Author: The Argonaut

Woman who posed as att’y pleads ‘no contest’ to charges

Anita Laureen Clark pleaded no contest to ten criminal charges, including six counts of grand theft, in a settlement reached with prosecutors in Santa Monica Superior Court Tuesday, June 8th. The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office had filed a total of 46 counts against Clark in a paralegal fraud scheme involving 35 different alleged victims. The city alleged that Clark posed as an attorney and bilked dozens of “clients” out of nearly $50,000. In other cases, the city alleged that Clark said she was a paralegal, but then performed “attorney services” and performed those services “incompetently.” As a result, the “consequences” were “disastrous” for the victims in their divorce, immigration and bankruptcy cases, the city alleged. Two of the victims had allegedly paid Clark more than $7,000 each. “This case sends a clear message to consumers with legal problems,” said deputy city attorney Adam Radinsky. “If you try to save money by hiring a non-attorney, beware. They are breaking the law if they perform lawyer-like services without a supervising attorney,” Radinsky said. Clark was released from Los Angeles County Jail Tuesday, June 8th, after being locked up for 33 days for violating the terms of her bail. She was released after paying an initial $5,000 to the City Attorney’s Office to go towards the victims’ restitution. Clark’s sentence includes: – five years of formal probation; – three years in...

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Berger/Jones/Stein and King of Spain races fill Santa Monica Bay

The Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce would have been proud. It was the kind of weekend that vacation brochures write about and why Southern California — especially Marina del Rey — is experiencing a booming housing market. Where else would you want to live? Or vacation? If you were lucky enough to know someone with a boat or if you have one of your own, this was the weekend to go sailing (or motoring, if you must). On Saturday, June 12th, shorts and T-shirts were the uniform of the day as cruising and racing boats headed out the Marina main channel. Not everyone was racing. There were quite a number of women’s teams out practicing for the upcoming Women On Water! (WOW!) Regatta coming Saturday and Sunday, July 10th and 11th. Out in the bay, California Yacht Club was putting on its annual King of Spain Regatta for the International Star class. Del Rey Yacht Club and Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club were starting one of the two concluding races of the William Berger and Mac Jones Performance Handicap racing Fleet and the Ocean Racing Catamaran Associations (PHRF/ORCA) and the Bill Stein Cruiser races. At their start, the Berger/Jones/Stein group — ten classes in all — encountered the beginnings of whitecaps signifying nine or so knots of breeze for their 36-nautical mile race to Catalina Island. Actually, the...

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Third-grader wins poetry contest

Third-grader Andrew Weitz of Westchester has been honored by the Weekly Reader for submitting a poem it describes as “one of the ten best in the nation” in a nationwide contest that saw over a thousand submissions. “The contest gave students a great opportunity to express themselves through poetry,” said Weekly Reader Edition 3 associated editor Rachelle Kreisman. “We received so many wonderful poems. It wasn’t easy choosing the top ten.” The winning students are having their work published on the Weekly Reader Web site, and will receive T-shirts and copies of the World Almanac for Kids. Andrew’s poem follows: Spring Spring is the season when petals of love bloom with redeeming grace, because in the flowers, there’s a sweet nectar, which holds a generous, forgiving...

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County Supervisors OK temporary Mothers Beach smoking ban

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, June 15th, to ban smoking at Mothers Beach in Marina del Rey, as well as the other beach under county jurisdiction, Topanga Beach near Malibu. The ban is part of a pilot program approved by three of the five county supervisors and is expected to go into effect sometime next week and run through Wednesday, September 15th. Supervisor Don Knabe, who represents the local area, was not present for voting on the ban, which was authored by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Supervisor Gloria Molina abstained. Yaroslavsky was quoted as saying he didn’t want the two beaches under the county’s jurisdiction to be the only places between Ventura County and Orange County where smoking is permitted. Santa Monica approved a smoking ban on Santa Monica Beach in April, as did the City of Los Angeles for its four beaches, including Dockweiler in Playa del Rey and Venice...

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Youths paint murals for Virginia Ave. Park

Students from Edison, Grant, McKinley and Rogers Elementary Schools, as well as older youths from the Police Activities League and the Pico Youth and Family Center — teamed up with artist Ruby Mandanero to produce seven murals for Virginia Avenue Park. The elementary schools are part of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and the Police Activities League and the Pico Center are community programs of the City of Santa Monica. Mandanero, a Santa Monica artist, donated her time to work on the murals. Painting activities were held during CREST after-school program time. CREST is the city Child Care, Recreation, Enrichment, Sports, Together program. A reception for the young painters was held Thursday, June 17th, at Edison Elementary School. The murals are five-by-six feet and will be installed along the Virginia Avenue Park construction fence. Murals depict the farmers market, new park equipment, a Pico Center music studio and other park...

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