St. Alphonsus Parish School to host Winter Open House

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 10.26.03 AM

St. Alphonsus Parish School will be hosting their annual Winter Open House this Sunday, January 29, from 11 a.m. at their campus (5816 15th Ave NW).

Locals can discover St. Alphonsus Parish School’s values in addition to their unique learning environment.

St. Alphonsus offers a Montessori preschool (including a full day option), K-4 elementary, and single-gender classrooms in our 5-8 middle school, St. Alphonsus is a Catholic school welcoming students of all backgrounds.

The school was founded in 1907 and is located in the heart of Ballard. St. Als serves families from various Seattle neighborhoods, providing quality education in a caring, diverse and faith-filled environment.

St. Alphonsus is fully accredited and features a strong core curriculum along with religion, music, Spanish, art and PE. Robust extracurricular programs including CYO sports, drama, band, and choir offer students the chance to display their many talents.

At the Open House event, St. Alphonsus teachers, students, and parents will be on hand to greet locals, provide tours of the school, and answer any questions.

The program begins at 11am in the school with light refreshments and a presentation from principal, Mr. Matt Eisenhauer.

Click here to find out more information about the event.

United Way to assist locals with free tax preparation

United Way of King County is offering free tax help to local families making under $64,000 a year at Solid Ground (1501 N 45th St) on Tuesdays from 5–9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. until April 20.

Volunteers will prepare taxes for attendees and help connect them with one-on-one financial counseling, healthcare enrollment, and other public benefits.

The campaign started as a grassroots initiative in White Center thirteen years ago led by United Way of King County. Over the years the campaign has spread throughout the county in an effort to connect low-income workers to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

No appointments are needed to take advantage of this service.

Click here to learn more and find a list of what to bring.

Detectives seize heroin, crack and cash from local drug dealer

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 10.39.37 AM

SPD Detectives seized large quantities of crack cocaine, heroin and $25,000 in cash on Sunday from a man suspected of dealing drugs in the Ballard and Greenwood neighborhoods.

After purchasing heroin from the 26-year-old man on several occasions, police served a warrant on his Lynnwood apartment and vehicle Sunday and recovered 75 grams of wafers of crack, 27 grams of heroin and the cash.

Police booked him into the Snohomish County Jail for narcotics possession.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Police Department.

King County Council adopts long-range plan to improve Metro service

Metro Connects, the long-range plan for improving King County Metro transit service, was adopted Monday by the King County Council, following review by the Regional Transit Committee.

Metro Transit serves more than 400,000 daily riders today; under this plan there will be over one million daily riders on transit throughout King County by 2040.

King County Metro Transit General Manager Rob Gannon thanked the County Executive, County Council and Regional Transit Committee for their leadership and approval of the Metro Connects plan.

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 11.01.58 AM

“When transit service is integrated, customers win,” Gannon said. “Transit demand continues to climb, and with Metro Connects we now begin the work of further expanding this region’s world-class system. Behind the buses and route numbers are the operators, mechanics and planners who will make this plan happen, and we are focused on accomplishing this work so service can better meet customers’ needs now and in the future.”

The enhanced bus network will be integrated with current and expanding Sound Transit Link light rail and Sounder rail networks, and respond to current and evolving transit demand which Metro monitors in its annual System Evaluation report.

Major features of Metro Connects

  • Shared vision for transit: Metro Connects improves coordination between transit agencies and cities to build an integrated transit network and tie regional transit expansion with local transit services and city development.
  • More frequent service:Metro will expand RapidRide by another 13 routes by 2025 and finish the alphabet by 2040, creating and a grid of more frequent service
  • Improve all-day and flexible service:Express buses, running every 15-30 minutes all day; more service on the streets early in the morning and very late at night; more flexible services to fit the unique needs identified by communities.
  • Improve access to transit:Create easier and safer ways to drive, walk, or bike to transit
  • Make travel faster with help from partnerships:Work closely with cities and transit agencies on street and travel improvements that support transit

Achievements expected with Metro Connects

  • Transit ridership in King County can more than double to over one million daily boardings.
  • Metro will quadruple the number of people with easy connections to Sound Transit Link light rail to make the most of regional investments.
  • Freedom to travel easily by providing 73 percent of King County residents with frequent bus service within a half-mile by 2040, including even more access to disadvantage populations.

Click here to learn more about Metro Connects.

Locals invited to help update SPU’s business plan

Seattle Public Utilities is updating its Strategic Business Plan (SBP), the road map guiding the utility’s delivery of services to its customers.

Adopted three years ago after an in-depth public process, the SBP spells out the utility’s six-year plan for keeping its promise to customers: to provide efficient and forward-looking services that keep Seattle the best place to live.

During development of the plan — which establishes service levels, investments and a rate path for the years ahead — customers provided valuable feedback at focus groups, public meetings, and via online surveys.

By approving the plan, the City Council called for a review and plan update in 2017 to address unforeseen changes. SPU is now asking for a second round of community input to help in setting the utility’s course for six more years.

The updated plan will provide direction for SPU on important issues facing Seattle, such as:

  • Doing its part to keep the city moving by improving critical infrastructure — including upgrades to stormwater and drinking water systems, and planning for increased seismic resiliency.
  • Keeping Seattle clean and safe by supporting the Clean Cities Program.  SPU removes illegal dumping, picks up litter and hypodermic needles, and prevents and removes graffiti.
  • Meeting state and federal regulatory requirements that will keep stormwater and sewage pollution out of our streams, lakes and Puget Sound.

Among the questions SPU will be asking customers, in an online survey and at seven community meetings, are:

  • How should we plan for the future?
  • How can we improve our service delivery?
  • How should we deal with unforeseen expenses—transportation projects, city cleanup, regulatory requirements and lost revenues—not included in the original plan?

Here’s how you can get involved:

Take a survey. Take an online survey to learn more about the vital utility services SPU provides and share your feedback and ideas for the future of the utility. Click here to take the survey.

Attend a community event. The closest community event to our neighborhood will be held on Tuesday, February 7, from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at SPU’s North Transfer Station (1350 N 34th St).

Lagunitas Brewery and Tasting Room now open in Ballard

Screen Shot 2017-01-24 at 5.38.57 PM

According to Eater Seattle, Lagunitas Brewery and Tasting Room is now open in the former Hilliard’s Beer space at 1550 49th St NW.

This location is the second of this type of satellite tasting room for Lagunitas, which recently opened another small Taproom and Beer Sanctuary at a former brewpub in Charleston.

News was first announced in September that Lagunitas had acquired the warehouse space after Odin Brewing purchased the property in June.

In terms of what is on the menu, locals will usually be able to get the full selection of Lagunitas beers on draft. Small-batch experimental beers will be brewed on site at the Seattle facility.

Locals will notice changes to the venue since Hilliard’s left. The space has a new paint job and includes an island bar.

At the moment, the brewery is limited to guests 21+ until the kitchen opens and starts serving food in the second quarter of 2017.
The company is also developing a large area in the back of the brewery to serve as free event space for nonprofit groups.

The new watering hole will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Nearby News: Locals invited to give final feedback on Greenwood/Phinney Park Development

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 11.08.39 AM

Locals are invited to attend the final public meeting to give input on plans for the Greenwood/Phinney Park Development that is set to be built between N 81st St and N 82nd St on the east side of Greenwood Ave N.

Seattle Parks and Recreation thanks the Greenwood/Phinney neighborhood for their participation in the last public meeting on November 2.

At that meeting Seattle Parks presented three concepts and play options and gathered community feedback. An online survey was created in addition to printed surveys at the Greenwood Library for those who were unable to attend the meeting. Locals can download the survey results here.

Locals are invited to give more feedback at the final public meeting which will be held on Wednesday, February 1, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Greenwood Community Center (525 N 85th St).

Click here to find out more about the Greenwood/Phinney Park Development.

BNDS Project team requests local feedback via online survey

The Ballard Natural Drainage Systems project expresses their thanks to locals for their patience and support during the project’s construction period.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) constructed natural drainage systems (roadside rain gardens) in the planting strip along several blocks in the Loyal Heights neighborhood of Ballard to help improve water quality in local water bodies.

About two-thirds of Seattle is served by a combined sewer system designed to carry sewage from inside homes and businesses along with polluted runoff from streets and rooftops in a single pipe—a “combined sewer.” When the area experiences heavy rain events, the pipes can become overloaded with stormwater and the mixture of polluted runoff and raw sewage can overflow into lakes, streams, and Puget Sound.

To help us improve how they provide information about construction projects in the future, they are encouraging locals to fill out a quick online survey by Friday, January 27.

Development Update January 23: Two applications

Two applications make up today’s update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.

Applications:

1451 NW 46th St

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 5.22.45 PM

A Shoreline Substantial Development application has been submitted to allow a one-story, 25,000 sq. ft. retail structure (grocery store) with parking for 144 vehicles at and below grade.

1400 NW 45th St

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 5.23.58 PM

A Land Use Application has been submitted to allow one, 2-story structure containing 25,000 sq. ft. of marine sales and service and one single story restaurant structure. Parking for 92 vehicles to be provided at and below grade.

Ballard author helps teens voice political concerns in written anthology

Screen Shot 2017-01-27 at 12.07.48 PM

Ballard author Ingrid Ricks and a team of local women have come together to help teens voice their feelings and concerns about the inauguration of President Trump through writing.

“After the election, so many teens were feeling scared and unheard that a few of us came together and decided to launch an anthology that gives those who were too young to vote a chance to have their voices and concerns heard. The result is Dear Mr. President: Teen Voices from Across the Country — which officially launches on Inauguration Day,” says Ricks.

Thirty eight teens from across the country, including four from Ballard High School, submitted letters, poems and essays that feature in the anthology.

According to Ricks, The project is a labor of love by a team of women who are passionate about Human Rights for all — and about ensuring that teens have a voice.

Check out the segment on New Day Northwest about the project:

Locals can download a copy of the book for free or purchase a paperback copy for $9.99 online.

All proceeds from book sales will go to Rock the Vote, an organization that fosters youth involvement in politics.

Click here to learn more about this project and others that focus on the power of personal narrative produced by Ricks’ organization Write Out Loud.