SDOT issues new proposal for Burke-Gilman Trail “missing link” construction

After years of proposals and appeals concerning the “missing link” of Burke-Gilman Trail in Ballard, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has made a new proposal to construct the segment of the trail that is missing between 11th Ave. NW and the Ballard Locks (the Shilshole Segment). Using a proposal similar to previous plans, SDOT has reissued a Revised Determination of Non-significance (DNS), which means the project will not have adverse environmental impacts. May 21 is the last day to submit an appeal on the proposal.

From SDOT:

The Seattle Department of Transportation proposes to construct the Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Project, which complete the “missing link” of the trail between 11th Ave NW and the Ballard Locks. Pursuant to an order from the King County Superior Court, SDOT has further developed the design of a portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Project, specifically the segment along Shilshole Avenue NW between 17th Avenue NW and NW Vernon Place (the Shilshole Segment). After review of the entire project and consideration of the further developed design of the Shilshole Segment, SDOT has determined that this proposal still will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment. An environmental impact statement (EIS) is therefore not required.

As a result, on April 30, 2012 SDOT published the attached Reissuance of Revised SEPA Determination of Non-significance (DNS).  The Revised DNS was originally issued in 2011 for the entire Burke-Gilman Trail Extension Project between 11th Avenue NW and the Hiram M. Chittendon (Ballard) Locks, including the Shilshole Segment.  Supporting documentation, including information related to further design of the Shilshole Segment, may be found on the project’s website.

Comments on the DNS  and supporting documentation may be submitted until 5:00 pm Monday, May 14.  In addition, any interested person may appeal this DNS by submitting a Notice of Appeal and a filing fee to the Office of the Hearing Examiner no later than 5:00 pm Monday, May 21.  Please see the DNS for more information on providing comments and submitting appeals.

Live storytelling performances tomorrow night at Egan’s

A group of Ballard writers will take the stage again this week to tell their stories – without notes. It’s called the Ballard Writers Jam, and it’s happening at Egan’s Ballard Jam House tomorrow, Tuesday May 1, at 7 p.m.

Group member Joshua McNichols says it’s a unique experience. “The first group found this kind of performance exhilarating. It’s nothing like a traditional author event,” writes McNichols. “When the speaker doesn’t have notes, they make eye contact with the audience. They’re much more engaged. It’s like hearing a great story at a party.”

The event is put on by the Ballard Writers Collective and Secret Garden Books.

Ballard resident fundraises for research on climate refugees

By Almeera Anwar

Imagine if Ballard fell into the Puget Sound and we all became climate refugees. As a coastal city, we share connections with places around the world where this is the case and one Ballard resident was inspired to find out more.

Climate refugees are people who are forced to move because climate change has destroyed their homes. Rachel Aronson is a Ballard resident and a master’s student in the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and is doing her thesis on climate refugees. She wants to focus on how people preserve their culture in absence of the place that nurtured their culture.

Aronson in Iceland

Aronson is fundraising for her research through, a crowd funding website similar to Kickstarter but dedicated to science-related projects. Her goal is to raise $3,400,and says she has received very positive feedback.

“Most of the backers so far are not people I know and that is really cool to me,” said Aronson. “It’s been a fabulous experience to hear from people all over the world who are interested in this project. They also see it and connect me with people that I should get in contact with as well.”

Aronson will use the money to go to the village of Shishmaref, Alaska and interview residents, and much of her research will be dictated by these interactions. “I knew that I wanted to travel to work on my project because I’d like to have a career after grad school where I go outside the country to do research. I see this as a trial run of what I would like to do professionally.”

She is the first person in her program to use as a funding source but sees it getting more popular in the future. “There’s less funding for graduate students and this model fits well with the open-science movement, which gets our research out from behind journal pay walls,” Aronson explained. “People can now follow along with it.”

Aronson sees the connection to her donors as a continuing process; she plans on sending them postcards or including them in her thesis and hopes that they will keep in touch with her through a research blog she’s planning to write while away.

Overall, Aronson says this experience has been a huge confidence booster for her but still sees her ultimate goal as creating a useful research project to this community. With more climate refugees to come in the future, she also hopes her research can be seen as a recipe for success and hopes it’s used again for people to preserve their culture as their homes disappear.

Author reading to benefit Project Linus charity

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at Secret Garden BooksJulie Paschkis will have her authorial debut, reading from “Mooshka: A Quilt Story,” a kids’ book about siblings. Along with the reading, Secret Garden is benefitting Project Linus, a charity organization that gives blankets to children in need. The store also invites participants to bring a quilt and share the story behind it in their, “Quilt Story Slam.”

Secret Garden will donate a percentage of profits from sales of “Mooshka” directly to Project Linus. The store is also taking donations in the form of 1/2 yard or more of new cotton or fleece. Paschkis is an illustrator, and has done the artwork for “Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal, A Worldwide Cinderella” and “Happy Adoption Day.”

Ballard Preschool Cooperative hosts open house tonight

The Ballard Preschool Cooperative (1501 NW 90th St) is hosting one of two open houses tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. The second open house is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th from 9 to 11 a.m. They plan to have teachers and families on hand to answer questions.

According to their website, the co-op, “aims to provide a structured cooperative program designed to encourage the social, emotional, physical and mental development of young children.”

From their website:

A program of the Phinney Neighborhood Association , the Ballard Preschool Co-op is a nurturing environment for infants through children five years of age. Parents run the school through a board and various volunteer jobs. Each class consists of a teacher and parents working together. Founded in 2001, the co-op is a result of the large demand for family-oriented preschools in our area.

Call 206-898-8877 with questions about the open house.

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.

No weekend closure on Ballard Bridge, but northbound lane closure to resume

For the last two weekends, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has closed the Ballard Bridge at night, working to paint the areas of the bridge not accessible when the spans are in the down position. They took advantage of good weather last weekend and finished that part of the project ahead of schedule. Crews plan to finish the west side (southbound lane) today, ending the lane and sidewalk closures on that side. However, they plan to resume work on the northbound lane.

SDOT says they  plan to again close the northbound lane in order to finish the east side painting. Beginning April 30, they will start closing one northbound lane, but will leave it open between 3 and 8 p.m. for the afternoon/evening commute. SDOT notes that the timing of the sidewalk closures is not tied to the lane closures, and the contractor can close the sidewalks at any time except during the evening commute mentioned before. They add that sidewalks will be open throughout the weekend unless the contractor chooses to work over the weekend.

The painting project is expected to be complete by the end of May.

Take a closer look at Seattle grunge and music culture tomorrow

Tomorrow, Saturday April 28 at 5 p.m., Sonic Boom Records will be hosting an author reading event featuring Stephen Tow, author of “The Strangest Tribe: How a Group of Seattle Rock Banks Invented Grunge.” There will also be an acoustic performance by the Young Fresh Fellow’s Scott McCaughey.

A brief description of the book from Sasquatch Books:

Grunge isn’t dead – but was it every truly alive? Twenty years after the height of the movement, The Strangest Tribe redefines grunge as we know it. Stephen Tow takes a second look at the music and community that vaulted the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden to international fame. Chock-full of interviews with the starring characters, Tow extensively chronicles the rise of rock ‘n’ roll’s last great statement and contextualizes what the music really meant to the key players.

Delving deep into the archives, Tow paints a vivid picture of the underground rock circuit of tattered warehouses and community centers. Seattle’s heady punk scene of the late ’80s gave birth to a rowdy and raucous movement, influenced by metal, but wholly its own. Seattle made its own sound, a sound that came to be known internationally as grunge. Tow walks the reader through this sonic evolution, interviewing members of every band along the way.

In 1991, Seattle’s sound took the world by storm–but this same storm had been brewing in the Pacific Northwest for a decade before it hit MTV. The Strangest Tribe reframes this last transformative era in music. Not just plaid shirts, bleached hair, and angst, “grunge” is a word used to describe a rich community of artists and jokers.

Fire destroys luxury yacht at Fishermen’s Terminal

Update: Kyle Moore from the Seattle Fire Department says the fire started at 1:30 a.m. when the owner and engineer  heard “popping” noises while aboard the 105-foot “Safari Spirit” based out of Juneau, Alaska. They saw smoke and got off the boat, and called the fire department. When the SPD Harbor Patrol boat arrived, Moore says the fire was so big that it was in danger of catching other boats on fire. While hauling half a dozen boats in safe range of the fire, the fire department sprayed the boat with two hoses from the dock in addition to two fire boats that were pumping lake water onto the boat. After a short time, crews were forced to get off the boat because at that point, the boat was a total loss, and not worth putting the firefighters in danger, according to Moore.

(Photo courtesy of KING 5, which also shot video here).

However, with so much water being pumped into the bilge, the boat started to tilt to one side, endangering the dock. The crews then had to begin a process of simultaneously pumping water out of the bilge while still putting water on the burning boat, which what they’re continuing now until the boat is extinguished. Moore said the US Coast Guard and Washington Department of Ecology arrived to assess the environmental risks of the fire, as the boat contains over 1,000 gallons of fuel. The Coast Guard set up a boom around the area, which is a containment system in case of any fuel or oil spill. With so much fuel, woodwork and aluminum on board, Moore describes the blaze as, “an aluminum oven that just keeps burning.” He says the boat could be burning for days. Crews are still on the scene, working to completely extinguish the fire. Moore says the cause is still in question, and because of the damage, could be difficult to determine.

Earlier: A 110-foot luxury yacht caught fire early this morning at Fishermen’s Terminal, attracting a large fire response that remains at the scene later this morning as the vessel still smolders. No one was injured in the blaze.

The Seattle fire boat assisted firefighters on the ground, who ran hoses about a hundred yards down a dock to reach the blaze.

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said the fire scene may be active throughout the day, as the aluminum body is still red hot from the fire. The “Safari Spirit” was owned by a cruise line, and it was moored at Fishermen’s Terminal for repairs.

Erica in Magnolia sent us this photo of the flames shooting high in the air. The fire was visible by some neighbors on the Ballard side, as well.

The yacht is completely destroyed, and there’s no word on what started the fire. We’ll update the story as we learn more.