Chalk, Chalk, Chalk! Gene Knutson, Sign Ups, Advice, More; COVID Trends Upward; Wild Whatcom; Song: Hamster For A Year

CONTENTS 6/20/2020
Chalk, Chalk, Chalk!
   Chalk Talk With Gene Knutson
   Franklin Academy Offers Sidewalk
   If You Signed Up For The Chalk Festival
   If You Didn’t Sign  Up For The Chalk Festival

Chalk Advice
   Professional Artists?
Covid Trends Upward
Wild Whatcom
House Cleaner Wanted
Radio Free Fl!p: Hamster For A Year


Gene is the City Council member who represents our district. From my earliest years here, I have found him to be open to listen to any concerns I’ve had.  He has often carried them to the whole council. I bet he’d listen to you too!  And he grew up here in Columbia!


Franklin Academy, over on East Victor has joined Columbia Elementary School and Immanuel Bible Church in offering their sidewalks for our Chalk. Sounds like they may have some chalk available too.


We have 33 households signed up to chalk so far, with several different bands planning to play as well. However, we are having some challenges getting our website to work properly, so your registration probably doesn’t yet show on the Chalk Map.

The bright chalk has not yet arrived. I’ve got 100 or so sets of pale pastel chalk from the dollar store waiting for pick-up any time; just let me know you’re coming. Best bet is to phone 360-671-4511 to let me know you’re coming because texts don’t always get through. I will post as soon as the bright colors arrive, hopefully early this coming week. It has already been shipped from the east coast. I’ve only got 40 of those, so sign up soon.


Do it now!!!! We want you!!! If you sign up, you’ll be on the map. And you can request chalk…


You mentioned using water and a paint brush. I had good luck using a spray bottle. For your comfort use your garden kneeler instead of or on top of cardboard. Gloves!! I think nitrile medical gloves would work well. I used my nitrile garden gloves and washed them in the machine with my chalk clothes. So many little things to remember. I agree with wondering if my body is up to this; that is why I stopped doing Allied Arts. But I plan to have a chair and drinks and take lots of breaks. Can’t wait!

Susan Casey, Walnut Street


I’ve had a couple inquiries from neighbors wanting to find professional artists to decorate their sidewalks. Far be it from me to interfere with artists being able to make a living! Here are some places to look. Individual artists are welcome to send me links to their work to post. I figure neighborhood artists may be busy chalking their own sidewalks, so I will happily post (family friendly) links to any artists who want to play. Payment will need to be negotiated between individuals.


No cases traced to Black Lives Matter marches or rallies so far.

It was surprisingly hard to dig out this data. Cases per 100,000 are trending upwards in Whatcom County.

I was able to click on Whatcom in the upper left hand corner: 2.4 two weeks ago; 5.4 on June 19

Also here:

And in the Herald today:

Public health officials worry that too many people might get together to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, and the Fourth of July, leading to a spike in new COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County….

…On Monday, June 15, the health department said recent confirmed cases were linked to large, private social gatherings in late May, two of which had 50 or more people at them. Such gatherings create instability in the county’s ability to move forward to Phase 3, Erika Lautenbach, director of the Whatcom County Health Department,  said Friday. “It has always been our goal to make sure that we move forward with allowing businesses to open and people to get back to work. And a very distant second goal is for people to have parties and socialize,” Lautenbach said. “We’re concerned that these social events and parties are putting all of that economic recovery at risk,” she said.

None of the recent cases have been linked to a May 29 vigil, a May 30 march or a June 6 rally to mourn Blacks, Native American and other people of color killed by police and white vigilantes, according to Lautenbach.

Please, please wear your masks! Yours protects me. Mine protects you. Love in action. 


In-person and virtual camps coming up in July — stay connected with friends and neighbors and get outside while the weather is gorgeous!

  • In-Person Camps similar to our regularly scheduled summer camps but with smaller groups and additional safety measures: 
    • 3-5 days available for grades 1-6 (Camps for older grades almost sold out, so register today! Waitlists available for sold out camps).
    • Read more about our new protocols to keep campers and families safe in our COVID-19 Risk Management Plan for Families and Participants
    • Custom camps may be arranged for groups of 6-8 kids in any grade. If you’re interested, please let us know at!
  • Virtual Outings 
    • Skills “outings” to learn about birding, navigation, and other naturalist skills on Zoom and/or
    • Story Games (similar to Dungeons and Dragons, but with a nature focus) played over two-week sessions on Zoom
    • Please review our Online Safety and Best Practices for participation in these programs
    • Want to see other virtual skills or gatherings? Let us know at!

Registration for all summer programs is open today!

Did you know that several Wild Whatcom staff and board members live in the Columbia neighborhood? We hope to see our neighbors outside this summer whether in Wild Whatcom camps or in our beautiful neighborhood parks!
Licia Sahagun


Wanted… someone who is looking for work and willing to clean my home on a bi-monthly basis. This job includes deep cleaning every 2-3 months. Please call Lisa Jeffries, Elizabeth Street, 360-223-1184


My friend Nat Budin moved from Boston to Bellingham for a year a while back. He and Vic wound up in Bothell, which is our loss. But he continued to drive up for songwriters group; these days he zooms in with the rest of us. He noticed local landmarks like the corner of West North Street and Northwest Avenue, right here in the neighborhood. Sometimes it take a newcomer to really see your own hometown.

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511

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.

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