2013: Year in Review

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January

Jan. 1 — Del Rey farmer and author David Mas Masumoto is confirmed by the Senate as a member of the National Council on the Arts. He was appointed by President Obama last year.

Jan. 4 — A Los Angeles talent scout, Yoshitomo Kaneda, is convicted of six counts of sexual abuse involving a 16-year-old aspiring model and actress.

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Nisei soldiers of World War II

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Nisei soldiers of World War II

Jan. 10 — The California State Personnel Board votes unanimously to apologize for its 1942 firing of 265 employees of Japanese ancestry.

Jan 12 — An exhibition featuring the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Nisei soldiers of World War II starts a national tour in New Orleans. Subsequent openings are on March 9 in Honolulu, May 4 at JANM in Los Angeles, June 29 in San Francisco, Aug. 24 in Portland, Oct. 19 in Chicago, and Dec. 21 in Houston.

Jan. 19 — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signs a declaration establishing Jan. 30, 2013 as Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, joining other state and local governments in honoring the late civil rights hero.

Jan. 28 — Time Warner Inc. announces that Kevin Tsujihara will become CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment beginning in March. He is currently president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

Jan. 30 — The State of Hawaii celebrates Fred Korematsu Day on the late civil rights icon’s 94th birthday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a Korematsu Day proclamation last year.

Jan. 31 — The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center announces the hiring of Leslie Ito as its new president and CEO, replacing Greg Willis. Her tenure begins on March 4.

February

Feb. 1: A now-shuttered sushi restaurant, The Hump in Santa Monica, and two of its chefs are indicted on conspiracy and other charges for allegedly serving illegal and endangered whale meat.

Murder victims Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence

Murder victims Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence

Feb. 3: Monica Quan, Cal State Fullerton assistant women’s basketball coach, and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, are found shot to death in a car at their condominium complex in Irvine. The gunman turns out to be ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who had a grudge against Quan’s father. Dorner kills two more people before taking his own life during a standoff with police in the San Bernardino Mountains on Feb. 12.

Feb. 4: “A Community of Contrasts,” a report released by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles and Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, says Asian Americans and Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders have considerable needs that should be addressed by policy-makers.

Feb. 6 — The LAPD announces that Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old tourist from Vancouver, British Columbia, has been missing since Jan. 31 after arriving in Los Angeles Jan. 26 and staying at the Cecil Hotel. Her body is discovered in a water tank on the hotel’s roof on Feb. 19. After an investigation, her death is ruled an accident on June 20.

Feb. 12 — Chad Ryan DeSoto, 21, is arrested for driving onto a sidewalk and striking pedestrians in a tourist district in Tumon, Guam, then getting out of his car and stabbing people. Fourteen of the victims, including three who died, were tourists from Japan.

Feb. 15 — Terry Shima of the Japanese American Veterans Association is among 18 people receiving the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, from President Obama at the White House.

Feb. 15 — Lonnie Kocontes, a former Orange County attorney, is arrested in Florida on charges of murdering his ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, for financial gain by strangling her and throwing her overboard while on a cruise in Italy in 2006.

Feb. 19 — During a ceremony at the State Capitol, the Assembly passes a Day of Remembrance resolution introduced by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi and honors former Japanese American state employees who were fired because of their ancestry during World War II.

Feb. 19 — Courtney Aoki, 20, of Buena Park, an aspiring actress, is gunned down by Ali Syed at his Ladera Ranch home. Syed kills two more people during a rush-hour shooting spree and takes his own life.

Feb. 25 — Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Police Chief Philip Sanchez say they will seek a comprehensive audit of cases handled by Officers Kevin Okamoto and William Broghamer following a court ruling in a 2007 murder case that ended in a mistrial because the two were accused of withholding evidence. On Aug. 21, Sanchez says three officers, including Okamoto, were cleared of eight allegations, but that two allegations did occur.

March

March 1 — Two U.S. Navy sailors are convicted and sentenced to prison for raping and robbing a woman on Okinawa in October. The case outraged man Okinawans, who have long complained of military-related crime in their prefecture.

March 1 — The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charges Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr. with perjury and misappropriation of public funds, both felonies, as well as seven misdemeanors. He agrees to plead guilty to all counts and hand in his resignation.

In 2013, Paul Tanaka resigned as L.A. County undersheriff, was re-elected mayor of Gardena, and announced his candidacy for sheriff. (JUN NAGATA/Rafu Shimpo)

In 2013, Paul Tanaka resigned as L.A. County undersheriff, was re-elected mayor of Gardena, and announced his candidacy for sheriff. (JUN NAGATA/Rafu Shimpo)

March 1 — The intersection of North Hill and Ord streets is dedicated as Judge Delbert E. Wong Square in honor of the first Chinese American to be appointed to the bench in the continental U.S.

March 4 — The Senate confirms Pamela K.M. Chen to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She is the first openly gay Asian Pacific American to serve on the federal judiciary.

March 5 — Election results: LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara places fourth in District 9 race for L.A. City Council; former Assemblymember Mike Eng elected to L.A. Community College District Board of Trustees; Gardena Mayor Paul Tanaka is easily re-elected to a third term; Frank Yokoyama finishes third in a race for two seats on the Cerritos City Council.

March 6 — L.A. County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, the department’s second-in-command, announces his resignation effective Aug. 1. He has been criticized by a commission investigating violence in county jails.

March 8 — The Japanese American Leadership Delegation visits Japan from March 8 to 13. In Fukushima, the 10 delegates offer support and learn lessons from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. They also meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

March 10 — The two-year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake is observed with a “Love to Nippon” event at LAPD Headquarters. Speakers emphasize that the victims still need help.

March 11 — Former Assemblymember Warren Furutani is appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to the Board of Public Works. He is sworn in on April 3.

March 11 — Scott Joseph Barker is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for fatally stabbing Katsutoshi Tony Takazato, son of filmmaker Fuminori Hayashida, in July 2010 in Beverly Hills.

March 12 — Nate Shinagawa, a Democrat who ran in New York’s 23rd Congressional District last November, announces that he will not run again in 2014.

March 12 — A Nikkei couple and their daughter are victimized by two home-invasion robbers who hold them captive for nearly three hours while ransacking their house in Rancho Palos Verdes.

March 14 — Floyd Mori, executive director emeritus of the JACL, receives the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with rosette, from Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Kenichiro Sasae for contributions to the Japanese American community and U.S.-Japan relations.

March 17— Tokyo Lobby, one of the San Gabriel Valley’s most popular Japanese restaurants for some 40 years, closes its doors. Owner Yeong Nishiyama cites lack of customers and rising rent.

March 18 — Yoshiaki Nagaya, a vice consul at the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, is sentenced to a year in jail after pleading no contest to domestic violence charges brought by his wife.

March 18 — The Mikawaya confection shop in Little Tokyo Shopping Center is closed due to poor performance. The Mikawaya stores in Japanese Village Plaza, Gardena and Torrance remain alive and well.

March 25 — Yu Masaki pleads guilty to aggravated assault and murder in a January 2012 attack outside a San Antonio health club that wounded a woman who had rejected his advances and killed a club employee who was walking with her.

March 26 — Members of JACL and other APA groups gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to support marriage equality as the justices hear arguments on two cases involving same-sex marriage.

March 27 — After more than a year of bitter debate, the Carson City Council votes to name the Council Chambers after former City Clerk Helen Kawagoe, who served for more than 37 years before suffering a debilitating stroke. The defeat of one councilmember in the last election gave Kawagoe’s supporters a majority.

April

Rendering of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker

Rendering of the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker

April 9 — Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announces the renaming of the Kilauea Point Lighthouse on Kauai in honor of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

April 16 — The Jerome-Rohwer Interpretive and Visitor Center, which commemorates the two War Relocation Authority camps in Arkansas, is dedicated with actor and former internee George Takei as guest speaker.

April 18 — The Senate confirms the appointment of Derrick Kahala Watson to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. He is the only person of Native Hawaiian descent serving as an Article III judge.

April 18 — After hearing testimony from more than 20 people, the L.A. Cultural Heritage Commission votes unanimously not to grant historical/cultural landmark status to the Tuna Canyon Detention Station site in Tujunga.

April 25 — A fundraiser for the Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker is held to mark the 71st anniversary of the forced removal of some 1,000 Japanese Americans from Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu. Over $80,000 has been raised to build an obelisk on Venice and Lincoln.

April 27 — During the 44th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, an unveiling is held for a plaque honoring the Manzanar Advisory Commission, an all-volunteer group that helped the historic site staff manage and interpret the former internment camp site.

April 29 — The Japanese government announces that Kaneko Bishop, president of the San Diego-Yokohama Sister City Society, and Thomas Iino, chairman of the U.S.-Japan Council, will receive the Order of the Rising Sun (Gold and Silver Rays and Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, respectively).

May

May 1 — In observance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, KCET airs profiles of two Asian American “local heroes” throughout the month: Nobuko Miyamoto, founder and artistic director of Great Leap, and chado (tea ceremony) master Sosei Shizuye Matsumoto.

Little Tokyo Cafe proprietor Tokiko Ishii (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Little Tokyo Cafe proprietor Tokiko Ishii (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

May 2 — Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii announces her candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Brian Schatz next year. The late Sen. Daniel Inouye’s dying wish was that Hanabusa succeed him, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz, who was lieutenant governor.

May 7 — Gregory Mark Konishi, a 25-year veteran of the Orange County Fire Authority, pleads guilty to stealing from a captain’s wallet at the Irvine station. He was arrested last November and retired the following month.

May 8 — National leaders representing Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander organizations, including JACL, meet with President Obama to discuss immigration reform, access to affordable health care, and civil rights protections.

May 9 — CBS 5 airs a controversial video, produced by the L.A. Department of Public Works, in which a non-Asian man dressed in kimono and wearing heavy makeup speaks in a mock Japanese accent. DPW apologizes and city officials promise to give city-produced videos more rigorous review.

May 13 — Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto causes controversy by saying that the Japanese military’s forced prostitution of Asian women before and during World War II was necessary to maintain discipline in the ranks and provide rest for soldiers who risked their lives in battle. Hashimoto’s planned visit to Osaka’s sister city of San Francisco on June 11 is canceled.

May 17 — Peter C. Fong of San Francisco is sentenced to spend the rest of his life in mental hospital for the 2009 murder of Ryosuke Yoshioka, owner of Sushi Man restaurant.

May 20 — The appointment of Professor Robert Teranishi of New York University as the inaugural holder of the Morgan and Helen Chu Endowed Chair in Asian American Studies at UCLA is announced.

May 24 — Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announces that an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer will be named in honor of the late Sen. Daniel Inouye.

May 27 — The Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego dedicates the Issei Memorial Bench during the Tri-Church Interfaith Memorial Day Service at Mount Hope Cemetery. Located in the Old Japanese Section of the cemetery, it is a tribute to San Diego’s Japanese immigrants.

May 31 — Tokyo Café (formerly Tokyo Garden), a mom-and-pop eatery, closes after operating in Little Tokyo for decades. Proprietor Tokiko Ishii’s son Glen plans to open a new restaurant at the same Aiso Street location.

June

June 1 — Tadashi Mizutani of Huntington Beach is booked on suspicion of felony driving under the influence after his Lexus collides with a motorcycle on Goldenwest Street at Rio Vista drive, killing Kelly Morehouse and injuring her boyfriend.

June 2 — A ceremony is held in Roseville, Placer County to celebrate the completion of a monument to Japanese Americans who served in World War II. It includes a statue of a Nisei soldier helping a Texas soldier from the “Lost Battalion.”

The City of Carson names its Council Chambers after former City Clerk Helen Kawagoe (center).

The City of Carson names its Council Chambers after former City Clerk Helen Kawagoe (center). (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

June 4 — The Carson City Council Chambers are formally named after former City Clerk Helen Kawagoe in a ceremony attended by Kawagoe, her family and friends, and government officials.

June 7 — “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, who spent more than 23 years on Death Row during a 14-month crime spree that terrorized the Southland in the mid-1980s, dies in prison. The 13 murder victims included Dayle Okazaki of Rosemead. Ramirez is also suspected in the death of famed San Francisco chef Masataka Kobayashi.

June 7 — Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs a bill establishing Jan. 30, the late Fred Korematsu’s birthday, as Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day in the state on a permanent basis.

June 11 — The L.A. City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee hears testimony on designating the Tuna Canyon Detention Site as a historic-cultural monument but postpones a decision.

June 12 — Aya Nakano is fatally shot while driving from Berkeley to his home in Emeryville the day before his 23rd birthday. Police say he was rear-ended by another car and was shot after he pulled over.

June 18 — Jackkqueline Pogue, a homeless woman, is convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Betty Sugiyama, 84. In November 2010, Pogue pushed Sugiyama off a Metro Gold Line platform.

June 24 — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announces that President Obama has nominated Navy Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. for appointment to the rank of admiral to command the U.S. Pacific Fleet. He becomes the first person of Japanese ancestry to serve in this capacity. He assumes command on Oct. 16.

June 25 — Following deliberation and public testimony on June 21, the L.A. City Council votes unanimously to support Councilmember Richard Alarcon’s motion declaring a one-acre oak grove at the site of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station as a historical-cultural monument.

June 27 — The French Legion of Honor is presented to five veterans, including Takeo Kingi and Seiji Oshiro of the 442nd RCT, by Consul General Alex Cruau for their heroism during World War II.

June 28 — For the 19th time, a medical team comes from Japan to Southern California to examine local residents who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

June 29 — An online petition is launched to stop a proposed fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center in Modoc County. The Tule Lake Committee and other advocates say it will desecrate a site of major importance to Japanese Americans.

July

July 9 — Following passionate public testimony from both sides, the Glendale City Council approves plans for a memorial that honors Korean women forced into sexual slavery for the Japanese military during World War II.

July 11 — Gregory Yusuke Shiga is convicted of arson and other counts for setting an April 2011 fire that caused millions of dollars in damage to St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights.

July 12 — KTVU-TV in Oakland apologizes for airing four made-up Chinese-sounding names, believing them to be the names of the flight crew of the Asian Airlines airliner that crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6. The names were apparently given to the newsroom as a prank.

July 12 — L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti overhauls the Board of Public Works, naming a slate of his own nominees to replace the current members, including former Assemblymember Warren Furutani, who was appointed only a few months ago by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Kim Bok-dong, a former comfort woman, at the unveiling of a comfort women monument in Glendale. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Kim Bok-dong, a former comfort woman, at the unveiling of a comfort women monument in Glendale. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

July 20 — Santa Barbara Buddhist Church holds its first Bon Odori in 24 years.

July 22-23 — Heavy summer rains cause significant damage at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

July 23 — Korean American community advocates urge the Buena Park City Council to erect a monument to comfort women like the one approved in Glendale. The council later decides not to pursue the matter any further.

July 24 — Children from the Fukushima Aiikuen orphanage take part in a sakura tree dedication ceremony at the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station.

July 24 — Tule Lake Superintendent Mike Reynolds and other National Park Service staff are holding a series of public meetings on the West Coast to discuss the future of the Tule Lake Segregation Center site. Dates include July 24 and 27 at the JACCC in Little Tokyo and July 25 at CSU Dominguez Hills.

July 27 — Aug. 3 — L.A.-based rock band Day Above Ground releases the video for its song “Asian Girlz,” which is widely criticized for perpetuating stereotypes of Asian women. The band later promises to take video down from YouTube.

July 30 — A monument to the Korean comfort women is dedicated near Glendale’s Central Library with a former comfort woman in attendance. The event is heavily covered by Korean and Japanese media. Mayor Dave Weaver, who voted against the monument, later says that he regrets that it was installed.

August

Aug. 1 — The Senate confirms Obama appointee Raymond Chen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. He is the first Asian American to serve on the court in over 25 years.

Aug. 5 — Police arrest an L.A. Unified School District administrator, Robert Nagai of Chatsworth, on suspicion of attempting to meet with a 15-year-old former student for the purposes of committing a lewd act.

Public hearings on the Tuna Canyon Detention Station site were held at L.A. City Hall. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Public hearings on the Tuna Canyon Detention Station site were held at L.A. City Hall. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

Aug. 6 — On the 68th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing, members of Sadako Sasaki’s family attend the Concert for Peace at the Aratani Theatre in Little Tokyo, headlined by Jackson Browne. Masahiro Sasaki brings an origami crane folded by his sister, who died at age 12 due to radiation from the bomb.

Aug. 7 — Snowball West Investments, owner of the property containing the former Tuna Canyon Detention Station site (now the Verdugo Hills Golf Course), files suit against the City of Los Angeles, asking that the historic-cultural landmark designation of the site be rescinded. The company says it supports historical preservation but that landmark status imposes restrictions on development.

Aug. 8 — The Los Angeles Harbor Commission approves an overhaul of its long-range port development plan, setting aside areas for scientific research, recreation, tourism, and historic preservation, including Terminal Island, former home of Japanese American fishing village.

Aug. 8 — The L.A. City Planning Commission unanimously approves the Little Tokyo Community Project Design Overlay District (CDO), a set of guidelines that preserve the neighborhood’s unique character and encourage pedestrian-friendly development.

Aug. 10 — Lauren Iwata, a USC graduate and intern at Keiro Senior HealthCare, is named 2013 Nisei Week Queen. Ashley Mieko Honma is named First Princess and Megumi Yuhara is Miss Tomodachi.

Aug. 10 — The 25th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. This year, several community events, including JANM’s national conference in Seattle last month, are devoted to this subject.

Aug. 12 — Media Action Network for Asian Americans urges Fox to reshoot the pilot episode of its new sitcom “Dads,” charging that an Asian American female character, played by Brenda Song, is treated in a racist and sexist manner.

Aug. 13 — The Huntington Beach Planning Commission votes to certify an environmental impact report for the Historic Wintersburg site, once the center of the Japanese American community in Orange County, but does not allow the immediate demolition of the historic buildings on the site.

Aug. 15 — Former L.A. County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka announces his candidacy for sheriff. He will challenge incumbent Sheriff Lee Baca, his former boss, in the June 2014 election.

Aug. 15 — Clyde Kusatsu is elected president of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Los Angeles Local.

Aug. 16 — The Manzanar Committee announces its opposition ot the L.A. Department of Water and Power’s proposed 1,200-acre Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, which would be in a direct line of sight with the Manzanar National Historic Site and would destroy Manzanar’s historic solid waste dump.

Aug. 19 — The State Assembly approves a resolution, introduced by Assemblymember Richard Pan of Sacramento, that formally apologizes to Japanese American state employees who were fired because of their ancestry during World War II.

Aug. 27 — The LTSC Community Development Corporation announces that it has been selected by the City of L.A. Bureau of Engineering to receive a $1.3 million grant to fund the construction of the Budokan of Los Angeles.

Aug. 29 — Gov. Jerry Brown appoints Joanne Motoike of Long Beach as an Orange County Superior Court judge.

Aug. 30 — George Osumi of Irvine is convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison for stealing $2.7 million worth of wine from his clients’ storage lockers and underreporting over $3.5 million in payroll to his workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

September

Sept. 1 — Yukio Kato, 60, of Torrance falls over a cliff from the Mount Whitney Trail in Sequoia National Park. His body is recovered the following day.

Sept. 5 — A young sakura tree planted at Watsonville High School last spring as a token of friendship by the local JACL chapter is broken by vandals.

Sept. 7 — The International Olympic Committee selects Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympics.

Sept. 10 — The Associated Press names its Asia-Pacific enterprise editor, Ken Moritsugu, as bureau chief for Japan.

"America's Got Talent" winner Kenichi Ebina

“America’s Got Talent” winner Kenichi Ebina

Sept. 12 — The California Court of Appeal upholds a lower court’s 2012 injunction barring UCLA from selling the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air. UCLA tried to sell the garden despite an earlier promise to maintain it in perpetuity.

Sept. 12 — Craig Yuhara of Los Gatos is charged with manslaughter after shooting a fleeing car theft suspect near his home on Sept. 7. The body of Daniel Winslow was found on the San Jose State University campus.

Sept. 18 — Japan-born dancer Kenichi Ebina is named the winner of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” during the Season 8 finale.

Sept. 21 — An origami crane folded by Sadako Sasaki, who died of leukemia after being exposed to radiation during the Hiroshima bombing, goes on display at the visitors’ center at Pearl Harbor near the USS Arizona Memorial.

Sept. 24 — Robert Dickerman of Costa Mesa is arrested on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse causing the death of his 80-year-old mother, Yoshiko Dickerman, in July 2012.

Sept. 30 — Japanese discount store Don Quijote acquires 100 percent of Marukai’s stocks, taking over that supermarket chains’ 11 stores in Southern California and Hawaii.

October

Oct. 1 — The shutdown of the federal government forces the National Park Service to close all national parks, including Manzanar National Historic Site until the government reopens.

Oct. 9 — Saxon Matsuki of Los Angeles is killed when an SUV in which he is riding crashes on the Golden State Freeway in Sun Valley.

Oct. 10 — A jury finds that Toyota Motor Corp. is not liable for the death of Nroiko Uno, who was killed in August 2009 when her 2006 Camry apparently accelerated and crashed despite her efforts to stop.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy

Oct. 10 — Jeremy Daniel McMahon and his girlfriend, Michelle Kiyomi Okumura, are arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court in connection with the death of Eric Solen Jackson, who was tortured and killed on Oct. 8.

Oct. 15 — A ceremonial investiture is held for Tracie Brown, who was ecently sworn in as a judge of the San Francisco Superior Court, becoming the first Japanese American woman to serve in that capacity.

Oct. 16 — The Senate unanimously confirms Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, as U.S. ambassador to Japan. She assumes the post on Nov. 14.

Oct. 16 — Typhoon Wipha causes mudslides in Japan, destroying or damaging hundreds of homes and leaving 17 dead and nearly 50 missing.

Oct. 16 — A segment of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” — in which a child in a mock news roundtable suggests “killing everyone in China” — draws protests from Asian American leaders.

Oct. 25 — Toyota Motor Corp. reaches a confidential settlement with the victims of a deadly 2007 crash in Oklahoma to avoid punitive damages in a case where a jury found a 2005 Camry was defective.

November

Nov. 1 — Tatsuhiko Sakamoto of Arcadia is found guilty of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a .08 percent alcohol content. In April 2012, Sakamoto’s vehicle hit and killed Connor Penhall on the San Bernardino Freeway.

Nov. 2 — The Japanese government names Ray Thomas Decker, chairman emeritus of the Japan America Society of Southern California, and Tatsushi Nakamura, former president of the Japanese Prefectural Association of Southern California, as fall recipients of the Order of the Rising Sun.

The future of the Historic Wintersburg site was debated by the Huntington Beach Planning Commission and City Council.

The future of the Historic Wintersburg site was debated by the Huntington Beach Planning Commission and City Council.

Nov. 4 — The Huntington Beach City Council votes to allow Rainbow Environmental Services, which owns the Historic Wintersburg sites, to demolish historic buildings to make way for development. Preservationists are given 18 months to find a new home for the buildings and raise funds for relocation.

Nov. 5 — The brass plaque at the Pinedale Assembly Memorial and Remembrance Plaza in Fresno is reported stolen, apparently by metal thieves. It was dedicated to local Japanese American internees in 2007.

Nov. 5 — Election results: James Toma is elected to the West Covina City Council; Mayor Pro Tem Karyl Matsumoto is re-elected to the South San Francisco City Council. Unsuccessful council candidates include Martin Nakaishi in Diamond Bar and Rene Matsumoto in San Ramon.

Nov. 5 — Gov. Jerry Brown names Jean Shiomoto of Sacramento as director of the Department of Motor Vehicles. She was previously acting director.

Nov. 9 — Eleven Nisei World War II veterans receive France’s National Order of the Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier (Knight) from Deputy Consul General Fabrice Maiolino at the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo.

Nov. 11 — The MIS Historic Learning Center is dedicated at the Presidio of San Francisco. The building housed the Army’s first Military Intelligence Service Language School in late 1941 and early 1942.

Nov. 13 — Gary Locke, the first Chinese American to serve as U.S. ambassador to China, announces he will leave his post early next year to join his wife and children in Seattle. He previously served as U.S. secretary of commerce and governor of Washington.

Nov. 15 — A preliminary hearing is held in Orange County Superior Court for Kyle Shirakawa Handley and three other defendants accused of kidnapping, torture and sexual mutilation of a marijuana dispensary owner in 2012.

Nov. 16 — At a public meeting held by the L.A. Department of Water and Power, former internees and others argue against the DWP’s plans to build a 1,200-acre solar ranch in the Owens Valley near Manzanar National Historic Site. Public comment period is extended until Dec. 20.

Nov. 19 — USC and Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena announce a formal affiliation and name change to USC Pacific Asia Museum.

Nov. 20 — Sen. Daniel Inouye posthumously receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. Accepting on the late senator’s behalf is his widow, Irene Hirano Inouye.

Nov. 20 — Southern California author Cynthia Kadohata receives the National Book Award in the young people’s literature category for her novel “The Thing About Luck.”

Nov. 24 — Katy Perry’s performance in kimono with Japanese-themed dancers and backdrops at the American Music Awards is criticized by some Asian Americans as encouraging stereotypes, although she also has defenders in the community.

Nov. 26 — Chogi Higa, former board chair of Rafu Uwamachi Daini Gakuen and Okinawan language instructor, receives the Commendation of the Consul General from Consul General Jun Niimi.

Nov. 26 — At a public meeting, JACCC President and CEO Leslie Ito announces new board members and reports that the center has a $1.14 million deficit.

Nov. 26 — Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces that Myles Seishin Hanashiro was arrested and booked at Los Angels County Jail on four felony counts of financial elder abuse of his aunt.

December

The Manzanar Committee has launched a petition against a proposed L.A. Department of Water and Power solar farm that will impact the landscape around the internment camp site. (NPS)

The Manzanar Committee has launched a petition against a proposed L.A. Department of Water and Power solar ranch that will impact the landscape around the internment camp site. (NPS)

Dec. 4 — John Maeda, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, is appointed chair of the newly created eBay Inc. Design Advisory Board.

Dec. 4 — The Manzanar Committee launches a letter-writing campaign to express opposition to the LADWP’s proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch.

Dec. 7 — In talks given at Keiro Senior HealthCare’s facilities in Gardena and Boyle Heights, President and CEO Shawn Miyake confirms that Keiro is in talks to have its facilities acquired by a larger health care organization, but says the goal is to keep the existing programs and services for as long as possible.

Dec. 13 — An episode of CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” deals with the internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii, specifically at the Honouliuli camp.

Dec. 15 — Manzanar National Historic Site Superintendent Les Inafuku is honored in Little Tokyo. He retires in January after 38 years with the National Park Service, five of them at Manzanar.

Dec. 15 — Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Kenichiro Sasae lays a wreath at the Go For Broke Monument in Little Tokyo.

Dec. 16 — Purification ceremony is held at an oak grove marking the site of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station with representatives of the Japanese, German and Italian internees in attendance.

Dec. 16 — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration dedicates its new NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island in Honolulu.

 

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  1. “The late Sen. Daniel Inouye’s dying wish was that Hanabusa succeed him, but Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Schatz, who was lieutenant governor.”

    Actually, that is what Rep Hanabusa SAYS. But Sen Inouye’s Chief of Staff has admitted SHE wrote the letter (supposedly because she knew is wishes) and the letter was ROBO-SIGNED.

    Sen Inouye’s Chief of Staff is now working for the Hanabusa campaign.

    So we don’t know if Sen Inouye really said to write the letter or whether it was just a way for his staffers to hold onto power.

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