Metro to operate with reduced service over Thansgiving holiday period

King County Metro Transit is reminding riders that buses will operate on Sunday and reduced weekday schedules over the Thanksgiving holiday and during several holiday periods through January – including a full week of reduced service at the end of December.

On Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, Metro will operate a Sunday schedule. On Friday, November 28, Metro will operate reduced weekday service, which offers more service than on weekends, but somewhat less service than on normal weekdays.

According to Metro, using a limited schedule over holiday periods from November through January will save an estimated $1 million each year. The holiday reductions are planned for times during which Metro historically sees a reduction in the number of weekday riders.

Metro offices, including the Customer Information phone line, and Lost and Found and Pass Sales counters, will be closed on both Thursday and Friday. The Customer Information Office at (206) 553-3000 will reopen on Saturday morning.

Information about Metro holiday services can be viewed online.

Mayor Murray releases draft medical marijuana ordinance

On Monday, Mayor Ed Murray released a draft of the proposed ordinance that would govern the production and sale of medical marijuana products in the City of Seattle.

The draft came about as the final product of extensive conversations with medical marijuana dispensaries, patient advocates, health care providers and member of the community.

“We want to strike the balance of protecting patients, ensuring access to medical marijuana and responding to concerns about the location and density of dispensaries,” said Murray.

Currently the state Liquor Control Board (LCB) regulates the production and sale of recreational marijuana, however, there are not similar regulations for medical marijuana.

The state legislature are planning to address this disparity in the 2015 session, however, a new system which would regulate the sale of medical marijuana would possibly not be in place until 2016.

“We know the state legislature will be considering bills this session, but in the absence of a state framework, Seattle must act,” says Mayor Murray.

Seattle dispensaries and patients are continuing to express concern that, without a more solid regulatory framework, that many remain at risk of being charged by federal law enforcement.

As part of the draft ordinance, Mayor Murray is proposing a regulatory license for medical marijuana collective gardens and processors. In order to qualify for the license operators would be required to have a criminal background check. Collective gardens would also be required to validate authorizations for medical marijuana with the issuing health care provider.

The license would also requires testing of marijuana for THC levels, molds, pesticides and other harmful substances.

The draft ordinance would require that dispensaries be 500 feet from child care centers, schools, parks and similar facilities. Collective gardens with storefronts must also be 1000 feet from another storefront collective gardens to prevent a large concentration of dispensaries in the one area.

In terms of delivery services, only collective gardens with storefront locations would be allowed to offer delivery to qualifying patients.

Marijuana edibles would also face packaging restrictions that would prevent the use of cartoon characters or mimic well-known brands in order to protect unintended use by juveniles.

Mayor Murray also proposed that collective gardens with a limited membership and no storefront would also be subject to the regulatory license. These operations, however, would not be subject to the same zoning or testing requirements as collective gardens with storefronts.

Under the proposed ordinance, all recreational marijuana businesses licensed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board would be required to obtain a regulatory license. However, no new regulations will pertain to these operations as they are already highly regulated.

If the ordiance is put in place, establishments that violate the ordinance could face license suspensions or revocations, and fines from $500 to $2000.

Distributing marijuana to minors and adults without valid authorization would also incur heavy civil penalties. In addition, there will be penalties for operating as a collective garden or processor without a regulatory license.

“The City of Seattle has always been forward-looking on this issue. I applaud the city on its efforts and this proposed ordinance is definitely step in the right direction — a step towards regulation,” said John Davis of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics.

Mayor Ed Murray has directed his staff to continue to reach out to community interests to refine this draft in the coming days. Murray intends to send a proposed ordinance to the City Council by the end of the year.

If you have a comment about Mayor Murray’s proposed ordinance submit it online at

Development Update November 25: Subdivisions and streamlined design reviews

One subdivision application, two subdivision approvals and two notices for streamlined design review meetings make up this week’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

No other applications, appeals, decisions, or notifications in Ballard were made this week


6717 Alonzo Ave NW


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6412217. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.


2236 NW 64th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 2,400.8 sq. ft. and B) 2,600.9 sq. ft. Existing structures to be removed.

1137 NW 56th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6369298. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

Notice of Streamlined Design Reviews:

6312 32nd Ave NW

A Streamlined Design Review is taking place for a proposed three-story building containing two live/work units and three townhouse units. Parking for five vehicles to be provided.

The Director will accept written comments to assist in the preparation of the early design guidance through December 7, 2014. You are invited to offer comments regarding important site planning and design issues, which you believe, should be addressed in the design for this project. Please note that this is the only opportunity to comment on this proposal.

5806 14th Ave NW

A Streamlined Design Review is taking place for two proposed 2-unit townhouses (4 units total) with surface parking for 4 vehicles located on the site. Existing structures to be demolished.

The Director will accept written comments to assist in the preparation of the early design guidance through December 7, 2014. You are invited to offer comments regarding important site planning and design issues, which you believe, should be addressed in the design for this project. Please note that this is the only opportunity to comment on this proposal.

Comments should be submitted to or mailed to the address below:

City of Seattle DPD PRC
700 5th Avenue Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

Following the public comment period for the above Streamlined Design Review applications, the Department of Planning and Development will issue a written design guidance report. This report will consider public comment and the applicable city-wide and neighborhood specific Design Guidelines and will serve as the basis for further review of the building permit.

Once the applicant has incorporated the design guidance into the proposal they may apply for a building permit. No public notice of the building permit application will be provided.

Locals launch community-based tourism office in Ballard

BTOflyer Members from the local culinary and retail communities have worked together to launch Ballard’ s very own community-based tourism office.

The new venture is designed to offer visitors in Ballard an authentic, local welcome differently to that provided by traditional tourism offices.

The creation of the Ballard Tourism Office (BTO) has been a collaboration between local organization EAT BALLARD and Leslie Mehren, owner and head designer of Ballard store Anima Mundi (5410 NW 22nd St).

The BTO is run by local community volunteers and provides both visitors and locals with a unique and personal free tourism service. The volunteers at the BTO share their expertise and deep personal knowledge of Ballard that in turn provides guests with an intimate knowledge of our neighborhood.

“With over 200 independent, locally owned restaurants, shops, cafes, boutiques, bars and breweries, Ballard has much to offer visitors. Newcomers and long-time residents are equally welcome to make use of the free service,” says founder of EAT BALLARD Gerard Wirz.

“Having a BTO at Anima Mundi is like hanging up a Welcome sign to visitors and newcomers. I love helping people discover what our neighborhood has to offer them,” says Mehren.

The BTO at Amnima Mundi is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and is open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sundays. (The office is closed each Tuesday in Winter.)

Wirz confirms that at least three other local businesses have expressed interest in hosting a BTO on their premises.

Click here to learn more about the BTO.

Salish Sea Trading Co-op partners with Skydottir Epic Cookies


The folks at Salish Sea Trading Cooperative have partnered with Skydottir Epic Cookies in a new venture which will see the popular cookies transported beyond Seattle City Limits via sailboat.

Salish Sea Trading Co-op will be sailing the cookies from Ballard to the peninsula for locals at the  Port Townsend Food Co-op to enjoy.

Skydottir Epic Cookies has been fortunate enough to share cookies outside Seattle City Limits for several years but this partnership with Salish Sea Cooperative is the first-ever sailing opportunity! Currently cookies get to their new homes via USPS or cookie-carpooling to areas outside of Seattle including Burien, White Center, Everett, Federal Way, Vashon Island, Redmond, Tacoma, and Renton.

Ballard native and Skydottir owner, Alison Dahmen, is looking forward to the new venture. “Customers are excited about environmentally friendly ways to move our carefully packed cookies, and low-carbon sail transport is a neat new option. I also like the fact that both Skydottir and Salish Sea Trading Cooperative have roots in Ballard,” says Dahmen.

Similarly, Salish Sea Trading Co-op is delighted to add Skydottir to their partner list in rebuilding maritime Puget Sound trade routes.

“Making local trade connections is a natural fit alongside the revitalization of sail transport—our small boats can go just about anywhere—and the quality of Alison’s product made good business sense for an introduction to the Food Co-op,” says General Manager Kathy Pelish.

Ballard Holiday Festival set to kick off festive season this weekend


The Ballard business community is coming together to give back this holiday season with some extra special events for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

The events are coined “Ballard Gives Black Friday“, that will of course take place this Friday, November 28, and “Ballard Gives Holiday Light Celebration“, set for this Saturday, November 29.

Ballard Gives Black Friday puts a community twist on the traditional day-after Thanksgiving Day shopping event. Rather than offering early morning discount sales, many stores in Ballard will be donating a portion of their Black Friday sales to local non-profits.

The non-profits include the Ballard Boys and Girls Club, the Ballard Food Bank, Heroes for the Homeless and many more. The local stores participating include Ballard Beer Company, Horseshoe Boutique, Romanza, Sip and Ship and many more. For a full list of participating stores and the non-profits that they have chosen click here.

Shoppers who want to give back this Black Friday should look for the “Ballard Gives Black” logo (pictured) in store front windows.

After recovering from the shopping sprees in Ballard on Friday, all are invited to Marvin’s Garden Park (Ballard Ave NW and 22nd Ave NW) from noon on Saturday, November 29,  for the “Ballard Holiday Festival.” This is the second year of the event that will feature live music, free goodies and beverages, and a chance for the little ones to have a free photo taken with Santa. Check out the events list below:

  • Live Entertainment from noon – 4 p.m. at the Bell Tower at Marvin’s Garden Park
  • Cookie decorating and ornament making from noon – 4 p.m. in Marvin’s Garden Park
  • Photos with Santa from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. in Marvin’s Garden Park
  • Holiday Jazz Trio at 3 p.m. at Marvin’s Garden Park Stage
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5 p.m. at Marvin’s Garden Park Stage
  • Christmas Rock Youth Band from 5:15 p.m.

A number of local businesses are also participating in a fun treat giveaway called the Tomte Trail. Businesses displaying a Tomte Trail poster will be distributing special treats from 2 to 6 pm.

“The lights are up,” says Mike Stewart, executive director of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, “and Ballard is ready to celebrate! From the philanthropy happening on Friday, to the free entertainment planned on Saturday, this is a great weekend to enjoy all that Ballard has to offer.”

Savvy Orders pulls plug on “Save Paseo” Kickstarter


In the latest installment of the Paseo sandwich shop closure saga, the “Save Paseo” Kickstarter has been cancelled by campaign organizer Savvy Orders.

The Kickstarter campaign, aiming to raise a total of $250,000 to reopen the Seattle sandwich staple, was canceled last Thursday after 312 backers had donated a total of $34,180.

According to a GeekWire report, donations to the “Save Paseo” campaign topped $40,000 last week, however, after a couple of negative reports from The Stranger and KING 5 some backers began to withdraw a total of $5000 in donations.

According to the KING 5 report, former Paseo employees were not in favor of the Savvy Order campaign. Former employee Gil Butler stated that “two of his former colleagues don’t want to work under new owners,” and former employee Tyler Grantham told The Stranger that “none of us are interested in what [Savvy Orders] proposed.”

Savvy Orders founder, Greg Gans, was reportedly surprised by the negative reactions from the former employees of Paseo. Gans attempted to reach out to the former employees, however, he told GeekWire that “they wouldn’t even have a conversation with us or hear us out.”

In the face of the criticism and the lack of support from the former employees, Savvy Orders cancelled the campaign. Check out their final statements on the “Save Paseo” Kickstarter page below:

November 19:

Hi fellow Paseo lovers,

We apologize for not giving any updates in the past few days, but we want to let you all know that we were working around the clock to gain a greater understanding of what we can do to Save Paseo!

We, like the rest of you, have had one goal in mind: keep Paseo open! But as we have proceeded with the earliest stages of the asset acquisition process, we have run into some pushback. We have not been privy to all of the behind the scenes details, but we would fully support Paseo’s reopening by its previous owner if the allegations in the lawsuit against them are untrue.

Our goal has never been to be involved in a controversy or a “fight” for Paseo. We only started this project because of our early and limited understanding that Paseo had closed “forever” based on its filing for bankruptcy. We believed that with the support of the community, reopening would be a relatively uncontentious undertaking. When some of the previous employees explained that they were not interested in working with us, we offered to turn the Kickstarter over to them.

But, if, as one of the previous employees put it, “[T]he recipes [are] his old boss’ best chance at starting over”, the last thing we want to do is stand in the way of someone making a living by acquiring his recipes through bankruptcy proceedings.

We gave it our all and tried to do what we thought would be best for Paseo lovers. But at this point, it seems highly unlikely that Paseo will be reopened and restored to its original glory by us.

Thanks again to everyone for your amazing show of support!

November 20:

Dear Loyal Paseo Fans,

We were happy to see that we were not alone in our love for Paseo and were thrilled about how many members of the community were willing to show their support when it closed. We truly appreciate all of your efforts and donations, however it appears extremely unlikely that we will reach our goal. As such, we are going end the Kickstarter, and refund everyone’s donations.

Thanks again!


The Savvy Team

Baby quilt stolen from porch in Ballard


My Ballard reader Alison emailed in to let us know about yet another incident of package theft in our area.

In this particular incident, a hand made quilt (pictured) which was a gift for a local newborn was taken.

The quilt maker posted the following message on her Facebook page:

This lovely baby quilt was stolen from the front door of the intended recipient on NW 81st Street in Seattle this past Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014.

On one of the curved corners I wrote “Made for Lauren by J. Carlton, 2014.” Please share this post in hopes that someone in the Seattle area will recognize it and do the right thing by helping me get it to the little baby girl it was intended for.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of the quilt send an email to us at and we will pass it on.

What’s on this weekend

Another weekend is here and brings with it plenty of exciting events. Enjoy it in Ballard!

Friday, November 21

  • Santa Portraits at Swansons Nursery (9701 15th Ave NW) from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Click here to learn more.
  • Market Street Dixieland Jazz Band at Egan’s Ballard Jamhouse (1707 NW Market St) from 9 p.m. The MSDJB performs the best in hot New Orleans style jazz, Dixieland, 1920s tunes and gutbucket French Quarter blues. Tickets cost $5.
  • 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.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Los Straitjackets, Deke Dickerson, Miss Mamie Lavona the Exotic Mulatta and Her White Boys. Tickets $20. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Saturday, November 22

  • Pancake Breakfast and Fair Trade Fair at Salmon Bay School (1810 NW 65th St) from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  The Pancake Breakfast will run from 9 to 12 ($7 per person/$25 per family). The Fair Trade Fair will run from 9 to 2 (free).
  • Santa Portraits at Swansons Nursery (9701 15th Ave NW) from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Click here to learn more.
  • Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Locals can get a head start on their holiday shopping while immersing themselves in some Nordic Christmas traditions. Click here to find out more.
  • 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.
  • Family Yoga Workshop: Gratitude is Our Attitude at Kula Movement, Center for Yoga & Health (5340 Ballard Ave NW) from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. A family workshop for 2-10 year olds, and their adult companions, taught by Nicole Koleshis. $25 for families with 1 child, $5 for each additional child; bring as many adults as you’d like.
  • Run Prepared Class for Women facilitated by Fighting Chance Seattle at Green Lake Park (between NE 71st St and Sunnyside Ave N) from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. In response to a recent attack on a woman at Green Lake, Fighting Chance Seattle will offer a free one-hour version of our Self-Defense for Women workshop on Green Lake. Cost is free.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Brite Lines, Xolie Morra & The Strange Kind and McDougall. Click here for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8:45 p.m. Featuring, The Dip, Graig Markel & The 88th St Band and Sundog. Tickets $8. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Sunday, November 23

  • Ballard Farmers Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Yoga Sound Bath at Kula Movement, Center for Yoga & Health (5340 Ballard Ave NW) from 5:30 p.m. – 6: 30 p.m. Join them for an evening of restorative yoga, therapeutic sound, and energy healing. Cost is $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
  • Open Mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information click here.
  • Seattle’s Tribute to the Last Waltz at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8 p.m. Tickets $10. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Yulefest set for this weekend at Nordic Heritage Museum


The Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) will host the 37th annual Yulefest this weekend from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Locals can get a head start on their holiday shopping while immersing themselves in some Nordic Christmas traditions over the weekend at Yulefest.

The festival will offer attendees the chance to experience Nordic food, music and craft holiday traditions. Specialty food will be on offer throughout the museum including open-face Scandinavian sandwiches at the Nordic Café; krumkake and lefse in the Kaffestuga; and, in the Bodega, glögg and a variety of Nordic beers.

In terms of entertainment, guests are sure to enjoy the Scandinavian fiddlers, singers, and folk dancers who will be performing on stages throughout the course of the festival. Festival-goers of all ages can take part in holiday-inspired crafts, activities and even get their photo taken with Santa.

Yulefest will also feature 40 merchants who will have Nordic-insipired wares on sale. Complete your holiday shopping early with the items on offer including both locally made and Scandanavian imported goods such as jewelry, high-quality woodworking, hand-woven rugs, woolen sweaters, and more.

This year’s Yulefest will also include the popular silent auction which will be held each day from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. The auction will feature both exclusive experiences and specialty Nordic items. The annual Yulefest Raffle will also be in full swing with the grand prize of two roundtrip tickets to Scandinavia aboard Icelandair. Raffle tickets can be purchased on the day or in advance from the Museum.

Yulefest admission price is $5 for adults and is free for children under 12. Nordic Heritage Museum Members will be admitted free.

Click here to learn more about this year’s Yulefest