News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Entries from October 2015

Masked bandit sighting reported in Maple Leaf

October 19th, 2015 by Mike

John sends these images and thoughts: “5:00 a.m. Sat. 10/17 I accosted four masked prowlers apparently planning to steal something from my neighbors’ yard (grapes, I think). I’ve seen them before — a local gang. I don’t think they’re violent or dangerous — unless maybe you’re a chicken.”

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That tweet from Let’s Move Seattle was fluff not fact

October 15th, 2015 by Mike

Remember last week’s tweet from Let’s Move Seattle, supporters of the $930 million transportation levy?

Several readers wondered, “can this be true”?

In comments, Swede said: “Did they only doorbell Prius owners with Obama stickers? I would love to know what question they asked to garner 0% opposition – nearly statistically impossible.”

Swede – and several others – is correct.

The truth is this is an example of extreme – counterproductive? – spin, centering on the word “doorbelled.”

In politics, as in everyday life, “doorbelling” means going door-to-door, talking to people (and asking for their support). You find out what people (at least the ones who answer the door) think.

That’s the opposite of what Let’s Move Seattle did. We know this because of a series of tweets over the last few days, and because of @ButterflyForge, who kept at it.

If you haven’t followed this on Twitter, here’s a condensed sequence.

Original tweet from Let’s Move Seattle:”We doorbelled 600+ households in Maple Leaf this weekend. 74% support, 26% still deciding, 0% oppose.”

@ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle @MapleLeafLife: “The person doing the polling talked my guy. He told her under no certain terms that he opposed it. 0%? Is that a rounding error or something like that? c’mon now, not true! Or doesn’t his opinion matter?”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @ButterflyForge @MapleLeafLife “What is this 0% poll message? Send us a message at with more details.”

@ButterflyForge: @MapleLeafLife @LetsMoveSeattle “They explained in an email that it wasn’t a poll. It was visiting homes of people who were already supportg”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “Never suggested it was a scientific poll, or even a poll. Just happy about a good day canvassing.”

@Maple Leaf Life: @ButterflyForge @LetsMoveSeattle “Visiting homes of identified supporters and advertising it as “0 percent no? That’s downright fraudulent”

@Maple Leaf Life: @BrockRides @ButterflyForge: “So, to be clear, you didn’t randomly doorbell homes in Maple Leaf. You canvassed known supporters.”

@Let’s Move Seattle: @MapleLeafLife @ButterflyForge “of course, we believe everyone in Seattle is a ‘likely supporter.’ 😉 But, yeah, we had slightly better data to think they’d be more likely than not to support the Levy. again, it was a canvass, not a poll. Standard campaogn stuff.”

Then don’t send it to us as news.

Ballots arrive this week.


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Mystery camera on 15th N.E. and N.E. 98th St.

October 14th, 2015 by Mike

A neighbor emails this afternoon:

Do you guys have any information about the traffic camera (see attached photos) newly mounted today at the intersection of 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 98th Street?

It’s from a company called “All Traffic Data,” and it’s mounted onto a normal traffic sign, but extends up about 20 feet with a camera that looks like it’s pointed directly into the middle of the intersection. Is that for enforcement, or are they studying something—maybe considering a light or something?

We don’t have any information about that specific installation (but will try and get some).

All Traffic Data is a company that works in several states, including Washington, providing:

Average Daily Traffic Counts (Volume, Speed & Classification)

Turning Movement Counts (Volume & Classification)

Origin-Destination Studies (Video or Manual)

Radar Speed Studies

Gap and Delay Studies

Travel Time Delay Studies

GPS Inventory

Road Condition Inventories

Pedestrian Studies

Saturation Flow Studies

Parking Lot Studies

And Northeast 98th Street is the main connector crossing Lake City Way in that area.

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Bad news (car prowl). Good news ($5K for tool library AND a bake sale)

October 13th, 2015 by Mike

Posted today at Nextdoor Northgate/Maple Leaf:

“Our car was broken into on Northeast 89th street between 2nd and 3rd avenues northeast last night. They just rifled through things and generally made the car smell bad (do you really need to stop and have a cigarette in my car)?

“I don’t keep anything of interest in the car although I am a little worried that they may have grabbed some personal information out of the glove box. Anyway just posting in case folks are keeping track of these sorts of things.”

Car prowls are the most common crime in Seattle. The map shows prowls reported to police here in the last month.

The good news – this press release today from the Seattle mayor’s office and the Department of Neighborhoods:

– Following the recent burglary of the NE Seattle Tool Library in Wedgwood, the City of Seattle has pledged $5,000 to help the organization rebuild its inventory. It is estimated that $10,000 in power tools was stolen sometime this past weekend.

“The Tool Library is a true asset to Seattle – a community resource, a place to learn new skills and a venue to connect with neighbors,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I encourage residents and businesses to match the City’s commitment to get this organization back on its feet.”

For more information, and to donate, click here .

Also from Nextdoor:

Brownie Troop 44405 will be having a bake sale in front of NE Tool Library (2415 N.E. 80th St.) to raise funds for the library that was robbed burglarized of many of its tools on Friday night. The girls will be selling baked goods on Sunday 10/18, 2-5 p.m..

Please mark your calendars to come by to purchase some delicious goods and/or bring tools to donate!

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$10,000 burglary at NE Seattle Tool Library

October 11th, 2015 by Mike

Several readers have emailed to make sure we’re aware of the burglars who cleaned out the most expensive tools from the Northeast Seattle Tool Library.

The library, at 2415 N.E. 80th St. in the Wedgwood neighborhood, is asking people to keep an eye out for tools marked NESTL.

We just filed our police report and we are estimating about $10,000 worth of tools were stolen. These items include: our laptops, pressure washers, table saws, miter saws, sawzaws, circular saws, jig saws, routers, bolt cutters, air compressors, nail guns, staple guns…the list goes on.

All of these tools should have “NESTL” and numbers written on them.

The burglary occurred overnight Friday. The Seattle Times has a story here. Several people have suggested a Kickstarter campaign to replace the tools.

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4,400 without power north of Maple Leaf

October 10th, 2015 by Mike

Wind advisory for up to 45 mph until 5 p.m., over an inch of rain so far at Maple Leaf Life South.

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November election ballots arrive starting next week

October 9th, 2015 by Mike

Update Oct. 11: The Seattle Times has a critical analysis of the $930 million levy here.

Update: Over at Publicola there’s a related headline on the election: “District Five Sidewalk Brawl: Brown Versus Juarez.”

Most of Maple Leaf is in District 5. Spoiler alert! Sandy Brown pitches neighborhood-only taxes (Local Improvement Districts) to pay for sidewalks here.


Seattle’s first-in-a-century election of city council members by district is the focus of our upcoming November general election.

But the ballot also features the largest levy in Seattle history, more than doubling the size of the transportation levy it replaces.

The tweet above, received last week from the pro-levy Let’s Move Seattle folks, implies Maple Leaf is a hotbed of levy backers, and the levy does have a full roster of supporters.

But two of the usually reliable sources, The Seattle Times and the League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County, have come out against  Move Seattle, which would increase the average homeowner’s taxes by about $150 annually. Total cost: $930 million.

The Times’ reasoning is here, the league’s here. The King County voter’s guide information is  here.

Mail ballots for the Nov. 3 general election go out 20 days before election day.

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Found: A bike helmet, bags – and a dog

October 8th, 2015 by Mike

DC emails: “On my way to the bus stop this morning I discovered the bike helmet and bags in the attached photo on Northeast 82nd Street between Brooklyn Avenue Northeast and 14th Avenue Northeast.

“The bags had been discarded in some bushes so I suspect thieves took what they wanted and got away on a stolen bike. Please share as appropriate.”

Also, on Wednesday Annie wrote:

“FOUND dog: Large male tan Goldendoodle (guess) found running down 23rd Avenue  Northeast, between northeast 115th & 117th streets.

“Possibly was running with a small terrier, but the terrier ran off. The doodle is microchipped to a vet in Maryland. Please share…..

“(They had an earlier sighting of the dogs in Maple Leaf.”)

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Before the rain returns

October 6th, 2015 by Mike

Sunrise at the park this morning. The forecast is for rain returning tonight through much of the week.

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Maple Leaf, Metro buses and Pronto rental bikes

October 5th, 2015 by Mike

Two things about transportation:

1) Metro is considering a plan that could dramatically increase mid-day bus service in northeast Seattle. Specifically, from about 8,700  to 28,000 households served by a bus every 15 minutes.

There’s a meeting Tuesday night, 6 p.m., at The Mountaineers Club at Magnuson Park, hosted by Rod Dembowski of the King County Council, which oversees Metro.

The address is 7700 Sand Point Way N.E. More details are here.

2) Meanwhile, the city of Seattle,in a bid to rescue the apparently faltering Pronto bike ride-share program, is proposing spending millions of dollars to, among other things, put a Pronto bicycle-renting station at North Seattle College.

From our news partners The Seattle Times:

The proposal to boost the bicycle network is laid out in Mayor Ed Murray’s budget proposal, announced this week. Murray called fora $5 million city contribution to purchase 2,000 new bicycles, to go with a potential $10 million in matching federal grants for stations and other needs….

The idea surfaced earlier this year, as a section of a $25 million federal grant request, primarily to seek $15 million toward the Northgate Station walk-bike bridge over Interstate 5, plus $10 million for the citywide bicycle network.

The grant request touts bike stations around North Seattle College and South Seattle College, which serve higher proportions of low-income and minority students than the city population in general.

The full Times story, and several hundred mostly not-supportive comments, is here.

For more supportive comments, try the Seattle Bike Blog, here.

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