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Posts published in “Day: August 17, 2009”

R-71 clears the bar

The advocates for Washington's Referendum 71 didn't do a spectacular job of getting petition signatures. They got enough to teeter, for day after day, on the thin edge between winning and losing ballot status in November.

The final decision on that isn't in yet. But Darryl at the Horse' Ass site, which has done some fine statistical work on political matters in recent years, has been closely following the review of petition signatures. In all petition events, some signatures are ruled invalid for various reasons and thrown out. If all of the R-71 signatures were valid, the proposal would get to the ballot; but if too many were tossed, it would fail. The question has ridden on the failure rate.

Figuring it has been dodgy, but today Darryl was able to put together statistical analyses that seem to nail the results: "The V2 estimator projects the number of valid signatures to be 121,648 giving an excess of 1,071 signatures over the 120,577 needed for the referendum to qualify for the ballot. The projected (duplicate-corrected) rejection rate is 11.65%."

In other words, the referendum is highly likely to just barely make the ballot.

The vanishing Elk, and Lions, and . . .

Barrett Rainey, whose posts appear in another section of this site, has up a nice reflective piece on a disappearing part of the community landscape: The civic club hall. And all that goes with it.

From his post:

In Bend, my parents were lifelong members of Elks, Masons, Eastern Star and Amaranth. In high school, I was a DeMolay. No choice. That’s how you were brought up. That was expected. I went. I resisted. I was wrong!
Traditionally, when you walked into a lodge hall or a club room, you immediately, and without introduction, were in “community.” Whether you personally knew anyone else there was not important. Whoever was there would likely share many of your values, have about the same level of volunteer and civic participation as you and would know others of similar interests locally and in surrounding towns.
You probably knew their kids, saw these folks in church, helped build the new bleachers at the high school together, gave blood, pulled the float in the homecoming parade, shared vegetable garden excess, cut and stacked wood for someone who needed help, went fishing or hunting together, chopped and dug out stumps to clear land for the new church wing.

Part of what we're losing in our increasingly hostile politics is that sense of community.