Thank you for visiting my website, an online resource for the Washington, DC community to learn more about me and connect with the Asian community. Check out our videos, upcoming appearances, follow our social media outlets!
Surae Chinn is excited to be back in her home town reporting the news in the nation's capital. She joined W*USA9 in March of 2009.
As an award-winning reporter, Surae received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her special coverage and 30 minute newscast on GITMO. In addition, she received honorary Associated Press awards for best documentary. Read More>
Today, I gave birth to Ellanor Keng Lucie.
Healthy at 7lbs 14oz at 5:27 a.m (adds up to 14!) on 7.14.14
It was a Déjà vu ‘all over again’ moment with a panicked trip to the emergency room.
This is our very candid and graphic account of how the Lucie clan came to be. Part of it is to document our journey but also to inspire. It’s not lost on me how many couples struggle to grow their family, just as we did.
It wouldn’t be a Lucie Birth Day without a trip to the ER, I joke, but that’s only because I’ve come out on the other side humbled after tragedies and anatomy science mysteries.
It’s been a long and emotional journey for the Lucies.
After 5 years, including one of our darkest days to our tiny miracles, our family is now complete with lovebug Graham Oak and ladybug Lucie.
We were a young married couple …the weekend anchor and weekend meteorologist who fell in love, 7 years ago while working at KCTV5.
We had all the hopes and excitement of welcoming our first child. Devon stayed behind in Kansas City to fulfill the rest of his contract, while I left the station to embark on a new job in my hometown at Washington, DC’s CBS affiliate, WUSA9.
I was pregnant with our first and left on my own, going to doctors appointments. This would prove to be devastating.
I was at work when I had some spotting. I rushed to my OB-GYN. I knew something was wrong when the nurse couldn’t hear the baby’s heartbeat and blamed it on the machine. A second try, she was silent and so was the fetal doppler. My heart sank. I knew instantly that we lost the baby. It was a blurr and I couldn’t breath. I called my husband in KC. He was also alone, sitting in the parking lot behind the station, on the phone trying to comfort me.
I lost our first baby at nearly 20 weeks. Doctors don’t know why and never will. Recently, I found out the baby was a boy.
I had my surgery which left scarring. A second doctor removed the scarring but ended up puncturing my uterine wall.
We sought a fertility doctor. After 3 failed attempts at IUI, we decided to take a break from all the sterile-ness of trying to conceive. That’s when I got pregnant with Graham Oak.
My coworkers can attest how anxious I was the entire time. The day of his birth 2.4.2012 I woke up with bleeding. Bleeding down my legs and everywhere. I had a rare condition called Velamentous Cord Insertion and two full grown placentas. Doctors believe Graham had a twin, early on, that never made it.
No one caught it, not even in sonograms. I’m glad because that would have added to my anxiety. But they were scary moments thinking I had lost Graham at 38 weeks.
The emergency c-section left more scarring in my uterus and the possibility we wouldn’t be able to have more children. The doctor steered me to a fertility doctor who recommended a doctor to remove scarring. It turns out this doctor used heat to remove tissue, which is not recommended since it increases the chance of more scarring.
The fertility doctor scared me into thinking I might not be able to have children again and pressured me into a more aggressive approach.
I ended up walking away from that doctor and returned to Dr. Wertheim who helped chart our basal temp and prescribed Clomid. We got pregnant within weeks. For many couples, fertility works. I don’t discount the miracles they achieve, but for us, our route just happened to be different. It’s also a lesson of not being afraid to get a second opinion…because if I hadn’t gone with my gut feeling we may still be trying.
It was another stressful 9 1/2 months. I had spotting two weeks ago, went to the ER and they put me on bed rest and then told me to wait longer. I knew in my heart, I didn’t trust my body and I have a hard time trusting doctors. But we listened and pushed back our scheduled c-section to July 15th, 2014.
But that wasn't going to happen. When I woke up this morning at 230am, 7.14.14, blood was running down my legs, leaving a large puddle in the bathroom and toilet. The trauma of the last pregnancy, and what was happening to me at that moment overwhelmed me. Somehow through the panic, I made it to the car and Devon drove to Inova Fair Oaks hospital.
My doctor says I had something called Placenta Accreta. That means part of the placenta attached to the uterine wall.
In the end, the trauma is all worth it. Living it is not so easy. Faith and letting go of what you can’t control got us through the challenges. I’m in awe today of our lives. I know miracles are not just reserved for the Lucie family because you all deserve to have it all too.
What a fun day at Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, Va.!
Where the kids learn fruit and veggies don't always have to come from the grocery store but right from the ground, vines or trees.
We worked for our blackberries, asian pears and apples on this Labor Day and we won't forget it!
We turned what could have been a mundane, yet important story into something fun.
Reporting on anticipating hurricanes and storm preps can be predictable. But an ordinary story can be extra-ordinary when you're working with a talented photographer.
Thanks Chip Baysden!!
Why this reporter is thankful they're alive and to personally thank them for their work in saving animals
It's not often I get to personally thank the people I interview because of what they did in MY life.
I learned this week 32-year-old Neal Peckens who went missing in
Glacier National Park, helped saved my dog. (as many of you might know, last December, Melvin suffered from a severe blood condition and was a few hours away from dying)
I knew there were two hikers from Virginia missing. I thought to myself, 'oh, that doesn't sound good.' When my husband told me Peckens works at the Hope Center for critical animal patients in Vienna and that Peckens administered the blood tranfusion, my heart sank even further.
Then the good news on Monday that they were found! And then, I would get to interview them on Wednesday. Thrilled! I personally drove to Peckens home and he said that he would tell his story of survival to me.
Here's their story:
HERNDON, Va -- Jason Hiser, 32, of Richmond and Neal Peckens, 32, of Herndon are both veterinarians who survived being stranded for four days on Pitamakan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana.
Last Tuesday, they set on a two day hike with a two day supply of food. On the second day, Peckens fell, sliding 30 yards down the mountain.
To complicate matters, their map blew away. They were lost in the worst possible way, in whiteout conditions.
"you couldn't tell whether we should be going down or up, because the topographic map would have told us.
They decided the safest thing to do was hunker down, spending most of their time in the tent. They made a flag out of their emergency blanket and spelled SOS with burnt logs.
They also rationed their food, splitting a Cliff Bar, a quarter each, per day.
More than 50 rescuers set out on foot and in choppers looking for the lost hikers. The pair was found uninjured on Monday. The two lost about 15 pounds each.
"There was so much snow, there was no trail to be seen," they said.
Hiser and Peckens were half way up the mountain when Peckens slipped and fell 30 yards down the steep terrain.
Hiser said, "When he fell, I was okay after he stopped sliding down the hill."
But it was their families who feared the worst.
"We were not able to communicate to the people who cared about us. To let our families and our wives know. All they could expect was the worst."
The National Park Service advise hikers to never trek alone and if you find yourself in danger, don't panic but re-evaluate to come up with a plan.
Hiser is expecting their first child. Peckens has a one year old daughter.
Prayers go out to those who knew Bill Line. I just talked to him several weeks ago to get the okay to shoot near the Vietnam Memorial.
His passing comes as a shock. But it's a reminder not to take people for granted. You never know what people are going through. Our last conversation was 'business as usual.' Wish it could've been different.
Depression and other mental illnesses can be the most heart breaking reality. We could all use a little more understanding when it comes to that.
Bill was the 'go to guy' on the National Mall. Whether we needed to talk to him about the Cherry Blossoms or repairing the Washington Monument, he was always accessible. I will always remember him riding his bike to meet us for an interview.
You are missed Bill.
The weekend reunited the South Lakes High School class of 1992. Old classmates kicked it into high gear at Kalypso Sports Tavern at Lake Anne, so I heard.
The reaquainting continued on Saturday at Dulles Hyatt. What a grand showing of fun, good memories and a funnyman who brought down the house.
Sunday we all reconnected and toured the school we hardly recognize anymore.
Thanks to the Reunion Committe: Suzanne, Kathy, Angie, Debra, Betsy, Amy, Rebecca, Molly, Rene, Sarah, Jennifer, and Reggie for a fantastic reunion!!!
SLHS '92, you all look fabulous!!
I remember 10 years ago when the DC Sniper tormented the region. We were all scared to pump gas. We didn't want to stand still for too long, afraid of being another sniper victim. So you'd see people dancing around gas pumps.
I spoke with Mildred Muhammad this week. She's the ex-wife of the DC Sniper, married to John Muhammad for 12 years. In a cruel twisted way, authorities say John Muhammad's primary target was his wife to get to their three children. He wanted to make it look as if these killings were random, which they were, and then finally murder his wife.
This was my second interview with Mildred. The first time was the day before her ex-husband would be executed. This time around she seemed brigter and more open. She has always talked about how she thought she was running from two people, not knowing the monster who inflicted terror on the East Coast was the man she had once loved. She also talks about how painful it's been all these years later.....Not only for her children who had to come to terms with who their father was and how he died but also how people still blame her for the shooting spree.
I also think back at this time when John Muhammad was executed. It was nearly 3 years ago when I went down to Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt Virignia. I documented Nelson Rivera's journey. He wanted to see his wife's killer put to death. Lori had been vacuuming the family car when she was gunned down.
I also followed the sniper's attorney. It was a dichotomy of one man who needed to see this man dead to another who was trying to save his life in the 11th hour.
Here's my interview with Mildred.
It's been one of the more emotional weeks covering stories in DC.
6-months pregnant, Jill Chenet, drowned at Cape Hatteras.
She was taking a last vacation with her husband before their daughter, Olive, would arrive into the world. She taught second-grade to the hearing impaired. Her funeral is Monday.
A 4-year-old boy climbed in to his step dad's pickup truck, found a gun and shot himself in the head. Little Kyrell's Great Grandfather says, "I have sorry all over my body, it's pitiful." The Dale City, VA. boy will be laid to rest Thursday.
My work week ended with a family reeling after Vivian Wong's father was killed in his Jewelry store. She says, "I just want to know why didn't he take what he needed and leave my dad alone. He could've taken what he needed he didn't have to take his life too."
It's been one of those weeks where these families wish they could go back in time, or hold their loved one a little longer and say, "I love you."
Baby Graham's first plane ride to see his Great Grandparents and family for the first time. On our return we visited with Auntie Marlene and Uncle Geoff.
SOUTHEAST, DC (WUSA) -- Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry apologized and met with leaders of Asian American organizations for comments he made about Asian business owners and Filipino nurses.
Barry: "Apologies are not enough, if you continue to do it."
Asian American Community leaders pressured Barry to apologize for making recent offensive remarks such as:
"We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops."
The Organization of Chinese Americans President says, "make no mistake the Asian Pacific American community is done being polite."
Hurtful comments about Filipino nurses prompted Barry to tweet out a picture and praise his Filipino hospital staff.
During Barry's apology he made what some consider another offensive remark against Polish people.
"The Irish caught hell, the Jews caught hell, the Pollacks caught hell."
Then at the end of the press conference, Reporter Surae Chinn, asked Barry how his health was doing. He replied, "Health is great. You talked to me yesterday about this."
The only problem is Chinn didn't ask the question Wednesday. It was co-worker Anny Hong who asked him. Hong is also Asian. The room with reporters and Asian community leaders made an audible gasp.
Minutes later Barry circled back to Chinn and said, by saying 'you' I meant the station Channel 9.
The Asian community accepted Barry's apology and both sides say they want to work together to ease racial tension.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Councilman Barry to Address Remarks about Asian Americans, Business Owners
What: In a joint press conference with a coalition of local Asian American advocacy groups, Councilmember Marion Barry will address his recent remarks about Asian American business owners and Filipino nurses. Councilmember Barry will also discuss key partnerships in the ongoing work to support all Ward 8 residents, community members and business owners.
Who: Speakers will include:
- Councilmember Marion Barry
- David Chung, OAPIA Commissioner and local business owner
When: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE
Nearest Metro: Anacostia (Green Line)
For more information or to speak with a member of the coalition, contact Vincent Paolo Villano at email@example.com / 202-631-9640.
What a turn out!
700 people in attendance for the inaugural CAPAL (Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership APA Ball.
Great fun co-emceeing with Survivor Winner Yul Kwon!
Our Distinguished speakers and dynamic duo: The Koh brothers
Dr. Howard Koh, Asst. Secretary for Health for HHS
and Dr. Harold Koh, Legal Advisor of the State Department
Former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta
WUSA9's meteorologist Anny Hong!
May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month!
Lots of events are happening to celebrate our diversity and culture.
1978 - President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution proclaiming the first 10 days in May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week.
1990 President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month long recognition.
1992 May officially designated Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month by law.
May was chosen because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japenese to the United States in 1843. May also marks the completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 which was work performed by mostly Chinese immigrants.
Check out a few events:
20th Anniversary of APA Heritage Month
CAPAL honors leaders in public service
May 9th U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The Kennedy Center and the Asian American Music Society present Asian Dance Festival on Saturday, May 5th at 6 pm,
Millennium Stage, kennedy Center.
www.kennedy-center.org/calendar or www.aamsopera.com/upcoming event.
Sponsored by FAPAC (Federal Asian/Pacific American Council) and AAGN (Asian American Government Excutives Network), Embassy of the Repulic of Korea, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Indonesia, and Embassy of Sri Lanka.
The Smithsonian celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage witih arts, education and entertainment all month long.
Check out their calendar of events
APAICS (Asian Pacific American Institute For Congressional Studies) celebrates the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
May 8, 2012
Ritz-Carlton in Washington D.C.
May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month. CAPAL (Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership) has asked me to co-emcee with Survivor winner and PBS Host Yul Kwon!
WUSA9 Anchor/Reporter, Bruce Johnson was just 42-years-old when he suffered a heart attack while working a story. Now, HIS story of survival and how he changed his life is being told in "Heart to Heart, and published in Chinese.
Johnson: "We are trying to save lives, by first telling my story and those of eleven other diverse men and women, who survived heart attacks or some other near fatal coronary episode. It's no longer a disease that strikes just older men. This is an equal opportunity killer that attacks more women than all other diseases combined, including breast cancer.
It was the best thing that could have happened to me. I am a far better person today because of it."
My friend Stephen Shih, OPM's deputy associate director for executive resources and employee development is credited for helping to overhaul a major part of SES (Senior Executive Service).
Stephen T. Shih, "The intent of the project, was to invigorate the SES service, focusing on three areas: recruitment,
performance management and executive development."
Quite an accomplishment! Go Steve!
Read more: http://bit.ly/HqGBiI
Organizations Condemn DC Councilmember Marion Barry’s Statements
Regarding Asian Businesses
April 5, 2011
As members of local and national organizations committed to advancing and protecting the rights of individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander descent in the United States, the undersigned organizations condemn District of Columbia Councilmember Marion Barry’s recent remarks regarding Asian-owned businesses at a campaign event in Washington, DC. On April 3, at his Ward 8 primary election victory party, Councilmember Barry made the following statement, “We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops … They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now.” Given Councilmember Barry’s previous commitment to civil rights, we are particularly disappointed by these comments.
While Councilmember Barry has recently indicated that he was “sorry for offending the Asian community,” we call upon him to provide a sincere apology and ensure meaningful engagement with our communities to improve the well-being of all individuals in the District.
Councilmember Barry’s statement is of serious concern because it undermines the notion that developing the District of Columbia’s economy and neighborhoods is in the interest of all communities, regardless of national origin or ethnic background. Numerous institutions, from small businesses to non-profit organizations, as well as individuals, provide vital services and job opportunities, contribute their tax dollars, and engage in civic and political life within the city. Within the District of Columbia, according to 2007 data, Asians own 5.9% of businesses, joining other communities in strengthening the economy. Rather than acknowledging and appreciating the contributions that Asian businesses, alongside other racial and ethnic communities, have made to the city, Councilmember Barry’s remarks appear to fan the flames of racial divisions and imply that Asian Americans are not invested in developing a robust economy that benefits all residents.
Our organizations are also extremely concerned that remarks such as these can perpetuate stereotypes of Asians taking jobs away from other Americans, which can fuel racism and animosity towards community members.In fact, individuals of Asian descent are frequently blamed for the economic woes that this country has faced when perceptions are fostered that our community is thriving in this economy at the expense of other minority communities with whom we work and live alongside.
In light of these concerns, we call upon Councilmember Barry to provide a meaningful apology and officially retract his statement; refrain from engaging in harmful rhetoric regarding Asian and other immigrant communities; and develop meaningful relationships with our communities in the District of Columbia to understand the contributions and challenges of community members. Our organizationsalso view this as a prime opportunity to work with Mayor Vincent Gray and Councilmembers on the “One City, One Future” initiative. We look forward to proactively identifying next steps that we can take together to continue to create more diverse and growing economy for all residents.
Local Endorsing Organizations
Asian American LEAD (AALEAD)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of the Greater Washington DC Area
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – DC Chapter (APALA-DC)
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC)
Dana Tai Soon Burgess & Co
DC Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus
Korean American Drycleaners Association
Korean American Grocers Association of Greater Washington DC (KAGRO-DC)
Many Languages One Voice
National Organization of Vietnamese American Leaders of Greater Washington DC
Network of South Asian Professionals (NetSAP DC)
South Asian American Bar Association – DC (SABA-DC)
Washington Area Liquor Retailers Association (WALRA)
National Endorsing Organizations
Asian American Action Fund
Asian American Justice Center, Member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice
Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS)
Asian Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
Council of Korean Americans
Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Asian Pacific American Center on Aging (NAPCA)
National Asian Pacific American Families Against Substance Abuse (NAPAFASA)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF)
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD)
Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asia Action Resource Center (SEARAC)
For further information or inquiries, contact Sapna Pandya, Executive Director of Many Languages One Voice at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-621-0001.
One of the touching moments at the 2012 Asian American Chamber Gala was the posthumous award given to Jay Chen. This was a heartfelt moment for the Asian business community, friends and family.
Chen gave me my first job out of college writing for his newspaper he founded, Asian Fortune. I will always be grateful to him. He is missed.
His legacy lives on. His beautiful daughter Lily will continue to run the paper.
Visit the website of Asian American Chamber of Commerce!
I'm excited to emcee the 2012 Asian American Chamber of Commerce Gala at The Mason Inn, Friday, March 16th.
Major General Antonio Taguba will be the keynote speaker. And a very touching moment will be the posthumous award for Jay Chen, founder of Asian Fortune newspaper. Chen gave me my first job out of college as a writer for his newspaper. I will always be grateful for him and the opportunities he gave me. Chen passed away from an aneuryism in January. He is missed.
Every summer, bussineses including Channel 9 have the opportunity to bring in interns to get an inside look at what we are all about.
The summer of 2011, I had the chance to work with intern Sookyung Koo. I remember Soo coming up to me as I was about to get in the elevator to leave work. She asked if she could 'tag along' in the mornings.
Now, I'm thinking...really? You want to come in at 3 a.m. every morning ??? I said sure, but maybe you want to come in once a week and try it out. But I immediately saw her disappointment. So I said, why don't you come in and see if you like it and go from there.
To my surprise, Soo came in every morning. She got a good taste of all sorts of news this summer. I enjoyed learning her perspective through her blog on 'Behind The Scenes.'
Letter to Soo:
To my intern Soo:
You have been the highlight of my summer. It’s been a pleasure to work with you. And you have become a friend I always want to keep in touch with. It’s been fun seeing your curiosity. I’ve been impressed, in such a short time you have been able to grasp something that is foreign to a lot of people, bridge that language barrier and really learn the strange nuances of television journalism. I enjoyed your BTS postings. I only facilitated and answered your questions. It’s been really your doing and your willingness to work hard that created a successful internship. I wish you all the best as you tackle your last year in school. You have what it takes to fulfill all your dreams: A great attitude, the smarts and the dedication. Only warm thoughts and praise for you young lady!!!
All the best, Surae
This past week, I was getting into work just before three in the morning when I saw something not right. When I got closer, exiting 495 onto the River Road exit ramp, I saw a woman's body.
She was partially clothed, faced down and I saw her shoulder length black hair. She was lying perpendicular across the ramp. Mind you, I've seen plenty of body bags, crime tape, flashing lights. But this time, there were no comforting blue and red lights, the street lamps were out. No caution tape, no barriers. Just dark silence and a couple of feet away driving by a body. My thoughts were racing about what could have happened. I thought something more sinister. It turns out these two young people, 25 and 26 were on a sports motorcylce, most likely missed their turn, hit the guard rail and flipped over. I called 9-1-1. Two others had called in. This would become my morning story. By then, the familiar flashing lights and an investigation in progress were in place.
I know, what I saw, doesn't compare to the families loss and pain they are going through. They are in my prayers. And they will be in my thoughts now, every morning when I drive on this ramp into work.
We got our first DC home! While there was another contract offer, my realtor says it could have been my love letter to the home that sealed the deal.
Dear XX Family,
We enjoyed walking into your lovely home this afternoon. And we had a great vibe. We like the upgrades and what you have done especially to the family room and kitchen.
It's an open space that we could see ourselves enjoying for years to come as I'm sure your family has.
In reality, we've been looking for two years for a place to call home. My husband had been only working part time so we weren't able to buy. But with the good news of his part-time employer offering a full time job we now have the opportunity to find a family home.
We feel like we've narrowed our search and we hope that it is your home that becomes our new future.
This recent article in the Washington Post really got me thinking how far we've come. Moving to Hawaii and starting middle school at #Langston Hughes in Reston, Va (years ago!) was a culture shock. Tough enough coming from the islands and then truly feeling what being a minority is all about.
My drama teacher Mrs. Bowns tried to get me out of my shell casting me in different plays and musicals.
High School was a little better. I could count the number of fellow Asians on one hand. Now, everywhere you look, we are here representing a substantial portion of the DC population.
Baby Graham Oak Ya Long Lucie
D.O.B. February 4, 2012 @ 2:34 a.m.
7 lbs. 10 oz.
Graham Oak Lucie
His Chinese middle name is Ya Long which means second dragon after dad being the first dragon.
The Lucies are doing very well after a very scary entry into the world.
Mom had to be admitted to Reston emergency hospital because of a ruptured artery in the placenta/membrane and what doctors believed to be an extremely rare umbilical cord complication called velamentous cord insertion.
After losing a lot of blood, mom had to have an emergency c-section.
We are more amazed that Graham is with us today because on top of the bizarre complication, doctors discovered I had 2 placentas. The meaning behind this is that I may have had a 'vanishing twin.'
But now mommy and baby Graham are doing well!