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.


The Ballard Memorial Day Roundup

By Joe Veyera

This Monday, we pay tribute to those who died while serving in the nation’s armed forces. Here’s what’s happening in Ballard this Memorial Day:

  • The Ballard Elks Lodge #827 is hosting a Memorial Day ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at Crown Hill Cemetery (8712 12th Ave NW), followed by a brunch at the lodge (6411 Seaview Ave NW) at 10:30 a.m.
  • The Lodge is also hosting it’s first annual 4×4 and Truck Show in the Lodge parking lot. This is a rain or shine event, with a suggested donation of $20 to enter your truck or 4×4, with all proceeds going to charity. This event starts at 8 a.m.
  • The Lodge is also hosting a “Rock for Oso” benefit show, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the United Way Disaster Recovery Fund for mudslide relief. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
  • Li’l Woody’s will be giving away free hamburgers between 2 and 5 p.m. at their Capitol Hill and Ballard (2040 NW Market Street) locations. Limit one per customer.
  • Goodwill is hosting its annual Memorial Day sale. Pink tagged items are 99 cents, while all red and blue tagged items are 40 percent off. Doors open at 8 a.m. at all locations, including their Ballard store (6400 8th Ave. NW).

What’s closed:

Things to remember:

Do you know of any other events or information for Memorial Day in Ballard? Email us at and we will add the information to our post.

Normal garbage pick-up for Memorial Day

By Joe Veyera

While local, state, and federal offices will be closed on Monday, all garbage, food and yard waste, and recycling collections will be on normal schedule in Seattle this Memorial Day. According to Seattle Public Utilities (SPU):

Collection is normal on all holidays except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Following each of those holidays, service will be delayed by one day for the rest of the week.

As always, customers should put out their containers for collection no later than 7 a.m.

SPU says that customers can report a Monday missed garbage, yard waste or recycling collection after 8 a.m. on Tuesday by calling (206) 684-3000 or by visiting their website.

What’s on this weekend

Memorial Day Weekend has arrived and there is plenty to do in our ‘hood. Check out the list of events below:

Friday, May 23:

  • Fill the Goodwill Truck BHS Fundraiser  in the Ballard High School Parking lot (NW 67th Street off of 15th Ave NW) from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Are you running out of space in your closets, garage and other storage spots in your home?  Just box or bag those items you no longer neeed and drop them off at our Goodwill Truck fundraiser to help pay for buses that will be used for the PTSA sponsored Senior Spree.
  • Allerleirauh Performance at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St) from 7 – 8 p.m. Allerleirauh weaves the Grimm’s fairy tale of a Princess forced to flee her over-bearing Father with the story of a modern woman trying to release herself from an inheritance of perfectionism and self sabotage. Cost of the event is free. Click here for more details.
  • 100: A Story of O’s Performance at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St) from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Tickets start from $10. Click here for more details.
  • I Might Be A Mother, If I Was A Marsupial Performance at Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St) from 10 p.m. – 11 p.m. The audience will be invited into conversation, see the Puspanjali, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll help I Might Be A Mother, If I Was A Marsupial travel to every country in the world. Tickets start from $10. Click here for more details.
  • 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.

Saturday, May 24:

  • Make a CLEAN SWEEP – E-recycling + More at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church (in the church parking lot at NW 85th St and 25th Ave NW) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Get all that unwanted stuff out of your garage and closets and keep it OUT of the landfill. Click here to check out the full list of accepted items. Recycling service is free.
  • Ballard High School Dance Team Showcase at the BHS Auditorium (1418 NW 65th St) from 7 p.m. Check out the annual showcase performance with original choreography by members of Ballard High School Dance Team. $10 Adults/$8 Students/Seniors.
  • The Two Step Performance at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St) from 7 p.m. Tickets from $10. Click here for more details.
  • Fertility Rite Performance at Ballard Underground (2220 NW Market St) from 11:30 p.m. Fertility Rite – Rarely seen late-night, full-nudity, avant-garde burlesque by some of Seattle’s most well-known performers presented at the Ballard Underground. Tickets $25. Click here for more details.
  • 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, May 25:

  • Ballard Farmers Markets along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.

Do you know of an event happening this weekend or in future in our neighborhood?

You can submit it to our events calendar here on, or email the information to to ensure we include it in our weekly weekend roundup.

SDOT encourages motorists to “Be Super Safe” on the streets in summer

Super-Safe-LogoMemorial Day weekend, and the unofficial “start” of summer is upon us.

With that in mind SDOT is encouraging locals to be safe on the roads during this historically notorious stretch of 100 days that span Independence Day and Labor Day weekend.

According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s 2012 Collision Summary, more collisions occur during these 100 days than at other times of the year. The increase in collisions is due to a number of reasons, including more impaired drivers being on the roads.

The WTSC summary found that men and women ages 25 to 34 are most likely to be involved in collisions during this period.

Although this time period can be rife with collisions, the WTSC reminds motorists that 90 percent of all crashes—involving pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles—can be prevented by practicing safer habits.

SDOT has put together the five tips below for safe summer travel:

1. Plan Ahead if You Plan to Drink

Help keep our streets safe by not driving while under the influence of alcohol, which remains the single biggest contributing factor to traffic fatalities, nor driving while under the influence of marijuana. If your plans include some partying, be sure to make your transportation plans before you have that first summer ale. Take a cab or a bus, choose a designated driver, or sleep it off at a friend’s house. Just don’t get behind the wheel.

2. Focus on the Road

Another no-no is distracted driving. Distractions can include texting and driving, eating, rearranging wind-blown hair or changing the radio station. Distracted driving is the second-leading contributing cause of collisions in Seattle. More than 1,000 crashes are caused by inattention every year—crashes that are completely preventable.

3. Slow Down

Plan your trip and allow enough time to get where you’re going. Speeding—which contributes to nearly 4,000 collisions annually in Seattle—and aggressive driving continually cause trouble on the streets. Slow down and enjoy the sunshine!

4. Stop for Pedestrians

“Did not grant right-of-way” to pedestrians is the most commonly cited factor for pedestrian collisions year after year in Seattle. No one has a super hero’s ability to quickly negate the force of a large, fast-moving vehicle. Please remember to always stop for pedestrians.

5. Pedestrians, Keep a Lookout

As pedestrians, we should never assume that we are safe just because we are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. In fact, most pedestrian-involved collisions occur in marked crosswalks. Save that phone call for later, look before you cross and keep looking as you cross the street. Wear bright or light-colored clothing or reflective gear in the evening time and early morning so drivers can spot you.

SDOT launched its “Be Super Safe” campaign to change the way people behave on Seattle streets and in turn reduce driver speeding, distraction and impairment. Click here to learn more.

Let’s work together to keep our neighborhood streets safe this summer!