News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Help plan Sacajawea park tonight

January 31st, 2012 by Mike

There’s a little-known  bit of green space just south of Sacajawea Elementary School, and tonight there’s a meeting over how to improve both it and the school’s upper playground.

According to the project’s website:

The school’s current play structure and asphalt surface are in extremely poor and unsafe condition, and both the playground and adjacent city park suffer from poor drainage issues from the connecting wetland that is contributory to Thornton Creek.

The meeting, from 6-8 p.m. at the school’s lunchroom, 9501 20th Ave. N.E., “is intended to gather community input and ideas and to discuss where to focus funding, with the wetland area being key.”

More details are available at the project website, but they are promising free pizza and activities for the kids attending!

If you can’t attend the meetings but would like to share your ideas or ask a question, fill out a feedback form. Thanks!

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Survey on creating stable funding for Seattle Parks system

February 24th, 2011 by master

The Seattle Parks Foundation has released a report on the problems facing Seattle’s parks, in light of budget problems. The foundation is asking the public to take an online survey about finding stable funding for operations and maintenance of the park system.

The Parks Department lacks a sustainable source of ongoing operations and maintenance funding and faces an annual $25 million shortfall. This has led to a backlog of major maintenance projects in excess of $200 million, increased user fees, and reduced community center hours. Left unaddressed, the problem will only worsen over time

The survey asks questions about your family’s park usage, whether you have or would consider volunteering to help clean up parks or teach programs at community centers, and your opinion on several possible park maintenance funding options. It takes about 10 minutes to complete.

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Maple Leaf landmark water tower to stay

August 24th, 2010 by Mike

We get to keep it.

The water tank and tower that are THE face of Maple Leaf have been sitting empty since last year, and will never be put back in service. Their structure isn’t up to earthquake standards for holding eight million pounds of water 100 feet in the air.

Keeping even an empty tank will require maintenance, such as painting, but Seattle Public Utilities has decided it’s worth it, as it generates revenue from its secondary use as an antenna tower.

“It is still used to support communications antennae and there are no active plans to remove (the tank and tower),”  e-mails Andy Ryan, media relations coordinator for Seattle Public Utilities.

“The exterior of the tank needs to be recoated (for aesthetic reasons) and that work is planned for 2011. The recoating should last somewhere between 10 to 20 years–hopefully closer to 20 years given the lack of water in the tank.”

The water tower was built near the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 85th Street in 1949 to replace two towers built nearly a hundred years ago, around 1915.

Since it became known the tank was empty, many Maple Leaf Life readers have had suggestions for its future. A sample:

Timmcb: “I think it would be a great lookout tower with one of the best views in Seattle if it was retrofitted for safety. It would be cheaper than creating something wholly new (viewing platform, landscaped hill) for the new park.”

EnduroDriver: “Take it down, the city has such a huge list of unfunded projects that would provide actual value for rate payers why would we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars maintaining an empty tank.”

SimoneBird: “Why not make it into a Peregrine Falcon nesting area? An adult has been seen perched on it off and on for the last two years or so.”

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Nuisance house by Thornton Creek destroyed

August 10th, 2010 by Mike

A derelict house that neighbors said was being used by delinquents and the homeless was destroyed this week by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

As a neighbor living two lots from the property, we’ve watched as the abandoned house has been repeatedly broken into by teens, the homeless, and others. The police have responded to this location several times and have found evidence of drug use, fires built in the home, and even recovered stolen property found in the home.

The house was at the intersection of Northeast 105th Street and Eighth Avenue Northeast. That’s now part of Thornton Creek Park No. 6, which is managed by the parks department, and will be left as open space.

Thornton Creek forms Seattle’s largest watershed, draining 11.6 square miles before flowing into Lake Washington at Matthews Beach.

The giant tree that lives right by the demolished house? It’s still there.

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Bald Eagle at Maple Leaf playfield

August 2nd, 2010 by Mike

Wildlife alert! Eileen Anderson sent us this cell phone photo of a bald eagle at the Maple Leaf playfield on Friday.

“Are bald eagles seen often in Maple Leaf?” she asked. This one was perched at the top of a tree, being dive-bombed by one gull and one crow. “I hadn’t seen a bald eagle in the neighborhood before.”

The answer is, yes. Bald eagles are not an everyday occurrence in Maple Leaf, but they’re not rare either. A few months back there was a pair of eagles on Northeast 89th Street just west of 15th Avenue Northeast, also being mobbed by crows.

Simone Lupson-Cook, a birder friend who has written for Maple Leaf Life previously, recently said the eagles often seen at Green Lake have made forays here to raid nests for baby crows. Those eagles are known to have nested in Woodland Park.

During the war over preserving the trees at Waldo Hospital, mention was made of a bald eagle seen in one of the Douglas firs there.

Other raptor visitors to Maple Leaf include Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, who are usually seen looking for prey near bird feeders. And many summers osprey (fish hawks) are seen overhead, or sometimes perched on the antenna tower at the Comcast building, Northeast 89th Street and Roosevelt Way Northeast, eating a salmon poached from Lake Union.

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The giant tree is safe (the old house is going)

July 31st, 2010 by Mike

The giant Sequoia tree that reader Patrick LoCicero wants to save (see the Maple Leaf Life Facebook page) will apparently be preserved.

Cheryl Eastberg with Seattle Parks and Recreation reports: “No plans  to remove or harm the tree.  We may need to put some wire fence around it as a preventative measure to deter beaver chewing.” That’s because the tree is in Thornton Creek Park No. 6, the park where the Maple Leaf beavers live. “Beavers don’t typically choose evergreen trees, but they also are not entirely predictable.”

We’ve most recently written about trouble at an abandoned house, which can be seen behind the tree, that the parks department plans to tear down. Eastberg says the demolition is tentatively scheduled for next week.

Then the land will be preserved as a natural area, she said.

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Save Maple Leaf’s giant tree?

July 27th, 2010 by Mike

Over on our Maple Leaf Life Facebook page, Patrick LoCicero wants to save a giant tree in the neighborhood just a block off busy Fifth Avenue Northeast.

SAVE THE TREE!! There is a 200 to 300 year old Sequoia Tree on the corner of 105th and 8th Ave NE down from the NorthGate Community Center. It sits right on Thornton Creek and is a beauty. It would make a wonderful addition to the park!!! Go see for your self!!! The wooden fence that hid it is gone!!!

He’s talking about Thornton Creek Park No. 6, the park where the Maple Leaf beavers live. We’ve most recently written about trouble at an abandoned house there that the Seattle Parks and Recreation plans to tear down.

We’ll ask the the parks department what it plans for the tree. Which is so big it’s hard to take a photo of.

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Save Maple Leaf's giant tree?

July 27th, 2010 by Mike

Over on our Maple Leaf Life Facebook page, Patrick LoCicero wants to save a giant tree in the neighborhood just a block off busy Fifth Avenue Northeast.

SAVE THE TREE!! There is a 200 to 300 year old Sequoia Tree on the corner of 105th and 8th Ave NE down from the NorthGate Community Center. It sits right on Thornton Creek and is a beauty. It would make a wonderful addition to the park!!! Go see for your self!!! The wooden fence that hid it is gone!!!

He’s talking about Thornton Creek Park No. 6, the park where the Maple Leaf beavers live. We’ve most recently written about trouble at an abandoned house there that the Seattle Parks and Recreation plans to tear down.

We’ll ask the the parks department what it plans for the tree. Which is so big it’s hard to take a photo of.

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Maple Leaf homeless camp is gone

June 30th, 2010 by Mike

A police officer and crews from the state Department of  Transportation removed the homeless camp in Maple Leaf above Interstate 5 late Wednesday morning. This “Notice and Order to Remove” is all that’s left.

A reader, Thor, notified police, the Transportation Department and us two weeks ago. “The other day my family walked to Rainbow Point park and noticed a homeless camp right next to the park, on the slope above I-5,” Thor wrote. “The location is near the top of a slope southwest of the intersection of NE 75th St and NE Banner Place.”

The Transportation Department said they will remove such camps, but must coordinate with police. The notice was posted June 25. “This is not an authorized area for storage or shelter,” it says. “All material will be disposed of in 72 hours.”

A half-dozen readers commented on our original story. Carl wrote: “That’s the ‘homeless bike dude’ …  he’s been there for years, but used to live a little further north on the other side of I-5. He is a fixture in Maple Leaf/Roosevelt/GreenLake trolling local arterials for cig. butts.”

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Watch the entire video of the meeting on Maple Leaf Reservoir Park

June 23rd, 2010 by Mike

Last week’s final design meeting for the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park has drawn more comments than any story since Maple Leaf Life launched.

Now it’s possible to watch the entire video of the two-plus-hour meeting.

The Maple Leaf Community Council has posted the video here. Be warned: It’s split up into 15 parts!

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