Scenes from Central Ballard trick-or-treating

Another big turnout in central Ballard for the annual trick-or-treating event with neighborhood businesses. We saw trick-or-treaters of all sizes, a few hundred in all over the two hours. Here are a few photos…

And this might be the geekiest costume of the day/night (via @gaber008 on Twitter).

Kali and Ken sent this photo of their daughter Sidney’s first Halloween.

Here’s a shot of the masses from Kristen. Her slideshow is here.
… and if you have a cool trick-or-treating photo to share (either from this event or neighborhood trick-or-treating) please email us at

Oh, and here’s another link to that neighborhood trick-or-treating map.

Stack those Jack-O-Lanterns!

Halloween is upon us and many houses around Ballard are decorated for the holiday. Check out this Halloween display of more than a dozen pumpkins stacked on top of each other at 1148 NW 59th St! Send us your Halloween photos to and we’ll post them here.

Just a reminder that the Market Street trick-or-treating in downtown Ballard will be on Halloween from 3 to 5 p.m. The Halloween on Holman event is from 1 to 4 p.m.

Ballard trick-or-treat map is getting attention

Earlier this week we posted a trick-or-treat map that Ballard resident John Tynes created to urge families to take their kids around the neighborhood on Halloween.

The map has become so popular in Ballard that we’ve posted it across North Seattle. If you’re opening your doors to trick-or-treaters, add your address on the map above.

Tynes was on KUOW’s The Conversation with Ross Reynolds on Friday afternoon to talk about the trick-or-treating map. You can listen to the interview here.

Design Review meeting set for new development

Next month, the Design Review Board will take a look at the proposed development for 6559 15th Ave NW.

Plans call for “a four-story building containing five live/work units with 101 residential units above. Parking for 67 vehicles to be provided within the structure. Project includes 8,200 cu. yards of grading.” There is currently a house on the land, which will be torn down.

From the Department of Planning and Development:

The applicant has applied for Design Review related development of this site. At the Design Review Board meeting the applicant will present information about the design and how it responds to the Design Review Guideline priorities established at the Early Design Guidance Board meeting on August 23, 2010 regarding this site. The public may offer comments regarding the proposed design; and the Design Review Board members will offer to the Director of the Department of Planning and Development their recommendations regarding the design.

The proposal from the August meeting can be found here (.pdf). The Design Review Board report from the August meeting can be found here (.pdf).

The Design Review meeting will be held on Monday, November 8th at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard High School Library (1418 NW 65th St.)

Time to register for the 4th annual Turkey Trot

The 4th annual Turkey Trot is a month away and registration is now open.

The 2009 Turkey Trot

The 5k jog, walk or run will once again be the morning of Thanksgiving Day, November 25th. Last year was a record-breaking year with more than 700 participants. All the money raised goes to support the Ballard Food Bank. The run/walk/jog starts at NW 85th St and 32nd Ave NW and ends at Golden Gardens.

The Trot is $25 which gets you registered and a t-shirt.

And of course, don’t forget to put a costume together.

The registration form is here.

Ballard Little League offering free pitching clinics

The 2011 Ballard Little League season is fast approaching and the coaches are hosting pitching clinics starting next month at the Salmon Bay Elementary East Gym (1810 NW 65th Street) to kids signed up for little league.

Clinic topics will include:
Warm-up drills
Pitching mechanics and keeping your arm safe
Mental approach to pitching
Getting ready for the next level
How to increase velocity
Game situations

Session 1: November 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 18, 22, 23, 29, and 30.
Session 2: December 2, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16 and January 3, 4, and 6.
Session 3: January 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20, 24, 25, and 27.
All sessions are 6:00 – 8:00 PM.
(Players may attend any and all sessions.)

Information on how to sign up for Ballard Little League and the free clinics can be found here.

Senator Murray tours small businesses in Ballard

In the final days leading up to her election battle with Dino Rossi, Senator Patty Murray made a stop in Ballard today to talk with small business owners along Market Street.

Senator Patty Murray talking with Cupcake Royale owner Jody Hall.

The stops on the walking tour included La Tienda, Bop Street Records, Secret Garden Books, Great Harvest Bread and Cupcake Royale.

Senator Murray selecting a book at Secret Garden Books for her grandson.

The theme was the same for many of the businesses. “Business has been bad for a couple of years, but things are getting better,” Fred Hart, the owner of La Tienda told the Senator.

“It’s been quite a ride.” Christy McDanold of Secret Garden Books says, “But I love what I do.”

Senatory Murray speaking with Bop Street Records owner Dave Voorhees.

The one bright spot, economically speaking, was the newly-relocated Bop Street Records, where the owner Dave Voorhees says business has been much better than at his previous location on Ballard Ave. They’ve seen ten times the foot traffic at the new location.

Senator Murray’s father was a small business owner and she believes the local shops are important for our economy. “I really believe that small businesses, just like we walked through this morning, really are the backbone of our economy,” she tells us after the tour. “Everyone is saying, ‘where are the jobs?’ it’s in small businesses like this.”

“We feel like she understands the plight of a small business,” Crystal Carlson of Great Harvest Bread tells us.

Small business owners talked with the Senator about their lives, businesses, the economy and health insurance. Senator Murray made a purchase at each stop.

Urban Rest Stop comes under fire

The people behind a proposed low income housing development in Ballard quickly lost control of a community meeting Wednesday night as residents demanded answers about plans to bring an Urban Rest Stop to the neighborhood. Instead of starting with a formal presentation on the design of the building, organizers were forced to scrap their agenda to answer a barrage of questions from about three dozen concerned neighbors.

“Is this a done deal or can we fight it,” said one resident.

Urban Rest Stop program manager Ronni Gilboa speaks to the crowd

The Urban Rest Stop, which would be on street level of the building at 2014 NW 57th Street, is part of the project proposed by the Low Income Housing Institute. The building’s upper floors would be home to up to 60 units of low income housing, with 20 percent set aside for the homeless.  Wednesday night, we learned the specifics of what the Urban Rest Stop portion of the facility would include:

  • Operating hours of 6am to 2pm (Mon-Fri only)
  • 75 to 100 people expected each day
  • 5 shower rooms
  • Laundry area
  • Health room

Ronni Gilboa, the program manager for the downtown Urban Rest Stop, explained that the proposed facility in Ballard would basically be a place for people to come in and clean up to start the day with showers and laundry.  Gilboa said 60 percent of people who use the downtown facility are employed, but only at minimum wage.

“It’s really boring.  People come in to take care of themselves,” Gilboa told the crowd.  The organizers also said that Ballard was currently underserved by low income housing with many people being pushed out of the neighborhood by skyrocketing home prices and rent.

But many in the audience, including a group of people who live in the area near the proposed building, say they have concerns about what happens when the rest stop isn’t open.  They worry about lines forming outside the building in the overnight hours as the homeless wait for the rest stop to open. 

“You have no way to protect us when you’re not open,” said one member of the audience.

Others questioned if Ballard really needed a facility like this, especially in a residential area.

“It seems like you’re bombarding Ballard,” one man told the crowd.

“There are about five cars of people that camp on that street.  I would like to know how having an urban rest stop on a residential block, not Market, helps rather than exacerbates homeless camping on this residential block,” said one neighbor.

Proposed site at 2014 NW 57th St.

But some did speak in favor of the development, including a former employee of the Ballard library and a downtown resident who says she’s invested in some Ballard condos.

“I’d say Ballard has the most pervasive homeless population of any community in Seattle except for the central library.  I know people are concerned. I’m not a resident of Ballard, but in terms of a need it’s pretty apparent to people who work in the library that there are homeless people here all the time and there’s definitely a need for a rest stop,” said the library employee.

“I had more problems with the party people,” said the downtown resident who used to live in Belltown.  “Over where I’m at right now with Urban Rest Stop right next door, there’s an orderliness,” the downtown resident said.

Sharon Lee, executive director of the Low Income Housing Institute, said the property has not been purchased yet.  LIHI will be depending on a mix of private funding and government programs.  She says they currently have no plans to proceed with the development unless the Urban Rest Stop is included.  Lee told the audience that more community meetings will be planned as the project moves forward.