Thanks those who gave their support

I’m writing this letter to give my personal thanks to every person who has given my family and me a lot of encouragement and love. My husband, Jackson Gray of Chilchinbeto, Ariz., and I were married on June 22 of this past year in White Cone, Ariz., so we’re celebrating our six-month anniversary.

Since my father is not living, I chose my grandfather to walk me down the aisle. It was such an honor for me to have him give me away, since he’s one of the most cherished and respected people in my life. My uncle, Denny Cleveland, married us in the traditional Navajo wedding ceremony, and my dad’s nephew, Judge TJ Holgate, presided over us.

I deeply cherish the effort my relatives gave to have Jackson and me married, spiritually and by law. Many of my relatives put aside many differences to share that day with us.

Our wedding day was also a time for my paternal relatives to come and reunite with us, to meet relatives we were not familiar with and also to meet the new family and relatives of the Chilchinbeto community. For that, I aim gratefully thankful to them.

That is why Jackson, Tamarah and I would like to send out our deepest feelings of gratitude and love. We also want to wish everybody a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a safe trip wherever they may go this season.

Evelyna Cleveland-Gray

Flagstaff, Ariz.

Urges senators to do homework

Thirty U.S. Senators have sent a letter to the chamber’s majority and minority leaders, urging cooperation with House leadership to enact Medicare provider payment legislation quickly once the new Congress is seated in January. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) led the letter effort.

Obviously Kyl and Bingaman have bought the myth perpetrated by the poor little match boys who cry poor every time Medicare and/or Medicaid funding is cut or even threatened. Surely they don’t know that $50 million of taxpayers’ dollars went to one little match boy, the past CEO of IHS or that $38 million went to another little match boy, the current CEO of Manor Care.

If they would read Christopher Schmitt’s article “The New Math of Old Age” in US News & World Report, they would discover that these incidents of government funding of CEO’s high-flying lifestyles are not “isolated events,” an expression that nursing home nabobs are fond of using when yet another incident of outrageous failure of care in a nursing home is reported.

If Kyl and Bingaman had done their homework, instead of demanding yet more federal money for nursing homes, they would demand that the centers for Medicare and Medicaid monitor the disbursement of the billions of dollars that CMS receives that is intended to be spent to provide quality care for nursing home residents. Of course, nursing home owners should receive a salary, but, tragically, the resident’s financial horse is way behind the owner’s financial cart.

Schmitt’s article discredits the myth of the poor little match boys. When will someone hold those nursing home owners accountable for enriching themselves while helpless old and disabled residents suffer because there isn’t enough money left over to pay for sufficient staffing to provide quality care?

Jane Marshall

Clarksville, Tenn.

Extends apology for cancellation

Our sincere apologies to all song and dance fans. The Western Agency Social Song And Dance Committee was invited to perform a contest Navajo Song and Dance at Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nev. on Dec. 7-8. Apparently it was a disappointment to Hank Whitethorn, All Indian Professional Rodeo Association President, that Avi did not guarantee him the $5,000 to sponsor the traditional song and dance event for the nonprofit Tuba City based committee.

Again, we apologize to all the faithful members of the song and dance community.

Dee Yellowhorse, President

Western Agency Navajo Song and Dance Committee

Tuba City, Ariz.

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