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Government Shutdown Has Local Impact

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At 12:01 AM this morning the US Government Officially shut down. 800-thousand Federal Employees were told to stay home. Although we’re geographically far from the epicenter, the shut down is impacting the North Coast.

If you went to the Samoa Dunes National Recreation Area today, you were met with the gate closed and a sign saying the park was too…due to the Federal shut down. There were no cars in the parking lot. In fact, there was no one anywhere except for two travelers from Santa Cruz on their way home.  Gina Giacomini and Danny Fernandez said they were really enjoying the North Coast after a trip to Portland, Oregon. But, they were a little surprised the shut down was affecting them so soon.

“It’s funny…to go out for a recreational day use and see something closed…so the Federal Government really does have a lot of control over our daily activities and things we enjoy and love.”

Corporations are also being affected. Pacific Builders of Arcata, currently doing the restoration work on Old Town Eureka’s Carson Block Building say they are concerned projects they have that are funded through grants from the Federal Government could be compromised. Co-Owner, Tony Lucchesi:  “I think it’s too soon to say what the direct consequences will be…but if this goes on for long at all…we’re going to feel it.”

Mark Allen a fisheries Biologist with Thomas Payne and Associates now part of the employee owned Normandeau Associates team already has projects that have been impacted by the shutdown. He’s also concerned about colleagues and family.

“I hope it’s resolved quickly for our sake and for everyone else’s too. I know it’s hard…we have other employees who have spouses who work for the government and it could be a financial hardship for sure.”

The local Social Security Office was open today. Although they have limited services… help for benefits, appeal requests, changes in address, and other services are available. For more information on any Social Security question go to their web site at: www.socialsecurity.gov