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Home, sweet Renton!

» P. 8

Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington 

 The boat launch at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park

Who’s who in Renton?

 Tea Palace Restaurant  Renton Transit Center

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Photo from

JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011

Photo from

VOL 30 NO 23


 Renton Public Library over the Cedar River in Renton  Renton Uwajimaya store front (Photo by Sarah Yee)

 Renton City Hall

Photo by Joe Mabel

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Photo by Joe Mabel

Renton Uwajimaya, a neighborhood grocery with a big name

Q&A: Susan Enfield By Stacy Nguyen NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Dr. Susan Enfield has been a ubiquitous face in the community ever since Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson was dismissed as superintendent by the Seattle School Board last March following a financial scandal. Enfield will act as interim superintendent through June 2012. Recently, Enfield came under fire for dismissing Martin Floe, Ingraham High School’s principal, for personnel reasons she could not disclose. After outcry from students, teachers, and parents, she reversed her decision, and Floe was given another year to improve. Seattle Public Schools (SPS)’s human resourc-

es director, Ann Chan, was also let go in April during a major reorganization. Einfield was hired by Goodloe-Johnson as SPS’s chief academic officer in 2009. Previously, she was deputy superintendent of Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, Wash. At the beginning of her career, she taught English, journalism, and English as a Second Language in grades 9–12 for seven years in California. She has degrees from Harvard, Stanford, and the University of California, Berkeley. Last week, Enfield sat down with Northwest Asian Weekly to answer questions and clear up {see ENFIELD cont’d on page 11} Dr. Susan Enfield at the Northwest Asian Weekly news room

THE INSIDE STORY NAMES IN THE NEWS Who’s doing what in the Asian community? » P. 3

NATIONAL NEWS Goodwin bows out, MasterCard’s CEO speaks. » P. 4

AT THE MOVIES NWAW’s weekly SIFF reviews and picks » P. 7

PUB’S BLOG Some reflections on Renton » P. 10

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

Photo by Rebecca Ip/SCP

The Seattle Public Schools Superintendent on diversity, Ingraham, and what keeps her up at night

asianweekly northwest

Who’s who in Renton Denis Law, Renton Mayor

Prior to being elected mayor, Denis Law was the owner and president of Puget Sound Publishing Co. in Renton with publications that included the Renton Reporter, Kent Reporter, Auburn Reporter, Business Report, and Renton Magazine. During his publishing career, Law earned more than 250 state and national journalism awards in photography, editing, advertising, and newspaper design. In 2011, Law was elected by the board of directors as the vice president of the Suburban Cities Association of King County (SCA), an organization that represents 37 cities with a population of nearly 900,000. He also served on the boards of six chambers in Seattle and the Eastside. He was appointed to the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Task Force, served as president of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association, which represents 110 weekly newspapers and small daily newspapers throughout the state, and was a board member of Camp Fire Boys and Girls of East King County. Law is half-Chinese.

Duc Tran, CEO of the Asian Tea Palace Restaurant and Viet Wah Grocery

Duc Tran runs three Viet Wah food markets. Two are in Seattle, and one is in the Renton Highlands (2820 NE Sunset Blvd). He operates a wholesale business that ships Asian food across the country. Tran also chairs the Renton Chamber of Commerce Board. He is also the founder of Renton International Festival — this year scheduled for August 26–28. Tran first arrived to the United States in 1976 as a refugee from Vietnam, sponsored by the First United Methodist Church in Burien. While working two jobs in social services, Tran also attended English for Second Language courses at Highline Community College to aid in his employment as a translator for the refugee program of the same church that sponsored his own arrival. Stationed at the SeaTac International Airport, Tran would help refugees transfer from one part of the country to another, which at times resulted in anywhere from 50 to 100 migrants with overnight layovers.

James Wong, CEO of Avidian Inc. James Wong is a seasoned entrepreneur and founder of three successful companies. He is co-founder and CEO of Avidian Technologies (, the creators of Prophet, the world-leading CRM software built in Outlook. Under Wong’s leadership, Avidian was a winner of the Seattle Mayor’s Small Business Award, honored for excellence in marketing, management, employee relations, and community involvement. Avidian was also honored in 2005, 2006, and 2007 by Washington CEO magazine as one of the “Best Companies to Work For” in Washington state. Wong is a thought-leader, sought after speaker and writer on CRM, sales management & groupware applications. He was a regular writer for PCWorld and has been featured in PC Magazine, Small Business Computing, Inc., Entrepreneur, CRM Magazine, Washington Post, and other publications. In 2009, Wong was named by the Sales Lead Management Association as the one of the “50 Most Influential Sales Lead Management Professional.”

Dr. Bobby Virk, orthodontist and successful business owner

Dr. Bobby Virk ( earned his dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania Dental School in 1998. He completed his advanced postdoctoral training at Boston University, where he received his Orthodontic Degree and a Master of Science in Dentistry. Dr. Virk works very closely with general and cosmetic dentists, as well as other dental specialists, in order to provide personalized orthodontic care for both children and adults. Dr. Virk’s passion is to change peoples’ lives by giving them beautiful smiles. He has special interest in TMJ dysfunctions and sleep apnea. He and his wife, Helena Skountrianos, also an orthodontist, have 17 offices in the state. They maintain a lovely home on the southeast side of Renton, where they are raising two young sons, Karan and Aris. Virk actively involved in Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington, the Sikh temple serving 25,000 people region wide. Virk has announced candidacy for 47th District State Representative in 2012.

Kendee Yamaguchi, Director of the Washington State Commission on Asian American Affairs

Kendee Yamaguchi is the director of the WA State Commission on Asian American Affairs ( Prior to her appointment to the Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs, she worked in the Office of Public Liaison on the signing of the executive order establishing the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

She has experience working as a television executive and a staff member in the legislature. More recently, she worked as an attorney in private practice. Yamaguchi earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and public communications with a minor in international affairs from American University. She also earned a juris doctorate from the Seattle University School of Law. Yamaguchi grew up in Renton, and her parents still live there.

Faye Hong, owner of Hong’s Garden Restaurant Since immigrating to Seattle from Hong Kong in 1952, Faye Hong’s family has made an impact on the local Asian American community. As a board member and a fundraiser chairman, Hong was also instrumental in the fundraising for the Chinatown Gate. He’s also a co-chair for the Kin On Community Health Care Center and helped form the Business Improvement Area (BIA) to help attract more businesses to the area. Hong’s history with the International District, which also includes serving on the International District Review Board and the Seattle Chinese Chamber of Commerce, has allowed him to gain a vision for where real change can begin within the community. The Hong family began with a modest restaurant in the International District (then Chinatown) called Atlas, which was located in the same place where Ga Ga Loc now stands. In the early 1980s, Hong owned the House of Hong, one of Seattle’s most popular Chinese restaurants. Today, Hong owns Hong’s Garden in Renton (64 Rainier Ave. S. #E.)

Marcie Maxwell, State Representative of 41st District and of Marcie Maxwell & Lisa Lam, a Windermere Realtor Team As a current state representative, Rep. Maxwell’s priorities include quality and funding in K-12 public schools and higher education; encouraging a diverse employment base while working for good jobs and successful businesses in our state; reducing congestion through infrastructure improvements; promoting Washington’s leadership technology and green industries; and accountable government that values people, local communities, and our quality of life ( Rep. Maxwell has been a realtor and small business owner for 22 years. Prior to the legislature, she served as a Renton School Board Director and was King County School Boards’ Legislative Representative to the WA State School Directors’ Association. She is a past chairman of the Renton Chamber of Commerce and past president of Renton Rotary. Her numerous awards include the WA School Administrators Outstanding Community Leadership award, 2011 WA State PTA Friend of Children award, 2004 Renton Citizen of the Year, and Seattle-King County Realtors Association Community Service award.



isa am, of Marcie Maxwell & Lisa Lam, a Windermere Realtor Team Lisa Lam is a successful young business professional who grew up in Renton and is active in Renton Rotary. She currently chairs the Renton Salvation Army Food Bank Advisory Counsel. Lam started working as the real estate agent with Maxwell in 2005 as a listing partner. Since then, she’s been working with Maxwell side by side learning how to run a successful real estate business. She is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), the highest designation earned to sales associates in the residential sales field. Her entrepreneurial spirit brings new insight to marketing, technology, and customer service, and she has been an outstanding addition to the team ( She is fluent in Cantonese and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Washington.

Tony Wong, head of Asian division,

Greenwood Memorial Park & Funeral Home Today, Greenwood Memorial Park & Funeral Home, (350 Monroe Avenue N.E., Renton) is famous for its Asian garden. In 2003, Greenwood, an Asian Garden burial idea with a koi pond and five dragons, was designed with the input of feng shui Greenwood staff, from left: Randy masters to bring harmony and good energy to the Sneesby, Tony Wong, and David site. But 15 years ago, when Tony Wong’s mother Combs passed away, there were none of those features. At the time, Greenwood did not know anything about Asian customs for the deceased. Instead of complaining, Wong proposed many ideas to improve Greenwood’s service to the Asian community. Greenwood’s manager suggested that Wong, who worked at Boeing, consider a career change. Today, Wong heads the Asian division of the multilingual staff at Greenwood. Tony said, even Chinese funeral culture varies from village to province, and in different religions such as Buddhism and Christian. He said the Asian Garden is a product of inputs from the Asian community. To be able to help the deceased families gives him much satisfaction and pride. Annual Asian events held for the deceased at Greenwood include Night of Remembrance during Christmas, Memorial Day, Easter Sunrise, and the Ching Ming Festival.

This pictorial was sponsored by local men and women in our community


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


■ NAMES IN THE NEWS May 28: Frederica Mackert crowned 2011 Japanese queen

to help students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills, as well as an appreciation of Shakespeare. In three progressive competitions, students memorize, interpret, and perform monologues and sonnets. Aldana will be attending Yale University in the fall. 

May: Fred Wong publishes Chinese Art book “Brush Ink Mind” cover

online. Wong has practiced the art of Chinese calligraphy and painting since childhood. He studied with artist Li Fu-hong of the Lingnan School. Wong’s work ranges from landscape paintings in ink to abstract ‘non-action’ paintings. He has exhibited in the United States and Hong Kong, including  a recent solo show at Edmonds Community College, and in “American/Asian” at ArtXchange Gallery and Seattle City Hall. Wong is also an arts administrator and educator. 

Frederic Wong

Frederica Miako Mackert The Seattle Japanese Queen Scholarship Organization crowned Frederica Miako Mackert as its 2011 queen at the 52nd annual scholarship celebration at Meydenbauer Center. Mackert also carries the title of Seattle Cherry Blossom and Japanese Cultural Festival Queen. Additionally, Mackert was selected Miss Tomodachi, or Miss Congeniality. The other 2011 participants include first princess Erika Lynn Sakamoto Nicks and princesses Kirsten Yuko Lee and Lauren Kylie Suguro. 

May 27: Joel Ing appointed to Public Stadium Authority

Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Joel Ing to the Washington State Public Stadium Authority, which is the entity responsible for representing and protecting the public’s interests in Qwest Field, Qwest Event Center, and its parking garage. Joel Ing is a work- Joel Ing force housing developer at Shelter Resources, Inc., in Bellevue. Previously, he worked at two different northwest affordable housing development firms, was a public finance investment banker, and was a credit analyst. Ing earned a master’s degree in arts in public policy from Duke University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington. 

May 2: Ehrik Aldana a semi-finalist in national Shakespeare competition

Ehrik Aldana, a student at Skyline High School in Sammamish, placed as a semi-finalist at the English-Speaking Union (ESU) National Shakespeare Competition held in New York City. Aldana had won the ESU Seattle Branch regional competition. Ehrik Aldana The competition is a school-based program

Frederic Wong’s book, “Brush Ink Mind, The Practice of Chinese Calligraphy and Painting,” has been published and is available at the University Bookstore Espresso Book Machine and

JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


April 19: Carolee Boyd and Sarah Coleman receive mayoral recognition for English classes

Carolee Boyd (left) and Sarah Coleman, pictured with their English-language students, display their mayoral recognition. Crouching next to Coleman is Ron Harris, Seattle Parks & Recreation manager. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn gave Carolee Boyd and Sarah Coleman mayoral recognition for their work over the years, teaching immigrants English at the International District/Chinatown Community Center for free. The-Anh Nguyen, who nominated them for the recognition, said, “They are the sweetest pair of grandmas that anyone could have. … They are my superheroes. I call them ‘the saints.’ Even when they do not feel well, they still try their best to get to the classes.” 

asianweekly northwest


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


Goodwin Liu withdraws his appeals court nomination By Mark Sherman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) — A liberal legal scholar is withdrawing his nomination to an appeals court judgeship after Senate Republicans blocked a vote on his confirmation late last month. Goodwin Liu, 40, said in a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, May 25, that he and his family need “to make plans for the future” now that there is little prospect of a Senate vote on his nomination. Obama nominated Liu, a law professor at the

University of California at Berkeley, to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year. Liu is seen as potentially the first Asian American Supreme Court nominee, and time as an appeals court judge would have burnished his credentials. His nomination cheered liberal interest groups, but aroused strong opposition from Republicans, who objected to his record and opposition to Republican Supreme Court nominees. Democrats failed to come up with the 60 votes they needed to end a Republican filibuster that included several senators, who previously

had pledged not to filibuster judicial nominees except under extraordinary circumstances. In the letter to Obama, Liu said the 9th Circuit, including California and several other Western states, has a “desperate need for judges.” Liu said that “it is now clear that continuing my nomination will not address that need any time soon.” The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter. The federal judiciary says there are 86 vacancies in the federal courts, and that Obama has nominated 47 people, including Liu, to fill them. 

Goodwin Liu

Q&A: MasterCard’s Ajay Banga on money By Eileen A.J. Connelly THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK (AP) — Ajay Banga leads a company that is synonymous with plastic, yet he encourages his staff to focus on cash. The CEO of MasterCard Inc. sees the fact that 85 percent of all transactions around the world still take place in cash. He sees this as an opportunity. He argues that targeting those purchases and payments provides far bigger growth prospects than competing for the comparatively small share of debit and credit transactions already handled through processing networks like the one he runs. The India-born son of an army general has roots on three continents, having settled in Manhattan after living in London. Banga commands a room, his conversation filled with quirky asides and a somewhat salty vocabulary. Yet he also defers to the expertise of his staff, most of which was in place when he took over last year.

when you’d get a pink slip. Has the recession created a lasting change in how consumers use credit?

Ajay Banga Q: What do current consumer spending patterns say about the U.S. economy? A: The reason spending is picking up is, I believe, that the 90 percent of the people who are employed, compared to the 10 percent who are not, no longer believe their jobs are at risk. And therefore, their willingness to spend a little has changed compared to six, nine months ago, when there was this fear of, you know, the proverbial Damocles sword hanging over your neck and you didn’t know

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My general sense is no, but there is some kind of temporary impact on how people think about credit. The recession created a change for the period of time that people were suffering really seriously from unemployment fears. Those who no longer feel this fear of unemployment are beginning to spend a little more. Whether it’s good for our economy to go back to a 2 percent negative savings rate, I would be the last guy to say that. I believe that’s a bad thing, not just for our economy, it’s bad for our people. That’s not something you solve in a month or a year, that’s a long-term imbalance in the system where we consume and the other guys manufacture, and you can’t carry on like this indefinitely, whether it’s a federal deficit or our personal deficits. But whether a 6 percent savings rate is good for the United States, I don’t know if that’s

the right answer either. There’s no science in this, there’s an art form, and I would hate to be the president trying to manage it all, because that’s what he’s trying to do and everybody and their grandfather is offering him free advice. You have a segment of the population that only knew that the tide rose, so home prices increased, the stock market increased, credit was wildly available, cheap and easy to get. We’ve gone through this reset period during the recession where I think people now are going to, not permanently, but certainly for a three- to five-year period, be much more attuned to their financial management. They’ll be wary of getting overextended and counting on their home equity to finance their retirement. Are rising gas and food prices affecting behavior? The fact that gas prices are going up means people are spending a little less on other things. But I’d be very careful to draw too many conclusions from a month or two.

Everybody expects food prices to go up 4, 5, 6 percent this year. I suspect if food prices increase that much, a certain segment of society, which is relatively budget strapped, will cut back. But will that impact the majority of the spending in the United States? Many people spend only 5 to 10 percent of their income on food, so not really. When you look at the total, you may see a more neutral impact than if you looked at each segment of consumers. You took the helm of a company that has a bit of a staid reputation. Is it difficult to create a culture of innovation? It’s always difficult to nurture innovation, even in a non-staid company. Because when times are tough, the first budget to get cut is marketing. The next budget to get cut is R&D, unless you’re a pharmaceutical company, in which case you’d die without it. And so even {see BANGA cont’d on page 12}


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011



To do things the Chinese way or the Brazilian way? By Bradley Brooks THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAO PAULO (AP) — Stocking shelves in a Chinese grocery store, Thiago warned that he didn’t want to be caught chatting during working hours. Within seconds, however, the Brazilian unleashed a pent-up flood of complaints about the owners, who lingered just beyond hearing distance. “My bosses have never heard of a day off,” said the 20-year-old, who would only allow his first name to be used, for fear of losing his job. “Vacations? Forget it. They pay well and they pay for extra hours, but they don’t understand that some things are more important to Brazilians than money. “I’ve seen many workers walk in, see the Chinese way of doing things, and quit the very same day.” Such cross-cultural tensions have become a stumbling block in an otherwise meteoric rise in business ties between China and Brazil, two of the world’s fastestgrowing economies. Chinese companies’ direct investment in Brazil jumped to $17 billion last year, nearly 60 times the investment the previous year, according to SOBEET, a Brazilian economic think tank. At the same time, more Chinese companies are hiring local workers, rather than following their old practices of bringing in Chinese laborers. That new reality has meant frequent con-

tact between two cultures that hold vastly different expectations about the role of workers, government regulations, and unions. Brazilians enjoy some of the most laborfriendly protections in the world, with guarantees such as one-month annual bonuses and stipends for meals and transportation. China, on the other hand, has quickly become the world’s second-biggest economy on the strength of a low-paid work force and, in practice, virtually nonexistent labor protections, according to the U.S.-based nonprofit Global Institute for Labor & Human Rights. Brazil’s strong independent labor movement also clashes with a centralized Chinese system of company unions without collective bargaining power. “You’re looking at a whole different model of how society operates,” said Charles Kernaghan, the institute’s director. “That means no rights to organize, virtually no labor protections.” Chinese companies are attempting to export that model and, at least in Brazil, have been finding it difficult to retain workers, even in management positions. A survey of 500 Brazilian executives working for Chinese, North American, and European companies recently conducted by the Michael Page International recruitment firm for the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo found that 42 percent of Brazilian executives working for Chinese companies left their jobs within a year, a 68 percent higher turnover

rate than found in the other firms studied. Brazilian workers complain that their Chinese employers don’t understand the country’s culture of developing personal relationships among co-workers. Brazilians also bristle against a centralized office hierarchy that puts little trust in local executives. “The cultural misunderstandings are going to frustrate the development of Chinese business in Brazil,” said Marcelo de Lucca, director of Michael Page’s Brazil operations. “Multinational companies, when they arrive in Brazil or any country, have to adapt to the local culture. But the Chinese, with their old culture, being a country ruled by a strong Communist party with extreme levels of hierarchy, for them this process will take longer.” Global accounting firm KPMG, whose specialists help Chinese companies get started in Brazil, say about 30 of China’s big state-run companies with annual revenues above $1 billion are now in the country, more than three times the number five years ago. China and Brazil’s bilateral trade surpassed $56 billion last year, up from $2.3 billion a decade earlier. In 2009, China replaced the United States as Brazil’s biggest trading partner. Brazil isn’t China’s first foray into Latin America — Chinese companies have a strong presence across the region, from mining operations in Argentina to manufacturing in Mexico. China has bilateral trade agreements with Peru, Costa Rica, and Chile. Zhang Jianhua, chief of the Bank of China’s operations in Sao Paulo, said Chinese companies have been enticed by Brazil’s wealth of iron ore, soy, oil, and other natural resources, and many companies are finding it more costeffective to move closer to the commodities. Chinese companies also see Brazil’s booming middle class as a lucrative market. Chinese companies’ experience elsewhere in Latin America, however, hasn’t helped them avoid problems in Brazil. A former top executive for Chinese computer maker Lenovo said most Brazilians at the company’s local offices were frustrated by demands to come up with almost immediate results in a country with some of

Assunta Ng


Stacy Nguyen


Han Bui

Layout Editor/Graphic Designer

the world’s worst red tape. Even seemingly mundane tasks, such as getting a phone line or renting an apartment, can require trips to the notary and stacks of paperwork. Brazilian workers also balked at what they saw as their Chinese superiors’ suffocating management style, said the executive, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of putting in jeopardy the jobs of other Brazilians at Lenovo. “It was not the quantity of work — we’re all chained to our Blackberry, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” she said. “But the Chinese bosses wanted people physically in the office 100 percent of the time, so they could control them. “That’s definitely not how deals are closed in Brazil. It’s over dinner, at lunch, having a drink. You cannot keep your work force locked up in an office and expect to make headway in Brazil.” The executive added that Chinese bosses would often create ill will by upbraiding Brazilian project managers in front of their staff. “They thought the workers would do more if the orders were coming from the big boss, but that’s not what Brazilian workers think — it’s just the opposite,” she said. “They lost motivation because they thought their manager had no respect within the company, to the point that he was being dressed down in front of them. I saw that a lot.” Calls to Lenovo were not returned. Asian executives have had their own complaints about what they’ve seen as the lax work ethic of Brazilian employees, but are up against laws that require all foreign companies in Brazil to hire locally. Charles Tang, who founded the BrazilChina chamber of trade and industry 25 years ago, vividly recalls the difficulties he encountered when the Bank of Boston first sent him to Brazil in the mid-1970s. He was particularly frustrated with what he said was some Brazilians’ lack of punctuality. “I banged my head against the wall for a year or so before I really got into Brazilian {see BRAZIL cont’d on page 13}

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

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JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011

■ COMMUNITY CALENDAR THU 6/2 WHAT: Japan Disaster Relief Night at Cheney Stadium at Tacoma Rainiers game WHERE: Cheney Stadium, 2502 S. Tyler St., Tacoma WHEN: 7:05 p.m. COST: $15 INFO: Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 253-383-3900

FRI 6/3 & SAT 6/4 WHAT: American Asian Performing Arts Theatre and Hengda Dance Academy presents Rhythm of Dance 2011 WHERE: Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St., Seattle WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Fri., 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sat. COST: $10–$50 INFO: 206-287-9998, www.

FRI 6/3 THRU SUN 6/5 WHAT: NAPABA Regional Conference for API lawyers, featuring Rich Cho, John Chiang, and Carol Lam WHERE: The Benson Hotel, 209 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. COST: $75–$225 INFO: WHAT: Japan Disaster Relief Night at Cheney Stadium at Tacoma Rainiers game WHERE: Cheney Stadium, 2502 S. Tyler St., Tacoma WHEN: 7:05 p.m.

COST: $15 INFO: Asia Pacific Cultural Center, 253-383-3900

SAT 6/4 WHAT: Northwest Ballet Theatre performs “Emerald Bay,” a ballet about Chinese expulsion WHERE: McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon WHEN: 7:30 p.m. INFO:, WHAT: CISC 39th Annual Friendship Dinner and Auction WHERE: Hyatt Regency, 900 Bellevue Way N.E., Bellevue WHEN: 5:30 p.m. COST: $125 INFO: 206-624-5633, danielj@, www.cisc-seattle. org WHAT: The National Association of Asian American Professionals presents, “Women in NAAAP Conference” WHERE: Microsoft Conference Center, WHEN: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. REGISTER: win.naaapseattle. org

SAT 6/4 & SUN 6/5 WHAT: Explore, Experience, and Enjoy Culture at Pagdiriwang Philippine Festival WHERE: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle WHEN: 11 a.m.–6 p.m. INFO: 206-684-7200, www.

SUN 6/5 WHAT: Pacifica Chamber Orchestra performs a free concert WHERE: Holy Rosary Church, 630 7th Ave. N., Edmonds WHEN: 3–5 p.m. INFO: 425-743-0255, johull52@ WHAT: Wokai Iron Chef Summer Cook Off WHERE: Washington Square, The Loft, 10610 N.E. 9th Place, Bellevue WHEN: 12:30–4 p.m. COST: $5–$20 INFO:, WHAT: Movie screening and discussion of “In Sickness and in Wealth,” episode 1 of Unnatural Causes, a documentary film exploring racial and socioeconomic inequalities in health WHERE: Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle WHEN: 3–5 p.m. RSVP: INFO: 206-783-2244 WHAT: Celebration of Japanese culture at Bloedel Reserve’s Japanese garden, featuring live performances WHERE: Bloedel Reserve, 7571 N.E. Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island WHEN: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. COST: $5–$13, children under 13 free

INFO: 206-842-7631, www.

TUE 6/7 WHAT: Children’s Alliance’s annual Voices for Children Awards Luncheon WHERE: Seattle Center, 305 Harrison St., Seattle WHEN: 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. COST: $60 INFO: 206-324-0340 extension 18,

FRI 6/10 WHAT: LIVE! 4th Annual Women’s Empowerment & Prosperity Summit: Moving Confident Women Forward in Business, Leadership, and Life WHERE: Renaissance Seattle Hotel, 515 Madison St., Seattle COST: $99–$500 REGISTER: www. womensempowermentsummit. com register INFO: 206-349-4297 WHAT: “Discover Shiseido” tour, sharing the best of Japanese skincare science WHERE: Westlake Park, 4th Ave., Seattle WHEN: 10 a.m.–6 p.m. INFO: lshachtman@bcapltd. com, shiseido

SAT 6/11 WHAT: Interim CDA’s annual dinner & auction, “Refresh 2011” WHERE: Grand Hyatt Hotel,

721 Pine St., Seattle WHEN: 5:30 p.m. COST: $100 RSVP: by 6/1 to nko@, 206-624-1802 extension 15 INFO: WHAT: Community Alliance for Global Justice presents the 5th Annual “Strengthening Local Economies Everywhere!” dinner WHERE: St. Demetrios Church, 2100 Boyer Ave. E., Seattle WHEN: 5 p.m. TICKETS: $40–$75, www. event/171343 INFO: 206-405-4600, contact_

SAT 6/18 WHAT: Second annual Chinatown-International District JAMFEST, featuring music and bands WHERE: Wing Luke Asian Museum, 719 S. King St., Seattle WHEN: 6:30–9:30 p.m. COST: $8–$25 INFO: 206-623-5124 extension 119,

THRU 6/19 WHAT: Exhibit: “Born Into Identity: The Asian Pacific American Adoptees Experience” WHERE: Wing Luke Asian Museum, 719 S. King St., Seattle WHEN: Museum hours, generally 10 a.m.–8 p.m. INFO: 206-623-5124, www.



JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011



This week: relationships, relationships, relationships, and a kung fu mystery “71 — Into The Fire,” Korea (2010), directed by John H. Lee Reviewed by Andrew Hamlin

Released to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Battle of P’ohangdong in the Korean War, this historical re-creation of those conditions satisfies on all the levels of the classic war movie. The “71” of the title were 71 young students from South Korea, assigned the seeminglyimpossible task of holding a strategic post against a much larger, much better-trained North Korean force. They seem like a motley crew at first. Two big-city thugs (played by Sang-woo Kwon and Yoon-seong Kim) strut around feeling superior to everyone else. The officer left in charge (Seung-hyeon Choi) begins the movie as a shrinking violet, unsure even how to load his rifle properly. His battle-induced transformation from meek to bold forms the backbone of this impressive narrative. Grenades and gunshots abound, along with heartfelt letters home to anxious mothers, and heroic battlefield deeds. Seung-won Cha, as North Korean commander Moo-rang Park, manages an impressive and menacing stone face. The movie follows standard war picture conventions in many ways, but its importance as a piece of history grants it relevance. Watch for a few video shots of actual survivors of the actual battle, over the closing credits. Matter-of-factly, they bow their heads and weep for their fallen friends. This forms a sweet, plaintive epilogue to the main movie’s explosive spectacle. Pacific Place, June 3, 6:30 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center, June 5, 8 p.m. Admiral Theatre, June 10, 9:30 pm

“Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame,” China (2010), directed by Tsui Hark Reviewed by Jason Cruz

The story, set in 690 A.D. China, features an exiled detective (Detective Dee) brought back by the female empress that jailed him to solve the murders of two high ranking

officials. Aside from the murders, a monumental Buddha is being constructed near the place of celebration for the empress. The fact that the Buddha shadows over the ceremony leads the audience to deduce, as does the detective, that a plot to disrupt the empress’ celebration is imminent. One must detach themselves from reality as the mystery centers around murders where people are being poisoned and spontaneously combust when exposed to sunlight. It also includes talking, magical deer. In one scene, several deer team up to attack Detective Dee. Although the plot is laughable, the film is an entertaining one that incorporates a whodunit feel with kung fu fight scenes. Detective Dee, played by Andy Lau, is part sleuth, part action hero, and his investigation has everyone as a suspect. The movie allows its viewers the chance to piece together the investigation along with Detective Dee in coming to a conclusion. The special effects for Detective Dee are not so special as the CGI used for many of the scenes would make some sci-fi movie aficionados cringe. Yet, they serve their purpose.

The movie has its comedic moments, but the bulk of “Donor” centers around Lizette as a strong woman trying to steer her life in the right direction. Lizette must be the mature adult in her relationship with Danny. It seems at times that theirs is more of a mother-son relationship, rather than a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. Yet, she remains with Danny, rather than leaving him or requesting that he change his life. Meryll Soriano does an excellent job of portraying the flawed, yet hopeful main character. Admiral Theatre, June 4, 6:30 p.m. Harvard Exit, June 7, 4:30 p.m.

“Gandu,” India (2010), directed by Q Reviewed by Jason Cruz

Egyptian Theatre, June 6, 9:30 p.m.

“Donor,” Philippines (2010), directed by Mark Meily Reviewed by Jason Cruz

Set in the Philippi nes, Lizette is stuck in a loveless relationship with her lazy, dim-wit ted boyfriend, Danny, who steals money from her. In an effort to escape her directionless life, she decides to sell her kidney to a Jordanian businessman for 100,000 pesos (equivalent to approximately $2,300). However, due to a Filipino law banning such transactions with foreigners, Lizette must marry the man prior to the surgery. Many questions arise while watching the film. Will Lizette marry the businessman? Will Danny approve? Will she actually receive the money for her kidney? Lizette’s life is further complicated when Danny announces the need for a gun for protection. While this may be sound reasoning because they live in a crime-ridden section of the town, it poses an immediate danger for the people around them and the ill-equipped user. “Donor” is a tragic tale of someone attempting to better themselves in life, but continues to encounter obstacles that prevent happiness.

Gandu, a colloquial term for loser (also a derogatory term synonymous with a donkey’s behind), takes the viewer through the life and into the mind of a young South Asian

man aspiring to be a rapper. Aside from writing lyrics, he wastes his days in Kolkata, India, getting high, playing the lottery, watching Internet porn at a local Internet cafe, and stealing from his mother’s lover to support his habits. Gandu shows disdain for just about every person he comes into contact with, except for a rickshaw driver that is infatuated with Bruce Lee. His new-found friend introduces him to hard drugs that blur the line between reality and hallucination. In a drug-induced haze, Gandu and the rickshaw driver go on a psychedelic journey, where Gandu wins the lottery, has sex with a beautiful young woman, and realizes his dream of becoming a rap star. Most of the movie is in black and white, and scenes are accompanied by hard-driving, headbanging metal infused with Gandu’s rap lyrics. It’s unnerving and loud, but makes its point as it reflects the frustration and unhappiness Gandu experiences in life. The director, Kaushik Mukherjee, professionally known as Q, makes the audience feel the angst of the 20-year-old main character. Only certain parts of the film are in color. One of these scenes is a graphic sex scene involving Gandu during a drug escapade. The movie seems to confuse its audience on purpose, as one wonders what is real and what is not. It will take some time after watching the movie to properly understand what one witnessed and the purpose behind it. In the end, the film seems to make {see SIFF cont’d on page 15}

asianweekly northwest


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


Home, sweet Renton

Photo by Joe Mabel

Photo by Stacy Nguyen/NWAW

A liveable city that is drawing Asian Americans

Viet-Wah shopping mall

Renton High School By James Tabafunda NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Pioneer Erasmus Smithers platted the area now known as Renton more than 150 years ago. He didn’t know it then, but his effort transformed what was formerly an open space along the trail from Seattle to what is now a thriving city of 90,927 people — the ninth largest city in Washington. Smithers was later joined by Capt. William Renton, a wealthy businessman for whom the town is named. Renton provided the financial support for the Renton Coal Company in 1873. Renton — 13 miles southeast of Seattle — has an Asian/Pacific Islander (API) population that is rising quickly. According to new data from the 2010 U.S. Census, this combined group has more than tripled from 6.9 percent of the town’s population in 1990 to 22 percent in 2010. During the same period, the number of those who identified themselves as white decreased from 83.5 percent to 54.6 percent. APIs are the largest minority group in Renton. There is even a connection between Renton and Nishiwaki, Japan, in an alliance that began in 1969 to encourage the exchange of ideas and culture between the two cities.

For house-hunting Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, Renton may be one of the best places to visit and even live.

Quality of life

“Over three generations of my family have lived in Renton,” said Kendee Yamaguchi, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs (CAPAA). “I really treasure the community because of its diversity, beautiful parks, and expansive bike trails.” Yamaguchi isn’t the only one who values Renton for its livability. Husband and wife Peter and Lekha Tang have lived in Renton for almost 28 years. Before they moved with their children to their current home in 1983, they say they spent almost two years looking for a place to live in the surrounding cities of SeaTac, Bellevue, Des Moines, Kent, and Seattle. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Peter Tang said, “We just feel Renton offers the best [housing] value for the money we can afford, and we were lucky to find a real estate agent who was Filipino and very patient.” Peter’s father was from China and moved to Thailand to work as a schoolteacher. “The neighborhood is great. We all watch

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one another,” said Lekha Tang. Property taxes are among Peter Tang’s least-favorite expenses, but he and his wife, and especially their grandchildren, enjoy their one-third-acre backyard. He said, “We see deer there.” “We see rabbits all the time now,” Lekha added. “We even had a surprise one night over 10 years ago,” Peter said. “One peacock flew from nowhere and came to our backyard and decided to live on top of our roof.” Excited at first, they enjoyed seeing its distinctive, iridescent blue-green feathers. However, their guest soon wore out his welcome. “It became annoying. At night, he would just make noise,” Peter said about the peacock’s fourth night on top of their house. “[However,] we love [this area] the most because of the quality of life, the tranquility, nature, even though there are too many rainy days. The tradeoff is worth it.” The Tangs enjoy the convenience of living only one mile from the award-winning Valley Medical Center and not too far from public transportation. Peter added, “We have Costco. We have Sam’s Club. We also have international Asian markets (Uwajimaya, Viet Wah, and Seafood City Supermarket) nearby.” James Wong, CEO of Avidian Technologies, the creator of Prophet CRM software, also enjoys the amenities. “I love living in Renton, as it’s close to everything and has all of the amenities

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within a short drive or walk. With no traffic, it’s literally less than 15 minutes to go to Seattle, Bellevue, or the airport. Coulon Park, the Cedar River, and the whole Landing area are very unique to Renton as well,” said Wong. Coulon Park is a beachfront park near Lake Washington Boulevard, the Landing is a large shopping {see RENTON cont’d on page 12}

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JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011



Renton Uwajimaya

A neighborhood grocery with a big name By Sarah Yee NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

Renton Uwajimaya store front

{see UWAJIMAYA cont’d on page 13}

Photos by George Liu/NWAW

Photo provided by Rex Hashimoto

This year, Renton became the third largest city in Washington state in terms of Asian population, according to the newly released 2010 U.S. Census. It ranks after Seattle and Bellevue. Its 19,298 Asian residents make up 21.2 percent of the city’s population. Within the last decade, the City of Renton has grown rapidly in size and cultural diversity. In 2008, the Benson Hill annex officially became a part of the city, adding about 16,300 to the city’s population. Today, in the Renton School District, one can find more than 87 languages spoken among the students. A few major Asian grocery stores also began new chapters in Renton. “I know Renton [used to] not be very convenient for the older generation [Asians].

Because the [Asian] supermarkets were in Seattle, they’d always go there,” said Jennifer Nguyen, a Renton resident. In 2006, though, Viet Wah Asian Food Market opened in northern Renton to serve the grocery needs of the Asian community. In 2009, Uwajimaya followed suit, opening its fourth store in the Renton Shopping Center, to bring a selection of Asian gifts, produce, and specialty meats to the Renton neighborhood. Nonetheless, the strong presence of Asians and Pacific Islanders in Renton does not necessarily guarantee thriving business for the Asian-based stores, such as Uwajimaya. “It seems like we don’t get as many Chinese, Taiwanese, Southeast Asian customers as I would like to see. I think a lot of it is because we are new still. A lot of them have

Renton Uwajimaya Store Manager Rex Hashimoto (left) with Seafood Manager Ratana Phy

Deli at Renton Uwajimaya

Women of Power in law enforcement and the military

Thank you You have a knack for doing the nicest things.

Women of Color Empowered honorees, from left: Linda Hill, Erika Hunter, Monica HunterAlexander, Denise “Cookie” Bouldin, Carmen Best, Traci Williams, Hisami Yoshida, Colleen Wilson, Annette Louie, Janice Mano Lehman, Lisaye Ishikawa (Taylene Watson not shown.)

Seattle Police Chief John Diaz and Depty Nick Metz

New banner compliments of Clear Channel and Elaine Kitamura



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Experience real community, the luxuries of home, and exceptional, personalized care


Elaine Kitamura, Leny Valerio-Buford and Elizabeth Younger

Planning Committee:

Winona Hollins-Hauge, Megumi Kobayashi, Bonnie Miller, Assunta Ng, Connie Sugahara, Elsie Taniguchi, Leny ValerioBuford, Kiku Hayashi, Charlene Grinolds, Laurie Adams, Judy Lui, Elizabeth Younger, Elaine Kitamura, Lourdes Sampera Tsukada, Kathy Purcell, Angie Roarty, Sandra Sherman, Francine Griggs, and Yvonne Naum

Friday, May 13, 2011

asianweekly northwest


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011



A look closer at white-only preference

Last week, we ran the story, “Hospital workers sue over patient who requested only white workers,” of nine Western State Hospital employees are suing the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which oversees Western State, the hospital, and two hospital administrators, because the hospital accommodated a violent, mentally ill patient’s request for white-only caregivers. Eight people are suing. Four are white, three are Black, and two are Filipino. Their attorney, Joe Schaeffer, told the Seattle Times, “It’s shocking that in 2011, there would be segregation on the basis of race from any employer, but most surprising coming from the state.” The suit claims that the workplace was hostile to the employees. There is a part of us that wonders if this lawsuit is partially opportunistic. Are these workers engaging the

state’s social and health services in a costly lawsuit just to cash in? Or, are they really suing because they believe their civil rights have been violated? It’s hard to know for sure. We earnestly hope that it’s not the former, because DSHS resources are very limited and should not be squandered on a meaningless suit. This is a complicated issue, and we find it difficult to come out strongly on either side. If we were to hear a similar story about a big corporation allowing only white employees to become supervisors, we would have an immediate, visceral reaction. We would know that it is wrong. Is this situation at Western State Hospital much different? It might be. Would it have been right for the hospital to force nonwhite employees to interact with a violent mentally ill

patient? Is it right to further aggravate someone who is mentally ill? It’s not useful to the treatment. Also, health care can be a tricky arena to navigate through. Here in the International District, immigrant men and women will go out of their way to visit a health care practitioner because they feel more comfortable with a person who speaks their native language or who shares the same ethnic background. Patients with certain religious beliefs also request specific accommodations. Female patients can, and often do, request a female doctor or nurse — but we rarely accuse these patients of being sexist. So before we point fingers at the state for allowing such an injustice to occur, we should take a closer look at the situation, evaluate it, and then respond. 

How to be proactive in finding a mentor

Restaurant was the first to serve dim sum in Renton more than a decade ago. If you Google the place, there are more than 40 Asian restaurants in the area. No wonder business in the ID dwindles. All suburbs offer Asian groceries and tons of restaurants. It’s not just happening in Seattle’s ID, but all over the country. Every business has to improve its quality and service or else it won’t survive. 

The love of words is the secret to success


So many Asians spotted on the trail Lisa Lam and Marcie Maxwell Of the many stories we worked on in this Renton issue, one that stands out is the real estate partnership of Lisa Lam and State Rep. Marcie Maxwell. Yes, the elected official is a realtor and a pretty good one. How did Marcia find an Asian American partner? “I called Marcie myself,” Lisa said. She researched and found that Maxwell owns one of the most successful real estate firms in Renton. And she wanted to work for the best. Marcie said, “Let’s talk first.” They talked about initiative and the importance of mentorship and good timing. It turned out Maxwell was also looking for a partner in her firm. The rest is history. So folks, what are you waiting for? Seek and you will find! But if you do nothing, nothing will happen! 

Dim sum in Renton? Yes, please!

Hong’s Garden Restaurant, 64 Rainier Ave. S. #E, Renton Years ago, Renton folks had to venture to Chinatown/ International District for Asian groceries and dim sum. Not anymore. Owned by Faye and Janie Hong, Hong’s Garden

I was hiking on Renton’s Cedar River trail on Memorial Day, from the Renton Public Library to the end of the trail, where the river flows into Lake Washington. For a moment, I thought I was walking around Bellevue, which claims to have the largest number of Asian Americans. There were about 40 other people going back and forth on the trail. But the largest ethnic group was East Indian. They biked and strolled, young and old. After World War II, many Japanese Americans settled in Renton and remain there. I suspect, back then, it was for the same reason that many Asian Americans choose to live in Renton currently — for its big and affordable homes and its convenient location. 

Ichiro finally back and fighting

I am a Mariners’ fan, though I don’t watch the games. I don’t need to. Dinner table talk with my family is all about the Mariners.The first thing my husband looks for in the morning paper is the Mariners’ score. The kitchen television plays only MariIchiro Suzuki ners’ games. I am bombarded with the Mariners, period. For 27 games, Ichiro was in a slump, I heard. My son complained about his batting, not too much though, because when Ichiro is not playing well, apparently the team wins. When Ichiro is doing well, the team goes nowhere. What kind of logic is that? Does it mean that when his team is not doing its best, he is motivated to play harder, or vice versa? Sometimes, winning and losing has no logic. Luck seems to be the deciding stroke. Fortunately, Ichiro dug himself out of his slump in the last two games. 

Ke Xu Lan stands in front of her article at Northwest Asian Weekly office People often wonder, how does the Northwest Asian Weekly and its sister paper, the Seattle Chinese Post, keep on surviving after nearly three decades? On May 28, more than 30 Chinese writers for the Chinese Post met at the Northwest Asian Weekly’s office. Some have retired, others are professionals. They all have one common desire — to write. Their love for words propelled them to start a study group in Chinese literature in 1997. They came to our features editor, Nancy Chang, and asked if we would like to publish some of their articles. Since then, their writings have been consistently published in the Chinese Post. And they never ask for compensation. It is their way of giving back to the community. Some of them have become lifelong friends. Over the years, their writing has changed. Very little is about literature. Now, they write about real life experiences. We encourage them to write about the immigrant perspectives in travel, education, politics, health, arts, recreation, history, and other complicated subjects. We meet only once every other year. When we meet, we chat for hours, like we’re old friends. We learn about each other through words of love, courage, wisdom, and sometimes, silliness. One such remarkable woman is a cancer patient. She came with her head wrapped in a red hat. She is undergoing chemotherapy. There were only smiles on her face, despite the agony she suffers from the chemo. There was no bitterness in her voice or the words, “Why me?” Instead, she praised her doctors and nurses for the care she has received. “It’s not easy for me to go through chemo. It’s the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life,” she said. “Why not make their job easier? When the nurses see me happy, they are happy to care for me, too.” Thank you for being a Chinese Post writer. 

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.


{ENFIELD cont’d from page 1}

It’s a very difficult conversation, though.

misconceptions about her and the school district. These are the highlights.

It is. It’s a very difficult one. But I’m committed to having it. … As hard as the last couple of weeks have been, it really highlighted that we need to have the conversation.

NWAW: Why did you decide to become an administrator? Enfield: I saw an ad for the Harvard Urban Superintendents Program and thought it looked interesting and said, ‘Maybe I’ll apply.’ I applied and got in. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be an urban superintendent, but once I got into the program and did an internship, I thought, this is the work I want to do. … When I taught, I could influence the students in my class, [but] as district administrator, I had the potential — if I get it right and work with my team at all levels — we can impact so many more kids. … I always say to people that I always try to be the head and the heart of a teacher in my work as a superintendent. Were you prepared for what happened with Maria Goodloe-Johnson? I don’t think anyone [can be] prepared for the circumstances under which I took the role. … But we quickly put an interim team in place. I knew coming in that I had to steady the central office because there had been a lot of upheaval and people were feeling very anxious. … It was a time of great turmoil in the community. My biggest challenge coming in was to pay attention internally, while being as public as I could … so I could reassure people that we were getting things back on track. Being a teacher, working with immigrant students, you must have a lot of ideas on how to close the achievement gap? Unfortunately, if someone had the answer, we wouldn’t have the gap. But I think there are a few things we need to do as a system. Research and common sense and good practice tell us that the best way to not have a gap is to prevent it from starting. So that means investing in the early years and making sure that, by third grade, every student is a reader and a mathematician, because if they’re not at grade level by third grade, the gap begins. One of the things I’m talking about with teachers and principals is how can we make closing our gaps a much more explicit focus. We’ve talked about it a lot, but I don’t think, school by school, we’ve said, ‘Here are the kids in the gap. Here’s what we’re going to do about it.’ Attached to that, I don’t think we’ve done a good job in the district in recognizing schools that are closing the gap and asking them, ‘What are you doing?’ Would you say that what happened with Ingraham, in a way, was you trying to minimize the gap? I think what happened at Ingraham is a catalyst for us as a community to have really good conversation around what we want for all of our students, what it’s going to require of the district and what it requires of the community.

Can you give us more insight on why you decided to keep Ingraham’s principal? As I said in the papers, the decision that I made with the information that I had was the right decision, but it became clear to me from students, family, and staff that we hadn’t done a good job as a school system of articulating what the process is. … And it created such a high level of anxiety among students and families and staff at a really critical time of year. After really listening to students, staff, and families, I felt it was appropriate to make the decision that I did to allow another year to see what we can do in terms of performance. Some said that changing your mind like that may not be a good thing, because people will think, if we protest a lot more, she’ll change her mind again. What I’ve said to people is there’s a difference between caving in and listening and responding thoughtfully. And I stand by the original decision. I stand by the data that led to that decision. … However, when you make a commitment to listen to the community, you have to listen. You can’t go in with your mind entirely made up because that means you’re not really listening. Even though people may perceive you as soft, it’s OK? I don’t know if people perceive it as soft. I think people want to know that leaders are responsive. That they’re willing to hear, that they’re willing to say, OK, you know what, we didn’t roll this out appropriately … maybe the timing wasn’t right. … I accept responsibility for that. It was a difficult decision, both of them. And not something I take lightly. Did you lose sleep over Ingraham? I’ve had lots of sleepless nights since I took this job. Sure, when you have students and families and staff who are clearly upset. And the challenging part was that I couldn’t tell the reason behind my decision because it was personnel matter. … The principal and I knew what that information was, but I could not share it. I think that was hard. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over a lot of different things. We have a lot of significant work to do. I don’t think that it’s going to be easy, but I keep coming back to all the reasons I have to be hopeful. And that’s what gets me up and keeps me going. You want to raise the bar. What does that look like? How will it work? My primary focus this year has been really improving the quality of instructional leadership in the buildings. So that

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means my executive directors of schools who oversee a region of principals are in the schools, with the principals, walking in the classes, observing teaching practices, and helping support teachers to get better in their practices. That’s how we raise the level of quality in instruction everywhere. Will teachers and principals be paid based on performance?


the district partner with you to give voice to those families and students?’ … I don’t believe that the district can do this alone. We have to rely on community organizations to help us with this. You got some flak for your dismissal of Ann Chan. How do you respond?

We don’t have merit pay, per se. Seniority still is in play in the district. However, with our new collective bargaining agreement, one of the factors that goes into a teacher’s performance evaluation is student growth. We’re working out right now, with our research and evaluation department, to figure out what those growth measures look like. So that’s a significant shift. It’s no longer, as a teacher, saying, ‘I did the best I could.’

It’s a fair criticism. The fact of the matter is that I know the community would like to see greater diversity, both at the central office and frankly, in our schools. … It’s a greater challenge in the Pacific Northwest because, you saw the Census numbers, we’re not an extremely diverse area. That means we have to get better at recruiting, both within and outside the area. I’m committed to doing everything I can to diversify our leadership and, at the same time, hire the very best people that can do the job.

And if there is no student growth?

Why do you believe diversity is important?

When there’s a performance concern, the staff member is put on a plan of improvement, and that plan unfolds over time, with appropriate support and targets that they have to meet. And it’s only after those targets haven’t been met over time that termination happens.

Actually, I heard this from students on Saturday morning. They said, ‘I’d like to see role models who look like me.’ … I know that all segments of the community would like the district to more accurately reflect that diversity that does exist within our community.

For the students that need the most help, their parents are often not available. How do you plan to get those students and their parents more engaged?

Do you plan to vie for a more permanent position? I get this question a lot. And I know people want a yes or no answer. But I think it’s a little premature. I’ve been hired to do a job, and it’s a big one. It takes all my energy and focus to do the best job that I can, and that’s where my energy and focus will remain. What happens six to eight months from now, I’ll deal with six to eight months from now. 

When I was an ESL teacher, I taught English Language Development 1. It was students who just arrived from various countries. I had upwards of 12 languages and little-to-no English in my classroom. Some of the students were living on their own. Some were living with a cousin. Those living with parents or family — their parents and family were often working multiple jobs. So that’s real. The challenges are real. But I do think we have an opportunity with our advocacy groups across the community to come together and say, ‘How can

For more information, visit Dr. Enfield can be reached at 206-252-0180. Stacy Nguyen can be reached at

asianweekly northwest


JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011

{RENTON cont’d from page 8} and entertainment center, and Cedar River has scenic trails and a park.

Businesses, real estate, and culture

Developer Duc Tran owns Viet Wah Shopping Mall, which houses 19 shops, a child day care, and Tea Palace Restaurant, which he also owns. Tran picked Renton for the development because he found a large number of Asians living there. The affordability of housing in Renton appealed to Asian Americans, he said. Lisa Lam, partner of Marcie Maxwell & Lisa Lam, Windermere Realtors, can attest to the affordability of Renton’s real estate. She said a three-bedroom house with a water view is in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. But in Seattle, a rundown house with a view can cost as much as $1 million. “It’s best to work in the community you live in,” said Lam. Tran is also the founder and an organizer of the Renton International Festival. Held at The Greater Highlands Center, the festival is slated to become an annual summer event that allows the city’s diverse communities to come together and share their unique cultures. The three-day 2010 event included a Chinese yo-yo performance, Vietnamese dance and music, a Japanese taiko performance, and Indian belly dancing.

Education and social services

Sue Paro, executive director of Communities In Schools of Renton (CISR), has worked hard since April 2010 to make sure that Renton’s students-in-need do one thing, focus on learning. CISR supports these stu-

{BANGA cont’d from page 4} in a relatively prosperous company with a degree of innovation built into its DNA, it’s not easy to sustain. We have one group within the company focusing on what I call growth-sustaining innovation, or “stealing shamelessly.” It’s a very simple thing. If somebody in the company did something in Singapore and it worked well, there’s no reason why it can’t work in at least 20 other countries. … Can you offer an example? We worked with one of our best clients to find a way to get more youth to use debit cards. We redesigned the debit card product with its package of features, connecting it to music, and created a whole new marketing approach with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. The results were dramatic. It did really well. I mean, if you watch the ads, frankly, I was ready to shoot myself when I saw the ads, but I’m not one of the young guys. I showed my daughter, and she thought it was really cool. This occurred a year and a half ago, but up until six months ago, it hadn’t moved outside of Australia. So just getting that rolled out, now into 20 markets, is the stealing shamelessly. Can you describe some of the technologies you’re using around the world? We’re trying to do something very interesting in India, based on fingerprints. The Indian government gives subsidies for fertilizer purchases and it’s a really inefficient system, because the rich farmer and the poor farmer get the same price for a bag of fertilizer. It’s kind of biased against the poor farmer, because the rich guy has bigger land and buys more fertilizer and actually gets an even bigger share of the darn subsidy. So this is like a self-fulfilling double-whammy benefit. So the government is recording the fingerprints of 600 million people in rural India. Bank accounts will be opened with the state banks for

dents so that they can attend school ready to learn, stay in school, and achieve academic success. The organization serves a total of 837 students on an ongoing basis: 53 — six percent — are Asian Americans and 35 — four percent — are Pacific Islanders. CISR has four family liaisons, each one serving two elementary schools in Renton. They deal with such issues as homelessness and English as a second language, so that the students who face these issues do not drop out. Renton’s middle schools also have fulltime liaisons capable of providing academic support. She said, “All the different things that we’re seeing the kids in Renton struggle with, we try to help those families.” Thirteen Asian American and two Pacific Islander students participate in CISR’s mentorship program. It currently has about 150 mentor matches each year. Paro says CISR is always looking for more men and people of color to volunteer as mentors. “One of the great benefits here in Renton is that it’s one hour a week in the school,” Paro said. “When that relationship is built at the school, it really reinforces that’s where the child needs to be.” From 2009 through 2010, CISR helped more than 5,000 children and their family members annually.

City government

Renton Mayor Denis Law believes that its people are Renton’s strongest asset. “I feel Renton has the most genuine, caring people of any community in this region. Despite our population of nearly 91,000 residents, there remains a small town atmo-

those people. What they wanted us to do was to prove that we can authenticate and clear transactions based on a fingerprint, just as we authenticate right now based on either the magnetic strip or a chip and PIN. But you can’t install those machines in rural India, that will cost too much. What they’re thinking of doing is installing a fingerprint reader on cellphones. So you touch a finger, it goes over the cellphone system, reaches us, gets authenticated, and an approval is sent back. Now, a rich and poor farmer can be given different amounts. They can also use the technology to shop for their daily needs in their village. How would you describe your management style? I’m very passionate, but I take time to work my passion. I mean I study something and I try to understand both sides of the debate because if you’ve been a banker and worked around the world long enough, you kind of have to understand both sides of the debate. But you have to have a point of view, and so I believe in having a point of view on an issue and not ducking the issue.

sphere and a very strong sense of community that is missing in many cities our size.” “As you know, our city is very diverse,” added Law, “and we’re developing new ways of reaching out to our non-Englishspeaking residents, to improve the level of services we provide to them, and build relationships that we feel will help all of our citizens feel like valued members of our community. Renton City Councilmember Greg Taylor also thinks more collaboration between groups would be beneficial for the city. “We have to be a little bit more proactive in convincing our diverse community that we are genuinely sincere about your input, your involvement, your engagement, wanting you to take ownership. This is your neighborhood,” said Taylor, who has lived in the city with his family for 15 years. Renton continues to help the API community on such issues as small business development and emergency preparedness. He says he understands many Asian immigrants and refugees come from countries with corrupt governments and law enforcement officers. “When they arrive here, I think that it’s important that we convince them that they can engage with us. It is in their best interest. Renton is wonderful the way it is, but I am so excited about how great it can be when we bring more people to the table,” Taylor said. “The City of Renton wants to hear from


An Asian American organization

David Hogue and Violet Aesquivel are officers of the Filipino American Community of Renton (FACR), an organization with about 40 members. FACR President Hogue, a Boeing electrical engineer, moved from California to Renton in 1984. FACR Secretary Aesquivel, a marketing manager at Pinoy Reporter, has lived in Renton for almost 20 years. Every three months, FACR holds a meetand-greet to welcome Filipinos who are either new in town or are existing residents of Filipino descent as well as anyone interested in Filipino culture. Other FACR events include scholarship receptions and fundraising efforts for a planned FACR community center. “If you join the Filipino American Community of Renton, then you will be able to not only enjoy the community that you live in, but also give back something to the community that you live in,” Hogue said.  For more information, visit www.renton.,, For more information about the Filipino American Community of Renton, e-mail Violet Aesquivel at James Tabafunda can be reached at




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Does that make for an intense workplace? I kind of call a spade a spade, and I don’t have too much time for political niceties, although that sometimes gets me into trouble, in truth. It does. And I’m learning to be a little more careful, sometimes... Sometimes, not always. That’s the truth. I am actually very easygoing, I encourage my colleagues to say things to me that they would never have had a chance to say to most bosses. That is because I spend too many hours in an office, and they spend too many hours in the office to be stressed out at each other. It’s not the bloody army. It’s a company, they choose to be here. They could all go away and join somebody else. So if I behave like a — my father was a general in the army — if I behaved like a general in the army, I will get soldiers. 

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JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


For the week of June 4 — June 10, 2011 RAT Sometimes, it takes more than just one try to get it right. Learn from your first attempt and consider giving it another shot.

DRAGON No matter how positive the change, the transition itself could be a little rocky. Think long term as you get past the initial hiccups.

MONKEY The unfolding of events seems random at times, but there are some aspects that you can sway one way or the other.

OX You receive an attractive offer but are unsure whether or not to accept it. Don’t let your excitement interfere with making an informed choice.

SNAKE Understanding the problem is only the beginning, addressing it will involve commitment and patience on your part.

ROOSTER Have you been itching to make some noise lately? Be prepared to awaken much more than you had in mind.

HORSE What seems so important now may not even register later on. A shift in priorities is likely in store for you soon.

DOG Working against the clock is nothing new to you. Just do the best you can with what you have available to you.

GOAT You have been in the same role for so long that you are not sure how to be otherwise. For this reason, shake things up a bit.

PIG A slight variation could have drastically different results. Watch carefully and react deliberately as deemed necessary.

TIGER While you have suspected something was in the works for quite a while, the actual reveal will still come as a surprise. RABBIT Another’s action has inspired you to reexamine where you are now and, invariably, where you are headed in the near future.

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 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

*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.

{UWAJIMAYA cont’d from page 9} their favorite places to go,” said Rex Hashimoto, store director of Renton Uwajimaya. However, Hashimoto considers this something Uwajimaya can overcome. The store also faces the challenge of coexisting with other Asian-based grocery stores that have a longer history in the area. Before taking over the management at the Renton location, Hashimoto worked at the Bellevue Uwajimaya for nine years. It was quite a change, since the Bellevue store has been there since 1978 and is a neighborhood store. “That place took time, too. Back then, you can imagine that area was not as diverse. It did take some time for us to get that business going,” said Hashimoto. The Renton Uwajimaya covers more than 30,000 square feet in the Renton Shopping Center. With a primary focus on Japanese products, Hashimoto said that they also focus on other Asian ethnic products. “Lunch business here is good, from people who work around here. But because it’s not really in a neighborhood — it’s in a shopping center — we don’t get as many family type customers as we would like. That’s what we are building toward, not just a person who pops in for lunch and picks up a few things,” said Hashimoto. Next to the entrance of the store, one can find free recipes of various Asian dishes. The ingredients are all available for purchase in various departments throughout the store. Hashimoto said that they also aim to make the store a one-stop shop for families that cook. “Last year, we did a number of festivals, just to get our name out in the community and get the community involved. We had music and

martial arts. Our next festival will be in August, which coincides with Hawaiian week. There is a good Pacific Islander population here [in Renton]. That’s also a good customer base of ours,” said Hashimoto. “I love to cook Japanese cuisine, and since I work in Auburn and live in West Seattle, the Renton Uwajimaya is perfect because most of the time, I can make a side trip here on the way home to get what I need,” wrote Robert Brown in a review. “For Japanese cuisine, they have everything you need. They also seem to have a very respectable inventory if you’re preparing Chinese, Korean, or Filipino dishes.” “We get requests so often from people all over the country, ‘Will you please open an Uwajimaya where I live?’ Every once in a while, we get requests from the Bay area, Chicago, and the East Coast. But definitely, [many requests come from] the Pacific Northwest. People say, ‘Hey, I live in Bellingham, can you put an Uwajimaya in Bellingham, or Vancouver, Wash., or Tacoma?’ ” said Hashimoto. When choosing where to shop for groceries, a convenient location is a huge deciding factor for many households, especially due to rising gas prices. “I know some of my friends who go [to Uwajimaya] for fun, just to check it out,” said Nguyen. “One time, I bought a Hello Kitty notebook there for five dollars.”    Uwajimaya Renton is located at Renton Village on 501 South Grady Way. Sarah Yee can be reached at info@

{BRAZIL cont’d from page 5} culture,” he said. Tang said he soon learned the Brazilian way — essentially to relax, realize nobody is going to arrive at a meeting on time, and understand that informality doesn’t necessarily equate with a lack of professionalism. He realized that the differences in style ultimately didn’t affect the bottom line. In fact, data from the U.S.-based business group The Conference Board show Brazilian workers were 30 percent more productive last year than their Chinese counterparts. Chinese worker productivity, however, grew at more than twice the annual rate than that of Brazilian workers. In the past, Chinese firms circumvented such complications by importing thousands of their own workers, a practice Brazilian officials don’t tolerate, said Antonio Barros de Castro, a former president of Brazil’s state development bank who has closely studied China’s rise. “They know that here, they have to work mostly with Brazilian laborers, the government has made that clear,” Barros said. “In places like Africa, they resolved work force problems by ignoring the problem, by working with Chinese workers.” Despite efforts to build better working relationships between the two countries, distrust was still rife on a recent afternoon in the Liberdade

neighborhood of central Sao Paulo. Celio Lin, 29, sat by the cash register of his family’s busy Chinese restaurant complaining about the Brazilian staff, while his mother checked on the line cooks by tugging on their coats and attentively peeking into pots of soup and noodles. “Brazilians want vacations for Idon’t-know-what, they want a day off for I-don’t-know-what, they want to go to the beach, to relax,” Lin said. “The beach is obviously pleasant, but if you send a Chinese man to the beach, he’ll go there to sell something!”  Associated Press writer Jack Chang in Mexico City contributed to this report.

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equipment repair and replacement needs for King County solid waste facilities. SUBCONSULTANT OPPORTUNITIES: Provided for informational purposes only, following are subconsulting opportunities that may be available on this Contract: None have been identified for this contract. QUESTIONS: Questions concerning this solicitation should be directed to Mary Lee, Contract Specialist at 206263-9381, TTY Relay: 711. The Proposer may be requested to submit the question in writing. No verbal answers by County personnel will be binding on the County. This information is available in alternate formats for individuals with disabilities upon advance request by calling 206263-9400, TTY Relay: 711.

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JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011


Asian-themed SIFF films playing this week: “12 Angry Lebanese: The Documentary” (Lebanon) For 15 months, 45 inmates in Lebanese prison work together to present an adaptation of “12 Angry Men.”  Egyptian Theatre, Saturday, June 4, 1 p.m.  Harvard Exit, Sunday, June 12, 7 p.m.

“Circumstance” (Iran)

A political drama and love story about a romance between two Iranian women  Harvard Exit, Saturday, June 4, 6:30 p.m.  Egyptian Theatre, Monday, June 6, 4:15 p.m. 

“Eternity” (Thailand)

Love can linger long after death.  AMC Pacific Place 11, Monday, June 6, 9:30 p.m.  AMC Pacific Place 11, Wednesday, June 8, 4:30 p.m.

“Flying Fish” (Sri Lanka)

The effects of Sri Lanka’s civil war told through three stories of love, betrayal, and ethnic tension.  AMC Pacific Place 11, Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 p.m.  AMC Pacific Place 11, Thursday, June 9, 4 p.m.

“Secret Asian Man” comic books are now available at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Seattle. {SIFF cont’d from page 7} a statement on traditional films from India, as well as on the confusing lives of poor young males from South Asia. Kirkland Performance Center, June 7, 6:30 p.m. Neptune Theatre, June 10, 7 p.m. Egyptian Theatre, June 11, 1 p.m.

“Grandma, A Thousand Times,” United Arab Emirates (2010), directed by Mahmoud Kaabour Reviewed by Tiffany Ran

Director Mahmoud Kaabour shines the spotlight on his 83-year-old grandmother, Teta Fatima, who is as witty as she is wise. Through her sharp tongue and fond memories of her late husband, a violinist, she recounts the brighter days of Beirut in her apartment, once filled with music and how she copes with its current silence. She also talks about her smoking habit and death. In the film, Teta Fatima meets Kaabour’s fiancée for the first time and she cries at Kaabour’s wedding, providing intimate and humorous looks at this matriarch and the family who loves her.   The film does not touch on the violence or politics of the area, which may disappoint those expecting a grittier portrayal on life in Beirut. But this film does not aim for this. The deliberately short 48-minute film is a conversation with grandma without the milk and cookies, but just as sweet. Kaabour weaves his grandfather’s unpublished music into the film and even plays a little joke on the audience in this heartwarming documentary, a light-hearted departure from the weightier issues of Kaabour’s last documentary, “Being Osama.”   SIFF Cinema, June 2, 4:30 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center, June 10, 5 p.m.

“The Majority,” Turkey (2010), directed by Seren Yuce Reviewed by Tiffany Ran

Mertkan (Bartu Kucu kcaglaya n) is a listless young man who lives at home with his parents and works as a delivery boy for his father’s construction company. He meets Gül (Esme Madra), a Kurdish girl, who tries to inspire him to reach for greater goals. Mertkan, however, is held under the firm hand of his brutish father, who is prejudiced against ethnic minorities and orders Mertkan to break up with Gül. Mertkan is unable to do so; nor is he able to show her any real affection. Throughout the film, he is submissive, unable to act on his own desires or escape from his father’s control. Not to be forgotten in this film are the women, who, despite their inner-strength and full awareness of the situation, only stand by and watch it happen. The acting offers a raw, realistic portrayal of flawed characters that float through dark-colored and dim-lit scenes devoid of

hope or happiness. Set in the modern city of Istanbul, the film (and its title) is a condemnation of how the majority lives, unable to escape from the unseemly tradition of unfeeling men and passive women. In this coming-of-age story, unlike other such stories, you will root for a protagonist who continuously disappoints you, and you will wonder if he’ll ever be able to step out from an oppressive, unfulfilling life or end up like the majority. Kirkland Performance Center, June 11, 3:30 p.m.

“Kosmos” (Turkey)

A man drifts into a remote snowbound town and disrupts the existence of its inhabitants after rescuing a drowning boy.  Kirkland Performance Center, Sun., June 12, 3:30 p.m.

“Norwegian Wood” (Japan)

A young Japanese couple finds their tentative relationship blighted by their best friend’s death.  Egyptian Theatre, Saturday, June 11, 6 p.m.  Egyptian Theatre, Sunday, June 12, 3:30 p.m.

“Qarantina” (Iraq)

After realizing that their current lodger is actually a hitman, a family must choose between bonding or breaking.  SIFF Cinema, Monday, June 6, 9:30 p.m.  SIFF Cinema, Wednesday, June 8, 9:30 p.m.

“Revenge: A Love Story” (Hong Kong)

“Sandcastle,” Singapore (2010), directed by Boo Junfeng Reviewed by Tiffany Ran

Prior to enlisting in the Singapore army, En (Joshua Tan) stays with his grandparents, while his mother spends time with her new boyfriend. En soon uncovers secrets of his late father’s involvement with the communist-led Chinese middle school riots in Singapore. With his mother’s new love in the picture and his grandmother’s progressing dementia, these secrets remain as deeply buried at home as they are in history. En is at first aloof and reticent, unable to understand his mother’s disdain for the Chinese migrants living nearby or his father’s dogged pursuit of his ideologies, but he soon grows to understand his father’s sacrifice.   The film ambitiously combines socio-political issues with a coming-of-age story, connecting themes like history and memory to those of personal and national identities. The acting is poignant, coupled with beautiful shots of the shoreline, a symbol of eroding memory. But just as history and memories crumble like sandcastles under the heft of such weighted issues, the film inherits a similar fragility, unable to stand alone with its many themes. Symbolism is interspersed, and certain historical nuances go unexplained — too much to digest in one sitting — but perhaps comparable to the disjointedness of dwindling memories and overlapping lives.  AMC Pacific Place 11, Friday, June 3, 9:30 p.m. AMC Pacific Place 11, Sunday, June 5, 1:30 p.m.

After a series of brutal slayings involving policemen and their families, Hong Kong detectives search for the killer.  Egyptian Theatre, Friday, June 10, 11:55 p.m.  Neptune Theatre, Sunday, June 12, 6:45 p.m.

“Sushi: The Global Catch” (USA)

A documentary movie about sushi, originally a humble street food that has exploded into an iconic cuisine.  Admiral Theatre, Wednesday, June 8, 7 p.m.  Harvard Exit, Friday, June 10, 4:30 p.m. 

“The Intruder” (Thailand)

A horror movie about thousands of cobras invading an apartment building and attacking the residents.  Egyptian Theatre, Saturday, June 4, 11:55 p.m.  Neptune Theatre, Wednesday, June 8, 9:30 p.m.

“The Sound of Mumbai” (United Kingdom)

A group of kids perform The Sound of Music at Mumbai’s prestigious National Centre for Performing Arts.  Kirkland Performance Center, Saturday, June 4, 1 p.m.  SIFF Cinema, Sunday, June 12, 11 a.m.

“Yellow Sea” (South Korea)

A tale of a hit job gone wrong and a man who wants to turn his life around.  SIFF Cinema, Friday ,June 10, 9:30 p.m.  SIFF Cinema, Saturday, June 11, 1:15 p.m.

providing compassion and dignity for the grief-stricken. Director Mohammad Rasoulof was recently imprisoned (and later released) in his native Iran, a fact that has caused many to see the film as a social commentary disguised as a fable. However, by weaving poetry with metaphors, the film also taps into both the volatile and vulnerable natures of human behavior. With its whimsical landscape shots of salt flats and misty mountains, the film softens the brunt of prejudice, sexism, and censorship with cinematic storybook scenes that will leave you in awe of its beauty and haunt you with a slow blooming sadness.  Egyptian Theatre, June 2, 7 p.m. Kirkland Performance Center, June 4, 6 p.m. Neptune Theatre, June 8, 4:30 p.m. Jason Cruz, Andrew Hamlin, and Tiffany Ran can be reached at

“The White Meadows,” Iran (2009), directed by Mohammad Rasoulof Reviewed by Tiffany Ran

Rahmat (Hasan Pourshirazi) travels to remote islands in a rickety boat to collect the tears of local inhabitants in a glass pitcher. Each island has a different terrain and a new source of misery. The film does not directly answer the question of what Rahmat does with the tears. Instead, the film focuses on Rahmat’s journey and rituals, which take on the spiritual significance of

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JUNE 4 – JUNE 10, 2011

VOL 30 NO 23 | 2011  

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