Having failed to burn down South Herkimer with their bonfires, the drug gang at their longtime landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue are resorting to bombarding the village with multiple rocket launches, coordinated with street-based pyrotechnics.
This is an almost-nightly occurrence, coordinated by why-isn’t-he-in-jail-yet Kyle Stone and his crack selling krew that operate of Smith’s 332 Pleasant Ave.
Gangs’ Fireworks’ Barrages
The gang’s fireworks’ barrages soar from the rear of 331 Pleasant Avenue, which shares a large leafy yard with unoccupied 329 Pleasant Avenue. Note the many large trees the lads’ rockets are cascading with fiery debris. On the other side of those trees is Eastern Avenue, which like Pleasant is a street of close-set 19th century wooden homes.
Watching the video, you’ll see Kyle Stone coordinating the attack on his cellphone, gleefully recording the explosions and dancing in the street of front of 332 Pleasant Avenue. (This time he didn’t urinate in the street while dancing.) These bombardments are frequent, but don’t last more than a few minutes—the gang is keenly aware of the Herkimer Police response time. Under NY bail reform, perpetrators probably can’t be locked up until after they burn down some houses. A few nights before this, the gang took over Jay Smith’s parking lot, between 332 Pleasant and 341 Eureka, with a big fireworks party lasting for hours. The grand finale was an explosion around 0100 hrs that shook ours and others’ houses—it sounded and felt like a 155mm howitzer battery firing a salvo.
Make sure your fire insurance is paid. It’s still a long way from the 4th of July.
As New York’s population decline continues Marcy’s Cree nanotechnology manufacturer draws real-estate buyers to our neighborhoods. Data from realtor.com shows that on 6/17/20 only 3 homes of any kind were available for sale in Marcy.
Proximity to Marcy is a strong indicator of reduced number of homes for sale.
Using realtor.com’s filter of all housing types including mobile, multi-family and single-family homes while excluding homes under contract, I collected statistics of homes for sale in 10 nearby communities. US census data provides population data. The distance of each location to Marcy is derived from Google maps. I also created an availability statistic which is a function of population and available homes for sale.
Distance to Marcy in miles
Mohawk, Frankfort, Whitesboro, Rome, Utica, New Hartford
Little Falls, German Flats
The highest availability of homes for sale was found in Little Falls with one home for every 95 people.
In contrast, the lowest availability was found in Utica with one home available for every 905 people.
Lower availability of homes for sale suggests that we construct new affordable housing.
As internet purchasing outstrips brick and mortar retail establishments, outdated and defunct structures become available for re-purposing as residential communities. An example of an outstanding makeover target is the abandoned Kmart located at 200 Washington St, Herkimer. This property has over 6.7 acres of sub-dividable land and is assessed at $2 million. In convenient walking distance to numerous amenities, it also offers relaxing views of the beautiful Mohawk Valley hills.
A close example of such an affordable housing construction project currently underway is the Snohomish County Washington site, formerly a Kmart. Four hundred much needed residential units will replace the unused commercial area. Building energy efficient smaller homes with multi use and shared community spaces will positively impact our quality of life.
Affordable owner-occupied homes and improved public transportation will create a stronger community and a healthy local economy.
It’s clear that Marcy’s new nanotechnology industry drives Central NY housing shortage. But we can use this to our advantage by creatively creating affordable and accessible housing alternatives.
New York’s catch-and-release bail reform law, aided and abetted by Covid-19, has revitalized our local Herkimer drug gang. They operate out of their landlord Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue–a barely post-pubescent pack of males supplied by equally young Kyle Stone, who lives at 332 with his mother. Part of the Stanley Sykes’ gang‘s extended family, Kyle’s their Pleasant Avenue distribution point, moving a steady stream of narcotics in and out of 332. Stuff comes in big bulging backpacks and goes in smaller ones, or via Kyle at the wheel of his mom’s new car.
One of those is his friend, Xavier Rowe. Rowe was involved in the same incident as Stone, and may be free under the same circumstances as Stone, or he may have been serving time in the county jail for yet another of his petty crimes, and was released due to the pandemic. Hard to say, given Herkimer County’s lack of on-line court and arrest records. We did see Kyle evade arrest in an incident at 332 on 4/20, which saw several of his friends taken into custody. It’s all good–they were freed the same day and no one seems to have troubled Kyle any further about it.
Both Kyle and Xavier and the rest of Kyle’ krew are brazenly trafficking out of 332 Pleasant and living the good life, infesting the front of 332 and the street, and partying in the parking behind 332. The parking lot–Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Lot–serves the three houses comprising the sanctuary Jay Smith has long maintained for Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers. The houses have been gang-occupied since we moved here 6 years ago and began observing events there.
Herkimer Drug Gang’s Preferred Party Venue
Gang parties in Smith’s parking lot aren’t complete without an illegal fire and foul music. The more dangerous the fire the better. The gang of Lost Boys partied this week–unusually, one even brought a girl. The police responded, but too late to snag anyone. Police resources seem strained by the pandemic, with the state police who usually back up the Herkimer PD no longer much in evidence.
Hopefully criminal court sessions will soon resume, police numbers will go back up and Kyle and Xavier will receive help to turn their young lives around, preferably in a 24/7 setting. (Our new Herkimer County Jail still has that new jail smell.)
As for the bail law, there’s much pressure to modify it again. It was written by people who live in southern New York, in places like Westchester, where the actions of criminals are but an intellectual abstraction, a remote cause rarely affecting their privileged lives. Legislators are belatedly awakening to their danger, awareness dawning that if they don’t restore rationality to the bail process, they’ll suffer in the next election. If not, beleaguered citizens may protect themselves by taking matters into their own hands. (We’re thinking of supplementing our puny garden hose with a power wash.)
Kyle’s party of of 6/8/20 saw the use of about a quart of fire accelerant. The fire smoldered through the night and had to be extinguished by a concerned neighbor the next morning. (I reported the fire to county 911, and police responded as quickly s they could, but apparently no one checked the fire–see above, police resources are strained.)
00:01-00:33 6/5/20 Drug backpackers arrive at Kyle Stone’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. Occurs daily. Curiers come and go from 332. Kyle himself distributes what they bring throughout the village in mom’s new car, taking care to do so as loudly as possible.
00:33-00:54 6/8/20 Workers rewarded: Party for drug gang begins, rear of 332 Pleasant Ave. Noted longtime Herkimer drug and child trafficker Carrie Ann Bass (Stanley Sykes Gang) drives by, stops to chat with Xavier Rowe (ratface, scraggly beard) and Kyle Stone, as Stone liberally applies accelerant to illegal fire. (Next to our fence.)
00:55-01:09 Stone applies more accelerant to fire.
01:14-02:10 Stone applies more accelerant to fire.
02:15 Party heats up.
02:10-02:53 Guest applies more accelerant.
03:00-03:19 Dry grass added to fire as Xavier Rowe stirs fire.
03:19-04:30 Sample of music boomed from Kyle Stone’s car (white, doors open, right). Recorded in our bedroom with the windows shut. This is the cleanest portion I could find without overexposing myself. Sexual and misogynistic portions excluded.
04:31-04:40 Kyle Stone and Xavier Rowe move table closer to fence and security light we provide for the gang’s convenience. (If they were monkeys, they’d be shaking their butts at the camera and throwing scat at the fence.)
04:41-08:24 Table activities start. Seems to involve crack sharing and smoking [07:00] and card playing.
0:825- 09:44 Long segment for purpose of shared observation: Maybe something else going on at the table. My camera lacks the resolution to see what. Maybe you can enhance it?
09:45 A male finally pays brief attention to the sole female guest. She is not happy. (Stone and Rowe I’ve never seen with a woman. Willowy blond guys, yes. Women, no.)
10:24 – Party breaks up.
10:35 Pleasant Avenue in front of 332 Pleasant. Herkimer Police arrive. I’d called about 30 minutes before, I believe. (I was asleep on watch.) With the state-wide demands of the pandemic and demonstrations, state police who usually backup the Herkimer PD are evidently elsewhere.
10:35 Kyle Stone in car in driveway between 332 and 334 Pleasant.
11:05 Police leave without checking for the fire I had reported to county 911.
11:10-END 6/9 1030 hrs. Fire still smoldering from generous application of accelerant. A concerned neighbor douses it.
Only recently did we return to the meth bridge and The Point. The area is much improved, as Linda notes below. I was impressed by the effort that’s gone into easing access to The Point: the old approach to the peninsula was intersected by numerous trenches, berms and log barriers obviously meant to restrict easy access to area. It looked like trench warfare in places. You had to clamber over the defenses to reach the bridge and the path to The Point.
All that has now been bypassed by a fresh, wide ATV accessible path that swings around the old entrance to the peninsula and knives through the woods, emerging about a hundred yards or so onto the original path. It makes for easy access and fast responses. I dubbed it the DEA Bypass. The gangs didn’t built it. Whomever did was meticulous, even planting orange lilies along the borders. Not our local criminals, who believe all work demeans and hard work demeans the most. (And they hate flowers.)
Historically, before the Canal was built, The Point was where goods were transferred from water to land. Back then it would have been furs from up north, coming down the West Canada. Now it’s narcotics and possibly some human trafficking. We’ve been watching the surveillance drones congregate above that isolated part of the village for months.
The Point, Herkimer - Where West Canada Creek Meets the Mohawk
It’s been several years since we dared venture back to The Point, where West Canada Creek Flows into the Mohawk River. We had many adventures there as we unearthed numerous campsites, jimsonweed weed farms, remnants of discarded belongings and a meth cooking and distribution site.
This week we finally revisited this place, which had been the source of so much natural wonder and mystery. Things have truly changed. The tangled jungle of narrow trails and brambles has been very much cleared out. It’s easy to see West Canada Creek flowing under the railroad tracks and into the Mohawk River.
Begin your walk to The Point Herkimer
You can begin your river walk at 500 E State St at H&R Block. Take a right down the dirt road which has been cleared of much undergrowth to bring you an open vista of a huge cornfield. You will see a warning to keep clear of the flood control area to the left of the trail. Heading on you can take the dirt track towards West Canada Creek.
View the abandoned big tree campsite, explore the leavings amid the campfire ashes and head on towards the blue jacket hanging in the tree near the river bank.
Head on under the the train bridge and enjoy the artwork! The trail opens into a field at the edge of a wood. A pile of fallen trees blocks your entry to the old old trail along the bank. To the right you will find a new, very well cleared trail which is more direct giving you easy access to The Point.
There are magnificent ferns and wild flowers. The lilies will bloom soon. NYDEC in addition to many volunteers has moved mountains to make this woodland paradise clean and safe allowing drones a clear views of traffic in this area. There are also wildlife cameras. Perhaps you can spot them!
A lovely and sometimes dramatic walk, our stroll to The Point–the timeless beauty of the area interwoven with the detritus of the silent long war between law enforcement and the gangs–a war now in its final stages, as the gangs’ dregs are drained off. It reminded us of why we moved here and helped renew our faith in the future of Herkimer and Upstate New York.