WSMR missile park, PII, and my reluctance to prosyletize

I had not gone to White Sands to see the dunes or the White Sands Missile range museum / park.   The reason for this is that WS is roughly the same altitude as El Paso, so there was no compelling climatic reason to drive there to camp.

I paid the $10 entry to the national monument to see the white gypsum sands;  most of the roadway is packed sand, quite hard in the tire tracks.  The dunes were white and made of very fine “sand”:

Continue reading “WSMR missile park, PII, and my reluctance to prosyletize”

article: Flagstaff council keeps camping ban

from this article:

The ordinance, which was adopted in 2005 and amended in 2009, makes it a Class 3 misdemeanor, the lowest level, for people to camp within city limits on public property, including in public parks, on city streets and sidewalks or any undeveloped land within city limits.

Is there a better use for city-owned undeveloped land than allowing homeless folk to camp?  I can’t think of one.

Dan Musselman, the interim police chief, told the council the ordinance is an important way for police to reduce the danger of a catastrophic fire…

So enforce existing fire laws.  Educate the homeless and let them know campfires during burn bans are not ok.  There are already laws about that.    Banning the homeless because they might make a fire is Orwellian pre-crime.

Continue reading “article: Flagstaff council keeps camping ban”

article: housing vehicle

from this article:

“Some people may look at it as a recreational vehicle, but for us, it’s housing,” Batcher says. “We call it our HV.”

She’s sharing the “HV” with one of her 25-year-old twin sons and says operating the vehicle has had a learning curve…

Operating the RV has been “complicated, but you get used to it.”

She also talks about cooking approaches:

“I’m a big crock pot fan, but it requires too much propane, and in the winter, we didn’t want to use the propane for cooking,” Batcher explains. So, she headed to Wal-Mart to buy a pressure cooker — and it’s not your mom’s old pressure cooker, either.

“Pressure cookers scare a lot of people, but the new ones have great technology,” she says, noting she uses it not only for cooking but also for washing dishes.

Pressure cookers are incredibly useful in a camper.  I don’t know what she meant about washing dishes;  maybe using it as a sterilizer?

Her pic reminds me of a lot of folks at the RTR:  happy, content, and forging a good life with modest means.




on the visibility of homelessness

from this article:

As much as anything, individual opinions of homeless people seem not as much about what they do — we all scratch and yawn and piss, some of us do drugs and smoke and drink — but where they do it.

Indeed, some of us do a lot stranger things behind closed doors than merely eat or sleep. But the difference between you and the guy sleeping in a doorway is you’ve got somewhere to do it that isn’t subject to bylaw interference.

Imagine everything you do in your house or apartment (be honest, I mean everything) all your habits, bad and good and weird and then imagine doing it all on a downtown sidewalk where the passersby are hostile and no one will let you use a toilet.

Spot on.

Article: Seattle’s safe lot

from this article:

The last vestige of former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s plan to create parking lots for homeless people who sleep in their vehicles is an inhospitable scrap of land in the industrial tangle of the Sodo District.

It’s a noisy place: One side of the parking lot is next to busy railroad tracks, another side is next to the Spokane Street viaduct, and it’s under the flight path.

I have zero problems with that.  If the area is undesirable for commercial or residential uses because of the noise, that makes the city’s opportunity costs very low — they make it available to homeless campers without goring any oxen. Continue reading “Article: Seattle’s safe lot”

enforce laws rather than targeting groups

from this article:

Berkeley police tell Marina RV campers to move out … or get towed.

Those who have berths at the Marina reported multiple and increasing numbers of altercations and threats — particularly from people living in these vehicles,” [Berkeley spokesman] Chakko said.

If folks are being threatened, endangered, or assaulted then deal with criminals ASAP whether they are homeowners, renters, homeless, or vehicle dwellers. Equal enforcement.

The fact that Continue reading “enforce laws rather than targeting groups”

article: churches as homeless shelters

from this article:

It’s called Family Promise of Tulsa County, and it’s built on a simple idea: provide food and shelter for homeless families in Sunday school rooms or other church rooms that otherwise would sit empty during the week.

He said no matter how ordinary a church building is, “It is still better than under an overpass. It’s better than a cardboard box.”

“I would encourage everyone to try it, because your small storage room is more safe than outside in the rain and the snow,” Turner said.


at first i didn’t understand the rotation between the churches, but after reflection I think it has benefits: Continue reading “article: churches as homeless shelters”

article: solar powered homeless camps

from this article:

Sam Clune has hooked up donated solar panels at three homeless camps, starting with one along Shellmound Street just north of the Emeryville border at the edge of Aquatic Park where he has lived with his dog, Trouble, since his last forced move. That happened on Nov. 4, when BART evicted him and his mates from the “HERE/THERE” camp alongside the BART tracks on Adeline Street about a half-mile south of the Ashby station.

Next, Clune hooked up solar panels at two other camps newly established by erstwhile HERE/THERE residents in the aftermath of the Nov. 4 eviction: the “First They Came For The Homeless” camp in front of Old City Hall; and the relocated, smaller HERE/THERE camp a few dozen feet north of the old one.

First they came from the homeless…  that’ll get your attention.


VA cuts homeless program


The VA said it was essentially ending a special $460 million program that has dramatically reduced homelessness among chronically sick and vulnerable veterans. Instead, the money would go to local VA hospitals that can use it as they like, as long as they show evidence of dealing with homelessness.

I’m conflicted on this one.  I’m a “states rights, local control” kinda guy but defense is one of the few enumerated Constitutional powers.

I hope they know what they are doing.

from this article