News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Entries from March 2014

PCC’s new store at Green Lake to open June 4

March 24th, 2014 by Mike

Just before noon we heard from PCC that its long-anticipated new Green Lake store – which will be the closest PCC to Maple Leaf – will open June 4.

It will be just down Fifth Avenue Northeast at the location of the old Vitamilk Dairy, which closed a decade ago after 60 years at Green Lake.

It’s a bit behind schedule. The store was originally expected to open in 2013.

The new PCC will be part of the Green Lake Village mixed-use development between Northeast 72nd and 71st streets along Woodlawn and Fifth avenues northeast.

The existing Greenlake PCC, on Aurora Avenue North, will remain.

Long-time residents will remember when the PCC at Greenlake was a block west of the south end of the lake, just off Northeast 65th Street.

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PCC's new store at Green Lake to open June 4

March 24th, 2014 by Mike

Just before noon we heard from PCC that its long-anticipated new Green Lake store – which will be the closest PCC to Maple Leaf – will open June 4.

It will be just down Fifth Avenue Northeast at the location of the old Vitamilk Dairy, which closed a decade ago after 60 years at Green Lake.

It’s a bit behind schedule. The store was originally expected to open in 2013.

The new PCC will be part of the Green Lake Village mixed-use development between Northeast 72nd and 71st streets along Woodlawn and Fifth avenues northeast.

The existing Greenlake PCC, on Aurora Avenue North, will remain.

Long-time residents will remember when the PCC at Greenlake was a block west of the south end of the lake, just off Northeast 65th Street.

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Debate begins over transit tax vote – plus: The bus passed me by!

March 20th, 2014 by Mike

Two weeks before ballots are mailed in the April vote on hiking  taxes to prevent a 17 percent cut in bus service, our news partner The Seattle Times has two transit stories today.

The first is on a debate in Bellevue Wednesday over the proposal for an additional $60 car-tab fee and a tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax increase for roads and buses.

It did not go particularly well for pro-transit advocates, the Times notes:

An early face-to-face over King County’s proposed car-tab-and-sales-tax measure to fund transit and roads took place in front of one of the few organizations opposing the measure, the pro-highway Eastside Transportation Association (ETA)….

…audience members complained about how Metro King County Transit is managed, voiced concerns about seeing some virtually empty buses on some routes and suggested having bus passengers themselves pick up a larger share of the service’s costs.

Metro historically has had difficulty providing the Eastside   – in the past not bus friendly – with enough service to justify the transit  tax dollars the region contributed. One result was buses operated with few riders.

The other, more lively, story is an attempt by the Times to crowd-source the answer to this question: “Full Metro bus pass you by?

“Crowded buses so full they sometimes have to pass by would-be riders. That’s been one manifestation of King County Metro Transit ridership growing back to pre-recession levels.

“Has a full bus passed you by at a bus stop? Tell us about it, we’re mapping pass-ups.”

Ballots will be mailed April 2 for the April 22 election.

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Heavy hail hits Maple Leaf

March 19th, 2014 by Mike

At 2:50 p.m. a hailstorm swept through Maple Leaf.

At 2:53 it stopped.

KIRO reports: “Hail now being reported over north King County.. Even north Seattle. Conv zone is roaring pretty good right now.”

Forecast says thunderstorms are possible this afternoon and evening.

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Crow’s eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. 🙂

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.

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Crow's eye view of the Maple Leaf Portal dig

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

A reader sent us this link to a construction cam atop the Maple Leaf Portal work site.

(Sometimes we can get it to work. Sometimes we can’t. Go figure.)

He also says First Avenue  Northeast at the site, which is currently one-way southbound, may not reopen in both directions as scheduled at the end of this month.

“The contractor just requested that they keep it one lane through May. (Sound Transit) hasn’t decided yet if they’re going to grant that yet, and part of that decision will be up to SDOT.”

A different reader, who clearly knows a lot more about the light rail project than we do, emailed the below last week.

Glossary (by editor):

TBM =  Tunnel Boring Machine (we think).

ST = Sound Transit.

Brenda = TBM named after a project manager’s wife, according to comments on an earlier post. Brenda is not Bertha, the whopping big TBM stuck on its way under downtown.

North Link = light rail that will run from Husky Stadium to Roosevelt Station to Northgate. It should reach Northgate in 2021.

Togo and Balto: From the same comments: “The two TBMs that are digging from UW to Capitol Hill were named Togo and Balto after famous Huskies – the four-legged kind.”

The fact sheet regarding tunneling in the North Link document archive notes that one TBM will be launched from Maple Leaf toward Roosevelt, where it will be trucked back to Maple Leaf for re-launch. Two TBMs will be launched from Roosevelt toward UW.

Brenda’s remnants are definitely at Maple Leaf, ST noted that in an earlier press release. Probably fitted with a new shield assembly and cutter head. I believe the original shield was left in place in the tunnel near the Paramount. I’m guessing Togo and Balto will likely be reused on the Roosevelt to UW segment, as that would be a cost effective move for the contractor and probably figured into their bid. Maybe rename them Brendaborg, Togoborg and Baltoborg. 🙂

Looking forward to this group trying to beat the ULINK bar for cost and schedule, but we shall see, hopefully no immovable objects stand in their way.

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“Plan B” vote to hike transit taxes arrives next month

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

The state Legislature gave up and went home Thursday night, having punted on most issues facing it.

Including transportation.

From our news partner The Seattle Times:

Last May’s Interstate 5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River was not enough to persuade the parties to come together to pass a long-negotiated, multibillion dollar transportation package.

Crosscut.com has a piece on the transportation flame-out here.

What’s this mean for us?

Next month we’ll be asked to substantially raise our local transit taxes. Or suffer serious cuts to Metro transit service next year, including the elimination of several routes that serve Maple Leaf.

Affected would be routes 41, 77, 73, 68, 306 … it goes on. The full list is here. Our report from December is here.

On the day all nine members of the King County Council voted to put the taxes on the April 22nd ballot, the Times reported:

King County voters will decide in April on a $60 car-tab fee and a tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax increase for roads and buses.

On Monday, the Metropolitan King County Council also passed a 25-cent fare increase for bus riders starting in 2015. Peak one-zone fares are $2.50 now, and peak-two-zone fares are $3.

The increases all make up a funding package the county pulled together to save King County Metro Transit from threatened service cuts of as much as 17 percent. The county had hoped the Legislature would act to save the bus system, but it didn’t.

That last-ditch plan was called “Plan B” from its onset. Plan A was the hope the Legislature, as it dealt with transportation, would give the county authority to use other varieties of taxes that aren’t as regressive as Plan B. One proposal involved a county-only, car-tab tax based on a vehicle’s value.

At the end of February, Melanie, a neighbor and Maple Leaf bus commuter, wrote us to encourage support for the April measure, pointing out cuts would affect many University of Washington employees and students, “many of whom live in Maple Leaf.

“I think not many folks are aware this is coming up so soon” as the April 22 ballot, she wrote.

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"Plan B" vote to hike transit taxes arrives next month

March 14th, 2014 by Mike

The state Legislature gave up and went home Thursday night, having punted on most issues facing it.

Including transportation.

From our news partner The Seattle Times:

Last May’s Interstate 5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River was not enough to persuade the parties to come together to pass a long-negotiated, multibillion dollar transportation package.

Crosscut.com has a piece on the transportation flame-out here.

What’s this mean for us?

Next month we’ll be asked to substantially raise our local transit taxes. Or suffer serious cuts to Metro transit service next year, including the elimination of several routes that serve Maple Leaf.

Affected would be routes 41, 77, 73, 68, 306 … it goes on. The full list is here. Our report from December is here.

On the day all nine members of the King County Council voted to put the taxes on the April 22nd ballot, the Times reported:

King County voters will decide in April on a $60 car-tab fee and a tenth-of-a-cent sales-tax increase for roads and buses.

On Monday, the Metropolitan King County Council also passed a 25-cent fare increase for bus riders starting in 2015. Peak one-zone fares are $2.50 now, and peak-two-zone fares are $3.

The increases all make up a funding package the county pulled together to save King County Metro Transit from threatened service cuts of as much as 17 percent. The county had hoped the Legislature would act to save the bus system, but it didn’t.

That last-ditch plan was called “Plan B” from its onset. Plan A was the hope the Legislature, as it dealt with transportation, would give the county authority to use other varieties of taxes that aren’t as regressive as Plan B. One proposal involved a county-only, car-tab tax based on a vehicle’s value.

At the end of February, Melanie, a neighbor and Maple Leaf bus commuter, wrote us to encourage support for the April measure, pointing out cuts would affect many University of Washington employees and students, “many of whom live in Maple Leaf.

“I think not many folks are aware this is coming up so soon” as the April 22 ballot, she wrote.

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Detectives seeking Cinnabon burglar at Northgate

March 10th, 2014 by Mike

Number 25 did it.

That might be the clearest thing about the surveillance photos above.

Here’s the rest of the story, as posted this afternoon by Seattle Police:

Seattle police are hoping someone will roll over on a burglar who snuck into the Northgate Mall early last Thursday and made a beeline for the Cinnabon.

Around 6:45 a.m. on March 6th, the suspect crept through an unlocked service entrance and walked directly to the Cinnabon at the south end of the mall.

The suspect began crawling around inside the store—which had not opened for the day—where he stole three small bottles of milk and crawled into an office. The suspect spent the next eight minutes inside the office, where he stole several thousand dollars in cash. The suspect then limped out of the store and down a hallway, and quickly limped off down First Avenue Northeast.

Detectives don’t know much about the suspect other than the fact that he has a medium build, was wearing a red mask or bandanna, and has a significant limp on his left leg.

If you recognize this suspect or know anything about this case, please call (206) 625-5011.

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Kona Kitchen’s funny YouTube video

March 10th, 2014 by Mike

We just came across this video over the weekend, featuring Kona Kitchen owner and actor Yuji Okumoto. Enjoy!

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