An interesting new development has surfaced in the case of California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who was arrested for stealing almost $2500 worth of clothes while leaving the Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco last October. Hayashi claimed her distraction with cell phone calls was to blame for the crime that has landed her political career in jeopardy. However, newly released information has stated a brain tumor may have been the reason for Hayashi’s fault in judgment.
Although Hayashi was initially charged with felony grand theft, once in the courtroom, the prosecution reduced the shoplifting charge to a misdemeanor while Hayashi switched her plea from not guilty to no contest. The final verdict for Hayashi was three years probation, a fine of $180, and an order to keep a distance of 50 feet from Neiman Marcus. With the sentence finalized, Hayashi’s lawyer Doug Rappaport then revealed the unexpected news–Hayashi suffers from a medical condition that could have possibly influenced her judgment when she was caught.
According to ABC affiliate KGO-TV:
“Unfortunately, she’s been diagnosed with a brain tumor however, fortunately for her, it’s benign and it can be taken care of and addressed with medication which is exactly what’s happening,” he explained.
Adding to the confusion, in an email sent Friday, Singer acknowledged Hayashi’s brain tumor but said, “It did not play a role in her forgetfulness and distraction in accidentally walking out.”
This new finding just adds to the already puzzling ordeal that Hayashi has found herself in. Even with the inconsistency of comments made by Hayashi’s representatives, the prosecution at the district attorney’s office states their decision to change the charge to a misdemeanor has nothing to do with the brain tumor. Rather, Hayashi is a first time offender with no prior felonies and also admitted her guilt from the beginning.
Hayashi, the first Korean American woman elected to the California state legislature, is married to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi.
Hayashi arrest no laughing matter [OPINION]
Oakland Tribune via San Jose Mercury News
A Bay Area columnist weighs in after it was revealed that Neiman Marcus security had red-flagged state Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi during a previous visit. Hayashi, the first female Korean American to serve in the California Legislature, was arrested for felony theft on Oct. 25.
‘Voice’ Runner-Up Dia Frampton Works With Kid Cudi, Foster The People For Raw Debut
“Red,” Frampton’s debut, arrives Dec. 6 on Universal Republic. She says the album is far more upbeat than Meg & Dia’s three albums and four EPs, owing to her collaborations with other writers in Los Angeles, Nashville and London. Without her older sister to split writer duties — “We don’t work together; she writes her songs and I write mine” — Frampton found the experience different from what she expected.
“This record is very personal, almost uncomfortable,” the 24-year-old artist says after doing a promotional concert at the Hollywood office of Reveille Productions. “I felt very alone on this record. On our last [Meg & Dia] record, we were stuck in this little cabin sharing bedrooms, just the five of us. The guitar amps were in the living room.
NKorea shows leader and his son watching massive live-fire drills amid tension with SKorea
AP via Washington Post
North Korean television has aired footage of leader Kim Jong Il and his son watching massive live-fire drills.
The footage aired on state television Tuesday showed Kim and his heir-apparent Kim Jong Un watching tanks, aircraft, warships and rocket launchers firing at targets on mountains. Dozens of troops were seen parachuting from a plane.
The two Kims were seen speaking to each other as they watched the drills from an enclosed viewing stand with senior military officers.
South Korean gamers suffer joystick curfew shock
The Register (U.K.)
A ban restricting all South Korean gamers under 16 from playing online games between midnight and 6am is now in full affect.
South Korea, boasting the fifth largest broadband penetration rate, is the first country to implement the controversial initiative under the Youth Protection Revision bill.
The bill, variously known as the Shutdown Law or Cinderella Law, had been contested but was eventually passed.
At this stage the ban only pertains to PC and console based networked games including Xbox Live, PlayStation and multiplayer dominions such as World of Warcraft. The government says that within two years networked games using mobile phones will be included in the ban.
News On-the-Go, Even in Pyongyang
Wall Street Journal
Like newspapers all around the world, North Korea’s biggest newspaper Rodong Shinmun is apparently adjusting to new technology.
Word is out that Rodong Shinmun is now providing news on cellphones in Pyongyang. Chosun Sinbo, a newspaper in Japan run by the General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan, published a story about it on Saturday.
It’s not quite right to say the newspaper has developed an “app” since there aren’t yet smartphones in North Korea. It appears Rodong Shinmun is sending out multimedia messages, or MMS, with stories.
Lawsuit spurred by Virginia Tech student’s suicide settled for $250,000
The state has agreed to pay $250,000 and create a $100,000 scholarship fund to settle a $43 million wrongful death lawsuit brought against Virginia Tech by the family of a student who committed suicide, according to a court order
The state will pay up to $126,666 in legal fees to the plaintiff’s attorney. The family of Daniel Sun Kim is to receive at least $123,334.
Additionally, Virginia Tech will establish a $100,000 scholarship in Kim’s name, place a memorial plaque somewhere on campus and enact a policy of considering immediate notification of the parents or guardians of any student who is thought to be suicidal.
The Kim family brought the action in Fairfax Circuit Court in 2009 to “learn why Tech didn’t follow its protocols” in responding to a warning that Kim was suicidal, plaintiffs’ attorney Gary Mims wrote in a statement.
Ahn-Joo: Debbie Lee’s Korean Pub Food Restaurant, Her Cookbook + a Recipe for Chicken Meatballs
Ahn-joo is the Korean word for pub food. It’s what Debbie Lee serves at her newly opened Ahn-Joo, a Korean snack bar in the Americana mall in Glendale. No liquor there, but Lee frequents Koreantown pubs so she knows the dishes well. And she adds her own spin to come up with a modern take, even turning rice cakes into nachos.
Nothing is cheffy or pretentious. “I’m a cook. At the end of the day, I want to serve people the food that I want to eat,” she says.
South Korea’s Hottest IPO: Boy Band, Inc.
For the past month, the biggest story in South Korea’s stock market has centered on a five-piece boy band called Big Bang, and a couple puffs of marijuana.
News that the Big Bang’s front-man had reportedly tested positive for pot threatened to put a crimp in the initial public offering of YG Entertainment, the label responsible for some of the biggest acts in Korean Pop. The concerns were for naught. Last week, buyers snapped up YG Entertainment’s stock like teenagers trying to score tickets to their favorite boy band’s show. The company’s share price more than doubled on its first day of trading, reaching roughly $67 as buyers ordered 561 times more stock than was available. Its market cap now sits at roughly $340 million.
Samsung Lions beat SoftBank Hawks to win Asia Series
South Korea’s Samsung Lions beat SoftBank Hawks of Japan 5-3 to capture the Asia Series tournament in a battle of league champions.
At Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium, the Lions, the 2011 champion of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) overcame an early deficit against the Hawks, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) champion. Samsung’s starter Jang Won-sam settled down after a shaky start and the bullpen took care of the rest, as the Lions became the first KBO club to win the Asia Series since it began in 2005. The Lions also avenged a 9-0 loss to the Hawks in the round-robin phase of this tournament.
Hayashi’s political career, legacy in jeopardy with charges looming
San Jose Mercury News
State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi entered the political world as a survivor of a tormented childhood, losing an older sister at 17 to suicide and watching as her disgraced parents burned her sister’s clothes, cut her out of photos and never mentioned her name again.
Yet Hayashi quickly built a name for herself at the Capitol after becoming the first Korean-American woman to serve in the Legislature. She became part of the inner circles of two Assembly speakers. A magazine named her one of the 100 most influential Asian-Americans of the past decade.
Now, a new and puzzling source of shame is threatening to ground this once-rising East Bay Democrat and dash her plans to run for the state Senate: a bizarre grand theft charge that accuses her of shoplifting nearly $2,500 of clothes at San Francisco’s Neiman Marcus on Oct. 25.
While the case has embarrassed fellow lawmakers and could make Hayashi the first California lawmaker in 18 years to be ousted because of a felony conviction, it has focused new attention on what legislative staffers call Hayashi’s overly ambitious and sometimes erratic behavior.
Her criminal case has caused tongues to wag at the Capitol and jolted the tight-knit Korean-American community, where many view her as a role model.
“I’m saddened because she’s somebody that many in the Korean-American community have looked up to,” said Jiyon Yun, a Walnut Creek attorney. “She’s had so many accomplishments and contributed so much to so many efforts and projects, I hope this doesn’t take away from what she’s been working on.”
David Oh takes the cake in at-large Council race
Philadelphia Daily News
There will be no repeat of the nightmare four years ago, when attorney David Oh was ahead on election night for one of two City Council at-large seats set aside for the minority political party but lost after absentee ballots were tallied.
Oh today finally bested Al Taubenberger in last week’s election, after absentee, military and provisional ballots were counted. In the final tally, Oh led by 166 votes from election day ballots and absentee ballots. A count today of 755 provisional ballots, used on election day when there are questions about a voter’s registration, did not put Taubenberger ahead.
Oh said he was not surprised by the narrow margin, though he said it was unclear what impact a barrage of negative mailings, radio ads and robo-calls in the closing week of the campaign had on his campaign. That effort was run by a political action committee controlled by Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which supported another Republican in the race.
Hee Young Park wins LPGA finale
Holding off some of the biggest names in women’s golf, unheralded Hee Young Park won the CME Group Titleholders on Sunday for her first career LPGA title.
Park, with a closing 70, finished at 9-under-par 279 to beat Paula Creamer and Sandra Gal by two shots at sun-splashed Grand Cypress Resort to win the LPGA tour’s season-ending event. Another shot back were Na Yeon Choi and world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen. Michelle Wie, world No. 3 Cristie Kerr and world No. 1 Yani Tseng, trying to win for the 12th time this season, made brief runs at the championship before finishing in a tie for sixth, seven shots behind.
Korean Tacos Bounce From LA to Seoul
Wall Street Journal
In an alley just off Garosoo-gil, the tree-lined street in Gangnam that has taken over from Apgujeong as the coolest place to be seen on weekends, is the three-month-old Grill5taco restaurant that has created its own version of Kogi’s fusion of Korean and Mexican foods.
Grill5taco was started by Ban Joo-hyung and Kim Hyun-chul and their original thought was to sell their tacos from trucks just like Kogi does. So they brought one over from the U.S. and hit the streets for a short time last year.
But the police kept slapping them with fines. Apparently, it’s OK to sell food from tents and from trucks that have permission to work in certain spots. But it’s against the law to just drive around wherever you want and sell food.
Mr. Kim said that’s when they decided to open the restaurant. “Garosoo-gil was the only neighborhood we considered,” he said.
Korea Still Sends Hundreds of Babies Abroad for Adoption
Korea is still the largest exporter of babies for adoption to the U.S., highlighting the need to strengthen child protection in the country. According to the 2011 Annual Adoption Report to Congress released Friday, out of the total of 2,047 foreign-born children adopted by U.S. families from October 2010 to September 2011, 734 or 36 percent were from Korea.
The Philippines was a distant second with 216, Uganda third with 196, India fourth with 168, and Ethiopia fifth with 126. Korea last topped the list in 2003 and since then it ranked fourth or fifth until it reclaimed first place this year.
Suspected N.Korean Spy Arrested After Posing as Defector
An alleged North Korean spy has been arrested after arriving in the country posing as a refugee.
The government said Saturday that a routine background check on the individual revealed he had been assigned by the North to conduct espionage activities in the South.
Authorities said the man entered Korea in April after traveling through China and Southeast Asian countries including Laos, Vietnam and Thailand in a bid to legitimately build his cover story as a defector.
A New Voice Grips South Korea With Plain Talk About Inequality and Justice
New York Times
Two days before Seoul elected a mayor last month, an unassuming man slipped into the campaign headquarters of Park Won-soon, an independent candidate. Amid flashing cameras, the man, Ahn Cheol-soo, a soft-spoken university dean who had earlier been seen as a contender for mayor himself, affirmed his support for Mr. Park, entrusted him with a written statement and then left.
“When we participate in an election, we citizens can become our own masters, principle can defeat irregularity and privilege, and common sense can drive out absurdity,” said Mr. Ahn’s statement, an open appeal to voters that quickly spread by way of Twitter and other social networks. “I’m going to the voting station early in the morning. Please join me.”
It was a pivotal moment in an election whose outcome has rocked South Korea. In a country where resentment of social and economic inequality is on the rise, and where many believe that their government serves the privileged rather than the common good, Mr. Ahn’s words — “participate,” “principle,” “common sense” — propelled younger voters to throw their support overwhelmingly behind Mr. Park, the first independent candidate to win South Korea’s second-most-influential elected office.
Korean-American businesses donate 600 turkeys
WNEM.com (Flint, Mich.)
Detroit police Chief Ralph Godbee says Korean-American businesses are donating 600 turkeys for distribution to the city’s needy.
Godbee says the 27th Korean-American Share Day is being marked with an event at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the department’s 12th Precinct station.
A Korean teacher cycling across the country stops in East Texas
KTRE ABC (Lufkin, Tex.)
It was a request like no other for the First Assembly of God. A 21-year old teacher from Korea cycled up to the church last Thursday, asking to spend the night in the front yard.
“He asked if he could put his tent up and stay the night to get some rest because he felt more safe staying at churches than he did just anywhere,” said First Assembly of God member, Lesa Rodgers.
“They told him yes he can camp here. So then, I come up. It was cold. So I said look just come on in the church. We weren’t going to leave him there,” said First Assembly of God pastor, Kenneth Reynolds.
Tungin Byun saved up money over the past year. Now, he’s using it to cycle around the US, stopping at churches for rest along the way.
North Korean celebrities are struggling because of the Hallyu Wave
North Korean celebrities are suffering significantly due to the Hallyu Wave, mainly because South Korean celebrities are gaining much popularity, while North Korean celebrities are becoming forgotten. Multiple insiders state, “People related to the North Korean entertainment business ignore the demands of the people and solely focus on Kim Jong Il‘s propaganda. People can expect to see the end of North Korea’s entertainment industry“.
North Korean youths who defected from the country were able to name several South Korean films including ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ and ‘Scent of a Man‘, while they were unable to recall any names of actors/actresses from a particular North Korean film.
N. Korea crowned world champs – unofficially
AFP via Google News
North Korea’s 1-0 win over Japan last week was not only a famous victory over their bitter rivals — it also made them the Unofficial Football World Champions, according to a tongue-in-cheek website.
The www.ufwc.co.uk site contends that the world title won by Spain in 2010 passed unofficially to Argentina after a friendly win, and then to Japan after the Blue Samurai beat Lionel Messi’s men in October last year.
So when Pak Nam Chol buried his 50th-minute header at Pyongyang’s bitterly cold Kim Il Sung Stadium last Tuesday, prompting rapturous celebrations, it was a goal that also put the secretive state unofficially on top of the world.
A California politician was arrested for shoplifting items from a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco and charged with felony grand theft, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The paper said Democratic Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi of Castro Valley was caught on surveillance cameras allegedly stealing Continue Reading »