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

SPORTS Pacquiao knocked out in sixth round. » P. 7


APA contributors honored at dinner

Vietnamese American boy who committed suicide in Utah was bullied By Lena Sullivan The AssociATed Press

{see TOP CONTRIBUTORS cont’d on page 15}

{see PHAN cont’d on page 12}

Photo by Binh Tran

owner of Phnom Penh Noodle house; Joan yoshitomi, board member of the center for APA women; Trong Pham, President of the Vietnamese chamber of commerce; someireh Amirfaiz and rewA; dennis su and the china Tomorrow

A 14-year-old junior high school student in Utah committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in front of a group of classmates on Thursday, Nov. 29. Those who knew the victim, identified on Friday, Nov. 30 as david Q. Phan, described him as a boy who was always nice to everyone, but who was often mistreated by his classmates. Granite school district spokesman Ben horsley said the ninthgrader had left Bennion Junior high in the salt Lake city suburb of Taylorsville with his mother at around 1:30 p.m. after a trip to the principal’s office. Just before 3 p.m., Phan returned

From left: Sesinando Cantor, Jun Bae Kim, Bob Ferguson, Sam Ung, Bob Santos, Trong Pham, Jay Inslee, Sandy Huynh, Someireh Amirfaiz, Joan Yoshitomi, Mark Okazaki, and Dennis Su posing with a print of Japanese paper cut by Bellevue-based artist Aki Sogabe given to Inslee by the NWAW. By Ninette Cheng NorThwesT AsiAN weekLy Leadership, volunteerism, and movers and shakers were the name of the game at the Northwest Asian weekly and NwAw Foundation’s Top contributors to the Asian community banquet on dec. 7.

The banquet is held annually in december. First held in 1990, the foundation annually honors leaders who are passionate about their work and who strive to make the community a better place. The event was held at the china harbor restaurant and honored 10 recipients, Bob hasegawa, state senator-elect; Mark okazaki, executive director of Neighborhood house; sam Ung,

Poet Nellie Wong serves up sustenance and struggle “That’s not us, that’s not our experience. What happened to the folks who lived and grew up on the land and were peasants and farmers in the USA?” — Nellie Wong

Photo courtesy of the Freedom Socialist Party

By Signe Predmore NorThwesT AsiAN weekLy if it’s one thing that oakland-based poet Nellie wong wants to make clear, it’s that she’s no Amy Tan. wong, a bold poet, offers readers and listeners a window into her experience as a chinese American woman. But she said her experience should be differentiated from Tan’s. “[Tan is] a very fine writer, but her stories and novels speak about a certain part of china, in shanghai, and about the upper class,” wong told her audience. “That’s not us, that’s not our experience. what happened to the folks who lived and grew up on the land and were peasants and farmers in the UsA?” wong hosted a reading of her work at New Freeway hall in columbia city, the local headquarters of the Freedom socialist Party, on dec. 1. she visited seattle as part of a tour to promote her new book of poetry, “Breakfast Lunch

Nellie Wong

dinner,” which contains work written over a span of 40 years. Many of the poems share her formative experiences, from growing up in her family’s oakland chinese restaurant “where my sisters and i labored without wage, but survived with tips and ngow ngook fahn, beef over rice,” to her training in the secretarial skills that supported her for much of her adult life, “as if learning to type without mistakes was a coveted prize that only girls with no hope of college could ever win.” wong proudly identifies as a feminist, a socialist, and a voice of the working class. she has been politically active for many years in radical women and the Freedom socialists, who hosted her reading. At a reception prior to the reading, guests were treated to a pan-Asian buffet organized through donations from

{see WONG cont’d on page 15}

The InsIde sTory NAMES IN THE NEWS Who’s doing what in the Asian community. » P. 2

PICTORIAL The 2012 Top Contributors Dinner » P. 8

ON THE SHELF Living life after tragedy » P. 8

PUB’S BLOG 10 Gift Giving Tips for the holidays » P. 10

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

asianweekly northwest



■ nAMes In The neWs Linebacker Manti Te’o wins LOTT Trophy, loses Heisman

Notre dame linebacker Manti Te’o won the LoTT Trophy Friday, dec. 7. The LoTT Trophy is given to the top defensive player in college football, taking into consideration both the player’s on-field performance and his character and work off the field. Manti Te’o Te’o received the award not only for leading the topranked college defense in the country, but also his volunteer work, which includes work with the shriner’s hospital, the head start preschool program, the hawai’i Food Bank, and the special olympics. This win comes one day after Te’o finished second in voting for the heisman trophy, which is given to the best overall college football player in the country. despite the loss, second place is the highest a defensive player has placed since the only defensive winner in 1997. 

Fund (AALdeF) announced the 2013 Justice in Action Award recipients on Monday, dec. 10. AALdeF will honor congressman John Lewis, representative from Georgia; Jose Antonio Vargas, dreAM Act activist and journalist; and Simone Wu of choice hotels international. The awards will be presented at the organization’s Annual Lunar New year Gala on Tuesday, Feb. 19 in New york city. since 1974, AALdeF has been protecting and promoting civil rights of Asian Americans across the country through litigation, advocacy, organizing, and community education. All proceeds from the gala will go towards the organization’s legal and educational programs in immigrant rights, economic justice, voting rights, access to language services, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of hate violence, police misconduct, and human trafficking. 

Puget Sound Business Journal ACLF hosts Community Leaders names largest minorityowned businesses Program graduation dinner

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund announces 2013 Justice in Action Awards The 2012 graduates of the ACLF Community Leaders Program

John Lewis

Jose Vargas

Simone Wu

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education

also raised money for the program next year and honored Mai Nguyen, winner of the kip Tokuda award. The program is six months long and trains emerging leaders in the APA community from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Twelve to 15 participants are chosen each year. The program consists of semi-monthly workshops, networking opportunities, and working with a community organization on a special project. This year’s community project involved revitalizing wAPi’s international district office. The program graduates for the year of 2012 are Melissa Atalig, Micah Bateman-Iino, Philip Angelo Bruan, Jennifer Duong, Kyle Gotchy, Noah Shen Jaffe, Julie Kim, Kiwai Lai, Kathy Nguyen, Stanley Wong, Grant Wu, and Annia Mieko Yoshizumi. 

The Asian Pacific Islander Community Leader held their 13th annual community Leaders Program graduation dinner on Nov. 17, 2012 at south seattle community college. in addition to celebrating the graduates, the dinner

The Puget Sound Business Journal and the University of Washington Minority Business Awards released the list of largest minority-owned businesses on Friday, dec. 7. Topping the list is Auburn-based, APA-owned Zones Inc. with a revenue of $1,034,380,000. Zones provides endto-end technology solutions for organizations in the private and public sectors. The top 25 also features 11 other APA-owned businesses, including seattle-based companies Town & Country Markets ($206,200,000), Uwajimaya ($103,500,000), Viet Wah Group ($31,790,000), Christensen O’Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC ($17,730,000), and True Frabications ($11,470,000); Bellevue-based companies Intelius Incorporated ($138,390,000,000), Edifecs Incorporated ($60,190,000), Greater China Incorporated ($22,800,000), and Society Consulting ($12,470,000); spokane-based Spokane Produce ($68,200,000); kirkland-based SmarTek 21 LLC ($16,170,000); and redmond-based Pan Pacific Electronics ($11,000,000). 

30 YEARS yoUr VoICe



asianweekly northwest



■ nATIonAl neWs

Illegal immigration drops after decade of growth By Hope Yen The AssociATed Press wAshiNGToN, d.c. (AP) — New census data released Thursday, dec. 6 affirms a clear and sustained drop in illegal immigration, ending more than a decade of increases. The number of illegal immigrants in the United states dropped to an estimated 11.1 million last year from a peak of 12 million in 2007, part of an overall waning of hispanic immigration. For the first time since 1910, hispanic immigration last year was topped by immigrants from Asia. demographers say illegal hispanic immigration — 80 percent of all illegal immigration comes from Mexico and Latin America — isn’t likely to approach its mid-2000 peak again, due in part to a weakened U.s. economy and stronger enforcement, but also a

Takei beams into Archie’s Riverdale By Matt Moore The AssociATed Press Ph i LA deLPh i A, Penn. (AP) — Mr. sulu in riverdale? oh my! Actor and equal rights advocate George Takei, whose portrayal of the star Trek character in television and film has made him a science fiction legend, is crossing a new frontier this week by appearing as George Takei himself in issue No. 6 of Archie comics’ “kevin keller,” a series about riverdale’s only gay teenager. Takei, who is also gay, said his appearance in the issue dovetails nicely with his real-life advocacy for equal rights. “with Archie comics, it’s a fun way and a natural way and an ideal way of advocating happily,” Takei said. Jon Goldwater, Archie comics’ co-chief executive officer, said writer and artist dan Parent “met George at a convention and asked him if he’d be interested in appearing in the kevin keller series, and being a huge star Trek fan, i flipped when he agreed.” Takei was quick to say yes. “i remember as a preteen and a teenager, i used to read Archie comics,” said Takei, 75, who grew up in california. “i was so flattered.” in the story, Takei is the subject of an essay by keller who cites him as an inspirational hero — not just for his acting — but his advocating on behalf of Asian Americans, and gays and lesbians, too. “i’ve always been an advocate. i grew up in two U.s. internment camps. i was too young to understand that at the time,” he said. “As a teenager, i couldn’t reconcile what i was reading in my civics books with my boyhood.” That led him to realize that he would have to speak out for equality, something he’s been doing publicly since coming out in 2005. it’s also gotten him nearly 3.1 million fans on Facebook, where he blends humor, nerdiness, and earnestness in his postings. “humor plays and kittens play,” he said of his page. “And i slip in a little advocacy in between because it’s me.” 

graying of the Mexican population. The finding suggests an uphill battle for the republicans, who passed legislation in the house last week that would extend citizenship to a limited pool of foreign students with advanced degrees, but who are sharply divided on whether to pursue broader immigration measures. in all, the biggest surge of immigration in modern U.s. history ultimately may be recorded as occurring in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, yielding illegal residents who now have been settled in the United states for 10 years or more. They include migrants who arrived here as teens and are increasingly at risk of “aging out” of congressional proposals, such as the dreAM Act that offer a pathway to citizenship for younger adults. “The priority now is to push a vigorous debate about the undocumented people already here,” said Jose Antonio Vargas, 31, a

journalist from the Philippines. “we want to become citizens and not face the threat of deportation or be treated as second class,” said Vargas, whose campaign, define American, along with the young immigrant group United we dream, have been pushing for citizenship for the entire illegal population in the United states. The groups point to a strong Latino and Asian American turnout for President Barack obama in last month’s election as evidence of public support for a broad overhaul of U.s. immigration laws. earlier this year, obama extended to many younger immigrants temporary reprieves from deportation. But Vargas, who has lived in the United states since 1993 and appeared this year on the cover of Time magazine with other immigrants who lacked legal status, has become too old to qualify.

{see IMMIGRATION cont’d on page 11}

30 YEARS yoUr VoICe


■ World neWs


Myanmar apologizes for violence against monks By Aye Aye Win The AssociATed Press yANGoN, Myanmar (AP) — Myanmar’s government apologized for a violent crackdown on Buddhist monks and other foes of a copper mine in northwest Myanmar, which was the biggest use of force against demonstrators since reformist President Thein sein took office last year. religious Affairs Minister Thura Myint Maung formally apologized for the violence to 29 senior monks at a ceremony in yangon on Friday, dec. 7. his remarks were carried by all state media on saturday, dec. 8. he said the government felt “extreme sorrow that monks and other people were wounded in the copper mine incident,” which he said was mishandled by local authorities in Monywa in the northwest region of sagaing. Local authorities would “ensure that such undesirable incidents do not occur again,” he said. in the Nov. 29 crackdown, police used water cannons, tear gas,

and smoke bombs to break up an 11-day occupation of the mine project. The mine is a joint venture between a military-controlled holding company and a chinese mining company. Protesters say it is causing environmental, social, and health problems, and want the project halted. Nearly 100 people, mostly Buddhist monks, were injured during the crackdown. The crackdown was reminiscent of those the country faced under military rule. it stirred anger because of the violence against monks, who are held in high regard by the Buddhist country. The heavy-handed action indicated the government is still unsure where to draw the line on public protests. Thein sein’s government has been hailed for releasing hundreds of political prisoners and for implementing laws allowing public demonstrations and labor strikes. Many prominent figures, including opposition leader Aung san suu kyi, had urged authorities to apologize. Monks have staged protests since the crackdown, including one in Mandalay on saturday, dec. 8 that drew several hundred

dressed in their saffron-colored robes. A prominent monk at the Mandalay protest, shin wirathu, said the apology was not sufficient. “The government should apologize directly to the monks who were injured and are being treated in hospitals,” he said, adding that those responsible for unleashing the violence have not been punished. After the crackdown, the government appointed suu kyi to lead a commission investigating the violent dispersal of peaceful protesters and to advise whether the mine project should continue. The appointment of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate to head the probe gives it credibility that the army-backed government lacks. separately, suu kyi visited the hometown of her father, the country’s independence hero, Gen. Aung san, who was assassinated in 1947 when she was just 2. “i feel like i am returning to my hometown,” the former political prisoner told the adoring crowd. “i feel as though you all are my relatives.” 

Pakistan’s largest city Psy apologizes for rocked by violence anti-American rap By Rebecca Santana The AssociATed Press kArAchi, Pakistan (AP) — Bodies are piling up in Pakistan’s largest city as it suffers one of its most violent years in history, and concern is growing that the chaos is giving greater cover for the Taliban to operate, undermining the country’s economic epicenter. karachi, a sprawling port city on the Arabian sea, has long been beset by religious, sectarian, and ethnic strife. here, armed wings of political parties battle for control of the city, sunnis and shiites die in tit-for-tat sectarian killings, and Taliban gunmen attack banks and kill police officers. with an election due next year, the violence could easily worsen.

According to the citizens’ Police Liaison committee, a civic organization that works with police to fight crime, the violence has claimed 1,938 lives as of late November, the deadliest year since 1994, when the cPLc began collecting figures. Police tallies put the dead at 1,897 through mid-october. The Taliban seem to be taking advantage of the chaos to expand their presence in the city, a safe distance from areas of Pakistani army operations and U.s. drone strikes. during recent supreme court hearings, judges ordered authorities to investigate reports that as many as 8,000 Taliban members were in the city.

{see PAKISTAN cont’d on page 12}

By Chris Talbott AP MUsic wriTer

“yankees” who have been torturing iraqi captives and their families “slowly and painfully.” dursouth korean rapper and intering a 2002 concert, he smashed a net sensation Psy is apologizing model of a U.s. tank on stage. to Americans for participating in “while i’m grateful for the anti-U.s. protests several years freedom to express one’s self, i’ve ago. learned there are limits to what Park Jae-sang, who performs language is appropriate and i’m as Psy, issued a statement Fri- Park Jae-sang deeply sorry for how these lyrics day, dec. 7 after reports surfaced could be interpreted,” he wrote that he had participated in conin the statement. “i will forever certs protesting the U.s. military presence in be sorry for any pain i have caused by those south korea during the early stages of the iraq words.” war. The 34-year-old rapper says the protests At a 2004 concert, the “Gangnam style” rapper performs a song with lyrics about killing {see PSY cont’d on page 11}

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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 $30 for 52 weeks of the NW Asian Weekly and $25 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.

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■ CoMMUnITy CAlendAr SAT 12/15

SAT 12/22


THRU 12/30

WHAT: Meet Louie Gong of 8th Generation WHERE: The wing, 719 s. king st., seattle WHEN: 1–3 p.m. INFO: 206-623-5124

WHAT: holiday shop-o-rama WHERE: The wing, 719 s. king st., seattle WHEN: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. DISCOUNT: 15% off–$25% off

WHAT: Free chronic disease selfManagement workshop WHERE: kin on health care, 4416 s. Brandon st., seattle WHEN: every Thursday, 10 a.m. RSVP: 206-652-2330 INFO:

WHAT: The space Needle and Bartell drugs launches “rocket to the Top of space Needle,” with exclusive offer to free visits to the observation deck HOW: while supplies last, Bartell drugs is offering vouchers for one free adult or up to two free youth tickets (vouchers valid with purchase of one adult observation deck ticket). WHERE: All 58 Bartell drugs locations in king, snohomish and Pierce counties WHEN: Now until 12/30 INFO:, www.

WHAT: Book reading with Linda Tamura, “Nisei soldiers Break Their silence” author WHERE: The wing, 719 s. king st., seattle WHEN: 3 p.m. INFO: 206-623-5124

SAT 12/15 & 12/22 WHAT: children’s Party event WHERE: Meydenbauer Theater, 11100 N.e. 6th st., Bellevue WHEN: 1 p.m. RESERVATION:, 425-284-0444 TICKETS: www.brownpapertickets. com/event/267437 INFO:

WED 12/19 WHAT: The irish Tenors’ holiday concert WHERE: Benaroya hall, 200 University st., seattle WHEN: 7:30 p.m. COST: $45–$85 INFO: 206-215-4747, www.benaroyahall. org

2ND & 4TH TUES OF MONTH WHAT: international district special review Board meeting WHERE: Bush Asia center, 409 Maynard Ave. s., seattle WHEN: 4:30 p.m. INFO: 206-684-0226, neighborhoods/preservation/historic_ districts.htm

THRU SUN 10/10/2013 WHAT: exhibition display: etsuko ichikawa WHERE: sAM Gallery, 1300 1st Ave., seattle INFO: 206-903-5291, tasterestaurant@

EVERY TUE WHAT: Asian counseling and referral services employment Program orientation WHERE: Acrs, 3639 Martin Luther king Jr. way s., seattle WHEN: 3–4:30 p.m. INFO: 206-695-7527,, services/employmentandtraining

EVERY WED WHAT: seattle University school of Law citizenship Project WHERE: yesler community center computer Lab, 917 e. yesler way, seattle WHEN: 5–6:30 p.m. COST: Free INFO: 206-386-1245

King County Invitation to Bid ProjeCt: Residential Aircraft Noise Remedy Improvements Program - Bid Package S-35, C00782C12 Sealed BId tIme/date: 1:00 p.m., December 19, 2012 loCatIon due: King County Procurement & Contract Services Section, Contracts Counter, 3rd Floor, 401 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104 engIneer’S eStImate: $115,000 to $140,000 SCoPe of WorK: Renovation of five (5) single family homes to reduce noise infiltration and provide mechanical ventilation. Work may include, but is not limited to: replacement of windows with vinyl-framed acoustical windows, installation of secondary aluminum-framed sliding glass storm doors, installation of swing out glass storm doors, installation of chimney-top acoustical dampers at fireplaces, attic insulation, and installation of mechanical ventilation equipment with associated miscellaneous electrical modifications. The work is located at various residences around the King County International Airport, Seattle, Washington. ContaCt InformatIon: Kelly McKeever, Contract Specialist, (206) 2639329, TTY Relay: 711, or A bidder may be asked to put a question in writing. No verbal answers by County, its officers, officials, employees, agents and consultants will be binding on the County. Pre-BId ConferenCe: Conference will be held at 9:00am, December 17, 2012, Room 201, Terminal Building, 7277 Perimeter Rd. S. Seattle, WA, 981080245. Contractors will be bused to various houses by the County. SuBContraCtIng oPPortunItIeS: Abatement, Mechanical, Electrical, Painting, Insulation, Cleaning. aPPrentICeShIP requIrementS: No minimum Apprentice Utilization Requirement. SCS utIlIzatIon requIrementS: 5% minimum requirement for King County Certified Small Contractors and Suppliers (SCS). BId Bond: Not less than five percent (5%) of the Total Bid Price. The proposed Contract is under, and subject to, Executive Order 11246 of September 24, 1986, and to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Federal Labor Provisions. All labor on this project is subject to the highest wage rate of Davis Bacon (Federal) Wage Rates or Washington State Prevailing Wage Rates for a classification of work. The EEO requirements, labor provisions and wage rates are included in the specifications and bid documents and are available for inspection on line at the Builders Exchange of Washington web site and the King County Contracts Counter. To be eligible for award, each bidder shall comply with the affirmative action requirements which are contained in Division 0 of the Contract Documents and the FAA Special Provisions. A Contractor or subcontractor, who may be awarded a contract of $10,000 or more, will be required to maintain an affirmative action program, the standards for which are contained in the Division 0 of the Contract Documents and the FAA Special Provisions. At the time of solicitation King County has obtained Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant funding for 95% of the activities as described in the bid documents and is subject to the requirements set forth in FAA Project No. 3-53-0058-044 and is incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. PlanS/SPeCS: Electronic copies of the plans, specifications, reference documents, and any addenda for this solicitation can be accessed through an external link to Builder’s Exchange of Washington from our website shown below. This site includes options and instructions for printing. Printed documents may also be ordered by contacting United Reprographics at 206-382-1177. Copies of documents are not available for purchase from King County, but are available for review M – F 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Contracts Counter: Chinook Bldg, 3rd Floor 401 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98104. To receive email notifications of addenda or other important information concerning this solicitation, you must register to be a planholder under the “Solicitations” tab at the following internet link: WeBSIte: This information is available in alternate formats for individuals with disabilities upon advance request by calling 206-263-9400, TTY Relay: 711. noteS: Bids received after Sealed Bid Time will not be considered. Bidders accept all risks of late delivery, regardless of fault. King County is not responsible for any costs incurred in response to this Invitation to Bid.

30 YEARS yoUr VoICe


■ sporTs


, t h ig n s o ia u q c a P s Right hand end

By Tim Dahlberg AP BoxiNG wriTer

Photo from Manny Pacquiao

LAs VeGAs, Nevada (AP) — The idea of Manny Pacquiao being knocked out cold was shocking enough. The sight of him face down on the canvas, unresponsive even as bedlam broke out all around him, was positively frightening. Mitt romney saw it up close from his ringside seat just a few feet away. so did Pacquiao’s wife, who broke down in tears and tried to get in the ring to aid her downed husband. Juan Manuel Marquez didn’t even bother to look. he was already busy celebrating the knockout of a lifetime. This was boxing at its brutal best, a toe-to-toe slugfest the night of saturday, dec. 8 that was destined from the opening bell to be decided by fists instead of judges. Both fighters had been down, and both fighters were hurting when Marquez threw a right hand off the ropes with a second left in the sixth round that could be felt all the way in the rafters of the MGM Grand arena. it will go down among the great fights of their era. But it was barely over when the cry arose for the two ever-so-willing warriors to do it again.

that broke and bloodied the Mexican’s nose. After three fights that all went the distance, both fighters had vowed to be more aggressive in their fourth meeting. Pacquiao ended up paying the price for it when he tried to close the sixth round with a flurry, a big mistake against a counterpuncher who drew him into his sights. “i knew Manny could knock me out at any time,” Marquez said. “i threw the perfect punch.” Pacquiao, who hadn’t been stopped in a fight since 1999 in Thailand when he was a 112-pounder, took several minutes to come around on the canvas before being led to his ring stool. he blew his nose and stared vacantly ahead as the pro-Marquez crowd of 16,348 screamed in excitement. he was taken to the hospital for a precautionary brain scan, then went to his hotel suite, where he ate with wife Jinkee and his entourage, and watched a replay of the fight to see what went wrong. “spoiler alert,” Pacquiao said as the fight played on the TV. “i don’t think you are going to like how this ends.” his countrymen in the Philippines certainly didn’t. The country

Before Saturday night, Pacquiao and Marquez had already met in the ring three times. Now, a fifth may be upcoming. when it comes to Pacquiao and Marquez, four fights may not be enough. “if you give us a chance, we’ll fight again,” Pacquiao said. “i was

just starting to feel confident and then i got careless.” indeed, the case could be made that Pacquiao was on the verge of a big win himself when Marquez

landed the punch that sent him falling face first on the canvas. he had come back from a third round knockdown to drop Marquez in the fifth and was landing big left hands

{see PACQUIAO cont’d on page 12}

■ brIefly

First same-sex marriages held

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After the passage of referendum 74, same-sex marriages became legal in washington state on Thursday, dec. 6. king county awarded the first same-sex marriage license at 12:01 a.m. to Jane Abbott Lighty (77) and Pete-e Peterson (85) of west seattle.

After the state’s mandatory 72-hour waiting period, couples began to marry across the state. The first same-sex wedding performed in king county (pictured above) was that of sarah and emily cofer, presided by Judge Mary yu. 

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asianweekly northwest



■ pICTorIAl

The 2012 Top Contributors Banquet 1. Event sponsors with Jay Inslee and Bob Ferguson 2. Jun Bae Kim with the leaders of his organizations 3. Bob Hasegawa with Nina Odell 4. Mark Okazaki with Judge Pat Oishi 5. Sam Ung with Judge Kimi Kondo 6. Trong Pham with Nina Odell 7. Robert Mak giving remarks. 8. Someireh Amirfaiz with Martha Choe 9. The dining room 10. Jun Bae Kim with Teri Wong 11. Sandy Huynh with Judge Dean Lum 12. Sesinando Cantor with Rep. Marcie Maxwell 13. Dennis Su with Mark Mitsui 14. Trong Pham with the leaders of his organizations 15. Joan Yoshitomi with Judge Marcine Anderson 16. Bob Ferguson with gift from NWAW 17. Jay Inslee with cousin Mark Photos by Binh Tran and Rebecca Ip

■ on The shelf

Living life after loss

By Samantha Pak NorThwesT AsiAN weekLy

Isle of Dreams

By Keizo Hino Dakley Archive Press, 2010 shozo sakai hasn’t seen much change in his life. he’s worked at the same construction firm for years, he has no ambitions of moving up the corporate ladder or pursuing a specific career, and he has lived in the same place for decades. except for the occasional bouts of loneliness, even his wife’s death has done little to interrupt his day-to-day life. in his spare time, shozo likes to wander around Tokyo and admire the city’s great architecture. eventually, the middle-aged widower discovers the isle of dreams. contrary to its name, the isle is actually a piece of reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay that the city uses to dump garbage. But for shozo, the landfill is a place of wonder. he sees every piece of garbage as being filled with life and beauty. And through his visits to this garbage paradise, he meets yoko hayashi, a young woman who uses the site as a motorcycle obstacle course. As shozo and yoko spend more time together, shozo begins to feel changes within himself — becoming more of who he thinks he really is, rather than the person he has been. shozo also begins to see his city change, as yoko shows him another side of Tokyo he’s never seen before — a Tokyo far from the high rises and dense population. The phrase, “one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” rings especially true in “isle

of dreams,” as hino describes shozo’s observations at the landfill in great detail. discarded mannequins, children’s shoes, and even old spaghetti can be seen as beautiful and full of life, if we just look. hino also shows that it is never too late to figure out who you are. his wife’s death may not have led him directly to the isle of dreams, but it was through the free time shozo gained as a bachelor that brought him to that chance encounter with yoko and on his journey of self discovery.

In the Lap of the Gods By Li Miao Lovett Leapfrog Press, 2010

Liu renfu has lost all that is dear to him. his wife, unborn child, and home now lie beneath the waters of the Three Gorges dam, and the former coal worker has been reduced to scavenging as a way to make a living. it is through this scavenging that he comes across a baby girl, abandoned on the side of the road as a dam rises on the yangtze river. Liu takes the baby in and begins the journey of a man struggling to make a living in modern china. Along the way, we meet more individuals trying to move on — or not move on — after suffering their own losses: Mr. wu, an old man trying to reconnect with a past love from a previous lifetime; Mei Ling, the young

woman working to get by in the city, while sending money home to her estranged family; rose, the confused infant with vague memories of a mother she never really knew; and the villagers who refuse to leave their family homes despite the danger of the rising dam. despite all that they face, the characters continue with their daily lives, reminding readers that life goes on, even if we don’t. And, while things may seem bleak, “in the Lap of the Gods” also shows us that once we work to move on, we can come to appreciate the things we have all the more.

{see SHELF cont’d on page 13}

30 YEARS yoUr VoICe


■ pICTorIAl


■ ArTs & enTerTAInMenT

Seattle-born professor releases new translation of the I Ching By Andrew Hamlin NorThwesT AsiAN weekLy

Last fall, a new translation of the classic chinese text, the “i ching,” or “Book of changes,” appeared in bookstores. This new version of the centuries-old text for divining one’s future appeared courtesy of a professor who grew up in seattle and learned about Asian cultures from her early teachers. her name is dr. Margaret Pearson, and she’s currently teaching at skidmore college in upstate New york. A native of seattle’s wedgewood neighborhood and daughter of a high school teacher, dr. Pearson attended Bryant elementary school, Nathan eckstein Junior high, and roosevelt high school. “some of my best memories,” she recalled in an e-mail interview, “are of walks to and from school, and of the many tall trees i walked by. i remember seeing one of them fall to the ground during a windstorm one day when i was at home sick.” “in those days, when most families had only one car, many children walked to school alone, and i enjoyed this,” she continued. “i remember beautiful views of the olympics in one direction and the cascades in the other.” her experiences in seattle, including her exposure to seattle-based shiga’s imports, shaped the person she grew into. “Later, i came to enjoy shiga’s shop, and occasional chats with Mr. shiga himself. [i was] active in the peace movement during graduate school, [so] i asked him about his experiences during wwii. he spoke briefly of his conscientious objection to fighting in that war and of his resulting imprisonment for the duration. i am so glad his shop continues many of his traditions.” her honors group at eckstein, led by Ms. Lee ewalt, encouraged her multicultural leanings. “i remember giving a book report on the ramayana. This was my first exposure to chinese history and culture,” she

said. At roosevelt high school, she studied under Miss Jean Musser, who introduced her to chinese poetry and philosophy, as well as “The republic” by Plato. “i memorized many of Li Bo (Li Po)’s poems, as translated by shigeyoshi obata, and much of the Laozi (Lao-tzu), as rendered by witter Bynner. i later learned from [meeting] Anne Lindbergh that this was the edition she and charles carried on their travels.” “i also read Paul reps’ ‘Zen Flesh, Zen Bones,’ a wonderful introduction to some of the core texts of Zen,” she continued. “ i chose Tuttle as my publisher [for her “i ching” translation] largely because they have kept this book in print, and had reissued it the year i visited their booth and met my editor at a conference.” she received an undergraduate degree at smith college in Massachusetts and spent four years in chinese studies at the University of washington. “My main adviser was Jack dull, who was a wonderful lecturer. i also delighted in the profound knowledge of hellmut wilhelm, who taught me chinese literature, and of chan hok-lam, who taught me research methods.” she also studied at Taiwan National University in Taipei from 1973 to 1975. “At that time, there were fewer westerners there than there are now. My blue eyes and blonde hair fascinated (and frightened) children, and drew crowds when i visited small villages … so much was different then [in Taiwan]. Much more oil in the food, few big chunks of meat, and salads and cheese were very rare. All water needed to be boiled, and there was

{see I CHING cont’d on page 11}

asianweekly northwest




■ edITorIAl

It’s time to start moving on education U.S. ranks behind Asia in math and science

Two reports released by the department of education on Tuesday, dec. 11 showed that American fourth- and eighthgrade students still lag globally in math and science. The United states ranked 11th and 7th in fourth-grade math and science, respectively, and 9th and 10th in eighth-grade math and science. This comes after what feels like an eternity of debate on education in the United states, during which nothing was clear. well, something is clear now — what we’ve been doing has been failing. we’re falling behind countries like south korea, singapore, and Taiwan, which placed first in the reports in both math and science. worse yet, the amount of American students who under-

stand math and science at an advanced level pales in comparison to students elsewhere. only 7 percent of American students reached an advanced level of understanding in eighth-grade math, compared to 48 percent in singapore and 47 percent in south korea. The failures of our education system aren’t limited to only science, technology, engineering, and math (sTeM) education. The United states only ranked sixth in reading performance, falling behind countries like hong kong and russia. it’s clear that our education system needs to be changed, but we have to be careful with how we change it. we can’t be rash, we shouldn’t move haphazardly, and we shouldn’t expect results right away — teaching kids takes time, after all.

we have to start early, and we can’t just only focus on sTeM education — we also need to focus on humanities and arts programs that have been decimated over the past few years, because the key to success isn’t math or science, it’s thinking. our kids each deserve enough individual attention in their youth, so they can build a strong foundation to learn. They deserve well-trained teachers like those in Finland who are ready for unexpected challenges. They need input from their parents, because learning doesn’t take place only at school. There’s been a lot of action in education lately, and there will be more to come. Let’s just make sure it’s the right kind of action. 

■ pUblIsher’s bloG

10 holiday gift-giving tips to help you shop better holiday gift givers often have misconceptions. They think that gifts have to be material or that they have to be valuable. if this is what you believe, you’re missing the boat. sometimes, gifts without a price tag can make a world of difference to the people you give them to. what if you could help someone to find a job, save money, or do good for the community? There’s no magic formula. what you should buy for yourself and your loved ones is sometimes a puzzle. Just focus on the big picture when you’re shopping. here are a few of the principles that guide me during holiday shopping:

1. Made in the U.S.A According to ABc news, for every $67 you spend buying American-made products, you help create a new job in the United states. yes, we can make a difference in the country’s economy. your determination can make it happen.

2. Time-saving, money-saving gifts The shirts, skirts, pants, and tops i buy in the states are too long for my petite size and alterations can cost more than the item itself. Just shortening a pair of pants or shirtsleeves can cost from $15 to $30, and the turnaround time could be as long as two weeks. i could have done it myself, but it’s tedious work. Finally, i bought myself an American-made singer ProFinish serger sewing machine, which does hemlines in only a few minutes. during the holidays, it costs under $200. The amazing thing is that i’ve already earned back the money for the machine by altering 10 t-shirts and pants — some of which were hidden in my closet for ages. To maximize the machine, i loan it out to a single mom, so she can use it, too.

3. The gift of opportunity Not everyone can create jobs for the unemployed, but we can give them hope, encouragement, and support. The point is, we can open many doors for many in our lifetime. sometimes, you can help edit a resume or serve as a sounding board for your friends. Through the many events the Asian weekly promotes, we showcase the talents of the community. case in point, during last Friday’s Top contributors dinner, we invited 9-year-old Lena hou Lena Hou to sing the national anthem. her performance caught the eyes of two guests. Both said they want to feature her in their organizations’ events. in January, she will be performing at the Governor’s inauguration. i was so thrilled when i heard the news.

Another opportunity we gave was to sam Ung, one of the Top contributors. he had written a book on his experience in cambodia. we asked him to sell his books after the dinner. That doesn’t Sam Ung selling his books. cost us anything. he was skeptical at first, but he sold 14 books, and we were elated.

4. Invest in yourself Not too long ago, i blogged about money saving tips in a tight economy. one of my friends asked me why i didn’t write about how to invest. Now, i am not a financial expert, but i urge people to think not just of making their wallet fat but also of bettering their wellbeing. why not sign up for a yoga class? or a Tai chi class? or dance, painting, computer skills, or healthy eating classes? enriching yourself with knowledge is a different way to look at wealth, and no one can take away those assets. sign up for a new class in 2013, you deserve that gift.

5. Teach your friends a new skill My close friends often laughed at me since i don’t have a smart phone. i got one recently from my son. he bought an Apple iPhone 5, and i asked if i could buy his old phone. “Just take it,” he said. To me, that’s not a gift even though i didn’t pay for it. But the next day, he said, “you have to know how to use it.” he knew that i am not tech savvy, so he spent time teaching me how to use the phone. To me, that’s the real gift. My son’s a patient teacher who doesn’t mind someone like me, a dumb student.

our home. My other son made me a card. Although it was simple and cost nothing, i felt my son’s love immediately. Those words and heart graphics meant so much to me that i was speechless with emotion.

7. Holiday giving to charities develop some giving principles for yourself when giving to charities. do you want to support the homeless, health care, the hungry, education, job development, or art groups? what are your giving goals? once you have them, write them down, and stick to them. i toss out those ‘ask’ letters that don’t fit our goals without thinking twice. To support my ‘Made in America’ goal, i would only give to charities in my backyard, and not overseas organizations.

8. Show thoughtful appreciation each year, i have some special customers to whom i send food and wine. A box of chocolates is the easiest solution. But do some of them really need chocolates? No. what one of them needs is to de-stress, so i sent them a massage gift certificate. This gift will follow my “Made in America” principle.

9. Support those who support you Many of my advertisers are involved in the food business, including restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. i shop at all these stores and take the goodies i buy to make into Asian food baskets to give to my non-Asian customers. hopefully, i can help promote my customers’ companies and products to new customers. Also, the Asian weekly organizes many events at Asian restaurants during the year, so that they can benefit. if my customers do well, they can create more jobs and provide more tax revenues to our city and state. i am all for an economically viable Asian community.

10. Support your field

6. Use your creativity

Candle centerpiece by Helen Chin

you don’t have to buy expensive gifts all the time. it’s the thought that counts. create meaningful gifts yourself. That will produce an amazing response from your friends. The other day, i entered my office and found a gorgeous hand-made candle centerpiece on my desk. it instantly lifted my spirits. Bless helen chin. she made it with a candle, candlestick candies, and silk flowers. i not only appreciated her thoughtfulness, but also her creativity in decorating

i’ve been a subscriber of The seattle Times for over three decades, even though i can get it free online. you have to support your industry. each year, i buy over $200 in books for holiday gifts. what better gift is there than information, entertainment, self-improvement, and innovative ideas? i make sure my money goes to support my colleagues and their work. even more rewarding is that i sometimes have time to read the gifts before i give them away. 

Want to get the inside scoop on the latest happenings of Seattle’s Asian American community? Follow Publisher Assunta Ng’s blog at under the Opinion section.

30 YEARS yoUr VoICe


{IMMIGRATION cont’d from page 4} “This conversation is a question about how we as a nation define who is an American,” Vargas said, noting that if politicians don’t embrace immigration overhaul now, a rapidly growing bloc of minority voters may soon do it for them. “if you want us to pay a fine to become a citizen, ok. if you want us to pay back taxes, absolutely. if you want us to speak english, i speak english. But we can’t tread water on this issue anymore.” Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at the Pew research center and a former census Bureau official, said U.s. immigration policies will have a significant impact in shaping a future U.s. labor force, which is projected to shrink by 2030. Aging white baby boomers, many in specialized or management roles, are beginning to retire. Mexican immigration, which has helped fill needs in farming, home health care, and other low-wage U.s. jobs, has leveled off. “immigration is one way to boost the number of workers in the population,” he said, but the next wave of needed immigrants is likely to come from somewhere other than Mexico. “we are not going to see a return to the levels of Mexican unauthorized immigration of a decade ago.” The immigration shift may have an impact on the future racial and ethnic makeup of the United states, pushing back official government estimates as to when whites will no longer be a majority in the country. The census Bureau originally reported in 2008 that white children would become a minority in 2023 and the overall white population would follow in 2042. But the agency has since suggested the tipping points may arrive later, due to a slowdown in mostly hispanic immigration. New census projections will be released next week. it all depends “on the availability of jobs, as well as changes in federal and state immigration policies,” said Mark Mather, associate vice president of the Population reference Bureau. The immigration numbers are largely based on the census Bureau’s current Population survey through March 2011. Because the census Bureau does not ask people about their immigration status, Passel derived estimates on illegal immigrants largely by subtracting the estimated legal immigrant population from the total foreign-born population. The numbers are also supplemented with material from Mather and william h. Frey of the Brookings institution, who reviewed data released Thursday from the census’ American community survey. The data showed that 11.1 million, or 28 percent, of the foreign-born population in the United states consists of illegal immigrants, virtually unchanged since 2009 and roughly equal to the level of 2005. An additional 12.2 million foreign-born people,

{PSY cont’d from page 5} were part of a “deeply emotional” reaction to the war and the death of two korean school girls, who were killed when a U.s. military vehicle hit them as they walked alongside the road. he noted anti-war sentiment was high around the world at the time. Psy attended college in the United states and says he understands the sacrifices U.s. military members have made to protect south korea and other nations. he has recently performed in front of servicemen and women. “And i hope they and all Americans can accept my apology,” he wrote. “while it’s important that we express our opinions, i deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language i used to do so. in my music, i try to give people a release, a reason to smile. i have learned that through music, our universal language, we can all come together as a culture of humanity and i hope that you will accept my apology.” his participation in the protests was no secret in south korea but was not generally known in America until recent news reports. Psy did not write “dear American,” which was written by the korean band N.ex.T, but he does perform it. The song exhorts the listener to kill the yankees who are torturing iraqi captives, their superiors who ordered the torture, and their families. Psy launched to international acclaim based on the viral nature of his “Gangnam style” video. it became youTube’s most watched video, making him a millionaire. he recently appeared on the American Music Awards, dancing alongside Mc hammer in a melding of memorable dance moves that bookend the last two decades. And the internet is awash with copycat versions of the song. even former republican sen. Alan simpson, the 81-year-old co-chairman of President Barack obama’s deficit commission, got in on the fun, recently using the song in a video to urge young Americans to avoid credit card debt.

31 percent, are legal permanent residents with green cards. And 15.1 million, or 37 percent, are naturalized U.s. citizens. Fewer Mexican workers are entering the United states, while many of those immigrants already here are opting to return to their homeland, resulting in zero net migration from Mexico. Broken down by geography and race, roughly half of all states last year posted declines or no change in their numbers of foreign-born hispanics, including big immigrant states, such as california and New york, as well as economically hard hit areas in Arizona, Georgia, and North carolina, which previously had seen gains. Foreign-born Asians were a bigger source of population gain than hispanic immigrants in california, New york, Virginia, illinois, and New Jersey. Newly moving into suburban communities, the Asian population spread out more across the southeastern United states and Texas, increasing their share in 93 percent of the nation’s metropolitan areas. As a whole, foreign-born residents are slowly graying, with 44 percent now age 45 or older. They are more likely than in 2007 to be enrolled in college or graduate school (39 percent, up from 32 percent) and to be single (17 percent married, down from 22 percent). Births to immigrant mothers are on the decline, driving the overall U.s. birth rate last year to the lowest in records dating back to 1920. “At least temporarily, the face of immigration to the U.s. is changing in terms of cultural background, education, and skills,” Frey said. “The fertility bump provided by past hispanic immigrants may not be replicated in the future, especially if Asians take over a greater share of U.s. immigrants.” house republicans, seeking to show they are serious about addressing the immigration issue after being largely rejected by hispanics in the election, voted last week to make green cards accessible to foreign students graduating with advanced science and math degrees from U.s. universities. The measure, strongly backed by the high-tech industry and touted as a boost to the U.s. economy, would have a net effect of extending more visas and eventual citizenship to students from india and china. it is opposed by most democrats, the obama administration, and immigrant rights groups, such as the Asian American Justice center which want to see it packaged with broader legislation that extends legal status for illegal immigrants. These groups also oppose the proposed new 55,000 visas for foreign students because they would be offset by eliminating a lottery program that provides green cards to people with lower rates of immigration, mainly those from Africa. senate democrats on wednesday blocked republicans from bringing up the

it remains to be seen how Psy’s American fans will react. obama, the father of two pop music fans, wasn’t letting the news change his plans. earlier Friday, the white house confirmed obama and his family will attend a dec. 21 charity concert, where Psy is among the performers. A spokesman says it’s customary for the president to attend the “christmas in washington” concert, which will be broadcast on TNT. The white house has no role in choosing performers for the event, which benefits the National children’s Medical center. 

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bill. A bill introduced by sens. Jon kyl of Arizona and kay Bailey hutchison of Texas, who are retiring at the end of this session, seeks to offer some legal status to young immigrants. critics say it falls short because it does not provide a path to citizenship, an issue that sen. robert Menendez (d-N.J.) describes as “non-negotiable.” About 77 percent of hispanic voters in the November election said they thought people working in the United states illegally should be offered a chance to apply for legal status, according to exit polling conducted for the television networks and The Associated Press. That is compared with 71 percent of Asian Americans and 65 percent of voters overall. The political implications are great. hispanics and Asian Americans are the nation’s two fastestgrowing population groups, each increasing by more than 40 percent since 2000. A higher birth rate and years of steadily high immigration have boosted hispanics to 17 percent of the U.s. population, compared with Blacks at 12 percent and 5 percent for Asians. even if the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal residents do not attain citizenship, the nation’s hispanics, who made up roughly 10 percent of voters in November, are expected to nearly double their share of eligible voters by 2030. Asian Americans, who now are 3 percent of voters, will also continue to increase. About 73 percent of Asian Americans voted for obama, second only to African Americans at 93 percent and slightly higher than Latinos at 71 percent, according to exit polling. Asian Americans don’t strongly identify with either party, but they tend to cite jobs, education, and health care as issues most important to them and generally prefer a big government that provides more services. relatively new to the United states and religiously diverse, Asian Americans also may have been repelled by republican Mitt romney’s forceful stance during the primaries seeking “self-deportation” of immigrants, as well as the GoP’s sometimes narrow appeal to evangelical christians, said karthick ramakrishnan, a political science professor at the University of california-riverside who helps conduct a broad National Asian American survey. while Mexicans make up about 55 percent of illegal immigrants and other Latin Americans represent another 25 percent, Asians make up a 10 percent share, many of whom overstay temporary visas.  AP Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

{I CHING cont’d from page 9} no central heating in my apartment or at school. i learned that if i had at least five people in my living room in the winter, we generated enough heat that we could remove our coats.” her time abroad helped develop her understanding of gender. “i am so glad i had the opportunity to be a stranger in a strange land for nearly two years. i learned, for example, that i was asking the wrong questions if i wanted to understand the status of women. i am not sure i ever found the right questions, much less adequate answers, but i did learn to listen to silences in conversations, as well as spoken words, as Taiwan was under martial law then. when people said ‘things are better now,’ i knew that sometimes this was an expression of fear.” she took 14 years to complete her first english draft of the “i ching,” working much of the time on sabbatical at clare hall, cambridge University, in england. “

“i have clearly separated the core text (the Zhouyi and the xiang) from its commentaries,” she comments. “This is what readers expect of a translation, but it is relatively rare for this particular text. “i have also reflected the gender neutral nature of most chinese pronouns by using a gender neutral english pronoun, instead of ‘he.’ we now know that women, as well as men, used the book, and current english usage no longer sees ‘he’ as the universal it once seemed to be. “when stripped of later commentaries,” she concludes, “the Zhouyi is remarkably concrete. it lacks abstractions and cosmological terms. it is more vivid, and has far fewer gender stereotypes than most people think.”  For more information on Dr. Pearson’s “I Ching,” consult her website at http:// Andrew Hamlin can be reached at info@

asianweekly northwest



{PAKISTAN cont’d from page 5} security officials say the Taliban raise money in karachi through bank and ATM robberies, kidnappings, and extortion, and are recruiting as well. The head of the city’s central investigation department, chaudhry Aslam, who is tasked with tracking down militants, said the Taliban have killed at least 24 of his officers this year. regular citizens are often caught in the middle. samina waseem says her son Aatir, 21, went out on May 22 to get his phone fixed. Three days later, she found his body in the morgue with a gunshot wound through his head. she’s convinced he was killed because he belonged to the Mohajir community, descended from people who moved from india to newly created Pakistan when the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947. Part of karachi’s problem is that since 1947, its population has mushroomed from 435,000 to 18 million. The metropolis ranges from the high-end neighborhoods of clifton, where people live behind bougainvillea-covered walls and eat arugula and fig salads at posh restaurants, to concrete block houses on the dusty out-

{PACQUIAO cont’d from page 7} came to a standstill as it usually does when its hero fights, and for the second fight in a row, they were bitterly disappointed. in the southern region where the boxer and congressman lives, some survivors of a powerful typhoon that killed more than 600 people this week watched on a big TV screen in a gym that serves as an emergency shelter in the town of New Bataan. “People were really dismayed,” town spokesman Marlon esperanza said. “it was like they were hit by another typhoon.” what Marquez hit Pacquiao with might have seemed almost as powerful. Pacquiao had dropped Marquez four times in their first three fights, but Marquez had never put him down before he landed a big right hand in the third round for his first knockdown. The power was sure to raise questions about the new bulked-up physique Marquez has at the age of 39, which he said came from hard work under a strength conditioner who once provided steroids to Marion Jones and other track stars. still, it was a career-defining moment for Marquez, who believes he was robbed by the judges in his first three fights with Pacquiao. The two fought to a draw eight years ago at 125 pounds and Pacquiao was awarded close decisions in the other two fights. it was clear there would be no need for the judges on this night, which might have been good for Marquez since he was losing by one point on all three scorecards when he landed his big punch. The only question was which fighter would end the night on the canvas. it turned out to be Pacquiao, who lost a con-

skirts. There, migrants move in from the rugged northwest where the United states is waging its war with the Taliban, and from the flood-prone plains of sindh. That population growth is marked by spurts of violence. currently, the overarching struggle appears to be between two powerful forces. one is the Muttahida Quami Movement, the city’s dominant force, which represents Urdu-speaking Mohajirs. The other is the Awami National Party. it represents Pashtuns whose numbers are increasing as their ethnic kin flee the northwest. The MQM prides itself on being the protector of middle-class, liberal, secular values in a country where extremism and religious conservatism hold sway. it says the Taliban began moving into karachi in force, driven south by a military offensive in 2009, and is wreaking havoc while hiding among the Pashtun. “we are trying our best to keep karachi alive,” said engr Nasir Jamal, of the MQM. The ANP and the Pashtuns believe the MQM is nervous that Pashtun population growth will undermine their hold on karachi, and that it is targeting Pashtuns to intimidate them. The Pashtuns acknowledge that the Taliban are a big problem, including for them, because the terror group has also been killing its members. But

they say the MQM exaggerates the problem. The battle lines are visible across the city. MQM flags and posters blanket the Urduspeaking neighborhoods, and red flags and graffiti mark ANP territory in the poorer, blue-collar neighborhoods. Theirs is hardly the only conflict. The Pakistan Peoples Party, which heads the national government, says 450 of its activists have been killed over the last 4 1/2 years. Nationalists from Baluchistan province find refuge in the city, sunni extremists target shiites they consider infidels, and the shiites fight back. Add waves of people displaced by floods over the last three years, and the lack of land and resources becomes a toxic brew. “This is a war for controlling karachi,” said Taj haider, a leading member of the PPP in sindh. during pitched battles between armed wings of political parties last year, whole neighborhoods were cut off, children kept away from school, and residents shot and killed while shopping for food. This year, the violence has been more spread out. The effect on karachi’s business commu-

nity is being felt, said Mohammed Atiq Mir, chairman of the All karachi Trade Association. he estimated that 20,000 to 25,000 businesses have left, and that the economic loss equals about $10 million dollars a day. Businessmen he talks with have begun hiring private security guards and are getting licenses to carry weapons. The city’s police are often outnumbered and outgunned. There is one police officer for every 600 people, compared with 1 to 150 on average in neighboring india, said sharfuddin Memon, an adviser to the sindh provincial government. There is no witness protection program, so people are reluctant to testify. de-weaponization plans have gone nowhere. Meanwhile, the deaths multiply, and the death of samina waseem’s son remains one among hundreds that go unexplained and unpunished. “i just want that whoever did it to just tell us, why he did it,” she pleaded. “Just tell a mother why he killed my son.” 

troversial decision in his last fight to Timothy Bradley and who many in boxing believe is showing the wear of 17 years in the ring. For any other fighter, the knockout loss might be the end, but Pacquiao showed no sign afterward that he was willing to call it quits on his remarkable career and return to his other job as a congressman in the Philippines. Trainer Freddie roach said the decision won’t be an easy one. “i said if he is back in the gym and i see signs of him declining, i’ll tell him to retire, but if i don’t see that, i won’t tell him to retire,” roach said. “i’d love to get a rematch, but is that the best move right away? should we try him out in a softer fight first? There is a lot of things we have to think about. it’s very complicated, and it’s not going to be overnight.” one thing the stunning loss did do was scuttle, perhaps forever, what would have been the richest fight in boxing history. with Pacquiao now damaged goods, any fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. would be fought for a lot less money and generate a lot less interest than if it had happened with Pacquiao still on his winning streak and still in his prime. Pacquiao’s career may not be over. if postfight comments from both fighters and promoter Bob Arum were any indication, he and Marquez will more than likely fight for a fifth time. There’s too much money to be had and the fighter in Pacquiao will surely want a chance at redemption. That will be a hot topic of discussion in the months ahead. For now, though, one thing is for sure. on this night, one huge right hand from Marquez changed everything. 

{PHAN cont’d from page 1}

expected to be paid back for it. evensen and others who attended the vigil on the bridge embraced each other and prayed for Phan before releasing six balloons into the night sky in his honor. Unified Police detectives are interviewing students who witnessed the shooting, hoyal said. Police and school district officials said they don’t yet what led Phan to take his own life, but those who knew the victim said he had endured bullying at the hands of dozens of students. “They were just mean to him for no reason,” classmate Alicia earl told ABc 4. A statement posted on the school district’s Facebook page read in part that Phan had been contacted regularly by a counselor over the past 18 months over bullying concerns, but the teen did not report being mistreated or harassed. Phan’s classmate Makayla schmidt pointed out that sometimes bullying is hard to detect, especially when it comes to verbal abuse. “i heard it, people (talking about him),” she told ksL. “i don’t think people realize how much words can hurt.” horsley said the teen had reached out to a counselor last year for personal reasons, but did not complain about being bullied. he added that the school will investigate the allegations. The school district is providing counselors to talk with students and families in the wake of the death. in a statement, the Granite school district said that Phan’s suicide appears to be an isolated incident that is not related to any kind of criminal activity. 

alone to a pedestrian bridge near the school, where he came upon several students who had just gotten out of school for the day. several parents were also present. That is when Unified Police Lt. Justin hoyal said the teen pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head. when first responders arrived on the scene, Phan was still alive. The teen was rushed by ambulance to intermountain Medical center in critical condition, but died a short while later. The bridge where the shooting took place is just off school grounds near the southwest corner of the campus. on Friday, Nov. 30, police revealed that the gun Phan used in the suicide was kept in a locked safe at his home. They do not believe the 14-year-old brought the weapon to the campus. horsley said before Phan was let out of school with his mother, he was searched for weapons. The spokesperson did not elaborate what led school officials to search the teen. “i was just walking. i hear a big sound and i hear everybody yelling, and then i turned around and i saw it and there was a lot of blood,” ethan wily told Fox13. At around 8 p.m. on Thursday, more than 200 people gathered on the bridge, candles in hand, for a vigil. The salt Lake Tribune reported that they remembered Phan as a kind and friendly soul. “he was one of the sweetest guys i’ve ever known,” said hunter evensen, a fellow ninth-grader. he remembered when the teen had bought him a drink and never

Associated Press writer Adil Jawad in Karachi and Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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For the week of December 15–December 21, 2012 RAT An eye for adventure can lead you down many paths, but once committed, you generally do not deviate from the route you have chosen.

DRAGON Even if the actual date of travel is far off, start planning for a trip that you want to take. You may find that anticipation is half the fun.

MONKEY Are you setting yourself up for failure or success? You can be your own cheerleader or end the game before it has even begun.

OX Feigning enthusiasm could be a fast ticket to volunteering yourself for a project you only have lukewarm feelings about.

SNAKE Don’t believe everything that you see. Depending on your vantage point, you might not be getting an accurate picture.

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TIGER Comparing notes can be a useful exercise, giving you insight into how other people might view the same thing differently.

HORSE Are you aware of the resources that are currently available to you? Sometimes, it just involves recognizing what you’ve had the entire time.

RABBIT Beware of those who gossip or speak badly on a regular basis about those around them. It won’t be long before you are the topic of conversation.

GOAT In the right context, candor can be quite disarming. Instead of trying to beat around the bush, your frankness could win you some points.

DOG How do you compete with someone who has seemingly more going for them than you? The power of passion and drive should not be underestimated. PIG Why settle for a mediocre product if you don’t have to? Turn a good thing into something great with some fine tuning on your part.

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 Horse 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 Goat 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 Monkey 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 Rooster 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 Dog 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 Pig 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

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{SHELF cont’d from page 8} This is what happens to Liu as he bonds with his adopted daughter rose. having never had the opportunity to know his biological child, Liu’s growing relationship with the foundling — after initially contemplating selling her — is the foundation of the story, showing readers some good can come from even the worst situations. it is also a story about the culture clash between old china and new china. The story will have readers contemplating the cost of progress and wondering whether all the technological advances we have made are really worth it, if it means the loss of jobs, homes, and in some cases, humanity.

A Hundred Flowers By Gail Tsukiyama St. Martin’s Press, 2012

in 1957, chairman Mao has declared a new openness in china, “Let a hundred flowers bloom. Let a hundred schools of thought contend.” Many intellectuals are skeptical, suspecting a trick. kai ying’s husband sheng, a schoolteacher, has promised to not do anything to endanger their son Tao, but just before Tao’s sixth birthday, sheng is arrested for writing a letter criticizing

the communist Party. sheng is sent to a labor camp for “reeducation,” while his family must continue with their lives. one year later, Tao breaks his leg while climbing the old kapok tree in front of their home. in the aftermath of her son’s injury, her husband’s absence and the sudden addition of sunyi, a teenage girl who unexpectedly shows up and gives birth to a baby girl at their home, kai ying tries to hold her family together. “A hundred Flowers” is the story of a family working to get through a difficult time and while the loss they feel is not through a death, the uncertainty about whether sheng is alive, is worse. during a time when things could fall apart, the family eventually pulls together, even as guilty secrets are revealed and arguments arise. on the surface, kai ying’s family seems fairly average. They’re just one of many families struggling amidst china’s cultural revolution. But what Tsukiyama does throughout the story is show that even ordinary, everyday people can do extraordinary things when the time calls for it. This serves as a reminder to readers that we are capable of more than we think — an inspiring message for anyone going through a hard time.  Samantha Pak can be reached at



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{WONG cont’d from page 1} several international district businesses and contributions from volunteers. wong caught up with old colleagues and friends from her political organizing past. Later, she shared selections from the new book, projecting confidence and humor as she read. Many of her poems are personal, such as “in the Blood,” in which she recounts how her parents were legally registered as brother and sister for many years after their arrival to the United states, due to a law at the time that prevented chinese male immigrants from bringing wives. other poems are inspired by global events, which wong has only encountered in the newspaper. But all of her work is united by the common thread of political struggle. After the reading, a discussion ensued on the challenges of being a political poet. “when we were at state together, the big thing was, ‘oh, that’s propaganda and if you write about politics, that can’t possibly be po-

{TOP CONTRIBUTORS cont’d from page 1} education Foundation; Asia discount center; sesinando cantor; and Jun Bae kim. The banquet was emceed by robert Mak, formerly of kiNG5. Guests and speakers included Govenor-elect Jay inslee and state Attorney General-elect Bob Ferguson. inslee gave a speech congratulating the recipients and emphasizing education at the beginning of the event.

etry,’” said sukey wolf, a former classmate of wong’s at san Francisco state University. “well, typically radical women, LGBTQ, all those underrepresented groups are … it’s not considered art to talk about our lives, which is the whole point of Nellie’s reading, you know?” wong said that fame and fortune were never her concerns. “My point is to get the work out, have people read it, enjoy it, like it, or give criticism or whatever it is, but it’s part of the community,” she said. “it’s for the radicals, and for the socialists, and for the feminists, and for the people of color, and the LGBTQ people, and all of us who are fighting to make change.” wong began writing in her mid-30s, taking night classes while working full-time as a secretary at Bethlehem steel. her younger sister Flo had watched her help their immigrant parents with english writing and typing tasks during their youth and thought she had a knack for it. Flo encouraged Nellie to give creative writing a try. The women’s writers Union on the san Francisco state campus was the catalyst for wong’s political awakening. she had written a

“This community has some of the most entrepreneurial builders in the state,” he said. honorees came from a variety of backgrounds, including politics, business, and philanthropy. each honoree was asked a question about leadership and their careers. Ung, owner of Phnom Penh Noodle house, arrived in the United states during the reign of the khmer rouge. he witnessed the loss of his loved ones and his country and felt he died several times over. in the United states, he opened a restaurant and wrote an autobiogra-


poem criticizing the chinatown Miss UsA contest, and her professor responded, “Bitter, bitter, bitter. once you have written a poem like that, you can throw it away.” when wong shared this with the other feminist students in the union, and they told her, “oh, you don’t have to listen to him!” early in her writing career, wong performed and wrote as a member of Unbound Feet, an Asian American feminist literary group, until they broke up over political differences. wong found her voice as a poet and published her first book, “dreams in harrison railroad Park,” in 1977. A few years later, in 1983, she was invited by writer Tillie olsen to travel with the first U.s. women writer’s Tour to china, along with others, including Alice walker and Paule Marshall. she was the only chinese American woman to be included. At the very end of the tour, she managed to arrange a visit to her father’s village in Toisan, where she met her extended family. her visit inspired a poem, “in china,” in which wong writes about her desire to be “embrace[d], a daughter returning.” in 2010, students from oakland high school, wong’s alma mater, voted to name a campus building after her. in addition to the reading, wong’s stay in seattle included a brief poetry workshop with students at ida B. wells high school on the Uw campus, and a rally in solidarity with dissidents in russia and the russian consulate. in her 70s now, wong is full of hope for the future. she is considering writing both a novel and a memoir and would like to write about connections between women in china and chinese American women today. when contemplating her next work, wong reflects, “what is it about the things that happen to women and working people and poor people that i care about, that i could write about and help to put out there?” she feels there is much still to do. “if [people] think this is a post-feminist society, they’re crazy.”  Signe Predmore can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

phy about his experiences called “i survived the killing Fields: The True Life story of a cambodian refugee.” “i never lost hope, even through the darkest times in starvation and genocide,” Ung said. “[My parents] inspired me the most. Never forget who you are, where you come from, and respect others.” su is the founder of china Tomorrow education Foundation (cTeF), a nonprofit dedicated to aiding and funding children in the most rural parts of china. since its inception in 1999, su and cTeF have raised an impressive $1.8 million to 171 schools in 13 provinces in china. he emphasized education as a pressing issue the community needs to tackle. education was also emphasized by inslee and okazaki, the executive director of Neighborhood house, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving low-income communities and alleviating poverty in seattle, Another common theme of the night was unity amongst different groups. Trong Pham was forced to flee Vietnam to the United states in 1980. he became a vice president at Morgan stanley and involved in many charities, including komen’s Pink Tie Guys. “[My] goal is to be the bridge between the Asian and Vietnamese community,” Pham said.

cantor agreed and said the event brought the Asian American community together. “it’s important that whether we are Filipino, Vietnamese, chinese, that we all work together and collaborate.” rep. hasegawa, who represented washington’s 11th district for 6 years before becoming elected to the state senate, talked about how one can become involved in politics. “Get involved with a union because that’s the best training ground,” he joked. “if you survive that, you’ll make it in public policy.” hasegawa later changed his tune with more serious advice. “i don’t think politics should be a goal,” he said. “it should be a means to a goal. it’s about finding a cause you believe in and [asking yourself], how do i fight for it?” seattle entrepreneur Albert shen attended the event and shared his thoughts on the future of leadership. “i think it was a great example of the Asian American leadership in the community,” he said. “These Asian American leaders pave the way for future leaders. [Future leaders] need to consciously put themselves out there. when you want to do it, it provides leadership to others.”  Ninette Cheng can be reached at info@

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VOL 31 NO 51 | DECEMBER 15 - DECEMBER 21, 2012  

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