President Bush signs Angel Island Immigration Station & Restoration Act
San Francisco – On Thursday, Dec. 1, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 606, the “Angel Island Immigration Station Restoration & Preservation Act” authorizing appropriations of $15 million for the restoration of the Angel Island Immigration Station, according to a press release.

“What a tremendous step forward in this nation’s recognition of the importance of Angel Island in our nation’s history,” stated Kathy Owyang Turner, president, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Board of Directors.

“Now it is time to focus on the appropriations process, which begins immediately after the new year,” commented Daphne Kwok, executive director of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. “The $15 million being requested would be to save the historic hospital building, which is literally falling apart with each passing day. 2005 has been a remarkable year filled with major steps forward in the preservation and restoration of the ‘Ellis Island of the West.’”

Report shows mixed results for increased diversity in Primetime TV
(Los Angeles and Washington, DC) – A new report issued on Dec. 1 by the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) finds that the television networks’ efforts to increase diversity among their talents over the last year has in some cases, not only stalled, but is deteriorating.

“Primetime television this season does not mirror the realities of the growing numbers of Asian Pacific Americans in the USA,” said Karen K. Narasaki, president of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) and chair, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC). “It is disappointing that five years into this effort, we don’t have much greater progress.”

The report, “The 2005 Asian Pacific American Report Card on Television Diversity,” is based on data provided by ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Since 2000, they have had agreements with APAMC and other coalitions to increase their diversity onscreen and behind the camera.

“The number of regular roles in primetime television for Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) actors increased by one since last year for a total of 17,” said Narasaki. “However, not all of the regular roles held by them are truly quality roles. Moreover, the number of APA actors in recurring roles fell precipitously at three of the four networks: NBC, CBS and FOX.”

The full report can be downloaded from www.advancingequality.org/tv.

Viet Shelton hired on at Washington State Democrats
After an extensive search the Washington State Democrats have recently hired Viet Shelton as the State Party Communications Director. Shelton was most recently Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels’ campaign manager. He served as a Communications specialist for the House Democratic Caucus during the 2005 session where he worked on the historic transportation package and clean-car legislation. Shelton was also the Field Director for the Dave Ross Campaign in 2004 and served in Mayor Nickels’ administration prior to that from 2002-2004. Shelton has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and was raised in Auburn.

State Party Chair Paul Berendt commented that “Viet’s extensive and varied political experience makes him uniquely qualified to be the chief spokesperson for the State Party.”

Transia awarded for work
Merchants Parking Association/Transia was awarded the Governor’s 2005 Medium Nonprofit Employer of the Year Award by Harborview Mental Health Services. The organization was honored at a program on Nov. 1 at the Microsoft Conference Center.

Transia’s efforts to assist people with disabilities include providing reasonable accommodations, establishing links with other agencies connecting employees with additional employment opportunities and promoting diversity within their business. The company was nominated by staff at the Harborview Mental Health Services Employment Services Program.

Transia has provided parking services since 1975 and paratransit/shuttle van services since 1985. It is part of the International District Parking Association, a local, minority, community based agency which was established over 30 years ago to develop, manage and operate parking and transportation services in and for Seattle’s Chinatown/International District.

ISRD election results
The 2005 International Special Review District Board election was held on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Three positions were up for election this year. Dr. Austen Chan won Position # 1 for a District businessperson, property owner or employee. Waikui Chin won Position #2 for a District resident, tenant or community participant. Jan Johnson was re-elected for Position #4, also for a District resident, tenant or community participant. The three new Board members begin their terms in December.

The special character of the International District is recognized and protected by City Ordinance. In 1973, the International Special Review District Board was created to preserve, protect and enhance the cultural, economic and historical qualities of the District. The Board is composed of seven members – five elected by the International District community and two appointed by the Mayor. Board members’ terms are for two years and members may serve up to two consecutive terms.

The current board members are Dr. Austen Chan, Jerry Chihara, Waikui Chin, Eddy Chu (Chair), Freeman Fong, Caroline James, and Jan Johnson.

Paracels Foundation
Thanks to strong support from friends, members and local businesses, Paracels Foundation had a large turnout of over 80 attendees for its First Annual Fundraising Reception held on Nov. 17. The Foundation raised $8,655 during the campaign far exceeding its conservative goal of $5,000. This year the Foundation focused on supporting organizations in Vietnam that render an array of education and basic human needs, such as reaching out to street children, providing comprehensive services for children with disabilities, and caring for children orphaned by deceased HIV infected parents. Pictured: Event Committee – Diem T. Nguyen, Victoria Van-Nguyen, Sinh Q. Nguyen, Anne Xuan Clark, Genji Terasaki and John Nguyen.

ACLF Dinner
Asian Community Leadership Foundation (ACLF) graduates present one of their projects as part of the leadership program. The ACLF graduation dinner was held on Thursday, Nov. 10 at Seattle’s Hilton Hotel. The dinner program included silent and live auctions. Bob Santos was awarded the Kip Tokuda Community Service Award. Photo by C. Lim.

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