Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Politics

West Wing exposed: Renovations allow unprecedented look at part of the White House

WASHINGTON — The White House is undergoing a major face-lift while President Donald Trump is out of town.

The Oval Office and other working quarters of the West Wing have been cleared of furniture while crews work on upgrades, including to the heating and air conditioning system. Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said the system is 27 years old.

Workers also are fixing leaks, repairing the South Portico steps, renovating the Navy mess kitchen and West Wing lower lobby, and updating the IT system.

West Wing staffers who aren't with Trump at his New Jersey golf course have been temporarily relocated to an office building next to the White House.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

A Secret Service agent checks on the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, as the West Wing is undergoing renovations while President Donald Trump is spending time at his golf resort in New Jersey.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

Workmen prepare new carpeting for the West Wing on Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

Storage containers line the driveway as the West Wing of the White House on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, during renovations.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

Cranes are positioned in front of the South Portico of the White House on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, during renovations while President Donald Trump is spending time at his golf resort in New Jersey.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The Oval Office sits empty and the walls are covered with plastic sheeting during renovation work at the White House on Friday, Aug. 11, 2017. The Government Services Administration is overseeing the renovation work during the two week project to update and repair the working area of the White House, including a replacement of the 27-year-old White House heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

The Roosevelt Room in the the West Wing of the White House is undergoing renovations while President Donald Trump is spending time at his golf resort in New Jersey, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Washington.

Tom Brenner | New York Times

Workers replace carpet at the White House, where renovations were underway for a second week, Friday Aug. 11, 2017. President Donald Trump is in the middle of a two-week working vacation at his golf club in central New Jersey.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

Workmen prepare new carpeting for the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, as it undergoes renovations.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

A piece of furniture with an attached 'PANIC' button sits in the Roosevelt Room during renovation work at the White House Friday, Aug. 11, 2017.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

A worker carries scaffolding outside the West Wing on Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press

The Roosevelt Room in the the West Wing of the White House is undergoing renovations while President Donald Trump is spending time at his golf resort in New Jersey, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Washington.

Comments
Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

Special counsel questions Sessions; Is Trump coming soon?

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for hours in the special counsel’s Russia investigation, the Justice Department said Tuesday, as prosecutors moved closer to a possible interview with President Donald Trump about whether he ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Bowen: Mariano to PSC?

Bowen: Mariano to PSC? "It’s a longshot’’

If this were American Idol, then Jack Mariano got past the first audition.Mariano, the Pasco County commissioner from District 5, is considered one of the "most qualified’’ applicants for an opening on the Florida Public Service Commission, the state...
Published: 01/23/18
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Published: 01/22/18
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18