Enjoy Free Museum Day on Saturday

Saturday is The Smithsonian’s Museum Day 2009.  That means you and a guest can get FREE general admission to any of the participating museums just by downloading one of these admission cards

Ballard’s Nordic Heritage Museum is one of the participants, where they recently opened the first Northwest solo exhibition of Swedish photographer and video artist Maria Friberg.  That exhibition will be on display through November 15.

Click here for a complete list of Museum Day museums and make a day of it!

Ballard is home to ‘Best Brew Pub’

Sorry Capitol Hill, looks like Ballard has the best Brew Pub in town.

Earlier this week, Capitol Hill Seattle pointed us to the Washington Beer Blog poll that had their Elysian pub in a tight race with our Maritime Pacific and the Jolly Roger Taproom. We posted the story and it seems Ballard is proud of our little watering hole. As you can tell from the graph above, the Ballard joint jumped way out in front of the competition.

The annual Fishermen’s Fall Festival is Saturday

Tomorrow is the 21st annual Fall Festival at Fishermen’s Terminal. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. come out and help celebrate the return of the North Pacific Fishing fleet to its home base.

The day is packed with activities. Kids will find booths including miniature wooden boat building, fish prints, oyster art, and a trout pond.

11:00 a.m. Salmon and Halibut Fillet Demonstration
Noon Shifty Sailors
1:00 p.m. Wild Salmon Fillet Competition
2:00 p.m. Lutefisk Eating Contest
3:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony for the Wild Salmon Fillet Competition
3:30 p.m. Oyster Slurp Competition
4:30 p.m. Kontagious Performing Company – Hip Hop Dancing

11:00 a.m. Sunshine from Polynesia – Traditional Hawaiian Dance Troupe
Noon J.P. Patches
1:00 p.m. Reptile Man
2:00 p.m. Music by Knut Bell
3:00 p.m. Survival Suit Race – at the west wall
4:00 p.m. Music by the Lost Varnets
6:00 p.m. Raffle, followed by more music by the Lost Varnets

There will also be a chance to donate to the Seattle Fishermen’s Memorial and efforts to honor the local fishing community and their families by purchasing a barbecue salmon meal for $10 that includes corn on the cob, beverage and dessert. There will also be tours of the Sea Star from the Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch show for $7.50 with proceeds going to the memorial.

Underwater vehicle closes Locks until noon

The Army Corps of Engineers is closing both the large and small locks today from 10 a.m. to noon to retrieve a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) that’s preventing fish from passing through the ladder.

Crews found the ROV blocking the locks’ saltwater drain system yesterday during an inspection of the adult salmon exclusion structure. “Our team immediately went into action when they realized the ROV was blocking the saltwater drain system,” said Marian Valentine, operations project manager for Lake Washington Ship Canal. “We plan to finish the repairs today and open the saltwater drain system, which will allow fish to pass through the fish ladder.” Boaters may call the lockmaster on duty at 206-783-7000 to verify that the locks are open.

Apparent suicide near Whittier Elementary

Police responded at 5:30 a.m. to the east side of Whittier Elementary School, on 13th and 75th, to investigate an apparent suicide. “There appeared to be a body on the ground and the police were setting things up for an investigation,” said My Ballard reader Wes, who was walking his dog at 6:15 a.m. Police had the area taped off for much of the morning.

Police tell us they’re conducting an investigation and it “appears to be a suicide.” My Ballard typically does not report on suicides, but given the public nature of this death, we decided to post a short story. (Thanks everyone for your tips.)

Sustainable Ballard Festival this weekend

Make sure you keep at a least one afternoon clear this weekend to visit the always-popular Sustainable Ballard Festival at Ballard Commons Park. The annual event features live music, interactive workshops, educational activities and family fun with an emphasis on neighborhood sustainability.

Last year, thousands of people visited the two-day event, visiting more than 50 exhibits. This year, all the favorites are back and more.

You’ll find green transportation ideas, a bicycle tour, giveaways and the Conference Bike (above) on Transportation Row. Over at the Green Home Center, a model home displays energy and conservation strategies for each room in the house. On Saturday at 1:15 p.m., local designers compete in the sustainable fashion show. And if you’re a budding designer, you can participate in the ReCycled Flash Fashion Challenge.

Visit goats and chickens at the Urban Farm Zone, and you can make your own mason bee house with the Ballard Boys and Girls Club. On Saturday at 4 p.m., local favorite Bubbleman entertains the kids. Then on Sunday at 2 p.m. Ballard’s own Gymboree hosts an outdoor class with games and songs.

That’s just the beginning — the full schedule of events is right here. Sustainable Ballard Festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and make sure to check back to My Ballard later this weekend for complete coverage.

Help buy books for kids by eating out

Go out to eat and make a difference in a child’s life. Today is “Dish it up Literacy!” which means if you eat at Hattie’s Hat or Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ you’ll be making a donation to a good cause. The program, organized by Page Ahead, will provide new books and workshops for children and their families. Although only two restaurants in Ballard are participating, there are more than two-dozen restaurants around the city taking part. Here’s a list of all the restaurants.

Assignment Plan boundary map to be released

As part of the Student Assignment Plan (.pdf), the Seattle Public Schools will release the new attendance area boundary maps on October 6th. The plan, which was approved in June, gave the district the green light to draw boundaries around each school so students will know where he or she will go to elementary, middle and high school based on their address. There will be no more district-wide open enrollment to apply for schools.

Some Ballard parents are concerned because there’s been speculation that Magnolia and Queen Anne high schoolers will be assigned to Ballard, while Ballard-area high schoolers will be sent to Ingraham.

The attendance area maps will be released here once a School Board workshop gets underway at 4 p.m. on Oct. 6th. The district will hold informational meetings throughout the city to hear feedback on the attendance areas. The meeting for our area will be held at Ballard High School from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on October 14th. The School Board will vote on the map on November 18th. The entire plan will be implemented in phases starting in the 2010-2011 school year.

Tigertail restaurant on 65th closed

9/25 update:  The State Liquor Control Board now says there is no issue with Tigertail’s license and the King County Recorder’s Office has no liens on record that would indicate an IRS property seizure.  

The sign on the door at Tigertail restaurant and bar on 65th St. says the establishment has been temporarily closed by the Liquor Control Board. My Ballard reader Roy Hobbs sent us this photo below. The sign reads, “Sorry, we’ve been shut down by Liquor Control. Be open soon.”

Earlier this week, Chris sent us an email to say he saw another sign on the door that claimed Tigertail is having issues with the IRS. The sign disappeared a short time later. Our sister blog PhinneyWood has called the IRS, which referred them to the county auditor’s office, which then referred them to the county Recorders office, where they left a message. They also called the public records line at the State Liquor Control Board, where they were told there is a “pending issue on their license.” They also left a message for Tigertail’s owners, so stay tuned.

Maritime Pacific Brewery tied for best brew pub

We know that Maritime is a popular brew. It’s so good, in fact, that they’re moving to a larger space in Ballard. Now the Washington Beer Blog has pitted brewery against brewery and Ballard’s own Maritime Pacific Brewery is tied with Capitol Hill’s Elysian for “Best Brew Pub.”

We’ve been running a poll for a couple of weeks now. The question, “What is your favorite Seattle brew pub?” The plan was to pull it down today and announce the results. Change of plans. We’ll run it for the rest of this week to see if the tie can be broken between Maritime Pacific and Elysian Capitol Hill. Big Time is close on their heels.

You can vote for your favorite brew pub right here. As we’ve written before, Maritime is in a transitional stage and moving into a larger location down the road. We’ll keep you posted on when they plan to open in their new digs. (Thanks CHS Blog.)