Tag Archives: Sharon Maeda

OPINION | Why We Don’t Need to Vote Our Race/Ethnicity in Local Elections

by Sharon Maeda

There’s no such thing as a post-racial society, as was proffered when Barack Obama was elected president in 2008. And, despite a recent increase in racial hate crimes, vandalism, and harassment of BIPOC communities, some things have changed for the better. We no longer have to wring our hands and hope for the best when a person of our own racial or ethnic group is not ready for prime time, but we feel compelled to vote for them out of ethnic solidarity anyway.

We can vote for people who we know have the integrity and commitment to further justice for our communities during these fragile times. We can vote for the person who most closely shares our values, who we can trust, who is endorsed by those we respect, and who we know will listen when we bring forward important issues, policies, and crises. No longer do we have to vote for someone who “looks like us.”

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Finding Jackson’s Catfish Corner in Honolulu

Uncovering the story behind Jackson’s Catfish Corner’s first franchise food truck.

by Sharon Maeda
Special to the South Seattle Emerald

I’ve been to Honolulu many times, but this trip was a retirement gift to myself to visit friends and explore more of the island, local culture, and food. As an Emerald retiree, I didn’t intend to submit story ideas or write while here. But when I happened upon this discovery, I couldn’t help myself. 

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OPINION | Leticia Martinez-Cosman: A True Innocent of the World

by Sharon Maeda

We hoped and prayed for the best but were braced for the worse. On April 14, the worst was confirmed: The body found in a wooded part of Renton was indeed that of Leticia Martinez-Cosman. She had been missing since attending a Mariners game on March 31. Two days later, her son with special needs, Patrick, was driven from their White Center home in the middle of the night by Brett Gitchel, under the ruse of taking him to the hospital to see his mother after an accident. According to news reports, Gitchel drove Patrick around, then stopped and tried to strangle him. Patrick escaped and was able to contact 911. SPD has charged Gitchel with attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault, fourth-degree assault, first-degree theft, and unlawful possession of a firearm, related to his alleged attack of Patrick. Now that Leticia has been found, the King County Prosecutor’s Office is charging him with second-degree murder of Leticia. They found her on April 11, but positive identification did not come until three days later. 

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Remembering Norm Mineta, Asian American Pioneer

by Sharon Maeda

There are so many stories about Norm Mineta, 90, who passed away Tuesday, May 3. He was a soft-spoken gentleman who was a part of making U.S. history at multiple junctures. Mineta was “the first” many times over: the first Asian American mayor of a major city, San Jose, California, where he was born and raised. Twenty years ago, the San Jose Airport was named for him. He was the first Asian American cabinet secretary and first and only Democrat in the George W. Bush administration. 

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OPINION: Random Remembrances of 9/11

by Sharon Maeda

On September 11, 2001, I lived in New York City. Twenty years later, my mind is still full of so many random memories and emotions, just as it was back then. 

In the hours following the attacks, millions of people were trying to contact loved ones. Phone services were overtaxed and everyone was frantic. No one could get in or out of Manhattan; the subways were shut down. I was stuck in a suburban New York Marriott hotel with colleagues at a conference. The Marriott had a policy that when one hotel is attacked, all their neighboring hotels go into lockdown. I was panicked out of my mind. I had no idea where my niece was on her first day of work in New York. Hours later, her mother in Seattle was able to reach me and report that Lea was safe and walking home from Midtown to my place in Washington Heights. At some point, she abandoned her heels and walked all the way up to 190th barefooted. 

Early on, no one understood the source of the terrorism or could have imagined a 20-year war. 

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Bob Shimabukuro: Side Street Renaissance Man (August 4, 1945-March 29, 2021)

by Sharon Maeda

 “Daydreaming isn’t allowed in the fast lane. So Bob Shimabukuro has mostly lived life on side streets, taking a detour now and again to help other people along the way.”

That’s how former Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large captured the essence of Bob in 1994. To that I would add: Renaissance Man. In addition to being a writer and a consummate family man, Bob was also an artist, chef, community activist/leader, feminist, furniture designer/woodworker, Hawai‘i-style philosopher, and so much more. 

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