News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from December 2011

Sidewalk construction on Lake City Way

December 19th, 2011 by Mike

By Mwiza Kalisa

In most of Maple Leaf sidewalks end around Northeast 85th Street, but a new stretch of sidewalk going in on Lake City Way this spring proves there is still hope that the North End will someday become more pedestrian-friendly.

The new sidewalk, bridging a span of Lake City Way from the staircase at Northeast 95th Street, is connected to a six-unit housing development being built at Northeast 95h between Lake City Way and 20th Avenue Northeast.

The Maple Leaf Community Council and neighbors have been actively supporting the sidewalk addition, which will provide safer access to nearby Sacajawea Elementary School, among other schools and bus stops.

Initially the developer had no plans to construct a sidewalk, arguing that since the houses wouldn’t have access to Lake City Way, a sidewalk didn’t have to be built. But with plans to convert the staircase just west of Northeast 95th into a driveway for a development, the Maple Leaf Community Council ensured that the city require the sidewalk.

“Because sidewalk funds are so limited in the city, as neighborhood advocates you resign  yourselves to the fact that you take what you can get,” said David Miller, a member of the council’s executive board. “We didn’t get everything that we wanted, but you never do. We get a sidewalk on Lake City Way, which never would have happened any other way.”

Many community members, especially parents, are concerned about the impacts of the construction site. Parents are worried about the safety of their children at Sacajawea, located on 20th Avenue Northeast.

Scott Kemp, a city senior land use planner at the Department of Planning and Development, said that the school district has expressed similar concerns. To protect schoolchildren during construction, the developer has proposed to improve the intersection of 20th Avenue and 95th street. [Read more →]

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Video from tour under Maple Leaf Reservoir

December 19th, 2011 by master

While Maple Leaf Life was busy helping with the tours underneath the Maple Leaf Reservoir last weekend, Mwiza Kalisa, the intern for all of Next Door Media, the umbrella news group that includes Maple Leaf Life, was busy shooting video.

To experience the tour firsthand, watch this first video that includes  all of the information participants learned during the tour from Project Manager Stephanie Murphy.

If you just want to spend your whole video experience underneath the reservoir, check out this shorter, second video. Be sure to turn your sound on, too, if you want to hear how extreme the echo is down there.

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Eagles Aerie One invites you to holiday events

December 16th, 2011 by master

Now that the Fraternal Order of Eagles Mother Aerie One is in full swing, President Dan Kerege would like to remind Maple Leaf residents that they’re welcome to stop by any evening during Social Club hours, 3-10 p.m. (or later) daily, though until you’re a member you’ll have to sign in as a guest.

The social club in Maple Leaf at 8201 Lake City Way N.E. also has special holiday events coming up, including a Holiday Social at 8 tonight featuring karaoke with Mr. Bill and food to go with it from Chef Tom, followed by a New Year’s Eve party with the Motown Cowboys.

In addition, you’re also invited to perform at the acoustic open mic every Wednesday from 8-11 p.m. with Brad Russell. “Bring your instrument or come to sing!” Kerege says.

For more information, read our earlier post “Eagles Aerie One opens its Maple Leaf social club.”

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Meet Maple Leaf board member Howard Handewith

December 16th, 2011 by master

Since we last profiled new members of the Maple Leaf Community Council’s executive board, including Donna Hartmann-Miller,  Tyler Letey and Matt Stockbridge, two new members have joined the board: Howard Handewith and Helen Chatalas. Here’s a bit more about Handewith:

Full name:
Howard J. Handewith

Current Occupation:
Geologist (retired)

When did you move to Maple Leaf?
In 1984, after completing five years of research for the U.S. Bureau of Mines in Pittsburgh.

What current Maple Leaf issue are you most excited about?
Neighborhood emergency preparedness.

What is the one thing you hope to accomplish while on the board?
Improving individual participation in emergency preparedness.

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Reader reports of crime in the neighborhood

December 15th, 2011 by Mike

Over the past few weeks, while we’re been swamped with the Maple Leaf Life reservoir tour, several readers have checked in about suspicious activity on their street.

On Tuesday, Karen reported that two packages were tampered with on her porch on Dec. 8.

“I came home that day to find two packages, one opened with the label ripped off and nothing inside (and no identifying marks on the box to help with finding out what had been inside); the other box intact.

“Anyone else having these issues? I’ve never had this as a problem before and am a bit perplexed….”

Our most recent report on mail thefts and car prowls is here.

Earlier in the month another reader emailed, “there was broken glass all over the front entry at (Cafe) Piccolo’s at 7:00 this morning and the police were on the scene.” There was still plywood over the door, at 9400 Roosevelt Way N.E.,  the last time we drove by; the police report says the burglary occurred on Dec. 5 around 11 p.m.

Speaking of restaurants, the Hudson New American Public House tweeted last month: “Public walk in broken into last night! Cut the lock and made off with a box of pork bones, pail of shucked oysters, and bag of clams.”

That police report says the restaurant, at 8014 15th Ave. N.E., was broken into on Nov. 12.

That’s a map, on the right, of home and commercial burglaries in the area since our last such report. We count over two dozen burglaries (some of the icons represent two or even four separate break-ins).

Toward the end of November Terrie Johnston, police crime prevention coordinator, emailed to say daytime home burglaries are again on the upswing.

Residential burglaries are occurring with more frequency in the Lincoln Sector of the North Precinct (Pinehurst; Lake City Way; Maple Leaf; View Ridge; Wedgwood; Ravenna/Bryant, et al.) The precinct commanders are aware, and are staffing accordingly.

Most of the burglaries are occurring during daytime hours (from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m.). If you are home, and someone knocks on your door, please answer the door, don’t open it. There is a difference. Since many criminals are looking for houses w/no one home, it is important to let them know someone is there!

If you have a home office, or a room with big screen TVs and computers that can be seen from the street, close the curtains/blinds in those areas when you are gone. Electronics, jewelry, and small portable items are popular.

Lock up your ladders; or store them in a garage. Use motion-sensitive lighting when appropriate.

Finally, Nancy emails to say: “My neighbors car was broken into last night (Dec. 5).  The passenger side window was broken. There were notebooks and writing utensils on the seat but nothing was taken.  I did not find any other break-ins to vehicles on our block.  Notified neighbors on our block watch list with working phone numbers.”

That occurred in the vicinity of the 8200 block of Second Avenue Northeast. Our last report on neighborhood car crimes is here.

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That helicopter overhead? Police are checking out a suspicious van

December 14th, 2011 by Mike

Seattle police and fire units are checking out a white camper van parked at Northeast 88th Street and 18th Avenue Northeast. It didn’t blow up while we were there, though, and an officer said that although it was reported as suspicious and possibly a mobile meth lab, it appears to be a false alarm. The Channel 7 helicopter just left.

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Area food bank donations down by 31 percent

December 14th, 2011 by Mike

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn went to the North Helpline food bank this morning to donate food and to ask for public support of the area’s food banks, where need is up 30 percent but donations down by 31 percent in the last four years, according to a report to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“As the holidays approach the need is especially acute,” said McGinn. “But food banks and food programs need your help throughout the year.”

North Helpline, at 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., serves much of north Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and Viewridge.

The most needed items include protein (canned tuna, chicken, peanut butter), canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, grains (pasta, rice, macaroni), meals in a can (canned stews, chili), soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle,), and multigrain cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran).

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UW Medicine to open Northgate clinic March 1

December 14th, 2011 by master

UW Medicine has sent a letter to some of its patients announcing that the new clinic at Thornton Place will open March 1.

The purpose was to explain to current patients of the Family Medical Center at the University of Washington Medical Center on Roosevelt that their clinic is moving to the new UW Neighborhood Clinic, located at 314 N.E. Thornton Place.

And although they might not be happy their clinic is moving out of the medical center, they might be happy about a few of the perks (especially the last one):

  • Comprehensive primary care “medical home” for the entire family – obstetric, pediatric, adult, geriatric
  • Same-day appointments for urgent care
  • Expanded clinic hours – evenings and Saturdays
  • Free parking in the building

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Photos from the Maple Leaf Life tour inside the reservoir

December 12th, 2011 by Mike

All photos courtesy Dane Doerflinger Photography

The photographs from Saturday’s tour inside the Maple Leaf Reservoir are in, and they are stunning.

We’re posting some of them here, the rest are at Dane Doerflinger’s photo sharing site, here.

Our thanks to Dane, a neighbor, who also has supplied Halloween photos to Maple Leaf Life, and who shot the Maple Leaf Summer Social for us this year and in 2010.

On the right (in safety vest) is Stephanie Murphy, Seattle Public Utilities’ project manager for the site, addressing one group Saturday morning. It was raining lightly outside, with temps in the 30s, but down under it was 44 degrees and dry.

Here’s some information from the fact sheet Seattle Public Utilities was handing out Saturday:

  • In 1994 the state Department of Health required all water systems to submit plans and schedules for covering open reservoirs.
  • Post 9/11 concerns heightened scrutiny of the reservoirs, and in 2002 then-Mayor Greg Nickels advocated burying them as opposed to devising floating covers. The City Council approved that plan in 2004.

  • Burying the  Beacon Hill reservoir (50 million gallons) was started in May 2006 and finished in February 2009.
  • The Myrtle Reservoir project (5 million gallons) started in July 2006 and finished in July 2008.
  • In West Seattle, construction on that reservoir (30 million gallons) started in July 2008 and finished in July 2010.

The Maple Leaf Reservoir was originally built in 1910. The current project to bury it began in September 2009 and is to end in April 2012.

It is the largest of the four reservoirs to be buried, at 60 million gallons in two separate “cells,” divided by a concrete wall down the center of the tank. We’ve been reporting on the project since the winter of 2010.

Total cost for the Maple Leaf project is $49 million; for all four reservoirs it hits $140 million.

According to Seattle Public Utilities, the Maple Leaf Reservoir:

  • Is 494 feet wide by 666 feet long.
  • Has 768 underground columns, 20 feet apart.
  • Each column is 2 feet in diameter and 25-35 feet tall.
  • The walls are 22 inches thick.
  • Will have 11 inches of drain rock and 10 inches of topsoil on top of the lid, along with grass.
  • Will add 16 new acres to the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

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Update on tour inside the Maple Leaf Reservoir

December 11th, 2011 by Mike

Our news partners The Seattle Times have posted 13 photographs from Saturday’s tour here.

We’ll have more photos and videos probably later today. (You won’t have to sit through an ARCO ad to see ours.) For earlier photos underground at the Maple Leaf Reservoir, click here.

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