New ‘curb bulbs’ painted on Leary Ave.

As we previewed last month, the city installed an all-way stop sign, flashing beacon and crosswalk at the confusing intersection of Leary Ave. and Vernon Pl.

With most of the work done, crews have just painted the “curb bulbs,” which come in all different colors and designs — like these blue swirls over on 40th Ave. NE. Instead of a funky design, SDOT went with the brick look, since the intersection is right next door to Old Ballard.

(Photos from SDOT)

> See upcoming events in our Ballard calendar <

6-story apartment building planned for 53rd St.

The stretch of 15th Ave. NW south of Market St. may be getting another apartment building.

A 6-story apartment with 60 small efficiency dwelling units (SEDUs for short) has been proposed for 1446 NW 53th St., next door to the Subway on 15th.

The property is the current home of the gym, Outrageously Fit.

As is typical now for SEDU developments along the 15th Ave. corridor, the proposal does not include any plans for parking.

Red-tailed hawks delay Aurora Bridge repainting

A red-tailed hawk nest temporarily foiled WSDOT’s plans to repaint the Aurora Bridge.

“Though the birds are common to the area, it’s extremely rare for them to nest on bridges,” explains WSDOT’s Marqise Allen in a blog post.

When the birds built the nest in April, WSDOT contacted the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. The painting contractor proposed a work schedule that left the love birds alone, and Fish and Wildlife gave it the go ahead.

WSDOT says the egg hatched in May.

“The baby bird – which our contractor named Gerry – has already taken flight and left the nest for higher beams in the area,” Allen said. “It’ll stay near the nest for the next few months until it builds up enough strength to hunt and fly farther before moving on somewhere else.”

> See upcoming events in our Ballard calendar <

City council repeals head tax in 7-2 vote

That didn’t take long. Just less than a month after the city council voted 9-0 in favor of a head tax on big Seattle businesses, the same council voted 7-2 to repeal it amid chants from the audience.

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda voted no.

In a statement after the vote, Amazon said it was “the right decision for the region’s economic prosperity.” The company said it was “deeply committed to being part of the solution to end homelessness in Seattle.”

Yesterday Mayor Jenny Durkan and and 7 councilmembers published a statement. “We heard you,” it said. “It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.”

“Hopefully it’s not the end of anything,” said Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell after the vote. “Hopefully it’s the beginning of something.”

“The people who have won are the conservative groups and big businesses, funding organizations who support Trump, who oppose civil rights, and who are refusing to participate in shared responsibility,” tweeted Councilmember Mosqueda.

The council voted after organizers of a referendum to repeal the head tax said they had secured more than enough signatures to put it on the November ballot.

You can watch a video of the proceedings here on KOMO’s Facebook page.

Ballard filmmakers win 7 Emmy awards, festival this Saturday night

The talented students at Ballard High School’s Digital Filmmaking Program took home the hardware at the regional Emmy awards.

And just in time, too. The Ballard Film Festival is this Saturday at 7 p.m., and all are invited. Since filmmaking also means marketing, the students put together this promo video.

Without further ado, here are the Emmy winners (click the links to watch the videos):

  • Best Short Form FictionBottled Emotions by Zach Boone, PJ Hase, Aidan Jereczek and Bailey Wall
  • Best Short Form NonfictionOn the Backs of Salmon by Miles Whitworth, Cecilia O’Rollins, Chris Barrett, Martin Bolivar, Caroline Harader, Jasper Land, Maddie Lausted, Freeman Marshall and Aaron Miller
  • Best Long Form Nonfiction: Oso Strong by Maddie Lausted and Freeman Marshall
  • Best Audio/SoundPaul, Dark, and Handsome, audio/sound by Cole Kastner 
  • Best WriterRichard, writing by Wylie Soltes
  • Best Photographer/EditorBottled Emotions, photography and editing by Zach Boone, editing by PJ Hase, Aiden Jereczek and Bailey Wall 
  • Best Photographer/EditorCity’scape, photography and editing by Brendan Hickey, Jonathan Bowers and Gracie Morris

Nicely done!

Fatal house fire in North Beach

Tuesday update: Seattle Fire says a 77-year-old woman perished in the fire, and investigators ruled it was accidental.

Updated: The Seattle Fire Department extinguished a house fire in the 2100 block of NW 96th St. this evening. Firefighters say one person has died in the blaze.

Crews were first called to the scene just after 4:30 p.m. and confronted smoke and flames shooting through the roof. They discovered the fatality in the living room on the second floor.

Fire investigators were at the scene for several hours.

There’s no word on the cause of the fire.

(Top photo courtesy of KIRO TV. Second photo from @SeattleFire on Twitter.)

City council to vote on head tax repeal

In a surprising about-face, Seattle City Council president Bruce Harrell has introduced an ordinance — for a vote in Tuesday’s council meeting — that would repeal the head tax.

The announcement was followed by a statement this afternoon from Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven councilmembers. “We heard you,” it said. “It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.”

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Teresa Mosqueda did not sign the statement.

Meanwhile, the “No Tax on Jobs” campaign said it had gathered enough signatures to qualify for a referendum on the November ballot that would repeal the tax. A spokesperson told GeekWire that they’ll wait to see how the council votes before they submit the signatures.

Musician selected for Fremont Bridge tower, says ‘it’s actually pretty noisy’

Sound designer and composer Paurl Walsh has been selected by the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture to spend the summer in the north tower of the Fremont bridge creating a new musical work. It’s all part of the “artist in residence” program.

Walsh’s proposal “investigates the inherent collision between creativity and mental health, which resonated with the selection panel,” the office said.

“The bridge itself is actually pretty noisy, and there’s a lot of vibration when the buses go by,” he told KOMO Radio. “The whole tower kind of shakes. It’s kind of a hard environment to write music in.” But he added, “It’s very inspiring in a really unique way.”

Walsh says he’s thinking about capturing sounds from the bridge to fold into his final musical work.