Have you seen Stella in Ballard?


By Joe Veyera

Update (5/30): We at My Ballard are sad to report, via the Help Find Stella Facebook page,  that Stella was found after being hit by a car. Thank you to everyone who participated in the search.

Update (5/29): A Facebook page has been created to help organize the search.

Original Post (5/28) My Ballard reader Dana posted on Facebook to report that Stella the dog went missing last night in Ballard.

Stella is a Red Heeler (or Australian Cattle Dog) and is microchipped and has a collar with tags, but is very shy. She was lost near 8th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 58th Street.

If you see Stella, or are interested in helping to search for the dog, contact owners Casey and Chris at 512-627-0944.

Pedestrian walkway closures coming at Ballard Locks

By Joe Veyera

The removal and replacement of six tainter spillway gates at the Ballard Locks will require sporadic, temporary closures of pedestrian walkway along the spillway dam between the north and south sections of the locks over the next three months.

Beginning June 2, and running through the end of August, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will work on the gates, which maintain the water elevation for Lake Washington. To keep the inconvenience to pedestrians at a minimum, the work is being scheduled to keep the walkway closed for less than an hour each day, two days a week.

The gates were originally installed at the Locks in 1916, and were refurbished due to corrosion in 1944. The last maintenance on the gates was conducted in 1988, when they were painted. The Corps of Engineers is now replacing the gates because of the age of the materials, the corrosion that comes with the environment in which they operate, and their design, which leaves them weaker and less resilient than modern gates.

The new gates will have an updated design, and will operate more efficiently and be easier to maintain. The gates will be fabricated offsite.

Closure times will be posted on both sides of bridge walkway at least two days in advance, shown on the Locks website, Facebook, and Twitter pages, and will also be made available to those who call the Chittenden Locks Visitor Center at 206-783-7059.

Bikes take over streets of Ballard on Thursday

Ballard Summer Streets

By Joe Veyera

Bikes will take over parts of Ballard on Thursday night to cap off Bike to Work Month.

The City of Seattle’s Summer Streets project is partnering with the Cascade Bicycle Club to host a street party from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. celebrating biking and walking. Ballard Avenue Northwest between 22nd Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street, and 22nd Avenue Northwest between Ballard Avenue Northwest and Northwest Market Street will be closed from 4 to 9 p.m. to accommodate the celebration, giving residents the opportunity to experience the space in a unique, car-free way.

Riders of all ages are encourage to attend and enjoy live music from The Swearengens and special guests on the mainstage, along with free food and beverage samples from Nuun, Clif Bar, and Theo Chocolate. Hub and Bespoke will present the “Share Your Style” fashion show, featuring stylish riders selected from the crowd, with free gifts going to those selected to show off their looks.

The Ride & Glide BMX Stunt Team will be on hand showing off their high flying, while the NW Trials Team will present their extreme bike handling skills. BalMar Cocktail Lounge will be the happy hour headquarters, with specials on pints of Peddler’s Brewing Company beers and cycling-themed cocktails.

Kids can take part in the bike parade down Ballard Avenue Northwest at 5:30 p.m., make art with a bike cog spirograph, and try out the bike rodeo obstacle course.

For more information on the event and a complete schedule of the party, click here.

Open house on open space in Ballard on Thursday


By Joe Veyera

The future of open space in Ballard will be the topic of discussion Thursday night at the Ballard Library.

Groundswell Northwest will host an open house starting at 6 p.m., giving residents the chance to share their thoughts on open space in the neighborhood, along with opportunities they see for new parks, park improvements, and other place making ideas in Ballard. The open house will also feature discussion about Groundswell NW’s new Open Space Plan, and how residents can get involved in updating the all-volunteer, non-profit organization’s 1996 Open Space Inventory and Action Plan.

Since that plan was conducted, several opportunities identified have become or will become public space, including the Salmon Bay Natural Area and Ballard Corners Park. Now, the group is hoping to build off the successes of that plan.

Building on the foundation of the 1996 Ballard Open Space Inventory, the 2014 inventory will assess progress to date, review the viability of previously identified opportunities, identify new opportunities, and recommend a course of action for addressing the open space needs of the community. We also anticipate an “early success” project to develop out of this project, such as a mural, kiosk, habitat restoration enhancement, greenway, or small park improvement project, which will involve community members in the creation, design, and execution.

For more information on the open house, click here.

KEXP’s Hood-to-Hood returns to Ballard on Friday

Hood to Hood

By Joe Veyera

For the fifth time in nine years, Ballard came out on top in KEXP’s Hood to Hood Challenge in 2013, the annual fundraiser in which neighborhoods compete for the chance to host a day-long celebration put on by the radio station.

This Friday, Ballard will get enjoy the fruits of their fundraising labor as the station descends on the neighborhood for a day of live music, DJ sets, and the first-ever KEXP record fair.

The Hilliard’s Beer Taproom (1550 NW 49th St) will host KEXP’s live broadcast, featuring free performances open to the public by Iska Dhaaf, the Faint, and Katie Kate.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the first-ever KEXP Record Fair will be held at the Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW), with Barsuk, Sonic Boom Records, and Sub Pop Records among the labels set to be on hand.

Beginning at 5 p.m., KEXP DJs will host live music showcases and DJ sets at participating bars, restaurants, and businesses. Gibraltar, Fox and the Law, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, Widower, and Smokey Brights make up the lineup at the Sunset, while the Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) will host performances by Jason Dodson of the Maldives, Goodbye Heart, and Tangerine.

For the full lineup and details on the day of music, click here.

Ballardites will have the chance to claim next year’s Hood to Hood celebration during KEXP’s Summer One-Day Fundraising Drive on Friday, June 13.

Beers for Books at King’s Hardware next Wednesday

Beers for Books

By Joe Veyera

Supporting literacy around the world will be as simple as sitting down for a local brew on June 4, as King’s Hardware (5225 Ballard Ave NW) hosts Room to Read Seattle’s Beers for Books event from 7 to 10 p.m.

$4 from every pint (and $13 from every pitcher) of Fremont Brewing or Lowercase Brewing beer, along with $1 from every King’s Lemonade sold for those looking for a non-alcoholic way to support the effort, will go to Room to Read’s Local Language Publishing Program, which produces books for children in Asia and Africa. Raffle tickets will also be sold ($5 for 1, and $20 for 5).

Organizers are hoping to raise $1,500, enough for 1,500 books.

If you won’t be able to attend, but would still like to donate to Room to Read’s efforts, click here, and specify the Seattle chapter.

The San Francisco based non-profit currently operates in 10 countries — South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Over 1,600 schools and 16,000 libraries have been established by Room to Read, and more than 13 million children’s books have been distributed. Since its founding in 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of over 9 million children.

Sen. Kohl-Welles announces re-election bid

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

By Joe Veyera

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles of the 36th District has announced her bid for re-election to the state Senate, and will hold her campaign kick-off this Wednesday night in South Lake Union.

The kick-off and fundraiser at the South Lake Union Discovery Center (101 Westlake Ave N) starts at 5 p.m. and is open to the public. Co-hosted with Rep. Larry Seaquist of the 26th District, the event will also feature Gov. Jay Inslee, House Speaker Frank Chopp, and Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson.

Kohl-Welles, who has represented the 36th District (which includes Ballard, Magnolia, Greenwood, Queen Anne, Interbay, Belltown, along with portions of Phinney Ridge and Fremont) since 1994, is Ranking Member of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and sits on the Senate Ways & Means, Rules, and Commerce and Labor committees. This past legislative session, Kohl-Welles saw several bills she co-sponsored signed into law by Gov. Inslee.

On February 26, Inslee signed SB 6523 into law, which allows the children of undocumented immigrants to apply for the State Need Grant. SB 6450, which expanded the definition of ‘floating on-water vessels’ to include houseboats, thereby granting houseboats the same protections as other vessels under the Shoreline Protection Act, was signed on March 19. SB 6436, which created a workgroup that will make recommendations to the legislature for the continued viability of the College Bound Scholarship Program, was signed on April 3. That program provides financial assistance to low-income students who wish to pursue a college education.

Several pieces of anti-human trafficking legislation that Kohl-Welles was involved with also passed, while legislation that would have aligned the medical and non-medical marijuana markets did not make it to the governor’s desk.

Trolling the neighborhood: Can you guess where the troll has been?


By Joe Veyera

As many of you already know, the team at My Ballard has taken in a special new friend. After deciding to make Ballard his new home, the little troll that you may have seen at the Syttende Mai parade was nameless, but thanks to you, our newest resident is no longer a John Doe … or John Troll, for that matter.

Every week, Thorvald will be taking in the various sights of Ballard, but it will be up to you to figure out just where he’s been. While Thorvald spent most of his Memorial Day weekend relaxing, he also spent some time out getting to know his new neighborhood.

Can you tell where Thorvald was this weekend? Give us your guesses in the comments! We’ll reveal the answer at the end of the day on our Facebook page.