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🍵 Hawaii’s homeless desperation

To: SharkBites Readers

Date: February 7, 2023


Hello, everyone! 

Hawaii's State Homeless Coordinator has reported that half of the state's homeless population is made up of Native Hawaiians.

In response to this crisis, a group of activists recently entered empty units at the Ulu Ke Kukui housing project and set up the units for six homeless individuals who had been living on the beach for years. Officials have stated that these individuals will be allowed to stay in the units, despite the activists not having permission.

Lena Suzuki of the Waianae Moku Kupuna Council praised the activists for their peaceful and unconventional protest, which challenged officials to help the homeless. Meanwhile, Hawaii Community Lending (HCL) has received a generous donation of $1.5 million from Hawaii Pacific Health and the Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation. This donation will aid at least 50 families in purchasing homes.

Lena Suzuki
Hawaii News Now
Spotlight 💡
  • The Centrum shopping center in the Pineville neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina is becoming a hub for the Asian community, reminiscent of the now-closed Asian Corner Mall. The area has seen an influx of Asian-owned local businesses with a personal touch such as banh mi shops and international markets like Super G Mart. The Super G Mart, which opened last Christmas, aims to be a "cultural hub" and has attracted customers from all over the Charlotte area. Maxim Nail Mall Supply and Lula Banh Mi & Bakery are among the neighboring businesses that are networking and supporting each other, creating a growing sense of community in the area.
Race in America 🌎
  • Indiana rally: Over 100 people gathered at Dunn Meadow in Bloomington, Indiana on Feb. 4 to support the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in response to the racially-motivated stabbing of an 18-year-old Asian student on a Bloomington transit bus in January. The rally was organized by the City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor, the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Indiana Chapter, IU, and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Indiana Chapter. 


  • Japanese community in Brooklyn: Japanese immigrants and entrepreneurs are flocking to Greenpoint, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, which has traditionally been known as "Little Poland.” A cluster of modern Japanese businesses has emerged in Greenpoint and the area is attracting people who are drawn to the creative scene and its proximity to Williamsburg and Manhattan. 50 Norman, the largest and flashiest Japanese development in Greenpoint, serves as the nucleus for the growing Japanese community. 
In Other Asian News 🗞
  • Hong Kong transgender protection: Hong Kong’s top court has ruled that a policy that bars transgender people from changing their gender on ID cards unless they undergo full sex reassignment surgery is unconstitutional and violates their rights. The Court of Final Appeal sided with appeals launched by two transgender activists, Henry Tse and “Q,” who argued that the policy was medically unnecessary and highly invasive. The court’s decision described the policy as “unacceptably harsh” and stated that it placed individuals in a dilemma of having to choose between privacy violations or undergoing surgery. Tse welcomed the decision as “delayed justice” and called for a gender recognition law.


  • Japan secretary fired: Masayoshi Arai, former executive secretary to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, was fired after making anti-LGBTQ comments to reporters. Arai stated that he would not want to live near an LGBTQ couple and that if same-sex marriage was introduced in Japan, society would change and "quite a few people would abandon this country." At a press conference, Kishida acknowledged firing Arai, saying his comments were "completely inconsistent with the policy of the Cabinet" and "inexcusable." The situation has prompted opposition lawmakers to grill Kishida on his views on family affairs in Japan, as Japan has not yet legally recognized same-sex marriage.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
BBC News
Entertainment 📺

Lacy Grammy win: Filipino American artist Steve Lacy won his first Grammy Award on Sunday night, taking home Best Progressive R&B Album for “Gemini Rights.” Lacy was previously nominated for his work with the band The Internet and received three additional nominations for this year’s awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Solo Performance. He also performed at the awards for the first time ever, singing his hit track “Bad Habit.” Other notable nominees at the 2023 awards include Disney’s “Turning Red” track “Nobody Like U” and two nominations for BTS for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “My Universe” and Best Music Video for “Yet To Come.” Lastly, Filipino American singer-songwriter H.E.R. was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Recording for her feature on Kaytranada’s track “Intimidated.” 


Baekjeong art installation: Famed Korean BBQ chain Baekjeong will team up with legendary South Korean musician DJ Koo of K-pop duo CLON and graffiti artist Koma for a live art installation at Baekjeong’s Lynnwood location in Washington state. The event will take place on Friday and Saturday this weekend from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. They will also have a daily art giveaway where four guests may win an art piece from Koo and Koma. Koo and Koma shared that that they can marry the senses and close relationship between food and art with the project. They also added in a joint statement to NextShark, "Rather than being cloistered in a studio with little or no feedback, here we can engage with Baekjeong customers and receive instant feedback and witness instant emotional reactions during the creation process. These kinds of emotional responses and feedback will help influence the final art mural."

DJ Koo (left), Koma (right)
Courtesy of Baekejong
What else is on our minds? 🧠
  • Acclaimed Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong has called out an Italian newspaper after it printed a picture of a different Asian man.
  • Rolling Stone has named BLACKPINK, BTS’ J-Hope and DAWN in their list of most stylish musicians. 
  • The Discord channel owner of the massive r/Pokémon subreddit Discord has been banned for using the platform to sexually prey on underage users. 
  • A Buddhist temple in Melbourne, Australia has been heavily damaged by a fire. 
  • King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla of England recently celebrated the contributions of East and Southeast Asian communities to the United Kingdom by holding a reception at Buckingham Palace.

Did you watch the Grammy Awards this past weekend?

I saw some clips. It was cool to see Steve win, Beyonce make history and Viola Davis get her EGOT.


Daniel Anderson

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