News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from June 2010

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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Maple Leaf could lose crime prevention coordinator

June 30th, 2010 by master

The people who work directly with our neighborhood in preventing crime could soon be out of a job. The six civilian crime prevention coordinators for the Seattle Police Department, including North Precinct coordinators Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen, have been told they’ll lose their jobs next spring when grant money runs out.

Diane Horswill and Neil Hansen.

The crime prevention coordinators work directly with residents doing everything from setting up block watches to going door to door to warn about recent crimes. They’ve been part of the police budget up until last October, when the positions then became paid for with federal grant money. That ends on March 31 of next year.

“We are the link between the community and the police department,” said crime prevention coordinator Terrie Johnston from the West Precinct. “Patrol officers are often promoted or transfer out. We’re the ones in people’s living rooms and churches.”

Johnston and her fellow coordinators have logged hundreds of community meetings over the past year. She worries that officers and precinct bosses won’t be able to give residents one-on-one attention if the crime prevention coordinators are let go.

“When we’re gone, who will take the time?”

Councilman Tim Burgess, chairman the Public Safety and Education committee, tells us his office is closely tracking the issue as it heads toward the mayor and council. If you’d like to voice your opinion, here are links to the mayor and City Council.

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First look at June crime in Maple Leaf

June 30th, 2010 by Mike

The city’s online crime map is back up and running. Here’s some of what it shows in Maple Leaf:

* More than 20 crimes were reported in the neighborhood in June. But since the crime map only got up and running this week, most of the incidents are just from the past  few days.

* Although some reports of identity theft or burglaries are dated as far back as mid-month, noticeably absent from the map is the credit union robbery that occurred inside the Roosevelt Safeway on June 18. A robbery is reported at a convenience store on June 28 in the 1100 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast.

* Homes broken into and burglarized include one in the 10700 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast and one in the 1700 block of Northeast 113th Street.

* Stolen vehicles include a car from the 300 block of Northeast Thornton Place, a car from the 9800 block of Lake City Way Northeast, a car from the 800 block of Northeast 104th Street and a motorcycle from the 500 block of Northeast Northgate Way.

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'Twilight' mayhem begins tonight at Thornton Place

June 29th, 2010 by master

Unless you have a teenage girl, you may not be aware that the vampire-teen romace “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” premieres tomorrow across the nation, getting a jump-start at many theaters with midnight showings tonight including at Regal Cinemas Thornton Place.

If the big screen isn’t big enough for you to see all of the cut-throat supernatural action surrounded by a dreary backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, it’s also showing at the IMAX at both 12:01 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., although it appears the earlier showing may already be sold out.

Unfortunately for those attending the midnight showing who aren’t teenagers, there will not be a prescreening party like there was before “Sex and the City” last month. Not really the Cosmo-sipping crowd, I suppose.

But Thornton Place is planning another event along the “Twilight” theme, you know, something you can really sink your teeth into. Have you guessed it yet? They’re holding a blood drive with the help of Puget Sound Blood Center, which will have a van outside the theater from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Maybe seeing a little fake blood will help get you in the mood to give a little … . Just show up to donate, or make a reservation here.

If you thought that was enough for one weekend, also opening is a film that might skew a little younger and more toward the opposite gender, but also spans generations: “The Last Airbender,” a live-action feature film that’s based on a Nickelodeon animated TV series.

Noah Ringer plays Aang in “The Last Airbender.” Photo credit: Industrial Light & Magic / Paramount

And with a Thursday release, Regal Cinemas Thornton Place also is planning midnight showings of the 3D version on Wednesday night.

I’d warn you to stay away from the theater this weekend, but for too many of us the allure of an exciting opening weekend like this is just too hard to resist. And hey, if you’re seeing anything besides “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” or “The Last Airbender,” you just might have the whole theater to yourself.

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Police map neighborhood crime

June 29th, 2010 by Mike

It can be a bit balky, but the city and the Seattle Police Department have created an interactive map that displays crimes from homicide to  purse-snatching and graffiti.

The city uses color-coded icons to represent the different types of crime, and says they should show up on the map within 12 hours of being reported to police. A pop-up dialogue box gives a brief summery of the crime and a police report number that can be used on the crime website officers unveiled last month.

The new map site appears to run somewhat better on Internet Explorer than on Mozilla Firefox, although it went down for scheduled maintenance as we were trying it out.

Maple Leaf Life is interested in most crimes, including car prowls and vandalism, that occur here. We’ve heard reports of break-ins at the Northgate Transit Center, and at Northwest Hospital. If you know of a crime in our neighborhood, please tell us at

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Another sign of summer – dualing lemonade stands

June 28th, 2010 by Mike

Two lemonade stands popped up Monday just a few houses apart on Northeast 89th Street between 12th and 15th avenues. The owners are all friends. Good lemonade, too. Go get some!

Dylan, left, and Lars

Connor and Eva.

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Raccoon alert – inside the house!

June 28th, 2010 by Mike

Kate writes to warn of an unusually bold raccoon:

There has been a raccoon on the block of 12th between 90th and 91st, it has been going in homes looking for food and it’s quite bold.

The crows squawk when it is on the move; your article on the crows reminded me of the raccoon.  Anyway, it has been in our yard, in the house across the street, probably in our house (through the cat door) and all along fences in the backyards.  Would be nice if we could get a photo for the blog!

We’d love to have a photo!

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Tomorrow's Spoke & Food has roots in Maple Leaf

June 28th, 2010 by master

Maple Leaf restaurants may not be participating in Tuesday’s inaugural Spoke & Food event, but the founders, Garett Slettebak and Heather Berger, just happen to be Maple Leaf residents.

Photo courtesy Garett Slettebak and Heather Berger

The couple moved here in March, and since then have been vigorously planning not only the “evening of dining & bikes” that will benefit the nonprofit Lettuce Link, but also their nuptials just four days later.

How have they found time to plan both at the same time? Slettebak tells me via e-mail:

“We don’t know. We didn’t originally plan for the Spoke & Food event to be the same week as our wedding, but that said, we didn’t want to wait. We thought about postponing the event a year but instead concluded that if we would commit to both, we’ll find a way to get them both done. It has been harder than what we both expected it to be, but both events are so important to us that we’re having a fun time preparing for them. Our friends and family have been amazing in the support they have given.”

Spoke & Food encourages people to bicycle to one of 14 Seattle restaurants, each which will donate 15% to 20% of the proceeds from participating diners to Lettuce Link, a program of Solid Ground. Participating restaurants include:

  • The Scarlett Tree (Ravenna)
  • Fiddler’s Inn (Wedgwood)
  • Cantinetta Restaurant (Wallingford)
  • Blue Star Cafe & Pub (Wallingford)
  • Barking Dog Alehouse (Greenwood/Phinney)
  • Naked City Brewery & Taphouse (Greenwood/Phinney)
  • Dad Watsons (Fremont)
  • Montlake Ale House (Montlake)
  • Louisa’s Cafe & Bakery (Eastlake)
  • The Stepping Stone (Ballard)
  • Snoose Junction Pizzeria (Ballard)
  • The Hi-Life (Ballard)
  • Mulleadys Irish Pub (Magnolia)
  • Porterhouse (West Seattle)
  • And by the time next year’s event rolls around, Slettebak is optimistic that Spoke & Food will add some Maple Leaf restuarants to the list, especially since he and Berger still are getting to know the neighborhood. [Read more →]

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    Why are huge crows attacking my head?

    June 27th, 2010 by Mike

    Photos courtesy Simone Lupson-Cook

    Ever wonder why the crows in your neighborhood suddenly start frantically cawing at you, dive bombing you and possibly even hitting you in the head as you innocently walk down the block?

    Simone Lupson-Cook, a Maple Leaf resident and falconer who has previously written here on local owls, has some answers.

    Simone continues:

    May and June are important months for our local crows. Their babies are fledging (i.e. coming out of the nest and learning to fly) and are very vulnerable at this stage. The adults are trying to keep predators away from the young as they learn what is and isn’t safe.

    Many crows live in family groups. There is a main pair but their offspring from previous years may help raise their younger siblings. This is why you might have more than just two crows yelling at you as you walk down the block.

    Some research suggests this is so they are more prepared when their time comes to breed, or perhaps there aren’t enough resources for them to have their own territory until other pairs move on or die.

    If you are harassed by crows make note of the location and perhaps try to avoid that part of the block for a couple of weeks. [Read more →]

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    Bank robber hits credit union inside Roosevelt Safeway

    June 25th, 2010 by Mike

    Police are looking for the bank robber who held up the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union inside the Safeway store at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 75th Street last Friday.

    Officers said a man walked up to the teller window at the store, 7300 Roosevelt Way N.E., about 5:30 p.m. on June 18. He handed the teller a note stating “this is a robbery,” according to police reports.

    The robber took cash from the teller, and he took his note back, too, the report indicates. “There was no evidence left behind by the suspect.”

    We’ve asked the FBI for more information and a copy of the bank’s surveillance photo.

    A different robber, the “F-Bomb Bandit” who turned out to be a 16-year-old girl, robbed the Alaska credit union inside the  QFC up the street at 11100 Roosevelt Way N.E. in February. Two months ago Seattle Police arrested a man suspected of being the “Grim Reaper Bandit” shortly before midnight outside that QFC, at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast Northgate Way.

    Both the Maple Leaf Pharmacy and Reckless Video in Maple Leaf were robbed late last year by a man who police said wanted drugs.

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