Local Articles

The 5 Best Arcades in Orange County

Retro arcade gameAlthough it’s been a few decades since arcade games exploded into pop culture, people all around the world still love to play them. Whether it’s for nostalgia or simply to combat boredom on a Friday night, arcades still have a strong presence in Orange County as well.

To help you satisfy your craving to level up in Pinball and show those Space Invaders who’s boss, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best arcades in Orange County. Let the games begin!

  1. Dave & Busters, Irvine: Located at the Irvine Spectrum, Dave & Buster’s Irvine is a great place to take a date or go out for a night with friends and family! This modern arcade destination has something for everyone— from arcade classics like Skee-Ball and PacMan to state of the art game experiences. Plus, you can even download mobile games and win real tickets on the go! Dave & Buster’s has a great rewards program, weekly specials, and budget friendly Power Hour games, as well as an extensive menu of food and drink options. Plan for a full night of fun!
  1. Boomers, Irvine: Inside Boomers’ huge family-oriented game room, you’ll find hundreds of games that are sure to get the good times rolling. Show off your moves with Dance Dance Revolution or challenge your friends to a riveting game of Ultimate Air Hockey or Laser Tag! Boomers Irvine also features tons of options for outdoor fun, including Miniature Golf, Go Karts, Batting Cages, and Bumper Boats. Your imagination is the only limit here! 
  1. Nickel Nickel, Garden Grove: After 19 years, Nickel Nickel has moved from Huntington Beach to Garden Grove in order to avoid raising their prices due to several encroaching development projects. The new location just opened in July of this year, and still offers families the affordable fun they’ve always loved. Patrons only pay $2 to enter, and can choose from 25 free play games or pay an average of 1-6 nickels per game for more in-demand games. They also feature the largest redemption counter in Orange County that is stuffed full of prizes perfect for any age. 
  1. Arcade 2084: As a private collection of golden-age (1980’s) classic arcade games, this exclusive arcade is unique in that it only opens to the public on select weekends. However, on open nights you only pay $10 admission for free play on all of the immaculately kept games, all night long. Although food and drink is not permitted in the arcade, there a number of restaurants and bars within walking distance at the incredible Anaheim Packing House. Outside of the ultra-rare video game titles featured, you can also find a small selection of Pinball Machines and a console gaming center with games from Atari, Nintendo, and much more. With the amazing selection of games and 80’s music blasting all night, Arcade 2084 is definitely the place to increase your geek street cred!
  1. Howie’s Game Shack: Howie’s is no traditional arcade—here you’ll find one of the largest online interactive game centers in North America that caters to a new era of gamers. With over 100 game titles, high end gaming PC’s, Xbox One systems, and Virtual Reality stations, this is social gaming as you’ve never experienced before. Howie’s regularly organizes game releases, tournaments and competitions that have Orange County gamers flocking to this Mission Viejo hotspot. With food, drinks, outrageously comfortable gaming chairs, and a 2:00 am closing time on Friday and Saturday, it’s no surprise that Howie’s has logged over 6 million hours of play time!


Orange County’s Best Bonfire Beaches!

bonfire imageIt’s officially summertime in Southern California! Most Californians love to spend a Sunday afternoon sunbathing or tossing a Frisbee while foamy ocean waves churn in the background. However, the magic of Orange County’s best beaches is also truly alive even after sunset. Imagine the salty ocean air breezing through your hair while the comforting smell of burning wood floats up from a glowing fire pit. You’ve roasted the marshmallow for your S’more to the perfect golden brown texture, and as you take that first delicious bite you can’t help but admire the natural beauty of the stars twinkling above you. Sounds pretty good, right?

To help you achieve this level of summer nirvana, we’ve put together a list of our favorite Orange County beaches that offer fire pits for visitors to use. Pick out one (or a few!) and get glowing!

Doheny State Beach

Located in Dana Point, Doheny State Beach is one of California’s most popular beaches, attracting nearly a million visitors per year. The northern end of California’s first state beach features a five acre lawn with picnic facilities and volleyball courts. Tide pools and a visitor’s center with several aquariums can be found on the southern end of the state beach, making Doheny a great place to view California’s native wildlife up close. Campers and motorhomes are also welcome at the beach’s campground sites, several of which are only steps away from the sand.

Bolsa Chica State Beach

Located just south of Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica is a perfect place to play volleyball, surf, and watch the legendary oceanfront sunsets. Bolsa Chica State Beach is a famous surf fishing destination for several local species. Wildlife and bird watching are also popular, as the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve is located directly across Pacific Coast Highway from the beach. A paved beachside trail runs for nearly 9 miles between Bolsa Chica and Huntington State Beaches, and you can expect to find runners, bikers, and skaters enjoying the view while they cruise the paths from sun up to sun down.

Huntington City Beach

With the landmark Huntington Beach pier and close proximity to downtown Huntington, this state beach is the hub of Surf City’s summertime experience. Thanks to the world renowned waves stretching down Pacific Coast Highway, the US Open of Surfing and several annual beach events are hosted here each summer. Besides the fire rings open to the public from 5 am to 10 pm daily, there are several beach volleyball courts for visitors to use. On the city’s adjacent historic landmark pier, visitors may fish without a license and Ruby’s Diner offers great views and classic American fare. Trust us, you should definitely splurge and order that milkshake!

Corona Del Mar State Beach

Corona del Mar’s half mile stretch of beach is a very popular spot for swimmers, surfers, and divers. The tranquil beach is framed by cliffs and a rock jetty, forming the east end of Newport Harbor. The beach’s surrounding area is simply gorgeous, and checking out local hiking trails or window shopping in boutiques is a great way to spend a few leisurely hours. Of course, fire pits are first come, first serve so be prepared to get there early or make new friends! You’ll definitely want to pack a picnic and blankets for this beach trip so you can fully enjoy taking in some of Southern California’s most breathtaking sunset views.

10 Free Things to do in Orange County

Nothing says summer quite like warm nights, the smell of sunscreen and barbecues, and sand between the sheets. So to help heat up the summer kick off are free events and activities that will keep friends and family entertained without burning a whole in your summer budget.

1. Summer Solstice Health and Fitness Expo at Huntington Beach State Park June 21. Free admission, giveaways, prizes, free workout sessions and music for everyone to enjoy and get in shape for that swimsuit.

2. Movie Mondays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Mondays beginning July 7 through Aug. 4, Segerstrom Center for the Arts invites families and friends to gaze under the stars and enjoy Shirley Temple’s “The Little Colonel,” “Spice World,” “Gigi,” and many other summer flicks.

3. Children’s Museum of La Habra. First Sundays of every month admission is free from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays). Restrictions do apply, 500 people are admitted on these free Sundays and a maximum of 250 wristbands are distributed per session. Session times are 1 to 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 to 5 p.m.

4. Shakespeare By the Sea, July 19-20. First “Hamlet,” then “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. See how much of your high school English class you remember. Bonita Canyon Sports Park, 1990 Ford Road, Newport Beach, www.newportbeachca.gov

5. Cypress Community Festival, July 26. An all day affair, with a morning 5K/10K run and pancake breakfast. Following the run is a car show, chili cook-off, family games, food booths, children’s rides and everything that makes a true festival. Oak Knoll Park, 5700 Orange Ave., Cypress, www.cypressfestival.com

6. Vans U.S .Open of Surfing, July 26-Aug. 3. It’s why we call it surf city U.S.A. Spectators can cheer on their favorite surfers while they compete for the World Tour Huntington Beach Pier, www.vansusopenofsurfing.com

7. Orange International Street Fair, Aug. 29-31. 112 E. Chapman Ave. Explore the world one block at a time. There will be five ethnic streets – and one dedicated solely to children’s crafts and games – 42 food booths and plenty of entertainment. The fair is run by local nonprofits with all proceeds returning directly back to them. www.orangestreetfair.org

8. Carbon Canyon Regional Park Redwoods, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Just off the 57 you would never know that there was a major highway down the road. With all of the playground equipment and picnic benches of a neighborhood park, there is a vast canyon as the backdrop. Whether it’s to take the kids out, or train for your next half marathon this park will get you on your feet and off the couch. Located at 4422 Carbon Canyon Road, Brea. www.ocparks.com

9. Visit your local farmer’s market or swap meet, find your local honey maker or a hidden treasure at a swap meet. It’s a great way to get your children acquainted with their fruits and veggies and helping local farmers.

10. Art walks, with Art Walks in Fullerton, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach and all around Orange County, it’s a great way discover up and coming, edgy artists. Many art walks include food trucks, music and other entertainment. Take a break from looking at the box and think outside the box by exploring local art galleries.

By Cristina Ramos, staff writer.

Fullerton Police Beating

Breaking News….
Two Fullerton Police, charged with the death of Kelley Thomas, have been acquitted.
A sad day for Fullerton, and the people of Orange County. Okay, maybe they didn’t kill him on purpose, but they did beat him to death… And for that they have Murder 3, AKA Manslaughter. Either way, it sounds like these cops “got away with murder” as the saying goes.

See ABC News for more information…


ABC NEWS Fullerton Beating

Kelly Thomas trial: 2 former Fullerton cops found not guilty
Monday, January 13, 2014
Cathy Thomas: ‘They got away with murder’
Kelly Thomas mother, Cathy Thomas, speaks to the media on Monday, Jan. 14, 2014. Ron Thomas talks to the media on Jan. 14, 2014.
Cathy Thomas: ‘They got away with murder’
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SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — Two former Fullerton police officers accused in the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless mentally ill man, have been found not guilty on all charges.

The jury’s verdict was read just before 4 p.m. Monday. Thomas, 37, died five days after a violent confrontation with six officers in July 2011. The incident was caught on surveillance video.

Former Fullerton police officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, and former police corporal Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Prosecutors argued that surveillance video shows proof that Ramos abused his authority, turning a routine encounter into a deadly one with his threat. But defense attorneys said the video showed that officers followed their training and police department policy when dealing with an uncooperative, combative suspect.

The two sides also differed on what the cause of death was in Thomas’ death. The defense claimed Thomas died because of an enlarged heart caused by years of methamphetamine use, but prosecutors said he died from a lack of oxygen caused by chest compression and facial injuries.

Ramos was the first law enforcement officer in Orange County to be charged with a homicide for an on-duty death.

Following the verdict, Thomas’ parents spoke to the media and expressed their shock.

“I’m just horrified. They got away with murdering my son,” said Kelly Thomas’ mother, Cathy Thomas. “I guess it’s legal to go out and kill now. He was so innocent. It just isn’t fair at all.”

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STORY: Final witness testifies in Kelly Thomas trial
His father, Ron Thomas, said the “defense lied continuously” during the trial.

“What this means is all of us need to be very afraid now. It’s carte blanche, for police officers everywhere can beat us, kill us, whatever they want. Because it has been proven right here, today, they’ll get away with it,” said Ron Thomas.

He said a civil suit will likely continue and he hopes the federal government will get involved.

After the acquittals of Cicinelli and Ramos, Orange County’s district attorney said his office will drop charges against a third officer involved in the struggle that led to Kelly Thomas’ death. Former Fullerton officer Joseph Wolfe would no longer face charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Safest Cities in Orange County

Everyone knows that Irvine is one of the safest cities in California, but check out a few of the others that made the list:

1. Irvine – 0.51 crimes per 1,000 residents
2. San Ramon – 0.61 crimes per 1,000 residents
3. Murrieta – 0.66 crimes per 1,000 residents
4. Pleasanton – 0.68 crimes per 1,000 residents
5. Laguna Niguel – 0.73 crimes per 1,000 residents
6. Eastvale – 0.74 crimes per 1,000 residents
7. Mission Viejo – 0.76 crimes per 1,000 residents
8. Palo Alto – 0.80 crimes per 1,000 residents
9. Yorba Linda – 0.81 crimes per 1,000 residents
10. Rocklin – 0.83 crimes per 1,000 residents
11. Chino Hills – 0.84 crimes per 1,000 residents
12. Camarillo – 0.92 crimes per 1,000 residents
13. Temecula – 0.94 crimes per 1,000 residents
14. Orange – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
15. Cupertino – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
16. Diamond Bar – 0.97 crimes per 1,000 residents
17. Arcadia – 0.99 crimes per 1,000 residents
18. Menifee – 1.09 crimes per 1,000 residents
19. Simi Valley – 1.11 crimes per 1,000 residents
20. San Clemente – 1.15 crimes per 1,000 residents


How to Promote Business on Facebook

Ever wonder “How to Promote Business on Facebook” but, always see people charging to show you the basic steps?  I got you covered!

promotebusiness via facebookThe internet has opened up many channels that you can use to reach consumers. This includes social media networks such as Facebook. Facebook is the largest online community. It has millions of users worldwide. If you want to reach potential customers it is one of the best avenues to use.

There are several factors that you should consider if you want to promote business on Facebook. First of all, you should know why you are joining it. This will determine how you will use it.

Registering a free account is easy. You simply have to provide your name and email address. Having a personal page is not necessary but it can help you get through to people you know.

The next step is to create a page for your business. It involves filling out the required information in the fields provided. It includes identifying yourself by the sector, brand, product or the name of the business. The use of Keywords is important because it will help people get to your page. It may also help your fan page to get listed in search engine results.

The profile of your company should clearly outline what the business is about. Other things including a link to your website, overview of your company, and a product and service description are also equally as important. They should not be overlooked.
Always use every asset at your disposal to drive people to your fan page. Other social networks such as Twitter are good places to post links to your Facebook page. The fan page details should not be left out of your site and other marketing literature.
Your page should be a hub of engaging information. Update it regularly and make sure that the content is relevant to your business and reflects the brand. If people find the material to be helpful they will become regular visitors and they will suggest your page to their friends.

Responding to questions and encouraging discussions is a good way to keep the page active. A page is effective in word of mouth marketing because people will be able to see what visitors post. You can also opt to comment on the business fan pages run by other people too.

Last but not least, keep in mind the difference between the engagement of a photo over text. Using photos in place of the “Old School” text status updates can raise your reach for engagement beyond belief!

The points above are key aspects that should be focused on. They will make your strategy to promote business on Facebook successful. Facebook offers an easy way to generate traffic which will in the long run help you to achieve your objective.
Don’t forget to check out the free social media training I did. Check it out here:

The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous: Special Preview

Hello, there! I just wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself to you all. My name’s Daniel Wallen and I’m a published author, certified personal trainer, and life coach from Kingsport who will be writing a weekly fitness post here at Support Tri-Cities. I’m very excited for this and just want to say a quick “thank you” to CJ for inviting me to do this. If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or look me up on Facebook!

I have something exciting to share with you: my book, “The Busy Woman’s Guide to Getting Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous,” is going to be free for the next three days on Amazon. Below is a special preview chapter about how to enjoy yourself during life’s special occasions, holidays, and vacations, while still moving forward for your health and fitness goals. Enjoy!

“Fun is good.”
-Dr. Seuss

Yes, you should have a desire to be fit, fierce, and fabulous. Yes, you must have focus and discipline to turn your desire into reality. No, this doesn’t mean you can’t break the rules on special occasions.

I would like you to avoid the words “always” and “never.” While you should avoid certain foods most of the time, you shouldn’t tell yourself that you can “never” have them. Life is meant to be fun, and the occasional indulgence won’t hurt you as long as you make positive decisions most of the time.

Learn from my mistakes.

When I got into this health and fitness stuff, I got a bit carried away with it all. So carried away that I found myself doing ridiculous things like packing healthy foods in Tupperware for a trip to Dollywood with my ex-girlfriend. No, I am not kidding and yes, she ridiculed me for it (and had every right to). The world won’t end if you let it go and enjoy yourself on life’s special occasions.

A Word on Vacations

Out for drinks with the girls? Vacationing to Disney with the kids? On a cruise to an exotic country with the love of your life? Forget the rules! You won’t magically go up a pants-size. You won’t gain 10 lbs in a week.

What will happen? You’ll have fun, get a much-needed break from all this health stuff, and come back with renewed vigor and focus. Ohhhh, scary.

A Word on Holidays

One day of fun isn’t going to wreck your waist-line, so enjoy yourself – but get rid of your left-overs ASAP.

Holidays are meant to be a day of celebration, not two weeks of eating junk. Try to find someone to give your left-overs to. That could be a homeless shelter, a needy family, or college students (I hear they are always hungry!).

Even if you can’t find someone to take it, trash your left-overs without guilt. Eating a bunch of junk and getting fat will not solve world hunger.

A Word on Alcohol

Surely you know a guy who was a ripped monster in high school, but now he has an uber big beer belly. Thus is the consequence of boozing too much.

That said, I’m not going to tell you to never drink alcohol. Life is meant to be fun, and in moderation alcohol is totally okay.

I love some Shiner Bock… and whiskey… and red wine… and Long Island Iced Teas… okay, I should stop talking now.

Here’s a simple way to keep the booze under control – give yourself a weekly six-pack-limit. Two options to spend it:

Option 1: Have a beer a day (or the equivalent in wine or liquor).

Option 2: Have it all on Friday or Saturday if you want to party hard.

Take it from Dr. Seuss

Fun is good. Live a little. Forget about all of this health stuff when presented with life’s precious moments and focus solely on enjoying yourself. You earned it!

If you’d like to read the rest of the book, you can get it for free until August 11. Click here to get fit, fierce, and fabulous!