Work party at Ballard Corners Park on Saturday

If you’re looking to get your hands dirty and get outside this weekend, there will be a fall work party on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Ballard Corners Park (17th Ave NW and NW 63rd St) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. The organizers say they’ll be weeding, pruning, spreading wood chip mulch, and cleaning up debris. “Many hands make light (and lighthearted!) work!,” organizer Gabriella writes. They’ll have some tools and refreshments for participants. Questions can be directed to Gabriella at

Ballard Halloween trick-or-treating map and safety tips

Happy Halloween! Get ready to see plenty of costumed families around downtown Ballard today, as the merchant trick-or-treating is from 4 to 6 p.m. Afterwards, many Ballard residents will be giving out candy – here’s a map:


The Seattle Police Department says that the number of pedestrian-car accidents is much higher on Halloween, and gives the following safety tips for drivers, parents, trick-or-treaters, and homeowners.


  • Stay alert for increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic on Halloween night.
  • Be patient and SLOW DOWN! Give children lots of time to cross the street. Costumes may impair their ability to see and hear you and to get out of your way quickly. Young children may lack the physical ability to cross a street quickly. They do not effectively evaluate potential traffic threats, cannot anticipate driver behavior and process sensory information more slowly than adults.
  • Excited kids may forget to “stop, look and listen” before crossing the street. Since they may be trying to visit as many houses as possible within a specific time period, children could quickly dart in front of your car.
  • Drive defensively. Don’t assume that a pedestrian will move in a predictable manner. Expect the unexpected.
  • Be extra cautious in areas where vehicles are parked along the side of the street. Trick-or-treaters may dart into traffic from between parked cars.
  • Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Also watch for children walking on medians and curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.


  • Trick-or-treaters should carry flashlights or “glow sticks.”
  • Dress children in costumes that are light-colored and clearly visible to motorists.
  • Use face paints or make-up rather than masks that could impair vision.
  • Wear light-colored clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags.
  • Small children should be accompanied by adults.
  • Older children should stay in groups.
  • Make sure props such as swords, scythes, pitchforks, spears, wands or knives are flexible (not rigid) with smooth or rounded tips to prevent eye or other injuries if fallen on.
  • If driving children to trick-or-treat, make sure they exit vehicle on the curb side and not the traffic side.
  • Instruct your children not to eat any candy until they bring it home and you examine it thoroughly. Inspect commercially wrapped candy for tampering (unusual appearance, discoloration, tiny pinholes or tears in wrappers). Discard anything suspicious. Throw out homemade treats.
  • Secure identification (name, address phone number) on or within a child’s costume.
  • Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they become lost or have an emergency. (9-1-1 service can be dialed free from any phone).


  • Don’t assume the right of way when crossing a street. Motorists may have trouble seeing you. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean they all will.
  • Be very cautious of strangers. A stranger is someone you don’t know who behaves in an inappropriate way. Adults asking children for help can be potentially dangerous.
  • Trick-or-treaters should only visit houses which have porch lights turned on.
  • Never enter a stranger’s house or vehicle. (Parents should stress “vehicle” because some children might think it is OK to approach a van or bus.)
  • Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Don’t run! Always walk when crossing streets or going from house to house.
  • Cross streets only at corners and crosswalks. Never cross the street from between parked cars.
  • Remove mask or any item restricting eyesight before crossing streets.
  • Don’t take shortcuts through back alleys or parking lots.
  • Look “left, right, left again” for cars before stepping off the curb to cross a street.
  • Stay away from and don’t pet animals you don’t know.
  • Don’t eat any treats until you get home.
  • Have an adult check all candy before eating it.
  • Stay focused on your surroundings. If you feel threatened, go to the nearest store or restaurant and ask to use the phone. Call parents or the police.


  • Turn on your porch light. Provide ample outdoor lighting.
  • Eliminate tripping hazards on your porch, yard and walkway. (Flower pots, lawn furniture, lawn decorations, bicycles, children’s toys, ladders, garden hoses, dog leashes, support wires, low tree limbs).
  • Pets can be frightened by Halloween activities. Restrain or bring them indoors to protect them from cars or accidentally hurting trick-or-treaters.


Pod of orcas spotted off North Beach

20131030-144350.jpgMy Ballard reader Jen Clark emailed in to report the sighting of a pod of orca whales off North Beach at 11am this morning.

Clark reported that the whales were headed southbound north of Golden Gardens almost mid channel. “There were about a dozen breaching and tail slapping,” writes Clark.

Check out Clark’s photo above shot at about 11am with Kingston Edmonds ferries in the background.

If you were lucky enough to see the orcas email and let us know at

Purple Dragon Healing Arts set to host acupuncture happy hour on Thursday nights

Purple Dragon Healing Arts (7324 15th Ave NW) is hosting acupuncture happy hour every Thursday from 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

The treatment includes 20-30 minutes of two ear pressure points and includes a cup of lavender tea. The treatment can be used to reduce stress, calm the body and ease anxiety.

“Acupuncture happy hour is a wonderful way to zone out and de-stress in the middle of your work week,” says Purple Dragon Healing Arts owner Linda Phelps.

For those who are adverse to needles an alternative non-invasive acupressure treatment using “ear seeds” (vaccaria seeds) can be given instead.

Cost of happy hour treatment is $5. Drop in or click here to make an appointment.

Police searching for female burglar

Police are on the lookout for a woman who reportedly broke into a home in Ballard just after 3 a.m. this morning. The residents were home, and have a video of the woman entering their garage.

From the SPD Blotter:

This morning just shortly after 3:00 a.m., residents were asleep in their home in the 8300 block of 9th NW when a noise woke them up. Upon checking they found their main garage door open.  The homeowner closed the garage door and went back to bed.

They then heard the garage door opening.  They returned to the garage and did not see anyone.  However, they saw some of their tools moved over to the garage door area and found their vehicle had been rummaged through with paperwork being taken.  The residence has video cameras.  Upon review of the video footage they saw the suspect in their garage. The female suspect was wearing gloves.  She is seen opening the door that leads into the residence, but does not enter.

The suspect is then seen leaving the garage and walking down the street. Officers conducted an area check for the suspect with negative results.

The suspect is described as a white female, 5’6, slim build, wearing a white or beige knit hat, scarf, and gloves with a white shopping bag.

Ballard Locks to close tomorrow and Friday for annual winter maintenance

Tomorrow and Friday (Oct. 31-Nov. 1) both locks at the Ballard Locks will be closed while U.S. Navy divers prepare the salmon exclusion structure for winter operations. The locks will have a full closure (both locks) from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31, and a large-lock-only closure from 8-11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.

As part of the annual winter maintenance, divers will open the Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure that exists to prevent salmon from entering the lock’s saltwater return intake. They closed the structures in the spring for the annual salmon migration, and now will return to open the ten, 10-foot-by-6-foot doors that are immediately upstream of the locks.

There will be more scheduled closures beginning next week for more maintenance: the large lock will be closed to all marine traffic for annual maintenance from 9 a.m. on Nov. 5 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 20. The small lock will still be open, but only for vessels less than 115 feet in length and 26-feet-wide during that time. During that lock closure, BNSF Railway will be doing structural upgrades to the Ballard railroad bridge that crosses the Ship Canal just west of the locks. High masted vessels won’t be able to pass the bridge between 9 a.m. and midnight on Nov. 5, 7, 12, and 14.

Sound Transit asking residents to weigh in on Ballard transit options

Sound Transit has developed an online survey to find out what residents want for the future of transit in and out of Ballard. The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is designed to update Sound Transit’s Long-Range Plan (LRP) to identify public priorities for future services and destinations after currently funded projects are complete in 2023.

From Sound Transit:

The Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) process getting underway to update the LRP will provide the vision for transit expansions many years into the future, and future ballot measures will be shaped by the updated LRP. Our region’s population will grow by approximately 30 percent by 2035, according to projections. The Supplemental EIS process will revisit regional transit priorities and explore how we can prepare to serve more riders. “Scoping” is the first step for that environmental process, and helps define the elements (or scope of study) that will be analyzed in the months ahead.

The results of the survey will be presented to the Sound Transit Board of Directors and a project team. The questionnaire is open until Nov. 25. Click here to take part in the survey.

Tree planting event at Discovery Park this weekend

This Saturday, Nov. 2, there will be a tree planting event at Discovery Park, hosted by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. The event, sponsored by Carter Subaru, KIRO Radio, and REI will include native tree and shrub planting, food and vendors from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with half-day volunteering options available.

South Woods 11.6.11 vol (12) Shoshana Natalie and Ian Scott

Photo courtesy Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

The tree planting will be happening on a site that was originally military housing but is now owned by the City of Seattle. “This annual event is a great opportunity to get your hands dirty and help return this part of the park to a native forest,” the organizers write. To register as a volunteer, click here.


Add your house to the Ballard trick-or-treating map

Halloween is just a couple days away, and the map of Ballard trick-or-treating homes is growing. To add your address to the list, click here (link will redirect you to Google maps).


In addition to the above map of homes participating, the downtown businesses in Ballard will host trick-or-treaters from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31. We’ll post a complete list of your Halloween options on Thursday.