March 19 Neighborhood Update

My friend and saxophone player extraordinaire, Mark Kelly, sent this email just now:  “Free concert at 3pm today, inside the Elizabeth Park gazebo. My Kid’Sax quartet, playing six feet apart from each other. Bring your chair.”  đź™‚  Live music!  These kids are very talented.  I will be there!  đź™‚
 Meredith Ann Murray

Our block was INTO it!!! Lots of noise on Victor Street!!!
 Lizanne Schafer

March 17 Neighborhood Update

As I do my social distancing, I find myself craving live music, singing together. I have been mulling over how to help organize a neighborhood sing. It could be people gathering at Elizabeth Park — standing 6-10 feet apart. Or it could be everyone coming into their yards at a given time and belting it out.
I am a nurse and things are, of course, a little crazy right now so I don’t feel like I can spearhead this, but I wanted to plant the seed in case someone else has the time/energy to run with it. I would be happy to help.
Carry on and thanks!
Monica Woelfel
Elizabeth St

March 16 Neighborhood Update

This email is about the challenged Whatcom County ballots from the Friday 03/14/2020 State Matchback for Whatcom County. As you know, many voters forgot to declare a party in this election which condemns their ballot to rejection unless they ‘cure’ it during the brief post election certification period. Another segment of voters have signature challenges which have very high numbers in WA for this election. Many of you who have been challenged have probably received a letter from the Whatcom County Auditor (Elections department) that will help you cure your ballot. Please do not delay! If you have the time, I recommend walking right into the Whatcom County election office to solve these problems. I suggest you bring your photo ID. The website  will help you check your “Ballot Status” now and after you ‘cure’ your ballot. Please check it.  For questions on your ballot, you should call the Whatcom County elections office. Contact numbers can be found here:  As a note, the different challenge groups have very different age curves. The “No Party” challenges skew toward older populations, peaking in the late 60s. All other challenges (including signature challenges) skew much younger, peaking in the teens and early 20s.
The way signature verification works for challenged ballots is tricky. You can fail the second attempt at the verification process. I recommend going in with your ballot and ID.  Many signatures aren’t stable or aren’t recognized as stable/authentic  by the new scanners. My recent SE.2020 vote has four verification failures even though I just submitted one new sig in person. I recommend going in.
Good Luck,
Ryan M. Ferris

Thanks to our community Shari was able to give out 7-8 sleeping bags and 4 tents this cold weekend, plus blankets, quilts, and good warm boots that fit! I forgot to ask for YOGA MATS/ CAMPING PADS. Those would be wonderful!  My front porch can still be a drop-off point. Thank you! If you didn’t yet contact our city and county government to ask for emergency shelters to be opened, it would still be useful.
Fl!p Breskin
2518 Cherry

March 15 Neighborhood Update

I caught a man stealing from the shed inside my yard on the 2700 block of Utter St. today at 5:15 PM. He was at my backdoor around 3:00 PM, asking to take an old BBQ from the alley. He returned two hours later, and my husband saw him on our doorbell camera and called to tell me that he was on our back porch again. When I looked outside, he wasn’t there. I went to my side window and found him stealing tools from our shed. I called 911, and they were able to find him along with a bag of stolen items. I was able to identify tools stolen from our shed, but there are items belonging to other people in the bag as well. The patrol officer Tori James told me to reach out to the neighborhood, especially close neighbors, to see if they find anything missing and if so, to contact her at (360) 778-8839 with the case number 20B-16291 to claim any missing items.
Diana Lim
Utter St.

March 12 Neighborhood Update

If you’re planning on going to an event, it’s a good idea to double-check that it hasn’t been cancelled. And if it has, and you can afford to, you might donate to the artists or event because it means they’ve lost their income stream. We’d like to have them back in the future! And please let me know of cancellations. Zeke and I cancelled our tour to Oregon at the end of this month. Our hosts are willing to reschedule in the future.
Consider donating to your favorite restaurants and other businesses as well, to help them survive this outbreak.


Sunday, March 22nd, 10:00 a.m., Squalicum Beach parking lot in Bellingham |RSVP on Facebook
Water deserves a day of celebration more than, say, Columbus. Participants get a pass for a FREE yoga class and an entry to win a sunset sailing cruise from Gato Verde!

[From my friend Micki Jackson
For those who need further impetus to complete their healthcare advance directive, look no further than the novel coronavirus. This virus and the resulting disease state, COVID-19, could adversely impact our already over-burdened U.S. medical care system.
Will the COVID-19 epidemic be limited?  No one knows, but even if it is, the planning efforts currently underway by government agencies, hospitals, clinics, health departments, research facilities, and others will not be wasted, because the planning is good preparation for the next 21st century disaster or pandemic.
Healthcare facilities could experience severe capacity demands, which could be mitigated to some extent if people have documented their healthcare wishes prior to illness and possible hospitalization. When we complete our advance directive, we help our professional care providers better manage potentially lifesaving resources, especially if our region is in the throes of an epidemic.
Whatcom County has multiple resources to assist with advance care planning (ACP), including the presentation, The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions and follow up ACP workshops. An upcoming Realities’ talk is scheduled March 19, at the Cordata Community Co-op at 6:30PM; follow up workshop on March 25, same time/same venue.
For information:
ACP should be done before accident, illness — or disaster — strike. Let’s not put ourselves, our family, our professional healthcare providers, nor our community into impossible situations. We are all in this together.

Hello there, I am a TypeWell Transcriber ( providing meaning-for-meaning (i.e. not word for word but slightly condensed for ease of reading) transcription for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. With the recent move online of Whatcom Community College, I have lost nearly all of my hours there. I am available to caption streamed events that may have moved online due to the increasing self-quarantines. This service is normally $50/per hour of content, but I am open to reducing rates in order to support the community in this time of need. Captions can be read by any web-enabled device. Contact me for more information. Thanks!
Rachel Ballard
Walnut Street

The streams that run through Little Squalicum Park off-leash dog area are BRIGHT green. All the way down to and including Squalicum beach. Whatcom Department of Health had no idea what it is, and the Department of Ecology said that they looked at it and it doesn’t *appear* to be toxic but also wasn’t sure what it was. You might want to avoid that area for a few days.
Rory O’Connor
Walnut Street

Whatcom Chorale’s “Life’s Harmonies” concert on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with guest artist (and local pianist) Henry From, at First Congregational Church of Bellingham. We hope to reschedule the concert later this year.
B U G (Bellingham Ukulele Group) has postponed their activities for now.
Many other activities have also been postponed. Check before you go.

My friend Nellie Korn is a professional sound person. She has volunteered to stream the funeral of a friend of mine this afternoon. I asked her, and she has free time coming up because so many events are being cancelled. Nellie has the skills to set up businesses, churches, funeral homes, and other gathering places so they can start live-streaming events. And she can teach the new users how to run that equipment.

I don’t know if there are folks in our neighborhood familiar with Karen & Larry. They have been community activists for years all around our region. I’m sorry to say that Karen died a few days ago of cancer. Her funeral is at 1:00 PM today. I’ve been helping set up live-streaming for folks like me who are staying at home. It will stream over my facebook page, which is set to public. If you want to watch and need help getting on, please contact me by 12:30, because I want to be able to play attention during the funeral.

March 4 Neighborhood Update

Over 36,000 Washington State primary ballots have been reported as rejected for failure to specify a party. 5,000 Whatcom County people did not check the box and their ballots have been rejected. See the “County Rejected Ballot List.” Contact the county if your name is listed. You get a second chance. Please make sure you choose a party. Party choice is for this particular primary only and will have no impact on your future choices. Also, if you have already voted and your candidate has now dropped out, if you have not already turned in your ballot, you can request another. Once your ballot has been processed by your local county elections office, it’s not possible to change your vote. I decided before my ballot arrived that I would wait to vote till March 9th. If you do not vote your Presidential Primary ballot you will still receive a ballot to vote in the November 3 General Election. Contact information for Whatcom County Auditor’s Office:  360-778-5102.

(Nature discovery for families with children age six and younger)
Every Friday in March – 9:30-11:00AM
March: Whatcom Falls Park (Upper Playground).
By donation ($5)
Let’s listen in to the spring songs of the birds and frogs along this waterway through one of our favorite parks. We’ll search for signs of spring and check out what the beavers had for dinner!
Holly Roger
(360) 393-7827

Saturday, March 7th – 4pm-5:30pm (Change Of Date)
Connections Building at the Downtown Food Co-op
405 East Holly Street, Bellingham
We are doing a jigsaw puzzle swap! Open house style. Come when you would like and see what is up for grabs.
Bring a puzzle. Take a puzzle.
All puzzles must be complete. No missing pieces.
Puzzles of 20 pieces and more accepted in original box.
Can’t make it? We would love your donated puzzles to get things started.
Free Admission. Donations welcome to DVSAS and/or the Community Food Co-op for donating the space.
Facebook Event:
Kate Ferry

Saturday, March 7th
This upcoming community event is hosted by The Franklin Academy
and powered by Alcoa. The fair is open to all
K-12 students in Whatcom County and students can select from four
divisions: Experiment, Engineering/Invention/Maker, Demonstration, and
Collection. More information about the science fair, registration
packets, volunteering as a judge, project ideas, and resources can be
found at  Contact WCSEF coordinator
directly at sciencefair at to request an information
packet, to become a sponsor, or to have a business exhibit at this
year’s event.
Natalie Bennett
E Victor Street
(360) 733-1750 ext. 1509


* Shelter hotline: This recorded message is updated by 9 a.m. daily by the Opportunity Council. (360) 788-7983
* County website: The Whatcom County Health Department webpage will be updated with severe weather information when it is open.
* City website: The City of Bellingham’s Addressing Homelessness page is available through searching “homeless” and a link is being made available on the homepage.
* Interactive map: The City has provided an interactive map with information about each of the emergency shelters.
* Facebook: The County ( and the City ( will continue to provide outreach through social media as shelters are activated.
* Volunteers: The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County is helping with volunteer recruitment. Volunteers can find more information here:
Hannah Stone
Kulshan Street


[I hope none of us needs this right now, but it’s good to have paperwork in order. Now more than ever. I’ve been trying to encourage end of life planning for years. If you’ve just been added to the list, you might not know that this isn’t new. I’ve been publishing these events for a long time. I’m thinking it could leave a weird impression for first time subscribers! ~Fl!p]

Healthcare 101: Serious illness or accident can happen at any age.
In most states, when a person reaches age 18, they are a legal stranger to their parents. A parent has no more right to obtain medical information on a legal-age daughter or son than they would to obtain information about a stranger on the street. That’s true even if a young adult is covered by the parents’ health insurance, and the parents are paying the bill. That alone is reason to name a durable power of attorney for healthcare and to complete an advance directive on that milestone birthday.
On March 10, at 3:30pm, Bill Lombard MD, a nephrologist, will present “The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions,” at WWU’s Viking Union Room 462. Dr. Lombard will present in frank terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions and what their outcomes could mean in the short and long term.
One of the most familiar interventions is cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The “reality” of CPR is much different than depicted on television.
Dr. Lombard’s presentation supports good decision-making in preparation for completion of an advance directive.
On March 12, at 3:30pm, same venue, Bill Ciao, DMD, a certified advance care planning facilitator, will lead an advance directive workshop.
These presentations are sponsored by Western’s community health program, RN-to-BSN nursing program, and Palliative Care Institute.
If you have a son or daughter attending college hundreds of miles and several states away from home, learn how to help them have a say in the aftermath of a medical emergency, to be firmly in control of medical treatments and to help ensure family peace of mind.
Micki Jackson

Saturday, April 4, 2020 – 7:00pm
Sylvia Center for the Arts, 207 Prospect St, Bellingham, WA 98225
All of us are aware of the inevitability of life’s final journey, yet most of us have difficulty lightening up about it. Death is “serious business” and therefore we seldom see any place for humor in it. However, humor and a chance to laugh can provide relief for our anxieties about death. When we joke about death, we take the mystery out of it and begin to get the upper hand on our fears. So –  the Palliative Care Institute invites you to an evening of improv theatre with the theme of The Departure Lounge.  Some of Bellingham’s most talented improv artists will play with some of our common fears, myths, and denials. We know that death, dying, and loss are no laughing matter, but those who find a bit of humor in the process may find a bit of comfort. Come giggle, laugh, and perhaps even cry (with laughter) at the absurdities of this final journey.
Tickets – $10.00 in advance. $15.00 at the door

All these events are at:
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham

Planning your trip of a lifetime!

APRIL 15     10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
This FRONTLINE public television documentary, based on physician Atul Gawande’s book of the same title, explores patient and family hopes when faced with a terminal diagnosis and their relationships with the physicians who care for them. Dr. Gawande sheds new light on our healthcare system…and the importance of talking about our true priorities. The documentary will spark dialogue and reflections on what matters most to us. Bring your questions and curiosity.

APRIL 22    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
Rebecca Rech Cutler, RN, BSN, a member of Unity Spiritual Center and faith community nurse, with hospice and home health experience, will present in frank terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions, and what outcomes could mean in the short and the long term for patients and families. This presentation supports good decision-making and deeper understanding before illness or accident occurs. It is preparation to complete a reliable, values-based Advance Directive.

APRIL 29    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
10:00AM workshop: Bill Ciao, DMD, practiced dentistry for over 30 years.  In retirement, Dr. Ciao is a volunteer, certified Advance Care Planning facilitator.
6:00PM workshop: Tessa Whitlock, Chuckanut Health Foundation Operations Coordinator, was trained and certified as an Advance Care Planning facilitator when she served at Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement.
They will guide participants in these interactive ACP workshops through completion of an an Advance Directive that is consistent with their healthcare goals, values, and beliefs.  For those who complete their AD, FREE notary service will be available on-site.

May 6    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
This short award-winning documentary shows in stark reality what often occurs when family members are stuck in the awesome position of deciding whether a loved one should remain on life support…or not…and whether they are making that decision for the patient’s good or their own. Following the documentary, a presentation:
Dwight Moore, PhD, psychologist and volunteer for the End of Life Washington organization for seven years, will examine each of the six choices, with particular attention to Washington State’s Death with Dignity law. In consultation with two physicians, people who have a six-month terminal prognosis, may choose to take medication to end their life if that is their wish. He will address some of the moral dilemmas involved, some requirements of the law, and invites your questions.

DEATH CAFE —  “pop up” version
May 13    10:00AM and 6:00PM
Unity Spiritual Center
1095 Telegraph Road, B’ham
The Death Cafe phenomenon began in England in September, 2011.  Since then, 10,130 Death Cafes “opened” in 69 countries. Discussions at Death Cafes cover a range of topics related to death and dying, to increase awareness, to normalize conversations and acceptance about death, and to make the most of our finite lives.  Lively, fun, poignant conversations served with tea and cake!
For more information: Micki Jackson (360) 201-7840

Also, There’s lots going on the the Advance Care Planning world: One fabulous development! Micki has recruited Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Rey to present The Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions in Spanish! Dr. Rey is a FAMILY CARE NETWORK hospitalist. He’s a gem!Micki has already got a Latina social worker, to lead followup ACP workshops in Spanish — Claudia Luna.  So, we’re positioned to better serve this underserved (and often vulnerable) population. If you know Spanish speakers, please help them connect to Micki.
(360) 201-7840


Here are some ideas about how we might minimize the effect of COVID-19 on traditional and folk music, dance, and all arts and artists, from my folkie friend (and doctor) Catherine Britell.

I’m looking for a ride from Everett for a 5×9 rug (rolled up). Someone on Craigslist has one I’d like to buy, but not badly enough to drive round trip to go get it. The sellers are about a mile and a half from I-5. I’ve got a ride offer for Sunday, but if someone can pick it up sooner, it’s more likely to still be available. Thanks!
Fl!p Breskin
Cherry Street


March 3 Neighborhood Update

I forgot earlier. I’m on local station KRME 102.3 FM tonight from 7 – 8 PM. I got interviewed last night. Zeke tried to set up to listen in, and it took him more than a few minutes to get set up to listen online.

Saturday March 14 at 10:00 AM at our house
Meeting for folks considering hosting a disaster preparedness meeting on their own block. I’m glad to come facilitate one 2-hour gathering on your block. At this meeting, we’ll go over how to get your neighbors to come. RSVP Fl!p Breskin 360-671-4511

Saturday, March 7th – 4pm-5:30pm (Change Of Date)
Connections Building at the Downtown Food Co-op
405 East Holly Street, Bellingham
We are doing a jigsaw puzzle swap! Open house style. Come when you would like and see what is up for grabs.
Bring a puzzle. Take a puzzle.
All puzzles must be complete. No missing pieces.
Puzzles of 20 pieces and more accepted in original box.
Can’t make it? We would love your donated puzzles to get things started.
Free Admission. Donations welcome to DVSAS and/or the Community Food Co-op for donating the space.
Facebook Event:
Kate Ferry

I’m looking for a ride from Everett for a 5×9 rug (rolled up). Someone on Craigslist has one I’d like to buy, but not badly enough to drive round trip to go get it. The sellers are about a mile and a half from I-5.
Fl!p Breskin
2518 Cherry Street