Search the Pacific Northwest’s Maritime History

A new maritime history web search tool invites users to search the Pacific Northwest’s historic ships, lighthouses, maritime museums, and events. After a test search for “schooners,” I found myself falling down an Internet rabbit hole, killing almost an hour reading first about the Zodiac, built for the heirs to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals fortune, and then about the Bainbridge Island Historical museum, housed in a 1908 schoolhouse.

“The new site will make it easier for patrons of all of Seattle’s maritime heritage ships and museums to discover the other amazing maritime heritage sites around the region, and for those who don’t yet know about our award winning museum to find us,” said Dick Wagner, Founding Director of The Center for Wooden Boats.  “This new search tool, created with our fellow maritime museums, historic ships and other maritime sites, will help better inform and educate the public about the Northwest’s maritime history and at the same time use technology to help increase regional tourism.”

Powered by Three Sheets Northwest, the site features a powerful search tool, maps showing the location of heritage sites, and easy-to-browse categories of maritime attractions, organizations and vessels throughout the Northwest. The data in the site was originally collected through a program created by King County’s cultural services agency, 4Culture.

UPDATED 3:50PM Aurora Bridge Seismic Retrofit

Reader Cindy wrote:

Could you look into what work is being done on the underside of the south end of the Aurora Bridge?

Drivers heading from Queen Anne to Aurora Ave N pass under the bridge (on 6th Ave N?) and the traffic has been one way at a time, with a flagger, for a few weeks now– at least until about 3 or 4PM. Now there’s a sign saying that road will be closed next week from Monday to Friday, 9AM-3PM. I would love to know what’s going on!

The SDOT reports that this is work for the Aurora Bridge Seismic Retrofit project.

More information, including traffic advisories, can be found on the SDOT web site.

Crews will close all lanes of 6th Avenue North between Raye Street and Halladay Street between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. April 2 – 6.

Queen Anne drivers should plan for closures on 6th Avenue North between Raye Street and Halladay Street next week.

The two lanes will be closed every day Monday, April 2 through Friday, April 6 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Flaggers will be at both ends of the closure for local access.

During the daytime closure, crews will work on 6th Avenue North underneath the Aurora Avenue Bridge. They are building a skeletal system for the extra steel that will be attached to the existing girders.

The $5.7 million seismic retrofit project will allow the 80-year old bridge to better withstand earthquakes.

Most drivers use 6th Avenue north to get under Aurora Avenue North. Local detour signs will be in place and drivers will be able to get from one side of Aurora to the other.

Seeking information on World’s Fair memorabilia

On the Queen Anne View Facebook page, neighbor Zach Brown writes:

“My wonderful wife gave a great piece of Seattle history as a gift. I haven’t been able to find out too much about it. It is a 12” 1962 World’s Fair/Century 21 Exhibition Commemorative Plate/Wall Hanging. Markings show that it was from “Morgan’s P.O. Box 5169 Seattle 7, Wash.” Anyone know who might be able to tell me more about the piece? Cheers!”

Thursday Traffic Advisory

Mercer Corridor Project (East Phase):
Upcoming Fairview Avenue N Weekend Closures begin March 30

The Seattle Department of Transportation reminds travelers of the upcoming weekend closures of Fairview Avenue N. Full weekend closures of Fairview Avenue N between Mercer Street and Republican Street will occur the following weekends– March 30 – April 2, and April 13 – April 16. Closure hours are scheduled for Fridays at 7:30 p.m. to Mondays at 5:00 a.m. Please note the I-5 on- and off-ramps at Mercer Street will remain open at all times. Vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle detour maps are available on the project website.

Upcoming Tree Removal on Fairview Ave. N: March 30 – April 2
During the March 30 – April 2 weekend closure, the existing trees along Fairview Ave. N between Mercer Street and Republican Street will be permanently removed to accommodate the widening of Fairview Avenue N and construction of additional street improvements. Unfortunately, the City cannot replant these specific trees in their original locations due to lack of space, however, the project does plan to plant two new trees within the project area for every tree removed. Additionally, over 10,000 new shrubs and other plants will ultimately be planted throughout the project area.

As the project moves through various stages of construction, the team will be continually looking for ways to minimize tree impacts. Overall, trees that do not need to be removed to accommodate roadway widening and improvements, and that are not at risk of damage or becoming a public safety hazard during construction, are being kept in place and will have tree protection placards posted on them to indicate their protected status.

For more information on the planned improvements as part of the Mercer Corridor Project, please visit the project website.

Saturday March 31 Event Traffic
At 8:30 a.m., approximately 1,700 participants and parade-goers will begin assembling for the traditional rite of spring – the Magnolia Little League Parade. Lasting approximately one hour, the parade gets underway at 10:30 a.m. Escorted by Seattle Police, the Little Leaguers will march east on W McGraw Street from Westmont Way W. to 32nd Avenue W; turn left and head north on 32nd to W Smith Street and then enter Magnolia Playfield.

In the evening, at 7 p.m., the Seattle Sounders will take on the San Jose Earthquakes at CenturyLink Field before a crowd of about 34,000. Motorists can expect traffic to be congested on the streets around the stadium before and after the match.

Keeping up the beat at Ballard High School

On Saturday, April 28, 2012, an evening of fun, food, and entertainment will be held to benefit the Ballard High School Music Program.  The Second Annual Ballard Jazz Gala will be from 7:00 to 10:30 pm at the Ballard Elks, located upstairs from the Shilshole Bay Beach Club at 6413 Seaview Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98107.

Come hear amazing performances by Ballard High School jazz music students in the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Band 2, and the award-winning Jazz Band 1, who will leave the following week to participate in the Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival in New York City.

Tickets are only $25 and are available from  The event includes a high quality silent auction, complimentary heavy appetizers, beer and wine, and lots of opportunity for dancing.

Save Saturday, April 7, for the All-Class Alumni Music Concert, taking place in the Earl Kelly Performing Arts Center at Ballard High School. The All-Class Alumni Music Concerts are the only chance you have to see and hear current students and alumni making music together. Proceeds from the concert support the music program at Ballard High.

The first three Alumni Music Benefit Concerts, in 2006, 2008, and 2010, raised over $40,000. This year’s concert is seeking donors and sponsors, as well as musicians to participate.

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

Have you seen Heather Braaten?

A Seattle woman, Heather Braaten, is missing and was last seen in Ballard on March 20. Ms. Braaten, known as “HeatherLEGOGirl” online, is an active member of the local Seattle LEGO community. She has reportedly deleted all of her social networking accounts.

She is believed to be in Ballard or Magnolia on foot, and may appear disoriented. Ms. Braaten is 35 years old, with platinum blonde hair and green eyes. She might be wearing blue jeans with white shoes and carrying a black rectangular purse with a metallic pink cellular phone.

If spotted, please call 206-782-2116 or SPD Missing Persons Detective at 206-684-5582, or email

Artist Sought For Seattle Design Commission

Mayor Mike McGinn is looking for an artist to serve on the Seattle Design Commission.

The artist would provide advice, as a member of the commission, on plans for new public projects such as fire stations, parks, and streetscapes, and on major projects that affect the whole city, such as the waterfront and light rail stations. The artist would also serve as the Design Commission’s liaison on the Public Art Advisory Committee.

The ten member commission includes architects, urban designers, environmental designers, urban planners, landscape architects, engineers, an artist, a member‐at‐large, and one member from Get Engaged, the YMCA Young Civic Leaders Program.

Established in 1968, the Seattle Design Commission advises the Mayor, City Council, and City departments on design and environmental aspects of capital improvement projects. Members also help select consultants for City projects. The Commission meets all day on the first and third Thursdays of each month. In addition, members serve on project subcommittees and represent the commission on other advisory boards. Members volunteer an average of 20 to 25 hours a month.

For more information on the Design Commission please visit:

To be considered, please send a letter of interest and resume by April 9, 2012, to Mayor Mike McGinn c/o:

Valerie Kinast, Coordinator
Seattle Design Commission
Department of Planning and Development
City of Seattle

700 – Fifth Ave., Ste. 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

Traffic Advisory: Rally for Treyvon Martin

This afternoon from 4 -7 p.m., an estimated crowd of 1,000 people will gather in Westlake Park to protest the Treyvon Martin shooting.  The protest is being organized by the NAACP.  There is no march planned, however, traffic could be slowed on the surrounding streets by the distraction of the large gathering.

SDOT Interactive Travelers Information Map

Mesmerizing Timelapse of Space Needle

Local photographer Joseph “Joe” Tobiason recently completed a stunning and comprehensive time-lapse video of Seattle’s neighborhoods. Day turns to night and back to day over Queen Anne, Ballard, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake– all around the town. Benefiting from early morning hours, Mr. Tobiason was easily able to gain ideal positioning for shooting. “In spite of the cold and lack of sleep, it was awesome to see people taking stills have to jockey around me for position,” he joked.

Our own Kerry Park, here in Queen Anne, was a favorite place to shoot. “Many cities have a hill that looks over downtown, but so few really sit right on top of the landmark,” Mr. Tobiason observed. “It is nice because it’s a place that is really safe and that that I never have to worry about being hassled because there are so many others doing similar things.” Mr. Tobiason would be interested in hearing from our readers if they are aware of other locations around the town that offer clear landmark views.

The music was composed specially for the video by Andrew Knapp, a 2008 graduate of Whitworth University in Jazz performance.

The Skies of Seattle from Joseph Tobiason on Vimeo.

Seattle Monorail Celebrates 50 Years

Now celebrating 50 years of service, the Seattle Monorail was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair to provide a crucial link between the fairgrounds and the amenities downtown. Since that time, it has become a beloved and frequently used form of transportation, carrying 1.9 million passengers in 2011.

The Seattle Municipal Archive has a wonderful photo set available on Flickr, featuring images from the 1962 World’s Fair and the post-fair Seattle Center.

Also interesting: KCTS9’s in-depth nostalgic look at Music and Video from the 1962 World’s Fair archives, and memories shared by alumni of Seattle Pacific University (then Seattle Pacific College).