It has been tough to find specific answers about how the federal shutdown is affecting Humboldt and Del Norte counties, says North Coast Journal news editor Thad Greenson.
"Agencies are down people and maybe having someone available to talk to the media is not the top priority or maybe they've been told not to talk to the media."
What Journal reporters were able to ascertain is that about 1,500 federal employees in the region are directly affected. But among those employees they couldn't get a definative answer on how many are considered "essential." Greenson says they know the U.S. Coast Guard and TSA are working without pay.
In addition to the federal workers not being paid or furloughed, there are a number of federally funded programs in jeopardy if the shutdown continues into a second month. Local recipients of CalWorks, WIC and CalFresh could be affected. These programs are running on reserve funds now. In addition, local tribes' health care and child care programs rely on federal funds and could be affected if the shutdown continues.