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2007/09/21

Water pipe Blues

The planners of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project have decided not to extend a spur of the pipeline from US491 to the Red Valley area near Shiprock, leaving residents and ranchers in the area to continue to fend for themselves.

A sign posted in front of the Red Rock Day School in Red Valley, Ariz. declares No Water Hauling. The residents of the valley are upset because the routing of the Navajo-Gallup water supply project along US 491will not include a spur to bring water to them.
This assignment did not go anywhere near as planned. Being a Friday we have an early deadline to get the paper laid out so we can get the weekend edition out to the racks earlier. I was on a tight time-line, not only because of the deadline, but also needing to cover a football game after that. I should have known better...

I relied on information from the reporter passed on to me by the managing editor. I had another assignment in Shiprock and I was not sure of the exact time I would arrive. My thinking was that I would simply take care of the assignment in Shiprock and then go to Red Valley and call the contacts once I had arrived. MY Shiprock assignment fell through (he was at a meeting during the time I was supposed to meet him).

On the way to Red Valley I had a coyote run across the road in front of me. I was deep into the Navajo reservation at this point, and in Navajo tradition if a coyote crosses your path you should turn back from your journey. But being the educated Anglo that I am I decided I knew better and kept going. When I arrived I was faced with a locked and deserted chapter house and absolutely no cell service to call my contacts. Instead I settled on a couple of images that focused on water in the area. It was all I could manage on deadline.
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