Unemployment, End-Of-Life Planning, Masks, Neighborhood, Pix, More

CONTENTS 4/21/2020
Unemployment Eligibility
End Of Life Planning
   Ask The Doctor
RE-Sources Moves K-12 Classroom Education Online
Seeing Eye Dogs
Neighborhood Masks
No-Sew Mask
Scam Warning
Columbia Neighborhood
Found Keys
Hard Worker Recommendation
Need Saws-All And Operator
For Sale: Electric Bicycle, Brand New From Holland
Ongoing Neighborhood Treasure Hunt
Housing Follow-Up
Columbia/Cornwall Park Home For Rent
Pix For Music
Zoom Settings For Music
Music Postings
Editor’s Corner
How To Request A Post
Email Delays
Haggens And/Or Cenex?

[From Beth McGinty]  There are additional unemployment benefits available. New legislation has expanded benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Avoid these common mistakes that delay benefits. The only way to fix these issues is over the phone, and our phone lines are slammed. We’ve increased hours, added days, and we’re hiring hundreds of new people. But wait times are still long and we know too many customers can’t get through. Following these tips will help you apply without needing to call us.

1. Avoid manually entering your employer’s information. You may not recognize your employer’s name in the application. Before manually entering your employer’s info, find out your employer’s legal business name or look up their Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) – this can usually be found on your pay stub or W-2.

2. Able and available? It depends, but here’s some guidance. This question is about YOU, not the current situation. If you would be available to work if it weren’t for COVID-19, a layoff or if your kids were in school, answer “yes.” Download the eligibility checker on the unemployment page of our website to learn more.

3. Select “no” on the standby question. Being on standby means you don’t have to look for work while on unemployment, but that requirement is currently optional anyway. At this time, you don’t need to request standby. You can select “no” to this question.

4. Workers’ compensation (weekly claim). Unless you are currently receiving workers’ compensation from the Department of Labor & Industries, do not answer yes to the workers’ compensation question. (Even if you were receiving it but no longer are, do not answer “yes.”)

5. Select “no” on the job search question (weekly claim). Job search is currently optional as a result of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” initiative. We still encourage you to look for work during this time if you have been laid off, but it is not required, so selecting no is the best option. Changes to job search requirements will be posted on our website at esd.wa.gov.

Making your own choices, and letting both your family and your medical providers know your choices, is a huge gift to others, and is a way of taking charge of your own life during these uncertain times. What better time than the present?




After reviewing this info, if you need clarification on an aspect of a medical intervention before you tackle completing your Advance Directive, email micki98226@aol.com and she will contact Dr. Lombard, who has agreed to clarify wherever possible. Please DO NOT ask for personal medical advice.

Dr. Lombard, thank you for your video and slides, which is a big help as I finally work on my advance directive. I see you are a nephrologist. I have Stage Two kidney disease but I am doing fine. I read a New York Times article that Covid-19 can damage the kidneys. The article reported that many of the most seriously ill Covid patients who are on ventilators would also require dialysis.

I don’t ever want to be on dialysis, so my question isn’t about me, it is from curiosity. The article claims that there is a shortage of dialysis machines and necessary supplies in many areas of the country. Is that the case in Whatcom and Skagit Counties? Or could it become the case?  I know you don’t have a crystal ball, but any insight would be welcome. Even though I’d never check the box choosing dialysis for my care, others would. Thank you.

The occurrence of acute kidney failure associated with COVID19 has been increasingly reported, the first reports having focused on respiratory failure. The ways in which the infection causes kidney failure include dehydration, acute tubular injury due to inflammation and decreased blood flow and actual injury caused by the virus directly damaging the kidney cells. The more severe the disease, the more likely kidney failure will occur. 

With the current relatively low hospitalization rate in Whatcom County, it is unlikely that we will experience a shortage of dialysis machines or supplies. If we were to see anything like the number of patients in New York, however, there is no question that we would suffer the same inability to provide adequate dialysis care.  Assuming we do not stop the containment efforts prematurely, I think it is unlikely we will get to that dire place.

Stay well ~ Bill Lombard 

Online lessons and hands-on activities offered for out-of-school students: RE Sources’ 38-year-old education program, Sustainable Schools, is making its curriculum available for all area students online. Lessons vary for learners from kindergarten to high school, and can take anywhere from 15 minutes to a few hours to complete, depending on the student’s curiosity. “During school closures and stay-at-home orders, we’ve transformed our curriculum so kids (and their parents, if they want) can enjoy learning from home!” according to Sustainable Schools Program Manager, Priscilla Brotherton. The content is interactive and place-based to help students ground their learning in their surroundings. Lessons cover environmentally-relevant topics like the water cycle, stormwater, waste management, upcycling, and more. Lessons include a little history and background information, an in-depth look at a specific environmental issue, hands-on projects students can do at home to deepen their understanding (or just have fun), videos, and action projects. According to RE Sources’ website, “Each lesson is centered around an action project, or ways students can apply their learning, take action to benefit their community, and build their confidence as contributing members of society.” Students and parents can visit RE Sources website, re-sources.org/onlinelearning and start anywhere. Each lesson is stand alone and can be followed in any order. New lessons will be uploaded each week. “Parents and educators in our community are under a lot of strain right now to find new ways to entertain and educate their kids,” says Brotherton. “RE Sources’ role is to offer creative solutions and education opportunities to help our communities thrive. We’ll continue that work and look for more ways to support those who are heavily impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.” Brotherton added, “We hope students will get to know the natural world a little better, experiment with some do-it-yourself projects at home, and have fun learning online!”

5 Tips: When You Meet a Seeing Eye Dog always remember, distracting a Seeing Eye dog can make its owner vulnerable to harm. 1. Guide dogs don’t understand social distancing. Please help keep a safe distance by staying 6 feet away. 2. Please don’t let your pet near a guide dog, even if your pet is leashed. Even allowing your pet to visit or “say hi”, for just a moment can cause the guide dog to lose focus on the important job he has to do. 3. It’s helpful to let a person who is blind know that you are nearby and tell them if you have a dog with you. 4. Do not pet the guide dog, call the dog’s name, make eye contact, feed or talk to the dog. It’s always best to treat the dog as if he is not there. 5. Do not shout directions, take the person by the arm or interrupt them, especially when they are crossing the street. Always ask the person if they need help first.

I am putting together a list of neighbors sewing masks for sale to the public. Please let me know if you would like to be on that list. Include contact info. And if you’re looking for masks, I’ll share that list with you. I can also tell you the location of the neighborhood Mask Tree, though I don’t plan to post the tree’s location publicly.

This “no-sew” mask might be helpful for some folks. In harmony, ~ Laurie Rotecki

I’ve received a couple emails now telling me my Bank of American credit card has been frozen and to go to an address to verify my credentials. I do not have a Bank of America credit card. It is a scam to get your info. Might be good to put out  warning to folks. ~ Dennis A. DeWitt


April 18th on the trail above the Squalicum Park Baseball fields. Bellingham Senior Activity Center card. Please call to identify the keys on the ring. ~ Christine Woodward. 360-661-6336

Hi Friends and Neighbors – This little folksy puppetry gathering and staging took place in the living room of my place on Victor Street during this past week of our shared, but separate sequestrations. Performed by my pair of hands, it introduces the whole cast of characters of “Hans im Glück”. That’s a german “zen” story written down by the Grimm Brothers 200 years ago and dear to my heart. As “Pappenspiel”, the name of my puppet, mask and story theater, it is my pleasure to continue here in the tradition of the central European “papier theater” of 200 years ago while I am adding a fresh, simple, gravity based movement to the now more marionette-like, flat paper cut and hand-painted figures. The song sprang to mind when I was filled with longing for the circle of hands, so much a symbol for comfort in stressful times … but also of Spring!!! 

Spring brings the joining of hands again in the fieldwork, the growing of food into the new season. Traditionally in many cultures, with new growth also comes the circle friends, families, neighbors and elders outside, under a tree, considering new ideas. For the documentation of this complete low tech and spontaneous inspiration (and in no way was it ever even aimed at being polished)…I want to express my gratitude for a congenial collaboration, aptly recording and kind use of platform  to my housemate Nathan, a “magnificent brother”!  Enjoy ~ Max Eberhard

Need an extra hard worker? We have used Alberto for three projects around our home, and have been very pleased with his work ethic. A painter by trade, he painted two rooms inside our house and we just hired him to dig up and lay a gravel and sand foundation for a patio which he completed in a timely manner. He is prompt, reliable, hardworking and takes direction very well. He can be reached through his wife, Nelva at (360) 927-8907. Highly recommended!!! ~ Mike and Mary Kimmich, Henry Street. Questions please call me at 360-303-4460.

I would like to hire someone who can saw into pieces (a foot or two in length) some of the Aspen roots that are roaming around on the surface of my lawn. And maybe some that are not quite on the surface.  iIm trying to dig in new plantings but the roots are in the way. Some are 3 – 4 inches in diameter.. most are smaller. Please contact me at saraswati.todd@gmail.com. Thank you, Sara Todd, Henry street

Smart, battery powered for long rides through town or the highlands  – upwards of 90 miles. Light weight for women or serious riders. Bought locally with one year warranty guarantee. Only 50 miles ridden.  Paid $3100.00. Guarantee is transferred. I hope to get $26 or 2700.00. Great bike and will negotiate best price. Win win for both parties. ~ Contact Analeise Volpe, merriumvolpe@gmail.com, Victor Street, Bellingham 98225

The goal of this treasure hunt is to add fun to our travels around the ‘hood. Neighbors are displaying items such as flags, animal yard art, posters in windows, stuffed animals in trees, Christmas lights and more. If you’d like to display your own treasure or get a list of participating addresses, please contact me at  evans4kids@comcast.net ~ Claire Evans, 3028 Tulip Street

The Emergency Medical Housing Needed post? They were able to find a place!

Our rental will be available by May 1st. Details on Craigslist:
Thanks much,
Becca Steinkamp
Todd Peed
3024 Elm St.


In advanced settings, disable “Suppress persistent background noise” and “Suppress intermittent background noise,” and set Echo Cancellation to Auto. Zoom has a tendency to treat musical instruments as background noise, so disabling those helps a lot.

Musicians and other artists, please send me links for your local live-stream gigs, and for teaching online lessons. I’ll be happy to send out one or two gigs a month for you. Try to give me fresh language for each gig, and plenty of notice because of the delays we’re wrestling with.


Email flip@Columbianeighborhood.org with the headline for the post as the subject so I can find it more easily, later. Please just send text. I cannot get information out of attachments. Other than that, I will try to take information almost any way people manage to get it to me, but this would be easiest for me.

Be aware that I’m having time-lag problems at the moment. It can take several days between when I post, and when subscribers actually receive the email notification.

Email delays are ongoing, and some folks seem to be getting notices up to four days after I send them. I’m still trying to get help to figure this out. Meanwhile, you can go to the blog at any time and read all the postings in a timely way at columbianeighborhood.org.

Is anybody going to Haggens or Cenex on Meridian? There are some items I need. Thank you! ~ Fl!p

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