Dealing with the neighborhood bully

by Linda Kaidan

Herkimer's Curtis Cool aka Curtis Dolan bullies neighbors again
Nanny Nanny Boo Boo Gesture

How should you deal with a bully who repeatedly threatens you with bodily harm and sets dangerous and illegal fires?

 Should you –

a. Hide in your home

b. Make the nanny nanny boo boo gesture

c. Record them on your phone and make fun of them

d. Just ignore them

e. Report them to the police as being guilty of NY State 240.25 – Harassment in the first degree.

When queried, a Herkimer policeman replied a or d. I prefer a lovely medley of b, c and e.

Don’t take assault threats lightly

While Curtis Cool is very entertaining in a B-horror movie sort of way, his egregious and repeated assault threats are not to be taken lightly. Even more disturbing are his repeated and well documented illegal fires. These fires are not only a threat to the annoying neighbors who are always calling the police on him, they are a threat to the lives and property of all those who dwell nearby.

Doing nothing means you agree to be a victim

When you refuse to stand up to bullies and drug dealers you are silently agreeing to live in a criminal society. In a criminal society you will be a victim and your quality of life and property values will decline. The police will support criminals because of fear, undeclared income, or both. When you call the police they will not be on your side.

I believe that standing up to bullies and drug dealers is necessary even if they threaten you with bodily harm. If you don’t, they’ll overrun your community and make your life a living hell. Silence is acquiescence to the dominion of chaos and evil. Those who do not fight for their rights will not have them.

Graphically violent threats

Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, made the following threats to me and or my husband while trying to denying me the right to stand on a public sidewalk within 4 feet of my driveway:

“I’ll smash your teeth in.”

“I’m going to knock you out.”

“I’m beating the fuck out of both of you.”

“I’m going to smash you to pieces.”

And my husband’s favorite Curtis quote:

Violating NY S 240.25

In this clip from Curtis Cool’s latest adventure in neighborly threat of bodily harm, you’ll see him violate NY State Law S 240.25, Harassment in the First Degree:

A person is guilty of harassment in the first degree when he or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses another person by following such person in or about a public place or places or by engaging in a course of conduct or by repeatedly committing acts which places such person in reasonable fear of physical injury.   Harassment in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor.

 

Our Life on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue

by Linda Kaidan

When we first saw the interior of our new old house on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue,  the soft winter light streamed in from numerous well-placed windows, gently illuminating the warm pastel colors on the walls. It felt so good, so homey–I decided to buy it in only 10 minutes.

I still love my house and the abundance of breathtaking natural places that surround it here along the Mohawk, but the brutal warfare of the last two years has been a trial. When we purchased our home at 330 Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, New York, we were unaware that a vicious war would shortly ensue, one between us and the entrenched gang of criminals who’ve occupied Pleasant Avenue and much of South Herkimer Village since at least 2011.

I’ve lived in many places including two war zones, but never before encountered the level of depravity  that exists on Pleasant Avenue. I believe that the numerous techniques used by at least one organized criminal gang are their proven tool set, quite effective in ridding them of unwanted attention for years, if not decades.

However, Herkimer’s criminals have been slow on the uptake and ignorant of the changes in the world around them. Two forces have been acting against them. One is climate change. As our planet grows increasingly stressed by hostile weather conditions and the resulting fires, droughts and famines, more and more eyes are turning towards the vast abundance of natural resources we possess here in the Mohawk, Adirondack and Great Lakes region.

Most people are blind to the incredible wealth of our region. But many aren’t. If you look you’ll see how much renovation there’s has been in the past few years, not just in Herkimer and Herkimer County, but also in Albany and Syracuse. State and federal government and corporations recognize this as a strategic climate survival area. If you’re perceptive, you’ll see the result of some of the heavy hammers quietly obliterating  the criminal enterprises that long flourished unchallenged in Herkimer.

The Internet is another major force opposing these soulless purveyors of drugs, kids, willful harm and death. Inexpensive technology offers each and every one of us the ability to observe, record and comment on what we see. And our rights as Americans grant us the freedom to do so. The Internet is a force for communication and a weapon for good in the ongoing war between criminals and their prey.

In March of 2014, we bought 330 Pleasant Avenue from Harriett Tangorra, Senior Clerk of the Herkimer County Supreme Court, for $32,000 in cash. She never mentioned the level of danger present on this street. (We were  told it could be noisy in the summer.) However, when we were harassed and assaulted by her tenant Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan), who lives right next door at 328 Pleasant Ave., she was indifferent to our plight, recommending that we purchase the property if we wish to control who lives there.

In the last two years we have spent $5,000 on cloud data storage, security services, surveillance cameras, web hosting and internet service not to mention thousands of hours of our time. We have suffered personal property losses due to vandalism by our neighbors and have experienced outrageous harassment. My children have vowed never to enter Herkimer again.

330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer Vandalism of 4/15/16
330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer Vandalism of 4/5/16

Recently we have seen encouraging changes in this community. Fire Chief Spanfelner has taken over code enforcement and is patrolling the streets taking effective action. Our street has been quieter and the former haunted house across the way has undergone significant renovation by Paul and Don.

Herkimer Village is an outstanding place to create a sustainable community that will help us live in these trying times of climate change. All it takes to succeed is a community commitment to fortify our resources of services, infrastructure, people and education. Each person in this community can take a role and assume a responsibility for our continued and successful survival.

Evolution of data and data analysis: A geographer’s perspective

 

By Linda Kaidan

How has our technology evolved from basic data concepts to big-data concepts in just 60 years?

Examining the history of data evolution and Geographic Information Systems is an excellent way to understand the progress of data storage, management and data analysis as a whole. In the beginning data was stored as written records on paper. Throughout history maps have been significant in navigation as they continue to be today. In the 1950’s slide rules and mechanical calculators were commonly used for calculations. Many mapping applications were completed by teams of mathematicians performing spatial and geodetic analysis that today is being accomplished in microseconds.

In the 1950s, maps were simple. They had their place in vehicle routing, new development planning and locating points of interest. Early mapping did not have the advantage of computers. However, satellite and aircraft systems were early uses of computer technology. In the 1950’s a self-contained dead reckoning system was developed by government contractors. The first space programmers developed a navigation system that could function without external references. US government contracting companies engineered inertial commercial navigation systems in the 1970s. They were capable of computing present position, distance to waypoints, direction and heading without navigation input employing onboard self-contained systems (Wyatt).

Digital Equipment Corporation built the first user friendly computer in 1959, the PDP 1. They introduced the PDP-11/70 in 1975.  It was used to integrate satellite-derived data and imagery from remote sensing. It supported stereographic image analysis, aircraft sensor data and data analysis. In 1972 The Defense Mapping Agency began providing mapping, charting, and geodetic information in paper and electronic format to the US Defense Department (US Government Publishing Office).

ARC INFO offered a GIS system with a graphical user interface for desktop computers. ARC refers to line segments of map elements. Info refers to data stored in an information system. The first microcomputer based geographic information system was released in 1982. ArcView provided a PC based environment supporting a basic geospatial model. Geo-referencing mapped world geographic coordinate systems to digital map elements.

Data representation featured vector models of points lines and polygons mapped to georeferenced X, Y coordinates. Topological models were used to relate map elements to each other. Spaghetti models connected independent map elements layering them atop one another. Raster models store data that varies continuously such as aerial or satellite acquired surface imagery.

As early as the 1980’s ARC GIS systems have been put to use to map municipality data in layers of substructures. Municipalities maintain control of information regarding public utilities like water, electric and sewer operations and detailed location of buildings and other structures. Whenever excavations are made the dig safe program retrieves data from Municipal GIS systems to ensure that electrical lines, gas lines and other buried infrastructures are not damaged in the process.

ArcGIS stores data in proprietary files. They also used ORACLE’s relational database system. Unlike many technology companies which have fallen by the wayside, ArcGIS is available today as a cloud based software as a service (ARCGIS.COM). Today’s ARCGIS provides industry support to utilities by making GIS system design affordable to cooperatives and municipalities with limited budgets using data model templates for project implementation (EIS.COM).

Open source Geographic Information Systems data is available to all. This includes Landsat satellite imagery and Tiger Data. ArcGIS Online stores massive amounts of spatial data. GIS software is being developed using open source collaborative efforts and is available to the public free of charge (ERSI.COM).

ORACLE is the second largest software company in the world. It began offering the first database software employing highly structured relational modeling for data storage retrieval and analysis. Though nearly 40 years have now gone by since the company’s inception in 1977, ORACLE’s RDBMS is the most widely used RDBMS in the world.

Well-structured data based on relational modeling is essential for organizations like financial institutions including banks, consumer based organizations, and medical research companies. It will likely continue to be valuable for a very long time to come. However, with our ever increasing capacity to create, access and store data, what is popularly called Big Data is an ever growing and every increasingly important source of information.

Big Data can be well structured just as data stored in a relational database or unstructured like that found in a periodical, research paper or essay. Data can be stored in a user defined self-referential structures such as that supported by JSON or XML.

Where does Big Data come from? It may come from sensors in manufacturing facilities, elevator banks in the World Trade Center or from automated, self-contained agriculture facilities in isolated areas. It may even come from biometric data collected by sensors on our bodies. Mining and manufacturing operations monitor production and distribution processes with sensors. That data can provide real-time quality control and predict when maintenance is necessary as well as when malfunctions occur. The result is less down time and greater efficiency. When used properly, Big Data can answer important questions relating to safety, quality, efficiency and market trends.

Big Data can be analyzed in real time as it streams or after collection. Data Analytics is a relatively new science offering techniques to glean the most from ever increasing volumes of data. ORACLE defines Big Data by referencing:

  • Volume of data processed which can reach into the petabytes (1000 terabytes)
  • Velocity – the rate at which data is received and acted upon
  • Value – an ongoing discovery process fueled by business executives and analysts.  Determining value is a function of asking the right questions, identifying patterns, making perceptive assumptions, and predicting behavior.

Data Representation Structured Versus Unstructured

Files, Relational Models, Self-Defined and Unstructured Data all contribute to how data can be represented and stored. Commercial and scientific software often use proprietary product based files to store data. Photoshop uses PSD files, DOCX is a file format for MS Word and standard image formats include jpg and png.

Relational data is modeled and stored in relational databases like MySQL, SQLSERVER and ORACLE. Relational data is based on relational mathematics for data set mapping developed by Edgar F. Codd in the 1970’s.  Such databases are sets of normalized data organized by tables, records and columns. There are well defined relationships between database tables. Relational structures support communication, sharing, search ability, organization and reporting. Structured Query Language called SQL, offers easy access to data from programs and scripts (Techopedia).

Unstructured data may be impossible to fit into an RDBMS. Such data often originates in mobile, social, and cloud computing data feeds. Some estimates agree that 90 percent of the data that exists now was created in the last two years and most of this information is unstructured. Unstructured databases like NoSQL and Hadoop offer the opportunity to capture, store and analyze vast resources of unstructured data as it is generated and to use it for business intelligence.

XML data is a data format that supports both data and a definition of that data’s structure. That means it’s self-defining. XML format can be used by any individuals or organizations that want to share data in a consistent way and in a format that they define and choose. Clusterpoint Server is database software for high-speed storage and large-scale processing of XML and JSON data on commodity hardware clusters. It works as a schema free document-oriented DBMS platform with an open source API. Clusterpoint supports immediate search and access to billions of documents and fast analytics operating on structured and unstructured data.

JSON stands for JavaScript Object Notation. It is an easily readable and usable data-interchange format that machines can parse and humans can read and understand.  It is defined as a portion of JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262.

Conclusion

Our ongoing data evolution began in the 50’s. We maximized its use to do amazing things like sending satellites to space and using those satellites to acquire and transmit geospatial information and meteorological information. As time has gone by, each generation of technologists has built upon the work of the last. We’ve created library upon library of mathematical functions, utilities and models that allow us to build systems that are more specialized, inclusive and integrated. We’ve created an amazing toolbox of wonders that will continue to grow as long as we do.  We have not only expanded our data and data analysis resources, we have new open source opportunities that allow us to share our data technology and further accelerate our learning process.

In such a short period of time we’ve become capable of monitoring and analyzing the oceans, climate, forest fires, epidemics, seismic events and financial catastrophes.  We’ve just recently heard about new quantum computers which are not binary but based on state. This multi-state structure supports more adaptable algorithms and enables us to solve problems millions of times faster, leading to solutions to previously insoluble problems. We’ve done all of this in just 60 years.

One challenge for the future will be to manage this ever increasing information torrent and to uncover some way to find and make use of everything we seek to discover. At the same time Big Data increases threats to both personal and corporate privacy. With every click of our mouse we give up information to parties unknown.

Linda Kaidan was a Principal Software Developer at Oracle Corporation. She’s also developed public utilities software at IBM and was a senior software design engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Kaidan has a BA in Geography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MS in Computer Science from American University. Early in her career, she worked as a cartographer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Kaidan is the author of Surviving Climate Change: Decide to Live.

 

References

ARCGIS. Introduction to ARCGIS software. Retrieved from https://www.wou.edu/las/physci/taylor/es341/arcGIS_intro.pdf

bigdata-madesimple.com. A Deep Dive into NOSQL. Retrieved from http://bigdata-madesimple.com/a-deep-dive-into-nosql-a-complete-list-of-nosql-databases/

ERSI. GIS for Municipalities. Retrieved from. https://www.esri.com/~/media/Files/Pdfs/library/brochures/pdfs/gis-for-municipalities.pdf

GIS Geography. Landsat satellite imagery. Retrieved from http://gisgeography.com/usgs-earth-explorer-download-free-landsat-imagery/

JSON.org. Java Script Notation. Retrieved from http://www.json.org/fatfree.html

ORACLE. What is Big Data? Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiWxdj6zcHOAhUD8CYKHSFRAo4QFghGMAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.oracle.com%2Fbig-data%2F&usg=AFQjCNHEV30BwI3YrV3vtFymuVgqUUN9YQ&sig2=OQ9yGH9qyGiLXbPnOD_XAg

Porter, Claire. Little privacy in the age of big data. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/20/little-privacy-in-the-age-of-big-data

Techopedia. Relational Database (RDB). Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/1234/relational-database-rdb

United States Government Publishing Office.  Defense Mapping Agency. Retrieved from https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/GOVMAN-1996-05-31/pdf/GOVMAN-1996-05-31-Pg233.pdf

Wyatt, David. Aircraft Flight Instruments and Guidance Systems.

Pleasant Ave Now Pleasant? My Weekly Journal

by Linda Kaidan

August 8, 2016 AM – Mysterious snow white maggots appear on top of trash can at 330 Pleasant Ave.

Trash can adorned with magnificent maggots :)
Trash can adorned with magnificent maggots

We all love Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs. But when I poked my head out front Tuesday morning, I gasped in surprise. There were at least 17 snow white maggots merrily wriggling atop my trash can. Perhaps they are a kind gift from a kindly neighbor? Like Arabian horses, those gorgeous maggots were best of breed. If they were intended to offend; they failed miserably. I’ve lived in West Africa and am a seasoned veteran of fly-infused beer and fresh bread with crisp-baked ants. As many survivalists know, a maggot-and-garlic sauté is tasty and nutritious.  Maggots are medicinal: They love to eat rotten flesh found in open sores and so are very capable of clearing up infection, even gangrene. (A chance discovery made when inspecting neglected battlefield wounds.)

August 8, 2016 PM -Funny drunk neighbors socializing at 331 Pleasant Ave help fix my car.

fix things with stuff you haveAfter an exhausting day slogging away at a fascinating yet horribly low paid writing assignment, I vegged out and watched one of my favorite series about a dysfunctional family living on a beautiful Florida Key near Islamadora. At 11:30 PM, someone knocked on my door. Since it was so late at night I screamed. My dog, Bear, joined in. I peeked out of the doorway to see who it was, but they were gone. And though it was pitch black and my car was locked, my brake lights glowed red. Not wanting my battery to die, I left the imaginary protection of my home armed with a shovel. After hurling some insults into the answering darkness, I tried to do something about the malfunctioning brake lights. The new, friendly neighbors across the street started joking around and I couldn’t stay angry. In fact, they made me laugh more than I have in the two years of being besieged here on Pleasant Avenue. Crossing to my side of the street, they disconnected my battery for me, and showed me how to reconnect it—I had to leave in the morning.  We all had fun. Perhaps this is our first experience of a new, reborn Pleasant Avenue.

August 10, 2016 PM –Punji stick finally pierces my foot in back yard at 330 Pleasant Ave.

Herkimer NY punji stake gifted nosy neighbors who call cops on drug dealers child traffickers
1 of many punji stakes lovingly crafted in my yard here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.

At night I went looking for dog Bear. She knows we haven’t many friends out there and tends to hide in the bracken: “Hey Bear! Come on in, supper… OUUUUCH! “

One of many punji sticks lovingly crafted by haters poked a ragged hole in the bottom of my foot. Later investigation revealed whole clusters in our yard.

Punji stake wound from traps set by Herkimer drug dealers and child trafickers in yard of nosy old neighbor
Punji stake wound from one of many  hidden booby traps rigged in my Pleasant  Avenue yard.

So I got a tetanus shot, x-rays and a prescription for antibiotics at Basset. Everyone was helpful, professional and nice.

And I also found out how to make a custom orthotic out of the white fuzzy cotton batting the podiatrist uses. I shaped it to fit to my foot, carving out a depression where the wound is, relieving pressure on the wound when I walk. Quite comfy.

Herkimer punji stake wound homemade orthotic Herkimer drug dealers child traffickersCustom homemade orthotic to help heal Herkimer punji stake wound acquired in my booby trapped yard. Guess I’ve pissed off Pleasant Avenue’s drug and child traffickers, again. 

Problems can help us meet new friends and learn how to do things better. And when you analyze a problem, you can often understand what’s wrong and figure out how to fix it. Solutions can be found in your own home with just the materials at hand. Critical thinking is fun, and often triumphant.