Stacey Powells, a news editor at two Eastern Sierra radio stations, is spitting mad about the government shutdown of national parks in her backyard. If the closure that began Tuesday continues, Powells plans to hold an Occupy Yosemite event Friday (today) during a “sit-down protest” at Tuolumne Meadows inside the park.
“Closing our national parks is absurd and is hurting all of us here in the Eastern Sierra,” she wrote in a letter to the Sierra Wave that was posted online Wednesday. “Our businesses are hurting. The Eastern Sierra is a tourist-based economy, and by the feds closing the parks, the lively-hood [sic] of our friends, neighbors and families are in jeopardy.”
Powells, who works at KMMT and KHRV radio stations, said in the letter that she plans to meet people at 1 p.m. outside the park’s eastern entrance, drive along California 120 (Tioga Road) and lead a sit-in at the backcountry Tuolumne Meadows. (The road is open but visitors are only supposed to use it to cross the park, no stopping allowed.)
Meanwhile, a House bill that would have reopened national parks was blocked by Democrats who said they refused to let Republicans pick and choose what entities would be spared the budget standoff. Weddings from Yosemite to the Jefferson Memorial have been canceled because of the park closures, and veterans groups have been entering the closed World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.
“How can we get these people in Washington to get to pay attention to what they are doing?” Powell told KCET. “I vote for voting all of them out of office in 2014. All of them.”