Former AP Hawaii bureau chief Gordon Sakamoto dies at age 82

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 5:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 5:43 PM

Gordon Sakamoto, one of the first Asian-Americans hired to work in a U.S. bureau of an international news service, died Wednesday at 82.

Sakamoto, a former Hawaii bureau chief for The Associated Press, started his journalism career with United Press International in Honolulu in 1960. He retired in 2001 after overseeing operations in Hawaii and the Central Pacific for AP.

He died in his Honolulu home after heart failure and a long battle with chronic kidney disease, his son Kyle Sakamoto said.

Honolulu-born Sakamoto worked for UPI for 27 years in San Francisco and Hawaii. He joined the AP in 1993 after working five years as a marketing specialist for the state of Hawaii.

The AP named him chief of bureau in Honolulu on Jan. 1, 1994. The next day, he was kicked off the island of Lanai while trying to cover billionaire computer-software mogul Bill Gates' ultra-secretive wedding. It was one of the adventures in reporting he often reminisced about.

To some former AP reporters, he wasn't only a mentor, but a father-figure.

"He taught me a lot about journalism, about life, about family and to be a better person," said Jaymes Song, a former Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Sakamoto hired to work with him at the AP.

Song recalled Sakamoto helping a cash-strapped student at the Asian American Journalists Convention in New York City in 2001.

"Gordon gave him money out of his own pocket— a complete stranger," Song said. "He brought the guy with us to a Yankees game. That's the kind of guy he was. He took care of people, and he cared about people. That's what made him a great news leader and person."

Sakamoto was a pioneer as an Asian-American in journalism.

"He was a manager in an industry where there were little-to-no minorities in management," Song said, noting that Sakamoto graduated from Missouri Valley College.

That wasn't something Sakamoto talked about or bragged about, but it made him a leader who was sensitive to differences in culture and values, said Song, who later led the Hawaii bureau as an administrative correspondent. Song and Sakamoto remained close even after Sakamoto retired and after Song left journalism for a career in real estate.

Jean Christensen was a rookie reporter fresh out of a temporary AP gig in Minneapolis when she called Sakamoto looking for a job.

"I told him I lived in Hawaii as a kid, and he said, 'How's your Pidgin,'" she recalled of the mix of languages created by Hawaiians, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans and others who worked in Hawaii's sugar plantations.

Sakamoto's Hawaii roots shaped the way he directed news coverage of the state, said Christensen, now a bankruptcy attorney.

"His love of Hawaii was just always so apparent," she said. "We were so protective of Hawaii. We wanted to make sure that stories about Hawaii didn't just play on stereotypes."

He was a "steady hand" during breaking news events such as the 1999 mass shooting at Xerox Corp.'s Honolulu warehouse, Christensen said. He championed his reporters' story ideas, she said, recalling how supportive he was when she pursued a story about paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, on the Big Island.

"I remember him as a quiet man who took pride in his appointment as our chief in Hawaii and was zealous in trying to meet the members' needs in Hawaii and see that Hawaii's story made it out to the rest of AP," said former AP President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi.

On top of his duties representing AP to member outlets, he juggled the bureau's sports coverage. Retired Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Ann Miller traveled with him covering golf for about a decade.

"He never complained about it," she said.

In 1998, Sakamoto wrote a first-person account of being a 6-year-old Lunalilo Elementary School student when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

While more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the mainland were sent to internment camps during World War II, those in Hawaii fared better, he wrote: "Living in the islands, with their melting pot of ethnic groups, eased the fears of retaliation for my parents, who were second-generation Japanese-American, or Nisei. In no time, we kids of Japanese ancestry were out playing with our Chinese and Portuguese neighbors and parking ourselves in their homes."

Sakamoto's knowledge of Hawaii's culture, politics and society made him well-suited to lead the bureau, said David Briscoe, who succeeded him as bureau chief from 2001 to 2009.

"One of the great things about the AP is some of its best people do come from the local community," Briscoe said. "Gordon probably was one of the few really home-grown bureau chiefs."

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Marriage may lower risk of heart attack, stroke, study suggests

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 9:49 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

Single, divorced and widowed individuals may have a higher risk of developing heart disease, stroke and associated risks of death compared to married individuals.

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That’s according to new research published this week in the journal Heart, for which scientists trawled research databases to understand how marital status may influence risk of cardiovascular disease.

Their pooled analysis included 34 studies (1963 to 2015), the largest study to date on the subject, and involved more than 2 million people aged between 42-77 from multiple regions of the globe, including from North America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Scandinavia.

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Compared to married individuals, those who were never married, or are divorced/widowed, had a 42 percent higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and 16 percent higher risk of developing coronary artery heart disease.

Those who had never been married had a heightened risk of dying from both heart disease (42 percent) and stroke (55 percent).

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Divorce was associated with a 35 percent higher risk of developing heart disease for both men and women.

And widowed individuals were 16 percent more likely than married men or women to have a stroke, likely a result of stress-related theory, which suggests that losing a partner may have a negative impact on the emotional, behavioral and economic well-being of an individual.

>> Related: Got heart disease? You may have a better chance of survival if married

Researchers reported no difference in the risk of death following a stroke between married and unmarried individuals. However, risk of death after a heart attack was significantly higher (42 percent) among those who had never married.

“Social causation theory suggests that individuals benefit from spousal support,” study authors wrote. “For example, living with another person allows earlier recognition and response to warning symptoms, especially if a myocardial infarction becomes instantly disabling.”

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Studies have shown that unmarried patients had longer delays when seeking help, authors wrote in the report. These individuals are also twice as likely not to take prescribed medications, the strongest predictor of better outcomes.

Furthermore, greater financial resources from homes with dual incomes make quality healthcare more accessible.

The researchers note that there was no information on same sex partnerships or marriage quality in their report. The meta-analysis didn’t explore unmarried individuals living with someone, either.

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Future work, the authors suggest, should focus on whether being married is a “surrogate marker” of other health conditions or whether marital status should be considered a risk factor alone.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the country every year–that's 1 in every 4 deaths.

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More than 350,000 Americans who may or may not have diagnosed heart disease suffer a cardiac arrest each year in areas other than a hospital. And about 90 percent of them die.

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Senior citizens earn thousands by sharing their homes, says Airbnb

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:50 PM

Senior citizens across the U.S. are earning an extra $7,000 per year on average by opening up their homes on Airbnb.
Michael Steele
Senior citizens across the U.S. are earning an extra $7,000 per year on average by opening up their homes on Airbnb.(Michael Steele)

Thousands of senior citizens across the United States are finding a profitable side hustle --- opening up their homes to strangers on Airbnb.

Nearly 78,000 seniors (ages 60 and up) across the U.S. shared their homes on Airbnb in 2017 -- accounting for $700 million in earnings, the company reports.

The typical host earned an extra $7,000 in income a year -- a positive boost for people living on fixed incomes.

>> Read more trending news 

Airbnb is a website that allows people to open up their homes for vacation rentals or short-term leasing. There are over 5 million homes listed on Airbnb in over 81,000 cities.

According to Airbnb’s annual survey, 41 percent of seniors reported that hosting their home has helped them afford to stay in their homes -- places they’ve often lived most of their lives. 

Airbnb states that 45 percent of senior hosts rely on that extra income to make ends meet and spend it on important costs of living. 

Senior hosts are beloved on Airbnb, the company said.

88 percent of trips hosted by seniors last year resulted in 5-star reviews.

Percentage of active listings with senior Airbnb hosts 

New Mexico34%
Maine32%
Vermont28%
Hawaii26%
Delaware26%

 

Typical host earnings for seniors by state 

Hawaii$14,000
California$11,700
Washington, D.C.$10,500
Washington$8,700
Rhode Island$8,500

Percentage of senior host reviews with 5-stars 

Nebraska93%
North Dakota93%
Kansas93%
South Dakota92%
Indiana91%

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Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker’s son accused of sexually assaulting woman on JetBlue flight

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 9:18 PM

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker speaks during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

The son of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is accused of sexually assaulting a woman on a flight Wednesday, but no charges have been filed in the case.

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The incident reportedly happened on a JetBlue flight when Baker’s son, Andrew Baker, known as A.J., was flying from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

Sources told Boston 25 News a female passenger accused A.J. of groping her breast on the flight.

"This is a personal matter for the Baker Family and A.J. will cooperate with any request from authorities," Baker’s office said in a statement.

JetBlue responded to requests for confirmation with a statement.

"On June 20, the crew of flight 1345 were notified of an incident between customers shortly before landing in Boston," the statement read. "The aircraft landed at approximately 11 p.m. local time where it was met by local authorities.”

Massachusetts State Police say charges have not been filed, and they are not investigating since it is not in the department's jurisdiction.

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A.J. Baker's attorney, Roberto Braceras, released a statement on the allegations.

"A.J. is fully cooperating and looks forward to a resolution of this matter," Braceras said. 

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Toddler dies after 10 hours in hot car while mother allegedly hangs out with friends

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 6:12 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

A California woman is jailed on charges related to the death of her 18-month-old toddler inside a hot car, according to Mendocino County authorities.

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Deputies were called to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California, Wednesday afternoon after the death of a young boy identified as Chergery Teywoh Lew Mays.

The child had been taken to the hospital by his mother, Alexandra Raven Scott, Detective Sgt. Andrew Porter with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release on Facebook.

Scott, a resident of Humboldt County, went to visit friends in Willits around 3 a.m. Wednesday, leaving the boy inside the car for hours.

“It is believed the child was left unattended in the back seat of the vehicle with the windows rolled up for about 10 hours,” Porter said.

A mug shot of Alexandra Scott, who is accused of leaving her toddler in a hot car for 10 hours while she socialized with friends. The child died from his injuries.(Mendocino County Sheriff's Office)

The temperature was about 80 degrees in Willits when the boy was found around 1 p.m., but officials told KTLA-TV it was more like 130 degrees inside the car. 

Scott is jailed without bail on suspicion of willfully causing or permitting a child to suffer great bodily injury or death.

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