Hundreds gather at ‘Missing Link’ in Ballard

With red lights blinking, arms waving and horns honking, more than 250 people stretched down Shilshole Avenue Tuesday evening to show support for the completion of the “Missing Link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Bicyclist Jenny Heins has fallen along the Missing Link, and she believes safety is a big concern. “I think it’s going to make things safer for the businesses as well as the users of the trail. The whole community,” she says. “It’s been a priority for the community for 11 or 12 years so I’d like to see it move forward.”

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn showed up with his bike. “I’m a big bike supporter,” he tells us. “I’ve been a supporter of finishing the Missing Link for a long time.” Michael Snyder of SeattleLikesBikes.org rides the missing link from Ballard to Fremont every day on his commute. “I hope that the elected officials will take notice and the Ballard community will take notice and say ‘hey, this is a priority.'”

(Photo above from Silver.) The Missing Link is a 1.5 mile stretch of the Burke-Gilman Trail without an actual trail. Bicyclists currently ride along Shilshole Ave., sharing the road with cars and large trucks while maneuvering over railroad tracks. The city’s plan to bridge the link sparked a lawsuit from a coalition of Ballard industrial businesses worried about the impact on safety, traffic and parking.

“As businesses who work with heavy equipment, safety is our number one priority,” Eugene Wasserman of the North Seattle Industrial Association said this week, adding that he welcomes Tuesday’s event. “It should give people the opportunity to look at our growing businesses, which provide family wage jobs and are represented by many unions. It should be clear to everyone visiting our area how hard it is to mix trucks, cars, pedestrian, and bicycles safely.”

More photos:
-Silver took these photos here, and this video clip here.
-Michael Snyder took these pictures.
-LMcGuff added this photo link in comments.

Last week: Mayoral candidates address the Missing Link controversy

Guess the Dow, help raise money for Art Corps

With a goal of raising $15,000 for Seattle’s Arts Corps, Chow Foods restaurants, including Ballard’s Hi-Life are turning to their customers to guess what the Dow will close at on October 29th, the 80th anniversary of Black Thursday. For a buck (suggested donation), customers can take a stab at it. The person who guesses closest to, but not above, the bell ringing number will win that amount in Chow Foods gift cards. For example, if the dow closes at 9952.42, then the winner will receive $9,952.42 in gift cards. On Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., all menu items will be priced at or below that day’s close, which means there may not be any dishes more than $10. House wine, microbrews and well drinks will be priced at Nasdaq’s closing price. (All the rules here. The Hi-Life is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

Space available in youth basketball program

The Ballard Boys & Girls Club still has space available in their winter youth basketball league.

The winter league starts the week of December 14th and runs through March. 3rd grade boys will practice Wednesdays and Fridays, 4th-5th grade boys practice Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 4th-5th grade girls practice Tuesdays and Thursdays. The cost is $60 which includes club membership. You can get more information here. Volunteer coaches and team sponsors are also needed.

Mayoral candidate hosts Town Hall in Ballard

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn will host a Town Hall meeting tonight in Ballard. “We know a lot of Seattle voters are undecided and want more information before making their choice,” said McGinn. “Seattleites take voting seriously. We want to give everyone the ability to directly ask questions and this is an opportunity to do just that.” He will be at the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Health Reform Town Hall

Just a reminder about tonight’s Health Reform Town Hall, sponsored by the 36th legislative delegation. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Reps. Mary Lou Dickerson and Reuven Carlyle have invited the chair of the Senate Health & Long-Term Care Committee, Sen. Karen Keiser, and the chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee, Rep. Eileen Cody to discuss the potential impact of federal health reform efforts on Washington residents. The town hall is tonight at Ballard Swedish Medical Center (5300 Tallman Ave. NW), Room A on the first floor from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Free mammograms in Ballard

“Early detection and aggressive treatment” is Judy Anderson’s mantra. As a 22-year breast cancer survivor and volunteer for several cancer organizations, she has helped many women through their battle with the disease. With unemployment on the rise and health benefits being cut women are forced to make tough healthcare decisions like foregoing their annual breast cancer screening. That’s why King5 and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance have teamed up to offer free mammograms to those in need.

The SCCA Mobile Mammography Service will be at the Ballard Safeway (15th & Market) parking lot on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. To find out if you’re eligible for a free mammogram, call SCCA at (206) 288-7800. (Thanks ICU_RN for posting in the forum!)

Pastry shop closes to find bigger digs

Pauline Pastry, the little green shop tucked away just off Market Street near 24th Ave. is closed, but not for good.

The owner, Stephanie, emailed to say, “We have closed the retail space on Market and are now preparing to find a larger space that will accommodate seating, so folks can sit and enjoy their dessert along with coffee and tea!” In the meantime you can still get special orders through the website and Stephanie will also be updating their location information on the site.

The Bit Saloon is closing November 1st

One of Ballard’s oldest bars, The Bit Saloon is closing its doors on November 1st, two employees confirmed to My Ballard. “We’re closing November 1st! Come have a drink or four with us!” exclaims the bar’s MySpace page.

“It’s complicated,” an employee told us, explaining that an effort is already underway to save the bar. Another employee said “The Bit” will close on November 1st, but there’s a chance it will reopen soon thereafter.

The Bit Saloon has been in Ballard since 1947 — originally called John’s Offshore Tavern — and its edgy, dive bar atmosphere is a local favorite. Located in the shadow of the Ballard Bridge, the bar is also home to some of the best local punk/metal acts in Seattle. We’ll post an update as soon as we learn more. (Thanks nuthatch for the tip in the forum!)

‘We are the Missing Link’ event Tuesday

Several organizations will hold a demonstration at the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman this Tuesday evening to show their support for completing the stretch of the trail. At 5:30 p.m. at 17th Ave. and Shilshole Ave., supporters will hold blinking red lights in a show of solidarity. “We wanted to do something positive and inclusive to demonstrate support for the Missing Link, which has become so embattled,” says Vic Opperman, founding president of Sustainable Ballard and co-founder of SCALLOPS. “This is a grassroots effort.”

The completion of the trail is currently held up in litigation. A coalition of Ballard businesses and the Ballard Chamber of Commerce are challenging the city’s plans to complete the trail. “As businesses who work with heavy equipment, safety is our number one priority,” Eugene Wasserman of the North Seattle Industrial Association tells us, adding that he welcomes Tuesday’s event. “It should give people the opportunity to look at our growing businesses, which provide family wage jobs and are represented by many unions. It should be clear to everyone visiting our area how hard it is to mix trucks, cars, pedestrian, and bicycles safely.” Wasserman says the NSIA has recommended that the city build a viaduct over the industrial area for bicycle and pedestrian use. According to Wasserman, SDOT refused.

The Missing Link is a 1.5 mile stretch of the Burke-Gilman Trail without an actual trail. Bicyclists currently ride along Shilshole Ave, sharing the road with cars and large trucks while maneuvering over railroad tracks. Both bicyclists and the large Ballard industries who work along the waterfront believe something must be done to improve safety along the missing link.