What should have been a joyous bridal shower for Neriza Fojas ended in tragedy this past Saturday night. Fojas, a 31 year old registered nurse, was celebrating with eight of her fellow nurse friends in a 1999 Lincoln Town car. The ladies were headed to meet with the groom at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster city.
The driver told investigators that as they were on San Mateo Bridge, one passenger alerted him about the smell of smoke. By the time the driver was able to pull over, the back of the limo was fully engulfed in flames. The driver and four passengers managed to escape. The other five, including Fojas, were trapped inside. Unable to access the rear doors, the women tried to squeeze through a small window in the drivers compartment, but within seconds the back of the limo was engulfed. Firefighters rushed onto the scene where they found five burned bodies huddled near the partition. The four surviving passengers were sent to the hospital for treatment of burns and smoke inhalation. The driver was left unharmed.
Investigators are still trying to find the cause of the fire. There was no collision to begin the fire and it is unknown if the flames began on the inside or outside of the vehicle. Investigators are now reaching out to the public and asking anyone who may have seen what happened to call and send in information to help figure out the cause of this terrifying event. San Mateo County’s medical examiner, Robert Foucrault says, ”This is one of the most horrific things I’ve seen in 21 years with this office.”
From music and movies to charity events and Halloween festivities, the last week of October is packed with happenings that will soothe your ears, warm your soul, and unleash your Halloween persona.
RACHAEL YAMAGATA, 2011 CHESAPEAKE TOUR
Beautiful Japanese-Italian-German American singer-songwriter, Rachael Yamagata, just began her 2011 Tour on October 24 in Portland, Main’s Port City Music Hall. The tour is in celebration of the release of Yamagata’s third album, Chesapeake.
Chesapeake features an eclectic collection of songs projecting Yamagata’s optimism and hopefulness, showcasing her sultry and smoky voice, rich, layered harmonies, striking ballads and soulful grooves. The tour will hit major U.S. cities and will finish off on December 22nd at New York City’s City Winery.
When : October 24, 2011- Dec 27, 2011
Where: In select U.S. cities Nationwide
How: To stream Chesapeake online, visit http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/av/2011/10/album-stream-rachael-yamagata-chesapeake.html
DailyCandy’s new talking head isn’t just any head; it’s the lovely noggin of South Korean-born American television news correspondent, SuChin Pak. DailyCandy, an email Newsletter based in New York, has recently hired Pak to be their woman about the town and on TV.
Although she had to undergo a grueling interview for the position, for most viewers, Pak won’t need much of an introduction. Pak is easily recognizable from her frequent appearances on MTV as part of their news team. She also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2007 to discuss her struggles with confidence and beauty issues relating to being an Asian American woman.
Pak’s interests and knowledge base are seemingly vast, as she is the founder of Hester Street Fair, an alfresco small biz bazaar in New York’s Lower East Side, as well as the host for the National Constitution Center’s “The Exchange,” a program where high school students to discuss their views on relevant constitutional issues.
Check out Suchin’s charming job interview here.
Lucky for Pak; her extensive resume, Mad Men aspirations, and charming head shot were just enough to land her a position with DailyCandy. Unfortunately for us, with her experience and sweetness, it looks like we’ll be making a trip to the dentist sometime soon.
Fast fashion mega-brand Forever 21 is under fire again for producing designs a little too similar to original pieces by other designers.
A recently published article details a school in China where women take classes to learn how to snag a rich man. The school, named the Beijing Moral Education Center for Women, has a class syllabi which includes makeup tips on making one look more attractive and how to tell if a man is lying (about their income?)
As outlandish as it may sound to start a school whose sole purpose is to encourage women to find sugar daddies, I don’t necessarily feel like the entire idea is without its merits.
Who what where? Asian America in the news this week.
The First Asian American Attorney General in California
Attorney General-Elect of California, Kamala Harris, will be succeeding Jerry Brown. Check this: she’s the first female African American attorney general, the first Asian American attorney general in California and the first Indian American attorney general in the U.S. That’s a whopping three records in one title, but for her, it’s her civic duty to serve the state despite her views, which include major support for the LGBT community and little or no support for the death penalty.
- – -
Cheap Chic Crosses the Pond
Forever 21 has invaded the malls of America, but now the clothing and accessories company has opened a store in the United Kingdom to engage in some friendly completion with other established European stores like Topshop from England, H&M from Sweden and Zara from Spain. Forever 21 was started in Los Angeles by South Korean couple, Dong-Won Chang and Jin Sook in the ’80s, but now it is one of the fastest growing retailers globally.
This megastore sells cheap fashion via garments that don’t last for too long, but that just may be the ideal deal since many fashion trends don’t last very long either.
- – -
A Pageant of Their Own
Thailand has been holding its own international beauty pageant since 2004, but since when did anyone realize that it is a beauty competition for transvestites? It’s difficult to tell because the contestants look all too much like Barbie dolls. For the Miss International Queen 2010 competition, the 27-year-old Miss Korea, known as Mini Han, took the crown. Runners-up were Ami Takeuchi from Japan and Stasha Sanchez from the United States.
- – -
Oops, They Did It Again
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Kazakhstan for damage control after WikiLeaks released more unflattering U.S. diplomatic documents. Recently, even more Iraq agendas were posted.
Do you think that WikiLeaks has gone too far, or are they just preserving our First Amendment rights?
I remember when Lisa Ling stopped by our office for a photo shoot many many moons ago. It was early, but Lisa was bubbly and chatty, immensely likeable from the moment she walked in the door. As we were getting her primped and prettied up, her good friend, local news reporter Gordon Tokumatsu stopped by and the two allowed us to take some cute photos of them horsing around.
Lisa had just left her post on “The View” back in 2003 to work as a correspondent for National Geographic’s Explorer. Since then, Lisa has traveled all over the globe, reporting on topics as varied as the most dangerous gang in the world and gave us a rare look inside the adoption process in China. Lisa looks back at 25 years of National Geographic’s multiple award-winning globetrotting show in “Explorer: 25 Years,” which airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic Channel.
Have a secret stash of stories hidden away in your sock drawer? Tired of seeing all your writer friends find fame and fortune while you toil away as a barista? If you are, you could probably use some cold hard cash, like say, $1,000 bucks in addition to the recognition you so rightly deserve. Here’s the break you’ve been waiting for:
Hyphen magazine and Asian American Writers’ Workshop is putting out the call for the next best Asian American writer. This is no small writing contest — Houghton Mifflin published past winner Preeta Samarasan’s book Evening Is the Whole Day, which was long-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize (and, more importantly, was featured with an excerpt in Audrey, thank you very much). And this year’s judges include no less than Whiting award winner Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh (Picador), and Jaed Coffin, author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants (De Capo Press). The winner not only gets one thousand ducats, she (or he) also gets her (or his — hint hint) story published in the pages of Hyphen itself.
But you don’t have a whole lotta time — the deadline for submissions is March 31. Go here for submission guidelines and info. And get writing!
Though there are signs of a recovering economy, like so many crocuses poking their colorful petals out of the frozen ground, as a certain overweight rodent tells us, it’s still pretty blustery out there. Everything tells me to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed for a spell longer. But, if I were in New York City, I just might be persuaded to grab a few gently used items from my closet and head on over to Asian Women Giving Circle’s fundraiser, “Sip, Shop and Swap.” Held together with Circle of Sisters for Social Change of the New York Women’s Foundation, the idea is to shop your — or as in this case, someone else’s — closet for a good cause.
The “cause” can be any number of worthy efforts — all Asian American women-led. Proceeds from the fundraiser go into one big pot of cash that AWGC then awards to a community-led social change project. Since its founding in 2005, the nonprofit says it’s awarded about $270,000 to Asian women. Now that’s a stimulus we can all get behind.
DETAILS: March 17, 2010, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bridge Gallery at 98 Orchard St. RSVP deadline March 12.
Happy International Women’s Day! Though the United States is among a handful of countries that don’t officially recognize the nearly 100-year-old day for women, Americans still use the occasion to bring women’s issues to light. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle celebrated with a reception at the White House. The guests were a varied group, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and even actress Kerry Washington. Obama even gave kudos to current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for adding, as she said on the 2008 Presidential campaign trail, a million more cracks in the glass ceiling. Nonprofit organization Women for Women International drew millions of women at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and London’s Millennium Bridge in its “Join Me on the Bridge,” a symbolic event with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn to show the world that women are the bridge to resolving many of the world’s problems. And the International Museum of Women is celebrating with a new online global campaign called Women on the Map.
But the day also had its critics, namely in the voice of Somali nomad-turned-supermodel Waris Dirie who said the day was meaningless because there’s still inequality and injustice in the world against women, according to a Reuters report. And of course, she’s right. Poverty, illiteracy and violence are just a few of the issues that unequally afflict women around the world, especially in Asian countries. But there are glimmers of light. Women in Haiti are rolling up their sleeves to start anew in the wake of a devastating earthquake. Meanwhile, in Cambodia women like parliamentary member Mu Sochua are single-handedly bringing women’s rights into the national vernacular, earning one vote at a time to regain her seat in a male-dominated society. Here in the States, American women for the first time in history make up half of all the workers in the U.S. In nearly 4 in 10 families, mothers bring home as much as or even more of the bacon than their spouse, all on their own. And, the 82nd Academy Awards crowned its first female “best” director in the figure of Kathryn Bigelow, a fitting bookend as ex-wife to Avatar director James Cameron, who, when he won best director for Titanic, cried out: “I’m king of the world!”
Well, it looks like it’s the queen’s turn.