Compiled by Hong Van

Diversity Health Summit convenes in Olympia
OLYMPIA – Five hundred health professionals, health advocates, and community leaders will convene for a full-day Diversity Health Summit at the Doubletree Hotel Seattle Airport on Sept. 30.

In Washington State and nationally, Asian Pacific Islander Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans live much shorter lives than Whites.

People of color also suffer more than Whites from cancer, diabetes, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, stroke, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other ailments.

The Summit will explore ways to close this health gap for people of color, who comprise 18 percent of the state population.

“The gift of this summit is intercultural networking. We are all part of the health system. It is incumbent upon us to close the disparity gap by working together,” said Ellen Abellera, executive director of the Washington State Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.

Gov. Christine Gregoire, state ethniccommissions, health agencies, local non-profits and foundations are sponsors of the event.

Western Union offers aid to those most impacted by Hurricane Katrina
DENVER – Western Union Financial Services, Inc., a subsidiary of First Data Corp. announced that it is taking an active role in providing immediate relief to the people most affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Effective Friday, Sept. 2 and extending through Sept. 30, Western Union is reducing its current service fees by 50 percent on Western Union Money In Minutes transactions sent from within the United States to Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.

Western Union also has established a special, no-transfer fee service for U.S. consumers who wish to help by sending donations directly to the American Red Cross.

Nickels proposes $1 million for Waterfront Trolley
SEATTLE — Mayor Greg Nickels’ requested $1 million to save the historic Waterfront Trolley to the Seattle City Council on Sept. 6.

The money would go to moving the maintenance facility from its existing location on Broad Street to the Pioneer Square neighborhood.

“This will ensure a long future for the George Benson Waterfront Streetcar which has been a beloved treasure to Seattle residents and visitors alike,” Nickels said. “Relocating the maintenance barn not only gives us the ability to expand the Trolley down the road, it’s also a wonderful boost to Pioneer Square.”

The legislation before the Council sets conditions to be met before releasing the $1 million from the City’s General Fund for the Trolley.

After permits are secured, the County Council adopts a financing plan and certifies that the City’s money will not be used for preconstruction costs, the funds will be released to King County Metro.

“This sets the stage for expanding the streetcar line in the future,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. “It allows us the ability to extend the line down Jackson through the International and Central Districts and to be part of an integrated transit system.”

The new maintenance facility would be located at the corner of Occidental South and South Main Street, currently a parking lot. The facility would also include new housing units for Pioneer Square.

The total cost of the maintenance facility is estimated to be about $9 million, with the City of Seattle and Port of Seattle contributing $1 million each.

A vote on the mayor’s proposal was expected on Sept. 12. No updates on the status of the vote have been provided as of press time.

Elementary School named after Korematsu
DAVIS, Calif. – The Davis Joint Unified School District Board of Education recently voted to name its newest elementary school the Fred T. Korematsu Elementary School at Mace Ranch.

Korematsu, who passed away earlier this year, was a civil rights icon whose resistance to forced relocation during World War II and attempts to throw out his wartime conviction 40 years later helped to put a spark into the Japanese American Redress Movement.

Madhavi Sunder, a University of California, Davis (UCD) law school faculty member and chair of a citizen committee to name the school, was the one who proposed the Korematsu name to the board and worked to build support for the name.

OCA solicits donations for hurricane victims
HOUSTON – The Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) National is actively soliciting donations for Asian Pacific American (APA) Hurricane Katrina evacuees through its OCA-Houston chapter.

Thousands of the 30,000-50,000 Vietnamese and other APAs living in Louisiana have lost their homes and livelihoods.

OCA is also reaching out to OCA members who live in or may have lived in the Gulf region.


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