Seattle Gymnastics Academy opens preschool program in Ballard

Seattle Gymnastics Academy (SGA) (1415 NW 52nd St) has developed a new preschool program for kids. SGA’s Ballard Preschool is now open for enrollment for the 2013-2014 year.

Ballard Preschool offers three and half hour-long classes for children 3-5 years old. Each class contains 45 minutes of gymnastics on the gym floor.

The curriculum of the preschool will be based on an emergent curriculum with a little of the Integrated and Project Approach curriculum sprinkled in.

“Ballard Preschool believes play is a medium for learning a foundation of skills including; social, analytical, math, literacy, science, and cognitive,” said the Ballard Campus Director Heather Freeman.

For more information about the program email Freeman at or call at 206-782-1496 ext 106.

Vehicle runs into outdoor area at Ocho

A vehicle ran into the patio area of Ocho (2325 NW Market St) on Tuesday night. Reportedly, the cocktail bar was open when the incident took place.

Ocho employee Lindsay confirmed that the vehicle ran into the patio, taking out 3 tables and the bar surrounding the patio. “No one was hurt during the incident and the service of the building is fine,” said Lindsay.

The bar has been open for business as usual since the incident took place.

Details regarding the driver, vehicle in question and the police response are at this stage unknown. We are continuing to investigate and will update readers when more information becomes known.

Ultimate “house boat” passes through Ballard Locks en route to Canada

A rare sight was seen at Ballard Locks yesterday as a family home passed through Salmon Bay and under the Ballard Bridge. The home is being transported to its new owners in Canada.

The home was formerly located at 3640 Evergreen Point Rd in Medina. It was designed by Joe Droshin, a San Francisco based architect, and built by Don Stabbert of Creative Homes in 1977-78. The style of the home is Bay Area School of Architecture and is approximately 5, 000 square feet.

The Stabbert family lived in the home for 33 years before selling it to a Canadian family. They were grateful that they could find some loving owners for the home instead of tearing it down.

The home is being transported to an unknown waterfront lot in Vancouver, BC.

Thanks to our reader Shannon for sending through the information and photos.

Suspect dies in hospital after police-involved shooting

This update just in from the SPD Blotter about the death of the suspect in Monday night’s officer-involved shooting in the Carkeek Park area:

Here is some updated information on last night’s officer-involved shooting in the 10100 Block of 4th Avenue NW.

At about 7:35 pm Monday officers responded to a domestic violence call at a home near NW 100th Place and 4th Avenue NW. Officers had received a report that an 21-year-old man was holding a knife to his father’s throat.

Officers arrived and approached the house and saw the suspect standing outside. As police attempted to talk to the 21-year-old man, his father came out of the home, and officers moved the father to safety and attempted to take the suspect into custody.

The suspect attempted to go back into the house once his father had been moved away. Officers attempted a taser application, but that was not effective. The suspect then ran southbound pursued by officers who tried a second taser deployment, again with no effect. The suspect stopped abruptly next to a parked car in an area that had very little ambient lighting. One of the pursuing officers slipped on the wet ground and fell on his back, landing near the suspect.

The suspect withdrew a long piece of metal from his beltline and raised it over his head, and came toward the officer. The three officers were forced to fire their weapons to defend themselves, striking the suspect. The long metal object turned out to be an 18 inch long piece of rebar.

They immediately called for Seattle Fire and Medics transported the man to Harborview Medical Center. The man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Detectives from the Homicide and Assault Unit, as well as CSI responded to the scene and began their investigation. The three involved officers are currently on paid administrative leave, which is standard in any officer-involved shooting investigation. None of the officers involved were seriously hurt during this confrontation. This remains an active and on-going investigation.

Ryan “Henry” Ward begins work on mural at Adams Elementary School

On Tuesday, well-known Seattle muralist Ryan “Henry” Ward began work on a mural at Adams Elementary School (6110 28th Ave NW). The mural is being painted to enhance a newly built outdoor classroom, that was once a neglected courtyard.

Ward became well-known in the Pacific Northwest for the distinct and unique flavor that he brings to his mural work. He has painted murals in India and Thailand and in the past five years he has put up 127 “bold and whimsical” murals, according to our news partners The Seattle Times.

Adams Elementary parent Schelleen Rathkopf envisioned and managed the outdoor classroom project to turn the unused courtyard into a positive space for student learning. “I had been eyeing this neglected courtyard space since my son was in Kindergarten (now in 2nd grade) and decided one day last Fall that it was time to get organized and just do it,” said Rathkopf.

The new classroom has been fitted out with custom built eco-friendly tables to provide seating for up to 30 students. The landscaping was revitalized around the area and Ward designed a 67 foot wide 14 foot high mural to fill the surrounding walls.

Ward’s theme for the mural, “thriving diversity”, fits well with the ethos of the school. The piece will involve a cast of animal characters working together in their natural habitats including the forest, arctic, jungle and water environments. Ward is reportedly a big fan of the commitment to arts infused education at Adams Elementary.

The classroom is located at the center of the school and has access points through the school library and the internal hallway. The space can be used by any teacher to enhance the classroom learning experience or for a reward for student achievement.

The project was funded by the Adams PTA, with support from the Seattle Public School system. “The PTA embraced the project and were thrilled to have someone to manage it from start to finish, causing the least amount of disruption to teachers, staff and kids at the school,” said Rathkopf.

Rathkopf confirmed that all members of the school community reacted positively to the project and are excited to enjoy the new space.

Ward will continue working on the mural and is scheduled to complete it by the weekend, if the weather cooperates.

We will post more photos of the creative mural once it is completed.

Police are searching for Ballard bank robber

Police are searching for an armed burglar who robbed the Peoples Bank (NW 56th Street and 24th Ave NW) yesterday evening. A reader emailed in to report that the Ballard Community Center was shut down for a short time today as police were searching for the suspect in the neighborhood.

Read more about the robbery from the SPD Blotter:

Police are searching Ballard for a man who robbed a bank at gunpoint Tuesday evening.

Just before 6:30 pm, the man walked into the People’s Bank on NW 56th Street and 24th Ave NW, brandished a black handgun and demanded cash.

The man was described as a white male, 5’5 with a small build, wearing a blue scarf over his face and a blue and yellow jacket.

The suspect then ran southbound on 24th Avenue.

We’ll update this post with pictures of the suspect when they’re available.

We will update readers as soon as more information is known.

Image courtesy of Peoples Bank.

Domestic violence call response ends in officer-involved shooting

Last night SPD responded to a domestic violence call in the Carkeek area. After the suspect was threatening to officers they were forced to fire their duty weapons. Read more from the SPD Blotter post last night:

Officers were forced to fire their weapons when a man suddenly raised a large piece of metal toward the officers after he ran from them following a domestic violence/hostage call officers were investigating in Northwest Seattle tonight.

At about 7:30 tonight, officers responded to a call of a domestic violence disturbance, possible hostage situation in the 10000 Block of 4th Avenue NW. The 911 call stated that a family member was threatening to hold the father hostage with a knife. Officers arrived at the house and made contact with the adult male suspect as he was walking out the front door. Officers were able to separate the suspect and the father and began giving the suspect verbal commands. The man refused to follow the officers’ commands, and attempted to get back into the house. At that point, one of the officers deployed his Taser, but it was ineffective.

The man then ran down the street, and officers followed. The man stopped abruptly and crouched behind a parked car. One of the pursuing officers slipped and fell near the suspect’s feet. The suspect then raised up from his crouched position holding a large piece of metal. At that point the officers were forced to fire their duty weapons. The suspect was struck several times and collapsed. Officers immediately called for Seattle Fire to respond, and he was taken to Harborview Medical Center.

Detectives responded to the scene and began their investigation. This remains an active and on-going investigation. This is preliminary information and we will have additional information tomorrow.

Locals set to make Ballard Corners Park beautiful at work party this Saturday

Locals are invited to take part in a work party at Ballard Corners Park (17th Ave NW & NW 63rd St) this Saturday, March 2. The work party will be held rain or shine from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Friends of Ballard Corners Park formed in 2008 to help build the park. The project was funded by the Department of Neighborhood Matching Fund and community contributions and includes rain gardens, right-of way plantings, new curving sidewalks, and the “living room” art installation.

On Saturday, volunteers will be spreading wood chip mulch and preparing the plants for spring. All are welcome to attend and tools and refreshments will be provided.

If you have your own gloves, wheel barrows, and pruners you are encouraged to bring them.

For more information contact Gabriella at or at (206) 782-3238. There is no need to RSVP.

To check out their Facebook page click here.

Ballard Chamber After Hours event on this Thursday

Ballard Chamber After Hours event will be held at The Shelter Lounge (4910 Leary Avenue NW) this Thursday, February 28.

The event will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. with guests welcome to stay late if they wish. Appetizers and beverages will be provided and the cost is $10 per person.

All are welcome to attend to network with local business associates.

If you are interested in attending email your RSVP as soon as possible to

“The Sound of Music” opens in Ballard this Thursday

The Ballard High School Playmakers performance of “The Sound of Music” will open this Thursday, February 28.

The season will kick off with a special opening night gala. The event will include a BHS Foundation sponsored Bavarian dinner and special guests Duane Chase, who played “Kurt” in the 1965 movie, and Derik Nelson, guitarist for “Glee”. Proceeds from the evening will support the Performing Arts Programs at Ballard High School.

The musical will also run on March 1, 2, 7, 8, 9 and 10. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and Senior Citizens and the performances will be held in the Early Kelly Performing Arts Center within the school grounds  at 1418 NW 65th St.

Close to 100 students  from 9th – 12th grade are involved in the production. These musicians, crew members and performers have been working on the show since December last year with the help of BHS Director of Theatre Shawn Riley, Director of Choirs Courtney Rowley, Director of Bands Michael James and Director of Orchestra Brittany Newell. Through their involvement in the production “the students have gained an appreciation of one of the great American musicals,” said Riley.

When asked about the expected audience reaction, Riley confirmed that the stage version has added songs and scenes that are not included in the well-known movie version. “Although it may be different from what they know, I think the audience will love what they see and hear,” said Riley. 

For more information about the show check out the BHS Performing Arts website here. To purchase tickets click here.