Ballard youths combine passions into clothing company

It hasn't happened yet. But, when Ballard native and current University of Portland student Mark McGinnis passes someone on the street wearing a shirt he designed, he knows it's going to be a big moment.

"It would be like hearing your song on the radio," he said.

This July, McGinnis and two University of Portland classmates – fellow Ballardite Stewart Wilson and Bothell native Kelly Burgett – officially launched The Incorporated, a clothing company that combines the passions of the three 20-somethings.

Last year, to break their boredom, the three friends decided to combine McGinnis' love of drawing with Wilson's enthusiasm for Photoshop and start a T-shirt company.

McGinnis said he does not have the talent or time to be an artist in the traditional sense, but T-shirt design gives him an outlet.

"It's just a different way of making art that more people can relate to and get involved with," he said.

While not necessarily an interest in fashion, the friends definitely share a similar pursuit, McGinnis said.

"We all like to look good," he said.

Photo credit: 
Courtesy of The Incorporated

Kelly Burgett, Stewart Wilson and Mark McGinnis, founders of Ballard-based T-shirt company The Incorporated, model their designs at its July 25 launch party.

A vintage neon clock hangs over the entrance of an older burnt red building a few hundred feet from the imposing barricades planted at the out-of-commission South Park Bridge entrance. The clock is unplugged, frozen in time, just shy of 8:00 o'clock.

Bill Owens, shop owner of Seattle Canine Outfitters and South Park Organics, rents the building. He explained, "I turned the clock off at 7:57(pm) June 30, the moment the bridge closed, and it won't go back on until a new bridge goes up."

Owens, who also rents out 300 mail boxes at his shop at 8526 14th Avenue South, is a South Park fixture who has lived there for over 18 years after declaring his first Washington home, Ballard "unrecognizable" with its new high-rise housing construction and fast-paced living. He lives in a houseboat at South Park Marina on the Duwamish River, once perched under the shadows of the bridge. Owens can walk with a cane but, due to getting hit by a car in Greenlake and flying through its windshield, and diabetes issues, he is often spotted at community events and around town in his wheelchair as Honey, his trusty chow care dog, and companion to many in the neighborhood, prances a few steps ahead.

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Photo credit: 
Steve Shay

Owner Josephine Porco and son Otto of Napoli Pizzeria in South Park say local customers have stepped up to support their business following the closing of the South Park Bridge, just a few blocks north.

For the 18th year in a row, customers, community members and everybody else could stop by the Ballard branch of Viking Bank to make a lunchtime withdrawal.

July 20 was the annual Viking Bank Summer BBQ, and bank employees were serving up hot dogs, brats, chili, potato salad, strawberry shortcake and more from the parking lot at 2237 N.W. 57th St.

Viking Bank Vice President Dan Redeker said the barbecue is an opportunity for the bank to celebrate its customers and the neighborhood.

He said the most rewarding part is being able to see the bank's customers in a social setting.

Over a plate of strawberry shortcake, Viking Bank customer Robert Engbloom said the bank is always great to its customers and the community.

His dining companion Dave Hullet agreed, but while bundled in a jacket and hat, lamented the lack of sunshine.

Ballard Big Picture is a column of scenes from around the neighborhood. If you would like to submit a photo for use on this site and in the Ballard News-Tribune, please send it to Michael Harthorne at Be sure to include your name and information about your photo.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Viking Bank's Scott Smith grills up some dogs while Dan Redeker mans the chili station on the left during the annual Viking Bank Summer BBQ July 20.

On July 15, the Seattle Office of Economic Development announced more than $160,000 in investments in neighborhood business. The Ballard Chamber of Commerce, Crown Hill Business Association and the In Ballard Merchants Association are three of the beneficiaries of those funds.

The 2010 Neighborhood Business District awards will be used for a variety of projects designed to help small businesses thrive in Seattle, including organizational development projects, beautification and branding with light pole banners and signal box art, and a new, multi-neighborhood buy local marketing effort that will increase shoppers’ awareness of local businesses across the city, according to a an Office of Economic Development press release.

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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Office of Economic Development

Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith with Catherine Weatbrook of the Crown Hill Business Association, which received funds from the Seattle Office of Economic Development for signal box art.

$419 million facility will mean 3000 jobs

One year after re-starting the project due to the bad economy, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's new Rental Car Facility celebrated it's topping off Wednesday morning, July 14, with the help of one of the four tower cranes on-site to signal the halfway point of a project creating an estimated 3,000 jobs.

The Port of Seattle, the City of SeaTac, Turner Construction and representatives from the rental car industry and Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council placed their signatures on the top beam before it was lifted into place.
"The Port of Seattle's mission is to create economic vitality," said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton. "One of the ways we do that is by building transportation infrastructure in the region. This project provides family wage jobs for our community members."
Construction on the $419 million, 23-acre site will generate more than 3,000 local, family-wage jobs and nearly $2 million in tax revenue for the City of SeaTac over the life of the project, according to Port staffers.

The facility is scheduled to open in spring of 2012.

Photo credit: 
Eric Mathison

Iron workers shake hands after the final beam in put in place at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport's new Rental Car Facility on Wednesday July 14.

This past spring, Furniture Spa, a Ballard paint-stripping company, was investigated and cited by state and city agencies for the improper handling and disposal of solid waste and a number of chemicals, including the potential carcinogen methylene chloride.

On May 4, the Washington State Department of Ecology sent a letter to Furniture Spa owner Lorin Emtage citing several areas in which the business was out of compliance with the state's Dangerous Waste Regulations.

The letter outlines three areas of concern, but the Department of Ecology's major issue was with the handling and disposal of methylene chloride, the main chemical used in paint stripping, said Larry Altose, the department's northwest region spokesperson.

On June 22, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency issued a Notice of Violation to Furniture Spa and ordered them to immediately cease using methylene chloride in their process, said Kimberley Cline, spokesperson for the agency.

Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Furniture Spa in Ballard closed June 25 after it was cited by state and city agencies for improper use of methylene chloride, a hazardous air pollutant and potential carcinogen,

The economic downturn has claimed another car dealership along Burien's Auto Row.
Millennium Ford at the northeast corner of 1st Avenue South and South 146th Street has been put up for sale or lease. The dealership had stopped selling new cars but is now going out of business unless another buyer is found.

BBC Dodge and Burien Nissan, both along the 1st Avenue auto row, have gone out of business. Auto dealerships are Burien's top source of sales tax revenue.

According to an advertisement by Colliers International, "In the heart of Burien's business district, an incredible opportunity awaits.
"Former Millennium Ford's showroom, service department and body shop are offered for sale, for sale with leaseback, or for lease along with a 24,500 square-foot paved yard and a 25,700 square-foot vacant parcel.

"Each site has excellent visibility and can be used for auto related uses, other uses, or as a future development opportunity."
The showroom at 14500 1st Ave. S. is 6,700 square feet with a paved 1.7-acre paved sales lot.

The service department at 14600 Ambaum Boulevard Southwest is fully equipped in a 21,000 square-foot building on a 45,700 square-foot parcel of land.


A group of Ballard businesses and maritime and trade associations calling themselves the Ballard Businesses Appellants has taken another step to halt the completion of the Missing Link, the uncompleted section of the Burke-Gilman Trail that stretches from 11th Avenue Northwest to the Ballard Locks.

On July 3, the Ballard Business Appellants filed an appeal in the Division 1 Court of Appeals challenging the city's State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review of the Missing Link, the completion of which, they claim, will cause unsafe conditions for bicycle riders and have dire consequences for the businesses along Shilshole Avenue Northwest.

The Ballard Business Appellants filed their first appeal of the Missing Link in December 2008 over the Seattle Department of Transportation's determination of nonsignificance on the environmental impacts of constructing the trail. The city's Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of the Department of Transportation in June 2009.

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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

A bicyclist rides Shilshole Avenue's Missing Link, the uncompleted stretch of the Burke-Gilman Trail between 11th Avenue Northwest and the Ballard Locks.

Groundspeak is breaking out the birthday candles to celebrate the 10th anniversary of geocaching, an outdoor treasure-hunting activity using GPS devices.

The event, Groundspeak’s Lost & Found, is a street carnival-style celebration free and open to the public. It takes place July 4 in Fremont, home to Groundspeak, and features family-friendly summer activities, from a dunk tank to a neighborhood scavenger hunt to geocaching courses of varying levels.

Beginners can visit the Introduction to Geocaching exhibit to learn how this high-tech activity can inspire outdoor play, and serious geocachers can dive right into the action with one of 10 expert geocaches, one for each of the 10 years of geocaching history.

Guests can bring their own GPS device or borrow one onsite for the full geocaching experience.

The Discover Fremont Scavenger Hunt is available for everyone to practice navigational skills through the Fremont neighborhood. Lost & Found team members will be stationed at iconic locations to hand out souvenir puzzle pieces to treasure hunters as they find each site. When participants complete their puzzle, they can exchange it for a limited edition Trackable.

Artisan butcher offers variety of meats, cheeses and deli goods

The Swinery at 3207 California Ave SW is an artisan butcher and delicatessen that first opened last September but always had plans to make the business bigger and more capable, however, that took time. On Friday, June 25 they held their "Re-opening Party" which officially introduced their newly expanded facilities which include their new kitchen (with an amazing bamboo table) an enclosed courtyard, outdoor seating, a large smoker, and meat curing locker plus the "only meat storage locker with a chandelier."

Head chef and butcher Gabriel Claycamp (NOTE: Claycamp has since this was published, left the business)used to own a cooking school called Culinary Communion but closed it in April of 2009. The school had started a line of meats almost as a byproduct because meat production was a large part of what was taught. When the school closed they chose to continue the line of meats and open a store to provide them.

Photo credit: 
Patrick Robinson

The Swinery Crew are from left Garrett Doherty - Head Cook, Joey Brewer - Butcher, Amie Collier who runs the retail portion of the shop and Gabriel Claycamp whose title is Head Swine Guy & Head Chef - Butcher

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