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How is the Shutdown Affecting Northern California?

How is the Shutdown Affecting Northern California?

The government shutdown is affecting a variety of sectors across the nation, and the state. That includes the California National Guard.

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Keegan says it will hinder the guard's response readiness.

"Many of the furloughed or laid off technicians -- 2,000 of them -- are aircraft mechanics and folks that support all that equipment that we would use during disaster response," Keegan said. 

They've applied for exemptions, but officers are creating contingency plans.
"Making sure that we have folks available to maintain that equipment, so we're postured to be able to support Californians if there is a disaster," he said. 

Security Guards are still employed at the bases and, while emergency response IS ready to keep Californian's safe, a prolonged disaster could create issues if staff is not re-instated.

Locals weigh in on the shutdown 

A Republican and a Democrat were sitting on a park bench in Capitol Park this Tuesday afternoon, discussing the Government Shutdown. 

Brian is a Fair Oaks Republican who isn't sure how the latest shutdown will play out.

"It's very different from the last time," he said. "In 95-96 it was about taxes and spending. So there's an opportunity to find a middle ground on something like that. Now, it's about Obamacare, yes or no, there's no middle ground."

Darrell, a West Sacramento Democrat, calls the shutdown "poor business."

"We're likely to pay the government workers anyway, and we're not getting the work done," he said. 

But on this they agree.

"I think it's shared blame." 

Planning a day-trip? You may want to rethink that decision

The government shutdown is affecting a number of Bay Area national parks. Landmarks inside the Golden Gate National Recreation Area such as Alcatraz, Fort Point, Muir Woods and the Presidio Visitors Center are now closed. Parking lot gates are padlocked and bathrooms and snack-shops shut. Typically, 5,000 people visit Alcatraz every day. Yosemite National Park is also closed, with campers and lodgers having until Wednesday night to leave.

What other agencies are affected by the shutdown?

Will the gridlock hamper the efforts of firefighters? Daniel Berlant says Cal Fire operations will continue as usual.

"As a state agency, we're not directly impacted, all of our funding comes from that state," Berlant said. 

And while their federal partners have shut down, they prepared in advance.

"The Forest Service had already moved $600 million from other Forest Service accounts into their fire budgets to ensure that they are still staffed," Berlant said. 

That's in terms of the so-called "essential personnel" who are physically fighting the fire. Most office workers, however, have been furloughed.



 

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