Anonymous donor to match up to $10,000 to Food Bank

Your donation to the Ballard Food Bank food and cash drive could be doubled by an anonymous donor.

Greenwood Ohlund CPA sent us this information:

Greenwood Ohlund’s annual tax season food and cash drive for the Ballard Food Bank has an anonymous matching donor, matching up to $10,000 of cash contributions made to the Ballard Food Bank. All donations delivered to Greenwood Ohlund’s office will be matched up to $10,000. Please make your checks out to the Ballard Food Bank and mail or drop them by the office. The office is located downtown Ballard, across the street from the Ballard Market. The address is 1445 NW 56th St; Seattle, WA; 98107. Donations will be accepted through April 30, 2011.

Armed robbery Wednesday night

Just before 7:30 Wednesday evening, Seattle Police were called to a business on the 7500 block of 15th Ave NW, Detective Mark Jamieson with SPD tells us.

Jamieson says that two men armed with hand guns and wearing ski masks entered the store, robbed the clerk and fled. Police arrived shortly after the call was made to 911 but the suspects couldn’t be found. They are only described to police as Hispanic males, the victim couldn’t tell how old they are. There were no injuries, Jamieson says. The robbery unit will be following up on this and will look into whether the recent armed robberies are connected to this incident. (Thanks Silver for the tip!)

Ballard wakes up to light dusting of snow

10:45 a.m. What little snow we had this morning is pretty much gone. The roads are bare, but it’s cold out so please be careful of ice.

  • Metro Transit: All of the north Seattle and central Seattle routes are on a normal schedule, other parts of the city/county are on modified schedules. Check this site to get updated info.
  • Seattle Schools: Schools are closed for mid-winter break. SPS sent out a notice that all Mid-Winter Break enrichment classes canceled today.
  • Weather forecast:

    Today: Snow showers south of Seattle with new accumulation up to an inch. Mostly cloudy with flurries Seattle northward. Highs in the lower to mid 30s. North wind 10 to 15 MPH.
    Tonight Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers in the evening. Becoming partly cloudy overnight. Cold. Lows 17 to 24. Northeast wind 5 to 15 MPH.
    Friday: Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower to mid-30s. North wind 10 to 15 MPH

  • Earlier: It wasn’t the 2-6 inches the forecasters warned us about, but there is a dusting up to an inch on the ground in Ballard this morning. The forecast calls for a trace to 2 inches more later today.

    Live traffic cameras. Refresh to update. See all North Seattle cameras.

    With the temperature currently at 29 degrees, the one thing to keep an eye on this morning is ice. Metro buses are on snow routes this morning, and Microsoft has canceled all its Connector routes. Here’s SDOT’s first report this AM:

    Most city streets are bare and wet this morning. Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation are treating major arterial streets to guard against the formation of ice in advance of the morning commute period. Snowfall last night was highly variable around the city. Beacon Hill, southern Rainier Valley, and higher parts of West Seattle appear to have had the most snow.

    And WSDOT crews have been busy treating the freeways. For the most part, traffic is moving smoothly. You can check the latest WSDOT traffic updates, the flow map and the full set of WSDOT cameras.

    In short, it looks like we dodged a bullet, but drive carefully out there.

    Hit and run suspect flips car on 15th Ave.

    A white pickup truck smashed into the back of a car at 15th and Market just before 8 tonight, a witness says. A short time later, the truck flipped over on its side on 15th in front of Ballard High School. Police had him in handcuffs.

    It all began a little after 8 p.m. as the truck headed northbound on 15th toward Market St. “A speeding truck came up, hit the center median and then rammed into the back of this other car, and sped off,” said Dylan, who witnessed the accident from the bus stop. He said sparks were flying off the truck as it straddled the center median before impact. “He got on the other side of Market, hit the median again, and sparks were flying off his rims. I saw him floor it all the way up. And a cop car was right behind him.”

    That police car just happened to witness the accident, and tailed the suspect’s truck up 15th, where the vehicle flipped on its side at 65th St. We saw officers speaking to the driver, who was handcuffed and sitting at the bus stop.

    Fortunately, it appears there were no major injuries in the accident. Our thanks to My Ballard tipster Silver, who just happened to hear the accident — the truck’s horn was stuck as it drove up 15th — and gave us a call. And to @bmvaughn, who saw the crash at 65th and tipped us on Twitter.

    Metro warning of crowded buses, could be on snow routes this afternoon

    Metro Transit is gearing up for possible snow this afternoon by chaining up buses and planning to move from regular routes to snow routes.

    Metro buses will move to snow routing as travel conditions change. When buses move to snow routes, it will be announced through Transit Alerts and on the Metro Online website. Check the status for your route before you travel.

    Metro is using an online color-coded map to keep riders informed of the status of its bus service. All bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. When there is snow or ice on the roads, the service status of each area will be color coded and displayed on the online map. Green indicates buses are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes (primarily in higher elevation areas); and red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing.

    People without online access can call the Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000. General information about service will also be sent out via the kcmetrobus Twitter account.

    Expect buses to be crowded and significantly delayed when on snow routes and travel is difficult. Also, many people may leave work early today, so take that into consideration in deciding when to travel. Metro encourages people to limit travel if possible if roads become snowy and icy.

    Be part of Swedish reality television

    Swedish television producers with Meter Television are looking for Americans with Swedish roots to be part of a new reality show. The Great Swedish Adventure will be shot and aired in Sweden and is compared to The Amazing Race. “Americans will travel to Sweden and participate in an exciting television series,” states this flyer. “Chosen participants will compete in extreme cultural challenges to discover their rich and fascinating roots while trying to win the grand prize; MEETING THEIR SWEDISH RELATIVES.”

    Click here for more information. (Thanks Kristine from the Swedish Cultural Center for passing this along.)

    Comment on designs for Salmon Bay School playground

    After two community meetings, the Salmon Bay School playground committee has narrowed the options to three.

    The goal for the new playground is to cater to all children, including those with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). You can see all three options here, here and here. You can give your comments here until March 3rd. After the comment period, the architect Johnson | Southerland will put together a final proposal which will be presented on March 15th.

    City prepares for snow, Metro urges readiness

    There’s light snow on the ground, but the big snow event is coming Wednesday. With the forecasts (Weather Service | Cliff Mass | KING 5) calling for 2 to 6 inches in the Seattle area, a winter storm watch will take effect starting at 4 a.m.

    Live traffic camera. See all Ballard cameras.

    In preparation, the City of Seattle has activated its snow plan. Early in the morning, ten snow plows will hit the north end of the city. At 9 a.m., the Seattle Department of Transportation “will go into a full 24-hour response plan to keep roads open, buses moving and critical emergency services accessible,” Rick Sheridan of SDOT writes. More from the release:

    The response plan calls for deploying 30 trucks with plows, which will be prepositioned throughout the city in key locations such as elevated structures and certain trouble spots on major arterials. The department starting pre-treating major roadways with salt brine this afternoon in preparation for the storm. Additional details concerning SDOT’s response will be forthcoming as more information about the impending storm becomes available.

    SDOT also reminds property owners that they are responsible for the sidewalks in front of their properties.

    Mayor Mike McGinn says this storm could be like that of November 22, 2010. “Because Wednesday afternoon’s commute is expected to be difficult,” McGinn writes in a statement, “It may be a good day to work an alternate shift, telecommute or make other travel arrangements if possible.”

    Metro Transit is also urging passengers to be prepared for the snow.

    Wednesday’s snowfall may start out light in some areas, but transit users should plan ahead for bus trips that could be disrupted, delayed, and on snow routing. Even though weather in the morning may not be bad in your area, you should leave from a bus stop or park-and-ride that also has service when buses are on snow routes in case travel conditions deteriorate by the afternoon commute.

    Click here for more on Metro’s snow plans.

    The Sexton to replace Madame K’s

    A new restaurant/lounge is getting ready to open on Ballard Avenue.

    A liquor license notice for “spirits/beer/wine restaurant lounge” has been posted for “The Sexton” (5327 Ballard Ave NW), which is the last name of one of the applicants. The new establishment replaces Madame K’s, which closed last fall. Work appears to be underway, although no one was around when we stopped by. (Thanks Caryn for the tip!)

    As predicted, it’s snowing

    12:45 p.m. For the last week, forecasters have been predicting snow. Well, it’s here. According to the National Weather Service, “expect brief and local accumulations of slushy snow to occur through early Wednesday morning. This is likely to occur on hills above about 500 feet this morning and above 300 feet tonight and early Wednesday morning.” A “winter storm watch” is in effect from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A winter storm watch means conditions are favorable for severe winter weather. UW Atmospheric Science professor and weather blogger Cliff Mass is predicting that this storm will dump two to five inches of snow in north Seattle. “Good news for commuters and SDOT tomorrow,” Mass writes, “Temperatures will remain above freezing, SO NO SOLID ICE LAYER like Nov 22, 2010.”