Locals wake to winter wonderland in Ballard

Ballardites woke to a (thin) blanket of snow covering the neighborhood this morning. The snow stated to fall in our neighborhood around 2:30 a.m. and continued for a few hours.

At first it looked unlikely that it would stick due to wet weather conditions yesterday, however, locals awoke to a beautiful snow covered neighborhood!

Check out some photos below taken near NW 65th St:

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Email in your photos to tips@myballard.com and we’ll post them on the blog!

Snow expected in Seattle overnight

According to the National Weather Service, Seattle has a 70% predicted chance of snow between 9 p.m. this evening and 11 a.m. tomorrow morning. Seattle is predicted to reach a high of just 33 degrees tomorrow.

Locals should prepare for icy and snowy conditions in the neighborhood. King County Metro is also advising customers to prepare for restricted services if the icy weather persists.

Click here to check out some important winter driving tips from SDOT.

If you spot snow, send in your photos to tips@myballard.com and we’ll post them online.

Coyotes spotted attacking cat in Ballard

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My Ballard reader Craig emailed in to report that he witnessed two coyotes attacking a black cat in the middle of NW 85th St on Thanksgiving.

Craig was driving down the hill on NW 85th St towards Golden Gardens at approximately 7:30 p.m. when he spotted the coyotes going after the cat.

“The cat viciously defended itself. We stopped, honked, flicked our lights, but the coyotes were slow to leave their prey. After a minute or so, one disappeared into the woods roadside, and the other backed off and watched the cat for a couple of minutes, as the cat sat near the front of the car,” writes Craig.

Craig reports that the other coyote eventually disappeared from the area and the car wandered into the woods. Check out the above photo that Craig took from inside the car of the coyote eyeing the cat.

“It’s a reminder that pets need to be indoors,” writes Craig.

Back in September, the My Ballard team reported sightings of coyotes in the neighborhood. This new sighting is an important reminder for locals to be aware about keeping animals indoors and not leaving pet food outdoors.

Have you recently spotted coyotes in Ballard? Email any information or photos to tips@myballard.com.

Thanks to Craig for emailing in the photo and letting us know.

Metro advises customers to prepare for icy conditions

King County Metro Transit is encouraging customers to prepare for possible snowy or icy conditions this weekend. Weather forecasters are predicting colder temperatures and an increasing possibility of snow in parts of King County, which means the possibility of rapidly changing travel conditions throughout the weekend.

All transit customers are advised to check timetables for the routes they use and study snow routing in case it is implemented. In the event that travel conditions deteriorate, riders who live in outlying or hilly areas are encouraged to go to transit centers, park and ride lots or more heavily traveled flat arterials that are likely to be plowed, and where there likely is more transit service available.

Check out Metro’s travel and information tips below:

  • Sign up for Transit Alerts to receive notice of known service disruptions; however rapidly changing road, traffic and weather conditions make it impossible to know about every service interruption. It may not be possible to report on service that is affected on a per-trip or per stop basis.
  • Before traveling during bad weather, check Metro Online for the most current status of Metro service. Metro suggests that transit customers leave from a bus stop or park-and-ride that also has service when buses are on snow routes, in case travel conditions deteriorate later.
  • Know the snow routing for your bus route. Check the timetables at Metro Online for snow route maps for each route. Not every bus route has snow routing, but most do.
  • Be aware of conditions in the areas in which you will be traveling, be prepared and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination. Buses may not operate on schedule and may be crowded.
  • Snow and ice create challenges for all vehicles. Transit operations can change rapidly depending on traffic and travel conditions.
  • When buses are on snow routing, some streets and bus stops may be missed and there are often delays due to travel conditions.
  • Metro uses an online color-coded map to keep riders informed of the status of its bus service. Bus routes are assigned into one or more of seven geographic areas within King County. When there is snow or ice on the roads, the service status of each area will be color coded and displayed on the online map. Green indicates buses are operating on normal routes; yellow that some – but not all – routes in the area are on snow routes, and red tells you that all bus routes in the entire geographic area are on snow routing.
  • Your favorite smartphone apps and online trackers may not be reliable when buses are rerouted or significantly delayed.
  • Be prepared and be patient. Buses are not always on schedule in snowy or icy conditions. Increased ridership during bad weather can result in crowded buses and a longer-than-usual wait on the phone for the Customer Information Office during its open hours.
  • Dress warmly for the walk to the bus stop, expect delays, and wear appropriate footwear for the weather.
  • Head for bus stops on main arterials or at major transfer points such as park-and-ride lots, transit centers, or shopping centers.

To find out more information about services during icy or snowy conditions check out Metro Online.

What’s on this weekend

Thanksgiving holiday weekend is here. What better way to celebrate than to attend one of these awesome events in Ballard?

Friday, November 28

  • Ballard Gives Black Friday in Ballard all day. Local businesses will donate a portion of their sales to local non-profits. Click here to find out more.
  • Dibble House Holiday Craft Sale (7301 Dibble Ave NW) from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. A special preview evening, complete with wine, appetizers and live piano music. A suggested donation of $3.00 will benefit the Ballard Food Bank.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m.  Featuring Lonely Mountain Lovers, Marty O’Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra, Day Laborers & Petty Intellectuals. Click here to find more information.

Saturday, November 29

  • Small Business Saturday all day in Ballard. The day is dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country and was founded by American Express in 2010. Get out there and support our local businesses. Click here for more details.
  • Dibble House Holiday Craft Sale (7301 Dibble Ave NW) from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. A suggested donation of $3.00 will benefit the Ballard Food Bank.
  • Free SAT Diagnostics Test at Sylvan Learning (2232 Northwest Market Street #8) from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Find out how ready you are for the big test. Please RSVP first though at (206) 297-4595.
  • Swift Industries Holiday Sale from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. at 1415 NW 49th St. Did you know that Swift Industries makes bicycle bags right here in Ballard? They’ve opened a new showroom, and to celebrate they’re having an in-store sale! Click here to find out more.
  • Ballard Holiday Festival at Marvin’s Garden Park (Ballard Ave NW and 22nd Ave NW) from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Join the community in celebration as we kick off the holiday season! Music, food, crafts, tree lighting, and the official arrival of Santa are just a few of the highlights. Click here to find out more.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Lanford Black, GreenhornBluehorn and Bryan Francisco. Tickets cost $8. Click here for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8:45 p.m. Featuring Black Whales (album release) w/ The Young Evils & Timbre Barons. Tickets $8. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Sunday, November 30

  • Dibble House Holiday Craft Sale (7301 Dibble Ave NW) from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. A suggested donation of $3.00 will benefit the Ballard Food Bank.
  • Ballard Farmers Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Open Mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information click here.

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

You can submit it on our brand new events calendar here on MyBallard.com, or email the information to tips@myballard.com to ensure we include it in our weekly weekend roundup.

The 2014 Ballard Thanksgiving Day Roundup

The team at My Ballard would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving! We hope that you are enjoying the day and giving thanks for the special things and people in your life.

There are a ton of things happening in Ballard today so we wanted to keep readers up to date with everything in the 2014 Ballard Thanksgiving Roundup.

Events:

  • 8th Annual Seattle Turkey Trot  5 km walk/jog/run is starting at 9 a.m. above Golden Gardens (32nd Ave NW and NW 85th St). All proceeds raised go to Ballard Food Bank. 3000 people are set to participate.
  • Old Redeemer’s Lutheran Church (2400 NW 85th St) is offering a free Thanksgiving Lunch to all members of the community at 12 noon. Sleeping bags will also be distributed to those in need.

What’s Open:

  • Safeway (1423 NW Market St) is open 24 hours.
  • Ballard Market (1400 NW 56th St) is open all day until 4 p.m.
  • QFC (5700 24th Ave NW) is open all day until 6 p.m.
  • Cupcake Royale (2052 NW Market St) is open from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. Buy a Stumptown espresso beverage and receive a free Pumpkin Maple Baby Cake.
  • Hattie’s Hat (5231 Ballard Ave NW) is open all day from 10 a.m. – 2 a.m. Turkey legs and fixin’s available at 5p.m., and karaoke hosted will kick off at 9 p.m.
  • Toast Ballard (5615 24th Ave NW) is open from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Kangaroo and Kiwi (2026 NW Market St) will be open from 4 p.m. – close to show the Seahawks game.

What’s Closed:

  • All US post offices
  • Most major banks and credit unions
  • Seattle Transfer stations
  • Ballard Library
  • Ballard Neighborhood Service Center (will remain closed through Sunday, December 1)
  • All Seattle Parks and Recreation community centers including Ballard Pool

Traffic Watch:

  • Plan ahead if travelling along/nearby the Seattle Turkey Trot route. The event starts at 9 a.m. with staging on Loyal Way NW between 31st and 32nd Ave NW The event then moves south on 32nd Ave NW; west on NW 77th St; south on 34th Ave NW; west on NW 57th St; northwest on 37th Pl NW; north on the Burke-Gilman Trail and curb lane along the east side of Seaview Avenue NW; ending at Golden Gardens Park. Motorists can expect delays along the run route.

Things to remember:

  • On-street parking is free in Seattle on Thanksgiving Day.
  • King County Metro Transit bus routes are operating on a Sunday schedule Thanksgiving Day and will run on a reduced weekly schedule on Friday, November 28, with no UW campus service.
  • Garbage, food and yard waste, and recycling will not be picked up in Seattle on Thanksgiving Day. Collections scheduled for Thursday will occur on Friday, and Friday collections will occur on Saturday due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Please be sure to have your containers out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection.

Do you know of any other events or information for Thanksgiving Day 2014 in Ballard? Email us at tips@myballard.com

Local moms frustrated by unexplained “closure” of Me n’ Moms

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The My Ballard team has received a number of emails from frustrated local moms looking for answers about the unexplained “closure” of popular Ballard consignment store Me n’ Moms (2821 NW Market St).

The store has been shut for over two weeks with a sign on the door stating that it is “closed for inventory”. The My Ballard team has tried to call the store multiple times over the course of the week, however, it appears that the number has been disconnected.

The My Ballard team contacted Cyndi Wilder City of Seattle Department of Finance and Administrative Services who confirmed that the Me n’ Moms business license is still valid and that owners have not contacted the City of Seattle to notify them that the business has closed. Wilder is investigating the situation further and will report back to us next week.

According to KOMO News, City of Seattle records confirm that “the business license for Me “n Moms is on hold due to an unpaid or unfiled item on the account.” Wielder confirmed that initial investigation reveals that the business license is valid and open as normal.

Regardless of the status of the business license, many readers are upset by the lack of communication about the “closure”.

My Ballard reader Briana is concerned about the store credit that she holds with the store and also about items that she has recently consigned. “I was planning on using the store credit for Christmas shopping and am considerably upset by this turn of events,” she says.

Similarly, My Ballard reader Jolyn feels frustrated by the lack of communication from store owners. “I’m sure I’m not the only parent in Ballard who’d like her unsold stuff back and a check for what they owe me,” says Jolyn.

My Ballard reader Morgan provided an alternative insight into the story. “The owner Wendy, if memory serves, had some health issues a few years back. I hope she’s okay. We have been happy consignors there for a dozen years and my hope is that the neighborhood re-embraces them when they open instead of greeting them with the “outrage” that seems to be present in the KOMO news article,” she says.

The My Ballard team will continue to update readers as more information is revealed next week.

Ballard Natural Drainage System proposal makes significant progress

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The Ballard Natural Drainage System project made significant progress last week when Seattle Public Utilities issued of a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) for environmental impact. SPU has determined that the project will most likely not have a significant negative impact on the environment.

The BNDS project has been in Phase Two (the design phase) since late last year and has been in the works since 2009. Over the years, there has been both support and opposition for the construction of rain gardens in our neighborhood.

In April 2013, SPU crews organized test digs to test soil in areas where the proposed rain gardens were to be constructed.

In summer 2013, SPU representatives visited Ballard residents door-to-door to gather input from locals who live in the proposed construction areas.

“We heard and recorded concerns and comments about trees and plantings, parking, and many other things important to residents and property owners,” writes the BNDS team on their website.

In late September last year, SPU representatives walked around with the residents of the blocks in question in order to gain specific information about trees, plantings, parking concerns and other important information.

Check out SPU’s description of the project below:

The Ballard NDS 2015 Project would design and construct infiltrating raingardens (bioretention cells) along up to 22 city blocks. Those raingardens would be located primarily in existing planting strip areas within City street rights-of-way. Existing planting strips would be converted from landscaped, lawn, or impervious areas to vegetated bioretention cells and upland planting areas.

The raingardens would be designed to receive stormwater that currently flows in roadway gutters to combined sewer inlets. The raingardens would include bioretention soil to provide water quality treatment. Inlet curb cuts would be installed to route stormwater flow from the roadway gutter to the raingardens. Outlet curb cuts would be installed on the downstream end of the raingardens to allow conveyance of excess flows (during high flow events) via roadway gutter to the nearest down-gradient existing combined sewer inlet.

The project would include two general types of raingarden designs: 1) Planting Strip Raingardens and 2) Curb Bulb-out Planting Strip Raingardens. The curb bulb-out design typically would be used for traffic calming and improved pedestrian and bicyclist sightlines at select locations. At the Loyal Heights Elementary school, bulb-outs also would shorten the crossing distances across Northwest 80th Street and Northwest 77th Street, a priority identified as part of SDOT’s Safe Routes to School program. Mid-block bulbouts are also planned along Northwest 75th Street to provide additional raingarden infiltration area and to provide traffic-calming benefits to the neighborhood.

All raingardens would be located to avoid existing driveways, historic/significant trees (if any), hydrants, and utilities where possible. All raingardens would have a vertical wall on the sidewalk side, a flat bottom, and a side slope (2.5 horizontal: 1 vertical) on the road side. Only the Planting Strip Raingarden would incorporate a passenger loading (parking egress) area.

Where feasible based on utilities and geotechnical analyses, “pit drains” would be installed under the raingardens to enhance vertical infiltration of stormwater runoff. Pit drains are shallow, vertical drains (between 10 to 15 feet deep) constructed by digging a hole through naturally layered or interbedded sediments and then backfilling the excavation with free-draining materials such as pea gravel.

In addition, the project would construct pedestrian and safety improvements such as curb ramps where required, at up to 15 intersections adjacent to the raingardens. Certain utilities such as side sewers and natural gas mains may need to be relocated or replaced during construction. The project would opportunistically demolish an undetermined area of impervious surfaces and replace those surfaces with pervious surfaces such as turf.

 The following blocks are included in the proposed project:

  • 17th Avenue Northwest: 7700, 7800, 7900, 8000, 8100, and 8200 blocks
  • 19th Avenue Northwest: 7500 and 7600 blocks
  • 25th Avenue Northwest: 8000, 8100, and 8200 blocks
  • 26th Avenue Northwest: 7700, 7800, 7900, 8000, 8100, and 8200 blocks
  • Northwest 75th Street: 1700, 1800, 2000, 2100, 2200, and 2300 blocks
  • Northwest 77th Street: 1700, 1800, and 2500 blocks

The project may also construct intersection improvements (such as curb ramps) at one or more of the following 15 intersections:

  • Northwest 75th Street and 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, and Jones Avenue Northwest
  • Northwest 77th Street and 17th, 18th, 25th, and 26th Avenues Northwest
  • Northwest 80th Street and 17th, 25th, and 26th Avenues Northwest

The specific intersection improvements and the number, locations, and design of raingardens has not been finalized at the time the Environmental Checklist was prepared.

Comments about the DNS must be submitted by December 4, 2014, to Betty Meyer, SEPA Responsible Official, at betty.meyer@seattle.gov.

Appeals of the DNS must be submitted by Dec 11 online or to the address below along with an $85 filing fee:

City of Seattle Hearing Examiner
700 5th Ave, Suite 4000
PO BOX 94729
Seattle, WA, 98124

Image courtesy of SPU.

CenturyLink and Cupcake Royale team up to give away free cupcakes

Next Friday, December 5, 2014, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. CenturyLink will be teaming up with Cupcake Royale to celebrate Ballard becoming the first CenturyLink Fiber Lit Community.

To celebrate the special occasion Cupcake Royal will be giving away 1,000 cupcakes at their Ballard store (2052 NW Market St).

According to CenturyLink, their 1 Gig service is one of the most advanced Internet technologies today. The addition of this service to the neighborhood will allow Ballard residents to have access to a service 100-times faster than most broadband currently available.

Head down to Ballard Cupcake Royale next Friday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to grab your free cupcake and talk to a CenturyLink representative.

For updates about the event, follow @CenturyLinkSea or use the hashtag #1GigSeattle.