Tents along Shilshole Ave.

Several readers have posted in the forum about these tents along Shilshole Ave. near 24th Ave., near the old Yankee Diner.

My Ballard reader Mymble contacted SPD about the tents. “Officer Haag, SPD, emailed me today to say he has contacted one of the groups using one of the large camping tents,” writes Mymble in the forum. “He has given them 48 hours to move the tents and stated he would follow up to be sure they do move.” Several readers have spotted other tents in Ballard, including a few along the new extension of the Burke-Gilman trail on the way to Golden Gardens.

Ballard a ‘sellers market’ for real estate

If you’re seeing a few “sold” signs around the neighborhood, there’s some data to back up your observation. “Months of supply” (MOS) is a real estate metric that measures the total number of homes on the market divided by pending sales, or roughly the rate of home sales. Anything with a MOS of 6 and under is considered a “seller’s market.” In the latest report for the month of February, the Ballard/Greenwood area came out with the second-lowest MOS in all of King County (4.6), just behind Shoreline (4.5). Sure, the market has cooled considerably, prices are way down, and who knows what the market will do next. But in today’s economy, it’s a rare nugget of positive news for homeowners.

Updated: Seattle-area home prices back to July 2005 levels

Tree stolen out of Ballard front yard

Last month, we posted a story about several statues that were stolen from Ballard residents’ front yards, and now someone has stolen a tree. “My husband walked out of the house this morning around 9:30 a.m. and found one of our trees in our front yard in the 7500 block of 19th in the Loyal Heights area dug up, dragged several feet, put in the back of a vehicle and stolen,” writes My Ballard reader Jennifer.

She sent us this photo of the tree from several years ago. “The branches are much longer and the truck is now approximately 4 inches in diameter,” she explains. “If anyone saw anything or is having some yard work done and suddenly has a new weeping evergreen that you think might belong to us, please have them contact me.” Her email address is posted here.

Tickets on sale for Ballard Jazz Festival

The Ballard Jazz Festival is quickly approaching, and tickets are now on sale for the five-day event, April 22-26. On the bill: jazz legend Hadley Caliman, saxophonist Bill Ramsey and the Joe Locke Quintet, to name a few. There’s also the Brotherhood of the Drum, a “Guitar Summit” at The Sunset, the Jazz Walk with 16 groups in 13 venues, and to finish things off, a Swedish pancake jazz brunch. Lots more details and ticket information right here.

Photo from last year’s Ballard Jazz Walk.

Garbage and recycling changes start today

Don’t forget that all the new recycling and yard waste changes start today, and that your collection day may have changed. You should have received a notice in the mail with your collection day listed on the label, and the garbage collectors should have placed a collection day sticker on your garbage can. You can also check online here.

Yard waste will now be picked up every week, and you can put food scraps such as meat, fish, bones, shells, cheese and dairy products into your yard waste carts. You also can recycle a ton more stuff than before, including paper and plastic cups, deli trays, aluminum foil, plastic plant pots and lids that are at least three inches in diameter. And you can put glass right into the main recycling cart instead of separating it. For more information, click here.

Seattle PI holds farewell party in Ballard

On Friday night, several hundred former and newly-former Seattle Post-Intelligencer employees gathered at the Ballard Elks Lodge to mark an end of an era. Party organizers had put a ban on “working press,” which would explain why we didn’t hear about it. But David Horsey, who now works for SeattlePI.com — the newspaper reborn online — explains the scene:

“There were the friends I made when we were all young and new to the P-I newsroom, friends who have moved on but remain my closest pals. It was dizzying seeing all these people from different stages of my life in one room — sort of like a high school reunion on steroids.”

The Stranger’s Eli Sanders also attended. “I wished that the final scene in the death of this civic institution hadn’t been kept so private,” he said. The party was organized by former employees because the Seattle PI’s owner, Hearst Corporation, elected not to throw a farewell party of its own.

Monitor traffic along 15th Ave. NW

The Seattle Department of Transportation has created a new website to give drivers traffic conditions on main city streets. For the first time, that includes 15th Ave NW. The site features color-coded roadways so you can decide which route to take. You can also check the city’s traffic cameras and see where trouble spots, like construction projects, might be. The traffic information is gathered from measuring devices embedded in the roadway, according to the press release sent out by the city. (Thanks for the email Armand!)