Why Sides? Soup Brigade; Ingredients; Needs; Laundry; Lots More; Music: The Marsh Family

CONTENTS 2/7/2021
Why “Sides”?
   Soup Brigade
   Recent Donations
   Needs List
   Laundry Brigade
   Homeless Belongings Retrieval?
   Hotel Fund
Columbia Neighborhood Assn
Conservation District Ballots
“Think Local” Gift Cards
Salmonella In Birdfeeders
Fence Installer?
Rental Wanted
Anne Feeney Presente!
Radio Free Fl!p: The Marsh Family


Everything about this situation is heartbreaking for everyone involved, on all sides. I’m still horrified that there are “sides.” How can we be blaming, vilifying and attacking each other instead of working together to solve this problem?

I saw that there wasn’t a sweep at Civic Field yesterday or today. I still hold out hope that our local government will finally do one-to-one homeless outreach to the people sleeping on the ground in the wet and cold; identify their individual issues instead of lumping them together; and figure out workable, humanitarian, immediate aid that is not focused on figuring out someone to blame. I would like a clear explanation of why FEMA has not been called in. This is clearly an emergency. And temperatures are predicted to drop into the teens at night by mid-week.


We’re re-starting the Soup Brigade on a much smaller basis: fewer days, and for fewer servings, like 20 – 25. I keep a stock of 16 oz take-out containers, and a bunch of bulk ingredients, and some huge pots. You can pick them up here. And actually, casseroles are even better than soup (harder to spill). And I have giant casserole pans to bake in as well. It’s also possible to get foil casserole pans at the Dollar Store. I have outreach volunteers to deliver hot meals most Mondays & Wednesdays at 1 PM, and some evenings as well, depending on delivery volunteers’ availability. At this point, it takes volunteers who are already well known to the locals sleeping on the streets or in the woods. Check with me and I’ll sign you up to cook a meal. Text is a good way tomorrow: 360-671-4511  since I’m mostly unavailable till Sunday evening this week.


Potatoes (baking & red), onions, carrots, celery, shredded cheddar, pasta, rice, lentils, a couple jars of pesto, soup base in chicken, ham and beef. I bet you could make something yummy and nourishing with all that. And containers for delivery!


Thank you all so much! There have been some large boxes delivered in the last couple days and most of the contents have already gone out for one-to-one delivery. Tarps, TP, sanitary supplies, soft snack foods, big trash can liner bags, AA & AAA batteries, hand warmers, gloves(!), a couple of those stacking plastic drawers for SwiftHaven, a brand new pair of really nice waterproof construction boots. Some dog kibble. A few tents. It’s awfully sweet to see the outreach volunteers delight and relief at being able to meet needs for their friends who are literally on the ground. I was just able to order toe-warmers for delivery Tuesday. With luck we can get them distributed before the really cold weather arrives. I did already get hand-warmers thanks to a big-hearted neighbor and her stimulus check.


We can always use donations, either of needed objects like AA & AAA batteries, toe warmers, ski gloves, warm caps & mufflers. Used ski and warm winter camping clothing (including long johns) are really useful. Wool blankets (but not cotton). Warm coats. Waterproof boots, especially in larger sizes. Hats/ mitts / mufflers. Neck warmers that can be pulled up to cover face and nose. Is there a group that could sew a bunch of these tubes in a hurry?

Bundles of firewood. An armful, tied together for easy transport. No more than 3 or 4 bundles at a time brought here so we can keep them dry till they can be delivered.

We continue to need foot-care volunteers in case you happen to be a nurse!

Some needs are constant, and others pop up unexpectedly and we meet them if we can. Does anything there sound interesting?  Donations can be dropped of here at 2518 Cherry Street. I’m at a zoom workshop from 7 AM to 4 PM Sunday, though.


There is a Laundry Brigade where volunteers run things through their own washers and dryers. I can put you in contact with an outreach volunteer who will drop off and pick up laundry. They could also use donations of liquid laundry soap – unscented High Efficiency (HE).


The retrieval contact link has been widely shared among the out-reach volunteers. It appears that many of the homeless folks are too afraid to try to go claim their belongings. They also lack transportation to and from the pick-up point. I’ve seen the link shared repeatedly. Maybe I’ll go share it one more time, though most homeless neighbors don’t have internet, phones or facebook. Many of the homeless people had their tents, ground pads, sleeping bags and other belongings bulldozed. They are starting over from scratch.


Here’s a description from an Outreach Volunteer:

Outreach volunteers have received some funds, simply from citizen to trusted citizens. Not a lot. Just enough to give respite to a few folks, although there are many more who have been traumatized by constant sweeps. We know we can’t motel all we meet, but occasionally we have had funds to facilitate a safe motel room to catch up on sleep, rest in a warm room, soak in a hot bath, and know that you’ve been seen by neighbors that understand the need for housing first, neighbors who understand being without a home is due to economic inequity, not due to any flaw of the person who doesn’t have a safe family or home.

It turns out this is a very difficult thing to implement. First, volunteers identify an at-risk homeless neighbor sleeping outdoors who is not too scared to be around others in a hotel. But not just anyone: someone with photo ID. A hotel room often means not being able to take along all belongings, and risking the loss of needed resources. Volunteers have to figure out how to transport the person to the hotel/motel. And figure out who will pick them up at the end of their stay, so the homeless person is not stranded at the hotel. And of course, donors must be found. Not easy, but by far the easiest part. Then, someone with a credit card must agree to come meet with the outreach volunteer and the homeless person at the motel, to sign for the room and take responsibility for that room. And after all that, the hotel may refuse the particular person, either because of past history, or because the person shows signs of being in rough emotional shape right then. So in order to implement a hotel fund, both donors and signers are needed. As well as outreach workers who can identify people who have fallen through the cracks of our system to a degree that their health is really at risk. So now you understand why they can only assist a few.

It is my understanding that there is currently no path to an emergency hotel room through any agency for any individual person experiencing homelessness. There is official help only for single parents with children. Only single mothers or single fathers with children. If it’s a whole family, dad must go to Base Camp or car or street so mom and children can go to a hotel.

(I’ve heard rumors that Northwest Youth Services may be able to assist an occasional young adult, but haven’t been able to substantiate yet. Does anyone know? They used to have a special shelter in the basement at the Cornwall Congregational Church last year, before COVID.)


Due to my personal health issues and work challenges due to COVID, I will be resigning from the CNA Board, effective with the election at our first meeting on Feb. 23. It’s a new year and typically at our first meeting we have our membership drive. This year requires us to do things differently. We are going to have an in-person CNA Membership Drive on Saturday, Feb. 20th, 10am-2pm at the Columbia Share Shack. If you would like to become a member, there are other ways to join. If you would like to be a member, please fill out this form at: https://tinyurl.com/cnamembershipform, which provides a place to share your interests and a variety of payment options in case you can’t make the in-person Membership Drive. In this form, you will also be able to express interest in becoming a board member!!! We will be sure to invite you to our next board meeting later this month, provided you filled out the form in the next week. Thank you for your interest in making our neighborhood a great place to live.

Please email columbianeighborhoodassociation@protonmail.com if you have any questions. ~
Jill MacIntyre Witt
CNA President
Walnut Street


The important local election you’ve never heard of.
Deadline To Request Ballot (Via Link): February 8, 2021



If you didn’t know, Sasquatch has a sweet tooth, and he loves using the Whatcom Think Local First Gift Card to buy sweet treats all over Whatcom County. With Valentine ’s Day coming up, we wanted to share Sasquatch’s Sweet 16 with you – a specially curated list of 16 sweet treats you can purchase with your Whatcom Think Local First Gift Card. Can’t decide on just one sweet treat? Treat your sweetie to a gift card of their own that’s redeemable at over 230 local business in Whatcom County.

Our local businesses are struggling right now, and it’s more important than ever to support them. Stay safe and shop local by ordering online, scheduling deliveries, and, of course, wearing your mask. If Sasquatch can support local businesses, so can you!



The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has issued a warning that finches are dying in the Pacific Northwest due to a widespread outbreak of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella can spread to people, pets, raptors and other birds, and wildlife. It’s recommended that seed, suet feeders and bird baths be removed until the end of February. Disinfect feeders and bird baths (wear gloves) with a 1:10 bleach solution: Wash and spray a solution of one part bleach to 9 parts water Let it sit for 10 minutes Rinse thoroughly Rake up old seed from under feeders, bag up and put in the trash. If you find a dead bird, use a plastic bag to pick it up and put it in the trash. WDFD also suggests temporarily removing hummingbird feeders. ~Jerry Thompson


I live on Elizabeth street and want you all to know that an Eagle was perched on top of a telephone pole for over 30 minutes near our house. Then on my walk yesterday morning, I saw 2 eagles fly down Lynn street and perch on a tree near Monroe street. Just wanted to let everyone know to watch your fur babies! ~ Lisa Jeffries

I watched them build their nest last year in a big tree on Williams. ~ Samantha Stephens

There’s a BIG hawk hanging out by the Northwest and Illinois and the little park there.  ~ Kamarie Astrid


We are searching for someone to replace our fence before next summer. ~ Courtenay Chadwell Gatz <cscgesp@gmail.com>


 I have a good friend who is looking for a rental, furnished or not for herself and her incredibly sweet support dog.  She works downtown 3 days a week, home 2 days/week and would like something in one of the surrounding neighborhoods so she can walk or bike to work and easily get home at lunch.  She’d love to help plant your garden too. ~ Jenni Durgin,  Northwest Ave jendurgin@yahoo.com

Single, quiet older professional female, gainfully employed downtown Bellingham looking for a small house, townhouse or ADU with 1, preferably 2 bedrooms and a fenced backyard. I have excellent references, great credit and a bearded collie dog.  He’s an ESA and quite well behaved, not a barker, digger or otherwise annoying.  Would like to pay in the $1200 range, and am willing to pay an additional pet deposit.  My time frame to move in is flexible.”  dnaltd_46@hotmail.com


Anne’s kids played the tapes everyone sent, continuously. Anne was still enough “there” to squeeze their hands when they arrived and keep breathing another day. The world is poorer now she’s gone, and richer for the fact she lived.


Everybody was suddenly sending me videos of this family today. They are pretty charming.

Under Pressure – adapted by the Marsh Family

Have The New Jab

Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

If you’re willing to share your phone and address with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission.

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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