The Passing of US Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii

Washington, D.C.- Today, United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye, World War II veteran, Medal of Honor recipient and Hawaii’s senior Senator, passed away at the age of 88 from respiratory complications.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye speaks at the Japanese Cultural Center, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)

During his eight decades of public service, Inouye helped build and shape Hawaii. He began his career in public service at the age of 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army shortly after Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. He served with ‘E’ company of the 442 Regimental Combat Team, a group consisting entirely of Americans of Japanese ancestry. Inouye lost his arm charging a series of machine gun nests on a hill in San Terenzo, Italy on April 21, 1945. His actions during that battle earned him the Medal of Honor.

After receiving his law degree, Inouye, returned to Hawaii and worked as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. He recognized the social and racial inequities of post-war Hawaii, and in 1954 was part of a Democratic revolution that took control of the Territorial Legislature. Following statehood in 1959, he was privileged to serve as Hawaii’s first Congressman and ran for the Senate in 1962 where he served for nearly nine consecutive terms.

Senator Inouye was always among the first to speak out against injustice whether interned Japanese Americans, Filipino World War II veterans, Native Americans and Native Hawaiians.

A prominent player on the national stage, Senator Inouye served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Commerce Committee and was the first Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

When asked in recent days how he wanted to be remembered, Dan said, very simply, “I represented the people of Hawaii and this nation honestly and to the best of my ability. I think I did OK.” His last words were, “Aloha.”

JACL mourns the passing of Senator Inouye and sends its deepest condolences to his family: his wife, Irene Hirano Inouye, his son Daniel Ken Inouye Jr., daughter-in-law Jessica, and granddaughter Maggie and step-daughter Jennifer Hirano.

“Senator Inouye has been an irreplacable voice for the Japanese American community and his contributions to the nation are incalculable. He loss has sent shockwaves throughout the community and he will be sorely missed,” says Executive Director Priscilla Ouchida.

Indy 500, Honda, Not Chevy, Dominates in the Clutch

INDIANAPOLIS — Chevrolet crushed the competition during the Indianapolis 500 time trials. But Honda was dominant when it mattered.

The four Dallara-Honda cars of Chip Ganassi Racing spent much of Sunday’s 200-lap race running in the top 10. Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon swept the first two positions, as Honda had four of the top eight places.

Some of Chevy’s top entrants: Points leader Will Power (28th) and Ryan Hunter-Reay (27th) didn’t finish; pole-winner Ryan Briscoe was fifth, and three-time Indianapolis 500 champion Helio Castroneves was 10th.

Tony Kanaan’s third-place finish was Chevrolet’s best effort. Marco Andretti (24th) led a race-high 59 laps and ran up front most of the day but was dogged by poor fuel strategy and handling problems before crashing on Lap 188.

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Judge Overturns Honda Hybrid Owners Win for Low MPG

Heather Peters will have to cancel any plans she had for the nearly $10,000 she won against Honda — a California Superior Court judge has overturned her small-claims court victory in her allegations that Civic Hybrid’s gas mileage ratings were misleading.

She claimed Honda advertised window-sticker mileage ratings that it knew the car was not able to achieve.

The Tuesday decision released today ruled in favor of Honda’s appeal of the $9,867.19 award to Peters. She had gone the unusual small-claims route (limited to $10,000 in the state) after deciding to opt out of a larger class-action settlement by about 200,000 Civic Hybrid owners that granted them each $100 to $200 and an up to $1,500 discount on a new Honda.

She objected to the fees the lawyers negotiating the settlement were to get and started a web site urging owners not to accept the settlement.

In an e-mail to Drive On, Peters wrote that even though Honda prevailed in court, the automaker “has suffered an enormous public relations loss” from what she says are more than 1,000 news stories published worldwide.

“Of course I’m disappointed,” she wrote, “but I’m still glad that I raised awareness that Honda is no longer the great brand that it used to be. They used to go the extra mile in customer service, now the go the extra mile fighting customers in court. I guess the moral of the story is buyer beware — especially of Honda!”

The ruling applies only to Peters’ judgment, but could affect the prospects for some 1,700 other hybrid owners that also jumped ship on the settlement after Peters’ initial victory, according to an Associated Press report..

The judge ruled that federal rules set window-sticker gas mileage ratings and cover automaker mpg claims in ads. The ruling also noted that “your mileage may vary,” i.e. that real world mileage is affected by road conditions, weather, driving habits and other factors out of Honda’s control and that ad claims are not a guarantee of that mileage. It also noted that most Civic Hybrid owners get mileage in the ballpark of the ratings.

Honda released this statement on the ruling:

Honda is pleased with the Court’s decision which affirms that Honda was truthful in its advertising of the fuel economy potential of the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid. We are thankful for the support we received from the many satisfied Civic Hybrid owners who expressed their support throughout the legal process.

We are never satisfied when a customer is anything less than satisfied with one of our products, and the company does not relish the necessity to defend the truth in opposition to any of our customers. However, it is important to note that, since January of this year, seventeen similar small claims cases involving Civic Hybrid owners have been heard in courts across the country and Honda has now prevailed in sixteen, based on facts and the law.

Honda welcomes any customer who has questions about fuel economy to contact the company directly through our dealer network or our Automobile Customer Service office.


Year After a Massive Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan-Town of Okuma is Eerily Empty

NBC – Rock Center – Richard Engel Journeys to Fukushima Evacuation zone
Nearly a year after a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan swallowed whole towns and left more than 15,000 people dead and hundreds of thousands of people displaced, the nuclear town of Okuma is eerily empty.

The 9.0 magnitude earthquake led to a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant and led to mandatory evacuations 12 miles around the power plant. NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel journeyed to the exclusion zone and discovered a ghost town. Restaurants, grocery stores, factories remained as they were left on Mar. 11, 2011.

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