Rumor Reduction? Chalk Show! CSA Shares, Knowledgeable Neighbors, New Old Time Chautauqua, Song: Better Times Will Come

CONTENTS 6/2/2020
Rumor Reduction?
Chalk Show!

Columbia CSA Shares Still Available
Knowledgeable Neighbors!
  Giant Hornet Timeline
  Asian Giant Hornet Info & Trapping
  WD-40 History
Fl!p’s Pix
  New Old Time Chautauqua!
  About Chautauqua
Radio Free Fl!p: Better Times Will Come


Wow! There sure were a lot of rumors flying around last night. I had worried neighbors bringing me their concerns. (If you were one of the, it wasn’t just you!)  I promise, if I hear about something in the neighborhood that we need to handle right away, I will tell you. If you hear more scary rumors, I invite you to call, text or email me personally instead of spreading the worry to everyone you know. And if someone calls you with a rumor, ask where they heard it. Let’s stay connected! I’m at 360-671-4511 phone or text, and ~ Love/Fl!p


It looks like we will have a well-known local celebrity interviewing local dignitaries online, in support of our July 4th Chalk Festival. A Chalk Show Host! Two big boxes of chalk  arrived on our front porch today, shipped as a gift from one of Zeke’s cousins in Las Vegas. A skilled neighbor is working on an online sign-up form. Another one just sent me a recipe for home-made chalk made with eggshells. You may want to save and dry your eggshells this month. (We’re just throwing our shells in the oven to dry out gradually without help from flies.) Get the Columbia Neighborhood Fourth Of July Chalk Festival on your calendar now! At 10:00 AM we’ll get started Chalking, and from 2:00 to 5:00 PM we can go tour our neighborhood Chalk, with an online map to guide us. Is that cool? Please come out play! You don’t have to leave home to join in!


I just heard from my CSA farmer (Community Supported Agriculture) that there are some shares still available. The pick up spot is my house on Walnut St. Pick up is Thursdays 5-7. June thru October. Will prorate to start next Thursday. Email:

Great opportunity to support local organic farms. ~ Jill MacIntyre Witt, Walnut St.


Hornets & WD-40: We have some knowledgeable neighbors!


[From Lane Morgan] I wrote a timeline entry on the giant hornet for a few weeks ago. It doesn’t cover the most recent sightings in the county, but it does have some more background on their habits, etc., and the nature of the efforts to monitor and eliminate them around here. Thirty-eight apiaries in Whatcom County alone, spearheaded by the Mount Baker Beekeepers Association, had joined the effort to track and eliminate the invader.”

It’s under a Creative Commons license and can be shared, quoted, ad infinitum with credit to

~ Lane Morgan, Victor Street


My understanding is that trapping shouldn’t start until July. With the trap being 6’ to 7’ above ground. I’ve read that if you want to trap, you must follow their guidelines and mail in anything in your trap catch weekly. But I wonder if we can set traps, and just call if you have a Giant Hornet. There is a very good video with Q&A, as well as phone numbers. It sounds as though if they found a live bee they could put a tracking thing on it to find the hive. The large majority of the hives are underground. But they want anyone to report possible sightings as well. A lot of info to read through. My understanding is that Whatcom County is the first line of defense, per se. They also have a FB page. ~ Dave Lind, Lorraine Ellis Court


I think I missed what started this, but here is what I learned from an executive at Rocket Chemical in San Diego (Before it became WD-40) many years ago. WD-40 is mostly good old-fashioned kerosene, which does have haz-mat issues, mixed with some other petroleum-based lubricants. It does tend to evaporate, rather quickly, but leaves behind a film of petroleum-based oils. The kerosene gives it the ability to penetrate rusted/seized parts.

 THAT was their big secret, and the key to their commercial success. People had simply forgotten about kerosene, since they had not been using kerosene lamps and stoves in their homes for a couple of generations.

That said, we should, out of concern for our environment, be very careful about spreading petroleum products about.

Cheers! ~ Brian Wall, Eldridge Ave


presents a

Sunday, June 14th at 6pm PDT / 9PM EDT
[I have my ticket!!! ~ Fl!p]

Ticket per screen: $20 – Brown Paper Tickets:

ZOOM ID and Password will be emailed 1 hour before the show.

  Relive the glory days of vaudeville through an evening that combines circus, music, magic, vaudeville, and other arts. All proceeds help NOTC fulfill its mission to build community through entertainment, education, and laughter.  

New Old Time Chautauqua had to cancel its benefit shows and summer 2020 to Wisconsin to register voters for the November general elections. Instead, NOTC brings our big show to your very own screen, with each artist performing from their own home via Zoom.

Where else can you find a line-up like this? The shows feature everyone’s favorite 8-foot clown, Godfrey Daniels; Broadway stars, The Flying Karamazov Brothers; international Eccentric Performer, Poki; The World’s Best and Most Famous Bubble Guy, Tom Noddy; Lyrical, Evocative Singer Songwriter, Jan Luby; funny man and physical maniac, Frank Olivier; Artis the Spoonman (yes, of Soundgarden “Spoonman” fame); award-winning magician, Joey Pipia; multi-instrumentalist with hands and feet, Fiona Rose; social clown, Kristin Crowley; band composer and Tune Savant, Thaddeus Spae, as the incorrigible “Uncle Pappy”; Swinging Singing Troubadour, Harry “Boom Boom” Levine; Barnum and Bailey Clown, Chris Bricker; aerialista, Tayna Gagne; Whistler Extraordinaire and “The Voice of Woodstock,” Jason Serinus; physical comedienne, Sayde Osterloh; Beltin’ Balladeer, Kym Trippsmith — plus the Most Amazing Horn Band, now virtual, and celebrating its 45th year together, The Virtual Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra.


NOTC is a not-for-profit intergenerational all-volunteer organization of educators and entertainers, directed by Flying Karamazov Brother and NOTC Co-Founder, Paul Magid, that travels for a month each summer to collaborate with diverse communities and present educational workshops. Since 1981, NOTC has brought its exuberant magic to rural and underprivileged communities, tribal groups, boys and girls clubs, incarcerated citizens, and juvenile detention centers throughout the Greater Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta. NOTC also traveled to New Orleans to provide healing magic after Hurricane Katrina. NOTC is a 501 (c) 3, all donations are tax deductible.


Janis Ian has invited folks to upload their versions of her new song. This is a community-building shelter-in-place project with lots of musicians posting their own versions. Steve Baughman’s was the first post I saw. It inspired me to pull my old gourd banjo off the wall and go back to trying to get my right hand to do the drop-thumb frailing / “clawhammer” move that is so different from guitar picking. While trying to get my left hand to play in tune with no frets! It’s a big challenge, but so worth it. When I got my gourd banjo some years back, I took it with me to guitar camp and left it on a table in the dining room so other musicians could play with it. Steve picked it up and he didn’t just play with it. He played it! And then he went home and ordered his own. I’ve been trying again to figure it out for a couple weeks now and am beginning to see a little progress. Anyway, here’s a bunch of great musicians  each playing the same  hopeful song.

Steve Baughman

John Gorka

Natalia Zukerman

Eric Bibb

Jeff Lake

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Rumors, Double Your Bubble?, WD-40, Song: Here Comes That Rainbow Again, More

CONTENTS 6/1/2020
Double Your Bubble?
WD-40 Responses
YWCA Correction
More Hornet Advice
Cat Needs Home
Radio Free Fl!p: Here Comes That Rainbow Again


No, there isn’t violence and rioting planned in our community for tonight. Neighbors reached out to me. People got scared and were looking for reassurance and hoping to keep their families and neighbors safe, and quite a few people got alarmed. It’s OK. The police are on it and say nothing is planned. It’s even OK if you got scared and helped spread the rumors. It’s just because you love people. I’m not going to judge you for that. But you can let your guard down now, and get a little rest. It’s OK. I love you all!


Whatcom guide to gathering once it’s OK: From bring-your-own food to staying outside. Form a small and consistent group of people who don’t mingle with others, the Health Department advised.


I’d love to find some folks to brainstorm with me! Also, is there a graphic artist or two out there who might volunteer to help? I’d love to have a logo or banner for the online sign-up page. Any writers to help figure out what the sign-up page should say?


WD-40 is flammable and poisonous, and considered hazardous waste when disposed of.  If you spray it in an area where pets and wildlife will walk through it (and then lick their feet), where it can run-off into into streams, etc. — this is bad for us and the environment.  Please enjoy chalk art as temporary beauty; and as a joy to create again and again — but please do not spray WD-40 out on the road / sidewalk.

~ David Crook

I don’t know about WD-40 as a slip hazard, but most of our sidewalks are bordered by gardens and I definitely don’t want any WD-40 washing into my plants the next time it rains! (It’s also not so good for inhaling.)  Thanks,

~ Judy Kleinberg

WD 40 is listed as a pollutant in water.  I am not so sure about using this on chalk.

~ Steven Harper

Thanks Everybody! I guess that settles it. It is my hope that neighbors will chalk only in front of their own houses, or at the schools and churches that invite us. And that Chalkers will be thoughtful in their placement so viewers can get past without damaging either chalk or gardens. ~ Fl!p


You said in your newsletter that YWCA of Bellingham on Forest St will be accepting donations starting June 1. I am an active volunteer at the YWCA and this is not the case for clothing and bedding. The YWCA would be very grateful to receive donations of funds of any amount to support their transitional and emergency housing program for up to 36 single women. Currently 30+ women are residing in the building. Right now due to Covid restrictions the Clothing Boutique is closed and the YWCA is not accepting donations of clothing or any other items (unless brand new bedding in original packaging). 

FYI: to apply to stay at the YWCA you must call the Opportunity Council 360 734-5121, not the YWCA of Bellingham directly.

Thanks to the generous people of Bellingham and Whatcom County for all they do to help people in need! ~ Pat Rose


I called and reported our sighting of the Asian hornet and I asked her about what you had said that they only are near bee hives. She told me that the queen hornet can be sighted  up to 40 miles away from bee hives because she is out hunting for new places. She said the queens hibernate in the fall in a dead log or somewhere and come out in April, May and start looking for a place to furrow and make a nest. She said a bunch more but I can’t remember. Oh ya, she said we should not engage with it (step on it) but if find a dead one to put it in a baggy and photo it and then put it in the freezer. Send them the photo when you report it to them. ~ Carol Blaney


Mature cat needs a new home! Our father can no longer care for his sweet cat Tippy, and we all have full pet quotas already. She is friendly and would love petting. Dad overfed her, and she does need to go on a diet, but vet says she is healthy. We have vaccination records. Contact me for a photo and more details.

~ Sara Stamey, East Maplewood Ave.,


Following yesterday with a song I learned from Tom Hunter. Kris Kristofferson wrote this song, and sings it here. The images are from the movie Grapes Of Wrath, from the scene that inspired this song. Did you know that he was a Rhodes Scholar who attended Oxford University?

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Elizabeth Park March, Chalk, Donation Locations, Elders, Workers & Masks, Studio For Rent, Song: Rock Me To Sleep

CONTENTS 5/31/2020
Yesterday’s Elizabeth Park March
Waterproof Outdoor Chalk?
Donation Locations Opening Soon
Wanted: Bird Feeder
Elders, Workers & Masks
What Is Society?: Video
Thank You From D’Anna’s
Cute Backyard Studio For Rent
Radio Free Fl!p: Rock Me To Sleep


The Saturday afternoon march stayed calm from Elizabeth Park to the library, and then to Trader Joe’s. Here is footage from the Bellingham Herald. I had heard this video existed but I couldn’t find it on the Herald’s website. A friend finally sent me the link. Thanks Lee Che!


“You might not be a chalk artist, but even if you are, surely you don’t want your work to be immediately washed away by an unforeseen rainstorm. In order to extend the life of your chalk creations, whether they be works of art or simply temporary delineations that need to remain for an event, spraying them down with WD-40 will keep them on the sidewalk or pavement, no matter what may happen with the weather after the fact.” ~ Elisabeth Starnes, Vallette Street

[Thanks! Can anyone comment on whether this could cause a sidewalk slip hazard. I searched online but couldn’t find an answer. ~Fl!p]


I have been receiving a lot of questions about where people can donate the belongings they’ve been sorting out. Here’s what I found so far. More suggestions are welcome.

Whatcom Bellingham Habitat for Humanity on Cornwall opens June 1 for shopping and donations.

We Care of Whatcom Country accepts mainly clothing and distributes them for very minimal charge to the needy.  A lot of our agricultural worker families go there for needed clothing. 3550 Meridian, suite 2.

The YWCA on Forest street will open on June 1st and will accept donations then. Please call ahead.

Assistance League (across from Haggens) (I’m not sure when they are opening.)

Wise Buys (near downtown YMCA on State Street) (I’m not sure when they are opening either.)

There’s a drop box at the Mall near Red Robin which is maintained regularly.  Please do not use the closed drop box near Big Lots in the Birchwood/Northwest parking lot, or leave anything outside of any drop box or gate.


Looking for a large bird feeder that needs a new home.
~ Pat Macdonald, Birdhouse Studio on Lynn Street


A neighbor had an experience with an appliance repair person coming into her senior household without a mask. The elder was uncomfortable confronting. It’s a good time to remember that we can all specify that masks and gloves will be required in our homes, at the time we make an appointment. We can of course refuse to let anyone into our homes if we don’t feel safe. We can phone to inquire whether a business has their employees masked before we visit there, or before they are dispatched to our homes. We can even ask if their customers are mostly masked. We do get to keep in mind that people with asthma or other medical conditions can’t wear masks, and be respectful and kind while we keep ourselves safe.


I had multiple requests for the video that I transcribed from last night so I am posting the link here, in case more of you want to watch it.


Whoa—you folks are amazing!! What a great turnout at D’Anna’s first night open and on through the weekend—much greater than anticipated. Thank you for your enthusiasm and kindness last night as we navigated our first night back!!!!  It felt really good to be back at it, even if we were a little rusty! We are so thankful for your support and patience as we all learn a new way of doing things! We feel loved!”


Located near Elizabeth Park, this small backyard studio apartment is available now. This stand-alone, no-smoking unit can be lightly furnished if desired. Rent is $855, and includes all utilities, internet, and a washer/dryer. Shared outside spaces include patio, hot tub, and gardens for tenant to enjoy.  We require the first and last month’s rent and $400 refundable deposit. Please be prepared to provide references from present work and last housing. We (an active retired couple) live in the main house, so a quiet, responsible single occupant is a must. We are looking for a good fit for our common spaces. Please text (360) 389-1391 or  email with a bit about yourself and any questions you may have.  We’re happy to make a (socially distanced and masked) appointment for you to see the space. 

Some additional details to help you decide whether to inquire further:

–No Pets-firm about this.
–Apartment is 100% smoke free! Premises are 100% tobacco free
–There is a good shower, but no bathtub
–If you love to bake and cook, this may not be the kitchen for you-There is a 2-coil cooktop, toaster oven and microwave.
–Parking is on street
— We practice Covid 19 safety procedures and prefer tenant who does also. When using common spaces; masks, outside visitors only, minimum 6 ft. distance maintained 

~ Beth Fuller-Mitchell, Williams Street


From our old Victor Street neighbor, Tom Hunter. He’s singing here with his friends Bev Bos & Michael Leeman. Willie Nelson also recorded this song with his daughter. If you poke around on YouTube, you can find them as well. But this one is my friend Tom, who wrote it, singing with Bev Bos & Michael Leeman. Tom was a jewel in this world.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Plant Stand Opens, Elizabeth Park Follow-Up, What Is Society? Giant Hornet Instructions, Radio Free Fl!p: Tico Tico, More

CONTENTS 5/30/2020
W North Street Plant Stand Opens
Elizabeth Park Event Follow-Up
What Is Society?
D’Anna’s Cafe Italiano
Strong Back?
What To Do If You See A Giant Hornet
Grocery Run?
Radio Free Fl!p: Tico Tico


Hey Neighbors!
Sadly we won’t be having our Big June Plant Sale this year due to the Coronavirus. But we will have our summer plant stand open early this year, starting this weekend! Stop on by anytime and shop. We will try and keep it stocked with our leftover herbs from this season. Please remember to social distance and keep safe! 2200 W North Street plant stand.


In case you haven’t talked to anyone that went to the gathering, we went and walked down to the library and then most people walked on to Trader Joe’s. It looked like there were hundreds of people. I would say 99% were wearing masks. Hard to stay 6 feet apart all the time, but people were spread out for blocks and blocks, taking up most of Dupont Street from Broadway to downtown. It was very mellow. Here is a link to a Bellingham Herald video of the vigil at the library the night before. The offerings were really touching. ~ Jana Williams, Walnut Street   


“What is society? … It’s a contract we sign as human beings amongst each other. We sign a contract with each other as people, whether it’s spoken or unspoken, where we say, amongst this group of us we agree on common rules, common ideals, and common practices that are going to define us as a group. . . And as with most contracts, the contract is only as strong as the people who are abiding by it. . . There is no contract if law and people in power don’t uphold their end of it. . . It’s the same way we tell parents to set an example for their kids. . . If you lead by example there is a good chance that people will follow that example you have set. ” ~ Trevor Noah, Dominos video

[I was impressed enough with this description that I took the time to transcribe it word for word. If you want a link, I’ll find it for you. Love/Fl!p]


D’Anna’s on State St has re-opened for curbside takeout service 4:00 – 9:00 PM Monday – Saturday. Order their website or phone call us at 360-714-0188.

[If you hear of other beloved restaurants re-opening for take-out, please send me a notice.]


Looking for Help Moving Large Garden Rocks.  Need a few hours (paid) work to help move garden rocks and perhaps shovel dirt to make a new raised bed in my yard for a vegetable garden.  Strong back required!  Please call/text Susan or Tony at 360-303-8182 or email  Thanks!  Susan Holland, Utter St.


Mostly these hornets are found around beehives, so I’ll be surprised if any show up in our neighborhood. They have a very distinctive big yellow face, and are as long as a man’s thumb. There’s a photo in the links in the Bellingham Herald quote below.

If you think you’ve seen an Asian giant hornet, the Washington State Department of Agriculture wants you to report it. Here’s how:
▪ Go online to the Hornet Watch Report Form.
▪ Email
▪ Call 1-800-443-6684.
Stay updated at the Asian giant hornet watch Facebook group. Learn more at, including how to make bottle traps for Asian giant hornets.


If anyone is going to Haggen’s or the Food Coop tomorrow or Monday, we’re running low on a few things. For that matter, there were items I used to buy regularly at Trader Joe’s, Smart Foods, Nieto’s, and the Asia Market, so any time anyone is headed for any of those, I would love your help to re-stock. Zeke and I are still staying home. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the neighbors and friends who continue to make that possible.


Here is a guitar Instrumental from Duo Siqueira Lima – Watch as this couple plays a duet with four hands on one guitar at a party, and everyone has such fun!

And here they are doing the entire piece in a formal concert setting. Guitarists note: they sometimes swap half parts: invert their hands and play each other’s right hand, so each of them is playing one part with their left hand and a different part with their right hand, at the same time! She is from Uruguay and he is from Brazil. They met for the first time during a guitar competition in Brazil. They tied for first place. I am so happy they are now married.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Neighborhood Alert: Elizabeth Park


At 3 PM today there will be a public gathering in solidarity with Minneapolis and justice for George Floyd. I thought it important to post so neighbors won’t be surprised by it. If you’re out walking and see a crowd, that’s what’s going on. If you want to go join, that’s where. If you are driving, you may want to avoid the area in case traffic is impacted. I haven’t been able to find out who is organizing, but the organizers have requested masks and safe distancing.  

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Lost Cat, Immanuel Church Sunday, Masks, Graduation, White Supremacists, Library, Song: Generations, Lots More

CONTENTS 5/29/2020
Alert: Lost Siamese Cat
Chalk Report
Immanuel Outdoor Gathering
My Mask Protects You; Your Mask Protects Me
Masks On West Street
Masks At Goods
Graduation Ceremonies Online
Graduation Parade
White Supremacists Again
Whatcom Covid Locations
What’s Happening At Our Library?
Radio Free Fl!p: Generations

ALERT: REWARD – MISSING LIGHT GRAY SIAMESE CAT: Possibly seen near James and Maryland, or more likely near E Victor St. I live close to the Meridian Haggen at 3016 Kulshan Street and my indoor cat (who roams in our fenced yard) went missing at around 8pm on 5/26. We moved a few weeks ago from James St and even though she seemed comfortable with the yard, she has disappeared. We are really worried. Please call me at (360) 531-2323 if you see her! She is pretty skittish. Her name is Persia. She likes tuna if you want to try to coax her. She is blue eyed, coloring is white/brownish/grayish and has darker striped markings on her face, legs, and tail. Unless she’s lost it, she has her collar (light green with a bright pink tag), is microchipped, and she’s spayed. We have been all over the neighborhood, talking with neighbors, spreading flyers, calling her name (even at night and no response). But sometimes I swear like I hear her high pitched meow and then it blends in with the bird sounds and Meridian St noise, or is actually a bird sound… I’m just driven sick with worry and can’t think about anything else. I’m going to be asking more neighbors if I can search their sheds/garages and if they can search their crawl spaces/basements. I think you’re right though and she’s near, but too afraid and is in instinct mode with tells her to be silent. I’m just trying to urge people to search, especially with a flashlight which could pick up on her reflective eyes, even in the daytime. Her litter box has been in our backyard (alleyway), along with food (gets eaten by critters), a blanket and clothes that smell like us. Thank you so much, all I want is Persia back. She’s posted on Craigslist, Facebook forums, Nextdoor, and around the neighborhood on flyers. Here’s a photo:

Thank you, we miss our baby so much. ~ Megan Gambill, Kushan Street


We’ve already got a couple photographers who have volunteered. I’m ready to try some experiments with the home made chalk paint to see if/how badly it stains the sidewalk (and clothing). If anybody else is up for experimenting I would love to hear how it goes!


Greetings neighbors, On Sunday, 5/31, Immanuel Bible Church will begin phased-in gathering outdoors pursuant with Governor Inslee’s guidance. In a season of heightened concerns, we believe it’s important to inform you of our meeting and our desire to do so safely. Everyone will be bringing their own chairs, spacing widely and wearing masks. We also remain ready to serve you and your family as needs might arise. Prayerfully, Pastor Michael


Thank you so much to the many neighbors who are wearing masks when out in public. This is the most effective way that has been found so far to stop the spread. Masks are Love Thy Neighbor made visible. And thank you to all the mask-makers who are making this form of love possible!

2525 West Street

Are you still looking? Let’s keep each other safe!!!

I’ve sewn and donated over 1000 masks to Healthcare and essential workers. Now I have more available for you neighborhood folks.

I have LOTS of kids sizes right now and maybe a dozen adult ones, but I’m making more this weekend. I’m putting them on a table in my yard, right inside the fence. You can reach over the fence to choose. They are individually bagged up.

Donations of around $5/mask would be greatly appreciated. Donations can be dropped in my mailbox or or Venmo me @lindsaymknight. Or PayPal my email its not about the money, just trying to recoup some costs for my donated masks. ~ Lindsay Knight


Hi! Sarah from Little Bird Salon here! I will be bringing another 30 Masks to GOODS at 9am tomorrow. Sizes range from child’s (2-8), small/youth, medium and large. Due to my endless wait for elastic to be delivered I have switched to using nylon! And it is SO comfortable! There is also another small difference in the design as I have added additional wire for an even better fit over the nose. I hope you like them! 

Sarah Guenther
Little Bird Salon|


June 12 at 6:00 PM each Bellingham school will host an event. I’ll add more information as it becomes available.


Calling all 2020 High School Graduates from Columbia!!! Since traditional graduation parties aren’t possible this year let’s start a new tradition: SENIOR PARADE! Think 4th-of-July Neighborhood Parade but the seniors will be driven in their personally decorated cars on Saturday, June 13th from 12:00-1:30ish. Meet at Mrs. Valle’s house at 2515 Kulshan Street at high noon to start the line up of vehicles  The parade will snake up and down Columbia streets so that neighbors can celebrate our seniors in the safety of their yards. Seniors wear your  and gowns.  Neighbors prepare to make some noise in celebration!! Thank you, ~ Natalie Wermus, 2527 Victor


This is the second time a small slip of paper with a white supremacist invitation to a website has been inserted in a Little Free Library in our neighborhood. If you host a library box, please check yours. Please get a photo of any such and email to the police, and to me as well if you wouldn’t mind, with the location and date. Report online here:

or call here: 778-8800 station officer

Remove and save the paper. Maybe wear gloves. And if anyone observes weird behavior around a Little Free Library, please document and report to police.


The Herald today reports on the virus broken down by school district areas. I found the article pretty easy to understand, and once I read the paragraph, the chart was illuminating. As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve had virus breakdown available by location.


The short answer is, lots!


From my beloved Betsy Brown MD. Betsy is a medical doctor in Seattle who began blogging at the beginning of this pandemic. She has been one of my most reliable sources for information through this challenging time.

We are entering a new phase of disinformation. Most places have done a remarkable job of sheltering in place and lowering the infection rate. Truly amazing, really. . . This article shows that most people are in favor of moving slowly and safely in opening up, but a “Bot” army is behind the push to re-open. Bots, for those of us new to social media, are computers connected to each other and the internet to run automated messages pushing certain themes. They can make it look like the majority want a certain thing when in reality it is a very, very small portion, if at all. They can easily skew the conversation. Discouraging and potentially dangerous.

Along with the bots, the medical community is facing another problem. Data shows that of the most watched YouTube videos, 1 out of 4 of the COVID-19 videos have misleading or false information. What are we to do? It is hard to prove who is behind these false information campaigns. How do we discern and how do we counter those arguing this misguided information.

Keeping up with data and using reliable sites that are based in science are the best ways to help yourself and others. The New York Times article gives us ways to monitor data in 5 different ways. As always, the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, and JAMA, as well as sites for the Mayo Clinic and others, are trustworthy. Despite recent problems, the CDC and NIH are reliable sites that I use as well. It can take energy and time to try to change peoples minds, frustrating and fruitless much of the time. Possibly, remind the skeptical ones that you are doing this to prevent the spread, especially to vulnerable grandparents, relatives, and friends. This can be the gentle way to start to change minds. But remember, that if they push back, save your energy for yourself.

I am interested in this fresh data out of Seattle that shows that younger people are getting diagnosed more now than older people. Not surprising, partly because they are more liberal in their behaviors, getting out more, not wearing masks as well, being around more people. At the same time, older people, who have higher risks, are being more stringent and cautious in their behaviors. This is mixed news for us- on the one hand, more younger people will get infected which increases the virus in the community, but at the same time it reinforces that the precautions the older people are taking are working. That is encouraging data for us and hopefully can help us stay the course.

And the questions about “fomites” and catching COVI-19 from surfaces is not easy to answer and this article may help. If only I can learn not to touch my face! Keeping my hands washed will help.

And don’t forget to exercise. I feel better when I do and more stressed when I don’t.

Wash your hands and cover your nose!

You can read her daily posts at


Another song, written by Si Kahn for his father, and grandfather, and the children and grandchildren who come after.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Local Weekend Shopping, Photographers? Sharing, Found Key, Rental Available, Song: Gonna Rise Again

CONTENTS 5/28/2020
Hop-Thru Produce Stand
Neighborhood Pottery Stand
The Bagelry
Found Key
Rental Available
Radio Free Fl!p: Gone, Gonna Rise Again


I am still hosting Rabbit Fields Farm at my house every Saturday from 9-1. Online Pre Order & Walk Up. The organic produce is bagged or box and ranges from $5.00-30.00. The veggies have been harvested and packaged safely and we maintain a mindful distance and distribution at the stand. I hope to see you at what has become, a lovely community offering.
~ Heather Fitzstrawn, 2526 Kulshan Street


Blue Water Pottery has set up a walk-up pottery stand on our street! We are selling our pieces that are cosmetic ‘seconds’ – pottery that has a blemish or small flaw or maybe we just didn’t like how it turned out – at half price (or better!) of normal cost. We’re putting out around a dozen pieces each day, from about 8 am to 8 pm. Sometimes I’ll post on Facebook or Instagram a picture of what is on display. We’ve got hand sanitizer at the booth, and payment is on the honor system with Venmo, or there’s a phone number to call or text us to come out for other payment methods.

I’m also restocking our Clay Art Kits as fast as I can! These kits contain some information, a small tool kit, and 2 pounds of clay for building and squishing. It’s great for anyone who needs a little hands-on art or something for the kids to do. We aren’t currently ‘firing’ or finishing your creations, but Burnish Clay Studio has resumed drive-by drop off and pick up, and they can bisque fire your art. The Clay Kits are free to pick up and will be at the Pottery Stand as soon as we can make some more. We’ve already given away over 150 kits!

Megan & Jeremy Noet
2521 Vallette St.
Blue Water Pottery


Goods Nursery and Produce at the corner of Northwest & Elm is open with all your gardening essentials. We have local honey, Joe’s veggie and strawberry starts, herbs, pansies, compost and more! We are sanitizing all surfaces, enforcing social distancing among shoppers and disinfecting constantly. Cory is there daily from 9-4PM.

    Goods Local Brews is offering a growler exchange. Bring in your own growler and we will exchange it with a clean, sanitized one with a new cap. Check in with Cory from 9-4PM at the produce stand and he can fill your growler for you. Thank you all for your continued support through this very difficult time. We look forward to when we can open our doors again to the community! Stay safe and healthy!

  Cory’s cell: 360-303-9115


Did I say Mallard Ice Cream is open for scoops and pints?


Now filling online orders & subscriptions Mondays, Fridays, & Saturdays! Please order at least 24 hours in advance. We are not accepting over the phone or walk in orders at this time.


Are there skilled enthusiasts that might volunteer to photograph our chalk festival? Chalkers can take their own, but it would be so cool to get some really good photos as well.


Last night I got to talk with an old friend. Miriam Barnett used to live in Bellingham and work with Allied Arts. She started and ran the downtown Chalk Art Festival for years, so I tracked her down in Tacoma. But, I was also her baby sitter when she was a little girl and we adored each other. It turns out there is only 5 or 6 years difference in our ages!

Miriam had lots of suggestions for our chalk festival: When you choose your chalk location, will it track into buildings? Can viewers get a good view? Can passers-by actually get past? Can we get some local dignitaries to preside? Want a photo of your artwork on a T-shirt or fridge magnet with a virtual frame that says Columbia Neighborhood Chalk Walk? Miriam said to be sure to set a rain date…

But she had another story that really caught me. In her neighborhood, folks are putting out boxes with food in front of their houses. Lots of folks. Anyone passing by can adopt any of the food that catches their fancy. A sweet way to share.

I realize that in our moderately well off neighborhood, we have neighbors who have lost their jobs, not just “till the pandemic is over” but forever. They live in nice, well-kept homes. Wear nice clothes. We would never know they needed help if they didn’t ask. And there are people who feel embarrassed to ask for help. Putting food out is such a tender way of sharing. It doesn’t ask any questions; it’s just a gift to whoever wants it.


Hello neighbors – We found a single silver key on the gravel path near the small bridge in Squalicum Creek Parkway yesterday evening. Let me know if you lost one. ~ Whitney Knickrehm


1 bdrm, 1 ba, in historic Fountain District. $750/mo includes W/S, garbage & laundry facilities. Available mid June. No pets, non-smoker. For more information contact
Karen Walkup, Lynn Street


Written and sung by Si Kahn, following on the apple theme from yesterday. This is kinda fun – both watching my own mind at play, and suddenly having my own one-song-a-day radio show!

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

COVID Testing Available, Betsy Brown MD, Preparing To Chalk? Cherry Street & Apple Pie, More

CONTENTS 5/27/2020
COVID Testing Available
Betsy Brown MD
Preparing To Chalk?
Music Venue Closed
Radio Free Flip: Cherry Street & Apple Pie


Widespread testing is now possible in Whatcom County. In recent weeks, the Whatcom County Health Department has said that there are enough supplies and equipment locally to expand testing so that even those with mild symptoms could, and should, get tested.


Grief is real and here to stay for a time. The official count of COVID-19 deaths in the US passed 100,000 today, less than 3 months after the announced first death on February 29. . . Funerals and weddings are two of the biggest culprits in transmissions, so aren’t options right now. People yearn to grieve together. . . How to respond and grieve with our hurting loved ones? As Parker Palmer points out often just the gift of “presence” and “being with” them, not with advice, but just being with them, is the best thing. This presence can be done with a regular phone call, a video visit, a physically distant meet up in a park. We can’t fix their pain or what caused it, but we can be their witness. This is a gift we can give.


I’ve been digging around online, and found some good advice for Chalkers:

Bring protection for your knees and your skin – back of neck & hands. You might want to plan your masterpiece in advance. Make a sample and draw a grid over it. Then draw a big grid on your chunk of sidewalk and copy your artwork to each square, like paint-by-numbers. This will help with keeping things in proportion as you increase the size. Start drawing and coloring from the top and work your way closer to your body to keep from smudging your work.

Here are tips from Mayme Seaton of Forest Grove Oregon in 2014 (I found her online) quoted in

  • Take comfort seriously
  • Don’t take your art too seriously
  • Darker colors last longer
  • Make chalk paint
  • Prepare to ruin your clothes


 The Firefly Lounge at 1015 N. State St. announced in an email and on social media that it will not be reopening.


A reader reminded me of this song last night, and I dug up a link for you. After Zeke’s sonnet about our house, this seemed like a good next song to post (Tangents R Us). I thought I had posted it not that long ago, but I can’t find it on the blog. Anyway, it’s a true story about our block of Cherry Street. When Zeke and I wrote The Heart Of It All for Bea Doran’s 50th birthday, one of my neighbors pointed out that I had left out the big pie escapade. That story required its own song.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Homemade Chalk Paint!, Avoiding Car Prowls, Mallard Ice Cream, Radio Free Fl!p Correction, Poem To A House, More

CONTENTS 5/26/2020
Homemade Chalk Paint!
Sidewalk Polls
Avoiding Car Prowls
Mallard Ice Cream Scoops Are Back!
Ideal Tenant?
Radio Free Fl!p Correction
  Inch By Inch
  I Knew This Place
Love Sonnet To A House


Sidewalk chalk paint is a great option for folks who want to participate in the chalk art festival but can’t find any chalk. The paint is easy to make—it’s just cornstarch, water, and food coloring or a little tempera paint—and it’s a lot of fun to use! You can find a recipe for it here:

Théa Rosenburg, Park Street

[Many households have muffin tins. And one paint-brush per artist would do if there was also a bucket of water to rinse it in. Whew!  Love/Fl!p]


Early Bird/Night Owl?

We could write on the sidewalk in chalk and let people mark their answers…


Keep all valuables out of your vehicle, and leave nothing visible. We all get busy and can forget that we left things in our cars, but it’s important to get into the habit of taking items with us as we gather up bags, purses, jackets, etc… to take inside when we get home. When this becomes a habit, there’s less to pique the interest of a prowler. Harbor Freight has moving blankets cheaply priced, and coupons to further reduce the price are easily found. They are great to throw in the back of your vehicle, and effectively cover things that may entice a potential prowler to want to break in. These blankets are good to cover your purchases when you are out running errands. If your items are covered, prowlers are less likely to want to break in. These prowls are crimes of convenience: unlocked vehicles with visible content are chosen over vehicles locked and nothing visible inside. ~ Cathy Barron, Eldridge Avenue


Walk up service for scoops, 12 – 7 Monday – Saturday, plus pints & half gallons, tubs, ice cream sandwiches & more. They also have some gelato for a limited time.


(landlords have told me this often)
Hi, my name is Wenty Hill and I am a loving mature single professional woman with a radio show in town.

I LOVE the Columbia neighborhood (!!) and am looking for a cottage or small home for $700/month including utilities. Being responsible, clean, caring and friendly is important to me. I don’t drink, don’t smoke, son’t do recreational drugs, don’t party and do not have any pets. I am quiet and private and enjoy living alone. Have great references!

Please call me, Wenty, at: (928) 301-3360 (B’ham) (Please leave a message. Thank you). ~ Wenty Hill



The version of Inch By Inch that I posted yesterday had the composer, David Mallet, singing. I meant to post Pete Seeger! Here’s a corrected link, and a bonus of another of David Mallet song, I Knew This Place, with David singing. I don’t actually listen to the radio, and haven’t listened to albums for years except sometimes in the car. I’ve been thinking of songs I’d like to share with you all, and then hunting for the song online, seeking a great version. It’s been interesting research. Most of the songs I know I’ve learned directly from a singer, in person. Our house tends to be quiet, leaving room for either of us to invent live music.
David Mallet: I Knew This Place


That song reminded me of a sonnet Zeke wrote for our dear Cherry Street home:

Good house, to me you were but a device
To keep the rain outside, a shelter where
I could change clothes unseen, dodge winter’s ice,
And sometimes hang the hat I seldom wear
And also harbor bugs and molds and mice
Pyromaniac wiring and shortcuts rash
Remodelings whose lack we could not bear
A bottomless pit wherein to throw our cash
But living there with love, as love doth grow
Our house and home, thou growest too on me
We shape thee to our ends, and come to know
A good part of our lives are shaped to thee
I did not know before that builders’ art
Could really make a dwelling for the heart

all my love//Zeke Hoskin
June 17, 2003

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text

Alert: Attempted Car Prowl? Chalk Report, Free Hose, Wet Suit & Tech Help, Correction: Basic Fairness, Song

CONTENTS 5/25/2020
Alert: Attempted Car Prowl?
Chalk Report
Free Hose
Wanted: Used Wet Suit For Child Or Small Woman
Tech Assistance
Correction: Basic Fairness
Song: Garden Song


At about 7:15 tonight (Monday) my car alarm went off, something that can’t easily happen without someone trying to get into the car without the fob nearby. In the back seat of my car was a container of used pet syringes I was planning on taking to the pharmacy today for disposal but couldn’t because of the holiday. I forgot the container when I returned from shopping. It was clearly visible on the seat and may have drawn the person’s attention. We called 911 and an officer drove by to check on the block, but wanted the neighborhood to know and keep their cars secure. Thanks, Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor 2500 Williams Block


I think we should schedule viewing from 2:00 to 5:00 PM on Fourth Of July. I’d love to get the chalk distributed at least a week or two early.

There are over 100 sets of sidewalk chalk stacked in our front entry way. Thanks to everyone who helped get them here, especially Susanne & Brittany. But there are 1700 houses in our neighborhood! I have no idea how many households will decide to participate, but there seems to be something of both a local and a national shortage of sidewalk chalk. If you plan to join in (and I hope you will!), please try to get your chalk sooner rather than later. If you find a source with LOTS of chalk (cheap) please let me know right away and I’ll try to get it. Or you could. If anyone can help pay for chalk, I can take donations. 

As I may have mentioned, I’m making this up as I go along. I’d love to hear your ideas, and if anyone wants to give me a good listening to, I have noticed I think better with extra ears and kind hearts nearby.


I want a used short or long wet suit for a small, petite woman under 5 feet tall. If anyone has one to sell or borrow, please contact Analeise Volpe at


Awhile back you posted a woman who wanted old tablets for the Mt. Baker Assisted Facility.  I have one but I can’t download my photos onto a laptop or other device. If anyone knows how to do this, let me know. It’s an old tablet that doesn’t seem to connect with my new lap top.
Thank you.
Analeise Volpe
Victor Street


I received some help from local journalism professionals, and am taking it to heart. An important part of US legal structure is that every person is innocent until proven guilty. It is particularly important for people writing to an audience to be rigorous with our language. There was a person who was arrested in our neighborhood last week on suspicion of stalking. They have not been formally charged yet, let alone convicted. I will be far more careful with my language as I follow up on this arrest. I can make sure our neighborhood has needed information without acting like judge and jury myself, or encouraging my neighbors to do so. Thank you!


Written by David Mallet, and sung by Pete Seeger here. Our dinner tonight was stir fry from our garden. Someone who’s gardening skills I respect once told me that the bugs & slugs go for the sweetest veggies, so I’m experimenting with cleaning the stuff that’s been nibbled on and cooking it. Seems to be working fine so far! If anyone is going shopping for more garden starts, I’d love it if you’d pick me up a few more too. Call for specifics: 360-671-4511

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 cell/text