What happens to leftover campaign cash if you don’t win? Here’s what City Council District 1 ex-candidate Chas Redmond did

August 21, 2015 at 2:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 22 Comments

(Photos provided by Chas Redmond: Above, at WS Food Bank today with Judi Yazzolino, Lester Yuhand, and Christopher Dickie)

With two of nine candidates in the primary for Seattle City Council District 1 advancing to the general election, what’s next for the other seven? We heard today from one of them – Chas Redmond, who was first to start campaigning for the seat, and finished fifth. As far as we can recall, he’s the first ex-candidate who’s ever sent word of what he’s doing with the leftover campaign cash:

Now that I’m out of the race, I have to close out my campaign finances. I ran a very tight campaign and underspent my fundraising, meaning I had surplus funds at the conclusion of my run for office. I raised $12,467 and spent $9,967, making my cost-per-voter among the lowest, if not the lowest, of all 47 campaigns for City Council – my cost-per-voter was $7.86.

According to the Public Disclosure Commission, I can do several things with surplus campaign funds including donating them to non-profits and charities. Thanks again to all who donated. I had $2500 in surplus funds and have donated $1250 of those funds to Sustainable West Seattle and another $1250 of those funds to the West Seattle Food Bank.

(Above, at Sustainable WS picnic last night, presenting check to president Bryan Fiedorczyk)
As I kept saying throughout the campaign, there are no losers in this race, all of West Seattle and South Park are winners.

After receiving that announcement from Redmond, we asked him about future plans:

I’m working on a few ideas that still involve being an activist in local politics and I think it’s going to be really hard to take me out of the music scene, so music will remain part of my life. And I’m an active member of VIEWS, and we’re looking to do all sorts of cool things to increase engagement here in West Seattle in South Park. The campaign was amazing and getting to know everyone was even more amazing. West Seattle and South Park are very fortunate to have the quality of people running for public office and engaged in civic activities that we do. And finally, hats off to Lisa Herbold and Shannon Braddock, you were great competitors; I thoroughly enjoyed running with the pack.

We published the final election results after certification this past Tuesday.

The WSBeat: Bowling-alley attack; rental scam; more…

August 15, 2015 at 5:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics, WSBeat | 12 Comments

By Megan Sheppard
On the WSBeat, for West Seattle Blog

The WSBeat features summaries written from recent incident reports filed by Southwest Precinct officers – generally cases that (usually) have NOT already appeared here in breaking-news coverage or West Seattle Crime Watch reports; some are not crimes, but might at least answer a lingering question such as “what WERE all those police doing on my block?” Or on the bridge, or the beach, or …

*A group of people left a bowling alley on the 9th without paying their tab. An employee ran outside to persuade them to ante up. He reached them just as a driver from a car service pulled alongside. The employee advised the driver not to take the passengers, warning that if he did, his car’s license would be provided to police as “the getaway car.” The driver left; the employee was punched in the face twice and kicked in the head four times by two men in the group. A bystander who tried to help was also kicked in the head. The attackers fled eastbound on SW Oregon. One was described as a white man, about 6’2”, in his forties, with gray hair. He wore a black sweater with white stripes. The other was described as a Hispanic man in his forties, wearing a white button-up shirt and black slacks.

Ahead, seven more summaries, including a stopped shoplifter, a rental scam, and warrant arrests:

Click to read the rest of The WSBeat: Bowling-alley attack; rental scam; more……

12 days until 34th District Democrats’ Garden Party dinner/auction

August 9, 2015 at 4:36 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | No Comments

Our area’s biggest political organization is returning to the lakeside TAF Bethaday Community Space for its biggest fundraiser. The 34th District Democrats are advertising their annual Garden Party dinner/auction on WSB to help get the word out – it’s set for 6 pm Friday, August 21st, and since it’s the 20th annual Garden Party, the theme is “Roaring Twenties,” complete with costume contest. The latest list of items donated for the silent and live auctions includes a football bearing Seahawks star Russell Wilson‘s autograph, a wine-country retreat in Napa, a train trip to Portland with weekend lodging, and one year of having West 5‘s legendary mac and cheese once a month. Garden Party’ers will be entertained by the Casey MacGill Duo. If you haven’t been to the Bethaday Community Learning Space, it’s in White Center’s wooded Lakewood Park, which is home to Hicklin Lake. Garden Party tickets are on sale now online – find the link here.

ELECTION 2015: See the fourth round of primary results

August 7, 2015 at 9:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

Whole lot of last-minute voters in our area – while the last pre-election count of returned ballots showed only about 9,000 out of 60,000 had been received, that number has almost doubled to just under 18,000, for a turnout of about 30 percent. Meantime, the fourth round of King County election results is out; here’s the latest in four of the races that were on your ballot (the full list of all results around the county is here):

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 (West Seattle/South Park)
Lisa Herbold – 5072 – 30.10%
Shannon Braddock – 4703 – 27.91%
Phillip Tavel – 3053 – 18.12%
Brianna Thomas – 1720 – 10.21%
Chas Redmond – 1235 – 7.33%
Jody Rushmer – 355 – 2.11%
Karl Wirsing – 239 – 1.42%
Arturo Robles – 231 – 1.37%
Pavel Goberman – 191 – 1.13%

SCHOOL BOARD POSITION 6 (West Seattle/South Park, district vote in the primary, citywide in the general)
Leslie Harris – 7287 – 48.11%
Marty McLaren* – 5727 – 37.81%
Nick Esparza – 2054 – 13.56%

Courtney Gregoire* – 220612 – 82.91%
Goodspaceguy – 23985 – 9.01%
John Naubert – 19963 – 7.50%

Fred Felleman – 64709 – 24.71%
Marion Yoshino – 47202 – 18.02%
Richard Pope – 41054 – 15.67%
Ken Rogers – 29459 – 11.25%
Darrell Bryan – 27186 – 10.38%
Herb Krohn – 20762 – 7.93%
Norman Z. Sigler – 18542 – 7.08%
Mark Hennon – 6961 – 2.66%
Daniel E. Reandeau – 5173 – 1.98%

King County will announce daily vote counts until certification a week from Tuesday. The general election is on Tuesday, November 3rd, which includes not only more races, but also ballot measures including the “Move Seattle” transportation levy

2015 ELECTION: Third round of primary results out – Herbold’s lead over Braddock widens

August 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 13 Comments

If you were waiting for the third round of primary-election results – it’s in. For Seattle City Council District 1 (Seattle/South Park), Lisa Herbold‘s lead over Shannon Braddock has widened to more than 300 votes. Phillip Tavel is a relatively distant third:

Herbold – 30.07% – 4870 votes
Braddock – 27.97% – 4530 votes
Tavel – 18.07% – 2926 votes

Top two go to the November general-election ballot. We’ll be adding more results-update notes shortly.

ELECTION 2015: Second ballot count changes City Council District 1 lead – Herbold now #1, Braddock #2

August 5, 2015 at 4:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 24 Comments

King County Elections has gone public with its second round of primary-election results. While the top two in Seattle City Council District 1 remain the same, the order has changed – Lisa Herbold is now slightly ahead of Shannon Braddock:

Herbold – 28.56% – 3551 votes
Braddock – 28.23% – 3510 votes
Tavel – 18.51% – 2301 votes
Thomas – 10.87% – 1351 votes
Redmond – 7.20% – 895 votes
Rushmer – 2.20% – 274 votes
Robles – 1.56% – 194 votes
Wirsing – 1.41% – 175 votes
Goberman – 1.16% – 144 votes

Otherwise, the top two remain the same, in the same order as last night, in all the other races that West Seattleites voted on – at-large Council Positions 8 and 9, Port Commission Positions 2 and 5, and School Board Position 6, the only other district-specific (West Seattle/South Park) race on this ballot, which is now:

Leslie Harris – 46.74% – 5240 votes
Marty McLaren – 38.69% – 4338 votes
Nick Esparza – 14.09% – 1580 votes

Next results will be out around the same time tomorrow, with daily counts until final certification in two weeks. The general election is Tuesday, November 3rd.

VIDEO: City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) election results – Shannon Braddock, Lisa Herbold, Phillip Tavel leading

August 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 34 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:06 PM: The big race of the night for our area is the first-ever primary for Seattle City Council District 1, West Seattle/South Park, with nine candidates in the running. As soon as tonight’s vote count is in (any minute now), you’ll see the results here (and other races here).

FIRST RESULTS, 8:15 PM: The first and only election-night vote count is in: Shannon Braddock is the top vote-getter with 29 percent, Lisa Herbold next with 27 percent, Phillip Tavel third with 19 percent, Brianna Thomas with 11 percent, Chas Redmond with 7 percent. (added – full first-round results for all 9 District 1 candidates)

Braddock – 28.59% – 3096 votes
Herbold – 27.44% – 2972 votes
Tavel – 19.03% – 2061 votes
Thomas – 10.74% – 1163 votes
Redmond – 7.32% – 793 votes
Rushmer – 2.30% – 249 votes
Robles – 1.65% – 179 votes
Wirsing – 1.42% – 154 votes
Goberman – 1.17% – 127 votes

8:38 PM: Just talked to Braddock at her election-night party at Mission in The Admiral District. Asked “what did you do when you saw the vote count?” she replied, “Started breathing again!” We’ll add a short video interview later. (10 pm: Now added:)

Headed south in hopes of catching Lisa Herbold next.

8:51 PM: Just talked with Herbold outside her party location, Feedback Lounge in Morgan Junction (she was on the back patio, talking to her brother via phone, when we arrived). She said she was surprised by tonight’s results, not expecting a clear top two. We’ll add our quick video interview once we’re back at HQ. (10 pm: Now added:)

Again, this is just the first round of ballot-counting; next round is around 4:30 pm tomorrow. When the vote-counting is done and results are certified in two weeks, the top two advance to the November general election.

P.S. The county says 12,000 ballots from District 1 had been returned by Election Night – 20 percent of the “active voters” in West Seattle/South Park.

MORE ELECTION RESULTS: City Council Positions 8 & 9, School Board Position 6, Port Commission…

August 4, 2015 at 8:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

ORIGINAL REPORT, 8:04 PM: Voting’s over and vote-counting is under way – this is our placeholder for everything BUT West Seattle/South Park’s first-ever primary in City Council District 1 – we’re covering that race here. Once the vote count is released, the links below will go directly to results in that race:

City Council Position 8 (at large) – results here
City Council Position 9 (at large) – results here
School Board Position 6 – results here
Port Commission Position 2 – results here
Port Commission Position 5 – results here

FIRST RESULTS, 8:21 PM: The one and only election-night count is in. For Position 8, it’s Tim Burgess with 48 percent and Jon Grant with 28 percent. (Added – full results:)

Burgess: 48.34% – 37300 votes
Grant: 28.36% – 21883 votes
Roderick: 15.66% – 12082 votes
Persak: 7.07% – 5459 votes

For Position 9, it’s Lorena Gonzalez (a West Seattle resident) with 64 percent, followed by Bill Bradburd with 15 percent. (Added – full results:)

Gonzalez: 63.72% – 49191 votes
Bradburd: 15.21% – 11742 votes
Bassok: 9.22% – 7121 votes
Tobin: 8.58% – 6627 votes
Tahir-Garrett: 1.57% – 1209 votes
Tsimerman: 1.39% – 1076 votes

P.S. See all nine City Council districts/positions’ results here.

8:40 PM: For Port Commission Position 2, it’s Courtney Gregoire with 82 percent, Goodspaceguy with 9 percent. For Position 5: Fred Felleman 22 percent, Marion Yoshino 19 percent, Richard Pope 16 percent.

8:44 PM: For School Board Position 6, which represents West Seattle/South Park, Leslie Harris is top votegetter with 46 percent, incumbent Marty McLaren next with 39 percent. (Added – full results:)

Harris: 46.00% – 4493 votes
McLaren: 38.93% – 3803 votes
Esparza: 14.56% – 1422 votes

Again, the next round of results will be out around 4:30 pm tomorrow; final vote counts will be certified in two weeks, and the top two will be on the November ballot.

Voted in this historic election yet? Most haven’t; do it by Tuesday

July 30, 2015 at 9:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

Two weeks after ballots arrived in most local mailboxes, more than 80 percent of them are still waiting to be turned in, according to the newest King County Elections numbers:

That’s the screen grab from the KCE webpage with tonight’s count of ballots received so far (at right, compared to how many were sent out, at left) – we are in City Council District 1, as we hope you know by now, in this history-making year, with the seven newly created districts each electing its first councilmember. That’s not the only contest on your ballot, but it’s the highest-profile one. The decisions you’ll make:

*King County Elections Director (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 2 (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 5 (9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park; 9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 8 (citywide; 4 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 9 (citywide; 6 candidates)
*Seattle School Board Position 6 (West Seattle/South Park; 3 candidates)

Whomever you support, vote for them and get your ballot in the mail or into a dropbox by Tuesday night – here’s the list of dropboxes (open now) and ballot vans (open Sat. and Mon. 10 am-5 pm, Tues. 10 am-8 pm).

STILL MULLING YOUR COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 CHOICE? See our nine “Last Look” interviews/stories (first published last Friday), one per candidate.

LAST DAY! Voter-registration deadline for historic council primary

July 27, 2015 at 10:39 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

One week from tomorrow, it’s the last day to vote in the first-ever primary for the newly reconfigured Seattle City Council – seven people elected by district, two at-large (right now all nine are elected at-large). If you’re not registered to vote in this state, TODAY is your last chance to sign up in time to be part of it – and you have to do it in person, by 4:30 pm. Two options:

*King County Administration building downtown, 500 4th Avenue (note they close for 1-2 pm break)
*King County Elections HQ, 919 Grady Way, Renton

Whether you’re a new voter or not, if you’re in West Seattle, your ballot features seven decisions to make, including Council District 1. They are:

*King County Elections Director (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 2 (3 candidates)
*Seattle Port Commission Position 5 (9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park; 9 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 8 (citywide; 4 candidates)
*Seattle City Council Position 9 (citywide; 6 candidates)
*Seattle School Board Position 6 (West Seattle/South Park; 3 candidates)

Voting deadline is next Tuesday night – get your ballot in the mail (you pay the postage) so that it’s postmarked by August 4th, or get it to a dropbox (open now) or ballot van (next Sat., Mon., Tues.) by 8 pm that night (no postage needed).

STILL MAKING UP YOUR MIND ON COUNCIL DISTRICT 1? Check out our nine “Last Look” interviews/stories (first published last Friday), one for each candidate, even if just to verify you’re voting for the one you think is best!

ELECTION EXTRA: 11 days to vote. 9 candidates on your ballot in Seattle City Council District 1. Take one last look if you’re still deciding.

July 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 58 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Back in February, when campaigning for this year’s history-making City Council elections was just stirring to life, we presented a “First Look” forum featuring what were, at the time, four candidates in the race for the new District 1 (West Seattle and South Park).

Two of them are still in the running, with seven more who have since joined. Along the way, five others were in the race for a while. Now, phase one of the numbers game is almost over. Nine candidates are looking for your vote by August 4. When the votes are all counted, two will move on to the November 3rd general election.

Ballots were mailed last week. If you’re a typical voter, yours is still sitting on a table or shelf, unopened. You might be planning to sit down this weekend or next to take some time before voting.

That’s why we decided to bookend our coverage with a “Last Look.” Not another forum – you’ve had plenty of chances to go watch one of those, and if you couldn’t go in person, we’ve videotaped most of them (here’s the one that featured all 9).

Instead of a forum, we sat down with each of the nine candidates, with the goal being a conversation – not all “where do you stand on X?” nor “if you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you would be?”, but something inbetween. We recorded each candidate on video for the entirety of our conversation, and have written a story to go along with each video, including some other links that might help you, if not make up your mind, at least ratify – or re-evaluate – your choice.

The interviews were all done in West Seattle in the past two weeks; thanks to West Seattle Office Junction and Swift Media Solutions for providing quiet conversation spaces.

One candidate told us they don’t get the chance to “be ourselves” enough during the campaign, to show a little personality. This has a little of that. Because they were more conversation than interview, we didn’t ask everyone the same questions – this is not meant as a comparison guide so much as a chance to gut-check your decision/leaning/etc.

Click any candidate’s name (they’re listed in first-name-alphabetical order) to read, watch, listen.

Arturo Robles

Brianna Thomas

Chas Redmond

Jody Rushmer

Karl Wirsing

Lisa Herbold

Pavel Goberman

Phillip Tavel

Shannon Braddock

P.S. There’s been one forum in South Park – we have it on video via our partner site The South Park News.

P.P.S. Remember you’ll also be voting for at-large Positions 8 and 9. Wish we had had time to check in with all of those candidates too. Here’s our coverage of the at-large-candidates forum in nearby Georgetown back in May (with video), which also featured two local School Board candidates.

P.P.P.S. Not registered yet? Hurry! You can still register but you have to do it in person, today OR by 4:30 pm Monday – info on the King County Elections website.

Voting deadline is the evening of August 4th – get your ballots in the mail ASAP or to a van/dropbox by 8 pm that night.

Mayor’s housing plan: First council discussion; plus, clarifying what’s proposed for single-family neighborhoods

July 21, 2015 at 11:16 pm | In West Seattle housing, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 55 Comments

The week after Mayor Murray went public with his housing proposals – concurrent with release of a report by the advisory committee appointed to examine the issue – the City Council got its first official briefing:

The Seattle Channel published video today of Monday’s first meeting of the council’s Select Committee on Housing Affordability – the creation of which was announced last week, at the same time as the mayor’s proposals and the Housing Affordability and Livability Advisory committee (HALA) report.

For this update on the plan, we also sat down with a West Seattleite from the HALA committee, Cindi Barker, to talk through a few of its more-confusing points. (She was not on the committee as a West Seattle representative, but as a member of the City Neighborhood Council.)

First – some toplines from Monday’s council meeting. Early on, a city staffer offered an understatement, saying it will be a “long conversation” because “some of the suggestions do step outside of the comfort zone.”

Much of the briefing focused on the backstory of how this all happened.

One major issue of interest brought up by Councilmember Tom Rasmussen was the oft-quoted contention that the city has enough “capacity” for all the new housing it needs, without any upzoning.

Click to read the rest of Mayor’s housing plan: First council discussion; plus, clarifying what’s proposed for single-family neighborhoods…

ELECTION 2015: Voting begins; campaigning continues

July 16, 2015 at 11:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 2 Comments

Did you get your ballot today too?

Voting has begun for the August 4th primary. If you’re like many people and planning to leave your ballot unopened for a while as you decide what to do, here’s what you need to know:

You have three positions to vote on – technically, no incumbents, because these are all-new seats, seven districts and two at-large:
District 1 (this is the one we’ve been talking about the most, the first-ever West Seattle/South Park seat), with nine candidates)
Position 8 (this is one of the two at-large City Council seats, with four candidates)
Position 9 (the other at-large City Council seat with six candidates)

You’ll be voting on two spots
Position 2 (three candidates, including the incumbent)
Position 5 (nine candidates, no incumbent)

You’ll be voting on one board position
–District 6 (three candidates, including the incumbent)

–Three candidates, no incumbent

It’s been a busy primary season, with the first City Council District 1 candidates’ forum in February, the “First Look” forum we presented at Highland Park Improvement Club on February 5th. Four candidates were in the race; two of them are among the nine on your ballot now. Others jumped in (and in some cases jumped out) after that. The final forum was this past Wednesday night at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), presented by SSC and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce. While it was in the “candi-dating” format, which means no way to record it in its entirety without a small army of videographers, we did get the opening statement by all participants:

(Those statements start at 5 minutes into the video; 8 of the candidates were there.) In the past week, we also have recorded interviews with each of the nine D-1 candidates, one at a time, in case you’re interested in a “Last Look” before you cast your vote. We will publish them simultaneously at some point in the next few days, as soon as the stories to accompany them are all ready. You can also review our coverage by scrolling through our West Seattle Politics archive, here. All this assumes you didn’t cast your vote the second the ballot showed up; if not, you have 2 1/2 weeks, so no rush. But do vote – this election is historic, with the council change to 7 district reps plus 2 at-large.

Election 2015: One more chance to see the candidates pre-primary

July 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

Next week, King County Elections mails the ballots for the August 4th primary, and yours will include the nine candidates in the historic first-ever District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council race. One forum remains before the voting begins – next Wednesday night (July 15th) at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), which is partnering with the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce to present this forum, focused on business, jobs, and education issues. It’s set for the Brockey Center at SSC (6000 16th SW), and the Chamber describes it as follows:

The event will begin at 5:30 pm with a meet and greet between the candidates and the attendees of the forum. At 6 pm all candidates will have an opportunity for an opening statement, and then we will begin the next phase of the forum. This will consist of “candidating” with the attendees. After the opening statements, all candidates will be sent to a table of attendees for 8 minutes. At the end of 8 minutes, the candidates will move on to the next table of attendees. We will continue this process as time allows. There will be time allowed at the end of the “candidating” portion for all candidates to give a 30-second closing statement. We plan to conclude the event by 8 pm.

The candidates in the at-large Positions 8 and 9 races have a concurrent forum outside West Seattle but if it finishes sooner, some might drop by toward this one’s end. While there is no admission charge for the forum, the Chamber is hoping you will pre-register so it knows how many people to expect – you can do that from this page.

City Council to consider two new laws ‘to improve gun safety’

July 8, 2015 at 10:07 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 47 Comments

Two proposals today from City Councilmember Tim Burgess are described in his announcement as “part of the City’s latest effort to improve gun safety in Seattle.” One would be a tax to be charged to gun and ammunition sellers, with its proceeds “dedicated to prevention programs and research intended to reduce the burden of gun violence on Seattle residents and neighborhoods.” The other would require filing a report with SPD if a gun is lost or stolen. Read on for more:

Click to read the rest of City Council to consider two new laws ‘to improve gun safety’…

West Seattle scene: Trivia, the District 1 campaign edition

July 2, 2015 at 2:40 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

2:40 AM: As previewed here Monday, this week’s Wednesday night trivia at Talarico’s in The Junction featured a special guest team – some of the present-and-past City Council District 1 candidates. Trivia host Phillip Tavel – in the race himself – came up with the idea. (L-R above, that’s Tavel with Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Shannon Braddock, Tom Koch, and Chas Redmond.) Another team of community leaders jumped into the fray:

They had just walked over from the monthly Southwest District Council meeting up the street at the Senior Center (we know because we covered it – report to come later today) – from left, SWDC co-president David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, district coordinator Kerry Wade from the Department of Neighborhoods, Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association, SWDC co-president Eric Iwamoto of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, and Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association.

But no, it wasn’t WS community trivia, at least not in the early going when we stopped by for photos. And we don’t yet have the results (checking; will add when we get them!).

Speaking of results – just two weeks until you’ll get to make your choice from among the full field of nine D-1 hopefuls … the top two advance to the November election. At least two more forums are set before then – 2 pm Saturday, July 11th, on the GreenLife Stage at West Seattle Summer Fest, and 5:30 pm Wednesday, July 15th, at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)’s Brockey Center.

ADDED THURSDAY MORNING, 10:15 AM: The trivia results, courtesy of host Tavel:
*The candidates’ team, “The Primary Is August 4th,” placed 6th with 33 points
*The SW District Council team, “The Dark Horses,” placed 2nd with 36 1/2 points
*The night’s winners were “Jane Austen’s Super-Excellent Butt-Kicking Trivia Masters,” with 38

Sound Transit light rail for West Seattle? Next steps for ‘ST3′ – including one you can take right now

July 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 45 Comments

Will West Seattle get light rail if Sound Transit‘s next ballot measure passes? That’s not certain yet but the ballot measure itself is closer to reality because of the transportation package that finally made its way through the Legislature. In an announcement today, ST leaders including board chair King County Executive Dow Constantine said they’re proceeding with the measure known as ST3 for short, because legislators gave them the full potential funding authority they were seeking. That’s described in the announcement as:

*Property tax of up to 25 cents for each $1,000 of assessed valuation ($75 annually for a $300,000 house). …

*Sales tax of up to an additional 0.5 percent ($.50 on a $100 purchase).

*Motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) of up to 0.8 percent of vehicle value ($80 annually on a $10,000 vehicle).

Again, that’s just the taxing authority that Sound Transit will be given. The Legislature’s decision itself does not guarantee you’ll be taxed that way – it’s up to ST to ask voters and get their approval. The ST announcement says “ST3″ will take shape over the next year. If you want to speak up for West Seattle light rail or anything else in particular and have not yet taken the ST survey – go here to do it now – it’s only live for another week. Same survey we mentioned a month ago, so if you took it then, you’re covered.

(Back in Olympia, the transportation package itself still has a few more hurdles to clear, according to the Associated Press’s report from Olympia, and its own inherent costs – unrelated to the Sound Transit component – are calling for a gas-tax increase.)

2 weeks until ballots go out in historic City Council election. Are you registered?

July 1, 2015 at 12:54 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

(WSB photo from May 18th Fauntleroy forum: L to R – Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Jody Rushmer, Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond, Arturo Robles, Pavel Goberman, Lisa Herbold)

If you’re looking forward to voting in the primary for the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) election – you’ll be able to do that (as well as voting on at-large Positions 8 and 9, School Board Position 6, Port Commission Positions 2 and 5, and County Elections Director) starting in a little over two weeks: King County Elections says it’s sending out the August 4th ballots two weeks from today. But you can’t vote if you’re not registered, and the deadline for getting that done is a lot sooner – July 6th, if you want to do it the easy way, registering (or updating your info) online or by postal mail. If you need to register, start here. If you want to be sure your address is correct in county records, so you get that ballot they’ll be sending, go here – that’s also where you can go right now to create your customized sample ballot, to see the races and follow candidates’ infolinks.

P.S. If you miss this deadline, you can register in person up until July 27th, but don’t procrastinate and set yourself up for the hassle – get it done now.

‘Move Seattle’ transportation levy: After City Council sent it to the ballot, 4-month campaign begins

June 30, 2015 at 10:21 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 62 Comments

Now that the City Council has taken final action to send the Move Seattle” transportation levy to the November 3rd ballot – you’re going to hear a lot about it over the next four months. We noticed early today that SDOT has a new round of infosheets. The one below, for example, incorporates changes made by the City Council, including the revised categories for investments – “congestion relief” is now a focus – and added language, such as the “West Seattle ingress and egress planning” that Councilmember Tom Rasmussen pushed to add:

Breakouts by City Council district are now posted – though they’re still relatively short on specifics. Here’s the one for District 1 (West Seattle and South Park):

Again, the funding for Move Seattle – $930 million in property taxes – did not change before the final vote. And if you want to see the discussion before that vote, the Seattle Channel‘s archived video of yesterday afternoon’s meeting is up:

More background about the levy is on its city webpage.

Think you can outsmart the (current/former) candidates?

June 29, 2015 at 9:35 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

Special event this Wednesday night at Talarico’s in The Junction – the regular weekly trivia night, long hosted by Phillip Tavel – who happens to be a candidate for City Council District 1 – features seven of his current and former fellow candidates, comprising one of the competing teams. Tavel says those who accepted the invite are ex-candidates Tom Koch and Dave Montoure plus current candidates Karl Wirsing, Brianna Thomas, Jody Rushmer, Chas Redmond, and Shannon Braddock. If they win, their prize and his pay get donated to a local nonprofit. You’re invited, 8:30 pm Wednesday at 4718 California SW.

$930 million transportation levy: Council vote on Monday; WSTC survey for you now

June 26, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 17 Comments

From the agenda for next Monday’s City Council meeting, that’s a revised summary of what the proposed $930 million Move Seattle transportation levy would go toward – mostly in generalities, though the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is mentioned by name. The full council votes Monday on whether to send it to the November ballot, after its committee approval this week (including rejection of a suggestion to mix up the funding – which will remain 100 percent property tax). Meantime, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is wondering what YOU think of the levy, and launched a two-question survey today to find out. Go here to take it.

Goodbye, Department of Planning and Development; hello, Office of Planning and Community Development

June 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm | In Development, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 20 Comments

Mayor Murray is breaking up the Department of Planning and Development, and longtime director Diane Sugimura is retiring. Those are the bottom lines from an announcement this morning at City Hall. The mayor is creating a new city department, the Office of Planning and Community Development, that is supposed to have the big picture in terms of planning – not just construction/development but also transportation, among other things – and dismantling DPD, whose other functions such as permitting will be handled by a department to be named later. Read the full announcement ahead:

Click to read the rest of Goodbye, Department of Planning and Development; hello, Office of Planning and Community Development…

VIDEO: ‘Delridge, all the way!’ Neighborhood-focused forum for Seattle City Council District 1, feedback clickers & all

June 18, 2015 at 12:57 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Last night’s Seattle City Council District 1 candidate forum at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center was a first even in this election year of many firsts – first one with audience-feedback clickers, first one specifically and pointedly insisting that candidates explain how they would outline and take action on particular priorities for Delridge, aka eastern West Seattle.

The forum was organized by, and held in the regular monthly meeting slot for, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, whose chair Mat McBride energetically emceed it over the course of almost two hours at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.

There to answer the questions and goodnaturedly endure the feedback were seven of the nine D-1 candidates you’ll see on your August 4th ballot – left to right across the stage, Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Arturo Robles, Lisa Herbold, Jody Rushmer, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond. McBride explained that Brianna Thomas had RSVPd to participate as well but had to cancel at the last minute because of a family-health emergency.

Each person in attendance was offered a clicker-type device to be used after each candidate’s reply to a question, with four options for rating the reply, with the results then shown on the big screen behind the candidates. Here’s what the clicker (borrowed from the city Department of Neighborhoods, which uses them at certain types of meetings, according to district coordinator Kerry Wade) looked like:

Each of the seven participating candidates had randomly drawn a specific Delridge-priority question to answer in the first round, then got to choose which one of the priorities to address in round two, and finally, it was “talk about whatever you want” for round three. Our first clip has the introduction to the event plus the first round:

Ahead, highlights of the replies from our as-it-happened notes, plus video of the second and third rounds:
Click to read the rest of VIDEO: ‘Delridge, all the way!’ Neighborhood-focused forum for Seattle City Council District 1, feedback clickers & all…

City Council District 1 campaign: Wednesday forum with ‘feedback tool’ & food truck; video from Monday’s Pigeon Point event

June 14, 2015 at 9:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

Voting in the first-ever Seattle City Council District 1 primary is sooner than you think. Ballots you’ll use to help narrow the field of nine candidates to two finalists will arrive in about five weeks. So it’s down to decision time, if you haven’t made your choice yet.

NEXT WEDNESDAY: 7-9 pm Wednesday (June 17th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, your next chance to see the D-1 candidates side by side will be presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. DNDC chair Mat McBride promises some format change-ups: “The audience will be equipped with a feedback/voting tool, and reactions to candidate statements will be displayed on screen.” Also – come early for dinner; Indian-food truck Spice on Curve will be at Youngstown. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

WHAT YOU MISSED LAST MONDAY: The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council‘s candidate forum in the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria used the “candi-dating” format – after introductions at the front of the room, the candidates circulated between tables. Seven of the nine candidates participated (Arturo Robles, Brianna Thomas, Chas Redmond, Jody Rushmer, Karl Wirsing, Lisa Herbold, Phillip Tavel – organizers said Pavel Goberman declined the invitation and Shannon Braddock was ill) and each table got to talk with five of them before time ran out. Since we’ve been videotaping all the D-1 forums, we had to do this one too; the format was a challenge for that, so our cameraperson picked a random table at which to record the turns. Challenging acoustics, but here’s the result:

Then we recorded the candidates answering one final question at the front of the room – they were asked what they specifically would do for Pigeon Point if elected, but the answers turned out to speak more to West Seattle-wide issues:

We also sat in at a second table without video. The questions varied from candidate to candidate, so no comparison is possible, but the questions asked by those at the table involved White Center annexation (we put that question to all candidates earlier this month), rent control and housing affordability, workers’ rights, education, transportation, weed control, and crime.

FINAL FORUM? In addition to the June 17th event mentioned at the start of this story, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce also has finalized the plan for what might be the final forum before the primary – July 15th at the Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. It’ll start with a 5:30 pm meet-and-greet, then 6 pm opening statements, followed by table-to-table “candi-dating,” and a closing statement. This will be open to all, members and non-members, no admission charge. (6000 16th SW)

West Seattle Transportation Coalition says ‘Move Seattle’ levy needs to ‘move West Seattle first’

June 11, 2015 at 1:40 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments

As the City Council gets deeper into shaping the “Move Seattle” transportation levy proposed for the November ballot, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has just announced its official statement on what it wants to see in the levy:

West Seattle has been working to resolve its transportation challenges for 125 years. We initiated Puget Sound’s first ferry service in 1888 and we built America’s first municipally funded commuter rail system in 1906. Today, that extensive rail line is gone, replaced by inadequate bus service and single lane choke points that hamper the mobility of our 100,000 citizens.

Seattle has not supported or expanded our historically great transportation ideas. Thanks to the lags and half measures the city has offered over the years, there’s widespread perception here that West Seattle and its transportation issues are not, and never have been priorities for the City of Seattle.

It took the City five years to re-build the South Park Bridge after significant lobbying efforts of citizens, six years to rebuild Seattle’s Spokane St. bridge after a freighter rammed the old one in 1978, and decades to re-start the seasonal cross bay West Seattle Water Taxi to downtown. After significant citizens efforts and pressure, the City is finally addressing safety and speeding issues on SW Roxbury Street and 35th Ave SW.

As our Peninsula population increases, traffic increases and further chokes ingress-egress. Our two bridges are gridlocked for hours every day now — with 93,000 vehicles crossing West Seattle’s high bridge, and 13,000 crossing the low bridge. Together, these bridges are Seattle’s busiest, non-freeway traffic corridor, carrying more human and freight volume than any other city bridge. By the time Move Seattle expires, West Seattle’s population in our Alaska Junction and Triangle areas alone will grow to equal or surpass that of Ballard.

Move Seattle fails to address West Seattle’s key issue — getting into and out of the peninsula, safely and efficiently. While the WSTC appreciates and supports the proposals West Seattle pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, we ask the Mayor and City Council to support and clearly define Council Member Tom Rasmussen’s amendment to Move Seattle. We would like the levy to:

Provide a fully funded, integrated, West Seattle Peninsula ingress-egress plan with a scope of work, timeline, and funding source. Its structure should be fully compatible with conversion to a future Sound Transit dedicated right-of-way, Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit system.

In Sound Transit polling, more than 94% of West Seattle residents supported a dedicated solution for the people living in District 1. Currently, all of West Seattle’s transportation hopes and dreams seem to be bolted to the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) proposal. Meaning, West Seattle’s transportation fate is now in the hands of Olympia legislators, the Sound Transit Tri-County Board, and competition from regional and local interests who also need ST3 resources.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down for West Seattle as our population and development density increase, and the Port gears up with planned expansions on Terminal 5, where freight and industrial growth will further choke traffic flows to SR 99, I-5, I-90, Marginal and Alaskan Ways. It’s a perfect storm of adverse effects on our situation.

West Seattle and South Park need a solution today. We cannot wait for some future, theoretical ST3 or ST4 package. We expect our leaders and elected officials to do whatever it takes to move the people of District 1 now.

We wrote about Councilmember Rasmussen’s proposed amendment, mentioned above, back on Monday.

P.S. Haven’t shared your comments on the levy yet? This page on the city website explains how.

More for West Seattle in transportation levy? Two amendments on the agenda for councilmembers’ discussion tomorrow

June 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 8 Comments

Tomorrow morning at 9 am, the City Council – meeting as the Select Committee on Transportation Funding – takes another look at the revised transportation levy destined for this November’s ballot. Councilmembers are proposing a variety of amendments, and we’ve found at least two that include West Seattle-specific language:

*Under the section proposing spending $35 million for “transit corridor improvements,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who chairs the transportation-funding committee – proposes adding the language “including planning for access and egress improvements to the West Seattle peninsula.” See it on page 6 of his amendment:

Rasmussen also has a separate amendment that redefines the “core categories” in which the levy would seek to make “transportation improvements” – instead of “safety … interconnectivity … vibrancy … and repair,” his categories would be “safe routes, “congestion relief,” “maintenance and repair.”

*Under the “Safe Routes to School” section, Councilmember Tim Burgess proposes adding language mentioning two West Seattle elementaries while requiring that SDOT “Complete projects within the first three years of the Levy in walk zones of the following schools that have high levels of poverty: Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King, Jr., West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Wing Luke, Northgate, Van Asselt & Wing Luke, Emerson, Concord, Rainier View, Roxhill.” See it on page 4 of his amendment:

The committee meeting taking up these and other proposed changes to the now-$930 million levy intended for the November ballot starts at 9 am tomorrow at City Hall; you’ll be able to watch live on Seattle Channel (cable channel 21 or online at seattlechannel.org). As for your role in the process – more amendments, discussions, public-comment opportunities are ahead before the ballot language has to be finalized in August.

Election 2015: ‘Candidating’ forum Monday in Pigeon Point

June 7, 2015 at 6:47 pm | In Pigeon Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

If you haven’t gone to a candidate forum yet in the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race yet – maybe you don’t just want to sit down and listen to people answering questions from a table up at the front of the room – tomorrow night’s event in Pigeon Point might be for you. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has invited the candidates over for a round of “candi-dating” – circulating from table to table, so you and your tablemates get to talk with one candidate at a time. That’s at 7 pm Monday (June 8th), Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome. The primary election is August 4th, so the start of voting is only about six weeks away.

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