News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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A tale of two (or more) trees

December 21st, 2014 by Mike

There’s a brightly decorated tree in Maple Leaf Reservoir Park this morning.

It’s on the north side (where it joins an earlier artistically decorated feather tree).

But … (more later).

Speaking of trees: If anyone needs a really tall Christmas tree, there’s a free one waiting on Northeast 89th Street between Roosevelt Way Northeast and 12th Avenue Northeast.

How tall? We’d say 14-16 feet. Tall enough to almost hit utility lines when we stood it up.

Gonna take a high ceiling.

By the way, check out Maxine’s entrance on this Solstice day.

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Could our Safeway become a “Haggen Northwest Fresh”?

December 20th, 2014 by Mike

(Spoiler alert: Doesn’t look like it.)

Eric emails: “Thought you might be interested in this story. ‘The Northeast 75th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast Safeway may be changing to a locally owned Haggens.’”

He references a story in Friday’s Seattle Times which notes that Haggen, out of Bellingham, “has entered into an agreement to acquire 146 stores as part of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) required divestment brought about by the merger of Safeway and Albertsons announced in March.

For the last three years, Haggen has been remodeling the remaining Haggen and Top Food stores to highlight its ties to the Pacific Northwest by rebranding the stores as Haggen Northwest Fresh.

“Our Pacific Northwest grocery-store chain has been committed to local sourcing, investing in the communities we serve, and providing genuine service and homemade quality since it was founded in 1933,” John Caple, chairman of the Haggen board and partner at Comvest, said in a statement. “We will continue our focus on sourcing and investing locally even with this exciting expansion.”

However, “our” Safeway – yes,the one with the murals of Maple Leaf, Ravenna and Roosevelt in its underground parking garage – is neither on Haggen’s store acquisition list nor  its map of stores to be converted to Haggen from either Safeway or Albertsons.

The closest potential new Haggen stores are the current Safeway in Shoreline (15332 Aurora Ave. N.) and the current Albertsons in Lake Forest Park (17171 Bothell Way N.E.).

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Best place to get your car prowled? NOT Northgate

December 18th, 2014 by Mike

It’s true that roughly a car per day is prowled in Maple Leaf.

It’s not true that, despite the Northgate Mall and transit center, it’s the most likely place to have someone break into your car.

New Seattle Police statistics, released this week, indicate the most cars are prowled on Capital Capitol Hill and a chunk of downtown.

In the 28 days from Nov. 16th to Dec. 13th, 1,043 car prowls were reported to Seattle Police.

Thirty percent of them happened in that one area:

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A broken power pole, a prowled car

December 13th, 2014 by Mike

The morning after. Good work, Seattle City Light.

Some work remains to be done.


4 p.m.: Multiple Seattle City Light crews on scene. Say they will be able to replace the pole without turning off power. !!

A Seattle Police officer photographs the roped-off intersection.

Two things this afternoon:

1) Shortly after noon a CleanScapes recycling truck struck a utility pole at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 89th Street, breaking the pole at its base and again toward its top.

Seattle City Light is on the way. Neighbors (including Maple Leaf Life South) may well have their power/landline/cable interrupted as the pole will have to be replaced.

2) Eric emails:

On 12/11 my car got broken into in front of my house at Northeast  91st Street and 15th. Avenue Northeast.

They stole my prescription sunglasses and spare change.  The glasses will be discarded as soon as they realize they are for somebody with a significant astigmatism. If somebody finds a pair of Rudy Project sport sunglasses, I’d really like to get them back.


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Green Lake luminaries are tonight

December 13th, 2014 by Mike

The annual Green Lake  luminaries – path of lights – starts at 4:30 tonight.

Singers, musicians and thousands of people will stroll the 3.5 mile paved path at the lake.

Earlier tonight outside the Boathouse.

It appears that Real candles have returned! (We stopped going during the LED candle years.)

AND there’s no rain in the forecast. (We have been to some very soggy luminaries. And one memorably so-thick-you-can’t-see-six-feet-ahead foggy one.)

Details are here. If you can, bring non-perishable food bank donations.

Many species mingle at the luminaries.

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Update: 50 mph winds and power outages tonight

December 11th, 2014 by Mike


All over.

9:20 p.m.: Part of ViewRidge is out.

9:15 p.m.: 3,000 out in Laurelhurst.

8:50: Outage in Maple Leaf. Three customers at about Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 90th St.

8:40 p.m.3,000 out in Lake Forest Park.

At 8:20 p.m. winds gusted to 38 mph here at Maple Leaf Life South. Lights are flickering, radio’s in and out.

1:46 p.m.: This update from Cliff Mass:

Nearly everyone will experience gusts to 40-50 mph tonight and some more (coast, near the Sound, NW Washington).

I would not plan any ferry trips tonight and if you need to cross the Sound do it before dinner. I suspect a few hundred thousand folks will lose power in our region, so be ready.

The Seattle office of the National Weather Service says:


How high? Up to 60 mph here, the weather service says.

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Yancy Noll’s killer: “Guilty”

December 11th, 2014 by Mike

The man – Thomasdinh “Dinh” Bowman- accused of the 2012 drive-by shooting of Yancy Knoll at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street was this morning found guilty of first-degree murder.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is following the story here.

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Wet, followed by WIND (65 mph?)

December 10th, 2014 by Mike

Wednesday night, 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 92nd Street.

The ponds on the east side of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park this morning. Wind shakes the camera.

Update 6 p.m. Power out in several nearby communities – including Richmond Beach, Shoreline. All remaining ferry sailings canceled tonight. Sustained winds to 50 mph now expected Thursday.

It’s wet outside, and windy.

It’s supposed to get wetter today, and a LOT windier Thursday.

(We’ve closed the deck umbrella, which we really should have taken down while it was dry. Might move the outside chairs inside, too.)

Here’s the rundown:

* It’s ridiculously warm. Cliff Mass this morning posted:

At 10 AM, Seattle-Tacoma Airport reported 65F, the WARMEST TEMPERATURE EVER OBSERVED AT SEA-TAC FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER. I repeat this is the warmest temperature every reported for any day in December in the entire climatological record. Amazing.

(It got 1 degree warmer after that,)

* It’s going to remain wet. The forecast this afternoon is for perhaps a quarter-inch of rain, followed by more Thursday. That’s on top of .84 inches on Tuesday here at Maple Leaf Life South, and another two-thirds of an inch overnight into this morning.

* The big news is the wind. Our news partner The Seattle Times is reporting there have already been tens of thousands of people without power as early winds up to 71 mph hit the Washington coast.

* Thursday morning’s storm – the third to hit here this week – could bring wind guests of 40 mph or even 55-65 mph depending on forecast, to the central Puget Sound (i.e., us).

Mass, the University of Washington professor, thinks Ground Zero will be the Oregon coast, with hurricane-force wind gusts.

The National Weather Service, Seattle, has issued both wind and rain bulletins.


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Teen car thief suspect arrested at Northgate Mall

December 8th, 2014 by Mike

A  15-year-old suspect in multiple car thefts was arrested Sunday at the Northgate Mall food court.

Seattle Police explain that gang unit detectives working a robbery prevention detail at the mall spotted the teen “who tried to make a break for it but did not evade apprehension a second time.”

The first time was Friday morning, when Bothell police arrested nine suspects attempting to steal multiple vehicles from a car lot. The Bothell/Kenmore reporter has the story here.

Two teens got away that morning. One is still at large.

Police say the teens are also suspects in car dealership robberies in Lake City and Edmonds.

There’s a police press release titled “From the food court to juvenile court” here.

Our news partner The Seattle Times has a short story here.

Stealing or prowling cars is the most common crime reported in Seattle, and more juveniles are arrested at Northgate than any other place in the city.

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And the coming heavy rains….

December 7th, 2014 by Mike

Late afternoon at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park. Enjoy now.

“And the coming heavy rains” is in the title of Cliff Mass’ blog post today.

This is going to be a very wet week for the Northwest and northern California, with a deep trough over the eastern Pacific that will bring very moist, warm air and the jet stream right into us.

From the National Weather Service:


The forecast here is for varying amounts of rain for the next, um, seven days.

From University of Washington professor Mass: “Rake your leaves today, clear your gutters, and make sure the street drains are open!”

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Two more holiday crime items of note

December 4th, 2014 by Mike

‘Tis the season of holiday package delivery, and one reader emails this evening:

Just wanted to alert folks that there’s at least one woman trolling the neighborhood to steal packages left on porches.

Thankfully we have a neighbor who thought things seemed weird and approached her. She told our neighbor that she was just there to pick up her friend Jess’s package for her (my name is not Jess) at which point our neighbor said that was fine, but that she had her license plate number just in case.

Needless to say the would-be thief decided to leave our stuff alone. Just wanted others in the area to beware since I’m sure the number of things getting delivered this time of year is higher. We live on 11th Avenue Northeast between Lake City Way and Northeast 78th Street.

There’s also an email making the local rounds about a black pickup truck involved in package theft:

This vehicle has been spotted in various surrounding neighborhoods (at least Maple Leaf to Sunset Hill) – with a male/female team – one of whom has been seen removing packages from porches and putting them in the pickup bed and then they drive off. There is one instance on video, though not enough clarity for an ID.

Please… if you observe this vehicle in our neighborhood, be watchful and prepared to call 9 1 1 We – need to have this vehicle caught with stolen packages and people in it. The more times it’s spotted and called in, the better the chances we as a community will put a stop to this team.

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Are police doing something about stolen and prowled cars? Plus Yancy Noll suspect testifies

December 4th, 2014 by Mike

Dec. 6: Danny Westneat has a new column on the statistics.

Update: The police statistics are here. (Opens in  Adobe Reader.)

Update: The Stranger has a discussion of parts of this – “Someday You Might Not Have To Wait Forever To Report Your Stolen iPhone – But No One Knows When That Day Will Come.”


Can auto thieves really be 34 percent off their game over the last month?

That’s what Seattle Police statistics show, our news partner The Seattle Times reports.

Auto theft dropped 34 percent in November compared to October, from 576 cases to 382, according to the department. Thefts of auto accessories and auto parts, along with car prowls, decreased by 25 percent in November compared to October, from 1,250 offenses to 936.

In the previous month car thefts actually increased by a comparable amount, compared to 2013, police said earlier.

There were 525 reported auto thefts in Seattle during the month of October and a total of 4715 through the end of October. That’s a 38 percent increase from last year during the same time period.

One difference is that since some embarrassing news coverage, police say they have focused on such crimes during new meetings on using statistics and reports to identify crime hot spots.

They’ve also started a program to track stolen devices.

So did this make a difference in November’s statistics? Commenters on the Times story note: November was cold.

The map above shows stolen or prowled cars here since Nov. 15th. The website to report an abandoned, and possibly stolen, car is here. (Although refusing to load in IE.)

Also, the man accused of the 2012 drive-by shooting of Yancy Noll at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 75th Street is testifying today. The Times is following the story here.

The defense is using the  “road rage” argument.

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A Red-breasted sign of winter’s cold

November 30th, 2014 by Mike

During a cold snap (21 degrees this morning in Maple Leaf) this bird is sometimes seen here instead of in the hills.

“A few birds reliably move into residential areas during the winter months” or after a snowstorm, Birds of Seattle and Puget Sound says about the Red-breasted Sapsucker.

This bird is on a Deodar Cedar at Maple Leaf Life South.

“With its scarlet hood, the Red-breasted Sapsucker is the most brightly colored of the North American sapsuckers,” the book, by Chris C. Fisher, states.

“The Red-breasted Sapsucker is one of the easiest woodpeckers to identify by sound. It often meows like a cat, and its territorial drumming sound like random Morse code.”

In Birds of Washington, author Stan Tekiela notes it is “most common in  higher elevations, it is rare in residential areas or city parks.”

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Snow! (following a LOT of rain)

November 29th, 2014 by Mike

Snowing steadily at 6 a.m.

Sun’s out at 8 a.m.

Total at the Maple Leaf Life South official Snow Measuring Car: 1.50 inches.

Though it doesn’t seem that much.

As to Friday’s rain: 1.25 inches.

And it did seem every bit that much.

As to the forecast: Cold clear skies.




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Snow’s heading south on Black Friday…plus downtown protests

November 28th, 2014 by Mike

4:35 p.m.

2:50 p.m.:

2:47 p.m. Weather service issues Winter Weather Advisory from 9 p.m. to 11 a.m.


2:15 p.m. Maple Leaf outside temperature was 53 degrees at 7:30 a.m. Now 37 degrees.

2 p.m. Twitter reports mix of snow and rain in Shoreline.

1:45 p.m. National Weather Service in Seattle notes: “We have heard reports of snow mixed in with the rain in parts of King and Snohomish counties. This is due to the moderate rain bringing some snow down to the surface. However, no accumulation is expected.”

Then, this:

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