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Ballard

KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

State lawmakers avoid a government shutdown with a last-minute budget deal that adds billions to public education. Is it good enough for the state Supreme Court?

The Ballard Locks turn 100. We'll take up the good and the bad of a project that transformed Seattle.

Americans shot fireworks, and North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile. Some experts say it could hit Alaska -- could it ever hit us?

And a Seattle driver beats a speeding ticket by convincing a judge that a traffic sign is too wordy.

Ballard Locks under construction, 1913
FLICKR PHOTO/SEATTLE MUNICIPAL ARCHIVES (CC BY 2.0)/HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/4TIHT9

This story originally aired in 2005. We loved it so much that we dug it out again in honor of the Ballard Locks' 100 year anniversary on July 4, 2017.

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Robert Loomis had a good job and had just signed a mortgage on a new home then he started having chest pains. This is his story.

The Ballard Locks link Puget Sound with Lake Washington and Lake Union.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

This year marks the 100th anniversary for the Ballard Locks and a new report says its age is showing. It faces a repair bill that could be from $30 million to $60 million.

FLICKR PHOTO/LUKE MCGUFF (CC BY-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7b6Etm

The so-called "missing link" in the Burke-Gilman trail is a step closer to being finished. Seattle officials say they've reached a new agreement with businesses in Ballard that have long opposed the project, in a dispute that has spanned more than two decades.

Confronted with hate speech in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, Amy Kastelin said 'that's unacceptable.'
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

Amy Kastelin was at the U.S. Bank in Ballard this week when another customer yelled at a teller.

“Go back to where you came from,” the customer told the bank worker.


Seattle Fire Department tweeted this picture of the scene of a gas leak in Ballard on Wednesday, May 18.
Seattle Fire Department

A natural gas leak in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood Wednesday forced a few people to leave their homes. Seattle firefighters handled the evacuation. 

Sound Transit's Capitol Hill Station, prior to opening, 25 January 2016.
Flickr Photo/Don Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Efv737

Light rail ridership has hit all-time highs since two new stations opened in Seattle on Saturday. On the heels of that success, Sound Transit revealed its newest proposal Thursday.

It would expand the light-rail system to 108 miles total — but take decades to get there.

Homeless RV
Flickr Photo/A. Kwanten (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Bv6MSo

Bill Radke talks with Eric Stoll, co-president of the Ballard Chamber of Commerce, about why he thinks there's a link between an increase in homelessness and crime in Ballard. Radke also talks with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, who represents the Ballard neighborhood.

Terry, Suzette and their dog Lulu live in a van in Ballard. They store their belongings in an SUV, and they tow a boat.
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Terry lives with his ex-wife and their dog in a minivan parked on a residential street in North Ballard. 

Olympic Athletic Club on the left and the toxic lot across the street that the gym wants to turn into a 400-stall parking garage.
Google Maps

The lot at 5244 Leary Avenue Northwest doesn’t look like it’s worth $2.4 million.

It’s a toxic site, for one. It used to be a gas station, and there are six leaking gas tanks underground. And it’s small, roughly 8,800 square feet.

Taylor Atchison (L) and Antonio Knoy (R) work in their shop, Knoy Metalworks, in the old Fenpro building in Ballard. They're one of many workshop owners who will be displaced when the building is torn down.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

An old metal lathe thunders in the massive warehouse on Ballard’s main street. It sounds like freedom to Denny Jensen, one of those toiling in the maze of workshops there.

“We’re so independent; we really like to be our own boss,” said Jensen, a metal fabricator. “That’s what this place gave me for 11 years.”

Bernie Sadowski at the Ballard Senior Center. He credits the senior center for giving him direction after the death of his wife of 50 years.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

When Bernie Sadowski first came to the Ballard Senior Center in 2009, he didn’t care about life. His wife of 50 years had died.

The Ballard Urban Rest Stop is having an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Mark Trimmer is happy: He’s finally got someplace to wash himself besides the Ballard Library.

That place is the new Urban Rest Stop, opening this month in Ballard. It’s a place for people living on the streets to wash their clothes and take a shower.

Hey Bridge Tender! Why Do You Keep Raising The Bridge?

Sep 22, 2015
Bridge tender David Leask has worked in the control tower at the Ballard Bridge for 18 years.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

“What is a day in the life of a Seattle bridge tender?”

Laura Osterbrock of Magnolia asked that question as part of KUOW’s Local Wonder project.

Part of the answer: Sometimes they watch drivers throw fits as the bridge starts to rise.

“Some drivers do interact, with their hand signals,” said Ballard Bridge tender David Leask with a bit of a shrug. “You hear them screaming sometimes.”

A Ballard man snaps a photo Monday night after a public meeting, as he mourns the loss of a tree, cut down recently by the city of Seattle.  The tree was on a vacant lot that may one day host a tent city for the homeless.
KUOW Photo/Feliks Banel

The tree was beloved, they said.

A pretty Korean mountain ash that stood alone on an empty lot for years. It didn’t deserve to be cut down by the city.

Outside Edith Macefield's former house, also known as the 'Up' house. People have associated the house with the Pixar movie 'Up,' which follows a similar narrative of an elderly man who refuses to sell his house to developers.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Edith Macefield’s tiny house will soon float to Orcas Island – but not by balloon.

The property owner – a bank that won’t disclose its identity – has gifted the legendary house to a nonprofit on Orcas Island. The nonprofit, in turn, promises to barge the house up Puget Sound to the island, where it will be hauled onto land and turned into a home for lower-income people.

Bill Radke, Deb Wang, Chris Vance and Luke Burbank  at the Leif Erikson Lodge as part of the 'Week in Review' summer tour.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

KUOW's Week in Review was at Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard in front of a live audience as part of the show's summer tour. On the docket: what's the solution for affordable housing? Also, should we save a little viaduct to preserve that view? Is there a fairer way to enforce the outdoor pot smoking ban? And a week after the New Yorker earthquake piece, are you still shaking?

Bill Radke convenes a panel of Live Wire radio's Luke Burbank, KUOW's Deborah Wang, former state GOP head Chris Vance and special guests.

The crowd warms up before a live broadcast Friday of KUOW's Week in Review at the Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Ballard residents and locals from surrounding areas (and two from Clinton, Whidbey Island) crowded into the Leif Erikson Lodge in the heart of the neighborhood for KUOW's Week in Review summer tour stop. 

Based on their reaction to the panel's discussion, most share concerns of the new normal in Ballard: development, and the aches that come with it, like transportation, parking and housing affordability. 

We grabbed three from the audience to help us understand a little more about the flavor and trials of the historically "Norswegian" part of Seattle. 

Christy McDanold owns the Secret Garden Bookstore on Northwest Market Street. She bought her home in Ballard 20 years ago. Today, she says, she couldn't afford the house she lives in. "I couldn't afford a condo in Ballard today," she said.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

The pressure is on in Seattle’s District 6 – pushing up rents for Fremont’s new tech workers, pushing in townhouses where Ballard’s bungalows once sat, pushing on maritime businesses along the waterfront.

KUOW Illustration/Kara McDermott

For the first time in a century, Seattle voters will choose their City Council members by district.

In District 6, which includes the Green Lake, Ballard and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods, four candidates are running.

We asked the candidates to meet us somewhere in their district that signified why they’re running.

Stackhouse Apartments, South Lake Union
KUOW Photo/Ross Reynolds

Rents across Seattle have risen dramatically in the past 16 years, according to a KUOW analysis of housing data.

Since 1998, the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment has risen 38 percent, measured in 2014 dollars. That’s pushed the average cost to $1,412 per month. 

Angie Garcia, 20, with her mom and 4-month-old daughter. Garcia works at McDonald's in Ballard, making $9.60 an hour. The new minimum wage "is going to change everything," she says.
KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

Angie Garcia, a single mom who works at the McDonald's in Ballard, has planned how she’s going to spend the extra money she makes after the minimum wage increases to $11 an hour on Wednesday.

“It’s going to change everything. Because I can go back to school, I can start my college, so that is really big for me, like a really, really big help,” Garcia, 20, said. She currently earns $9.60 an hour.

Michael Stephens, founder of the Macefield Music Festival, looks at Edith Macefield's house on a recent afternoon. The house is now owned by the bank and could be put on the open market.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

If Edith Macefield had been standing outside the King County courthouse, she might have rolled her eyes.

An auctioneer stood behind a white plastic table. Men in black zip-up jackets sidled up to sign up to bid on her tiny Ballard house. Elbowing reporters jostled for space.

Seattle gets more clouds than blue sky, so do we really buy that many sunglasses?
Flickr Photo/Phil Buckley

Do Seattleites buy more sunglasses than residents of other cities?

Was there really a dead horse in Ballard’s water supply in the early 1900s?

And did prostitutes start the Seattle School District?

Listener Kristie Fisher of Belltown asked about Seattle’s urban myths as part of our Local Wonder project. So we asked our Facebook friends to share their favorites and chose a few for KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel to investigate.

Justin Ingram ate two heaping bowls of cereal, a bowl of oatmeal, two pieces of toast with butter and a rare pint of ice cream for breakfast at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Ballard on Tuesday morning. Still, he says he's lost 50 pounds while homeless
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A facility in Ballard where homeless men and women can wash their clothes and take a shower has received the city's blessing, but the process has been stalled by a legal complaint filed by concerned neighbors.

Final permits for the Urban Rest Stop can't be issued until it's resolved. The delay is felt hardest by those struggling to enter the job market and be a part of society. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When you run a coffee shop, and someone else opens a coffee shop across the street, that’s usually a bad thing. But sometimes, when you get enough similar businesses in one location, that’s good. And the benefits of cooperation outweigh the cost of the extra competition.

Meghan Walker

A local organization is trying to address the growing need for homeless facilities in Ballard. The Low-Income Housing Institute (LIHI) wants to build a hygiene facility, known as an Urban Rest Stop, on the ground floor of a senior housing facility that’s being built. The development is in the middle of a residential neighborhood next to the Ballard Library and this has some residents concerned.