Metro transit kiosks make debut in Crown Hill

New Metro transit information kiosks are making their debut across the city in Crown Hill, Interbay and Queen Anne. The kiosks are set to display the real-time arrival and destination of all buses with scheduled stops at kiosk locations.

In the Crown Hill area you can find them at the following locations:

  • Southbound at 15th Ave NW/NW 80th St
  • Southbound at 15th Ave NW/NW 75th St

The kiosks can also be found at the following locations in Interbay and Queen Anne:

  • Southbound at 15th Ave W/W Emerson St
  • Southbound at 15th Ave W/W Armory Street
  • Westbound at W Mercer St/Third Ave W

The kiosks are especially helpful for locals who use Metro’s RapidRide D Line. After swiping their ORCA card at any RapidRide kiosk, riders will be able to board through the back doors of bus, therefore speeding up the boarding process.

The kiosks are part of a partnership between King County Metro Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to improve travel and access though Crown Hill, Ballard, Interbay and Queen Anne.

“These transit kiosks are another important investment Metro and the City of Seattle are jointly making to improve RapidRide. By installing these kiosks, SDOT and Metro are providing over 11,000 daily bus riders better information and speeding their trips,” said SDOT Interim Director Goran Sparrman.

Click here to learn more about RapidRide D Line Project.

Have you seen Maggie the chocolate lab in Ballard?

1150198_600511040029467_1062803424_nMy Ballard reader Kharmen emailed in to let us know about Maggie the chocolate labrador who is currently lost in Ballard.

Maggie is 55 pounds and is wearing a green nylon collar with webbing and a rabies tag. She does not have a name tag but is chipped.

Maggie has been missing since January 25 and was last seen at 16th Ave NW and NW 77th St. She is an older dog who is mostly deaf and blind and gets confused easily.

If you have seen Maggie please call Troy at (206) 280-9551.

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.