Sandy Hook, the Monmouth County arm of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is closed to the public as a result of the Federal Government shutdown.
But vehicles were driving in and out of the park when I drove by this afternoon.
Ranger Tim Quinn said the Marine Academy of Science and Technology is open as are “the cooperators,” the non-profit organizations that have their offices in the park. The Coast Guard Station is also open.
Quinn said all others are prohibited from entering the park, by car bicycle or foot. He said several members of the park staff were sent home after working four hours today and referred me to the press office for the answers to any other questions. I guess the press office is working.
In addition to Quinn, there were five rangers gathered in toll house at the entrance to the park. Asked if he was getting paid, Quinn laughed and said, “I’m not volunteering for the government.
The Jersey Tomato Press reports that 800,000 “non-essential” government employees are out of work. Passport offices and the Federal Housing Administration are closed. No mortgages or last minute overseas trips. No SBA loans or background checks for gun licenses either. The trash isn’t being picked up in Washington, DC, but lots of garbage is being reported in the media.
While President Obama and Senate Democrats are blaming House Republicans for shutting down the government, the House is taking up measures to fund the National Parks, veterans affairs and Washington, DC government operations. Senate Democrats, budget chairwoman Barbara Mikuski and Majority Whip Dick Durbin rejected the piecemeal approach to reopening the government, according to Politico.
Governor Christie: You know when you’re in the silly season like we’re in now – everybody running around and campaigning for different things – when we see the craziness we’re seeing down in Washington DC today where people who say that they want to be in public life to try to run the government and then their solution to doing that is to not speak to each other, not work with each other, and shut our government down, that’s a failure. That’s a failure of people in public life for everyone in this country who’s depending upon a government that will get its stuff together. And notice, since I’m only 35 days away from an election, I said stuff and not something else which I know you all figure I would be more apt to say. But we’re 35 days away from an election so I’m trying to clean up my act a little bit. You know, we need to make sure that we have a government that listens to the needs of the people who pay for it. You know it’s not the other way around. We’re not supposed to be dictating to you, we’re supposed to be listening, and I think much too much in politics these days we have folks who have forgotten that one of the most important parts of leadership is listening. Listening to people of divergent views and opinions. Listening to the folks who pay the bills. Listening to the people who are going to lead our state and our country in the future. And so, we’re going to do a lot more listening around here and a lot less talking. And I hope in Washington what they figure out is that what we pay them to do when we send them down there is to run the government, not to shut it down.
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I’m reaching out to you as a friend. I know you must be deeply hurting after what happened at the Missouri State Fair. Sure, you probably try to avoid watching the news while you’re on vacation, but I’m sure the pilot who airlifted your dog to your rental mansion in Martha’s Vineyard probably caught you up to speed (that guy is such a chatterbox). Your jaw must have hit the floor when you heard the news: A rodeo clown in Missouri poked fun at you. Yeah, I know, almost impossible to believe. The gall! The gumption! The racism! Don’t worry, the entire country erupted in outrage, Democrats and Republicans issued statements of condemnation, and now the offending clown has been banned for life from the Missouri State Fair. There will likely be “action taken” against the Missouri Rodeo Clown Association, and I do hope justice is visited upon them swiftly. I think we’re all a little sick of the Missouri Rodeo Clown Association causing trouble. It’s something new every week with those freakin’ guys.
Today was another disastrous day for Barbara ‘Dawn Quixote’ Buono.
The presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee’s campaign announced this morning that the candidate would have a private meeting with President Obama in Asbury Park. They later retracted the statement when news broke that Buono was one of about thirty people to meet the president in Asbury Park’s Convention Hall prior to Obama delivering his public remarks.
When Obama met Buono, he did not know who she was, according to a source who was in the room. “Barbara had to introduce herself to the president,” the source told MMM.
“A senior admin official says that Barbara Buono, a Democrat running for NJ governor, was part of a group of approximately 30 state and local officials who met briefly with Obama before his speech in Asbury Park today. There were both Democrats and Republicans among the state/local electeds present. There was a photo line but no separate meeting,” according to a pool report from Obama’s trip.
Many of my conservative friends and colleagues are panning President Obama’s and Governor Christie’s visit to Asbury Park and Point Pleasant Beach as lacking substance. Some say the presidential visit amounts to Christie assisting Obama in changing the subject away from the scandals the Administration is embroiled in; the IRS, James Rosen, AP, Benghazi.
My friends, you have partisan blinders on.
Last week the Washington Post published an article about regular Jersey Shore vacationers heading to Delaware and North Carolina beaches for their summer vacations, because they think New Jersey is not ready for them this year.
Obama’s remarks today were part sales pitch for the Jersey Shore and part pep talk for those of us who are still fighting and weary, seven months after Superstorm Sandy, to recover. Both the sales pitch and the pep talk were badly needed.
Obama’s visit and remarks will dominate the news cycle for the next 24 hours, or so, give or take. The message he delivered to the world today will bring vacationers and their money to the Jersey Shore. The impact will save businesses, create jobs and help make everything All Right.
Next week Congress will be back in session and the investigations will continue. Right now, I’m more interested in the people who are making their vacation plans this week and in my neighbors who are on the verge of giving up, this week.
President Barack Obama will visit Asbury Park on Tuesday, according to a report at The Star Ledger.
Obama, accompanied by Gov. Chris Christie, is expected to visit with families and business owners, according to the White House. The president’s visit comes roughly 200 days after he toured the region with Christie in the days immediately after the hurricane.
After touring the area, Obama will deliver remarks at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, according to the White House statement. The event at Convention Hall is open to the public. Tickets are limited to one per person and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Grand Arcade at Convention Hall.
Gov Chris Christie and President Barack Obama greet residents sheltering in Brigantine. Oct 31, 2012. Gov’s Office/Tim Larsen