Herkimer’s soaring into a brave new world, as people migrating from our coasts to climate and pandemic safety zones such as upstate New York move here, contending briskly for homes. A house in our cute conveniently located village seems to sell every 90 seconds, even as prices continue ever upward. The sharp-eyed will have spotted license plates from as far away as Alaska and Washington state, California and Texas, with the Carolinas and Florida well-represented.
There are a phenomenal number of people scoping out our once forgotten area. Linda Kaidan’s photos of the Mohawk Valley, centered on Herkimer, have had over 4 million views. In the last 30 days, The Herkimer Post has enjoyed almost 15,000 page views, 90% of them from new visitors. We have a well-earned reputation for telling it as it is. And you do want to know how it is there before you commit to someplace new. (“We Publish What They Won’t” proclaims our masthead. We are not “The Herkimer Happy Hour.”)
When the eviction moratorium ends, we’ll probably see more houses for sale here as nonpaying tenants are moved on and battered owners decide to wash their hands of what was once a safe, reliable investment. Even then there won’t be enough housing stock to meet the press of the demand.
Historically in boom times, undeveloped land is the next to go. Given the rapid growth of chip manufacturing in Upstate, notably Cree in Utica, this region may become the new Silicon Valley. Hopefully, New York will impose strict controls on growth. I hope we won’t see our magnificent countryside crammed with houses and choked by traffic.
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.
Why Housing for NYC’s Climate Refugees? Everywhere we’re finally acknowledging the immediacy of coastal climate change devastation. Now is the time to replace traditional spending behaviors with healthy behaviors that can save millions of people and millions of dollars.
For example, we might ask, can we put part of NY’s $90.2 billion FY 2020 budget to better use as an investment in new permanent housing for 1 million coastal residents migrating to inland homes in Central NY?
New Housing for 1+ Million People
$60 billion will create infrastructure and homes for 1 million people in Central NY (CNY). The existing Utica/Rome SMSA population is roughly 350000. With CNY quadrupling in size, exciting opportunities will exist for workers, learners and investors.
Central NY has elevations well above the maximum predicted sea level rise. These range from 400 ft to 800 ft above sea level. New York State has the resources and wisdom to prepare for inevitable devastation by directing investments to critical targets that will promote security and prosperity. Rerouting coastal investment to optimal inland locations is key to our success!
Abaco Island’s sudden devastation leaving 70,000 homeless and death tolls yet to be tallied calls us to wake up and prepare for such climate disasters. Coastal cities worldwide must anticipate catastrophic flooding and relocate to higher elevations. Enterprise investment in geographically independent operating structures and remote workers can support efficient continuity in a time of turbulence and uncertainty.
New York City’s metropolitan area is home to 13 million people and at least 50% of the State’s total population. Should Abaco-like devastation hit the city, economic disaster and unthinkable loss of life will ensue. It’s time for us to demand decentralized jobs and habitation. We have been gravely warned and encouraged to take lifesaving action.
New York’s economy is both a national and international asset that fosters global stability.
New York State ranks 3rd in the US and has a GDP comparable to that of France, Canada and Australia. We can protect our precious assets both human and economic and help secure civilization by following tried and true methods of decentralization employed by many of the most successful corporations in the world (like Amazon).
Find flexible solutions to dynamic problems.
One of the most difficult adjustments that must be made is handling vessel docking when coastline is constantly changing. Hopefully someone is already in the process of creating a generic and dynamic docking solution that can be used in ports worldwide.
Expect the unexpected and prepare!
When we act proactively our chances of overcoming climate disaster look optimistic. We cannot afford more Abaco situations which are certain to occur and to increase in ferocity until we enact successful countermeasures. Just 2 days ago the same hurricane that destroyed Abaco traveled nearly 1500 miles from the Bahamas northward to Canada striking Nova Scotia. We must expect to see extremes and take necessary action! Abaco cautions coastal cities to expect intensely destructive weather and to be prepared. Dramatic climate events compel community action.
Calling individuals, corporations and billionaires to fund climate emergency solution
Governments certainly haven’t gotten very far in solving worldwide climatic devastation. Perhaps over 2,000 billionaires worldwide can save earth by financing an immediate solution. A space mission parking a huge solar shade to reduce the solar radiation is probably achievable in a very short period of time and at a very low cost. Let’s do what it takes to live!
Launching stuff into space is pretty expensive, but some materials like aerogels weigh next to nothing.
Aerogels might weigh about 0.1 pounds per cubic foot. Slicing the material into 5mm thick sheets yields about 300 sf per 1/10 pound or 3000 sf per pound. One thousand pounds of aerogel can cover 3 million square feet, so 10,000 pounds will cover about 1 square mile. To cover the 600 square miles proposed by Lowell Wood of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, we might require 6 million pounds of material. At $10,000 per pound, the cost could add up to 6 trillion dollars and require 6,000 billionaires and corporations to contribute 1 billion dollars each.
We can reach the space parking point in just one or two days!
How long will it take to travel to the L1 parking point in space? L1 is about 1 million miles from earth. It will take two days or even less to get there.
We have the technology and the money to save Earth right now!
The longer we wait, the smaller our chance of survival. Rich people and corporations can save the earth by funding this practical and affordable geoengineering solution. The rest of us can do what it takes to live when we organize ourselves on a community basis by providing the necessary resources and actions for maintaining civilization.
This May Amazon posted a $7,250 DIY guest cabin/home that most anyone can build in 8 hours. All available supplies were immediately sold out. When 2 people share such a space each would have a one time rent just under $303 a month for the first year and no rent thereafter. Though initial reviews indicated that purchasers were critical of the product, they illustrated the strength of demand.
Great lack of affordable housing likely factor
The amazing popularity indicates the desire many people have to own their own home in a time when housing is not affordable for 50% of the population. Such a tiny property can lead to economic freedom from the rent treadmill. It also ensures housing security in a time when so many are homeless.
New off the shelf market will spark business opportunities
Food for thought about the living small market in general ties into real estate, cooperative housing and products supporting multi-use spaces in home construction and renovation. People need affordable homes. When they live tiny, they pay less for housing and use less energy.
Rewards for homeowners, investors and affordable housing seekers
If you are a homeowner think about adding this inexpensive space to your backyard for guests or as a workshop. If you are an investor, think about how you can make it easy for individuals to finance tiny home living.
Amazon shows us that it’s possible to live better for less and that profitable home products can fuel an industry that has great positive impact on how we live. It’s important to think of the tiny home as a place to begin. It’s a springboard for new ideas and learning from experience.
Think about how you can participate in this new housing trend that contributes to affordable living, green energy and many new related industries.
You can grow 40 plants under your kitchen window using recycled containers year-round. The great thing about micro-greens is that when you cut off the tops for sandwich or salad and they will keep on growing.
My garden shelf is actually a small, 20 inch x 20 inch table well gnawed by a wayward dog.
I bought it at the Ilion Salvation Army for $4. My table top holds a rusted baking dish, Walmart donut container, Aldi’s juice bottle (with top sliced off) and a fried chicken container. The top has built in drainage holes and the bottom catches the runoff water.
When you share you can pay as little as $2.50 for a 50 plant garden.
Walmart is selling a variety of micro green seeds in packs of 150 for $2.46. A 12-quart bag of organic seed starting mix is $4.67. 1 pack of soil and 1 pack of seeds are enough for 4 tabletop gardens. If 3 people share, they can each have their own garden of 50 plants for only $2.50. Remember that if you have SNAP, you can use your food card to pay for the seeds 😊.
Indoor garden growing is fun for the whole family and an opportunity to learn firsthand how to be a gardener.
You can earn great nutrition and learn how to have your own independent food source. You might want to maintain a log of what you planted and when. The details you record can include things like plant height before and after harvest, amount of water and quality of taste. Many people who start indoor gardening go on to learn hydroponics and aquaponics. Your indoor window garden may become your own business not someday but in the near future.
Herkimer’s violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation… In Herkimer, your chance of becoming a victim of violent crime is one in 134…Of property crime, one in 21. [Also one of the highest in the nation.]
The most unsafe area of Herkimer, for example, is shown as the south of Herkimer Village, where we live. Looking at this blog’s crime postings and YouTube channel, you’ll see how accurate that report is: All of our 100+ videos of Herkimer crime were taken within 40 meters of our home.
The Good News About Herkimer’s Bad Crime Statistics
The good news about Herkimer’s bad crime stats is that they’re realistic. Had we seen such grim figures before buying a house in Herkimer 5 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this–we’d have bought that nice two-family in nearby Little Falls, and I’d be finishing my long-neglected technothriller sequel. Little Falls doesn’t seem to have much of a gang presence. Here we’ve long had a gang entrenched next door, still enjoying diplomatic immunity.
Only through hard won experience did we learn the crime figures were low because the police only made a few token arrests. If you suppress complaints and don’t make arrests, your reported crime rate stays low and crime soars. It’s this misfeasance that made Herkimer a haven for drug and child trafficking gangs and its streets unsafe for the law-abiding.
Crime statistics are always a lagging indicator. Current dynamics hint that life is growing less perilous here in Herkimer. Some of our most visible froth on the scum of the earth have either vanished or are keeping a low profile. Poison gas attacks have stopped for now. And home sales are doing quite well.
Climate Change Boosts Herkimer Real Estate Sales
I want to believe that Herkimer’s apparent crime crack down’s due to a sudden epiphany. But frankly it’s probably because the feds and the state are leaning on Herkimer. New York’s neglected Upstate has been widely identified as an ideal climate change sanctuary area, with Herkimer County predicted to boom as much of the US struggles to cope with escalating climate change devastation.
Interestingly there are still no murders reported for Herkimer. This is very odd. Statistically, Herkimer should have murders, given its violent crime rate. We argued in our post Where Have All the Bodies Gone? that Herkimer does have murders, they’re just well concealed. Opioids would be the least messy way to accomplish that, given the region’s opioid crisis.
Crime Widespread in the Mohawk Valley
Not just Herkimer is dangerous. So is much of the Mohawk Valley. Neighborhood Scout gives Utica a crime rank of 9. Little Falls ranks 14. Surprisingly, our neighboring village of Mohawk is a seeming paradise, according to its crime figures.
Escalating real estate sale prices may decrease crime rates
As real estate prices rise, crime drops. We saw this happen in Boston as tech firm workers bumped up sales prices, sparking a city-wide real estate boom. We did well buying older houses in marginal areas and renovating them. Criminals could no longer afford to live in transitioned areas and were mostly gone after a few years. The same dynamics are emerging in Herkimer. Median monthly rents are now $900, up from $700 a few months ago. Herkimer’s legacy gangs live in and traffic out of rented houses whose owners will sell out when the price is right. And that time seems close at hand. The Herkimer Post will continue greasing their skids.
We’re hoping next year’s Herkimer crime report, reflecting 2018, will show significant improvement as a result of better law enforcement amid changing demographics.
2018 leaves us with a legacy of climate change disasters on a planetary scale unparalleled in human history. Herkimer, NY is safer from climate disaster than most any place in our country and is thus a valuable resource in maintaining civilization. Rather than housing criminals as climate change escalates, it’s time for us to learn how to enable ourselves to be as constructive and self sustaining as possible while providing a haven to those fleeing disasters.
Sobering statics that should motivate us to change:
Landlord Jay Smith continues supporting criminal tenants
17% of the 22 homes on Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, NY are owned by Jay Smith who is the recorded owner of 27 Herkimer, NY properties. We have observed that 5 of these homes have been sheltering gang harassers, drug dealers and drug addicts. Mr. Smith’s tenants have destroyed our property, harassed and assaulted us during the nearly 5 years we have lived here. His tenants, our neighbors at 332 Pleasant Ave who are law abiding, just moved out replaced by known associates of his criminal tenants. Stanley Sykes, former Jay Smith tenant, admitted that some of these residents were members of the famous US gang, the Crips.
Housing criminals as climate change escalates destabilizes our community
It’s interesting that at a time of excessive housing shortages, climate change migrations and massive economic losses, Mr. Smith considerately continues to rent to active criminals. There are no houses listed for sale on Pleasant Avenue in Herkimer, NY where we have recently seen an influx of skilled Amish tradesmen and out of town construction contractors working on home renovations.
Home owners and landlords everywhere can reduce homelessness and make money
Affordable housing with smaller units can help people live better adding to neighborhood stability while providing a decent income for landlords. Mr. Smith can easily rethink his position as a landlord and make a positive contribution to climate change survival for our community.
Nanotechnology is important in greenhouse gas reduction. This game changing technology can seriously impact our ability to fight climate change.
Up until recently nanotech has been costly. MIT technologists have greatly reduced the cost of producing nanoscale products by using a new approach called Implosion Fabrication (ImpFab). It weakens electron repulsion and produces structures that are one thousand times smaller than the original through a kind of 3-d printing.
What does 1000 times smaller mean?
MIT breakthrough makes nanotech cheap! Nanotechnology has been costly to work with because conventional manufacturing processes could not be used. They could not be applied to work on such a tiny scale. With this invention, conventional techniques can be used to develop structures which can then be miniaturized.