Economy

Sink & Toilet Plumbing 101

206.423.0675

Join Seattle's favorite plumber, Big Jim, as he resuscitates a RE Store toilet and sink. Big Jim, an old and antique plumbing specialist, will show you how to bring new life to salvaged bathroom fixtures. Bring your plumbing inquiries and quandaries. Free, but please RSVP to sarahk@re-store.org.

Location

The RE Store
1440 N.W. 52nd St.

Creative Terrariums

206.423.0675  read more »

Location

The RE Store
1440 N.W. 52nd St.

The Salvage Bride Workshop

206.423.0675

Tying the knot? Incorporate salvaged materials into your wedding plans and pull off the big day with style, thrift, and flair. The RE Store's creative bride-to-be, Rachel Bair, shows you how to find and transform previously used materials into everything from cake stands to candelabras. Whether you are going for vintage, rustic or modern decor, you are sure to leave with lots of ideas. Tea and cake will be served. Free, but please RSVP to sarahk@re-store.org.

Location

The RE Store
1440 N.W. 52nd St.

By State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, 36th District

In 2007, 51 percent of Washington voters approved Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960.

The initiative has many provisions, but the provision that affects the legislature the most is a requirement that all tax increases must pass each chamber of the legislature by a two-thirds vote.

This is the same requirement to pass a constitutional amendment.

Last week, the senate approved Senate Bill 6130, which suspends I-960 until July 1, 2011.

The initiative as enacted makes it nearly impossible for the legislature to pass a fair and sustainable supplemental budget. And, not just because it reduces our ability to raise taxes.

This Eyman initiative is so broad that it severely limits our ability to close tax loopholes that no longer create the jobs they once did, limits our ability to end unfair tax breaks for out-of-state businesses that don’t apply to our in-state businesses, and even prevents us from transferring funds that could save vital government programs.

The simple truth is that the will of the people is about more than just reducing their tax bills:

02/14/2010
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles

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)."

02/11/2010
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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.

I experienced a boom of activity in the fourth quarter, and it is only anticipated to get busier since 1st quarter months are traditionally the best time to sell in our local West Seattle market. The boom I experienced is confirmed when you read the activity that is reported from the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reports good news on the economy front as we saw a 2.2% growth in the 3rd quarter. The US Commerce Department was slightly off in their estimations, previously estimating a 2.8% growth rate. Officials attributed this discrepancy to consumer caution, saying that consumers simply didn’t spend as much. But many analysts still believe the economy is likely to improve in the current quarter, growing at an estimated 4%, or perhaps, even 5%. Those Fourth quarter results will be released on January 29, so we won’t have long to find out.

01/05/2010

Conventional wisdom leads us to pity the person who chooses to open a business in the midst of the current recession, but there are small retailers who thrive in a risky economic climate — traditionally bars, repair shops, education and other services where demand increases as general societal thrift grows.

Ballard has its own collection of businesses that have opened in recent months, well into the current economic downturn.

Sustainable, which sells furniture and home décor imported from southeast Asia, opened three weeks ago at 20th Avenue Northwest and Market Street.

Owner Wanna Keawnapaporn said she chose Ballard as the location for her new business because the neighborhood is both artsy and sustainability-focused.

Keawnapaporn, who is an interior designer, opened the store with the hope that the economy is improving.

She reasoned that when money is tight, customers will choose to buy pre-made furniture rather than design their own and a store like Sustainable would fare better than a custom-designed furniture business.

01/01/2010
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Photo credit: 
Michael Harthorne

Sustainable on Market Street is one of several new recession-friendly businesses to open in Ballard during the current economic downturn.

With 2009 coming to a close, here is a look back at some of the biggest stories of the year. Click the image above for a slideshow of the year in photos.

JANUARY

Ballard thief arrested
By Michael Harthorne

A 46-year-old man suspected of stealing from numerous businesses in Ballard in the past weeks was arrested Dec. 31 near 20th Avenue Northwest and Market Street for an outstanding warrant in Missouri.

According to victims, the man is suspected of entering businesses on Market Street and Ballard Avenue during business hours and taking money from back offices, safes and employees’ purses.

“I’m glad he’s been caught,” said Kylee Harris, owner of Cugini Café on Ballard Avenue. “But, I think the real thing we need to figure out is how to bust him for what he’s stolen.”

Macefield house to be sold
By Michael Harthorne

The house once belonging to Edith Macefield that has stood empty in a cocoon of new development since her death in June will be sold by its new owner, Barry Martin of Ledcor Construction.

12/24/2009
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Photo credit: 
Shay Isaacson

Bella Isaacson and George Ford chalked a patriotic mural in Ballard Jan. 20 to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. CLICK IMAGE TO SEE THE YEAR IN PHOTOS.

(Editor’s note: This article comes from our sister publication the Ballard News-Tribune.)

The last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 were the worst ever for sales tax returns in Seattle, which is having a dire affect on the city’s 2010 budget, said City Budget Director Dwight Lively during an Oct. 14 presentation to the Ballard District Council.

That, combined with losses in the B and O tax, has crippled the city's general fund, which relies on the two taxes for 40 percent of its budget.

To close the budget gap in 2010, Mayor Greg Nickels has proposed widespread cuts and the depletion of the city's rainy day fund.

Dively said public safety and direct human services were the mayor's top priorities when making cuts.

There will be no reduction in firefighters, 21 additional police officers will be hired and no direct service programs will be cut, he said.

"What that meant is we had to cut basically everything else," Dively said.

One of the major impacts of the cuts will be on Seattle Public Libraries. Most branches will see their hours reduced to 35 per week.

10/15/2009
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Department of Finance

The last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 were the lowest ever for sales tax in Seattle, hurting the city's general fund, which is 18 percent funded by the tax.

With things looking as grim as they do for Seattle's 2010 budget, it was probably best for City Budget Director Dwight Dively to start off with a little levity during his Oct. 14 presentation to the Ballard District Council.

"I'm going to sit next to Warren (Aakervik) because he offered me money, which we could really use at the moment," Dively joked.

After that, the budget talk got a little more serious.

The last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009 were the worst ever for sales tax returns in Seattle, Dively said.

That, combined with losses in the B and O tax, has crippled the city's general fund, which relies on the two taxes for 40 percent of its budget.

To close the budget gap in 2010, Mayor Greg Nickels has proposed widespread cuts and the depletion of the city's rainy day fund.

Dively said public safety and direct human services were the mayor's top priorities when making cuts.

There will be no reduction in firefighters, 21 additional police officers will be hired and no direct service programs will be cut, he said.

"What that meant is we had to cut basically everything else," Dively said.

10/15/2009
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Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Seattle Department of Finance

The last quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009