Hey Maple Leafers!

Are you enjoying the snow? Or are you looking forward to the rain that is on its way? Share your favorite snOMG moments in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

I measured about 7″ at our house around 90th and 20th. Here’s some fun photos I took during a break from work. Any numbers from others?

According to the weather folks, things are supposed to improve tomorrow. But there’s still a Winter Weather Advisory until 4 a.m. Friday.

And parents, take note: Seattle Public Schools will be closed again tomorrow. A fun week for the kiddos — that’s for sure.

While a little snow is still trickling down, the main concern overnight is power outages. And Public Health – Seattle & King County wants to remind you to BE SAFE if your power does go out, because you’ll be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can kill; the gas comes from burning fuels such as gasoline, propane, oil, kerosene, natural gas, coal or wood. You can’t see or smell it.

So how do you prevent it? Here’s some quick tips:

  • Only use a generator outdoors and far from open windows and vents
  • Never use a generator or portable propane heater indoors, in garages or carports
  • Never cook or heat inside on a charcoal or gas grill.

If you believe you could be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Call for medical help from a neighbor’s home. The Fire Department will tell you when it is safe to reenter the home.

Read more helpful tips from Public Health – Seattle & King County on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning — particularly relevant if you have no power or lose it sometime this evening. The link also has handy tips on how to stay warm in the case of a power outage.

Stay dry, stay warm, and stay happy!


According to KOMO TV, a man is under arrest after he allegedly started a fire at a Maple Leaf-area home where he has lived with his family for about 30 years.

It happened at 8:50 a.m. on Sunday, January 8. Police received calls about flames coming from the home at 88th and 2nd Avenue NE. As firefighters arrived, the father’s son came out and said his father apparently started the fire in his bedroom and was refusing to leave the house.

Firefighters were able to reach the father, who was then taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation. After his release, the man was booked into King County jail for investigation of arson.

Read the full story at seattlepi.com.


The Northgate Community Center is collecting new hats and socks for men, women and children — which will be distributed to homeless and low-income families in the Maple Leaf, Northgate, and surrounding neighborhoods. The drive is happening now and continues until November 7th.

In addition to this drive, you can support Northgate Community Center by heading to Soup It Up! — their soup and salad fundraiser tomorrow night. This all-ages affair will include an “all-you-can-eat, home-cooked, heart-warming meal” made up of soups, salad, bread and dessert. The cost is $25 for a family of four or $8 per person. Head to the Facebook event page to learn more and RSVP.


Last week, CleanScapes announced that our neighbors — the Roosevelt, Ravenna, Bryant and Wedgwood neighborhoods — won the 2011 Seattle Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards competition. The “Tuesday North” neighborhoods will receive a $50,000 project selected by the community and funded by CleanScapes.

Between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011, residents of these neighborhoods decreased their waste by 400 tons, which comes out to a 4.7 percent improvement over the same period the previous year.

Starting today through January 31, 2012, all Seattle residents — that means any of us here in Maple Leaf — are invited to submit a project proposal for the $50,000 reward.

To be eligible for consideration, projects have to meet four basic criteria:

  1. The project must be a capital improvement
  2. The project must be located in the winning neighborhood collection area
  3. The project must be easily accessible by the public
  4. The total cost of the project does not exceed $50,000.

The proposal form, reward project FAQ and project selection process information are available online at www.cleanscapes.com. A volunteer committee representing community councils in the “Tuesday North” area will review and select the winning Neighborhood Waste Reduction Rewards project.


Signs of the Times

Photo from Flickr user coffeego

Many of us have witnessed “For Sale” signs that linger for weeks — often months — in our neighborhood.

But what you might not know is that homes in Maple Leaf are going faster than in most parts of Seattle. According to analysis that Zillow did for CNBC, the Maple Leaf neighborhood came in ninth among all Seattle ‘hoods for the time it took to sell a home.

Here in Maple Leaf, the median time homes took to sell over the past year was 67 days, and the typical home is worth $351,836.

Maple Leaf beat out Green Lake, which came in 11th. Our neighbors in Ravenna came in at number 5, while Bryant took third. Phinney Ridge boasts the fastest-selling homes, with the median time homes took to sell at 53 days.

The report found more good news for all of Seattle. Homes sell faster in Seattle than in any U.S. city — other than San Francisco. That doesn’t mean homes are selling at the price that homeowners want, though. In Seattle, nearly 34 percent of home listings have cut their price, with the final sales price averaging 2 percent less than the list price.


I know that Maple Leaf loves our indie coffee shops – and boy do we have a great selection up here. But today – and throughout this week – you might consider hitting up another coffee shop: Starbucks (you might have heard of them).

Why, you ask? Well, Starbucks has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and DonorsChoose.org on a project in King County that will support teachers. For those who don’t know, DonorsChoose.org is a great organization created by teachers that allows individuals to fund teacher projects across the country — from field trips to computer equipment to everyday school supplies like scissors and calculators.

And starting today, which just happens to be World Teachers’ Day, thanks to a grant from the Gates Foundation, King County Starbucks stores will provide free $10 DonorsChoose.org gift cards, which can be used to support requests for classroom materials and experiences from local teachers. These cards will be distributed while supplies last.

An example of a DonorsChoose.org gift card being given out at Starbucks throughout King County

An example of a DonorsChoose.org gift card being given out at Starbucks throughout King County

More than 1,200 classroom projects are seeking funding—including requests for important classroom resources such as books, microscopes, field trips, and musical instruments. In Seattle, teachers have posted over 600 requests. You can also narrow down your search by school if you would like to support a teacher at your neighborhood’s school. Individuals who redeem the card can choose to make an additional personal contribution through the DonorsChoose.org website: www.donorschoose.org/kingcounty2011.

David Bley, director of the Gates Foundation’s Pacific Northwest work, posted a blog today with more details on the campaign. The blog also features an interview with Ms. Judy Camann, a teacher at Franklin High School. Ms. Camann had this to say about DonorsChoose.org and its impact on teachers:

The spirit lift teachers feel when someone, often someone they do not even know, takes the time to not just read their project proposal but also believe in the results and the students involved, is wonderful.

So what are you waiting for? Head to Starbucks and ask for a DonorsChoose.org gift card. And then head online to support teachers in King County.


By now, I’m sure most Maple Leafers heard or read about the natural gas explosion near our neighborhood, which destroyed a house and sent two people to the hospital.

Well, the Associated Press reports that utility crews have found a total of eight natural gas leaks in North Seattle, including the one that injured two people. Puget Sound energy spokeswoman Martha Monfried said Tuesday that the pipes have been dug up for repair.

Four of the leaks are linked to a downed tree that knocked over a high-voltage power line on Sunday, which led to a power outage for about 6,000 Maple Leaf residents. One leak is under investigation and the other three are not related to the downed tree.

As for the two people injured in the home explosion? David Ingham has been released from the hospital, and his wife remains in serious condition in the intensive care unit.

There is some confusion about whether these two homeowners did or didn’t smell gas the night before the explosion. An AP article alludes to this, although a friend of the victims told KING 5 that he spoke with Ingham on Monday and he said they did not smell gas the night before.

Either way, it is a great reminder to immediately leave your home and call 911 if you smell natural gas. “Get out of the area, do not turn on or off any appliances or any lights,” said Puget Sound Energy spokesman Roger Thompson.


Around this time last year, Michelle Simpson, co-owner of Maple Leaf’s Roosevelt Ale House, organized the first Bumps & Babies Fair, a consignment and boutique fair for your “inside or outside baby.”

Due to the success of this event, the Fair is back again this weekend. The public sale will take place on Saturday and Sunday (August 20 and 21) at Bitter Lake Community Center Annex (13040 Greenwood Avenue N). Times are listed below:

  • Saturday, August 20 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm
  • Sunday, August 21 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

In addition, starting at 3:00 pm on Sunday, any remaining item that says “Discount: Yes” will be 50% off.

What can you expect at the Bumps & Babies Fair? Thousands of new and gently used consignment items, from clothing to toys to books and children’s furniture. Cash is preferred, but they will accept debit and credit cards as well.

You will find local vendors such as The Chic Bambino (Simpson’s company),  J. Shelton Photography, Pepperjack Home, and Tiny Toppers. A full list of vendors, and additional details on the Fair, can be found at the Fair’s website.


UPDATE: A neighbor reports that the suspect has been caught by police.

We just tweeted about it, but we just got additional details in an email from the Maple Leaf Community Council:

Please be aware the Seattle Police Department is currently hunting a fugitive accused of assault in the Maple Leaf neighborhood near 12th Ave NE and NE 90th.

The description of the person is as follows:

Black man, white t-shirt, white sweat pants, 5’9″, 190 lbs, probably sweaty from running. The man is wanted for several things. The police do not believe he is armed, but if he is spotted DO NOT CONFRONT. Phone 9-1-1 right away.

Please lock your doors and windows and call 9-1-1 immediately if you see anyone matching the description or see suspicious activity. Keep a phone nearby.


Ask people what projects and policies need to be implemented in order to make Maple Leaf a safer, healthier neighborhood, and you’ll get a range of responses.

More sidewalks. Better access to public transit. Healthier neighborhood markets. Ensure the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park is smoke-free, well-maintained, and promotes a range of physical activity for children and neighbors.

Ask people if any of this is being done and many can’t answer. The truth is that a lot of this work is already underway.  In 2010, King County received federal stimulus grants to address tobacco- and obesity-related diseases, two leading causes of preventable death in our county. A year later, there are now over 50 partners working to change Maple Leaf and other neighborhoods in King County so that residents have more healthy options and less unhealthy ones in their communities.

Led by Seattle – King County Public Health, these partners today launched Let’s Do This King County, a new campaign to educate residents about these policy changes that are happening and how they can get involved in the work ahead.

A sampling of new nutrition and physical activity improvements include:

  • A total of 27 businesses have signed on to participate in Healthy Foods Here, a program to increase access to healthy food options through small corner and convenience stores.
  • Bicycle Alliance, in partnership with Feet First, is working with schools to implement Safe Routes to School in six school districts in King County.
  • More than 50 organizations have taken the Soda Free Sundays pledge.
  • School districts are improving nutrition in their school meals and the foods sold in high school stores and fundraisers.

Tobacco prevention initiatives underway include:

  • 46 publicly funded mental health and chemical dependency treatment agencies will integrate treatment protocols for tobacco addiction into their services and 38 of these will also be smoke-free by March 2012.
  • Nine King County housing providers—including Seattle Housing Authority, King County Housing Authority and Housing Resources Group—plan to implement smoke-free policies by March 2012.
  • Harborview and University of Washington Medical Center joined Highline Medical Center in implementing a campus-wide smoke-free policy and high-quality protocols for addressing tobacco dependence.

A full list of grantees is available at the Seattle – King County Public Health website.

Why is this work important? In King County, 20 percent of adults are obese and data from 2004-2008 show that 13 percent of adults smoke cigarettes. The health problems are even worse in South Seattle and South King County, where up to 31 percent of residents are obese and up to 20 percent of residents smoke.

The Let’s Do This campaign is using the below television ad, as well as videos, website and outdoor advertising to raise awareness about these health disparities — while also drawing attention to solutions.

Over the last few weeks, you may have seen a Let’s Do This billboard near the Maple Leaf neighborhood (On the Northeast corner on Lake City Way and 17th Ave NE  — ironically placed across from 7-11).

To stay connected to the campaign, follow them on Twitter, Like the page on Facebook, and Subscribe to their YouTube channel.