Christmas tree lots open for business

It’s that time of the year, and Christmas tree lots have sprung up around Ballard.

Troop 100 of the Boy Scouts are up and running in the St. Alphonsus church parking lot, a Ballard tradition for the last 50 years.

It’s also one the most popular lots in the neighborhood.

And there’s also Jimmy Wild’s lot next to Top Banana, also an annual tradition. Other suggestions for good local places to buy a tree?

Shots heard near Market and 28th

MyBallard reader SB wrote us Saturday morning:

Any information on the gunshots at 1:25 a.m. this morning? In the vicinity of Market Ave & 28th Ave. N.W. a series of 4 to 5 shots were fired. A police cruiser showed up about 10 minutes later from Market Ave. traveling westbound and turned north onto 28th Ave. N.W. and then east on 56th St. That was the only law enforcement activity we saw. Just thought this was odd since this is normally a very quiet and peaceful area.

We did some checking but came up empty. Anyone else hear/see anything?

Update: SB said he spoke with Seattle Police after finding five 40-caliber shell casings in the street later this morning. He said police told him that they don’t believe anyone was hit, and they’re investigating the incident as possibly connected to other shots fired in the north end last night.

Business is tough, so please buy in Ballard

We’ve heard from a few businesses in the Ballard area over the last few weeks, and they’ve said sales are particularly difficult. Don Willis Furniture, which has stores in Ballard, Lake City and Tacoma, told the Business Journal that sales are down 30 percent. “In September, when the market went to heck, our business went to heck,” said Willis, who had to lay off three employees. So now that the holiday shopping season is officially underway, here’s our reminder to please buy in Ballard — even if it costs a little bit more than the big discount chains. Your investment will pay dividends for the neighborhood.

Sunset Bowl not a historic landmark

Unlike the now departed Denny’s building, there hasn’t been an outpouring of support to designate the doomed Sunset Bowl as a historic landmark.

But as is customary — which we learned from the Denny’s debacle — the new owners of Sunset Bowl filed a nomination with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board as a preemptive move to make sure there wouldn’t be any last minute challenges. And the board ruled that Sunset is not historic, reports the Ballard News Tribune. But one board member pointed out that the nomination was brought before the board after the bowling alley’s interior was dismantled and auctioned off, diminishing any potential historic value. Sunset Bowl will be demolished any day now to make room for luxury apartments.

Fundraiser for barista injured in accident

The morning barista at Aster Coffee Lounge, Tish, was hospitalized after she was seriously injured in a bicycle crash, but she doesn’t have health insurance. So the coffeehouse is putting on a fundraiser this Saturday night with live music, raffle prizes, beer, wine (and coffee, of course).

It starts at 7 p.m. at Aster, located on 24th Ave. near 56th St. If you can’t make but still want to help, you can donate here.

Mail packages stolen on 8th Ave.

MyBallard reader Elle writes:

This evening a neighbor brought a rifled through box to my house and everything was taken. It was mailed through USPS. He said a UPS box was taken from his house as well and the items were stolen. This all happened around 8th Avenue and 59-62nd St. Totally crappy. Anyone else experiencing this? Or know an effective way to report/prevent it?

A fair warning this holiday season to be careful with home delivery.

LA Fitness making a few waves

The new LA Fitness, which will open soon right next to Edith Macefield’s old house, has blanketed Ballard in flyers encouraging folks to sign up. “There’s a bare mid-riff, hard-hatted, teeth-whitened, hair-lightened blond in contractor apron and work boots by the words: Coming Soon to Ballard!” explains Peggy Sturdivant on her blog, At Large in Ballard. Perturbed that LA Fitness was trying to bring a taste of Los Angeles to Ballard, Peggy called the number on the flyer. She says she ended up speaking with the general manager, and she asked him what would become of the Westlake LA Fitness branch. He said it would “probably” close and those memberships may be transferred over to Ballard. (By the way, this has been the subject of discussion here in our forum.)

Truck snags power line, sparks outage

A hydraulic truck hooked a power line shortly before noon today, triggering a power outage for some businesses along 9th Ave. NW near the Fred Meyer, says MyBallard reader AlanBob. “Four transformers had short-circuited, showering the street with sparks,” he writes. “The air itself smelled overcooked.”

Fortunately, no reports of any injuries. (Thanks AlanBob for the tip and photo!)