ASBAREZ Online [06-02-2006]


1) Armenians Gather to Celebrate Independence Day
2) Kocharian And Aliyev to Discuss Karabagh Conflict in Bucharest
3) ANC-PAC Endorses Congressman Adam Schiff
4) Reception Bids Farewell to Outgoing Consul General Giragossian
5) Turkey Shells Autonomous Kurds in Iraq
6) Armenia Close to Victory in Chess Championship
7) Busted!
8) ‘Son of The Community:’ Paul Krekorian Receives Numerous Endorsements in
Bid to Represent Largest Armenian Community
9) Jackie Speier Has Edge over Rivals in Democratic Primary
10) Candidates off to Washington for 2006 Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship
11) California Teachers and Pediatricians Support Proposition 82
12) Professor Richard Hovannisian Spreads Genocide Awareness
13) Element Band Wins ‘Best Newcomer Album’ at Armenian Music Awards

1) Armenians Gather to Celebrate Independence Day

–Over 7000 attend festival in Little Armenia

LOS ANGELES (Glendale New Press/Armenian Youth Federation)–In a sign of
growing political clout, thousands of Armenians and Armenian Americans were
joined Sunday by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for a street fair to
celebrate Armenia’s first independence day on May 28, 1918.
The fair, held in the Little Armenia section of Hollywood along Hollywood
Boulevard between Vermont and Alexandria avenues, featured 45 vendor booths
selling everything from shish kebabs and lavash bread, to Armenian arts and
crafts and portraits featuring traditional Armenian costumes.
More than 7,000 people turned out for the event, organized by the Armenian
Cultural Foundation (ACF) in cooperation with the Armenian Youth
Federation-Western Region (AYF-WR). The festival was cosponsored by Los
Council President Eric Garcetti, whose Council District 13 encompasses Little
It was the first time the event was held in Little Armenia, said Bo Patatian,
media liaison for the Armenian Youth Federation.
“We wanted to have it in a central place, and since 65% of the residents in
this area are Armenian, there is no better place for this event to fit in,”
Patatian said, adding that previous Armenian Independence Day festivals have
been held at Glendale High School and in Pasadena.
Armenians are blessed with two independence days, Patatian said. The
first, in
1918, marks the date on which the Armenian National Council declared the
country’s independence from Ottoman Turkey and the old Russian Empire. That
first Armenian republic, however, was short-lived; in 1920, the country was
absorbed into the former Soviet Union.
“The real independence day is September 21, 1991,” Patatian said,
referring to
when the modern Armenian state was born after the collapse of the Soviet
“But this first date still has a very important emotional connection to our
Among those celebrating Independence Day in Little Armenia Sunday was
Unified School District Board member Greg Krikorian.
“This is the day on which Armenians first claimed independence, after
surviving the genocide and stopping the Turkish armies,” said Krikorian, who
was also joined at the fair by Burbank Unified School District Board member
43rd Assembly District candidate Paul Krekorian. “Being here today with so
different families, friends and neighbors is an emotionally moving time, a
to be thankful for what we have here in this country, to be thankful for our
families, a chance to get together and enjoy life.”
The highlight of the festival was a special visit by Los Angeles Mayor
Villaraigosa. Mayor Villaraigosa congratulated the Armenian nation on its
independence and thanked the Armenian community for their contributions to the
City of Los Angeles. Following his remarks, the Mayor joined the crowd to
participate in the traditional Armenian `shoorch bar’ dances and sample
traditional Armenian cuisine.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate not just the independence,
but the fact that Armenians play such an important role here in Los Angeles,
being part of the largest Armenian population outside of Armenia,” said
Villaraigosa, whose city officially declared the Hollywood neighborhood Little
Armenia in 2000. “We appreciate all the contributions they have made and
continue to make to our city.”
Other guests at the event included Kevin DeLeon, candidate for California’s
45th State Assembly District, and Ed Ebrahimian, General Manager for LA’s
Bureau of Street Lighting. A representative from the Consulate of Armenia in
Los Angeles was also present to join the celebration. Speakers that day
included Vicken Sossikian from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and
Haroutioun Gojoayan from the Armenian Diplomatic Corps.
The event was organized to celebrate Armenia’s first independence day. After
600 years of Ottoman Turkish oppression, Armenia became independent on May 28,
1918. The republic established on this date set the foundation for today’s
independent republic.
It is important for the Armenian community to remember the significance of
28th. On this day, we not only celebrate the independence of Armenia, but also
3000 years of history and culture. We are grateful to the City of Los Angeles
for allowing us to celebrate this occasion on the streets of Little Armenia’,
said Nora Ounjian, event coordinator.

2) Kocharian And Aliyev to Discuss Karabagh Conflict in Bucharest

YEREVAN (RFE/RL/Armenpress)–Armenian President Robert Kocharian will fly to
Romania’s capital Bucharest on Sunday to attend a summit of Black Sea nations
and hold talks on Karabagh with his Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev.
Romania, which initiated the summit, views regional dialogue as a key factor
for ensuing regional stability and creating favorable conditions for economic
development in the region, said a statement released by Kocharian’s press
Kocharian’s office confirmed on Friday that the meeting with Aliyev, the
second in four months, will take place on the sidelines of the high-level
on Monday.
The Armenian and Azeri Presidents will start their talks in the presence of
their Foreign Ministers, the Minsk Group co-chairs, and the OSCE’s current
chairman in office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht.
`The two heads of state will then continue their conversation in a
format,’ the statement said.
The press service said that Kocharian is expected to deliver a speech at the
summit. He is also scheduled to have a meeting with Romania’s president Trayan
Basescu and other bilateral meetings.

3) ANC-PAC Endorses Congressman Adam Schiff

LOS ANGELES–The Armenian National Committee Political Action Committee
(ANC-PAC) moved this week to formally endorse Congressman Adam Schiff, who is
running for re-election to represent the people of California’s 29th
Congressional District.
First elected in November of 2000 after the most costly House race in US
history, Adam Schiff is widely acknowledged as a chief architect of
Congressional efforts to appropriately recognize the Armenian genocide. In
2003 Congressman Schiff was awarded the ANCA-Western Region’s prestigious
Freedom Award for his pioneering efforts on advancing the Armenian Cause.
In the 109th Congress, Representative Schiff has been an outstanding advocate
of securing formal US recognition of the Armenian genocide. In June of 2005
the Congressman secured a commitment from House International Relations
Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL) to hold a markup of a resolution (HCR
which calls for recognition of the Armenian genocide. Three months later,
Schiff measure and a similar bill by Congressman George Radanovich, were both
overwhelmingly adopted by the House International Relations Committee. These
Armenian genocide bills are currently pending in the House, awaiting the
Republican Congressional leadership to bring them to the floor for a vote.
“Congressman Schiff is an effective advocate for his constituents,” commented
ANC-PAC Chairman Leonard Manoukian. “It is clear to the Armenian community
that Adam’s energetic efforts to have the US Congress recognize the Armenian
genocide are bringing us closer to the day when our nation will come to terms
with the truth. The ANC-PAC encourages all Armenian American voters to cast
their vote for Representative Schiff so that he can continue to fight for our
community in the halls of Congress,” Manoukian added.
Congressman Schiff is a member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
and he represents the largest Armenian American population in the United
States. The Congressman is a member of both the House Judiciary and
International Relations committees. California’s 29th Congressional District
includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East
San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena
Temple City.
Adam Schiff was born on June 22, 1960 and is a graduate of Stanford
and Harvard Law School. Adam and his wife Eve have two children, a daughter,
Alexa Marion and a son, Elijah Harris.

The ANC-PAC is a non-partisan federally registered political action committee
established to support campaign committees for Members of Congress who share
the values of the Armenian American community. The ANC-PAC is at the forefront
of efforts to ensure that the voice of the Armenian American community is
clearly heard in our nation’s capital. The ANC-PAC continues a century old
tradition of Armenian Americans being engaged with the public policy issues
facing national political leaders, both in the US Congress and the White

4) Reception Bids Farewell to Outgoing Consul General Giragossian

A farewell reception for outgoing Consul General of the Republic of Armenia,
Gagik Giragossian, and his wife Marina was held Wednesday at the “Karapetian”
Hall of St. Garabed Church.
The reception was organized by the Western Prelacy, under the auspices of His
Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, and hosted by benefactor
Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian. In attendance were members of clergy, Central
Executive Council member Mr. Khajag Dikijian, ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken
Hovsepian, members of the previous and newly elected Prelacy Executive
representatives of the ARF Central Committee, Board of Trustees Chairmen from
Prelacy parishes, representatives of Armenian organizations, Ladies Auxiliary
members, members of the press, and Prelacy friends and donors.
The reception, emceed by Archpriest Vicken Vassilian, began with a prayer by
the Prelate and clergy members and included an artistic program by tenor Suren
Hazarian, accompanied by Professor Levon Aprahamian on the piano.
During the reception, remarks were made by Chairman of the previous Executive
Council Hrair Balian, Chairman of the newly elected Council Dr. Garo Agopian,
and ARF Central Committee representative Hovig Saliba, who expressed their
sentiments towards the Consul General and his gracious wife, and also their
best wishes to the couple and their family as they return to Armenia.
In his closing remarks, the Prelate emphasized that from his very first
day in
office, the Consul General became a part of the Prelacy family and has since
that time maintained a close association with the Prelacy. The Prelate assured
that the Consul General will remain in the hearts and memories of the Armenian
community of Los Angeles as a close friend, and that we now have a new friend
in our homeland, Armenia.
His Eminence commended Giragossian’s efforts in maintaining fruitful
with members of our Western Region, and before concluding his remarks, offered
the blessings of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of
to the Giragossians, after which he presented the couple with a gold medal of
the Catholicosate’s symbol, along with a book of the lost treasures of
Following the Prelate’s remarks, Giragossian expressed his heartfelt thanks
for this honor and gratitude for the close collaboration he had with the
Prelacy during his term in office, stating that he will return home with these
fond memories in his heart.
The reception closed with the Prelate reciting “Bahbanich” and the collective
singing of “Mer Hayrenik.”

5) Turkey Shells Autonomous Kurds in Iraq

ANKARA (UPI/Reuters)–The Turkish military shelled Thursday Iraq’s Kurdistan
The barrage came a day after a group of Kurdish and American officials,
including a US general, inspected Iraqi Kurdistan for evidence of purported
illegal cross-border Turkish military operations.
Ali Auni, an official from the ruling Kurdistan Democratic Party, said a 50
year old shepherd was wounded in an attack in northern Iraq.
“Yesterday morning at 11:00 AM Turkish forces shelled the village of Zawita
and some other Kurdish villages,” he said, referring to an area near the
Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment, but last
month a
Turkish Government official dismissed a similar allegation as “total
Ankara habitually launches a spring offensives against fighters of the
Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the southeast of Turkey near the border with
Iraqi security forces have recently been trying to stop PKK fighters based in
mountainous and mainly Kurdish northern Iraq from crossing over the border
The Turkish Government has asked US and Iraqi forces to help pressure PKK
units based inside Iraq.
After a recent increase in PKK attacks Turkey has sent 40,000 extra troops to
reinforce the 220,000 already in its Kurdish areas, representing the biggest
military build-up in years.
Turkey and Iran are wary of the autonomy that Iraqi Kurds have established
since the war in Iraq in 2003 and are concerned that it might provoke more
unrest among their own large Kurdish populations.

6) Armenia Close to Victory in Chess Championship

TURIN (Armenpress)As of Press time, the Armenian men’s chess team was leading
with 32 points in the 11th round of the 37th World Chess Olympiad being
held in
Turin, Italy.
Grand master Levon Aronian and Karen Asrian beat their rivals, and Gabriel
Sargsian and Vladimir Hakobian drew.
The Armenian chess players have already gained 32 points and are likely to
the Championship on Sunday, June 4.
The women’s team currently has 19 points in the Tournament.

7) Busted!

Yup, caught in the act, red (in this case black-ink) handed. I committed an
error in my article last week. I neglected to insert the term `vice-` in
of `chair’ when stating that an individual holding such a prominent position
with the Armenia Fund had no business supporting a State Assembly candidate
running against the Armenian community’s `hometown’ favorite, Paul Krekorian.
I regret any inconvenience this may have caused.
Aside from the wry observation that now, with my streak of perfection broken,
I’m free to make more mistakes, I’ll also gleefully point out someone else’s
mistake. Misery loves company and this one’s a lulu. Coincidentally and
ironically, it’s that of the Quintero campaign, Krekorian’s opponent!
In the wee hours of Wednesday May 31, 2006, an alert Burbank ANC activist
noticed what appeared to be a simple e-mail redundancy. One message sent
twice. On closer examination, it turned out to be the Quintero campaign
to cover its tracks. (See the two e-mails in accompanying boxwhere it reads
`sent… by …’). Anyone visiting the site would be `amazed’ to find that Voters
Against Election Fraud has only uncovered one case, the same as that cited by
Quintero, of `fraud’ in all of California. You know how scrupulous California
politicians are right? President Richard Nixon, Representative Randy `Duke’
Cunningham, State Senator Alan Robbins… Now add this fact about the
website–it is privately registered. Who’s behind it remains hidden. Kind of
odd, don’t you think, for an organization whose very name speaks to the need
for openness?
The obvious conclusion is, Quintero set up the bogus website as a way of
discrediting Krekorian with the same unsubstantiated mud slinging Quintero
indulged in last week. You’ll recall he accused the Krekorian campaign of
fraud based on `evidence’ that could just as easily indicate that the culprit
was the Quintero campaign itself. But, providentially, someone erred and sent
out the email under the Quintero campaign banner first. So, even in
sneakiness, they’re incompetent.
Now as a voter, forget about Armenian interests in developing political
one is faced with an easy choice. Vote for the guy who makes baseless fraud
accusations only to be caught engaging in fraud days later. Or, vote for the
squeaky clean guy. Hmm, I wonder…
But meanwhile, on Armenian cable TV, at least one of Quintero’s Armenian
supporters has seen fit to cite certain comments from my piece last week,
deeming them inappropriate. Again, hmm, a paragon of propriety, someone
(totally in line with any citizen’s rights though it is) who for whatever
reason is working against our community’s interests has the nerve to condemn
critiques of those defending a candidate who is clearly less than a glowing
example of integrity.
While I’m flattered at being read, next time, I’d appreciate being asked for
an Armenian translation of what I’ve written so the nuances are not lost or
mutilated. I’d be happy to provide it. In the interest of fairness even
toward those opposed to my perspective, I also appreciate the absence of being
named–it allows focus on what’s being said rather than who’s saying it.
However, using my commentary as part of a legitimizing springboard to
deception-by-half-truths rankles. Most arose in the context of attempting to
discredit `those who today are advocating supporting the Armenian candidate’
(this is an approximate quote representing the spirit of what was said). I’ll
address three of these misdirecting representations.
Pointing out the fact that ANC (again, not directly named, and similarly for
the other examples) endorsed Quintero five years ago is irrelevant, since he
was already not endorsed just ONE year ago in his second run for Glendale
Council, a fact that was omitted. A false claim was made that ANC did not
endorse George Deukmejian in his first run for governor in 1982. The correct
information is–it was a dual endorsement for him and Tom Bradley. The latter
had actually advised ANC to go `with your man only.’ But his stalwart and
forthcoming support for Genocide recognition and being the ONLY one willing to
do the opening remarks in J. Michael Hagopian’s 1975 documentary film `The
Forgotten Genocide’ earned his spot on the ANC slate too. Finally, it’s ANC’s
non-endorsement of Bill Paparian in his current congressional run on the Green
Party ticket. I guess the fact that he’s running unopposed in the Primary
Election of his party is irrelevant. The ANC has only infrequently made
endorsements in primary races–this too must be irrelevant. See the pattern?
Pick something that’s true. Count on your audience’s lack of complete
information or short memory. Go into full-mislead-mode.
Let’s not omit the cream of electoral idiocy, its royalty, who on the
night of
May 31, through their late night cable TV show were busy providing
too. It wasn’t enough to cost a competent Armenian a seat on the Glendale
school board last year. Now they’ve jumped on the Quintero bandwagon. They
got creamed in last year’s election. So, like many sore losers, they’re
claiming fraud in that election and trying to have their lies accrue to this
year’s election. It’s absurd, but there seems to be no bottom to the depths
they’re willing to sink. How credible are they? They pretend to be
experts on
public schools issues. However, one of them was so out of line in
school policy that a ban on entry to most school district property was
for a period of time. Possibly related to this prohibition is an incident in
which another parent received advice from this `consultant’ not to attempt to
resolve a problem with the school principal. Rather, the parent was told she
should go directly to the newspaper with her grievance.
Want more? Go to and see the kind of big money
interests–energy, alcohol, gaming, prison guards, pharmaceuticals, etc. this
guy is supported by. Or take a look at who’s been paying for all those fancy,
glossy mailers, coming to your mailbox two and three per day touting St.
Frank. Those of his supporters getting pieces into the local papers
him as some latter-day Robin Hood, standing up for the interests of the
downtrodden should check these facts out. To top it all off, Quintero was
heard to decry the intrusion of so-called `independent expenditures’ on the
electoral process. But that’s what these groups are doing for him. (At a rate
nearly triple what Krekorian has received in such support–largely from
unions). The duplicity is astonishing.
There seems to be a fairly well organized effort to disenfranchise the
Armenian community. Here’s how. Quintero’s campaign has written a letter to
the Registrar of Voters, the election official in Los Angeles County, asking
that all absentee ballots (VBMs) be segregated, that is, not counted with the
rest. Given that at least 40% (by a recent count I heard) are Armenians’
votes, this is clearly an effort to muddy the waters and give Quintero an
lead. Then, if the final count, including VBMs, gives Krekorian the election,
the former will cry foul, and actually seem reasonable (can you say Florida
2000?). This is where the game initiated last week, and referenced above, was
leading. In addition, having Quintero’s Armenian lackeys sow discord, doubt,
and division among the relatively new voters comprising the otherwise unified
Armenian voting community can lead to disinterest, disengagement, and finally
non-voting–Quintero’s desired result.
What’s really interesting is, some of the same people who have advocated,
`vote for the Armenian candidate regardless,’ and cried foul when a
non-Armenian was supported over an Armenian, now are talking out the other
of their mouths. ANC and credible others have not adopted an `Armenians only’
position. Rather, their approach has been to support the best candidate from
the perspective of Armenian interests and who is most likely to win. Paul
Krekorian becomes the obvious choice in the case of the 43rd. Be sure to
vote. Be sure to vote for Paul if you’re in the district.

Email #1

From: Voters Against Election Fraud [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:05 PM
To: [name withheld for privacy]
Subject: Latest Information on Paul Krekorian’s Voter Fraud Scam

See the latest articles on Paul Krekorian’s absentee ballot scam.

Please visit

This email was sent to [name withheld for privacy], by Quintero for Assembly
P.O. Box 251150 Glendale, CA 91225 United States
If you do not wish to receive future e-mail from Quintero for Assembly,
click here

Email #2

From: Voters Against Election Fraud [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:21 PM
To: [name withheld for privacy]
Subject: Latest Information on Paul Krekorian’s Voter Fraud Scam

See the latest articles on Paul Krekorian’s absentee ballot scam.

Please visit

This email was sent to [name withheld for privacy], by Voters Against
Fraud 2170 E. O’Keefe Mountainvew, CA 90743 United States.
If you do not wish to receive future e-mail from Voters Against Election
Fraud, please click here.

8) ‘Son of The Community:’ Paul Krekorian Receives Numerous Endorsements in
Bid to Represent Largest Armenian Community

By Taline Ghazarian

LOS ANGELES–At a press conference Wednesday, representatives from various
Armenian American organizations announced their endorsement of Paul Krekorian
for State Assembly in the Democratic Primary for the 43rd District, which
includes Glendale, Burbank, North Hollywood, and Los Feliz.
As one of the most hotly contested primaries being held Tuesday, June 6, the
race to fill the seat vacated by Dario Frommer has Burbank School Board
President Paul Krekorian pitted against Glendale City Councilman Frank
Quintero. The winner of the primary in this predominantly Democratic district
will most likely win the general election in November.
According to the Los Angeles Times, “It is Krekorian who is best prepared for
the role.”
Krekorian has been a leader in the area for many years, having served on the
Democratic Central Committee, various educational advisory boards, and as
counsel to the LA Police Commission after the 1992 riots.
As President of the Burbank School Board, Krekorian stabilized its budget,
introduced measures to improve curriculum and help the environment, and
implemented programs that increased academic performance.
Due to his extensive experience and demonstrated abilities, Krekorian has
endorsed by the Armenian National Committee Political Action Committee,
California Teacher’s Association, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly,
Congressmen Frank Pallone and Brad Sherman, and the Armenian community at
This race has special significance to Armenian Americans, who represent
approximately 20 percent of voters and are the largest ethnic group in the
“Armenian voters have the power of making their voices heard,” said Stepan
Boyajian of the Armenian National Committee of Burbank. “It is the duty of
every Armenian American to vote on June 6.”
As an activist within the Armenian community, Krekorian sits on the board of
the committee charged with disbursing assets recovered in a lawsuit against
New York Life Insurance Company, which have been wrongfully withheld since the
Armenian genocide of 1915. He is also a member of the Armenian Film Foundation
and an advocate of Armenian students’ rights in the public school system.
“While others may seem like friends of the Armenian community, Paul Krekorian
is a son of the community,” added Boyajian.
Come Tuesday, Krekorian will be relying on this community to give him the
opportunity to serve them once more, in the State Assembly. If they elect him,
the Armenian community will be represented not by just a supporter, but by one
of its own.

9) Jackie Speier Has Edge over Rivals in Democratic Primary

LOS ANGELES (Daily News/Combined Sources)–All three Democrats vying for the
party’s nomination for lieutenant governor insist they won’t emulate the man
who now holds the office, fellow Democrat Cruz Bustamante.
The position may be historically impotent, they acknowledge, but they promise
to actually do something meaningful with the office, unlike Bustamante, who
but disappeared from the scene.
And while all are sincere in this idealistic belief, State Senator Jackie
Speier, D-San Mateo, seems the most likely to live up to it.
Recognizing that the lieutenant governor is a regent of the University of
California and a trustee of the California State University system, she
promises to be both a champion and watchdog for California higher education.
Speier’s rivals seem less well-focused. State Senator Liz Figueroa,
talks about seeking the office to be a role model for the state’s children.
And term-limited Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi speaks about using the
post to fight global warming and other important issues–noble goals, to be
sure, but hardly within the purview of the lieutenant governor’s
With financial scandal in the UC and a chronic lack of funding for community
colleges, the state could use a higher education ombudsman. And it’s a
realistic, important role a Lieutenant Governor Speier could fill.
“Jackie Speier has taken on some of Sacramento’s most powerful forces–banks,
insurance companies, prison guards, University of California administrators,
even legislative leaders–in her crusades for the public interest,” says The
San Francisco Chronicle about this courageous public servant.
The LA Weekly called her `a true talent in the state Senate, fighting to
protect financial privacy, making prescription drugs more available to
and demanding scrutiny of sweetheart state contracts.’
Aside from the LA Weekly, Speier has been endorsed by The Armenian National
Committee – Political Action Committee, The Los Angeles Daily News, Senator
Dianne Feinstein, State Senator Jack Scott, the Sierra Club, and the
Democratic Club.

10) Candidates off to Washington for 2006 Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship

GLENDALE–The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR)
is pleased to announce that four candidates from California will be
participating this summer in the prestigious Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA) Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship Program in Washington, DC.
The Leo Sarkisian Internship Program provides young Armenian American leaders
from the across the US the opportunity to learn first hand about the inner
workings of the American political system. Now in its 23rd year, the program
operates out of the ANCA headquarters in Washington, DC and runs for eight
This year’s participants from the Western United States include: Meri
a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) junior studying Mass
Communications, and minoring in Political Science and Armenian Studies; Vache
Thomassian, a UC Berkeley junior majoring in Legal Studies and a member of the
AYF Orange County Chapter; Babken Der Grigorian, a UCLA junior studying
Political Science and a member of the AYF La Crescenta Chapter; and Berj
Parseghian, a UC Santa Barbara junior studying Political Science and a member
of the AYF Pasadena Chapter; Talar Kivork, a UCLA junior studying English and
Political Science and a member of the San Fernando Valley AYF Chapter.
Certain proceeds from the Aram Karamardian Memorial Fund–designated to be
utilized solely to fund internships–will help to defray costs of this year’s
internships in Washington, DC.
Along with additional participants from the Eastern Region and Canada,
will be working at the ANCA national headquarters in Washington, DC, where
will focus on specific projects and participate in an intensive lecture series
geared toward advancing their community development and activism skills.
In response to the growing number of applicants to the Leo Sarkisian
Internship, the ANCA-WR will hold a Western-Region internship program modeled
after the Leo Sarkisian Internship program in Washington. Like its
program in Washington, the internship will provide candidates the opportunity
to expand their knowledge of the political arena and to develop advocacy
by experiencing first-hand the workings of politics and public affairs at the
state and local level. The eight week intensive program will include a weekly
lecture series featuring ANCA activists, staff, community leaders, and media
and government officials.
The ANCA Leo Sarkisian Internship Program is the cornerstone of the expanded
ANCA Capital Gateway program, designed to provide university students and
recent graduates with opportunities to intern or find career positions on
Capitol Hill or at other US government agencies in Washington, DC. For more
information visit the ANCA website
For more information on these and other ANCA programs log on to
or call the ANCA-WR office at (818) 500-1918.

11) California Teachers and Pediatricians Support Proposition 82

California’s kindergarten teachers and pediatricians are backing Proposition
82–the Preschool for All initiative–in the June 6 statewide primary
election. The California Kindergarten Association and the American Academy of
Pediatrics call Prop 82 a historic opportunity to provide a head start on
learning to all four year olds in California.
Prop 82 will guarantee a free, high-quality preschool education for every
year old in California. It will provide trained, credentialed teachers in
every classroom and increased efforts to involve parents. By sending more
children to quality preschools, Prop 82 will strengthen our schools and
education for all our kids.
A statewide poll of California kindergarten teachers by Peter D. Hart
last year showed that 95 percent believe children who have been to preschool
are better prepared for school.
`As a kindergarten teacher, I can tell which kids have gone to preschool
because I see the difference first hand,’ said Armando Argandoña, President of
the California Kindergarten Association and a kindergarten teacher in Los
Angeles. `Preschool gives kids a head start on learning and prepares them
socially and academically for kindergarten.’
Studies show that children who go to quality preschool read earlier and learn
faster. But only 20 percent of our children actually go to quality
preschools. According to a recent survey by Fight Crime, Invest in Kids
California, the average cost of part-day private preschool in Los Angeles
County is $3783. That’s more than one year of college tuition at a California
State University campus, and it puts preschool out of reach for too many
`Preschool is one of the best investments we can make in our children’s
future,’ said, Dr. Robert Black, President of the American Academy of
Pediatrics, California. `Research has shown that preschool helps kids stay on
track in school and reduces the need for remedial and special education.
Preschool can also help families access preventative health and developmental
screenings to keep children healthy.’
A 2005 study by the RAND Corporation found that the benefits of a universally
available preschool program in California would greatly outweigh the costs.
Economists estimated that every dollar invested in quality preschool would
generate $2.62 in savings to California’s schools, criminal justice system,
through increased tax revenue to state and local governments. In Los Angeles
County, RAND economists estimated preschool could prevent 3,245 kids from
dropping out of high school and reduce the number of juvenile arrests by 9,650
per year.
Despite the benefits of preschool, programs often have long waiting lists. A
2005 study found that 73 percent of publicly-funded preschools–which are
supposed to serve children from low-income families–in Los Angeles County
waiting lists.
If passed by voters on Tuesday, Prop 82 will fund public, private, and
nonprofit preschools, as long as they meet specified quality standards,
including well-trained teachers. Parents will be able to choose the program
that best fits their needs.
Prop 82 includes strict accountability measures to protect taxpayer dollars.
According to the Legislative Analyst, all revenues would be used for the new
preschool program and Prop 82 provides audits and criminal penalties,
possible jail time, for misuse of funds. Preschool for All has no cost for
percent of California taxpayers.
Californians are coming together to support Prop 82. The initiative has been
endorsed by an unusual alliance of business groups and labor organizations,
along with early childhood educators, seniors, and civic leaders. The
California Police Chiefs and the California State Sheriff’s Association–and
more than 100 individual police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys–are
backing Prop 82 because of preschool’s proven effect on reducing crime. The
initiative is also supported by dozens of elected officials, including Senator
Dianne Feinstein, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell,
and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
For more information on Prop 82, visit:
<;www.yeson82. com.

12) Professor Richard Hovannisian Spreads Genocide Awareness

LOS ANGELESProfessor Richard Hovannisian, Holder of the Armenian Educational
Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA, has since late March and
throughout the month of April continued raising awareness of the Armenian
genocide and its legacy. During this period, he traveled to Salt Lake City,
Yerevan, Worcester, San Francisco, and Lyon, France, to deliver lectures, work
with teachers, and participate in international symposiums on human rights and

Utah to Armenia

At the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Utah, Dr.
Hovannisian spoke on March 27 about `The Armenian Genocide: Premeditation or
the Radicalization of War,’ in which he assessed the somewhat conflicting
historiography about the decision-making process and perpetration of the
Hovannisian spent considerable time discussing a recent University of Utah
Press-published volume by Professor Guenther Lewy, which is aimed at
disqualifying the Armenian `tragedy’ as genocide and builds on arguments of
deniers and the Turkish Government. Hovanissian gave examples of factual
in the seemingly-balanced book and how the author takes out of context what is
actually stated in the sources he cites.
Although Lewy insists that he has `no ax to grind,’ he has in fact previously
written volumes that discount the enormity of the Gypsy annihilation during
World War II and the treatment of the American Indians during US colonial
After Utah, Hovannisian went to Yerevan in late March and early April to
as the co-chair of the international jury reviewing and ranking works on the
Armenian genocide. This competition, organized by the All-Armenia Fund through
a grant from the Boghossian Brothers, is meant to further research on the
Armenian genocide by rewarding the most effective work on the topic.
Two presidential prizes, each carrying a monetary gift of $10,000, were
awarded for the best submission from a resident of Armenia and one from
The jury selected Verjine Svazlian of Armenia for her work on oral history and
the collection of the woeful songs of exile that were sung in Turkish by
Armenian women deportees (now also published in Turkey), and Edgar Hilsenrath
of Germany for his `Story of the Last Thought,’ a powerful novel about the
Genocide and memory, which has been translated into several languages.

Genocide Education

Immediately after returning to Los Angeles, Hovannisian was the keynote
speaker on April 5 for Glendale Unified School District workshop on teaching
about the Armenian genocide. The teachers, according to Sara Cohan, Education
Director of Genocide Education Project which coordinated the event, were
moved and impressed by the `smooth and thoughtful’ presentation and
overview’ of the Armenian experience. Hovannisian previously participated in
similar teacher workshops coordinated by Facing History and Ourselves,
Inc., in
Los Angeles, Montebello, Santa Barbara, Los Gatos, San Francisco, Chicago,
Boston, Brookline, Worcester, New York City, Annandale-on-Hudson, Long Island,
Memphis, and West Palm Beach.
Professor Hovanissian and Dr. Vartiter Hovannisian then traveled to Clark
University in Worcester on April 19-20 to take part in the celebration of the
successful completion of the fundraising campaign for the Kaloosdian-Mugar
Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies and Modern Armenian History. This is the
only position in Armenian Studies in the United States that carries the word
`Genocide’ in its title, with the first chair holder being Dr. Simon
a graduate of UCLA’s Armenian History program.
During a dinner for major donors hosted by President and Mrs. Bassett at
residence, the Harrington House, Hovannisian delivered a congratulatory
and challenge to attract and support students to the program. Then, following
an engaging public lecture by Professor Payaslian on his recent book, `United
States Policy toward the Armenian Question and Armenian Genocide,’ he
briefly on the issue of pragmatism versus humanitarianism in foreign policy.
Hovannisian was also the keynote speaker at the Bay Area’s commemoration of
the Armenian genocide in San Francisco City Hall on April 25. Following the
greetings of Mayor Gavin Newsom and remarks in Armenian by Dr. Antranig
Kasbarian, Hovannisian addressed the large gathering on the theme of
universalizing the Armenian experience as a way of integrating it into
collective human memory. He noted the progress made toward that goal in recent
years and the challenges that still have to be met in the struggle of the
Armenian people for international recognition and condemnation of the crime
for acts of contrition and restitution by the perpetrator.

Lyon, France

From San Francisco, Dr. Hovannisian traveled to Lyon to participate in an
international symposium on April 28-29 under the honorary presidency of Mary
Robinson, former president of the Irish Republic and United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights. The conference was organized by `Le Collectif
Reconnaissance,’ an alliance of fifteen human rights groups, with support from
a variety of French academic institutions, municipal and regional
administrations, and the French Senate and Ministry of Culture.
The primary themes of the conference were devoted to Genocides and Crimes
against Humanity; The Consequences of Genocides; and The Prevention of
Genocides: Obstacles and Dynamics for Action. Each of the three themes was
further divided into particular topics. Opening addresses were made by Jules
Mardirossian, president of `Le Collectif Reconnaissance,’ and Jean-Jack
Queyranne, former president of the Rhone-Alpes Region.
For the session on the political consequences of genocide, Dr. Hovannisian
asked to speak on a topic that appeared in the program with the lengthy French
title, `The Crime and Its State Denial Are the Foundations of the Successor
State That Oppresses the Survivors and Nourishes Antagonisms: The Example of
the Armenian Genocide and Kemalist Turkey.’ In his presentation, Hovannisian
traced the patterns of denial from the very beginning of the Genocide in 1915
through the forced exodus of the survivors and appropriations of Armenian
and properties by the Kemalist regime in the 1920s. He analyzed the efforts of
the Turkish state to deceive and to suppress memory of the crime, a campaign
that has gone through several distinct phases and now continues into the
twenty-first century.
General and specific aspects of genocide and its prevention were addressed by
the twenty-five conference participants, who included, among others, Roger
Smith of the United States, Yair Auron of Israel, and Sevane Garibian, Janine
Altounian, and Kevork Kepenekian of France. A powerful visual display, mounted
under the direction of Daniel Meguerditchian, incorporated the crimes
against the Armenians, Ukrainians, Jews, Gypsies, Cambodians, Tibetans, and
Rwandans and other African peoples.
While in Lyon, Professor Hovannisian also visited the newly-dedicated
memorial in the heart of the city at the Place Bellecour. Designed by
Leonardo Basmadjian, the monument includes thirty-six aesthetically-placed
columns and a ground-level, gold-lettered stonework with a trilingual
commemorative inscription in French, English, and Armenian: `In the memory of
the 1,500,000 Armenians, who were exterminated by the `Young Turk’ government
during the years 1915-1918, and of the victims of all genocides and crimes
against humanity.’

13) Element Band Wins ‘Best Newcomer Album’ at Armenian Music Awards

LOS ANGELES–Element Band, one of the hottest emerging Armenian bands,
the “Best Newcomer Album of The Year” award at the 2006 Armenian Music Awards
on May 25, for their CD “Yev O Phe” that debuted in March.
Since its release, “Yev O Phe” has garnered a diverse mix of listeners that
span three generations and successfully transcended the diverse musical tastes
prevalent in Armenian culture.
The arrangements are bold with the sounds of flamenco, tango, and Rembetika
wafting in and out of performances of traditional Armenian songs, which are
never forsaken to foreign sounds. Refusing to compromise Armenian melodies,
Element nevertheless complements them with the use of the accordion, bouzouki,
mandolin, classical guitar, violin, and the purity of the band’s vocalists to
serve up a compelling combination of fiery Mediterranean and hauntingly raw
Just as the Armenian alphabet incorporated the two additional letters o and
phe during the Middle Ages to better incorporate European sounds, Element’s
Armenian compositions that incorporate the sounds of Europe and the
Mediterranean, while remaining untethered, simply free… to be uniquely
Element Band can be heard in concert on Friday, June 16 at 8:00 PM at the
Amphitheatre in Los Angeles. For tickets or information, call (818)
343-4757 or
(818) 342-6624. Visit <;www.elementband .com for
additional information.

All subscription inquiries and changes must be made through the proper carrier
and not Asbarez Online. ASBAREZ ONLINE does not transmit address changes and
subscription requests.
(c) 2006 ASBAREZ ONLINE. All Rights Reserved.

ASBAREZ provides this news service to ARMENIAN NEWS NETWORK members for
academic research or personal use only and may not be reproduced in or through
mass media outlets.