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Letters To The Editor


Dear Sir,

In your response last week you asked where Kathryn Cummings was while all these alleged victims robbed her home and property. Well, Kathryn is in Lake County with her new baby and boyfriend. Jesse M. is staying at his family's home. So far I don't believe she has any knowledge of what happened. I am unable to do anything from here in jail. But I wish she knew that her home and property is being picked through every day that I am not there to watch over things as she believes I am because the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office is doing nothing. I have asked from jail to speak to a sheriff's detective three different times but have yet to have one come speak to me. I've been told that the alleged victims have returned to the property and now have removed everything of their choosing off the property and have no intention of being around for my trial leading me to wait around for my freedom to find out how bad I have let Ms. Cummings down and leaving the District Attorney once again looking like an idiot! Who pays for this? That's right, you do, the people at Fort Bragg. It seems as though I need to choose who I try to help a little more wisely. So do you with who we elect for office. As far as the alleged victims, Tanya was only there to stay in her RV for a few days until the new spot opened up. She used my friendship telling me that she and Ms. Cummings were very good friends, like sisters. Once she got there and she started spinning her web of things that were taken from her in the past. I tried to explain to her that that was not why she was allowed there and it was wrong for her to misuse my friendship and she stated that if I would not have allowed her on the property she had planned to burn down the Cummings home. I then told Tanya to stay out of the house, to put all the things back, that I was boarding up the main door and looking the gate, that she wouldn't take anything without Kathryn's approval and I repeated this three or four times that day and as she stated in her statement to the sheriff she ignored my warning and continued to gather things and move things to her RV. She said it took her all day. We are not talking a few things, more like five wheelbarrow loads. I knew Tanya was lying because most of the things she claimed were hers in the past were in fact my girlfriend's who was in jail on a misdemeanor and had stored her things in the front room of the main house and other things were in fact things that I had given Kathryn's mother including a cabinet which was given to me by my friend Jack from the shop, A Time To Be, who closed down just recently. Also if any of the items were ever Tanya's maybe she should ask O.J. Simpson if it is a crime to enter private property and steal things you claim were once yours.

The Sheriff’s office might need to know this also because all the things I speak of are stated in her statement to the Sheriff.

Also, people of Fort Bragg, I do not write this for sympathy. Please save that for Kathryn Cummings. My dog Bently who was taken by Tanya and for yourself because with the County Sheriff’s office you too could find yourself in my same shoes. And to loved ones, please know I am reading, writing and working out, clean and sober. I welcome your support and encouragement. Also, if you know the whereabouts of my dog Bently please call my attorney, Stephen J. Antler. Hopefully, the District Attorney will sober up and regain his vision as soon as he sees this for what it is, a robbery.

James Gator Lawson, alleged Fort Bragg kidnapper

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

PS. Thank you for the copy of this week's AVA along with your words of encouragement. I want you to know that before I would let Public Defender Linda Thompson represent me I would represent myself. But I in fact I have Stephen J. Antler and my codefendant Ms. Sutherland has Amanda and Patrick Pekin representing us. We both are very pleased with them.

But unlike Mr. Kester, I do not write you for sympathy, instead to help the public know the truth about how the Sheriff's Office has not even looked into the robbery of the Cummings home and property. The gate was broken and front window was pried open. The alleged victim admitted to disregarding my warning to not take things from the home or property in the police report. I wish you could come and read it. The sheriff who arrested my codefendant told her that they were going to kill me like Aaron Bassler because they believed me to be in the woods hiding. I was arrested on my birthday based on the false report filing. The robbery suspects who claim victim walk the streets of Fort Bragg. I can assure you with me in jail they have returned to the Cummings property and finished their crime. Thanks once again, Sheriff's Office. I'm sure the Cummings thank you also. With you on the job, no one is safe.




A Thanksgiving Prayer — Thanks for the wild turkey and

the passenger pigeons, destined

to be shit out through wholesome

American guts.


Thanks for a continent to despoil

and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a

modicum of challenge and



Thanks for vast herds of bison to

kill and skin leaving the

carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves

and coyotes.


Thanks for the American dream, tTo vulgarize and to falsify until

the bare lies shine through.


Thanks for the KKK.


For nigger-killin' lawmen,

feelin' their notches.


For decent church-goin' women,

with their mean, pinched, bitter,

evil faces.


Thanks for “Kill a Queer for

Christ” stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.


Thanks for Prohibition and the

war against drugs.


Thanks for a country where

nobody's allowed to mind their

own business.


Thanks for a nation of finks.


Yes, thanks for all the

memories — all right let's see

your arms!


You always were a headache and

you always were a bore.


Thanks for the last and greatest

betrayal of the last and greatest

of human dreams. — William Burroughs


Best wishes to everyone at the AVA.

Louis S. Bedrock

Roselle, New Jersey



Dear Editor:

As hurricane Sandy has clearly indicated, global warming due to increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is resulting in climate change. The melting Arctic ice, the warming and rising levels of the oceans is having an affect on climates around the world. While a hurricane like Sandy will not occur every year it will occur with increasing frequency as the earth continues to warm. The people and governments in the areas where there was severe flooding have a very difficult decision to make. The sand dunes and sea walls were insufficient to stop the surges of water and it would be prohibitively expensive to design and built the type of barriers that would keep the water out. While the Stafford Act provides federal money to rebuild houses that have been damaged or destroyed by flooding, it would be senseless to rebuild in areas that will flood when the next big hurricane arrives. The affected people and governments need to accept they have to relocate from these areas. Federal funds could better be used to assist these people in relocating to areas that are not subject to flooding.

In peace,

James G. Updegraff


PS: I recognize there are folks like Senator DeMitt (Senator Dimwit might be a better name for him) and others who are in denial about global warming. But then some of these anti-science folks also do not believe in evolution and they think the world was created by God 10,000 years ago.




Almost December 2012 — At this time of year the bright sun of the Chinese autumn shines deep blue. Soon glorious sunshine shall light the land of snow. People we walk past babble with broad laughter. She's an American woman by herself with a load on her back. There is gossip. And the woods. The locals capture the birds with nets and beat them to death for their feathers. Each of us towers the clear sky lit by the full moon. Walk in the moonlit woods without thought. Sing to silence an internal dialogue that stands with hands that clap. The Mekong roars loud between dark red rocks. Tonight a small path leads upward. Climb it. The Dok pas inhabitant is a cowman. Courage in glittering snow. Bend. Straighten. Step. Happiness without echo. Travel at your own risk. Step. Step. Steep slopes frame a narrow gorge torrential river flows upward to be crossed. As you walk the sacred mountain, smear the wet cap across your chest and ask, Is it a cross, or home of a horn? When the road commands the view go down on your knee like a log. Let us drink a cup of tea. Religion is what is sipped on the countryside. Take a flatbridge higher. Do the leather straps scrape your flesh? Put your load on the ground and drink clear water. An exhausted llama falls on the ground and breathes wet wood. Can't Americans meet without a question?

Diana Vance





I was pondering your item in Valley People last week about creative, resourceful folks coming together to help save the County Fairgrounds from extinction, and the thought that most compelled me was: what about the wine growers? They seem to have no problem donating thousands of dollars to Congressman Mike Thompson to do their bidding in Washington — are they far sighted enough to recognize that events such as the county fair attract potential customers to the area and hence their tasting rooms?

Will they do anything — faced with this emergency — to maintain the flow of visitors from elsewhere?

I have it from credible sources that at least a couple of wineries in the county do more than $20 million a year in sales. A couple hundred thou, divided among them (along with other, smaller wineries) is a pittance compared to the loss of potential customers (for them and other local merchants) that the various weekend events held at the fairgrounds bring into the area.

We might also consider that they are extracting natural resources from the county commons (water, soil nutrients, etc.) for private profit and are partly contributing to the degradation of the local ecosystem.

For sure, they will say they are providing employment for locals at a time when the economy is depressed. Fair enough. But when balanced with resource depletion and the minimum wages most of them pay employees, they cannot demonstrate they are contributing more to the local economy than they are sucking out of it.

It's time to stand up — when yet another out of county corporation plans to build a million dollar tasting room somewhere in the county — and demand that they also agree to pay a yearly fee to keep a cherished county institution operating.

Is there anyone with guts enough to make this so?


Bill Allen





A big thanks from the students and staff of the Anderson Valley Elementary School. We thank Robin and Anne-marie Bird of Greenwood Aggregate for a 'school discount' on rock and to Dean Titus who showed up quickly before the rains hit and grated and rolled the track. The students watched throughout the day as the running track was transformed from a single lane weed path to a beautiful, clean double lane track. 5 laps is a mile (almost) and students run everyday in the PE program preparing for the Mile-Day Run which is held in April. There is also a Power-Walking class that takes place Tues and Fri mornings at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome. (Call the Adult School for more info 895-3774 or AV-B-Well ext. 711).

So thanks once again to our awesome community for such generosity.

Kira Brennan

AV-B-Well/Pep Team




Dear Folks at Mendocino Courts:

I'm appalled to learn that our local court, the Ten Mile Justice Court, is due to be closed or greatly reduced. This is a great burden and disservice to residents of our coastal communities. There is no timely public transport from the coast inland, as you surely know, and even if there were, the difficulties of travelling over the hill for older people, and those who are disabled or poor, are massive. I myself am 79 years old, and most of those who I consider friends and neighbors are elders. It's a struggle some days even to drive into town, or from Fort Bragg to Mendocino. Please consider all Coastal residents, even those who are not young, affluent, or energetic. I beg you to continue full service of Ten Mile Justice Court. Thank you for your attention.

Adrienne Ross

Fort Bragg



Dear Editor,

I was shocked to read about Bruce McEwen's disappearance from both the AVA and the area in Letters to the Editor (Nov. 21, 2012). I didn't know much of his personal history, battles with the devil and how he happened upon these pages. His work will be sorely missed as I can't count how many Wednesday evenings I would go straight to his column, open a bottle of wine and laugh out loud at his wit, visual storytelling, and comic random asides. Was there a more detailed account of the notorious verbal assault on the bridal party published at some point? If you're reading this, thanks Bruce. You're an inspiration. “From the rockin' of the cradle to the rolling of the hearse, the going up was worth the comin' down.” — Kris Kristofferson

Darren Delmore





Kali on K Street — I saw Mother Kali on K Street. Didn't recognize her right away because she was really black and her hair was disheveled and she was pushing a shopping cart past the statue at McPherson Square. I asked her if she'd been part of Occupy DC and she told me that she tented behind the People's Library. But after the police raid she moved to Freedom Plaza and washed pots 'n pans. When I was on a break writing my reports she had a wig on at the Radical Space Holiday party and critiqued anarchism. Then showed up for the big protest march wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and mic-checked outside the News Museum to declare our rights. I inquired if that was her shrill voice on the steps of the Supreme Court, threatening to scalp the appointed who oppose a woman's right to choose she smiled, pushing her belongings up K Street toward Peace House to enjoy a hot mineral bath.

Craig Louis Stehr

Somewhere in Virginia




Ever since the presidential election, I had been composing, in my head, a very similar column excoriating the Republican Party's shameful performance during this entire election cycle, but Mr. Mattson's enjoyable prose beat me to it. I hope a lot of the Journal's readers read every word of this information-packed opinion piece.

The list of ways in which the GOP virtually went to war against small-d democracy during the just concluded elections is so long that I should expand on Mattson’s column and cover some other issues besides the many which he brought up in his column.

First off, what a wonderful thing it was to see the loony demagogues who lead today's Tea Party-afflicted GOP, be so utterly rejected by the voters. It actually went a long way toward restoring my dwindling faith in the basic sanity of the American electorate. Ever since the Supreme Court's bizarre Citizens United decision, which threw wide open the doors to unlimited, unregulated political propaganda, sponsored by the billionaires and corporations (who "are people my friend" according to Mitt Romney), many political observers have dreaded the expected purge of good, rational candidates by the right wing extremists most likely to attract billionaire and corporate superpac largess.

Fortunately for us, the glut of extremist cash turned out to be the GOP's own worst enemy, as all the sensible Republican hopefuls, men like Jon Huntsman, who served in the Obama administration as the ambassador to China, and who I could actually see as credible presidential material, were eliminated early in the primary race for the mortal sin of believing in such things as climate change, evolution and other science-based facts. As the GOP primary farce proceeded, the cash glut, largely from deranged billionaires such as the cadaverous gambling gazillionaire Sheldon Adelson, kept unelectable clowns like Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain politically alive and bashing the eventual nominee, in Jon Stewart's trademarked term; Rominee.

After the GOP's self-cannibalizing primary season, the party’s penchant for running on jobs jobs jobs, but once elected, doing nothing to stimulate job creation, but devoting huge amounts of energy to stripping away long-established women's rights; to reproductive choice, and even contraceptives. Fortunately, a number of GOP hopefuls who were considered likely winners opened their mouths about their retrograde beliefs about women and their bodies, and ended up losing big.

But the sweetest moment had to be as the results were coming in on Election Day, and, after all the right wing pundit’s predictions of a Romney landslide, the Fox news crew and their cadre of propagandist/ commentators were completely befuddled; psychologically unprepared for the reality that was suddenly coming down on them. Their first stage was denial; this simply could not be happening, with all the billions of dollars spent on negative ads, all the corruptly gerrymandered districts, all the massive intentional voter suppression in Democratic areas (where many voters were made to wait in line for eight hours!), As well as, in all likelihood, large-scale voter theft through Republican owned electronic voting machines. No, they refused to believe, just as Romney, who had not even bothered to draft a concession speech, that this could have happened.

As good as it felt to see the odious Karl Rove collect and squander $400 million worth of right-wing millionaire’s money without backing a single winning candidate, the net effect is still a big loss to the American people; while Ronald Reagan attended exactly 4 fundraisers for his reelection, taking the public campaign money, Obama was compelled to attend 220-some fundraisers in order not to be outspent by the forces arrayed against him, including Wall Street, which had back him massively during his first election, but had turned on him like a rabid dog for the sin of trying to impose some very mild, watered down regulations in the Dodd-Frank bill.

We need to all be wary of Obama, who is more like a moderate Republican from yesteryear, signing into law something which they will call a "grand bargain" with the Republicans, throwing poor and older Americans under the bus by cutting the already stingy safety net of Social Security, Medicare etc. We should all give the White House a call to insist that those at the top of the economic ladder, who have profited mightily in recent years, while the rest of America hangs on by its fingernails, finally start to pay a fair share, and that the bloated Pentagon be put on a strict reducing diet, and to not take a dime from Social Security etc. The White House number is; 202 456 2121.


John Arteaga


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