News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

Entries from April 2013

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.

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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!

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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.

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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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Ice-pick bandits rob traveling jewelry courier at Northgate Mall-updated with new Key Bank robbery

April 11th, 2013 by Mike

Update 3 p.m.:Police have just issued another press release about a bank robbery today at Northgate, one where the robber apparently rode away on a bike:

A man who robbed a North Seattle Key Bank this afternoon remains at large.

At approximately 2:42 p.m. officers responded to the report of a bank robbery at the Key Bank in the 300 block of NortheastNorthgate Way. The suspect was gone prior to officers’ arrival on scene. An area search for the suspect is underway.

The suspect is described as a white male, 20′s to 30′s, 5 foot-8, 150 to 160 pounds, with acne and scars on his face, last seen wearing a tan beanie, tan hooded jacket and a backpack.

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Seattle Police this morning issued a press release about an unusual robbery at Northgate Mall:

On April 10th at 10:45 a.m., a jewelry courier was arriving at Northgate Mall to meet some clients. As he exited his vehicle with a small travel suitcase and tote bag containing miscellaneous jewelry and diamonds, he was suddenly confronted by 3-4 masked Hispanic males armed with ice picks.

The suspects, who jumped out of a newer, silvery blue van, pushed the courier backwards, grabbed the suitcase, and used the ice picks to flatten his rear tires, the press release states.

“The victim was not injured. The loss was substantial,” police say. “Anyone with information about this incident and or suspects is asked to call 9-1-1. Anonymous tips are welcome.” Q13 is reporting the loss totaled around $500,000.

A Maple Leaf Life co-editor, who was at Northgate at the time dinking with his cell phone plan, managed to miss all this, despite: “Numerous units responded to the incident, but the suspects or vehicle could not be located.”

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Olympic View Plant Sale is April 26-27!

April 10th, 2013 by master

Your annual opportunity to upgrade your yard and support one of your local Maple Leaf schools is coming up April 26-27.

For the 12th year in a row, the Olympic View Elementary School PTA is bringing you the Olympic View Plant Sale from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 26-27 at the school at 504 N.E. 95th St. Vegetable and fruit starts, herbs, flowering annuals, premium perennials, pottery, garden art and more will be available this year.

Bring the kids on Saturday for kid’s crafts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and an appearance by Peaks Frozen Custard from noon to 5 p.m.

And remember, you can buy these things for your own garden without feeling any guilt, because all proceeds directly benefit the students of Olympic View Elementary.

By the way, they’re doing a promotion on their Facebook page to help get the word out. If you “like” the page and share the promotion post, you’ll be entered for a $20 gift certificate for the plant sale.

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Shots heard overnight? And other reports from the neighborhood

April 9th, 2013 by Mike

Update April 10: A different neighbor emails :

Thought I’d let the blog folks know our home on 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 97th Street was burglarized during the daytime hours on Tuesday, 4/9.  The usual mode was used – the thieves kicked out a back entrance door window.  They ransacked the house and stole jewelry and electronics.

Thank you to the SPD officers who responded and made the report

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Early this morning a neighbor emailed:

Any idea what the gun shots were about, at 5:22 this morning? Three rang out, sounding like they were near the bridge on 15th. We called it in, as did others, according to 911. Thanks.

We don’t exactly know what that was, and neither does the Seattle Police Department.

The police incident map shows a “noise disturbance” at 5:41 a.m. at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 112th Street, near the area in question, which would be 15th Avenue Northeast at about Northeast 104th Street.

A police spokesman said that report did come in as “shots fired,” but that officers were unable to pinpoint the source.

The incident map also shows a “trespass” at 5:40 a.m. at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast Northgate Way and an accident investigation at Roosevelt and Northeast 112th Street at 3:50 a.m.

There was also a DUI arrest made overnight at 15th and Northeast 91st Street. It involved a collision between two cars about 9:10 p.m. No one was injured, the spokesman said, but the driver of one car was taken into custody on suspicion of intoxication.

We also heard, on Friday, from another neighbor that a package had been stolen, and a neighbor’s car apparently broken into but nothing stolen, at Roosevelt and Northeast 102nd Street.

A look at the police report map since our last post shows three cars prowled in the neighborhood and six vehicles stolen. It also shows one additional home burglary, on April 2nd in the 900 block of Northeast 92nd Street.

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Red Crossbills (a type of finch with, yes, crossed bills) spotted at Maple Leaf Life!

April 6th, 2013 by Mike

Update Tuesday, April 9: Crossbills are still here!

For the first time in over a dozen years here, we’ve spotted male and female Red Crossbills in Maple Leaf.

They arrived on Friday, April 5th, and are still here this afternoon, at the bird feeders at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 89th Street.

From the Sibley Guide to Birds, Red Crossbills are “uncommon and very irregular.”

Birds of Washington State explains:”With crossed bill tips and nimble tongues, crossbills are uniquely adapted for extracting seeds from conifer cones. ”

There have been a number of Red Crossbill sightings in the area recently.

Crossbills were seen in Des Moines earlier today, a female was seen in Wedgwood on Friday and a flock was spotted near the Woodland Park Zoo on Wednesday. (Information from bird listserve Tweeters.)

For more local information on Maple Leaf birds, click here.

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Library spring book sale comes to North Seattle Community College this weekend

April 4th, 2013 by Mike

The Seattle Public Library’s spring book sale is this weekend, and it’s nearby – just across the freeway at North Seattle Community College.

The sale runs Saturday and Sunday, April 6th and 7th. Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday’s are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This extensive sale will feature thousands of books and other items, including:

– Hardback & paperback fiction

– Nonfiction

– Better books

– Children’s & Teen books

– CDs & DVDs

– Old & rare books

Items will be restocked continually throughout the sale. Prices are $2 for hardback books and $1 for paperback and children’s books, DVDs and CDs. A section of “better books” will be priced individually.

For more information, call the Friends of The Seattle Public Library Book Sale at 206-682-7567 or e-mail book.sale@spl.org.

The sale is in the college cafeteria. Enter from the south end of the campus at 9600 College Way N. (that’s the side that  Northeast 92nd runs along). Admission is free.

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Much of Maple Leaf said to get broadband (read, “really fast”) Internet – but at what cost?

April 2nd, 2013 by Mike

Over the past couple of months we’ve heard from at least a half-dozen readers with the same question Alex emailed on Monday:

I’m not sure if this is on your radar, but a fair portion of Maple Leaf is on the neighborhood coverage map for the Gigabit Seattle roll out.  Our house (on Northeast 94th Street) falls in the coverage zone and I’m excited about the possibility of super fast connectivity.  Just thought I’d pass it along for other folks in the area.

Last month Ann wrote:

The border that they are defining for the Northgate area includes the northwest portion of Maple Leaf, down to Northeast 91st Street.  I wrote to them today to see how hard and fast that boundary is and they said that if there is a lot of interest and demand that they may expand the boundary to include more of Maple Leaf.

I was wondering if you could post some information about this project on the Maple Leaf Life?  The more people that know about it and express interest by signing up for more information on the Gigabit Seattle website means that the service could be available in Maple Leaf soon.

Several other readers have also hoped they could leverage interest to expand the planned area, which is defined in the map above.

Here’s what we know: Broadband internet is really, really fast. Gigabit Seattle, as the name implies, promises “speeds that are 1000 times faster than the typical high-speed connection.”

Here’s what we don’t know, and have had no luck finding out: What will it cost?

For a service that’s supposed to go live in a half-year, you’d think there’d be an answer to that. Here’s what their website says:

Our rates are yet to be finalized, but households and businesses should expect extremely competitive rates.The network is one of digital inclusion, requiring pricing that is not discretionary based on income level – for households or businesses.

Gigabit Seattle will also offer cost effective access through its wireless neighborhood cloud network where available.

Emails to both the Seattle office and Gigabit Squared in Washington, D.C. have gone unreturned.

Some background. After the plan to provide broadband access citywide died last year, Seattle in December announced a partnership with broadband developer Gigabit and the University of Washington to use existing but unused  fiber-optic cable to bring blazing Internet speed to several neighborhoods that actually had the cable.

In February the initial dozen neighborhoods participating in the demonstration project were increased to 14. On its website, Gigabit Seattle says that will bring service to 100,000 citizens and businesses. There is the possibility of some wireless access as well.

Our sister site, My Ballard, reported: “Gigabit Squared has secured the funding needed to begin their detailed engineering plans. They plan to release their updated business plan by April. This plan will include the cost of laying the fiber, the subsequent price customers will pay for the service and the estimated date that the fiber can begin to be used.”

So stay tuned.

If you’re interested in registering for the service, click here.

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Much of Maple Leaf said to get broadband (read, "really fast") Internet – but at what cost?

April 2nd, 2013 by Mike

Over the past couple of months we’ve heard from at least a half-dozen readers with the same question Alex emailed on Monday:

I’m not sure if this is on your radar, but a fair portion of Maple Leaf is on the neighborhood coverage map for the Gigabit Seattle roll out.  Our house (on Northeast 94th Street) falls in the coverage zone and I’m excited about the possibility of super fast connectivity.  Just thought I’d pass it along for other folks in the area.

Last month Ann wrote:

The border that they are defining for the Northgate area includes the northwest portion of Maple Leaf, down to Northeast 91st Street.  I wrote to them today to see how hard and fast that boundary is and they said that if there is a lot of interest and demand that they may expand the boundary to include more of Maple Leaf.

I was wondering if you could post some information about this project on the Maple Leaf Life?  The more people that know about it and express interest by signing up for more information on the Gigabit Seattle website means that the service could be available in Maple Leaf soon.

Several other readers have also hoped they could leverage interest to expand the planned area, which is defined in the map above.

Here’s what we know: Broadband internet is really, really fast. Gigabit Seattle, as the name implies, promises “speeds that are 1000 times faster than the typical high-speed connection.”

Here’s what we don’t know, and have had no luck finding out: What will it cost?

For a service that’s supposed to go live in a half-year, you’d think there’d be an answer to that. Here’s what their website says:

Our rates are yet to be finalized, but households and businesses should expect extremely competitive rates.The network is one of digital inclusion, requiring pricing that is not discretionary based on income level – for households or businesses.

Gigabit Seattle will also offer cost effective access through its wireless neighborhood cloud network where available.

Emails to both the Seattle office and Gigabit Squared in Washington, D.C. have gone unreturned.

Some background. After the plan to provide broadband access citywide died last year, Seattle in December announced a partnership with broadband developer Gigabit and the University of Washington to use existing but unused  fiber-optic cable to bring blazing Internet speed to several neighborhoods that actually had the cable.

In February the initial dozen neighborhoods participating in the demonstration project were increased to 14. On its website, Gigabit Seattle says that will bring service to 100,000 citizens and businesses. There is the possibility of some wireless access as well.

Our sister site, My Ballard, reported: “Gigabit Squared has secured the funding needed to begin their detailed engineering plans. They plan to release their updated business plan by April. This plan will include the cost of laying the fiber, the subsequent price customers will pay for the service and the estimated date that the fiber can begin to be used.”

So stay tuned.

If you’re interested in registering for the service, click here.

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Metro cuts again threaten routes 41, 67, 73, 77EX

April 1st, 2013 by Mike

Riders of Maple Leaf’s popular bus routes need to heed today’s announcement that a potential $75 million shortfall could doom the 77EX express route to downtown, and cut back on at least six other routes – the 41, 67, 66EX, 68, 73 and 373EX.

The cuts would take effect for 2014. A full list of the routes affected, and other background information on why, can be found here.

This last came up two years ago, in almost identical fashion. The shortfall then was plugged by a special vehicle licensing fee that expires after two years. Renewing it will require action by the state Legislature.

Over Metro’s entire system, 65 routes – including the 77EX – would be eliminated if the funding can’t be restored.King County/Metro and numerous cities have asked the Legislature for local transportation funding tools.

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Maple Leaf host sought for honeybee hive

April 1st, 2013 by master

Kim Thomas, vice president of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association and a Maple Leaf resident, reached out to us just as the weather warmed up and people returned to their yards.

It appears she’s in search of a Maple Leaf resident who would like to host a honeybee hive. She tells us:

I’m looking for someone with a sunny yard that is interested in having pollinators in their yard, wants to help honeybees thrive in PNW and would maybe even like to learn a bit about beekeeping?

Not sure your beekeeping skills are up to the task? Thomas also noted that the group is offering a couple of classes on beekeeping in the coming weeks at the Washington Park Arboretum:

  • How to Become a Hobby Beekeeper: April 6 and 13, 1-6 p.m., $50
  • Top Bar Hive Beekeeping: April 20 or May 4, each class is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and costs $15 for an individual or $20 for a household of two

In addition, Thomas adds that she is the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association neighborhood captain for Maple Leaf, and she would be more than happy to chat with anybody interested in learning more about beekeeping. If you’re interested, contact her at mapleleaf@psbees.org.

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