When will the Blue Canyon road be fixed?

I’m writing about the Blue Canyon Road on behalf of my family and the people who live in the community. I’ve been a longtime resident of Blue Canyon and am concerned with the road conditions.

Every year, it seems the road is worsening and yet, I haven’t seen improvements that have been discussed at the chapter meetings. Every year, we make calls if there is an area where the road is not drivable. When my family does make a call, we’re told there is no one available, no funding, or the road is a hazard for the equipment to go through. I have heard of other roads being upgraded, but so far nothing has been said about our road. Have we been forgotten?

I want to thank the chapter, NDOT, and BIA for grading the roads when needed, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

We have residents who are on medication, dialysis, and have other medical issues. Some residents have Saferide services. At times, the emergency personnel – police and ambulances are called, but when the road is extremely muddy, icy, or packed with snow, they can’t get through.

The road gets dangerous up the mountain, it is narrow and some places have bedrock with no rail guard by the high cliffs. It seems the road is uneven and beginning to slant downward, which has caused numerous vehicles to slide, especially during the muddy and winter weather. During the dry and windy season, the road is extremely rocky and washboard.

We reside here because it is our home, our community. I’m hoping my letter will open the eyes of NDOT, BIA, and at the chapter level. Many years have passed; the promises made by former administration personnel are no longer there. When will the Blue Canyon road be fixed?

I’m just voicing my concern as plainly as I can. Thank you for reading my letter. Have a Happy New Year Shi Diné.

Jerry Cecil Sr.
Blue Canyon, Ariz.

Help for stuttering is available

For many people, ringing in the New Year brings hope and joyful anticipation. But for those who struggle with stuttering, the old fears of speaking and being teased remain the same – year after year.

Many of your readers don’t know that help for stuttering is available from so many places. Trusted information on stuttering is available at your local public library. Public schools have speech counselors and children are entitled to free evaluation and help, by law. Seek out a speech-language pathologist in your area trained in helping those who stutter. Universities often offer speech clinics.

Finally, the Internet can be a wonderful resource on stuttering with free books, videos, and reference materials.

Visit our website as a starting point at www.StutteringHelp.org.

Make 2017 the year you find the help you and your family need.

Jane Fraser
The Stuttering Foundation
Memphis, Tenn.

Mr. President, stand up to political thugs

Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Paul Ryan (Wisc.), and Republican politicians have made a mockery of democracy over the past eight years.

President Obama needs to stand up to these Republican political thugs until the end of his presidency. A good place to start: Name Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the president power to fill any vacancy during the recess of the Senate. The Supreme Court is no exception. Justice William Brennan began his court tenure with a recess appointment in 1956.

So if the president appointed Garland before Jan. 20, the appointment would last until December 2017, the end of the first session of the 115th Congress.

Mr. President, stand up to these Republican political hacks that have held the Supreme Court hostage. Act boldly, and go where no one else has gone.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City, Calif.

Justice for Leo Chischilly

I would like to comment on the Dec. 22, 2016 edition of the Gallup Independent “St. Michaels man killed in fiery I-40 crash” that took the life of Leo Chischilly.

Initially, it was no accident but total negligence by a careless semi truck driver from Ohio. It could have been prevented if the driver was obedient, alert, and paid attention to the traffic signs. I believe a wrongful death is justified.

I was so displeased with the real short report, which I felt was beyond one’s conception, and why it took five days to make a brief report is highly questionable when a precious life was taken. The report was totally focused on the timing of the fire department extinguishing the fire and clearing the scene in 48 minutes and nothing more.

Furthermore, there was no indication of whether the truck driver was cited or tossed in jail. The district attorney’s office should do an extensive investigation and pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the family. The driver needs to be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Mr. Chischilly was a well-known family man, generous, polite, respectful, and a genuine official of the Diné Nation. He was a concerned veteran actively involved in veteran’s affairs and responsible for building the veterans memorial park beneath the Window Rock. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

In closing, I would like to urge the family members to ensure that the district attorney does not drop the ball and that they pursue justice for Leo. Also, I encourage relatives and friends to support the family in their dire need. Thank you.

Vern Charleston
Farmington, N.M.

Let sleeping dogs lie

This is very, very sick. I knew that someday we would not only mismanage our resources and funds, which all belong to the people, not the controller, 24-member council, or president and vice president. Why? Because our educational system doesn’t teach our younger people the skill of managing money, saving money, and how to avoid mistakes that will cost the Navajo Nation its resources and its wealth.

Yes, the Navajo voters are also not in tune of how funds are managed. Taking care of money, especially someone’s money (in our case, the people’s money) is serious business.

Navajo schooling has coyote stories, but let’s use sheep dog. No different than taking care of sheep, especially someone else’s sheep. You just don’t let the lost sheep go and tell the owner that the sheep dog was asleep. Therefore, all those sheep were lost. The sheep dog is just there to help by training him to do certain things. You don’t keep the sleepy dog either. Your get rid of the sheep dog and explain to the owners why things went wrong under your watch and how you are going to repay the owners. For goodness sakes, you don’t keep the sleepy dog.

1. You get rid of the dog that sleeps on the job. And yes, get a better sheep dog.

2. No way. Unless you forgot that you were elected to protect the people’s resources. Controller is not elected by the people. Lastly, you do allow just one man (the sleepy dog) to make decisions on all the millions of dollars disbursed every day. This hired sheep dog is wrongfully given the job of who should be or not be paid.

3. Get rid of the sleepy sheep dog and hire the best auditing firm to put in place reliable accounting system, and most of all, use scholarships to train Navajo young people the art of handling and managing money. Make better sheep dogs. Still how to spend the millions that belong to the people (voters) need to be a platform upon which we don’t waste funds nor wrongfully spend it or let it disappear.

4. From all that has been happening to the people’s resources during the past 25 years is worse than what we accuse the Third World nations of doing. Government reform has been put off now for nearly three decades. We are just packing away little by little and in the process, we are losing millions of dollars, including valuable resources like water.

5. Face it, if you can’t think beyond what BIA has instilled in your minds, just say so, and hand the reins over to someone else who can think outside the “box” that BIA has gotten us into.

6. Other units of the Navajo Nation aren’t in the black either, including NTUA, NHA, school systems, casino business, etc. Let’s look at all the areas we are wasting people’s money and mismanaging the assets of the people.

Vern R. Lee
Fruitland, N.M.

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Categories: Letters