News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from June 2012

Sanford Design specializes in custom work

June 29th, 2012 by master

Like other jewelry shops, Sanford Design at 9224 Roosevelt Way N.E. has plenty of pre-made pieces you can choose from. But owner Dan Sanford says what the small shop really specializes in is making custom jewelry.

That can range from creating a design from scratch, redesigning a piece, or even combining multiple pieces into something new, he said.

“We’re a small shop that does everything here, so our overhead is low,” Sanford added. “We’re low tech and are still doing everything by hand, so we can be very competitive with our prices.”

The store has been in Maple Leaf since August 2004, but previously was located in the Roosevelt neighborhood, where Sanford worked for years at Laffoon’s Jewelry before he purchased the store from the family in 2003. [Read more →]


Sound Transit approves Northgate pedestrian improvements

June 28th, 2012 by master

Sound Transit followed the lead of the Seattle City Council today, approving the proposed pedestrian improvements that include a bicycle/pedestrian bridge from North Seattle Community College to Northgate Station, according to a news release from the Cascade Bicycle Club.

It states that the Northgate Station Access Strategy commits Sound Transit to:

  • Completing a Northgate access improvement study to identify potential additional pedestrian and bicycle access improvements to enhance access to the current Northgate Transit Center and future Northgate Station inter-modal transit facility as part of the Northgate Link Extension Project.
  • Contributing 25 percent (up to $5 million) of the cost of a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over I-5 to North Seattle Community College and Licton Springs, which the City of Seattle will match with an additional $5 million. The City will also seek other funding partners to secure full funding to complete design and construction of the bridge (total cost approximately $20 million). If a full funding agreement for the implementation of the I-5 pedestrian/bicycle bridge cannot be completed by July 2015, the Sound Transit Board will reallocate any unspent bridge funds to other priority pedestrian/bicycle projects identified through the connectivity and access study processes.
  • Matching up to $5 million in City investments in pedestrian/bicycle facilities in and around Northgate Station consistent with the improvements identified and recommended by the connectivity analysis and access study.

In other Northgate Station news, the Thornton Creek Alliance is inviting the public to a panel discussion tonight on the changes and challenges to Thornton Creek as the North Corridor Transit Project becomes further developed. There will be representatives from Sound Transit, Seattle Public Utilities, State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the State Department of Ecology on the panel, which will be followed by the Alliance’s regular meeting.

The meeting is from 7-9 p.m. tonight at the Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. N.E.

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Sound Transit has key Northgate vote Thursday

June 27th, 2012 by master

Although the Seattle City Council already approved $5 million for a pedestrian/bike bridge over Interstate 5 along with another $5 million for additional bike/pedestrian improvements around Northgate Station, the Sound Transit board has yet to agree to the joint proposal.

On Thursday, the transit agency will consider the Northgate Station Access Strategy proposed by City Councilman Richard Conlin, which would commit Sound Transit to:

  • Match up to $5 million in City investments in bicycle and pedestrian facilities around the Northgate station;
  • Commit up to $5 million as a 25 percent share in a bicycle/pedestrian bridge between the Northgate station and North Seattle Community College;
  • Agree that Sound Transit will fund park-and-ride facilities including a new 450 stall parking garage, preferably shared use. Private funding could be used to provide additional parking garage stalls and potentially free existing surface parking for future development. [Read more →]

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Eagles takes over planning Maple Leaf Garage Sale

June 26th, 2012 by master

As the warm days of summer near, the questions grow about the Maple Leaf Garage Sale. But until recently we didn’t have any answers.

Lucky for us, new neighbors Eagles Mother Aerie One did some investigating on their own, and discovered that the previous organizers of the neighborhood-wide sale were ready to pass the torch. And luckily for the neighborhood, the Eagles are ready to take on the project.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, the Eagles, located at 8201 Lake City Way N.E., will be the site of a garage sale that Aerie President Dan Kerege says he hopes will be just part of a much larger neighborhood-wide sale.

Interested? Email us at and we’ll get you on the list of participating Maple Leaf residences.

Or, for members of the community who don’t want to have a garage sale on their own space, the Eagles is accepting donations for its sale (but no large furniture) or you can rent a table there for $15. All unsold items must be removed at the end of the day. For more information, contact Faye at 206-762-5125.

It’s going to be a busy weekend in Maple Leaf, with the return of the Maple Leaf Art Walk the evening before from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10. Maple Leaf for Life indeed!

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City Council approves Northgate pedestrian bridge

June 25th, 2012 by master

The Seattle City Council today voted in favor of making Northgate more walkable by unanimously adopting a resolution dedicating up to $5 million for a pedestrian/bike bridge over Interstate 5, linking the future Northgate Station and North Seattle Community College.

The so-called Northgate Station Access Strategy also includes another $5 million as a match from Sound Transit for additional pedestrian/bicycle improvements in anticipation of the arrival of the North Link light rail in 2021.

The strategy, which was proposed earlier this month by Councilman Richard Conlin, also includes a request that Sound Transit develop of a 450-stall parking garage “that will support park-and-ride facilities, preferably shared use, with possible private funding used to provide additional parking garage stalls and potentially free existing surface parking for future development,” according to the text of Resolution 31389.

From Conlin’s news release:

“A coordinated access strategy is critical to making light rail work and to realizing the vision of the Northgate Urban Center and enhancing the neighborhoods around Northgate,” Conlin stated. “We can accomplish so much more by recognizing that all modes of access are necessary in order to prevent gridlock and ensure that transit and urban development work together.”

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Block that was scene of Thanksgiving 2001 fire sold

June 25th, 2012 by master

For a decade, the empty lot on the corner of Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 89th Street has tottered between being for sale and being just empty. But these days will soon be over.

Dan Duffus with Soleil Development along with another developer and an architect have each purchased one of the three lots that were for sale, with plans to build a combination of 14 or 15 units that combine live-work spaces directly on Roosevelt with town homes in the back.

“We’re each going to do separate development there, but they’re going to tie in together,” Duffus said.

Because the developers are just building the space, Duffus can’t address what kind of retail might end up in the spaces, or even say for certain whether any of the spaces will become storefronts. But in his experience, he says the ground floors of similar live-work spaces often become retail.

“The other stuff that we’ve done has been very well received,” he said, giving as an example a new development he completed in West Seattle with a Cafe Fiore and an art gallery on the ground floor.

For more examples, he urges those interested to look at the Knoll Development website, which has developed various live-work communities.

Duffus said the development will likely be completed in about a year.


Reader reports vandalism at N.E. 95th and 12th N.E.

June 22nd, 2012 by Mike

Carol emails us news about an attempted vehicle  prowl Wednesday at Northeast 95th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast.

We parked (and locked) our truck off the alley behind the property about 2 p.m. on June 20, 2012.  When we returned about 7:30 p.m. to get something we had forgotten we found the key wouldn’t go into the lock.

Discovered that someone had used something, probably a screwdriver, to try to open the lock. Scratched the door and the entire lock was loosened and pushed into the door.

We notified our renter so that if the truck goes missing, she would know to call us and the police. Also wanted her to be aware for her own vehicle safety as well as neighbors. We were surprised this happened in such a short period of time and during daylight hours!

The map at right shows all car crimes – stolen vehicles and vehicle prowls – reported to police so far in June. There are a dozen incidents – some of the icons represent more than one crime.

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Do you love Maple Leaf? Let's show Seattle!

June 22nd, 2012 by master

Seattle Magazine’s annual Best of the year issue is letting readers call the shots this time, which means Maple Leaf needs you!

For the first time, readers are invited to vote for the Best of Neighborhoods, which in addition to letting you vote for your favorite neighborhood includes such categories  as:

  • Best restaurant
  • Neighborhood hero
  • Best bar
  • Best hair salon
  • Best neighborhood blog (hint hint Maple Leaf Life!)
  • Best neighborhood art walk (hint hint Maple Leaf Art Walk)

The list goes on and on. So make your opinion known, and make Maple Leaf proud! (It should be noted that Maple Leaf Life requested that Maple Leaf be added to the list, with the promise that our readers would vote in droves. Don’t make us regret that!)

Even though the issue won’t come out until December, you only have until July 15 to vote on the Seattle Magazine website, so don’t delay!

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Farewell to Jack Rucker – a Maple Leaf fixture for nearly 3 decades

June 21st, 2012 by Mike

Customers who walked into Maple Leaf Ace Hardware for decades were greeted  by Jack Rucker, who worked at the neighborhood fixture for 27 years.

Jack died June 10th after a battle with cancer. He only retired from the store in early May, as his disease worsened, according to the store staff. He was 84.

” Jack had a great life — he lived the way he wanted, enjoyed his family, his garden, his friends and church, and was always learning and doing,” writes Kathy Stephenson, store co-owner.

A number of people have left comments on the store’s Facebook page, one writing: “This wonderful man was the wonderful start to most of my Sunday mornings for the past 20 years or so. He was warm and welcoming always, and that sense of sincere welcome will be deeply mourned and sorely missed.”

The Facebook post also states: “He treated our most important customers- the kids and dogs- so well and always had a smile ready.”

The Seattle Times has posted his obituary here.

Jack was born and raised in Pullman, Washington, served in Korea and attended Washington State College and the University of Washington, where he received a degree in forestry in 1957.

According to the store:

He worked until the early 1960s in the Wood Products Lab at the University of Washington when he received a $1,000 Ottinger Fellowship, which he used to get his Masters. He then went to work at US Plywood for over twenty years. When they closed in 1985, Jack was hired by Tom and Karen Stephenson here at Ace. During most of this time and into the early 2000s Jack managed the Wood Collection for the University of Washington.

Until this last year he was still attending lectures and current events programs at the U.W. Jack was a handyman with many interests, including an expertise and deep knowledge of lumber. In the past, Jack had spun wooden bowls that were sold here at the store. For years, Jack was also responsible for producing the soil sifters that we offer. Jack was an exceptionally loyal crew member, but his dedication to his family and his church was stronger than his commitment to our store. Jack leaves behind his wife and two children. We wish them peace and share in their sorrow. He will be missed.

He is survived by his wife Evelyn; two children, Andrea and Paul; Paul’s wife Noy; and two grandchildren,  Saetia and Ashland.

His memorial service is Sunday, July 8, at 1:30 p.m. at University Congregational Church of Christ, 4515 16th Ave. N.E. From the obituary: “In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to UCHA, c/o UCCUCC, 4515 16th Ave. N.E, Seattle, WA 98105-4201, or P-Patch Trust, PO Box 19748, Seattle, WA 98109-6748.”

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Celebrate North Seattle Block Party 2012 on June 24

June 19th, 2012 by master

The free summer block party to bring together residents of North Seattle returns this weekend to the Oak Tree Cinema parking lot as we again Celebrate North Seattle.

The third annual event, sponsored by Oak Tree Dental, the U.S. Navy and Epic Life Church, is from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, June 24.

Entertainment for the entire family will include live music from local band Buckets of Rain, bounce houses and carnival games for the kids, food, and door prizes and gift from a number of local businesses and community groups. From a news release:

“We love what we’ve experienced in this event,” says block party logistics coordinator Averi Norgaard. “To me, this is more than just a block party – it’s a collective step toward creating community along Aurora Avenue in North Seattle.”

In addition to entertainment, local businesses will have informative booths, and North Seattle Rotary Club and Salvation Army are bringing back the Shoes for Souls Project, which aims to collect 1,000 pairs of new shoes for children and youth in crisis situations in the North Seattle. Event attendees are encouraged to donate a brand new pair of shoes to help reach the goal.

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