16 home burglaries in greater Ballard in a week

It’s that time of year when thieves are on the prowl for holiday gifts, cash and other loot — either inside or outside your home.

Scanning the Seattle Police crime maps, we counted 16 residential burglaries in Ballard, Phinney and parts of Greenwood and Fremont in a little less than a week, from Dec. 2-8. (This counts police reports that were filed, not 911 calls.)

We also counted 26 car prowls and 15 theft cases in the same area. While package theft isn’t categorized in the Seattle Police maps, it’s a safe bet it makes up many of those theft cases.


(A screenshot of a Seattle PD map showing all burglaries, thefts and car prowls)

We can’t compare these statistics with other times of the year, as the maps are limited to the last week. But the numbers certainly serve as a good reminder to be careful this holiday season. Seattle Police has compiled tips to prevent burglaries, car prowls and package thefts right here.

You can also see the latest police calls (and links to those maps and Seattle Fire calls) on our Ballard crime page.

With old building closed, new Nordic Museum enters ‘home stretch’

The old Nordic Heritage Museum closed on Nov. 20th, and workers are making good progress on the new facility on Market St., scheduled to open in May.

Here’s a look at the front of the New Nordic Museum. Landscape irrigation is going in, as well as concrete for the curb and sidewalk, explains CEO Eric Nelson in an email updating their progress.

This is the view down Fjord Hall. “The building has received permanent power; water service will be obtained shortly,” Nelson writes. “Concrete floors throughout the building are presently being polished. Installation of the bridges across the length of Fjord Hall has been initiated, and the beautiful hemlock walls and ceiling in the auditorium are nearly complete!”

At the back of the museum, workers have started work on the parking lot.

“For the past several weeks, we’ve been hard at work collaborating with our exhibition designers to develop the new core exhibition’s media features, preparing for the move, and planning for the new Museum’s Grand Opening,” Nelson writes. He says as the museum project enters its home stretch, they’re still looking for contributions.

Even without a current home, the museum’s programming continues at other venues. You can see an updated schedule on the museum’s website.

What’s on this weekend in Ballard and beyond


(Photo: Ray’s will be holding a Gingerbread House Decorating Party on Sunday)

If you’re bored this weekend, it’s not our fault. In fact, this may be the biggest weekend calendar we’ve ever assembled at My Ballard. Have fun out there!

Friday, Dec. 8

Saturday, Dec. 9

Sunday, Dec. 10

You can see events all week long in our Ballard events calendar. Have an event to add? Submit it to our calendar, and we could feature it in our weekly roundup.

How Ballard voted for Seattle mayor

With the election count finalized, Phil Gardner plotted the data on detailed maps that illustrate how different neighborhoods — down to small sections of neighborhoods — voted for mayor.

This is the Ballard area map above (you can browse the interactive version here), with Jenny Durkan in blue and Cary Moon in red. While Ballard’s core and Crown Hill leaned for Moon, Loyal Heights, Whittier Heights, Sunset Hill and North Beach went for Durkan.

This pattern repeats itself throughout the city; more urban areas tended to vote for Moon, while neighborhoods like Magnolia and Queen Anne were firmly in Durkan’s column.

The final tally was Durkan with 56.25%, Moon with 43.75%.

(Via Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)

Ballard film student wins top cinematic honor


(Scene from the short film Richard)

With one of the most prestigious high school filmmaking programs in the country, Ballard High has produced another national award winner.

Wylie Soltes is one of eleven high school students nationwide — and the only student from the Pacific Northwest — to win the YoungArts Foundation award for cinematic arts. The award recognizes his short film Richard, which you can watch here. Soltes’ film was selected from thousands of submissions, and YoungArts will fly him to Miami in January for a week of networking and mentoring with other promising young filmmakers and professionals.

Soltes plans to study film production in college, and YoungArts will help with the financing.

He’s the eighth YoungArts winner from Ballard’s Digital Filmmaking Program in the last five years. Congrats, Wylie!

Help design the new Loyal Heights play area

The Loyal Heights playground is getting a $600,000 upgrade, thanks to the King County Parks Levy. And now the city needs your input to help to design it.

This is the play area that’s to the west of the Loyal Heights Community Center. The plan is to replace the existing play equipment, bring the playground up to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards and make some other safety and feature improvements in the park.

The first community meeting is this Monday at 7 p.m. at the Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th). Seattle Parks & Rec.’s planner, project manager and landscape architect will discuss design ideas. Children are welcome. Light snacks and children’s activities will be available.

Seattle Parks is also circulating an online survey to gather feedback, and there will be a second meeting on February 12th at 7 p.m. to review the preferred design.

Construction is slated to begin in Fall 2018.

Ballard loses a heartbreaker in league opener


(Photo from Ballard Basketball on Instagram)

Bishop Blanchet hosted the Ballard Beavers’ boys basketball team last night — cheered by the Beaver Brigade (above) — in our first Metro League game of the season.

Ballard led by 3 at halftime, and the game came down to the final buzzer. But Bishop Blanchet managed to pull ahead, winning by 3.

Ballard will take on Eastside Catholic at home this Friday at 8:30 p.m. Remember, the games are broadcast on KBFG Radio (107.3 FM) as well as streamed live online.

Early glimpse at 2 upcoming developments

An initial design review meeting was held last night for a condo development in Ballard and an assisted living facility in Crown Hill. The design process is still early, but we have some art to share.

This is the proposal for 2432 NW 56th St. We initially reported it was an 8-story apartment building, but the Daily Journal of Commerce has learned it will be a 55-unit condo complex.

And this is the preferred design for an assisted living facility along Holman Road between 3rd and 4th Ave. in the space currently occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Wok and Childish Things. You can see the full proposal for this development project here (.pdf). (Link fixed)

Ballard beer and chocolate for a good cause

If winter is giving you the urge to drink Ballard beer and eat tasty treats from Seattle’s own Soulever Chocolates, you’re in luck.

Maritime’s Jolly Roger Taproom is hosting a benefit dinner this Saturday evening to support REST, a non-profit that helps people exploited by the sex trade in Seattle and the greater King County area.

The dinner will start with a special chocolate amuse bouche, followed by four chocolate-infused courses, each paired with a special Jolly Roger beer. Tickets are $48 each, and $5 goes directly to REST programs. Maritime will also donate $1 from each pint sold on Saturday.

Since the dinners are individually prepared, reservations are recommended: call (206)782-6181 to schedule for Saturday night between 6-9 p.m.

Ballard light rail plans include movable bridge over Salmon Bay, new tunnels

When you consider the Ballard extension of Sound Transit’s light rail project isn’t scheduled to open until 2035, you may feel compelled to calculate your age just over 17 years from now. What could possibly take a small eternity to build?

This week Sound Transit is discussing its partnership agreement with the city for both the Ballard and West Seattle extensions, and it sheds some light on the complexity of the Ballard extension in particular, which is dramatically larger in scope and scale than the West Seattle project.

For starters, the Ballard project will involve building a movable rail bridge across Salmon Bay, next to the Ballard Bridge, that would open for boat traffic. In the project planning deck, Sound Transit explains the bridge would need to be approved by the Coast Guard, and it “could require acquiring property from the Fisherman’s Terminal and impact buildings, docks, vessels, and equipment associated with maritime businesses.”

This alone is a big project with a lot of variables. Just remember how long the “Missing Link” project is taking — and that’s for a cycling and running path.

The Ballard run is also dependent on a new tunnel from the International District to South Lake Union, and then another new tunnel from South Lake to Uptown (Lower Queen Anne) with tunnel stations at South Lake and Seattle Center. Then the extension becomes elevated, running down Elliott and 15th Ave. to elevated stations in Smith Cove (near the Magnolia cruise ship port) and Interbay (at Dravus) before it heads over the new bridge into Ballard.

That’s a total of 7.1 miles. In many ways, the Ballard “extension” is more like a new Seattle main line when you consider the full route from the south end of downtown:

Sound Transit estimates it will take 15 minutes to ride from Ballard to Westlake — presumably when the bridge isn’t up — and 47,000 to 57,000 people will travel back and forth from Ballard to South Lake every weekday. Include the new downtown tunnel to the mix, and the estimate adds 110,000–136,000 weekday riders.

Under the “risks and issues” section of the planning deck, Sound Transit lists three big ones for the Ballard extension: the movable bridge, the new tunnels and “displacing vehicle travel lanes.”

Keep in mind the Ballard project is only in its initial planning phases. Sound Transit say it will begin holding public meetings early next year to start collecting community feedback, and it’s targeting “early 2022” for a final environmental impact statement and 2026 to finalize the design. Construction would begin in 2027 and be completed in 2035. In the meantime, the smaller-scale West Seattle extension is scheduled to open 5 years earlier.