News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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58th annual Spaghetti Dinner on next month at BHS

January 18th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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The 58th annual BHS Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser for the Performing Arts programs is set for Saturday, February 4, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The event will be held in the BHS School Commons at 1418 NW 65th St.

In addition to a delicious spaghetti dinner, attendees will enjoy Ballard High’s musicians including the Jazz, Fiddle and Symphonic Bands and the Acapella Vocal ensemble.

Locals are encouraged to bring their friends, family and neighbors to the casual gathering that includes a full spaghetti dinner (meat and veggie sauce options), a raffle, a bake sale and a loads of fun.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for students and children under 5 years of age can attend for free.

Tickets:  Adults $15/ Students $10/ 5 years and under are free.

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Seattle Park District funds renovation of two Ballard park play areas

January 18th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) renovated Gilman Playground (923 NW 54th St) and Webster Park (3025 NW 68th St) play areas, both of which opened in December 2016. The play area renovations replaced aging play equipment and improved park accessibility.

Gilman Park features a play structure with a 16-foot tall play tower, two new slides, and inclusive play elements designed for 5- to 12-year-old children. A structure with a slide and new swings was installed for 2- to 5-year-old children. The park also features an accessible ramp, providing access for all into the play area, as well as a new concrete seating plaza.

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Webster Park includes a new play structure for 2- to 5-year-old children, complete with inclusive play elements and a rainbow slide similar in design to the old slide that was in the park. Play structures for 5- to 12-year-old children include rocks and rope elements that offer climbing and balance opportunities. SPR installed a new sand digging area and provided new basketball backboards, hoops, and nets. The entry at 68th St., along with a portion of the sidewalk, was improved to provide universal access into the play area.

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The SPR team thanks everyone for attending the public meetings and providing input for the improvements.

The Seattle Park District provided the funding for these play area improvement projects. Approved by Seattle voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, operation of community centers and recreation programs, and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

For information about the projects and construction updates vist: https://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/gilman-playground-play-area-renovation or http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/webster-park-play-area-renovation

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Nearby News: Greenwood Library to temporarily close for refurbishing

January 17th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Greenwood Library Branch (8016 Greenwood Ave. N) will temporarily close on Monday, February 13, for refurbishing and improvements that support the changing ways that patrons are using libraries. The book drop also will close.

Patrons are invited to learn more about the improvements at an open house at the branch from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, January 30. City Librarian Marcellus Turner and other Library staff members will be on hand to answer questions.

The 15,000-square-foot Greenwood Branch opened in January 2005, thanks to the 1998 voter-approved “Libraries for All” (LFA) bond measure that renewed and revitalized libraries across the city.

After 12 years of heavy use, the interior will be improved to make the branch more enjoyable for patrons, who say they want quiet study spaces, areas where they can use a multitude of devices and collaborate with others, and spaces where they can sit with their children to read or use technology. Improvements are designed to make it easier for patrons to interact with one another, create flexible, open, welcoming spaces and improve access to technology.

Specific improvements include upgrading the meeting room, adding a laptop bar in the teen area, combining service desks, increasing seating options, adding electrical outlets to tables, and repositioning the public computers to reduce glare. The worn carpet in the branch also will be replaced.

An indoor-outdoor boulder that comes through an exterior glass wall into the children’s area will be removed due to ongoing moisture problems. The boulder will be moved across the street to a parcel designated to become a community park.

The improvement project will be conducted in two phases because it will take time to fabricate a new exterior glass wall for the area where the boulder was located. Most of the construction work will occur while the branch is closed in February and March. The branch is expected to reopen in April with a temporary exterior wall and briefly close again in May or June for about a week so the custom glass can be installed.

During the longer closure, patrons may choose any other Library location as a pickup location for items placed on hold and may return materials to any branch.

If patrons don’t select an alternate branch by Friday, February 3, the Library will redirect holds as follows:

  • Broadview Branch for patrons whose zip codes are 98177, 98133 and 98125
  • Ballard Branch for all other patrons.

During the closure, the Library plans to hold several programs at alternate locations and to open the nearby Green Lake Branch, 7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N., 206-684-7547, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays beginning Feb. 24. Alternate services will be confirmed before the Greenwood Branch closes. Please check the Library’s calendar of events for a complete schedule.

The Library is where the community comes together to share experiences, learn new skills, become entrepreneurs and successful students, take part in civic life and interact with one another.

The Library promised to protect the public’s investment in its buildings as part of the 2012 voter-approved Library levy. The Greenwood Branch improvements are part of the Library’s commitment to ensuring its buildings are well-maintained, clean and comfortable for patrons.

For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

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Most drop-in activities now free at Community Centers

January 17th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Thanks to funding from the Seattle Park District as part of the Community Center Strategic Plan, as of the first of the year, most drop-in activities  at Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers are now free.

During a public outreach process, Seattle Parks and Recreation heard from many communities that even small drop-in fees can be a barrier for people with low incomes, preventing many from taking part in some of our basic activities and services.

In general, a true drop-in activity is one that does not regularly hire staff or have regular materials and supply costs. For most community centers, this means the following activities are now free:

  • Tot Gyms and Tot Rooms
  • Fitness Rooms
  • Basketball, Pickleball, Dodgeball, Volleyball
  • Pool Tables
  • Table games like Bridge or Mahjong
  • and most other activities that previously had $1, $2, or $3 drop-in fees.

The following kinds of activities will continue to charge a fee:

  • Program drop-in (paying for a class one session at a time)
  • Special events
  • Drop-in activities held outside normal operating hours

For more information, or if you have questions about a previously purchased punch card for drop-in activities, contact Ballard Community Center  at (206) 684-4093 or Loyal Heights Community Center at (206) 684-4052 to find out more.

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Fill the Goodwill truck BHS fundraiser on this Saturday

January 13th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Are you running out of space in your closets, garage and other storage spots in your home? Just box or bag those items you no longer need and drop them off at the Goodwill Truck fundraiser for the Ballard High School Performing Arts program.

The truck will be parked in the BHS parking lot on NW 67th Street from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. this Saturday, January 14.

Locals are encouraged to bring electronics, used cell phones, clothes, shoes, toys, kitchen items and small furniture.

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Ballard Development Update January 12: More subdivisions

January 12th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

One application and one decision make up today’s update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

Application:

9032 14th Ave NW

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into three parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 743 sq. ft., B) 1,186 sq. ft., and C) 3,547 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel C into four unit lots. The construction of two live-work and four residential units have been approved under Project #6414916. The subdivision of Parcel C is only for allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel C will be applied to Parcel C and not to each of the new unit lots.

Decision:

2432 NW 60th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 3,043 sq. ft. and B) 1,604 sq. ft. Existing structures to be demolished.

Appeals of the above decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than 1/26/2016

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Ballard Boys and Girls Club to host blood drive this weekend

January 10th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Ballard Boys and Girls Club and Bloodworks Northwest will be hosting a Scholarship Blood Drive from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, at 1767 NW 64th St.

Donating one pint of blood can save up to 3 lives, so locals have the potential to make a big impact in our local community!

If 50 donors participate, one of Ballard High School’s graduating seniors, Elena Olafsson, will be awarded $500 in scholarship money for college expenses.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Jon Raduazzo, jraduazzo@positiveplace.org or reserve a time slot online.

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Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association to host annual meeting this month

January 10th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association will hold its 2017 Annual Meeting  on the mezzanine level of the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) on Sunday, January 22, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

The meeting will comprise of the review of the 2016 program highlights and help shape the program for the 2017 Fifty-Year Jubilee, followed by the nomination and election of officers. Attendees can also enjoy a slideshow presentation from Bergen and light refreshments in the tradition of Norwegian hospitality.

Following the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to experience the gallery exhibit “People, Places, Changing Lands: The Photography of Anders Beer Wilse,” which features turn-of-the-century scenes from Norway and the Pacific Northwest. Free admission will be available for SBSCA meeting participants.

For more information, ticket prices and group reservations, please email the SBSCA at seattlebergensistercities@gmail.com or call the museum directly at (206) 789-5707.

Space at the annual meeting is limited, so please reserve your seat(s) early via Eventbrite. You may also pay your annual dues or contribute to our Fifty-Year Jubilee fund online. Please note that the SBSCA is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax-deductible.

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Ballard Development Update January 9: Subdivision applications

January 9th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Two applications make up today’s update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

519 NW 44th St

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A Land Use Application has been submitted  to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6528759. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

1128 NW 52nd St

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to allow a three story, 63,195 sq. ft. light manufacturing building. Parking for 46 vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished.

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Seattle’s minimum wage reaches $15 per hour for large employers

January 6th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Seattle’s minimum wage increased to $15 per hour on January 1 for employees working for the largest businesses in the city.

Mayor Ed Murray marked the increase this week, which is a milestone for the 2014 minimum wage ordinance that called for a phased-in increase of the minimum wage for workers. The ordinance was the first of its kind for a major city to chart a course to a $15 minimum wage.

“Seattle workers are getting a well-deserved raise in 2017, when our minimum wage hit $15 for the first time,” said Mayor Murray. “Nearly three years on, our local economy is thriving and more cities, as well as the state of Washington, have begun following Seattle’s lead to create a more equitable economy.”

The wage increase will impact an estimated 70,000 low-wage workers in Seattle. A study by the University of Washington found that one year after implementation, Seattle’s economy continues to expand. Data from 2016 also shows that Seattle’s unemployment rate continues to fall and currently sits near its lowest level in years.

Changes to the minimum wage in 2017 include:

Large Employers (501 or more employees worldwide)

  • $15.00/hour: If the employer does NOT pay towards the individual employee’s medical benefits.
  • $13.50/hour: If the employer DOES pay towards the individual employee’s medical benefits. 

Small Employers (500 or fewer employees worldwide)

  • $13.00/hour: If the employer does NOT pay at least $2.00/hour towards the individual employee’s medical benefits and/or the employee does NOT earn at least $2.00/hour in tips.
  • $11.00/hour: If the employer DOES pay at least $2.00/hour towards the individual employee’s medical benefits and/or the employee DOES earn at least $2.00/hour in tips

“We want to ensure that all workers in Seattle earn a living wage. My staff have been fielding calls from Seattle businesses making sure they are ready for 2017, as well as calls from employees asking about their rights,” says Dylan Orr, Director of the Seattle Office of Labor Standards. “I encourage both workers and employers to call us at 206-684-4500 or email us at laborstandards@seattle.gov for answers to questions about the minimum wage and other labor standards laws.”

Seattle’s minimum wage will continue to increase each year on January 1 until reaching $15 per hour for all workers in 2021.

Once Seattle’s hourly minimum wage reaches $15, further percentage changes will be based on the rate of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area. For more details, see the Office of Labor Standards Minimum Wage website.

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Ballard business owners make Forbes 30 Under 30 list

January 6th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Earlier this week Forbes Magazine named the three co-founders of Seattle company Rad Power Bikes (Mike Radenbaugh, Ty Collins, and Marimar White-Espin) winners of the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 award in Manufacturing & Industry for 2017.

Judged by industry leaders and innovators, making the 30 Under 30 list is extremely competitive, with Forbes choosing less than 4% of those nominated, making it even harder to get into the list than Stanford (4.85%) or Harvard (5.2%).

“Words can only begin to describe how exciting this is,” says co-founder Collins. “We can’t believe we get to wake up everyday and indulge in our passion and are so thankful that we have been able to share this with the world. Recognition like this is nice, but it’s not the end, we know this is only the beginning and are more motivated than ever!”

Rad Power Bikes was originally founded in 2007 and relaunched in 2015. It is now one of the top electric bike brands in the USA.

As a consumer direct brand, Rad Power Bikes is able to sell directly to the end user while bypassing the multiple levels of distribution that add up to a larger price tag to the consumer.

“A few years ago finding an ebike with a balance between performance and cost was almost an impossible task,” says Collins. “We wanted to put an end to that and manufacture and market bikes that we would want to ride, but at a far lower price tag versus comparable bikes on the market.”

By making ebikes more accessible to the public, Rad Power Bikes believe more people will start viewing alternate forms of transportation as a viable option.

Congratulations to the Rad Power Bikes team!

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Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee seeks new members

January 5th, 2017 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Seattle School Traffic Safety Committee is accepting applications for new members to help make walking and biking to school in Seattle safer and easier.

The volunteer board, which was created by the Seattle City Council in 1975 to improve traffic safety for all of Seattle’s school children, advises the Mayor and City Council with respect to school traffic safety, including adult crossing guard locations, school traffic signs and signals, school safety patrols, bicycle facilities, sidewalks and student traffic safety education.

Board members serve a three-year term, with an opportunity to serve a second term. Members must be Seattle residents and may not be City employees.

The board meets the fourth Friday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. typically at Seattle Public Schools headquarters with occasional field meetings at school sites or school crossings. Ideal committee members may include parents of school children, frequent walkers and bikers, people interested in pedestrian or bicycle encouragement and those with expertise in public health or child injury prevention.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the City’s boards and commissions. Women, young persons, seniors, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, persons of color and immigrants are encouraged to apply.

Interested Seattleites should submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest via email by 5 p.m. on January 29, 2017, to Serena Lehman at serena.lehman@seattle.gov.

For more information or questions, call Serena Lehman at (206) 684-7577 or send an e-mail to the address above.

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