Hit and run driver hits multiple cars including occupied police car

A 22 year-old man is in jail this morning after leading Seattle Police on a brief chase last night in Ballard, leaving multiple cars damaged.

The incident happened around 10:15 p.m. when an officer on patrol spotted a man driving recklessly westbound on NW 62nd at 14th Ave NW just south of Ballard High School. According to the SPD Blotter, “As the officer initiated a traffic stop the suspect tried to back his truck away from the patrol car. He struck the officer’s car, causing minor damage to the police car but no injury to the officer. The suspect then fled the scene in his truck. While fleeing the suspect struck three other parked and unoccupied vehicles before the suspect’s truck was disabled from damage caused by the various collisions. The suspect then exited his truck and continued to flee on foot.”

The suspect was caught near a house in the 1400 block of NW 63rd Street and placed under arrest. He has been booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Felony Eluding and two counts of Investigation of Felony Hit & Run.

Engine 18 was also called to the scene to extinguish a car fire caused by the suspect.

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 Boys & Girls Club director transferred to Federal Way

Updated: After 25 years in the neighborhood, the popular executive director of the Ballard Boys & Girls Club has been transferred. Mark Hendricks has been reassigned to head up the Federal Way club, while the director there, Shelley Puariea, takes his place in Ballard.

The news of the leadership swap came in a letter to staff members and the board of directors. The CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County, Calvin Lyons, met with staff and board members in a private meeting today to discuss the reasons behind the decision.

After the meeting, Lyons told My Ballard that he made the decision to transfer the two executive directors to “put the strengths where the strengths are needed.” He declined to offer any specific details behind the decision, calling it an internal HR move. “I believe that any of our leaders can have opportunity to grow skill sets in other areas,” he said. “I’m excited, and I’m hopeful that these organizations will support this transition.”

Hendricks has been director at the Ballard club since 1987. “There’s so much more he wants to do here,” board member Diane Larson said. “He doesn’t want to go.” She said Friday’s meeting was the “fight of our lives to save him,” but Lyons told us the transfer is moving ahead, effective on Monday with a 30-day transition period.

“I’m glad that folks are passionate,” Lyons said when we asked about the community’s reaction (see the comments below and this post in the forum). “My hope is that they continue to support the kids in the areas, that the clubs can support this transition for these two great leaders, and that kids remain the focus.” He said he wasn’t worried about any impact on fundraising by Hendricks’ departure. “My expectation is that Mark and Shelly would continue to nurture their relationships to ensure that donors are stewarded properly.”

Hendricks made vast improvements at the Ballard club over his tenure, including a complete remodel and expansion of the building and assisting with the introduction of the Graduation Assistance Impacting Needy Students (GAINS) program at Ballard High School.

Construction on NW Market St. at 14th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW tomorrow

On Saturday, crews will be working to install new traffic signal mast arms on NW Market St. at the intersections of 14th Ave NW and 24th Ave NW, according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., the signals will be deactivated, and uniformed police officers will be onsite to direct traffic, says SDOT.

From SDOT:

Drivers should expect one lane of travel in each direction leading up to and through the work zone on Saturday.  On-street parking and loading restrictions in and around active work areas will also be in place.

This work is part of a larger Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) project that will help move people more quickly and reliably through one of Seattle’s busiest east/west corridors and will benefit one of Seattle’s most heavily utilized bus routes, Route 44, which provides connections among the Ballard, Wallingford and University areas.

Sex offender charged with attacking Ballard girl

A homeless Seattle man has been arrested for the luring and raping of a 14-year-old Ballard girl late last year. The Seattle P-I reports that DNA recovered following the November 25 attack came from Semere B. Yonas, a 50-year-old sex offender. The P-I says Yonas was at large when charges were filed, and was booked into King County Jail, charged with rape of a child and luring.

The incident happened downtown on Black Friday last year, after the girl and her friends were hanging out and shopping, the P-I reports. The girl stayed downtown alone after her friends left, because she’d reportedly been fighting with her parents. She was speaking with a parking lot attendant when Yonas approached her and lured her away with drugs. The P-I reports that they went to a dimly lit area in the 1900 block of Alaskan way, under the viaduct, where Yonas and the, “girl smoked a pill– Yonas told her it was ecstasy – and Yonas began touching her. According to charging documents, Yonas forced her to perform oral sex on him.”

Police responded to her 911 call and investigators recovered DNA from the scene. According to the P-I, Yonas is jailed on $250,000 bail.

Free yoga class at Golden Gardens on Sunday

On Sunday, September 9, Ballard Health Club will host another free yoga class in the grass at Golden Gardens. There was a big response to the first one, so they’re doing it again. MJ will be leading the class, which is from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. They will meet at the north end of the park, and will be doing flow yoga, chanting, and meditation. You’ll have to bring your own mat/block/etc. They ask that participants show up a few minutes early to set up.

Seafood restaurant to fill old Thaiku location

The Opper & Melang duo are on the move yet again, and this time, it’s all about seafood. They’re opening a new restaurant in the location previously occupied by Thaiku (5410 Ballard Ave).

A representative with the restaurant says the new restaurant will offer fresh seafood dishes like oysters, chowders done three ways, and a seafood bisque. Co-owner Nathan Opper told the Puget Sound Business Journal that he envisions a fun atmosphere. “It will feel a little markety,” Opper told them. He also said to expend a full oyster bar featuring a cooker to steam shellfish and cook chowders, and even East Coast-style lobster rolls.

The name is yet to be nailed down, although “Willy’s” has been floating around as a possible choice. We’ll update with any developments about the new restaurant.

Ballard Elks Club to hold ‘Retro Bingo’ fundraiser

On September 22, the Ballard Elks Club will hold their 2nd Annual Retro Bingo Fundraiser to raise money for the Plus One Foundation, a charity that grants money to children and adults with a neurological injury, disorder, or disease. The fundraiser will be from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Elks Club (6411 Seaview Ave NW).

From the Elks Club:

We hope you will join us on the shores of Shilshole Bay for a night filled with cocktails, food, and fast-paced games, all while supporting the Plus One Foundation. Your support will help provide innovative therapies to heal and enhance the lives of people with neurological disorders; programs allowing them to achieve goals, expand opportunities and ‘feed the soul’ through education, rehabilitation, and training not covered by insurance.

Tickets are $65 a person, and includes one bingo card. (Additional cards can be purchased at the event.) The event is 21 and over. To buy tickets or learn more, click here.