Reopening Lady Liberty


A busy week ahead here at Federal Times, and around Washington: The House votes on the stimulus package, new Cabinet secretaries get to work, and President Obama starts his first full week in office.

First, though, we go a couple hundred miles north to New York, where Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar says he wants to reopen the Statue of Liberty’s crown to visitors. The whole statue, you’ll remember, was closed for security reasons after 9/11; the base was reopened in 2004, but the crown has remained closed.

Not for security reasons, though; the narrow, 168-step staircase leading to the crown apparently isn’t up to safety and fire codes.

Maybe renovating Lady Liberty’s interior will find its way into the stimulus package? It already includes $400 million to improve national parks, including money earmarked for new grass on the National Mall. (And the Mall might need it after being trampled by 1.8 million inauguration-goers last week…)


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