A great report on the criminalization of homelessness. Camp Quixote gets (even more) kudos in the report.

In short, the report by Washington DC based National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, basically says that it is a waste of money and resources to make laws against panhandling, loitering, and sleeping in public places.

Criminalization measures do nothing to address the
underlying causes of homelessness and, instead, only
worsen the problem. Misusing police power to arrest
homeless people is only a temporary intervention,
as most people are arrested and incarcerated for
short periods of time. Ultimately, arrested homeless
people return to their communities, still with nowhere
to live and now laden with financial obligations, such as court fees, that they cannot pay. Moreover, criminal convictions – even for minor crimes – can create barriers to obtaining critical public benefits, employment, or housing, thus making homelessness more difficult to escape.
The City of Olympia isn’t innocent of this. In Olympia it is considered a “pedestrian interference” if you panhandle within 25 feet of an ATM or a parking meter (which effectively eliminates panhandling in certain parts of downtown), or to lie, sit or sleep on the sidewalk or alley downtown between 7am and midnight.

The report gives a shout out to Quixote Village, though, even if it just refers to it as a “micro-housing community” as an innovative way to address the problem. Something to keep in mind that the report left out: Quixote Village came out of a protest against the City of Olympia banning sleeping in the commercial areas of Olympia. That, and it took about 7 years to get the zoning laws changed and facing legal challenges to make the village possible.

How to get around The Olympian paywall.

Having lived on the east coast for about a year a half and settling back into Olympia, I’m out of the loop on a lot of things. One of those things being that The Olympian has a pay wall.

After clicking through 7 different posts, you’ll be directed to the above image and asked to subscribe for around $10 a month.

What’s interesting, though, is there are plenty of easy ways to get past it. I was able to get past it by opening up The Olympian in private/incognito mode or just switching to a different browser. There’s also a Google Chrome app to get past it.

I wonder if the ease of which you can get through the pay wall without paying is a feature or a bug. Nytimes.com lets you get past their pay wall for certain stories or if you go to an article through social media. If that’s the case, then it’s more a “keep off the grass” sign than a wall.

German Lopez from Vox, has a great article about the pot shortage.

While a bunch of retail stores won licenses to sell pot this morning, a lot of them won’t really be able to open up quite yet.

"First, the state’s Liquor Control Board, which is charged with regulating legal pot sales, seriously underestimated the amount of applications it would get from people interested in growing marijuana for retail sales. Since marijuana follows a specific growing and harvesting cycle, the delays severely limited how much marijuana growers and processors could produce in time for the retail launch.

Second, many aspiring entrepreneurs underestimated what it would take to set up growing and processing operations and repeatedly failed inspections.

The result: months of extensions and delays on the approval process, and not enough licensed growers and processors to meet the kind of demand that’s expected as shops are allowed to open.”

Liquor Control Board gave out retail marijuana licenses this morning.

420 Carpenter, out in Lacey, is the only one (so far) in Thurston County to win one. 420 Carpenter won the license, with 23 other retail stores in the state through a lottery by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. From WSLCB’s release:

"Businesses receiving their licenses today represent the first of 334 licenses allotted by the WSLCB for retail sales who have successfully completed the licensing process. Locations receiving licenses were selected by taking into account population, geographic dispersion and the individual applicant’s readiness to be licensed."

Jordan Schrader from The News Tribune points out that it is still hard to get legally grown marijuana, so most of the businesses won’t open quite yet because of supply problems.

A funny quote from NPR’s story on it, in regards to what time these stores would open:

"At Seattle’s Cannabis City, owner James Lathrop said he’d wait until noon.

"Know your audience: We’re talking stoners here," he told the AP. "I’d be mean to say they need to get up at 5 a.m. to get in line."