Neighborhoods groups and the city of Seattle will team up again this year to create fun for residents on local streets and support nearby businesses through the Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets program. Starting in May and running through August, Celebrate Seattle Summer Streets events will be held in Ballard, Alki, Greenwood / Phinney Ridge and the Rainier Valley.
In its third year, Summer Streets events open up roads to pedestrians and bicyclists, offering people a way to have fun, celebrate the spirit and personality of their neighborhood, and support local businesses. Each of the four events is organized in partnership with a local group and is augmented, where appropriate, by other city activities such as Bicycle Sundays on Lake Washington Blvd (occurring almost every Sunday throughout the summer.)
Visitors to the 2010 Northwest Flower and Garden Show, which opened Feb. 3, may be shocked by one of the gardens they see situated amongst the more prim, pretty and perfect gardens at the show.
"Viridis Veni Vidi Vici," created by Ballard High School agriculture students, is a depiction of nature reclaiming an abandoned school – a post-apocalyptic garden.
"People will either love it or hate it," said Emerald McAmis, one of the students behind the project.
The garden features graffitied walls, mangled books and broken desks being taken over by plants grown in the Ballard High School greenhouse and other collected plants, such as weeds and blackberry bushes.
"It's not going to be like anything else at the flower show," said India Carlson, who teaches horticulture and botany at Ballard High School and supervised the project.
The garden is part of the Northwest Flower and Garden Show's Funky Junk program, which allows high school students and nonprofit organizations to create garden displays using recycled and found objects.
Funky Junk was started a few years ago, but this is the first year Ballard High School students have participated.
With the help of Port Townsend artist Thaddeus Jurczynski and the Artist in Residence program, Loyal Heights Elementary School students will soon be in control of an army of hellhounds, serpents, squirrels, ice giants and other figures from Norse mythology.
For this year's program, third, fourth and fifth-grade classes are working with Jurczynski to create giant puppets to be part of the annual Syttende Mai parade May 17 in Ballard. First and second-graders are creating troll masks for the parade.
To create the puppets, many of which are large enough to fit at least one student inside them, reeds and bamboo are formed into a skeleton and covered with paper mache.
After research at the Nordic Heritage Museum, students drew two-dimensional representations of their creatures and used math and science to turn them into three-dimensional models, said Lauren Molloy-Johnson, co-chair of the Artist in Residence program.
Debi Mandell, a fifth-grade teacher at Loyal Heights, said the puppet project is a way for students to put the geometry skills they are learning to use, and because it is a hands-on activity, the students remain more focused than usual.
The Three Tree Point Polar Bear Plunge brought in a new decade of brave but crazy souls who chose to swim in Puget Sound on January 1st.
They were competing for the right to display the drift wood trophy, complete with polar bear commemorating the event.
As always the event featured young and old and a mix of veterans and rookies eager to prove their immunity to cold.
Led by Andy Klietsch and the so called "King of Three Tree Point" Chris Cancro, the group of about 35 people prepared for the frigid experience on the shore and then with some brief pre-plunge instructions and a countdown, raced into the water, many choosing to splash around for some time before emerging, even colder than before.
Shawn McEvoy the Mayor of Normandy Park was a participant and called it "Invigorating!"
This years winner of the event was Carol O'Kennedy who let her dog ride on a small surfboard amid the waves. O'Kennedy stayed out longer than everyone else and yet was very humble upon getting the trophy saying, "I don't know, it's not fair, I go out there, somebody else deserves it."
CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT
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.
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.
Virginia Swanson, who has chaired the City’s Special Events Committee for more than 25 years, has received the Big Bertha Landes Award from the Fremont Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes “women who take charge and take action.”
The award is in recognition of the assistance Swanson has provided over the years in support of Fremont special events, such as the Red Bull Soap Box Derby, Fremont Fair and Solstice Parade, Fremont Trolloween and Fremont Oktoberfest.
“We, the small businesses of Fremont, realize our events make us a happening place,” Suzie Burke, board member of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “Virginia has made Seattle a happening place for years. We are so lucky to have her.”
Past award winners include former Seattle City Council member Jane Noland, Jeanne Muir, Jamie Shanks, Susan McClosky, DeeDee Footer and Lillian Tangen.
Bertha Landes was mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928 and was the first female executive of a major American city.
On Dec. 19, Ballard will twinkle with 1,000 luminaries, horse drawn hay rides and sweet treats handed out by participating shops.
The In Ballard Merchants Association is looking for volunteers to help build the luminaries and distribute them around the retail core of the neighborhood.
The association will start putting the luminaries together at 1 p.m. in Bergen Place.
"It will be a fun neighborhood work party and hopefully the start of an annual tradition, event coordinator Tiffany Gabrel said in a press release. "Anyone is welcome to come help us light up Ballard. The more the merrier."
The Luminary Walk will take place from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The In Ballard Merchants Association invites the whole neighborhood to come out to stroll the neighborhood to enjoy the holiday mood and festivities.
Participating merchants will display “Holiday Treats Here” signs in their windows.
A tradition that West Seattleites look forward to every holiday season has arrived, the Christmas Ships. It's put on by Argosy Cruises. Pictured, onlookers converged at Seacrest Park at 5:15pm Saturday , Dec. 12, to watch the boats despite the record-low temperatures.
If you own your own boat, Argosy suggests that you are welcome to add lights to your vessel and join in the festival. The Argosy Christmas Ship™ festival is a holiday celebration that has been a Northwest tradition for 60 years. Its main purpose is to bring communities together to celebrate the holiday season.
Choirs onboard sing 20-minute performances, all broadcast via state-of-the-art speaker system.
On shore, hundreds of people gather around roaring bonfires anticipating the arrival of the Christmas Ship™.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
CHOIR: Northwest Girlchoir - Vivace
5:15-5:35 Seacrest Marina*
CHOIR: Canterbury Belles
8:50-9:10 Lowman Beach*,
9:40-10:00 Alki Beach*
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
7:10-7:30 Don Armeni*
As December wears on, more and more holiday lights are popping up all over Ballard, giving the neighborhood a festive glow.
There is no shortage in unique holiday styles, from classic white lights on 32nd Avenue Northwest to a field of candy canes in Olympic Manor to an army of inflatable characters across the street from Ballard High School.
Click the image above for a sampling of the holidays sights around Ballard.
If you would like to see your or your neighbor's holiday decorations included on www.BallardNewsTribune.com or in the Ballard News-Tribune, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come wash away the challenges of 2009 and bath in the unlimited opportunities that 2010 brings to our lives by joining the West Seattle/White Center Polar Bear Swim this January 1, 2010 at 10:00 on Alki Beach.
Bring a suit, towel, slippers and dry clothes to put on after the swim. Over 50 of us gather each year at Alki Beach for our annual ceremony. (and it gets bigger each year!). We all hold hands in a long line, and run into Puget Sound t