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February 19, 2006
You don't have to trek halfway around the world for a taste of Vietnam: Just drive down Bolsa Avenue in Westminster. A wave of refugees arrived after the fall of Saigon more than three decades ago. Now this northern corner of Orange County is a place with its very own take on what moves us.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2014 | By Anh Do
At last, they marched. On Saturday, dozens of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender immigrants marched in the annual Tet parade in Little Saigon. The rainbow flag, a distinctive symbol of gay pride, fluttered alongside emblems of California, the United States and South Vietnam. "We love you," participants yelled at friends, family members and thousands of others lining the parade route in Westminster, many dressed to celebrate the Lunar New Year. "We love you, too," some eager youths responded, whistling with joy. The historic moment followed months of fighting as organizers initially sought to ban LGBT activists from joining one of the community's biggest events.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2010 | By My-Thuan Tran, Los Angeles Times
A feud between an Orange County supervisor and a Vietnamese community group over which should organize an event commemorating the fall of Saigon was settled this week when the Westminster City Council decided to let each hold their own ceremony Supervisor Janet Nguyen will be permitted to stage an event at Westminster's Freedom Park from morning to afternoon. The Vietnamese American Community of Southern California will get the park during evening hours. Members of the Vietnamese American Community of Southern California cheered after council members voted in a special hearing Wednesday to modify the supervisor's permit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2014 | By Anh Do
Down at Lily's Bakery, the talk among those hunched over their beignets and iced coffee is focused on the upcoming Lunar New Year parade. The much-anticipated Feb. 1 procession, filled with lion dancers and dignitaries waving from passing cars, winds through Little Saigon as firecrackers pop and the old flag of South Vietnam flutters. The pressing question now is if a rainbow flag will be added to the colorful mix. After firm resistance, organizers of the Tet parade, along with other groups called to a community assembly, relented, agreeing to let a troop of Vietnamese American LGBT activists march.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2009
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 4, 1995
Regarding the Gripe by Prof. Dorine Kondo (" 'Miss Saigon' Is a Celebration of Stereotypes," Feb. 18): It's a "brave new world" as Kondo and the new '90s make mountains out of the mole hills of race and gender. Perhaps if the bar girl had written "Miss Saigon," it would then be palatable to the professor. In the future, please judge a work on its own merit, professor. Your students deserve an objective frame of reference. (Russian writer Vladimir) Nabokov would shrug his shoulders under his headstone if he could hear such "Bend Sinister" politically correct thoughts.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1998
Re W.M.L. Lawson's letter ("Foreign Retailers Should Adapt," Aug. 30). The Little Saigon area has its share of problems, to be sure, but its problems are the result of inadequate planning and control of a healthy and thriving commercial community. These problems, such as traffic control, law enforcement and zoning, are the same for any city. Lawson says visiting shoppers unable to read signs written in Vietnamese could confuse a nail shop for an acupuncture clinic. I have frequently visited Little Saigon and have never been misled by the signs.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 29, 1995
Regarding "It's the Whopper of a Chopper," by Jan Breslauer (Jan. 15): "Miss Saigon" and its ensuing publicity show us that publicly acceptable racism and ethnic fetishes of Asian Americans still prevail in the national consciousness: No thank you to the "classic love story of our time" being about a white soldier and his Asian prostitute. I've seen enough stereotyping of white male saviors and submissive Asian sex vixens to brainwash a nation. No thank you to the two white men who were so moved by a picture of a mother bidding farewell to her Amerasian child that they were compelled to tell their story.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 1996
Re "Three Mysterious Fires Erupt in Little Saigon," Feb. 19: Each year I read about Tet as it approaches and the problems seem to accelerate regularly. How sad that the Vietnamese "most important cultural and religious holiday" promotes so much bickering and violence. I was born and raised in Santa Ana and moved to Westminster in 1964. What changes I have seen in Westminster in the last 15 years. My daily walks in what is now the Little Saigon area came to a halt. In my housing tract, once green yards are now dead or dirt with cars parked on the yard.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 1999
Some people may wonder why we were so angry with a man who was displaying a poster of the late Communist leader Ho Chi Minh along with a flag in the heart of Little Saigon. Even though I am just 19 and of course did not face many obstacles as my grandparents and parents did, I have learned that Communists destroyed our whole lives. For instance, the government prevented you from getting higher education just because you were a son or daughter of a former South Vietnamese soldier.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 2013 | By Anh Do
Radio commentator and human rights activist Viet Dzung, who dominated the airwaves for decades in Little Saigon and was one of the early voices in the emerging immigrant community, died Friday. He was 55. Born Nguyen Ngoc Hung Dung, Viet Dzung became well known in the Vietnamese American community for both his singing and his political commentary on Radio Bolsa, an Orange County-based broadcast that reaches Vietnamese listeners across the country. Though he was born in Vietnam, Viet Dzung refused to return to his homeland after communist forces took control in the wake of the Vietnam war. He also told listeners that he preferred not to play music by artists from Vietnam because of the country's refusal to import music recorded by Vietnamese Americans.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 8, 2013 | By Anh Do
Hieu Nguyen and fellow protesters stood on the sidewalk holding signs and waving an enormous rainbow flag as the traditional Vietnamese parade passed them by. Barred from the Lunar New Year's event - and largely ignored in their own community - members of the fledgling gay rights group decided it was time to stop playing nice. They took training sessions with established LGBT groups, sought out legal strategy from veteran gay rights defenders Lambda Legal and attended workshops.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 | By Anh Do
The long-running Tet Festival, a signature event in America's largest Vietnamese American community, has been abruptly canceled following a dispute between organizers of the Lunar New Year event and city officials in Garden Grove. The three-day festival, which organizers claim is the largest event of its kind outside Vietnam, is an annual favorite in the Little Saigon community, a bustling ethnic enclave that sprawls over four cities in the center core of Orange County. The event has traditionally been held at Garden Grove Park, a facility large enough to accommodate the tens of thousands who attend the colorful celebration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 24, 2013 | By Anh Do
The long-running Tet Festival, a celebrated tradition in America's largest Vietnamese American community, has been abruptly canceled in a dispute between organizers of the Lunar New Year event and city officials in Garden Grove. The three-day festival, which organizers claim is the largest event of its kind outside Vietnam, is an annual favorite in the Little Saigon community, a bustling ethnic enclave that sprawls over four cities in the center of Orange County. The event has traditionally been held at Garden Grove Park, which can accommodate the tens of thousands who attend the colorful celebration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 23, 2013 | By Anh Do
A Westminster police officer and a Little Saigon businessman accused in a loan-sharking case have pleaded not guilty. Officer Anthony Duong Donner, 28, and Kevin Khanh Tuan Do, 38, made their pleas Monday and were ordered to return to court in November. Donner remains on leave from the Westminster police force. FBI agents arrested both men in August, accusing Do of masterminding a loan-sharking operation and using the officer living in his home as his "enforcer. " Do allegedly lent $170,000 to a woman who wanted to open a Garden Grove coffee shop and a lounge in neighboring Westminster, charging her 5% interest a month, along with an annual interest rate of 60%, according to a 39-page FBI affidavit.  Do allegedly directed Donner to collect payments from the woman and told her that if she didn't pay, the police would "interfere with her business" and cite her for driving under the influence, even if she wasn't drinking, FBI Special Agent Joseph Paul Nieblas said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2013 | By Anh Do
FBI agents arrested a Little Saigon businessman and a Westminster police officer early Friday, accusing the entrepreneur of running a loan shark operation and the officer of working as his "enforcer. " Kevin Khanh Tuan Do, who owns Do Design & Construction, allegedly worked with Anthony Duong Donner, a six-year patrol officer for the Westminster police. Donner was arrested when he showed up for work Friday. A 39-page FBI affidavit said the two lived together in Fountain Valley while masterminding illegal activities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1999
Re "U.S. Vietnamese Unite Behind County Protesters," March 4: Expatriate Cubans in Miami have been allowed to dictate U.S.-Cuban foreign policy for decades. Orange County's Republican and Democratic political leaders are now jumping on the bandwagon to extend this same opportunity to Vietnamese Americans. Once the votes and money start flowing to politicians, no one is left who cares enough or is bold enough to do what's best for America. BETTE BALLIET Huntington Beach Columnist Dana Parsons is grossly unfair in his criticism of the demonstrators in Little Saigon and their leadership (March 5)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 1992
The coverage of the vice president's campaign visit provided still more contradictions of Dan Quayle. I find it quite ironic that he managed to be "back home in Indiana" during the Vietnam conflict--safe with the National Guard--missing his opportunity to visit the real Saigon. While playing second banana to King George in Washington now, however, he gladly visits Little Saigon here in Orange County. With his stated disapproval of Pat Buchanan's opinion of "America First," one wonders where exactly down the scale does he rank America?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2013 | By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
In a conservative Orange County town, where the strawberry fields were still plentiful and the population solidly white, Danh's Pharmacy stood out when it opened its doors after the Vietnam War came to an end. Yet the business was just the beginning in a small Orange County city that would quickly balloon into a bustling immigrant community. When Danh N. Quach chose to set up shop in 1978 in Westminster, he knew just one Vietnamese doctor - the same man who agreed to co-sign a loan for him. PHOTOS: Little Saigon turns 25 Now, as Little Saigon celebrates its 25th anniversary - a date marked not by the arrival of refugees, but by the state erecting a freeway offramp sign - Quach's shop stands as a landmark in the largest Vietnamese cultural district outside the country itself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 | By Anh Do, Los Angeles Times
One girl gasps as the grainy black-and-white footage rolls: Women are screaming, thrusting their babies at soldiers boarding a helicopter. In the next scene, hundreds of refugees packed in the belly of a rickety boat rock in the ocean, desperately trying to flee their homeland after the fall of Saigon. Gathered in a Garden Grove office, young adults who grew up in the shadow of war watch the images, only tasting the horrors their parents and relatives endured when South Vietnam fell to Communist forces 38 years ago. For many in immigrant communities like Orange County's Little Saigon, the memory of April 30 - "Black April" to those who lived through it - has been passed on only through photographs, stories or rough video clips.
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