Jessica Burchiel of Bellingham says she was surprised Oct. 12 to find a 40-pound turkey "strolling down North Garden Street with a few chickens."
"I walk from my house on Garden Street to where I work on campus almost every day, and the area seems to be this odd flock's chosen feeding grounds," Jessica says. "They weren't scared of people or traffic, and they were pecking around for quite some time, having breakfast."
Jessica saw the flock again on Oct. 14 and has the video to prove it. She shares the answers to her questions about wild game in Whatcom County that she found at this Fish and Wildlife document (PDF).
Are there wild turkeys in Whatcom County?
A few exist in the county, but most sightings are of domesticated birds.
Why does this turkey have a posse of three hens?
Possible answer: It is an escaped turkey on the lam with its co-conspirators.
Jessica still wonders why, of all places for a turkey to escape to, is it roaming the student rental district?
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ROTARIES WORK TOGETHER FOR HOMELESS
All five Rotary Clubs in Whatcom County pooled local funds to attract more resources to reduce family homelessness, according to John Macpherson, president of the Rotary Club of Bellingham.
The contributions, which added up to $10,000, will be matched one-for-one by the regional Rotary Club International district office that administers a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation specifically targeted at reducing homelessness in our area.
The proceeds will be shared by the Opportunity Council's Homeless Service Center and WomenCare Shelter, two organizations collaborating to create permanent housing stability for homeless families with children.
The combined total of $20,000 will be used as local matching funds to attract approximately $100,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"This is a great example of how Rotary Clubs can maximize the impact of their philanthropy through strategic collaboration with other community-based organizations," John said, speaking on behalf of all five local clubs.
In addition to the Rotary Club of Bellingham, clubs participating are Bellingham Bay Rotary Club, Sunrise Rotary Club of Bellingham, Rotary Club of Whatcom County North and the Rotary Club of Mount Baker .
John says the families who will be helped are those who have children and are unsheltered or living in emergency shelter. Under this program, called "Rapid Rehousing for Families," participants are placed in apartments and provided support services to help them become stable, successful renters.
The funding will be used to provide housing search and counseling as well as case management and temporary rent and deposit assistance.
Whatcom Homeless Service Center will identify eligible families, administer the rent assistance and manage data for performance reporting.
WECU DONATES $31,200 TO NON-PROFITS
Whatcom Educational Credit Union's Social Responsibility Committee made $31,200 in donations in October, according to Kessa Volland, marketing manager.
Interfaith Coalition - Our House received $3,000; Whatcom Humane Society received $2,000 and an award of $1,750 went to Animals as Natural Therapy.
Brigadoon Service Dogs and BTC Parenting Education each received $1,500.
Bellingham Public Schools Foundation and Communities in Schools each received $1,250.
ARC of Whatcom County, Friends of Island Library, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sean Humphrey House, Shuksan Middle School, SISU Children's Fund, Support Officer Community Care, The Firs, The Other Bank, Whatcom Council on Aging, Whatcom County Library and Whatcom Hospice Foundation each received $1,000.
The Penfield Foundation received $900 and NAMI of Whatcom County received $750.
Non-profits receiving $500 included the ALS Association, Bank On North Sound, Bridge of Hope House, Jet Oldsters Association of Ferndale, Northwest Association for the Education of Young Children, Opportunity Council, Whatcom County Re-entry Coalition and Work Opportunities.
Sehome High School received $300.
Programs receiving $250 included the Alzheimer Society, Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center, Whatcom Women in Business and WWU - Beta Alpha Psi Money Sense.
Requests for monetary donations must be made through an application process. The next deadline is Nov. 7. Applications are available at wecu.com or by contacting Maya Hartford by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOLK SCHOOL OFFERS ONLINE REGISTRATION
Whatcom Folk School now offers online registration through their website at WhatcomFolkSchool.org.
The school's press release says that, inspired by Transition Whatcom, a local grassroots movement to reduce energy dependence, Whatcom Folk School offers classes that focus on re-skilling, which means learning the skills needed so that individuals, families, and communities can again meet their own basic needs locally as much as possible. Whatcom Folk School has offered over 500 classes in just over one year of operating and is soon to celebrate winter quarter as its seventh consecutive quarter.
Winter Quarter classes start Dec. 21, 2012, and end March 20, 2013.
BTC GETS $40,000 GRANT FROM ALCOA FOUNDATION
Bellingham Technical College received a $40,000 two year grant from Alcoa Foundation presented by Alcoa's Intalco Works in Ferndale, according to a school press release.
BTC's grant project, called Establishing an Industry Skills Certification System in the Pacific Northwest, will contribute funding for the development of coursework for industry certifications within existing BTC program degrees. The grant was awarded in September.
The Alcoa Foundation funding will help BTC obtain industry certification for instructors and provide the means to certify current students and graduates in electro mechanical technology, precision machining and welding.
Out and About runs Mondays in The Bellingham Herald. Julie Shirley is the Executive Editor of The Bellingham Herald.
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at email@example.com or call 360-715-2261.