Ballard Locks small chamber to close for annual maintenance next week

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks small chamber will close to marine traffic from 1 p.m., March 11 through 7 p.m., March 22. Crews will be conducting annual maintenance and safety inspections during the closure.

The large lock will continue to operate around-the-clock as usual and the closure will not affect foot traffic. Lock staff are aiming to get commercial traffic through as quickly as possible.

All pleasure boats will be using the large lock during the maintenance period and need to be prepared with appropriate equipment and crew. Large lock requirements include long lines and fenders to be on board. Click here to check out the current locking information if you are planning on traveling through the locks during the closure. Mariners may expect delays, depending on passage demand.

Most of the machinery and equipment are originals of the facility which began operation in 1917. This scheduled annual maintenance will allow dam safety experts and staff to dry out the small chamber for thorough safety inspections and repairs.

The Chittenden Locks are owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and are the busiest locks in the nation, locking through nearly 50, 000 vessels each year.

To find out more information and receive updates about the Chittenden Locks check out the Facebook page here or click here to visit Chittenden Locks’ twitter page.

Populuxe Brewing opens in Ballard tonight

The long-awaited nano-brewery Populuxe (826B NW 49th St) will open its doors tonight at 5 p.m. Locals will have an opportunity to check out this new spot for the first time tonight and tomorrow from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

The brewery will have three craft brews on tap over the opening weekend including a CDA, an ESB and an IPA. Local artist Naboo will also have artwork on display and available for purchase.

Head brewers Pete Charbonnier and Jiri Zatloukal will be on site to lead tours and answer questions.

Friday guests will have the opportunity to sample modern Mexican food from popular food truck Contigo . Those attending on Saturday can expect burgers and more from Happy Grillmore.

During the opening weekend neighborhood winery Domanico Cellars, who are located across the street, will be serving up wine and hosting an art and jewelry show. The show will feature local photographer Julie Parks and jeweler Francesca Blasen.

“Visit NW 49th where the beer is cold, the wine is delectable and the parking is free,” said Amy from Populuxe.

For more information about the brewery and the opening weekend event check out the Populuxe Brewing Blog.

Photo courtesy of Populuxe Brewery.

Lily lost in Ballard

Our reader Dave has emailed in to report his lost cat, Lily.

She is a grey and white tuxedo cat and was last seen last Sunday, March 3rd in northern Ballard (near Loyal Heights Elementary). She is mostly grey with white paws and white belly and weighs 12 pounds.

She has a collar with her name and Dave’s contact details however it is detachable and may have come off.

If you see Lily please contact Dave at (206) 356 – 4873 or email him at Alternatively, you can email us at and we will pass on the information.

Breaking news: 8th Ave NW blocked off at NW Market St due to HAZMAT situtation

4:05 p.m.

SPD Detective Jeff Kappel confirmed that the SFD Hazmat team responded to a 911 call from employees at Rain City video store near the Shell Station on 8th Ave NW. The employees called 911 to report a suspicious package of white powder that was found in a DVD case. Check out the SPD Blotter post below for more information:

Powder, not the movie, caused a scare at a Ballard video store this morning.

At approximately 11:28 a.m. officers and the fire department’s hazardous material (HAZMAT) team responded to the 700 block of NW Market Street for a 911 report of a suspicious substance. Preliminary investigation indicates that employees at a video store opened a DVD case and found a baggie with suspicious white powder in it. Officers cordoned off the area and temporarily shut down 8th Avenue NW between 54th and Market Street to all pedestrian and vehicular traffic while the HAZMAT team thoroughly examined the substance.

Once the substance was determined to be harmless, all traffic was re-opened.

Investigating officers took custody of the substance and booked it into evidence for further forensic examination and identification.

1: 45 p.m.

The SPD twitter feed just released the following statement:

Hazardous materials/suspicious substance incident in 700 blk of NW Market St is over. Units are clear and the road is open.

SPD media hotline representatives confirmed that the road block has just been cleared and that there was no further information to report at this stage. We will update readers when the SPD report about the incident becomes available later this afternoon.

1: 00 p.m.

SPD released the following statement on their twitter feed:

Officers have blocked off 8th Ave NW south of Mkt. Street as police/fire investigate a hazmat situation. Powder in an envelope. No injuries.

12:20 p.m.

Multiple readers have emailed in to report the closure of 8th Ave NW at NW Market St. Readers have reported multiple police cars and fire trucks.

“I was just driving south on 8th and had to be detoured due to an unusually large police and fire response to the block between 54th and Market on 8th. I saw at least three fire trucks and maybe about 8 police cars,” wrote reader April Brown.

According to the SPD Crime Map (see image), the SFD are responding to a hazmat situation.

We are investigating as we speak and will update readers with photos and information as soon as possible.

BECU film their latest commercial in Ballard

BECU is shooting its new commercial on the streets of Ballard today. They were seen shooting this morning at Bop Street Records (2220 NW Market St).

The crew also shot at their Ballard Square branch this morning and at multiple locations on Ballard Ave yesterday including the Sexton, The NY Fashion Academy and Conner Byrne. They will be shooting tomorrow at Woodland Park Zoo.

“Part of filming is finding great local locations that are recognizable  and really have the flavor of the Puget Sound. As Ballard is the new “center of the universe” we thought it would be a great location,” said BECU’s Marketing Vice President Stephen Black.

Black also mentioned the loyalty of customers in our area to the BECU Financial Center in Ballard (2232 NW Market St). According to Black,  store owners in Ballard are “really receptive” to the BECU film shooting in their stores.

The multi-media advertising campaign will be launched next month to celebrate the BECU membership and to focus on the key areas of mortgage, credit and remote account access.

Photos courtesy of BECU.

Adams Elementary choir to sing National Anthem at Mariners’ game

Adams Elementary School choir (6110 28th Ave NW) are all set to sing the National Anthem at a Mariners’ game. The students submitted an audition and were accepted to sing before the Mariners vs Oakland A’s game on May 11 at Safeco Field.

The students and teachers got word in late February and have been busily rehearsing for the event. “The kids went ballistic when they found out,” said Adams Elementary parent and chair of the PTA music booster program Rachel Rios.

The exciting event doubles as a fundraiser for the Adams Elementary music program. Their initial goal was to sell 300 tickets to the Mariners’ game, however they have reached that and are now onto their next ticketing block. Of all tickets sold a percentage of the proceeds will go directly to the school’s music program. There are still plenty of tickets available.

If you are interested in finding out more information or wanted to purchase a ticket to the game email Sara Diregorio at

Congratulations to the students and teachers! We will update readers with photos and more after the game in May.

The latest from Ballard Library

Good news for all Ballard Library fans (5614 22nd Ave NW). The Seattle Public Library has announced that patrons can place up to 50 items on hold at one time at all branch locations.

Patrons use the hold service to reserve items that are checked out someone else or are checked in at another Library location. When patrons put a hold on an item, they can also direct it to be sent to a more convenient Library pick-up location.

This increase is one of several changes brought about by approval from Seattle voters of the Library levy. Other changes include the increase in Sunday opening hours, higher availability of popular items, computer upgrades and improved building maintenance.

“It is clear that citizens in our community want their libraries open and the shelves filled,” said City Librarian Marcellus Turner. “We are excited to serve the public with improved resources and services.”

To find out more about events and services at the Ballard Branch of The Seattle Public Library click here.

Ballard artist opens exhibition at Seattle Creative Arts Center

Ballard resident and artist Howard Snyder opened his solo photography exhibition at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St) on March 4th.  The exhibition will display 20 large format color photographs of Snyder’s work as a fine art landscape photographer.

The exhibition will be held until March 31st and focuses on the outdoors and landscape of the Pacific Northwest. An opening reception will be held this Sunday, March 10 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Originally from Mexico City, Snyder has lived in the United States since 1999 and has spent the last 8 years in Seattle. Snyder has a background in visual communication and graphic design and began making photographs in 1994 as part of his college degree. Over time, his photography evolved from its academic roots to his own brand of distinct artistic expression.

“In 1996 I struggled with the decision to whether become a professional photographer or pursue a career in graphic design. I chose the latter,” said Snyder.

Snyder’s exhibition will comprise exclusively of landscape photographs that showcase the latest in digital photographic post-production. In his work, Snyder highlights many advanced digital dark room techniques such as multiple exposure blending and luminosity selections.

The exhibition will also feature work of international choreographer Diana Garcia-Snyder. Garcia-Snyder has created improvisation and choreography for the opening reception this weekend.

The show is now open to the public and is free of charge. It is partially funded by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and is also sponsored by Red River Paper.

For more information about the exhibition check out the Howard Snyder Landscape Photography Facebook page here.

Photos courtesy of Howard Snyder Landscape Photography.