Park to re-open; donations continue to be accepted for Coast Guard

By Leah Leach

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Olympic National Park is expected to be re-opened by Monday — perhaps as soon as Sunday — now that a deal has been reached to end the shutdown, said acting Superintendent Lee Taylor.

“In terms of the timing, it’s not clear,” Taylor said, adding she could not tell by watching President Donald Trump’s address earlier today.

“Based on what the President said, it seems like Monday is a sure thing.”

About 100 park employees on furlough during the shutdown must be notified to come back to work, joining the approximately 20 who have been working without pay, Taylor said.

Hurricane Ridge Road has been plowed during the shutdown, she said, and will be re-opened as well the ridge’s visitor center.

“Everything will be open as normal,” she said.

So far today, the Peninsula Daily News has no information on skiing availability. This will be updated as soon as information is received.

The Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) will continue to accept donations to be given to Coast Guard members and their families, who also have been furloughed or are working without pay during the shutdown, according to Jacob Linder, president of the nonprofit association, after President Trump’s announcement that the shutdown would end for at least three weeks..

“We’re going to just plan to continue to help out until we’re sure the shutdown is completely over,” he said today.

He did not know when Coast Guard personnel would be paid. The next regular payday is Feb. 1.

Donations not used for Coast Guard personnel and their families will go back to the community, probably to food banks, Linder said.

About 300 active duty Coast Guard members are on the North Olympic Peninsula, working in Port Angeles, Neah Bay, La Push and Port Townsend.

Add in their families, and the CPOA has helped about 1,000 people, Linder said today.

He said that donations had been pouring in from members of the community from all across the Peninsula. Some people even came to the gates of the Coast Guard station to ask what they could do.

“It’s been very humbling and very awesome the way the community is coming together to help the Coast Guard members,” Linder said.

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