WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police search; bike theft; 2 car prowls

Four West Seattle Crime Watch notes:

POLICE SEARCH: We don’t have many details but a search is under way in the Lowman Beach/Lincoln Park area, with K-9. Radio communication indicates it’s related to a burglary.

STOLEN BICYCLE: From Jana – “Bike was stolen (Tuesday) night from 3200 block of 45th Ave SW. Thieves ripped the lock off the car rack. Bicycle is white, Specialized brand (looks similar to picture), standard handle bars, had a little bell that says “coffee” on handlebar, and needed a new rear tire.”

CAR PROWL #1: From Elizabeth: “We’re Gatewood residents (37th and Austin), and sometime between 11 PM and 9 AM, our new car was broken into. It appears the only things stolen were the temporary license plate off the back window, and the screws from the license plate holder on the front of the car. We also had two screws stolen off the license plate on our other vehicle. We think we accidentally left the car unlocked, as there’s no damage to the windows or locks. I wanted to reach out and provide a heads-up in case other folks in the neighborhood have had any similar experiences recently. Whoever did this dumped everything in the center console on the front seat and left it – including expensive sunglasses, along with masks and hand sanitizer. Very strange! ”

CAR PROWL #2: This was just blocks from the previous report. Via text:

Car prowler at 3:22am on July 1, 2020. Caught him on video in my driveway at 39– SW Austin Street. Both of my cars were locked and he headed east on SW Austin in the Gatewood neighborhood after trying to get in my cars.

CORONAVIRUS: Wednesday 7/1 roundup

A very different July begins. Here’s our nightly virus-crisis local roundup:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*10,356 people have tested positive, 149 more than yesterday

*589 people have died, 3 more than yesterday

*1,600 people have been hospitalized, 11 more than yesterday

*171,737 people have been tested, 4.456 more than yesterday

One week ago, the four totals were 9,502/583/1,555/150,096.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

NOT JUST AN OLDER PERSON’S DISEASE: SKC Public Health notes that almost half the new cases are in people under 40.

RESTAURANT ‘REVERTS’: Arthur’s decides to pull back on indoor dining.

FRAUD CHARGES: A local doctor is charged with two federal counts of fraud, accused of trying to get $3 million in coronavirus-relief money.

COURT REOPENING: The Seattle Municipal Court says some in-person operations will resume next week.

GOT INFO? Email us at westseattleblog@gmail.com or phone us, text or voice, at 206-293-6302 – thank you!

UPDATE: Power outage in south Morgan Junction/west Gatewood

9 PM: Thanks for the texted tip! 74 customers are without electricity right now in the south Morgan Junction/west Gatewood area, near California/Myrtle.

The City Light map says the cause is under investigation, but the texter reports a big clue – a dead crow.

9:55 PM: The City Light site now confirms “bird/animal” as the cause.

11:51 PM: Thanks to Sue for those tips plus word it’s over after four hours.

REOPENING: Kamei Japanese Restaurant

Many have asked about when – and whether – Kamei Japanese Restaurant in The Junction (4512 California SW) would finally reopen. We’ve been checking almost daily for any hints – and this evening, while driving by, we spotted activity (cleaning the windows) out front. So we turned around and pulled over in hopes of getting the good news – and indeed, we learned Kamei plans to reopen next Tuesday, July 7th, usual hours.

Admiral Neighborhood Association to meet online July 8

Just announced, the Admiral Neighborhood Association will meet online one week from today. The announcement:

Admiral Neighborhood Association’s July 8th meeting
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Main topics

West Seattle Bridge (Heather Marx from SDOT will join us for part of the meeting)

ANA’s role in perpetuating, addressing, combating racism: Who do we want to be as an organization?
Some questions for reflection:
What actions have I/we taken to name, address, and/or dismantle racism in our community?
What actions have I/we taken to perpetuate racism?
Have I/we created spaces and events that are welcoming to all, specifically people of color?
What actions will I/we take to dismantle racism in our community, and to create spaces and events that are welcoming to all, specifically people of color?

Zoom info
If joining via internet: Link
Password: email info@admiralneighborhood.org for the password

If calling in by phone:

Dial 253-215-8782
Meeting ID: 864 5701 0091

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Doctor charged with federal crimes, accused of fraudulently seeking $3 million in coronavirus-relief loans

A West Seattle-based doctor is charged with two federal counts of fraud, accused of fraudulently seeking more than $3 million in federal COVID-19-relief Paycheck Protection Program loans. The charges against 41-year-old Dr. Eric Shibley were announced Tuesday; a reader called our attention today to the fact the defendant has an office in West Seattle. From the federal announcement:

The complaint alleges that Shibley submitted several fraudulent PPP loan applications to federally insured financial institutions, other U.S. Small Business Administration-approved lenders, and the SBA in the names of businesses with no actual operations or by misrepresenting the business’s eligibility. In the applications, Shibley allegedly misrepresented the number of employees and payroll expenses in several applications and concealed his own criminal history. To support the fraudulent applications, the complaint alleges that Shibley submitted fake tax documents and the names of purported employees who did not, in fact, work for the businesses for which Shibley claimed they worked. The complaint alleges that Shibley fraudulently sought over $3 million in PPP loans.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted March 29. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.

Shibley appeared before a federal magistrate on Tuesday and is out on bond. The charging documents say:

According to records available on the Washington State Department of Health website, the status of SHIBLEY’s license to practice medicine is identified as “summary restriction” due to allegations of unprofessional conduct. … According to records from the Anacortes Municipal Court, located in Anacortes, Washington, SHIBLEY pled guilty to a Violation of a No Contact Order, a criminal misdemeanor under Washington State law, on December 13, 2018 and was sentenced to a jail term of 364 days, with 334 days suspended, a $5,000 fine, and two years’ probation.

That factored into the charges, which allege that he was asked on a loan application if he was currently on probation or parole and answered no, which would have disqualified him. The charges allege that he applied for PPP loans – which under certain circumstances don’t have to be paid back – in the name of 12 different entities. Much of the documentation focuses on a construction company, the name of which Shibley is accused of using to open multiple bank accounts, and seeking a PPP loan for $563,500 on the same day of a 90 percent ownership-interest transfer to him. The charging papers say investigators found the construction company “has no apparent employees for which it pays federal payroll taxes and (that a form) Shibley provided in support of the PPP loan application is fake.” The loan, however, was approved (and later canceled).

CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Victims found off Duwamish Head were shot to death

(WSB photo, June 19th)

3;30 PM: One day after Seattle Police announced that the “remains” found off Duwamish Head June 19th were that of a woman and a man, their names and causes of death have just been made public. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office says both died of gunshot wounds. The woman was identified as 35-year-old Jessica Lewis; the man, 27-year-old Austin Wenner. The date of death for both was listed as June 16th, three days before a suspicious-smelling suitcase brought police to the scene. SPD told us yesterday – before the names were made public – that they had been in contact with both victims’ families. We’re working to find out more and will update with anything additional.

3:43 PM: A social-media search brought up a page for an Austin Wenner, from Kent, who posted in 2015 that he was “in a relationship” with a Jessica Lewis, from Federal Way. Continuing to research …

DEVELOPMENT: Feedback sought for 4515 44th SW apartment proposal

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Three months ago, we reported on an early-stage proposal for the former CDE Software site at 4515 44th SW [map] in The Junction. Now, West Seattle-headquartered developer Blueprint Capital is in the “early community outreach” process for the project. Blueprint’s Jade Aramaki sent the announcement:

The new development will include a new five-story apartment building containing small efficiency dwelling units and 1 bedrooms, no parking proposed.

I’m reaching out because I want to hear from you, the community, about this project. You can engage with this process a couple of ways. First, you can fill out the survey located here. The comment period will be open until July 20th. Second, you can email me directly (jade@blueprintcap.com) with any questions you may have; I’d be happy to have a dialogue with you. Third, if you live in close proximity you will receive a postcard with ways to engage. I have attached a digital copy of this information, feel free to post this on blogs, print out on bulletins, etc. Note that any information you share could be made public, so please refrain from sharing personal or sensitive information.

Due to the nature of our current environment with the stay-home order in place there will be no in-person outreach or public meeting. Therefore your input is even more important and appreciated.

A document in the project’s online file says 37 units are planned. According to Blueprint’s flyer, construction is still at least two years away.

UPDATE: Water-rescue callout in 1700 block of Alki Avenue

1:37 PM: A possible kite-surfer in distress is the reason for the big response by land an sea in the 1700 block of Alki SW.

1:40 PM: Most of the callout has been canceled. A fireboat reached the surfer, who, according to the dispatcher, “was just having an issue with his sail.”

WEST SEATTLE RESTAURANTS: Arthur’s decides to ‘revert’

While restaurants are allowed to open for some indoor dining in Phase 2, some have chosen not to – and now, one that did, has decided to “revert.” Here’s the announcement we received from Arthur’s proprietor Rebecca Rice:

I just wanted to reach out to let you and your readers know that Arthur’s is reverting back to phase 1 with outdoor dining and takeout only. We have watched the spike in cases here in West Seattle and have decided the dangers for our staff are too great to ignore.

The staff that worked in the last 3 days has all been tested and we’ve come back negative. This doesn’t change how worried we are that the spread is happening with the reopening.

Arthur’s is at 2311 California SW in The Admiral District.

TODAY/TONIGHT: 2 meetings – Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook, District 1 Community Network

(Tuesday evening photo from Alki by David Hutchinson)

Two meetings today/tonight that we want to remind you about:

EMMA SCHMITZ MEMORIAL OVERLOOK PROJECT: Today at 4 pm is the encore online meeting about this seawall project. Connection instructions are in our original preview. During the first meeting, they indicated this one would have some new information about the project’s traffic plan.

DISTRICT 1 COMMUNITY NETWORK: 7 pm, this coalition of reps from groups/organizations in West Seattle and South Park has its next online meeting, open to the public. The agenda includes the West Seattle Bridge and a short presntation about another alternative idea for replacing it – a gondola service. Here’s how to connect:

LINK:
Meeting ID: 826 6204 3575
Password: 930960
CALL IN ONLY Info: +1 253 215 8782
Meeting ID: 826 6204 3575
Password: 930960

ROAD WORK, TRANSIT, TRAFFIC: Wednesday notes, 100th day of West Seattle Bridge closure

6:12 AM: Good morning and welcome to July. This is the 100th morning without the high-rise West Seattle Bridge.

ROAD WORK

Lane reductions continue for the Delridge Way project – here’s the plan for this week’s work.

TRAFFIC

Here are the cameras for the 5-way intersection, and the restricted-daytime-access low bridge just east of it:

The main detour route across the Duwamish River is the 1st Avenue South Bridge (map) – which has up to 14 overnight closures planned next month. Meanwhile, here’s that camera:

The other major bridge across the river is the South Park Bridge (map) – this camera shows the SP-side approach:

If you’re going through South Park, neighbors have reminders for you:

P.S. Check the @SDOTBridges Twitter feed for info about any of those bridges opening for marine traffic.

You can see all local traffic cams here; locally relevant cameras are also shown on this WSB page.

TRANSIT

Metro – Some service has been restored – details here.

Water Taxi – Some service has been restored on the WT too, plus the 773 and 775 shuttles – see the schedule here.

Holiday note – Since July 4th is on Saturday, Independence Day will be observed Friday – no Water Taxi that day, and Metro will be on its Sunday schedule.

Trouble on the roads/paths/water? Let us know – text (but not if you’re driving!) 206-293-6302.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: #SayTheirNamesMemorial

New on the fence by Seacrest – #SayTheirNamesMemorial. Thanks to the texter who sent these photos:

Carolyn also sent photos including this interpretive sign:

Searching the hashtag on Instagram brings up similar displays in Portland and Dallas.

CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday 6/30 roundup

On this last night of the fourth full calendar month of the pandemic, here are the local toplines:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: Here’s the daily summary from Public Health, with cumulative totals:

*10,196 people have tested positive, up 127 from yesterday

*586 people have died, unchanged for a fourth day

*1,589 people have been hospitalized, up 2 from yesterday

*167,270 people have been tested, up 5,872 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 9,369/584/1,550/147,898.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: Find them here.

CITY LAUNCHING ‘EDUCATION AND OUTREACH TEAM’: The city says this new team will check out businesses accused of not following the face-covering policy. This is in the middle of a long news release addressing various virus-related topics:

The Department of Finance and Administrative Services’ Consumer Protection Division will lead education and outreach to businesses and restaurants that are reported to be out of compliance with the Governor’s mandate to wear a facial covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces. Outreach to these businesses and restaurants will focus on education. Businesses that do not enforce the facial covering mandate can be reported to the City’s Customer Service Bureau at 206-684-2489 (CITY).

In the coming days, FAS will also be issuing a Director’s Rule to give the Consumer Protection team enforcement authority over businesses that violate the mandate. Violation of the statewide order is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $100 fine. Businesses that routinely violate the order also face losing their City of Seattle business license.

PANDEMIC-AFFECTED BUSINESSES: Meantime, the pandemic continues to affect local businesses. Two are temporarily closed: Duke’s on Alki reports a second employee has tested positive; Bank of America says its Junction branch is short-staffed.

FERRY SYSTEM’S PANDEMIC PAIN … was extensively discussed during an online public meeting we covered tonight.

GOT INFO? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

STATE FERRIES: Execs explain pandemic’s toll on fleet, staff, riders, and revenue

(Fauntleroy ferries inbound and outbound: WSB file photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The pandemic has hit Washington State Ferries hard, and that’s likely to affect service for a long time to come.

So warned WSF executives including assistant transportation secretary Amy Scarton in tonight’s systemwide online meeting.

But before we get to that – some news about the Fauntleroy ferry terminal.

Read More

SCHOOLS: Seattle Lutheran HS ‘town hall’ on 2020-2021 plan Wednesday

An update and invitation from Seattle Lutheran High School:

We are so excited to present our response to the changes we have faced – we are working to create a schedule for next year. SLHS plans to be back in the fall! Our goal is to capitalize on what we have learned through home-based learning and ultimately create a schedule that benefits our students. It is our priority to ensure all students are safe upon returning to classes, which is why we become a leader in this transition, building a schedule unlike any other school. Check out the attached graphics on the tentative weekly layout for the Saints returning this fall.

If you, or anyone you know, has questions about our plan or is
interested in enrolling at Seattle Lutheran High School, the only
Independent High School in West Seattle, join our town hall this Wednesday evening (7/1). Email Dave Meyer for invitation (dmeyer@seattlelutheran.org)

FOLLOWUP: Duke’s on Alki closes for cleaning after second COVID-19 case

Duke’s on Alki is closed until Thursday for a “deep cleaning” after a second employee tested positive for COVID-19. We contacted Duke’s after this was first mentioned in a new comment today on our Saturday report about the first case. Here’s what CEO John Moscrip told us: “To confirm, we have had 2 total positive cases, and we are closing today and tomorrow for a professional, deep cleaning using an Electrostatic spray, as well as so our team members can get tested. We anticipate opening again on Thursday.”

BIZNOTE: West Seattle Junction Bank of America closed until next week

After multiple readers asked us Monday about the West Seattle Junction Bank of America‘s “temporary closure,” we went over and found only that sign, no explanation, so we inquired with corporate media relations. They acknowledged our inquiry relatively quickly but didn’t send this answer until this afternoon:
We did temporarily close our West Seattle financial center. We are operating with an abundance of caution around keeping employees and clients as safe as possible during coronavirus. So, for example, if employees become high risk due to preexisting conditions, or need to take time off to care for family members during these times, we may not have enough staff to maintain enough onsite services. When this happens, we work to ensure that the full service ATMs onsite are regularly restocked so that customers can still transact for the most common needs, along with our award winning mobile and online banking.

We will be closed for the remainder of the week ,with plans to reopen, Monday, July 6. Our customers can use our mobile app for many of their banking needs and find the latest schedules, as well as the nearest ATM and financial center locations by going to www.bankofamerica.com/locator.

FOLLOWUP: 2 victims identified in West Seattle ‘human remains’ case

(WSB photo, June 19th)

We’ve been checking with police and the Medical Examiner‘s office repeatedly since the discovery a week and a half ago of “human remains” found off Luna/Anchor Park. Today – new information: Police say the remains were those of two people, a 27-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman.(Their names have not yet been made public, nor has the cause of death.) They’re not saying anything more except that it’s very much an active homicide investigation and they “do not believe this case is connected to any other investigations in the Puget Sound area.” Police add, “Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Seattle Police Department’s Violent Crimes tip line at (206) 233-5000.”

ADDED – MORE BACKSTORY: As noted in our first followup last week, the discovery on June 19th – chronicled by teenagers in a TikTok video – involved a suitcase on the rocks by the Luna/Anchor Park viewpoint. The teens, who said they went to the park while playing Randonautica, called police because the suitcase smelled bad; officers weren’t able to get there for two hours, by which time the tide had risen and the suitcase’s contents started floating away.

DEVELOPMENT: Land-use approval for 32 townhouses on Harbor Avenue

(Rendering by Steve Fischer Architects)

Land-use approval has been granted for 32 townhouses planned along Harbor Avenue SW. Rather than one project, the townhouses – though next to each other – are in the system as four separate projects: Seven units at 3252 30th SW, nine units at 3315 Harbor SW, eight units at 3303 Harbor SW, and eight units at 3257 Harbor SW. The approval notices – linked to each of those individual addresses – open a two-week period in which appeals can be filed, deadline July 13th. The townhouses passed Design Review last September; here’s our report on the final meeting.

SURVEY: National Weather Service wants your advice about alerts

Spotted this on Twitter: The National Weather Service wants your opinion on the wording it uses for alerts. Should they drop the use of terms like advisory, watch, and warning? Here’s a survey you can take to tell the NWS what you think. It’s open until August 21st, so save it for later if you’re too busy now!

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 2 burglaries, one with a keepsake stolen

Two reader reports in West Seattle Crime Watch:

CAN YOU HELP FIND THIS STOLEN ITEM? Dennis Dye‘s insurance office in The Junction was broken into over the weekend. He’s asking you to help watch for an item that wouldn’t be of any value to the burglar(s), “a personal journal I was writing to my kids. It’s red and would contain the names Bill and Sarah in it. Thank you very much!” The SPD incident # is 20-199597.

HOME BURGLARIZED: Will sends word of a break-in at his house on 52nd SW June 19th, around 4;30 pm. A neighbor’s security camera caught a vehicle driving by multiple times, then pulling into Will’s driveway.

SPD incident # is 20-191864.

TODAY/TONIGHT: Ferry meeting; Stand Up For Black Lives demonstration, more…

(Photo by Michael De Haan)

Four events to spotlight for today/tonight:

SUMMER MEALS FOR KIDS/TEENS: 10 am-4 pm at Highland Park Playground. (1100 SW Cloverdale)

STAND UP FOR BLACK LIVES: Streetcorner demonstration led by Scott from Puget Ridge Cohousing and Hate-Free Delridge. 4-6 pm. Bring signs, and wear your face covering. (16th/Holden)

HEAR FROM YOUNG LEADERS: Local youth are among the speakers at the North Highline Coalition for Drug-Free Youth online event, 6-7:30 pm. RSVP info is here.

WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES’ FUTURE: Online meeting for everyone interested in WSF:

WSF staff will discuss the response to COVID-19, and how it may affect the agency’s finances and service plan. Online participants will be able to ask questions and provide comments during the meeting.

6 pm. The announcement explains how to RSVP and get the link.