The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

March 16, 2013

Long lines, closings at parks, landmarks bring sequester home

(Continued)

At Biscayne National Park south of Miami, officials have canceled environmental-education camps through Sept. 30, upending the plans of about 50 students, said Assistant Superintendent Sula Jacobs.

"We're undergoing our busiest season now," Cheryl Chipman, a spokeswoman for Death Valley National Park in California, said in an interview. While visitors won't see many immediate changes, Chipman said that may change if the spending reductions are sustained and vacant positions, including park electrician, aren't filled in coming months, when Death Valley becomes one of the Earth's hottest places.

"If we have problems with air conditioning and facilities at 120 degrees, that's going to be a problem," Chipman said.

Further north in California, at Yosemite National Park, officials are cutting a $28 million base budget by $1.4 million. Options include reducing or cutting ranger-led programs at sites including the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias and Glacier Point, a popular lookout, according to Scott Gediman, a Yosemite spokesman.

"This is going to be phased in," he said in a phone interview. "The park is going to remain open. We're not looking at closing any facilities."

Aside from canceling White House tours, sequestration has spared most of Washington's tourist destinations. The Smithsonian Institution plans to keep the doors open at its 19 museums and galleries, cutting $40 million, or 5 percent of its federal funding. The Smithsonian will delay maintenance, freeze hiring and reduce the use of contractors, according to Linda St. Thomas, a Smithsonian spokeswoman.

Elsewhere in the capital, spending cuts are starting to take a toll. The National Archives, which displays and preserves the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, is reducing evening hours. The National Gallery of Art is weighing occasional closures if sequestration extends into June, Deborah Ziska, a gallery spokeswoman, said in an interview.

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video