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
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
Here at the Clute Institute, we stick to the facts and don’t let emotions get in the way. That rule applies to everything, including emotionally heavy subject matter like death, war, and divorce. The fact is, these things exist, and we need to have a way of analyzing them to figure out why they happen and what we can do to best avoid them in the future.
That being said, here are some facts about divorce:
- While the divorce rate has lowered from its 1980’s high of over 5 divorces per 1,000 people to around 3 divorces per 1,000, it’s estimated that the divorce rate for all marriages is still 50%
- For first-time marriages, 41% end in divorce. For second marriages, the statistic jumps to 60%. For third marriages, it jumps once again to 73%.
- For first-time marriages that end in divorce, the marriage typically lasts around 8 years
- The wife is far more likely to initiate divorce, with women initiating proceedings 75% of the time
- Divorce rates have more than doubled for people aged 50 or older over the last twenty years
With this knowledge in hand, we know that divorce is not at all a rare occurrence, and every one of use knows at least one person who has gone threw a divorce or grew up in a household where a divorce occurred, if we did not experience this ourselves. The reasons for divorce typically come down to a lack of commitment, too much strife, infidelity, or a lack of reasonable expectations in our relationships, no doubt influenced at least in part by unrealistic portrayals of love and marriage in the media.
If you ever find yourself in a marriage whose end is clearly in sight and about to add to the divorce statistics, you need to know exactly what it is you need to do. The law, as always, is enigmatic and impenetrable to those who have not trained for years in how to interpret it, which means that finding a solid attorney is the logical first step to protect yourself and your family. A good attorney can mean the difference between being out in the cold without a shirt and living at least reasonably comfortably in your new single lifestyle.
For those of us looking for Divorce and Family Law Offices in Orange County, the Clute Institute recommends the Shuff Law Firm, a father-daughter law team that has been operating in the county for the past 45 years. That kind of experience is nothing to sneeze at, and when it comes to attorneys, experience and a mastery over the field of law being practiced go hand in hand.
Many current and former clients have provided testimonials and feedback over the years, leading to a shocking full 5 star review rating on Yelp. The firm’s attorneys are noted as being not only extremely professional and diligent, but also very caring and personally invested in their clientele. Read this review by Laura K. to get a feel for the kind of work they provide:Read Laura K.‘s review of Shuff Law Firm on Yelp
If you’re looking for a family attorney in Santa Ana or the Orange County area in general, you can’t go wrong with a firm that has nearly 50 years of history and experience.
Shuff Law Firm
(714) 834-0175 2107 North Broadway, Santa Ana, CA 92706
When building a custom home, how can you ensure a beautiful house design that is suited for you? After all, your home style is a statement of your unique identity.
Over the years, we’ve seen the landscape of Newport Beach evolve, thanks to custom home builders such as Sailhouse Custom Homes. They offer a wide range of services and are involved in every step of the process – from selecting the location to designing and constructing the home.
We looked at their Sailhouse’s Signature Home offering to understand how they provide the highest quality of design to their clients. Their online portfolio boasts an impressive range of projects. Distinctive style is highly evident in every project, reflecting the particular aesthetic of the homeowner.
The firm’s portfolio demonstrates its ability to fulfill different tastes, from modern to classic, french to Californian, and traditional to futuristic. Not only are the homes built to impress, they are built to function for the different needs of each homeowner’s life.
Melinda Thomson is a local resident who has lived in Newport Beach for the last 10 years. She heard about Sailhouse Custom Homes through Alex Atia, one of her fellow residents in her neighbourhood, who had a completed custom built home by Sailhouse. “Alex’s custom home became the jewel of the neighbourhood as soon as it was completed. I knew that one day, I too would be the proud owner of a custom home. I reached out to Alex to understand what they had done. I was so impressed to hear how involved the firm was in the design and construction of the home. My main concern was choosing a homebuilder who would be able to execute my vision.”
Melinda describes her style as modern french country. She says that her home’s primary function is to be a space of creativity for her busy family of 3 gifted children. “I wanted a spacious foyer that went straight into the living room so that my children would feel welcome and excited to come home from school every day. My daughter paints and my two sons make pottery. I wanted to have a large living room to basically serve as a creative studio for them.”
Her requirements required some careful planning to choose the appropriate location. Luckily, Sailhouse was diligently involved in choosing the best site for construction. “I also wanted the living room, which would end up being the creative studio, to have large windows facing the sun to let in as much natural light as possible. Sailhouse chose the perfect site and created the perfect design to make my dream into a reality.”
Today, the custom home builder is expanding across Newport Beach, transforming lives, one house at a time. We are impressed by their dedication and expertise, and we can’t wait to see their future projects. If you are interested in turning your custom home dreams into reality, you can give them a call.
Sailhouse Custom Homes
170 Newport Center Dr Suite 220, Newport Beach, CA 92660, United States
Here at Clute we pride ourselves on reporting on just the facts when it comes to recommending and reviewing local businesses. When it comes to the difficult and contentious issue of immigration law, we are not going to delve into the ethics and politics of the subject that so seems to plague our nation today.
The fact is, immigration law exists, and it is a complicated and ever-changing maze. There are good, honest people who are in need of legal experts and lawyers who know what they’re doing to ensure that they are following the law and will not get into any unneeded trouble with law enforcement. This goes for those non-citizens that are in our country legally and business owners who are hoping to hire those workers that may not be citizens.
The consequences of not following these laws is just too great to leave to pure chance. You need professionals working at your behest who are diligent, caring, and communicative to successfully stay out of the unforgiving and long-reaching gaze of the law.
To these ends, today we’re profiling a local law firm that specializes in every facet of immigration law: acquiring green cards and visas of all kinds, establishing a pathway to citizen ship, and providing employers with the appropriate documentation that will allow them to work with noncitizen workers. K Nair Law is the premier immigration law firm of Orange County, providing dozens of clients the conscientious care that is so necessary in the world of immigration law.
Kiran Nair, the owner and name holder of the firm, has been working as an attorney for the better part of 15 years, starting off as a criminal defense lawyer for a primarily noncitizen client base. Through her work in criminal defense, she realized she could help more people avoid the rigors of criminal case hearings by providing them with competent legal guidance as an immigration attorney in Orange County, and thus started the K Nair Law Firm.
We realize that, as non-lawyers, it’s easy for use to provide a recommendation based on the limited work we’ve seen but it may not hold as much weight as another profession with more readily observable results, like a landscaping firm. If you are looking for a weightier referral, look no further than the firm’s Yelp page, where Meghan T., a fellow attorney, provides the following observation:Read Damon M.‘s review of K Nair Law Group on Yelp
K Nair Law Firm is an organization that was built on a passion to help one of the most vulnerable sections of our society, the noncitizens who have fallen through the cracks and are in danger of being reaped by the uncaring scythe of the government. Through this passion, the firm provides dedication to its clientele not often seen from other lawyers in any field, let alone the tumultuous area of immigration.
If you are in need of legal representation or council as a legal noncitizen, or as an illegal noncitizen who is hoping to get back on track towards the bounds of the law, please give K Nair Law a call and schedule a consultation as soon as possible.
K Nair Law
The Nightmare: waking up with bugs crawling all over you. Horror movies, novels, and creepy stories told around a campfire with a flashlight propped up under your chin tell of bugs taking over your house, your bed, your body. It sounds like a work of science fiction, right? Not for your home. For many homes, it’s a reality.
Termites are determined little buggers that live in colonies and eat wood (yes, the same kind of wood your house is built out of). There can be as many as 60,000 to 1,000,000 termites per colony in your house. It takes a professional to tell how many you’ve got, but if you only have two or three buzzing about a window—that’s a sign of many more. Some numbers even range past 10 million. That’s a lot of bugs. That’s a lot of damage.
They say prevention is worth a pound of cure, right? We take care of our health, our children, pets, and vehicles by doing regular inspections and maintenance work. Why not do the same for your home? In the warm, temperate environment of Southern California, termites can be an overwhelming and expensive issue. Termites will eat the wooden structure of your home, costing expensive and heartbreaking structural damage. Having regular inspections can ensure that your house is not at risk, and if it is, then being on the front end of the issue can still solve the problem!
And what happens if you do have an issue? Take care of it in an effective, natural way. Natural termite extermination in Orange County is possibly the safest way to go about it. Natural Science Extermination uses natural means to get rid of the pests while keeping your family, pets, and plants healthy and live. They use organic compounds like orange oil, which–in the hands of trained professionals–is generally safe and very effective. That’s the part of the horror movie you don’t see–the exterminators coming in with the orange oil! Now, that’s a movie I’d like to watch.
Orange Oil is one of the only organic, certified oils and it is considered an official and primary treatment for dry wood termites. For something lacking chemicals and being safe for your yard and pets—this is a surprising and a huge benefit! And, once the termites have been exterminated, Natural Science Exterminating employs licensed carpenters and other tradesmen that will assist you in the repair and restoration of your home. Not many other termite exterminators can say that, can they? It just goes to show, despite being ruthless bug killers, they’ve got huge hearts for the people and pets they service.
And, once they’ve gotten rid of the little nasties, they can offer you a low-cost preventative plan! So, let these guys take care of your home with as few chemicals as possible, with preventative care and natural termite extermination. It’s that time of year, Southern California. Let’s beat this intense summer heat and the bugs that come with it!
If you have termites, don’t wait to contact them:
Natural Science Exterminating
11642 Knott Ave, Garden Grove, CA 92841
When you think of a landscaping company, you’re probably not imagining a small business. Besides the occasional logo on a pickup truck, the first thing that comes to mind is corporate. Now the word “corporate” itself has gained a negative reputation, despite the existence of good, moral corporations. But at the end of the day, we don’t think of a “mom and pop” shop when it comes to landscaping, especially when we imagine the budget of its target consumer.
However, the free market system has given us the freedom to do the impossible. Ladies and gentlemen, the small business landscaping company exists. And let me tell you, business is not slowing down.
The business I want to focus on today is doing incredibly well in the landscaping world, and they have the customer reviews to prove it. Besides the overwhelming positive testimonials such as “best designer and highest quality in Southern California”, they give off a definite “one-stop-shop” vibe.
With this company, you get to avoid the wild goose chase of landscaping. You know the one; where one company has a fireplace guy, another has the patio guy, an entirely different company does gardening, apparently, there’s a company just for tanbark…it seems more hassle than it’s worth. However, Torrey Pines doesn’t make you run all over the place to find yourself the perfect deal. When working with this company, you have access to fireplace design, patio covers, hardscape construction, walls and planters, water features, garden construction, and so much more. So there might not be an official award for the best landscape design company in San Diego, but if there were, this business would be an impressive contender.
But I know that this may sound too good to be true. We’ve all heard of the classic snare-trap stories; someone signs a contract thinking there is still a window of time during which the customer can reconsider, only to find out three weeks in that there’s no turning back. However, Torrey Pines walks the walk in terms of putting customers first. Not only is your initial in-home consultation from designing and building completely free of charge, but the initial design agreement is also completely refundable. So if in the first part of development you change your mind, it is not a legal battle or awkward conversation — it’s just your decision, and that’s that.
They also have options in mind for the more creative customers of La Jolla. Want four waterfalls pouring into a koi pond without disturbing the health of the fish? You got it. Want a simple, sleek house but with the backyard converted into a humongous vegetable garden? Absolutely no problem. Whether you are going for the general neighborhood aesthetic or landscaping to the beat of your own drum, Torrey Pines has any service you may need for a stellar outdoor space.
So basically, you don’t have to sprint around Home Depot anymore to get the job done. Companies like Torrey Pines know how big of an investment landscaping can be, and they do their absolute best to take as much work off of your hands as possible. So if you’re interested in learning more about this companies landscaping portfolio, feel free to check out some of their La Jolla landscaping projects and use them to propel your own dreams and plans.
If you would like to contact them, you can reach them at:
Torrey Pines Landscape Co.
We love watching businesses take off and today we want to highlight a business we have been watching for a while, Inspired Remodels. They are a design-and-build licensed California general contractor and they are truly taking over Orange County by consistently producing top quality work.
As you know, we only focus on the facts and one of the best ways to get a feel for a company is to check out their reviews. You can find reviews on their website and on Yelp. Once you are done reading the reviews, we think you will agree with us in saying the Inspired Remodels is the best contractor in Orange County.
(Alright, we know that is subjective, but seriously, you should check these guys out.)
Okay, let’s dive into the reviews:
“Thank you Joe, Jason and Colin! You and your team are all top notch. We just finished remodeling our entire house with them which originally started with the intention of just doing our master bath. We had to continue with IR because they did such a great job in all aspects of the entire project. They were reliable and most importantly to us was their high integrity.”
“We live in an older home in Orange. This was our first experience of doing a complete remodel of any room in our house. Joe, Jason & Colin were here to make suggestions about our kitchen. Wonderful ideas that turned into a totally transformed room. We love it! We can’t say enough good things about all the workers who were here They were very professional even down to the smallest detail. We highly recommend Inspired Remodels!”
“Our remodel is complete and yes it’s inspired, thanks to Jason, Joe, and their incredible contractors. The design, workmanship, and professionalism at this design company are exceptional. They kept to the timeline. The finished remodel is beautiful and masterfully done.”
Clearly, these guys are doing something right.
Now, let’s take a look at some of their work. As you will see, the work done is clean and beautiful.
I love these kitchens. New and modern and they look fantastic. Joe and their team actually help come up with the designs and then fulfill the work. So you don’t need to worry about too many cooks in the kitchen with directions getting lost. With Inspired Remodels, you get a one-stop home remodeling shop.
We were even able to get our hands on a video of some of the work they have done. We are really excited to show you it as it allows you to really get a feel for the type of work they are doing.
We love the work that Inspired Remodels is doing around Orange County and we are sure that you will too. If you have been thinking about getting your home remodeled or know someone who is, we highly recommend putting Inspired Remodels at the top of your list. You won’t be disappointed.
You can find and contact them here:
21098 Bake Pkwy, Ste 100, Lake Forest, CA 92630
When it comes to starting a new business, there are a million things to think about. You have to consider which recruiting service to use, which neighborhood would be the best place for HQ, which property would have affordable rent in a safe area…the list is practically endless. With all of the things you have to juggle, probably the last thing on your mind is office furniture.
But nevertheless, it is a necessary part of the process. In a way, the way you pick your office furniture essentially establishes the flow of the office. Are you opting for an open office plan like Buzzfeed? Are you going back to the traditional format, like in The Office? Or does everyone have their own separate desks without dividers, so sort of a hybrid between the two?
Well if you’re opting for a more traditional method, you may encounter some unique challenges. Since cubicle companies know that many established businesses (with established revenue) seek out their products, they can overprice their products dramatically. And this works with those kinds of businesses; Chase bank probably isn’t splitting hairs over the affordability of mahogany cubicles. But for the new business that wants to keep profits high and spending thin, this system just isn’t functional.
But thanks to the free market, there is another option besides Craigslist and dumpster diving. And that option is used office furniture. And not just home office furniture compiled from random eBay sellers — entire, cohesive collections of lightly used office furniture. You don’t even have to worry about the company feng shui looking like a hodge-podge hipster shop. You can look completely professional without going for something “homey” or “kitschy”.
Gone are the days when brand new furniture in Los Angeles was the only sensible office furniture option. With Creative Office Design’s expanding footprint, you can now get high-quality used cubicles in Los Angeles, as well as desks and chairs to match. However, you aren’t required to have shared workspaces either. Businesses like these cater to the aspiring business like yours; a company that is starting strong without getting ahead of themselves with overly expensive furniture. They offer all types of desks, files, storage, common workspaces, office accessories…basically any piece of featured furniture in an office so that you can make the perfect office for your company culture.
However, if you are looking to spend up on some brand new furniture, you don’t even have to leave the website. They offer brand new pieces as well so you could mix-and-match if you’d prefer. And in a city like Los Angeles, variety is everything.
Whatever your business does, it’s not likely that all of your clients will have the same vibe. The beauty of Los Angeles is that is changes with every side street — hip Downtown becomes a working-class neighborhood, then Beverly Hills five minutes later until you’re in the bars of Westwood. Shops like Creative Office Design understand that market — and they appeal to it with finesse. Do you need to rebrand to become more relevant to the average age of your customer? No problem. Need more color as your company transitions from strictly industrial to somewhat commercial business? Totally doable. Because smart office spaces, especially in cities that are constantly changing, aren’t just built to last; they are built to change and last. And a business with a sense of mobility, as well as longevity, could really benefit from a company like Creative Office Design.
Creative Office Design
15440 Laguna Canyon Rd #120, Irvine, CA 92618