News for Seattle's Ballard neighborhood and beyond

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SPU’s Spring Clean Your Neighborhood initiative on now

April 10th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

SPU’s Spring Clean Your Neighborhood initiative kicked off on April 1 and is running until May 31.

During Seattle’s premier community cleanup event locals are invited to participate in some important spring cleaning projects and do their bit to make Ballard clean and beautiful.

Help pick up litter, stencil storm drains, paint out graffiti, or remove invasive plants, in your community. All Spring Clean projects are on public property and volunteers receive free litter cleanup bags, gloves, safety vests, and waste disposal permits.

Get a group together and get started today! For more information call (206)233-7187, or register online.

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What’s on this weekend

April 10th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Another weekend is here, filled with plenty of events. Enjoy!

Friday, April 10

  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Austinicana – Micky & The Motorcars with Darci Carlson and Deception Past. Tickets $15. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Saturday, April 11

  • Re-opening of No Bones About It Food Truck at Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th St) from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. The event will include live music, fun for the kids and delicious brews. Click here to find out more.
  • Warner Sallman: Master Painter Opening Reception and Lecture at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) at 4 p.m. A son of Finnish and Swedish immigrants, the Chicago-born commercial artist and painter Warner Sallman (1892-1968) has been cited by the New York Times as one of the most recognized artists of the 20th century. Click here to find out more.
  • Fundraiser for Vanuatu at the Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub (2026 NW Market St) from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. Help raise funds for victims of the recent Cyclone Pam. $10 suggested donation at the door and all proceeds go towards the  Oxfam Cyclone relief efforts in Vanuatu. Click here to find out more.
  • Ballard Art Walk is on at many businesses and art galleries all over Ballard from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. Click here to check out more details.
  • Live music at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 9 p.m. Featuring Bay Area Americana Folkgrass: The Brothers Comatose with Marty O Reilly. Tickets $15. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Sunday, April 12

  • Ballard Farmers Market along Ballard Ave from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Click here to see this week’s specials.
  • Mostly Nordic Concert Series: Sweden “Songs of the Heart” at the Nordic Heritage Museum (3014 NW 67th St) at 4 p.m. Featuring Swedish soprano Lena Moén and Swedish pianist Lena Johnson performing a program of Swedish master composers Peterson-Berger, de Frumerie, Linde, Stenhammar, and a tip of the hat to Schubert. Click here for more details and to purchase tickets. Ticket prices start at $22.
  • Open Mic at Conor Byrne Pub (5140 Ballard Ave NW) at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. For more information click here.
  • Live Music at Tractor Tavern (5213 Ballard Ave NW) at 8 p.m. Featuring Junior Brown with Easy Leaves. Tickets $30. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

Do you know of an event happening in the neighborhood? Drop us a line at tips@myballard.com

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Ballard filmmaker releases “tween” documentary

April 9th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Last June, My Ballard featured a post about local filmmaker and Loyal Heights Elementary parent Terence Brown who was producing a documentary featuring the story of local “tweens”.

Brown has emailed in to report that the documentary, entitled Before, recently had its online premier.

Before delves into the challenges that students face during the transition between elementary and middle school. Brown interviewed about 60 5th graders from Loyal Heights Elementary’s 2014 class to gain their insights and perspectives on this particular time in their lives.

“My goal was to explore and even celebrate this awkward and thankfully fleeting phase of life,” says Brown.

Now that the final video is complete, it is live on a website that Brown and his team have created called thebeforeproject.org. The team have created an interactive site where people from all over the world can contribute content and stories about their tween years.

“The documentary is meant to start of conversation more than make a statement. Thebeforeproject.org will be a place to collect these stories and content so that experiences of tweens around the world can be heard,” says Brown.

Click here to view the film for free.

Still from film courtesy of Terence Brown.

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Throwback Thursday: Passing through the Locks

April 9th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

As the final pontoons of the 520 Bridge pass through the Ballard Locks today, we thought it was time to take a look back at vessels (and other things) that have dropped in over the years.

The photo below, taken in 1917, shows the Ballard Locks being observed by locals while under construction.

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The photo below, taken in 1918, shows master shipfitter David Rodgers’ yacht “Carrie” passing through the locks with a party aboard.

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The below photo, taken in 1955, shows a man being rescued after falling into the Ballard Locks.

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The below photo, also taken in 1955, shows an aerial view of boats in the Locks.

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The below photo, taken in 1985, shows a kayaker paddling through the Locks.

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The photo below, from 2014, shows a seal being lifted out after it became stuck while the Large Lock was being drained for maintenance purposes.

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Do you have a photo of Ballard Locks from back in the day? Email it in to us at tips@myballard.com

Photos and information courtesy of MOHAI.

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520 Bridge pontoons set to pass through Ballard Locks today

April 9th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Locals who are down at the Ballard Locks today will have a chance to see the last of the SR 520 Bridge pontoons pass through on their way to Lake Washington.

The final three pontoons left Grays Harbor on their way to Seattle on Monday morning behind tugboats Mudcat, Nancy M and Solana.

The pontoons are expected at the Locks at the following times:

  • Pontoon G will pass through the Locks around 9:30 a.m. (Click here to track tugboat Mudcat and check out the photo below)
  • Pontoon H will pass through the Locks around 12:30 p.m. (Click here to track tugboat Nancy M)
  • Pontoon F (the last pontoon) will pass through the Locks around 2 p.m. (Click here to track tugboat Solana)

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WSDOT is hosting a photo competition to celebrate the final pontoons journey through the locks. Simply take a photo and tweet it with the hashtag #520Pontoon to be in the running to win a ‘behind-the-scenes, hard-hat-required tour of the new floating bridge site.’ Click here to check out the competition details.

Also email your photos through to us at tips@myballard.com.

In the meantime, check out a time-lapse video of the first pontoons passing through the Locks back in 2012:

Photo courtesy of Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

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Development Update April 9: Subdivisions and three story row houses

April 9th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Two subdivision applications, a three story row house application and two subdivision decisions 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.

Applications:

2119 NW 65th St

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one development site into two unit lots. The construction of residential units is under Project #6429746. 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.

8757 15th Ave NW

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A Land Use Application has been submitted to subdivide one parcel into four parcels of land. Proposed parcel sizes are: A) 801 sq. ft., B) 803 sq. ft., C) 840 sq. ft.; and D) 1,500 sq. ft. Project also includes unit lot subdivision of Parcel D into two unit lots. The construction of a townhouse has been approved under Project #6444219.

The subdivision of Parcel D is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards for Parcel D will be applied to Parcel D as a whole and not to each of the new unit lots.

6215 20th Ave NW

A Land Use Application has been submitted to allow a 3-story structure containing 6 rowhouse units. Parking for 7 vehicles to be provided. Existing structure to be demolished.

Decision:

2240 NW 64th St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6420971. 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.

Appeals of this decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than April 23, 2015.

2024 NW 61st St

A Land Use Application has been approved to subdivide one development site into three unit lots. The construction of residential units are under Project #6429980. 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.

Appeals of this decision must be received by the Hearing Examiner no later than April 23, 2015.

Comments about the above applications should be submitted to PRC@seattle.gov 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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Locals invited to comment on City’s Design Review program

April 8th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

With so many new buildings being constructed in both our neighborhood and the city as a whole, the City of Seattle’s Design Review program is exploring ways to make it easier for the public to learn more about projects planned for their neighborhood, and to make it easier to provide input on the design of these projects.

The City of Seattle’s Design Review program reviews private developments in neighborhoods throughout Seattle, including multifamily structures and commercial buildings.

The mission of the Design Review program is to foster design excellence, provide a forum for the public to weigh in on projects planned for their neighborhood, and to provide flexibility, when appropriate, in how land use code requirements are applied.

The Design Review program is made up of seven Design Review Boards, which each represent a different district (Ballard being represented by the NW district). The Design Review Boards review projects in their district and provide advice, guidance and feedback on topics like:

  • The overall appearance of the building
  • How the proposed project relates to adjacent sites and the street
  • How vehicles or pedestrians will access the building
  • The type and quality of materials used, open space provided, and landscaping

To improve how the Design Review program engages the public in its work they are seeking local feedback via an online survey.

All of the questions included in the non-scientific survey are optional. Results will help inform potential future changes to the Design Review program and how it engages the public.

A second online survey will be distributed later this year, with additional questions about the Design Review program and potential opportunities for improvement.

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No Bones About It to re-open at Populuxe this weekend

April 8th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Local food truck No Bones About It will be re-opening this weekend after taking a break to repair equipment following a huge fire in December.

The launch will take place at Populuxe Brewing (826 NW 49th St) on Saturday from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m.

“The “hottest” food truck in Seattle is back from our fire. The great people of the SFD say it was our poorly installed hood fan, but we know better…it was the buffalo sauce of course,” jokes Dylan from No Bones About It.

Live music will entertain attendees including the talents of Wild Rabbit, Sam Marshall and Jeff Greer. There will also be activities for the kids, raffle drawings and plenty of delicious craft liquids on hand.

Click here to find out more about the event.

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City seeks local feedback about Neighborhood Conservation Districts proposal

April 8th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will be hosting a community meeting to provide locals with information about the creation of Neighborhood Conservation Districts.

The meeting will be hosted at Phinney Neighborhood Center (6532 Phinney Ave N) at 6 p.m. tonight.

The City of Seattle is considering the design and implementation of a neighborhood conservation district strategy as a means of achieving neighborhood preservation goals for those neighborhoods interested in preserving the unique character of their neighborhoods.

Councilmember Rasmussen will be explaining the concept and listening to local feedback at tonight’s meeting.

In simple terms, a Neighborhood Conservation District would be an area with geographical boundaries that has a clear and consistent character.

“The districts are established with the specific intention of conserving the neighborhood character of the designated districts, and would be individually established by a vote of the Seattle City Council,” says Councilmember Rasmussen.

Under the proposed plan, neighborhood conservation district boards would be established tha would include neighborhood representatives and design professionals to make recommendations and decisions consistent with the authorities delegated to it by the city’s elected officials.

According to the City, a conservation district would provide guidelines, support and potential incentives for the conservation of important neighborhood buildings and design characteristics, but would not be as prescriptive as the landmark and special review districts that the city currently uses.

The key goals of a Neighborhood Conservation District proposal include:

  • Meeting the goal that city officials hear from growing communities to “protect the character of the neighborhoodas growth and development occur.
  • Addressing development pressure in neighborhoods that have a distinctive character.
  • Accommodating increased density in a manner that is compatible with the existing development context.
  • Conserving and enhancing the existing architectural and cultural identity of neighborhoods and commercial districts.
  • Fostering new construction and in-fill development in harmony with the scale and physical character of existing buildings.
  • Providing direction regarding types of buildings and specific features to be protected.
  • Providing tailored guidelines and regulations, with an appropriate level of discretion, to respond to the unique development conditions in each neighborhood that qualifies as a conservation district.

If the proposal moves forward neighborhoods may be nominated to become Neighborhood Conservation Districts by neighborhood property owners, city departments or members of the public. Nominations will need to identify design features significant to the district (see local example below) and the Council would need to approve designations.

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The proposal is currently in the public outreach phase, with the plan to implement the Neighborhood Conservation District in two Seattle neighborhoods by September this year.

Click here to learn more about the proposal.

If you are unable to attend the meeting and want to provide your feedback email Councilmember Rasmussen at tom.rasmussen@seattle.gov or call (206)-684-8808.

Image courtesy of Neighborhood Conservation District proposal website.

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Local organizes fundraiser to support Vanuatu cyclone victims

April 8th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

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Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Kara Dobsa is organizing a fundraiser to support the Oxfam Cyclone relief efforts in Vanuatu after the devastation caused by Cyclone Pam.

The event will be hosted by the Kangaroo and Kiwi Pub (2023 NW Market St) this Saturday, April 11, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Ballard local Dobsa volunteered in Vanuatu from 2010-2012 and wants to reach out to the community for their support.

“My former Peace Corps home was recently devastated by a cyclone which has resulted in major losses of homes, water sources and food sources. There is a critical need for emergency relief funds in Vanuatu and I am hoping to raise awareness and funds,” says Dobsa.

Oxfam is currently on the ground in Vanuatu, helping victims in the wake of this disaster by providing clean water, hygiene kits, access to sanitary facilities and shelter through evacuation centers for over 166,000 affected people.

The United Nations anticipates the need for emergency relief in Vanuatu to last until at least mid-June.

Locals can support the effort during Saturday’s event by donating a suggested $10 at the door, all of which will go solely towards the relief campaign.

Click here to learn more about the event.

Photo courtesy of Kara Dobsa.

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Ballard Locks to celebrate 100th anniversary with completion of Master Plan

April 7th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks is moving steadily towards its 100th anniversary on July 4, 2017, with the aim to complete the Locks Master Plan in time for the celebrations.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the Locks has experienced a decline in funding over the yeas as the facility has deteriorated and traffic has increased. This decline in funding is due mainly to the fact that the facilities available at the Locks are free to the public including when locals use it for commercial purposes.

“The Locks operational funds are based on commercial tonnage of ship cargo, not actual boat traffic. Since the Locks opened, commercial cargo has declined significantly and is now a small fraction of the annual 50,000+ boats that use the locks,” says Rich Deline from the Army Corps of Engineers.

In terms of tourism, despite the popularity of the Ballard Locks as a destination, the Army Corps of Engineers reports that tourism revenue amounts to less than 60 cents per visitor for the Fish Ladder, English Gardens and Visitor Center combined.

To address these pressing financial needs and in anticipation of the Centennial in 2017, national non-profit Corps of Engineers Foundation in partnership with regional non-profit Discover Your Northwest have teamed up to produce the Locks Master Plan to improve the visitor experience at the Locks with public involvement and funding.

The first step completed in the Locks Master Plan was a Comprehensive Interpretive Design donated by the nationally-renowned Seattle architectural firm, Jones & Jones, in concert with the Corps of Engineers Seattle District.

The Interpretive Design, created by the firm’s well known architect Johnpaul Jones, calls for World-Class Facilities that are set to benefit both the Ballard community and the City of Seattle as a whole.

Progress is currently being made on a number of elements of the Locks Master Plan, including the installation of six portable interpretive touchscreens (pictured below) located around the site.  These touchscreens will provide much needed information about the site as well as solicit public support for restoration.

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A state-of-the-art HD projection system was also recently installed in the visitor center theater which now allows the space to be used for special interest programs and video screenings.

Up next to be completed is an upgrade to the fish ladder viewing room (pictured below) which is set to bring it up to modern educational and visitor comfort standards. The upgrade will include improved lighting, acoustics and larger viewing windows along with digital display technologies to better educate the public and help alleviate visitor disappointment when salmon are not visible.

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“Stop by the Locks and see what’s happening and how you can help support the Ballard Locks Centennial and Locks Master Plan improvements,” says Deline.

Click here to check out updates as the Master Plan

Photos and images courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers.

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BHS athlete named as one of Western Washington’s top performers

April 7th, 2015 by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin

Ballard High School softballer Lauren King has been named as one of last week’s ALL-USA’s Western Washington performers of the week.

Check out the write up on the KING 5 website below:

Wednesday against Holy Names, she pitched four innings, striking out eight. King was also 2-for-2 at the plate with a homer and three RBI.

Friday was more of the same, as she hit two more home runs in the Beavers’ 8-0 win over West Seattle.

Congratulations Lauren!

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