Press "Enter" to skip to content

Letters (Mar 25, 2015)

* * *



The members of Anderson Valley Arts (AVArts) would like to thank Milla and the staff at Handley Cellars for sponsoring the event, along with many local artists and the community for their support of the arts and our organization during the annual Art in the Cellar exhibit. Special thanks to teachers Chris Bing, Nadia Berrigan, and Cathleen Micheaels, as well as the many Anderson Valley students who allowed us to display their artworks. The event generated over $2,500 in contributions to AVArts.

In addition to Handley Cellars’ contributions through the sale of wine, the following individuals donated items for the silent auction: Bill Allen, Evelyn Ashton, Chris Bing and Jan Wax, Susan Bridge-Mount, Citlaly Correa, Jane Corey, Peggy Dart, Sonia Gill, Paula Gray, Sony Hatcher, Rainbow Hill, Charlie Hochberg, Walter Hopkins, Doug Johnson, Lauren Keating, Nancy MacLeod, Susan McClure, Tom McFadden, Cathleen Micheaels, Alexis Moyer, Judy Nelson, Maire Palme, Kappy Reed, Terry Ryder, Colleen and Mavin Schenck, Deanna Thomas, Antoinette von Grone, and Michael Wilson.

Support from Handley Cellars, local artists, community members and visitors to Art in the Cellar helps AVArts bring diverse, quality visual, literary, and performing arts programs to valley students that would otherwise not be possible, including supplemental arts activities which provide new art experiences in the schools. AVArts also awards scholarships to graduating seniors committed to pursuing the study of visual, literary, and performing arts in college and to students in grades 3-12 to attend arts-related classes at organizations like SPACE—Near and Arnold's School of Performing and Cultural Arts in Ukiah, Camp Bravo, Joffrey Ballet, and others.

Thanks again to everyone for helping AVArts achieve its purpose of reinforcing community spirit and making the arts a more visible and important presence in our community!

Anderson Valley Arts Members: Karen Altaras, Deanna Apfel, Julia Brock, Peggy Dart, Paula Gray, Glynnis Jones, Lauren Keating, Xenia King, Tara Lane, Cathleen Micheaels, Terry Ryder and Jody Williams

* * *



I see Spec doesn't seem to know about Fedco Seeds in Maine, run by a righteous guy named C. R. Lawn. Their catalog is the best, on newsprint paper, they won't deal with Monsanto, Syngenta, or any others of that ilk. Don't let the ill chosen name of Fedco put you off: they have the best prices and the best seeds going. And if you write a good letter, C. R. tends to answer it with a hand-written note. Give them a try, Spec, You'll like them and their politics.

Jim Lowe

Elizaville, New York

* * *


Dear Editor

The comment by Prime Minister Netanyahu that he opposes the creation of a Palestinian state confirms what we already know. “Israel is a settler-colonial apartheid state.” The question now is how its shrinking number of supporters will react to Netanyahu's position. It certainly is apparent the Republican Senators approve of an apartheid state. More importantly will President Obama continue to threaten to veto any attempt by the State of Palestine to get full UN membership? Plus what happens of the Palestinian Authority dissolves itself? How will the apartheid state govern the west Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza? What if the International Criminal Court supports the State of Palestine's charges against Israel? Natanyahau's action has opened a can worms that could destroy Israel as it currently exists.

In peace and love,

Jim Updegraff


* * *


Dear Editor,

I want to say the use of the expression “Potemkin enterprise” to describe KZYX made my day.

While I’m at it, snagging Malcolm Macdonald from the coast paper was a good move. Mr. Macdonald is thoughtful, takes a long view and, as we say in Spanish, “No tiene pelos en la lengua.”

I also want to thank you for publishing the Grand Jury testimony of the Ferguson shooting in your December 3 edition, I think it was. Demonstrations were organized in many cities by “activists” to protest police shootings. The following week you ran a letter from a lady in Berkeley who said she and her neighbors had to prevent demonstrating vandals from starting a fire near her property.

Many years ago I used to read some history and move on, like “Bleeding Kansas” before the Civil War. Freebooters, to promote slavery, were organized to take over Baja California, Chihuahua and one, William Walker, even managed to take over Nicaragua and get himself briefly recognized by the United States. Gradually, I began to ask myself, “Who’s feeding these guys?” More reading and we learn that Walker had been backed by one Mr. Vanderbilt.

We had secret agents during the Civil War, and I read some of the testimony they gave at the trials of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. They followed them as they boarded a train in Baltimore to New York City, changed trains to one going to the border with Canada, and then another train to Montreal. There they went to a hotel patronized by British agents and they entered the rooms of those agents. They left the rooms and returned to Baltimore. They were given gold and paper money in Montreal.

During the French Revolution the King of England wrote the King of France, and I paraphrase here, “Cousin, do not permit the Duke of Orleans to visit England. He has been staying with the Prince of Wales, and they’ve been hanging with bad company.” The Duke of Orleans was rich, but not so rich as to finance the entire French Revolution. In one demonstration involving 40,000 people, the police killed a few and arrested many. All the dead and arrested had the same amount of money in their pockets.

My thanks go to the Israeli reader, Moishe Garson, who sends in letters to the AVA from time to time. He sent in a list of books a couple of years ago, one of which I read. It was Lenin In Zurich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. In that book we learn not only of the ride in the Sealed Train across Germany, but also that the financing of the Bolshevik coup was undertaken by big bankers, and the financing had been going on for many years.

Returning to the recent destabilizing demonstrations in our country, some demonstrators in the East Bay confronted vandals they perceived to be agents provocateurs and went to unmask them. One of them pulled a gun and then identified both of them as police officers. We learned this from the news. These demonstrations are being organized on a national level by “activists.” Once again, “Who’s feeding these guys?”

In dealing with our heightened national stress, I suggest we remember Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122. She smoked two cigarettes a day, rode her bicycle, and ate about a kilo of chocolate a week. She attributed her longevity to being calm, as her last name implied. “I only have one wrinkle,” she said, “and I’m sitting on it.”


Tom Rivard

Santa Rosa

* * *


To the Editor:

I’d like to reply to a recent letter in the Ukiah Daily by Elizabeth Archer from Ukiah. The objection by every citizen of Mendocino County that I have talked to about the MendoVito development is not cynicism, it is knowing the difference in the dreams and reality. The difference between made up figures and real facts. It is about the fact these developers have not consulted real engineers for this project. These New Zealanders do not plan on following the protocols and the laws of this county, state, and federal government. In fact it seems to me that they are so busy scheming how to avoid these safeguards that they are creating worse environmental and social disasters than the ones they say they are trying to cure. It is not as a new idea that “scares” people, it is about how this project is totally inappropriate for this or any other rural area. This project is not needed here.

As I drove by the grand railroad depot (that has stood for so long with no trains coming to it) in Cloverdale recently, I immediately thought of the MendoVito project. Beautiful dreams and a grand scheme to change everything that went nowhere. The thought of this ill-conceived plan of MendoVito leaving a scar like that in beautiful McDowell Valley is sickening.

As for the Not In My Backyard attitude, I think it is funny how this project is not being built in New Zealand. Surely that would be way more ideal and closer for these speculators to create their dream of how to live. As for them not being developers, do I really need to use the old saying “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck”? They are trying to build a densely populated city in rural McDowell Valley. A travesty that will have terrible environmental and quality of life impact on all the citizens of Mendocino County. So they can call it anything they want, but in reality it is a gigantic, ill thought out development and they are the developers.

Sierra Higgins

Mendocino County

* * *



While I am glad to see the state taking some action toward conserving water and planning for the future, I am appalled it took this long. I am also amazed the state hasn’t gone after the biggest users of water in California: the manufacturing and agricultural industries. With a significant amount of California’s water being used in those industries, even if we, as citizens, do our best to conserve water, California’s “appropriative” water rights encourage poor water-use practices. If the state wants to get serious about the drought, it needs to drastically change our current water rights.

The state should also make drip irrigation mandatory for every farm in the state. Yes, it may be expensive to start, but obviously it will be more expensive and detrimental to the state if we continue wasting massive quantities of water with poor farming practices. The drought is real, and the state needs to realize it’s not only the residents of the state who are wasting our lifeblood — it’s also big agriculture.

Carson Welte, Castro Valley

* * *



It's been two years since I made a decision that would forever affect my family and remove myself from society until 2179. I am certain that Deputy Brewster and the good old boys still get a good laugh and a couple of high fives whenever my name comes up. Well, the occasional smirk crosses my face when I give it my thought. What I won't smile or smirk about is how DA Eyster dropped all charges against the poor vulnerable easily led astray Chris Skaggs because he didn't have a choice when he stomped on the gas and "saved" Mr. Brewster's life. Even though he has numerous convictions for high-speed chases and evading.

This same District Attorney chose to prosecute four women because they "aided and abetted" me. Wow! Like those poor girls had any choice. Seriously, I couldn't believe that Ashley LaForge was arrested for that. Let me shed some light on how much of a "choice" she had. Imagine a 6-1, 230 pound baldheaded, tattooed speed freak with a charming disposition and a machine pistol with a 30 round clip, chapped lips, eyes bulged out of my head, my head spinning around like the bitch on the Exorcist walking into your motel room shutting all the curtains, peeking through the peephole in the door talking about "I am staying here and you're not leaving me."

Oh yes, she really had a choice to "aid and abet" me. More like she was taken hostage. I guess my point is this: Chris Skaggs cooperated with the District Attorney and all charges were dismissed except a burglary because the District Attorney thought he was coerced, that he was a victim, that I forced him, even though he was positively identified in a photo lineup by a lady who was punched in the face in his home while it was being burglarized. Picked out of a lineup! By the victim.

Mr. Eyster dismissed charges?!

Tracy got break because she got on the stand and did what she was told to do. Good girl. But Alicia Kamara and Ashley, who were taken hostage but refused to cooperate, were all prosecuted.

Justice? Or just us? It's crazy to me.

To those who my actions affected in a negative way including Mr. Brewster, I am forever sorry, and believe me if I could rewind time I would, and I would do it all different. But to Chris and Tracy, I can't blame you for telling you were scared and weak, but all three of us were in that car and if you had to tell, I wish you'd told the truth. We all know I didn't try to kill anyone.

To the AVA: Thanks for printing my letters and for the subscription. I don't have money to re-up so until next time.

Walter Kris Miller


* * *


To whom it may concern:

I am 41 years old and serving time here at Tracy state prison. I grew up in Lake County and went to school in Middletown. I used to deer-hunt in Ruth and Covelo areas and have a lot of awesome memories of those times hiking in the mountains. Very beautiful and peaceful. I have plans to start all-organic gardens and orchards when I am released via a Farmers Market in Loma Rica, Yuba County, also a beautiful place.

I am a self-proclaimed prophet of the Mercudans. Ha ha. And I'm very mentally sound. I just have very different ideas about gold and mercury's significance on his world and where we may have originated. So let me reiterate my knowledge of gold and mercury which is a vast amount.

If there's any way possible could you send me issues of your paper minus the fee because of my lack of gold? I will pass any and all issues you send me onto other guys here. A lot of us enjoy reading them. Thank you.


Zachary Eads


* * *


Dear Editor,

My name is Eric Lincoln. You printed my previous letter in your paper. It was about the senseless murder of Belle Rodriguez and it was greatly appreciated.

Many people who have read the article complimented me about the informative content and the straightforwardness of the article.

I have been making copies and sending them to people and groups who are truly concerned about the tragic death of Belle. There have been many names that come up about their involvement concerning the murder of Belle Rodriguez. And his deal about being "innocent until proven guilty" — I mean, come on! They all know they are guilty. So why hide behind a phony "I'm innocent" plea?

The only truly innocent one out of this whole sordid incident is of course Belle.

There is one person by the name of Shauna Britton and I guess she and Belle used to be friends at one time. But she is also one of the main suspects said to be involved in Belle's murder. This woman, Shauna, has a story about Manuel Rodriguez (Belle's only brother) that she told to the cops. She claimed that Manny had pistol whipped her and threatened her not to show up in court!

Hold on, just a minute. Something isn't right about the setup. First of all, if anyone had been pistol whipped, you would think that there would be at least one tiny scar, right? And why would Manny tell her to not show up in court?!

This woman Shauna definitely has to appear in court to account for her involvement in Belle's murder.

I am definitely not writing this to be hateful or anything like that. I just feel that whoever had anything to do with what happened on that day should and will be exposed for the kind of person they really are. Another important thing that needs to be known to the general public is that for a fact this woman Shauna Britton went over to a mutual friend's house, Colleen Downey's, during her visit. This woman, Shauna, made a joke to Colleen about how Belle sounded when she had been choking on her own blood while be strangled with one of her killer's belts. All the while this woman Shauna was imitating choking sounds! Now how sad is that?!

And this woman can actually tell the cops that she is afraid for her life? Gimme a break! I have heard just about everything. How completely ironic to say the least.

If everyone of them could feel just a fraction of the fear and pain and suffering they put Belle through before cold-bloodedly killing her they could not compare to the hurt and the heartache left behind.

So I say enough with the phony tears and the whole woe-is-me attitude in the courtroom. They know they are all guilty.

So what do they want, Indian justice or White Man justice!?

Two people who come to mind are Nikki Hawkins and Shauna Britton. They are BFFs (best friends forever). Well, I guess they would have to be, considering that they both are trying to keep it a secret that they know the names of all others who were involved in this conspiracy against Belle. The reasons are only known to them for now, but this will be known to all in time.

In the previous article to the AVA there was a man by the name of Ken. This man mentioned stuff about the history of Round Valley/Covelo. In one part he said something about the Lincoln-Britton feud from years back, from when our fathers were young. In my own opinion that is hopefully over with. It is as far as I'm concerned. Just because one person out of the family is rotten to the core and hateful and conniving and devious, does that mean that their family as a whole is to blame for the actions of these "bad seeds"? Claudette, for instance, the mother of Shauna. She is a nice and very friendly lady. I see her riding by in her car in Covelo and we exchange friendly waves and smiles. Also who is very easy to get along with is Caudette's daughter Laura Betts. On the evening of Belle's candlelight vigil, Laura asked if she and her mom Claudette could attend. We said that they were more than welcome.

I sat next to Claudette throughout Belle's ceremony with Laura close by. Afterward, I thanked them for coming. This is one of the main reasons that

I have respect for both Laura and Claudette. Because out of their family they do what is right and respectable in situations like this. Ever since I can remember "Kelly Sue" has always been a good friend of mine. Kelly Bettega is the mother of Nikki Hawkins. At one point after the fact Kelly told Belle's grandmother that she didn't raise her girls to behave like that. (I think it's kind of late for that.)

At any rate, for such a small town like Covelo a lot of awfulness continues to go on. Belle didn't just die. She was brutally murdered. There is a huge difference! Love you Belle.


Eric Lincoln, concerned citizen for human justice and an advocate for victims of a wrongful death.


Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *