THE BLOG
11/16/2013 01:46 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

826 Valencia's Student-Journalists Weigh-in on the Government Shutdown

The Valencia Bay-farer is 826 Valencia's only in-house newspaper written for students by students (ages 8 to 14). Our intrepid reporters learn lessons about the various aspects of journalism, from crafting ledes to interviewing to citing sources and at the end of each five-week workshop, we release a new issue full of articles about the kinds of things you'd love to read if you were a kid. We hope you enjoy these articles. To learn more about 826 Valencia, visit our website.

The Government Shutdown
By Brian Moore, Age 9

After two weeks of an unexpected shutdown of the United States government, it reopened on October 16, 2013, when the Senate and House passed a bill which expires on January 15, according to Foxnews.com. Republicans hoped to stop Obamacare, but they did not get their way, and they are quite mad about it. They even shut down the government, but Obamacare is still in place.

The shutdown still severely affected the economy. On October 1, 2013, many people's jobs were furloughed. USA TODAY reported, "an estimated 800,000 of the more than two million government employees were deemed 'non-essential' and furloughed. And while all the government employees were suffering, the politicians who started this mess still got their regular salaries. This situation was created by the Republicans who did not want to let Obamacare continue. For future reference, Obamacare is the health care reform law, passed in 2010.

The shutdown really affected national parks and small businesses that cater to tourists, according to Ronnie Cho, a former White House official. "Some of the businesses most affected were the ones that rely on tourism visiting national parks that were closed," and other government-run attractions, he said.

Our country's reputation is also in a bit of a mess because of this situation. Some of our allies have started to think that we're not the best country. China was nervous and mad at the government shutdown because it affected the world economy and could have severely affected its own economy because they invested $1.3 trillion in the U.S. Treasury. Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao spoke out about the possibility of a default, according to the New York Daily News.

Gallup's poll showed that less than eleven percent of Americans approve of our current Congress and a recent Huffington Post/ YouGov poll found that forty-seven percent of Americans think that their Congressman shouldn't be re-elected because of the bad decisions he or she made, but twenty-five percent of Americans say that they want their Congressman re-elected. Pay attention to the January 15 deadline, and maybe we'll find out then if it's time to start keeping money in our socks.

The Shutdown Effects
By Noah Kilpack, Age 11

The government shutdown started out when the republicans wanted to get rid of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. They didn't want to fund the stuff they didn't like so they said they just wouldn't fund it. The shutdown started on Oct 1 and ended on Oct 16.

This has affected many, because people were furloughed or had a decrease in work hours and pay checks. Some places that had a lot of people furloughed are the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, the Department of Health, The Center for Disease Control, the Department of Education and many more.

The national parks had been locked down. Some of the places that were shut down were Fort Point, Crissy Field, Yosemite National Park, Pinnacles National Park, and Alcatraz. Many people were affected by this because they come here to see national parks and are fascinated by them. Some might never get the chance to see one in their lifetime.

David Marcus, an Editorial Director at Edutopia told me, some of his "friends came and I wanted to take them to the national parks like Golden Gate [near the bridge]." Unfortunately they were closed and they could not see the parks.

Another part of our government that was shut down is the Department of Justice. They had to furlough fifteen percent of their employees, including their judges. That meant that there was a shortage of judges, so they had to move some of their cases out of the city or to different courts. Seventy percent of the immigration court employees had been furloughed and that also included judges. Since the courts were severely backed up, those who had hearings may have to wait a year or more for their new court hearings.

The effects of the shutdown still remain. For example, let's say all of the judges are back on their jobs, they will still be backed up from the other work.

Medical workers were also affected by the shutdown. My mom, Shannon Weber, works for the HIV Hotline at San Francisco General Hospital. She was going to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. "We put a lot of work into our presentation and research on calls for infected babies," she said. Now they are trying to re-plan the conference.