News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger hosts film screening & discussion Thursday

July 23rd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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By Joe Veyera

The Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger will host a screening and discussion on a series of four short animated films on Thursday morning, all of which describe the experiences of families living with homelessness and poverty.

American Refugees — a project of Seattle University’s Center for Strategic Communications — features the work of six acclaimed Seattle-area filmmakers, who worked with students, staff, and community partners to create films in an effort to tell the stories of the thousands of families in Washington state who are homeless or living in poverty. The project was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and was managed by Lindy Boustedt.

Super Dads,” by Sihanouk Mariona, an Emmy award-winning stop-motion animator, features fathers and children sharing their worries, feelings, challenges and how they overcame being homeless using stop motion animated clay characters.

In “The Beast Inside,” by Amy Enser and Drew Christie, a teen in a homeless family describes his challenges and celebrates the triumph of his creative self, as told through spoken word rap and illustrated with hand-drawn animations.

Home for Sale,” by Laura Jean Cronin, chronicles the experiences of prospective buyers walking through an empty, foreclosed home while seeing moments from the family who had previously lived there, and what led to them losing their home.

The Smiths,” by Neely Goniodsky, uses hand-drawn animation, along with digital cutouts and paintings, to tell the story of how a family has fallen into homelessness, and how they move out of it with the help of a compassionate, supportive community.

The screening begins at 10:30 a.m. in the east meeting room at the Nyer Urness House (1753 NW 56th St), with the discussion to follow based on the guide produced by The Center for Strategic Communications.

For more information on the Ballard Community Taskforce on Homelessness and Hunger, click here. View the trailer for American Refugees by clicking on the video below.

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Trees for Neighborhoods program nears start of application process

July 22nd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

Seattle reLeaf is gearing up to open the application process for its Trees for Neighborhoods program, in which Seattle residents can receive up to four free trees for their yard or in front of their home.

Starting Monday, August 4 at 10 a.m., residents can apply for trees which they can plant around their home.

Since 2009, the program has resulted in the planting of over 4,000 trees in the city limits. The program offers a variety of small, medium, and large trees appropriate for planting under power lines, along the street, and in the yard. This year’s offering includes Montmorency cherryDouglas fir, and Vine maple for yard planting, and White oak and Silver linden for street planting, among others.

Participants in the program receive up to four free trees (a maximum of one cherry tree), a watering bag for each tree, training on proper planting and care, assistance on applying for street tree planting permits, and ongoing care reminders and workshop opportunities, such as pruning.

For more information on the program, click here, or call 206-615-1668, or e-mail


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Two Ballard eateries set to participate in Spoke & Food next Tuesday

July 22nd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A pair of Ballard breweries are among the 18 Seattle-area restaurants participating in the fifth-annual Spoke & Food biking and dining event next Tuesday.

Barking Dog Alehouse (705 NW 70th St) and Peddler Brewing Company (1514 NW Leary Way) are encouraging people to bike to and from their locations for dinner on July 29.

Each participating restaurant has agreed to donate 20 percent of all patron revenue from the evening of the event to the non-profit chosen by event organizers.

This year, the Seattle based non-profit Outdoors for All Foundation will receive the evening’s proceeds. The foundation provides year round instruction in outdoor recreation for people with physical, developmental, and sensory disabilities.

Last year, over $6,000 was raised for Bike Works, up from the approximately $4,500 raised for the FamilyWorks Resource Center & Food Bank in 2012, and the $3,200 raised for the Children’s Garden Program at Seattle Tilth in 2011.

According to their website, the top goal for organizers is to influence the culture of Seattle by prompting people to use their bicycle more in their daily life. Other event goals include:

1. To improve our community by creating an event that people can do in their local neighborhoods.
2. To promote a healthy lifestyle by creating an event that requires exercise.
3. To improve our city’s regard for the environment by exposing how easy it is to not use our cars for simple activities such as going to dinner.
4. To raise funds for well-deserving local non-profits.
5. To expose how fun biking to dinner is!

For more information on the event, click here.


Volterra honored in Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Awards

July 22nd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A Ballard restaurant has been recognized for its wine selection by Wine Spectator magazine.

Volterra (5411 Ballard Ave NW) was the lone restaurant in Ballard among 3,748 award winners around the world to be named to the magazine’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards, taking home the Award of Excellence. That honor recognizes restaurants that offer a wine list that sports an interesting and diverse selection of wines that are well-presented and thematically match the restaurant’s cuisine in price and style.

“The commitment of this year’s winning restaurateurs to building high-quality wine programs has been extraordinary,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher of Wine Spectator, in a press release. “There has never been a more exciting time to be a wine lover.”

The complete list of award winners is featured in the magazine’s August 31 issue, available on newsstands today.

“As wine consumers’ knowledge and interest continue to expand, wine directors are taking advantage of new opportunities to develop inventive programs that put the world’s most interesting wines on the table,” said Thomas Matthews, Executive Editor of Wine Spectator in a release. “We’ve been delighted to see the emergence of a growing number of bold, diverse wine lists, both large and small.

Since its opening in April 2005, Volterra has received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year.

For more information on Wine Spectator and its 2014 Restaurant Awards, click here. To learn more about Volterra, click here.

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Populuxe Brewing hosts Sunday Family Funday

July 22nd, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Family Fun Day

By Joe Veyera

An afternoon of family-friendly entertainment will be on tap this Sunday at Populuxe Brewing (826B NW 49th St), as it hosts a Sunday Family Funday on July 27.

While adults can take in one of the brewery’s locally crafted beers, both children and their parents can take in an array of activities from 2 to 5 p.m.

Seattle ReCreative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting creativity, community, and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and arts education, will offer crafts and games for kids of all ages. Meanwhile, the house band from School of Rock Seattle will provide live music for the afternoon.

A pair of food trucks will be on site, with Hungry Me offering its takes on Asian Fusion cuisine, and Seattle Cookie Counter scooping out ice cream.

The event is free, but attendees are asked to consider making a donation to Seattle ReCreative, who recently announced they had secured a physical location to host their children’s classes and a small retail operation in the lower level of the  Woodland Park United Methodist Church (302 N 78th St)

For more information on the Sunday Family Funday, click here.

(Photo courtesy of Amy Besunder)

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Ballard bus routes slated for deletion in approved September cuts

July 21st, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

The King County Council unanimously approved a compromise plan on Monday to move forward with Metro service reductions for September of this year, and February of 2015, while also deferring an additional 200,000 hours of reductions originally slated for June and September 2015, pending the adoption of the King County budget for 2015/2016.

According to the Metro site detailing the proposed cuts, a pair of Ballard routes are set for deletion, both in the bottom 25 percent of productivity in accordance with the County’s adopted Transit Service Guidelines.

Route 61, which runs daily between Ballard and North Beach through Sunset Hill and Loyal Heights, and Route 62, which connects Downtown Seattle to Ballard via South Lake Union, Seattle Pacific University, and Interbay are both scheduled to stop running in September.

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The council also approved 188,000 hours of service to be cut in February 2015, but did not approve the specific routes to be eliminated or revised. In the original listing of cuts for February, Route 29 (connecting Downtown Seattle and Ballard via Seattle Pacific University and Queen Anne) was set to be cut north of 7th Avenue West and West Raye Street, along with the reduction of three morning and three afternoon trips.

The ordinance approved today served as a compromise after King County Executive Dow Constantine asked the Council to approve legislation that would reduce Metro bus service by 550,000 hours between September 2014 and September 2015 after the failure of Proposition 1. The ordinance also calls for a report from the County Executive by September 30 of this year describing revenue and expense reduction options available to avoid service reductions proposed for 2015.

“I appreciate the broad support expressed by today’s Council vote supporting a measured and budget-based approach to transit service changes,” said Councilmember Rod Dembowski, chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee, in a press release. “We listened to the community and today’s action is responsive to the concerns that have been raised. I thank my colleagues and Executive Constantine for their hard work in forging today’s legislation.”

It’s currently unclear what the future holds for Seattle routes, with the Seattle City Council voting last Thursday to send a measure to the November ballot, for a $60 car tab fee and 0.1 percent sales tax increase in the vain of Proposition 1 to prevent cuts to Metro bus service within the city limits. 66 percent of Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 despite its county-wide failure.


Outdoor Movies at the Marina returns in August

July 21st, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

Shilshole Bay Marina (7001 Seaview Ave NW) is bringing back its free, family-friendly outdoor movie series for a pair of showings this August.

Despicable Me 2 will shown on Friday, August 15, and Hook will be shown the following Friday, August 22. Both movies are rated PG, and the showings begin at 8 p.m. each night.

Free parking, and (perhaps more importantly) free popcorn will be provided. Attendees are asked to arrive early to set up their spots on the lawn, where blankets and low chairs will be allowed. Regular chairs will be allowed to the sides and in the back.

Guest moorage is also available, with reservations being accepted by calling 206-787-3006.

Movie goers are welcome to bring snacks, but alcohol is prohibited. Leashed dogs are also invited to attend with their owners, but in the event that a four-legged companion is disruptive, staff will ask that the dog be removed from the event area.

For more information on Movies at the Marina, click here.

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Police increase patrols at Gilman Park

July 21st, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

By Joe Veyera

Neighbors of Ballard’s Gilman Park (923 NW 54th St) have reported an increase in crime over the past few weeks, according to a report from KING-TV’s Natalie Swaby.

The Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct has increased their patrols in the area to address concerns, after receiving complaints about crime in the park last Monday, and having an officer meet with the community block watch the next day.

One nearby resident was quoted in the story as saying that, ”Basically it has turned into a drug hub for the local area.”

The report also noted that a surveillance camera captured a man stealing a car near the park last Sunday afternoon, and that several drug needles were found on a corner near the park’s entrance on Thursday.

To read the full report from KING-TV, click here.

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Ballard’s Trupanion begins trading on New York Stock Exchange

July 21st, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A Ballard-based pet insurer posted a strong showing in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Trupanion, with its offices at 907 NW Ballard Way, finished Friday at $11.40 per share, up from its original listing price of $10, with CEO Darryl Rawlings ringing the NYSE bell to celebrate the IPO launch. The company employs a total of 335 workers, and had 181,634 pets enrolled in health insurance programs as of March 31 of this year. That number is up from the 31,207 pets insured as of January 1, 2010.

“We are greatly appreciative of the hard work and contributions from our staff and partners to make Trupanion the amazing company it is today,” a post read on the company’s blog. “A company that loves pets and wants to help them receive the best veterinary care possible.”

In the company’s prospectus filed with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Trupanion noted its belief that the growing human-animal bond has led to an increasing willingness by pet owner’s to spend on their pet’s health, and the market for medical coverage for cats and dogs in North America is the largest in the world. The prospectus also noted that the proceeds from the stock offering were to add to the company’s financial flexibility, while creating a public market for its stock, obtaining additional capital and increasing its visibility in the marketplace.

For more information on Trupanion and its stock offering, click here.

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Ballots mailed for August primary races

July 18th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

King County Elections has mailed out ballots for the August 5 primary, with several key issues and races going to the voters.

One of four jurisdictions in King County to have a proposition on the ballot, Seattle voters will decide with Proposition 1 whether to create a a metropolitan park district to fund, maintain, operate and improve parks, along with community centers, pools, and other recreation facilities and programs.

In the 7th congressional district, longtime Democratic Representative Jim McDermott faces Republicans Scott Sutherland and Craig Keller, Independent candidate Doug McQuaid, and perennial Work and Wealth Party candidate GoodSpaceGuy.

In 36th legislative district races, Incumbent Democrat Representatives Reuven Carlyle and Gael Tarleton are challenged by Republican Leslie Klein and Libertarian Paul Addis, respectively, while Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles faces Republican challenger Sarina Forbes.

In Ballard, voters can return their ballots without a stamp by dropping them off at the drop box outside the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) 24-hours a day until 8 p.m. on election day.

Those not currently registered to vote in Washington state have until July 28 to register in-person at the King County Voter Registration Annex at the King County Administration Building (500 4th Ave, Room 440).

If you haven’t received your ballot by July 23 or have questions, call King County Elections at (206) 296-VOTE (8683).

For more information, click here.


New musical comedy takes the stage at Ballard Performing Arts Center

July 18th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

While school may be out for the summer, student performers have been hard at work in preparation for a set of shows at the Ballard High School Performing Arts Center (1418 NW 65th St) over the next two weeks.

“Emerald City,” a new musical comedy written by Ingrham High School senior Travis Frank, along with book-writer and lyricist Nora Germani, follows the trials and travails of Jonathan Small, a newly-minted college graduate from North Dakota, who is presented with an opportunity to work at Microsoft in Seattle.

“Jonathan believes he will create a new, normal life for himself in Seattle, but of course, the Emerald City has never been quite normal,” reads a description on the production’s website.

The show features students from Ingraham, Holy Names, Ballard, and Roosevelt, among other local high schools.

With any opening night jitters now in the past after last night’s performance, the remaining shows are this Friday and Saturday, and next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (July 25-27) at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students (those under the age of 21), and $20 for adults.

For more information, and to purchase tickets to one of the performances, click here.

Photos courtesy of Travis Frank


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Pianos in the Parks campaign comes to Ballard

July 18th, 2014 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin


By Joe Veyera

A selection of parks around Seattle and King County will be more musically inclined between now and August 17, as part of an effort to celebrate the Puget Sound’s love of the outdoors and music.

The Pianos in the Parks campaign is being underwritten by Laird Norton Wealth Management, and was created in partnership with Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, the Seattle Symphony, KEXP, the Gage Academy of Art, the Seattle City of Music initiative, and Classic Pianos.

The program features 20 artistically enhanced pianos created by Gage Academy of Art faculty, students and friends, with each placed in one of 15 Seattle city parks and open spaces and five King County Parks locations.

Ballard Commons Park is one of those hosts, with Kate Rose Johnson and Scott Johnson’s “Skíðblaðnir” (pictured above). Here’s what a description on the Pianos in the Park website had to say:

This particular piano is a historical vessel; representing the way culture and music travels over land and sea to foreign soil, perhaps awakening a young mind or stirring memories in an aged one. When you sit at this piano bench, you may feel the sense loss and the thrill of adventure in leaving the fjords of Scandinavia to find Golden Gardens and an Emerald City.

Each piano is open to the public to play, with musicians of every skill level encouraged to enter the Pianos in the Parks Facebook contest, in which they upload a video of their performance of either an original piece or one from the public domain for a chance to play at Concerts at the Mural presented by KEXP and Seattle Center on August 22. Entries will be voted on by Facebook “likes” with the top five videos then judged by a community panel.

At the end of the campaign, all pianos will be sold to the highest bidder in online auctions, with the proceeds benefitting Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.

Photo courtesy of Pianos in the Park

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