Big wine taste Saturday on The Ridge

The Phinney Neighborhood Association is putting on its big annual wine taste Saturday evening at 730 p.m. If you like vino, this event is a great one with 10 tastes and catered food. Purchase tickets online to get a break on the rate, ranging from $22 beforehand for PNA members, to $30 at the door for non-members. There’s also a designated driver option for $10.

There’s at least 17 wineries and wine shops represented, including two Ballard favorites: The well-regarded Ballard winery, Animale; and the wine shop Portalis.

If you’re planning on going, buy now because it¬†usually sells out.

Could Denny’s help save Memorial Stadium?

Seattle PI columnist Robert Jamieson doesn’t mince words about the Ballard Denny’s. “The Denny’s site is run-down, a nostalgic eyesore,” he writes. “It carries little historical heft and has debatable architectural import compared with… Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center.” With planners considering replacing the stadium with a giant parking venue or an amphitheater, stadium supporters think the Denny’s vote paves the way to saving it. “If the Ballard Denny’s site was essentially spared by a sole criterion of the landmarks board — being an ‘easily identifiable visual feature of its neighborhood’ — Memorial Stadium offers many reasons for Seattle to rally,” Jamieson writes.

Vintage photos of Manning’s Cafeteria

Anne Forestieri, who helped lead the effort to landmark the Denny’s building, sent us these photos from 1983 of the Ballard Manning’s before it was converted to the Denny’s. Anne asked that we post the photos “so that people don’t keep seeing the tired photo of the building being boarded up, thus contributing to the ‘eyesore’ mentality.” You can see more photos here.

Of course, the question that remains is how to restore the old Denny’s building to Manning’s fame… and who’s going to pay for it. We’ll keep you updated…

Also: The Ballard News-Tribune has an interview with Alan Hess, who authored two books on Googie architecture.

Skillings: ‘I was just helping her’

Joseph Skillings, the Adams Elementary teacher who’s recovering from that vicious attack in January, spoke to the media for the first time (watch KOMO video). “I was just helping her,” he said of the attack, when he intervened to help a woman who was being accosted at a Capitol Hill bus stop. Skillings has made incredible progress in his recovery, but his speech is slowly coming back. “I’m working with therapists that are helping me get my… cause my head is a little bit unratched in some areas,” he says, still struggling to get the right words out. “I want to get better and do my job. It’s going to take me a while to get back on board.” Family and friends say they’re organizing a fundraiser and auction on March 16th. More details on that soon. Meanwhile, police have made no arrests in the case.

Ballard evokes envy in tournament draw

The brackets for the 16 teams in the state girls basketball tournament are determined by a draw, and the Ballard Beavers are in a good spot. In fact, their first opponent has a losing record (Rogers of Puyallup). And the opponents in the next round are both unranked (Pasco or Graham-Kapowsin). “She should be happy,” Snohomish coach Ken Roberts said of Ballard coach Karen Blair. The first game begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Ballard girls win in OT, take district

The Ballard girls basketball team — already headed to the state tournament for the first time — beat Inglemoor in overtime Friday night to take the Sea-King 4A Girls district title (photos). As you can see in this video clip of the game, the Beavers were getting overwhelmed early on, but came back strong. “This was a new experience,” Coach Karen Blair said. “We’ve never been in a championship game before. So we struggled and made things harder than they needed to be. But we came through down the stretch.” The big state tournament begins Wednesday in the Tacoma Dome. Go Beavers!

Commenters lash out at Denny’s decision

Have you seen the Seattle Times’ reader feedback on the Denny’s building? Nearly all of it opposes the decision. “Rebuild the Kingdome and put this garbage on top of it,” writes one. “Ballard’s Mt. Rushmore,” says another. “The viaduct is more of a landmark,” says a third. About a quarter of the responses are from supporters. “Googie or not, the former Denny’s has CHARACTER, something sadly lacking in 99 percent of Seattle’s newer buildings,” says one. “Thank God! I don’t care what sits on that corner as long as it isn’t another stupid condo tower!” says another.

And you don’t have to ask Ballard Gossip Girl what she thinks after taking a look at her proposed design for the landmark.