Seattle Fire Station 18 assists in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Joe Veyera

The firefighters of the Seattle Fire Station 18 are no strangers to dousing flames with water. However, dousing their neighbors was a different story, until a Ballard resident asked them for their assistance in completing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

When Sayda Elmore was nominated by one of her co-workers for the challenge, she enlisted the help of the fire station for her video. 

“I was unsure if they would take the time out of their busy schedule to assist with this but without hesitation Lt.Graddon’s crew stepped up to help a fellow neighbor for a good cause!” Elmore wrote in an email.

Elmore said she wanted to do something special for her video, which led her to her neighbors as the fire station.

“I really appreciate them taking the time to help with this challenge,” Elmore wrote. “They were nice and even gave me a blanket to take home with me.”

To take a look at how the fire station assisted in Elmore’s challenge, click on the video below.

Seattle Parks and Recreation announces Labor Day closures

By Joe Veyera

With Labor Day set for next Monday, Seattle Parks and Recreation has announced that many of their facilities will be closed on September 1 in observance of the national holiday.

In Ballard, the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW), typically open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, and the Ballard Pool (1471 NW 67th St) will both be closed for Labor Day. The Loyal Heights Community Center (2101 NW 77th St) will also be closed for the day.

Meanwhile, the sprayparks at Ballard Commons Park (5701 22nd Ave NW) will be open for its regular hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To view a complete list of what Seattle Parks & Recreation facilities and services will be open and closed on Labor Day, click here.

Seattle Creative Arts Center hosts “Be a Changemaker” book launch September 14


By Joe Veyera

Local author Laurie Ann Thompson will read from her new book, “Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters,” on Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Seattle Creative Arts Center (2601 NW Market St), in an event hosted by Secret Garden Books.

This free event marks the launch of the book, which, according to Thompson’s website, is a “how-to guide for young social entrepreneurs who want to effect social change in their communities and around the world. Equal parts instruction and inspiration, the book will include tools and tips, exercises, and profiles of teens who’ve already been there, done that.”

The book has received strong reviews, with author and New York Times columnist David Bornstein saying it’s, “packed with practical advice and inspiration for anyone who has a yearning to build a better world,” and Kirkus Reviews saying that, “teens looking to make a difference will find inspiration as well as real-world strategies for realizing their dreams of being the change they want to see in the world.”

Some of the teens whose stories inspire the book will also be on hand for the event to share their stories.

For more information on the event, or to order a copy of the book from Secret Garden, click here.

Market Street Singers celebrates 10 years performing around Ballard

Poster - 10th Year-sm

By Joe Veyera

Since 2004, the Market Street Singers have brought their vocal stylings to events and locations both in and around Ballard. Now, to celebrate 10 years, the non-audition, volunteer, community choir will be performing on Saturday, Sept. 13 for the first time at the Ballard High School Performing Arts Center (1418 NW 65th St) at 7:30 p.m.

The free concert celebrates the choir’s tenure in the neighborhood, from small beginnings with what was originally expected to be a one-time performance at a Ballard ArtWALK event.

“We like to say that the MSS is a choral ensemble for Ballard that builds connections within diverse communities” wrote Market Street Singers PR Representative Brandy Rinck in an email. “Celebrating the joy of choral music among singers and listeners, we aspire to cultivate neighborhood pride with choral arts that are truly community identified.  Although we are a community choir in Ballard, we welcome both singing and non-singing members, no matter where they call home. We are proud of our inclusive, service-oriented vision and we seek to be an agent of change and community building through musical excellence and public outreach.”

The concert will bring together new members with special alumni from the past, with the choir performing a little bit of everything, including their favorite selections from the last ten years, and some new and different selections.

For more information on the performance, and the Market Street Singers, click here.

Dog found in Ballard last night


By Joe Veyera

My Ballard reader Roger emailed My Ballard to let us know that he spotted this young, female dog outside his building yesterday evening on Northwest 59th Street, between 25th and 26th Avenues Northwest.

“She was extremely friendly and polite and didn’t mind me checking her collar,” wrote Roger.

Unfortunately, the dog had no tags on her collar, and despite having a microchip, a check by the Sunset Hill Veterinary & Rehabilitation Center found the chip was blank. The vet clinic offered to contact the Ballard Animal Shelter and have her picked up, under the assumption that the shelter would most likely be the first place her owners would look.

“She’s a real beauty and I hope she gets home safe,” Roger wrote.


Ballard First Lutheran Church hosts Norwegian choir concert September 10


By Joe Veyera

Ballard First Lutheran Church (2006 NW 65th St) will play host to one of three Puget Sound area concerts featuring one of the most outstanding men’s chorus from North Norway.

Hålogaland Mandssangforening, a chorus of 39 singers from eight different municipalities north of the Lofoten Islands in North Norway (Kvæfjord, Harstad, Målselv, Narvik, Andøy, Tjeldsund, Evenes, and Balsfjord), will perform at the church at 7 p.m. on Sept. 10, and will be sponsored and joined by the Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle.

The chorus is directed by Dag Erik Enoksen, who has been an artistic leader and esteemed soloist in the region, and has been honored with The Culture Award for excellence. The leader and chorus organizer, Jan Meyer, is a retired teacher at Harstad University College, has been a guest professor at University of Minnesota and Minot State University, and has also been involved in the Kvæfjord Male Chorus as a leader and singer.

After its Seattle performances — which will also include performances in Bellingham at the Central Lutheran Church at 3 p.m. on Sept. 6 and in Poulsbo at the First Lutheran Church at 5 p.m. on Sept. 7 — the chorus will make stops in Eugene, Ore., and San Francisco.

PARK(ing) Day applications due this Friday


By Joe Veyera

There’s less than one week left to submit your application for the City of Seattle’s annual opportunity for residents to temporarily turn parking spaces into parks.

Last year, 45 parks popped-up on PARK(ing) Day around the city offering their own unique ways to engage with the local community. This year’s PARK(ing) Day is set for Friday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To partner with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), residents choose two mid-block parking spaces on an arterial street, or one mid-block space on a residential street, and notify nearby businesses and residents about your plans. Next, contact by August 29 to get a free street use permit, and provide a location description and the parking space numbers found on the round metal plates bolted to the sidewalk, provide a copy of your site plan (using the PARK(ing) Day Application to prepare it), and rent and place temporary, mandatory “No Parking” signs 72 hours in advance of PARK(ing) Day. SDOT recommends searching the internet for “barricades Seattle” or to look in the telephone yellow pages under “barricades.”. SDOT cannot provide the “No Parking” signs.

Size wise, these mini-parks should be a minimum of two parallel parking spaces on arterial streets or one space on residential streets, and any items over 3’ in height must be placed within 4’ of the curb, not next to the travel lane. On the day of the event, participants are encouraged to show off their parks through social media with the hashtag #parkingday, and can print out this poster and display it in their park to let people know it’s part of a global event.

For more information on PARK(ing) Day, visit SDOT online here. If you have questions about applications, please contact 

Two public Design Review Board meetings on Monday evening

By Joe Veyera

The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Northwest Design Review Board will host a pair of public Northwest Design Review Board meetings at the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) on Monday night.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., the five-member review board will discuss a proposal for a four-story structure with 40 residential units and no parking at 1506 NW 61st St (along with the demolition of the current two-story structure on the property).


According to the design proposal submitted to the DPD, the proposal addresses a need for affordable housing within the Seattle’s urban neighborhoods, and the objective is to provide an opportunity for safe, simple, efficient living within urban centers.

At 8 p.m., the board will discuss a proposal at 2003 NW 57th St for a six-story building with 126 residential units and 12 live/work units on the ground floor, and parking for 100 vehicles provided below grade.


According to that design proposal, the development objectives of the applicant is to construct a “mixed-use building that provides quality housing and flexible live/work commercial space at the ground floor level in the developing ‘downtown’ Ballard neighborhood.”

Both meetings will be held at the Community Center’s Sunset Captain Ballard Room.

According to the DPD, the process of an Early Design Guidance meeting is as follows:

  1. The applicants will present information about the site and vicinity as well as early massing design concepts.
  2. The public may offer comments regarding the design of a development on the subject site. (Note: Public comment at the EDG meeting is limited to design considerations. If environmental review is triggered, comments related to environmental impacts (such as traffic, parking, noise, etc.) may be sent to DPD following notice of that review.)
  3. The Design Review Board will provide guidance and identify those Design Guidelines of highest priority for the design as it moves forward towards Master Use Permit (MUP) application.
  4. Following the meeting, DPD will issue a written Early Design Guidance report summarizing the meeting. This report will be sent to those who signed in at the meeting or otherwise requested a copy.

For more information on the meetings, click here.

Ballard’s Captive Spirits Distilling wins international award


By Joe Veyera

A Ballard-based distillery has taken home top honors at the 2014 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), the premier competition of its kind in the world.

Captive Spirits Distilling‘s (1518 NW 52nd St) Bourbon Barreled Big Gin took home Gold Outstanding in the Contemporary Gin category, making it the first American gin to win a Gold Outstanding in the history of the IWSC. The distillery’s flagship Big Gin received a silver medal.

Captive Spirits was launched by third generation distiller Ben Capdevielle with partner Todd Leabman after working 15 years in the bar industry. In March 2011, Big Gin was first created in a 100-gallon Vendome pot still at their Ballard distillery. Bourbon Barreled Big Gin was released in Spring 2013.

“At this point, Big Gin can be found in 12 states and 4 countries,” wrote co-founder Holly Robinson in an email. “Pretty good, for our tiny Ballard spot!”

The distillery is also included on the Short List for Boutique Distiller of the Year — the lone U.S. nominee. The winner for that award will be announced at the 2014 Annual Awards Banquet on November 12th at The Guild Hall in London.

Reminder: Alaskan Way Viaduct closures begin tonight

By Joe Veyera

It’s not too late to start preparing an alternative route to get around town this weekend, or the beginning of next week, with stretches of State Route 99 set to close starting Friday at 10 p.m., with things not getting completely back to normal until 5 a.m. Wednesday.

From 10 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, SR 99 will be closed in both directions between South Spokane Street and Valley Street, with northbound 99 will remaining open at South Royal Brougham way and southbound 99 remaining open from the Columbia Street on-ramp until midnight, due to the traffic expected from the Seahawks preseason matchup with Chicago at Centurylink Field tonight.

At 5 a.m. Monday, crews will reopen the stretch south of the Battery Street Tunnel, but SR 99 will remain closed through the tunnel to Valley Street until 5 a.m. Wednesday, with northbound drivers forced to exit at either Seneca Street or Western Avenue.

These closures will also affect those using mass transit for their commute, with Ballard riders of the RapidRide D Line and Route 28 Express both experiencing reroutes. For more details on the missed stops for the RapidRide D Line, click here. For more details on the Route 28 Express, which connects Crown Hill and Ballard to Downtown, click here.

WSDOT has also released its recommendations to help mitigate the effects of the closure:

  • Allow plenty of extra travel time
  • Leave early or delay your trip to avoid traveling during peak commute periods in the morning and afternoon
  • Delay or reschedule discretionary trips
  • Consider telecommuting
  • Use King County Metro during off peak hours, or share a ride in a car or vanpool
  • If you must drive, know before you go and use WSDOT’s travel tools

For more information on the closures, click here.