WildLights now on at Woodland Park Zoo


It’s that festive time of year when Woodland Park Zoo lights up for the holiday season with its annual WildLights extravaganza. The special event is on now through January 4 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. nightly.

Over 600,000 energy-efficient LED lights can be seen throughout the zoo recreating wild animals and exotic destinations from across the globe,  including “Northern Lights,” “The Water Hole” and “Jungle Lights.”

There are both indoor and outdoor illuminated displays for guests of all ages to enjoy. Festive snacks will also be available as will the zoo’s decorated Historic Carousel for a festive ride.

New to this year’s WildLights is the “Tree ‘Roo Dancing Forest,” which is a synchronized musical light show experience.

While most of the zoo’s residents will be tucked in and fast asleep, the Day Exhibit, a showcase of reptiles and amphibians, and a portion of the Adaptations Building, featuring animals such as sloths, Indian flying foxes and meerkats, will be open for guests.

The zoo’s many birds of prey will also make periodic visits at the Raptor Barn throughout WildLights.

WildLights tickets cost $9.75 for adults (13+), $6.50 for children (3-12) and toddlers (2 and under) are free. Tickets can be purchased online or at zoo gates during regular zoo hours.

Night-of-event tickets will also be for sale at the zoo’s West Entrance, if not sold out.

WildLights ticket does not include admission to the zoo prior to 5:30 p.m. Parking is free. The event will happen rain or shine.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo. Photo Credit – Ryan Hawk.

All-vegan food truck opens in Ballard


According to Seattle Eater, new all-vegan food truck Basil & Javi’s Fresh Food Now has opened in the neighborhood.

The food truck, that aims to use as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, can be found at the corner of 17th Ave NW and NW Leary Way.

Basil & Javi’s boasts a varied menu that includes fresh items such as the Garden Veggie Gyro with kalamata aioli, Veggie Frankfurter, and Basil’s Savory Sweet Potato Burger. Sides of fries and salads are available in addition to dipping sauces such as homemade sriracha and roasted tomato tamarind sauce.

The food truck also serves sandwiches on bread from local favorite Essential Baking Company.

Locals can visit Basil & Javi’s Fresh Food Now from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. everyday. Orders can also be placed online in advance.

PSCAA air quality burn ban now in effect

Update December 2 :

As of 12 p.m. this afternoon the burn ban for King County has been lifted. PSCAA expects to see increased wind speeds throughout today and pollution levels are forecasted to fall to moderate.

Original Post:

Due to stagnant weather conditions and rising air pollution ,the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) has issued a burn ban for the entirety King County which came into effect at 1 p.m. yesterday.

The burn ban is currently at “stage two” level which bans burning in any wood-burning fireplaces, wood stoves, fireplace inserts (certified or uncertified) or pellet stoves.

For Seattle Parks and Recreation, this means that beach fires at Golden Gardens Park (8498 Seaview Ave NW) are also prohibited until the ban is lifted.

The PSCAA issues air quality burn bans when air pollution rises, or is forecasted to reach, unhealthy levels. “Fine particle pollution levels continue to be high in areas throughout the Puget Sound region, especially in neighborhoods where wood-burning is common,” writes the PSCAA.

The front expected this evening is showing rain and winds that will clear the air. However, daytime winds will not be sufficient to significantly reduce pollution levels in King and Pierce counties, especially in areas where wood burning is common.

Residents are advised to rely on their home’s other source of heat such as a furnace or electric baseboard heaters until air quality improves and the ban is lifted. The only exception to this ban is if the homeowner has a previously approved ‘No Other Adequate Source of Heat’ designation from the Clean Air Agency

Locals who violate the ban could face a $1,000 fine from the PSCAA. The My Ballard team will update readers when the burn ban is lifted.

To learn more about the burn ban click here.

Buyers beware: FBI issues safety tips for online shoppers this Cyber Monday

The FBI have posted some safety tips on their blog to prevent people from becoming victims of cyber crime this Cyber Monday. Today has become the biggest online shopping day of the year but unfortunately has also become a perfect day for scammers to lure shoppers in with bogus deals.

“From fraudulent auction sales to gift card, phishing, and social networking scams and more, cyber crime schemes are ever-evolving and, unfortunately, still successful,” writes the FBI.

Check out their tips for safe online shopping below:

  • Purchase merchandise only from reputable sellers, and be suspicious of websites that do not provide contact information; also be wary if the seller only accepts wire transfers or cash.
  • Do not respond to or click on links contained within unsolicited (spam) e-mail.
  • Be cautious of e-mails claiming to contain pictures in attached files; the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Scan the attachments for viruses if possible.
  • Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the e-mail instead of linking to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
  • Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify that the e-mail is genuine.
  • If you are requested to act quickly or there is an emergency that requires your attention, it may be a scam. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly.
  • Remember—if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.