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Posts Tagged ‘Business’

A small oceanfront cottage in Capistrano Beach’s Beach Road community sold recently for $2.8 million, according to the MLS.
Located about halfway down the beachfront strip of homes that runs along Coast Highway in this gated neighborhood, the…

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Photos: David Beckham undies for H&M

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:27 AM
Monday, January 30, 2012

The David Beckham bodywear collection for H&M will be available starting Feb. 2 at 1,800 H&M stores worldwide, including five locations in Orange County.
The collection, which includes briefs, boxers, vests, T-shirts, pajamas and long johns, will be…

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O.C. entrepreneur jumps into ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 9:00 AM
Monday, January 30, 2012

Irvine residents Ivori and Wallace Tennelle are going to jump into the “Shark Tank” to try to turn an entrepreneurial dream into a real company.
“Shark Tank” is an ABC TV show that allows business creators to make their pitch to successful…

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Homes to fill ailing Lake Forest auto mall

posted by By ERIKA I. RITCHIE @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012

LAKE FOREST Two developers plan to change a dying auto center into a vibrant village and walking-friendly community close to retail, open space and jobs.
The projects would provide 225 new homes with enough space for 610 new residents. Both will be…

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Questions remain about Great Park funding

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nearly seven years after Lennar Corp. purchased the former El Toro Marine base from the U.S. Navy, the company’s management partner is about to start building roads, laying sewer lines and laying out home sites.
Emile Haddad, CEO of managing…

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Tax tips: Getting socked with severance pay

posted by By RAPHAEL TULINO @ 7:00 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Raphael Tulino is the spokesman for the IRS in the Orange County/San Diego area, and he’s volunteered to answer your tax questions …
Q. I received a bulk severance pay this year, but about 60% was deducted in taxes. I need tips on how to retrieve…

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11 hottest businesses to start in 2012

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012

The economy is recovering but new jobs are still hard to come by, so many people are thinking about starting their own business. Great news! There are some hot industries ripe for startups, says IBISWorld, a Los Angeles-based publisher of U.S….

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Calif. builders top U.S. construction surge

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 4:00 AM
Sunday, January 29, 2012

Is the region’s construction industry finally seeing some light and the end of the yet-to-be-built tunnel?
California construction bosses added 21,000 jobs in the year ended in December, the largest boost in employing the building trades in the…

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Foreclosures are a hot seller

posted by By G.U. KRUEGER @ 9:00 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Veteran Southern California real estate analyst G.U. Krueger adds his commentary on the housing market …
Maybe that foreclosure “shadow supply” issue is not as bad as we think, because demand for foreclosed properties is strong.
According to a…

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How do you get rid of an old computer?

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 3:30 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

More than 80% of old computers, MP3 players, tablets and other electronic waste is tossed into landfills rather than recycled, reused or rendered harmless.
Would a convenient disposal method reduce that number? A couple of Orange County entrepreneurs…

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Million-dollar ZIPs: 4 ZIPs with priciest homes

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 3:30 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

 

Slice Price Ch. Sold Ch.

House
$445,000
-5%
1,562
-3%

Condo
$260,000
-5%
733
+1.0%

New
$603,500
+31%
184
-27%

All OC
$400,000
-2%
2,479
-4%

 
 
 
 
 
For the 22 business days ending Jan. 11 – DataQuick’s freshest stats –…

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Wild and wacky expense accounts

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 3:30 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Some of the most creative writing at companies these days apparently is on expense accounts, based on a survey of chief financial officers by Robert Half Management Resources.
Click on the photos above to see some of the expense items that didn’t…

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9 store openings, 5 closures in O.C.

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 3:25 PM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hurley Outlet recently opened at The Outlets at Orange, the outdoor shopping center formerly known as The Block at Orange.
A national discount store chain last week opened its first two stores in Orange County.
Read about that discount store chain…

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Fresh & Easy hiring for 30 paid internships

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 7:00 AM
Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has started recruiting college seniors and recent grads for more than 30 paid internships, the company said.
Interns will work in various departments including human resources, supply chain, commercial, marketing,…

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Foreclosures down 8.7% in ’11

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 4:17 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012

Lenders seized a total of 7,219 Orange County homes through foreclosure in 2011, down 8.7% from 2010′s tally, figures from housing tracker DataQuick Information Systems show.
It was the third straight year of foreclosure declines, although RealtyTrac…

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See $5.8 million home’s ocean views

posted by By CLAUDIA KOERNER @ 2:10 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012

LAGUNA NIGUEL – One of the most expensive homes for sale in the city stands out for panoramic ocean views that are among the best in the area.
5 Searidge, a 6,300-square foot home, is listed for $5.75 million with Jerry La Mott of Surterre…

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JWA passenger traffic falls for 4th year

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:00 PM
Friday, January 27, 2012

(Clarification: Although JWA lost Air Canada last year and its international service temporarily was interrupted, WestJet began flights to Vancouver in May.)
John Wayne Airport had 54,000 fewer passengers last year than in 2010, a 0.6% drop and…

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Crocs dangerous to kids, O.C. lawsuit claims

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 11:10 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012

A Westminster couple is suing Colorado shoemaker Crocs Inc., claiming their 4-year-old daughter lost her little toe while wearing the soft clogs in an escalator accident at the Westminster Mall.
Allon and Josephine Motzney are asking $2 million in…

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O.C. companies lead Calif. mergers in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 10:30 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012

Buying businesses was an $83.6 billion activity in California in 2011, according to new data from Mergermarket, an independent intelligence service.
The two biggest California M&A deals were Orange County companies: Nationwide Health Properties…

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Want a $100,000 job? Go tech in Silicon Valley

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012

Last year was a good year to be working in tech, with salaries jumping 2% overall led by the Silicon Valley, where pay averaged $104,195, reports Dice, the technology and engineering jobs website. It’s the first time the average tech pay topped six…

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Lansner: O.C. economic recovery heats up

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:00 AM
Friday, January 27, 2012

The Great Angst – the extended fretful period since the Great Recession ended – has run its course in Orange County.
How can I say that we’re now in full-fledged recovery mode?
Well, upbeat economic trends now come by my desk in bulk.
As an…

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Ratings agency hot on O.C.’s economy

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 11:00 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012

The ratings agencies may not think much of the U.S. debt, but one has upgraded Orange County’s local transportation bonds with high praise for the county’s economy.
Fitch Ratings this month raised its rating on two Orange County Local…

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O.C. pet store evicted, owed landlord $200,000-plus

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:09 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012

A 24,000-square-foot pet facility in Irvine – founded by a former high-ranking officer of rival giant pet retailer Petco — was evicted earlier this month because it owed the landlord more than $200,000.
Passionate Pet Superstore, located at 18871…

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Really? Romney owns most homes

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 8:23 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Real estate news and views from around the globe that make you go, “Really?”
Romney:

6 homes Mitt Romney owned or still owns — Zillow blog
Romney’s real estate deals — CNN Money
GOP cribs: Where the candidates live — CNN MONEY

Aniston:…

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Calif. ranks 3rd for worst tax climate for business

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012

California’s business tax climate is the third worst in the United States, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.
Even though California’s temporary income surtax and sales tax hike expired in 2011, the state didn’t improve in the…

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Poll: How worried are you about the economy?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Thursday, January 26, 2012

The U.S. economy has been showing a few signs of life, but not enough to make Americans feel better about things, according to a new Gallup Wellbeing poll.
Of 1,011 adults surveyed Jan. 5-8, 72% are fearful that the economy will get worse rather…

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Money woes won’t derail Great Park homes

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 5:51 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Starting Tuesday, work will be going full bore on building sites for new homes and businesses on land surrounding the future Orange County Great Park, the chief manager for housing developers said Wednesday.
The Great Park’s money problems won’t…

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Calif. tops construction growth; Texas 2nd worst

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:40 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

California construction bosses added 21,000 jobs in the year ended in December, largest boost in employing the building trades in the nation, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America.
California also had the nation’s…

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Anaheim luxury hotels to create 4,500 jobs

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:10 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Anaheim City Council has approved $158 million in bed tax incentives for the long-delayed development of two luxury hotels that would create an estimated 3,200 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent positions, reports Register reporter Sarah…

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West’s builder optimism at highest since ’07

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 8:36 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Western builders’ confidence — at least by one measure — is at its highest level since mid-2007.
This benchmark of developer psyche — the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index — for the West in January was 21…

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IRS: Small firms dodge $198 billion in taxes

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Small companies and the self-employed are the biggest group of federal tax avoiders, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The IRS long has been tracking the “tax gap,” the taxes owed but not paid. For the 2001 tax year, the net tax gap was…

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600,000 in state could lose jobless benefits

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURNT @ 2:00 AM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An estimated 3.3 million Americans could be kicked off the unemployment rolls by June, including nearly 600,000 in California, if Congress fails to continue extended jobless benefits after February, according to a legislative report released…

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Santa Ana eatery guarantees satisfaction

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 8:16 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

 
I dropped in today on Chef Jason Quinn of The Playground while he and his kitchen staff were preparing a “custom dinner” featuring a whole suckling pig.
We’re talking every part of the pig being used — from snout to tail.
Last year Jason left…

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Lots of interviews, no job. What’s wrong?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 3:00 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brad Remillard is the founding partner at IMPACT HIRING SOLUTIONS. He has over 30 years experience assisting candidates conduct an effective and efficient job search. He is the co-author of two books on hiring and does a weekly Internet radio show…

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O.C. high-end home sales off 10%

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 12:31 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How’s the local upper-crust real estate faring?
For calendar month December — by DataQuick’s math — homes sales in Orange County’s 10 priciest ZIP codes totaled 172 — that is down 9.9% vs. a year earlier. In the rest of Orange County —…

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1 in 5 gave up real estate license

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 10:44 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

California has 21% fewer people holding a real estate license than it did five years ago when the tally peaked at just under 550,000 licensees, state figures show.
That’s equivalent to one out of every five license holders at the peak giving up their…

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State of the Union: What do you want to hear?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:44 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

President Barack Obama will give his State of the Union address tonight with the U.S. unemployment rate at a still high 8.5% and Americans remaining worried about the economy.
A Pew Research Center survey showed that 86% of Americans polled think…

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Gourmet sausage shop closes in Costa Mesa

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 7:06 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Looks like Valhalla Table – a gourmet sausage shop at The Camp — is now closed, reports Orange County food blogger Dan Garion of Eat in OC.
The restaurant told the local food blogger that Sunday was their last night serving dinner.
On Monday…

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45% have witnessed workplace misconduct

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Fewer U.S. workers admit to seeing violations of the law or ethics in the workplace, but more of them are reporting the wrongdoing when they do notice it. That’s the conclusion of the National Business Ethics Survey conducted every two years by…

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Tech jobs on a roll in 2011, says outplacement firm

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Workers in the tech industry had a good year in 2011 with the sector having the fewest announced layoffs in 14 years, reports Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., the international outplacement firm that tracks hirings and firings.
By Challenger’s…

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Large beach-close estate asks $4.9M

posted by By @ 7:00 PM
Monday, January 23, 2012

 
New to the housing market in San Clemente’s gated Cyprus Shore community is a large home on a double lot that’s less than a block from the beach.
It’s also a hop, skip and a jump away from a slice of Nixon’s Western White House estate that sold in…

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Starbucks to sell beer and wine locally

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 2:22 PM
Monday, January 23, 2012

Starbucks announced plans Monday to expand its “beer and wine” pilot program to select cafes in Atlanta and Southern California.
The locations, which were not disclosed, will start selling wine, beer and premium foods by the end of 2012, the Seattle…

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Chase Bank hiring 200 in 0.C.

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:30 PM
Monday, January 23, 2012

Chase Bank, which has been on an expansion binge, said it will open at least 10 and possibly as many as 12 new branches in Orange County this year and will be hiring about 200 people.
Those new branches are in addition to one at 5757 E. La Palma…

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O.C. yearly bankruptcies decline first time in 5 years

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Monday, January 23, 2012

For the first time in five years, the number of bankruptcies filed by Orange County individuals and businesses in 2011 declined from the previous year.
Filings in 2011 for Orange County totaled 18,372 in the Santa Ana court for the U.S….

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Has O.C. hiring peaked?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Monday, January 23, 2012

Orange County employers may have hired 1,300 workers in December, but the number of online job ads fell to the lowest level since January.
By the state Employment Development Department’s count, there were 37,308 local help wanted online ads posted…

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Has Claim Jumper lost its way?

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 8:05 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2012

It’s been nearly a year since Claim Jumper fled its Orange County roots under its new Texas-based owner, Landry’s.
Landry’s, which has been on a buying spree lately, bought Claim Jumper in late 2010. It also owns Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., formerly of…

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Credit tips: Should dad co-sign a car loan?

posted by By DEBORAH MCNAUGHTON @ 7:00 AM
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Still living off credit cards? Can’t figure out how much you could or should spend? Need to save for retirement? Deborah McNaughton, a Placentia credit expert, financial coach and author of “The Essential Credit Repair Handbook,” is here to…

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O.C. landscapers win statewide honors

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Sunday, January 22, 2012

Visionscape Inc., a Laguna Beach landscaping company, was the big winner in the statewide California Landscape Contractors Association annual awards.
Visionscape took both the Sweepstakes Award for its work on the Clurman Estate; it also won the…

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U.S. workers to boss: I quit!

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:34 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2012

After sticking with a company where they are unhappy, feel unappreciated or see no room to advance, American workers are ready to tell their boss, “You can take this job and …” Well, you know the words.
A new survey by FPC, a national executive…

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Bob’s Big Boy closes location

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 12:00 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2012

It was a short comeback for Bob’s Big Boy in Southern California.
At least two restaurants have closed recently, including Orange County’s only location in Orange. On Friday, a note on the restaurant’s front door refers people to the Bob’s Big Boy in…

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O.C. Sears to close next month, reopen as Kmart

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 10:45 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sears Holdings Corp. is closing another Sears Essentials store in Orange County.
Sears Holdings, which also owns Kmart, said it will convert a Sears Essentials store in south Orange County back to a Kmart location next month. The San Clemente Sears…

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O.C. firm creates unique wine packaging

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Saturday, January 21, 2012

For every new business that launches in Orange County, there must be a hundred ideas for a new business, even really good ideas.
The step from good idea to new-business launch is a big one.
Former UC Irvine students Matt Zimmer, Jodi Wynn and Doug…

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Reno wildfire a reminder of lurking danger

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 5:47 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Are you ready for what might be an early wildfire season?
A dry Western winter has put Californai fire officials on edge as a rare January Nevada wildfire destroyed 26 structures.
The Associated Press reports:

Reno hasn’t seen a winter this dry in…

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Talega home deals are 57% distressed

posted by By @ 1:38 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012

From a Talega perspective, the latest Orange County home inventory report from Steve Thomas at ReportsOnHousing.com — as of January 5 — shows these conditions vs. countywide trends …

The newest “market time” of Talega — Thomas’ math that…

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Sexy photos removed from O.C. fitness club entrance

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 12:20 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Equinox fitness center in Irvine met the city Jan. 19 deadline to remove larger-than-life, provocative photos that had been posted at the public entrance.
Members were especially angry that one photo of a half-dressed male on top of a female lying on…

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O.C. December jobless rate near 2-year low

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:12 PM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Hiring in Orange County gained steamed during the last two months of 2011 sending the unemployment rate down to 7.8%, the lowest since February 2009, the state Employment Development Department reported today.
Employers added 1,300 jobs in…

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Reports: O.C. venture capital investments soar in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 11:33 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Venture capital investing in young companies increased in 2011 both in Orange County and nationwide, according to two reports released today.
Although the specific data vary in the two reports because of different methodology, the results are…

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Photos: sneak peek of designer line for Target

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:27 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Target is partnering with designer Jason Wu to launch an affordable, limited-edition collection of women’s clothing, handbags and scarves starting Feb. 5 at most Target stores and on the retailer’s website.
View slideshow of the Jason Wu collection…

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Las Vegas still U.S. foreclosure capital

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 8:05 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Our fabulous compilation of real estate news and views that make you go “Really?” goes regional …… If it’s Friday, it’s “Really? Vegas style!”
 

Vegas still nation’s foreclosure capital – MyNews3
Western Hotel & Casino…

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2 O.C. firms make ‘Best to Work For’ list

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Friday, January 20, 2012

Two companies that have large operations in Orange County made Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for list this year.
Ultimate Software, a Weston, Fla.-based maker of human resources software with offices in Santa Ana, ranked 25th on the list. It…

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O.C. foreclosures take year to complete

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 6:38 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

The average foreclosure took just over 11 months from the filing of a default notice to the sale.
While that’s down from the past few months, it’s still up 11.4% from a year ago.
That’s among the findings reported in ForeclosureRadar’s December…

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Shshsh! Secrets of working at Apple

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 3:21 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

How would you like to apply for a job but the company won’t tell you what you’ll be doing until you are hired?
Or you are handed a computer on your first day, but the company leaves it up to you to figure out how to hook it up to the network….

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Analyst: Modest uptick in Calif. homebuying

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:36 PM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Veteran Southern California real estate analyst G.U. Krueger adds his commentary on the housing market to this blog in a spot we call “Thursday Morning Quarterback.” Here’s his latest installment. …
DataQuick and the California Association of…

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Nordstrom Rack to open another O.C. store

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 10:06 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nordstrom Rack considered opening at the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach.
However, the Seattle-based off-price retail chain ultimately decided to put a 34,000-square-foot store across the street at the much smaller Edinger Plaza…

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SoCal gasoline prices jump 24% in 2011

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 8:00 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Inflation in Southern California fell 0.5% in December and was up 2.2% year over year but that overall figure masked the pain for motorists who saw the highest average annual increase in gasoline prices in 31 years, reports the U.S. Bureau of…

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Top 10 companies for best customer service

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bad service is one of the biggest complaints of consumers worldwide. Now comes a consumer-chosen award for companies that demonstrate superior customer service.
The top 10 companies for customer service are winners of the 2012 Customers’ Choice…

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Tour reduced oceanfront nautical home

posted by By KELLI HART KEHLER @ 5:41 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An oceanfront compound soaring on the cliff side over the water in Dana Point and boasting a lore echoing the nautical treasures it beholds has been listed for sale once again.
Sitting on the bluff at Cook’s Pointe, the French Normandy style…

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Free pie contest at SusieCakes

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 4:05 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SusieCakes is hosting a fun contest targeting Orange County pie makers.
Here’s the lowdown: For a limited time only, the Newport Beach cake shop is selling uncooked pie crusts for $5. The crusts are available at all SusieCakes locations until…

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O.C. email firm gets $21 million, to add staff

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 3:44 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SendGrid, a cloud-based email delivery company headquartered in Colorado with a second office in Anaheim, has raised $21 million in its latest round of funding and plans to use the money, in part, to do additional hiring.
The company currently has 70…

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Small-business pessimism hangs around

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 2:00 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three years of poor sales and a slow economy have conditioned small-business owners to think negatively. Or at least that’s how it seems in the latest round of reports on the small-business economic outlook.
In a poll of more than 1,300…

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Beverage company becomes a ‘Monster’

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 12:57 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One-time Orange County beverage company, Hansen Natural Corp., has changed the corporate name to Monster Beverage Corp., an acknowledgement that energy drinks are bigger than fruit juices.
Hubert Hansen founded Hansen’s Fruit & Vegetable Juices in…

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Investors tie SoCal homebuying record

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 11:30 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A record level of investor buying at bargain prices spurred Southern California homebuying in December, but not enough to lift sales above levels seen at the end of 2010, DataQuick Information Services reported Tuesday. And all that homebuying at the…

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Inflation tame in December producer prices

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:31 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Makers of goods got a little breather in December as producer prices overall fell 0.1% after a 0.3% increase in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The government said goods producers saw food and energy prices fall 0.8%….

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Recalls: Target, Walmart, Ikea, Best Buy, Big Lots

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:00 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ten companies are recalling products sold at various retailers including LL Bean, Walgreens, REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Land of Nod, Ikea and Big Lots, according to recent reports from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety…

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900,000 fail to file 2010 state taxes

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Did you file your 2010 state income taxes? The state Franchise Tax Board says more than 900,000 of you didn’t.
That year was really hard during the recession with thousands of people – many of those self-employed or starting their own businesses…

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South Coast home sales up 4% over year

posted by By @ 5:11 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

For calendar month December — DataQuick’s freshest stats — South Coast homebuying patterns showed:

146 homes were bought in the region in the period — +4% vs. a year ago.
Sales counts in all Orange County beach towns ran +6% vs. a year ago….

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Restaurant closes at troubled Tustin retail center

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 4:29 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Another restaurant at The District shopping center in Tustin has closed. It is the third brand to shutter at the retail center, anchored by Target, Whole Foods Market and Costco, in less than two months.
Marmalade Cafe, which opened in 2009, closed…

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Start early when you need to hire

posted by By BRAD REMILLARD @ 3:00 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brad Remillard is the founding partner at IMPACT HIRING SOLUTIONS. He has over 30 years experience assisting candidates conduct an effective and efficient job search. He is the co-author of two books on hiring and does a weekly Internet radio show…

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Forecast: Cash buyers a force in real estate

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:54 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All-cash buyers recently gobbled up three SoCal strip malls, says broker Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors from Irvine.
Sold were:

Citrus Foothill Retail Center – 24,624-square-foot center at 16119 Foothill Boulevard in Fontana. Tenants…

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O.C. home prices, sales ended ’11 with a dip

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:30 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Orange County’s housing market finished 2011 on a down note, with sales and median pricing down vs. year-end 2010.
DataQuick reported this morning that Orange County’s median selling price for last month was $400,000 – unchanged with November but…

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Realtors on alert after robbery during open house

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 8:14 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Realtors issued a warning to their members to be careful after two armed robbers held up a real estate agent and a prospective homebuyer at gunpoint at a Fullerton open house recently.
No one was injured in the incident, but the bandits made off with…

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3rd Counter burger planned for O.C.

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 7:00 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Counter is expected to open its third Orange County location later this year.
The made-to-order burger restaurant is slated for 2981 Jamboree Road – the chain’s second Irvine location. 
It’s unclear when the restaurant will open, or if it…

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1 in 3 state jobless out more than a year

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The job market has been showing signs of life with strong holiday hiring and a declining official jobless rate, but it’s still tough out there for the long-term unemployed.
As of November, one third of the unemployed in California — 710,000 —…

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10 brands U.S. youngsters like most

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 11:11 PM
Monday, January 16, 2012

U.S. youngsters are projected to spend $211 billion this year, says market research firm Harris Interactive. And their favorites might be setting the consumer products agenda for years to come.
The 2012 Harris Poll Youth EquiTrend study asked more…

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Photos: Target to sell new products, including Apple

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 12:27 PM
Monday, January 16, 2012

Target plans to test Apple centers at 25 of its retail locations this year, according to the New York Times. Target did not specify which 25 locations will have these Apple centers.
The NY Times wrote: A Target spokeswoman, Dustee Jenkins, described…

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Nearly 4 in 10 expect a pay raise in 2012

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 8:52 AM
Monday, January 16, 2012

Employees are feeling a little better about their chances for a raise this year with 38% expecting a pay or cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, according Glassdoor.com’s fourth quarter Employment Confidence Survey.
That was the highest…

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‘Whimsical’ home sells with 21% discount

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 11:20 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Even a beautifully remodeled and landscaped home adjacent to a scenic park can be a tough sell these days.
The whimsical Whaling home in Fullerton finally sold last week with a 21% price drop after being on the market for five months.
The home,…

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Cluttered home? Here’s how to fix it!

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Jennifer Ford Berry is a organizational expert and author of the “Organize Now” series of self-help books. We figured we’d help our many readers who pledged to get organized in 2012 and ask Jennifer for some home de-cluttering advice!
Us:…

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Tax tips: When can I deduct gas expenses?

posted by By RAPHAEL TULINO @ 7:00 AM
Sunday, January 15, 2012

Raphael Tulino is the spokesman for the IRS in the Orange County/San Diego area, and he’s volunteered to answer your tax questions …
Q. Can I claim the gas expenses I use to travel to work? I’m a roofer I have to travel to different job sites in…

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O.C. housing slumped near year’s end

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:00 PM
Saturday, January 14, 2012

DataQuick’s Orange County homebuying report for late December — 22 business days ending the 28th — showed pricing and buying itself in a slump …

Median selling price for all residences of $400,000 — that is off 4.8% vs. a year ago.
Total…

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Retailer to open 1st U.S. store at Irvine Spectrum

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 11:30 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cotton On, an Australian clothing retailer, initially targeted teens and adults.Now it’s going after younger kids.The retailer opened its first Orange County store in November 2009 at Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana. It added another Cotton On store…

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Crazy excuses for being late to work

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 10:00 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012

It’s not “The dog ate my homework,” but how about “My cat had hiccups” as an excuse for being late to work?
The cat hiccup attack was just one of the reasons employees gave for not getting to work on time, according to responses from hiring managers…

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Home Depot hiring 70,000 for spring

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 7:00 AM
Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Home Depot is gearing up again for the spring planting and fix-up season and plans to hire 70,000 workers across the country.
“Just as the Christmas rush and holiday hiring ends for many retailers, we begin recruiting for spring seasonal…

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Who’s hiring in O.C.?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:00 PM
Friday, January 13, 2012

Two companies let it be known this week that they are hiring in Orange County with more nearly 100 total positions being filled.
Rauxa, a Costa Mesa-based direct marketing agency, noted in its announcement this week about buying a San Francisco…

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O.C. patent specialist pays $160 million for Texas firm

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 11:15 AM
Friday, January 13, 2012

Acacia Research Corp., a Newport Beach patent licensing specialist, said one of its subsidiaries has bought next-generation wireless technology pioneer Adaptix Inc. for $160 million.
Adaptix Inc. owns 230 issued or pending patents in 13 countries…

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Lansner: Moving to California is chic again

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 9:01 AM
Friday, January 13, 2012

California, here we come?
Few demographic topics draw more emotion than the movement of folks in and out of the state. Try to simply dissect regional population trends and it’s soon a heated debate about national immigration policies, pro and con….

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Nov. state jobless claims drop 10% from 2010

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Friday, January 13, 2012

California processed 94,000 fewer unemployment claims in November than it did last January as the number of workers getting benefits continued to decline from the 2010 highs, reports the state Employment Development Department.
January typically…

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O.C. restaurants offer deep discounts this month

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 4:41 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

California restaurants are offering deep menu discounts as part of a month-long industry promotion that includes upscale eateries in Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, Tustin, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.
Participating restaurants such as Mastro’s …

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Dana Point home deals are 25% distressed

posted by By @ 3:09 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

From a Dana Point perspective, the latest Orange County home inventory report from Steven Thomas at ReportsOnHousing.com — as of January 5 — shows these conditions vs. countywide trends …

The newest “market time” of Dana Point — Thomas’ math…

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$50 million profit made on Irvine tower?

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 12:30 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

 

If various media reports are correct, real estate investors may have nearly doubled their money in two years in an Irvine office tower.
Westbrook Partners, Walton Street Capital and Greenlaw Partners bought the 13-story, 2050 Main St. in…

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Mortgage rates at new record low

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:20 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

What’s happening with mortgage rates? We’ve asked Jeff Lazerson, of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel, to give us his weekly take …
NEWS SUMMARY: From Freddie Mac’s weekly survey the average 30-year fixed loan beat it’s all-time record low,…

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Defunct pasta chain trades carbs for fish

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 9:00 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Founded 24 years ago in Irvine, Pasta Bravo was an immediate success — offering Italian food lovers made-to-order “cold and hot” pastas in an upscale fast-food environment. At its peak, the chain boasted 16 fast-casual restaurants throughout Orange…

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New tax form may shock small firms

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 7:50 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Businesses that accept credit and debit cards for payment from customers will receive a new federal tax form designed to increase the amount of income tax the federal government collects.
The 1099-K form and must be sent out by credit card…

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600,000 Californians lose jobless aid

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Thursday, January 12, 2012

The number of jobless workers in California who have exhausted their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits is approaching 600,000, the state Employment Development Department reports.
By EDD’s latest count, more than 599,000 had been booted off the…

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Romney to build La Jolla mega-mansion

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 6:35 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Real estate news and views from around the globe that make you go, “Really?”
We now know that Mitt Romney won the New Hampshire primary. But did you know that the former Massachusetts governor owns a beachfront house in La Jolla that he’s…

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O.C. manufacturing shows job growth

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:30 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Orange County manufacturing is expected to expand this quarter with a healthy jump in local jobs, but employers are growing increasingly nervous about potential defense cuts, according to the quarterly purchasing managers survey released by…

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Free retirement planning advice Jan. 12 & 17

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:00 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Retirement may seem more like a concept than a reality for many these days, but if you need some help with your planning, professional financial planners will be available for free to provide advice Jan. 12 and Jan. 17.
The event is Kiplinger’s…

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O.C. hybrid car maker raises another $110 million

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 9:55 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fisker Automotive Inc., Anaheim maker of hybrid electric luxury cars, has reported another $110 million infusion of capital to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Fisker, which started selling its Karma sports car for around $100,000 in…

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South Coast Plaza: 6 store closures, openings

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:02 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Three retailers selected the ritzy South Coast Plaza to open their first Orange County boutiques. However, two stores at the Costa Mesa shopping center recently shut down and a third is slated to close at the end of this month. Two of those three…

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O.C. average weekly wage: $999

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 7:00 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Herman Cain would be proud. Workers in Orange County averaged $999 a week in wages in the second quarter of 2011, up 3.2% from the same period in 2010, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Cain, the former Republican presidential contender…

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Report: 6 business trends and how to cope

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Six trends will mark the small-business market in 2012, according to the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute.
“The ongoing uncertainty of the economy, increased competition and the impression of negativity surrounding election-campaign…

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O.C. mortgage delinquency at 29-month low

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 9:15 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

According to CoreLogic’s latest late-mortgage report, 5.74% of Orange County home-loan borrowers as of October are 90 days-plus late with their house payments. It’s the lowest delinquency rate for local mortgages since March 2009! This 90-day…

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Tour private estate that sold for $2.9M

posted by By KELLI HART KEHLER @ 7:13 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A sprawling English Tudor style estate in San Juan Capistrano sold last month for nearly $2.9 million – making it the fourth-priciest MLS-listed home sale in the city for the year 2011.
What are the amenities, you ask?
Start with an entrance that…

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Brown to scrap real estate licensing agency

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 7:10 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The California Department of Real Estate would be eliminated and its functions transferred to the state Consumer Affairs Department under Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 budget proposal unveiled Thursday, the Sacramento Bee has reported.
However,…

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Bomb-proof satellite station for sale

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 7:05 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A cold-war era satellite communications station that reportedly can survive both nuclear and biological weapons attacks has been on the market in near the Central California coast for the past year. The asking price currently is $4.2 billion for the…

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Don’t lose good hires to a counteroffer

posted by By BRAD REMILLARD @ 3:00 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brad Remillard is the founding partner at IMPACT HIRING SOLUTIONS. He has over 30 years experience assisting candidates conduct an effective and efficient job search. He is the co-author of two books on hiring and does a weekly Internet radio show…

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Sexy photos anger O.C. fitness club members

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 2:30 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Longtime members of the former Sports Club/LA in Irvine are outraged by the larger-than-life, provocative photos recently posted in and outside the fitness center by new owner Equinox.
The photos are in Equinox clubs nationwide as part of the…

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Reports: Small-business optimism higher but cautious

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 12:00 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Small-business owners were more optimistic in December, according to two surveys, an indication that the economy is improving and that 2012 should be stronger than 2011.
The National Federation of Independent Business Optimism Index rose 1.8…

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Calif. house price drop 7th biggest in U.S.

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 10:04 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

California house prices had the seventh-biggest price drop among U.S. states in November, falling 5.9% from year-ago levels, according to Santa Ana-based data firm CoreLogic.
When distressed houses — bank-owned properties and homes selling for …

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Holiday hiring near 4-year high

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 10:04 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This was not only a great holiday season for retailers, but also for workers as stores brought on 718,500 people from October through December, the most since 2007 before the recession, reports Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks hiring and…

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Forecast: 20% shot of new housing drop

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 10:02 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Housing analyst John Karevoll of DataQuick has followed the Orange County housing market for the past quarter century. We figure that perspective would be grand for our 22nd and final “Eyeball 2012!” – Lansner on Real Estate’s sixth annual…

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Activewear brand Ideology, a collection that includes jackets, sweatshirts, tops, bras, pants, shorts and accessories ranging from $8 to $58, will debut this spring exclusively at Macy’s department stores.
Professional dancer and two-time winner of…

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Fresh & Easy closing 12 stores

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 8:33 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, which is still seeking to turn a profit in America, announced plans Monday to temporarily close 12 underperforming stores.
Markets closing in Orange County in the next couple of weeks are in Anaheim and Fountain…

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State targets property-tax payers

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 4:24 PM
Monday, January 9, 2012

As many as 5 million California property-tax payers who have been taking the entire amount they pay off their state income taxes could see a major cut in their deductions when they file next year.
Beginning with the 2012 tax bill (the one due in…

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Sprouts hiring up to 90 in Yorba Linda

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:27 PM
Monday, January 9, 2012

Sprouts, the natural foods store, plans to hire 85 to 90 people for its new store opening in Yorba Linda in February, a company spokeswoman says.
Unlike past years, however, the store will handle all the applications online rather than have a…

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In-N-Out, Five Guys: 4 new locations

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 6:12 AM
Monday, January 9, 2012

New restaurant details are emerging for rival burger chains, In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys Burgers & Fries. Four new locations are on the books for 2012.
Here’s the lowdown:

In-N-Out-Burger in Seal Beach is under construction and could open by…

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O.C. November bankruptcies lowest in 21 months

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Monday, January 9, 2012

In November, 1,365 individuals and businesses filed for bankruptcy in Orange County, the fewest in 21 months, according to the federal bankruptcy court for the Central District of California.
In February 2010 1,315 bankruptcies were filed.
It is…

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Forecast: 5 years to next housing peak

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:20 AM
Monday, January 9, 2012

Housing analyst Mark Boud follows the market from Real Estate Economics that he founded in Irvine.
He’s our 21st guest for “Eyeball 2012!”
This series of interviews is our holiday gift to you, Lansner on Real Estate’s sixth annual collection of…

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Photos: David Beckham undies for H&M

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 11:46 PM
Sunday, January 8, 2012

The David Beckham bodywear collection for H&M will be available starting Feb. 2 at 1,800 H&M stores worldwide, including five locations in Orange County.
The collection, which includes briefs, boxers, vests, T-shirts, pajamas and long johns, will be…

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Red flag warning for O.C. housing market

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:53 AM
Sunday, January 8, 2012

For the 22 business days ending December 20 — DataQuick’s freshest stats — the Orange County real estate market had homebuying patterns showing:

By the four key measures we track, all we in “red” condition — falling sales and falling pricing….

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12 financial resolutions for 2012

posted by By DEBORAH MCNAUGHTON @ 7:00 AM
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Still living off credit cards? Can’t figure out how much you could or should spend? Need to save for retirement? Deborah McNaughton, a Placentia credit expert, financial coach and author of “The Essential Credit Repair Handbook,” is here to…

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How 8 clothing brands rate on satisfaction

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Consumers are growing dissatisfied with the clothing from major apparel companies they’re seeing on store shelves, according to the latest surveys from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.
Click on the photo above to see how some of the most…

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12 best cities for higher-paying jobs

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 10:32 AM
Saturday, January 7, 2012

As difficult as it has been for the unemployed to find jobs, many of those who have been hired learned they would be paid a lot less for doing the same work they used to.
Enter Kiplinger, the personal finance magazine, which dug through its…

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O.C. eatery is No. 2 most popular on Yelp

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 7:35 AM
Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Orange County eatery specializing in gourmet waffle sandwiches has been named one of the most popular restaurants in the U.S., according to Yelp.
Bruxie, which has earned rave reviews since opening its first location in Old Towne Orange in 2010,…

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Photos: Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku clothes for Target

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 3:26 PM
Friday, January 6, 2012

The second installment of Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Mini — a clothing and accessories collection for girl and boy infants, toddlers and tween girls – is now available online and in Target stores.
The nautical-inspired collection with images of…

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Grammy winner’s Laguna Beach home sells

posted by By KELLI HART KEHLER @ 11:10 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

The North Laguna Beach home belonging to KORN guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer sold for $2.6 million at the end of December, according to the Southern California MLS.
Once home to a studio and various music awards and accolades, the Tuscan style…

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Report: Small firms post higher sales, profits in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 11:08 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

Small businesses – those with annual sales of $7 million or less – had stronger sales growth and higher profits in 2011, reports Sageworks, an analyst of private companies’ finances.
The report, based on Sageworks’ huge database of privately…

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21 store openings in O.C.

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:57 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

Twenty-one stores recently opened or will soon open in Orange County, including at some big malls such as Brea Mall, Irvine Spectrum Center, Westminster Mall, Buena Park Downtown, Fashion Island in Newport Beach and The Outlets at Orange, which was…

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Poll: Has the economy turned around?

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:00 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

There has been a string of good economic news in the last few weeks — robust holiday retail sales, more people buying cars and Friday’s announcement that U.S. unemployment fell to 8.5% in December after employers added 200,000 net new jobs.
While …

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Bankrupt owner of El Torito, Chevys for sale

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 8:31 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

Real Mex Restaurants, the Cypress-based parent company of Chevys and El Torito, is up for sale, according to court documents.
So far,  ”several interested parties” have expressed interest in the 179-unit restaurant company, Real Mex spokesman…

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U.S. unemployment drops to 8.5% in December

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 7:50 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

The U.S. economy got another vote of confidence in December as employers added 200,000 new workers and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% from a revised 8.7% in November, the government reported Friday.
Private employers added 212,000…

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O.C. firms sold for median $117,000 in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

Orange County businesses that sold in 2011 brought a median $117,000, up 7.3% from the median selling price in 2010,  reports BizBuySell.com, a national businesses for sale website.
The median asking price was $195,000 in the fourth quarter, up 8.3%…

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Great weather: Local economy’s secret weapon

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 1:00 AM
Friday, January 6, 2012

Our weather has been ridiculously fabulous! Perfect, summer conditions – in January!
(Yes, I know. If you own ski lift, you may feel otherwise about our record-setting wintertime heat wave!)
I personally relish a mid-winter blast of heat;…

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Comfort food eatery to change ownership

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 11:23 PM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nana Jean’s, known for its decadent comfort foods, is changing ownership next week.
In an email note sent to customers, the owners said the restaurant will change hands Jan. 10.   An illness suffered by one of the owners and the bad economy prompted…

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Analyst: Calif. economy outpacing U.S.

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 12:46 PM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Veteran Southern California real estate analyst G.U. Krueger adds his commentary on the housing market to this blog in a spot we call “Thursday Morning Quarterback.” Here’s his latest installment. …
California has a budget deficit of about $13…

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Landmark French restaurant closing

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 11:37 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another Orange County landmark is about to close.
The latest old-school fine dining establishment to call it quits is La Vie en Rose in Brea.
In an email sent Wednesday to loyal customers, the French restaurant announced plans to serve its last…

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Barbecue eateries feel highs and lows in O.C.

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 10:45 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

The struggles at Beach Pit BBQ underscore the ups and downs of the barbecue segment in Orange County. While some concepts have flourished, others have suffered for various reasons.
Here’s a recap of what’s been happening in Orange County:

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Irvine Co. fixing closed fine dining eatery

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 10:02 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

The old Chat Noir and Savannah Supper Club location near South Coast Plaza is under construction and could soon be home to another restaurant concept, according to the property owner.
“We purchased Pacific Arts Plaza in late 2010 and have spent the…

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Government job cuts hit record high in 2011

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:20 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

The wave of layoffs that has swept the U.S. began to ease in the last few months of 2011 with the exception of government, which announced the highest number of job cuts since 2002, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which tracks hiring and…

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Private employers add 325,000 jobs in December

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 7:24 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Private U.S. employers added 325,000 jobs in December, the largest one-month gain in the history of the monthly report from payroll giant Automatic Data Processing Inc.
The ADP report was much stronger than economists had expected, but Joel Prakken,…

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How many businesses sold in your city in 2011?

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

Business sales in Orange County staged a modest rally in 2011, compared to the previous two years, but were far below pre-recession activity, according to data from BizBen.com, a website that specializes in the sale of California businesses.
For …

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Bacon lovers rejoice! Prices drop

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Thursday, January 5, 2012

For those people who believe that every food can be improved with a little bacon, the American Farm Bureau Federation has good news: The price of bacon is down.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, shoppers paid $4.05 a pound on average for bacon, a…

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A home built in 1927 and just a short walk to the beach in San Clemente Southwest has seen a $1.575 million price reduction, according to the Southern California MLS.
Now listed for $3.4 million, the property at 516 Elena Lane is tucked behind a…

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O.C. new-business filings lowest of 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In December, 2,339 new fictitious business names were filed with the County Clerk Recorder’s Office,  the lowest number of 2011 but up 51% from an unusually low number of filings in December 2010.
For all of 2011, 33,671 new-business names — also…

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Mover: Calif. jumps to No. 7 destination

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 3:10 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

California, here we come?
Allied Van Lines’ 44th annual “Magnet States Report” says that at least by its own business patterns California is back as on the “inbound list” — states with more folks moving in than out.
Moving van activity is seen by…

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South Coast home sales up 28% over year

posted by By @ 2:51 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

For the 22 business days ending December 15 — DataQuick’s freshest stats — South Coast homebuying patterns showed:

158 homes were bought in the region in the period — +28% vs. a year ago.
Countywide, it was -3% vs. a year earlier.
The…

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3 O.C. clothing stores to close

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 1:55 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

After closing four Orange County locations last year, the parent company of three retail chains selling plus-size clothing to women said it will shut down another two Orange County stores by the end of January.
Charming Shoppes Inc. will close the…

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Beach Pit BBQ closes third location

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 12:53 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beach Pit BBQ closed a third location, leaving the fast-casual barbecue chain with three eateries left in Orange County.
Owner Tim DeCinces said he closed the Aliso Viejo Beach Pit BBQ on New Year’s Eve. In fall 2011, he also closed locations in…

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Boeing closing Kansas facility

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 12:30 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Boeing Co., which has been downsizing for several years in the Orange County-Long Beach area, announced Wednesday it will close its Defense, Space & Security facility in Wichita by the end of 2013. The plant employs more than 2,160 people….

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John Wayne Airport sees November increase in passengers

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 9:18 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John Wayne Airport, which officially opened its new terminal in mid-November, saw passenger traffic increase 2.1% that month over the same month in 2010, airport officials reported Tuesday.
The airport had 705,465 passengers in November 2011 versus…

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California targets underground economy

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 7:59 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Seven California state agencies and local district attorneys are joining forces to battle the underground economy in which businesses avoid buying workers compensation insurance and paying payroll taxes.
The new Labor Enforcement Task Force is the…

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McCormick & Schmick’s closes O.C. unit

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 6:35 AM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Houston-based Landry’s completed its purchase of McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants on Tuesday, and immediately proceeded to close one Orange County unit.
A sign on the door at the seafood restaurant’s Santa Ana location states,…

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Construction industry gets rare spending jump

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 4:20 PM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A upbeat November for the construction business may not signal a major recovery for the long-suffering industry.
According to the Associated General Contractors of America, construction spending totaled $807 billion in November — highest level…

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Report: Local small-biz hiring, pay down in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 PM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Local small firms cut jobs by 3.7% in 2011 and the average pay by 1.2%, according to SurePayroll, an online payroll service for 33,000 small companies.
The SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard tracks the data over the year in 35 metro areas using…

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4 job search resolutions for 2012

posted by By BRAD REMILLARD @ 3:00 PM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Brad Remillard is the founding partner at IMPACT HIRING SOLUTIONS. He has over 30 years experience assisting candidates conduct an effective and efficient job search. He is the co-author of two books on hiring and does a weekly Internet radio show…

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Fastest O.C. homebuying growth at the beach

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 2:50 PM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Orange County housing hot spots are near the beach.
That’s what we found out studying how housing trends hit various corners of Orange County. For the 22 business days ending December 15 — freshest numbers from DataQuick — our region-by-region…

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Billionaire Boone Pickens and four other investors have invested $150 million into Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the Seal Beach-based natural gas fueling company.
Clean Energy announced Dec. 29 that Pickens exercised warrants to buy 15 million shares of…

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High-end O.C. sellers trim home discounts

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:30 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sellers of Orange County’s pricier homes have pulled back a bit on their discounting, according to one analysis.
HousingTracker.net follows the Orange County market by an interesting metric: the 25th and 75th percentiles of asking prices listed in…

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Forecast: Unstable housing market until ’18

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 10:45 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Gary Watts is the broker for Impact Real Estate in Mission Viejo as well as a market prognosticator with the Orange County Association of Realtors.
He’s our 15th guest for “Eyeball 2012!”
This series of interviews is our holiday gift to you,…

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2012: Top O.C. retail openings, closures

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:56 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Several well-known retailers plan to open massive stores in Orange County next year. However, one locally based clothing chain plans to shut down up to 200 stores.
Read more about these O.C. retail openings and closures in 2012. 
Follow OC Retail…

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O.C. inventions win 14% more patents in 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 7:55 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Orange County inventions were granted 2,709 patents in 2011, 14% more than in 2010, reports Bruce Itchkawitz, a registered patent attorney in the Irvine office of Knobbe Marten, Olson & Bear LLP.
That growth slowed from 2010, in which new O.C….

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Retail workers most at risk of fatal assaults

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Retail workers are more at risk than any other employees of dying on the job from an assault, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
From 2003 to 2008, more than half (51%) of the 2,129 fatal work injuries in retail were the result of…

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O.C. median home price falls below $400,000

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:04 AM
Monday, January 2, 2012

Orange County’s median home selling price in mid-December fell below $400,000. Last month it was that low?
April 2009.
DataQuick’s Orange County homebuying report for the 22 business days ending December 15 saw …

Median selling price for all…

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Homebuying jumps in 42 O.C. ZIPs! Yours?

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 10:56 AM
Monday, January 2, 2012

Slice Price Ch. Sold Ch.

House
$452,000
-8%
1,588
+0%

Condo
$260,000
-7%
707
+6%

New
$530,000
-9%
171
-40%

All OC
$399,000
-8%
2,466
-3%

For the 22 business days ending December 15 – DataQuick’s freshest stats — the Orange…

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Study: Reform increased cost to file bankruptcy

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Monday, January 2, 2012

The 2005 bankruptcy reform law has made the bankruptcy system costlier and more cumbersome for debtors and bankruptcy professionals, according to a study released by the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Since the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and…

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Forecast: Early rebound for local housing

posted by By JEFF COLLINS @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cameron Merage is the founder and CEO of First Team Real Estate, an Orange County-based chain with more than 1,800 agents in 40 offices across Southern California.
He’s our 13th guest for “Eyeball 2012!”
This series of interviews is our holiday gift…

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Seal Beach: Most improved O.C. home market

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 11:00 AM
Sunday, January 1, 2012

Where is the housing market speeding up — and where is it losing steam?
The final 2011 O.C. home inventory report from Orange County broker Steve Thomas says it was Seal Beach! Let us explain …
Every two weeks, Thomas calculates his “market…

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Tax tips: Figuring taxes on stock dividends

posted by By RAPHAEL TULINO @ 2:00 AM
Sunday, January 1, 2012

Raphael Tulino is a spokesman for the IRS for the Orange County-San Diego region and answers questions from readers:
Q. I purchased several shares of a utility stock on Feb. 28, 1990 and had the quarterly dividends reinvested in the same stock….

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Really? 20 real estate forecasts

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 10:40 AM
Saturday, December 31, 2011

You may remember, the economic seers at Chapman U. say no home price gain in Orange County for 2012. We thought you’d like some broader perspective. So, we offer this collection of 20 home-price outlooks!
  Other regions …

Nevada residential…

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Nordstrom Rack to open 5th O.C. store

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 8:44 AM
Saturday, December 31, 2011

Seattle-based Nordstrom announced Thursday that it will open yet another Nordstrom Rack in Orange County.
This latest announcement is in addition to the March 1, 2012 opening of a 35,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack at The Outlets at Orange, formerly…

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Super-charge your 2012 job search

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 7:00 AM
Saturday, December 31, 2011

Whether you are unemployed or are working but want to make a move, you may want to revamp your strategies to enhance your chances of landing that new job, says the staffing firm OfficeTeam.
“It’s easy to get stuck in a rut during the job hunt,”…

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Group names ‘most ridiculous’ lawsuits of 2011

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Saturday, December 31, 2011

A kidnapper sued his victims for not helping him evade police. This lawsuit is the run-away winner in online voting for the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Lawsuits of 2011, says the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
In Kansas, Jesse Dimmick kidnapped…

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Hybrid cars recalled for battery problems

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 1:36 PM
Friday, December 30, 2011

Anaheim-based luxury hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive, which only started delivering its first Karma models in November, is recalling 239 of the cars in the United States because of a battery defect that supplier A123 Systems Inc. announced Dec….

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New York Fed: Californians have most debt per capita

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 12:00 PM
Friday, December 30, 2011

Californians have more debt per capita of any other state, according to a report by the New York Federal Reserve.
BusinessInsider.com called our attention to this chart and provides links to other charts in the New York Fed report dated November 2011…

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Recalls: Target, Amazon, Dick’s, Neiman Marcus

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 9:24 AM
Friday, December 30, 2011

Eleven companies, including an Irvine-based business, are recalling several products sold at various retailers including Target, Pottery Barn Kids, Neiman Marcus, Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hanna Andersson, Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Naturalizer,…

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10 Tips for Copywriting Success

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Friday, December 30, 2011

10 Tips for Copywriting Success

While video and multimedia technologies are rapidly expanding, the Web remains a largely a text-oriented system. Text utilizes far less space than video or audio, and remains the go-to medium for the majority of the web’s public content. This means that there is a lot of copy on the web, so a savvy copywriter should be on the lookout for any technique that will improve the material he puts forward.

Tip 1 – Know Yourself

This piece of advice has been kicking around for several thousand years, and it has persisted for a reason – people make better decisions when they know their strengths and limits. If your writing lends itself to narrative structures, find ways to tell stories about the product, perhaps in the form of a testimonial or an interview. If you aren’t capable of writing technical articles, don’t try to bluff it.

Tip 2 – Improve Yourself

The web changes, language changes, people change, products change… in short, everything changes. This is a good thing. Improvement and training are important changes that everyone must go through in some degree if they want to remain relevant. You may want to consider enrolling in a writing course, study new SEO and copywriting tips, pick up a highly rated style manual, or continue refining your skills in some other way.

Tip 3 – Target Your Language to the Audience

There is always an audience. Whether writing a letter specifically to one individual or composing for a website to be viewed by international customers, take the time to find out who your audience is and tailor the writing accordingly. Academics will have different writing standards than a DIY auto repair services, and neither will appreciate receiving articles targeted to the other.

Tip 4 – Write Coherently

Compare the following two statements:

* The Large Hadron Collider, created and maintained by CERN in Geneva, is designed to locate and study the Higgs-Boson particle, which will provide insight into the origin of the universe.

* CERN intends to use the Large Hadron Collider to locate and study the Higgs-Boson particle in an attempt to gain insight into the origin of the universe.

The first sentence is full of asides and parenthetical statements while the second conveys the information more fluidly. There are times when asides and references are important, but as a general rule, take any opportunity you can to simplify your writing. Your message will be stronger and clearer for the effort.

Tip 5 – Write Specifically

Again, consider this ambiguous sentence; “Anti-nuclear protestors released live cockroaches inside the White House Friday, and these were arrested when they left and blocked a security gate.”

While it seems innocuous enough on the surface, this statement does illustrate the problem with ambiguous grammar. Good copywriting is precise and unambiguous. Here it comes across as funny, but if your customers aren’t coming to your site to laugh, go with a clearer example.

Tip 6 – Write Concisely

Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style’ sums this up as ‘Omit needless words.’ Stick to short, clear paragraphs and sentences. Elaborate where needed, but focus on efficient writing that gets the message across without pointless extras.

Tip 7 – Start Strong

Journalism focuses on a technique known as the lede. In short, this is all the relevant detail of the story conveyed in one sentence, and it always comes at the start of the article. “A local man was arrested today in connection with the recent kidnapping of a foreign exchange student.” Notice it doesn’t give names or quotes, just the hard-core facts. While online copywriting rarely needs to emulate this exact approach, it still illustrates a key point; good articles present their best facts quickly while hooking the reader.

Tip 8 – End Strong

There are countless examples of writing that start out with the proverbial ‘bang,’ only to wander off pointlessly. Focus your writing on its key message and make sure the final statement is as strong as the first. Write your beginning statement and ending statement at the same time and make sure the article is always leading toward that killer end sentence that ties the article up in a powerful way.

Tip 9 – Read

While this partially falls under the idea of improving yourself, it’s also a specific example that deserves its own mention. Read constantly. Read good articles and bad, seeing what works and what does not. People who are widely read write better than comparable writers who don’t read as much.

Tip 10 – Write Constantly

Copywriting is a talent like any other. Daily practice with writing will expand your ability to try new ideas and reinforce good habits. Even if you have no copywriting assignment at the moment, browse the web looking for websites in your area of expertise, and see if you can’t improve their copy. Then you can either consider it free practice, or perhaps give the authors a call to see if they’re interested.

Biggest O.C. restaurant failures

posted by By NANCY LUNA @ 6:03 AM
Friday, December 30, 2011

The Register documented more than 60 restaurant closures in Orange County in 2011 — a list that included landmark institutions, critically reviewed restaurants and stale casual-dining chains.
CLICK HERE to view the biggest restaurant failures of the…

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Survey: Calif. small firms love Facebook

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Friday, December 30, 2011

California small businesses are more likely to use social media to market themselves than their counterparts nationwide, according to a survey by Constant Contact Inc., a technology marketing service used by 450,000 small firms.
More than 8 out to…

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Kids moving back home struck a chord with Handling Hard Times readers this year, even beating out underwear at work for most-read story.
Maybe it was the sympathy vote, but readers flocked to an item reporting that 1.9 million more young adults ages…

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Lansner: 5 economic gifts I’d return

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 7:27 PM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Business downturns create economic gifts.
For opportunistic folks, the wealthy or simply lucky people, recessions or the like do offer fringe benefits. Of course, not all of these post-collapse perks are beneficial — or obtainable for — to the…

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Mortgage rates finish year near record lows

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 10:15 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

What’s happening with mortgage rates? We’ve asked Jeff Lazerson, of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel, to give us his weekly take …
NEWS SUMMARY: From the last Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of 2011 we see the average 30-year fixed loan increased…

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Online local ad service shuts down

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 9:14 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

WebVisible, an online local advertising company that until recently was headquartered in Irvine, has closed, reports TechCrunch.com.
Company founder Kirsten Mangers who left the company in October, 2010, verified that WebVisible had closed but had no…

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Conversion Secrets

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Conversion Secrets

Once you’re online business website is live, generating targeted traffic is your next hurdle. But to maximize your online success you need to go beyond traffic generation. You need to focus on web site conversion. Many online marketers spend lots of time and money on traffic generation. And they fail to pay attention to website conversions.

Here are 7 website conversion secrets to help you get more customers and make more money. Period. Lets start…

Conversion Secret #1

Pay attention to the buying experience. Put your self in your buyer’s shoes. How would you rate your site? The most important rule of thumb is to make everything drop-dead easy. No hoops allowed! Minimize the number of clicks in your ordering process. If they have to register… make it a one-step process. I recently read that up to 40% of ecommerce shopping carts are Abandoned without an order because the order process was confusing.

When your customers get confused, they get frustrated or angry and then they leave. Not sure how you’re doing? Be smart. Test. That’s the only way. Or contact your customers and ask them to rate their buying experience at your site. Just find out and you’ll know! Very simple.

Conversion Secret #2

Optimize your site structure. Sounds easy enough. And it is! But you’d be shocked to know how many marketers Don’t. Make it well organized and stupid simple to navigate. Prioritize your themes and sub-themes and structure accordingly. You have less than 6 to 8 seconds to capture your visitor’s attention and get them interested. Most people don’t sit there and analyze. They respond to unconscious feelings and the famous ‘gut’ feeling.

Conversion Secret #3

What is the goal of your site? Your conversion goal? What is the purpose of the page they’re on? I hope you have thought about this. If not… do it now! Do you have 12 options for them to click on? Ever consider they might get confused because there ARE so many options? You can have many options for them. And if you do then it’s critically important to have a very clearly defined navigation structure.

Conversion Secret #4

Make sure your site or page loads fast! The faster, the better. You know how impatient we’ve all become. Your site needs to be fully loaded in less than 6 to 8 seconds! Fully visible. Research shows again and again that up to half of your visitors will Leave if your site is more than 6 to 8 seconds to load.

Conversion Secret #5

Do you have an effective and clear call to action? Here’s something that has been known for many decades. Courtesy of direct mail pioneers who came way before the internet. But it’s still true! People need to be told what to do next.

Absolutely still true. Don’t be afraid to ‘politely’ inform them of what to do next, or just what to do! Tell them! Don’t expect the website visitor to know what to do next. You can alleviate fears of the unknown by telling them, in some fashion, what their next action will do. Click to order your product… click here to register for your free download, etc. People need to be reassured and you’ll do that by telling them what result will happen from their next action.

Conversion Secret #6

Do you have a strong message? This is different from call to action. I’m talking about a clear, strong, and consistent message throughout your page. If you’re talking about a particular product, theme, service… whatever it is, stay on topic and focus on it.

Conversion Secret #7

Test, test, and test again. Increasing your conversions takes time and is an ongoing process. There are lots of programs available to do this. Find out how much time people are spending on your pages. What do they click on? Find out what’s strong and improve on it. See if you can expand on it. Find out what’s weak and see if you can improve on it.

Your profits will soar if you do only half of what I’ve shown you here today. But why would do that? Do All of them. And there’s even more to be learned. Failing to work on your conversions is like running on half empty, or running on misfiring cylinders. So don’t do it!

Forecast: Homebuilders face difficult 2012

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 7:50 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tom Mitchell is a principal for homebuilder TRI Pointe Homes.
He’s our 10th guest for “Eyeball 2012!”
This series of interviews is our holiday gift to you, Lansner on Real Estate’s sixth annual collection of outlooks on local real estate conditions!…

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Fastest growing franchises in 2012

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Franchised businesses have taken a beating in the past three years, but revenues, jobs and numbers of units should all grow in 2012, according to a new forecast released by the International Franchise Association.
After three straight years of…

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O.C. near bottom of 2011 best cities list

posted by By MARY ANN MILBOURN @ 2:00 AM
Thursday, December 29, 2011

Orange County is battling back from the bad times but still ranked only 165th out of 200 of the country’s best-performing large metropolitan areas in 2011, based on a ranking by the Milken Institute.
Milken’s list is a little different from other…

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TechSpace opens second O.C. location

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 4:00 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TechSpace, whose Aliso Viejo building has been a popular, first commercial location for Orange County tech startups, is planning to open a second O.C. location at 3420 Bristol St. in Costa Mesa.
The Costa Mesa building, due to open in the summer…

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State tax hunters to visit O.C. businesses

posted by By JAN NORMAN @ 3:35 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

State tax hunters will visit almost 21,000 retailers and service businesses in Costa Mesa and 17 other cities to find out if they properly collecting sales and use taxes and other taxes and fees.
Letters about these visits have been sent under a…

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Top 10 retail events of 2011

posted by By HANG NGUYEN @ 1:42 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Orange County retail climate continues to be difficult for not just the small chains but large ones as well.
In 2011, at least two retail chains said they would go out of business after more than 30 years. Other retailers closed stores in and…

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O.C. lost 6,000 construction jobs in 4 months

posted by By JONATHAN LANSNER @ 12:12 PM
Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Whatever hopes there may have been for an Orange County construction revival appear to have been iced with a autumnal chill.
Orange County’s construction bosses employed 65,800 workers in November — that is down 2,300 jobs from October and down…

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