Entries by Vivian Po

Vivian Po

Chinese Media Respond to SF Weekly's Skewering of Leland Yee

By Vivian Po, Jul 21, 2011 2:54 PM

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SF Weekly's skewering of California Senator and San Francisco mayoral candidate Leland Yee did not go unnoticed by the city's Chinese-language media. A cover story by Matt Smith in Wednesday's edition of the paper depicts Leland Yee's so-called "Sketchy" past in cartoon form, in various compromising situations, including being stopped by police in the Mission District for allegedly soliciting prostitutes (he said he was just coming home from work), and allegedly shoplifting a bottle of tanning oil in Hawaii (he said he was just checking with his wife in the parking lot to see if it was the right one to buy).

Vivian Po

Ping Pong Diplomacy--40 Years Later

By Vivian Po, Jul 12, 2011 1:57 PM

40 years ago, "Ping Pong Diplomacy" between the US and China made headlines around the world. On tuesday, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee picked up his ping-pong paddle and welcomed the Chinese delegation team on a table tennis table inside the City Hall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the event.

Vivian Po

SF Ban on Goldfish Bad for Feng Shui

By Vivian Po, Jun 20, 2011 4:05 PM

San Francisco’s Animal Control and Welfare Commission is once again pushing for a ban on pet sales in the city, and this time, they’ve amended the proposal to include a ban on goldfish, guppies and tropical fish – something local Chinese American pet shop owners say is "ridiculous." The proposal would also ban the sales of puppies, kittens, hamsters, snakes, rats and some other animals.

The idea behind the ban is to discourage inhumane practices of mass reproduction of puppies and kittens, and to limit the number of animals being abandoned and ending up in shelters. It is doubtful, however, that it will pass.

In an interview with World Journal, John Chan, manager of the store Pet Central, located on Broadway in San Francisco, said pet shops bring in taxes for the city government. If the ban passes, he said, pet shops will either close or relocate to other cities, which would not only take away local tax dollars, but
take away local employment opportunities as well.

"This is a ridiculous city," said Chan, who criticized the local government for allowing legal marijuana sales in the city but not pet sales.

Many Chinese-American residents and restaurant owners also like to have goldfish in their home or business for good Feng Shui.

Goldfish owner Kam Hui is one of them. In his home in the Sunset District, he has several large fish tanks of goldfish.

He said decision makers in the city are getting too extreme. First they banned gifts in McDonald’s Happy Meals, he said; now they are targeting pet shops. He said he does not understand the need to ban goldfish, adding that he’d never heard of anyone abusing their goldfish.

Commission member Philip Gerrie, who supported the ban, said the mass-breeding process of fish is "inhumane,” and that when they are taken from the wild, it contributes to the devastation of the tropical
fish population in places like Southeast Asia.

Vivian Po

Chinatown Photo Studio -- Last of a Dying Breed?

By Vivian Po, May 22, 2011 1:00 AM

As high-quality digital cameras become more and more popular and affordable, traditional photography studios are becoming a dying breed. Despite an overall decline, some portrait studios have evolved
to serve niches. In San Francisco’s Chinatown, which has also seen a drop in photography studios, some businesses are buoyed by the unique needs of a specific clientele.

Vivian Po

New Sewage Law in Effect, But Some SF Restaurants Didn't Get the Memo

By Vivian Po, May 17, 2011 11:26 AM

San Francisco restaurants are required to filter waste oil and grease so that it doesn’t end up going down the drain, under a new law that went into effect April 1, but it seems that some businesses in Chinatown didn’t get the memo.

Vivian Po

Bay Area Family of 9/11 Victim Finds Comfort in Death of Osama bin Laden

By Vivian Po, May 5, 2011 11:13 AM

Nearly 10 years ago, when American Airlines Flight 11 was the first to crash into the twin towers in New York, it was Betty Ann Ong, a 44-year-old Chinese American flight attendant from San Francisco, who according to the foundation named after her, www.bettyong.org, “chose to be involved and make a difference by taking action to notify the American Airlines ground crew of the hijacking situation on board the airplane.” Thanks to the vital information she provided them by phone during the flight, the FAA decided to close airspace for the first time in U.S. history.

Vivian Po

Grandma's Secret Fried-Chicken Recipe Reappears on Hawaiian-Chinese Food Truck

By Vivian Po, Apr 29, 2011 7:44 PM

Food trucks and the customers who love them are gathering at Fort Mason tonight for another “Off the Grid” street food party, a mobile food festival that serves up tasty treats in various locations every week. One of the food trucks featured at tonight’s event is IZ IT Fresh Grill, which serves up Hawaiian-Chinese fusion -- and a secret fried chicken recipe known to many who have visited Kwong Shing market on Clement Street.

Vivian Po

HBO Taping Riles Chinatown Business Owners

By Vivian Po, Apr 22, 2011 2:20 PM

HBO was filming “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” a drama starring Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, in San Francisco's Chinatown Wednesday, but not everyone in the neighborhood was happy about the attention. The taping created a stir among Chinese business owners, who complained they lost a day of business and were not financially compensated.

David Huang reports for the Sing Tao Daily that representatives of more than 30 businesses gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Chinatown restaurant Imperial Palace to present their complaints to Christine Munday of the San Francisco Film Commission and a representative of the office of Supervisor David Chiu, whose electoral district covers Chinatown and North Beach.

The Sing Tao Daily reports that the film crew blocked Ross Alley from Jackson Street to Washington Street from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. The street’s entrance and exit were guarded by crew members who allowed only residents to access the alleyway. A number of trucks and diesel generators were parked on surrounding streets, limited road access, and police officers were directing traffic on the scene. Business owners said their biggest concerns were the loss of business, noise and air pollution, as well as garbage, pedestrian safety and what they described as “bad attitudes” from the crew members.

Merchants said that in the past, film crews had compensated them $300 to $500, depending on the size of the area impacted. They urged the Film Commission to step in and help them get compensation from HBO. Munday said city government does not require film companies to compensate businesses, but said she would pass on the business owners' concerns to HBO and encourage the company to respond.

On Wednesday evening, HBO regional manager Patrick Ranahan apologized to the business owners for the inconvenience caused by the filming, and said he would meet with them about compensation. They will be gathering next Wednesday at 4 p.m. at the Imperial Palace restaurant to see if they can resolve the dispute.

Vivian Po

Big-Eyes' Lens Not FDA Approved

By Vivian Po, Feb 10, 2011 10:02 AM

Popular for a long time in Asian countries, the "big-eyes" contact lens -- contacts that make your pupils look dilated -- is gaining popularity in Asian communities in the Bay Area, especially among girls.

Vivian Po

If Ed Lee Ran in November, How Would He Do?

By Vivian Po, Feb 9, 2011 10:00 AM

Recent speculation that San Francisco Interim Mayor Ed Lee could run in the mayoral race in November has some leaders in the Chinese community wondering how successful he would actually be.

Vivian Po

Husband of Fisherman's Wharf Shooting Victim Asks Chinese Community for Help

By Vivian Po, Feb 4, 2011 3:50 PM

The husband of one of the victims in Sunday’s Fisherman’s Wharf shooting is reaching out to the Chinese community for help, reports the Sing Tao Daily.

Vivian Po

The Next Measure of SF Consumer Confidence -- Chinese New Year

By Vivian Po, Jan 24, 2011 4:50 PM

Even though U.S. retail sales during the year-end holidays were lower than expected, Chinese merchants in the Bay Area say they have a second chance with the upcoming Chinese New Year on Feb. 3.

Vivian Po

Chua Distorts Chinese Parenting, Says World Journal Editorial

By Vivian Po, Jan 18, 2011 10:41 AM

Ever since Yale law professor Amy Chua's article “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior" was published in the Wall Street Journal, an online debate has raged over whether the pressure Chinese parents put on their kids is a good thing. Now a local Chinese-language newspaper is weighing in.

Vivian Po

Chinese Community Concerned Over CPMC Development

By Vivian Po, Dec 17, 2010 3:00 PM

Chinese community leaders and seniors are concerned that California Pacific Medical Center's latest development plan could leave them out.

CPMC is proposing to cut services at St. Luke's Hospital, which is one of two hospitals (along with San Francisco General) that serves residents in the outer Mission, Bayview and Visitacion Valley,districts that have a growing Chinese population. The downsizing is part of a $2.5 billion plan to renovate several other medical centers, and build a large new hospital on Cathedral Hill, located at Geary and Van Ness Ave.

Vivian Po

Bay Area Asians Come Out as DREAM Students

By Vivian Po, Dec 8, 2010 1:05 PM

The DREAM Act may be seen as a piece of legislation that would largely benefit Latino students, but San Francisco student Steve Li's case has proven that Asians are also deeply concerned about the bill. As Congress moves toward a vote on the bill, more and more Chinese undocumented students are willing to speak up for themselves, reports the Sing Tao newspaper.

Vivian Po

Black Columnist Writes About Chinese Idioms

By Vivian Po, Dec 6, 2010 2:50 PM

Don't be surprised if you see Chinese characters appearing in the Oakland Post, because African American columnist with the Post Newspaper Group, Gregory K. Taylor, is trying to facilitate a cultural exchange between the Chinese community and the African American community through his writings on Chinese idioms. Taylor, a former police officer in Oakland, fell in love with the Chinese language and culture after quiting his job and going back to school.

Vivian Po

Former Prisoner: Don't Isolate North Korea

By Vivian Po, Nov 29, 2010 5:00 PM

The U.S. government should learn more about the Korean culture before stepping in as a mediator in the current conflict between North and South Korea. That was the message of Euna Lee, one of two Bay Area Korean-American journalists who were imprisoned in North Korea for months last year, at a book reading in San Francisco last Tuesday.

Vivian Po

Food Banks Feeding More Than the Needy

By Vivian Po, Nov 23, 2010 5:05 PM

During the holiday season, families in need depend on food banks to put meals on the table for their loved ones, but professional "food bank crashers" are taking advantage of the free food for profit, reports David Huang for the Sing Tao Daily.

Vivian Po

City College Construction Imperils Local Restaurant

By Vivian Po, Nov 23, 2010 4:20 PM

The construction of a new City College campus in Chinatown could be putting a local Chinese restaurant out of business.

Vivian Po

Chinatown Employment Agencies Struggling in Recession

By Vivian Po, Nov 18, 2010 11:30 AM

A sure sign of a struggling economy is when employment agencies themselves are in financial dire straits. Chinatown employment agencies are facing hard times, reports David Huang for the Sing Tao Daily.