News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Salmon Watcher Training coming to Northgate

September 6th, 2010 by master

Would you like to play a bigger role in protecting our region’s salmon?

The Salmon Watcher Program is inviting you to take part in its annual effort to collect information about the the salmon spawning in our creeks, and is even bringing a class on how to become a Salmon Watcher to our doorstep at Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E.

The class, from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 29, will train volunteers to collect important information about returning salmon in creeks in and around Seattle. As a volunteer, you will spend 15 minutes twice a week, from September through December, watching for fish on your assigned creek site.

The information helps local jurisdictions know where salmon are spawning in our streams, and sometimes where barriers exist to salmon migration. Volunteers act as our “eyes and ears” in the watersheds and give us a heads up when things go awry in our neighborhood creeks.

For more information, call 206-263-6533

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Fight over Maple Leaf's Waldo Hospital issue MIGHT be over

April 29th, 2010 by Mike

Update: 3:40 p.m. The Maple Leaf Community Council agrees the fight might be over due to a “new development:”

We have received word that Camp Fire will now sign the conservation easement due to subsequent negotiations between MMSC and Camp Fire. The paperwork has NOT been signed yet, however.

So, we ask you to pause your letters and phone calls for a short while until we get confirmation the paperwork has indeed been signed. We hope this confirmation will arrive next week.

The war over 80 mature Douglas fir trees at the old Waldo Hospital on 15th Avenue Northeast  may have  ended – again – Thursday as Camp Fire, the property’s previous owners, agreed to preserve the trees.

The news came after two days of public pressure from the Maple Leaf Community Council, which dubbed the trees “Waldo Woods” and has fought over the issue for four years.

Last month the council announced that the trees had been saved with a conservation easement. But on Tuesday the council said Camp Fire had refused to sign off on the deal.

At Wednesday night’s Community Council general meeting David Miller, chair of the council’s Waldo Working Group, implored the largely sympathetic audience to lobby Camp Fire to sign. He also discussed two other Waldo issues.

Thursday morning Camp Fire said it has accepted an offer from the property’s current owners, the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder Day School. In a news release, Camp Fire said:

Camp Fire has always been supportive of MMSC goals to renovate the building and preserve the land as they see fit.  Our Board of Directors has reviewed and accepted a recent offer from the school regarding the easement.  We are delighted that all parties can now move forward.

In an short interview, Sue Bean, Camp Fire’s chief development and marketing officer, said the nonprofit organization has to be careful with its budget. “We were thrilled that the school bought (the property). We’ve been in negotiations for months. Our board has conveyed to their representative that we have accepted the offer.”

Bean couldn’t say whether the school’s offer had changed since Tuesday, and the school hasn’t returned an earlier call. She did said Camp Fire is fully supportive of preserving the trees. “The environment is so much about what Camp Fire is about.” An earlier statement from Camp Fire is here.

[Read more →]

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Fight over Maple Leaf’s Waldo Hospital issue MIGHT be over

April 29th, 2010 by Mike

Update: 3:40 p.m. The Maple Leaf Community Council agrees the fight might be over due to a “new development:”

We have received word that Camp Fire will now sign the conservation easement due to subsequent negotiations between MMSC and Camp Fire. The paperwork has NOT been signed yet, however.

So, we ask you to pause your letters and phone calls for a short while until we get confirmation the paperwork has indeed been signed. We hope this confirmation will arrive next week.

The war over 80 mature Douglas fir trees at the old Waldo Hospital on 15th Avenue Northeast  may have  ended – again – Thursday as Camp Fire, the property’s previous owners, agreed to preserve the trees.

The news came after two days of public pressure from the Maple Leaf Community Council, which dubbed the trees “Waldo Woods” and has fought over the issue for four years.

Last month the council announced that the trees had been saved with a conservation easement. But on Tuesday the council said Camp Fire had refused to sign off on the deal.

At Wednesday night’s Community Council general meeting David Miller, chair of the council’s Waldo Working Group, implored the largely sympathetic audience to lobby Camp Fire to sign. He also discussed two other Waldo issues.

Thursday morning Camp Fire said it has accepted an offer from the property’s current owners, the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder Day School. In a news release, Camp Fire said:

Camp Fire has always been supportive of MMSC goals to renovate the building and preserve the land as they see fit.  Our Board of Directors has reviewed and accepted a recent offer from the school regarding the easement.  We are delighted that all parties can now move forward.

In an short interview, Sue Bean, Camp Fire’s chief development and marketing officer, said the nonprofit organization has to be careful with its budget. “We were thrilled that the school bought (the property). We’ve been in negotiations for months. Our board has conveyed to their representative that we have accepted the offer.”

Bean couldn’t say whether the school’s offer had changed since Tuesday, and the school hasn’t returned an earlier call. She did said Camp Fire is fully supportive of preserving the trees. “The environment is so much about what Camp Fire is about.” An earlier statement from Camp Fire is here.

[Read more →]

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Where's (the south entrance to) Waldo?

April 14th, 2010 by Mike

Reconstruction has begun on the exterior of the old Waldo Hospital just off 15th Avenue Northeast. The historic hospital will soon be the new campus of the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder Day School.

Work on the interior of the building began earlier this year. The school has photos here. We’ve called them to find out what else might happen to the outside.

The Maple Leaf Community Council waged a three-year fight to prevent the hospital and the grove of trees on the property being turned into condos.

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Where’s (the south entrance to) Waldo?

April 14th, 2010 by Mike

Reconstruction has begun on the exterior of the old Waldo Hospital just off 15th Avenue Northeast. The historic hospital will soon be the new campus of the Menachem Mendel Seattle Cheder Day School.

Work on the interior of the building began earlier this year. The school has photos here. We’ve called them to find out what else might happen to the outside.

The Maple Leaf Community Council waged a three-year fight to prevent the hospital and the grove of trees on the property being turned into condos.

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What should we build in Maple Leaf's Park No. 6?

April 14th, 2010 by Mike

There’s a huge amount of discussion going on about what the new park on top of the Maple Leaf reservoir should look like. (Don’t forget to attend the meeting next Thursday evening. Here’s a summary of results from the last one.)

Meanwhile, there’s a little-known park to the north where the Maple Leaf beavers and, sometimes, brightly marked wood ducks live. It’s is officially called Thornton Creek Park No. 6 by both the city and the Homewaters Project.

What should we build there? The answer, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation, is “not much.”

“The park will remain a natural area, with passive use,” said Cheryl Eastberg of the parks department. “It really doesn’t have any areas that would support active use” such as a playground, she said.

[Read more →]

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What should we build in Maple Leaf’s Park No. 6?

April 14th, 2010 by Mike

There’s a huge amount of discussion going on about what the new park on top of the Maple Leaf reservoir should look like. (Don’t forget to attend the meeting next Thursday evening. Here’s a summary of results from the last one.)

Meanwhile, there’s a little-known park to the north where the Maple Leaf beavers and, sometimes, brightly marked wood ducks live. It’s is officially called Thornton Creek Park No. 6 by both the city and the Homewaters Project.

What should we build there? The answer, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation, is “not much.”

“The park will remain a natural area, with passive use,” said Cheryl Eastberg of the parks department. “It really doesn’t have any areas that would support active use” such as a playground, she said.

[Read more →]

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Maple Leaf beavers under attack

April 6th, 2010 by Mike

Final (we hope) update: Seattle Public Utilities late this afternoon says it went too far on Monday in breaching part of Maple Leaf’s beaver dam.

“It is sometimes necessary to remove small parts of the beavers’ dam,” reported the utility’s Andy Ryan after an investigation of the incident, “but in this case the work performed by our staff exceeded our normal procedures.

“Although we do not believe there will be any long-term adverse impacts to the Thornton Creek beavers as a result (of) our actions this week, we are taking immediate action—including stepped-up training for workers who may be assigned to deal with beaver dams—to ensure that this kind of mistake won’t be repeated,” Ryan said.

Further update: The crew and trucks from Seattle Public Utilities are gone. The beaver pond remains.

Also, the original post at the P-I site… has vanished. No, now (mid-afternoon) a version of it is back.

A male mallard in the beaver pond Tuesday morning.

UPDATE: Andy Ryan at Seattle Public Utilities says they are checking to see exactly what work is being done at the beaver dam and pond. “We do lots of work maintaining beaver dams throughout the city to avoid urban flooding.”

Ryan also says city Mayor Mike McGinn had nothing to do with the work. (The P-I post, headlined “Mayor attacks Maple Leaf beaver,” quotes a worker as saying the mayor ordered the work.) “The mayor didn’t talk to anybody at SPU,” Ryan said. “That was a flippant response from a temporary worker.”

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Two trucks and a crew from Seattle Public Utilities are at the site of Maple Leaf’s beaver dam and pond this morning after a report that a worker apparently from the utility department attacked the dam with an ax on Monday.

The report, from Marc Phillips, president of the Maple Leaf Community Council, is posted at the Seattle P-I’s North Seattle blog. It quotes Cheryl Eastberg of Seattle parks as saying the destruction must stop immediately.

We’ve contacted the mayor’s office, parks and SPU, and will update as soon as we learn more facts.

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Wildlife alert: Beavers in Maple Leaf!

April 1st, 2010 by Mike

It’s true: A family of beavers have dammed a piece of Thornton Creek and created a beaver pond right here in Maple Leaf.

We heard about it from Rob Stevens:

Out walking the dog in north Maple Leaf and I stumbled upon a beaver dam in Maple Leaf!  Who would have thunk it!? The beaver dam is just 2 blocks east of Northgate Mall at 106th St and 8th Ave.

We went to check. Sure enough, we found a downy woodpecker whacking above what used to be a tree-lined wetland with a small creek. It’s much wetter now – in fact it’s a pond with a beaver lodge (above) and a dam that’s raised the level of the pond at least 2 feet above the creek.

[Read more →]

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Maple Leaf's endangered water tower is too low (and no good in an earthquake)

March 30th, 2010 by Mike

We’ve had more discussion on the plight of our empty water tower than on anything we posted since Maple Leaf Life launched. The city has no plans to return the 60-year-old neighborhood landmark to service, and no one knows if the tower will remain or be torn down.

There are opinions on both sides (including the innovative idea of turning it into a lookout tower for the new reservoir park), but Pablo wondered: ” How are we continuing to get adequate water pressure without this tank?”

We asked Seattle Public Utilities. Here’s what we learned:

* For the past 55 years, parts of Maple Leaf never have had adequate water pressure. Our water pressure depends on gravity, and the tower is too low.

* We’ve had better water pressure since last fall, when the  tower was emptied and we started getting water from a reservoir that’s 20 feet higher than our tower.

* The tower, which when full holds 8 million pounds of water 100 feet in the air, isn’t up to earthquake standards.

[Read more →]

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