BHS presents “The Festival Concert” this Thursday night

Ballard High School Performing Arts will present “The Festival Concert” this Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. The concert will be held in the BHS Earl Kelly Performing Arts Center (1418 NW 65th St).

Audience members will have the opportunity to enjoy music performed at the Elliott Bay Music Educator’s Association Festivals by the BHS Orchestra, Treble Choir, Advanced Women’s Chorale, Concert Choir, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble.

Students will perform pieces that range from the complete St. Paul’s Suite by Gustav Holst, to Laudamus Te by Antonio Vivaldia, Sail Away, Ladies! by Judith Herrington and Jai Ho by A.R. Rahman (arr. Ethan Sperry).

All are welcome and donations are gratefully accepted at the door. All donations will go to BHS Performing Arts.

Photo courtesy of Ballard High School.

Nyer Urness House set to provide permanent homes for the homeless in Ballard

Compass Housing Alliance will open the doors to Nyer Urness House (1753 NW 56th St) early next month. This exciting project will provide formerly homeless men and women with safe and comfortable permanent housing.

Compass Housing Alliance is a not for profit organization, established in 1920, that offers services and housing options for people who are struggling with homelessness and poverty in the Seattle area. The organization supports the homeless through providing shelters, transitional housing, permanent housing and by developing affordable housing units for tenants with low incomes.

The My Ballard team was invited to take a sneak peek at Nyer Urness House last week and we were able to see the depth of impact that the project will have on our community.

When questioned about the choice of Ballard as the site for the new project Compass Housing Alliance Capital Campaign Manager Amy Besunder responded quickly. “There is both significant need and support in Ballard for this project. We choose to set up projects in areas that have community support to sustain the services to our residents.”

Nyer Urness House is both an inviting and functional building that has a modern feel. The house will provide homes for 80 chronically homeless people, with residents living by themselves in studio style apartments. The building entrance will be staffed 24 hours a day by a trained social worker working in the role of concierge. “The staff member at the front desk will have an important role to play in the lives of residents in terms of providing support and enforcing the house rules. They will be the eyes and ears of the house,” commented Besunder.

Each apartment will be set up with a bed, household furniture and a kitchenette. Residents will be also be provided with linen and basic items to make their new room their permanent home. In terms of visitors, each resident can invite one guest to their room at a time, with all guests leaving before 10 p.m. each night.

Residents will have the opportunity to take advantage of the important health services provided by Nyer Urness House. The building will house a Neighborcare Health Center where residents and community members can gain access to health care providers who will give them subsidized care. Substance Abuse Counselors, social workers and support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous will also be available for residents to help in addressing the complex needs of those who have been living on the streets.

The project also provides vital services such as free laundry facilities and will cater one free meal to residents per day. These meals are open to be catered by volunteer groups in the neighborhood. All groups and community members are welcome to volunteer to provide meals and will be able to use the state of the art kitchen facilities on site at Nyer Urness House. The property features a roof top garden area for residents and staff to relax and connect while enjoying the amazing views out towards Fishermen’s Terminal. Nyer Urness House will also feature a community room, which seats up to 50 people, available for complimentary use by all members of our community.

In terms of the future residents of Nyer Urness House, Besunder emphasizes that Compass Alliance are looking for people who are in the greatest need of permanent housing. The project aims to assist homeless people who, without permanent housing, may face loosing their life. “Nyer Urness House is a serviced enriched project geared to those most in need. The project will give residents a place both to connect and to regain their health,” said Besunder. Residents will be asked to pay 30 percent of their income in rent, which will be nothing for those who are yet to secure a way to earn a living.

Of the 80 apartments, 45 are currently sponsored by local groups, churches, individuals and community organizations. Compass Alliance are welcoming inquiries about sponsorship and aim to have all rooms sponsored by the opening next month. Sponsorship is $1000 to provide all that is needed for one studio apartment. Sponsors have the opportunity to have a dedication signed placed nearby the rooms that they choose to sponsor. If you are interested in sponsoring an apartment click here or contact Amy Besunder at for more information. If you want to donate items to the project click here to see the what is currently needed for donation.

Compass Housing Alliance also welcome volunteers who want to be involved in the project in any capacity. The project needs volunteers this Saturday, March 30 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to assist in arranging the apartments. Nyer Urness House also needs volunteers to assist in making the daily meals once the house is up and running. If you or your organization are interested in volunteering contact Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Freidrich at

Nyer Urness House will host two opening events for the general public.  The official ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to noon. This event will be followed by tours of the house for the general public. On Sunday, April 7 a blessing and open house will be held from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Nyer Urness House is a community organization that is sure to have a big impact on both our local homeless community and our neighborhood as a whole. It provides locals with the opportunity to give back and make a real impact on the life of those who have lived on the streets. “This project will allow residents to travel along a journey towards health and wellbeing,” said Besunder.

To find out more about this project click here to check out the Compass Housing Alliance website.

Ballard Chamber After Hours event set for Thursday

Ballard Chamber of Commerce will host an after hours event at Washington Federal Bank (2020 NW Market St) this Thursday, March 28. To celebrate its Grand Opening Washington Federal is sponsoring the event which will be held from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Branch Manager Tracey Cruise and her team will host the event with appetizers, wine and beer courtesy of Washington Federal’s neighbor – Kangaroo and Kiwi.

Guests will have the chance to win an Ipad, a Kindle and other great prizes. Live music will entertain guests and Tracey Cruise is set to perform.

All are welcome and entry is complimentary. To RSVP contact Sue Allegra at by Wednesday, March 27.

Tree clearing by railway giant angers Ballard locals

Ballard locals have been angered by tree clearing carried out by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) in Salmon Bay natural area. Trees have been removed by BNSF near the railroad bridge west of Ballard locks, along the Burke-Gilman Trail.

BNSF crews are reportedly clearing a significant number of trees from the west end of the Salmon Bay natural area. My Ballard readers have emailed us expressing their outrage about the clear cutting. “Community volunteers who have worked on this project for years with Seattle Public Utilities were not informed of the work,” wrote reader Dave Boyd.

According to KOMO News, BNSF representative Gus Melonas stated that the project, which started last week, is in response to safety concerns. “With both freight and passenger trains moving through the area, Melonas said BNSF needs the extra visibility for important communication functions.”

City of Seattle officials report that BNSF could be fined up to $500 per day for cutting trees without the proper permit. “They have not obtained any sort of approval from our department. It appears they may have done that with the state at the state level, but have not done that locally with the city of Seattle. So that should have been done,” said Bryan Stevens with the Seattle Planning and Development Department.

According to the KOMO News article,  Melonas stated that his crews are working only on BNSF land and they have a permit to remove the trees.

Stevens still firmly believes that BNSF need to gain permission from the City of Seattle and need to provide a reason why the trees need to be removed.

The matter is now under investigation by the the Seattle Planning and Development Department.

We will keep readers informed about developments in the investigation.

Thanks to My Ballard reader Dave Boyd for the tip and for the photo.

Another sports filled week at BHS

Once again, it is a huge week for BHS athletes. Go along and support our young sports stars at their sports events this week!

Tuesday March 26:

  • Golf: Girls Varsity vs. Skyline at Ballard High School 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: C Team League vs. Roosevelt at Soundview Playfield 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Varsity Game vs. Skyline at Skyline High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Junior Varsity Game vs. Skyline at Ballard High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: Junior Varsity vs. Interlake at Interlake High School at 4:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Junior Varsity vs. Inglemoor at Interbay 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Varsity vs. Inglemoor at Interbay 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday March 27:

  • Soccer: Boys C Team vs. Lake Washington at Ballard High School 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: Junior Varsity vs. Issaquah at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Varsity vs. Bothell at Bothell High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Junior Varsity vs. Bothell at Ballard High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Issaquah at Issaquah High School 4 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: Varsity vs. Eastlake at Lower Woodland Softball Field 3 – 4 p.m.
  • Baseball: C Team vs. Inglemoor at Inglemoor High School 6 p.m.

Thursday March 28:

  • Golf: Girls Varsity vs. Redmond at Jackson Golf Course 3:00 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: Junior Varsity vs. Redmond at Gilman Ballfield 1 – 3:30 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Varsity Game vs. Issaquah at Lower Woodlands Tennis Courts 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Junior Varsity Game vs. Issaquah at Issaquah High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: C Team vs. Cheif Sealth at SW Athletic Complex 4 p.m.
  • Track and Field: Varsity and Junior Varsity vs. Bothell at Bothell High School 4 p.m.
  • Baseball: C Team vs. Woodinville at Woodinville High School 7 p.m.

Friday March 29:

  • Fastpitch: C Team vs. Nathan Hale at Meadowbrook Field 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: Junior Varsity Game vs. Skyline at Skyline High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity Game vs. Skyline at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Junior Varsity Game vs. Bothell at Bothell High School 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Varsity Game vs. Bothell at Bothell High School 7:30 p.m.

Saturday March 30:

  • Baseball: C Team vs. Cheif Sealth at SW Athletic Complex 3:30 p.m.

Discovery Park overlook closes due to slide acitvity

Seattle Parks and Recreation have closed the North Bluff Overlook and viewing platform at Discovery Park. The closed areas are located directly west of the Daybreak Star Cultural Center (5011 Bernie Whitebear Way).

Increased slide activity on the north bluff near the viewing platform is the reason for the closure. Seattle Parks and Recreation crews are currently working to asses the damage and stability of the viewing platform. The platform is currently fenced off and closed to public use.

To find out more about Discovery Park and the platform closure click here.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Parks and Recreation. The photo shows the Discovery Park Visitors Center which remains open.

SDOT releases update about Greenways Project on NW 58th St

SDOT released a letter highlighting the progress of the Greenways Project to be constructed on NW 58th St last week. In the letter, Mary Rutherford, SDOT Division Director of Traffic Management, encouraged locals to attend the next Ballard Greenways open house event to be held at Ballard High School in the Lunchroom from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m on April 11th. Check out the updates in her letter below:

I am writing today to share plans about making NW 58th Street an even safer place for residents to walk and ride bikes. Hopefully you are aware of work the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) has been doing to create a neighborhood greenway along NW 58th Street from the Burke-Gilman Trail at Seaview Avenue NW and to Fourth Avenue NW. We want to make sure you know about the project and have a chance to talk to us. This letter provides an update on the progress we’ve made to date and has details on an upcoming open house being held April 11.

First, a little about neighborhood greenways. Neighborhood greenways are residential streets that form a connected route for people who are walking or biking. They are streets that already have low volumes of auto traffic and low speeds, and where adding things like pavement markings, signs, speed humps and crossing improvements, can make it safer and easier for walking and biking. These amenities can be especially beneficial for families, children, and seniors who might find these routes more comfortable than busier nearby streets. Neighborhood greenways can improve access to schools, community centers, parks, libraries and local businesses. They are new to Seattle, but are having great success in other cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis, Tucson and Portland.

Last summer, SDOT hosted a public meeting and proposed adding a neighborhood greenway along Northwest 58th Street. We got a lot of good feedback and followed up on the request we do more outreach about the project. Over the past several months, we’ve met with the East Ballard Community Association, the Central Ballard Resident’s Association, business community representatives and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. Their input, along with other feedback received at the open house and through emails and letters has had a positive influence on the project proposal.

Based on feedback and our evaluation of the proposed project components, we have concluded that NW 58th Street is the best location for a greenway in the area and have made refinements to the original proposal. For example, the proposed crossing improvements at 24th Avenue NW no longer include a median island. Instead we will be using flashing beacons that are activated by people walking or biking to alert drivers that someone is crossing. We also heard concerns about whether parking will be affected. On-street parking stays the same on NW 58th Street and stop signs will be added at some cross streets. As at all stop signs in Seattle, to ensure pedestrian visibility, there will be no parking within 30feet of the sign. We understand that the greenway concept may not appeal to everyone, but we believe there is support for making improvements that will benefit the community as a whole.

We’ve also heard interest in expanding greenways in Ballard to form a network of connected streets in the neighborhood – the “Ballard Box” idea. SDOT has started gathering preliminary data and will ask people about possible routes at the April open house. This is just the start of the outreach process and more will follow in the coming months. The open house will be held April 11 in the Ballard High School Lunchroom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. A presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer session. This is an opportunity to get the latest project details, ask questions, provide input and learn more about the schedule.

If you want to learn more about the project click here to read information from the Greenways Project “Question and Answer” page. Alternatively, if you have questions or comments contact SDOT Project Manager Doug Cox at or (206) 684 – 8264.

To learn more about neighborhood greenways check out Ballard Greenways website here and click here to check out the citywide Seattle Neighborhood Greenways’ website.

We will continue to keep readers informed about the progress of this exciting project.

Photo courtesy of Ballard Greenways. This photo shows a section of NW 58th St where the greenways project will be implemented.

Paving project on 3rd Ave NW set for this week

SDOT will grind and pave 3rd Ave NW between NW 112th St and NW 117th St on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 26 and 27. Crews will be working from 9:00 6:00 p.m. on both days.

During the scheduled maintenance the bus stop southbound just south of NW 115th Street will be closed and will be be shifted to just north of NW 117th Street.

Drivers taking this route should expect delays and plan accordingly.

This project is part of the 2013 Arterial Major Maintenance Program.

Click on the map above to get a detailed view of the project area.

Ballard resident has moped stolen from home


Elliot Padilla sent us an email to say that Ballard local, Billy, found the moped wrapped in a tarp and locked to a tree on April 3. Billy had seen an Instagram post and contacted Padilla at work to reunite the moped with its owner. Thank you to everyone who helped in the search!

Original Post:

Local resident Elliot Padilla had his moped stolen from his building on 26th St NW and NW 56th St. The moped was locked up behind his home when it was taken on March 15th.

Padilla notified SPD and is yet to find any leads on the culprit or the location of his moped. “Someone stole my pride and joy that I’ve been working on for the last three years,” said Padilla.

If you have any information or know the location of the moped contact Padilla at (805) 431 – 5845 or contact the SPD North Precinct Burglary/Theft department at (206) 684-573.

Alternatively, you can email us at and we will pass on the information.