May Day brings Morris dancers to Ballard

This Sunday is May Day, a day that “marks the end of the unfarmable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations,” as Wikipedia states. One of those celebrations will be by a local group of Morris dancers.

Photo from the 2010 May Day celebration.

Morris dancing is a centuries-old English folk dance with “bells strapped to our legs and hankies or sticks carried in our hands,” Dave the foreman of the local troupe Sound and Fury Morris and Sword says.

Photo from the 2010 May Day celebration.

“We like to think that we help prepare the earth for a fertile year, with plenty of rain and warm sun to bring in bountiful crops, particularly hops,” Kimberly with the group tells us. “This year we have chosen Ballard as the center of our May Day tour, and we would love to invite Ballardites to enjoy May Day with us!”

The Sound and Fury Morris and Sword troupe will be performing twice in Ballard on Sunday – from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. at the Ballard Locks and again from 11:30 to 12:15 p.m. at the Ballard Farmers Market.

Ballard Rotary introduces the ‘Ballard 5k run/walk’

Get ready for a new summer event that Ballard Rotary is hoping will become an annual tradition.

The “Ballard 5k run/walk” will take place on June 12th at 8:30 a.m. – and costumes are encouraged. Kids 12 and under with a participating adult will get free Viking hat.

The route starts at the Golden Gardens park overflow parking lot. Walkers (strollers and dogs allowed) will circle back around to the starting point, but runners will end up at the top of the hill. The Ballard Boys & Girls Club will shuttle running participants to their cars who don’t want to walk down the stairs.

Money raised from the event will go to support the Ballard Boys & Girls Club, the Ballard NW Senior Center and other Ballard Rotary service projects. For more information and to register click here.

Prescription drug take-back day is Saturday

Get rid of your old prescription drugs safely and anonymously this Saturday as part of the second Drug Enforcement Agency National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. “I encourage every American to take advantage of this valuable opportunity to safely dispose of unused, un-needed, or expired prescription drugs,” said Gil Kerlikowkse, Director of National Drug Control Policy. “Preventing these readily available and potentially deadly drugs from being diverted and misused is something each and every one of us can do to help reduce the epidemic of prescription drug abuse that is harming so many Americans.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. citizens can take any unused prescription drugs to two nearby locations – the Port of Seattle Police Department Shilshole Bay Marina (7001 Seaview Ave NW) and the Port of Seattle Police Department Fishermens Terminal (3919 18th Ave W). More locations can be found here.

Deadliest Catch star to be on ‘New Day Northwest’

When he’s not crabbing, Ramblin’ Rose deck boss Kevin “Kado” Davis has aspirations to be a chef. On Monday morning, Kado will be on King5’s “New Day Northwest” with Margaret Larson cooking up some halibut and talking about the latest season of the Deadliest Catch.

He has quite a few stories to tell including when he went overboard into the Bering Sea.

To be in the audience of New Day, email newdaytickets@king5.com. Tickets are free.

Neighbor of proposed hotel files appeal

The proposed hotel on Ballard Avenue has hit a speed bump. The Department of Planning and Development decision regarding the Olympic Athletic Club expansion and hotel has been appealed by a neighboring business owner.

The plans call for a four-story building to replace the parking garage used by Olympic Athletic Club at 5214 Ballard Ave NW. According to the plans there will be 29 hotel rooms, an expanded athletic club and 63 parking spots below grade. In the appeal filed with the Office of Hearing Examiner last week, attorney Michael Kahrs who lives and works in the area says that traffic is a “nightmare” and “Ballard Avenue is now a destination neighborhood.”

“Traffic: 20th Ave. NW between Ballard Ave. NW and Leary Ave NW is not an arterial and is not used as such. I am concerned about what street will be used for access to the parking lot,” Kahrs writes. One of the questions on the appeal form is, “What relief do you want?” Kahrs responds with: “Reexamine transportation including egress and exit to the parking lot. Examine parking issue from actual facts and consider mitigating through permitting zone parking on side streets for residents of the area.”

There will be an appeal hearing on Thursday, June 2 at 9 a.m. at the City Hearing Examiner office. During the hearing, the parties will be able to present witnesses and evidence supporting their case. “The hearing is open to the public, but only persons qualifying as parties or called by the parties as witnesses will have the opportunity to testify,” the notice of appeal hearing states.

Grades hacked at Ballard High School

Ballard High School is one of three schools affected by stolen teacher passwords. According to KIRO 7, the school district is aware of someone stealing the passwords and changing grades at Ballard, Ingraham and Sealth, “however, all the schools and teachers are at risk,” according to an email written by the district IT staff that was sent to KIRO. According to the email, “the hackers plugged key logger devices into computer USB ports that capture everything entered by the keyboard.”

KIRO has more here.

Ballard Maritime Academy students sail a tall ship

By John Foster, Ballard Maritime Academy

Ballard High School students in the Maritime Academy enjoyed a beautiful day Wednesday sailing aboard the 133’ wooden Schooner Adventuress. The group beat the rain and had excellent wind in Elliott Bay to really put the vessel through her paces. For most of the day, the winds were blowing from 15 – 20 knots and more, perfect for a vessel this size. We regularly topped 10 knots, which is pretty exciting on a 98-year-old vessel. She performed admirably.

The students were divided into five “watch stations” and rotated watches while underway. The watches included: Life aboard a schooner, nautical skills/mechanical advantage, watersheds, plankton nets, and charts and navigation. During the watch rotations, students were able to take the helm and steer the vessel through Elliott Bay’s busy vessel traffic, as well as raising and lowering the ship’s huge sails.

It’s a great team-building exercise. The students have to work together to get the sails raised and properly set, then work together on plotting their course and keeping a lookout for other vessels and hazards in the water. The cruise included sophomore, junior, and seniors enrolled in the program.

The Ballard Maritime Academy is a three-year program at Ballard High School that focuses on hands-on learning through integrated projects and experiential adventures. It introduces students to careers on the water in the maritime industries and marine sciences.

The main point of this cruise is to get the three classes together out on the water, sailing a tall ship on Puget Sound.

Dinosaurs & free carousel rides at the zoo

It’s a big weekend for the Woodland Park Zoo. It’s opening its “Dinosaurs. Real Close” exhibit of animatronic dinos, plus it’s offering free carousel rides courtesy of Seattle City Light.

Seattle City Light recently installed solar panels to help power the carousel. On Saturday and Sunday, zoo-goers can ride the carousel as many times as they want. (Carousel rides are normally $2.)

Photo by Mat Hayward/Woodland Park Zoo.

The “Dinosaurs. Real Close” exhibit opens on Saturday and runs through Sept. 5. The animatronic dinos will move, roar, snarl, hiss and spit. The dinosaur exhibit costs $3 in addition to zoo admission (free for children 2 and under). It is located next to the West Entrance, near the penguins, where the Butterflies and Blooms exhibit used to be.

Nominate your teacher to be Teacher of the Year

May is National Teacher Appreciation month and Ivar’s restaurants want to honor the area’s top teachers. The grand prize winner will win a $500 gift card for school supplies and of course the bragging rights as Ivar’s Teacher of the Year. Four teachers will receive first prize of $150 gift card and 30 teachers will receive second prize of a $25 Ivar’s gift card. The nominating student of the top teacher will win a classroom chowder party, complete with Ivar’s famous dancing clam. Students 14 years or younger can visit any Puget Sound-area Ivar’s (including the one at 6000 15th Ave NW) and fill out an entry form or nominate the teacher online. Entries must be received by May 22, 2011.