed one person and wounded six others before taking his own life with a gunshot to the head. Law enforcement officials ruled it was a premeditated attack after finding notes indicating anger over Palestine and Israel. At the time, Abu Kamal’s widow stated the shooting spree was not politically motivated, but rooted in his despondency over financial ruin. Ten years after the shooting, Abu Kamal’s daughter revealed that she had lied in hiding that her father’s actions had in fact been motivated by Palestinian nationalism. Her mother’s 1997 account was a cover story fabricated by the Palestinian Authorityas Abu Kamal sought revenge against the Americans, the British, and the French for supporting Israel.
Philippines T-word Problems
Most Americans think America and Israel are the only targets of terrorism, but compared to the rest of the world, radical something-ist shooters and bombers like the Tsarnaevs and Nidal Hasan are a mere occasional nuisance. But in the Philipines, they have an all out war with Al Qaeda and other violent gunmen and terrorists. That Jessica Heeringa abducted April 26 from the gas station where she worked? That’s happens all the time in the Phillipines.It Only Takes A Minute To Know It’s An Accident
You can never rush to judgement to conclude something could be terrorism. Yet it only takes minutes for a caller to Mobile Alabama’s city council that a massive multiple barge explosion which critically burned 3 was caused by a spark, not by friends of Randy “Rasheed” Wilson another Mobile resident who had been arrested by the FBI on his way to fighting for Al Qaeda-likes in Mali. It’s odd that some workers in Bangladesh garment factory fire immediately knew it was a short circuit even though an investigation showed the fire which killed over 100 was a deliberate arson. After West Texas blew up in a rural version of the Oklahoma City bombing, authorities and the media and commenters immediately pointed to shoddy safety regulations. Yet outside of Wikipedia you’d never know there was a similar explosion right after 9/11 in Toulouse France which was traced to a worker with radical Islamist views. He had clashed with workers who expressed support for the US after the 9/11 attacks. That blast in a more populated area killed 29 and wounded 2,500 seriously.No-Motive Attack
One thing seems to be common to these non-Al Qaeda attacks that look like Al Qaeda attacks, and that is horrific attacks that seem to be engineered to make outrageous headlines, but have no motive or some really lame motive. Take for example the case of Nhan Lap Tran who went to the trouble of shooting up 4 cars and killing a little kid in the backseat on his way home from school with a handgun, but can’t or won’t tell anyone why he did it. Was he just crazy or stupid? It’s odd that in this day and age, nobody can think of any person or nation state that might actually want somebody to do a mass shooting like this?China’s Oklahoma City Bombing
No American has heard of China’s Okahoma City bombing. In March 2001, not long before 9/11, 108 were killed in Shijiazhuang China when four apartment buildings were hit by fertilizer bombs planted by a single lone-bomber Jin Ruchao who said he suffered from hatred for his ex-wife, ex-mother-in-law and a lover. Right. Even Hezbollah needs an 8 man demolition squad to cause this much damage to a Marine or Saudi barracks. If the American authorities are completely cluess and stupid about lone bombers who are actually terrorists, the Chinese government clearly either isn’t any better or they need their own Alex Jones to uncover zionist government false flag plots to increase control over their citizens. If it is terrorism, the only need for a motive is a cover story. The killing or damage is the end itself, whereas in a normal crime, the killing is only a means to an end such as revenge.The Other Empire State Building Shooter Is Asian
Just ran across this in wikipedia: On August 24, 2012, a gunman shot and killed a former co-worker outside theEmpire State Building in New York City. Following the initial shooting, the gunman, 58-year-old Jeffrey T. Johnson, was fatally shot by police officers after raising his weapon at them. Nine bystanders were wounded by stray bullets fired by the officers and ricocheting debris, but none suffered life-threatening injuries.
The perpetrator was 58-year-old Jeffrey T. Johnson, a Manhattan resident, who was laid off from his job as a women’s apparel designer at Hazan Imports at 10 E. 33rd St. about a year prior to the shootings, due to a downsizing of employees. He held his victim responsible for his resultant financial problems and police sources say he recently found out that he was being evicted from his apartment, which may have precipitated the shooting. Johnson was born in Japan in 1953 to an American father and Japanese mother, and moved to the United States when he was 10 months old, where he grew up in Gainesville, Georgia.
Was it just a guy off his rocker? Who knows. But the only way to find out if a case is terrorism is to ALWAYS ask if terrorism is a plausible motive. Especially when the the criminal leaves plenty of evidence or a giant manifesto trying to convince you of a motive that has to be a lie. It’s not just Obama, but also previous administrations that:
- consistently dismissed claims by the Little Rock Recruiting Office shooter that he was sent and trained by Al Qaeda.
- ignores the copious evidence that Nidal Hasan treated Al Qaeda commander Anwar al-Awlaki as his spiritual guide, and lacked only putting Al Qaeda on his business card, calling it “workplace violence”
- New York police and media ignored claims that Jiverly Wong’s attack on a immigration center was controlled and sent by the Taliban as reprisal against drone attacks
- ignored reports from a defector that Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley’s infatuation with a movie star was just an elaborate cover story. He was tied into the same Islamic Guerilla Army that assassinated Ali Akbar Tabatabai, an Iranian dissident with a gunman posing as as mailman in the last known successful Iranian assassination plot on US soil. (the same M.O. used by a completely unrelated Aryan prison gang to kill the Colorado prisons official)
- never investigated evidence the Oklahoma city bombers were likely helped by people outside the US, including likely master bomb maker Ramsi Yousef who Nichols is thought to have met in the Philipines.
- is pretty good at apprehending the “lone gunman” but never, ever figures who is behind him that told him to bring two guns and a backpack full of ammo, and who to kill.
If somebody shoots up a company or crowd or blows up a building because of girlfriend problems, bad grades, unemployment, or even apparent hatred of white, black, Sikhs, women or in the case of Anders Breivik, Norwegians who are nice to immigrants, or in many cases no apparent motive at all, that’s accepted just fine. But if somebody tells you to your face he is a terrorist, or if there isn’t any proof that he isn’t a terrorist, well then, we can’t just believe that without proof, can we?
Potstickers will be off today and return next Thursday, May 16. Readers can still follow @SFPotstickers daily on Twitter.
Rush Hour 4? What’s up with Jackie Chan? It’s been awhile since he made his first U.S. film debut in “Rush Hour” (1998) featuring the real (undubbed) Jackie Chan speaking English. And fans may see the dynamic duo of Chan and Chris Tucker reunited once again soon. I just got back from Hong Kong and homeboy Kong-San (means “born in Hong Kong” (aka Jackie) Chan is still popular and very busy. Jackie Chan was born in Victoria Peak to parents (cook and maid) who worked for the French Ambassador. He was not good at school, was prone to getting into fights, and was nicknamed “Pao Pao” meaning cannon ball because he was always rolling around as a child. His father enrolled the 6 year old Jackie into the China Drama Academy when they moved to Australia. Growing older, Jackie gained a reputation as “Hong Kong’s best stuntman” yet he wanted to be a big international star but was overshadowed by the great Bruce Lee. When Lee died in 1973, Jackie was able to break through and by 1980, he was the highest paid actor in Hong Kong and a huge international star in Asia. “I never wanted to be the next Bruce Lee. I just wanted to be the first Jackie Chan” and today, he still performs most of all of his own stunts and entertains the world with his signature screwball comedy, funny facial gestures, and thumbs up.
Twinkle Toes: Last year’s box office hit “Silver Linings Playbook” reminds us how everyone can dance…if they just try… and that’s why this month, “Dancing with the Stars” will celebrate their 300th episode in this 16thseason. My parents are religious about “DWTS” and take friendly bets on opening night on who will eventually win and cheer on their respective team each week. My Mom picked Team Alexandra, the 18 year old Women’s Gymnastics Team Olympic Gold Medalist (fyi: 8-time Olympic gold medal winner speed skater Apollo Ohno won Season 4) and my Dad picked Team Zendaya, the youngest competitor at age 17. Zendaya Coleman was born in Oakland, CA. Her mixed ethnic background and exotic looks (African, German, Irish, and English) has opened many doors. As a child, she would accompany her mom to work at the California Shakespeare Theater and eventually trained and performed in numerous stage productions there. She attended the Oakland School of Arts where she continued to hone her many talents adding to her long resume of stage, dance, and print portfolio. Both young ladies need to please the three judges especially the lovely Honolulu, Hawaii native Carrie Ann Inaba: dancer, choreographer, actress, game show host, and singer. My parents are proud that their two picks have advanced to next week’s round. As for me, I would’ve picked Team Dorothy (aka Hamill) because of her ice skating background (similar to Season 6 Winner Kristy Yamaguchi) but Dorothy got injured in week 2 and withdrew so this solidifies my DWTS Amateur status.
Housewives Still Reign: The newest Bravo reality show on the circuit is “Gallery Girls” which premiered August 13th of last year. The show follows 7 women in the prickly, snooty, fun New York City art gallery world. The self proclaimed “#1 Asian American Sweetheart” and lone API on the show is Angela Pham, freelance photographer and aspiring artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Pham grew up in a strict, traditional Vietnamese household in Orange County. Upon her acceptance to New York University, Pham celebrated by donning a Mohawk and off she went with camera in hand to take pictures of New York’s street life. Unfortunately, working “Gallery Girls” did not gain the followings it had hoped and will not be picked up by Bravo TV in 2013 however “Housewives” in Orange County, Beverly Hills, Atlanta (NeNe reportedly gets paid top salary of $1M), New Jersey, DC, Miami and NYC will be back airing their dirty laundry and clawing each other for fame and more fortune.
Happy Belated Birthday: “Sometimes change is slow but when we know better, we do better,” wrote Scott Fujita in last month’s New York Times’ Op-ed about California’s Proposition 8. LGBT advocates have been proud that Fujita has been outspoken on gay marriage since 2009 and earlier this year, was the third NFL member to be an ambassador for Athlete Ally, which fights homophobia in sports (a hot topic right now). As a father of three young girls, having a father who was interned during World War II, and an adoptee himself, Fujita is sensitive about civil and equal rights. His father Rodney Fujita, a Japanese American and his mother, Helen, Caucasian, were denied the right to marry at first. Fujita was born in Camarillo, CA, 34 years ago and grew up in a traditional Japanese household celebrating all the holidays and eating with chopsticks everyday. He was a high school three-sport athlete who earned his BA in Political Science and a Masters Degree from UC Berkeley He’s played professional football with the Chiefs, Cowboys, Saints (won the Super Bowl in 2010), Browns and announced his retirement two weeks ago after signing a one day contract with the Saints. Fujita and his family live in Carmel Valley and I see a future in politics for Fujita who also openly supports a women’s right to choose, breast cancer awareness, adoption, and wetlands preservation.
RIP: Asian male newscasters on a major TV network are few and far between these days. I’m sure fans of THE pioneer Mario Machado, Los Angeles’ first Asian American newscaster and eight Emmy Awards winner, were reminded of the lack of progress in that area when he passed away this week at 78. Machado was the nation’s first prominent Chinese American newscaster and the first in the Los Angeles market, starting as a consumer reporter for a local CBS affiliate. A collegiate soccer player, he helped found the American Youth Soccer Organization in 1964 and became the play-by-play announcer for CBS’s North American Soccer League games. After retiring from the broadcast world, he played a newsman or himself in a number of famous movies such as “Rocky III,” “Scarface,” and “St. Elmo’s Fire.” In recent years, Machado gathered oral histories from people who left China after the Communist Revolution and was a co-founder of the “Old China Hands Archives” at Cal State Northridge in 1996 to memorialize some of the stories.
Back by Popular Demand: PSY made another surprise guest appearance at Dodgers stadium on May 1st where he excited the crowd (but baffled Tommy Lasorda) and cheered on his fellow countryman Korean pitching star Ryu Hyon Jin. Martin Kim said it was a “heck of a fun game” (see http://www.asianweek.com/2013/03/27/martin-e-kim-ushering-in-ryu-mania/).
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – As part of its ongoing commitment to cultural diversity and responsible banking, and in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Union Bank, N.A., partnered with KQED for the Local Heroes program to honor four extraordinary individuals. The 2013 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honorees — Evelyn Nakano Glenn, PJ Hirabayashi, Hyon-Chin (HC) Lee, and David Lei — will be recognized Wednesday, May 1, 2013, during an awards celebration at Yoshi’s San Francisco hosted by special guest Olympic gold medalist and champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and featuring popular musician Jake Shimabukuro.
The Local Heroes program recognizes and pays tribute to exemplary leaders who are making a difference and enriching the lives of others by improving their workplace, community, region and the world. The program premieres on KQED 9 Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 7 p.m. and has repeat airings on KQED 9 Thursday, May 23 at 11 p.m. and Saturday, May 25 at 6 p.m.; on KQED Plus Sunday, May 26 at 5 p.m.; and on KQED Life Friday, May 24 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m.
The honorees will be formally recognized as part of the 18th Annual Local Heroes Awards, which Union Bank sponsors in conjunction with public television station KQED. Union Bank and KQED created the awards to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for the African American and Asian Pacific American communities. In 2011, it was expanded to also recognize honorees as part of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month.
“Union Bank has been a proud partner with KQED on the Local Heroes program for nearly 20 years, and the program has allowed us to recognize the accomplishments and success of local heroes who have contributed so much to our community,” said Union Bank Senior Executive Vice President Pierre P. Habis, head of Community Banking. “The honorees embody our core values of diversity and community involvement, and they continue to inspire us.”
“KQED is pleased to join our long-term partner Union Bank as we celebrate the 2013 local heroes,” said KQED President John Boland. “These individuals are doing remarkable work to benefit the local Asian Pacific American community, the Bay Area community in general and the world at large. We are also pleased to introduce these heroes to our viewers through the video profiles airing on KQED throughout Asian Pacific American Heritage Month as we also celebrate with programming that focuses on Asian Pacific American themes and culture.”
The 2013 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month honorees are:
Evelyn Nakano Glenn is one of the country’s leading sociologists; her scholarship on the intersectionality of race, gender, citizenship and labor is groundbreaking. She is a professor of gender and women’s studies, ethnic studies and is the founding director of the Center for Race & Gender at the University of California, Berkeley. Her books include Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America; Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped American Citizenship and Labor; and Issei, Nisei, Warbride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service.
PJ Hirabayashi is a taiko artist, teacher, artistic director emeritus and founding member of San Jose Taiko (SJT), a nonprofit professional performing arts company celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2013. Based in the heart of San Jose’s Japantown, SJT is an active catalyst in its cultural preservation and contemporary vitality. Ms. Hirabayashi has helped guide SJT’s longevity through extensive educational and outreach programs, performances, collaborations and national and international touring.
Hyon-Chin (HC) Lee is the current executive director at The Link to Children (TLC), an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides Early Intervention Programs at eight locations in Alameda County and at the Alameda County Family Justice Center. TLC strives to reduce stress and conflict in families and childcare settings. In her current role at The Link to Children, Ms. Lee has created momentum and opportunity for vulnerable children.
David Lei is an accomplished entrepreneur with a deep-seated commitment to community development. In his 40 years of involvement with Bay Area nonprofits, Mr. Lei has volunteered his time for numerous charitable events and has served on the boards of several organizations, such as the Chinatown Community Development Center and the Asian Art Museum. Most recently, he co-founded the Chinese American Community Foundation to support donors who want to be resources for nonprofits serving Chinese American communities.
To view the videos profiles of each honoree and to get more information on the wide range of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming KQED offers in May, or to nominate a future local hero, visitkqed.org/heritage/. 2014 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month nominations are now open. For more information about the Local Heroes Awards, please also visit unionbank.com/heroes.
On May 17, 2013, Asia Society Northern California will hold its Tenth Anniversary Annual Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, San Francisco. The Annual Dinner is our most prestigious event of the year and is attended by over 400 Bay Area leaders in business and civic affairs, academia, the diplomatic corps, and the media. ASNC will present Leadership Awards in the fields of Business, Policy and Education to distinguished individuals.
The theme of this year’s Annual Dinner is Creating Cultures of Innovation, and Asia Society will honor three individuals who have been instrumental in forging new connections between the U.S. and Asia, particularly China. Asia Society Northern California will honor C. Richard Kramlich, Founder and General Partner of New Enterprise Associates for Business Leadership; Amory Lovins, Chairman and Chief Scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute for his Policy Leadership in energy and sustainability; and Sidney Rittenberg for his pioneering Educational Leadership contributions in strengthening U.S.-China relations and education.2013 Annual Dinner Honorees
Business Honoree: C. Richard Kramlich is Co-Founder of NEA and is currently Chairman of the NEA Management Company. He was Managing General Partner of the firm through NEA VII when he turned the reins over and became a General Partner. He is one of the first American venture capitalists to invest in China and was recently featured in the documentary film, Something Ventured. Read Mr. Kramlich’s full biography here.
Policy Honoree: Physicist Amory Lovins is cofounder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), an independent, apolitical, non-profit think-and-do tank that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources. He is the author of the groundbreaking book, Reinventing Fire. Read more about Dr. Lovins here.
Education Honoree: Sidney Rittenberg served as a lead translator for the English language edition of Mao Zedong’s Selected Works and was the first American citizen admitted to the Chinese Communist Party. He subsequently spent a total of 16 years in solitary confinement under suspicion of serving as an American spy. Read more about Mr. Rittenberg and view the trailer for The Revolutionary, the documentary about his experience in China, here.
IN THE NEWS
There aren’t many organizations that can boast having given student scholarships for over 40 years, but South Bay Chinese Service Club’s 2013 President Steve Cho announced proudly it started in 1970 at this year’s Scholarship Awards Luncheon. Held at the Hilton Fremont/Newark, the lunch honored 14 students from the Tri-Cities area and awarded scholarship grants from $500-$2500. On the receiving end were happy students Jennifer Au, Sophia Chan, Katherine Chang, Kevin Chen, Rachel Lee, Joie Lin, Josh Lin, Julian She, Margaret Shen, Ivonnie Shih, Catherine Siu, Vivian Tan, John Wong and Shanel Xian. Chairman Joe Woo cited interesting profiles of the 2013 applicants for these grants. Average GPA was 3.9, total AP Honors Classes totaled 283, total volunteer hours were 9,287 hours, and most popular majors were Biological Sciences, Bioengineering, Biochemistry, cell biology and human biology. SBCSC’s grants were awarded for scholastic merit, as selected by the scholarship committee members Dr. Ben Chew, Chris Chin, Dr Fran Sabado Gin, Gordon Jang, Gerry Low-Sabado, Aaron Wong, Priscilla Woo, Aliene Yee, Eleanor Yee and Willy Yichoy. Guest speaker of the program was Dr. Vicki Jew, who was once a recipient of the South Bay Club’s scholarship grant herself.
As Chairman Fran Gin explained, much of the grant monies come from the annual Golf Tournament which benefits the club’s service fund. The 26th annual SBCSC Golf Benefit will be held May 19, Sunday at the Sunol Valley Golf Club’s Cypress Course with prizes for all at the Awards Buffet Dinner following the tourney at Vince’s Café in Fremont.
All sponsors of over $250 will get some free entries to both the golf and dinner . Chair Victor Gin welcomes all entry questions (510) 651-6141 as well as donation checks to 1099 Sioux Ct., Fremont, CA 94539. Come on out for a great golf day for a good cause!
GREAT GETAWAY TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Readers are often asking me for vacation ideas since they know through reading my column through lo these past 20 years that Gerrye is a vacation-a-holic determined to see and experience what this wonderful world has to offer. This time let me share a “Girls Getaway” close enough to drive leisurely, without the hassle of busy airports and long security lines.
A wonderful week in Southern California began with four old friends. Patsy Ja, Jeanette Yee and Dali Jones and myself, driving from Silicon Valley for a relaxing sojourn. We began it with a visit to Rancho Bernardo Inn under sunny blue skies and mild 70s temperatures. Director of golf Blake Dodson had promised me an especially pleasurable golf experience on his course and he was true to his word. Not only did I find the course exceptionally well maintained in wonderful condition, but my lady companions and I also discovered it to be especially kind to the woman golfer. It’s wide green fairways accented with colorful flowers throughout would make any golfers day a feast for their eyes in addition to a challenge for their golf talent. RBI’s championship resort course and its friendly staff live up to its AAA Four-Diamond rating, we all agreed.
For the woman golfer who is usually ignored in most golf course shops, the RBI shop had a whole floor devoted to clothes and accessories any lady golf resort guest would be opening their wallet willingly.
Rancho Bernardo inn is a hidden gem not just for the golfer, but for anyone wanting a great vacation destination. . The popular Veranda restaurant is enjoyed by guests and members alike, and has special music groups performing on the weekends to many a diner’s dancing pleasure.
On the premises was a great spa facility opened to all guests and visitors. To relax my body after golfing, massage therapist Myra treated me to a stimulating butter scrub followed by the spa’s popular Holistic Massage. As Myra explained the holistic massage treats each client’s particular trouble spots, as discovered and diagnosed by the therapist. She found tightly wound shoulder muscles typical of a computer driven writer, and treated them with wonderfully relaxing hot stone massaging. The spa has a private Jacuzzi tub which patrons can enjoy throughout their spa day and the quiet essence of the building was an added bonus to any of the many treatments available. Blake said there are many Stay and Play packages including a round of golf or a spa treatment as well as accommodations in one of the 287 spacious guestrooms. So for a nice get away to San Diego area., look up Rancho Bernardo Inn website for its packages and information about joining its membership. Contact 866 854 2994.
Just over the hill is the well-run Lawrence Welk Resort.which welcomes time share patrons as well as vacation guests to its spacious property which has its own golf courses, multiple area swimming pools, and many hiking trails. A special plus for localites and travelers is The Welk Theatre, which produces shows year round. We caught talented Producer
Joshua Carr’s latest production of CHICAGO directed and choreographed by Ray Limon, and it had a stage full of top-notch talented singers and dancers. Their stage is small compared to Broadway, but the musical prowess of performers Natalie Mucci and Adrienne Storrs as Velma and Roxie, and handsome Casey Marshall as Billy Flynn was better than many stars on Broadway. Upcoming is JoAnne Worley in Keep Laughing June 26-30 andHairspray September 27-November 24. If you’re in the area, schedule time to come over to the Welk Resort and catch a golf game and a show to round out a nice visit.
Visiting friends is always a pleasureable part of travel, and we visited with the San Diego Chinese Golf Clubmembers who meet weekly to enjoy the game of golf together. Small but mighty, this group goes to multiple courses in San Diego County, and we enjoyed playing withJohn and Neta Howo, Herbert and Deanna Hom, Kim and Carol Lee, Maejean Chan, Russ Chan and Murray Lee at Arrowwood Golf Club. We like their spirit of striving to not only hit the ball, but have a ball doing it!
SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
Palo Alto Players production of Miss Saigon is a real winner for peninsula theater fans who can see a very professional performance at the Lucie Stern Theater in Palo Alto for the next few weeks. It was interesting to note that all of the very talented performers work day jobs in addition to performing in this very entertaining production because in my opinion, their talent really warrants being a full time entertainer on stage. Kudos to Palo Alto Players for a great production of this old favorite.
Save the date May 18, 10-4pm to join Kristi Yamaguchi’s Reading Adventures at San Jose’s Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Sponsored by Fremont Bank, Kristi says to bring the entire family out for live entertainment, featuring story reading by Kristi herself, and other celebrities reading their favorite stories in a variety of fun settings. There will be adventures throughout the park at several art project stations and free visits to not-to-be-missed neighboring Happy Hollow Park for rides, puppet shows and Animal Meet & Greet in an enclosed area for all animal lovers. Ticket info:www.alwaysdream.org.
On May 23, The Sea Alexanders Steakhouse of Palo Alto will be the site of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s annual Silicon Valley lunch. Director Michael McKechnie tells us this year it will introduce the campaign to enlist founding members of the newly established Pacific Passages Circle. The PPC will join together individuals who believe in the importance of maintaining and researching Chinese American immigration history from the early 1900s to the present. The emphasis up to now has been to tell of the experiences Chinese immigrants faced while being mistreated during 1910-1940 period of Angel Island Immigration Station. Future plans are to highlight immigration stories beyond the Angel Island Immigration Station years of 1910-1940. All interested individuals wishing to learn about the group and support its mission are welcomed to attend. Contact Grant Din firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat. Lunch admission is free with a personal donation after hearing speakers Larry Chang, Victor Chinn and Catherine Eusebio tell of their family’s immigration stories and how AIISF wants to chronicle and preserve and share with the public news on their upcoming blogs and exhibits with everyone’s much needed support dollars. If you’re interested, join me May 23 for lunch. RSVP email@example.com.
Join the Aloha Spirit at Self Help for the Elderly’s 2013 Longevity Gala Dinner June 1 at the Hyatt Regency Burlingame. Chairwomen Diane Lee and Joan Wilson welcome all to this event which will present the RECIPIENTS OF FRIEND OF THE ELDERLY AWARD 2013 to Virginia Bakken, Stan Chew, Sergio Chung, David Lee and Russell Leong. Hula entertainment by Bumble Bee/Nicole Bay Area Hula and Self Help for the Elderly’s Senior Hula Dancers will round out an evening supporting a good cause for seniors.
The Asian Heritage Street Celebration (AHSC) showcases the diverse talent of the Asian American community from comedians to hip hop performers and rock bands, to dance groups and cultural performances, there will be something for everyone all day for everyone on two stages. This year the event is pleased to feature the talented Wanting Qu.
Vancouver-based artist Wanting Qu reached stardom in China, with her recently released album, “Everything In The World.” Her song, “Drenched,” topped the charts for weeks. Her album was recognized as the 2012 Best Album of the Year at the Beijing Billboard Music Newcomers Festival, and Qu was honored as Outstanding Regional Artist at the 12th Chinese Global Music Awards. She is currently recording her first full-length English album, due out next year. Qu left her family and China when she was 16 and entered Canada as an international business student. It wasn’t long before she realized her true passion and dream was to become an influential recording artist.
She will be performing at the May 18th San Francisco event at 2pm at the Civic Center Stage located at Fulton and Larkin Streets. For a look at other AHSC performers, visit: http://asianfairsf.com/performances/performers/
3rd Annual Asian Heritage Street Celebration (AHSC) Cinema Showcase
Date: Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Location: Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin Street, Samsung Hall)
Admission to the museum will be free all day and there is no additional cost to watch the films!
The AHSC Cinema Showcase celebrates local Asian American media and media makers. From emerging talent to celebrated media pioneers, this exciting collection of short films and music videos reveal the vibrant Asian American media arts scene here in the Bay Area. Program includes official selections of 2013 CAAMFest, films chosen by 3rd i Int’l South Asian American Film Festival programmers and music videos by outstanding musicians, who will be playing LIVE on the festival’s main stage. From touching animations to exciting action flicks, there is something for everyone! This program is co-presented by 3rd i International South Asian Film Festival.
AHSC CINEMA SHOWCASE SCHEDULE
2:00pm: PROGRAM WELCOME
2:03pm, 3:03pm: DISTANCE (Dir. James Shih, 4mins, Milpitas)
When a man tells his girlfriend that he has to leave for a long business trip, it puts to question their feelings for each other and their future together. Over the course of a year and through both perspectives, we witness the flow and ebb of their relationship and its biggest test. 2013 CAAMFest Official Selection!
2:07pm, 3:07pm: COMMUNITY HEROES: THE TASTEMAKER EDITION VIDEO (Retrofit Republic, Dir. Hanrui Wang and Connie GAO, 2mins, San Francisco)
Retrofit Republic is a sustainable fashion styling firm, event design, and vintage retailer with a social impact. They specialize in vintage and recycled clothing and offer styling to individuals, changemakers, and brands. Their vision is to change the belief that fashion and eco-sustainability are mutually exclusive.
2:09pm, 3:09pm: “CHNAM OUN 16″ (Band: Bochan, Dir. Yvan Iturriaga, 4mins, Oakland)
Bochan has dedicated her life to spearheading and continuing to sow the seeds of the Neo-Cambodian musical breakout movement. By collaborating with adept pianist and producer, Arlen Hart, Bochan effortlessly bridges the East West gap with an inimitable, soulful yet sweet indie-pop vibe. She authentically draws on her dual country upbringing; combining influences from the ultra urban Oakland scene,coupled with her deep rooted Cambodian inspiration and fellowship, to create her infectious new sound.
2:13pm, 3:13pm: “DRENCHED” (Band: Wanting Qu, Dir. Steven Song, 4mins)
China-born, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Wanting makes heartfelt and melodic adult alternative pop. Born Wanting Qu in 1983 in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China, Wanting grew up listening to a mix of Chinese and Western artists including Jonathan Lee, Emil Wakin Chau, Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, Sarah McLachlan, and others.
2:17pm, 3:17pm: ARRANGED MARRIAGE (Dir. Rucha Humnabadkar, 10mins, San Francisco)
Shveta born and raised in the U.S is independent, carefree and a successful lawyer. Her traditional Indian parents wish for her to marry an Indian boy of their choice and persuade her to meet Vivek, a recent immigrant from India. Shveta is frustrated and attempts to sabotage her first date with Vivek, but as she gets to know him, her feelings start to change.
2:27pm, 3:27pm: “CON KIDS” (Band: The Slants, Dir. Jason Ericson, 4mins)
The Slants are the only all-Asian American dance rock band in the world. Kicking off the band’s career at a tiny dive bar in Portland, OR, The Slants soon found themselves on tour and in demand worldwide performing at music halls, colleges and performed for active troops serving overseas.
2:31pm, 3:31pm: BIGGER THEY COME (Dir. Patricio Ginelsa, 8mins, Daly City)
In this mind blowing, thrilling short film female fighter Jynx must avenge her grandfather’s death by defeating an array of opponents, yo-yo in hand. Native Elements sets the beat. 2013 CAAMFest Official Selection!
2:39pm, 3:39pm: RUSSIAN HILL ROULETTE (Dir. Frank Chan, 6mins, San Francisco)
Russian Hill Roulette Rather than avoid San Francisco’s famous hills, some cyclists embrace them.
2:45pm, 3:45pm Queen of My Dreams (Dir. Fawzia Mirza and Ryan Logan, 3mins, San Francisco)
As a young girl, Fawzia Mirza fell under the spell of Bollywood heroines and their promise of love and feminine perfection; as an adult, she re-imagines it in a queer light.
2:48pm: TULE LAKE (Dir. Michelle Ikemoto, 7mins, San Jose)
From San Jose State University, this stunning animation short will for sure touch your heart. During the Japanese-American internment of World War II, a woman held at the Tule Lake segregation camp with her family leaves her barracks one night… 2013 CAAMFest Official Selection!
2:55pm, 3:55pm: Biz Kulfi’s Khala Peela (Dir. Harjot Singh, 4mins, San Francisco)
Biz Kulfi was born & raised in Amritsar. He came to America to find a dream, instead he is rolling around in your neighborhood selling that ice cream (and making some hilarious music). In this spoof-erific music video, nothing is off limits for this South Asian “thug”.
SANTA CLARA, – Ding Ding TV and Hua Yuan Science and Technology Association, or “HYSTA” – have jointly launched Battle Silicon: a platform for entrepreneurs to compete with one another and interact with investors, and the first Chinese reality television show set in Silicon Valley. The half-hour program, in both English and Chinese, serves as a bridge between the business environments of the United States and China.
Balancing experience with innovation, each episode of Battle Silicon invites established Silicon Valley venture capitalists – such as Jack Jia of GSR Ventures and Dr. Hsing Kung and Sandy Chau of Acorn Campus Ventures – as judges of young businesses. For ambitious entrepreneurs across the Silicon Valley, Battle Silicon provides an unparalleled opportunity for potential mentorship from the region’s greatest business minds. The judging group brings in high tech mavens such as Dr. H. P. Jin (Co-Founder of TeleNav); biotech pioneers like Dr. Wei Zhou (founder of Centrillion Biosciences); and founder of Fortinet and NetScreen Ken Xie, one of several successful entrepreneurs.
Similarly, for savvy investors, Battle Silicon provides the opportunity to evaluate innovative projects in their infancy. Interested organizations have already begun working with Battle Silicon, with the show receiving seed funding from the Acorn Campus Suma Fund through their Great Wall Strategy. Additionally, the US-China Association of High-level Professionalsbecame the first partner of Battle Silicon, with additional VCs and high-tech groups having committed their support to the program.
Co-produced by both Diana Ding of Ding Ding TV and Leslie Yuen of HYSTA, the show is unique in its partnership. HYSTA was established in 1999 by a group of Chinese entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley with the hope of sharing their experience and knowledge with young Silicon Valley innovators. Today, HYSTA is the leading Chinese professional organization in the region, having become a trusted link between young talent and those with years of wisdom. HYSTA is also a valuable partner for businesses interested both in China and in accessing the vibrant Chinese business community in Silicon Valley.
Ding Ding TV has been Silicon Valley’s innovation channel since 2009, as the first Chinese American Internet television station in the U.S. To date, CEO Diana Ding has produced over 2,000 shows that have aired on the Internet and Comcast channel 172, and have reached over 900,000 Bay Area households, with more than 10,000,000 viewers on the Internet.
Ding Ding TV is particularly known for its talk show “Innovation Dialog,” as well as other business-oriented programming, as Ms. Ding’s background is one of entrepreneurship. “When I started Ding Ding TV,” she states, “I encountered the same issues that emerging Silicon Valley businesses run into every day.” She has long desired to bring together entrepreneurs with business leaders for mentorship and support. Detailing her own experiences in business, she continues, “The connections that we made early in the history of Ding Ding TV have made us the company we are today.”
Looking forward, Ms. Ding hopes to create programming that allows professionals to collaborate, especially internationally. Indeed, Battle Siliconwill showcase innovation to millions of Chinese investors through its online presence. With their emphasis on collaboration and forward thinking, Battle Silicon, HYSTA, and Ding Ding TV could all be said to truly embody the spirit of Silicon Valley.
SAVE THE DATE – MAY 30
Bridging Two Cultures Awards Dinner, organized by the San Francisco – Ho Chi Minh City Sister City Committee
Marines’ Memorial Club and Hotel
601 Sutter Street
*Event and Corporate Sponsorships Available*
Celebrating 18 Years of Citizen Diplomacy
ALAMEDA, CA – The Alameda Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Festival Committee announced today they will honor four distinguished Asian Pacific Islander American veterans at Alameda’s 3rd Annual API Cultural Festival scheduled for Sunday, May 19, 2013, from Noon to 5 p.m. at Alameda’s South Shore Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The Alameda API Cultural Festival is an annual event that celebrates Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It draws attention and increases awareness of the numerous and diverse cultures that make up the Asian Pacific Islander community by presenting a variety of on-stage performances, activities, food and displays.
In conjunction with the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, The Coca-Cola Company, Honorary Chairperson Assemblymember Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, Comcast, Alameda Hospital, Chinese American Heroes organization, Bay Area Rapid Transit and the Alameda Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Festival will be honoring five API veterans who have distinguished themselves through their exemplary military service for our country. It will be the first public event of its kind throughout the Bay Area to recognize these veterans—all who have a connection to the Alameda community.
The five honorees are:
Captain Moon Chin, whose heroic exploits as a WWII pilot included rescuing Lt. Colonel Jimmy Doolittle in 1942 from China after Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo; “Jug” Takeshita who served in the prestigious WWII 442nd Japanese American Regiment and liberated a holocaust camp in Europe although his family was still living in an internment camp stateside, and local Alamedan Colonel Richard F. Hum, who briefed President John F. Kennedy on the Russian missile threat during the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis. US Army 1st Sargeant Eustaquio “Oliver” Valerio, who led men of one of the first Philippine Battalions while serving in the Pacific during WWII. Master Chief Felix R. Marquez Jr., who served 30 years in the USN, twice stationed at NAS-Alameda as an air traffic controller; and who later served as Assistant Air Port Manager at the air station until 1995. Personal possessions and historical material will be on display with video of the honorees courtesy of the Alameda Free Library as part of their Oral History collection. Chinese American Heroes will be making possible a meet and greet with Captain Moon Chin following the honors presentation.
The Festival will feature Encinal High School’s Color Guard, Lincoln Middle School’s Band and remarks by key public officials and recognition of the youngest API members of our community just entering military service. Cultural performances will demonstrate the diversity that is representative of Alameda and will include Vietnamese lion dance, Thai dance, Korean drumming and Filipino martial arts.
The Festival will be announcing the winner of the API Heritage Month that is open to Alameda high school students. Posters will be on display for viewing.
Philippines native Lt. Arthur Castro is one of seven United States Navy Sailors being featured in the U.S. Navy campaign “Honoring Navy Achievement.” Honoring Navy Achievement recognizes Navy personnel, both past and present, who have gone beyond the call of duty and service to have a positive impact in the communities where they serve.
Nothing could stand in Castro’s way when he chose to pursue a career in aviation. Not even the fact that the English language was a struggle for him. So when this native of the Philippines discovered that the U.S. Navy could get him a step closer to his dreams, he signed on the dotted line and never looked back. Fourteen years later, Castro serves as a Maintenance Material Control Officer at Navy Recruiting District (NRD) New Orleans, working on some of the most sophisticated Navy aircrafts. Married and the father of two children, Castro devotes his time to his family and volunteers with the Civil Air Patrol in his spare time. Castro states, “It’s true that in the Navy you go global, report to work in a different time zone – or a different hemisphere. You also get to see firsthand the positive impact you’ll make – for yourself, your country and the world at large.”
Capt. Horatio Fernandez, Diversity Director at Navy Recruiting Command states, “Last year, visitors to the Facebook page of ‘Beyond the Call’ nominated other deserving individuals in the Navy whose efforts both on duty and in the community warranted recognition. Because we want to know more about our sailors from people who know and admire their efforts, we invite you to share your stories of Navy achievers by uploading a story and photo on the Facebook page.”
Before Mother’s Day (May 12), signs that appointed District 4 (Sunset) Supervisor Katy Tang is consolidating her support to blunt any challenge to her election this Nov. Among her pro-mommy backers - Alix Rosenthal and Suzy Loftus hosting and co-hosting last Tuesday’s Apr. 30 “Women for Katy” fundraiser. Rosenthal had tried and then relented on getting the SF Democratic Party’s county committee to persuade Mayor Lee to appoint a mother (See 3/7/13 at tinyurl.com/bpbyvpn) to motherless SF Board of Supervisors. Loftus – a mom, police commissioner and former top deputy to California Attorney General Kamala Harris - was among leading contenders for District 4 supervisor appointment with mayor’s communications deputy Francis Tsang, another contender throwing his support to Tang at Sunday’s Caryl Ito event for Tang. At the Rosenthal shindig, a Ma not mom – as in former Sunset district supervisor and Assemblywoman Fiona - was backing Tang along with ex-Supervisor and now Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu. “Men are invited, as are non-parents,” joked Rosenthal….
SULUS & THE STONERS: The Ro Khanna-Mike Honda 2014 Silicon Valley congressional battle threatens to turn into a political generational gap…Lt. Governor and former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom is the lone major endorsement for Khanna. While older GenerAsian George Takei and original Sulu is siding with Rep. Mike Honda, it’s not too late for Khanna to claim Hikaru Sulu 2.0 in Korean American and younger GenerAsian John Cho, returning this month in Star Trek: Into Darkness…Although Ro will have to split the stoner icons since Honda has the other half of Harold & Kumar in Kal Penn, Indian American and Obama’s Associate Director for Public Engagement Office…
SENIOR MOMENT: Days after taking it for SF’s Super Bowl hurt pride (see below), San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee did score a round one ping pong victory on Monday over Silicon Valley’s Honda before taking on SF Democratic Party Secretary Kat Andersen and Planning Commissioner Rodney Fong…Before ponging Honda, the mayor pinged the six term Congressman’s membership on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “We need that seniority at this level and at this time…”
NOT FOR FOLSOM STREET FAIR: As part of a $50,000 fundraiser for Honda, the Spanish-speaking former teacher and Mayor Lee autographed a pair of US-China paddles representing “historic ping pong diplomacy”…Uber organizer David Ho won the ball whackers at last Monday’s auction for $600 after Fisherman Wharf McDonald’s CC Yin jumpstarted lethargic bids inside Planning Commissioner Rodney Fong’s Waterfront Terraces. Ho plans to slap a few instead of displaying his paddles sleeves adorned with SF City & County seal and US-China flags…
BUCKING FOR BALLS: Asian Americans for Good Government’s Christine Young anted another $800 for Honda-Lee chicken scratches on three balls…AAGG – including APA and Silicon Valley heavyweights like Yin, CSU Trustee Hsing Kung of Acorn Campus Ventures and H&Q Asia Pacific Chair and Founder Ta-lin Hsu - agreed to raise half of the $50,000 for Honda in his run against Khanna, who has more than $1 million in the bank…
RISING STARS: And the Star of David. Israel’s Director for Congressional Affairs in Washington DC Zvi Vapni at Israel’s Consul General SF office in March chatting with @SFPotstickers about APA national and state politics and trends after the November election…Vapni, former Ambassador to the Philippines, spent five years starting in 2000 as Deputy Consul General in Los Angeles sizing up Latino politics in California…
HERDING PEOPLE: It’s easier to herd cats than people as Board President and Supervisor David Chiu looks for Central Subway consensus. “North Beach, this neighborhood, just takes a little while,” he confessed last month (See 4/27/13 at tinyurl.com/d3aqyk6), while citing the community’s branch library was the last to be revamped in SF and Joe DiMaggio Playground had its own challenges…One subway challenge is shifting consensus, urging Chiu, for example, to “start a community conversation in this room again and again” about locating a North Beach station at the former Pagoda Palace theater or elsewhere…Chiu can’t rely on a supposed mandate in his comfortable re-election over two Central Subway critics last November. Adding to the political quicksand, he observed an audience member jeered for concluding there’s “division in the room” about having North Beach and Fisherman Wharf subway stations. Another observer, asking for a straw poll on pushing the subway to the Wharf, got shouted down when another claimed that half the attendees had left and could not express their opinions…
PICK YOUR POISON: Jolly Honda claimed he wasn’t a ping-pong “champion” of Fisherman’s Wharf and was “recruited” for this. “I’ll be lucky if I could hit that ball,” whined Honda while preferring a fencing match between him and SF Mayor. One audience member shouted for a karaoke sing-off. But to jeers, Honda countered, “Karaoke belongs to the Pilipinos”…Mayor Lee meanwhile chortled, “The Japanese and Chinese are the best ping-pong players in the world…If you don’t play ball, you’re going to reinforce the other stereotypes…”
WEEKEND B-DAY BOYS: Table tennis host Rodney Fong – having early fete for his b-day this Saturday by playing pong with the Mayor who’s observing the fortieth anniversary of his 21st birthday on Sunday…Fong’s landlord to McYin, who seems to have a McDonald’s franchise for every non-profit California Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs chapter…As he seems to do after a late APAPA meeting or civic event between SF and Sacramento, CC was downstairs in McD’s noshing on Big Macs and McNuggets with Ho, ping pong emcee and APAPA Bay Area Vice Chair Phong La, SF Appeals Commissioner Darryl Honda,Asian American Donor Program founder Jonathan Leong and consultant Enrique Pearce…
DUNGENESS SPARED FOR NOW: One CNN/C-SPAN lens shot but no Conan O’Brien punch line roasting Mayor Lee, hanging with Japantown District 5 Supervisor London Breed at last Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents annual dinner in Washington DC…The shot coincided with last day of NFL player draft where 49ers are rearming for another Super Bowl run. At same time, SF and Mayor Lee finished days of humble pie for Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake collecting on “friendly” Super Bowl wager of public service like tutoring at Third Grade Reads, painting and repairing Western District Police Station, revitalizing a vacant lot with AmeriCorps & Power in Dirt….On Friday AM to relief of SF’s local Dungeness, Mayor Lee cooked Baltimore blue crabs for dining at Lexington Market…
NO DRAMA OBAMA: Dinner’s co-jester and late nite host O’Brien cried about jester-in-chief Obama’s exalted coolness. It’s easy given the lack of “cool” competition among his cabinet secretaries like ex-Lawrence Livermore Lab director and outgoing Steven Chu of Energy and Agriculture’s Tom Vilsack doing Harlem Shake…
WALL IN THE HOLE: One year closure anniversary last April 20 of Sam Wo as options considered to finance and reopen former home of world’s rudest, worst and insulting waiter, the late Edsel Ford Fong…Among them: selling shares to owners at the Ho family, landlord and SF residents for the Washington Street former hole in the wall and now wall in the hole…
NO HOOK & LADDER: Supervisor Katy Tang’s boyfriend is an engineer, not a firefighter in the tradition of APA power women from District 4 (Sunset) – Carmen Chu’s Scott Hua and Fiona Ma’s Jason Hodge…Don’t expect President Tom O’Connor of the SF Firefighters Union to unleash any Dalmatians over this…
MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…
The world knows about Austrian industrialist Oskar Schindler and how he saved 1,100 Polish Jews during WWII by hiring them as workers in his factory because of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List which received the 1993 Oscar for Best Picture. This month, the world will know about Philippine Commonwealth Pres. Manuel L. Quezon and how he helped 1,305 German Jews escape Nazi persecution in 1939 by providing them with visas and safe shelter in the Philippines because of a documentary, Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge From the Holocaust, being shown in PBS stations throughout the US. It will aired again on KQED on Sunday, May 5, at 6:00 PM.The significance of Quezon’s actions can best be appreciated in the context provided by another Hollywood movie, the 1976 film, Voyage of the Damned,based on the true story of the 1939 saga of the luxury liner MS St.Louis, which left Hamburg, Germany with 937 Jewish passengers bound for Cuba. When the ship landed in Havana, the Jews were refused entry, as the Nazi authorities expected. The ship then headed for Florida where the US government also refused to allow the Jews to disembark. After the ship was refused entry in other ports, it returned to Germany where its Jewish passengers were forcibly removed and dispatched to concentration camps for extermination. A Nazi official in the film declares: “When the whole world has refused to accept them as refugees, no country can blame Germany for the fate of the Jews.”
The Washington Times first reported this news on December 5, 1938 (“Quezon Urges Jews’ Haven”) when it announced that “the possibility of a haven for Jewish refugees from Germany was broached today by Pres. Manuel Quezon” who said “I am willing to facilitate entrance of such numbers of Jewish people as we could absorb…I favor large scale immigration to Mindanao, if well financed.”
The untold story of the Philippine rescue of Jews was first prominently recounted by Frank Ephraim in his book, “Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror” (University of Illinois Press, 2003), which was based mostly on his own eyewitness account as a child who was one of 1300 Jewish refugees who arrived in Manila in 1939.
According to Ephraim, the history of the rescue begins with the decision of the Frieder brothers in 1918 to relocate its two-for-a-nickel cigar business from Manhattan to Manila, where production would be cheaper. Alex, Philip, Herbert and Morris Frieder took turns overseeing the business in the Philippines for two years each joining a community that had fewer than 200 Jews. At its height, the Frieder brothers’ tobacco company in Manila produced 250 million cigars in a year.The genesis for the Jewish exodus to the Philippines came in 1937, when 28 German Jews who had earlier fled Germany for Shanghai were evacuated by the Germans to Manila after fierce fighting erupted between Chinese and Japanese troops. The Jewish Refugee Committee in Manila, headed by Philip Frieder, was formed to help them settle in the Philippines. From these refugees, the Frieders heard first-hand accounts of the Nazi atrocities in Germany and of the uncertain fate of the 17,000 Jews still stranded in Shanghai. The Frieders decided to seek the help of their poker buddies to get the Philippines to become a haven for the fleeing Jews. But these were no ordinary poker buddies. One was Paul V. McNutt, the American High Commissioner for the Philippines; another was a young officer named Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the aide of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, then Field Marshall of the Philippines; and then there was Manuel L. Quezon, the president of the Philippine Commonwealth. In their late night poker sessions, as Ephraim recounts it, the buddies hatched a plan for the Philippines to accept as many as 100,000 Jews to save them from persecution in Germany.
McNutt had served as National Commander of the American Legion and as governor of Indiana (1933-37) before Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt tapped him to be the High Commissioner of the Philippines in 1937. McNutt’s task was to convince the US State Department to grant visas for Jews to enter Manila.
Col. Eisenhower’s task was to organize a plan to bring Jews to settle in Mindanao. In the Rescue in the Philippines documentary, Susan Eisenhower, President Dwight Eisenhower’s granddaughter, reflects on his involvement: “It’s one thing to sit around a card table and talk about a worrisome situation—even a dire situation. It’s quite another to actually take some action, and I think that’s why this is a story for all time.”Pres. Quezon faced the formidable task of winning over the anti-Semitic members of his own cabinet as well as those in the political opposition led by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo who viewed Jews as “Communists and schemers” bent on “controlling the world”. In a letter written in August of 1939, Alex Frieder wrote of Mr. Quezon’s response: “He assured us that big or little, he raised hell with every one of those persons. He made them ashamed of themselves for being a victim of propaganda intended to further victimize an already persecuted people.”
To the members of his own Catholic Church who were prejudiced against Jews, Quezon asked: “How can we turn our backs on the race that produced Jesus Christ?”
In the Rescue film, Manuel L. Quezon III ponders his grandfather’s reason for helping the Jewish people: “I think for my grandfather, it was perhaps that simple. You have a country. You have a little authority. You have an opportunity. Someone has asked for refuge—which is the most basic humanitarian appeal anyone can make. You answer it.”At the April 23, 1940 dedication of Marikina Hall, a housing facility for Jewish refugees that was built on land that he personally donated, Quezon said: “It is my hope and, indeed, my expectation that the people of the Philippines will have in the future every reason to be glad that when the time of need came, their country was willing to extend a hand of welcome.”
Quezon’s expectation of how future generations of Filipinos will feel about the rescue of the Jews during their time of peril had one drawback: the future generations of Filipinos were never informed of their country’s noble deed. After theRescue documentary was shown at its April 7, 2013 San Francisco premiere in Japantown, a question and answer forum followed. One elderly Filipina from Vallejo stood up and identified herself as having been a public school teacher in the Philippines before immigrating to the US. “How is it possible that I never heard of this Jewish rescue when I was a student in the Philippines, when I was a teacher there, all the way until I watched this film tonight?” she asked.
The answers provided by other Filipinos in the audience (“because it was not taught in Philippine history books”) begged the question of why this significant event in Philippine history was omitted from the Philippine history books.
I went to elementary school at Letran College in Intramuros, Manila. Every day, for the 8 years I was there from kindergarten to 7th grade, I passed by the imposing bronze statue of Manuel L. Quezon, the school’s most distinguished alumnus. We were taught everything there was to know about Quezon at least until I read Frank Ephraim’s book in 2005 and learned for the first time about Quezon’s role in saving 1305 Jews in 1939 and wrote about it then.
Why was this noble deed hidden from the Filipino people and omitted in Philippine history books? Strangely enough, what is recounted in the history books is that on November 29,1947, the Philippines was the only Asian nation to support the partition resolution at the United Nations creating a Jewish State in Palestine.
The Filipino people and most of the world may not know what Quezon and his poker buddies did to save 1305 Jews in 1939 but the people of Israel are aware of it. On June 21, 2009, a monument to Manuel L. Quezon was unveiled at the 65-hectare Holocaust Memorial Park in Rishon LeZion, Israel’s 4th largest city located south of Tel Aviv. The monument, designed by Filipino artist Junyee, is called “Open Doors”. It is a geometric, seven-meter-high sculpture rendered mainly in steel and set on a base of marble tiles shipped from Romblon, showcasing three doors of ascending heights.
Speaking at the dedication ceremonies on behalf of the Philippine government, Tourism Secretary Joseph Durano said: “the monument celebrates the Filipino heart, a heart that touches others with compassion, a heart that makes one a blessing to the world.”
But that Filipino heart desperately needs to be informed about the noble act that made it a blessing to the world.
The education of that Filipino heart has begun with the release of Rescue in the Philippines: Refuge From the Holocaust and its public airing TV stations throughout the US. This will soon be followed by another documentary, “An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines”, which is being produced and directed by a Washington DC-based filmmaker, Noel “Sonny” Izon.
In his film, Izon seeks to “explore the rare confluence of the Pacific and European theaters. It juxtaposes momentous events in history such as the passage of the Nuremberg Laws on September 15, 1935 and, exactly two months later, the inauguration of the Philippines as a Commonwealth of the United States. One door closes and another opens…the story of a deep and improbable, international friendship borne of common adversity and intense love for freedom. Together, Filipinos and Jews struggled, endured and ultimately prevailed against overwhelming odds.”
Izon has a personal reason for making his film. He was born in Manila in 1946, the year after his “deathly ill” father was saved at a Manila hospital by Dr. Otto Zelezny, one of twelve physicians among the 1300 Jews who found safe haven in the Philippines. This film is his chance to thank the good doctor from Berlin who “made my life possible”. James R. Busis of the American Jewish Committee believes this story should be told beyond the Filipino people: “This unique story, of an Asian country that wasn’t even really a fully independent country and had no special ties to Jews, is part of that fabric of history that has been largely neglected and deserves the same level of ‘telling’ as many other Holocaust stories receive.” Send comments to Rodel50@gmail.com or mail them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call415.334.7800.