WAMU 88.5 : News

Shutdown Leaves Federal Workers With Time, But No Access To Popular Va. Trail

The Mt. Vernon Trail is still accessible, but it's technically closed due to the federal government shutdown.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/80535871@N00/5304164152/
The Mt. Vernon Trail is still accessible, but it's technically closed due to the federal government shutdown.

In Virginia, government workers who have free time are hitting the Mount Vernon Trail. There's only one problem—it's closed because of the federal government shutdown.

Yesterday National Park Service officials started to shuttering federal facilities across the country, including many local parks, memorials and monuments—none of which are in short supply in and around the nation's capital.

At the Belle Haven Marina, a steady stream of cars pulled up to the parking lot of a park along the Mount Vernon Trail only to learn the parking lot—and the park, and the trail itself—are all closed because of the government shutdown.

Although the parking lot to the park was closed, the access road to to Belle Haven Marina is open, and so are the parallel parking spaces. But a National Park Service Police trooper hit Kevin Johnson with an $85 parking ticket.

"We can't even go out and exercise? I mean it's… I understand, I guess the federal parks are closed. But this is the only parking available. So I did what I had to do. The only other option was to park in the neighborhood and then probably get a permit violation or something," said Johnson.

Up and down the Mount Vernon Trail, walkers and runners and bicyclists are using the trail in open defiance of the U.S. Park Police, which patrols national parks and monuments.

"Technically I'm going to be breaking the law in a few minutes I guess," laughed Margie Remmers of Alexandria, who said that she's willing to open flout the law.

"It's silly. This whole shutdown thing. It's just a lack of, what, discipline and maturity that seems to be gone from our society more and more," offered Mike Russell of Mount Vernon, who said he's fed up with Washington.

For now, the Mount Vernon Trail remains shuttered, and the fate of this weekend's Woodrow Wilson Half Marathon remains in doubt.

WAMU 88.5

Auction Of Artifacts In Paris Stirs Protest At American Indian Museum In D.C.

"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.

NPR

We Don't Know How Many Workers Are Injured At Slaughterhouses. Here's Why

Injuries in the meat industry are likely to be under-reported, a new GAO report finds. Workers may be sent back to the line without seeing a doctor, or may not report out of fear of losing their jobs.
WAMU 88.5

Power Plant Fight In Prince George's County

A predominantly African American community in rural Prince George's County recently filed a federal civil rights complaint in response to plans to build a third power plant in one town, and fifth in the region.

NPR

Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

The New York Times says entrepreneur Peter Thiel confirms he has been bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury award to Hogan of $140 million over publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.