Editorial: Where's the money from Shiprock Fair?
"What do you get when you add together the revenue gained from $8 tickets ($4 for children and seniors) for 100,000 people, about 200 parade entries at $250 to $500 per entry, and an unknown amount of donations from local businesses and government agencies?

If you guessed a responsible board governing the annual Shiprock Navajo Fair, then you are wrong.

For that amount of money, you get a field of dirt in southern Shiprock that has no parking, bathrooms, or trash cans along with a few portable toilets, dilapidated buildings and volunteers to pick up trash the day after the fair. You don't need to be a mathematician to conclude that there is an inequality somewhere in that equation.

No one is sure how much money the fair actually makes, so there's no way of knowing how much money is being siphoned off. A basic, conservative estimate gives the Shiprock Fair $650,000 in annual gross receipts. But an assistant of Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. recently said during an interview with an Albuquerque television station that the number was more along the lines of $4 million to $5 million.

There seems to be two possibilities here. Either there is gross incompetence in managing the fair's revenue, or that money is going into somebody's pocket. Both scenarios are equally troubling, but one of them implies a malicious scheme being wrought against the people of Shiprock."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Shiprock Fair saga remains unexplained (The Farmington Daily Times 11/25)

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Column: Code Talkers lack money for parade (10/2)