News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from December 2012

What to do with that holiday tree? Compost it!

December 30th, 2012 by Mike

Here is advice from the City of Seattle for disposing of your holiday tree.

Seattle residents may compost holiday trees and holiday greens free of charge between Dec. 26 and Jan. 13.

At Recycling & Disposal Stations: Trees should not exceed eight feet in length and must be free of decoration so they can be turned into compost for local parks and gardens. Trunks should not exceed four inches in diameter.

At the Curb: Food and yard waste subscribers can put trees and greens out on their regular collection day. Cut trees into sections, six feet long or shorter, with branches trimmed to less than four feet to fit into the collection trucks. Bundle each section with sisal string or twine (not plastic). Decorated, flocked and plastic trees are not recyclable, and will be charged as extra garbage.

At Apartments: Check with your manager. Multi-family buildings can put out one tree next to each food and yard waste cart per collection day at no extra charge.

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I-5 reconstruction begins next weekend and runs through April

December 30th, 2012 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site, Queen Anne View.

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is beginning its construction season early this year, with the first of “nearly 20” weekend and weekend night closures starting next weekend, January 4-7. The I-5 closures will run through April.

Why January – April for these closures? According to Russ East, WSDOT Assistant Regional Administrator:

“There are so many construction projects in the Seattle area, we didn’t want to add to the summer construction jam. We planned ahead, worked with other agencies and determined that construction in January through April was the best way to get our work done and cause fewer headaches for drivers.”

Per WSDOT, the following projects will occur between January and April:

  • Replace 31 expansion joints on ramps linking I-5, the West Seattle Bridge and Columbian Way and one joint on northbound I-5 just south of the ramps
  • Grind and smooth out three lanes of southbound I-5 between 50th St and Roanoke St in the University District and add durable striping to both directions of I-5 between Northgate and Roanoke St
  • Replace bridge expansion joints and repave the ramp on northbound I-5 to Spokane St (West Seattle Bridge) and northbound and southbound I-5 off-ramps at Corson Ave.

WSDOT traffic engineers worked with multiple agencies and organizations including the city of Seattle, sports teams, and event planners to avoid any major overlaps between construction and planned events. However, while they have identified the lightest traffic times, there will still be construction impacts.

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Bentley the sheltie is home for the holidays!

December 26th, 2012 by Mike

Bentley, who ran away from his Maple Leaf home on Dec. 8th and apparently lived in Thornton Creek for 13 days, was back home for Christmas, David emails overnight.

One Maple Leaf Life reader spotted him on Dec. 10th, near the Les Schwab tire store on Lake City Way, someone else saw him on Dec. 15th near Thornton Creek, and David saw Bentley on Dec. 19th. (Bentley belongs to his mother, Dorie, pictured above.)

“He’s running from everyone he sees, so we’ve put a safe, humane trap close to where he’s been staying,” David wrote then. “Hopefully, we’ll get him back tonight or tomorrow.”

It worked two days later.

We were finally able to locate his hideout, under the 15th Avenue Northeast bridge. Since he would run at the first sight of people, we placed a safe trap cage close to where he was sighted.

Though we had placed food inside, Bentley only approached the trap once we surrounded it with my mother’s clothes. Once he picked up her scent, he wouldn’t leave the vicinity! He has always been very devoted to her.

Sometime after midnight, early Friday morning, Bentley entered the cage and stepped on the trap. The door closed behind him, and several hours later, after 13 days on the run, he was reunited with my mom, his mom.

We are overjoyed to have our little guy home, and we are so thankful to everyone in the neighborhood who took the time to help us, especially Jeff and Brad who first saw him by the creek.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Maple Leaf Life

December 25th, 2012 by Mike

(And from the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis – artist unknown.)

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A white Christmas here after all?

December 22nd, 2012 by Mike

Sue might get her Christmas wish.

Unexpectedly, this morning’s National Weather Service forecast calls for the possibility of something close to an inch of snow locally on Christmas Eve into Christmas Day on Tuesday.

The snow would melt by the afternoon, but still.

From the forecast discussion:


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It's time again for the Polar Bear Plunge!

December 21st, 2012 by master

There’s no need to fret about all of those extra pounds you might be consuming over the holidays — at least not if you’re one of the brave souls who dares to participate in the 11th annual Polar Bear Plunge at nearby Matthews Beach!

Rain or shine, you’re invited to join your fellow polar bears for a plunge into chilly Lake Washington at noon on New Year’s Day. Registration begins at 11 a.m., and costumes are encouraged.

Refreshments will be provided, and swimmers who make it neck-deep will receive a 2013 Official Patch of Courage. The city’s Parks Department offers these tips for enjoying a fun, safe swim:

  • Come early, and carpool or take the bus.
  • You can plan your trip at
  • If you have heart problems or other serious medical concerns, we recommend you consult your health care professional before taking the Polar Bear Plunge. If you don’t go in the water, come and watch!
  • Don’t drink alcohol — it doesn’t warm you up, and it accelerates hypothermia.
  • Don’t stay in the water for longer than 15 minutes — you lose body heat 25 times faster in water than in air.
  • Don’t take off your outer clothing until you’re ready to get in the water, and remove wet clothing before getting into dry clothes.

Participants are encouraged to sign the online blog:

Matthews Beach is located at 49th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 93rd Street.

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Seen a lost sheltie in Maple Leaf?

December 19th, 2012 by Mike

Bentley is lost somewhere in the neighborhood after running away on Dec. 8, writes David.

“After nearly a week of searching and putting up signs, we were feeling a bit hopeless. Amazingly, the next day, on Saturday, December 15th, someone saw him in their backyard, on the corner of Northeast 108th Street and Roosevelt, in the Thornton Creek.

“We do believe he’s still in the neighborhood, so we’re trying to alert as many people as possible.”

Could you please just make a note that if he’s seen, that he should not be chased or called out too…. He might come to food, but shelties are notoriously skittish. Often attempts to chase him or catch him by hand just drive him further away. Our hope is that if we can find out where he’s spending time, we might be able to corner him in a yard, or catch him with a safe and harmless humane trap. If someone could alert me at (310) 924-0978, I can be there quickly.

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Maple Leaf crime update since Turkey Day

December 18th, 2012 by Mike

Josh emailed over the weekend: “Just wanted to pass along that, sometime this past week, we had the catalytic converter cut from our Toyota Tacoma parked in front of our house on 96th. Thieves apparently used a power saw and were probably done in less than a minute or two.”

He notes that catalytic converters contain precious metals and they’re easier to get to in trucks and SUVs.

His email caused us to wonder what the Seattle Police property crime map might show as we head into Christmas week. It’s shown above, from Thanksgiving through today.

It shows:

  • 10 stolen cars (many from the Northgate area)
  • 8 car prowls
  • 1 stolen bike
  • and 7 burglaries

Six of the burglaries were of homes:

  • 9400 block of 12th Avenue Northeast
  • 9700 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast
  • 9700 block of 15th Avenue Northeast
  • Two homes in the 10800 block of 12th Avenue Northeast
  • 10700 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast

The seventh burglary was of a business in the 9200 block of Roosevelt Way Northeast.

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Heavy weather – with possible snow – heading toward Maple Leaf

December 15th, 2012 by Mike

The National Weather Service forecast this morning looks quite different from yesterday – it features high winds, especially Monday, and probable snow through at least the first part of the week.

It was snowing earlier this morning in Renton, Maple Valley and along Hood Canal.

Cliff Mass, at the University of Washington, says Monday could feature a major wind event. “Although powerful, this system is NOT in the same class as the Inauguration Day Storm (1993) or the Chanukah Eve Storm (2006).”

The snow starts as soon as tonight, at 1,000 feet or higher, and by Monday night drops to 400 feet. The forecast calls for accumulation of less than an inch, though.

Maple Leaf, the third-highest hill in Seattle, tops out at 466 feet up on Roosevelt Avenue Northeast by the Blue Saucer.

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Mistletoe the cat is unseasonably missing

December 15th, 2012 by Mike

Mistletoe is missing from Northeast 92nd Street and Eighth Avenue Northeast. Jeannie writes:

“He has been away for three days, now. He’s very sweet, and greatly missed. Mistletoe is white, and has beautiful blue eyes. He is also microchipped!”

If you see him leave a comment here or email at jeanniekee (at)

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