Crazypants translator, or Alba Elephantis

January 18, 2021 § 11 Comments

Cyclists who remember the anti-cycling campaign by divorcee-hermit-turned-pariah Robert L. Chapman, Jr., are now getting the last laugh as they watch his white elephant languish on the real estate market for the absurd price of $9.5M. The fun is even better because he’s been trying to unload this stinker since shortly after buying it, with what appears to be at least one failed attempt in 2011, when the owner sought a whopping $10.9M for one of the few properties in Palos Verdes Estates that continues to lose market value as time goes by as compared to appreciation of prices in PVE as a whole. Needless to say, there were no takers.

An objective observer might think the owner has been desperate to get out of this gilded dump for going on ten years. If the house was bought in 2007, that means it took a mere four years for Chapman to presumably sour on the crowds, the police reports, the problems with neighbors, and the ongoing party palace down belowr, all “extras” that a buyer can expect with the purchase of 612 Paseo del Mar. Savvy buyers have taken a pass on this overpriced lump of garish bad taste, and there’s no suggestion that what was ugly then has somehow become beautiful now.

Lonely old man’s best friend! Also note, $9.5M home with $50 Salvation Army decor, replete with sag-bottom chair.

Doesn’t look like 2021 is going to be any better. Now, mired in the muck of a collapsing market, this albatross of a fixer-upper which is too expensive to tear down, too expensive to remodel, and too ugly to live in, is struggling in the one market that always seems to win. Exceptions prove the rule …

In an attempt to get some sucker to bite, a failed real estate copywriter, perhaps Chapman, has penned this write-up of what Chapman has laughably named “Villa Activista,” but which the market refers to as “Alba Elephantis.”

To protect the public from the silliness with which Alba Elephantis is being marketed, I pulled down sections of the the website www.612paseodelmar.com and have provided a handy translator for the crazypants marketing hokum used to lure unsuspecting sods into buying this millstone.

 Villa Activista is a trophy property located at 612 Paseo del Mar – the intersection of Bluff and Malaga Coves in Palos Verdes Estates, California. This absolutely authentic French-Italian villa was built sedulously upon nearly an acre on the prime block of the most prestigious street in the city … Villa Activista’s fortunate owners look out unobstructed upon spectacular natural scenery but remain inconspicuous to the outside world.

http://www.612paseodelmar.com

Crazypants translator: Has CP ever seen a French-Italian villa? No? Let us help! View the photos below and compare with CP’s “absolutely authentic French-Italian villa.”

CP Translator: “Spectacular natural scenery” in this case means “gorgeous ocean view with ringside view of endless traffic jams, stripping surfers, and party house down below regularly filled with partying rentals.” Another hilarious word he uses is the “Acropolis effect,” emphasizing that in Alba Elephantis you will be perched above the teeming masses. That is actually true. But he neglects the other half of the “Acropolis effect,” which is that sound waves travel up, so you get to hear all the fascinating conversations down below. Morning coffee with a cursing fistfight? Check. Glass of wine in the evening hearing people talk about their epic surf sesh? Check. All-day-long prattle by the public wafting up through your open windows and doors? Check, check, check. So exclusive and privy to start your day with “Fuckin’ killer shit man!”

Parteeeeee!

In the case of Villa Activista, this ocean view mirroring Italy’s Amalfi Coast is the focal point from nearly every room in the house. 

http://www.612paseodelmar.com

CP Translator: Ah, yes, mirrors the Amalfi Coast … What he means is “apes, and fails to copycat Amalfi.” Folks, the PV Peninsula is pretty, but it’s hardly a world-class destination. Comparing this heavily developed, tiny stretch of coastline replete with eyesores, no culture, no cuisine, and the hideous traffic getting in and out of PV with the Amalfi Coast is hucksterism of the worst sort. What the author means is “another faux Italian home designed to fool people who’ve never been to Italy.”

The real Amalfi

Horcada Hill homes’ [sic] have a front-row seat to an everchanging [sic] show of sea life, boats and paddleboarders.

612paseodelmar.com

CP Translator: Fucking surfers and traffic everywhere, morning to night, whenever there’s surf. Which there usually is. Note: Who in their right mind wants a front row seat to boats and paddleboarders? Isn’t the point of expensive homes to have “unobstructed views of nature”?

Ever changing scenery!

Privacy and Peace Perfectly Protected:  612 Paseo del Mar’s massive land size of nearly one acre, combined with its landscaping and dwelling’s positioning on a sloping lot, gives its residents the ultimate in peace and privacy on top of privileged vicinity to Bluff Cove … The Palos Verdes Estates Police Department headquartered a mere two minute drive down Palos Verdes Drive West deepens one’s foundation for peace of mind.  Unlike other neighborhoods further away, squad cars patrol this neighborhood with frequency akin to a private security force.

612paseodelmar.com

CP Translator: The area swarms with outsiders, so it takes every bit of design to screen out the saggy tummies and jockstraps. Years of reports to the police department have resulted in constant security patrols due to constant fears of crime. The privacy is a fantasy and the fear of intrusions are real. Also, Alba Elephantis has a public-access dirt path that leads from Via Horcada down to the bluff, a handy shortcut for surfers, visitors, amateur photographers, gawkers, and others who want to park in front your home and easily walk to the “surfers paradise.”

Visitors?

With real estate being all about “location, location, location,” from Villa Activista one goes from gazing at to [sic] splashing inthe [sic] ocean after merely a skip across the street.  Imagine not having to load the car to hit one of L.A. [sic] “raddest” surf spots:  Bluff Cove.  Also known as Little Waikiki, the Cove is famous for its long rides both left and right as swells pushing east break upon the rock reef just offshore.  

612paseodelmar.com

CP Translator: Imagine everyone else in SoCal loading their car to park in front of your home so they can enjoy public access to hit one of LA’s “raddest” surf spots. Also known as “Police Patrol Central,” the massive weekend surf crowds are famous for parties, good times, and a dawn-to-dusk party looking up at your jacuzzi.

Rad surf spots rock!

If the surf is flat or blown out, peel off your wetsuit and lace up your hiking boots 

612paseodelmar.

CP Translator: Peel off your wetsuit because SO HAS EVERYONE ELSE. Learn to teach your small children how to say, “That is a hairy penis” and other fun educational projects from the deck.

I love Bluff Cove!

END

Has Robert L. Chapman, Jr. committed a felony? Via Horcada LLC a/k/a 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, 90274

December 31, 2020 § 11 Comments

In looking over the records on file with the Secretary of State for 701 Via Horcada, Palos Verdes Eatates, CA, 90274, it appears that that the statement of information for 2017 may contain deliberately false information. Does this constitute perjury, and if so, should the district attorney for the County of Los Angeles initiate an investigation against Robert L. Chapman, Jr.? The home located there is also listed as 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274, and is currently listed for sale for a sickeningly overpriced $9.5 million considering all of the complaints that have been filed with the PVE Police Department about this property and neighborhood.

At the outset, Robert L. Chapman, Jr., filed and signed a 2007 Limited Liability Company Application for Registration with the California Secretary of State, shortly after the formation of 701 Via Horcada, LLC, a Delaware corporation. Presumably this was the business entity formed for the purchase of 701 Via Horcada, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274, in which Chapman has lived since 2007. The home located there is also listed in county tax records as 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274.

The section of the California Corporations Code regulating limited liability corporations states that “(c) An individual who signs a record authorized or required to be filed under this title affirms under penalty of perjury that the information stated in the record is accurate.” Of course this includes the LLC’s statement of information, a document that LLCs are required to periodically file with the state.

The 2007 application for registration lists “Robert L. Chapman, Jr.” as the managing member. However, in 2017 a statement of information is filed with the state to reflect a change in the LLC’s agent for service of process, changing the agent from CSC to someone named “Robert Lewis, Jr.” In addition to this name, which is suspiciously similar to “Robert L. Chapman, Jr.”, the 2017 statement of information is now signed by not by Robert Lewis Chapman, Jr., but by by the managing member Robert Lewis, Jr.

This leads to a couple of obvious questions:

  1. Who is Robert Lewis, Jr.?
  2. Does he actually exist?
  3. If not, does naming him in the statement of information as agent and managing member constitute perjury pursuant to the Corporations Code?
  4. If so, who submitted the false 2017 document to the Secretary of State?
  5. If the person who submitted it was in fact Robert L. Chapman, Jr., should he now be investigated by the Los Angeles District Attorney for commission of perjury, a felony?
  6. Should concerned citizens and neighbors in Palos Verdes Estates request that the DA launch such an investigation?

The concerns about 701 Via Horcada’s state filings don’t end there. The home located there is also listed as 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274. In 2019, the LLC filed what appears to be a completely unsigned “Statement of No Change.” Unlike the 2017 filing, this new document now lists the managing member as, you guessed it, “Robert L. Chapman, Jr.” However, it affirms that none of the previous information has changed, i.e., the agent for service is still the mysterious “Robert Lewis, Jr.” and that the managing member is still “Robert Lewis, Jr.” despite listing the managing member now as the former “Robert L. Chapman, Jr.”

It’s hard to figure out why the Chapman who signed the 2007 application would falsify the new agent for service and managing member in 2017, if that’s what happened, other than to make it easier to evade service of process. If that’s the case, it suggests that Chapman might have a lot of problems he’s concerned about getting sued for. But it also suggests that whoever filed the 2017 document may have committed perjury, if “Robert Lewis, Jr.” is a sham person.

Perjury in California is defined in Penal Code Section 118, stating in part that “every person who, having taken an oath that he or she will testify…before any competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any of the cases in which the oath may by law of the State of California be administered, willfully and contrary to the oath, states as true any material matter which he or she knows to be false…is guilty of perjury.” This includes giving false information on a material matter in a signed affidavit, and the Corporations Code seems to explicitly make deliberately false information filed with the Secretary of State perjurious.

Any person considering the purchase of 701 Via Horcada, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274, should carefully investigate this and other issues related to what is possibly a deliberately false filing with the Secretary of State. The home located there is also listed as 612 Paseo del Mar, Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274 There may be other, even more serious legal issues that a potential buyer would not be aware of until it’s too late. No one wants to buy a house and end up buying a lawsuit.

END

Battle of the cowards, Part 1

March 27, 2018 Comments Off on Battle of the cowards, Part 1

Yesterday I was scrolling through the list of web sites that have recently linked to this blog, and I came across an unusual one: SavePVpolice.org. It’s not often that the police are designated as an endangered species, a list more often populated by things like democracy, the First Amendment, and equality under the law.

Not very intrigued, I clicked on the link and it took me to an anonymous web site purporting to support the Palos Verdes Estates police department and “Measure E,” the tax measure that PVE residents will vote for or against on April 10, and depending on the outcome, will either re-fund or abolish the city police department and replace it with a policing contract through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

This “PVE Cops Matter” web site lists the bare bones of Measure E and why you should vote for it. A more detailed impartial analysis is here, and the rabid voice against the tax proposal is here. At the end of the day it’s a bunch of almost rich people fighting over how much tax money to spend to keep out the riff-raff, so, whatevs.

But in the early part of the day, or rather the wee hours, it has something to do with democracy, with #fakenews, with Internet trolls, with the cowardice of the almost rich, and of course with cycling.

Cycling first

Almost three years ago the cycling hordes remonstrated with the powers that be in PV Estates and got them to put up a couple of signs stating the law, that cars must give cyclists three feet when passing. This created a backlash of incredible proportions and resulted in the mayor and her city council slapping down any further steps to enhance road safety for vulnerable users.

The fury of the almost rich people was impressive, such that the police were temporarily put on “biker harassment duty,” resulting in many trips down to Torrance courthouse to have bogus tickets dismissed. Over time, though, the unending stream of cyclists and the intensity of the political battle caused most PV Estates residents to shrug and stop caring, finally realizing that cyclists pose zero hazard to their Rage Rovers, and finally grasping that every bike rolling through PV Estates meant one less car.

“Less cars in our city.” This was arithmetic they could understand, and it happened in tandem with a lawsuit against the city, its police force, and several residents alleging all manner of high crimes and misdemeanors in regard to violence at the Lunada Bay surf break. In short, the bikers lost the battle but won the war. The cops no longer harass us, most are downright friendly, and the nastiest residents aren’t much worse than resigned to having healthful, safe outdoor activities in their non-exclusive community.

Little boy chicken

One price for engaging in civic discourse in PV Estates is, unfortunately, the risk that you might incur the wrath of Robert Lewis Chapman, Jr. Early on in the bike battle I heard whispers about this guy, mostly along the lines of “be careful,” and “he is spiteful beyond belief,” and “Bob has the world’s worst baldheaded short man complex.”

It turns out that although the first warning was needless, and the third warning was possibly true, in my opinion Chapman really is the most horrible person in PV Estates. And for an enclave whose mayor and city council hate people for riding bicycles, that’s saying something.

Who is Chapman? That’s a good question, because much of the conflict and fury that I encountered when advocating for safety for vulnerable road users seemed to be fomented by a small group of truly hateful people. After listening to the rumors, I wondered if Chapman were perhaps the Hater-in-Chief, so I made a public records request to the city to find out if he was as nasty as I had heard.

Several hundred dollars and more than a month later, the horribly overtaxed city clerk handed me a disk with all of the documents responsive to my request. Although Chapman’s name had been redacted from many of the documents since they are police incidents, given the fact that the documents were produced in response to a request for “activities or complaints regarding or connected with Robert Chapman,” it is my opinion, and will likely be yours, too, that the person responsible for the great majority of these these complaints is not someone you’d want to ever call “neighbor,” let alone “in-law.”

The police incident reports connected to Chapman are astounding, so I’ve broken them down into three files. Note that these are all public documents and available to anyone willing to make the request and pay the copying fee. They are only current through March, 2017, so if you make your own request you will likely unearth a lot more.

  1. Various incidents, file 1.
  2. Various incidents, file 2.
  3. Various incidents, file 3.

But these records documenting the World’s Worst Neighbor Ever are not all. Chapman is also the ultimate keyboard warrior, a guy who I’ve never seen show up to contest an issue before the city council, but who prefers to flood the world with his opinions via email and, I also believe, anonymous Internet commentary.

In response to my records request, the city also released hundreds of emails from Chapman, many of which bear his name and company logo, and others which use one of his favorite handles, “ankur.” You will get a big laugh when you read the Urban Definition of “ankur,” and try to square it with this bald, squat, middle-aged Internet tough guy holed up in an ugly house as he complains to the police about raccoons.

Many of the emails relate to the hilarious Chapman “assault” case; others relate to his virulent opposition to Measure D, the precursor to Measure E, which he now also opposes and leads the charge against. I’ll post those and an analysis of the Measure E funding bill later in this series.

When chickens battle

One of the hallmarks of cowardice is anonymity, especially when used to tear down others. The Bluff Cove HOA web site as well as the web site dedicated to attacking individual PV residents and cops (since put behind a registration wall), bear great similarity to Chapman’s writing, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to learn that he’s the author.

But The World’s Worst Neighbor is old news in PV Estates, and he is in many ways its most representative resident. Chapman’s hostility to non-residents, his aggressive use of his copious free time to badger opponents, his vindictiveness, his shame at being rich but not super rich, and his belief that the public should be subordinate to his personal wants is what the establishment of places like PV Estates were all about in the first place, with a particular emphasis on the exclusion of blacks and non-whites. So as odious as Chapman is, he’s also a fair representative of the community and its mores, too. The violence at Lunada Bay and the hate crime attack against the Pakistani liquor shop owner in PVE a few years back didn’t germinate in a petri dish of love, acceptance, diversity, and justice.

You need look no farther than the web site opposing him and dedicated to :saving” the PVE police department to find the commonality … this web site is anonymous, too. Apparently when you are outraged and angered in PV Estates, you scurry off to your computer and let ’em have it, anonymously.

Because, you know, that’s how Madison, Hamilton, and Jay wrote the Federalist Papers.

END

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