Learn more about the Ballard greenway on a community walk this weekend

This weekend, the Ballard Greenways organization is hosting a neighborhood walk along NW 58th St., the proposed route for the greenway installation. The walk, called “Let’s Walk Ballard,” will start at West Woodland Elementary School (5601 4th Avenue NW) at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 5 and will end at Ballard Commons Park at 3 p.m.

From Ballard Greenways:

Imagine Ballard with safe, healthy streets for people of all ages. A neighborhood where kids can walk and ride their bikes to school. A neighborhood where a senior citizen and a parent with a three year old don’t need to detour three blocks to cross the street safely. Ballard Greenways is a volunteer organization of local residents who want to make our neighborhood safer for people of all ages and abilities.

…Join us for a walk to share ideas about bringing safe, healthy streets to our home and how neighborhood greenways can help.

A recent open house about the Ballard greenway project hosted by the Seattle Department of Transportation revealed a great deal of community interest in and concerns about the project. SDOT says they are still analyzing the comments received from attendees, but no follow-up meeting has been scheduled.

Whitman teacher wins third consecutive screenwriting award

By Almeera Anwar

Christopher King works at Whitman Middle School teaching students about media literacy and TVproduction; but when he is not at his day job, he is probably writing.

This year his writing was recognized for the 3rd year in a row at the 2012 Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s Literary Contest. Last year, we wrote about his 2nd place finish at the contest. He co-wrote this piece with Gabriel Beristain, a Mexican cinematographer, and the plot is centered around the story and life of Tina Modotti and is called the “The Tina Modotti Project.”

Tina Modotti, in brief, was an artist, model, actress, political activist and humanitarian. She was introduced to photography at a young age, thriving at it from the start, and she was one of Edward Weston’s favorite models. She was a member of the Mexican Communist Party and worked with international worker’s relief. She passed away in Mexico City at the age of 42 under somewhat mysterious circumstances, which makes for a great story, but on the whole is remembered for her photography and fascinating life.

The two men, King and Beristain, both loved Modotti’s legacy and brought their talent together for this piece when they met in L.A. years ago. They began working on this script then and continued to connect and edit via email since then. Both hope the script gets picked up and is produced into a movie,but King is skeptical that this will actually happen.

“In this day and age, one of the hardest movies to get made is a period piece; especially having to do with Mexico in the ‘20s and ‘30s. It just doesn’t fit into the young male audience,” said King, still hopeful their piece is good enough to get noticed. “But if the right people get interested and involved it could happen. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed at this point.”

Photo courtesy Christopher King

Full Tilt to offer free ice cream on Monday

Ballard’s Full Tilt is offering a pretty sweet deal next week: on Monday, August 6, they’ll be offering free ice cream from noon until they run out.

They sent us this following release:

Ice Cream and Pinball Lovers of Seattle!

Ballard, we want to say thanks for such a warm welcome.

— You told us how much you CRAVE our healthy, all-natural ice cream flavors, like salted caramel, Mexican chocolate, Ube, and our famous Memphis King.

— You showed us how much you LOVE to play pinball and listen to great music while you’re eating your ice cream.

Full Tilt heard you loud and clear! Our Ballard Shop has been the busiest by far. We would like to say Thanks! by having a FREE CONE DAY!!! Every person that walks through the door Monday August the 6th is getting a free kid scoop. No strings. Nothing to sign up for. Everyone gets ice cream until we run out. See you there.

No garbage pickup today for some Ballard residents

Garbage collection won’t happen for a portion of Ballard today, as the Teamsters Union garbage, recycling, and food and yard waste drivers are still on strike. According to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Tuesday customers of Waste Management should put out their recycling, garbage, and food and yard waste bins next Tuesday, August 7. There will be no charge for extra items. Some areas of Ballard were missed Monday, and those customers should also put out garbage next Monday, August 6.

According to SPU, the strike is affecting about 60 percent of the city, in Northwest and South Seattle. The strike started Wednesday, July 25 after the Teamsters Local 117’s contract with Waste Management expired May 31. However, pickups by CleanScapes, which covers about 40 percent of the city are not impacted by the strike (map here), according to SPU.

From SPU:

SPU continues to urge Waste Management and the Teamsters to engage in good faith negotiations toward a speedy and successful outcome.

Under its contract with the city, Waste Management is required to continue services in the event of any disruption. Specifically, any missed collections due to any labor complications must be collected later in the week, or the following week. Waste Management will not be paid for any non-service.

The contract allows the city to deduct approximately $15,000 to $20,000 per day in payments to Waste Management for any services that are not completed the next day. For any interruptions that continue more than a week, contractors can also be fined substantially for service failure, up to $1.25 million per day.

Protecting public health and safety continues to be the city’s top priority throughout this collection disruption.

SPU will provide updates as needed. Customers with solid waste service issues or concerns may call the Call Center at (206) 684-3000.

Customers with labor/union questions or concerns should contact Waste Management or Teamsters Local 117.

Learn more about Seattle Public Utilities, at: http://www.seattle.gov/util.

Follow SPU on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SeattleSPU.

New Goodwill donation site in Ballard

Goodwill has just added another donation site in Ballard. In addition to the store at 8th Ave NW and NW 65th St, you can now drop off items at 5300 24th Ave NW, Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

From Goodwill:

At this site we gladly accept:

  • All quality reusable clothing and household items.
  • All electronics including televisions and computer monitors measuring 19 inches or less, desktop computers and laptops.

We’re sorry, at this site we can’t take:

  • Furniture, appliances or other items larger than an end table.

For more info about the new drop site, click here.

City council approves funds for Ballard streetcar study

A Ballard streetcar is closer to becoming a reality as the Seattle City Council transportation committee has approved $800,000 to study the possibilities of a new transit line from Ballard to Downtown. That money will be added to the $2 million already allocated to studying the additional streetcar line.

The funds were freed due to the lifting of a proviso that had been imposed until the Council was satisfied that current streetcar construction could be completed without additional city funding and that the planning for the Broadway extension had advanced to a certain point.

Construction for the streetcar that will connect Pioneer Square, the International District, Capitol Hill has been underway since April.  While the transportation committee has approved the lifting of the proviso, the full council must sign off to free up the funds. According to the Capitol Seattle Hill Blog, Councilmember Tom Rasmussen says, “This means we’ll look at the options for high capacity transit between downtown and Ballard. It doesn’t mean we’ve okayed light rail or a tunnel — it means we will fund a study of what the best option for transit could be.”

Amber Den to reopen under new name – ‘Nick’s off Market’

Nick’s off Market (1556 NW 56th St), formerly known as the Amber Den, will be opening soon. The bar closed in June to undergo some changes, including a new menu, more beers on tap, and of course, a name change.

Owner Nick Simonton says he chose to give the bar a facelift based on what they learned from serving patrons for many months leading up to the remodel. “The whole time that I’ve been here, the process was to hear what the neighborhood wanted,” Simonton said. He says patrons asked for three things: a full bar, more food selections, and more comfortable seating. With that, they remodeled the inside of the bar, offering more booths and more bar seating.

The menu has greatly expanded, offering what Simonton calls, “our version of Northwest comfort food with a twist.”  Menu options include “bar snacks,” such as wasabi grilled bites with tomato basil soup, and main dishes such as “Nick’s Nitro Beef Sandwich” with Northwest beef and a variety of sauces with a choice of salad, chips or homemade apple slaw. Simonton says they’ll even have rotating dinner specials based on ingredients gathered at the Ballard Farmer’s Market.

Simonton fulfilled his promise of a full bar, and with that, they’ll be offering a number of local spirits and what he calls, “neighborhood drinks.” They’ve expanded their tap offerings from four to eight, which Simonton says will be mostly Northwest beers. Ballard-based NW Peaks Brewery will be a constant on the tap list, he says.

Nick’s off Market should be open by the end of the week. For more info, visit their Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Upcoming construction at Ballard Library

In a couple weeks, work will begin to refinish the beams that project from the roof of the Ballard Library. The work will start on August 6 and is expected to go through September 3. The library tells us the contractor will fence off areas while the work is in progress. The entrance to the Department of Neighborhoods will remain open throughout the construction.

File photo of the rooftop of the Ballard Library

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.

Ballard in third place in Walk Bike Ride Challenge

Ballard is pretty close to defending our title in the city’s Walk Bike Ride Challenge. Earlier this summer, we told you about the challenge, in which the city is encouraging people to walk, bike or ride the bus more often. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) asks participants to switch at least two car trips to more environmentally friendly modes of transit, and the contest last through July and August. And, so far, Ballard is in third place in the challenge.

Here are some stats on Ballard so far in the competition (from SDOT):

  • #3 in trips switched to walking, biking, or riding
  • #1 in number of participants signed up
  • #1 in miles of driving saved so far
  • 2,285 total miles saved so far

There’s also an individual competition in which the winner takes home the following loot:

  • Zipcar 1-year membership & 5+ hours of driving credit
  • $100 REI gift card

There are still five weeks left in the competition. To learn more, click here.