There are New Jobs and there are New Businesses…


But new jobs are not coming from new businesses according to a survey from the Kauffman Firm recently.  The firm surveyed 5,000 businesses that started in 2004 and reports annually on their progress.

Nearly 60 percent of businesses had no employees their first year, 75 percent had 1 employee or less.  Less than 4 percent had more than 10 employees.

Most people can understand the dynamics of starting a new business.  The facts are that the odds are stacked against new businesses and business owners can start to breathe a little easier after 2 years in business.  At least the odds of failing diminish somewhat after 2 years.

About 9 percent of the firms surveyed closed in 1 year.  Survival rates can’t really be tied to owner demographics.  Maybe hard work and some luck have a lot to do with it.

Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael Caruso

Soccer Collies had Puppies…and They are Taking up the Game Too!


There is a soccer team in the OC’s Huntington Beach that is quite famous…and they all have 4 legs.  The Soccer Collies are a team of border collies that play soccer.  And earlier this year, they had a litter of 6 pups.  Like father, like son…the pups are taking up soccer too!

The only male pup is catching on a little faster, but they’re all getting the hang of it, owner Mark Lucas said in an interview.  The mother, named “Keeper” is the goalie of a 4 dog team that can dribble the ball with their noses, shoot with their shoulders and catch the ball in mid air with their nose/teeth and paws.  The father is named “Beck” and is a strong offensive player.

The team will be auditioning for America’s Got Talent.  You can learn about them and root them along be visiting

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael Caruso

“Chick Flicks OK”…When the Movie Theater Serves Beer and Wine!


So many times, when my wife has suggested that we go see a certain movie with our friends I’ve said “Isn’t there anything else playing…that movie is a chick flick”?

Now, the Anaheim Planning Commission just granted permission to the Garden Walk Mall Cinema to serve beer and wine!   This movie theartre is the first to my knowledge to be cleared to serve light alchohol beverages.  Despite some concerns about underage kids trying to get served, this was passed 7-0.  City permission does not exempt the movie theatre from following protocol of obtaining proper licensing from the State Alcohol Beverage Control.

If this works out…I might just say “Yes” to the next “chick flick” my wife and friends decide they want or need to see…but it would have to be at the movie theatre serving beer and wine!

Your comments are welcome…

Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael Caruso 

Members of Congress…Among the Wealthiest in USA!


I know you didn’t want to hear this, but…in recent years the personal wealth of members of Congress has soared to new heights.  This places lawmakers on average far up the ladder of America’s most well-to-do and places them far ahead of most Americans as of the 2006 study recently released.

Here are the numbers…the median net worth was estimated at $1.7 million for Senators and $675,000 for members of The House of Representatives. 

Statistics came from a Washington watchdog group called the Center for Responsive Politics.

Congressional members are paid about $169,000 annually.  The Center said that 58% of Senators and 44% of House members could be considered millionaires.  So, who among them is the wealthiest?  Records show that Jane Harmon a Dem. from Venice was worth about $409M in 2006.

Who’d have thunk it!?!

Thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael Caruso

Whose Your Mamma?


A DNA study performed recently says that nearly all of today’s American Indians in the Western Hemisphere can trace their ancestry to 6 women whose descendants immigrated around 20,000 years ago.  Those women left a particular DNA legacy that persists today in about 95% of American Indians, according to researchers.

While the study (published recently by the journal PLoS One) left some questions unanswered, it confirms previous indications of 6 maternal lineages.  The study’s co-author is Ugo Perego and he thinks the 6 “founding mothers” apparently did not live in Asia because the DNA signatures they left behind aren’t found there.  Most probably, they lived in Beringia the now submerged land bridge that once stretched to North America.

There are bigger questions…but this is sure interesting.

And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael Caruso

Human Traffickers Using the High Seas…


Dangerous sea voyages were common with Haitians and Cubans who were Florida bound, but this is new for Mexican smugglers.  From sandy Mexican shores the illegals can see the San Diego city lights on clear nights…and they yearn for a new life in America.  Now migrants can board boats in the dark in their attempts to get here.  Mexican traffickers are charging $4,000 per person to smuggle them here, often changing boats along the way as a diversion tactic and for additional speed.  And authorities say that the crews will have less to tell about if they are captured.

Border pressure hasn’t stopped the smuggling of migrants to America…it’s just moved the action somewhere else.  And that somewhere else starts in a rickety boat from Mexico with inexperienced seamen, which is like gambling with lives on these dangerous transfers to speed boats.

It had to be by sea…it was the only thing left!

Email your thoughts.

And thank you for making me your Orange County Real Estate Connection.

Best regards, Michael A. Caruso

Orange County Info ~ South County


Save the date… 3/29/08… Spring Glow Dance at Aliso Niguel High School.

Information – 949-831-5590


Save the date… 4/20/08 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm… Silverado Children’s Center is hosting its annual Chili Cook-off at Irvine Lake, 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd.  Admission is free.  For more information


The first quarter Dana Point Boaters Association meeting will be held Thursday at 7:00 pm at St. Edwards Church in the Knight Hall, 33926 Calle La Primavera


Save the date… 3/15/08 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm… Ladera Ranch is presenting its Spring Celebration at Founder’s Park, 28243 Sellas Road North.


Save the date… 3/16/08 from 11:00 am to 11:30 am… Laguna Presbyterian Church invites newcomers to its children’s choir rehearsals.  Second Street between Forest Ave. & Mermaid in Fellowship Hall.  Information – 949-494-7555


Save the date… 4/07/08 at 9:00 am… Laguna Hills High Principal Ed Adams will host his next Open Forum in the principal’s conference room.  Information – 949-770-5447


Save the date… 3/04/08, 3/28/08, 4/11/08, 4/18/08 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm… U.S. Black belt Academy is offering a four-part women’s workshop.

Information – 949-363-6500


Laguna Woods’ transportation committee will establish a subcommittee to investigate the use of personal mobility devices, like the Segway, in city rights of way.


Is there someone or a business in your community you think would make an interesting profile?  E-mail your idea to


Nothing new to report


John E. Cavanaugh resigned as City Attorney effective 2/27/08.  The City Council will vote on appointing an interim city attorney on 3/12/08.


Save the date… 3/22/08 to 3/30/08… A collection of antique Japanese furniture, décor, garden items & textiles will be on display at the San Clemente Elk’s Lodge, 1505 N. El Camino Real.  


Save the date… 3/12/08 at 6:30 pm & 11:00 pm… Councilman Mark Nielsen and former Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates will appear on “Real Orange” to discuss efforts to preserve & protect San Juan’s open space.  Show will air on KOCE.

Orange County Info ~ Central County


Loans to $50,000 are available to residents interested in home improvements & repairs.  Call the Housing and Community Development hot line for information – 714-754-4892


Save the date… March 24 – 28 from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm… The Fountain Valley Recreation Center, 16400 Brookhurst will host a Spring Recess Camp for ages 5 – 13.  Information – 714-839-8611.      


The Project Self-Sufficiency Program is asking for someone to DONATE a stroller after the group said one of their participants had hers stolen in front of her apartment.  Prospective donors can call 714-536-5439.


Save the date… 3/14/08 at 6:00 pm… Film screening of the Japanese movie “Shall We Dance?” with English subtitles.  City Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza, 949-955-7830.


Save the date… 3/13/08 at 6:00 pm… Meeting for the fundraising & awareness efforts in the fight against cancer will be held at the Old Ranch Country Club.  The fourth annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life will be held on July 26th.   For more information 562-441-2202


Save the date… 3/20/08… Police officers & volunteers will be honored at the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s annual Police Appreciation Breakfast.


Save the date… 3/13/08 at 7:00 pm… Orange High School students are performing a collection of scenes, monologues and poems as part of “The Cancer Project” in the Little Theater.  Proceeds go to the 12th Annual Penny Drive for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  Information – 714-997-6211


Save the date… 3/15/08 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm… Moms for Mother Earth will present a “Green Earth Festival”.  Santiago Park Nature Reserve, 900 E. Memory Lane.


Save the date… 3/15/08 from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm… Arbor Dog Park’s yearly fundraiser, Wags to Riches will be held at the park on Lampson between Heather and Rose.


Save the date…3/12/08 at 7:00 pm… School tours of the Tustin Memorial Academy, the district’s K-5 magnet school.  Information – 714-730-7546

 VILLA PARKSave the date… 3/14/08 at 8:00 pm… Villa Park High School Spring Dance held at the school at 18042 Taft Ave

Orange County Info ~ North County


Save the date… 3/16/08 -Sunday from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm…Light of the Canyon’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sycamore Park in Anaheim Hills


Save the date… 3/14/08 – Friday from 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm…Brea Olinda High School Grad Night committee is holding a poker-night fundraiser.  Bra Museum & Heritage Center, 495 S. Brea Blvd


Registration for the P-nut Baseball League ENDS March 20th.  Registration at Ehlers Community Center, 8150 Knott Ave


Save the date… 6/26/08 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm… The American Legion Post 295 is holding its fourth annual car show.  5646 Corporate Way.  Information – 714-821-0910


The weekly outdoor Thursday Fullerton Market opens April 3rd from 4:00 – 8:30 pm.  Applications available at the Museum Center, 301 N. Pomona for those wishing to participate.  Information – 714-738-6545


Save the date… 4/7/08 – 4/11/08… The city is offering a spring break camp for junior high students called Teen Adventure.  Information – 714-741-5200


Congratulations to Leonardo Mendez a finalist on “Objetivo Fama” which is Mexico’s take on “American Idol”.  Show airs Sundays at 7:00 pm.  Show’s finale is 4/6/08.


The city of La Palma encourages its residents to shop in the city, since one cent from every dollar spent in town is returned to the city.


Save the date… 3/22/08 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am… The annual Easter Eggcitement will be held at Kraemer Park.  Egg hunt begins at 10:00 am.  Information – 714-993-8232


Save the date… 3/26/08 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm…Meet one-on-one with the major at the Stanton Community Center Conference Room B at 7800 Katella Ave.


Save the date… 3/20/08 & 3/27/08 at 10:00 am & 6:00 pm… The city will hold town hall meetings at the Civic Center, 8200 Westminster Blvd. for local business owners about a new ordinance that requires all merchants with more than 10 shopping carts to confine the carts within their lots.  Information – 714-898-3311


Breastfeeding?  The La Leche League of Placentia/Yorba Linda meets at 10:00 am on the third Wednesday of the month.  Vineyard Church, 5340 E. La Palma Ave., Room 108.

Information – 714-612-1181

Orange County Info ~ South County



Save the date… Monday 3/10/08 at 6 pm… Blood drive held by the Neighborhood Cup at the Aliso Viejo Library, 1 Journey


Save the date… 4/20/08 from 12:00 – 4:00 pm… Silverado Children’s Center is hosting its annual Chili Cook-off at Irvine Lake, 4621 Santiago Canyon Rd.  Admission is free.  For more information


The community Center is extending its hours from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm Monday-Thursday


Chaparral Elementary School as been selected as a candidate for recognition as a 2008 California Distinguished School.  Good Luck!


Next volunteer planning committee meeting for the American Cancer Society Relay For Life is Thursday 3/06/08 at 6:00 pm at Wells Fargo Bank, 260 Ocean Ave


Save the date… 3/13/08 – 3/15/08 at 7:00 pm… Student production of Karen Ellison’s one-act comedy “The Harry and Sam Dialogues” will be presented at Laguna Hills High School.  Information – 949-770-5447


Save the date… 3/9/08 at 4:00 pm & 7:30 pm… Michael Repper, who attends the Orange County School of the Arts (OSHSA) will perform in a fund-raising concert featuring OCHSA’s Symphony Orchestra.  Call for details & location – 714-560-0900


Save the date… 3/11/08 at 1:00 pm… Laguna Woods Village Social Services & Saddleback Medical Center are hosting a free seminar on heart failure in Clubhouse 3, Dining Room 1.  Information – 949-452-7255


Bloggers wanted!!! If you are knowledgeable & observant about your church, your school, your neighborhood or your community and have a passion to share then go to and see “Publish Your Stuff” to create a profile & blog.  Information – 949-454-7373


Councilmen John Paul Ledesma & Frank Ury have been appointed by the Mayor to a committee that will investigate legal options the city can take against Southern California Edison should power lines be deemed unsafe.


Save the date… 3/08/08 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm…Registration for Pop Warner at Las Flores Middle School, 25862 Antonio Parkway


Parents from the Capistrano Unified PTA bombarded the governor’s office with calls to discourage budget cuts that they say would reduce the quality of education in the district.


This is worth repeating from last post:  The Opus West Corp. has donated $25,000 towards the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Orange County’s school-based mentoring programs.  Awesome!