The Story Behind Those Beautiful Blooms On 8th Ave NW

Over the weekend, the West Woodland, Ballard Blog received a message:

“…do you know the story behind all the daffodils on 8th Avenue?”

Spring has sprung and several blocks of the 8th Ave NW median, just north of NW 65th Street, are awash in bright yellow daffodils.  It is a stunning scene for those of us who live in the neighborhood, but there is a profound story behind those beautiful blooms.

Ballard West Woodland 2018-03-19 11.20.19-1

I remember hearing the reason many years ago, but didn’t have the details, so I turned to The Seattle Times archive for an answer.

Below is a screenshot of an article dated October 18, 1993 that explains why the flowers were planted.  You can read the full story, by Seattle Times columnist Diedtra Henderson, online at,

Ballard West Woodland 8th Ave NW Daffodil 02

Screenshot of story courtesy The Seattle Times

Ballard neighbors asked to help decide how the city spends $3M

Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets

Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets is a participatory budgeting initiative in which Seattle residents democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget on small-scale park and street improvements. A total of $3 million has been allocated in the 2018 budget and residents can participate in the district where they live, work, go to school, receive services, or volunteer.

You can get involved by attending one of the project development meetings happening throughout the city. These meetings are simply conversations with neighbors about submitted project ideas in your community. Participants will discuss the projects in small groups and then individually score ideas based on physical need and community benefit.

Share your opinion and help Seattle Department of Neighborhoods identify the strongest ideas for park and street improvements.


Date: THURSDAY, MARCH 15, 2018
Time: 5:30 – 7:30PM
Location: Ballard Branch Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW

Event Details:


These are the ideas that will be considered during the 2018 Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks and Street Development Process,


Information about the “Your Voice, Your Choice” program can be found online at,

Ballard West Woodland Your Voice Your Choice

Screenshot of Project Idea Map

City of Seattle seeks two community members to serve on Seattle Renters’ Commission

SEATTLE Renters Commission 02SEATTLE (March 12, 2018) – The Seattle Renters’ Commission (SRC) is seeking two community members to serve on the SRC. Established by ordinance (125280) in March 2017, the SRC advises the City on policies and issues of interest to renters citywide.

The Commission is composed of 15 members – six appointed by City Council, six appointed by the Mayor, and one position is filled by a young adult through the Get Engaged program. The final two commissioners are selected by the SRC, and these are the open positions.

The SRC consists of people living in an array of rental housing types, to include students, low-income renters, LGBTQ renters, people with past felony convictions, people in subsidized housing, and those who have experienced homelessness. The members are also geographically representative of Seattle. SRC meetings are open to the public, and the commissioners serve without compensation.

Those interested in being considered should complete the online application by Monday, April 12 by 5 p.m. If you cannot submit the application online, contact Maureen Sheehan at (206) 684-0302, and an application will be mailed to you or you can pick one up at Seattle Department of Neighborhoods in Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, 2nd floor, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

To learn more about the Seattle Renter’s Commission, visit our website or call Maureen Sheehan at (206) 684-0302.

The City of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, persons with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, young persons, senior citizens, persons of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply. The Seattle Renters’ Commission is one of three commissions managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Free Prep Classes Happening in Ballard

Disasters Don’t Plan Ahead. You Can.

Ballard West Woodland Ready Good NeighborAfter an earthquake, first responders may be overwhelmed and residents will be called on to assist those in their community.  This could include light search and rescue activities, or providing basic first aid.

The Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) wants to help you prepare.  Below are a several FREE classes, hosted by OEM, and happening right here in Ballard.


Event #1: Disaster Book Club & Survival Class

“Join us for our March 2018 Disaster Book Club event! In February, we will read Cormac McCarthey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning post-apocalyptic novel, “The Road.”

We’ll be hosting a one-time only Apocalypse Survival Class. This class will feature:
– Assembling an apocalypse-proof bug out bag
– Emergency water purification methods (urban & wilderness)
– Constructing an emergency debris shelter (urban & wilderness)
– Constructing an emergency sanitation device (urban)
– Identifying edible plants in the area (urban)
– Basic orienteering skills (urban)

Due to distressing content, this novel is not recommended for children under the age 16.”

Date:  Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Location:  Ballard Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW

Event #2:  Disaster Skills, Light Search & Rescue (RSVP Required)


This training provides an overview of light search and rescue skills and basic rescuer safety. When first responders are overwhelmed, residents may apply some of these techniques to help those around them in need.

This Workshop covers the following topics:
-Rescuer safety
-Basic search techniques
-Basic rescue techniques (lifts, carries,

Date:  Thursday, May 17, 2018
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Location:  West Woodland Elementary School, 5601 4th Ave NW

Event #3:  Disaster Skills Workshop (RSVP Required)


This workshop provides training on key skills needed after a disaster and more in depth instruction on key preparedness actions.

This Workshop covers the following topics:
-Fire Extinguisher Use
-Utility Control
-Water Storage and Emergency

Date:  Thursday, June 14, 2018
Time: 5:30 -7:30 pm
Location:  West Woodland Elementary School, 5601 4th Ave NW

Getting Connected To The Community

Looking to connect? You’re in luck! Ballard‘s West Woodland neighborhood is home to several community organizations and special interest groups. Whether you’re looking to connect online, or in-person, there’s a group for you! Here are a few of our favorites:

Connect Online!

West Woodland Neighborhood Facebook Group:  This group is open to residents, small business owners, and local school employees (West Woodland Elementary, Saint Alphonsus School, Roots Academy, Kids Inc., Woodland Preschool, Zoom Language Academy). Join here:

Halibutflats Neighbors: A hyper-local group for those who live near NW 50th Street & 6th Ave NW. Join here:

Gilman Park Neighborhood Watch: For those who live around Gilman Playground. Join here:

Ballard West Woodland neighborhood

Connect In Person!

East Ballard Community Association: Get active! Improve the community and connect face-to-face with folks nearby. Website:

Sweet Justice Ballard: A grassroots social justice group actively doing good in the community. Join here:

Greater Ballard Arts:  Support local artists!  Help advertise, locate venues, sponsor a Ballard Night Out show!  Find them online:


Connect By Interest!

Gilman Park Dogs: Connect with other dog owners who visit West Woodland’s BEST green space – Gilman Playground!  Join here:

Stumbletown Artists Trunk Show: A way for local, small-scale artists and craftspeople to show and sell their work. Connect on Facebook:

Buy Nothing West Woodland:  Are you a fan of the three R’s?  Buy Nothing West Woodland will help you Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle while building friendships and having fun! Select group based on your address:


Did we miss your favorite group? Let us know! Comment below or email

Talk Transit with CM Mike O’Brien at Populuxe Brewing on Monday

Mike-OBrien-City-Council-SeattleSeattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien is hosting a Sound Transit 3 (ST3) community discussion at Ballard’s Populuxe Brewing on Monday, February 26, 2018.

For those wanting to provide feedback regarding ST3/ Light Rail to Ballard, this is an excellent opportunity to share your opinion – right here in the neighborhood – and have a delicious beer too!

Date: Monday, 02/26
Time: 5:30-7:00pm
Location: Populuxe Brewing, 826 NW 49th Street in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.

Reconnecting the Ballard neighborhood and adding a bus only lane on 15th Ave NW

Update: 05/14/2018

ballard West Woodland NW 53rd Greenway 2018-05-19 13.16.43-1

You’ll be glad to know that the RapidRide D improvements along 15th Ave NW, at NW 53rd Street, are beginning.  The improvements include construction of a crosswalk, crossing signal, and traffic island as part of a larger construction package that is addressing “spot” improvements around Seattle.  The project is schedule to be completed by the end of 2018.

Road construction does mean lane closures and traffic headaches while work is being completed.  Here’s what to expect, from the Seattle Department of Transportation:

Seattle Department of Transportation will have intermittent lane closures on 15th Ave NW, north of the Ballard bridge, affecting the outer southbound and northbound lanes for the next 6-8 weeks.

  • Two lanes of traffic will remain open in each direction for the duration of the project.
  • Outer southbound and northbound lane closures of 15th Ave NW will occur intermittently.
  • 15th Ave NW southbound will be open to three lanes 6-10 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
  • 15th Ave NW northbound will be open to three lanes 3-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and noon to 4PM on Saturday and Sunday.
  • No parking and local access only on NW 53rd St between 17th Ave NW and 14th Ave NW.

Here’s what the project should look like when complete.

Ballard west woodland 15th and 53rd


Original Post: 02/25/2018

Remember the NW 53rd Greenway?  It has been a couple years since we’ve written about it (see: 05/2016 and 06/2016), but last week a neighbor contacted us asking if the project was still active. A quick email to Seattle Department of Transportation revealed that the project was indeed moving along.

What’s happening now:

SDOT is working towards the installation of a new pedestrian signal at 15th Ave NW and NW 53rd Street as part of an effort to connect the Ballard neighborhood.  This new signal will create a dignified way for residents to access bus stops, parks, and medical care without needing to travel a half a mile out of their way in order to find a safe crossing.  Below, you can read the full update from the Seattle Department of Transportation, Spot Improvements.

Reconnecting the Ballard neighborhood and adding a bus only lane on 15th Ave NW

15th Ave NW is a major street carrying around 50,000 vehicles a day. It is a bus priority corridor and a major truck street. RapidRide D and the 15 Express use the street and move about 15,000 people a day. Currently bus routes experience delay northbound between NW 51st St and NW Market St. We want to retain and grow the number of people taking the bus. So to make service more reliable and faster, we’re planning a bus only lane in this area. Buses can then bypass traffic that occurs when the drawbridge is lowered. To make room for the bus only lane, we’ll remove the center turn lane. Construction is scheduled for late 2017.

Project Elements

Removing the center turn lane means people can no longer make left turns on NW 15th Ave at NW 52nd and NW 53rd streets. Some people and service providers will change their routes to get home or access businesses. However, the change will make the intersections safer. The chart below shows recommended thresholds for having a center turn lane and why restricting turns at these locations is a good idea.

Ballard NW 53rd Crossing at 15th Ave NW

Recognizing 15th Ave NW is a truck street we wanted to make sure people and goods continue moving smoothly. We conducted studies to understand possible impacts to nearby intersections. The study found they will continue to perform at acceptable levels of service.

This busy street also divides the neighborhood. There is almost a half a mile between traffic signals at Leary and NW Market. To help reconnect the neighborhood we’re adding a pedestrian signal. The improvement will happen at NW 53rd St.


Example of what the crossing would look like.

Populuxe Brewing Celebrates 5th Anniversary With Ballard Beach Blanket Bingo

Wax up your board, don your wet-suit and celebrate this momentous occasion with Pete, Amy and the Populuxe gang! On Saturday, March 10th from 12 noon to 10:00 PM, Populuxe Brewing will celebrate their 5th Anniversary with a beach-themed blowout bash.

The event, which is sponsored in part by Verity Credit Union, kicks off at noon.  The first 100 customers will receive a free beach ball featuring the Populuxe logo with their beer purchase.

There will be giveaways and prizes handed out throughout the day. Unique kegs and pins will be tapped in the Beach Shack (aka Populuxe’s original location).

Live entertainment starts at 5 PM with All Ages Bingo hosted by Sylvia O’Stayformore. From 8 – 10 PM enjoy surf and lounge music by Johnny Astro.

Also, Populuxe will be releasing a limited bottle release of their Pineapple Sour. Only 100 bottles available on a first come, first serve basis. Limit two per person.

Populuxe Brewing is located at 826 NW 49th Street, Seattle, WA 98107

Surf’s Up!


Long Time Ballard Business Has Closed

2018-02-11 13.07.17

On February 13 we told you about the closure of Atrium Shade Company, located at 824 NW 46th Street in Ballard’s West Woodland neighborhood.

A simple sign located in the front window announced that they were closed until further notice. I reached out to Atrium Shade via email to find out if this was seasonal closure or permanent, and here’s the companies response:

“Unfortunately, it appears to be permanent.

 If you have any shade inquiries, please contact Penthouse Drapery and see if they can help.  They also sell shades (not exterior), their phone number is (206) 292-8336

 For awnings, please contact Tony at Canvas Supply here in Ballard and the number is (206) 784-0711.”

According to the companies website, Atrium Shade began producing shade systems for commercial atriums and skylights in 1987, and later began manufacturing roller shades. The website also shows that the company employed 15 full-time employees.  No word on what has happened to these people.

Several buildings near Atrium Shade’s 12,000 sq. ft. facility are for sale, including the building Skills Inc. recently vacated at 800 NW 49th Street.  Photo below shows three parcels currently for sale, and is courtesy LoopNet.  Atrium Shade is the building just west of 800 NW 49th Street.

Buildings for sale Ballard West Woodland

Skills Inc. Consolidates Operations

Have you noticed the barrier fencing outside Skills Inc., 825 NW 47th Street?

I reached out to the nonprofit and they provided the following update:

“Thank you for your inquiry. Skills Inc. Is consolidating our aerospace finish operations in Auburn but our Business Solutions Division will remain in Ballard, as well as Vocational Services and Customized Employment Programs. Our Ballard operations are currently located at 825 NW 47th Street and will move to 4503 8th Ave NW later this year.”

Great to hear they’re staying in the neighborhood!

About Skills Inc.:

Skills Inc. is a self-supporting, nonprofit social enterprise that employs people of ALL ABILITIES in aerospace manufacturing, aerospace finishing, technical services and business solutions. Their fully integrated, inclusive workforce is comprised of individuals with and without disabilities working side-by-side throughout all four lines of business.

Find them online:

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