Wednesday, October 09, 2013
“I am now occupying the building at this time.”And with that one decision – restaurant owner Glenn Helseth joined the ranks of Americans who’ve decided to defy the strong-arm tactics of the National Park Service.For the past 11 years Helseth and his wife have operated the Carrot Tree Kitchens Restaurant inside the historic Cole Digges House in Yorktown, Va.At least 20 of Helseth's longtime employees are facing unemployment. They can’t make rent and some are faced with choosing between buying food or buying medicine.The National Park Service owns and operates the building. So when the government shut down on Oct. 1, the Helseths were given 48 hours to pack up and move out.The couple also owns a restaurant on Jamestown Island. They had to close that restaurant after the National Park Service blocked access to the island.“We’re upset on a number of levels – not the least of which is the impending financial doom that Carrot Tree faces,” Glenn told me.At least 20 of his longtime employees are facing the unemployment line. They can’t make rent and some are faced with choosing between buying food or buying medicine.So Glenn decided it was time to take some action – and at 11 a.m. ET he reopened the Carrot Tree Kitchens Restaurant – in defiance of the federal government.
I agree with Thomas Jefferson about watering the tree of liberty.