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Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 2:39 p.m.

County feels effects of government shutdown

The federal shutdown is starting to be felt in Snohomish County.
Campers on U.S. Forest Service lands are being asked to leave. The Smokey Point Commissary, which serves military families, is planning to shut down on Wednesday. Job training programs could soon be closed.
And students from a Catholic school in Everett who raised money for a year to visit Washington, D.C., may miss many of the sights they had been hoping to see.
Here are some of what is happening around the county.
Campers asked to leave
The U.S. Forest Service is closing its recreational facilities in all forests including the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, which includes much of eastern Snohomish County.
Visitors in campgrounds or cabin rentals are being asked to leave. Law enforcement is set to help clear people out, said Renee Bodine, a Forest Service spokeswoman in Everett.
The federal agency also canceled a meeting for the public on Oct. 9 in Everett over a long-range plan on what roads should be left open in the forest.
A big crowd was anticipated at the Everett meeting, the last of a series of open-house events designed to gather public opinion. It will be rescheduled when the federal government reopens, said Bodine, who was furloughed late Monday night, but who worked without pay Tuesday morning to make sure people were notified of changes.
Tour sights closed
A group of Everett eighth-graders will experience the effects of the shutdown when they arrive in the nation's capital Wednesday for a five-day visit.
The 34 students of St. Mary Magdalen School in Everett, who've spent more than a year planning and raising money for the trip, scheduled stops at the Lincoln Memorial, Holocaust Museum and other Smithsonian Institute museums. But all of those are closed until there's a federal budget in place.
They are still very excited, school Principal Bruce Stewart said.
"They are learning more about the United States government as a result," he said.
Not all of the students' itinerary will be wrecked by the political turmoil.
They do intend to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, visit the Mount Vernon home of George Washington and attend a mass at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Job training programs closed
Workforce Snohomish furloughed 33 employees in its administrative office at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The private not-for-profit agency provides an array of education and job training services using federal funds passed on through the state Employment Security Department.
Three career centers, which serve roughly 1,300 residents, will be open for a few days with limited services and staffing then close until the government shutdown ends.
WorkSource Monroe will be available at least through Friday while WorkSource Everett and WorkSource Mountlake Terrace will operate at least until Monday.
They could be open longer. The state Employment Security Department issued a press release Tuesday afternoon indicating money is available to keep the centers open beyond Monday.
However, the WorkSource Youth Center and the resource room at Everett Station for those dislocated from Kimberly-Clark closed Tuesday, according to agency officials.
Navy bases send home civilian workers
Naval Station Everett and Whidbey Island Naval Air Station sent home civilian employees this week who work in food service, administrative support and maintenance.
The Smokey Point Commissary, at 13900 45th Ave. NE in Marysville, was open Tuesday, but plans to shut down on Wednesday. The commissary provides low-cost groceries for military families.
Military personnel will still receive paychecks under a bill signed by President Barack Obama this week.
Some civilian employees involved in emergency services and other essential operations will be kept in their jobs, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Daniel Pearson.
Pearson is manning all public affairs operations for Navy Region Northwest.
"We're filling a lot of shoes right now," Pearson said.
Full-time active members of the National Guard will not be furloughed, but roughly 1,000 federal technicians, including vehicle and aircraft maintenance, computer technicians and human resources personnel will be.
National Parks shuttered
The National Park Service closed all of its 401 sites, including 10 in Washington state.
They are: Mount Rainier National Park; North Cascades National Park; Olympic National Park; San Juan Island National Historical Park; Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Seattle; Fort Vancouver National Historic Site; Lake Chelan National Recreation Area; Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area; Ross Lake National Recreation Area; and Whitman Mission National Historic Site.
Eleven recreation areas in Washington overseen by the Bureau of Land Management closed Tuesday. San Juan Islands is the closest location to Snohomish County.
People can continue to drive, bike or hike at parks where access is not controlled by gates or entrance stations.
A total of 67 BLM employees who work in Washington were furloughed.
Spokeswoman Jody Weil said each came to a BLM office in Wenatchee or Spokane to receive their notice and do an "orderly shutdown" before departing.
As for their mood, she said: "I think they are hopeful for an early resolution."
Story tags » Government

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