Friday, May 17, 2019

2018 Net Migration

Below are some charts I created with the help of Kyle Walker's excellent tidycensus library and also a few other important libraries like tidyverse and sf. For more information, please see:


For me, the effect of this map is to show vast swaths of the midwest and northeast draining into states like Florida, Georgia,Texas, Washington, Oregon and to a lesser degree Colorado, North Dakota, Nevada and Arizona. Washington and Georgia Counties are shown as separate maps. If I had to guess, I would say much of the country is fed up with polar freezes, drought, fire and hurricanes. Apparently, they have decided to trade all of that for continual drizzle and rain in Portland and Seattle. Or maybe there are only three choices now for really smart youth seeking high incomes: San Francisco, Portland, or Seattle. Some example data and 2015:2018 growth Census derived tables for King and Whatcom Counties are far below. Click to enlarge the maps.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The last 30 Years of US Motor Vehicle Collision Fatalities: Deaths, Fatal/VMT( per 100M), VMT(per 100M)

Click to enlarge this complicated and noisy chart . Deaths (Red) are measured nominally. Fatality rate (Blue) is Fatalities/100M VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled). Vehicle Miles Traveled (Purple) is measured as 100M VMT.  To equate scales, fatalities are measured as numbered per the horizontal axis. VMT is effectively measured in trillions as 'y * 100M VMT',  while fatality/VMT is effectively measured in deaths per trillion  as 'y  / 100M VMT'.  These deaths include pedestrian and bicyclist deaths linked to moteor vehicle trauma. Source:

Monday, April 15, 2019

Introduction: A series on Collision Data for Whatcom County and WA State

Please click to enlarge the charts below:
ABOVE: Screenshot for Governor's Highway Safety Association: US. Pedestrian Fatalities by Year

ABOVE: Screenshot from the FINAL-2018-PSAC-Annual-Report-.pdf for WA State

Click to enlarge the charts above. Below are four links to data posts from collision data for Whatcom County. In researching this topic I have surmised from the WSP Collision database the number of injuries and fatalities in Whatcom County over my 27 month study period (01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019). Because of the long data tables, these articles will not readable on a cell phone screen:

WSP Collision Data for WM County 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019: A look at "Yield" Citations in Collisions

From the WSP Collision Data for Whatcom County, I am doing my best to summarize the 968 unique 'Citation Charges' from the 7,174 Whatcom County Collisions I am tracking for the 27 month period covering 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019. "Yield" citations play a big part in collisions in Whatcom. It may be useful to spell out in detail for drivers obligations under the law. Below I parse the top 50 “Yield” violations and then the top 15 "Yield" violations for "intersection", "driveway" ,"ped" ,"stop", "left" and (at bottom) a regex for '4' which gives us the RCW reference used by WSP officer on the scene. Rdata.table code is included for reference.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

WSP Collision Data for WM County 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019: Initial text analysis of MV_Drvr_CitationCharge

From the WSP Collision Data for Whatcom County, I am doing my best to summarize the 968 unique 'Citation Charges' from the 7,174 Whatcom County Collisions I am tracking for the 27 month period covering 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019 . I have developed some text mining techniques to summarize the 'top citations' and I am interested if this information gives me insight into Whatcom County driver behavior in collisions. If I had to summarize my findings to date, I would comment that the top cause of collisions or dangerous driver behavior can be attributed to:

Friday, April 5, 2019

WSP Collision Data for WM County 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019

These are stats from the WSP Collision Analysis Tool. The query interface at generates an amazing amount of information on collisions in the state of WA. Some of the address and locations needs some consolidation for cross table output. This data is for WM County from 01/01/2017 - 04/01/2019. I leave the rdata.table commands in place for some of these queries. The WSP Collision Analysis Tool generates a ton of good data. Some in simple and also a more advanced option. It's not perfect and requites some munging. It's just better data than any other motor vehicle trauma and collision interface I have seen. I like this data because I get the real feel when working with it of an officer filling out data on site. I think for this reason, the advanced data interface could be curated and aggregated for productive machine learning routines. This is under construction as of 4/5/2019 and I will be particularly working on this post.  These tables are best not viewed on a cell phone.

             InjurySeverity    N
1:      No Injury Collision 4964
2:   Minor Injury Collision 1681
3: Unknown Injury Collision  385
4: Serious Injury Collision  103
5:          Fatal Collision   41

Sunday, March 24, 2019

COB Reported Collision Data: 2017, 2018, Q1 2019

Some approximate locations for City of Bellingham, WA reported collisions for the years 2017, 2018, and Q1 2019 (3/23/2019 to date). Not all accidents are shown. Click to enlarge charts.

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 .

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Weather Forecasting

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

Bellingham Forecast (Check Forecast Discussion)

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

PAC NW Jet Stream Forecast

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 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 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 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.