Funding for summer youth employment

WINDOW ROCK, August 15, 2013

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M y letter is in regards to "Shelly: Sunshine over speed in tribal government." It is sad to hear President Shelly vetoed funding for Chapter Summer Youth Employment. This is a great learning opportunity for youth to gain hands-on experience of working, as it is a valuable teaching tool for youth to utilize throughout their lives.

I had the pleasure of participating for two summers during my early high school years in the early 80s in the Chapter Summer Youth Employment. I was determined to make it to work, which I made sacrifices of hitchhiking from Shiprock to Teec Nos Pos to report for work because I learned that being punctual is an important asset in holding down a job.

We encourage our youth to become productive members of society, but not giving them a chance to gain valuable skills is unacceptable. I hope President Shelly will reconsider his position on this issue, as he has vetoed this bill twice, which many youth are not having the opportunity to learn many things such as money management, savings for school supplies, assist family with bills, and work experience.

If the tribe is serious about addressing unemployment and poverty on the Navajo Nation, I truly believe the youth of Navajo Nation deserve a chance to learn of holding down a job and what all the requirements are attached in earning a respectful paycheck for their hard work, as it will help them contribute to Social Security taxes. This will help the youth understand that holding employment is important, as the Social Security monitors your work history throughout their lives.

Trudie Jackson
Glendale, Ariz.

Bad experience at casino restaurant

The Northern Edge Casino's Cedar Bow Restaurant needs help from the Food Network's "Restaurant Impossible" television show. I am serious about this statement due to a non-memorable dining experience my family recently had. There are items needing attention: customer service, management, food, and staff. I will share an example of a recent Saturday visit for dinner as the restaurant was not busy.

Our server never checked on us as we sat for over an hour, did not refill our drinks, could not explain items on the menu, and had us wait longer for an additional to-go order. Where is the leadership from the management for the restaurant floor? Don't the managers periodically check on their staff or customers for any questions and/or concerns?

In the end, we waited very long for mild temperature food dishes. Isn't food supposed to meet a safe temperature range of being hot when served to avoid bacterial contamination?

As we were leaving, we saw no staff stop two children standing on the tables playing as the parents looked at a menu. Couldn't a child slip and hit their head? What would tourists think if they saw this?

In the age of social media, anyone could have recorded a video for the world to see and post comments.

Putting this whole experience aside, I really want any Navajo Nation business to be successful. Train staff members to work as a team with managers providing leadership for any situation. Adopt a menu that is simple to make so local customers and tourists can experience Native and Southwest cuisine in a time-manageable, memorable, and enjoyable dinner experience.

The Northern Edge Casino's Cedar Bow Restaurant can change their impossible to a more than possible successful restaurant, if they try.

Wendy Atcitty
Farmington, N.M.

Animal killing contests

There is probably no more ruthless predator than man; yet as far as we know man is the only being with a spiritual conscience. Then why does man do unconscionable acts such as the mass killing of wildlife?

I guess the answer is that man has had the ability to turn killing into a competitive sport so that conscience may be set to one side. Man has shown time and time again that personal pleasure, no matter how twisted, justifies certain behavior. Much of man's actions such as animal killing contests are without regard for our ecosystem and the natural order of things.

The calls and emails I've received from concerned citizens about Gunhawk Firearms' upcoming prairie dog killing contest reminds me of the historical mass killings of other wildlife, which drove them to the brink of extinction.

I urge Gunhawk to reconsider feeding man's greed and brutality because of their selfish desire for profits over a good sense of humanity.

I have reviewed important data concerning the Gunnison's prairie dog's severely diminished numbers; their status being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; their keystone role in New Mexico's ecosystem, and the concerns of hundreds of citizens dedicated to their preservation and am troubled by the answer. I am persuaded that these contests could harm both the prairie dogs' existence and other species that depend on their colonies for survival.

The message to our children by these animal killing contests is the wrong message. The example we need to set for our children should be one of respect for our ecosystem and the important role our wildlife plays within that system. I join the protest and encourage Gunhawk to abandon its killing competitions.

Nathan "Nate" Cote
State Representative, District 53
Las Cruces, N.M.

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