Shilshole Bay Marina to get an upgrade

The Port of Seattle has approved $12 million in funding to upgrade the restrooms and re-pave the parking lot at Shilshole Bay Marina.

The project includes creating three new sustainable buildings: two large facilities with restrooms, shower and laundry will be located at the south and central areas of the marina, and a smaller restroom and shower building will be located at the north end. Two of the existing structures will be repurposed into storage, and the other two will be torn down.

Here’s the map showing the new locations:

The building’s sustainable features include radiant heated floors, water saving fixtures, stormwater management and rooftop photovoltaic panel arrays on the two larger buildings. The solar panels will save an estimated 70% of the restrooms’ electrical use.

Construction is slated to begin next summer.

1 rescued after boat sinks off Shilshole

Updated: A Good Samaritan rescued a boater whose 35-foot fishing vessel sank off Shilshole this morning, Seattle Fire says.

The call came in at 8 a.m. for a sinking boat, and Seattle Fire dispatched its fireboat as well as a full response to the Shilshole Marina area on Seaview Ave. N. Harbor Patrol also responded.

Medics were evaluating the boater on the shore. No word on the person’s extent of injuries.

Seattle Fire says it appears the vessel has sunk. According to the scanner, one of the rescue vessels is going to use their sonar to attempt to locate the vessel underwater.

The WA Department of Ecology responded after a sheen was seen on the water. The fishing boat had 200 gallons of fuel on board.

(Thank you Silver for your help on the story.)

After calling for volunteers to help move, Nickelsville decides to stay for now

Update: The Seattle Times followed up with a story today, calling Nickelsville’s short-lived attempt to move “rocky political theater.”

Earlier: Nickelsville’s two-year stay in Ballard is officially up on Saturday, and the city has told organizers that residents can stay in the camp until the new site in Northlake is ready next month.

But despite this assurance, Nickelsville was calling for volunteers to help them pack up and move today. Last night, they called off the move after an “emergency meeting.” Writes Nickelsville’s Scott Morrow on Facebook:

This evening, shortly after receipt of a letter from Councilpersons O’Brien, Juarez, Sawant, Harris-Talley and Johnson, the Ballard Nickelodeons held an emergency meeting. They considered this letter, the vote Wednesday of the City Council Budget Committee to fund two additional sanctioned encampments, and the urging Monday of the Ballard Alliance (formerly the Ballard Chamber of Commerce) to stay on Market Street.

With the expectation that Seattle Human Services Department leadership will respect the wisdom of the Majority of the Seattle City Council, Ballard Nickelodeons unanimously voted to suspend their move and remain at their present location.

In many ways this is a terrific resolution to a difficult challenge. We are in awe of the love and solidarity from so many that made this step possible.

George Scarola, Seattle’s Director of Homelessness, said Nickelsville has been granted an extended stay in Ballard until the Northlake site is ready in mid-December. In an earlier community meeting, camp residents were concerned that staying would break their promise with the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the city is preparing the new site at 3814 Fourth Ave. NE, and a community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28th at 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the UW Fisheries building (1122 NE Boat Street) in Auditorium 102.

Neighbors want 5-year delay in City Light’s plan to sell properties

Ballard neighbors who attended last night’s community meeting with Seattle City Light asked the city for a lengthy delay in plans to sell seven surplus properties.

More than 20 people commented at the meeting, and neighbors’ concerns mirrored earlier feedback from Groundswell NW and the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition: the neighborhood needs more time to evaluate potential options for community use.

Ballard writer Peggy Sturdivant commented at the meeting, and she sent us this account:

In perhaps the most straightforward comment of the evening, Dean Hoshizaki asked for a show of hands as to how many in the audience thought the substations should stay in public hands. Most raised the hands and he said, “Let the record show it’s unanimous.” With his follow-up as to whether the audience would choose between sale to a church, club, organization or non-profit, he said, “Let the record show it is about 70%.”

Many speakers called for Loyal Heights in particular to be retained for open space/potential park, especially in light of exceptional trees on-site and interest from the adjoining owners in “making it happen.”

The twelve-year tenant of the only commercially zoned parcel, the 14th & Leary site (Auto Connectors NW) and their supporters asked for the businesses there to be allowed to continue benefitting Ballard as employers and revenue providers.

Anne Brink O’Leary had created a diagram (above) showing how many trees could be planted, especially given an arborist’s comment that the City of Seattle has determined that we are not meeting tree canopy goals. The number was 405. Robert Drucker, who was involved with a former planning effort for the Sunset Substation commented on the fact that City Council changed the disposition rules, reducing notification area and need to align with neighborhood plans. The closing speaker identified herself as a Fremont renter with a two-year old who spoke to the necessity of having small nearby open spaces for the increasing number of rental families without vehicles.

No one made public comment in favor of selling the substations at the hearing. Consensus was that sale at this time would be short-sighted and not justified by the estimated revenue. Whether for continued tenancy, affordable housing, parks, P-Patches or green space, all of the public comments asked for a delay of five years on the sale of these properties and greater effort in community outreach during the process.

Today is the last day to file for public comment in writing. Comments can be sent to and

What’s on this weekend in Ballard and beyond

The band My Goodness, which will be playing at the Freakout festival this weekend.

It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving, and were starting to see quite a few holiday events submitted to our new Ballard calendar (you can submit your own Ballard-area events here). Here’s our list for the weekend — Old Ballard is going to rocking Friday and Saturday night:

Friday, November 17th

  • Theater For Young Children’s Filipino Hansel and Gretel tale, designed for kids ages 2-10, Loyal Heights Community Center at 11:15 a.m. The show is free (or $5 donation).
  • Swanson’s Holiday Party with shopping, food, drink, live music and more. A benefit for the Ballard Food Bank, 6-9 p.m., Swanson’s Nursery (9701 15th Avenue NW), $20
  • Live music:
    • The 5th Annual Freakout!, presented by Freakout Records, featuring Guantanamo Baywatch, Magic Sword, Porter Ray, Roadkill Ghost Choir, My Goodness, Smokey Brights and many more at the Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Conor Byrne, Hattie’s Hat, Cafe Umbria and Filson (Friday and Saturday), 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., tickets $25-60

Saturday, November 18th

  • Yulefest is the annual Nordic Christmas celebration at the Nordic Heritage Museum, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $5 adults, kids 12 and under are free.
  • Meet and greet retired racing greyhounds, learn about adoption and volunteer opportunities at Mud Bay Ballard’s new location (5314 15th Ave. NW), 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Ballard Performing Arts Dinner and Auction, 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Swedish Club at 1920 Dexter Ave N., this event appears to be sold out
  • Live music:
    • The 5th Annual Freakout!, presented by Freakout Records, featuring Guantanamo Baywatch, Magic Sword, Porter Ray, Roadkill Ghost Choir, My Goodness, Smokey Brights and many more at the Tractor Tavern, Sunset Tavern, Conor Byrne, Hattie’s Hat, Cafe Umbria and Filson (Friday and Saturday), 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., tickets $25-60

Sunday, November 19th

Have a Ballard area event? Submit it to us here.

Celebrate the last Yulefest at the ‘old’ Nordic Heritage Museum this weekend

Now in its 40th year, Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum is one of our favorite annual Ballard events, kicking off the holiday season. This year has special significance: it will be the last Yulefest in the “old museum” on NW 67th St. before the move to the new facility next year.

This weekend’s celebration has all the trappings of a traditional Nordic Christmas: Scandinavian food and drinks, live music and dancing, vendors selling handcrafted items, kids’ crafts — and a visit from Santa himself. The museum will also raffle off a weekend getaway at the Browns Point Lighthouse Cottage, a working museum where the winners will get to act as honorary light keepers.

There are 21 music and dance performances scheduled, including the fan favorites Norwegian Male Chorus and Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle. Here’s the schedule.

Yulefest runs this Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days. Adult admission is $5 per person. Kids 12 and under are admitted for free. Admission is complimentary for Nordic Heritage Museum Members.

Anthony Bourdain visits Ocho, Revel for Sunday episode of ‘Parts Unknown’

“Parts Unknown” host Anthony Bourdain was back in Seattle for a new episode airing this Sunday night on CNN.

Among other stops, he visited Ocho in Ballard and Revel in Fremont, according to the Seattle Times. He also smoked some weed and mused about Northwest serial killers. He even drank a Rainier. But hey, it’s TV.

“I love Seattle. I’ve had many happy experiences there,” Bourdain writes. “It was a foodie town long before the word foodie existed and will be when that loathsome term is long dead and buried. Demographically speaking, it’s a town that likes talking about food, eating food, reading about food—and, in my case, stories about people who make food.”

There’s a blatantly Seattle-targeted promo clip here.

The show airs this Sunday at 9 pm.

Fire damages home near Carkeek, dogs missing

If you heard sirens in Crown Hill this morning, it was for this house fire in the 1200 block of 116th St., just to the north of Carkeek park. Firefighters were dispatched at 9:30 a.m.

The residents were not home at the time, but Seattle Fire says they’ve been unable to find two dogs that were believed to be inside. No word on the cause of the blaze.