News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Help a lost ferret find home!

July 28th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Ballard, we’ve got a lost, friendly ferret on our hands.

The pet was found around noon today near 77th and 25th NW. She (though the finder is unsure of the ferret’s sex) is creamy white with dark splashes, apparently lighter than they appear in the provided photo.

“[She’s] very friendly and unhurt. I’d like to get [her] back where [she] belongs,” says Michael Esveldt, who has been unable to find the owners.

He says he has been knocking door-to-door and will now begin to put up some signs. Reach out to Michael at or in this comment section if you have any information about our ferret friend!

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Seattle City Light explains power outage last night

July 28th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

A power outage in Ballard occurred last night putting about 2,500 people in our area out of power.

The original cause of the power outage was a failed underground wire on the Magnolia side of the marina. However crews tripped a feeder while working to restore power to Magnolia customers which caused the outage to spread to Ballard.

The original outage affected 3,700 customers but by 5:40 p.m. Seattle City Light had reduced it to 2,182 customers.

By 7:40 p.m. power was restored to Ballard area while crews still worked to restore power to the 600 customers in Magnolia. Only a half an hour later, the majority of customers in Magnolia, Queen Anne & South Lake Union had power again.


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Eat out to support Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

July 27th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Tomorrow night, restaurants supporting non-profit Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will donate 20 percent of your bill to safer streets. Check the list of all participating restaurant in the area and simply stop in tomorrow, Tuesday July 28th from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Ballard locations include Barking Dog Alehouse (705 NW 70th Street) and Maritime Pacific Brewing (1111 NW Ballard Way). Fremont Brewing is also on the list. We think the event sounds like a win-win for safer streets and local eats!

Here are some answers to FAQs on the event:

  • “Do I have to bike?” You can travel to the restaurant however you want (but walking or biking is encouraged – it is forecast to be a beautiful evening).
  • “Do I need to sign in?” You don’t need to do anything special to have a percentage of your bill go towards a great cause.
  • “Can I talk to someone about safe street issues in my neighborhood at the restaurant?” We will have volunteers at nearly all the restaurants to answer your questions about Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

For more information, view the Facebook event page here.

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City of Seattle awards Neighborhood Matching Fund to three Ballard-specific projects

July 27th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

The City of Seattle is awarding $467,562 in matching funds to support 28 chosen neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. Awarded funds for the variety of events, cultural festivals and projects come from the Neighborhood Matching Fund.

“These projects are the result of neighbors working together to better their community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The entire city benefits from their volunteerism and talent as they create, plan and implement these projects. The Neighborhood Matching Fund is there to support their efforts, whether it is an exhibit, a documentary or a playground.”

The June 2015 Small and Simple Projects Fund awardees include three projects specific to Ballard:

  • $12,000 to Low Income Housing Institute to produce a free event series that feature the people and topics relating to the Ballard neighborhood. (Community match: $6,320)
  • $24,400 to Ballard Historical Society to conduct a historic inventory of the Ballard community and utilize a visual and interactive GIS mapping component to engage volunteers and the public. (Community match: $32,400)
  • $15,000 to Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth to perform outreach within Ballard to garner interest in a proposed Business Improvement Area (BIA) to serve the needs of the neighborhood. (Community match: $17,820)

Among the twenty-two other community-specific projects around Seattle, three citywide projects will be backed:

  • $8,927 to Seattle-Sihanoukville Sister City Association to produce an event to provide education and share stories of Cambodian refugees during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and their resettlement in the United States. (Community match: $13,365)
  • $25,000 to Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy to produce a Seattle Caribbean Festival sharing cultural performances and cultural exchange to unite members of the diverse Caribbean community. (Community match: $20,480)
  • $10,000 to Gay City Health Project to solicit public input to create a database of health care providers to ensure the LGBTQ community has access to high quality, competent healthcare. (Community match: $7,220)

The total awards range from $4,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City’s $467,562 investment with $600,132 of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor.

“There is a reason the Neighborhood Matching Fund has existed for 27 years,” said director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Kathy Nyland. “It’s been a valuable resource for communities to turn their visions into reality.”

Since the start of the program in 1988, more than 5,000 projects have been completed. For more information about all of the funds visit

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Sunday Farmer’s Market inches into Bergen Park

July 27th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

The popular Ballard Farmer’s Market has begun to overflow with vendors, some of who will now be located at the northern end of Ballard Ave in Bergen Place Park. The hub at Bergen will specialize in prepared foods, crafts and local artistry during normal Sunday market hours.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” says Judy Kirkhuff of the expansion to the city park just off 22nd Ave NW.

Below, we’ve featured this weekend’s happiest Farmer’s Market shopper:
Thanks for sharing, Shannon O’Donnell!

Photo by Shannon O'Donnell

A free Frozen balloon character for a princess/ Photo by Shannon O’Donnell

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KUOW ‘Week in Review’ broadcasted from Leif Erikson Lodge

July 27th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

KUOW talked hot topics of the week at Ballard’s Leif Erikson Lodge this past Friday, July 24. The broadcast was part of the news talk radio’s summer tour series Week in Review in which KUOW records a session in front of a public audience in each of Seattle’s newly minted City Council districts.

Our District 6 session got around to discussion on affordable housing solutions, the best ways to enforce the outdoor pot smoking ban and the West Coast’s earthquake fears. Meanwhile, the Norwegian puns were rampant aptly leading KUOW to title the segment “How Do We Keep Housing ‘A-Fjord-Able’?” Listen to the full segment on KUOW. org here.

KUOW’s Bill Radke hosted among a panel comprised of Live Wire radio’s Luke Burbank, KUOW’s Deborah Wang, and former state GOP head Chris Vance.

KUOW also reported on the post-broadcast event, interviewing longtime Ballard residents in attendance. Among them was James Tisdel, who suggests that the influx of housing construction has led to what Tisdel argues is the biggest issue facing Ballard as of late: parking.

“If you talk to most locals, the big deal is getting parking availability for all this development. That’s what I think is going to get even more challenging as we go on,” says Tisdel.

Kara McDermott for KUOW

Photo Kara McDermott for KUOW

What’s next up for “Week in Review”? Lower Queen Anne’s The Vera Project hosts the District 7 broadcast on July 31, concluding the series. The event is free and open to the public; no RSVP necessary. Complimentary refreshments are provided by Grand Central Bakery. Doors open at 9 a.m. while the live broadcast runs from 10 to 11 a.m.

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The plan to protect Seattle’s waterways: Ship Canal Water Quality Project

July 24th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and King County Department of Natural Resources (DNRP) are working together to build an underground storage tunnel to reduce the amount of sewage and stormwater that discharges into the Lake Washington Ship Canal at Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, and North Queen Anne.

The proposed 2.7 mile underground storage tunnel will capture and temporarily hold more than 15 million gallons of sewage and polluted runoff discharged in heavy rains, referred to as combined sewer overflows (CSOs). When a storm passes, CSOs will be sent to the existing King County West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant.

SPU recently prepared a long-range plan to reduce sewage overflows and stormwater runoff, referred to as The Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways (Plan). The Plan was evaluated in a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) issued by SPU in May 2014 and finalized that December. The Plan, and the Draft and Final Plan EIS, can be read at

The Ship Canal Project is one of the first projects in the Plan to be implemented. Based on review of the environmental impacts, costs, and other considerations, SPU determined that a tunnel is the preferred approach for constructing the Ship Canal Project.

Other major features of the project are summarized below:

  • Storage Tunnel: up to an approximately 18-foot diameter, 2.7 mile long tunnel, holding at least 15.2 million gallons (MG), largely underlying street rights-of-way along the north side of the Ship Canal. The tunnel would be located more than 100 feet below ground.
  • West Portal: a structure where the tunnel boring machine would be launched and all tunnel-excavated materials (called “spoils”) would be removed. During construction, material handling facilities would be located on the portal site, an approximately 2-acre site to be acquired by the City. An adjacent existing City-owned pier will be rebuilt to transport spoils to a barge. Privately owned piers at other locations along the north side of the Ship Canal may be used as well. Construction may also include transport along an existing rail line. Following construction, the same portal used for tunnel mining will receive flows from the Ballard area, as well as house a pump station used to empty the tunnel. The above-ground, two-story pump station building will include equipment to remove grit and debris from flows entering the tunnel, an electrical motor, and instrumentation. An odor control facility and standby generator will be located outside the building within the site boundary.
  • East Portal: a structure on an approximately half-acre City-owned site where the tunnel boring machine would be retrieved. Following construction, the portal will receive flows from the Wallingford area, as well as house odor control equipment and an above-ground standby generator building.
  • Drop shafts: vertical structures that convey flows into the storage tunnel will be located close to existing outfalls near 11th Ave. NW in Ballard, 3rd Ave. NW in Fremont, 3rd Ave. W on the south side of the Ship Canal, and at the West and East tunnel portals. Following construction, two of the drop shafts will house odor control equipment and standby generators.
  • Conveyance facilities: buried near-surface pipes to transport flows from the Ballard, Wallingford, Fremont, and North Queen Anne neighborhoods to the tunnel drop shafts. Conveyance facilities include below-ground pipes, diversion structures (e.g., weirs), and associated piping components. Approximately 3,400 lineal feet of conveyance pipes ranging from 36- to 72-inches in diameter will be constructed to bring flows to the drop shafts. These pipes will be built using a combination of open-cut and microtunnelling construction methods, largely in public rights of way. Approximately 1,900 lineal feet of dual 24-inch diameter pipes will be constructed to transfer stored flows from the tunnel to the King County wastewater treatment plant in Magnolia. Other conveyance components, including points of connection with the tunnel and/or diversion structures, will be included as needed. Surface disruption of streets and public rights of way, including the potential for loss of street parking and temporary lane closures or detours, will be required to construct many of these facilities.
  • Existing infrastructure replacement and protection projects: During tunnel construction, crews may disrupt or damage existing infrastructure, particularly older sewer lines, water pipes, and other utility infrastructure. In some cases, this project presents an opportunity to proactively replace or repair aging infrastructure, combine construction projects, and reduce the number of times streets and neighborhoods would be disrupted. One such case is replacement of an existing aging outfall near the 24th Ave. NW street end.

This week’s announcement is provided by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

To learn about the project, visit SPU’s project website or email for additional information.

Comment by email (please include Ship Canal Project Scoping in the subject line) or by U.S. Postal Service to the SEPA Responsible Official at the address below by August 24, 2015:

Seattle Public Utilities
Attention:  Betty Meyer, SEPA Responsible Official
Seattle Municipal Tower, Suite 4900
P.O. Box 34018
Seattle, WA  98124-4018

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What’s on this weekend

July 24th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

This weekend, Seattle’s in for even more traffic than usual in Capitol Hill or downtown areas. The three-day annual Capitol Hill Block begins tonight, with 9,000 people expected for each of the three days. Seafair events downtown include a Pirate-themed run and parade off of 4th Ave.

Ballard has some great music and brewery events taking place, and the market this Sunday. A new addition in the heart of Ballard is free yoga on Saturdays at Ballard Commons Park! Also happening: a mini-golf fundraiser at Interbay and tonight’s Seattle Night Ride bike tour.

The next few days, keep in mind that temperatures may be dropping, as may be rain:

Image The National Weather Service

Image The National Weather Service

FRIDAY, July 24

  • Live Music
  • ARC Dance Company (9250 14th Ave NW) has two final weekend shows of their annual program Summer Dance at the Center. The Friday night performance takes place at 8 p.m. at Seattle Center’s Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre (155 Mercer Street)
  • The Seattle Night Ride: The Cascade Bicycle Club hosts a summer evening ride starting at 8 p.m. The 15-mile ride’s route begins at Gasworks Park and travels along Lake Union to Myrtle Edwards Park, continuing north on Elliott Bay, Ship Canal and Burke-Gilman bike trails. Finish at Ballard’s Peddler Brewing Company (15thAve NW and NW Leary Way). About 500 participants are expected.


  • Mini-Golf Tournament Fundraiser: Benefit for the Child Life Department at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Event organized by the Color Me Happy Guild at Interbay Golf Center (Seattle) from noon-2:00. For more information and registration click here.
  • Ballard History Walk: Susan Reinhard hosts a walk along historic Ballard Avenue and shares Ballard’s history. Meet from 10 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Bergen Place Park (Market St. between Leary Ave & 22nd Ave NW). Click here for more information.
  • Free yoga in the park: Every Saturday starting July 25th there is a free yoga class 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.
  • Live Music events

  • ARC Dance Company (9250 14th Ave NW) has two final weekend shows of their annual program Summer Dance at the Center. The Saturday night performance takes place at 8 p.m. at Seattle Center’s Leo Kreielsheimer Theatre (155 Mercer Street)
  • SDOT traffic warning for downtown events

SUNDAY, July 26

  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks Botanical Gardens: 2 p.m. Greenwood Concert Band
  • Live Music
  • Encampment site community discussion: Seattle Green Spaces Coalition has been attending meetings with community and government organizations about the proposed encampments in Ballard and West Seattle. For Ballard & Northside members, attend this Sunday from 3:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. at the Magnolia Library Meeting Room (2801 34th Ave W).


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Campaign funding revealed for District 6 City Council candidates

July 24th, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Campaign funding reports for City Council candidates are available for public viewing thanks to the city’s Ethics and Election Commission. Below, we’ve directed our attention on the campaigns of District 6 candidates on the August 4th primary election ballot.

District 6 campaign contribution totals/ Image

Councilmember Mike O’Brien‘s campaign has been overwhelmingly the most funded for District 6 (see above image). Twenty-six percent of his overall amount is coming from District 6; 20 percent from District 3; 14 percent from outside of the city; and 13 percent from District 7. The remaining amount has come from all parts of the city or from unannounced addresses.

O’Brien did not report self funding of his own campaign. Individual donors make up the bulk of O’Brien’s campaign amounting to 76 percent of contributions.

Catherine Weatbrook’s campaign is next highest with most of her contributions coming directly from District 6. As of July 12th, nearly 50 percent of her total amount had come from the district. Additionally, 13 percent has comes from District 7,  11 percent from District 5, and 6 percent from outside city limits.

Individual contributions made up 65 percent of Weatbrooks campaign with 12 percent coming from businesses. Furthermore, 11 percent Weatbrook’s campaign funds came from Weatbrook herself.

Jon Lisbin’s campaign has been largely funded by Lisbin himself. As of July 12th, Lisbin’s self funding was 59 percent of total campaign funding, with 37 percent from outside the city limits. A minimal two percent has been from District 6.

Additional information and visual charts for District 6 campaign funding can be found in Ballard News-Tribune‘s report here. For information on surrounding districts and their candidates’ respective funding, visit


Populuxe and Cat Haus Sounds present music, beer and food

July 23rd, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

Cat Haus Sounds and Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th Street) host Girls in the Yard this Saturday. The event is free and open to the public.

The event starts in the late afternoon and offers live music performed by powerful female bands, great beer and delicious food. Vegan food truck No Bones About It will be serving out front the brewery and ice cream by Balleywood Creamery will be made available.

The music schedule is as follows:

2:00-3:00 Bleachbear
4:00-4:45pm – Whitney Mongé
6:00p-7:30pm – Whorechata

For more information find the Facebook event page here.

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Seattle Fire Department warns of warm weather fire increases

July 23rd, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard

The Seattle Fire Department has responded to a dramatic increase of brush and beauty bark fires compared to previous years. From June 1 to July 21 the Seattle Fire Department responded to 442 warm weather related fires.

This number includes 225 brush fires– a 178% increase since last month–and nearly triple the 81 brush fires of 2014’s June and July. Beauty bark fires total to around 220 incidents this summer compared to last year’s 99 incidents.

Fire Chief Harold Scoggins says the warm, dry conditions act as ideal fuel for fires to burn.

In response, Scoggins led an informational meeting yesterday morning in Discovery Park, lending tips to wildland or urban residents on how to protect their homes and property against the dramatic rise in warm weather fires. Preventive steps are as follows:

  • Clear leaves and debris from roof, gutters, porches and decks.
  • Remove dead vegetation from under deck and porch and within 10 feet of house
  • Remove flammable wood piles, propane tanks away from homes and garage structures
  • Prune trees away from homes
  • For homes adjacent to large areas of greenbelt, consider defensible space between home and landscaping
  • Homes built on slopes should mitigate dead dry vegetation below and around structure.
  • Either keep lawn hydrated or if its’ brown, cut it down.
  • Practice an evacuation plan out of your home and out of your neighborhood.
Engine Company 41 demonstrating ways to battle brush fires/ Seattle Fireline

Engine Company 41 demonstrating ways to battle brush fires/ Seattle Fireline

Only a few hours after the meeting concluded, Seattle firefighters had already responded to four brush fires and four beauty bark fires, according to Seattle Fireline.

Of the brush fires yesterday, an early afternoon brush fire on SB I5 at 130th led from the freeway up the hillside charring a 200 ft. by 100 ft. section of dry brush and stalling the freeway. Five fire engines were required for nearly an hour to extinguish the flames.

Additionally, at 3:20 p.m. yesterday, attention was given to a bark fire in Ballard 24th Ave. NW and NW 90th St. As of this morning, already an 8:30 a.m. a bark fire occurred at Ne Northgate Way and 5th Av Ne; and at 1:20 p.m., the fire department arrived at the site of a brush fire on Magnolia Blvd W.

Additional tips on fire safety and prevention are provided by Seattle Fireline:
WSP Wildland Fire Safety Tips
DNR Wildfire Prevention Tips

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Throwback Thursday: A sea serpent at the beach?

July 23rd, 2015 by Halynn Blanchard


Serpent at the beach by Shilshole Bay (1910)/ Photo by Museum of History & Industry

This seafaring group of men show off their evidence that the waters of Golden Gardens beach are home to the infamous “Ballard Sea Serpent.”

Tales of a sea serpent sighting are often paired with this singular photograph (above), which has became representative of the elaborate Ballard hoax of the early 1900s.

Watch out ladies…


(1900)/ Photo courtesy of Ballard Historical Society

The above photo shows eleven women wading at Golden Gardens in bathing costumes and hats, the beach and forest in background. Bathing costumes are all sailor-collared white tops and long dark skirts; hats mostly broad-brimmed but vary in style.

We doubt the ladies would have had anything to fear considering the “serpent” sure looks a lot like a crafted tree trunk.

Photo by Library of Congress Prints and Photo Archives

(1910)/ Photo by Library of Congress Prints and Photo Archives

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