Let them suffer it out

February 21, 2013

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A tribal director says, "It's time to repair deplorable and unsafe buildings that were built 50 years ago and we have no money for two or three decades to repair them all."

Another waste of money. I say it's time to start laying off tribal employees for their safety and go find a job off Diné Reservation and quit relying on U.S. government and being around a bunch of rip-offs.

Forget uranium mining, generating stations because it is not giving jobs to Diné people. What are the casinos doing besides thinking that we cannot give one penny to Diné government because they just talk good with their lip service and wait for their next freebie?

Why not change the tribal law and destroy the old unsealed conspiracy records that are taking up space?

Diné government just goes to Israel, Bolivia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, etc., for sightseeing and their pleasures to where they have not gone before. Now they say, "We have no money."

Let them all suffer it out in those filthy buildings since there is no guidelines to consider a very dirty change that we know they are all used to it by now. The only changes they have are: We finally are awakened to see what's going on in this world.

The tribal director said, "Funding for capital improvement projects go to the chapter projects."

We don't see improvements at all. The current 113 chapter leaders are there to receive their stipends with a big load of good lines. An example: Nazlini is in dire need of a food store, gas station, and Laundromat. That community is growing fast. All these decades they still don't have a mind for it.

We need more housing built with running water and electricity for Diné people on Diné Nation because that waiting list is so many miles long. Don't forget the paved roads, stray animals, and crime on the rise. NHA just don't know what to do anymore, families have no homes, scholarships, etc.

Have you all seen a UFO? I don't even want to go near all the unanimously failure objectors. Diné government will never prove it to Diné people.

We all had enough of pocketing mileage and additional stipends, self-indulgence, greediness, and having a strong desire to be selfish.

Joe Indian Yazzie Jr.
Chinle, Ariz.

Health care delivery must change

I am requesting authority back to all Navajo residents to have control and a sense of ownership over the way their health care is delivered locally. In 2001, The Navajo Nation Council endorsed to decentralize concepts per various Navajo Nation programs and permit Navajo Nation chapters for sustainability and independence per local tribal business enterprises.

This reason gave passage of P.L. 93-638. Legislation provided that Navajo has control of Tuba City, Winslow and Utah health-care facilities. Unfortunately, it's not happened; the 638 benefits non-Navajos, top administrators in healthcare facilities, while qualified Navajos are underprivileged to hold healthcare administrative positions.

Next, complete administrative and management authority provided Western Agency chapters and Utah to appoint healthcare board members, and what follows are self-serving and insensitive board members, callous to what his/her own people needs and address per improving healthcare, they fail to manage and administer the Title V contract funds.

In recent public hearings per TCRHCC concern and complaints addressed on patient direct services; non-compliance with NPEA whereas key administrative jobs were granted non-Natives; resulting in outrageous disparate pay to non-Natives and Natives. At this public hearing reference were made to the workforce analysis submitted by TCRHCC to the Tuba City ONLR Office. Hence, the TCRHCC BOD has not hired a Navajo CEO to date.

Disappointment and public knowledge that Council Delegates Joshua Lavar Butler, at a To'naneesdizi' Chapter was insensitive to public outcry.

In addition, recent WNA Council meeting, Council Delegate Katherine Benally, tabled resolution of the agenda, which could have resolved some issues and concerns addressed per TCRHCC's NPEA violations and concerns with deterred patient care and overall purpose. Delegate Benally stated "she was not fully aware of the issues in Tuba City"...self enlightening on specifics is essential as a leader, citizens are responsible to advocate, not be the silent majority allowing underserved in Western Navajo.

Marie Acothley
Tuba City, Arizona

Comments on Twin Arrows are hurtful, false

I read with surprise and then disappointment today's story in the Gallup Independent (Feb. 20) regarding the Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort. The story did not accurately report on the financial strength of Twin Arrows and instead relied on comments from Mr. Venezia of the Controller's Office, who apparently does not understand construction financing.

If I had been asked yesterday, I would have explained that a request for information from the NN Controller's office was received just 7 business days ago, and I was in the process of formulating responses to the questions.

What I find astounding is that a report was prepared by the Controller without any consultation or input from NNGE, and presented to the Budget & Finance Committee at a meeting we were not invited to. Typically, we have been included in discussions about our Enterprise.

Comments, such as the ones offered by Mr. Venezia, are not only false but hurtful to the prospective Navajo employees who may be falsely led to believe that there is no money to pay them. It is totally irresponsible and unprofessional, and an apology from the Controller's office should be made to the Navajo people.

For the record, the payment process requires that NNGE submit monthly draw down requests for funds available from the approved loan. Such requests are not permitted unless they are consistent with the previously approved loan budget.

The request for $2.7 million is consistent with the amount already approved in the budget. The implication that this is an increase over the already approved loan amount represents a total misunderstanding of the budget process.

Had I been asked I would have proudly reported that Twin Arrows is on-time, on-schedule an on-budget."

Derrick Watchman
Chief Executive Officer
Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise

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