Well, as I live and breathe. After being gassed in February and poisoned in March, we took a bit of a vacation. When we left, our neighbors, Herkimer’s Douglas Barton and Joyce Barton, appeared to be going through tough times: home rarely, woebegone looks, no more convenience foods, house dark, kids sad and angry.
Returning ten days later, we found the Bartons’ lives seemingly touched by gold. There was Joyce Barton on her 333 Pleasant Avenue command porch,
Since our return, Joyce Barton’s been busy networking again with like-minded neighbors, partially in response to our unexpected return. (So many crestfallen faces when we pulled into driveway and emerged, relaxed and tanned. )
I suppose to the watching hopeful along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, it seemed we’d abandoned our poisoned Herkimer home, packed up our pets, a few things and fled. Had I been hired to dispose of such nosy neighbors as we, dead or alive, I’d have then demand my money, reporting mission accomplished. But would have had the brains to not spend like a sailor.
And what did Douglas Barton do with his share of the Barton’s sudden golden shower? Douglas Barton bought the East Herkimer Fire Department. (Volunteer company–one engine.) How else to explain his meteoric return from the ranks, following his…suspicious…garage fire and
Looking at the fire company’s roster (top), all their other top ranks are suddenly empty. They weren’t when Douglas Barton was returned to the ranks. Perhaps there was vehement opposition to Barton’s election as Chief, with old hands quitting in disgust? Or maybe they just ate some bad food and passed away.
Of Firemen and Ladders and Poison
The long-term salting of our furnace with a powdered insecticide required little finesse. The dosing of our home did with a spray-gun dispensed pesticide did. It was skilfully and stealthily carried out via a ladder, over a period of months in broad daylight. And done several times weekly with the aid of some of our depraved neighbors, who served as lookouts, calling the ladder man when we went for our morning walks and as we returned. Here’s one suspected lookout: 334 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer’s “The Blessing.”
The objective, as with the furnace salting, was to continuously poison us so we’d slowly sicken and die, never suspecting we’d been murdered. We’d just pass away, as have probably many other Herkimer murder victims here over the years. Well, the word is now out, and jig is up. Spring is here and the ground may soon give up its dead to autopsy.
For reasons which will later sound not at all paranoid, our systematic poisoning probably began even before we moved into our house, three years ago. That cold diabolical plan was destroyed by the enraged nighttime pesticide attack of February 22nd. (See Herkimer Jewish Blogger Gassed) The attack was apparently sparked by our sharing The Herkimer Post’s annual blog statistics a two days earlier: 20,000+ worldwide view of Herkimer crime. The Barton’s and Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, rocketed our blog to success. Neither does well in sunlight. Nor does Herkimer.
Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan – The Bartons’ Silent Backer?
Had I to guess who was bankrolling the Bartons, I’d say Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan. Curtis has long been chums with the Bartons. He seemed a cash-heavy entity when he lived next door at 328 Pleasant Avenue, renting Herkimer Clerk of Courts’ Harriett Tangorra’s house. Curtis, who waged a lengthy campaign of harassment against us, is rumored to be the scion of Herkimer’s most respected drug manufacturing family. In Herkimer County, New York, this would grant him the status of untouchable nobility; Curtis Cool could only be tried before the Herkimer Drug Lord Himself.
Lastly, we’d like to thank the Herkimer community and authorities for their outpouring of support and sympathy following two well-publicized, heinous attempts on our lives within the last two months. Their names and organizations are below:
[THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]
Oh well. As folks in Herkimer say with a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.”
Herkimer’s community ethos is one which historically has left a lot empty shoes behind.
Perhaps a viewing of Schinlder’s List might help restore Herkimer’s atrophied social conscience?
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein
Forget Herkimer diamonds. Crime-ridden Herkimer New York’s greatest attraction is the village’s anarchic three-ring circus of brazen criminals, trafficker-coddling cops and willfully failed governance. In 2016, Herkimer’s unchecked, in-your-face lawlessness brought The Herkimer Post and its YouTube videos over 20,000 worldwide views. The human fascination with the grotesque drove our annualized viewing audience up 33% from our last statistics posting in March of 2016.
The Herkimer Post enjoyed 8,432 page views from 2,379 readers across 6 continents in 57 countries, with an average of 1.95 minutes per view. Our YouTube videos–Herkimer crime, all the time–brought 11,989 worldwide views averaging 3.32 minutes apiece. Top Herkimer Twitter tweets sparked at least 13,674 impressions, engagements and retweets, which aren’t counted in the 20,421 tally.
Living in Herkimer Village is convenient: except for our Herkimer Meth Bridge series, we’ve rarely had to travel more than 20 meters from our home on Herkimer’s wistfully-named Pleasant Avenue to acquire source material: Herkimer criminals trying to drive us from our home and Herkimer cops trying to intimidate us into silence just kept coming into our cameras or onto our microphones.
Herkimer Post 2016 – WordPress Page Views, Users, Sessions
Herkimer Post 2016 WordPress Sessions – Top 10 Countries
Notes on Google Analytics’ Metrics
One session can have multiple page views. Herkimer Post visitors viewed an average of two posts per session.
2,777 blog visitors landed on the Herkimer Post’s home page rather than a specific posting. They could have then selected one or more more categories and scrolled through the posts. Their views of individual posts wouldn’t have been recorded.
Country = “Not Set”: Origin may be a hidden ISP.
Best reporting option is 365 days. Calendar year selection not offered.
Herkimer Post 2016 Top Page Views
Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Blog Post
Our top recorded blog post for 2016 was of our neighbor and first Herkimer visitor, young mom Melodie Shulze, who dropped by with her mom Melissa Shulze to cuss us out for photographing our street and accuse us therefore of being pedophiles. Although the incident occurred in 2015, Melodie Shulze’s elder abuse has proven an object of repugnant fascination both on our blog and YouTube. (Melodie recently vanished from our street following an unusual flurry of Child Protection Services’ activity.)
Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton Win Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Posts Tally
Otherwise it was a postings slugfest in lawlessness and depravity between 333 Pleasant Avenue’s Bartons and 328 Pleasant Avenue’s Curtis Cool. It was won by the Bartons with 4 top posts: Herkimer Man Sexually Abusing Car was our 2nd top post, harassment dished straight from the Barton’s as they gleefully helped harass our very pregnant daughter. (Captured on a highly visible surveillance camera. )
Three other top 2016 posts featuring appearances by Joyce Barton and or Douglas Barton were Drug Trafficking On Herkimer’s Slumlord Row, [VIDEOS], Herkimer Crime – Drunks Along the Mohawk [VIDEOS], and Mission Accomplished! Fire Chief Barton’s Fire Revisited. This last highlighted a forensic video analysis of then-Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton’s garage fire, coincident with what appeared to be a large state and federal crackdown on Herkimer’s abundant meth makers. (The Bartons have apparently since abandoned their home-based enterprises and seem to be scrambling to make ends meet.) The drug trafficking post and related videos are from 2015; they’ve taken on a life of their own, drawing viewers month after month. (IP addresses hint law enforcement may be using them for surveillance analysis training.)
Curtis Cool Takes Close 2nd In Herkimer Crime 2016 Top Postings Tally
In 2016, Herkimer crime drew over 11,989 YouTube views in 51 countries with a total viewing time of 23,409 minutes, or 390 hours. (16.25 days.)
Our YouTube audience wasn’t the same as that of the The Herkimer Post: most YouTube viewers didn’t come from our blog posts, but from other YouTube viewers and referrers. Many of our videos contain links to our other Herkimer crime videos, making it possible to build viewership through a chain of referrals embedded in video descriptions, and also build blog readership through links to our blog. Curtis Cool’s 13 videos and the Barton’s 14 videos provided the virtual framework for widening our follower base.
In 2016, videos of Joyce and Douglas Bartons’ Pleasant Avenue activities had 6,815 views, with a watch time of 6,698 minutes, or 4.65 days. Their top video was 2015’s enduring Herkimer Crime on Parade – 333 Pleasant Avenue (5088 views). But Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan) blew the Bartons’ Crime on Parade out of the water with his bravura performance in Curtis Cool Street Harassment of 6/11/16: 154 hours (9,224) minutes, or 6.40 days. Herkimer’s untouchable Golden Child’s criminal harassment of his elderly neighbors was watched by 2,385 people on 6 continents, just one of Curtis’ series of street harassment videos. (Curtis abruptly moved after we hinted in a post that he might be involved in darker things than drug dealing. “The guilty flee where no man pursues.”)
I didn’t go through Twitter to extract the analytics of views of our Herkimer crime tweets, which are automatically tweeted by our blog upon posting. They’d have to have been ferreted out of Twitter tweet by tweet, and the analytics for each manually copied and totaled. No. Life is short, death is long.
I have 72,000 Twitter followers. All of my posts make an impression. The more colorful, such as those of our Apricot Emperor or Herkimer crime, often create a thousand or more impressions. I’ve no idea what an impression is, and, reading Twitter’s definition, neither does Twitter. But those tweets do leave a large and consistent impression of Herkimer, and it’s not pretty.
Here’s a typical Tweeter analytics summary of some Herkimer crime tweets:
We thank all who’ve read our blog or viewed our videos. We hope they’ve given you some insight into what failure of governance looks like, and the stark reality of life when crime rules the streets of a once pastoral village.
A sincere and especially heartfelt thanks to the New York State Police, Night Court, Trapper Ron, the New York State Intelligence Center, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and other US Department of Homeland Security entities, without whose officers’ vigilance and dedication to duty this post wouldn’t have been written.
And a big tip of the hat to Herkimer’s resident drones and their watchful wizards.
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’s 333 Pleasant Ave’s Teenage Girl Bullies can learn a wonderful lesson from this 9 year old girl. She saw a problem–homeless people– and decided to solve it. No matter how old you are or how nasty your family might be, you can change the world for the better. You are not dust flying in the wind, aimlessly blown here and there. Rather, you are the sum of your deeds and every day matters. Each good deed you do increases your beauty. The opposite is also true.
As you grow older, you can look back with joy and contentment at a life well-lived or you can gaze upon a sad and wasted existence. The choice is entirely yours. Perhaps you can try changing 333 Pleasant Ave Teenage Girl Bullies to 333 Pleasant Ave Teenage Girl Heroes and make that the title for what you are going forward
Try being an entrepreneur, recycling free and discarded materials into products you can sell in flee markets and on craigslist or create a song and dance company. Look at kickstarter.com and get some inspiration. The whole world is out there for you to participate in and to inform your own creativity and strength. You can be a gold metal winner in life, starting right now!
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.
There seemed to be a tendril of smoke in the lower left of Chief Barton’s garage, just before he and his daughter left in his truck. And the same drifting across his backyard. The Bartons appear to avert their gazes from the garage as they approach it. Judge for yourself–here’s the original clip:
Was this a line of inquiry worth pursing? we asked. We’d forwarded all our videos of the fire to the Herkimer Police and Fire Departments on 1/11/16. But, it is Herkimer’s brazen Bartons. And Joyce Barton is ever in the background of Herkimer happenings. Also, the Herkimer Fire Department inspector seemed to agree with Deputy Fire Chief Barton that the cause was probably a faulty circuit breaker. (In a 1930’s garage, its electricity coming over an ancient line strung from the house. )
The fire inspector asked for copies of our video clips after he and a Herkimer police officer viewed surveillance footage on our computer. He said he didn’t know the Herkimer Fire Department’s email address. (It’s unpublished, I later learned. As is Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi’s.) I sent the clips over the next day on a flash drive via a police officer, who said he’d drop them off. So much for chain of custody. But then as folks in Herkimer say with a sigh, “It’s Herkimer.”
The surveillance videos you see on our blog are compressed for transmission to our cloud hosting service. The originals are in high definition format, which can be restored to their origiinal quality, further enhanced, enlarged and forensically analyzed.
Below is the crucial frame from the clip, enhanced by PerPics. The surveillance camera is about 200 feet from the Barton’s garage. Barton and his daughter are in their driveway walking toward the garage. Could they reasonably have been expected to miss from about 15 feet what our surveillance camera saw from 200 feet?
“Upscaled resolution to increase detail. Clarified steam and reduced compression artifacts.” (Forensic video analyst report.)
(Steam = water. Smoke = fire. Which one was present in Barton’s garage?
farewell potential evidence
The Fire Chief’s Fire – What Next?
The Herkimer Post lacks the resources to complete a full video forensic analysis of the video. But maybe you do? Here’s the forensic analyst’s downloadable report and Enhancement Procedure Summary:
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.
Republished 4.18.16 to include a photograph of now former Deputy Fire Chief Barton. The Herkimer Post regrets the omission.
Rewritten 8.29.16 to enhance narrative and include a visual motif of Herkimer Village government, and a link to a photo of the world’s most beloved German Army sergeant.
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Albert Einstein
Herkimer Post’s 90 day statistics are remarkable for what began a few months ago as a small village’s gardening and environment blog. It’s our crime videos of course. Cameras don’t lie. “What did you expect?” asked one of my former students when I expressed surprise at our stats. (He follows us from Florida.) “You’re embedded on Freak Street. It’s the lure of the grotesque.” “But our police chief lives on this street.” “OK,” he laughed.
There are, believe it or not, some very nice people on this street and in the Village of Herkimer. But viewers can see nice at home. They’ve been coming to Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue in their thousands to see the not-nice. What they’re reading about and seeing are the fruits of willfully failed governance. Thousands of views of the unchecked criminality swirling about the rental home of one family long entrenched on this once truly pleasant street, allowed to run it as their matriarch sees fit. And they have, as our videos show.
Why? As our blog’s visitors see from our posts and videos, Pleasant Avenue is Herkimer’s Drug Central. A lot of narcotics and cash flow through Herkimer, which lies astride the New York Turnpike, an easy few hours drive to New York City and Canada. It’s an ideal location for narcotics trafficking. And as good businessmen, experienced criminals will typically invest resources to protect their territory.
Count with the Count: Herkimer Post Blog views
We hadn’t paid much attention to the Herkimer Post’s blog’s statistics since our first article in November. And we never checked the YouTube analytics for our postings’ related videos. Although we knew our posts of the booming drug trafficking and criminal antics here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue were drawing far more readers than our real estate or environmental posts, we had no idea how many more. Then the other day we heard a neighbor remark, “No one reads their stupid blog.”
So we counted. And counted again. And were stunned: 2,092 views of our blog posts and 1,296 views of its associated YouTube videos, totaling 3,388 views since our founding. Our YouTube viewers watched 1,957 minutes of Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue in action. (32.6 hours) The YouTube summary analytics are here and also here.
Herkimer Post’s readers and its YouTube viewers are drawn from all 50 states, with a smattering of YouTube viewers watching from Europe and Asia. Only about 33% of our YouTube viewers during this period came from our blog–the rest found our videos either on YouTube, or came to them via social media or from forwarded links.
Herkimerpost.com Google Analytics data
And below are the less reliable WordPress’ Top Posts figures. They show which were our most popular WordPress posts, but the count per post is low: The author can ensure a special post is the first to greet blog visitors by sticking it atop her blog’s home page. (See line 1 below, “Home page/Archives.”) A reader typically arrives on the home page–a blog’s landing page–and there’s the post. For example, Herkimer Man Sexually Abusing Car was our lead home page post for several weeks, as were Drug Trafficking on Herkimer’s Slumlord Row, Drunks Along the Mohawk and Fire at 333 Pleasant Ave. Herkimer NY. Each undoubtedly received several hundred more views than individually enumerated below by title: (Left click to enlarge.)
Herkimerpost.com’s YouTube Videos – The Power of Many Short Videos
Our most successful posts were those with multiple videos. A post on our blog may only have a modest number of views, such as Fire at 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer,which drew a mere 23 readers. But with compelling YouTube videos embedded in the post, that post soared in overall popularity.
Re-titled Fire Chief Barton’s Fire on YouTube and edited into six consecutive short videos, Fire at 333 Pleasant Ave drew 506 views on YouTube, a 1:22 ratio. Surprisingly, as the below “Top 10 Video” analytics show, only 38% of our viewers came from our blog. 62% were from YouTube itself, the result of searches and suggestions from other viewers. Many of them appear to have come from Berry’s 81.7k Twitter followers.Fire Chief Barton’s Fire attracted 529 viewers worldwide for a total viewing time of 298 minutes or 5 hours. (Click to enlarge.)
The Fire Chief’s Fire – YouTube Views, Watch times and viewer demographics
Pleasant Ave Herkimer- TOP Crime Videos YouTube Views, Watch times and viewer demographics
Herkimer Post’s Most Popular Posts
Total WordPress and YouTube Views
Herkimer, as with many of New York’s Mohawk Valley communities, is hoping to regain its long lost prosperity from the ripple effects of the billions of dollars being poured into the Nano Utica Initiative, a visionary high-tech manufacturing complex under construction in Utica, an easy 30 minutes commute away. Unfortunately, Herkimer is an impoverished, crime-ridden community, ranked as one of the 10 worst places to live in New York State. What we’ve been subjected to since moving to Herkimer two years ago bears that out–death and arson threats, dog poisoning and beating, burglary, mob menacing, police failure to protect.
We at Herkimer Post are determined to ensure that anyone considering moving to Herkimer is aware of all its aspects. We want no one else to walk blindly into we what did here on Herkimer’s Pleasant Ave. All our crime posts are tweeted to Utica Nano@nanoutica, their partner ams AG in Styria, Austria (@amsAnalog), and to our governor @NYGovCuomo.
We like Herkimer and believe in its future. We’ll continue to help ensure that future by covering, and uncovering, all aspects of our community in the hope that new and better days lie ahead for Herkimer.
The Herkimer Post would like to thank it’s 300+ email subscribers for their continuing interest, some from such distant points as Stockholm, Sweden, Graz, Austria, Sofia, Bulgaria and India, as well as its editors’ YouTube and Google+ subscribers and legions of Twitter followers.
We’d also like to thank the New York State Police and the US Department of Justice for their support, and cloistered elements of the US Department of Homeland Security for having our backs.
In fact, Joyce and Douglas Barton have done so much to bring the attention of the world to the Village of Herkimer that The Herkimer Post would like to nominate them as Herkimer’s First Family. Their accomplishments reflect what can be achieved by unchecked intimation and brazen conduct on a lawless street, aided and abetted by a willful failure of governance.
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.
A fast moving fire today consumed the garage located at 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY. The fire started as a small blaze at the left side of the garage. Smoke billowed up and towards the right. This soon turned into an explosive blaze that fortunately did not spread to any nearby homes. A popping noise followed by a loud boom indicated a minor explosion. Property tax records show 333 Pleasant Ave to be owned by Alan and Clara Klock of Cherry Valley. It’s rented to East Herkimer Fire Department Deputy Chief Douglas Barton and Joyce Barton.
At their request, The Herkimer Post has provided extensive footage of the fire and events surrounding it to Herkimer police and fire investigators. We may have additional coverage in a later post.
Security camera video records fire at 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer
A security camera located directly across the street recorded the fire. The initially insignificant flames and smoke went unnoticed even by people walking right by them. At 13:59 the occupants of 333 Pleasant Ave evacuated. Firefighters quickly arrived and extinguished the fire. An investigation is underway.
The timeline below is a small sample of the video clips recorded by security cameras:
1313 Here’s the garage, soon be a smoldering skeleton of burnt wood.
1326 Deputy Fire Chief Barton arrives home – seems oblivious to blaze
1334 Deputy Fire Chief Barton leaves from driveway – still seems oblivious to blaze. Note what appears to be tendril of smoke in the lower left of Barton’s’ garage picked up by standard surveillance camera at 200 feet.
1349 Smoke billows from garage
4/28/16 Update — See Mission Accomplished! – Fire Chief Barton’s Fire Revisited for forensic video analysis of a crucial part of the 333 Pleasant Ave fire videos. What did Douglas Barton know and when did he know it?
Herkimer’s 333 Pleasant Avenue is no stranger to rowdiness, mob menacing, noise pollution and high-traffic nighttime activity. Screaming of obscenities and threats of violence are common here in Herkimer crime central, whose unwholesome heart is often the Barton residence. It’s not unusual to hear threats directed at small children here on Pleasant Avenue–short outbursts often ending with a nasal “Now!”, a loud slap and a wail of pain. It is unusual, however, to be able to capture sequential criminal activity cascading through one day.
It grew from scofflaw public drinking into a domestic brawl of about thirty very loud minutes. The major combatants were the bottle-bearing Booze Brother (below) and Joyce Barton’s older daughter, a noted soccer player.
Herkimer’s Booze Brothers Arrive
It began with the arrival of the Booze Brothers. They sauntered down Pleasant Avenue to the Barton’s and hung out there, chugging from a liter alcohol bottle. It became clear that bottle bearer was waiting for someone. When she arrived, the battle began.
Audio is needed to truly appreciate the volume of the screaming and the torrent of mutual abuse. It drowned out a telephone conversation I was having in my living room, windows closed.
Just when you thought it was safe to go out in your driveway again, the team sport of Herkimer malicious trespassing takes the field again.
If you read my previous post about The Ball, you’ll know that earlier this summer my neighbors called the police on me when I refused to return a ball deliberately kicked at me with great precision from across the street. It was kicked by a beefy teen, striking me in the back of my legs.
The responding Herkimer Village Police Officer, the pseudonymous Officer Heist, threatened to arrest me for Petit Larceny, duped by this very old scam. He accused me of intending to steal the worthless ball used to assault me, the one I’d already tossed into the neighborhood’s adjacent playing area. It was outrageous.
Ball Harassment Continues
Malicious trespassing in Herkimer is a popular team sport. The innocent children whose ball the Herkimer Police leaped to defend have taken to vandalizing our car under the pretext of retrieving their (new) ball. The ball rolls into our driveway frequently, although the street is perpendicular to the driveway. A baller retrieves the ball, off camera. During his or her stay, our car is scratched or sprayed with acid. Repeat. Repeat. Obviously it’s at their parents’ instigation. These kids are probably paid in cash or drugs. The State Police appear to have clamped down on their parents following their abusive mob interaction with us in the street. (Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue is a quietly sanctioned haven of drug trafficking, its workers flush with drug money. There are signs that things far more heinous go on here, also involving children. )
I ordered one girl from my driveway the other day, telling her she was trespassing and not to return. She screamed “Don’t you ever talk to me that way!” As you’ll note from the video clip of her departure, she was quite indignant and circled her hand about her head, indicating that any defiance to her outrageous behavior was insane. Politeness and respect are obviously strangers in her family. Sadly there is an arrogant expectation that my home is a public way to be used however and whenever my neighbors see fit.
Additional cameras have been brought on line. More are coming. We live as I did in Cote D’Ivoire West Africa, where each home’s a fortress, and anarchy prevails and governance has failed.
What I’ve Learned from Herkimer’s Officer Heist and the Pleasant Avenue Ball Harassment
Shrugging our shoulders in helplessness because, Hey! It’s just Pleasant Avenue, ill-serves us all. There are two underlying problems here. The most important is attitude. As a community, we must provide basic services, or we’re not a community. If we can’t do this alone, we have to ask for help. To be a successful community rather than one in name only, we have to change to an “I think I can and I will try” attitude. Too often when problems are discussed here, even the best of Herkimer’s people sigh, shrug their shoulders and say, “It’s Herkimer.” (At some point, perhaps the citizens of Gomorrah probably did the same.)
Herkimer is crime-ridden and plagued by poverty. Many of the children on our street are very intelligent, but they are not engaging intellectually – their education is pathetically inadequate. Some are reading grade levels below what they should. It’s obvious the school system treats them as pariahs and tracks them as such. At least one middle school student didn’t know what the Atlantic Ocean is. One doesn’t know what an ocean is. A very bright and likable neighboring 9th grader periodically made campfires from his homework assignments He correctly determined that Herkimer considers him social junk that his school’s job is keep him off the streets during the day. Like many kids in Herkimer, he’s filled with rage and hopelessness.
We can do better than this, Herkimer. If not now, when?