Ballard home to the most proposed pot shops in a single Seattle neighborhood

Out of the 1,312 proposed marijuana retail locations in the state of Washington, 19 of them reside right here in Ballard, which appears to lead the way in Seattle neighborhood concentration. Before you get excited — or upset — Seattle is planning to approve only 21 stores citywide, so likely Ballard will end up with just a small handful or less.
Here’s the state map compiled by the AP’s Mike Baker. You’ll also notice a fair number in Phinney-Greenwood and a mini-concentration in Fremont, with long stretches of proposed shops along Aurora and Lake City Way. Of all the big neighborhoods, Queen Anne and Magnolia have the fewest.

A bevy of restrictions dictate these concentrations more than the nuances of our neighborhood cultures. For starters, I-502 bans marijuana retail storefronts within 1,000 feet of places like schools and libraries. Then there are state and local zoning restrictions, creating a very complicated set of criteria for the state to sift through when approving the final batch.

We’ll update you when the Ballard locations are finalized.

2 rescued off Shilshole by Harbor Patrol

Updated: Seattle Police’s Harbor Patrol rescued two people from the waters off Shilshole this afternoon. One woman was found clinging to a buoy, and officers discovered a man with the boat about 100 yards from shore, SPD said.
(Aerial images from KIRO-7‘s helicopter.)

Both patients were evaluated on shore by medics, Seattle Fire said. They did not need medical treatment, officers said.
The boaters fell off a Hobie Cat catamaran, and while the man was able to remain with the vessel, the woman — wearing a dry suit — held onto a nearby buoy until rescuers arrived. KIRO reported that they were training for the Australian World Catamaran Championships.

Hundreds take the plunge at Golden Gardens for the annual Ballard polar bear tradition

When the Golden Gardens polar bear plunge began in 2009, only a few dozen people jumped into the frigid waters of Puget Sound. Year after year the event has grown, and this year — by our unofficial eye — the plunge appeared to smash attendance records with around 300 people. Watch:

Swimmers young and old alike — some wearing costumes — jumped into the Sound and quickly emerged, high-fiving their friends. As is tradition, Christmas trees burned brightly in the fire pits, warming up the crowd.
The Ballard polar bear plunge was the brainchild of a group of friends from Ballard’s Lock and Keel. “I did it up in Vancouver where there’s like 8,000 people who do it, and then I came down here,” organizer Rick Sandvig told us two years ago. “So I said, why don’t we do it here?”
While Alki and Magnuson beaches draw bigger Seattle crowds for their own version of the plunge, Ballard is beginning to compete for attention, attracting its first TV camera for today’s event.

Bad Jimmy’s opens as Ballard’s tenth brewery

Already the biggest beer destination in the Northwest, Ballard has added its tenth brewery: Bad Jimmy’s, located behind Dish Cafe and The Traveler on Leary Ave. The new brewery opened to the public tonight, showcasing its pale ale, IPA, red and the distinctive and spicy habanero amber.
“Our beers are big,” said Seth Mashni, one of five owners. “We put extra love in there.” He said pale ale has been a favorite among friends and family. A strawberry mango hefeweizen is coming, too.

Bad Jimmy’s began as a Kickstarter campaign, raising over $15,000 online, exceeding their $13,000 goal. Mashni said all five of the owners are from the business — a collection of restaurant industry veterans and beer-obsessed entrepreneurs. “[We were] home-brewing for years and decided to take it to the next level,” he said. Explains the Bad Jimmy’s website, “Our love for craft beer has been intense as long as we can remember.”
The tasting room is dark and bathed in a red glow. “We put a little extra into the tasting room,” Mashni said. The bar and tables are made from refurbished, environmentally-friendly wood.

As for the name? “We believe that if being different is bad we don’t want to be good,” Bad Jimmy’s describes on their site.

Bad Jimmy’s will be open more than most Ballard breweries: 7 days a week, noon to midnight, and open to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. “We are committed to being open 7 days a week starting the day we open,” the owners said on their Kickstarter page. To visit, drive into the parking lot off Bright St.
And what about the all the competition in the neighborhood? “The best part of the microbrew scene is the love for everyone else,” Mashni said, echoing what we’ve heard from other Ballard breweries. The more, the better.

See our Ballard Breweries map to plan your next outing.

Bizarre discovery near the Fremont Troll

trollThe Fremont Troll sometimes attracts strange characters in the middle of the night, but this incident is especially bizarre and troubling. Seattle Police say homeowners across the street from the Troll woke up early this morning to discover bloody animal skulls in their yard.

“Ten of the animal skulls were spread across the lawn and two were placed on a porch—one was left on a chair. The skulls appeared freshly skinned and still bloody,” Seattle PD explained. “One of the residents told officers he had ‘run off’ some ‘neighborhood kids’ the previous night, and believed they may be responsible for the skullduggery.”

Seattle Police did not elaborate on the type of the animals, and officers are “investigating whether the skulls were left as offering to the Fremont Troll or were some form of internet trolling come to life.”

(File photo)

Ballard wakes up to a blanket of snow

Updated: Ballard was blanketed in a thin layer of snow this morning, measuring about an inch in most parts, a little more in Crown Hill and a little less in Central Ballard. It was enough for Seattle Public Schools to start two hours late and for Metro buses to switch to snow routes, but by mid-morning the snow was already beginning to melt. Here’s 15th and Market right now:

Traffic moved smoothly in Ballard, light at first, but picked up more neighbors ventured out as the slush turned to water. (See our live traffic cameras). Most of the traffic issues around Seattle were centered in hilly neighborhoods like Capitol Hill and West Seattle. Forecasters say most of the snow should be melted by this evening’s commute.
This was the scene at 6:30 a.m. at Market and 24th St., thanks to a photo by @seattlesaulty on Twitter. As you can see, a thin layer of snow began sticking on the roadways, which didn’t pose a problem for careful drivers.
Here’s the view looking south on 67th, thanks to a photo from Chris.
There’s even enough snow to build a snowman in this picture from Colette.
And in this photo from Tim.
This Instagram photo from @budip is from 56th and 28th.
Jamie sent us this photo of “Allie the snowgirl.”
“My dog loves the snow! She lives to eat and roll in it,” writes Jennifer, who took this photo in Loyal Heights.
Not just dogs, but “polar bears in Ballard,” says Patty, who sent us this photo.
@Shrendan sent us this earning-morning picture near the Ross Playfield on the Fremont side of Ballard. And Holly sent us this photo (below). “It’s truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!” she says.
Thanks to everyone who sent us photos!

Firefighters respond to ship fire near Fred Meyer

Update 11 am:
By Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

We responded to the scene of the fire and spoke with Seattle Fire Spokesperson Kyle Moore, and he confirmed that they received a call at 10:15 a.m. reporting a fire in the welding galley on the main deck of a 110-foot fishing trawler moored in the ship canal to the east of Ballard Bridge.

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The  trawler’s crew attempted to extinguish the fire, however they were unsuccessful and the fire became out of control. Moore reported that the fire had extended from the galley to the fo’c’sle of the trawler and near the wheel house. The crew was successfully evacuated from the trawler and there were no injuries to report.

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Fishing trawler can be seen in the distance on the left above the shipping containers.

SFD crews (which included a total of up to 90 fire fighters) responded and had the blaze under control in 25 minutes. “The fire is now under control and we currently have rotating crews on scene to dig out the hot spots on the trawler,” says Moore. Moore also reported that there was no fuel or dangerous substances leaking on the vessel at the time of the fire.

The SFD fire vessels with divers and the SPD harbor patrol were also standing by at the scene to assist the crew in case any crew from the trawler fell into the water. “To put it into perspective marina fires require some of the biggest response from the SFD due to the close proximity of vessels within a marina. These fires have the potential to jump quickly from vessel to vessel and extend,” says Moore.

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Seattle Fire Department spokesperson Kyle Moore and fire fighter Todd Miner at the scene.

“SFD crews will remain on the scene to combat the hot spots on the trawler. The fire is not out, but it is under control,” Moore continued.

We will update readers as more information becomes available.

Earlier: Firefighters have responded to a report of a galley fire on a 110-foot trawler in the Ship Canal, near Ballard Fred Meyer at 653 NW 41st St. Nine engines, two ladder trucks and two boats are part of the very large response.
KIRO’s helicopter arrived shortly after the fire broke out (images courtesy of KIRO 7). Smoke poured from the cabin of the ship, where firefighters worked to get a handle on it. About 45 minutes after the call went out, Seattle Fire said the blaze was under control. The crew was able to escape without injury.

Hazardous materials crews respond to bank on Market St.

2:50 p.m. SFD crews have determined that the suspicious powder found at Wells Fargo bank was not hazardous. The package has now been turned over to the SPD arson bomb squad for further investigation. The area is now clear and traffic delays have ceased.


Photo courtesy of Seattle Fire Department.

10:50 a.m. Fire and police have responded to the Wells Fargo bank at 1819 Market St. for a report of a suspicious package with “unknown powder.” Traffic along Market St. near 20th is impacted, and SPD is asking people to steer clear of the area.

hasmat2Photo courtesy of Ali Walker.

You may remember late last month when there was a similar call at the Bank of America on Market for white powder in an envelope, which turned out not to be hazardous. We’ll keep you updated.

High winds knock out power and topple trees

Updated Sunday AM All significant outages in our area have been restored.

Updated 4:45 p.m. Wind gusts as high as 40 mph buffeted Ballard on a fall Saturday, knocking out power in northern Ballard, parts of Crown Hill, Greenwood and further north into Broadview. Here’s the outage map:
There was also a report of power lines down along Ballard Ave. near 20th Ave., and a few stores around the Old Ballard area have reported outages, but they remained open. Here’s a photo from Venue along 22nd Ave.:
Along 85th St. and Greenwood Ave., some signals are flashing, others are stuck on red, confusing drivers. At the height of the outage, Seattle City Light says over 45,000 customers were affected in the city.
Ballard’s @robc77 on Twitter said he was walking his dog at Salmon Bay Park and watched this tree crash down on a picnic table. “Stay safe!” he says.

Earlier in the day, a tree fell into a home near Carkeek Park, reports KIRO TV. Branches went into the kitchen, but the homeowner was not injured.
A Crown Hill resident sent us this photo (above) of a tree that crashed down on her deck and trampled the trampoline in the back yard.
The wind tore the plastic cover from this apartment building just west of 15th.

The forecast calls for windy weather throughout the day. Have any weather damage photos? Send them to