Wednesday, March 25, 2015

First POB draft agreement with Harcourt
This is the first draft agreement with Harcourt and the question is: How much are we giving away?....

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Children in Poverty and Homelessness in Whatcom County School Districts and WA state: A Look at the Numbers and Sources

"It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex."
Article IX Section 1 SECTION 1 PREAMBLE.
Constitution of the State of Washington

Click to Enlarge.

DName Tot_District_ _Pop District_Enrollment ChildinDistrict ChildPov OSPI_K-12 Homeless PCT_Poverty PCT_Homeless
Bellingham 104767 11136 12340 1908 471 15.46% 4.23%
Blaine 16388 2120 2380 420 49 17.65% 2.31%
Concrete 4921 542 717 168 26 23.43% 4.80%
Ferndale 31180 5174 5885 912 126 15.50% 2.44%
Lynden 18863 2842 3612 397 58 10.99% 2.04%
Meridian 10032 1790 1630 249 41 15.28% 2.29%
MountBaker 14724 1880 2573 515 52 20.02% 2.77%
NooksackValley 10317 1574 1996 304 49 15.23% 3.11%
Sedro-Woolley 26646 4305 4491 745 173 16.59% 4.02%
Totals 237,838 31,363 35,624 5,618 1,045 15.77% 3.33%
The chart and table above aggregate 2013 SAIPE Poverty and Income Data with 2013-2014 (School Year) OSPI Student Homeless Data for the 9 School Districts that are in whole or in part inside Whatcom County. Zoom your browser window to enlarge this table.
Some statistical projects are gratifying to work on . This one really was not.  Poverty brackets are exceptionally low household income numbers.  The federal poverty rate for a family of four with two children is less than $24K.  Although the largest school district (Bellingham) in Whatcom County has the highest number school children in poverty in total, the percentage of children in poverty in the more rural school districts is much higher. The data in the post below comes from SAIPE or Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates and OSPI  Homeless Student Data Report for 2013 and 2014.  In the charts below, I detail homelessness and poverty for Whatcom County school children based on SAIPE school district estimates. Code for the charts  can be found here and here.

As a data blogger, I can't vouch for the integrity of the data collections I analyze nor can I provide solutions for the tragedy  of homelessness and poverty it exposes in our county. I can however, find creative ways to quantify their impacts upon our budgets, governments, school systems, communities and  families. I also can point out that a housed and fed population of school children is a not just the moral responsibility of a just world but the duty and mandate of all us and our constructed democratic governments. 

 I can scarcely believe that any of us could imagine all of the deficits poverty and homelessness create for youth in pursuit of their education.  In a state that specifically included the education of children as a 'paramount duty' to be exercised without regard to caste, one could speculate on whether or not a county that does not build adequate affordable housing and provide adequate food banks is interfering with the mandates of McCleary to provide for a "basic education" to all students.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Whatcom Conservation District Election

Well... You know all those complicated numbers, procedures, and bar codes on your primary and general election ballots?  You won't have to worry about too much of that for your Whatcom Conservation District election:

Here's my quick summary:
(1) Put the top form ("ballot") where you vote (for either Larry Helm or Joy Monjure)
 in the small blank ("secrecy") envelope and seal it.
(2) Put the bottom form ("affidavit") where you sign in the addressed ("return") envelope.
(3) Put the small blank ("secrecy") envelope in the addressed ("return")
(4) Attach a stamp and mail!

There are "Instructions to Vote Your Ballot" on page 2 of the enclosed handout.
How could anything possible go wrong?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Census Charts on Poverty in WA State

Some charts showing poverty in WA State (2013) from Census SAIPE or Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates. Of the WA counties with more than ~200K population, Only Spokane and Yakima have a greater poverty rate than Whatcom County.
Top 20 WA Counties ranked by Poverty Count.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thoughts on homelessness in beautiful downtown Bellingham, WA

Jeff and Amy, owners of Naked Clothing in downtown Bellingham, selflessly hosted this morning a great meeting on the issue of downtown homelessness and its effects on local business owners. Five of us attended including COB Council member Michael Lilliquist, perhaps the most vocal and publicly engaging of all the COB Council member due to his Facebook posts. Michael really helped guide us through the discussion. Most of the information in this post came from our discussion. As the meeting was ending a member of the homeless walked in the store to ask Jeff for a job. This member of the homeless came with a resume and asked for instructions to find resources and support.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Request your ballot now for your vote in the WCD elections

Natalie McClendon reminds us to request your absentee ballot now to vote for Joy Monjure in the upcoming Whatcom Conservation District election!  Please see

Turnout General Elections: 2012 and 2014 GIS representations

Some new electoral GIS skills are demonstrated below. I wanted to plot ballots received marked as "Good" per precinct from the 2012 and 2014 cumulative Matchbacks.   Code is here and here. Click to enlarge graphs.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January20th news from the WSWS

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: World Socialist Web Site <>
Date: Mon, Jan 19, 2015 at 9:49 PM
Subject: Today on the WSWS
To: "" <>

Monday, January 19, 2015

Federal Judge rules against polluting Yakima Dairies...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The President is asking for your input...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "The White House" <>
Date: Jan 17, 2015 3:05 PM
Subject: Your memo:
To: <>

We asked you what you wanted to see get done in the next two years. This is what you told us.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

French government carries out mass arrests - World Socialist Web Site

French government carries out mass arrests - World Socialist Web Site

Fwd: Year in Review

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Jan 13, 2015 2:13 PM
Subject: Year in Review
To: <>

Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser.

My sisters and brothers,
This week marks the passage of one year since the first socialist took office in Seattle in over a century. Our election victory, a collective endeavor by everyone who worked on and supported our bold working-class campaign, came in the context of growing anger against economic inequality and the beginnings of a movement against poverty wages.
Our success reflected the decades of betrayal by corporate politicians and a search for genuine political alternatives. Under the entrenched Democratic Party establishment, Seattle has increasingly become a playground for the wealthy, with working people increasingly priced out of the city.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

How the Democrats can keep from losing next time: Part II Understanding Voter Updates

This discussion invovlves statistical abstraction at the edge of my capacities for mathematical and inferential logic.  Piece under construction 9:21 AM 1/7/2015. Code to be updated later is here  -RMF
This is part II (part I here) of a discussion of voter updates in the 2014 Whatcom County election. The discussion will conclude with evidence that results from precincts in the 42nd district are correlative to an increase voter update process.  Why this is the case, I do not know. However, the reader should understand that voter updates involve at least two separate organizations:

(1) Your County's election office
(2) A State based effort called 'ERIC'

Here's  a summary of the best information I can gather on how voting lists are scrubbed, moved voters are found, 'undeliverables' removed from active status... (to be continued)

Friday, December 26, 2014

How the Democrats can keep from losing next time: Part I Understanding Voter Updates

Last updates per year for active registrants as of 12/19/2014.
Some of the Age and Precinct charting code updated  12:55 PM 12/29/2014 -RMF
Complete for now. Find Part II here -RMF. R Code for Part I  here. R Code for Part II here.