Upset by letter on legalizing alcohol

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a response to a letter on legalizing alcohol on the reservation, which ran in the Oct. 29 edition of the Navajo-Hopi Observer.)

These People? Who exactly do you mean? Myself, a bilaganna? My husband, a Navajo? My children, Navajos? We all live on the reservation.

How dare you imply that crime, traffic accidents and the patient load at Flagstaff Medical Center are related to “these people?”

The last time I checked, it was a white boy from Flagstaff that killed a police officer. Drive by shootings, home break in, rapes—they are not committed by “these people.” They are committed by your people, your residents of Flagstaff.

Behave badly? What, are Native Americans the only ones who “behave badly” in Flagstaff? I’ve seen quite a few non-Natives in the custody of police.

The Native American dollar fuels many businesses in Flagstaff. Imagine, no paychecks from the reservation going to Flagstaff. No Navajo/Hopi/Bilaganna dollars at Wal-Mart, Fry’s, Safeway, Flagstaff Mall, even Flagstaff Medical Center. How the economy would suffer.

Controversial. To say the least. Bigot, yes. Biased, yes. Offensive, yes. Out of reality, you bet. Mr. Johnson, you owe all of us, “these people,” on the reservation an apology.

Debi Farrell

Tuba City, Ariz.

More thoughts on bootleggers

Hey, I’d like to put my hearsay on this bootleg [issue]. A very nice article, Mr. Peter June Corbell (10-22-03).

First off, you’ll never get rid of booze or bootleggers no matter how stiff the penalties are. Give these bootleggers jobs, another means of support-—got to make ends meet anyway one can. It’s a hard life here—just 20 day projects from chapters. That’s nothing.

If the good Lord had not turned water into wine, then maybe, just maybe we’d be a sober race. But the human race always finds a way to brew the good stuff 9take it good or bad).

If the Biliganas didn’t come across the sea with liquor, maybe we’d be a sober native nation. Then again, we would have found out how to make the stuff sooner or later.

You want to get to the root of the matter, Mr. Pres., go after the brewing companies. That would take millions of bucks. It’d be like hitting an elephant with a toothpick.

Legalize it. Then people wouldn’t have to kill themselves to get 60 or 70 miles and put bootleggers out of business. One has to consume whatever they get before getting home. It’s best not to be caught with the stuff. That’s why people die on the road.

In Diné clan systems, we are all related to one another these days. There is no such thing as he or she is not related to me anymore. And I cannot understand why one has to put one down to gain harmony or to blame one another. That will not solve our problem in our society.

Even us drunks have feelings, emotional bouts now and then about family, loved ones, our daily lives on the rez. Sometimes one thinks he or she can’t make it, then someone comes along and gives you a hand that’s friend or family.

Rehabilitate our addictions. Have treatment centers here on the rez. [By] jailing one, when released, you come out [mad] at the whole system.

Freddie Niishkah’ Begaye

Cowtown, Ariz.

Praises Tonalea cross country

The Tonalea Wildcat JV boys cross country team has worked hard to improve its running and it showed. Wildcat runners captured the Thunderbird Classic Invitational First Place JV Boys honors on Oct. 24. The Tonalea harriers surprised many cheering spectators with an impressive 26 points and with runners in first, second and third respectively.

Pierre Greymountain won the JV boys event with teammate Lendrick Strong taking runner-up honors, Jo-el Thomas coming in third, Justin Joe placed sixth, and Brandon Whiterock placed 13th. Other Tonalea runners participating in the race were Carlando George, Hershel Lester, Alton Namoki and Lamenzo Addakai.

Head Coach Franklin Tohannie and Assistant Coach Dave Ranck have done a wonderful job in putting this boys and girls team together. The team has also received 100 percent support from the parents and we thank them for that.

The JV Lady Wildcats also has had an impressive season and placed in top three teams in every meet. Leah Greymountain leads the Lady Wildcats with individual titles at the Tonalea Invitational, Page Invitational and finishing fourth at the T-Bird Classic. Willinda Riggs, Olivia Babbitt, Tasheena Smith, Candice Yazzie and Lana Sullivan have impressed the coaches with overall team performances.

The Tonalea Wildcat Cross Country team competed on Saturday, Nov. 1 at the Arizona Junior High School Championships in Goodyear.

Christopher T. Curley

Athletic Director

Tonalea School

Tonalea, Ariz.

Ban smoking in restaurants

Smoking should be banned at restaurants, but not in other places. I think that people should not have to eat when there is smoke in the air while they are eating.

They may think the food tastes ugly when there is smoke in the air. It should not be banned at other places because it is not fair to those people who do smoke.

Smokers say that they have rights. I think that it is stupid that those kids are hurting themselves with smoking when they know that smoking can kill.

But people need to make a living. How are they going to sell tobacco products if it’s banned everywhere? It’s not their fault that people make their own choice to smoke.

People should not blame the tobacco company for causing deaths. The people that work there need to feed their families, too and make a living.

People make their own decisions whether to smoke or not. They should not blame other people for their problems.

Andree Duwyenie

Bruin Times Staff

Hopi High School

Alcohol should not be legalized

Alcohol should not be legalized because it causes too many problems among Native American families. When parents start drinking in front of their children, it makes them think that it is all right to drink alcohol.

Also, when parents drink, it can cause them to neglect their children and it leaves their children hungry, dirty, etc.

Another reason why alcohol should not be legalized is it will make our culture look bad if all of our Hopi people are always drunk. Alcohol is a source depressed people turn to when they feel they have nobody. This is bad because the alcohol might cause them to hurt themselves or even commit suicide.

There are also a lot of underage drinkers on the reservation. A lot of kids choose to drink because their home life is rough, they want to fit in or they are having a hard time with school.

One last reason why I think alcohol should not be legalized is: I feel people do not need alcohol to feel good or turn away from problems. There are other alternatives.

Of course, there are many other reasons why alcohol should not be legalized, but these are the reasons I think are important.

Cheyenne Harding

Bruin Times Columnist

Hopi High School

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