Shutdown throws wrench in JFK Library events
WASHINGTON _ The effects of the government shutdown, now in its third week, continue to reverberate around the nation. One of the latest casualties is a two-day conference on mental health planned for next week at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum in Dorchester, which remains shuttered due to a lack of operating expenses and staff furloughs.
The so-called Kennedy Forum, which is organized by former Democratic US representative from Rhode Island and leading mental health advocate Patrick Kennedy, is scheduled to take place on Oct. 23-24 and to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy next month.
“Mental health was a major legislative priority of his,” Patrick Kennedy said of his uncle.
But the freeze on activities at the library, which is run by the federally-funded National Archives, has put a wrench in the plans. The shutdown is forcing event planners to look at backup locations in Boston for a gathering that is expected to draw 500 attendees from across the country.
Kennedy said planners on Wednesday were still unsure where to hold the event, and whether restoration of government funding by Congress, perhaps as early as Wednesday night, would allow it to take place at the JFK Library.
Coordinating with the library itself is proving exceedingly difficult. No one answers the phone.Bryan Bender can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter @GlobeBender