Daily Dose & Announcements: 06/17/09

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>> Yoon Calls for Eliminating the BRA
>> Filipinos Among the Biggest Spenders in U.S.
>> Chinese Elders Rush for Help as TV Goes Digital
>> QUEST CREW appearing in the Bay Area
>> AREAA/NAHREP Real Estate and Marketing Conference

Compiled by Beleza Chan

Nation

Yoon Calls for Eliminating the BRA

Boston – City Councilor-at-Large and mayoral candidate Sam Yoon is filing legislation tomorrow to eliminate the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and establish a Community Development & Planning agency.

Yoon’s legislation is part of a 4-point plan to overhaul the City’s current development and planning processes.

“We have an outdated system that favors developers over communities, that lacks coordination, and that consumes a large amount of revenue with no oversight,” said Yoon. “But worst of all, there is no vision. What we need is a new approach to planning and development that meets our current needs.”

Yoon’s plan would replace the BRA with a new Department of Community Development and Planning; a centralized planning entity with a staff trained in neighborhood outreach and stakeholder-driven planning. The City’s development powers would be transferred to the new department, which would be publicly accountable like any other city agency like the School Department or Police Department.

Yoon says the new department would create long-term plans to avoid stalled and mismanaged projects like the Massachusetts Avenue redesign and the idled construction in Downtown Crossing.

“The Department of Community Development and Planning would create a guiding vision for Boston,” said Yoon. “We need to get serious about green design, walk-able and bike-able streets, and, above all, making the planning process more inclusive and less political.”

Prior to serving on the City Council, Yoon spent ten years working as a community organizer and affordable housing developer at community-based non-profits.

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Bay

Filipinos Among the Biggest Spenders in U.S.

Redwood City – Filipinos are among the biggest spenders in the US, second only to Indians, and spending an average of $88.6 billion in goods and services annually.

This was revealed by Prof. Antonio Villegas Jr. of the College of Alameda and the University of San Francisco who conducted a nationwide research on the subject. He presented it before a media forum organized by the Philippine American Press Club-USA (PAPC-USA), together with the Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF).

In his presentation entitled “Demographics, Culture and Behavior,” it listed the following information about the Filipino American market:

* Filipino Americans have the highest employment rate at 68.9 percent compared to 64.8 percent overall nationwide;
* About 63 percent conduct their banking online and 75 percent use the ATM;
* About 68.9 percent of Filipino Americans are employed compared to 64.8 percent nationwide;
* About 5.5 percent of Filipino Americans live below the poverty line compared to 13 percent nationwide;
* McDonalds, Walmart, and Costco are their most popular brands;
* They spend an average of $147 a week on groceries; and
* About 93 percent practice recycling.

Esther Chavez, PAPC-USA president and US director of sales of INQUIRER.net, noted that a lot of the information on the Filipino American consumer is outdated. Chavez said tapping the Filipino American market may be the way out of the recession for some companies.

-Philippine Daily Inquirer

Chinese Elders Rush for Help as TV Goes Digital

San Francisco – As the United States switched to digital TV on June 12, there were still 50,000 to 60,000 unprepared households in the Bay Area rushing for help, including Chinese elders, many of whom face lots of difficulties preparing for the transition.

In the DTV Assistance Center at Self-Help for the Elderly’s main office in San Francisco, phones ring almost every 20 seconds. Callers, mostly Chinese-speaking, ask what to do to continue to watch TV after the transition.

All full-power television switched from broadcasting in analog to digital after June 12, itself a four month postponement from the original February 17 deadline.

“We are receiving more than 100 calls per hour today,” said Annie Chung, President and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly, “People are coming for help at the very last-minute, but we are prepared.”

Digital TVSelf Help for the Elderly staff demonstrate how to install converter boxes. Self-Help opened its DTV Assistance Hotline till 1am on Thursday and has extended its main office working hours to 9pm from Friday to Sunday. They provide assistance in getting DTV converter boxes installed at home.

Self-Help is also partnering with one of the converter box manufacturers, so elders can buy the box through Self-Help for only five dollars (for tax and handling fee), plus the 40-dollar coupon sponsored by the US Department of Commerce after applying online.

-New America Media

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Arts

QUEST CREW appearing in the Bay Area

Event: MTV’S America’s Best Dance Crew Winners
Description: Season 3 Winners of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew are making a rare appearance in San Francisco to perform for a new 18+ promotions company called CenterStage. The popular group from one of TV’s hottest shows will be hosting a meet and great at Club NV beginning at 10am on Friday, June 19th, followed by a choreographed as well as freestyle dance performance just before midnight. The group will likely be joined by two other Bay Area dance crews for a unique party performance experience.
Details: June 19, 10 a.m.- 12 a.m, CenterStage Party at Club NV, 525 Howard Street, San Francisco
Contact:
Kingston Wu, 415-999-1709, Kingston_wu@hotmail.com, http://www.questcrew.com, www.sfcenterstage.com,

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Commerce

AREAA/NAHREP Real Estate and Marketing Conference

Event: Real Estate and Marketing Conference
Description: The Asian Real Estate Association of America, together with the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals will convene at the Palazzo Resort in Las Vegas for their 2009 Real Estate and Marketing Conference. 
In addition to foreclosure prevention and opportunities in REO properties, sessions will cover the impact of new legislation on multicultural housing markets and how to grow real estate business. 

AREAA and NAHREP are non-profit professional trade associations dedicated to increasing sustainable homeownership opportunities in underserved communities. The associations represent collective membership of nearly 30,000 professionals engaged in all aspects of the housing industry.
Details: October 25-27, Palazzo Resort, Las Vegas
Contact: Asian Real Estate Association of America, 
5740 Fleet Street, Suite 155
, Carlsbad, CA 92008, 
Phone: 760-918-9162
, Fax: 760-918-6924

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