Smoke; Map Your Neighborhood; Lots More; Song: This World

CONTENTS 9/17/2020
Map Your Neighborhood
Seeking Simple Books
DVD player?
York Rental
Radio Free Fl!p: This World


May clear Saturday morning. Hang on a little yet. It doesn’t appear to be rain that will clear the smoke. It takes some wind at ground level. West coast smoke has not only reached the east coast, it has now reached Europe. Be kind to your lungs.


I really do mean it that I would love every single block of our neighborhood (and other neighborhoods too) to gather on Zoom for one 90 minute meeting for the purpose of organizing as next door neighbors to prepare in case of an earthquake. Before the election. I will volunteer to come facilitate. This is the biggest thing I can think of to push back against the polarization happening in our country right now. I’d love your help. ~ Fl!p


We are just a few days from opening a 4 Fun Course in the small parking lot off Henry Street at Immanuel Bible Church! Neighbors, you are welcome to check it out with your kids! That small parking lot will be closed to cars next week beginning Monday. The 4 Fun Course leads up to the Bike Safety Rodeo on Saturday, September 26th. The Bike Safety Rodeo is designed to help young riders (age 4 to 7) improve skills and awareness. The course is expected to take about an hour. Helmets are required for riders and masks are mandatory.  A parent or guardian should plan to accompany their child.  Please call or text Sean Jeffrey at 360-961-2483 for more information or to sign up.  If we are rained out on September 26th, the event will be moved to the following Saturday, October 3rd. 


With the Columbia Elementary and the library closed for browsing shelves (challenging to do with online reservation system), I am searching for short, early reader type books for a first grader who is reading paragraphs and simple chapter books. If you have old books lying around that your kids aren’t using any more, we’d love to borrow or buy some. Thank you,
~ Claire McPhee


My wife and I are looking for a DVD player. If anybody has one they are looking to part with, let me know! ~ Alex Jeffers, Utter Street


[Sent by a buddy looking for help finding good neighbors…] The house next to me in the York neighborhood is going to be for rent in October. Very small 3 bdrm, 3/4 bath (no tub) $1800 mo. The owners are Lauren and Brian: 425.772.5282. ~ Nancy Mullane


The holiday this weekend is Rosh Hashanah, not Chanukah. But I wrote this five years ago today as my sister was dying. I like the thought of inviting anyone who wants to see what is at the heart of this ritual to join me when the time is right. This year, wait to light your candles until the smoke has cleared, please. But the candles and the ritual have taught me so much in my life. I like the thought of sharing this with you.

Last night Kitty called us together to watch the sunset out the window. The beauty of this lovely world! My brother Joe described it as being like watching the Chanukah candles burn all the way down. I don’t know if you’ve ever done that. I think that if you haven’t, you might like to, this year. Get 9 birthday candles – they may last half an hour if the room isn’t drafty. You can pick up a children’s mini-menorah, or just cut a potato in half lengthwise and drill 9 holes on the lumpy side, not too close together. At dusk, light one candle as the shamus (the servant) and then light all the rest of the candles with that first one. Say a blessing for the creation of light in the darkness, for the turning of the seasons, and for the long connections we have with our ancestors. Then pay quiet attention to the flames as they burn all the way down, till the last candle finally flickers out. This ritual was a key part of our childhood and an important part of how the three of us frame life and death in this world.  ~ Fl!p


By Malvina Reynolds, Larry Hanks used to sing it, back when he lived over on Williams Street.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Smoke; Map Your Neighborhood; More; Song: The Farthest Field

CONTENTS 9/16/2020
Smoke Today
Smoke Background
Map Your Neighborhood
Strong Backs
Garage Rental Needed
Radio Free Fl!p: The Farthest Field


Just looked again at various sites. We’re in the 140- 150 – high orange to red zones – unhealthy. Hang in folks, and keep staying inside. It’s interesting to me that the rain isn’t a fix for the smoke. I hope it helped with the fires!


A couple things to consider on the air quality front:

1) The pm2.5 concentrations in Bellingham have dropped considerably. At midnight last night our in-town regulatory monitor reported a 1-hour average concentration of 187 ug/m3 and our most recent 1-hour concentration is 83 ug/m3. For context, the national ambient air quality standard (designed to be protective of health) is a 24-hour average of 35 ug/m3. So, we’re still not in a great place, but we’re A LOT better than we were. This is largely attributable to improved ventilation today and some of the weather that moved in last night, though pm2.5 removal by rain isn’t as helpful as one might think.

2) It’s worth considering watching the regulatory monitor, which is reported many places, but I track it here: The PurpleAir monitor network (and other low cost sensor networks) can give a sense for patterns and can often report concentrations that are close to correct, but they are far from perfect and work is actively being done to develop correction factors to improve their reliability (example here: The most reliable data is still the regulatory monitors if you have one nearby. Here’s hoping that those concentrations continue to decline! ~ Tim Sturtz (professional air quality engineer)


With an election looming and our country as polarized as I can remember it (at age 70), here is something we can each do to repair our community. Invite your whole block to a single 90 minute zoom meeting to plan for earthquakes. What you learn and organize among yourselves will make a difference in the current mess as well. I will volunteer to come facilitate your meeting, and will mentor you as you gather your neighbors. My dream is to have every single block in our neighborhood meet to do this exercise. I would love your help to do it before the election. Let’s start rebuilding our world, starting from home, one block at a time. We can do this! Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511


We’re looking for a couple of strong backs to dig up and move two large bushes. Need it done within the next 1-2 weeks.  Please call 360-738-7875 or email  Thanks! ~ Sara Stamey, East Maplewood Ave


Snowbirds going South need to rent garage space for 1 car ASAP. Timed needed for September 22, 2020 – June 26, 2021. Please call: 425-765-7050 or email: Thank you, ~ Priscilla Sulham


If anyone is going to either, we’d love to piggyback on your trip. Fl!p 360-671-4511


Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein and Michael Cicone, By David Dodson. It always comforts me to hear voices blend. This is what democracy sounds like.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Air Quality; Homeless, With Smoke & Covid; Fire Fighters Follow-Up; Lots More; Tunes From John Miller

CONTENTS 9/15/2020
Air Quality Report
Homeless, With Smoke & Covid
Halloween Input
Family Rental Wanted
Fire Fighters Follow-Up
All Good On Curly Willow
Bellingham Irish Festival, Virtually
John Miller Online Concert
Radio Free Fl!p: John Miller Sampler


This is helpful because it’s real time. ~ Patti Rathbun

[The clearing we’re seeing today is in the upper air, not the ground level stuff we’re currently breathing, which is still unhealthy. We’ve got an Inversion – a layer of  warmer air on top of colder air at the surface. That warmer upper layer traps the bottom layer. So it looks less smoky, there is some sun breaking through, but we still have too much smoke to go out and play.  ~Fl!p]


Some folks are not able to handle being in a huge shelter space, but right now the only alternative is outdoors. We are all safer when everyone has shelter. Please support our city council to follow through on some excellent planning that has already been done. Without implementation, no amount of planning will save lives or create a livable community for us all.



I am in search of a foam surfboard. ~ Chloe Burns  425-890-6250


My husband, 2 kids (3 year old  and 6 month old) and I are wanting to move back to Bellingham to be closer to the grandparents – does anyone have a 3 bedroom rental coming available in the next few months? We don’t have any indoor pets, but would love to bring our chickens along if possible (it’s not a dealbreaker if that’s not an option). Our budget is around $2000/mo. Feel free to email me at if you have or know of anything!  Thank you! ~ Brandy Shreve


Sarah Granger sent me a photo of our donations. Readers really stepped up to the plate! Many people brought fresh produce, flowers, thank you cards and more for the 20 folks coming off an 18 day shift fighting forest fires, eating only MRE freeze dried food. The workers will have 48 hours off, and then start their next shift. Sarah wrote, “ I am overwhelmed with happiness and great fullness over the generosity of our home. There is more food in the fridge and freezer as well. And more people are dropping stuff off.”


Thanks so much for the curly willow offers!  Our neighborhood continues to amaze me with its generosity and willingness to help out!  I will be in touch with those who reached out, and I had 3 offers, so I am all set now.  Many thanks! ~ Cat Enright, Utter Street


October 9, 10, 11, 2020
Hooray!!!! This will be wonderful…


Saturday, September 19 at 4:00 PM, PDT:

John is an extraordinary guitarist in many genres. He’ll be presenting a program of original Country Blues arrangements and songs, some songs from the Great American Songbook by composers like Hoagy Carmichael and Jerome Kern and some original tunes. The show is being hosted by the Trumansburg Conservatory of the Fine Arts. They have presented a series of on-line concerts during this pandemic period, when it has not been safe to give or attend in-person concerts.


Local (Birchwood) guitarist John Miller let me know today that he’s playing an online concert on Saturday. To me, that’s a big deal. So I poked around online to see what I could find to share with you. Choosing just one song is impossible. I first met John playing bass for the early jazzgrass band Country Cooking with Tony Trischka. John apparently hadn’t played bass before, but the band talked him into it. Then John did a series of Country Blues albums. And started teaching for Guitar Camp. I remember him doing a spontaneous workshop in which he took us on a tour of the south eastern US, county by county, playing tunes from one blues musician, and then explaining that that person’s uncle lived in the next county over, and played something from them, and so on, for several hours. When Peter McCracken wanted to start a Blues Workshop for Centrum in Port Townsend, the story I heard was that Peter asked John over dinner who John would hire if he wanted to run such a camp. John scribbled a long list for Peter, with a caution that the players might not all still be alive. A couple years later, the camp began, with almost all of the folks on that list. Many had never been North, but were lured by the other names on the list. I’m not a blues player, but I absolutely went. But John wasn’t done. After several stunning albums of blues, he put out an album of Gershwin and went on for several more albums from the Great American Songbook. And then there are the Bossa Novas… Whatever he’s playing, I always feel like he’s picking up my foot and tapping it for me.

Jalapenos (yes, this is just one guitar, no overdubs)

Muskrat Ramble (Starts slow, but look out when he shifts gears!)

Biding My Time (Gershwin)

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Smoke Forecasts; Improving Indoor Air; Lots More, Kitten is Home; Song: It’s A Pleasure To Know You

CONTENTS 9/13/2020
Smoke Forecasts
Improving Indoor Air
Air Cleaner Cleaning
Looking For Pressure Cooker
Wanted – Curly Willow Limbs
Garage Space?
Another Fan Hack
Kitten Is Home!
Free Piano
Musical Instruments To Pass On
Radio Free Fl!p: It’s A Pleasure To Know You

I just sent today’s Update, which I thought I had sent hours ago. And here was yesterday’s as well! The Smoke forecasts are way out of date but the rest of it is still timely. And the song at the end is particularly marvelous. Love/Fl!p


Current model runs suggest a slower clearing of the air than we had hoped for. We may see some decline in concentrations by midnight and we won’t be fully clear by 8am tomorrow (but we should be in better shape).

Here’s a link to the midnight model result:

And here’s 8am tomorrow:

An animation of the modeled progression starting from 4pm today is here:

Also, please note that the model is showing concentrations of PM2.5 and not the AQI – please don’t confuse the two or assume that the color scale is the same as you might see on some other site. I just wish the models for this type of thing we’re more reliable. I’m looking forward to some clean air! Regards, ~Tim Sturtz


Ht/t Frank James, former Whatcom County Public Health Officer—Wildfire-Smoke-Events


Thanks for the blog entries on DIY air cleaners. Here’s something I just realized: You can tell if your box fan air cleaner is working, and when the filter needs replacing, by looking through the filter at a bright light source. If the filter is working, you’ll see a dark circle the circumference of the fan blades, where particles (like smoke particles) that were in the air have been trapped by being sucked in to the filter. If you see that dark circle, it’s also probably a good time to change the filter. ~ Clyde Ford


We have a stand up piano, Black, will need a tune up. It has a bench for music storage. Would love to find it a good home, we acquired years ago from the girls preschool teacher. ~ Sabina Gouran , Elizabeth Street, Call or text-360-383-6385


I would like to borrow your large pressure cooker for canning.  I can offer a jar of delicious bounty for your generosity! ~ Ann Shannon, Utter Street, call/text 360/ 319.9114


I am rebuilding a curly willow bench and table because some nasty bugs have gotten to the wood.  Do you have a curly willow whose limbs I could trim to use for my project? Many thanks, in advance. ~ Cat Enright, Utter Street


Looking for garage space to rent for storing classic cars. Different size automobiles. Single space or multiple. ~ Eli Hinton 360 355 3612. E. Victor.


I’ve thought about putting a furnace filter into a window and duct taping it if I have to. Then running a window fan on exhaust. Having compromised lungs, I built for my workshop an air cleaner with 2 box fans and 3 filters. Two of which are washable. I glued them to a wooden base with bungees so things don’t fall apart. It’s basically what high end air cleaners are.  Maybe something to think about for next year. My concern was also the strain on the fan motor. ~ Dave Lind, 2908 Lorraine Ellis Ct.


Kitty was found and reunited with the family!!! Snowy is home!


These three instruments have followed us through life from our days in the ’60s in San Francisco, so they are variously not very high quality or in very good shape. Anyone who is interested can come and pick them up. Just call Clyde or Susan Curley at 360-738-6862 to make arrangements.

“Autoharp” brand–good tone, no broken strings, but missing buttons on three of the chord bars.

3/4 size fiddle–no bridge, tailpiece, or chin rest, but with a genuine fake Strad label! Good project for a luthier-in-training! Comes with a case.

Lap dulcimer–definitely low end, nothing fancy in the appointments, three strings with machine tuners, plays fine. No case.


This is a spectacularly wonderful song, and gloriously sung with a wide open heart. It’s my gift to you in this tough time. Today would have been Faith Petric’s 105th birthday. Here’s a video of her singing back in 2012, at the age of almost 97. Faith was a great inspiration to me. She was at the heart of the San Francisco Folk Music Society. I always thought she knew more songs than anybody. And a surprising number of them were naughty! She taught one of the naughty ones to my then-five-year-old son one time. And he sang it to his own grandma when they were waiting on the steps on the Seattle Opera House when Mom took him see the Nutcracker for the first time. Mom was impressed, but not exactly delighted.

I remember talking with Faith one time about hitchhiking around Japan. She’d been all over. I said something about old times and she said, “No! I went just last year. Those folks really respect their elders.” Here is Faith with a message I needed in the middle of all the current disasters. Maybe you could use it too. It was always one of my favorites. (Thanks to Steve and Michael Scott for sending it on to me.)

Love/Fl!p  360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Homeless With Smoke & Covid; Love For Firefighters; Smoke; Lots More; Song: Rock Me To Sleep

CONTENTS 9/14/2020
Homeless With Smoke & Covid
Love For Firefighters
Whatcom County Voter’s Info
Smoke Prediction Background
Tolkien Air Quality Scale
Mossy Mentors
Chimney Work?
Radio Free Fl!p: Rock Me To Sleep, The Shirt Song

GAH!! The last couple days posts didn’t go out. Operator error. My apologies. Sending NOW. Love/Fl!p


I received this alert from my friend Heather Ktahdin, who has worked with citizens experiencing homelessness for a long time, specifically with folks who fall through the cracks in city programs.

Please consider speaking a comment at city council meeting tonight. Ask the City to unlock & staff more public buildings 24/7 to provide safe breathing air for those with asthma that don’t have access to filtered air. We are experiencing a weather emergency. Our unsheltered citizens are on day 4 of unhealthy smokey air. Our public library is closed due Covid. Other than late night restaurants, not much is open at night and weekends as a safe public shelter with filtered air.

The old Public Market on Cornwall is now called Base Camp. They do good work with their long term residents but not every citizen is able to integrate into their structure. Not all will be able to be quiet and calm enough to stay in a private faith shelter in a large shared room. These are the most fragile among us.

There was a Whatcom homeless strategy Workgroup meeting on Friday, and nobody at meeting, including health department staff, discussed any concerns in regards to the smoke that started that day. If citizens find anyone ill and whose life is in danger, please call 911 and request a medic, observe the medics or officers, and ask that a DCR, Designated Crisis Responder be requested to come evaluate if the person is gravely disabled, and thus be transported to a safe room even if they refuse.

Tonight’s meeting is Monday September 14, 2020  at 7:00 PM

This link will take you to a very short and simple form to fill out if you wish to speak tonight.


Sorry for the last minute request but the Baker River Hotshots, which is the wild land fire crew based out at Baker Lake, come home for 48 hours on the 16th and I want to take as much fresh food and letters of love as I can to them at the station. We all know how much better food straight out of our garden is and these guys could use all the fresh nutrition they can get. They fight on the front lines of these fires, often times sleep in the black (where the fire has already burned)  on the ground in a bivi sac and are supplied with MRE (freeze dried meals ready to eat) as their high calorie food. This year has been an incredibly difficult year for so many and these guys have been doing everything they can to make sure us at home can be safe and taken care of.

Please see the links below to know just how amazing these, and all front line workers are. One is from the Baker River page and the other is one of the crew members. If you have any excess of fresh food or would like to make a card or something fun and loving to send them please let me know via email or text what and where and I will make rounds tomorrow afternoon to pick stuff up.

This crew is usually gone for 18 days at a time and get to come home for 48 hours before being sent to another fire. My husband is one of these amazing people and I cant wait to have him home.

Please do not feel obligated to do anything for this but I do have one other request…….Vote. Please vote this year and vote knowing what this world needs is understanding, love, acceptance, respect for differences and equal opportunity for everyone and our environment.  Thanks so much and lots of to everyone.

Sarah Grainger, Victor Street  (425)681-9605


Whatcom County voters may soon receive a postcard from the U.S. Postal Service encouraging voters to “plan ahead” for the November 3 General Election. Among the recommendations is to request a mail-in or absentee ballot at least 15 days before Election Day.

“Voters in Whatcom County do not need to request a ballot, as ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters 20 days prior to Election Day. There is no need to sign up or request to receive a mail-in ballot to vote in the upcoming election” stated County Auditor Diana Bradrick. Voters who are unsure if they are registered to vote or if their address on file is current can log in to to confirm their registration information. Voters are also welcome to contact the Auditor’s Office at or phone 360-778-5102.

County election officials, and the Office of the Secretary of State were not made aware this mailer would be sent to Washington residents, nor were we apprised of its content. By the time we learned of the mailer and reached out to the postal service, the mailers were already in the mail stream.

Voters are encouraged to check the status of their registration now at, and to contact the Auditor’s office if they have not received a ballot by October 21. Ballots must be postmarked election day or received in a ballot drop-box by 8:00 pm on election day, November 3. USPS recommends mailing at least a week before election day, and voters are encouraged to check the last mailbox collection time in order to ensure their ballot will be postmarked in time said Auditor Bradrick.


I did not wake to the clean air I had hoped for. The recent model forecasts don’t agree well with the monitoring that I’m seeing, Here is info about why.

Here’s a blog from an air modeler with the WA Department of Ecology:

Regards, ~ Tim Sturtz

[So, here’s a bunch of science! I don’t understand it all, but I love getting more understanding of both what’s going on, and the challenges of trying to predict what’s next. And I love this picture of scientists scrambling to figure out what’s really going on and how to modify their models to reflect that. I love watching them think together about reality for the benefit of all of us. My brother Joe said something that struck me the other day about mirages. When you’re driving in the desert, and you see a huge shallow lake covering the highway ahead, it’s not a good idea to base your actions just on what you think you’re seeing. For now, stay inside; keep cleaning the air. If you’re feeling extra anxious today, your body is hardwired for smoke. It’s telling you, “Get out of here!” But unless you are under an evacuation order, right now it’s probably safer at home.~ Love/Fl!p]


From the Shire to Mordor, green to brown. This morning we were in Mirkwood (red), but now we have moved into Isengard, post Orc army (purple). A friend from Portland said they peaked at 770 – directly above the fires of Mt Doom. Sometimes I just need to laugh, even when it’s not appropriate…


Children’s outdoor program. Location: Fairhaven Park, then we head into the Hundred Acre Woods, 9:30-2:30p.  9-12 years old meet Tuesday and Thursday, 5-8 years old meet Wednesday and Friday. Maximum 10 kids per group with COVID precautions.  Cost: $25-40 per day which comes to $200 – $320 Sliding scale per month with scholarship spots. We aim to create a safe space for children to integrate the rapid changes of the times we are all living in. Some of the ways we will do this are through connecting with the natural world, imaginative play, learning and practicing wilderness skills, circle time and discussion, trust building exercises, being outside together and being present with what arises. – contact for more info  – Katie, Katelyn & Yin

Katie, who is spearheading this program, is an incredible mentor and ally to children and a strong earth-based educator.  ~ Jess Radovich 2310 Park St. 


We are looking for someone to inspect and possibly clean the chimney of our fireplace for the winter season.  Recommendations?  Email  Thanks! ~ Jess Radovich 2310 Park St. 


Today was Tom Hunter’s birthday. Tom & Gwen & their kids lived over on Victor Street for decades. Tom was a minstrel who traveled the world singing and writing songs with and for children and their teachers. He was a Congregationalist minister too. His compassion and humor illuminated the world for all the years I knew him. His humor was just plain joyous. You get two songs today. The Shirt Song was the first one I ever heard of Tom’s, way before I ever met him. He phoned me one day back in the mid-1970s from San Francisco hoping to play at the coffeehouse I ran at WWU. My reaction was, “You’re the guy who wrote the Shirt Song. A song that good couldn’t have been an accident. You’re hired!” That was the beginning of a lifetime friendship. Tom died way too young, but he left behind hundreds of songs and thousands of people still sing them. Including me.

Rock Me To Sleep

The Shirt Song

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Alert: Lost Kitty; Exhaust Fans & Cooking; Lots more on Smoke; Tune: Ashokan Farewell

CONTENTS 9/12/2020
Alert: Lost Kitty
Exhaust Fans & Cooking
Double Filter For Box Fan
Smoke Forecast Update
Found Key
Camera Returned
Radio Free Fl!p: Ashokan Farewell


Our neighbor’s cat “Snowy” disappeared last night and hasn’t been seen since.  She is quite little and looks more like a kitten. If you have seen a beautiful little cat with a grey/white head and tan/white body, please email me at and I can show you a photo of her. The neighbors are anxious to see her again. ~ Lizanne Schader on Victor St.


Thanks for the reminder regarding exhaust fans. I do think it’s worth considering that cooking can significantly increase the harmful particulate levels in a home.  Perhaps at higher levels than the current smoke ridden conditions outside.  So, even as you pointed out, turning on an exhaust fan will pull smoke particulates into the home, those may be at a lesser level than what is being produced from cooking.  

Admittedly it’s hard to say (without your own air monitor) when the air quality from cooking is more of a serious concern than outside conditions.  But there is lots of research that talks about cooking being a serious hazard to indoor air quality (depending on what’s being prepared on the stove top).

In real time, my wife just finished frying up some eggs for breakfast and forgot to turn on the exhaust fan.  The air quality, as I sit, feels pretty bad.  Is it worse than outside this morning?  I don’t know, but it seems worse to me. So I kind of wish she had turned on the fan.   

I agree we probably shouldn’t be using the bathroom exhaust fan, but I think it might be a different set of circumstances to weigh regarding whether to use a kitchen exhaust fan when cooking.  Kindly, ~ Brad Belvo, Walnut St. 

Thanks! I will post this. With the pandemic, all particulates are riskier than usual. Cooking is definitely an issue. I am planning to cook this morning since the weather has finally cooled off, and have a portable air cleaner with a sensor in the kitchen. Zeke fried an egg this morning, and the sensor did trigger. And then it settled down pretty quickly, having sensed that the particulates had been cleared. I brought the air cleaner into the living room when I came in to work on today’s emails, and it fired up again. That was probably from smoky air that had leaked in overnight to our sweet but leaking old house. The air cleaner dropped back down to low setting pretty quickly. As far as cooking, I think running an exhaust fan in all this smoke is a question of trading one kind of particulates for another.

I asked my big brother Joe, because he’s likely to have a real answer to most questions of technology. He says he takes combustion gasses from cooking very seriously. He’s currently using an induction top and an Instant Pot instead of range top and oven. He suggested I put my air cleaner up high in the kitchen because hot air rises, so that I can get a better picture of how much pollution is coming from my cooking. Mostly we’re eating salads, and microwaving stuff from the freezer. I’ve been stashing soups, stews and such every time I cook for months and now seems like a great time to use them.


If you use two furnace filters set in at right angles to each other, instead of one alone, it greatly reduces the strain on your box fan motor. You need to fill in the empty triangle on top and bottom with cardboard taped on though. Safer – to keep the motor from overheating. Here’s a how-to video. If you can find room in your budget to buy a real air cleaner, I would recommend doing so. Smoke Season is now a real annual event.


I thought I’d pass along a quick update for you and anyone else who may be interested. The current NOAA HRRR model is suggesting that the smoke will start clearing the Bellingham area around 6pm tomorrow and we should be quite clear by the early hours of Monday. As always, the model may be off and the forecast could change by the end of today or tomorrow, but I thought it was worth providing an estimated timeline for folks. Let’s hope the forecast holds or the smoke clears out sooner. Regards, Tim Sturtz

Here’s a link to the first image:

Here’s a link to the second:


Not sure if this is the right address but my son found a VW key on the corner of Walnut and W North this morning. It’s on a Mt Baker lanyard. Claimer can call me at 303 319 5406. Thanks, ~ Kyle Harris


I carried little cards to all three businesses near where I found yesterday’s camera, and when I went in to the ReStore they gave me a description of the camera and case and the phone number of the owner, who had called in and asked about his missing camera. I called the owner, and he came over late this afternoon and picked up his lost camera. He was very happy, and so was I. ~ Lee Seaman


Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band. Molly used to live here in Bellingham, and she taught for Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in the early days. I remember coming back to my cabin around 2 AM and finding my bunk occupied by Molly, Larry Hanks (another old Columbia neighbor from Williams Street) & I think Eric Schoenberg. She was showing the guys the complex swing chords to Beginning To See The Light. She was out ahead of all of us on those fancy chords, having learned Texas Swing as a kid. I kinda skootched them over far enough to squeeze into my sleeping bag, and fell asleep to lovely music. When Molly moved back east, she and Jay started their own east coast version of Camp, called Ashokan. That’s where the name of the tune comes from. Jay wrote this tune one year in the quiet melancholy time after the last of the campers had gone. Ken Burns picked it up for his Civil War series. But some of that song’s tendrils stretch and twine to Bellingham. Molly is still an extraordinary guitarist.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Smoke Safety & Info (Lots); Song: Goodnight My Angel

CONTENTS 9/11/2020
Ductless Systems & Smoke?
Exhaust Fan Caution
Filter & Fan Hack
Call Ahead For Fans & Filters
Another Web Link
Purple Air Link
Bunny Housing Secured
Radio Free Fl!p: Goodnight My Angel

Today it’s all been about the smoke, all day. The smoke is extra hard with the Coronavirus impacting or threatening lungs. But the emails I’ve received today have been  all about neighbors offering help to one another in the form of accurate information, and sometimes more concrete kindness as well. I love you all. I’m ending with one more lullaby. ~Love/Fl!p


I moved into a rental home in the neighborhood a couple of months ago, and it has a Daikin ductless heat/AC system.  I’ve never had a ductless system before, and in light of the smoke, I’m wondering if using it will help or hinder our air quality?  I don’t quite understand if it will potentially bring in smoke from the outside if we turn it on for cool air…or if running it could even filter the air inside our home.  (Google wasn’t helpful in this regard.)  Thank you!  ~ Whitney Kiewit, Elizabeth Street

[I found this: In split system air conditioners design, commonly heat pumps, part of your system is located outside your home, it does not take in outside air. Its main operational purpose of cooling the air in your home is not achieved by moving cool air inside, but by moving unwanted heat out.


Any fans that blow air out of your home (bathroom, kitchen) wind up also sucking air in through leaks around windows and doors and such. So those fans are not great to use right now. ~ Fl!p

I do not claim to be a specialist in HVAC systems, but my understanding is that ductless heat pump systems recirculate air and don’t necessarily pull in outdoor ambient air. Assuming that’s true for your system, the other consideration is that there are other locations where outdoor air can enter the home. Once the air is in, it will continue to recirculate, so there is still good justification for having a good filter on the system. Again, I’m no HVAC specialist and I’m sure there is considerabe variability in how different systems function. ~ Tim Sturtz


Recommendation is 20 x 20 filter attached to back of box fan, with MERV rating between 11-14. 

**A helpful tip:  While the 20 x 20 fits perfectly, the  25 x 20 works absolutely fine  too!!  And this size was in stock AND cheaper!   It certainly doesn’t matter if 5 inches of unused filter sticks up above the top of your box fan when you bungee cord it on!  Remember to put it on the back of the fan and look for thet arrows for correct air flow direction.  And there was the warning too to not to leave it on 24/7 or if you leave the house since the strong filter can heat up the motor too much. ~ Christy Mann


FYI, if people don’t have extra furnace filters on hand, they should call ahead, because some stores, like Ace, are out of the 20 by 20 size.   A clerk told me how to use a larger one, because if it’s set up next to the fan, it will stay up while the fan is on, due to the force of the fan blades moving air, but that’s anecdotal and not official.  You could just tell people on the blog to call ahead for supplies at different hardware stores. (for 20 by 20 box fan, etc.) and to check for other options with sizes.  I am about to set up my oversized 24 by 24 filter next to 20 by 20 fan to try this out.  ~ Wendy Borgesen

[A bungie cord can help. ~Fl!p]


Another great resource is Windyty. It’s most often used as the most accurate wind condition model for offshore fishermen, but also has a setting you can choose that shows smoke and other things. You can select what you want to see and run a model timeline to show when the wind will bring the smoke. You can also drop a pin on your location that will show predicted levels for that exact location. ~ Gordon Dunham


This appears to be more frequently updated (esp. on the forecasting), and I really like the detailed and more extended forecasting it provides. Check it out. ~ Margo Murphy


Here is a link to Bellingham on PurpleAir for the later postings for those who aren’t as Google savvy:

The state sites are taking so long to load that I gave up on them. ~ Aaron Booker


Thank you everyone so much for helping us secure bunny housing. We are overwhelmed by the community support. It’s been wonderful to experience as we scramble to adjust to create a two family house.  ~ Sarah Garrett


I’ve been trying to think how to offer comfort in this hard time, on this day of memories so many of us. I thought of sharing Tom Paxton’s song The Bravest, and decided it was just too hard with everything else going on. And then I thought of my friend John Knowles and the calm, tender confidence of his music. Here, he’s joined by his friend Tommy Emmanuel who I think is better known. Together they offer deep musical kindness.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Alert: Dangerous Smoke; Need Bunny Hutch; More; Lullabye

CONTENTS 9/11/2020

Alert: Dangerous Smoke
Need Bunny Hutch Or Big Dog Kennel
Found Camera
Radio Free Fl!p: Sweet and Low


This is a weekend to stay indoors, with windows closed. Starting now. Rig up an air cleaner if you don’t already have one. The forecast is for very heavy smoke, which can have health impacts for everyone. Here are online resources from a local air professional:

Just a heads up that the plume of poor air quality is rolling in. The AQI that is often reported reflects the 24-hour average concentration which, from the point that the plume arrives, takes some time to reflect the degraded state of our air. One way to see around that longer averaging period is to look at the PurpleAir website which shows a shorter averaging period (the site defaults to showing how concentrations are changing at 10-minute intervals instead of 24-hour).

I’ll point out that the health implications associated with the AQI scale are focused on 24-hour AQI, not the 10-minute version, but in this case our 24-hour concentration will be increasing steadily over the next couple days and the 10-minute version serves as our canary in the coal mine.

For those interested in digging into visualizations of the forecasts, I’ll suggest looking at the NOAA HRRR Smoke model and the corresponding visualization site. Warning it can be a big more detail than some might want to deal with. Anyone interested in the site should only focus on the “near-surface smoke”, to focus on the smoke that we’ll be inhaling. Here’s a link to the most recent model run visualization, depicting how our air may change.

Regards, Tim Sturtz

P.S. For what it’s worth I’m a professional air quality engineer!


My friend and her family were evacuated from the fires down south and arrived at our house late last night with their dwarf bunny in a small carrying case. Does anyone have a bunny hutch or anything that can be used as a bunny hutch for the next few days until it is safe for them to return home? This would be greatly appreciated so everyone (particularly bunny) can feel more comfortable.   Thank you ~ Sarah Garrett  2429 Spruce 415-676-1025


Found an SLR camera Sept 10 afternoon in the middle of on-street parking just off the Guide Meridian at the music store across from the ReStore. It looks almost new. There was nowhere safe to leave it, so I brought it home. I posted a photo of the case on Craigslist:  If it’s yours, please call me at 360-255-8452 to identify and arrange pick-up. ~ Lee Seaman, 360-255-8452 Washington St.


I am looking for a skilled bricklayer. If you have any good references, please let me know. Thanks neighbors!

~ Diana Ambauen-Meade Lorraine Ellis Ct.


In the midst of such craziness, a lullaby. Me and a then brand new friend, and my Mom, who sang me the song while I was still inside her womb. Aimee knew it from her own mother. I could use some comfort on this day, and you might too.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Serious Smoke Alert

The Washington Emergency Management Division posted this notice, with a photo/map of a big cloud of dense smoke and firm recommendations. So I’m writing again, because the situation has changed.
Look carefully at this satellite picture. See that super massive cloud of smoke outside of California and Oregon? The wind is changing direction and that’s coming your way tomorrow. You have today to prepare. Let your family and friends know.
▶️Get supplies and create a box fan that filters the air around you. This video shows you how to make it. Or, invest in a professional filtering device.
▶️Go shopping for any essentials today.
▶️If you don’t have to go out tomorrow, stay home.
▶️See air quality forecasts at
▶️More information to protect yourself from smoke at
Sorry to bother you!

Free Food For Kids / Helping Farmers; Burn Ban; Bike Safety Rodeo; More; Song: Woody Knows Nothing

CONTENTS 9/10/2020
Free Food For Kids / Helping Farmers
Burn Ban
Bike Safety Rodeo
Estate Garage Sale
Wallet Was Returned!
Short Term Rental
Motherlode & More
Radio Free Fl!p: Woody Knows Nothing

FREE FOOD FOR KIDS WHILE HELPING LOCAL FARMERS: People with kids under 18 years old are needed to come pick up food to keep local farmers working. USDA grants are paying for this, and it is not need based. No pre-qualifications, reservations or additional requirements needed. Just drive through, tell them how many kids you have, and go home with food. They are asking to spread the word so people can keep working. I wouldn’t normally go otherwise for fear of taking something that someone else needs, but they have an abundance of fresh food to distribute.


Effective immediately, all outdoor fires within the Bellingham city limits are prohibited until further notice. This includes recreational fires. The Bellingham Fire Department has deemed this a necessary safety precaution due to continued high temperatures and dry vegetation within the city.

This restriction prohibits all fires where solid wood is being used as fuel including open-air campfires and fires in fire pits or outdoor fireplaces. Under this recreational fire ban, propane and natural gas fire pits and barbecues and charcoal barbecues are still allowed to be used for cooking provided solid wood is not being burned. However, care should be exercised in the disposal of charcoal and ashes. Charcoal and ash should be discarded in a metal container and dowsed with water. The container must be kept 10 feet from any structures, trees, or other combustible materials.

Our community is a special place and we all need to do our part to keep it safe, especially during increased fire danger periods. Reckless violation of these restrictions should be reported by calling 9-1-1. Violation of these restrictions can result in criminal charges and minimum fines of $250.


Immanuel Bible Church is sponsoring a free Bike Safety Rodeo for kids age 4 to 7 on Saturday, Sept. 26th, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 to 4:00 pm. The course will be set up in the main parking lot at Immanuel. Stations will be designed to provide opportunities for kids to improve their bike safety in areas such as: helmet fit check, starting and stopping, how to avoid rocks, points of interaction with traffic, and more. The course is expected to take about an hour. Helmets are required for riders and masks are mandatory.  A parent or guardian should plan to accompany their child.  Please call or text Sean Jeffrey at 360-961-2483 to sign up and schedule a start time. If we are rained out on Sept. 26th, the event will be moved to the following Saturday, Oct. 3rd. Also, be watching for a mini “4 Fun Course” which will appear in the small parking lot off Henry Street the week before the Bike Safety Rodeo! For more information, please call Sean Jeffrey at 360-961-2483. -Autumn Cole, Immanuel Bible Church (retired secretary)


Saturday and Sunday (9/12 and 9/13)

Lots of tools, boxes of books, jewelry, shoes, furniture, outdoor furniture, and more. Masks should be worn and social distancing will be in effect. Cheap prices and some free items. Located in the Columbia neighborhood at 2010 Washington Street. (Corner of Lynn Street and Washington Street.) Sale starts Saturday, 8am to around 4pm, and Sunday, 8am to around 2pm.  Thank you! ~ Gayleen Ronk


Hooray, and thank you all.


Our furnished 4 bedroom 2 bath home is available to rent Oct 17-Dec 17th. $2000/mo. includes utilities. The house is mostly on one level with a basement (one combined bedroom/bathroom/rec/office downstairs), although there are some steps to get up to the front door. Two of the bedrooms currently have bunk beds. ~ Suzanne and Adrian, Utter Street


Marie Eaton lived on Henry Street for decades. She has since moved across town, but her music still echoes around this neighborhood. She’s had a band, Motherlode, all these years with three other great singers. One of them, Kathleen Fallon, has just recorded her first solo album, Journey, with lots of back-up from her dear bandmates. They all recently did an album release concert via Zoom, and Marie has edited it, into a YouTube video. You can watch it here. And order Kathleen’s record too if you want.


Cindy Kallet – with Grey Larsen joining her. Relax and bask… Cindy recorded an album called Leave The Cake In The Mailbox of songs for parent and children. The album is nothing like a standard “children’s album.” I keep coming back to this song through the years. Can’t remember who wrote it. Cindy has a son named Woody. That’s probably what floated this song into her life. My life has always had a soundtrack of songs in my mind. Always.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.