Free helmets for kids today at Ballard Commons Park

Today is the free helmet giveaway at Ballard Commons Park, happening from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The giveaway happens thanks to Seattle Children’s Hospital, who will be providing helmets for kids ages 1- to 18-years old.  There will also be free multi-sports helmets available for children ages 5 to 18.

Helmets will only be given to children who are present at the giveaway. The helmets are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis, and there is a limited quantity, so get there early. Learn more about the giveaway here.

Sustainable Ballard to hold 5th annual Edible Garden Tour this Saturday

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The 5th annual Edible Garden Tour will be organized by Sustainable Ballard this Saturday, June 29. The tour will be start at Trinity United Methodist Church (6512 23rd Ave NW) and will run from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The tour is pedestrian-friendly and will feature Ballard veggie gardens highlighting containers, raised beds, planting strips, chicken coops, fruit trees, berries, bees, and more. Attendees can meet the gardeners, ask questions, and be inspired by their neighbors’ gardens.

The tour includes a dozen gardens to explore within walking or biking distance of Trinity United Methodist Church and Salmon Bay School. Ticket includes a map of the gardens and one raffle entry for gardening books, supplies, and Fiskars tools. Northwest gardening authors will be on hand to answer gardening questions.

Tickets cost $10 (kids are free) and can be purchased in the parking lot west of Trinity United Methodist Church on the day of the tour. The money raised from ticket sales will go towards Sustainable Ballard’s community projects.

For more information about the event click here.

Inspirational Ballard writer cracks New York Times bestseller list

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Local writer Ingrid Ricks is one inspirational and successful Ballardite. The local Mom of two has hit number 20 on the New York Times bestseller list with her self published coming-of-age memoir, Hippie Boy. The My Ballard team had the pleasure of sitting down with Ricks to chat about her writing career and the path that led her to where she is today.

Ricks is one tough cookie with an inspirational story and message to boot. In 2004, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that, over time, is slowly stealing her eyesight. “When I was diagnosed I was devastated,” says Ricks. “I was terrified of being a burden to my husband and my family”. It was then that the former journalist was sent to Africa to cover an AIDS story for the African Children’s Choir, which put everything into perspective and gave her the determination to live her life to the full. After the trip, instead of wallowing in self pity Ricks got up, dusted herself off and and, she puts it, gave herself permission to go after her dreams.

In terms of those dreams, she had always wanted to write a memoir about her childhood. So, in 2009 she started memoir writing classes and building her knowledge of writing narrative non-fiction. However, Ricks was still on the edge of embarking on the project that she had longed to start for many years until her daughters gave her the final push. “We were walking down the street and my daughters bent over pretending to walk with a cane and said “My book, my book I have to finish my book,” remembers Ricks. While at that exact moment she felt upset and bit her lip to stop from crying, she knew that this push was exactly what she needed to give herself permission to embark on fulfilling one of her dreams.

The realization of that dream was complete when, in October 2011, Ricks launched her self-published memoir Hippie Boy: A Girl’s StoryThe memoir tells the story of her life growing up with a devoutly Mormon mother and step-father and her experiences of finding her own voice and life along the way. Since self-publishing Hippie Boy, and having the story shared on NPR’s Snap Judgement, Ricks has continued to realize her dreams publishing two more memoirs, Focus and A Little Book of Mormon (or not so Mormon) Stories

On top of writing and self-publishing her memoirs, Ricks has also been busy inspiring youth to find their voice and power through writing. In 2012, Ricks co-founded a teen mentoring/publishing program at Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds with teacher Marjie Bowker. Ricks and Bowker collaborated on the project and used Hippie Boy as a guide for a month long course to empower students through writing. At the end of the course emotions ran high at a reading where the students shared the stories that they had written about their own lives. From there the program expanded, allowing the teens to write and publish their own stories, culminating in a published story collection We Are Absolutely Not Ok. Ricks and Bowker then launched a website to facilitate teens helping teens through storytelling. The program is still in full swing, with funding on the way, and has been featured in Reader’s Digest, in The Seattle Times and on King 5’s New Day Northwest. “We want to have a spotlight on the serious issues that teens face,” says Ricks. “It’s been life changing for some of the teens involved.”

If you thought that between writing, self-publishing and co-founding a teen mentor program that Ricks would not have time for more, you thought wrong. Throughout this whole experience Ricks has been trying to build awareness about Retinitis Pigmentosa Diagnosis and share her personal story through her blog Determined to On the blog Ricks shares her experiences, treatments that she has tried and generally promotes the message to embrace all that life has to offer. “Life is short, embrace the moment,” says Ricks.

In terms of advice to others who are facing Retinitis Pigmentosa Diagnosis, Ricks points to one important thing. “I never thought it would come down to something as simple as diet. Focus on diet and lifestyle,” says Ricks. She points to following the alkaline based diet coined by Kris Carr in her book Crazy, Sexy, Diet.

Ricks is an inspirational and passionate person who we are sure to hear more from in the future. She inspires others through her writing, speaking and general outlook on life. So, to sum it all up, in the words of Ricks, “when you really go after your dreams and give them everything you’ve got, the Universe has a way of making them happen.”

Photo courtesy of

Preschool at the Harbor opens enrollment for the fall

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Preschool at the Harbor (PATH), located at 9204 11th Ave NW, have just opened their enrollment for the fall. PATH opened in September 2012 and are part of the ministry of Harbor Church.

PATH offers morning preschool classes for children 3 – 5 years old. Classes run from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, and include lots of stories, music, games, and learning through play. “We believe that young children learn best by doing, and by finding activities that they plan, carry out, and reflect upon,” writes Pastoral Director Jana Koh.

Classes are offered everyday and scholarships are offered for all class options.

For more information check our their website here or email P.A.T.H at

‘Dine like a Subscriber’ at Belle Clementine next month

Belle Clementine (5451 Leary Ave), the unique meal-by-subscription restaurant, is offering one-off subscriber dinners on select dates during the month of July. Guests who book dinner reservations on July 5, 11, 12, or 18 and mention the “Dine Like a Subscriber” offer will get the special subscriber price for the restaurant’s four-course dinner ($33 per person) and a 15 percent discount on bottles of wine purchased during the meal.

Regular subscriptions at Belle Clementine operate like season tickets to the symphony or a sports team. That means guests can purchase a package of meals that can be used throughout the year, which includes some special pricing and perks, such as a no-tipping policy, 15 percent off bottles of wine, invitations to subscriber-only events and preferred booking.

Belle Clementine opened in Ballard in December 2011. Chef and owner David Sanford wanted to make it feel like a home-style gathering, saying he wants it to feel approachable, “like eating at a friend’s house,” as he told the Seattle Met when it opened.

The restaurant only offers one dinner seating per night by reservation only, Thursday through Saturday, at 7 p.m. Sunday brunches are available from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and don’t require reservations. To see a calendar of events, click here.

Crown Hill Grocery Outlet kicks off month-long food drive next week

Starting next week, the Crown Hill Grocery Outlet will start their month-long food drive to benefit needy Seattle residents. The company-wide Independence from Hunger Food Drive starts July 1, and the Crown Hill store is taking food and cash donations to benefit the Fallen Brothers of Seattle, a community veteran outreach program. Summer months are typically slow for food bank donations, so the Grocery Outlet is hoping to help alleviate the slow period.


Photo courtesy Grocery Outlet

Here’s how you can help, from the Grocery Outlet:

• Look for specialty-marked food items OR a non-food toiletries bag. These are items that are in need for the community. Purchase these items and put them in “BLUE COLLECTION BIN” at the front of the store.

• Tell a Crown Hill Grocery Outlet cashier that you would like to make a cash donation at the register. ALL MONEY RAISED will go DIRECTLY to Fallen Brothers of Seattle. Likewise, all donated food and non-food donations go directly to Fallen Brothers of Seattle.

Over the past two years, the Grocery Outlet has raised over $500,000 in cash, gift cards, non-food and food donations company-wide. Get updates from the outlet at their Facebook page.

Well loved Ballard crab fisherman passes away at age 75

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It is with great sadness that we report the passing of well loved Ballard crab fisherman Arne Haugen on June 7. Haugen meant a great deal to many in the Ballard community and the local crab fishing industry.

Haugen was born in Norway in 1938 and eventually found his way to Ballard with his wife Judy. He was a prominent member of the Ballard community and will be missed by the many that knew him. “Arne, young at heart, and with a warm spirit made an impression on many. He is in the hearts and memories of the entire Ballard community,” wrote reader Tom Kluge, who emailed to inform us of Haugen’s passing.

The below obituary was written by his family and appeared in The Seattle Times:

Arne Ludolf Haugen was born in Karmoy, Norway on April 10th, 1938 and passed peacefully on June 7th, 2013 at his home surrounded by family.

He spent his whole life on the ocean, first joining the Merchant Marines as a teenager traveling the world. Arne eventually found his way to Ballard, WA where he met Judy and started his family. Arne loved life as a crab fisherman and captain but nothing made him happier than spending time with family especially his four grandchildren who were his pride and joy.

Arne is survived by his wife Judy, children Denise (Matt), Jeff and Scott (Tara); grandchildren Kelsey, Owen, LeRoy and Ava. He also leaves behind his brother Nils (Ida), sister Maria, sister in law Anne, brother in law Alf along with many nieces and nephews.

Arne never met a person that wasn’t a friend. He was loved by all who knew him and will be greatly missed.

At Arne’s request, no memorial service will be held and his ashes are to be spread in the waters that he loved. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Shoreline Fire Dept. Medic’s or the University of Washington Oncology Department which all took very good care of him.

Our thoughts are with Haugen’s family and friends at this difficult time.

Danie Skredsvig crowned winner of Ballard Fitness Fest

Danie Skredsvig has taken out the number one spot at the fourth annual Ballard Fitness Fest. The competition challenged locals to loose the most weight over a three month period and was held at Ballard’s EDGE Personal Training (2821 NW Market St).

Skredsvig took the crown after losing 13lbs of body fat, a total of 8% of her overall body fat over the 3 month competition. However, she did not enter with winning in mind. She entered the competition back in February after a long period of melancholia as she knew that regular exercise could help. “I stumbled upon the Fitness Fest post on the My Ballard blog just in time to squeak into one of the last weigh-in spots, and once there, the body fat percentage test startled me enough to add physical fitness to my cadre of motivating factors,” says Skredsvig.

Once the competition was underway, Skredsvig committed to regular sessions at EDGE to improve her fitness. “I’ve never been very athletic, so I decided to sign up for personal training sessions with Erik so I could learn what I should be doing, how I should be doing it, and how often it needed to be done,” says Skredsvig. “Then I just thought of the physical tasks as the homework necessary to solidify the acquisition of this new skill,” she continues.

In terms of what exactly she did to secure the crown, Skredsvig points to a combination of cardio and regular weights sessions. During the competition Skredsvig found completing cardio exercise four to six days a week easy enough, however, found weight training excruciating. “I scheduled weight-training sessions with Erik every other week, and the fear of telling him that I hadn’t done it on my own that forced me into doing it even though I wanted to Rumplestiltskin my way out every single time,” says Skredsvig.

The Ballard Fitness Fest has been instrumental in shaping Skredsvig attitude to approaching exercise. The competition motivated her to look at exercise as something that she needed to do everyday, just like showering or brushing her teeth. “As long as you can trick yourself into starting to exercise, your body will usually comply. And if it doesn’t, don’t sweat it. Just show up and try again tomorrow,” shares Skredsvig.

Will she be going after the crown come next year’s competition? The answer is a resounding yes. “I keep joking that after my personal training sessions are all used up, I’m going on a strict pizza diet so I’ll have lots to work with come February next year. But really, I can’t wait to see where I am next year at this time,” says Skredsvig.

Skredsvig shared the podium with other motivated Ballardites who committed to losing weight throughout the competition. Shawn Behling was crowned 1st Runner Up after she lost 24lbs overall and 6.5% body fat, Michelle Rosenthal won 2nd Runner Up, losing 20+ lbs. overall and 3.1% body fat, and Kate Makinson took out 3rd Runner Up losing over 3.2% and over 6.5lbs of body fat. Honorable mentions also go to Adam Davis, Mary Durkan, Matt Grover and Catherine Schiffler who narrowly missed out on the top spots!

EDGE owner Erik Hroncich was reportedly thrilled with the compeition and especially the first all-female podium!

Congratulations to everyone that participated!

Car stolen from front of owner’s house on 10th Ave NW

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Readers Cody and Meryl Jones emailed in to report that their 1990 Toyota Landcruiser was stolen from out the front of their house at approximately 2 a.m. on Saturday. The car was parked on 10th Ave NW between NW 67th and 70th Streets when it was taken.

The Landcruiser is silver/grey with a thin red stripe along the sides and has Crimson Cougar plates, L124WSU and a safari cage rack on top. The back window also has a cougar logo decal along with a Vermont Catamounts V sticker. The roof and hood have a bit of heat wear and discoloration.

The Jones family filed a police report immediately after they heard the car start and drive away. “All extra eyes on the road looking for this beloved member of our family would be greatly appreciated,” writes Cody.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of the car please email Cody at or email us at and we will pass on the information.

Farm fresh deliveries by sailboat start this weekend

paula_jenson_loading_bicycleThe local produce delivery company Salish Sea Trading will resume its deliveries for the summer starting on Sunday. The trading company operates using community-shared sailboats, transporting locally produced goods around the Puget Sound. They’ll be starting up the season this weekend with CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes of veggies arriving at Aster Coffee Lounge on Sunday, June 30 between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. This week’s delivery will include all-organic beets, broccoli, butter lettuce, cilantro, carrots, kale, leaf lettuce, and sugar snap peas from Dharma Ridge Farms in Port Ludlow.

Here is their Ballard drop-off schedule for the next several months:

  • Sunday, July 13th
  • Sunday, July 27th
  • Sunday, August 11th
  • Sunday, August 25th
  • Sunday, September 8th
  • Sunday, September 22nd
  • Sunday, October 6th
  • Sunday, October 20th
  • Sunday, November 24th (Thanksgiving!)

If you’re interested in getting a CSA box from Salish Sea Trading, email the company at at least four days before the sail date. The price is $30 for a small box. Click here for more info on Salish Sea Trading.

Above: Salish Sea Trading customer Paula Jenson loading up her bicycle with CSA produce. Photo courtesy Salish Sea Trading