Horizon Cross Cultural Center to Dole Out $1.7 Million to Settle Government Overbilling Case

Horizon Cross Cultural Center
Take a picture, it may last longer.
An Orange-based nonprofit that provides job, health, transportation and other supportive services to Vietnamese refugees and other immigrant populations is reportedly doling out more than $1.7 million to settle charges that it falsified records and over-billed local government agencies.

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Younger Vietnamese Show Support for Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen Even As Elders Keep Trashing Him

City of Garden Grove
Julie Vo during public comments

It's been quite a few weeks for the city of Garden Grove and Mayor Bao Nguyen. First, there was the push to have the city officially send a letter to Riverside in opposition of Riverside's sister-city relationship with the Vietnamese city of Can Tho. That push was defeated when Nguyen announced that he did not support the letter because he felt Riverside had the right to decide its own fate and Councilmember Chris Phan offered a compromise. Then there was the horribly inaccurate article from Vien Dong Daily News about the meeting, not to mention the actual, real issues the city has to deal with (the Brucewater scandal, developing something that's not on Harbor Boulevard, the general brain drain from the city).

But hey, at least something is coming up Bao now. For the past few meetings, he's had to suffer hecklers upset at the fact that he wouldn't sign that pesky official letter, but this past meeting got him a few more allies.

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OC's Southeast Asian Community Commemorates 40 Years of Diaspora with Panels at CSUF

Kristine Hoang
From left: Leakhenu Nou, Tram Le, and Thuy Vo Dang
1975: Saigon fell, a genocide resulting in an estimated 1.5-3 million deaths was ravaging Cambodia, and Laos remained a moonscape due to a secret American-led bombing campaign executed by the CIA.

In the 1980s, Southeast Asians (many of whom had been political prisoners and/or put in labor camps as a result of the Second Indochina War--or as Americans like to call it, the Vietnam War) escaped their respective countries. Of course, many landed in Orange County, which was the focus of a panel discussion last Friday at Cal State Fullerton.

"A group of 15 South Vietnamese students first arrived on campus in 1967. By the early 1980s, nearly a thousand Vietnamese students began arriving on campus," said Sheryl Fontaine, Dean of Cal State Fullerton's College of Humanities & Social Sciences at SEA Legacies: Commemorating 40 Years of Southeast Asian Diasporas, an event organized by CSUF Asian American Studies professors Dr. Eliza Noh and Dr. Tu-Uyen Nguyen and CSUF community members. "Throughout the decades, Cal State Fullerton remains an engaged part in the Vietnamese community."

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It's Ain't Screwy Voting Districts Killing Latino Political Power in OC; It's the Democratic Party

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Solorio: Former rising star, then the status quo--and now done

Over the past two weeks, much has been written about how former supervisor/state senator/state assemblymember/Lou Sheldon bitch Lou Correa lost the First Supervisorial District race to former Garden Grove councilmember Andrew Do. Coming a couple of months after a disastrous 2014 Election Day that saw Sharon Quirk-Silva lose her State Senate race to Young Kim and Jose Solorio lose handily to Janet Nguyen in the race for Correa's old State Senate seat, and it's been a bitter pill for Democrats but especially OC Latinos, who now find themselves without a wab representative in Sacramento or on the Board of Supervisors for the first time since 1998.

The most popular angle taken by local media and pundits is that Correa and Solorio should've won handily because the district they ran in have a lot of Mexicans in it, but those damn Vietnamese voters in Little Saigon just vote too darn much! For Correa supporters, the main culprit is a 2011 gerrymandering scheme by the all-Republican Board of Supervisors at the time (don't accuse me of exaggerating--no less a conservative lion than then-Supervisor John Moorlach called it "gerrymandering") that diluted Latino voting power in the First by bringing in more Little Saigon voters--you know, those voters who vote too much. Both Latino yaktivists and Democratic Party officials are now mumbling about a possible lawsuit using California's Voting Rights Act to correct the First's alleged wrong and ensure Latino wins in the future. That's fine and all, but that stance will let off the hook the biggest reason why OC electoral gains in higher office for Latinos have now been effectively rolled back two decades: the pendejos running the Democratic Party of Orange County.

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Vietnamese Newspaper Retracts False Quote Attributed to Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen

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Photo by John Gilhooley
It was a simpler time

The Vien Dong Daily News, one of the largest Vietnamese newspapers printed in the United States, issued a correction last Friday after not just misquoting Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen, but making up a quote wholesale.

During a city council meeting last week, Nguyen pushed against Garden Grove's sending a letter to Riverside advising against Riverside's sister city relationship with Can Tho, a Vietnamese city in the Mekong Delta, citing his belief that Garden Grove needed to focus on its own issues. The council eventually voted to send a letter, with Councilmembers Chris Phan, Kris Beard, and Phat Bui choosing to sign.

In their original article, published February 11, Vien Dong reported that Nguyen said "It's been 40 years, why is the Vietnamese community still angry?", prompting an outcry of anti-Communist fervor from its readers and across Little Saigon that has the new mayor in hot water and Republicans dreaming recall. Never mind that Nguyen never even said the phrase "40 years" that night, or anything remotely close to that during the meeting.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On Bao Nguyen's Stance Against Little Saigon's Status Quo!

Garden Grove
Mayor Nguyen making waves

Anyone who knows anything about Little Saigon politics knows the routine: someone brings up something condemning anything remotely related to the commie Republic of Vietnam, and every politician follows forth praising refugees and freedom and damning the Reds--never mind that trade between Little Saigon and Vietnam goes into the hundreds of millions annually. Leading the way, of course, are Vietnamese politicians, who know any deviation from this script will result in angry protests and retribution at the ballot box.

Enter Bao Nguyen, new mayor of Garden Grove. As we wrote last week, Nguyen refused to sign a letter condemning Riverside for agreeing to enter into a sister city partnership with a Vietnamese city, leading to threats of a recall. This is what I talked about this week in my weekly KCRW "Orange County Line" commentary.

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Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen Won't Sign Letter Blasting Riverside-Vietnam Sister City Program

Photo by Charles Lam
Bao Nguyen (left center) listens as Chris Pham (right) proposes an alternative

Garden Grove will be sending the city of Riverside a letter urging them to dissolve their planned sister city relationship with Can Tho, Vietnam, but Mayor Bao Nguyen's signature won't be on it.

No, in a near four-hour long meeting last night, the Garden Grove City Council voted to send a letter, but to let each member of the city council decide themselves if they want to affix their name to it. That decision came in place of a vote that would have sent a letter signed by the city as a unit.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "OC Line": On the Little Saigon Voting Machine!

Andrew Do campaign
Don't do what Do does...
I'll have more thoughts on Andrew Do's presumptive victory over Lou Correa in the First Supervisorial District special election last week, specifically what it means to OC politics in general. But for this week's edition of my KCRW-FM 89.9's "Orange County Line," I decided to focus on how Vietnamese voters vote in Orange County, specifically in Little Saigon: often, early, and in such numbers that it leads to the easy wins of shady politicians like Do and his mentor (and former boss), State Senator Janet Nguyen.

As I explained to host Steve Chiotakis, the Little Saigon machine is almost overwhelmingly Republican, but has led to the election of Garden Grove Mayor Bao Nguyen. Bao also represents the future of Little Saigon politics as a 1.5-generation politician, part of a generation for whom communism is no longer the rallying cry it is for the elders. But that moment hasn't happened yet, so let's sit back and marvel at the Little Saigon machine--and laugh at the idiot local Democrats who have let this happen.

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Little Saigon Protestors Show Up in Riverside Like They Always Do And Always Will

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Photo by R Scott Moxley
This happens often

Yesterday, hundreds of anti-communist protestors bussed from Little Saigon to Riverside to picket like they're wont to do. They converged on the Riverside City Hall for a day, and for a few hours in the mild weather rallied against a sister-city relationship between Riverside and Can Tho, the fourth largest city in Vietnam. Can Tho is a beautiful city in the Mekong Delta, located in the far south of Vietnam. It's known for its floating marketplace and giant bridge--much nicer to visit than Riverside. It's also my dad's hometown.

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Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater Attacks Opponent Bao Nguyen With Most Laughable Mailer Ever

Photo by John Gilhooley
Nguyen: Making Broadwater running scared

Pandering to the Vietnamese voter base has been way simple for a long time. In danger of losing your election? Just say your opponents loves the commies. Or you hate the commies more! Throw in some grainy photos, and don't forget to slap a a commie star on the commie...'cause commie star! Even Karl Rove couldn't think of a more fiendishly simple script.

And here's the latest example from Little Saigon: an attack mailer targeted at Garden Grove mayoral candidate (and current school trustee) Bao Nguyen paid for by a committee tied to the city's mayor, Bruce Broadwater.

The Weekly appears twice on the mailer (It's nice to know we have fans), which paints Nguyen as a commie-loving, community-hating all around bad guy--and anyone knows that any politician this infernal rag doesn't immediately hate has no chance of winning an election. But the attack basically boils down to: freedom of speech sucks, everyone who lives in Vietnam is a communist, and gay people shouldn't be talked about.

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