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    1. Federal loans to OC businesses may have saved more than 700,000 jobs

      Federal loans to OC businesses may have saved more than 700,000 jobs
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      After the coronavirus pandemic wreaked disaster on businesses large and small, an emergency federal loan program was a lifeline for many, including more than 64,000 Orange County companies that received billions of dollars to help pay their expenses.

      Most importantly, the Paycheck Protection Program may have saved nearly 740,000 jobs here in the short term, according to newly released federal data.

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    2. Majority on O.C. School Board talk against masks, social distancing for next school year

      Majority on O.C. School Board talk against masks, social distancing for next school year
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      When the Orange County Board of Education met this week to talk about how schools should reopen from the coronavirus shutdown, one of the central subjects of the debate was conspicuously missing: facemasks.

      In a spacious room with at least 40 people – in front of an online audience that over the course of the evening grew to more than 700 – only one board member, Beckie Gomez, as well as county employees and a handful of attendees, wore facial coverings.

      All the missing masks aligned with the agenda set by the board’s conservative majority at its forum Wednesday night in Costa Mesa.

      Though the Orange County Department of Education recently released its official suggestions for how school districts should re-open – emphasizing guidance from public health sources – the board’s conservative majority wanted to discuss other ideas, emphasizing less social distancing and more traditional in-class education.

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    3. Kaiser begins reopening closed clinics in Orange County, starting with La Palma – Orange County Register

      Kaiser begins reopening closed clinics in Orange County, starting with La Palma – Orange County Register

      Kaiser Permanente is starting to re-open medical offices in Orange County that it shuttered in March, when the coronavirus pandemic was expected to swamp local hospitals.
      The company said this week that it reopened its medical office in La Palma to staff, and is preparing to let patients back to other temporarily shuttered local clinics.
      A few specialty departments at the La Palma clinic — ophthalmology, optometry, pediatrics and podiatry — opened Monday, June 8, and family medicine opened Wednesday, said Kaiser spokesman John Stratman.

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    4. OC leaders set guidelines to safely reopen businesses when time comes – Orange County Register

      OC leaders set guidelines to safely reopen businesses when time comes – Orange County Register

      Taking the temperature of employees arriving for work and making sure face masks are widely worn are among guidelines Orange County supervisors approved Tuesday, April 28, for safely reopening businesses once state closure orders are rescinded.

      Over the past couple weeks, board Chairwoman Michelle Steel and Supervisor Don Wagner conferred with a handful of representatives of industries, including restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues and healthcare providers, to draw up a list of seven rules that businesses will be expected to follow upon reopening to protect the health of employees, customers, vendors and the general public.

      Neither county nor state officials have given a date to reopen businesses, though they said progress has been made in limiting the spread of the coronavirus and rules could be loosened soon.

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    5. Despite coronavirus slowdowns, property taxes still due on April 10 – Orange County Register

      Despite coronavirus slowdowns, property taxes still due on April 10 – Orange County Register

      Bars are shuttered. Restaurants are open for takeout only. County offices are closed to the public.And while many are hunkered down in homes rather than going to work, one thing remains unchanged in the age of coronavirus: Property taxes still are due April 10.Tax collectors in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties all have issued notices saying they don’t have the power to waive the property tax deadline — even though tax offices are being closed to the public.But local officials will consider waiving late fees on a case-by-case basis for those unable to pay ...

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    6. Drive-thru coronavirus swabs start at two Orange County hospitals

      Drive-thru coronavirus swabs start at two Orange County hospitals

      A pair of hospitals in north Orange County are the first two local medical facilities to begin drive-thru swabbing for the novel coronavirus.

      The two sites on Monday, March 16, set up outdoor stations to swab the nose or throat of people seeking to be tested for the infection. Both facilities running the drive-thru testing are part of the Providence health system, but a spokesman for Providence would not confirm the locations.

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    7. Mission Hospital’s $80 million cancer institute opens in Mission Viejo

      Mission Hospital’s $80 million cancer institute opens in Mission Viejo

      An $80 million cancer institute Mission Hospital will give south Orange County patients an option for treatment closer to home.

      On Thursday, Nov. 7, the hospital is opening the first two floors of its four-story, 104,000-square-foot Leonard Cancer Institute.  Located across the street from Mission Hospital’s main campus and next to the Shops at Mission Viejo, the institute is the first cancer research and treatment facility based in south county, hospital officials said.

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    8. These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      These 10 new Orange County restaurants had the biggest buzz in 2019

      Forget the critics for five minutes. Here are the restaurants you were excited about in 2019. We took a look back at our digital analytics to find the 10 restaurant opening stories readers clicked on most and they ranged from food halls to ethnic eateries and steak houses.

      Lots of restaurants have opened since the first of the year, but some of the flashiest and fanciest didn’t even make this list. If you want to know which establishments were heavy hitters according to readers, here’s a recap of what local foodies were buzzing about this year.

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    9. California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California projected to have nation’s weakest housing markets in 2020

      California housing markets were voted “most likely to underperform” in a poll of market analysts.

      Zillow and Pulsenomics LLC asked more than 100 real estate gurus to predict what would occur in 2020 housing markets. Collectively, this group saw U.S. home values up 2.8%.

      As for 25 major local markets, those folks polled did not like what they saw in California, with the state home to five of the six U.S. metro areas with the poll’s worst outlooks. Here’s what was revealed …

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    10. Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019

      News Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s 100 top influencers for 2019 2019 Orange County Register 100 Most Influential. (Collage by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG) By Todd Harmonson | tharmonson@scng.com | Orange County Register PUBLISHED: December 23, 2019 at 8:50 am | UPDATED: December 24, 2019 at 7:14 am Influencers make their marks in Orange County in myriad ways.

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    11. Top Workplaces 2019: See the list of 140 Orange County honorees

      Top Workplaces 2019: See the list of 140 Orange County honorees

      More than 600 people from Orange County’s top companies and organizations turned out Thursday, Dec. 12 at City National Grove of Anaheim for the Orange County Register’s 12th annual Top Workplaces gala.

      The event honored 140 firms for their excellence at work.

      This year, 192 employers agreed to take the survey. Combined, they employ 38,586 people in Orange County. Of those employees who received questionnaires, 37,760 responded, either on paper or online.

      The list of all 140 winners:

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    12. California homeowners slashing asking prices at post-recession high – Orange County Register

      California homeowners slashing asking prices at post-recession high – Orange County Register

      Forget what’s fashionable in floor plans, decor or color palettes. This year’s hot housing flavor is something every house hunter can agree upon: a price discount.

      It seems the stagnant pace of homebuying in recent months — amid shaky economic news and geopolitical uncertainty — has made property owners painfully aware they’re overvaluing their homes. Thus, a faddish marketing tool has been employed and the price adjustment is back in style.

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    13. Here’s how Mission Viejo plans to find money to buy Casta del Sol Golf Course – Orange County Register

      Here’s how Mission Viejo plans to find money to buy Casta del Sol Golf Course – Orange County Register

      Mission Viejo  has about $8 million available in reserves that it could use to buy the Casta del Sol golf course and keep the property from being converted into other uses, such as housing, city officials said.

      Using money from reserves would let the city buy the course, priced at $13 million, without having to issue a bond and incur debt, City Attorney Bill Curley told the City Council at its Sept. 24 meeting. Council members largely spoke in favor of buying the course, but decided to wait until Oct. 8 to make a decision, saying they wanted more time for the public to weigh in.

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    14. High housing costs, homelessness still plague Orange County. Help needed in your own backyard

      High housing costs, homelessness still plague Orange County. Help needed in your own backyard

      Orange County has gotten older, smarter, more politically active and more prosperous in the past two years, an annual barometer of economic and civic life found.

      Family financial stability improved, as did third-grade performance and high school graduation rates. Opioid use declined slightly, resulting in fewer hospitalizations and fatal overdoses.

      But even in affluent, picturesque Orange County, one out of every eight residents lives in poverty, thousands are homeless and residents grapple with runaway housing costs.

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    15. Laguna Woods residents complain about the lack of co-op lenders

      Laguna Woods residents complain about the lack of co-op lenders

      Nearing bought a Laguna Woods co-op with her late husband in 2002, with financing by National Cooperative Bank, or NCB.
      Today, she owes less than $29,000 on a property worth about $200,000. If she could pull some of that equity out of her home, money wouldn’t be so tight.
      Linda Nearing (Photo by Jeff Lazerson)
      But NCB told Nearing she can’t qualify to refinance her home loan or take out a home equity line of credit.

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      Mentions: Local Business
    16. Bubble watch: Odds rise that Southern California home price start to drop – Orange County Register

      Bubble watch: Odds rise that Southern California home price start to drop – Orange County Register

      Numerous indexes offer context for a Fitch Ratings’ report that said appreciation was “slowing from a gallop to a trot.”

      For example, look at the Federal Housing Finance Agency price index for California. It rose at a 5.2% annual rate in the first quarter. That’s no loss but it’s also far below the 16.7% pace seen in 2014. Please note, these are the smallest gains in seven years.

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    17. OC Fair 2019: Here is what you need to know about hours, getting discounts, entering competitions and all the fun – Orange County Register

      OC Fair 2019: Here is what you need to know about hours, getting discounts, entering competitions and all the fun – Orange County Register

      News Local News OC Fair 2018: Here is what you need to know about hours, getting discounts, entering competitions and all the fun By Heather McRea | hmcrea@scng.com | Orange County Register 5:24 5:25 pm The 2018 OC Fair will again feature a large midway section with carnival games and rides. (Register file photo) Winning a prize at the OC Fair is always a fun challenge.

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    18. April homebuying: Home prices up, sales flat in Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano – Orange County Register

      April homebuying: Home prices up, sales flat in Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Juan Capistrano – Orange County Register

      Purchases in and around Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and San Juan Capistrano fell a mere 1 percent in April vs. a year earlier. Real estate tracker CoreLogic found these 14 trends in 8 ZIP codes covered by the Orange County Register’s Saddleback News weekly

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    19. Southern California ranked 25th worst place to live. Or 101st best!

      Southern California ranked 25th worst place to live. Or 101st best!

      The five-county Southern California metropolitan area was ranked as the 25th worst region to live in the nation — or the 101st best, depending on one’s perspective — by U.S. News & World Report. The area encompassing Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties placed between Baton Rouge, La., and Toledo, Ohio.

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    20. So far, California has 6,000 licensed cannabis businesses. Here’s what that looks like – Orange County Register

      So far, California has 6,000 licensed cannabis businesses. Here’s what that looks like – Orange County Register

      Quick, guess which California county is home to the most legal cannabis farms?

      If you said Humboldt or Mendocino or Trinity — the counties that make up Northern California’s famed Emerald Triangle, long said to supply perhaps 60 percent or more of all cannabis consumed in the United States — you’d be wrong.

      Santa Barbara County and cities in its boundaries have received 799 permits to grow marijuana — 14 percent more than Humboldt County, according to CalCannabis, a division of the Department of Agriculture that oversees licenses for cultivators.

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    21. Southern California recession? Not in next two years, says this forecast

      (File photo)

      The regional economic cooling doesn’t mean Southern California’s business climate will be in a deep freeze any year soon.
      That the conclusion of the latest forecast from economists at Cal State Fullerton who see a regional, statewide and national slowdown in growth generated by what’s become an extended economic expansion since the Great Recession ended in 2010.

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