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Letters | Political trick is becoming too stale

Well, it is certainly that time again. The political dust appears to be flying all over the Navajo rez. This is not news, considering the number of candidates competing for the very controversial spot in the Navajo president’s office. It didn’t have to be this way, but that is what happens every four years.

I thought Chicago was known as the “Windy City.” Navajo has now become the land of the “Windy Rez” with political blue dust devils.

There are a multitude of critical issues, but what really bothers me is when candidates begin to include in their platform statements, using Diné veterans as promotional tokens or political front to win an election. It starts out with, “If elected, I will do this and that for Navajo veterans.”

Well, this political trick is becoming too stale and antiquated and far from addressing the real veterans’ issues.

Any political candidate can say this in this foreign style of government. It is not really our government in the first place. The stark reality has not hit Navajo that we are only mimicking a foreign style of governance putting wealth over the people. Are we supporting systemic racism? Something to think about.

In the interim, as Diné veterans begin to learn how to organize into civic engagements, i.e., annual forums, symposiums, and conventions as they properly begin to articulate growing critical issues somewhere along the way, they will put you in “check” because they are all getting tired of the status quo political syndrome.

They will ensure there is a proper vetting process or scrutiny of those public official candidates and thus, will weed out those who are not on the same level with local grassroots veterans. Some Diné veterans are very keen and tell you straight up.

Remember, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Navajo had parades throughout the rez. This means in future parades, do not wave your hand in a political flamboyant parade unless you have rendered quality service delivery to your Diné veteran constituency.

Yes, it becomes rather harsh. Why beat around the prickly cactus!

And, after you win an election, please stay away from the Diné restaurant and indulge in the buffet and claim late lunch. And please stay in your respective offices and do not leave early because your constituents will travel long distances to confer with you on important issues.

This means you must provide realistic and viable progress reports at these veterans’ gatherings to see if you are indeed keeping your word. If you fail to demonstrate, this means you are in a stage fright mode or in a funky chicken frenzy.

This also means you must not attempt to duplicate the current veterans’ services coming from the state or federal government. The Code of Federal Regulations are too complicated and does not resonate with critical Diné veteran’s issues. They need redefinition and refinement to reflect the true status/conditions of Diné Vietnam veterans, as well as other war era veterans.

We do not live in the big cities. The values are different. The indigenous lifestyle is different.

So, the current Navajo Nation veterans’ offices are only duplicates – a secondhand copy of the federal VA offices. It is not yet quite tailored to the real and genuine needs of Diné veterans of all war eras. This is where county, state, and federal officials come into play.

Hello? Where have you all been all these years?

Hey, I am sorry. I didn’t mean to also put you into a political limelight. At some point in time, we will also roll out the red carpet for all of you to see who will do something very incredible and extraordinary for Diné veterans.

Yes, indeed. You must “walk the talk” and not rhetorically talk the same political talk and BS.

Anthony Lee Sr.
Lukachukai, Ariz.

We have best pollution control system

Tonight (Wednesday, June 29), is my last evening shift ever working for PNM San Generation Station for 44 years. Tomorrow I have an exit interview at 10 a.m.

I feel downhearted because the younger generation will not have the same opportunity to provide for their family that I have had. PNM has provided me the opportunity to become a journeyman in my craft and over the years provide well for my family.

I am thankful that this company has provided financial advisers that have helped to prepare us for this day, pension and a good severance package.

I can’t see why our country is shutting down the fossil fuel industry when we have the best pollution control system and strictest guidelines on oil and gas in the world.

Because of our stewardship of the environment and safety record, we could effectively provide efficient natural resources until we are ready to transition to renewable power sources. This would provide others in our country with stable and important jobs as I have had for several more years and protect the integrity of the power grid.

The last thing we need to do is purchase natural resources from countries that don’t have the strict environmental and ethical guidelines we have in this country. Foreign countries cannot compete with us on a level playing field either on proper environmental stewardship or financially, we provide the cleanest and cheapest way to the future.

Late sixties my father was moved from the 18 section Star Lake tribal lease ranch to the 7.5 section Sims Ranch to provide coal mining jobs for the Navajo members but the plan never got off the ground.

I stand with oil, gas and coal until we can transition to a cleaner future.

Justin D. Yazzie Jr.
Farmington, N.M.

An early monsoon has arrived

An unusually early monsoon has arrived. Relief is evident in tons of smiling faces on the roads from all walks of life these past two weeks.

Wildflowers are starting to spring out once again along the roads and trees are appearing greener and, yes, looking relieved.

What a blessing! I have never met anyone who does not welcome monsoon, have you? The aroma of damp earth mixed with wet sage, cedar and piñon is more potent than, say, a cup of coffee.

Monsoon rain also triggers the peace and harmony within us, within our soul like a good blast of a favorite song. This is how Mother Nature brings us all back together and restores peace.

The endless, oppressive hot winds have disappeared for a couple weeks now. To show my appreciation, I will don a huge brim sun bonnet, a good pair of thick leather gloves and pull tumble weeds this weekend.

Yuck! This is not something I look forward to, but like I said, I’m helping nature rid of invasive plant species that takes hold everywhere after monsoon.

If each one of us take this initiative during a weekend, imagine the impact we can make. It’s a great family activity. I can tell you that and I aim to put mine to work, including my grand-kiddies.

I have heard my dad say weeds surrounding your house is sign of a weak and lazy person – there, I just passed on to you a piece of Navajo culture.

Why pull weeds, you ask? Because they can easily take over native plants by taking nutrients and moisture until they kill them. There are other invasive species within our Dineh country these days like the Russian thistle, which is weird looking tall plant with purple flowers.

These plants likely came from China via shipped goods. They are sturdy and determined to survive. So pull and burn, or sack them in tough plastic bags for disposal.

Speaking of environment and plants, there is a disaster waiting to happen along the main road between Window Rock and Ganado. By mile maker 455 in Kinlichii, a few miles east of Ganado, are acres of dense, dead trees. It’s a wood hauler’s heaven but removing trees will have to be strategic because one spark can explode the whole area into an inferno.

Pray that the Navajo Nation Forestry and Ganado Chapter officials will closely supervise wood hauling from this area.

According to O. Lee, science teacher from Many Farms Community School, methodical removal or wood hauling could require taking down dead trees from the west border first, then proceed plot by plot into the interior during the monsoon.

Any other time is just asking for huge disaster because, well, you’ve heard of the delayed emergency response time from fire department compound by single-lane highway both ways, worst case scenario for emergency response vehicles.

And the affected area skirts the Fort Defiance Plateau too, which is our national forest, right? And we don’t have many forests to begin with.

Hence, it will be hugely shameful if carelessness, laziness, stubbornness or simply “passing the buck” leads to burning down our own forest like how a “controlled burn” got out of control in Las Vegas above Santa Fe.

By the way, a University of New Mexico science expert has stated to the media that the federal government’s “controlled burn” technology is outdated and does not take into account the climate change aspect when feds set to apply “control burn.”

It sounds like this was the case in the Las Vegas fire, which is said to be the biggest in New Mexico. That said, Navajo Nation officials would be wise to not look to feds for advice on the Kinlichii situation.

Any additional smart ideas to safely remove the dead wood, please share with your chapter officials or Navajo Nation Forestry in Fort Defiance.

Evelina Burbank
Taachee, Ariz.

Looking for the police report

Does it improve performance or does it cause vindictiveness in people or organizations?

I was involved in a truck and motorcycle hit-and-run accident this past March. Two police units responded and an ambulance was also dispatched.

I was checked by EMTs. The side of my left knee got clipped by the vehicle. The motorcycle landed on my right leg and the calf area was hurting. The following day my neck, left knee and lower back (sacral area) were hurting.

The EMTs asked if I wanted to be transported to the hospital. I declined because I didn’t want to leave my bike on the side of the road. The bike was moved to the side due to heavy traffic at 1730 for people of work heading home.

At the same time, I was told by the supervisor the hit-and-run person was detained about two miles down the road by a female officer.

I called the dispatcher for a police report the following Monday where I was transferred to records. No report. I made several calls to dispatch and left several messages to try to obtain the police report and visit the hospital.

The police report didn’t get filed until towards the end of May. I needed an insurance policy number.

I tried to contact a lawyer for the injuries but was declined due to time filed. I talked to the prosecutors and asked if the person was being charged.

To this day, I’ve been unable to obtain a police report. The question I ask myself is, “Are they letting the person slide due to connections?”

Ernest Jones
Chinle, Ariz.


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