Letters: Name missing from Gold Star list

There is a missing name in that article on page A8 (“Gold Star mothers, their fallen warriors honored,” Oct. 4), my friend and my United States Marine, Lance Cpl. Daniel Dee Denipah.

Daniel was born March 31, 1947, in Tuba City. He attended Flagstaff schools and graduated from Flagstaff High School in 1965.

Daniel joined the Marine Corps on Sept. 13, 1966, and went to boot camp in San Diego (Plt# 2220). He started his Vietnam tour on Feb. 19, 1967. His Marine unit was in the village of Thua Luu, and Daniel’s unit was CAC Unit – Hotel 7. His unit was ambushed on Dec. 28, 1967.

Daniel was killed Dec. 28, 1967. God bless Daniel.

Sgt. Mauri C. Jim
U.S. Marine Corps 1966-1969
Vietnam February 1968 — June 1969
A-Btry, 1-13, 1-26 Marines

Casinos have been a disaster

Greetings to members of the Navajo Nation from Totah. Thank you for this opportunity to address some important matters impacting the 2018 Navajo Nation general election and other issues of concerns.

The most and foremost is the allegations made against Jonathan Nez, which appeared in the recent Navajo Times with negative reports. Clearly, it is politically motivated and intended to disqualify Mr. Nez from the presidency.

Why and where do these spoilers appear from close to the election? It all started in 2014 that caused a crisis in the election process. It’s late and the election needs to proceed without further ado. What about the opposing candidate who seems to have no desire to give up the presidency and many wonder why?

This is the sixth attempt at the presidency by Joe Shirley Jr. He completed the two-term limit in 2010 as required. It’s unfair to those who have the potential to be president. Isn’t two-term limit the existing law?

During Mr. Shirley’s second term the Tribal Council appropriated funds in the millions of dollars to investigate his dealing with the ONSat Corporation. Instead, he and the attorney general at the time reversed the investigation on the Council delegates for their use of discretionary funds. The investigation needs to be completed in all fairness.

The other major issue of concern is gaming (casinos) which was voted down in 1993 by referendum vote due to fear it would cause potential social problems. The recent reports by the Gaming Commission are the casinos are doing outstanding while in reality they are making a slight dent in the overall economy.

A few Council delegates felt building casinos is the only way additional revenues will be gained. They ignored the people’s vote by allowing casinos and approved Joe Shirley a decade later. It’s a disaster to the senior citizens and those on fixed incomes.

It is sad to see that they are causing great harm to senior citizens’ livelihood. They get paid in the morning and are broke in the afternoon. At one time a grandma was terrified that she spent all her money on the day of her payday at Northern Edge. All she bought was a bag of potatoes and coffee for the month.

The liquor establishment in the casinos is another disaster, which is causing serious problems. Some good people have died while hitchhiking along the highway after drinking at the bar and some even disappeared from the parking lot. The casino officials claim they are not responsible which is naïve and unacceptable.

In light of the above, the tribal government officials might as well allow alcohol sales on the reservation.

Additionally, the election law needs to be thoroughly reviewed and amended so to eliminate the same old-same old, which is like a recycle bin.

Thank you for this time to address some serious issues and other related matters.

Vern Charleston
Farmington, N.M.

Nez will protect sacred sites

It is almost a year since the Navajo Nation Council rejected the Confluence Partners’ push to approve the Escalade bill. For the Save The Confluence family members and supporters, that vote on Halloween evening 2017 was a giant and courageous step to protect Navajo land. The 16 Council delegates, President Begaye, Vice President Nez, and many others … what else can I say other than to thank you once more.

Those of us who grew up in that area, the Confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado rivers, believe that it is sacred. For that reason we never live right close to the canyon and the few occasions that we went there was to offer corn pollen to the Holy People and to pray for our good spirits and health. We never thought that this area would come under attack by outside forces that wanted to develop it for a tourist attraction and to make money. All those plans are gone for now until another group or developers ask to make money off the land.

Vice President Nez is making a bid for the nation’s president. He will win next month and I am confident in him that he will not waver when more threats to Navajo land and its resources surface again. Before and since the Long Walk, the Navajo people were forced to give up land and were given what we have today. The STC families reminded our leaders about what is left of the land and the importance in saving it for future generations.

To the Navajo voters, your decision is ultimately yours. For me, I made up my mind as to whom I will support and vote for. In the spirit of sacred sites, thank you for publishing my opinion.

William LongReed
Tuba City/Bodaway, Ariz.

I will work for strong local government

The Navajo Nation primary election has concluded, and I am officially a candidate for the general election for Council delegate listed for District 14 chapters. I express my appreciation and offer a grand ahéhee (thank you) for all that voted for me and supported my candidacy in the primary election.

Let me formally introduce myself. My full name is Pernell Halona. I am originally from Tohatchi, New Mexico. My clans are Áshiihí (Salt People Clan), Tódích`ii`nii (Bitter Water Clan), Tl’ógí (Hairy Ones Clan), and Naakai dine’é (Mexican Clan).

I have two sons, Kenton Halona, who presently resides in Nampa, Idaho, and Randell Halona, who lives in Tohatchi. My parents were Wilson and Ruby Halona who resided in Tohatchi, where they raised their children. My sisters are Kathy Barton of Gallup, Delia Halona who presently resides in Albuquerque, and my brothers, Cornell Halona and Wade Halona, now residing in Farmington. I returned home 14 years ago to care for my elderly parents, who are now deceased. I was blessed to assist my parents in the last years, which they both lived to the ripe old age of 95.

After I graduated from Tohatchi High School, I did leave the reservation to pursue higher education. I attended San Juan College, majoring in business administration. I acquired gainful employment with Navajo Agricultural Products Industry, managing all farming operations of planting, harvesting, marketing, and training equipment operators and supervisors. Also as a private contractor partner, working with Pumpkin Patch fundraisers producing pumpkins, harvesting them, and shipping them to various churches for sale throughout the East Coast.

I was also employed with 4 Corners Electric Company in Farmington, as an electrician assistant, working at San Juan College.

Presently, I am owner of a small business, Protree Services, in Gallup, specializing in tree removal, tree trimming, and landscape maintenance. I have been a member of New Mexico Activities Association for 21 years as a basketball official working with middle schools and high schools throughout McKinley and San Juan counties.

The Navajo Nation general election will occur on Nov. 6. We will continue to campaign and your continued support and efforts to help win in the general election will be greatly appreciated.

As your Council delegate, my goals are to work directly with all chapter officials to adhere to and complete the wishes and needs of the communities they represent. I intend to unite and build a stronger local government for each community I will represent. I intend to create programs and develop projects to assist all the senior citizens, veterans, and assist IHS to bring more efficient health care to our communities. I will work diligently to assist our educators and the McKinley County School Board to create programs to help our students to be successful patrons of our community.

The people of our community are the administrators of their government for each represented chapter. They can voice their needs. As your represented Navajo Nation Council delegate, I will listen and adhere to addressing these needs at the Navajo Nation government level. I will work diligently to protect the Navajo Nation and our nation’s resources. I intend to work directly with our new administration’s government and for all the people of the great Navajo Nation.

In conclusion, please know I will represent our community diligently with respect for all the people of our community and the Navajo Nation. Your continued support in this endeavor shall and will always be appreciated. Thank you (Ahéhee).

Pernell Halona
District 14 Candidate
Navajo Nation Council Delegate
Tohatchi, N.M.

Letter on vets was full of falsehoods

I am Thursa Smith, the sanctioned commander of Steamboat Veterans Organization. I see that a letter was published in the Navajo Times last week and much to my surprise it was about me (“Veterans director micromanaged Steamboat vets,” Sept. 27, 2018).

I would like to address several items mentioned in this propaganda-filled letter. The emergency meeting Lee Bitsui is referring to was appropriately managed with the heads of our Fort Defiance Veterans Agency in attendance to ensure all was in accordance to the veterans’ policies and procedures.

Lee Bitsui, for months, continued to speak about stepping down, and he announced for months that the voting for officers would be held during the regular August meeting. The August meeting agenda had the officer voting listed, but Lee Bitsui decided not to have it.

This was after he attempted to abruptly cancel the August meeting the night prior. In fact, at the August meeting when Lee Bitsui announced that he wasn’t going to allow the voting, the majority voted to have the voting in of new officers and Lee Bitsui still went against the majority vote.

Veterans showed up, taking a leave of absence for this August meeting in order to vote and were denied their right. The emergency meeting turnout is very important to note. More veterans showed up at this meeting than the monthly meetings held by Lee Bitsui, because they all wanted to vote him out.

Lee Bitsui is an explosive agitator who uses his PTSD to get away with his continuous obnoxious inappropriate behavior.

At the August meeting a motion was made and voted to invite executive director and the Fort Defiance Agency commander to come to the meeting to oversee the vote. The fact is that more veterans did show up just for the vote, than all the years of Lee Bitsui’s meetings. There are so many Steamboat veterans that are very disgruntled to how Lee Bitsui handles and conducts himself, and they seem to have no funding when it is requested.

I, too, can put a lot of disparaging facts in this letter, but I am a different type of leader. I am working very hard for the veterans, not just for Steamboat veterans, but all of Navajo Nation. As for money, I have been working very hard, and yes, I commute, 1,005 miles exactly. I think you can say that, in fact, is dedication. Not to mention it is on my dime, as everyone knows we’ve had no budget.

I also would like everyone to request an audit for the Steamboat Veterans Organization and the Steamboat Chapter veterans’ funds.

I can go on, but I have better things to do like take care of our veterans.

I advised my family to get a protection order.

Thursa Smith
Sgt. Marine Corps veteran
Yuma, Ariz.


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Categories: Letters