Ima Norwegian

Funny guys Tim Hunter and Frank Shiers bring a little Scandihoovian humor to MyBallard in a weekly cartoon called Ima Norwegian.

Ima Norwegian is a life-time Ballard resident who lives in a modest home with her husband Lars. Both are Ballard High School graduates (Go Beavers) but you’ll have to really dig to figure out which year they graduated. Ima won’t willingly offer her age, but will admit that it rhymes with ‘nifty-something’. Ima said she would only appear in the cartoon if we featured her in her traditional Norwegian bunad. And remember, she only needs her glasses for reading. Her two kids are out on their own, in the area and close enough that they occasionally stop by. Ima believes it’s because they miss their mother and they just happened to also need to do their laundry.

Beavers head into final week of regular season

By Bucky Beaver

Ballard Girls (3-9 league 4-13 overall)
The Lady Beavers had a tough week of basketball playing the number one and two teams in the division back to back. Friday night they played the number four team in the state Woodinville and the Lady Falcons aren’t ranked four for nothing. They played solid pressure defense holding the Beavers to their lowest shooting percentage of the year. The Beavers did not back down holding the Lady Falcons to five points below their season average. The Falcons won 52 to 27. The Lady Beavers were led in scoring by Sophomores Beverly Verduin with 13 points and four rebounds and Imani Bender with 5 points. The Lady Beavers are currently in fifth place in the division needing to be in the top four to make playoffs. They will have to win at least two of their remaining three games to make the playoffs. (Photo of Beverly Verduin courtesy Alan Russo/BHS Athletics.)

Ballard Boys (6-6 league 8-9 overall)
The Beavers snapped their five game losing streak Friday night with a decisive win at Woodinville. Even though the Beavers were in all five games during their losing streak their shooting percentage during their five game skid was miserable. They found their touch Friday night shooting 51 percent from the field and 62 percent beyond the 3-point arc for a 68 to 57 victory. The Beavers were led by junior Johnny Verduin who had a career high 27 points and 17 rebounds. Juniors Stuart MacGeorge added 16 points and Seth Berger with 9 points. Senior Luke Beutjer came off the bench to contribute 9 points and 5 rebounds. They also have an important final week –Ballard is currently in third place in the Crown division of Kingco. The top four teams from the division make the playoffs.

Both teams have three double headers remaining. The bad weather last week will cause the Beavers to play three games in five days. Ballard’s last home game of the season is Tuesday night against cross town rival Garfield. The game is also senior night. Girls tip at 6:30 and boys at 8:00. Both teams are then on the road at Issaquah on Thursday night and at Bothell Saturday afternoon. Kingco playoffs start the week of February 6th.

Come on out Tuesday night to honor our seniors and enjoy some Beaver Basketball!

Construction on Kirke Park starts next week

It’s been a long time coming, but it appears that Kirke Park (7028 9th Ave NW) will be completed by summer.

New signs have been put up in front of the park alerting users that fencing will go up and crews will be on site starting February 1 – that’s next Wednesday. Heavy demolition of the site will start the following day, Kelly Goold with Seattle Parks tells us. The contract calls for 100 working days which would put the park grand opening in mid-June, but Goold says both the contractor and city believe it will be finished sooner, possibly mid-May.

(Click the image to see full screen).

Once completed the park will have a play area, a grassy area and a community garden. The community garden in the north end of the park is new to the Seattle Parks system. It’s not quite a P-Patch, not quite a garden, Goold says. There will be individual plots along with a community garden. There is no defined rule as to who will take care of the community garden, but Friends of Kirke Park have agreed to get it up and running, Goold tells us.

Umpqua Bank grand opening celebration

It’s a beautiful day for the Umpqua Bank (2032 NW Market St) grand opening celebration. Stop by all day for live music and refreshments from local eateries.

The Other Coast Cafe is providing lunch foods until 2 p.m. and a two-hour happy hour begins at 5:30 p.m. with food from Staple & Fancy, The Hi-Life and food and wine from Savour. Live music by Ryan Jander and Justin Macdonald starts at 5:30.

Umpqua Bank opened a month ago in the former Radio Shack space. (Disclosure: Umpqua Bank is a sponsor of MyBallard.)

Seattle Storm basketball clinic in Ballard

The WNBA Seattle Storm is heading to Ballard for a youth basketball clinic. The free clinic is from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, February 4th and is open to members of Boys & Girls Clubs. Storm members will teach offensive moves run drills with the kids. Participants will get a free t-shirt.

Registration is required and space is limited – register here. Registration will close once the clinic is full or 5 p.m. on Friday, February 3.

Back to work on NW 85th after snow and ice

The major repaving project on NW 85th Street was put on hold for several days last week because of the snow and ice. Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) resumed work this week. Here’s an update on current work.

Work continues in Phase 1 between 15th Ave NW and 8th Ave NW. Work activities impacted by the snow are currently being rescheduled. We will continue to update you on how the weather delay may impact anticipated work activities over the next couple weeks.

Construction activities anticipated this week include:

  • Continued roadway removal and excavation between:
  1. Mary Ave NW and 14th Ave NW (north side)
  2. 14th Ave NW and 12th Ave NW (north side)
  3. 11th Ave NW and 10th Ave NW (north side)
  4. Dibble Ave NW and 8th Ave NW (south side)
  • Installation of drainage facilities at the intersection of 14th Ave NW and NW 85th St
  • Concrete paving throughout the project area (as weather allows)
  • Opening of 12th Ave NW and closing of 11th Ave NW — Side streets can be closed for up to 30 days total, however the days are not required to be consecutive. This means streets may be opened and closed as needed.
  • Closure of Dibble Avenue south of NW 85th St for installation of drainage facilities and roadway removal, excavation and concrete panel replacement.
  • Westbound traffic continues to be maintained through Phase 1 primarily on the south side of the street.

Pothole Rangers want to hear from you

They’re annoying, dangerous and when filled with water, deceiving. Now that the Seattle Department of Transportation is finished with the winter storm, the Pothole Rangers are out filling those pesky potholes.

A large pothole in Ballard on 11th Ave NW near the Fred Meyer.

“Freezing weather and heavy precipitation mean that we’re seeing more potholes. We’ve added dollars to respond to pothole repair requests,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. SDOT has $9 million available to address street surface repairs, which includes potholes. About $8.5 million of that is earmarked for main arterials.

Click here to report a pothole. Keep an eye on reported potholes on the city’s pothole map.

The Amber Den opens next month

Just a block off Market Street, The Amber Den will open next month.

“The Amber Den started with a simple concept: great wine, craft beer and artisanal food at prices anyone can afford, offered in a warm, welcoming environment,” the owner Nick Simonton writes in a release. The casual bar will have a high-top table in the ground floor ‘cove,’ easy chairs in the reading nook and a dining table on the mezzanine.

“My goal is to provide a space where everyone feels comfortable,” Simonton says, “whether you’re in jeans and a T‐shirt or headed home after work. I want everyone to feel free to be themselves and to enjoy the most amazing beer and wine the Northwest has to offer.”

Chef Ryan Boehler is putting together an evening menu with fresh, local and seasonal bites. They will serve artisan meats and cheeses and Mediterranean-influenced small plates. A future lunch menu is also in the works which will feature panini sandwiches, homemade soups and salads.

The Amber Den is located at the corner of 17th Ave NW and NW 56th Street (1556 NW 56th Street), the former location of Nervous Nellie’s. Follow The Amber Den on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest on their opening.

Dragon art unveiled at Whittier Elementary

As you walk along the first floor northern breezeway of Whittier Elementary, a large, three-dimensional dragon is watching you. It is The Year of the Dragon, afterall.

For the last six weeks, nearly 80 kids in Whittier’s three second grade classes, parents and staff, have been working with Ballard resident Jan Harvey-Smith, the Artist in Residence, to create this Dragon Art. On Wednesday afternoon, students gathered to unveil the large creature and celebrate with a professional lion dancer. (Thanks Pete for the photo!)