Local teens raise funds to assist orphans in Southern China

A group of local teens is raising funds towards a service trip planned for this summer to assist at several orphanages in Southern China.

The teens, who belong to the North West branch of non-profit group Families with Children from China (FCC), are looking for local support to allow them to provide support to children currently living in orphanages in Nanjing, Yangzhou, Xiamen, and Zhongshan.

Three of the volunteers, Jessie, Mara, and Zhao Hui, were adopted from China around 2000 and are taking part in The Red Thread Trip to give back to other children who were less fortunate than them.

Check out the fundraising video that the teens put together below:

“I really hope to make a difference, even if just a small one, in the kids’ lives,” says Jessie, a freshman at Ingraham High School and a resident of North Beach.

Mara, a junior a Shorecrest High School, is also looking forward to being a part of the trip. “I am excited to go back to China and see the country where I’m from! I am also looking forward to helping the kids in orphanages, it will be awesome to meet kids like us,” says Mara.

The group of teens, and adult chaperones, are planning to spend two weeks in China over the summer, spending the majority of their time staying in dormitories at the orphanages. From 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day they will work in the orphanages playing, feeding and helping the Ayi’s (orphanage workers) look after the children.

“The three of us are looking forward to making a difference in our inherent communities and appreciate your contributions and support,” says eighth grader Zhao Hui who attends Open Window School.

The group have set up a Go Fund Me fundraising page to raise funds for the trip and they are looking to our local community for assistance.

“Every dollar makes a difference! Help us to give back! We thank you all for your support,” says Jesse.

Transit delays to be expected in Seattle on May Day

King County Metro is advising locals to prepare for rerouted buses and traffic delays in downtown Seattle the afternoon and evening of Thursday, May 1.

At this stage, 16 Metro routes and three Sound Transit routes are set to be temporarily rerouted during May Day events.

Some city streets are also scheduled to be closed as a result of May Day activities. During the planned events, Fourth Ave is scheduled to be closed for about an hour between 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Pine St is expected to be closed between 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

During the street closures, Fourth Ave bus routes will travel via Third Avenue, and Pine St buses will travel via Union St. Reroutes are also planned for Metro routes 10, 11, 43, 49, 64, 250, 252, 257, 260, 265, 268, 301, 306, 308, 311 and 312, and Sound Transit Express routes 522, 545 and 554.

King County Metro staff want to remind locals that all bus service travelling near or through downtown Seattle may be subject to delays during and after Thursday afternoon’s events.

Bus riders are advised to plan ahead for longer trips, revise travel plans if necessary and allow plenty of travel time. Visit Metro’s Service Advisories page for specific reroute details.

King County Council encourages locals to increase their preparedness for disasters

cfghome-bannerToday is the first National Day of Action, a new community-based campaign to build a more secure and resilient nation by getting locals to understand the disasters that could happen in their communities and to take action in preparing emergency plans.

King County Council is encouraging locals to take part in the day and to ensure that their family has a plan to be executed in the case of an emergency.

This Naitonal Day of Action, which is sponsored by America’s PrepareAthon, focuses on national disasters that could occur in the spring including tornados, hurricanes, floods and wildfires.

“Taking a day to focus on being prepared for any emergency is good common sense”, said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “We never know when a natural disaster could strike our area and advance preparation could make a difference in someone’s survival.”

Over 5 million people have already signed up to take part in the National Day of Action, which consists of the following steps:

  • Be Smart: Know your hazards in your community. Guides to learn how to prepare can be downloaded here.
  • Take Part: Plan activities or take a few minutes to determine what you can do individually.
  • Prepare: Practice a drill or have a discussion about preparedness. Participation can include being a part of community emergency planning, hazard-specific drills, group discussions, and exercises.

There is specific information and resources available for workplaces, houses of worship, community-based organizations, K-12 schools, institutions of higher learning, individuals and families on the website as well as a list of events scheduled.

“Disaster preparation is a smart move for all of us”, continues Lambert. “I know that I’ll be taking time today to review my personal safety plan and I hope everyone will also do the same.”

Ballard Library to host Garden Pollinators class tonight

edBallard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) will be hosting a Garden Pollinators class this evening Wednesday, April 30, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Local master gardener and backyard beekeeper Paul Bryant will facilitate the class where attendees will learn about the pollinators that they can find in their own backyards and how they make their way in the world.

Attendees will see close-up photos of both familiar insects and those that are less well known. Discussion and question time will be aplenty during the class. Paul will also show how to attract pollinators to the garden, and ways to tell them apart.

The garden pollinators class is part of The Edible Garden Series which includes events and presentations for all ages at Library branches around the city in April and May.

All are welcome to learn about edible gardening, food advocacy and sustainability in coordination with Seattle Public Libraries’  local partner organizations.

Boys & Girls Club Celebrity Softball Fundraiser set for Sunday

unnamedBallard and Wallingford Boys & Girls Clubs are teaming up to host the first annual “Field of Our Dreams” Celebrity Softball Game this Sunday, May 4. The game will kick off at 2 p.m. at BF Day Playfield (4020 Fremont Ave N).

The teams from Ballard and Wallingford Boys & Girls Clubs will battle it out alongside local celebrities for the win.

The local celebrities that will be in attendance include Jodi Brothers of KJR-FM, Craig Tomlinson of the Seattle Sounders, Matt Jorgensen of the Ballard Jazz Festival in addition to local and regional athletes.

The event will feature food trucks and booths for souvenirs and sponsors including Fremont Chamber of Commerce, Stone Turtle Health, Exclusive Home Realty, Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle and Mockingbird Books to name a few.

All funds raised will go towards supporting the scholarship programs at the Ballard and Wallingford clubs. Donations can be made on the day and also in advance online.

“Having worked with children for 20 years, in the roles of teacher, social worker, and family practitioner, it has always been important to me to encourage programs that promote healthy kids and families. The Boys & Girls Clubs of King County program is one of these,” event director and chief sponsor Dr. Katie Baker of Stone Turtle Health.

Ballard Boys & Girls Club works with over 1800 children each year, 70% of whom rely on scholarship money. Similarly, Wallingford Boys & Girls Club serves over 1100 children annually, including 130 per day through their free after-school care programs.

Both clubs, along with the North Seattle club in Greenwood, have served North Seattle families since the mid-1940s through mentoring, athletic programs, daycare and after school programs.

Tickets can be purchased at the gate on Sunday and cost $10.

Click here to check out the event’s Facebook page.

Poster courtesy of Ballard and Wallingford Boys & Girls Clubs.

Salish Sea Trading Coop to host community meeting tomorrow night

saSalish Sea Trading Cooperative is hosting a community meeting this Wednesday,  April 30, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Ballard Coffee Works’ Community Room.

The meeting will include updates about trip planning, Food Stamp (SNAP) acceptor status, and a membership application review.

An update on the first day of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference will also be given at the meeting.

All are welcome to attend. Click here to learn more.

City partners with community to plan urban design framework for Ballard

There is no doubt that, over the past decade, Ballard has seen some significant change. Our neighborhood has, as we all know, become denser and has increased in population with younger people and families.

According to The Department of Planning and Development, despite the change in the job market, job growth has not kept up with the rate of population growth.

The DPD is partnering with community organizations such as Ballard Chamber of Commerce and the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth to come up with a coordinated and strategic planning effort to address the changes in our neighborhood and to create a vision that will steer future urban development in Ballard.

Over the past year DPD and SDOT have been coordinating with the Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth as they discover the issues faced and opportunities presented by the growth in our neighborhood. Through this collaboration, the City has begun work on an Urban Design Framework (UDF) for Ballard.

“It will be a collaborative vision and recommendation for urban design, land use, transportation and other strategies that will guide future development while ensuring Ballard’s people and places thrive,” says DPD Planner David Goldberg.

At this stage, the UDF will focus on the shaded area in the map below (click for bigger image).

dpd

“We’ll look at a larger area to understand the context, but the focus of work is on where we are likely to see continued development and change in the coming years,” says Goldberg.

Click here to learn more about the project from Scott Ingham, co-chair of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, during his interview on KUOW radio last week.

The City is set to host an open house to share more information about the project and to give locals a chance to give their feedback. The event will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to attend and give their feedback.

In anticipation of the open house, an Imagine Seattle website has also been created to get local feedback on a series of issues that are important to the growth of Ballard.

Each week the site will provide facts about Ballard and prompt locals for their thoughts and feedback. All who are interested are encouraged to register on the website to receive weekly updates about the conversations.

Locals who are keen to give feedback but who are not interested in registering on the website can complete a one-time survey to contribute their thoughts.

“Whether online or at a meeting, the City and Ballard Partnership hope to encourage a respectful and productive exchange among neighbors – we want to hear all of Ballard’s ideas about the future,” says Goldberg.

The My Ballard team will keep readers informed about developments in the project and ways to give their feedback.

Otter pups make debut at Woodland Park Zoo

Asian Small Clawed Otter Pups Dennis Dow 3-14Four of the youngest Woodland Park Zoo residents are ready to make their debut to the public! The four pups who were born to 4-year-old mother Teratai and 8-year-old father Günter on January 20 are now on display in the outdoor exhibit.

As raising pups, like any newborns, is a family affair the entire clan have been living in their off view den since the pups were born.

The pups received a clean bill of health during their first check up in March and currently range in weight between just 2.4 and 3 pounds.

Since their check up last month, the family have been teaching the young ones how to swim and dive. The pups are now showing increased mobility and are diving a few inches deep in the large pool.

The pups are now nearly weaned and eating a solid diet of chopped smelt and capelin. They love wrestling and are starting to mimic adult behaviors such as rolling in wood shavings and mulch to dry their coats and are trying to help collect nesting materials.

Now that the 3-month-old pups are safely navigating the outdoor exhibit, the entire family of 10 are now on view daily for visitors to see.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo. Photo credit – Ryan Hawk.