Pacific City Needs EV Charging

The following piece was drafted by Loving Husband, then sliced and diced by Yours Truly. It’s posted at

Well-done, sweetie. I’m so proud of you!

Pacific City Needs EV Charging

by Curt Finnegan

My wife and I live in Albany and last June purchased a Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle (EV). With our dog, Agate, in tow, we frequent Cape Kiwanda, the Pelican Brewery, Bob Straub State Park, and everywhere in between. We were thrilled to learn that many areas in Oregon and Washington are now accessible to electric cars thanks to the West Coast Electric Highway:

We think an EV charging station located near the Cape and the Pelican Brewery would be an enormous asset to Pacific City. Local businesses would benefit greatly. We typically spend an afternoon (and many dollars) in and around the Pelican. And we’re just one of many EV families.

We’ve talked to Pelican Brewery management and voiced how it would be great to have an EV charging station nearby. Knowing how tight parking is at Cape Kiwanda, we agree the designated charging spots must be away from the best (read “close-in”) parking and enforced with a time limit.

An EV charging station runs from $400 to $600. See for some affordable options. The cost to install in a public use area would depend on where to tap into existing power, the type of outlet and local electrician rates and permits.

A variety of payment plans are available for current charging station companies. Some provide unlimited usage per month (like cell phones), some are time-based (how long you’re plugged in), and others are usage-based (number of kilowatt-hours drawn).

Even a NEMA 14-50 outlet or two would be beneficial. These are the most common outlets at an RV campground. This outlet would be the simplest and least expensive, possibly not even requiring special parking if placed smartly.

Our current solution is to pay Seascape RV Park (right across from the Pelican–ask for Bob) $5.00 for two hours’ use of a NEMA 14-50 outlet, if there is an open spot. More than two hours costs $10.00. It’s a bit spendy, but we’re glad to have that option available.

Electric vehicles are the future of automobile transportation. More and more drivers are looking for destinations where they can charge their cars and spend their money. The bottom line is, wherever we park and charge, we ultimately spend money at nearby businesses.

I can be reached at I am also listed on, a very helpful website and smartphone app for locating charging stations nationally. Through Plugshare, I can share my home station with anyone needing a charge.

Electric vehicles really bring out the community in you. I think that’s a great thing. I don’t mind avoiding the gas stations, either.

Curt Finnegan is a rabid fan of electric vehicles and other environmentally friendly technologies. He lives in Albany, Oregon, with his wife, Heather (and their four-legged, furry children) and works as an online technical support specialist at Linn-Benton Community College.

The healing power of the ocean (and beer)

On Sunday, my husband, Happy Dog and I went to the beach.  I am thrilled to report that Happy Dog enjoyed a glorious Oregon coast day without getting carsick.


Not only are we are fortunate enough to live in one of the most beautiful, fertile river valleys in the U.S., whose farmers produce four of my favorite things (wine, lavender, blueberries and mint), we’re only 1-2 hours from the coast, depending on where we go.  Sunday we chose our current favorite:  Pacific City, home to Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area and Bob Straub State Park (named for a former Oregon governor), the Pacific Dory Fleet and, most important, Pelican Pub & Brewery.

pelican pub & rock

There are undoubtedly lots of other places in the world where one can drink beer on the beach with their dog, but there’s no way you can beat the view from the Pelican.

Plus there are always plenty of other interesting things to watch:  surfers, migrating whales, stand-up paddlers, dories coming and going, dune-boarders, kites flying, skimboarders, hang-gliders and beach dogs (as illustrated above), to name a few.


Simply put, it’s where I go when I visualize my Happy Place.


My husband and I only learned to appreciate beer quite recently.  We were in Newport on vacation a few years ago before we moved to Oregon.  The November weather wasn’t particularly conducive to a warm, enjoyable stroll on the beach, but luckily, Newport is home to Rogue Ales Brewery.  We looked at each other and said, “Let’s go taste some beer!”

Rogue Ales

And thus we evolved into a new phase of our life together.


Part of our beervolution has included volunteering for the past two years at the annual Oregon Garden Brewfest.  The Brewfest is one of the garden’s biggest fundraisers–if not the biggest.  We pour beer for folks to taste.  This year I poured for Flat Tail Brewing in Corvallis, and husband poured for Fish Brewing Company, from Olympia, Washington.


I learned a lot about hoppy beer that day, and I’m starting to be able to taste the differences between beers.  I feel very sophisticated.  I’ll never be the beer snob my brother is, but still.

Boy, I really went off on a beer tangent there.  I really didn’t mean for this post to be about the healing power of beer so much as the healing power of the ocean.  So, back to Pacific City.

We started with a walk at Bob Straub State Park.  We were pleasantly surprised by the lack of people–it being Labor Day weekend and all.


Not only was it a holiday weekend, it was also 1) sunny and 2) above 70°.  But the year-round lack of crowds is one of the most beautiful things about the Oregon coast.

We also enjoyed the offerings of Bubble-Blowing Woman:


Some people just know how to have fun, don’t they?


We then headed north to the Pelican–at which there’s a pretty generous public parking area–and discovered where the hordes of beach-goers were.  Not only was the parking lot full to overflowing, the main road and side streets were choked as well.  The beach itself was a parking lot with several thru lanes.  There were people and cars everywhere.  And unfortunately I was the one driving.  We did, however, finally find a spot on a narrow side street just a couple blocks from the brewery.  It took about fifteen minutes, but in the big scheme of things–like, say, compared to New York City or Washington, DC–I guess I can’t complain too much.

We thought we’d maybe get something to eat, in addition to the beer, but there was a 90-minute wait for a patio table.  And, as neither of us had thought to bring our phone along, we had no way of being notified when a table became available.  So we settled for sitting on the edge of the patio and enjoying our beer and the ambiance.

All this is leading up to the pinnacle experience in my day, which was so simple as to be almost ludicrous.  After finishing our beer (and boy, did we make it last), we went for another walk–this time among the hordes.  But believe it or not, when we got down to the water’s edge and started walking south, it really wasn’t as crowded as it looked from the patio.

At this point, there’s something you need to understand about me:  there is nothing–and I do mean N.O.T.H.I.N.G.–that makes me happier than walking on the beach, except walking barefoot on the beach, which is something I don’t do very often because of the plantar fasciitis I mentioned a couple weeks ago.

beach feet

And, as you can see, depending on where we’re at, there are other reasons I don’t walk barefoot on the beach.

On Sunday, however, all the stars aligned, and I took off my Chacos  and walked.*   And suddenly, magically, everything was OK.  Unemployment, pending bills, dwindling hormone levels, the bald patches on puppy’s face that I would learn on Wednesday is demodectic mange, the traffic and lack of parking–it was all completely irrelevant in that one magic moment.  I realized I was Present.  I was There.  I was in the Vortex.  I felt completely blissful–like that time I was on painkillers when I had an ovarian cyst and we had to cut our vacation short so I could get home and have surgery.  I knew everything would be all right.


There’s that Vortex again.

Sunday was one of those incredible days that, for whatever reason, I only get to have occasionally.  Why is that?  Why shouldn’t I have these blissful, magical days a lot more frequently?  Do I somehow think I’m not deserving?  That days like this should be parceled out as infrequent rewards or dangled in front of me like a carrot on a string?  I don’t buy that.  I can’t buy that.  I truly believe I could have as many of these days as I choose to have, but for some reason don’t.

That’s what I need to figure out.  That’s what I need to work on.

(*If you have plantar fasciitis and have never tried Chacos, treat your feet to a pair.)

Pelican Pub & Brewery courtesy
Spongebob Squarepants courtesy Nickelodeon &
Vortex courtesy