Shutdown Impacts High Desert
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Oct. 2, 2013
Still closed -- that's the latest word on the federal government.
Lawmakers in Washington continue making a lot of noise about it, but so far they haven't fixed it.
Now in its second full day, it's becoming clearer just what's affected.
While the impact may be somewhat modest here in the valley, that's not the case in the high desert.
At Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Combat Center, parts of the base are shutdown, including some gyms and education services...
Active military personnel are still getting paid, but some civilians working on base are not because they are furloughed..
At Joshua Tree National Park, visitors are arriving from far away only to find the park is closed.
Christopher rings up customers at Coyote Corner: a rustic shop located below Joshua Tree National Park's entrance.
But he says each day the park is closed that mean's thousands of visitors lost, and the money they'd spend is gone with them.
"The town of Joshua Tree depends on tourism, it's the only industry that's here and we'll be a ghost town if it doesn't pick back up," said Christopher.
Locks and gates now bar the way into our national parks.
Visitors came from across the globe to visit them, and want to know when this government shutdown will end.
"It's really disappointing and please, please work it out so we can visit your beautiful country," said Magda Wierzbicka.
Magda and her family are visiting from Poland; their entire vacation centers around visiting national parks.
"We already planned the trip so far ahead and we rented a van, a camping van, and we were so looking forward to coming here," said Magda.
Magda and her family are locked out of Joshua Tree Park, and farther up Highway 62 the doors are closed in parts of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base.
Elaine Williams lives on the base, but is shopping in town.
"I'd say the biggest effect that we've noticed is the commissary is closed down, which is why we are out in town. Our budgets are based on off of what we typically spend there every two weeks, so now that's out of the question, kind of left with more expensive options."
While active military and some civilian personnel are still getting paid, others working on base are furloughed.
"I've heard that the civilian employees at like Naval hospitals for instance aren't able to come into work and aren't getting paid," said Elaine.
Back at Coyote Corner, Christopher is ready for the shutdown to end.
They posted signs encouraging patrons to call their congressmen.
"Our representative aren't doing their jobs and they need to do their job, Democrat or Republican. There's no reason for this to have happened," said Christopher.