City Social Media
Open Starting Today
Homeless Crisis Sales Tax
Crossroads Of Kindness
Tv Tables Needed
Radio Free Fl!p: More Rev Davis
COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION
I enjoyed the Town Hall this evening. Thanks to our neighborhood association board, and to our elected officials who came willing to answer questions, not dodge them. This was also the last meeting chaired by outgoing association president Jill MacIntyre Witt. Jill has been a wonder! Generous, well-organized, thoughtful, passionate, and committed. We have been SO lucky! Thank you Jill!!! Our new president will be Deb Valentine. Contact Deb at <email@example.com> about CNA Membership with your name, address, and how to contact you, and she’ll send you the options of how to join or renew in the time of Covid.
CITY SOCIAL MEDIA
All City social media accounts are listed here: https://cob.org/gov/public/social-media-guidelines
Hi Columbia Neighbors!,
I hope you’re well! As you likely have seen or heard, United Way is working with Western to conduct a child care study to better understand the need for child care across Whatcom County. As you know, the lack of child care has significant impact on children and families and their economic mobility.
We are really trying to get broad participation so we can hear from a diverse set of community members from all corners of the county. Those invested in the neighborhoods are key groups that we want to hear from.
Would you be willing to take this survey and help United Way and Western? They survey is only open for 3 weeks, so we are really hoping to get surveys taken soon. Here is the link to get to the survey: https://www.unitedwaywhatcom.org/#announcement.
Thank you, ~ Troy Nutter, North Street Resident and member of the Board for United Way of Whatcom County.
OPEN STARTING TODAY
Fountain Community Church will be opening a safe place for middle school aged students. The hope will be to be open in the middle of February thru the end of the school year, Tuesday-Thursday, 2-4pm. FCC is working with the Health Department to make sure that safety protocols are followed. It will be a monitored space with internet access. it could be a great connect space for small groups, or just a place to go just for a change. If you have questions or concerns, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wanted to let neighbors know about a wonderful outdoor program for 3-5 year olds happening on Tuesdays at Lake Padden. We’ve been sending our 4 year old for the last 6 weeks and he LOVES it! The women mentors are GREAT! Highly recommended. Feel free to contact them directly (see below), or get in touch with me if you want to ask questions. Clara (206) 406-0889 or email@example.com
Tuesdays: 9:30am – 1:30pm
$30-$50 per day (Minimum 1 month sign up, $120 – $200 for 4 sessions)
Participants must have transportation, outdoor appropriate gear, snacks.
Who Are The Mentors…? We are passionate about guiding children to connect with their senses & inner knowing about their own experience & the world around them. We aim to create a safe space to integrate the rapid changes of the times we are all living in. Through time spent in nature, imaginative play, practicing wilderness skills, circle time & discussion, trust building exercises, & being present with what arises we will do all that we can to support and guide your children as we learn and adapt alongside them.
Yin Dwyer & Katie Robison, firstname.lastname@example.org (805)234-7339
We may be done for this year with the low humidity that can crack guitars and such, but there’s still a chance of snow. I asked Windworks, the music store right across from the RE-Store, to order in my favorite humidifiers, and they just got in a new shipment. I got one more today. Windworks even got refills! The brand is Oasis.
HOMELESS CRISIS SALES TAX
Public meeting on March 8.
This article appeared today in the Bellingham Herald, by Robert Mittendorf
Bellingham would collect a new sales tax to ease the homeless crisis by building low-income housing and funding mental health services, under a measure being drafted for consideration in March.
City Councilman Dan Hammill proposed the measure, which would add one-tenth of 1% to Bellingham’s sales tax.
That’s a penny in tax on a $10 purchase.
“What we would be doing is creating another Bellingham Home Fund for affordable housing,” Hammill told The Bellingham Herald in an interview Monday, Feb. 22.
“Voters see the value in this,” Hammill said at a City Council committee session where he introduced the measure.
“They see the solution to homelessness is building housing and providing services for those that need it,” he said.
Such a tax could bring in $3 million a year, Deputy Finance Director Forrest Longman told The Herald in an email.
Current sales tax rate in Bellingham is 8.7%, the same as in Ferndale, Lynden and Mount Vernon, according to the state Department of Revenue.
Seattle’s sales tax rate is 10.1%.
Cities can enact a sales tax for low-income housing under a law that passed the Democratic-controlled Legislature along partisan lines and was signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2020.
Hammill’s proposed tax would supplement the Bellingham Home Fund, which is a property tax that collects 36 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value and directs it toward low-income housing.
It raises about $4 million annually, the city said in 2018 when the measure passed with 67% of the vote.
It costs the owner of a $500,000 home $180 a year.
“If we don’t address the fundamental systemic problems squarely, we’ll just keep treating the symptoms,” Hammill told The Herald.
Hammill’s proposal came at the end of a City Council committee session on Monday in which city officials discussed efforts to find housing for the city’s poorest residents — especially those who are homeless and living in motels, temporary shelters or in tents.
“This is not my preferred method. I would prefer the federal government do their job in providing us with funds that we need to address this national issue,” Hammill said during the meeting.
“These are the tools we are left with to address huge failed policy at the federal level. This is the option that we have,” he said.
Council members voted unanimously to have an ordinance authorizing the tax measure ready for consideration at its March 8 meeting.
Under an expedited timeline, it could take effect by March 22, Hammill said.
To volunteer to cook a meal, please sign up with me directly – email@example.com or text 360-671-4511. You can also phone, but it helps me to a have a written record. I’ll be delighted to hand you ingredients and to-go containers. You can also borrow from the pot-and-pan lending library.
CROSSROADS OF KINDNESS
Today three different people went shopping for me! I was blown away by the generosity. LED lanterns for folks without electricity. TP. A mountain of batteries! Food ingredients: my grand-twins got to watch me stagger past their zoom with 20# of cheese in my arms. And we have bacon, and butter, and canned tuna, and canned cream of mushroom soup. Beans, lentils, rice, tomato powder & dried veggie flakes. I have 6 cans of garbanzo beans that no one has adopted yet! Fresh carrots, celery & onions. I have both bread & butter, and with just a few cloves of garlic you could have garlic bread! I forgot to get more chocolate chips, but I have raisins & oatmeal aplenty. It’s been amazing watching the cookie ingredients flow out, and the fresh-baked cookies flow in, and then right back out, leaving the house fragrant with love. I’m now booking cooks into next week, which is deeply reassuring. I’d still love to set you up with a date. Thank you all so much!
TV TABLES NEEDED
Those little folding tables or trays for sitting on the couch eating dinner (TV dinners?) while watching TV? They fold up against the wall, out of the way, in tiny homes. You could bring them here, or to SwiftHaven. Thank you!
Annual February Winter Singing Weekend
RADIO FREE FL!P: MORE REV DAVIS
Glory Halleloo! Have you ever heard such guitar? The Reverend Gary Davis inspired a generation of guitarists. He was the real thing. Notice the fade-out at the end. He probably kept going another 10 minutes.
Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511 2518 Cherry Street firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re willing to share your phone with me, personally, I would love that, and would not share it further without your express permission. Nor would I ever exploit it. You might put mine in your phone so if I were to phone you, you’d know it was me. I’d also suggest adding email@example.com to your contacts because that helps keep my emails from going to your junk mail.
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.