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

 

Employment Opportunity: Kayenta Family Chiropractic

Position: Chiropractic Assistant

Health care is such a rewarding field of work. A position in our company, (Kayenta Family Chiropractic), as a Chiropractic Assistant would allow a person interested in helping other people, to learn an effective, alternative method other than drugs and surgery of restoring health. Our patients are fun and it’s so rewarding to work with them. Previous experience is helpful but not required. We do have paperwork and records to process, so bring those skills with you.
Send or drop off your resume’ [Kayenta Family Chiropractic, PO Box 2817, One Canyon Drive,] and let’s see if we can create a great work experience for all of us.

Secretary Zinke Directs Interior Bureaus to Take Aggressive Action to Prevent Wildfires

WASHINGTON– Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke directed all Department of the Interior bureaus, superintendents, and land managers at all levels to adopt more aggressive practices, using the full authority of the Department, to prevent and combat the spread of catastrophic wildfires through robust fuels reduction and pre-suppression techniques. 

This year-to-date, 47,700 wildfires have burned 8 million acres across the country, with the majority of the devastation in the states of California and Montana. High-profile fires in Yosemite and Glacier National Parks have caught national headlines, however millions of acres of forest and grassland have burned in recent months.

“This Administration will take a serious turn from the past and will proactively work to prevent forest fires through aggressive and scientific fuels reduction management to save lives, homes, and wildlife habitat. It is well settled that the steady accumulation and thickening of vegetation in areas that have historically burned at frequent intervals exacerbates fuel conditions and often leads to larger and higher-intensity fires,” said Secretary Zinke. “These fires are more damaging, more costly, and threaten the safety and security of both the public and firefighters. In recent fire reviews, I have heard this described as ‘a new normal.’ It is unacceptable that we should be satisfied with the status quo. We must be innovative and where new authorities are needed, we will work with our colleagues in Congress to craft management solutions that will benefit our public lands for generations to come.”

The Secretary is directing managers and superintendents of units that have burnable vegetation to address the threat of fire in all of their activities, and to use the full range of existing authorities, to reduce fuels.

Bryan Rice, Director of the Office of Wildland Fire, said, “It is critical to fully consider the benefits of fuels reduction in the everyday management activities that we carry out for our public land management objectives, such as clearing along roadsides, around visitor use areas like campgrounds and trails, near employee housing areas, and within administrative site areas subject to wildfire.”

The Department has lost historic structures in wildfires like Glacier National Park’s historic Sperry Chalet lodge. In an effort to help prevent future losses, the Secretary is also directing increased protection of Interior assets that are in wildfire prone areas, following the Firewise guidance, writing: “If we ask local communities to ‘be safer from the start’ and meet Firewise standards, we should be the leaders of and the model for ‘Firewise-friendly’ standards in our planning, development, and maintenance of visitor-service and administrative facilities.”

“I welcome Secretary Zinke’s new directive and his attention to the catastrophic fires taking place in many western states,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Treating our landscapes mitigates wildfire risk, increases firefighter safety, and makes our forests and rangelands healthy and resilient. We can no longer delay the implementation of this important work.” 

House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop said, “We must ensure our land management agencies have the tools and resources they need to protect communities and landscapes from catastrophic wildfire. Over the long term, Congress and the Administration must work together to reverse the sorry state of our federal forests and grasslands. I’m heartened to finally have an Administration that’s focused on actively managing and addressing the on-the-ground conditions that are contributing to our historic wildfire crisis. I hope to build on this by enacting comprehensive legislation to restore the health and resiliency of federal lands.”

“If we don’t start managing our forests, the forests are going to start managing us,” said Montana Senator Steve Daines.”The fires burning across Montana are a catastrophe, and we need all available resources to combat this threat. I applaud Secretary Zinke’s action to focus resources on attacking wildfires.”

“I applaud Secretary Zinke’s effort to thin the threat. If we can reduce the fuel loads in our forests and rangelands we will provide our fire fighters more defensible space to do their jobs,” said Idaho Senator James Risch. “We need bold actions like this not just for the hurricanes in the south and east but also to avert the devastation caused by the wildfires in the west.”

“More than 50 million acres in the United States are currently at risk for catastrophic wildfire. That is why we must act to prevent calamitous fires. Management actions taken by Secretary Zinke today will not completely stop the risk, but it is an important step forward in our fight to turn unhealthy, overgrown, and infested forests into thriving, healthy ecosystems,” said Congressman Bruce Westerman. “I commend Secretary Zinke for recognizing this emergency situation and taking steps to address prevent further loss of life and property due to these preventable, catastrophic wildfires. I am committed to working with him and my colleagues in Congress to find a permanent solution to this problem that emphasizes active forest management as the first line of defense against catastrophic wildfires.”

With Western Fire season reaching its natural peak in September, the National Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (NMAC) elevated the National Fire Preparedness Level to “5”, the highest level NMAC declares, on August 10, 2017. Above normal major-fire activity continues to be observed across portions of the Pacific Northwest, Northern Rockies, northern Great Basin, and northern California. Fuel moisture levels and fire danger indices in these areas are at near-record to record levels for severity. Drier and warmer than average conditions across the central Great Basin and Southern California are allowing for the fine fuels to become more receptive to fire activity.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES ACTIONS TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC SAFETY IN INDIAN COUNTRY

Department Will Expand Program that Gives Tribes Access to Federal Crime Data

Opioid Awareness Trainings in Alaska and California Starting This Week

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced recent developments under the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety to strengthen law enforcement and public safety in Indian country, including the continued expansion of a program that gives tribes access to federal crime data, addressing the opioid crisis, serving victims of sex trafficking, and strengthening investigations into crimes against children.

“We have listened to the concerns of tribal law enforcement, who are dealing with public safety challenges including rising violent crime, the opioid crisis, and human trafficking, often with limited resources and manpower,” said Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.  “The Justice Department is committed to a strong government-to-government partnership with tribal nations, including sharing valuable crime data and supporting Native American victims of crime.”    

Listening sessions with tribal law enforcement in May and June clarified some of the most pressing public safety issues in Indian country. The following actions will strengthen efforts to address these challenges.

The Department of Justice is expanding the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information in Fiscal Year 2018. TAP provides federally-recognized tribes access to national crime information databases for both civil and criminal purposes.  TAP supports the selected tribes in analyzing their needs for national crime information and provides access, technology and training.

In its first two years, the department has worked collaboratively with tribal governments on the TAP program to help resolve long-standing public safety issues in Indian country, such as the inability to access national crime information databases. 

Any federally-recognized tribe interested in joining TAP is invited to submit an expression of interest between Aug.16, 2017 and Sept. 15, 2017.  For more information about TAP and instructions on submitting a statement of interest, please visit www.justice.gov/tribal/tribal- access-program-tap.

The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior are hosting two upcoming Opioid Awareness Outreach meetings in August.  The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Executive office for the U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), and the United States Attorney’s Offices (USAOs) in Alaska and Eastern California, in conjunction with the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services (OJS), are sponsoring and co-hosting these important events. The outreach meetings will commence immediately after tribal consultations on Aug.16 in Anchorage, Alaska and on Aug. 29 in Sacramento, California.  The opioid awareness outreach will include presentations from DEA on the signs of opioid abuse, especially heroin and fentanyl awareness; from BIA’s OJS on Narcan deployment initiatives in Indian country; and from the USAOs on federal drug laws.  These discussions are part of an inter-departmental initiative to address the opioid crisis in Indian country.

“The developments announced today by Attorney General Sessions are vitally important to aiding tribal governments in dealing with and seeking solutions to serious drug, sex trafficking, and crimes against children issues afflicting their communities,” said acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior for Indian Affairs Michael S. Black.  “I urge tribal leaders and their police departments to take advantage of upcoming opportunities to provide their input on and learn more about ways of addressing these critical areas of public safety in Indian country.  I also want to thank Attorney General Sessions and DOJ for their work in supporting BIA and tribal law enforcement efforts to strengthen public safety in these vulnerable communities.”

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center, a training and technical assistance resource, is expanding its presence in Indian country.  At the request of interested tribes, the Diagnostic Center provides customized assistance on a wide range of public safety issues.  Among the issues being addressed in current tribal engagements include information sharing in tribal justice systems and jurisdictional coordination among tribal and local police departments.  For more information about the Diagnostic Center, please see www.ojpdiagnosticcenter.org.

The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) is developing programs in partnership with Native organizations in Seattle, Chicago, and Albuquerque to provide urban American Indian and Alaska Native victims of sex trafficking with access to culturally appropriate, comprehensive victim services. Funded under OVC’s Project Beacon grant award program, these organizations will work collaboratively with state and local human trafficking task forces, as well as tribal communities, to ensure that American Indian and Alaska Native victims have an opportunity to receive a full complement of services designed to aid them in their recovery and healing from the experience of being trafficked.

Associate Attorney General Brand added: “We are committed to partnering with tribal nations, Native American organizations and others to meet the particular needs of Native American victims of sex trafficking, and to end the scourge of human trafficking more broadly.”

The Department of Justice’s National Indian Country Training Initiative, together with the FBI’s Indian Country Crimes Unit, recently co-sponsored an Indian Country Homicide and Child Abuse Training Seminar. The seminar was attended by FBI Special Agents, Assistant United States Attorneys, Bureau of Indian Affairs Agents and tribal law enforcement from across the country.  The training covered a variety of topics meant to strengthen investigations into crimes against children, such as crime scene management, evidence collection, forensics, interviews, and dealing with victims of violent crime and sexual abuse. 

The Attorney General remains committed to combatting violent crime and maintaining public safety in tribal lands, and will continue to pursue partnerships in support of American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Cold War Patriots Traveling Remembrance Quilt Exhibit on display in Shiprock, July 13 – July 23

DENVER, COLO. (June 29, 2017) – Cold War Patriots (CWP), a community resource and advocacy group that helps nuclear weapons and uranium workers and their families get the recognition, compensation and health care they have earned, honors former uranium workers with its Remembrance Quilt Experience, a traveling tribute to the men and women who worked in the nuclear weapons and uranium industries. The exhibit is being showcased at only a few select locations across the country, and will be available on limited engagement in Shiprock from July 13 to July 23 at the Shiprock Chapter House.

In addition, a private reception for former uranium workers and their families will be held at the Shiprock Chapter House on July 13 at 10 a.m. This reception will feature a special presentation about the exhibit and includes refreshments. Former uranium workers or their family members can call 888-903-8989 to obtain a free ticket.

The centerpiece of the exhibit experience is a spectacular quilt fashioned in the shape of a magnificent American flag that is three times the size of a typical flag. The quilt features over 1,250 fabric squares hand-printed with the name of a former worker, their years of service and the facility where they worked.

An interactive kiosk presenting a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the atomic weapons program in the U.S., profiles of the men and women who made it possible, and the massive industrial process that made up the nuclear weapons program are also included. CWP Chairperson Tim Lerew says the Remembrance Quilt Experience offers a glimpse inside a chapter of U.S. history that is shrouded in mystery.

“The exhibit honors these brave men and women who did their part to keep America free, and it’s not available anywhere else,” says Lerew. “The quilt is a symbol that preserves the legacy of these dedicated individuals who worked in secrecy – and often in harm’s way – to ensure the safety of our nation by building our nuclear arsenal,” says Lerew. “Through this traveling exhibit, we’re able to pay tribute to these men and women who were on the front-lines of this important – yet often unrecognized – chapter in our nation’s history.”

CWP collected the quilt squares throughout 2011, and since then the quilt has been temporarily displayed at select locations across the country, including the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Labor. A CWP volunteer spent 300 hours over the course of a year to sew the squares together with 1,000 hand-tied bows.

To learn more about the history and significance of the Cold War Patriots Remembrance Quilt Experience, visit: www.coldwarpatriots.org/quilt.

About Cold War Patriots (CWP)

Cold War Patriots (CWP) is a community resource and advocacy group 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 association to connect workers with benefits, does this work for free on behalf of its more than 40,000 members. Visit www.coldwarpatriots.org or call 888-903-8989 for more information.

Junk Food Tax: Public Comment

On November 21, 2014 the Navajo Nation Council approved resolution CN-54-14, which amended Title 24 of the Navajo Nation code by enacting the Healthy Dine Nation Act of 2014. Also known as the Junk Food Tax.

The amendment to Title 24 introduces a tax rate of 2%, which will be used for farming, parks, wellness, health food initiatives, biking trails, swimming pools and other projects relating to wellness.

With the Navajo Nation making this amendment to Title 24, the Kayenta Township wants to be able to collect on these taxes (junk food tax) and use the revenue from this tax to do wellness projects in Kayenta.

The Navajo Nation currently collects the tax and distributes the tax to other communities and if Kayenta Township adopts this junk food tax we can collect these taxes here locally and keep the tax here in Kayenta where it belongs.

***Please note that the Kayenta Township wants to keep the current 2% junk food tax here in Kayenta that the Navajo Nation currently collects. NOT add another 2% tax on top of the current junk food tax.***

The Kayenta Township currently operates the Kayenta Fitness Center and hosts healthy events i.e. Field day, mud run, adventure club, skate board competitions and is currently in the process of working with Indigenous Design Studio + Architecture, LLC on completing the designs for the Kayenta recreation park.

If this tax is approved and adopted during the Kayenta Township Commission August 14, 2017 regular monthly meeting, we can work on developing more wellness programs in Kayenta.

We are currently seeking comments on the Junk Food Tax which is currently being advertised for 30 days. Written comments, statements, arguments and views can be sent to Gabriel Yazzie, Town Manager, Kayenta Township, P.O. Box 1490, Kayenta, Arizona. 86033

View Kayenta Township Junk Food Tax Ordinance here.

Statement from Secretary Zinke on Navajo Nation Council vote to extend lease of Navajo Generating Station

WASHINGTON – Statement from U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke after the Navajo Nation Council has ratified a new lease with the Salt River Project to provide for continued operations of the Navajo Generating Station through 2019:

“Since the first weeks of the Trump Administration, one of Interior’s top priorities has been to roll up our sleeves with diverse stakeholders in search of an economic path forward to extend NGS and Kayenta Mine operations after 2019.  Operating NGS and the Kayenta Mine through 2019 is the first step to meet this priority.

“This Navajo Nation Council’s endorsement of a new lease gives NGS and Kayenta Mine workers a fighting chance and gives Navajo and Hopi economies a moment to regroup for the work ahead. Now, NGS operations can continue while stakeholders examine opportunities for a new operating partner to extend the life of the plant beyond its original 50-year lease.

“I salute Council Speaker Lorenzo Bates and Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye for their leadership and their partnership. Interior is a proud defender of the Nation’s sovereignty – as well as the sovereignty of the Hopi Tribe – as we work together to chart the future of this important facility.”

BACKGROUND:

The Navajo Generating Station is a three-unit, 2,250-megawatt, coal-fired power plant located on tribal trust lands leased from the Navajo Nation near Page, Arizona. Coal for NGS comes from the Kayenta Mine located on tribal trust lands leased from the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe.

Current NGS co-owners have expressed their intention to not operate the facility after December 2019; as a result, stakeholders associated with NGS have been jointly discussing the facility’s future in talks facilitated by Interior.

Without the new lease ratified by the Navajo Nation this week, preparations to start the decommissioning of the plant would be required as early as next month. The new lease allows the operating owner of the facility – the Salt River Project – to defer any decommissioning activities until after the original 50-year lease period concludes, in December of 2019. This allows NGS and Kayenta Mine operations to continue in the near-term without interruption, and allows more time to find new ownership for NGS.

Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) awards up to $20,000 per year for the repayment of your qualified student loans in exchange for an initial two-year service obligation to practice full time at an Indian health program site.

In order to qualify for this program, you must be a health professional practicing in specific health profession disciplines, you must be willing to commit to an initial two-year service obligation while working in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Opportunities are based on staffing needs and the availability of funds. Distribution of LRP awards are based on a ranking system created to address these needs. Our system identifies hiring priorities for those Indian health program facilities with the greatest staffing needs in specific health profession disciplines. American Indians and Alaska Natives receive priority consideration when all factors are equal between applicants.

For more information, please visit www.ihs.gov/loanrepayment