Whales spotted near the Ballard Locks

After a weekend sailing trip, Diana Lind grabbed her video camera when she saw two grey whales near the Ballard Locks Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday DDF wrote in the forum, “Was just at the beach, and a whale swam by very close to the shore. It wasn’t an orca (no dorsal fin), so I guess it must have been a grey whale. It slowly made it’s way toward Carkeek. Pretty cool!”

‘Deadliest’ memoir to be released

Captain Sig Hansen, one of the captains on the popular Discovery show The Deadliest Catch has written his memoir, “North by Northwestern: A Seafaring Family on Deadly Alaskan Waters,” which is set to be released this week.

Photo courtesy: Discovery Channel
As a Ballard native, Hansen spoke candidly to our news partner the Seattle Times about changes to our neighborhood. “You won’t hear Norwegian spoken on the streets of Ballard anymore,” he tells the Times. “It’s become one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Seattle.” The Times writes that he thinks the Sunday Farmers Market is “frequented by sandal-wearing recyclers … storefronts that once sold hardware and ship supplies are now boutiques … It’s not clear to me what they sell.” Although fame isn’t always all that glamorous, he has welcomed the opportunity to bring international attention to the fishing industry. He’s also been able to take a young cancer patient out for a day of crab-fishing on the famous Northwestern through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You can read more about his memoir in this piece by Jack Broom.

Free ‘Green Kitchen Kits’ available

Check your mailbox this week for a coupon for a free “Green Kitchen Kit” which should arrive in your CurbWaste and Conserve newsletter. The kits, which feature an EcoSafe Kitchen Collector (shown at right) and compostable bags for storing food scraps, a food scraper, a CFL light bulb and a reusable shopping bag can be picked up starting April 15th at the Ballard Neighborhood Service Center (5604 22nd Ave NW).

“Green Kit giveaways are part of Compost Days, April 15 – May 30, when Seattle Public Utilities, Cedar Grove and Seattle City Light and our community partners are making these special offers to Seattle residents to say ‘thank you’ for helping make our city even better through your recycling and composting efforts,” the Seattle Public Utilitie’s website states.

BHS principal honored for commitment to music

Phil Brockman, the principal at Ballard High School was recently honored for his commitment to music. Last month, Brockman (shown holding plaque) received the first-ever Washington Music Educators Association Administrator of the Year Award “for advocating music as a core quality of education,” the release from the Seattle Public Schools states. He was honored during the association’s All-State Gala in Yakima. Brockman will be playing trumpet at the alumni concert, 7 p.m., April 10 at Ballard High. Brockman helped create the alumni concert in 2006. According to the release from the school district, the event has raised $40,000 for the school’s music department. Photo courtesy Seattle Public Schools.

Delancey seeks outdoor seating

You’d never know it by today’s weather, spring is upon us. Mother Nature has already given us a few days of sunshine, although they are few and far between.

We spoke with Brandon Pettit, the owner of Delancey (1415 NW 70th St), who tells us he’s moving forward with plans to expand the popular pizza restaurant to the sidewalk. He had just finished meeting with a representative of the Washington State Liquor Control Board when we spoke with him. That rep. had given him the parameters of what he needs to do to comply with the liquor license. The next step, he tells us, is to move forward with permits from the city. When we ask about timing, he shrugs his shoulder and tells us the permitting process could take a few weeks or a few months.

Lane closures on Ballard Bridge

On Monday and Tuesday there will be lane closures on the Ballard Bridge in order for the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to install conduit under the structure. From 8a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day, SDOT crews will first close the right lane northbound and then re-open the lane before closing the southbound right lane, if necessary. The city says that due to budget constraints and for safety reasons, this work must be performed during these hours. Motorists are advised to expect possible traffic delays and use extra caution when traveling through the work zone.

Leif Erikson Lodge hosts day of events

The Leif Erikson Lodge celebrated Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day, and it kicked off this morning with the 5K Leif to Leif Fun Run and Walk.

Glenn Eriksen sent us this photo of the race getting underway on NW 57th. Participants raced to the Leif Erikson statue at the Shilshole Bay Marina and back. You couldn’t have asked for better weather.

There were tasty Norwegian snacks, too, which turned into a full-fledged feast at the lodge with all the traditional favorites. As is customary with the Tastes of Norway event, there was a pickled herring taste-off, too.

The day’s big event was the bunad parade featuring traditional Norwegian clothing worn by the young and not-so-young alike. Jody Grage, known by many as “the bunad lady,” offered historical perspective for each ensemble.

Here’s video from the bunad parade, including a display of traditional folk dance from the group Leikarringen. (Thanks Glenn for the 5K photos!)

Earth Hour is Saturday night

For one hour Saturday night, the World Wildlife Fund is asking people to turn off their lights for Earth Hour, a world-wide event to raise awareness about global warming. Cities around the globe will flip the switch from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time. “In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation,” states the Earth Hour website. In Seattle, not only will residents turn out the lights, but many other buildings including Seattle Municipal Tower, City Hall, the Justice Center, Parks and Recreation Community Centers, Key Arena, the arches at the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle will all go dark for the hour.

Vandalism forces ‘controlled access’ to library bathroom

After dealing with an ongoing problem of vandalism at Ballard Library, the decision has been made to lock the door of the men’s bathroom.

We spoke with Pamela, one of the librarians on staff, who tells us that although the door is locked, people just need to ask the desk to be buzzed into the men’s room. “It’s an ongoing problem,” Pamela says of the vandalism. She tells us that most recently, graffiti has been the specific issue. The maintenance person has had to repaint the walls several times so they decided to go with a controlled access bathroom for the time being. Pamela says the family restroom and the women’s restroom haven’t had any issues. (Thanks Robby for the photo!)

The weekend events calendar

It’s looking like we may get a soggy spring weekend. Here’s what’s going on around Ballard:

  • Saturday morning is the 5k Leif to Leif Fun Run/Walk. The run/walk starts at 9 a.m. near the Leif Erikson bust at the lodge entrance (2245 NW 57th St), heads to the Leif Erikson statue at the Shilshole Bay Marina, then heads back to the lodge. Registration is $10 adults and $5 children ages 12 and under (registration forms are available at Leif Erikson Hall). Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Sons of Norway Humanitarian Fund. For information, call 206-783-1274.
  • Following the 5k is the Tastes of Norway/Norwegian Cultural and Heritage Day starting at 10 a.m. at the Leif Erikson Hall (2245 N.W. 57th St.) The free event features presentations and demonstrations of traditional Norwegian handicrafts, music, song and dance, featuring folk dance troupe Leikarringen. Crafts and food will be available throughout the day. And don’t forget the pickled herring taste-off. Let your taste buds judge who makes the best. Also, kids can have fun testing their skills at traditional Viking games still played today. Local genealogy researchers will be available to help answer questions about your Norwegian ancestors. There will be musical entertainment throughout the day. There will be a bunad parade at 2 p.m. where Norwegian folk costumes will be shown off. Heritage Day is also an opportunity to learn about Sons of Norway community programs, including our sports and cultural skills medal programs and scholarships.
  • Swansons Nursery (9701 15th Ave NW) is hosting a free class on vegetable gardening in containers at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
  • The RE Store is hosting a free plumbing class on Saturday from 10 to noon. Big Jim, an old and antique plumbing specialist, will show you how to bring new life to salvaged bathroom fixtures. Bring your plumbing inquiries and quandries.
  • The Ballard Community Center’s 4-H Club will host a flea market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the center (6020 28th Ave. NW). The flea market will feature more than 25 tables offering gently used items at great prices, and a pot of Washington State University Cougar chili will be simmering on the stove to offer an inexpensive lunch.
  • Sunset Hill movie night is this Sunday. The film, “Made in China” is a documentary that will start at 7 p.m. film by John Helde. Helde will be there to answer questions about the film. Free admission at the Sunset Hill Community Club (3033 66th St NW) with a $2 donation for popcorn and drinks.
  • For live music, check out the calendars for Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Picolinos, Conor Byrne and Egan’s Ballard Jam House. As always, check out our events calendar. And if you have an event to add, just email us at tips@myballard.com.