Tahlequah Daily Press

Editorials

May 10, 2013

Openness on AG the right course

TAHLEQUAH — It takes courage to admit to a serious mistake or a personal lapse, especially when the nature of the situation may call for a public mea culpa.

That’s what happened earlier this week when Todd Hembree, attorney general for the Cherokee Nation, asked for and was granted a leave of absence from his duties.

Hembree and Principal Chief Bill John Baker could have arranged the leave with no public comment, or by citing “personal reasons,” and only those involved in the situation would have known the details for certain. Instead, they chose to be forthright in their admission that Hembree will be seeking treatment for alcohol dependence.

They also elected to make a candid comparison, with Hembree saying in a letter to Baker, “...alcoholism has been the scourge of Indian Country for generations, and no one – regardless of education, position or faith – is immune.”

He’s got that right – and, it should be added, the scourge is just as likely to afflict those outside of Indian Country. Addictions wreak havoc on businesses and institutions, and they damage families and relationships with co-workers and friends. One only needs to sit through a few court cases to see the evidence.

The reason for the high-profile announcement from the Cherokee Nation could be related to incidents at the tribal complex. Baker said Hembree’s problem has had an effect on tribal employees, and the chief also asked CN Marshal Shannon Buhl to investigate the matter. In that case, it was smart of the administration to get out in front of the issue before it escalated.

Public reaction to Hembree’s announcement has thus far been positive, with many folks offering him their best wishes for a speedy recovery. Had the administration tried to keep a lid on the situation, sentiments might have lined up quite differently.

Baker was wise to point out that while decisions and actions conducted behind the sheen of alcoholism cannot be tolerated in his administration, compassion, support and forgiveness should also be part of the equation.

It would also be a good idea to use this as a teaching moment for others who may be walking along the same path. The seriousness of this issue cannot be diminshed.

We, like everyone else, wish Hembree the best, and we join the tribal administration is asking for support and healing for his family. At the same time, we also hope for the same healing for anyone who might have been harmed before this problem fell into the spotlight.

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Editorials
  • Community cleanups a good way to ensure our collective success

    This is our community – and it’s no better than what we make it. Let’s make it look great.

    April 16, 2014

  • Attack at school in Pennsylvania: Mental illness root of problem

    Washington’s crusade against guns was dealt a severe blow on Wednesday. No, it wasn’t the Supreme Court curtailment of the Second Amendment right of all Americans to own firearms. It wasn’t an executive order handed down by the administration. It was the brutal assault by a high school student in Pennsylvania against his fellow students – with a knife.

    April 14, 2014

  • People with faulty zippers should be booted from office

    We may forgive, but we shouldn’t forget, because there’s serious work to do in Washington. That work will never be accomplished as long as flawed zippers - literally or figurately – are a pervasive problem.

    April 11, 2014

  • Do your part to fight animal and child abuse

    It’s hard to change the habits of an abuser, especially when mitigating factors – such as alcohol or drugs – are involved. And these patterns tend to repeat themselves in successive generations. But all of us can take one small step to help eradicate this epidemic, and that is to report it when we see it.

    April 9, 2014

  • NSA head lies to Congress, and seems to get away with it

    Is there an obvious pattern of criminality within these governmental agencies? If so, why isn’t the Judicial Department investigating?

    April 7, 2014

  • Pass for rich kiddie rapist proves that justice isn’t blind

    Someone in Wilmington, Del., needs to keep an eye on Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden for the next few months, because she might improve her standard of living due to a sudden influx of cash.
    There’s no other way to explain why Jurden would have sentenced an ultra-wealthy heir to the du Pont fortune to probation for raping his 3-year-old daughter. It’s an outrageous miscarriage of justice that once again proves when it comes to the U.S. justice system, the elite get a pass almost every time.

    April 4, 2014

  • Maybe it’s not $3.2B, but state should still account for tribal cash

    In an editorial published last week, the Daily Press said that through tribal compacts, the state of Oklahoma received about $3.2 billion in annual revenue, partly attributable to the 117 casinos (or 118, in some reports) run by 33 tribes in the state. The information we accessed for that piece was confusing, and had a typo or two, which may have led us to overstate – to a considerable degree – how much money the tribes actually give the state.

    April 2, 2014

  • Tribal compacts should mean state has money to perform its functions

    Oklahoma should be rolling in the dough. The statistics bear that out. Thirty-three American Indian tribes operate 117 casinos in this state. Thanks to “compacts,” these tribes have been sharing the wealth with the state of Oklahoma. And thanks to the casinos, that wealth is substantial.

    March 28, 2014

  • It’s time to turn in your candidate announcements

    If you are running for a political office for which Cherokee County voters can cast ballots, it’s time to turn in your announcement. We’ve already run a few, and expect several more. The primary elections are Tuesday, June 24, with the registration period to vote in this election closing Thursday, May 30.

    March 24, 2014

  • Mom responsible for watching kid; restaurant’s not

    If you allowed your child to drink a bottle of drain cleaner, would you feign surprise when he fell to the floor, twitching and foaming at the mouth? If you left your curling iron within reach of your baby and she pulled it off the vanity and burned her hand, would you plan revenge on the store that sold you the appliance?
    You just might, if you’re among the litigious Americans who have abdicated parental responsibility to either sloth or the hope of a better tomorrow through a cash settlement.

    March 19, 2014

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
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