The Washington Post

Heat shrinks Indian Affairs trip to Maine

Loop Fans, sweltering here in this nasty heat wave, may recall Friday’s item about an excellent gathering in early August in lovely Bar Harbor, Maine of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal/Interior Budget Council.

About 20 headquarters employees were expected to go to the quarterly budget meeting, with most staying at the Bar Harbor Regency, right on the water and close to the entrance to Acadia National Park. (Temps that week most likely in the high 70s/low 80s. Cool evenings.)

Alas, by Friday afternoon, Paul Tsosie, chief of staff to assistant secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, cut more than half the Washington contingent plus 11 regional directors — at least 21 people.

Officials had “discussed both the expenses and substantive matters of this meeting,” he said in an e-mail, and “decided that in these times of” fiscal problems, “staff should tend to matters at their home duty station.”

Tsosie said Echo Hawk and seven others will go from headquarters along with some “presenters” at the gathering who need written approval. “There will be no substitutions.”

“I understand that you may have already made plans” to go, he wrote, “and I wanted to give you plenty of advanced notice to cancel such plans.”

Thanks a lot. “Plenty of notice?” Two weeks?

Follow In the Loop on Twitter.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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