Mount Rainier Snowshoer Burned Money for Warmth

The Seattle Times and Associated Press covered the amazing survival story of Yong Chun Kim, 66, of Tacoma, a snowshoer who was lost in a blizzard for two days on Mount Rainier. Kim said he stayed alive by digging out a snow tunnel and burning dollar bills for warmth.

Kim, who served in the South Korean military in the Vietnam War, told KOMO-TV in Seattle that skills he learned as a soldier helped him survive. He said he wasn’t scared. He kept waiting for the sounds of the helicopter — though severe weather conditions prevented park officials from using one to search for Kim. With temperatures in the teens and winds whipping on the mountain, Kim said he kept walking and moving to stay warm. He took cover in several tree wells — depressions in snow that forms around a tree — and slept standing for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

Kim, a U.S. citizen for 30 years, was leading 16 members of a hiking and climbing club from Tacoma on Jan. 14 — a trip he takes nearly every week — when he slid down a slope and became separated. He radioed his group twice to tell them he was OK and would meet them farther down the trail, but became disoriented and went the wrong way. Dozens of park rangers, rescue dogs, volunteers and searchers from several rescue organizations scoured snowy mountain terrain for three days searching for Kim. Kim was about a mile from where he was last seen when he was found Jan. 16 by a ranger and two Crystal Mount Ski Patrol members. Kim said his experience won’t stop him from heading to Mount Rainier again.

“Oh yeah, of course, every Saturday.” But he added: “If it’s a bad day, don’t hike again.”


Sen. Paull Shin ‘Undecided’ In Same-Sex Marriage Bill

Sen. Paull Shin (D-21) of Edmonds is listed as one of six “undecided” members of Congress regarding Washington State’s same-sex legislation. If the legislation passes, Washington will be the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriages in the country. As of Jan. 24, there were 23 reliable “yes” votes in the Senate and 20 “no’s.” The bill requires 25 votes to pass. Six senators, including Sen. Paull Shin, will have to make a decision. An intern for Sen. Shin told The Stranger the senator has not made any public statement on whether he is for or against it, saying, “He’s weighing in with the constituents.” Shin’s Mormom faith is rumored to play a role in his indecison.


Former K-Pop Star and Seattle Native is Back in the Spotlight

In their January 2012 issue, KoreAm magazine covered the case of Seattle native Jay Park, who managed to climb to the top of the Korean pop scene as the charismatic leader of 2PM. KoreAm: “But when the young performer made some ‘anti-Korean’ comments on his MySpace page and later allegedly confessed to some ‘severe mistake,’ according to his record label, he found himself excised from the band and Korea. The singer was prepared to return to a life of obscurity, dancing with his old crew and taking a job at a tire shop in his hometown, but then a certain YouTube video launched him back into the spotlight — his loyal fans in tow. Now, Jay is back, making music and movies and this time, he’s calling the shots.”


David Kang to Head Up Rolling Stone, Us Weekly Online

David Kang will be leaving his post at Hearst to take charge of online publishing for Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal, reported Goldsea news. As Wenner Media’s chief digital officer, Kang will have full P&L responsibility for sites that command 13.2 million unique monthly visitors. Kang said he will “focus on a brand-centric model based on user preferences, data and a seamless multiplatform experience with multiple revenue streams.” That will involve building strategic partnerships with companies like Spotify and deepening relationships with advertisers through multiplatform integrated deals and branded entertainment campaigns. He started work at Wenner on Jan. 20, less than 10 months after he joined Hearst in March of 2011 where he had been developing digital apps, mobile sites, branded YouTube channels and e-books for titles like Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan. Since August of 2007 Kang was SVP and general manager of online subscription services at Rodale which publishes health magazines like Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Bicycling, Running Times, and Organic Gardening. Before that, Kang was SVP of entertainment for Major League Baseball Advanced Media. David Kang has a bewildering array of academic degrees, including a B.A from Stanford, an MA from Harvard, a PhD from Harvard Business School and a JD from Harvard Law School.


Yahoo! Co-Founder Yang Resigns

Yahoo! Inc co-founder Jerry Yang has quit the Internet company he started in 1995, effective Jan. 17, potentially appeasing shareholders who had blasted the Internet pioneer for impeding efforts to revive the struggling Web company. Yang’s abrupt departure comes two weeks after Yahoo! appointed Scott Thompson its new CEO, and after growing criticism of Yang and his handling of affairs dating back to an aborted sale to Microsoft. Analysts said Yang’s exit might speed discussions surrounding a multi-billion dollar deal to sell much of Yahoo!’s prize assets — its 40 percent slice of China’s Alibaba, as well as its investment in Yahoo! Japan. In a letter to Yahoo’s chairman of the board, Yang said he was leaving Yahoo to pursue “other interests outside of Yahoo” and was “enthusiastic” about Thompson as the choice to helm the company. Respected in the industry as one of the founding figures of the Web, Yang has come under fire from investors over the years. In 2008 when Yang was CEO, Yahoo! rejected an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft Corp worth about $44 billion. Its share price was subsequently pummeled by the global financial crisis and its current market value stands at about $20 billion.


Pinkberry Co-Founder Beat Homeless Man With Tire Iron

One of the founders of the frozen yogurt franchise, Pinkberry, was arrested Jan. 16, according to the Los Angeles Tribune. Police accuse Young Lee of chasing down a homeless man and beating him with a tire iron in June 2011 on an off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway. Apparently, Young Lee was stopped at a light when he was approached by a transient seeking money, police said. Words were exchanged, and Lee and another man in the car chased the homeless man and “beat him down,” police Capt. Paul Vernon said. Detectives spent several months probing the case against Lee, who was in South Korea for part of that time. Lee, 47, was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport. Bail was set at $60,000 but the records do not indicate whether Lee was released. A former kick-boxer and later an architect, Lee co-founded Pinkberry with Shelly Hwang in 2005. At one point, Pinkberry was drawing 3,000 customers a day and became known as the yogurt shop that spawned 1,000 parking tickets. The business now has more than 100 locations in the United States, Mexico and the Middle East, according to the company website.


Seven Teens Charged in Vicious Beating Caught on Video

In Chicago, seven teens have been charged in the Jan. 15 brutal alley attack of a 17-year-old high school student that was caught on video and went viral on YouTube. Soon after the video hit the web, the identities of the alleged attackers were released. The father of one of teens charged in the beating said the attack was a ‘retaliation’ from a previous altercation.  Seventeen-year-old Raymond Palomino, the attacker whose face can be clearly seen in the video, is being charged as an adult, and faces felony charges of robbery and aggravated battery. The rest of the attackers, ages 15 to 16, including the 15-year-old girl who apparently made the recording, have all been cited on the same charges. The beating and robbery occurred at about 4 p.m. in an alley behind an elementary school just south of the city’s downtown. Police said they don’t believe the attack was racially motivated, although the video clearly shows the victim being punched in the face and kicked repeatedly by a group of attackers while being taunted with racial slurs over the course of more than three minutes. His attackers also robbed the victim of $180 in cash, in addition to his sneakers. The beating victim ran away and was taken to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.


Reuniting the Koreas in a Restaurant

The New York Times covered Pyongyang — not the capital city of North Korea, — but the rapidly expanding chain of restaurants owned by the North Korean government, with outlets in Bangkok, Jakarta, Pattaya, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Vientiane.

Apparently, the Pyongyang restaurant serves as a place of cross-border kinship between Northerners and Southerners, who enjoy performances by North Korean dancers. According to the Times, an expert calls the restaurants, which have opened over the past decade, a “North Korean capitalist experiment,” where wine goes for $30 a bottle and meals can run $100 a person. A critic said the restaurant franchise is an attempt by the government to generate hard currency, a supplement to the country’s sales of missiles and nuclear technology. There is no doubt it is desperately needed, to cope with food and fuel shortages and a socialist economy in a state of collapse. In the real Pyongyang — the capital city -– the death of the longtime leader, Kim Jong-il, and the succession of his son, Kim Jong-un, have raised fears of instability, creating a hard-line Communist atmosphere.

In the restaurant, the performers, who double as waitresses, said they work for three-year stints, request photographs of the restaurant deleted from cameras and shy from discussing politics. There are no propaganda posters in the franchises, no slogans and no portraits of Kim Jung-un, his father or his grandfather, Kim Il-sung. Mr. Jung, a South Korean tour guide, told the New York Times the restaurant was a kind of neutral ground for North and South Koreans to meet. “Politics disappear,” Mr. Jung said. “We are one family.”


Hong Kong Braces for Flood of Dragon Babies

Mainland women scheming and scrambling to deliver “dragon babies” are expected to create a logjam in Hong Kong hospitals and clinics, reported the Goldsea news website. About half of all babies delivered in Hong Kong this year will be to mainlanders eager to bring good fortune into their families while avoiding China’s one-child policy. The Year of the Dragon began on Jan. 23. According to Chinese superstitions babies born during a dragon year — which comes around every 12 years according to the Chinese zodiac — will be imbued with the talents and the good fortune of a great emperor. Consequently, many couples have deliberately sought to time births by putting off conception in the preceding year of the rabbit. Due to concerns that the quest for dragon babies by hordes of mainland woman would crowd out local women, Hong Kong placed a cap on the number of non-resident women who will be allowed to give birth in the Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong hospitals are essentially at the mercy of determined mainland women who manage to cross the border, legally and illegally, and make their way to a facility in a condition that requires preparation for delivery. Local papers have already reported cases of mainland women in the final stages of pregnancy who have illegally crossed the border and headed straight to emergency rooms of public hospitals who can’t turn them away. Expectant local mothers have taken to streets to protest the expected crowding. Up to 1,000 have already staged protests.

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