Suspicious man travelling door to door again in Ballard

My Ballard reader Paul emailed in to report that another suspicious man is travelling door to door in Ballard claiming that he works for The Seattle Times.

This is the first report of suspicious persons targeting our neighborhood in this way since December last year.

Paul and his family live on 23rd Ave NW (between NW 85th and NW 83rd streets) and were visited by the suspicious man on Saturday just before noon.

“It was an mid 30s African-American man wearing a blue and black windbreaker with a monogrammed Seattle Times logo on the left side,” says Paul.

The man, as other locals have reported in identical incidents, asked if the family was getting The Seattle Times and wanted to sign them up.

“It all seemed weird since he wasn’t carrying any identification or a clipboard. Then I remembered the post from back in December describing the exact same exchange and I decided to shout from the behind the door we don’t want it,” says Paul.

The man then, seemingly startled, left the porch quickly and proceeded to continue down 23rd Ave NW towards 83rd. Paul saw the man 20 minutes later continuing to proceed south on 23rd Ave NW.

“I called SPD’s non-emergency line and requested a patrol car,” says Paul.

This exact situation has been reported by readers to the My Ballard team over twenty times since 2013.

Have you recently had a similar interaction with a person matching this description in Ballard? Email us at Remember to call 911 immediately in case of emergency.

Ballard nurses honored with DAISY Award


Earlier this month five nurses from Swedish Ballard were honored with nationally recognized DAISY Awards for the extraordinary care that they have given to their patients.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is a national program that recognizes nurses who provide the best patient care, supported by UnitedHealthcare. The nurses were nominated by their patients, patient’s families and colleagues.

The five nurses receiving the honor from Ballard included Sherry Collins, RN; Feven Jembere, RN; Maryann Parris, RN; Meredith Roe, RN; and Rebecca Swanson, RN.

Rebecca Swanson was nominated for her exceptional dedication as a Lactation Consultant at the Swedish Ballard Childbirth Center. Swanson has worked in the labor/delivery ward for 10 years and transitioned into being a lactation nurse for the past 15 months.

Check out an excerpt from her nomination by a fellow Ballard nurse below:

Rebecca always goes above and beyond – visiting patients many times throughout a day, spending extra time finding specific resources for patients, or calling patients to check in with them. She is excited about sharing information and education with her colleagues and inspires us be better nurses. She is extremely passionate about doing what is best for newborns and families.

Congratulations to all five nurses on this fantastic achievement!

Photo courtesy of Kim Doyel.

RV explodes in Ballard, passengers escape with minor injuries


Kyle Moore from the Seattle Fire Department confirmed that a burning candle was the cause of the RV fire in Ballard early this morning.

The SFD were alerted to the situation when multiple 911 callers reported hearing explosions and seeing the fire at approximately 2:31 a.m. this morning.

“When firefighters arrived they found the two occupants of the motorhome has safely evacuated.  Because everyone was out of the burning coach, firefighters went defensive, meaning they fought the flames from outside if the RV,” says Moore.

Moore confirmed that it took 8 minutes for firefighters to get the fire under control and 13 minutes to completely extinguish the flames.

The burning RV also caught a nearby telephone/power pole on fire, and the power lines directly above the fire proved to be a hazard for the firefighters.

The occupants were transported to Harborview Medical Center with minor burns to their hands and the estimated damage caused to the motor home is $5,000.

Original Post:

According to a report by KIRO 7, an RV parked on NW 45th St near 6th Ave NW exploded into flames early this morning with two passengers inside.

The report confirms that neighbors heard two explosions before the motorhome burst into flames.


A man and a woman were inside the RV at the time of the explosion and have luckily escaped with only minor burns to their hands. The security camera from a nearby business captured a video of the explosion (see still above).

According to the report, the explosions blew holes in the RV which is now a completely charred structure (see photo below).


The My Ballard team has requested more information from the Seattle Fire Department and will update the story when more is known.

Photos courtesy of KIRO 7.

Group creates petition to save Loyal Heights Elementary playground

As the My Ballard team reported on Februrary 11, a group of parents, friends and neighbors from the Loyal Heights Elementary community have banded together to try and save the fate of the playground on the school grounds.

Loyal Heights Elementary is set to undergo a major expansion starting in 2016 to accommodate the increasing demand of the local growing population. The school is set to expand its current capacity of 450 students to approximately 650-800 students and must rearrange physical attributes of the school in order to do so.

The $37.3 million expansion project is currently underway under the direction of Seattle Public Schools who believe that the project “will address current and projected elementary enrollment growth in northwest Seattle.”

Despite acknowledging the benefits that the expansion will provide the local parents and neighbors have some concerns. “While many of the proposed changes will be of great benefit to our expanding student body, we are concerned that the building plans include a severe reduction in outdoor play space,” writes the local group on their website.

According to the local group, the current proposal is set to cut the outdoor playground space in half, leaving 3000 square meters for outdoor activities. “To put that in perspective, a soccer field is approx. 6000 square meters,” writes the group. Click here to view more details from the previous My Ballard report.

Loyal Heights parent, Katie Kaku, has created a petition for locals to show their support and express their opinions on the issue.

“We the parents, future parents and neighbors of Loyal Heights Elementary School, as well as concerned citizens, protest the proposed elimination of  half of the playground at Loyal Heights Elementary school,” writes Kaku on the petition website.

Click here if you are interested in signing the petition.

Sustainable Ballard launches reusable cup campaign


The folks at Sustainable Ballard have kicked off their own reusable cup campaign to curb excess waste in the neighborhood.

The group aims to educate locals about the problems associated with using paper on-the go coffee cups. Check out their message below:

Did you know that the paper cup used for your on-the-go coffee is probably not compostable? The thin plastic coating that keeps most cups from turning to mush makes them non-compostable.*

And your morning coffee’s paper cup is recyclable only if you have first rinsed it clean of all coffee and milk. But even if cups are composted or recycled, it still requires enormous amounts of energy and resources to manufacture and ship them.

We want to keep hundreds of thousands of paper cups out of the landfill and we hope you will participate with us in this effort. Sustainable Ballard now has a reusable coffee mug, available for a suggested donation of $20, with a bonus — discounts at local coffee shops!

The below Ballard stores will provide a discount when locals bring in the Sustainable Ballard reusable mug:

  • Jibe Espresso Bar (7001 Seaview Ave NW #170) – 25 cents off all drip coffees and Americanos, plus a free cookie.
  • Cupcake Royale – (2052 NW Market St) 10% off your coffee order through March, 2015.
  • Grumpy D’s (7001 15th Ave NW) – 20 cents off coffee and tea orders.

These stores will provide a discount when locals use any type of reusable mug:

  • Equal Exchange Espresso (Ballard Market – 1400 NW 56th St) – 25 cents off.
  • Toast Ballard (5615 24th Ave NW #102) – 20 cents off.
  • Ballard Coffee Works (2060 NW Market St) – 10 cents off.
  • Java Jahn (1428 NW Leary Way) – 25 cents off.
  • Grumpy D’s – 10 cents off.
  • Caffe Fiore (5405 Leary Ave NW) – 10 cents off.
  • Fresh Flours (5313 Ballard Ave NW) – 15 cents off.
  • Starbucks (2200 NW Market St) – 10 cents off.

To get your Sustainable Ballard reusable cup contact them at (206) 701-7000 or email

Development Update February 23: More subdivisions

One subdivision application and one subdivision approval make up today’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.


2641 NW 63rd St


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6398082. 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


2003 NW 60th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6426347. 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.

Appeals of this decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than March 9, 2015.

Comments about the above applications 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

Used bike drive set for Sunday in Ballard


Ballardite Rachel Klein is organizing a bike drive in the neighborhood this Sunday, February 22. The bike drive will benefit non-profit Bike Works in Columbia City.

The well-loved nonprofit builds sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling.

“We teach kids how to fix bikes so they can earn their own bikes, we take them out on trips and tours and help them find the freedom to get around independently on bikes,” says Klein.

The heart of the programs offered by Bike Works is the bike shop which sells refurbished used bikes. For the shop and program, Bike Works relies on bike donations and the organization is currently very low on bikes for programs.

The Bike Works team is doing a citywide bike drive this weekend to increase their inventory.

All locals who want to donate a used bike can drop it off between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Ballard NW Cross Fit (6419 15th Ave NW).

Click here to learn more about the bike drive.

What’s on this weekend

Another weekend is here! Enjoy it in Ballard at some of these fantastic events.

Friday, February 20

  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 8 p.m. Featuring Weatherside Whiskey Band, Heels to the Hardwood and Buckets of Tears (featuring Sam Russell). Tickets $8. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Best 80’s Party Ever (So Far) Featuring live Music from Nite Wave (80’s New Wave). Tickets $10. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Saturday, February 21

  • Great Ape Celebration at Woodland Park Zoo all day. The Great Ape Senior Celebration is set to honor the 47th birthday of twin orangutans Towan and Chinta and gorillas Pete and Nina. Free entry for anyone born in 1968 who shows ID. Click here to learn more.
  • Cool City Pets Adoption Event at the Seattle Animal Shelter (2061 15th Ave NW) from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The event will feature a range of small animals who are looking for their forever homes. Click here to learn more.
  • Annual Beach Party at the Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub (2026 NW Market St) from 8 p.m. The bar is filled with sand, the heat cranked up and all are invited to wear beach clothes as the Australian summer comes to a close. Resident DJ will be playing and there is no cover charge. Click here to find out more.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Tuktu, Pufferfish and Payson. Tickets $8. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring The Dirty Old One Man Band: Scott H. Biram with Jesse Dayton. Tickets $12. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Sunday, February 22

  • NW 65th St Clean Up from 9 a.m. Meet at Café Bambino (405 NW 65th St) at 8:30 a.m. to get your morning coffee before the clean up starts. All are welcome. Click here to find out more.
  • Ballard Farmers Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Square Peg Presents: Doug Seegers with Barbara Lamb and Fredd Luongo. Tickets $12.50. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Know of more events? Email the information to

Romanza Gifts set to close next week


Back in January, the My Ballard team announced that long time Ballard business Romanza Gifts (2206 NW Market St) was set to close for good.

This weekend will be the last full weekend that the store will be open with their closing date sometime next week.

According owners to John Sterlin and Venice Harris, the closure is due to rising expenses, increased competition from corporate “big box” retailers, manufactures selling direct-toconsumer, and overall diminished sales.

“We extend a heartfelt Thank You to all of our wonderful customers. You’ve continued to support Romanza for nearly two decades and we couldn’t have existed without you! We truly appreciate you and are exceedingly honored to have been a part of your lives and a part of this great community,” said Sterlin and Harris.

Currently Romanza is offering the following discounts:

  • 50% off General Merchandise
  • 80% off Holiday, Halloween, and Fall
  • 60% off Furniture and Displays
  • 20% off Votivo and Voluspa

“We don’t exactly know what day will be our last next week as we are waiting to see what we are left with,” says Sterlin.

Click here to check out the Romanza Facebook page.

Whitman Middle School student approached by suspicious woman

A male student from Whitman Middle School was approached by a suspicious woman demanding money before school this morning. This is the second student within a month who has been approached by suspicious persons in the area.

Check out the letter mailed to Whitman Middle School families from the school administration:

Dear Whitman Middle School families and staff,

We want to share information on a recent event that was reported in our community. This morning, while walking to school, a student was approached by a woman who asked him for money. When the student told her he didn’t have any money she demanded that he give her money. She followed the student and said she had a weapon, although she did not reveal a weapon at any time.

The student ran to school and immediately reported this incident to school security. Police were notified; took a report and description; and are now investigating. The student reported that the woman was thin, in her thirties and had tan skin with long brown hair.

Our student did everything right, immediately getting away from the stranger, and reporting the incident to the school, to the police and to his parents.

The safety of our students is a top priority for Whitman Middle School. You can help your children stay safe by talking to them about personal safety. Tips to discuss are walking in pairs or groups and being aware of their surroundings at all times, as well as not talking to strangers or getting into their vehicles.

Having these conversations, especially with younger children, can be difficult. We encourage you to be sensitive to your child. More tips and information can be found on the Seattle Police Department website.

Whitman Middle School Administration

If you have any information about this incident contact SPD North Precinct at ‪(206) 684-0850‬.