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Author Topic: Special Snowflake Stories  (Read 6156026 times)

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carol1412

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23865 on: October 16, 2013, 01:06:26 PM »
Here's a closed-doesn't-actually-mean-closed snowflake:

http://q13fox.com/2013/10/15/teacher-ticketed-for-trying-to-take-students-to-national-park/?hpt=us_bn10#axzz2hjmV1Wm5

Quote
<snip>This weekend, Sanders was hosting some international students from Japan. She wanted them to see the park, so she did a quick check on the National Park Service website to see if she could go.

“I didn’t see anything saying I could not,” she said. “When I got to the park, there was a partial barricade. But there was a full lane open.”

There was a sign on the barricade, but Sanders was confused by the use of the word ‘facility.’

“I thought that meant the gift shop and the restrooms and the ranger station, I didn’t think it meant the waterfall and the path. It didn’t occur to me that I was breaking the law, at all.”

But within minutes, a park ranger showed up and wrote her and several other visitors $125 tickets for ‘violation of closure.’

I actually wanted to look it up to see if it’s a real law I violated, or if it’s just to communicate a point,” Sanders said.

Really?

I would give her the benefit of the doubt. The last I heard there were several states and local governments who were planning to re-open the national parks using their own funds. The lack of tourism was killing their economy, so it was better for them to temporarily provide the funds than to keep them closed. It looks like Utah has re-opened some of their parks, and both the Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty are open, for a few examples. If I were the teacher, I would have assumed the local or state government had partially re-opened the park (e.g., the trails, but perhaps not the shops).

I can see me doing the same thing she did. (Actually, now that I think about it, I did do something similar last May. I was planning on going down a road that was scheduled to close 6:30 am due to a local festival. Festival directions explicately gave this road as a potential route, with the note that it would close at 6:30am. I arrived at 5:30 am to find a barricade blocking one lane, but not the other. I paused, saw a cop parked on the road, and decided I would pull up to her and make sure I was ok to drive on it. I thought the barricade was there in preparation for the 6:30 close. Before I could even get a word out, she started yelling at me. Oops!)

So the park is closed and no one is being paid to staff it, but a ranger shows up in just a couple of minutes?  :o

PastryGoddess

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23866 on: October 16, 2013, 01:19:47 PM »
She was totally an SS who decided that because the website didn't specifically say "Olympic National Park is closed because of the government shutdown", that it wasn't actually closed and she could go if she wanted to.  Her exact words were “I didn’t see anything saying I could not,”

If she actually did go to the park website then she would have been redirected to the NPS shutdown notice page.  The very first sentence is "Because of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed"  Further down the page, they request that everyone honor the park closures until the shutdown is over.

On that page there is also a list of specific national parks that have been opened due to states offering to cover operating costs.  So far only Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New York, North Carolina/Tennessee are the states that are covering the costs for some parks to open.  The shutdown notice page is being updated daily with the list of parks that states are opening. 

At many of the national parks there are rangers on duty, but the rangers who are responsible for customer facing and non essential duties have been furloughed.  So the roads need to be kept partially open so staff can enter and exit.

Hillia

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23867 on: October 16, 2013, 01:41:31 PM »
She was totally an SS who decided that because the website didn't specifically say "Olympic National Park is closed because of the government shutdown", that it wasn't actually closed and she could go if she wanted to.  Her exact words were “I didn’t see anything saying I could not,”

If she actually did go to the park website then she would have been redirected to the NPS shutdown notice page.  The very first sentence is "Because of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed"  Further down the page, they request that everyone honor the park closures until the shutdown is over.

On that page there is also a list of specific national parks that have been opened due to states offering to cover operating costs.  So far only Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New York, North Carolina/Tennessee are the states that are covering the costs for some parks to open.  The shutdown notice page is being updated daily with the list of parks that states are opening. 

At many of the national parks there are rangers on duty, but the rangers who are responsible for customer facing and non essential duties have been furloughed.  So the roads need to be kept partially open so staff can enter and exit.

Some park rangers are certified peace officers, so they're considered law enforcement - my understanding is that law enforcement personnel are considered essential and are not affected by the shutdown.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23868 on: October 16, 2013, 01:42:01 PM »
I'm nominating the person in front of me in the left-turn lane, who ignored the green turn arrow and just sat there until the arrow turned red, then sneaked forward and turned left through a tiny gap in the oncoming cars!


I'm not sure this sort of thing is truly a Special Snowflake. I think it's just someone who had a brain fart.

cwm

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23869 on: October 16, 2013, 01:43:04 PM »
Actually, PastryGoddess, add South Dakota to that list. They've opened Mount Rushmore back up to the public as well.

Still, this woman is an SS. Minimal amounts of rangers on staff are essential employees. They need to be there to spot fires, to watch for people coming in so they can be turned away, they need to be there to make sure nobody gets in and vandalizes the facilities, making it more expensive for the parks to be re-opened in the future. Also, some people live inside national parks, and even with the parks shut down, they have to have access to their homes, so all the roads may not be blocked off all the time.

Addy

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23870 on: October 16, 2013, 02:11:48 PM »
She was totally an SS who decided that because the website didn't specifically say "Olympic National Park is closed because of the government shutdown", that it wasn't actually closed and she could go if she wanted to.  Her exact words were “I didn’t see anything saying I could not,”

If she actually did go to the park website then she would have been redirected to the NPS shutdown notice page.  The very first sentence is "Because of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed"  Further down the page, they request that everyone honor the park closures until the shutdown is over.

On that page there is also a list of specific national parks that have been opened due to states offering to cover operating costs.  So far only Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New York, North Carolina/Tennessee are the states that are covering the costs for some parks to open.  The shutdown notice page is being updated daily with the list of parks that states are opening. 

At many of the national parks there are rangers on duty, but the rangers who are responsible for customer facing and non essential duties have been furloughed.  So the roads need to be kept partially open so staff can enter and exit.

I have to say, I find the wording used on that page quite vague. "In the meantime, we respectfully request that you honor all park closures. With more than 20,000 National Park Service employees furloughed, the staff that remain on duty are focused on protecting park resources and human life and safety and cannot provide the visitor services that you have come to expect from us for nearly 100 years."

Using the words "request that you honor" park closures makes it seem like an option. And the second line there is using classic JADE moves. I can see someone saying to themselves, "oh, the problem is that there are no services available, but we don't need them anyway." I guess maybe they were trying to soften the blow but I think it would have been clearer to outright state that the parks are closed, no one is allowed in and anyone who does enter is breaking such-and-such a law and will be charged. Because, you know, if it's written there in black and white, everyone will read it and understand.  ::)

PastryGoddess

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23871 on: October 16, 2013, 02:27:56 PM »
She was totally an SS who decided that because the website didn't specifically say "Olympic National Park is closed because of the government shutdown", that it wasn't actually closed and she could go if she wanted to.  Her exact words were “I didn’t see anything saying I could not,”

If she actually did go to the park website then she would have been redirected to the NPS shutdown notice page.  The very first sentence is "Because of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed"  Further down the page, they request that everyone honor the park closures until the shutdown is over.

On that page there is also a list of specific national parks that have been opened due to states offering to cover operating costs.  So far only Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New York, North Carolina/Tennessee are the states that are covering the costs for some parks to open.  The shutdown notice page is being updated daily with the list of parks that states are opening. 

At many of the national parks there are rangers on duty, but the rangers who are responsible for customer facing and non essential duties have been furloughed.  So the roads need to be kept partially open so staff can enter and exit.

I have to say, I find the wording used on that page quite vague. "In the meantime, we respectfully request that you honor all park closures. With more than 20,000 National Park Service employees furloughed, the staff that remain on duty are focused on protecting park resources and human life and safety and cannot provide the visitor services that you have come to expect from us for nearly 100 years."

Using the words "request that you honor" park closures makes it seem like an option. And the second line there is using classic JADE moves. I can see someone saying to themselves, "oh, the problem is that there are no services available, but we don't need them anyway." I guess maybe they were trying to soften the blow but I think it would have been clearer to outright state that the parks are closed, no one is allowed in and anyone who does enter is breaking such-and-such a law and will be charged. Because, you know, if it's written there in black and white, everyone will read it and understand.  ::)

Well I do understand the "request that you honor" wording.  I am on the executive committee of the Trail Patrol for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club.  We maintain ALL of the trails in Shenandoah as well as several trails in 2 national forests.  There are through hikers on the AT who are being allowed to enter into Shenandoah, Harpers Ferry, and the C&O canal.   However, trail angels cannot get to them so they are going longer without support and assistance.  Also as cwm says, there are people who live in or next to the park.  They may have trails on their property that allow access to the park without going through an entrance station.  With the national forests, trailheads are often a parking area on the side of the road found only by plugging in a GPS coordinate. 

Many of the rangers who are responsible for patrolling sections of the park are all furloughed.  So if someone goes into the park and gets injured, it will take that much longer for them to get help.  And that's if they are even able to get a radio or cellphone signal at all.

Yay South Dakota...If only Virginia would get it's act together.

MrTango

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23872 on: October 16, 2013, 03:14:48 PM »
This morning on one of the morning shows, I heard people talking about ways they deterred sales people who came by unsolicited.  Some of things seemed to be a bit snowflakey from what I can recall.   If a salesperson or other solicitor rings my doorbell, I will kindly turn them away - I do not need a new vacuum (have 1 already), hear your political speech (not a political person here), or you trying to tell me about your religion (happy with my choice of Deity and faith).
I keep a hand-and-a-half sword near the front door. Oddly enough, people are strangely reluctant to peeve a person who has a large and lethal-looking sword within arm's reach.

That sounds like a fabulous idea.  Unfortunately, the entryway of my house is too confined to safely wield a bladed weapon.  I keep a Maglite (3 D-cell batteries) within reach of the front door.  It's the same Maglite that I kept on my belt when I was a security guard.  Fortunately, in all of that time, I've never had to use it for self-defense except in training situations.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23873 on: October 16, 2013, 03:44:03 PM »
After a very unsettling experience in the summer, I now keep my baseball bat beside the front door.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23874 on: October 16, 2013, 03:48:42 PM »
I keep an aluminum tee ball bat by my front door and another in my car. They are both hot pink and easy to see.

clio917

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23875 on: October 16, 2013, 03:56:14 PM »
In regards to the Nat'l Park closures, the road that runs through that part of Olympic National Park is a regular state highway (and as far as I know, the only main road in that area of the penninsula), so I think the road is open to driving, you just aren't allowed to stop at any national park property (pretty much anything on the side of the road). I can understand the lady's confusion, it's a messy situation.

greencat

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23876 on: October 16, 2013, 05:34:19 PM »
I am nominating the person ahead of me in the left-turn-arrow governed lane earlier today.  The light turned green.  They lurched forward a few feet - so they obviously saw it - and then stopped.  There was nothing in the road that would have caused them to pause.


I honked a lot and they finally moved. 

Jones

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23877 on: October 16, 2013, 05:44:59 PM »
I am nominating the person ahead of me in the left-turn-arrow governed lane earlier today.  The light turned green.  They lurched forward a few feet - so they obviously saw it - and then stopped.  There was nothing in the road that would have caused them to pause.


I honked a lot and they finally moved.
Perhaps a stick shift and they had a clutch issue? I used to have that problem a lot when I was a teen learning to drive. Honking made it worse, as I recall; I think my record was killing the engine 4 times in a row.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23878 on: October 16, 2013, 07:11:33 PM »
We've had several provincial parks closed here because of budget cuts.  You are no longer allowed to drive in; there are no rangers; there are no programs being run; the washroom facilities are locked.  But you are still allowed to walk in and use the trails, beaches, whatever natural amentities are available, basically at your own risk.  And you no longer have to pay for it!

So a visitor to the area, I could understand.  But not a local.

Because of the federal government shutdown in the US, all national parks are closed.  This has been widely discussed in every form of news media - tv, radio, online, print - so it's odd that she hadn't at least heard of it.

Except that now the states are being allowed to eat the costs to reopen some of them.

I learned that this past weekend.  Our priest likes to walk along the canal path and that is open, but the bathrooms are locked because there's no one to service the restrooms.
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Aunt4God

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Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Reply #23879 on: October 17, 2013, 02:48:53 PM »
I am nominating the person ahead of me in the left-turn-arrow governed lane earlier today.  The light turned green.  They lurched forward a few feet - so they obviously saw it - and then stopped.  There was nothing in the road that would have caused them to pause.


I honked a lot and they finally moved.


I'm sorry, but I would call you the SS in that situation.  The way you described it, it sounds like they were in a stick.  If they were new to it, or if something was wrong, it's very easy to have it stall after lurching forward a little like that.  You "honking a lot" made it no easier on that driver trying to get going again.  I was always so nervous while learning to drive a stick that I would have a driver react that way to me.  A little patience and giving the other person the benefit of the doubt goes a lot longer than laying on your horn.