News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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Missing Link update: design underway, community meetings scheduled

June 21st, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Missing Link completion project is underway, with the city conducting detailed design plans and scheduling public meetings to meet with the community and business owners about progress.

In February, city leaders, trail supporters, and the business community announced that an agreement had been made to complete the trail, which will run along NW Market Street between the Ballard Locks and 24th Ave NW, then turn onto the south side of Shilshole Ave NW. There will also be improvements to the existing trial east of the Ballard Bridge along NW 45th St.

In May, a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) was released; there’s a printed copy at Ballard Library for public review and comment. It’s possible to appeal, however, according to the Cascade Bicycle Club, it’s typically difficult to challenge a FEIS. Kelsey Mesher from Cascade wrote in a recent blog post that the club and other stakeholders have begun forming a collective Design Advisory Council (DAC) to look at the proposed trail block-by-block in order to ensure that the final design, “prioritizes safety of all who use the corridor, and preserves access to water-dependent businesses and adjacent buildings.” The DAC has outlined, “an aggressive schedule” to keep the project on track in order to start construction in 2018.

In the meantime, the city is planning public meetings to address concerns and keep people informed. The workshops will be trail-segment specific (see this flyer):

  • Segment 1 (Ballard Locks to 24th Ave NW): Tuesday, June 27, 3-6pm at Ballard VFW (2812 NW Market St)
  • Segment 2 (Shilshole Ave NW): Thursday, June 29, 3-6pm at Ballard VFW (2812 NW Market St)
  • Segment 3 (NW 45th St): Tuesday, July 11, 3-6pm, Seattle Maritime Academy, Maritime Classroom (4455 Shilshole Ave NW)
  • Public meeting at Ballard VFW on July 13; more details to come.

The city’s timeline for trail completion is detailed above, indicating they expect it to be completed in the winter of 2018/2019.

For more information and to stay up-to-date with the project, visit the city’s Burke-Gilman Trail Missing Link Project page.

All graphics courtesy Seattle Department of Transportation

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Ballard’s Edible Garden Tour is coming up

June 21st, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Ballard’s popular Edible Garden Tour is on July 1, offering residents a chance to check out their neighbor’s gardens and learn about permaculture and growing techniques.

The tour will visit over 20 gardens, including the Labateyah Youth Home, (9010 13th Ave NW), which received a grant from the city to create new gardening beds. Fred Miller, a volunteer gardener, will be on hand to explain how to build a hugel, which is a no-dig raised bed, and other permaculture design techniques.

One gardener will be bottling hard cider from his home press, and another will share his plans for building a raised bed. The tour will include creative planting strips, chicken coops, beekeeping methods and “creative edibles from fruit trees to berries to veggies galore,” Margaret Wetter from Sustainable Ballard tells us.

The tour will be Saturday, July 1, from 10am to 3pm.  “Put on your walking shoes or hop on your bike, unicycle or skateboard and head on over to Kirke Park, 7028 9th Ave NW on the day of the tour to buy your ticket and map,” Wetter says.

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BHS to add four portables to cope with growing student population

June 20th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

Ballard High School will be adding four portable classrooms over the summer in order to cope with the expected increase in student population.

According to the BHS Talisman, the population will rise from 1,818 to 1,904 for the 2017-18 school year, meaning the school will be outgrowing its current campus. Two of the portable classrooms will be placed on the north end of the school, with the other two likely installed outside the commons, where an astroturf planter is currently located. Funding for the portables will come from the Seattle School District.

The Talisman reports that science teacher Eric Muhs had to uninstall two science projects to make way for the new portables; the “solar death ray”, a homemade solar water heater designed for a physics project, plus a “polar aligned telescope pier” that was used for his astronomy classes.

Thanks to the BHS Talisman for the info!


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Daytime summer camp at Nordic Museum next week

June 20th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Nordic Heritage Museum’s daytime summer camp is next week, June 26 – 30, for kids ages 7-11.

The Heritage Camp, running 9am – 3pm Monday to Friday, is a week of activities and crafts related to all things Nordic, and is co-sponsored by the Leif Erikson Lodge. It costs $175 for members of the museum, $125 for Leif Erikson Lodge members, and $200 for non-members. (There are prorated costs for kids who want to attend but don’t want to miss the last day of school, June 26; click here for more.)

Reservations are necessary and can be made by contacting Alison Church at (206) 789-5707, x 19 or by email at:  For more info, click here.

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Tiny Star Wars scene adds ‘a bit of whimsy’ to east Ballard

June 20th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

What happens when you stop, and look a little closer?

Well, you might just find a tiny Star Wars scene playing out in the middle of a roundabout.

My Ballard reader Ian Johnston sent us this photo, taken from the new roundabout at NW 62nd and 9th Ave NW. “A tiny palate cleanser amidst a never-ending dreary streak of news,” he writes.

If you spot other unusual or “palate cleansing” images in Ballard, send them to

Photo credit Dangerpants Photography


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Get ready for the lutefisk: SeafoodFest is coming up

June 20th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

It’s that time of year again, when the streets of Ballard fill with the nostalgic aroma of lutefisk and pickled herring: the Ballard SeafoodFest is taking over the ‘hood July 7-9.

The free festival is a celebration of all things fishy – with a Scandinavian flair of course. The cultural heritage will be well represented this year, with the Old Ballard Liquor Co. hosting two Scandinavian food booths selling nothing but seafood. “We’re raising a finger to the increasing presence of soulless fair food, frozen corn dogs and hamburgers,” owner Lexi tells us.

The Old Ballard Liquor Co. will have Tumble Swede, the Scandinavian seafood sandwich booth, with Danish coriander pickled herring, apple and beet crème sandwiches, Norwegian white pepper smoked salmon, sweet mustard and arugula sandwiches, and Swedish shrimp, egg and dilly lemon sauce (Räckmacka) sandwiches – all served on split Macrina Bakery potato baguettes.

A new addition this year will be Ole and Lena’s Herring Shack. “Our tongue-in-cheek contribution to dry Norwegian humor will be offering nothing but herring,” Lexi said. On the menu will be alderwood smoked herring, pickled herring with carrots and onions, and crispy deep fried herring, along with sides like dilly fries and pickled veggies. Both booths will have elderflower and lingonberry lemonade, made by Old Ballard.

The festival is still in need of a few volunteers, or “Deck Hands” as they call them. Every volunteer receives a free salmon dinner and beverage token. If interested, click to sign up.



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Sunset Hill fire ruled intentional, arson unit at Seattle Police investigating

June 19th, 2017 by Geeky Swedes

Fire investigators say the Friday night blaze that damaged Caffè Fiorè and Cocina Esperanza on 85th on Sunset Hill was intentionally set.

“Fire investigators determined the cause was from ignition of combustible materials on wooden chairs located on the outside of the building,” explained Seattle Fire this afternoon. “Seattle Police Department’s Arson and Bomb Unit is investigating.”

There have been no arrests.

Firefighters responded at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday and discovered flames showing from the exterior of the building. Within 10 minutes, the blaze was extinguished, according to Seattle Fire.

In a post on Facebook Saturday morning, Caffè Fiorè it was “set on fire last night by arsonists,” and the chef from Cocina Esperanza next door happened to be working at the time and called 911. Fortunately, no one was injured.

Caffè Fiorè took the brunt of the fire. Seattle Fire says the estimated damages are $130,000. We’ll keep you updated.

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Beer garden fundraiser at Greenwood Car Show this weekend

June 19th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

This Saturday is the 25th annual Greenwood Car Show, and new this year will be the Windermere Beer Garden to raise money for low-income and homeless families.

The beer garden will be in the Windermere parking lot (311 N 85th St) during the car show, and will have $5 beer, cider and wine, with all proceeds going to the Windermere Foundation.

They’ll have beer from  Georgetown BrewingFremont Brewing, and Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery, as well as hard cider from Schilling Cider, and wine from 3 of Cups Winery.  The Now Make Me A Sandwich food truck will be on site, and they’ll have live music throughout the afternoon.

The car show will be from 8am to 4pm; Greenwood Ave will be closed from N. 65th St to N. 90th St. For the full event guide, click here.

Photo from the 2016 car show, courtesy PhinneyWood

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Ballard Market remodel should be done by Labor Day

June 19th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Ballard Market remodel has an end in sight; director Mike Pederson said it should be complete by Labor Day.

The remodels on the middle of the store and produce section will be done by the 4th of July, Pederson said, and they’ll be aiming to finish the food service section by September.

The new deli area will cater more to customers who want to grab a meal and eat it in the market; they’ll have a waffle bar, a panini and hot sandwich press, a hot entree bar, more hot soup, made-to-order sushi, and even a growler bar. There will be seating for 32, which means it’ll be a bustling spot for lunch in the near future.

“There will be more options for folks to come and grab food to eat right now – that was one of main pushes of the remodel,” Pederson said.

During parts of the food service remodel, some of the ready-to-eat food will be scaled back, but other than that, customers shouldn’t see a big difference.

He said the remodel is going just as planned, despite rumors that it’s been scaled back. He also said that worries about the property selling are unfounded. “If I owned the land, I would certainly be salivating,” Pederson said, but added that he isn’t aware of any redevelopment plans, so there’s nothing to worry about in the near future.

Photo courtesy Ballard Market Facebook page

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The Whimsical World of Bjørn Wiinblad coming to the Nordic Heritage Museum

June 19th, 2017 by Meghan Walker

The Nordic Heritage Museum will soon exhibit the fantastical work of Bjørn Wiinblad, a unique Danish artist who throughout his career challenged the status quo in both art and design.

Wiinblad came onto the scene in 1945 at the age of 27, “at a time when straight lines and simple design dominated the modern ideal,” according to Jan Woldseth Colbrese from the museum. He was known for his “characteristic curving lines and colorful pictorial universe…injecting fantasy and an almost cartoon-ish flair that created a perfect accent to the clean-lined furniture and modernist spaces of his time.”

The exhibit, which opens July 28, will feature 78 artifacts from his collection, including graphic art, ceramics, theater sets and costumes, tapestries, jigsaw puzzles, tiles and textiles.

“When you go exploring in Wiinblad’s magical universe you encounter an exuberant wealth of imagination and sparkling joie de vivre. His fabulously imaginative style has fascinated people all over the world, and in recent years, has been embraced by new generations,” Woldseth Colbrese tells us.

For more information about the exhibit, visit the Nordic Museum’s website.

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