“Human trafficking finds both its victims and perpetrators in regions of poverty, violence, and corruption.” Shannon A. Welch, Human Trafficking and Terrorism
Last month we met with New York State Police Investigator Jason Nellis at his request. We talked for about 90 minutes in a part of our home not yet contaminated by Herkimer trafficking gangs’ 21 months of poison gas attacks. Our conversation highlighted the inherent inability of local and state law enforcement to cope with gang-based domestic terrorism.
Herkimer Child Trafficking Sparks Concern In Albany
It was an information-only visit during which Investigator Nellis clearly articulated why the New York State Police aren’t players in the child trafficking and gang-busting arena.
We were our usual unflinchingly outspoken selves. Investigator Nellis was an engaged listener. He didn’t agree with some of our suppositions, and we didn’t agree with some of his assumptions. It was a polite and frank exchange during which we made the following points.
Herkimer child trafficking now apparently out of range of our cameras – Not gone far. Child trafficking brings welcomed cash into economically depressed Herkimer. Has long been protected here. Logistically complex operation with many dependencies. Has proven local partners and protected properties. Moving it from Herkimer would be difficult, costly, time consuming and risky.
Herkimer landlords complacently shelter child traffickers – Property owner need not be complicit with cash heavy criminals. Just has to rent to them. Herkimer’s historic child trafficking hub properties’ landlord Jay Smith was case raised by state police investigator. For years Smith provided rental properties to the high-volume transnational child trafficker Little Mama and the Stanley Sykes gang. Gang’s still there, still trafficking.
FBI has sole jurisdiction over child trafficking – This we knew. Local and state police agencies haven’t the resources to tackle child trafficking cartels and their transnational networks. Billions in child trafficking profits make large bribes possible. The FBI has the resources to take on large gangs and also provides assurance of integrity.
Why State Police can’t stop Herkimer poison gas attacks
It became obvious as we talked that the State of New York has no way to detect and interdict poison gas attacks on the scale we’ve experienced. No state does–states haven’t the resources and their police agencies haven’t the structure. These heinous attacks constitute domestic terrorism. They’re staged from fleets vehicles modified to stealthily dispense clouds of invisible, odorless pesticide, and from neighboring properties rented to drug and child traffickers.
This isn’t just about us. The many vehicles and properties involved argue this is a well-established, well-honed strategy for driving people from their homes, dead or alive. Houses can then be picked up for a song at tax auction, quickly mitigated and tenanted with gang members.
There was much talk of the burden of proof being our responsibility. Opening an investigation would require evidence in the form of medical tests and property toxicity reports–at our expense.
Investigator Nellis used the word “evidence’ quite a bit. No evidence, no investigation. We think probable cause should be enough to open an investigation with evidence to be obtained by the police during the course of the investigation.
Only the FBI Can Halt Herkimer Gangs
There have been strong indications in the last few years of a large Federal law enforcement presence in and around Herkimer. Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground. It seems to us toxicity levels from these poisons attacks have been confirmed by lab testing and direct observation. And resources deployed accordingly.
Some big bites have been taken out of the gangs’ poison gas campaign capabilities in Herkimer. The feds have the resources for this. Drone mounted thermal imaging cameras can detect poison gas being dispensed, and follow the identified spraying vehicles and deal with their drivers.
Hill apparently agreed with her foster mother Joyce Barton’s assertion to Herkimer police the day of the assault that Kaidan was trespassing by standing on the public sidewalk in front of the Barton’s house, and that her attack constituted self-defense.
Only after further consultation with her public defender and Joyce Barton did Hill reluctantly enter a guilty plea. She was sentenced to a year’s probation.
Order of Protection Extended
Hill had previously been served with an Order of Protection enjoining her from approaching Kaidan. Magistrate Thomas DeCarlo extended the Order of Protection to two years. Hill lives with the Bartons at 333 Pleasant Avenue, across from Kaidan’s home.
We would like to thank the Herkimer Police, notably Sgt Bowman and the officers who responded to the assault on 5/18–they diligently followed through to secure statements and evidence.
As far as we know, this is the first ever arrest of one of the extended family members who comprise the Joyce Barton gang, which long terrorized Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. We hope to see more of the same.
We’d also like to acknowledged the support of the Herkimer County District Attorney’s Office, especially Victim’s Services Coordinator Connie M. Stowell, and the excellent staff of the Little Falls Hospital Emergency Room.
Curtis Cool – Man on the Run?
While in court for Shianne Hill’s last appearance, a familiar name was called: Curtis Cool, a longtime associate of Joyce Barton. He failed to enter an appearance. We assume a bench warrant will issue for Curtis. Readers of this blog may recall Curtis’ hugely popular criminal harassment antics from when he was our neighbor. Happily, his old rental at 328 Pleasant Avenue was sold for a good price last month. We wish the new owners well.
Blogger punched in face by Herkimer teen gang kick boxer
herkimerpost.com editor Linda Kaidan, age 63, was attacked and beaten on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue last Friday by 18 year-old Shianne Hill, a of Herkimer’s Joyce Barton gang, which operates out of the house Barton tenants at 333 Pleasant Avenue.
Gang members were thronging the street and taunted Kaidan as she and her husband, author Stephen Ames Berry, returned from shopping and were unloading groceries in their driveway. When Kaidan responded, they told her, in the person of one of Joyce Barton’s daughters, never to come onto “their” side of the street and to “go back into your house.”
Kaidan and her husband don’t yield the street to filth. Kaidan crossed to “their” side of the street, stood on the public sidewalk in front of the gang’s 333 Pleasant Avenue as her husband scrambled for his video gear. She was stalked, menaced, punched in the face and hit in the back of the head by a Shiann Hill, apparently selected for the job because of her age and boxing expertise.
Kaidan’s glasses were lost after she was struck her in the face, seemingly driving a glass lens from its frame and into her face, lacerating it. The glasses were not recovered, probably hidden by the Barton gang.
Herkimer Police under the very able command of Herkimer Police Sgt. Bowman quickly responded. They took statements and dispersed a mob of 20-30 low criminal types gathered about the Barton’s and the Stanley Sykes gang’s 334 Pleasant Avenue. Kaidan was taken to Little Falls Hospital, suffering from the wound to her face and symptoms of concussion. She was treated and released. There were no immediate arrests.
Herkimer’s Shianne Hill was defending Barton gang turf home
Joyce Barton asserted to the police as always that she owns the house she doesn’t own, and owns the public sidewalk because she owns the house.
The Barton’s are brazen scoff laws and criminal traffickers.
Herkimer Gang Victim Threatened with Arrest
The only person threatened with arrest during the incident was the injured victim. Prior to the arrival of Sgt. Bowman, Herkimer Patrolman Robert Holt, in a remarkable demonstration of sensitivity, threatened Kaidan with arrest for being upset and too loud as he was interviewing Joyce Barton, who apparently knew him. (3:20 mins).
Our YouTube videos and blog postings of Herkimer lawlessness (herkimerpost.com) have been viewed and read by tens of thousands drawn to the grotesque. Cities and towns around Herkimer are experiencing booming property sales as climate change sends people, firms and wealth north to a safer haven. Not so Herkimer.
Prosperity will continue to pass Herkimer by as drug and child trafficking gangs rule its streets. As a family friend, a former federal agent familiar with Upstate New York says, “Herkimer’s dirty and likes it that way.”
Climate change migration will ultimately force Herkimer gangs out
Herkimer sits in a Goldilocks Climate Change Survival Zone. We think it will soon become such a national resource amid massive migration north that Herkimer’s gangs, if not gone, will be forced out at the point of bayonets and lawful governance restored. We live in hope.
Updated 5/24/18 to reflect Kaidan’s sustaining a concussion, the wound to her face by the glasses lens detached by her assailant’s fist and driven into her cheek, and to note the theft of her glasses.
10/31/2018 We later learned this was an orchestrated attack, centerpiece of the Joyce Barton gang’s farewell party for Stanley Sykes of the Sykes gang. Stanley moved following our postings of his child trafficker. His gang’s still here, though, still occupying Herkimer’s traditional child trafficking hub from which they traffic drugs. Stanley’s a frequent visitor.
Last night (8/21/17) both the Herkimer police and fire departments failed to adequately enforce the Herkimer ordinance regarding open fires. The long-term scofflaws residing at Jay Smith’s 326 Pleasant Avenue enjoyed a large open campfire from 8 PM until 2:00 AM. Both Herkimer FD and police responded promptly, a total of three times. One police officer saw to the fire’s being extinguished. The FD, though, gave the lads a pass. When I called the FD later to ask why, I was told that the large open campfire was a small cook fire. Had it been for cooking, it would have cooked an entire deer very well.
Herkimer Polluters Continue Sprees Unimpeded
The tenants at 326 Pleasant Ave have a history known to the Herkimer FD of burning formaldehyde contaminated shipping pallets; thus causing harmful pollutants to endanger those nearby. Indeed, one of these miscreants asked just this morning “Did you like the gas?” Was he talking about the recent poison gas attacks on us which originated his backyard?
Unchecked Irresponsible Behavior Ends Badly
Perhaps we should all join in this dangerous and destructive activity? Then the entire village might burn down and no one will complain about fires anymore.
Herkimer Fire Law – Read It Yourself
The ignored Herkimer fire law ordinance is below, courtesy of Herkimer Fire Chief John Spanfelner:
Herkimer Village Local Law No. 3 of 2003, Section 2, defines prohibited burning in the village:
(a)Open Fire: Shall mean any fire or smoke producing process wherein the combustion products are directly emitted into the atmosphere.
(b)Stack: Shall mean any lawful conduit, chimney, duct, vent, or flue arranged to conduct gases or gas borne products to the other air.
1-13 No person shall burn any garbage, rubbish, or solid waste in any open fire except as permitted by provisions set forth herein.
1-14 When not prohibited by law, regulation, ordinance, or State officials having jurisdiction, such as the State Commission of Conservation or the State Commissioner of Health, the following types of open burning are permissible:
(A)Outdoor grills and fireplaces for the purpose of preparing food.
(B)Camp fires and fires used solely for recreation purposes when such fires are located at least one hundred (100) feet from any dwelling, structure, or vehicle and are properly controlled and supervised by the Herkimer Fire Department.
(C)Burning of solid or liquid fuels, or structures when under the direct control and supervision of a qualified instructor at a fireman’s training exercise or when done for the instruction and training of firemen.
(D)Properly operated industrial flares for combustion of flammable gases.
(E)Burning specifically authorized by permit by officials acting within their authority and jurisdiction so authorize, such as the State Commissioner of Conservation or the State Commissioner of Health or by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Herkimer.
It’s been quiet along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. We’re keeping busy remodeling and writing posts that we hadn’t gotten around to, besieged as we were the last several years by neighborly attacks on ourselves, our pets and our home. As Herkimer has a new police chief, we’ll be having posts about past incidents involving some of his officers. We’re beginning with the Herkimer mobbing incident of June 15, 2015.
It’s obvious that deprived of work hustling product from now-absent meth cookeries and crack makers, many of South Herkimer’s once abundant scrotes have moved on. Pleasant Avenue is down to two homes owned by career criminal families, either in their own names or through proxies, and one homeowner who consistently rents her property to various members of a well-protected regional crime family.
Yet one Herkimer institution that’s endured unchanged through all the tumult of our three years on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is the Herkimer Police. In our experience, they’ve never heard a complaint worth taking, though some of its officers have proven quick to respond to the needs of well-monied criminals. (We do like several of the Herkimer cops, who do the best they can, boats against the stream. My naming them probably wouldn’t help their careers.)
333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer mobbing – June 15, 2015
One of our first experiences with a Herkimer police response was on June 15, 2015. The below is from my email of 6/22/15 to Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi, supplemented by later information. (Mayor Brindisi is reportedly a former Herkimer police officer.)
My entire touchingly naive email to Mayor Brindisi follows at the end of this post. It was written before we realized that Herkimer enjoyed a wide reputation as pirate haven, it’s booming cash economy driven by well-protected, interlaced networks of criminals, protected by a co-opted local government. The orchestrated mobbing incident below is a typical ploy used by drug gangs to maintain turf control. (I’ve added the bracket information.)
From my letter to Mayor Brindisi:
This past Wednesday evening, we were the focal point of an obviously preplanned and terrifying outpouring of mob hatred triggered when my wife asked ball playing children in front of our home to please stop throwing objects at our house, notably a ball at the side, and rocks at the security camera covering our driveway. About 40 people stood watching from the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave.
Within less than 30 seconds of her polite request of the ballplayer children, who were quite polite, the adults poured off the opposite sidewalk and the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave. and into the street, screaming at my wife, with one of them (Joyce Barton of 333) coming within inches of my wife’s face and screaming that my wife was “crazy” “all cracked out” and “stupid.” The invective continued, with others, notably the red-faced male in his twenties (see below) repeatedly coming up to within inches of my wife’s face, showering her with similar invective.
Hearing the din, I rushed outside. People came up to our faces, taunting us. Out of the raw chaos and tumult of the mob, we recall such distinctive phrases as: “Go back to Florida!” “Stay on your side of the street! “Don’t yell at my daughter!”(Joyce Barton again—very much a ringleader. We never raised our voices.) “Punch me! Punch me!” (This last screamed said by several as they thrust their faces into ours, notably again Joyce Barton, of 333.)
And, most frightening of all twice,
“We’re going to burn you out!” (This from a man in front of Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s 333 Pleasant Ave, whom my wife believes she can identify.)
I called 911. [911 was utterly disbelieving.] Before the police arrived, I was assailed by a red-faced male in his twenties who told me inches from my face to “get off our fucking street!” and when asked who he was, said “None of your motherfucking business.” He appeared to be either drunk or high. Our exchange continued for a moment. (A former behavior teacher, I never raise my voice in a volatile situation.) He concluded by spitting at my feet and storming back to the porch 333 Pleasant Avenue. The moment before, he’d subjected my wife to the same treatment, complete with spit.
Herkimer Police Response – Sgt Tall and Officer Short
Two Herkimer police officers responded. In the chaos we didn’t capture their names, but have since referred to them as Officer Short and Sergeant Tall. As they appeared, about ten people scuttled from the street, leaving about 25-30 people there, notably those from 333, headed by Joyce [Barton] and reinforced by the red-faced chap, who were the most vocal and aggressive. The sergeant went to [amiably] question the people congregating across from us on and around the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave, leaving us in front of our house with Officer Short. [later revealed to be Officer John Scholl.]
Officer Short-Scholl took our names and asked my wife if we could have precipitated events by crossing “to their side of the street,” seemingly affirming our assailants in their belief that they owned a public area. She said no. My wife asked [Officer Scholl] if he was familiar with what’s been happening on this street to us over the past year [see letter below], given the numerous police responses. He said no. She attempted to brief him, but after about three sentences his eyes and his attention wandered and he appeared overcome by boredom. He told her to contact the landlords of our assailants and perhaps, after multiple complaints, they’d evict them. “You never know.” She then asked him how many people are allowed to congregate in a public street and if there’s any statute governing this? He said there was no limitation or statute, adding that “Herkimer’s very casual about it.”
Things having quieted down somewhat in front of 333 Pleasant Ave, Sergeant Tall then rejoined [Officer Scholl] and us. My wife…told him twice of the man from 333 threatening us with arson, which the sergeant twice ignored. [As with much else in Herkimer, it’s wise to hear nothing.]
Then, shockingly, the officers departed without dispersing the remaining 20-30 still hostile belligerents once again lining the sidewalk across from our home.
Later that evening, my wife was taking the trash out to our tote in the driveway, when hecklers on the porch of 333 Pleasant Ave began taunting her. To demonstrate that they were mistaken that they owned the street, she crossed over to their porch and attempted to humorously engage them in conversation. It didn’t go well. Insults were exchanged. (“Go inside and take a nap, granny.”) The same man as before threatened [from the Bartons’ porch] “We’re going to burn you out.”
The rest of the evening, the occupants of 333’s porch shined several large halogen lights at our bedroom window. Two cars of teenagers the age of those resident in 333 pulled up in front of our house several times, rap music blaring, screaming, “We’re gonna make you call the police!” (They sounded high or drunk.) Feeling we’d already trouble our police enough for one day, we didn’t bother calling them again…
Mayor Anthony Brindisi Responds to Herkimer Mobbing Incident
Two months later, Mayor Brindisi responded to his officers’ dereliction of duty by promoting Officer Scholl to sergeant–sending a clear message to his police, the community and its cash-heavy criminal enterprises.
Following a later Herkimer Police incident, Mayor Brindisi encouraged me to “play offense,” which we’ve done, though not in the way he meant.
Where Are They Now?
Sergeant Tall we never saw again. The Herkimer Police have some part-time officers; he may have been one of them.
Both Bartons seem to be employing their vocations elsewhere, notably Douglas Barton, who leaves early, comes home very late and is sometimes gone overnight. Also absent are the fast food wrappers laughingly gifted our lawn by the some of the Bartons’ kids and their chums.
Herkimer Police Chief Jory Sees No Reason To “Reinvent the Wheel”
Among Chief Jory’s goals are to study for the police chief’s exam and enhance policing through the use of bicycle patrols. As to Herkimer police department operations, Chief Jory says he sees no reason “to reinvent the wheel.”
Herkimer’s pristine skies are now patrolled by state-federal surveillance drones,
supported by boots on the ground and helicopters. As a result, drug trafficking appears to have fallen sharply and Herkimer’s major child trafficking operators have reshuffled operations.
Chief Jory wants us to “see the human being behind the badge.” We have, and some of them are not very pretty. If the chief wants to enforce the law in Herkimer, he’ll need to start cleaning house, “reinvent the wheel,” and put his shoulder to it. Otherwise, he’ll be widely seen as just another Herkimer good ol’ boy, kicking back and enabling business as usual. We await.
12/17/16 Curtis Cool has put Herkimer on the map: 6,100+ views of his videos and growing, as referring sites offer them for free download. One comment on a British site: “The Herkimer Police–the strong arm of the law.”
Linda Kaidan unwittingly making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo, ignorant that it was exculpatory for harassment in Herkimer New York
Despite a change of command and increased patrols, Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint, even for this outrageous and well-documented incident. (We have more.) This one is fresh, others occurred under Herkimer’s previous police chief, Joseph Malone, who abruptly retired in the teeth of an ethics investigation. It demonstrates an alarming ongoing pattern of failure to protect by the Herkimer Police.
Typically the Herkimer Police say they’ll only take a complaint following a second incident of harassment, because Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter won’t prosecute. Harassment must be repeated to qualify as a criminal offense.
Not true. Your tormentor must either “engage in conduct or repeatedly commit acts which alarm or seriously annoy the victim and serve no legitimate purpose,” according to New York state law. Here’s a local aggravated assault case that resulted in an arrest by the New York State Police for second-degree aggravated harassment, based upon “19 menacing phone calls within a 20-minute time span.” We endured 7 threats of grave bodily harm in 10 minutes, following a previous incident of public harassment.
Herkimer Aggravated Harassment Incident of 8/23/16
On Tuesday August 23, 2016, we were again verbally harassed and then threatened with multiple acts of physical violence by 328 Pleasant Avenue tenant, Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, first in our driveway and then on the public sidewalk. The previous night we’d again reported Cool for yet another of his multiple illegal late night fires.)
The Herkimer Police and the New York State Police responded promptly and again defused Curtis Cool. The responding officers were very supportive and encouraged us to file a harassment complaint at the Herkimer Police station. Cool’s actions seemed to us to be obviously either 2nd or 1st Degree Aggravated Harassment. With Cool charged, we could obtain a Temporary Order of Protection, which would force him to move from his base at Clerk of Court Harriett Tangorra’s 328 Pleasant Avenue house.
On Wednesday 8/24 we gathered our evidence–two cellphone videos, a surveillance cam video and a detailed narrative. At approximately 2:30 p.m, we went to the Herkimer Police station after first calling to see if it would be convenient to do so. The officer on duty, Officer Jason Crippin, said to come down.
Herkimer Police Say Nanny-Nanny-Nanny-Boo Excuses Aggravated Harassment
Officer Crippin asked us to wait while he looked at abundant evidence. He briefly reviewed a short portion of our first cellphone video, seen below, then stopped and refused to write up a complaint. “It would just be a waste of time,” he said.
His reason? Officer Crippin said one of us (Kaidan) had triggered Cool’s menacing and threats of grave bodily harm by making a nanny nanny nanny boo gesture from our driveway at Cool as he peppered us with taunts and obscenities. Officer Crippin’s implication? That Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter would not prosecute Cool, as Kaidan’s nanny-nanny-boo-boo would exonerate Cool, holding him harmless for his threats and menacing.
Here’s the portion of the cellphone clip reviewed by Officer Crippin before dismissing us. It has been closed captioned for the selectively hearing impaired. (Full Screen/click on the CC icon.): [Yo! It’s Curtis Cool: Parents strongly cautioned.]
The incident continued a moment later as Kaidan, refusing to be driven inside her home by Cool, asserted her right to walk along the public sidewalk in front of Cool’s house. Here’s an extract from that clip. (Officer Crippin didn’t review it, so we didn’t closed caption it):
Both full length videos from 8/23 (7 threats of grave bodily harm), and our surveillance camera footage confirming the events, place, date and time are on our flash drive, gathering dust at the Herkimer Police station. Included with them is our narrative of the incident and our video of Cool’s previous public harassment of us on 8/11/16. (During this last he cited his landlord, Harriett Tangorra in demanding our arrest. For having surveillance cameras. ) Officer Crippin used our narrative to review the first clip. Seeing the nanny-nanny-boo-boo, he gave Cool a pass and sent us packing.
Officer Crippin’s Advice
Officer Crippin’s advice was the same as that of Herkimer’s drug thugs when we first unwittingly moved to Pleasant Avenue: Hide: “Keep away from him and just stay in your apartment, ” Crippin advised. (
It’s our house. We own it. It’s next door to Tangorra’s. The sidewalk is a public place. We asserted our right to use it. We will continue to do so.
Officer Crippin then belatedly added this was just this opinion. And that we might try our luck with one of the responding officers–maybe they’d take a complaint. He seemed miffed that we’d distracted him from his law enforcement duties.
the Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint- WHo wins?
This is the 4th time in two years we’ve had the Herkimer Police ooze out of taking some flavor of a harassment complaint against cash-heavy criminals. We’ve heard the same from others. This isn’t policing, it’s depraved indifference. It throws Herkimer’s people to the wolves for the sake of politicians cynically running for office as crime fighters. And it emboldens criminals like Cool, who recently moved away unscathed despite many police and fire department visits. (To our knowledge, Cool was never cited for his illegal bonfires nor charged with harassment.) When Herkimer Police refused again to take a criminal harassment complaint, they made it clear that law and order is not their priority.
And so it goes on, with Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracting more criminals and endangering even more people.
What does it matter that Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint?
Who stands to win if we all lose? Criminals, greedy landlords, criminal defense attorneys. And some politicians: Incumbent Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter is trumpeting a lowered violent crime rate in support of his reelection. It’s easy to lower the crime rate if your police don’t take criminal complaints. To take them and act on them, though, is “A matter of public safety.”
When we first saw the interior of our new old house on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, the soft winter light streamed in from numerous well-placed windows, gently illuminating the warm pastel colors on the walls. It felt so good, so homey–I decided to buy it in only 10 minutes.
I still love my house and the abundance of breathtaking natural places that surround it here along the Mohawk, but the brutal warfare of the last two years has been a trial. When we purchased our home at 330 Pleasant Ave in Herkimer, New York, we were unaware that a vicious war would shortly ensue, one between us and the entrenched gang of criminals who’ve occupied Pleasant Avenue and much of South Herkimer Village since at least 2011.
I’ve lived in many places including two war zones, but never before encountered the level of depravity that exists on Pleasant Avenue. I believe that the numerous techniques used by at least one organized criminal gang are their proven tool set, quite effective in ridding them of unwanted attention for years, if not decades.
However, Herkimer’s criminals have been slow on the uptake and ignorant of the changes in the world around them. Two forces have been acting against them. One is climate change. As our planet grows increasingly stressed by hostile weather conditions and the resulting fires, droughts and famines, more and more eyes are turning towards the vast abundance of natural resources we possess here in the Mohawk, Adirondack and Great Lakes region.
Most people are blind to the incredible wealth of our region. But many aren’t. If you look you’ll see how much renovation there’s has been in the past few years, not just in Herkimer and Herkimer County, but also in Albany and Syracuse. State and federal government and corporations recognize this as a strategic climate survival area. If you’re perceptive, you’ll see the result of some of the heavy hammers quietly obliterating the criminal enterprises that long flourished unchallenged in Herkimer.
The Internet is another major force opposing these soulless purveyors of drugs, kids, willful harm and death. Inexpensive technology offers each and every one of us the ability to observe, record and comment on what we see. And our rights as Americans grant us the freedom to do so. The Internet is a force for communication and a weapon for good in the ongoing war between criminals and their prey.
In the last two years we have spent $5,000 on cloud data storage, security services, surveillance cameras, web hosting and internet service not to mention thousands of hours of our time. We have suffered personal property losses due to vandalism by our neighbors and have experienced outrageous harassment. My children have vowed never to enter Herkimer again.
Recently we have seen encouraging changes in this community. Fire Chief Spanfelner has taken over code enforcement and is patrolling the streets taking effective action. Our street has been quieter and the former haunted house across the way has undergone significant renovation by Paul and Don.
Herkimer Village is an outstanding place to create a sustainable community that will help us live in these trying times of climate change. All it takes to succeed is a community commitment to fortify our resources of services, infrastructure, people and education. Each person in this community can take a role and assume a responsibility for our continued and successful survival.
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:
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.
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.)
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.