National Park Service Gone Wild (updated)
Top of the World is a residential development around Lake in the Sky in Blount County, Tennessee. It borders Smoky Mountain National Park. Foothills Parkway, a national scenic parkway managed by the National Park Service, is the only major road to the development. There are school children in this development. As part of the shutdown, Bambi's Brownshirts have barricaded Foothills Parkway, effectively stranding this community and its children.
The closure came without warning and left the local school district scrambling to get children back to their homes.
The Fox news story notes there are no safe bus routes in and out of this development. Looking at the satellite map of the location of the nearest schools and from my personal knowledge of the local roads in eastern Tennessee, I concur with the following assessment.
One local resident told Knoxville television station WBIR that the alternative roads are "white knuckle routes."
The closure caught locals by surprise and left the school district scrambling to alert parents that they would need to find a way to get their kids back home. And until the partial government shutdown ends, school buses will not run. That means parents will have to transport their children to and from school using treacherous "white knuckle routes."
Can you imagine the outrage among the media/government complex if this had happened under a Republican President or a Republican governor. They'd be accused of being anti-public education and child endangerment.
Common law does not allow a private property owner to deny easy access to those whose ingress to their own property requires them to cross another's land. The government should not able to do the same. The people who bought land in this development had the right to expect continued access to their homes via Foothills Parkway. They should be assisted in filing suits against the federal government by conservative and libertarian legal groups.
Update (hat tip: Clarice Feldman):
The Eagle-Tribune in Lawrence MA writes abouty "Gestapo" tactics employed by the NPS on senior citizens, including Salisbury, MA resident Pat Villancourt, visiting Yellowstone:
For many hours her tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.
The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.
When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.
"We've become a country of fear, guns and control," said Vaillancourt, who grew up in Lawrence. "It was like they brought out the armed forces. Nobody was saying, 'we're sorry,' it was all like - " as she clenched her fist and banged it against her forearm.