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Ariz. mine closure throws Indians out of work
San Diego Union Tribune ^ | 1/1/2006 | John M. Broder

Posted on 01/01/2006 12:28:36 PM PST by bkwells

BLACK MESA, Ariz. – The gigantic earthmoving crane sits idle, stilled by a legal, cultural and environmental dispute playing out far from the rich vein of coal beneath the desert of remote northeastern Arizona.

Some welcome the idling of the crane, calling it a symbol of the rape of the land and precious water below. Others, mostly American Indians who have come to depend on the high-paying jobs at the mine, are furious.

For 35 years, the Black Mesa Mine has produced coal for a power plant in southern Nevada. But the plant suspended operations at the end of December, ending the jobs of nearly 200 people.

Most are Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe members whose livelihoods depend on work at the mine, jobs that pay as much as $80,000 a year in wages and benefits – 10 times the average annual income on the reservations.

The mine is ceasing work indefinitely because the sole power plant it supplies – the Mohave Generating Station, 273 miles away in Laughlin, Nev. – is shutting down under a legal agreement with environmental groups that sued because of repeated pollution violations.

The power plant is owned by four utilities that have balked at paying the estimated $1 billion in upgrades to comply with the court order and keep the plant operating.

One idled worker is Myrata Cody, 48, a heavy-equipment operator at Black Mesa for 27 years. She's a Navajo and a single mother, providing support for three children and her aging parents. Her anger at losing her job drives her to tears.

"This income is the only thing I have," Cody said. "There is no power line to my house, no phone line, no running water. Everybody else has everything at the tip of their hands."

She reserved particular ire for the environmentalists who went after the owners of the power plant to try to stop the thick plume of smoke and noxious chemicals it has poured into the atmosphere for decades. The groups contended that the emissions fouled the air over the Grand Canyon and threatened the health of people who lived downwind.

"All those people protesting for the environmental groups, none of them live up here," Cody said. "If this plant shuts down, some of us are going to have to leave our elderly parents behind to go find work. Who's going to go out there and check on them, make sure they get their medication? Nobody from the environmental groups, that's for sure."

The mine is operated by Peabody Western Coal Co., a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corp., the world's largest coal company, which has made tens of millions of dollars from the Black Mesa mine. But it also has poured millions of dollars into schools, community centers, roads and power lines on the Indian lands of northeastern Arizona, though basic services are still lacking in much of the tribal region.

It provides $89 million a year in payroll, lease payments, taxes and other benefits to this region, where unemployment among the Hopi and Navajo is nearly 40 percent.

Buck Woodward, the mine's manager, called the closing of Black Mesa "a tragedy" that could hinder economic development on the reservations for years.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Arizona; US: California; US: Nevada
KEYWORDS: blackmesa; cleanairact; cpuc; environmentalwackos; envirowackos; greengovernor; mohave; peabodyenergy; sce
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This is an update to This story in which the wackos got a coal-fired power plant shut down.

She reserved particular ire for the environmentalists who went after the owners of the power plant to try to stop the thick plume of smoke and noxious chemicals it has poured into the atmosphere for decades. The groups contended that the emissions fouled the air over the Grand Canyon and threatened the health of people who lived downwind.

"All those people protesting for the environmental groups, none of them live up here," Cody said. "If this plant shuts down, some of us are going to have to leave our elderly parents behind to go find work. Who's going to go out there and check on them, make sure they get their medication? Nobody from the environmental groups, that's for sure."

Well said!

1 posted on 01/01/2006 12:28:37 PM PST by bkwells
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To: bkwells

This mine is a really big operation. I can't believe it is being shut down.

Looks like an injun raid is justified on the envirowackos homes.


2 posted on 01/01/2006 12:31:55 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: bkwells

Can't they migrate to Alaska and work for the oil rigs in ANWR? Oh, right, my bad, I forgot.


3 posted on 01/01/2006 12:32:48 PM PST by Mrs. Shawnlaw (Rock beats scissors, don't run with rocks. NRA)
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To: bkwells

I live directly across the river from this plant in Laughlin. I'm looking at it right now. It does give off alot of pollution. I wish there could have come up with a compromise.


4 posted on 01/01/2006 12:36:48 PM PST by Hildy (Spielberg spends his spare time memorializing the last Holocaust while working to justify the next.)
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To: FOG724

Ping to more...


5 posted on 01/01/2006 12:41:48 PM PST by calcowgirl
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To: bkwells

--I don't have a link nor does the Las Vegas R-J have a search feature that will get it, but within the last month there was a glowing article on the Indian "activist" who nearly single-handedly takes credit for the closure, after dedicating most of his life to this goal---


6 posted on 01/01/2006 12:44:03 PM PST by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: bkwells

Ahhh! An activist action for the liberal enviro-whackos that has multiple benefits!

1.) Shut down an evil energy producing, polluting coal mine

2.) Deny profits to some evil energy conglomerate.

3.) Save the habitat of the Horned European Blowfly

4.) Puts people out of work, hurts unemployment figures

5.) Puts people out of work, makes them more dependent on the government

6.) Increases American dependency on foreign energy sources


What more could they ask for?


7 posted on 01/01/2006 12:48:27 PM PST by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: bkwells

The indians screwed up, they should have had the power plant built on the reservation and told the clean air nuts to go to hell!


8 posted on 01/01/2006 12:52:48 PM PST by dalereed
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To: dalereed
That isn't such a wacky idea.
I've always wondered if the Indians could build a nuclear power plant on the reservation ?
9 posted on 01/01/2006 12:58:42 PM PST by stylin19a (you can leed Freepers to spelchek, but you can't make 'em use it.)
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To: rellimpank
Indian "activist" who nearly single-handedly takes credit for the closure

This guy must be happy, the Indians can go back to their former ways of making pots and baskets, selling them in little booths at Four Corners and lying dead by the side of the road on Rt. 666.

Hint to Indian "activist": The buffalo ain't coming back to the Checkerboard Reservation.

10 posted on 01/01/2006 12:59:00 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: stylin19a

--there is a tribe in Utah trying to get a nuke waste repository--that's causing all kinds of consternation--


11 posted on 01/01/2006 1:01:50 PM PST by rellimpank (Don't believe anything about firearms or explosives stated by the mass media---NRABenefactor)
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To: stylin19a

Can't happen. The idiot Navajo chief just got back from a vacation with his "first lady" in Oslo, Norway where the envirowackos presented them with a plaque for declaring "the rez" a nuclear-free zone.


12 posted on 01/01/2006 1:09:19 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: bkwells
Please note -- this is an issue close to home for me because these same enviro-whackos are trying to make Lake Powell (Glen Canyon) a National Park vs a National Recreation Area -- if this happens it's the deal knell for this tribe who just finished construction on a very high class marina on the Lake --

Making it a National Park is so they can limit boats and fishing on the lake and continue to push to dismantle the dam. Backpackers Magazine has started a campaign in their magazine for their readers to push their reps to make this a Park -- and the editor claims he has the Navajo onboard.

Joe Shirley, the leader of the tribe is a very "strange" guy so it's hard to know if they really have him on board or not, but given his comments on snowmaking at Snowbowl it would not suprise me if he is supportive of getting all of us out of Glen Canyon and off the Lake -- Think of how few people really get to see any more of the Grand Canyon than a peak from the rim -- well that is what they want to do at Powell...

In addition the dems are running a 'crooked' Navajo to try and defeat Rick Renzi this coming year and Renzi has been the best representative this tribe has had in DC.

13 posted on 01/01/2006 1:17:34 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: stylin19a
In a way that would be a win-win because they use a lot of water to send the slurry to Laughlin and this has been an issue in the negotions on who gets how much of the lower Colorado River water... and who's allocation the water used for the slurry goes against.

They actually wanted to build a pipeline to send the water from Mohave to the reservation at one point. Though this is electricity being produced in Nevada for SCE (Southern California Edison)

Right now there is concern about a plume of hexavalent chromium PG&E dumped close to the Colorado River in Topoc a long time ago -- it's leached through the sand and under the river; ADEQ is supposed to be overseeing the cleanup, but they do such a lousy job of policing what Nevada is dumping in the river from Laughlin that I dont' have a whole lot of confidence.... If the Colorado gets polluted it is bad news for California as well as Phoenix and Tucson.

14 posted on 01/01/2006 1:31:02 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: Mike Darancette

They have a whacko Indian Medicine Man who is joined to the hip with the environmentalist-whackos in Flagstaff.


15 posted on 01/01/2006 1:31:42 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Do you have a link to this??????


16 posted on 01/01/2006 1:32:12 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: bert

"Looks like an injun raid is justified on the envirowackos homes."

Manhattan, LA and Seattle are a long way away.


17 posted on 01/01/2006 1:33:39 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: rlmorel

You missed "puts people OF COLOR (standard Lib classification for Native Americans) out of work"


18 posted on 01/01/2006 1:36:49 PM PST by freedumb2003 (American troops cannot be defeated. American Politicians can.)
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To: rellimpank

Some of these 'Indian' activists aren't Indian at all. There is a game played by some for many years to claim to be Indians and to then proceed to argue for their favorite reforms under color of civil rights. Some actual Indians are beginning to get annoyed by this behavior.


19 posted on 01/01/2006 1:37:41 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Toyota pickups get very good milage.


20 posted on 01/01/2006 1:42:34 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: bkwells

The envirowhackos strike again.


21 posted on 01/01/2006 1:44:56 PM PST by Dane ( anyone who believes hillary would do something to stop illegal immigration is believing gibberish)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
(Here is a good one.)
22 posted on 01/01/2006 1:47:05 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: bkwells
Did everybody else in the world stop using coal? If you can get it to Laughlin you can get it anywhere.
23 posted on 01/01/2006 1:49:53 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: Hildy

The basic political (as in Aristotle's "man is the political animal") question is who gets what they want and who doesn't. Lenin's statement of this reality is rendered in English "Who...Whom?"

Compromise is based on love. If you would just as soon the other party dies there is no love. If there is no love between the parties then there is only power, only dominance and submission.


24 posted on 01/01/2006 1:51:49 PM PST by Iris7 (Dare to be pigheaded! Stubborn! "Tolerance" is not a virtue!)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
Whenever I drive through the area of Northern AZ I envy the Indians the beautiful lands that surround them until I see the conditions in which they live.
25 posted on 01/01/2006 1:52:29 PM PST by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: calcowgirl

thanks


26 posted on 01/01/2006 1:56:31 PM PST by FOG724 (A vote for McCain is a vote for Hillary)
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To: RightWhale
Some of these 'Indian' activists aren't Indian at all. There is a game played by some for many years to claim to be Indians and to then proceed to argue for their favorite reforms under color of civil rights. Some actual Indians are beginning to get annoyed by this behavior

You got that right, on all accounts.

27 posted on 01/01/2006 1:56:34 PM PST by Troublemaker
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To: Troublemaker

Well, that is what I heard from a member of one of the regional or inter-tribal councils. One concern is that these activists may be doing serious harm to Indian interests, and that I would not doubt.


28 posted on 01/01/2006 2:02:19 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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Time to make a coal to gas plant on the reservation.


29 posted on 01/01/2006 2:04:09 PM PST by webboy45
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To: bkwells
The power generating plant is located just upriver from where we live. Every damned pic or TV news video shows steam rising from the stack, not pollution. What pollution is emitted, we here could all easily live with.

Now that it is being closed, watch many more of the bloody little NG (natural gas) fired power gen plants crop up all over the place. The PC crowd went to court and won on the clean burning NG power plants. With NG in short supply, the power plants are now placed in direct competition with home owners for heating fuel. And the NG costs are out of control.

Up to 400 workers at the plant are also now out of a job, may the PC enviroNazis rot in Hades.

And no, I do not work there, nor do I know anyone that does.
30 posted on 01/01/2006 2:06:26 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Mike Darancette

The Indians will always live under those conditions until we, and they, get serious and flush the goofy notions of "sovereign nations" and reservations. Businesses will never move into these places as long as they are going to be forced to deal with corrupt tribal governments.


31 posted on 01/01/2006 2:08:05 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: Arizona Carolyn

The chromium 6 is being neutralized underground at the Topock PG&E plant, it will no longer be a problem, but rest assured, the PC Nazis will continue to try and make it one.


32 posted on 01/01/2006 2:14:08 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
In addition the dems are running a 'crooked' Navajo to try and defeat Rick Renzi...

IOW A standard, run-of-the-mill Democrat who just happens to be Navajo.

Last time, Renzi lost on the Reservation and the Flagstaff area, but cleaned up in the rest of the district.

I doubt he has much to worry about.

33 posted on 01/01/2006 2:14:51 PM PST by uglybiker (Iraqis have purple on their fingers. Liberals have brown on their thumbs.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

Comes into Laughlin via a slurry pipeline.


34 posted on 01/01/2006 2:16:51 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: RightWhale
Like Ward "Fake Indian" Churchill.
35 posted on 01/01/2006 2:24:09 PM PST by Apercu ("Res ipsa loquitur")
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To: Apercu

Yep.


36 posted on 01/01/2006 2:28:18 PM PST by RightWhale (pas de lieu, Rhone que nous)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
Ok but still could put it on rail -I think and ship it anywhere else. Is Sierra Pacific Resources one of the owners of the power station? If so they are bunch of clowns.
37 posted on 01/01/2006 2:33:17 PM PST by mad_as_he$$ (Never corner anything meaner than you. NSDQ)
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To: bkwells

This thread reminds me . . . does anyone know if I can get in trouble, and if so how much trouble, for indicating on job applications that I'm a native American?

I am, after all - eight generations of my family were born right here in America.


38 posted on 01/01/2006 2:34:43 PM PST by Xenalyte (Can you count, suckas? I say the future is ours . . . if you can count.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Right on, you beat me by a hair. I was raised in the Four Corners during the 50s, nothing's changed. I used to write the Navajo "Nation" in Chinle, AZ and challenge them to right-thinking policies addressing alcoholism, living in squalor, etc. My wife and I would stop by the HQ in Chinle and speak of these things, willing to try something--nope, although several Navajo Tribal police officers gave us some ideas. I had Navajo buddies brainstorming with me on this issue, one said that he was going to get his degree in Engineering and return to "help his people".

He got his degree in Education instead God bless him, his wife also became a teacher; maybe he missed the mark on his Engineering dream but by golly he walked the walk. He said it still didn't work! This goes back to your original premise of "nations", business on the reservations and corrupt tribal governments. Perhaps H. Yazzie planted a lot of seeds though...
39 posted on 01/01/2006 3:11:01 PM PST by brushcop (We lift up our military serving in harm's way and pray for total victory and a safe return.)
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To: RightWhale

My wife, who was born & raised in Crow Agency MT., has spent her entire life trying to improve life on the reservations. Many of these "instant Indians" are her biggest obstacles.


40 posted on 01/01/2006 3:40:41 PM PST by Troublemaker
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To: Arizona Carolyn
Right now there is concern about a plume of hexavalent chromium PG&E dumped close to the Colorado River in Topoc a long time ago -- it's leached through the sand and under the river;

Wow! I used to frequent that part of the river (Topock, Needles) quite a bit since the early 70's through the mid 90's. When did they do that?

41 posted on 01/01/2006 3:54:16 PM PST by kstewskis ("Go to your room!"....Dan Rowan to Dick Martin)
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To: Arizona Carolyn
this is an issue close to home for me because these same enviro-whackos are trying to make Lake Powell (Glen Canyon) a National Park vs a National Recreation Area -- if this happens it's the deal knell for this tribe who just finished construction on a very high class marina on the Lake --

Great. I remember when they just broke ground at that marina, I bet it is nice. I hope the Navajo's kick their collective butts in court on that matter.

I hadn't heard the latest...have the environazi's given up on draining Powell yet? Have they failed in that respect, and now concentrating on the "Recreation" vs. "Park" issue now?

42 posted on 01/01/2006 4:05:26 PM PST by kstewskis ("Go to your room!"....Dan Rowan to Dick Martin)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

***The Indians will always live under those conditions until we, and they, get serious and flush the goofy notions of "sovereign nations" and reservations. Businesses will never move into these places as long as they are going to be forced to deal with corrupt tribal governments.***

Remember what happened to the Fairchild plant in Gallup back in 1975?


43 posted on 01/01/2006 4:50:52 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: bkwells

***"This income is the only thing I have," Cody said. "There is no power line to my house, no phone line, no running water. Everybody else has everything at the tip of their hands." ***

But, but, Indians I have known have been crying about wanting to go back and live as their ancestors did!
Here is her chance!


44 posted on 01/01/2006 4:53:06 PM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Mike Darancette

They live in Gods Country for sure and their leaders and our laws hold them back generation after generation. You want a new car? Buy a refrigerator, washing machine, etc., and then we'll give you money for a new car -- but don't worry that you don't have electricity to run the refrigerator or washing machine -- just place it in your front yard and let it rust. Socialism at it's best.


45 posted on 01/01/2006 6:59:37 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: webboy45
There is a second coal plant. In Page. Navajo Generating Plant -- that plant (operated by SRP instead of SCE) spent the money on scrubbers. They get their coal via electric cars from the Reservation, but from a different mining operation on the reservation.

As a matter of fact a famous (don't ask me his name) photographer stopped a cold, snowy day to photograph the plant in Page and was surrounded by FBI (post 911) demanding his cameras -- agreed to erase the photos (but didn't format the hard drive) and was let go with the camera....

Long story short, the guy sold one of the photos to Al Gore who uses the photos in his Global Warming literature -- had nothing to do with Global Warming -- was a cold, snowy, day and the steam from the plant (in black and white) looked like they were polluting.

46 posted on 01/01/2006 7:03:52 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Can't happen. The idiot Navajo chief just got back from a vacation with his "first lady" in Oslo, Norway where the envirowackos presented them with a plaque for declaring "the rez" a nuclear-free zone.

Obviously you've never heard the term "Indian Giver". ;-)

47 posted on 01/01/2006 7:07:45 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

Everyone on this end of the river gets nervous these days about pollution. Right now Las Vegas wants to put their effluent back into Mead and then into the river... sounds harmless enough until you see test results that find all the drugs people pee out isn't being filtered in the cleaning of the effluent and more and more fish are starting to show the results... I would never touch fish out of Mead or any of our lakes below Mead. I would rather see the effluent used to water their gold courses, lawns, etc... and keep it out of the lake(s).


48 posted on 01/01/2006 7:08:09 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: uglybiker

I hope not. A "R" doesn't stand a chance in Flagstaff and more libs are moving into the area from California looking for our cheaper AZ taxes.


49 posted on 01/01/2006 7:09:10 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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To: brushcop

I have a friend who teaches on the Reservation. She can tell stories that makes you hair stand on end.... like they encourage theft from white people, lying to white people, etc... racism is alive and well on the Navajo Reservation, which is a shame... and I agree, we should have never agreed to a reservation system for Native American's, the only cure is assimilation.


50 posted on 01/01/2006 7:11:38 PM PST by Arizona Carolyn
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