Stopped in Bandon

Getting hung up on the Oregon Coast is actually a privilege.

I can get to Chimacum in one day, which means the truck in “D” for 8 hours. Or I can find pull-offs for sleep in truck stops or Walmarts or the like. I want to do neither in a rain storm.

The next rain break looks to be Wednesday, so I signed up to stay here until then.

This is a super RV park. I’ve jacked them around all week as I changed plans almost every day since I showed up. You can’t get into an RV park right now, but you can stay put. With everything closed, Bandon itself is not fun, and I find take-out seafood disappointing. Few other choices exist for entertainment here.

Reading and video games and listening to the rain on the roof….

Hung up

My plan was to “do” the Oregon coast at favorite stopping places, but now everything is closed, including RV parks. The state parks are closed, leaving no place to put an RV safely.

So I signed on for a couple more days at the RV park I’m in to see what happens next. Things change by the hour.

I want to do 101, but if necessary I can bail and head to I-5, and do the truckstop thing back to Chimacum. I’ll decide in a day or two.

Bandon, OR

It’s a rain event for a few days then I’ll move northward.

I’m bored. Bandon is slow this time of year in the best of times, but now the place is dead. It’s a bummer not to be able to get fish and chips and sit wharfside watching sea gulls.

Luckily I have a rather dense history book (Catherine the Great) which is perfect for killing time. Unluckily a video game I had didn’t appeal to me, so I need to download another one

So I’m moving on the good days, and sitting out the weather as needed.

Crescent City, CA

One night here, then to Bandon, OR for a few nights to wait out a rain event. I’m trying to pick up my pace a bit to get to the peninsula sooner.

Not many people around. Yesterday I went to Murphy’s market in Arcata to get a few things and it was very slow. Their schtick was singing: all the employees, shelf stockers, butchers, deli, were singing as they worked. Then, the checkers were telling jokes.

One thing to be done right now is the media needs to quit publicizing Dear Leader’s bullshit. He doesn’t have the intelligence to understand the subject matter, and takes in information from conspiracy freaks and not folk that know better. The damage he is doing is stunning.

California Restrictions

Bars are closed, but pot shops are “essential” and open. I can think of a couple of bars that are essential to some of their customers. To the advantage of everyone in the community, bars need to be regulated like pot stores, open but with proactive social distancing rules.

Otherwise, back doors will open, speakeasys will appear, public consumption will increase.

Eureka

I’ll be here for three nights. After I got parked, there was a 5.2 earthquake. There was a 5.8 about a week ago. No biggie but it makes you look up. RVs are always good places to be in quakes.

My plan for moving north seems to be working. Bars and restaurants are closed, but groceries and gas stations are open. Other stores seem to be hit and miss.

The groceries in Fort Bragg weren’t any problem. I am very anxious to hear why toilet paper was the focus of so many. Besides sanitizer, the other weird thing was that tortillas were cleaned off the shelves, which I’ve heard applies to other places as well. The Mendo coast is not a Latino kinda place, stores there don’t have tortilla machines for instance. Puzzling.

Travelers along 101 likely know the “One Log Tree House”, a redwood log hollowed out and fitted out like an RV. I stopped today at the One Log House pot dispensary. It’s not in the log, which would be better, but next door in a gift shop. There is a cannabis farm next door and the store is selling their own product. Prices are quite low, so it might be worth a stop just to say you’ve been there. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Panic

Looks to me like a panic is starting.

For the record, I do not trust Dear Leader at all. Luckily I have plenty of other sources for information. I am continually examining my strategy and will remain with my, usual, drive up 101.

Gasoline is a resource I require at regular intervals. I can imagine there will be ideas about cleaning gas pump handles, but then that concept has never ever been considered. Notwithstanding, I’ll make an effort to run off the top of my fuel tank. Stop for gas more often, use a dirty handle more often, leave my virus’ behind at more places.

I have a “script” of places to park along 101, which are characterized by being lightly used, but a panic might hit the operators of those places and they’ll shut down. I’ll continue as normal, and if I do see this happening somewhere I’ll always have a nearby backup in mind.

Grocery stores will no doubt turn into a hassle, for no reason other than panic. To compensate I will buy extra stuff, thinking ahead further to minimize my trips. I need to fill up my freezer with frozen food, not my usual fare, just in case. I counted the number of toilet rolls in my RV, and I calculate I have enough until February 2021.

As is usual with my drive northward this time of year, the trees are blossoming out, the fields are greening and blooming, and the landscape is becoming beautiful as I follow Spring. I am allergic to the pollen this time of year, so I frequently have a runny nose, sometimes a cough, and sneezing episodes. I expect few social interactions for a while, but I must remember to expect questions about this.

That’s all I can come with right now, but I’ll check again tomorrow to see what the new situation is.

Surf!

I’m in Fort Bragg along CA-1 at an RV park on a point over a tiny bay of the Pacific Ocean. The weather is exactly as I’d expect in the northwest along the coast: sun now, rain later, then sun, then rain, etc. The Mendocino coast is beautiful even in bad weather.

Regarding coronovirus, Mendo has reported zero cases, the counties here are excellent at communication, local public radio is excellent at getting the word out, I couldn’t get anymore self-quarantined than I usually am, and there aren’t any reports of the virus on the road ahead of me. No worries.

Here for 5 nights.

Washington State Social Equity Program?

Washington passed a law to address “Social Equity” which aims to compensate for the harm done to neighborhoods and people especially damaged by the War on Drugs. In other states this involves assuring that victims can get cannabis licenses, past criminal records are expunged, and those in prison for now-legal offenses are released. The concept was not invented until well after WA and Colorado legalized, so they have to catch up.

About a year after Colorado started opening legal storefronts the Denver Post mapped the locations and people noticed that the licensees were concentrated in the poorer neighborhoods with high concentrations of people of color. Meanwhile, Uncle Ike’s was one of the first stores to open in Seattle, likewise in a neighborhood with a large non-white population. Both observations triggered protests and demonstrations claiming “gentrification” with the demand that the pot shops not invade their community (“Crime! Traffic! Think of the kids!”)

Then there was a complete turnaround. The affected people asked why they weren’t represented among those getting licenses, why they weren’t reaping the profits after being beat up disproportionately by the War on Drugs [Joe Biden]. A few states that came later included provisions for favoring those victims to acquire licenses.

The WA law started out completely different than what was originally proposed. A few activists (white, current license holders) filed bills to address this, but it was quickly (during committee hearings) determined that the bill had no support or coordination with those affected. It took a lot of watering down to get something, anything, passed because the issue was real.

WA has limits on the number of licenses to issue, about 579 retail stores, for instance. And those have been issued. So even with social equity there weren’t licenses to issue. Except there were about 34 licenses currently unused and inactive. These were confiscated for rules violations, issued to a potential licensee in a jurisdiction that has banned cannabis, or the licensee failed to complete a build-out. The law requires that the Liquor and Cannabis Board issue those to qualifying individuals. There are no rules how this will be done.

Meanwhile, those later states that included equity in their laws went to work to identify and issue licenses. The first obstacle was that these people didn’t have the money to navigate the license process or construct a business from scratch, and the second was that they didn’t have the experience or skills to be successful in a very complicated business. To date, Massachusetts has one equity business opening today in Boston, and I believe Illinois has one or two. It’s taken years to find appropriate owners to achieve the goals.

WA set up a Technical Assistance Program to address the lack of skills in the regulatory and business aspects of the business, established a grant program (minutely funded), and, like all legislatures nationwide, set up a Study Group to examine the (mostly political) problem and write a report for the governor. These put off doing anything for at least a year or two.

Massachusetts is the most aggressive in pursuing it’s equity goals and it’s been quite the slog with little to show for it. Even when the state manages to tweak the system to issue a license to a person of color, access to capital, a large amount, usually isn’t available. And the right skills are rare among the potential licensees. Local jurisdictions are also quite successful in erecting even more roadblocks.

So whether these attempts can actually work is an unknown right now. This will become a hot topic this summer when Arizona debates the initiative to legalize, which does include a plan for equity. It’s already bogged down New York’s attempt to legalize (via the legislature), as well as a few other states.

There is little to say that Washington’s law will accomplish anything, except to delay the discussion until other states, with much greater needs, work out the fine points. Colorado has a similar problem. California, of course, has a massive problem because of the requirement for huge amounts of money to get into the game.

This topic will be debated for years….

Ukiah, Mendocino County

I’ll be a couple of days, then likely head over to Fort Bragg later. Watching the weather, which is perfect right now.