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Coverage on Tony Ng's possible parole Tony Ng was one of three men involved in Washington states largest massacre to date. He, Benjamin Ng (no relation) and Willie Mak stormed a Chinatown gambling club in 1983 and robbed and gunned down 14 people. Tony Ng, the least guilty of the three men -- he did not kill anyone -- was convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and a single count of assault with a deadly weapon. He is currently serving time at McNeil prison. Northwest Asian Weekly got the opportunity to exclusively interview Ng in February 2009, when one of his advocates came to us for advice on how Ng can ask the Chinese community for forgiveness for what he had done. This led to a series of visits to McNeil to interview Ng, which resulted in fives stories, printed December 2009 through March 2010.

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Wah Mee inmate to open up about 1983 massacre

GOLDEN Obama stuns with dress by Indian American designer » P. 9

New NAPCA CEO on goals and challenges By Ninette Cheng NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY During these tough economic times, the National Asian Pacific Islander Center on Aging (NAPCA) and its new director and CEO Christine Tanaka are looking out for the aging Asian Pacific Islander (API) population. The NAPCA is a national nonprofit organization and its mission is to enhance the dignity, well being, and quality of

Part 1 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s exclusive with Tony Ng

Christine Takada

{see TAKADA cont’d on page 20}

It’s official

Photo by Amy Phan/NWAW

Asian Americans prominent on Constantine’s senior personal staff

King County Executive Dow Constantine with his senior personal staff. L-R: Administrative Assistant Lee Anne Hughes, Director of Communications Frank Abe, Exec. Constantine, Director of Government and Labor Relations Sung Yang.

McNeil inmate Tony Ng, who was sentenced to 35 years in for his participation in the Wah Mee Massacre in 1983, gives his first recent interview to Northwest Asian Weekly in February at McNeil Inmate Corrections Center. By Amy Phan NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY An unassuming, petite, and stoic-looking Asian inmate blends into the McNeil Inmate Corrections Center (MICC) scenery well. With his eyes cast to the floor, with neatly shined shoes, and a well-kept

outer appearance, only a name — in small sized font on an inmate badge — hints at a more complicated past: Wai-Chiu Ng. “Tony” Ng was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 1985 for his participation in the Wah Mee Massacre

By Staff NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Dow Constantine was sworn in as King County Executive on Nov. 24. The event took place in Daniels Recital Hall in Seattle. {see DOW cont’d on page 18}

{see NG cont’d on page 19}

Suspect in police slayings killed in Rainier Valley Maurice Clemmons, suspected of gunning down four police officers in a coffee shop in Lakewood, was shot and killed by a lone officer on Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Rainier Valley, Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said.

The lone officer, Benjamin L. Kelly, was on a routine patrol early Tuesday morning when he saw a car with its hood up and its engine running, police officials said. Kelly ran the license plate and determined the car had been stolen.

As he did paperwork, a man who the officer recognized as matching the description of Clemmons came up to the patrol car’s driver side door. The man’s identity was later confirmed as Clemmons. The officer asked him to stop and show his

hands, which Clemmons did not. It was when Clemmons reached into his waist area and moved that the officer fired several shots at him, according to a written statement from the department. Clemmons was pronounced dead

at the scene. The officer who shot Clemmons was not injured. Clemmons, who was allegedly helped by relatives and friends while eluding the police, apparently {see SUSPECT cont’d on page 19}

THE INSIDE STORY AT THE TOP Betty Patu reveals her soft side. » P. 3

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{SUSPECT cont’d from page 1} had no tie to the residents on the block where he was killed, said Pugel. The Rainier Valley neighborhood is said to be the most culturally and economically diverse neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the neighborhood’s population is predominately Asian with a large Black population.  Information from The Associated Press and The Seattle Times contributed to this report.

Thank you for recycling this newspaper! {NG cont’d from page 1} in 1983 — the state’s largest massacre to date — that left 13 people dead and one wounded. The high profile case created waves of national headlines and piqued the interest of many in the community. Ng was 27 years old at the time. Now 53, Ng says he’s ready to open up and talk about the infamous night and what he hopes for in the future. “I hope that talking to the media will allow people to get to know me more, know that I am different from Willy and Benjamin,” said Ng. The Wah Mee Club, located in Chinatown, was an exclusive gambling club, attracting a mainly wealthy Chinese clientele. Tony Ng, Willy Mak, and Benjamin Ng (no relation to Tony Ng) stormed the club around midnight on Feb. 19, 1983, robbing the club and its patrons. The patrons were tied up before being shot in the head. Mak and Benjamin Ng were convicted of murder in 1983. Tony Ng was acquitted of murder in 1985, but was convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault — all counts while armed with a deadly weapon. News coverage focused mostly on Mak and Benjamin Ng as they stood trial. Coverage continued on Mak when he tried to appeal his sentencing throughout the years. Tony Ng — for the most part — remained

out of the public eye. “I didn’t want the coverage to get big, I didn’t want to relive the memories again,” said Ng. Over the span of several interviews with Northwest Asian Weekly beginning in February 2009, Ng, speaks about the past, how he has changed, and the future. “I’m a different person since the first time I came in [prison],” said Ng. These discussions come close to Ng’s upcoming parole eligibility hearing date (PERD), tentatively scheduled for Jan. 13, 2010. If Ng is found parole eligible, he will begin serving his last five-year count in March 2010. With good behavior, Ng could be out of prison by 2013. The sentencing judge in the 1985 trial recommended Ng to serve counts 1, 8, 9, 10, 11 ,12, 13, and 14 concurrently for 60 months. Counts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 were to be served consecutively, each count bringing a minimum of five years. Ng has had very little infractions while in prison. Based on his good behavior, nearly all of Ng’s counts — with the exception of his most recent count — have been reduced by 33 percent, resulting in roughly three and a half years of jail time for each count. He has served 24 years in jail. Much like the last time when Ng was up for parole in early 2007, victims’ family members will be able to express their concerns to the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board (ISRB) about his possible

release. During the last hearing, family members of the victims of the Wah Mee Massacre came out and pleaded with the state’s parole board to not release Ng. The reason why, the victims’ family members said, is because over the span of the last few decades, the absence of their respective loved ones have continued to haunt them. After reviewing community reactions and considering the role Ng played in the massacre, the ISRB denied Ng parole on his sixth robbery count. It released a statement that stated, “the board cannot in good conscience” allow Ng to be paroled to his last count. The board also added an additional five years to his sixth count. Ng said he was surprised to find out he was denied parole on his next to last count. “I didn’t know the victims’ [family members] would come out to the hearing. There had been meetings before, and they never came out,” said Ng. Prior to the 2007 hearing, Ng had always been paroled to his next count, he said. In past news coverage, the victims’ family members said they were never notified of any previous parole hearings. “I felt bad that they had to relive some of those memories,” Ng said. Unlike the last parole hearing in early 2007, Ng is now interested in discussing what he can do to “hopefully relieve some pain and suffering of the victims.”

Next on the horizon for Ng is a public meeting on Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Beacon Hill Library. The victims’ family members will meet with the ISRB to discuss their concerns regarding Ng’s upcoming hearing.  Northwest Asian Weekly Publisher Assunta Ng is not related to Tony Ng or Benjamin Ng.   Amy Phan can be reached at info@

NEXT WEEK Part 2 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s exclusive with Tony Ng: the public meeting.

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Wah Mee victims’ family members emotional at public meeting Part 2 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s exclusive with Tony Ng

In less than an hour, memories of the chilling night that forever changed a community will be unraveled. The aging faces of family and community members reflect the time that has passed since the 1983 Wah Mee Massacre. However, the memories remain as vivid as they first appeared 26 years ago.

The public meeting

“Every time I go into Chinatown — when I walk past the Wah Mee — I am reminded of the crime,” said community member John Lew. “It’s a blemish to the whole Chinese community.” In a public meeting on Friday, Dec. 4, at Beacon Hill Library, Lew and victims’

family members gathered the courage to once again speak about the night that changed their lives. “The pain still bothers me. I want to cry but there are no more tears,” wrote Yue Locke Wong, wife of Gim Lun Wong. Translator Alan Lai read her letter, written in Chinese because she does not speak English, to the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board (ISRB), also known as the parole board, which had two members present at the public meeting. “It’s a shame that [Ng] is up for parole. I ask that he has no release,” wrote Wong. Doris Wong-Estridge, niece of victim Wing “Bill” Wong (no relation to Gim Lum Wong), attended the last hearing

Photo by George Liu/NWAW


Doris Wong-Estridge (middle, wearing black) and her sister Carrie Wong, nieces of Wah Mee Massacre victim Wing “Bill” Wong, sit indiscreetly at a public meeting with the Indeterminate Sentencing Review Board on Dec. 4 at Beacon Hill Library. {see NG cont’d on page 18} The meeting was designed to gain public input on whether Wah Mee inmate Tony Ng should be granted parole.

Diversity at the Top honorees credited for community service

After 5 years, the War Room closes its doors

Martha Choe

Mike McGinn

Dow Constantine

John Okamoto

Lloyd Hara

Betty Patu

“This dinner is not a town hall meeting,” joked Assunta Ng, founder of the Northwest Asian Weekly Foundation, the event’s organizer, referring to the celebration dinner held at the House of Hong on Dec. 4 honoring Dow Constantine, Martha Choe, Lloyd Hara, Mike McGinn, and John Okamoto. They were named the 2009 Top Contributors to the Asian Community by the Northwest Asian Weekly. This year’s theme was “Diversity at the Top.” The laughter during the start {see TOP cont’d on page 19}

Photo by Brian R. on

Photos by George Liu/NWAW


Popular Seattle nightclub, the War Room, closed its doors on Nov. 30. The War Room was known for its diverse patrons. By Jacklyn Tran NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Pressure from the city and state may have contributed to the closing of the War Room, a popular Capitol

Hill nightclub, but the contributions that the venue has made to the music and nightlife scene is one that patrons won’t soon forget. {see WAR ROOM cont’d on page 17}

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THERE HE GOES Asian men strut their stuff in contest. » P. 9

A-POP! Celebs: the good, the bad, the loser » P. 10

PUBLISHER’S BLOG The trails of planning a community event » P. 12

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but did not speak publicly. This time was different. She says it was important that the board hear from her why Ng, who was acquitted of murder but sentence to 35 years in prison for his participation in the massacre, should not be granted parole. Holding back tears, she told the board, “I believe in practicing life behind bars for heinous crimes; what could be more heinous than the death of 13 people? Tony must pay the price for the murders.” Reading from a written statement, she described how devastating it has been to live with the knowledge that her uncle was brutally murdered. “The only thing the trio (Tony Ng, Willy Mak, and Benjamin Ng — no relation to Tony) did was spare my uncle from witnessing his friends die,” she said. Wong-Estridge said she is prepared to speak out against Ng’s release each time there is parole possibility. About 25 letters were mailed out, notifying the victims’ family members about the hearing, said ISRB victim liaison Ellen Hanegan-Cruse. ISRB board member Tom Sahlberg said some family members have requested to speak to the board privately, without the presence of the media or an audience. Lai, who was also present during the last victims’ hearing in 2006, said he was not surprised by the lack of public statements about Ng’s possible release. “The Chinese do not like to be famous in a bad way,” said Liu. “[For a while], life was back to normal. In a sense, people were able to push [the crime] off to the side. It was OK to go about day to day.”

The lawyers

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg made the opening statements in the meeting and asked the board not to release Ng. Satterberg said under modern sentencing laws, Ng would have been sentenced to 80 years for the crime. However, because the massacre was committed a year before the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) took effect, “[Ng] has received far too many breaks in the [legal] system,” he said. “[Ng’s release] would be a travesty of justice.” Satterberg’s predecessor, the late Norm Maleng, lead prosecutor in the Wah Mee Massacre case, shared similar sentiments at the 2006 victims’ hearing. “The board should review … and set a minimum that is commensurate with the harm Mr. Ng has caused,” Maleng said in 2006. Ng did not have public representation at the hearing. However, Michael Kahrs, Ng’s attorney, released a statement afterwards. “The Board explicitly considered the guidelines of the SRA, the Judge’s sentencing recommendation, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s sentence recommendation when setting Mr. Ng’s sentence length on each charge. Mr. Ng has been and is serving the time determined by the [ISRB] for his crimes of conviction,” said Kahrs. Ng is one of about 400 inmates convicted under old sentencing laws, said ISRB public records officer Robin Riley. One of the differences between old and modern sentencing laws is the role of the ISRB. For crimes committed before July 1, 1984, the SRA effective date, an inmates’ release date is at the jurisdiction of the parole board. The board could deny an offenders’ parole indefinitely.

Ng’s story

While Ng has remained publicly quiet throughout his incarceration — as a means to “not cause anymore pain” to those involved — he said the silence doesn’t mean he doesn’t think about the event. “I always ask myself why. Why wasn’t I strong enough to say no? Why did I have to create such a bad name for my family? They are good people,” said Ng in an interview with Northwest Asian Weekly before the public meeting. Ng said he understands the victims’ family members’ anger toward him. “I would feel the same way, too,” he said. “I can’t blame them.” Ng now understands the importance of speaking about his experiences and about the crime, an event many in the Chinese American community consider to be a taboo subject, he said. “I’m a lot different than when I first came into prison, I’m a lot more patient with other people and don’t get mad over little things,” he said. But most of all, he is speaking because he seeks forgiveness from the community and the family members of the victims affected by the massacre. “I want the victims [of the Wah Mee Massacre] to forgive me for my participation on that night. It was a mistake, and I want to say I’m sorry,” said Ng. “I shouldn’t have hung around [Mak and Benjamin Ng] but I did. I wasn’t street-wise and didn’t know how to say

Wah Mee inmate Tony Ng

Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW

{NG cont’d from page 1}

no,” he said, “I want the Asian community to forgive the fact that I caused pain.” Ng is ready to explain his side of the story — 26 years after the massacre. Ng said his participation in the crime stemmed from a $1000 gambling debt owed to Mak. “I tried to get out of the situation by borrowing money from my [then] girlfriend, to repay [Mak], but they threatened me and said they would hurt me and my family if I wasn’t a part of it,” he said. After the massacre, Ng fled to Canada for 18 months where he changed his name and lived off of money sent from his family as well as the money from the crime. At the time of his arrest, Ng was initially charged with Canadian immigration violations before being extradited back to the United States for his participation in the massacre. During his trial, Ng said he acted under duress, claiming he felt his life would be in danger if he did not participate in the crime. Ng said he understands that asking for forgiveness does not lessen the fact that he was part of the crime. “I ask for forgiveness mostly because I want the victims to have peace and some sort of release in their lives,” said Ng. But he knows forgiveness doesn’t come easily. Ng has learned how to forgive those who have caused pain in his life. After his 1985 conviction, he was transferred to the Arizona prison systems, due to concern over his safety against his codefendants. For a long time, Ng harbored a lot of resentment and anger toward Mak and Benjamin Ng for not letting him out of the planned crime when he decided he “didn’t want to do it anymore.” “I just kept thinking, ‘Why did you guys make me do this — be part of it?’” he said. When Ng was transferred to the McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) in 2003, a cellmate introduced him to the prison church program. There, he discovered the peace of forgiveness. “I forgive Willy and Benjamin for everything, and that has helped me to be a better and happier person,” said Ng. “I became a peaceful person.” Ng said he was finally able to forgive Mak and Benjamin Ng only last March. In a separate interview, Jason Loui, stepson of John Loui, who had been owner of the Wah Mee Club, said “hindsight is too late.” “It’s important that [Ng] serves all of his time and then, once he’s done with what the judge sentenced, he can walk free,” said Loui, who is now a father of two. As for Ng’s request for forgiveness, Loui responded with, “That don’t mean jack to me. … In life, you make choices, and then you live with those consequences. All of the stuff [Ng] does while he is in prison is a by-product [of the crimes committed].”

Others shared the same viewpoint. At the most recent victims’ hearing, Carrie Wong, whose uncle was Wing “Bill” Wong, said, “It doesn’t change anything, whatever [Ng] says or does doesn’t change what happened.” Wong thought Ng was only asking for forgiveness because of his upcoming parole. But Ng said he is ready for “whatever outcome” that may result from this parole hearing. “Everybody has their opinion. That’s the way it is. Whatever the outcome is, I have to accept it,” he said. Because ultimately, said Ng, “No matter how much time I serve [in jail], people will still be in pain.” Nonetheless, he said he hopes that, one day, he will be able to show people how he has changed and what he can do for the community.  Amy Phan can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

NEXT WEEK: Find what out how Tony Ng has changed and who has helped him.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! 10 gifts of kindness and love » P. 8–9


Inmate on life in prison ... and what’s to come after Part 3 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s exclusive with Tony Ng By Amy Phan NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

THAI-ING East to West

McNeil inmate Tony Ng, known for his involvement in the Wah Mee Massacre, meets with his advocates in February. From left: Sherry Danza, Ed Cook, Peter Wong — a registered counselor and chairman of Rainbow Missions — and Tony Ng.

Tragic hit-and-run ends promising life of newlywed By Jacklyn Tran NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY

Fashion designer the next reality TV star?


If he had listened to his parents, fashion designer Thai Nguyen would have become an accountant. Instead of crunching numbers, Nguyen spends his days creating couture at Thai Nguyen Couture in Orange County. From evening gowns and bridal gowns to readyto-wear lines, he immerses himself in each step of the process. Sketching new pieces, picking fabrics, fitting his models, and selling couture is nothing new to this up-and-coming designer. {see NGUYEN cont’d on page 13}

approximately 2:20 a.m. at the intersection of Western Avenue and Bell Street in downtown Seattle, Jerome Dumlao was killed in a hit-and-run. After leaving a Belltown establishment to head home, Dumlao, a Filipino American, was

The early morning of Dec. 6 began as a celebratory outing that quickly took a tragic turn when an unimaginable event changed the lives of many, beWedding photo of Jerome Dumlao and his wife, Marie yond the one that was lost. At Linavat

{see DUMLAO cont’d on page 6}

“He … stopped and ran my brother over! … How are you going to stop and look him in the face and then run him over right after?” — Jeff Dumlao

Martial-artist reflects on a career of triumphs and the challenges of ADD By James Tabafunda NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY When performing a side kick or a roundhouse kick, Allen Chinn can get his foot to reach five feet up from the ground. In his early 20s, when the local martial arts community referred to him as a “black sheep martial artist” for developing his own unique style

called yee jong kune do, he could reach higher than six feet from the ground. Chinn, 53, grew up in Seattle’s Beacon Hill district. He is proud of his 45-year career as a leader in the city’s martial arts community. Because his father, James, had trained in “choy li fut” kung fu under Grandmaster Cheong Mo and enjoyed target shooting, it wasn’t long before Chinn found himself

enjoying the same interests as a child. Even though his father first taught martial arts to his younger brother, Steven, Chinn begged his father to teach him as well. Between his father’s stories and instructions, Chinn was an eager kung fu student at the age of 8. {see CHINN cont’d on page 15}

Photo by James Tabafunda/NWAW

{see TONY NG cont’d on page 15}

Photo by Amy Phan/NWAW

It was only under the scrutiny and structure of prison that Tony Ng developed a work ethic. “I never knew that I could just pick up a thick book and read it and learn so quickly,” he said. From the beginning, Ng puzzled authorities. He did not have a criminal record before his involvement in the 1983 Wah Mee Massacre that left 13 people dead in Seattle’s Chinatown. While community members were readily able to identify murderers Willy Mak and Benjamin Ng (no relation to Tony Ng) on the street, no one really knew who Tony Ng was. Before the night of the massacre on Feb. 19, 1983, Ng was working in his father’s restaurant and had only lived on his own for a few months. He remembered his father warning him against Mak and Benjamin Ng, who would later be his codefendants. “My dad always told me to not hang around them … but I did anyways,” said Ng, 53, who was acquitted of murder but convicted of multiple counts of robbery and secondary-degree assault with a deadly weapon for his participation in the massacre.

Martial-artist Allen Chinn

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IN PICTURES A very Secret Asian Man holiday » P. 15

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{TONY NG cont’d from page 1} At the time, he was enrolled at the local community college. “I didn’t do so well at the college. I wasn’t really interested in school,” said Ng, now a McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) inmate, during a series of interviews with the Northwest Asian Weekly starting in February 2009. MICC is located in southern Puget Sound. “I just didn’t know what I was doing before [the Wah Mee Massacre]… I just didn’t really focus on anything,” he said.

Model behavior

During his entire incarceration, Ng has been a model prisoner. His only recent prison violation was in 1995, while he was in Arizona, where guards found a knife underneath his mattress. “I had just moved into a new cell [at the time], and they found the shank underneath my mattress… it wasn’t mine,” said Ng. The minor infraction didn’t prolong his current serve count at the time. Ng concentrated on completing an undergraduate degree in computer science application through Central Arizona College. He earned a 3.85 cumulative grade point average. He continued his education when he transferred to MICC in 2003. Douglas Hitch, an instructor at Pierce College, one of the colleges working with the MICC to engage inmates in vocational training, wrote to the parole board in May 2006, “[Ng] became a walking, breathing help file when I or another student [became] stuck.” Ng said, “It made me feel good to be the person who could help other people. … It made me feel like I was in a smart crowd, like I could help people whenever they had any type of question.” Hitch taught Ng, along with several other inmates, how to use and operate AutoCad, a software application for furniture design, among other programs. Hitch wrote that he would hire Ng for his “skills and easy-going positive attitude.”

An angel sent from God

While Ng speaks openly and excitedly about his academic endeavors, there are long pauses when the conversation returns to the massacre. “When I first got to prison, I kept to myself. I didn’t want anyone to know why I was there … about my past, about anything,” said Ng. After 24 years of being incarcerated, Ng slowly pieced together how relationships outside of prison must work — even though, he himself never was able to establish such connections after his participation in the massacre when he was in his late 20s. As a participant in the state’s largest massacre to date, Ng wrestles with the idea of forgiveness. “It’s hard for me to forgive myself. I caused so much pain for the victims and my family,” said Ng. “I just don’t know how I could have done what I did and hurt so many people,” he said. “My family [consists of] good people; they work hard, and I just feel like I just made the family name bad.” When Ng was transferred to MICC in 2003, he developed a friendship with his cellmate, Korean American Hui Son Choe, who was sentenced to nine years in prison for first-degree manslaughter. Choe was a frequenter of the MICC church program and told Ng that he should consider going. Choe also introduced Ng to Sherry Danza, an advocate for Choe throughout his time at MICC. “I would not have been able to get where I am without the help of Sherry,” said Ng. “She helped me and wanted me to express my feelings.” {CHINN cont’d from page 1} However, there was always one challenge that made training difficult for him — he suffered from attention deficit disorder (ADD). In 1964, this lifelong brain condition had no official name, but his mother nick named him “sang malai” — Toisonese words for “wild monkey.” Learning new techniques was easy, and it captivated him, but repeating those techniques led to inattention or what he describes as his mind becoming “bored and all over the place.” “In my teens, I was training for two, three hours, sometimes four hours a day because that was my video game,” he admitted. “The main thing [for all families dealing with ADD] is to have an open mind and to love the individual,” he pointed out. “The open mind is that this person is a little different, and so, you can’t put everybody in the same box. ADD is just another box that people are put in. “Things I was interested in, I would zoom in on. I’d be super successful. For other stuff, it would have to be hammered in all the time,” he said. Despite ADD, he has lived his life with perseverance. He supplemented his training by reading several martial arts magazines and studying photographs of other martial artists in action. His reading mate-

Danza, 60, is interested in the possibility of reconciling Ng with the Chinese American community in Seattle and possibly creating dialogue between the two through an open forum. Danza is currently a theology major at Seattle Pacific University (SPU). In an SPU newsletter, Danza stated that she helped Choe with a legal system that “provided a number of cultural and language barriers for immigrants.” Seeing similarities between Choe’s and Ng’s cases, Danza said in the same newsletter that she thought she could help “Ng navigate the same sharky legal waters.” In the two years since meeting Ng, Danza has become an integral part of Ng’s family and advocate for him as well. She is one of the few on Ng’s visiting list and, juggling going to school full-time with a job, Danza is able to make time to visit Ng on McNeil Island, a trip which often takes hours. “Everything happens for a reason. … I knew Sherry would help us. I knew she was an angel sent from God,” said Ng’s 54-year-old sister, who wishes not to be named. In the beginning, Danza said it was difficult getting Ng to talk. “In a lot of ways, I see Tony as a victim in all of this. He was a victim of fear, of not knowing when to say no, and of not understanding the system,” said Danza. Through consistent visits to MICC, Danza said, she witnessed Ng open up and trust that she would be there to help him throughout the entire process. “It was important that he knew that I was going to be there all the time. … I wasn’t going to go away just because he didn’t want to [initially] talk,” she said. Danza said she has received a lot of criticism for her support of Ng, to which she responds with, “I am a Christian woman who wants to do God’s work. I am doing prison ministry as a part of my work for God, and Tony is a part of my prison ministry. God wants us to take care of the marginalized, widows, orphans, foreigners, and prisoners. … I believe people deserve second chances.”

Ng’s advocates

While Ng says he always thinks about the victims and those still affected by the massacre, it was only through a support system that he was able to publicly vocalize his feelings. Over time, Danza introduced Ng to a series of individuals who she believed would help him communicate better. One of those individuals was Ed Cook, 66, a life coach for the past 20 years and formerly a pastor. Over the span of several months, Cook and Ng started communicating about the possibility of having Ng be what

rial included the writings of martial arts legend Bruce Lee. “As an American-born Chinese, there have also been issues with my inability to speak Chinese. Most people understand, but occasionally, I have had some Chinese immigrants that looked down on me for not being able to speak Chinese.” Because of his talent in martial arts, he desired to become an instructor. As an 11-year-old at Van Asselt Elementary School, he taught one of his friends. Six years later, he taught a group with a “lot of Asian people” at the Jefferson Community Center’s large Social Room. Even when he became a supervisor for the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation in 1984, he maintained a busy schedule with his involvement in teaching, tournaments, and exhibitions. He retired after 25 years in the department. With even more ideas and concepts in his head, Chinn decided in 1988 to take yee jong kune do and transition it into yee jong pai kung fu, a new style made up of “one traditional yet non-classical style and one modern combat style.” His 127-page book, “A Kung-Fu Master’s Journey: The Life and Martial Arts Experiences of an Asian American,” has been recently released. His first attempt as an author occurred 35 years ago, but “life and its many bumps and curves delayed my writing until now.” He adds, “When I retired in January, I started to have

Cook described as “happy, joyous, and free.” “My role is not to set goals for Tony. It’s to help him in the process of setting goals for himself and then to help him accomplish the goals he sets,” said Cook. Through in-person talks and letter correspondence, Cook said he has seen Ng make spiritual growth. “I was most impressed when Tony asked for forgiveness from the victims, not so the victims would withdraw their objection to the parole board, but because forgiveness would bring them peace,” said Cook. “Tony has become empathetic and can give and receive. He has a lot to offer.” Ng’s sister is relieved to have Cook be involved in her brother’s life. “Asian men hold all of their feelings inside. … There are cultural differences that make it hard for them to express themselves. Ed is teaching Tony how to become more open and straightforward,” she said. “Being forthcoming is not something that prisoners show often,” said Cook. “Getting ready for release requires a very conscious thought process.”

The next steps

When Danza discovered that Ng was able to produce intricate origami work, she organized an event showcasing his artwork. “Everybody in the community had such a bad image of Tony, and a lot of it, of course, had to do with the two other men. I wanted people to get to know Tony in a different way,” she said. His artwork was displayed at a Bellevue church in February. Danza has already organized the second origami showing at the Westminster Chapel. Last year, people bought Ng’s work, and there is a buyer for this year’s collection as well. Proceeds from the show will go to a local nonprofit organization. Despite an uncertain release date, Ng has set some goals for the future. He said he wants to take care of his father, who is in his 70s, and find a job once he is released, possibly in the furniture design industry, which would be an extension of his current prison job. “I want to work on building relationships and friendships with other people,” he said, “In prison, it’s hard because [inmates] move out and leave … being able to talk to people will be nice.” Ng is up for a parole hearing Jan. 13. After that, the board will decide within four to six weeks if Ng is found eligible to move to his last count. If found eligible, he will begin serving his last five-year sentence in March 2010.  Amy Phan can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

time [to write it]. When you start looking at it as trying to trailblaze, trying to create something from very little, then anybody can read it and actually understand it. We all have really interesting stories. We have a history that nobody understands, and we’ll never sit down and talk about it because who can listen for that many hours?” In the book, Kregg Jorgensen wrote, “… only [Chinn’s] students and close friends can best tell you of his great generosity in time, talent, and spirit.” Filled with pictures, Chinn’s book tells the story about his successes as well as his devastating losses — two divorces and the deaths of his parents. He is the father of sons Jason, 29, and Brandon, 25. The “high level of coordination from training in kung fu hand movements and weaponry led me to be successful as an adult in a large variety of sports, including competitive basketball, volleyball, and table tennis,” he said about his current athletic activities. His upcoming books, due in 2010, will be about table tennis and depression.  For more information visit James Tabafunda can be reached at info@

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

VOL 29 NO 4

JANUARY 23 – JANUARY 29, 2010


A-POP! The latest Hollywood happenings » P. 8


Liu to run for state senate? Though he has not formally announced his intention to run for the 37th district seat in the Washington State Senate, Eric Liu shares a few of his thoughts on what he thinks local government should do.

Photo by Alan Alabastro


Eric Liu is a writer, mentor, and former Clinton speech writer. So what’s to come next for this educator?

It’s no secret that Eric Liu was former President Bill Clinton’s speech writer and political adviser, but word on the street is that he might run for the 37th district seat in the Washington State Senate. The 37th district stretches from Madison Valley to Rainier Valley, inching into Renton. Known as Washington’s “rainbow district,” its population is about a third Black, a third Asian, and a third white. In addition to job security, health care, and education, the district’s legislators have a long history of promoting culture and diversity policy. “We can use a new kind of energy,” Liu said. “My way of moving in the community is trying to bring dif-

ferent kinds of people together around common goals. We can use more of that in our political leaders. I can help bring that.” Liu brings to the table experience as deputy domestic adviser in the Clinton administration and with that, policy expertise in culture and entrepreneurship. Education is Liu’s primary focus, and justifiably so. The 37th district consists of many families that can’t provide children with help on their homework because little English is spoken at home. It is where unemployment is taking a toll on families — like everywhere else — but support is limited for children as parents go through the daily grind. “I spend a great deal of my energy on education {see LIU cont’d on page 13}

Washington First weathers storm Inmate Ng makes his plea to parole board of controversy with FDIC list Part 4 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s Wah Mee exclusive

Photo by Amy Phan/NWAW

Photo by Assunta Ng/NWAW

Part 2 of Northwest Asian Weekly’s local banks coverage

Washington First International Bank’s president and CEO, Elizabeth Huang

MICC counselor Donald Walston (left, foreground) and inmate Tony Ng (middle) listen as Ng’s attorney, Michael Kahrs (right), testifies before the ISRB about Ng’s parole eligibility.



As the world recovers from the global economic crisis, many people have looked to banks and financial service centers as the source for blame, questions, and answers. Along with the public unease, many banks have come under fire from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It released a list of financial institutions that were under investigation. Seattle-based Washington First International Bank (WFIB) was one of numerous banks that were named. “Right now, more than 30 percent of banks in Washington state are on that list,” explained Elizabeth Huang, the president and CEO of WFIB. “When you’re on that list, they have that standard,

boiler plate-type of language criticizing you, like you have bad management and so on. But that’s [the] standard language they use.” The report provided by the governing agency of financial institutions states that WFIB was consistently one of the best performing banks up until the third quarter of 2008, when the economic crisis began to spread. Unmentioned in the report is the fact that WFIB is a community bank and for many Asian and Pacific Islander (API) immigrants, it’s been a place where they can realize their dreams of owning a home in the United States. “[We are] recognized as the premiere bank for new Asian immigrants and investors,” Huang said. {see BANK cont’d on page 15}

Throughout his hour-long parole hearing, Wai-Chu “Tony” Ng gave reasons for the members of the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) to consider as they decide whether to grant him parole on his last five-year count at McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) in southern Puget Sound. Ng is one of the three participants in the Wah Mee Massacre — the state’s largest massacre to date. If granted parole, Ng would

begin serving his last count in March 2010. With good behavior, Ng could be free by 2013. He has served a total of 24 years in prison. “I am much more patient — stronger minded. I improved on everything [since being incarcerated]. I speak up for what I believe is right. [I] won’t follow anybody’s bad choice,” Ng told ISRB board members on Jan. 13 at MICC. Unlike the victims’ hearing in December — which had only two members present — all four ISRB {see NG cont’d on page 15}

Lunar New Year is coming to I.D. ... ... in the form of a children’s parade and contest! » P. 9

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JANUARY 23 – JANUARY 29, 2010


{BANK cont’d from page 1} Like many other banks, Huang has found that the minor pitfalls of Washington First are tied to the construction and real estate industry. “Most Chinese American banks focus on real estate lending. During this economic downturn, banks with real estate concentration (like WFIB) get hurt the most,” she said. “It is because of the high foreclosure rates, lack of buying, and lack of financing available.” Unlike its large-scale counterparts, such as Bank of America, Washington First only has four locations in Western Washington and its clientele is made up of mostly Asian Americans, thus giving WFIB a unique niche. This makes both the economic downturn and the FDIC list hurtful for the small bank. Currently, WFIB has stopped construction and land development, but they continue to help people with smaller loans “We’ve had no loss in house loans,” said Huang. Despite these factors, however, Huang is positive that WFIB will rebound quickly. In regards to their dealings with the FDIC list, WFIB completed a management assessment report, complying with the group’s request. Huang and WFIB are now looking to the future to get the company back on track as being on one of the top-performing community banks in the Seattle area. “Our liquidity is strong,” Huang said. “WFIB continues to make loans to its long-term clients, while most banks have stopped making loans.” Another opportunity that long-term customers can look forward to is the stocks that Washington First is offering until March 10. “This is the first time in our bank’s 19 [year] history [that we are offering] an opportunity for new investors to acquire our bank stock through issuing additional shares,” Huang said. At $15 a share, the additional capital raised, alongside $13 million recently raised by current shareholders, will allow WFIB to dispose of the problem assets. The bank’s overall goal is to gain another $10 to $30 million. Its assets total $600 million. “I feel very lucky,” said Huang. “We have very supportive shareholders.” She is also encouraging people to apply for accounts at the bank to help continued growth. “We would like to grow our core customers,” explained Huang. “We are not a retail bank. We are just not here for everybody. … Our core customers are Asian [communities] and foreign companies [that have] operations here.”  Ryan Pangilinan can be reached at info@nw {PAGEANT cont’d from page 5} poses for the cameras, while wearing green trousers and black straps across his bare chest. Someone had scribbled on the black backdrop behind him, “The revolution has not succeeded, comrades need to work harder.” Comrade is the slang term for gays in China. Organizers still planned to send a China representative to Oslo and will probably ask the pageant judges to choose someone from the contestants, organizer Ryan Dutcher said. Gay rights in China have come a long way since the years just after the 1949 communist revolution when homosexuality was considered a disease from the decadent West and feudal societies, and gay people were persecuted. Sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and homosexuality was finally removed from the official list of mental disorders in 2001. But tellingly, most of the contestants interviewed asked The Associated Press to use their English names instead of Chinese names, to better protect their identities at home. While treatment of gays has improved in recent years, many are still reticent to draw attention to their homosexuality, particularly in the workplace. Chinese authorities had appeared to be more open toward addressing gay issues in recent months. The country’s first gay pride festival was held in Shanghai, the nation’s commercial capital, last June. That month also featured the five-day Beijing Queer Film Festival — an event that police blocked in 2001 and 2005. China is officially atheistic, and without religious reasons for opposing homosexuality, attitudes are slowly shifting among city dwellers from one of intolerance to indifference. Gays living in big cities, like nearly all the men participating in the pageant, said their biggest challenge was dealing with parents and deeply ingrained expectations for them to get married and have children. But Liu said he thought it would be 10 years before anyone can successfully organize a gay pageant in China. “Cultural change needs time, society isn’t going to change tomorrow,” he said. 

“Secret Asian Man” comic books now available at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Seattle. {NG cont’d from page 1} board members were present at the parole hearing. Ng was the second inmate, out of five MICC inmates, to speak before the parole board. Accompanied by his MICC counselor Donald Walston, attorney Michael Kahrs, and a Cantonese translator, Ng answered questions from the parole board regarding his involvement in the Wah Mee Massacre and his current rehabilitated status. “I want to seek forgiveness, atonement [for what I’ve done],” said the 54-year-old. “I know that every time my hearing comes up … it gives people a bad memory. No matter what I say, it could never repay [the events of the Wah Mee Massacre].” Board member Dennis Thaut said Ng spoke more during the hearing than he did during his previous parole hearing, held in 2006. “You seem to have a more enlightened understanding of this hearing and your responsibility in the events,” Thaut said to Ng. At around midnight on Feb. 19, 1983, Ng, along with Willy Mak and Benjamin Ng (no relation to Tony Ng) stormed into the Wah Mee Club in an attempt to rob the gambling institution. Thirteen patrons were hog-tied and fatally shot, but one victim survived. Mak and Benjamin Ng were convicted of murder without the possibility of parole. Tony Ng was acquitted of murder but was convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault, all counts while armed with a deadly weapon. Ng recounted for the parole board the events that led to his involvement in the massacre. He said his participation in the massacre stemmed from a gambling debt owed to his co-defendants. “When I went to Willy’s house [to pay back the debt], he threatened me and I was scared for my life,” said Ng. However, board members questioned Ng’s answers. ISRB board member Tom Sahlberg asked Ng, “Do you understand the impact you’ve had on the Chinese community in Seattle? In the past, you said you owe people money [as the main reason for Ng’s participation in the massacre] … but that [seems] like a minimization of the impact on the community.” Sahlberg continued, “How are you taking responsibility for your participation [in the Wah Mee Massacre]?” After struggling a bit with his response, Ng said, “Before, I tried to justify and blame my actions on others. Now, I have to take responsibility. I know that I helped them [Willy and Benjamin Ng]. I was part of it. I could have done a lot of things differently.” Thaut pressed further. “The community is divided in terms of how they feel. A large portion of the community finds you culpable. Do you see your responsibility differently [now]?” asked Thaut. “I have more understanding of my responsibility, I could have done a lot more [like] seek help. But I did it myself,” said Ng. After a moment of silence, Ng described what he could have done differently in the events leading up to the massacre. “In the beginning, I was forced to [participate in the crime], then I tried to get out of the situation … [but] before I went to Willy’s house [to try to repay the gambling debt],

“Tony is not a criminal in the classic sense. He had no criminal personality.” — Michael Kahrs, Tony Ng’s attorney

I could have brought another friend with me [rather than go alone],” said Ng. Ng’s attorney Michael Kahrs told the board that there are “cross-cultural implications [having to do with] the Chinese American community.” “If you’re a Chinese male, you’re considered weak if you seek the help of others,” said Kahrs, who postponed Ng’s original parole board hearing in late December because he needed more time to prepare. He went on to say that he believed the psychological evaluation conducted in November 2009 by a Department of Corrections psychologist was “tremendously flawed” because it did not consider these cross-cultural implications and Ng’s age at the time of the crime. “Tony is not a criminal in the classic sense. He had no criminal personality,” said Kahrs. During the hearing, Kahrs said he planned on submitting, to the parole board, a separate psychological assessment — or at least have an assessment of the first psychological evaluation. Kahrs submitted letters from supporters of Ng’s parole and recent articles published in the Northwest Asian Weekly to the parole board. “Tony has learned how to express shame. He’s still working on that to this day. It is reflected in the [Northwest Asian Weekly] articles. … He understands his mistakes,” said Kahrs.


Board members will use the parole hearing as well as concerns from the community and victims’ family members, among other factors, to decide whether or not they find Ng eligible to be paroled on his last count. Even if Ng is found eligible to move on in March 2010, he will have to go before the parole board once again at the end of count seven to be paroled into the community. Because the Wah Mee Massacre occurred before the 1984 effective date of the Sentencing Reform Act — which largely affects the minimum amount of time an offender spends in prison — Ng’s parole is at the sole discretion of the ISRB. The parole board will have a written decision in approximately one month.  Amy Phan can be reached at info@nwasianweekly. com.

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

VOL 29 NO 10

MARCH 6 – MARCH 12, 2010


NO BLING? After the gold comes the endorsement deals, or not? » P. 8


‘Angel of Saigon’ and Lao college student join forces to help orphans in Haiti

PAROLED Part 5 of NWAW’s exclusive with inmate Tony Ng


Photos by James Tabafunda/NWAW

Photo by Amy Phan/NWAW

The giant-sized scrapbook filled with newspaper articles about her lifesaving work in Southeast Asia is worn out. Years of adding new clippings have taken a toll on its torn and weakened binding. Inside the scrapbook, there are photographs of large pots filled with empty baby bottles scattered on the floor. Nearest to the pots, crying orphans can be seen inside rusted, Betty Tisdale recalls special memories in a room dedicated to her experiences in Vietnam. worn-out metal cribs. Betty Tisdale wants to find some way to repair it so that it can, once again, be strong, just like her memories of the fall of Saigon during the spring of 1975. She, along with Dr. Cao Xuan Anh and Ina Balin, attempted to rescue more than 400 children — only 219 could be saved — by military airlift from An Lac Orphanage in Vietnam {see HAITI cont’d on page 16} University of Washington senior Olivia Sengsi

Inmate Tony Ng at a February 2009 interview with NWAW By Amy Phan NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) unanimously found Tony Ng parolable to his final robbery sentence, which begins in March. The decision allows Ng to begin serving his last first-degree {see NG cont’d on page 16}

O.J. Simpson forensic Canadian grocers help Olympian expert on his career and realize her dreams a memorable case

Dr. Henry Lee, a forensic scientist, during his recent Seattle visit By Tiffany Ran NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY Dr. Henry Lee is the type of man that says “no problem,” though his career revolves around problems. Lee is a forensic scientist that has assisted in more than 6,000 cases and is renowned for his ability to glean clues from the scant pieces of evidence collected from crime scenes. Lee often works with corpses, but says that it is worse when {see LEE cont’d on page 13}

Alexa Loo dreamed big. An accountant by day, she never lost sight of her Olympic dreams. At age 37, she is older than most athletes at the Olympic Winter Games. She has a degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Loo is a Chinese Canadian snowboarder. She was the first Canadian woman to compete at an Olympic Winter Games in the parallel giant slalom event at Turin in 2006. Her major event this year was the parallel giant slalom at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Loo had two previous Olympic disappoints to make up for. According to the Vancouver Sun, Loo missed qualifying for the Salt Lake Winter Games in 2002 by a fraction of a second. In 2006, in Turin, she crashed during the qualifying run. She almost didn’t take part in the 2010 Vancouver Games. According to the Sun, Loo

Finalists in Kin’s Farm Market and Cobs Bread’s World Class Nutrition Contest with Bill McNulty, Alice Wong, Queenie Chu, Kin Hun Leung, Alexa Loo, and Kin Wah Leung. The Kins are presenting Loo a check for $20,000. faced funding problems. She suffered a knee injury in 2007. Sport Canada pulled her funding, stating that she had not shown the necessary improvement to receive an $18,000 stipend. According to its website, Sport Canada develops policies, provides financial support through  funding pro-

grams, and undertakes a number of  special initiatives in order to enhance opportunities for Canadians to participate and excel in sports. Loo went on local radio stations and talked about her financial {see LOO cont’d on page 11}


FLUENCY Literacy council motivates adult learners » P. 7

PUBLIC SERVICE Top Korean in White House inspires » P. 9

Photo provided by

Photo by Tiffany Ran/NWAW


PUBLISHER’S BLOG The Olympics and China’s Romeo and Juliet » P. 10

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asianweekly northwest


MARCH 6 – MARCH 12, 2010

{HAITI cont’d from page 1} to the United States. In May 1975, the 219 children were all adopted, and the “Angel of Saigon” drew media attention, particularly from newspapers around the world. In addition to her scrapbook and countless photos of the orphans she’s either saved or visited, she has signed letters of recognition from Nobel Peace Prize winners Mother Teresa and Albert Schweitzer. In July 2000, she founded Helping and Loving Orphans (HALO), an organization “dedicated to bettering the lives of orphans and at-risk children around the world, especially in developing countries.” Besides Vietnam, HALO has come to the aid of orphans in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Mexico. Tisdale knows what she needs to do to help the orphans in earthquake-ravaged Haiti: to provide shelter for one of many orphanages desperate for help and to raise money. HALO has already sent a check for $1,000 to Orphelinat Rose-Mina to pay for needed items such as water, rice, and beans. She will travel to Port-au-Prince on March 11 to see if a new shelter can be constructed for 80 children — 50 of them are babies — at the orphanage. “They’re all living outside now,” said Tisdale. “I want to go down there and find who is doing all the building.” When she arrives, the Angel of Saigon also plans to distrib{NG cont’d from page 1} robbery sentence, which has a minimum serving time of 65 months. The verdict gives Ng a projected release date of August 2015, at which time the ISRB will convene again to determine if he can be released back into the community. However, like most of his past counts, with good behavior, Ng could potentially have a reduced sentence time, making for a possible release in late 2013. The 53-year-old McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) inmate has been incarcerated for the past 24 years for his participation in the 1983 Wah Mee Massacre, the state’s largest crime to date. Thirteen people were killed and one survived. One of three participants in the crime, Ng was found guilty of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault. The two other co-defendants received life in prison, without the possibility of parole. The decision was formed by the ISRB’s four-member panel, one of whom was present at Ng’s last parole hearing in 2007. Members serve a four-year term. In January, Ng and his attorney, Michael Kahrs, met with the ISRB at MICC for a parole hearing. At the meeting, board members asked Ng to explain his participation in the massacre, including specific ways he could have “said no and helped authorities … after the [crime].” In a document explaining its decision, the ISRB said they found Ng’s recent answers sufficient enough to move him to his last count. “Mr. Ng has admitted that his participation was due to bad decisions that he had made. He is now described as a person who can ask for help and who understands the impact that his actions have had on an entire community, including his family,” the board said. The ISRB considered Ng to have “positive institutional conduct and an excellent work history while in prison.” “Mr. Ng continues to avail himself of all opportunities to participate in offender change programming and to excel in instructional work,” the document read. The most recent psychological evaluation conducted in October 2009 found Ng to have moderate levels of psychopathy and a medium risk of reoffending. However, at the request of Kahrs, a separate psychological evaluation was conducted at a later date, finding Ng’s psychopathy and a low risk to reoffend. During Ng’s parole hearing, board members brought up Ng’s citizenship for the first time. According to Ng’s 54-year-old sister, who wishes to not be named, Ng was never a naturalized citizen.

ute chewable children’s vitamins, the only items she’ll be bringing with her. Before the devastating earthquake in January, Haitian orphanages were already full beyond capacity, and adoptions were being processed. Now, they must deal with more new orphans and Haitian authorities are no longer permitting orphans to leave the country amid the chaos. Much of the paperwork for adoptions is now buried under the rubble of collapsed buildings. The Joint Council on International Children’s Services issued a recent statement saying, “Until further notice, the best way to support the needs of the children in Haiti is to donate money to international aid organizations dealing with the disaster.” “To be frank, I don’t play bridge or tennis,” said Tisdale. “I’m much better at speaking [about HALO], trying to raise money, and taking care of kids.” A HALO volunteer contacted University of Washington senior Olivia Sengsi for possible fundraising ideas. “I suggested that maybe fundraising buttons would be a good idea because they’re not so expensive to produce, and they’re eye-catching, and it’s very easy to market,” said Sengsi, who is majoring in geography with a concentration in spatial equity and politics. Over the span of a few days, she created almost 300 buttons with two red hearts horizontally below the middle and the message: “Seattle For HAITI — 2010.” Each one sells

“Tony is a citizen of Hong Kong. At those times, people didn’t think it was important to be a citizen,” she said after the parole hearing, explaining why Ng didn’t become a citizen before the crime. Board member Tom Sahlberg suggested to Ng the possibility of deportation upon prison release back to Hong Kong. Sahlberg asked Ng if he had family and a community he could possibly live with if he faced deportation. Ng did not answer Sahlberg’s question. University of Washington School of Law immigration law professor Thomas Cobb said some of the most common deportation grounds involve crimes. “Immigration law defines the crimes that serve as a basis for deportation very broadly,” said Cobb, who did not speak specifically to Ng’s case. He said three of the most commonly used deportation grounds are “aggravated felonies, crimes involving moral turpitude, and controlled substances offenses.” “The definition of aggravated felony is quite broad and includes crimes that involve the use of physical force against another person or against property,” said Cobb. While Cobb did not know the specific details of Ng’s case, he said that in any circumstance, it is important to consider the elements of the crime, the sentence imposed, as well as other factors that provide a basis for deportation. “Eligibility for U.S. citizenship can also be extremely complicated,” he said. Cobb said that “good moral character” is one of many requirements for naturalized citizenship. “In many cases, the definition of ‘good moral character’ makes non-citizens who have committed serious crimes or spent a long time in prison either temporarily or permanently ineligible for naturalization,” he said. Upon hearing the ISRB decision, King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg expressed his disapproval. “This decision paves the way for his eventual release in only four to five years from now. That is simply not a long enough sentence for the crimes that he has committed,” he said. Despite being granted parole to his last count, the ISRB maintains that granting an offender parole does not guarantee eventual community release. Ng’s sister was relieved to hear the news. “I’m please[d] with the ISRB’s decision. … Tony has changed and accepted his responsibility for his mistake 28 years ago,” said the 54-year-old.  Amy Phan can be reached at info@

for $2 each, and all proceeds will go to benefit Orphelinat Rose-Mina. They can be found at Peso’s Kitchen Lounge and Toulouse Petit Kitchen and Lounge, and both are located in Seattle’s Queen Anne district. Agua Verde Cafe and Paddle Club in the University District will also have them available. Sengsi, the president of the university’s Lao Student Association and a member of the Chi Sigma Alpha sorority, says her own family immigrated to the United States around the same time as Tisdale’s lifesaving airlift. “They were fortunate enough to have a sponsor that was able to bring them here to start a new life,” she said. “As a child, I grew up hearing stories all the time of the hardships and the struggle that it took to advance the life for the family and for their future.” She says she “definitely relates” to the gratitude and appreciation the orphans and their adopted families have for the Angel of Saigon. “It’s really from my heart that I really wanted to contribute to such a good cause and especially to work with a person who’s so internationally well-known,” she added.  For more information on Helping and Loving Orphans, visit James Tabafunda can be reached at info@

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Wah Mee inmate opens up about 1983 massacre  

NWAW's BNC submission

Wah Mee inmate opens up about 1983 massacre  

NWAW's BNC submission