(BIVN) – As the partial government shutdown enters its third week – reportedly with no end in sight – the signs of a federal funding lapse are becoming apparent at Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau.
Some areas of the National Historical Park remain accessible to visitors. However, the visitor center is closed and all park programs are cancelled. There are no National Park Service employees on duty.
Photographs taken by park visitor Geoffrey Nichols show trashcans overflowing with rubbish.
According to a report in the West Hawaiʻi Today, people have been seen picnicking on the Royal Grounds and “climbing around” the sacred Hale O Keawe temple. There are no rangers to keep visitors out of the forbidden areas.
In Washington D.C., funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico remains a sticking point in talks to fund the government.
President Donald Trump today tweeted that Vice President Mike Pence “and group had a productive meeting with the Schumer/Pelosi representatives”, adding that “many details of Border Security were discussed. We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete. It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the U.S.A.”
On the other hand, Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaiʻi) tweeted: “Since we are returning to Congress this week lots of people will rightly ask ‘What are Democrats doing to reopen the government?’ The answer is – the Democratic House will pass bipartisan bills to reopen the government. It is then up to Senator Mconnell and Donald Trump.”