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PRSRT STD U.S. Postage Paid Permit No. 746 Seattle, WA

VOL 38 NO 21 MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



Photo provided by Al Young

A paper son’s journey to Gold Mountain

From left: Connie Young-Yu, and Seattleites Bettie Luke, Harry Chan, and Al Young. (Al and Connie are siblings and direct descendants of a Chinese railroad worker).

Descendants of Chinese railroad workers.


See related articles on 10. Promontory Point, the spot where the two railroads joined.

The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” My journey to Promontory Summit

in Utah to attend the Golden Spike’s 150th Anniversary began with a flight from Sea-Tac airport to Salt Lake City. The Golden Spike’s 150th events celebrate the contributions of the nearly 20,000 immigrant workers from different continents and cultures who helped to complete the first

Transcontinental Railroad, nearly 150 years ago. Among them, historians estimate over 15,000 Chinese worked on the railroad during construction. The conference celebrating the Golden Spike’s 150th Anniversary see GOLDEN SPIKE on 15

Local TV legend Lori Matsukawa announces retirement from KING 5 By Staff NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

RECYCLING Where does Seattle’s recycling go?  3

SIFF 2019 Films produced or directed by, and featuring APIs  7 Lori Matsukawa

KING 5’s beloved anchor of 36 years, Lori Matsukawa, is retiring. She will sign off on June 14 and KING 5 will air a one-hour special on that day, sharing memories, photos, videos, and stories about Matsukawa. “What a pleasure it’s been to work at KING 5—a legacy station,” Matsukawa said when asked to sum up her career. “I always tell people the best part of being a television journalist is being able to tell the stories of the people who call the Northwest home.” “I am so sad to see Lori leave the industry. She was one of the first people I met when I

arrived at KING 5 nearly 30 years ago,” said Mona Locke, Washington’s former first lady and former KING 5 reporter. Locke called Matsukawa “an icon, a champion of Asian American causes, and a model of cool, calm, and collected when on-air and under pressure. Lori has been an amazing role model who has paved the way for so many Asian American journalists.” “Lori Matsukawa is a shining star in the Asian community,” Assunta Ng, publisher of the Northwest Asian Weekly, said. “Very few mainstream Asian American journalists are as connected to our community as she is. see MATSUKAWA on 16

Keiro board hopes to save assisted living

PICTORIAL A celebration of Chinese railroad workers 10

By Mahlon Meyer NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY As he walked up the stairs to his small office, his whole body bent forward as if in pain. “I’ve been crying about this goddamned closure,” said Tomio Moriguchi, who founded Keiro Northwest, a nursing home for the Japanese community in Seattle, over 40 years ago, along with a group of half a dozen coevals. It was meant to sustain the

aging Japanese Americans that had been interned in concentration camps—like his own family—and those that had fought for their new country and eventually become a home for future generations. Now that vision may be coming to a close. Keiro announced on May 8 that it was operating with a loss of $300,000 per month, citing mostly Medicaid shortfalls, and that it had no other option but to shut down see KEIRO on 11

Photo by Mahlon Meyer

CHANGING PARADIGMS CAPAA’s Toshiko Hasegawa sets new standards  8

A packed auditorium at Stroum Jewish Community Center listens to Keiro board on May 14.

412 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 • t. 206.223.5559 • f. 206.223.0626 • • •

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MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019

■ NAMES IN THE NEWS Meng, Chang named U.S. Presidential Scholars

Office of Equity and Social Justice, in the office of King County Executive, Dow Constantine. In her new role for the Port, Gheisar will provide leadership and strategic direction for its Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts, both internal and external. She will partner with lines of business, ensuring externally facing equity goals and objectives are incorporated into business plans. 

RVCDF honors Guru Inc.

dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive work environment that gives City employees the support they need to be the best productive workforce,” said Durkan. “Dr. Khan’s leadership will be instrumental to advancing the strong progress we’ve made over the past year to ensure all our workers are valued and respected.” 

Dr. Amarah Khan

Norm Mineta documentary Phillip Meng

Monica Yang Chang of Camas High School and Phillip Meng of Union High School in Vancouver were among the four Washington state students recognized as U.S. Presidential Scholars. On May 6, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the 55th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, honoring 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. Each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion at a June 23 ceremony. A complete list of 2019 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at 

Bookda Gheisar in groundbreaking role for Port of Seattle

The Port of Seattle announced on May 8 that Bookda Gheisar will serve as the Port’s first Senior Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and lead the Port’s first ever Equity Department, beginning June 12. Prior to joining the Port, Gheisar served as Policy Advisor for King County’s

Bookda Gheisar

Photo by Assunta Ng

Monica Yang Chang

From left: Wayne Lau, Gurdev Singh Mann and wife

Wayne Lau, executive director of the Rainier Valley Community Development Fund (RVCDF) honored Guru Inc. with the 2019 Richard McIver Award at its annual meeting on April 23. Richard McIver was the key proponent in the establishment of the RVCDF — a nonprofit created in 1999 to help small businesses along the Martin Luther King, Jr. Way corridor weather the disruptions from construction of Seattle’s new light rail line. 

Amarah Khan swearing-in

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan held a swearing-in event on May 6 for Dr. Amarah Khan, the first-ever director of the new Office of the Employee Ombud. “Dr. Khan is an inspirational woman who is deeply



Beacon Hill Driving School Beacon BeaconHill HillDriving DrivingSchool School

A documentary highlighting the life and career of Norman Yoshio Mineta premieres on May 20 on PBS (check local listings). Co-producer and director Dianne Fukami and coproducer Debra Nakatomi made the documentary, “An American Story: Norman Mineta and His Legacy,” because he is “an icon among the Asian American community, especially among the Japanese Americans.” Mineta was the first Asian American mayor of a major American city (San Jose, Calif,.), and went on to serve more than 20 years in Congress. He also served in two presidential cabinets (Bill Clinton and George W. Bush). Fukami and Nakatomi said they tried for more than seven years to persuade Mineta to participate in a documentary. “A modest and humble man, he declined for many years. But finally, near the end of 2013, he consented. We’ve been working on the project since 2014.” 

May 15-21, 2019




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MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019


asianweekly northwest


■ COMMUNITY NEWS Business not as usual in recycling Paper or plastic? Neither. China doesn’t want our trash. It banned importing of “yang laji,” foreign trash, in January 2018. For years, China was an easy and willing recipient for things the West didn’t want. China’s ban should be applauded as a positive step toward environmental and public health. Processing “yang laji’ created additional pollution on top of what the country is already grappling with. But the ban left the western world, including Seattle, scrambling to find a reliable solution for its recyclables. A major processor of exported recyclables for decades, China took in about half of the world’s waste paper and used plastic. As the world’s most populous country becomes more prosperous, it is generating enough of its own “laji,” or trash, to support a vibrant domestic recycling industry. China also posts stricter contamination standards for what it now accepts in recyclables—a standard too high for most countries to meet. Without a viable market, some cities in the United States discontinued recycling all together. Hardly anyone in Seattle noticed any difference. Seattle Public Utilities(SPU)’s Becca Fong, solid waste outreach planner, wants the public to know the city continues to contract Republic Services to sort its recyclables while searching for other markets to buy it. No recyclable is landfilled. However, it is a new day for recycling in Seattle. Recyclables are commodities, commanding premiums not only in dollars but also in resources being used or extracted to manufacture the goods. Recycling is not simply putting everything plastic or paper in the big blue bin. In waste management, it’s called “aspirational recycling.” You got rid of it, felt good, and believed it will be recycled. The five recyclable categories are paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and containers, glass bottles and jars, and metal cans. Plastic and paper are affected by the China ban. Before the ban, Republic would bundle mixed-papers,

Photo by Becky Chan


Recyclables should be loose, not bagged.

such as office papers, newsprints, and magazines, together at the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) on 3rd and Lander and sold all of it to China. “Now, Republic separates papers into like items at the sorting facility. It is more valuable if separated,” says Fong. According to SPU’s website, over 50 percent of the mixed-papers and cardboard is processed in Eastern Washington. The other 50 percent is exported to Southeast Asia; the country varies from month to month, dependent

an exhibition by Indigenous creatives Through August 3, 2019 303 South Jackson Street, Top Floor Seattle, WA 98104 | Image: Detail from Matika Wilber (Swinomish/Tulalip), Together We Rise, Isabella and Alyssa Klain. Diné, Velvet fine art paper, 2017

on market rate. All of the metal is recycled locally. Same with glass. Fong said Seattle is fortunate to have the infrastructure to recycle all of the glass collected and remakes them into new bottles locally, just south of downtown. The closed-loop eliminates the hefty transportation cost other cities incurred in recycling the heavy material. Although extracting silica from earth to make glass is energy intensive, glass is almost 100 percent recoverable, unlike plastics. Different types of plastics have a combination of properties that make them challenging to separate. Plastics are desirable because they’re light and defy environmental degradation. They last a long, long time. It’s a love-hate relationship. The convenience and durability of plastic is undeniable. Even if you don’t litter, the empty yogurt cup will still be around somewhere. Fong said 40 percent of Seattle’s mixed plastics are sent to British Columbia. The other 60 percent ends up overseas. SPU used to accept a higher level of contamination in recyclable material. No more. The spoonful of yogurt left in the cup renders the entire batch of recyclables unacceptable, sending it to landfill where it will sit for many decades. Fong asks customers to use the proper bins and make sure their recyclables are empty, clean, and dry. They should be loose, not bagged in plastic since the bag can jam up the machines. The bag can also be confused as trash. If in doubt, find out via SPU urges its customers to: 1) Reduce waste by bringing reusable bags/containers when shopping; 2) re-use items by shopping at online exchanges or thrift stores; and 3) recycle by ensuring “trash” items go into the right bins. “We need to take personal responsibility when consuming, buy products that have less environmental see RECYCLING on 13

asianweekly northwest


MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



Fortune links Nevada governor and newly married first lady By Siobhan McAndrew RENO GAZETTE JOURNAL

Steve Sisolak and Kathy Ong

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Three days after Gov. Steve Sisolak was elected governor of Nevada, he went to a fortune cookie factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown. “You can leave your bag,’’ the taxi driver said when Sisolak told him to wait. Sisolak refused. Inside was the engagement ring he bought months earlier, during a tight race against Republican Adam Laxalt, the Nevada attorney general.

The Democratic governor-elect of Nevada planned to surprise his girlfriend, Kathy Ong. The two started dating in 2013 after becoming friends at the gym near both their homes. Ong started Hobbs, Ong & Associates, a financial consulting firm that specializes in municipal finance. She has overseen more than $32 billion in tax-exempt bonds used by state and local governments to finance capital projects. She was in San Francisco for work and the two planned a weekend away after a tough campaign to replace outgoing GOP Gov. Brian

Sandoval. Sisolak had written, “Will you marry me?’’ on a small slip of paper that went inside a fortune cookie he offered from a Chinese takeout box when Ong met him at the hotel room. She said she didn’t want a cookie. He offered again. “I really don’t want a cookie right now,’’ she said. “Just have the cookie,’’ he insisted. see ONG on 14

Constance Wu explains unhappy response to her sitcom renewal LOS ANGELES (AP) — Constance Wu said she was initially unhappy that “Fresh Off the Boat’’ was renewed for a sixth season because it meant she had to give up another project she was passionate about. In a lengthy statement posted on her Twitter page on May 11, the actress said she loves her ABC sitcom but she was “temporarily upset yesterday’’ because the other project

“would have challenged me as an artist.’’ When ABC announced the renewal on May 10, Wu said in a series of tweets that it was not welcome news. The following day, she clarified that she loves working on the TV show and that her disappointment had more to do with losing another role. “My words and ill-timing were insensitive to those who

are struggling, especially insensitive considering the fact that I used to be in that struggle too,’’ her statement said. Wu stars in “Fresh off the Boat’’ playing the mother in a Taiwanese American family in Florida in the 1990s. Wu’s star rose considerably in 2018 with her lead role in “Crazy Rich Asians,’’ a major hit that got her a Golden Globe nomination. 

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MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



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Singapore outlaws fake news, allows govt to block, remove it SINGAPORE (AP) — Singapore has passed a law criminalizing publication of fake news and allowing the government to block and order the removal of such content. The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill passed on May 8 by a vote of 72-9, a lawmaker with the opposition Worker’s Party, Daniel Goh, said on Facebook. The law bans falsehoods that are prejudicial to Singapore or likely to influence elections and requires service providers to remove such content or allows the government to block it. Offenders could face a jail term of up to 10 years and hefty fines. Opponents in Parliament said it gave government ministers too much power to determine what was false and broadly defined public interest. The Strait Times newspaper reported Law Minister K.

Shanmugam said the orders to correct or remove false content would mostly be directed at technology companies, rather than individuals who ran afoul of the law without intent. Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the law. It is a “disaster for online expression by ordinary Singaporeans’’ and a “hammer blow’’ against the independence of online news portals, said Phil Robertson, the group’s deputy Asia director. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last month defended the proposed law, saying many countries had them and that Singapore had debated the issue for two years. He rejected criticism the law could further stifle free speech in Singapore, which already has stern laws on public protests and dissent.

“They criticized many things about Singapore’s media management, but what we have done have worked for Singapore. And it is our objective to continue to do things that will work for Singapore. And I think (the new law) will be a significant step forward in this regard,’’ he said on a visit to Malaysia. Speaking at the same news conference, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned such laws were a double-edged sword that could be abused by governments to stay in power. Malaysia’s own fake news ban was rushed into law by the government Mahathir’s coalition ousted in a shock election result in 2018. Mahathir has promised to try to repeal the law, though a first attempt to do so failed. 

Olympic ticket lottery opens in Japan; foreign sales June 15 By STEPHEN WADE AP SPORTS WRITER TOKYO (AP) — Residents of Japan began entering a ticket lottery on May 9, hoping to land seats for next year’s Tokyo Olympics. People overseas will have to wait until June 15 when

tickets are put on sale by special distributors in each country — known as Authorized Ticket Resellers. Buying for Japan residents is straightforward. Applications are accepted at the organizing committee’s website through May 28, with results announced on June 20. Anyone inside Japan — or outside Japan — can access the website. Although non-Japan residents cannot buy

there, it offers event schedules, ticket prices in Japan, and venues. Organizers estimate 7.8 million tickets will be available, with 20-30 percent dedicated to sales outside Japan. This is the first phase of sales in Japan, with other see OLYMPIC TICKETS on 13

Netflix announces deal for film about Thailand’s cave boys

The missing boys, with their coach, are seen here in a photo taken from the coach’s Facebook page. Photo taken in 2018. (File photo)

BANGKOK (AP) — Netflix is joining with the production company for the movie “Crazy Rich Asians’’ to make a film about last July’s dramatic rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave in northern Thailand for more than two weeks. Netflix and SK Global Entertainment said they acquired the rights to the story from 13 Thumluang Co. Ltd,, a company that Thailand’s government helped establish to represent the interests of the boys and their coach, who attended the news conference for the April 30 announcement in Bangkok.

Thailand’s Culture Ministry in March first unveiled the deal, announced as a miniseries. Deputy government spokesman Weerachon Sukoondhapatipakat was quoted then as saying that the families of the cave survivors would each be paid 3 million baht ($94,000). The boys of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach became a center of world attention after they became trapped in the cave on June 23 last year, with doubts they were able to find shelter from rising flood see THAILAND’S CAVE BOYS 12

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MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019


4TH ANNUAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE Washington State Historical Society, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma 3-8 p.m. Free admission HAPPY HOUR FOOD WALK Seattle’s C-ID 4-7p.m. FREE ASIA TALKS: ART & ENGAGEMENT IN EARLY POSTWAR JAPAN Seattle Art Museum, 1300 1st Ave., Seattle 6:30-8 p.m. tickets. 2019 STARS ON ICE TOUR WITH NATHAN CHEN, VINCENT ZHOU, MAIA AND ALEX SHIBUTANI, AND MIRAI NAGASU Angel of the Winds Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett 7 p.m. THRU JUN 22

KIM’S CONVENIENCE Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., Seattle 7:30-9 p.m.


LIZ TRAN INNERVERSE OPENING RECEPTION Phylogeny Contemporary, 2718 Elliott Ave., Seattle 5-9 p.m.

17-26 “RATSKIN,” A PLAY AIMS TO PHYSICALIZE THE INTERGENERATIONAL EFFECTS OF IMMIGRATION Location will be emailed once RSVPed RSVP at tbdeshpande6@gmail. com

18 CISC’S 47TH ANNUAL FRIENDSHIP DINNER & AUCTION The Westin Bellevue 5:30-9 p.m. JAY CHAN IN CONCERT Lucky Dragonz Club Skyway Bowl, 11819 Renton Ave. S., Seattle 8 p.m.-1 a.m. MEIYIN WANG, “THIS IS HOW IT ENDS” Town Hall, Seattle 1-2:30 p.m.

LOCAL AUTHOR READING EVENT WITH KEVIN MINH ALLEN, “SLEEP IS NO COMFORT” Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle 3 p.m. COP-I-CON 2203 Airport Way S. Bldg. C, Seattle 10 a.m.-3 p.m. felicia.cross@seattle. gov 206-406-9886


CACA SEATTLE SPEAKER SERIES: CORKY LEE, PHOTOJOURNALIST The Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave., Seattle 12:30-2 p.m.

24-27 48TH ANNUAL NORTHWEST FOLKLIFE FESTIVAL Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle 10 p.m.

SPRING AAPI ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR Hing Hay Coworks, 409B Maynard Ave. S., Seattle 12-6 p.m.

25 FASA SA UW PRESENTS: FILIPINO NIGHT 2019 UW, Kane Hall 5-9 p.m. COMMUNITY TALK WITH CHINATOWN ART BRIGADE Wing Luke Museum, 719 S. King St., Seattle 3-5 p.m.

UNAPOLOGETICALLY US - BUILDING MUSLIM POWER FOR 2020 & BEYOND Meydenbauer Center, 11100 N.E. 6th St., Bellevue 6-10 p.m.


VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK OPENING The Museum of Flight, 9404 E. Marginal Way S., Seattle 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

AFROBEATS MEETS BOLLYWOOD NIGHT IN SEATTLE Nectar Lounge, 412 N. 36th St., Seattle 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

18 & 19 50TH ANNUAL U DISTRICT STREET FAIR 4507 University Way N.E. Ste. 209, Seattle 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

19 EHC ANNUAL MEETING DINNER & AWARDS CEREMONY Washington Hall 4-7 p.m. rsvp@ ethnicheritagecouncil. org 2019 CACA SEATTLE ANNUAL BANQUET China Harbor Restaurant, 2040 Westlake Ave. N., Seattle 5:30-8:30 p.m.

View the solution on page 14

Assunta Ng

Account Executives

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Ruth Bayang

Publisher Associate Publisher Editor

Han Bui

Layout & Web Editor

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The only weekly English-language newspaper serving Washington’s Asian community. The NW Asian Weekly has one simple goal: “To empower the Asian community.” The Editorial Board reserves the right to reject any advertisement, letter or article. Subscriptions cost $40 for 52 weeks of the NW Asian Weekly and $30 for 52 weeks of the Seattle Chinese Post. The NW Asian Weekly owns the copyright for all its content. All rights reserved. No part of this paper may be reprinted without permission. 412 Maynard Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104 • t. 206.223.5559 • •

MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



SIFF 2019

“3 Faces”

“Legend of the Stardust Brothers”

“3 Faces” By Andrew Hamlin NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Iranian director Jafar Panahi, widely praised by cineasts as one of the world’s great working directors, has grown steadily more bold since his country’s government banned him from filmmaking in 2010. Since the gavel came down, he’s made films in and around his own apartment, at his own beach house, as a taxi driver crossing Tehran. And in his new film, he is traveling outside Tehran to some remarkably desolate spots near the border with Turkey. He walks a real-life razor’s edge, knowing that his government can lock him up where he’ll never be found, and on a moment’s notice. His fame, so far, keeps the wolves at bay. Remarkably, the man hasn’t lost his sympathy for others in peril, most notably women, whose plight under Iranian rule made for Panahi subject matter even before his legal troubles. This new film involves a strange, disturbing video made by a young lady out in the boonies — a video that climaxes with her apparent death. The director, along with Behnaz Jafari, a famous Iranian actress, journey to the village where the video came from, to find out what’s going on. Not to give much away, but the unlikely couple run into language barriers, cultural barriers, suspicion, paranoia, and the sad but powerful truth that rural areas tend, the world over, to be more traditional and conservative than their urban counterparts. Jafari and Panahi sometimes can’t agree on what’s really going on, and they often quarrel over how to proceed through what they know, or what they think they know. This is all presented as fiction, but the two adult leads pretty much play themselves. And fiction or not, the clear and present problems for women, and for independent thinkers, can hardly escape the viewer. Panahi seems taciturn, sometimes frustrated, but always very human. I can think of few better advocates for humanity in civilization, politics be damned.

“Ghost Fleet”

Well, if you’re Makoto Tezuka, son of Osamu, you start out making friends with a semi-famous weirdo named Haruo Chicada, who has several songs, in several styles, written and assembled for a movie soundtrack — but no actual movie to go with it. Then you resolve to make a film to match the songs. This was back in 1985. Neither of the two had ever made a feature film before, but they found some money (with some help from the Tekuza family name), and plunged right in, rounding up their fellow musicians and artists to fill out the cast. Visual/conceptual influences included two still-fairly-new Western films, Jim Sharman’s cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and Brian DePalma’s “Phantom of the Paradise,” but the “Stardust” honchos mashed up the past, the present, and the wacky, to deliver a world very much of their own making. We start out with the Stardust Brothers themselves, in silver-lame suits reminiscent of Elvis, trying, and failing, to win over a stiff-backed audience filmed in blackand-white. Through flashbacks, we get the Brothers’ story, which by itself makes for fairly standard rock pic narrative — poverty and obscurity, the big break, fame, crashand-burn to ruin, then redemption. Except the whole film merrily thumbs its nose at these expectations. The Brothers actually crash and burn about a third of the way through the whole thing. It doesn’t

asianweekly northwest

Slavery, stardust, suspicion, satisfaction

“House of My Fathers”

matter much because the enthusiastic overkill of both the visual and the musical, where you can’t tell what will happen next, just keeps on gushing. It’s funny, rude, occasionally obscene, surrealistic, and even, in parts, melancholic. When the credits do roll, you’ll be lost out in the space between stars. But you’ll know you saw something special, by gum. May 31 — SIFF Cinema Egyptian, midnight June 2 — SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 9 p.m.

“Ghost Fleet” By Andrew Hamlin NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Drugged. Beaten. Forced into round-theclock labor. Denied any contact with family, friends, or even home country. Worked until practically dead, or sometimes actually dead. No hope for happiness. If this sounds like slavery, it is. And what will shock most Americans — it’s going on right this very minute, has been going on for decades, and probably reflects on something you ate recently. The documentary “Ghost Fleet,” co-directed by Shannon Service and Jeffrey Waldron, exposes the systematic slavery endemic to the Thai fishing industry. To keep the fish flowing into the nets, the boats venture into deep water and stay there

“Le Chocolat de H”

for weeks, or months, possibly even years. Their catches get offloaded into a larger vessel — the enslaved fishermen call that the “mothership” — and the mothership takes the fish to land. The workers on the smaller ships can’t escape, usually, because their boats never come anywhere close to land. It’s all horrible, practically unthinkable, and almost invisible to Westerners. But a short, sweet, and incredibly pugnacious Thai woman named Patima Tungpuchayakul has a plan to bring it down. She runs an organization to help these men. She doesn’t have much money, or much influence, not yet anyway. But she has her husband working alongside her. She has her small son rooting for her. She has a few folks, with cameras and microphones, willing to go alongside her wherever the journey takes them, no matter how harrowing or menacing. And she has the men. Every so often, one will escape, when a boat makes a rare venture into shallow water near land. Many of them are sick from being forcibly drugged while forced to work. Some of them bear scars where fingers or limbs used to be. And some have settled down into wherever they got free from their captors — often, though not always, Indonesia. Their desire to go home becomes tempered by the wives and children they would have to leave behind. Patima Tungpuchayakul weathers all of see SIFF on 12

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MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



Toshiko Hasegawa and CAPAA are changing paradigms

Photos provided by Toshiko Grace Hasegawa


there is much to be done. Suicide and addiction have been spotlighted, and the need to de-stigmatize mental health care among AAPI’s. “Some languages don’t even have a word for ‘addiction,’” Toshiko notes. “To do justice by our communities, we have to acknowledge that no two are the same. They come from unique experiences, unique cultures, unique languages, and all those define how communities are interfacing with some of these complex issues on mental health…How are we shining a light onto the depth of the issues in our own communities? And…even if we are shining a light, how are we streamlining promoting access to services…that is also culturally accessible?” Speaking from her own culture, Toshiko says, “I can tell you that in Japanese culture, you’re Hasegawa stands with the community at a Justice4Billy rally with State Sen. Manka Dhingra supposed to gaman (‘suck When this human bundle of energy walks into a room it up’) — you don’t complain. Not even just with mental in the International District, everyone takes notice. Born illness, maybe just with sickness in general.” and raised in Beacon Hill, she seems to know each person Healthcare. Immigration. Safety and security. These are there, and they all seem to know her. She speaks to the issues with big repercussions that Toshiko and CAPAA barista in Spanish. The smiles ricochet through the room as are proficient at addressing. They have to be. Recently, she strides with purpose to her table. While she’s speaking their plate was piled higher by their securing authority to the Asian Weekly, the who’s who of Seattle came up and to formally advise the state legislature in addition to the we asked her, “Are you going to be the first Asian American governor and state agencies. It’s a good thing, and do-able, president?” when you’re motivated Who is this enigma with the vibrant personality, the im- to create overdue new pressive tattoos, and the full day planner, that speaks with paradigms, not just for the authority on topics of importance to Asian American Pa- AAPI community, but for cific Islanders? This is the face of a new generation of ac- everyone. tivists and politicians, who will push change in paradigms Child of former teamster that have existed for too long in life-affecting matters, such leader and current senator, as healthcare, policing, and immigration. This is Toshiko Bob Hasegawa, and mental Grace Hasegawa, the new executive director of the Com- health counselor, Lindy mission of Asian and Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA). May, Toshiko is a proud But you probably already know her. combination of what her Toshiko arrived at the CAPAA after Michael Itti’s parents taught her. departure last year, and she’s full speed ahead, traveling “I had proximity to conthe state to solicit feedback and inform the public about cepts such as advocating what CAPAA is working on. She had been involved with solidarity, [which] was a CAPAA previously as part of the Joint Legislative Task key concept in understandForce on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing. ing that joining forces in “I was really glad to be able to give voice to the Asian order to advocate could American Pacific Islander community because it is actually win you your vicoftentimes seen as an issue that impacts everybody but tories…collective power AAPI’s,” she says. “We’ve gone statewide and continue to can be a catalyst for tredo story-finding and give voice to that testament because mendous change,” she deit absolutely happens to us, and no longer are we going to scribes. “It’s always been be witnesses to injustice.” When summarizing what’s been deeply inspiring for me to accomplished so far through legislation such as I-940 and see results from that sort 1064, Toshiko grows impassioned. of collective action. But “We’re at a tremendous brink of subverting a paradigm, also closeness. With other and I can’t over-emphasize how important it is that every people and other commusingle one of us pay close attention because the numbers of nities.” the outcomes and impacts for our communities don’t lie.” Toshiko was also inToshiko and CAPAA are vigilant that policies and spired by her older sispractices take into account the AAPI population, and ter, Mineko, who was the that the government and the public consider new ways of “good kid” while Toshiko resolving issues of concern. Some are more concerning was the troublemaker. than others. “My sister is the one “Since day one of when I took office,” Toshiko relates, who showed me what “I have heard, on a regular basis, pleas from members standing up and getting enof the community who are facing imminent deportation gaged in youth leadership because they are now targeted by ICE due to prior criminal looked like,” she recalls. records…Addressing the prison-to-deportation pipeline At Garfield High School, has been a big one that we’ve had to grapple with.” Toshiko participated in the In healthcare, CAPAA made strides in 2018 when Genocide Remembrance Governor Inslee approved a COFA healthcare system, for Committee and the Freethe people of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. dom Crisis Project. She This year, they are working on an accompanying dental package, which is sitting on Inslee’s desk. In other areas, see HASEGAWA on 15

Hasegawa speaks at the South Seattle Emerald 4th anniversary.

Hasegawa speaking at the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination


MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019

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asianweekly northwest



MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019


Keynote speech at the Golden Spike 150th anniversary

Today — at the 150th were shipping $50 million of anniversary of the Golden freight from coast to coast Spike Ceremony marking each year. the completion of the The act of building the transcontinental railroad — transcontinental railroad was is a day to commemorate the transformational. achievement of the railroads The government provided and railroad workers who land and other resources to risked everything to make the encourage private sector Transcontinental Railroad a investment in the railroads. Elaine Chao at the event reality. Innovation and planning The Transcontinental guided the project. Standard Railroad was a tremendous feat of gauge track was adopted on a national engineering, innovation and manpower basis. Telegraph lines were built along that was key to unleashing the economic the track right of way. Nitroglycerin prosperity of the United States for gradually replaced less powerful black generations. powder when blasting tunnels through the Within three years of its completion, Sierra mountains. The railroad workers trains could travel from New York City became so skilled that a legendary team to San Francisco in just one week. Prior of workers built 10 miles of track in a to that, travelers endured up to 6 months single day. or more of dangerous travel by ship or Today, we pay special tribute to the covered wagon to cross the continent. diverse workforce that built this seminal The ability to move people and goods project. Civil war veterans from both the across the continent, at much reduced North and the South worked together on time and lower cost, led to explosive the transcontinental railroad, along with economic growth. The benefits were felt Mormon settlers, African-Americans, not only in the big coastal cities, but in native Americans, and, of course, the rural interior, which gained access Chinese laborers. to new markets. Within ten years of see CHAO on 15 completion, the intercontinental railroads


went from six inches a day building Summit Tunnel, to laying 10 miles of track in one day. It took the Greetings. I am a descendant incredible organization of of a Chinese railroad worker, wagons, carts, horses, and an American, and speaking equipment, and the teamwork about American history. of hundreds of Chinese My great-grandfather, Lee tracklayers and eight Irish Wong Sang, was one of the rail handlers. This recordthousands of unsung heroes, Connie Yu at the event setting feat on the road to building the railroad across the Promontory is unequaled Sierra Nevada mountains, laying tracks in history. The trust and cooperation through to Utah, uniting the country between workers with a common purpose by rail. Many descendants of Chinese was a zenith of the human spirit. railroad workers are here today. This The Centennial was a grand moment to is a far cry from 50 years ago. At the celebrate the monumental achievement the Centennial in Promontory, May 10, 1969, Chinese were a part of. my mother, Mary Lee Young, was the only Yet why were the Chinese denied their such descendant present. rightful place in history at the 100th? What the Chinese achieved for the Why was Philip Choy, president of the First Transcontinental Railroad was epic: Chinese Historical Society of America, the superhuman effort of a vanguard of kept from making a presentation on the Chinese towing locomotives and rails 28 official program? miles over the summit, and the building of Why did then Secretary of 15 tunnels in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Transportation, John Volpe, state in his Scores were killed in explosions, and in keynote address, “Who else but Americans the horrific winter of 1866-67, work crews could chisel through miles of solid granite. were buried by avalanches. Who else but Americans could have laid Then in spring of 1869, out of the mountains into the desert of Utah, Chinese see YU on 15 Photo provided by Al Young

Photo by Harry Chan

Remarks by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao on the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony


Over 15,000 people attended the 150th anniversary celebration in Utah.

Photos provided by Al Young

150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike Ceremony

Locomotive on railroad tracks

This painting illustrates the challenges and dangers that Chinese workers faced in the 19th century by Jake Lee.

Chinese railroad workers Actors in period costumes for a reenactment.

YOUR VOICE KEIRO from 1 its skilled nursing facility and other programs. In the news release, the board announced the decision to “wind down” the nursing home “in order to assure the continuation of select programs,” particularly the assisted living center, known as Nikkei Manor. But at a town hall meeting on May 14, just a week later, Moriguchi and other members of the board appeared to change course. They announced a “60-day due diligence” period, during which they would explore options to keep Nikkei Manor and an adult day care service open in some form, whether through raising millions of dollars through the community, or by joining in some form with a partner. In other words, Nikkei Manor’s future was not secure, after all. “Any efforts currently under way to ‘Save Keiro’ are to ensure continuation of ‘Keiro Northwest’ specifically the remaining programs Nikkei Manor (Assisted Living) and Kokoro Kai (Adult Day Care),” stated a new information sheet handed out at the town hall. Yet the signs were not immediately promising. When asked what it would take monetarily to keep the institution open, Moriguchi stumbled for an answer, saying it was an “unknown.” But, he added, “My personal gut feeling is that whatever we do, it will take $5 million.” Still, he noted that 7,000 people had donated money to Keiro over the years. He also reminded the near capacity crowd at the Stroum Jewish Community Center auditorium that he had founded Keiro when the community asked him and others to build a nursing home. “They wanted it,” he said. The crowd met the statements of the board with anger, sadness, and desperation. After board members delivered preliminary remarks, moderator and state Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos gave audience members the option to deliver questions anonymously by writing them on cards, which she then read or summarized. She also invited others to share questions by standing. Of those few who stood up and shared questions directly, it was not immediately possible to verify their names. One man in a blazer, who appeared to be in his 40s, holding the microphone for at least a minute before he could muster his voice to speak, lambasted the board. Saying that his mother is a current resident and that he had contacted 33 other facilities in the past week to see if they could take her, and finding they could not, he vented his frustration that Keiro knew it was in financial trouble over a decade ago and apparently failed to take action. “What have you done? What has the past board done?” he yelled. Another family member mentioned safety issues and a declining rating with DSHS. Later, she said she had been served with numerous legal documents to silence her. Another middle-aged woman stood up and began crying, wrestling her emotions into shape before she could speak. “I’m incredibly sad that this is happening, but also grateful to the Japanese American community,” she said, weeping openly again. “My mother wouldn’t be alive if this didn’t exist so I want to take this opportunity to thank the staff and the community.” Then, looking at the stage, where the board members sat, she asked them, in a calmer voice, to consider “leasing the building for a time and then, when you get your finances in shape, take it back.” Yet it was not clear if the board would be able to do that, and not so much because of an unwillingness on the part of the community to help out. In fact, the crowd was so large that cars jammed the parking lot and attendees had to park far distances and walk to the meeting. “They didn’t expect so many people,” said a Japanese American man that identified himself as an investor in Keiro, but was reluctant to give his name. “The whole community turned out.” Rather, the board appeared fractured, with some members even willing to publicly undermine other members. At issue was a board retreat last year, when board members considered whether or not to become affiliated with a national nonprofit organization, Transforming Age. Such an affiliation might have kept Keiro afloat, said those members that voted for it. Tomiguchi and some other board members that represented an earlier generation were against the affiliation. They said they worried it would have meant at best a loss of identity. They explained that allowing Transforming Age, which runs multiple facilities nationwide, to take over might have dissolved Keiro’s mission to serve the Asian Pacific Islander community in a culturally and ethnically meaningful way. Moriguchi said he worried that “some kind of drastic change would come” or that it would simply be shut down. “So why shouldn’t we be the ones to do it?” he said.

MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019 In response to ongoing questions from the audience, other board members began to state how they had voted on the issue of affiliation and why. Perhaps the most fractious moment came when Treasurer J-F Mannina, the only white member of the board, appeared to flatly contradict a statement made by fellow board member Fred Kiga. Kiga had said that the board had been faced with two options — affiliation or closing Keiro. Mannina jumped in and said, “We didn’t have two options. The board came to the decision to decide on two options.” Mannina also appeared to suggest that an alliance with Transforming Age had not been seriously considered at the time. And, he added, that the decision to consider it now was, if not hypocritical, then “ironic.” “The strategic alliance was not explored,” he said. Now that the board has announced it will consider this option during its 60-day due diligence period, Mannina appeared to express frustration.

The devastating consequences

If Keiro does close, it will mean the end of a community that has served as a beacon of hope for many generations of Japanese Americans and more recently APIs (the community is now only 30 percent Japanese). Currently, there are 108 residents. All of them will need to find new places to be cared for. The roughly 300 staff members also will need to find new jobs. Perhaps the greatest blow to the community, however, is the dashing of the hopes of all those who had seen Keiro as a potential final home in case they had no other alternative. One man, who gave his age as 66, but preferred to remain anonymous, said that he had counted on Keiro to take care of him in his old age if all else failed. “You want to avoid going there at all costs,” he said. “But if I get dementia or my health gets really bad, I might not have a choice,” he said. “All my friends think the same way,” he added.

Perceptions of mismanagement

Some community members shared concerns over alleged mismanagement of funds. One family member, who preferred to remain anonymous since her grandmother has dementia and is still at Keiro, vented frustration about alleged poor judgment in financial decisions and a lack of transparency. “To be fair, I’m not sure how many of the current board members were around when most of the money was misused or not raised,” she said in an email before the town hall meeting. “I believe the previous director of Keiro is the one who decided to build a multi-million dollar rock garden in the front of the building. It was common knowledge that he spent millions to build it,” she wrote. She also accused the former management of failing to fully disclose financial problems out of fear that residents would move out and potential residents seek accommodation elsewhere. “What I really think it boils down to, is that the last director mismanaged funds and was too ashamed to ask for help.” Current board members disputed this narrative. They said that the past board, composed mostly of different members, did try various measures to bolster Keiro’s financial situation. They created a program to provide in-home health care, for instance, besides pursuing increased fund raising. “Many of those projects, though promising, did not yield the results the board at the time was expecting,” said Kiga. He and others attributed much of the current financial shortfall to insufficient reimbursement from Medicaid. He said that Keiro was losing $100 a day per Medicaid patient and that this was “clearly one of the factors” in the financial collapse. He and other board members said that Medicaid reimbursement depends on the acuity level, or the extent of the care needs, of the resident. Keiro, unlike other similar skilled nursing facilities, had taken in residents with lower levels of need, thus garnering less support from the government while still having to meet a high overhead, they said.

A generational shift

An inconsistency in style of management and governance among different generations of Japanese Americans may ultimately account for the breakdown in Keiro’s operations. Scholars of Japanese American history insist that the first generation was successful in passing down values of reverence and respect. “An important cultural value in Japan venerates the elderly, and perhaps especially because in the United States, the Issei generation faced tremendous issues of discrimination and suffering, yet preserved their dignity and community social cohesion,” said Tetsuden (Tetsu) Kashima, Emeritus Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington (UW). “I think the younger Nisei first learned and then

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later reflected the basic Issei cultural values—among which are compassion and gratitude.” But some board members suggested that administrators representing later generations may have simply approached financial and operational challenges with different sensibilities and a different manner of problem solving. “We have a generational shift that we have to acknowledge. I see a different energy, I see a different way of operating,” said Julie Ann Oiye, vice president of Keiro Northwest. Intergenerational trauma from the experience of internment in concentration camps during World War II may also have complicated communication and cooperation between the founding generation of Keiro and leaders from later on. “The camp experience is known to have affected the family dynamic, undermining the authority of the older generation,” said one survivor of internment who has studied the longterm effects of the internment and displacement. She asked that her name be withheld. She also suggested that later generations would more likely have pursued greater assimilation into mainstream society, perhaps changing the way they approached fund raising or other revenue-gathering activities. “It also probably contributed to the integration of third and fourth generation Japanese Americans into the greater society—a survivor of the camps,” she said.

A harbinger of a shift in care

Board members also alluded to policy changes that slowed the processing of Medicaid payments. They said that this represents a shift away from support for nursing homes on the state and national level. “The Division of Aging of DSHS has stated on their website it is their intent to focus on in-home care,” said Kiga. “People are doing hospice at home.” Keiro’s closure may be a harbinger of the closure of more skilled nursing facilities across the country, if not the end of nursing homes as an industry. “In my opinion, unless states and the federal government commit to increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates, you will continue to see an increasing number of Medicaid reliant nursing home facilities become financially insolvent and closing,” said Jerome A. Dugan, a professor in the Department of Health Services in the UW School of Public Health. “There is a clear need for policymakers to explore the actions that can be taken to increase Medicaid reimbursement and encourage the expansion of long-term care insurance in the overall population,” he added.

The end of a vision

For Moriguchi, the only remaining founder, the issues are more immediate and personal. He said, during the interview, his chief concern was with the residents. “The staff says that if they move them, they’ll die faster,” he said. The end of the nursing home also somehow seemed associated with endings in general. He mentioned his own “funeral” several times during the interview. When asked about his religious beliefs, he said he was a member of a local Buddhist organization. “My son tells me I should stay a member so I have a place to have my funeral,” he said. Still, he expressed some hope for other trajectories, however remote. When asked what was next for him, he stood up, rummaged through papers, and eventually pulled open a drawer of a file cabinet. He held up a blueprint for what he described as a multi-use high-rise development that could be built in the International District, with some units for low-income occupancy. The blueprint showed a tower surrounded by a lower level block. “It’s just a dream,” he said.  Mahlon can be reached at

asianweekly northwest


MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019




A look-alike, deadly umbrellas, and plot twists, oh my!

By John Liu NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY If you enjoyed “Hero” or “House of Flying Daggers,” then this film should be right up your alley. Zhang Yimou is back with his latest film, “Shadow.” If you are not familiar with Zhang’s work, he is known for gorgeous picturesque cinematography and choreographed fight scenes that are so beautiful, you will forget the combatants are trying to kill each other. Even the terrible and controversial film, Great Wall, starring Matt Damon, looked great under Zhang’s direction. “Shadow” is based on China’s famous Three Kingdoms saga story. The king of Pei (Zheng Kai) is complacent with the peace that now exists between the Pei and Yang Kingdoms, but Commander Yu (Chao Deng) has decided to challenge General Yang (Hu Jun) to a duel to reclaim the city of Jing, which Pei had originally controlled. The king is shocked that Commander Yu would disrupt the peace between the two kingdoms and quickly strips him of his rank. Unbeknownst to the king, this is actually a look-alike of Commander Yu, known as the Shadow (also played by Chao Deng). The real Commander Yu is currently hiding away in a dark cave after suffering a devastating blow from a duel with General Yang that has permanently crippled him. Commander Yu and his wife (Sun Li) have

hatched a master plan that starts by using the Shadow to wage war. If that was not complicated enough, the Shadow begins to fall in love with Commander Yu’s wife. But do not worry! Everything wraps up nicely in the end. “Shadow” boasts a dark and foreboding imagery as the film is stained in black, greys, and whites. The only vivid color of red comes from the wounds suffered in battle. There is constant rain in any scene that takes place outside, which accentuates the tension and foreshadowing of a powerful weapon. A huge yin/yang symbol in a cave will serve as a constant reminder of the struggle between two opposing forces — fire versus water, Shadow versus

SIFF from 7 this. She describes how she grew sick and almost died, and how that helped her become fearless. It’s hard not to cry or at least falter in the face of this stuff. But she keeps her head up, asks questions, and insists on answers. She challenges everyone else to do the same. (Director Shannon Service and subjects Patima Tungpuchayakul and Tun Lin are scheduled to attend the first screening). June 2 — SIFF Cinema Uptown, 6 p.m. June 3 — AMC Pacific Place, 4:30 p.m.

“House of My Fathers” By Vivian Nguyen NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

The 45th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), running from May 16–June 9, features films from 86 countries including Sri Lanka. “House of My Fathers,” the first feature-length film from Sri Lankan director Suba Sivakumaran, is a tale of two rival villages — one Tamil, one Sinhalese. An infertility curse forces both villages to join forces, and sees three characters head into a mysterious forest to find a solution that will lift the curse. Set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka post-civil war, this film is as political as it is surreal, and its magical realism storytelling allows it to explore the grey space between the country’s past and its present. Although the editing makes this film hard to follow at times, this story is ultimately an allegory about the consequences of war, and how one can never fully escape its baggage. May 18 — Lincoln Square, Bellevue May 21 — SIFF Cinema Uptown June 7 — AMC Pacific Place

Original. It feels like an intricate game of chess, where each force is trying to defeat the other with the right moves. I was impressed with Chao Deng’s performance as the Shadow and Commander Yu. I sometimes forgot both characters were played by the same person. The first part of the movie serves as an introduction of characters and what is at stake, and not much action. This is definitely a slow burn until the second half of the movie. Then those crazy killer umbrellas that were featured in the trailer finally make their appearance! I am not even sure how Zhang comes up with these ideas. I won’t spoil what happens or what the spiky umbrellas can do, but it is indeed

“Le Chocolat de H”

By Vivian Nguyen NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY If you’re looking for a film to tantalize the taste buds, “Le Chocolat de H” will whet your appetite. The Japanese documentary, which follows renowned artisan chocolatier Hironobu Tsujiguchi, is a love story between chocolate and the foundations of Japanese cuisine — salt, miso, mirin, and rice flour. Referred to as the “Salvador Dali of chocolate,” Tsujiguchi honors his heritage by showing how Japanese ingredients can produce the world’s most exceptional chocolate. (And it’s true — he’s already won several gold medals from the prestigious Salon du Chocolat competition by the film’s start.) His talent is equal parts skill as it is an art expression, with Tsujiguchi using his sweets to share his life story, demonstrated through cute re-enactments throughout the film. From Japan to France and Ecuador, this documentary, much like Tsujiguchi’s chocolate, is a true confection of east meets west. “Le Chocolat de H” is Japanese director Takashi Watanabe’s feature debut, and SIFF marks the film’s premiere in North America. Watanabe, Tsujiguchi, and additional producers will attend both SIFF showings this coming weekend.  May 17 — AMC Pacific Place May 18 — SIFF Cinema Uptown June 1 — Kirkland Performance Center For more information, visit Andrew and Vivian can be reached at

awesome. During the 2018 Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards, “Shadow” won for Best Director, Best Visual Effects, Best Art Direction, and Best Makeup & Costume Design. This film has grossed only $170,000 in the United States, so I will be surprised if this film is shown another week. I recommend checking out Shadow if you are a fan of Zhang Yimou’s work.  “Shadow” is currently playing only at AMC Pacific Place. John can be reached at

THAILAND’S CAVE BOYS from 5 waters that poured in after unexpected rain. They were found by two British divers and brought out by an international crew of experienced cave divers who teamed up with Thai navy SEALs in a dangerously complicated mission that was successfully concluded on July 10. “We are grateful for the opportunity to thank the people and organizations from Thailand and around the world who came together to perform a true miracle, by retelling our story,’’ said Ekapol “Ake’’ Chanthawong, the boy’s assistant coach who shared the ordeal with them. “We look forward to working with all involved parties to ensure our story is told accurately, so that the world can recognize, once again, the heroes that made the rescue operation a success.’’ The announcement said 13 Thumluang “has committed to donating 15 percent of the revenues derived from bringing this story to global audiences to charity organizations that focus on disaster relief.’’ Jon M. Chu, who helmed “Crazy Rich Asians,’’ and

Nattawut “Baz’’ Poonpiriya, a Thai filmmaker, will be directors on the cave project. “We are immensely proud to be able to support the retelling of the incredible story of the Tham Luang cave rescue,’’ Erika North, director of International Originals at Netflix, said in a statement. “The story combines so many unique local and universal themes which connected people from all walks of life, from all around the world. Thailand is a very important country for Netflix and we are looking forward to bringing this inspiring local but globally resonant story of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds to life, once again, for global audiences.’’ The rescue was a rare bit of feel-good news from Thailand, which has been mired in political conflict and heavyhanded military rule for more than a decade. The cave rescue also allowed the government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chanocha, who had seized power in a 2014 military coup, to share in some glory. An independent film about the adventure, “The Cave,’’ was shot soon after the rescue and is supposed to be released later this year. 

MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019



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Predictions and advice for the week of May 18–24, 2019 By Sun Lee Chang Rat — Sitting on the sidelines gives you a good view of the action. However, if you want to win, you must be willing to play the game.

Dragon — A steep discount has caught your attention. Don’t let the price sway you, wait for something you actually want.

Ox — Although you have the ability to do many things well, excellence comes from honing your skills so that you can perform at a high level.

Snake — There is no doubt that you can bring power to the table. To make real headway, you may need to employ a deft touch.

Tiger — After the initial thrill, you may find that trading stability for something more exciting is not what you expected.

Horse — Your competition is fierce, but you know something they don’t. Use the advantage to put yourself on top.

Rabbit — Even the most stylish of designs needs to leave room for some individual touches. Otherwise, it will be impersonal.

Goat — A problem avoided will save you from having to expend unnecessary time and energy. If you have the option to choose, go the other way.

Monkey — Others around you might be in a hurry, but don’t let that disturb your pace. Slow and steady will get you to your goal. Rooster  — While there is little resistance now, that could change down the line. Be on the lookout for a shift in conditions. Dog — Do you see yourself going back to a familiar place, even against advice to the contrary? Try something new next time. Pig — Your moment to shine is quickly approaching. Instead of worrying about what can go wrong, focus on making the best of this rare opportunity.

WHAT’S YOUR ANIMAL SIGN? RAT 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 OX 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 TIGER 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010 RABBIT 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 DRAGON 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 SNAKE 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 HORSE 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 GOAT 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015 MONKEY 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016 ROOSTER 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017 DOG 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 PIG 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

*The year ends on the first new moon of the following year. For those born in January and February, please take care when determining your sign.

chances available as the games get closer. Buyers overseas will pay more because resellers — appointed by national Olympic committees — can tack on a 20 percent handling charge. In addition, many popular tickets are packaged by resellers with top hotels and other perks, and the markups can be much more than 20 percent. Many of these packages are aimed at corporate buyers, for whom price is not always a concern. The resellers also run the risk of getting stuck with tickets they can’t sell. Hidenori Suzuki, the senior director of tickets for the Tokyo Olympics, has said resellers could have their licenses revoked if they set “inappropriate ticket prices.’’ The reseller for the United States is CoSport, which also handles sales in Australia, Jordan and several European countries. Japan recently passed a law that bans selling tickets at above the original prices. Violators face fines of up to 1 million yen ($9,100), or a one-year jail term — or both. Buyers outside Japan might get some deals if they are patient. It happened in Brazil. And it

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happened at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics a year ago. Tokyo organizers will open sales globally in the spring of 2020, meaning any remaining, unsold tickets can be purchased at the prices offered in Japan. In Rio de Janeiro, many tickets were unsold as the games neared, and some desirable tickets were put back into the pool after they were sold but never paid for. Ticket prices in Japan vary greatly. The opening ceremony on July 24 features the most expensive ticket — 300,000 yen ($2,680). The most expensive ticket for the closing ceremony is 220,000 yen ($1,965). The most expensive ticket for the men’s 100-meter final is 130,000 ($1,160), while the men’s basketball final goes for 108,000 yen ($970). Tokyo organizers say 50 percent of the tickets will sell for 8,000 yen ($70) or less, with the cheapest ticket costing 2,500 yen ($22). Organizers hope to generate about $800 million from ticket sales, a large source of revenue for the $5.6 billion privately funded operating budget. Overall, Japan will spend about $20 billion to prepare for the games, and about 70 percent is public money. 

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impact when they are produced,” says Fong. She added that figuring out small solutions that works rather than trying to do it all is less overwhelming. She recalled that one day while at Dim Sum King in the Chinatown-International District, an elderly lady in line brought her own container for take-out, reducing plastic consumption. It didn’t matter that it may not have been her original intent. She was being mindful. “It takes everybody,” says Fong. April Dickinson can relate. A member of the Facebook group Seattle Zero Waste, Dickinson is a self-proclaimed “zero-waste dork.” Besides bringing her own glass and stainless-steel straw when she craves a hot bubble-tea, Dickinson, who is half-Chinese, refuses to buy items wrapped in plastic. She admitted to occasionally succumbing to glutinous rice balls for sweet soup, which is always triple-packaged in plastic. With almost 1,700 members, the zero-waste group share sustainability tips, expand ideas in reducing waste, and act in concert to have a stronger voting voice. 

April Dickinson buys bubble tea in her own reusable glass container and steel straw.

Becky can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com. d

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KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON NOTICE TO BIDDERS Sealed bids will be received by the King County Procurement Services Section, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104, until 2:00 PM of bid opening date for the following listed bids. To download a document, go to our web page at: King County encourages minority business enterprise participation. King County does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its programs, services, and employment opportunities. 1086-19-JAS OPENS: June 6, 2019 Jury Management System Replacement Pre-proposal Conference: May 16, 2019 at 1:00 PM Conference Call: 1-206-263-8114 Conference ID: 5839038 1104-19-PLR OPENS: May 30, 2019 Plastic Raised Pavement Markers, Pavement Marking Powder, Thermoplastic Pavement Markings, and Related Items

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“Fine,’’ she thought, breaking open the cookie and reading what it said. “Yes, of course,’’ she told him. He pulled out the hidden ring. They both cried. The fortune cookie proposal is a glimpse into the personal life of the state’s 30th governor, now more than halfway through his first legislative session, and the woman who became first lady of Nevada. “To be here, no one imagines that,’’ Kathy Sisolak said about her place in history and in the governor’s mansion in Carson City. “I’m not from a political family. I’ve never been married, and now to be here,’’ she told the Reno Gazette Journal. “I still sometimes can’t believe it.’’ Steve Sisolak has called Kathy his soulmate. They are both in their 60s and she said it’s a perfect fit. But she was surprised when he proposed. “I knew we would get married at some point, but it is something we didn’t think about during the campaign, and then after we had so much going on,’’ she said. She said that, for her, he was easy to love. She admires his sense of humor and that he anonymously buys meals for people and always shakes hands with everyone. “He is a wonderful family man,’’ she

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said. “He just seems like he adores me, no matter what I do.’’ “I could yell at him or scream and nothing,’’ she said laughing. “I tell him, good thing you had daughters. You are well trained.’’ Sisolak has two daughters, Ashley and Carley, from his first marriage. Both are in their late 20s and were visible in campaign commercials talking about being raised by a single dad. Kathy Ong was born in Ely, the youngest of four children to Chinese immigrant parents. When she was a baby, her parents and three older brothers moved to Las Vegas. Her father was a card dealer on Fremont street, often coming home from days of work where he faced racism. Her mother worked for Clark County as a data processor. They stressed the importance of education, and math came easily to the now-first lady. When she graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she worked in the Clark County budget office. Eventually, she oversaw Clark County’s $1.8 billion budget. She and Guy Hobbs founded Hobbs, Ong & Associates in 1996. Kathy Sisolak said it has been hard to get used to the public attention, something she and Steve Sisolak were almost immune

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to in Las Vegas even though he was a longtime Clark County commissioner. “You are really never alone,’’ she said. “I’ve never experienced that. I’ve never had children either. I’m used to being by myself.’’ But she is embracing the public attention and attends as many as four events a week. “This is a privilege to do this,’’ she said. “I hope to bring honor to this role.’’ Over the next few months, Kathy Sisolak plans to focus as first lady on issues including mammograms, breast cancer awareness and financial literacy. Both her cousin and mother had breast cancer, she said, and she called it important for young people to understand budgeting. Steve Sisolak said he’s proud of what his wife has accomplished and the role model she is becoming. “Kathy has embraced her role, becoming a visible presence at community events, and Nevadans across the state instantly recognize her kind heart, generous spirit and warm personality,’’ he said in a statement. “I’m excited to see her continue to serve the people of this state with grace and brilliance as she advocates for causes she is passionate about.’’ Staff at the governor’s mansion said the couple is down-to-earth. They slept in a small apartment in the back while the floors were redone during the first

few weeks after moving to Carson City, and it’s not uncommon for the governor to go to the store on his own. The mansion’s executive coordinator, Kristen Dillard, texted Kathy Sisolak in February that Dillard’s husband was sick and had to have emergency surgery. “I texted her this is going on, I’m not sure what my week is going to look like, but we have a couple of events and everything is covered,’’ Dillard said. Kathy Sisolak texted back, “You stay home, and I’ll come up and do your events.’’ 

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was organized by the president of the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, Hon. Michael Kwan. The week-long conference consisted of lectures, field trips, plays, and concerts that tell the story of the Chinese railroad workers. We attended “The Dance and the Railroad,” a play written by David Henry Hwang; “Gold Mountain,” a play written by Jason Ma; and “Salute to the American Dream: 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike,” with the Tabernacle Choir and Utah Symphony at Temple Square, conducted by Mack Wilberg and featuring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty. These Chinese workers overcame the harsh environment and racial discrimination, hoping that one day they would bring honor and glory to their families across the ocean. Despite their hopes, many did not live to see the moment of glory or have their bodies transported back to their homeland, due to complicated political interference and warfare. They could only be buried in the soil that was thousands of miles away from their homeland. Fortunately, every year a group of volunteers work on the burial sites to commemorate those lonely souls, expecting nothing in return. They are the volunteers of the Chinese Culture Center. The Chinese Culture Center was first established to transport the bodies and coffins of the deceased railroad workers from the United States back to Tung Wah Coffin Home in Hong Kong, where the coffins would be transported individually back to their families across China. However, due to the Japanese invasion in World War II and the political unrest in

Photo provided by Kevin Lee


Photo from the 100th anniversary celebration. Third from right is Mary Yu, mother of Al and Connie Young.

Photo from the opening of the railroad. No Chinese workers were included.

China, the transportation was interrupted, leaving thousands of coffins and bodies behind in Hong Kong and the United States. After China fell into the hands of the Communist Party, it was difficult for Tung Wah Coffin Home to ship the coffins to China. Tung Wah Coffin Home buried those bodies in the Hong Kong Cemetery instead. In the United States, the Chinese Culture Center arranged the burial of the deceased at a local cemetery, instead of assisting the transportation of the coffins. The Chinese Culture Center purchased many burial sites and paid for all related costs. It not only continues to conduct the commemoration annually for free, but also cares and supports other impoverished workers who stayed in the United States after the decline of the railroad. There are more than 500 Chinese workers that are buried in the state of Utah. It’s has been a learning experience for me discovering the Chinese made up over 90

HASEGAWA from 8 studied in Costa Rica for a year (thus the Spanish), and upon her return sat for jury duty on a case that changed her life, about a 15-year-old Micronesian boy being tried as an adult. “It all has culminated in a variety of experiences that all informed where I am today,” Toshiko explains. “My background was very much in police accountability work.” Prior to CAPAA, Toshiko was the communications manager at King County’s office of law enforcement oversight, where she and her colleagues “really got to reboot this vision for civilian input in policing practices.” CAPAA recently celebrated 45 years, and Toshiko is aware of the important legacy she has inherited, as well as the unique positioning that enables CAPAA to carry out its mission. “What’s so beautiful about CAPAA is that it’s not this

CHAO from 10 Building from the East, the Union Pacific Railroad hired Irish immigrants to lay track across the Great Plains. Building from the West, the Central Pacific Railroad hired 15,000 workers, of whom 12,000 or more were Chinese immigrants. The Chinese workers blasted and chiseled their way through the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. Using manual hammer drills, pick axes and explosives, they dug 15 tunnels through hard granite. Snow fell so deeply in the mountains that they had to build roofs over 37 miles of track so supply trains could make it through. The conditions were merciless, dangerous and harsh. An estimated 500-1,000 Chinese workers lost their lives. But the Chinese workers persevered, and played a key role in building one of the greatest infrastructure projects in the world. Their achievement is even more poignant in light of the fact that many of the Chinese laborers did not have the opportunity to bring their families with them or to become

percent of all railroad workers. Many have Warren Yee, and myself. been literally forgotten due to poorly kept We all had a great time and I would records. My personal goal was to gain a recommend the experience to anyone who greater understanding of the hardships and would like to learn more about the history challenges faced by these pioneer Chinese of the Chinese railroad workers.  workers. This week has been full of emotions Kevin can be reached at info@ for me. I laughed, cried, and enjoyed the camaraderie that was built among the attendees of the conference. I met people from across the country and several are old friends I knew from the Chinese American Citizen Alliance, Yee Fung Toy Family Association, and Chong Wa Benevolent Association, to name a few. Leaders from across the country came together to join in the celebration, including Seattleites Bettie Luke, Bettie’s The line in purple represents the line laid by Chinese workers. son Michael Kan,

patriarchal model where we’re mandating things and people can either get on board or leave it,” she explains. “We flow the opposite direction where we mine the community for their wisdom and then we report upwards and tell decision-makers how they can serve us.” Toshiko and CAPAA are makers of a new reality. But Toshiko Grace Hasegawa they can’t do it on their own. Toshiko quotes Mako Nakagawa, community elder, “There are three kinds of people in the world. Ones who watch things happen. Ones who make things happen. And ones who say, “What the hell just happened?” “The best thing that we can do and ask people to do is to use their voice,” exhorts Toshiko. She realizes many hesitate these days, with insecurities about the 2020 Census, and

citizens of the United States. Many of their names are lost to history. Their families in China may never have known what became of their loved ones. As the first U. S. Secretary of Transportation of Chinese ancestry, I have the unique and moving opportunity to fully acknowledge and recognize the contributions and sacrifices of the laborers of Chinese heritage to the construction of the transcontinental railroad. This great history, which helped transform our country, was made possible by a diverse group of brave and determined workers. The railroad laborers and innovators of 150 years ago who helped unite our country is every bit as consequential as the digital revolution that binds the world together today. Today, we remember the estimated 12,000 or more Chinese laborers and all the laborers who sacrifice greatly to make this great dream a reality, the benefits of which America is still enjoying today. 

From left: Kevin Lee, Bettie Luke, and Michael Kan.

breaches of trust such as the state Department of Licensing sharing confidential information with law enforcement. “If I can do one thing over the course of this tenure and call it a success, it is to create safe spaces for people to feel like they can show up, weigh in, and be heard, and still have their voice represented.” Throughout her conversation, Toshiko references strong men and women that she admires. She calls one of the women a “firecracker.” It’s clear that she has learned from those who beat out the path before her, and looks up to them. Now, Toshiko is lighting the way with CAPAA, for the state, and hopefully the nation.  CAPAA’s next public board meeting is on June 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 7566 High School Road N.E., on Bainbridge Island. Kai can be reached at

YU from 10 10 miles of track in 12 hours?” Because the contribution of the Chinese to the Transcontinental was kept from national memory. The exclusion law of 1882 stopped the immigration of Chinese laborers, and denied all Chinese naturalization to U.S. citizenship. In effect for 61 years, the law excluded the Chinese from American history. Today, we take this opportunity at the 150th to reclaim a place in history. We honor the courage, fortitude, and

sacrifice of Chinese railroad workers, and their legacy in America, which involves us all. It takes many a village to build a railroad. We stand on broad shoulders, my ancestors and yours, those who fought exclusion, and struggled for justice and equal rights. Let us be proud immigrants that make up America, so we can have this moment of solidarity, and fortify a milestone in U.S. history. Hammering in the last spike. Done!  Connie Yu Young is a Chinese American writer, historian, and lecturer.

asianweekly northwest



MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019

MATSUKAWA from 1 She has supported many Asian organizations, including being board chair of Asian Counseling Referral Service and Japanese Cultural Community Center. She is the ‘emcee queen’ in our community.” Matsukawa was first hired at KING 5 in 1983. “What an honor it has been to write the ‘first draft of history,’” she said. “Whether it was the eruption of Mount St. Helens, the attainment of redress by Japanese Americans unlawfully incarcerated during WWII, or the inspiring achievements of a diverse group of public servants like Gary Locke, Norman and Constance Rice, Ana Mari Cauce, Ron Sims, Martha Choe, Mary Yu, Steve Gonzales, and Claudia Kauffman.” “When I graduated from college, I told everyone I wanted a job where I’d learn something new every day. I found it here at KING 5... It’s been a heck of a ride!”

Matsukawa, along with Frank Abe and Ron Chew, founded the Seattle chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) in 1985. Chew said, “Without Lori, there would be no AAJA chapter in Seattle. It was her thoughtfulness, cheery attitude, and steady leadership that laid the foundation. She made sure to leave a place at the table for both mainstream journalists, as well as community journalists like myself. I remember with great fondness our little planning meetings we had at the ice cream shop, which is now Mike’s Noodle House. So many memories! She leaves behind a huge legacy as a role model and leader.” Matsukawa was a big supporter of the younger generation and she hosted the Asian Weekly Foundation’s summer youth leadership camp for over a decade. “Students who met her for the first time, were in awe of meeting an Asian American star face-to-face, successful in the mainstream media, and yet being so humble and nice,” said Ng. “As the first Asian American female news anchor in

Seattle, she inspired many to pursue journalism. Her retirement is KING 5’s loss, but I hope it’s our community’s gain. With more time, we hope to see her more in the community.” Matsukawa is the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Asian American Journalists Association (2005), induction to the University of Washington Communication Department’s “Alumni Hall of Fame” (2012), the NATAS Northwest “Silver Circle Award” for lifetime achievement (2014), and a regional Emmy Award in 2018 for her series “Prisoners in Their Own Land” about Japanese American wartime incarceration. She also contributed to the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington, the Seattle Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (which she helped co-found in 1983), Mary’s Place, and El Centro de la Raza. KING 5 didn’t have to look far to find a successor. Beginning June 17, KING 5 morning anchor Joyce Taylor will step into the evening anchor role. 

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Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information: This material can be made available in an alternate format by emailing the Office of Equal Opportunity at or by calling toll free, 855-362-4ADA(4232). Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing may make a request by calling the Washington State Relay at 711.

CONTACT: Jane Rockwell OJT/SS Coordinator 360-704-6314 Title VI Notice to Public: It is the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) policy to assure that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex, as provided by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise discriminated against under any of its federally funded programs and activities. Any person who believes his/her Title VI protection has been violated, may file a complaint with WSDOT’s Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO). For additional information regarding Title VI complaint procedures and/or information regarding our non-discrimination obligations, please contact OEO’s Title VI Coordinator at (360) 705-7090.

Profile for Northwest Asian Weekly

VOL 38 NO 21 | MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019  

VOL 38 NO 21 | MAY 18 – MAY 24, 2019