Neighborhood: Virus Follow-Up; Homelessness: Big Coats; Beef Sticks; Song: Freight Train

CONTENTS 02/28/2021
Columbia Neighborhood
   We-Transfer Virus Follow-Up
   Wanted:  Old Bricks
Homelessness
   Need Big Coats
   Beef Sticks?
   Ingredients
   Cooks
Music
   Radio Free Fl!p: Freight Train

NEIGHBORHOOD

WE-TRANSFER FOLLOW-UP

I have been getting unending notices from Norton Securities, a similar scam. They come two to three times a week.  Each implies that an automatic renewal is coming up that will charge my bank account over $500.  Like We Transfer, it’s very likely a vehicle for a computer virus.

You probably already know this but there are two strategies to employ whenever one of these shows up.

  1. Copy the sender email address (which in my emails just shows up as “Norton Securities” and paste it in a Word document which will reveal the real sender address, which is always some weird gmail.
  2. NEVER answer the email itself or open anything. If you think the post may be legitimate, go to the real website (Norton Securities in my case) and call or write them for more information

~ Marie Eaton

WANTED:  OLD BRICKS

Looking for around 50 bricks for a short garden wall. Thought someone may have some from a chimney. ~ Chris Wermas  c_wer@hotmail.com. Victor Street 

HOMELESSNESS

NEED BIG COATS

From an Outreacher: We are very low on men’s outer wear coats in XL and 2XL. Most of the gloves donated have fit women. If people could specifically look at old gear that big men no longer wear. The problem is that if your coat is tight it’s actually colder. And these people have 5-6 layers on underneath.

BEEF STICKS?

I found a snack food that unsheltered neighbors really like! Beef sticks hold up well without refrigeration. If anyone wants to donate more soft-ish skinny sausages, steak strips, or such, that would be wonderful! Any variety of meat is fine (chicken, turkey, pork), but jerky is too hard for people who haven’t been able to afford a dentist in a long time. It’s gotta be softer. Needs to be individually wrapped. Minis are fine. Thank you!

INGREDIENTS

I could use a SmartFood run tomorrow if anyone has time. But I still have lots of ingredients here to share. Delighted to talk menus!

COOKS

We’ve got cooks lined up through Monday March 8. My stress level has dropped considerably! I’m delighted to sign more cooks up after that. Let me know. No meal-train or online sign-up; just get hold of me. Email is great; text is fine; and I even like talking on the phone while we figure out all the details and answer all the questions.
flip@openaccess.org 360-671-4511.

MUSIC

RADIO FREE FL!P: FREIGHT TRAIN

My beloved Libba Cotten. I had never seen this bit of film, but I watched those hands up close during my younger years. I used to run the campus coffee house in the 1970s and brought Libba at least once a year. She’d come stay at my house and we’d play together. Her version of teaching was to sit down with me and play the song or tune I wanted to learn, from beginning to end, up to speed, for a couple hours. And I fumbled along as best I could as I gradually figured out what to watch for, what to listen for, where to focus. Guitar players note: Libba played left handed on a right handed guitar. This did not produce a mirror image. She could reach things I couldn’t. Had fingers available I didn’t. She didn’t know the names of chords and wasn’t interested. I don’t think I have ever been so respected as a learner, or treated with such generosity. I would watch and watch, and finally figure out where she was hitting one note in the whole tune as it went by. And then had to try to remember it, and get ready, and catch it as it went by. And once I could do that, watch for the next. And the next. It really did take two hours. Or more. Libba clearly enjoyed it too. She knew I would remember her and her music. And I would share it after she was gone. And I have. What brought me here to this video tonight was a discussion I had yesterday with my granddaughter about what I learned from Libba, whose music still resonates in my heart and my hands after more than 50 years. I hope to gift it to my grandchildren’s hands and hearts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUK8emiWabU

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

Neighborhood: SeeClickFix; WeTransfer Virus; Homelessness: Mr Heater? Painting Party; More. Tune: Wildwood Flower

CONTENTS 02/25/2021
Columbia Neighborhood
   SeeClickFix
   WeTransfer Virus
   Rental Wanted
Soup Brigade
   Mr Heater?
   SwiftHaven Painting Party
   Mobile Outreach
   Blankets To Donate?
Music
   Radio Free Fl!p: Wildwood Flower

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD

SEE-CLICK-FIX

The City of Bellingham has introduced a new way for residents to report non-emergency issues. SeeClickFix™ – both a browser application and a mobile app – allows users to upload photos as they report specific problems, ranging from potholes, damaged street signs and illegal dumping to minor flooding and sidewalk obstructions.

SeeClickFix is an easy new option to report non-emergency issues. Using the app automatically generates a service request to Public Works and adds the problem area to an interactive map that is publicly accessible. The service request generates automatic updates on the response, assessment and repair on the SeeClickFix site. Reporting via the app may be done confidentially and anonymously, or by creating an account.

Residents should still phone (360) 778-7700 to report urgent issues such as a broken water main and can still go to the City’s Report an Issue webpage to report on separate issues.

According to Caleb Barber, Public Works Asset Manager, SeeClickFix will expand the City’s ability to respond.

“We are effectively ‘crowdsourcing’ on-the-street intelligence to learn about needed repairs we might not otherwise know about,” said Barber. “The app also provides a channel for those who would prefer not to phone or who might not have computer access. We chose to use a product with both smartphone and browser capability in order to reach more members of the public.”

More information about SeeClickFix, including frequently asked questions, available at cog.org/fix or via the “Report an Issue” button on the City homepage. The mobile app may be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Mike Olinger, Assistant Director of Operations
Public Works – City of Bellingham
(360) 778-7725
molinger@cob.org

WE-TRANSFER VIRUS

I’ve been getting notices from WeTransfer, so you may have been too. The notices try hard to look like a renewal notice for something you already use. Looked it up and found this: The most important thing to note about this WeTransfer email virus is that anything can be sent to you via those file transfer links, so opening any of them and following with download can lead to trojan infections and even more serious issues regarding the personal privacy and security of your device.

RENTAL WANTED

$700/month includes utilities. 31-single-female looking for a room or studio to rent in The Columbia Neighborhood, Lettered Streets, Sehome, or Fairhaven. I am a bit of an early-bird (usually up before sunrise) though I am quiet and keep to myself. I am looking to move within three months. I moved from Seattle to Bellingham two years ago and I am saving up for a place of my own. I do not own a vehicle and rely on public transportation so access to the busses are essential for me. I have been working in the same career for three years. I project that I will be able to afford my own place within 5 years. I am not comfortable living with dogs at all. I AM comfortable living with any other pet (cats, reptiles, amphibians, snakes, rodents, birds, horses, etc). I do not have any pets of my own. Prospective landlords may reach me via text/call/email.  Kaleigh Downing kaleighdowning@gmail.com 206-698-3940 Washington Street

SOUP BRIGADE

We can always use more cooks. Contact me, Fl!p at 360-671-4511 (text is good) or flip@openaccess.org.

The flow of kindness has lately including an amazing stash of batteries; beef sticks & fine shredded jerky; string cheese; (aka healthier snack food to balance all those Fruit Snacks!); warm winter clothing; bottled water; cookies; muffins; and hot meals. I’m sure I’m forgetting things!

COMMUNITY MEAL

Tomorrow noon to 2:30 at Assumption Gym on Cornwall. Meal boxes will be handed out. Please help spread the word. Folks living without shelter generally don’t have cell phones, internet, or even newspapers. You might be the only one who tells them.

MR HEATER?

Does anyone have a spare (small) Mr Heater that runs on a small propane tank?

SWIFTHAVEN PAINTING PARTY

Saturday February 27, 11 AM on, at 1555 Puget. Come help splash some bright colors on the tiny homes. Tomorrow will be the second day. They’ve posted a wonderful photo of a brilliant purple tiny home. What a transformation! Wear grubbies and a mask.

Note that inside their fence Swifters are “at home with their family” and all tested negative before they moved in. But they will wear masks for courtesy to guests if asked.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/swifthaven

MOBILE OUTREACH

My next-door neighbor baked four dozen “omelet muffins” today with bacon & veggies. Some went to folks in an RV. Here’s a note from the Outreacher who took the rest this afternoon: “Lotta mileage out of those muffins. 4 people, 2 in wheelchairs on Cornwall, then to Geri. It was first, probably only food for Cornwallers, as wheelchairs at both camps, hard to get around.”

BLANKETS TO DONATE?

1. Dry & clean. 2. Wool 3. Washable. 4. Cheap. 5. Single bed or bunk bed size. Thanks!

MUSIC

RADIO FREE FL!P: WILDWOOD FLOWER

Ed Peekeekoot used to come to Puget Sound Guitar Workshop in the early years. He’s Canadian and Cree. I was delighted to reconnect with him this past year. I remember Ed back in the mid-1970s sitting in on the front porch with a guitar and banjo stacked together on his lap, playing Dueling Banjos with himself. With this HUGE mischievous grin! Here he is having fun, fun, fun with a song I also learned to pick, because we all did. But I never took it to the heights Ed does!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtlKSclIxJQ

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

Neighborhood; Homelessness; Music; Song: Mary’s Garden

CONTENTS 2/26/21
Neighborhood Meeting Minutes
Soup Brigade
  Sign Up
  Needs: Water, Solar, TV trays
  Generosity!
  Nomadland
Music
  Banjo Women
  Radio Free Fl!p: Mary’s Garden

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD

This is all I’ve got tonight for the neighborhood, but I’m very glad to have it.  Thanks for organizing the meeting and giving us a report on it as well!

MINUTES TO OUR NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING

Here is a link to the minutes from the Feb 23 Zoom meeting.
~ Deb Valentine Columbia Neighborhood Association President

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BnOXcrR6aOGLTjR-pV9RMM5qBrVtQi1Ns6DdW2n87Bo/edit?usp=sharing

SOUP BRIGADE

SIGN UP

Please sign up directly with me, not on any app. I need more cooks for  dinners for 25 at 5 PM and 30 at 8 PM, starting Wednesday. I already have mostly just one cook a day through the next week, but need at least two and sometimes three. You can also sign up with a friend and split a meal for less work. I have wonderful ingredients, to-go containers, and the pot-and-pan lending library. Let’s talk! Love / Fl!p 360-671-4511 (text is also fine and so is email)

NEEDS

Water: Folks without shelter have difficulty accessing water. I just checked with the Outreachers, and many can handle a 2-liter bottle as opposed to those little plastic bottles. Anyway, if you’ve been considering donating and are not sure what, water would be great!

Solar Lanterns? Does anyone have a source on these?

TV Trays: If you see any on Craigslist etc, all the tiny homes would love them! Also those clear plastic stacking drawer sets. You can take them directly to SwiftHaven, or bring them here to the house.

I’ll let you know when it’s time to donate for the new Tiny Homes Village at the Clean Green site.

GENEROSITY!

Gifts poured in the door today: cookies, bedding & clothing, batteries, baby & Sani-wipes by the bale! Fruit Snacks. String cheese. Did I tell you a bag of bras?  A friend way down in California is sending softer meat snacks. Like jerky, only for people who haven’t been able to afford a dentist in years. Your financial support let me buy 48 ground pads, which were delivered this morning. And I got to help pay for Outreacher gas.

NOMADLAND

Just wanted to let you know about a wonderful new film, Nomadland with Frances McDormad. She is so good in this film about older people in the US who live in their vans, RVs and campers because they just can’t make it on SS. They work along the way and belong to a community for support. It’s heartbreaking at times, yes, but it’s well worth watching. It’s on Hulu (you can get a free trial for a week). ~ Patti Rathbun

Every relationship you begin, deepen or preserve, mends the world. ~ Me.

  MUSIC

BANJO WOMEN

https://variety.com/2021/music/news/our-native-daughters-smithsonian-channel-special-rhannon-giddens-1234912870/

RADIO FREE FL!P: MARY’S GARDEN

Remembering Linda Waterfall. She wrote this when we were both so very young. It takes on a new meaning now that she no longer walks among us. I’m so glad she left us this song! Alcohol isn’t something I have a use for, but all the other words are precisely on target.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9G4mUdTzIo

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

New Format: Neighborhood; Homelessness; Music

CONTENTS 02/25/2021
New Format
Columbia Neighborhood
  Recycling
  Covid Symptom Study
Soup Brigade
  Cooks
  From The Out-Reachers
  New Tiny Home Village!
  Bellingham Community Meal
  Needs
Vaccination For Fl!p
Music
  Fairhaven College Live Concerts Online
  Quarantine Happy Hour
  Radio Free Fl!p: Mississippi John Hurt
  Bonus: Welcome To The World

I’m still covering all three beats: First my neighborhood, then homelessness, then music. Just keep scrolling!

NEIGHBORHOOD

RECYCLING

I’m happy to announce that there is no change to the SSC curbside recycling program, as a result of the near seamless transition from Northwest Recycling to Lautenbach Recycling. Our advice is still:  Clean – Dry – Empty, properly sorted and secured – everyone keep on doing the great job you have been for decades!

http://ssc-inc.com/recycling_residential.php#prepare

http://www.ssc-inc.com/weather_delays.php#tips

Thanks in advance for not parking in alleys on collection day, and not building things in alleys (gardens, fences, walls, etc) that restrict our drivers from getting in and out to serve you and your neighbors.
Sincerely,
Rodd Pemble
Recycling/Safety Manager
Sanitary Service Company Inc

COVID SYMPTOM STUDY

Help slow the spread of COVID-19. I have been using this app to report daily for many months. It provides a huge amount of data for researchers. The more of us that use it, the better it works. My app has been telling me we need just 37 more people in Whatcom County to sign up in order to get the most accurate picture of where we stand. This is my personal invitation. I would love you to join me!

https://covid.joinzoe.com/us-2

SOUP BRIGADE

COOKS

I’m looking for cooks again, two per day, each making dinners, starting on Wednesday March 3. I am so relieved to have cooks till then! Thank you to all those who have stepped forward.

The goal is to cook for 25 or 30 people, or split with a friend and cook half that many. I have ingredients, containers, pots & pans to loan. And I get very cool ingredients. Talk to me!

I also have two ways to deliver: 5 PM drop-off at SwiftHaven (or we can probably find someone to pick up from you and drop off if needed). The other way is to have our evening out-reacher come by and pick up your meals from your house when she gets off work. She will know the day before what time she can come pick up. She generally gets off work between 7 and 9 PM.

To join, you sign up with me directly. My favorite channel is email because I can file those and look back when I can’t keep track of it all. I will also happily accept texts. And love talking on the phone, but it really helps to have a follow up by either email or text to confirm.

Thank you again!

flip@openaccess.org 360-671-4511

FROM THE OUT-REACHERS

I asked the Out-Reachers tonight about the glorious homemade cookies that have been flowing through the last couple weeks. Here’s a response from a retired nurse: “Pretty much everyone is undernourished and many malnourished. They need calories. Lots and lots. Especially in the cold. Not at the expense of healthy food, of course, but in addition.” So, YES!

The encampment at Geri Field is growing again. Here’s one Out-Reacher’s take: “I personally have talked to several people who have been kicked out of apartments, either from family or significant-other arguments, but not hearing of evictions.”

NEW TINY HOME VILLAGE!

A new tiny home village has been approved for the site of the old Clean Green off Lakeway & Woburn. It will be somewhat larger and will be run by Road2Home and the Low Income Housing Institute. Here’s a City weblink: https://cob.org/project/tiny-house-village-project. Here’s an article with more details.

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article249489500.html?ac_cid=DM392952&ac_bid=-445625698

BELLINGHAM COMMUNITY MEAL

This coming Saturday at Assumption Gym on Cornwall. The Bellingham Community Meal provides hot lunches in to-go containers for all who need them. Bellingham Community Meal has been in existence for decades and provides a warm, nutritious meal to anyone who needs it. The BCM takes place at the Assumption Gym on the last Saturday of the month from January through October. During Covid, the meal pickup time is 12:30-2:30pm. This Saturday is the last Saturday in February, so we will have hundreds of warm, take-out meals ready.

NEEDS

We need baby wipes and sani-wipes. Cases of them (really truly cases). And AA, AAA & D batteries. Someone incredibly kind brought us enough to get us through this week. But we’ll need more again. If anyone can make a Costco run for these tomorrow, I can fund it. People have been lovely generous!

VACCINATION FOR FL!P

Zeke and I get our vaccines Saturday if all goes well. I didn’t intend to do that till the teachers and grocery workers had theirs. But I got my arm twisted by too many friends and neighbors. I really am seeing way too many people a day in the process of drop off and pick-up of ingredients, tents, winter clothing, hand warmers, etc. There has been a spate of home-baked cookies flowing through lately. Amazing cooks! I’m not good at distancing. It’s hard to remember to chase people back to the foot of the stairs when I am so glad to see you. A lovely friend got on the phone and stayed right with me through multiple tries till I had appointments for both me and Zeke. I still feel weird about it, but also kinda relieved. If this blog didn’t have a built-in, many hour lag, I would have sent you all a link!

MUSIC

FAIRHAVEN COLLEGE LIVE CONCERTS ONLINE

Log on every Thursday at 7:00 PM when the link goes live.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/298533994557015/

QUARANTINE HAPPY HOUR

5:30 every single evening
I haven’t reminded you lately of this amazing event! Daily live happy hour music from a different person or musical household every day to keep us connected and supported during the quarantine. The scheduled performer will play an hour of live music for you starting at 5:30PM Pacific Time. Virtual tip jars will be in effect and 100% of the tips go to the performer of the day. Get the quarantini fixings out and enjoy the music!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/quarantinehappyhourmusic

RADIO FREE FL!P: MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT

You Go To Walk That Lonesome Valley

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85BvT5X6WSo

BONUS: WELCOME TO THE WORLD

From John McCutcheon & Si Kahn, in honor of a brand new life in this sweet old world! Welcome to the world, Phoebe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuVHfFQdVjw

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

Columbia Membership; Childcare Survey; Youth Hangout; Mossy Mentors. Home Tax; Soup; TV Tables; Song: More Rev Davis

CONTENTS 02/24/2021
Columbia Neighborhood
  Meeting Report
  City Social Media
  Childcare Survey
  Open Starting Today
  Mossy Mentors
Guitar Humidifiers
Homeless Crisis Sales Tax
Soup Brigade
  Crossroads Of Kindness
  Tv Tables Needed
Village Harmony
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 <dj.val88@gmail.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

CHILDCARE SURVEY

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: rickq2000@yahoo.com.

MOSSY MENTORS

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 coolskypie@yahoo.com 

MOSSY MENTORS!
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,  mossymentors@gmail.com (805)234-7339

GUITAR HUMIDIFIERS

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

https://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article249440435.html?ac_cid=DM392125&ac_bid=-457651342

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.

SOUP BRIGADE

To volunteer to cook a meal, please sign up with me directly – flip@openaccess.org 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!

VILLAGE HARMONY

Annual February Winter Singing Weekend
this coming Saturday & Sunday, February 27-28
Join Village Harmony this weekend as we replace our customary in-person 3-day wintertime event with a special online musical extravaganza. We are pleased to present you with a feast of song, a table of delights for you to pick and choose among, with twenty-four separate classes spread out over two days. Master teachers will be beaming in live from the US and Quebec as well as from Norway, Sweden, Corsica, Bosnia, Georgia, South Africa, New Zealand and Iran.

Register for the weekend HERE

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=972Dx71AtFA

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

Neighborhood Town Hall; Share Shack; N95s. Soup Brigade; Songs: Rev Gary Davis

CONTENTS 02/23/2021
Columbia Neighborhood
   Town Hall Tonight
   Share Shack Report
   Reliable Source For N95 Masks
   Window Prowler
   More Free Glass
   Looking For Short Or Longterm Rental
Soup Brigade
   Needs
   Ingredients
Radio Free Fl!p: 12 Gates To The City

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD TOWN HALL

Online – Zoom Call
Today, Tuesday, 2/23.   6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863…
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

SHARE SHACK REPORT

What generous neighbors we have! The Columbia Neighborhood Association collected 251 pounds of food on Saturday, February 20, at the Share Shack. It was delivered this morning to the Food Bank. Thank you to all the neighbors who took the time to bring their extra food. The Food Bank staff were very appreciative.

We are still processing CNA membership fees. So far $109 has come in for the six organizations (Food Bank, Homes NOW, the Mission, NW Youth Services, Whatcom Community Foundation, and Whatcom Human Rights Task Force.) If you have any questions, you may email CNA at columbianeighborhoodassociation@protonmail.com.
Thank you!  ~
Deb Valentine

RELIABLE SOURCE FOR N95 MASKS

I recently read in the NY Times that while many folks cannot find N95 masks for sale (they aren’t available on Amazon because of all the knock-offs and to save them for medical workers), the small American companies that stepped up to mass-produce them are going bankrupt with warehouses full of N95’s because they can’t get them to market. With Amazon marketplace unavailable and no existing links to hospitals, no one knows they exist.  If you wish to purchase N95 masks AND support a small American mask manufacturing company, please point your cursor toward the following : Demetech.com, PrestigeAmeriTech.com, ProtectiveHealthGear.com, Alg-Health.com, or UnitedStatesMask.com

Prior to reading the NY Times article, I ordered a box of Aura 3M N95 masks from a company called PacMedPro.com. While PacMedPro is a great company, they are not a mask manufacturer (they sell 3M brand masks). Nonetheless, they arrived in 2 days, they are super comfy, and an added bonus, keep my glasses from fogging.  I double-checked that they match CDC guidelines for legitimate masks.

Cheers, Rachel Budelsky (Rachel is married to a medical doctor. I figure she’s likely to be accurate on this one. ~ Fl!p)

WINDOW PROWLER

At 4:30am this morning, a male came onto our porch on Eldridge Ave near toddler park. He was using his phone as a flash light to look through our windows. He then went to our driveway and used his flashlight to look into our basement and shine them on other windows he could easily access. I posted the videos to the Columbia facebook group. Did any other neighbors had activity like this? Thanks, Kacie Emerick  kaciebemerick@gmail.com

MORE FREE GLASS

Temp/Plate Glass

Temp/Plate Glass

3″ x 22.75″

13

30″ x 12″

2

30″ x 14″

6

14″ x 8.75″

75

16″ x 8.75″

80

~ Eric Mastor bubbazoo61@gmail.com

LOOKING FOR SHORT OR LONGTERM RENTAL

A friend of mine, Lisa Tenney, is in need of immediate housing. She is moving out of a very long term rental situation on the outskirts of the Columbia neighborhood due to high mold toxicity. She is looking for a clean, dry place: A 1 or 2 bedroom house or apartment for her and her daughter (and sometimes older daughter as well) that will accept a small, sweet, old dog and cat. Must have good natural light, enough room for a piano, and a bathtub. She is looking for something around $1,300 or less. Lisa is a great caretaker with great references. She is a doula, LMP, and chocolatier. Please contact her at wwoman6@hotmail.com if you know of anything! Thanks!

Kelsey Maloney  maloney.kt@gmail.com (formerly of Elizabeth and Elm Street)

SOUP BRIGADE

Wow! What generosity!! Seven more rolling suitcases came in today. And I got to see some dear old friends delivering gifts. And I wasn’t allowed to hug them! Someday… And I keep making new friends.

A bunch of cooks volunteered today. Thank you SO much! We’re good through next Tuesday, except needing one more cook for Saturday. It sure eased my mind! I know there was a lot more. I can’t think. I’m going to try to go to bed early tonight!

NEEDS

  • I need someone to make a Costco run. Is anyone going?
  • Does anyone have a power strip that takes those little computer plugs?
  • Two women are tent camping downtown. Both need shoes. One 10 1/2-11, one 11-12. If men’s, a bit smaller.

INGREDIENTS

Butter, butter, butter! Please use it! Three kinds of cheese. Eggs. Bacon. Pasta. Rice. Beans of many cultures, including garbanzo (cece) beans! Celery, carrots, onions. Tomato powder & veggie flakes. Several loaves of bread (garlic bread?) Barley. Split peas. Tuna. Really big cans of cream of mushroom soup.

RADIO FREE FL!P: TWELVE GATES TO THE CITY

Reverend Gary Davis, filmed by fellow musicians in Seattle, so we get to see how he does it, if we can figure out exactly how to focus. More songs. If I Had My Way. Candyman. More.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgkrw66PMXg

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

Neighborhood: Town Hall; Bunny & Kitty, Soup Brigade: Community Meal; Cooks Needed; More. Tune: PJ’s Lullabye

CONTENTS 2/22/2021
Neighborhood
   Columbia Neighborhood Town Hall
   Bunny Has A New Home
   Lost Cat Is Home
   Send Me More News!
Soup Brigade
   Bellingham Community Meal
   Cooks Needed
   No Meal Train
   Cooking Guidance From An  Outreacher
   Shelving!
   Ingredients
   Outreacher On Cleanups
Radio Free Fl!p: PJ’s Lullaby   

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD TOWN HALL

Online – Zoom Call
Tuesday, 2/23.   6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863…
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

BUNNY HAS A NEW HOME

And he is already there!

LOST CAT IS HOME

Kim the cat showed up at the pound, and is safely home. Whew!

NEED MORE NEWS!

OK neighborhood, I want a report on the Share Shack event yesterday. And what else is going on that I’ve missed by staying home. Our first batch of yellow crocuses are in full bloom! The first primroses are twinkling magenta out front. The star magnolias are showing off their sweet pet-able pussy-willow buds (be gentle!). The hellebores have revived after the freeze. Tulips & daffodils are poking their leaves up. And our camellia sasanqua tree is in full bloom. And all my lovely sword ferns got scorched in the freeze. But they will unfurl fresh leaves soon enough. I think it’s supposed to be time to plant peas but I haven’t yet. The days are definitely getting longer now, in all the world except the southern hemisphere…

SOUP BRIGADE

BELLINGHAM COMMUNITY MEAL

This Saturday is the Bellingham Community Meal. Hot lunches in to-go containers are provided for all who need them. Bellingham Community Meal has been in existence for decades and provides a warm, nutritious meal to anyone who needs it. The BCM takes place at the Assumption Gym on the last Saturday of the month from January through October. During Covid, the meal pickup time is 12:30-2:30pm. This Saturday is the last Saturday in February, so we will have hundreds of warm, take-out meals ready. Last month was steak, potatoes and roasted Brussel sprouts.

COOKS NEEDED

I’m low on cooks after Thursday, and run out completely for Friday. Email, text or phone me to figure out a day to cook dinner for 25, or even for 10 or 15. Every bit helps!

flip@openaccess.org, 360-671-4511. Thank you!!!

NO MEAL TRAIN

I am not currently encouraging cooks to sign up for the Camp 210 meal train for Geri Fields. There have been too many recent instances where volunteers have had unsafe encounters there. You can sign up with me directly, by email or text or phone. You will either deliver your meals to SwiftHaven or a volunteer will pick up from your house. Experienced outreachers will get your meals distributed one to one with folks who need them, including at Geri.

COOKING GUIDANCE FROM AN OUTREACHER

Butter is magic! When biscuits, muffins or cornbread are dry, no one eats them. The trick is to drench baked goods with butter the minute they come out of the oven. Those sleeping on the ground need calories and want flavor because they’re burning energy to stay warm. We will provide lots of butter and cheese (and bacon) to increase the fat/calorie content of meals this winter. Feel free to ask me for extra.

SHELVING!

My life got so much better today! I now have a big, solid wooden shelf in my front hall, and it is stuffed with ingredients, and don’t have to move a bunch of boxes to get to them! Thank you one and all!!! And the rest of the shelves  are just waiting for set up, and then we can bring in ALL the sleeping bags and ground pads.

INGREDIENTS

I gave away almost all the cheese and bacon, but I hope to have more by later tomorrow. I’ve got butter, eggs, oatmeal, raisins… How about oatmeal cookies? 40 pounds of pasta, huge tin of tuna, big cans of cream of mushroom soup. Pretty easy to make a simple tuna noodle casserole. Lentils. There haven’t been many lentil dishes lately. We’re still working our way through that 50# bag of onions. Carrots & celery. I’ve got two beautiful jars of pesto. Doesn’t someone want to do something amazing (and easy) with them? Rice! I can’t think of the last time someone made a primarily rice-based dish. Think of all the cultures where rice is the foundation. I also have a bunch of tomato powder, which stirs up in to tomato paste with just a little water. Also dried veggie flakes. And of course, all the take-out containers, pots & pans….

OUTREACHER ON CLEANUPS

May we consider advocating for when city cleanups occur, that more time is allowed for camper and city parks volunteers, & citizens to assist in packing up and relocating their living and outdoor survival supplies.

RADIO FREE FL!P: PJ’S LULLABY

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill. I’m dreaming of an early bedtime tonight. Wishing you a gentle unwinding in this lovely tune.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaMqChG81p4&list=RDaaMqChG81p4&start_radio=1

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

New Format; Neighborhood Town Hall; Bunny, Lots More; Soup Brigade; Concerts; Musician: Brownie McGhee

CONTENTS 02/21/2021
New Format
  Columbia Neighborhood Town Hall
  House Fire Fund
  Bunny Love!
  Found Wedding Ring
  Glass Shelving
Soup Brigade
   Needed
   Thank You!
Ingredients
Cooks Needed
  Community Conversations
    Crisis Intervention Training
      Homeless In Whatcom County
   Indoor Tiny Homes
Music
   Jim And Susie Malcolm
   Susan Ellenton
Halfway Birthday
Radio Free Fl!p: Brownie Mcghee

REORGANIZATION

I’m going to try something different. This list started as a Columbia neighborhood email list, which I ran for 15 years or so, with a couple thousand people on it by a year ago. I also had a music list which I ran in various forms for over 40 years, with a thousand people or so. Mostly two different groups. At the beginning of the pandemic a year ago, I began posting what I could learn from trusted sources, trying to to shed more light and less panic. And then my emails started bouncing. I was emailing to too many people, too often, with too many links. I tripped all the triggers for being tagged as a spammer. Subscribers would contact their service providers saying they wanted to receive my posts, but the big companies said no. Some kind and generous folks then built me a blog that could send the emails, and we combined my lists and ran them through the blog. That seemed to work reasonably well except for a lag time of several hours. Neighbors don’t seem to mind getting the music posts, and there are far fewer of them since there are far fewer concerts.

Since November, our local homeless emergency has come to the forefront, and then some! But I had an email from a neighbor today explaining that she could no longer bear to read my emails and wishes I would split my list. I have worried about that! I don’t think I can handle two blogs, but what I am going to try is to put the neighborhood posts first. All of them. Because more than half of my subscribers are neighbors. I will run the Soup Brigade posts after, and then the music. You can scroll past the parts you don’t want, or notice all that goes on in our amazing neighborhood!

And end with a song…

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD TOWN HALL

Online – Zoom Call
Tuesday, 2/23.  6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863…
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

HOUSE FIRE FUND

Whoops! I forgot to include a link in yesterday’s thank you from Yoav’s neighbors.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-yoav-recover-from-his-housefire/

BUNNY LOVE!

Winnie is the sweetest bunny! Do you know anyone who would like him?  Unfortunately we cannot take him with us and the person who was going to take him no longer can. Text for photos. He’s adorable  Jenny 360-630-9363

FOUND WEDDING RING

Found a man’s wedding band ring on a walk near corner of Victor and Washington today 2/20. Probably a size 11-12. There are some very distinguishing parts of it. Let me know if you think it’s yours. 💗 ~ Kate Ferry, Williams Street. Kateferry02@gmail.com

GLASS SHELVING

We have tons of glass shelving from the old JC Penny downtown.  There are over 200 pieces and we’re ready to let them go for free.  Here’s a list of the sizes.  Some are tempered and others are plate glass:

Plate Glass Pieces        Number of Panes
3″ x 22.75″                             18
12″ x 12″                                14
30″ x 12″                                 2
30″ x 14″                                 6
30″ x 18″                                 5
14″ x 8.75″                             75
16″ x 8.75″                             80
36″ x 8.75″                             13
49″ x 12″                                18
Eric Mastor, Utter Street.   bubbazoo61@gmail.com

SOUP BRIGADE

NEEDED

* Propane parts, tanks, propane. With Texas in crisis, the cost of propane has doubled and availability of parts has plummeted. Our unsheltered neighbors depend on propane for all forms of heat. If you have spare parts, or spare green bottles or bigger bottles to share, this is a good moment.
* Still more hand & toe warmers. We’ve gotten a bunch in, which is great! But especially with the propane shortage, we’re going to need more.
* Men’s jeans, work pants, cargo shorts: size 32, 34, 36.
* Men’s Shoes: size 8.5, 10, 11, 12 & half sizes. Waterproof.
* Women’s bras: size 34, 36, 38 B & C.
* Extra large contractor-weight garbage bags.
* Large & extra large men’s gloves. Not cotton.
* Fruit Snacks, those things like gummy bears (not fruit leather). We’re not focused on healthy, here. We do healthy with hot meals!

THANK YOU!

We have, or have been offered, shelving! This is going to be SO great!!! As soon as shelving is up, I can start picking up or having delivered sleeping bags & ground pads & blankets. We received a huge box of mylar blankets today! And some low-sugar high-electrolyte powder packets for our outreachers to carry in their packs for emergencies. The first batch of sleeping bags is at the store. The next is due soon. We’ll pick them up as soon as we have shelving set up for them.

INGREDIENTS

We’ve got beans! Canned black beans and garbanzos, dried pintos, black beans, white beans, lentils (orange, ivory, and I think green/brown), split peas. And bacon and onions to make them oh so nice! I’ve got grains: white rice, brown rice, barley, oatmeal. I’ve got pasta. I’ve got shredded cheddar, sharp and mild. And mozzarella. Real butter. One more bag of chocolate chips if you want to make some cookies. I’ve got cornmeal for loaded muffins. Fresh celery & carrots. Freeze-dried veggie flakes and tomato powder. Canned tomato chunks. I’ve got way too many eggs! Come get these eggs and do some baking: muffins, cookies, strata…

COOKS NEEDED

I’m low on cooks after tomorrow, and run out completely after Wednesday. Email, text or phone me to figure out a day to cook dinner for 25, or even for 10 or 15. Every bit helps!

flip@openaccess.org, 360-671-4511. Thank you!!!

NAMI WHATCOM

Is hosting 2 upcoming community conversations online

CRISIS INTERVENTION TRAINING
Thursday  2/25/2021  6-8pm

Renee Balodis-Cox, LHMC, MA, MS A certified trainer in Edgework methodology, will teach effective ways to approach and respond to those in crisis, particularly those suffering from mental illness and drug abuse. You will learn strategies for safe, positive, and helpful responses to situations that can be dangerous. We hope the training gives you more confidence and compassion in dealing with those in crisis. CEU s available online

register online  here

HOMELESS IN WHATCOM COUNTY
Monday 3/1/2021  6-8pm

Hear from a panel of frontline providers, ask questions

register online  here

INDOOR TINY HOMES

https://minnesotareformer.com/2021/02/18/indoor-tiny-house-village-for-homeless-people-set-to-open-next-month-minneapolis/?fbclid=IwAR22Xrn3TCzPPU4M7pTC28DfNE6HkEgGFOQTIGzx9otabmpczOVo1umnzQE

MUSIC

Nancy’s Farm presents:
JIM AND SUSIE MALCOLM

Live in concert by Zoom from Scotland
Harmonies, banter, images, slideshows…
Sunday Feb 21, 2021 @ 2pm PST
Traditional and contemporary Scottish folk songs with guitar and harmonica,  including some old favorites and selections from their forthcoming album
Suggested donation $15
To register please email: susie@jimmalcolm.com
(please mention you are registering for the Bellingham WA concert.)
Zoom codes and donation links will be sent to all who register.
If we can’t be in the same room
then let’s be in the same Zoom

SUSAN ELLENTON

It’s almost a year since my new album Learning to Listen went to press, immediately followed by the double whammy of Covid and my frozen shoulder adventure. Now, Learning to Listen is number nine (can you believe it?!) on the North American folk radio charts and it’s time to celebrate!

Monday, February 22 at 4:30 Pacific time, we’ll be live streaming from our living room to yours. That’s the first set. I’ll be singing piano songs from the new album, telling stories and harmonizing with Robert because, that’s what we do!

Then, Thursday, February 25 the 2nd set starts at 7:30 Pacific time. We’ll build our set list for the second set from your requests!

These concerts will stream on Youtube as part of the 2021 Folk Alliance Unlocked conference. Follow these links anytime to YouTube and click on the video to set a timely reminder to be automatically sent to you.

Here’s the links:
Monday Feb 22nd at 4:30 Pacific Time    https://youtu.be/40wIFF080to
Thursday Feb 25th at 7:30 Pacific Time   https://youtu.be/N3uD4AFD-ZQ Come share the love! We’ll save the comfiest chair for you!
to hear Learning to Listen, the new album, visit

www.singfornoreason.com

HALFWAY BIRTHDAY

I wrote this to a friend who turned 50 today. There’s a lovely ritual I was taught, especially for this year of life: Pick up a pack of 50 tea lights (or be gifted with a set from a friend.) Do your research, journaling, note-taking before you begin. It could take weeks or months to prepare. When you’re ready, alone or with beloved witnesses, lay out your candles in a spiral. Light the center candle, and as you do, say an event or memory, or sing a song from the first year of your life. Continue year by year to the present. If you missed your fiftieth year, you can always choose to do it later.

RADIO FREE FL!P: BROWNIE MCGHEE

I’m pretty sure this footage was recorded in Seattle when I was a teenager. Folk musicians I knew brought amazing players to town, and recorded them with a musician’s eye. You can actually see what he’s doing with his hands! And Brownie is telling stories from his life and from his heart. Three songs tonight, recorded live in the 60s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIu3v2GFSqo

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

Finding Swifthaven; Your Gifts; Needed; Neighborhood Food, membership, meeting; More; Song: They’re Calling Me Home

CONTENTS 2/20/2021
   Finding Swifthaven
   Your Gifts
   Needed
   What A Tiny Home Has Meant
Columbia Neighborhood Association
   Canned Food & Membership Drive
   Quarterly Meeting
This Neighborhood Rocks!
Input Opportunity
Yofi Is Home
Lost Cat
Radio Free Fl!p: They’re Calling Me Home

FINDING SWIFTHAVEN

We had a confusing event last night, which led to a great resolution. To begin with, I got this email from one of yesterday’s cooks:

When we went to deliver the food, we were met by an unmasked young man in front of the food tent who insisted on getting quite close to us in the guise of helping us to carry our stuff.  I am now feeling quite conflicted about preparing food if those receiving it cannot be bothered to protect others from potentially serious infection.

Oh! That’s TERRIBLE!!! Were you at the lower parking lot with lots of tents, or at the tiny house village up the hill from there? We have stopped asking volunteers to deliver meals to the tent encampment because of other incidents like this. Your safety is very, very important to me. Love/Fl!p

And then I contacted SwiftHaven, in an absolute panic. I think my greatest fear in this project is not having enough cooks to sustain delivering hot meals. We couldn’t tell where the incident happened. But we all put our heads together and came up with a plan. They found  a cell phone for Heather J, who has undertaken the task of receiving from cooks. And someone agreed to add her to their unlimited “family plan” at only $20 a month. And I sent that person $120 by PayPal to pay for 6 months of service for Heather. Now that she’s living at the tiny home village no one is likely to steal her phone. So cooks will be able to phone her before they leave home with their hot meals to coordinate delivery. WHEW!!!! 

This morning I got this back from my cooks, about last night:

We were at the tent place. D___ put the address he thought we were supposed to go to into his GPS. We didn’t see anything when we got to the spot on the GPS and kept driving some way and came to the tent village. Sorry about the mixup.

So, despite the mixup, these cooks helped us take a really big step in improving our ability to coordinate. I’m SO glad they let me know!

I still need to figure out how to make the destination MUCH clearer in my directions to SwiftHaven for cooks. There are tiny homes rather than tents, with a big chain link fence. I will work on refining my directions, and always include Heather J’s phone number.

The SwiftHaven folks do not wear masks inside their fence, because they were all tested for Covid before they moved in, and they decided together that within their fence was “home.” They are figuring out how to be family for each other. But they are quite responsible towards people from outside.

Sometimes we all still forget masks. I have people come to my own door at least a couple times a week who have forgotten their masks. I have gotten in my car and driven several blocks from home before realizing I forgot my own mask. I finally stored some spares in the car. We’re still all learning to live in this new world.

I talk through the glass in my front door, and offer others a mask. And ask them (and all of you) to please talk with me from the foot of our steps, for my safety. If someone forgets these days, you can ask them politely to mask up. I am 70, in a vulnerable age group, with immune deficiencies. But I have the privilege of staying home. So far, I think it makes sense for me to wait until school teachers and grocery workers and other front-line workers who don’t have the choice to stay home, have gotten their vaccines. In the meantime, I’d love your help talking with me from below our bottom step, because I keep forgetting to ask.

YOUR GIFTS

In this COVID winter, it seems to me that this is an extraordinarily hard year to be homeless, with fewer resources than any year in recent memory. A good time to bring people together to help. I have been just blown away at the kindness that flows through our door. And now some folks have figured out that they can order online and send donations directly to our house. And in most cases, I have no idea who sent it!!! So I am listing some of the amazing arrivals here, with deep gratitude:

Two big boxes of hand warmers (I actually know who sent these and wrote immediately to say thank you); two big boxes of toe warmers; two boxes of AAA batteries; six mylar emergency “sleeping bags;” 8 pairs of wonderful leather men’s large gloves!!! More gloves. Fleece gloves. All big enough. And wool socks!

People continue to show up with wonderful rolling luggage. I think we’ve had 8 so far, and 3 good backpacks as well. A friend sent a delivery of TP, AAA batteries, and dog kibble directly to one of the Out-Reacher’s homes. Folks showed up this week with boxes and boxes of canned & dry goods for cooks to transform. And shelving!!!  At least three sets of shelves have been offered.

People have donated money as well. I’m buying really good supplies on sale, at deep discount because they’re in bulk. And I have finally realized I can contribute to gasoline for the Out-Reachers. You would not believe how many miles they are driving a week this winter! And none of them are wealthy. Caring for others should not cut into their ability to care for their own families. Thank you for leaving me flexibility to notice needs and help, not just those without shelter, but the helpers as well. We are the Hands Of God.

NEEDED

* 32, 34, 36 jeans, sweats, carharts – no dress pants. And cargo shorts for next summer, we can take them now! We need lots.
* Men’s Shoes, 10, 11, 12 & half sizes. Waterproof.
* One pair men’s boots 8-8.5 for a large woman
* Women’s bras: 34, 36, 38 B & C cup
* More fruit snacks. Please no more granola bars or instant noodles/oatmeal/cocoa powder now that the warming shelter has closed. Many neighbors without shelter have no access to hot water. We’re sharing what we already have with folks in RVs and motels, but we have plenty for now. Fruit Snacks are like gummy candy rather than like fruit leather. They stay soft in cold weather and can be chewed by people who haven’t been able to afford dentistry, sometimes for a long time.
* Waist-high shelves for my front entry. Really sturdy. I’d get less exercise unstacking and re-stacking boxes, but my back would appreciate that.
* D cell batteries – about 8 total.
* Picnic table for SwiftHaven
* Someone to do a SmartFood run, again! (This makes me really happy because so many people have been picking up ingredients, pots & pans from the lending library, and containers. There has been some amazing food going out lately.)
* More cooks to sign up for next week! Email or text or phone me. Contact info is at the end of every email I send. We can discuss ingredients together.

WHAT A TINY HOME HAS MEANT

I found this video of interviews with tiny home residents in Toronto very touching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdbmLKaGleg

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD CANNED FOOD & MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

Saturday 2/20  10am-2pm

Help out others! Drive by the Share Shack to donate canned goods that will be delivered to The Food Bank. ALSO, we will have our annual CNA Membership Drive AT the Share Shack (Corner of W. Connecticut and Henry St) where 40% of your membership will be donated to one of the following organizations of your choice: Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Whatcom Community Foundation, Homes Now, The Mission, Northwest Youth Services or The Food Bank. $10 individual membership, $15 for family membership. You can drive up and we will have COVID safe measures for paying for your membership (cash, check, venmo options) and for letting us know where you want your donation to go! If you can’t make it to the membership drive, please fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you: https://docs.google.com/…/1M1UiLSCUMfy29LQRGgO…/edit 

DATE CORRECTION!

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY MEETING

Online – Zoom Call
Tuesday, 2/23   6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863..Z
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

THANK YOU / THIS NEIGHBORHOOD ROCKS!

Earlier this week I suggested the idea of starting a GoFundMe page to help support our neighbor, Yoav Yanich, who lost his house and life partner to a house fire. At the time, I thought it might be a long shot, but boy howdy has this neighborhood surpassed even my wildest hopes! Nothing can replace what Yoav has lost, but this overwhelming show of neighborly love must certainly bring some joy. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Also, a HUGE thank you to Katie Jorgensen for setting up and managing the account!)  Feeling so much gratitude right now . . . ~ Lysa Rivera (Victor Street)

INPUT OPPORTUNITY

Democracy is not a spectator sport! I think a key part of creating affordable housing is publicly owned land. This should be interesting to follow. There’s a place for us to offer input.

https://cob.org/services/planning/development/multifamily-zoning

YOFI IS HOME

Miracle of miracles! Yofi has been found! A man, Ken, from Kenmore called me asking if I was the owner of a dog. He was going to read the license # and I asked him what he looked like. He said, kind of like a small german shepherd.

I said, That’s it! It’s Yofi! He looked at the collar and he said “Yofi!” I thanked him with all my heart and then some and took down his #. He said Yofi was fine and he was playing with his small poodle. More thanks. Then I called Linda and she answered sadly. I told her. She was in ecstasy. After our call she was going to call Ken and get directions and drive down and scoop up Yofi in her living arms. His name is “Yofi”.  My son David named him. It’s Hebrew. It means “wonderful, lovely.” Amazing Grace!  ~ Esther Faber

LOST CAT

Our friends live on Northwest right across from Goods. Their kitty Kim is missing. She has no collar and no chip 🙁 Get in touch with Tom & Kirah Loeffler @ 360.812.1383. Thank you! ~ Julea Ivancovich  (360) 820-3581

https://bellingham.craigslist.org/pet/d/bellingham-lost-cat/7280042656.html

RADIO FREE FL!P: THEY’RE CALLING ME HOME

Rhiannon Giddens. This is just stunning!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3siE2xbVD34

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

Seeking Shelving; Fungibility; Neighborhood Assn; Vaccine; Diamond Jim’s; More; Song: A Little Help From My Friends

CONTENTS 2/18/2021
Seeking Shelving
Why Housing Is Hard: Fungibility
Soup Brigade
Apples?
Canned Food & Membership Drive
Date Correction: Quarterly Meeting
Large-Scale Community Vaccination
Vaccine Finders
Diamond Jim’s Reopening!
Missing Dog
Monthly Rental Sought
Small Things
Radio Free Fl!p: A Little Help From My Friends

SEEKING SHELVING

I’m looking for some big metal garage shelves to store homeless supplies on. (Or maybe a bunk bed frame with no mattresses?) The sleeping bags are coming!!! It will take some time to get each bag situated one-on-one with someone who really needs it. Same with the closed-cell-foam ground pads I’m ordering. So I need a safe way to store them off the floor. I’ve been pouncing on great supplies available right now, while they are on sale! I’d like to buy used shelving or bunk beds. Bookshelves won’t be deep enough. I’ve been watching Craigslist but have found nothing local yet. I’d be delighted to have help searching. Thank you! Love/Fl!p

WHY HOUSING IS HARD: FUNGIBILITY

I was so impressed with this that I requested permission to reprint it here. I’m grateful to have a better understanding of another part of the challenges we face

You can’t just reallocate funds, they’re not that flexible. If you’re going to ask for taxes to be collected you have to say what those taxes are going to be collected for. Once you’ve stated that you’re going to spend the money on something, you can’t just decide after you’ve collected the money, to spend it on something else. I would love it if it worked that way, but I also like the idea of the checks and balances, because it only takes one person to make it all go horribly wrong if we don’t have these tools in place. In simplistic terms if you were to give your preteen five dollars to go to the store and buy milk and they came home with candy, you’d be upset. Well taxes are the same way. Housing Authorities across the country have been trying to create some flexibility in their financial accounting for emergencies and they’ve had some success and some disappointments over the years.

Putting up housing, especially in the downtown area, is an extremely expensive thing, because there is land acquisition, receiving bids from the architecture firms and the contractors. This entire process has to follow federal, state and city laws, laws like the Davis–Bacon Act of 1931, Just to name one. If you’re using taxes from Federal collection, state collection, and/or city collection, they each have their own requirements attached before you’re allowed to tap into that money. The Samish Commons development went about it a little backwards because the Housing Authority acquired the land first, due to the city taking the property in eminent domain. The whole process of acquiring the land and then handing it over to the Housing Authority took about four years. The Housing Authority had to established designation qualifications for the property in order to acquire funding. Because the Housing Authority works with tax dollars they can’t just acquire property and sit on it; there has to be a plan put into place first.

Every penny of tax dollars comes with rules attached. If we want to make real change we need to start going through some of those rules and figuring out if they are helping or hindering the process. Housing Authorities across the nation have fought to have some fungibility, so that they could be a bit more independent. But since the Bush administration, the clamp down on what can and can’t be used by tax dollars has gotten less flexible and not more. It took our Housing Authority here in town about three years to get funding to replace the elevators in the towers because that’s how long it took to go through the red tape on the federal end. Our Housing Authority here can’t make a move without getting OK from the feds at some point along the process, because every Housing Authority property is wrapped up in tax credits and or the section 8 program which are two federal programs that help us achieve low income housing in the first place. The federal government audits the Housing Authority every year, to ensure that they are doing best practices, and to double check that the tax dollars are being spent on the things that were promised. Each Housing Authority gets a rating from the federal government and if a Housing Authority isn’t doing best practices they get put into a category called “troubled.” If they can’t pull themselves out of that category, the feds can come in and shut them down.

I know when you’re standing outside the process it can look like things should be easier, and I agree to some point it should be just a little easier than it is. However, I’ll take these rules and these complications because they are proof that the program is doing what it supposed to be doing. I can point to a lot of properties around town that demonstrate that the program works, because year after year we continue to chip away at the lack of low income housing in our town. I do wish that available low income housing could keep up with the pace of homelessness and the demand of low income housing, but I’ll take what we can get over nothing at all. The Housing Authority is only one small part of an overall network, working on these problems. It does have its place, but by no means can solve every issue which is why we need interconnected systems working together because nothing is going to be a one size fits all. There is no simple quick answer. I wish there was. ~ BJ Plaskett

SOUP BRIGADE

I’ve got pasta & lentils & beans & rice
Cornmeal & barley & bacon & cheese
Butter & onions to make it all nice
Containers to hold it as snug as you please
One could make soup that’s delightful to taste
If one doesn’t, ingredients all go to waste

APPLES?

Hi Neighbors –

The “apple sauce guy” piping up one more time:

You haven’t heard much of the apple detail of this soup brigade operation, because the apple supply had literally dried up. Or found a way of self mushing. It’s a natural, seasonal thing and I don’t blame the homegrown apples. They all were delicious, my, my, my, to the very end…

Well, I morphed into a passable casserole cook. That too is enjoyable and makes me believe to warm as much and stick even more urgently to the ribs, while our long term planning, our stake in it as a community need to find focus, consensus, along with all the questions that need to be asked and answers need to be thought of and courage need to be figured out…

However, back to sauce: since I still have this great loaner mashing equipment that I promised to give back in March…anybody wanting me to turn their bottom of the apple crate into one more round of tummy smiles? Give me a shout. ~ Max Eberhard pappenspiel@gmail.com

COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD CANNED FOOD & MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

Saturday 2/20  from 10am-2pm

Help out others and drive by the Share Shack and donate canned goods that will be delivered to The Food Bank. ALSO, we will have our annual CNA Membership Drive AT the Share Shack (Corner of W. Connecticut and Henry St) where 40% of your membership will be donated to one of the following organizations of your choice: Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Whatcom Community Foundation, Homes Now, The Mission, Northwest Youth Services or The Food Bank. $10 individual membership, $15 for family membership. You can drive up and we will have COVID safe measures for paying for your membership (cash, check, venmo options) and for letting us know where you want your donation to go! If you can’t make it to the membership drive, please fill out this form and someone will be in touch with you: https://docs.google.com/…/1M1UiLSCUMfy29LQRGgO…/edit 

DATE CORRECTION!
COLUMBIA NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY MEETING

Online – Zoom Call
Tuesday, 2/23
6:30-8pm

Join us for a Neighborhood Town Hall and hear updates and action items from our City Council – Hannah Stone, Mayor – Seth Fleetwood, Whatcom PUD Commissioner – Christine Grant and State Legislator – Alicia Rule

The Town Hall focus is local to statewide updates and actions we can take.

AGENDA
1) Welcome and CNA Announcements
2) CNA Treasurer’s and MNAC Report
3) Get to Know Your Neighbors Activity
4) Neighborhood Town Hall
5) Membership Drive
6) Board Elections

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88332968863…
Meeting ID: 883 3296 8863
Passcode: 088987

LARGE-SCALE COMMUNITY VACCINATION CLINIC COMING IN MARCH

Today, a community collaboration of healthcare providers, including Bellingham Technical College (BTC), Family Care Network, PeaceHealth, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Unity Care NW and the Whatcom County Health Department announce plans to open a large-scale community COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be located at Bellingham Technical College.

The Steering Committee anticipates opening the vaccine clinic in March, depending on vaccine availability. The group’s goal is to vaccinate up to 5,000 people at this site per week, depending on the reliability of weekly vaccine shipments from the state. The group is working diligently to finalize operations, staffing, logistics and other details

The community vaccination clinic will abide by the Washington State Department of Health’s phased guidelines for vaccine eligibility. Whatcom County is currently in Phase 1B Tier 1 of vaccine distribution. Those currently eligible for vaccination include anyone 65 and older, all people 50 and older who live in multigenerational households, workers in healthcare settings and long-term care facility staff and residents. Demand for the vaccine still exceeds supply. All parties are hopeful vaccine shipments will increase in the coming weeks.

www.whatcomcounty.us/covidvaccine

VACCINE FINDERS

https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/Vaccine

https://www.covidwa.com/?zipcode=98225

DIAMOND JIM’S REOPENING!

This just in from Jim: Diamond Jim’s is opening up for inside dining tomorrow morning (Feb 19) at 7am to 1:30 pm. Friday through Monday for now. ~ Karen WalkupLynn St

MISSING DOG

Yofi,  my share dog with Linda Burns, was stolen. Yesterday Linda’s Dakota truck was parked in a lot while she was shopping. She left Yofi in the cab while she’d shopped. She came out and her truck was gone. The police know.  ~ Love, Esther

https://bellingham.craigslist.org/laf/d/bellingham-missing-dog-yofi/7279324787.html

https://bellingham.craigslist.org/laf/d/bellingham-lost-dogplease-help/7279366474.html

MONTHLY RENTAL SOUGHT

Musician friends of Margie Katz & Mike Schway: My husband and I are looking for a place to stay for a month or more from March 15 to  around April 15.  We own a home in Metaline Falls, WA near Spokane but have been renting a house in Bellingham during the winter but our lease ends March 15.  I need to extend by at least a month because of a sudden leg injury and because all my doctors that have been dealing with it are here and not at my home in Eastern Washington.  Please contact me if you know of any houses, apartments, etc. we could rent in the Bellingham area.  We would need a kitchen, heat, hopefully WIFI, and it would have to be mostly furnished. Please contact me at kathrynjobowman@gmail.com or 509 675-6749.  Thank you.

SMALL THINGS

When people talk about time-traveling to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small. But barely anyone in the present really thinks they can radically change the future by doing something small. I really like the thought of each of us doing small things, together, in a way that makes the present better for everyone.

RADIO FREE FL!P: A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS

Re-imagined by my beloved friend Linda Waterfall. If you never knew her, you missed a lot. And now her friends have come together and given us the gift of some amazing recordings of her music, her heart, her humor, her presence. Check the beautiful website, and that hilarious song about family holidays!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3g7VbKP2fc&feature=emb_logo

LindaWaterfall.com

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