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Next on ‘Asian Pacific America’

SAN JOSE — This Sunday, March 3, on “Asian Pacific America” with Robert Handa:

Michelle Chen Kuo and Chris Kuo are a mother-son two piano duo on a mission to make the world a better place. “Two-Piano Journey” is currently on a benefit concert tour, using their talents to raise money for nonprofits.

Ripley Shair was born with four defects to the heart and received open-heart surgery at just 30 days old. He is now a happy two-year-old with a strong prognosis, serving as a support system for other “Heart Warriors.”

The Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose will become the first in Northern California to offer a Vietnamese Dual Language Immersion Program, giving children the opportunity to speak fluently in two languages. San Jose is home to the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam.

The Junior League of San Jose is an organization of women committed to developing the potential of women, improving the community, and promoting volunteerism through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Airs at 5:30 a.m. on NBC Bay Area, 6 p.m. on NBC’s COZI TV (Comcast 186).

Robert Handa’s Memories of Jeff Adachi

A note of sadness and regret in reporting the death of a real champion for the community: San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.

Jeff was truly a defender of the underdog and that didn’t always generate sympathetic reactions, but he stuck to his principles and even critics had nothing but respect for him.

He headed up more than 100 lawyers who represented more than 20,000 people a year charged with misdemeanor and felony charges.

Jeff was also a producer and director of films, including one I had watched, “The Slanted Screen,” a documentary on how Asian American men are portrayed in movies.

However, I had never associated the film with Jeff until I rewatched it on DVD and saw his name. That was many years ago. We had a good laugh about that and it only added to my admiration.

My own personal regret is that all the times we talked about him coming on “Asian Pacific America” hadn’t worked out time-wise, but we always felt it would. The last thing we ever thought was one of us wouldn’t be around to do it.

I understand there is an investigation into his passing, but regardless of that oucome there is a real void left in the community and in the ranks of advocates who try to bring a voice to those who don’t believe they have one.

Jeff Adachi, the defender, the creative artist and fun-loving person, will be missed.

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