News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Olympic View plant sale today and Saturday

April 24th, 2015 by Mike

Remember: Olympic View Elementary’s plant sale runs until 7 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The school is at 504 N.E. 95th St.

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UPDATE with benefit fund: Tequila bandit strikes Maple Leaf’s COA

April 23rd, 2015 by Mike

Update 4/24: Jennifer emails: “Someone has started a GoFundMe for COA.

This link might be nice to put with the article. It is a shame when this type of crime happens.”

Josh emails this story with the note: “This is not good.”

Thieves steal $10,000 worth of liquor.

The story, from KIRO TV, says:

Thieves targeted a Seattle restaurant, stealing more than $10,000 worth of liquor.

The owners of COA Mexican restaurant off Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 80th Street in the Maple Leaf neighborhood told KIRO 7 they were stocking up for the Cinco de Mayo holiday when the burglars hit.

They’re now hoping their surveillance video helps catch them.

The burglary occurred early Sunday morning.

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A second art gallery closes on Roosevelt Way N.E.

April 21st, 2015 by Mike

Briana emails:

Joy Carter, owner of Between Cultures, requested that I forward this letter on to the Maple Leaf community.

Unfortunately Joy and Bob needed to close their delightful gallery on Northeast 88th Street  and Roosevelt Way Northeast to take care of Bob (Elam) after four months in the hospital.

Also, I’d appreciate it if someone can direct me to the folks of the Maple Leaf Newsletter, as that was where Joy had mentioned.

Thank you.

The Maple Leaf newsletter of the Maple Leaf Community Council can be reached here.

Between Cultures is the second gallery to close on that block of Roosevelt Way Northeast. The Snow Goose Gallery closed in February 2014.

Interestingly, the Snow Goose Facebook page became active again last month.

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Large poodle on the loose at N.E. 103rd

April 19th, 2015 by Mike

A reader emails this morning:

“Large male poodle on an adventure at Northeast 103rd Street and going south on Roosevelt Way Northeast. No owner in sight.

“About 9:10 a.m. Low growling and barking as he passed by.

“A sunday stroll .”

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Could neighborhood block watches be part of the solution?

April 17th, 2015 by Mike

Shortly before our last post (crime, drugs, parks) Cathy emailed to say she’s been a block watch captain in west Maple Leaf for the past two decades.

I am on the SPD’s block watch distribution. Neighbors within the loose boundaries (Northeast 88th Street and Fourth Avenue Northeast) are on my neighborhood email distribution.

I provide a map of the neighborhood, updated when there are changes, to all on my distribution. Car prowls, stolen cars, break-ins, etc. are reported to me by email from the affected party. (Neighbors contact police if incidents require.)

I send emails so that everyone is aware of any new incidents. Neighbors are proactive and very friendly with one another which facilitates our communications.

The Seattle Block Watch program is explained here, including how to start or revive one. Looks like neighbors have to buy their own signs, though.

We don’t know how many block watch groups are currently in Maple Leaf. But it seems more might make a dent in property crime incidents here.

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Crime and drugs and Maple Leaf parks

April 14th, 2015 by Mike

Several neighbors have written to report drug-related issues in parks here or nearby.

Chris writes:

This Spring has seen a real uptick in intravenous drug use in one of our parks. I have come across more syringes than usual since the beginning of the year in the park parcel bounded by Roosevelt Way Northeast at the northeast corner of the Beaver Pond Natural Area.

Last week (see my post to your Facebook page) my six-year-old put her hand on a capped syringe while trying to clamber over a log. This morning, I found three uncapped syringes in the English ivy under a tree she frequently climbs.

I would love to see some community involvement in finding a fix (no pun intended) (I have filed police reports, by the way).

Similarly, on the listserve Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf people are discussing teens at Victory Creek Park.

I just called the cops on some kids drinking on the playground equipment at Victory Creek park next to the QFC on Northeast Northgate Way.

Heather was walking with our three-month-old through the park and asked me to look up and call the police. It’s really frustratingto me that the closest park with playground equipment to us is this park, which is constantly filled with beer cans, drug paraphernalia (such as needles) and other non-kid friendly items.

What can we do to clean up this area so it’s clean and safe for our and other families?

In a follow-up email, Chris adds: “I, for one, have an inkling that a lot of property crime (burglaries, car thefts, graffiti) in Maple Leaf is driven by drug problems.

I was contacted by SPD today (Tuesday) regarding our ongoing crisis. The officer suggested putting pressure on the Seattle Parks Department to install sharps containers in the park. His reasoning was sound. It’s clear that our natural areas are extremely difficult to patrol. Safe disposal of needles will at least go a long way toward minimizing blood-borne pathogen exposure for the rest of us.

Was hoping to garner some community interest/involvement/input.

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More tagging at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

April 12th, 2015 by Mike

This morning at the park. Thanks to John Wolff for cleaning up the last graffiti – and giving directions for how he did it.

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Absentee ballots arrive -but the council election is next fall

April 10th, 2015 by Mike

Absentee ballots for the April 28th special King County election — what? You didn’t know there was one? — started arriving this week.

But that election has only one issue for Seattle residents: Replacing police and fire radios that date back to the 1990s.

(The total is $246 million. Estimated cost is $2 monthly for the median homeowner. The levy lasts nine years. Today’s Seattle Times editorial in support is here. The only opponents appear to be rural folks worried about levy lids. Why it takes a special property tax levy to buy emergency radios is … complicated. But it’s worth noting the radio system spans 39 cities plus the county and lets their first responders talk to one another.)

The election of major interest comes this fall, when Seattle City Council members will be elected by districts. The filing deadline for that contest is May 15.

Since we last wrote about the Fifth Council District, which includes almost all of Maple Leaf, one additional candidate has filed – Debadutta Dash. The latest filings are here.

That election is generating mounting interest. Mian Rice (son of former mayor Norm Rice) stopped by Maple Leaf Life South recently while out doorbelling. A supporter of Sandy Brown (“transit investment and sidewalks”) showed up with fliers last week. And David Toledo commented on our previous post, introducing himself (sidewalks!).

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What’s big and being built in Maple Leaf?

April 8th, 2015 by Mike

From time to time people wonder what’s being built on Maple Leaf’s major streets.

This is often time-consuming to find out, but now there’s a better way.

It was featured earlier this month by Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat: Growth gone wild? Website map pins it down.

The column was about a new tool that posts and updates works in progress:

Ethan Phelps-Goodman, formerly of Facebook, built a website and app that displays every big development project as a pin on a map of the city. is updated daily from city records, charting all the developments from day one of application through permitting and construction.

The map above shows such projects in Maple Leaf. Clockwise from Maple Leaf Park they are:


Jan. 12, 2015: Land Use Application to allow a 20-unit residential building above 2nd floor office and 1,067 sq. ft. 1st floor retail. Parking for 25 vehicles will be located within the structure .Existing 5,000 sq. ft. structure to be demolished.

* 9550 1ST AVE NE

July 24, 2014: Land Use Application to allow a 6-story hotel with 167 rooms (Hampton Inn & Suites). Parking for 135 vehicles to be provided in a parking garage on site and 15 spaces in an adjacent off-site surface parking lot. Project includes 4,600 cu. yds. of grading. Existing structure to be demolished.


Design Review Early Design Guidance application proposing a 2-story parking garage and surface parking for a total of 700 vehicles located below and at grade.

* 10720 5TH AVE NE
Land use application to allow a 7-story, 144 unit apartment building with 2,700 sq.ft. of retail at street-level and parking for 122 vehicles located below grade. Existing structure to be demolished. Pending Lot Boundary Adjustment. Early Design Guidance includes project 3019072.

* 10715 8TH AVE NE

Design Review Early Design Guidance to allow a 4-story, 83 unit residential building with 3 live/work units, 28 surface parking spaces to remain. Existing structure to be demolished. Pending Lot Boundary Adjustment.

* 8512 20TH AVE NE

Sept. 28, 2007: Land Use Application to allow a six-story building containing 4,000 sq. ft. of retail at ground level and 145 residential units above in an environmentally critical area. Parking for 167 vehicles to be provided in a below-grade garage. Project includes 21,900 cu. yds. of grading. Existing 14,500 sq. ft. commercial structure to remain.

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Free, fresh raspberry starts on 8th Ave. N.E.

April 7th, 2015 by Mike

Karri emails:

Free Raspberry Starts!

From successful plants. Starts are in a bin with water at 9212 8th Ave. N.E., next to the straw bales.

Take what you’d like, but please leave the bin. Enjoy!

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The Easter Mallard

April 5th, 2015 by Mike

This Easter morning two Mallards were visiting our park – adding a 38th species to the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park bird list.

These male and female Mallards are the first waterfowl we’ve seen swimming in the park. (The bird list includes Trumpeter Swan and Great Blue Heron, but they were seen flying overhead.)

Happy Easter!

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Photos from today’s egg hunt at the Reservoir Park

April 4th, 2015 by Mike

Photos from the Lux Communities egg hunt at Maple Lear Reservoir Park. (It’s still on ’till 12:30 p.m.)

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Another coyote sighting? (This one on 20th N.E.)

April 4th, 2015 by Mike

Update Easter Sunday – Maple Leaf’s Flying Coyote?

Mark notes on our Facebook page: “We saw a coyote walking down Fifth Avenue Northeast right by Flying Squirrel last Thursday night around 10:00 p.m.”


Tammie emails this morning: “I’m pretty sure I saw a coyote cross in front of my car as I was leaving for work this morning.

“It had a black animal in its mouth that it dropped when it saw me. Probably a rat but maybe a cat.

“This was on Northeast 90th Street and 20th Avenue Northeast. Please warn neighbors with outdoor cats and chickens to be careful.”

A previous coyote sighting in late January by Gregg (that’s his photo above) drew 21 comments, including a knowledgeable one from Erin that began:

Hello! I’m adjacent to Maple Leaf at Burke Ave. N. up against Washelli cemetery. Coyotes have lived peacefully for decades in the cemetery; occasionally we hear them singing or see one, but they are shy, avoid people, and eat wild food.

The coyote pictured is part of a new pack that just came into the area. They are not like the cemetery coyotes. They are large in size, bold, unafraid of people, are out in the middle of the day in high density areas as well as night, and hunt pets. They seem to be ranging as far south as Greenlake and as far north as 155th.

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Four arrested after knife attack at Northgate Transit Center

April 3rd, 2015 by Mike

Police dog in action! Video by King County Sheriff Air Support.

A police helicopter and K-9 team assisted in the arrest of four people near Northgate Transit Center about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Two others got away after a confrontation that included a knife, police said. The arrests were made about 10 blocks away in Maple Leaf, at Northeast 95th Street and  First Avenue Northeast.

From Seattle Police this morning:

Last night, shortly after 11:00 p.m., two victims and four witnesses were in the Transit Center when they were approached by a group of six black males. One of the suspects said, “There are six of you and six of us,” and displayed a knife.

One of the suspects attempted, unsuccessfully, to take one of the victim’s cell phones. Failing that, he tried to take the victim’s wallet, while another suspect struck another victim in the face.

Fearing for their safety, the group being attacked ran away, being chased by the suspects. As they were fleeing, one the victim’s shoes came off while he was running, and was picked up by the suspects. Employees of a nearby business heard the chase and called 911.

Officers arrived in the area quickly, along with a K-9 team and the King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, Guardian One. Containment was set up, and the K-9 and his handler began a track.

With the assistance of Guardian One, four of the six suspects were located and arrested without incident in the 100 block of Northeast 95th Street. The victims were able to positively identify one of the suspects as the main suspect, and he was later booked into the Youth Services Center.

Two other suspects were booked into YSC and the King County Jail, while the fourth person arrested was identified and released from the precinct, with charges being requested.

The victim only suffered minor injuries and declined medical attention. Detectives will handle the follow up investigation.

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Yes, it appears CenturyLink is bringing fiber high-speed Internet here, hopefully successfully

April 2nd, 2015 by Mike

The lure of high-speed Internet connections (1 GB per second – read “really, really fast”) has been around for years in Maple Leaf.


Gigabit service through fiber-optic lines, perhaps 1,000 times faster than a “typical” Internet connection, has been tried twice thrice here (we forgot Google), by the city and by GigaBit Squared – that one died a little over a year ago.

But several readers, including Scott, noticed utility trucks last month were stringing fiber along our utility poles.

In my neighborhood around Northeast 75th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast (south end of Maple Leaf), CenturyLink has been laying fiber on the utility poles today. When I saw lines being put on the poles, I asked one of the installers and he confirmed that it was fiber for CenturyLink.

When CenturyLink recently said they were adding Greenlake as a neighborhood for gigabit Internet, I guess they consider this area part of that. I have no idea how far the wiring is going, and where it ends.

Here at Maple Leaf Life South, we, too, have confirmed the installers say they are working for CenturyLink.

We have a query into the company now. GeekWire says of the service:

It costs $79.95 per month when bundled with other qualifying CenturyLink services like a home phone or TV subscription, usually for a minimum combined cost of $115 per month.

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