>> Passages: Death of Kenji Murase on June 2
>> Bone Marrow Drive in SF J-Town
>> APALRC Files Brief in Maryland Court of Appeals to Ensure Legal Rights of Limited English Proficient Litigants
>> Slapshock Gets Ready to Rock This Summer With “The Greatest Secret Tour”
>> SF Schools Score With New Baseball Season & Support From Wells Fargo
>> Six Months Later: What’s Next for Liu Xiaobo?
Compiled by Beleza Chan
Passages: Death of Kenji Murase on June 2
Kenji Kenneth Murase, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Social Work Education at San Francisco State University and World War II internee, died in his sleep June 2 at his home following a brief battle with cancer.
Born on January 3, 1920 near Fresno to immigrant sharecroppers from Japan, he farmed grapes as a youngster but also excelled in school. He attended UC Berkeley when World War II and the incarceration of Japanese Americans interrupted his education and he was removed to Poston, Arizona. Through the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council, staffed by the American Friends Service Committee, he earned a BA and MSW from Temple University, and, in 1961, a PhD from Columbia University. He married Seiko Ota of Japan in 1965, then moved to San Francisco in 1967 where they raised 3 children.
Dr. Murase joined the faculty of the new SFSU Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research in 1967, where he taught until his retirement in 1990.
A primary architect of social services for the Japanese American community in San Francisco, Dr. Murase contributed to the development of the Japanese Community Youth Council, Kimochi, Inc., the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, and the Kokoro Assisted Living Facility. He served on the boards of the National Japanese American Historical Society and the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund (NSRCF) that supports Southeast Asian college students with scholarships. Together with his wife, he was among the founders of the Japanese Bilingual and Bicultural Program, an SFUSD elementary school language program now located at Rosa Parks Elementary School, where his children attended and grandchildren now attend.
Predeceased by his wife of 42 years Seiko, survivors include his children Emily (Neal Taniguchi), Miriam (Greg Zaharchuk), and Geoffrey (Christine Miyauchi), and grandchildren Junko, Izumi, Kenji, Noah, and Sakura, who are grateful to Kaiser Hospice Services.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 28, 4:30 pm at the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC), 1840 Sutter, San Francisco, CA 94115. Donations may be made to the JCCCNC, www.jcccnc.org, or to an NSRCF scholarship in his name, 19 Scenic Drive, Portland, CT, 06480 (more information at nscrfund.org).
Bone Marrow Drive in SF J-Town
Event: Co-sponsored by Nichi Bei Times
Description: The process involves a quick, painless swab of inside cheek cells, and takes just a few minutes. By registering, people join a national database of potential donors for any patient in need. If selected as a match, donor will be contacted for further testing, and then be asked to donate blood stem cells either from blood or marrow. The event is free for minorities through AADP, and only $25 (tax deductible) for non-minorities.
Details: June 13, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., JCCCNC, Art Room, 1840 Sutter St., first floor, San Francisco
Contact: For more information, visit www.aadp.org or call 800-59-DONOR.
APALRC Files Brief in Maryland Court of Appeals to Ensure Legal Rights of Limited English Proficient Litigants
Montgomery County, Maryland – The Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC), joined by CASA de Maryland and the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of Ms. Nonceeya, a Thai speaking and limited English proficient immigrant, in the matter of Nonceeya v. Lone Star Steakhouse. The APALRC’s brief, drafted by APALRC Staff Attorneys, Nadia Firozvi and Parag Khandhar, serves as an important opportunity to provide the necessary contextual information about the limited English proficient community and the Maryland judiciary’s responsibilities under the law as language barriers continue to prevent limited English proficient (LEP) litigants from accessing courts. Ms. Nonceeya had worked at Lone Star Steakhouse for just over two years and filed a national-origin employment discrimination complaint against Lone Star’s managers and staff. She filed this complaint in the Montgomery County Circuit Court against her former employer without the assistance of an attorney, and requested the assistance of an interpreter at all court proceedings, which was granted by the Circuit Court. Lone Star Steakhouse, however, failed to provide an interpreter during a deposition that lasted for three days in English. The deposition later served as a basis for the Circuit Court’s decision as the court granted Lone Star’s motion for summary judgment. The APALRC will continue to monitor the case as it progresses to oral argument in October of 2009. The brief can be found at: www.apalrc.org.
Slapshock Gets Ready to Rock This Summer
With “The Greatest Secret Tour”
Redwood City – Slapshock, the multi-awarded and platinum-selling band that was among the first to pioneer the rap-metal genre in Asia, is set to kick off “The Greatest Secret Tour” in seven U.S. cities this summer. The band will promote their new 13-track album, Silence, the first single of which, Direction, has been playing in heavy rotation on international music channels and has scaled the charts to number one in the Philippines. Slapshock is the only Filipino band signed during the rap-metal boom in the 90s that is still highly visible and active today. The five-member crew composed of band vocalist and songwriter Jamir Garcia, guitarists Jerry Basco and Lean Ansing, bassist Lee Nevada, and drummer Chi Evora, has five major hit albums to its name: 4th Degree Burn (1999), Headtrip (2001), Project 11-41 (2002), Back to the Two-inch (2003), and Novena (2004). Their sixth and comeback album, Silence, is described as “less lyrics, more musicality experiment” and “hard, heavy and sing-able”. My Big Tow Entertainment, a San Francisco-based company dedicated to creating quality rock music events across the U.S. and overseas, and MYX®, the only music and lifestyle channel for Asian Americans, have joined hands to bring Slapshock across North America for this exciting summer tour. The schedule for “The Greatest Secret Silence Tour” is as follows:
June 12, 2009 – San Francisco / Bay Area
777 Lawrence Express Way, Santa Clara, CA
June 19, 2009 – San Diego, CA Epicenter 8450 Mira Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA
June 20, 2009 – Los Angeles, CA The Knitting Factory 7021 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
June 21, 2009 – Las Vegas, NV Cheyenne Saloon 3103 N. Rancho Drive Las Vegas NV
June 23, 2009 – Chicago, IL Martyr’s Bar 3855 Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL
June 27, 2009 – New Jersey School of Rock 31 Shrieffer Street, Hackensack NJ
June 28, 2009 – Baltimore/Washington DC Frazier’s on the Avenue 919 West 36th Street, Baltimore MD 21211
For more tour information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.mybigtow.com and http://myx.tv.
SF Schools Score With New Baseball Season & Support From Wells Fargo
San Francisco – As schools everywhere are facing budget shortfalls and the threat of pink slips, Wells Fargo is kicking off its Adopt-A-School effort again this baseball season, which provides low-to-middle income Bay Area schools with monetary support. In a unique partnership with KNBR AM-680, now in its sixth year, Wells Fargo donates $100 to local schools for every run that the San Francisco hometown team scores. This money will go to fulfill their “wish lists”, which includes requests for computers, books and other school supplies. Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in Chinatown and John Muir Elementary in Western Addition are just two of the Bay Area schools adopted by Wells Fargo because of their significant needs. Last season, the hometown team scored 640 runs, which resulted in $64,000 in contributions to local schools. Through this effort, Wells Fargo has raised more than $350,000 in the past five seasons. Overall in the Bay Area last year, Wells Fargo donated about $5.7 million to support local schools and education programs. ”Schools need support now more than ever,” said Maggie Mui, Wells Fargo’s San Francisco Market regional president. “Wells Fargo is taking a fun approach to get the community involved in supporting our local schools while cheering on the hometown team.” The community can support the effort by visiting www.knbr.com and clicking on “Adopt-A-School” to learn about the schools’ wish lists. This is just one example of Wells Fargo’s commitment to education. Last year, Wells Fargo donated a record $16.7 million to local nonprofits, and Bay Area team members logged in over 75,000 volunteer hours serving their communities. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through more than 11,000 stores, over 12,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally.
Six Months Later: What’s Next for Liu Xiaobo?
Prominent Beijing intellectual Liu Xiaobo was taken into police custody on December 8, 2008. The exact reason is unknown, but his detention appears to have been connected to his role as an original signatory of Charter 08, a public appeal to promote human rights and democracy in China. However, authorities may have also been anxious to take Liu-a longtime critic of the Chinese Communist Party-out of circulation before China’s year of sensitive anniversaries in 2009. According to reliable reports, police have been holding Liu under “residential surveillance” in a hotel located in the Beijing suburbs. The six-month time limit established by law for this status is set to expire soon, presumably on or shortly after June 8, 2009. There is some uncertainty about what might happen to Liu when the period of residential surveillance expires. Based on a careful reading of the CPL and the associated regulations on implementing the CPL issued by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security, Dui Hua believes that Beijing police have the following options open to them:
1. They can release Liu and end their criminal investigation
2. They can release Liu on bail pending further investigation. Under this status, Liu would presumably be free to return home but would remain under police monitoring
3. They can place Liu under criminal detention and transfer him to a police-run detention center.
4. They could formally arrest him, with approval of the procuratorate.
5. They could claim to have uncovered evidence of a new crime and launch a new investigation against Liu, at which point all procedural time limits would be reset.
6. They could send his case to the Procuratorate for prosecution.