Parents of preschool students in Los Angeles’ Koreatown are upset that a number of teachers are lighting up during school hours, according to the Korea Times Los Angeles.
Mrs. Lee, the mother of a 5-year-old female student at an unidentified preschool in Koreatown, was surprised to hear about teachers who were smoking cigarettes outside of the school’s building in view of the students.
“Smoking is a bad influence on children, just catching sight of it,” Lee told the Korea Times. “Furthermore, being with a smoker is harmful to a kid’s health. After hearing about it, I immediately moved my kid to a different preschool.”
Not all of the preschool teachers at this particular nursery school are smokers but many parents have complained. According to California state law, smoking inside a preschool or day care center is prohibited at all times. But several teachers are smoking outside during their lunch or other break periods close to the school. Continue Reading »
Authorities trying to get rid of illegal taxis in Los Angeles are being fought tooth-and-nail by those trying to stay in business.
To avoid recent crackdowns by the Los Angeles Police Department, some taxi services are only providing service to known customers, according to the Korea Daily Los Angeles. In addition, they are creating databases of customers’ phone numbers and checking customers’ home and work addresses, previous pickup spots, and so on.
Police are also switching up their tactics in order to outsmart the illegal cab drivers. Authorities wouldn’t divulge exactly what their tactics are but many stories of the various ways to catch illegal taxis have circulated in the Korean American community. Continue Reading »
Watch your tongue, North Korea warns South’s new leader
North Korea warned South Korea’s new president to “watch her tongue” on Wednesday, as tension between the two sides mounts, reprising the kind of vitriolic language that it dished out to her predecessor on a regular basis.
North Korea has in recent days threatened the United States with nuclear war and rehearsed drone attacks on South Korea, prompting Washington, involved in military drills with the South, to say it is ready for any contingency.
North Korea Shuts Last Military Hot Lines to South
New York Times
North Korea cut off the last remaining military hot lines with South Korea on Wednesday, accusing President Park Geun-hye of South Korea of pursuing the same hard-line policy of her predecessor that the North blamed for a prolonged chill in inter-Korean relations.
Amid tensions over the North’s third nuclear test last month and ensuing United Nations sanctions, North Korea had already shut down Red Cross hot lines with South Korea and a communication line with the American military command in South Korea. But its decision to cut off military hot lines with South Korea on Wednesday was taken more seriously in Seoul because the two Koreas have used those four telephone lines to control daily cross-border traffic of workers and cargo traveling to the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
DMZ-Area Wildlife Keep Koreas on Edge
Wall Street Journal
As North Korea struggles to come up with new ways to keep its perceived enemies on edge, it appears to have received a little help from some wildlife.
A South Korean military unit raised its alert level to the highest category of “Jindogae 1” after a suspicious moving object was found near the border with the North around 2.30 a.m. Wednesday. The top-level alert is issued when there is a suspected incursion by North Koreans but hasn’t been used since late 2011. When North Korea launched its long-range rocket last December, the alert level was “Jindogae 2.”
Why I just got called out by North Korean state media
North Korean state media has taken a break from photoshopping extra hovercrafts into its photos of military exercises to issue an official response to my recent post on reports that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had ordered its diplomats to become drug dealers.
Before I go any further, let me offer a warm welcome to my readers in the North Korean state news services. You can bookmark our North Korea coverage here for easier access.
The Korean Central News Agency put out a commentary accusing the Washington Post, and me specifically, of aiding in a U.S. government plot to “tarnish” North Korea’s sterling reputation. In very meta fashion, KCNA ran the story with a headline referencing itself in the third-person.
How Rich Are the Rich in Today’s Korea?
A person needs to make around W40 million a month to spend around W790,000 on fitness and another W2.29 million on private crammers for their children to be considered rich in Korea these days (US$1=W1,107). That at least is the finding of a straw poll by the Hana Institute of Finance of 784 people with assets of more than W1 billion.
Some 156,000 people in Korea have assets worth more than W1 billion, accounting for 0.3 percent of the country’s population and 1 percent of total households.
They earn an average of W39.11 million a month and spend W10.14 million of it. Rich people living outside Seoul spend an average of W10.62 million a month, but those in the capital’s tony Gangnam district surprisingly spend a little less at W10.24 million.
Diabetes Increasing Significantly Among Asian Americans
It has become a common diagnosis in the Asian community, affecting about 10 percent of the population, even impacting those with what is considered “normal” body weight.
A 2009 report by the New York City Health Department found that diabetes has increased most rapidly among Asians.
“I think before, the population is the elderly, but recent years, the patient group is getting more younger,” says Li Chen, a nurse consultant with the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.
Jeff Yang and Parry Shen Spiel on Asian Americans and Comics at Cal State Fullerton Panel
Mainstream Hollywood, of course, has ignored rounded-out characters for people of color for the length of its existence. For Asian Americans, public representation in media was limited to Orientalist fantasies such as the evil mystic, bespectacled, buck-toothed nerd, or yellow face.
Yang explained that historically, images of Asian Americans were guided from the U.S.’s rivalry with Asian nations: the rise of Japan and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and more currently North Korea. “These are images with an agenda,” Yang explained. “It was a political move to use pop culture to define Asians in a way that barred us from coming, preventing us from succeeding, and marginalizing us. Not to complain, but this is part of our history.”
The connection from film to comics makes sense; both are essentially composed of a sequence of frames leading the viewer from one to the other, shaping a narrative. “Comics are like storyboards for films.” Shen explains. For Yang and Shen, the collaboration on a comic anthology that focused on Asian American superheroes came from a need for more visibility for Asian American characters in media. “The golden age of comics was the early 20th century, when there were superheroes. Those superhero figures are larger than life, like in the movies. But if you had asked me when I was a kid who my favorite superheroes were, they would have all been white superheroes.”
f(x) Talks About Performing as First K-Pop Act at SXSW
Five member girl group f(x)—also known as Victoria, Luna, Krystal, Sulli and Amber—marked a major milestone in their career becoming the first K-pop act to appear at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. The girls, under SM Entertainment (home to Girls’ Generation, TVXQ!, SHINee and more), were invited to headline an event sponsored by Korean Creative Content Agency (KOCCA).
Titled, “K-POP NIGHT OUT at SXSW,” the girls earned the slot not only for their electro-pop goodies plus snagging various awards and recognition from all around the world. Accolades from just last year include a No. 2 single on the K-Pop Hot 100 with “Electric Shock” (below), their first Japanese single and the Best Dance Performance-Female award at the Mnet Asian Music Awards.
A Los Angeles Primer: Koreatown
“So they put chapulines in their kimchi?” a friend in Mexico City asked about my neighborhood. I do hold out hope that eateries in Koreatown, the district of Los Angeles it makes the most (and the least obvious) sense for me to live in, will one day offer its fermented cabbage topped by roasted grasshoppers. For now, the dish remains one we prepare at home. The Chilango’s half-joking expectation came in response to my explanation of Koreatown’s demographics: a sizable wedge of Koreans, as you’d expect, but an even larger one from the chapulin-rich southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Yet these groups, despite living at the highest population density the entire city, seldom mix. If I want my kimchi sprinkled with chapulines, or my street-grilled sopes topped with kimchi, or my bulgogi served in mole, I’ve got to do it myself.
Dodgers rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu set to make debut on April 2
Los Angeles Times
Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled to make his major league debut April 2 in the Dodgers’ second game of the regular season.
The Dodgers had the choice of starting either Ryu or Chad Billingsley on that day. But Billingsley’s pitching schedule has been altered, ruling him out for April 2.
To keep both on schedule to potentially pitch April 2, the Dodgers had planned for Ryu and Billingsley to throw in separate games on Thursday in Southern California.
Swansea City midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng is dating South Korean actress Han Hye Jin
This is South Wales (U.K.)
SWANS midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng has confirmed he is dating a South Korean actress.
The talented midfielder has announced that he is in a relationship with Han Hye Jin.
The 24-year-old is mobbed wherever he goes and viewed by many as his country’s version of David Beckham.
After South Korea’s World Cup qualifier against Qatar on Tuesday, the country’s media reported the former Celtic player as saying: “Now that the game is over, I don’t know if this is good news for you but, I am notifying you that I am currently dating Han Hye Jin with good emotions.
Weeknight Vegetarian: Spicing up mac and cheese with kimchi
I’m not the first to use kimchi in non-Korean ways. Far from it. Way back in 2008, Los Angeles chef Roy Choi incorporated it into offerings from his Kogi truck, and the Korean taco trend exploded. Since then, I’ve worked it into deviled eggs, dip and a Grilled Kimcheese sandwich and have even tossed it with cubed avocado for an appetizer I call Guaca-Chi.
Do you sense a pattern? I like the fermented cabbage best alongside rich ingredients because its funk and spice simultaneously bring a little roundness and depth, plus a sharp zing that cuts through those fatty flavors. It’s just how kimchi is used in more traditional (read: meaty) applications, but my go-to partner ingredients are now eggs and cheese rather than bulgogi and pork belly.
My attachment to kimchi has not gone unnoticed. Colleague Tim Carman teased me about it in our Super Bowl pizza smackdown, writing that my strategy for winning would surely involve topping a pie with it. (I resisted it that time, but kimchi pizza topped with a fried egg does happen to be a favorite of mine.)
Ki Suh Park always found hope amid disaster.
As a young man in South Korea in the early 1950s, Park witnessed the Korean War destroy his motherland and dreamed of becoming an architect one day, so that he could rebuild the country. Four decades later, on the other end of the Pacific Ocean, he would emerge a prominent Los Angeles architect and community leader who helped to rebuild Koreatown, after the devastating 1992 L.A. riots.
Park died Jan. 16 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The architect, responsible for such Korean American landmarks as the Koreatown Plaza on Western Avenue, was 80.
“I had such faith in the future,” Park said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1994. “If I work really hard and do my best, opportunity will open up for me, and that’s what attracted me to come to this country. I still believe that.”
Park was a respected leader of the Korean American and civic community, having been an active member of various community-based nonprofit boards, such as the Korean American Coalition, the Korean American Museum, the California Community Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California, the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Continue Reading »
Season 2 of “K-Town” comes to an end with Young and So-young’s long-awaited wedding. A slight cake debacle is nothing next to Steve’s disastrous best man’s speech — and yes, it is as bad as it looked on the previews. It’s definitely in my Top 5 cringeworthy moments, to say the least. You might have to follow Steve’s steps and have a bottle of something strong on hand just to get through the speech. You’ve been warned.
Joe and Jowe try to nip the speech in the bud, resulting in one angry mohawked fellow. When Joe surprises Jessica with a promise ring and Steve ruins the moment, drama ensues. The funny thing out of all of this is that Jessica’s reaction to Joe’s news appears pretty lukewarm. What a gal. To top off the craziness, Scarlet somehow manages to temporarily save the wedding while Joe and Steve have a heart-to-heart. Continue Reading »