Halloween, Voting, Lots More


Have you heard if there has been any local discussion regarding whether there will be “trick or treat” handouts directly from our homes here in the Columbia hood this year? Being aged, we’re still a little reluctant to have the usual dozens of candy seekers arriving at our door. I hate to be considered an old grouch, but our health can be a little fragile. I’m wondering what other neighbors are thinking? ~ Michael Flaherty

From Fl!p: From what I’m hearing, I’m assuming we will get trick or treaters. The weather should be perfect! I’m old enough to have one of my Mom’s “grabbers on a stick” and figuring I will share with it. Send the kids to the foot of the stairs, and hand out from the top. Or build a chute from a piece of pipe to send candy down to the kids. But it is FINE to leave your lights off and not play this year!


  1. The Secretary of State has released a jazzy new web page with ballot return statistics.  You can look at return statewide, or filter by county.  You can also look at a comparison between the current year and the last comparable election (for this year the comparable is 2017).  It has some great features, take a look at it here:  https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/research/ballot-return-statistics.aspx   We are linking to this page on our web site as well.  This page is not real time – it’s updated each evening at 5:00 p.m.
  2. Voters now need to come in to the Auditor’s office in the Whatcom County Courthouse to register or update, but can do that right up till November 2nd.
  3. Voters who want to know the status of their ballot can go to VoteWA.gov and enter their name and birthdate.
  4. We’ve provided some information on our website regarding challenged ballots.  If you have voters who need information about what that means and how the process works you can direct them here https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3817/Learn-About-Challenged-Ballots

As always in the challenge process we are seeing unsigned ballots as well as signatures that do not match what we have on file.  We encourage voters to match what is on their driver license, or to sign multiple ways if they have more than one established signature (a lot of voters have a “formal” signature and a daily “scrawl”).  Letters for challenged ballots go out the next day along with a postage paid return envelope – it’s easy to get the signature resolved so the ballot can be challenged.  It’s important to note that for a signature mismatch, the signature must match what is on the return envelope, not what is in the file.  We’re trying to verify that the voter is the one who signed the envelope.

  1. If you aren’t aware, there is a new box in Barkley in the movie theater parking lot.  At this point in the election, we encourage voters to use one of the 19 drop boxes instead of the mail.  If voters prefer to use USPS, they should deposit their ballot before next Monday to ensure a good postmark.
  2. We are using the webcams again this election for anybody who wants to observe but doesn’t want to (or can’t) come in to the office.  We are also welcoming observers in person, but in limited numbers.

As always, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us. 360.778.5108

Kellye Conner, Whatcom County Auditor’s Office


I have more beautiful cards and would love for you to pick them up and send words of appreciation to our local hospital workers. They are handling so much right now. Or you can use your own cards. Musicians have been playing outside the main entrance at shift changes and handing out gift cards as well for coffee, cafes, etc. We’re running low on cards and would love more.

Mail to:

The Workers At St Joseph Hospital / Peacehealth

2901 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225


Imagine be stuck out in this wind and rain. And nighttime temperatures will be dropping into the 30s this weekend. Unsheltered neighbors need tarps, sleeping bags, tents, AAA & AA batteries, hand warmers, clean dry socks, plus rain ponchos, warm coats, sturdy boots & shoes, especially in larger sizes. Ground pads made of closed cell foam so they don’t get waterlogged. Money donations are very welcome. We can accept items here. Call before you come to be sure we can get things inside before they get wet. Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511


Whew! What a numberless number of micro events with major impacts since I last saw you. Last Thursday, while hiking on Galbraith, I tripped, fell and slammed against a big slab of Chuckanut Stone. Shattered  a femoral head. I go home today or tomorrow with a brand new fake ball for the still worthy socket. A Lotsa Helping Hands account is now set up for any interested neighbors to offer a little bit of help. It’s all online, which means that it’s easy, I’m told, and doesn’t require me to be active in the scheduling. A relief, since I’m told I have weeks ahead of learning new habits so I don’t mess up the hip works! Here is the link: https://my.lotsahelpinghands.com/calendar/uNLS–WRRO6H6zGHEZbxng/view-task?task=BDNH5RWcSEOvKVElD9IKlg

Thank you! ~ Lisa Citron, Lynn Street


Longtime Columbia resident. Looking for an independent housing situation. Open to studios, mother-in-laws, etc. I am hoping to find something stable for renting, but I am also open to longer term house-sitting or caretaking arrangements. I am respectful and tidy and an experienced gardener. Thank you, ~ Heather Fitzstrawn  360-510-8813


My dear friend is looking to rent a studio, mother-in-law or private room with bathroom. She works for the county, loves dogs, vegetarian yet can grill a delicious halibut. Price range $1000 or less including utilities. She has a dog who goes to daycare or my house while she is at work. She has fantastic references. Looking in the following neighborhoods…..Columbia, Birchwood, Sunnyland, Cornwall, and Fountain. ~ Sarah Leibrant 360-632-7995


The rain has returned; it’s time to plant. I have dug out and potted up some starts that I’d like to find good homes for.

I have some natives: salal, oregon grape (mahonia), bleeding heart (dicentra formosa). 

I have some non-natives: pink japanese peony; plumbago (auriculata); yellow-eyed grass (sisyrinchium striaturm).

If you are interested, send me a text at: 360-220-4075. ~ Lynne Pendelton, Williams Street



My old friend Velzoe Brown on piano in 2009 at the age of 99 in Santa Cruz, California with Penny Hanna on clarinet. Velzoe taught for years at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. She left home at age 16, with her parents’ blessing, to play trombone in an all girl’s jazz band. She was a professional musician for the rest of her life. And an amazing gardener.


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