‘Excessive heat watch’ for Seattle: where to cool off in Ballard

golden_gardens_sunThe National Weather Service has issued an “Excessive Heat Watch” for the Seattle area for this weekend, so the city is reminding residents where to cool off during the heat wave. Temperatures are expected to reach 84 degrees today, 88 on Saturday, and 86 on Sunday. The heat should continue throughout the week, with temps forecasted in the 80s.

We’re lucky in Ballard with Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park just around the corner, but if you can’t make it to the beach, here are some areas where the city recommends seeking refuge from the hot weather:

  • Ballard Library
  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Ballard Commons Spray Park (water is on from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

For reminders on keeping cool and safe during the heatwave, visit the King County Public Health “Beat the heat” page. The city also has some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe this weekend:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

Throwback Thursday: saloons and pool halls of Old Ballard

Ballard’s vibrant social scene has some deep roots; here are a few photos of bars, restaurants, saloons, pool halls and watering holes of the past.


Black and White photo of 22nd AVe NW and Market St. in 1939. Some businesses shown: Bagdad Theatre, Christopherson’s Ice Creamery, Black and White Tavern.


Black and white photo from 1935 of the exterior of a pool hall and bar at 5233 Ballard Avenue.


1910 photo of interior of the Owl Tavern in Ballard, which first acquired its liquor license in 1900.


Ballard Avenue street scene in 1916 snow storm. An old trolley is pictured in the middle of the photo, and the Olympia Old Home Saloon on left. The Cigar Store is on the corner at right with real estate sign bearing legend “White River Valley Farms.”


Black and white photographic copy of photo (in book) of St. Charles Hotel. Two story hotel with retail on ground level (Saloon, Restaurant).

All photos courtesy of Ballard Historical Society

Ballard Natural Drainage project update

A large-scale roadside rain garden project for the Loyal Heights neighborhood is in its final design phase, with construction expected to start later this year. The project is part of the city’s Ballard Natural Drainage System, which will work to prevent an average of 1 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater per year from entering the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay.

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Street map of Ballard natural drainage system projects

According to the project team, they’ve finished designs for several blocks of roadside rain gardens,  addressing technical and cost constraints, working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to finalize tree placements, and responding to feedback from residents in Loyal Heights.

Following the design finalization, the contract will be going out to bid for contractors this summer, and residents can expect pre-construction gas line relocation work to begin in late 2015, with major construction to begin in spring 2016.

There is a Ballard greenway route in the same area of the drainage project (on 17th Ave NW between NW 77th St and NW 83rd St), so SPU will work with SDOT to coordinate sharing the road.

Click here for a full map of the proposed rain garden locations in Loyal Heights, and here to learn more about the scope and history of the project.

Ballard Development Update: four subdivision applications

Four subdivision applications 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.


2609 NW 58TH ST


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6429896. 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.

6539 24TH AVE NW


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6436970. 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.

6543 24TH AVE NW


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6426912. 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.

7007 7TH AVE NW

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 876.1 sq. ft. and B) 4,124.7 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel B into two unit lots. The construction of a two unit townhouse has been approved under Project #6448265. The subdivision of Parcel B is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel B will be applied to Parcel B as a whole and not to each of the new unit lots.

Comments about the above applications should be submitted to PRC@seattle.gov or mailed to the address below:

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

What’s on at the Nordic Heritage Museum

The Nordic Heritage Museum is full of activity this summer, with new exhibits, craft classes, and a Viking-themed 5k coming up in August.

Eero Rislakki and Erkki Rahikainen (designer of 1965 original model) Finnish, born 1924 Erkki Rahikainen (engineer of original model), Finnish Markku Autero (designer of 2000 model), Finnish Jopo bicycle, 2000 (update of 1965 design)  H. (frame) 17 3/4 in. (45 cm); wheel diam. 24 in. (61 cm) Metal, rubber Manufacturer: Helkama Velox, Hanko, Finland, 1905-present Courtesy of Helkama Velox

New exhibit: “Finland: Designed Environments

The new exhibit, on display until July 26, features three galleries of furniture, images and stories that “explore examples of furnishing, fashion, craft, architecture, and urbanism in Finland, and how nearly every aspect of each incorporates thoughtful design and sensitivity to form and material,” according to the museum.

Craft School: Ornamental Woodcarving with Erik Holt
The museum welcomes woodcarvers of all skills in the class, which will cover basic techniques and tool care for beginners and helping students develop their own projects. The classes will be on Sundays in July (5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th) from 9 a.m. 3:30 p.m. To register, click here.

Registration for Run Like a Viking 5K now open

The new Viking dash is back this year, happening August 22, and the museum is now taking registrations. “Dress in your Viking best for this race at nearby Golden Gardens Park,” the museum writes, adding that on-leash Viking hounds are welcome in the run. There will be prizes for the best human and dog costumes.

After the race there will be a salmon BBQ with craft beer, Nordic music, crafts and children’s activities. The race is limited to 500 participants, and children are welcome to participate. Entry for the race is $40 for adults and $10 for kids. Learn more and register here.

To sign up for the Nordic Heritage Museum newsletter, email news@nordicmuseum.org with your full name and email address.

Massive elk goes through Ballard Locks

Some strange cargo moved through the Ship Canal last week: a 12-foot-tall elk sculpture on a barge entered the Ballard Locks en route to a private waterfront property in Magnolia.

Eric Jensen / KOMO News
Eric Jensen / KOMO News

According to KOMO News, the elk was created by Portland artist Travis Pond, who welded it together from hundreds of pieces of metal, mostly made from old John Deere tractor parts. The sculpture weighs in at 6,800 lbs. and also has pieces of old cars, gas nozzles, and guns.

KOMO reports that the elk was trucked up I-5, loaded onto a barge in Lake Union, and then sent through the Ballard Locks so it could be unloaded at the home of the Seattle art collector who purchased the sculpture.



Expect more delays on 3rd Ave NW with single lane closures tomorrow

Drivers who use 3rd Ave NW can expect more delays this week, as Seattle Public Utilities will be out doing drainage improvements at NW 120th St. SPU says work will commence tomorrow (June 25), with paving on NW 120th St., requiring single lane closures on 3rd Avenue NW between NW 120th St. and NW 122nd St.

A traffic flagger will assist with the northbound and southbound traffic on 3rd Avenue NW, according to SPU, and there will be intermittent periods between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. where traffic may be held. NW 120th St. will be closed to through traffic between 3rd Avenue NW and 1st Avenue NW, and northbound and southbound Metro bus stops on 3rd Avenue NW will remain open.

All-ages board game night at Ballard Library tonight

Tonight (Wednesday, June 24), the Ballard Library is hosting an all-ages board game night in the meeting room from 6 to 8 p.m., and all are welcome to attend.

“Bring your friends and family, or come alone and join in playing a vast array of board games,” Jonathan Koroshec, Adult Services Librarian tells us. Some of the games include Blokus, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Jenga, Scrambled States of America and more. People are welcome to bring their own games, and the event is free with no registration required.

Check out Ballard’s food gardens at the Edible Garden Tour on Saturday

egt12-stripThis weekend, you’ll get a chance to sample some of the finest urban gardens in the city: Saturday is the 7th Annual Edible Garden Tour, hosted by Sustainable Ballard.

The self-guided walking and biking tour of Ballard’s gardens will be in the West Woodland area. The Sustainable Ballard crew will be there to “educate and inspire folks to grow food by giving examples of creative uses of parking strips, containers, raised beds, chicken coops, fruit trees, berries and more.” The gardeners will also be on hand to answer questions.

The tour is $10, and will go to supporting Sustainable Ballard’s community projects. To join in, stop in on Saturday, June 27 at 10 a.m. at West Woodland Elementary School (5601 4th Ave NW) to get your ticket and map. The tour will finish by 3 p.m.


Local dance company performance preview this Friday

arcOn Friday, June 26, ARC Dance studio in Ballard will feature a “Sneak Peak” of their summer dance series, which kicks off in July. The dance company, located at 9250 14th Ave NW, will offer the preview in an effort to connect with the Ballard community and showcase the talent at their studio. The performance, from 6 to 7 p.m., is $5 and will feature performances designed by choreographer by Edwaard Liang.

According to ARC, Liang was born in Taiwan and grew up in Marin County, CA. He studied at the American School of Ballet and joined the New York City Ballet in 1993 and became a soloist in 1998. In 2003 Liang began choreographing, with a resume that includes experience with Nederlands Dans Theater and Pacific Northwest Ballet. In 2013 he became the Artistic Director at BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio.

Liang was brought to ARC to develop the Summer Dance series at the studio, which will be July 16-18 and 23-25. ARC says the Sneak Peek this Friday will allow the audience to watch the dancers work with the choreographer as they rehearse his piece. A reception at the studio will follow the performance. There are limited spaces available, so ARC asks that those interested RSVP to 206 352-0798.