Man burned in camper fire

Updated: Fire investigators spent the morning sifting through the aftermath of a fire in a camper parked along 9th Ave. near NW 45th St., near Fred Meyer.

Firefighters were called at 7:30 Sunday morning, and they discovered light smoke coming from one of the campers parked along the street. They rescued a man inside, and medics transported him to Harborview for treatment for smoke inhalation and second-degree burns on his legs.

A fire marshal was called to the scene to investigate whether the fire was intentionally set — by the occupant or someone else — or if it was an accident. (Thanks Silver for the tip!)

What a sunrise!

On our walk this morning, we couldn’t help but notice the spectacular sunrise.

The iPhone camera does not do it justice, but we thought we’d post it anyway. We hope you have a good Sunday!

Sen. Kohl-Welles named ‘Legislator of the Year’

Three years ago, two Ballard seventh-graders Audrey Long and Theresa Edwards, met with 36th District Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) with the idea of a bill to curb puppy mills. Last year, Senate Bill 5561 was signed into law, creating rules for kennel owners. This year, the state senator who represents Ballard, has been named “Legislator of the Year” by the Humane Society of the United States for her tireless efforts to help animals. “I could not be more honored to receive this award, especially as it came from the national organization representing millions of members throughout the country.” Kohl-Welles said, “The Humane Society is an organization whose work I greatly admire.”

The new law “prohibits an individual from possessing more than 50 non-neutered dogs older than 6 months at one time. The bill also set standards for kennel size, exercise, sanitary conditions, and basic care,” the press release sent out by the Washington State Democrats states.

Final weekend for Night Exhibit

This is the final weekend to enjoy the Night Exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo.

(Photo by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo.)

The zoo announced earlier this year that they must close the exhibit as a cost-cutting measure.

“The exhibit’s final closure date will be March 1, 2010,” the zoo website states. Some animals will be transferred to other exhibits at Woodland Park, others will be sent to other zoos.

Rep. Carlyle backs new cell phone while driving law

Earlier this week the Washington State House Transportation Committee passed through SB 6345, a new bill that would further prohibit cellphone use while driving, making having a phone in your hand a primary offense subject to traffic stops and a $124 fine, with the sole exception of emergency use only.

In July 2008 legislators made the use of handheld devices while driving a secondary offense, meaning police could only dock you for it if they see another violation before initiating a traffic stop. If passed, this law would make Washington the fifth state to elevate holding a cellphone while driving to a primary offense, alongside the District of Columbia.

36th District Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D), who is behind companion bill HB 2635 that would make texting while driving specifically a primary offense, has thrown his support behind SB 6345.

“I am excited that the House Transportation Committee has passed this bill. Parents and other volunteer citizen activists worked incredibly hard along with Sen. Eide and me for many, many months, and I look forward to doing all that I can to get this bill through the House,” Carlyle said in a written statement.

“We want drivers, and especially teenagers, to know they are not just operating a car, they are behind the wheel of a 3,000-pound weapon, and they have a moral and public obligation to operate them safely. No one likes overregulation, but this is a matter of public safety and we could all do worse than to get on board with Oprah Winfrey’s cause.”

SB 6345 would be even stricter for those with driver’s permits and intermediate licenses, disallowing the use of hands free devices such as headsets and even the speakerphone feature.

Our news partner, the Seattle Times, is reporting that opinions are divided on the regulation of the new bill, and the severity of the penalties. Though proponents cite studies indicating that using a cellphone while driving produces results on par to driving drunk, others believe the act is no more of a distraction than a number of other inappropriate–and unregulated–behind the wheel activities, such as eating, applying makeup and smoking.

Aside from using cellphones as a scapegoat for a lack personal responsibility, many opponents also believe the bill is way for the state to collect more in taxes. From the Seattle Times:

Washington could stand to bring in a lot of revenue. In New York, the first state to make holding a cellphone reason enough for a traffic stop, police from 2001 to 2008 handed out 1.28 million tickets.

“I just think that it is an inappropriate use of police powers to pull people over and invade their privacy because they chose to talk on the phone while driving a car,” said Benton. “You cannot legislate responsibility. Citizens need to be responsible for themselves.”

Read the full Times story here. And tell us, what do you think? Are you for or against making handing a phone while driving a primary offense? (Disclosure: Rep. Reuven Carlyle is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

Ballard Bridge work continues next week

This week the Seattle Department of Transportation is working on one northbound lane of the Ballard Bridge, next week they’ll move to the southbound lanes. This was sent to us from SDOT:

The southbound, right lane of the Ballard Bridge will be closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, March 1 to 5. Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation plan to make repairs on the underside of the bridge.

This work is subject to change in the event that crews are called away to perform emergency work at another location.

Enter to get some popular Zoo Doo

The annual Spring Fecal Fest is here again. The popular Zoo Doo has been piling up and the “Prince of Poo” is ready to get rid of the “most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest,” as the zoo calls it.

Photo courtesy Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo
To enter for a chance to buy some of this steamy Zoo Doo or Bedspread (similar to Zoo Doo, but with higher amounts of wood chips and sawdust), send in a postcard from March 5 through March 20.

You are only allowed to send in one postcard for each drawing. For Zoo Doo, mark your postcard “Zoo Doo.” For Bedspread, mark your postcard “B.S.” Entry cards will be selected randomly for as many entrants possible. Dr. Doo will contact the lucky drawn entries only. Send a standard postcard to:
Dr. Doo
Woodland Park Zoo
601 N. 59th St.
Seattle, WA 98103.

Include the following information:

• Name
• Day and evening phone numbers
• Preference: Zoo Doo or Bedspread
• Amount of Zoo Doo or Bedspread you’d like to purchase (anything from a garbage bag to a full-size, pick-up truck load)
• Weekday or weekend preference for pick-up

The cost for Zoo Doo and Bedspread: Pick-up truck 8×4 bed: $60; 6×4 bed: $45; 6×3 bed: $35. Limit one full truck per person. Garbage cans: $8 to $10 depending on size; bags: $4 to $6 depending on size. Two-gallon and pint-sized buckets are available anytime at the ZooStore for $14.95 and $4.95, respectively.

Pick-up dates for Zoo Doo or Bedspread begin April 16 through May 2. The lucky winners load the compost, using shovels provided by the zoo.

Mooberry reopens as Moo Berries

There’s a new lunch option in downtown Ballard. Mooberry, the former smoothie/yogurt shop has reopened under new management with an expanded menu as Moo Berries (2019 NW Market St).

Owner Christian Kolmodin tells us that when they took over the space last year, it was white, sterile and not very inviting. Over the last two months they’ve given the interior a facelift with some new color and accents.

Besides selling smoothies and frozen yogurt, they’ve added breakfast items, soup, sandwiches and salads to their menu. Although they’ve been open a week, their grand opening isn’t until next week, March 1 through March 7th. During the grand opening they’re offering these specials:

  • Free small coffee with croissant sandwich
  • Free small coffee with English muffin sandwich
  • Free chips with an sandwich
  • Free slice of potato bread with any salad
  • Free one topping on any frozen yogurt
  • They’re open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Thanks Jennifer for the tip!)