News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Public climatology app shows data indicating an uncomfortably warm Puget Sound

August 28th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Scientists gathered at Shilshole Bay Marina (7001 Seaview Ave NW) in July to discuss their concerns about the ecological effects of the unusually warm conditions in the Puget Sound region this summer. University of Washington’s Principal Oceanographer & NANOOS Executive Director Jan Newton says concerns are still valid a month after the initial advisory.

She encourages citizens to monitor environmental data with the help of a climatology app user guide that was released online today.

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Seattle School District requests city zoning waiver to expand Loyal Heights Elementary

August 28th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The Seattle School District wants to double the size of Loyal Heights Elementary, and they are requesting a waiver from city zoning regulations to begin the rebuild. There will be a meeting to discuss the request at the Loyal Heights Elementary School lunchroom(2511 NW 80th St) on September 15 at 6:30 p.m.


Plans for the expanded Loyal Heights Elementary School (view PDF here)

The district is anticipating an expected enrollment increase from 450 to 660 students in the coming years, and the plans include a three-story addition onto the original building and modernizing the current structure. The requested zoning waiver includes an increased lot coverage from 35 percent to 50 percent, increasing the maximum height allowance from 35 feet to 60 feet, and eliminating requirements to provide off-street parking. The district also requests to continue the on-street bus loading.

At the meeting, Seattle Schools will provide a presentation about the requested changes before the Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee, which is a group of neighbors, school district and city representatives. The public is invited to make comments following the presentation.

The committee will make recommendations to move forward, whether that be granting the requests outright, grant with conditions, or fully deny the zoning modifications. According to the city, the final decision is made by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

Community members who cannot attend are welcomed to submit written comments to Maureen Sheehan with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods at P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649, or via email at For more information, call Sheehan at 684-0302.


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What’s on this weekend

August 28th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Ballard feels the usual buzz of live music this weekend, but may feel sleepy due to on-and-off drizzle the whole weekend.

We see a high of 71 degrees today, with a chance of returning rain. Tomorrow, an almost sure chance of rain accompanies mid-temperatures; a similar pattern for Sunday sees a 60 percent chance of rain.

Weather-allowing, a couple outdoor movies play in Ballard this Friday night (August 28). Meanwhile, Populuxe Brewing hosts their last summer family fun day this Sunday, and a paint nite event takes place at Ballard Annex.

Watch out for downtown traffic due to PAX Seattle, which runs Friday through Monday, August 31. Also, a free Seattle Center Concert at the Mural plays this Friday with a ‘Swingin’ Roadhouse Night’ theme to end the 2015 series.

FRIDAY, August 28

SATURDAY, August 29

  • Free yoga in the park: Every Saturday starting July 25th a free yoga class will be held in Ballard Commons Park with instructors from the Ballard Health Club. 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturdays through September. Bring a yoga mat! All levels of experience welcome.
  • Work party at Shilshole gateway– Sunset Hill pulls weeds to help keep the sightlines open at the 36th Ave NW median, starting at the north end. Some gloves, tools, and safety vests will be provided as well as and light refreshments. Contact: Dave Boyd, 498-6636
  • Live Music
    • Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks Botanical Gardens: 2 p.m. Featuring Altaeus Woodwind Quintet- music performance of all periods of classic music.
    • Indie Rock at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Cathedral Pearls, The Echolarks, and TBD. Tickets $8.
    • Jazz/Cabaret, Rock/Pop at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring TubaLuba and The Fabulous Party Boys. Tickets $10.
    • Rock/Pop at  Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Wesafari and Hand of the Hills. Tickets $8.
    • Jazz at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St). Featuring University Prep Jazz Combos and  the Jason Parker Quartet at 7 p.m. Chris McCarthy Trio at 9 p.m. Tickets $10.

SUNDAY, August 30

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Family Fun Day at Populuxe–Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th St.) hosts their monthly Family Fun Day from 3- 6:30 p.m., the last one of the summer. A bubble bar will be available for the kiddos, along with facepainting, Dizzy’s Tumblebus and more (all complimentary).  Food and ice cream available for purchase from No Bones About It and Balleywood Creamery. For more information view facebook event page.
  • Paint Nite at Ballard Annex Oyster– paint with a master artist from 2- 4 p.m., eat and drink, and take home your creation.
  • Live Music

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West Woodland parents frustrated by delay in portable classroom additions

August 28th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Parents from West Woodland Elementary are worried the school won’t have enough space for students for the upcoming school year. The school district is asking parents to be patient, saying they’re taking steps to alleviate the problem.

The number of students at the school has increased, and there’s a need for portable classrooms to provide enough teaching space. Parents have been worried because the classrooms haven’t yet arrived and the first day of school is September 9. A recent letter from Seattle Public Schools says the portables are on their way.

West Woodland parent Kate Bovey wrote a letter to Seattle Schools saying she is, “extremely disappointed to hear from some of our wonderful teachers that they are being forced to teach without adequate classroom space. They are also understaffed for the enrollment numbers we are facing.” Bovey say the district promised more portable classrooms, but with just a couple weeks left before school starts, they’re worried it won’t be installed in time.

In her letter, Bovey asks that the district install the new portable classroom now. She also asks that they consider adding a new teacher to the staff, as opposed to hiring a substitute.

West Woodland Principal Farah Thaxton responded with a letter sent home to parents that addresses their concerns. They say they’ve hired a new 1st grade teacher, and are working hard to get the portables delivered as soon as possible.

“I have been working with central office this summer regarding the delivery of the portables,” Thaxton writes. “I  appreciate your ongoing support with this and feel your frustration.”

Richard Best, Director of Capitol Projects and Planning for Seattle Public Schools wrote a letter to parents with the updated timeline for the new portables, saying they’re currently being constructed by the factory and will be delivered to the school the weekend of September 19. Two 2nd grade classes will move into the portables once they’ve been inspected by the school district. Best regrets the delay, saying the district had been taking bids for the portables in an effort to, “make wise use of taxpayer dollars.”

“This action resulted in a delay of the construction of the portables we ordered, including the new West Woodland double classroom portable,” Best writes. “We are grateful for your strong support for West Woodland Elementary School and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We ask for your patience until this project is completed.”


Throwback Thursday: Ballard’s parks of yesteryear

August 27th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

This week we take a look at Ballard parks of the past.


A group of boys waiting to take turns sliding down a playground slide at an unknown Ballard park in 1910.


A group of kids on swings at a Ballard playground in 1910.


Kids on a swing/seesaw set in an unknown Ballard park in 1910.

1910 photo taken at Golden Gardens. Harry Whitney Treat is in horse-drawn carriage with a Ballard streetcar in the background.

All photos courtesy the Ballard Historical Society

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Ballard Development Update: another subdivision application

August 27th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

One subdivision application makes up today’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

MapForNotice203542410 NW 61ST ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6453488. 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.

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Outdoor movie night at Ballard Commons park this Friday

August 27th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Sweet Mickey’s candy shop will host their annual movie night in the Ballard Commons park this Friday, August 28. They’ll be showing “The Lego Movie,” which will begin at dusk (about 8 p.m.). The event is free and open to the public.


Last year’s movie night at the park (Photo courtesy Sweet Mickey’s)

“We will be providing Kukuruza Popcorn, Bluebird Ice Cream, soda, water and of course, Lego Candy for all the kiddos,” Sweet Mickey’s owner Randy Brinker tells us.


Ballard Goodwill disputes rumors of losing their lease

August 27th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

There’s been some buzz on our forum about the Ballard Goodwill closing to make way for new development, but the Goodwill Seattle headquarters say that’s not true.

Forum user Marigold says she heard the rumor last week that it would be closed and redeveloped. However, spokeswoman for Seattle Goodwill and Ballard resident Katherine Bouli disputes the rumor saying that she hasn’t heard anything about a loss of lease.

“Eventually, we’ll have to renew our lease,” she says, adding that the current lease itself is not in danger of being lost to a developer. Bouli was unsure where the claims of the Ballard Goodwill closing were coming from, but that she had heard these rumors before.

“You’re not the first person to call about this,” she said. “It would be a big deal for the Ballard location to close.”

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Books on Bikes brings library services to Golden Gardens for the afternoon

August 26th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

CNXNOi4UsAEEZtTBooks on Bikes pedals a partial library to Seattle public parks using customized book-carrying bicycle trailers. For today, August 26, the Seattle Public Library program is at Golden Gardens today from noon– 3 p.m.

The program began back in May 2013 and offers park attendees around the city some afternoon reading and limited library options including signing up for a Library card, available in six designs.

The Books on Bikes fleet is made up of 16 team members and three trailers. One of the original trailers was developed and constructed by Colin Stevens of “Haulin’ Colin” in Seattle. This trailer is designed to handle a good amount of weight and has built-in shelves for book display. Seattle-ready, an umbrella holder is attached to keep books dry in case of weather.

Two more trailers are designed by Seattle artist Eroyn Franklin: one is a compact flat-top trailer with an urban cityscape and another a covered “reading wagon” trailer featuring a kid-friendly design.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Public Library at today’s event


Ballard Library hosts all-ages game night tonight

August 26th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

It’s game night at the Ballard Library and tonight (August 26), a professional photographer will be taking photos of the monthly event.

The all-ages board game night goes from 6 to 8 p.m. in the library’s meeting room, which can comfortably accommodate about 40 people. Food and drink are allowed the game space.

“Bring your friends and family, or come alone and join in playing a vast array of board games,” says Adult Services Librarian Jonathan Koroshec.

Some of the games available will include Blokus, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Jenga, Scrambled States of America and more. Attendees are welcome to bring their own games as well.

All are welcome to attend; no registration is required. “The fun thing is that we get both young and old playing games together,” says Koroshec. “Some are more serious gamers, some are just there to play.”


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Open forum in Ballard to discuss affordable housing

August 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Next week, city and state representatives and community members will come together to discuss affordable housing options in Seattle. The “Open the Door to Affordable Housing” forum will be held Wednesday, September 2 at 7 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church (6512 23rd Ave NW).

The forum will invite speaker of the House Frank Chopp, Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata and Low Income Housing Institute Executive Sharon Lee, who will discuss the recommendations of the Mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) Committee.  “Join us for a lively discussion of housing affordability, the HALA recommendations, what the recommendations mean for our community and the city’s low income residents,” the organizers write.


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City urges residents to cut back on water use

August 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The city’s water supply has taken a hit because of the hot and dry summer, so they’re asking residents to cut back water usage by 10 percent. The City of Seattle suggests that people let their lawns go dormant, limit their plant watering to twice a week, and wash only full loads of dishes and laundry to help alleviate the situation. They’ve put together the infographic below to help with ideas on how to cut back.


For more info on the water situation in the city and ideas for cutting back on water use, click here.


News from the Seattle Times

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