Government shutdown hurts local workers

capitol-u.s.jpgAs of last night at midnight in Washington, D.C., Congress had failed to pass a budget and the government shut down. This in the face of polls that show that only 10% of those surveyed approve of Congress. Locally, the shutdown means job furloughs without pay for federal employees and closure of national parks.

Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta said yesterday that since last week he and others have participated in daily conference calls with the regional forest office and other forests to try to anticipate a shutdown. As of yesterday afternoon, Armenta said only that protection of life and property is the first priority of the Forest, but he said other tasks are also important.

Public Information Officer for the Bureau of Land Management, David Christy, said that under a shutdown, the Bishop BLM office would keep law enforcement personnel working and operate a reduced fire crew – roughly 8 or 9 employees. He said the rest of the BLM staff would be furloughed.

All national parks close under the shutdown. It is believed Manzanar Historic Site would undergo restricted operations as will Yosemite. Death Valley National Park is mostly closed under the shutdown. Abby Wines, Acting Public Information Officer at Death Valley Park said that Highway 190 through the Park would remain open as would Furnace Creek Inn and Ranch and Panamint Springs Resort.

Stove Pipe Wells Hotel was expected to close. Ms. Wines said the majority of employees would be furloughed. Law enforcement rangers would continue to work as well as employees maintaining water systems. Wines estimated that 20 employees would continue to work and around 80 workers would go off the job on furlough.

Nationwide, some 800,000 federal workers were expected to be without paychecks. Many federal programs that provide food and care to Americans were set to be shut down. Continuing are the U.S. Postal Service, Social Security, Medicare and federal courts. To the dismay of Americans, Congress, the source of the government failure, will continue to get its paychecks.

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38 Responses to Government shutdown hurts local workers

  1. a break from the action October 2, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    In these (unnecessarily) polarized times it behooves us all to take a break from the nonsense every now and then and entertain something other than the customary non-stop, force-fed politics.

    If you like graduation speeches you might like this one:

  2. Tourbillon October 2, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    I refuse to sink into partisan rhetoric over this shut down of the federal government. It is only right and just to praise and give credit to both sides equally.

  3. sugar magnolia October 2, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    I just heard an interview with Yosemite that says the major park roads (what become 120, 41, 140) will be open for through travel (thankfully), but that people cannot stop to recreate while passing through.

    Really? Why do I need park personnel around in order to stop and take pictures or eat a sandwhich? Why can’t we hike? Again, I rarely see Park personnel when hiking in Toulumne Meadows, so it wouldn’t be any different then hiking there now.

    It’s public land, you can’t trespass on it, but I imagine Rangers will be out in force to harass people. What crime will I be guilty of I recreate in Yosemite while their staff is on furlough?

    • Pedro October 2, 2013 at 11:29 am #

      Wonder if USFS is shutting down logging operations on national forest that is “closed” to public.

  4. sugar magnolia October 2, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    I understand that no services can be provided by DVNP and Yosemite, however, it’s public land, I don’t understand how or why they would block access to public land that should be accessible to the public. Sign the park ‘proceed at your own risk, no services are available’ and let them do their thing!

  5. Socialism is slavery October 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Lets review:

    2008: “In 2008 you might remember then-candidate Barack Obama defending the rights of hard-working people so they would not be forced to buy health insurance.

    At a debate in South Carolina, Edwards said Obama’s plan really wasn’t universal health care, since it didn’t have a mandate to ensure everyone was covered.

    Obama replied that his plan was universal and explained why he was against a mandate: “A mandate means that in some fashion, everybody will be forced to buy health insurance. … But I believe the problem is not that folks are trying to avoid getting health care. The problem is they can’t afford it. And that’s why my plan emphasizes lowering costs.”

    Now? He is forcing all of us (except favored groups like big business, Congress, and other contributors) to buy insurance through government “exchanges.” Mainly, this whole scheme is designed to force the youthful, healthy citizens to pay for the insurance of the older sick people. Land of the free!

    And — What does union leader Jimmy Hoffa, a solid Dem/Obama supporter, think of Obamacare? Here is his recent letter to Reid and Pelosi:

    Dear Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi:

    “When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.

    Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.

    Now this vision has come back to haunt us.

    Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.

    Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:

    First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
    Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

    And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.

    On behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent and the families they support, we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.

    We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the President pledged. Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.

    We continue to stand behind real health care reform, but the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.

    We are looking to you to make sure these changes are made.

    James P. Hoffa
    General President
    International Brotherhood of Teamsters”

    Nuff said folks.

    • Tired of the polarization October 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm #


    • Pedro October 1, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      “I call on Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. David Vitter and others to cease and desist from misusing our constructive comments in their destructive campaign to hobble the president and the nation,” Hoffa said.

    • RandyK October 2, 2013 at 7:28 am #

      It would be refreshing to have seen a debate about how to improve the law to make it work better rather than repeated attempts to sabotage the law to ensure it would not work, with no alternative suggested. Of course, it would be difficult to suggest a conservative alternative to Obamacare since Obamacare was the conservative alternative of a few years ago.

      • Desert Tortoise October 2, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        ACA isn’t even implimented in any meaningful way, the nation is just now signing people up for health insurance exchanges, yet it is claimed to be a failure before it even starts. That is just one of the lies the Republican Party tries to pass off as “fact” to the American public.

        Sure, one can rigidly demand a strictly free market approach to rationing health care, and expect a large proportion of individuals to be either unable to afford health care or be denied health care do to pre-existing conditions. That will satisfy the ideological purists.

        But a study of development economics reveals that for a nation to grow it’s economy and enjoy a high standard of living, that nation must find a way, however it manages to do so, to provide education, infrastructure and health care. If a nation cannot do these three things and do all three of them pretty well, nothing else they do or do not do will matter. Their development will be arrested and their standard of living will suffer.

        So you can demand that the health care market be a pure free market, but be aware that if you do, your standard of living will suffer as a result. This is one of those cases where the theories underlying market economics conflict. One has to understand how Adam Smith and David Ricardo defined a market to understand how markets can fail, or how in real life we simply do not have the preconditions for a functioning market. Most Americans are woefully uninformed about economic theory and believe all manner of nonsense that is not grounded in knowldege, which is unfortunate and may end up being our undoing.

  6. Philip Anaya October 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    The process for the enactment of the Affordable Care Act ,Obamacare, whatever is the American way. Ideas ,objections , compromise , committees,and debate. Votes, that’s what makes us the land of the free. Holding the economy hostage , endangering livelihoods , having our enemies in the world seeing our houses divided, tearing each other apart.
    Yosemite is closed and yet the sun still came up this morning. Wow! If there is need to change or modify Obamacare then start first with those ideas and take that gun away from all our heads .

  7. DESCO October 1, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    And yet the sun still came up this morning.

  8. RandyK October 1, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    And so goes the lunatics’ war on America.

    • Who's really to blame October 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

      Don’t think for a moment how powerful the Tea Party movement has become.
      Even at the demise of the GOP.

      • Pedro October 1, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

        Don’t blame the maggots for the gangrene.

  9. Ken Warner October 1, 2013 at 8:49 am #

    You can blame it on those millions of freeloaders who think they are entitled to healthcare. If you don’t have healthcare — don’t get sick.

    • Great Depression II ? October 1, 2013 at 10:23 am #

      A quick study of what was going on just prior to The Great Depression I, will show that while people were starving in America – millionaires were being made by the sackful.
      The growing amount of impoverished amongst us could hardly be called “freeloaders” and today, there are more millionaires in the country than the entire population of New York City … while many cannot afford healthcare.
      Some types are bothered by this – some are not.

    • Bemused October 1, 2013 at 12:11 pm #

      Either this was intended as sarcasm, or I have a hard time believing this is actually Ken Warner…

      • Right-wing alias October 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

        Sounds like something Rush Limbaugh might say.

    • Wayne Deja October 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

      Ken….”If you don’t have healthcare-don’t get sick……With a comment like that,maybe you should run for the Republican ticket in 2016.

    • The hard heart October 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      Love your sense of compassion, Ken Warner.

  10. We The People October 1, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    There have been 17 Government shutdowns since 1976, I don’t think we should be at all worried about this one either. So far this shutdown seems more like a slimdown anyway.

    • JeremiahJoseph October 7, 2013 at 10:28 am #

      Give me a break “we the people”, nothing to worry about?
      -Like the growing income inequality?
      -Or the growing unemployment of graduates and people in general?
      -Or the under-Employed
      -Or the ridiculous low minimum wage?
      -Or climate destabilization that will effect us all?
      -Or the new bubble being created and propped up in Wall ST.?
      -Or the fact we don’t have a representative democracy and no longer go by the constitution that was written for the republic?
      -Or the fact our leaders are doing nothing TODAY to address these real problems but yet find it a priority to shut the gov’t down over a health care reform bill that hasn’t even been implemented??
      Is this really our best interest for the gov’t to be shutdown over? I myself have heard good and bad about O’care, but how many of the voters actually comprehend the true outcome of it and how can we really be for or against when we don’t comprehend, it’s easier to say “I don’t know, so NO, I’m not for it then” rather then “Yes, I read the 1500 page document and measured the pros and cons, and I support it” Who’s really winning with a gov’t shutdown when the gov’t is the problem?

      This is a joke! Yes a slim down is needed! But we must address the problem with money in politics and end corporate personhood if we really want to have “we the people’s” best interest on the table…

      • Nutty Ideology October 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

        There is a lunatic faction out there today that hates all government so much that their ideology promotes the firing of everybody on any government payroll.
        I have friends and neighbors in this town and county who work very hard at their government jobs and the more I think of it, the more I believe that those angry Ideologue just may be jealous that our friends and neighbors in our government have a steady job and those nutty Ideologues don’t like it.

        • Joe October 8, 2013 at 6:43 am #

          To the person of many names: You might have neighbors but it is very unlikely you have any friends due to your hateful and divisive monologues. Who the heck would want to hang with someone like that?

          • Back at ya Joe October 8, 2013 at 9:46 am #

            Dear Joe,

            I have no hatred whatsoever for government employees and the government per se. Nor do I have any interest in the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Fox News and the Tea Party movement.

            How about you?

          • Benett Kessler October 8, 2013 at 9:59 am #

            Perhaps this is non-responsive to Joe’s comment.

          • No response required October 8, 2013 at 10:12 am #

            In today’s polarized political climate, when an extremist attempts to paint you into a corner realizing you espouse an equal an opposite political point of view and personalizes it – sometimes it does not require any response.

          • Mark October 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

            I have nothing but contempt for the gov and I support the Tea Party movement.

          • Benett Kessler October 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

            Do you really think we could all survive without mutual support for things like roads, medicare, social security and many other legitimately needs programs?
            Benett Kessler

      • Ken Warner October 8, 2013 at 10:56 am #

        JJ: you’ve made all the important points that we all need to be aware of. Well done. BTW: here’s a brief book review that should be important for all of us to be aware of.

        The big winners in the economy he foresees will be those who can work with and harness machine intelligence and those who can manage and market such people.

        Such “hyperproductive” people, about 15 percent of the population, will be wealthier than ever before. Also doing well will be those providing them personal services.

        For jobs lower down on the ladder, there will be a premium on conscientiousness. That’s good for women and bad for men, who are more likely to do things their own way.

        Middle-level jobs, Cowen says, are on the way out. He argues that many of those laid off after the financial crisis were “zero marginal product” workers. They weren’t producing anything of value and employers won’t replace them.

  11. Michae Prather October 1, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Our local economy is 85% tourism based. Business, local governments, visitors and our families are will be hurt by this reckless, irresponsible action of the U.S. House of Representatives. Our country flourishes when it is led by mature, reasonable leaders. The behavior of this House is harmful and an embarrassment to any responsible thinking citizen.

    • Mark October 1, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      FIFY – Our local economy is 85% tourism based on a invasive trout.

      government has been over spending for ever,, what did ya’ll think was going to happen?

      Shall we just print some more money making the money we have worth that much less?

      My kids are all furloughed today and unhappy about it. But it was their choice to work for the gov so that’s the way it goes. The little tax eaters are just going to have to tighten their belts or ask their professors that brain washed them into voting for Obama for a loan.

      I don’t have enough middle fingers to fully express my dislike for the current administration.

      • Pedro October 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

        You’ve seen one president, you’ve seen them all.

      • sugar magnolia October 2, 2013 at 9:46 am #

        use logical thinking much? I think we can all agree that our govt spends too much money, but it’s not the President that’s enacting all that legislation by himself. Both sides are willing to enact legislation that spends money, no-one can argue that fact.

        At this point in time, they are suppose to be funding the legislation they have already enacted. But instead, the Repubs (no arguing that one either) are attempting to revise/pass new legislation while holding the ‘money’ to pay for already enacted stuff as hostage.

        Why, when they had all year to address this stuff, do they attempt to do this at the time to pay for it? It’s like me using my credit card to buy stuff, but when the bill comes due, telling them I paid too much so now I want the cc company to give me a discount. I made my bed, I need to lay in it!

        It took some time to search the internet to find an article that actually explains what is happening without ‘blaming’ one side or the other or trying to inflame the public.

        Come on govt, pass the appropriations required for the bills you’ve passed and then work on changing them if you don’t like them. Sheesh.

        and same with the upcoming fiscal cliff….you rang up the charges, now you have to pay for them…..

      • JeremiahJoseph October 7, 2013 at 10:13 am #

        Yeah exactly! what did you think was going to happen when we have sell outs leading this country with a wrong incentive structure in place ($). Oh but go on and tell me how the repubs are so much better then the dems…LOL!
        Don’t go and limit yourself by defending the 40 right wing radicals that are dead set on taking down the gov’t over making a political point, it’s not like they are offering a solution, One illness can put a whole family in debt, whats wrong with trying to get heathcare for those who wouldn’t have it? and why don’t the repubs try to help those that need it? let’s get this straight! this my team versus your team is not doing any good for our country! and neither are the dems or repubs, so please don’t defend any of them or the current political platform that answers to money before “We the People”.
        I can relate to the your dislike to the current administration, but you look a “sheep” when you act or talk like the republicans or right wing have the answers to the problems we face today.
        This shutdown is a result of the fiscal cliff, they had all year to address this, it makes me sick the way mainstream medias feed into the BS and keep our attention elsewhere and hence the general population carries the argument that leads to us shooting ourselves in the foot, over and over….
        Again explain to me why anyone of us should defend the repubs or dems?
        This gov’t is a joke! and we are on the menu!

  12. Aaron September 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    Will the Lone Pine Ranger station and Inyo forest be closed as well?

    • Benett Kessler October 1, 2013 at 8:20 am #

      Mr. Armenta was unwilling to say any more than is in the story. I will be checking today for more information.
      Benett Kessler


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