Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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Letter | Buy Navajo

“Buy Navajo,” they said.

In Window Rock, at Churches Chicken, I bought two orders of a two-piece chicken with a biscuit and jalapeño pepper. They accepted my payment and then afterward inform me there were no biscuits, but they will give me an extra jalapeño.

A biscuit is $1.29, but a jalapeño is $.59. How is that a fair trade? I ask the manager since they basically owed me the value of two biscuits ($2.48) would they substitute something else in place because I don’t need another jalapeño because I have no plans to eat the first one.

In St. Michaels, we use to go to Denny’s. Twice when I ordered a salad, they said they had no dressing. The turn-around time for making food was extremely slow, so one could not expect to get in and out for a lunch break. Other times they were out of items and said their manager had gone to the store to get what was needed. We stopped eating at Denny’s.

In Window Rock, I prepay for trash pickup services from Navajo Sanitation. Twice during this three-month period, they failed to pick up my trash. I called in. They claim that for the first incident (which was their fault) they have to wait a week to see that when they pick up the trash, it doesn’t exceed the size of the can. If it does, they claim they don’t have to refund you money for their failure to pick up the trash.

In the second incident, I put my trash out the night before because they do not consistently pick up trash at a certain time. Now they claim the trash can was not out there at 7-something in the morning because the trash worker put notes into their computer. Then a couple hours, he again noted the trash can was not out there. That was a lie. Navajo Sanitation refused to refund the money.

Navajo Sanitation has a monopoly on trash sanitation service on the Navajo Nation. If they fail to provide trash services for a day and make no alternative plans for providing that service, then they should refund the money the customer paid for that service. They don’t. Instead, they hope you will give up on following up. They keep your money. Does that mean, if there were 50 people on that route at $12 a trash bin then it’s OK for them to keep the $600? We are now taking pictures of our trash can to document the date, time and place it was put out for retrieval.

NTUA has a new multimillion dollar facility in Fort Defiance. However, Navajo paying customers are still expected to conduct business in the same tiny building that’s been there since 1970s. It is where people make payments for services, request utility services, and for Choice NTUA Wireless. At peak times, people are left standing outdoors waiting in the cold, snow or rain or wind. In contrast, we see the investment Cellular One makes to provide a nice environment for customers to shop for wireless services. Why doesn’t NTUA do the same thing?

Furthermore, I think there should be a “Consumer Services” section in Navajo Business Regulatory that protects the Navajo consumers. This should be a place for people to make valid complaints when Navajo businesses don’t provide what they are purportedly selling.
“Buy Navajo,” they said.

Lynette Willie
Window Rock

BFS has a clean audit

The Independent recently reported views expressed by the McKinley County Commission and staff regarding Battered Families Services Inc. (BFS). It would be preferable, of course, for any misunderstandings or conflicting issues to be resolved in private before public statements are made, but BFS has now been publicly criticized, and so I would like to set the record straight regarding the status and financial health of BFS.

First of all, BFS was accused of fiscal irresponsibility and inadequate sharing of information. In the past three years, BFS has not only cleaned up all past inherited financial issues but currently has a totally clean audit, as our external auditors will readily confirm. Additionally, we have recently been recognized nationally for our transparency as a nonprofit organization. We have provided the county with whatever information they requested. The public accusations are, therefore, mistaken.
Secondly, BFS was criticized for seeking outside funding without the county’s “permission,” and this seems to be the basis for the county’s unwillingness to actually implement and manage the BFS appropriations for which they are the designated fiscal agent. We would hope that any issues in this regard would be resolved professionally, with good communication, and in the spirit of cooperation.

There are two key issues at hand: number one, there are many families in McKinley County suffering from domestic violence. BFS is the primary service provider for parents and children who are at risk from abuse or neglect by other adults in their households.

Alcohol abuse is a major contributor to these tragic circumstances, but there are other factors in play, as well. We believe it is unconscionable for our local governments to deny resources in support of these families. The need is so great that our only recourse has been to seek as much outside funding as possible to meet the urgent needs of these suffering county citizens.

Number two, our current facilities have serious deficiencies for which funding has been appropriated.

However, the county has failed to cooperate with BFS in putting those resources to use. In the meantime, we have proposed a plan for a new facility and comprehensive program based on international best practices, and we are pursuing funding to make that a reality.

It would be in the best interests of BFS, the county, and the county community for there to be the highest degree of cooperation and support possible from all of our public agencies.

Emily Ellison, executive director for Battered Families Services

Remember the fallen

Live in gratitude for your precious gift of life and freedom they’ve given you.

We honor and commemorate the men and women who died sacrificing their lives for our country serving in the armed forces. In many ways they were far happier in the military than any time in their life. The closeness and camaraderie feeling of being part of a cause, a divine scheme, an obligation to be the best. Their time felt the most rewarding to serve their country, military family, dedicated to the mission, pursuing a common goal, victory, a bondage, and brotherhood and sisterhood in their darkest hours in war and peace. To fight countless hours, physically fatigued but will get up and do it again, ignore pain, sleep, and hungry even if it cost them their lives. They leave no soldier behind. They’re soldiers, they would do it again.

Reflect on why you have the luxury and the freedom you enjoy today. Honor the fallen soldiers’ loved ones, spouses, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and friends. We do live in gratitude each day to their families who also served, for they must endure the physical, emotional, and psychological pain and trauma, too.
Plato wrote, “Only the dead on the battlefield is war finally over. Those living must carry the horror, terrors of war.”

This weekend, remember the brave, America’s best, proud departed servicemen and women. Thank the living veterans for their service, for duty, for our country, for honor, and for the American way.

Retired Army Sgt. Gary Bernally


Weather & Road Conditions

Window Rock Weather


66.0 F (18.9 C)
Dewpoint: 48.0 F (8.9 C)
Humidity: 52%
Wind: West at 4.6 MPH (4 KT)
Pressure: 30.33

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