1/9/19 Monthly Meeting Minutes

Ballard District Council – January 9, 2019

Thank you to all who attended the first BDC meeting of the year. For this month’s agenda, we provided an open forum for organizations to share updates (and hear questions and ideas). It was inspiring hearing of all the community-oriented volunteer efforts continuously unfolding in our neighborhood! This included nine different groups, representing an array of residents, volunteers, and advocates:

  • Friends of Burke Gilman Trail
  • Groundswell NW
  • Sunset West Condos
  • Sunset Hill Community Association
  • Ballard Rotary
  • Ballard Community Taskforce for Homelessness & Hunger
  • Phinney Ridge Community Council (outside our official “neighborhood range” but we welcome adjacent groups or individuals to cross pollinate in greater Ballard topics and keep us abreast of activities/issues in their area)
  • Shilshole Liveaboard Association

If your group was unable to attend and would like to provide an update at a future meeting, please contact info@ballarddistrict.org or send us a message on Facebook. At the beginning of each monthly meeting, we offer time for brief introductions and announcements from attendees, to encourage regular relationship-building and information sharing, but once a year or so, it is great to hear a more detailed spotlight from individual organizations.

Facebook Live video of the meeting is available to members of the My Ballard Group (thank you, Lauri Miller!): https://www.facebook.com/groups/1963240070601339/permalink/2215724732019537/. We would like to record video of future Ballard District Council meetings for general archiving on YouTube, with a link from our web site, for those who are unable to attend meetings in person. If you or anyone you know is interested in volunteering to help with this, please contact us. (Here is an example from last December’s meeting: http://ballarddistrict.org/wp/2018/12/18/a-good-turnout-for-the-december-meeting-video-available/)

Here are highlights from our 1/9/19 meeting. Thank you to all who presented.

Friends of the Burke Gilman Trail (Kevin Carrabine)

  • http://www.burkegilmantrail.org, fbgtrail@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/burkegilmantrail/
  • Celebrating their 20-year anniversary (established in 1999)
  • Mission: To get the Burke Gilman Trail completed through Ballard
  • 501(c)(4) organization that has lobbied 4+ mayors (Schell, Nickels, Murray, Durkan)
  • Regularly participate in advocacy and events
  • Provided brief overview of protracted history of Missing Link (2003 Shilshole route designated w/ SDOT study; 2009 funding procured and determination of non-significance challenged; 2018 full environmental impact statement; 2019 judge ruled EIS adequate except for economic impacts)
  • City is ready to build Phase 1 of Missing Link – from the Locks to 24th& Market (contractor chosen, planning and public outreach complete), but will likely wait until latest legal activity resolved


Groundswell NW (Dennis Galvin)

  • http://www.groundswellnw.org, groundswellnw@gmail.com, https://www.facebook.com/GroundswellNW/
  • Mission: Empower NW Seattle to create, activate and care for parks, open space and habitat
  • Activation is an important focus for them – if people feel ownership/involvement, they help take care of the space
  • Partial projects in past year:
    • Opening of ECBA Gemenskap Park (began planning over 10 years ago, on excess SDOT right of way on 14thAve NW)
    • General North Seattle habitat support (e.g., pollinator gardens)
    • Stewardship of Ballard Corners Park, Salmon Bay Natural Area, Sunset Hill Shilshole Gateway
    • Salmon Bay Park – support for new stewardship group, in response to public safety incident at park. New events have included movie night, community sing, and 5 more scheduled events through October.
    • 17th& Dock Street – public art space on right of way; development has languished but will be kicking back in this year
  • Micro Grant program – started by a $10K endowment. Provides $500 grants to wide variety of small projects that fit within mission (low entry, no insurance requirements like with city grants). Example is Greenwood Triangle park bench.
  • Question from audience regarding future beautification of major SPU water quality area (old Yankee Diner site). Answer: board member Renee is tracking this but Groundswell has not gotten good traction with SPU yet.


Sunset West Condos (Steve Cohn)

  • First condo organization to join the district council (years ago)
  • They are located on the waterfront at Shilshole Bay, on a peninsula between the Ballard Elks building and Shilshole Marina, and their advocacy focus is from that area toward Golden Gardens.
  • They have two sub-committees:
    • Emergency preparedness – studying/testing routes to evacuate, given that routes out of neighborhood go under bridges and likelihood of isolation is high in an earthquake.
    • Renewed bus service — 4 ½ years ago local bus service was cut. They meet with Metro regularly, trying to get bus service restored to Seaview Ave NW (bottom of bluff) as well as 32ndAve NW (top of bluff). King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles and staff are supportive. Metro reviewing results of resident survey conducted last summer/fall.
      • Later in meeting, Rotary member and BDC board member John Mitchell also discussed working on bus service survey of area residents; working with Kohl-Welles’ office. Over 300 people participated. Metro reviewing results and will be meeting next week. Timeline for possible service changes is every October or March.
  • Other questions they have: Port of Seattle did an EIS recently; what is the plan/result? Does Parks Dept have any long-range plans for Golden Gardens?
  • BNSF train bridge replacement – BNSF presented at BDC in November (http://ballarddistrict.org/wp/2018/11/18/bdc-november-2018-meeting-recap/). Public web site should be coming this year and more outreach. Project is anticipated to take 5 or more years.
  • Other attendees asked more about “emergency hubs.”  There is one at Shilshole Marina, for aiding in communications during serious emergency such as an earthquake. Central Ballard Residents Association is presenting about the Ballard Commons hub at their 1/10/19 meeting (Merrill Gardens meeting room, 24th& 56th, 6:30pm). Salmon Bay Park Stewards also has an upcoming meeting about disaster preparedness, Mon, Jan 28, 7-8pm at Ballard Community Center (https://www.facebook.com/events/2019040544809862/).
  • Other attendees also asked about general safety in the area, related to homelessness/drugs/property crime. It was noted that camping has long happened along the bluff and Burke Gilman/RR area. Uptick in camping and overnight vehicle parking. BNSF has their own security patrols. We were not able to extend dialogue on this challenging topic; Ballard District Council will have future meetings that allow for additional focus on safety and crime.


Sunset Hill Community Association (Pam McCarthy)

  • https://sunsethillcommunity.org,https://www.facebook.com/sunsethillcommunity/
  • They strive to be a venue and a voice for the Sunset Hill neighborhood
  • Takes significant time and money to maintain the old building and that has been a focus for them
  • They partner with Phinney Neighborhood Association, who manages rentals
  • January 25 – annual meeting is a pizza party at 6:30pm (https://www.facebook.com/events/2269112063361268/)
  • Some activities this past year have included Friday night movies in collaboration with Ballard Historical Society (showing films that were partly filmed in the Ballard area), an oil train forum (with Sierra Club, CM O’Brien, fire marshall, BNSF, etc.), concerts with Ballard Civic Orchestra
  • Numerous groups rent their facilities, including 2 yoga classes, church group, weight watchers, private events, etc.
  • They have hired a part-time marketing/communications person to increase outreach
  • February meeting will focus on emergency preparedness


Ballard Rotary (John Mitchell)

  • Group of men and women from variety of businesses/organizations in greater Ballard area
  • They meet on the second, third and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 12 Noon,  at Picolinos (6415 32nd Ave. NW)
  • “Service above Self” with core values grounded around four fundamental life questions; “asked of everything we think, say or do:
    1. Is it the TRUTH?
    2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
    3. Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
    4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
  • Networking and problem-solving group for business people
  • Some of their (extensive!) recent service work includes:
    • Hygiene drive for Ballard Food Bank at area Bartells. 1000 lbs. collected.
    • Preparing lunches for in-need school kids to bring home for weekends
    • December $100 shopping spree for 30 at-need students to buy clothes at Fred Meyer (from local elementary schools and Whitman Middle School)
    • St. Luke’s Edible Hope feeding program – Rotary helped upgrade dishwasher, coffee system, fridge; volunteers regularly prep and serve food, do dishes, etc., as well as volunteering for recent 15-person deep cleaning of facility
    • Fund scholarships at Ballard High School for secondary education and technical/apprenticeship programs, including Maritime Academy in Ballard
    • When Nickelsville tent camp was on Market Street, city wasn’t able to provide electricity. Rotary donated 26 small solar panels that each provided 6-8 hours of light with battery strip for charging phones/etc.
    • Also participate in global/international Rotary projects in Ghana and Guatemala

Shilshole Liveaboard Association (Don Aupperle and Sheri Medley)

  • http://www.shilsholecommunity.org
  • Started in early 1990s
  • Formed to help ensure use of personal vessel as a full-time home could continue at Shilshole Marina
  • 15-member board with staggered 3-year terms, meets first Tuesday of each month except for summer
  • Represent approx. 600 people, 350 vessels
  • Liaison with Port of Seattle and marina management
  • Activities include:

Whittier Heights Community Council(Brent Lackey)

  • Comments on MHA/Crown Hill upzone impacts, need for additional neighborhood outreach
  • Working on having Crown Hill Village representatives featured at an upcoming Ballard District Council meeting

Two additional community groups also spoke at the meeting:

Ballard Community Taskforce for Homelessness & Hunger (Jean Darsie and Jennifer Adams)

  • http://bcthh.pbworks.com/w/page/47496654/FrontPage, https://www.facebook.com/BallardHomelessness/
  • Founded 11 years ago (2007) in coordination with State Representative Mary Lou Dickerson
  • Mission: to work to end homelessness and hunger
  • Meetings are monthly at Nyer Urness in Ballard, 4thTuesday of each month, 10:30-noon
  • See web site for sample meeting agendas (they have great content/speakers each month)
  • Next meeting the focus is on “how to stay housed” (preventing homelessness; self-sustainability)
  • Last month had spotlight on volunteer Jody Grage (featured on KING5 for mending clothes for homeless people), burrito-making brigade at PNA, municipal court warrant outreach to help people with outstanding tickets, update on Whittier Heights Women’s Village, info on how to help at various Christmas/holiday charity dinners.
  • They are striving to allow for a voice for all at their meetings, hearing all sides, whole picture at the table. Focus is on takeaways, what can each person do to be a part of change.
  • Jennifer Adams is a caseworker at Bridge Care Center in Ballard (co-located with St. Luke’s, across the street from Ballard Commons)
    • Their staff is growing from 2 people to 4
    • Faith-based work so they “don’t do #s” but they work directly to help people stabilize, work toward self-sustainability, connect to services and housing
    • Very aware of addiction and issues in neighborhood and revamping services to better respond
    • jenn@bridgecarecenter.org


Phinney Ridge Community Council (Alice Poggi)

  • Talked about legacy businesses – efforts locally to look out for businesses that represent character and history of neighborhoods, sense of place
  • How can city and community support them in a deliberate way, compete with online businesses, etc.
  • “Only in Seattle”

Comments were made by an attendee hoping to see greater diversity in attendees/participants at District Council meetings. We welcome ideas and support for improving outreach and attendance. All are welcome. Please encourage community members to sign up for our email list on the home page of this site (or by emailing info@ballarddistrict.org) or follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BallardDistrictCouncil/). Thank you.