Ballard Street Scrabble Tournament set for Saturday


A life-size Street Scrabble Tournament will take over the intersection of 17th Ave NW and NW Dock Place this Saturday from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Locals are invited to take part in this free community event hosted by Groundswell Northwest, Ballard Greenways, and the Seattle Department of Transportation. Attendees will be able to take part in the action, watch it all unfold and provide feedback on this kind of use of public space.

The intersection where the event will take place was recently reconfigured, leaving a large area of open space along 17th Ave NW. SDOT’s Pavement to Parks Program works to create community-driven public spaces in underutilized street space, like this one in Ballard.

In terms of decorating the space, a number of local artists have submitted several mural ideas for an interim look to define the space and Pavement to Parks is set to fund the initial effort. Groundswell NW has also been awarded a $90,000 Neighborhood Park and Street Fund grant to fund a permanent treatment for the intersection.

If you are keen to compete in the Scrabble tournament, email with your name and contact information. On the day of the event, 16 names will be randomly drawn and participants paired into teams.

For additional information about the Ballard Street Scrabble tournament or the Pavement to Parks Program, please contact Susan McLaughlin at

Development Update Oct 8: More subdivisions

It’s a quiet week for development plans in Ballard: just one subdivision application and one subdivision approval makes 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.


1701 NW 65th St


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6457992. 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.


8757 15th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one parcel into four parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 801 sq. ft., B) 803 sq. ft., C) 840 sq. ft.; and D) 1,500 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel D into two unit lots. The construction of a townhouse has been approved under Project #6444219. The subdivision of Parcel D is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel D will be applied to Parcel D as a whole and not to each of the new unit lots.

Appeals of the above decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than 10/22/2015.

Donors needed for Ballard Blood Drive


Bloodworks NW is encouraging locals to give blood this Saturday to do their part in supporting patients in need within our local community.

Bloodworks is our local blood bank and the sole provider for hospitals and clinics in Western Washington. When accidents happen, such as the recent Aurora Bridge tragedy, Bloodworks needs to supply hospitals with extra blood.

“In order to meet the demand to keep our inventory up, we need help from our community,” says Wendy Chu from Bloodworks NW.

The Bloodmobile will be parked at Ballard First Lutheran Church (2006 NW 65th St) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. this Saturday, October 10. Appointments last around 45 minutes and the mobile will be closed for lunch between 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Locals are encouraged to sign up in advance by contacting Sylvia Vikingstad at

Walk-ins on the day are welcome. Make sure to bring photo identification.

Seattle Parks Superintendent in Ballard for Listening Tour

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s new Superintendent Jesús Aguirre is coming to the neighborhood to hear exactly what is on the minds of local residents.

Aguirre recently relocated from Washington DC where, amongst other positions, he managed DC’s department of parks and recreation for almost four years.

“I have been focused on getting to know Seattle Parks and Recreation, our parks facilities, and the city’s neighborhoods and people. One of my main priorities is to get to know you better – our stakeholders, customers and residents,” says Aguirre.

Aguirre has been hosting a Listening Tour throughout the city over the past few months and is coming to the Ballard Community Center (6020 28th Ave NW) next Wednesday, October 14, from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

“I’m interested in hearing about your experiences – positive and negative, your desires for your park and recreation system and your ideas to make us even better,” says Aguirre.

If you are unable to attend but would like to give your feedback on Seattle Parks and Recreation click here to complete Aguirre’s short survey.

Seattle Parks and Recreation to recognize outstanding volunteers

Seattle Parks and Recreation is seeking nominations for the annual Denny Awards, which honor volunteer service to the city’s parks and recreation system.

The Denny Awards acknowledge and honor the crucial role volunteers play in neighborhood parks, community centers and recreation programs throughout Seattle. The volunteers do everything from pulling invasive ivy and planting native trees in our parks to coaching kids’ sports to working as docents at selected parks to serving on various advisory councils and boards.

“Volunteers are one of our most important resources,” said Superintendent Jesús Aguirre, “Without the help of the community, we could not run the first-rate park and recreation system that Seattle loves and depends on.”

Locals are encouraged to nominate youth volunteers, groups serving in parks or recreation, volunteers from Associated Recreation Council, individual volunteers, Friends, community and service groups and business or corporate volunteers.

Nominees should meet the following minimum qualifications:

  • Demonstrated exceptional stewardship to parks and/or recreation;
  • Provided stellar leadership related to enhancing and preserving parks and/or recreation programs;
  • Demonstrated a significant personal commitment of time and effort to assist Seattle Parks and Recreation;
  • Gained respect of community peers for efforts to help Seattle Parks and Recreation.

The nomination form is available online and the deadline for nominations is Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. Contact Junior Kitiona at (206) 615-0780 or for further information.

Producer to host Seattle casting for “The Great Norway Adventure” reality TV show

For the first time, Chicago’s O’Connor Casting Company is holding an open casting call in Seattle for Norwegian-Americans interested in applying for Season 7 of Norway’s hit Reality TV show “Alt for Norge” (AKA “The Great Norway Adventure”).

The casting company is once again doing a nationwide search for contestants for season seven of the show, during which 12 Norwegian-Americans are flown to Norway to compete in a series of challenges that test their skills, courage and determination. The winner wins $50,000 and will get to meet Norwegian relatives, “they don’t even know exist,” the casting company tells us. 

According to series Casting Producer Joan O’Connor, Seattle is the perfect place to have an open call. There are 365,000 Norwegian-Americans in Washington and it’s the perfect place to find fun and adventurous people. We’ve featured someone from Washington every season,” says O’Connor.

The series is hugely popular in Norway and has featured 70 Americans from all over the United States including season six cast member Joel Hilmo from Bellevue.

Throughout shooting Hilmo had the opportunity to take part in adventures ranging from reconstructing a famous WWII sabotage, to sailing an old ship, to ski jumping.

“It was a life changing experience! I never felt like the crew was creating drama. The whole experience was about falling in love with Norway, which I did,” says Hilmo.

To be considered for the open call, applicants need to be U.S. citizens with Norwegian ancestry (even a little bit counts), age 18+ and have never traveled to Norway.

The open call will be held at ACT Theatre (700 Union St) on Sunday, October 18, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Enter at ticket office door. For your chance to be included on the VIP list (slots are limited) email

Those who are unable to attend the open call can still apply online.

CBRA to sponsor second City Council forum this week

The Central Ballard Residents Association (CBRA) is sponsoring the second of two Seattle City Council candidate forums this Wednesday, October 7, from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Leif Erickson Hall (2245 NW 57th St).

Rebecca from the CBRA confirms that the event is not a debate. “Instead it’s your chance to ask your questions of these three candidates for the Seattle City Council,” she says.

The program is scheduled as follows:

  • 7 – 7:30 p.m. – Lorena Gonzalez, at-large Position 9
  • 7:30 – 8 p.m. – Tim Burgess, at-large Position 8
  • 8 – 8:30 p.m. – Mike O’Brien, District 6

The first forum, held on September 17, featured the other candidates for these council seats: Bill Bradburd (#9), Jon Grant (#8), and Catherine Weatbrook (#6).  The candidates responded knowledgeably to a variety of audience questions.