Saturday, May 31, 2014

05.20.2014 Whatcom County Voter General Election Database: What Happened...

Under Construction 8:55 PM 5/31/2014 Technical Piece here.

What really happened  in the 2013 General Election? Why did so many voters either:

(a) not vote or
(b) not have their votes counted?

An original discussion of precincts with poor 2013 turnout is here. Let us examine some charts below the break. The charts below explicate five years of general election in Whatcom County for voters registered as of May 20,2014This means that we are looking at election turnout numbers only for those people currently registered to vote as of May 20th, 2014. As of May 20th, the voter database for Whatcom County stood a126283 registered voters. I present graphs with analysis. Click on these graphs to enlarge.

Friday, May 30, 2014

05.20.2014 Whatcom County Voter General Election Database: First Look

This piece starts an analysis series on the Whatcom County 2014 voter database. All pieces are under construction and subject to further edits in conclusion and data as the registration season progresses toward the General Election. A technical blog that references code and statistical issues is here.  The Whatcom County Voter database experiences continual flux and change for causes multivariate; this appears to be especially true in the last five election years. I have discussed "voter churn" in other posts (1,2). WA is an ERIC state. I will have further discussion of this year's ERIC cleansing.  Also a discussion of precincts with poor 2013 turnout is here. -RMF

The technical for this piece can be found here. The charts below explicate five years of general election in Whatcom County for voters registered as of May 20,2014. This means that we are looking at election turnout numbers only for those people currently registered to vote as of May 20th, 2014. As of May 20th, the voter database for Whatcom County stood a126283 registered voters. I duplicate four sets of graphs with analysis. Click on these graphs to enlarge.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Testing for Evidence of Fukushima : Part V

This is my third attempt at testing my air filters with my Aware Electronics RM-80 this year. My first two attempts (1, 2) produced ambiguous results. However, I have refined my test methods. Let me give a fuller explanation of my testing and test environment. I have a now ten year old Carrier 'Infinity 16'  zoned heat pump system that provides continual fresh air. This is recommended for allergic asthmatics by some and I find that by and large I and our family is healthier with it. However, my filters trap lots of what appears to be 'carbon black' or essential carbon. I assume most of this is from wood burning in Bellingham which I discuss in detail  here.  Code for this post can be found  here and here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Why the lone wolf is easily hunted down and killed....

David Stallheim has a passionate appeal for contributions for his legal appeals on "Get Whatcom Planning" in a post entitled "An Orwellian Time - Where Nothing Is What It Seems to Be". I don't know the full details of his pursuance of the "land disturbance violation" on the proposed GPT property that county council member Carl Weimer first alerted the general public to in July of 2011; but I recognize a familiar pattern in David's struggles to hold big business accountable to the rule of law here in Whatcom County and across the country.

Let's face it: very few of us have Carl Weimer's chutzpah or David Stallheim's courage and integrity.  Very few of us want to find ourselves in a hearing room with big energy on one side and a provincial hearing examiner between us and them.  Oh, we all write letters and blogs, and some march, and  some organize and appeal to the group for more support.  But the fragmented nature of unpaid activism and a balkanized progressivism here in the United States makes forcible activist reforms easily defeated by money and power and corruption.    Historically, it takes conditions approaching social revolution (WWI, Great Depression, Vietnam War, Iraq War) to coordinate and apply progressive social reform in any organized electoral and judicial fashion.

We should be honest about our limited electoral successes in Whatcom County.  The sole reason David Stallheim is not our chief executive in Whatcom County is because the GOP convinced us that voting for one conservative was somehow better than voting for the other. We are not just easily bullied and fragmented; we are easily fooled as well. Without Tom Steyer's funding, would Whatcom Wins have even elected a Democratic majority to council last fall? I doubt it.  If David Stallheim's hearing is any indication, we won't stop the coal terminal regardless. In truth, there is no Republican majority or conservative block of any significant democratic strength in either Bellingham or Whatcom County. Nor is there such, I suspect, in most of the country.  What there is instead is a well-funded pro-business elite who ceaselessly act to control the economy, social conditions, voter messaging and individual attention to further the ends of their increasingly consolidated profits.

When you really see behind the curtains and you have nothing left to lose, you become a revolutionary social movement like Occupy.  And you find yourself on trial and convicted for protecting yourself against the groping of an un-uniformed police officer.[1, 2]  We have to face facts now: both at the local and national level we currently  live in a fascist state.  How we each choose to come to grips with such a reality is our dilemma as progressives and individuals. But think about that tomorrow. Today, I recommend you send David some help and support.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Candidates who have filed in the 42nd LD

Thanks to all of those who are running for public office in the 42 LD! 

State candidates who have filed for office in WA 42nd LD are here and listed below.  As the weeks move forward,  I will fill in their websites and multimedia pages below and pin this post to a gagdet link on the right column of this blog. Best I can do  is a screenshot below and a messy, elongated table with links below the break.  If you are a candidate in the 42 LD and you have additional links, please email them to me.  

Personally, I want to encourage all  political candidates to have a coordinated approach to multimedia: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Blogs, Websites.  Contrary to what some might believe, most of the voting electorate really doesn't want to meet you or listen to you. Although they might want to read about you speaking with others in public, most of the voting electorate even in our small county won't ever get a chance to meet or see you in person.  What we want to know is that you are competent, work hard and represent our political opinions and our community well.   Multimedia is the best approach to reach the breadth of the electorate. 

Click the image below to enlarge or please see a linked table below the break.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Fwd: Acting short-term, thinking long-term

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Kate Gordon" <>
Date: May 9, 2014 10:37 AM
Subject: Acting short-term, thinking long-term
To: <>

Fwd: Two rerfineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Northwest Clean Air Agency <>
Date: Fri, May 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM
Subject: Two rerfineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits

Two rerfineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits
Two rerfineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits
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Two refineries, two public comment periods, two very different permits

The Northwest Clean Air Agency will be accepting public comments this month on separate air permits for two different refineries:
  • A draft modification of the BP Cherry Point Refinery air operating permi
  • A draft construction permit for a Shell Puget Sound Refinery proposed rail unloading platform to receive import of "feedstock" – a thick petroleum material (not Bakken crude).
The agency has already scheduled public hearings for both permits, even though past history suggests neither would have generated enough interest to prompt a hearing request. (See below for announcements about the individual permits and their public comment periods.)
"People have been telling us they are paying attention and looking for opportunities to engage in the process," said NWCAA Executive Director Mark Asmundson. "We've been listening."
On April 30, 2014, more than 70 people filled a NWCAA public hearing on the Shell Puget Sound Refinery's draft air operating permit renewal. Comments focused on worries about oil-train safety, refinery emissions and enforcement of refinery violations.

Testing For Evidence of Fukushima Part IV: Is wood burning and radioactive fallout a deadly combination for the Pacific Northwest?

Four WA City Comparison from
Data from

In Part I of this series, I have described how I have collected three years worth of external air filters sealed in plastic since before March 11, 2011. I change them out every 45 days as they are so filthy with smoke and soot! My hypothesis is that  Fukushima radionuclides bio-accumulate in our forests. As quite a few of my neighbors burn for heat, I should see a gradual increase Cesium137, Strontium90, Iodine131, etc. as the months progress since the accident(s) at Fukushima. In this post, I will look at fine particulate (PM-2.5) emissions; their effect on health and compare our PM-2.5 emissions in Bellingham with other station "polygons" in WA state. Excellent background on PM-2.5 can be found at Wikipedia. Google Scholar has many available academic articles on PM-2.5.

Wood Burning is considered one of the top health hazards in WA State. Limiting fine particle pollution ( less than 2.5 microns) is considered a top monitoring priority for ECY, WA and the EPA. Both the Northwest Clean Air Agency, UW, and ECY have issued health warnings and research describing the disastrous effects of wood burning on human health. A number of areas in Washington of noted interest for their high PM-2.5 levels including the Tacoma-Pierce non attainment area, The Duwamish Valley in Seattle and Whatcom County's Columbia Valley.  However, in some recent data analysis, I have discovered that urban Bellingham is extraordinarily high in total volume of PM2.5 pollution. Although rates recorded by the Yew Street station never reach the same high levels as Tacoma and Yakima station, we burn a longer season in both Anacortes and Bellingham; thus possibly creating a total yearly volume of PM-2.5 emissions equal to or greater than an EPA non attainment area.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cancer Montage for WA Counties

Below the break is a cancer montage for WA State from NCI State Cancer Profiles.  The SEER*Stat data covers 2012.   Washington is one of three states that currently has "data too sparse" to allow a comparison with the rest of the states on NCI Micromaps for the latest annual and recent trends in incidence rates for all ages,sexes,races. With only 13 counties reporting for most of these graphs, one can see why. I have drawn a yellow line across Whatcom County in the four charts below. In their most recent annual report, the Cancer Center at Peace Health points out that their collection is probably more extensive than many other counties.  Of this, I have little doubt. One of the best reasons to live in Whatcom County is the competence of it's medical practitioners.

What is also of little doubt is that Cancer is a raging national epidemic that affects all ages, races, classes in the United States. We now suffer 1.6M cases of Cancer each year in the U.S. Despite extraordinary improvements in technology and treatment, our latest average incidence rate in  Whatcom County (2006 - 2010) still gives us well over 1000 cases of cancer each year. I find it troubling that only Thurston County reports a higher annual incidence rate in cancer sites under the age of 50 than Whatcom County. (Chart 1 below). The recent trend increase in Washington state counties for Children under the age of 20 is also disturbing.(Chart 3 below)

Cancer rates at these levels have disturbing sociological effects on family stability, income, solvency.  In the 12 years, my family and I have lived in our neighborhood, I can count the deaths (2), the survivors (4), the tragedies. Keep in mind, this is just the people I know of within some hundreds of feet from our home. Cancer is a vicious national tragedy. More frank discussion of its suspected causes and its tragic, expensive aftermaths should be encouraged.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Testing for Evidence of Fukushima in Bellingham: Part II

(My) Aware Electronics RM80 Geiger counter radiation testing from air filters and room fans for March to mid April 2014 from Bellingham, WA. Click to Enlarge.
A bivariate trellis ("lattice") R graph of  EPA RADNET air filter measurements for  Alaska cities  between 3/11/2011 - 5/24/2011.   Click to Enlarge.

Note: I am not a physicist, physical sciences researcher or anything of note. Just another father who wants to make sure his children aren't going to get cancer from Fukushima fallout. That's your warning to take your own samples and do your own data analysis before trusting mine.
There are a number of serious problems when attempting to measure for origin and type of anthropogenic radiation versus background or so called NORML radiation. There are also a number of problems with measurement of radiation and interpretation of the safety levels of radiation. The top graph above is done with  an Aware Electronics RM80: a sensitive PC based Geiger-Mueller counter that can register Alpha, Beta, Gamma radiation  rates.  The bottom graph is from data taken on 5/24/2011 from the EPA, most probably using a sensitive gamma spectrometer  that can measure amounts of radiation by type. The cost of the first device is about $400. The type of device used for the second graph is for more expensive.

Unfortunately, this difference in cost is preventing me from doing useful measurements of the effects of Fukushima in Bellingham. It looks like my air filters are showing higher than normal background radiation as measured by my Geiger-Mueller counter. But  what I really want to know is what type of radionuclide is responsible for that radiation.  Short lived radiation from various sources floats in the background of our lives. Some of it, if breathed in or ingested, can potentially have more devastating consequences on human anatomy than others.  To get this kind of equipment, I am going to need a generous donor.  If you are such a person, please contact me.   R Code output for my recent measurements plus an aggregate graph is below.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Fwd: Become a precinct committee officer AND Seth Fleetwood RUNS FOR STATE SENATE!

Democrat Greg Haffner's plea to sign up to run as a Precinct Committee Officer for your local precinct is far below.  Pictured immediately below are the Bellingham Precincts and a GIS map of property lots in Bellingham overlaid with Bellingham Precincts. Click to enlarge this image.

There are currently 87 precincts in Bellingham with vacant PCOs (See the list below).  Yes! 87 precincts in Bellingham currently have no Precinct Committee Officer according to Whatcom County Democrats!  Do you want to make a difference in the next election? Then you need to "submit a Declaration of Candidacy to your County Auditor between May 12th and May 16th." See links below  and Greg Haffner's letter on how to do this.

Having these precincts activated will be especially important for the 42nd  LD State Senate race between incumbent Doug Ericksen(R) and Seth Fleetwood(D).  The 42nd precinct extends through downtown Bellingham and contains 33 Bellingham 200 series precincts.  Activating those precincts will be a key part of any Democratic win in the 42nd LD.

Some important links  Whatcom County Election Page WC PCO Info BHAM Prcnts MAPS COB GIS Current Committee Officers  40th LD web page 42nd LD Facebook Fleetwood for Senate