Warming Shelter; Needs; Soup; A Day In The Life; Love Your Neighbors Week; Song: Helping Cupid

CONTENTS 2/14/2021
Warming Shelter Update
Soup Brigade
A Day In The Life
Love Your Neighbors Week
Personal Love
Radio Free Fl!p: Helping Cupid


The roster for volunteers filled immediately. When they posted for extras yesterday, they just needed to tuck in a few more of the volunteers they hadn’t been able to use yet, because some had to cancel due to the snow. Six hours ago I saw a post that said there were then 4 open spots to volunteer. Everything else had been filled.
2/15- 1am-5am
2/16- 1am-5am
2/16- 5am-9am
2/16- 9am-1pm

Temporary Warming Site at Depot Market Square

There are 4 volunteers at a time. You check people in. Monitor the bathrooms. Let guests in/out one at a time. Make sure everybody is following the rules (there aren’t many). Visit with guests. It’s pretty straightforward. Everyone wears masks, over their noses too. Even when sleeping.

Those of us at high risk? It’s fine to stay home! Others are taking our place to protect us too, while they help care for the most vulnerable. Parks Director Nicole Oliver has been down there personally, working hard during this time. I have been deeply moved at the kindness there.

Case workers who had lost contact with individuals they were assisting, have reconnected with some of them there, and had housing for a few of them. Volunteer nurses apparently were able to provide some care for trench foot.

We donated at least 20 sleeping bags, and are working to get even more. Big Five will be trying to get more from their warehouse Monday, still at the sale price. And when I say “we” I mean YOU, all you wonderful people who have sent donations!

The shelter closes Tuesday. This is a good time to write the Mayor and City Council requesting that they find another space to keep the warming shelter going at least through February. The weather will be shifting to rain-on-snow which is even harder to get warm in.




Gummy Fruit Snacks (lots and lots and lots)
Bottled drinking water – lots of it
Tons of big packs of AAA batteries
Two 4-packs of D batteries
Fleece blankets
Deals Only has tarps!

More Laundry Brigade members. I sent today’s batch in. Expect contact soon from someone saying Fl!p sent me…


I’ve got wonderful ingredients, pots & pans to cook in, take-out containers, and even some recipes. I’ve got a recipe promised that is like a baked French toast loaf with built-in bacon. Want to learn to make that? I’ve got everything you’d need but the milk. I need another dinner cook for each of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and two cooks to sign up for days after that. I’ve got Out-Reachers to deliver if we can fill them up with meals.


Even in the snow, cooks and drivers and Out-Reachers got food and supplies out to many who need it. Thank you all SO much!

A kind neighbor from Sunnyland came with a pick-up truck and got the huge pile of cardboard from my back porch and dropped it off for folks to tuck under their tents, tarps, and bed rolls, to help keep things dry. And took 4 dozen hot hardboiled eggs as well. Another Sunnyland neighbor offered jars of oregano for our cooks. She had bulk ordered a pound of it, and discovered that oregano is very light weight. A pound is a lot! So the neighbor coming for the cardboard also picked up the oregano. And took one jar to SwiftHaven for the group kitchen tent there. She’ll drop another at Unity Village next time she’s on that side of town. And since she was stopping at SwiftHaven, we also loaded her up with a set that had come in of those plastic drawers that fit so well in the tiny homes… and round we go! Oh, and before she came to my house, the truck owner went to SmartFoods and got a ton of snacks and hot drink packets, and took them to the Warming Center. In one of those “While You’re Out” cascades, I had her running all over town!

A couple friends walked over from the Lettered Streets to bring a big bag of snacks for the Depot Market Warming Center. Another neighbor dropped everything to come get 10 more sleeping bags (the last of the current batch) to take down to the Warming Center when they called me that they had run out again. And he took along the snacks that had showed up minutes earlier!

The head of the Parks Department called to see if I might be able to find a volunteer to help her wash a bunch of the sleeping bags we had donated. She didn’t want them wasted, and was planning to take them to wash and dry at a laundromat. I’m not sure that happened today, but I think it’s going to happen. From what I hear behind the scenes, she has acted with courage, integrity and compassion in this difficult time.

All the fabulous warm gloves that showed up at my door yesterday and today have gone out for use. And the long johns, boots, hats, scarves, fleece mittens. Batteries, headlamps, hand and toe warmers, mylar blankets, tarps…

The camp stove that an Out-Reacher requested yesterday showed up! And it’s already in her hands. She will deliver it tomorrow, along with some donated freeze-dried camping meals, on her friend’s birthday! What could be more perfect?

This evening I was able to order ten more closed cell foam ground pads with mylar. I got 6 last week. I just found a great price and will order still more after I talk with the company, hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will also take the next steps to buy more sleeping bags with all the money donated already for them. And, a friend told me Big 5 moved to the corner of Stuart Rd and Meridian 2-3 years ago. So you can see how often I went shopping, even before the pandemic.

(I must confess, so much of this is just SO MUCH FUN!!! And thank you for your patience with me when the wave tumbles me under. And for writing me again if I haven’t responded in a reasonable time frame.)


Decorate the Columbia Share Shack with hearts, pictures, art on the clothesline with messages of love for your neighbors between 2/14 and 2/20. On Valentines Day, draw hearts and messages of love on the sidewalks for your neighbors to enjoy! On Saturday 2/20 from 10am-2pm, 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:


IF you would like to become a CNA Board member, you can indicate your interest on the form too!
Thank you,
Columbia Neighborhood Association Board


I took some time off this morning, and again at dinnertime to hang out with Zeke. We had a fancy take-out dinner thanks to a neighbor who drove through the snow to pick it up for us!! And another friend brought us flowers!!! And another neighbor shoveled our walk to the street in front and the car in back!!! I set up a pretty dinner table with a white tablecloth, red glass dishes, and candles. And Zeke and I dug out red shirts, which counts as having gotten dressed up these days. I am feeling deeply loved from all directions. Thank you everybody!


Zeke wrote a song a while back, that seemed appropriate for this day. But maybe not quite for a family audience…


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.

Out-Reachers, Laundry? Thanks; Ham! More; Song: Lay Down Your Weary Tune/ Rollin’

CONTENTS 2/13/2021
Out-Reacher Report
Out-Reacher Request
One More Back-Stage Peek
Laundry Brigade
Depot Market Warming Center
Please Send Thanks
Ham It Up!
Warm Hands
Snow Shoveling?
Dog Walker?
Radio Free Fl!p: Lay Down Your Weary Tune / Rollin’


Who are the Out-Reachers? They are people who have taken the time and energy to be interested in others, and in this case, others who many of us have been discouraged since childhood from connecting with. Out-Reachers have gotten to know folks without shelter, and to be known by them, as peers. As helpful friends. Not from above them, but beside them.

Out-Reachers are people who have gotten to know where people without shelter are hiding. Where folks have gone to ground quite literally in hopes of avoiding being swept. Out-Reachers lately have been setting up drop-sites and times to leave a box of hot meals. They chat, and gradually learn what specific needs each of their friends has.

And often share with me, and I tell you, things like – we need size (whatever) men’s or women’s boots. Or we need ski pants big enough to fit over regular pants for a large man. Or to replace a tool kit that was stolen at machete-point from a frightened but generous man. (For that one I phoned my big brother, and an Out-Reacher brought her own phone to that man, and together my mechanic brother and that man figured out exactly which tools needed replacing. The tools are due here Tuesday.)

Out-Reachers know where the hot-food distribution points they have set up are, and communicate with each other to avoid disruption in distribution if one of them has a vehicle break down or other problem..

Out-Reachers occasionally take along a new person to introduce to their friends so there can be more helpers. But not often. This is a gossamer web built on trust, and nothing must disrupt it.

One of the greatest honors of my life was when an Out-Reachers I’ve known for 40 years invited me along in a big snowstorm a bit over a year ago. I’d had no clue about that part of her life.

Out-Reachers are key to what you and are have been able to do in this hard, hard winter. And it’s all built on relationships.


Last night was a good outreach night… especially to drive into town and experience less fear about being stuck alone out in the freezing cold if my car broke down.

One night I was locked out of my car on Holly, frozen locks, with not even a cellphone or wallet in my pocket.

But last night I was just finishing sharing batteries and gloves/socks with citizen Anthony who rests outside with his cart and bag. I knew I was safe in his presence and that he would not leave me alone in the cold.

I knew that I could walk to the Depot Warming Center and request warmth there.

A huge relief, knowing our community has shifted towards ensuring each of us has options for warmth & food, during a time when many stay home with their doors locked even to friends.

May we witness the beauty in the cracks of what is broken

May we give thanks.


Do you by any chance have a small camping stove for my homeless friend outside in this weather in Ferndale? Just something that could boil water, fry a bit.

So what do you think, folks? Can someone help? You could bring it to my house. 2518 Cherry Street 98225.


A edge-of-town camper recognized my broken truck parked for 2 days. Said he was worried about me, wondered if I wanted him to help work on my truck. I thanked him for his kind offer, but let him know it’s already back on the road, fixed.


Want to make a huge difference? Volunteer for the Laundry Brigade! Washing and drying blankets & clothing keeps valuable resources from being thrown away. We need at least two dozen people joining in to keep up with the work. Right now there are really just three people doing consistent work. Let’s multiply that by ten!

There’s a growing pile of clothing & blankets left behind at the downtown warming center. It can’t be re-used there because of city liability for Covid in an enclosed space, but if such items are washed in hot water & dried on hot, they are perfectly good to go back out. There’s a growing pile of laundry at our Laundry Brigade leader’s house too. Mostly frozen solid. She says, “I want enough Laundry People that they are able to keep it up indefinitely and not do a ton for a week and burn out.”

Me? I want our Laundry Brigadier to not burn out!  Please contact me to join in.  If you wrote me about this and haven’t heard back, please write again. Email is best, if possible. I’ve gotta get better organized. I can fund a bit of this gargantuan task out of donations, with laundry soap and some utility costs. Many hands make light work.


They may still need a few more volunteers. Some had to cancel because of the snow. All donations have to be brand new, still in the package, because of Covid. They do have hot water, so individual drink packets like cocoa, apple cider, tea, & coffee are great. Cup o noodles etc. Flavored oatmeal packets. Snacks. Disposable forks (they were out earlier today) – cornstarch based if you can. SmartFoods (formerly Cash&Carry) is great. Again, fruit snacks stay chewable even when cold. Brand new socks & gloves or mittens (wool or poly please – cotton doesn’t stay warm when wet). Fleece tubes as neck warmers you can pull up over your nose when you’re with others.


Please send thanks and recognition to the Park Department! They have gotten so much rudeness about so many things, they could really use some positive feedback! ~ Maggi Kriger



Please someone, come pick it up and cook something wonderful to share with our chilly neighbors.  It’s a ham!!!! I’ve also got pasta, cheese, veggies, rice, lentils, soup base. This could be the start of something good! And we have four neighbors who have offered to transport, so we can get your ingredients, pots & pans, and take-out containers to you, and get your meals where they need to go. We can’t take home-cooked meals downtown to the warming center, but we can feed the people who are still out in the cold. We need a bunch of cooks starting Monday, all week. Contact me to schedule: 360-671-4511 Fl!p


Fleece mittens are even better than gloves to keep fingers together for better warmth (I’m sure you know but worth mentioning in your blog). 

And there may be hand warmers available from Mallory Safety Supply (used to be called Sanderson’s) right across the side street from SmartFoods. Not open weekends.  That’s where I bought my case. Actually had to order the case by phone as the store was out, and their customer service is excellent.  360-734-1110. Wish I could afford more… but I’m thrilled to be part of our community of helping, willing, kind people. ~ Margie Katz, Toad Lake


Anyone shoveling snow for extra cash  in the neighborhood! Young people? Unemployed? ~ Jennifer Dannenberg,  jen.dannenberg@gmail.com


I am hoping to get the name of a good dog walker in the neighborhood.  Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Tina, Lynn St, hobanhomestead@comcast.net


I went to a couple workshops over Zoom in the last two days. Amazing work!

Imagine speaking from the oppressor role with absolutely no defensiveness.

And from the oppressed role with no resentment.

We all have been pushed into both categories, depending on who we’re in relationship to. There is no use at all for blame. That just holds everything in place. We’re all in every difficulty together, and it makes sense to resist every effort to divide us.


Another version of the Bob Dylan classic. My brother saw my first post this morning, and sent me this version by Marley’s Ghost.


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.

Snow Drivers? Song: Robban’s First Ride


Are you comfortable driving on snow? I’m working to find out if we have anyone who can distribute some meals today. If you feel OK about going out, let me know by email or text as I won’t be able to answer till 1 PM (big Zoom call this morning).

We’re going to see if we can get at least one set of meals to SwiftHaven, but that may be all we can do today.

Last night we sent out 75 meals, and tons of snacks in all directions, plus sleeping bags, ground pads, and gloves, hand warmers & toe warmers by the dozens. We did our best to get ready. And here we go!!!

Thank you so much!!!


There’s a grandbaby on the way for a woman I love dearly up in Blaine/Birch Bay. She and her daughter are figuring out how to get into the birth center right then. I first heard this Malvina Reynolds song in 1972, when it was still brand new, from John & Tony, the heroes.



Happy Chinese New Year! Donations & Sleeping Bags; So Much More; Song: Lay Down Your Weary Tune

CONTENTS 2/12/2021
Happy Chinese New Year!!!
Donations & Sleeping Bags
Fruit Snacks
Hand Warmers
Warming Shelter
RV Family
We Shall Be Known
September Rental
Radio Free Fl!p: Lay Down Your Weary Tune


I’m not a non-profit. If you want a non-profit, I’d suggest HomesNOW.org. I’ve been sending them a little money every month for over a year now. But donations continue to roll in the door here. Thank you with all my heart! I spend it the best way I can figure, to help the current situation. Like tonight, when someone told me there were $14 sleeping bags at Big Five in the mall. Marked down from $40 each. I phoned and was told they couldn’t take a credit card over the phone. And this post wouldn’t get out before they closed. And I wanted to wrap people up warm tonight, not tomorrow! So I got on my facebook page.

Donations were what let me just holler at 7 PM to see if someone could go pick up nineteen sleeping bags before the store closed at 9:00, knowing I could afford to pay for them. And a wonderful man jumped in his car and headed out. He even paid for them, knowing I could pay him right back. This was all happening on my facebook page.

And while he was driving over, another person chipped in to help pay for them, and more donors piled on, and I said “Wait! the bags are covered!” But the donors said, “That’s OK, keep taking care of people.” So we’re actually ahead again. And the whole thing took not much more than an hour! My front hall was a mountain of sleeping bags for an hour till an outreach volunteer came to take the first batch down to the Warming Center.

So now I can buy more soup ingredients, containers, hand-warmers, etc. Whatever we get low on. And with luck there will be more sleeping bags in on Monday. Big 5 is going to try. But that’s the last day of the sale. I’m not sure the bags will get here in time. But maybe they’ll let us pre-pay so we get the sale price – $14 instead of $40 is a great deal! Almost half the bags are already at the warming center, which is nearly full tonight. But people there are sleeping covered up tonight, as well as out of the snow. And we can keep track of their bag needs and keep sending more as needed as long as our supply lasts. I’ll let you know tomorrow or Sunday if we managed to work something out with the store.


They don’t turn rock hard in the cold weather. I think jerky and dry sausages may be good too. And string cheese.


Lowes off Sunset, and Dicks Sporting Goods at Bellis Fair had them today. (Call first) Costco is out. I haven’t checked Hardware Sales lately, but Wes there has cut us deals on large orders of tarps.

$15 sleeping bags are supposed to come back in on Monday (with luck) to Big 5 at the mall. Call before you go:  (360) 671-0568  All these can come here to the house. I’ll get them to outreach volunteers.


It’s quiet at the Depot Market. It’s full. The woman working there said what they really need are

Socks (Warm, thick, padded, with wool or poly content. No cotton for winter.)
Cocoa mix, tea, spiced cider –  stuff to put in hot water.
Everything has to be brand new, in its original packaging, because of Covid.


We’ll get the bumps out of this new airplane we’re inventing as we fly it. It got pretty exciting today! But we’re getting to do such cool things! Three different folks cooked. Others picked up the food to deliver far and wide to folks sleeping on the ground in the woods, fields, behind buildings… Such a kind thing to do, and so complex to pull off. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! And thank you for your patiences while we figure it out.

Several people asked how to join the Soup Brigade today, so I wrote this:

You sign up with me to bring dinner (usually dinner) to drop off at SwiftHaven tiny home village, 1555 Puget Street, 98229, in Civic Field. Usually at 5 PM -ish. A resident in a mask (usually Heather) will greet you at the front office and put your hot meals into an insulated box to hold for outreach.

From there, an outreach volunteer will pick it up and take it to distribute to neighbors sleeping scattered far and wide. Neighbors who are scared to be seen and perhaps chased off. So outreach volunteers are key to this effort. They are already known, have built individual relationships (isn’t that what we all need?), and have often set up drop boxes and set regular times for hot meals to arrive.

On my end, I keep a good stock of ingredients, individual meal packaging, and a big pot & pan lending library. I generally don’t provide every ingredient needed, but I’m able to provide most, in bulk quantities. If you are on a really fixed income, I will do my best to provide more. I’m happy to talk on the phone and think with you about what might be fun for you to cook. You cook up your meal, pack it into pints (I provide the dinner boxes) and drop it off, still hot, at SwiftHaven. If you can’t drive over, I may be able to find someone to come pick up your meals. But we have to schedule in advance for all meals.

Other generous neighbors make frequent store runs to make sure ingredients are always available. And everybody keeps donating money so we can keep on doing what we’re doing. It just amazes me!

My phone is 360-671-4511 and my address is 2518 Cherry Street.

Right now I’m booking from Tuesday on, and possibly Monday as well (gotta confirm that). When I have enough outreach volunteers we can distribute 50 or more meals a night. But we’ve got to have the outreach to make it work.

And right now I have a HAM!!! Who’s going to come cook it up?


They got a nice hot dinner tonight! S__ asked L__ if they could deliver together, and she said great. She told me where to find them and we did deliver the meat pies and some baked squash and some hot tea to the family trying to stay warm in an RV.


Quietly slipping supplies next to a sleeping person may be a hazardous challenge. Those impacted w PTSD and or psychotic conditions might have an adverse startle response. ~ Jim Hansen

Thanks Jim – You could leave them nearby, in easy sight. Love/Fl!p


One glove lost when bicycling around the neighborhood Friday evening to deliver lunar new year good wishes.  I can send you a pic of what the remaining one looks like. Grey and black Gortex maybe, with bright red writing. If you happen to find please call and/or text 3609295518 or 3602208676.   Thank you very much!!!!!!!!! ~ Jana Williams


I have a young man who is a very close family friend moving back to Bellingham to complete his studies at Wwu.  He is looking for a September start date and would love to find a one bedroom garage apartment or something similar in our neighborhood. His name is Joe Davies from Clinton on Whidbey Island.  He is a super responsible well traveled young man who is currently working in Walla Walla with the CCC, which I believe is working on trails and endangered creeks and such.  Last summer he was the caretaker for Ebey’s Landing State Park (why would he leave there I love that place!).  So he is a handy groundskeeper if needed and and a hard worker.  Not a partier.  He loves his musical instruments and his computer vises and is generally a quiet homebody.  He would also make a great roommate for the right situation.  Sorry to gush.  I just love him and his family. ~ Randy Mullins, 1202 E Victor St, 360 739-2890

Whatcom Sings Virtual Choir Project #2 in support of the Interfaith Coalition


Submission deadline: Friday, March 5, 2021
Introduction and Invitation

You are invited to sing in a virtual choir to spread inspiration, hope and solidarity through music in these crazy times, and to support the Interfaith Coalition, which provides services for Whatcom County residents experiencing homelessness.

We are making this music at this time instead of meeting in person for the Interfaith Music Festival, an event which happens annually in February.

We’ll be performing “We Shall Be Known,” a singable, heart-felt and inspiring three-part song. Watch this YouTube version, showing MaMuse, the group who created the song, together with singers in the Bay area:  

We Shall Be Known – three-part version

Here is a virtual choral version by a group called “How We Thrive Choir”  (This is not the same as our 3-part score, but it’s a nice virtual choir to watch.) 

Thrive Choir

“We Shall Be Known” calls us to reach across cultures, generations and circumstances to care for one another. Singing it builds faith and community, and sets the stage for action. We are accepting all-comers, and we want YOU! This is about doing something for Interfaith, and just singing!  You don’t have to be an expert singer or technologically savvy.

In order to participate in “We Shall Be Known” though, you need to submit a video of yourself singing your part, by Friday, March 5, 2021. You can find the score, rehearsal and recording tracks, information and complete instructions here: 

We Shall Be Known Folder on BUF choir blog

Whether you submit a video to participate or not, please make a donation to the Interfaith Coalition to acknowledge this year’s Interfaith VIRTUAL Music Festival ($20+ suggested). Learn about Interfaith and donate here:          


Questions? Please contact director Kevin Allen-Schmid at kevin@buf.org



I went looking for this tune to share tonight. I was hearing The Byrds in my mind’s ear, but I  found this transfixing version.


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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Who Do We Notify? Warming Center; Soup Brigade; Needs; Fire; Song: Doggone Cowboy

CONTENTS 2/12/2021
Who Do We Notify?
Hot Water Bottles
Depot Market Warming Center
Soup Brigade
Stuff I’ve Spent Your Money On
Geri Encampment Fire
Radio Free Fl!p: Doggone Cowboy


I had two different people write to ask what to do when they saw someone sleeping out in the weather tonight. It sure is cold out there!

You can call 911 and ask for a Welfare Check. Keep extra gloves and protein bars (non-crunchy) with you to share. I have lots of cheap gloves here if you want a couple pairs to have along.

Depot Market Warming Center, for those who desire/need, had about a dozen beds open at 10 PM. They might squeeze in more. If Depot fills up tonight, then our local community can encourage another building to be heated and opened if there is a need.

I also asked my various outreach buddies. Here are some of their responses:

Encourage the person walking by to stop and greet the person.

They were right there. Just 5 minutes time.  They can even ask if they can make a courtesy call to medics for a welfare check and possible ride to the warming center.

It’s also possible as a citizen walking alone, to stop, wait for another neighbor to walk past, and say, hey, I need your help, I want to check in and ask this person what they need and if there is someone I can phone for them.

It’s also possible, if they are quietly sleeping, to leave a package of hand warmers and a protein bar next to them.

It’s also possible to stop near someone resting outside, call a family or friend in the phone, tell them exactly where you are, ask them to listen in to your conversation.

Then, when you know the person’s needs, ask the person you’ve called, most likely sitting in a heated home, to assist you to support your neighbor lying on the street with their needs.  They might appreciate something as simple as a hot cup of soup or hot cocoa or an extra hat or gloves.

It’s so easy to lose our gloves.


Re: Outreach to unsheltered citizens on the streets and woods – All of us citizens and neighbors are the ones available to say “Hello, how are you? How can I help.“

It’s Us.

Don’t walk past.

There are no HOT team members out at night looking.

There are no medics out at night looking.

Every citizen who walks or drives is our community force of Samaritan citizens, outreaching and caring for each other in solidarity.

Encourage your neighbors to see each other.

Create outdoor soup or burrito kiosk to offer a some warmth to those without power, without shelter, without a safe family that can welcome them home.

It’s All of Us Together.

Creating Community. 


You can offer a soda bottle filled with hot water to cuddle up with. Tucked between legs it can help warm the whole body. Make sure to get the bottles with thick lids, and squeeze just a little water out to ease the pressure. Get all the air out and get the lid on tight. But don’t drink that water. Hot water and plastic bottles are not a healthy combination. If you keep some bottles in your car, you can probably find a restaurant or some such nearby to help you fill it with hot water.


UPDATE 2/11/21: Thank you, Bellingham! We have an abundance of volunteers for the warming site. We’ll update this page and the City’s Facebook page if more volunteers are needed in the days ahead.


  • Prepackaged snacks and hand-warmers are welcome donations. Please deliver to the front desk at the door facing Maple Street.
  • Currently, we are not taking donations in the form of clothing, prepared food, blankets, or other bedding materials at the Depot Market Square warming site.

Cup-o-noodles, oatmeal, and other more substantial food that can be made by adding hot water would be particularly helpful.

If you can find a way to donate a blanket to someone outside, it looks like they would be permitted to take it in with them. It’s not particularly warm inside, though far better than outside. No blankets are provided there.


We’re still figuring out how best to get hot food into cold hands and hungry bellies. I am deeply moved by all the folks coming forward to help. So far, the best thing seems to be for you to email me, and I’ll call you when I get time (tomorrow is crazy) and we’ll figure out what you’d like to cook, and how I can support you. Then we’ll set a date for you to deliver around 25 hot meals to SwiftHaven. I may be able to arrange pick-up if needed. I can sign up 2 or 3 cooks a night, depending on available outreach volunteers. You can pick up ingredients, pots, and to-go containers from me. The big pots are loaners. It’s a soup brigade, but really what we need most is casseroles. So much easier not to spill during transport.

Right now I have a lovely ham that would be a great thing to build a meal around! Reserve it please! Rice, lentils, split peas, pasta, cheese, onions, carrots, eggs, bacon… (Ooo! I have a recipe for a French-toast like casserole with bacon & cheese, and I think we have all the ingredients needed to make it.)

Please email me at flip@columbianeighborhood.org, and put Soup Brigade in the subject line.


Brand new inexpensive ($15?) sleeping bags
    still in the package!
Cup-o-noodle snacks
Oatmeal Cups
ot cocoa mix
AA & AAA Batteries
Hand & toe warmers
Mylar blankets
Ski clothes and gloves
Big black garbage bags – 33 gallon type, preferably heavy weight


It’s been amazing to hear of a need and just be able to go fill it. Thank you!!!
Closed cell ground pads with mylar coating
60 headlamps that use AA batteries
120 pairs of cheap gloves
Hand and toe warmers
Garbage bags in huge rolls
Blue laundry brigade bags
      (we could still use more volunteers)
50+ Tarps
A couple emergency hotel rooms
Straw Bales
Endless ingredients, containers, and a few huge pots & pans for the soup brigade, to supplement all of the soup brigade stuff that also come in as gifts.


There was a fire early this afternoon at the encampment at Civic Field, by the corner of Fraser and Puget. Multiple propane bottles exploded. The fire department got the fire out very quickly. Several tents were involved but the people were mostly ok. One was taken to the hospital with what were described as “minor injuries.”


Joe Breskin & Jack Reid. My brother and Jack have been musical partners for many years. Jack passed today from cancer. Joe spent the day with Jack and his family. Joe said it was beautiful. They sang and played music not only to, but with Jack. All the old family favorites. So this is in honor of a lovely relationship.


Joe and I have each been losing a lot of people these last few years. It’s a price we pay for loving so many and living so long. The only way out would be to die first. The only thing I’ve been able to figure, besides music, is to keep loving more people. And making sure some of them are younger!

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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Warming Shelter Details; Why It’s Not Full; Sweeps!? Much More; Song: Bury Me In My Overalls

CONTENTS 2/9/2021
Warming Shelter Update
  Update For Volunteers
  More Details.
  Why It’s Not Full
  Emergency Storage?
  Geri Fields
  Emails To Electeds
  Soup Brigade
  Laundry Brigade
  Ski Pants Needed
Handyman Recommendation
Radio Free Fl!p: Bury Me In My Overalls


I sent a blog immediately with a couple next steps. Here’s what I was thinking three hours later, with a few edits:

1. Thank the City!

2. Ask City and County council to convene emergency meetings and get the next sets of tiny homes approved. HomesNOW has their paperwork all in order.

Put the request for an extra meeting in the subject line. They are getting so many emails they don’t have time to read the whole thing.

3. We still need to feed and succor those still hiding and sleeping in the woods and behind buildings for fear of being swept. This requires volunteers who are already known to the people we are trying to aid. We’re still working on getting enough volunteers to do daily delivery. For right now you can sign up directly with me to make a dinner for 25. We’ll work out the details together, including which day. Put Soup Brigade in the subject line. I’m getting lots of emails too.

4. Food for folks at the warming shelter: Due to liability, they can only allow commercial packages. Packaged snacks, oatmeal, tea, coffee, if donor identifies themselves. No restaurant food, no home cooked meals. Packaged snacks are welcome. (I wonder if cup-o-noodles will be permitted.) Many folks will be gone at 4:30 to get dinner at Base Camp.

5. Reach out now to your neighbors and start figuring out, as a community, where in your neighborhood you would like to host a Tiny Homes Village, while new permanent housing is being built. Each neighborhood (and EVERY neighborhood) will need to host a village. And we need very small, publicly owned low-income apartments scattered everywhere in Bellingham and every small town.

  I used to live next door to one of these. Very small single-bedroom apartments. Sixteen of them. Separate entrances from the outside. We never had a problem in all the years I lived next door. Three decades later the building still looks in good repair and peaceful. Neighbors.

6. The Warming Shelter would be a great place for detailed outreach by social workers and case workers. We need to figure out why Base Camp never filled and create plans that will work better in the future. One solution will not fit everyone. It is not fair to Base Camp to expect them to take everyone. Or to anyone else to not have other alternatives.

7. Write state and US congress people. State and federal financial support for real housing solutions will be necessary. Local governments are not allowed to spend more money than they have. The Feds can. The time is now for affordable housing.


NEW: The Opportunity Council Volunteer Center is coordinating volunteers for this effort. Please contact summer_starr@oppco.org for information, background check, and to sign up for shifts. Please fill out the Warming Site Volunteer Sign Up form to get started. Once you fill out the form you will be contacted to provide identification for a background check. When cleared you will be given instructions to sign up for a shift and provided training materials.

Summary of requirements for February 9-10, subject to change:

  • 10 p.m. is quiet time and lights out.
  • Masks are required.
  • Six feet of social distance required.
  • No drugs or alcohol are allowed on premises.
  • All weapons be will checked in with staff for safe keeping.
  • Some belongings permitted, maximum of one cart.
  • Service animals permitted.
  • Smoking allowed in designated areas only.
  • Maximum capacity is 35 people.
  • Donations
  • Prepackaged snacks and hand warmers are welcome donations. Please deliver to the front desk at the door facing Maple Street.
  • Currently, we are not taking donations in the form of clothing, prepared food, blankets, or other bedding materials at the Depot Market Square warming site.


Rough Outreach Notes. Some of this is repetition, but most of if goes into deeper detail:

Depot Warming Center
First night Feb 9 th.
Opens for a week 24/7
*Cots to rest on with room for possessions underneath.  (Take possessions with you when you depart)
*Face /Mask covering nose/mouth while inside including sleeping. Provided to those that need.
*All Gender.
*Pets case by case on leash
*Any weapons check in
*Staff: Parks department & volunteers.
*Quiet Hours start 10 pm and lights dimmed.
*Small outdoor smoking area
*Once inside stay inside except for bathroom , smoke zone, and departing with stuff. (Ie -No in and out multiple times- case by case needs).
*Covid Questionaire for symptoms. (If test needed then BC might provide quick test )
*Lots of Parking
*No presence of Law Enforcement
*Updates on city website



It takes time for the word to spread. Maybe half a dozen sleepers last night. A dozen earlier this evening. Why so few? No advance time to get the word out. A year ago at the beginning of the big snow storm, I was out for my first-ever volunteer outreach trip. We found lots of folks on the street with no idea a storm was coming. Temperatures were plummeting. No phones, no internet, no newspapers, and too often, not enough personal connections to get the word via the grapevine.  There are some folks on the street who are isolated even from other people without shelter. It can be a deadly situation.


People risk losing their tents and supplies to theft or sweeps by going in to a shelter. There is so little storage space. I’d love to see a big locked metal shipping container that folks could roll their shopping carts into. Those assisting owners in could take a photo of the owners with their stuff, and attach it to their stuff for security.


Tents in another part of Bellingham were tagged for sweeps earlier today, by what appeared to be a pair of officers. The homeless folks sleeping on the ground there were told they must remove all their belongings and go to either the Warming Center or Base Camp by 9:00 AM tomorrow.

There are a couple problems with this. First, people without homes cannot be required to go to some specific place, any more than you or I can be required. Second, the City has said there will be no more sweeps during this freeze. It’s quite possible that, like fatalities after an armistice has been signed to end a war, it takes time to get the many, complex moving parts of our city to all be moving in the same direction. But it’s heart-breaking that the folks who were threatened are now living with additional, unnecessary panic. I would hope the city will send a less frightening messenger tomorrow morning to let any tagged neighbors sleeping in the cold know that the sweep is not coming at least until this winter storm ends.

If we discover actual sweeps taking place instead of just being threatened, I will most assuredly publish that! I consider myself an Optimistic Catastrophist, assuming the worst, hoping for the best, or at least hoping that I can move the needle a little. One thing that occurs to me is that sweeps are not currently allowed to occupied sites. Such protections do not apply to unoccupied or abandoned sites. If people go to the warming shelter, they may come back when it closes in a week to find all their belongings gone, no way to replace them, and it will still be winter. Let’s watch out for our neighbor’s stuff. If you see a sweep underway, video, document. If you feel safe to approach, ask for details. Call the mayor’s office. And the media.


Three portapotties and a dumpster were installed at Geri Fields with the support of SSC and the Parks Dept. That is SUCH good news! I’m hoping most sincerely that one of the portable toilets is wheelchair accessible. Earlier today, none was, and a woman was unable to get from her wheelchair to use the existing facility. But I am relieved that the Parks Department has chosen to provide basic sanitation. Bravo!

Geri Fields civic field encampment has been told they will not be swept during this extreme cold.

I have a large load of cardboard at our house that I would love to send down if someone is going anyway.


Please write emails to all elected officials. Put Emergency Meeting Now in the subject line. Emergency meetings are needed even more because the warming shelter only holds 35! More shelters are very likely to be needed as the word gets out. But we’ve just been given a week’s grace to get other responses in place. Ask them to prepare right now. Remind them to stop the sweeps. Don’t be mean when you write. It doesn’t help! What helps is LOTS of letters. If you’ve already written, write again.


Whatcom County


We’ve been focusing the core of our hot meal efforts lately on folks hiding out in the woods, those who seem to have the least access to hot food.  I would love to have many more cooks sign up ASAP. We’re asking for 25 meals, but I’m happy to sign additional cooks up for 20 or even fewer for any night where I have skilled outreach volunteers to deliver it. Everything helps. Email me with Soup Brigade in the subject line, even though casseroles are even more welcome and much easier to transport.

I have 20# of red potatoes; rice, lentils, pasta, split peas, and soup base. Also onions, carrots, celery. Shredded Cheddar and some bacon. Some cans of cream of mushroom soup, and at least one big can of beans. I may have a pork loin by tomorrow afternoon. I’ve got containers in many shapes, and paper bakery bags, plus soup pots and giant casserole pans to loan. I’ve got some useful recipes as well.

Most cooks will need to deliver their hot meals to SwiftHaven Tiny Home Village, 1555 Puget in Civic Field, as soon after 5 PM as possible. It may be possible to arrange pick-up of your meals if needed. Let’s do this!!! At least for this week, I am hoping to have two or three cooks per night as outreach volunteers push themselves to the limit.


More volunteers are still needed to take home laundry, wash & dry, and return. I can put you in touch with the volunteer leading this effort.


L or XL  men’s ski pants for a guy without shelter to wear over his regular pants. Does anyone have a pair? Any kind of ski clothing is a particularly great gift right now.


“Handyman Tim” Anderson helped us out last week by switching out our old vanity/sink/faucet and toilet in our half-bath with newer versions. Tim was reliable with his communication, dependable in his arrival time, affordable, and quick to adapt in response to an unforeseen complication. I asked if he’d mind me recommending him, and he said it helps to get the word out. Tim is reachable at 253-886-0945 and Ralph.anderson93@yahoo.com.  ~ Jim Scarborough, Kulshan Street


Larry Hanks (who used to live over on Williams Street) wrote a new verse to this song for Mike Marker, another local musician who recently passed.


And here is Malvina Reynolds’ original song, sung by the incomparable Rosalie Sorrels.


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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Warming Shelter Opens!!!! Volunteer Now! Lots More; Song: It’s Getting Better!

CONTENTS 2/9/2021
Warming Shelter Opening
Volunteers Needed Now!!!
Hot Food?
Say Thank You!
Call Emergency Session Now
Productive Discussion
Drop In Center Correction
We Got Rules
Soup Brigade
Love Your Neighbors Week
Radio Free Fl!p: It’s Getting Better



Good News!!!! Please sign up if your health will permit. Many volunteers will be needed. Masks will be required: parks@cob.org

The City has established a temporary warming site at Depot Market Square, located in the 1100 block of Railroad Avenue in downtown Bellingham.

“Depot Market Square will be available as a warming site beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 9 and remain open 24/7 through Noon Tuesday, February 16. People experiencing homelessness may use this location to stay warm. COVID-19 precautions will be required, including masks and social distancing, while using the space.

“The warming site will be staffed by volunteers. People who wish to volunteer should contact the Parks Department at parks@cob.org to sign up.

“With frigid weather followed by snow in the forecast, standing up this site is the right thing to do to provide an additional place for people living unsheltered to stay warm.

“More details will be posted on this page as plans are” completed.”



Unknown yet if city will “allow” meals at Depot Market building. I’m guessing if our volunteers brought some out towards the sidewalk they would find their way into bodies needing nourishment. I’ve got individual containers here. Those will for sure be needed.


I believe our letters, emails, phone calls and testimony have made a difference. Now we need to say thank you. Really. Please!




I still think this needs to be done. I suspect the warming center may overflow quickly. But government is moving at last in a better direction. Let’s help it keep going!

I’d like to see a flood of emails to all our elected officials with the subject line: “Call An Emergency Session Now.” At last night’s meeting it sounded like they’ve gotten 1000 emails and don’t have time to read and respond to every one, but they are listening. But they hadn’t yet figured out how to take action. Now they have begun. Let’s keep moving. Tiny House Villages immediately, and little apartment buildings scattered everywhere for permanent housing as soon as possible. (Let each neighborhood determine where.) Outreach vans, staffed with paid workers, to go out in the field and meet people without housing where they are. Let’s actually find out what the issues are that we need to solve.

Our elected officials signed up for the job in hopes of making things better, and are getting slammed for every mistake they, and we, have ever made. Most of us are numb most of the time. Otherwise how could we keep going? Kindness helps cut through the numbness. Please be kind to absolutely everyone.

City Hall’s street address is 210 Lottie Street, 98225.



The Whatcom County Courthouse address is 311 Grand Avenue, 98225




The Facebook post on Columbia page re. Space for homeless is below. I think that’s what you were asking for! ~ Michelle Smith



You had mentioned that the drop-in center has been completely empty so far this year and I just wanted to let you know that’s not the case. I’ve been volunteering at the Overflow Shelter since it began operating on JAN 24 in rotation with about 60-80 other volunteers. More information on that here. So far, Base Camp has been sending over about 12-15 men per night and they are almost always the same men every night. It’s my understanding that these are chill, easy going regulars at Base Camp who want to sleep at the Drop-In center because it is quieter and they can get a nice quiet night’s sleep. I’ve just been riding in the van back and forth picking up the guys for the night, serving them coffee/tea/snacks, getting them set up with their cots/blankets/etc and being available for conversation. I agree that Base Camp cannot and should not be expected to meet all the diverse needs of a growing group of unhoused community members. But they are doing what they can, the best they can and I can respect that and help in this small way to support what they’re doing. I just wanted to let you know so you’d have accurate info to include in your large email distribution. Best, ~ Dana Carr


If you couldn’t read the article and want to, email me and ask, with Rules in the subject line.


Sign up with me to make 25 dinners. At this point it’s still worth discussing over the phone. We’re still getting a system in place, and it may change some with the warming shelter. But email me and ask for a date!


I currently have a pork loin, pork roast, small ham, small turkey, large turkey breast and Frozen vegetables. I can probably deliver. Shari (So ask Fl!p)


I have a lot of strong cardboard boxes from my recent move.  If they would be helpful for staying warm, I’d like to donate them.  But I have a small car and would need some help to get them to homeless sites. If they are not suitable (well, they will get wet), could you post that they are available for someone who is about to move?  You can give my phone number and say that I am in the Cordata area. (I was in lettered streets until 2 weeks ago.)

Joanna Colrain, 404-423-3213  colrain@mac.com


We’ve got a mountain here. Can someone help figure out where it’s needed and come get it?  Love/Fl!p


Decorate the Columbia Share Shack with hearts, pictures, art on the clothesline with messages of love for your neighbors between 2/14 and 2/20. On Valentines Day, draw hearts and messages of love on the sidewalks for your neighbors to enjoy! On Saturday 2/20 from 10am-2pm, 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:


IF you would like to become a CNA Board member, you can indicate your interest on the form too!

Thank you,  Columbia Neighborhood Association Board


The Beatles. First song that came to mind, with the news about the Warming Shelter!


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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.

Homeless Crisis; Council Meeting; Bottle Drive; More; Recycling; Free Ramp; Song: Trouble In Mind

CONTENTS 2/9/2021
Homeless Crisis
   City Council Meeting
   Questions I’ve Been Asked
   Soup Brigade
   Productive Conversation
   Plastic Bottle Drive!
   Teens & Young Adults
   Little Free Pantry
   We Got Rules!
Whatcom County Recycling Changes
Free Ramp
Music Lovers Quotes
Jim And Susie Malcolm
Radio Free Fl!p: Trouble In Mind


The meeting just ended. I signed up to speak, and waited all night. It looks like there was some sort of IT glitch and my name was never called. Here’s what I wanted to say. I’ll email them all tomorrow.

We need immediate help, now, and we need no violence enforced for the safety of our unhoused neighbors. If there had been an earthquake, I’m sure shelter, warmth, food, sanitation, & outreach services would be deployed overnight by our emergency services. How can we do less now with wind chill headed for 7 degrees come Wednesday night? It is already below freezing outside for citizens who have been unable to get dry for months.

Can you not call out emergency management to mobilize tonight?

Can you not at least meet again tomorrow to take action? People may well die from the cold. There are no options for so many.

Our neighborhood and our many friends have cooked daily hot meals, and donated thousands of dollars worth of material support to our neighbors sleeping outside, and we watched in horror as those resources were literally bulldozed – all the insulated ground pads, sleeping bags, tents, tarps – into dumpsters. Heartbreaking. Please don’t do that again.

None of the additional beds at the Drop In Center are available to anyone who has not been first accepted by Base Camp. The Drop In Center has been completely empty so far this year.

The tone of outrage, that people without homes would turn down the lovely new shelter out of sheer spoiled stubbornness, is very hard for me to listen to. It’s unfair to both our unhoused neighbors, and to Base Camp, to set unrealistically high expectations.

There does not seem to have been any real effort to find out why homeless people have not filled Base Camp. It’s unfortunate that that question was not explored, and that a great deal of money was spent on “solutions” that obviously don’t work for so many people. And since the money has been spent, a lot of people seem to be busy looking for someone to blame (whether the Mission or homeless folks) instead of figuring out what to do now. And the cold is here, and the temperature is dropping fast.

We need information collected, without blame: How many are turned away, and because of what issues? Then we can figure out how to fill those gaps. But meanwhile, we need managed emergency winter shelter now, today, this week.

You can write too:

City Hall’s street address is 210 Lottie Street, 98225.

The Whatcom County Courthouse address is 311 Grand Avenue, 98225


Or at least the answers I given. I bet you can guess the questions.

If someone is saying Outsiders are flooding in for us to care for, they should have to document that. The Point In Time homeless survey from a year ago showed 2/3 had their last permanent address in Whatcom County. They are ours. If we tried to drive out anyone from “elsewhere” (and of course “elsewhere” did the same, driving our folks back here) we would have spent a lot of resource without having helped anyone and still have similar numbers.

The churches who have provided shelters in former years have mostly older volunteers so they are unable to help because of COVID this year.

Skagit has committed to a much larger shelter than ours, though they don’t have it built yet. It will have many tiny homes surrounding a warehouse repurposed for kitchen, bathrooms, and outreach services. With supervision/ casework / management, which we are missing!

I think every single neighborhood should be required and assisted to host a tiny home village (yes, Edgemoor too), and also to scatter REAL low-income, publicly owned tiny apartment buildings throughout Bellingham and all the smaller towns. Nothing huge. For years I lived next door to a 16-unit, publicly managed low-income apartment building, on Puget near Geri Fields. I never experienced any problems with it. I drove by recently and it still looks to be in excellent repair, and calm, after over a quarter century.

We need federal funding for both tiny homes and apartments. But right now, today, we need managed shelter to keep our homeless neighbors from dying this week, sleeping on the ground. Who are we that we would permit this to happen!!!?


We’re getting closer to functional. I could use cooks for every day of this week since the weather will be so frigid. You’ll deliver to the SwiftHaven Tiny House Village at 1555 Puget 98229, on the east edge of Civic Field. This is not the same as the encampment further down the hill at Geri Fields, which the City has posted for a sweep but has not yet swept as of today.

In the longer term, we will try for Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday dinners weekly. For now, let’s just feed them if we can.

What we’re going to try is two 5 – 6 PM dinner deliveries for 25 (about 3 gallons). One will be delivered in one of our big loaner pots. When cooks drop off their soup, they get to pick up an clean empty pot to bring back to our house for the next cook. With luck, this will work. We’d also love more soup pots from Goodwill etc. We could just keep adding pots till we reach saturation.

And a second cook can deliver 25 dinners in pint take-out containers, also to SwiftHaven, also around 5 PM. You will be greeted by a masked resident who will accept your meals and get them into insulated boxes. Those individually packaged meals will be picked up by outreach volunteers who will take and distribute them to unsheltered neighbors sleeping in woodlands and behind buildings and such. Outreach volunteers have been working to set up drop off points for meal delivery near these hidden, temporary resting places.

We also need meals right now for a family with children, shivering in an RV. I think heavy quart containers, like yogurt & deli tubs, would be good. I can accept clean, sturdy containers with lids that fit tightly for this purpose. Please don’t drown me, but do bring me some yogurt tubs for soup for the family. If you’d like to cook for the family, let me know. Those meals will also be dropped off at SwiftHaven.

If you can cook, but would be unable to drop off at SwiftHaven, we may be able to find someone to help drive. If you’re someone who might do that, let me know.

I still have ingredients, containers, and soup pots. I could use a SmartFood run to get more ingredients. I can contribute donated funds. I’d love to outfit you cooks.  I have pasta, rice, lentils, split peas, soup base and pesto. And carrots, celery, and onions. I’m going to try to get a bunch more shredded cheese tomorrow. Please, let’s talk! 360-671-4511

I hope cooks will check in with me so we get enough hot meals but not too many on each day. You can pick up ingredients, pots and containers at our house. Email, call or text to set up a time so everyone doesn’t arrive at once. This will also let me try to keep enough supplies in stock. Thank you! Fl!p Breskin – flip@breskin.com 360-671-4511


I am not the only one who thinks every single neighborhood should be required and assisted to host a tiny home village. There is a discussion about where we in Columbia Neighborhood could best site such village. It needs land about the size of one city lot, or maybe two. Here’s a link to that conversation. Last I looked, it was still civil. Please keep it that way!
(Gah! Can’t find it. Someone send it to me and I’ll post it tomorrow.)


Especially water. Bottled water. Everyone asks for water. They’re desperately thirsty, the people sleeping on the ground deep in the woods, trying not to be seen and swept. Big milk jugs filled with tap water would be good to use for washing but they would need to be CLEAN with lids on.

Warm gloves, hats, scarves, thick, padded wool socks (no cotton), mylar blankets, hand and toe warmers, tarps, ground pads, little sample toothpaste tubes, AA & AAA batteries, TP, trash can liners, sleeping bags (synthetic, because down doesn’t stay warm when it’s wet).


Please keep and collect your EMPTY, small and medium sized plastic bottles with thick lids. We are collecting them to help HEAT our unhoused neighbors when temperatures drop. These items can save a life! Please contact at jc@homesnow.org for pickup/delivery arrangements. Thank you so much! These bottles will be filled with hot water and handed out to folks sleeping on the ground in the cold, as hot water bottles. Make sure your bottles are clean, uncrushed, and have the thick lids. Also needed are sleeping bags, ground pads, wool blankets, hand warmers…


The Ground Floor is still operating in their space in the basement of First Congregational Church on Cornwall and has been throughout the pandemic. It is run by Northwest Youth Services, which provides a number of resources for teens and young adults. The Ground Floor is a day-use center and is a place where young people can get access to services for basic needs (clean clothes, showers, food) as well as support to help them get off the streets. Last year the city supported running a cold weather shelter there from December until March, but my understanding is that they didn’t do that this year because space is really too small for that. More information about all the resources that Northwest Youth Services offers can be found at https://www.nwys.org/


We decided to turn our Little Free Library at Utter and North into a little free pantry. Please bring or take non-perishable items only.  Also please don’t fill it too full or place any items outside the cabinet.  Enjoy and thank you for helping one another through this ordeal (Covid, economy, divisiveness, climate, etc.)! ~Aaron Silverberg


How one community is supporting their homeless neighbors and helping them organize themselves.



Things are happening behind the scenes. See what it means for you and your curb side pick-up at a Q&A with SSC and Lautenbach Recycling on Tuesday Feb 9th 4-5:30pm. Organized by Sustainable Connections.

Whatcom County’s long standing recycler, NW Recycling, is ceasing business on February 1, 2021. This leaves Whatcom County without a local processor for our recyclable materials and likely means there will some big changes to our local recycling services. Zoom in and share your thoughts and ideas.

Studies have shown that a Zero-Waste approach is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies to protect the climate.



Heavy plywood. Sturdy, steady, and relocatable. It was used to get wheelchairs, bikes & garden carts up and down a single 6” step at our place before our remodel. ~Fl!p – flip@breskin.com


My friend Laura Smith reminded me of a Musical Moment: One of my favorite memories from a lifetime of music was with my friend Gemma when she was still very small, somewhere between baby and toddler. We sat at the keyboard with her on my lap. She took the lead, pounding on the keys with full hands. I listened as carefully as I could, and reproduced her rhythm and general cadence as closely as I could while also hitting handfuls of keys. She quickly grasped what I was trying to do, and led me on a merry chase, leaving room for me to echo her. We went on for an amazingly long time. It was a huge, real-time challenge. One of the greatest musical triumphs of my life!


Harold Arlen (Over The Rainbow): “Music doesn’t argue, discuss or quarrel, it simply breathes the air of freedom.”

Hopefully, once we have “herd immunity” we will find ourselves in a “heard community.” ~ Nina Feldman

Nancy’s Farm presents:

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


Big Bill Broonzy. I got to play his guitar one time. It was amazing, but way too big for me. I felt like a three-year-old girl trying to ride a Percheron.


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.

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.

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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


Here’s a description from an Outreach Volunteer:

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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

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



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


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

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

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


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


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

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


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


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

Under Pressure – adapted by the Marsh Family

Have The New Jab

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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911. 

Soup Brigade; Base Camp; Positive FEMA; Election Ballots; More; Love Poem To America; Song: GroundHog Day

CONTENTS 2/3/2021
Building Community
Soup Brigade
Of Course Base Camp Turns People Away
Cold Streets
Can Anyone Confirm This?
Criminalizing Homelessness
Positive FEMA Change
Ongoing Needs
Space Available?
Educate Yourself Tomorrow
Plastic Drawers?
Conservation District Ballots
Roof Inspection / Repair?
Free Desk, Mattress
Love Poem To America
Anne Feeney
Radio Free Flip: Groundhog Day


Freedom requires responsibility. Freedom Of Speech works so much better if it includes Responsibility To Listen.


Can anyone cook for tomorrow or Thursday evening, to deliver here to our house at 6:45 or 7 PM? I’ve got ingredients & containers.

The situation at Geri is unsafe due the combination of another upcoming sweep, plus some food tent volunteers again appear to be itching for a fight with the authorities. I’m not currently supporting delivery there.

Other volunteers have been working to get new systems in place. Outreach folks who are known and trusted have been setting up drop spots to leave meals near folks camping in the woods in various places. These campers are urgent not to be noticed and swept, and will not connect with strangers.

Our ability to deliver food and supplies will rely on the outreach volunteers. They’re trying to set up regular drop days and times for smaller groups scattered around our area. I have delivery folks for the next two nights. Thursday 2/4 and Friday 2/5, they will pick up here at 7 PM if I can arrange cooks. I have other outreach volunteers interested in regular mid-day Monday and Wednesday pick up for distribution. I think we are aiming for only 25 meals per day at this point, and would happily accept fewer because that’s much better than nothing. We’re still working out this new system, so expect changes. But I have supplies and ingredients. You can sign up directly with me, and deliver your hot meal here. 360-671-4511 text or email.


The head of the Lighthouse Mission / Base Camp spoke publicly on the radio last week, and confirmed that Base Camp is indeed unable to take in everyone, that there are problems they cannot handle. And he encouraged the city to create another shelter for those they must turn away. I’m tremendously relieved at this. It interrupts and contradicts the story that all those still living on streets are choosing to refuse resources. I’m heartbroken that elected officials are still repeating this.  “How dare you turn down our nice boiled liver and Brussel sprouts?!”

The tone of outrage, that people would turn down their lovely new shelter out of sheer spoiled stubbornness is very hard for me to listen to. It’s unfair to both our unhoused neighbors, and to Base Camp, setting unrealistically high expectations.

We need information collected, without blame: How many are turned away, and because of what issues? Then we can figure out how to fill those gaps. But meanwhile, we need emergency winter shelter now, today, this week.

City Hall’s street address is 210 Lottie Street, 98225.

The Whatcom County Courthouse address is 311 Grand Avenue, 98225


At roughly 3am Monday morning, volunteers tried to help get 2 individuals into BaseCamp who were found dangerously chilled in the streets. One of them uses a wheelchair and was trying to sleep in it. It took a while to get a hold of someone at BaseCamp, but they wouldn’t let these people seek shelter. Not until 7am. This appears to have to do with COVID tests being unavailable at night, at least so far. But this does leave our only local shelter unavailable during the night if temperatures fall. Neighbors living on the street often don’t have access to weather reports to let them prepare.


The city has posted the following. 

“Public Works crews assisted campers in gathering their belongings, offering transportation, and connections to find safe shelter and other services.” 

I cannot find a single person among the volunteers who helped campers escaped the sweep, who can confirm a single instance of such assistance from any non-volunteer. Can any of my readers here tell me of such help being given?



Washington State is having a public hearing on upcoming bill 5107. The bill would make “unauthorized camping” on any publicly owned or maintained land a misdemeanor, which would lead a massive amount of the homeless population to be criminalized and stranded with no place to go. And with a criminal record, it’s even harder to find a job or a rental. Here’s how to submit a written testimony (click ‘CON’ to show your dissent):


please feel free to share this. They will take written testimony up to tomorrow 2/4/2021 at 10:30 AM.
Committee: Housing & Local Government
Date/Time: 2/3/2021 10:30 AM
Bill/Issue: SB 5107 Homelessness/shelter
Location: Remote Public Testimony

You don’t have to do any more than click “Con” that you oppose this bill, and enter your name and contact information. When I did it, I also added that criminalizing camping creates additional barriers to employment and housing rental for people experiencing homelessness.


FEMA has changed federal reimbursement policies to accommodate homeless people staying in motels. But there are many hoops to be jumped through, apparently including getting our governor to declare an emergency. And probably the County as well. But the money can now be available.



* Batteries AA AAA
* Hats/ mitts / mufflers
* Water,
* Different soft snack foods,
* Foot warmers, hand warmers
* Garbage bags
* Toiletries – tampons, TP & wipes, new combs and brushes, toothbrushes


From the City’s website:

  • Space is currently available at Base Camp and the overflow facility as well as other options provided by the City, Whatcom County and partner agencies providing support for people experiencing homelessness.

I received this from a neighbor:

FYI (an dwith no bias to all the many sides of the complex issues) I walk past the Holly St drop-in center every morning and every evening, and during this entire recent crisis, though lights/heat were temporarily turned on, and beds and bedding were visibly set into standby mode, I have not seen anyone either in residence, waiting to get in, or being turned away. Since Base Camp is the intake point, turning away if any must be happening there.


United Church of Ferndale is hosting an online interview with Bremerton native Richard LeMieux this Thursday February 4th at 6:30 pm. He is the author of “Breakfast at Sally’s: One Homeless Man’s Inspirational Journey”. 

In 2002 he lost his business, his home and family, ending up living in his van with his dog Willow. His story of befriending the local homeless community while sharing meals at local churches and the Bremerton Salvation Army is both brutal and inspiring. After the week we have had, this might be healing. There will be an opportunity to make a Love Offering to the Bremerton Salvation Army and HomesNOW.org. Here the link to register. 



Wanted: clear plastic drawer sets (Rubbermaid or Sterilite type) for the tiny home villages. Thanks! Someone said they usually have them for about $5 at Habitat if anyone is up for going inside. You could call first. Until after the Civic Field sweep, you could deliver them here for safety.


Deadline To Request Ballot (Via Link): February 8, 2021


Basics (more on website-link above):
·       Election for Whatcom County Conservation District.
·       You will not automatically receive a ballot, even if you voted last year.
·       No in-person voting this year due to Covid-19.
·       Completed ballots must be mailed in or dropped off at the conversation district office by March 23rd at 4:00 p.m.
·       The conservation district’s mission is to assist land managers with their conservation choices. The district, established in 1946, works with Whatcom County landowners and farmers to manage natural resources in the county. The conservation district is governed by a board of five supervisors, who are all local residents.


Any recommendations for a house in Cornwall neighborhood would be appreciated.  Thanks.  rhondayounker@comcast.net  425.466.7136


We are giving away a sturdy, hardwood desk, and queen size mattress. Both are used but in good shape. Also a free desk chair in less good shape, but usable. We also have a twin mattress for sale for $50, and a pretty wooden cabinet for $20 obo. They are currently out front at 2728 Walnut Street.  Contact Mardi Solomon (360)325-6002.


He was still dealing with his feelings over the death of his father. His relationship with his father was complicated. His father, an educator and an activist for voting and rights for African Americans, had died in Mexico, to escape the racism of America. He was struggling to make a living as a poet, and then his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Langston Hughes, who was born on February 1, 1902, had been trying to make sense of the everyday injustices he saw in his world, when innocent young, black men, such as the Scottsboro Boys, would be accused of crimes they did not commit and sent to prison by all-white, all-male juries who ignored a supposed victim who confessed she lied.

He was on a train, to visit his mother, when he just started writing the words that came to him. Feeling the sorrow, the pain, wondering whether the darkness would ever subside, but hoping to see some light, he wrote:

“Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machines
I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!”


“A few weeks ago Anne Feeney, our dear friend and my former music partner, fell while doing her laundry, and fractured a vertebrae.  She was hospitalized, where she contracted COVID.  She had been doing well, not showing any symptoms, but she took a turn for the worse on Friday.  She was unresponsive since then.  Dan and Amy are with her now.

Amy asked me to reach out to many of our mutual friends and ask them to stop what they were doing and sing her a song.  Thank you to all that did so.  I put them together into an hour and a half video, which Amy and Dan have been playing for her round the clock.  THANK YOU to all that contributed.

Since then she has been squeezing their hand with some strength and raising her arms at the end of songs and she even opened her eyes for about 7 hours!

I ask that if you know that she knows you, please also send me a song.  I will be loading them all up to an unlisted you tube channel sometime today so that she can hear more of our voices.

ACTION: I also ask that all of you tune into her spotify station and follow her – and lets give her some spins! in solidarity,

Viva La Feeney!  ~ Chris Chandler


A day late, but still an ear worm, and still makes me laugh. And oh so local! Thanks, Zeke Hoskin!


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

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

If you want to ask me to post something, just email me. If it’s urgent, phone. If it’s a real emergency, call 911.