Photo by Rachael Rose
Mary Holscher (and left to right) Athena Blanton, Leon Finley, Laurie Holscher, Tasha Cummings and Niko Blanton

At Large In Ballard: Writing from the margins, and the streets

By Peggy Sturdivant

In January 1990 the “It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series” was created by Esther Altshul Helfgott in Seattle. It was dedicated, then and now, “to an end of racism, homophobia, antisemitism, homelessness & war.” Unfortunately there has been no end to racism, homophobia, antisemetism, homelessness or war. As recently profiled on it’s the longest continuously running program of its kind in Seattle.

I curate programs for this 6 p.m. every second Thursday of the month series, and I’m proud of its ongoing ability to respond to current events. The readings are in the meeting room of the Ballard Branch of the Seattle Public Library; the only thing that cancels the reading is an emergency library closure. There are times when readers and audience gather while still in shock, as after a school shooting, or another type of local or international tragedy.

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Soup’s On at Copine -- Ballard chef Shaun McCrain shines at helm of new culinary destination

By Lindsay Peyton

Ballard chef Shaun McCrain is so at home in the kitchen at his restaurant Copine that it’s hard to imagine him anywhere else.

He and his wife Jill Kinney named the establishment the French word for “girlfriend” – and explain that the place functions as a pal for them. It’s not only their creation, their baby -- but also where they most want to be, an extension of their home, a friend they always hanging around.

They opened last July – and the location has already become a Ballard hotspot as well as a destination for diners from around the city.

“We have young cooks who come in for inspiration and we have neighborhood people who come in because they were just passing by,” McCrain said.

The menu is contemporary American cuisine – with French roots and a focus on local ingredients.

Starters include Dungeness crab salad served with radish and citrus, a foie gras terrine with black sesame and apple and Hawaiian hearts of palm with heirloom beets and cardamom poached pear.

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Photo by Peggy Sturdivant 
Major has been a fixture in Johnny's Ballard Shoe Service for 12 years.

Major’s Last Stand

By Peggy Sturdivant

“He’s everything you could ever want in a dog,” Tony Cunningham said on what would be Major’s last day as shop dog at Johnny’s Ballard Shoe Service on 22nd Avenue NW. Since 2005, Major, the Weimaraner rescue dog has been one of the most photographed dogs in downtown Ballard, a constant presence in the doorway of the shoe repair shop.

Cunningham, Major’s owner, and for 26 years the owner of Johnny’s Shoe Repair learned in December that Major’s cancer had spread significantly. Through a photo tribute and poster in the shop window he has been giving the community time to say goodbye. “I don’t have a list of customers,” he said. “I just want people to know so they’re not shocked. He’s a community dog.”

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