Local Business Reporting
Just the facts here, ma'am
I don’t read any news any more. I left metropolis to come work at Clute because small businesses matter. From real estate to breweries, small businesses drive the whole world. Also Clark was getting obnoxious.Louis Lane
Spring is quickly passing by and summer is just around the corner, which means for many of us it’s high time to start planning out the renovations we’ve been putting off for months now. Hours of browsing Pinterest later, we need to start asking ourselves how we want our bathrooms to look, how to open up the kitchen to make it less confining, and, most importantly, what contractors are we going to hire to get the job done right?
The contracting question is one for the ages, as the businesses that populate the industry have a well-deserved reputation for cutting corners and providing shoddy workmanship in order to increase their margins. Even contractors that come recommended to us from friends and family have a tendency to disappoint, as I found out after one such company revamped my kitchen just to find that they had accidentally removed a load-bearing wall. Whoops!
So, what are we to do about finding the diamonds in the rough? Well, Yelp is one option – people spending a significant chunk of change on a shoddy remodel are unlikely to keep their silence for long.
So, a brief search for home remodeling contractors in Orange County will bring up some of the best contractors in the business, which brings us to the spotlighted company for today’s post, Inspired Remodels, Inc. Not only do they have one of the best ratings on Yelp for a contracting firm I’ve seen, they have some truly stellar testimonials that go on at length about the quality of their craftsmanship. Lisa G., for example, talks about their work on her bathroom here:
“After spending time looking for a contractor to renovate our master bathroom, laundry and power bath, we settled on Inspired Remodels and I’m so glad we did! From start to finish every single person that worked in our home was professional, considerate and communicated with us throughout the process. I am rather “particular” about things being just right and they went above and beyond to ensure our satisfaction. Joe and Collin were very patient with me during the selection process and Jason was responsive and made me feel at ease with any questions I had along the way. The tradesmen were all outstanding but I need to give a special shoutout to Haime and Rudy, Mark and Ulysses, for their attention to detail and the long hours they put into making our home beautiful. Thank you, thank you! I highly recommend using IR if you have high expectations – they will be met!”
Mike S. expands on her words here:
“Our experience with Inspired Remodels was the best I’ve ever experienced with contractors. Jason and Joe Mueller we’re responsive throughout the project.
We are very meticulous and hired IR to redo a remodel that went south. Our remodel included removing new wood like tile flooring due to improper installation from a previous fraudulent contractor. IR flawlessly removed all flooring and kept the job spotless during the 7-week remodel. Our house was virtually left better then IR found it. IR installed the new wood tile above and beyond industry standards, removed and replaced all new baseboards and doors. Additionally, IR painted and perfected areas that were previously left imperfect by the previous contractor.
I will definitely use IR again for our future remodel needs. Jason even brought us a house warming gift at the end. We moved back into our house on schedule and couldn’t be happier.
Thank you IR family! We look forward to using your professional and family oriented services again in the future.
Thank you” So, there we have it. Excellent quality work in a reasonable time frame, which is much more than you can say about a lot of firms in the biz. Happy hunting, folks, and don’t forget: never use stainless steel for your counter tops. Just don’t.
Inspired Remodels, Inc.
21098 Bake Pkwy Ste 100, Lake Forest, CA 92630
There are few mantras in the world as dependably true as the one regarding the government’s revenue services: “Don’t mess with the IRS.” As the economy tumbles through the tumultuous throws of a worldwide pandemic, government policies and actions come and go, new loans and payouts are dolled out, but the other old adage, ‘nothing in this world is certain, except death and taxes’ remains as true as ever, meaning you’d better pay what you owe, or else.
Accurate bookkeeping has always been key to not only staying in business but staying out of jail. Just ask Al Capone, the infamous Prohibition-era gangster who was caught not for the pile of bodies he left behind, but the 22 counts of federal income tax evasion he was eventually sentenced over. Crime may pay, but some of that had better make its way into Uncle Sam’s pockets or else you are going to run into some real state-sanctioned thuggery.
As the pandemic progresses and more government programs roll out to assist in the recovery effort, good bookkeeping might make the difference between your small business dying out in the economic destruction reeked by COVID and living to see another day. To best navigate these new and uncertain waters, you need to be constantly updating your financial knowledge to ascertain what programs you can take advantage of to stay afloat.
For many of us, that is a step too far in a direction we don’t specialize in or have time to learn about. There is not a lot of time to read up on how to repair a leak when your boat is quickly filling up with water, so for these matters we can turn to some of the experts. A great bookkeeper not only keeps up with your numbers, they also keep up with every new development to make sure they stay within the strict confines of the law while helping your company thrive in the new financial environment.
For our Orange County readers, there’s only one bookkeeping service we can think of that truly rises above the rest: The Bookkeeper Specialists. Jonathon Agee and his team work tirelessly to not just understand your business on a fundamental level, but also keep at the forefront of every new law you need to conform to and program available at your disposal. Pramod P. of Los Angeles testifies to the firm’s unceasing dedication on this front:
“Jonathon has assisted my business with multiple matters. He assisted with transitioning from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online. He has assisted with getting the accounting in order. Those are normal things that a good bookkeeper should be able to do. What separates Jonathon is that he has taken the time to be well informed on financial matters of importance to small business loans. Since he has done his homework on the Federal and California COVID-19 related financial relief programs he is a go to resource for information on those matters in regards to how those programs work and how to best apply for them. Of course, he can also get your books and records ready for the applications.”
To get out of this pandemic alive both physiologically and financially, we need to listen to the experts. In regard to the latter, there is no better resource than The Bookkeeper Specialists in southern California. Remember: Don’t mess with the IRS, and don’t end up like Capone. Get the bookkeeping services you need now by looking up:
The Bookkeeper Specialists
2050 W Chapman Ave #216, Orange, CA 92868
The true essence of summers is in making the most out of the bright and happy season by spending it with family and friends. For those who always relish in the experience of being the host, it is now your time to let the creative juices flow and orchestrate the most astounding barbeque parties. If you have a patio in your backyard, it can be easily transformed into an outdoor kitchen as well, setting an alluring stage for the party. With the trend of Outdoor Kitchens becoming increasingly popular in San Diego, we wanted to discuss some ideas on turning your backyard into the ultimate kitchen and dining patio.
The ideal backyard provides plenty of room for cooking, socializing, and playing. A professional landscape designer will start by assessing your space. They will provide recommendations that may include arrangements on replacing the pavement or deck. For those who are looking for a Landscaping expert who specializes in outdoor kitchens in La Jolla, we recommend Torrey Pines Landscaping Company. When it comes to client satisfaction, they have an excellent reputation for hitting the nail on the head. You can take a look at their website for a portfolio of the various projects that they have completed in the past, as well as the range of services they offer, including design, build, and maintenance.
If there is enough space, you would be crazy not to install an island and grill. If you have an old grill that was once upon a time chucked into the garage or storage room, consider buying a new one. An alternative would be to spruce up the grill by installing a platform and glamorizing it with stone or brick, giving it an enhanced, modern appeal. A barbecue and bar will offer plenty for the guests to serve themselves with a nice juicy burger and a drink or two.
Consider adding more functionality to the backyard. Shelves are useful for storing outdoor cooking essentials. The kitchen can be covered by a pergola to give it a welcoming and cozy feel. You have plenty of options, but keep in mind that space shouldn’t be overcrowded.
The kitchen must be situated in a way that gives way to the natural flow and dynamic of the backyard. It should allow people to move freely while appearing balanced and symmetrical. This way, the view of the natural surroundings will not be compromised from any angle whatsoever, offering guests a view of everything surrounding your home, from the inside out.
One of the hottest trends lately is fusing unalike textures and materials. Gone are the days when combining different patterns and materials together was considered too wacky. In the present day, the more eclectic, the more alluring and interesting a space seems. In a patio-turned-kitchen especially, having seemingly opposite textures and components co-exist with one another will enhance its charm, offering your guests a subtle hint of versatility. For instance, imagine having stainless steel appliances, white crockery, brick floors, stone counters, and redwood furnishings; this can be a game-changer.
If you are thinking about taking your backyard to the next level, considering calling one of the best landscapers in town:
Torrey Pines Landscape Company
5560 Eastgate Mall, San Diego, CA 92121
As a pet owner, one of the most worrying things that you can have is a pet with health problems. It’s not like talking to a human being where you can ask them to explain symptoms or tell you how they feel. A dog that is showing a lot of breathless signs or appears to be suffering could merely be having a bad day or recovering from a minor infection or injury. However, it could also be the sign of something more serious…
While the following signs are not a clear call that your dog has a heart problem, they could be indicators that your friend needs some help.
A general sense of lethargy
While it may be common for your dog to simply be tired, an overall sense of lethargy is a bad thing. If your dog is normally up for playing for extensive periods of time and now appears to be unable to play for any considerable period of time, it could be a sign that it has a heart issue.
A common sign that something is seriously wrong with your dog is if their eating habits change. If your canine is normally enjoying its food and keeps a steady weight, any immediate or lasting weight loss is a big red flag. This often points to a dog that is suffering from a variety of issues, but it could also be a heart-based problem. That’s why weight loss is an essential part of diagnosing your dogs health issues.
If you notice that your dog appears to be coughing a lot, then you should definitely get them evaluated as soon as possible. A dog with a regular cough is not normal, and though it could be environmental, it could also be a physical problem. If the coughing persists, the best thing that you can do is get them checked out. It’s tough to think about, but acting quickly and proactively is absolutely essential.
If your dog has any kind of lasting swelling in the abdomen, then it must be looked at by a vet immediately. This is one of the most obvious signs that your dog has a problem that needs to be attended to by a professional. Do not let your dog’s health issues become something you ignore; get in touch with a vet if you notice any abdominal swelling. This is not something that you can ignore, as it could be a sign that something is seriously wrong.
Getting expert advice right away
This article should not be taken as professional or veterinary advice. If you think that any or all of the above signs indicate that your dog has a heart defect or problem, then you need to get in touch with a veterinarian. A vet can diagnose the issue, and then refer you to a specialist, known as a veterinary cardiologist. Cardiac Vet offers cardiac telemedicine to veterinarians and hospitals across the country and across the globe. Dr. Carley Saelinger, VMD, DACVIM (Cardiology) can assist rDVMs in confirming their suspicion of cardiac disease via telemedicine to interpret of ECGs, thoracic radiographs, Holters, event monitors, and echocardiograms.
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, once said “The only constant in life is change.”
If there is any universal truth in existence, it is that life, despite our best efforts in planning, will rarely go according to plan. Sometimes, no matter what preventative or proactive measures we take, it is always impossible to eliminate risk.
Whether you are an individual or a business owner, risk is incurred in every facet of life. For instance, you must first sign a lease, if not purchase a car, in order to be the owner of a vehicle. Car accidents are always a looming possibility on the roads, which is why car owners or lessees purchase car insurance. In business, no matter what industry you are in, every entrepreneur or corporation takes on a certain degree of risk in starting a new business. There is additional risk that carries through the lifetime of the business itself. This is why enterprises have business insurance.
The best way to mitigate risk is to be prepared for the tragedies of life.
David Weber has owned and operated a small distribution chain in California for the past ten years. “I have anywhere between five to ten trucks going out at any time throughout the day. Our drivers are on the road 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, through alternating shifts, in order to ensure that our shipments are delivered on schedule,” he says. For nine of those years, his business ran smoothly, without any hiccups or accidents. However, on one evening, three months ago, one of his trucks had been hit by a drunk driver at around midnight on the highway. “It was a complete shock. Highway accidents might be common in the trucking industry, but it just had never happened to us. And you tend to hear these things on the news and think, ‘Oh, but it won’t happen to me or my company.'”
Luckily, Weber had business insurance. His company was able to recover the cost of the damages to the truck, and his driver received compensation for the physical injury and trauma.
Everyone should be insured in the event of any unforeseen personal or business incident. We wanted to highlight Byron Galindo, a State Farm Santa Monica Agent that offers home, renter, auto, and business insurance. Team Galindo has a focus on commercial trucking workers’ compensation insurance, landlord insurance, and earthquake insurance.
If you are contemplating whether or not you need insurance, consider the cost of doing business or living life without preparation for all of its uncertainties. The harsh reality is that—yes, anything could happen to any of us. No one is universally safe from the laws of nature. We are all human, and life is fragile. We should never take life for granted or assume only the best case scenarios.
If you are looking for an insurance agent to discuss the best form of coverage for you, you can give Byron Galindo’s office a call.
Byron Galindo – State Farm Insurance Agent
214 Pier Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405, United States
Today began like any other day – wake up at 5:30, gym, shower, breakfast on the drive to the office. As I was pulling out of the parking lot of my favorite café, however, things took a frightening turn.
As I drove forward, looking both ways, I slowly took my left turn, seeing that the light at the nearby intersection hadn’t turned to let traffic coming my way go. As I hit the middle lane, however, I took one cautionary look to make sure I hadn’t missed anyone, and that’s when I saw the massive SUV that absolutely dwarfed my compact barreling down the road towards me, completely ignoring the fact that he had a red light.
Things seemed to slow, with my car inching towards a lane that inevitable death was screaming down towards, not 100 feet from impact. I jerked the wheel, and the SUV did as well, tires squealing on pavement as we passed mere inches away from one another. He honked his horn at me as I righted myself back into the lane, cold sweat dripping down my spine.
The whole drive to the office I clenched the wheel with white knuckles, the image of the impact that was so narrowly avoided playing again and again in my head. What would have happened if I hadn’t taken that last cursory glance over my shoulder?
It’s times like these that I’m really glad I know some excellent legal advisors around Poway, the town the café is in, and with this event on my mind, I began asking around to see what I could have expected if I were in a crash. They directed me to who, in their opinion, is the best in the biz in town, Villasenor Accident Law Firm.
The Poway-based firm and its name holder, Christopher Villasenor, has been helping victims of accidents and personal injuries for over 25 years and has built his brand as the best accident attorney in Poway through blood, sweat, and tears. The firm has helped hundreds of people recover revenues lost due to injury as well as receive restitution for the wounds they’ve received due to the negligence of others.
This whole experience has taught me a couple of lessons:
- Don’t expect other people to know or respect the laws and rules of the road. Seriously, the guy honked at me as he drove away, despite the fact that he ran a red light! What a moron.
- Accidents can happen at any time, and you need to do the groundwork now to be prepared for the worst if and when it happens.
In the interests of this last point, I highly recommend you seek out the best accident attorney in your area, and make sure you ask other lawyers who it is so you know which one won’t jerk you around and cost you a bunch of extra money with nothing to show for it. If you’re in the San Diego area, I definitely would recommend you seek out the services of Villasenor Law Firm.
Villasenor Law Firm
12396 World Trade Dr, San Diego, CA 92128
Matt Christensen woke up after a long night in his home office. He stumbled into the kitchen for his morning coffee ritual. 30 grams of Estonian medium roast, hand-ground. Unbleached, biodegradable coffee filters steamed for one minute. Sixteen ounces of boiled water, no cooler than 195 F and no hotter than 205 F. Frothed almond milk and a touch of cinnamon.
“Oreo” was Matt’s canine best friend. He was a well-natured dog who had been with him through many life changes: moving twice across the country, career changes, and a divorce. Oreo loved Matt unconditionally. He would greet him at door with a wagging tail and smile every time Matt came home. Whenever Matt seemed to feel anxious, Oreo would jump up onto his lap and cuddle with him.
Matt had the tendency to take his curiosities to extremes. He was a former marine biologist turned cartographer, with a fascination for all of nature’s creations. He had been up all night in studying the cellular biology of grass. The day before, he noticed that Oreo was walking in a strange way on the lawn. He seemed to be in uncomfortable and wouldn’t place each paw down as he walked. Matt was puzzled. Per his curious and quirky self, he got down on all fours to mimic his four-legged friend.
“Ouch!” he said. The grass was prickly! “How can this be?” he thought. He had spent all summer caring for the lawn to try to grow it into a luscious playground for Oreo.
The next morning, Matt sat down at his desk with his freshly brewed cup of coffee. Through his research, Matt realized that the city he had just moved to was notorious for prickly, yellow grass, rather than the soft, green grass he had been trying to grow for his lawn. The issue seemed to be the moisture levels and the type of clay of the soil underneath. He needed to figure out how to replace the grass in his backyard without a ground excavation. After researching his options for brand new turf, he stumbled upon artificial grass. It seemed like the best choice: easy installation, low maintenance, and aesthetically pleasing.
Now he had to find the best artificial lawn installation company in Orange County. After reading reviews on Yelp, he found NoMow Turf Grass, a service specializing in synthetic grass and pet turf. It turns out that many pet-owners opt for artificial lawns because their animals have been destroying the natural grass. Moreover, it turns out that pets can go to the bathroom on the turf, as long as it is maintained with deodorizer and regular washing.
NoMow Turf has a specialty pet turf line that looks and feels so real that most animals are unable to tell the difference. It is made for pets of all sizes and is guaranteed to withstand the roughest of wear and tear.
If you are interested in a better land for man’s best friend, give NoMow Turf, Inc. a call!
NoMow Turf, Inc. – Synthetic Lawns & Putting Greens
26674 Vista Terrace, Lake Forest, CA 92630, United States
Here at the Clute Institute, we focus on local businesses that can make a positive difference in your life, no matter the industry they operate in. Today, we’re looking into the pest control and extermination industry, something a lot of people tend to either ignore completely or look at with some level of distaste, yet is an entirely necessary aspect of what makes modern society possible.
In our ancient past, lack of pest control led to a number of rather horrific consequences – famines, plagues, structural collapses, you name a calamity, you can bet some rather poor pest control could lead to it. In that vein, there are quite a few companies that operate within the industry that have some rather shady practices, leading to the necessity of us once again getting to the bottom of which companies provide good, honest service without the bilking or fraud that is so endemic in our society.
It seems we’ve hit the jackpot with the company we’re spotlighting today – we’ve rarely seen so many glowing testimonials for a small business in our neck of the woods than what we’ve found for Grand Oaks Termite Control in Pasadena. In fact, it may be the best reviewed pest and termite exterminators we’ve found in all our years of reporting.
A quick peek at their Yelp page reveals a number of testimonials that paint a positive and heartfelt picture of the business’s owner and his employees. Carina Z. of Duarte, California, has this to say about Justin, the owner of the company, and his partner Gary:
“I am in awe of Grand Oaks Termite Control. Justin and Gary came out and inspected my home and they were punctual, polite and very knowledgeable. I was so worried about my home being infested with termites, but Justin put my mind at ease. He determined that I had an isolated infestation in one room of my home and that there was no need to be tented. He gave me a fair quote and treatment of the room literally took maybe an hour. He explained that the process would not harm my family or cat and termites and eggs will not survive after the treatment. He and Gary came out a week later for the water damage of the affected area. My husband and I are so pleased and grateful we chose this company. Gary did an impeccable job of the repairs that took about 6-7 hours and you can’t even tell I had any termites or water damage. They are both so pleasant and polite and will highly recommend them to anyone. Thanks guys for an outstanding and affordable job.”
As you scroll through the reviews, each similar in tone to Carina’s, you begin to understand that Justin and Grand Oaks are the real deal, providing excellent service at a very fair price. They go so far as to provide prompt carpentry services to fix damaged wood fixtures in your house as a part of the service, leaving your pest problem in the past in as quickly as a week or less.
If you are in the Grand Oaks area of southern California and are looking for pest or termite control, you could do much worse than getting the guys from Grand Oaks Termite Control to come out and take a look.
Grand Oaks Termite Control
We as people have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to pest control, and this is exemplified nowhere better than in the agricultural sector. One of the top pesticides used during the corn growing cycle is a chemical called Atrazine, which has an unfortunate tendency to cause hormonal disruptions in any animals that inject it (which is why it’s so effective in the first place).
These endocrine disruptors leach into our water system, where they flow eventually into the natural waterways of our nation to flow out into the ocean. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen before it not only interacts with a significant amount of our natural wildlife, but also our drinking water.
The effects of pesticides like Atrazine on the wildlife that it interacts with are startling and quite concerning – in the frog populations in the ponds and eddies fed by the waterways polluted with Atrazine, it is a common occurrence for male frogs to experience a large number of sexual ailments, from being born with malformed genitalia to having the hormonal profile of a female frog despite being genetically male.
All across our country, the chemical warfare we’re waging against pests are starting to backfire, not only on the environment and animals around us, but also on our own communities. Algae blooms are destroying our natural fisheries, bees are dying due to fungicides and pesticides, and our own health is quickly being shown to be negatively affected by the myriad ghastly poisons we use to try to make our corn product as profitable as possible.
The same mindset is applied to common household pests like cockroaches, ants, and termites. The second these creatures are typically discovered, the first thing most exterminators want to do is get in there and murder the lot of them with some gas made in the early 20th century for ghastly purposes outside the purview of most exterminators.
Well, I say no more to all of that dastardly, destructive hoo hah! If there’s a way to do these things naturally, then I think it’s high time we abandoned our industrial mechanized way of pest control and started taking the naturist’s way, whether that be to eat organic or using all natural termite control!
If you’re in the southern Los Angeles or northern Orange County area and you agree with me, I recommend you start using Natural Science Exterminating for your pest control needs as soon as your next scheduled inspection. The company uses a combination of a number of oils and extractions to naturally deter the critters and pests that are most likely to invade your home, and the concoctions they use to kill them once they’re in are made to harm the environment as little as possible.
Whether your house has already been infested or you’re looking to make sure it never does, don’t settle for more harmful chemicals being sprayed into your living space just to be breathed into your lungs or washed into the water supply, choose Natural Science termite extermination for ethical and conscientious pest control
Natural Science Exterminating
11642 Knott Street #9 Garden Grove, CA 92841
No one imagines that their marriage will end in divorce, and when it does happen, most pray and hope that their divorce will be seamless. Why not just split assets evenly and amicably? After all, isn’t heartbreak painful enough to endure? Why add more difficulty to the situation?
But why does it seem impossible to meet in the middle? Unfortunately, the process of separation often becomes more combative than procedural. Lovers turn into enemies; a relationship that began as the art of seduction ends as the art of war. As the old adage goes, “Love and hate are one in the same coin.”
We’ve all heard of funny or horrific stories of parties acting out of spite or pettiness during divorce litigation. As we listen, we wonder how grown adults come to behave so childishly, in an effort to make someone they once loved now feel bad.
What if you find yourself in a divorce where you cannot agree on anything with your soon-to-be-former spouse? You might be embarrassed to admit to family and friends that matters have become tedious.
In the United States, the average divorce costs $15,000 in legal fees, and couples tend to separate more during the holiday and new year season. For those looking for a fresh start in life without the hefty price tag, more and more couples are looking for more cost-efficient ways to cut the cord. Our investigative reporter Jacques Godiva spoke with legal expert Alice Donovan to learn about an alternative to litigation. “In my opinion and experience, litigation requires more time, energy, and money than what most people anticipate. Couples rarely come away from the process feeling like each got what they deserved on fair terms.” Donovan recommends that couples consider mediation. “Mediation is the facilitation of negotiation and resolution by a neutral third party. The meditator helps the couple navigate toward an informed settlement that is privately agreed upon by the family members, rather than publicly in front of a judge.”
We reviewed several divorce mediation firms based in Orange County and were so pleased to find McNamee Mediations that we decided to highlight them here. Mediation specialist Colleen McNamee has a stellar track record and one of the best Yelp reviewed profiles we have ever come across. One of the many five-star reviewers explains how mediating through Colleen had been the best decision she made throughout her divorce:
“I learned that I could a) hire a lawyer, (and he hire a lawyer) and we go through litigation in a very public court room setting with the risk of a bitter fight and be completely drained financially with money we really don’t have, or b) find a good mediator and dissolve the marriage amicably, peacefully and as budget friendly as possible. I looked everywhere – and found a couple mediators, but none that were as responsive, capable, knowledgeable, calm and professional as Colleen. I cannot speak highly enough about her. She is on top of every single detail.”
If you are considering a divorce through a family law attorney but want to first explore your other options, you can give McNamee Mediations a call.
4590 MacArthur Blvd #500, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States