Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Great Loss: Fullerton City Council Denies The Norton Simon Museum

The following is an excerpt from a work-in-progress called The Town I Live In. This is an edited version of an essay by one of my English 100 students at Fullerton College.

The Great Loss by Nataly Palma

Norton Simon carries a renowned name as he not only created a million dollar business (Hunt Foods), but he also had a keen eye for art. With his grand wealth, he accumulated one of the most impressive private collections in the world. Works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Vermeer, Degas, and other masters grace the walls of his collection's permanent home, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. As one enters the doors, viewers are greeted by a vast collection of Degas' famous ballerina sculptures and Rodin's The Burghers of Calais. It's hard to imagine the collection in any other city, but if not for the short-sightedness of City Council, Fullerton would have been the home of Simon's priceless collection.

Norton Simon's roots were deeply embedded in Fullerton, CA when early on in his life he invested in the Hunt Foods Company and turned it into a successful business based in Fullerton. For many years, Simon (a resident of Fullerton) displayed his multi-million dollar collection in the Hunt offices, placing Rodin sculptures outside on the lawn, and hanging Van Gogh's in the Hunt Branch Library on Commonwealth, which he gifted to the city of Fullerton.

But Simon needed a permanent home for his prized possessions, and the obvious choice was Fullerton. He offered the city a start-up gift of half a million dollars in 1964, asking in return that the city provide the land and security.

But the City Council argued that they could not afford the security guard.

Simon's offered, as a location for the Museum, the Hunt Branch library, which he had already gifted to city. He also planned to purchase several houses on the same street, to make room for the Museum. But the City Council did not approve the project.

After two years of waiting for the City to approve his project, Simon took the hint, and took his collection elsewhere, to Pasadena, though Fullerton had clearly been his first choice.

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38 comments:

  1. What's a pity! Fullerton would be an awesome place for Art Musium. I do not know the real reason behind the disapproval but if the Fullerton City Council was more active and supported the project,Fullerton will attract more toursits and the argue that the City could not afford for the security is unreasonable. I hope in the future, there will be more investment to the City.
    Simon is a resident of Fullerton for years, and we should give prominence to what he contributed to the city of Fullerton.

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  2. Linh Luong Eng 103February 8, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    What's a pity! Fullerton would be an awesome place for Norton Simon's Art Musium. I do not know the real reason behind the disapproval but if the Fullerton City Council was more active and supported the project,Fullerton will attract more tourists. The argue that the City could not afford for the security is unaccepable. I live in Fullerton and I love to have new events in the area where I live. Hunt Brach library is close to the new Fullerton public library. Most people come to Fullerton because it's new and very nice look. I have not been to the Hunt Library. I sometime drive pass the street but never stop by because it is un-noticeable. The library is hiden from the main street.Commonwealth street is less people and little far from Fullerton Downtown. This place needs to be renew and build up more projects.The Fullerton City Council should find the way to collect more fund and the residences should be more responsible and pay attendtion to the areas where they live to make it more attractive. I hope in the future, there will be more investment to the City.
    Norton Simon is a resident of Fullerton for years, and we should give prominence to what he contributed to the city of Fullerton.
    I admired Norton Simon for his success and the eye for Art. I want my life to be rich. It is not about the money but life's value. That's the concept of give and take, life balance, and choices.
    Look around, I want to see people more responsible for their life, more care for others and feel hapiness in some litte things. If every one care, people vote, people donate, people raise fund,ect, there will be fund for the Musium, so the City Counsil would not claim that they can not afford. If people read the news, they will raise the voice to protect their opinions and find the solution. Therefore, Fullerton dismissed one of the priceless Art Musium is not all for the City Council but also the the residents- people who live in Fullerton; do they know, do they raise their voice ?

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  3. Juvencio Madrigal
    Jesse La Tour
    Eng 101
    T, Th 8:30am-9:50am

    I have never been to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena but from the description and picture provided it seems like a very interesting place to go to. That place filled with many art projects from works of famous artist sounds like a perfect place to be put in Fullerton. I don’t see why the City Council of Fullerton would not want an art exhibit as an attraction to the city, but not only is it an attraction it is a place to admire art and the collection of Norton Simon. From Norton Simons gifts to Fullerton I don’t see why they would not want a museum as another gift. Norton Simons was willing to offer money in order for his collections of artwork to be shown in a museum. And yet the City Council of Fullerton still did not want a museum. Yeah the City Council of Fullerton could not afford the cost of security, but I am sure if they really wanted the idea of the museum they could’ve done so. I believe now that the City Council of Fullerton recognize the big mistake they made they would’ve made Norton Simons museum in Fullerton. Norton Simons tried very hard in order to make his museum there at Fullerton but whenever he made an offer the City Council of Fullerton would always decline him. He was even willing to use his company’s library to use as a building for the museum but the City Council of Fullerton still said no. Finally after Norton Simons patients had declined he went to Pasadena to build his museum there. The city of Fullerton would have been, I believe, a better home for his art work because Fullerton has a lot of attractions such as Downtown Fullerton and the addition of this museum would have made Fullerton an even better town to visit. Such as the title of this essay, “The Great Loss” it truly was a great loss to Fullerton and the surrounding community. The City Council might be the one to blame but if they couldn’t afford it or for any reason I believe now that they have seen the museum they would’ve take back those reasons and build it anyways. An art museum would have been perfect for Fullerton and it would have made students who have a passion for art a place to go to and admire it as well.

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  4. Danny Sanchez
    English 101 Tues/Thurs.
    A great loss is perfect for this unfortunate situation. As an artist I would have loved to have a grand art museum close to my school. I am sure many artists and civilians of Fullerton would have wanted the art museum in their home town as well. I do not know the answer to why the city council did not accept the gift of Simon’s collections in an art museum, but I am positive that if this offer was brought to the attention of the people, we would not be sighing at such a great loss right now. I believe it would have been an excellent exhibit of history, culture and pride for what would have been a Grand Museum in the Hometown. The city council sucks. I wonder if anyone else knew about or read about these kinds of things in their hometowns, that they would be finding out some great losses they might have. I am definitely inspired to discover what is going on in my hometown, but with the limited sources and lack of citizen participation, my neighbors and I are only informed through the small amount of people that care to pay attention to these possible gains and losses.

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  5. Alejandra Servin
    English 101
    T/Th 10:00-11:15

    It is a shame how great things can be lost because of small reasons. I am a new Fullerton resident, and I have not gotten the chance to "explore" the city yet; but I believe that an art museum would have been a great perk for the city. Before reading this I did not have much knowledge about Norton Simon and his roots in Fullerton; but now I know some basic things about him and how he provided things for this city. How was it that they denied the museum just because of security. The inability to pay for the security needed for this museum is not a good enough reason to say no to the idea. They should have taken into consideration everything that Simon had done to the city thus far. He had already donated a library, and all he was asking for was land so he could have the art we owned displayed in a city he cared for. Was it really that difficult for the city to find a way to pay for the security that would have been needed?

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  6. Yeon Kim
    English 101
    Tues/Thurs 10:00-11:15


    Fullerton, being the first city that I moved to after immigrating to the United States, I have never gone out of my way to fully familiar myself with the different culture and spots Fullerton provides. However, as I continually write and read about these excerpts for blog comments, I am getting more and more interested in this hidden jewel of a city that I live in and what it offers to its residents.
    From my recent visit and experience to the Norton Simon Museum just a couple months ago, I find it very disappointing and displeasing with the opportunity loss of Fullerton’s ability to acquire a museum consisting of several art treasures. This museum overwhelmed with art pieces and the culture that the work brings with it had the potential to be set here in Fullerton by Norton Simon. If only this museum had been set in Fullerton, art lovers would not have to travel to the far city of Pasadena to view masterpieces from all ages. In addition, the museum would have brought more residents and tourists to our city, increasing the revenue our city would make. Looking at a positive point from this article, we can at least say that we have an art work from Van Gogh in our very own Hunt Branch Library.
    Norton Simon had been such a huge face to Fullerton, giving some of the city its identity through him. Hunt Foods, being one of the most known and used product in America allows our town to be somewhat a landmark to the rest of the country. His ketchup factory being used to be right on Brookhurst of what is now Grace International Ministries church and the Hunt Branch Library reminds us that Norton Simon lived and helped our city of Fullerton. With all these gifts that Norton Simon had given us, why would Fullerton not want to allow Norton Simon Museum to set its home in this town? Norton Simon offered a large amount of money for this museum project to become reality, yet Fullerton still rejected. Seeing the success of the Norton Simon today, I’m positive Fullerton now regrets not securing the museum before. In conclusion, due to Fullerton’s naïve and short-sighted rejections toward Norton Simon’s idea of having his museum in this city has cost the joy and content the residents of Fullerton would have had consistently with the museum’s existence.

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  7. Woow! It must have sucked for Simon being born and raised in Fullerton. While having accumulated wonderful artwork, just to have it displaced in Pasadena. I have never been to Norton Simon Museum, so I don’t know exactly how the place looks. From the sculpture that is displaced above, I can see it looks pretty neat. The article mentions familiar artists that I have heard about and I know that many of the artists artwork is highly know for being very expensive. The City Council of Fullerton made a big mistake, letting Simon take his valuable possessions to a city in which he has no roots. This would have been an amazing place for artists or tourists to stop by and admire fine art. I feel that the City Council from Fullerton might of thought it was too expensive to provide Simon with his request. Although, the City Council should be smart enough to know that the type of collection Simon had gathered over the years wasn’t just any artwork and to preserve high quality there should be security. Simon seemed to have no option but to move to Pasadena and fulfil his goal of having his art displaced for a community to visit. Through the article it seems that Simon waited for a respond that took two year, in which I feel a simple “No” would have been a lot quicker.
    I guess Pasadena’s City Council made the best decision while the title of this article fits Fullerton “ The Great Loss”. I commute from HB so I am not that familiar with Fullerton but I have seen and hear that Fullerton is well known for having, local owned businesses. Norton Simon Museum would have been perfect for Downtown Fullerton. I don’t understand how the City Council would deny a home to a local resident also when “offered the city a start –up gift of half a million dollars”. I think Fullerton would have been able to afford a security guard, if they had charged or had a donation box, eventually the city council wouldn’t be paying for security as much.

    Sheila Samperio
    English 101 Tue & Thur 8:30 – 9:45

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  8. Stephanie Trujillo
    Eng 103
    Wednesday 3:30 - 6:20

    This truly saddens me! Fullerton would have been the perfect place for this museum. Fullerton is already known for its great local artists and talented crowd. While the city states that they couldn’t afford security the museum would of definitely attract hundreds of people trying to get a view of the work of amazing artists. The revenue that the tourists bring into the city could have been the solution to the lack of money to hire security guards. Todd Simons was a resident of Fullerton and started his Hunts Food business in the city. It is clear that he feels that Fullerton is more than a home than Pasadena. Yet even after the city of Fullerton received a library as a gift from Simon his offer was rejected. After reading this article I had no idea this happened. If only it would of received more publicity residents who were in favor of this project could of let their voice be heard. Those in favor could of this project could have expressed all the pros of having this museum in Fullerton, possibly changing the minds of the city council who I feel did not put any thought into making this decision. After reading this article I feel like I need to be more aware about what is happening locally and do something about it. In order to do that we need to be more involved in city projects and go to city council meetings to be aware about what’s happening and the changes that are being made. This clearly connects with our writing theme this semester “Think globally, think locally.” which encourages us to be more involved in our communities to see positive changes. Having this subject in english would make it much easier to care and investigate about the topic. Why should we care?because the issues and problems are happening around your home. This musuem of would been a great addition to fullerton agreeing to this deal would of brought the possibility of more Todd Simon art projects in Fullerton .The city of Fullerton has made a big mistake by not allowing this museum in their city. The art that is displayed in Pasadena isn’t just any art work it is artwork done by the most famous artists around the world. We would never get another opportunity like this again.

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  9. Brooke Cooper
    English 101
    tuesday/thursday 10-1115

    The Great Loss: Fullerton city council denies the nortin simon museum
    Nortin Simons carries a reputation with his name and million dollar company. But most importantly, his wealth and love for art has shaped him. With his wealth and passion for art, he has some famous works of art. These works of art are in the Nortin Simons Museum in Pasedena, CA, along with various sculptures. Simons roots and home are in Fullerton so he wanted to move the museum to his hometown in Fullerton. However city council argued that they couldnt afford the security. Simons offered many things such as money and buying several homes to help his museum. He tried and tried and waited to 2 years until he gave up and just took his art to Pasedena. I dont know why Fullerton wouldnt let him move when he offered money. I live around this area so i think down town fullerton would be PERFECT for an art gallery. I thnk its a shame that they wouldnt even let him have a museum in the town he came from. simon seems like a positive and passionate person who truley does not care about the money. He seems to care more about the value of his art.

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  10. Eunice Kim
    English 101

    I've been living in the city of Fullerton for more than 10 years, and still to this day, I still don't know the cultural facts about Fullerton. It's kind of amazing how that still to this day, that the cultural events in Fullerton are still expanding. I didn't know that Norton Simon was the owner of Hunt Food and his first choice in building a cultural building was in Fullerton. Usually, millionaires give only some part of their money to charity, but those charities are funded everywhere around the world. However, Simon took the initiative to buy one of the world wide known art pieces to display for the community. He made and spent a huge amount of money to provide for the city of Fullerton, by providing the Hunt Branch Library and buying homes to show the art pieces for his museum. I didn't understand why the City Council wouldn't allow Norton to permanently place his art work in the city of Fullerton. A little bit of art and cultural spark wouldn't hurt the city. In my view, it would only spark up the livelihood of Fullerton. Coming from a resident of Fullerton for over half my life, it would be pretty cool if we were able to see one of the world wide known art pieces. After years of fighting the council, he packed up and left to Pasadena, which I don't mind because from my understanding, Pasadena is a city that is pretty cultural affiliated with the residents, especially in Old Town Pasadena. All Fullerton is filled is with houses and any type of stores, but I don't really know any museum places in Fullerton. It'd be pretty cool if we did have! It'd be a great experience. After reading this article and the article before, "Think Globally, think locally", I feel the need to know more about Fullerton and it's history. I can totally tell Simon's love and passion for art, and he was deeply into placing the art in Fullerton. I think now Fullerton regrets the fact that they weren't able to let the community experience this great chance. I think if we did plant a museum in Fullerton, it would be so beneficial to students, teachers, children, families, etc. to expand their knowledge and their horizons into seeking different things in the world.

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  11. The Great Loss by Nataly Palma
    It is depressing to know that the City Council rejected Simmons priceless collections. If it wasn’t for the City Council, Fullerton would have had an amazing museum. I am sure that everyone in Fullerton, and even tourist would have loved to gaze upon such artistic sculptures and other art collections. I am unsure why the City Council would do such a thing, especially to reject wonderful sculptures that are worth millions of dollars. I can imagine the pain that Simons went through, because he wanted to place his sculptures in his hometown, which was Fullerton. However, we can always drive up to Pasadena and enjoy a tour in Simon’s artistic museum, and imagine how wonderful it would have been, if the museum was located in Fullerton.

    In The Bedford Guide for College Writers textbook, chapter two gives the readers advice on how to read like college students. In college, reading becomes more challenging and requires reading closer, slower reading and deeper thinking. That basically means reading critically. It also gives advice about what you should do while you are reading. The examples that it provides are annotations that a writer should be doing while reading, making side notes, asking questions, and adding additional comments about the text. I find this textbook very useful because it breaks down the process of reading, step -by- step. Having this textbook in handy is a smart thing to do when you have no clue on how to start an essay, annotating a book, and etc.

    Mayra Mendoza
    English 101
    Tue/Thur 10-11:15am

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  12. Sean McCormick
    English 101
    Tuesday and Thursday 10-11:15
    The loss of a city’s identity through its art is something that has completely been embraced across the world. Nowadays people’s main focus is money and how they will profit from it, I guarantee that when Norton Simon put forth his plans, money and politics had something to do with the denial of it. When you look at politics today you see a lot of compromising and under the table deals to profit themselves, not the community or place they represent, and this is something that must be reformed in order to continue as one united country. Art has been something that has been overlooked in our cities for some time now and something that has had little support from the community, but I believe that can change very easily. By rallying together in our communities we can vote the right people in and demand that more art be a part of our parks and events within our community. Also we can strive for more cities to follow us and all have their own identities, for example have Huntington Beach to have more beachy art.
    On another note its very disappointing that Fullerton had such a great opportunity to have such an amazing art collection, and by the lack of support by a few people have it be denied. I believe that a decision like an art collection should be decided by the people in the community, not the members in a stupid board.

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  13. Anthony Isackson
    English 101
    Tuesday and Thursday
    I must say that The Great Lose is the perfect title for an article showcasing this triumph of short sighted politics over the artistic culture of a community. I myself have not had the pleasure of visiting The Norton Simon Museum but with a little bit of research I have seen a fraction of what the museum contains and it seems in all fronts a fountain of artistic and cultural fulfillment, but the Politian’s of Fullerton only saw a few more dollar seeping out of their budgets and at what cost. How many people would have come to the city if only for the museum and those people would need to eat, would what something to drink, or something to commemorate their visit and would spend money at local businesses to fulfill these wants and needs, but there money does not go to Fullerton instead it goes to the city of Pasadena because the Politian’s decided that they knew what was best to do with other people’s money. To make matters worse not only do they deny a man the opportunity of adding to his home town, leaving a permanent mark on the place he called home but they wasted two years of the man’s time in doing so there should be a limit to blatant disregard for others. And so though this act the Politian’s have raised a flag for all to see a flag dedicated to short sightedness a flag to showing the world the Fullerton thinks more of the change in its pocket rather than its own culture.

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  14. Nicole Persinger
    English 101: Tuesday/Thursday
    I have never heard of Norton Simon, but I have heard of the famous artists listed in “The Great Loss”. And it truly is a great loss to know what could’ve been but is now not an option. Being from an artsy college town up north, it would’ve been nice to have a little museum around, and although the Norton Simon Museum wasn’t a success, I’m sure there’s much more artsy alternatives Fullerton has to offer. But will all of Simon’s generous gifts to Fullerton, it’s a shame that the city can’t gift Norton Simon the land he needs for his Museum. If not now, maybe sometime in the future city council will realize the mistake they’ve made and Simon will relocate his Pasadena Museum to the Fullerton location he really wanted.

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  15. Ravjot Kaur
    English 101: Tuesday/Thursday
    Wow! It’s really surprising how the city of Fullerton could have had something that many other cities do not have but instead they rejected it. I believe that this kind of art could have possibly given the city a new look or prospective. It’s sad that the city of Fullerton rejected such a great offer. Even though Fullerton may not have an artistic museum it still has many other artistic alternatives to explore. The city should have given Norton Simon some land and property to open a museum because Norton Simon has given a lot to this city and that was one thing the city could have gifted him back. If Norton Simon wasn’t able to display his artwork in Fullerton, maybe someone else along the road may try opening another art museum that the city of Fullerton would not reject.

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  16. Michael Henderson
    Eng 101
    Tues/Thurs 8:30-9:45

    My first reaction after reading the article you posted was just shear disbelief. After processing what I had just read, I spent several minutes trying to think of any possible reason that the city council may have had that caused them to delay and put off such a wonderful gift. Their reason was that they were unable to afford to pay a security guard? That’s the best reason that the City Council could come up with? With all the money that the city manages, they could not afford to pay a security guard a little more than minimum wage? I don’t believe it. There had to be some ulterior motive or some hidden agenda behind the decision that they made. I don’t understand how the City Council could refuse that kind of offer from a selfless man who was willing to share such a valuable and diverse art collection with the rest of the community for the sole reasons of educating and bettering it. All he wanted to do was to give back to the community that had treated him so well throughout the many years of his life. He basically offered the city a deal on a silver platter; he would buy some of the houses surrounding the Hunt Branch library, a building he already gave to the city, and then add the museum on to the existing building. All the City Council had to do was agree to pay a security guard, that’s it. The city of Fullerton suffered a great cultural loss due to the shady politics that govern it. I think having a local museum would have proved to be an invaluable asset for the community. It would have provided a place for people to go and to appreciate a collection of art that spanned many centuries and countless different artistic movements. This cultural treasure would have helped many Fullerton residents grasp a greater understanding of the past and the people who lived through those times. I think that it is pretty fair to say that the members of the Fullerton City Council did not have the best interest of its citizens in mind when they decided to ignore such a wonderful gift. I hope at least by now, they realize the huge mistake that they made in deciding to rob the city of such an amazing gift.

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  17. Jason Moncayo
    English 101 Tues/Thur 10:00-11:15 AM

    This is truly upsetting. It is truly a shame that the city of Fullerton denied Norton Simon from having a museum in the place he resided. Simon was a true resident of Fullerton as he had turned Hunts Food Company into a successful business. Other than his contributions to the city, it is a mystery why a city would turn down the chance to have famous pieces of art. In having a museum it would pretty much put your city on the map and guarantee business as plenty of people and tourists would come to visit. I wonder what was going on in the minds of the city council. Simon offered a start up price of half a million dollars which was a lot of money then. The city just needed to provide the land and security but they just weren’t interested. I wonder if now the past city council members regret not doing as the museum has become a very important location in California. The Norton Simon Museum is one of my favorite places to visit now. I didn’t use to like art when I was younger, but not too many other kids do. When I visited it a couple of years ago I was amazed by all of the art that was in the building. My favorite art was that of Vincent Van Gogh. I just love the way Van Gogh uses colors to create raw emotion. Last semester, I had an art class and I visited the Norton Simon museum for a project. I enjoyed going back there again and the museum really helped me in doing my project. The one thing that I want to know is how the people of Fullerton feel knowing they could have had a museum in their city. I know that if my city had the chance to acquire something of importance and they messed up on it or decided against it I would be truly disappointed. In a way it is sort of like having bragging rights. For instance, the people in Los Angeles love having the Lakers. If the Lakers were to move to another city, the people of Los Angeles would be really angry and the new city would be joyous. I guess the moral of the story would be, don’t let something important slip by or get away. After reading this piece and writing my own response, I am kind of disappointed that the museum is in Fullerton because that is where I go to school. Due to the 1960’s Fullerton city council’s decision, I have to travel further to visit the museum.

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    Replies
    1. edit: I am kind of disappointed that the museum "isn't" in Fullerton because that is where I go to school.

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  18. Michelle Kim
    English 101
    TU/THRU 10-11:15
    That's such a shame that Simons was not able to safely place his prized possessions in a city for which he had given and contributed to. I believe that the least the the city council can do was to do what Simons had generously asked for with his half million dollar offer. It seems to me that the city council had not been reasonable enough and was not grateful for what Simons had contributed the city with and offered the city with. Simons had gifted the Fullerton with an amazing gift of knowledge for the people to graciously visit whenever and yet still the city had refused to just merely display his wonderful collection of art,which would have been perfect to display in connection to the library. Also if the city council had agreed upon allowing Simons to display and safely place his collection of art with his gift of knowledge, the library, then the people of Fullerton would be presented and introduced with a sense of culture of the arts not just knowledge from the library. And thus the library would've been probably an attraction for many others to visit from different cities, just like the renown Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Hopefully from now on Fullerton welcomes more opportunities as to where they can accept a sense of culture of the arts for the people to explore and learn about.

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  19. Linda Morales
    English 101
    tues/thurs 8:30-9:45
    While reading this article I was questioning why the city of Fullerton did not want his artwork. He clearly loved his city and wanted his work to get recognized in the city of Fullerton. While looking at the picture provided on this site it looked like he had a lot to offer in his art museum. I believe that Norton Simon had so many things to offer not only to the city of Fullerton, but to the residence as well. I would have loved to go to this museum and look at his artwork. Especially since it is so close by and would have been convenient to go to. I do not know why they did not want his art work in Fullerton. It would have been an attraction to the people and would have given Fullerton a better name with this. The city was so closed minded on what they want in their city and what they do not want that they did not realize the great things he could have brought to their own city. Many people would have gone and there would have been more community involvement in this city. Even though there is not an art museum in Fullerton I am glad that the city of Pasadena approved it. It shows that they had more appreciation for the museum. I am also glad that he did not just give up and not open this museum. Even though he was not allowed to open it up in Fullerton he was able to somewhere else. I am sure he has made a lot of money with this museum. Even more than what he was originally going to offer. I am glad that I am able to go to Pasadena and see this museum. I liked title that Nataly Plama named this article because I do believe that the city of Fullerton did have a great loss. They have missed out on a great opportunity to have beautiful artwork in their city. The one thing that I did not like that Fullerton did was not give him an answer to begin with. In the article it states that he took the hint and took his museum elsewhere. They could have said no so he could go on to another city and open his art museum elsewhere. Even though Fullerton has many great attractions in the city I think this could have benefited the city.

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  20. It’s a great shock to me that a city would deny such treasure. The fact that Norton Simons offered the city of Fullerton half a million dollars to help start the museum in return for land and security, yet to be denied, angers me. Then Norton puts fourth, his already gifted library as a home to the museum on top of the houses he was going to purchase around the library to make surplus room for the museum, yet to wait 2 years for no answer. I can see why Norton Simons would choose Fullerton for the home of his arts. Its the city he lived in, the city he has a business in, its his home. what better place for the home of the things you love than your own backyard? Saddens me that Fullerton didn’t jump on the opportunity. The fact that Fullerton is home to thousands of students and numerous different cultures, the museum would have benefited the entire community. I am almost positive a college student in need of volunteer hours would have loved the chance to patrol the museum. And not just a college student. Plenty of other people would of volunteered as well. Maybe some one who is fascinated with art would have been thrilled to work at a museum. there are so many possibilities. I think the city council didn’t put much thought into the idea. If I were them, I would have agreed and done what ever I could to get the museum up and running. And as I sit here and think about this some more, I don’t see cons to the museum being in Fullerton. It could have only brought it pros. The city of Fullerton has so many cultural and historic pieces to it already, the museum would have fit right in. I wish it were different but there’s not much we can do about it now since its already in Pasadena and its been there for awhile. But, like my grandfather always says, if it wasn’t meant to be then it wasn’t meant to be. although I am sure the city of Pasadena is sticking their tongues out at Fullerton saying they lost a great chance to bring a historical mark into the city. but who am I to say, I am not an art major and definitely not a business major either.

    Kaylee Brummett
    tu/thu
    8:30

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  21. Daniel Villalobos
    Read 60
    T/TH 2:00-4:00
    It’s a bummer that Fullerton did not accept the gift, all they needed was to provide the security. It makes me think did they like the art, or did they think the art was ugly. I don’t know much about Fullerton, or if there is a lot of sculptures in the city maybe that is why they refused the gift. I did notice the picture in the article. If that is the picture of the sculpture Norton was willing to donate I don’t think the council was happy about it. It did have some nudity, I know council members are very by the book and they wouldn’t want people to complain.
    I see it “Mothers of America” “what is that, why is she naked, my children should not be looking at that”. I just don’t think the council wanted deal with it. I’m sure they would have loved to have it. As for the museum I’m not sure why the city council did not approve the project. Not only would it have been nice for the city but it could have promoted more jobs for locals. Maybe they rejected the project because there are too many museums already in Fullerton. It just doesn’t make sense not to make your city more interesting and desirable. Is the city council not looking for the best interest for the city, or are they looking for the best for their pockets. Did the council even ask the people? I’m not from Fullerton, but I would love nice art work in my city. I know the citizens from my town would love a museum added to the city who wouldn’t. It seemed Pasadena has a better group of council members to me. They clearly came up on a good pick up. It’s sad that Norton’s city would reject him that way.
    Maybe that’s why Pasadena is a nicer city then Fullerton, it seems the Fullerton’s council members are not willing to improve their city.

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  22. KEVIN SERNA ENG 101- 10:00am - 11:15September 11, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    I agree entirely with Nataly Palma, a museum would be an incredible addition to the city bringing in a little revenue and most importantly, culture. It sounds a little unfair at the fact that the city denies the project even after Norton Simon provided a library for the city. He even declares that he will give half a million dollars to the city and purchase property near the museum to help create extra space. The least the city could do is provide a little security to compensate for this simply charge a small admission fee or sell snacks and drinks to also create a little income. With such a prized collection of works that it wouldn’t make sense to share culture with the community. I think it is a shame that he plans to be moving his gallery to Pasadena. Who is to say that the gallery is to far gone. Maybe with letters and gathering the citizens of Fullerton can convince the city to reconsider. With the help of other art galleries such as that of Jesse La Tour. A peaceful gathering can really make an impact.
    I can relate this to a little project in Chino that never fell through. There was a local skate shop that went by the name of covert. The shop was ran by a family who had immigrated from japan. It seemed a bit random, but never the less, this family was so kind and passionate about skateboarding. After sales began to pick up, the family picked up a couple of local kids to sponsor, well at the time the home town heros. Josh Reyes, Ricky Vipperman, and Neal White were the perfect guys to start with. With these guys wearing the gear and boards popularity picked up, and skaters started skipping out on Chino’s famous Ayala Skate Park and heading two blocks north to Covert Skate Shop. Covert’s parking lot began to fill up with local kids hanging out and trying to score some free gear. Police began patrolling and claiming that the gatherings were hazards and potentially dangerous compromising fire codes, blocking all exits. They also claimed that covert contributed to contraband to minors, as many of the older kids drank beer and had marijuana that easily accessible to minors. Covert then built a skateboard in the neighboring warehouse to house these local hooligans and keep the parking lots clean. As police kept cracking down, the shop became less and less popular. The police took away from the freedom of the place and it lost it’s purpose. Eventuallya Covert fell through, and found itself to go under. Today I do not know what happened to covert. I visit Ayala everyone now and then, and see those early skaters who still have their Covert Tattoos. It’s a nice little reminder of what used to be.


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  23. It would be very nice if the city of Fullerton had a museum like the one described in Simon's collection. Seems like Fullerton in the 1960's council members were conservatives of some sort or another; unable to grasp the concept of timeless art to an area. This write-up really encourages me to look into visiting the said museum. I'm unsure in how I would manage to find myself in Pasadena, but to see such works of art would be grand indeed! What the fuck was going on in the cities mind at the time! Not enough money?! Needless to say they did not consider the wealth those paintings would bring historically to their little plot on the planet. The museum would have been such a great investment in the area in which it would be placed; maybe not... Do people even care today about art like they did in Fullerton, 1964? ..I hope not.



    I would imagine they would be brighter, smarter, more intellectual back in the hay day, as they often say. But I suppose one is not supposed to live with any assumptions. I had always believed that and now that I am taking a World Civilizations coarse, I have learned about all axial religions, including Buddhism, whom Siddhartha beckons the same practices. I wonder if any of those council members ever reached nirvana, enlightenment, erase of ego! Doubt it! Then again its worth wondering if the museum were to stand in Fullerton now, if it’s holdings would be fully appreciated by the all residents, or whether those students would just use the parking structure to get stoned in their car their paying off with their government assistance money they were supposed to spend on the semester they’re barely passing.
    BRENT HENRY ENGLSH 060

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  24. Trevor Cox
    English 101
    Tu-Th 8:30-9:45

    I find it hard to imagine why Fullerton would deny such a great addition to their city. It's a shame, all they had to do was provide security. I agree with Nataly in that the museum would've of been a great add to the city. The Fullerton council members must not of seen how great an art museum could've been. Yet as always with politics I have no idea on what their intentions are, seeing that politicians are as trustworthy as Pinocchio.

    I wonder if the museum was founded in Fullerton not Pasadena if we would take advantage of such a resource or if would gather dust from no one visiting it. Its a great shame that the museum got disapproved or it would've been a great asset for Art majors. Yet as always politicians fail to serve in the interest of their people.

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  25. What a great shame that Fullerton was not able to be the home of a remarkable and heritage collection of art. I personally do not have any background in art, but I could see that this collection could not be turn down so easily. Moreover, Norton Simon also offered half a million dollars to secure a spot in Fullerton, CA. Additionally, the spot Norton Simon wanted was the place that Simon had gift for Fullerton, the Hunt Branch library. I was bewildered when Fullerton did not reply to Simon after 2 years. It was a really obviously choice that Fullerton should accept it. For my part, I have never set foot into the Norton Simon Museum but from the description I can tell that the Norton Simon Museum is a breathtaking place. I do not live in the city of Fullerton so I do not know the history and the surrounding of it. However, as I will be going to school in Fullerton I will have more time to check out Fullerton’s surrounding and unlike the City Council of Fullerton, I am sure that I would not regret the decisions that I make. There is not much I can write about Fullerton because I have not experience Fullerton to its fully extend.
    From the picture and the description of the Norton Simon Museum, one could imagine that it would be a renowned place to have at Fullerton, yet the City Council of Fullerton declined Simon’s offer, which was insane because Simon offered his owns place to be the base of the museum.
    I am sorry I cannot finish this blog. I have no excuse for it and I will take however many points you give me.

    Khanh Nguyen
    Eng 101 Tu/Thurs 10-11:15

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  26. Janina Bates
    Eng. 060
    Professor Jesse La Tour

    After reading “The Great Loss”, I have to say that Norton Simon is a truly remarkable person not only for his great success but also for his persistence and patience behind his story. While we do not know for sure the reasoning behind Fullerton City Council denying Simon his museum, it is a great loss for the city of Fullerton. This would have been a huge attraction for a variety of different cultures all over the world to come and witness. Just the life story behind Norton Simon is amazing; it would give people reason to want to be in the presence of a great successor. From the OC weekly I read the article “In-n-Out Gets Sued For Race, Age Discrimination; Why the Lawsuit is Preposterous” by Gustavo Arellano. This article caught my attention because of all my years going to In-N-Out, it has never struck me that it could be considered a place that discriminates by age. Now that I think about it, there are always young people that are working behind the register and food counters but I would think it’s because of the fast paced that only young adults that go to school and have crazy schedules could accommodate their schedules at this type of restaurant. When I go out to eat to restaurants, I am usually very observant about my surroundings. I pay close attention to the type of art and photos they have hanging on the walls, the type of crowd that it brings in, I look at the employees to see if all of them look happy to be there or if they look like they are being forced to be there. From my experience, I have noticed that most fast paced restaurants do not have many elderly employees or any at all for that matter. I can agree that the community you live in plays a big part of what type of people you will find employed in a restaurant because it is predominantly of that race that populates that area. However, there have been times when I would go into a restaurant that serves a specific type of food and all the employees are of that race that is associated with the food. These may be small, private restaurants. If you go into a larger restaurant chain such as Fridays or Denny’s then you would be more likely to find a variety of different employee types of all ages and races compared to the smaller chains.

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  27. Sarah Salcido
    Eng 103
    W
    It’s truly unfortunate that a museum like this is not in Fullerton, it could have been extremely beneficial to the city. Simon must have been truly crushed for collecting all this wonderful art work over the years and to not display it in the one city he was born and raised in, is sad. If this museum was a part of Fullerton, it could have brought a whole new art culture into the city, to witness such famous paintings and statues, could have inspired people to further their interest in classic to modern art. I don’t believe that the council really could not afford security, to me that is not really a legitimate excuse for not going through Simon’s ideas, if the council really wanted to go through with Simon’s museum they would have. Since all the art work is in Pasadena, I doubt that an opportunity to display all this art work in Fullerton will come again.

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  28. Lorena Cardozo
    English 103
    Jesse Latour
    Wednesday 3:30-6:40

    It is very unfortunate that the city council did not allow Norton Simon to put the museum of his dreams in Fullerton. I am not sure why they did not allow him to do so, but I believe that it would have benefited the community in a positive way. First of all we would have been the home of a very prestigious museum of art filled with one of the best artists known to man, Picasso, Van Gogh, Vermeer, etc. This museum would have brought culture to the city and it would have brought pride to Fullerton. I honestly don't understand how the city didn't have money to afford security when I'm sure there have been many other useless things purchased that were "for the good of the city". This would also allow people to look at something different than they do in their every day lives. It would allow them to see the artwork and learn about different culture outside from their own. Often times we are all stuck just in our bubble and in out daily routine, and this museum would have been a perfect way to see something out of the ordinary that we don't usually encounter. It is also unfortunate that the people of Fullerton had to find out about the museum after it was already denied by the council. It sucks that the people don't really have a say in it, because if they did, I'm sure they would have pushed for the making of the Norton Simon Museum, especially with the many artists that are in Fullerton today.

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  29. Allie Rodriguez
    English 103 3:30 W

    When reading the excerpt from her essay, I was impressed with her knowledge. Although, I feel as if it lacked personality and interest. Not that I didn’t love the essay. But it was more of the everyday ‘here’s-what-I-know-and-I’ll-put-it-all-down-on-paper-and-hope-people-don’t-think-I-made-it-up’ kind of piece. I believe that her research was well done and her sources were good as well, I believe that she spent a lot of work on it and I in no way think it was a bad essay, I also understand that this is only an excerpt, so I’m sure the full essay is a fantastic one. I was just not as interested as I would be if I could read her passion behind the words that she wrote. The essay itself is a good one. She seemed to really know her stuff and what I read was interesting enough. It was a pity that Fullerton couldn’t make it happen, even when all the accommodations were there…but I guess that’s as much as you can hope for. Fullerton would have been a fantastic place to have an art museum, especially one of that caliber! But I guess as an artist and a business owner, you can’t exactly wait forever.

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  30. Claudia Pena
    English 103
    W 3:30-6:40
    That’s sad that such an amazing museum which I have not been to but sounds astonishing could not be at the home city of this man Norton Simon. He was even going to pay for the houses to be able to build this museum so he can show the art he had collected to people from his hometown where he started his Hunt Food investment. The city council made the mistake to not go with this project which could have brought many tourists to this city. This art that Norton Simon had collected was art of the most famous people known and it should have been shared here in Fullerton. Since the council made the mistake it is more difficult for tourists to reach this amazing museum because it is further away now. About the Hunt Branch library, I’ve never heard of this library and I personally think since they mentioned it’s on commonwealth it’s not really a big street to be known. For example downtown Fullerton which is on harbor blvd and this street is a major. I think maybe one day the Fullerton City Council should reconsider this project and have it brought to Fullerton or any other project that should be allowed. Not only should the city council choose the decision but also maybe the city. I think the city would have been glad to have a museum so successful in their own city.

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  31. Fullerton really passed a really good opportunity for a very good museum. I mean how can t they afford just one security officer but they are doing freeway repairs all over Fullerton. It sounded like they didn’t want a good museum in Fullerton. Fullerton would of have more people visiting and they could of even made some profit like putting restaurants or gift show around and increase there budget. I would bet that a lot of people would of loved coming to Fullerton and see a painting of Van Gogh, people would have been fascinated to come. I personally would of loved to go to that museum because it would have been full of history of the pass and the most important I would have time to go and see the paintings because it locally. But now that he went with his project to Pasadena I mean there is no way I’m going any time soon because its far. I don’t know what Fullerton was thinking when they say no to Mr. Simon. I think if Mr. Simon still wants his gallery here he should come and tell the city of Fullerton that he wants the museum here. A good idea would be that he can do a survey through out all Fullerton and ask people if the would love to have a museum that has really cool and historic painting and I bet people would love that even though they may not like art but they would have that curiosity about the museum. I mean we can also tell Simon if he can do a little more donation maybe so they can pay the security but in other words I don’t think he should have to pay the officer plus the paintings and plus the lot were he is going put the museum on. Also he can come with some sort of agreement maybe there are volunteer officers that would love to work for the museum or maybe they can go half and half on the paying of the officer, but I definitely think that they should bring back the museum and try it one more time to put it Fullerton. I think Fullerton should focus on making more historic places like this museum because it attracts a lot off people, would make more profit and Fullerton will defiantly become more noticeable through out the counties or people.
    Tamara Jimenez
    English 103 W: 3-30-6-40

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  32. Emily Sandoval
    English 103 W 3:30pm

    Reading “The Great Loss” by Nataly Palma definitely made me frown upon the city council of Fullerton. They had no legitimate reason as to why they didn’t accept Norton Simon’s offer of half a million dollars in the year of 1964. Their excuse that they didn’t have the money for a security guard was simply bogus. Simon was prepared to help the council by purchasing many houses in order to make the museum bigger, which he didn’t have to do, but he was he trying to make his museum the best that it could be. Simon put forth a great effort in trying to bring some culture into the city of Fullerton and the fact that he got turned down is a shame. I’m sure the residents of Fullerton would have appreciated his effort. Most likely, the museum would have brought great value to the houses located around it, which I couldn’t imagine anyone being against. I've never been to his museum in Pasadena but if such a great museum was right down the street from my college I would like to think that I would have stopped by at least once.
    So many years ago, the city council didn’t realize that they were robbing the city of Fullerton of something that most people in this area have never seen. This museum would have been a great place to see classic art and I’m sure residents of the city would have been proud to say this museum was part of their hometown. I think the city council of Fullerton should have at least tried to make the museum work at least for a year, but due to their pure laziness they didn’t give Simon the time of day. I believe if the city needed more help maintaining the museum, Simon would have stepped in and offered to help some more financially. It is apparent that he was passionate about his artwork and wanted to keep his collection in the town he called home. Although his hometown will always be Fullerton, his artwork was forced to call Pasadena home.

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  33. Learning about the Norton Simon Museum is shocking to me. I believe that building an art museum in Fullerton would have been one of the greatest things to happen to the city. I have never had the chance to attend an art museum that has Picasso or Rodin. The closest that I have gotten to their work is Google images. It is a shame that it was not approved because it could have brought more tourism to Fullerton City.
    Through this article I learned of Norton Simon. I never knew he was a resident of Fullerton because I had never heard his name before. I admire him for what he has done for the city. It seems like he genuinely wants to help Fullerton improve its culture. He is donating hundreds of thousands of dollars and is not expecting any money given back. It is sad that his request was denied because he is trying to give more to his city. He was paying for the land, the surrounding space, and the artwork. The least he could have gotten was an approval. Where many people would buy these very expensive paintings and sculptures and treasure them in their home, Norton Simon places them in display for everyone to enjoy. I have never been to the Hunt Branch Library, but now I want to go to see Van Gogh’s art work on the wall.
    I understand city council’s decision for not approving the museum because they could not afford security, but if you think about the future, building the museum would slowly bring back money to the council. Just knowing that the library has sculptures and paintings by famous artists makes me want to visit the library. If I knew a museum was opening, I would definitely plan to go. If there are people out there that think somewhat like me, Fullerton would be open to more tourism from other cities. Then, Fullerton city would have more money to make up for security. City council, however, has other opinions that I respect, but it is a loss that we cannot have an art museum like that close to school.
    Derenice Hernandez
    English 103
    W 3.30 - 6.40

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  34. I didnt know that he was part of the fullerton community. It sucks that they didn't accept the art project in fullerton. It truely would of been a neat thing to see especially since the art is one of the most praised artist. I think that would of been a great opportunity for the city of fullerton. They would of had somehting special and defining. Especially because the guy himself was giving him options and i think providing security would of not been that hard... whats a couple trained security gaurds gaurding the paintings day and night...? I guess it was just there fears that something might go bad and they probably didnt want to take on the responsiblity.. hey i guess u dont always get what you want... Lucky pasedena... ummmmm i dont know what else to say i know we have to write 400 words right? im at a loss.... hmmm...... (I guess i need to get the hang of thinking critically)
    Eng 103
    Maria Hernandez
    3:30-6:40

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  35. hey wats up i like turtles dude

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  36. Tannya Juarez
    Eng. 101 10-11:15 am

    “The Great Loss” is most indeed a perfect title for this article due to great loss being lost to the city of Fullerton. I became surprised in all sincerity that the created of my favorite ketchup bottle, was in fact a true passionate art seeker and wanted to display beauties of art, throughout Fullerton. It is embarrassing to know that this opportunity was ignored.
    As I moved here to Fullerton, I began to notice that most the attention and art is in downtown Fullerton. I thought that was all of any good or importance was simply located there. Little would I have known that there was a great possibility of art being displayed throughout this city especially from Norton Simon’s art collection? In my opinion, if the City would have approved and secured the security of these arts, the city of Fullerton would have been a better significant city than it is looked upon.
    Hopefully the city council of Fullerton feels ashamed knowing they could have had something great in the city. I hope they also feel stupid because this was a selfish act of them not providing or sharing the beauty of art throughout the city especially of someone who was willing to donate their art stuff here. I bet Pasadena feels great to have a beautiful museum and they are probably laughing at us because we don’t have those treasures. This article just made me mad to know we could have had something better surrounding our plan city known as Fullerton. It ironically would have been “Full” of art. Get it? Nevermind.

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  37. It is amazing how anyone can deny a great opportunity, yet alone an council. Norton Simon Museum could have been one of the greatest landmarks and tourist destination to ever hit Orange County. It have been a place where Orange County could have thrived. Fullerton, being in a small area but with great flow of traffic due to it being a College town could have benefited from such a wonderful destination.

    It is hard to believe that a city council committee denied the Norton Simon museum due to lack of funding a security guard and other minor issues. Which leads me to believe that their is so much more in this picture that is not being told or was never officially archived. The city of Orange County being a city of innovation and steady growth could had paid the salary of guards-c'mon, a whole $3 an hr? It is just sad to say the least.

    Here is a rich man willing to invest in the community and bring so much to it with his vision. Norton Simon's collection, although I am not to familiar with it, sounds amazing. Works from Piccasso alone highlight everything! Maybe since Piccasso was still alive at the time, or was he..., didn't have the momentum to get things official, but he had other artifacts and other art works that were worth a whole lot more at the time. The guy was a millionaire and would have been such more to the community as a philanthropist but who cares-right.

    Now Pasadena gets to call the museum home and has established itself throughout the years as an upscale place to be. Fine art, Museums, event the art institute and they have some real strong, competitive support for the community. Fullerton is still trying to establish itself from other near by cities such as Anaheim, Irvine, and Newport Beach to mention a few.

    In conclusion, Fullerton will always be the city that "could have been" but is not. Now years have gone by and will continue to go by while Anaheim takes all of the cookie for being what Orange County demands. A place to see everything. Hopefully one day some very intelligent minds that want to see their community be active and be a tourist location will come together and make the city proud by bringing a place where families and people of all kinds can come look, learn, and share.

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