Kayenta Native Serves on the Cutting Edge of Naval Aviation Modernization

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Electa Berassa, Navy Office of Community Outreach

LEMOORE, Calif. – A 2004 Monument Valley High School graduate and Kayenta, Arizona, native is serving in the U.S. Navy with VFA 147 The Argonauts.

Petty Officer 1st Class Berthia Sullivan works as a yeoman and operates out of Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.

A Navy yeoman is responsible for everything personnel-related with pay and benefits.

“I have learned a lot about my Navajo culture,” said Sullivan. “I come from a long history of Native American veterans. From a young age my grandmother instilled in us a lot of our culture to make sure we are successful. She sacrificed a lot to get me here, and I don’t ever want to let her down.”

NAS Lemoore is the home of the F-35C Lightning II, which is slated to play a critical role in carrier strike groups’ integrated warfighting packages, according to Navy officials.

F/A-18 Super Hornets, with the ability to carry large payloads of advanced weapons, will continue to provide lethality and flexibility to complement the capabilities of the F-35C Lightning II. This combination of naval aviation assets will provide a mix of strike assets to deliver responsiveness and firepower across the range of military operations, according to Navy officials.

The F-35C will serve as the first stealth platform to operate forward from the sea, extending combat power in all threat environments and reducing the Navy’s reliance on supporting aircraft, tankers and jammers while enabling joint interoperability with newer systems.

The strike fighter wing, headquartered at NAS Lemoore, ensures that each squadron is fully combat-ready to conduct carrier-based, all-weather, attack, fighter and support missions for the Pacific Fleet.

Sullivan has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My grandfather was a WWII Army vet,” said Sullivan. “He helped set the standard before I was even born, and he talked about what it was like to leave the reservation and travel. That fueled my decision to join and get me where I am today.”

Sullivan is also proud of earning the Navy Marine Corp Achievement Medal in December for making sure everyone was taken care of regarding pay, personnel and benefits.

With the CSFWP consisting of more than 20 squadrons, highly specialized jobs range from training new aviators to maintaining airframes and engines, to handling and flying aircraft.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s most relied-upon assets, Sullivan and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means making sure there is a future for my girls, and they are as free as I was growing up,” Sullivan added. “I am making sure they get the same opportunities, if not more.”

Taskforce Completes Successful Opioid Bust in Arizona

Over 9,000 Fentanyl pills and hundreds of pounds of other drugs seized

WASHINGTON – From May 15, 2018 through May 26, 2018, the Department of the Interior (DOI) Opioid Reduction Task Force conducted a Criminal Interdiction Operation in and around Tribal reservations in Arizona, seizing 9,050 Fentanyl pills, 48.2 pounds of methamphetamine, 1.2 pounds of heroin, 863 pounds of marijuana, one-half pound of cocaine, and $30,000 in cash. In total, the drug bust yielded a seizure of 913.5 pounds of illegal narcotics, with a street value of approximately $4,791,417.00, and led to 86 total arrests. The operation in Arizona is the second led by Interior’s Joint Task Force, which Secretary Zinke established to help achieve President Donald Trump’s mission to end the opioid epidemic.

“Our task force on opioids continues to distinguish itself as one of the finest operations in law enforcement today; I could not be more proud of these professionals,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “It’s heartbreaking to see the scale of the problem, and rather than further stigmatizing victims, we are cracking down on the dealers who are selling out our children, selling out our communities, and selling out our nation. I thank our partners in Indian Country, along with state and local law enforcement, for their dedication to this mission. These brave men and women are keeping the opioid dealers up at night, and with good reason; if you are trafficking these drugs, we will find you, arrest you, and bring you to justice.”

“A drug-free Indian Country is a healthy Indian Country. I commend the efforts of our BIA Division of Drug Enforcement agents, along with federal, tribal and state partners for successfully conducting this operation to eradicate drugs in tribal communities,” said John Tahsuda, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. “Only together can we protect our loved ones from the harmful effects of these devastating substances.”

Significant Seizures:

Methamphetamine

33.2 pounds located in a vehicle tire with estimated street value of $1,754,212.00. (Tohono O’odham Reservation)

Methamphetamine 

15 pounds located in a natural void of a Toyota Scion with a street value of $790,952.00. (Gila River Reservation)

Heroin 

1.2 pounds located in a natural void of a Toyota Scion with a street value of $55,501.00. (Gila River Reservation)

Cocaine

0.5 pounds located in a natural void of a Toyota Scion with a street value of $22,680.00. (Gila River Reservation)

Marijuana

863.588 pounds (four separate seizures) with an estimated street value of $1,802,072.00. (Tohono O’odham Reservation)

Fentanyl 

Approximately 9,050 pills with an estimated street value of $366,000.00. (Gila River Reservation)

Total Seizure: 

913.5 pounds of illegal narcotics and approximately 9,050 fentanyl pills with a total street value of approximately $4,791,417.00.

Secretary Zinke has worked with tribes to carry out President Trump’s directive to stop the opioid crisis, conducting dozens of tribal visits to see the affected communities, while listening and learning about how to fight the crisis. In starting new initiatives to fight the epidemic, such as the creation of the Joint Task Force, the Department of the Interior is committed to giving all resources required to fight drug abuse.

The DOI Task Force for the Interdiction Operation consisted of Special Agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Division of Drug Enforcement (DDE) and BIA K-9 uniformed officers, along with the Tohono O’odham Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI-Sells, Arizona), US Border Patrol (USBP), Pascua Yaqui Tribal Police Department, San Carlos Apache Tribal Police Department, Gila River Tribal Police Department, Native American Targeted Investigations of Violent Enterprises (NATIVE) Task Force, and the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Criminal Interdiction Operation focused on highways known for being high drug trafficking routes into and through Indian Country. This collaboration focused efforts on conducting high visibility enforcement operations with specialized drug interdiction teams.

Cold War Patriots Hosts Town Hall Meetings for Uranium Workers in the Four Corners Region, June 5-6

– New format enables workers to get more customized information about government compensation & healthcare benefits they have earned –

Denver, Colo. (May 23, 2018) – Cold War Patriots (CWP), a community resource organization that is the nation’s strongest and most sustained voice advocating for worker benefits, will host free town hall meetings for nuclear weapons and uranium workers in the Four Corners Region on June 5 and 6 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day. With a new format this year, CWP is making it easier for workers to get the specific information they need about the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) and the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA).

The morning sessions, starting at 10 a.m., will be customized for people who have already applied for RECA or EEOICPA benefits and have either been awarded a U.S. Department of Labor white medical benefits card or have a pending claim. At the morning session, participants will learn:

  • How to file for medical expense reimbursement
  • How impairment ratings can get them more monetary compensation
  • Why they should add conditions to a claim
  • Why in-home care might be right for them

The 2 p.m. afternoon sessions are for workers who haven’t yet applied for their benefits or those who have applied but whose claims have been denied. No new information is available for post 1971 uranium miners at this time. The afternoon session participants will learn:

  • If they qualify for up to $400,000 in monetary compensation and free healthcare
  • How to apply for benefits
  • What benefits are included
  • How to reopen denied claims

“Our goal at CWP is to ensure the workers who helped keep America free by building the nation’s nuclear arsenal and are now suffering illness because of their sacrifice and service are connected with the monetary compensation and health benefits they have earned,” says Tim Lerew, CWP Chairperson. “By segmenting our presentations in this way, we can better help the workers with their individual situations, which can be overwhelming to navigate on their own.”

Lerew says anyone who worked at any nuclear weapons or uranium mining facility is invited to attend a presentation. Resources will be on hand to help workers understand the financial and medical benefits available to them – including home healthcare – and to guide them through the process of proving the connection between their workplace exposure and their illness.

Below are the meeting dates and locations. Refreshments will be offered.

Tuesday, June 5

Courtyard by Marriott Farmington

560 Scott Ave.

Farmington, NM

Wednesday, June 6

Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center

State Route 504

Shiprock, NM

The EEOICPA program is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and offers monetary compensation and healthcare benefits to workers who participated in the nuclear weapons program from 1942 until the present day and became sick because of radiation exposure or other toxic substances. Learn more at https://www.dol.gov/owcp/energy/.  The RECA program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice and offers monetary compensation to persons in certain situations who were exposed to radiation exposure. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/civil/common/reca.

About Cold War Patriots (CWP)

Cold War Patriots (CWP) is a division of Professional Case Management (PCM), which provides specialized in-home healthcare services to nuclear weapons and uranium workers. CWP is a community resource and advocacy organization and the nation’s strongest and most sustained voice to advocate for worker benefits. CWP helps former nuclear weapons and uranium workers get the recognition, compensation and care they have earned. CWP, the first national organization to connect workers with benefits, does this work for free on behalf of its members. Visit www.coldwarpatriots.org or call 888-903-8989 for more information.

Media Contact:          

Shannon Porter, Cold War Patriots

media@coldwarpatriots.org | 888-903-8989

Kayenta Earth Week 2018

Kayenta Township designated this past week earth week, and I must say that the community of Kayenta pulled it off. Altogether the community of Kayenta gathered 60 Cubic Yards of Trash!

 

 

Trash was collected:

  • North of Laguna Creek Bridge on US Highway 163
  • Heading east out of Kayenta on US Highway 160
  • South on BIA Route N591
  • West of Kayenta on US Highway 160

 

 

 

 

 

I would like to thank the following organizations for helping out with this effort and making this possible for Kayenta.

  • Community Members of Kayenta
  • The Teachers of Kayenta Unified School District
  • Kayenta Township
  • ADOT
  • Kayenta Fire Department
  • Blue Coffee Pot
  • The Kayenta Chapter

JoDonna Hall- Ward proud owner of Blue Coffee Pot and a Kayenta Township Commissioner helped tremendously with her 40oz bottle recycling that she puts together every year.

 

 

Altogether with her efforts she was able to collect 23,033 40oz bottles. That translates to $1,151.65 of her own money that she put up to get rid of this eye sore in the community of Kayenta. The Kayenta Township is currently assisting with the hauling and disposal fees of these 40oz bottles in White Mesa, Utah with an additional estimated cost of $2000.00.

 

 

 

I truly believe we banned together as a community and made Kayenta better for our community members and visitors from all over the world. I sincerely hope that we all take pride in our community and take a sense of ownership of Kayenta that we call home. Thank you to all who came out and assisted with “Earth Week” here in Kayenta and making this week one for the books.

Ahehee!

Gabriel Yazzie – Kayenta Town Manager

 

PROPOSAL TO AMEND KAYENTA TOWNSHIP BUSINESS SALES TAX RATE

Pursuant to Section 2-107(C) of the Administrative Rules and Procedures Ordinance and Section 8-307 of the Business Sales Tax Ordinance (subchapter 3 of the Tax Ordinances), the Kayenta Township Commission (“Commission”) hereby provides notice of a proposed action to increase the Business Sales Tax from five percent (5%) to six percent (6%) by amending Sections 8.303 and 8.311(G) of the Business Sales Tax Regulations. The proposed amendments are as follows: http://kayentatownship-nsn.gov/Home/PDF/tax_6.pdf

Last Day for Public Comment April 14, 2018

Drivers should plan for extra time on US 163 north of Kayenta due to construction project that begins today

The Arizona Department of Transportation advises drivers to plan for extra time when traveling on US 163 north of Kayenta during a scheduled six-month-long construction project that begins today (March 14).

The 1-mile work zone, located between mileposts 400 and 401, is approximately 5 miles north
of Kayenta. Drivers traveling between Kayenta and the Utah state line will use a temporary detour alongside US 163 to continue north- and southbound travel through the work zone. US 163 is the highway motorists use to access the popular Monument Valley Navajo Tribal park near the Arizona-Utah border.

Drivers should expect intermittent delays of up to 30 minutes during the construction project, which is  needed to improve the drainage system along this portion of US 163 during rain storms.

Motorists should slow down and use caution through the work zone. To learn more about the US 163 roadway improvement project, visit [www.azdot.gov/US163]www.azdot.gov/US163.

Schedules are subject to change based on weather and other unforeseen factors. For more information, please call the ADOT Project Information Line at 855.712.8530 or email Projects@azdot.gov. For real-time highway conditions statewide, visit ADOT’s Traveler Information Site at www.az511.gov, follow ADOT on Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) or call 511, except when driving.

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: H.B. 2003 coal mining; TPT; repeal

On Tuesday, Mar. 6, H.B. 2003 coal mining; TPT; repeal was assigned to the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, respectively. Previously, the bill passed out of the House of Representatives last Thursday, Mar. 1, and was transmitted to the Senate on Monday, Mar. 5. H.B. 2003 is sponsored by Rep. Mark Finchem, R-Dist. 11; Casa Grande, Eloy, Marana, Maricopa, Oro Valley, Tucson. The bill is on the agenda and scheduled to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee next Wednesday, Mar. 14 at 9 a.m. MST.

This legislative alert seeks to inform LD-7 constituents of this bill and its potential impacts district-wide. The office of Sen. Peshlakai encourages district and state residents’ input and feedback through the legislature’s ‘Request To Speak’ system. 

Attached is the committee agenda, a House bill summary, and a fiscal note for your review. You may review the full bill and additional details online at www.azleg.gov.

 

Tribes Respond To Trump’s Evisceration Of Bears Ears National Monument

Elected officials from the Navajo Nation, Ute Indian Tribe, and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe hosted a press conference to respond to President Trump’s elimination of 85% of Bears Ears National Monument. This action is an attack on Native American people, culture, history, and tribal sovereignty and may result in opening up 2 million acres to mining interests.The Tribes have already filed suit today to challenge the President’s assault on our public lands. Utah Diné Bikéyah along with other organizations is also prepared to back the Tribes. Tribal Commission input was reduced on 94% of the land, while protection was removed from 85% of the land. This is an unprecedented executive action to undermine Bears Ears National Monument.

Speakers included: Jonathan Nez, Vice President, Navajo Nation, Harold Cuthair, Chairman, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Shaun Chapoose, Council Member, Ute Indian Tribe, Davis Filfred, Council Delegate, Navajo Nation, and Ethel B. Branch, Attorney General, Navajo Nation.

Full Facebook livestream can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/protectbearsears/videos/1480156805435408/

Shaun Chapoose, Ute Indian Tribe Business Committee Member stated, “If it’s a fight they want, it’s a fight they are going to get. They declared war on us today. When it’s all said and done, just remember this didn’t have to happen. You (the Utah Delegation) could have honored our request to protect our heritage.”

Willie Grayeyes, Chairman of Utah Diné Bikéyah said, “Bears Ears National Monument was created to safeguard the history of five Native American Tribes and to protect their ongoing cultural uses of the land. This is a landscape that has been mined, looted and desecrated for 150 years and today, President Trump opened 85% of the land back up to these abuses. The current administration is playing politics with our native heritage, without even having the courage to look us in the eye. We have no other choice but to seek legal remedies against this illegal action, to listen to our people, and to restore hope in a future that is inclusive of Native American rights and interests on the land.”

Ethel Branch, Attorney General of the Navajo Nation stated, “What we saw today is a tremendous affront to tribal sovereignty and it is a tremendous overreach of executive authority. We intend to hold the president accountable for his actions in federal court.”

Photos available for royalty-free media use are available:

Places cut from leaked Bears Ears boundaries: https://goo.gl/L8t5HT

People can support the legal defense of Bears Ears National Monument by donating to:

http://utahdinebikeyah.org/defend-bears-ears/