Throwback Thursday: Football in Ballard

By Joe Veyera

With the Seahawks set to begin their Super Bowl title defense on Thursday evening in their first preseason game against the Broncos, this week’s throwback post takes a look at how players threw the pigskin in the Ballard of yesteryear.

The black and white photo below, taken in 1903, shows the 1903 Champion Football team of Seattle. Fourteen young men are posed in three rows dressed in their uniforms. Inscription on the back of the photo: “Champion Football Team of Seattle Ballard Varsity for season of 1903.”


The black and white photo below, taken in 1923, shows fans at Husky Stadium for the “Old Oswald” punt, pass, and kick competition, held by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department in conjunction with The Seattle Times (read more about the Old Oswald competition from The Seattle Times here)


The black and white photo below, taken in 1923, shows children welcoming that year’s champion of the “Old Oswald” competition.


The black and white photo below, taken in 1910, shows a team photo of 21 young men in football uniforms, with one man in a suit (presumably the coach) in the background.


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.

Photos and information courtesy of Ballard Historical Society.

Parks District widens lead in latest election returns

By Joe Veyera

The proponents of Seattle’s Proposition 1 are one day closer to seeing the proposed Metropolitan Parks District become a reality, after Wednesday’s election returns widened its lead with a 53 percent to 47 percent margin.

The “for formation” votes were leading the “against formation” votes 52 to 48 percent on election night. As noted by our news partners at The Seattle Times, opponents would need approximately 58 percent of the remaining 40,000 votes to be counted to defeat the measure.

In 36th Legislative District races, incumbent Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and State Representatives Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton continue to hold big leads. Kohl-Welles has 82 percent of the vote in her race against Republican Sarina Forbes, while Carlyle and Tarleton have 85 and 86 percent of the vote in races against Republican Leslie Klein and Libertarian Paul Addis.

Longtime Democratic incumbent Jim McDermott holds 77 percent of the vote in the 7th Congressional District race, punching his ticket to the November general election. Who will face him is still unclear, with Republican Craig Keller currently in the lead among challengers with 9 percent, followed by fellow Republican Scott Sutherland and independent candidate Doug McQuaid, each with 6 percent.

The next round of returns is scheduled to be released on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. To look at the full results, click here.

Nordic Heritage Museum hosts Moomin Mania on Thursday


By Joe Veyera

In celebration of Swedish-speaking Finnish illustrator and writer Tove Jansson’s 100th birthday on August 9, the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) will mark the occasion with a morning of activities centered around Jansson’s fairy tale characters, the Moomins.

All ages are welcome for the family-friendly celebration, which will feature crafts, cartoons, and music from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In all, nine books were released in the Moomins series, along with five picture books, and a long-running comic strip. In March of this year, the New Yorker profiled Jansson’s work.

No RSVP is required for the event, with anyone interested in participating invited to drop-in at 11 a.m. There is a suggested donation of $5 per crafter.

For more information on the event, click here.

Centurylink announces gigabit internet plans for Ballard


By Joe Veyera

Ballard residents will soon have a faster option for internet access.

On Tuesday, Centurylink announced the launch of its gigabit fiber services in Seattle and 12 other cities across the country. In Seattle, the 1 gigabit per second service will begin rolling out in Ballard, West Seattle, Beacon Hill, and the Central District in the coming weeks. Residential customers will be able to purchase 1 Gbps (or 1,000 Mbps) service for $79.95 a month when bundled with additional, qualifying Centurylink services. Businesses throughout the Puget Sound will also be able to purchase the service.

“We believe increased broadband speeds can lead to both economic and educational growth opportunities in the Pacific Northwest,” said Brian Stading, CenturyLink region president for the Northwest in a press release. “This growth potential is supported by the trust current businesses put in CenturyLink’s services and the expansion of our fiber network is just another example of why CenturyLink is a premier supplier of technology and technology solutions in the Pacific Northwest.”

Centurylink says the 1 Gbps speed will allow customers to stream high-definition video content with little to no delays and download movies, songs and TV shows in seconds.

“Seattle is technology city, but there are a number of steps we as a city must take to remain a national leader, including bringing cutting-edge Internet service to more businesses and residents,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a release. “CenturyLink’s investment in 1-gigabit fiber is a very positive step in our city’s much larger effort to increase competition and broaden access to high-speed Internet – especially for those in underserved areas of our city.”

(Photo courtesy of Centurylink)

Ballard NW Senior Center receives technology matching funds from City of Seattle


By Joe Veyera

The Ballard NW Senior Center (5429 32nd Ave NW) is one of 23 organizations to split $320,000 in technology matching funds from the City of Seattle, as the city looks to support projects throughout Seattle to ensure residents have access to and proficiency using internet-based technologies.

“While access to technology has increased for many, there is still a significant gap in the access to and use of technology in Seattle,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a press release. “Technology skills are necessary for success in the 21st century and these funds play a critical role in preparing our residents.”

The center will use the funds — $6,580 — to upgrade its existing eight-station computer lab, and provide computer instruction to seniors in Northwest Seattle. According to a post on its Facebook page, the center has interviewed two new computer teachers this week, bringing their total number of teachers to six.

The projects were selected by the city’s Technology Advisory Board from more than 67 applicants.

“These funds play an important role in leveling the playing field. They help our must vulnerable residents use technology in innovative and meaningful ways, including seniors, at risk youth, homeless women and children, immigrants and refugees, and people with disabilities,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee in a release.

For more information on the technology matching funds program, and to see the full list of awardees, click here.

(Photo courtesy of the City of Seattle)

Kohl-Welles, Carlyle, Tarleton lead big in early returns

By Joe Veyera

A trio of incumbents in the 36th Legislative District jumped out to commanding leads in the first round of election returns on Tuesday night.

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles leads Republican challenger Sarina Forbes with 81 percent of the vote to Forbes’ 18 percent, while Democrats Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton lead Republican Leslie Klein and Libertarian Paul Addis in a pair of legislative races, each with 85 percent of the votes counted thus far. With each race only boasting two candidates, all six will advance to the November general election.

In the 7th Congressional District race, longtime incumbent Jim McDermott leads with 76 percent of the vote, well ahead of Republicans Craig Keller (9 percent) and Scott Sutherland (7 percent), independent candidate Doug McQuaid (6 percent), and perennial entry GoodSpaceGuy (1 percent).

In the contentious Proposition 1 race, which if approved would create a Metropolitan Parks District in Seattle, 52 percent of voters have said they are for the formation of the district, with 48 percent voting down the measure.

The next round of returns is scheduled to be released on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. To look at the full results, click here.

We’ll update this post as candidates and campaigns release statements, and/or concede their races.

Update (10:30 p.m., August 5): Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has released a statement in response to the early returns on Proposition 1:

“These results are incredibly encouraging. We know there are more ballots to be counted, but if current trends hold, it appears that Seattle voters have made an important decision for future generations of Seattleites.

I am very hopeful that tonight, with this vote, Seattle has approved a measure to provide our well-loved and well-used parks system with a sustainable source of funding. If so, this vote will not only allow us to address our existing maintenance backlog, but will also allow us to plan for and manage the growing needs of our nearly 500 parks, playfields and community centers as Seattle continues to grow as a city.”

SDOT finalizes fall parking rate changes

By Joe Veyera

The Seattle Department of Transporation (SDOT) has finalized its proposed rate changes for the fall, with all three paid parking areas in Ballard set to adjust in the coming weeks.

The changes are mostly in line with the ones reported by My Ballard in late June, with slight modifications.

In the Ballard Core, which is defined as Northwest Market Street between 20th and 24th Avenues Northwest, and 22nd Avenue Northwest between Ballard Avenue Northwest and Northwest 56th Street, the rate will remain at $2 per hour. However, paid parking hours will be extended until 8 p.m. (previously 6 p.m.) after the occupancy rate at 7 p.m. was found to be at 109 percent, well above the target rate of 70 to 85 percent.

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In the Ballard periphery, which is all non-Core paid parking blockfaces in the neighborhood, where parking has been $1.50 an hour between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with a four-hour maximum, the hours and time limit will remain the same, but the rate will be reduced to $1 an hour, after the daytime occupancy rate was measured at 58 percent, below the target range. In the original announcement of planned rate adjustments in June, rates had been slated to extend to 8 p.m.

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In the Ballard Locks parking area, consisting of the parking lots south of Northwest 54th Street adjacent to the Locks, where parking is currently $1.50 per hour, rates will change according to season because of the fluctuating number of visitors. Between May and September, parking will be raised to $2 per hour, with the rate dropping to $1 per hour between October and April.

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For more information on the parking rate changes in Ballard, and around the city, visit SDOT’s paid parking information site here.

(Information pages courtesy of the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Annual Paid Parking Occupancy Report)

Reuben’s Brews celebrates second anniversary with trio of events


By Joe Veyera

A local brewery is marking its second year in Ballard with three events this week.

Reuben’s Brews (1406 NW 53rd Street) is celebrating with events this Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and has created a new brew, the Full Monty IPA for the occasion.

This Tuesday, while the taproom will be closed for a brew day, Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont (400 N 35th St) will host the Reuben’s team for a brewers night on the brewery’s actual anniversary day, with five of Reuben’s offerings, including a cask, on tap starting at 6 p.m.

On Thursday, August 7, the brewery will celebrate National IPA Day, with 11 IPAs on tap in their taproom, including the new Crikey IPA, the debut of their new Black Imperial IPA, a new Coffee Imperial IPA, and a guest appearance of Blimey That’s Bitter, which will be run through a randall of hops.

Finally, on Saturday, August 9, Reuben’s officially marks its second anniversary with a celebration at the brewery starting at noon, with the first 100 people on hand receiving a free commemorative 16 oz glass with their first pint or barrel aged brew (Maximum one glass per person.) The Full Monty IPA will be officially released when the taproom opens at noon, and the event will feature approximately 20 beers on tap, along with brews from the cellar including three barrel-aged beers.

“We truly can’t believe two years has already passed!” wrote co-founder and head brewer Adam Robbings in an email. “The amazing support we get from the community makes it all worthwhile. Because of that, we’re able to do what we love to do every day. We couldn’t be more appreciative and look forward to brewing more great beer for many years to come!”

For more information on the events, follow Reuben’s Brews on Twitter or Facebook.