Superintendant Banda to host community meeting tonight at BHS

Superintendant Jose Banda is set to host a community meeting at Ballard High School this evening (March 27) from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. The event is part of a series of five community meetings that Seattle Public Schools is hosting to share information on the District’s five-year Strategic Plan.

The meeting will feature tailored comments, topics and data relevant to the Northwest region. It is designed to engage families, students, staff and community members in ideas to ensure academic success for all students.

Community members will be invited to participate in small group discussions regarding the Strategic Plan to assist SPS is meeting their goal of ensuring that every student graduates prepared for college, career and life.

There will also be a question and answer time with Superintendent Banda and District leadership.

Interpreters in Spanish, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog will be available at each meeting.

All are welcome to attend the meeting. Supervised children’s’ activities and light refreshments will be provided.

Throwback Thursday: Ballard grocery stores of yesteryear

Today we have a plethora of grocery stores to choose from, from Ballard Market to QFC and Safeway. However, back in the late 1800s and early 1900s Ballardites were not so lucky!

Today’s Throwback Thursday post features some grocery stores that were frequented by the locals of our forebears. Wonder if they were open 24 hours?

Check out the black and white photo below of “The People’s Store” – Peterson’s Grocery that was taken way back in 1906. The address of the store was 349 Ballard Ave, which is roughly near where Conor Byrne Pub stands today.


The below photo was taken all the way back in 1890 and features H. Jacobsen Groceries. The store was located at NW 36th Street & 65th Avenue NW.


The below photo provides an insight what the interior of Ballard grocery stores looked like. This photo was taken in 1900 and shows the interior of John Eckstrom Grocery which was located at 6556 15th Avenue NW.  You can see that the store carried canned goods, produce and brooms amongst other things.


Do you have an historical photo or a story that readers would enjoy hearing about? Email us at with Throwback Thursday in the subject line.

Photo and information courtesy of Ballard Historical Society.

Development Update March 27: Subdivision central

Applications for subdivisions in Ballard have been coming in fast this week to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

Check out the most recent applications from the DPD as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.


833 NW 97th St


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 2,764 sq. ft. and B) 4,057 sq. ft. Existing structures to be demolished.

1512 NW 62nd St


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide the site into three unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots.  Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

2414 NW 62nd St


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide the site into three unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots.  Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

Loyal Heights Elementary set to present Alice in Wonderland this weekend

aliceLoyal Heights Elementary is excited to present Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. this weekend at the Ballard High School Auditorium (1418 NW 65th St). The company has been working on the performance for months are are excited to present it to the local community.

Producer/Choreographer Bret Ashlee Watson reports that the entire student body was invited to audition for the production and all who auditioned were cast in the musical.

Although the script calls for just 24, this production of Alice in Wonderland Jr. boasts a cast of 165 students ages five through eleven years old, involving 45% of the student body.

The production is also supported by a team of 30 student production crew members and over 90 parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and members of the Ballard community.

These volunteers have collectively given over 600 hours making custom sets, props & costumes and performing other behind the scenes tasks. So, in total, the production has a whopping 191 member company that is extremely excited to share their work with the local community.

alice2Last year Loyal Heights performed Willy Wonka Jr. with a cast of 173, including appearances by extra special VIP staff performers.

The project does not serve as a fundraiser, but alternatively exists to provide students with an intorudction to the theatrical experience both on stage and behind the scenes.

“Our two main goals for this project are to provide all interested Loyal Heights students a positive, relevant introduction to theatre arts, and to encourage and support family participation,” says Producer/Choreographer Bret Ashlee Watson.

Watson produced the previous two productions at Loyal Heights, Seussical Jr. in 2012 and Willy Wonka Jr. in 2013, and believes that students gain so much from being involved in each production. “In addition to music, dance, and acting training that culminates in an authentic theatrical experience, our cast and crew learn teamwork, responsibility, and patience; positive character attributes that will help them throughout their lives,” says Watson.

alice3Volunteers and parents are in agreement with Watson about why the project is beneficial to the school community. “I love seeing the kids be a part of something bigger than what they could be on their own. Over the course of a few weeks, they develop a large family that supports, encourages, and celebrates each participant and their unique talents. says parent Rebecca Madonna. “I have watched them discover of a facet of themselves I never would have otherwise seen,” she continues.

Loyal Heights students have clearly gained so much from the rehearsal process in addition to the excitement of the upcoming performances this weekend. “My favorite part about rehearsals is being able to become a whole different person that is completely opposite from me. I also love getting taught how to be a better actress each day,” says Jillian N., who plays The Queen of Hearts.

The students are thrilled to share their favorite parts of the show with the local community this weekend. “My favorite part of the show is being with my co-kitties, Kjersten W. and Ella T, because they are so loving and supporting. I feel like they’re family,” says Isa C-M., who plays one of the Cheshire Cats. Asher W., The March Hare, says that his favorite part is “the Tea Party because its really fun and exciting!”

Alice in Wonderland will be performed this Saturday, March 29, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Tickets are now on sale and cost $10 per person, children under 2 years are free.

Tickets will only be sold online and can be purchased here.

All proceeds from ticket sales go towards covering the cost of sets, props and costumes which have been designed and created for the production.

Photos courtesy of Loyal Heights Elementary.

CO detector saves lives of Ballard couple and their pet


SPD Investigators determined the cause of the CO Poisoning was accidental. The couple is now recovering at Virginia Mason Medical Center and their dog has been taken in by a neighbor.

Original Post:

A Ballard couple and their pet were rescued by firefighters early this morning after a Carbon Monoxide alarm alterted neighbors to an emergency situation. Check out more details from the SFD Fire Line blog below:

Firefighters rescued a couple and a dog out of a Ballard townhome full of Carbon Monoxide this morning.

Prior to the firefighter’s arrival, a PSE employee was called to a townhome located in the 800 block of NW 52nd Street to look into a CO Alarm sounding in Unit B of a two-unit complex. While investigating the cause of the CO Alarm activating, the PSE employee discovered a car running in the closed garage of Unit A.

At 5:12 this morning dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center received a 911 call from the PSE employee reporting the running car. When firefighters arrived they made forcible entry into the 3-story home. Inside Unit A, they found two semi-conscious patients who collapsed at the top of the staircase . The patients demonstrated symptoms of CO poisoning. Firefighters rescued the couple and their dog. Once outside the home, the two patients began to regain consciousness. The dog did not show any visible symptoms of CO poisoning.

Medics evaluated the patients, a male and a female in their 30’s, and transported them to Virginia Mason Medical Center to be placed in the hyperbaric chamber. The patients were conscious and stable at the time of the transport.

Fire crews measured the CO levels in Unit A and found the levels to be 1300 parts-per-million. Greater
than 35 ppm Exceeds acceptable levels for continued exposure. CO is an odorless colorless gas that can be deadly. It’s often times called the “Silent Killer”. According to the National Fire Protection Association a person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

Firefighters used industrial fans to ventilate the townhome and to make the environment safe for the occupants to return to the units.

The family in the non-affected unit had left prior to firefighters arrival to stay with relatives.

If your CO alarm sounds, get out immediately and call 911.

The Fire Department is thankful for the diligence and quick actions of the PSE employee. The on-scene fire officer stated two occupants of the home would not have survived without the actions of the Puget Sound employee.

For more information on danger of Carbon Monoxide click here.

Cupcake Royale to celebrate re-opening with “Ballard Bonanza”


Cupcake Royale (2052 NW Market St) is set to celebrate the re-opening of their recently remodeled cafe with a Ballard Bonanza.

The celebrations will be held from Thursday, March 27 through Sunday, March 30 as a thank you to locals for putting up with the recent construction.

“It was time for a refresh and we are so thrilled with the modern look and feel. Our customers are enjoying the communal table and the open feel. It is so airy and light – and in the heart of the Ballard neighborhood – a great hang out,” says Cupcake Royale Owner Jody Hall.

The weekend long bonanza will be filled with delicious sweets and coffee, samples and a prize wheel. Locals can also sign up for Cupcake Royale’s new loyalty and payment APP (Apple and Android) aptly named F.O.C.R. (that’s Friends of Cupcake Royale!) to receive sweet deals during the celebration.

Check out the special F.O.C.R. Ballard Bonanza deals below:

  • Thursday, March 27 – Buy one espresso drink and get one free.
  • Friday, March 28 – Buy one cupcake and get one free.
  • Saturday, March 29 – Buy one scoop of ice cream get one free.
  • Sunday, March 30 – Buy a cupcake and your friend gets coffee or cupcake/scoop of equal or lesser value.

Click here to learn more about the F.O.C.R. APP.

Isuzu trooper stolen from Leary Way last night

imageMy Ballard reader Kevin emailed in to let us know that his 1991 Isuzu Trooper (pictured) was stolen on Tuesday evening from 6th Ave NW and Leary Way NW.

The vehicle is tan/brown and has the licence plate AJU-0430.

If you have seen the vehicle contact us at, contact Kevin at (206) 706-7521 or contact the SPD North Precinct at (206) 684-0850.

Have you experienced a crime in Ballard recently? Email in and let us know so that together we can keep our neighborhood safe.

Phinney Avenue N parking restricted for tree pruning this week

To keep the trees strong and the sight lines clear, Department of Transportation Urban Forestry crews will prune trees along the east side of Phinney Avenue N between N 61st and N 64th streets for the next three days, March 26 to 28. To complete the work, street parking on the east side of the road along those blocks will be temporarily restricted.

The parking restrictions will be in place from 7 a.m. to 3p.m. each day while crews are pruning the trees.

The trees along the east side of Phinney Avenue North are larger than those on the west side, and are blocking sight lines and growing too near existing structures.

Proper pruning improves the structure of trees. Seattle Department of Transportation Urban Forestry crews prune approximately 3,000 trees every year in the city while also responding to emergencies and planting up to 800 trees annually.

Whittier Elementary Auction now open to the public

CatsbyLogoWhiteBkdThe Whittier Elementary Online Auction “The Great Catsby” is now live and open to the public and you don’t have to have a child attending the school to make your bid.

The auction features a number of specialty items set to be auctioned off during both the online and live portions of the fundraiser for Whittier Elementary.

The last Whittier auction raised nearly $40,000 from school families, friends and community members. The auction team puts most of the hundreds of auction items donated by local businesses in the online auction, where more people have a chance to bid.

The online auction is already gaining quite a lot of attention, thanks in part to collectable items from the Seahawks and Seattle rap superstar Macklemore.

Macklemore has donated a signed classic yellow-and-green Sonics jersey that he wore during his world tour last year. “Now that’s something you’d never find at a thrift shop,” writes Whittier auction publicist Doree Armstrong.

Macklemore also donated an Ultimate Fan Swag Bag which includes three CDs, a Sharkface Gang sweatshirt, hoodie, T-shirt, tank top, socks, beanie, scarf, and a limited edition 7-inch vinyl of “Same Love.”

The auction features other special items including a custom kitchen design by Phinney Ridge Cabinet Company (with a fair market value of $1,500); and a four-night stay at the Fairmont Hotel or Resort of your choice in the U.S. or Canada, including round-trip coach class airfare for two (fair market value of $7,260).

About 60 items are included in each closing, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, through April 4. Make your bid now at

About 150 items are reserved for the silent and live portions of the main auction event on April 5 at the Marriott Waterfront Seattle. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased online.

Man responsible for 1994 BHS shooting sentenced for second time

BallardHigh_Shooting_6-300x200According to a report by our news partners The Seattle Times,  the 36-year-old man who shot and killed a student outside Ballard High School in 1994 was sentenced for the second time on March 21.

Brian Ronquillo, who was 16 years old at the time of the shooting, was sentenced again due to a recent decision on a sentencing technicality by the state Court of Appeals. The decision led Ronquillo’s case to be returned to King County Superior Court for resentencing.

Initially, back in November 1994, Ronquillo was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder and was sentenced to more than 51 years in prison.

The Seattle Times reports that Ronquillo fired eight times from a car as it passed students on BHS school grounds on March 17, 1994, killing 16-year-old Melissa Fernandez. Police believe that Fernandes was not the target of the shooting and another student was also wounded during the incident.

According to the report, Cesar Sarausad II was the driver of one of the cars filled with teenagers and young men who were part of a Seattle gang called the 23rd Street Diablos. Reportedly, the 23rd Street gang arrived in cars at BHS around lunchtime and then left when they were informed that police were in the area. When they returned about an hour later, Ronquillo fired the shots out of the car window killing Fernandes.


A few days earlier one of the gang members, Jerome Reyes, had reportedly been chased off the Ballard campus by members of another rival gang, the Bad Side Posse.

During the trial in 1994, Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after a jury deadlocked on a first-degree-murder charge. He was then sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sarausad was also convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and assault, and was sentenced to 27 years.

Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after a jury deadlocked on a first-degree-murder charge. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sarausad was also convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and assault. He was sentenced to 27 years.

Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times. Photo credit – Dean Rutz.