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Sunday, February 17, 2019

School Bonds and Levies for February Special Election 2019

School Bonds

A first look at the Bond and Levy Results for School Districts across WA shows good results. Important bonds in Bethel, Yelm, Kennewick, Renton, Ferndale and Yakima made the 60% 'super majority'. Some of these bond results are multi-county with split school districts. For more information check the individual county results at  http://results.vote.wa.gov/results/current/Turnout.html .

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Weather Forecasting

We are in a snow/rain winter pattern. Some forecast links:

Bellingham Forecast (Check Forecast Discussion)

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=48.7823&lon=-122.4858

U.S. Graphical Forecast (mouse over 'Loop')

https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/basicwx/basicwx_ndfd.php

PAC NW Jet Stream Forecast

http://squall.sfsu.edu/scripts/jetstream_model_fcst.html

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Last Weeked for the School District Elections


The complicated geometry of the three school districts requesting your support this election. Note how school districts snug borders, trail rivers, and sometimes split precincts (!!) If you have any questions whether or not you should receive a ballot, check myvote.wa.gov and/or call Whatcom County Elections. Click to enlarge the map.

Please Vote. Ballots were mailed 1/23/2019 for the Ferndale SD and Nooksack Valley SD bonds as well as the Concrete SD Levy.  You should have your  ballot by now. If not, contact Whatcom County Elections. Seven drop boxes are open for this election, but like the last two Whatcom County elections, this is a 'no stamp needed' election. Fill out your ballot early, set it on your mailbox and then check myvote.wa.gov to make sure your ballot has been received and is 'ready for tabulation'.  If your vote is challenged in any way, please contact Whatcom County Elections.  

In Whatcom County (as in all of WA), there is an 18 day voting period. Votes are 'tabulated' (e.g. counted) starting on election day (February 12th) for this all school funding election.  The county estimates there are ~28K voters involved in this election. ~22K of these voters are in the Ferndale SD.  This is the third attempt at passage for the Ferndale School District. If you have any questions, please call or otherwise contact Whatcom County Elections. For more information on the Ferndale School District  and Bond please see my previous posts:
 Please Vote. More information (under construction) below the break.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

More thoughts on School Bonds...

Ruminations on voting or not voting for school bonds are below. It is a big, neglected topic. I am just scratching the surface. - RMF

The activists that have been trying (dutifully) to pass a bond for the Ferndale School District are holding public meetings this month around Ferndale:
The problems Ferndale activists are having passing their school bond are now endemic to small cities and county areas in WA.  To see this, type "Bonds WA failing" into the Google search bar. Ferndale has failed to pass this bond (primarily designed to rebuild the High School) in 2014 and GE 2018.  They are trying again this month.   Reading through the committee documents the local activists, parents, advocates have produced is more than anguishing. Type "ferndale school district bond" into google or just read through this document here.  I spent the week looking at some of these problems . I think the problem set for these WA communities trying to pass school bonds in rural and small city areas has common components:

(1) Many times the  60% 'supermajority' provides an insurmountable obstacle to the passage of school bonds (not school levys) in WA State.Type "Bond WA 60% supermajority" into the Google search bar to see more on this.

(2) Anti-tax advocates have been dealt greater ammunition with (recent) accelerating property appraisals. This clearly leverages the anti-tax fears of older, retired populations, especially those on fixed incomes.

(3) There is clearly an urban Democrat vs. rural Republican split on this. The local Republican party almost never explicitly takes an anti school bond position. But many conservative and many older voters adopt anti-tax positions anyway.

(4) The supermajority bond approval rules mean that without some Republican support, school bonds will not pass in may rural school districts.

(5) For any community, the a school bond issue should be an easy pass, but school infrastructure and bond interest costs are so expensive that the residents of many smaller school districts are right to be wary of increases in property taxes.

More information, tables, charts and analysis below the break.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

School District Bond and Levy Elections


The Ferndale School District is outlined in white above . FSD has 24 full precincts and 4 partial precincts shown in shaded multi-color. FSD schools and other Whatcom County surrounding schools are labeled in white print. Click to enlarge the chart.
Post Under Construction. Please see http://www.whatcomcounty.us/1732/Current-Election for current information, registration deadlines, and voting periods:

"Deadline for in-person, mail-in & online registrations or address changes is January 14th"
"Ballots Mailed: January 23, 2019"
"This Special Election includes Ferndale School District 502, Nooksack Valley School District 506, and Concrete School District No. 11. "
More analysis after the break. You will need wide screen...

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Presidential Election Turnout Chart:1920:2016



An  historical Presidential Election Turnout chart. The data is  from Willem M. van der Wal Elections (R) package. Plot functions for lines: blue = lowess(), red = smooth(), purple = smooth.spline(). Click to enlarge the chart.