West Seattle, Washington
(Scroll down for updates – now that numbers are in, we’re off visiting campaign parties)
(King County Elections photo from their HQ, cars lined up to drop off ballots by 8 pm)
The first and only results that King County is making public tonight have just come out. In our area’s two major races – each with four candidates going for an open seat, and the top two advancing to November once ALL the votes are counted and the election is certified:
34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE, POSITION 2
(Rep. Sharon Nelson isn’t running for re-election – she’s unopposed for State Senate)
Heavey first 34%, Fitzgibbon second 33%, McElroy third 19%, Stone fourth 14%
KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8 (nonpartisan)
(Councilmember Jan Drago isn’t running for the seat to which she was appointed early this year)
McDermott first 59%, Toledo second 20%, McEvoy third 13%, Fahey fourth 7%
All King County results are linked here. We’ll add other highlights of interest shortly, and we’ll be adding candidate reaction as we get it. Meantime, if you still haven’t voted – it’s not too late – you can mail it till midnight at Riverton Heights (near Sea-Tac; see our earlier story).
(Tim Fahey being interviewed by Q13’s Parella Lewis, with Mac McElroy looking on outside his pub)
8:41 PM: We were at Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy‘s party at his Triangle Pub in White Center when the results came in – with at least four other members of the media sighted. Now we’ve moved on to Fauntleroy, to Mike Heavey‘s campaign party, a gathering of family and friends (iPhone photo at right, as the candidate posed with varying combinations of people from both those groups). Both locations so far have been full of good cheer, despite the varying results. McElroy’s party also was visited by two other candidates – Ray Carter, the “reluctant Republican” challenging Democratic Rep. Eileen Cody, and Tim Fahey, who is currently fourth of 4 in the King County Council race. We are moving on to other locations shortly. Just interviewed Heavey, who foresees the general-election campaign, apparently against Fitzgibbon, as “a battle for the ages” – with voters being asked to choose “what kind of Democrat” they support. 10:16 PM: We’ve also caught up with Joe Fitzgibbon, whose supporters were celebrating at Heartland Café in the Admiral District:
Video from the frontrunners, coming up. And again, tonight’s vote is nowhere near final – King County Elections will release vote totals daily, until the final results are out on September 1st – two weeks away. ADDED 12:25 AM: Quick comments on video from Heavey, Fitzgibbon and McElroy:
Procrastinating voters, don’t despair – there really is a way to vote **UP TILL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT**. We have just confirmed with the Riverton Heights branch of the U.S. Postal Service – near Sea-Tac Airport – that you can mail something there up until midnight, and it’ll be postmarked today – the King County Elections Department says your ballot DOES count as long as it’s postmarked (by) August 17th. Here’s more on the branch, including a map. Otherwise, the West Seattle USPS branches at Westwood and The Junction are about to close; the county dropboxes downtown and in Tukwila will ONLY accept ballots till 8 straight up. After that, you’re out of luck. Meantime, as for results: The county plans first results tonight around 8:15 pm – we’ll publish/link them here and bring you candidate reaction.
(We’re continuing to add info as more is learned about this afternoon’s sonic booms)
ORIGINALLY POSTED SHORT ITEM AT 1:50 PM: (We originally reported “Yes, we heard it too” after the two double sonic booms rocked WSB HQ in Fauntleroy. Then the servers jammed. We were also tweeting – here’s our first one – and FB’ing – first status here.)
UPDATE: KING5 confirms with FAA that military jets caused the sonic booms. Apparently they were scrambled for a possible breach of the no-fly zone. On the scanner, we hear they came here from Portland.
2:12 PM UPDATE: Southwest Precinct says that they have received official confirmation of the military jet cause. There is no word of any damage or injury at this point. Our apologies about the site’s inaccessibility – literally thousands of people slammed it at once and we are dealing with our server management company to be sure that would never be a problem again.
According to the scanner, the aircraft were scrambled because of a no-fly zone breach during the president’s visit. The location of the no-fly zone breach seems to vary depending on which citywide-media source you look at/listen to – anything from Lake Union to Boeing Field. Continuing to look for official verdicts.
2:25 PM UPDATE: We continued updating Facebook and Twitter while the server was inaccessible and as noted there – the 911 calls, according to scanner traffic, had been coming largely from West Seattle. So WS felt the brunt of it.
Our partners at the Seattle Times now have a short article up (and we’re sure it will be updated as they get more) – read it here. And if you are interested in reading what people are saying on Twitter – here’s the ongoing monitor of the phrase “sonic booms.
2:38 PM: Seeing and hearing reports that the seaplane pilot is being questioned on Lake Union.
2:54 PM: There have been different types of aircraft reported by different citywide sources but now the prevailing ID seems to be F-15s, Oregon Air National Guard. Will add citation/link as soon as we find it. Meantime, we have been checking the mailboxes and other incoming sources and it still does not appear anyone’s reported damage – let us know if you have heard/seen otherwise.
3:10 PM: If you’ll pardon the soundtrack – here’s the first video we found on what a sonic boom LOOKS like. Will sub out if we find a better explainer:
SONIC BOOMS over Seattle: NORAD responded to an aircraft violating a VIP Temporary Flight Restricted Area near Seattle at approximately 1:35 PDT. F15s from the 142nd Fighter Wing, Oregon Air National Guard in Portland, were scrambled to intercept the aircraft. The aircraft departed the TFR prior to intercept but in the… process of intercepting the aircraft, the F15s went super-sonic near the Seattle Area.
NORAD responded to a question following that status update, regarding why jets weren’t scrambled from McChord in Pierce County instead:
The aircraft on alert at the time were from Portland. Also, McChord does not usually have fighters stationed there. As for going supersonic, the U.S. Air Force has the best trained and equipped force in the world. They fly very safe.
3:56 PM: A Normandy Park woman on the floatplane that caused the fighters to rush this way has told the Associated Press she and the pilot had no idea about the flight restrictions.
4:03 PM: The president has left Seattle – Air Force One has taken off. (4:32 pm – adding photo David DeSiga shared via Facebook, where we’re seeing multiple comments that the jet was visible from West Seattle after takeoff)
NORAD has published its official “news release” – although frankly, the Facebook status we republished above was more informative!
4:52 PM: The Times has continued to update its story. (And has a photo of the floatplane pilot with a Secret Service agent.) This quick excerpt addresses one of our remaining questions:
Officials said it would be a national security risk to say how fast the planes were traveling, but even at sub-supersonic speeds it would take not much longer than 10 minutes to make the trip from Portland.
5:06 PM: Well, maybe we can get back to writing the story we were working on before all this. Now the humor races in: Somebody created a foursquare check-in for “F15 Sonic Booms.” Second, you can put in for an “Obooma!” T-shirt.
Though the City of Seattle’s nationally renowned Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier is a West Seattleite, it seems WS is not yet well-represented in an independent study to help the city website get better! So says a note we just received, asking if we’d share the request for help – and yes, there’s something in it for you besides the warm fuzzy feeling that maybe you helped guide a vital online resource into its future. They’re running a usability study and need help ASAP – click ahead for the pitch!Read More
David DeSiga just shared that photo of Air Force One taxiing at Boeing Field (and spectators – they don’t just turn out for those six blue F/A-18s!) – and we got a phone tip with the reminder that motorcade shutdowns of I-5 can lead to West Seattle Bridge backups too (as is apparently the case right now). Per KING5, President Obama‘s quick visit is scheduled to end some time after 3 pm today.
Polling places may be history but one Election Day tradition lives on … signwaving at busy intersections. We checked out 35th/Fauntleroy and the Fauntleroy overpass to get a Primary Morning overview, and, in addition to State Sen./King County Council candidate Joe McDermott, we found three candidates in the election’s most-watched race, with a sign-waver on behalf of the fourth:
(Why a lion, you ask? It was a little loud for conversation along the bridge entrance, but we’ve got a message out to inquire.) Then to the north, on the Fauntleroy pedestrian overpass, Joe Fitzgibbon swiveled for a smile while maintaining the wave:
The overpass also held a signwaver on behalf of Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy:
If you’re a candidate and plan to sign-wave during the pm commute – let us know – we’ll likely be back out on patrol. Meantime, MAIL YOUR BALLOT (procrastinators that we are, we are heading to the Post Office right now ourselves)! Infolinks, including the online voters’ guide, are here. (Advertising disclosure: The Heavey, McElroy, and Stone campaigns are running paid political ads on WSB.)
Seems a crash we tweeted about overnight turned out to be a lot worse than it looked at the time, judging by the wreckage visible early this morning (thanks to Denice and Doug for e-mailing): Ten parked cars hit, according to police, in the 3400 block of California SW [map] – but only one person hurt: The 37-year-old man who is suspected of being drunk when his vehicle hit those cars. Authorities got the call about 11 o’clock last night; according to Det. Mark Jamieson, the man was reported to be driving northbound on California in the southbound lanes. He was cited for reckless driving and negligent driving along with being “processed for DUI”; he was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, mostly from glass fragments, and was still being treated when the report was filed, so we don’t know if he subsequently was booked into jail. 8:28 AM: Added photos. The driver of the black car was there when we stopped by, retrieving personal items from it before it was towed; she says police told her that hers was the last one hit, so hard that the impact pushed it onto the sidewalk. Note that, as seen in the photo below, the damaged vehicles include a motorcycle.
(We have pledged to always let you know if we alter an image, so please note, we blurred out the otherwise-clearly-visible plate on the red car in that photo.)
Since the new 4th Avenue South offramp from the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct didn’t open to traffic until 10:17 am yesterday, this morning’s commute is its first – if getting off The Bridge at 4th works for you, remember you can turn either north OR south at the end of the ramp (or go straight if you happen to be heading to the City Light yard). … Wherever you’re driving this morning, you will likely see signwaving candidates along the way – this is Election Day, which in the vote-by-mail era really just means “Last Chance to Vote Day.” Your ballot has to be postmarked today OR has to get into one of the county’s last two dropboxes by 8 pm tonight (they’re in downtown Seattle and in Tukwila) … If you’ve got a hunka hunka burnin’ love for all things Elvis, the Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) is THE place to be tonight – honoring The King one day after the 33rd anniversary of his death with a book-signing AND the Elvis Chapel of Love van (as recently seen at the Luna Park block party):
It all starts at The Feedback at 6:30, with biography Gillian G. Gaar signing “Return of The King: Elvis Presley’s Great Comeback” – she’ll also co-host tonight’s trivia at 8. … Speaking of really famous people, we don’t think President Obama is likely to make a West Seattle side trip, but since he’s scheduled to fly into and out of nearby Boeing Field, and planning a Pioneer Square stop before noon, you will want to be on the lookout for motorcades, etc. – here’s how our partners at the Seattle Times previewed today’s presidential visit. … More on the WSB West Seattle Events calendar.