Help name this baby gorilla

I know we’re going a little zoo crazy here on My Ballard, but who can resist posting a photo of a cute baby gorilla? The Woodland Park Zoo is kicking off a naming contest for this female western lowland gorilla born last October. Says the zoo, “Only names submitted in the African languages of Swahili, Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba will qualify for the grand prize.” (What did we do before Google?) Anyway, these naming contests are going corporate these days, so entry forms are available at Ivar’s and Kidd Valley, or you can just download a form on the zoo’s site.

Ballard girls lose in basketball quarterfinals

This just in from the Tacoma Dome: Pasco 55, Ballard 45. It was a hard-fought game with six lead changes. If I’m reading the bracket correctly, the best they can do now is 4th place. But really, this is the first time the Ballard girls have gone to state in the 4A division, so way to go, girls!

Update: Seattle Times has the story here, and watch video of the game here. “It’s been an unbelievable run,” said Ballard coach Karen Blair. “If someone would have told me that we would have been 21-2 going to the state tournament and being a district champ and co-champs of our league, I would have asked, ‘What have you been smoking?’ “

Free parking disappearing fast

It goes without saying that it’s getting harder and harder to find free parking in Ballard. Or any parking for that matter, especially around the center of town, at Market and Ballard Ave. (Especially now that the QFC lot is gone.) Over the last few years, the city has installed 1,500 pay parking stations in Ballard, Capitol Hill, University District and the ID. And they’re not done yet: this year, pay stations will be installed in Fremont, Upper Queen Anne, West Seattle and other neighborhoods. And next year, the city will consider adding more to Ballard. So when you find that freebie spot, savor it.

Effort to save Sunset Bowl intensifies

We’ve written about avid bowler Jim Bristow and his efforts to save Sunset Bowl by circulating petitions and organizing a group of investors. Now he’s launching a new site,, with the goal to “require the new property owners, Avalon Bay Communities Inc., to include a bowling facility in their new proposed mutli-use development.” Not only that, but the plan is the investor group would keep Sunset Bowl open until Avalon is ready to begin construction. “(The group) is working on a deal with Sunset Bowl to purchase all of their equipment, and keep it open, with hopefully all or most of the current employees,” writes Danielle Johnson in the Building Seattle Green blog. “Save Sunset Bowl believes that the opportunity to be heroes in the community will motivate Avalon.” So far, no official word from Avalon, although a spokesperson told the Ballard News-Tribune earlier this month that it’s “definitely willing to work with people.” So stay tuned…

New bumper sticker: ‘Flee Ballard’

We’ve all seen the “Free Ballard” bumper stickers. And now the Mysterious Traveler spotted an alteration to the theme on the back of a Suburu: “Flee Ballard” (full photo). Looks like some nifty artwork swapping that “R” for an “L.” As we posted last week, Archie McPhee recently added a new sticker, “Ballard Welcomes Our New Condo Overlords,” which spurred quite a discussion here on My Ballard.

Shilshole’s missing sea serpent

No, there’s not a big sea serpent swimming around off Golden Gardens (although that was a fascination years ago), but Kim from Seattle Daily Photo noticed that the metal sea serpent sculpture is missing from the Shilshole jetty. “There are only jagged pieces sticking up in the places it was anchored into the jetty,” she writes, showing this photo she snapped (larger view here)…

After a little investigation, the mystery is solved. A few concerned residents took the sculpture down to refurbish it, says our contact at Shilshole Bay Marina. And it will be replaced soon. Meanwhile, workers at the marina have just finished construction of 22 new docks, part of the Shilshole Bay Marina Renewal and Replacement Project (details here.)