Business

Presentations by an architect, hydrogeologist and an engineer at a March 11 meeting did little to quell neighbors' fears that the construction of the new Greenwood Fred Meyer would have dire consequences on surrounding properties.

Half of the site for the new Fred Meyer at 100 N.W. 85th St. is located on a peat bog, one of the largest in the Seattle area.

GeoEngineers' Michael Kenrick, working for Fred Meyer, said it is important to not disturb peat because it is sensitive and compressible. If you take water out of the peat, it will shrink, leading to settling buildings, he said.

"Nobody wants their building to settle because it causes so much damage," Kenrick said. "It basically condemns the building."

The March 11 meeting was a chance for the Fred Meyer development team to explain how it is dealing with soil and groundwater issues on the site and for the Seattle Department of Planning and Development to received public feedback before deciding on whether an Environmental Impact Study is warranted for the project.

03/12/2010
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Michael Harthorne

Kate Martin, a Greenwood citizen activist, warns of potential environmental damage from the new Fred Meyer development at a March 11 meeting.

Group to get youth involved in winter activities

Greg Whittaker has an idea to get more West Seattle kids involved in winter sports. He calls it the West Seattle Snow Sports Council. Whittaker is the owner of Mountain to Sound Outfitters at 3602 SW Alaska Street and he is modeling his idea after one he grew up with in Kirkland. It will be a 5013c non profit organization, "We're looking for the community to come out and help. We'll help facilitate it but we want the community to run it," Whittaker said, "the idea is to get kids, or youth, middle school to high school of West Seattle up to the mountains to experience the Northwest Cascades and go skiing and snowboarding or nordic skiing if they'd like to."

His company has relationships with insurance companies, and other businesses that might provide some assistance but he is looking for enthusiastic participants to help in all aspects. The group will need chaperone's, people to serve on the steering committee, and others to be part of leadership staff.

03/06/2010
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Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Greg Whittaker, owner of Mountain to Sound Outfitters grinds a snowboard for a customer. He's launching a new non profit organization called the West Seattle Snow Sports Council that he hopes will get West Seattle youth more involved in snowboarding, skiing and other winter activities.

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The Fremont neighborhood has attracted the unusual for a long time, and The Flying Apron Bakery at 3510 Fremont Ave. N. is no exception.

The Flying Apron is Seattle’s only organic, gluten-free and vegan bakery, and this week they held an informal gathering to thank their friends and talk about their future plans.

In January, the business was sold to a group of three investors who share a strong commitment to maintain the bakery's unique status as well as expand it's business.

The new owners are Ethan Hernandez, Erik Chelstad and Jeff Silva. Silva and his wife previously owned a bakery and café in Seattle, and his ongoing management of Crohn’s disease has given him a very real perspective on food and nutrition.

Hernandez is from a family of Seattle-based entrepreneurs, and having a daughter with severe dietary restrictions has strengthened his commitment to helping others that need to be mindful of their eating requirements.

Chelstad, like Ethan, has had a hand in many Seattle-based startup companies and is excited to be working on organic, sustainable food production.

03/05/2010
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Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

The new ownership of Flying Apron Bakery in Fremont is expanding its wholesale efforts and looking at new recipes for their all-vegan bakery products.

Value Village’s move a few blocks next week means not only meant a larger space for the retailer but a brighter Crown Hill thanks to the commissioning of local artist Ryan Henry Ward, better known as simply Henry.

Value Village, which has been located at 8700 15th Ave. N.W., is completing its move into the old Crown Hill QFC location at 8532 15th Ave. N.W. on March 4.

As part of the move, Ward, whose colorful work can be seen all over the Ballard area, is covering the building's 3,000-square-foot western wall with his largest mural in Seattle.

Ward is iconic in the neighborhood, Value Village spokesperson Ian Jefferies said.

He said the artist is reflective of the funky, fun culture that Value Village wants to represent. One Crown Hill Value Village employee even has a car painted by Ward, Jefferies said.

Ward said his Value Village mural is influenced by thinking about what would improve the community and make its members happy and also by the dimensions of the wall.

02/26/2010
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Michael Harthorne

This half-finished mural on the side of the new Crown Hill Value Village will be local artist Henry's largest in Seattle when the store opens March 4.

One month before a lawsuit against the city by a group Ballard businesses to halt the completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail goes to court, a second suit was filed against the city, this time by bicyclists hoping to get the trail completed.

On Feb. 8, a Complaint for Damages was filed against the city by five cyclists asserting they sustained injuries, both physical and fiscal, due to unsafe conditions on Shilshole Avenue Northwest where it curves underneath the Ballard Bridge.

That portion of Shilshole Avenue is part of what has come to be known as the Burke-Gilman Trail's Missing Link, a section of unfinished trail that extends from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.

In the complaint, David Middaugh, attorney for the plaintiffs, states that hundreds of bicycle crashes have occurred on Shilshole Avenue near the bridge as cyclists attempt to cross the Ballard Terminal Railway Company's railroad tracks.

Middaugh states in the complaint the the city has known for many years the area is not reasonably safe for ordinary travel by cyclists.

02/25/2010
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Michael Harthorne

On Feb. 8, a second suit over the uncompleted portion of the Burke-Gilman Trail was filed against the the city, this time by a group of bicyclists.

Dr. Doo, also known as the “Prince of Poo,” the “GM of BM” or the “Grand Poopah,” has been piling Zoo Doo deeper and higher all winter. This means the annual Spring Fecal Fest, the time of year when local gardeners have the chance to purchase Zoo Doo or Bedspread, is here.

According to a Woodland Park Zoo press release, Zoo Doo is the most exotic and highly prized compost in the Pacific Northwest, perfect for vegetables and annuals, composed of exotic species feces contributed by the zoo’s non-primate herbivores.

Bedspread, the zoo’s premium composted mulch, is like Zoo Doo but with higher amounts of wood chips and sawdust. It can be used for perennial beds and woody landscapes, such as native gardens, rose beds, shrubs, tree rings or pathways.

Zoo Doo and Bedspread are available only through a random drawing. For a chance to purchase either, gardeners must send in a postcard from March 5 through March 20.

Gardeners can enter both the Zoo Doo and Bedspread drawings, but separate postcards are required. Postcards should be marked “Zoo Doo" or “B.S.” for Bedspread.

02/25/2010
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Photo credit: 
Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

Steaming mountains of Zoo Doo await pickup by winners of a random drawing. Gardeners can enter to have a chance at purchasing the Zoo Doo from March 5 to March 20.

Nearly 50 people had signed up by the first day of EDGE Personal Training's Ballard Fitness Fest. But, according to one Ballard woman, the rest of the contestants should probably quit now.

"You might as well tell everyone coming in that I'm going to win," Cindi Worthington told EDGE owner Erik Hroncich during her Feb. 22 fitness assessment, "Oh, I'm competitive."

Ballard Fitness Fest is a three-month contest devised by Hroncich. It is open to anyone who lives or works in Ballard or the surrounding neighborhoods. The winner, loser of the most body fat, inches and weight, will be determined in May.

"I'm used to being 300 pounds," Worthington told Hroncich. "But, I also used to be 190."

Worthington had been participating in roller derby fitness classes and was preparing for tryouts for a team when she pulled her quadriceps. The injury was partially responsible for her gaining 40 pounds recently, she said.

She said her goal is to be at least 30 pounds lighter and have clothes that fit in three months.

"I'm tired of wearing black spandex all the time when I have a closet full of beautiful clothes," she said.

02/23/2010
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Michael Harthorne

Erik Hroncich, owner of EDGE Personal Training, measures Cindi Worthington for her first fitness assessment of the Ballard Fitness Fest.

Former Ballard business owners Sigmund and Raymond Eriksen were sentenced Feb. 20 in U.S. District Court in Seattle to two years of probation and must pay a $20,000 fine and perform 240 hours of community service each for two felony charges of Embezzlement or Conversion from an Employee Pension Benefit Plan, and one felony charge of Falsification of Records of an Employee Pension Benefit Plan.

The two men formerly owned Lunde Electric, an electrical contracting firm. They were convicted in October 2009, following a seven day trial and two days of jury deliberation.

The men were acquitted of nine counts, and the jury failed to reach a verdict on other charges.

At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour said any businessman who talks with the Eriksens will realize they would be a fool to engage in similar conduct and run the risk of a felony prosecution and conviction.

According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, Lunde Electric adopted a 401(k) retirement plan for their nonunion employees in 1995.

Employees could pay a portion of their salary into the plan, and the company would match 50 percent of the employee contribution.

02/22/2010