Another Bad Day for Herkimer’s Douglas Barton

Views: 384

by Stephen Ames Berry

Sad Sack Doll
Sad Sack Rag Doll

I’ve been sitting on Another Bad Day for Herkimer’s Douglas Barton for a while. I was abruptly reminded of it this morning as alert sirens wailed over the Herkimers and Herkimer and East Herkimer fire units roared past. Fearing that  Herkimer Fire Chief Spanfelner and former East Herkimer Deputy Chief Douglas Barton were among the responders,  I hurried home, hoping it was just an air raid and armed myself with a cognac. Here’s the posting:

April 30th was another bad day for Douglas Barton of the East Herkimer Fire Department. Earlier this year Barton lost his garage in a sudden blaze at 333 Pleasant Avenue, a rental he shares with the lovely Joyce Bartonanother bad day for Herkimer's Douglas Barton. Then came the Herkimer Post’s publication of a forensic video analysis of key moments of Deputy Fire Chief Barton’s fire. In it we asked what Chief Barton knew and when he knew it. (No answer yet.) We forwarded that link to New York State authorities.  Barton was returned to the ranks of his volunteer fire company. (Perhaps for a hoot they sometimes let him blow the air horn.)

Herkimer Police investigation at 333 Pleasant Avenue

A Herkimer Police officer appeared at Barton’s home at 333 Pleasant Avenue on 4/30/16 shortly after Barton arrived. Barton’s truck and house were photographed. His truck was carefully inspected, with special attention to the left front area, especially the wheel well. (We’ve noticed that Supreme Court Clerk Harriet Tangorra’s tenant Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan of 328 Pleasant Avenue, enjoys fiddling with his own wheel well. Must be a drug street thing.)

Hard to tell without video enhancement, given the distance from the camera and the drizzle, but Douglas Barton may have been issued a court appearance ticket. 

It’s heartening to see authentic local law enforcement on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. It’s coincident with the abrupt retirement of our Pleasant Avenue neighbor, Herkimer Police Chief Joseph Malone, outed by an ethics investigation. Only a year ago the Herkimer Police contented themselves with at best gently chiding the Bartons when they did something foul, sometimes even supporting their reign of terror of the street by attempting intimidation under the color of authority.

Pleasant Avenue’s drug trafficking has fallen off, thanks to the feds and the state.  Decent folks are moving into newly sold homes and many of our drug scum have left. Perhaps the Bartons will soon join them. (Chief Malone still commands in Mohawk.

 Author Stephen Ames Berry is a former officer of Harvard University and a veteran of the National Security Agency’s US Army Security Agency. He lives in Pleasant Avenue’s historic Camera House.

Morning Mohawk River Walk with Bear

Views: 409

by Linda Kaidan

Mohawk Valley Walk - River Park - HerkimerI have mapped our extremely excellent morning Mohawk River Walk with Bear the dog. If you live in Herkimer Village, NY you can easily enjoy this experience too – at least whenever weather permits.

Mohawk River Walk Tree Herkimer
Is this Mohawk River tree big enough for you?

Recently, our Village has been getting an amazing makeover, provided by the people who live here. It turns out that we love nature and gardening and whether our budget is big or small, many of us manage to create exuberant environments on our adorable country lanes.

Now featured are flower boxes, gardens, wildflowers, the occasional groundhog, birds, butterflies and a stately and nearly empty river park where you can enjoy the river, ancient trees, a picnic area, fishing and even clean toilets. The best summer fun is just minutes walk away!

Please add your voice to ours. Tell us your Herkimer Village stories or write them yourselves as guest bloggers. We value your contributions. Contact us at

Pleasant Ave. Herkimer, NY is on the Mohawk River Walk

walk 01 - CopyHerkimer River Walk

Walk 1 - Copy

Mowhawk RIver Walk Herkimer
PK’s Pub Pleasant Ave. Herkimer, NY

On to King ST – Herkimer Village NY

Mohawk River Walk Herkimer NY
King St Herkimer, NY
Red Canna Lilies against white fence

Mohawk RIver walk Herkimer, NYMohawk River Walk Herkimer NYMohawk River Walk Herkimer NY

Steele St. Herkimer, NY

Mohwak River Walk HerkimerCorner of Unpaved Kings Rd Herkimer NY and Steele Stwalk 8 - Copy walk 9 - Copy walk 10 - Copy

Mohaek River Walk Herkimer NY
Mohawk River Park approach Herkimer
walk 14
Herkimer Park Toilet–Clean and Standin’ Tall

walk 16 walk 18 walk 19Mohawk River Park Herkimerwalk 22 walk 23

Steele and King St homes herkimer
Steele and King St Homes–Herkimer

walk 21 walk 27 walk 28

Mohawk River Park Walk Herkimer Village

Where Have All The Bodies Gone? Is Herkimer’s Coroner Doing The Job?

Views: 394

Murder victims missing in Herkimer
Unreported murders in Herkimer? A speculation.

Are there unreported murders in Herkimer? Regional statistics create some questions. According to reports based on FBI crime statistics, Herkimer and Syracuse NY have similar crime rates. Both are in the top 6% of least safe areas to live in the United States. Herkimer is in the top 3 percent!  However, reports indicate zero murders per year in Herkimer.

Given similarity to Syracuse’s crime stats, Herkimer may have missed some murders

Syracuse, with a population of approximately 145,000, has an annual violent crime rate of 8.21 per 1000 and 20 murders. Herkimer, population 7,600, shows a violent crime rate of 7.64 per 1000 with -0- murders. In fact, no murders have been reported in Herkimer over the last 10 years with the exception of 2013, when Kurt Meyers shot and killed four men, two of them in Herkimer. Given Syracuse’s murder rate—0.14 per thousand—Herkimer could be expected to have a single murder per year. Deducting the Meyer’s mass shooting victims, there are still 8 bodies missing over the past ten years. The lack of reported murders in crime-ridden Herkimer’s a statistical aberration and a red flag. Where did Herkimer’s bodies go?

Bodies usually end up at the undertaker’s. Herkimer’s coroner is also its largest undertaker. Its family members having served consecutively as Herkimer Coroner for years, generally running unopposed, or against another family member. The position might as well be hereditary. Not to impugn the integrity of Herkimer’s undertaker-coroner, but the system is rife for exploitation. It doesn’t require the imagination of a novelist to envision an arrangement in which people are quietly killed and the coroner sees nothing. Poison would be the best, a silent killer that doesn’t attract the attention of a knife or bullet. It’s a cause of death easily missed and easily explained away if later detected. The hills here abound with the makings of natural poisons such belladonna. Some of Herkimer’s multi-generational crime families undoubtedly have herbalists’ skills, possibly dating back to at least the Nine Mile Swamp’s Loomis Gang.

What’s In Your Fridge?

Troublesome people in Herkimer need only pass away, as we might have: In April of 2015, our house was burgled. Though things were trashed and our dog beaten, nothing was taken, which seemed odd. Foolishly though, we didn’t dispose of open containers. Before bed, I had a sip of milk and was soon dizzy and my blood pressure soaring. Knowing our depraved neighbors, I quickly took an emetic and recovered, then dumped the contents of all open containers. As a self-confessed troublemaker, had I had a large of glass of milk, I might have “passed away,” another victim of an undetected murder. If that’s the traditional Herkimer murder method, it’s a very slick one.

A writer’s fantasy? Maybe. But where are the bodies?

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.





Stop Our Runaway Global Warming Emergency Now

Views: 286

by Linda Kaidan

Runaway Gloabal Warming Emergency
Temperature rate of increase means time for emergency measures

Time is running out to control runaway global warming. Most humans will die when the temperature reaches a very humid 140 F. It takes only one day of peak temperature above the line of survivability to kill almost all life in an affected area.

There are solutions, but we need to begin applying them now.

Scary NOAA data reveals that while New York State’s average max temperature increased just 1-2 degrees during the 20th century, its average temperature from 2011 to 2014 was 2-4 degrees above the 20th century average.

Flee to Alaska? Not a wise choice

Alaska’s temperature increase is double that of the rest of the United States. Average annual temperatures in Alaska are likely to increase by 2°F to 4°F in the next 34 years. If global emissions continue increasing as they have been, temperature increases of 10°F to 12°F are anticipated by 2100. Heat kills directly by hyperthermia when it becomes too hot for a living organism to function. It kills indirectly by ocean floods resulting from polar melting, and the spread of disease from heat-driven pest population increases.

Hyperthermia – In 2003 14,802 residents of France died from temperatures of 104 degrees. Most were elderly. France is an economically secure and technologically advanced country, yet people were taken by surprise. People were just unprepared for the sudden extreme temperature highs.

Rising Oceans – In 2012 a mother, father and teenage daughter were swept out of the second floor of their Staten Island, New York home by rising ocean waters. Only the mother survived. Tropical Storm Sandy brought devastating coastal flooding to the east coast. Most of Sandy’s deaths were from drowning.

Pest population increases – The current Zika epidemic may be related to global warming. A number of devastating diseases are spread by mosquitos. Mosquito populations soar when it’s very hot. Malaria and Lyme disease are also spread by insects.

Geoengineering to the rescue?

Temperature rate of increase means time for emergency measures

Geoengineering offers emergency measures to stop global warming cold. There are two basic approaches. The first is to remove greenhouse gases from the environment – possibly using systems of atmospheric filters. The second is to prevent solar radiation from heating up Earth’s atmosphere, possibly using solar space shades. NASA describes these geoengineering techniques as risky, but even riskier is leaving temperatures to soar out of control and kill us all.

NASA recommends geoengineering as a near-term strategy for slowing global warming of our atmosphere and oceans and helping ensure humanity’s survival. Immediate implementation of such emergency measures may well save billions of plant, animal and human lives. But we have to act now!

Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner Sees Nothing

Views: 431

Herkimer Fire Chief Sees Nothing

Below’s a clip of a conversation I had with Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner on 6/14/16. The backdrop of it is the repeated illegal bonfires over past few months at 328 Pleasant Avenue, which is next to our own house at 330.  328 Pleasant Avenue is owned by Mrs. Harriett Tangorra, Clerk of the Herkimer Supreme Court, who unblushingly rents it to abusive thug and pyromaniac Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan.

Despite my emailed reports and videos of the fires over the last 6 weeks to Mayor Anthony Brindisi and Fire Chief Spanfelner, Herkimer officials have yet to take any action to protect our village neighborhood of close-set, tinder-dry 19th century homes from the threat posed by a deeply disturbed young man. A fast-moving nighttime fire could easily wipe out scores of houses and sleeping people. (Mr. Cool likes his fires late at night.) Only when I said I’d be advising my property insurance carrier that Herkimer was demonstrating misfeasance by failing to remedy a known threat to life and property did village authorities take a grudging interest.

The only response to this ongoing threat was on 6/6, when Chief Spanfelner visited 328 Pleasant Avenue, 7 days after receiving my video clips and narrative of the most recent Cool blaze of 5/30. The chief concluded that there was no evidence of the fire, that my videos were of the wrong yard, gave the fire thug a copy of the village fire regulations and left. Following the chief’s feel-good visit, Cool celebrated on 6/11 by assailing my wife and I on the sidewalk, and then with a major illegal fireworks barrage on 6/13.

The following morning, the 14th, I called Chief Spanfelner. We first discussed Cool’s hugely dangerous, bird-killing bombardment of the night before, about which the chief said he can do nothing. We then talked about about his investigation on 6/6 of the fire of 5/30. The chief said there’s no no evidence that it ever occurred.  As for our surveillance cameras’ clips, he dismissed them as not showing the yard next door, but the yard of 326 Pleasant Avenue, two houses away, which our cameras don’t cover. By implication, all the other vidoes of the fires in at 328 were also of the wrong yard.  (The Herkimer Fire Department doesn’t care for our videos, many of which I share with NY state authorities.)

328 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer Fire of 5/30/16
Fire of 5/30/16 in yard of 328 Pleasant Ave. Note circle in top right behind fire, marking fence boundary with 326 Pleasant Ave.

As they say in Brooklyn, you can’t make this stuff up. (The Harriett referred to in the conversation is owner Harriet Tangorra. “He” is tenant Curtis Cool.)

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.