Restaurant's Art Decried As Racist --
Obachine Owner Dismayed At Complaints
By Ferdinand M. De Leon
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Thursday, March 5, 1998
Enter downtown's ObaChine, the upscale Pan-Asian
restaurant owned by chef Wolfgang Puck, and his wife,
Barbara Lazaroff, and it's the opulence, not the food, that
first commands attention.
Lazaroff, who oversees the design of all the restaurants in
their California-based food empire, has spared no expense.
Walls in the acclaimed restaurant are lavishly adorned with
temple carvings, Japanese ink drawings and antique
And at the entrance, behind the reservation desk, is a spot
Lazaroff saved for a personal favorite, a framed print that's
been a good-luck charm since she first used it 15 years ago
at Chinois, the Los Angeles restaurant that, along with
Spago, established the couple's reputation.
Last week, Lazaroff's good-luck charm lost its spell. Now at
the center of a simmering controversy, it soon may come
Obachine Restaurant Fulfills Rumors: It Closes
By Magdalena Kulig
Seattle Times Staff Reporter
Wednesday, June 2, 1999
The recent closure of ObaChine, one of Seattle's upscale
pan-Asian restaurants, was a self-fulfilling prophecy,
says the president of the restaurant's parent company.
Frank Guidara, president and chief executive officer of
the Wolfgang Puck Food Co., said rumors that the
restaurant might close had been circulating for a year.
"We had a great restaurant in Seattle . . . outstanding
employees, we had great customers. . . . But no matter
what we did, we could not stop the rumors," Guidara
ObaChine, the signature restaurant of Wolfgang Puck, a
chef of international renown, was his first foray into the
Seattle market in 1997. Previously, Puck had wooed Los
Angeles celebrities to Spago, a restaurant in Beverly
Hills that exhibited an open kitchen and served
innovative dishes with eclectic Asian and European
The Seattle ObaChine gained national attention for its
opulent decor, but that very decor also brought it trouble.
Washington's Initiative 200, like California's Prop 209,
uses deceptive language in an attempt to harm civil rights
Xuan-Trang "Mary" Tran-Thien is the Outreach
Coordinator of the Asian Pacific American
Coalition for Equality (APACE). APACE was
formed a year ago to help defeat Washington
state's Initiative 200 (I-200). I-200 proposes to ban
affirmative action in public hiring, contracting
and education for women and people of color.
The interview was conducted for In Motion
Magazine by Nic Paget-Clarke (by phone from
San Diego) on September 28, 1998.
In describing APACE, Xuan-Trang "Mary" Tran-
Thien says "APACE works especially in the Asian
Pacific American community but has built strong
ties with the African American and Latino
communities. We've done a series of educational
forums and debates as well as voter registration
and education predominantly within the greater
King County area. Our membership extends
throughout the state, but our political stronghold
is here in Seattle."
Ocean Shores Killing Leaves Citizens Caught In Between
Tragedy pits white supremacists vs. civil rights groups
Seattle Post/July 15, 2000 Ocean Shores -- In a flash it was over: One man
By Hector Castro and Robert L. Jamieson Jr. was dying, three men were fleeing a bloodied
parking lot in fear, and this quiet beach
community, where residents rarely lock their
bicycles, was stunned.
But the killing of Christopher Kinison, a white
man allegedly stabbed to death by an Asian man
he showered with racial slurs, continues to pulse
through this local tourist mecca.
The July 4 slaying has drawn attention from
white supremacist groups on one side and human
rights organizations on the other. And, caught
uncomfortably in between, are townspeople who
insist the community is not racist.
"It won't go away," said Randy Deibel, who
witnessed the fatal stabbing. "I can't get away
Kinison's death has done more than prompt civic
soul-searching about race. It has forced the
Ocean Shores Police Department to grapple with
only the second homicide in the city's 30-year
FBI Asked To Probe Ocean Shores Killing
Oct 3, 2000
By KOMO Staff & News Services
SEATTLE - A new development surrounding the death of a man at Ocean Shores over the Fourth
of July weekend.20-year old Chris Kinison was stabbed to death during what police call a
"racially motivated" fight. Now, three Seattle-area Asian organizations want the FBI to
investigate possible hate crimes committed by Kinison and his friends that same weekend.
26-year old Minh Duc Hong of Seattle is charged with first degree manslaughter in Kinison's
death. Hong claims Kinison shouted racial slurs at him and two friends provoking the fight that
ended in Kinison's death, a case of self-defense, according to Hong.
Defense lawyers say Hong stole a knife, used to kill Kinison, from a convenience store only for
protection, but Grays Harbor County prosecutors have maintained the stabbing was an
Asian groups claim Kinison and his friends also attacked a group of Filipinos and threatened a
black man over the holiday weekend.
Hong is free on $20,000 bail pending trial in December.
Treatment of arrested scientist
By Florangela Davila
Seattle Times staff reporter
Friday, June 9, 2000
Chia-Chi Li, a 19-year-old University of Washington
student, is battling lack of sleep in his quest to complete a
triple major in computer science, philosophy and applied
mathematics. He figured college would be rigorous.
He never imagined, though, that the incarceration of a
Chinese-American scientist by the U.S. government would
prompt him to take on an even larger crusade.
"I always thought to be American was to be industrious,"
said the Taiwanese-born Li. He had once envisioned
working for the U.S. government.
"But the question now drums through my head, `Will I also
be like Dr. Wen Ho Lee, unjustly targeted and the victim of
racial profiling?' "
Lee was arrested in December and indicted under the
Atomic Energy Act and the Espionage Act on 59 felony
counts of mishandling nuclear-weapons secrets, charges that
could carry a life sentence.
Students Gather To Boycott Abercrombie
By Marie Tutko, UW Daily
Monday, April 29, 2002
A nation-wide movement to boycott Abercrombie and Fitch (AF) reached Seattle Saturday when
protesters organized by UW students gathered in front of its Downtown store on the corner of
Fourth and Pine to promote the boycott and to protest that the shirts were made in the first
#The Ohio-based clothing giant recently caught the ire of Asian-Americans after launching a line
of graphic T-shirts that has been deemed "racist fashion" by Asian-American groups. Some of
the shirts depict men with slanted eyes wearing conical hats, a caricature reminiscent of 1950s'
style of cartoons.
#One shirt reads: "Wong Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs can make it white."
#The rally encouraged a boycott of AF with signs reading, "Abercrombie and Fitch -- Asian-
Americans are not your bitch!" as passing vehicles honked in support.
#The store, during the protest, was full of dichotomy. Three women conversed in Japanese at
the store's front counter while they paid for their merchandise, and an Asian-American
customer ran out the front door in attempts to dodge protesters. A customer later entered the
store wearing one of the controversial T-shirts, which triggered an eruption of dissent from the
'I Think They Misunderstood
By Joe Furia Published: Apr 27, 2002
SEATTLE - Local Asian-Americans lash out against one of the country's most
popular clothing stores.Abercrombie and Fitch is still under fire for a series of shirts
many Asian-Americans call racist and offensive.
Saturday afternoon protestors gathered outside the Downtown Seattle Store demanding
the company issue what they call an appropriate apology.
Abercrombie and Fitch claims the shirts were supposed to add humor to the company's
But the protestors aren't laughing.
Jamie Moy says "It's not funny, it's insulting, it's degrading, it hurts us as Asians it hurts
this entire country as Americans."
The shirts depict slant-eyed Asians in conical hats and carry slogans like "Wong
Brothers Laundry Service: Two Wongs Can Make It White;" "Pizza Dojo: Eat in or Wok
out;" and "Wok and Bowl: Chinese Food and Bowling"
Abercrombie did pull the shirts, but for many Asian-Americans that's not enough.
Enforcement of Chinese
2002 King County
Foreign-language ballots could lose legal underpinning
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter, Monday, March 13, 2006
When King County began offering ballots and voter
pamphlets in Chinese four years ago, it was as though
someone switched a light on for Qiu Feng Pang.
Suddenly, confusing ballot initiatives made sense to the
74-year-old retiree, who emigrated from China in 1989
and became a U.S. citizen seven years later.
She no longer needed to copy the "answers" of friends
or family onto the mail-in ballot she received at her
home in Seattle's Chinatown International District.
OCA legal workshop informs APIs: Know your rights
By The International Examiner
Posted in News, Volume 32 No. 21
(November 1, 2006)
BY KEN MOCHIZUKI
Bettie Luke, office and project manager of the Organization of Chinese
Americans (OCA) Greater Seattle Chapter, said there had been a
“growing awareness” within OCA of an “increasing influx of professionals
from other countries.”
“Very few knew they had civil rights,” she said.
To address that situation, OCA has been holding informational
workshops such as the “Legal Awareness Workshop for Chinese & Asian
Americans: Know Your Rights, a Workshop to Discuss Current Trends in
the American Legal System Faced by Asian Americans and Immigrants.”
The workshop was held on Saturday, Oct. 28 at the legal offices of
Stafford Frey Cooper in downtown Seattle.
Breaking Glass Ceiling Conferences, 1998-2004
Bill Gates Scholarships,
Designated Judges, 2000s
Annual Clean-Up Danny Woo Garden (1990s-2000s)
Golden Circle Awards
APIA U: Leadership 101
Chinatown/International District Street
OCA National Convention,
Westin Hotel, Seattle, 2001
Youth Projects & Interns - 2011
The Heart of a Volunteer: Getting
Involved in the API Community
Video by Jasmin Eng. Hello! My name is
Jasmin Eng and I’m a University of
Washington student and intern of the OCA
“Youth Legacy” program. The picture you see
before you may look like a random photo of a
girl jumping midair. My answer is, yes it is.
But it is also a metaphor to my journey in
becoming a part of the API community of
Asian Americans Help Pioneer
Seattle Soul Sound
Video by: Samuel Han. As a kid, Y.K. Kuniyuki,
61, would sit and soak in the R&B, jazz and
soul sounds that escaped out of the backdoors of
the clubs on South Jackson Street. One of the
first Asian American musicians to play
professionally in the unique era of soul music
that came out of [...]