Letters to the Editor April 5,2006

Wants secret agreement on N Aquifer clarified

The Hopi Tribe, Navajo Nation, owners of Mohave Generating Station and Peabody Coal Co., have secretly agreed to allow use of the N-Aquifer for Peabody mining and the transportation of coal to the Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev.

Under the proposed settlement agreement, 8,000 of acre-feet per year of N-Aquifer water will be reserved in the “N-Aquifer Bank.” The amount will increase annually in the amount of 1,800 acre-feet per year for the first six years and “1,000 acre-feet per year thereafter.”

In addition, but separate from the water bank, Peabody will use 500 acre-feet per year as long as mining continues. This amounts to 163,000 gallons each year.

The complicated settlement, which is a result of lengthy mediation to keep Mohave open, has many other features, such as a promise by Hopi and Navajo not to impose new taxes (severance, possessory and business activity tax) against owners of Mohave and Peabody.

The settlement also prevents the Hopi people from suing Peabody for damages to the N-Aquifer. In other words, Peabody will not be held liable for on-going contamination of the N-Aquifer and the over-drafting of our pristine sole-source water supply. From 1970 to 2005, Peabody has been pumping all natural recharge to the confined N-Aquifer (3,500 acre-feet per year according to US Geological Survey monitoring report) and is using more than 500 acre-feet per year from stored water.

Fortunately, the “agreed result of mediation” is subject to approval by the Hopi Tribe. This means that you, we, the grassroots people, must approve the settlement before it is executed.

I urge all of you to request your council representatives to give you a full explanation of the terms endorsed by our negotiators, just to save the Mohave Generating Station.

Vernon Masayesva

Executive Director

Black Mesa Trust

Kykotsmovi, Ariz.

As snow falls, the controversy rises

Arizona Snowbowl is planning to expand its development, clear-cut more than 70 acres, make fake snow from wastewater that has been proven to have harmful contaminants and worse, on the San Francisco Peaks located in northern Arizona.

In an effort to maximize profits, this private business has exaggerated its economic contributions to the City of Flagstaff, attempted to diminish the cultural significance of this mountain that is sacred to more than 13 Native Nations and hide the scientifically proven harmful impacts of contaminants in the wastewater.

When we look at this critical time of dry winter seasons, we as a community must ask ourselves: Is it worth it to extend Snowbowl’s opportunity for profit by a few days at the cost of the degradation of this unique mountain ecosystem, the community health risks with exposure to contaminated wastewater and furthering the destruction of this site that is held sacred by so many Native American Nations?

As Arizona Snowbowl once again opens its runs on the sacred San Francisco Peaks, I urge those who play on this holy mountain to pause, to take a moment and reflect on the controversy surrounding Snowbowl’s proposed development. If this was your church, how would you feel?

If you choose to support Snowbowl, you are supporting the attempts to further violations of the religious beliefs of hundreds of thousands of people. You are supporting the degradation of the environment.

This is not just 1 percent of the mountain that is at risk, it is whole cultures that have already lost up to 99 percent of our homelands and in some cases of our cultures. Would it be accepted if 1 percent of the Vatican be destroyed for the profits of one business?

We will continue to pray for snow as we have since time immemorial. We ask you to also join us in our prayers for dignity and respect.

Ahee’ hee’,

Klee Benally

Flagstaff, Ariz.

How it all began

Before the Dine Bii Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. was built, the Earl Intervention was the service provider for disabled children on the Navajo and Hopi reservation. The Earl Intervention was founded in 1974 through the efforts of service providers, parents and concerned local community citizens. The main office was at St. Micheal, Arizona. There were other Earl Interventions’ service providers in Kayenta and Tuba City residential areas. It was funded by the Public Law 638 from the federal fund, Arizona state fund and Navajo Nation general assistant program for Disabled Navajo children.

The Earl Intervention served Disabled Native American children with developmental disabilities and their family member on the Navajo and Hopi reservation. It operated in various communities throughout the Navajo and Hopi reservation and border town communities. It created active involvement in Navajo and Hopi reservation community awareness of the Disabled Native American Citizens. They did great services and help to the Disabled Native American children. In 1992 Dine Bii Association for Disabled Citizens, Inc. took over the Public Law 638 fund services of the Earl Intervention.

On June 16, 1992, Brandon Keith Sherman, the Little family and Sue Manulito met many times at the Little’s house to discuss the researched, complied, and completed legal documents from the state of Arizona and the BIA real property manager, Edmund Store to start the Dine Bii Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. for 25 years. The Dine Bii Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. for disabled children home was signed by Edward Johnson Little, Sr. on June 16, 1992 to June 16, 2016. Eight years later, the board changed the name to Dine Bii Association for Disabled Citizens, Inc. Most of the present funding comes from the state of Arizona. Brandon Keith Sherman felt great pleasure with his laughs and tears when a home for the Native American Disabled Citizens was signed, accomplished and established in Kerley Valley, Tuba City, Arizona. We thank all the people in the state of Arizona, on Navajo and Hopi reservations who gave their professional advices to the Little family to established the Dind Bii Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. as a home for the Disabled Native American Citizens who did not have a place to live. The Dine Bii Association for Handicapped Citizens, Inc. was built for Disabled Native American children to live in a home, receive special services, special training, and get meal to disabled children to survive in the future.

Brandon’s idea of extending kindness is relevant in how we dealwith disabled people who are helpless, elderly, mentally challenge, poor, disabled. They, too, have a spiritual purpose, mission on Earth, and since all of us are connected to the Almighty Creator, their purpose and mission is connected to us.

Brandon Keith Sherman taught us that when we’re kind to disabled children, we receive kindness in return. He taught us that being unkind with disabled children makes them want to get even rather than help us out. Kindness given to disabled children is kindness returned. Brandon taught us how to care, respect, and treat disabled people with dignity. He taught us our inner self-awareness, to respect our self-identity. He taught us to never neglect our disabled baby when we find out from the doctor that our baby is disabled.

Brandon Keith Sherman taught us to practice kindness toward disabled people. He taught us to be kind to all living species on Earth such as the forest, the deserts, environment, all that has the essence of life within it. He taught us that without Mother Nature, we are disabled people.

Edward Johnson Little Sr.

Sheep Herder and Ancient Navajo Philosophor

Tuba City, Ariz.


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