News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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Sunglasses loser seeks sunglasses finder

August 4th, 2014 by Mike

Sachiyo emails:

I took my twins to the Maple Leaf park on 8/2 in the evening. I had my sunglasses (brown Coach sunglasses) that my sister bought for me when she visited me from Japan this spring and noticed they weren’t with me.

I went to the area I thought I lost those (at the double slides by the zip line) and asked people there, and they said someone found them and was looking for a person who lost them.

I went to the area where the swings were and asked the same thing and was told the same thing, but the person who found my sunglasses were gone and my sunglasses as well. I was wondering if I could post my comment somewhere so that the person might contact me.

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Celebrate community with your neighbors on Night Out Seattle this Tuesday

August 3rd, 2014 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site Queen Anne View.

This Tuesday, August 5th, is National Night Out, an evening to meet your neighbors, share a potluck or BBQ, host a kiddie parade, or compete in outdoor games. Anyone can organize a Night Out event for neighbors.

You can even have your non-arterial street shut down for the evening (6-10pm) to keep it safe and expand your community space for a neighborhood party. All you have to do is register your event online and if you want to close your street, officially register your Night Out event with the City of Seattle.

Summer weather continues for the week, so get outside and get together with your neighbors to celebrate community and build a support network. One of the best ways to deter crime in our neighborhood is to have watchful neighbors, and National Night Out is an effort to help reduce crime – and have fun at the same time!

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Merlin versus American Robin(s)

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

After the thunderstorms … an avian tableau.

This young Merlin Sharp-shinned Hawk (right) is perched on a Douglas Fir high over Maple Leaf Life South.


Update: Simone texts from eastern Washington, where she is flying falcons to protect crops, that our Sharpie is in fact a Merlin, she believes.

(Why? “Chunky body. Shorter tail than Shin. Fatter head than Shin, too. Hard to age Merlins sometimes but my guess adult but very hard to tell.”)

We believe her. She’s been a far better birder than we since we met her well over a dozen years ago. She was then …  14?

Merlins are rare in Seattle. From Simone’s 2011 post:

Merlins are much smaller than Peregrines, about the size of a robin, and usually hunt from the top of a prominent perch (i.e. the top of a tree), keeping an eye out for songbirds below. Merlins appear dark or even black and do not posses the “mask” of a Peregrine Falcon.


This American Robin – plus at least one other adult robin and two Anna’s Hummingbirds – were not happy about it.

The robins have a nest – with two fledglings – about 50 feet away.

Earlier in the day a Pileated Woodpecker appeared briefly in the front yard – a first for us, and making our 49th 50th (Merlin) yard bird.

(We’ve got a long way to go, Dennis.)

For more posts on birds locally click here.

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Thunderstorm – followed by dogs on the run

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

Update 4 p.m. Black Lab Martha missing from Northeast 89th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast. Is chipped.


News of two dogs loose following this morning’s storm:

The NextDoor site that covers Maple Leaf and Northgate posted this:

After the thunderstorm this morning I saw a large black and white dog going down Northeast 85th Street from Fifth Avenue Northeast down towards Latona Street. If you or a neighbor are missing a large black and white dog – that is the direction he was headed.

And Susan emails: “We found an old yellow Lab walking along Northeast 115th Street close to 15th Avenue Northeast. No collar or microchip. Any way to post this?

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Thunderstorms bring power outages, sleet

August 2nd, 2014 by Mike

Noon: This morning’s thunderstorms have resulted in numerous small outages around Seattle, but only one two in  Maple Leaf, affecting 36 37 customers.

The cause was lightning.

Col. Anthony Bolante, a neighbor, tweeted: “I just saw/felt a lightning bolt touch down on Phinney Ridge while in my living room on Maple Leaf hill! Now, it’s sleeting!”

So far it’s only rained .05 inches at Maple Leaf Life South, but it came down in a hella hurry.

Cliff Mass has posted on the storms under the head: “Thunderfest over Western Washington.”

In a special weather statement, the National Weather Service in Seattle said: “If thunder roars, head indoors!” It has counted 35 164 cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the lowlands in western Washington around Puget Sound.

The Seattle City Light power outage map is here.

The forecast, though, is for sunny and 82 degrees this afternoon.

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Matthews Beach closed by sewage until next week

August 1st, 2014 by Mike

Matthews Beach – the closest Lake Washington beach to Maple Leaf  and one of the busiest swimming beaches in the city – was abruptly closed Friday afternoon when fecal coliform levels were found to have soared into the red zone.

From Seattle Parks:

On a recommendation from Public Health – Seattle & King County, Seattle Parks and Recreation has closed Matthews Beach Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. Routine weekly water quality testing revealed that the bacteria levels in the water were too high for swimming.

The water will be tested again on Monday and the beach could re-open as early as Wednesday, Aug. 6.

This could be similar to a closure in 2004 when our news partner The Seattle Times wrote: “Matthews Beach Park in North Seattle was found to contain high amounts of aqueous sewage pollution — likely from geese and other animals — prompting officials to close the beach until the bacteria level drops to a safe standard.”

For updated information, including this chart:

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Results of the non-comprehensive Maple Leaf Life survey at the Summer Social (plus more pictures!)

July 31st, 2014 by Mike


We got ‘em. We like ‘em.

(Actually, raccoons seem to have gotten a few of them. Nonetheless, we like keeping them. Alive. A lot.)

That was a standout result of our completely unscientific survey at the Summer Social on what interests our  Maple Leaf neighbors.

The Maple Leaf Life high-tech, interactive, hands-on survey tool.

The blog’s WordPress software provides a list of the most popular “tags” we use on posts. It looks like this:

But those are the tags WE put on the posts.

We wanted to find out what YOU thought. More or less.

It appears, besides chickens, a lot of you want to know about crime. (Except for those who don’t. But nobody checked that box – possibly because we forgot to create it. But you could have written it in….)

We also forgot to make a box specifically for prowled or stolen cars – the most common crime in Maple Leaf and Seattle as a whole.

Here’s what we got, though:

We were a little surprised at the interest in transit – which might have been a write-in. But we enjoy generally good bus service – remembering that the Northgate transit area and mall rank highest in juvenile petty crime in the city.

We also like dogs (and the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis!)

Cats, too. We’re big on finding lost pets and getting them home.

We post frequently on weather – in part because we’re like that and in part because there’s a Davis Vantage Pro2 on the roof of Maple Leaf Life South, so, why not?

More people were interested in snow, though.

With that report out of the way, here’s some more photos from Wednesday’s night’s Summer Social. (Click on “more” to go there.)


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Black cat lost from N.E. 89th St. and 15th Ave. N.E.

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

Update Aug. 1: He’s back.

We found Devin a few hours ago! We would have had no idea which direction to begin looking if it weren’t for the quick blogger response. Really… words simply cannot express my gratitude!


Brooke emails tonight:

“I was hoping you could put this flyer for my lost cat on the blogsite?

“Thank you for your help, I’m going to paper canvas the neighborhood tomorrow, but am doing any internet stuff I can right now. THANK YOU!”

The flyer says Devin Foss, 15 years old, snuck out after a bath July 28th between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. He lives at Northeast 89th Street and 15th Avenue Northeast.

He is neither collared nor chipped, but has a healing cyst on his left ear.

Call 206-708-1680 or 206-549-3865.

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Hundreds attend 19th annual Summer Social

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

Face painting at the social by Moonpaper Tent.

On a warm, sunny evening, with a sliver of moon overhead, hundreds of Maple Leaf residents (and their dogs!) attended the 19th Annual Maple Leaf Summer Social.

Congratulations to the Maple Leaf Community Council for their success.

More photos coming on Thursday. Plus a report on the entirely unscientific poll we conducted on what neighbors want to hear about.

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Maple Leaf Reservior Park = “peak park experience”

July 30th, 2014 by Mike

5:30 p.m. Setting up for the Maple Leaf Summer Social

As the neighborhood is heading to tonight’s Summer Social, 7 – 9 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, it’s nice to hear it’s one of the best places in the city for kids.

That’s the word from ParentMap, in a post this week entitled Summer in the Cities: 6 Cool Communities to Explore Around Seattle.

Have you heard the loving raves about Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (1020 N.E. 82nd St.), the renovated two-story park in this northeast Seattle neighborhood? The upper section, located at one of the highest points in the city, covers the old reservoir and boasts a .5 mile circular bike path, pickleball and basketball courts, and a vast field that bustles with action.

The photo they took is exactly where tonight’s social takes place.

They also suggest visiting Cloud City Coffee, the Snappy Dragon and Math ‘n’ Stuff.

ParentMap’s other recommendations include Issaquah, Renton (the Wave Pool), Greenwood, Richmond Beach and Beacon Hill.

ParentMap’s picture of our park. Photo: Emily Johnson

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Come to Wednesday’s Summer Social in the park (and bring a couple cans of food)

July 29th, 2014 by Mike

The 19th Annual Maple Leaf Summer Social kicks off Wednesday, running from 7 -9 p.m.

This year, it’s back in the Maple Leaf Family Terrace (the playground area of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park).

That means sprinklers probably won’t interrupt the fun. This time.

This year, also bring along a can or two for the North Helpline food bank, which will have a table at the social, as will North East Seattle Together.

We’ll be there, too.

For more information on what to bring to the food bank, click here.

For more information about the social, try the Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park Facebook page.

The playground is at Northeast 83rd Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

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Two cars crashed – one naked man – early Saturday

July 27th, 2014 by Mike

Deborah emails overnight:

Awoke this (Saturday) morning at 5 a.m. to a loud crash and went to the window to see a car crashed into the back of my SUV at Northeast 97th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast.

The driver was already outside the vehicle and by the time I came back to the window after calling 911 he had taken off, apparently last seen running north on 12th. The police said the car had been stolen yesterday in Pinehurst, just north of Maple Leaf.

Remember to lock your cars.

Also at 5 a.m. Saturday a naked driver flipped a stolen car on Interstate 5 near Northgate.

From The Seattle Times story:

It appears the whole thing may have begun with a burglary in Lynnwood. Lynnwood Police think the naked man could be the same man who broke into several Lynnwood businesses in the 18900 block of Highway 99 around 4:30 a.m. Police say the man, in his 20s, apparently found keys to one of the businesses’ vehicles, loaded up the car with stolen merchandise and drove off before this morning’s crash.

He was taken to Harborview Medical Center. It is not known why he was naked.

Prowled and stolen cars are the most common crimes in Maple Leaf, and in the city.

Washington State Patrol

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Problem: We don’t see a single Subaru on this map

July 25th, 2014 by Mike

Do Northgate residents really read GQ?

Do people who live along Lake City Way “have it all?”

Do northern neighbors within easy walking distance of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park really live the “American Dream?” While to the south we are a neighborhood of “Young Digerati?”

Our news partner The Seattle Times today has a fascinating piece based on census tracts and Nielsen marketing data.

“This data is intended to help marketers target likely customers — but it’s also pretty entertaining,” writes Gene Balk, the Times’ FYI guy.

His story, “What your Seattle address says about you,”  is here. The interactive map, a chunk of which is posted above, is here.

According to the marketing experts, who use a sorting hat to come up with  66 demographic categories into which we are digitally put:

Northgate residents are 32.4 percent “Big City Blues” living in older apartment complexes, and 23.3  percent “Urban Elders” who read GQ.

East of Northgate, toward Lake City Way, we are 30.7 percent “Money & Brains” – advanced degrees, sophisticated tastes and driving Mercedes Class E autos, and 27.4 percent “American Dreams” who go to the zoo and drive VW Tiguans.

In the middle of Maple Leaf (including Maple Leaf Life South) we are 35.1 percent “American Dreams” and 22.8 percent Money & Brains, traveling often for business.

South of the park we are 40.5 percent “Young Digerati” – driving Audi A3s, living the trendy micro-brew lifestyle and flying to Asia now and then.

The problem here is obvious. The national car of Seattle is nowhere mentioned.

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Fence springs up between N.E. 105th and Thornton Creek

July 22nd, 2014 by Mike

Update 4:40 p.m. Seattle Parks project manager Garrett Farrell emails:

Yes, the Thornton Creek restoration project is about to get underway, Contractor WS Construction is setting up fencing and getting ready to mobilize on site.

The main body of work will be closer to Fifth Avenue Northeast/Northeast 103rd Street where the main creek restoration work will take place.

Trail work will extend up to Northeast 105th Street and neighbors can expect limited access across this stretch ( 103rd to 105th east of 5th) for the next few months.

Neighbors can expect activity on 103rd, the 104th cul de sac and 105th as the contractor uses these streets to access the work.

Daniel emails:

Six-foot-tall temporary fencing has gone up along the Thornton Creek watershed bordering Northeast 105th Street  behind the Pacific Medical Center.

Does anyone have any clue as to the reason or purpose for the fence? I know the homeless set up an encampment in that area during the night, but the fence wouldn’t be a deterrent to keeping them out so there’s got to be another reason for it.

There is also fencing on the other sides of the Thornton Creek watershed where it borders a public road or public access point.

I’ll try and send a photo of the fencing.

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Yard sales this Saturday to support children, cats

July 22nd, 2014 by Mike

Saturday brings two yard sales – one here and one nearby – to benefit good causes.

The Friends of Campus Cats Jumble Sale is being held here in Maple Leaf at 10 a.m. on July 26th.

An hour earlier, at 9 a.m., the Seattle Ronald McDonald House will host its second annual Sidewalk Sale in Wedgwood.

The local sale, benefiting cat rescue on the University of Washington campus and several neighborhoods, including Maple Leaf, is at 536 N.E. 100th St. Watch for the signs on Roosevelt Way Northeast.

The organizers are also still looking for donations:

This year’s fabulous Campus Cats Jumble Sale is set for July 26 (final Saturday of the month), right in the heart of lovely Maple Leaf. Come one, come all—even dog lovers are welcome!  We open at 10 a.m., and have a strict no-early-bird, no-whining policy.

All our items are donated goods, and 100% of the proceeds go to Friends of Campus Cats, a charity that manages and rescues (where possible) feral cats on the University of Washington campus and various neighborhoods around the city.

We are still gratefully accepting donations (which are tax-deductible, by the way, as we are a 501(c)(3) organization). We accept books, CDs, DVDs, knick-knacks, collectibles, kitchenware, crafts and hobby supplies, small appliances, jewelry and the like. The more, the better, for both your tax return and for our fuzzy charges. We will gladly pick up if you are unable to deliver, so please call or email to make arrangements.

Also needed are volunteers to help on the day of the sale. Again, please email or call for details.

Contact Sharon Talbert, 206-442-2051 (voicemail) or

The other sale, “featuring 10,00s of items donated by local businesses including Chef’n, Compendium, Kid’s Club, Super Jock ‘N Jill and more,” takes place in front of the Ronald McDonald House, 5130 40th Ave. N.E.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Western Washington & Alaska supports seriously ill children and their families. At the Seattle Ronald McDonald House, we provide a “home-away-from-home” to help families through a difficult time. We also provide a van service for families staying in Anchorage while their children receive medical care.

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