News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Only 15 days left for kids to pick up free zoo tickets!

August 26th, 2015 by Mike

For the thousands of kids and teens who have participated in The Seattle Public Library’s Summer of Learning, it’s time to pick up free tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo.

From the library:

Just by filling out a simple survey, children and teens (ages 0-18) who participated in Summer of Learning can receive two free tickets to an end-of-summer party at the zoo on Friday, Sept. 11, Saturday, Sept. 12 or Sunday, Sept. 13.

The surveys, which will help us improve next year’s program, are located in the back of the Summer of Learning activity booklets and on the fliers for early learners and teens (all available at your local Library branch) or online on the Library’s Summer of Learning Web page. Turn surveys in to your local Library branch by Thursday, Sept. 10 for zoo tickets.

Tickets provide free admittance to the zoo for one person 18 or under and one guest. There will be a welcome program at noon every day, followed by free music in the North Meadow.

The 2015 Summer of Learning program is designed to keep students reading and learning while school is out. This year’s program features the theme “Wild Science!” and encourages reading and activities around science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The program is sponsored by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, U.S. Bank and Woodland Park Zoo.

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Last day (Wednesday) for the Oroweat outlet

August 25th, 2015 by Mike

Terry emails:

The Oroweat bakery outlet store is closing, end of the day, this Wednesday, August 26th (not end of the month). The decision was made to close that day, rather than go until Friday or Saturday….

Despite what was speculated by some folks, last time this topic came up, there is no new location that’s been found in Seattle – or anywhere else.

To my mind, it’s just another sign of how Seattle keeps getting more expensive and any real bargains, for people on fixed incomes or limited incomes are disappearing.

I hope you will post something on this closure in time for people to avail themselves of what’s going to be left between now and Wednesday at five pm. To my knowledge, the store won’t close early; but then again, who knows how the last day will unwind?

The address is 9578 First Ave. N.E. and the phone number is (206) 985-1467.

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Street closures for “microsurfacing” have begun

August 24th, 2015 by Mike

12th Avenue Northeast at Northeast 98th Street this afternoon.

The eight-hour local street closures we wrote about last week have begun.

For more details see map below, or follow link, above.

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Mega moving sale, plus nighttime I-5 work next week

August 21st, 2015 by Mike

Seattle City Light emails that it is replacing two transmission lines alongside Interstate 5 at Northeast 60th Street next week.

Intermittent rolling slowdowns in both directions on I-5 between Northgate Way and State Route 520 are necessary for motorist and worker safety. Traffic will be escorted through the construction zone.

The two-day project is planned for Thursday, Aug. 27 and Friday, Aug. 28, from 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.

A maximum of four rolling slowdowns are necessary with each lasting from 20 to 25 minutes. All on-ramp traffic from Northgate Way through State Route 520 will be held and will merge with the next rolling slowdown. The I-5 express lanes will be closed.

And Megan emails: “I wanted to see if you could post an upcoming moving/rummage sale that will be going on this Saturday – Monday. Here are the details:

HUGE MOVING SALE – Saturday 8/22, Sunday 8/23 & Monday 8/24

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Please no Early Birds

11016 12th Ave. N.E

House at the end of the dead end road at Victory Creek/QFC park


Items for sale include:


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Surface streets from N.E. 98th north to be sealed next week

August 20th, 2015 by Mike

Maple Leaf streets will be closed for up to eight hours at a time during parts of next week as the Seattle Department of Transportation performs “microsurfacing.”

What to expect during construction

2-3 days before the work begins, crews will place “no parking” signs on streets and distribute confirmation notices with dates and instructions. Cars must be relocated off the road and planting strip area prior to the start of work.

On the day of microsurfacing, please remove all personal items from the road and park cars on a nearby block not being microsurfaced. Noise, tar-like odors and large equipment associated with microsurfacing can be expected. To ensure best results, the street will be closed to vehicles for up to 8 hours. We encourage everyone to avoid the road surface during this time. When wet, the microsurfacing emulsion is sticky and difficult to remove from clothing and pet fur.

If your regular garbage collection or recycling pick-up is scheduled on the same day as this work, please have your bins to the curb before 6 AM to ensure collection.

More information is here.

What’s microsurfacing?

Microsurfacing is a cost-effective method to maintain roads by coating them with a protective sealant, extending their life by approximately 7-10 years. Unlike chip-sealing, this application process resurfaces the road without using or dispersing relatively large pieces of gravel.

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Park pump house mural is started by “art ninja”

August 18th, 2015 by Mike

This is the pump house at the Maple Leaf Reservoir Play Area, which is part of the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, in June.

And this is the pump house – true name Roosevelt Pump House – this week.

The mural promised by Seattle Public Utilities is begun.

SPU is working with local artist Jonathan Fischer and community member Scott K. Bishop to complete a “street-art” style mural that will wrap around the northeast corner of the building and be viewable from two sides. The mural will be created using spray paint with an anti-graffiti coating applied over the top.

More but dated information from SPU is here.

Information about the artist, who uses his Japanese family name Wakuda, is here, here, and here. (That’s a screen grab of the top of his web site above. At top right it says “Art. Ninja. Japanese Street Art.”

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Tabby cat missing since Thursday

August 17th, 2015 by Mike

Atarah emails this afternoon:

“Our 13-year-old male cat (orange tabby with white belly and white facial markings and light green eyes) disappeared the night of August 13 in the vicinity of Northeast 100th Street and 17th Avenue Northeast.

“He is not wearing a collar but has micro-chip and is licensed in Seattle.”

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More details on neighborhood armed robbery

August 15th, 2015 by Mike

The full police report is now available for this armed robbery last month of a 14-year-old boy on Roosevelt Way Northeast.

The robbers were caught minutes later at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th Street.

In the report Officer Ed Medlock writes:

At 2234 hrs we responded to an armed robbery call at NE 88 ST and Roosevelt AV NE. The details of the call stated a fourteen year-old male said he was robbed at knife point of most of his clothes with the suspects having him count to 100 as they ran northbound.

As we were en route to the area, Officer Ellis told Radio that he had several subjects matching the description on the call walking northbound from NE 92 St and 12 AV NE. He followed them until more officers could arrive to contact the subjects.

The victim was left in his underwear and shoes, according to the report, which also shows 14 officers (and a police dog) were involved in the chase. Stolen items were strewn along the street (including at Maple Leaf Life South).

The K9 tracked east over to 12 AV NE and located several belongings, including his backpack, cell phone, the contents of his wallet, athletic clothing, and other miscellaneous items. The items were found in a linear path from the robbery scene to where the suspects were contacted. All items located on the track were photographed and then returned.

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Unusual tale of porch package theft-and-switch

August 15th, 2015 by Mike

Marco emails this theory of how package thieves may be working the neighborhood.

Bottom line: They pretend to be delivering a package, but instead take yours and leave behind an empty box.

I thought it might be a good idea to share this with the community. Yesterday (8/13/15) I was expecting a package to be delivered. What I had not expected was that the package did not require a signature to be delivered. The delivery person (USPS in this case, but otherwise fill in your carrier of choice), evidently left the package at our door on the outside steps.

Here’s the important part: What my wife came home to find was an entirely different empty package which had been opened up and turned upside down to look like a “normal” sealed package as it would have been left by any number of delivery services.

The contents of this box were two additional labeled mailing bags from The Gap which were addressed to a neighbor 10 blocks south (also in Maple Leaf). Those bags were empty and stuffed into the box as filler. I didn’t know the name, but both of two shipping envelopes had the same address nearby, so I used Google to find what I though was the person and left a message at their work of what had shown up on our stairs….

The next morning I got a call from the neighbor whom I’d left the message for – the one to whom the two Gap packages were addressed. They told me that, not only were they the intended recipient of the Gap items that had not arrived, but they also had come home to an empty mystery box with yet another Maple Leaf address on it, and filled only with packing materials.

So apparently someone is going around the neighborhood looking for packages delivered outside the house. They probably use the empty boxes from previous thefts as a decoy as they approach the houses to make it look as if they might be bringing a package, but instead they leave the empty box, and take the packages that have been left making it appear as if they might be just leaving again with the same package.

That’s the best explanation we can come up with. Regardless, I phoned the North Precinct and they sent two officers over who followed up with the Gap addressee as well.

We hear stories of mail or package theft, but checking the police crime map only turns up three reports during this entire summer (since June 1).


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Short-term forecast for rain, hail, lightning

August 14th, 2015 by Mike

Update Saturday a.m. Total rain here 1.08 inches.
Update 5 p.m. Rain so far today at Maple Leaf Life
South = 0.95 inches. 

1235 PM PDT FRI AUG 14 2015

1235 PM PDT FRI AUG 14 2015


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Neighbor reports new car prowl on 12th N.E.

August 13th, 2015 by Mike

Art emails this morning:

Hi, I hate to write in with negative news to post, but I wanted to share that my car was prowled last night. I am on 12th Avenue Northeast and the prowling happened between 3 and 3:30 a.m. and it was a quick job. They just rifled through my car and took random stuff, but I don’t keep items of value in the car.

Car prowls are by far the most common crimes reported in Seattle.

(Danny Westneat’s second column last year on the subject is here.)

Interestingly, after times when a car-a-day was being prowled or stolen in Maple Leaf, the crime map for the month so far shows only four car prowls reported here. Not counting Art’s, which is too recent to show up on the map.

Art continues:

However, I saw a guy on a bike trying to get inside my car this morning around 6:30. He was yanking on all of my doors and looking through the windows. I immediately ran outside and asked what he was doing and the guy was startled and made up some story about looking for a friend’s house, getting lost, etc…he was not especially coherent.

I was able to get a few photos of him, which I forwarded to the police officer who arrived to take a statement from me. Officer George said he would forward the pictures to the precinct detectives for their records. I don’t think this is the same prowler who came by at 3 last night, since that person already went through my car.

I’m not sure if it’s legal/ethical/problematic for me to send you pics that i took for posting online, since the police already have those. I will describe the guy as Caucasian, in his 20s, fit/slim build and looks totally like a university student with trendy clothing/shoes/hairstyle. He wears glasses and was riding a nice-looking road bike.

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Found: A red bike, a yellow scooter and a black cat

August 12th, 2015 by Mike

Cindy posts on our Facebook page: “There has been a red Univega bike abandoned on the corner of North 87th Street and Meridian Avenue North for over a week. It is wearing its lock. I hope the owner sees this!”

Terry emails (to the Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf group):

A yellow-and-black Strada Veriflex scooter has been setting, abandoned after probably having been stolen, on the walkway to an office building at 10202 5th Ave. N.E. (site for an engineering firm and a children’s dental facility). It has been there since Monday, August 10th.

I called the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, to see if some officers could be dispatched to hold it at the North Precinct station; but gave up after being on hold for 10 minutes; might try again, later.

If this is your scooter, or you know whose it is, likely it will still be there, this evening (this post written at 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12th).

And Patty emails:

“We’ve had this kitty hanging around our neighborhood for the last few weeks. No tags. Small and very friendly. Have asked a few neighbors but none appear to be owners.

“I haven’t seen any missing cat posts or posters around. Near Northeast 94th Street and 20th Avenue Northeast.”

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Short-term forecast: thunderstorms before noon

August 12th, 2015 by Mike

Noon:35: Sun!

Cliff Mass: “A modestly strong thunderstorm cell is moving northward across Seattle now, with rain and lightning.”

1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015

1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015


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Heat returns; water rationing, too

August 11th, 2015 by Mike

The National Weather Service in Seattle posted this stunning dawn photo about three hours ago.

With this unwelcome message:

“Dawn at NWS Seattle on what is expected to be the 40th day of 80 degrees or higher in Seattle this year.

“There have only been 7 years in the past 121 with 40 or more days this warm in Seattle. We’re still well ahead of last year’s pace in which we had 45. The all-time record is 47 set back in the summer of 1958.

About three hours later the city of Seattle announced a further stage in water restrictions: voluntary reductions.

Together with Tacoma and Everett, “the three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.”

According to a press release from the Seattle Public Utilities: “Seattle customers know it is important to manage their water use during these dry conditions,’ said Seatte Mayor Ed Murray. ‘Today we are asking residents and businesses to continue to reduce water use both indoors and outdoors.’”

Today’s forecast tops out at 88 degrees in Maple Leaf this afternoon, but Cliff Mass has a post suggesting it will be hotter.

This summer, I have gotten a number of complaints about the poor quality of our local forecasts.

Several of you have suggested that the weather is often much better (generally warmer) than predicted by the National Weather Service and several media outlets.

I have to admit, I had noticed the same thing. My calibration as a long-term forecaster seemed to be off.

His post giving reasons for this is here, and notes: “During June through early August the Weather Service was too low almost every day (by roughly 3-4F).”

There’s more on saving water here.

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Neighbor sends alert about dogs off-leash at park

August 9th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails this afternoon:

Just wanted to share that my pup and I ran into a very polite animal control officer at the park today. Apparently there was an unfortunate bite incident earlier this week and they will be patrolling the park for leash-law breakers for a little while.

Just a reminder from one dog owner to others that leash laws exist for everyone’s comfort and safety.

~ From a neighbor and dog mom

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