(Published Aug. 30, 2014)

Yeah, the reason I don’t make it to Vegas anymore is not only that I can’t drive that far.

At my age, I guess medical reasons are a better excuse. I have to get treated three times a week, which doesn’t give me much time for anything else.

Yeah, they do have treatment centers in places like Vegas, but a patient has to set a schedule over a month in advance, which is not easy to do when chatting about going to Vegas.

So that explains that.


Okay, let me go to the dog.

Most of you will recall I mentioned several times about my neighbor’s barking dog and what I should do about it.

Well, I didn’t want to get the neighbors ticked off if I brought the matter to their attention, so I just let it go and hoped someone else would contact the owners.

No such luck.

In fact, the barking got worse.

So, the other day I told my wife, “This has got to stop.”

I went to the neighbor’s house and looked over the gate into their backyard, and would you believe they added two more dogs and they are now barking more than ever?

I decided if the neighbors have such an attitude, they aren’t going to do anything about my complaint.

So I decided to call the City of Gardena’s Animal Control Department and file my protest.

Now, I’ll have to wait to see if the city will take action.

Bow wow!


I’m sure most of you who follow the news know about the recent killing of a young man by a police officer.

The emphasis on the incident is that “a white officer killed a black man.”

I’m kind of curious.

If a black officer kills a white man, will a similar statement be made?

Just a thought.


A reader sent me a clipping from The Daily Breeze with the headline “‘To Be Takei’ Explores Actor’s Life.”

It’s about the actor’s views on spending time in a relocation center during World War II.

Since the actor was only 8 years old, I am curious about his views on camp life. He is quoted as saying, “The barbed wire fences were just part of the landscape.”

I was 10 years older than Takei when I was tossed into camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming. Most of those I hung out with in camp were my age.

I chatted with one friend about Takei’s article and his mention of barbed-wire fences, and he laughed and I joined him in laughing.

All the time we spent in camp (until I joined the Army), I don’t ever recall anyone focusing on the fences surrounding the camp site.

We just spread the wires in the fence and crawled through the opening to get outside of the camp to go hiking, or in the case of Heart Mountain, go down to the Shoshone River to fish or go picnicking, especially with the staff members of the camp newspaper, The Sentinel.

I was one of them and whenever someone suggested we picnic outside of the camp, everyone joined in.

Where was Takei when all this was going on?


Those of you who are planning on a trip to Vegas in the near future might do me a favor if you can squeeze it into your schedule.

That is, drop in at Sweets Raku restaurant, a Japanese eatery, and let me know what you think abut the establishment and the food it serves.

The chef at the new eatery, located two miles from The Strip in the growing Chinatown area, is Mio Ogasawara. She is a native of Japan who is introducing many new dishes not served anywhere else.

Sweets Raku is one of many new restaurants that have sprung up in the Chinatown area.

One of its most popular dinners is grilled skirt steak with herbs, and the price tag on any meal ordered is reasonable and affordable.

I will definitely have to give Sweets Raku a try on my next Vegas visit.


You all know what gyoza is, don’t you?

It’s that Japanese delicacy that most of you enjoy.

Well, just how many do you think you can eat?

If you’re Joey Chestnut, you’ll be able to gulp down 384 gyoza. You read that right, 384.

Chestnut turned in the trick during a gyoza-eating contest in Little Tokyo. He devoured 384 in 10 minutes.

I would guess that an average person would take all day to down that many.

Maybe I’ll give it a try.


Speaking of dining out, those of you who have visited San Francisco and dined at a restaurant known as Yoshi’s will find that that next time you go there, it now has a new owner. It’s located at 1330 Filmore St., for those who might not know. It is a restaurant and a jazz club.

The new owners may change the name when they take over its operation.

So any Angelenos who visit the Bay Area and dine at Yoshi’s can drop me a line to tell me what you think about the new ownership.

The owner was quoted as saying that Japanese cuisine at Yoshi’s may be out when the new operation is set into motion.

They are thinking about adding Mexican cuisine to the menu, which will no doubt be met with a bit of surprise.


He may not get all the publicity he deserves, but my old friend Supervisor Mike Antonovich keeps pretty active on all fronts.

In his latest news release, Mike criticized recent efforts to provide legal resources and support for illegal border crossers while our own foster children continue to be ignored.

Professors from law schools around the state have joined with various law firms and attorneys to provide pro bono services to unaccompanied illegal alien minors — in addition to $3 million in state funding that Gov. Brown and the Democratic leadership fast-tracked earlier this month.

“While it is noble to provide pro bono services to those in need, it is disheartening that law schools and legal firms have decided to devote time and effort to assist illegal immigrants while abused and neglected foster children in Los Angeles County continue to face legal delays due to courtroom budget cuts and a significant shortage of dependency court lawyers,” Supervisor Antonovich was quoted as saying.

“Precious local and state resources that could be used serving our own foster children instead of going toward illegal immigration — which is a federal issue and should thus be a federal responsibility.”

Attorneys representing both children and parents face daunting caseloads while budget cuts have closed courtrooms, significantly decreasing the number of judges and commissioners available to hear cases, according to Mike. As a result, court cases for many of our foster youths are routinely delayed, leaving kids, parents and foster parents in limbo.


Yeah, when I’m engrossed in trying to pound out my column, I often forget what time of day it is, especially on Wednesdays when I’m writing my Saturday column.

So, I’m leaning back in my chair looking up at the ceiling when my wife pops into the room and says, “Do you know what time it is?”

“Yeah,” I replied. “It’s time for me to get rolling.”

Naturally, she said, “What do you mean, get rolling?”

I explained to her that I was trying to find the next topic for my column.

“How many more pages do you have to write?” she asked.

It was then I was kind of shocked to realize I still had two more pages to pound out.

“Well,” the wife said, “I guess if you’re two pages shy, you won’t have time for supper.”

“Supper?” I uttered. “Is it that time already?”

So I looked at my watch and sure enough, it was 10 minutes to 7.

My first thought was that I would end my writing here and write a note to Gwen so that when she picks up my column, she will know I’m a page short.

Then I thought after writing for The Rafu all these years, I just can’t tell Gwen I ran out of gas.

When I keep pounding the keyboard, some ideas always pop into my head.

In the meantime, my wife reminded me that she had prepared my supper.

All I could tell her was, “You’ll have to hold it until I finish my column.”

She understands when l say something like that, so she left the room and here I am, nearly at the end of today’s effort.


Well, the Heart Mountain reunion is set for two weeks from now, so I thought I would print a letter from a former Wyoming camp internee, Takashi Hoshizaki:

“George — Happy to read you are now receiving the Heart Mountain newsletter, and you have had the time to read it.

“On Page 3, in a lower right box, are the individuals who are the members of the foundation board of directors. You may note that nine have non-Japanese names.

“Aura Newlin is a descendant of a internee. Doug Nelson is the author of ‘Heart Mountain.’ Claudia Wade is on the Park County Travel Council, giving the foundation a lead in travel publicity. Eric Miller is a law professor at North Carolina University who had written several books on Heart Mountain.

“As you can see, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation has a rather formidable and wide range of notables.

“I would like to thank you for the support and publicity you have given us over the years.

“It’s a pleasure to chat about Heart Mountain.”

As a small-town farm boy living in camp and meeting so many new friends, my days in Heart Mountain will never fade away.

Heck, if it weren’t for camp, I don’t think I’d be writing a column for The Rafu.

I am thankful for all the readers who tell me they follow my column. It inspires me to keep writing.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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