Over the many years I have been writing my column, I have frequently named the candidate for whom I am casting my vote, but I have never endorsed him/her for other voters.

Well, that will not be the case in the race for the 9th District’s City Council race in a couple of months. I am endorsing candidate Terry Hara and urge voters to elect him for the position. No, not because he is a fellow Japanese American.

Terry has dedicated his life to public service and keeping our community safe for more than 33 years. He has put his life on the line every single day for the community.

He is currently serving as deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department and commanding officer for the Personnel and Training Bureau, and is responsible for instituting community-based policing, which helps make our streets safer.

His educational background makes him extraordinary for a law enforcement officer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from National University and has studied at California State University Long Beach, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Science, and UCLA School of Public Policy.

He is also graduate of the Senior Management Institute for Police Program from the Police Executive Research Forum at Boston University and a graduate from the FBI Explosives Unit-Bomb Data Center Hazardous Devices School’s Executive Management Course.

What more can be said about a candidate seeking public office to help the citizens of our city?

I am proud to say I can also call him a friend.

I met him four years ago when Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple invited me to serve as a judge at their annual New Year’s “Kohaku Uta Gakusen” vocal competition.

Terry was also on the judging panel, but I was unaware of his LAPD background at that time until his candidacy in the coming City Council election.

If he does win the election, with his personality and background, I wouldn’t be surprised if he continued to move up the political ladder. Maybe one day the mayor of Los Angeles?

Go get ’em, Terry.

Another old friend, Iku Kiriyama, sent me the following email:

“Don’t know if you have ‘the land’ in your blood, but I remember almost all my friends at Gardena Buddhist Church and Japanese school grew up on farms and nurseries.

“On Saturday, Feb. 2, at the JANM Tateuchi Democracy Center at 2 p.m., a film, ‘Blossoms and Thorns: A Community Uprooted,’ the story of the Richmond, California nursery family will be shown. My son narrates the film.

“I will be on the panel with two others — Sus Aoki and Jonathan Kono — as we talk about our family business from pre and postwar.

“One press release will be going out to The Rafu later this week, but other than that and the JANM calendar, few people know about this program.

“If you have time open, hope you’ll be able to attend or pass on to others.

“It was difficult getting panelists — I tried a cousin who asked his cousin but came up empty. Guess it’s intimidating to people who don’t speak in front of others.”

Thanks, Iku.

Maybe you know that I grew up as a farmer on my Issei folks’ farm, so I definitely will be attending the film to see what I missed growing up as a farmer and instead becoming a journalist as a result of going to camp.

Maybe I can add a few comments at the screening if it could be worked into the program.

Speaking of farming, one of the products my folks raised was daikon, and guess what?

Reader James Yokota sent me the following article, titled “10 Health Benefits of Daikon”:

“Daikon is the Japanese name of the white radish, also known as Oriental radish. Though more commonly known by its Japanese name, daikon originated on mainland Asia, where it is known as mooli.

“1. Cancer Prevention: Daikon is one of many cruciferous vegetables linked in studies with successful cancer prevention. Daikon contains several antioxidants associated with fighting radical damage, known as a cause of cancer. Research has also shown that daikon juice helps prevent the formation of dangerous chemicals and carcinogens inside the body and helps the liver process toxins.

“2. High in Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that not only combats free radical activity in the body but also offers great immune system support and helps prevent illness such as the common cold. 100 grams of daikon provides 34 percent of DV of vitamin C. Daikon leaves have a much higher concentration of vitamin C than that of daikon roots.

“3. Antibacterial and Antiviral: Daikon appears to be able to control bacterial and viral infections.

“4. Anti-Inflammatory: Research suggests that high levels of vitamin C and B, such as found in daikon, help prevent chronic inflammation in the body, which can lead to problems such as arthritis and heart disease.

“5. Digestive Aid: Raw daikon juice is abundant with human digestive enzymes that help the body process proteins, oil, fat  and carbohydrates.

“6. Diuretic: Daikon helps kidney discharge excessive water. A natural diuretic, it may also be helpful in treating urinary disorders.

“7. Respiratory Health: Raw daikon juice help dissolve mucus and phlegm and aid in the healthy function of the respiratory system. Its ability to combat bacterial and viral infections may make it an effective combatant of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, asthma and flu.

“8. Skin Health: Applied topically or ingested, daikon juice has proven effective in preventing and treating acne and other skin conditions.

“9. Bone Health: Daikon leaves are an excellent source of calcium, which helps promote healthy bone growth and may lower the risk of osteoporosis.

“10. Weight Loss: In Asia, it is believed that daikon helps the body to burn fat, though this has not been proven. Whether it helps burn fat or not, daikon is extremely low in fat and cholesterol, but dense with nutrients, making it a great addition to any effective weight loss program.”

I guess I’ll have to tell the wife to start shaving the daikon to put on my rice along with daikon tsukemono. And maybe my writing will improve. Heh, heh.

With our weather going up and down in temperature and at times getting to the freezing level for Southern California, a reader sent me an email with the message, “Here’s a filler you can use when you don’t feel like writing too much — just keep writing for us, your fans.”

Here is her contribution:

On a bitterly cold morning, a husband and wife were listening to the radio news during their breakfast.

They heard the announcer say, “We’re going to have 8 to 10 inches of snow today. You must park your car on the even-numbered side of the street as the snowplow has to get through.

So the wife went out and moved the car. A week later, they were again eating breakfast when the radio announcer said, “We are expecting 10 to 12 inches of snow today, so you must park…” Then the electric power went out.

The wife was very upset and with a worried look on her face said, “I don’t know what to do. Which side of the street do I need to park on so the snowplow can get through?”

Then, with the love and understanding common to all men who are married to blondes, the husband replied, “Why don’t you just leave the damned car in the garage?”

Heh, heh.

(Maggie’s comment: Here we go again, Mr. Y. Wow, this is a new version of the same joke typed many years ago. Heh, heh).

I guess reader Atsushi hit the nail on the head with the following email:

“I can imagine what you go through to come up with something to write about.

“A suggestion: Why don’t you comment on controversial subjects? The Rafu doesn’t have many letters to the editor and that’s one of the first things I read in The LA. Times. I want to know what the people are thinking.

“Take gun control. Say you are against it. Tell them what happened in a small farm community in Imperial Valley after Pearl Harbor where after they took our guns, some goons murdered the parents of a Japanese family.

“Or take the Rape of Nanking. Say you don’t question the atrocity taking place, but why is the number now 200,000 when the Chinese government protested back then that it was 29,000?

“Or the comfort women. There is no question about the Japanese military using comfort stations with comfort women, mostly Korean, but I have never heard of separate comfort stations for Korean women and Japanese women. So, were the Japanese comfort women also abducted by the Japanese military? Ridiculous!

“So, the question remains. Were the women ‘recruited’ or forcibly taken?

“Or in Japan and the Yasukuni Shrine honoring their war dead. Since when is it the business of foreigners to stick their nose into what goes on in another country?

“Would Americans calmly sit back and listen for foreigners commenting on who we can choose to honor or how we interpret history?”

Thanks, Atsushi.

I don’t know how old you are and if you’ve ever been to Japan.

The issues you touched on would indicate to me that you aren’t too familiar with Japan before, during and after WWII.

The issues you touched on are common knowledge in Japan, especially if you served in the U.S. military during the war and in the occupation of Japan after the war.

Yes, I know “shinnen kai” (New Year’s celebrations) continue through February in the Japanese community.

On Feb. 12, the Little Tokyo Historical Society is holding their 2013 “shinnen kai” luncheon at Señor Fish, 422 E. First St. It starts at 11:30 a.m. The cost for the luncheon is $10.

Call (213) 613-1913 to make reservations.

It’s the question I am frequently asked by people I bump into when I’m in J-Town or walking about Gardena.

The question is, “Why aren’t you in Vegas?” or “When are you gong to Vegas again?”

Well, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to cut back, no more than once a month.

No, I’m not that broke, I’m that old.

I guess when one ages, a lot of activities that I looked forward to fade, but I’ve got my next visit marked on my calendar.

Heh. See some of you there, especially if I have to borrow a quarter.

I’m tossing in the photo here if the editorial staff has space to fill.

I’ve run it before, but I’m running it again to remind those planning to join us at our Santa Anita Assembly Center reunion that my deadline for signing up is just a few days away, and if I can’t reach the cutoff number of people, I’m canceling out.

Just let those who have signed up know that the get-together is hanging by a thread.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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