News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Tour of Maple Leaf Reservoir will not be expanded

December 1st, 2011 by master

We’ve just gotten word that the Dec. 10 tour of the Maple Leaf Reservoir will not be expanded beyond the original 100 participants as previously was expected (or perhaps it was just hoped!). The city found that liability and security issues associated with greatly expanding the tour made it unfeasible.

Because we received hundreds of emails from hopeful reservoir tourists, we’ve only notified the first 100 people who emailed us. Which means, if you didn’t get an email from us, we regret to inform you that you didn’t make the cut.

We also regret to inform all of you who tried to RSVP via Facebook that you also did not make the cut. The blog post specifically said that people were to RSVP via email, however, one reader pointed out that the Facebook post was a bit misleading. It stated:

On Dec. 10 we’ll be able to take the first 100 folks who respond underneath the new covered reservoir before it’s flooded.

Unfortunately, it appears that many of our Facebook readers took the “underneath” phrasing to mean that they should “respond underneath,” rather than that the tour would take them “underneath the new covered reservoir,” and we sincerely apologize for that confusion.

For those of you who can’t physically make the tour, we hope to be your eyes and ears underneath the reservoir. Check back Dec. 10 for as up-close-and-personal of a view underneath the reservoir as possible via a blog site, and thanks for all of your support!

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Garbage collection normal on Veterans Day

November 10th, 2010 by master

Don’t forget to put out your garbage and yard waste tonight or tomorrow morning. Despite the Veterans Day holiday, Seattle Public Utilities has announced normal garbage collection on Thursday, Nov. 11.

However, most other government offices are closed, and the Veterans Day holiday also coincides with the November Seattle Parks and Recreation furlough. All facilities and offices will be closed Thursday, but the Northgate Community Center, 10510 Fifth Ave. N.E., also will be closed Friday, Nov. 12.

Other services and facilities that won’t be available Friday because of the furlough include grounds maintenance; all community centers (except child care and late-night programs, which will still operate); swimming pools; Environmental Learning Centers; Lifelong Recreation (except Food and Fitness programs, which will still operate); and the Business Service Center.

On Monday, parks  facilities and services that will be closed include administrative offices (communications, correspondence, Park Board support, Web management, public outreach, human resources, finance and administration); the Planning and Development Division; and the Magnuson Park office.

The Northgate Library, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E., also will be closed Thursday in observance of Veterans Day, but as part of its regular hours it also will be closed Friday and Sunday.

In addition, King County Metro Transit will be offering reduced services, so be sure to double-check your schedule before you leave here.

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Get expert gardening help from 'The Plant List'

May 19th, 2010 by master

For brown-thumbed gardeners such as myself, this is a welcome bit of news. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Saving Water Partnership have produced “The Plant List,” a guide to help you choose the right plant for the right place in your garden.

When choosing plants, the most important consideration should be whether a site provides the conditions a specific plant needs to thrive. Soil type, drainage, sun and shade all affect a plant’s health, appearance and maintenance needs.

The Plant List highlights trees, shrubs and other plants that will thrive in different conditions, including wet soils, dry soils and drought, as well as sunny and shady sites. The Plant List also offers a comprehensive list of native plants that are suited to the northwest.

“When gardeners match the right plant to the right place in their garden, the plants will flourish naturally” said Liz Fikejs, acting resource conservation manager with SPU. “The Plant List helps gardeners find beautiful plants that will thrive in their gardens without wasting water, pesticides and fertilizers trying to grow plants in places where they are not suited.”

When planting new plants, Fikejs advises gardeners to dig one to three inches of compost into new beds – which helps sandy soils hold nutrients and water, and loosens clay soils – and spread a layer of mulch, such as leaves, wood chips, compost, or grass clippings around plants on the soil surface, keeping it about an inch away from stems.

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Library lets you check out home's energy usage

May 5th, 2010 by master

You can borrow a lot more than just books at the Seattle Public Library these days.

Starting tomorrow, the system is adding the “Kill A Watt” home energy monitor to the list of items you can check out, through a partnership with Seattle City Light.

That’s right, before you decide to watch that DVD from the library, you can find out just how much energy your TV is using.

The home energy monitors are available to all library cardholders at all library locations, including Maple Leaf’s closest at Northgate, 10548 Fifth Ave. N.E.

From the library’s news release:

Beginning May 6, Library patrons can borrow a Kill A Watt device with a Library card, just like a book or DVD. Plug it into an electrical outlet and find out how much it’s costing to run refrigerators, computers, TVs and other home appliances. The Kill A Watt monitor measures the electric consumption of small to medium household electronic devices and appliances, and can even help discover which appliances use electricity even when turned off.

For more information, call 386-4636. To learn more about how to save energy, contact Seattle City Light’s Conservation Help Line at 684-3800, or visit

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Happy Earth Day! How will you celebrate?

April 22nd, 2010 by master

We may have our own little Earth Day celebration tonight at our meeting to discuss the design of the future Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, but there are plenty of other area events to help you honor the 40-year anniversary of the April 22 celebration.

Our partner The Seattle Times has a good roundup, but here’s our Northeast Seattle-centric version:

  • A WashPIRG celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the University of Washington’s HUB lawn will include a sustainability fair, student artwork and bands and performers that will be run purely off of solar energy.
  • You can feel a little better about doing your part if you shop today at Whole Foods, which will be donating 5% of the whole day’s proceeds to Whole Planet Foundation. And from noon to 3 p.m., the store, located at 1026 N.E. 64th St., also is offering a free, waterless car wash.
  • Meanwhile, if you want to save money in a way that makes you feel good today, stop by Peet’s Coffee & Tea, 6850 E. Green Lake Way N., and get a free medium beverage if you purchase one of Peet’s reusable jute totes, bamboo canister, tumbler, mug or glass.
  •  If your kids can wait until Saturday, Fun Earth Day Adventures, including relays and obstacle courses, are planned at Green Lake Community Center from 12:30-1:15 p.m. for ages 4-6.

And don’t forget that you can get a free, high-efficiency toilet from Seattle Public Utilities if you qualify under its new program. Just in time for Earth Day!

By the way, in case you missed it, the meeting to discuss the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park is from 6:30-8:30 tonight at Olympic View Elementary, 504 N.E. 95th St. Child care will be provided.

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Big changes for Maple Leaf restaurants

April 21st, 2010 by master

Restaurants in Maple Leaf and all across Seattle will have to make a big change starting July 1. That’s when an ordinance will require all single-use packaging and food ware to be compostable or recyclable. Restaurants and food service businesses will also have to put up new bins for customers to sort their trash.

Today, Seattle Public Utilities invited Maple Leaf Life to Safeco Field for a look at how the Seattle Mariners are already implementing the program. All food vendors at the stadium have switched to compostable products and bins have been set up on all levels so fans can sort the trash after they’ve finished eating. Safeco hopes to have a recycling rate of over 70 percent.

“Our beer cup looks like plastic but it’s made of corn. Our knives, forks and spoons look like plastic but they’re also made of corn. They are heat senstitive, so if you have a spoon in a hot food item, it will bend. That’s something fans will have to get used to,” said Scott Jenkins with the Mariners.

Restaurants will face added costs from the new ordinance, and some have pushed back against Seattle Public Utilities. The Washington Restaurant Association says most restaurants in Seattle are interested in using more sustainable practices, but they have questions about cost and customer safety. SPU says many businesses, like Taco Del Mar which made the switch to eco-friendly ware back in 2008, are more than willing to make the change.

“The restaurants are responding really well,” said Dick Lilly from SPU. “It’s a big change so it’s going to take some working out. The products are getting better and less expensive.”

The city’s new composting requirements follow a ban on styrofoam last year. You can read more about the program here.

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