Used bike drive for West African students this weekend

Bicycles for Education holds a used bike drive this Saturday, August 1st at Interbay. The empowerment program, organized by Washington-based company Alaffia, distributes Washington and Oregon residents’ unwanted bicycles to rural students in Togo.

Parallel to selling fair-trade cosmetic products, Alaffia has been in collecting bikes since 2006. Thus far, over 6,300 bicycles have been distributed to students in sixty different villages, who previously were void of transportation methods to and from school.

Surveys taken in Togo areas affected by the program report a significant improvement on exam scores and progress in rural schools. Bicycles for Education also reports reduced teen-pregnancy rates in rural villages influenced by the program.

All locals who want to donate a used bike or bike parts can do so between 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. at the Interbay Whole Foods (2001 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119).

To learn more about the Bicycles for Education project, click here.

Sustainable Ballard Festival meeting at Lucky Envelope tonight

Public planning for the 12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival happens tonight, Wednesday July 29 at Lucky Envelope Brewing (907 NW 50th Street). Everyone and all ideas are welcome at the meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Over the years, the annual festival has grown into an inspiring showcase of community efforts to promote sustainable ways of living. Sustainable Ballard believes this year’s festival– set for Saturday, September 19th– may turn out to be the biggest yet.As always, hands-on workshops will be provided, as will educational displays, interactive activities, live music, local food and active exhibitors. The organization has also partnered with Seattle Summer Parkways to offer an inter-neighborhood 7-mile bike path with activities along the way. Additionally, a garden party is in the works– complete with a Tea Garden, Mad Hats and more.

Photo from 11th Annual festival: Sunset Hill Community Association
Photo from 11th Annual festival/ Sunset Hill Community Association

If you can’t make tonight’s planning session, but wish to keep updated on festival planning, contact Howard to get on the email list.

Ballard Development update: subdivision and proposed apartment design review on Monday

For the last two weeks we’ve seen subdivision applications made for properties on 14th and 85th, parallel to Mary Ave NW. Today, another application is proposed to for another unit parallel to Mary Ave off 15th and 77th.

Meanwhile, a public design review meeting for a 6-story apartment structure on 56th takes place this Monday, August 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW), as noted in a July 17th MyBallard development update.

Though the Project Timeline for this site development is still at the beginning stage of Early Design Guidance, MyBallard reader Cameron Stokes tips us that that Rush construction seems to have already been chosen for the job, as indicated by signs posted at the site location.

This week’s development update, as posted below, is provided by the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.


7536 15TH AVE NWMapForNotice20149
A Land Use Application has been proposed to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 2,789.7 sq. ft. and B) 3,330.3 sq. ft. Existing structures to be demolished.


1517 NW 63RD ST

A Land Use Application has been granted to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6429987. 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.

Package thief returns to Whittier Heights

Package thievery has unfortunately affected several Ballardites once again.

Less than 24 hours ago, resident Debra Halsan found two empty Amazon packages in an alley between 8th and 9th Ave. NW. One of the packages was addressed to Kimberly McGregor of 20th Ave NW and the second to Grant Sickle of NW 59th St.

Another separate case was reported two days ago by Dylan Kahler from Whittier Heights. He reported waking up to witnessing a woman running from his front porch back to an idling dark gray SUV.

At the early hour of 6 a.m., he got up to investigate the disturbance to find the woman trying to grab an old Amazon Fresh bag from where it was located on Kahler’s porch.

“The handle’s tore off, so the joke’s on her,” added Kahler. He notes the woman looked to be in her mid-30s to mid-40s with brown hair in a ponytail. She was dressed in black pants and a gray t-shirt.

As for the getaway vehicle itself, he says it had a spare tire on the back and suggests it may have been a mid-90s Isuzu Trooper. Kahler was unable to see who was driving but says the car headed south on 10th Ave toward 75th. He reported the incident to the police.

Last summer, MyBallard also received a tip of a similar incident in Whittier Heights.

When Kahler’s story was posted recently for neighbors on online forum NextDoor Ballard North, resident comments included those of other similar experiences.

“I had some things taken from my trunk on July 1st while I was loading my Car2Go on a trip. The description of the woman is exactly the same,” writes KB Hughes of Greenwood. “The police happened to drive by two minutes after she took off. I couldn’t get a full plate number, but I filed a report.”

While it is important to be on the lookout for others in our community,North Ballard resident Tess recommends caution at pointing fingers at women who fit the description. “While description[s] of suspicious persons is certainly needed for police to catch package thieves, it saddens me that the collateral damage is suspicion cast on a large population of all 30s-40s, brunette, ponytailed ladies who occasionally wear black pants… I’m bummed that the crime situation has come to this and we’re now suspicious of our neighbors.”

Keeping an eye out for neighbors is recommended and there are steps one can take to prevent becoming another victim of package thievery. If ordering online, you can consider having packages sent to your work location or arrange for someone to be present to receive the package.

Alternatively, if ordering from Amazon you can select the secure Amazon Locker service where your packages will be delivered to lockers at various locations around Seattle, including at the Ballard 7 Eleven (1550 NW Market St). The service has no extra charge and provides additional security for your packages.

If you have experienced package theft at your home in Ballard, email us at

Help a lost ferret find home!

UPDATE: “Jerry” has been reunited with his owner.

Ballard, we’ve got a lost, friendly ferret on our hands.

The pet was found around noon today near 77th and 25th NW. She (though the finder is unsure of the ferret’s sex) is creamy white with dark splashes, apparently lighter than they appear in the provided photo.

“[She’s] very friendly and unhurt. I’d like to get [her] back where [she] belongs,” says Michael Esveldt, who has been unable to find the owners.

He says he has been knocking door-to-door and will now begin to put up some signs. Reach out to Michael at or in this comment section if you have any information about our ferret friend!

Seattle City Light explains power outage last night

A power outage in Ballard occurred last night putting about 2,500 people in our area out of power.

The original cause of the power outage was a failed underground wire on the Magnolia side of the marina. However crews tripped a feeder while working to restore power to Magnolia customers which caused the outage to spread to Ballard.

The original outage affected 3,700 customers but by 5:40 p.m. Seattle City Light had reduced it to 2,182 customers.

By 7:40 p.m. power was restored to Ballard area while crews still worked to restore power to the 600 customers in Magnolia. Only a half an hour later, the majority of customers in Magnolia, Queen Anne & South Lake Union had power again.


Eat out to support Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

Tomorrow night, restaurants supporting non-profit Seattle Neighborhood Greenways will donate 20 percent of your bill to safer streets. Check the list of all participating restaurant in the area and simply stop in tomorrow, Tuesday July 28th from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Ballard locations include Barking Dog Alehouse (705 NW 70th Street) and Maritime Pacific Brewing (1111 NW Ballard Way). Fremont Brewing is also on the list. We think the event sounds like a win-win for safer streets and local eats!

Here are some answers to FAQs on the event:

  • “Do I have to bike?” You can travel to the restaurant however you want (but walking or biking is encouraged – it is forecast to be a beautiful evening).
  • “Do I need to sign in?” You don’t need to do anything special to have a percentage of your bill go towards a great cause.
  • “Can I talk to someone about safe street issues in my neighborhood at the restaurant?” We will have volunteers at nearly all the restaurants to answer your questions about Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

For more information, view the Facebook event page here.

City of Seattle awards Neighborhood Matching Fund to three Ballard-specific projects

The City of Seattle is awarding $467,562 in matching funds to support 28 chosen neighborhood-initiated projects across the city. Awarded funds for the variety of events, cultural festivals and projects come from the Neighborhood Matching Fund.

“These projects are the result of neighbors working together to better their community,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “The entire city benefits from their volunteerism and talent as they create, plan and implement these projects. The Neighborhood Matching Fund is there to support their efforts, whether it is an exhibit, a documentary or a playground.”

The June 2015 Small and Simple Projects Fund awardees include three projects specific to Ballard:

  • $12,000 to Low Income Housing Institute to produce a free event series that feature the people and topics relating to the Ballard neighborhood. (Community match: $6,320)
  • $24,400 to Ballard Historical Society to conduct a historic inventory of the Ballard community and utilize a visual and interactive GIS mapping component to engage volunteers and the public. (Community match: $32,400)
  • $15,000 to Ballard Partnership for Smart Growth to perform outreach within Ballard to garner interest in a proposed Business Improvement Area (BIA) to serve the needs of the neighborhood. (Community match: $17,820)

Among the twenty-two other community-specific projects around Seattle, three citywide projects will be backed:

  • $8,927 to Seattle-Sihanoukville Sister City Association to produce an event to provide education and share stories of Cambodian refugees during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and their resettlement in the United States. (Community match: $13,365)
  • $25,000 to Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy to produce a Seattle Caribbean Festival sharing cultural performances and cultural exchange to unite members of the diverse Caribbean community. (Community match: $20,480)
  • $10,000 to Gay City Health Project to solicit public input to create a database of health care providers to ensure the LGBTQ community has access to high quality, competent healthcare. (Community match: $7,220)

The total awards range from $4,000 to $25,000, and the organizations pledge to match the City’s $467,562 investment with $600,132 of locally raised money, donated materials and volunteer labor.

“There is a reason the Neighborhood Matching Fund has existed for 27 years,” said director of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Kathy Nyland. “It’s been a valuable resource for communities to turn their visions into reality.”

Since the start of the program in 1988, more than 5,000 projects have been completed. For more information about all of the funds visit

Sunday Farmer’s Market inches into Bergen Park

The popular Ballard Farmer’s Market has begun to overflow with vendors, some of who will now be located at the northern end of Ballard Ave in Bergen Place Park. The hub at Bergen will specialize in prepared foods, crafts and local artistry during normal Sunday market hours.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” says Judy Kirkhuff of the expansion to the city park just off 22nd Ave NW.

Below, we’ve featured this weekend’s happiest Farmer’s Market shopper:
Thanks for sharing, Shannon O’Donnell!

Photo by Shannon O'Donnell
A free Frozen balloon character for a princess/ Photo by Shannon O’Donnell

KUOW ‘Week in Review’ broadcasted from Leif Erikson Lodge

KUOW talked hot topics of the week at Ballard’s Leif Erikson Lodge this past Friday, July 24. The broadcast was part of the news talk radio’s summer tour series Week in Review in which KUOW records a session in front of a public audience in each of Seattle’s newly minted City Council districts.

Our District 6 session got around to discussion on affordable housing solutions, the best ways to enforce the outdoor pot smoking ban and the West Coast’s earthquake fears. Meanwhile, the Norwegian puns were rampant aptly leading KUOW to title the segment “How Do We Keep Housing ‘A-Fjord-Able’?” Listen to the full segment on KUOW. org here.

KUOW’s Bill Radke hosted among a panel comprised of Live Wire radio’s Luke Burbank, KUOW’s Deborah Wang, and former state GOP head Chris Vance.

KUOW also reported on the post-broadcast event, interviewing longtime Ballard residents in attendance. Among them was James Tisdel, who suggests that the influx of housing construction has led to what Tisdel argues is the biggest issue facing Ballard as of late: parking.

“If you talk to most locals, the big deal is getting parking availability for all this development. That’s what I think is going to get even more challenging as we go on,” says Tisdel.

Kara McDermott for KUOW
Photo Kara McDermott for KUOW

What’s next up for “Week in Review”? Lower Queen Anne’s The Vera Project hosts the District 7 broadcast on July 31, concluding the series. The event is free and open to the public; no RSVP necessary. Complimentary refreshments are provided by Grand Central Bakery. Doors open at 9 a.m. while the live broadcast runs from 10 to 11 a.m.