News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from April 2013

Olympic View Plant Sale on until 7 tonight

April 27th, 2013 by master

The 12th annual Olympic View Plant Sale continues today until 7 p.m., but it appears yesterday’s beautiful weather brought out most of the shoppers, leaving much slimmer pickings than most Maple Leafers are likely accostumed to.

But that’s unlikely to keep fans from coming out for the unique selection of plants, as well as the kids’ activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All proceeds of the sale benefit the students of Olympic View Elementary School. For more information, go to the Olympic View Plant Sale Facebook page.

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Highlights from Maple Leaf Community Meeting

April 25th, 2013 by master

Last night’s Maple Leaf General Community Meeting was packed with information from Maple Leaf and beyond, with presentations by interim King County Councilman Rod Dembowski, Sustainable NE Seattle and the new Licton Springs P-Patch, as well as updates on Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, the city’s new tree policy and transportation changes.

More than 40 people attended the quarterly meeting at Olympic View Elementary School, which included the election of three new executive members to the Maple Leaf Community Council: Jason Beard, Sylvia Traeger and Laurie Phipps. Donna Hartmann-Miller also was re-elected to the board, and President David Miller noted that there’s still an open council position if anybody is interested.

Some highlights from the meeting:

  • This weekend is the Olympic View Plant Sale, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27, with proceeds benefiting students at the Maple Leaf school. Miller noted the school also is holding a book sale May 31 and June 1, and it’s now taking book donations at the Northgate Community Center, Cloud City Coffee,  Maple Leaf Ace Hardware, Blue Saucer and Pacific Medical Centers — Northgate.
  • Also this weekend, you’re invited to a work party at the Licton Springs P-Patch, located on the southern border of North Seattle Community College (in a notable first-ever partnership between the city and state), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Although the majority of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park isn’t slated to open until late summer/early fall, the Maple Leaf Family Terrace (aka playground) is nearing completion, with a grand opening planned for May 18. Hartmann-Miller, who leads the volunteer Friends for a Greater Maple Leaf Park, says details are still being worked out, but it likely will start at about 11 a.m. She noted that the volunteers who helped assemble the playground equipment at a work party April 6-7 deserve a huge “Thank you” from all of us for their hard work on one of our windiest, rainiest spring days.
  • Speaking of Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, Hartmann-Miller also said that because much of the park is now being seeded, it won’t quite be ready for us in time for the Maple Leaf Summer Ice Cream Social, which usually takes place the last Wednesday of July. She asked attendees if they would be OK if the annual event was postponed until the last Wednesday in August, when she’s hopeful the park will be ready for hundreds (thousands?) of people to trample the grounds. If you have input on the matter, please post below or email or any other members of the executive board.
  • If you’ve been meaning to make a donation to the Maple Leaf Community Council or to become a member, Miller points out that the best day to do so is May 15, otherwise known as The Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG. Any donation you make to the council that day, The Seattle Foundation will match – and the bigger the donation, the bigger the match. Just go to anytime in that 24-hour period.
  • Miller noted that if you’re at all interested in how Northgate transportation issues will affect you, it’s important you attend the Sound Transit’s Northgate Station design and access update from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St.

We would also like to point out that Councilman Dembowski made a noteworthy announcement at the meeting: That night was the 27th anniversary of David Miller and Donna Hartmann-Miller‘s first date. Congratulations to two of the community’s most tireless leaders, and a big thank you to them for spending the evening with the residents of Maple Leaf. Happy anniversary and thank you for all of the hard work you do for the community!

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Seattle Urban Farm School launches in Maple Leaf

April 24th, 2013 by master

Maple Leaf’s own Seattle Seedling blogger Stacy Brewer is taking her classes to the next level. This month, the organic gardener launched the Seattle Urban Farm School, where she will be “Helping gardeners grow, one lesson at a time.”

Upcoming classes include:

In the future, expect classes such as Lantern Love; Fall and Winter Gardening 101; and Crazy for Canning: Pickling 101. And if you’ve got ideas for future classes, Brewer is taking your suggestions.

For more information, go to Brewer’s Seattle Urban Farm School blog, where you can sign up for classes or for the e-newsletter.

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Maple Leaf board suing developer of empty block

April 23rd, 2013 by master

The eyesore of an empty block in the heart of Maple Leaf’s business district that was sold a year ago is likely to stay that way for the time being after the Maple Leaf Community Council’s executive board filed a lawsuit to stop the development, according to

We wrote last summer that the empty lot at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 89th Street was sold to three separate developers including Dan Duffus with Soleil Development, who explained that the group planned to build 14 to 15 units that combine live-work spaces directly on Roosevelt with town homes in the back.

But because the lot was purchased separately, the board says the buyers were able to avoid an appropriately thorough review by city planners. David Miller, president of the community’s executive board, tells us:

It should have gone through both SEPA and Design Review — with Design Review being the most important issue. Our lawsuits argue this exact point — development of this property is very welcome, but it needs to follow the rules.

He adds that because of the piecemeal review, only three parking spots will be required for the entire development, which will include six residential units and seven live-work units, wherein lies one of the other problems. He continues: [Read more →]

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Donate books now for Olympic View summer sale

April 22nd, 2013 by master

Olympic View Elementary School is hoping to keep its kids as well as the community well-stocked on books, DVDs and CDs this summer with its upcoming Summer Soar Used Book Sale, from 3:30-7 p.m. May 31 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 1 in the school’s auditorium at 504 N.E. 95th St.

If you have gently used books, CDs or DVDs you’d like to donate in the meantime, area businesses are volunteering their space as drop-off locations for the book drive. So far, participants include Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., and Cloud City Coffee, 8801 Roosevelt Way N.E., which is offering a free drip coffee to customers who drop off three or more books, according to Aiko Schaefer with the Olympic View Elementary School PTA.

UPDATE: Also on board: Maple Leaf Ace Hardware, 9000 Roosevelt Way N.E., which Schaefer notes also is donating bins for participants; Blue Saucer, 9127 Roosevelt Way N.E., who will add bins and an as-yet-unnamed incentive next week; and Pacific Medical Centers — Northgate, 10416 Fifth Ave. N.E.

Schaefer is hoping more area businesses will participate. For more information, contact her at or (206) 941-4817.

Be sure to add the Summer Soar Book Sale to your calendar, too! In addition to books for all ages, there also will be guest readers, workshops and more.

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Coming soon: "Greatest Falafal on Earth"

April 19th, 2013 by master

The space recently vacated by iBurger & Shake won’t stay empty for long.

Signs posted at 8000 Lake City Way state that “Zaina” is coming soon, boasting “Greatest Falafal on Earth” and “Best Gyro Ever.”

Anybody heard anything else about Zaina?

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Early Masters announces art theft on Facebook

April 19th, 2013 by master

Early Masters, an art school for children in Maple Leaf at 8815 Roosevelt Way N.E., is taking a light-hearted approach to a “looting” leading up to its “Hot Dog/Tail Gate gallery opening” at its “MOCA (Museum of Canine Art).”

A print of C.M. Coolidge’s “Waterloo” (perhaps more commonly recognized as simply the poker-playing dogs) was stolen from the school in the middle of the night, and Early Masters announced on its Facebook page that its hot on the trail of the suspects:

Thanks to neighbor Donna Hartmann-Miller for the tip!

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Upcoming events in and around Maple Leaf

April 18th, 2013 by master

We’ve received a slew of emails about area events that we thought we’d share beyond just posting them on our events page:

  • Tomorrow, April 19, there’s a performance of The Wizard of Oz at 6 p.m. at St. Catherine Parish School, 8524 Eighth Ave. N.E. Admission is free with a canned food item or $5 per ticket.
  • Also tomorrow, there’s an “Evening in Italy” fundraiser for North Helpline from 5:30-9 p.m. at Lake City Community Center, 12531 28th Ave. N.E. There will be live music, a wine toss, raffles and a full spaghetti dinner for $10/adults, $5/children.
  • For the next two weekends, you’re invited to Northwest Puppet Center’s latest show: “Chickens and Pigs and Bears … Oh My!” at 9123 15th Ave. N.E.:

    “Chickens and Pigs and Bears . . . Oh My!” is a celebration of some favorite stories presented in new and creative ways. Audiences will delight in the different styles of puppetry, live music, poetry and audience participation. Puppeteer Peter Allen performs “The Three Little Pigs” with marionettes, “The Little Red Hen” with shadow puppetry, and “The Three Bears” with rod-puppetry. A wonderful performance for audiences 3 years old and up.

    Curtain is at 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sundays through April 28. Tickets cost $10.50 general admission, $8.50 for children up to age 16, and $9 for senior 65 and older, and they’re available at Brown Paper Tickets.

  • One of the neighborhood’s biggest events is coming up on Wednesday, April 24: The quarterly Maple Leaf General Community Meeting from 7-9 p.m. at Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St. Topics will include transportation issues, how the new Northgate urban center will affect Maple Leaf, and tree regulations.
  • Next Thursday, April 25, you can learn more about area construction at the Northgate Way Improvement Project Open House from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Northgate Library, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E. The Seattle Department of Transportation in planning roadway improvements along North 105th Street and Northgate Way, from Greenwood Avenue North to Lake City Way Northeast. Improvements will include complete roadway repaving, new sidewalks and curb ramps, and drainage improvements from Greenwood Avenue North to Corliss Avenue North. SDOT will also upgrade signals, and street lighting from Greenwood to Lake City Way. This is your chance get in comments before final design by the second quarter of 2013; construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and is anticipated to continue through summer 2014.
  • Also on April 25, “Roads and Runoff” is the topic of the monthly Thornton Creek Alliance meeting from 7:15-9 p.m. at Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave. N.E. Art Brochet will discuss the Seattle Department of Transportation’s repaving project on Northeast 125th Street, as well as Seattle Public Utilities’ plans for Mayor Mike McGinn’s new stormwater goals. The group also will be talking about the past year’s accomplishments and goals for next year. For more information call, Judy Olson at 206-523-4384.
  • Fun for the whole family is planned from 6-8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at the “Magical Mac and Cheese” event at Northgate Community Center:

    Turn your macaroni and cheese into a magical evening of dinner and entertainment! We will have basic macaroni ‘n’ cheese and you add your favorite toppings. In addition, Xakary the Magician and his pet rabbit can mesmerize you with his magic. For ages 1 and older. Please register in advance at 206-386-4283. Cost is $5 per person or $20 for a family.

  • And of course, don’t forget about the 12th annual Olympic View Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27. There will be vegetable and fruit starts, herbs, flowering annuals, premium perennials, pottery, garden art and more both days, as well as special children’s activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, as well as treats from Peaks Frozen Custard from noon to 5 p.m.

Spring Fever hits Maple Leaf!

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Want to make Judy Fu's famous dumplings?

April 16th, 2013 by master

In case you missed The Seattle Times this weekend, Pacific Northwest magazine gave a shoutout to Maple Leaf’s own Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon, including a recipe for the legendary dumplings.

Officially known as Judy Fu’s Pork Jiao-zi (pronounced jow-zuh), the namesake herself still can be seen most nights working away at her restaurant at age 71, divulges writer Nancy Leson.

And the secret to the perfect jiao-zi? Cake flour!

So whaddya think? Are you going to give it a shot?

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Red Crossbill madness hits Seattle! (They’re a bird, not a team)

April 11th, 2013 by Mike

Since our original post about Red Crossbills at the Maple Leaf Life feeders (they’re still here, incidentally), reports have come in from all over town.

Today on that first post Lynda noted: “I started seeing these crossbills (8900 block of 12th Ave NE) at my feeder at Easter and it took me a while to identify them because all three were females which don’t have much color. Today one female was joined by a male; quite colorful!”

We also posted to the Washington state bird listserve, Tweeters. Here are some updates from Wednesday, April 10:

Here, meaning, Phinney/Ballard, where I just spotted a couple of Red Crossbills at our feeders.

What a nice surprise, especially because I’d failed in my search for them lately in some of the taller trees and pines in our hood.


To chime in about apparently ubiquitous crossbills, my son-in-law reported to us that on Fri 4/5, he saw a pair virtually at his feet in the lot where he parks for work in back of the SODO Showbox. They were feeding on fallen cones. I guess that for this year, anyway, they are urban birds!


Seeing as how many others have reported their Red Crossbills in the last day or two I will add my two cents worth. I had a small flock of about 8-12 Red Crossbills in my yard two blocks south of Green Lake (North Seattle) yesterday morning for the first time. The were bathing in my waterfall (not all of which is visible from my office – there may have been several more). A delight to see.


Red Crossbills over here, too. In the tall pines just inside the 3rd NW/145th St entrance of Llandover Woods in North Seattle (also a favorite woodpecker haunt). Can’t get enough of those pinecone-pecking passeriformes!

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