Columbia Stalker Is In Custody, Face Masks, Virus Science Updates, Song: Here Is My Home

CONTENTS 5/22/2020
Columbia Stalker Is In Custody
Columbia Neighborhood Association (C.N.A.)
Quarterly General Meeting Minutes
Share Shack Update
Hop-Thru Produce Stand
Face Masks
Masks At Goods Will Be Back
CDC Reassurance & Surface Transmission
Distance, Masking, Time, Hand Washing
Inaccurate Tests: Why Test At All?
Real Research On Singing Together
Song: Here Is My Home


I just got a call from the Whatcom County prosecutor’s office to let us know that a male stalker who has been impacting the Columbia neighborhood is in custody.


May 19, 2020 Via Zoom Meeting, 7-8 PM
Attendance:  Five board members, 2 guest speakers, and 10 community members. Next quarterly meeting is in August. The CNA Board will notify the community of details as they develop. Here is a link to the minutes:


My post incorrectly listed Aaron’s home address as the address of the Share Shack.  The Share Shack is located at the SW corner of Henry and Connecticut!

This is not the Share Hut at Walnut & Connecticut. We are so lucky to have both!

  • The Share Shack shelves are closed for sharing. When the green tarp is over the cabinet, the shelves are closed.
  • The white board (for posting offers and requests), the bulletin board, and little free library are open for use with cautions to use clean hands.
  • It is okay to use the Share Shack as a rendezvous point for free exchanges.
  • The May Day Art on Display event on May 1 generated some kids’ art donations
    ~ by Aaron Silverberg, CNA Vice President


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

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 50 adult. 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


Little Bird Salon is making more masks. I will drop off another round of 30 or so later next week as soon as my elastic arrives!



Here is information from my cousin the epidemiologist – I wrote him after another friend worried about whether we could still trust the CDC when they told us that surfaces are not the main way COVID spreads. To me the big issue wasn’t surface spread, it was general trust of the CDC. Alex answered in detail and offered a way forward as well. I am watching so many of us  looking for reassurance that there is an objective reality, and that it will be possible to understand it, despite all the disinformation being spread about. Yes. reality definitely exists, though answers may not be simple. ~Fl!p

Here’s what he wrote me. I’m feeling much reassured!

From the CDC website:
“From touching surfaces or objects: It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.”

This is accurate — surfaces are not the main route of transmission. That does not mean it does not happen, just that most transmission is person-to-person. Studies have been coming out showing the virus can survive for extended periods on surfaces, but that is but one step in the evidence chain needed to understand how likely transmission is via surfaces. However, given that it does happen, being cautious and washing your hands frequently after touching possibly contaminated surfaces is a good idea.

In general, I think the CDC is still a good source to turn to. Their policy statements may be becoming problematic due to presidential interference, but the scientists there are still top-notch. When in doubt you can cross-reference with the WHO.

One of the things happening is people are seeing scientific discovery happen in real-time. Unfortunately, unlike what the media makes it seem, science does not progress in huge forward leaps. It is a series of tiny steps forward and backward, with clouds of uncertainty being pierced by small bits of knowledge on occasion. It’s disconcerting to people not used to it, and certainly makes it seem like everyone is giving conflicting or inaccurate information.


From Betsy Brown, MD, one of my most trusted sources.

The more we learn about this pandemic and its spread and how it can be contained, the more clear it is to me that these 4 simple concepts of distance, masking, exposure time, and hand washing can reduce our risk and keep us safe. This goes back to the article I posted last week and restated here. Wearing a mask works best to reduce the risk of the wearer to transmit it. Data confirms this. Stories from people I know who had COVID-19 confirm that wearing a mask prevented others from catching it from them. Wearing a mask protects the wearer, not perfectly, but it helps.

We just need to keep in mind that the tests checking for the viral RNA have poor reliability and 30-50% false negatives depending on symptoms. This means if someone tells you “I don’t need to wear a mask because I tested negative”, stay at least 6 feet away and wear your mask and wash your hands. The test could be wrong. When both people wear masks, the risk of transmission drops very low, add in keeping a 6 foot distance, even lower. If we add the concept of limiting time of exposure, we can feel less fear. That means we don’t need to fear if someone runs by us closer than 6 feet. So you can keep those factors in mind as your community opens up again.

It is helpful to look at your own risks which come in different levels. Here is a good explanation of pooled risks and how to assess your own. I like the idea of two families being able to interact closely if everyone in the group has not had possible exposure for 2 weeks. This could be a way for close friends to play tunes together again or see their grandkids.

And we are learning more and more all the time. Some news is good, some not so good, but I have hope, overall. We know masks work, and we know that we have cut the number of infections by our behaviors of time, distance, masking, and hand washing,.

Considering where I thought we’d be when I started writing the first week of March, you done good! ~ Betsy Brown MD


Another friend asked me, if testing is 30% to 50% inaccurate what is the purpose of testing? 

My friend Lisbeth Jorgensen answered really well: Generally tests with a high false negative rate have a very low false positive rate. So, if you get a positive, you can be pretty darn sure you actually have it. This is clinically useful information.

Would a zero false positive and a zero false negative rate be better? Yes absolutely. But this is why professionals interpret medical testing, even simple ones where the result is reported as “pos/neg” there’s always more considerations that go into the final diagnosis.

Some tests just suck and have both high false positive and high false negative rates. Those tests should NOT be used because they tell you absolutely nothing.

Best case with mediocre tests, you run 2 tests simultaneously. Once with a high false positive rate and one with a high false negative rate and compare the results to make a better clinical decision.

(Basic clinical test design theory courtesy of undergrad UW microbiology department coursework circa 2001/2… I doubt the basics have changed much since then. Pharmacy school didn’t disagree at all, but didn’t cover it in as much detail either.) [I love having real scientists among my family and friends! ~Fl!p]


Barbershop singers & others have now funded proper research. We’ll share results when available.…&utm_campaign=%20%20%20


Peter Amidon Singers, on a song SI Kahn wrote. I miss singing it with friends late at night, hearing our voices blend and feeling the sound vibrate in my chest. The air seems alive. And our neighborhood is in my mind’s eye when I sing those words. Home is both people and a place. For me, deep water and rushing creeks, wind off the bay, sword ferns & cedars & salal.

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

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