Business owners help national park stay open, clean during government shutdown

STINSON BEACH, Calif. (KGO) -- You would be hard-pressed to find a better day at Stinson Beach National Recreation Area then on Monday-- which happens to also be the 31st day of the government shutdown.

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People can thank, in large part, Mary Margaret Stewart.

"To me it is important. To the community it is important," said the owner the Siren Canteen.

Business boomed on this national holiday, but only because Stewart and others in Stinson Beach decided to pick up where the government has dropped the ball. They are paying to keep the parking lot open, the trash picked up, the restrooms clean, and for a ranger.

"Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Point Reyes Lighthouse-- they are all doing the same," said Mary.

Indeed, a few miles inland, the Muir Woods National Monument has plenty of visitors. They paid for parking, got the run of the place for free, and ventured opinions as well.

"I am grateful it is open but the government should be paying for this," said Jessica York.

At Stinson Beach, the Siren Canteen had the look and feel of a business in protest just by remaining open. Because it did, eight people had jobs and incomes. That's a form of economics trickling down because the owner keeps paddling upstream.

Their actions also come with a message.

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"That we won't sit around and wait for you to have your temper tantrum," said Jared Katzman on the beach below. "We're going to get on with our lives and do what we need to do."

For this national park, no government shutdown is going to threaten a perfect day at the beach.
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