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Hopis Say Conservationists Unwelcome on Tribal Land
The Arizona Republic  -  29 SEP 2009
   The Hopi Nation's Tribal Council sent a message Monday to the Sierra Club and a handful of other environmental groups: Stay off the reservation.
   Tina May, a council spokeswoman, said council members meeting in Kykotsmovi unanimously adopted a resolution declaring that the conservation groups are unwelcome on Hopi lands because they have damaged the tribe's economy by pushing for closure of a coal-fired power plant near Page.
   The resolution says environmentalists have "spread misinformation" about Hopi water and energy resources, attempting to "instill unfounded fears into the hearts and minds of Hopi public."...
Energy Poll Results Mirror Debate Surveys Show Different Views of Global Warming
iStockAnalyst  -  26 SEP 2009
   State global warming legislation will send jobs out of Wisconsin or create jobs in the "green" economy, likely voters say -- depending on whose poll you believe.
   Voters surveyed this month by a firm hired by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce say they are concerned about jobs and the economy far more than global warming -- and they are leery of any mandates that would push up electricity prices.
   Voters surveyed this month by a firm hired by the Forest County Potawatomi tribe say they are concerned that global warming is happening, the state should move ahead with legislation and the state needs to expand its reliance on sources of energy that don't emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere....
Tuba Dump Finally Getting Feds' Attention
The EPA will drill test holes looking for uranium-contaminated waste that villagers fear is a threat to their downstream springs.
Arizona Daily Sun  -  26 SEPT 2009
A dump near Tuba City that has been leaching low levels of radioactive waste into the shallow aquifer finally is getting some federal attention, if not an actual cleanup yet.
   The Environmental Protection Agency plans to fence off a remaining section of an old dump, near two Hopi villages, and test for hot spots of radioactivity close by. This includes one area where the agency says uranium levels in the water exceed by eight times what is federally considered safe for drinking water.
   Local villagers who believe their downstream springs are threatened have long sought a total excavation of the dump....
Air Permit for Coal Power Plant on Navajo Land Sent Back to EPA
Environment News Service  -  25 SEP 2009
   SAN FRANCISCO, California—The contested air permit for the Sithe Global Desert Rock coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico today was sent back to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for additional analysis.
   The EPA's Environmental Appeals Board remanded  the  air  permit  back  to the agency due to deficiencies in the permit's environmental and technological analyses....
Sabine Protestors rally against snowmaking and the expansion of Snowbowl Resort in Arizona.
Snowmaking Squabble
Environmental group and local indian tribes seek to shut down snowmaking and expansion at Arizona's Snowbowl Resort
ESPN  -  23 SEP 2009
   "Don't eat yellow snow."
   Yellow marks a spot where someone or something relieved itself. That's a given.
   But can you be guaranteed the snow is clean just because it isn't yellow? This is a much more complex question being posed in a recent lawsuit filed by the Save The Peaks Coalition against the U.S. Forest Service.
   The suit is the second this summer filed against the expansion plans of Arizona Snowbowl, which is under the domain of the Forrest Service. According to the Arizona Daily Sun, the suit contends that the Forrest Service "did not adequately weigh or analyze the human health or environmental risks of making snow with reclaimed wastewater, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws." The kicker is whether the artificial snow is  "safe for human contact and possible ingestion."...
Snowmaking Faces New Suit
Arizona Daily Sun - 22 SEP 2009
   After losing one legal case this summer, opponents of making snow with reclaimed wastewater at Arizona Snowbowl are trying a second.
   Save the Peaks Coalition and nine individuals in Flagstaff filed suit Monday in the U.S. District Court in Arizona against the U.S. Forest Service. The plaintiffs contend the agency did not adequately weigh or analyze the human health or environmental risks of making snow with reclaimed wastewater, in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws.
   They are seeking an injunction to prevent snowmaking at Snowbowl until the case is decided....
Fight Continues Over Use of Sewage to Make Snow
on Mountains Sacred to Arizona Tribes

Courthouse News  -  22 SEP 2009
   PHOENIX (CN) - The U.S. Forest Service did not thoroughly analyze the impact of using reclaimed sewage to make snow at a Flagstaff ski resort, the Save the Peaks Coalition claims in Federal Court. The group claims the artificial snow could hurt children and skiers.
   Save the Peaks wants the Forest Service enjoined from expanding the Arizona Snowbowl and using reclaimed sewage to make snow there until people who may be affected by it are "properly informed."...
Lawsuit Aims to Stop Expansion of Arizona Ski Resort
The Sierra Vista Herald  -  22 SEP 2009
   FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Critics of a plan to expand a ski resort on an Arizona mountain are suing the U.S. Forest Service in what has been a years-long battle to protect a site considered sacred by American Indians.
   The lawsuit filed Monday comes more than three months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from tribes that said the use of treated wastewater to make artificial snow on the mountain threatened their religious and cultural survival.
   The lawsuit filed by the Save the Peaks Coalition and a group of citizens contends the Forest Service failed to consider the human health risks of ingesting snow made with treated wastewater at the Arizona Snowbowl resort outside Flagstaff....
Navajo Yellowcake Woes Continue
When the EPA evacuates your town for Superfund cleanup,
what happens to the people left behind?
Mother Jones  -  SEP 2009
After decades of uranium mining turned the tiny town of Church Rock, New Mexico, into a Superfund site, in August the EPA moved seven resident Navajo families to Gallup apartments, where they'll wait for five months while the EPA scrubs their town of radioactive waste. But as the EPA hauls away the uranium tailings and radium-infused topsoils that have been permanent fixtures since mining ceased in the 1980s, Church Rock's remaining residents are asking why they have been left behind. In 1979, the largest spill of radioactive waste in US history occurred in Church Rock when 94 million gallons of mine waste were accidentally released into a stream. Children swam in open pit mines and the community drank water from local wells as recently as the '90s. (Now they haul in drinking water.) Cancer rates and livestock deaths remain higher than they should be. As for the families who remain, Church Rock evacuee and local activist Teddy Nez says the agency "drew an imaginary line in the sand" that excludes a residential area half a mile west of the Superfund site....
Uranium Mining Could Resume North of Grand Canyon
Arizona Republic  -  02 SEP 2009
   Uranium mining could resume within the year at a site north of the Grand Canyon after state officials signed off on the last permit needed to restart operations.
   The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality issued an air-quality permit Tuesday to Denison Mines for the Arizona 1 mine, about 35 miles south of Fredonia. The permit clears the way for Denison to extract uranium from the region for the first time in almost two decades.
   Denison officials have said they could restart Arizona 1 within a year after the final permit is issued.
   The prospect of new uranium mines on public lands near the national park has stirred opposition...
EPA Seeks Reduced Emissions at Four Corners Plant
The Daily Times  -  31 AUG 2009
   FRUITLAND—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, working to improve regional air visibility, has requested reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions at the Four Corners Power Plant, a coal-fired facility that emits the nation's highest levels of the pollutant.
   Regulators on Friday initiated a 30-day public comment period on the proposed plan to require the Arizona Pubic Service Co. facility to install the most efficient available technology to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, pollutants believed to cause haze throughout the Four Corners region.
   The action is being taken through the EPA Regional Haze Program, designated by Congress in 1999 to improve visibility in all national parks, national monuments and wilderness areas. The EPA has cited 16 protected locations within a 300 kilometer radius where air visibility is reportedly hindered by the Four Corners Power Plant, including the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park and Mesa Verde National Park....
Grassroots Organization Asks Interior Secretary to Intervene
Indian Country Today  -  22 AUG 2009
   HOPI, Ariz. – The Hopi Organizational Political Initiative has submitted documents asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to take action on behalf of the Hopi/Tewa people, who are currently being governed by an illegally-constituted tribal council, without benefit of an executive branch or a judicial system.
   The Hopi Constitution mandates that the “Hopi Tribal Council shall consist of a chairman, vice chairman, and representatives from various villages.” Therefore, without the chairman and vice chairman, there can be no constitutionally authorized council to conduct business, expend tribal funds, or accept federal grants and contracts....
American Indian Activist Peltier Denied Parole
Arizona Central  -  21 AUG 2009
   BISMARCK, N.D.—American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole after authorities decided that releasing him would diminish the seriousness of his crime, a federal prosecutor said Friday.
   Peltier, who claims the FBI framed him, will not be eligible for parole again until July 2024, when he will be 79 years old.
   U.S. Attorney Drew Wrigley announced the decision of the U.S. Parole Commission....
Village Leaders Speak Out
Conflict revolves around tribal attorney’s stance on Hopi interests
Indian Country Today  -  17 AUG 2009
   FIRST MESA, Ariz. – Four traditional leaders from the Walpi area have entered the running battle over who represents the Hopi Tribe in a conflict over coal mining at the Black Mesa Mine Complex in northern Arizona.
   “The Hopi Tribe’s coal lease and permit revision do not adequately address Peabody’s use of the Hopi Tribe’s water,” states a letter to other Hopi traditional leaders (Sinom) and a tribal attorney.
   “The long-term pumping and use of the Navajo aquifer by Peabody Western Coal Company is a primary concern of the Hopi Sinom,” it states....
Airlines Set to Ask More of Passengers -- Rights Infringement
Government Says Extra Information Will Prevent Watch-List Mismatches

Washington Post  -  13 AUG 2009
   U.S. airlines on Saturday will begin asking travelers to provide their birth date and sex for the first time under a new aviation security requirement, federal officials said Wednesday.
   The change comes as the Department of Homeland Security takes over responsibility for checking airline passenger names against government watch lists. The additional personal information, which airlines will forward to the Transportation Security Administration, is expected to cut down on cases of mistaken identity, in which people with names similar to those on terrorist watch lists are erroneously barred or delayed from flights....
U.S. Web-Tracking Plan Stirs Privacy Fears -- Rights Infringement
Washington Post  -  11 AUG 2009
   The Obama administration is proposing to scale back a long-standing ban on tracking how people use government Internet sites with "cookies" and other technologies, raising alarms among privacy groups.
   A two-week public comment period ended Monday on a proposal by the White House Office of Management and Budget to end a ban on federal Internet sites using such technologies and replace it with other privacy safeguards. The current prohibition, in place since 2000, can be waived if an agency head cites a "compelling need."...
Development of Risk Maps to Minimize Uranium Exposures
in the Navajo Churchrock Mining District

Directions Magazine  -  11 AUG 2009
   Background: Decades of improper disposal of uranium-mining wastes on the Navajo Nation has resulted in adverse human and ecological health impacts as well as socio-cultural problems. As the Navajo people become increasingly aware of the contamination problems, there is a need to develop a risk-communication strategy to properly inform tribal members of the extent and severity of the health risks. To be most effective, this strategy needs to blend accepted risk communication techniques with Navajo perspectives such that the strategy can be used at the community level to inform culturally–and toxicologically–relevant decisions about land and water use as well as mine-waste remediation....
Navajo Nation Taking the Lead in Green Economy
Arizona Republic  -  11 AUG 2009
   Yesterday [10 August 2009], the Navajo Nation signed into law promising green-jobs legislation that could serve as the first step in a broader transition for the Navajo Nation and other low-income communities in the Southwest.
   The bill, passed by the Navajo Nation Council in July, creates the Navajo Green Economy Commission that will coordinate a long-term green transition plan for the Navajo Nation and a Green Economy Fund that will support green-business development in the community. These enterprises range from weaver's cooperatives to small-scale clean energy projects. While a green economy is not a new concept to Navajos, it does stand in stark contrast to our recent past and present....
Don't Drink the Uranium  -  01 AUG 2009
   On July 21, 2009, Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a two year "time out" on new uranium mining claims on nearly a million acres of federal land near the Grand Canyon, in response, it seemed, to the protest of environmentalists, and, Native Americans, who still suffer cancers and other illnesses at rates many times higher than the general population, consequent to uranium mining on or near tribal lands.
   Cause for celebration? Not in the least. Salazar's announcement is straight out of Orwell's 1984. This two year "time out" is no time out at all, because...
Navajo Nation Concentrates on Roots
A new green jobs initiative stands to reinstitute weaving and caring for the land  -  31 JULY 2009
   Last week, the Navajo National Council made a decision that will lead its members back to the earth-friendly ways of its ancestors. The council enacted the Navajo Green Economy Commission, which will devote money to creating green jobs....
EPA Settlement Requires United Nuclear Corporation to Clean up
Additional Soil Released from Northeast Church Rock Mine
Work will cost approximately $5 million
EPA Web site  -  28 JULY 2009
   SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency settled with United Nuclear Corporation and General Electric, UNC’s indirect parent corporation, requiring the companies to immediately clean up a portion of radium-contaminated soil released from the Northeast Church Rock Mine Site, near Gallup, N.M....
Diné Fundamental Laws to be Repealed?
Navajo lawmakers cite abuse, misinterpretation of laws
Navajo-Hopi Observer  --  28 JULY 2009
   WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - Last Thursday, the 21st Navajo Nation Council tabled a measure that would have repealed the Diné Fundamental Laws - a codified set of laws based on centuries-old Navajo traditional values and customs. The measure was tabled until the fall session with a vote of 48-21.
   Council Delegate Raymond Joe (Tachee/Blue Gap/Whippoorwill) introduced the measure during the final day of the council's summer session. He and others cited that these laws, which are primarily meant to govern the upbringing of Navajo youth and promote balance and harmony among Navajo people, are being abused and misinterpreted by Navajo lawmakers in order to promote their own political agendas....
District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals Throws out Indian Trust Ruling
Figure set by earlier judge might be fair to the whole,
but not to all individuals, decision on appeal says

News OK  -  25 JULY 2009
   WASHINGTON — The U.S. Interior Department must determine how much money should be in the government-run trust accounts held by individual Indians, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in the long-running legal battle over the trust system.
   The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals threw out a district judge’s award of $455.6 million in restitution to the Indian account holders and said the judge must order the Interior Department to do the best accounting possible with the money Congress is willing to spend on it.
   The ruling was a victory for the Interior Department and a major defeat for the Indians, who sued the government in 1996 claiming their accounts were being mismanaged....
Navajo Council to Consider Green Building Bill
The Farmington Daily Times  -  21 JULY 2009
    WINDOW ROCK, Ariz.—The Navajo Nation Council today will consider legislation that would establish a green economy fund.
   The bill, backed by the Navajo Green Economy Coalition, is expected to create hundreds of sustainable jobs and revitalize the economy on the 27,000-square-mile reservation.
   The bill also would establish a five-person Navajo Green Economy Commission to seek dollars from federal, state and private donors, review project proposals and oversee spending from the fund....
The Rights of Arctic Peoples
Not a Barren Country
More political powers for the indigenous people of the
Arctic could soon be matched by more economic clout

The Economist  -  16 JULY 2009
   NUUK, GREENLAND—The crowds in Nuuk, Greenland’s pretty coastal capital, marked the devolution of more powers from Denmark, on midsummer’s day, with cheers, processions and flags. The town thronged with men in white anoraks and women in kalaallisuut, an outfit of sealskin boots and trousers set off with a beaded top. Even a dusting of summer snow failed to chill the mood.
   The newly elected prime minister of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, who  represents   an   Inuit-dominated   party, promised that his country would act as an “equal partner” with Denmark, the old colonial power. The Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, responded with a pledge that Greenland could claim full independence whenever it chooses. A more cordial separation is hard to imagine.
   As in other parts of the Arctic, the indigenous people of Greenland are flexing their political muscles. In Greenland the Inuit, or part Inuit, account for nearly 90 percent of the total population of 57,000 or so; and they have been asserting ever-greater independence from Copenhagen, some 3,500km (2,175 miles) away. In similar fashion, the Inuit of Canada won some powers of home rule over much of the country’s Arctic Archipelago when the new territory of Nunavut was set up a decade ago. In northern Norway and Sweden (and to a lesser extent in Finland and Russia), the Sami people have claimed autonomous powers. Some 50,000 in Norway even have their own parliament. Within the Russian Federation, two northern indigenous peoples, the Komi and Sakha (Yakuts) have, at least in theory, their "own” autonomous republics; though what powers that gives them in practice depends on the ebb and flow of politics elsewhere in Russia....
Radiation Spill in Church Rock Still Haunts 30 Years Later
Farmington Daily-Times  -  16 JULY 2009
   CHURCH ROCK — Thirty years ago today on July 16, 1979, a dam at the United Nuclear Corporation's Church Rock Uranium Mill broke, spilling 90 million gallons of radioactive waste into the Rio Puerco.
   It was the largest radioactive accident in U.S. history, releasing more radiation than the Three Mile Island accident, which happened in March of the same year. The spill in Church Rock is the second largest in the world, only surpassed by the 1986 Chernobyl reactor meltdown in Ukraine....
L.A.'s Coal Ban Leads to Another Abandoned Power Plant  -  13 July 2009
The Sierra Club enjoyed a victory last week when a Utah-based utility announced it would walk away from plans to build a coal-fired generating unit in the state.
   According to the environmental group’s tally, 100 coal plants have been foiled or abandoned since 2001, the beginning of an era it dubbed the “Coal Rush.”...
EPA to Rebuild Uranium-contaminated Navajo Homes
Google-Hosted News  -  14 JUN 2009
   FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The federal government plans to spend up to $3 million a year to demolish and rebuild uranium-contaminated structures across the Navajo Nation, where Cold War-era mining of the radioactive substance left a legacy of disease and death.
   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Navajo counterpart are focusing on homes, sheds and other buildings within a half-mile to a mile from a significant mine or waste pile. They plan to assess 500 structures over five years and rebuild those that are too badly contaminated....
Battle for Sacred Mountains
Tribes win say in future Tsoodzil developments

Navajo Times  -  11 JUN 2009
   Native American tribes won a small victory June 5 when the state of New Mexico designated Mount Taylor - Tsoodzil to Navajos - as a "traditional cultural property."
   The designation provides five tribes with a say in future developments that may take place on the mountain, the southernmost of the Navajos' four sacred mountains.
   The Navajo Nation joined with the Hopi Tribe and the pueblos of Acoma, Laguna, and Zuni in nominating Mount Taylor as a traditional cultural property....
Radioactive Revival in New Mexico
The Nation  -  10 JUN 2009
   Mitchell Capitan points to a flock of sheep grazing in the shadow of a sandstone mesa. The sheep belong to Capitan's family, along with a few head of cattle and twelve quarter horses standing in a corral near his mother-in-law's house in Crownpoint, New Mexico.
   "All of this area," Capitan says, gesturing to the valley of sage and shrub brush below, "there's a lot of uranium underneath there. That's what they're after."...
California Edison Closes Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin--for Good  -  11 JUN 2009
   KINGMAN - Southern California Edison (SCE) announced Wednesday that it is closing the door on the Mohave Generating Station near Laughlin, Nevada, for good. The company will decommission and start dismantling the plant in the next few months. The generating equipment will be removed and the permits to run the plant will be terminated in 2010.
   The plant's transmission switchyard and some related facilities will remain in place. According to a news release, no final plans have been made for the property. However, the company is considering selling the property and building a renewable energy facility....
Edison to Decommission Coal-fired Nevada Power Plant
Mercury News  -  10 JUN 2009
   FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.—The owners of the shuttered Mohave Generating Station in Laughlin, Nev., said Wednesday that they will decommission the coal-fired power plant that once supplied electricity to 1.5 million homes.
   Southern California Edison operated the 1,580-megawatt plant since it came on line in 1971, and the company owned 56 percent of the facility on the Colorado River.
   Edison shut down the plant in 2006 because...
Navajo Water Settlement Not Without Flaws
Farmington Daily-Times  -  10 JUN 2009
   Officials from all levels of government celebrated last week when President Obama signed an omnibus bill into law to quench the Four Corners' thirst.
   The bill appropriates money to bring running water to 80,000 Navajos in between Shiprock and Gallup who do not have it by constructing a pipeline connecting the two cities. $870 billion was set aside thanks to the work of many of our elected officials, including the state government, Navajo President Joe Shirley, Senator Jeff Bingaman and many others....
Custer Rides Again in McDonald's Happy Meal
Huffington Post  -  09 JUN 2009
   Say it isn't so! Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer has invaded Lakota country again, this time through the Happy Meals sold to little children at McDonald's.
   Bobbie DuBray, Administrative Assistant for the Lakota Peoples Law Project was not only shocked by this apparent display of racial insensitivity, but also angered by it.
   DuBray says, "I went through the drive thru at McDonalds on East North Street to get a Happy Meal for my five-year-old son. I got home and my brother opened the meal and found the Custer doll." She said he then asked her to come and look at what he found. To her shock it was Custer toy. Her son wanted the toy and she told him, "No. that's a bad toy." She said that her 10 year old daughter did not understand why the toy was bad. She and her mother, Betty Handley, then gave the girl a history lesson "My daughter was not taught about this in school. What are they teaching our children?" she asked....
Supreme Court Steers Clear of Arizona Ski Resort Dispute  
The Arizona Republic  -  08 JUN 2009
   The United States Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request by several Arizona Indian tribes to stop a Flagstaff ski area from making artificial snow from treated wastewater on the San Francisco Peaks.
   The case has bounced through federal court for several years, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the case twice, first siding with the Native Americans, who revere the mountains as sacred sites. Last August, the Appeals Court reconsidered in favor of the management of Arizona Snowbowl....
Supreme Court Affirms Tribes Have No Religious Rights
Tribes and others Call For Congressional Action to Protect Sacred Places
Save the Peaks Coalition  -  06 JUN 2009
Flagstaff, AZ—On Monday, June 8th 2009, the Supreme Court denied the petition by Tribes & Environmental groups to hear the case to protect the holy San Francisco Peaks.
   For nearly a decade, the Save the Peaks Coalition, Tribes, Environmental groups, and community members lead an effort to stop the Snowbowl ski area’s plan to expand it’s development on the Peaks and make snow from treated sewage effluent. The ski resort operates on the Holy Mountain through a lease by the United States Forest Service, which sanctioned the proposed development in 2004.
   This is the second time that a petition for the protection of the San Francisco Peaks has been denied by the Supreme Court....
The Long Walk Revisited
Public comment wanted on plan to make routes a National Historic Trail
Navajo Times  -  04 JUN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK--Will the route Navajos took for the Long Walk become a National Historic Trail?
   Should the trail be commemorated given it is such a painful piece of the Navajo past?
   Those will be some of the issues discussed when the National Park Service hosts a series of open houses on the reservation in the coming weeks....
URI Files for Court Review over Churchrock Mine 
Gallup Independent  -  02 JUN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK — Uranium Resources, Inc. announced Monday that it is filing a petition with the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver for an en banc, or full court review regarding its determination that URI’s proposed Section 8 mine is in Indian Country.
   The April 17 opinion by the three-judge panel upheld a Feb. 6, 2007, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency land status determination that certain land owned by the company’s subsidiary, HRI, in the checkerboard area of northwestern New Mexico, lies within a dependent Indian community....
Let There Be Light
Black Mesa residents revel in new-found power
Gallup Independent  -  23 MAY 2009
   BLACK MESA, Ariz. — In all of Lillie Chief’s 84 years, one of the most amazing things she has witnessed is being able to flip a switch on the wall and watch her home light up instantaneously. It is the first time in her life that she has had electricity.
   “Now I can see inside here,” she told Navajo Tribal Utility Authority representatives during a May 12 visit to her home atop Black Mesa.
   The kerosene lamps she once used have now been stashed in various corners of the home, and a new electric stove sits in the corner wrapped  in plastic,  still  waiting  to be hooked up. A propane stove used for cooking meals sits near the kitchen door. But the new refrigerator her children bought for her can be heard humming away in the kitchen....
Hopis Ready Nuke Waste Suit
Arizona Daily Sun  -  22 MAY 2009
   After 12 years of asking various federal agencies to clean up a federal dump they contend is leaching radioactive waste into the local aquifer, the Hopi Tribe is tired of waiting for action.
   The Hopi Tribe filed a notice of intent to sue Thursday, stating that a plume containing uranium and other contaminants leaching from an open dump near Tuba City was within 2,500 feet of contaminating water supplies for two Hopi villages. The pollution left in the unlined dump -- a dump created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs -- is an "imminent and substantial" threat to public health and the environment, and is a result of multiple federal agencies approving Cold War-era mining and milling operations that have polluted multiple landscapes in Arizona, the tribe asserted....
Churchrock Cleanup Begins
URI assessment looks for radiation hot spots

Gallup Independent  -  22 MAY 2009
   CHURCHROCK — Uranium Resources Inc. and Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency began a weeklong assessment Monday of Section 17 in Churchrock where its subsidiary, Hydro Resources Inc., has proposed in situ mining of uranium.
   Rick Van Horn, chief operating officer for URI/HRI, said Tuesday that the two entities are looking at what the radiation values are and how they impact the air, soils, and water in the area of Section 17....
Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Ended
The Arizona Republic  -  09 MAY 2009
   With the stroke of a pen Friday, President Barack Obama officially ended more than four decades of angst and anger caused by a land dispute between the Navajo and Hopi tribes.
   The presidential signature formally repealed a federal statute, the so-called Bennett Freeze, that has prevented poverty-stricken members of both tribes from repairing homes or even getting electricity on 1.5 million acres of reservation lands....
Unconscionable Police Raid on Family's Home and Organic Food Co-Op  -  04 MAY 2009
    Steps have been taken to start legal action against the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Lorain County Health Department for violating the constitutional rights of John and Jacqueline Stowers of LaGrange, Ohio.
   The Stowers operate an organic food cooperative called Manna Storehouse. ODA and Lorain County Health Department agents forcefully raided their home and seized the family's personal food supply, cell phones and personal computers....
Mr. King Coal's Neighborhood: Washington DC, Won't You Be My Neighbor?
Huffington Post  -  28 APR 2009
   What does a Wyoming rancher, a Navajo elder, a Southern community organizer, a Latino immigrant organizer from Chicago, a young indigenous Ottawa woman from Michigan, and an Appalachian coal miner's widow have in common?
   All of their neighborhoods are under deadly assault from King Coal. And all of these six American heroes have journeyed to Washington, DC this week, on their own dime--unlike the paid hacks from King Coal's payrolls--as part of the First 100 Days of the Power Past Coal movement to testify to representatives from Congress, the EPA and the Council on Environmental Quality about their outrageous living conditions under government regulated coal mining operations and coal-fired plants.
   In Mr. King Coal's neighborhood, these are their daily burdens: Mercury poisoning, gall bladder disease, black lung disease, devastated and impoverished strip-mined communities, depleted and contaminated watersheds, and toxic-draped and ailing neighborhoods....
New York-sized Ice Cap Collapses off Antarctica
Reuters  -  28 APR 2009
   TROMSOE, Norway — An area of an Antarctic ice shelf nearly the size of New York City has broken into icebergs this month after the collapse of an ice bridge widely blamed on global warming, a scientist said today.
   “The northern ice front of the Wilkins Ice Shelf has become unstable and the first icebergs have been released,” Angelika Humbert, glaciologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, said of European Space Agency satellite images of the shelf....
A-Twitter About Malaria
An unusual competition brings attention to a killer disease
Washington Post  -- 25 APR 2009
    AT FIRST BLUSH, the hyped contest between Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and CNN to see who could get 1 million "followers" on Twitter struck us as, well, pointless. That is until we learned that the bet resulted in 10,000 insecticide-treated bed nets being sent to Africa to help stop malaria, a disease that kills almost 1 million people, most of them children, around the world annually. On this World Malaria Day, such efforts by private citizens and businesses, not to mention by organizations around the world that have been pushing for decades to control and eliminate the disease, are to be applauded. But there's a lot of work to be done....
Black Mesa Trust Hosts Water Braiding Conference
Navajo-Hopi Observer  -  21 APR 2009
   FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Bridging contemporary western science and indigenous wisdom was the topic of a conference that was sponsored by Black Mesa Trust, The Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon Trust and the Museum of Northern Arizona this past week at the Woodlands Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.
   A number of internationally acclaimed scientists, teachers and artists including water science pioneer Dr. Masaru Emoto, painter/environmental space artist Lowry Burgess of Carnegie Mellon University and artist Michael Kabotie of the Hopi Tribe gathered with Black Mesa Trust Board members, over 200 adult participants and 20 young Hopi and Navajo student interns during a four day conference that began at the Hopi Reservation and ended at Lake Mary.
   The focus of the conference was...
A-Twitter About Malaria
An unusual competition brings attention to a killer disease.

Washington Post  -  25 APR 2009
   AT FIRST BLUSH, the hyped contest between Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and CNN to see who could get 1 million "followers" on Twitter struck us as, well, pointless. That is until we learned that the bet resulted in 10,000 insecticide-treated bed nets being sent to Africa to help stop malaria, a disease that kills almost 1 million people, most of them children, around the world annually. On this World Malaria Day, such efforts by private citizens and businesses, not to mention by organizations around the world that have been pushing for decades to control and eliminate the disease, are to be applauded. But there's a lot of work to be done....
25 APR 2009
   Several hundred tribespeople today staged a protest against FTSE-100 company Vedanta, as it bids massively to expand its controversial aluminum refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa.
   The refinery occupies land belonging to the Majhi Kondh tribe, and lies at the foot of the Niyamgiri hills, home of the isolated Dongria Kondhs. Both tribes took part in the protests.
   The refinery has already been condemned by government officials for regularly breaching safety standards, and emitting ‘alarming’ pollution. Over a hundred families lost their homes to their refinery. Many more lost their farm land and with it their food-security and self sufficiency....
Navajo Uranium Mine Workers Seek Health Assistance
Farmington Daily-Times  -  22 APR 2009
The Navajo Nation Dependents of Uranium Workers Committee will meet for the second time in a month to update community members and hear feedback from residents who suffer from cancer, kidney disease, birth defects and other illnesses resulting from prolonged radon exposure from uranium mines.
   The health problems date back to work in the 1950s and '60s, said Phil Harrison, Council Delegate for Red Valley/Cove Chapter of the Navajo Nation. During that time, uranium mine workers were exposed to high levels of radon, which has caused inter-generational bouts of illnesses in communities across the Navajo Nation....
A truck drives down a muddy Black Mesa Road in Black Mesa, Ariz. on Friday afternoon. — © 2009 Gallup Independent / Brian Leddy
Paving the Way
Black Mesa: From wagon trails to pavement

Gallup Independent  -  18 APR 2009
   BLACK MESA — Snow fell Friday morning as Black Mesa residents broke ground on what soon will be a 7-mile stretch of pavement on N-8066. Although the light dusting soon turned the dirt road to mud, it was viewed as a blessing, sealing 30 years of planning and lobbying for transportation funds.
   A festive atmosphere prevailed at Black Mesa Community School where local residents, tribal and Bureau of Indian Affairs dignitaries gathered to celebrate the occasion....
Opening Up Government
A welcome change of heart on freedom of information

Washington Post - 28 MAR 2009
   DURING ITS eight years, the Bush administration treated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) at best as a joke, at worst as an enemy. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft determined that the Justice Department would defend agency determinations to withhold information unless those decisions were found to "lack a sound legal basis or present an unwarranted risk of adverse impact on the ability of other agencies to protect other important records." Translation: Agencies were empowered and even encouraged to resist compliance with FOIA, which was meant to provide citizens a reasonable means to obtain information about the workings of their government.
   Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. rescinded the Ashcroft memorandum last week and in its place installed guidelines that should promote a more faithful application of the freedom of information law....
Survival International  -  26 MAR 2009
   A Brazilian rancher destroying uncontacted Indians’ land in Paraguay has today arrived in that country to be greeted with a national newspaper advert denouncing his actions as ‘illegal’.
   Sr. Marcelo Bastos Ferraz represents the Brazilian firm Yaguarete Porá, which created a storm of controversy last year after satellite photos revealed it was illegally clearing vast areas of forest in western Paraguay. The area is home to the last uncontacted Indians outside of the Amazon basin, who are members of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe....
Education of Native American Culture Stressed
Cronkite News Service - 26 MAR 2009
   A lack of knowledge about Native American history hinders politicians as they deal with issues important to Arizona's tribes, a Navajo lawmaker said Wednesday.
   "We need to educate them on the foundations of Native governments," Sen. Albert Hale, D-Window Rock, said as the Legislature's Native American Caucus held its first meeting. "We can step forward and be an example of how we can deal with these issues in Arizona."...
Arizona Group Awarded $20,000 for Environmental Justice Project
$800,000 for Environmental Justice in 28 States

USEPA - 25 MAR 2009
   SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $20,000 to Forgotten People CDC of Tonalea, Ariz., an organization working with western Navajo Nation communities to tackle environmental justice challenges.
   Nationally, the agency is awarding 40 grants in 28 states totaling approximately $800,000 to community-based organizations and local and tribal governments for community projects aimed at addressing environmental and public health issues.
   “These grants mark the beginning of a full-scale revitalization of what we do and how we think about environmental justice,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Environmental justice is not an issue we can afford to relegate to the margins. It has to be part of our thinking in every decision we make.”...
Obama Defends Push to Cut Tax Deductions for Charitable Gifts
Washington Post  -  25 MAR 2009
   President Obama defends his proposal to cut the tax deductions that wealthy Americans can claim for their charitable donations by arguing that the shift would not have an adverse effect on giving, but two independent analyses concluded that the proposal could result in a drop of as much as $3.87 billion for the already reeling nonprofit sector....
Bennett Freeze Officially Thawed
Arizona Daily Sun  -  14 MAR 2009
   The U.S. Senate has voted to lift a decades-old ban on development on about 700,000 acres in Arizona's Black Mesa region that both the Navajo and Hopi tribes claimed as their own.
   The Senate unanimously approved a bill by Arizona senators John McCain and Jon Kyl on Thursday night to lift a ban on development in the "Bennett Freeze" area. The ban had prevented about 8,000 Navajos who live there from putting in electric lines, repairing leaky roofs and running water lines to their homes unless the improvements were approved by the neighboring Hopi Tribe. Action by the House is still required, but no opposition is expected....
A Global Retreat As Economies Dry Up
As World Trade Plummets, Bustling Ports Stand
Idle And Foreign Workers Track Back Home
Washington Post  -  05 MAR 2009
   SINGAPORE—This shimmering city-state was the house globalization built. When world trade boomed, Singapore's seaport at the crossroads of East and West became the Chicago O'Hare of freighters and supertankers. Singapore Airlines took off despite serving a country with no domestic air routes. Nearly everything manufactured here is made for export. One out of every three workers is a foreigner.
   But as the world enters a period of deglobalization, Singapore is a window into the reversal of the forces that brought unprecedented global mobility to goods, services, investment and labor. With world trade plummeting for the first time since 1982, the long-bustling port has become a maritime parking lot in recent weeks, with rows of idled freighters from Asia, Europe, the United States, South America, Africa and the Middle East stretching for miles along the coast. "We're running out of space to park them," said Ron Widdows, chief executive of Singapore-based NOL, one of the world's largest container lines....
For Indian Tribes, Economic Needs Collide with Tradition  
USA Today  -  03 MAR 2009
   LAME DEER, Mont.—Jobs are scarce and poverty is pervasive on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, but rich coal deposits lie beneath the buttes where wild horses roam.
   For decades, many members of the tribe have resisted coal mining. Now, increased demand for coal and the election of a new tribal president who is determined to create jobs are reigniting debate over energy development among the reservation's 4,500 residents. It's a conflict between tribal traditions and economic self-sufficiency that has long divided people here and on other reservations across America with coal, oil and gas and other mineral reserves....
A Capitol Offense
Thousands protest against coal in 
front of D.C.'s Capitol Power Plant  -  02 MAR 2009
   No one was arrested, but not for lack of trying.
   An estimated 2,500 people protested outside Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Power Plant on Monday -- the nation's largest act of civil disobedience against coal power.
   Anti-coal activists from all corners of the country braved the sub-freezing temperatures and six inches of snow the city received Sunday night. The uncharacteristically wintry conditions egged on global-warming skeptics, but the crowds marching around the plant weren't deterred by the bad weather....
Help Needed Gathering Information
Message from PDuncan, Assistant PR Director, 40 and 8
Jerry Yamamoto  -  28 FEB 2009

Greetings from the Forty and Eight:
   On February 4, 1967 in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam (II Corps), in the general area of Pleiku, a member of the United States Army became a casualty of the 10,000-day war and a statistic of what eventually exceed 58,000 Americans. His name holds a place of honor on Panel 37E - Line 23 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington , D.C.
   His name is not easily perceived, Huskie Yazzie Begay Ten, but his spirit is reminiscent of that of the Navajo Code Talkers and the heritage of our Native Americans. Born in Arizona in 1945 and drafted into the Army, Huskie Y. B. Ten entered into the ranks of hero protecting his fellow soldiers in combat. For this, he was awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action....

Navajo Council OKs Power Plant 
Arizona Star  -  28 FEB 2009
   The Navajo Nation Council voted 71-8 Friday in Window Rock to approve right-of-way easements for a proposed coal-fired power plant on the reservation, marking the tribe's last step in what has been a long process.
   The tribe will receive $3.5 million in fees in exchange for granting rights of way for transmission, data, electrical and water lines, water wells and road access for the $3 billion Desert Rock Energy Project in northwestern New Mexico....
A Petition from the Big Mountain Situation
From Bahe Katenay  -  27 FEB 2009
   As we speak, there exists a state of fear and anxiety in a traditional community at Big Mountain in the heart of Black Mesa. And as we speak, the federally deputized officers of the BIA Hopi Agency Police and Rangers are patrolling this region where a few traditional elders continue to live and also resist federal mandates to relocate. I want to bring your attention to one particular situation that is an example of the wide-spread acts of injustice, human rights violation, religious intolerance, and threats of property destruction....
Navajo Nation gets $34M for Housing Stimulus
The Farmington Daily Times  -  27 FEB 2009
   The Navajo Nation will receive $34.4 million in housing funds under the national stimulus package.
   The money comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It will be used for new home construction, housing rehabilitation and housing-related infrastructure....
Justice for American Indians
NY Times  -  23 FEB 2009
   The federal government has a long history of cheating American Indians, and not all of this dirty dealing is in the distant past. On Monday, the Supreme Court hears arguments in a suit by the Navajo, who lost millions of dollars’ worth of coal royalties because the government helped a coal company underpay for their coal. A lower court ruled for the Navajo Nation. The Supreme Court should affirm that well-reasoned decision....
Green Coalition Says Time Is Right for Initiative
Navajo Times  -  19 FEB 2009
   WINDOW ROCK—The time is ripe to start "greening" the Navajo Nation, say representatives of the Navajo Green Economy Coalition.
   The coalition hopes the Navajo Nation Council will pass two bills during its spring session that would establish offices aimed at creating green jobs. The bills are sponsored by Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan (Iyanbito/Pinedale).
   The coalition is made up of the Black Mesa Water Coalition, the Grand Canyon Trust, and Sky One New Mexico - non-governmental organizations that have in the past sometimes been on the other side of projects supported by the Navajo government....
EPA May Reverse Bush, Limit Carbon Emissions From Coal-Fired Plants
Washington Post  -  18 FEB 2009
   The Environmental Protection Agency will reopen the possibility of regulating carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, tossing aside a December Bush administration memorandum that declared that the agency would not limit the emissions.
   The decision could mark the first step toward placing limits on greenhouse gases emitted by coal plants, an issue that has been hotly contested by the coal industry and environmentalists since April 2007, when the Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act....
Protesting is not Resisting, 
Resistance Is Based on Profound Manifestos:
“Ancient Big Mountain Supreme Ways Dictates Dineh Resistance, Pauline Whitesinger Continues to Defy BIA Police Harassment & Threats”
by Bahe Y. Katenay
    Sweet Water Stronghold, Big Mountain, AZ. February 9, 2009—Dineh elder resister of the traditional lands of Sweet Water is bundled up for the chilly winds as she takes some hay out to her sheep and goats. The herds need a little extra feed before going out to graze. The non-Indian, volunteer supporter is dressed warm and ready to follow the sheep as he chops some wood for grandma, Pauline, while the herds nibble on the scattered hay on the ground. Not many non-Indian volunteers do occasionally make themselves available from their busy lives to come out for short stays and help traditional, elder resisters. Very few traditional elder residents are now left throughout such regions affected by the harsh relocation laws of 1974....
California Utility Looks to Mojave Desert Project for Solar Power 
New York Times  -  11 FEB 2009
   The largest utility in California, squeezed by rising demand for electricity and looming state deadlines to curb fossil fuels, has signed a deal to buy solar power from seven immense arrays of mirrors, towers and turbines to be installed in the Mojave Desert.
   The contracts amount to the world’s largest single deal for new solar energy capacity, said officials from the utility, Southern California Edison, and BrightSource Energy, the company that would build and run the plants. When fully built, the solar arrays on a sunny day would supply 1,300 megawatts of electricity, somewhat more than a modern nuclear power plant.
   That is enough electricity to power about 845,000 homes....
Utahan in Line for Top Indian Affairs Job 
Interior Department: Echohawk would be first high-ranking Mormon in Obama administration
Salt Lake Tribune  -  10 FEB 2009
   Washington--President Barack Obama is likely to tap Utahan Larry Echohawk as the head of the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
   Echohawk, a Democrat who teaches at Brigham Young University's law school, would be the first high-ranking Mormon nominated to Obama's administration, and the only Utahan so far in a senior role.
   Reached by phone Tuesday, Echohawk declined to comment, saying he "can't talk."
   The White House did not respond to requests for confirmation Tuesday; but... 
White House to Elevate Indian Affairs, Appoint Special Adviser 
Salt Lake Tribune  -  09 FEB 2009
   Washington--President Barack Obama will soon name a senior White House adviser for tribal issues in a move that elevates the concerns of American Indians to a higher point than previous administrations.
   First Lady Michelle Obama told employees at the Interior Department on Monday that American Indians have a "wonderful partner in the White House right now," and her husband plans to improve that relationship even more.
   "He'll soon appoint a policy adviser to his senior White House staff to work with tribes and across the government on these issues such as sovereignty, health care, education -- all central to the well-being of Native American families and the prosperity of tribes all across this country," the first lady said....
Legal Backlash Directed at OSM over Peabody Western Coal Permit
Indian Country Today  -  10 FEB 2009
    DENVER – A controversial federal decision enlarging a northeastern Arizona coal mine permit area has been appealed to the Department of the Interior on charges that the Office of Surface Mining Regulation and Enforcement violated six federal laws.
   Eight Native and environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, joined in the request for review that alleges violation of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Endangered Species Act and Administrative Procedures Act.
   The filing with the Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals asks that a life-of-mine permit issued Dec. 22 to Peabody Western Coal Co. be invalidated or the organizations are prepared to take the matter to court....
ENERGY: Clean Coal’s Dirty Mess 
A tale of 2 power plants: Tennessee’s experience shows 
how environmental concerns can be misdirected
Star-Telegram  -  10 FEB 2009
   On Dec. 22, a deluge of coal-ash slurry broke through a retaining wall near the Kingston Fossil Plant, a power plant in eastern Tennessee. Black sludge inundated a valley and destroyed houses as it surged down to the Emory River, where hundreds of fish soon lay dead on fouled banks.
   Helicopter video footage showed a landscape resembling the moon’s surface, with more than a billion gallons of sludge covering 300 acres. The disaster also temporarily halted an incoming train loaded with coal. This presumably came from other industrially ravaged landscapes to the east, where entire Appalachian mountaintops are routinely bulldozed into valleys to access seams of Paleozoic carbon.
   Tests of river water near the spill found high levels of lead, cadmium, thallium and other toxic heavy metals. One sample tested by the Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 23 had an arsenic concentration 149 times the federal safety standard....
"Sometimes We Pray"    
Chinle PTSD group going strong after a year, meets needs of Veterans of all ages

Navajo Times  -  05 FEB 2009
   CHINLE—There are things about post-traumatic stress disorder that only fellow sufferers will understand.
   The way a whiff of Chinese food can trigger a flashback to a Vietnamese village that was abandoned so quickly that family dinners were left boiling on the fire.
   That strange, loud voice you get when you're talking to your wife but really trying to shout down an uninvited memory.
   Tucking a hunting knife under your mattress, just in case.
   And worse....
Tenn. Coal Ash Disaster Raises Concerns about Similar Sites Nationwide
With Streaming Video and Downloadable Audio
PBS NewsHour  -  02 FEB 2009
In December, tons of spilled coal ash devastated the town of Kingston, Tenn. Tom Bearden reports on the disaster's effects on residents, cleanup efforts and the debate over safety standards for other coal ash storage sites around the country.
   TOM BEARDEN, NewsHour correspondent: Even today, it's difficult for anybody who hasn't been to Kingston, Tenn., to understand how big the problem is. Video just doesn't do it justice.
   In the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 22, 5.4 million tons of ashes created by 50 years of burning coal to generate electricity here burst through a dike, spreading like an avalanche for more than a mile, burying 300 acres of riverbank several feet deep, spilling out into the nearby river itself.
   Paul Schmerbach is an environmental program manager with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, or TDEC....
Clean-Coal Debate Pits Al Gore’s Group Against Obama, Peabody  -  04 FEB 2009
   Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and his Alliance for Climate Protection say clean-coal technology is a fantasy.
   Peabody Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. coal producer, says another prominent Democrat has pledged to make the technology a reality: President Barack Obama....
'We Were Denied' 
Groups appeal U.S. decision to meld Black Mesa Mine with Kayenta mine permit
by Cindy Yurth -  Navajo Times Hard Copy - 29 JAN 2009
CHINLE - A coalition of tribal and environmental groups Jan. 22 filed an appeal seeking to reverse the U.S. Office of Surface Mining's recent decision to incorporate the idle Black Mesa Coal Mine into Peabody Western Coal Co.'s existing life-of-mine permit for its Kayenta Mine....
Above and Beyond
Was a Navajo soldier overlooked for a Medal of Honor?
Cindy Yurth  -  27 JAN 2009
   KITS’IILI, Ariz. — As Tom Gorman read the citations for the two posthumous Congressional Medals of Honor recently awarded to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, they sounded familiar.
   Both men had thrown themselves on live explosives, using their bodies to shield their comrades from the full force of the blast.
   Two years earlier, Gorman, the claims agent at the Navajo Veterans Affairs’ Chinle office, had read an almost identical account of a Navajo soldier as he entered information on Vietnam veterans into the office’s computer database.
   He went back into his files and took another look....
The Truth About "Clean Coal Technology"
"Clean Coal" Facility 
Clean Coal Air Freshener

Visit Reality

Challenge Our Leaders Regarding "Clean Coal Technology"
SENAA International  -  25 JAN 2009
We need to send a message to our leaders, to the media, and to corporate America that, as it now stands, there is no such thing as "clean coal technology," and that before the use of coal can even be considered as a clean source of energy, much more research, development, and work must be done.
   Simply "talking the talk" doesn't change the facts of the matter. Before anyone can herald the existence of "clean coal technology," it must first be developed; and a small-scale, working model must be built to demonstrate its efficiency and cleanliness.
   Measurements of the amount of energy yielded per ton of coal by "clean" methods, and realistic rather than speculative comparisons to the energy yield of present-day "dirty" methods of burning coal must be made. The comparisons must be demonstrated and recorded. The amount and nature of pollutants and potentially harmful, cumulative emissions must be measured and recorded over a realistic test period. Effects of such emissions on the environment, on human health, and on the health of wildlife must be assessed and addressed before any entity can go forward with any coal technology that claims to be "clean."...
Going Green for Navajo is All Natural
Gallup Independent - 19 JAN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK—The tradition of the Navajo people long ago was to live a sustainable life in harmony with the earth.
   Navajo people would tend to the cornfields to provide nourishment and build hogans out of natural materials for shelter.
   So today’s Navajo Green Job initiative builds upon the traditions of the Diné, presenters said during the Power Shift to Navajo Green Jobs community summit Saturday at the Navajo Nation Museum....
No Thaw
Despite Agreement, Bennett Freeze Residents Still 'Poorest of the Poor'
Navajo Times  -  15 JAN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK--More than two years ago, President Joe Shirley Jr. announced that the 40-year-old Bennett Freeze had been lifted through a "historic" agreement with the Hopi Tribe.
   But according to a "Final All Chapter Summit" report published Aug. 6, not much has changed in the 700,000-acre area.
   And in the words of Navajo-Hopi Land Development Office director Roman Bitsuie, the people there remain the "poorest of the poor."...
Navajo Sends Recommendations to Washington
Gallup Independent  -  15 JAN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK — The Navajo Nation sent the Obama-Biden transition team the “Navajo Nation Federal Agenda for the Obama-Biden Transition Team and 111th Congress,” which includes a list of 27 policy recommendations.
   The first policy recommendation is to allow in-kind contribution to apply toward federal matching fund requirements.
   “Many programs require that Native American Tribes provide a certain percentage of the total funding amount in matching funds in order to receive federal funds,” the document states....
Tribes: Time for Supreme Court to Step In
Gallup Independent  -  12 JAN 2009
   WINDOW ROCK — It is now time for the U.S. Supreme Court to step in, several tribes are saying with a petition to the court for a writ of certiorari in Navajo Nation v. U.S. Forest Service.
   The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe are among the petitioners asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision by the en banc Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. With that decision, the Arizona Snowbowl is able to use treated wastewater for artificial snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks, which are considered sacred to at least 13 Native American tribes....
Letter to the Editor: Navajo Times
Peabody Plans Carry Harmful Impacts
The Navajo Times  -  09 JAN 2009
   Peabody Coal Company's massive coal mining expansion plans on the proposed Black Mesa Project outlines many harmful impacts to the ecological and cultural systems on Black Mesa. The Black Mesa Project has global repercussions particularly to the environment, Black Mesa Navajo, and Hopi communities.
   Therefore, it is important to protect Black Mesa as a sacred (religious), cultural, and historic landscape by having the area designated as Traditional Cultural Property under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and under the RFRA agreement.
   Black Mesa has many religious shrines and offering places located on its landscape. However, it must be stressed that the whole Black Mesa region, including Navajo Mountain is a female goddess that is lying by her male mate the Chuska Mountains....
Heat Sends Southwest Climate Back in Time 
Christian Science Monitor  -  08 JAN 2009
   Bandelier National Monument, N.M.—For 15 years, Craig Allen, a scientist with the US Geological Survey, has monitored a 2.7-acre plot here in northern New Mexico. During that time, he’s witnessed smaller tree species succeeding larger ones. He’s seen dry years, bark beetle infestations, large-scale tree dieback, and finally, a shift toward grassland. To Dr. Allen, these changes tell a tale of combined human impacts – overgrazing, fire suppression, and climate change. And they underscore how human activity can amplify the effects of natural cycles to alter a landscape dramatically.
   The American Southwest may be drying, one of the predicted consequences of human-induced global climate change. Less water in an already semiarid region will affect how, and for what, people use water. Allen also suspects that tree dieback here may be part of a worldwide phenomenon. As temperature extremes have inched higher in semiarid regions globally, forests have succumbed to heat stress....
Feds Approve Black Mesa Life-of-Mine Permit
The Navajo Times  -  Cindy Yurth  -  08 JAN 2009
   CHINLE – In a move that surprised no one, the U.S. Office of Surface Mining gave Peabody Western Coal Co. a Christmas present, approving the company's application to roll the closed Black Mesa Mine into the life-of-mine permit for the Kayenta Mine.
   The record of decision, available for download at, was published Dec. 22.
   Peabody's spokeswoman Beth Sutton said the move gives the company more "flexibility" in the use of its coal leases, although any new mining in the Black Mesa Complex, as the incorporated leases are being called, will still have to be approved by OSM....
Tribes Appeal Decision in Arizona Snowbowl Case
Arizona Central  -  05 JAN 2009
   FLAGSTAFF—American Indian tribes are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision that allows for snowmaking on an Arizona peak the tribes consider sacred.
   The tribes met Monday's deadline for an appeal in the Arizona Snowbowl case....
Navajo, Hopi Citizens Vow to Stop Peabody Coal Mine Expansion
Native Times  -  JANUARY 2009
   FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. - Two days before Christmas, officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining have granted a permit to Peabody Coal Company to expand their mining operations on Navajo and Hopi lands, despite opposition from local communities and problems with the permitting process including lack of adequate time for public comment on a significant revision to the permit, insufficient environmental review, and instability in the Hopi government preventing their legitimate participation in the process. OSM's "Record of Decision" is the final stage of the permitting process for the proposed "Black Mesa Project," which would grant Peabody Coal Company a life-of-mine permit for the "Black Mesa Complex" in northern Arizona. Tribal citizens protest the expanding mining operations of Peabody Coal Company.
   Black Mesa Water Coalition, a Navajo and Hopi citizens organization working on indigenous sovereignty and environmental protection, has vowed to stop Peabody from causing further harm to Black Mesa. “We are looking into our options for how to stop this process from moving forward, including legal action. The permitting process was flawed and clearly rushed through before President Bush leaves office,” said Enei Begaye, Co-Director of Black Mesa Water Coalition....
Navajo, Hopi Citizens Vow to Stop Peabody Coal Mine Expansion  
Native Times  -  03 JAN 2009
   Flagstaff, AZ — Two days before Christmas, officials from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining have granted a permit to Peabody Coal Company to expand their mining operations on Navajo and Hopi lands, despite opposition from local communities and problems with the permitting process including lack of adequate time for public comment on a significant revision to the permit, insufficient environmental review, and instability in the Hopi government preventing their legitimate participation in the process....
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