West Seattle, Washington
8:01 PM: The 34th District State House Position 2 seat – including West Seattle, White Center, and part of Burien – is the one that Rep. Sharon Nelson is leaving to run unopposed for the State Senate seat Joe McDermott is relinquishing for his County Council run. Four people filed to run, and the primary ended with Nelson’s legislative assistant Joe Fitzgibbon and King County Councilmember Jan Drago community liaison Mike Heavey as the top two vote-getters. Tonight’s results in this race will be here; more to come.
(Joe Fitzgibbon at his Election Night party at Skylark Café and Club [WSB sponsor])
8:19 PM: Tonight’s vote count is in. Fitzgibbon is ahead of Heavey, 55 percent to 44 percent. From the county website:
Joe Fitzgibbon 11809 54.80%
Mike Heavey 9472 43.96%
9:40 PM: This was considered a marquee race – open legislative seat, two Democrats facing off in the general – so we have talked to both Fitzgibbon and Heavey, and will add those video clips here as soon as they are uploaded. (added) We asked Fitzgibbon what he wants to do first in Olympia:
(Sorry about the blue squiggle in the video – no idea where that came from!)
8 PM: The King County Council District 8 seat – including West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon/Maury Islands, as well as some other parts of the metro area – is the one that Dow Constantine left to win election as KC Executive a year ago. Jan Drago was appointed to serve until the election (she had made it clear she didn’t want to run for the job); four people filed to run, and the primary ended with State Sen. Joe McDermott and former county licensing official Diana Toledo as the top two vote-getters. Tonight’s results in this race will be here; more to come.
8:16 PM: We’re starting the night at the McDermott party at Calamity Jane’s in Georgetown. Still no King County results at all; the room full of people is busy checking their smartphones, while we hit “refresh” every few seconds on the MacBook. A bigscreen projector is showing, alternately, the King County Elections site and the New York Times front page.
8:19 PM: Numbers in. McDermott over Toledo, 67 to 32 percent. From the county website:
Joe McDermott 21020 67.61%
Diana Toledo 9957 32.03%
10:28 PM: Quick video interview:
7:59 PM: Here’s where we’ll track tonight’s other races – for example, 34th District State House Position 1, with incumbent Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody challenged by “reluctantly Republican” Ray Carter (those results will be here) – and the city/county/state ballot measures, just in case you are browsing here inbetween visits to regional/national sites (like The Seattle Times [WSB partner], with plenty of home-page election coverage). More to come!
8:15 PM: Early results show Sen. Patty Murray (D) behind Dino Rossi (R). But King County’s first batch of returns hasn’t posted yet.
8:27 PM: With the King County numbers now in, Murray is leading Rossi 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the Secretary of State’s office. In the 34th District State House 1 race, it’s Cody over Carter, 78 percent to 21 percent. The tallies on the Times home page show the income tax and liquor initiatives all losing, the candy-tax-repeal initiative winning. Per the King County site, the Seattle Schools levy is passing in a big way, 64 percent “yes.”
9:01 PM: Checked on King County Prop 1, the sales-tax increase for public safety. Losing big, with 56 percent “no.”
10:05 PM: You can check all the statewide ballot measures’ results by going here. The bail-denial measure is way ahead, with 85% yes. Referendum 52, which sought to validate a state bill to spend money to retrofit schools for energy efficiency (among other things), is losing. Both privatizing-liquor-sales measures are behind, though 1105 is losing bigger than 1100. And as for everything else – definitely an anti-tax mood.
The posters are up, all over the hallways inside West Seattle High School – but the invitation extends to the rest of the community, too: The WSHS Drama Club is two nights away from opening its fall production, the jury-deliberations drama “12 Angry People” (known in earlier incarnations as “12 Angry Men”). Drama teacher and “12 Angry People” director Andrew Finley allowed WSB to sit in on dress rehearsal Monday evening, so we grabbed a bit of video during one of the production’s most-emotional scenes:
“What I love about (this play) is that it’s a character study,” Finley told us during a quick chat on the sidelines while the student actors continued their run-through. “The playwriting term is ‘an elevator play’ – the characters are locked in a room, and have to work things out.” For Finley, teaching drama (along with other subjects he teaches) isn’t just a career – it’s in his blood, truly, considering that both his parents are actors, and there’s so much theatrical involvement on his family tree, he jokes that an uncle who is an “international businessman” is considered the “black sheep of the family.”
His cast for “Twelve Angry People” spans the class roster at WSHS – for example, he notes juror #3 is a senior who’s been in the Drama Club for years, while juror #8 is a freshman. (If you’ve never seen a variation of this half-century-old play, it follows the jurors through their debate over a verdict in the case of a young man accused of murdering his father.) Here’s the full cast, from the official website:
FOREMAN: Taylor Schuler
JUROR NO. 2: Matthew Carlson
JUROR NO. 3: David Ramirez
JUROR NO. 4: Flannery Denison
JUROR NO. 5: Nanna Darden
JUROR NO. 6: Matt Bohl
JUROR NO. 7: Johnny Le
JUROR NO. 8: Kayla Swedlow
JUROR NO. 9: Kaily Irons-Fuda
JUROR NO. 10: Sterling Espinoza
JUROR NO. 11: Biruktawit Mengistu
JUROR NO. 12: Mackenzie Jennings
BAILIFF: Margie Alamario
So if you’re not associated with WSHS, why come see a student play? Finley – in his ninth year at WSHS – thinks for a moment, then suggests that one thing setting this apart from other student productions – “I have almost unreasonably high standards,” because of his background. And indeed, as our visit to dress rehearsal wraps up, the actors take a break, and Finley briskly points out one major glitch they’d just displayed – but in a tough-coach sense, not a berating-tyrant sense. They continued working into the night, and will be ready to show their stuff for you and other audience members, Thursday-Saturday this week (Nov. 4-6) and next (Nov. 11-13). Showtime at the WSHS Theater is 7:30 pm nightly; admission is $7 with a reservation, $12 without (all explained online) – to make a reservation, call 206-252-8834. (And stay tuned within the next few weeks for the announcement of two more WSHS productions to come!)
This afternoon, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed four charges of vehicular assault against 43-year-old Juanita Wright, an Admiral resident who also uses the surnames Mars and Carpenter, in connection with a crash outside Showbox SODO last Thursday night. Prosecutors allege Wright had a blood-alcohol level of .29 as measured two hours after the crash – more than three times the legal-drunkenness level – and hit seven people who were crossing 1st Avenue South after a concert at the venue. Four of them were seriously hurt, with multiple broken bones, including a 28-year-old woman with a head injury that required removal of part of her skull. Wright’s car is described in court documents as having been full of empty or partly empty 24-ounce cans of 8.2% beer at the time of the crash. has been in jail since early last Friday morning, with bail set at a quarter-million dollars, and is scheduled for arraignment on November 15th. According to the charging documents, her record includes an unresolved drunk-driving charge from Pierce County 20 years ago, and more recent violations including speeding and driving without a license.
If you haven’t been to the WSB Forums (open round-the-clock for WSB’er-to-WSB’er discussion, 100,000+ posts in less than 3 years) lately, a couple things to point out this afternoon: First, member DP suggests night two of White Center’s Dia de los Muertos celebration as a creative activity for tonight, 5-8 pm (maybe to “kill” time waiting for that big round of election returns?) He went to night one and has posted a report with photos and info. Second, the Forums get a few lost/found posts (aside from pets, which have their own page) each week, but this one is unusual – a mom who left a stroller outside a Junction eatery the other night came back out to find it gone, with a similar one left in its place, and is hoping to get hers back (read more here).
Let’s say you get home from work tonight and realize you still haven’t voted but don’t want to take the chance it won’t get postmarked in time. The King County Elections drive-up dropbox alongside Boeing Field isn’t all that far. We hadn’t been there before, so we drove over a little while ago in order to be able to semi-coherently explain what/where to look for, in case you want to take your ballot there too. It’s at 9010 East Marginal Way, on the Boeing Field side of the street, a couple blocks north of the Museum of Flight. From south West Seattle, we took the Highland Park Way route to the 1st Avenue South bridge northbound, from which you take the Michigan exit and then an immediate right on East Marginal:
The dropbox is on the airfield (east) side of the Elections building, and signs will point you to the lot on the building’s north side that you must drive through to get there:
As you can see in the top photo, the dropbox itself is a mailbox-style “snorkel” setup- you can drive right up and put your ballot envelope in the slot. (No stamp needed if you do this, though you’ve probably burned gas worth more than the first-class stamp would’ve cost you.) Speaking of the U.S. Postal Service: The Riverton Heights branch in SeaTac is still open till almost midnight, so if you just absolutely can’t get to a dropbox (here’s the full countywide list) before 8 pm, you can try going to Riverton Heights – map and address here – by 11:45 pm – if your ballot really does get postmarked November 2nd, it’ll still count. But the first and only vote count for election night (with subsequent ones each afternoon thereafter) is scheduled for 8:15. Once the numbers are up, we’ll publish the results; you add the reaction!
TONY’S PRODUCE: Now closed for its annual fall hiatus before reopening with Christmas trees. Meantime, across the street to the south:
EX-EXXON, FUTURE 7-11 WORK REVS UP: Thanks to Kevin for the latest tip about activity at the former Exxon station that’s slated to become West Seattle’s next 7-11. Went by to check; a demolition crew is definitely at work this morning (though the permit does not indicate the existing building will be demolished – just remodeled), and there are two other signs that the store is now on the fast track: First one actually involves signs – a permit issued for one illuminated pole sign and five wall signs reading 7-11. Second one explains why the “seeking franchisee” shingle has come down – according to a liquor-license application last week, the store-in-progress now has a franchisor. By the way, it was exactly one year ago today that we first reported the Exxon station/minimart had closed.
One day after Metro‘s winter-weather briefing for the King County Council (our update with a link to the PowerPoint presentation is here) – which included an explanation of the “memorandum of understanding” between the city and county to make sure bus routes are prioritized during future snow – SDOT is doing snowplow practice again today, for at least the second time this fall. Thanks to Leah for the photo – one of 2 she saw on the Edmunds/41st hill – and also to Cheryl for a tip via Twitter. SDOT tells us its annual winter-weather briefing for the media will happen sometime next week; they drew up lots of new policies and procedures for last year, after Snowpocalypse/Snowmare woes in late ’08, but never got the chance to put them to use. No need to wait for that, though – this winter’s snow-routes map is already available online.
A crowd estimated at more than 100 people came to The Hall at Fauntleroy on Monday night for King County’s briefing on the latest development in the quest to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows from the Murray Pump Station at Lowman Beach. First – we put the entire meeting on video, with the first hour (the county’s presentation) in the top clip, the second hour (attendee discussion) in this next one:
Toplines: The newest option under consideration was chosen by the Citizens’ Advisory Group convened at the behest of Murray “basin” residents concerned about all three of the original potential options, especially one that would dig up the park to bury a big holding tank to reduce overflows. But the option preferred by the group after a summer of work – which at one point had 17 options under consideration (here’s their final report) – is not technically in the Murray basin area; it would involve most of the storage going under Lincoln Park’s south parking lot, which is in Fauntleroy (where a separate pump station, Barton, does not have an overflow-reduction plan chosen yet).
Many Fauntleroy residents who spoke at the meeting voiced concerns about traffic trouble if this latest proposal was chosen by King County – not just from the loss of the parking lot during years of construction, but also because it could overlap with other projects in the area. There also was widespread concern that the group settled on this option without input from area residents; Fauntleroy had one representative on the advisory group, Vlad Oustimovitch, who had voiced those same concerns while the group was making its decision a month ago. Advisory group member Donna Sandstrom said last night that they had tried to be as fair as possible.
One attendee wondered about the status of possibly using private property near Lowman Beach for the storage, which was envisioned in one of the first three options the county had brought forward last spring; area property owners who were at the meeting indicated they had no intention of voluntarily selling.
What’s next? The county has the final say on choosing one potential option for further study, and is not bound by the advisory group’s preference. It’s still taking public comments, so if you have something to say, they want to hear from you by November 15th – here’s how.
Tonight’s the deadline to mail or drop off your ballot – as mentioned here; then at about 8:15 pm, the first big batch of election returns will be in (with weeks of counting to follow). Also tonight: the Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrates its new book “Images of America: West Seattle” – join the party (and get the book!) at 6:30 pm at Zeeks Pizza in Morgan Junction … Dream Dinners (WSB sponsor) has an open house tonight for you to sample their November menu, 5:30-7 pm, call 206-938-5999 to RSVP … If you’re driving the Alaskan Way Viaduct today between commute times, traffic alert: The far left northbound lane is scheduled to be closed daily through Friday, 9 am-3 pm, Holgate-Massachusetts, for rail repair … More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.
In our coverage of the recent Killer Whale Tales benefit, we mentioned first word of this event – now known as OrcaFest 2010, and coming up this Sunday at Alki Bathhouse. The Whale Trail, led by Donna Sandstrom, and Killer Whale Tales, led by Jeff Hogan (both West Seattleites), are presenting OrcaFest, which will include an environmental fair and program, tribal-dance performance, storytelling, art, and activities for kids. That’s all happening Sunday (November 7), 11 am-3 pm at the bathhouse, free. Then the following Wednesday, November 10, $5 gets you in to the Duwamish Longhouse to hear NOAA’s Brad Hanson give an update on research into what orcas eat (7 pm; tickets available online here).
(WSB photos by Ellen Cedergreen)
We’ve told you before about Rebuilding Together Seattle, which, often with civic-minded businesses as partners, musters volunteers to help fix up homes for those who desperately need the help. In the span of one week, the group is involved with two projects helping local veterans. The first one happened this past Saturday in West Seattle – veteran John Barth (above) was the beneficiary of work on everything from his deck to a garage door, interior painting, and new kitchen appliances. With the partnership of Sears, 17 volunteers swarmed the home to get it all done, including Tony and Emily:
Another volunteer, Doug, told us he was helping because he’s an Iraq War veterans who wants to help other vets – he framed a new garage door despite Saturday’s heavy rain:
Rebuilding Together volunteers even had to blow dry the walls in order to get the paint on over the primer, because of the water-heavy air:
Volunteers even got John’s garden weeded – that’s where volunteer project manager and general contractor Mike Santopolo is standing in this photo:
Mike’s been volunteering since the ’90s, to help disabled veterans who need home improvements.
Meantime, a separate Rebuilding Together Seattle project to help veterans is coming up this Thursday: More than 100 volunteers from RTS and The Home Depot will work at the homes of three vets – one in North Burien, one on Beacon Hill, and one in Shoreline. They’ve dubbed the project “Veterans Rebuilding Day.” (The official Veterans Day is coming up one week from this Thursday.)