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Author: Hearts of Costa Mesa

“Unplug. Get Outside. Be Together and Do Fun Things.”

“I’ve lived in Costa Mesa since I was born. I grew up on Watson Avenue here in the Halecrest neighborhood. I attended Killybrooke Elementary and so did my kids. (I actually found a copy of my old yearbook in the PTA closet on campus.) I went to Davis back when Davis was a middle school. Then on to Costa Mesa High, so I bleed green through and through.”

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“Making Our City More Cycling-Friendly…”

“I grew up in Costa Mesa, been here 33 years. We lived on the Westside until I was three years old, then my family moved over to the Eastside near 17th Street and Irvine. It was an awesome place to grow up. I was within biking distance of all my schools: Mariners, Ensign and Harbor. I think that’s when I first discovered my love of biking and the sense of freedom a kid can get from biking around town.”

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“You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”

“When we moved to Costa Mesa from Iowa in 1977, I decided to join the local historical society. We didn’t have the museum, yet; we didn’t have an office. All we had was a storage container. Betty Beecher and I used to work in there. It was dirty – it was hot – and the sweat would be pouring down. There was no place to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. It was pretty nasty…

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“It’s about making an impact in our backyard”

“One of my mantras in life is to be constantly improving things. I wake up each morning asking, ‘How can I be a better husband? A better father? A better business owner? A better neighbor?’ I challenge myself with these questions on a daily basis because optimizing is just my nature. I think it goes back to my childhood. When I was a kid my family struggled a lot…”

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“Using Our Music For Good”

“Everyone in King Salamander has been playing music forever. We’ve played the bars, the nightclubs, the shows – all the regular kinds of stuff. But this weekend, we have the opportunity to partner with a charity doing some cool things. You know, using our music for good – to give back. The charity is this project called Music Heals and it was started by Dr. Chris Duma. He’s a big-time neurosurgeon over at Hoag Hospital.”

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King Salamander: “We Go ‘Full Lounge'”

“I play drums in a band called ‘King Salamander’ and it’s a really fun time. When we play a show, we go ‘full lounge.’ Everyone in the band has a ‘loungey’ alter ego. Sterling Musk is the lead singer and patriarch of the group. When I get on stage, I’m Cullen Van Stouden (because my absolute-favorite beer is Guinness Stout); Cullen even has his own Instagram. Sterling really pushes the envelope. I don’t think he can sleep at night because the guy’s got all these crazy ideas swirling around his brain.”

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“This Is Big”

“In 1996, I was getting ready to adopt my eighth and final child. At that point, our house was literally full and there was no more room at the inn, you could say. I could no longer personally give a home to the babies that needed one. “But that same year, a story hit the news that a dead newborn was found wrapped in bloody, women’s underwear and locked in a filing cabinet in Buena Park. It tore my heart in two and I remember crying, ‘I don’t understand. Why didn’t they call me? I’m right here. I would have...

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“What Choice Do I Have?”

“Project Cuddle is a non-profit I started to save abandoned babies and give them a home. Everyone hears that and goes, ‘Oh my God, your work – it’s so terrible. How can you do it? How can you stand it?’ “But you’ve got a baby out there somewhere, stuffed into a duffle bag, dumped in a park – that is happening right now, whether I do Project Cuddle or not. So really, what choice do I have? What is the alternative? There are lives that need saving, period. “It’s so easy to judge these pregnant girls, to think the...

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“We Do The Things We Do For Our Love Of Costa Mesa”

  “The local high school’s sports teams are a huge part of what we do at Newport Rib Company. We’re really involved with Estancia High School and Costa Mesa High School athletics – we host big events for both programs throughout the year. Maybe eight, twelve, twenty events – it’s so many we lose count – and that’s for each of the schools. “The most fun, by far, has got to be the Battle For The Bell. We host that every year. It’s the big Costa Mesa football rivalry, a game between Estancia and Costa Mesa. The winning football team...

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“We’re Costa Mesa People, Through And Through”

  “I love the diversity of Costa Mesa. I still live in the house where I grew up – in the Bird Streets neighborhood – and it’s been a great experience as I raise my own family, too. We love that our kids go to a school with a diverse population. People in Costa Mesa run the gamut, financially and otherwise – that mix is good, it’s real. “We have been in business for thirty two years in Costa Mesa, and it’s because the residents have adopted us as their rib place that we continue. So for those people who come to...

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“There Are Lots Of Ways To Build A Business…”

  “There are lots of ways to build a business. For us, our family has always been active in our church – and giving has just been a part of our lives for as long as I can remember. We walk that path here at Newport Rib and it’s always worked out for us, so we keep it up. “We try to incorporate helping others in everything we do, if it’s possible, beyond the usual giving and hosting banquets and donating meals. One of the way we do that is by using our Goodwill Rollers. They’ve been working for...

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“Volunteering Just Leads To More Volunteering”

“I have three huskies. The red-and-white one is Sandy. The other red-and-white one – with one blue eye and one brown eye – is Maui. Then this is Taylor; I got her from Husky Camp, a rescue organization I work with. Taylor is a therapy dog. We’re very involved with the OCSPCA, the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They have a program there called PAWS…”

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“Jack Of All Beers”

“I was actually hired on as Operations Manager because of the variety of tasks I undertake: Orchestrated Beer Guru, Pilot-Batch Brewer, Beer-Competition Coordinator, Bottling-Line Minion… and anything else that is required of my Jack-Of-All Beers ability.”

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“Brewery On My Bike”

“It’s great to work in Costa Mesa, live in Costa Mesa, commute on my bike throughout Costa Mesa. It’s actually not too often that I get outside the city limits because I bike everywhere. I’ve lived here for 6 years and try to commute to all the ‘new spots’ in Costa Mesa on my bike. So I was very excited when I heard news of a brand new brewery opening right here in town. Craft beer has always been a passion of mine, so I’d ride my bike by this ‘brewery-in-progress’ at least once a week.”

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“I Hate Complacency”

“I’m a person of action, so I really hate complacency. I may not agree with anything you say, but if you are putting your butt on the line for what you believe, I will still stand up and applaud you; because, hey, at least you’re passionate and doing something about it. But complacency? It’s no good. Here in Costa Mesa, we might not always agree – but to me, that doesn’t matter. The point is: Do you have that passion for your town? Because this city is a cool place and it’s worth fighting for.”

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“Costa Mesa Embraced Me”

“I grew up thinking I was poor. I mean, I always had food and stuff – but I came from nothing, literally. Born poor, no formal education, no nothing. But none of that seemed to matter when I came to Costa Mesa. From the day I got here, I feel like Costa Mesa embraced me – and I will never forget. It’s why we give back about 5% of everything we make to the city. Costa Mesa embraces me and I embrace them back.”

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“I Fell In Love The Minute I Was Here”

“I fell in love with Costa Mesa the minute I was here. To be honest, Huntington Beach was a little too flat for me. Up here we got those ocean breezes so you don’t even need air-conditioning. I loved the diversity of Costa Mesa. I really liked the eclectic vibe. When I first got here, I started driving around the area and ‘Wow!’ South Coast Plaza was so different from the Eastside which was so different from the Westside and all that. So I knew this was where I wanted to set up shop.”

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“Meaningful Ways Forward”

“I’m a Texan, but we’ve lived in this Costa Mesa neighborhood for thirty-some years now – so I guess I’m a Costa Mesan, too. “When we first moved here we looked and looked for a place that felt like ‘us.’ And then we found Westside Costa Mesa. Everybody was going, ‘Westside Costa Mesa? Oh God. That’s a really bad area.’ But we loved it. We still love it. “Back then, it felt so rural over here, with the big yards and the rundown houses. Actually, not rundown; loved. You could see the love in them. Maybe people just didn’t...

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Little Free Library #32270

“I love to read. I’m a Kindergarten teacher and in my class, I have a minimum of 3 read-alouds a day. That’s the minimum. I love to inspire new readers and help them find their love for books. “So the idea for our Little Free Library had been sitting in the back of our heads for a while, now. One day we said, ‘Okay. Now’s the time to take the plunge and get it done.’ My husband built it from a sketch on a napkin; made the whole thing. That’s how all great stories start, right? From a sketch on a...

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“The Water House”

“This is our project house. I live right next door, and we own both houses; it’s part of my retirement plan. “People around here call this house the ‘Water House’ because we pass out water on Halloween. But it’s the Water House in other ways, too. “We’ve installed rain barrels to try and catch as much rainfall as we can. We did the mulch thing. We planted all water-tolerant and native plants – the kind that will come up when it rains. The family helps take care of it, together. My little grandson loves to come and garden here with...

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“Roaming Was Just What We Did”

“I joke that I grew up in Canyon Park; the actual canyon itself. “After school my friends and I would get on our bicycles and just go. One friend had a basket on her bicycle, so we’d fill it up with anything and everything we could find, then head over to the park. We’d pretend to be little detectives, searching through all the nooks and crannies. My dog was always with us, too. “Growing up, we didn’t have a TV at home. We were just always outside running around – almost always barefoot, too. As we got older, we’d bike down the...

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