Donations Changes, Food Share Boxes? Big Maple Is Gone, Ask The Doc, More

CONTENTS 5/11/2020
Neighborhood Dashboard
Donations Process Changes
Food Share Boxes?
Big Maple Is Gone
Ask The Doctor
End Of Life Planning
Seeking Summer House/Pet Sit Or Short Term Rental
Editor’s Corner
Song: Caladonia

Our neighborhood has been gifted with a website on which all of us together can collect and share information. It’s now live. You can click on the link. There are forms to fill in so we can all update information. This will be more and more useful as neighbors fill in information. Noah & Jonny can modify the dashboard if we need more or different information categories. Please take a look!!!

The novel coronavirus that produced COVID-19 has been in the news for more than 100 days. Our community experienced its first local loss to COVID on March 19. Earlier that week, Whatcom Unified Command (WUC) was activated to mitigate and prevent the spread, support the community’s most vulnerable populations, provide for first responders and healthcare workers, and to enable continuity of essential services. Almost immediately, WUC established a Donations Center to receive and distribute vital materials. Just as swiftly, citizens responded to meet the need.

“This community is amazing,” said Wally Kost, WUC Logistics Section chief. “The outpouring of response in the first month of the pandemic got us over the hump.” Kost said that initial needs included funds to activate the WUC facility, including software and materials, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and first responders.

Since that time, regular supply chains have been reestablished for healthcare and other agencies for PPE and other needs. As well, initial competition for supplies locally has diminished as more normal purchase patterns resumed. As a result, the WUC Donation Center will be decommissioned at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 17.

While the Donations Center will close, a series of ballot boxes designated as drop-off sites for hand-sewn masks remain open, including a new location in downtown Bellingham.

• Bellingham County Courthouse, 201 Grand Avenue
• Deming library, 5044 Mount Baker Highway
• Blaine Library, 610 3rd Street
• Lynden Library, 216 4th Street
• Ferndale City Hall, 2095 Main Street
• Sudden Valley, Security Gate One

To make a donation, please email

Food Share Boxes?
I know of a couple free library type boxes that have become food give/take boxes in the Birchwood neighborhood.  But I was wondering if we have any such boxes here in our own neighborhood.  I have some food items I’d like to donate from time to time to such a sharing place.  ~ Christy Mann

Crews took down the huge old maple tree at the foot of Meridian Street at Broadway today, as was announced here last week. I find it heartbreaking, but also a relief that our Parks Department researched carefully and and took a long time to conclude that it was at the end of its life-span and would have to be removed. There will be a new tree as part of the Plaza renovation. I watched this video of the removal, which shows the decay at the heart of the old tree. I was happier with the cheery music turned off.

Dear Dr. Lombard,
Years ago I saw two ICU nurses give the Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions talk. I left promising myself I’d do my advance directive right away. I didn’t. One excuse after the other. After watching your video, I need to apologize for not giving a tinker’s dam what my lack of planning could potentially do to those nurses, to you, to your frontline colleagues, to first responders who all do so much for us now at greater risk to themselves. Covid-19 changed my attitude.  I got my advance directive done last night with help from your video and slides. 

I don’t have an Ask the Doctor question about my healthcare choices, but would you be willing to share some thoughts on the importance of us doing our advance care planning as it relates to medical providers doing their job and their well being? It could enrich our conversations as we get through these trying times. My family would be more willing to listen to a medical professional than to me. 

Thank you. 

Thanks for asking how this impacts us as healthcare providers. My motivation for becoming involved in Advance Care Planning advocacy has its roots in my experience of taking care of critically ill patients whose loved ones struggled with life and death decisions because they had not had the important conversation about end of life care. It was the pain that I saw on their faces but also continuing care and interventions to patients that I/we knew had very little chance of survival. I recall feeling that we were desecrating the spirit of the person lying there who could not say, “Please, stop all this and just make me comfortable.”

In a communication with Micki Jackson, one of the ICU nurses with whom I worked and who started the “Realities” presentations, I think said it best: 

“I think for me, the big motivator to present Realities is to help deal with the moral distress I witnessed in families and experienced myself in the ICU setting. What was offered to patients by the health care community was often not realistic in terms of the patient’s chances for a meaningful survival. Life was prolonged and everyone suffered. No one knew how to just tell people in simple, heartfelt words that there was nothing more we could or should do, and that comfort and peace should be the goal. Too often we embark down the road of ‘do everything,’ knowing people had no clue what that meant, and it likely wasn’t going to mean a return to any former meaningful life or health. I feel that by helping to educate people in my community, I have somehow atoned for my part in what is wrong in our system.”

With thanks,

Bill Lombard

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?

Dr. Bill Lombard’s Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions Video:

Dr. Lombard’s Realities Powerpoint Slides 

The Realities Of Advanced Medical Interventions – Glossary

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

Are you planning tentative summer travel plans? Do you need a house/pet sitter while away? Or someone to water your garden? If so, we would love to help. 

My partner and I (former Columbia residents) are now educators working abroad. We will be visiting family in Washington State from ~June 7-July 31. We come with lots of pet-sitting experience and solid references from previous sits in Bellingham and abroad. Our original house sitting plan may be disrupted by covid-19, and as such, we are seeking alternative arrangements to stay in Bellingham. Based on previous experience (for the benefit of all) we would ask to video chat in advance to make sure your home/needs are a good fit, and vice versa. Ideally, we would prefer a swap (we provide care for your pets/home in exchange for a place to stay). However, we are also open to the prospect of a short-term rental. 

Please contact me by email if you have any questions, leads, or would like to contact our references. 

Breeanna Caudill
(formerly of Jaeger street)

I have sent or will send donations to the following local organizations from our stimulus checks. A couple people have asked. These are just my opinions. There are thousands of urgent needs we can help meet.

Food Bank

Whatcom Community Foundation

Chuckanut Health Foundation

Homes Now

Community To Community (C2C)

Farmworker support

Checks for C2C can be mailed to:

  Community to Community Development                         203 West Holly, Suite 311                                                       Bellingham, WA 98225

Written and sung by Dougie MacLean. I learned this at Guitar Camp from a couple ‘Hamsters back in the 1980s – a love song to a place, and a story of going home. I have been very aware of being home this last stretch of time. I’ve never managed to capture in a song the sweet wind off deep water, the green hills and soft grey skies of Bellingham but I promise you, the green is worth the grey. Even in a hard time, what a joy and comfort to spend it here.

360-671-4511 text or phone

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