‘Missing Link’ debate still rages, hearings underway this week

The Missing Link route as approved by the city

Since the early days of My Ballard, we’ve covered the debate around the Missing Link: a proposal to close the 1.4 mile gap in the Burke-Gilman Trail.

The core issues remain the same over the years: Many cyclists want the route along Shilshole Ave., where they’re riding anyway, navigating over perilous railroad tracks. Several businesses in the area, called the Ballard Coalition, want cyclists to take Leary and Market, a slightly longer route that avoids the many trucks that drive through the industrial area.

The Seattle Department of Transportation signed off on the Shilshole Ave. route, sparking an outcry from the Ballard Coalition and a legal appeal challenging the city’s environmental impact statement. That appeal is being heard this week before Seattle Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner.

A decision — perhaps a final decision? — is expected by the end of the year. The city hopes to begin construction early next year.

For a deeper look at the controversy, Crosscut has a great update here.

Love poke? Now there are 3 poke spots in town

Market St. in Ballard is turning into poke paradise.

Fans of Poke Lover over in the U District will be happy to discover the restaurant has opened a Ballard location on Market near 22nd, next door to Matador.

Poke Lover has 12 kinds of fish (as well as cooked fare), and early reviews on Yelp are glowing.

Ballard is already home to Poke Square and No Vacancy Poke (in front of the Hotel Albatross), so Poke Lover is walking into a competitive environment. But if Ballard can support a gazillion pizza places, why not a few poke spots?

West Woodland Business Center coming to 53rd

In Ballard’s industrial area that’s now home to several breweries, a new business complex called the West Woodland Business Center is slated for development at 1125 NW 53rd St.

Avenue 55 is developing the project: a 4-story “light industrial” building with 71,460 square feet and a freight elevator. You may recognize Avenue 55’s work from Ballard 14, a new warehouse building that’s located two blocks north of Ballard Blocks.

The property was once home to Ness Cranes. The Ness family sold the land in August for $6 million, according to DJC.

After nearly 10 years on the web, My Ballard relaunches with new look

The 10th anniversary of My Ballard is coming next month (can you believe it?), and other than making us feel old, it made us realize the site was long overdue for a redesign.

Here’s the way the site looked back in January of 2008 with the ominous headline, “Community meeting about Denny’s tonight.”

At lot has changed since then, but My Ballard had been running on the same old WordPress template, and things began to break. So we’ve cleaned out the database, upgraded the design and (re)launched a few new features:

  • We now have a full-featured Ballard events calendar, and you can submit your own events for free. Please keep the events local, and we approve submissions daily. Many events will be featured in our weekly roundup seen by thousands of Ballard residents, both on the site and in our weekly newsletter.
  • You can now comment on stories without having to register.
  • The My Ballard forum is back! You can remain anonymous, but please adhere to the rules. Unlike comments, a quick registration is required. If you had an account long ago under your same email address, but you forgot your password, you can click the “lost password” link.
  • If you don’t mind using your real name — and you’re a Facebook fan — ask to join our new My Ballard Facebook Group, which has nearly hit 1,000 members.
  • Our Ballard traffic cameras page has been redesigned with larger images, and our Ballard crime page lists the latest Seattle Police dispatch reports.
  • Everything is mobile friendly, finally!

You may also notice that we’re publishing more stories, more often. We’re still working on a few tweaks here and there, and please feel free to let us know what you’d like to see — or what isn’t working. Thank you for your patience!

Ballard High musicians warming up for Winter Concert Series

The Ballard High School music program is preparing for their annual Winter Concert Series on December 6 (orchestra), 7 (band) and 11 (choir), and tickets for reserved seating are now available.

The finale of each concert will combine the wind ensemble, concert choir and chamber orchestra — 210 students on stage — to perform Haydn’s Te Deum, composed in 1799.

All performances will be at the Earl Kelly Center for Performing Arts at Ballard High School beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

If you would like to make a donation to Ballard Performing Arts, you can reserve seats. Tickets for reserved seating may be purchased online here — search for “Ballard.”

Fire in vacant house overnight

If you heard lots of sirens overnight, it was a fire in a vacant house on 63rd.

Firefighters were dispatched just after 1:30 Sunday morning for a fire at 63rd St. near 15th Ave., near Alki’s Body Shop (it appears to be this house here). Just 18 minutes later, Seattle Fire reported the blaze was under control.

There are no reports of injuries.

Update: Todd in the My Ballard Facebook group points out that this address is the site of an upcoming apartment development.

What’s on this weekend in Ballard and beyond

(Ballard HolidayFest from VisitBallard.com)

Now that you’re stuffed full of turkey, it’s time to get out there and walk and shop off some calories. There’s a lot going on this holiday weekend:

Friday, November 24th

Saturday, November 25th

Sunday, November 26th

You can see events all week long in our Ballard events calendar. Have an event to add? Submit it to our calendar, and we could feature it in our weekly roundup.

Happy Thanksgiving Ballard!

Update: It was a rainy Turkey Trot this morning, but all for a great cause — and just think of all the calories everyone can eat now! Here’s a video of runners heading down Sunset Hill:

A post shared by Heather Weinert (@hweinertiwom) on

Earlier: The 11th annual Turkey Trot kicks off at 9 a.m. in Sunset Hill. Several thousand runners and joggers will gather at 85th and 32nd, head south on 34th, then back north on Seaview to Golden Gardens. Here’s the map. The event is a fundraiser for the Ballard Food Bank.

Here’s a partial (and growing) list of Ballard establishments that will be open. Please leave a comment or email us at tips@myballard.com to let us know of any others we missed.

– Ballard Market will be open, but will close early at 4 p.m.
– Fred Meyer will be open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
– The Old Pequliar (1722 NW Market St.) opens at noon, and the kitchen opens at 4 p.m.
– The Crooked Nail (1556 NW 56th St.) will open at 3 p.m.
– Fitzgerald’s sports bar (5811 24th Ave. NW) will open at 6 p.m.
– The Lockspot Cafe (3005 NW 54th St.) opens at 4 p.m.
– Royal Drummer Cafe (6420 24th Ave.) is open, but closing early ~ 2 p.m.
– The Stepping Stone (5903 24th Ave.) opens at 6 p.m.
– Cafe Bambino (405 NW 65th St.) is open from 8 a.m. to noon
– Hattie’s Hat is open normal hours, serves Thanksgiving at 3 p.m.
– Kings Hardware will be open at 7 p.m.
– Ballard Coffee Works (2060 NW Market St.) is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– The annual Ray’s Boathouse Thanksgiving buffet may be sold out, so call ahead

Have a very happy Thanksgiving everyone!

7-story building proposed over parking lot

Ballard’s growth shows no signs of slowing as new development proposals keep rolling in.

The latest proposal is for a 7-story mixed-use building — apartments and commercial — at 5409 Leary Ave NW. That maps to the small parking lot between Cafe Fiore and the Ballard Landmark.

It goes without saying that parking is at a premium in the Old Ballard area. The new proposal does not include any on-site parking.

The new project is proposed by Skidmore Janet, the same architectural firm that designed Stoneburner in the Olympic Club Hotel.