Ballard church to discuss Occupy movement

This Friday evening, Trinity United Methodist Church (TUM) will hold a community discussion about the police response to the Occupy movement.

“I think we were all appalled by the seemingly indiscriminate and counter-productive response by police and city officials in Seattle and around the country to the Occupy protest actions,” John Lederer with Trinity United Methodist tells us. “Members of the congregation have long been concerned about the increasing militarization of our city police forces and the destructive us-versus-them mentality that the use of these weapons propagates within our community. On the other hand, because the Occupy movement is about continuous presence rather than one-day protest events, it raises a whole new set of public safety concerns that we are not dealing with very well.”

The church, in cooperation with University Temple United Methodist Church, have put together a panel to discuss this issue. Panelists include Dorli Rainey, 84-year old activist recently pepper-sprayed by Seattle police, Rev. Rich Lang, Occupy Chaplain also recently pepper-sprayed by police, and Andrea Brenneke, a Seattle attorney specializing in civil rights. A representative from the Seattle Police Department has also been invited. “we wanted to get a range of viewpoints on a panel to talk about what is the appropriate public safety response to the Occupy movement, and how can we, as a community, balance the preservation of our precious free speech rights with our public safety concerns,” Lederer says.

The community discussion is Friday, December 2nd from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at TUM (6512 23rd Ave NW.)

Emerald City Orchids opening cafe next month

Emerald City Orchids, at 716 NW 65th St., is adding a café that will offer espresso and lunch. The café will open in mid-December, but there’s an open house from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Emerald City Orchids opened in 2008, and moved into its current location in January 2010, which was the former location of Il Giardino Italian Restaurant. The company distributes more than 500 varieties of orchids.

“I want to provide a home for orchid lovers to dwell while creating an atmosphere for everyone else to see what orchids are about,” Owner Joe Grienauer said in a press release. “There is a culture in the flower and garden community. And believe it or not, there is a culture within the orchid community and we’re certain that if you’re going to find it, it’s right here.”

Emerald City Orchids Café will offer a lunch menu of sandwiches and salads from Molly’s Salads, pastries and desserts from Hiroki, and coffee and espresso from Fremont Coffee Company.

Golden Gardens play area closed this week

The newly-installed play area at Golden Gardens Park will be closed next week so one of the play features can be replaced.

A photo from the play area dedication in August.

According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, “The equipment manufacturer is replacing the main arches of a dome climbing play structure due to concerns about the durability of the protective galvanized coating on the existing dome.”

When the Explorer Dome was inspected there were concerns about the long term durability of the protective galvanizing on some of the arches. In order to ensure the best quality product, the manufacturer offered to replace the arches at their own expense. Knowing it takes months to manufacture and ship this unique equipment, Parks left the original dome in place until the parts could be changed out.

Donate toys/supplies and get Ballard coupons

Donate toys and supplies for Ryther Child Center and get coupons to local Ballard businesses.

EDGE Personal Training is spearheading the toy drive, which starts Monday, November 28th. Everyone who donates will receive a new client coupon from EDGE for up to $50 off personal training, as well as Ballard restaurant coupons. The Market Arms (2401 NW Market St) and La Isla (2320 NW Market St) are donating $5 coupons and Ray’s Cafe (6049 Seaview Ave NW) is donating free appetizer coupons for calamari or hummus. Each time someone drops off a toy or supply, the person will spin a wheel with different “pie slices” for coupons to one to all three restaurants.

Here is the list of toys and supplies from Ryther:

Teenage Boys in Substance abuse treatment:
-footbags/hacky sacks
-Massage balls
-Tech-deck skateboards
-Star Wars Action Figures
-Slippers (sizes 9-12)
-Undershirts (s-XL)
-Sketchbooks

Children age 6-14 in Sub-acute Residential Care:
-K’Nex and Lego Sets
-Action figures (no guns) and Barbie Dolls
-Disney and G rated movies
-Portable CD players and Headphones
-cd’s; Teen pop, world cultural and relaxation
– MP3 players
-inspirational/teen posters for rooms

Supplies:
-Shampoo and conditioner or shampoo/conditioner
-Body Wash
-Toothpaste and Dental floss (they have enough tooth brushes)

Ryther asks that people not donate guns or weapons.

Drop off unopened, unwrapped gifts to EDGE Personal Training (2821 NW Market St. Suite H). As of right now, the drive will end either December 9th or December 16th.

Sign at Bergen Place not exactly true

Throughout the last month, several signs have appeared in Ballard (here, here and here.) The signs are all the same – black paper with plain white text.

On Friday, this sign appeared in Bergen Place. It says, “MICROSOFT PAYS NO WASHINGTON STATE SOFTWARE LICENSING TAX.” According to GeekWire, the sign isn’t exactly true. To be strictly accurate, the sign would need to say Microsoft “dodged $6.1 billion in Washington State taxes before it lobbied the legislature to rewrite the law to eliminate the tax,'” writes Jeff Reifman on the Microsoft Tax Dodge after GeekWire sent him the photo.

Read this GeekWire article to get the background on the issue. (Photo courtesy GeekWire.)

Buy a Christmas tree, help Ballard Boy Scouts

Christmas tree lots are starting to pop up around town, including one that has been around for about six decades.

Starting this weekend Boy Scout Troop 100 will once again be selling trees in the parking lot of St. Alphonsus Church (at the corner of NW 57th and 15th Ave NW.) This is their one and only fundraiser of the year and the boys take great pride in the trees they sell. Some of the scouts and fathers actually go to the farm and hand pick the trees they sell.

A look at the proposed ‘Safe Parking Program’

As we’ve written before, Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church (2400 NW 85th St) has agreed to be the first church to host Seattle’s pilot ‘Safe Parking Program.’ The church will let one to five cars stay in their parking lot and car campers would have access to the church bathrooms.

Earlier this week the Seattle City Council adopted the 2012 budget which includes $20,000 for the program. That money, along with $10,000 from the state will be used for a caseworker to screen applicants, put them in touch with services and help them move into permanent housing.

Our news partners, The Seattle Times, introduces readers to Marcus, a 27-year-old former sheet metal worker who is one of about 150 who live in their vehicles in Ballard.

You can read more about the program and Marcus in this Seattle Times article.