Short Sale Checklist


Taking a listing on a short sale is not a simple transaction. To start, make list of the layers of people you will need to work with. A number of the parties in the transaction are under stress. A calm voice and organization is your mantra.
The seller of the house is doing so because they have to. The seller may have time constraints and personal issues, more than what I call the four D’s –(death divorce and disaster). Often the seller may be unemployed or out of work as are so many Americans today. Being in the same boat does not make it any easier. A come to Jesus talk from the start is useful and you will need a yellow note pad and likely tissues.
The Lender or Lenders as there may be a first second and third are often not the same company, and even if they are the loans may have been originated by companies/banks they have acquired by not so smooth transitions. The bank employees in loss mitigation departments have piles of files and are working long hours. The bank itself does not realize any profit from completing the transaction (but a minor $1500- $1000). The Underwriting, processing appraisal, legal and operations review staff may invest a total cost of $ 40000 of labor and paperwork.

The subject property is likely to have deferred maintenance which you need to accurately review. The seller has no money to strap the water heater, provide termite clearance costs or purchase and repair things that may be health and safety hazards, which are impossible to overcome if the offer is a government loan contingency.

Next you will have the Property tax Collector/ Assessor who probably has not been paid. Taxes don't get waived. Most counties have local websites to view what penalties and balance is owed, and the owner should have a recent bill.

Then also consider and uncover the existing Fire Insurance coverage. You need an adequate review in advance as a distressed seller may have multiple claims which increases the cost of insurance on the subject (assumption being repairs may have not been completed). Also in the mix may be the Home Owner Association. In California H.O.A.’s are managed by separate management companies (who also have been unpaid).

Neighbors may also be a negative or positive influence upon the listing. This may have been caused by the Seller lacking financial ability to maintain the property. You should be able to convince the neighbors that a new equity owner in the neighborhood's best interest as they will "fix up" the house.

Upfront you need to be organized. The Seller will need to provide 2 months bank statements (of all assets), paystubs for a month, w-2 forms and tax returns. The Seller will need to write an explanation letter of their hardship circumstance. The seller will have to show some utility bills and proof of occupancy. Mortgage statements, HOA statements, Fire Insurance and Tax bill. Signature on a 4506T form signed and Credit Authorization signed (they are going to check the taxes and every single thing).

The day you have collected your complete pile of papers and have an accurate dollar amount of everything past due you are ready to submit to the lenders. Most lenders loss mitigation departments have forms online ready for you to down load before you fax and paper overnight/ send the package. If I can tell you one vital tip it is this: HAVE EVERY SINGLE PIECE THE LENDER WANTS IN ONE PACKAGE UPFRONT. Make neat and have a contents cover page that reads simple and easy.

I have seen a number of strategies where Realtors/ agents only send for approval of the first lien holder then try to force the second and third to play ball. This can win if the other lien holders are related companies or if the losses are small. I have seen this fail every time the second is a credit union. It also creates additional delays and costs. Some lenders will only speak with the Seller, and you must have the Seller’s written authorization to speak with you on file (which the person on the phone will not locate and you will be ready to email it to them as you speak as an attachment. The glory of folders in email – label each one and be ready I say. Some lenders will accept the short sale package without a willing buyer/offer.

The pitfalls and the things to be aware of that a lender is not going to like:
Seller must be holder of title with no assignees. Also no assignees on purchase contract.
Lender may ask for 24 month chain of title and will review carefully if have been any LLC’, Corporations or any title transfers. These changes or having prior owners as company names are red flags. A family member or any related party can not be the buyer, this includes girlfriend boyfriend. Credit reports will show prior addresses and therefore reveals who knows who, among other cross references. Lenders may require two appraisals. This process takes time, i.e. appraisals become aged and have to be updated (this requires additional costs). It is important you are aware of comparable sales and market trends. Lender may restrict escrow/attorney and title fees. Lender will restrict commissions
Lender will check the relationship between the buyer and seller. Assume they will check everything and the seller and agents sign that items are truthful to the best of their knowledge.

Set up reasonable epectations of long time frames. It is easier to tell everyone a longer amount of time, and beat it.

Save the Birds in the Gulf BP

An oil spill that will murder mammals, birds and our economy thanks Tony Hayward.
Don't listen to Cramer, Short  BP.

I contacted BP to connect them with personal contact who is a volunteer (Pat Smith) and wild bird rescue expert at the Seabird Sanctuary in Tampa.  I suggested to the BP Emergency Team they get a news reporter to go interview her or the vet or ornithologists there. BP could post the instructions on their website. This center is run only by volunteers and is the largest in the Gulf. They do not have facilities large enough for a disaster such as this, but the public could help.

Information can be disseminated about how residents should collect the birds therefore the survival ratios will be higher. I imagine persons living in coastal communities in the Gulf could gather plastic baby pools and follow instructions to gather birds which will be covered in oil. Keeping the birds calm is the most important.

Shock and Stress kill wild birds. Some oiled birds will be sick from toxic effects of ingesting oil, or by exhaustion/starvation. It is important to keep the birds calm and not get deydrated. The bird should not be restrained or prevented from biting by binding its wings, legs, or beak. 
A diluted one percent solution of Dawn dishwashing liquid is used to remove oil, but the process of cleaning a wild bird can also kill the bird from the stress.

Donations for food, medicine and care of the wild birds is urgently needed please contact:

Photo credit: Exxon Valdez Trustee Council
Twenty years later ( 1989)  Prince William Sound Council is still tracking the health results of this disaster.


Dodd as Banking Reformer? Please Sell my Book.

America believed EVERYONE DESERVES to own a home.

Well not everyone is responsible in our country. Political tides pushed to make the products, models and rating systems to allow every GI who came home from Korea have a mortgage.
That was successful for a generation less greedy that worked hard, who believed in keeping their commitments. They only owed $20000. and had a $132.99 monthly payment.

The next “gimme” generation said “What about me? Where is my beautiful house?”

More shouted:.“This is prejudice, I deserve a house too.”

America gave them what they demanded, BUT they added a cost
to the risk. The individual who signed a subprime loan understood their credit is bad
or their house was funky.. They had to pay more because of their own flaws. The individual American was not bamboozled by Wall Street or a hooker hawking loans. That individual took a risk and believed they can flip a house and make a million dollars without any sweat or labor.

Yes, The banks profited from the growth. It got out of hand when a bartender got a job as a wholesale loan broker and took short cuts to make his million.

The secondary marketers could have checked the files, but some MBA and a Math Professor claimed their formula to cut out the person/monkey who worked for the bank with Moody’s ratings and FICO scoring would be manna from heaven.

Simon does not understand the business at the origination point.

A face to face application regulates a bevy of fraud. A real person  made accountable to make the
payment.A human banker would have to go knock on your door when you faced divorce death
or disaster and say: “Sir you need to sell.”

Goldman, Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie The Middle Man and The Banks - all made money on the trading as a commodity. They failed to open up a couple files and just check the bundle, check the white pages to see if the Borrower really lives in the house or see the self employed guy really had a business. They could have looked, but they were busy making a million.

Goldman was a genius team a year ago- knowing the bubble had burst they shorted us all.
They weren’t nakxd short, they just did what they always have- sell Americans what they
want, “ my own million without much effort.”

Senator Dodd’s bill fails to understand the center as well. Today Americans are going to

Protest in that southern point of New York. HOWEVER- Wall Street is not just there in New York.

Did we forget that Senator Dodd is in the "friends of Mozillo" club? Or Mr. Tangello as those outside of Countrywide might call him. Countrywide leads the nation in defaults and foreclosures today, how many loans did Dodd get? I remember.


Rick Perry Hunting Accident

 I love numbers.
"Just the facts Mam..."

A .380 Ruger with a crimson tree laser weighs 16 ounces + a holster 14 ounces.
That's a large gun to carry on a run. No runner on this earth would carry this gun.
If you are in fear of animal preditors; a shotgun is what you carry.
I'm a runner.  The edges of this gun would be clanking and getting in my way.
I'm a good shot. This is not a gun I would choose for snake hunting, Rick's story is

Labrador retriever average weight 65-90 pounds. My sister's Back lab male was 120 all muscle with
the big square head- no coyote would have come out of the bushes. Average Lab height at shoulders 25".

Coyote weight 15-45 pounds and shoulder height 15"

Rick Perry is a big guy what ? 220 pounds?

I have faced three coyotes with a baseball bat, in the dark.
I am 5' 1" and tiny.
Think super vicious cocker-spaniel and Rick says it was one.
Yes coyotes can be hungry and sneaky and yes call them Western
legend evil...
Coyotes do what they must for food.
This is not an accident.
This is a macho guy making up an unauthenticated tale based on numbers
that do not add up.
Rick y'all welcome for a visit to my place in Wyoming.

Houston Chronicle reported this note:

gun shown here not a Ruger

So what do you think?

A politician always tells the truth?



I don't know what a thin file is, I never read that until today.
We were a team, I don't know who was in charge.
I didn't read the document that I wrote.

Are you talking about Saint Francis’ and Wolf of Gubbio?

FICO could be monkeyed with?
Moody's is what?

Misrepresenations from Sparks to Mullen?

I never looked at papers in a file I just priced them.

Bring Flowers to Niguel Hills, Dana Hills High and your schools

CAPISTRANO Schools PARENTS Bring Flowers to your school

No we aren't sending them to the beach or the marine mammal rescue and the AP study group isn't coming...

Cut flowers from your yard or your neighbor's and send them with your child to school.

We still have work to do.

We have peace to find.

We need to raise funds to make it through.

Credit Repair Company Sued

Veracity credit repair is not the guys advertising on the radio that they can wipe out your debt with some
vague new law. On the side of credit card companies, Colorado Attorney General is sueing them for charging an upfront fee, and for misleading a consumer to believe they could "fix" their FICO score.
I have said this before, and we are not finished with the issue in the news but Goldman Sachs now knows that using a MIT Math model is not enough to insure the validity of a CDO.

Read attached:

"According to the complaint, filed in Denver County District Court, the credit-repair company is suspected of charging upfront fees for its services, which is illegal under state and federal law. The company, according to the complaint, required that consumers pay an initial setup fee of up to $99 and monthly fees of up to $79. Under Colorado law, a credit-repair firm can only charge fees once its services are complete.

Veracity also is alleged to have failed to disclose to its clients the total amount they would be charged for credit-repair services. The company also advertised that it could “optimize” consumers’ credit records by erasing or repairing bad credit. Under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and Colorado Consumer Credit Reporting Act, credit bureaus are allowed to report negative information about a consumer’s credit for seven years and information concerning bankruptcies for 10 years.

“Consumers trying to work their way out of debt and improve their credit should carefully examine the promises any credit-repair company makes,” Suthers said. “Consumers also should beware of any company that charges upfront fees for any credit-repair services. Upfront fees are prohibited under Colorado and federal law.”

Suthers said the Colorado Credit Services Organization Act and similar federal laws prohibit:

• Prohibit untrue or misleading statements and representations;

• Prohibit advance fees for services;

• Require disclosure of the total amount a consumer will have to pay for credit repair services;

• Require disclosure about when accurate information can be removed from credit reports;

• Require disclosure of a consumer’s right to correct inaccurate information; and,

• Providing consumers a five-day right to cancel a credit repair contract."

From Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office,
 Is he the next Cuomo?



No one has yet computed how many imaginary triumphs are silently celebrated by people each year to keep up their courage.  ~Henry S. Haskins


Capistrano School Board please step Down

The Board again played a trick on the teachers by cancelling the 10:00 meeting without notice.
My High school student at Dana Hills was corralled into a classroom by alphabetical order with 65 kids and 30 chairs. The room was so loud she could not study for her AP test. She couldn't even read. No learning  happened today. Students were released at 11:00 AM with no notice to parents

I have not heard from my middle school child as of this hour. The school bus service was uncertain if there would be buses today.

The Board made NO PLAN to educate students today, although they were aware the teachers might strike for weeks. The District’s website spouts tales about how credentialed substitute teachers would be teaching students in schools during the strike.

The District does not want parent help or input. The Board failed to respond to parents who emailed and wrote letters. The District demonstrates a pattern of avoiding public disclosure, holding secret meetings, and wasting taxpayer funds. The Board is playing a media relations fake to make parents and community angry at teachers..
A good General does not cut food rations and shoes for the front line soldiers while sitting in a cushy palace in San Juan Capistrano. The Taj Mahal palace cost $ 44 million dollars and bestows Board members, and District staff 1200 square foot palatial offices. The District has a history of mismanagement, disgrace and waste.

The District figured they could cut twelve million dollars by cutting teacher pay and slashing teacher benefits. It ‘appears’ they might like to fire higher paid teachers to rehire cheaper new ones in the negotiation techniques they have employed...

Half our State budget goes to “education.” Of that money more than 70% is allocated to administrators, brick and mortar, duplication of jobs, public relation firms, lawyers, special deals, and waste. Now the
District and Board have put taxpayers in a position to pay for the lawsuits, the special election and wasted learning hours that are the results of not settling in good faith.

100 Better Budget Repairs for Schools

It’s about money. Give me pragmatic solutions not pedagogic policy. Please take a minute to explain a problem or duplication and suggest a cheaper leaner better way in the comments box.

I am a Mom and a businesswoman. I am not running for office. We can save the right way. Cutting teacher salaries is not the correct path. We need concrete methods to reduce waste to bring to our Governor and State Board and Districts

Leave aside Unions and other elements of the education establishment. Be thick skinned. Allow those who are going to be hostile to input to open their hearts and make California education better.

Obama administration’s Race to the Top education improvement grants did nothing.

100 things in California’s education system which need to be made efficient:

First one: E.L. policies Assembly Bill 748 requires testing to measure ELD standards applied appropriately for students in each grade level. The Bill hoped to standardize English language arts content to ensure that limited-English proficient (LEP) students (now politically correctly renamed English learners in California) develop proficiency in English. The standards are supposed to assist teachers in moving English learners to fluency. The California English Language Development Test (CELDT) is a required state test for English language proficiency that must be given.

This is a behemoth of waste. The information gathering and testing forms change all the time. They are often outdated at the school site and expensive bar code forms tossed away. Some teachers might have 1 EL student a year and in another area they might have 12 or more. The teacher may score the student low on purpose in the start up to show improvement. There are special coordinators in each district. There are special employees to track the progress. Thousands of phone calls, hours of training. The teachers score a child on a scale that is vague and subjective. This is a paperwork monster. When the results finally return to the teacher so much time has gone by the teacher is already working with the child to get up to speed. The tools are broken.


Capistrano Teacher Strike Tomorrow

Teachers Strike Thursday
Call out the National Guard

My children are riled up. I am mad and sad about how District treated the Teachers and the students. This is going to happen not just in California but Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Illinois, Michigan…
We will all pay.

I say to my children, “keep your eye on the ball, you have your studies and sports just block your ears to the drama and march on.”

I don’t want my children to loose faith in our system. They need to find solutions for their generation and I pray they just may be stronger than you and I...

I found myself choking up when I spoke to teachers yesterday morning standing in front of Niguel Hills Middle School with my sign. Yes I was on the picket line. I’m not a Teacher. I did cry later in my car. My sign isn’t about TRUSTees or RECALL its pragmatic and a plan. My white cardboard : SELL THE TAJ MAHAL. We as citizens not must tell all our Districts, all our representatives we have had enough.

A good General does not take away food and shoes from the soldier on the front line.

 The great State of California is near bankrupt. California is broken. We have pushed taxed, legislated away and restricted business so much they left. Hypomesus transpacificus (a little fish)  caused a new Dust Bowl in Central California. I know the Sacramento smelt is endangered but let's see the real picture. Now a number of other birds, animals, and fish will die because all the top soil is blowing away and the marsh lands are cracked bone dry.

Get real. Bureaucracy must be cut in size, dollar amount and endless legal foolishness. Citizens must be willing to volunteer and go without. I  tire of “special interest groups.” A vague phrase but it means someone thinks they are special and deserve a separate kingdom deal.

A few years ago I followed Dr. Fleming dropping off his grandchildren at Crown Valley (my son’s same school)

I asked our then Superintendant of Capistrano School District, “Why do we need such a large building for 250 employees?”

“Because they deserve a nice workplace.”

The word: DESERVE, it rang in my head like a marble in a goldfish bowl... or smelt bowl perhaps I ought to be farming them. The gesture with palm out, give me something great because I am entitled attitude.

   The old District offices (years later are still occupied by the District and never were sold or sublet i.e.: WASTE) weren’t in a gorgeous location. The buildings were adequate not great. The District offices had citronella eucalyptus trees that smelled of lemons  when the bows gently moved in the wind. The wash behind the structures was pretty in the spring with wildflowers and smooth stones . I run that path down to the beach. The buildings were older and industrial looking but at the time they were fine.

I am certain it is the same in every District. There is fat. The pay scale of a secretary starting at $ 67000.00 is wrong. The teacher on the front line start pay is much less. There is some secret revolving door in the District where a burn out is put in Administration

California has massive waste in the duplication of Districts. We have local city funded schools (the rich ones) and state funded schools (now the poor ones) and Charters and special interest ones also state funded and a and a. Eight hundred Districts need to merge into one hundred. Many administrators will be fired. It will be painful. I do not see a leader strong enough to get all the special interest whining out of the way and cut the blubber.

It is far easier for a District to cut the health benefits and pay of the soldier/the teacher on the front line.Weak leaders do it. I fear the teachers will not be able to make an impact with a three day strike. They can’t go long because they don’t have huge savings. Teachers are generally not the type to be aggressive and strategic. If the strike goes long the District will find a way to fire all the rabble rousers and hire cheaper new faces out of the what 15% unemployed in California

Maybe my sign should have said “Fired Teacher needs ten dollars?"


Commercial Building (Correction) Palace Half Price

Dear Ms Bryson:

CC: Governor Schwarzenegger

I have two students in Capo District schools. I have numerous concerns about how the Board has handled negotiations and Now the District fails our children.

Allow me to go over a few ideas:

Our state is junk bond status.   All state funded school districts must cut

It makes NO sense to start at the first line of combat soldier and shoot him in the leg.

Teachers are the life line to educating, developing and leading our next generation to be great.

Teachers don't make a great deal of money and usually are in it for the vocation.

Cutting their pay is not going to balance the State wide shortfall of funds.


Consolidate Districts- Centralize District offices

Lay off duplications in staff

Sell off half of the brick and mortar District offices in the state.

Put a sign on the Taj Mahal 33122 Valle Road

I know it cost more than forty two million to build but has excessive square footage for the

Number of employees who work there and a symbol of waste. Put a sign on the building for

$ 30,000,000. now and contact Saddleback and other local districts which are state funded

To start negotiations to combine with a contiguous district.

Capistrano Unified School District is the second largest school district in Orange County, California, the 12th largest in California and the 85th largest in the United States.
There are about 250 employees in the Valle building who make each more than $ 67000. and
a tiny smaller number of employees in Saddleback. All employees will be allowed to apply for the new combined district jobs without tenure and based on employment testing models, and job reviews that I pray you have completed. We don't need to hire a new superintendant- keep Steven Fish for 2011 at his same salary.

Cost savings so far $ 47 million

Legal fees, lawsuits, attorney fees, special education mediators, all the businesses that profit from taking away from students need to have caps on the costs. This is a much bigger issue which a District can not change, but can influence by holding the line and saying no to forking cash, aids and fix-its without looking at the whole.

Our population of students/ children is going to decline in the coming decade as there is no more
Open land for development. Our tax basis is going to continue to fall in the coming eight years as
Property tax revenues go down more, and more business leave the State.
Be nimble but -Don't put in junky mobile home classrooms which have a life of 5 years (after being tread on
by thousands of high school students these structures don't last and are wasteful).

Keep classrooms clean, free of vermin and safe.

There are four vacant District buildings that I am aware of, why have those not been sold?

Engage parents in volunteerism. Lead parents in fundraising that could target projects not just be
Put in a black hole. Ask parents to help you. My hand is raised asking what you need.

Get back to the bargaining table. The 2100 teachers and their families don't want a strike, but they deserve to be treated fairly in the workplace. I want my senior to be able to graduate. My younger child in Middle School needs to believe in a system that works together and creates solutions.

I pray you will find a different method.


School Districts Need to Centralize

Capistrano Teachers voted to strike. How this will play out, has yet to unfold.

Does the District have any plan to keep students learning?  
They plan to hire private security services ( at a huge cost) to corral high school
students into large groups and hope they will sit and read from their books.

Does the District have any realistic plans to cut their own bureaucracy?
Centralizing Districts is the only logical conclusion. Combined organizational structures, 
centralize procedures, sell and dispose of duplicate buildings and lead schools like a

Orange County Children



Numbers of foreclosures in Orange County have slowed. The percentage is so small it can not be determined to be a real trend as of this date


Laguna Niguel Planning

City of Laguna Niguel
City Council
Joe Brown
Gary Capata
Paul G Glaab
Linda Lindholm
Robert Ming

My City Manager sent me a letter asking that I provide input on meeting my existing and emerging needs. I assume he was unhappy about something I wrote in the Register regarding “The City Council has no fiscal responsibility and should stop all construction on the over budget, unnecessary palace and sell the land.” California faces junk bond status. Our City tax revenues are crashing. There are major budget cuts
for our teachers next it will be fire and police.

The multicolored embossed letter offers a link to

BUT the link doesn’t work. The link actually directs you to a Canadian lottery to win
a Ford Mustang. I welcome all to have at it and drive that Ford down from Dawson City in Northern Canada.

In response to your lovely letter, I expect you to spend money as if it was being borrowed from your Grandmother who survived The Great Depression. We have now repaired the median on Golden Lantern with lush landscaping and new traffic design four times in three years, and the road appears about the same. We do need to pay our teachers, firemen, Sherriff the same salary they have become accustomed. I stand by my plan to join a Tri-City merger of all duplicated services.

Thank you for asking for my input. If I win the Mustang please donate it to a raffle to gather the funding we need for schools.

Goldman Sachs Wrote Banking Bill?

Rally the troops.
Obama calls America to rage mighty fists up against Wall Street.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner encited politicians and Americans
to wage a "just war" of reforming the banking sector.
Senator Christopher Dodd leads the charge;
but (in the background Goldman Sachs).

Obama honors Dodd, for financial regulatory reform.
Did he give a Saint Crispian Day Speech?

 Gilda Radner, God rest her beautiful soul, would say in character.
 ‘nevermind’ America is busy watching Dancing with the Stars.

Mr Geithner, is handsome enough to be one of the next dancing partners.
It might improve the listening audience to hear about exactly where Wall Street is today.

"Rather proclaim it,'MARKET MAKERS', through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,

And crowns for convoy put into his purse;

We would not die in that man’s company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian."

Henry V ( 1599) by William Shakespeare


Capistrano School Students Strike

My budget cut ideas:

There are 329 Unified Districts, 561 Elementary 88 High School and

76 other. Some are State funded some are local tax based.

These could be consolidated and reduce average district administrative salary $67000 average superintendant. $ 137000 and cut salaries and buildings in half or more. I could cut $ 30 million in two months

For example Let us sell the $ 38 million + dollar Taj Mahal palace that houses less than 250 employees of the Capo District for $2o million. A good leader could assess which employees are the best and Capo moves into Saddleback offices by Fall of next year. This would be state wide and rolling closures.

Special Education needs a big haircut. I know this is unpopular but special interest groups, Mediators, Lawyers and "numbered Plans" have created a monster whereby a student is given sometimes two full time aids to follow them around school and tag team.

If we don't cut we are doomed.

Taking 10% from a teacher's paycheck is not how a financially savvy CEO would slash.

California is going to face junk bond ratings and be bankrupt.

I am not keeping my children home tomorrow. I am going to stand with a sign with Arnold's phone number (916) 445-2841 and will someone please post the phone numbers for the board members- maybe all parents need to call and tell them to put the building up for sale today.

If the Board is so wasteful to hire guards with guns they had better all quit. That is the quickest method to start a riot.

Why has the Board failed to ask parents to come down and stand up peacefully to make certain our children are safe? I will come, I will get my neighbor and my Mother – Capo Board of Trustees you need to take some classes on negotiating before you hire guns.

Laguna Lap Band Surgi & Medical Marijuana Kiosk

CNBC and Ben Bernanke say the Recession is over. The stock market is 11017 today.

I don’t buy the Great Recession label it is the trough of the second Depression. I try to keep it positive and find solutions and maybe this sounds crazy but kiosks for what Americans are buying maybe could keep us afloat?

I just don’t buy it. Just as I won’t buy Dior, Gaultier, or Prada right now. Orange County retail has not come back. It’s not the disaster that residential is because landlords and banks aren’t evicting major tenants. ICSC states statistics of less than seven percent vacancy but I drive Pacific Coast Highway daily and I see about 20% of the storefronts with “for lease” signs. Those vacancy blemishes are even seen by the Irvine Company and Koll Company.

For example: restaurants. I thank heaven my favorites are still open: Jack’s in Dana Point, Dizz’s, the Splashes Bar, Sapphire, and Mayur are all still active and serving wonderful meals. However, my personal best list does not include the sector most likely to survive (which is anywhere that sells lunch and a drink for under five dollars). In about a year more than one hundred restaurants have closed in Orange County. I am sure I missed some so please comment and add your input.

1. Champagnes Newport Beach

2. Finbars Italian Kitchen in Rancho Santa Margarita

3. Sandella’s Flatbread Bakery in Aliso Viejo

4. Brea closures: Carvao Grill, Club 330, Market City Cafe.

5. Irvine-based Juice it Up Woodbury Town Center

6. Train Wreck Pizza‎, Los Alamitos,

7. The Front Porch BBQ in Huntington Beach

8. Fatburger, Quiznos and Extreme Pizza Trabuco

9. Quiznos in Westminster, Fullerton Tustin Orange

10. Yogen Fruz in Brea

11. Baja Fresh in Newport Beach at The Bluffs

12. Jody Maroni’s at The Block in Orange

13. Piccomolo Italian Ice Cream sWoodbury Town Center.

14. Lakeview Cafe in Placentia,

15. Fusion Roll and Sushi Costa Mesa.

16. The Carl’s Jr. Fountain Valley

17. Quiznos in Santa Ana,

18. Pacific Whey Cafe Ladera Ranch.

19. Haute Links in Irvine and Lake Forest

20. Sandbox Sports Bar in Huntington Beach

21. Bill’s Burgers 2 storesSanta Ana

22. 5 MaggieMoo’s ice cream shops)

23. Westbay Cafe Huntington Beach

24. TCBY (frozen yogurt) in Laguna Niguel

25. Greek Garden Grill in Orange

26. The Arches, a Newport Beach institution

27. Ho-Toy’s Chinese Cuisine in Trabuco Canyon

28. Peet’s Coffee in Anaheim Hills

29. Daphne’s Greek Cafe at the Orange and Santa Ana

30. The Beach House in Dana Point,

31. Cold Stone Creamery in Santa Ana

32. McDonald’s closes at Fashion Island

33. Waters Restaurant and Mezzanine Restaurant, both in Irvine

34. Lugatti’s Italian Grill in Huntington Beach

35. Champps in Irvine

36. The Pleasant Peasant

37. Topz in Santa Ana and Orange

38. Red Mango Fullerton and Laguna Niguel.

39. The Juice it Up Irvine

40. Johnny Rockets in Lake Forest

41. Carl’s Jr. Fullerton

42. Sumo Sushi Irvine

43. Bliss Froyo in Orange

44. The Black Angus Fullerton

45. Cold Stone Creamery Orange

46. Golden Spoon Yogurt s

47. Bistro West Tustin

48. The Wicked Garden Dana Point

49. Table Ten Fullerton

50. Mel’s Drive-in in Seal Beach

51. Jason’s Downtown Restaurant

52. Beach Berries in Costa Mesa

53. Burger King Laguna Niguel

54. Yum Yum Costa Mesa.

55. Wienerschnitzel in Mission Viejo

56. Go Roma at Tustin

57. The Clubhouse at South Coast Plaza

58. Via de France at The Shops in Mission Viejo

59. Vessia Ristorante in Irvine

60. Pasta Pomodoro in Huntington

61. Charo Chicken Irvine

62. Contodo Mexican Grill

63. Z Pizza in Foothill Ranch.

64. Mesa Grill in Santa Ana

65. Bob’s Kabob in Foothill Ranch

66. Sushi 5 Tustin,

67. Stella Cafe in Corona del Mar

68. Baja Fresh in Anaheim Hills.

69. Dickey’s BBQ in Irvine

70. Gen Kai Dana Point- fire?Red Robin Stanton

71. Baja Fresh in Santa Ana

72. Blue Coral Seafood & Spirits in Fashion Island noone seems to make it in that pad-

73. Karuta Restaurant in Buena Park,

74. Brea Mall :;Arby’s , Volcano Tea House, Teriyaki Palace.

75. Purplefeet Dana Point

76. East Avenue Bistro in Tustin

77. Blue Fish in Santa Ana has

78. Mustard Cafe Mission Viejo and Orange.

79. Cask ‘n Cleaver Orange,

80. Starbucks in Brea

81. Haru Izakaya in Tustin

82. Shore House Cafe in Huntington Beach and San Clemente

83. Gen Kai in Irvine

84. Peking Garden in Orange h

85. Savannah Supper Club in Costa Mesa

86. Yamabuki Anaheim

87. Thai Spice in Lake Forest

88. Wendy’s at Foothill Ranch

89. Cherry Berry Lake Forest

90. Juice it Up Anaheim i.

91. R&D Deli Grill & Catering in Lake Forest

92. Black Angus Lake Forest and Tustin

93. Izakaya Zero, Huntington Beach,

94. Islands, Laguna Hills.

95. Kona,Sunset Beach,

96. East Avenue Bistro in Tustin

97. Bobby McGee’s in Brea.

98. Ono Ono Hawaiian Barbecue in Rancho Santa Margarita.

99. Fresca’s Mexican Grill i Foothill Ranch

100. Sizzler in San Juan Capistrano

101. Juice it Up and Pasta Bravo Market Place in Irvine)

102. Hof’s Hut in Orange

103. Raku Raku Lake Forest.

104. Triple S restaurant in Tustin .

105. Mama and Papa’s New York Pizza in Fullerton

106. Alvarado’s Kitchen in Anaheim Hills is closed,

107. Bristol Farms,

108. Aldo’s Ristorante in Orange

109. El Torito Grill in Mission Viejo

So where does this lead me? What businesses will survive? Laguna Beach and San Clemente are against national chain brands entering their markets. The national brands looking to expand are those such as Bed Bath and Beyond and Discount Retailers. As much as my teenage son would support a Game Stop store in Laguna, I just don’t see it ever getting through the planning commission. My teens have always been the best stock pickers and crystal ball economists. .My eldest teen Blair could have told you Rock & Republic was out of style twenty four months ago. Perhaps our City Planning might consider a sporting goods supply (not surf but baseball football and teen boys sports clothing) and a small version of Forever 21? If they don’t we are going to be seeing billboards for LAP Band surgery centers and Medical Marijuana Doctor stores. Perhaps we can put them in kiosks or mobile homes and disguise them just for tax basis?  All written with a light heart to brainstorm solutions.


Courage America

Fear in America. President Truman said, and I apologize as I mis-quote, "America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand."

I don't see Leadership inspiring courage today. Obama reads the letter from a young miner just days before the tragedy and repeats the lamplight prayer. He shakes his finger that we will get to the bottom of this. The next post is the bevy of legal experts who estimate settlement dollars. How ugly are we to send news crews to the funerals?

Our Administration on all political sides has become afraid of wealth and afraid of commerce. The Leadership tells us to trust them; they will get to the bottom of this and regulate every aspect of our lives.

I am sorry but work is hard. Creating, building, selling, inventing does not happen when you nap comfortably at the country club pool. The job in front of us is to buckle down, work twice as smart, and reach our hand to pull up our neighbors ( I mean our neighbors in the United States). Bring me inspiration, grant me bravery, God Bless America.


WHAT the .... is a CDO?

What will these guys say?
Will America be listening?
"James L. Should have let us go broke?"

Chuck Prince says today he didn't really understand CDO's
"Without the CDO losses, which totaled $30 billion over six quarters, Citigroup might have performed as well as any other bank during the financial crisis," Mr. Prince my heart goes out to you that you didn't sell your CIT stock at the high, just as I lost my pension in the Federal take-over of Wamu.

Mine Government's survey says:

  1. Complex loan products that consumers didn’t understand ( Americans were to dumb to read)

  2. Credit ratings failed to show the risks contained in subprime-backed securities ( FICO can be monekyed with and Moody's is and was out of touch with reality it wasn't Alt A or subprime that brought us down it was guys who bought toys with the inflated value of their homes) 

  3. .Lack of incentives for institutional investors to check- THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE REASON For FAILURE (they relied on the credit ratings; A 27 year old MBA pushed blocks of loans without having any- no make that ZERO training in the loan business. They had no clue that the most important thing is a face to face application whereby an employee meets and vouches for the real borrower- certify it was called)  

  4. Predatory lending and borrowing (this is a joke doing a loan to persons who are shakey or unworthy takes far more time to make up lies than honest mortgage banking. Borrowers got the scam ideas from advertisers who still run "get rich quick ads with real estate no money down just follow my tricks and pay for my seminar,"  its a cultural lie in America- we are  not entitled to win the lotto with no work ).

  5. Significant errors in the models used by credit rating agencies to assess subprime-backed securities.(Creative accounting/Models based on statistics that can be played with and modified. Harvard Business professors pontificated to students about such nonsense. Mathmatics Grad students repeated the corporate montra that any monkey can orginate a loan)
So what do you think they will say?

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BLACK MARIA day in West Virginia

  I’m the great granddaughter and granddaughter of a Pennsylvania coal mining heritage. The Black Maria was the horse drawn wagon that pulled the dying or deceased from a mining accident. In a world dependant upon energy resources we know coal and shale mining are available minerals here in our home soil not dependant upon the volatility of the cartels in the Middle East or value of the Euro or even today the rising Canadian dollar from which we import crude at an increasing price.

   I hate taxes, but it is specific the taxes wasted on autocracy that does nothing but jabber and create regulation too late and targeted wrong. I ask who is working in a garage on some energy source which is here and recycled? Let’s spend a billion on developing and building a record find/ a real use in America.

   Dennis O’Dell speaks for the United Mine workers today and I can think of no words he can offer to the wives, the children, the loss of those who walk the parade behind the Black Maria today. May we all say a prayer for America to be strong and to seek answers.


Working on a story about the wooden bar in "Yee Mee Loo's" and the American Hotel.
Wondering if
some of my old Cooke's Crating Artists, musicians and writers
can offer some input if I send you a draft.


Carson's Batting average is something great.
There is nothing more thrilling than watching my son play.
He's on a ski trip right now and I miss the sound of those