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Federal shutdown being felt across the islands

By Audrey McAvoy

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:39 a.m. HST, Oct 02, 2013

The partial shutdown of the federal government rippled across Hawaii Tuesday, from isolated atolls in the far northwest where the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is closed to the southeast where Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is turning away tourists eager to see the glow of Kilauea volcano's lava. 

On Oahu, boats aren't taking visitors out to see the sunken hull of the battleship Arizona. Of the 39 National Park Service employees at Pearl Harbor, all but four are being told to stay home. Those who remain are staying on solely for security and emergency purposes. 

Normally, more than 4,000 people visit the USS Arizona Memorial each day.

Farther south, on the Big Island, a ranger at the entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has had to turn away hundreds of vehicles at the gate, said spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane.

"They've had to come through, do a U-turn and exit the park, unfortunately," Ferracane said. 

The shutdown began on a day when a cruise ship is in Hilo, depriving thousands of ship passengers opportunities to see the volcano. 

Those staying at Volcano House hotel and campsites within the park have 48 hours to leave and find new accommodations, the National Park Service said.

Guests from as far away as Belgium and South Korea chose to check out today, because they can't explore the park when its trails and roads have been closed, Ferracane said. 

Visitors to the park spend more than $265,000 a day on the Big Island, the Park Service said, underscoring how a prolonged shutdown could harm the state's biggest industry, tourism. 

The state's tourism agency issued a statement noting Hawaii's state and county parks, beaches and trails are still open. 

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said it will monitor the shutdown and how it might affect Hawaii and the industry. 

On the northern edge of the state, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said coral reef researchers and cultural practitioners with permits to visit small islands within the Papahanaumokuakea monument won't be able to go there later this week if the shutdown continues. 

(Among the Fish and Wildlife closures in the Pacific: visitor centers at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai; and Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge in Kihei, Maui; and the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in Dededo. Also closed: the Boardwalk at Kealia Pond refuge and national wildlife refuges in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument - Midway Atoll and Hawaiian Islands.)

Many wildlife programs also have been suspended amid the shutdown.

Hawaiian monk seals, a critically endangered species, should be able to get help if they are accidentally caught by a fish hook, however. An unofficial Facebook page for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program says several nonfederal staff are prepared to respond to monk seal emergencies. 

Uniformed military personnel are still working, but the shutdown sent thousands of civilians home early.

At Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, about 2,900 workers -- or two-thirds of the civilian workforce -- are being furloughed. The shipyard is the state's largest industrial employer.

Those remaining are primarily performing maintenance work on eight submarines that must deploy within 90 days, shipyard spokeswoman Jensin Sommer said. 

Three submarines currently in dry dock, meanwhile, won't be repaired.

"Any day that you delay work on any ship repair is significant, and it only grows more so the longer the shutdown continues," Sommer said.

Star-Advertiser staff contributed to this report

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CriticalReader wrote:
I wonder if Bellows is open?
on October 1,2013 | 03:15PM
TLehel wrote:
You can't shut down a beach or a trail. That's just a bunch of bull. If I showed up to a beach and was given such an illegitimate reason as to why I couldn't go there, like a government shut down, I would still go to the beach. They can't stop me from going to a place that is public and not owned by the government. I dare these tyrants to try. I'll be the first one to make an example of them.
on October 1,2013 | 03:41PM
steveoctober wrote:
Really, and who picks up the rubbish, or tries to dump their rubbish for that matter, saves the fools who indanger themselves, create homeless encampments ?? If you're so forthcoming then go do all those things first before mouthing off like a lolo.
on October 1,2013 | 04:43PM
TLehel wrote:
They don't OWN the beach. They CAN'T tell me what to do and I WON'T abide by ridiculous restrictions that they have no legal right to instill. I don't litter and I can swim very well, so uh. . . .bite me.
on October 1,2013 | 05:16PM
lee1957 wrote:
Take a pill, and Bellows is owned by the Feds.
on October 1,2013 | 04:57PM
TLehel wrote:
"Take a pill". Oh the irony in that expression.
on October 1,2013 | 05:19PM
niimi wrote:
I'm glad. So much lighter traffic. I hope this goes into January.
on October 1,2013 | 03:38PM
Mana07 wrote:
niimi...ever heard of karma?
on October 1,2013 | 04:59PM
frontman wrote:
DEMOCRATS caused this............................try telling the truth for once.
on October 1,2013 | 04:03PM
Mana07 wrote:
Funny...because of the union influence whenever civilian workers are involved only the shipyard is highlighted. Many more are furloughed in addition to the Democrat loved shipyard.
on October 1,2013 | 05:01PM
aionokea43 wrote:
Welcome to the world of a "furlough." The State had its employees furloughed for two years and was there any sympathy there? Hell, no. So suck it up for the State's tourism revenue. The federal government is too big anyway and while 800K employees represent say 40% of the federal workforce, their salary and benefits only amount to less than 2% of the annual budget. Continued impasse till January 2014?
on October 1,2013 | 05:24PM
Mana07 wrote:
Hey arsewipe a day a week is far different from furloughed indefinitely. What comes around goes around, karma.
on October 1,2013 | 06:47PM
Anonymous wrote:
IRT aionokea, my State position is federally- funded. My boss said to keep working. I keep showing up. If they furlough me, I'm ok with that too.
on October 1,2013 | 09:15PM
iwanaknow wrote:
So............both camps play chicken til the first one blinks?
on October 1,2013 | 05:36PM
jussayin wrote:
Gee, the huge impact is to the tourist attractions? Sounds pretty minor if that's the case. And yup, traffic should be better. But hopefully those that are directly affected can financially afford the furlough, although the previous one they were paid.
on October 1,2013 | 06:42PM
HD36 wrote:
Just wait till the debt ceiling talks.
on October 1,2013 | 08:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Papahanaumokuakea: Papa as in Papa John's .... hanau as in Haa naa ow .... moku as in mow coo .... akea as in ah kay ah. Comes from living in Hawaii for 51 years.
on October 1,2013 | 09:28PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
By the way is this on one of the remote Hawaiian Islands northwest of Kauai?
on October 1,2013 | 09:29PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Barry give your home state a break today.
on October 1,2013 | 09:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Barry give your home state a break today.
on October 1,2013 | 09:31PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Lots of people at the shopping malls, so I guess people are spending their time as if it was an extended vacation.
on October 1,2013 | 09:37PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I was going to say there are overflow crowds at Zippy's however u might think its a commercial.
on October 1,2013 | 09:39PM
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