Asian Avenue magazine - May 2014

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asian avenue magazine

Connecting Cultures Linking Lives

May 2014 Volume 9 Issue 5

Tennis portrait series unveiled at DIA


Asian American of Colorado


Wayne Hsu

fundraises to serve in Sweden

Congressional races are close Votes in Colorado may determine which party controls U.S. Congress

Restaurant Peeks

Min-J Asian Cuisine Udon Kaisha

Grand Opening!


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Dear Asian Avenue readers, In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we are pleased to announce the 2014 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. We applaud each of them for their contributions and achievements not only in the Asian-American community, but in their professions and lines of work. A hero is defined as a person who is admired for courage or noble qualities and this year’s honorees truly exude such a definition. We invite you to join us on Saturday, May 24 at Empress Seafood for a dim sum brunch and to honor the recipients at our sixth annual award ceremony. Congratulations Ivy Hontz, former board and secretary of Asian Chamber of Commerce and 9Health Fair site coordinator; Peter Lee, Chapter President of The National Unification Advisory Council - South Korea and advisory board member for Korean Heritage Camp; Peggy Lore, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success and Former Director of Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver; Nai Li Yee, former principal and teacher at Colorado Chinese Language School and former Chair of Chinese American Council of Colorado; Young Hero (under age 35) Harry Budisidharta, President of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Rising Star, Colorado Super Lawyer; and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Frank Sakamoto, board member of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Japanese American Association of Colorado. Our 2014 heroes are most deserving; we look forward to sharing more about them in this month’s cover story. The U.S. Tennis Association’s portrait series Breaking the Barriers 2.0 The Asian Connection will be on display at Denver International Airport this month. The series highlights photos and stories of 12 Asian American pioneers and contributors to Colorado tennis. Portraits were taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning Barry Gutierrez with a theme of fire, water, earth and air. We hope you will support Wayne Hsu in his opportunity to teach the Christian faith in Sweden, shared in this month’s Spotlight section. Also read about Rising Star Brian Heng, a student at Colorado College who is involved in multiple organizations but remembers to enjoy himself with his love for culinary adventure. Speaking of culinary adventure, try the restaurants featured in our peeks: Min-J Asian Cuisine in Greenwood Village and Udon Kaisha in Lafayette. Our legal column presents the two Congressional races in Colorado considered to be two of the closest in all of the U.S. This is a sneak peek to our June issue focused on the November election. We will see you next month! Happy reading, Annie Guo, President Asian Avenue magazine

asian avenue magazine

staff & support

Publisher & Founder: Christina Yutai Guo President: Annie Guo Senior Designer: C.G. Yao Designer: Jonathan Nguyen Staff Writer: Patricia Kaowthumrong Staff Writer: Mary Jeneverre Schultz Staff Writer: Brenda Velasquez Photographer: Trang Luong Intern: Akemi Tsutsui Intern: Mai Choua Lee

advisors group

General Counsel: Michael C. Song Patty Coutts, Donna LaVigne, Nestor J. Mercado, Sum C. Nguyen, Alok Sarwal, Peter Warren, John Yee, Nai-Li Yee, George N. Yoshida

contributing writers

Soyon Bueno, Harry Budisidharta, Alok Sarwal, Harrison Tu, Nora Yim

contributing photographers

David Guo Photography, Barry Gutierrez

on the cover

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, this cover story recognizes the 2014 Asian American Heroes of Colorado: Harry Budisidharta, Peter Lee, Peggy Lore, Ivy Hontz, Nai Li Yee and Frank Sakamoto. The awards ceremony will be held on May 24, 2014 at Empress Seafood Restaurant. Photo by David Guo Photography


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To submit story ideas, letters to the editor or event calendar listings, e-mail Asian Avenue magazine (ISSN 1932-1449) reserves all copyrights to this issue. No parts of this edition can be reproduced in any manner without written permission. The views expressed in articles are the authors’ and not necessarily those of Asian Avenue magazine. Authors may have consulting or other business relationships with the companies they discuss.

Published by Asian Avenue Magazine, Inc. P.O. Box 221748 Denver, CO 80222-1748 Tel: 303.937.6888 Fax: 303.750.8488 Asian Avenue magazine is in association with the Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network.


May 2014 | President’s Note

Harry Budisidharta

Think Smart.

Criminal Cases | Domestic Violence | DUI

(303) 377-3474 2012 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Recipient Awarded by the Arapahoe County Bar Association & Asian Pacific American Bar Association

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Find Inside >> Table of Contents


Event Calendar May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!


Spotlight Wayne Hsu fundraises for opportunity to share Christian faith around the world





Rising Star Colorado College student Brian Heng enjoys cooking with friends Book Previews The Race for the Chinese Zodiac and Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp Cover Story: Asian American Heroes of Colorado Sixth annual awards ceremony will recognize heroism in APA community

May 2014 | Table of Contents



Legal Column: Congressional Races in Colorado Two highly contested races will take place in Colorado for November election


Restaurant Peek: Min-J Asian Cuisine

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Restaurant Peek: Udon Kaisha Feature: Tennis Portrait Series U.S. Tennis Association highlights Asian American tennis players with portraits displayed at DIA

On Scene



Hafu Film Screening Mile High JACL shows documentary on multiracial Japan


Denver Public Schools’ Awards Asian American students and teachers awarded at AEAC ceremony

CU Diversity Career Event Judge Kerry Hada inspires college students


9Health Fairs Health screenings help community

Commendation of the Consul General of Japan Honors Charles Ozaki and John Hopper


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Aurora Partnership Meeting with special guest, producer Robert Stone National News Chinese Idiom “A Youth Worth Teaching”



For more info, contact: 303.937.6888 or Sponsored by:

Korean Society of Denver



upcoming events Fun for Funds

Annual Pilgrimage to Amache Internment Camp

Saturday, May 10, 9:30am to 1:30pm

Adventure Golf & Raceway 9650 N. Sheridan Blvd. | Westminster Tickets: $22 non-member | $20 DSCI Member Free - Children 3 and under For tickets, call 303-832-1336. Join Denver Takayama Committee of Denver Sister Cities International for unlimited miniature golf, go-cart rides and bumper cars. Miniature golf competitions are $5 entry fee per person, per event. Japanese themed field events are $2 entry fee per person, per event with prizes for the winners! The concessions stands will be open during the event. There are also picnic areas available to enjoy your own food and beverages.

Asian Pacific Heritage Month Community Celebration Saturday, May 10, 12pm to 3pm Wells Fargo Bank | Hershner Room 1700 Lincoln Street | Denver For more info, contact Peggy Yujiri at 303-931-2034 or

Experience the rich culture of the Asian Pacific region at the 25th annual Asian Roundtable of Colorado Celebration! Entertainment and a complimentary lunch of traditional Asian Pacific food will be provided. Entertainment includes LaoHmong, Chinese PiPa, Thai Dance, and Christina Yeh Dance studios performances.

Saturday, May 17, 6am to 6pm

Pick up at Simpson United Methodist Church and Tri-state Buddhist Temple Cost: $25 per person For more info, visit or contact

7th annual eXpressions

Friday, May 16, Doors open at 5:30pm

University of Denver | 2000 E. Asbury Ave. Davis Auditorium | Sturm Hall Cost: $5 Admission | Free for DU students w/ ID For more info, visit Hosted by the University of Denver Asian Student Alliance, eXpressions strives to showcase the talents of students, community locals, and outof-state performers, primarily Asian-Americans but also welcoming those of many other diverse backgrounds. This year’s performances are by The AJ Rafael Band, Ruby Ibarra, Project Ava, Amida Crew, DU Kappa Phi Lambda and more! This event is a part of DU’s third annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Celebration.

The Historic Preservation Alliance will sponsor a bus trip to Granada, Colorado to visit the site of a WWII internment camp for U. S. Citizens of Japanese descent. It is a day to remember those of Japanese descent who spent more than three years imprisoned on the plains of southern Colorado. The event is planned by the Japanese American Association of Colorado with help from Friends of Amache. A lunch will take place at the Granada High School.

Regional Conference on U.S.-China Local Relations

Wednesday, May 14, 8:45am to 4:30pm Tivoli Turnhalle | 900 Auraria Pkwy | Denver Cost: $150 includes lunch | $180 includes dinner For more info, visit

The theme of this conference is “Resources and Means: How to Make a Difference in Subnational U.S.-China Relations.” Attendance will strengthen existing China connections for your projects, provide connections and advice for expanding and developing business, and improve knowledge of best practices of educational and business capacity building with Chinese counterparts. U.S.-China associations, universities, local governments and businesses engaged in China exchange can build new relationships with domestic and Chinese counterparts.





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May 2014 | Event Calendar

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Sat. April 20

34th annual Sabaki Tournament

Sat. April 20

34th annual Sabaki Tournament 8

May 2014 | Upcoming Events

On Saturday April 20th, full contact martial arts hits Denver, Colorado. The Sabaki Challenge is an open stand up martial arts event that sets the standard for bare knuckle stand up combat. Sabaki is a Japanese word meaning channel power efficiently. It can refer to the effort of taming horse or damming a river. In martial arts it means the natural way to use an opponent’s power and momentum against him, regardless of size. For 34 years, the Sabaki Challenge has provided a place for martial artists to follow their beliefs in the hard training they endure. It allows them to see something in themselves, that might have been hidden if it was just a belief alone. It is a process of self-development and evoloution; polishing oneself and techniques, finding what works and what doesn’t; realizing the real opponent is oneself. In this way, great respect is shown to the opponent each fighter faces on the mat. The event is a modern full contact stand up challenge in the tradition of timeless warrior code the whole family can enjoy. In an age of multi-million dollar contracts there are still those who push purely for the love of what they do. Twenty two men and women from around the world of all martial arts styles will be selected for this single elimination event. Three returning champions will return to contend their divisions. Fighters will gather in Denver from Chile, Poland, Germany, Canada, Peru, Japan, and the U.S. to put their beiliefs to the test in this annual event. Many of the fighters train all year for an event that supports their passion; this event is the Sabaki Challenge! Known in Japan as “karate genius” and “modern day Musashi”, the founder of the Sabaki Challenge, Joko Ninomiya left his homeland for Denver in 1977. He won karate’s most prestigious tournament in Japan, 1978. In 1988 Ninomiya developed Enshin Karate, now with 100 schools across the U.S. and abroad. Kancho Ninomiya created the Sabaki Challenge to provide fighters of all styles an opportunity to challenge themselves in a pure test of stand-up fighting skills. Don’t miss the Sabaki Challenge on April 20th at the National Western Stadium. For more information, call 303-320-7632 or visit

On Saturday April 20th, full contact martial arts hits Denver, Colorado. The Sabaki Challenge is an open stand up martial arts event that sets the standard for bare knuckle stand up combat. Sabaki is a Japanese word meaning channel power efficiently. It can refer to the effort of taming horse or damming a river. In martial arts it means the natural way to use an opponent’s power and momentum against him, regardless of size. For 34 years, the Sabaki Challenge has provided a place for martial artists to follow their beliefs in the hard training they endure. It allows them to see something in themselves, that might have been hidden if it was just a belief alone. It is a process of self-development and evoloution; polishing oneself and techniques, finding what works and what doesn’t; realizing the real opponent is oneself. In this way, great respect is shown to the opponent each fighter faces on the mat. The event is a modern full contact stand up challenge in the tradition of timeless warrior code the whole family can enjoy. In an age of multi-million dollar contracts there are still those who push purely for the love of what they do. Twenty two men and women from around the world of all martial arts styles will be selected for this single elimination event. Three returning champions will return to contend their divisions. Fighters will gather in Denver from Chile, Poland, Germany, Canada, Peru, Japan, and the U.S. to put their beiliefs to the test in this annual event. Many of the fighters train all year for an event that supports their passion; this event is the Sabaki Challenge! Known in Japan as “karate genius” and “modern day Musashi”, the founder of the Sabaki Challenge, Joko Ninomiya left his homeland for Denver in 1977. He won karate’s most prestigious tournament in Japan, 1978. In 1988 Ninomiya developed Enshin Karate, now with 100 schools across the U.S. and abroad. Kancho Ninomiya created the Sabaki Challenge to provide fighters of all styles an opportunity to challenge themselves in a pure test of stand-up fighting skills. Don’t miss the Sabaki Challenge on April 20th at the National Western Stadium. For more information, call 303-320-7632 or visit

Mary Jeneverre Schultz Asian Avenue magazine

Service at Scandinavian youth camp becomes a stepping stone for bigger dreams

Wayne Hsu

, current president of NAAAP Lead Toastmaster, is taking a bolder step towards his dream of ministering his Christian faith to Asian communities all over the world. Scheduled for this summer, Hsu accepted a volunteer opportunity in Sweden to serve at a youth camp for a group of Scandinavian churches. “Being able to do this is just a small portion of my passion,” Hsu said. However, this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes with a huge price tag. As a volunteer, Hsu is responsible for all expenses, including air fare, travel and camp fees. The price tag of this trip is $3,000, Hsu estimated. “The bulk of the money will go towards the plane ticket,” Hsu said. “The rest will be to get around town, including transportation from the airport and to the campground.” Hsu is raising the funds through an online fundraising tool. He hopes to receive the funds to buy his airfare at the end of May. After a cursory Internet check on round trip flights from Denver to Sweden, an average cost runs around $1,500. “The main reason for the fundraising is because it’s such a large sum of money for any one person to come up with all at once. I’m asking the community help bring me another step closer to my dreams.” Friends and colleagues enjoy Hsu’s insightful yet quiet demeanor. Bryan Yee, who met him at Chinese Heritage Camp as a counselor, provides this perspective on Hsu. “I discovered he is a far deeper person than he lets on, one who truly seeks a deeper and more meaningful existence in life,” Yee said. “He is also a very sincere, caring and unselfish

person, who is always seeking to help others.” Hsu’s involvement with NAAAP Lead Toastmaster helps him hone public speaking skills to use in his Christian ministry for youth. “He is very committed to sharing the Gospel, and will use creative avenues (like Toastmasters) to help him achieve his vision,” said fellow Toastmasters and friend Xiao Liang. “Wayne loves to bring smiles to his friends and strangers alike.” On Facebook, Hsu has asked his friends, family and colleagues to help him on this journey of fundraising, a difficult task for any individual or organization, attempting to achieve long-term goals. In Hsu’s case, it is an international volunteer opportunity in Europe. His friends stand strong behind Hsu’s fundraising efforts. “I like the fundraising effort as yet another approach to outreach within the community,” said fellow Toastmasters member Kelly Trujillo. “It doesn’t just start in our backyard or city but reaches across countries.” Other colleagues are astonished of his great faith and look to him for his quiet leadership. “Even though the cost is steep, Wayne trusts that the loving hearts of our communities, along with God’s faithfulness, is enough to reach his goal,” Liang said. “It has helped me realize that his faithfulness and trust is one of life’s best treasures.” Hsu says, “If you can’t support financially, please be praying for me.” Interested in helping Wayne Hsu fund his service in Sweden? Visit his fundraiser link at: Mary Jeneverre Schultz is asking the Asian American community to support Wayne Hsu to reach his first stepping stone to become a global minister. Follow Mary Jeneverre on Twitter @Jeneverre.

Spotlight | asian avenue magazine


RISING STAR: Brian Heng indulges in edible science

Brenda Velasquez Asian Avenue magazine

As many Colorado College Asian Student Union cabin retreat

Heng’s Family

Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association junior counselors

Brian Heng is a biochemistry student at Colorado College.

As many of us often experience, life gets busier with age, leaving regrettably less time for hobbies. As a college freshman undergoing the lifestyle transition into higher education, 18 year-old Brian Heng still tries to find time for one of his newer passions. A biochemistry student with a string of extracurricular activities and plans to pursue a career as a surgeon, Heng describes the challenges he’s faced so far: “With school, my work in admission, and a social life, a great skill to be learned was time management.” Dividing his time between an Admissions internship working with first-generation minority applicants, and mentoring in student and youth organizations, Heng carves out a quiet space for himself in the kitchen, concocting intricate dishes inspired by television programs. “I would watch TV shows like Iron Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, or Master Chef and the passion just came from not being able to eat what they’re eating; it’s not always feasible for a high school student to go to those expensive restaurants, so I tried to cook some for myself.” Alongside volunteer work at a medical center in Lafayette, Heng explored his burgeoning culinary interest during a high school senior project learning to prepare a three-course meal. Part art, part science,

Heng relishes the trial-and-error methodology involved with replicating recipes: “The one thing I like about cooking is it’s time-consuming, and the reward is eating! If I don’t know what to do with my friends one night and we have a lot of time I would just cook with them and then we would have a meal after we’re done.” Despite his Cambodian-Chinese heritage, Heng avoids experimenting with either ethnicity’s cuisines. “That’s my mom’s area of expertise. I think the family would rather have her cook those dishes rather than have me mess it up,” he laughs. “But in the future I will definitely take some cooking lessons from my mom.” According to fellow student Connie Zheng, “Brian is one of the co-chairs for the Asian Student Union. He is one of our most hard-working junior counselors and was even one of the captains of our dragonboat team last summer.” Undeterred by an increasingly bustling life, Heng strives to keep up with his culinary passion whenever possible. Indulging in a hobby characterized by a harmonious yin-yang interplay between science and artistry, he reserves an outlet for relaxation and converts an everyday chore into a gratifying pastime to share with friends and family.

about brian heng Hometown Westminster, CO School Colorado College Involvements Colorado College Asian Student Union Co-Chair; Colorado Heng makes a three-course meal for senior project

College Admission Outreach and Access intern; Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association; Spirit of Cambodia Cultural Alliance Dragon Boat Team

Hobbies/Interests basketball, tennis, strategy games, dancing, cooking Quote brian Lives By “Be good to others.” brian in Three Words outgoing, laid-back, energetic Dream Job General Surgeon working with athletes


May 2014 | Rising Star

The Race for the Chinese Zodiac By Gabrielle Wang Illustrated by Sally Rippin Picture Book / Chinese Folklore Find at for $7.14

Mary Jeneverre Schultz Asian Avenue magazine

Learn more about Gabrielle Wang on her website

During a Lunar New Year’s celebration, attendees, participants and children ask each other how did animals get assigned to different years? The question goes unanswered as the festivities continue through the night and multi-course meals are enjoyed by everyone. In the latest children’s book release, author Gabrielle Wang of Australia retells an old traditional Chinese tale from her childhood. This new release marks her 21st book for children. “This is a traditional Chinese tale that I thought I would give new life to,” Wang said. “It is perfect for a picture book as it features animals and a race – two elements that young children love.” The myth of the rat and cat becoming mortal enemies is explained in a playful manner through this short story. The race brings out the mean competitiveness, illustrated well in this traditional Chinese tale. Summary of book A long time ago in ancient China, the Jade Emperor, ruler of heaven and earth, held a great race between the animals. He declared that the first twelve animals to cross to the other side of the mighty river would have a year named after them and thereby be forever immortalized on the Chinese Zodiac. The animals lined up on the shore eager to begin. Some chose to race honestly. Others were more devious. Some helped their friends along the way, while others raced alone. Some were distracted, while some focused with all their might on winning. But thirteen animals raced for only twelve places on the Zodiac.

Who would come first? And who would miss out? Published internationally, the books are sold in China, United Kingdom and the United States through three perspective publishers: Hubei Children’s Press, Walker Books UK and Candlewick Press. Beautiful illustrations captivate young readers as Wang weaves the tale through the cultural lenses of Chinese culture. “I hope children will enjoy this timeless story and the beautiful illustrations Sally Rippin painted,” Wang said. “I hope they will want to read it again and again. Wang includes cultural awareness of her Chinese heritage, adding that it is meant to inspire the young readers to understand the world around them. As a fourth-generation Chinese Australian, Wang draws her inspiration from her childhood adventures with her friend Wendy. “When I grew up we were allowed to roam free,” Wang said. “We didn’t have to tell anybody where we were going.” Her storytelling talent started during these carefree, youthful days when she and Wendy created tales from their bicycling to the beach, climbing trees, hanging out at the local railway station, building cubby houses and catching tadpoles at the local creek. Around age 11, Wang realized her Chinese features were different than her friends and neighbors. These differences compelled her to write her book about the problems of a young girl faces as part of a minority group. Other than cultural awareness, she also blends fantasy into real life, in telling stories.

Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp A Nisei Youth behind a World War II Fence Lily Nakai and her family lived in Southern California, where sometimes she and a friend dreamt of climbing the Hollywood sign that lit the night. At age ten, after believing that her family was simply going on a camping trip, she found herself living in a tar-papered barrack, gazing out instead at the nightly searchlight. She wondered if anything would ever be normal again. In this creative memoir, Lily Havey combines storytelling, watercolor, and personal photographs to recount her youth in two Japanese American internment camps during World War II. She uses short vignettes— snapshots of people, recreated scenes and events—to describe how a ten-year-old girl grew into a teenager inside these camps. Vintage photographs reveal the historical, cultural, and familial contexts of that growth and of the Nakai family’s dislocation. They reveal the recollected lives of her mother and father in Japan and then America, where they began

their arranged marriage and had two children. Havey’s vivid and poignant watercolors depict decades-old memories and dreams and reflect moments of daily camp life illuminated by the author’s adult perspective. The paintings and her animated writing draw readers into a turbulent era when America disgracefully incarcerated, without due process, thousands of American citizens because of their race. These stories of love, loss, and discovery recall a girl balanced precariously between childhood and adolescence. In turns funny, wrenching, touching, and biting but consistently engrossing, they elucidate the daily challenges of life in the camp. When, in 1980, Havey travelled across the Pacific and for the first time met her uncle Iwatake, a Zen Buddhist priest, she finally understood, in retrospect, the words her mother had spoken years earlier in camp: “You are American, but you are also Japanese.”

Lily Havey was born in Los Angeles. In 1942, along with 120,000 persons of Japanese descent, she was incarcerated at the Amache Relocation Center in Colorado. After World War II her family moved to Salt Lake City where she attended West High School and the University of Utah. She graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and pursued an MFA at the University of Utah.

By Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey Western History Autobiography and Memoir Find at for $21.74 Book Previews | asian avenue magazine



Colorado’s Asian American 2014 In its sixth year, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network proudly announces the 2014 Asian American Heroes of Colorado:

Ivy Hontz

Former Board and Secretary of Asian Chamber of Commerce and 9Health Fair Site Coordinator

Peter Lee

Chapter President of The National Unification Advisory Council - South Korea and Advisory Board for Korean Heritage Camp

Peggy Lore

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success and Former Director of Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver

Nai Li Yee

Former Principal and Teacher at Colorado Chinese Language School and Former Chair of Chinese American Council of Colorado YOUNG Hero:

Harry Budisidharta

President of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Rising Star, Colorado Super Lawyer Lifetime Achievement:

Frank Sakamoto

Board member of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Japanese American Association of Colorado

Story by Patricia


Photos by David Guo Photography Heroes were selected by a committee comprised of members from OCA Colorado, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Asian Avenue magazine, Mile-High Japanese American Citizens League, Colorado Asian Pacific Youth Association, Asian Pacific Development Center, Colorado Asian Culture and Education Network, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Asian American Journalists Association, and Theatre Espirit Asia.


May 2014 | Cover Story

Sixth annual Asian American Heroes of Colorado Award Ceremony and Brunch Date: Saturday, May 24, 2014 Time: 10 a.m. to noon Location: Empress Seafood Restaurant, 2825 W. Alameda Ave, Denver Tickets: $25 each | $15 for students To purchase tickets: Checks made payable to CACEN can be sent to: CACEN, P.O. Box 221748, Denver, CO 80222 Or purchase online at: For questions, call 303-937-6888 or email The award ceremony will include a dim sum brunch, recognition of the 2014 Asian American Heroes of Colorado. Heroes will give an acceptance speech and share their unique stories of service. Come and be inspired!

Peggy Lore

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Success at University of Colorado Denver

To Peggy Lore, being honored as a 2014 Asian American Hero of Colorado means that the lessons that came from her parents and family are being honored. “I’m very surprised about the award,” she says. “It is a joy and great honor. I’m very lucky to work with many wonderful colleagues and amazing students who allow me do the work I do, so this award is much more of a reflection of them.” Lore is the assistant vice chancellor of the Student Success division in Student Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and oversees student support departments such as disability services, tutoring services, veterans’ services and academic advising, as well as an academic support program for low-income and first-generation college students. “At the university, many students and staff have personally been moved and touched by ‘Peggy’s Lore’,” says Soyon Bueno, Peggy’s mentee and colleague. “Peggy has served as a mentor and guiding force to help students succeed. She serves as a role model and advocate for many of the Asian American staff on the CU-Denver campus.” Lore has also served on or chaired various committees and boards such as the Asian Education Advisory Council for Denver Public Schools, Mayor’s Commission on Aging, Mayor’s Commission on Women, Mayor’s Commission for Asian Americans and Denver Asian Pacific Coalition. She is a faculty advisor for Asian cultural clubs at the college, helps increase enrollment of Asian Americans through outreach and retention efforts and works to raise awareness about the issues, challenges and cultural diversity of Asian Americans. Lore also volunteers for Colorado’s Chinese Heritage Camps. Originally from the East coast, Lore has lived in Denver for more than 30 years. Although she doesn’t consider any one achievement her greatest, Lore hopes that she’s contributed significantly over time to her family and the Asian community. “Since I have been at the university for a while, I’m now seeing the sons and daughters of students that I worked with when I first came to the university who tell me that their parents have suggested that they contact me because I was helpful to them,” she says. “I also get visits and emails from students I’ve worked with over the years, and I run into students from classes I’ve taught. Being acknowledged as someone who helped them get to graduaFor the Asian American community, Peggy is a tion and beyond is gratifying.” rock-solid advocate in raising awareness on the “As the first generation in my family to be born here, I am very much rooted in challenges of the “model minority” stereotypes, two cultures,” says Lore, who considers the history of Asian Americans in the United States, valuing her family and family history the greatest assets in her life. and the rich heterogeneity of the Asian American “When things are difficult, I draw on the population and culture. knowledge that my parents endured a lot to be strangers in a strange land (thanks Ronald Takaki), and this gives me renewed energy and purpose.” Lore also values close friends, appreciating diversity in the broadest sense of the word, equity and compassion; the goddess Kwan Yin is a strong source of inspiration for her. Lore’s advice to younger generations is to learn from mistakes and be true to oneself. “Be a lifelong learner who tries things even if they are scary, and if you make a mistake, learn from them and keep moving,” she says.

Soyon Bueno (left), Program Director Asian American Student Services at University of Colorado Denver and Peggy Lore (right), who is the former director and a mentor to Bueno

Lore in her office during an interview for Asian Avenue magazine’s Spotlight in February of 2011

Lore (right) supports students at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

asian avenue magazine


Ivy hontz

Former Board and Secretary of Asian Chamber of Commerce and 9Health Fair Site Coordinator

Hontz (right) is a 9Health Fair site coordinator for Aurora Central High

Hontz (right) with friends at Mountain View Garden

Volunteering at St. Anna Assisted Living Home for Korean elderly

Volunteering for Aurora Symphony Orchestra


May 2014 | Cover Story

Ivy Hontz, who believes that volunteering and community service are the core of our existence, considers the continued opportunities she’s experienced her greatest achievement. “The focus of our lives should not be on us, but on others,” Hontz says. Hontz, who works with the Women’s Wellness Connection program at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has been an active member of the community since she moved to Colorado in 1995. Her roles have included: 9Health Fair site coordinator for Aurora Central High School; Wellness Village coordinator at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival; steering committee member for the Beeler Community Garden and Mountain View Community Church; and a board member for Arms Around Denver, St. Anna’s Assisted Living Home for Korean elderly and the Asian Chamber of Commerce. “Hontz is a non-profit leader who has served community-based organizations effectively with passion and commitment,” says John Wright, a long-time colleague who nominated her for the 2014 Asian American Hero of Colorado award. Hontz has also served as a volunteer for the Aurora Symphony Orchestra and the Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian and Korean communities and works to build the capacity of the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community by engaging stakeholders. She considers honesty and integrity important values and is greatly influenced by her extended family. “My family has always passed down stories, pictures and experiences from generation to generation,” she says. “These experiences have shaped who I am today.” A native of Pennsylvania, Hontz acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration and began her career working in a group home for delinquent boys. Then, she moved to Maryland to work as a probation officer and resource coordinator for the Department of Juvenile Services. There, she also obtained a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. “I took a two-year leave of absence and traveled around the world with faithbased organizations,” Hontz says. “During that time, I spent extensive time in India, Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam. I settled in Colorado and began my career in the Asian community working at a local nonprofit. During that time, I became immersed in the community and in service to AAPIs.” Hontz’s advice to younger generation is to, “Respectfully listen to the wisdom of others, and serve those around you.”

Ivy’s work in the Asian community speaks to her dedication and outlook on change and fairness in a positive direction to bring greater visibility to Colorado’s Asian community.

Peter Lee

Chapter President of The National Unification Advisory Council - South Korea and Advisory Board for Korean Heritage Camp

Although people may profit from his work, Peter Lee says he’s really the one that benefits from giving back to his community. “It’s not about giving time to the community; it’s about the benefits you receive from the community,” says Lee, an entrepreneur who works to provide health insurance for ethnic/immigrant community clients who qualify for Obama Care in Colorado. Lee has volunteered and supported Colorado’s Korean Heritage Camp (KHC) for 18 years. His other roles have included co-chair of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership, national board chair and past Colorado chapter president of the Korean American Coalition, chapter president of the National Unification Advisory Council. He has also been involved with the Denver Asian Pacific American Commission and Governor’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Board under Governor Bill Owens. “I think Peter has an impact in the community by always being there to help solve problems, facilitate positive change and make a true difference,” says Pam Sweetser, a friend and colleague who nominated Lee for the 2014 Asian American Hero of Colorado Award. “He has often been a bridge between the Korean community and the rest of the Asian community, and to other communities as well. His devotion to children adopted from Korea is immeasurable. He has given so very much to them through KHC, and at any time in their lives that they need help.” Lee, who is celebrating his 20-year wedding anniversary this year, is a native of Seoul, South Korea and has lived in Denver for 25 years. Lee says all of the work he’s done over the past 18 years has been to benefit him and his family—giving back to the community truly brings him joy and purpose. “Being a father is probably my greatest achievement,” Lee says. “I just want to be the best father I possibly can for my two kids as I can be, a role model for them. I want my children to have a happy life.” Lee follows the mantra, “Do what you can to achieve what you can’t imagine,” and advises younger generations to pay it forward, learn how to work with the community and be a team player. He also encourages youth to not be afraid to explore. “If you have a passion for it, go for it; that’s what I did,” he says. “Explore the possibilities. You can study hard and get all A’s and B’s or do whatever your parents tell you to do, but more importantly, it has to be your decision. Because after a while, it’s your life that matters, not anyone else’s. If you truly care about your life, then you care for others.”

Peter has an impact in the community by always being there to help solve problems, facilitate positive change, and make a true difference. He is someone who is open and accessible, and will be there if you need him.

Lee (left) at Korean War Veteran Appreciation Day

Korean American Coalition Leadership Conference

Korean Heritage Camp with Washington State Senator Paul Shin

Korea Unification Forum at Denver Starz Film Festival

asian avenue magazine


Nai Li Yee

Former Principal and Teacher at Colorado Chinese Language School and Former Chair of Chinese American Council of Colorado

Yee (right) with MaYing-jeou, President of Republic of China

Yee volunteers for canned food drive

Nai Li Yee with her husband John Yee, 2010 Asian American Hero - Lifetime Achievement Award

Yee recognized as former Chinese American Council of Colorado Chair


May 2014 | Cover Story

Although Nai Li W. Yee has committed nearly 40 years to the Colorado community, she doesn’t consider the time she’s served as giving back. “I believe one should try to live a life that helps to improve tolerance among people and help those who are less fortunate and in need of assistance,” says Yee, who helped found the Colorado Chinese Language School in 1974 and has taught at the school for 35 years. Political unrest drove Yee and her parents to move from Chongqing, Sichuan Province in China to Taiwan in the late 1940s. There, she received a formal education and teacher’s training, obtained a teaching certificate and worked as a teacher for three years. Shortly after, Yee traveled to the U.S. to settle in Denver and became acquainted with Chinese community. Yee served as principal of the Colorado Chinese Language School for eight years and has also worked for the State of Colorado for 29 years. In 2008, she received the Lifetime Community Service Award from the Chinese American Council of Colorado. “Since that time, many of those students who I taught have grown up to hold good jobs and positions in society,” Yee says. “In turn, many of them have sent their children to study Chinese at Colorado Chinese Language School.” Additionally, she has given her time to organizations as Asian Pacific Development Center of Colorado, Denver Chinese Culture Center of Colorado, Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership, The Kindred Spirits of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Double Tenth Celebration Committee of Colorado, Chinese American Council of Colorado and Denver Public Schools Cultural Speakers Service. “Nai Li has devoted a lot of time to serving the Chinese and Asian communities,” says Christina Guo, a friend who nominated Yee for the 2014 Asian American Hero Award. “While she doesn’t have children of her own, she has taught at the Colorado Chinese Language School for 35 years. She has become a role model to many, many young people and is highly respected by all of the Chinese community.” Making a different and promoting understanding and good will among people of different cultures in the community are Yee’s greatest achievements. “I have endeavored to bring more understanding and good will, especially between people of East Asian and Western cultures,” she says. “In 2011, I received ‘A Teacher’s Award’ from the Overseas Community Affairs Council, Republic of China in Taiwan, for teaching for 35 years at Colorado Chinese Language School.” Yee’s advice to young people is to pursue knowledge with diligence. “Try to follow in the path of men of wisdom of the past and present,” she says. “Combine the Science of the West, with the Wisdom of the East.”

Many people have been inspired by Nai Li and have become volunteers too. She has recruited young people to get involved in the community and encouraged Asian American second generation youth to keep their culture.

young hero award:

Harry budisidharta

President of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Rising Star, Colorado Super Lawyer Harry Budisidharta, a criminal defense lawyer at Balaban, Claeson & Budisidharta, may has been honored with many accolades, but he’s not afraid to show his softer side. “In my spare time, I like to cuddle with my cat and sing amateur karaoke,” he says. “My friends would say that I am a terrible singer, but I think they are just jealous.” In 2014, Budisidharta was selected to be on the Rising Stars list of Colorado Super Lawyers. In 2012, he received the Mayor’s Diversity Award for his community service and advocacy work on behalf of the refugee community, the Young Lawyer of the Year Award from Arapahoe County Bar Association and the Governor Ralph Carr Service Award from the Asian Pacific American Bar Association for his commitment to community service. “When Harry is involved, we know we can count on him for the work to get done and he does it with a sense of humor,” says Jinny Kim, a colleague and friend who nominated Budisidharta for the 2014 Young Hero Award. “I have witnessed several times when Budisidharta got involved and things were turned around. That’s what Harry does. He not only helps in the community, but he also leads and makes a positive impact by motivating others to work hard.” Meanwhile, Budisidharta also serves as president of the Mile High Chapter for the Japanese American Citizens League and the chair of the education committee for the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar. He is a board member for the Asian Pacific Development Center, Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Arapahoe County Bar Association. A native of Indonesia, Budisidharta moved to the U.S. when he was 12 years old and has called Colorado home for 10 years. “When I was 14, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to skip high school and enroll in college full time,” he says. “I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and moved to Colorado to attend law school. After graduating from law school, I started working in the public defender’s office and I am now one of the named partners at a local law firm.” Budisidharta’s greatest achievements include successfully saving innocent people from prison and facilitating the Mile High JACL’s successful organization of Colorado’s very first Asian American and Pacific Islanders When Harry is involved, we know we can count Lobby Day at the State Capital. “It took a long time to lay the groundwork, but I’m proud that our commuon him for the work to get done and he does it nity is becoming more politically active with a sense of humor. He not only helps in the and has another way to lobby for issues impact us,” he says.” community but he also leads and makes a positive thatBudisidharta lives by John F. Kennedy’s quote, “To Those whom much impact by motivating others to work hard. is given, much is expected.” “Despite my bravado, I know that did not achieve everything on my own,” he says. “I had plenty of help from my family, mentors and friends along the way. Now that I am in a position to help the next generation, I think it is important to do as much as I can to help them achieve their goals, as others have helped me. Budisidharta’s advice for younger generations is to explore alternative career paths. “As Asian Americans, we are often pressured by our parents to become either doctor, lawyer or engineer,” he says. “Do not be afraid of exploring alternative career paths. The world needs more people that care about arts and social justice!”

Immigration rally on October 5, 2013

Budisidharta facilitates AAPI forum on Amendment 66

Budisidharta speaks at the Mile High JACL Fall Festival

Budisidharta at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival

asian avenue magazine



Frank Sakamoto

Board member of Mile High Japanese American Citizens League and Japanese American Association of Colorado

Sakamoto (left) with author Bill Hosokawa and Eric Hiraga

Sakamoto speaks about Japanese internment experience

Sakamoto with Japanese American community leaders

Toshiko and Frank Sakamoto, who have two sons and three grandchildren


May 2014 | Cover Story

A conversation with Frank Sakamoto promises contagious enthusiasm, one-of-kind personality and inspiring wisdom cultivated from more than 60 years of service to the Asian American community on a local and national level. “With great humility and humbleness, I accept this award,” says Sakamoto, who has been active in the Japanese Americans Citizen League (JACL) for more than 65 years. “There are millions of people that have done more than I, but they just didn’t have someone to submit their letter [nomination].” Sakamoto retired in 1996 from a successful career as an optometrist and moved to Colorado from Chicago. Sakamoto, who served as board member of JACL’s Mile High Chapter for many years, has supported several of the organization’s chapters over the course of his life. He now serves as the high advisor to Mile High JACL board. Sakamoto’s many contributions to the JACL include Chicago Chapter Membership Chairman (1948), Chicago Chapter Vice President (1956-1958), Midwest District Governor (1959-1964), Vice President of Membership for the National JACL (1968-1970), Thousand Club National Chairman (1966-1970), Thousand Club Chairman (1978) and Membership Chairman for the Thousand Club. “Having served numerous roles in the many decades that he has been involved in JACL, Frank has a lot of wisdom to offer our board and chapter,” says Suzuho Shimasaki, immediate past president of the Mile High JACL. “Frank’s techniques in mobilizing our community are particularly noteworthy because he engages individuals in a way that truly promotes the goals of the JACL. He promotes JACL’s vision of a world that honors diversity by being inclusive of individuals beyond the Japanese American community.” In 2012, Sakamoto received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award, and in 2013, he received the 2013 Japanese American of the Biennium Award from the National JACL in recognition of his contributions and positive impact on society. Frank says he was motivated to join the JACL to bring awareness to communities about the discrimination faced by Japanese Americans during and after World War II. “He also truly strives for fairness, equality, and social justice for all individuals by helping build collaborations with other organizations within the Japanese American community, as well as across racial/ethnic communities,” Suzuho says. Highlights of many awards and recognitions Frank has received include the JACL Recognition Award (1980), Kiwanis Man of Vision Award (1989), Mayoral Citation, Meritorious Service, Chicago, Kiwanis Public Relations Award (1989), American Legion Youth Program Award (1986) and the University of Illinois Presidential Medal of Honor (2000). Additionally, the American Optometric Association has recognized Frank with Public Relations, Communications and National Consumer Awards, and he was appointed as the Chairman of the Examining Board of Optometry. Sakamoto’s father emigrated from Japan to Alaska in 1898, following the Klondike gold rush, and then migrated south to Washington’s Yakima Valley where he was born in 1924. After attending the University of Illinois, he acquired a doctorate from the Monroe College of Optometry in Chicago. Also a successful inventor, Sakamoto holds patents for the bi-focal and tri-focal contact lens. “The course of his life represents a sort of American ideal,” says Harry Budisidharta, who served with Sakamoto on the board of the Mile High JACL. “It is filled with stories of sacrifice, courage, hard work, commitment to service and triumphs. Today at age 90, his work continues, but there is much he can point to with pride.” For the past 16 years, Sakamoto has helped coordinate the local JACL’s participation in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, and has marched each year until recently, due to his health. Frank also volunteers for the Japanese American Association of Colorado, Japanese American Community Graduation Program and The Salvation Army. “Dr. Sakamoto is a great role model for young people,” Budisidharta says. “He always advocates on behalf of youth involvement in leadership and decision making. He also actively educates youth about the excesses of wartime hysteria, with the goal of stopping it from happening again.” Frank believes it’s important to give back to the community to help his fellow man. He advises younger generations to value education and karma. “When you do a person a favor, it will come back ten-fold,” Sakamoto says. As for the future, Sakamoto is happy to continue his contributions to organizations like the JACL to help “Americans build a better America” and hopes he will live long enough to see a female take office, for he was excited for President Obama’s election. “I would campaign for Mrs. Clinton any time,” he laughs. Sakamoto and his wife Toshiko have two sons, three grandchildren, along with countless friends in Colorado, across the country and around the world.

Legal Column:

Congressional Races

It is an exciting time to be a voter in Colorado. I will highlight two highly contested races that could determine which political party controls the U.S. House and Senate. U.S. Senate Race – Mark Udall vs. Cory Gardner

Mark Udall (D)

Cory Gardner (R)

Republican Congressman Cory Gardner is running for the senate seat that is currently being held by Democratic Senator Mark Udall. This race is being closely watched by everybody. According to the Quinnipiac University poll released on April 24, 2014, Senator Udall has 45% of the votes, while Congressman Gardner has 44% of the votes. Interestingly enough, the poll also showed that Senator Udall leads 52-35 percent among women while Congressman Gardner leads 53-38 percent among men. Right now, the Republicans hold 30 seats in the Senate that are not up for election in 2014. Out of the 36 seats up for election this year, the Republicans need to win 21 seats in order to get control of U.S. Senate. Colorado is one of the swing states that could potentially be won by the Republicans. Senator Udall is the son of former US representative Morris “Mo” Udall and has been a US senator since 2009. In the US Senate, he serves on the Armed Services Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and the Select Committee on Intelligence. Previously, he was a member of the US House of Representative from 1999 until 2009. His campaign website is located at Prior to running for the US senate, Congressman Gardner was the representative for the 4th District of Colorado. He also served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over national energy policy. His campaign website is located at www.

U.S. House of Representative – Colorado’s 6th Congressional District

Colorado’s 6th congressional district is one of the most diverse districts in Colorado. According to the latest census, the district contains 60% white people, 20% Latinos, 9% black people, and 5.5% Asian people. The district is also evenly divided among Democrats, Republicans, and unaffiliated voters, which means that this race is among the closest House races in the country. In 2012, Congressman Coffman narrowly beat his Democrat challenger by about two percentage points. This year, the race is expected to be even closer because the district was recently redistricted from a safe Republican seat into a competitive centrist seat. Republican Congressman Mike Coffman was elected to the US House of Representative back in 2008. He is the only Member of Congress that has served in both the first Gulf War and the Iraq War. He serves on the Armed Services Committee, the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, and on the House Committee on Small Business. His campaign website can be located at Democrat Andrew Romanoff was a member of the Colorado House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, and he served as Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2008. In 2008, he was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine. His campaign website can be located at

Election Day - November 4, 2014

The general election will take place on November 4, 2014. Regardless of your political affiliation, I encourage you to vote because your vote could determine which party controls the U.S. House and Senate. Go to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website ( to register to vote and make sure that your information is updated.


Harry received his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School. He has his own law firm and is the current president of the Mile High chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. In 2012, Harry was awarded the Outstanding Lawyer of the Year Award by the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado and the Arapahoe County Bar Association. He also received the 2012 Mayor’s Diversity Award for his advocacy work on behalf of the refugee community. In 2014, he was selected to be on the Colorado Rising Stars list by the Colorado Super Lawyers magazine.

Mike Coffman (R)

Andrew Romanoff (D)

For questions or comments, contact Harry at

asian avenue magazine


6585 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. HOURS Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Open 7 days a week Tel: 303.779.0028 11am to 9:30pm

Annie Guo Asian Avenue magazine

Ma Po Tofu

Shredded Beef Tripe in Chili Oil

Crystal Shrimp

Bean Curd Sheet Wrapped Shrimp

A new player in town, Min-J Asian Cuisine, recently opened in the Greenwood Village area. And with its appealing ambiance and modern decor, it looks like this charming ChineseAsian restaurant will be a heavy hitter. With a menu of already more than 100 items, Min-J offers additional variations on dishes to cater to each patron’s taste buds—just let your server know what you are in the mood for, how hot you like it and what allergies you may have. There are also a number of spicy dishes, gluten-free options and vegetarian delights. The restaurant’s owner, Tim Quach, recognizes the importance of keeping up with the food and industry trends. He says, “We are open to inventing new dishes and flavors by listening to the feedback of our customers.” When Quach first moved to the U.S. at the age of 12, he lived in California where he observed revolutionary concepts in the restaurant business. He has worked in restaurants with his brother since he was 16. With more than 30 years of experience under his belt, he brings his west coast expertise to Colorado. “I have learned from Los Angeles’ food and dining, which is more fast-paced, and identified unique recipes to introduce to Denver,” says Quach. He believes that Americans know how to enjoy life, which includes appreciating a good meal. They do not rush because eating is also a way to socialize and relax. He hopes to share this love of life with the Chinese community in Colorado. The chef’s specials range from tasty shrimp and scallops to flavorful peking duck and French-style steak. The restaurant also offers a selection of Thai and Vietnamese dishes including curries and spring rolls. Visit Min-J’s website to see the full menu and download coupons. Cater your next event with Min-J or book the private party room that seats up to 50. Whether you enjoy Min-J’s dishes in the restaurant or take-out at home, you will see why this is the next up-and-coming restaurant in town.

CHEF’S SPECIALS Steamed Flounder $18 Peking Duck $35 Roast duck with steamed buns


May 2014 | Restaurant Peek

Scallops and Lobster Tail $23 Scallops, lobster tail, snowpeas, carrot, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts ENTREES Szechuan Chicken $8 Lunch | $11 Dinner Sesame Shrimp $9 Lunch | $14 Dinner Sriracha Pork $8 Lunch | $11 Dinner Duck with Vegetables $15 Singapore Rice Noodles $11


Appetizers B.B.Q. Spare Ribs $8 Sweet & Spicy Cabbage $5 Shrimp Lettuce Wraps $12

Crunchy Tiger Roll

191 W South Boulder Rd. Lafayette, CO 80026 Tel: 720.665.1712

Nestled in an unassuming strip mall in Lafayette, Udon Kaisha Japanese Noodle and Sushi has been converting local residents into ramen lovers since the restaurant opened two years ago. Udon Kaisha, which is one of the only places to satisfy cravings for Japanese fare in Lafayette, serves up udon or ramen noodles in traditional miso and shoyu soup bases. The eatery’s affordably priced menu also features rice bowls, curries and fried rice, as well as traditional and special sushi rolls. “I wanted to introduce the noodles to people in this area,” says Mindy Lim, Udon Kaisha’s owner. “We are slowly educating people about the different soups.” Lim says many Americans still think of “ramen” as the packaged instant meal, but Udon Kaisha’s authentic noodle soup recipes are bringing awareness to the area about the Japanese comfort food. A brief introduction to Japanese noodles and soups is included in every menu to aid in the ordering process, and the staff is also happy to help select a dish. If you’re craving a spicy, flavorful

HOURS Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs: 11am to 9pm Fri & Sat: 11am to 9:30pm Closed Tuesday

broth, try the Nabeyaki Udon, which has thick and chewy (yet soft) wheat noodles in a clay pot accented with delicious shrimp tempura, chicken, fish cake, shitake mushroom, napa cabbage, green onions and egg. First-timers looking to try a classic should order the House Special Ramen, which features thin, long, Chinese-style noodles in a miso or shoyu soup base with egg, braised pork (chasu), seaweed, bean sprouts and green beans. For a special treat, ask for the Crunchy Tiger sushi roll, which is a delicious eye-pleasing combination of shrimp tempura, cream cheese, tempura crunch, eel sauce and spicy mayo. Other tempting rolls include the Bangkok Roll (spicy tuna, jalapeno, cilantro and salmon topped with super white tuna) and the Firecracker Roll (spicy tuna and avocado wrapped and deep fried, served with masago, scallion and sweet soy). Because it’s a sign that you’re enjoying your food, Udon Kaisha encourages noodle slurping, so let your hair down and enjoy.

Patricia Kaowthumrong Asian Avenue magazine

Nabeyaki Udon

menu. Shoyu Udon Noodles $7.50 Shrimp tempura, fish cake and spinach Nabeyaki Udon Noodles $11 Shrimp tempura, chicken, fish cake, shitake mushroom, napa cabbage, green onions and egg served in clay pot Spicy Pork Ramen $8 Egg, spicy ground pork, seaweed, been sprouts and green onions Katsu Chicken $10 With rice, steamed broccoli, zucchini, carrots and mushrooms Spicy Kani Roll $5 Crab stick, cucumber and spicy mayo Grilled Squid

House Special Ramen

Boston Roll $5 Shrimp, cucumber, avocado and spicy mayo Restaurant Peek | asian avenue magazine


Breaking the Barriers 2.0 goes beyond the tennis court to harness natural power Brenda Velasquez Asian Avenue magazine

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Barry Gutierrez and the United States Tennis Association-Colorado District are collaborating to deliver an intimate look into the journeys of local Asian tennis players through a portrait exhibit titled “Breaking the Barriers 2.0 - The Asian Connection” premiering at the Denver International Airport in May. The exhibit will highlight a dozen individuals in the tennis community using art and educational outreach to convey their stories and celebrate their accomplishments. The association’s directors have teamed up with local business and community partners along with active tennis players in a dynamic taskforce to raise awareness of these individuals’ achievements.


May 2014 | Feature

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Barry Gutierrez

Recently completing the second installment in the United States Tennis Association-Colorado’s Breaking the Barriers project series, photographer Barry Gutierrez related the complexities that occurred behind-the-scenes of this powerful storytelling endeavor. Coming from a Hispanic background, Gutierrez first approached the project’s specific ethnic theme by establishing a common ground based on his own experiences and ties to the Asian community: “I reflected on what the Asian culture meant to me and what my experience within the community has been. I proposed to my wife in Thailand on the back of an elephant so we have a little piece of our heart in Thailand. I also took karate for six years, so I learned about Japanese culture from that and my brother married someone from the Philippines. My friends are also from different Asian countries.” After forging a personal connection, Gutierrez brainstormed tools to unify the various Asian ethnicities he would work with during the exhibit, settling on a natural motif as a reference to a shared Asian belief in the physical elements: “There are so many religions, cultures and societies within Asia, so I went back to ancient times when there was more similarity in the understanding of nature’s composition, particularly regarding the basic elements of fire, water, earth and air. These four elements were communally acknowledged in predominant Asian philosophy.” In addition to its practical purpose of bringing the subjects together, the motif enhanced the

artworks’ aesthetics, serving a dual function for the viewer by organizing the photos into both a visually comprehensive and vibrant collection. Most importantly, however, asking the subjects to physically immerse themselves in the elements during photo shoots-diving underwater, posing among flames, coating their skin with mud and soaring through the air-coaxed them from their own comfort zones, prompting spontaneous reactions that enriched the portraits’ genuineness. “I took them out of their [tennis court] element which drew out their personalities,” explained Gutierrez. In contrast to the first Breaking the Barriers exhibit, which focused on the African-American community and featured a modest number of 15 subjects in 14 photos, the Asian Experience gathered nearly 30 individuals, including two families, within 13 portraits. Despite the smiles and the portraits’ largerthan-life energy however, Gutierrez brings viewers down to reality by reminding them of the sober truth surrounding the struggle against institutionalized prejudice-a struggle that motivated the need to honor its brave and successful heroes. “Because it’s a celebration there certainly were some happy pictures but at the same time, I wanted some serious portraits because breaking the barriers isn’t always fun-encountering racism and people who don’t understand you-so capturing someone in a serious tone as a whole gives weight to the project, appropriately commemorating a somber time in U.S. history.”

elements of fire, water, earth and air

Breaking the Barriers 2.0 | asian avenue magazine


Auraria Campus students network with Judge Hada and Mayor Hancock


Asian Chamber of Commerce President Clarence Low, Judge Kerry Hada and Soyon Bueno


Mile High JACL

n Thursday, April 17, the Mile High chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (Mile High JACL) hosted a screening of the documentary “Hafu” at Sie Film Center. The documentary follows the lives of five mixed-race people as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in Japan. All of the people featured in the documentary talked about the childhood bullying they suffered and the sense of not belonging in Japan. One of them even said that she will never be accepted in Japan for as long as she lives there. After the screening, Mile High JACL hosted a panel discussion. The panel was moderated by board member Gil Asakawa and featured board members Justin Valas and Donna Hansen, Sylvia Smith


May 2014 | On Scene

Soyon Bueno

University of Colorado Denver

n April 1, the Auraria campus hosted the first Diversity Career Networking event, a collaborative partnership with the tri-institutions and local chambers of commerce. The purpose of the events was to help culturally diverse students understand the strengths and skills they bring to our global economy and to expand their social networks. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock opened the event with inspiring words about the importance of networking and emphasized “it is not just who you know but also what you know.” He encouraged students to continue to learn and grow and to be prepared for a more global market. In a packed room, the keynote speaker Judge Kerry Hada addressed students, staff and community leaders on the importance

Hafu documentary screening presents multicultural life in Japan Harry Budisidharta


Brown, and James Simms. Panelists shared their experience growing up multiracial and multicultural. Interestingly enough, the panelists that grew up in a military base in Japan had a significantly easier time than the panelists that grew up in Japan or in a small town in America. It seems that people in military bases are more accepting of multiracial and multicultural people because of the diversity inherent in a military base. One of the panelists echoed the opinion shared by one of the people in the documentary and said that mixed race people will have a much easier time growing up once they accept the fact that they will never be fully accepted by Japanese society. The evening was emotional and educational for the panelists and the audience members. Mile High JACL hopes to host more documentary screenings in the future.

of being resilient, resolute and resourceful. Judge Hada shared his personal story about growing up in southern Colorado picking melons, going to college at University of Colorado Boulder, serving his country as an elite Army Ranger, earning his master’s and law degrees, and becoming the only Asian American judge in the state of Colorado. He shared his personal experiences of hostility and racism but also explained how he became motivated to show that his ethnicity and culture made him a unique individual with exceptional experiences, skills and capabilities. Judge Hada emphasized the importance of eliminating the artificial boundaries and barriers that keep individuals from communicating with others who are vastly different and who may not necessarily share the same culture, religion, or ethnicity. Judge Hada inspired the crowd!

Denver students and staff recognized at AEAC awards ceremony Nora Yim Asian Education Advisory Council


he Denver Public Schools Asian Education Advisory Council (AEAC) held its 29th Annual Awards Ceremony on Sunday, April 27 at the Double Tree Hotel. The event proved to be a huge success, with more than 100 nominees and 300 guests. Friendly, excited, and eager faces entered the ballroom that Sunday morning. The very talented Yeo Lee Soon performed a graceful traditional Korean fan dance while the beautiful Miss Asian America Colorado Thuy Trang, serenaded the crowd with a special musical performance. Special thanks to the keynote speaker, Honorable Judge Judy P. Draper, who delivered a moving speech on her experience growing up bi-racial and bi-cultural. AEAC looks forward to sharing this experience next year at its 30th annual awards ceremony. AEAC meets the first Wednesday of every month at the DPS Administration Building at 900 Grant Street, at 5:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join as a guest or a volunteer board member.


olorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice (CAHEP) participated in a 9Health Fair for the Thai community at the Wat Buddhawaram temple organized by the Thai Lions Club on April 27. CAHEP screened for abnormal lung function (PFT) and provided advice for Connect for Health Colorado’s enrollment program for families still not enrolled for Medicaid or private insurance. Appropriate referrals were made for people who had an abnormal PFT, and the screenings were well received. CAHEP also joined the Chinese American Council of Colorado’s sponsored 9Health Fair on April 26, at the Denver Chinese Evangelical Church, where CAHEP provided women’s health screenings for clinical breast exams and pap tests. CAHEP staff provided pulmonary function screenings through spirometry, along with cardiac risk assessments and education for hypertension. Enrollment advice for Medicaid and insurance marketplace was provided to families, in Chinese language, as necessary.

9Health Fairs kick off spring season Alok Sarwal Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice

CAHEP also provided lung function screenings at the Aurora Central High School 9Health Fair on April 26 focused on the immigrants and refugee community. CAHEP executive director and staff certified pulmonary technician, working with National Jewish Hospital, were interviewed by Channel 9News for a live broadcast. The 9Health medical director was present and benefits of CAHEP’s screenings at such health fairs were mentioned. CAHEP has been a partner for 9Health Fairs for more than six years and also provides a large number of health screenings at its own network of community partners. Thanks to the efforts of CAHEP, the community can now utilize a new health service resource. Now, along with primary care clinical services at its office - 5250 Leetsdale Drive #110 in Denver, CAHEP is proud to be affiliated with and begin the work of a new dental clinic at its office, for its patients including all immigrants and refugees. For more information, call 303-954-0058 or visit

Opas Osiri, Dr. Philip Rosenblum, CAHEP Executive Director Alok Sarwal, Eed Cefkin and Patty Coutts at Thai community 9Health Fair

Ivy Hontz and Angela Cho coordinate the 9Health Fair Aurora Central High School site

Recipients of the 2014 Commendation of the Consul General of Japan The Consulate General of Japan in Denver is pleased to announce recipients in Colorado of the 2014 Commendation of the Consul General of Japan, Charles Ozaki of Broomfield and John Hopper of Granada. This award is an official citation by the Consul General of Japan in Denver, presented to recognize and honor respected citizens or organizations that have made exceptional efforts to contribute in areas such as the development of mutual understanding and friendly ties between nations through promoting cooperation in economic relations, cultural exchange, and other activities that enhance relations between our countries. Charles Ozaki currently serves as City and County Manager for the City and County of Broomfield, where his duties include economic development programs and initiatives. In this capacity, he has made significant contributions to developing relations with Broomfield’s sister city of Ueda in Nagano Prefecture, helping to establish the relationship in 2000 and serving officially to help coordinate exchange groups and host sister city visitors and activities since then. Further, he has been a key participant in several outreach programs designed to broaden economic ties and promote the growth of Japanese business activity in Colorado. Ozaki is also actively involved as a leader in a variety of civic organizations related to the Japanese American community and local Japan-related groups in Colorado. He is a member of the US-Japan Council, the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Citizen’s League (JACL), the Japanese American Association of Colorado (JAAC), and has served as a board member for the Tri-State Denver

Buddhist Temple and Tamai Towers/Sakura Square in downtown Denver, as well as the Japan America Society of Colorado. John M. Hopper is a highly regarded social studies teacher at Granada High School in Granada, in southeastern Colorado. In 1993, Mr. Hopper established the Amache Preservation Society, to educate students and begin an effort to maintain and renovate the nearby Granada Relocation Center, known as Camp Amache, which forcibly housed persons of Japanese ancestry from 1942-45. The Amache Preservation Society consists of volunteer students from the high school, and has led the grassroots effort which has resulted in the camp being named a National Historic Landmark. The group has restored parts of the camp, maintains a museum of important objects and documents, gives regular presentations about the camp in communities across Colorado and has even travelled to Japan. Through these efforts Hopper has contributed to the preservation of Japanese American history, and helped greatly in building understanding and goodwill among his students and between Colorado and Japan. In keeping with the high ideals represented by this award, the Consulate-General of Japan at Denver is honored to offer its sincere congratulations to these dedicated individuals for this deserved recognition of their long service to building relations and friendship. An official conferment ceremony will be held at the Residence of the Consul General in Denver at a later date. For more information, Shunsuke Ono, Consul at 303-534-1151 ext 5332 or

Charles Ozaki Broomfield City and County Manager

John M. Hopper Granada High School Instructor, Amache Preservation Society

On Scene | asian avenue magazine


producer robert stone speaks in aurora


congratulations tea! In Theatre Espirit Asia’s first year, the theatre group won a resounding number of awards! These include: • Westword’s Best of 2014 Specialty Theatre Group • 2013 Marlowe for Best New Theatre Company • 2013 True West Special Award: Maria Cheng • 2013 Marlowe for Outstanding Actress in Solo Work: Maria Cheng

TEA’s mission is to give voice to Asian American narratives that address the contemporary human condition, provide performance opportunities and nurture the growth of Colorado and U.S. Asian American actors, directors and playwrights and promote community and understanding. TEA will present M. Butterfly in September. For more information about TEA and to see a schedule of upcoming shows, visit




2014 WORLD




May 2014 | On Scene



he Aurora Asian/Pacific Partnership’s annual meeting was held on April 22, featuring Robert Stone, the producer for “Scrambled” – a new feature film. At Hiro’s Japanese Sushi Buffet, a mix of partnership members and the community joined to listen to Stone’s speech about producing his first film. In entertainment and media, Stone has worked at Paradigm Talent Agency and in talent management at McKeon/Myones and Essential Entertainment. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder and has an MBA from Loyola Marymount. Also during the meeting, outgoing cochair Duane Wong gave his farewell, Juliana Laughter was welcomed as the incoming cochair and next year’s steering committee was introduced.

Producer Robert Stone, Nancy Tan, Christina Guo and Annie Guo

Dr. Jerry Umanos, a Filipino American hero, among three Americans killed in Afghanistan


devoted father, husband and doctor who dedicated seven years of life to save mother and babies in Afghanistan was killed at a Kabul hospital. Dr. Jerry Umanos, a Filipino-American pe-

diatrician from Chicago and a volunteer for a non-profit Christian group that ran a hospital in Afghanistan, was gunned down as he greeted two other Americans outside the hospital. In all three Americans were killed. “We don’t hold any ill will towards Afghanistan in general or even the gunman who did this,” said Jan Schuitema, Umanos’ wife, who also volunteers in Afghanstan. Jan made a heart wrenching statement outside her Chicago home after learning of Jerry’s death. She said, “Please honor Jerry’s memory by opening up your hearts to the Afghan people.” “He loved the country, he loved the people, he loved to teach,” a former Jerry’s colleague told CNN. “As much as we love and miss him, all of us have a certain level of respect and contentment knowing Jerry died doing what he loved most.” Schuitema stressed that her husband’s work was an extension of his faith. “He always had a desire to be the hands and feet of Christ. He was always a light for Christ,” she said.

Toby Dawson, a Korean American, inducted into skiing hall of fame

India-born poet Vijay Seshadri wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize


ijay Seshadri has become the first Asian American ever to win the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. His book 3 Sections was hailed by the Pulitzer Committee as “a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.” Seshadri currently teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at liberal arts college Sarah Lawrence in New York. Born in Bangalore in 1954, Seshadri came to America at the age of five and grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Seshadri is the fifth person of Indian origin to bag the prestigious award. He would receive $10,000 reward.

Chris Lu confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Labor


hris Lu has been confirmed as Deputy Secretary of Labor, becoming the second Asian American to reach that position. Lu graduated from Harvard Law School. In 2005, Lu first began working for Barack Obama in his U.S. Senate office. Following Obama’s successful 2008 campaign for presidency, Lu was appointed White House Cabinet Secretary during President Obama’s first term. It was a great time for the Lu family. His wife Kathryn Thomson was confirmed as general counsel for the Department of Transportation. The two make for one power couple in Washington DC.

Sandra Oh shooting final scenes with Grey’s Anatomy


ans of “Grey’s Anatomy” will be shedding tears when Dr. Cristina Yang leaves Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital on the final episode of season 10. The actress Sandra Oh, has offered up her best performances over the years and the fan love her character as well. There have been a number of rumors on how this character will leave, including that she is killed. In the past many of the “Grey’s Anatomy” cast members left the show in a violent end, but it appears that Sandra Oh’s character isn’t going that way. Instead there is an epic sendoff that allows the character to say goodbye to the fans and offer up a happy resolution for where she is off to next.


n Olympic bronze medalist and a Korean American has been inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Toby Dawson placed in men’s mogul skiing in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turino. He is currently a coach for the Korean national freestyle skiing team and will be involved in the upcoming winter Olympics in Korea in 2018 as an honorary ambassador. Dawson was given up for adoption at the age of 3 in Korea and adopted by a family in Colorado His journey to find his birth family was documented in the film Lost & Found.

National News | asian avenue magazine


孺子可教 A

fter Zhang Liang failed in his attempt to assassinate the First Emperor of Qin, he went into hiding in Xiapei. One day, he met an old man while crossing a bridge. When the old man saw him, he purposely took off a shoe and threw it down from the bridge. He said to Zhang Liang, “Young man, go under the bridge and pick up my shoe for me.” When Zhang Liang returned the shoe to him, he said, “Put it on for me.” Zhang Liang kneeled down and put his shoe on for him. With a satisfied smile, the old man began to walk away. He turned back and said to Zhang Liang, “You’re a young man worth teaching.” He then told Zhang Liang to wait for him at the bridge five days later. After five days, Zhang Liang came to the bridge as soon as it was daybreak. The old man was already there. He reproached Zhang Liang for having arrived too late and told him to come again after five more days.

A Youth Worth Teaching

An idiom used to praise a promising youth The second time, Zhang Liang was at the bridge at cock’s crow, only to find the old man was again already there. The old man was angry and blamed him for having come too late. He told Zhang Liang to come again after five more days. This time, Zhang Liang came to the bridge before midnight, and the old man did not come until a while later. The old man was very pleased. He gave Zhang Liang a book and told him that reading that book would greatly benefit him in the future. When Zhang Liang returned home, he found the book was about military strategy.

He studied it day and night and later became a famous military strategist. Calligraphy by Harrison X. Tu Confucius Classroom in Denver

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