2015 ELECTION: Mapping the City Council District 1 vote

November 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 12 Comments

(Click image for zoomable view)
Though the City Council District 1 race isn’t officially settled yet, and won’t be until after the recount, now that the election is certified, precinct-by-precinct results are available, and that’s what you see in the map above. It was made by Ben Anderstone, a political consultant with Progressive Strategies NW, who granted our request for permission to republish it here. The tones are green for Shannon Braddock and red for Lisa Herbold, on a graded scale, so that the lightest of each is closest to the almost exactly 50-50 split that the election became on a raw numbers basis. In all, per the final results sheet from the county (page 45), 45 percent of the registered voters in District 1 – West Seattle and South Park – returned their ballots. That’s 27,757 ballots out of 60,991 registered voters; almost 10 percent of them – 2,714 of them did not include a vote in this particular race.

City Councilmember Lorena González takes office: West Seattleite makes history

November 24, 2015 at 9:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle politics | 1 Comment

(Seattle City Council photo, via Twitter)

Tonight, West Seattle resident Lorena González became the first Seattle City Councilmember to take the oath of office after the certification of the November election. As noted in the city announcement below, her election itself represented a long-overdue first:

Councilmember Lorena González received the Oath of Office, following certification of election results by King County Elections. Before her friends and colleagues and a packed-Council Chambers, González reflected on her election, plans for her forthcoming Council term, and shared what it means to be the first Latina/o to serve the Seattle City Council in a speech clocking-in at less than ten minutes.

(Added Wednesday: Seattle Channel video of ceremony and speech)
“Mayor Murray, Council President Burgess, friends and family, sisters and brothers, I stand before you today with sincere appreciation for the opportunity I have to represent our community in our state’s largest city as the first Latina sworn into the Seattle City Council.”

Citing her experience as a civil rights attorney and community advocate, González also acknowledged her service as legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, and as a partner at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, representing workers in wage theft and anti-discrimination cases and representing victims of police misconduct as formative experiences. She also recognized and thanked her parents for “…(believing) the American dream was achievable.”

Born and raised in Washington’s lower Yakima Valley to a Spanish-speaking migrant farmworker family, González – who earned her first paycheck at the age of 8 – reminded the audience “…I don’t have the background of a typical politician. Mine is a lived experience rooted in the reality of overcoming poverty and injustice. I am living proof that access to opportunity, coupled with hard work, is a recipe for success. I graduated high school in the face of overwhelming odds. I worked in a food plant, a bank, a retail store, a fast food chain, a day care, and a hotel.”

González conjured memories of picking cherries as a child, spending as many as three hours a day before the start of the school day, and “Often in an environment where I was sprayed with pesticides, or working without access to a bathroom or water…. it’s these formative moments and experiences that inspired me to want to be an advocate, a champion, for those people who I see myself in — even to this day — and especially for those who haven’t had a strong voice in government. They live in the shadows, and I did too – until I saw a path and climbed my way out.“

González went on to outline her intentions to draw on her extensive experience standing up for progressive values and the underrepresented to her work serving the people of Seattle as one of two at-large (citywide) representatives.

In her final moments in Chambers, González turned her attention to future Council colleagues. “My word is my deed,” said González. “I have dedicated my life’s work to defending workers’ rights and will continue this fight – in the name of wage theft on behalf of a cook, or defending men and women against retribution in all its forms. I’ll continue my quest to stand up for dignity in the workplace, and in my work here at city hall on behalf of workers…I will not back down from tackling tough issues or seeking solutions that build a stronger community.”

Born and raised in Central Washington in a Spanish-speaking migrant farmworker family, Councilmember González relied on need-based grants and scholarships to attend community college and later Washington State University. She moved to Seattle in 2002 to attend Seattle University Law School. González has served on various local, regional and national non-profit boards, including OneAmerica, OneAmerica Votes, National Council of La Raza, Northwest Area Foundation, and Washington State Association for Justice.

Councilmember González won the Position 9 race with 78 percent of the vote. If you’re downtown or able to get there, Councilmember González is having an open house in her new office at City Hall tomorrow morning, 9:30 am-11:30 am

ELECTION UPDATE: Herbold over Braddock by 39 in ‘final’ count; hand recount required

November 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 3 Comments

4:52 PM: The election is certified but the Seattle City Council District 1 race still isn’t settled. The “final” count has Lisa Herbold over Shannon Braddock by 39 votes, 12,459 to 12,420, and that’s close enough to require a recount by hand. King County Elections says that will start December 3rd and be completed December 7th.

ADDED 5:23 PM: KC Elections has clarified the recount process after announcing two start dates:

The recount process will begin on Monday, Nov. 30 and be completed on Monday, Dec. 7. The first few days of the recount process will involve staff and observer training and ballot sorting in order to obtain the votes specific to this District No. 1 race. Ballots are not stored by district. Actual counting of the ballots is scheduled to begin on Thursday, Dec. 3 and is expected to continue through Friday, Dec. 4 and possibly the morning of Monday, Dec. 7. After the manual hand count and reconciliation is complete the Canvassing Board will meet to certify the recount on Monday, Dec. 7 at 3:00 p.m. Final results will be announced by 4:30 p.m. that day.

ELECTION UPDATE: 36-vote lead for Herbold over Braddock on day before certification

November 23, 2015 at 4:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments

The recount-bound race for Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) is now a 36-vote contest, as of today’s count:

Lisa Herbold – 12,452 – 49.74%
Shannon Braddock – 12,416 – 49.60%

That’s 7 more votes for Herbold, 3 more for Braddock, since Friday. One final count tomorrow by 4:30 pm (they’ve actually been happening just before 4 pm), and then the election is certified. An official recount decision comes after that. Here are the rules; unless there’s some big burst of ballots before tomorrow – which would be against the recent trend – it would seem this race will wind up within the parameters for a mandatory by-hand recount, at public expense.

ELECTION UPDATE: New count – Herbold 32 votes ahead of Braddock

November 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | No Comments

Two more weekdays until the election is certified, and a recount is expected to follow. As of today’s ballot count, Lisa Herbold is now 32 votes ahead of Shannon Braddock for the new Seattle City Council District 1 seat:

Lisa Herbold – 12,445 – 49.74%
Shannon Braddock – 12,413 – 49.61%

It’s the only not-yet-settled race left in this election. The full results list shows 27,733 ballots counted, of 60,991 sent out. (Almost 300 additional ballots came in but have problems such as unverified signatures.) After the initial count on Election Night (November 3rd), Braddock had a 733-vote lead.

ELECTION UPDATE: Newest count – Herbold 28 votes over Braddock

November 19, 2015 at 4:17 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 10 Comments

With the election headed for certification next Tuesday – after which a recount will surely follow in the City Council District 1 race – today’s results have Lisa Herbold gaining three more votes over Shannon Braddock:

Lisa Herbold – 12,437 – 49.73%
Shannon Braddock – 12,409 – 49.62%

A few hundred ballots with problems (unverified signatures, for example) are still being dealt with. In all, about 28,000 ballots were turned in by District 1 voters, who number almost 61,000, and that’s a ~45% turnout. You’ll notice by doing the math, more than 2,000 did not vote in this race at all; 164 are tallied as write-ins, though the county doesn’t report whose names were written in.

ELECTION UPDATE: 11 more ballots in the Seattle City Council District 1 race, now a 25-vote gap

November 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

Eleven more ballots were added to the Seattle City Council District 1 vote totals before today’s results came out a short time ago – five for Shannon Braddock, six for Lisa Herbold, who now is 25 votes ahead:

Lisa Herbold – 12,428 – 49.72%
Shannon Braddock – 12,403 – 49.62%

As noted previously, the election is now down to ballots that have problems such as signature verification; if that happened to your ballot, there’s still time – until the election is certified next Tuesday – for you to fix it and have your vote count. If you haven’t checked on yours, you can do that here – but this is important: The last message it will give is that your ballot “will be counted.” It will never say “has been counted.” If it says “will be counted,” that means you’ve been verified.

ELECTION UPDATE: Lisa Herbold still slightly ahead of Shannon Braddock in City Council District 1 race

November 16, 2015 at 4:04 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments

Almost two weeks after Election Day, the Seattle City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) winner isn’t decided yet. The county doesn’t certify the election for eight more days and just went public with another count. It’s the second consecutive count with a lead for Lisa Herbold:

Lisa Herbold – 12,402 – 49.74%
Shannon Braddock – 12,367 – 49.60%

The 35-vote lead is up from Herbold’s 27-vote lead on Friday. The full-results list shows 27,629 votes have been counted in this race; that’s the total number of “ready to count” ballots listed in the county’s last “ballot returns” list, but 373 ballots fewer than the total number received from District 1. The race remains within recount range.

VIDEO: City Council’s ‘Round 2′ budget decisions, with final vote next week

November 16, 2015 at 11:17 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 2 Comments

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: The City Council finalized its changes to the mayor’s budget in two sessions this morning and afternoon. Above are the Seattle Channel video clips. Below, our notes on West Seattle-specific items we’ve been tracking during the process.


11:17 AM: Just in case you want to follow along, click the “play” button in the video window above: The City Council is making its “Round 2″ budget decisions today – whether to change the mayor’s original city budget proposal by adding or subtracting items. We previewed some West Seattle-specific ones here when they introduced – including rezoning part of Highland Park, around 16th/Holden, and adding money for West Seattle Bridge Corridor improvements – and those are on the long list of items they’ll be making decisions on; see that list here. We’re monitoring the meeting too and will be adding notes as it goes, even as we continue covering other news.

11:46 AM: The council hasn’t started voting on the list yet but has instead been embroiled in some contentious amendments including adding money to help with the homelessness emergency.

NOON: They’re now starting the list.

12:13 PM: They’ve just voted to include a package of “statements of legislative intent” that include two of the aforementioned West Seattle-related items – proposed Highland Park 16th/Holden (including the ex-substation) rezoning and a “progress report” on West Seattle Bridge Corridor improvements. Coming up later, two more items – #28 is the authorization of selling local ex-substations, #104 authorizes spending $600,000 for some of the proposed WS Bridge Corridor improvements.

12:39 PM: They’ve just approved another group of items that includes authorization for the sale of ex-substations in West Seattle and vicinity, and now they’re in recess until approximately 2:45 pm, when they’ll pick up the list at #41, with the second West Seattle Bridge Corridor item in that group.

3:17 PM: The council is back at it, and the $600,000 West Seattle Bridge Corridor item has just gone by without challenge – and will be part of a package vote to come. This describes what it’s for:

The proposed budget action would allocate $100,000 for further analysis of physical and operational improvements in the Corridor with the expectation that the Executive will provide any additional resources necessary to complete the work activities described below.

1. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing center barrier sections so response vehicles can make U-turns to speed up response time.

2. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing markings and signs to provide on designated emergency lane in each direction to West Seattle Bridge upper roadways for use during emergencies.

3. Coordinate with WSDOT to determine the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct connections to south and northbound I-5.

4. Evaluate Lower Spokane Street chokepoint relationships to determine if rail, truck and bridge opening blockages can be better coordinated to avoid cumulative impacts.

5. Evaluate better communications protocols for Port of Seattle cooperation with truck queue management and dispersal.

6. Initiate and SDOT/WSDOT Peer Review Team to review traffic operational and safety improvement opportunities on West Seattle Bridge upper and lower roadways and make recommendations.

In addition to the feasibility studies, this green sheet adds $500,000 to install ITS equipment including Bluetooth readers and dynamic message signs along the Corridor between Airport Way South and Port of Seattle Terminals 5 and 18 in order to collect and display real-time travel time information to trucks drivers and other motorists. Traffic signal system improvements at the intersection of Chelan Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way Southwest could also be included in the project scope.

The council’s final budget vote is scheduled for next Monday, November 23rd.

ELECTION UPDATE: Lisa Herbold takes the lead over Shannon Braddock in West Seattle/South Park City Council District 1

November 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 21 Comments

(WSB photo from Election Night, Lisa Herbold & supporters viewing results. Little did they know they’d still be doing it 10 days later.)

Just in, this week’s last set of election results – and for the first time in the not-yet-settled City Council District 1 race (West Seattle/South Park), Lisa Herbold has taken the lead over Shannon Braddock, by 27 votes.

Lisa Herbold – 12,371 – 49.73%
Shannon Braddock – 12,344 – 49.62%

That’s a turnabout from the 18-vote lead Braddock held after the Thursday count. Today’s full results list shows 27,567 votes have been counted – that’s almost the entire number of “ready to count” votes listed by the county as of last night. At this point, a manual recount seems likely – here are the county’s rules and policies regarding recounts.

ELECTION UPDATE: Shannon Braddock now 18 votes ahead of Lisa Herbold in City Council District 1

November 12, 2015 at 4:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 15 Comments

The newest vote count is just in from King County Elections, nine days after the election, and the City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race now has Shannon Braddock, who’s led since Election Night, 18 votes ahead of Lisa Herbold:

Shannon Braddock – 12,025 – 49.72%
Lisa Herbold – 12,007 – 49.64%

Braddock’s lead was six votes as of the previous count on Tuesday. Our math shows 1,078 more District 1 ballots were in today’s count, with fewer than 1,000 countable ballots remaining – the full-results list says 26,819 ballots have been counted, out of approximately 27,600 countable ballots received from District 1 voters (with about 400 more deemed not ready to count). Next results by 4:30 pm tomorrow.

VIDEO: 34th District Democrats review the election, preview the Legislature, and ‘Feel the Bern’

November 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 10 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Voting past, present, and future was what last night’s 34th District Democrats meeting at the The Hall at Fauntleroy was all about.

The present? Some actual voting happened – a presidential straw poll (Democratic, obviously). The results showed a majority of those still in attendance by this stage of the meeting were “Feeling the Bern”:

Bernie Sanders, 39 votes
Hillary Clinton, 26 votes
Undecided, 4 votes
Martin O’Malley, 2 votes

And this segued into future voting, as the organization is already starting work on getting ready for next year’s caucuses. Ted Barker, first vice chair (in photo above with chair Marcee Stone-Vekich), is heading the committee that will choose locations, and said they’re hoping to finalize those by next month.

Now, to the past voting – election recaps, and victory speeches. Here’s our video, starting with King County Executive Dow Constantine:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: 34th District Democrats review the election, preview the Legislature, and ‘Feel the Bern’…

CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1 UPDATE: Shannon Braddock’s lead over Lisa Herbold now 6 votes

November 10, 2015 at 3:58 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 51 Comments

3:58 PM: Today’s ballot count is just out, and Shannon Braddock is now 6 votes ahead of Lisa Herbold in the City Council District 1 race.

Shannon Braddock – 11,528 – 49.73%
Lisa Herbold – 11,522 – 49.70%

Up to 2,000 or so ballots remain to be counted in District 1. On page 45 of today’s printable results list, you’ll see that 25,741 ballots have been tallied in this race, while 27,568 ballots were ready for counting (of 27,979 received) in D-1 as of last night’s ballot-return stats (which will be updated at 8 tonight).

We won’t get the next results until Thursday, since tomorrow is the Veterans Day holiday. If you voted, now is the time to check whether your ballot was received for counting and declared valid – here’s how to do that. (Note that “your ballot will be counted” is the last message you’ll get – there is not a “has been counted” status.)

6:24 PM: One thing that *will* happen on the Veterans Day holiday – the 34th District Democrats‘ regular monthly meeting, 7 pm Wednesday at The Hall at Fauntleroy. It was long scheduled to include the organization’s “election recap,” and the online agenda says the group expects to hear from the winners in various races. We asked chair Marcee Stone-Vekich how they plan to handle this one; she says neither Braddock nor Herbold has confirmed with her so far. The 34th DDs made a dual endorsement of both candidates, dating back to the primary.

ELECTION UPDATE: Braddock still leads Herbold in City Council District 1

November 9, 2015 at 4:14 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 11 Comments

The newest round of election results is out – and Shannon Braddock is still ahead of Lisa Herbold in the City Council District 1 race, though now by fewer than 100 votes:

Braddock – 49.99% – 11125 votes
Herbold – 49.57% – 11030 votes

(For comparison, here’s the final count from last week.) Next count, 4:30 pm tomorrow. The county’s full results list says 24,699 ballots have been counted in the District 1 race, and its most recent ballot-return statistics say 27,512 ballots were ready to count from this district, which suggests more than 2,800 ballots are yet to be counted.

FRIDAY ELECTION UPDATE #2: Shannon Braddock now 104 votes ahead of Lisa Herbold in City Council District 1

November 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 44 Comments

(UPDATED 7:03 PM with day’s second results release)

4:12 PM: The first of two expected vote-count updates for today is out and in the Seattle City Council District 1 race, Shannon Braddock‘s lead over Lisa Herbold has shrunk again –

Braddock – 10,078 – 50.74%
Herbold – 9,691 – 48.79%

That’s a 387-vote gap, with thousands more ballots remaining to be counted. Last night, Braddock’s lead was 638 votes.

4:41 PM: To be more specific about ballots remaining, the county releases a nightly count (8 pm) of how many ballots have been returned. As of last night’s count, 27,298 ballots were in and “ready to count” in District 1. Just under 20,000 have been counted (in addition to the Herbold and Braddock numbers above, 94 ballots were tallied as “write-ins”).

Probably a good time for you to check the status of your ballot – invariably there are some whose signatures weren’t validated or which haven’t (yet) been counted for one reason or another, and you may still be able to fix that – go here to check. (And note that the final stage is “your ballot will be counted” – that does NOT mean it hasn’t been counted yet, it’s just the final status they give.)

7:03 PM: Second run of the day is in – Herbold is now 104 votes behind Braddock.

Braddock – 10,905 – 50.02%
Herbold – 10,801 – 49.54%

9:37 PM: As pointed out in comments, the total number of votes in the race does not equal the number of ballots counted – this version of the results (unlike the plain-text version) shows the number counted per race, and it says 24,000+ have been counted, leaving 3,000+ as of this evening’s returns.

ELECTION 2015: District 1 City Council vote gap gets smaller after tonight’s results release

November 5, 2015 at 7:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 23 Comments

7:11 PM: King County Elections has just published the only set of results it plans to release today/tonight. See the full list here; if you’re watching the District 1 City Council race, Shannon Braddock was ahead of Lisa Herbold by 729 votes as of last night, and tonight, her lead is 638:

Shannon Braddock – 8491 – 51.69%
Lisa Herbold – 7853 – 47.81%

Next update is scheduled for 4:30 pm Friday. Today’s 4:30 pm release was canceled because of technical trouble that the county explains here.

11:11 PM: According to King County’s ballot-return stats, updated nightly at 8 pm separate from the results, more than 10,000 ballots are waiting to be counted in this race.

ELECTION 2015: District 1 City Council race a bit closer after 2 more vote counts

November 4, 2015 at 4:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 27 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 4:43 PM: King County Elections‘ second vote count is out, and it’s not the last one of the day – the KCE website says they’re also planning an update at 7 pm. The City Council District 1 race has tightened a bit since last night, with Shannon Braddock still ahead of Lisa Herbold:

Braddock – 7,416 – 52.43%
Herbold – 6,656 – 47.06%

The full list of results is here.

7 PM UPDATE: Tonight’s second and final update is in. The percentage gap has tightened yet again:

Braddock – 7581 – 52.25%
Herbold – 6,852 – 47.23%

Next vote count will be out Thursday afternoon.

THURSDAY 4:53 PM NOTE: KC Elections just announced it’s NOT going to have an afternoon update today – just 7 pm. (ish)

ELECTION 2015: Shannon Braddock leading Lisa Herbold in West Seattle & South Park’s first City Council District 1 race

November 3, 2015 at 8:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 29 Comments

(WSB photo: Braddock supporters, including County Councilmember Joe McDermott at right, awaiting results)
It’s the marquee race of the night in West Seattle and South Park: Results for the first-ever City Council District 1 seat after the first count (the second one is Wednesday afternoon):

Shannon Braddock 53%
Lisa Herbold 46%

8:33 PM: Herbold has spoken to supporters and told them it’s not over yet, with many votes left to be counted, pointing out that she came from behind to be the primary-vote leader. She also reiterated the issues behind her run:

Her party was at the Highland Park Improvement Club.

9:04 PM: Braddock said it’s too soon to take anything for granted but it’s been a great campaign:

Video from our crew at her party at Talarico’s Pizza is coming up now added.

BACKSTORY: Braddock is an Admiral resident and chief of staff for County Councilmember Joe McDermott. Herbold is a Highland Park resident and legislative assistant to City Councilmember Nick Licata. They were two of three candidates who entered the race on February 11th; when all the votes were counted in August’s primary, Herbold led Braddock by 2.4 percentage points, with 42 percent of the primary votes split between the seven candidates who didn’t make the cut.

For the full list of results around Seattle and the rest of King County, go here; for the full list of state-measure results, go here.

ELECTION 2015: ‘Move Seattle,’ ‘Honest Elections,’ ‘Best Starts for Kids’ passing, and other ballot-measure results

November 3, 2015 at 8:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 54 Comments

Tonight’s most-watched ballot measure is Seattle Proposition 1, the $930 million transportation levy known as “Move Seattle.” Find results here – it’s passing (corrected) 57 percent to 43 percent after the first count.

Other ballot measures of note:

Seattle Initiative 122, “Honest Elections,” regarding campaign funding – results here – passing with 60 percent approval

ADDED 10:17 PM: In a statement sent to media, Honest Elections backers say, “”Seattle voters won big tonight. Seattle leads the nation, first on $15/hour and now on campaign finance reform. We look forward to seeing more cities and states implementing their own local solutions to the problem of big money in politics. … This is what democracy looks like, and we expect to see more grassroots campaigns like this one in Seattle. More than 32,000 voters put Honest Elections on the ballot, and hundreds of people who’d never helped with a political campaign before made small dollar contributions, knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls to pass Honest Elections. People around the country are tired of waiting for Congress to get big money out of politics. We may not be able to change Citizens United, but we’re doing everything we can by passing our own citizen initiatives to limit big money and give ordinary voters a stronger voice in government.”

Back to results:

King County Proposition 1, “Best Starts for Kids” – results here – passing with 53 percent approval

ADDED 10:17 PM: We talked with King County Executive Dow Constantine, who pushed to get “Best Starts” onto the ballot:

While our camera continued rolling, we asked what else he thought was noteworthy this Election Night. See his full response here; in short – passage of “Move Seattle” (he had been at its victory party earlier); the prevalence of what he described as “level-headed” candidates in the City Council race; and the results in an Eastside County Council race, Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci defeating longtime incumbent Councilmember Jane Hague – Constantine observed that the Eastside is increasingly Democratic.

Back to results:

State Initiative 1366, state taxes/fees – results here – passing with 54 percent approval

State Initiative 1401, animal trafficking – results here – passing with 71 percent approval

For the full list of results around Seattle and the rest of King County, go here; for the full list of state-issue results, go here.

ELECTION 2015: Other Seattle City Council results, including González and Burgess leading at-large races

November 3, 2015 at 8:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

West Seattle and South Park residents also voted, as did the rest of the city, for two at-large positions – Positions 8 and 9 – in the new composition of the City Council. The results:

District 8 – Tim Burgess* vs. Jon Grant
Results here – Burgess 59%, Grant 42%

District 9 – Bill Bradburd vs. Lorena González
Results here – González (a West Seattleite) 76%, Bradburd 24%

For the results in Districts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, go here – leaders in those districts, respectively, are Harrell, Sawant, Johnson, Juarez, O’Brien, Bagshaw

For the full list of results around Seattle and the rest of King County, go here; for the full list of state-measure results, go here.

ELECTION 2015: Seattle School Board races, including West Seattle/South Park District 6, with Harris defeating McLaren

November 3, 2015 at 8:06 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

Four Seattle School Board seats are on the ballot, only one with an incumbent – District 6, which includes West Seattle and South Park. While only the residents of a board district vote in the primary, school board seats are citywide votes in the general election.

District 6 (West Seattle/South Park) Leslie Harris vs. Marty McLaren*
Results here – Harris 75%, McLaren (the only incumbent on the ballot tonight) 25%

9:17 PM NOTE: Harris was at Herbold’s party (see photo above – she was cheering for Herbold, more demure about her victory, noting it’s not over until it’s over).

District 1 – Michael Christophersen vs. Scott Pinkham
Results here – Pinkham leading with 66%

District 2 – Rick Burke vs. Laura Obara Gramer
Results here – Burke leading with 79%

District 3 – Jill Geary vs. Lauren McGuire
Results here – Geary leading with 59%

For the full list of results around Seattle and the rest of King County, go here; for the full list of state-measure results, go here.

FOLLOWUP: Health experts still trying to trace ‘exact source’ of Chipotle E. coli illnesses; no cases linked to West Seattle location so far, state says

November 3, 2015 at 4:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 6 Comments

For the first time since word of E. coli illnesses led to the voluntary closure of Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon, the state has identified which locations are linked to confirmed cases.

The list just made public does NOT include the West Seattle location (which opened at 4730 California SW in The Junction less than two months ago). The 25 patients confirmed so far in this state reported eating at five Chipotle restaurants identified by the state as:

Hazel Dell, 7715 NE 5th Avenue, Suite 109, in Vancouver
1404 Broadway Avenue and 4229 University Way NE in Seattle
512 Ramsey Way 101 in Kent
1753 S. Burlington Blvd. in Burlington

Earlier this afternoon, the state hosted a media briefing from its laboratory facility in Shoreline; a little far for us to go today, so we were among several organizations who participated via a phone/Web hookup.

They confirmed it’s Shige toxin E. coli, which can “cause kidney damage among other serious problems.”

Our state has 25 patients “associated with this outbreak” – nine of whom have been hospitalized, though none with the illness that can lead to kidney damage – and Oregon has 12.

The Washington patients all live in the western part of the state – 11 in Clark County, 2 in Cowlitz, 2 in Island, 6 in King County, and 4 in Skagit County.

“The exact source of illness is still unknown,” but 23 of the 25 WA patients reported eating at a Chipotle. They are still trying to identify “a common food item” – more likely, they say, to be produce than meat. They’re testing samples from multiple restaurants and hope to have results later in the week. They also are awaiting tests on 20 people who reported getting sick after eating at a Chipotle but have not been confirmed as E. coli patients.

Health authorities still don’t know when the Chipotle stores, closed voluntarily, will reopen, but they are working with the chain to “identify criteria” for reopening. They still want people who became ill after eating at a Chipotle recently to consult their health-care provider.

City, county declare homelessness emergency; West Seattle property sale to pay for extra help

November 2, 2015 at 8:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 34 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Homelessness is an emergency, Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine proclaimed today. This excerpt from their announcement spells out why:

Last winter’s One Night Count found 3,772 men, women, and children without shelter in King County, including more than 2,800 in Seattle – a 21 percent increase over 2014. In 2015, 66 homeless people have died in King County, including 47 on the streets and in unpermitted encampments in Seattle. The state now reports that 35,000 people in King County become newly homeless at some point during the year.

Part of the declaration includes a city plan to spend $5 million more on getting people off the streets and, for those who are on the streets, covering some basic needs, like sanitation. The plan will be discussed at a special City Council meeting tomorrow, and is to be funded through the sale of city property in West Seattle, according to the city documents related to today’s announcement. From the Frequently Asked Questions document:

How is the City paying for this new investment?

The $5 million investment is funded from the proceeds of the sale of excess property located on Myers Way South.

We’ve reported in recent years about the city process of figuring out what to do with that land, the “Myers Parcels in southeast West Seattle, next to the Joint Training Facility. Some community advocates have lobbied for preserving some of it as greenspace, as reported here most recently back in February.

The city Finance and Administrative Services Department clarified, when we inquired, that the property hasn’t been sold yet. More on that later.

First, what today’s announcement means for helping homeless people:

Both Murray and Constantine signed emergency proclamations. Murray was quoted in the city announcement as saying, “The City is prepared to do more as the number of people in crisis continue to rise, but our federal and state partners must also do more. Cities cannot do this alone.” Constantine was quoted as saying, “Emergency declarations are associated with natural disasters, but the persistent and growing phenomenon of homelessness – here and nationwide – is a human-made crisis just as devastating to thousands as a flood or fire. We call on the federal and state governments to take action, including shouldering more responsibility for affordable housing, mental health treatment, and addiction services.”

Go here to see what the city is proposing, or read the details below:

On the county side, Constantine is proposing $2 million in spending, some of it “already pending before the King County Council, to address immediate human needs and the root causes of homelessness,” according to the news release, which adds that both entities already invest heavily: “The City of Seattle already invests more than $40 million annually to assist people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, including single adults, youth, families, domestic violence survivors, older adults, and veterans. King County invests $36 million a year to assist individuals and families at-risk of or experiencing homelessness.”

That represents a bigger share of those services than ever, says the city announcement: “A decade ago, City resources represented less than 40 percent of the total funding for homelessness services. The City is now responsible for over 60 percent of homelessness investments.”

Thousands of those who need help are children, the city says:

There are 32,000 homeless children in Washington state, with nearly 3,000 homeless children currently attending Seattle Public Schools. On average, that’s more than 1 student per Seattle classroom.

The city announcement says they’re trying to be strategic with the spending:

The City is currently analyzing all homelessness investments and expanding data collection to ensure resources are targeted at the most effective strategies. Seattle is also launching a new effort to reduce administrative burden on agencies by allowing non-profit partners to provide a range of services under portfolio contracts, rather than separate contracts for each type of service.

We don’t know yet what share of the new funding might be spent in this area. We checked with one local agency that offers emergency help to people in crisis, West Seattle Helpline, whose executive director Chris Langeler told us it’s good news in general:

We are excited by Mayor Murray and Executive Constantine’s announcements today declaring a “State of Emergency” and new resources dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ending homelessness in Seattle and King County. The West Seattle Helpline has served hundreds of members of our community this year who are homeless or at-risk of experiencing homelessness by providing rent & utility assistance, transportation assistance, or clothing. With rents continuing to rise and utility costs increasing as winter approaches, we are seeing heightened demand for assistance and more of our neighbors facing the threat of eviction.

We have initiated a dialogue with the City of Seattle’s Department of Human Services and are exploring ways that we can work with the City to be a part of the solution to homelessness. We’re hopeful that the heightened focus and additional resources will help more of our West Seattle neighbors-in-need stay safe in their homes.

Now, back to the $5 million in city funding for extra services, described as coming from Myers Way sale proceeds. A document late in the day looking ahead to tomorrow’s meeting clarified that the $5 million will for starters come from an “interfund loan” out of the city’s “Cash Pool,” to be repaid from sale proceeds of some of the “Myers Parcels” land. That sale is still in the future, we found out from Cyndi Wilder in the city Finance and Administrative Services Department:

The Myers Way excess property has not yet been sold. The Myers Way property is still under active property review, meaning the City is working on strategies for the reuse and disposition of the property. We anticipate selling a portion of the site for commercial development, but a larger portion of the property, including certain wetlands and much of the tree canopy, would be retained for environmental protection. In 2016, the City Council will review legislation to authorize land to be retained and land to be sold. We understand that proceeds from the sale of any portion of the property not needed for identified future City purposes or retained for environmental protection would be directed toward the emergency response to homelessness. Information about the property is available here, and we’ll be updating that page with information about the property disposition as it becomes available.

Tomorrow’s meeting to finalize the emergency-response plan is at 2 pm at City Hall.

ELECTION DAY EVE: Ballot dropoff van in a new spot at West Seattle Stadium

November 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments

Haven’t voted yet? Don’t miss the chance to choose the first-ever District 1 City Councilmember, to settle the fate of the $930 million Seattle Proposition 1 transportation levy, and to make more than a dozen other decisions. Lots of last-minute voters again this election, judging by how few ballots have been returned so far – in D-1 (West Seattle/South Park), 9,141 out of 60,177. You have until tomorrow evening to vote, and you can do it for free by dropping your ballot off at a King County Elections ballot van or box – the full list is here, and it includes the drop vans at West Seattle Stadium (4432 35th SW, until 5 pm today and 10 am-8 pm tomorrow) and at Greenbridge (8th SW south of SW Roxbury, same hours). If you’ve been to the one in WS before, you’ll notice a new location – we just stopped by for a photo and discovered they’re by the stadium’s west entrance instead of along the driveway (200 ballots today, as of 1 pm). You also can mail your ballot, as long as it’s postmarked by tomorrow, but that’ll cost you 49 cents worth of postage.

On today’s city-budget agenda: $ for part of the West Seattle Bridge Corridor ‘action report’ list

November 2, 2015 at 10:27 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 19 Comments

(NOTE: Click “play” to see live feed when Council is meeting – budget hearing resumed just after 2 pm)
10:27 AM: The City Council‘s next round of budget-related discussions is set to start shortly (10:30 am) and today’s list of potential additions/changes to the original budget proposal includes transportation items. Among them, two related to the West Seattle Bridge Corridor “action report” made public in September.

The first item would specify $700,000 to be spent this way:

… The proposed budget action would allocate $200,000 for further analysis of physical and operational improvements in the Corridor. The following evaluations or studies would be conducted if the green sheet were included as part of the City’s 2016 Adopted Budget:

1. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing center barrier sections so response vehicles can make U-turns to speed up response time.

2. Evaluate the feasibility and benefit of installing markings and signs to provide one designated emergency lane in each direction of the West Seattle Bridge upper roadways for use during emergencies.

3. Coordinate with WSDOT to determine the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct connections to south- and northbound I-5.

4. Evaluate Lower Spokane Street chokepoint relationships to determine if rail, truck and bridge opening blockages can be better coordinated to avoid cumulative impacts.

5. Evaluate better communications protocols for Port of Seattle cooperation with truck queue management and dispersal.

6. Evaluate the process and capability for providing data reports to the Washington State office of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in order for FRA to enforce the maximum 20 minute blockage rule.

7. Initiate an SDOT/WSDOT Peer Review Team to review traffic operational and safety improvement opportunities on the West Seattle Bridge upper and lower roadways and make recommendations.

In addition to the feasibility studies, the green sheet would add $500,000 for installing ITS infrastructure to help communicate delays and wait times associated with train activity in the Corridor. This project would install ITS equipment including Bluetooth readers and dynamic message signs along the Corridor between Airport Way South and Port of Seattle Terminals 5 and 18 in order to collect and display real-time travel time information to trucks drivers and other motorists. Traffic signal system improvements at the intersection of Chelan Avenue Southwest and West Marginal Way Southwest could also be included in the project scope.

The second item, at unspecified cost, basically calls for a report on how the “action report” is being followed up on:

… This Statement of Legislative Intent requests the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) prepare a written progress report on the implementation of initiatives described in the West Seattle Bridge Corridor Whitepaper and Priority Investment List.

The report should describe the Executive’s planning and progress implementing the 2015 West Seattle Bridge Whitepaper and Priority Investment List (the Investment List) recommendations to the Transportation Committee or the appropriate Council committee. The report should be transmitted to the Council no later than March 31, 2016 and should include the following information:

1) A description of all anticipated 2016 SDOT maintenance and capital project activities planned for the West Seattle Bridge Corridor (the Corridor). The report should identify all planned Corridor project activities included in the Investment List and any planned Corridor project activities not included in the Investment List.

2) A comprehensive schedule review defining SDOT’s timing for implementing the Investment List’s recommendations including any multi-year initiatives or projects that may not have full funding.

3) Estimated total investment of City resources in both staff and funding to carry out Investment List recommendations in 2016 and beyond.

4) A description of the on-going metrics SDOT will use to measure the effectiveness of the recommended investments and a Corridor-wide assessment of traffic conditions for all modes in 2016.

See the full list of items to be discussed at today’s budget meeting – no votes, since this is “Round 1″ of the budget review – by going here; you can watch the meeting live via Seattle Channel, online (the “live” player is embedded above) or cable channel 21.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? To comment on anything in the budget process – which will continue until a final vote before Thanksgiving – click the “Send Us Budget Feedback” button on this page.

12:17 PM UPDATE: The West Seattle Bridge-related items hadn’t been reached yet when the council recessed for lunch, due back in session at 2 pm.

2:58 PM: They’ve just reached the West Seattle Bridge Corridor items now. (a moment later) Both went by without discussion, aside from a bit of context from Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

Rezone ex-substation at 16th/Holden? Proposal emerges in city budget docs

October 30, 2015 at 9:33 am | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments

(Aerial-photo graphic via Seattle City Light)

Again today, the City Council has a marathon meeting to go through potential additions/changes in next year’s budget, which will be finalized before Thanksgiving. Reviewing today’s long list – just made public, minutes before the meeting – we see one for potentially rezoning the former City Light substation at 16th and Holden and other nearby properties. This is something community advocates including the Highland Park Action Committee have pushed for, in hopes of expanding the mini-business district at that intersection, as the city continues determining the fate of eight ex-substations in all. Here’s the text of the document – remember, this is a proposal, and a final decision about including it in the budget won’t be made today:

Council requests that the Department of Planning and Development’s (DPD) Planning Division, or the proposed new Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD), develop and execute a scope of work to consider zoning and land use changes for the properties in and around the intersection of 16th Ave SW and SW Holden Street, including the former Seattle City Light Dumar Substation (“Dumar”) at 1605 SW Holden Street. DPD/OPCD should add this to the scope of work for either the Delridge Action Plan or to the work called for in Resolution 31612 to consider zoning and land use regulation changes in certain single-family areas (implementing recommendations from the Housing Affordability and Livability Action Agenda Committee’s proposal).

The Executive is requested to submit a report to the Council with a project scope, timeline and implementation plan for potential changes to zoning and land use regulations that could apply to this area by July 1, 2016. The project scope must include working with the Highland Park Action Committee (HPAC), property owners of lots being considered for a rezone (to include 1605 SW Holden Street) and other community members to develop recommendations. The rezone analysis should consider the most appropriate zone(s) for the area, including considering the addition of a Pedestrian zone designation.

Seattle City Light (SCL) has submitted legislation (CB 118512) for Council consideration that would declare eight substation properties as surplus and authorize the sale of these properties. The Dumar site is one of the eight properties being considered for disposition.

The Dumar site is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of SW Holden Street and 16th Avenue SW in the Highland Park neighborhood; this property is in a Single Family zone. The other three corners of the intersection are zoned Neighborhood Commercial with a 30 foot height limit. The northwest corner is occupied by a 7-Eleven store, the northeast corner by the City’s Fire Station No.11 and the southeast corner by a two-unit strip mall. As requested in Resolution 31424, SCL conducted outreach to the community about the potential disposition. This included attending district council meetings, community council meetings, soliciting comments through letters and emails and two formal public hearings.

SCL heard from HPAC and from emails from community members, a strong interest in seeing the Dumar site rezoned to Neighborhood Commercial (or an alternative commercial zone) to implement their vision that this intersection will be built out as a small, pedestrian-friendly commercial center. SCL also heard from the abutting owners to the Dumar property who requested that the property not be made a park and, instead, be sold for development as a single family residence. Whether the City disposes of the Dumar property or retains it, this SLI directs DPD/OPCD to initiate an evaluation of the zoning and land use regulations that apply to this site and the surrounding area to determine if a rezone is appropriate and to implement any identified needed changes.

Sponsors are listed as Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Bruce Harrell, and Nick Licata. You can watch today’s budget meeting live on Seattle Channel, online or cable channel 21. The budget will be finalized before Thanksgiving; you can send comments about this or any other aspect of the budget via a feedback form you’ll find on this page.

YOUR VOTE: Registration deadline Monday; voting deadline Nov. 3

October 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off

Have you voted yet? If not – please don’t let it slide. You have more than a billion dollars in levies to decide, as well as three City Council positions, four School Board seats and Port Commission spots, and more.

*If you’re not registered – you can still do it by end of day tomorrow, but you have to do it in person, in Seattle or Renton – location details here.

*If you are registered and you have your ballot – you have to get it dropped off or in the mail by Tuesday night, November 3rd. Once again, King County Elections will have ballot-dropoff vans at West Seattle Stadium and outside Greenbridge Library in the final days – Saturday, Oct. 31, and Monday, Nov. 2, 10 am-5 pm, and Election Day – Tuesday, Nov. 3 – 10 am-8 pm.

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