Colin Dowling of Gold Rush Tattoo on Going from Apprentice to Owner

Josh Chesler
A lifelong OC resident, Dowling is happy to keep his art so close to home.

Nine years ago, Colin Dowling decided to use everything he'd learned over the course of his tattooing career to open Gold Rush Tattoo in Costa Mesa. Dowling had never owned his own shop before, but he'd been getting tattooed since he was 18, and started working and apprenticing around shops less than a year later, so he was already closing in on almost a decade in the industry.

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codeCampus Teaches OC Kids How to Build Apps and Robots

Categories: Costa Messy


When Raj Sidhu quit his job last May to seriously pursue a board game idea (now Code Monkey Island) teaching kids how to think like a programmer, he was surprised to find it would become a huge success. Now, he's starting codeCampus Academy, a Costa Mesa-based programming school instructing kids in grades 2-8 basic programming, game development, and robotics. Classes are set to start March 17 aka TOMORROW.

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Brian Talbert and Mike Hammer on Clothing Brand Violent Gentlemen's Rise to Success

Categories: Costa Messy, Main

Courtesy of Violent Gentlemen
Mike Hammer (left) and Brian Talbert (right) of Violent Gentlemen celebrating with the Stanley Cup.

When Violent Gentlemen first made it on to national television, the company consisted of three people. It so happens that one of those three guys who founded Costa Mesa's hockey-based apparel company was a fan-favorite in the NHL--former Anaheim Duck right wing George Parros (better known to non-hockey fans for his magnificent mustache).

The other two founders, Brian Talbert and Mike Hammer, were just hockey fans who happened to have the skills to create one of OC's fastest-growing clothing brands. Talbert covered the design, while Hammer handled the logistics. Throw in Parros' instant credibility with the hockey crowd and a couple of locker room shirts for the Ducks' playoff run, and Violent Gentlemen took off almost instantly.

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Bloomingdale's South Coast Plaza Rings in Lunar New Year...with Rice Paddy Hats

Categories: Costa Messy

Angry Asian Man
What am I lookin' at?

Yesterday, our pal Angry Asian Man reported that Bloomingdale's at South Coast Plaza welcomed Lunar New Year with mannequins wearing--wait for it--rice paddy hats. But of course, the hats were removed shortly after, which implies that the absurdity was acknowledged soon enough.

Stay classy, OC!

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Boobs Were Used to Get Dirt on Costa Mesa City Councilman: Case Against Cop Union's P.I.s

Photo by Chasen Marshall/OC Weekly
Jim Righeimer at a Costa Mesa City Council meeting years ago. He's one of the victims of union private investigators, the DA says.
UPDATE, DEC. 16, 9:31 A.M.: Costa Mesa's CEO and acting police chief issued a joint statement reacting to the Orange County District Attorney's case against two private investigators--who worked for a law firm retained by the city's cop union in the weeks before the November 2012 election--accused of illegally spying on two City Council members.

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Motel Residents Sue Over Costa Mesa Law That Makes Them Move Every 30 Days

Photo by Todd Mathews/OC Weekly
Is spending a night here on anyone else's bucket list?
Motel residents have filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court and will seek an emergency order there today to stop the city of Costa Mesa from making them move every 30 days.

Filed on the residents' behalf by lawyers from the Public Law Center, Haynes and Boone LLP and Western Center on Law and Poverty, the suit challenges an ordinance the Costa Mesa City Council passed by a 3-2 vote in August.

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More Bad News for Drug Rehab Center with Counselor Facing Murder Charge for DUI Crash

The Shaun Eagleson Memorial Fund
Neil Storm Stephany pleaded not guilty to murdering Shaun Eagleson (shown with wife Olivia).
A Costa Mesa drug and alcohol recovery center that had a counselor charged with DUI murder in October is dealing with more negative press this month: the city claims one of its group homes in a residential neighborhood had 11 more beds than legally allowed after some shady moves to avoid detection.

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Stop Wildlife Destruction at Costa Mesa's Fairview Park TONIGHT!

City of Costa Mesa Website
Hiking trails > Astroturf

A drive by of Fairview Park in Costa Mesa doesn't inspire much awe. About half of the park looks like any other: sad grass, lonely picnic tables, and shade trees. The other half of the park, however, is a natural, wildlife habitat, peaking out in the distance. Tonight, the Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee will vote on whether or not a portion of this more-rugged habitat with native plants should be leveled and transformed into athletic facilities that will require sprinkler systems, destroy wildlife, and remove just a little bit more of the land that makes planet Earth so gosh-darned pretty and not manicured Irvine.

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Gustavo's Latest KCRW "Orange County Line": On Costa Mesa's Effort to Criminalize Public Comments!

Photo from the OC Weekly archives
Righeimer: Don't criticize me!
I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Man, we really should be paying attention to Costa Mesa politics. Between the scandal that was the city's 60th anniversary party, the lawsuit by Mayor Jim Righeimer against Costa Mesa cops for messing around with him, to the Left's embrace of wackjob conservative Wendy Leece just because she's pro-union, it's almost as much of a wreck as Anacrime. We'll get to soon as we get another staffer, which'll probably happen once digital goes away.

In the meanwhile, we'll find our spot, like here: My weekly "Orange County Line" commentary for KCRW-FM 89.9 yesterday focused on the insane attempt by Righeimer to quash public comments.

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Charter Warning Compares What Could Happen in Costa Mesa to What Happened in Bell

City of Costa Mesa
Mayor Jim Righeimer (center) leads a three-member City Council majority that supports Costa Mesa becoming a charter city.

Days after the Costa Mesa City Council held the second of two public meetings required by state law of proposed charter cities, a San Diego-based nonprofit launched a website warning the public that it is among five or so California cities that risk becoming another Bell.

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