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.