News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Local writer discovers intriguing map of the neighborhood

September 17th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Local geology writer David Williams emailed in the story of an intriguing map that superimposes northern Europe on a map of Seattle that was published in the Seattle Times in July, 1916. The map was reportedly produced by local insurance surveyor G. E. Kastengren who believed that it showed why “so many Scandinavians have been content to make the Puget Sound country their own.”

Williams came across the map while searching the Seattle Times online archive and wanted to share it with Ballardites. “What amazing is how well the creator of the map aligns cities, waterways, and even areas of economic importance between Seattle and Scandinavia,” writes Williams.

On his blog, Williams included further information about how the map provides unique insight into our geography and the possible reason so many Scandinavian immigrants felt at home here:

For example, Norway and Sweden align with Ballard and points north and the U-District and points north. The Gulf of Bothnia, which separates Finland from the rest of Scandinavia, fits pretty well with the northern end of Lake Washington. To the south, Elliott Bay stands in for the straits separating Denmark from its northern neighbors. Kastengren even points out how the University of Washington matches Uppsala University and how Sweden’s largest port, Gothenberg corresponds with downtown Seattle’s big port facility for the Northern Pacific RR. You can also see how the old city boundary of 85th Street runs along what would be the north 61st degree of latitude.

The Seattle Times article surrounding the map also provides a unique perspective on that Ballard was “the new Norway”:

That Norwegians should be found in extreme numbers in Ballard is in keeping with the general scheme. Here we find them weaving shingles on the shores of Salmon Bay which is only a miniature Hardanger Fjord.

Thanks David for shedding light on this intriguing map!

Map courtesy of Seattle Times online archive.

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SDOT’s PARK(ing) day set for this Friday

September 17th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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The annual SDOT PARK(ing) Day, where Seattle parking spaces transform into public places, is set for this Friday, September 19. The event is happening all over the city, including here in lovely Ballard, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The 2014 PARK(ing) day is set to be the biggest one yet, with over 50 parks for Seattleites to visit throughout the city. The event, that now happens in every continent worldwide, is a fun way to raise awareness about the importance of a  walkable, livable, healthy city and helps people re-think how our streets can be used.

This Friday Seattleites will have the opportunity to play life-sized Jenga in Pioneer Square, make their own smoothie on a bike-operated  blender in West Seattle, or hear a story at the “banned books” library in  Belltown.

Here in Ballard we will have five pop-up parks for locals to enjoy. Check out the list below for locations and information:

  1. Ballard Writers Collective: Ballard Writers Park outside The Scoop at 6406 32nd Ave NW. The park will feature an outdoor reading room that will include literary magazines, a book swap and writers of all genres participating in the Ask the Writer Booth. Writers include At Large in Ballard columnist and blogger Peggy Sturdivant, Karen Anderson on social media, the web and writing science fiction. Fiction and non-fiction writers, children’s and adult will be available throughout the day.
  2. Secret Garden Bookshop Park at 2214 NW Market St. The park will provide locals with a place to enjoy the neighborhood and read.
  3. Ballard Greenways: Greening Ballard at 5605 22nd Ave NW. The park will feature public art and a mini-park.
  4. Salmon Bay School Bike to School Committee at 1810 NW 65th St. The park will feature bicycle parking for students and staff.
  5. Peddler Brewing at 1514 NW Leary Way. The park will feature cornhole and video testimonial recording for those who have crashed on the Missing Link.

To plan your very own PARK(ing) Day tour, check out the map and full list of pop-up parks online.

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BHS Choir Director wins state award for excellence

September 17th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Ballard High School Choir Director Courtney Pelavin was recently awarded the Washington State ACDA Outstanding Young Choral Director award. This honor, which is given to those who have less than 10 years experience in choral directing, recognizes high performance and literature standards in their program.

The ACDA had high praise for Ms. Pelavin in her notification email. “Your contributions to the art of choral music have been impactful, with significant contributions to the choral arena in the greater Seattle area and the state of Washington. We thank you for what you have done and wish to express our appreciation with this award.”

This is Pelavin’s seventh year as the Director of Choirs at BHS. She directs the Concert Choir, Treble Choir, Vocal Jazz, Women’s Chamber Choir, and Men’s Ensemble. Originally from Michigan, she earned a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and Choral Music Education from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.

Since Pelavin started in the position, the BHS choirs have grown in number from 36 students to over 120 members. The choirs have also gained superior ratings at both regional and national choral festivals and have received recognition at events such as the 2013 WMEA State Solo Ensemble Contest and the 5th Avenue Musical Theatre Awards.

Congratulations Courtney! Click here to check out more information about the BHS Choir Program.

Photo courtesy of Mary Cropp.

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Flamingo chick hatches at Woodland Park Zoo

September 17th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Woodland Park Zoo gained a new fluffy resident yesterday with the hatching of the third Chilean flamingo of the year. The two other chicks hatched recently on August 31 and September 5.

To ensure their survival, the chicks are being hand-raised and hand-fed by staff in an off public exhibit. In about 30 days, when they are old enough to eat on their own, they will join the adult colony in the flamingo exhibit. Taking these three recent hatches into account, in total the exhibit has welcomed 14 chicks to the zoo since it opened in 2008.

When flamingo chicks hatch they have a whitish, gray down and gain pink feathering that can be mixed with gray-brown contour feathers at about 1 year of age. Juvenile flamingos have usually have full pink feathering by 2 to 3 years of age. When grown the birds stand an impressive 40 to 42 inches tall, and can live as long as 70 years.

Click here to learn more about the flamingos at Woodland Park Zoo.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo. Photo credit – Ryan Hawk.

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Neighborhood and Community Arts grants available for local events

September 16th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Office of Arts and Culture’s Neighborhood and Community Arts program is currently accepting applications for grants from community-based groups for recurring festivals or events.

The grant program helps Seattle’s neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups produce festivals and events that enhance the visibility of neighborhoods, promote cultural participation, celebrate diversity and build community through arts and culture. In 2014, the program provided $1,200 each to 42 organizations to support annual public festivals and events.

Neighborhood arts councils and community-based groups can seek support for a recurring festival or event that has been in existence for at least one year, has a significant arts and cultural component, is open to the public and takes place in Seattle. Applicants do not have to have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.

If successful, organizations will receive two years of NCA funding support (for events in 2015 and 2016) of $1,200 per year to support direct project expenses including artist fees, marketing and promotional fees, project management and personnel costs, supplies, equipment rentals or other production-related costs.

Local organizations who are interested need to apply online before 11 p.m. on Wednesday, October 22, 2014.

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Free bicycle workshops on offer at Ballard Library this Saturday

September 16th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Ballard Branch Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) is offering to two free bicycle workshops this Saturday, September 20th. The workshops are free and no registration is required.

Sound Cycling: Basic Bike Maintenance workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Is fear of a flat keeping you from riding? Bring in your bike to get expert advice and gain hands on experience with basic bike maintenance. Attendees will get an overview of basic bike parts and learn some easy essentials, like fixing a flat or adjusting and maintaining your brakes.

Sound Cycling: Everyday Biking will be held from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Want to ride more but find that life gets in the way? Learn how to integrate everyday biking into your everyday life. Learn how to integrate everyday biking into your everyday life. From lights to foul weather gear, workshop facilitators will cover your questions and more.

All are welcome to attend!

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Free yard trees available through Trees for Neighborhoods program

September 16th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Yard trees are now available for local residents through the City of Seattle’s Trees for Neighborhoods program. Locals are eligible to apply for up to four free trees to plant in their yard.

The two tree species that remain available and the Shore Pine and the Douglas Fir. It is important for applicants to remember that both the species need to be planted in a yard with sufficient room to thrive.

The Shore Pine (Pinus contorta ‘contorta’) is a highly adaptable uniquely shaped evergreen that will add year-round interest to your yard. The Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) is the Pacific Northwest’s quintessential native evergreen and known for its lush canopy and upright growth form.

All Trees for Neighborhoods participants attend a planting and care workshop and pickup and plant the tree themselves. Participants receive training on proper tree planting and maintenance, watering bags, and ongoing tree care reminders.

If you have room for one of these trees in your yard apply for a tree through Trees for Neighborhoods before October 10.

Visit www.seattle.gov/trees, email TreesForNeighborhoods@seattle.gov, or call (206) 684-3979 for more information.

Photo courtesy of Trees for Neighborhoods.

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The week in sports at BHS

September 16th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The athletes at Ballard High School are all set for a huge week of competition. Head out and support them at their games!

Tuesday, September 16

  • Ultimate: JV1 vs. Bush JV at Washington Park – 3 p.m.

Wednesday, September 17

  • Golf: Varsity vs. Chief Sealth at West Seattle Golf Club – 3 p.m.
  • Soccer: Girls C Conference vs. Bishop Blanchet at Loyal Heights– 3:30 p.m.
  • Volleyball: JV vs. TBD at Ballard High School - 5:45 p.m.
  • Volleyball: C Team vs. TBD at Ballard High School - 5:45 p.m.
  • Volleyball: Varsity vs. TBD at Ballard High School - 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 18

  • Ultimate: JV2 vs. NWS JV at Interbay – 3 p.m.
  • Ultimate: JV1 vs. Garfield at Coleman Playfield - 3 p.m.
  • Soccer: Girls JV Conference vs. Lakeside at Loyal Heights– 3:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Varsity vs. Lakeside at Lakeside High School – 4 p.m.

Friday, September 19

  • Football: Varsity Non-Conference vs. West Valley at Memorial Stadium – 1 p.m.
  • Ultimate: JV2 vs. Garfield at Coleman Playfield - 3 p.m.
  • Ultimate: Vasity vs. Garfield at Interbay – 3 p.m.
  • Swimming: Girls Varsity and JV Meet vs. Bishop Blanchet at Queen Anne Pool – 3:30 p.m.
  • Cross Country: JV Meet at Woodland Park Field 2 – 3:40 p.m. (men) and 4:10 p.m. (women)
  • Volleyball: C Team vs. West Seattle at West Seattle High School - 5:45 p.m.
  • Volleyball: JV vs. West Seattle at West Seattle High School - 5:45 p.m.
  • Volleyball: Varsity vs. West Seattle at West Seattle High School - 7 p.m.

Saturday, September 20

  • Football: Boys C Team vs. Eastside Catholic at Ballard High School – 1 p.m.
  • Football: Varsity vs. TBD at Memorial Stadium – 1 p.m.
  • Soccer: Girls Varsity Non-Conference vs. Edmonds Woodway at Edmonds Woodway High School – 5 p.m.

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Ballard filmmaker to make documentary about Dutch Holocaust survivor

September 15th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Documentary filmmaker and Ballard resident Elke Hautala is in the process of producing a short film about the unique story of a Dutch holocaust survivor. The film is being produced by Heartstone Studios, a production company that Hautala recently started with Michael Kleven.

The story centers around the experiences of Dutch holocaust survivor Ernst Van Gelderen (pictured above in 1942) who narrowly escaped arrival at a concentration camp when he was a child.

At 3 years old, Van Gelderen was sent into hiding for his own safety and 0n September 7, 1943, a Dutch policeman working for the Nazis discovered him. He and the couple that were hiding him were then locked up in Scheveningen Prison. Van Gelderen was then sent on to the Dutch Theater or Hollandsche Schaumburg and was then put on a train headed to the concentration camps.

“By some miracle he was snatched off of the train by a member of the underground resistance and saved from certain death. Hence the title of both Van Gelderen’s memoirs and the film, I Missed My Train,” says Hautala.

71 years later Van Gelderen is ready to share his incredible story of survival with Hautala and her crew. The folks at Heartstone Studios have started a month-long crowd funding campaign through Indie Go Go in partnership with the non-profit Filmmaker’s Alliance. Check out the short video about the project below:

Once produced, the team plan to organize educational screenings in Seattle and the Netherlands at places such as the Holocaust Center for Humanity. The team has already reached nearly 25% of their funding target with 19 days remaining in the fundraising campaign.

“It’s a story from that time with an unusually heartwarming ending that gives us universal insight into how this whole generation of children dealt with unimaginable trauma, questioned their fate and developed ties beyond blood relatives. It’s a meaningful and educational project that I’m hoping to screen in both Seattle and Holland,” says Hautala.

Van Gelderen himself provides personal insight into his unique rescue in his memoir. “If I think about the fact that I was very close to a premature departure from this world, the question comes to mind: ‘Why me? Why was another child not standing closer to that door?’ Those are questions that cannot be answered in this life, so call it coincidence, predestination or karma,” writes Van Gelderen.

Pre-production on the 28 minute short began in August through collaborative research with the University of Washington and will continue through November 19 when the crew is set to head overseas for filming. They will shoot on location in the Netherlands for ten days in November with Ernst revisiting sites of his experiences during the war. The crew will also be filming several staged re-enactments here in the Pacific Northwest in early 2015.  At this stage, the film release is set to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Dutch Liberation Day on May 5, 2015.

Fiscal sponsorship through Filmmaker’s Alliance makes all donations to the project tax-deductible. Locals interested in contributing can click here.

To find out more about Heartstone Studios visit: www.heartstonestudios.com.

Photo courtesy of Heartstone Studios.

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Crown Hill Business Association to meet this Wednesday

September 15th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Crown Hill Business Association is set to hold a general meeting this Wednesday, September 17, at 9250 14th Ave NW from 12 p.m.

Attendees will learn about city wide planning efforts, and what processes should be considered to make changes to improve the Crown Hill business environment. Lunch cost is $15. Please RSVP to Catherine.Weatbrook@gmail.com

The Association has also created a brief survey for locals to complete to help them plan the upcoming year and organize the kinds of presentations, opportunities, and events in which locals want to participate in. Click here to complete the survey.

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Meridian Avenue N lane closure at Northgate begins tomorrow

September 15th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Northbound traffic on Meridian Avenue N at NE Northgate Way (on the south side of the intersection – see diagram below) will be reduced to a single lane from tomorrow for about one month.  The lane reduction is necessary for repaving Northgate Way between Meridian and Corliss Avenues, which is set to be completed mid-November.

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Traffic on Meridian, as well as on Northgate Way, is frequently backed up as a result of the construction.  Motorists in this area are encouraged to allow extra time to reach their destination and to consider taking an alternate route.

Improvements that are part of the North 105th/North Northgate Way Project include complete roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, drainage improvements, street lighting and street trees from Greenwood Avenue North to Corliss Avenue North.

SDOT is also upgrading traffic signals from Greenwood Ave N to Lake City Way NE (and along Lake City Way to N 120th St), as well as installing two new dynamic message signs to provide drivers with real time travel information.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in mid-November. Click here to learn more.

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Coyote spotted prowling the streets of Ballard

September 15th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The My Ballard team received multiple emails over the weekend about a coyote that was spotted roaming the neighborhood.

My Ballard reader Anna spotted the coyote at 20th Ave NW and NW 80th St near the Loyal Heights Community Center’s park area.

“Last night (Friday) I was on my way home and turned onto my street to find what I first thought was a local dog, but upon further examination I realized it was a coyote. It ran south and I decided to follow it. After traipsing down the street, it then ran into Loyal Heights Community Center’s park area,” writes Anna. She didn’t see where the coyote went after that and she called the Community Center to report the sighting on Saturday morning.

My Ballard reader Diana also spotted most probably the same coyote on Friday evening on the corner of 34th Ave NW and NW 68th St. “It looked well fed and not afraid. Please remind folks to keep cats inside,” writes Diana.

Remember to be cautious and bring pets inside at night to decrease chances of a coyote attack. Also follow the tips from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife below:

  • Don’t leave small children unattended where coyotes are frequently seen or heard. If there are coyote sightings in your area, prepare your children for a possible encounter. Explain the reasons why coyotes live there (habitat/food source/ species   adaptability) and what they should do if one approaches them (don’t run, be as big, mean, and loud as possible). By shouting a set phrase such as “go away coyote” when they encounter one, children will inform nearby adults of the coyote’s presence as opposed to a general scream. Demonstrate and rehearse encounter behavior with the children.
  • Never feed coyotes. Coyotes that are fed by people often lose their fear of humans and develop a territorial attitude that may lead to aggressive behavior.
  • Don’t give coyotes access to garbage. Keep garbage can lids on tight by securing them with rope, chain, bungee cords, or weights. Or keep your cans in tight-fitting bins, a shed, or a garage.
  • Feed dogs and cats indoors. If you must feed your pets outside, do so in the morning or at midday, and pick up food, water bowls, leftovers, and spilled food well before dark.
  • Keep dogs and cats indoors from dusk to dawn. If left outside at night in an unprotected area, cats and small to mid-size dogs may be killed by coyotes. If you suspect losing a dog or cat to a coyote, notify your neighbors. Once a coyote finds easy prey it will continually hunt in the area.

Did you spot the coyote? Email any information or photos to tips@myballard.com.

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