News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf’s City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.


So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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New: Found baseball glove. (Old: Keys found near N.E. 91st St.)

February 19th, 2015 by Mike

John emails overnight: “Found baseball glove, Olympic View Elementary School, 2/20/2015.

Ashley emails:

We found a large set of about 15 keys in the gravel dead-end street of Northeast 91st Street and 20th Avenue Northeast (in front of Grunge City Crossfit and near the Stratford Assisted Living).

If someone is missing them, they can be retrieved by commenting below.

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Dog meets cactus: Maple Leaf neighbors help

February 17th, 2015 by Mike

Grace emails:

I’d like to give a shout out to a local who really helped me out yesterday with a thorny situation. I love our neighborhood. People are so nice!

Walking my dog Luna on Northeast 90th street near Maple Leaf Ace Hardware, and as dogs do she was sniffing around the front edge of a neighbor’s yard ( 2-3 feet off the sidewalk but admittedly in their yard).

Suddenly she was covered with sticky, thorny cactus stickers. They were all over her face and paws. I couldn’t touch them. They needed leather gloves or tweezers.

Two ladies were walking by with their dog and one came over to help me. She calmly used her fingers to pull them off my dog. It took a good five minutes while I held my upset dog and wasn’t easy. I’m sure she poked herself a lot. The stickers burned and itched.

I was so upset that I thanked her profusely but didn’t get a name to thank her appropriately.

Luna and I then went right to Maple Leaf Vet where they were able to squeeze her in and pulled fifteen thorns out of her paws.

So a big thank you to a local, whose name I don’t know but would love to, and to the vet for squeezing her in. I’ve thanked them. And paid them. But the local I probably would not even recognize if I saw her.

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Good morning, Maple Leaf – plus a found bag

February 15th, 2015 by Mike

Did we mention it’s gonna be 54 degrees and bright sun this afternoon of Feb. 15th?

Moving along, this bag was found Saturday afternoon on 15th Avenue Northeast. Anybody know the owner?

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Our Scarlet-fronted Parakeets are back

February 14th, 2015 by Mike

Maple Leaf’s own feral flock of Scarlet-fronted Parakeets have returned.

At least a half-dozen of them were spotted (and heard!) at noon today near Northeast 88th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast.

They flew off to the northeast. (Minutes later, an American Crow chased a Merlin off a conifer near 15th Avenue Northeast. It flew off southeast.)

We last posted about the feral flock in 2011. Then, and more recently, only a few birds were seen.

We first wrote about them in 2010:

The flock has been around for decades, at least since the early 1990s, and possibly got started when bird-lovers discovered their pet parakeets were too loud to keep in the house. Local lore has it that the birds winter in Maple Leaf and spend summer vacations at Seward Park.

The size of the flock varies, but there don’t seem to be as many now as eight or 10 years ago, when a dozen or more parakeets would descend on the neighborhood. Over time they have been called parrots, Crimson-fronted parakeets, Red-fronted Conures and Mitred conures.

(Aratinga wagleri photo courtesy Dennis Paulson.)

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Traffic news: 20-mph zones and rush hour times

February 13th, 2015 by Mike

Our news partner The Seattle Times posted two stories this week that should interest many, perhaps most, of us.

Today’s piece is on a pilot program in Seattle to reduce speeds on some arterials streets from 35 mph to 20 mph. As for major streets,the plan calls for: “Review arterial speed limits and reduce to 30 mph or lower.”

Seattle will try limits of 20 mph for streets in five to 10 residential areas this year — including a swath of Lake City around the library, and a piece of Seward Park Avenue South at Rainier Beach High School.

Cities may lower speeds under a bill sponsored by Rep. Cindy Ryu, D-Shoreline, that passed the Legislature in 2013.

This has been frequently discussed in Maple Leaf, but until the new legislation passed there was no legal authority for local officials to make the change. The argument is that many more pedestrians (or bicyclists) can survive being hit by a car at 20 mph than at 35-40 mph.

None of Maple Leaf’s streets are directly involved in this year’s change, but proposed future changes include part of Lake City Way Northeast in our neighborhood (green lines).

The plan, dubbed Vision Zero, involves a number of other changes:

The city’s broad traffic-safety effort will include slower speeds, more school-zone cameras, fewer right turns on red and targeted enforcement. The name, “Vision Zero,” refers to a statewide effort by law enforcement, government, urbanist and safety groups to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries.

The Times story is here. The full Vision Zero plan (pdf) is here.

The Times’ “FYI Guy” earlier this week posted an interactive look at commute times throughout the city under the headline: “What times does your neighborhood leave for work?”

Locally, the FYI Guy says:

Very few of us leave for work in the late morning or afternoon, but it’s not uncommon in areas with a large concentration of people who do shift work, such as food service or retail jobs. The University District has a high percentage, as do Northgate, downtown Seattle and many areas in south King County.

The story and map are here. Below is the 10 a.m. commute from Northgate.

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Backpack lost this morning in Maple Leaf

February 13th, 2015 by Mike

Judy emails:

Is there a way to post a lost backpack? Maybe someone found it. Lost this morning between Northeast 86th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast and Roosevelt and Northgate Way.

It was accidentally set on the outside of our work truck, so it fell off somewhere. Thanks if you can help!

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Quick update on the Northgate pedestrian bridge

February 10th, 2015 by Mike

The story thus far:

* There WAS a plan to spend around $20 million to connect the neighborhoods across Interstate 5 to Maple Leaf and the Northgate transit center and light rail station via a pedestrian and bike bridge from North Seattle College to the station. Got that? (It entirely avoids the word “interagency.”)

* It ran out of money. Specifically, Sound Transit set a July 2015 full funding deadline, after which it would withdraw the $5 million it committed. Seattle failed to get a federal grant, leading to a cliffhanger going into the new year….

* Now the Seattle Bike Blog reports:

In a recent response, Sound Transit staff say they will recommend that their Board extend the deadline to February 2016. While not a huge amount of extra time, it will give leaders more opportunities to identify funding options.

That letter from Sound Transit is here.

As Charles B. commented late last month: “Stay tuned….”

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Two reports of scammers in the neighborhood

February 9th, 2015 by Mike

Two different readers emailed to alert the neighborhood to possible scams this weekend.

Late this morning Steve wrote:

A fellow calling himself “Larry Anderson” called late Saturday afternoon to say that the utility bill for our son’s restaurant was overdue and our power would be shut off.

He said go to the drug store to buy a PaymentPak and call him back with the 10-digit number. “Larry” is probably in Belize or Florida….there is no such person working for the power company. I DID NOT buy a PaymentPak I DID NOT PAY HIM $400! I did call the FBI and I did contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The key is that utility companies do not ask for money order or paymentpak payments, especially on weekends when all the staff has gone home.

The Federal Trade Commission has a blog page about this.

And on Saturday Kristin wrote:

I wanted to put the word out that a man came to my door this evening (Eighth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th Street) asking “where we wanted him to deliver our free newspaper”. He said “they were offering free newspapers to people”.

I told him we didn’t take the paper and didn’t want it. He left without trying to come into my home, but immediately got into a truck and drove away instead of continuing on to another house as he should have done if he was in fact selling the newspaper.

This incident was very similar (not the same man) to an incident that occurred last summer at the same time of day/same day of the week (Saturday).

I reported the incident to 911 and she said they would send a car to do a drive-by.    Just wanted neighbors to be aware.

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Rain slackens for evening, but some spots flood

February 6th, 2015 by Mike

KIRO is now tweeting: “Steady rain is moving out of Puget Sound and into the Cascade Mtns. Much drier evening w/ fewer showers.”

But North Seattle College (just across Interstate 5 from Maple Leaf on Northeast 92nd Street just emailed: “Northeast parking lot near the Wellness Center will be closed off due to flooding.Please remove your car if you are parked in the NE lot as soon as possible.”

Any other flooded areas?

Rain returns Saturday.

(Rain update: 0.86 inches this morning at Maple Leaf Life South.)

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Wet, wet, wet – plus more mail thefts

February 5th, 2015 by Mike

Cliff Mass’ headline probably says it best: “Triple Atmospheric River Event to Hit the West Coast.”

That was posted Wednesday, as was this from the Seattle office of the National Weather Service: “A series of waves will bring periods of heavy rain to the area tonight through Monday.

“The 5 day rainfall total for the mountains could be 10 to 13 inches in some areas, with 1 to 4 inches for the lowlands…. Winds will be southerly and gusty for nearly all areas tonight through Friday, with the strongest winds on the Coast and North Interior.

“Winds could be gusty again Saturday. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts for this wet and windy weekend!”

The Seattle Times points out the rain is snarling morning commutes.

Mass says:

Probably the most significant West Coast heavy rain event of the winter will occur during the next few days, with Northern California being the hardest hit.  Three “atmospheric rivers” will strike the coast between now and Sunday, with the middle one possibly being the strongest in years.

Overnight Wednesday into today 0.72 inches of rain fell at Maple Leaf Life South.

In more terrestrial pursuits - mail theft, John emails:

Found a big pile of stolen mail at Olympic View Elementary School playground. Included some folks’ tax stuff. I’d found more in early January along Eighth Avenue Northeast in the vicinity of the school and dumped near my house on Northeast 97th Street.

One neighbor’s stolen mail included a credit card statement, and someone subsequently tried to use that card fraudulently.

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Measles vax exemptions low in Maple Leaf schools

February 4th, 2015 by Mike

Our news partner The Seattle Times published a story this afternoon on the percentage of students in city Washington state schools who are exempt from being vaccinated for measles.

The Times story is here: Vaccine exemptions exceed 10 percent at dozens of Seattle-area schools.

The good news: No schools in Maple Leaf proper are in that batch.

Exactly what percentage of people/students vaccinated is required for “herd immunity” to kick in varies from source to source, but the number the Times is using – 90 percent – seems fairly average.

The Perkins School – a private school in the heart of Maple Leaf on Roosevelt Way Northeast, across from Maple Leaf Ace Hardware – has one of the lowest local exemptions – 1.7 percent, or one student.

Olympic View Elementary School is at 6 percent, Sacajawea Elementary at 9.3 percent. Eckstein Middle School is at 7.4 percent, Nathan Hale High School (not in the 98115 code) is 8.9 percent.

Here is the Times’ tool for finding schools and their data.

Below are the Times data for schools associated with the  98115 zip code. Data for some private schools was unavailable.

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Two Maple Leaf scenes this morning

February 3rd, 2015 by Mike

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All over

February 1st, 2015 by Mike

The rain was blowing sideways – UNTIL noon.

There were few people in Maple Leaf Reservoir Park wearing green and blue – UNTIL NOON.


* The rain (mostly) DISAPPEARED.

* 125 Seahawk fans appeared.

* And 15 dogs.

* And KING-5 TV.

* There were chants.

* And blue and green BALLOONS.

Soon, it will be 3:30 p.m.

Following photo courtesy Donna Hartmann-Miller, seen above at top of ladder.

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Maple Leaf’s 12th Bear is on the job this Sunday

February 1st, 2015 by Mike

Elston and his bruin brothers. Editor’s note: Hard to fit all 12 bears into one frame.

Cloud City Coffee is closing at 3 p.m. And offering the Legion of Boom: “Whole milk latte with four shots and no foam. Representing the Seahawks secondary, a shot for each starter and no cushion.

“Expect to be knocked down.”

Maple Leaf Ace Hardware is closing at 3 p.m. “We are having FREE Seahawk Face Painting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can get all dolled up for THE GAME.”

Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park will again take the 12th Man photo at the park, noon sharp.

And Maple Leaf Life is providing the 12th Bear – one dozen of them (plus a Tigger who came along because that’s what Tiggers do).

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