Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Native Issues On STSSA

morning edition of Native Times to start your week
Morning everyone and HAPPY MONDAY to you! Snowing like crazy here so I
will get these links out to you and probably "unplug" myself since the
electricity is more than likely going off. Enjoy the week ahead and here
are the stories I covered this week. But, please enjoy ALL of them online
and if you need to check on upcoming Pow Wows? Our editor has the new Pow
Wow guide up and going too! Check it out!

"Outcry over VA’s budget proposal prompts removal"


"IHS gets $500 million in Recovery Act funds "


"Broadcaster bucks the odds for success" -(Albert Cata and "Native Radio


"Indian Country senior nutrition programs receiving $3 million "


HEADS UP! veterans and those who love them- FORWARD THIS INFO PLEASE!
Veterans face HIV risk from hospital pumps


After discovering that water pumps for colonoscopies were not properly
cleaned, the VA said there is a slight risk of HIV or hepatitis infection.

Thousands of veterans who underwent certain routine medical procedures at
Miami's VA Medical Center are at risk of being infected with hepatitis or
HIV, the hospital announced Monday.

The revelation drew intense criticism from South Florida congressmen and
the concern of veterans who hope a visit to the government-run health
center has not compromised their health.

At the center of the fears are water pumps that are regularly used during
colonoscopies and gastrointestinal procedures, said John Vara, the Miami
VA's chief of staff. The hospital discovered March 4 that the pumps --
which are attached to the tubes used in the procedures -- were being
rinsed but not disinfected. This, Vara said, creates the slight chance
that back-flow from the pumps could lead to serious or potentially deadly

The pumps do not come into direct contact with the patient, Vara said.
Though the risk of infection is low, he added that ``any risk is

Colonoscopies -- the visual inspection of the colon through a tube -- and
other gastrointestinal tests are regularly performed at the VA. About
3,260 veterans underwent the procedures, primarily colonoscopies,
involving this type of water pump since May 2004.

The VA has sent letters to about 2,500 of the veterans, who are still in
the area, urging them to get blood tests.

Officials were trying to locate the other 700.

The medical center notified U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, Monday
morning. After sending letters to Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric
Shinseki and Inspector General George Opfer, Meek said he was startled to
learn that the situation in Miami was not unique.

In February, about 6,400 veterans at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
in Murfreesboro, Tenn., were urged to get blood tests after the VA
discovered there had been improper handling of equipment used for

And in Augusta, Ga., more than 1,800 veterans were notified that
instruments used to examine the ear, nose and throat had not been properly

None of these incidents is known to have caused infection, but such
revelations can lead veterans to distrust the medical system, said David
Williams, a retired Marine who lives in Miami Springs.

''I've already served in Vietnam and have had to fight over my benefits,''
said Williams, 64, who underwent a procedure using the water pump at the
VA last year. ``And now, here comes this mess on top of that. Boy, oh,
boy, what's going to happen next before someone realizes that they have
made more mistakes?''

The discovery of the improper cleanings is the result of a national
program to standardize medical procedures across VA hospitals, Jim Benson,
a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, told The Miami Herald.
The program was known as ``Step-Up.''

After learning of the problem, three South Florida congressmen encouraged
the VA to step up even more. Meek asked the Miami VA to call and knock on
doors of veterans who had undergone the procedures.

''It's the least they could do for men and women in uniform,'' Meek said.

Calling the situation ''outrageous and unacceptable,'' Rep. Ron Klein,
D-Boca Raton, asked for an immediate investigation into why proper medical
procedures were not followed.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, said ``all necessary action should be
taken to ensure that all veterans are made whole and this disaster never
repeats itself.''

Patients with concerns may call the Miami VA's call center at 305-575-7256
or 877-577-7256.
BREAKING NEWS: EPA Halts Mountaintop Removal Permits

It's been a long time coming, but the EPA made a breakthrough announcement
today, calling for a halt to hundreds of mountaintop removal permits, in
order to address their impact on water quality. Whether this is the
beginning of a transition to abolish mountaintop removal is yet to be
seen, but it is a huge step forward for our country.

(Washington, D.C. - March 24, 2009) The United States Environmental
Protection Agency has sent two letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
expressing serious concerns about the need to reduce the potential harmful
impacts on water quality caused by certain types of coal mining practices,
such as mountaintop mining. The letters specifically addressed two new
surface coal mining operations in West Virginia and Kentucky. EPA also
intends to review other requests for mining permits.

"The two letters reflect EPA's considerable concern regarding the
environmental impact these projects would have on fragile habitats and
streams," said Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "I have directed the agency
to review other mining permit requests. EPA will use the best science and
follow the letter of the law in ensuring we are protecting our

EPA's letters, sent to the Corps office in Huntington, W.Va., stated that
the coal mines would likely cause water quality problems in streams below
the mines, would cause significant degradation to streams buried by mining
activities, and that proposed steps to offset these impacts are
inadequate. EPA has recommended specific actions be taken to further avoid
and reduce these harmful impacts and to improve mitigation.

The letters were sent to the Corps by EPA senior officials in the agency's
Atlanta and Philadelphia offices. Permit applications for such projects
are required by the Clean Water Act.

EPA also requested the opportunity to meet with the Corps and the mining
companies seeking the new permits to discuss alternatives that would
better protect streams, wetlands and rivers.

The Corps is responsible for issuing Clean Water Act permits for proposed
surface coal mining operations that impact streams, wetlands, and other
waters. EPA is required by the act to review proposed permits and provides
comments to the Corps where necessary to ensure that proposed permits
fully protect water quality.

Because of active litigation in the 4th Circuit challenging the issuance
of Corps permits for coal mining, the Corps has been issuing far fewer
permits in West Virginia since the litigation began in 2007. As a result,
there is a significant backlog of permits under review by the Corps. EPA
expects to be actively involved in the review of these permits following
issuance of the 4th Circuit decision last month.

EPA is coordinating its action with the White House Council on
Environmental Quality and with other agencies including the Corps.

More information on wetlands and the letters:

AB35 Passed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yaw^ko everybody! GREAT WORK! Stay tuned for next steps!! Osk^n^su - Barb
Send Thank You to Sondy Pope-Roberts, Kristen Dexter, Steve Higenberg, Christine Sinicki, Kim Hixson, Peggy Krusick, Jeff Smith, and Mark Radcliffe!!!
The Assembly Education Committee vote on AB 35 as amended by AA1 was 8 to 5, with all eight of the Democrat members voting aye.
Poynette School District Votes To Drop Native American Mascot
March 24, 2009

POYNETTE, Wis. -- A local school district voted on Monday night to change their sports teams' name and mascot after recent discussion at the state level about Wisconsin schools' use of Native American nicknames, mascots and logos.
The Poynette School Board voted on Monday night 4-1 to end the use of the "Indians" nickname and adopt a new mascot and logo by Jan. 1, 2010. The vote follows a hearing held by state lawmakers last week on the use of race-based mascots. Many in Native American communities across the state have expressed concern about the use of mascots and have encouraged a change in state law allowing the state Department of Public Instruction to investigate any complaints about the use of such names or images. The Assembly Education Committee approved the bill on an 8-5 vote on Tuesday morning, with an amendment allowing districts a one- to three-year waiver to change their name if the costs are deemed unreasonable. Poynette's school board will now have to come up with a process on how to choose a new mascot for the district. School Principal Craig McCallum said he'll propose the process include current and former students all the way to the elementary school level, as well as community and booster groups. McCallum said the board members thought it best to take a proactive approach to changing the name regardless of the outcome of the legislation, and not get in a situation where the district would be forced to change anything, WISC-TV reported. Stay tuned to WISC-TV and Channel 3000 for continuing coverage.

Previous Story:

* March 18, 2009: Native American Groups Speak Out On Proposed Mascot Bill.

Article: www.channel3000.com/news/19002286/detail.html.


AB35 Passed

Yaw^ko everybody! GREAT WORK! Stay tuned for next steps!! Osk^n^su - Barb

Send Thank You to Sondy Pope-Roberts, Kristen Dexter, Steve Hilgenberg, Christine Sinicki, Kim Hixson, Peggy Krusick, Jeff Smith, and Mark Radcliffe!!!

The Assembly Education Committee vote on AB 35 as amended by AA1 was 8 to 5, with all eight of the Democrat members voting aye.
Barbara E Munson


Assembly Education Committee:

Representative Sondy Pope-Roberts: Rep.pope-roberts@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative Kristen Dexter: Rep.Dexter@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative: Steve Hilgenberg: Rep.Hilgenberg@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative Christine Sinicki: Rep.sinicki@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative Kim Hixson: Rep.Hixson@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative Margaret Krusick: Rep.krusick@legis.wisconsin.gov .

Representative Jeff Smith: Rep.Smith@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Representative Mark Radcliffe: Rep.Radcliffe@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Teresa Anahuy

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