SPD report break-ins at three North Seattle pot dispensaries

SPD reported that burglars broke into three North Seattle pot dispensaries, including one in Ballard, last Sunday, April 28. Check out more about the burglaries from the SPD blotter:

Showing a blatant disregard for the sanctity of business hours, burglars broke into three different pot dispensaries in North Seattle earlier this week.

Police got their first report of an attempted dispensary burglary just before 3 am Sunday, after a witness called 911 after he spotted two men—holding what looked like crowbars—standing at the back door of a pot shop on NE 143rd and Greenwood Avenue.

When officers arrived, the suspects were gone and the business hadn’t been broken into. However, officers found pry marks around the dispensary’s back door.

That evening, around 11:30 pm, burglars broke into another dispensary at NE 123rd Street and 15th Avenue NE, where they cracked open a display case containing pot cookies and a computer.

Finally, at about 6pm Monday, burglars smashed open the door of yet another dispensary at NW 77th and 15th Avenue NW, tried to steal a TV and an Xbox, but left with a computer monitor instead.

Detectives are working to get more information from the businesses targeted in the burglaries, and it’s not yet clear whether the suspects took any pot during the break-ins—bales of weed are a bit harder to inventory than TVs, computers, and other things with serial numbers.

Police are also investigating a possible connection in at least two of the cases.

Purple Dragon Healing Arts celebrates 2 years with free community acupuncture

Purple Dragon Healing Arts Community Acupuncture Studio (7324 15th Ave NW) are all set to celebrate their two year anniversary this Wednesday, May 1st. There day is packed with festivities for locals including free acupuncture appointments. Check out the event schedule below:

  • 1:00 – 5:00  Free Acupuncture (appointment or walk-in)
  • 5:00 – 8:00  Open House Reception
  • 6:00 – 8:00  Sax Attack! jazz duo with Dr. Boyd Phelps on saxophone and Collin Provence on piano

Check out their website for more information and to book a free acupuncture appointment.

Community meeting at site of new Ballard green homes set for this afternoon

Seattle company Green Canopy Homes are hosting a community meeting at the building site of four energy-efficient row houses (822 NW 49th St) today at 4 p.m. Green Canopy homes are building the houses with part finance from the Housing Finance Commission’s Sustainable Energy Trust.

Green Canopy Homes bought the property for the energy-efficient homes, now dubbed the “Maritme Lofts”, with the assistance of a lower-interest loan from Sustainable Energy Trust (SET).

“This is an exciting project for us,” said Aaron Fairchild, CEO of Green Canopy Homes. “It’s our first new construction project in North Seattle that will be priced under $400,000, and will provide highly efficient, comfortable and modern homes at competitive prices.”

When completed, Maritime Lofts will use at least 30% less energy than comparable row houses, which dramatically lowers the cost of ownership. “The goal is to price these houses competitively so that with their energy efficiencies, the owners will have a good investment with cost savings for years to come,” says Fairchild.

Maritime Lofts will feature three levels of living space, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and individual rooftop gardens. Off-street parking will also be available for each unit.

To build the properties Green Canopy Homes borrowed funds from the Commission’s Sustainable Energy Trust (SET) at an interest rate well below market. The SET was established by the commission in 2009 with an aim to increase access to below-market-rate financing for energy-related projects and to expand the pool of lenders who are active in the state’s energy sector.

“We’re committed to fostering energy efficiency because it directly contributes to affordable housing,” explained Avi Jacobson, senior sustainability energy coordinator for the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. “We are glad to partner once again with Green Canopy Homes on an exciting efficient housing development and we look forward to more such projects.”

All are welcome to attend the community meeting to learn more about the Maritime Lofts and Green Canopy Homes.

The Viking says its final goodbye to Ballard

The iconic Viking Tavern (6404 24th Ave NW) is set to close tomorrow after serving locals since 1950. The Viking is being demolished by developer Bill Parks to make way for new apartment complex “Ballard Lofts”. Check out our previous coverage here.

The My Ballard team paid a visit to the tavern on Sunday night to capture a glimpse of the atmosphere before tomorrow’s closure.

Viking regulars have spent the weekend savoring the memories and reminiscing with friends and staff members who have gathered together at the tavern for decades. The atmosphere of the tavern was warm and friendly, a group of friends gathering together to say their goodbyes to a place that has clearly added so much to their lives.

Regulars Hector, Tiffany, Jen and Paul shared their thoughts and feelings on the closure. “This is a place that matters. An epic part of Ballard is being flushed down the toilet,” said regular Hector. Tiffany echoed Hector’s feelings stating that the Viking “means so much to us all” and believes that the closure will disrupt friendships that have been years in the making. Paul added that he understood that there is good and bad with every change but said “I don’t know why we need more condos in Ballard.”

Andy Clark, the first bouncer in the history of The Viking who volunteers his service, observed that the closure was “sad on so many levels.” “It is doubly sad that condos are going here. We don’t need those as much as we need an historic icon,” said Clark. When asked about the next step for Viking regulars, he was unsure as to where they would gather after tomorrow’s closure. “We will have to find a new place,” said Clark.

There were murmurings that The Viking was to re-open in a new space in the “Ballard Lofts” complex once it is built, however, Clark confirmed that “the owners have no interest in that.”

It is evident that The Viking will be mourned by locals and regulars alike and the tavern is sure to remain packed until it closes tomorrow night. To sum it all up, as Viking regular Hector puts it, “if Ballard had a theme song at the moment it would be Another One Bites the Dust.”

Thank you to The Viking staff and regulars for their thoughts and time.

Billy Beach Sushi and Bar set to beckon Ballardites this week

According to a post on Seattle Met’s NOSH Pit blog the much anticipated opening of Billy Beach Sushi (5463 Leary Ave NW) is set for this Wednesday, May 1st. Check out our post earlier this month for more information about the exciting new eatery, owned by chef Billy Beach who also owns the well-known downtown sushi spot Japonessa.

NOSH Pit reports that happy hour, called “Beach hour”, will be plentiful at Ballard’s newest sushi bar. It will run all day Sunday and everyday from lunchtime to 7:30 p.m. After a quick pause it will be back on at 10 p.m. “It’s all-day Beach, basically,” reports blogger Allecia Vermillion.

The space has been redecorated from its former incarnation as Ballard favorite Paratti Craft Bar and will seat 46 with an additional 18 seats in the 21-and-over bar area.

The My Ballard team will stop by later this week to get more details about the exciting opening. Stay tuned!

Photo courtesy of NOSH Pit Blog. Photo credit – Morgan Schuler.

Nellie’s Coffee and Toast closes its doors in Ballard

After three years at its second location near the Ballard Locks (3005 NW 54th St) Nellie’s Coffee and Toast closed on Saturday. The cafe was previously located at the corner of 17th Ave NW and NW 56th.

My Ballard reader Amy emailed in reporting the closure. “Nellies was told April 22nd that their last day would be April 28th.  They were asked not to discuss it, but there was a sign up sheet for an email list,” wrote Amy. “If you want to cry in your coffee, it’s the place to be right now.  Super super super sad news,” Amy continued. Owners Jeanette and Todd were unable to comment on the reason behind the closure when we contacted them last week.

Ballardites will now find the cafe bare and closed with a sign (pictured) posted on the window.

We will continue to investigate and update readers with more information about the closure when more is known.

Nominations open for 10th annual Ivar’s Teacher of the Year awards

Ivar’s and Kidd Valley Puget Sound Restaurants have opened nominations for their 10th annual Teacher of the Year awards. Students from kindergarten through eight grade are invited to nominate their best teachers for the awards which are being held next month to coincide with National Teacher Appreciation Month.

The teacher who is chosen as Ivar’s 2013 Teacher of the Year will receive a $1000 Gift Certificate for class supplies at the store of their choice. The student who nominated them will win an Ivar’s Kids Meal for their class, a visit by Ivar’s Dancing Clam and an admission ticket to Imagine Children’s Museum. In addition to Teacher of the Year grand prize, the contest will also award four teachers a first prize of a $150 gift card for school supplies, and 30 teachers will receive second prize of a $25 Ivar’s gift card.

Students can nominate teachers by completing an official entry form at Ballard Ivar’s Seafood Bar (6000 15th Ave NW) or can nominate online here. In addition to the entry form, students can also submit optional artwork or photo as “extra credit” that best represents their appreciation. Official Teacher of the Year rules can be found here and entries close May 27.

“The Teacher of the Year contest was inspired by heart-warming stories of teachers’ positive contributions in and out of the classroom,” says Ivar’s public relations representative Jamie Hinz. The awards seek to honor teachers who go above and beyond to teach, mentor and support students. Last year’s winners.

Last year’s grand prize winners were William Levin of Hamilton International Middle School and Mark Owen of Highland Terrace Elementary School.

Loyal Heights Elementary’s production set to give audiences the “golden ticket” this weekend

Loyal Heights Elementary will present the musical production Willy Wonka Junior this weekend (Saturday May 4th at 6 p.m. and Sunday May 5th at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m) at the Ballard High School Auditorium (1418 NW 65th St).

The entire student body was invited to audition for the production and all who auditioned were cast in the musical. The script calls for just 30 but this production of Willy Wonka Junior boasts a cast of 173 students ages five – eleven years old, involving 45% of the student body.

Last year Loyal Heights performed Seussical Junior with a cast of 119, including a cameo appearance by their Principal. This year Willy Wonka Junior will feature an additional 10 cast members, who’s identities will not be revealed until the performances this weekend.

The production is not a fundraiser for Loyal Heights, alternatively, the goal is to expose students to theatre.“It’s truly amazing to see a kindergartener, who nervously clutched her stuffed animal and could barely convince herself to speak at auditions, “belt it out” on stage in front of a live audience,” says Producer Bret Ashlee Watson. “You can see the joy and sense of accomplishment on their faces,” continues Ashlee. When asked about why she is involved in the production Watson is quick to respond. “I am involved hands down because of getting to spend time with the students, getting to know each one of them and then getting to see each of them shine on stage.”

Most students in the production are first timers to the stage and share Ashlee’s excitement for both the performances this weekend and the rehearsal process it has taken to get there. When asked why he wanted to be involved in who show First Grader Asher, who plays Mike Teavee, says “because I thought it’d be really fun. I was right!” Third Grader Tova, who plays Veruca Salt, says “I wanted to be involved because I love singing and acting.” Fourth Grader Caroline, who plays Mrs. Gloop, pointed to rehearsals as her favorite part of the process so far. “I really like rehearsals because a lot of my friends are in the play and it’s cool to see them become a different person! It’s really fun to practice the songs and our lines,” says Caroline.

The production is directed by Carrie Stock, who has made six round trips from Los Angeles to offer her professional services free of charge. “To give back to a school the caliber of Loyal Heights, is investing in our futures leaders. The talent of teachers, students and with complete parent involvement, pulling for the same results, excellence with a warm fuzzy feeling, is a privilege for me,” says Stock.

In collaboration with Stock, Watson leads the team of over 90 parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and members of the Ballard community who have volunteered over 600 hours of their time to assist with various elements of the production. Volunteers have worked on making sets & props, sewing costumes, doing hair & make-up, photography, graphic design, and other “behind the scenes” tasks. The volunteers point to many reasons for participating in the production. “For some of these kids in the play, this will be their only theatrical experience. For some it will open new doors and new passions. Either way, the memories and pride of accomplishment will last. This is the kind of experience you cannot put a price tag on,” says volunteer treasurer Julie Giebel who assists with ticket sales and the company party.

The positive impact of the production on the school community and their extended families is obvious. Audience members will be traveling from at least four different states across the country and British Columbia and travelling as far as 1,200 miles to see this weekend’s production.

In anticipation of the performances Ashlee has some words of wisdom from Willy Wonka himself. “In the words of Willy Wonka himself, “A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.” Thanks for being nonsensical with us,” says Watson.

Tickets are now on sale and cost is $10 per person, children under 2 years are free. Tickets will only be sold online and can be purchased here. Scholarships are available through LHPTA by emailing president@loyalheightspta.org.

All proceeds from ticket sales go towards covering the cost of sets, props and costumes which have been designed and created for the production

Photos courtesy of Loyal Heights Elementary. Photo 1 – From left to right: Willy Wonka, played by Ian C. & Charlie Bucket, played by Isa C. Photo 2 – From left to right: Mike Teavee, played by Asher W., Ms. Teavee, played by Ella T., Violet, played by Jillian N., Mrs. Beauregarde, played by Addison L., Phineous Trout, played by Diego S., Mrs. Gloop, played by Caroline W., Augustus, played by Alex L., Veruca, played by Tova G., Mr. Salt, played by Eric Y. Photo 3: Ensemble of Squirrels.