Attack on arts

Dear Editor: For the record: Frank and Carol Kearns are two of the kindest, most generous, and selfless contributors to the Downey arts community we have. They are also both very talented. (“Important Omission,” Letters to the Editor, 2/19/15)

If Lawrence Christon wants to demean the local arts community in the local newspaper, he would do better to attack me. Frank and Carol Kearns are way out of his league.

And, if anyone is to question the quality of journalism in the Downey Patriot, it should be Downey residents. After having to suffer through the serial assault of Lawrence Christon’s articles discompassionately denigrating the local arts community, it is a wonder he hasn’t been burned in effigy by public decree. His libelous attacks of Andy and Lana Wahlquist, founders of the Downey Arts Coalition, and his hatchet job of Stay Gallery, et cetera, should have been enough to ban him from our borders and pages forever.

Yet this petty pedant continues to appear.

It speaks poorly of the Downey Patriot. And some day, the Patriot will reconsider its alliance with this person.

In the meantime, a great disservice has been done to two Downey residents who have done nothing but better the city. Shame, shame, shame.

Roy Anthony Shabla



Dear Editor:

I am responding to Lawrence Christon’s letter to the editor in which he wrote in response to Carol Kearns’ article, “Downey Poet Publishes New Book” (2/12/15). Carol Kearns’ article told about Lorine Parks’ new book of poetry, and her upcoming reading at Stay Gallery. Lawrence Christon, a former Los Angeles Times critic, compared Carol to recently disgraced NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

Christon writes that Carol’s article was ostensibly an infomercial because it did not disclose that Carol, and her husband Frank, are Parks’ book publishers. Christon’s conclusion is incorrect and a mischaracterization of the intent of Carol’s article.

As a longtime Downey resident, a personal friend of Carol and Frank, and a local writer, I perceive Carol’s article differently. Carol and Frank are indeed the founders and co-publishers of Los Nietos Press. But Carol and Frank have no financial self-interest in Parks’ book. Their work as designer, editor, and publisher is unpaid. All Los Nietos Press writers order their own print runs and pay only for exact printing costs. Afterwards, all printed books are given to the writer, who distributes the sold copies. Any payment for the book goes directly to the writer; Los Nietos Press has never received any money for any sale of the three books which it has published.

Christon assumes Carol’s article was written for her self-interested gain. I characterize the article as reflecting Carol’s desire to avoid the limelight and instead chose to focus the discussion solely on the artist and her work. Carol’s intent in writing the article was simply to help promote the event for the new book, and as a service to the Downey arts community.

I thank Los Nietos Press publishers Carol and Frank Kearns for capturing vulnerable community voices, which would be lost if not memorialized in print. I hold Carol Kearns in high esteem and respect all the good work she does on behalf of the arts in Downey and the larger, Los Nietos land-grant community.

Zaida Ramos




Published: Feb. 26, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 46