1 AM Fire at 328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer — Police Say Safe!

remains of open late night fire at 228 pleasant ave Herkimer
          Remains of open blaze at 328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer

One AM and all is not well

Last night at about 1:00 AM I was woken by the sound of rustling next to my back fence, which has been vandalized many times. I also heard the chinking sound of glass bottles. I thought to myself, at last I’ll catch red-handed the vandals who’ve been making holes in my fence. I discovered a fire in the backyard of Harriett Tangorra’s rental propterty at 328 Pleasant Avenue..

328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY
328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer

When I looked out the window, I saw a bonfire with sparks flying everywhere, notably into the tree limbs. Such fires, even when supervised, are very dangerous. When it is dry as it is now, they can easily spread to fences and homes. Antique homes can be burnt to the ground in 3 minutes because the wood is so dry!

 1 AM yard blaze Herkimer police deemed safe - seen from window

I called the Herkimer police, who came and quickly went with the belief that this fire was safely under control, neglecting that fact that an open fire within 100 yards of a structure is illegal within the Village of Herkimer.

With great consternation, I ventured outside to assess the situation personally. Three tall, thirtyish, burly gentlemen wearing army camos surrounded the backyard fire at 328 Pleasant Ave. One, later identified as Harriett Tangorra’s tenant Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, challenged me when I said I objected to their fire. Calling me names, Curtis Cool told me to “go back to some Arab country.”  (I’m Jewish, a 4th generation American, educated in Israel.)

Ho Hum – More Neighborly Harassment

Curtis Cool’s pack of cowardly loafers enjoyed harassing their elderly neighbor, with Cool calling me a crazy, lying, swearing, child molester who should be sent to a loony bin. All accused me of instigating the altercation, though I told them that their illegal fire had woken me up and that I had to go to work at 5:00 AM.

My husband then again called the Herkimer Police. Again. It says much about Herkimer’s rich tradition of lawlessness that the responding officer didn’t enforce the law, allowing the thugs to continue with their illegal open fire, its embers flying within 3 feet of tinder dry fencing. It was sad to know that this officer seemed entirely unaware of the massive harassment and vandalism caused by this neighbor and others.

Neighboring children have been sent to molest us in our own yard breaking holes in our fence in order to trespass and despoil our yard with trash.  We have captured these actions on video, and posted them on this blog. It seems to be nearly impossible to repel these weaponized, vandalizing children from our privacy-fenced yard, even with a locked gate and multiple security cameras.

Advice to Herkimer Village administrators concerned with  community safety

  • Please make sure your officers can distinguish between a safe fire and an unsafe one.  Please don’t call an open fire a covered one.
  • BTW, it’s quite evident from the above photo that this fire you described as safe is not and such fires should not be legal in this area at any time of day!
  • I have heard there are 3 criminal hot spots in Herkimer, of which Pleasant Ave is one and 328 Pleasant Ave all too typical. Would it be too much trouble to acquaint your officers with the ongoing criminal activity in this area?

 

 

 

Herkimer Crime — Cameras Out 334 Pleasant Ave & 341 Eureka Ave Kids

 

 

The Herkimer Junk Tree
                                            The Herkimer Junk Tree

Yes, it is a Herkimer crime posting. But it’s also a celebration of art–Herkimer art. And we couldn’t have done it without those kids. Ah! The energy of youth.

The Herkimer Post is pleased to unveil Herkimer’s first contemporary art exhibit.  (That college up on the hill is fettered by traditional art.) The Herkimer Junk Tree is genuine Herkimer Village art, crafted from the contributions of Herkimer’s talented but shy class of junk-hurler artisans. Like many creative people, Herkimer’s junk hurlers prefer to work unobserved in their quest for artistic purity. But The Herkimer Post is pleased to be able to share some of their faces and addresses with you, as the junk hurlers have so generously shared their junk with us. (They hurled themselves at our cameras. )  Let’s address comments and questions on our last posting, Titanium Golf Club Hurled at Dog Misses Mark, which also had a junk theme:

“You are a peice (sic) of trash.” Rebecca Heun, 334 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer
“I’d like to know how you get off on recording little children.” Holly Getman, 334 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer.
“I’d like to know why my children are being recorded in this video.” Michelle Hudson, 341 Eureka Ave., Herkimer.

Here’s why we record: to protect ourselves from people like you and your children, and from such crimes as harassment, trespassing, animal cruelty, and property destruction. And because it’s our right, which  Pleasant Avenue’s Melodie Schulze may now dimly grasp.

Why are your kids on the Internet this time? Because two of them are engaging in criminal acts.  One lad’s from 334 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer, the other 341 Eureka Ave., Herkimer. Both houses are Jay Smith rental properties. Watch as they breach our freshly damaged fence. (Note that the hole being dug in Jay Smith’s parking lot in the previous video is now larger.)

As for our 334 Pleasant Ave’s commentators, Rebecca Heun and Holly Getman, here’s a kid from your house throwing yet something else at our old sick Bear. Then both kids try to enter again through our vandalized fence. (Watch as the far end of the fence moves.)

Ms. Hudson, Getman and Heun, I’d vote for any of you for Herkimer Mother of the Year, but I’ve already promised my vote to your mentor, 333 Pleasant Avenue’s Joyce Barton.

Next posting: an investigation of what’s behind the latest rash of crime on our property.  Here’s the recent vandalism to our fence:

Herkimer crime vandalism
 Vandalized Fence – 330 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY

Ending on the upbeat, proof that great art can touch even the most savage young heart:

 

 

 

 

 

Titanium Golf Club Hurled at Dog Misses the Mark

Titanium Golf Club Hurled at Dog
Bear with titanium golf club hurled at her. Bear is old and sick. She’s never fully recovered from a concussion she sustained last year defending our home from robbers while we were out. She likes to snore peacefully in her yard.

Look what our dog Bear received in today’s junk mail delivery from the vicinity of 334 Pleasant Ave–the business end of a titanium golf club. Fortunately, it didn’t hit her and she is feeling fine. This latest sally of junk over our backyard fence follows an altercation with our newest neighbors from Louisiana.

Yesterday, Sergeant Sidderly, of the Herkimer Police came to our home after our complaint against our neighbors. He talked to them and indicated that it was not lawful to deliberately hurl garbage over a neighboring fence and into other yards or subject neighbors to verbal abuse. Repetition of such actions over time shows a pattern of harassment which is actionable.

Sergeant Sidderly graciously returned the balls that landed in our yard hurled by our deliberately careless neighbors. He informed the residents at 334 Pleasant Ave, a Jay Smith rental property, that they must mind their own belongings and behave responsibly. He also provided us with an excellent briefing on the New York laws governing nuisance, harassment and criminal trespass.

337 Pleasant Ave Herkimer Source of multiple stray balls and golf club hurled
334 Pleasant Ave Herkimer, home to our rowdy trash-hurling neighbors

Our neighbors need to realize that we enjoy gardening and have reserved our backyard for that purpose. We would like to remind all that our high resolution video cameras cover most of our property as you can see:

Reposted on 4.8.16 to reflect corrected address of 334 Pleasant Avenue, not 337 Pleasant Avenue.  Apologies to folks at 337. And with thanks to several sharp-eyed readers.

Mission Accomplished! – Fire Chief Barton’s Fire Revisited

forensic video analysis of fire 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY               The Fire Chief’s Fire – Clip From Forensic Video Analysis

What Did Douglas Barton Know? When Did he know it?

Douglas Barton Herkimer NY
Douglas Barton, Deputy Fire Chief, East Herkimer Volunteer Fire Dept.

With the help of forensic video analysis, we revisited the 1/10/16 garage fire at 333 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer, home to East Herkimer Fire Department Deputy Chief Douglas Barton and his wife Joyce Barton. Why? Because it just didn’t look right.

There seemed to be a tendril of smoke in the lower left of Chief Barton’s garage, just before he and his daughter left in his truck. And the same drifting across his backyard. The Bartons appear to avert their gazes from the garage as they approach it. Judge for yourself–here’s the original clip:

Was this a line of inquiry worth pursing? we asked. We’d forwarded all our videos of the fire to the Herkimer Police and Fire Departments on 1/11/16. But, it is Herkimer’s brazen Bartons. And Joyce Barton is ever in the background of Herkimer happenings. Also, the Herkimer Fire Department inspector seemed to agree with Deputy Fire Chief Barton that the cause was probably a faulty circuit breaker. (In a 1930’s garage, its  electricity coming over an ancient line strung from the house. )

The fire inspector asked for copies of our video clips after he and a Herkimer police officer viewed surveillance footage on our computer. He said he didn’t know the Herkimer Fire Department’s email address. (It’s unpublished, I later learned. As is Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi’s.) I sent the clips over the next day on a flash drive via a police officer, who said he’d drop them off. So much for chain of custody. But then as folks in Herkimer say with a sigh, “It’s Herkimer.”

Herkimer NY spirit of governance

Sensing how Herkimer would be the investigating the fire chief’s fire, we sent the above key clip from The Fire Chief’s Fire series of videos to PerpPics for preliminary analysis. PerpPics is a well-regarded video forensics firm, noted for its skills in surveillance video enhancement and clarification. It often works with law enforcement agencies. Its analyses are fully admissible as evidence.

The surveillance videos you see on our blog are compressed for transmission to our cloud hosting service. The originals are in high definition format, which can be restored to their origiinal quality, further enhanced, enlarged and forensically analyzed.

Below is the crucial frame from the clip, enhanced by PerPics. The surveillance camera is about 200 feet from the Barton’s garage. Barton and his daughter are in their driveway walking toward the garage. Could they reasonably have been expected to miss from about 15 feet what our surveillance camera saw from 200 feet?

333 Plesant Ave. Herkimer Fire - Forensically Enhanced ImageUpscaled resolution to increase detail. Clarified steam and reduced compression artifacts.”  (Forensic video analyst report.)

(Steam = water. Smoke = fire. Which one was present in Barton’s garage?

farewell potential evidence

Mission accomplished!

Deputy Fire Chief Barton HatThe Fire Chief’s Fire – What Next?

The Herkimer Post lacks the resources to complete a full video forensic analysis of the video. But maybe you do? Here’s the forensic analyst’s downloadable report and Enhancement Procedure Summary:

Written by Herkimer Post Crime Editor, author Stephen Ames Berry. Berry is a former officer of Harvard University and a veteran of the National Security Agency’s US Army Security Agency.

Republished 4.18.16 to include a photograph of now former Deputy Fire Chief Barton. The Herkimer Post regrets the omission.

Rewritten 8.29.16 to enhance narrative and include a visual motif  of Herkimer Village government, and a link to a photo of the world’s most beloved German Army sergeant.

 

 

 

 

 

video enhancement and clarification services