BHC to Host Community Bike Ride

This Saturday May 26th, the Ballard Health Club(BHC) will host a neighborhood bike ride for its members and friends, to promote their once a month club bike ride. The ride will start at noon from

Photo Courtesy of Ridereporter.com

Bikesport, who BHC is teaming up with to promote the ride together. Each ride is tailored to the participants, and last month’s ride kicked off the series and traveled mostly around the Burke Gilman Trail to Matthew’s Beach and back. The rides generally last 2 hours, and maintain a pace of about 12-14mph throughout. Bikesport’s owner and BHC member Scott K will lead the ride. If you’d like to participate in the ride, or for more information on  BHC activities visit their website.

Seattle Summer Streets Days Coming to Ballard & West Seattle

It’s that time of year again; Seattle’s annual series of Summer Streets Days is here, where certain streets are marked off for pedestrians, bicycles, skateboards and various block parties in the surrounding Seattle areas, in particular the Ballard and West Seattle

West Seattle Street Closure, Photo Courtesy of Seattle Department of Transportation

neighborhoods. Beginning tomorrow night, 22nd st NW in Ballard will be closed off from 4-7pm right next to Bergen Place Park. Also on Sunday the majority of Alki Avenue Southwest will be closed to motorized vehicles between 9am-5pm to clear out for morning traffic, a  5k fun run, live music, and other activities. Please be prepared for traffic backups, and utilize non-motorized vehicles for transportation.

Syttende Mai Festival This Thursday!!

This Thursday happens to be Norwegian Constitution Day, and the annual Syttende Mai festivities in Ballard! Beginning at the Nordic Heritage Museumat 10am, Festival activities will run all day in

Photo Courtesy of 17thofMay.org

appreciation for our Nordic community. Some festival events include free admission to the NHM all day and Nordic treats will be sold in the cafe, and there will be free live entertainment at Bergen Place Park,  a Nordic inspired parade and an open house at Leif Erickson Hall with food, beverages and wine for purchase! For more information regarding the Nordic holiday activities please visit the 17th of May website.

Golden Gardens Yard Work Party Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at Golden Gardens Park, Green Seattle Partnership will host a forest restoration work party to help clean up the area. The weather forecast for this weekend is sunshine and blue skies, with a high of 74; perfect weather to be working outdoors! According to

Photo Courtesy of Myballard.com

Ballard-based Groundswell NW, volunteers are needed between 10am to 2pm, and duties will include removing various invasive plant species from the grounds. Earthcorps will be providing all of the necessary equipment, gloves, and positive attitudes to get the job done; and will also be offering light refreshments for their appreciation. If you’d like to sign up to volunteer for the event, you may do so by visiting the Earthcorps website.

New Park Plans Cause Tension Over Parking

Plans for the new $1.5 million park along 14th Avenue NW will take away some 90 parking stalls along the street, and a group of local Ballardites is fighting to keep those parking spots in place. The tension is part of a citywide battle over how much parking is enough, and the City Council is actually considering a proposal to eliminate required parking around new apartments and condominiums within a quarter mile of frequent transit. Parking may still be included, but builders wouldn’t have to provide parking for each unit.

Proposed green space along 14th near NW 60th street

 

A group for the East Ballard Community Association have been petitioning the city for nearly a decade to bring a green space to 14th Ave NW, a street that has more parking along curbs and across a wide median, than almost any other residential street in the city. According to the Seattle Times, at two separate meetings in the city, about 100 people attended to help plan the new park and fewer than 20 complained about the potential loss of parking. But those who did object came in hot, with the argument that with the surge of redevelopment in Ballard, they’ll be losing more parking and don’t want to take away anymore than they must. The arguments continue on both sides, those arguing the green space citing that they are not against a park, but the decrease in parking stalls will cause a problem for handicapped and elderly; those for it stating a two block park isn’t going to cause as much fuss as they’re making. Find an extended description of the Green Space on the Seattle Parks and Recreation Website.

Seal Pup Sightings in Ballard

This past weekend, locals spotted a baby seal pup perched on the beach shores soaking up some sun rays in Ballard. This time of year is when seal pups are often seen along the pacific northwest shores, resting and warming up and I’d like to use this sighting as an

Photo courtesy of www.myballard.com

opportunity to remind waterfront property owners and beach goers what to do when there is a baby seal sighting: call the local group Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 206-905-SEAL (7325). These folks will send a designated “seal sitter” to set a perimeter around the pup to protect it until the mother returns for him, or until he swims away. After you’ve placed the good Samaritan phone call, the next step would be to steer clear of the seal, and make sure that all dogs are leashed in the area. Seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and it’s actually a violation to touch them, so make sure you and those around you leave the little guy alone. For more information on seal sightings in the Seattle area, click here.

Ballard High School Competes in NY Jazz Festival

Ballard High Essentially Ellington FestivalAs I mentioned in an earlier post, the Ballard High School jazz band was invited to play in a prestigious nationwide high school jazz competition, Essentially Ellington, in New York City. It was Ballard’s first time being at this impressive jazz festival. This weekend, they along with two other Seattle schools and twelve other nationwide high schools tooted their horns to the Ellington tunes of “Night in Tunisia,” “Tutti for Cootie,” “Riding on the Blue Note,” and other Ellington classics.

Roosevelt, Ballard, and Mountlake Terrace represented the Puget Sound area very well at the competition. Roosevelt High, well-known for its quality jazz band program and a regular competitor in “Essentially Ellington,” won second place at the festival! Ballard High won individual accolades for its performance. I would keep my eye on trumpet player and senior Sam Zisette and vocalist Jade Likkel, both Ballard High students. They each received awards for their performance at the festival. Congratulations, Ballard High!

Mother’s Day is Right Around the Corner: Best Gift Ideas!

Do you find yourself stumped every year, scrambling around to try and find the perfect gift for your Mother, who seems to already have everything you can imagine? Do you wind up getting something safe and uninspiring year after year, resorting to a 99 cent card and hand written poem you have stored on your computer’s hard drive?  I can safely assume we’ve all been guilty at one point in time of last minute shopping when we’re down to the wire and wind up with an impulse buy, maybe something that you yourself would enjoy a little more than Mom. This year it might be time to plan a week or two ahead, and get your Mother something unexpected. Here is a list of things you might find inspiring to get for her this Mother’s Day weekend:

1. Is she a fabulous cook? Whether she needs it or not, a cooking class from Seattle Hipcooks in South Lake Union might be the perfect treat.

2. Does your mom love jewelry and recycling? why not get her a recycled sterling silver necklace from Uncommon Goods.

3. Is she a tech whiz? If your mom has had her new Ipad 3 longer than you have, get her a new Mother’s Day inspired Ipad case!

4. Is she hopelessly in Love with Seattle? Get her something personally homemade from Etsy!

5. Is she remodeling? The new West Elm in Seattle is full of inspiring decor she’ll love, or grab her a giftcard.

6. Every Mom appreciates a good musical; take her to the theatre! The 5th Avenue’s summer schedule is out now.

7. Does she have a green thumb? Whether she does or not lend her a hand! Help her garden grow by getting her the best fragrant plants in her garden.

8. Still stumped…check her pinterest account and see what she’s pinning these days, or if she has a wishlist board waiting for you!

9. Or if you’re on a budget, here is a list of free Mother’s Day activities from CBS that you can take her to and enjoy a day just the two of you.

Help Give the Tigers’ Lair a Remodel at Woodland Park Zoo

The Tiger and Sloth bear exhibits at the Woodland Park Zoo haven’t seen any updates in the past 60 years and it’s about time they received some  fresh new interiors! The Zoo is planning the biggest design they’ve seen since the 1990s and plans to build a brand spankin new state-of-the-art exhibit for the Malayan Tigers, sloth bears, small clawed otters, birds, and much more over two acres long! This new exhibit is also hoped to shed light on the crucial need for tiger advocates to help save wild tigers, whose future is unknown and at risk.

Donate towards the Malayan Tiger Habitat, photo courtesy of the Woodland Park Zoo

If you’ve been to the Woodland Park Zoo, and love to see the animals they host living in comfort, the Zoo would like to extend a little encouragement for you to pass along the word that the Zoo will need the community’s help in funding this new sanctuary for their furry friends. The Zoo is currently running a campaign, asking friends to pledge $10 a person, “Give 10 For Tigers” and encourages everyone who donates to ask ten friends to pledge as well. They have $200,000 left to raise in order to hire builders and start construction and every dollar donated is a step closer to their goal. If they raise $100,000 by midnight on May 25th, a local family has even graciously pledged to donate the other $100,000 necessary to fund the new tiger palace! If you’d like more information on how to donate, please visit the Woodland Park Zoo website.