News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Seattle Public Library announces “Seattle Writes” workshops for the fall

August 27th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

The Seattle Public Library has announced the expansion of its Seattle Writes program series, and will host over 30 writing workshops across the library system between September 6 and November 30 — including three events at the Ballard branch (5614 22nd Ave NW).

On October 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., the branch will host a “Self-Editing Tips for the Self-Publishing Writer” workshop with author and publishing guru, Beth Jusino.

Jusino will return to the Ballard branch on October 16 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., for a “Selling Your Self-Published Book” workshop, to help aspiring writers get their work into the hands of readers.


Finally, the second of two, “Start Your Novel” workshops offered this fall will be at the Ballard branch on October 29, designed for anyone considering writing a novel during the month of November (National Novel Writing Month) or at their own more leisurely pace.

All workshops are free and open to the public, with registration required for most.

To see the full list of “Seattle Writes” workshops offered by the Seattle Public Library this fall, or to learn more about the programs, click here.

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Water1st hosts fundraiser at Hilliard’s Thursday night

August 27th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

The Water1st International Young Professionals Board will host an evening of food, drinks, and football in support of water projects in Ethiopia, Honduras, and Bangladesh this Thursday evening at Hilliard’s Tap Room (1550 NW 49th Street).

Doors open at 6 p.m. for the fundraiser, with attendees encouraged to arrive by 6:45 p.m for a short program from Water1st. The Seahawks preseason game against Oakland will be on the big screen at 7 p.m., with live music at halftime.

Tickets for the event (which can be purchased online or at the door) are $20 per person, and include one free beer pour and one free food ticket. The first 100 people through the door will also receive a free Water1st Beer2nd glass. A raffle for the event boasts a wide range of prizes, including:

Attendees are also asked to consider bringing the contents of their piggy banks and coin jars that are gathering dust, with the hopes of filling a giant jar with pocket change that will also go toward their efforts.

For more information on the event, click here.

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Olaf’s celebrates one year in Ballard this weekend

August 27th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A neighborhood bar is marking one year in Ballard with three days of events this weekend.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Olaf’s (6301 24th Ave NW) will raffle gifts from several local breweries and give away Olaf’s gift certificates good for private parties in the bar’s back room, along with Olaf’s merchandise. Each night also promises to offer it’s own unique events.

Special beers from Georgetown Brewing, Elysian Brewing and Two Beers Brewing will be featured on Friday night, and each brewery will donate items that will be raffled off. Saturday, Olaf’s will open early at 11 a.m., and will have a dunk tank, with patrons getting the chance to dunk a bartender with the proceeds going to benefit the Ballard Food Bank. For Saturday afternoon donors, there will be a pig roast and potluck  (with attendees asked to bring cash, check or items the food bank needs).

Both Saturday night and Sunday night, Olaf’s will feature beers from Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, NW Peaks Brewery, Salish Sea Brewing, and Black Raven Brewing.

My Ballard covered Olaf’s soft opening in August of last year, with owner David Chilson telling us that he and his partners (Pete Pigott and Sara Moot) jumped at the chance to purchase the space when they heard it was up for sale to, “save a bar for our neighborhood.”

For more information on Olaf’s one year anniversary celebration, like them on Facebook here.

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Seattle Fire Station 18 assists in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

August 27th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

The firefighters of the Seattle Fire Station 18 are no strangers to dousing flames with water. However, dousing their neighbors was a different story, until a Ballard resident asked them for their assistance in completing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

When Sayda Elmore was nominated by one of her co-workers for the challenge, she enlisted the help of the fire station for her video. 

“I was unsure if they would take the time out of their busy schedule to assist with this but without hesitation Lt.Graddon’s crew stepped up to help a fellow neighbor for a good cause!” Elmore wrote in an email.

Elmore said she wanted to do something special for her video, which led her to her neighbors as the fire station.

“I really appreciate them taking the time to help with this challenge,” Elmore wrote. “They were nice and even gave me a blanket to take home with me.”

To take a look at how the fire station assisted in Elmore’s challenge, click on the video below.

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Seattle Parks and Recreation announces Labor Day closures

August 26th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

With Labor Day set for next Monday, Seattle Parks and Recreation has announced that many of their facilities will be closed on September 1 in observance of the national holiday.

In Ballard, the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW), typically open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, and the Ballard Pool (1471 NW 67th St) will both be closed for Labor Day. The Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St) will also be closed for the day.

Meanwhile, the sprayparks at Ballard Commons Park (5701 22nd Ave NW) will be open for its regular hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To view a complete list of what Seattle Parks & Recreation facilities and services will be open and closed on Labor Day, click here.

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Seattle Creative Arts Center hosts “Be a Changemaker” book launch September 14

August 26th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

Local author Laurie Ann Thompson will read from her new book, “Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters,” on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St), in an event hosted by Secret Garden Books.

This free event marks the launch of the book, which, according to Thompson’s website, is a “how-to guide for young social entrepreneurs who want to effect social change in their communities and around the world. Equal parts instruction and inspiration, the book will include tools and tips, exercises, and profiles of teens who’ve already been there, done that.”

The book has received strong reviews, with author and New York Times columnist David Bornstein saying it’s, “packed with practical advice and inspiration for anyone who has a yearning to build a better world,” and Kirkus Reviews saying that, “teens looking to make a difference will find inspiration as well as real-world strategies for realizing their dreams of being the change they want to see in the world.”

Some of the teens whose stories inspire the book will also be on hand for the event to share their stories.

For more information on the event, or to order a copy of the book from Secret Garden, click here.

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Market Street Singers celebrates 10 years performing around Ballard

August 26th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Poster - 10th Year-sm

By Joe Veyera

Since 2004, the Market Street Singers have brought their vocal stylings to events and locations both in and around Ballard. Now, to celebrate 10 years, the non-audition, volunteer, community choir will be performing on Saturday, Sept. 13 for the first time at the Ballard High School Performing Arts Center (1418 NW 65th St) at 7:30 p.m.

The free concert celebrates the choir’s tenure in the neighborhood, from small beginnings with what was originally expected to be a one-time performance at a Ballard ArtWALK event.

“We like to say that the MSS is a choral ensemble for Ballard that builds connections within diverse communities” wrote Market Street Singers PR Representative Brandy Rinck in an email. “Celebrating the joy of choral music among singers and listeners, we aspire to cultivate neighborhood pride with choral arts that are truly community identified.  Although we are a community choir in Ballard, we welcome both singing and non-singing members, no matter where they call home. We are proud of our inclusive, service-oriented vision and we seek to be an agent of change and community building through musical excellence and public outreach.”

The concert will bring together new members with special alumni from the past, with the choir performing a little bit of everything, including their favorite selections from the last ten years, and some new and different selections.

For more information on the performance, and the Market Street Singers, click here.

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Dog found in Ballard last night

August 26th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

My Ballard reader Roger emailed My Ballard to let us know that he spotted this young, female dog outside his building yesterday evening on Northwest 59th Street, between 25th and 26th Avenues Northwest.

“She was extremely friendly and polite and didn’t mind me checking her collar,” wrote Roger.

Unfortunately, the dog had no tags on her collar, and despite having a microchip, a check by the Sunset Hill Veterinary & Rehabilitation Center found the chip was blank. The vet clinic offered to contact the Ballard Animal Shelter and have her picked up, under the assumption that the shelter would most likely be the first place her owners would look.

“She’s a real beauty and I hope she gets home safe,” Roger wrote.



Ballard First Lutheran Church hosts Norwegian choir concert September 10

August 25th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

Ballard First Lutheran Church (2006 NW 65th St) will play host to one of three Puget Sound area concerts featuring one of the most outstanding men’s chorus from North Norway.

Hålogaland Mandssangforening, a chorus of 39 singers from eight different municipalities north of the Lofoten Islands in North Norway (Kvæfjord, Harstad, Målselv, Narvik, Andøy, Tjeldsund, Evenes, and Balsfjord), will perform at the church at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10, and will be sponsored and joined by the Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle.

The chorus is directed by Dag Erik Enoksen, who has been an artistic leader and esteemed soloist in the region, and has been honored with The Culture Award for excellence. The leader and chorus organizer, Jan Meyer, is a retired teacher at Harstad University College, has been a guest professor at University of Minnesota and Minot State University, and has also been involved in the Kvæfjord Male Chorus as a leader and singer.

After its Seattle performances — which will also include performances in Bellingham at the Central Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. on Sept. 6 and in Poulsbo at the First Lutheran Church at 5 p.m. on Sept. 7 — the chorus will make stops in Eugene, Ore., and San Francisco.

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PARK(ing) Day applications due this Friday

August 25th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

There’s less than one week left to submit your application for the City of Seattle’s annual opportunity for residents to temporarily turn parking spaces into parks.

Last year, 45 parks popped-up on PARK(ing) Day around the city offering their own unique ways to engage with the local community. This year’s PARK(ing) Day is set for Friday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To partner with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), residents choose two mid-block parking spaces on an arterial street, or one mid-block space on a residential street, and notify nearby businesses and residents about your plans. Next, contact by August 29 to get a free street use permit, and provide a location description and the parking space numbers found on the round metal plates bolted to the sidewalk, provide a copy of your site plan (using the PARK(ing) Day Application to prepare it), and rent and place temporary, mandatory “No Parking” signs 72 hours in advance of PARK(ing) Day. SDOT recommends searching the internet for “barricades Seattle” or to look in the telephone yellow pages under “barricades.”. SDOT cannot provide the “No Parking” signs.

Size wise, these mini-parks should be a minimum of two parallel parking spaces on arterial streets or one space on residential streets, and any items over 3’ in height must be placed within 4’ of the curb, not next to the travel lane. On the day of the event, participants are encouraged to show off their parks through social media with the hashtag #parkingday, and can print out this poster and display it in their park to let people know it’s part of a global event.

For more information on PARK(ing) Day, visit SDOT online here. If you have questions about applications, please contact 


Two public Design Review Board meetings on Monday evening

August 25th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Northwest Design Review Board will host a pair of public Northwest Design Review Board meetings at the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) on Monday night.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., the five-member review board will discuss a proposal for a four-story structure with 40 residential units and no parking at 1506 NW 61st St (along with the demolition of the current two-story structure on the property).


According to the design proposal submitted to the DPD, the proposal addresses a need for affordable housing within the Seattle’s urban neighborhoods, and the objective is to provide an opportunity for safe, simple, efficient living within urban centers.

At 8 p.m., the board will discuss a proposal at 2003 NW 57th St for a six-story building with 126 residential units and 12 live/work units on the ground floor, and parking for 100 vehicles provided below grade.


According to that design proposal, the development objectives of the applicant is to construct a “mixed-use building that provides quality housing and flexible live/work commercial space at the ground floor level in the developing ‘downtown’ Ballard neighborhood.”

Both meetings will be held at the Community Center’s Sunset Captain Ballard Room.

According to the DPD, the process of an Early Design Guidance meeting is as follows:

  1. The applicants will present information about the site and vicinity as well as early massing design concepts.
  2. The public may offer comments regarding the design of a development on the subject site. (Note: Public comment at the EDG meeting is limited to design considerations. If environmental review is triggered, comments related to environmental impacts (such as traffic, parking, noise, etc.) may be sent to DPD following notice of that review.)
  3. The Design Review Board will provide guidance and identify those Design Guidelines of highest priority for the design as it moves forward towards Master Use Permit (MUP) application.
  4. Following the meeting, DPD will issue a written Early Design Guidance report summarizing the meeting. This report will be sent to those who signed in at the meeting or otherwise requested a copy.

For more information on the meetings, click here.


Ballard’s Captive Spirits Distilling wins international award

August 22nd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A Ballard-based distillery has taken home top honors at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), the premier competition of its kind in the world.

Captive Spirits Distilling‘s (1518 NW 52nd St) Bourbon Barreled Big Gin took home Gold Outstanding in the Contemporary Gin category, making it the first American gin to win a Gold Outstanding in the history of the IWSC. The distillery’s flagship Big Gin received a silver medal.

Captive Spirits was launched by third generation distiller Ben Capdevielle with partner Todd Leabman after working 15 years in the bar industry. In March 2011, Big Gin was first created in a 100-gallon Vendome pot still at their Ballard distillery. Bourbon Barreled Big Gin was released in Spring 2013.

“At this point, Big Gin can be found in 12 states and 4 countries,” wrote co-founder Holly Robinson in an email. “Pretty good, for our tiny Ballard spot!”

The distillery is also included on the Short List for Boutique Distiller of the Year — the lone U.S. nominee. The winner for that award will be announced at the 2014 Annual Awards Banquet on November 12th at The Guild Hall in London.

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News from the Seattle Times