Swedish Ballard “My Health” series features post on sports injuries

Swedish Ballard is kicking off the new year by offering locals weekly health tips through their new four part “My Health” Series. Every Wednesday, Swedish Ballard health experts will be offering helpful hints to help locals maintain their long list of new year’s resolutions.

The series is set to feature information on important topics including women’s health, nutrition, sports medicine and cancer care and prevention.

Local businesses including Ketch Shop (5317 Ballard Ave NW), Olympic Athletic Club (5301 Leary Ave NW) and Suite 300 Skin Care (5424 Ballard Ave NW #300) are sponsoring My Health and will be offering weekly promotions such as clothing discounts and gym passes to series participants.

Today’s My Health post focused on how to prevent and treat common sports injuries.

Olympic Athletic Club is this week’s sponsor and to celebrate the team are offering a free week pass to the gym for new members. To receive the pass readers can simply visit the gym and mention #MyHealth from today through February 5.

My Health can be found every Wednesday on the Swedish blog. Locals can also follow the conversation on Twitter via @Swedish and #MyHealth.

(Full disclosure: Swedish is an advertiser on My Ballard)

Fifth annual Ballard Fitness Fest set to kick off next month

The fifth annual Ballard Fitness Fest will kick off on February 17 at EDGE Personal Training Studio (2821 NW Market St). The three month long fitness competition will challenge participants to get and stay in shape and is open to all locals who live and work in Ballard and surrounding areas.

EDGE Personal Training owner, Erik Hroncich, established the competition five years ago to help physically and mentally transform peoples’ lives. In past contests Hroncich says that participants have become “healthier, more confident and gained a better body image.” Last years winner, Danie Skredsvig, lost over 8% of her body fat (15lbs of body fat) in just 12 weeks to become the first ever female Champion!

Participants enter the competition in a bid to loose the most weight during the three month period and have a chance at winning $750 worth of prizes. The first place winner scores a $250 gift certificate to a Ballard business of their choice and three free training sessions at EDGE. To prepare for the competition Hroncich is also offering participants, who are new to EDGE, an introductory training package of 3 personal training sessions, a functional movement screen and fitness program development, for $199 (35% off). Current clients will receive $5 off sessions purchased during the contest at EDGE (max. 5 sessions).

The contest begins February 17 and ends May 23 and competitors enter by contacting EDGE at (206) 782–1505 by or between February 17 and 28 to set up an initial $20 (plus tax) fitness assessment. Participants will work out for three months and re-test between May 17th and May 24th, with the winner being announced around June 1st.

Thinking about participating? Hroncich’s enthusiasm for the event puts it simply, “it’s an opportunity to get in better shape for the summer and a chance to win some great prizes. What could be cooler than that?”

For more details click here or email info@edgepersonaltraining.net

One Night Count results show homelessness on the increase in King County

Last week’s One Night Count of homeless people in King County had some pretty staggering results. The count was held in the early hours of Friday, January 24 and counters found that the number of people living without shelter in King County had increased by 381.

Teams of over 800 volunteers, supported by trained leaders, were dispatched from ten locations over King County to count every person that they could see outside overnight last Friday. Volunteers counted 3,177 men, women and children trying to survive in cars, tents, by riding all night buses, waiting in hospital emergency rooms, or curling up in blankets under bridges or in doorways.

The annual event, which is now in its 34th year, is organized by The Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, an independent coalition of organizations and individuals that works on homelessness issues in our region. The purpose of count is to document how many people are lacking basic shelter, however One Night Count does not include people who are residing in shelters or transitional housing. The data collected at the count informs elected officials and planners at all levels of government about the extent of homelessness in King County.

“This year’s Count is an unmistakable call to action,” said Coalition Executive Director Alison Eisinger. “We ask everyone to call their state lawmakers and urge them to fund housing, shelter, and services. There is no overstating the urgent need in our own backyards.”

The Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger released a statement in response to the 2014 One Night Count Results:

“The work we do together on this one night is just the beginning. This morning, returning to warmth indoors, volunteers told us of a teenager sleeping in a doorway with a suitcase, a family-size tent with a stroller parked outside, and a man who proudly showed counters the garden he created around his campsite. We are especially aware of this truth: everyone should have a place to call home… Our serious work starts now.”

How can you help, you may ask? Visit www.homelessinfo.org and find out about how to attend a free Homeless Advocacy 101” workshop on Feb. 1, volunteer for an organization that addresses the needs of homeless people or support the coalition through a financial donation.

Ballard Library set to offer free tax assistance next month

As part of the collaboration between the Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) will be offering free tax preparation services from Monday, February 3 through Monday, April 14.

The service will be drop-in and will be offered from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays

Trained volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and help prepare personal tax returns. The service is not available for business tax returns.

Drop-in assistance will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to find out more.

Seattle Parks Citizens’ Committee set to meet with locals this Thursday

Seattle Parks and Recreation is hosting a community meeting this Thursday, January 30 to get feedback on the work done by the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee in preparation for a potential 2014 park and recreation funding ballot measure. The meeting will be held at Bitter Lake Community Center (13035 Linden Ave N) at 7 p.m.

The meeting will feature a brief presentation that describes how the committee has prioritized a list of potential investment initiatives. That will be followed by professionally facilitated workshops that seek community input in three specific areas.

  1. Priorities. Did the Committee find the right balance among: 1) taking care of the park and recreation assets that the City already owns; 2) funding programs, classes and services for the community; and 3) preparing for the future by developing “land banked” park properties into new parks and acquiring new park land?
  2. Size. Attendees will learn how different levels of funding affect homeowner taxes, and then give feedback on which size of funding package seems appropriate.
  3. Funding mechanism. Facilitators will explain the differences between short-term, long-term, and permanent levies, and how those compare to the formation of a metropolitan parks district (MPD). Attendees will then be asked to give feedback on which mechanism is most suitable for Seattle, and will be offered the chance to express thoughts or concerns about each option.

Seattle Parks and Recreation started work on the Park Legacy Plan, which forms the basis of a ballot funding measure, over a year ago. The process began with a series of community and park-user surveys, and culminated with six public meetings throughout the city to gather input. The process has focused on bringing a chorus of voices into the conversation about how Seattle Parks and Recreation can meet the growing needs of a vibrant city.

After Seattle Parks published the second draft of the Parks Legacy Plan in June 2013, the Mayor and City Council convened a volunteer Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee to advise them on what a park funding ballot measure should pay for and what type of funding mechanism it should be – a levy or a metropolitan parks district.

In December, the committee released its preliminary report and a first draft of a prioritized list of programs and services it believes should be funded. At each of its meetings, the committee took public input, and it held a public hearing in November.

This meeting will be the final of three community meetings that have been held in Seattle this January. Attendees will learn more about the committee’s recommendations, become educated on the possible funding options, and meet and talk with committee members.

After Thursday’s meeting, the committee will reconvene in February to review, and perhaps revise, its preliminary recommendations based on the public input; and they will discuss and make a recommendation on the size and type of the funding measure. The committee will send its final recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on March 12.

To learn more, read the Legacy Committee’s Interim Report. It’s available at www.seattle.gov/parks/legacy/committee, or in hard copy at community centers and pools. The Interim Report details the committee’s process, rationale, and interim recommendations.

Detailed information about each proposed investment and possible funding mechanisms is also available on the Parks Legacy Citizens’ Advisory Committee website, and will be available at the meetings.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but still want to give feedback please email comments to parkslegacy@seattle.gov.

Ballard Boys & Girls Club opens registration for tee ball and baseball season

Ballard Boys & Girls Club (1767 NW 64th St) has opened registration for the upcoming tee ball and baseball season. The season runs from April through early June and four divisions are open for boys and girls from Pre K through 5th Grade.

The four divisions open for registration include rookie teeball, teeball, rookie machine pitch and machine pitch. Each registration costs $60, plus a $36 club membership the student is not yet a member.

Space is limited and is sure to run out quickly. If you have any questions please call Billy Rodgers at (206) 783-5775 or email wrodgers@positiveplace.org. To register your child for the program click here.

Mapping car prowl hotspots in Ballard

Last week we published a map of recent Ballard burglaries, and this week we’ve pinpointed car prowls and car thefts in the neighborhood. While burglaries seemed to be rather evenly distributed, there are clear hot spots for car crimes.
Here’s the map of car prowls and thefts from December 1st until yesterday, courtesy of Seattle Police’s crime mapping tool. (Click the map to see it full, and car prowls are distinguished by the small hole in each window.) If there’s a number, that means multiple crimes occurred in close proximity there. While Loyal Heights, Sunset Hill and Blue Ridge have fewer than the rest of the neighborhood, Shilshole Ave. in Old Ballard has a large concentration:
That’s 31 by our count — one was a car theft — in Old Ballard in a little less than two months. Perhaps it’s more surprising to see how many are happening outside Ballard’s most popular nighttime hangout.

“Our car was broken in to last night,” wrote one “Frelard” reader in an email to us yesterday. “The car was unlocked (no broken windows – lucky!), so the thieves just opened the door and rummaged through everything but did not appear to take anything.”

We had the same thing happen at our East Ballard home a few weeks ago: we forgot to lock a door, and someone rummaged through the car overnight. Of course, locking doors is important, as well as putting valuables in the trunk — or taking them with you. Here are Seattle Police’s tips for preventing car prowls.

Stay tuned for more crime reporting on My Ballard, and we hope you find this approach useful. We’ve also created a crime section with the latest dispatch updates from Seattle Police.

The week in sports at BHS

Another week of competition is in store for the athletes at BHS. Check out the schedule below and head out to support them at their games!

Monday, January 27:

  • Basketball: Boys C Team vs. Inglemoor High School at Inglemoor High School 7:30 p.m.
  • Wrestling: JV and Varsity vs. Interlake at Ballard High School 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, January 28:

  • Basketball: Boys JV vs. Inglemoor High School at Ballard High School 5:45 p.m.
  • Basketball: Varsity vs. Inglemoor High School at Ballard High School 7:30 p.m.
  • Wrestling: Varsity match vs. Inglemoor High School at Inglemoor High School 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 29:

  • Basketball: Girls JV vs. Inglemoor High School at Ballard High School 5:45 p.m.
  • Basketball: Girls Varsity vs. Inglemoor High School at Ballard High School 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 30:

  • Swim & Dive: Boys JV and Varsity vs. Newport at Mercer Island Beach Club 3:30 p.m.
  • Wrestling: JV and Varsity vs. West Seattle High School at West Seattle High School 7 p.m.
  • Gymnastics: JV and Varsity cs. Garfield and Roosevelt High Schools at Garfield High School 7 p.m.

Friday, February 1:

  • Swim and Dive: Boys Varsity and Junior Varsity Invitational at UW Swimming Pool time TBD
  • Basketball: Girls JV vs. Garfield High School at Ballard High School 2:30 p.m.
  • Basketball: Boys C Team vs. Garfield High School at Garfield High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Basketball: Boys Junior Varsity vs. Garfield High School at Ballard High School 4 p.m.
  • Basketball: Girls Varsity vs. Garfield High School at Ballard High School 5:30 p.m.
  • Basketball: Boys Varsity vs. Garfield High School at Ballard High School 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 2:

  • Wrestling: Varsity KingCo Qualifier at Inglemoor High School 10 a.m.
  • Basketball: Girls JV vs. Newport High School at Newport High School 11 a.m.
  • Basketball: Boys  JV vs. Newport High School at Newport High School 12:30 p.m.
  • Basketball: Girls Varsity vs. Newport High School at Newport High School 2 p.m
  • Basketball: Boys Varsity vs. Newport High School at Newport High School 3:30 p.m.
  • Basketball: Boys C Team vs. Newport High School at Ballard High School 3:45 p.m.

The Matador celebrates 10 years in Ballard

pics-ballard3The Matador (2221 NW Market St) is celebrating its 10th birthday tonight and the team are offering some phenomenal discounts from 5 p.m. until close. This evening house margaritas and Happy Hour tacos and Texas-size nachos cost only $1 each!

Owners Nate Opper and Zak Melang are celebrating the 10th birthday of the flagship that now has eight sister stores all over the country, the most recent opening two months ago in Denver.

According to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal, the seven Matador restaurants then in operation grossed more than $30 million last year.

Opper and Melang told writer Glenn Drosendahl about their appreciation of the support they found here in Ballard. “We’re prepared to give the house away tonight. We didn’t even know we’d be around for 10 years. So we wanted to give back to our customers, to let them know how much we appreciate them, and we thought this would be a pretty cool way to do it.”

The PSBJ article also points to the fact that Opper and Melang continue to embrace the unique qualities of opening restaurants in neighborhood locations rather than shopping malls or developments. According to the article, they have been approached to open Matador restaurants in what Melang refers to as “soulless” settings, however, they instead choose options that reflect their flagship restaurant in Ballard.

Melang told Drosendahl that they will continue to strive to keep the restaurants in neighborhoods. “It worked in Ballard. We’re going to stay with it.”

Head down to the Matador tonight to celebrate this special milestone!

Photo courtesy of The Matador.

Crews drop off shipping containers at new Starbucks site

photo 1It has been a busy morning for the construction crew and crane operator on the site of the new Starbucks store at the corner of NW 53rd St and 15th Ave NW. At approximately 830 a.m. the first of three shipping containers, which will be fitted together to make up the new drive-through and walk up store, arrived on site.

The Ballard store will be 6th in the country to sport this unique design, whereby shipping containers are used to create the entirety of the structure of the store itself. Starbucks built their first container store in Tukwila in 2011 and have since installed them in Chicago, Atlanta, Salt Lake City and Portland.

“We were inspired to create the shipping container stores by the view of the shipping yards from our Starbucks office window in SoDo,” says Starbucks Northwest Senior Designer, and Ballard resident, Brian van Stipdonk. “We believe that they fit with the neighborhood of Ballard and it was an intentional choice to utilize this particular design here.”

photo 2

According to van Stipdonk, Starbucks focuses on repurposing and recycling materials when they create their new stores. “The great thing about shipping containers is that we can repurpose them, which therefore utilizes less new construction, and allows us to have a positive environmental impact.”

Crews worked carefully to move the 40-foot container from the truck, into the air via crane and back to the ground once more to its final resting place. Two more shipping containers were delivered later in the morning and will fit together, as van Stipdonk puts it, “like Jenga blocks” to create the structure of the store.

photo 3

The new store, which has been one year in the making, is set to offer a walk-up/bike window and drive through service with no seats inside. There will be a few parking spots up for grabs and also bike racks available for customer use. Although smaller in physical space than some Starbucks stores, the menu will be as big as usual with everyone’s favorites on offer. Six partners will on hand to serve up the hot drinks inside the uniquely designed store.

Now that the containers are in their final positions, van Stipdonk says that the store will be open by mid February. We will update readers with the exact opening date when it is known.

Until then, coffee lovers can get excited in anticipation for this uniquely designed and user-friendly addition to the neighborhood.