Saturday, May 26, 2018

Filipino boxers making history ... in Fresno?

Filipino boxers Jerwin Ancajas, left, and Jonas Sultan stare down each other at the weigh-in over the weekend
 at the Filipino Cultural Center in Los Angeles.

IT''S BEEN almost a century since the last time two Filipino fighters fought for a title. 
IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will defend his title against Jonas Sultan will fight for the title Saturday (May 26) in Fresno, Calif.

Their fight in Fresno State University's Save Mart Center will be the first world title bout between two Filipino fighters in 93 years (when Pancho Villa defended the world flyweight title against Clever Sencio on May 2, 1925 in Manila).

Ancajas, 29-1-1 (20), is promoted by international boxing icon Manny Pacquiao. Many are predicting that the polite and humble Ancajas may just be the fighter to step up and take over as the biggest star in Philippine boxing as Pacquiao enters the downside of his history-making career.

Ancalas is on the cusp of becoming a major star. His promoters hope the Fresno fight will give him the exposure to make that step to international fight fans

It will be Sultan's first fight in the U.S. Sultan (14-3) is ranked No. 1 by the International Boxing Federation and is coming off his biggest victory, a knockout of John Riel Casimero on Sept. 16 in Cebu, Philippines.

Before this fight was scheduled, neither fighter had ever been to Fresno. Choosing the place of the fight was no accident.

They probably didn't know of the city's existence. Organizers hope to attract some of California's estimated 3.5 million Filipinos, the bulk who live in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. Fresno sits strategically in the middle, almost equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles, each about a three-hour drive away.

Al Perez, a Fresno-area promoter for the event recognizes that Filipinos are big boxing fans. "They mirror the Mexican/American community in terms of their love for boxing. And, of course, having a world champion like Manny Pacquiao ups the profile with the Filipino pride that Manny has brought to the sport."

Perez told ESPN that he traveled with his adviser, Titus Verzosa, a lifetime member of the Filipino American Association of Fresno & Vicinity, on a grassroots tour to spread word about the fight at grocery stores, restaurants and in the nearby farming community of Delano, which has a sizable Filipino/American population.

With the popularity of the sport among Filipinos and Filipino/Americans, it is a wonder that aren't more fights featuring Filipino fighters. Promoters like to use the racial angle -- Filipinos vs. Latinos, Latinos vs. African/Americans, African/Americans vs. white -- to garner more fans.

Fresno doesn't have the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, nor the history and traditon of Madison Square Garden, but the fighters are happy to be fighting in the U.S.

"This is an historical fight for every Filipino out there," said Michael Aldeguer, president and CEO of the Ala Promotions team backing Sultan. He told ESPN, "To be here in the U.S., in the boxing mecca of the world, and to showcase our fighters on the world stage, this is it. They have to be inspired to be part of history. I hope Filipinos realize that and come Saturday so they can say, 'I was there watching the first Filipino title fight in 93 years.'"

Bomb rips through Indian restaurant near Toronto

Police released this photo of the two suspects who covered their faces as they entered the restaurant.

AN INDIAN RESTAURANT was bombed in a Toronto suburb injuring 15 people attending family gatherings.

Police are seeking two suspects who left the homemade bomb before fleeing.

“There is no indication that this is a terrorism act. There is no indication that this is a hate crime at this time. We haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans.
The explosion ripped through the Bombay Bhel restaurant located in mall in Mississauga around 10:30 p.m., Thursday (May 24).

Officials said three Indian/Canadians suffered were injured by the blast. Three were wounded seriously and transported to a hospital where they were treated and released. The three hospitalized individuals were a 35-year-old Brampton man, a 48-year-old Mississauga woman, and a 62-year-old Mississauga woman.
Two male suspects fled the scene immediately after the incident. “Nothing was said by these individuals,” said Peel Regional Sergeant Matt Bertram. “It appears they just went in, dropped off this device and took off right away.”

Police described the first suspect as "male, 5’10-6 feet, stocky build, mid-20s, light skin, wearing dark blue jeans, dark zip up hoodie pulled over head, baseball cap with light grey peak, face covered with black cloth material."

The second suspect was described "as 5’9”-5’10”, fair skin, thin build, faded blue jeans, dark zip-up hoodie hood pulled over head, grey t-shirt, dark coloured skate shoes, face covered."

On Friday morning, the restaurant issued a statement on Facebook about the explosion.
“It was an extremely horrific and sad incident that happened at our Hwy 10 location yesterday evening. We want to thank you for all of your support and well wishes, especially to the families that were affected. At this time, the police are undergoing a full investigation to ensure the individuals are apprehended.”

Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, tweeted that India’s Consul General in Toronto visited the injured in the hospital. The Indian consulate in Toronto tweeted it had opened a helpline for those seeking assistance following the explosion.

Friday, May 25, 2018

AAPI Heritage Month: Google honors James Wong Howe, revolutionary with a camera

TODAY (May 25) Google honored James Wong Howe as sthe subject of their daily Doodle. Here's Google's writeup on the famous cinematographer:
Meet the cinematographer who changed films forever
The poet of the camera’, ‘an artist in film’, ‘a painter with light’: these are some of the names given to James ‘Jimmy’ Wong Howe. A pioneer, an innovator, a creator, James Wong Howe is one of the world’s greatest ever cinematographers. He worked on over 120 films between 1922 and 1974, directed two features, and won two Oscars. As well as making films, he worked on documentaries, TV, and commercials. He was even offered the job of working on the Godfather films shortly before his death. 
But Wong Howe wasn’t a likely figure, pitted for greatness from birth. A first-generation Chinese American, Wong Howe fought prejudice all his life. 
Learning the ropes
James Wong Howe was born Wong Tung Jim in Guangzhou, China on August 28, 1899. Howe’s father brought his young family to the US – what he described as the ‘mountain of gold’ – when Howe was 5 years old. 
His first home was Pascoe, Washington, where his father opened a general store and became the first Chinese merchant in the town. As a child, Howe faced vicious racism. His first schoolteacher quit as she didn't want to teach a person of Chinese descent. His second teacher changed his name to be more anglicised, which is how he became ‘James Wong Howe’. As a child, Howe was bullied by his classmates, and used to take sweets from his father’s shop to give to the other children and try to make them like him. 
He was learning how to hold his own in a world that was not built for him, that tried to hold him down at every opportunity – and learnt to persevere and prosper. This was a lesson that he would carry throughout the rest of his career.
Lights, camera, action
Wong Howe left Pascoe to become a boxer, but later moved to LA – home to the glitz and glamor of the movies – and became a bellboy in a Beverly Hills hotel. 
Then, at 17, James Wong Howe got into the film industry from the bottom. He was employed at the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation as a cleaner, but it was from here that he would forge connections with some of the greatest movie makers of his generation. From sweeping up film ends in the camera room, he eventually became an assistant cameraman – the first step in a career that would last for more than 50 years. 
James Wong Howe revolutionized filmmaking.
From chewing gum-eating canaries to roller skating cameramen
Wong Howe pioneered the wide-angle lens, low key lighting (which earned him the nickname "Low Key Howe"), and deep focus. He was also one of the first cameramen to ever use a hand-held camera. But he also had some unusual approaches to the new technology of film. 
It was Wong Howe’s creative – and sometimes unusual – thinking that made him famous. He got his accidental big break by using a visual trick to make the actress Mary Miles Minter’s light blue eyes show up dark on film. “The word went around at cocktail parties that Mary Miles Minter had imported herself an Oriental cameraman, who hid behind a velvet curtain and magically made her eyes turn dark,” Wong Howe said. “After that, I was never out of work."
While shooting a film for Cecile B. DeMille, Howe was tasked with capturing a close up of a singing canary. But they couldn't get the canary to sing. They tried all kinds of methods, like the noise of a sewing machine and a violinist, until someone realized that the bird was female and that they don’t sing at all. But with some characteristic ingenuity, Howe grabbed some chewing gum and put it in the canary's mouth. The bird’s chewing made it look like it was singing – problem solved.
Other ingenious techniques that Howe used included: shooting a boxing scene by rollerskating around the action; using the reflection of tin cans to light a scene up a hill without electric lights; shooting scenes while being pushed around in a wheelchair; and weighing down birds to make them land where he needed them to.

Google's Doodle of James Wong Howe
Against all odds
James Wong Howe became one of the best cinematographers in history – he was even the most well paid cameraman in Hollywood for a time. But he had to fight prejudice all his life to maintain his position. Like the days of bribing schoolchildren with sweets to make them like him, Howe faced prejudice both on and off the film set. 
James Wong Howe married Senora Babb in 1937 in Paris, but their marriage wasn't legally recognised until 1957 as they were an interracial couple. During World War Two, Howe had to wear a badge that said ‘I am Chinese’ as everyone thought he was Japanese. His friend James Cagney wore one too out of solidarity.
Fighting this uphill battle – even being investigated by the Un-American Activities Committee under McCarthy – makes Wong Howe’s achievements even more impressive. 
A lifetime on film
When Wong Howe began his career films were silent and in black and white. By the time he made his last film, every aspect of movie-making was different. Howe saw all of these changes, not only keeping up with the times, but also constantly innovating and pushing the form forwards. 
Film making was completely different by his death in 1976, in part thanks to James Wong Howe himself.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Amy Tan has a message for racists

WARNING! Harsh language ahead!

TWO AMERICAN women were waiting in line at a gas station to buy eggs and milk when a Border Patrol agent asked them for their ID's and questioned them for 40 minutes.

What were they doing to warrant this interrogation? They were speaking Spanish.

Ana Suda and her friend are furious at the encounter that occurred in Montana.  What's infuriating is that it's lentirely legal.

Although the practice is more common near the border with Mexico, ICE gents have the power to stop anyone they suspect is in this country without documentation if they are within 100 miles of any border. In this case, the border in question is the one shared with Canada, which was 35 miles away.

Legal or not, Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan thought the agent's actions and the fear that foreign languages stirs up with monolingual Americans was out of line and not in the tradition of our country's values.

She used social media to convey her video message in Spanish (except for the two last words.) She also provided a translation:

After a few responses from people who were offended by her use of street language, Tan followed up with this message:

The women spoke Spanish, but it could just as well have been Tagalog, Cantonese, Vietnamese or any one of the scores of languages used in Asia. The incident occurred in Montana but it could just as well have happened in Buffalo, NY, or San Diego. Technically, the East and West coasts are borders so ICE could argue that rule might applies to New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Boston and and a host of other coastal cities.

Note tin the CNN interview above that Suda says an agent told her that Canadians speaking French are not stopped and questioned by ICE. Clearly, a case of racial profiling.

How in the world did ICE get this Gestapo-like authority?  Apparently, the Supreme Court, dominated by Republican-nominated justices, approved the law. See what happens when we're not paying attention?

Instead of being offended by two words - no matter how harsh - Americans should be offended by the actions of ICE.

People Acting Stupid: Driver goes into racist tirade against U.S. veteran

This woman thought she was being funny.

ONCE AGAIN, the old "go-back-to-your-country" expletive (Yes, to me that's an expletive) was hurled at an Asian/American.

The target of the was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, putting his life on the line so a woman can tell him, "this isn't your f--king country."

Then she pulled her eyes back -- yes, she did -- and said, “This is my country, this is not a Chinese. Oh my god, Chinese ugly.”

James Ahn, a resident of Fremont, California, said he was driving at the speed limit but an aggressive driver wanted him out of the way because she wanted to pass. When Ahn changed lanes to get out of the way, the driver passed him then cut in front of him, causing Ahn to slam on his brakes, he said.

The comments occurred when the two cars were side by side at a stoplight. 

Fremont police said no crime was committed and there was nothing they could do. With non legal recourse, Ahn posted the video, captured by one of his passengers, on Facebook.

“I later realized that this was more like a hate crime than a road rage,” Ahn wrote on Facebook.

To add insult to injury, the driver of the other car spoke with a noteceable Slavic or Russian accent indicating she may be a recent immigrant herself. Why she thinks she is more of an American than Ahn, who immigrated from Korea in 1992 and who joined the U.S. military in 2012, is beyond me.

TGIF Feature: Asian cuisine is 'iconic' San Francisco food

REGULAR READERS of 'Views' know I love food: looking at it, cooking it, but most of all, eating it.

Time Out: San Francisco featured an article Wednesday (May 23) headlined "10 Iconic Dishes to Eat Like A Local in San Francisco."

There it was, it listed Filipino food, for someone who wanted to taste the real San Francisco Treat. For a cuisine that doesn't get as much recognition as it should, to be listed as one of the City's iconic dishes is a big deal.

I reprinted the short write-up below to include the links to some of the places it recommends.
Filipino Food: 
Filipino food is as integral to the Bay Area as our many other Asian cultures and cuisines. Daly City is ground zero, lined with Filipino bakeries, while SF offers mainstays like Masalaor 1608 BistroPinoy Heritage‘s pop-ups offer some of the best Filipino food around, perfecting classics like pancit or sisig. Beloved Filipino food trucks line blocks, including The Sarap Shop and Jeepsilog, but the most famous is Senor Sisig which has been featured on numerous TV shows, popularizing sisig tacos, burritos and fries.  
Where to get it: Pinoy Heritage; Senor Sisig
If you're in San Francisco, give Filipino cuisine a try. 

The article also mentions: Dim sum at Yank Sing (but, there are plenty of other restaurants that offer dim sum in San Francisco. Tip: Not necessarily in old Chinatown.) and sushi.

There was also a nod to the growing appreciation of Burmese cuisine:
Tea Leaf Salad
Always the trendesetter, SF has been nomshing on Burmese food, one of the rarest cuisines in the U.S., for more than 30 years. (NYC recently got their only Burmese restaurant.) Since 1992, Burma Superstar’s original SF location has converted fans to the delights of Burmese food and tea leaf salad. From family-run Burmese Kitchen to hip Burma Love, SF houses many Burmese destinations. Our favorite is Mandalay, which is truly OG since 1984.
Where to get it: Mandalay
Asian cuisine definitely has had an impact on the food scene in the City by the Bay, whether it be through fusion or the real deals. Even chefs of other cuisines have noted the flavor popping effects of soy sauce or fish sauce.

Tourists always are struck by the "diversity" of the City. I think what they really mean (especially if they are from the Eastern Seaboard or the Midwest) when they say that is: "There's a whole lot of Asians around here." Indeed, AAPI peoples make up a good portion of the City. Walking down Market Street, the city's main thoroughfare, it might look like a cosmopolitan Asian metropolis with a half-dozen Asian languages being spoken by passersby and the smells of dozens of cuisines wafting out of kitchens and food trucks.

That diversity extends to the food. If you see a group of people lining up for one of the brick and mortar restaurants or a food truck, get in it for a real culinary adventure.


AsAm advocates call for reinstatement of Chinese American scientist

Sherry Chen speaks at a news conference in Washington, D.C.

By Louis Chan

COMMUNITY LEADERS and politicians Wednesday (May 23) called for the reinstatement of Sherry Chen, who was fired from her job as a government scientist with the Department of Commerce’s National Weather Service in Ohio, even after spy charges against her were dropped.

Last month, as AsAmNews first reported, a judge with the Merit System Protection Board, recently ordered her reinstatement with back pay and called the decision to fire her a “gross injustice.”

The Department of Commerce has announced its intention to appeal the decision by the judge.

“I’m appalled that no one in management who handled my case stood up to protect me or even questioned the scandalous activities during the entire process,” said Chen to the media Wednesday. “My reputation and career were severely damaged. My family and I suffered enormously through the ordeal.”

The news conference was organized by the Committee of 100, United Chinese Americans and the Ohio Chinese American Association.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus also released a letter it sent to the Department of Commerce calling for a full and independent investigation” of the case.

“It does not appear that anyone at the Department has been held accountable for the pattern of misconduct in Ms. Chen’s case, the letter stated. “We remain concerned that her case reflects systematic problems at the Department and warrants further review.”

The letter was signed by 31 representative of Congress.

“We are doing this because we will not tolerate Chinese Americans or Asian Americans being treated as second-class citizens,” Rep Judy Chu (D-CA), the president of CAPAC, said at the news conference. “No American should have to live in fear that their entire lives may be turned upside down due to wrongful accusations and unwarranted racial profiling. There is no room for this sort of prejudice in our federal government or in our country.”

Also present at the news conference was Dr. Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University who also was arrested and charged with spying for China. His case was also dropped before going to trial.

“I am outraged at the false prosecution by the federal government of Sherry,” he said. “I know a little bit about what the nightmare was for Sherry. I too was taken away from my home in handcuffs by armed FBI agents. How could these agents and officials take such unconsciousable actions against Sherry. There can be no logical explanation other than she is a Chinese American. This is not right. This is racial profiling. It is against the country’s ideals that all are created equal. It will lead to more innocent Americans to be falsely charged of spying for China. It must stop.”

Chen said the government’s action is a threat to all.

“By pursuing wrongful prosecution and wrongful termination, the government has sent out a chilling and dangerous message to the public that anyone is at risk of being wrongfully terminated,” she said.


AAPI Vote 2018: Two Asian American novices will challenge Republican incumbents in Texas

Gina Ortiz Jones is the Democra' nominee for Texas' 23rd Congressional District.

TWO ASIAN AMERICANS won their party's nomination in Tuesday's Texas run-off elections.

Austin's Gina Ortiz Jones, 37, and Houston's Sri Preston Kulkarni, 36, topped the Democratic Party contests in the 23rd and 22nd Congressional Districts, respectively.

Ortiz Jones, a Filipina/American, beat Rick Trevino, a former high school teacher, with more than 17,000 votes, or more than twice as many as Trevino.

"Gina will be a strong, principled representative for hardworking, middle class Texans and these results show her grassroots campaign is building momentum and will be highly competitive in November," said Ben Ray Luj├ín, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a statement. 

If she wins in November against Republican Rep. Will Hurd, Ortiz Jones will be the first lesbian, first Iraq War veteran and first Filipina/American to represent Texas in Congress.

Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, worked as a federal employee under two presidents of both parties. She thought she could continue working in the Trump administration but quit when she saw the policies he was implementing.

Ortiz Jones' November opponent is well-financed and has served in Congress for two terms. District 23 leans Republican but has elected Democrats in the past. In 2016, the district went for Hillary Clinton. The district has been targeted by the Democratic Party as one that could flip to their ranks.

Kulkami beat his Democratic rival almost two-to-one but the road ahead for Kulkami in District 22 will be even tougher.

The Indian/American, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, will try to upset five-term GOP Rep. Pete Olson this November.

Sri Preston Kulkami is challenging an incumbent to represent the 22 District in Texas.

Trump carried the district by 8 points in 2016 but it is also one of the most diverse districts in Texas so immigration may be a big issue in November. In addition, Santa Fe High School where 10 people were killed last week, is a Houston suburb, will likely make gun control, anathema to Republicans, an issue in the 22nd.

"We can't actually do our job and we can't represent America when the government is not representing America. If this is what America represents, then I need to change that," he said.

"As we look ahead, let us remember what is at stake this fall. We are fighting for the students who fear gun terror in their schools; we are fighting for immigrant families who are seeking the American Dream; we are fighting for the teachers and everyday heroes struggling to support their families. Tonight we celebrate, but tomorrow we strive forward to bring decency back to our country," he said.

In both districts, Democrats hope that the anti-Trump sentiment that spurred ehtnusiasm among their volunteers and voters and the momentum generated by their campaigns will continue into November. 

Democrats have done a better job of registering voters for the Primary and Runoff. That effort will most likely intensify until Aug. 20, the last day for voter registration.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Thousands pray for Pakistani student slain at Texas high school

Photo by Ahmed Sharma
A prayer service was held prior to the funeral for Sabika Sheikh

By Ahmed Sharma

SUNDAY (May 19) was a dark and dreary day in Texas. Rain poured heavily as cars raced to attend the funeral services for Sabika Sheikh, a Pakistani exchange student who was one of 10 killed during last week’s school shooting in Sante Fe, a small town outside Houston.

Thousands of Muslims gathered at Masjid As-Sabireen mosque in Stafford, a city about 19 miles away from Houston, to pay their respects. The overflow crowd prayed outside on the sidewalk.

As the prayers began, voices clamored to delay services a few more minutes so other people could find parking and join in. Despite a majority of the participants not knowing Sabika Sheikh, even the rain and scarce parking did not deter people from coming to pray for her.

Directly after the services, Sheikh’s body was carried to a hearse and taken to the airport, so that she may be buried in her hometown of Karachi, Pakistan.

A majority of the attendees did not know Sheikh but one volunteer said, “she has no family here except her host family and it happened here in our city so of course we will pay our respects. It is [part of] our [faith] and she is our daughter and our sister in Islam.”Among the attendees were dignitaries like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Texas Rep. Al Green.

A crowd formed inside the mosque as well to hear from Sheikh’s host family and friends. According to the host parents, they began fasting with Sabika Sheikh during the month of Ramadan. One of the daughters of the host family, Jaelyn Cogburn, fought through tears during her eulogy: 

“When I first started school, I didn’t know anyone. And I met Saika, and she didn’t know anyone either. And we became very close…She was so loyal to her faith and her country. And she loved everybody. She was the most amazing person I’d ever met, and I will always miss her.”

“Sabika’s case should become an example to change the gun laws,” Aziz Sheikh, Sabika’s father, told Reuters.  “I want this to become a base on which the people over there can stand and pass a law to deal with this. I’ll do whatever I can,” he said from Pakistan.

“One should not lose his heart by such kind of incidents,” he told the Associated Press. “One should not stop going for education to the U.S. or U.K., or China, or anywhere. One must go for education undeterred. But controlling such incidents is the responsibility of the respective governments.”

Sabika was in the U.S. as an exchange student under the YES program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Former Houston City Council member, M.J. Khan emceed the eulogies and prefaced by reminding everyone of the other nine children that were killed in the Santa Fe shooting and to offer prayers for them as well: 

“When you offer your prayers today, I know each and every one of you is mourning. Remember Aaron McLeod. Remember Christopher J. Stone. Remember Jared Black. Remember Christian Riley Garcia. Remember Angelique Ramirez. Remember Shauna Fisher. Remember Kimberly Vaughn. And the two teachers: Cynthia Tisdale and Glenda Perkins. And remember our beloved daughter, Sabika Sheikh.

After the Houston services, her body was sent home to Pakistan. Her father was at the Karachi  airport today (May 23) to receive her.

(Views from the Edge contributed to this report.)

AAPI Vote 2018: AsAm legislators protest ad attacking John Chiang

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Treasurer John Chiang battle it out. 

WITH LESS THAN TWO WEEKS to go before voters go to the polls for the California primary, the race for governor is turning nasty with a negative ad targeting fellow Democrat John Chiang from frontrunner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In a way, the attack ad is a compliment to Chiang, who has an outside chance of going head to head against Newsom in the November elections. He is airing an aggressive campaign against his chief rival, former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Asian American and Pacific Islander legislators wrote a strong protest letter to the California Medical Association and the California Dental Association, both of whom endorsed Newsom, protesting the ad's message.

In a press release, Chiang's campaign called the TV spot "false and erroneous" and said that the lattack from Newsom is a sign that Chiang is gaining public support. 
The battle for the June 5 primary in the governor's race is for No. 2. Newsom has consistently polled far ahead of everybody else. In California's rules, the top two vote-getters in the primary will have a run-off in November, regardless of party.

Newsom's attack ad claims that Chiang, who previously served as state treasurer and state controller, "lost track of $31 billion" during his stint as controller. 

The Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, chaired by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, sent a letter to the two medical groups in protest. 

"John is a strong advocate for true access to high-quality, affordable healthcare for all Californians," the letter said. "He believes that health care is a right for all, not a privilege for just the wealthy. He will protect and defend the Affordable Care Act against attacks from Washington. He will also prioritize access to preventative care, basic primary care, and he will fight to make needed prescription drugs affordable and accessible.
"These negative attacks on John are unfounded and unwarranted. Any effort to
diminish his track record of accomplishments with negative attacks is extremely
misguided. We call on CDA and CMA to cease these attacks immediately," the letter concluded.
It still doesn't explain why Newsom would spend some of his campaign chest against Chiang, who a month ago most observers believe finish third on JUne 5 - at best - but still out of the money. 

As for who would run against Newsom in November, it's a tossup. Most polls have the contest between Villaraigosa and one of the two Republicans running for governor Assemblymember Travis Allen or John Cox but Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle had the three Democrats -- Villaraigosa, Chiang and Delaine Eastin.

Chiang's campaign created a website in November 2017 that highlighted a 2009 San Francisco Weekly article recalling Gavin's time as San Francisco's mayor. It was headlined "Why was Mayor Gavin Newsom's San Francisco Called 'the Worst Run Big City' in the U.S.?"

The website was taken down in January 2018 and Parke Skelton, Chiang's political consultant, resigned after that.

A political action committee (not affiliated or connected with Chiang's campaign) called Asian American Small Business PAC, created an anti-Newsom ad, which uses innuendo to suggest to viewers of an affair Newsom had in 2005 when he was San Francisco mayor. While the ad was never televised, it remains on the group's website and the PAC has the money in its war chest to air it.

As a registered PAC, Chiang has no control what the group puts out but Newsom does control the content of his campaign ad against Chiang.

“Gavin Newsom’s desperate attempt to attack John's record is evidence that John is gaining momentum, and that Gavin is scared to confront his biggest one-on-one threat this November,” said Fabien Levy, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director for John Chiang’s campaign in the press release. “These dirty attacks show Gavin lacks the integrity to be governor and can't be trusted to tell the truth."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Filipino American named Vlogger of the Year

Wil Dasovich receives his Shorty award in ceremonies in New York City.

WHILE EXERCISING, I like to watch travel videos. Searching for a video of travel to the Philippines, I stumbled upon Wil Dasovich, a San Francisco-born Filipino/American, who recorded his adventures as he traveled through the Philippines and other Asian countries.

He was upbeat, having fun and seemed to genuinely enjoy himself while learning about the culture and the people of the Phiiippines. And once in a while, he'd offer a travel tip or suggest foods to try.

Watching him helps me get me through my workout and makes the time fly by.

As it turns out, last month, he name Vlogger of the Year by Shorty Awards, the vloggers equivalent to the Oscars or the Emmys.

The Shortys honors “the best of social media by recognizing the influencers, brands and organizations on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Musically and more.”

Dasovich, 26, started on YouTube by recording his globetrotting adventures after graduating from Cal Poly in 2013. 

His travel vlogs gained him an international audience, and in 2017 he quadrupled the size of his YouTube subscriber base, ending the year with well over 1M+ people tuning into his inspirational uploads. 

"After graduating college in 2013, I decided to travel around Asia for three months. The moment I got to the Philippines, I bought a Filipino language book for beginners and started learning right away," he told Garage magazine.

His first vlogs were about his attempts in learning to speak Tagalog, the Filipino dialect of his mother.

"Back in California, I grew up in a predominantly white community with no Filipinos around. But being half Filipino I became so intrigued with the language and culture; spending entire days and nights reading and memorising words. I, then, made the decision to stay in the Philippines for at least a year, and not leave the country until I was 100% fluent in Tagalog."

Even though he's learned to speak Tagalog fairly fluently, he decided to move permanently to Manila.

Last summer, his vlog took a turn towards seriousness when he was diagnosed with state III colon cancer. He decided to not let the disease slow him down and recorded his fight against cancer, all the while, staying positive.

"It's not the years in your life, but the life in your years that count," he believed.

In September last year, the day before starting his cancer treatment, he had his sperm frozen because there was a chance that the treatment would leave him infertile. Of course he vlogged the experience.

"More than anything, however, if I can inspire, motivate, and influence people in a positive way, that is where I feel I can make a difference," he told Garage. "This is the most fulfilling part about vlogging and YouTube."

In Februrary, he learned that he was cancer-free. The Shorty was icing on the cake.

Unfortunately, Dasovich is moving on. He's sdiscontinued his daily vlog for now as he tries out a new business venture.

Fortunately, you can still watch more of his vlogs on Youtube, or at his website.


People Acting Stupid: Oops! Sikh asked to remove turban was a Canadian gov't official

Navdeep Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Edonomic Development

AN OVERZEALOUS U.S. airport employee asked Navdeep Bains, a Sikh, to remove his turban before boarding his flight home to Canada.

Bains, Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, was at the Detroit airport about to board his flight back to Toronto when he was asked to return to security where he was asked to remove his turban.

Bains told Canadian newspaper La Presse on that late last year, Transportation Security Administration agents at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport repeatedly asked him to remove his turban, even after he reached his boarding gate. He said he was finally allowed to fly after he showed agents his diplomatic passport.

“I was very frustrated and disappointed that this occurred, but ultimately I was allowed to fly,” Bains told The Associated Press. “But it was because of who I was, and that should not be the case. It doesn’t matter what your status is and what your position is.”

Sikh men wear a turban as a sign of devotion to their faith. Because the men also often wear beards and are often mistaken as Muslim.

Bains passed through the Detroit airport's X-ray screening and even cooperated in giving agents a swab test. He was at the gate area about to board his flight when an agent asked him to return to the screening area. It was there that the agent insisted that Bains remove his turban.

It was then that Bains showed him his passport indicating his diplomatic status. He was allowed to board his flight.

Canada has more Sikh ministers than any other country in the world. In the 2015 election, 20 Sikhs were elected members of parliament and four – Bains, Harjit Sajjan, Amarjeet Sohi and Bardish Chagger – were appointed as federal ministers.

Canada’s foreign minister complained about the Bains incident to officials at the U.S. Homeland Security and Transportation departments, reported CBC. Bains said he accepted those officials’ apologies.

TSA spokesman Mike England told Huffpost that the department reviewed closed-circuit video of the incient and found the screening agent did not follow proper procedures. The officer has been given additional training.

However,vEngland said in an e-mail that all travelers wearing head coverings may be subjected to additional security screenings to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed beneath the clothing. He said passengers who are unwilling to remove headwear for religious, medical or other reasons should expect to undergo additional screenings, which may include officer-conducted or self-conducted pat-downs.

In 2007 the TSA updated its protocols to allow passengers to keep turbans on during security screenings.

A spokesperson from the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group, that according to current TSA rules and regulations, Sikh passengers may pat down their own turbans or refuse to remove their turbans in public.

“The kind of discrimination Canadian Minister Navdeep Bains experienced in a Detroit airport is completely unacceptable,” the coalition’s legal director, Amrith Kaur, told HuffPost. “Profiling not only stigmatizes communities, but it also makes our nation less safe because it redirects resources away from detecting and preventing actual criminal behavior.”

"As a Sikh, wearing the turban is considered one of the most dutiful acts for a person of the faith and I am proud to represent my community. Unfortunately these types of incidents do occur from time to time to minorities in particular. But it should never become the norm,” Bains said in a statement. “I will continue to promote diversity and inclusion across the country as our government has done since we took office. It is exactly why I ran for office.”