After 15 years of requests, the management of Secret Garden Bookshop on Market Street is caving to public pressure and starting the Secret Garden Book Club this March.

"We have a notebook this thick of people interested in a book club over the years," Secret Garden's Suzanne Perry said, holding her thumb and finger a few inches apart.

The bookstore, located at 2214 N.W. Market St., has long offered a 10 percent discount for members of other book clubs purchasing three or more copies of a book, but now it is finally offering a club of its own.

Perry said the book club is a way for Secret Garden to fully acknowledge the movement to support local businesses and keep people in the neighborhood.

"We're so lucky to be in Ballard where people get this whole 'buy local' thing," she said.

After years of waiting for a book club at Secret Garden, it does not appear customers have lost their interest.

Perry said the store already had tons of calls less than 24 hours after an announcement was made about the Secret Garden Book Club.

The club will be moderated by long-time bookseller Michelle Rhode, who volunteered herself for the position.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Secret Garden Bookshop on Market Street will be hosting its first book club meeting March 18.

At only 23-years-old, while many recent college graduates are taking jobs they hate or struggling to find work, Danielle Harvey opened her own businesses because, really, how hard could it be?

Harvey, an action sports enthusiast who grew up in Spokane, graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Comparitive History of Ideas (“How much more humanities can you get?”) and was having little luck finding work.

“I couldn’t even get a job I didn’t want,” she said.

In 2009, before a brief stint in California to pursue her love of surfing, Harvey became a certified yoga instructor – something that had always been on her list of things to do.

Back from California, she started teaching at the SeaTac YMCA and subbing at the Ballard Health Club.

A profession in yoga is meant to be a long, slow-growing process, and Harvey was just starting it. Less than a year later, Harvey is the owner Backside Bow on Ballard Avenue.

While teaching at the YMCA and Ballard Health Club, Harvey said her students would often ask her where else she taught and if she had a business card. “How hard could it be to make a business card,” she thought.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Danielle Harvey in her new Ballard Avenue yoga studio, Backside Bow. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE HARVEY IN ACTION.

First-term Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw touched on topics from transportation to parks to the council's rocky relationship with the new mayor when she opened herself up for questions and comments from the neighborhood at the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting.

Stephen Lundgren got the transportation ball rolling when he told Bagshaw that Ballard has gotten density, a civic center and parks, but no public transportation infrastructure.

Bagshaw said the city needs to connect the densifying urban hubs, but King County is in the middle of a budget crisis.

"What's tragic to me is how Metro right now is just struggling," she said. "When we need transit most is right now."

The question is what residents are willing to give up so more money can be spent on transit or are they willing to submit to more taxes, Bagshaw said.

"We're spending a pot-load of money on light rail," she said. "I would like to see much more on RapidTransit (Metro bus service)."

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Seattle City Council member Sally Bagshaw addresses questions and concerns from the neighborhood at the Feb. 10 Ballard District Council meeting.

Just five and a half months after the former Phoenecia at Alki Restaurant closed its doors due to the death of its owner, Seattle icon Hussein Khazaal, it rises again with a grand opening Friday night, Jan. 29, 5pm-11pm. The location is the same, 2716 Alki Avenue SW, but the interior’s carpeting and white tablecloths have been removed to expose the unpolished, retro cement floor and heavily laminated wooden tabletops. Bar seating has also been added. The prices are generally lower, and some of the old dishes will remain, though tweaked slightly.

“We couldn’t even walk inside the restaurant for a month after my father died,” said Hussein’s son, William, 35. His Lebanese-born father died Aug. 7 in his sleep in his West Seattle home. He was 63. Hussein left behind William, Sonya, Nadia, four grandchildren, and his wife of 40 years, Inaam. She is the owner of the new restaurant, simply called Phoenecia.

Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

William Khazaal and his family have helped his mother, Inaam, reopen the Phoenecia Restaurant. It closed its doors Aug. 7 when its owner, Hussein 63, died in his sleep in his West Seattle home. Inaam was his wife of 40 years, and William, their son.

Taco Del Mar Franchising Corporation, 2414 Southwest Andover Street in West Seattle (just south of Nucor Steel) announced on Friday, Jan. 22 that it is voluntarily restructuring its business under the protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Seattle. The company is expecting to continue all business operations during the restructuring without interruption. The restructuring will provide the company a chance to restructure debts and become financially viable again while reorganizing to better position the company for growth in the current economic climate.

According to its press release:

taco del mar photo.jpg
Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

West Seattle based Taco Del Mar announced it is filing under Chapter 11. Its corporate headquarters, on Andover off Delridge, are pictured rear. The surfboards pictured are mounted to one of their ad-cars parked in the corporate lot.

Snacks! Open House

Snacks! has a little bit of everything, including wares from vendors at the Ballard Sunday Farmers Market and of course Dante's Inferno Dogs. Join Dante and several of the vendors in person at an open house. Live music by The Atlas String Band. Please bring a non-perishable food donation for the Ballard Food Bank.


Snacks! Ballard's Bodega
5219 Ballard Ave. N.W.
First settlement of its kind; covers 12 states

Lafarge North America Inc. which operates a cement and aggregate plant at 5400 West Marginal Way has agreed to enter into a settlement agreement, announced today, with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 12 states to resolve claims arising under the Clean Air Act for historic emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxides. The settlement addresses all of Lafarge’s active cement manufacturing plants in the United States.

The settlement is the first of its kind in the cement sector and is consistent with settlements the DOJ and EPA have obtained in other industry sectors, including electric generation and petroleum refining. The settlement represents for Lafarge a complete and expeditious resolution of issues under the Clean Air Act which Lafarge has sought to address in a proactive and cooperative manner with the DOJ and EPA.

Portions of the 1977 Clean Air Act require companies to obtain pre-construction permits if a large facility is upgraded or modified through

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

Lafarge North America has settled with the EPA, agreeing to pay $5 million in civil penalties arising from claims made under the 1977 Clean Air Act regarding permit review.

Greenwood Body & Brain Holistic Wellness Center Grand Opening

The community is invited to receive free consultations, energy readings and hand/shoulder healing massages at the Body & Brain Holistic Wellness Center grand opening.

There will be a free open class held at 10 a.m. and noon. Each class is one hour long and is comprised of deep stretching, breath work, meditation, energy training and brain wave vibration (a dynamic movement meditation).

Refreshments (including gluten-free) and tea will be served.

RSVP by calling 206.453.5989.


Greenwood Body & Brain Holistic Wellness Center
8750 Greenwood Ave. N. Ste. S2

Whistle Workwear, offering high quality work clothes and footwear is set to open as soon as this weekend at 3408 1st Avenue South in the former Mattress Warehouse location. "We plan on having our 'Soft Open' this weekend, depending on permits," Manager Jeremy Kramer said. The company carries brands such as Carhartt (men's and women's), Dickies, Riggs, Key, LaCrosse, Occunomix, 2W, Viking, Grundens, and many more.

There's an emphasis on boots and high quality footwear in brands such as Timberland, Danner, Georgia, Wolverine, Cat, Merrell, and White's Boots. They also carry women's boots in those same brands.

Whistle Workwear is a group of retail stores that supply merchandise to the American Worker. They have seven Western Washington stores including Bellingham, Everett, Tacoma, Puyallup, Silverdale, Olympia and a Tukwila store.

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri 9-7
Sat 10-6
Sun 11-6

Photo credit: 
Richard Sherman

Whistle Workwear, a new clothing and shoe store, aimed at work clothing is opening soon on 1st Avenue South.

On Jan. 22, HomeStreet Bank's Ballard branch will host its Great Neighbor, Great Business award reception to honor the Phinney Neighborhood Association, Cancer Lifeline and the Ballard and Greenwood Sip & Ship.

The Great Neighbor, Great Business awards were started in 2005 to honor local businesses based on community partnership, being a great employer, and providing an exceptional customer environment.

The award reception, which is free and open to the public, begins at 5 p.m. at HomeStreet Bank, located at 8050 15th Ave. N.W. Refreshments will be served, and live music will be performed by cellist Gretchen Yanover.

The Phinney Neighborhood Association, established in 1981, serves the Phinney-Greenwood area and beyond, offering a large selection of programs, events, classes and services.

Cancer Lifeline, founded in 1973, provides emotional support, resources, classes and exercise programs to support cancer patients, survivors, their families, friends, coworkers and caregivers.

Sip & Ship (Ballard and Greenwood) has shipping and mailing services, a fair trade espresso bar and a gift shop.

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