Volunteer drivers needed to assist Maple Leaf seniors in Ballard


Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation are calling for volunteer drivers to provide vital transportation for Maple Leaf seniors in the Ballard area. Volunteer drivers use their own car and assist seniors in maintaining their independence by taking them to medical appointments.

The clients appreciate their improved access to medical care, meaningful interactions with caring volunteers, and increased peace of mind. “Unfortunately, the program does not have enough drivers to meet the demand for transportation from older residents of the Maple Leaf and surrounding neighborhoods,” writes Volunteer and Outreach Recruitment Coordinator Hilary Case.

This volunteer opportunity is flexible as the program schedules on a week-by-week bases. In terms of time commitment volunteers need to have some weekday daytime available, but this time does not need to be consistent. Drivers typically provide one ride per week, yet they can do more or less. “Let’s “drive the distance” to ensure that older residents of our community don’t get stranded!,” writes Case.

If you are interested in assisting the volunteer driver program call (206) 748-7588 or email Hilary at hilaryc@seniorservices.org. Case reports that drivers are not only needed in the Ballard area, but are needed all over Seattle.

For more information about the program click here to check out the volunteer transportation blog.

Check out the photo above of volunteer Hilary and client Helen. Photo courtesy of Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation. 

Reminder: Ballard Transit Expansion open house tonight at BHS

Tonight, from 5 to 7 p.m., Sound Transit is hosting an open house at the Ballard High School Commons (1418 NW 65th St.) to discuss options for a new light-rail or rapid street car between Ballard and downtown. At the meeting, they’ll look at the eight options for transit expansion, narrowed down from months of community input and meetings with the City of Seattle.

A few of the options on the table include drilling tunnels under Queen Anne and the Ship Canal (estimated at $2.3 – $3 billion) or about $500 million for tracks on the surface running just west of Lake Union, according to the Seattle Times. Other options include elevated tracks in some areas, and the creation of “cycle tracks,” which would be separate bike lines.

Tonight’s meeting will describe each of the potential routes for further community input. This week’s meeting is the second open house held this year, and after refining the route options later this summer, Sound Transit will hold another open house in the fall.

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 See.com. 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 ingridricks.com.

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 walkonthepath@gmail.com.

‘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.