Councilmember Rasmussen wants to hear from you

Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will be at the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) this Saturday to hear the issues that are important to Ballardites. “I sincerely hope people will take advantage of this opportunity to have informal yet meaningful conversations about our City,” said Councilmember Rasmussen. “I’d like to hear people’s thoughts regarding next year’s budget, transportation issues, as well as other topics relevant to Seattleites.” The informal conversation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the library conference room.

Councilmember Rasmussen will also be at the Green Lake Library (7364 E. Green Lake Dr. N) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 16th, the Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE) on October 30th from noon to 2 p.m. and the Greenwood Library (8016 Greenwood Ave N) from 10 a.m. to noon on November 6th.

Ballard Food Bank makes plea to City Council

A plan to cut funding to emergency food systems in Seattle was met with opposition Wednesday night at the first public hearing on the city’s budget.  A representative from the Ballard Food Bank made a plea to the City Council.

A crowd lines up to speak at Wednesday night’s budget hearing in Northgate

“We feel this is not acceptable.”

Under the mayor’s proposal, Food Resources and Meal Partnerships would be cut by $40,000 with only one of the programs selected to support both coalitions.

“We’re different coalitions.  We’re all trying to end hunger.  But putting us under one coalition will undo years and years of hard work to be efficient in the fight against hunger.  We can not afford this.. especially when we know the need is so great,” the Ballard Food Bank representative told the Council.

As for other budget issues facing Ballard, the Ballard Community Center would run on reduced operating hours.  The Mayor’s plan calls for drop-in hours to be reduced from 53 hours per week during the school year and 46 hours per week in the summer to 15 to 20 hours per week year round.  The Sound View wading pool will be open three days a week again next summer, similar to 2010. The Gilman wading pool will be closed again next year.

To see more on the mayor’s proposed budget, click here.

The next public hearing on the budget takes place Wednesday, October 13 at South Seattle Community College at 5:30pm. The City Council has also set up a web page where you can submit ideas to balance the budget and vote on other suggestions.

CityStream features RainWise program in Ballard

The nearly century-old sewer system in parts of Ballard allows both raw sewage and stormwater to flow in the same pipes, a combined sewer system. During major storms, the water and sewage overflow into waterways. We’ve written several times about the combined sewer overflows (CSO) and the steps the city is taking to keep as much stormwater out of the sewer system as possible.

Segment on RainWise program and the CSO issue can be found at 8:38

This week’s edition of CityStream on the Seattle Channel focuses a segment on the CSO issue and how Ballardites are taking advantage of the RainWise incentive program to install raingardens in yards. In the segment they talk with Ballardite Eleanor Trainor about the four raingardens she installed in her yard. When big storms hit and the sewers overflow, “it imperils the sound, it imperils our home because the system can’t handle what we’re throwing at it,” Trainor says.

Reminder: City budget hearing Wednesday night

Meeting reminder: The Seattle City Council is holding a public hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Northgate Community Center Gym, 10510 5th Ave. NE. Sign-in to speak begins at 5 p.m.

Mayor Mike McGinn presented his proposed 2011-2012 budget Monday afternoon. It includes a number of cuts to make up a $67 million general fund deficit. In our area the Mayor is proposing cuts to the Ballard Community Center. MyBallard will have a full report after the meeting. The city will hold two more public hearings on the budget:

* At 5:30 p.m., Wed., Oct. 13, The Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Ave. SW
* At 5:30 p.m, Tues., Oct. 26, Seattle City Hall, Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 600 4th Ave.

If you can’t make it to a budget hearing, you can share your ideas online and browse through other people’s ideas, or use the online comment form.

City releases new recreational walking map

Want to take a stroll around Ballard? The Seattle Department of Transportation has a new recreational walking map to help you figure out the best route for your interests and your fitness level.

The map gives an estimated time along each leg of a walk. For instance, to walk from Market to NW 65th along 17th Ave NW, the map predicts it will take about ten minutes. As Seattle residents know — and as visitors quickly pick up — city streets vary in slope from pancake flat to whoo-boy steep. Those streets are colored yellow on the map. Thankfully Ballard is fairly flat.

The routes on the Seattle Walking Map come from a variety of sources, including The Feet First walking advocacy organization, King County, and SDOT. Routes follow sidewalks, shoulders on quiet streets, and park trails.

This new series of maps divides Seattle into three sections: north, central, and south. Adjoining sections of the map include a limited amount of overlap, should the selected route cross from one section to another. The entire city map can be found here (.pdf) with the North Seattle map here (.pdf).

Dine out for literacy Thursday night

Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program is hosting its annual restaurant benefit, Dish Up Literacy, on Thursday. Eat at Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ or 12 other Seattle restaurants, and 20-percent of the proceeds will support literacy programs for children in need.

According to Page Ahead, 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for children.

Page Ahead operates on one simple and astounding fact: growing up in a house with books is the foremost predictor of academic success in childhood—and a child who succeeds in school will remain there. Page Ahead is dedicated to helping children in need succeed in school by developing strong reading skills.

Participating restaurants include:

  • Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ (Ballard) *dinner only
  • Hopvine Pub (Capitol Hill)
  • Tutta Bella (Columbia City, South Lake Union, Stone Way, Issaquah)
  • Carmelita (Greenwood) *dinner only
  • Barrio Restaurant (Madison Park)
  • Rusty Pelican Café (Wallingford)
  • Casa d’Italia (Wedgwood)
  • Fiddler’s Inn (Wedgwood)
  • Ten Mercer (Queen Anne)
  • Barrio (Bellevue)