Sunday, September 26, 2010

From UCI Undergrad to Green Party Candidate for U.S. Senate: Duane Roberts

Update 7:10 pm 27 September 2010: To listen to the September 27, 2010 show, click here:

For the next edition of Subversity, a KUCI public affairs program, we talk with third party candidate for U.S. Senate, Duane Roberts (left), of the Green Party and a UCI social ecology alumnus.

We ask him why he's running, how his campaign differs from those of the two mainstream candidates, incumbent Barbara Boxer and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, and does Roberts care if his campaign ends up getting someone with billionnaires' support, elected, although Boxer is currently leading in the polls? And does he believe third party candidacies have a better chance of being heard this election given voter dissatisfaction with the two-party system?

Duane Roberts most recently attacked the Democrats for being anti-immigrant.

Roberts will be interviewed by KUCI Subversity show host Daniel C. Tsang.

The show airs Monday, 27 September 2010 from 5-6 p.m. on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, California, and is simulcast via
Podcasts will be available subsequently.

Roberts' biographical statement, adapted from his campaign web site, follows:

Duane Roberts is a well-known community activist from Orange County, California who has been involved in a number of important struggles during the past decade. He was born of working-class parents in Burbank in 1967 who relocated to Anaheim for economic reasons in the early 1970s where he has been ever since. As a child, Roberts was mostly home-schooled but later attended a mix of public and private schools, earning a diploma from Fullerton Union High School.

He worked as a typesetter for several years before going back to school, taking classes at Fullerton College before enrolling at the University of California, Irvine. While at UCI, Roberts studied drug policy, white collar and government crime, police behavior and elite deviance and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology, Law and Society in 1997.

In November 2000, he ran for one of two seats on the Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees, winning approximately 7,129 votes. He was the first Green Party candidate running in a non-partisan race to ever receive the endorsement of the Orange County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

As a community activist, Roberts has been a defender of immigrant rights, a critic of police misconduct and abuse, and has even exposed political corruption. In 2003, he helped organize what then was one of the biggest anti-war demonstrations in Orange County since the Vietnam War at the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Roberts has been involved in many demonstrations and marches and has used his extensive knowledge of police behavior to protect the civil rights and liberties of protesters.

Between 2006 and 2008, Roberts was publisher of the Orange Coast Voice, a monthly community newspaper that circulated 15,000 copies in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and surrounding areas. The paper is edited and now published by one-time KUCI Public Affairs host, John Earl.

Roberts is a longtime member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim and has been elected to serve on its Board of Trustees three times.

Roberts is single and has no children.

He still resides in the same working-class neighborhood he grew up in.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Orange County Register's Series on Immigration and California

Updated: 6:06 PM September 21, 2010: To listen to the September 20, 2010 show, click here:

Updated: 10:44 PM September 19, 2010: with info. on KDMC's workshop on using data to report stories.

On the next edition of Subversity, broadcasting at 5 p.m. Monday, 20 September, 2010, on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, and simulcast via, we talk with Orange County Register reporter Ronald Campbell, the author of a heavily sourced and data-based four-part series on Immigration and California currently being published in his paper.

We discuss with him the origin of the idea for the series, the response from readers, and what he has learned from all this. The series began September 12 in the paper (September 10 online) and runs every Sunday since (and previous Friday online) until October 3, 2010.

Focusing on immigrant labor, undocumented immigration, how immigrants make life easier for the rich, and policy reform, one unique feature has been its footnoting like an academic paper, as well as the many data charts and graphics (mostly online), allowing readers to visually view the impact of immigration on this county and state.
The article also seeks to explain the numbers, using Public-Use Micro Sample data from the U.S. Census Bureau as well as, for historical data, I-PUMS, from the University of Minnesota's Population Studies Center. It also provides a short reading list. Explains OC Register editor Ken Brusic in a Note to readers: "We have also taken the unusual step of footnoting our stories so you can follow the chain of documents and numbers that led to our conclusions. Online you can view, download and analyze for yourself three dozen spreadsheets that help tell the economic story of immigration in California."

Ronald Campbell is an investigative reporter for The Orange County Register. He has published investigations on the buying and selling of human body parts as well as about penny stocks and hard-money lending. Two subjects of his investigations currently are in jail. In addition he has years of experience mining government data to shed light on social and economic issues as diverse as student achievement and home lending. Campbell took Knight Digital Media Center's April 2008 Technology Tools for Journalists Workshop, where reporters learn how to "report stories out of large data sets, use visualization and mapping tools to create different forms of narratives." 20 fellowships for reporters are available for the next workshop, on US census data, at UC Berkeley.

Ronald Campbell is interviewed by Subversity show host Daniel C. Tsang, who curated the exhibit, "Immigrant Lives in 'The O.C.' & Beyond" at UC Irvine Libraries.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

From UCI Film & Media Studies Student to Film Star in Vietnam

Update: To listen to the September 13, 2010 Subversity show with our interview with Kathy Uyen, click here:

While working at UCI Libraries' multimedia resources center earlier this past decade, then student-assistant Kathy Nguyen, a double Film & Media Studies and Economics major, was fascinated with independent films and Asian American media. Just six years later, the San Jose-born California native would be catapulted to popular media fame as a movie star in her parents' native land, Vietnam, where she now lives.

We caught up with her the evening the film that has become Vietnam's biggest box office hit of the year opened in Orange County. She plays a starring role in Để Mai tính (Fool for Love) where class and wealth interfere with the quest for true love in authentic roles played by Kathy Uyen (her stage name) and Dustin Nguyen (of 21 Jump Street fame).

Set in the beach resort of Nha Trang, the comedy is directed by noted filmmaker Charlie Nguyen, who also stars as the hotel magnate who seeks the affection of an up and coming lounge singer, played by Kathy Uyen. Vietnamese actor Thai Hoa convincingly plays a flaming queen who falls for the love-struck worker played by Dustin Nguyen, despite the latter's confirmed heterosexuality. (The film shows the two men in a sauna together, dancing at a gay party, and kissing!)

In our conversation taped at Au Lac, the classy vegetarian restaurant on Brookhurst near the 405 Freeway, Kathy Nguyen reflects on her college days at UCI and how it prepared her for the film industry, and talks about the attraction and challenge of working in Vietnam's re-emerging film industry -- including starring in a Vietnamese-language role.

We air our conversation with Kathy Nguyen on the second half of the next Subversity show, airing on KUCI, 88.9 FM at 5:30 p.m. on 13 September 2010. The segment is also simulcast via

Fool for Love, which opened last Friday, continues at Edwards Westminster 10,6721 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, CA 92683 and at Regal Garden Grove 16,
9741 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove, CA 92841. The film is in Vietnamese with English subtitles. The film is being released at selected Vietnamese American enclaves nation-wide by Wave Releasing.

Kathy Uyen Nguyen [above] during our interview at Au Lac. Photo © Daniel C. Tsang

What the UC Pension Plan Proposed Changes Mean

Update: To listen to the September 13, 2010 Subversity show with our interview with Bob Samuels, click here:

The University of California is currently proposing to offer a reduced pension plan for new hires joining UC after July 2013, while making current employees contribute more towards the plan.

One critic of the new proposals is UC-AFT president Bob Samuels, who has been blogging about it. His latest two blog entries state his position bluntly:
UC Offers New Pension Plan to Re-Distribute Wealth to the Top and Let the Great Pension Scare Begin.

We talk with Samuels about what he means during the first half of the next Subversity show on KUCI, 88.9 FM in Orange County, California, broadcasting Monday, 13 September 2010 at 5 p.m., with a simulcast on Show host is Daniel C. Tsang.