News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Gunshots on N.E. 92nd early this morning – Subaru hit

September 15th, 2014 by Mike

“Heads up to the area,” Katie emails.

At around 1:30 a.m. between three and four gunshots were heard by several neighbors on Northeast 92nd Street between Eighth and Fifth avenues northeast, followed by the sound of car tires peeling out.

“This morning I saw that my neighbor’s car had a bullet hole in the back seat.”

One shot clearly broke the back window of this Subaru Forester before embedding in the right rear seat.

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How will they fix our underground reservoir (yes, the one with the new park on top)?

September 12th, 2014 by Mike

Since the beginning of summer, when Seattle Public Utilities agreed that its four underground reservoirs – including ours – might fail in a catastrophic earthquake, a good question has been: What will the city do about it?

Now the West Seattle Blog has at least a partial answer.

The West Seattle Reservoir, together with the Maple Leaf, Beacon Hill and Myrtle reservoirs, need retrofitting after it was discovered contractors used a construction formula designed for above ground, not underground, reservoirs.

Yes, we know the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park – on top of the underground reservoir – just opened last fall.

First on the list for retrofitting is West Seattle, which went into service four years ago. The work is expected to cost over $7 million.

According to an earlier West Seattle Blog post (and one of ours, too): “First thing you should know is: SPU says the reservoirs ‘are in no danger of catastrophic failure,’ even without the retrofits.”

It was stressed that none of the reservoirs will have to be dug back open for these retrofits – the work will be done inside, with crews and equipment accessing through existing maintenance hatches.

This week the West Seattle Blog reported work is about to start on the reservoir there and will run through March. It also posted a copy of the construction notice (pdf).

It says, in part:

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Green Lake water closed – even for dogs

September 12th, 2014 by Mike

This from Seattle parks this afternoon:

‘The level of toxins in the algae at Green Lake has increased and has prompted parks and Public Health officials to close the lake to swimming and water contact for people and dogs.

People and pets should not swim, wade or play in the lake. Dog owners should be especially cautious not to allow animals to go in or drink from the lake. If there is water contact for a pet, it is important to rinse well to remove all algae.

The lake remains open to fishing (though fish should be thoroughly cleaned) and boating in stable boats. Avoid areas of scum when boating.

A warm, dry summer has promoted the algae bloom, and continued warm weather continues to promote it. Blooms have been known to last into November in particularly warm autumns, and typically disappear as the weather gets colder.

For more information on cyanobacteria, please visit Washington Department of Health toxic algae website.

An earlier warning was released on Aug. 22nd.

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Huge plant sale today and Saturday at N. Seattle College

September 12th, 2014 by Mike

The Northwest Horticultural Society’s fall plant sale is today and Saturday at North Seattle College.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The college is just over Northeast 92nd Street, at 9600 College Way N.

The sale is huge!

Here’s a list of participating growers.

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Motorists to expect delays during final phase of Northgate Way repaving project

September 9th, 2014 by Mike

This post is from our sister site My Ballard.

SDOT will begin the final phase of its repaving project on North Northgate Way today as construction crews repave the one-block section of Northgate Way, immediately to the west of I-5.

The stretch, between Meridian Ave N and Corliss Ave N (the street immediately adjacent to the west side of I-5), will be reduced to a single travel lane in each direction. The lane reduction will remain in place until the repaving is finished in mid-November and is likely to create traffic backups.

Motorists should be aware that heavy traffic volumes during the afternoon commute could also result in backups on both the north- and southbound I-5 off-ramps. Motorists exiting I-5 at Northgate are encouraged to consider using off-ramps to either the north or south, if possible. Doing so will help to reduce congestion on Northgate Way and the I-5 off-ramps to it, as well as shorten motorist commute times.

The travel lanes of Northgate Way between Aurora Ave N and Meridian Ave N, which are currently reduced for repaving, will be fully restored to two lanes in each direction this afternoon.

Improvements that are part of the North 105th/North Northgate Way Project include complete roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, drainage improvements, street lighting and street trees from Greenwood Avenue North to Corliss Avenue North.

SDOT is also upgrading traffic signals from Greenwood Ave N to Lake City Way NE (and along Lake City Way to N 120th St), as well as installing two new dynamic message signs to provide drivers with real time travel information.

The entire project is scheduled for completion in mid-November. Click here to learn more.

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The most famous ball in Maple Leaf

September 8th, 2014 by Mike

Actually, it’s Eric who wants to get the ball back home.

He found the ball over the holiday weekend between the ball fields and the playground at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, and emailed us about it.

On Friday, KOMO TV spotted our post and wondered if they could help.

Sure.We put them in touch with Eric.

But on Saturday, while we were at Mount Rainier, Eric dropped the ball off at Maple Leaf Life South. (He was going to be hard to reach during the week.)

And this morning, KOMO stopped by.

Since then, they’ve talked with a memorabilia expert, who said the ball’s primary value is probably sentimental for the owner.

“”It looks like a game-used ball, perhaps from the Tacoma Rainiers…. It’s a good chance somebody got the ball at a game, maybe a foul ball, had some signatures put on it after the game, had some of the players sign it.”

Here’ s the KOMO piece.

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KOMO to join hunt for signed Pacific Coast League baseball?

September 5th, 2014 by Mike

Email early this morning:

Hi. My name is Luke Duecy and I’m a reporter for KOMO TV.

Saw the post about an autographed baseball … found in a park.

I like that story – and I’m wondering if we might work together to find an owner?

We’re passing his contact information on to the finder, who says the ball has many signatures from the Pacific Coast League.

For those who (like me) never heard of the Pacific Coast League, it has a typically obtuse (to non-fans) site here. “Chihuahuas, Padres extend affiliation pact.”

Fortunately, there’s Wikipedia:

The Pacific Coast League (PCL) is a minor-league baseball league operating in the Western, Midwestern, and Southeastern United States. Along with the International League and the Mexican League, it is one of three leagues playing at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It is officially named the Pacific Coast League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Inc.

Locally, we have the Tacoma Rainiers, affiliated with the Mariners.

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Signed baseball lost at Maple Leaf park?

September 4th, 2014 by Mike

Eric emails: “I found a signed baseball in the bushes between the playing field and the playground at Maple Leaf Park.

The ball is an official baseball of the Pacific Coast League and has numerous signatures. Thought you might want to post it in the lost-and-found section of the blog.

The ball was found over the holiday weekend. Thanks, Eric.

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Autumn blows in with overnight rain – good for gardens

August 31st, 2014 by Mike

It rained here Saturday night for the first time in 15 days – breaking a dry spell that had tomato plants gasping.

A total of 1.77  inches of rain fell at Maple Leaf Life South for the month of August.

Almost all of it fell overnight (0.76 inches) and on Aug. 13th (0.85 inches).

It’s true fall doesn’t officially arrive until the equinox on Sept. 23rd. But as Cliff Mass pointed out this week:

“After a beautiful summer, with warmth and relatively dry conditions from mid-July to mid-August, a reminder that we are living in the Northwest often comes in late August: the first passage of the first fall-like system.”

The forecast for the rest of Labor Day weekend? Fewer Bumbershoots.

Scattered showers today turn to party sunny conditions on Monday, with a high of 72 degrees – two degrees below the normal high.

The holiday has been as hot as 94 degrees (sheesh) in 1981 and as cold as 45 degrees in 1992, according to the National Weather Service.

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Tablet stolen from woman in wheelchair at Northgate

August 30th, 2014 by Mike

Seattle Police robbery detectives need help identifying a pair of men who snatched a tablet computer from a woman at Northgate Mall last week.

In a press release, police say the incident occurred inside the mall on Aug. 22nd.

The woman and her husband, who both use wheelchairs, were waiting for a Metro Access van when two men approached.

“”Cameras inside Northgate captured the two suspects as they crept closer and closer to the victim. After lurking near the woman for several minutes, one suspect got close enough to grab the tablet out of the her hands. Both men then fled the mall.

“If you can help police identify these suspects, please contact the SPD Robbery Unit at (206) 684-5535.”

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Roughly a car a day gets stolen or prowled here

August 28th, 2014 by Mike

Terri emails on Wednesday: “There was a dark blue 1997 Subaru stolen from Northeast 83rd Street between Northeast Fifth and Eighth avenues.

It was stolen this morning between 8 a.m and 9 a.m. It was locked.

Keep your eyes out for any suspicious people messing around at cars … even in the daylight!

Car crimes continue to be the most common crime in Maple Leaf and Seattle in general. The map below shows cars stolen or prowled in the month and a half since our last report. (Update on that report: Lisa M’s car, stolen from Thornton Place’s garage, turned up in Everett a month later.)

It shows roughly40 incidents – close to one a day.

Is that a lot?

It’s very similar to this report from 2011- the last time one of our cars was prowled.

Looking only at stolen cars, 1,697 reports show on the 2014 Seattle Police Department’s statistics chart. But that chart only includes figures through April.

For a better look, in all of 2013 3,541 cars were reported stolen, a 19 percent increase from the previous year.

In 2012 and 2011, roughly 3,400 cars were reported stolen.

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News about Mr. Grumbles, another cat – and crime

August 26th, 2014 by Mike

News from around the neighborhood in the past few days:

Mr. Grumbles (Do you know this cat hanging on 12th N.E.), the neighborhood cat who walks by himself and visits many homes, apparently has quite a few fans.

He may soon have his own Facebook page, his owner speculates. He was originally found living behind a dumpster, she says.

We may actually start a Facebook page (ridiculous) for him, to explain his story and advise people to not feed him/ let him inside, as he loves variety and free choice of where he stays… he just doesn’t know any better.

Meanwhile, Hallie emails: “I am part of the neighborhood … I have a cat that needs a home and I was hoping that you might be able to help.”

Rio is a male tabby with a bull’s eye design on his sides. He’s an outdoor cat and about 9 years old. Email Hallie at

Finally, since our last crime report in mid-July, it appears there have been right at 17 burglaries in Maple Leaf, according to the police crime map.

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Beware Green Lake algae scum!

August 22nd, 2014 by Mike

Seattle Parks warns toxic algae has been found in accumulated scum along the shores of Green Lake.
The lake is not  closed and remains open for most activities.
However, people and pets should not wade or play in the lake with the scum.
Dog owners should take special care not to let animals drink from those areas.
If your dog does romp in the scum, rinse well, Parks says.

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The Maple Bar (nee Maple Leaf Grill) is open!

August 18th, 2014 by Mike

The Maple Bar, officially to open Aug. 23, actually had a “soft” opening this weekend.

The bar and restaurant, at 8929 Roosevelt Way N.E. in the space where the Maple Leaf Grill closed, will be open daily from 5 p.m to midnight.

The soft opening, to train staffers and fine-tune equipment (how’s the beer working now?) and offerings, means an initial reduced-price menu. (See below)

Without advance notice or advertising, the bar still packed in 100 customers Saturday night, staff said.

Welcome to Maple Leaf!

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Report of brown tap water near light rail construction

August 17th, 2014 by Mike

Laura emails:

We live near First Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street and are wondering if anyone else is experiencing tan(ish) water coming out of their taps this morning?

I’m assuming it has something to do with the link expansion construction, but it would be great to know if it’s just us or seems to be neighborhood wide.

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