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Since 1970 March 2009
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New Quarters Honor
United States Pacific Island Territories

By Leonard D. Chan

A recent email alerted me to the new US quarters that will be issued in 2009. Our federal government has chosen to follow-up the successful US State Quarters program with one that would highlight US territories. Among the territories being honored are three US territories located in the Pacific. They are Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

I can't speak for you out there, but if you knew as much as I did before I started this article, then that probably wouldn't amount to very much. My guess is that a large portion of you might not even be able to name the US Pacific Island Territories, much less be able to point them out on a map. I'll give you extra credit if you can name their capitals. Can you tell me anything else about them?

One good thing about the states and territories quarter programs - it spurs a wonderful learning experience for those that choose to find out more about the places being highlighted.

When I started research for this article, it reminded me of my grade school days when we were asked to write a report on a US State or some other geographic location. I would go to the encyclopedia and write my own version of the text describing the agriculture and history of that place.

One thing I learned from my many geography courses in grade school and college is that knowing about the location and capital of a land, only scratches the surface of truly knowing about that place. One of my pet peeves of the spelling and geography bee approach to learning is its emphasis on learning a bunch of facts without deeper understanding. What good is being able to spell a word if you don't know its meaning? What good is knowing the capital if you don't know anything about the people that live there or how it got to be the capital?

Some of the interesting information I found on American Samoa came from an essay in a book called Asian and Pacific Islander American Education: Social, Cultural, and Historical Context. It proved my point that information in an encyclopedia may miss some important details about a land and its people. Allen Awaya's chapter The Role of Westernized Education in the Future of Fa'aSamoa (the way of Samoa) vividly describes the drastic social changes that are occurring as a result western influences.

Time prevents me from summarizing Awaya's essay in this article and also constrains me from regurgitating a bunch of information I found on Wikipedia. What follows are some links to a few places where you can start your own research on our Pacific Island territories. When you want to learn about a place, read their newspapers or get in touch with a local librarian. Have fun learning.

General Information
Wikipedia's article on Guam
CIA's world factbook website on Guam
Guampedia, Guam's Online Encyclopedia
Guam quarter - release date May 26, 2009

Public Library
Nieves M. Flores Memorial Public Library - Main Library in Hagåtña, Guam

Pacific Daily Newsin Hagåtña, Guam

Suggestions From Guam Library
Government of Guam's website
Guam Visitor's Bureau
Guam Faith Bookstore

American Samoa
General Information
Wikipedia's article on American Samoa
CIA's world factbook website on American Samoa
American Samoa quarter - release date July 27, 2009

Public Library
Feleti Barstow Public Library - Main Library in Pago Pago, American Samoa

Samoa Newsin Pago Pago, American Samoa
Samoa Observer

Northern Mariana Islands
General Information
Wikipedia's article on Northern Mariana Islands
CIA's world factbook website on Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands quarter - release date Nov. 30, 2009

Public Library
Joeten-Kiyu Public Library - Main Library in Saipan, N. Mariana Islands

Saipan Tribune in Saipan, N. Mariana Islands

Capital: Hagåtña
Aprroximate distance from San Francisco: 5799 miles
If you travel due north from Hagåtña you would pass near Shari, Hokkaido, Japan.

Northern Mariana Islands
Capital: Saipan
Aprroximate distance from San Francisco: 5674 miles
If you travel due west from Saipan you would pass near Quezon City, Philippines.

American Samoa
Capital: Pago Pago
Aprroximate distance from San Francisco: 4763 miles
If you travel due west from Pago Pago you would pass near Cooktown, Australia.

General Information
General information and maps of Pacific Islands
Wikipedia's page on Territories of the United States
Guide to the 2009 US Quarters
How to find distances between two places on Earth

Editor's Notes

Hello Everyone,

Yes this is the March newsletter in April. Looks like I'm going on Hawaii time again - maybe even American Samoa time. Hope someone in those time zones get to read this newsletter in March.

This kind of reminds me of that old joke, "boy am I tired, I just went through a 31 day march." As in the past several years in the spring season, we have been working hard on several fronts - normal AACP business, an AACP project, and the San Mateo Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration.

If you are affiliated with an API nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area we welcome you to come and exhibit at our event. With these tough economic times, nonprofit organizations are especially feeling the financial crunch. At the same time, many of you in the general public are in greater need of these service orient nonprofit organizations. That's why we're opening up our event to all API nonprofit out there. Come and setup your tent and tables for free in San Mateo's Central Park on May 9th. Please let us know that you are interested in coming and we'll save a spot for you.

Thank you Linda Elliott of the Guam Public Library for your web link suggestions. Thank you Victor for letting me know about the quarters and thank you Sharon for the help with the book descriptions.

I have to cut this short. I'll hopefully write to you again later in this month with the real April Newsletter. Bye.

Leonard Chan
Executive Editor

Give Us Your Feedback

Please feel free to send us your reviews, comments, and book suggestions. You can contact us by going to the following page and sending an email to us through the online form -

Up Coming Events

Here are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
Events that AACP will be Attending or Hosting
Apr. 25
1st Annual Northern CA National Pacific Islander Educator Network (NPIEN) Conference Evergreen Valley College
3095 Yerba Buena Rd.
San Jose, CA
Apr. 26 Nikkei Matsuri Arts and Crafts Festival San Jose, CA
May 9 9th Asian Pacific American Heritage Celebration in San Mateo Central Park Recreation Center
San Mateo, CA
Other Event of Interest that AACP May Not Attend
April 2-4 Nat. Assoc. for Ethnic Studies Conference San Diego Mission Valley Hilton Hotel
San Diego, CA
April 6
Road to Restoration - film screening about the restoration of Angel Island’s Immigration Station Foster City Library
Foster City, CA
April 17-18 Asian Educator Alliance Conference The School at Columbia Univ.
New York, NY
April 18
Premiere of Charlie Chin's Uncle Toisan Chinese Culture Center
San Francisco, CA
Apr. 22-26 Association for Asian American Studies National Conference Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio Hotel
Honolulu, HI
April 25-26 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books UCLA
Los Angeles, CA
April 28
Manilatown Is In The Heart: Time Travel With Al Robles a poetic documentary by Curtis Choy Foot Hill College
Los Altos Hills, CA
May 1-2 National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (NAAPAE) 31th Annual Conference Murano Hotel
Tacoma, WA
May 26-30 National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education Hilton San Diego Bayfront
1 Blvd Dr
San Diego, CA


The following books are discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discounts on these books end April 19, 2009.

Tap Dancing on the Roof
Sijo (Poems)

By Linda Sue Park
Illustrated by Istvan Banyai
2007, 38 pages, Hardback.

Tap Dancing on the Roof is a book of sijo or Korean poems for children. These poems are about personal experience, relationships, and everyday moments as well as the natural world. The poems are typically three lines, but may be broken into six when the lines are long. The first line is the introduction, the second elaborates on the topic and the third line usually contains a twist of humor or irony, or it can be an unexpected play on words.

Read this book and enjoy Linda Sue Park's witty sijo poems.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3546, Price $16.00 ... for newsletter subscribers $12.80

Teacher You Look Like A Horse
Lessons From the Classroom

By Frances H. Kakugawa
2003, 200 pages, Paperback.

Back in January we had an interview with teacher and poet Frances Kakugawa. Teacher You Look Like A Horse! is Frances' interesting an often humorous memoir on her teaching experience. For new teachers, aspiring teachers, and anyone interested in the teaching profession check out this book.

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ORDER -- Item #3541, Price $16.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $13.56

The Woman Who Ate Chinatown
A San Francisco Odyssey

By Shirley Fong-Torres
2008, 177 pages, Paperback.

Want to know what renowned San Francisco Chinatown fixture Shirley Fong-Torres knows? The Woman Who Ate Chinatown is an all encompassing tour of San Francisco's Chinatown and Fong-Torres wealth of knowledge on Chinese culture, food, and cooking. This book includes information on other Bay Area Chinese communities, Fong-Torres famous family, and even has a chapter with her favorite recipes. Read this book and you'll feel like you ate Chinatown too.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3547, Price $17.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $14.36

Ichiro Suzuki

By Judith Levin
2008, 135 pages, Paperback.

Anyone familiar with the game of baseball will recognize the name of this book as also being the name of one of the Seattle Mariners' star player simply known as Ichiro. This engaging book not only covers the life of baseball superstar Ichiro Suzuki, but also includes a background chapter on baseball in Japan and earlier Japanese players in America. Get in the mood for the new baseball season by getting this book.

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ORDER -- Item #3550, Price $11.95 ... for newsletter subscribers $9.56

Stories from the Silk Road

Retold by Cherry Gilchrist
Illustrated by Nilesh Mistry
1999, 80 pages, Paperback.

Stories from the Silk Road relates the history of how people traveled east and west along the silk road and it is intermingled with classic stories such as the "Monkey and the River Dragon" and the "White Cloud Fairy". The silk road was a route used for trade between the east and west beginning at Xi'an, China to parts in Central Asia such as Syria, Turkey, and Jordan with branches into India and even Western Europe. It was an important trade route for goods as well as for exchanging religion, art, science, astronomy and medicine. This is a well written and nicely illustrated (by Nilesh Mistry) book for anyone who's interested in learning about the Silk Road and reading old Chinese tales.

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ORDER -- Item #3548, Price $12.99 ... for newsletter subscribers $10.39

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