On the Scene: Making News

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Viewing Vu

The beautiful face of Thuy Vu has graced Bay Area television screens since the 1990s when her first job was as a reporter and fill-in anchor for KPIX. She joined ABC7 in 2000 to co-anchor the ABC7 Sunday Morning News, and also was a reporter based in South Bay Bureau.  An Emmy award-winning anchor and reporter for CBS5 “Eyewitness News” in San Francisco, she co-hosted the final year of KPIX’s “Eye on the Bay” until production ceased in 2012. Today the UC Berkeley graduate hosts the program KQED Newsroom on San Francisco’s KQED-TV.

Thuy Vu, KQED Newsroom host

Thuy Vu, KQED Newsroom host

Born in Vietnam, Thuy fled by boat with her family as Saigon fell to the Communists at the end of the Vietnam War. They endured living in  two refugee camps before resettling with her family in Duluth, Minn. Eventually settling in San Jose, Thuy earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in rhetoric from UC Berkeley in 1992, thus making good for her family’s sake, she recalls.  As producer and reporter of the KQED Newsroom, which airs every Friday night, Thuy says this show has a news analysis format where it features newsmaker interviews and field reports.  Most interesting recent newsmaker interview recently, as Vu recalls, was with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, talking about the issues and challenges of a city in transition with the arrival of high tech businesses and lack of housing for the influx of new employees.

Always with the thought to giving back to the community which helped her family get settled in California, Thuy tries to help Asian American groups who request that she share her personal story. She recently spoke at a Chevron Asian Employees group on diversity and inclusion, and taught a class on “Hosting” for her fellow reporter associate, Jan Yanehiro, the Academy of Art’s Television Department’s Dean.  Thuy shared thoughts on her KQED Newsroom show, saying “The best part of this program is I get to interview and engage with very smart people, and work with a very experienced staff to meet politicians, economists and celebrities. I get the luxury of time to think about how to tackle different issues instead of just doing the news of the day.”   Thank you, Thuy Vu, for being a role model inspiring Asian American women who want to be a newsmaker on television someday.

Rabbit on a Bumpy Road Meets Life’s Challenges

The memoir of Tom Hom tells of his being born to a Chinese family in the Year of the Rabbit in the 1920s when much of American society was discriminative against Chinese Americans, both economically and socially.  Tom Hom’s recently released book tells of his life growing up in a very large family, facing limited job opportunities and discrimination in housing. A living legend in San Diego, Hom tells of his family’s work-hard ethic as dictated by his father, his victory as the first Chinese American to hold an elected office in San Diego, and eventually to receive triumph in becoming a California State Assemblyman.  Recalled from diary notes he kept during his lifetime, Hom’s story is one of never losing faith in the American dream, overcoming barriers of racial prejudice, and adjusting to whatever adverse conditions and challenges he met along the way.

 

Tom Hom, author of  Rabbit on a Bumpy Road

Tom Hom, author of Rabbit on a Bumpy Road

A good read for all Asian Americans who have forgotten the hard times our elders faced in succeeding against discouraging discrimination, and how one family and its leader stood up proudly with endurance and courage. Information: www.sunbeltbooks.com. Thank you, Tom Hom, for sharing your extraordinary story of a family who learned that honesty, discipline and hard work can overcome obstacles by transforming opportunities into successful lives and personal fulfillments.  

Italian Cuisine to Die For

Usually when long lost lady friends get together they are so busy catching up on each other’s news, they pay little attention to the food. No so when San Rafael’s Susan Chang chauffeured San Francisco’s Bettie Lum and Hillsborough’s Margaret Lee to meet Silicon Valley friends Madelene Schwabacher, Pauline Fong and me.  At  FATTORIA E MARE, Chef Pablo Estrada, formerly chef at San Francisco’s famed Campton Place, Palio d’Asti, Red Herring and Rose Pistola, kept our attention on food as he prepared specialty after specialty of his favorite recipes at this, Burlingame’s newest dining spot right off Highway 101. We told him we like to try different dishes so want to order and share family style, and accommodate us he did.

 

Chef owner Pablo Estrada of Fattoria e Mare with guests

Chef owner Pablo Estrada of Fattoria E Mare with guests

Congenial Manager Jorge Palacios and owner Chef Estrada started us off with an attractively presented Nicoise of local albacore tuna, with five minute egg & anchovies, Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare, hot appetizer of figs, burrata, sweet corn & basil sauce and a Mariquita Farm Beet Salad with wild argula, crispy quinoa and yogurt vinaigrette.  Barely recovering with our oohs and ahhs, next came pizza with the thinnest crispiest crust ever and topped with rock shrimp, eggplant sauce and shaved fennel. Of course any respectable Italian restaurant is proud of its pasta, so Chef Estrada treated us to Fideua toasted cappellini with clams, mussels and chorizo, and Fusilli Alla Amatriciana with pancetta, chile and feta cheese.

Loud moans could be heard of oh no, we can’t eat another bite – but somehow we couldn’t resist when we saw the attractively presented broiled dry aged featherbone steak with Sicilian spinach & black truffle butter and the grilled local king salmon with shelling beans, watercress and confit tomatoes. The large Fattoria E Mare can hold many diners, and has special VIP rooms for parties of 18 to 80.  Easily accessible to Highway 101, I’d say it would be a great place to stop off, especially if the freeway congestion is driving you crazy.  Come by Wed-Saturday 7:00-10:00 pm and enjoy live jazz performances by some of the Bay Area’s finest talent besides the superb menu choices. Drop by 1095 Rollins Rd., near Cadillac Way, in Burlingame with special feature of free off-street parking.www.fattoriaemare.com or (650) 342-4923.

General Manager Jorge Palacios greets Bettie Lum, Pauline Fong and Madelene Schwabacher  to Fattoria e Mare.

General Manager Jorge Palacios greets Bettie Lum, Pauline Fong and Madelene Schwabacher to Fattoria e Mare.

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS 

Attention Foodies!  The Silicon Valley Food and Art Festival , a fun family event that brings together food lovers of Silicon Valley, will be held Sunday August 17 2pm  at the Cupertino Quinlan Center. This community culinary competition and appreciation event celebrates the cultural diversity of the Bay Area and is in its 4th year to bring the delights of food connoisseurs together.   The Festival was started in 2010 by Diana Ding, Founder of Ding Ding TV and George Shao, publisher of Distinctive Taste Magazine to serve the community and promote Chinese food culture.  Former Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney and Cupertino Rotarian Community leader Gauri Guleria joined as co-chairs of the 2013 Festival, bringing the event to a multi-cultural level.  With selected Silicon Valley elected officials acting as award presenters, chefs as contestants and local businesses expo booths, the former Silicon Valley Food & Art Festivals have attracted hundreds of people from the Greater Bay Area.  Through this entertaining event, patrons were able to discover the art of healthy living in American, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Surilankan and other national cuisines.

There’s still time to enter the competition as chef contestant by contacting Co Chair Sandy Wang at (408) 244-8883. Mark the dateAugust 17 to enjoy multi-cultural homemade dishes and watch live demonstrations by local professional chefs, advise Co-Chairpersons Diana Ding, George Shao, Linda Wu, Gauri Gulera, Lidia Blair, Sandy Wang and Frank Chang.

For more information, visit: www.DingDingTV or www.svfoodart.org.

Sponsors of the Silicon Valley Food & Art Festival include Cupertino Rotary Club, Ding Ding TV, Distinctive Taste Magazine, with support from media sponsors and community organizations such as CTV, UTV, FM92.3, INDTVUSA, Sina.com, MCTV26, KMTV15, and Northern California Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce.  

SMALL THEATER AT ITS BEST

If you happen to be enjoying a summer getaway, Monterey is a favorite choice of California visitors and localites alike. While there, why don’t you drop into the Bruce Ariss Monterey Wharf Theater which is presenting its 2014 production of THE MIKADO. Beginning July 11-August 31, the Wharf Theater has assembled a strong cast including Ken Cusson as The Mikado, Jared Hussey as Ko-Ko, Brian Benjamin Balistereri as Nanki-Poo, Suzanne Wood as Yun-Yum and Stacy Meheen as Pitti-Sing.  The Mikado, boasting some of the most beautiful music by Gilbert and Sullivan, is a fun satire lampooning political corruption and outrageous social mores – some of which you might say rings true today maybe?  Ticket information:  Contact bawharftheater@gmail.com or call (831) 649-2332 for an enjoyable evening of summer theater.

 

The Mikado comes to  Monterey Wharf Theater in August.

The Mikado comes to Monterey Wharf Theater in August.

In San Jose, City Lights Theater Company will bring to their theater a classic Monty Python tale  in SPAMALOT featuring your favorite King Arthur, Patsy, the Knights Who Say “Ni”, the killer rabbit and the Lady of the Lake.  If you like seeing comedy live on stage and experiencing firsthand the crack timing, the energy and interactions between the actors and audience, visit the intimate stage setting of City Lights Theater.   If you’re a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail – and who isn’t? – this musical is like seeing an old friend, a very silly one, who sings and whistles and makes lots of noise with coconuts.  SPAMALOT runs July 24 through August 31, according to Lisa Mallette, Executive Artistic Director.  Opening night:  July 26.

Celebrations

Nancy Mar

Nancy Mar, center seated, is heralded by her Silicon Valley friends on her birthday at Mountain View’s newest restaurant, Pacific Fresh.

 

Noted Photographer Moanalani Jeffrey directs her lens at David and Sharon Seto, Asian Americans for Community Involvement Development Director Anne Im and Gerrye Wong at recent Gentry Magazine event.

Noted Photographer Moanalani Jeffrey directs her lens at David and Sharon Seto, Asian Americans for Community Involvement Development Director Anne Im and Gerrye Wong at recent Gentry Magazine event.

Moanalani Jeffrey catches Samantha Seto with siblings setting up sales of Chinese goods for the San Francisco Symphony Gift Shop at  San Francisco’s Davies Hall.

Moanalani Jeffrey catches Samantha Seto with siblings setting up sales of Chinese goods for the San Francisco Symphony Gift Shop at San Francisco’s Davies Hall.

 

Spokane’s famed Davenport Hotel was the scene of Calvin and Gerrye Wong’s anniversary celebration hosted by Susan Chang, Sylvia Eng, David and Jayne Yee.

Spokane’s famed Davenport Hotel was the scene of Calvin and Gerrye Wong’s anniversary celebration hosted by Susan Chang, Sylvia Eng, David and Jayne Yee.

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