News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from August 2015

More details on neighborhood armed robbery

August 15th, 2015 by Mike

The full police report is now available for this armed robbery last month of a 14-year-old boy on Roosevelt Way Northeast.

The robbers were caught minutes later at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th Street.

In the report Officer Ed Medlock writes:

At 2234 hrs we responded to an armed robbery call at NE 88 ST and Roosevelt AV NE. The details of the call stated a fourteen year-old male said he was robbed at knife point of most of his clothes with the suspects having him count to 100 as they ran northbound.

As we were en route to the area, Officer Ellis told Radio that he had several subjects matching the description on the call walking northbound from NE 92 St and 12 AV NE. He followed them until more officers could arrive to contact the subjects.

The victim was left in his underwear and shoes, according to the report, which also shows 14 officers (and a police dog) were involved in the chase. Stolen items were strewn along the street (including at Maple Leaf Life South).

The K9 tracked east over to 12 AV NE and located several belongings, including his backpack, cell phone, the contents of his wallet, athletic clothing, and other miscellaneous items. The items were found in a linear path from the robbery scene to where the suspects were contacted. All items located on the track were photographed and then returned.

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Unusual tale of porch package theft-and-switch

August 15th, 2015 by Mike

Marco emails this theory of how package thieves may be working the neighborhood.

Bottom line: They pretend to be delivering a package, but instead take yours and leave behind an empty box.

I thought it might be a good idea to share this with the community. Yesterday (8/13/15) I was expecting a package to be delivered. What I had not expected was that the package did not require a signature to be delivered. The delivery person (USPS in this case, but otherwise fill in your carrier of choice), evidently left the package at our door on the outside steps.

Here’s the important part: What my wife came home to find was an entirely different empty package which had been opened up and turned upside down to look like a “normal” sealed package as it would have been left by any number of delivery services.

The contents of this box were two additional labeled mailing bags from The Gap which were addressed to a neighbor 10 blocks south (also in Maple Leaf). Those bags were empty and stuffed into the box as filler. I didn’t know the name, but both of two shipping envelopes had the same address nearby, so I used Google to find what I though was the person and left a message at their work of what had shown up on our stairs….

The next morning I got a call from the neighbor whom I’d left the message for – the one to whom the two Gap packages were addressed. They told me that, not only were they the intended recipient of the Gap items that had not arrived, but they also had come home to an empty mystery box with yet another Maple Leaf address on it, and filled only with packing materials.

So apparently someone is going around the neighborhood looking for packages delivered outside the house. They probably use the empty boxes from previous thefts as a decoy as they approach the houses to make it look as if they might be bringing a package, but instead they leave the empty box, and take the packages that have been left making it appear as if they might be just leaving again with the same package.

That’s the best explanation we can come up with. Regardless, I phoned the North Precinct and they sent two officers over who followed up with the Gap addressee as well.

We hear stories of mail or package theft, but checking the police crime map only turns up three reports during this entire summer (since June 1).

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Short-term forecast for rain, hail, lightning

August 14th, 2015 by Mike

Update Saturday a.m. Total rain here 1.08 inches. 
Update 5 p.m. Rain so far today at Maple Leaf Life
South = 0.95 inches. 

1235 PM PDT FRI AUG 14 2015
1235 PM PDT FRI AUG 14 2015

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Neighbor reports new car prowl on 12th N.E.

August 13th, 2015 by Mike

Art emails this morning:

Hi, I hate to write in with negative news to post, but I wanted to share that my car was prowled last night. I am on 12th Avenue Northeast and the prowling happened between 3 and 3:30 a.m. and it was a quick job. They just rifled through my car and took random stuff, but I don’t keep items of value in the car.

Car prowls are by far the most common crimes reported in Seattle.

(Danny Westneat’s second column last year on the subject is here.)

Interestingly, after times when a car-a-day was being prowled or stolen in Maple Leaf, the crime map for the month so far shows only four car prowls reported here. Not counting Art’s, which is too recent to show up on the map.

Art continues:

However, I saw a guy on a bike trying to get inside my car this morning around 6:30. He was yanking on all of my doors and looking through the windows. I immediately ran outside and asked what he was doing and the guy was startled and made up some story about looking for a friend’s house, getting lost, etc…he was not especially coherent.

I was able to get a few photos of him, which I forwarded to the police officer who arrived to take a statement from me. Officer George said he would forward the pictures to the precinct detectives for their records. I don’t think this is the same prowler who came by at 3 last night, since that person already went through my car.

I’m not sure if it’s legal/ethical/problematic for me to send you pics that i took for posting online, since the police already have those. I will describe the guy as Caucasian, in his 20s, fit/slim build and looks totally like a university student with trendy clothing/shoes/hairstyle. He wears glasses and was riding a nice-looking road bike.

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Found: A red bike, a yellow scooter and a black cat

August 12th, 2015 by Mike

Cindy posts on our Facebook page: “There has been a red Univega bike abandoned on the corner of North 87th Street and Meridian Avenue North for over a week. It is wearing its lock. I hope the owner sees this!”

Terry emails (to the Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf group):

A yellow-and-black Strada Veriflex scooter has been setting, abandoned after probably having been stolen, on the walkway to an office building at 10202 5th Ave. N.E. (site for an engineering firm and a children’s dental facility). It has been there since Monday, August 10th.

I called the Seattle Police non-emergency phone number, to see if some officers could be dispatched to hold it at the North Precinct station; but gave up after being on hold for 10 minutes; might try again, later.

If this is your scooter, or you know whose it is, likely it will still be there, this evening (this post written at 4:50 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12th).

And Patty emails:

“We’ve had this kitty hanging around our neighborhood for the last few weeks. No tags. Small and very friendly. Have asked a few neighbors but none appear to be owners.

“I haven’t seen any missing cat posts or posters around. Near Northeast 94th Street and 20th Avenue Northeast.”

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Short-term forecast: thunderstorms before noon

August 12th, 2015 by Mike

Noon:35: Sun!

Cliff Mass: “A modestly strong thunderstorm cell is moving northward across Seattle now, with rain and lightning.”

1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015
1129 AM PDT WED AUG 12 2015

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Heat returns; water rationing, too

August 11th, 2015 by Mike

The National Weather Service in Seattle posted this stunning dawn photo about three hours ago.

With this unwelcome message:

“Dawn at NWS Seattle on what is expected to be the 40th day of 80 degrees or higher in Seattle this year.

“There have only been 7 years in the past 121 with 40 or more days this warm in Seattle. We’re still well ahead of last year’s pace in which we had 45. The all-time record is 47 set back in the summer of 1958.

About three hours later the city of Seattle announced a further stage in water restrictions: voluntary reductions.

Together with Tacoma and Everett, “the three cities are working together to manage water supplies for people and fish during the drought and higher-than-normal water use. They are asking customers for their help by voluntarily reducing their water use by 10 percent starting today.”

According to a press release from the Seattle Public Utilities: “Seattle customers know it is important to manage their water use during these dry conditions,’ said Seatte Mayor Ed Murray. ‘Today we are asking residents and businesses to continue to reduce water use both indoors and outdoors.'”

Today’s forecast tops out at 88 degrees in Maple Leaf this afternoon, but Cliff Mass has a post suggesting it will be hotter.

This summer, I have gotten a number of complaints about the poor quality of our local forecasts.

Several of you have suggested that the weather is often much better (generally warmer) than predicted by the National Weather Service and several media outlets.

I have to admit, I had noticed the same thing. My calibration as a long-term forecaster seemed to be off.

His post giving reasons for this is here, and notes: “During June through early August the Weather Service was too low almost every day (by roughly 3-4F).”

There’s more on saving water here.

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Neighbor sends alert about dogs off-leash at park

August 9th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails this afternoon:

Just wanted to share that my pup and I ran into a very polite animal control officer at the park today. Apparently there was an unfortunate bite incident earlier this week and they will be patrolling the park for leash-law breakers for a little while.

Just a reminder from one dog owner to others that leash laws exist for everyone’s comfort and safety.

~ From a neighbor and dog mom

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More about food (and drink) in the neighborhood

August 9th, 2015 by Mike

Recent items that caught our eye:

* The Maple Bar was written up in The Seattle Times on Wednesday, with this somewhat enticing  headline: Maple Bar: a neighborly vibe and easy-drinking libations.

Yes, the review of the restaurant and bar at 8929 Roosevelt Way N.E. was entirely about cocktails.

The Maple Bar is one of the best cocktail bars to open in the North End in the past year.

Some easy-drinking libations headline a menu that features herbaceous spins on summer staples such as the gin and tonic (its best drink), a house-made tonic made with herbs from its garden and spiced up with peppercorns, rosemary and orange zest.

It did tell us something we didn’t know, though: “Now owner Heather Ramsay has opened a second outdoor seating area, transforming a bushy, weed-filled backyard into a patio garden that seats 25.”

(Leaf Tip: Eating? Get the excellent burger. Medium rare.)

* Last month, in a ’90s flashback, the Times was asked where one could still find $1 Taco Tuesdays. Part of the answer: “If you’re really cheap, you can do 50-cent tacos at Old 5th Avenue Tavern in Maple Leaf.”

This same Reader Q&A also calls out the Watershed Pub and Kitchen at Thornton Place, though for beer not tacos. The last full review of the Watershed we saw, from last summer, is here.

* Finally, the Times earlier today reminded us that even when Farmer’s Markets are not open, there’s a year-round produce stand right down 15th Avenue Northeast.

“Rising Sun Produce.  Shop in season for the best deals at this Ravenna/Roosevelt-area fixture. 6329 15th Ave. N.E., Seattle (206-524-9741).

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News for the Dogs of Maple Leaf

August 5th, 2015 by Mike

News items for the (very many) dogs of Maple Leaf.

1) Casting call for Husky fan dogs!

Calling all Maple Leaf dog owners and UW Husky fans! Bring your dog out to Red Square at the University of Washington on Sunday, August 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a chance to be in an upcoming BECU campaign commercial.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP to and submit your name and contact information. We strongly encourage you to wear purple and bring your dog in UW gear, if you’ve got it, to join in on the fun!

BECU will be shooting a video of BECU dogs barking and playing to the sound of the Husky fight song. The video will be shared on and other social media outlets to help promote the upcoming campaign.

Please note this is a casting call and we cannot guarantee that your dog will make it into the final campaign commercial.

Enough said. (Except this disclosure: The mascot of the University of Washington Huskies is not, in fact, a Husky.)

2) This weekend the Natural Balance dog food company will be hosting “‘the exciting Natural Character Café’ — Seattle’s first pop-up “doggie foodie station” where dogs can sample a wide variety of wholesome Natural Balance food and treats specially formulated to bring out their one-of-a-kind personalities.”

Sadly, it’s in Kirkland. (Details are here.) But:

“Natural Balance has also partnered up with Learndipity Data Insights to conduct a survey of 1,015 U.S. dog parents on “pup personality.”

*99% believe their dogs feel happiness

*93% believe their dogs smile

90% believe their dogs worry

79% believe their dogs feel embarrassment

*79% of dog parents say their dog actively attempts to comfort them

*55% say their dog looks at them with loving eyes

*52% say their dog senses it when they are sad


3) Finally, there’s a move apaw to develop more off-leash areas here for dogs, praised by Citizens for Of-leash-Areas in Seattle.

The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department and Seattle City Council are giving dog friends an opportunity to voice their concerns about the present state of off-leash areas through a new survey ( Want a separate area for shy, small, or recovering dogs? Wish there were lights for those February days when it’s dark by 4:30 p.m.? Speak! Even if you don’t use the off-leash areas, tell them why you don’t – the survey is anonymous.

Seattle has 14 dog parks providing a little more than 26 acres of off-leash land, but our big-city neighbors – Portland, San Francisco and Vancouver, B.C. – average 32 dog parks each. Those three cities can boast an average of nearly 120 acres each. Woof!

Nearby off-leash areas.

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