Amanda West Performs Herkimer Gangs’ Swan Song

Stephen Ames Berry

This paid performance on 9/20 by Herkimer gang thug Amanda West brought home how well we and our videos have done to help affect change here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.  And how hated they and we are by Herkimer area drug and child traffickers.

West’s twilight solo signaled the twilight of the gang economy here in Herkimer—the Herkimer gangs’ swan song. Everything’s against them: local and federal law enforcement are all over them, prosperity looms, with real estate prices soaring and huge investments in the regional economy. All the ingredients are in place for a return to the sort of prosperity not seen in Herkimer for over 40 years. Our region is a recognized national sweet spot for climate change relocation. People and jobs will just keep coming. Gangs only prosper amid poverty and despair. 

Classic Herkimer Gang Intimidation Shtick

Amanda West assailed us in a classic exhibition of the sort of gang behavior that long worked to intimidate people here into silence or panicked flight.  West invaded our property, streaming  30 minutes of threats and abuse as she acted the outraged mother in an often bizarre diatribe of pacing and hand clapping. She was accompanied by a male she called Cory, who from what he said is probably Cory Rowe, parent of local criminal Xavier Rowe and of Alexis Rowe. It was obvious at the end that West’s gig was underwritten by the Stanley Sykes’ gang, which has nestled for years in landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue, destroying lives as they help fuel the opioid crisis.

West’s was ostensibly enraged at the appearance of “my 19 year old daughter” in one of our Herkimer Post crime videos. That would be Alexis Rowe of neighboring 332 Pleasant Avenue, formerly home to junior gangbanger Kyle Stone. Alexis may or may not be West’s daughter—gang members lie a lot. In the supposedly offending video, Alexis appears to be receiving a narcotics treat from putative dad Cory, who has just been visited by what appear to narcotics wholesalers, bringing fresh product to drug distribution points, like Cory and Amanda’s 328 Pleasant Avenue. West herself does not appear in the video.

Herkimer police have made arrests stemming from the July 22nd incident in front of 332 Pleasant Avenue,  captured by our cameras, allegedly involving Xavier Rowe and Kyle Stone, both gone as the wheels of justice grind on. Besides the video of Cory welcoming the drug dealers in front of 328 Pleasant, we posted another video of a flock of Stanley Sykes’ gang members on his front porch, apparently trying to redominate the middle of Pleasant Avenue. 328 Pleasant Avenue’s new owner, who doesn’t live in Herkimer, apparently saw the videos. 

On September 7, Cory and Amanda and some unknown children relocated quickly and unhappily from 328. They’re not homeless: 328 was probably just a place of criminal business for them, as it was before them for Curtis Cool, who long rented 328 from Harriett Tangorra. During most of our six years in Herkimer, drugs and kids and criminal visitors came and went from 328 Pleasant Avenue.  That’s ended. Will it last? Our cameras will tell.

Here’s the raw footage of Amanda West’s performance at our home on 9/20.  The first five minutes are its unwholesome heart. She’s brandishing one of the antique wooden posts I was replacing on our front porch roof. I’d left it out, not suspecting it would become a gang prop. The timeline follows below the video.

Amanda West menacing old folks
Amanda West seems pleased with her performance on our porch.

Amanda West and Cory Rowe Arrested and Charged

Amanda West got to spend that bail money she bragged of in the video. She  and Cory Roe were arrested and charged with trespassing and harassment, according to Herkimer Officer Jason Crippin. The case is pending a criminal hearing. In their compensated performance they were careful not to threaten us personally, which would have elevated our criminal complaint against them to the status of menacing. A repeat performance will earn them a fresh arrest and a charge of 2nd Degree Criminal Harassment. 

Suggestions to the Gang for an Impassioned Door Front Performance

Keep it short. End with a bang.. The finest contemporary example of this is from the series “Rome,” the “Death Mask” episode, in which Brutus’ mother Servilia, covered in Brutus’ ashes, calls upon the gods to visit justice upon Atia of the Julii.  If you copy Servilia’s finale, Herkimer will thank you and we’ll publish it. 
                                                       Servilia Curses Atia

video

Pleasant Ave Drug Trafficking Rebounds

Stephen Ames Berry

Why would you traffic drugs next to a house with 25 security cameras? Cameras feeding a crime-themed blog with 100k+ views a year? Not just trafficking, but a major drug wholesaler publicly resupplying a local retail distribution point? At least that’s what it looks like to me. Maybe I’m wrong and those are just Appalachian Trail backpackers fresh down from the Adirondacks, meeting with friends?

8/30/19 Pleasant Ave – The Drugs Come In

Wholesale drug distributor Herkimer
8.30.19 Drug wholesaler dropping off product with drug retailers at 328 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer. Gang’s caretaker of 328 gives young Herkimer mom Alexis Rowe a fresh out of the bag sample.

This gathering took place on August 30th here in Herkimer, NY, in front of 328 Pleasant Avenue. The older man you see is 328’s caretaker, probably part of the Stanley Sykes Gang out of Utica and Herkimer. (Stanley says his gang’s a set of the Crips, but then Stanley says a lot.) Looks like the locals are being resupplied for retail distribution. Guessing it’s crack, hoping it’s not heroin or fentanyl. (Where would the opioid crisis be without Herkimer and the Sykes gang?)

Herkimer gang head Stanley Sykes
Stanley Sykes harassing his neighbors. We’d recently rejected his offer of $1,200. for our house.

328 Pleasant passed into the local gang’s grimy hands last year after it was sold to the elusive Joseph Handy of Ft. Plain and Schenectady. Not a trace of the man on social media. The house has since become increasingly visible as a gang hangout, narcotics distribution point and an Airbnb for criminals. Sometimes there are young kids there, quickly gone.

The video opens zooming in on 328 Pleasant’s front porch. Seated is the Sykes gang’s manager for the four properties it controls on Pleasant Avenue and for 341 Eureka Avenue. His visitor’s a new face, and about to leave.

The young woman with the stroller receiving a gift from 328 Pleasant’s Caretaker [7:01:47] is Herkimer’s Alexis Rowe. She lives at the gang-controlled house next door to ours: 332 Pleasant Avenue, a Jay Smith property. Smith has long owned some key Sykes’ gang-controlled properties here in our pastoral village along the Mohawk. (He says he’s sold them. He hasn’t.)

To the other side of the gathering—small white porch– is 326 Pleasant Avenue. It’s also a Jay Smith property, gang-affiliated, with so many backpackers recently arriving on foot at all hours that they now leave their front door open 24/7. At 6:47:51 another courier arrives on foot and walks past the group and into 326.

8/31/19 Pleasant Ave – The Drugs Go Out

Herkimer's Amanda West trafficking
8.21.19 Tall blonde trafficking fresh narcotics our of Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer

Product being in both by foot and car, it’s time to distribute it. Some will go out at night by cars seen traversing Pleasant Avenue. But much will go out the next day, 8/31, from 326 Pleasant Avenue. [6:10] The tall blonde has long been associated with of 326 Pleasant, usually seen bicycling about Herkimer wearing that backpack. [6:49] She’s been working the Village on and off for the six years we’ve been here. That day she got a ride. Dropping off a consignment with another local retailer?

Narcotics distribution via backpack picks up here in Herkimer whenever the feds crackdown on vehicular distribution. Were not seeing the multi-car volume of drug distribution we used to see out of Jay Smith’s Historic Child Trafficking lot to the rear of our house. (341 Eureka and 332-334 Pleasant Avenues.) In fact, it’s mostly Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, doing the driving from there. She seems to enjoy diplomatic immunity in Herkimer.

Carrie Ann Bass Herkimer Sykes Gang street thug
Herkimer’s Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass . Now living at landlord Jay Smith’s 341 Eureka Avenue Herkimer. Old photo doesn’t do her justice: she’s put on 50 pounds and lowered her hair.

We’ve been busy recently and it’s been quiet along the street. I wouldn’t have looked at the goings on here in the hood, if we weren’t again being subjected to poison gas attacks by our murderous band of neighbors, using high volume pesticide distribution gear installed under their vehicles.
Why? What don’t they want me to see? I asked as the poisoning picked up. So I looked. And now I know, this and more. And more to tell. Later.

For the moment, all trafficking activity has stopped: a few days after these events, someone–probably the gang’s 328 Pleasant’s Caretaker–was overheard to tell all to start taking their goods to alternate trafficking transfer points on Eureka and Eastern Avenues, parallel streets to either side of Pleasant Avenue. And not to walk down Pleasant Avenue. Experience says they’ll be back as drug trafficking rebounds. And our cameras will be waiting.

Jay Smith Gifts Herkimer Drug and Child Traffickers a Sanctuary

Stephen Ames Berry

In a Yuletide surprise, longtime area landlord Jay Smith gifted Herkimer drug and child traffickers a sanctuary. Smith owns 27 houses in our village, according to property tax rolls. He’s long rented out the three properties comprising Herkimer’s historic child trafficking hub: 332 and 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue. At its height, we estimate hundreds of million dollars a year in trafficked kids were moved through that Herkimer waypoint by transcontinental trafficking gangs. Several million dollars a year were probably shared with partnering regional Herkimer gangs. Kids seem not to have moved through there since Stanley Sykes moved out last May.

Child trafficking Herkimer NY
Last consignment of kids trafficked by transnational trafficking cartel conductors Little Mama and Pretty Boy moving through Herkimer’s longtime child trafficking hub. 8.14.16. Hub was handed over to Stanley Sykes gang by Little Mama a few days later. Sykes used to bellow he’d bought the rights to traffic out of there.

This week, in a Christmas gift to the Herkimer community, Smith converted that dormant child trafficking hub into a housing sanctuary for the remnant of Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers: He tenanted 332 Pleasant Avenue, the last non-gang house on the hub, with more gang members.  

Gang Moves Into Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue

Herkimer drug dealers move into Jay Smith rental
New tenants at Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue advertise their product.
Herkimer gang member fire dancing on Pleasant Avenue 12.23.18
Herkimer gang member celebrates Yuletide move into Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer property with fire works and fire dance. 332 was the last non-gang occupied house on Herkimer’s traditional child trafficking hub. Smith owns all three hub houses. Herkimer real estate is booming. The house could easily have been rented to people who work for a living rather than  traffickers.

Thanks to climate change migration Herkimer’s real estate market is booming. Smith could easily have sold all three hub properties for good money, or rented 332 Pleasant to people with jobs. At this point in Herkimer, renting to criminals flies in the face of reason.

Herkimer’s Historic Child Trafficking Hub 4/1/18

Herkimer child trafficking hub
Herkimer child and Drug Trafficking Hub as of 4.1.18

Jay Smith’s Trafficking Hub: 4+ years of  Gassing and Harassment

In our 4+ years in Herkimer, successive national and regional child and drug traffickers have operated out of Smith’s child trafficking hub, which our house overlooks. They and their allies harassed and gassed us, destroyed out property and hurt our pets. Our poor old dog never recovered from being gassed in her basement den from Smith’s trafficking hub

 

Jay Smith criminal tenant Stanley Sykes
Jay Smith trafficking hub tenant, gang chief Stanley Sykes, comes by to harass us again. .

Appallingly, quite a few folks in Herkimer, not just the obvious criminals, seemed miffed at our exposure of the village’s brisk child sex slavery trade and disconcerted by the resulting loss of income. (“Our kids are our kids. Other people’s kids are meat,” seems the attitude.) At some point, merely shrugging your shoulders and saying, “It’s Herkimer” is depraved indifference.

Smith quickly replaced Stanley Sykes at 341 Eureka with the Sykes gang’s Carrie Ann Bass. He filled Bass’ former trafficking house at 334 Pleasant Avenue with other gang members, first making modest improvements to both properties. High volume narcotics trafficking replaced the child trafficking out of Smith’s hub and gang members partied hearty. Fresh video coverage by us helped put an end to that in November.

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

The one bright spot in Jay Smith’s adjacent empire of dirt was his rental house next to ours, 332 Pleasant Avenue. It was tenanted for years by two low key professional guys who replaced evicted heroin addicts. They were our secure right flank through years of poison gas attacks and street assaults, many from Smith’s tenants.

Herkimer poison gas attack
Poison gas attack on us from trafficking hub properties 11.26.18 An error in setting the gas fogger made the pesticide visible

Why is Jay Smith Still Renting to Criminal Trafficking Gang?

There was no sound business reason for Jay Smith to rent to more filth. He seems to be well off and is not young. Other than his trafficking hub tenants, there’s only a legacy criminal presence remaining here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.  All houses for sale here on Pleasant Avenue have been sold.  Properties move quickly. Realtors are hungry for inventory.  Yet Smith seems to be busy preserving his trafficking hub as a gang sanctuary, when he could easily make a handsome profit by selling out or renting again to decent locals in an up market. Why?

As we reported, the New York State Police asked us recently if we thought Smith was complicit in the criminal activities of his tenants. We said no. At this point, though, it’s the only thing that makes sense. When something doesn’t make sense, follow the money. 

As noted, Jay Smith owns 27 houses in Herkimer. It’s a small place. He has the capacity to do a lot of good here, giving back to a community from which he’s profited handsomely through the years. Or he can continue acquiescing to evil. Whichever he chooses, the Herkimer Post will cover it.

Video of Gang Move-In at 332 Pleasant Avenue

Here’s a video of trafficking gang members moving into Jay Smith’s 332 Pleasant Avenue. (Don’t know what that white powder is in the bag he’s waving at the camera. Confectionery sugar?) They had 3 full truck loads of stuff. They obviously don’t like surveillance cameras, which must be why they moved next door to house with 25 cameras fueling about 200,000 worldwide social media views a year.   Oh. Our cameras cover all their doors. 

The short smirking young woman on the porch is Herkimer gang member Alexis Rowe, known to us as Moonroof, after the white car she traffics with in out of the hub. Don’t know anyone else there, but they are of a type—infinitely replaceable young gang cutouts moving along the school to prison pipeline. Many don’t make it to 30. 

Video Timeline

0:17 Ganger sends us Yuletide greetings. Waves bag of white powder at camera. Probably not confectionery sugar.
0:18 Public fireworks, fire, fire dancing, staggering. (See above, white powder.)
0:47 Young couple moving fridge. Shown for facial recognition capture.
1:21 Walking across trafficking hub from 332 Pleasant Avenue to Bass’ 341 Eureka Avenue. (The latter is Herkimer’s Historic Stanley Sykes House. It competes for tourists with Smith’s Herkimer’s Historic Crackhouse at 318 Pleasant Avenue, and of course, the Joyce Barton Gang’s 333 Pleasant Avenue.)
1:35 Evidence of Life: a rare public appearance by Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins Bass, as she unloads her Sav-A-Lot bags at 341 Eureka. She’s accompanied by son Harvey, Stanley Sykes’s grandson. (Dad’s away on a heroin trafficking charge.)

Herkimer Child Trafficking Update

Stephen Ames Berry

A New York State Police investigator came by on 10/17 for an informational visit.  He came in response to “several people in Albany…[who] expressed concern” following our widely-read Herkimer child trafficking series.  It seemed our backgrounds had been verified beforehand.  We appear to have been deemed credible  and our postings plausible. We were shabbily dressed and well-spoken. (We’ll discuss that meeting and its implications in a later posting.)

We had a lengthy conversation about Herkimer child trafficking, ongoing poison gas attacks, the presence of regional and national gangs and their local members, and state and Herkimer Village  policing.  The investigator left with the information he needed for Albany.  We were left with the certainty that the only authentic law enforcement in Herkimer is Federal.

Of keen interest to Albany was a Herkimer child trafficking update. We hadn’t posted any child trafficking material since April.  (Busy adding cameras and staving off the poison gas attacks triggered by our postings.)

Had things changed? we were asked.  Yes. 

Kids Gone. Stanley Sykes Moved Out. His Gang Traffics On

All child trafficking within the view of our cameras faded following the publication of our child trafficking series. Stanley Sykes vacated his 341 Eureka Avenue rental in mid-May.  

Child and drug trafficker Stanley Sykes
Child and drug trafficker Stanley Sykes coming by to harass us again. He offered us $1,500 for our house.

After Sykes left, the gang’s two houses on the hub were improved with updated cabinetry and new kitchen appliances by landlord Jay Smith .

Herkimer child trafficking hub
Herkimer child and Drug Trafficking Hub as of 4.1.18

Sykes’ daughter-in-law, Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, moved the 40 meters across the parking lot into Sykes old place at 341 Eureka Avenue.  She was replaced at 334 Pleasant by other Sykes members.

Carrie Bass Herkimer child trafficker
Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass, Herkimer child and drug trafficker.

The Sykes gang are but the most recent operators of Herkimer’s historic child trafficking hub, small time locals who never came close to equaling the volume of trafficked kids moved through Herkimer by the national child trafficking cartel preceding  them.

Herkimer Child Trafficking Hub Now Bustling Drug Hub

The Sykes gang was quick to convert the child trafficking hub to a bustling drug trafficking hub. They’d always trafficked drugs from there, but have really stepped up the pace since Stanley Sykes relocated. All their activities have become open and often brazen as they reassert dominance.  They want us, and through us, you, to know they’re  not afraid of cameras, social media, law enforcement.  They pay. They’re protected. “In your face. We own this place.” is their message. 

Here’s a recent typical day’s drug trafficking  out of that grubby lot, sped up a bit to capture the frenetic pace:

Stanley Sykes has been heard to say he paid 10k for the rights to traffic out of that location. Seems those rights are still respected.

Herkimer gang’s message: “In your face. We own this place!” 

Where Is Stanley Sykes? What Is He Doing?

Stanley hasn’t gone far. He’s often at at his old address on Eureka Avenue.  Here he is the other day, hosting his gang for a smoke filled autumn evening of cracked-out good times at the gang’s trafficking hub:

Like the Big Time child traffickers before him, he’s probably relocated nearby, where he can move kids without scrutiny. Folks in Herkimer pride themselves on minding their own business.

Should we and our cameras be gone, kids would soon be trafficked again out of that parking lot, the well-protected Holy of Holies of the Herkimer gangs’ empire of dirt.

 

 

 

 

Herkimer Poison Gas Attacks & Stanley Sykes’ Backpack Empire

by Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer drug dealer Stanley Sykes greets incoming out-of-town drug mule
Herkimer Syke’s gang head Stanley Sykes, AKA Bob Sykes, greets arriving out-of-town drug mule before taking him on to his next destination. Looks like the Syke’s gang’s running the Herkimer’s way station of a large backpack narcotics distribution network designed to foil aerial observation.

We understand why the criminals who believe they own the Village of Herkimer want us dead.:Our blog and street cameras have helped lessen drug trafficking along Herkimer’s notorious Pleasant Avenue. We’ve pinpointed trafficking and traffickers, arsonists and wanna-be arsonists. We’ve disposed of several street harassers and gotten a few folks locked up who thought it ok to assault seniors in the street.

We pride ourselves on having helped spark Herkimer’s current home sales boom–drawing national attention to the village’s ideal location and surrounding beauty in a time of climate change. The tragedy of Houston will send many folks north seeking improved climate safety.

Of course Herkimer’s shrinking criminal population hates us. They’ve long considered Herkimer a safe haven and Pleasant Avenue their own. Especially the parking lot and houses owned by landlord Jay Smith. 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka Avenue, currently occupied by the Stanley Sykes gang, have a long tradition as a clandestine trafficking haven. The Sykes gang feels menaced by the prosperity creeping toward them down Pleasant Avenue including the major home renovation make overs at 331 and 328 Pleasant Ave. Al Murray’s garbage strewn lot has been purchased by a neighbor and now features grass, not trash. Pleasant Avenue is experiencing a return to its former state of quiet village charm.

From what we’ve seen, the Sykes gang tried wholesale trafficking out of the parking lot and 334 Pleasant Avenue in the traditional way, with vehicles. Guess that didn’t go well. Too obvious. Surveillance drones can quickly determine drug trafficking patterns and traffickers. Most people don’t want to see a return to the wild days on Pleasant Avenue when Joyce Barton was undisputed queen of the  street’s bustling trafficking.

Some of Herkimer’s Sykes Gang’s Drug Delivery Vehicles

Two of the vehicles typically used by Herkimer’s Sykes gang to traffic out of Carrie Ann Bass’ rented house at 334 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer. (As with all Sykes gang rentals, a Jay Smith property.) Carrie Ann is allegedly Sykes’ daughter-in-law.

Herkimer drug delivery car White Volvo often seen coming and going from Carrie3 Bass' 334 Pleasant Avenue, a Syskes gang retail distribution center
White Volvo often seen coming and going from Carrie Bass’ 334 Pleasant Avenue, an Sykes gang drug distribution center. It’s the car used by the Sykeses in their 2 hour street rampage last Spring on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.
Sykes gang Herkimer drug car on loan from Joyce Barton at 334 Pleasant Ave rear
Herkimer Sykes gang drug car long associated with longtime Sykes ally Joyce Barton of 333 Pleasant Avenue. Would be interesting to know to whom that vehicle is legally registered. It’s been seen changing plates in the dark. (HPT6249)

Stanley Sykes’ Gang Niche Drug Market: Backpack Drug Muling

Stanley Sykes, AKA Bob Sykes, may have found a niche market: backpack drug distribution. Backpacks have long been used to move narcotics around Herkimer. But it seems the Sykes gang has become a franchisee within a large network that mules narcotics on backs from town to town. Hard to spot and follow from surveillance drones. Stanley’s been doing a brisk business, building a backpack empire:

The pattern in the video’s clear: backpackers bring the drugs into Herkimer, arriving for distribution at Carrie Bass’ 344 Pleasant Avenue. (Bass is the mother of Stanley’s grandson Harvey, and herself a belligerent street harasser. Harvey’s dad is absent on a heroin trafficking charge.) Stanley Sykes, AKA Bob Sykes, greets and transports them locally or to their next destination. Sometimes the contraband they bring remains, crossing Pleasant Avenue to Joyce Barton’s at 333, coming back to 334 in bags and packs for local distribution. Or parceled out to allies along the street an din the village.)

Herkimer’s Hardest Working Teen

The teen at the end of the above video is seen everywhere in Herkimer Village. He’s a hard working, no-nonsense go-getter. Though at the end of the video, you’ll see he did have some time off. Here’s the outtake:

Viewers of our videos may recognize Jesse McClaren walking with the young backpacker. Jesse soared to YouTube fame as Herkimer’s Historic Crack House Keeper. Like Stanley Syke’s daughter Kyra, he was later arrested for assaulting an elderly war vet. (Me.)

It’s videos like Stanley Sykes’ Backpack Empire and analysis like this that helped end Pleasant Avenue’s wholesale drug trafficking. And put Herkimer on the map. They’ve also caused Stanley Sykes, AKA Bob Sykes, to diversify to an a nearby alternate location, known only to the Sykes gang and government surveillance drones.

Drug Gang Poisons South Herkimer

Street thug tactics succeeded in getting Sykes’ daughter Kyra arrested for criminal harassment. Retaliatory pesticides then began streaming and misting into our yard and windows from Stanley’s parking area, Pleasant Avenue and the rear of another Jay Smith rental a few doors down.

An onslaught of drive-by misting attacks poisoned not only us and our home, but our neighbors and their children too. The poison mists generated from a witches brew of at least three pesticides drifted for blocks in the muggy August air, sickening people and pets. NYDEC became involved. Law enforcement virtually embargoed Pleasant Avenue. Surveillance drones still fill the skies. Yet as recently as 0724 this morning, fresh pesticide misted in from the direction of 334 Pleasant Avenue rear.

Our attackers took their poisoning preparations seriously. Here’s a Sykes gang member (whom we refer to as Glowering Goat Beard), and what seems a consultant, inspecting the target area of our home. (The helmet should go on before coming into camera range, not after.)

 

 

Herkimer’s Slumlords and Drug Traffickers

333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY
333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer, Home of Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton

You might think it’s a no-brainer to talk to your neighbors about your street. Well, after a year of living here, we have, and been informed that local slumlords, owning at least 19 homes in the area, ten of them on Pleasant Ave., Herkimer, make tidy incomes from HUD’s subsidized Section 8 housing vouchers program. The landlords are paid directly by the county housing authority. Though required to maintain their Section 8 properties in compliance with HUD Section 8 housing performance standards, you’ll often find these homes in disrepair both outside and inside, in direct violation of HUD requirements and Herkimer zoning codes

On Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, you’ll find some of it renters, both Section 8 and private, have criminal histories, abuse drugs and their children and traffic drugs. This unwitting but successful connivance between Herkimer’s slumlords and drug traffickers has emboldened the Pleasant Avenue’s criminals with a sense of ownership of street and created a menacing sense of anarchy for homeowners. And made Pleasant Avenue a sanctuary for criminals, a Mohawk Valley pirate hole. But it’s only succeeded because of a silent third party, the Village of Herkimer, whose failure of governance is seen through the condition of the street’s rental properties and its lackadaisical policing. Pleasant Avenue’s volatile mix of besieged homeowners and low-income renters can only become a peaceful, if uneasy one with a regular and effective police presence.

Herkimer's Slumlords and Drug Traffickers
State Police Drug Raid, Brandon Hart Residence, 331 Pleasant Ave., Herkimer, NY (8/1/14)

All residents must realize that private property means private. My driveway is not your play area. Streets are for automobiles and not ballgames and boisterous gatherings. There are many games that can be played on the grass in backyards: basketball, badminton, volleyball and croquet. Reading books aloud can be fun, too. You’ll find it cooler and safer in your own backyards. Hint – Most children play in the backyard or at a school yard, and not in the middle of the street, especially for hours on end, in front of the homes of people their parents don’t like.

The appalling, dangerous and unpleasant traditions that have been allowed to develop here on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer over the last 4 years are at odds with neighborhood safety. We are entitled to the same  and peaceful and quiet enjoyment of our homes as the rest of the rest of the Village of Herkimer enjoys. We pay taxes for municipal and state services. We expect street brawls, disorderly conduct and  harassment and mob menacing to be nonexistent or immediately squelched by a prompt, firm and consistent police response.

Herkimer is truly one of the most beautiful places to live anywhere. But it’s important to feel that all of our community is safe and that residents respect each other rights. For this to happen, we have our work cut out.

  • Going forward we hope our Herkimer police will promptly curtail illegal assemblies, brawling, harassment and trespassing.
  • Let’s help families teach their children to engage in safe, fun and productive activities in the summer and throughout the year. Free help can come from volunteers and game drives.
  • Let’s ensure that all of Herkimer’s rental homes, both Section 8 and private, are regularly inspected in compliance with local code and HUD performance standards.
  • Help foster good behaviors by installing surveillance cameras and being quick to share clips with police, Neighborhood Watch, and post on WordPress and social media.
  • Focus on and foster self-respect. Everything we do is valuable. Let’s invest in creating, learning and sharing, and divest ourselves of hostile and destructive activities
  • Let’s replace bullying, menacing and name calling with communicating.