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Ava is one of the Seattle 30, those trapped in the Space Needle during the February 28, 2001 Earthquake

Quoted from the March 7th issue of the Issaquah Press

Mayor stuck at Space Needle

Mayor Ava Frisinger was on the observation deck at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle when the quake struck. With her to attend the annual meeting of the Cascade Water Alliance were city councilmen Joe Forkner and Bill Conley, and Sheldon Lynne, deputy director of public works. It was Lynne's first visit to the Space Needle.

"It was an exciting ride. It was nerve-wracking, said Lynne. "I was a bit on the nervous side."

Forkner said that at first it felt like somebody was jumping up and down really hard. But within seconds the entire structure started swaying back and forth.

"The initial thought was `Oh my,' then the next thought was, `My it's a long 600 feet down," Forkner said. "It got so violent we actually all moved to the wall and held on."

Frisinger called it frightening, and said she had fatalistic thoughts that it just might be her time to go.

"Afterwards, we congratulated ourselves on being alive, and said we had made it through the experience successfully without even having adult incontinence products with us - which I don't normally carry," Frisinger said.

In retrospect, Frisinger said the Space Needle - built to withstand a magnitude 9 quake - probably was the safest place to be.

"Intellectually, that's comprehensible. But the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach negates that capacity," she said. "It's the kind of thing that causes a real adrenaline rush. A real primal response."

Quoted from the March 2nd 2001 issue of the The Eastside Journal

Space Needle quake shake frightful

THE REST OF THE STORY: Earthquakes provide us all with stories to tell, some more memorable than others. Everyone is talking and buzzing, despite the fact that the quake hit on Wednesday. My phone, e-mail and fax line are working overtime under the volume of stories coming in, and I love it. Thanks. I cannot print them all, but I'll give some of the best to you in a nutshell:

* Ava Frisinger, Issaquah mayor, arrived early at the Space Needle for a Cascade Water Alliance annual meeting. The folks at the Needle graciously told her and her group that they could take the elevator to the top and pass some time looking at panoramic views in the gorgeous sunshine.

``Looking at the views at the top, the floor started to jump abruptly and then it rolled and as we staggered wide-stanced toward girders to hold on, the Space Needle began doing a pendulum effect, ricocheting back and forth,'' says Frisinger, who doesn't like heights anyway.

``I mean, I love panoramic views, but it was too much to see Mount Baker, suddenly followed by the Olympics, the Cascades and Mount Rainier. It may have been safe but your heart and your gastrointestinal system tell you otherwise.''


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