Parks, NASA’s Plum Brook close

The federal government’s shutdown this week caused a ripple effect at area venues, including a national landmark, a park popular with bird watchers and a world-class scientific testing facility.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 2, 2013


At least three federal entities in the Register’s coverage area were forced to close as a direct result of Congress’ failure to approve a spending bill late Monday.

The holdup stems from Democrats and Republicans disagreeing on how to fund President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

All federal employees considered “nonessential” are now on furloughs, effectively unpaid vacations.

The employees won’t be recalled and the venues won’t reopen until Congress approves a new spending bill.

Military bases and federal law enforcement agencies will remain open, which means essential federal workers — military personnel and U.S. Border Patrol, for instance — will continue to work and receive their paychecks.

Among the local federal offices closing for the foreseeable future:

Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in Oak Harbor
• Employees furloughed: 10 full-time, four part-time.

• Annual budget: $1 million.

• Annual visitors: 190,000.

What it is: The center helps preserve habitats for migrating birds. It’s also a place where people can view educational exhibits and watch waterfowl, songbirds and shorebirds. Bird watchers frequently visit the area.

Fallout: Park workers either canceled or postponed upcoming deer hunts and archery contests. Workers spent Monday and Tuesday closing up facilities and securing the park, ensuring no activity occurs during the shutdown.

Reaction to shutdown: “We’re public servants. We’re taking our marching orders from Congress. We understand they have bigger issues, and they’re doing the best they can do." — Refuge manager Jason Lewis

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial at Put-in-Bay

• Employees furloughed: 15 full-time.

• Annual budget: $1 million.

• Annual visitors: 185,000.

• What it is: The museum’s 352-foot tall memorial commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s naval victory against the British in the War of 1812. The memorial also celebrates peace among Britain, Canada and the U.S.

• Fallout: Workers prepared to close the grounds Monday and Tuesday. They also prepared furlough notices for all employees. The outdoor park portion will remain open but largely unsupervised.

• Reaction to shutdown: “We are very disappointed that we are going to have to shut down. Obviously there are visitors that have to come here but aren’t going to be able to visit the memorial.” — Memorial superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky

NASA Plum Brook Station in Perkins Township

• Employees furloughed: 20 civilian fulltime, 80 contracted fulltime.

• Money invested: $567 million from 2001 through early 2012.

• Annual visitors: 500.

• What it is: A one-ofa-kind testing facility and home to unique space equipment. The Space Power Facility, for instance, can create a vacuum and simulate temperatures found in space.

• Fallout: No major tests are presently occurring at the site, but all work must be halted. No one will be allowed on NASA Plum Brook’s grounds other than a security guard.

• Reaction to shutdown: “We live in a constitutional system with an elected public. Our government is divided and they need to pass a budget. As citizens, we have to let that process work." — Station director Gen. David Stringer



Privatize NASA and sell off the parks and landmarks to environmentalist and other not-for-profit groups.


I guarantee that not one congressional person is doing without a paycheck and until this shutdown nonsense cuts into their pockets, they will continue to abuse their power at the expense of working people.


Re: "I guarantee that not one congressional person is doing without a paycheck "

Better include members of the Executive branch in there as well.

The Answer Person

Big deal and who cares?


Privatize everything. Ha Ha Ha Isn't that what happened to Congress? Aren't Lobbyist now in control there?


Re: "Aren't Lobbyist (sp) now in control there?"

You're also including labor unions, AARP, and other NGO "special interests" in there aren't you?

Darwin's choice

And, the Syrian rebels, Afghan rebels, Egyptian rebels and the ever-popular DEA are still getting paid. Think something's wrong with the government? All of them!

Dr. Information

Republicans wanted to open back part of the government and the Dems shot it down. Those Dems, they really care about the working person (insert sarcasm).


LOSER!!! (no sarcasm)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darwin's choice

More stupidity by the government...

93%...incredible failure!


NOBODY's doing without a paycheck. NOBODY'S taking an unpaid vacation. Congress approved a measure that provides for 100% back pay as soon as the government's doors open again. Is there a delay in payment? Yes. Are taxpayers saving one thin dime? Are government employees LOSING one thin dime? The answer to both is NO.


What a joke. They are giving people paid vacations,and ruining other people's vacations. What is the point? It is the stupidest pi$$ing contest ever. If they want to make the point, they should REALLY shut the government down. Smoke and mirrors, and no one is buying it.


Are you losing one dime Sham? NO!

My Opinion is...

Congress is acting worse than a classroom full of self-centered preschoolers. Seriously - the stupidity these politicians exhibit is inconceivable! Someone needs to remind them that they work for the American people, not their respective political party. Everybody wants to be "right" and win the pissing contest but they don't realize they're hurting those of us who work paycheck to paycheck and who will be showing our displeasure in the voting booths. It's all over Obamacare, which is the stupidest reason to shut down the government. It's survived every appeal and been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, yet they want to keep wasting my money fighting about it. Here's a clue - Romney's deal was that if he was elected the first thing he'd do was repeal Obamacare AND HE LOST THE ELECTION. That right there tells me that the majority of Americans voted to keep Obama and Obamacare. Welcome to Democracy - majority rules no matter how loud and annoying the minority wants to complain. You don't like it - wait for the government to start back up and then rescind your citizenship or shut up.


Re: "It's survived every appeal and been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court"

SCOTUS ruled that it was a tax.

Constitutionally, Congress has EVERY right to repeal a tax.

On Fri. the HOR passed a CR which contained a resolution which stripped Congress of its ACA special privileges - The Senate voted it down!

Why the h*ll shouldn't Congress live by the same rules as the rest of us?

My Opinion is...

I can send a bill that contains 5 stipulations - 4 good ones and 1 that says I get to break your kneecaps. It's a take it all or leave it bill, are you going to approve it?

Pterocarya frax...

Thank you for so clearly pointing out the idiocy of the argument presented from the right.


Re: "idiocy of the argument"

So the Democrats in Congress are SPECIAL and they shouldn't have to abide by the same rules as the dumbed down electorate that voted 'em in?


Geez...that commies yap is old.