Neal Monier of American Vintage Tattoos on Keeping 'em Simple and Owning a Shop

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Josh Chesler
Neal Monier (black shirt) with his staff at American Vintage Tattoo in Orange.

Editor's note: Welcome to Under Their Skin, our new tattoo column! Every week, Josh Chesler sits down with a different artist to talk shop, crazy questions, and all that good stuff. Got a place Josh should hit up? Tweet at him below--enjoy!

While some tattoo artists know from a very young age that they want to ink people for a living, others get into the industry by chance. For Orange's American Vintage Tattoo owner Neal Monier, his introduction to tattooing came in 1995 when his friend began an apprenticeship.

"My friend was apprenticing at a shop, and he and I were really competitive," Monier says. "I knew I could draw better than him, so I thought I could tattoo better than him. I just hung out at the shop a lot, and eventually they offered me an apprenticeship."

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Cop Supporters Hold #PoliceLivesMatter Rally in Anaheim

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly

About 50 pro-police supporters turned out for an afternoon rally yesterday in front of Anaheim City Hall, many wearing blue shirts and holding signs that read "Police Lives Matter," "Thank You" and "Enough is Enough!" Anaheim Hills resident Tammy Santangelo organized the event as a followup to a similar one held on December 28 in support of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), where she worked until 2013.

"We're here basically to show our support for law enforcement, not only here but throughout the nation," Santangelo told the Weekly. "It's nothing political--just a simple 'Thank you' saying we back the badge."

Because a statement like that ain't political at all.


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OC DA Clears Tustin Police in Officer-Involved Shooting That Wasn't

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Justifications that-a-way!

Earlier this week, the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office released the full "Who Shot Ya?" report on Nicolas Vizcarra. As readers recall, the Tustin man suffered a bullet wound to his leg on March 2, 2014. Though police fired on him that day, they believed it was self-inflicted.

So was Vizcarra struck during an officer-involved shooting or not?


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OC DA Clears Newport Beach Cops in Deadly 7-Eleven Shooting

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The shooting happened at a 7-Eleven like this one
When Gerrit Vos visited a friend in Newport Beach on May 27 this year, nothing out of the ordinary happened. But when the 22-year-old returned to his pal's apartment two days later at night, he started acting strange. Vos, a schizophrenic who battled drug addiction for years, screamed "Come and get me!" to no one in particular. His friend lent him a skateboard to ride off on and clear his mind.

Vos coasted on the borrowed board to a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store. A half-hour later, two Newport Beach policemen shot Vos dead with AR-15 semi-assault rifles.

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The Mighty Quinn: Checking In With Sons Of Anarchy's Biggest Badass, Rusty Coones

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John Gilhooley/OC Weekly
Hellraiser

You might know Rusty Coones as the one-time Nomad turned Redwood Original badass Rane Quinn on the FX show Sons of Anarchy, whose series finale airs Dec. 9. In real life, he's the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Attika 7 and the owner of Illusion Motorsports, a custom bike shop located in Westminster. He's also a longtime member of the Hells Angels, although you won't get him to talk about that, since club rules prohibit it.

We first profiled Coones for a 2011 cover story that revealed a colorful life that we couldn't help but imagine might have inspired some of SAMCRO's fictional exploits. At the time, Coones had already built a bike for SOA creator Kurt Sutter, and his band had been tapped to perform a few songs for the show. We recently stopped by his shop to see how life has changed since he's become a TV star.

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Anaheim's "Really, Really Free Market" Gives Away Goods For Free (No, Really!)

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Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
Todo gratis!
A banner tied between two pine trees announced the "Really, Really Free Market" yesterday to drivers passing by Anaheim's Boysen Park. On the other side reads "todo gratis" in Spanish or "everything free." Goods were laid out on blankets. Punks, rockeros, raza and homeless folks rummaged through stalls of clothes, artwork, shoes and even election pan holders from Jose Solorio's recent failed bid for State Senate.

In a city that likes to think itself as "freedom friendly" while cracking down on yard sales and generously subsidizing rich developers, the pop-up giveaway marketplace is not only subversive, it's a giant middle finger to the Man, man!

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Santa Ana NIMBYs Win Again--Now What?

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Andrew Galvin
Feeding the homeless at Santa Ana's Civic Center
Looking back at the demise of Orange County's plan to put a homeless shelter on Santa Ana's Normandy Place, it's easy to see it as another example of spineless politicians wilting before an angry onslaught of residents who, like not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) protesters everywhere, agree on the need for a shelter but say it doesn't belong in their neighborhood.

But interviews with some of the principal players in the months-long battle yield another analysis, one that questions the wisdom of trying to tip-toe around NIMBYs, as the county, still smarting from last year's NIMBY revolt in Fullerton, arguably did. The tip-toeing inflamed Santa Ana residents, who saw it as an attempt to cut them out of the process. Later, when elected officials at both the county and city declined to utilize an anti-NIMBY provision in state law, the strategy -- if it can be called that -- failed.

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Vigil and March for Michael Brown, Ferguson Tomorrow in Downtown Santa Ana

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Portrait of Brown by local artist Valerie Lewis
A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson--surprise, surprise--for the on-duty shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Wilson gunned down the unarmed 18-year-old African-American back in early August under bitterly disputed circumstances. The decision absolving Wilson of any wrongdoing yesterday touched off riots in the St. Louis suburb with cop cars and buildings set ablaze.

Demonstrations broke out in Chicago, Oakland, Los Angeles and other cities last night. Anaheim police laughably thought riots might spark off in its streets, but nothing of the likes happened. OC is mobilizing, though, with a peaceful march in solidarity with Ferguson and the Brown family set for tomorrow evening, not in Anaheim, but downtown SanTana.

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Lawsuit: Fullerton Detective Forced Woman Into Sex Acts In Return for Favorable Court Testimony

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Stay classy, Fullerton PD

A lawsuit filed in federal court on Thursday alleges that a former Fullerton Police Department detective spoke favorably on a woman's behalf during custody hearings in return for numerous forced sexual acts. The 51-page complaint lays out an ugly path that all began with the violation of a restraining order.


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Silverado Brush Fire Up to 1500 Acres, Evac in Place But No Structural Damage Thus Far

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Photo by Charles Lam
Cars lined the streets yesterday, as residents couldn't reach their homes

The Silverado fire has has not grown overnight after growing yesterday afternoon from 100 acres to 1500 acres. The fire, which started at about 10:30 a.m. in someone's backyard, according to the OCFA, is currently 10 percent contained.


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