WA Health Benefit Exchange to close sign ups for health insurance tonight

Today, March 31, is the final day for locals to sign up for insurance on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Plans must be purchased by 11:59 p.m. with coverage for the plans purchased commencing on May 1.

According to our news partners The Seattle Times, in the lead up to tonight’s deadline the state has seen a surge in sign ups. Reportedly, as of March 27, 131,000 people had purchased insurance through our state’s insurance exchange.

The advertising campaign has been ramped up in the last few days to encourage people to purchase health care before today’s deadline. “The need is to create a sense of urgency,” Michael Marchand, spokesman for the exchange, explained on Thursday to the board of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which oversees the marketplace.

Advertisements have even included humorous raps promoting the benefits of getting coverage. Check out one below:

The exchange will re-open in November to accept applications for health insurance plans for 2015. Those who do not have health insurance coverage as of April 1 will be facing monetary fines when they submit their tax return in 2015.

Click here to learn more about the Washington Health Benefit Exchange and to sign up for health insurance.

The week in sports at BHS

The athletes at Ballard High School are all set for another huge week of competition. Head out and check out their games!

Monday, March 31:

  • Baseball: C Team vs. Woodinville High School at Woodinville High School 10 a.m.
  • Baseball: C Team vs. Cleveland High School at Loyal Heights Playfield 3:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys C Team vs. Liberty High School at Ballard High School 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Garfield High School at Garfield High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: JV vs. Garfield High School at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Lacrosse: Girls vs. Lakeside High School at Lakeside High School 4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 1:

  • Fastpitch: JV vs. Garfield High School at Garfield High School 3 p.m.
  • Golf: Girls Varsity vs. Inglemoor High School at Inglemoor Golf Course 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: C Team vs. Inglewood High School at Soundview Playfield 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Newport High School at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Varsity vs. Skyline High School at Lower Woodland Tennis Courts 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls JV vs. Skyline High School at Skyline High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: Varsity vs. Garfield High School at Garfield High School 4:30 p.m.
  • Lacrosse: Boys JV vs. Mercer Island High School at Mercer Island High School 5 p.m
  • Lacrosse: Boys Varsity vs. Mercer Island High School at Mercer Island High School 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys JV vs. Bothell High School at Interbay 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Varsity vs. Bothell High School at Interbay 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 2:

  • Golf: Girls Varsity vs. Bothell High School at Jackson Golf Course 3 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Issaquah High School at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls JV vs. Inglemoor High School at Ballard High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls Varsity vs. Inglemoor High School at Inglemoor High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Issaquah High School at Issaquah High School 4 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys C Team vs. Lake Washington High School at Lake Washington High School 4 p.m.
  • Ultimate Frisbee: Girls vs. Cleveland High School at Cleveland High School  time TBD

Thursday, April 3:

  • Baseball:  Team vs. Redmond High School at Redmond High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls JV vs. Issaquah High School at Ballard High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Tennis: Girls JV vs. Issaquah High School at Issaquah High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: Varsity vs. Eastlake High School at Eastlake High School 4 p.m.
  • Track and Field: JV and Varsity vs. Bothell at Ballard High School 4 p.m.
  • Track and Field: JV and Varsity vs. Bothell at SWAC 4 p.m.

Friday, April 4:

  • Baseball: C Team vs. Eastside Catholic High School at Loyal Heights Playfield 3:30 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: JV vs. Bothell High School at North Creek Ballfields 3:30 p.m.
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Eastside Skyline High School at Skyline High School 3:45 p.m.
  • Baseball: JV  vs. Eastside Skyline High School at Whitman Middle School 3:45 p.m.
  • Fastpitch: C Team vs. Newport High School at Newport High School 4:30 p.m.
  • Lacrosse: Girls vs. Curtis High School at Ballard High School field 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys JV vs. Skyline High School at Interbay 5:30 p.m.
  • Soccer: Boys Varsity vs. Skyline High School at Interbay 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 5:

  • Baseball: C Team vs. Juanita High School at Whitman Middle School 8 a.m.
  • Lacrosse: Boys JV vs. Roosevelt High School at Roosevelt High School 2 p.m
  • Baseball: Varsity vs. Kentridge High School at Safeco Field 4 p.m.
  • Lacrosse: Boys Varsity vs. Roosevelt High School at Roosevelt High School 4 p.m.

Animal Talk Rescue on the lookout for feline friendly foster families

bigkitty10Local non-profit cat shelter Animal Talk Rescue is on the lookout for locals who are interested in being foster parents to their cats and kittens.

The shelter has been located in North Seattle for over a decade and they are currently constructing their new shelter.

“We are finally moving into a bigger and brighter space, while the new location is under construction and for the future we need foster homes for our wonderful kitties,” writes Rescue Manager Adrienne Craig.

Fostering is an opportunity to help save cats and kittens, without the lifelong commitment of adoption. The rescue provides the food and litter, all you supply is space and your love.

If you are interesting in becoming a foster home for Animal Talk Rescue, click here or email foster@animaltalkrescue.org

Developers release design for mixed-use structure at current Bartell’s site

Seattle developer Henbart LLC announced plans for the mixed-use development set to be constructed at the current Bartell’s site (NW 56th St and 22nd Ave NW).

The My Ballard team initially covered the announcement of the development when the design review meeting was held in December last year.

Screenshot (25)

Henbart LLC announced that the project (design pictured above) will be a six and five story, mixed-use site with two contemporary, companion buildings featuring 80 apartments and 4 townhomes. The property will front Ballard Commons Park and approximately 21,000 sf. of loft style office space and 21,000 sf. of retail along 22nd Avenue.

The northern building that will be constructed across from Ballard Commons Park will be primarily residential, with two floors of office space. The project will also include underground parking with stalls dedicated for office, retail and residents along with electric charging stations.

“This is an ideal site to promote an emerging theme on the traditional mixed-use building by purposefully combining uses and spaces,” said Mark Craig, President of Henbart LLC. “Rather than maximizing the site with a traditional box design we created two buildings that respond to their adjacencies with an artistic and highly amenitized approach.”

The project is designed by the Seattle architectural firm, Studio Meng Strazzara, and aims to showcase the creation of connectivity between residential, office and retail.

“Henbart wanted a design that differentiates itself from the typical market with two buildings rather than a mega building. We are working with a client who has a long-term vision for the site and is willing to invest in great spaces,” says Charles Strazzara,” Principal at Studio Meng Strazzara.

According to a press release written by Henbart, the two building option was decided on to achieve the collaborative mix between retail, office, and residential components while connecting them through a central lobby.

The property is set to showcase unique features including card key activated bike lockers on each residential floor and a roof-top garden.

The interiors are set to offer loft style retail, office and modern mid-rise living. According to the press release, the apartments and townhomes are designed to attract both young people as well as established professionals looking for an urban lifestyle within a walkable neighborhood. There will also be a mix of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units throughout the residential section of the buildings.

In terms of office spaces, they will range from 1,200 sf. to 1,800 sf. for smaller firms or start-ups that are keen to be located in Ballard. “There are very few boutique, class A office options in Ballard. We think our loft-style design and mix of uses will be in demand,” stated Craig.

The project is still in the early stages of its design, however, architects are keen to have each building feature multiple levels of landscaped view terraces and community common areas along with amenity spaces.

“We are still refining the common areas but they will be designed to be used throughout the day and evening by office workers and residents. Building connections is a central theme throughout the design,” concluded Craig.

Thunderstorm blows through Ballard, lightning hits church in Green Lake

Thunder, lightning and heavy rain blew through North Seattle this Saturday afternoon, and Seattle Fire says a bolt blew a hole in a Green Lake church.

Firefighters say lightning left a 2-by-4 foot hole above the alter in Bethany Community Church. There were no injuries.

Over in Ravenna, lightning struck a tree “sending bark flying, hearts pounding, and causing a small power outage,” reports Ravenna blog.

Forecasters say a chance of ice pellet and thundershowers will continue into Saturday evening.

What’s on this weekend

A rainy weekend seems to be on the cards. Enjoy it at some of these fantastic local events!

Friday, March 28:

  • Comedy Sportz Seattle Show at new venue Atlas Theatre (3509 Fremont Ave N) at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Click here for more details and to buy tickets.
  • Charles Presents: Moby Alpha at Ballard Underground (2220 NW Market St) at 8:15 p.m. Tickets are $12 online and $15 at the door. Moby Alpha is a comedy sci-fi play that pays homage to classic sci-fi and bombastic literature. Click here to buy tickets.

Saturday, March 29:

  • Garage Sale and Bake Sale to raise money for Walk MS team Team Zero Zebras at 344 NW 83rd St from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. No early birds please. Click here for more details.
  • Ballard Corners Work Party at 17th Ave NW & NW 63rd St from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. They’ll be preparing plants for spring, weeding, spreading wood chip mulch, and cleaning up debris. Some tools and refreshments will be provided. If you have your own gloves and tools please bring them.  Any questions, please contact Gabriella at gabriella@seanet.com or (206) 782-3238.
  • Pippi Longstocking Celebration at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) from 10 a.m. Enjoy a breakfast, crafts, live entertainment and more. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 – 12 which includes admission to the museum. Click here to learn more.
  • Compost Days: The Big Garden Give at Ballard Fred Meyer (915 NW 45th St) from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Save on all varieties of Cedar Grove compost; get your gardening questions answered by Master Composters and give back by donating a bag of compost to local gardens growing food to fight hunger. For every coupon redeemed, Cedar Grove will donate a bag to local gardens! Click here for more details.
  • Starting Your Vegetable Garden Class at Swanson’s Nursery (9710 15th Ave NW) from 10 a.m.  Swansons’ Kathy Boullin offers expert advice on planning, preparing, and amending your soil. She discusses what to sow outdoors during the next few months and reviews the benefits of sowing direct vs buying starts.
  • 6th Annual Ballard Landmark Pickled Herring Fest at Ballard Landmark (5433 Leary Ave NW) from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Come for the pickled herring, stay for the dancing. Entertainment is provided by the Pickled Herring Band, a popular favorite from Whidbey Island. Please RSVP to (206) 782-4000. This is a free event.
  • Beekeeping 201:Beginning Your Apiary Seminar at Swanson’s Nursery (9710 15th Ave NW) at 2 p.m. Corky Luster, apiarist and founder of the Ballard Bee Company, uses a a demo hive and mock-bee package as he demonstrates how to install bee packages and perform basic bee inspections. Contact Ballard Bee Company to sign up the seminar at(206) 459-4131.
  • Comedy Sportz Seattle Show at new venue Atlas Theatre (3509 Fremont Ave N) at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Click here for more details and to buy tickets.

Sunday, March 30:

  • Ballard Farmers Markets along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • 2014 $pring for $eniors Auction at Ballard Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW) from 5 p.m. Delicious food, beverages and fantastic items and experiences to bid on. There are games to play, a treasure chest to fill with cash, delicious desserts to dash for, and fun and camaraderie. Win the bid on excellent restaurant meals, trips, fantastic theme baskets, sports tickets, theater events and so much more. Cost: $50 regular tickets, $75 benefactor tickets. Click here to purchase tickets.  
Do you know of an event happening this weekend or in future in our neighborhood?

You can submit it on our brand new events calendar here on MyBallard.com, or email the information to tips@myballard.com to ensure we include it in our weekly weekend roundup.

Nordic Heritage Museum to host annual Pippi Longstocking celebration this weekend

pippiIt’s that time of year again when the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) celebrates one of Swedens most well known characters, Pippi Longstocking.

This Saturday, March 29, the museum will host a Swedish pancake breakfast and activites in Pippi’s honor from 10 a.m.

“Whimsical and independent, Pippi Longstocking has been a favorite literary character for both kids and adults since the 1940s,” write event organizers.

Kids and adults are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character from the Pippi stories and enjoy the delicious pancake breakfast. The event is also set to feature crafts for all and live music.

At noon families are invited to stay for a viewing of the movie Pippi on the Run (dubbed in English) starring Inger Nilsson. This all-ages classic was released in the United States in 1977 and features the adventures of Pippi, Tommy, and Annika as they run away from home.

The cost for breakfast is $6 for adults and $4 for children ages 5 – 12; the movie is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for kids. No reservations are needed, and Museum admission is included.

To find out more about the event click here.

Photos courtesy of The Nordic Heritage Museum. Photo credit – Solveig Refetoff.

Seattle Public Library seeks Seattle’s favorite poems

The Seattle Public Library is on the lookout for Seattle’s favorite poems. Locals are encouraged to share their favorite poem for the chance to be selected to read it onstage with Robert Pinsky, 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, at the Seattle’s Favorite Poems event at Town Hall on September 18.

The Seattle’s Favorite Poems event is inspired by the Favorite Poem Project, which is Pinsky’s initiative as U.S. Poet Laureate.

Poems can be submitted from Tuesday, April 1 through Friday, May 16 online or in person at any Library location (submission forms and drop boxes will be available).

From the poems submitted, 12 to 15 Seattleites will be invited to join Pinsky onstage and read their favorite poem at the event.

Poems that are submitted must meet the criteria below:

  • Reflect the aesthetics, culture and diversity of Seattle.
  • Written by a published poet.
  • An English translation must be available for poems written in other languages.

This event is presented in partnership with Hugo House, Poetry Northwest, Seattle Arts & Lectures and Town Hall Seattle.

To find out more about the event click here, call The Seattle Public Library at (206) 386-4636 or ask a Librarian at Ballard Library.

U-Frame-It moves to Market St to make way for development

After 38 years at 56th and 20th (pictured below), Ballard U-Frame-It picture framing store has relocated to 1703 NW Market St to make way for a new development.

In Haus Development LTD, based in Vancouver B.C., will be constructing a 6 story, 33 unit condominium property and will soon be using the previous U-Frame-It building as their sales office.

u frame

Although U-Frame-It owner Steve McDowell didn’t expect the move to happen so quickly after he sold the building, he feels the move will be a good one. “We are more accessible to our customers, will provide the same exemplary service and great pricing and have a more up-dated location with parking in the back for our customers,” says McDowell.

The Ballard location is one of three U-Frame-It stores that have had to relocate this year due to large scale condo projects. The West Seattle U-Frame-It was recently given six weeks notice to vacate and the U District store relocated a few blocks away when Swedish Clinic wanted the space.

U-Frame-It has been a long time Seattle icon and family owned business since 1972. They went into business during the big Boeing layoffs.  “We’ve weathered storms before and will make these moves work for our customers now,” says McDowell.

“We are excited that these projects will bring new customers into our area and are confident that our old customers will remain with us. We have many of the same customers we had in 1972 and we hope we’ll continue to be their framer no matter what location we’re in,” he continues.

The store is now open at the new location Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Salmon Bay School to present “The Phantom Tollbooth” tonight

Salmon Bay School is excited to present their K-4 play “The Phantom Tollbooth” this week. Performances will be held this evening, March 27, and tomorrw evening, March 28, at 7 p.m.

“The Phantom Tollbooth” will take audience members on a journey through the life of adventurous little boy called Milo. Join him on his adventure through a magical tollbooth, journey to distant lands, meet talking dogs who can fly, wacky doctors, bees that spell, tricky demons, princesses, the world’s sleepiest population – the Lethargians, a not-so-humble Humbug and many more!

All performances are free of charge to and will be held in the Salmon Bay auditorium. Donations can be made in support of the Salmon Bay drama department.

Seating is first come first served and there is plenty of room, however chairs are limited, so please consider bringing your own. The house opens thirty minutes prior to show-time.

Plan to arrive early, grab a seat, and enjoy a delicious treat from our concessions table before you take off on a fun ride through the Doldrums, Expectations, the Land of Ignorance, Digitopolis, and Dictionopolis!