News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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What’s on this weekend

June 23rd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

It’s expected to be another busy weekend in Seattle, with Pride festivities taking over the city for most of the weekend, and the annual Pride Parade happening downtown on Sunday. If you’d like to see your event listed here, email us at

Here’s what’s happening in our ‘hood this weekend:

Friday, June 23

  • Live Music
    • Chuck Ragan with Arthur James at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) from 8pm, $20.
    • Quinn the Band, Human Ladder, and Red Heart Alarm at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9PM, $8.

Saturday, June 24

  • Annual Greenwood Car Show on Greenwood Ave8am to 4pm, classic cars, food trucks, live music, beer gardens and more.
  • National Heritage Galleries closing at Nordic Heritage Museum. The galleries will soon be moved to the new museum, so it’s the last chance to see them until the new museum opens. Open house 10am – 5pm.
  • Live Music
    • Chuck Ragan with Jason Dodson (of The Maldives)at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) from 8pm, $20.
    • Scott Bemis Trio ($10 cover/$8 students) at 7pm and Chaz Lipp Groove Tripp “Good Merlin” CD Release party ($10 cover) at 9pm at Egan’s Ballard Jam House (1707 NW Market St)
    • Planes on Paper, Christopher Paul Stelling, and Mikey and Mattyat Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9PM, $10 advance/ $12 door.

Sunday, June 25

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Seattle Pride Parade: Parade begins at 11am on 4th Ave from Union St to Denny Way, then west on Denny Way to 2nd Ave N, ending at Seattle Center. Streets closed from 7am to about 5pm More than 200,000 people are expected to attend.
  • Body-positive figure drawing at Populuxe Brewery (826B NW 49th St) Comic artist Tatiana Gill will lead a class from 3-5pm. Free, but must bring own supplies. Drinks available for purchase.
  • Live Music
    • Edmund Wayne, Joseph Hein, Yaroslav Levkiv at Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW) 8pm, $8.

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Last chance to see National Heritage Galleries at Nordic Museum

June 23rd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

In preparation for their upcoming move, the Nordic Heritage Museum is slowly closing down some of their galleries in order to pack them up. This Saturday, June 24 from 10am to 5pm will be the last opportunity to see the National Heritage Galleries before they reopen in the new museum next year. The event is free and open to the public.

Between 2 and 4pm, the museum will host tours of the galleries; guests can pick up a copy of “Voices in Ballard” while supplies last. According to the event information, the closing of the galleries for the move is an important marker in the museum’s history, so they’ll be filming the open house.

There will be a closing reception from 4-5pm with light refreshments and a brief program on the history of the museum and community effort to create the galleries. To attend the free reception, RSVP here, or by calling the museum: (206) 789-5707 x26.

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Body-positive figure drawing at Populuxe Brewing on Sunday

June 23rd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

On Sunday, June 25, the Seattle Public Library will hold a body-positive figure drawing class, taught by a local comic book artist, at Populuxe Brewing (826B NW 49th St) from 3 to 5pm.

Artists of every skill level are encouraged to attend, but everyone needs to bring their own supplies for drawing. The class will be taught by local artist Tatiana Gill, who will, “lead attendees through a series of exercises that take a body-positive approach to figure drawing and representation.” There will be live, clothed models, including local model Curvy Curly Chelsie. Gill is a Seattle cartoonist, focusing on themes such as body positivity, feminism, mental health and recovery.

The event is free and open to the public; drinks are available for purchase. Registration is not required. For more information, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian.

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Seattle Youth Commission seeking applicants

June 23rd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The City of Seattle is looking for new members for the Seattle Youth Commission, a group of 15 teens who regularly meet with city leaders to discuss issues youth are facing.

Appointed by the mayor and city council, the members represent each of the seven city council districts and include eight at-large commissioners. The commission aims to connect youth to local elected officials and advise on city policies.

Applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 19, and be willing meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month for the entirety of their two-year term. Some of the opportunities include the following (from

  • Develop public-speaking, facilitation, organizing and communication skills
  • Cultivate a deeper appreciation of cultural competency and inclusive civic engagement
  • Learn from key community and City leaders and build new relationships
  • Discuss issues and solutions with other Seattle youth and develop projects that address those concerns
  • Advise the Mayor, City Council and City departments on issues that impact youth in Seattle
  • Collaborate on a community project with other Youth Commissioners
  • Plan an annual event (or several events) that connects youth to local government and topics they care about

To apply, complete the Seattle Youth Commission 2017-18 Application and send it via email at; via post at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, c/o Seattle Youth Commission, PO Box 94649, Seattle WA 98124-4649; or in person at the Department of Neighborhoods office in City Hall (600 4th Ave) on the 4th floor. Applications are due July 17 at 5pm.


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Throwback Thursday: Lake Washington Ship Canal is 100 years old

June 22nd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Lake Washington Ship Canal is nearly 100 years old; its opening celebration was July 4, 1917. But the idea to connect the Puget Sound to Lake Washington was proposed 63 years prior by Thomas Mercer (1813-1898).

According to, it took five decades to decide where to build it and how to pay for it. When Hiram M. Chittenden took over the Seattle District of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1906, the plans were made and federal funding was secured.

Chittenden’s plan included two cuts; the Fremont Cut between Salmon Bay and Lake Union, and the Montlake Cut between Lake Union and Lake Washington. And, of course, the locks, now sharing his name.

“The canal’s construction lowered the water level of Lake Washington by nine feet and raised that of Salmon Bay behind the locks, changing it from a tidal inlet to a freshwater reservoir,” writes David B. Williams for History Link.

With many years of negotiations with community members, Ballard industries and city planners, in 1910, Congress passed a River and Harbor Act that included a $2,275,000 appropriation to build the locks.

The work on the locks started in 1911; the first task of which was to build a cofferdam around the site of the locks. A massive undertaking, “crews dredged 245,000 cubic yards of sediment to create a lock pit, then pumped the water out and began building a 65-foot-high wooden trestle down the center of the pit to support a supply train used throughout the project,” Williams writes.

The concrete was poured in 1913-1914, then the gates were installed a year later, and it was time to connect freshwater to saltwater. On February 2, 1916, it was tested for the first time; the first boat to go through the locks was the Orcas, a tender operated by the Corps.

The grand opening of the locks was on July 4, 1917. According to Williams, the P-I reported that more than half the city’s population lined the shores.

Click here for the full history of the Ship Canal and locks construction from History Link.


Construction of Lake Washington Ship Canal, Seattle, 1912, Photo by A. Curtis, Courtesy UW Special Collections

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks under construction, 1915 Courtesy National Archives

Water gushes from Lake Union into Montlake Cut, Seattle, August 25, 1916 Courtesy MOHAI


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Jones Brothers & Co. honors Ballard roots

June 22nd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The recently opened Jones Brothers & Co. (5449 Ballard Ave NW) restaurant is finally complete, with a fine-tuned menu and fully functioning “Kid Pit” with arcade games and kid-friendly entertainment.

The restaurant replaced the BalMar bar earlier this year, named for owner Kevin Carlson’s grandfather, Ken Jones. Jones, now 99, was one of the brothers of the original Jones  Brothers Meats company, which was located just one block south of the new restaurant. The meat company operated for over 60 years.

“It was important to owner/partner Kevin Carlson to somehow use the family name as a reminder of the original Scandinavian and fishing community of Ballard that he grew up in,” Trinette Carlson tells us. “With so much change in Ballard over the last 25 years, they were happy to hold and honor something of the past, and keep it in place.”

The American-style restaurant serves daily fresh pasta with homemade meatballs, and one veggie ball. Also on the menu are three different salads; arugula with goat cheese and pancetta, a roasted beets salad with bleu cheese, and a classic caesar. The sandwich options include a Reuben, French dip, mushroom dip, Italian grinder, Jones Brothers Burger, and meatball sub. On the drinks menu are cocktails, wine and local beer on tap.

Carlson tells us they only recently were permitted by the Ballard Historic Board to post the restaurant name on the storefront, making the restaurant officially open and ready for business.

Jones Brothers & Co. is open Monday to Friday at 3pm, and at 11am on the weekends. For more info and to see their full menu, visit their website.

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Development Update June 22: two subdivision applications

June 22nd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Two subdivision applications make 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.


816 NW 53RD ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 3,487 sq. ft. and B) 1,693 sq. ft. Existing structure to be demolished.

Comments may be submitted through 07/05/2017.

612 NW 85TH ST

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 2,150 sq. ft. and B) 2,444 sq. ft. Existing structure to be demolished.

Comments may be submitted through 07/05/2017.

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Update: Gracie the dog has been found

June 22nd, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Update: Gracie was found on Thursday in Tacoma.
“She is home with her owner and they are happy as can be,” Ericka Nash wrote on the My Ballard Facebook page.

Original: Gracie has gone missing in Ballard.

She was last seen on Shilshole Ave and 22nd Ave NW. Her owner’s neighbor, Liane, wrote to My Ballard to let us know. The flyer says she answers to Gracie.

If you can offer any information about Gracie, call 206-854-3124.


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Pianos in the Parks coming to Carkeek

June 21st, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Pianos in the Parks is starting soon, with one of the pianos planned for Carkeek Park.

The Pianos in the Parks program is being run by arts nonprofit One Reel, and will include 11 artist-designed pianos, placed in Seattle parks and public spaces from July 13 – 30. There will also be six single-day events with music, arts, and educational programs on the weekends in July.

One of the events will be at Carkeek Park on July 15, 10am to 5pm. There will be music from local artists, free youth piano lessons in the morning, yoga classes around the piano, dance lessons and performances by ARC Dance, and the Music Center of the  Northwest’s Instrument Petting Zoo. The piano, designed and painted by artist Rachel Sprague, will be available for the public to play throughout the day.

Pianos in the Parks was founded by Laird Norton Wealth Management, but this is the first year that One Reel is running it. For more information and the full piano line-up, visit the Pianos in the Parks website.

Photo by Laird Norton Wealth Management

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Missing Link update: design underway, community meetings scheduled

June 21st, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Missing Link completion project is underway, with the city conducting detailed design plans and scheduling public meetings to meet with the community and business owners about progress.

In February, city leaders, trail supporters, and the business community announced that an agreement had been made to complete the trail, which will run along NW Market Street between the Ballard Locks and 24th Ave NW, then turn onto the south side of Shilshole Ave NW. There will also be improvements to the existing trial east of the Ballard Bridge along NW 45th St.

In May, a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was released; there’s a printed copy at Ballard Library for public review and comment. It’s possible to appeal, however, according to the Cascade Bicycle Club, it’s typically difficult to challenge a FEIS. Kelsey Mesher from Cascade wrote in a recent blog post that the club and other stakeholders have begun forming a collective Design Advisory Council (DAC) to look at the proposed trail block-by-block in order to ensure that the final design, “prioritizes safety of all who use the corridor, and preserves access to water-dependent businesses and adjacent buildings.” The DAC has outlined, “an aggressive schedule” to keep the project on track in order to start construction in 2018.

In the meantime, the city is planning public meetings to address concerns and keep people informed. The workshops will be trail-segment specific (see this flyer):

  • Segment 1 (Ballard Locks to 24th Ave NW): Tuesday, June 27, 3-6pm at Ballard VFW (2812 NW Market St)
  • Segment 2 (Shilshole Ave NW): Thursday, June 29, 3-6pm at Ballard VFW (2812 NW Market St)
  • Segment 3 (NW 45th St): Tuesday, July 11, 3-6pm, Seattle Maritime Academy, Maritime Classroom (4455 Shilshole Ave NW)
  • Public meeting at Ballard VFW on July 13; more details to come.

The city’s timeline for trail completion is detailed above, indicating they expect it to be completed in the winter of 2018/2019.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the project, visit the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project page.

All graphics courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation

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