Join the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board

The city is looking for new members to join the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board, a group founded in 1993 to get people out of their cars and walking.

The volunteer group is instrumental in implementing the city’s Pedestrian Master Plan, which was adopted in 2009. The group also advises the Mayor and City Council, participates in planning and project development, and evaluates policies and makes recommendations to all city departments including the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT).

Board members serve a minimum of one two-year term, with the opportunity to serve a second term. Board members are “frequent walkers of a variety of ages, levels of mobility, and walks of life, and from areas throughout the city,” the release states. Meetings are the second Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m.

Interested Seattle residents can submit a resume and cover letter explaining their interest in the board by emailing Brian Dougherty at brian.dougherty@seattle.gov. Resumes will be accepted until December 17th.

Two exhibitions opening at the Nordic Heritage Museum

Two exhibitions are opening this week at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St), Victor Borge: A Smile is the Shortest Distance and August Werner: Uncommon Traditionalist.

August Werner (1893-1980), a Norwegian immigrant, spent decades in Seattle as a music professor at the University of Washington. His art was more than just in music, he was also a writer, painter, poet, and sculptor. One of his more visible pieces is right here in Ballard – the Leif Erikson statue overlooking Shilshole Bay Marina.

Victor Borge (1909-2000), a Danish immigrant who was Jewish, escaped on the last boat from Finland for the United States during the Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War II. He was a comic and musician both in Europe and America. According to the museum, the exhibition Victor Borge: A Smile is the Shortest Distance “explores and illuminates the life and achievements of Victor Borge through photographs, film clips, recordings, and memorabilia from Borge’s personal archives. Affectionately known as ‘The Great Dane,’ Borge was a musician, humorist, and humanitarian. In the nearly 60 years that he lived in the United States, Borge performed on the radio, in films, on television, in opera houses, in sports arenas, and at the White House. Distinctively Danish, his comedy encouraged audience interaction and found humor in the mundane.”

Both exhibitions open on Friday and run through February 6, 2011. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. General admission is $6, seniors and college students are $5 and children older than 5 years are $4.

Scouts continue tradition of selling Christmas trees

For nearly 60 years, Boy Scout Troop 100 has been selling trees in Ballard.

The scouts are once again set up in the parking lot of St. Alphonsus Church (at the corner of NW 57th and 15th Ave NW). Selling Christmas trees is the only fundraiser for this troop. The trees are hand-picked by some of the troop’s fathers and sons. “Community service plays an important part in building character, and these boys regularly volunteer their time and efforts to make positive contributions to the Ballard community,” Ann Wicker, a Boy Scout mom, tells us. “These remarkable young men give back to Ballard with pride and enthusiasm!”

This week the tree lot is open from noon until 9 p.m., starting on Saturday the lot will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. until December 19th, unless they sell out of trees early.

Great Harvest Bread changing hands

Updated: It’s the end of an era for Bob and Crystal Carlson. After nearly 12 years as owners of the Great Harvest Bread (2218 NW Market St) on Market Street, the couple is handing over the keys to a couple passionate about bread. “It is really a case of ‘the right people at the right time’,” Crystal tells us.

Ballardites Mark and Jackie Winkler were some of the original customers of Great Harvest when the Carlsons first opened and have always thought about owning the shop. Six years ago the Winklers moved to the east coast but the thought of owning a Great Harvest Bread never escaped them. Three years ago when they began to pursue their dream, they landed at the Great Harvest Bread Franchise Office in Montana. At the office, the Winklers had inside information about stores that were for sale. One day, Ballard popped up on the report. “Oh my God, our dream store is now open for sale,” Mark tells us. “I know that Bob and Crystal weren’t actively trying to sell it, but they had had some inquiries and as a result it ended up on the list.”

“We never had plans to close our bakery,” Crystal says, “These guys just called us up one Sunday and told us they were in love with our bakery and that was their dream store and wondered if there was ever any chance that we would be willing to consider selling it or partnering up on another location in our territory. And that began a conversation that evolved into us deciding that it would be fun to try our hands at something new and let some new people love and grow what we had built.”

A few weeks ago the Winklers moved back to Ballard to run the shop.

The Winklers have plans to grow and change the Great Harvest on Market Street, but not for awhile. “We’re not going to be doing anything right away,” Mark tells us, “We’re just kind of gonna get comfortable with where we’re at and see how things go.”

New ‘pop-up’ jewelry shop opens in Ballard

You can’t miss the bright paint of Ponytail Jewelry on Market Street, just west of the 24th and Market intersection.

The new “pop up” shop opened recently for a stint at 2603 NW Market St. The owner of Kick It Boots (2607 NW Market St), Angela Rae, opened this niche shop on a nine-month lease. “We’ve always known that eclectic handmade jewelry is the perfect complement to our fun and funky clothing and boots, but we’ve never been able to properly display it at Kick It,” Rae tells us, “So when a small retail space next door became available our first thought was ‘Let’s fill it with jewelry!'”

Ponytail Jewelry is full of one-of-a-kind pieces handmade by 16 local and regional jewelry artists and metal smiths. “What could be better?” asks Rae. “Finding a lovely handmade necklace or sparkling pair of new earrings for the holidays, while keeping your dollars circulating in the local community.”

Ponytail is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Swansons is all decked out for the holidays

There is no doubt when you walk into Swansons Nursery that the holidays are here. Among the ornaments, trees and poinsettias, there are several things for the entire family to enjoy.

The Reindeer Festival is underway until Christmas Eve, December 24th and Dasher and Blitzen are always on display.

Santa Claus comes to visit on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a professional photographer taking pictures.

The holiday train, with an Egyptian theme this year, is always running.

Dasher and Blitzen take a break at the nursery, along with Curley the camel and Moe the miniature donkey.

Kids and families can take pictures with the more friendly reindeer, Jingle.

Van collides with tree on 15th Ave.

A van crashed into a tree in front of Louie’s restaurant on 15th Ave. just north of the bridge this afternoon. Medics were tending to the driver after the accident.

The collision heavily damaged the van… and the tree, which was left standing. No word on the driver’s condition. Northbound lanes were closed to one lane after the accident. (Thanks @ryanjames for the tip!)

Woman hit by Amtrak train near Golden Gardens

A woman walking along the train near NW Neptune and Blue Ridge Drive was struck and killed by an Amtrak train Thursday afternoon. The accident happened about a mile north of Golden Gardens Park.

Neighbors told KING 5 that the woman was wearing headphones, and people yelled to catch her attention before she was hit.

The train was headed from Seattle to Chicago. Investigators are expected to be at the scene until this evening. Seattle Police did not release any more information, and we’ll keep you updated.