News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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SPU’s new North Transfer Station now open for business

December 5th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Seattle Public Utilities’ new North Transfer Station (NTS), which has been under construction since 2014, is now open for business.

The NTS, located at 1350 N. 24th St, is an environmentally friendly state-of-the-art $108 million facility that aims to provide superior recycling and reuse capabilities along with safe and efficient handling of the city’s garbage.

According to SPU, the new station is expected to serve Seattle’s mounting solid waste demands for at least the next 50 years.

The facility is a huge improvement over its predecessor (affectionately known as “the dump”) which operated at the same location for more than half a century. The NTS has a separate building for recyclable and reusable materials and an increased capacity on the tipping floor to handle garbage, food and yard waste. That means more materials recycled and less going to the landfill.

The old north station, built long before recycling was introduced, was designed to process all solid waste only as garbage. Today, Seattle recycles almost 60 percent of its solid waste, separating it into multiple waste streams. Space is required, however, to do this work efficiently.

“This facility allows us to have less of an impact on the environment, while safely and sustainably handling the increasing waste demands of our growing city,” says SPU General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Mami Hara.

In addition to its environment-friendly design, according to Hara, the new station provides greater safety for utility workers and the public. SPU designed and constructed the NTS and will be responsible for its operation.

“Customers played an important role in the design of the building, and I’m appreciative of their collaboration and thoughtful recommendations,” says Hara.

The NTS features two green roofs and porous pavement to slow storm water, solar panels to generate electricity, and translucent panels to allow natural light in the tipping building and the recycling center. Other features include recycled roofing shingles and ground-up asphalt paving, as well as a public-art sculpture made from salvaged rebar from the old station.

According to SPU, the NTS, which is unique in its proximity to residents and a growing urban village area, was constructed and designed to minimize sight issues and preserve view corridors.

Additional details about the new transfer station’s features include:

  • Better customer safety. The NTS has flat floors for unloading and sorting. Without an open pit, customers are safer and at less risk for slips and falls. Regular self-haul customer traffic paths are separated from the garbage trucks, improving both safety and system efficiency.
  • More capacity and efficiency. There is dedicated space at the NTS to process more recycling. Residential and commercial haulers will use separate entrances to improve traffic flow and customer safety. New customer routing will decrease lines that extend onto adjacent streets.
  • Cleaner and Greener. The NTS includes more covered and enclosed spaces, a better ventilation system, automated rolling access doors, and entrance and exits designed to reduce noise and odor impacts to the neighborhood.
  • Space to create community. East of the NTS, SPU has created more than an acre of open space that not only buffers the adjacent neighbors from the station, but also includes a play area for children, a sports court, an open lawn, walkways and static exercise stations.
  • Public art. The new station includes new public art (made from material recycled from the old transfer station, of course!) by artist Jean Shin.
  • The facility will be LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Solar panels produce up to 150 kilowatts of electricity used on-site, and green stormwater infrastructure, including green roofs and pervious paving, reduce stormwater runoff.
  • Two 90-ton compactors were salvaged from the old station, rehabilitated and reused in the new NTS rather than purchasing new ones.
  • Inside the station, a second-floor gathering room includes informational displays and an overview of tipping floor activities for public education.

SPU is hosting an Open House event for the community to see the new NTS this Saturday, December 10, from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. All are welcome.

The NTS is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Customers can ask questions via the Transfer Station information line at (206) 684-8400.

The NTS does not accept household hazardous waste. The North Household Hazardous waste facility is located at 12550 Stone Ave. N.

Click here to learn more about the new NTS.

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Cupcake Royale launches holiday Toy Drive

December 5th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


The team at Cupcake Royale is hoping to spread the joy this holiday season through a Toy Drive in benefit of Mary’s Place.

The Ballard store (and all others in the city) will have specific gift tags displayed on trees that customers can choose to shop for a toy for a local child in need.

Cupcake Royale customers can bring back their unwrapped gift, with the tag attached, no later than December 22.

Upon receiving the gift, each customer will receive a Cupcake Gram as a thank you!

Click here to learn more.

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Fred Meyer Ballard launches online grocery pick up service

December 5th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Fred Meyer Ballard is launching its online grocery shopping program this Wednesday, December 7.

The program, ClickList, will allow shoppers to order their groceries online and pick them up on the same day at the Ballard store. The program is focused on grocery/food items at the moment but may expand to include other store items in the future.

How does it work, you may ask? Customers place their order online, Fred Meyer Associated choose their items and deliver them curbside to the customer who pays via credit/debit card without leaving their vehicle.

“We’ve rolled this program out in various locations throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho so far, but this will be the first ClickList program in the city of Seattle,” says Fred Meyer Community Affairs Specialist Zach Stratton.

The Fred Meyer team is excited to be “the only ones in our market to offer this kind of service” that offers “the customer their complete grocery list for online order and pickup, saving the time of going into the store and shopping”.

According to Stratton, an initial investment of about $230,000 was needed for ClickList to be launched at the Ballard store. The addition of the program has created 10 net new jobs with plans to add more as the business grows.

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Library launches auto-renew service

December 5th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Cardholders at The Seattle Public Library can now automatically extend their item checkout periods through Library Elf, a free online service available for Library patrons that helps track holds and due dates.

Library Elf has recently added an automatic renewal feature. Patrons can set up a free Library Elf account and activate Auto Renew, and Library Elf will attempt to renew items on their behalf when the items are getting close to the due date. Eligible materials will automatically be renewed according to standard renewal limits. Most items can be renewed twice if no one is waiting for them.

The frequency and timing of Auto Renews will depend on what a patron has chosen in the “Advance Notice” settings of their Library Elf account. Patrons can sign up for email notifications that will note if items were renewed or not renewed, or log into their Library account to check their current due dates.

Library Elf also provides notifications for holds waiting, pre-overdue materials and overdue materials for multiple Library accounts in one message. This service is especially useful for families trying to track multiple Library accounts. The service can even combine accounts of other participating library systems, including KCLS.

The Seattle Public Library will continue its existing notice services separate from the Library Elf service, including pre-overdue and holds waiting notifications by email.

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

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What’s on this weekend

December 2nd, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Have a fantastic weekend in Ballard!

FRIDAY, December 2

SATURDAY, December 3

  • Holiday Blood Drive at Ballard First Lutheran Church (2006 NW 65th St) 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register with Sylvia Vikingstad at
  • Ballard Elks Holiday Craft Market (6411 Seaview Ave NW) from 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Come shop beautifully crafted items from over 30 local artists and craftspeople.
  • Live Music
    • Dorothy Rodes at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St) at 7 p.m. $8 cover. Angie Louise and LaWanda DuPree with the Lou’siana Gators: Christmas in the BIG EASY at 9 p.m. Cover $16.
    • Vaudeville Etiquette, Rust On The Rails, and Nick Foster Band at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Tickets $10.

SUNDAY, December 4

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Sunday Morning Meditation at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center (2007 NW 61st St) from 10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
  • Tractor Tavern’s Handmade Arcade (5213 Ballard Ave NW) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 20+ modern Artists and quality handmade goods.
    Live music by Bill Patton and Jesse Lortz.
  • Live Music
    • Open mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) sign-up at 7:30 p.m.
    • Kyle Gass Band (KG from Tenacious D!) with Chrome Lakes at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8 p.m. Tickets $15.
    • Edna Vazquez Band Alejandro Rivas (of Alejandro y Maria Laura) at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) 8 p.m. Tickets $15.

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Seattle City Light to replace utility poles on 56th, near 34th

December 2nd, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


Seattle City Light will be supporting Advanced Metering services throughout Seattle by replacing existing utility poles with taller poles to host wireless utility data collection equipment.

This month, crews in our area will be replacing poles on NW 56th St (close to the corner of 34th Ave NW). The new poles will be 70 feet tall, which is approximately 20 feet taller than the existing poles (pictured above).

This project is part of the communications network that will automate meter reading and enable enhanced services. No maintenance power outages are planned for this work.

Daily work hours are from Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. In most cases, the work to transfer existing equipment and install the data collection equipment can be completed in one day.

Click here to learn more information about the project.

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Travelers encouraged to prepare for cold weather and possible snow

December 2nd, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Puget Sound region is bracing for its first winter cold snap and travelers in King County are being encouraged to prepare for the possibility of snow and travel disruptions this weekend and next week.

At the moment, the National Weather Service forecasts temperatures to begin dropping on Sunday, with possible overnight freezing temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

The King County Department of Transportation urges Metro Transit customers and water taxi riders, as well as people who travel unincorporated county roads, to monitor weather reports and connect to information available from King County, including travel alerts.

King County’s My Commute page is a resource for monitoring the status of roads, and information is available on the county roads’ snow response page.

Metro Transit riders can review timetables and the transit adverse weather page for snow route information. As weather conditions continue to develop, Metro customers are urged to familiarize themselves with the planned snow route for their regular bus.

Regional updates will be posted on the King County Emergency blog.

Road Services crews are on rotation and available to sand and plow mapped snow routes. Call the 24/7 Roads Helpline at (206) 477-8100 to report road traffic safety issues in unincorporated King County, such as downed stop signs, malfunctioning signals or trees over the roadway. The Snow and Ice page also has more information.

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HALA Community Meeting set for Saturday

December 1st, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Locals are invited to take part in a casual conversation organized by HALA (Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda) surrounding proposed changes to local neighborhoods in an effort to generate more affordable housing.

The meeting will be held at Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave N) on Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Several City departments will be in attendance to answer questions to related to housing and other important issues.

Neighborhoods maps being highlighted include:

  • Aurora-Licton Springs
  • Ballard
  • Bitter Lake
  • Crown Hill
  • Greenwood / Phinney
  • NE 130th

City Departments that will be in attendance include:

  • Parks and Recreation – Development Plan
  • Transportation (SDOT) – Bus Rapid Ride
  • Transportation (SDOT) / Construction and Inspections (SDCI) – Parking Reform
  • Office of Sustainability and the Environment (OSE)
  • Ethics + Elections – Democracy Vouchers
  • Human Services Division – Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

To find out more information about the event contact Jesseca Brand at (206) 733-9982 or via email

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Development Update December 1: Subdivisions and units

December 1st, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

There are plenty of updates in today’s update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin


2629 NW 63rd St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project # 6459804. 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.

828 NW 125th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 7,604 sq. ft. and B) 7,245 sq. ft. Portion of the existing structure to be demolished.

6219 14th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6499036. 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.

2201 NW 61st St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6489410. 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.

Appeals of the above decisions must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than 12/15/2016.

Notice of Design Review Board Recommendation Meeting:

2417 NW 57th St

A Land Use Application has been submitted to allow a 4-story structure containing 27 units. No parking proposed. Existing structure to be demolished.

A Design Review Board Recommendation Meeting has been scheduled for Monday, December 19, at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW).

The Director will accept written comments through December 19. Locals are invited to offer comments regarding important site planning and design issues, which they believe, should be addressed in the design for this project.

Comments and requests to be made party of record should be submitted to or

City of Seattle DPD PRC
700 5th Avenue Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

Change in Scheduled Hearing:


The hearing originally scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017, has been changed to Wednesday, February 8, 2017, at 9 am in the Office of Hearing Examiner, Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4000, 40th Floor.

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WildLights now on at Woodland Park Zoo

November 30th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


It’s that festive time of year when Woodland Park Zoo lights up for the holiday season with its annual WildLights extravaganza. The special event is on now through January 1 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. nightly.

Over 600,000 energy-efficient LED lights can be seen throughout the zoo recreating wild animals and exotic destinations from across the globe,  including “Northern Lights,” “The Water Hole” and “Jungle Lights.”

There are both indoor and outdoor illuminated displays for guests of all ages to enjoy. Festive snacks will also be available as will the zoo’s decorated Historic Carousel for a festive ride.

While most of the zoo’s residents will be tucked in and fast asleep, the Day Exhibit, a showcase of reptiles and amphibians, and a portion of the Adaptations Building, featuring animals such as sloths, Indian flying foxes and meerkats, will be open for guests.

The zoo’s many birds of prey will also make periodic visits at the Raptor Barn throughout WildLights.

WildLights tickets cost $9.95 for adults (13+), $7.95 for children (3-12) and toddlers (2 and under) are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at zoo gates during regular zoo hours.

Night-of-event tickets will also be for sale at the zoo’s West Entrance, if not sold out.

WildLights ticket does not include admission to the zoo prior to 5:30 p.m. Parking is free. The event will happen rain or shine.

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Locals encouraged to protect pets from cold this winter

November 30th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

With winter in full swing, Seattle Animal Shelter wants to remind locals about the importance for caring for pets in cold weather. As temperatures remain cold pets need extra attention from their owners to ensure their health and safety.

“Each fall and winter season, many pets are left out in the cold with little or no refuge,” says Seattle Animal Shelter Director Don Jordan. “Pet owners need to take extra precautions during cold weather to prevent a potential tragedy from befalling their beloved pets.”

Locals are encourages to keep the following tips in mind to help keep pets safe in winter:

  • Dogs and cats can get frostbitten ears, noses and feet if left outside. Bring pets indoors during cold weather and take them out only when necessary.
  • Pets love the smell and taste of antifreeze, and even a small amount can kill them. Clean up spills at once and be alert for antifreeze on the ground or left out in open containers that have not been properly stored or disposed of.
  • If your dog must remain outside for a period of time, provide an elevated dog house with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out. The door should face away from the west or north to avoid cold winds. If you have a garage, consider installing a “doggie” door so your pet can seek protection from cold weather. Check water bowls to make sure they are not frozen and avoid using metal bowls, as your pet’s tongue could stick to the frozen metal.
  • Gently towel or blow-dry your dog or cat if he or she gets wet from rain or snow. It is important to dry and clean paws as well. This helps avoid tiny cuts and cracked pads. Remember that chemicals used to melt snow and ice on driveways and sidewalks can burn your pet, so check the paws, mouth and belly after a walk.
  • Make sure your pet has a current Seattle pet license and always use a leash. When walking on snow, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. A pet license is your best insurance your pet will be returned to you.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on warm car engines and hoods. If your car was recently used, knock on the hood or honk the car horn before starting the engine.
  • Help your elderly or arthritic pets when they need to go outside.
  • Consider a sweater for short-coated breeds, such as Greyhounds and Chihuahuas, before taking them outside. But choose wisely. Sweaters made from certain fibers don’t insulate when they get wet and can actually remove heat from an animal’s body. Avoid sweaters made of cotton; wool and some synthetics provide insulation, even when wet.
  • Do not leave your pet alone in a car. It gets too cold and can quickly become a freezer, causing hypothermia and possibly death.
  • Be careful of fireplaces and portable heaters. Keep fireplaces screened and heaters out of reach, as pets may chew the cord or knock it over and cause a fire.
  • Like people, dogs and cats are more susceptible to illnesses in the winter. Take your pet to your veterinarian if symptoms occur.

The Seattle Animal Shelter (located at 2061 15th Ave W) is open Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6 p.m., for adoptions and licensing. Click here to find out more about the Seattle Animal Shelter.

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Have you seen Summit in Ballard?

November 29th, 2016 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


My Ballard reader Ema emailed in to report that her dog, Summit, ran away in North Ballard on Friday, November 25.

Summit is a 2 year old lab, approx 40lb, spayed, and chipped. She is not wearing a collar but was last seen wearing a purple uw bandana.

“Summit has been spotted in Greenlake and near Carkeek Park. She is very friendly, responds to food, and will come when called. Please help me bring her home,” writes Ema.

If you have seen Summit email us at and we will pass on the information.

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