The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 1, 2013

Americans anxious, irritated as gov't shuts down

(Continued)

Other agencies were harder hit — nearly 3,000 Federal Aviation Administration safety inspectors were furloughed along with most of the National Transportation Safety Board's employees, including accident investigators who respond to air crashes, train collisions, pipeline explosions and other accidents.

Almost all of NASA shut down, except for Mission Control in Houston, and national parks closed along with the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo. Even the zoo's popular panda cam went dark, shut off for the first time since a cub was born there Aug. 23.

Federal workers would not see their pay affected right away. If a shutdown continues, all employees can expect to be paid on schedule on Oct. 15, 2013, for hours worked from Sept. 22 through Sept. 30.

Still, Marc Cevasco, who works in the Department of Veterans Affairs, said as he waited for a bus Tuesday that the uncertainty of how long the shutdown would last is making some people uneasy.

"Even if it's just shut down for a week that's a quarter of your pay this month. That means a lot to a lot of people," he said.

Cevasco, 30, said he had been told his office had enough money to pay workers for Tuesday, so he was keeping his appointments. But he could have to turn in his phone later in the day and go home until the government reopens.

Visitors to popular parks made their frustration with elected officials clear.

"There has to be better ways to run the government than to get to a standstill like this," said Cheryl Strahl, 67, of Atascadero, Calif., who attempted to visit the Statue of Liberty but was instead offered a 60-minute ferry cruise around New York Harbor.

"Why take it out on the national parks?" she said. "There are other places they can take it out on."

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