Recently in Local Events Category

Hmmm - a bit of activity

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Earth movement - right at the Cascadian Subduction Zone. We get a big one (Mag 9) there every 250 to 500 years.
Last one was January 26, 1700 or 321 years, 3 months, 3 days ago. A bit overdue...
(the link I referenced above is fascinating reading - well written and a great piece of detective work)

Been seeing a lot of quakes in the last two days - this is either good in that built-up stresses are being relieved or this is bad in that these are the precursor to "The Big One".  These are all in the 4 to 5 Magnitude range and all about 10 km deep - the depth is critical and 10 km is not good from a damage perspective.  Deep enough to couple to the surrounding crust and cause damage. Not so deep that the force is dissipated.


I am lucky (and would not have purchased the house otherwise) in that the FEMA maps show minimal tsunami damage.  This part of Camano Island is well shielded behind Whidbey Island.  There will be about a five foot surge but that is the worst-case scenario. I love the Oregon Coast - Seaside and Astoria (Cannon Beach has become too gentrified for me).  They are toast if when this happens.

Good work - big bust in Seattle

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From Seattle's KOMO News:

21 arrested, dozens of guns seized in connection to drug dealing investigation
Twenty-one people across the Puget Sound region were arrested Wednesday in connection to a cocaine and crack cocaine drug dealing conspiracy, the U.S. Department of Justice says.

The FBI, DEA, the Seattle Police Department, and several other law enforcement agencies issued a total of 90 search warrants across the region. Those arrested will make their initial appearances at the U.S. District Court in Seattle and Tacoma sometime this week.

Quite the haul too:

Over the course of the investigation, the DOJ says law enforcement agencies have seized 73 firearms, over ten kilos of cocaine, more than two pounds of methamphetamine, more than $610,000 in cash, fentanyl pills and a fentanyl pill manufacturing lab.

Got to love those open borders.  Fentanyl precursors are probably from China - the stuff is stupid easy to make.

The auction - not that good

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It was really picked over.  Some good stuff but all of the accompanying bits were not there.  Machine tools but no fixtures, vices or tooling. Missing pieces. People bidding waay over what the item was worth.  Some examples:

20210322-auction01.jpgA bunch of tooling but most of them were really worn out.  Chowdered. FUBAR. These lots are currently bid at around $250 - a bit high but if you need these sizes, a good deal. Individual mills are about $30 new so there is value there - again, if you have specific need for those sizes.


This bandsaw was a stunner. Heavily rusted, Parts bent and rattling. And yet? 


This exact machine sells for $800 brand new with all parts and accessories. The used value of this machine is around $200 if that. If I was bidding, I would drop out at $100. If that.


I will be getting one of these puppies at some point.  They are almost 30 years old but still fully functional and a great candidate for a brain transplant.  Remove the old control electronics and replace with a PC running MACH4. New? Right around $100K for a modern unit.  Used? Under $5K for one in good condition.  Because they have been one of the "industry standards" for so long, there are a lot of third-party parts available.  Rebuilding an axis is not a daunting or expensive chore.


So the price is OK for these.  A bit high for the VF-4 but not unreasonable.

Passing on this one. There is another one coming up later this month so I will check that one out.

Used to think he was just stupid.  I have a facial diaper that says as much.  Turns out that he is criminal.
From Seattle station KTTH:

State funneled federal COVID relief to radical political groups, all based on race
The Washington State Department of Commerce gave federal COVID relief tax dollars to nonprofits pursuing radical political agendas. Tax dollars even went to indirectly bail criminals out of jail.

The selection process for funding was based on race. And some of the vetting seems influenced more by ideology than by need.

The Department of Commerce, led by Lisa Brown, aimed to “distribute COVID relief funds equitably to the communities hardest hit by the pandemic.” But to qualify to the Washington Equity Relief Fund, a group of “reviewers” made sure the nonprofits were “led by and serving Black, Indigenous and people of color.”

In other words, if the nonprofit is run by majority white people or serve entire communities, it wouldn’t qualify for assistance. How equitable.

Should federal tax dollars go to political nonprofits, chosen by hand-selected “reviewers” who share the political beliefs of the very nonprofits they’re rewarding, all under the auspices of COVID relief? No.

A lot more at the site - names of people, names of organizations, numbers, links.  Well researched and very bad optics for the Inslee administration. They have been treating our tax dollars like some huge slush-fund for their favorite political activists. Time to clean house.

Nature photography

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Got a nice photo of a Falcon in a nearby madrona tree:


From Jason Rantz:

Seattle CM Kshama Sawant never reported threats to police, yet demands investigation
After receiving a series of threatening emails, Socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant demanded the city take this issue seriously. But while she said she was “extremely concerned” with the potential for violence from the emailer, Sawant never actually contacted the Seattle Police Department.

Instead, Sawant released a press release demanding an investigation she implies the city wouldn’t conduct. But the investigation would have already started — and maybe ended — had she reported the threats to law enforcement as she was supposed to.

The councilmember is using the spurious claim to portray herself as a victim of a city disinterested in supporting her, while using the threats to rally supporters behind her. She’s transparently political, all in the name of fighting off a threat that she doesn’t seem to take too seriously.

Yeah - she is lying.  Nothing new here. Nothing to see. Keep moving along.

Seattle deserves what it elects - good and hard (channeling my inner Mencken)

Go Stilly go!

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Looks like the Stillaguamish River has been running pretty high. Yesterday's peak was a little over 9,000 cu. ft./minute - last night's was up to 20K cu. ft./minute - getting near flood territory.


And more rain in the forecast...  Flood stage is 13 feet.  Currently running around 11 ft.

Well crap - Seattle landmark

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From The Seattle Times:


Seven Gables Theatre in flames in Seattle’s U District
The shuttered Seven Gables Theatre, a building that held cinematic memories for generations of Seattleites, was in flames Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the landmark University District movie house shortly before noon and saw smoke and flames coming from the second floor of the vacant building. One person who told The Seattle Times they saw the fire early and called 911 said they saw flames in a debris pile near an entrance.

Seattle fire spokesperson David Cuerpo said crews received reports of the fire at 11:46 a.m. More than 150 firefighters responded to the blaze, he said. Fire officials don’t believe anyone was inside when the fire broke out, and no injuries have been reported.

Crap - saw many a movie there.  Had some fun dates there.  Either bums or insurance fraud. Sad either way - a real landmark. Seattle is losing its history.

From Seattle station KIRO:

‘Sovereign citizens’ claiming waterfront homes in Woodway, Edmonds
A group of people is walking up to families’ front doors in Snohomish County, saying they are the rightful owners of waterfront homes.

The group has taken over homes in different parts of the country, claiming legal ownership of the land beneath it.

In one case, they told a homeowner she was being evicted.

Edmonds detectives say the group knocked on doors in the most upscale neighborhoods in Woodway and Edmonds, identifying themselves as Moorish Sovereign Citizens. They carry official-looking documents, say they own the property and announce they’re moving in.

Curious group of people.  The Moorish Science Temple of America has been around since 1913 and it is interesting that Nation of Islam is a direct spin-off. Wallace Fard Muhammad claimed to be a reincarnation of the original MST founder. His claim was rejected and he split from the group and founded NoI.

Needless to say, should any of them show up at my door, my response would not be welcoming. Got to give them points for inventiveness and effort.

Yaaay - Mt. Baker

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From their Snow Report:

Snow Report
It's Opening Day for the 2020-21 season! Mt. Baker has received 87 inches of new snow in the past eight days and the forecast looks great for this opening weekend, so this is an awesome start to the season. 

Good news - looks like a strong La Niña so good snow and colder temps.

Talking about the Grinch

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Great meme - thinking about our governor:


Inslee is a dirty - greenpendejo.  Great name for him. Incompetent but he appeals to the big money interests and the low information voters.

And it is closed for the season - SR 20

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Sure sign of winter - from the WA State Department of Transportation:

SR 20 - North Cascades Highway
Last Update: 11:02 a.m., Nov. 16, 2020: Closed for season

The North Cascades Highway closed Friday, Nov. 13 due to heavy snowfall and risk of avalanche. Due to the risk of avalanche and forecasted snow, crews have determined to keep the pass closed for the season. The closure is in place between milepost 134, east of Diablo Lake, and milepost 171 at Silver Star Gate.

Looks like a long, cold and wet winter - great for skiing.

My governor is an idiot

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I have a facial diaper that has that printed on it - get a lot of thumbs up and agreement from people.

His latest fiasco - from Seattle station KING:

Indoor dining closed, capacity limits at grocery stores as Washington tries to curb COVID-19
Gov. Jay Inslee has announced new statewide restrictions to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, which includes closing indoor service for restaurants and bars and prohibiting indoor social gatherings.

These rules will mostly go into effect on Monday at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in effect until Dec. 14.

The announcement comes following days of increasing COVID-19 cases.

And some of the butcher's bill:

    • The biggest impact will be the closure of indoor dining at restaurants and bars. Outdoor dining and to-go service is permitted. Outdoor dining must follow the outdoor dining restriction. Table size limited to 5 for outdoor dining. These restaurant restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 18.
    • In-store retail limited to 25% indoor occupancy and must close any common/congregate non-food-related seating areas. Food court indoor seating is closed.
    • Indoor social gatherings from people outside your household are prohibited and outdoor social gatherings should be limited to 5 people outside your household.
    • Fitness facilities and gyms are closed for indoor operations. Outdoor fitness classes may still occur but they are limited by the outdoor gathering restriction listed above.
    • Wedding and funerals receptions are prohibited. Ceremonies are limited to no more than 30 people.
    • All retail activities and business meetings are prohibited. Only professional training and testing that cannot be performed remotely is allowed. Occupancy in each meeting room is limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
    • Movie theaters are closed for indoor service. Drive-in movie theaters are still permitted and must follow the current drive-in movie theater guidance.
    • Religious services limited to 25% indoor occupancy no more than 200 people, whichever is fewer. No choir, band, or ensemble shall perform during the service.
    • Museums/Zoos/Aquariums are closed for indoor service.

Great - kill small businesses just before the big Thanksgiving/Christmas retail season.  Talk about Grinch.

And why is he doing this?

For the second day in a row Saturday, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) reported a record number of daily cases, with 2,233 new cases in a trend officials describe as alarming.

"This puts us in as dangerous a position as we were in March, when we first stayed home to stay healthy. And it means, unfortunately, the time has come to reinstate restrictions on activities statewide to preserve the public’s well-being, and to save lives," Inslee said.

A little bit of perspective is in order.  WA State's population is estimated at 7,797,100. 2,233 represents 0.028% of the total state population.  Out of those, less than one percent will require hospitalization and out of that, about one percent will die.  We are talking very small numbers. Add to this, the test used has a high false-positive failure.

From the Centers for Disease Control's lips to your ears (scroll down to Table 3):

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.

We are talking about diseases such as Influenza, hypertension, cardiac problems, cancer, diabetes, etc...

The CDC is claiming a total of 223,984 people died with Covid in their systems. 6% of those deaths - the deaths from Covid and Covid alone - only represent a total of 13,439 deaths throughout the entire USA for the entire pandemic. The last year I have data for is 2014 but then, there were 32,675 deaths from motor vehicle accident in the United States. In other words, you are about 2.5 times more likely to die in a car wreck than by the Chinese Wuhan Flu. You do not see people refusing to get in their cars because of this potential danger. After all, that is 10.25 deaths per 100,000 population or 0.010%.

My governor is an idiot. It is very telling that a police chief from a small town in Eastern Washington with no political or business experience was able to secure over 40% of the votes in the governor's race.  Loren Culp would have been a much better governor for our state than Inslee. Inslee is in the pocket of big business - Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft. He does not represent his constituency.

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say that he is pissed that 40% of the people voted against him.  He knows that these are the working class people, the small business owners and he is out to punish them. Hurt them for going against his reign. For doubting his elite wisdom and vision. Strike back at them like the petulant little child he is.

Hatten down the batches!!!  Or something like that.  From Cliff Mass:

Potential for a Major Storm on Friday Night/Saturday Morning
I try never to get too excited about a storm when it is more than 120 hr out....and certainly never to discuss in this blog.

But we are close enough now to talk about the possibility of a fairly major blow on Friday night and Saturday morning.

This morning's run of the National Weather Service's GFS model is, how do I say it?, provocative.

It forecasts a 966 hPa low pressure center to be off the northern tip of Vancouver Island, with an INTENSE pressure gradient (pressure change divided by distance) to the west and southwest. That kind of pressure gradient would be associated with very strong winds (50-70 mph at least) plus big waves. And we don't get 960 hPa low centers just offshore very often. They usually stay in the Gulf of Alaska.

Still a way off and to early to really tell but it could be interesting. Fortunately, I am well shielded by Whidbey Island so the wave action should not be too great. Fitting tribute for an 80th anniversary (November 8th, 1940) of this famous event. From the Kitsap Sun:

New footage, documentary debut on 80th anniversary of the collapse of Galloping Gertie
Under the waves of the Tacoma Narrows, the grave near Galloping Gertie gave birth to a lush kelp forest "dense as an African jungle," Peter Bortel says.

A seabed peppered 80 years ago Saturday with crumbled concrete now teems with life, as wolf eels slither, lingcod swim by and octopuses build dens in the decaying remnants of a widely known but often misunderstood engineering blunder.

That's the focus of "700 Feet Down," a figurative and literal dive into the collapse of the first Tacoma Narrows Bridge that includes plenty of footage of that undersea world, as well as tales of the colossal span's collapse.

A video of the bridges movement and collapse can be found here: YouTube Galloping Gertie

Full moon tonight

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Blue moon (second full moon in the same calander month) as well as The Hunter's Moon  (more)

Mars is very close to Earth now and will be near the moon - brighter than usual.
Skies are supposed to be clear so good seeing.

From the local events calander:

TREBUCHET FIRING: Saturday, Oct. 24 at Kristoferson Farm, 332 NE Camano Drive, Camano Island. Saturday, Oct. 24, at Kristoferson Farm, 332 NE Camano Drive, Camano Island. The farm can't let October go by without a bit of pumpkin chucking launched from the trusty trebuchet. Masks and social distancing required.

Good news for skiers - La Niña

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From Seattle weather blogger Scott Sistek at KOMO:

Smile skiers: Signs of La Niña grow stronger that it's...growing stronger
Skiers and snowboarders have a reason to smile Thursday as there is growing confidence the snow season this winter could be a good one, thanks to their good friend, La Niña.

La Niña is part of the 5-7 year "ENSO" cycle that combines with El Niño and the "neutral" in between, measured by taking the sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean and comparing them to normal levels. These changes in temperatures have been found to have a profound global chain-reaction effect on the large scale weather patterns.

So why do skiers and snow fans care? Typically La Niña winters have a greater chance of being cooler and wetter than normal.

La Niña was declared to have arrived in the late summer, and the latest monthly updated discussion from NOAA Thursday shows that it's not only still here, but getting stronger.

Good news - last couple of seasons at Mt. Baker have been crappy to say the least.  Nice to have some colder weather and more snowfall.

The eagles were out in force - could hear them all over. This is a place to visit in the morning for a better light angle - two snapshots:

20200806-english01.jpgNest on the left with Mom in the crotch of the branch and Dad on the right.


Big tidal flats. The clouds really washed out the light - I will definitely be back though. Morning should have better light. The view is towards the Northeast.

Quite the bust - from the Everett, WA  Herald:

Officers find $19 million worth of fentanyl in Lynnwood home
Officers discovered about 1,900 grams of fentanyl worth an estimated $19 million when they arrested a Lynnwood couple Saturday morning, according to documents filed in Snohomish County Superior Court.

Investigators also reportedly found around 808 grams of heroin, 12 grams of methamphetamine, $14,000 in cash, and equipment that suggested the couple had planned to package and sell the drugs. The man and woman were arrested by the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.

A judge set bail for both suspects Monday afternoon — $1.5 million for him and $750,000 for her. Neither appeared in front of the judge because of medical reasons. The Daily Herald does not typically name suspects unless they have been charged with a crime.

Good - nasty stuff. A very small dose is fatal. It is what killed George Floyd - that and his heart attack. Of course, the media will never tell you that and yes, being held down for so long while in obvious distress was a very bad move on the part of Officer Chauvin.

Yet another reason to distance ourselves from China - the Fentanyl comes from there. Dark web - shipped to anyone with bitcoin.

Showing some stones - Seattle Mayor

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Wonderful news - from The Seattle Times:

Durkan asks Seattle City Council to investigate Sawant for ‘contemptuous’ behavior
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is asking the Seattle City Council to investigate Councilmember Kshama Sawant, noting the council may “punish or expel a member for disorderly or otherwise contemptuous behavior.”

Good - Sawant is an ideologue and a socialist tool. She is simply not that bright and has been seriously overstepping her bounds as a member of the City Council. It would be wonderful to see her fired. The liberals would be running around with their hair on fire. Fun to see...

And back home for a bit

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A salad with some tuna for protein - quick simple dinner. Nice and warm out so eating on the back deck. Photo shoot has been pushed back to 6:30

News item about this morning's crash at our local paper: Stanwood Camano News

3 injured in 3-car crash Thursday morning between Stanwood and Camano
Three people were injured in a morning crash on Highway 532 between Stanwood and Camano Island.

The three-car crash blocked both lanes and slowed traffic to a crawl for about three hours before the road reopened fully at about noon, according to the Washington State Patrol. On Camano, the backup reached to the IGA. In Stanwood, the backup reached past Pioneer Highway.

The crash happened at about 8:40 a.m. Thursday when the driver of a white Toyota Tundra traveling east crossed into the oncoming lane, striking a white Ford F-150 pickup truck and a white Chevy Impala, according to troopers.


The causing driver was called in as driving erratically just prior to the crash

No mention as to the cause of the erratic driving.

Life one island to the west

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From the Whidbey Island police blotter:

Tuesday, June 9
At 4:02 p.m., a driver reported that a man with a shaved head and a mask was holding a red poppy in his mouth and staring at cars on Fish Road near the highway.

Yes, there is something in the water over there.

And out for an hour or so

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Heading over to the Crow's Nest - get a bite to eat and a beer or two.

Local stuff

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Interesting - got two notifications that traffic on Interstate 5 has been closed to traffic Northbound and Southbound. This is the major corridor for the west coast and runs through the heart of Seattle. What makes this interesting is that there is very little mention of this in the media. A search will turn up other instances from 2017 and 2018 and various major crashes and suicides but nothing about protestors "occupying" the freeway - from today:

And yesterday:

And Sunday:

Looks like the police and the State Patrol are being very safe but these useful idiots need to be taken off the freeway.

Some good local news

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The town of Snohomish is famous for its historic old-town, specifically First Street which borders the Snohomish river. Lots of art and antiques and good restaurants. A place to avoid on a nice weekend as parking can be unreal but during the week? A lot of fun. It is also about 30 minutes from Seattle - close. This tweet from a Snohomish resident:

Robert Sutherland is the State Representative for the area - from his website:

We are facing some challenging times in Washington state. The Legislature must return to fiscal responsibility and sustainable budgets. I am focused on cutting through government bureaucracy, reducing state property taxes, making our communities and schools safer, and dramatically improving our transportation system, especially along the I-5 corridor, WA-9, US Route 2, SR-522 and WA-20. Finally, with our economic downturn we must encourage small business growth to strengthen our local economy and bring jobs back to our communities.

We need more people like him in office - WA State is beholden to the Seattle money interests but it has a lot more people than just those few. Our governor is a moron.

The Snohomish area is also home to this curious antenna array

Local History

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We have a really wonderful little museum and historical society in this area. They have several buildings and this is the sign they have posted - cute:


Fun fun fun - zoom meeting tonight

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A group I am involved with has a zoom meeting tonight. No webcam so I will be connecting with my phone. Need to find a place with good reception as it is bad at the house.

Short notice otherwise it would be fun to use a greenscreen with a background like this:


What? Doesn't everyone have a secret lair?

Some common sense in WA State

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Great news from Seattle station KOMO:

Court denies Seattle's bid for wealthy household income tax
Washington's Supreme Court has denied Seattle's bid to reinstate an income tax on wealthy households.

The Seattle Times reports in a majority decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday declined to review the city's request to overturn rulings against the tax by a King County Superior Court judge and the state Court of Appeals.

The ruling means Washington and its cities will remain blocked from enacting graduated income taxes, with different rates based on wealth.

Good - some common sense. The WA State constituency made a conscious decision to go with a high sales tax and not have a state income tax. Either/Or. The money-grabbing socialists in Seattle want to throw this decision under the bus and have their cake and eat it too. Court says no. They will just have to live within their means.

They are calling it a tax on "just the wealthy" but that just means that it will not become an income tax for everyone for the next five or six years. They will wait until the complaints die down and people become complacent.

And now we know - choir practice

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These were educated people and still did not follow the rules. Paying the price. The rules simply did not apply to them.

I had posted this on March 22nd:

Skagit Co. investigates cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to group meeting
Health officials in Skagit County are investigating a cluster of coronavirus cases traced to a group meeting of approximately 60 people in early March.

Testing has found that more than half of the attendees who were at this gathering are now confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19.

"This situation clearly illustrates the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and emphasizes the importance of following social distancing guidelines in order to control the spread of the virus," Skagit County health officials said in a prepared statement.

Today, from the Los Angeles Times:

A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead
Everybody came with their own sheet music and avoided direct physical contact. Some members helped set up or remove folding chairs. A few helped themselves to mandarins that had been put out on a table in back.

Experts said the choir outbreak is consistent with a growing body of evidence that the virus can be transmitted through aerosols — particles smaller than 5 micrometers that can float in the air for minutes or longer.

The World Health Organization has downplayed the possibility of transmission in aerosols, stressing that the virus is spread through much larger “respiratory droplets,” which are emitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and quickly fall to a surface.

But a study published March 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the virus was suspended in a mist under laboratory conditions it remained “viable and infectious” for three hours — though researchers have said that time period would probably be no more than a half-hour in real-world conditions.

The World Health Organization is a political organization and has zero use in today's society - they need to be defunded and disbanded. They have failed to accomplish their primary charter. How many billions of dollars wasted for nothing except some fancy dinners in exotic locales.

And this nugget of information:

With three-quarters of the choir members testing positive for the virus or showing symptoms of infection, the outbreak would be considered a “super-spreading event,” he said.

Three quarters getting infected? That is huge.

The choir practice was on March 10th. The first person got sick three days later. Finally:

On March 17, a choir member alerted Skagit County Public Health about the outbreak.

Working from the choir’s membership roster, a dozen health officers scrambled for three days to contain the outbreak. They called every member, determining who had attended the rehearsal.

They asked each person with symptoms to list their close contacts during the 24 hours before illness set in. Then they called those people, telling anyone who felt sick to quarantine themselves.

“We think it was just a really super-unfortunate, high-risk occurrence,” said Dubbel, the county health official.

Unfortunate? No. It was a blatant disregard of common safety practices when dealing with an unknown pathogen. Words fail.

Another casualty of COVID-19

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Our roads - from the WA State Dept. of Transportation:

SR 20 - North Cascades Highway
On March 26, Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar suspended most maintenance work due to COVID-19 safety concerns, and implemented an “Essential Maintenance” approach to further comply with the state’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to safeguard public health. Under these guidelines, we have paused most maintenance across the state, including work to reopen the North Cascades Highway. Similar work pauses are occurring on Cayuse and Chinook Passes.

This highway remains a valuable route for the movement of goods as an alternative evacuation route in the case of natural disaster. A date to return to normal maintenance work has not yet been determined.

With the cooling climate, it will be a lot longer until the passes open. There is still I-90 which is kept open year-around but, SR20 is much closer and a much nicer drive.

Another casualty of COVID-19

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Whatcom County just cancelled the annual Ski to Sea race - from the website:

Ski to Sea Canceled
Updated 3/23/2020:
The 2020 Ski to Sea Race is officially canceled. Making the decision to interrupt the tradition of 46 years was difficult and painful but is the only responsible choice given the circumstances associated with COVID19.

I participated in it for six years doing amateur radio (road bike to canoe hand-off) - a lot of fun and some really great people. Makes sense to be safe - the insurance companies will be breathing a sigh of relief. Lots of sweaty people panting and rushing through a timing gate is not exactly a good quarantine procedure.

Unexpected consequences - China Flu

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People are told to stay away from work / community activities / 3rd places. People are getting cabin fever. Hey - let's head to the coast.

Not a good idea - from Seattle station KOMO:

PNW coastal cities take matters into their own hands after thousands arrive on beaches
The Oregon Coast saw an influx visitors this past weekend, as people attempted to get out of their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Warrenton, Manzanita, Astoria, Tillamook and Seaside have a message for visitors and tourists: vacate the area within 24 hours.

Towns up and down the Oregon coast, and the highways leading to them, were clogged with people and cars Saturday. The crowds stunned many coastal residents, who were angry that so many people seemed to defy social distancing guidelines by gathering together in parking lots and on beaches.

Warrenton has declared a state of emergency, that closes campgrounds and says that all tourists beyond those already booked to stay long term must leave. All hotels will be closed to new reservations and rental properties will be prohibited from accepting visitors during the public health emergency.

The City of Seaside has since also enacted a shutdown on all short-term lodging and city recreational areas which will be effective Monday, March 23.

Makes a lot of sense. It is not only bringing contagious people into isolated communities, these morons are also indulging in unbridled hamsterkauf and stripping the grocery stores. These stores do not have the same supply chains as stores in larger urban areas so the residents are being seriously hurt.

Every couple of years I go down to the Sea-Pac amateur radio conference in Seaside Oregon. Gorgeous little town - love it and some really great people once you get off the main drag.

From Seattle station KOMO:

Skagit Co. investigates cluster of COVID-19 cases linked to group meeting
Health officials in Skagit County are investigating a cluster of coronavirus cases traced to a group meeting of approximately 60 people in early March.

Testing has found that more than half of the attendees who were at this gathering are now confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19.

"This situation clearly illustrates the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and emphasizes the importance of following social distancing guidelines in order to control the spread of the virus," Skagit County health officials said in a prepared statement.

Skagit County Public Health is now contacting everyone who was at the meeting, as well as the close contacts of those who were infected, and warning them to self-isolate.

The virus is not as lethal as the early estimates thought but it is highly contageous and you can be asymptomatic and still be infective. Practice common sense...

Kudos to Costco

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When I was there this morning getting the dog food, I noticed this:


Talk about a short supply chain

This box came off their assembly line on the 11th. It went to their shipping department, was palletized, loaded on a truck and sent to the Costco distribution center, trucked to this warehouse and put up for sale all in six days. That is fast.

Travel to Canada

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For three months in winter, the Washington State Ferry system closes its routes to Canada. Not enough traffic and the weather is usually too crappy for safety. They are delaying the reopening. From the Department of Transportation:

Start of state ferry service to Canada suspended until April 28 due to COVID-19 situation
Resumption of Washington State Ferries’ service between the U.S. and Canada has been pushed back to at least April 28.

The suspension of the route serving Anacortes, and Sidney, British Columbia, comes as a result of the recent closure of the Canadian border to help slow the spread of COVID-19. International service was originally scheduled to restart March 29, following its annual three-month shut down during the slower winter months.

I am very glad that my island has a bridge to the mainland...

From the Washington State Department of Transportation:

SR 20 - North Cascades Highway
On Tuesday, March 10, the avalanche control team traveled to Washington Pass to evaluate the condition of the snow pack and review the extended forecast to determine a safe time to begin the spring clearing.

This work is now scheduled to start Monday, March 23 at Early Winters Campground on the east side, followed by a March 30 start near Diablo on the west side. This work takes about six weeks. Progress updates will be shared here, on social media, and through email.

I miss Tootsie and her Cinnamon Rolls - never made it to the opening day but she is legend. Passed away in 2017.

Now that was fun - amateur radio drill

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Spent the last couple of hours participating in an emergency radio drill.  We were hours before a large flood and had to prepare for it. Sent over 30 messages back and forth between several emergency operations centers throughout the Western part of WA State.

Good rehearsal for when it really happens. Good to be trained.

There is recycling and then...

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There is epic recycling - from Seattle station KING-5:

Old trees at Deception Pass State Park get new life as picnic tables
Deception Pass State Park is helping old-growth trees find new life after they fall or have to be removed.

The park is in the process of replacing 375 deteriorating picnic tables, many of which have spent season after season weathering the elements. The park is replacing the outdoor ones with a design that honors an original Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) plan from when the park was founded. These are assembled by volunteers and park staff.

A bit more (quoting the Park Manager):

“This tree is actually older than the state of Washington. So, this tree was here before 1889,” he said. “Just to think about that whole process and who was wandering the woods, the critters and creatures here, this tree has touched probably many of those people.”

Very cool. Deception Pass leads from the mainland to the North end of Whidbey Island - a gorgeous park and spectacular bridge between the two landmasses. Here are two photos from a June 2015 trip.

A deluge

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Not as much rain as a couple of days ago but repetitive small amounts add up quickly when the ground is already saturated. Got an email from the County warning of a flood watch for our area.

We were up in Bellingham earler today and there was a lot of standing water in roadways - that sort of stuff.

The fun never stops...

An early bedtime

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Been working hard the last two weeks and it is starting to manifest in my body saying: "Sleep now dammit"

Going to force myself to stay awake until 9:30 or so but bedtime soon after that. Been waking up at 5-6AM naturally.

Have the state-wide emergency radio drill tomorrow morning - should be simple, no extended drills or exercises. A good thing to practice. It is not IF, it is WHEN.

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