Herkimer Hydraulic Canal No Longer Exists Yet Lowers Property Values

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Final phase of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal project is finished. (View from East Smith Street toward the Mohawk River.)
A section of the now completed Hydraulic Canal project, looking toward the Mohawk River from East Steele Street. Despite the out-of-date FEMA Flood maps, the area is no longer a flood risk

by Linda Kaidan
The map is not the territory. Alfred Korzybski

What is Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal? How does it impact FEMA flood designations which influence both property values and the cost of flood insurance?

In the 1830’s Herkimer, NY was home to several major industries including furniture manufacturing and a paper mill. Local companies made use of hydraulic energy to power their production enabled by the construction of the Herkimer Hydraulic Canal. The canal’s water originated in West Canada Creek.

Ancient map of Herkimer's Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.
Ancient map of Herkimer’s Hydraulic Canal, published by New Department of Environmental Conservation.

Eventually, the canal was no longer used and became a dumping site and a flood hazard. By 2021, a remediation project succeeded in making the hydraulic canal area much safer. The former Herkimer Hydraulic Canal is now cleaned, filled in, and flood safe. It is now a lovely green space. Newer parts are fenced off and hopefully will become a village park that leads to the banks of the Mohawk River.

Herkimer Hydraulic Canal(left). View from East Steele St.
Hydraulic Canal (left) where it crosses beneath East Steele Street and continues on to the Mohawk River to the right.

If you think your property has incorrect FEMA flood zoning you can submit a zoning change to FEMA!

It appears that remediation has not yet become part of the FEMA flood risk map commonly used by realtor.com. FEMA still shows this area as a dangerous flood zone (FEMA flood map-featured image-top). It continues to adversely impact local property values and gives potential home buyers concern.
If you are selling a home along the former hydraulic canal please contact FEMA to change your flood zone rating using this link.  If you are planning on getting flood insurance, you should also consider examining your FEMA designation and make an effort to correct it where applicable. It can save you from higher premiums!

The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.
The current FEMA Flood Map shows flooding in zones where Herkimer Hydraulic Canal has been filled in.

339 Eureka Ave Pickaxe Gang Strikes Again–Did Boris And Natasha Send Them?

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s 339 Eureka Ave Pickaxe Gang struck again on D-Day, invading vacant vandalized 337 Eureka, their leader wielding his signature pickaxe as he further ravaged a portion of the rear border fence we share with 337. We’re wondering if Boris and Natasha sent them.

The shaggy-haired blond middle schooler first attacked the old wooden fence on 5/12, kicking out a few panels, then watched from next door at 339 Eureka as Linda Kaidan mended the damage with materials on hand, sharing a few fence repair tips with him as she worked. He said nothing, but judging from his method of attack on 6/6, he listened well, carefully deconstructing her repair by first removing the key vertical iron fence posts before ripping and bashing the weakened horizontal sticks. 

Job well done, he gave our surveillance camera a defiant two-handed finger salute and turned away with a scowl. He and his three cohorts, one his younger clone, hung out in 337’s thoroughly vandalized backyard for a while. Here’s the video:

Video Timeline

0:01       5/11/21 Both boys at home at 339 Eureka. Younger one retrieves ball from our yard.
1:05        5/12/21 Both boys in yard of 337 Eureka.
1:52                        Older boy kicks out fence slats.
2:42                        Neighbor mends fence as older boy watches from 339 Eureka.
3:22        6/6/21   Both boys in yard of 339 with two others. Older boy knocks out more slats.
4:12                        Older boy begins demolishing mend to fence made on 5/12 by L. Kaidan.
6:49                        Older boy finishes job with pickaxe. Salutes our camera with two fingers.

First Sighting

5/11/21 First sighting of Pickaxe Gang member, here seen trespassing in your battle-scarred yard
5/11/21 First sighting of Pickaxe Gang member, here seen trespassing in your battle-scarred yard, ostensibly chasing a stray ball. The desperados operate out of 339 Eureka Ave.

We first sighted a Pickaxe Gang boy on 5/11, when their youngest member came chasing a ball into our yard. Slipping through our gang-ravaged fence from the  child trafficking lot side, the kid reclaimed the ball and skillfully kicked it over both fences and back into the yard of 339 Eureka, giving our closest camera a glance. 

339 Eureka Avenue Long A Suspect Property

We’ve long marked 339 Eureka as associated with local gang chief Stanley Sykes and associate Carrie Ann Bass, the most recent gang to have trafficked kids and drugs out of adjacent 341 Eureka. Sykes, Bass’ putative father-in-law, had access to 339 during his years at 341 Eureka. Bass still may—she has but to walk next down Eureka Avenue to be off of our cameras. (I suspect Bass serves as the gang Airbnb host for 339 Eureka.)

The only times 339 Eureka has shown any signs of life is when kids, fleetingly seen, quickly come and go from there.

We’re in the midst of a national housing shortage–Herkimer properties are becoming gold, yet 339 Eureka is still vacant most of the time.

Amir and Selma Covic – Owners of 339 Eureka Avenue

339 Eureka has been owned by Amir and Selma Covic since 2014. They also own 330 Eureka Avenue. We overlook the backyard and deck of 339 and have for almost eight years, but we’ve never seen the Covics, either in the flesh or on our surveillance cameras. We’ve taken to keeping their photo, marked “Boris and Natasha,” on the wall beside our surveillance cameras’ monitor. Smart money says we’ll see Boris and Natasha at 339 long before we see Amir and Selma.

339 Eureka Avenue owners Amir and Selma Covic aka Boris and Natasha
339 Eureka Avenue owners Amir and Selma Covic, aka Boris and Natasha

339 Eureka Avenue – A Child Trafficking Hold House?

We’ve been including 339 Eureka Ave on our Child Trafficking Hub maps for years –we call it a  Hold House: a house kept empty and held for use at need by traffickers, but not occupied by them. We’ve also been suspicious of equally vacant 337 Eureka, its owners concealed through ownership by a New York corporation.

Herkimer child trafficking hub as of 4/18/18
Herkimer Child and Drug Trafficking Hub as of 4/1/18. 339 Eureka, to the left of 341 (white lettering) is noted “Sykes Controls.” Sykes has since been replaced by daughter-in-law Carrie Ann Bass.

Adults Seen at 339 Eureka

We’ve only ever seen three adults at 339 Eureka. Most recently, there was a brief glimpse of a blonde-haired woman on the deck with the two young vandals. In 2017, we saw Little Mama come and go from 339. She had open access to the house. Little Mama was Jay Smith’s child trafficking tenant at 341 Eureka before Stanley Sykes and his local gang moved in. We alleged elsewhere that Little Mama was a child trafficking conductor, working the regional territory of a transnational child trafficking cartel. Unlike the local gang, her management was organized, disciplined and perceptive, and pulled out once we mounted our first camera. 

The third adult seen at 339 was in 2017, a brief clip captured on an old ip camera of a tall blonde woman partying with Sykes and cavorting with kids in the backyard of 339. 

7/20/2017 Mystery Woman with Sykes Gang and at 339 Eureka

7/20/2017 Mystery Woman with Sykes Gang and at 339 Eureka

…nighttime backyard poisonings grew to a frenzy the closer our trimming came to 337 and 339 Eureka.

Poison gas has been blasted into our front and backyards over the years. The backyard gassing, we now believe, was to keep us from looking too hard at 339 and equally empty 337 Eureka. It’s had the opposite effect–it attracted our attention. So, this year we finally had the time to do something about it. We blasted back with lights, trimmed the vegetation and plastered the yard with cameras. 

augmented backyard security lighting 328 Pleasant Ave Herkimer
Augmented backyard security lighting 330 Pleasant Ave Herkimer.

The nighttime backyard poisonings grew to a frenzy the closer our trimming came to 337 and 339 Eureka. We awoke some mornings to a yard saturated with a gaseous, flesh-searing caustic redolent of a meth bake. (It’s Herkimer–we know the smell.) Our backyard was a World War I battlefield. We broke out the gas masks again.

poison gas attack apparel
2017 – The author trimming a tree in front his house on Pleasant Avenue, wearing what every Herkimer activist blogger needs: Hazmat suit and P-100 gas mask.

Only when we cleared the last of the undergrowth and overhanging limbs obscuring the 337-339 border fence did the attacks slacken. Then came Pickaxe Boy.

Herkimer poison gas attack injuries
4.15.21 Contact rashes and blisters from toxic surfaces in our backyard

Did Boris and Natasha send him? Or did he and his co-vandals just slip off the reservation? The afternoon of 6/15/21 Carrie Ann Bass unwittingly told us.

Carrie Ann Bass – Herkimer Child Trafficking’s Airbnb Host?

Carrie Ann Bass, Herkimer NY child trafficker
Carrie Ann Bass, Stanley Sykes Gang drug and child trafficker

Early that afternoon, Carrie Ann was overheard on her cellphone being reamed out by someone for her failure to prevent the Pickaxe Gang from vandalizing 337 Eureka. And just as I was finishing this article.

Phone Call Proves Suppositions

      • Carrie Ann Bass is the gang’s short stays hostess for 339 Eureka. 
      • She let the lads of the Pickaxe Gang slip off the reservation.
      • Her client is very displeased.
  • Vandalism reported to the Herkimer Police, with videos. (Officer Carbone.)
  • We’re still watching for Boris and Natasha. 

Carrie Ann Bass Hosts Party At Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking lot was the venue for a June 5th child-centric party, hosted by Sykes’ Gang drug and child trafficker Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass. The occasion appeared to be the birthday of Bass’ son Harvey, Stanley Skye’s grandson. (Harvey’s dad’s in prison for heroin trafficking and complicity in the death of a user.) This has become an annual Herkimer happening, signaled by a crew appearing at first light and erecting an inflatable siege tower next to our house.

Hostess Bass enjoyed a good turnout, with about 30 guests at its nighttime peak. Unlike previous gang parties in the child trafficking lot, this one lacked drug-addled mindwipes howling at the moon and the booming of obscene misogynistic music shaking nearby houses, mostly just the happy shrieking of kids permeating our living room into the wee hours. And some occasionally loud but not totally vile music emanating from parked cars, the volume carefully nuanced to drop just as we were calling the police. Some fireworks, but all legal and an illegal but modest fire bowl crackling away over on the Eureka Avenue side of the parking lot.

gang party at Herkimer child trafficking' spot
6/5/21 Just a few of the guests at Carrie Ann Bass’ party in Herkimer’s Historic Child trafficking Hub. Numbers swelled after dark.
Herkimer trafficking gang frolicking in child trafficking lot
6.5.21 Herkimer gang and friends partying in the village’s historic child trafficking lot. Carrie Ann Bass, host.

Harvey is older now and seemingly into other things—this year he didn’t vandalize our fence or wave parts of his anatomy at our cameras. Boy’s growing up. Great things soon await.

Kyle Stone performs
Among the attendees was Kyle (“I’m gonna sell crack until I die”) Stone, who now seems to live at Bass’ 341 Eureka Avenue.

Guests included gang members and neighbors. (But I repeat myself.) Among the attendees was Kyle (“I’m gonna sell crack until I die”) Stone, who now seems to live at Bass’ 341 Eureka Avenue, and a busy few drug runners arriving late, obvious by their bulging backpacks. Given that we weren’t blasted with volatilized pesticides the next morning, some of our resident poison gassers were also probably among the guests and partied late. Can’t say if anyone from drug thug Kim Vargas’ krew at 328 Pleasant Avenue or from the Joyce Barton’s granny-beating gang at 333 Pleasant Ave were in attendance, though Bass, Vargas and Barton have been seen socializing.

Herkimer gang head Stanley Sykes
Worrisomely absent this year was Harvey’s grandfather, gang leader Stanley Sykes, seen here harassing his blogging neighbors. We’d recently rejected his offer of $1,200. for our house.

Still worrisomely absent again this year was Utica gang chief Stanley Sykes, a self-proclaimed member of the Crips, memorable for offering us $1,200 for our house in the midst of a massive 2017-18 campaign of poison gas attacks on us. (Stanley is hard to miss.) And also Kyle Stone’s crack-selling chum, Xavier Rowe of 326 Pleasant Ave, both Herkimer native sons. Xavier might have been there—didn’t review all the 14 hours of footage. 

Carrie Ann Bass, Herkimer NY child trafficker
Hostess Carrie Ann Bass, Stanley Sykes Gang drug and child trafficker. (2017 photo)

The three houses of Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub—332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and Bass’ 341 Eureka Avenue, are a traffickers’ sanctuary, owned by landlord Jay Smith. His trafficking hub tenants appear to enjoy the worry-free status of a protected class within Herkimer. Smith’s long been rumored to be selling those three beauties through a land contract. If so, they haven’t closed yet and remain his malignant huckleberries.

Loyal viewers of our herkimerpost.com videos will note we filmed Carrie’s party on a new camera. We’re testing several streaming 4k HD POE cameras at various resolutions. The new generation of surveillance cameras are easily installed, record in MP4, require no decryption and can be monitored on any device from anywhere. And of keen interest to our neighbors, all have great audio. The winning camera model will supplement our hardwired CCTV cameras.

As a courtesy to our neighbors, I’ve posted a few hi-def pixs of the party, suitable for downloading and framing. Enjoy.

 

Octopus Teacher Magpie Friends Battle Star Orchestra

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Linda J. Kaidan