Holder proposal to boot voting access for Native people

Navajo Times Staff Report

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014

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According to a press release, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder suggested June 9 the idea of requiring state and local election administrators whose territory includes tribal lands to place at least one polling site in a location chosen by the tribal government.

Holder said the Justice Department would begin consulting with tribal authorities about the concept, and following consultations, would seek to cooperate with Congress on enacting the potential proposal.

Holder added that action was necessary to confront the range of factors that have contributed to the reduced voting access experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Those factors include inaccessible polling places in tribal areas, English-only ballots for areas with limited English proficiency, and "precinct realignment" practices that attempt to combine geographically isolated Native communities.

“These conditions are not only unacceptable, they’re outrageous,” said Holder.

"As a nation, we cannot, and we will not, simply stand by as the voices of Native Americans are shut out of the democratic process.

I am personally committed to working with tribal authorities – and with Congress – to confront disparities and end misguided voting practices once and for all."

Holder made the remarks in his weekly video message, which was posted on the Justice Department’s website.

Also on June 6, U.S. Associate Attorney General Tony West will also denounce the use of discriminatory practices used to prevent certain groups from participating in the voting process and further discuss the need to take critical next steps to tackle disenfranchisement among Indian Americans and Alaska Natives.

He made this announcement at the National Congress of American Indian Mid-year Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

“Our proposal would give American Indian and Alaska Native voters a right that most other citizens take for granted: a polling place in their community where they can cast a ballot and receive voter assistance to make sure their vote will be counted,” Associate Attorney General West will say in his remarks.

“We take this step because voting is a legal right we guarantee to our citizens. We do it because it is right. And we do it because our shared history compels no less.”

Folgers, Dunkin Donuts coffee to increase in cost

By Krista Allen
Western Agency Bureau

KAYENTA, Ariz., jUNE 9, 2014

The J.M. Smucker Co. on June 3 announced its packaged coffee prices by an average of 9 percent to reflect higher green coffee costs.

The price hike will affect Folgers and Dunkin’ Donuts packaged products sold in grocery stores, according to a press release provided by the company.

Smucker’s K-Cup packs were excluded from the price increase.

Ahwééh prices have surged attributable to a severe drought in Brazil that wreaked havoc on this year’s harvest of Arabica beans, which are used for the vast majority of global coffee production.

Additionally, Kraft Foods Group Inc. raised retail prices on June 6 for its well-known Maxwell House and Yuban roast and ground coffee brands by an average of 10 percent.

Both companies last raised their coffee prices in 2011 in response to higher green coffee costs and other factors such as higher demand and weather conditions.

Kraft says prices of all instant coffees, Maxwell House filter packs and filter pack singles, Maxwell House International, all single-serve pods, Gevalia ground and whole bean coffees as well as Tassimo products are not affected.

Lil Warrior program set to begin June

Navajo Times

KAYENTA, Ariz. -- The Kayenta Service Area of the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project has kicked off its Kayenta Lil Warrior Program, an eight-week summer youth recreation program, according to a press release.

This program, which began June 3, is for boys and girls between the ages of five and 17 years old.

Northbear Fragua, a health educator, is spearheading the program, is spearheading the program.

He designed the recreation program to help children be engaged in physical activities and address problems such as juvenile delinquency and crime, drug and alcohol use, to address the high school dropout rate, and more.

Each session is held at the Kayenta Business Center gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Each week, the program will highlights a different sport such as lacrosse, double ball, soccer, and swimming to name just a few.

"The children are not only working out physically, but all the children are playing together and are developing social skills all while having fun," said Fragua.

"They learn new skills by trying new experiences and team building exercise with their peers. But most importantly, they foster responsibility and teamwork." For more information, call Fraua can be reached at 928-697-5670 or 5687.




Lucy Walsh heads Red Cross disaster services in three counties

Navajo Times

PHOENIX – For Lucy Walsh, joining the American Red Cross staff is a way to honor her grandfather’s legacy.

Walsh on May 27 assumed her post as the new disaster services manager and lea d specialist for the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter’s Flagstaff office.

She will be managing and recruiting Red Cross volunteers and implementing disaster response and recovery programs in Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties.

She has been a Red Cross volunteer since 2003.

She was inspired by her grandfather, Joseph Ward Pope, who volunteered for the Red Cross for about 60 years starting during World War II and continuing in Oregon for many decades.

As a child, Walsh helped her grandfather as a Red Cross volunteer at blood drives, fundraising and informational booths at fairs for the Williamette Chapter in Oregon.

“The Red Cross to me means carrying on my grandfather’s legacy. In a way I feel like I am joining the family business,’’ Walsh said.

The Flagstaff resident’s most recent job was Northern Arizona University’s assistant director and program coordinator for the Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

She holds a master’s degree in geological sciences with an emphasis on volcanic hazards from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Washington.

Besides the Red Cross, Walsh also was a volunteer for Urban Harvest and a Special Olympics coach.

Ganado parents petition for removal of AD

By Cindy Yurth
Tseyi’ Bureau

GANADO, Ariz. - Three parents of Ganado High School students appeared at the Ganado chapter meeting Sunday asking the chapter's support in their attempt to oust the high school's athletic director, Jim Dowse.

The parents - Rachelle Chee, Lynette Lookingback and Henry Haven -- presented the chapter with a petition with more than 200 signatures demanding Dowse's removal.

They said they were going to present it at the school district's board meeting Wednesday and wanted a supporting resolution from the chapter, but the chapter lost its quorum by the time a vote was taken.

The parents said Ganado High's once-illustrious sports program had disintegrated under Dowse, citing poor communication with parents, no mentor program for new coaches and a lack of summer programs.

Dowse did not return a phone call to his office Monday.

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