UW student new BHS tennis coach

The Ballard High School girls tennis team has a new coach. Chandler Lewis is a student at the University of Washington where he plays on the UW Club Tennis Team. He is also a member of the US High School Tennis Coach Association and has been actively coaching USTA Jr. Tennis Teams. He is the current head golf coach at Ingraham.

“Lewis’ experience in practice organization, team management and team building will greatly benefit our tennis program. I am excited to see Chandler build upon the foundation that former coach Gary Epstein started last year. Chandler has a ton of energy and eagerness to be a great coach.” says Ballard Athletic Director Carrie Burr.

More on Lewis can be found on the Ballard High School Athletic Booster Club website.

Service hours added to eliminate overcrowding on Route 44

Route 44, the main east/west bus between Ballard and the U District, is one of nearly a dozen Metro routes that will be getting more service hours starting in June. The changes approved by the King County Council will allocate service hours to higher-performing bus routes, reduce service on five routes and eliminate ten other routes.

“These transit service reinvestments eliminate lesser-used transit routes in order to add service to highly used routes with unmet demand,” said Larry Phillips, chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. “King County leaders are working to make Metro as cost-effective as possible in order to keep productive transit service on the street during these difficult financial times.”

Route 44 will get 1,300 more service hours annually starting in June of this year. Leah Zoppi in Councilmember Larry Phillips office tells us this change will probably mean an additional route during peak ridership times.

Free tax aid available at Ballard Library

Once again this year, tax preparers will be available to help you with your taxes. TaxAide Ballard posted this notice in the MyBallard forum:

Confused by tax law changes? Can’t afford a professional preparer? AARP Tax-Aide volunteer counselors are eager to assist taxpayers in preparing and e-filing your tax return. Quality review insures accuracy. Don’t put off filing because you owe taxes and don’t have money. E-file now and pay by April 15. The program has no age limit, no income limit, and AARP membership is not necessary.

When you have received all your tax statements, visit us at Ballard Public Library, 5614 22nd Ave. NW. Walk-ins only. No appointments necessary this year.

Counselors will be available:
• Mondays, February 6th through April 16th, from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM
• Thursdays, February 2st through April 12th, 10 AM to 4:00 PM

Metro bus routes 17, 18, 44, 46, 75, and 81 service the immediate area. There is free parking in the underground garage, pay parking on-street in the immediate neighborhood, and free on-street parking several blocks away.

Scope of service is limited to those filing 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ including basic Schedules A, B, C, D, EIC. Those with complex returns including rental property, partnerships, etc. are advised to seek paid preparers.

Click here for a complete listing of sites in Seattle.

‘The Showing’ highlights student productions

The Ballard High School Video Production students are getting ready to show off their works. “The Showing” showcases student films, including the BHS premiere of Safe at Last, the winner of the Young People’s Film Festival. Other screenings include short comedies and dramas as well as news features and advertisements.

This event generally draws large crowds and has filled the auditorium in the past. Instead of turning people away this year, the event will be a two-night affair – on Thursday, February 9th and Friday, February 10th., both at 7 p.m. in the Ballard High School auditorium. Tickets are $10, or $7 for students with an activity pass, and will be sold at the door. All proceeds benefit students in the Video Production Program.

Volunteers needed for ‘salmon duty’

Volunteer fish feeders are needed for the 2012 salmon supplementation project in Carkeek Park. From February through May, 50,000 Chum Salmon fry will need to be fed three times a day by volunteers. Salmon from the Suquamish Tribal fish hatchery are raised in a small pond at Carkeek Park where they learn the taste and smell of the creek water.

“Salmon duty” takes just 30 minutes at least once a week. Schedules are flexible and fish feeders attend a one hour training. The training for spring fish feeders will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 11.

This is a joint project between Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project. Interested fish feeders should contact Nancy Malmgren at 206-363-4116.

Seattle Schools asking for two-day snow waiver

Students may not have to make up all three school days they missed during this month’s snow storm. Officials at Seattle Public Schools (SPS) want to waive two days instead of tacking them onto the end of the year, which they say would cost the district $500,000.

Lola Velush, a first grader at Whittier, enjoying a snow day.

SPS is asking the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) for a waiver for the January 19th and January 20th snow days. During the storm Governor Gregoire declared a State of Emergency for those days. “This [the waiver] is contingent on a decision allowing the Emergency Proclamation to apply to schools in King County,” the release states. “OSPI officials said they will have more information next month on how to apply for waivers.”

One of the days was made up last Friday, leaving the other two. According to the district, they cannot make up the days during mid-winter break because families and staff have already arranged their schedules around the time off.

As a side note, next year’s mid-winter break is not a full week, but a four-day weekend with the Friday before President’s Day a day off and that Monday.

Seattle Empty Bowls looking for bowl-makers

Volunteers are needed to help make this year’s Seattle Empty Bowls fundraiser a success.

While organizers have enough artists to paint the bowls, they need potters willing to throw or hand-build the bowls. The clay is provided and there is no need to glaze them unless you want to.

The Empty Bowls event raises money for the Ballard Food Bank and will be Sunday, March 18th at the Nordic Heritage Museum. Ongoing details can be found on their Facebook page. For details on clay pick-up contact Andrea at SeattleEmptyBowls@gmail.com.

Rescue dog home safely

An update to last week’s story about a timid rescue dog that had gone missing: After many neighbors had reported seeing Gilda and eluding her owners, she finally made it home safely.

Ashley Owens wrote this update on the MyBallard Facebook page:

Gilda the rescue dog returned home this morning and entered the house thru her doggie door. I woke up early and opened the door to my bedroom and there she was!!! Thank you My Ballard for the posting on the page as that is how we were able to know she was still in the neighborhood. Thanks to all of the kind neighbors on 57th who kep reporting to us the sightings. Thanks Maggie from 11th also for the note left on our door with information!!! very happy day to have her home and safe!