By Erin Bosetti

Tucked down a non-descript stairwell, in between Bop Street Records and Great Harvest Bread Co. and below the bakeries, burger joints and tchotchke filled boutiques that dot Market Street lies a library.

Not a Seattle Public Library but an alternative collection curated by a crew of information deviants that has been servicing our city for over 50 years. It’s called the Seattle Metaphysical Library (2220 N.W. Market St L-05), and for about thirty dollars a year one can enjoy full access to it’s overflowing shelves, checking out up to three books at a time.

“We have a wide variety of material here. We specialize in things that the public library doesn’t carry” explains library president Margaret Bartley. “There’s an incredible world of alternative research, media, politics and medicine that is totally considered heresy, and if you acknowledge it exists in academia your career is ruined. That whole area of what we’re not allowed to look at, to me is really important.”

Explore the unknown at Seattle's Metaphysical Library in Ballard
Photo credit: 
Photo by Erin Bosetti

Volunteer and workshop leader, Kathy Eckert.

By Peggy Sturdivant

“You’re just not a happy person are you?” said the young man who had jumped out of a large Recreational Vehicle with a generator beside it.

One minute before I had been walking my bicycle along the sidewalk with a friend, discussing a movie that we’d both loved. Exercise class behind us, the day stretched ahead with all the possibilities promised by the cloudless sky, scented azaleas in bloom and breakfast waiting at home.

Then we came abreast of an RV parked in what’s usually a 30-minute free parking spot for Ballard Square customers. Its sides are adorned with photographs of the monolithic structure rising around the Spirit gas station at the corner of 24th and Market Street. I’d seen the RV there over the previous week with its proclamation: Set Your Course for AMLI Mark24!

What disrupted our conversation was the noise of a generator running on the west side of the billboard on wheels. As we paused a young man bounded down the steps, wearing skinny pants, a pink shirt and a pastel blue tie. “How do you like our van?” he asked.

At Large in Ballard: Fido
Photo credit: 
Photo by Peggy Sturdivant

By Emile Monte

Laurie Blauner had a smile in her voice as much as on her face. She wanted to talk poetry—my poetry, her poetry—and prose and the combination of the two that her work has become. Her enthusiasm for literature—for words, characters, sounds, meaning—was as transparent and contagious as laughter.

But have you heard of her? Perhaps not. She’s a small press kind of writer and less interested in her work being popular than being true. In twenty years of writing, Blauner still writes primarily for herself.

And in twenty years of writing Blauner has a lot of work to show for her efforts: seven books of poetry, four novels, and a few more on the road to being published. The next in line is a book of poetry, It Looks Worse than I Am, due in the fall of this year. Not to give anything away, but the book is divided in three parts: the first, about animals and intimacy; the second, about rooms and the loss of capability; the third, about a self-contained man who cannot be contained.

Ballard writer Laurie Blauner still finding truth in her imagination
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of of Laurie Blauner

Laurie Blauner

The 36th District Legislative seat could be battled over by two Democrats.

Last Friday Rep. Reuven Carlyle told Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, that he would be running against her this November’s election, saying that it’s nothing personal. Not official quite yet, Carlyle is taking the weekend to deliberate.

There have been predictions that the Carlyle vs. Kohl-Welles race would ultimately stride into the November election under the state’s “Top Two” primary system. 

The system has every candidate from every political party appear on the same “primary” ballot. No matter the party affiliation, the top two voter’s picks are the only candidates named on the November general election ballot.

The 36th District, which includes parts of downtown, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Greenwood, Fremont and Ballard, has remained a Democratic sector over recent years.

The district contains a confluence of old and burgeoning economies. It’s known for housing a large portion of the maritime economy -- an essential economic engine for the City and State. The old meets the new with the technology industry booming in portions of the district.

Photo credit: 
Staff photo

Rep. Reuven Carlyle

April 9 – The Ballard District Council met to discuss issues facing the community. Topics up for discussion were Swedish Hospital improvements in the past year, Ballard Greenways, and the Holman Road Repaving project.

Jennifer Graves, Chief Executive and Nurse Executive at Swedish Hospital Ballard, updated the Council with the recent improvement at the hospital. She reported that Swedish has in the last year made strides in cancer treatment with a new cancer facility where patients can receive infusions treatments for chemotherapy as well as other treatments. As one of he largest employers in Ballard, the hospital employs over 100 physicians. Graves said the new cancer facility employs five primary medical oncologists.

“ As health care has changed we have started to offer new services. We are really trying to build services around the patient to make things convenient. Patients can walk to the clinic and receive chemo treatment and not have to go downtown and deal with traffic which can be difficult for them,” said Graves.

Ballard District Council meeting held to discuss Swedish Hospital, Greenways and Holman Repavement Project
Photo credit: 
Photo by Shane Harms

Council members, Warren Aakervik and Selena Carsiotis, expressed concern with SDOT's plan to only "bring awareness" to troubled cross walks on Holman Road Northwest.

Support Ballard High School Football & Sports Medicine!

Save the Date for the BHS Breakfast of Champions Friday, May 2, 2014, hosted by All-Pro (2013), 2x Pro Bowl (2011, 13), Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Kam Chancellor

Also featuring:
Joey Thomas, former NFL player, BHS football coach, and BHS GAINS Success Coordinator
Sue Verduin ’78, BHS graduate and athletic star

7:00 a.m. Reception
Private Meet and Greet with Kam Chancellor

7:30 a.m. Breakfast Program
MC Don O’Neill,
The Ron & Don Show, KIRO FM

Where: BHS Richard N.J. Lee Gymnasium

Breakfast/Reception tickets: $75
Breakfast/Reception Tables of 8: $600
Student Breakfast/Reception tickets: $55
Breakfast tickets: $45
Breakfast Tables of 8: $360
Student Breakfast tickets: $30

Proceeds benefit Ballard Football and the BHS Sports Medicine Program.
Co-chairs Sue Verduin ’78, Seattle U basketball All-American, and
Jack Thompson, WSU/NFL quarterback and BHS football coach

For more information, please contact Dick Lee at or 206-391-5555


Fraudulent fiend puts pressure for phony checks

April 2 – At 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 59th Street police responded to a robbery and assault. The complainant told officers that over the course of three days the suspect harassed him and forced him to withdraw large sums of money from his personal account. The suspect made first contact with the complainant at his job and asked, “Do you want to make some real money?” The complainant said he did. Then a later he noticed the suspect following him in his car and so he pulled over. The suspect got out of his car with another individual and slammed the complainant against his car, demanding his driver’s license and debit card. The suspect took a picture of the complainant’s driver’s license and threatened to hurt him if he didn’t cooperate. The next two days the suspect deposited and withdrew a series of forged checks totaling five thousand dollars while threatening to hurt the complainant if he didn’t cooperate. The complainant feared for his family and decided not to call the police. He received a bill from his bank for the total amount withdrawn. Police have no leads for the suspect.

Ballard Crime Watch: Man takes spade to head and fraudulent fiend strikes

The $15 minimum wage debate has made some headway in Ballard. Annie Davis, founder of a 30-year-old Ballard based business, Annie’s Nannies, announced last week that she will be paying all of her employees $15 an hour.

Annie’s is a service that links clients to nannies. They employ 4 fulltime, 3 part-time and 60 temporary workers.

“I challenge every business that can afford it to do the same. My company’s new pay scale is my positive protest to draw attention to the need for a higher minimum wage and to pay everyone who works a living wage,” wrote Davis last week in a statement.

Though her employees were already making close to $15 an hour, Davis said that the little extra makes a difference.

“Most people working in Seattle can’t afford to live here. I want my employees to be able to live in the city they work in. … Even $15 an hour might not be enough to cover the high cost of living in Seattle,” said Davis.

Ballard business  bumps minimum wage to $15
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Annie's Nannies

Annie Davis in the center with staff.

April 6 -- At approximately 9:30 a.m., over 12 units and at least 40 Seattle Fire Department personnel responded to a fire at the Telemark Apartment complex (2850 N.W. 56th St.) in Ballard.

By the time SFD arrived the inferno was blasting out from a second story window. According to Battalion Chief, Paul Atwater, firefighters had trouble finding the unit that was burning when they first entered the building. He said that the heat and smoke were "intense." Once they found the unit, they were able to knock the fire back before the flames spread to other apartment units.

As a precaution, firefighters removed all material that caught fire to prevent smoldering and restarting the flame. Charred boots, books, clothing and a master's thesis smoldered in the pile.

Pyre of possessions
Photo by Shane Harms

In a fire such as this, SFD personnel remain at the scene for another 10 hours after the flame is extinguished to ensure it does not restart.

Fire scorches apartment in Ballard; leaves residents without a home
Photo credit: 
Photo by Shane Harms

Firefighters moved all material that caught fire to the street. Residents sifted through the charred pyre of their possessions after the frenzied conflagration.

Swedish glass artist Ingalena Klenell will speak on her work, in conjunction with the exhibition “Pull, Twist, Blow” currently on view at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

Lecture: Future is a Long Story — About Glass, Place, and Longing
Wednesday, April 9, 7:00 p.m.

Listen as Ingalena Klenell, a featured artist in the exhibition Pull, Twist, Blow on view through April 27, presents a lecture on her glass art.

In her work, Swedish artist Ingalena Klenell explores the ideas of fragility and vulnerability, both in the material of glass and in life itself. Klenell sees glass as a way of investigating the limits of techniques and of her own skill and creativity, and of creating ways to transcend those limits. In 2010, Klenell collaborated with artist Beth Lipman to create the installation Glimmering Gone at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The installation used landscape and artifacts to investigate our connection with nature and memory.

Swedish glass artist Ingalena Klenell to speak about her work At Nordic Heritage Museum
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Nordic Heritage Museum
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