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Ballard Running Group to meet this Thursday

June 30th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

runningclubA weekly running group has started up in Ballard, organized by a local physical therapy clinic. The Ballard Running Group will meet every Thursday for a 5K run, and will celebrate every run at a Ballard brewery for a post-workout cold beer.

The runs start at 7 p.m. at Ballard Physical Therapy (5420 Barness Ave NW), and the organizers ask that runners come a bit early to get a map of the running route. This week, the first ten runners to show up will get a free t-shirt, and the run will end at Populuxe Brewery. Each runner will get $1 off their drinks at the brewery.

The runs are free open to everyone, including kids and dogs. Check out their Facebook page for updates and additional info.


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City-designated homeless encampments coming to Ballard

June 30th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 10.14.45 PMTwo city-owned properties in Ballard have been identified as encampment sites for homeless individuals. One site is known as the “Market Substation” at 2826 NW Market Street, designated immediately for approximately 52 residents. The other is 8030 15th Avenue NW, identified as a possible future site for approximately 36 residents. Mayor Ed Murray released a map of the city-owned properties identified for homeless encampments on Monday; today he goes to Seattle City Council for a resolution. Combined with the other sites around Seattle, the city expects to provide space for approximately 200 homeless individuals.

“Permitted encampments are not a permanent solution to the crisis of homelessness we are experiencing in Seattle,” Murray said in a statement. “These encampments will provide a safer community environment than sleeping under a highway overpass or on a park bench. Residents will have improved access to services and we hope to open the door to permanent housing as quickly as we can.”

According to the city, the mayor proposed and the Seattle City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to allow up to three permitted encampments on each city-owned or private property for one year, with the possibility of renewal. However, each site must be vacant for one year between encampments.

The designated sites were chosen after the Seattle Department of Planning and Development reviewed 135 vacant city-owned parcels. According to a statement, the city estimates that initial start-up costs for the encampments will be $32,000, with annual lease costs and services for encampment residents of approximately $200,000 already provided in the 2015 budget.

Each encampment will be operated by SHARENickelsville, or prequalified faith-based or non-profit organizations. The operators are responsible for safety and security within the camp and residents will be screened by the operators for acceptance. The city says a third organization, Low Income Housing Institute, will provide case management services to individuals living in the encampments. Operators will also form a Community Advisory Committee to respond to community concerns, review operations standards, and work with neighbors when encampments move to new permitted sites.

For more information from the Human Services Department about the encampment sites, click here.


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Ballard Locks to close tomorrow for saltwater drain inspections

June 29th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

The Ballard Locks will be closed to all marine traffic between 8 and 1 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, June 30) for monthly inspections of the saltwater drain screen structure.

The structure, which is directly upstream of the locks, prevents salmon from entering the locks’ saltwater return intake. A group of divers from the Army Corps of Engineers closed ten, 10-foot-by-6-foot doors and inspected the 30-by-60 foot curved-front, mesh screen structure at the beginning of the month, and monthly inspections are required until the doors reopen in mid-September. The work will require the locks to be closed to all but emergency vessels.

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Edith Macefield’s house to be sold, donated, or demolished

June 29th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

edithA bunch of balloons could be the only thing to save Edith Macefield’s legendary Ballard house; if it can’t be sold or donated, it will be demolished. The 100-year-old house is too old to meet the city’s commercial building codes, and the planned buyers backed out because it isn’t cost-effective to bring new life into the iconic house. If the house isn’t moved within the next 90 days, it could face a wrecking ball.

Macefield made headlines several years ago when she refused to sell her house for $1 million to developers, and her defiance sparked a movement of Ballardites who praised her unwillingness to sell out. Passionate followers even tattooed Macefield’s two-story abode with the words “Steadfast” to honor her. It was also rumored to be the inspiration for the movie “Up!” because of its resemblance to the house in the popular Pixar film (however, “Up!” isn’t based on a true story, says Pixar).

Now, after several years of uncertainty, its future once again is hanging by a thread. After a highly publicized pending sale, a mother and daughter duo won the bid for their idea to turn the house into a cafe and pie shop named Edith Pie. However, after learning what it would cost to have it comply with the city’s commercial code, they’ve now backed out. Paul Thomas, the listing broker for the house, says the age and condition of the house make it cost prohibitive for anyone to use the house in its current location. That means it will be donated or demolished, and the land will be sold.

In a statement, Thomas said other buyers have also determined that the development of the house for commercial use isn’t economically feasible, and that residential use would face a steep uphill battle. It also doesn’t qualify for a historical designation because it was completely rebuilt by the prior owner. “It is really discouraging that developers can find ways to build multiple tall and skinny houses on a single residential lot but bringing new life to Edith Macefield’s house isn’t financially viable because there are so many hurdles,” Thomas says.

The house has changed hands a few times since Macefield willed it to her friend Barry Martin. He sold it in 2009 to developers who promised to elevate and preserve it. That project failed, and the home went to foreclosure earlier this year. The contest to buy the house attracted 38 bidders, and each offer was scored for its proposed memorial to Macefield, its terms and the dollar amount. Now, with the winning bidders pulling out, the seller “has reluctantly concluded” that their best option is to donate the house and sell the land.

Thomas says they’ll accept proposals from potential recipients for 30 days through his website However, if there is no qualified recipient who is capable of moving the house in the next 90 days, Macefield’s home will face the wrecking ball.




Kids LEGO workshop at Nordic Heritage Museum tomorrow

June 29th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

legosThe Nordic Heritage Museum has several upcoming kids’ activities, including a LEGO Workshop tomorrow (Tuesday, June 30) from 10 a.m. to noon.

The museum tells us LEGO expert Dan Parker is back for the sixth year to help kids get creative with building. They’ll have a huge supply of bricks and specialty pieces to choose from, and Parker will offer some special classes on LEGO tricks and techniques. The workshop is for children ages 5 to 12, and the cost is $25 for museum members, and $35 for nonmembers. Registration is necessary and can be done through Eventbrite.

Other upcoming events for kids at the museum include:

  • Nordic Stories: Vikings – Dragon Stew, by Steve Smallman. Thursday, July 2 at 10 a.m. From the museum: “Join us for our eighth year of Nordic Stories! Geared toward preschool aged children and their grown-ups, Nordic Stories features stories from the Nordic countries along with fun craft projects.” No reservations needed to attend. The next event will be on August 6, and the stories will be about trolls, presented by Leigh Hodgkinson.
  • Moo-Moo-Moomins! Thursday, August 6, 10 a.m to 8 p.m. From the museum: “Throughout the day try your hand at the Moomin scavenger hunt and craft stations set up around the Museum. Later in the day, why not have a picnic dinner in the park and bring your blanket to the auditorium to watch Moomin cartoons between 5-7:30 p.m. The 20 minute cartoons will run continuously – so come when you can!” All activities are by donation.
  • Viking Days. Saturday-Sunday, August 22-23, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From the museum: “Join in the fun as the park and parking lot are transformed into a Viking marketplace. Special craft programs for kids will be offered throughout the weekend.” The event is all-ages, free, with no registration needed. More info here.

For all upcoming Nordic Heritage Museum events, click here.

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What’s on this weekend

June 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

It’s a big weekend in Seattle, with the Pride Parade taking over downtown and the Greenwood Car Show just next door. On top of that, it’s going to be a very hot weekend, with the National Weather Service issuing an excessive heat warning.

Friday, June 26

  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Breaks and Swells and My Brothers and I. Tickets $8. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring, The Swearengens, Lucky Lawrence and The Souvenirs and Jackrabbit. Tickets $10. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Saturday, June 27

  • Greenwood Car Show8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A mile and a half of vintage and classic cars will fill Greenwood from Greenwood Ave N from N 67th St to N 90th St. About 40,000 people are expected to attend.
  • Rainbow 1K Kids Fun Run: 9 a.m., starts at Ballard Community Center. “Join us for a 1K trot to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our friends and families. The run will include racing numbers, awards, treats and surprises. Everyone wins, just cross the finish line!” Registration is $20 – learn more here.
  • Work party at Ballard Corners Park (17th Ave NW & NW 63rd Street) on 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine. Some tools and refreshments will be provided. If you have your own gloves and tools please bring them. Any questions, please contact Gabriella: or (206) 782-3238.
  • Ballard Reuse First Anniversary Party. To celebrate, they will have a 20% off sale: “We will have games to play and customers can vote for the winners of our contest to design our next t-shirt.” Their nonprofit partners, Seattle Recreative, will be there from noon to 2 p.m. making giant bubbles and teaching people to make decoupage tile coasters. Balleywood Creamery will be giving away free scoops of ice cream, and Secret Sausage will be handing out free dogs and veggie dogs from noon to 3 p.m.
  • Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks Botanical Gardens: 2 p.m. Eastside Modern Jazz: A mix of Latin, Funk, Jazz-Rock fusion and Contemporary Jazz.
  • Edible Food Garden Tour: Self-guided tour starts at West Woodland Elementary at 10 a.m. More info here.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring St Paul De Vence, Planes on Paper . Tickets $10. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Polecat, The Wages of Sin, and The Hill Dog. Tickets $10. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Sunday, June 28

  • Summer Concerts at the Ballard Locks Botanical Gardens: 2 p.m. Pacific Cascade Big Band: Formerly known as the Microsoft Orchestra, an all-volunteer classical symphony orchestra.
  • Ballard Farmer’s Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.

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Ballardites to celebrate marriage equality at Bergen Place this evening

June 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Get your rainbow flags out: in honor of today’s Supreme Court marriage equality ruling, Ballard residents will be celebrating at Bergen Place at 5 p.m. Ballardite Delaney says, “bring kids, music, rainbows, and signs!”


Photo from a past Seattle Pride Parade

Thanks Delaney for the tip!

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A stuck Ballard Bridge causes traffic grief this morning

June 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

UPDATE: The bridge is now open and traffic is slowly clearing. Expect some delays as the congestion dissipates in the Ballard and Fremont Bridge areas.

ORIGINAL: The Ballard Bridge has been stuck in the open position since about 9:20 this morning, and according to the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) it is still stuck at 9:48 a.m. Keep an eye on traffic by clicking our “Cameras” link, and we’ll update with any new information.



Metro is also advising that Route 29 and the RapidRide D Line are delayed as a result of the traffic.


‘Excessive heat watch’ for Seattle: where to cool off in Ballard

June 26th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

golden_gardens_sunThe National Weather Service has issued an “Excessive Heat Watch” for the Seattle area for this weekend, so the city is reminding residents where to cool off during the heat wave. Temperatures are expected to reach 84 degrees today, 88 on Saturday, and 86 on Sunday. The heat should continue throughout the week, with temps forecasted in the 80s.

We’re lucky in Ballard with Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park just around the corner, but if you can’t make it to the beach, here are some areas where the city recommends seeking refuge from the hot weather:

  • Ballard Library
  • Ballard NW Senior Center
  • Ballard Commons Spray Park (water is on from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

For reminders on keeping cool and safe during the heatwave, visit the King County Public Health “Beat the heat” page. The city also has some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe this weekend:

  • Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
  • If you leave animals indoors, open screened windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
  • Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and seats in vehicles get hot under animals’ feet and prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
  • If you must travel with your pet, carry water. If a trip requires you leave your pet in the car at any point, think about saving that for another day. It’s not worth the risk.
  • Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Exercise is fine when taken in moderation, but obesity, old age, underlying disease and previous bouts of heat stroke can predispose an animal to the condition.
  • For birds, take caution and place the bird’s cage away from direct sunlight during the intense heat of the afternoon. Provide water and fruits and vegetables with high moisture content.

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Throwback Thursday: saloons and pool halls of Old Ballard

June 25th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Ballard’s vibrant social scene has some deep roots; here are a few photos of bars, restaurants, saloons, pool halls and watering holes of the past.


Black and White photo of 22nd AVe NW and Market St. in 1939. Some businesses shown: Bagdad Theatre, Christopherson’s Ice Creamery, Black and White Tavern.


Black and white photo from 1935 of the exterior of a pool hall and bar at 5233 Ballard Avenue.


1910 photo of interior of the Owl Tavern in Ballard, which first acquired its liquor license in 1900.


Ballard Avenue street scene in 1916 snow storm. An old trolley is pictured in the middle of the photo, and the Olympia Old Home Saloon on left. The Cigar Store is on the corner at right with real estate sign bearing legend “White River Valley Farms.”


Black and white photographic copy of photo (in book) of St. Charles Hotel. Two story hotel with retail on ground level (Saloon, Restaurant).

All photos courtesy of Ballard Historical Society


Ballard Natural Drainage project update

June 25th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

A large-scale roadside rain garden project for the Loyal Heights neighborhood is in its final design phase, with construction expected to start later this year. The project is part of the city’s Ballard Natural Drainage System, which will work to prevent an average of 1 million gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater per year from entering the Ship Canal and Salmon Bay.

According to the project team, they’ve finished designs for several blocks of roadside rain gardens,  addressing technical and cost constraints, working with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) to finalize tree placements, and responding to feedback from residents in Loyal Heights.

Following the design finalization, the contract will be going out to bid for contractors this summer, and residents can expect pre-construction gas line relocation work to begin in late 2015, with major construction to begin in spring 2016.

There is a Ballard greenway route in the same area of the drainage project (on 17th Ave NW between NW 77th St and NW 83rd St), so SPU will work with SDOT to coordinate sharing the road.

Click here for a full map of the proposed rain garden locations in Loyal Heights, and here to learn more about the scope and history of the project.

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Ballard Development Update: four subdivision applications

June 25th, 2015 by Meghan Walker

Four subdivision applications make up today’s development update from the City of Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) as posted in the Land Use Information Bulletin.


2609 NW 58TH ST


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6429896. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

6539 24TH AVE NW


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6436970. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

6543 24TH AVE NW


A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6426912. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

7007 7TH AVE NW

A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into two parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 876.1 sq. ft. and B) 4,124.7 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel B into two unit lots. The construction of a two unit townhouse has been approved under Project #6448265. The subdivision of Parcel B is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel B will be applied to Parcel B as a whole and not to each of the new unit lots.

Comments about the above applications should be submitted to or mailed to the address below:

City of Seattle DPD PRC
700 5th Avenue Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

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