Shutdown taking a toll on national parks

Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the West’s iconic national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with little staff on duty. The partial federal government shutdown, approaching two weeks as we go to press, has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running. Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration was leaving parks open to visitors despite the staff furloughs, said John Garder, senior budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association. He fears the move could damage natural resources and historic and cultural artifacts, and imperil visitors’ safety. Parts of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon and other national parks have closed. Under the Park Service’s shutdown plan, authorities have to close any area where garbage or other problems become threats to health and safety or to wildlife, spokesman Jeremy Barnum said in an e-mail.

Associated Press

Disney: 4 parks in 4 days

Walt Disney World will start selling a ticket that allows buyers to enter each of its theme parks for one day apiece. Its total price of $340 breaks down to $85 per day. The deal — dubbed the 4-Park Magic Value Ticket — will go on sale Jan. 18, and the tickets must be used by March 1. It works for one day of admission to Magic Kingdom, one day at Epcot, one day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and one day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tickets can be used to enter each theme park only once.

Orlando Sentinel

Women of Jamestown

“Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” an exhibition at Jamestown Settlement, tells the little-known stories of the English, African and Native American women who created Virginia. Running through Jan. 5, 2020, “Tenacity” is a collaborative effort funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, James City County and American Evolution, a statewide celebration highlighting the 400th anniversary of key events in 1619 Virginia. Special artifacts have been lent by 22 institutions in the United States and Britain, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Museum of London and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Several items are being shown in North America for the first time (

Washington Post

Baltimore’s Revival hotel

Once a private mansion and for many years the Peabody Court Hotel, the Revival opened in early 2018, after a nearly two-year renovation. It has quickly established itself as a neighborhood hot spot, with a buzzing rooftop restaurant, three private karaoke rooms and a fashionable crowd hanging out in the bookshelf-lined lobby. The 107-room hotel is ideally situated in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, one of the loveliest parts of Baltimore, and one with a rich cultural history. The Walters Art Museum is just a block away (and free), as is the Peabody Library. The house where F. Scott Fitzgerald finished “Tender Is the Night” is about 15 minutes away. Rooms start at $139, plus a daily $12.95 “resort” fee (

New York Times