HAPPYTOWN 


After spending the past 14 months in a Vietnamese prison without being charged, Orlando resident Thuong "Cuc" Nguyen Foshee is finally headed to trial Nov. 10 in Ho Chi Minh City, where she is suspected of terrorism `"Free Cuc," Oct. 19`.

A spokesperson from the U.S. State Department has confirmed that Foshee is now facing criminal charges.

Foshee's detainment stems from her loose involvement with an American based pro-Democracy outfit, Free Government of Vietnam, which the Vietnamese government considers a terrorist organization. It's likely, however, that Foshee's anti-communist work is what really landed her in prison.

Some of her family members think going to trial is good news and a step forward. "I think it might be the best thing for her right now," says Foshee's former husband, Ed Foshee. "I just hope they don't sentence her to anything long-term over there."

MURDER WATCH

No. 43: Police found Nelson Espinal, 39, lying in the parking lot of an east Orlando bar early on the morning of Nov. 1. He later died as the result of trauma he received from being run over by a van. Witnesses told police the hit-and-run was intentional.

The cops arrested Deyvis Tista, 22, on charges of second-degree murder.

Foshee's daughter, Liz McCausland, says she's apprehensive about the trial. "My mother still hasn't seen her attorney, and he can't defend her because we haven't seen any evidence yet," says a frustrated McCausland. "Even if I knew what the charges were, we don't what the evidence is at this point."

The news comes right before a key vote to establish permanent trade relations between Vietnam and the United States is set to go before Congress in mid-November. President Bush is pushing for permanent trade relations, but U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida is threatening to halt the vote until Foshee is released.

Are you in your 20s? Unmarried? Having sex? Well, Uncle Sam wants you to knock it off. Yes, you heard us; get up, pull up your pants and go do something else. We recommend checkers. Whatever. Just stop the screwing. (Those of you who are married, or over 30, may continue your whoring around.)

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is spending about $50 million to get the message out that kids — and that apparently includes anyone under 30 — shouldn't be sexually active. "The message is, ‘It's better to wait until you're married to bear or father children,'" a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mouthpiece told USA Today Oct. 31. "The only 100 percent effective way of getting there is abstinence."

Of course, there's no reason to have sex than to procreate, right? Right.

Happytown™, being a chaste-until-marriage column, is simply amazed that more young Americans aren't taking this advice to heart. When we were budding columnists, we listened to the federal government ….

Something like 90 percent of kids these days are performing unwholesome sex acts (which is all sex acts, if you are under 30), according to the Department of Health. And that's unsettling.

Thank you once again, Republican party, for being the people who keep Big Government out of our lives.

On Nov. 3, which was a Viernes, the City of Orlando decided to go all bilingual on our asses by signing a brand-new Sister City accord with Valladolid, Spain. The idea, of course, is to peacefully coexist with a not-so-close neighbor under the civic banner of "cultural exchange." The reality was a swinging, arbitrarily accented party in the rotunda at City Hall, starring our mayor, John H. "Buddy" Dyer Jr., and their mayor, Francisco Javier Leon de la Riva (phew), Vina Cabrejas Spanish wine and flamenco dancer included.

Smiling police chief Michael McCoy was there, as were commissioners Stuart, Ings and Sheehan, who rib-nudged us that she "figured at least Spain has domestic partnerships. I thought it would be a good chance to stick it in Buddy's ribs!"

A hot Latin translator deciphered the polite, ceremonious musings of the two mayors. Mayor de la Riva said he didn't see the sister city arrangement as a chance to compete with the Orlando tourist dollar, and noted that Valladolidians speak the best Spanish. Mayor Dyer said, "One of the things that impressed me most when I visited Spain was the ham."

The mayors exchanged gifts — we got reproduction nautical maps and a trophy/statue replica thing, they got a photo of Florida taken from space by Bill Nelson! … and a glass vase — and when it came time for the new pals to toast the partnership, they raised their wine glasses filled with orange juice and boldly toasted "to the sister city agreement!"

Here, here! To the sissies!

NOVEMBER-ONLY FEATURE:
SWEEPS WATCH!

It’s the silly season, and by that we mean November Sweeps, wherein local news channels try to jack up ratings by getting you glued to the tube. Let’s follow the fun!

Nov. 2, WKMG-TV Local 6: Problem Solver Steven Cooper is determined to make the Orlando International Airport a safer place to … stand. Cooper and his investigative team placed unattended baggage in various areas of OIA, which we all know is a no-no, then filmed said unattended baggage as Transportation Security Administration employees walked past it.

Armed with this damning footage, Cooper confronted a nonplussed Rep. John Mica, the Republican chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, apparently expecting Mica to praise the valiant news crusaders for exposing this atrocity.

They didn’t get the desired reaction. “There are thousands of bags left down by the carousel,” Mica said. “It doesn’t bother me — did it explode? That doesn’t pose a risk.”

Terrorists are more likely to kill hundreds of people in an airplane than a handful in the lobby. Besides, you can’t protect everything, Mica noted. “I have a dozen more venues where you could kill more people than in an airport lobby. That is not the kind of risk that I need to be spending billions of additional taxpayer dollars on.”

Orlando International Airport officials responded to his report with — drumroll, please — new signs about unattended baggage!

Way to go, Steven!

 

This week's report by Jeffrey C. Billman, Jonathan Cunningham and Billy Manes.

happytown@orlandoweekly.com

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