In Search of Local Art

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An intriguing artists' collaborative, Downtown Sol, sits at 3rd and C Streets in Oxnard. On display is the work of Mexican, Indian, Peruvian and many local artists, including jewelry, dolls, rebozos, paintings, sculptures, blankets, embroidery, and oil candles made by owner Marisa Lopez. Although handcrafted, it's surprisingly affordable. 



Lopez frequently hears patrons comment that they had no idea it was there.





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Thank You So Much

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Thank you!

Management and I have parted ways.

I resigned from the Star today.

I just want to thank all of you who read my blog.

I hope I did a good job.

God Bless,

Raul

Attorney Claims Elton John's Lyricist Wasn't Intoxicated When Stopped by Cops

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Santa Ynez Valley resident Bernie Taupin and lyricist for Elton John was arrested on May 5, according to published reports.

California Highway Patrol spokesperson John Ortega, said Taupin, 63, was driving his 2010 Ford pickup truck eastbound on Roblar Avenue when he tried to turn into a private driveway. He failed to navigate the turn and backed up, but wound up colliding with a wooden fence. No one was hurt in the accident, according to reports.

In a press release, Genis stated: "Mr. Taupin's vehicle became disabled on the side of the road. There is no evidence nor any witness to establish who the driver was at the time, stated in a press release.

Genis stated that Tupin was summoning AAA when the first of five police cars, and an even greater number of actual officers arrived.  (Santa Barbara) Officers told the Taupins they would assist with the disabled vehicle.  Instead, they launched into a DUI investigation disregarding the fact that they did not know (or have an eye witness) as to who was driving the vehicle when it became stationary alongside the barbed wire fence, according to Genis.

  

Furthermore, Genis stated these events took place after sundown on a very dark, unlit road, and Mr. Taupin suffers from night vision problems as well as hearing loss.  Police may have misconstrued his hearing and night vision difficulties as signs of intoxication.

 

According to Genis, the incident has received unnecessary attention, and, in the upcoming weeks, Mr. Taupin and his family anticipate that his elected official (District Attorney Joyce Dudley) will exercise the good judgment she has learned over the years and months and uncover the truth of this matter: he was not DUI, and that he did not have a proscribed blood alcohol level at all.  No drugs were involved, and it will be established that any alcohol levels will be insignificant and below the legal limit.

 

Recent Law Grads Going Solo, says magazine article

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Check out this article titled "When Recent Grads Go Solo" by Elise Craig from the Daily Journal Corporation and Published in this month's California Lawyer Magazine.

Here is the first paragraph of the article:

San Francisco attorney Aaron Dawson didn't expect to set up a solo practice straight out of law school, but after graduating from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2011 and taking both the California and Oregon state bar exams, that's exactly what he found himself doing. "There are two reasons," he says. "The first is that I like the idea of being in control of all my own clients and cases. The second is that there was an utter lack of jobs."

Today's Quote

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"What a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away." - Doobie Brothers

Kentucky Man Gets 110 years in Federal Prison for Producing Child Porn

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BOWLING GREEN, KY--A man was sentenced to 110 years in prison, followed by a lifetime of supervised release for enticing and coercing two girls under 5 years of age to engage in sexually explicit conduct so he could make child pornography,  according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Tony Edwin Davis, 50, of Campbellsville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty on February 5, 2013, to a 15-count federal grand jury indictment that charged him with production and possession of child pornography.

The 14 incidents involving the victims happened between Dec. 18, 2009 and Nov. 28, 2010, authorities stated.

 "Today's sentence of 110 years in a federal prison without parole should send a stark message. We are committed to fighting child exploitation and to holding accountable those who would prey upon and harm young children," stated U.S. Attorney David Hale.


Customs Seizes Elephant Meat, a Dead Primate and Other Animal Skins Taken from Endangered Species

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LOS ANGELES--  Within four days, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly half a pound of elephant meat and a dead primate at Los Angeles International Airport, federal officials said today.

Also seized were 387 snake, lizard and crocodile skin handbags taken from passengers arriving from Nigeria at the airport, officials stated.

On May 10, the prohibited, dead (Macaque) primate that was declared as a gift from Indonesia and addressed to North Port, Florida was seized, according to authorities.

On May 9, the elephant meat, an endangered Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species or CITES protected wildlife species from Thailand and destined to Fresno, California was seized.

On May 6, authorities stated that the declared purses, made of prohibited reptile and CITES protected animal skins including 98 of African rock pythons, 19 of monitor lizards, 85 of dwarf crocodiles as well as 179 of cobras and 6 of puff adder snakes, were found during a baggage inspection of a 31-year-old male passenger.

All seized items were turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more information on Endangered Species:

 

  http://www.cites.org/eng/disc/what.php.

 

Texas' Death Row Has 498 Names of Inmates Executed Since 1982

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The state of Texas seems to have an express lane for prison inmates who are on death row.

The state puts information through the Texas Department of Corrections' web site about inmates its executed. There are 498 names listed since 1982.

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/dr_executed_offenders.html

The web site also has other death row information including scheduled executions and women on death row.

http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/stat/index.html

I recall that Texas also had information on the web site about last-meal requests by death row inmates.

But the state did away with special last-meal requests in September 2011 after condemned prisoner Lawrence Russell Brewer requested a huge last meal and did not eat any of it, saying that he wasn't hungry, according to published reports.

The 44-year-old Brewer ordered two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos.

Also a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas, a meat-lover's pizza (topped with pepperoni, ham, beef, bacon and sausage); one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root beers, according to published reports.

The tradition of customized meals began in Texas in 1924.

Brewer wasn't hungry and apparently didn't have much to say minutes before he was executed, according to state officials.

"No, I have no final statement," Brewer told the warden.

Brewer, a racist, was convicted in the murder of a 49-year-old handicapped black man in Jasper County.  Brewer and two other racist co-defendants tortured the victim before he was killed.

 

 

Georgia State Representative Indicted for Misappropriating from Charity

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ATLANTA--A federal grand jury indictment issued last week charges State Representative Tyrone Brooks, Sr. of misappropriating almost $1 million in charitable funds from Universal Humanities, a charity he founded in 1990, and the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office

 "Mr. Brooks exploited two charitable organizations for his own personal financial gain which came at the expense of the intended beneficiaries of the charitable donations. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who use charitable organizations for their personal gain," said Veronica Hyman-Pillot, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. "Mr. Brooks defrauded not only the donors but also the American taxpayer by evading his tax obligations. Tax compliance should and must be equally shared among all Americans."

Federal Officials said Brooks, 67, of Atlanta, Georgia, was charged by a federal grand jury in a 30-count indictment that includes charges of mail, wire, and tax fraud.

The indictment charges that, from the mid-1990s through 2012, Brooks solicited contributions from individuals and corporate donors to combat illiteracy and fund other charitable causes, but then used the money to pay personal expenses for himself and his family.

Cafe Chavalos

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Recommended Viewing:

The documentary, Café Chavalos, is about poor street kids who are involved  with gangs and drugs and how a restaurant in Granada, Nicaragua changes their lives.

It is a story about hope.


The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at rhernandez@vcstar.com.