News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Celebrate community with your neighbors on Night Out Seattle this Tuesday

August 3rd, 2014 by Mike

This post courtesy of our sister site Queen Anne View.

This Tuesday, August 5th, is National Night Out, an evening to meet your neighbors, share a potluck or BBQ, host a kiddie parade, or compete in outdoor games. Anyone can organize a Night Out event for neighbors.

You can even have your non-arterial street shut down for the evening (6-10pm) to keep it safe and expand your community space for a neighborhood party. All you have to do is register your event online and if you want to close your street, officially register your Night Out event with the City of Seattle.

Summer weather continues for the week, so get outside and get together with your neighbors to celebrate community and build a support network. One of the best ways to deter crime in our neighborhood is to have watchful neighbors, and National Night Out is an effort to help reduce crime – and have fun at the same time!

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National Night Out is tonight!

August 6th, 2013 by master

Maple Leaf is taking the party to the streets from 6-9 tonight, so expect plenty of nonarterial road closures, along with the smells, sounds and sights of summer wafting through the air: barbecues, music and children playing in the (closed) streets.

Tonight is National Night Out, a Crime Prevention event designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts and unite communities.

According to the city of Seattle’s Night Out page, more than 1,300 neighborhoods in Seattle participated in the event last year, including this rager on Northeast 84th Street in Maple Leaf. More from the Seattle website:

The event is a unique opportunity to bring your neighbors together, welcome new neighbors, talk about crime prevention and Block Watch efforts, and mainly just have a great time with food, music, games – whatever you want. The creativity we’ve seen of what neighborhoods come up with is amazing. Some gatherings are just a few households; others expand into large block parties.

Night Out Against Crime is an opportunity for individual neighborhoods to renew their commitment to the following:

  • Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anti-crime programs
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
  • Send a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

So have fun with your neighbors tonight, and feel free to send us photos of your event!

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Funding available for National Night Out

July 7th, 2013 by master

With Fourth of July barbecues fresh on your minds, it’s a good time to think about the next Night Out, which this year will be on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The night of citywide block parties is always a popular event throughout Maple Leaf, with the purpose of both uniting communities and increasing crime prevention awareness.

This year, you’re invited to have an even bigger and better Night Out block party with the addition of some extra funding from the city. Through the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Small Sparks Fund, you can apply for up to $1,000 in matching funds for your Night Out planning and engagement, and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, youth concert, bike parades, neighborhood cleanups and entertainment.

The deadline to apply is tomorrow, July 8. And in the meantime, it’s time to start planning your local Night Out! What will you do to celebrate the event with your neighbors?

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Ragin' Maple Leaf block parties

August 8th, 2012 by master

Dave from Northeast 84th Street sent us photos from their ragin’ block party last night for National Night Out:

A fire truck from the Green Lake station stopped by.

They had a great turnout with plenty of food!

And they even had live music from the Fabulous Juncos.

How did you celebrate last night’s block party?

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Summer's the time to celebrate neighbors!

July 24th, 2012 by master

In addition to the annual Maple Leaf Ice Cream Summer Social tomorrow (from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Maple Leaf Playground), there’s another important community-building event on the horizon.

Just two weeks away, on Aug. 7, is the annual National Night Out, an event that aims to gather neighbors together for the sake of community as well as safety.

Participating blocks are asked to register their event with the city’s Seattle Night Out website, where you can request a visit from city officials or for information about Block Watch and other safety program to be distributed among neighbors.

For many, it’s just a chance to get together and relax.

Is your block participating in National Night Out? What are your plans to bring people together for the evening?

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Is Maple Leaf participating in National Night Out?

July 31st, 2011 by Mike

Rosalie emails: “Do you have any more info about Seattle Night Out parties happening in Maple Leaf?  Thanks for your work!”

Night Out is almost here – Tuesday, Aug. 2, from 6-9 p.m.

We posted on National Night Out, the neighborhood block party with a crime-fighting goal, at the beginning of the month, and gave directions to register your block online, allowing you to close your street to traffic so neighbors can safely meet and mingle.

But we haven’t heard any response. And the city’s Night Out map, as of this weekend, shows scant response here, though registering on the map is optional.

Maple Leaf, in the dozen years we’ve lived here, has generally had a lukewarm Night Out presence. In other neighborhoods street after street are closed. Not so much here.

But the blocks that ARE closed seem to be having all the fun.

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New North Precinct crime prevention coordinator sad about upcoming end of program

June 9th, 2011 by master

Terrie Johnston became the crime prevention coordinator for the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct about one month ago, but she already knows when her last day will be: Dec. 31.

That’s because city budget cuts are forcing the elimination of the program, which oversaw the popular National Night Out against crime and provides safety walk-throughs of homes and businesses, coordination of Block Watch captains, and a more personal touch for neighborhoods to contact SPD.

“The bad news is that we have been cut and cut and cut, and we (crime prevention coordinators) are going away on Dec. 31,” Johnston told the Greenwood-Phinney Chamber of Commerce last Friday.

SPD’s Crime Prevention Coordinator program was created in 1973 and has received international attention. Johnston said Seattle’s CPC program was the best in the nation.

“People from other countries used to come and find out how we did it,” she said. “I’m just sad about it. I have over 1,800 block watch captains that I contact.”

Johnston has been with SPD for 30 years and has worked at every precinct except West Seattle.

All crime prevention coordinators have taken training called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and will work for free with businesses and homes to assess security issues. (For example, CPTED training helps identify bushes and trees that obscure sight lines in parks or around front and back doors where criminals can hide, as well as how lighting can affect safety.)

Johnston tells business owners and homeowners to frequently check windows, doors, locks, cameras and security systems.

“A lot of it is just human error,” she says of burglaries. “They run to the bank and forget to set the alarm, or they could have sworn they locked that back door.”

As a CPC, Johnston wants to make it clear that people should call 911 even if it’s not a life or death emergency. She said that if you see someone suspicious in your neighbor’s back yard, call 911 and report it. She cited a recent example of a neighbor calling 911 to report two suspicious people at her neighbor’s house, leading to the arrest of two prolific burglars.

“That would not have happened had the woman not been suspicious and called 911,” Johnston said.

She says residential burglary is one of the highest priority calls because it could be a crime in progress. “That is a big, big and very scary crime,” she said.

All 911 calls are prioritized, so Johnston said you shouldn’t worry that your call will take away resources from a more serious crime that may be happening. Officers may be sent to check out a suspicious person, but if they then get a call for an assault in progress, they will respond to that call first.

And don’t assume someone else has already called 911 when something major has happened. Having more 911 calls helps SPD know how serious it is, and you may have details others don’t.

The way you report a crime is important, she said. Be brief and to the point. For example, you might say “there are two suspicious men creeping out of my neighbor’s secluded back yard.”

If you have a complaint about police response to a 911 call, Johnston encourages you to call her and she can look up the details. For example she’ll be able to tell you that officers were on their way but then got called to something more serious, or they did stop the suspicious person a few blocks away but verified their story or credentials.

Johnston said she’s pleased about how the North End neighborhoods watch out for each other. She said the annual national Night Out against crime program on the first Tuesday of August (Aug. 2 this year) has far more participants in the north end of the city than anywhere else. She counted up the block parties that registered last year and said 787 blocks in the North Precinct had registered, compared to a combined 400 in the city’s other four precincts.

Johnston encouraged everyone to attend the North Precinct annual picnic, at 10049 College Way N., from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, July 9. Hundreds of people attend the picnic to meet police officers (and their department horses and dogs), watch a bomb robot demonstration, tour the precinct and listen to music.

North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Terrie Johnston can be reached at 206-684-7711 or

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