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Tag: "sentence"

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Let’s Keep Our Communities Safe

Let’s Keep Our Communities Safe

  “The most dangerous social experiment of our generation.” That is how Newport Beach Police Chief Jay Johnson describes the state “realignment” program to release state prisoners back to local jails and supervised community release. Faced with court-mandated requirements to reduce prison populations, Gov. Jerry Brown and the state legislature enacted AB 109 that mandated […]

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Computer Smarts Put to First Test

Computer Smarts Put to First Test

By Rita Robinson | LB Indy Every fifth-grade student at El Morro Elementary School will fire up a personal computer on April 7 to take the first computer-based test of new state academic teaching standards known as the Common Core. No more paper, No. 2 pencils or best-guess multiple-choice questions here. The statewide pilot tests […]

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Dragna Found Guilty in Nicholson Murder

Dragna Found Guilty in Nicholson Murder

After deliberating less than six hours, a jury last week found Matthew Thomas Dragna guilty of the 2009 bludgeoning-murder of Damon Nicholson in his Laguna Beach apartment. The jury’s verdict, convicting Dragna of one felony count of special circumstances murder during a robbery, was announced in Santa Ana’s Central Justice Center late Friday, Dec. 20 […]

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Trial in Nicholson's Murder Underway

Trial in Nicholson’s Murder Underway

The defense attorney for a Lake Forest man accused in the bludgeoning-murder of Laguna Beach resident Damon Nicholson told a Superior Court jury that an accomplice was responsible for the deadly attack during his opening statement on Wednesday. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 23, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder committed during the […]

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Jailed Suspect Faces Trial in ’09 Murder

Jailed Suspect Faces Trial in ’09 Murder

Opening statements are expected Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the trial of a Lake Forest man suspected in the bludgeoning-murder of a Laguna Beach resident in 2009, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 23, charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery, faces a maximum sentence […]

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Unlocking Children’s Desire to Excel

Unlocking Children’s Desire to Excel

By Kate Rogers, Special to the Independent The most recent Coffee Break provided parents a simple and powerful tool for transforming their children’s learning experience from one of anxiety to one of excitement and success. Emily Diehl, of Mindworks, described the research-based thesis of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, which holds that children enjoy learning when […]

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Wisdom Workout: The Prison of Indifference

Wisdom Workout: The Prison of Indifference

 Many of us are incarcerated in a mental prison that is comprised of bricks of self-condemnation fashioned from our perceived mistakes, regrets, guilts and resentments. The mortar of harsh judgments from others, whether persons or institutions, who we imbued with power and authority over our basic self-esteem, holds the prison walls in place. The job […]

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Deception by Omission

Deception by Omission

Editor: As you know, local resident and active community volunteer Gene Felder purchases a weekly advertisement space in your newspaper, in which he regularly communicates his (right-slanted) political views. In this past week’s paper, Mr. Felder published a two-sentence excerpt from a speech President Obama delivered recently.  By editing the full quote cleverly, Mr. Felder […]

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Woman Arraigned in Collision Death

Woman Arraigned in Collision Death

Leslie Juarez, 27, of Laguna Beach, was arraigned Tuesday in the death of a motorcyclist and injury of another motorist, the district attorney’s office announced. A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 2. Juarez is charged with vehicular manslaughter, causing great bodily injury, and driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

Reading is a pleasure that I’ve enjoyed since I was a child.

My mother was unable to say no to door-to-door salespeople and as a result we had an entire series of encyclopedia’s that came with a bonus set of fairy tales from many different lands.

I devoured them. I would close the door to my room; lay out 25 cents worth of candy that I bought from the local candy store with part of my allowance, and dive into the stories.

Hours were spent with characters that faced dangerous challenges that required tapping into their instinctual wisdom and finding the courage to make the right choices.

There were gross punishments for greed, hatred, meanness, stupidity and laziness. True love and happily-ever-after came in surprising and gratifying ways for the heroes and terrible consequences for the wicked, the cruel, the selfish and those that lacked kindness and compassion for the downtrodden.

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Rug Merchant Charged With Multiple Sex Offenses

Rug Merchant Charged With Multiple Sex Offenses

Rug merchant Saeid Boustanabadi Maralan was charged by Orange County prosecutors Tuesday with the sexual assault of four women, including forcible rape, and showing pornography to a minor in the downtown Laguna Beach rug store he manages. Maralan, 33, was required to register as a sex offender in 2002, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for […]

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Wisdom Workout

Wisdom Workout

 Stepping Courageously into the Future The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club, located on St. Ann’s Drive, is in a creative mode. They’ve added a free monthly speaker series. The events are both free and easy. No long night meetings or early morning appointments. No expensive lunch dates. The intent of this noon meet-up that happens on […]

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Guilty Plea In Teen Stabbing

Guilty Plea In Teen Stabbing

A Laguna Beach teen-ager pleaded guilty this week to stabbing a former classmate and assaulting the victim’s friends last year following a dispute aired on Facebook.   Michael Jason Wilson, 17, who was charged as an adult and thus fully identified in the proceedings, entered his plea July 11 in Orange County Superior Court to […]

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Plenty of Christian Hypocrisy to Skewer

Plenty of Christian Hypocrisy to Skewer

Editor:   Hey! Ben Earl, thanks for sharing (“Koran’s Exempt from Desecration?” Letters, Oct. 15).  Contrary to the last sentence of your emotional tirade, “Oh well, I guess only the Koran gets special treatment,” on the contrary, it’s been the Christian Bible that has for too long received special treatment. I did not desecrate the […]