Recap of 5/13/20 Online Panel — Covid-19 Updates

Did you miss watching our first-ever online meeting, on Wednesday, May 13, or would you like to share with other community members? Here is a video link to the full presentation, with a focus on Covid-19 community and local government updates.

See notes below for specific time marks so you can fast forward to the portions of most interest to you.

Video Recap

0:00 — Opening Remarks & Introductions

4:46 — Jody Grage, Ballard Community Taskforce for Homelessness & Hunger

10:37 — Mike Stewart, Executive Director, Ballard Alliance

  • Establishment of private security patrol in business district to address uptick in criminal activity
  • Mural program to beautify boarded up buildings (mentioned in National GeographicSlate, Seattle Times,  and other media)
  • Ballard Marketplace – new online retail option to shop local and support businesses and restaurants
  • Farm It Forward – new program to donate Ballard Farmers Market produce direct to the Ballard Food Bank, supporting area farmers and local neighbors in need
  • Market Street Repaving – Requesting that SDOT postpone for 18 months the major repavement project for Market Street (between 15th and 24th Ave NW) scheduled to begin this summer. Would have devastating impacts for businesses already severely impacted by Covid-19, as well as overlapping with SDOT’s long delays in finishing the Multimodal project that continues to disrupt access from 24th to 32nd Ave NW.

18:14 — Rosemary Byrne, King County Health update on Ballard Farmers Market

  • Ballard Farmers Market is one of first markets in King County to re-open during the pandemic, with help of mayor’s office and CM Strauss
  • New protocols: health screening for vendors, social distancing and sanitation practices for shoppers and vendors
  • Drive through and walk through options
  • Health Dept continuing to check in each week
  • Safe and healthy option for shopping

22:25 — District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss

  • Recap of City of Seattle Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) and Governor’s proclamation (govt limited to crisis response and  necessary and routine matters)
  • Strauss’s staff available to help small businesses navigate different levels of government support during crisis (contact Peter Nguyen)
  • Also discussed letter to governor from brewery district, SDOT multimodal, Safe Streets program, emergency housing/jobs, parking enforcement, constituent meetings, tree ordinance
  • Sign up for his newsletter/blog
  • Contact his office with questions/concerns 

34:45 King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles

  • County council is working full-time remotely
  • Recap of county council jurisdiction/scope (King County is larger than 16 states population-wise; she represents District 4)
  • Overview of county’s 2nd omnibus budget, in response to crisis
  • Topics covered included public health updates, childcare for essential workers, allocation of federal funds, upcoming county budget cycles, isolation/quarantine/recovery facilities, de-intensification of homeless shelters, small business assistance, tourism industry, and more.
  • She is sending helpful Covid E-News updates 5 days/week during the pandemic, with state and county updates
  • She has a staff of 4, please contact them with questions/concerns
  • Sign up for her newsletter 

47:27 Community Q&A

  • 48:04 Transit Safety question — “In addition to new requirements around mask-wearing, how will Metro be protecting public health and safety for employees and all kinds of riders, including the complexities of serving non-destination riders as well as essential workers, families, seniors, etc.”
  • 50:44 Safe Streets / Greenways – “We had several questions submitted regarding the Stay Healthy Streets initiative — the mayor’s permanent closure of through-traffic on some Neighborhood Greenways. A main theme people are inquiring about is: How can the public have input in the process? Some would like to recommend additional routes for consideration and others are noting that the SDOT decree violates the spirit of the governor’s order limiting government actions during this period to routine functions and fighting the pandemic, due to the impossibility of open public participation. Can you clarify for District 6, is there still opportunity to tweak the approach or otherwise weigh in?”
  • 54:25 Hep A Outbreak in Ballard – “Please give an update on the hepatitis A outbreak in Ballard. Is it fully under control? Any new cases?” (No new updates yet from Public Health, past May 4)
  • 55:19 Ballard Commons Park Encampments/Safety – “We received many questions about encampments and public safety issues in the Ballard Commons area and other parts of Ballard, from lack of social distancing and disease vectors, to drug and crime activity, vandalization and harassment, and other impacts. Several officials and citizens have publicly spoken out against the clean-up at Ballard Commons in favor of a shelter in place strategy for tent and vehicle campers. You’ve stated that the safety of the neighborhood is important to you but also that the removal went against your values. Aside from long-term solutions, how do you propose to keep the area around the Commons and the library safe?”
  • 58:10 LEAD and Co-LEAD – “LEAD, the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion program — which has been active in Ballard since summer 2018 and presented to BDC in 2018 – has received $6 million more in funding this year. In response to the pandemic, LEAD is also being used now to support people who were released early from jail due to social distancing concerns. How can the Ballard community learn what is going on with LEAD and co-LEAD in our area? Is it possible for community members to get updates and provide feedback on the LEAD program? ”
  • 59:26 Ballard Pea Patch funding – “Given the critical nature of the response to the pandemic and resulting food shortages and supply chain interruptions, what do you view as the role of community gardens such as the Ballard P-Patch? The Campaign to Save it includes significant public monies, as identified by State, County and City representatives. Is there any concern on the county or other gov. levels that levy funds will be re-allocated and not be available to fulfill their originally mandated purposes?”
  • 1:01:23 Domestic violence & protection orders during Covid-19 – Protectino order petitions can be submitted via email. Contact her office if you need help connecting to resources.
  • 1:02:07 Closing remarks
  • 1:04:07 Grumpy D’s Open Mic Night begins

Join us for the first-ever BDC online meeting — May 13 at 7pm

A Covid-19 local panel with CM Kohl-Welles, CM Strauss and more

Join us on Wednesday, May 13, at 7pm for the first-ever online Ballard District Council meeting. Go to the BDC YouTube Channel to tune into the live stream from 7-8pm (followed by an 8-9pm open mic night hosted by Grumpy D’s coffeehouse).

We will feature speakers from King County Council, Seattle City Council, the Ballard Alliance, and more. See the event link for a detailed agenda.

Send Us Your Questions! Contact us in advance, so we can compile a great list of neighborhood questions and concerns for the panel to address during Q&A, from public safety and health challenges to transportation impacts, food access, small business support and more. Send them via email ( or Facebook messenger by Tuesday, May 12.

Help us share the event link with other Ballard area groups and community members, so we can welcome a wide assortment of people and build connections in the neighborhood.

Hope you’ll join us on May 13!

Event video will be archived online for future viewing, as well.

Note that the meeting will be followed by an open mic night hosted by Grumpy D’s, so stick around after for some neighborhood entertainment from 8-9pm.

Let’s Build Community with Ballard District Council

April 2020 update from the BDC board

Now more than ever, community is crucial:

For more than 30 years, Ballard District Council has held monthly meetings on a wide range of civic topics, with the mission of bringing together neighborhood organizations and individuals across the greater Ballard area — Central Ballard, Crown Hill, Sunset Hill, Loyal Heights, Whittier Heights, Olympic Manor, North Beach, Blue Ridge, Salmon Bay, Shilshole, East Ballard and West Woodland. A city-wide network of councils originally came about in the late 1980s via the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, which changed course in 2015; but as Ballardites, we continue our commitment to neighborhood civics, with hopes of nurturing and evolving the concept, in service to our community.

During this uniquely challenging 2020 pandemic — a time when community meetings (the core of our mission) are not allowed — we had to cancel our March and April agendas and we really missed you! We are now actively scoping a potential May “webinar” format for our next meeting(s) until we are once again able to meet in person.

In accordance with the governor’s stay-at-home order, we invite the greater Ballard community to help us grow our email list and Facebook followers.

Sign up for our email list by contacting
– “Like” or “follow” us on Facebook and share with friends
– Let people know about our web site, where we’re working to grow an archive of meeting recaps and videos

Are you a member of a group who has participated in the past? Are you new to the neighborhood and wondering about all the growth and complexities unfolding in front of our eyes? Do you have specific civic passions, or broad curiosity? In this time of “social distancing,” please sync up with BDC online and help other community members find us, as well.

Please share with community members who might be interested in engaging or re-engaging with a group whose mission is to build connections and share information — a healthy antidote to the trends of polarized politics and sparse neighborhood media coverage.

We look forward to rebooting BDC meetings online and then in person as soon as feasible, on the 2nd Wednesday evening of each month (either at Sunset Hill Community Club or the Ballard Library – stay tuned).

Please stay home, stay healthy, and look for ways to support one another. Hope to see you before too long.

Best wishes to all,
Ballard District Council Board of Directors

Brent Lackey, President (
Angie Gerrald, Vice President (
Jody Grage
Don Benson
John Mitchell
Tom Friedman

Recent BDC meetings and events have encompassed:

– Panel presentation on the re-opening of Webster School as a Seattle Public School K-8 program
– The first-in-the-city public presentation by the newly re-launching Seattle Police Community Service Officer program
– A detailed overview of the Interbay Armory project, by Rep. Gael Tarleton
– Panel presentation on the Crown Hill Urban Village upzone
– BNSF slide show re: the replacement of the Salmon Bay train bridge
– Visits from local elected leaders, including Senator Reuven Carlyle, King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and City Councilmember Dan Strauss
– City and County Council candidate forums
And much more!

No March or April BDC Meetings Due to Coronavirus

Due to Public Health recommendations, we have canceled our March 11 and April 8 meetings. If it is advisable based on public health guidelines, we hope to resume with our May 13 meeting (with an agenda/speakers focused on Seattle Greenways and SDOT’s Safe Routes to School).

We have a great slate of speakers/topics queued up for the community. Please check back! Stay healthy. We look forward to seeing you soon.

SPU’s Ship Canal Water Quality Project – Our March Meeting Focus

Seattle Public Utilities’ $600-million, largest-ever capital facility is underway: the Ship Canal Water Quality Project. A key hub of activity is on Ballard’s Salmon Bay waterfront — at the base of 24th Avenue NW.

Join us at the Ballard District Council March 11 meeting for a timely update on this stormwater and sewage infrastructure effort that stretches from Ballard to Wallingford.

Learn the answers to these questions and more:

  • What will the 65-foot tall pump station tower and tunnel shaft design look like?
  • What will happen with the Yankee Diner building?
  • Who is artist Christian French and what has he envisioned for the site?
  • What pedestrian and street improvements are planned?
  • When will the 24th Ave Pier open?

See the event page for more detailed information and please help spread the word to others in the community!

February Meeting Recap: Licton Springs K-8 at Webster School

Thank you to the presenters and the great turnout of community members who participated in our February 12 meeting about the Fall 2020 re-opening of Webster School (3015 NW 68th St), former site of the Nordic Museum.

Speakers included Eden Mack, Seattle School Board Member; Brian Fabella, Seattle Schools Project Manager; Brian Ho, TCF Architecture; and Emily Butler Ginolfi, Licton Springs K-8 Principal.

My Ballard sent a reporter and published a very helpful synopsis:

The school principal and the parent teacher organization (PTO) leader emphasized that neighborhood volunteers are welcome to check back in the fall for opportunities to help on campus. (Standard volunteer application information is available via the Seattle School District.)

Additional information on neighborhood traffic and pedestrian safety adjustments will be forthcoming as the school district works with SDOT this spring and summer to prepare for the fall opening.

Additional background links:

Images from the 2-12-20 Ballard District Council meeting at Sunset Hill Community Club









The Re-Opening of Webster School!

BDC’s February 12 meeting will feature a presentation on the autumn re-opening of Webster School, at NW 67th St and 30th Ave NW.

Licton Springs K-8 School will be moving from its shared space at Robert Eagle Staff Middle School (N 90th Street and Stone Ave N) to this revitalized and expanded Sunset Hill location, formerly occupied by the Nordic Museum. Licton Springs is an option school that focuses on Native American culture and history.

We’ll be joined by the project manager, project architect, school principal, and Seattle School Board member Eden Mack. See agenda below.

Please help spread the word to other community members. Join us for an informative evening about this exciting change in the Sunset Hill neighborhood.

See the event announcement for a detailed agenda and additional links.

Contact Info for New D6 Councilmember Dan Strauss

Here is contact information and updates from new District 6 Councilmember Dan Strauss:  

Dan Strauss’s In-District Office

Councilmember Strauss has an  in-district office, at the Ballard Customer Service Center, located next door to Ballard Library. In his first email to constituents he stated:

We will hold hours both during and outside of normal business hours, with availability on some (not all) weekends. This is in addition to us being present throughout the district at community meetings, coffee hours, and at your house. Please use this form to schedule a community or constituent meeting.  

Happy New Year from Ballard District Council

In keeping with our mission of providing a forum for community engagement, discussions and information sharing, this past year we’ve hosted three well-attended candidate forums and offered a wide range of meeting topics.

2019 meetings have included:

  • city council and county council candidate forums
  • the Crown Hill Upzone
  • the Interbay Armory project (with Rep. Gael Tarleton)
  • Seattle Police Community Service Officer (CSO) program
  • Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC)
  • a meeting focused on elder care
  • a visit from the Department of Neighborhoods
  • as well as updates from the new Kaiser Permanent Clinic, Ballard Senior Center, the Ballard P Patch, and Our Redeemers Safe Parking Program

To access archived videos and meeting agendas, click here.

For 2020, we’ll start the year with:

We have many more topics in mind for other upcoming meetings, but we would love to hear suggestions from the Ballard community — what civic topics are important to you? Please let us know via email or Facebook messenger.

Also, please help spread the word that Ballard District Council is a great place to come together — sharing and learning as a neighborhood civic community. All are welcome.

We hope to increase and diversify attendance, during this era of tremendous growth and change, and we rely on active community members to make it happen.

Thank you and happy new year from BDC!

Video of Seattle Community Service Officer (CSO) Presentation 12/11/19

At our December 2019 meeting, the new Seattle Police Department Community Service Officer (CSO) program gave their first-ever public presentation and answered questions from the community. Video is available.

Sergeant Kevin Nelson was joined by CSO supervisor Christopher Inaba and newly hired members of the CSO team. Seattle Community Service Officers are unarmed, noncommissioned officers who will help respond to noncriminal police calls and help connect people with social services. The program operated in Seattle for 33 years until it was cut from the budget in 2004. The CSO uniform and vehicle style (still to be unveiled) will be clearly distinguishable from traditional police officers. CSOs will begin working in communities beginning in early 2020.

The CSO employees who spoke at the meeting represented an impressive range of experiences and backgrounds, including Downtown Seattle Association ambassador program supervisor; union worker; parking enforcement officer from the RV remediation team; Mary’s Place youth outreach; security officer for Swedish Medical Center and Seattle Public Library as well as football/basketball/baseball coach; and a criminal justice graduate with lengthy experience working for community court program, Department of Corrections, and municipal court probation (with a focus on connecting people to community college programs). All expressed a strong commitment to serving community and collaborating to further define the CSO program.

By March 2020, the CSO program is planned to include three teams of 5 officers and 1 supervisor each. It has funding to expand as the year unfolds. They welcome inquiries from other community groups around the city.

Here is a flyer that was handed out at the meeting: