Olympic Manor all aglow for Christmas

Heading out in the evenings to check out Christmas lights is a fun family tradition.

One of our favorite neighborhoods is Olympic Manor just north of NW 85th Street at 23rd Ave NW.

Many of the homes are creatively decorated with candy canes, stars and more.

One home even brought a little aloha to their yard with palm trees and “Mele Kalikimaka” (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian).

Homeless man keeps Ballard clean during holidays

Updated with information from Millionair Club:
While Christmas shopping in downtown Ballard, we couldn’t help but notice a man sweeping in front of Starbucks on Market Street with a bucket set out for donations. His name is Tim, and his two Jack Russell Terriers, Zeta and Rico, sit on their blanket nearby

Tim tells us that he’s newly homeless. For the last two months, he and his “babies” have been living out of his Ford truck. “I was scared to death,” he tells us after he lost his job helping a well-to-do apartment owner. Since then he’s been trying to earn money here and there. Tim says he’s not the kind of person to sit on a corner begging for money. “I have to be doing something,” Tim says. He says the Millionair Club has nothing for him until after the new year. Tim Takechi with Millionair Club says they sometimes have to close down the application process. “We cannot always accept every single application because at times there are not enough jobs to go around,” Takechi tells us. “Approximately 100 jobseekers come through our doors every day, so we have to periodically close down the application process so our existing participants can find work.”

Unsure of what life would bring him, Tim took his last $26 out of the bank and bought a broom, bucket and garbage bags. For the last two weeks he’s been cleaning up Ballard’s business district. He is amazed at how well-received he’s been. “Everyone in Ballard is so friendly,” Tim laughs. An employee of a local business says Tim is a welcome addition to downtown. She says the sidewalk in front of her shop has never looked better and Tim is a delight to talk to.

Everything Tim owns is neatly packed away and organized in his truck – a bin for clean clothes, a bin for hygiene supplies, a bin for dog stuff and more. But Tim asks that you don’t feel sorry for him; he doesn’t feel sorry for himself. “It could be a lot worse,” he says, explaining that he has his two dogs that he loves dearly and a truck to live in. Some people don’t have all that.

Tim tells us that he is an excellent painter. He was responsible for painting apartments and doing odd jobs when he was employed. Like many newly-homeless unemployed Americans, he says he’s trying to raise money so he can get back on his feet. He gets $600 from the state each month for disability, but that’s not enough to survive on. “As soon as I get housing I’ll be fine,” he says.

If you’re interesting in helping Tim, visit Care Movement, our experiment that helps connect needs in the news with people who want to help.

Another residential development underway

The fourth major development in four months has broken ground in Ballard. This project is right across from the high school at 6559 15th Ave NW.

The Department of Planning and Development recently approved the application for 101 residential units and three live/work units. There will be a parking garage for 95 vehicles with two driveways on 15th Ave NW. According to the foreman on the project, construction will take about a year.

This is the fourth development to break ground in Ballard since September. The Broadstone Koi at 1139 NW Market Street will have 180 units, Avalon Ballard, which replaces Sunset Bowl, will have 272 units, Market Street Landing, which replaces Denny’s, will have 287 units. These four developments equal 843 units.

Rendering of the Market Street Landing that is currently under construction at 15th & Market

Several more projects are in the works that will add another 536 residential units, if built. Those developments include:

  • A small, 18-unit residential unit is slated for 2034 NW 56th Street where the building on-site was recently demolished.
  • A 107-unit residential building will replace the old Ballard Library at 5711 24th Ave NW. According to our sources, construction on this site will start early next year.
  • Hjarta II adjacent to Market Street Landing will have 102 residential units and four live/work units.
  • Ballard’s largest development that is almost an entire city block will add 305 residential units to the 2400 block of NW Market Street.
  • This building boom isn’t a surprise. Back in April Barry Hawley of Hawley Realty told the Ballard District Council that a building boom is expected in Ballard. (Thanks Keith for the tip!)

    ‘Sweet dog’ found in Whittier Heights

    Update: Gypsy has been reunited with her family.

    Earlier: Catherine sent us a note about this “beautiful, sweet girl” she found wandering on 13th Ave NW near NW 75th Street.

    “She is clearly someone’s pet,” Catherine writes. “If anyone recognizes her it sure would be nice to get her home for Christmas.”

    If this is your dog or know whose dog it is you can email us at tips@myballard.com.

    Southern transplants open BBQ joint in Ballard

    When friends and former colleagues, Gabe Gagliardi and Mike Dahm moved to Seattle they wanted barbecue. They’re both from the south and craved the southern specialty. They didn’t find any that satisfied their taste buds so they opened their own BBQ joint – The Boar’s Nest (2008 NW 56th St).

    Gagliardi is no stranger in the kitchen. He has two decades of restaurant experience and has opened restaurants in the Hamptons and Las Vegas. His culinary education is from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago. You might also recognize him from a stint on a reality TV show. He was a contestant in season two of Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen.”

    “The Boar’s Nest specializes in Southern Barbecue including pulled pork, baby back ribs, smoked sausage, fried chicken breast and brisket,” Dahm tells us. “All sauces are homemade and represent the major barbecue regions throughout the South.” The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

    The Boar’s Nest has been open about two months. If you’ve stopped in, rate it and write a review here.

    Thai Siam hosting 24th annual Christmas dinner

    For the 24th year in a row, Thai Siam is hosting a free Christmas dinner for those in need.

    “Last Christmas we served nearly 900 meals all together,” owner Ott Jaichalernsook tells us. “About 400 meals in the restaurant 250 in take out and about 250 were delivered to a nearby homeless shelter, tent city, and Nicklesville Seattle.”

    The free turkey dinner is at Thai Siam restaurant, 8305 15th Ave NW from noon to 2 p.m. If you have questions you can call the restaurant 784-5465 between 2 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Disclosure: Thai Siam is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

    Beaver basketball highlights

    Boys basketball: For the first time in a long time, the Ballard boys basketball team is ranked. They went into last night’s game against Redmond as #10 in the state.

    The game was a nail-biter with the lead going back and forth during most of the first half. The Mustangs pulled away in the second quarter, finishing the half 11 points up. The Beavers scored 33 points in the second half and got within two points at the end, but Redmond won 52-54.

    Junior Stuart MacGeorge was the lead scorer with 16 points, followed by juniors Seth Berger with 13 and Johnny Verduin with nine. Junior Raymond Owens came off the bench to score four points and three assists.

    The Beavers next head to San Diego for a three game holiday tournament.

    Girls basketball: The lady Beavers came out strong against the Redmond Mustangs. The Ballard girls basketball team was up 23 to 15 at half and 37 to 20 after three quarters. Redmond came on strong in the fourth quarter, but Ballard hung on for a 46 to 41 win.

    Sophomores Beverly Verduin and Nancy MacGeorge were the high scorers with 12 points. Cailey Beckett and ten points.

    The lady Beavers play next week in a holiday tourney at Juanita High School.