News blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf neighborhood

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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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Do you know this cat (hanging on 12th NE)?

August 17th, 2014 by Mike

Neighbors along 12th Avenue Northeast report this long-haired gray cat has been entering their houses and sleeping in their yards for the past couple of weeks.

The cat is fluffy, friendly and appears well-fed but they’re worried that it may be lost because it isn’t known to the immediate neighbors.

It is wearing a bell but doesn’t have a tag. The cat has been seen on 12th Ave. between Northeast 89th and 91st streets.

Please comment here if you know this kitty and we’ll pass it along.

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This weekend last chance to play piano at the park

August 15th, 2014 by Mike

After Sunday, the piano goes away.

From Seattle Parks:

Pianos in the Parks wraps up on Sunday, August 17!

The campaign will culminate in two great things: winning auction bidders will get to add a one-of-a-kind pianos to their homes and:

A local musician who submitted a performance video entry on the Pianos in the Parks Facebook page will be selected to perform at Concerts at the Mural, presented by KEXP and Seattle Center on August 22. To be eligible for either, the local community needs to get in their auction bids and contest entries now!

Proceeds from the piano sale benefit nonprofit partners: Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.

For more information visit the Pianos in the Parks website.

For videos of our piano, go to the Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park Facebook page.

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Pop-up-market returns to the Blue Saucer on Sunday

August 15th, 2014 by Mike

Depending on how you count, this Sunday will bring the third annual Pop-Up-Market in the parking lot of Blue Saucer.

That’s what owner Billie Bryan calls it.

But our (ahem) records show the coffee shop, at 9127 Roosevelt Way N.E., has been holding similar sales in its parking lot at least since 2010. (“Cause that’s how far back our records go.)

Billie emails:

This year we’re hosting 30 vendors with fine art photography, lawn and garden art, jewelry, hand-stitched items (cards to banners!) face painting, leather works, soaps, organic nut butters, canoli and gourmet popcorn, also fused glass and re-purposed wood products and small furniture items just to name a few!

All vendors are Local and MANY from the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Come support your local creative people!!!

Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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Any more upcoming garage/yard sales?

August 14th, 2014 by Mike

We’ve just added this announcement, from Amy, to our “Garage sales here or near” page:

40 Family Garage Sale

Saturday August 16th 8:30-4 p.m.

Not to be missed! kids toys, housewares, strollers, baby equipment, many antiques and collectibles, computer desk, tables, IKEA bunk bed, books, something for everyone!

1221 NE 90th St., Seattle – Maple Leaf Neighborhood.

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT a cappella Joy Chorus -

www.! Today only – for more information, call 206-778-5572

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A way to help family of fallen 2-year-old

August 14th, 2014 by Mike

Since the tragic death of a 2-year-old girl at Maple Leaf’s women’s shelter, several readers have asked here or on our Facebook page if there will be a fundraiser for the girl’s mother.

Today we heard back from Carol Brown at ADWAS – Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services – which runs the shelter.

What a kind offer and amazing community.

Here’s what we came up with:

If people would like to contribute to the family, people may make their checks out to ADWAS with a note on the memo line –

1) “FBO (For Benefit Of) toddler” if you would like it to go to the family or;

2) In the memo section “ADWAS” for the organization in general.

That way, either option, people can receive a tax deduction for their donation.

What a kind offer and amazing community.

I have spoken with a neighbor who has been in email contact with some folks – Jenny Russell is her name. I am not sure if she is doing something simultaneously.

Here’s what we came up with:

If people would like to contribute to the family, people may make their checks out to ADWAS with a note on the memo line –

1) “FBO (For Benefit of) toddler” if you would like it to go to the family or;

2) In the memo section “ADWAS” for the organization in general.

That way, either option, people can receive a tax deduction for their donation.

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Tragedy overnight as 2-year-old dies on N.E. 88th

August 13th, 2014 by Mike

Update 10:30 a.m.

ADWAS has released a statement:

What happened here was a tragic accident. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the family that lost such an amazing little girl. We are doing everything we can to support the residents and staff that are also affected by this tragedy as well. We are asking that you please respect the family’s privacy at this time.


A 2-year-old girl died about 7:20 p.m. after falling from a third-story window at Northeast 88th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast.

From Seattle Police:

Around 7:30 p.m. police and medics responded to the 800 block of NE 88th St for the injured baby girl. The child fell from the window to the ground below.

Medics immediately began lifesaving efforts and transported the child to Harborview Medical Center, where she died.


The apartment building is run by Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Services, and neighbors said the child’s mother is hearing impaired.

Neighbors in the building were shocked to learn of the accident.

“This little girl was amazing,” one neighbor said. “She was beautiful. This nice laugh, beautiful smile. I miss her so much.”

Police say the fall was accidental and no charges will be filed.

The tragedy came at the end of a record-breaking heat spell. As our news partner The Seattle Times reported in a 2008 story: “Every year, as the weather warms and parents open their windows, dozens of young children … are rushed to local hospitals after suffering falls from windows and balconies.”

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HOT! (again) as Maple Leaf hits 94 degrees

August 11th, 2014 by Mike

Sunday night’s supermoon from Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

It’s hot – the hottest day of the year in Maple Leaf by one degree.

It hit 94 at Maple Leaf Life South around 4 p.m., breaking the previous record here for 2014 set on July 1.

The daily record at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was broken, too, according to the National Weather Service’s Seattle office: “Sea-Tac Airport reached 96 today, breaking the old record of 95 for this date back in 1977.”

Also, from the weather service’s Facebook page:

The heat is forecast to snap on Tuesday, with possible thunderstorms, a high of 82 degrees and an overnight low (important for cooling down the inside of your home) of 58 degrees.

Then, temperatures in the 70s, with a chance of rain through Thursday.

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Eleven things about urban bees and your garden

August 9th, 2014 by Mike

By Caroline Young Ullmann

Maple Leaf Community Garden Plot No. 4

The Urban Pollination Project gave a workshop on bees this week at the Maple Leaf Community Garden.

In the photo, Susan Waters is showing a group of nine pea patch gardeners how to identify bees, wasps and flies. (See below.)

Waters, a co-founder of the pollination project, holds a PhD from the University of Washington.

Here’s some of what the class learned:

1) Generally speaking, wasps are shiny and smooth and bees are fuzzy.

2) Bee hairs are branched to collect pollen.

3) Male wasps and bees don’t sting.

4) Wasps don’t pollinate but they’re good in the garden because they eat insects like aphids off our plants.

5) Bumble bees in North America are rapidly declining and that’s bad because they pollinate a lot of crops.

6) Nearly all tomato plants in Seattle are pollinated by bumble bees because they are hefty enough to vibrate the flowers.

7) About 15-20 years ago, our most common bumble was the Western bumble bee (the one with the white butt) but it has virtually disappeared and no one knows why. Now the yellow-faced bumble bee is super-common.

8)  Honey bees can range 5 miles or so to forage; there isn’t data on urban bumble bees but the suspicion is they travel only one-quarter of a mile.

9) If honey bees decide they don’t like their queen, they’ll surround her and vibrate so rapidly they fry her to death.

10) We have a weird territorial bee (an invasive called the European wool carder) that will decide it “owns” a flowering plant and body slam other bees that come too close.

11) Tips to attract bees to your garden: Don’t use pesticides; leave piles of twigs on the ground for bumbles to nest beneath; plant a sequence of flowers throughout the growing season.

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