Local News

Monday, Oct 08 2012 06:40 AM

Presidential visit: many who received invitations will not be able to attend

Related Photos

First arrivals at the staging area for shuttles to Keene (where President Obama is expected later today) were, left to right, Sandra Castanon-Ramirez, Gracie Madrid and Rosalinda Galadiz, all of Stockton. They arrived at 4:30 a.m. Photo by Nick Smirnoff

Headlights show a line of traffic on the Mill Street overpass at Highway 58 with motorists waiting to get into parking area at Capital Hills where shuttles will take visitors to the presidential visit at the Cesar Chavez Memorial in Keene on Monday, Oct. 8. Photo by Nick Smirnoff

Shuttles buses from Yosemite National Park were preparing for a busy day on Monday, Oct. 8. Drivers will shuttle thousands of visitors from the Capital Hills area of Tehachapi to the site of the new Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene. Photo by Nick Smirnoff

Educators Sandra Castanon-Ramirez, Gracie Madrid and Rosalinda Galadiz of Stockton were the first to arrive at the staging area in the Capital Hills area of Tehachapi where shuttle buses from Yosemite National Park are preparing to take thousands of visitors to a ceremony where President Barack Obama will announce the establishment of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument.

The trio arrived at 4:30 a.m. and by 5:30 a.m. the line of cars waiting to get into the parking area had already backed up about a quarter mile.

The president will be in Keene, a small foothill community 10 miles west of Tehachapi, later today.

But many — perhaps thousands — of those who thought the would be able to attend the event received email notifications about 6 p.m. Sunday, letting them know that too many people had been invited and some should not plan to attend.

"Due to limited capacity at the National Chavez Monument Designation and the first come, first serve basis of our registration process, you and the other people associated with your e-mail address will be not receive admission to attend the ceremony on Monday, October 8th," the email read.

In addition to extending apologies, the communication noted that those interested can watch the event live online with a video stream starting at 11 a.m. at www.ufw.org/obamadedication.

It is unknown how many people had already traveled to Tehachapi by the time they received the notification.

Travelers on Highway 58 through Tehachapi on Monday are advised that there will be traffic and the possibility of intermittent closures and should plan their trips accordingly.

Tehachapi Schools Superintendent Lisa Gilbert said just under 500 students — from every school in the district — will be traveling by school bus to the event on Monday morning.

The president is expected to arrive at Meadows Field in Bakersfield at 9:45 a.m. Monday and how he will travel to Keene has not been disclosed.

The Tehachapi News will post updates on our website — and Facebook page — throughout the day.

NICK SMIRNOFF and CLAUDIA ELLIOTT contributed to this report.

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