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Government shutdown grounds Aviator

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Aviator Sports Complex is closed indefinitely as a result of the shutdown of the federal government, which shuttered all national parks — including Gateway National Recreation Area, where Aviator is located.

Staff at the entertainment complex only learned of the closureTuesday morning when they came into work that they, along with all other concessionaires with Gateway National Park Service, would be closed along with Floyd Bennett Field, according to Aviator spokeswoman Jaclyn Muns.

“We had no idea,” said Muns. “Our owner and [Aviator’s Chief Operating Officer Dean] Rivera were talking with Gateway National Parks yesterday, and they weren’t giving us a solid answer. I don’t think they really knew. And this morning, they sent a Park Service representative into the facility, and they said they were going to have to close the gates and all the other concession­aires.”

Aviator employees worked long enough to ensure that all persons affiliated with events being held there were notified of Tuesday’s cancellations, including the 35 families enrolled in Aviator’s after-school program, which shuttles students from PS 193, PS 236, PS 277, and PS 312 to Aviator for help with homework, along with snacks and games.

Rivera and certain members of Aviator’s operations staff were given permission to stay at Aviator to maintain the facility and, among other things, make sure the ice doesn’t melt on the skating rinks there.

All other non-essential staff, however, were forced to leave by 3 pm in order to comply with the conditions of the federal government shutdown.

Non-essential functions federal government shut down at midnight Oct. 1, when Congress failed to pass a resolution funding its operations. National parks, museums, monuments and the National Zoo are all affected, along with certain functions of federal agencies serving veterans, conducting food inspections and those seeking federally backed mortgages, among others.

Floyd Bennett Field will remain staffed with employees dubbed essential personnel, including park rangers and police, who will be on hand to escort out campers who remain inside park two days into the shutdown.

Aviator is offering refunds for any events that are cancelled as a result of the shutdown — except in certain cases, like sports practices, where make-up dates can be arranged, according to Muns. But any refunds likely won’t be processed until the sports complex is back in operation.

There’s no telling at this point how long the government shutdown — and thus Aviator’s closing — will last. The last time it happened was in 1996, when the shutdown lasted for 27 days. As a result, the folks at Aviator can’t predict how many events will be canceled before the lawmakers on Capitol Hill come to an agreement.

“It’s difficult,” said Muns. “We don’t know how long it’s going to last.”

The following events are scheduled at Aviator for later this month, but may be canceled if the federal shutdown persists.

Oct. 6: 2013 Everything Kids Expo

Oct. 12–13: R.O.C. Race - Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge

Oct. 19: 1st Annual Oktoberfest

Oct. 26: Run For Your Lives 5k Race

Oct. 26: Halloween Costume Party

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
all so people don't receive health care.... smh
Oct. 2, 2013, 8:55 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
All so that you learn the three branches of government and the separation of powers.

Congress has the power to tax. Only.
Oct. 2, 2013, 10:47 am
ty from pps says:
Rufus,
That comment doesn't seem very well-formed... try again?
Oct. 2, 2013, 2:55 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I'm pretty familiar with the three branches. Congress passed a lot that included taxes to pay for health care. Because Congress has not repealed that law, it is still the law.
Oct. 2, 2013, 4:30 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
The democrat party said it wasn't a tax, and the democrat controlled Senate voted for it.

The Supreme Court says it is a tax.

Only Congress has the power to tax.
Oct. 2, 2013, 6:49 pm
Bob from South Bk says:
"Congress" consists of House and Senate. Presumably you're trying to say that only the HOUSE can intro taxes?

It was intro'd in and passed the House, passed Senate after amendment (so wasn't a "Senate bill") and House concurred.

And the party's name is "Democratic," not "democrat." Same way that Republicans aren't publicans.
Oct. 2, 2013, 11:40 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I think Rufus is trying to argue that the Supreme Court enacted this tax, which makes it illegal? It's hard to tell. He's clearly in over his head here.
Oct. 3, 2013, 9:10 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Man the Barak -ades!
Oct. 3, 2013, 9:20 am
Bay Ridger from Bay Ridge says:
You can thank Congressman Michael Grimm and his buddies for this mess.
Oct. 3, 2013, 10:01 am
dot from dassssssssssssh says:
Anything to keep the president busy to keep him from starting a war in Syria.
Oct. 3, 2013, 10:42 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Please see:

Origination Clause (Art. I, Sec. 7).

It requires that tax bills must originate in the House of Representatives. That would be congress.
Oct. 5, 2013, 8:42 am
Jane Doe from Sheepshead Bay says:
I don't understand how they could shut down such an amazing place that is so family oriented. Every weekend, my family and I would go and enjoy ourselves, but with this shut down, its upset so many families.
Oct. 5, 2013, 8:26 pm

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