According to the Cape Cod Times Speaker Boehner's sequester will mean cuts that might close down the National Seashore.
Cape Cod is known as the land of sunshine, endless beaches, golf courses and yachts. We are often perceived as a playground for the wealthy, when in truth, our year-round population ranks in the bottom third of median income in MA. And because the staples of life, like gas, oil, food etc. have to travel over the canal bridges to get to us*, the cost of living is higher than areas around our state with similar income levels. (*Touch of saracasm here -actually, the reasons for higher prices are a constant source of debate.)
Many Cape Codders are living here in the winter months on the ability to budget profits or wages earned during the busy summer months when tourist flock here from around the world. The National Seashore is a important draw to the area during the summer season, providing jobs and bringing traffic to surrounding local businesses.
According to the Cape Cod Times, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees recently obtained National Seashore documents that give details about federal budget cuts related to sequestration effective March 1:
The National Park Service would have to cut $110 million in the final seven months of the agency's current fiscal year, according to the coalition.We have experienced a winter, not yet finished, of battering and bruising storms that have crippled our local streets and highways with record breaking snow and caused devastating erosion along our coasts. Damage from these storms has effected access to popular beaches.
At the Seashore, about $376,000 will need to be cut by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year, according to coalition spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo.
“That does not give them a lot of time to make those kinds of cuts, and it's just about the time visitors start to come to Cape Cod in large numbers,” Anzelmo said today.
The National Seashore hasn't been spared. There is work to do to get things up and running. Work that will take money.
If the National Seashore doesn't open, delays opening, or closes access to even just parts of the park, we all lose.
But there is little wiggle room in already tight budgets:
Seashore Advisory Commission chairman Richard Delaney said today that Price, the Seashore superintendent, “is going to have make some tough calls.”Communities around the country that rely on a National Parks to support local businesses and provide jobs for local residents will be considering similar scenarios.
At the Seashore, the seasonal visitor center on Race Point Road in Provincetown would have to close because of a lack of money to staff and maintain it, according to the coalition. The center hosts about 260,000 people annually, the coalition said. It is typically open daily from May 1 through October 31, and it offers public restrooms, a bookstore, an information booth with park staff, films, educational displays such as North Atlantic right whale locations and decks for scenic views.
The sequester looms and it is so hard to see how our divided government will prevent it. It isn't clear how deep the cuts will actually be, and how long they will be in effect.
As we move closer to the March 1st deadline, budgets are being examined and more cuts will become front page stories. Right now it seems most people aren't even sure what the sequester is and what it means. And, those who do pay attention are getting mixed messages about the level and seriousness of cuts.
Regardless, the way the GOP is manipulating this mess just adds to the long list of reasons that Boehner and his ilk must go.
We have to find ways to overcome the advantages gerrymandering gives to the GOP, district by district. Sometimes it seems like an impossible task, but the GOP is not aging well, and I have faith that the more we speak out and the louder our voices, the better chance that those deep dark red districts will begin to change their hue as younger people settle in and our melting pot spills over and seeps into those neighborhoods that are now controlled by old white men ...
We just have to keep plugging away until the good guys/gals win.