Sunday, December 27, 2009
" Santa Clara County has joined a nationwide program sponsored by the National Association of Counties to buy drugs in bulk. The main idea is to help sick people buy drugs they need but can't afford and to bring more business to pharmacies. Residents of any age, with or without health coverage, can get a free card without having to register or fill out cumbersome paperwork. Locally, 200 pharmacies will participate. The cards can also be used outside the county at about 59,000 pharmacies recruited by the association.
Kicking off the program at Government Hall, Supervisor Liz Kniss said the program won't cost county taxpayers a dime. Pharmacies expect to profit by selling more prescription drugs to patients who can't afford them now."
While new to this county, the program has operated for several years in dozens of states throughout the country. There is no budget or end date for the program, and residents can use the discount cards as often as they purchase prescription medications.
To get a list of participating pharmacies and counties throughout the US, go to caremark.com/naco or call 1-877-321-2652.
Residents need only to print out a "prescription discount card" online from a county Web site in order to take advantage of the discount. The cards are also available at county libraries, Social Service Agency headquarters, and the county administration building.
To get a free prescription drug discount card, link to the website:
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This depleted army, outnumbered and outgunned, stood its ground and fought to the end and succeed. Against all expectations, the ARVN beat back furious assaults from 3 North Vietnamese divisions, supported by artillery and armored regiments, during the three months of savage fighting.
About the Author
Lam Quang Thi was a general in the ARVN. He is the auther of "The Twenty-five Year Century: A South Vietnamese General Remembers the Indochina War to the Fall of Saigon (UNT Press). He lives in Fremont, California. Andrew West (foreword) is the author of "Vietnam's Forgotten Army: Heroism and Betrayal in the ARVN."
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Brown Act lawsuit is grinding through the wheel of justice with the City of San Jose trying to ask for a dismissal. Recently, the City appealed to the Court of Appeals but lost its appeal on related matter. The date for the trial will be in early March 2010. The community recently had a fund raising event to support the trial. Another event will be on December 13, 2009
According the community's website:
Established in 1994, VACNORCAL is a nonprofit organization represeting Vietnamese-Americans in Northern California. Headquartered in San Jose, its mission is to support theVietnamese-American community in the Bay Area. VACNORCAL is the plaintiff.
Vietnamese American Community Services (VACS) is a nonprofit foundation founded by Dr. Phu Le. The foundation provides social assistance to San Jose Vietnamese-American residents. Dr. Phu Le is the treasurer of the legal fund.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The funny thing is due to the disagreement between the two leading organizations of the Vietnamese-American community in San Jose, Viet-AmericanVoters of Northern California and Vietnamese-American Community of Northern California, the colation decided not to include them in the group. The coalition includes NAACP, Asian Law Alliance, La Raza Lawyers; African-American Community Services Agency; Silicon Valley De-Bug; Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network; San Jose Peace and Justice Center; National Lawyers Guild; Asian-American Center of Santa Clara County and Coalition for Justice and Accountability are united in their call for the police chief to step down.
The coalition will have a press conference in front of the city hall at noon on Tuesday November 24 to update their progress including their succesful effort to have the release of the Daniel Pham's 911 tape. From the latest rumors, attending the press conference will be members of the Viet-American Voters of Northern Cal. but not the members of VACNORCAL.
VACNORCAL sees this as an issue of not a community being mistreated by those in power but an issue of communist vs. anti-communist. The logic is simple to VACNORCAL. Since the exchange student Ho Phuong comes from Vietnam, he is a communist and VACNORCAL cannot be seen as supporting a communist. Hence, VACNORCAL decided not to join the coalition against their effort of pushing for changes as well as asking for the resign of SJPD Chief Davis
The Viet-America Voters of Norther Cal is made up of mostly younger activists and they only see this is a community issue as a whole. In order to better the community, there has to be drastic changes. And Phuong Ho was a victim of an abusive system that needs to be changed.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
For the past 6 years since the 95-pound mother of two toddlers Cau Tran killing until the most recent mentally-ill Daniel Pham killing by the SJPD, I did not see our chief of police or the police department leadership reach out to the Vietnamese American community or the victims’ families in any meaningful way.
At least the name of the Cau Tran's shooter was released, the Daniel Pham's shooter's names were kept secret and were not made known until the no-indictment information, several months later. So, public information became more secretive. It was an open grand jury for Cau Tran's killing, and it was a closed grand jury for the Daniel Pham's killing. Transparency has become a thing of the past. SJPD police on July 13, 2003 killed Cau Tran with one bullet in the safety of her own kitchen. On May 10, 2009, they killed Daniel Pham with 12 bullets. Is it self-defense, or is it hate that these police pumped 12 bullets into this person in his own backyard?
I am one of those who are concerned about the quick erosion and loss of many residents’ trust in our police or the leadership for what they say, what they do, and how sincere they are in what they do and say in relation to what they have done.
The voices of residents of all ethnic groups calling out for help at City Council meetings in the past two years have reached a conclusive level of how many residents’ lives and career opportunities have been deeply damaged due to racial profiling, wrongful arrests of public intoxication, excessive force and beatings against young people / mothers and fathers of young children, and most recently the video-taped cry-for-mercy from a San Jose State student. The call for thorough investigation was made only after pressure from the community and the Mercury’s October 25th exposure of the video-taped beating of the SJSU student that took place nearly two months ago.
How many more incidents never saw the light of day because they were not brought to the public’s attention or were "not known" by the leadership? How credible is the police investigation of themselves (or the DA's investigations regarding SJPD police shootings in the past) especially when they found that none ("ZERO") of the arrest complaints in 2008 was sustained or had any merit? For the police, is "Zero" an improvement from less than 2% sustained complaints in the 117 (2 out of 117) complaints filed in 2007? When the average should be 8%? Why 82 percent of those arrested are ethnic minorities? (Information according to the Mercury News findings, November 1, 2009).
Should we accept that ethnic minorities could expect to be more disrespected and abused by our police? We should not have to cry for mercy from those who are paid to instill a sense of safety, trust, and respect whenever they are near us.
If we want to know how the next years will be, one of the most reliable indicators is to look at how the past 5 years have been. If you were not invited to meet and confer in the past 5 years, be thoughtful. Maybe you were not that important to a system that is in principal designed to serve and protect at the interest of the public.
Should our children or members of our community be beaten and victimized by authorities (e.g., police) after being bullied by others (Jeremy Suftin, the friend of the beaten SJSU student) may be because one is a member of the minorities, whether in school or out of school? Many of these victims of police abuse by excessive force have to defend themselves for charges such as "resisting arrest" and all kinds of additional charges. Aren't these afterall Human Rights and Human Dignity issues?
Who knows who the next victims will be? It could be anyone of us if we still think I am too good to be treated like that.
Thanks to our good cops, and many of us have friends who are cops. It's the bad cops that made many of us fearful of them all. Unfortunately, the record shows that they have been in good hands: "Zero complaints sustained in 2008!". "$861.000 settlement!"
We hope our elected leaders can help repair the damage of community's trust (and respect). We all deserve it.
Could this be the defining moment for San Jose community, and more importantly its leadership so that we can know how to answer if one day our children ask: Where was our humanity?
The article is written by Sam Ho, a long time San Jose resident.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
At the reception, in reference to the protesters, Victor Duong commented with laughter: " The extremists missed the boat and demonstrated at the wrong place". Victor Duong along with his brother David Duong are owners of California Waste Solution. They are a big donors to State Assemblyman Van Tran and Madison Nguyen. Recently, both brothers gave Van Tran $9,600 for his congressional bid in 2010 against Quang Pham, an ex-marine pilot. Both brothers own real estate and recycling business in VN worth about $65 million.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Phuong Ho is the student who was physically assaulted by 4 SJPD officers while handcuffed. The cell phone video captured the beating by his roommate is everywhere on the Web.
Meanwhile, the week before, Chief Rob Davis, personally paid a visit to the Vietnamese-American Community of Northern Cal (VACNORCAL). His visit came after a rather determined meeting at the Asian Law Alliance’s headquarters where Raj Jayadev (Silicon Valley De-bug) vocally suggested that there should be some concerted legal effort at the federal level against SJPD and the removal of Chief Davis. The meeting was attended by ACLU, NAACP, and other prominent civil rights groups.
The message from the meeting was quickly channeled back to the SJPD.
After being pressure by the Mercury News along with other community activists, Chuck Reed and the city council had decided that they will release the 911 tape of Daniel Pham shooting under certain conditions. It was a pyrrhic victory for the community for a closed door grand jury proceeding already determined not to charge the officers in the shooting death.
Dolores Carr on the other hand is looking hard over her shoulder for she knows that she cannot longer count on the community to deliver her the votes for 2010 election. She tried her best three months ago attending the Community Day event along with her husband asking for their votes. In front of about 2,000 people she asked for their votes while ignoring the fact that she had turned down their request to have an open grand jury proceeding on Daniel Pham as well as the release of the 911 tape.
Meanwhile behind the scene, Madison Nguyen is going after her political enemy with vengeance.
She pulled her hammer after Community Day event in August. The event was held the parking lot in front of VACNORCAL’s rented building on 10th street. This is the same building that Bill Clinton held his fund raising effort for his wife last year for her presidential run. The parking lot was filled with about 2,000 people. The event was put together by VACNORCAL, the same group that supported the name Little Saigon against Madison Nguyen and is now suing Nguyen for violation of the Brown Act.
At this event, the community elected new officers for VACNORCAL, Viet Voters Foundation along with multiple Vietnamese-American organizations showed unification and joined hands with many dignitaries. Five members of the San Jose City Council attended along with District Attorney Dolores Carr, her husband, State Assembly member Alberto Terrico and Pete McHugh.
VACNORCAL was served the following week with a Compliance Order to cease and desist all activities by City of San Jose Code Enforcement Division. The rationale? Their facility was not zoned for community center and assembly of more than 49 people. Penalties range from civil contempt to fine of $2,500 per day from the time the Compliance order was served. This is the same VACNORCAL that subsists on a $3,000 monthly budget and yet manages to have food kitchen, free health clinics, and provide facility use for all the cultural, religious and community activities. For the last 2 months, the community has to cancel all upcoming events.
Adding insult to injury, City Code Enforcement has set a team of Code Enforcement inspectors to “monitor” the activity of the community center every weekday and weekend since August. They would come during planned small events and meetings and “remind” that VACNORCAL will be shut down and pay stiff fines if their camera captures more than 49 people at the same time. Last week, a police car was seen at the parking lot with a police officer observing and taking notes of people coming and out of the community center.
With the city in budget crisis, the city is definitely going the extra mile spending money to “serve” a nonprofit foundation that happens to disagree with the policy of a city council member.
A city council’s main objective is to serve its community’s interest and to provide support for a community to grow. In a twisted world of Madison Nguyen, this is a second time that she has used zoning law to shut down a nonprofit foundation that did not support her. Remember the GI Forum anyone?
Friday, November 6, 2009
Here are the excerpts -
.... Several seats could potentially be in play in California in 2010; this post will examine these potentially competitive races by assessing the current financial health of each campaign (both incumbents and their challengers). The post will look at eight potential 2010 battleground districts. While none are yet clear takeover opportunities for either party, some of them could develop into very competitive races. The races were deemed potentially competitive based on three factors. (1) the race was competitive in 2008, (2) the incumbent won the last election by a narrow margin, or (3) either the Democrats or Republicans have targeted the race. A race is deemed to be targeted if a candidate has been identified as part of (a) the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)’s Frontline Program (vulnerable Democratic incumbents), (b) the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)’s Patriot Program (vulnerable Republican incumbents), or (c) the NRCC’s Young Guns Program (exciting Republican challengers)............
CA-47 Loretta Sanchez (D)
Loretta Sanchez won in 2008 with close to 70% of the vote, and Obama decisively won her District. However, at least initially, the NRCC was very excited about Assemblyman Van Tran’s campaign because the NRCC thought he could be the ideal candidate for the District, so he was placed in the Young Guns Program. Sanchez only raised $134,800 in the third quarter but has $769,000 cash on hand. Tran only raised $85,900 and has $282,500 cash on hand. The NRCC recently released its latest list for the Young Guns Program and did not move Tran up to the next level of “Contender.” Tran may be an exciting candidate, but he will need to have stronger fundraising quarters if he is going to compete with Sanchez.....
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Everybody knows in Little Saigon that Tran has many times used the McCarthyism tactic against people whom he feels that could potentially be his political threats. Last year, he personally sent out 20,000 mailers from his state assembly office as an open letter to the community. The mailer had his picture and the official letter head of the state assemly. The letter urged the community not the vote for Janet Nguyen for she is a communist. Why she is a communist? Because she received political donation from a businessman who has business in Vietnam.
Previously, he had asked his henchman, Cao sinh Cuong, to call in the Garden Grove Unified School District to force them to rescind their nomination of Nguyen Lam Kim Oanh as the first Vietnamese-American superitendent ever. Cao called in and accused Kim Oanh of being a communist agent. The school board, knowing the anti-communist ferver of Little Saigon, decided to remove Kim Oanh from the position after they had announced her appointment. Kim Oanh has now sued Cuong for libel and defamation.
So why Van is still on the offensive with Janet Nguyen? Does he not realize that without Janet Nguyen's support for his congressional candidacy, he has little chance to win. Nguyen's district is 40% of the congressional district 47.
Van is a controversial candidate within in his own community. His political machine and its intimidating tactic to have complete political control of Little Saigon has the OC Register called him the "Godfather of Little Saigon" and his cohorts are referred in the community as as the "Gang of Seven", including the two infamous Trung Nguyen and Andy Quach.
The community is ambivalent about Tran and it shows in his lack of fund raising support within his community. It does not help when people found out that his biggest campaign contributors are David, Duong, Victor Duong and Hoang Kieu. The three most celebrated businesmen doing business in Vietnam with their multimillion dollars ventures. Of course, Hoang Kieu earlier this year even had the Vietnam communist government recognized him in a special ceremony with the State President Nguyen minh Triet.
His name recognition in the mainstream media so far is his ethnicity, his freedom flag issue, his anti-communist resolution against communist agents doing business in Wesminster, his interference with the DUI investigation and his wife's conviction of one of the largest automobile & medical insurance frauds in the state of California.
For Van Tran to realistically have a chance in D47 where there is only 12% Vietnamese-American voters, he needs to learn that this is a race that if he loses, his political career is over.
Captain Phan Ngo, one of a very few Vietnamese American police officers in the SJPD, was on Vietnamese-American radio trying to calm the community. He took the department position of this is a very rare case . Ngo claimed only 1% or less. He mentioned that the department will go through its internal investigation to determine if there is any wrondoing by the police officers.
Jenny Do, the lawyer who did the interview, reminded him that in this case there was a video. How many other incidences of police abuse of Asian Americans that are not being brought forward due to lack of witness or video?
SJPD should release all record of resistance arrest by Asian Americans and how many had to go to the hospital afterward.
At the press conference on Tuesdayheld by Viet-American Voters of Northern California along with Asian Law Alliance, ACLU, NCAAP, Silicon Valley De-Bug other civil rights groups, Councilmember Sam Liccardo spoke and reiterated his request for an open and full investigation. Madison Nguyen was inside city hall speaking to reporters. Liccardo, Nguyen and Councilmber Ash Kalra had publicly requested an open and full investigation.
Nguyen in her interviews with Vietnamese-American press has gone as far as saying she wanted a reform of the SJPD.
What will DA Dolores Carr do? She can always have close grand jury investigation similar with Daniel Pham where the evidence is being heard one sided.
This is now become a waiting game with political consequences for Dolores Carr and an international black eye for Chuck Reed and SJPD.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Undoubtly the Vietnamese Consulate will involve at one point or another to protect its citizen, especially one that has his human rights violated. Today, his lawyer, Nguyen Hoang Duyen, had an interview with an international human rights group and had file a civil rights complain. Nguyen is an associate dean of Lincoln Law School. This is a small private law school. The school's faculty includes - Ash Kalra (ex-public defender and currenlty San Jose city councilmember), three superior court judges including Barrett Thang Nguyen and one of the well known criminal lawyers in California - Guyton Jinkerson.
LSI is not a betting person and do not know enough about the law but it is a safe bet to say that the DA office will not proceed with a trial and that the police officers will not be charged with anything.
Asian Law Alliance will have a townhall meeting with representatives of community groups this Wednesday at 2:00 PM (at their headquarters) on the issue of police excessive use of force as well as civil rights of minorities in San Jose.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
As a minority (He is Indo-American) and an ex-public defender, he said that he was very disturbed by the video. He mentioned that he will ask other councilmembers to fully investigate the incidence.
The community will have a press conference at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in front of San Jose City Hall.
The press conference will be organized and lead by the Viet American Voters of Northern California, a nonprofit organization focusing on promoting Vietnamese-American voices in the community.
According to the Mercury News -
"It takes me back to the day I saw the Rodney King video on TV," said Roger Clark, a certified policing expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, where he served for 27 years.
The video tape was made by his roommate using cell phone and sold to Ho's lawyer, Nguyen hoang Duyen.
His roommate is an eyewitness and could not believe the beating of an unarmed classmate. The SJPD this year shot to death a mentally retarded Daniel Pham and so far has refused to release information about the case despite the community's request.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Nguoi Viet reported that Van Tran has a total of $253,000. Quang Pham raised $117,000 in his effort since August.
When asked about the upcoming primary against Quang Pham, Van Tran replied: " I put my funding to work for November election and not so much focus on the primary."
With his major donors coming from Vietnamese-American multimillionaires who have close business tie with the communist government (e.g. Hoang Kieu, owner of RAAS, who received commendation from State President Triet Nguyen and is now responsible for the promotion of Miss World 2010 to be held in VN), Van Tran was very confident that he could raise $1.5 million.
He will have at least 1 dozen fund raising events in November, he boasted.
One interesting note about the Nguoi Viet's article is that they pointed out the fact that he received $4,800 from David Duong, the multimillionaire from San Jose who is has mutliple investments in Vietnam and is a close friend of the former prime minister of Vietnam, Phan van Khai and a strong supporter of the controversial Madison Nguyen, San Jose city councilmember.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
A little more than a year ago, The Vietnamese-American Community of Northern California (VACNORCAL) brougth the lawsuit against Nguyen and city for violating the Brown Act. Nguyen is accused of conspiring with a majority of city councilmembers behind close door before the council open vote on the naming of a 4 block street Little Saigon (In this case against Little Saigon).
The city had requested a gag order asking to not have any discussion of the ongoing lawsuit to be in the public domain, including factual information about the lawsuit available to the public under the law. VACNORCAL's argument against the gag order is violation of First Amendment. The presiding superior court judge, Kevin Murphy, rejected the request and granted the VACNORCAL and the press to report the progress of the lawsuit as well as the release of the deposition tape interviewing Madison Nguyen, Forrest Williams, Nora Campos, etc...
The trial date is set for Dec 14, 2009. The judge also has requested additional information from both parties for a possible summary judgement before trial.
The outcome of the lawsuit of is unknown but considered the fact that the community is poor and lacking resources to take on the unlimited resources of city government well funded with tax payer money, this will be an interesting case to keep an eye on.
The Brown Act is the corner stone of California government to prevent elected officials to conspire against the public before an open vote. It is the law designed to uphold the integrity and transparency of elected officials.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
The latest episode is her silence on the issue of mentally disturbed man, Daniel Pham, who was shot to death in his house by San Jose police officers. Unlike Councilmember Kansen Chu who showed immediate concern for victim’s family by visiting them within a couple weeks of the shooting and taking an official from SJPD to meet with the family, Madison Nguyen has decided not to meet with the victim’s family or even offered support. Being the only elected Vietnamese-American in the city where the population is 10% Vietnamese-Americans, this is a strange action to take.
She was elected to office by her promise that she would represent the Vietnamese-American community. She made her name for herself at that time with her effort against the shooting death of Le Thi Bich Cau, a mentally disturbed woman who was shot to death in her house by San Jose police officers who claimed that she was a threat to them while holding a potato peeler. The policemen later defenfed themselves by claiming that they thought she was holding a knife. The latest victim here was also a mentally retarded man who was shot to death at his house while holding a knife. According to the victim’s brother who called 911, the police officers who arrived at the scene were given warning by family members that the victim was mentally ill and had asked to officers not to shoot him.
Recently, the Vietnamese-American community demonstrated in front of San Jose City Hall and then Santa Clara County Hall demanding to know why the SJPD and the DA office (Dolores Carr) have not released the 911 tape as well as the coroner’s report on Daniel Pham.
The investigation is still pending but it should not preclude the SJPD and the DA office from releasing the information. In the Le Thi Bich Cau’s incident, the same set of information was released without fanfare.
For Nguyen, instead of showing leadership to the community that elected her in office in first place, she has decided to play it safe not to disturb the hand that keeps her in office for now.
Note: The San Jose police union is one of the most powerful unions in the city.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Among the winners is Andrew Lam for Best Opinion. Andrew Lam is an editor for New America Media, the largest ethnic news organization in the country. He also is a commentator for National Public Radio and recently published his book - "Perfumed Dreams - The Reflection of Vietnamese Diaspora".
He receives the award for "Letter from Athens: Greek Tragedies and News Media in the Age of Twitter", "Our Man Obama: The Post-Imperial Presidency" and "How McCain Became MacBeth", the opinion pieces reflected a unique ability to portray contemporary events in a rich context by drawing on history, literature and philosophy.
Career Achievement: Susan Sward, formerly of the San Francisco Chronicle
Distinguished Service to Journalism: Paul Kleyman, New America Media
Unsung Hero: Geoff Link, Central City Extra
John Gothberg Award for Meritorious Service to SPJ: Janet Mandelstam, freelance writer
The Economy: Charles Piller, Sacramento Bee
Public Service: Sean Webby, San Jose Mercury News
- Print (daily): The Oakland Tribune
- Print (daily): Nanette Asimov and Jill Tucker, San Francisco Chronicle,
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Tram Be is known to have investment in Southern Bank (Ngan Hang Phuong Nam), Trieu An Hospital in HCM City, and other real estate investments in Binh Chanh (HCM City).
He has close tie with Le thanh Hai who is currently the person in charge of HCM City, the largest city in Vietnam (equivalent to a mayoral position).
This is a first multimillion dollar investment by a Vietnamese from Vietnam (a communist dictatorship country) into Silicon Valley, albeit real estate or hi-tech companies.
Located in one of Silicon Valley’s most prosperous communities, the 4th biggest mall in San Jose has a checkered history.
The origininal investors of the mall is consisted of Vietnamese-American and Chinese-American investors in the Bay Area. One of the Vietnamese-Americans is the owner of Grand Century Mall on Senter Road. They were hoping to turn the mall into the largest Asian mall in the US. They acquiried the mall for $80 million in early 2003 from foreclosure after the previous owners defaulted on the mortgage. They were forced to sell the majority of their equity in late 2007 to an international turnaround specialist OrbitResources (A Tawainese company with Philip Liao as its CEO) after running into financial troubles for missteps, particularly the over construction costs for a new 16-screen theater. Orbit became then the main investor in Cupertino Square LLC and Vallco International Shopping Center, LLC.
According to a San Jose Business Journal's article published on 9-4-2008, Gramercy (a New York-based real estate investment trust) is the lender of a $113 million construction loan. The mall owners filed for bankruptcy on 9-2-2008 because they could not meet their debt obligation.
The reorganization plan proposed in early 2009 by the debtors was supposed to be a compromise with its lenders. Pursuant to the plan, a newly-formed entity would acquire the shopping center for $105 million (plus additional consideration), which purchase price would likely be financed by the pre-petition lenders and other investors.
The $60 million investment by Tram Be is believed to allow him to be the majority stake holder of the shopping mall.
According to San Jose Business Journal, Cupertino Square has more than 1.2 million square feet of retail space situated on slightly more than 50 acres. The mall has four anchor tenants — three department stores and an 80,000-square-foot movie theater — plus more than 500,000 square feet of in-line shop space and a food court. Only about half the building area and 21 acres of land are owned by the debtors, however, with the balance of land and improvements owned by the department stores.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The detail is being worked out but it seems that Van Tran will have one hour for him and his "Gang of Seven". The other three hours ( or two) will be reserved for Dinh Quang Anh Thai and possibly Vu Quy Hao Nhien. They both are recently hired editors for Nguoi Viet. In the case of Hao Nhien, it was a rehire. But knowing Hao Nhien, he might back out from doing radio show. He is more comfortable writing blog (Bolsavik) then doing live radio show. Anh Thai of course came from Little Saigon Radio, the most popular radio show in Little Saigon before financial difficult affected their operation.
Van Tran realizes that without having control of a radio show, he is at the mercy of talk show hosts who don't like him and his group. Now with Nguoi Viet on board and he has access to 1 hour of radio time every weekday, Tran feels confident knowing that he is sitting pretty next year during the primary.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Quang Pham is a well known figure in the Vietnamese-American community for his autobiography about his journey as a young boy growing in America and ultimately served his country as a Marine pilot fighting in the first Gulf War. He is also an entrepeneur building successful businesses in the health care industry.
Friday, September 11, 2009
From Yale Chief of Police James A. Perrotti:
As you know from the information we provided publicly through the media yesterday, the Yale Police, with assistance from the FBI, the CT State Police, and the New Haven Police, are investigating the disappearance of Annie Le, a graduate student who is pursuing a PhD degree at Yale. Ms. Le’s last known location was in a Yale research facility at 10 Amistad Street on Tuesday morning.
We have appealed to the general public, as well as to the Yale community, for any information about Ms. Le’s whereabouts and are actively pursuing all leads. Ms. Le’s professors, colleagues, friends, family, and her fiancé are assisting in the investigation. The State Police have searched the area of Ms. Le’s last known appearance with their bloodhounds; law enforcement officers are continuing to undertake detailed searches of the surrounding area; and security officials are reviewing images from closed-circuit cameras in the area.
If you have any information that might assist in the efforts to find Ms. Le, please call the Yale Police at 203.432.4400 at any time.
Information about student Annie Le:
Age: 24 years old, 07/03/1985
Missing From: New Haven, CT since the morning of 09/08/2009
Details: Annie Le is a Yale School of Medicine graduate student who has not been seen or heard from by family, co-workers and friends since 09/08/2009. Annie Le’s purse containing her cell phone, credit cards and money was left in her office on the morning of 09/08/2009. She was last seen at 10 Amistad Street wearing a knee length brown skirt, bright green short sleeved tee-shirt, brown shoes, and a brown necklace; photo #2 depicts Annie Le entering 10 Amistad the morning of her disappearance. She does not have access to a vehicle. There are no apparent medical issues.
Anyone with information on Annie Le’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Yale Police Department at (203) 432-4400.
Anyone with information that may be helpful is urged to call the FBI hotline:
24 hour FBI tip-line at 1-877-503-1950
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Invited keynote speaker was Congressman Kevin McCarthy, Chief Deputy Whip. The guests of honors listed on the flyers were Congressmen Ken Calvert, John Campbell, Gary Miller, Dana Rohrabacher and Ed Royce.
The restaurtant was told to expect about 250 people.
The event ended up with about 35 people. Kevin McCarthy did not show up. The MC (Carlos Bustamante of Santa Ana) did not mentioned anything about Kevin McCarthy and his absence. Tran spoke about his background and emphasized his 75% ID recognition in the Vietnamese-American community. The irony is that there were about 10 Vietnamese-Americans at the event. They did not get introduced by the MC or recognized by Van Tran. The controversial Diep Truong and Andy Quach did not dare to be there.
Hugh Nguyen, the county clerk OC Recorder candidate, paid $150 to attend the event, hoping to get Van Tran's endorsement. He did not get introduced or recognized by Van Tran or his people. Hugh Nguyen however tried his best to mingle and make sure that the VIPs know that he is a supporter of Van Tran.
Long Pham, the forever assemblyman candidate (this would be his 4th attempt to run for state assembly) who thought he would get Van Tran's endorsement by giving Van $1,000 was not there. Long Pham found out after giving the money that Van, instead of supporting him, decided to support a viable candidate - Allan Mansoor.
The whisper is loud in Little Saigon OC that Van Tran is being funded by big businessmen who has very close tie with the communist government.
The voters are now questioning Van Tran and his rhetorics. Van Tran major supporters from the community so far are - Frank Jao with his multimillion dollars investment in commercial real estate in Vietnam, David Duong and Victor Duong with their public meeting with the then Prime Minister Phan van Khai to sign business contracts, and of course there is Hoang Kieu who just recently received the highest recognition by the communist government for bringing businesses to Vietnam.
With a credential of strong anti-communist and unequivocal supporter of freedom and democracy, Van Tran has a lot of explaining to do in the next few months to the community why he is receiving money from Vietnamese-Chinese big businesmen who do not view the communist government as anything more than a business partner.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
This has prompted an official response from the County Supervisor Janet Nguyen's office.
The response is in Vietnamese and English. Here is an excerpt.
Dear Community Members:
In the past few days, numerous mass emails have been sent and circulated in the Vietnamese-American Community, alluding to a DUI conviction by an individual with the name of Janet Tran Nguyen. A rhetorical question was also raised in these emails, asking “who is this Janet Nguyen?” The ambiguous nature of the emails with their obvious reference to Supervisor Janet Nguyen may lead some members of the community to be confused. Therefore, this letter shall serve as an official response from Supervisor Janet Nguyen.
Supervisor Janet Nguyen does not have any DUI conviction, or, for that matter, any history of prior offense. Any attempt by individuals to insinuate that she does in order to re-direct negative public opinion away from them is malicious and ill-conceived. A cursory review of the information with respect to the legal name and description of the person referred to in the emails readily shows that she is not, indeed, the Supervisor. The middle name is different, and the individual in the conviction is four inches shorter than the Supervisor. Other than a common first and last name, there are no similarities between the Supervisor and this individual. The individuals who attempted to defraud the public in this way should not think that the public is so gullible that a juvenile stunt like this would work.....
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Quach and Tran are always seen together in Little Saigon ever since he asked Quach to be part of his assembly campaign in 2003. He hired Quach to be his campaign fund raiser recently for $2000.
The fact is that Andy Quach and Van Tran were partying together along with Diep Tyler Truong until 10:30 PM at West Coast Buffet. They then left for Citryst Restaurant before the evening was over.
Van Tran needs to make a statement to clear the air. Was he with Andy Quach in the car? All facts so far are pointing that he was in the car with Andy Quach.
Whether Van Tran wants it or not, this QuachGate has the potential to bring down his campaign for congress. Replubican leadership is looking at this issue very seriously. LSI had learned that Van Tran now had chance to look at the political numbers carefully and had done his own polling. Of course, his people is talking about Sanchez and ignoring the primary eventhough Tran feels that a drag out primary might bring out negatives that would damage his image further in the run-off.
Tran knows that if he loses in the primary against Quang Pham or in the run-off against Sanchez, his political career is over. As a calculated person and somebody who does not like to take chances unless he knows that he can win, there are many factors that Van Tran is considering at the moment.
His name recognition is low and the demographic is not in his favor in the 47th congressional district. The Vietnamese-American voters make up about 10% while the Hispanic voters is about 45% of the total voters.
Can Van Tran win the majority of the White votes that make up the other 45%? About 22% of the voters are DTS. These are independent voters who will be the swing vote.
And the DST number begs the the question - can they stand a Vietnamese-American candidate who has a reputation according to mainstream press and Vietnamese-American media as the "Godfather" of Vietnamese-American politics and the leader of the "Gang of Seven", the infamous gang who now is showing their true color - power corrupting small town politicians runing amok.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Information known at the moment according to reports and eye witnesses are as follows:
1. Andy Quach is not making any comments with regards to the 2 hours between West Coast Buffet Restaurant and the drunk driving episode. The owner of West Coast already claimed that Andy Quach, Van Tran and Diep "Tyler" Truong left his restaurant around 10:00 PM and they were not drunk.
2. According to an eye witness, all three went to Citryst Restaurant. The owner of Citryst, Amanda My Dung Nguyen conveniently shut off the surveillance camera at 10:30 PM even though it was required to be on until midnight.
3. City Councilmember Diep "Tyler" Truong asked staff about possible surveillance camera at the crash site. Truong is also a staff member of State Assemblyman Van Tran and part of his famous "Gang of Seven" in Little Saigon.
The rumor running wild in Little Saigon is that Van Tran was in the car with Andy Quach and left the scene of the accident. He later went back since it was only 15 minutes walk from his house and interfered with the police investigating whether Andy Quach was drunk or not, pretending to be Andy's lawyer.
If this is not true, Van Tran should make a statement to end any speculations for the controversy will drag on and on. This will take away his focus to campaign against Quang Pham in the primary.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Early Feb of this year, Westminster Councilman Diep Truong was awaken by Amanda My Dung Nguyen, the owner of Citryst Restaurant, 20 minutes after the police did their inspection of Citryst Restaurant for possible violation. The restaurant had violations in the past. The owner complained about the police visit and Diep Truong took it upon himself to ask the police to stop the investigation.
Soon after Diep Truong hung up, Westminster Councilman Andy Quach called Sgt. Vu and demanded to know why he was investigating Citryst.
The full story is reported by the OC Register, http://www.ocregister.com/articles/diep-police-restaurant-2531261-quach-officers, and the Liberal OC Blog, http://www.theliberaloc.com/2009/08/17/westminster-councilman-tyler-diep-unplugged/
It is noteworthy to point out the taped conversation between Diep Truong and the police officer and how Diep realized that he was being recorded. The conversation is included in both reports above
Westminster City Mayor Rice said she was appalled at Diep's behavior toward the police officer that night.
Friday, August 14, 2009
After receiving a phone call from the owner of Citryst about police visiting the restaurant for possible violations, Truong asked the police in charge of the investigation, officer Tim Vu, why was he visiting the Citryst Restaurant. The conversation was taped.
Officer Vu responsed by asking Truong if he would like him to stop the investigation. According to Nguoi Viet, Truong met up with the city police chief, Andrew Hall, several days later to clear his action.
Citryst Restaurant is owned by Amanda My Dung Nguyen, a relative of the owner of Pho 54 Restaurant. It was at the same Citryst Restaurant that by all account, Andy Quach, Van Tran and Diep 'Tyler" Truong were last seen together after they had left another restaurant the night Quach took out a corner of Westminster with his DUI. Both owners are financial contributors to Assemblyman Van Tran's campaign and are friends of Tran.
LSI has now been told that Diep "Tyler" Truong was also asking city staff the Monday after Andy Quach DUI if there were any home security camera in the area of the accident.
Diep "Tyler" Truong is a staff of Assemblyman Van Tran and of course is part of the well known "Gang of Seven" in Little Saigon
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Tran of course is running for congress against Quang Pham, an ex-Marine pilot, author and businessman, in the Republican primary next year. And if successful, he will have a chance to face the incumbent Loretta Sanchez (D).
The 47th Congressional District, according to an Associated Press news release, has 96,000 registered Democrats, 70,000 registered Republicans and 42,000 registered Independents. These numbers are attained from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. The Vietnamese American voters make up about 10% of the total registered voters. Historically, they always have high turn out and some insiders (mostly political consultants) have estimated that they will represent about 15% - 20% of the total votes, depending on how low the overall turnout will be.
Van Tran's assembly district overlaps the congressional district about 20%. In comparison, Janet Nguyen's county district overlaps 40%.
To combat the recent unfavorable press, Tran has instructed his hired guns to spread the words in op-ed pieces in the Vietnamese-American community as well as word of the mouth that Loretta Sanchez is really afraid of Tran for she cannot raise money. Hence she will opt out to run for governor instead.
Also, in response to the community's concern in regards to budget cut, Tran had a townhall meeting recently and informed the community that 80% of the budget cut will be compensated by federal grants and stimulus packages. This of course is really misrepresenting the facts by Tran to assure one his staunchest voting bloc - the old anti-communist voters who are mostly recipients of federal and state social services.
Tran's major concern right now is the primary of course. Even though he is talking tough and tries his best to ignore Quang Pham at the moment, he understands that the Vietnamese-Americans in OC are looking for a fresh face and are tired of the "Trannie" and the "Gang of Seven". Tran is so sensitive to the label "Gang of Seven" now that when in public events, they made a point of not hanging around together. Before the loss to Janet Nguyen in 2008, they were sticking together like glue to show off their unity and power.
Pham is a relative newcomer to politics. He has the name recognition within the Vietnamese-American community and somewhat of a celebrity with his autobiography of a soldier and soldier's son fighting for the idea of freedom and democracy.
So far the race has not been heating up yet. In term of fund raising, Tran managed to raise $250,000 for his race against Pham and Sanchez. Out of the $250,000, about $175,000 can be used for the primary, the rest is earmarked for the run-off. About $26,000 of the donation came from Vietnamese-American owners of companies that have close tie with the communist government in Vietnam. Pham declared his candidacy later in the filing cycle so his filing statement will not be available until Q3.
A number of factors in play in the Republican primary
1. Clearly the Vietnamese-Americans will play a major role in deciding whether it is Pham or Tran to go against Sanchez - An outsider vs. a political insider. Up until now, the conventional wisdom is that both will split the vote for the community is polarized strongly by Van and his "Gang of Seven". The downfall of Andy Quach is probably viewed indifferently by the mainstream voters. However, within the Vietnamese-American community, Andy Quach and Van Tran represents a political machine entity and its power. Whether this will hurt Van or not, only time can tell
2. The mainstream, how are they going to view Tran as a political establishment with records? Whether these records are in his favor or not, it will depend on his opponent to convince the voters. In addition, his wife conviction of insurance fraud in 2005 (a year after he won the election), will that be a factor? Tran was her attorney as a sitting assemblyman. She got off with a slap on a wrist - probation and a revoked insurance license.
3. Pham is inexperience in political campaign. Tran is well known to use dirty tactics in his political machine to destroy his opponents or perceived opponents, case in point - Janet Nguyen in 2007 and 2008. Even though Pham has been successful in business and has the name recognition in the Vietnamese-American community, he is an unknown outside his circle of business and military sphere.
4. Can Pham build a team to go against Tran's political machine and the "Gang of Seven"? Even though the "Gang of Seven" is less powerful than before with political defeats in 2008 and the now Andy Quach DUI.
All these questions will be answered soon enough as the politics will heat up in the fall (hopefully).
Friday, August 7, 2009
The event was reported by Nguoi Viet Newspaper , http://www.nguoi-viet.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=98931&z=3. The headline is: " Van Tran at Town Hall Meeting in OC: 80% of Budget Cut will be compensated by Federal"
Tran said that despite the $26.3 billion budget cut, this is a short term fiscal reduction and the state is doing all it can to compensate for loss revenue.
Tran emphasized the good news is that the 80% of the cut in education, healthcare and social services will be made up by federal funding and stimulus package so the community should not be worried. He was also proud that despite the cut, the better news is that there was no tax increase in the budget.
Calls were placed to offices of various Democratic and Republican leaders in Sacramento to confirm Van's statement about the good news of receiving federal funding to cover education and health care shortfall was met with skepticism.
Van Tran is running for congress so obviously he did not want to be the bearer of bad news to a strong voting segment of the community that relies heavily on state funded health care and social services for their existence.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
According to those who were at the West Coast Sea Food Buffet, Van Tran, Andy Quach and Diep "Tyler" Truong were there until 10:00 PM when Quach suggested that they go to Citryst. Quach jokingly enticed them with the line "there would be more pretty girls over at Citryst". Citryst is owned by Amanda Nguyen, a relative of the owner of Pho 54 restaurant.
Van Tran and Andy Quach left Citryst together while Tyler Truong left Citris earlier for he is not much of a drinker.
For the record, the owner of West Coast Sea Food Buffet claimed that Quach and Tran were not drunk when they left his restaurant. If there is an ambulance chasing lawyer out there, Citryst would be the place to start your investigation.
City Councilmber Andy Quach of course is part of the " Trannie" known in the Little Saigon as the "Gang of Seven". He is also a paid fund raiser for State Assembly Van Tran. The last bill to Tran was for $2,000.
So far the Andy Quach DUI incident is being implicated in blogs like Red County, Orange Juice, LiberalOC as a cover up by Van Tran and Andy Quach. The blogs have done a great job of vetting out the story. The OC Register also is piecing the story together as more information is being released by the police department.
We now know that Van Tran was there at the scene and tried to interfere with the investigation to a point that the police threatened to arrest him.
Questions are being asked right now in the community:
1. Who was in the car with Andy Quach when he mowed down the utility pole and plowed his car into a residential wall? Was he alone or somebody else was in the passenger seat? This could be easily determined by looking at the passenger side airbag activation.
2. If Van Tran was with And Quach and left the scene and then came back afterward, this is serious cover up and it shows the lack of judgement by Tran for allowing Andy to drive drunk.
3. Were there any security cameras at the scene that could shed light to the event?
Tran had so far have perfect explanation for everything. In the interview with the OC Register, he claimed that he left West Coast Sea Food at 10 PM and went home to read. At midnight, he responsed to Quach's call. Eventhough he admitted that he could not make sense of what Quach was saying, he managed to arrive to interfere with the investigation.
This contradicts with the story that they were both at Citryst after West Coast Sea Food Buffet.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It was quite an accident, Quach hit a smaller car that had 3 passengers, bounced into the utility pole and then hit a concrete wall of a private yard and brought down a whole section The car bursted into flame. Quach's blood alcohol level was 3 times higher than the legal limit. He was incoherent when the police arrived.
Van Tran claimed that Andy called him while Van was at home and gave him direction to the accident. This of course will need to be confirmed with the people at the scene and also the 911 tape might give us some idea.
This is one those stories that has taken a life of itself. Andy Quach is the one that Van Tran trusted the most in all of his underlings. He does not have the wit but makes up with loyalty and try to be the guy behind the scene for Van Tran.
Hao Nhien was fired for his role in the foot washing pan controversy. He went on and started the musing Bolsavik Blog.
Hoang Mai Dat, another young talented writer who was the secretary general until last Saturday, resigned abruptly (probably to make way for Hao Nhien).
With Phan Phu Thien Giao who is now the the editor in chief and the recent hired Dinh Quang Anh Thai as managing editor at large, Nguoi Viet hopes the restructure will boost it sagging ad revenue. It is estimated that after the controversy, NV lost about 15% to 20% of its ad revenue to Vien Dong and Viet Bao.
The publisher is still Phan, Huy Dat, the lawyer. Do Bao Anh's role is unclear for now but she and her family still control the large share of the newspaper. There will be more changes to NV as the newspaper struggles to gain back its lost reputation.
In contrast, Congressman Ed Royce (R) has no Vietnamese-American in his staff. It is noteworthy that none of the Republican congressmembers who are well known for their anti-communist stands and work closely with the Vietnamese-American community have any Vietnamese-Americans in their staff. Meanwhile, Democratic congressmembers like Mike Honda, Zoe Lofgren and Senator Jim Webb all have Vietnamese-American serving in their staff.
In a community that is quite politically active, this is is something to take note.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Nguyen arrived in 1975 as part of the first wave of Vietnamese refugee after the fall of Vietnam. She graduated from UCLA law school in 1991.
In California there are currently 5 Vietnamese-American judges (including Jacqueline Nguyen). They are superior court judges - John Nho Trong Nguyen, Jacqueline My Le Duong, Thang Barret Nguyen, Jacqueline Nguyen and federal immigration judge - Tue Phan.
Each year, the Asian American community is asked to recommend the best and brightest in 15 categories, ranging from education to community service. This year 119 nominations were received. The nominees’ names were placed on a ballot and uploaded to http://www.asianheritageawards.com/ for members of the community to select someone in each category worthy of recognition. Those names were announced during a gala, star-studded ceremony on Saturday, July 25, 2009 aboard the aircraft carrier museum USS Midway in San Diego. The event, this year titled “Legacy and Legends,” also paid special tribute to Retired Army Major General Antonio Taguba, a profile in courage for revealing conditions at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Other outstanding Asian Americans currently serving in the military were also recognized.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
It is important to be clear that the chemical BAC test is a test requested after an arrest for DUI and/or DWI. Its purpose is to provide officers with evidence that you were driving under the influence. It is distinctly separate from the roadside sobriety test and preliminary alcohol screening test (roadside breath test) conducted before an arrest to help officers determine if there is probable cause for an arrest.
According to the OC Register, Quach drove his $100,000 plus Mercedes S550 into a pole after partying with his friends and knocked out power of 300 homes. Electricity is not expected to restore until 8:00 PM tonight.
The former Mayor Pro Term Andy Quach, part of State Assemblyman Van Tran's political machine known in Little Saigon as " The Gang of Seven", has served 7 years as city council member of Westminter.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
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