How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: Response to Japan earthquake, looted art from Armenia, minorities and lupus, Arizona's Latino growth, more

Japan earthquake: Japanese American groups in L.A. use Web to respond to quake - Los Angeles Times Japanese American community groups used social networking and other online tools over the weekend to coordinate efforts in response to Friday's killer earthquake.

Experts say art looted during Armenian genocide a growing issue - 89.3 KPCC On Friday, experts at a Loyola Law School panel said that a growing number of legal cases involve art looted during the Armenian genocide nearly a century ago.

Arizona's Latino Population Up a Whopping 46%, Says Census - Fox News Latino Latinos now make up close to 30 percent of Arizona's residents, up from slightly more than 25 percent in 2000.

Lupus, a Disease Disproportionately Affecting Latinos, Gets New Drug - Fox News Latino The debilitating immune system disorder disproportionately affects Latinos, African Americans and Asians – those groups are twice as likely to get it than whites.

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Japanese American, other organizations in Southern California pull together for quake relief

Photo by emrank/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A television screen in Nagoya, Japan displays a news report, March 11, 2011

Two large fundraising events for victims of last week's devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake in northeastern Japan last week are taking place all day today at Angel Stadium in Anaheim and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, where "drive-through" donations for the American Red Cross's relief effort are being accepted.

The Japan America Society of Southern California has information on both events posted on its website; the organization's president, Doug Erber, said the Los Angeles Dodgers organization approached the group Friday with the idea of helping out and it went from there. Both events today are being hosted by the Red Cross and by ABC Chanel 7, which is promoting today's fundraisers.

A similar event is happening tomorrow at Dodger Stadium, this one hosted by NBC Channel 4.

Japanese Americans have been raising funds in a number of different ways, setting up everything from relief funds to donation boxes in hotel lobbies, like at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City, a property that's owned by a Japanese company. Some people have taken up individual collections, like a woman who raised more than $3,200 solo over the weekend, said Erber, whose group has urged its members to donate online to relief efforts. An arts collective has put together its own fundraiser for the victims.

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Site posts updates from Japan that are simple, heartbreaking

Photo by Anna Armstrong/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A tsunami warning sign on a Japanese beach, July 2004

Throughout the day, as I've followed news of the continuing devastation in northeastern Japan after its 8.9 magnitude quake, I've linked a couple of times to one website that keeps drawing me back for its succinct updates. The website of Roound, a mobile technology startup out of Singapore, has set up a page on which constant updates are posted from Tokyo as developments occur.

The updates, taken from news sources in Japan, are short and terse, giving it the feel of something between a Twitter feed (which it also is, @alertdisaster) and a scrolling ticker. And they are in English, which helps.

"Airport in Sendai is now completely submerged under water," one update reads. "It is a true devastating disaster."

The scope of the disaster, with its mounting death toll, the flooding, raging fires, a damaged nuclear reactor and mass evacuations, is truly dizzying. But there was a simple update on the Roound feed about half an hour ago that brought it down to human scale:

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Japan quake draws links, comments and prayers on Facebook

Photo by Making-Things-Better/Flickr (Creative Commons)


As has become the norm during world events lately, one of the ways in which people have been getting togehter to provide information, ask questions or simply comment on the killer earthquake that struck Japan yesterday afternoon is on Facebook.

In the time since the quake hit off the country's northeast coast, a series of English-language pages dedicated to the earthquake have sprung up on which people are posting good wishes or valuable tools, like links to the bilingual Google Person Finder page specific to the disaster.

Some Japanese American Facebook group pages have been active also, like that of the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. From the page this morning:

My family in Yokohama said this is the biggest earthquake ever felt there. 10 hours later, the land was still shaking. They have their shoes on in the house ready to evacuate!! I could not get hold of them by phone, but I did through email which went to their cell phone as a form of text. (Thank goodness for the internet!!) My heart goes to the people in Miyagi where devastating Tsunami hit.

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Japan quake: How to find people, how to help

Photo by emrank/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A television screen in Nagoya, Japan displays a news report, March 11, 2011

Several online resources have sprung up in the wake of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northern Japan, among them a Google People Finder tool in English and Japanese that is part of a Google crisis response resource with emergency numbers and other information.

The tech news website CNET has also posted a list of good quake information resources.

The Japanese consulate in Los Angeles said that officials are in the process of setting up a hotline for people seeking information on relatives; the consulate office can be reached at (213) 617-6700. Other hotlines have been set up abroad, including a Canadian government hotline and a Filipino government hotline for those with family in Japan.

Land line service has been out and cell service is spotty, said Doug Erber, president of the Los Angeles-based Japan America Society of Southern California. Erber said he and his wife, who is from Japan, stayed up all last night trying to reach in-laws, relative, and friends. He said the best way the group's members have been able to reach people on their own is via international cell phone, which several members have, and via Twitter.

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