Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes Gang Rampages Pleasant Avenue

Updated 8/9/17 to identify Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes gang and its members.

by Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer-heroin-dealer-confronted-over-interaction-with-small-child
Stanley Sykes’  son,  an alleged  heroin dealer out on bail, is confronted by one of several angry neighbors. Cries of “Child trafficker” were heard. Police interviewed a small blonde girl who visited his house.

On 4/23/17, Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes gang welcomed Spring with a 2 hour street festival of harassment, menacing and mobbing, held center street on Herkimer crime hub Pleasant Avenue. Stanley, wife Becky Sykes and son Kyle live at 341 Eureka Avenue, from which they control both 334 Pleasant Avenue and 341 Eureka’a parking lot activities.

Notable during the mobbing were Carrie Bass, AKA Carrie Ann Bass, of 334 Pleasant Avenue, the chubby gray-clad ball of fury seen in the video. She and her out-on-bail husband were the chief harassers and menacers. Over-the-top aggressive Carrie Bass at one point succeeded in driving folks off of 333 Pleasant Avenue’s porch into the house and had to be physically restrained.

Honorable mention goes to thug chief Stanley Sykes himself, of 341 Eureka, for anchoring the assault line, blessing the festivities with his presence as the young folks surged into action. Stanley Sykes is parking lot pack’s chieftain. Here he is on his way to visit with his harassment soul twin, Joyce Barton of 333 Pleasant Avenue.

Herkimer Stanley Syskes gang
Stanley Sykes goes to visit Joyce Barton.

Alleged Herkimer Sykes Heroin Dealer Out On Bail

Stanely Sykes son (below) was just arrested on a heroin trafficking charge, according to the overheard anguished wails of his Stanley Sykes family at the time. (Impossible not to hear, 25 yards away, in the parking lot.) The sale of his product supposedly resulted in the death of one of his buyers. The Sykeses and Carrie Bass were heard to complained of the unfairness of the wrongful death charge, as the lad (seen below) was a distributor not a manufacturer, and shouldn’t be held accountable for product safety.

Herkimer 's Stanley Sykes alleged heroin dealer son free on bail, rampaging along Pleasant Avenue
Herkimer’s Stanley Skye’s alleged heroin dealer son, free on bail, during an afternoon of harassment and mobbing along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue.

Accusations Fly as Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes Gang  Mobs Neighbors

We weren’t on the street for the festivities; we just heard waves of screams and curses and demented wailing. But our surveillance cams were there. Based on much analysis of feeds from multiple cameras, accusations hurled at Skyes’s son seem to have been sparked by what may have been an earlier “interaction” between Stanley Sykes’s  out-on-bail son and the young blonde girl from Joyce Barton’s 333 Pleasant Avenue, seen in the video being interviewed by police. the young girl is  often seen with the movable feast that are the parking lot kids from 334 Pleasant and 341 Eureka Avenues.

Herkimer-heroin-dealer-confronted-over-interaction-with-small-child
Alleged 334 Pleasant Ave Herkimer heroin dealer, out on bail, confronted by one of several angry neighbors. Police interviewed a small blonde girl who visited his house.

Whatever the cause, Carrie Ann Bass and the Stanley Sykes gang immediately attacked. The Sykes’ gangs street brawl ended with the arrival of the Herkimer police, two hours after the start of events.

Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes Family – A History of Harassment

Ironically, Carrie Bass aka Carrie Ann Bass, and her sister-in-law, Kyria Syskes  delight in harassing elderly neighbors bearing cameras by shrieking “Pedophile!” (It’s part of Herkimer’s street harassment culture.) Yet Sykes’ gang’s attack squad thoughtfully performed all their antics before our surveillance cameras. 

Oh. If you’re wondering how someone could be out on bail for such a heinous crime as selling poisonous heroin resulting in a death? Well, “It’s Herkimer,” as locals say with a shrug.

The wild-in-the-street Sykes son vanished shortly after this event. Had he been out on bail, he may have violated its conditions.  Doesn’t look good for Herkimer to have a heroin dealer free on bail and  running amok, even as it sternly declares war on the local wave of opioid deaths.

I don’t know the junior Sykes lad’s first name. He was was featured in our Drunks Along the Mohawk post with its Booze Brothers videos. He’s one of the two seen drinking and harassing others in the street and passing out stuff from an odd orange bag, all in front of the notorious Joyce and Douglas Barton’s 333 Pleasant Avenue.  Seems he moved on from alcohol.

The Little Blonde Girl?

blonde-333-Pleasant-Ave-BHerkimer-girl-at 334-Pleasant-Ave-Herkimer's-Mobbing-Sunday
Blonde girl from 333 Pleasant Ave visiting kids at 334 Pleasant Ave Sunday, 4/23/17.

The little blonde girl at the 333 Pleasant Avenue is new to the Barton house. And she didn’t seem to have a parent present. She appeared very closed mouthed with the woman police officer who interviewed her. The woman who apparently had charge of her left her at Joyce Barton’s. In the video’s final scene, the girl’s eyes longingly follow her as she drives way.

Herkimer’s long been a child trafficking hub. It’s devilishly hard to spot most child trafficking without training and a flotilla of surveillance drones. I hope she’s isn’t yet another of Herkimer’s trafficked kids.

Aftermath of Herkimer’s Sykes Gang Rampage

It’s been fairly quiet along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue since the Stanley Sykes mob tore up the street. Stanley Sykes and Joyce Barton appear to remain friends and colleagues. It’s rumored they’ve known each other since Utica.

Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes Gang = 13

Excluding duplicate gang members, I counted 13 in Stanley Sykes’ gang. Most either appear to live at 334 Pleasant or 341 Eureka Avenues, or are such frequent visitors they might as well be. They’re originally from Utica.  Check my math using the photo carousel. I wasn’t trying to capture faces–that’s what surveillance drones do.)

Tip of the Spear: 5  Parking Lot Reserves: 6 Street Harassers: 2

Herkimer’s Stanley Sykes’ Parking Lot Gang Readies for Growth?

Stanley Sykes has turned his landlord Jay Smith’s 334 Pleasant – 341 Eureka parking lot (seen below), into an encampment, ready to receive more troops. Given Sykes history, we assume reinforcement are coming from his extended family’s turf in nearby Utica.

Herkimer's Stanley Sykes readies landlord's Jay Smith's parking lot for Sykes' gang reinforcement
Stan Sykes’ Bivouac – Tents Sprout Throughout Herkimer’s 334 Pleasant / 341 Eureka Parking Lot. More Sykes gang reinforcements on the way from Utica? Or cover and concealment for heinous stuff?

Herkimer-traffickers-traditional-hidden-parking-lot.

334 Pleasant -341 Eureka Avenues Herkimer parking lot. This once hidden hub of crime has become a favorite gathering spot for police surveillance drones. Death-defying nearby bloggers find it a colorful topic. [Editor’s note: Stanley Sykes folded his bivouac folded on Sunday, 5/28.]

Herkimer Gang Thug Kiera Stone Snared

by Stephen Ames Berry

Old age and skill will overcome youth and treachery Night Court

Update 6/22/17.  Kiera Stone’s father, gang leader Stanley Sykes, yesterday morning followed me down Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, harassing me with bellowed obscenities. (“You m-fer, you got ma baby girl locked up!”)  If she was arrested, this is two of his kids now in jail . (The son for alleged heroin trafficking, daughter Kiera Stone  for at least criminal harassment), even as dad flirts with a criminal harassment charge of his own.  Maybe the new Herkimer County jail will  have a wing named after them.

I videoed these two fresh Black Dahlias because they kept harassing me from their car when Dog Bear and I walked past 334 Pleasant Avenue. We live two doors down. Thought they wanted attention. Guess not. (For purposes of photography and audio, New York is a one-party consent state.)

As with these lovelies, Herkimer’s drug and child traffickers self-identify by calling photographers pedophiles. Our former neighbor, Herkimer’s Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Doolen, is Herkimer’s best know pedophile-caller, with his best performance viewed for over 154 hours by 2,356 people on 6 continents. Drug traffickers especially hate street surveillance cameras, as they reveal traffickers and trafficking patterns.

“I don’t want my kids on the internet” is clue that all or some of the “parent’s” kids aren’t their kids; they’re trafficked and/or sexually exploited kids. 25% of all trafficked kids are trafficked by family members.

Stanley Sykes Gangs' Herkimer Headquarters
334 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer. It guards the parking lot behind it. That’s Joyce Barton of 333 Pleasant Ave’s daughter on the porch. Carrie Ann Bass of 334 and Joyce are business associates.

334 Pleasant Avenue – Herkimer’s Harassing Harpies Headquarters

Stanley Sykes Gangs' Herkimer Headquarters
334 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer. It guards the parking lot behind it. That’s Joyce Barton of 333 Pleasant Ave’s daughter on the porch. Jabba of 334 and Joyce are friends.

The driveway of 341 Eureka Avenue (white house, rear) is blocked. The only way into and out of the parking lot is via the driveway of 334 Pleasant Avenue.  It sees a lot of visitors and vehicles. The porch serves as a lookout post. Good luck getting past Sykes gang’s Carrie Ann Bass, aka Carrie Ann Collins-Bass. (Next video.)

The Attack of the Witless Witches

I’d been assaulted before on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue for videoing. So I set up a camera snare before returning to capture the Black Dahlias’ license plate for posterity. The three witless witches had no clue.

I tottered by them on my way home from the grocery store. Turning, I filmed their license plate. It went better than I’d hoped–gang thug Kiera Stone, the ballsiest of Herkimer’s harassing harpies, (see below video), ripped my cellphone from my hand and called 911 to report I’d hit her with it. Her friend tried but failed in her role as Kiera Stone’\’s keeper, while her sister-in-law, Herkimer’s Carrie Bass, aka Carrie Ann Colins-Bass, lied through her venomous lips.

Here’s the combined cellphone and minicam footage:

Carrie Ann Bass, Sykes gang’s 334 Pleasant Avenue’s resident guardian-toad.

Perhaps they thought the minicam on my label was a pacemaker. (I’m old.) It faithfully recorded the new harassment, the assault and the theft of my phone. (Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree;  Harassment in the First Degree.) None of them were aware of the surveillance camera on their activities. This footage gave the lie to Kiera Stone and her drug and child trafficking relatives’ accusation:

The Herkimer Police Respond

The Herkimer Police arrived, Officers Bowman and Hill. They confirmed that Kiera Stone had called 911, saying I’d hit her in the face with my cellphone and repeated the allegation to them. (Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree.) No one was arrested. The officers didn’t see the surveillance or minicam footage–those required downloading. They did see the cellphone clips of the two harassment incidents. I was invited to file a complaint. 

(If I lay gut shot and dying on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue, the last voice I’d probably ever hear would be that of a Herkimer police officer asking, “Do you want to file a complaint?”)

I said we’d never been allowed to file a complaint with the Herkimer PD–I’d put it on our blog again. Seems to work–the bad guys often just disappear. (Herkimer has 3 major water courses.) Last year Herkimer’s failed governance and rampant crime brought The Herkimer Post over 20,000+ worldwide views. We’d barely had time to celebrate before we were hit by the first of two murderous poisoning attacks. Writing about those has brought The Herkimer Post new readers.  As will “Herkimer’s Harassing Harpies.” 

Herkimer’s Brazen New Gang – The Stanley Sykes Gang

Herkimer’s harassing harpies were the first sign that the village had a brazen new gang with city roots, come north to stake claim to a large chunk of Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. And that they were aggressively camera shy–probably for good reason. (They were later revealed to be the Stanley Sykes gang out of Utica.)

Herkimer’s homegrown gangs of late have tried to stay off the radar, preferring stealth to confrontation and darkness to light. Not these guys: They’re in-your-face aggressive, trying to intimidate through harassment. When that fails, they immediately escalate to assault or mobbing. It’s urban street gang tactics. It’s a brave new world for Herkimer crime. Stay tuned: The Herkimer Post is watching. 

Herkimer’s Harassing Harpies – The Director’s Cut

Here’s the four videos rolled into one:

 

Herkimer Mobbing – Joyce Barton, Sgt. Tall, Officer Short

by Stephen Ames Berry

 

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.

Herkimer criminals lend new meaning to homesteading
Outpost 330 – Herkimer Criminal Neighbors Give Fresh Meaning To Homesteading

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.

State and federal law enforcement, augmented by surveillance drones, have swept the streets of Herkimer Village clear of its traditional  in-your-face wholesale drug trafficking. Attempts to move narcotics trafficking into the woods near the village were reported and crushed. 

Herkimer Police Stand Fast

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.)

Herkimer's Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton
Herkimer’s Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton in happier days

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.

Joyce Barton's 333 Pleasant Ave Herkimer NY
Barton Residence 333 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer

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.)

Former Herkimer Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton's Former Helmet
Following his garage fire, Douglas Barton is no longer a deputy chief

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

Herkimer Police
Herkimer Police Sgt Tall & 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.”

New York Penal Code – Article 240 – § 240.10, Unlawful Assembly, clearly defines what was happening on Pleasant Avenue as “an unlawful and tumultuous activity likely to cause alarm,” a Class B misdemeanor. [The mob members were also committing First and Second Degree Harassment.]

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.]

herkimer ny government
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

Then, shockingly, the officers departed without dispersing the remaining 20-30 still hostile belligerents once again lining the sidewalk across from our home.

herkimer-ny-pleasant-avenue-visual-motif-june-2015
What the Herkimer Police Left When They Skedaddled-Visual Motif-Herkimer Pleasant Avenue Mob 6/17/15

Aftermath

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

Mayor Brindisi called me the day after receiving my email. He seemed quite upset and said he’d look into it.

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.

Sgt. Scholl and I meet occasionally, most recently when I was attacked by a young meth tweaker on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. (The lad’s since disappeared, leaving open the position of Keeper of Herkimer’s historic crack house.)

Herkimer Police officers and district attorney
Herkimer police officers and District Attorney: Left to right: Officer J. Crippin, Herkimer District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter, Sgt. John Scholl II, Capt. Jeffrey Crim

Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton appear to be having lean times–this following their cameo appearances in our posting and videos of drug trafficking on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue. This was followed by our forensic video analysis of Fire Chief Barton’s garage fire, and videos of the Bartons’ harassment of our pregnant daughter. 

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.

The Bartons threatened us with a lawsuit last year, alleging that our widely-viewed videos of their activities had caused them to “suffer[ed]damages to their reputation”  and “exposed the Bartons and their family members to contempt and ridicule.”  We were heartened. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who believed their conduct depraved and despicable.

The Bartons appear to have dropped the matter, perhaps after being told the amount of the required retainer and their chances of success.

More Herkimer crime and police postings to come. It’s a snowy day here in Upstate NY. Great day to edit videos and write.

Toodles.

 

Herkimer Meth Tweaker Assaults 69 Year Old Veteran in Public

by Stephen Ames Berry

violent crininal and Herkimer meth tweaker
Violent Herkimer parole violator and drug addict who on 11/3/16 physically assaulted 69 year-old retiree on public sidewalk. Photo is from video of his previous week’s elder abuse.

Meth tweaker assaults all have much common–meth heads are intellectually disabled by their addiction and easily incited to commit acts of abuse and violence by cowardly false friends, who use them as methbots.

On Thursday, 11/3 at 1315 hours, I was again verbally harassed and this time physically assaulted by the subject of a recent Herkimer Post article, Herkimer’s Crack House Keeper. In that posting, my abuser, the eponymous Crack House Keeper, can be seen ambushing my wife and I on the sidewalk in front of Herkimer’s historic Crack House at 318 Pleasant Avenue, a few doors from our home, and assailing us as he indulges in the Herkimer pastime of criminal harassment of elders, made world-famous by Herkimer’s Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan). (Watch our neighbor Joyce Barton craftily staged a harassment.)

In his most recent attack, this self-admitted criminal and probable meth tweaker, spotted me as I ambled with my old dog the few doors down from our house to 318 Pleasant Avenue, there to take a photo of a new “Room for Rent” sign, foolishly thinking that perhaps he’d been evicted following the public exposure of his harassing elders in the street. Silly me.  As folks around here say with a sigh and a shrug, “It’s Herkimer.” (Folks in Sodom probably shrugged and said “It’s Sodom.”)

Herkimer NY government
The famous 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

the crack house keeper’s lair

Apparently Herkimer’s Crack House Keeper was hanging out with his fellow wastrels at 335 Pleasant Avenue, the street’s remaining scrote sanctuary. Spotting me from afar taking a photo of the Room For Rent sign at 316 Pleasant Avenue, and unleashed by his handlers, he charged down the street, screaming threats and obscenities.

335-pleasant-ave-herkimer-ny
335 Pleasant Avenue, Herkimer NY

I turned to meet his attack, my faithful cellphone camera rolling. “You can’t take pictures of my fucking house, you old fuck!” he screamed as he slammed into my 69 year-old right shoulder with his significantly younger one.

all criminals are victims

“You hit me!” he screeched as I staggered back, raving on, “You fuckin’ got me violated!” [Meaning his probation officer cited him for violating the conditions of his probation. He probably now has a court appearance coming.] “I was drug tested!” he wailed. No! You’d think he was a criminal!  And he didn’t even didn’t have time to buy clean urine.

Seems likely his Herkimer County Probation officer read that post. (Perhaps he or she will read this one.  ) “A lot of people on this street want to beat you two up!” People? Would these people be from 335 Pleasant Avenue?

Curses! a misfire!

Unfortunately, before Tweakie could be deescalted by my dog repellent, my wife arrived and expedited his retreat. Just as well—when he struck me, I inadvertently scrubbed the video filming in progress. (I sorrow for the thousands of YouTube hits that now never will be. ) Next time.

Here’s the surveillance cams’ video clips of the comings and goings to and from the historic crack house during the assault. It’s up to the left, off camera. The scrote haven of 335 Pleasant Avenue, disturbingly next to Joyce Barton and Douglas Barton’s garageless house at 333 Pleasant Avenue, is where the loon first parks his bike, passing my wife on her way home:

Herkimer Police Respond

Oh.  The Herkimer Police. Both my assailant and I raced to be the first to call the police, for, as Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi, himself a retired Herkimer police officer, counselled me on the night one of his officers threatened my wife with arrest at the behest of street’s then-reigning drug thugs, in Herkimer “You’ve got to be the first to call the police, Steve.”

I don’t take drugs, so I beat the meth tweaker on the dial-out, making me in the Herkimer right. All of Herkimer’s criminals and apparently its mayor know if you’re the first to call the cops, especially if you’re breaking the law, then you’re the victim. We saw this in the case of Herkimer’s Joyce and Douglas Barton and Officer Heist. Here’s Herkimer’s talented Golden Child Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, on YouTube, showing us how it’s done, the Herkimer way.

I had a typical leisurely conversation with Herkimer County 911 center, as they probed to find out if there was really a problem, and weighed a measured response. I convinced them in slightly less time than it takes to apply for Social Security that it was a physical assault. Don’t how I’d have convinced them if he’d been throttling me.

Herkimer Police Sergeant Scholl Arrives

Herkimer Police Sergeant John Scholl rolled in fairly quickly. (911 did take my locally infamous name.) Sergeant Scholl told my attacker–whose female caregiver helped explain it to him–that public photography is legal. Yes, even in Herkimer NY, my child.

We were all invited down to the Herkimer Police Station to file complaints; in Herkimer, ever a fool’s errand, as thousands continue to see from our posting and vidoes of Herkimer’s Curtis Cool and Herkimer Police Officer Crippin.

REELECTION of Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter ensures herkimer stays an unsafe pirate haven

If you don’t take criminal complaints, there’s no reported crime. Keeps the stats reported to the FBI low. Don’t laugh–it just got the local district attorney reelected: reported crime on his watch fell statistically, even as his depraved indifference to public safety further emboldened criminals, police misfeasance and undoubtedly increased crime.

District Attorney Jeffrey Carpenter has helped establish Herkimer as a notorious pirate haven. #HerkimerParadise His opponent, our former DA and greatly respected retired judge, Bill Daley, meticulously pointed this out to Herkimer County voters: Facts, figures, legal sleights of hand. Judge Daley lost. It wasn’t even close. In Herkimer you can apparently fool enough of the people all of the time. But then, it’s Herkimer. 

We’ve tried to file harassment complaints with the Herkimer Police on three occasions, twice with ample video documentation. The only result was our gifting the Herkimer Police and their families with free high capacity thumb drives. In fairness, most of the officers try to do their jobs despite an obvious failure of governance. But then several Herkimer police officers have tried to intimidate us under the color of law, responding to bogus complaints lodged by Herkimer’s more monied drug and child traffickers. And so The Herkimer Post was born. 

herkimer’s old goats against the current

We’ll keep blogging on about matters of public concern, beating upstream, old goats against the current. We believe the sunlight the Herkimer Post helps shines on Herkimer has helped bring authentic law enforcement to our pastoral village, spotlighting Herkimer’s crime and failed governance. It’s also sent our blog and YouTube stats soaring. Sure beats the heck out of just sitting around growing squash. Though this most recent ugly incident we’ve beamed to the world  from Bulgaria did remind us that we need to beef up our surveillance suite.

Been watching the drones?  Pretty. They grace our skies and aren’t confined to just the night or the Herkimer Meth Bridge area. And Herkimer certainly earned them.The only change we foresee for them under Trump is the addition of weaponized police drones.

I heard a kid on the street say to his mom, “I want a drone.” Me, too.

Magnus frater spectat te.  (“Big brother is watching you.”) Everything always sounds better in Latin.) 

“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.” “The most important political office is that of the private citizen.” Justice Louis D. Brandeis

 

 

 

Herkimer’s Historic Crack House Keeper

by Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer New York now proudly numbers among its historic gems a reputed former crack house, complete with a crack house keeper.

Fomer Herkimer crack house at 318 Pleasant Avenue. It has a crack house keeper
Reputed former crack house at 318 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer, NY, empty now except for its caretaker.

318’s a big dilapidated multifamily house, sold this past June and   emptied of all, or so we thought–until the crack house keeper emerged during one of our recent morning walks and belligerently tumbled into our camera lens. One of his roles is apparently to serve as a still-living example to visitors and passersby of the destruction caused by drug addiction. (Apologies for the video quality–I was holding an 84 lb Chow with my free hand. Bear’s always juiced by the scents around 318. It’s her favorite sniffing spot in the ‘hood since suddenly-vanished Douglas Barton’s garage at 333 Pleasant Avenue burned down.)

The crack house keeper abuses one of us with “Dance for me granny!” He seems to be accusing us of photographing “us.”(?)  (We weren’t photographing that morning, but were delighted to do so. Our cameras are always thirsty.)

The keeper’s speech is rambling and sometimes slurred, his cognition and critical thinking skills seemingly impaired. He’s either a drug addict or superbly playing the role. With our next door neighbor Curtis Cool gone, Herkimer’s street harassment’s fallen to him.

Herkimer’s Crack House Keeper Brags of his Criminal history

The lad brags of his criminal history and having foiled the law. He appeared to blame us for the long overdue scrutiny Herkimer is receiving from federal and state counter-narcotics authorities and their surveillance drones. And for our having a video-centric, crime-focused Herkimer website. At first he says he doesn’t believe in drones. Then says you can buy them at Walmart. (Yeah, but not the type watching over Sparky here and his chums.) The source of whatever pathetic money he may have once made hustling drugs from Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue has been snuffed out by ongoing state and federal law enforcement operations. (He does shares my perception of the efficacy of the Herkimer Police. )

crack house keeper’s camera-shy Woman

Not shown in the clip is a stocky gray-hooded figure, who carefully kept off camera–she’s one of neighboring Melodie Schulze’s associates. She may have stiffened the lad’s desire to harass us. Melodie Schulze herself, strangely absent from the street she usually haunts, was our first Pleasant Avenue neighbor to greet us after we moved to Herkimer.

We wish 318 Pleasant Avenue better times under it’s new owner, whose name we’re unearthing. Under all that grime is a capacious 19th century house that could again serve as a home for Herkimer’s hardworking, law-abiding families.

Looking up

A few hours after we parted from the crack house keeper, I heard helicopters. Lots. Looking up, I saw 5 identical gray helicopters in close formation passing over Herkimer Village, headed quickly north. If you’re unfortunate enough not to live in our pastoral village, all that’s north of us are a few smaller villages and then the Great North Woods of the Southern Adirondacks. Some of our more prosperous local criminals relax at their “camps” up there: nice rural acreage with one or more permanent structures. (A camp with a babbling brook is preferred.)

Hard to believe, but none of the helicopters looked like this:

walmart-helicopter

“Some people have no chance.”

As for Herkimer’s crack house keeper, he reminds me a bit of Nick, after he’d become a drug addict, in and out of jail. One of my high school behavior students, Nick was a gifted artist and a fine poet from a horrific home who bested all of tony Sarasota’s entitled older teens to take first prize in the county’s annual poetry contest. Nick died of a fentanyl overdose a few years ago. He was 24.  As my old friend Crazy the Spy once said in a very different context, “Some people have no chance.”

Herkimer Police & The Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

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.”  

by Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan

“I’ve got a strong law enforcement community which is actively conducting … investigations.” Herkimer County District Attorney Jeffrey  S. Carpenter (9/8/16)  Herkimer Police wouldn’t take criminal harassment complaint.

Linda Kaidan making the Nanny Nanny Boo Boo gesture

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 lawHere’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.

Harassed? Take your evidence to the State Police. They know the difference between an Or clause and an And clause. If Herkimer District Attorney Carpenter refuses to prosecute, he’ll have to make his excuses to the State of New York, not to the easily cowed Village of Herkimer. Here’s a very good explanation of New York’s harassment laws.

Herkimer Aggravated Harassment Incident of 8/23/16

Curtis Cool Herkimer drug and child trafficker
Curtis Cool. Cop-coddled Herkimer drug thug and child trafficker

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.

Jason Crippin Herkimer Police
Criminal-coddling Officer Jason Crippin, Herkimer Police. Twice we’ve seen him protecting monied criminals.

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

Herkimer village trustees
The 3 Wise Monkeys of Herkimer

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.

“A matter of public safety”

Herkimer’s good cops seem to leave if they can, the few bad ones content to stay, cozied up to criminals and even sometimes running interference for them. Crime goes unreported and soars, with entire streets abandoned to drug traffickers. Herkimer’s reputation as a lawless jurisdiction attracts more drug and child traffickers. It becomes an even more dangerous place to live. There’s a strong smell of rotten fish in the air.

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.”

[Narrative of incident of 8/23/16 submitted to Herkimer Police is below. Times stated refer to the full videos submitted to the Herkimer Police. Here’s the concrete block Cool was hefting off-camera.] And here’s the unedited clip given the Herkimer Police.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rights of Bloggers As Journalists – Barton v. Berry & Kaidan

by Stephen Ames Berry

Bill of Rights enaces Herkimer NY drug dealers and child traffickers
The US Bill of Rights, no matter how menacing for criminals and some cops, applies even in Herkimer NY

What are the rights of bloggers as journalists? Case in point: our neighbor Curtis Cool’s (aka Curtis Dolan) female caretaker mentioned the captioned lawsuit the other day during an exchange of pleasantries. (Curtis rents 328 Pleasant Avenue from Harriett Tangorra, Herkimer Supreme Court clerk of court, upon whom he apparently relies for legal advice.)

There is yet no lawsuit. We await.

We received a letter about a month ago from Herkimer attorney Todd D. Bennett, written for 333 Pleasant Avenue’s Douglas and Joyce Barton. The Bartons allege that they’ve “suffered damages to their reputation (sic) as a result of your publication.” (“What reputation?” asked my wife. “As drug dealers?” “Harassment? Arson? Menacing?” I suggested. “But surely our posts would only enhance those reputations?”) The Bartons demand we take down all Herkimer Post articles regarding them. It bewails the worldwide notoriety our postings have brought them. (And obviously  Herkimer itself, which has long failed to protect the Barton’s neighbors from them. Some Herkimer police officers have seemingly acted in league with the Bartons to intimidate us.)

The letter further alleges that our articles “have exposed the Bartons and their family members to contempt and ridicule.” If true, the Bartons have only to look in a mirror see the source of that contempt and ridicule. Attorney Bennett states that “according to my clients, your published statements are false and constitute defamation per se.”  Mr. Bennett does not offer his own opinion as to whether or not such statements would constitute defamation; that would have required reading the posts.

The Final Threat: Copyright Infringement?

Lastly, Attorney Bennett states that his law firm does not “attempt to restrict freedom of speech…”, then in his letter’s last sentence attempts to restrict our freedom of speech by vaguely threatening “that the publication of this legal correspondence…is unauthorized and may subject you to further causes of action.”

There is no law protecting legal correspondence per se from publication. That would be an infringement of the 1st Amendment. What Mr. Bennett may be implying is that his letter to us is protected from publication as a copyrighted work. This is often the parting shot in Cease and Desist letters, meant to further intimidate recipients into silence.

We’ve posted Attorney Bennett’s letter on The Herkimer Post because:

  • It’s only possible to understand our letter in response to his  by seeing Attorney Bennett wrote; we believe its publication clearly falls under the protection of the Fair Use statute;
  • We think his letter a fine example of a typical meritless threat often used by attorneys to attempt to silence their clients’ critics;
  • We don’t believe the copyright laws prevent us from posting Attorney Bennett’s letter: It’s not register with Copyright Office. Until it is, Attorney Bennett cannot sue to enforce a copyright claim.  (17 U.S.C. § 411(a) His law firm could still register the work and then sue for infringement, but even if it could get past the fair use defense, his damages would be limited by his failure to register his letter with the Copyright Office before the alleged infringement.

    Posting Attorney Todd Bennett’s Cease and Desist letter is a clear example of Fair Use. Attorneys should not be able to make threats and then hide from criticism behind the Copyright Act. Copyright laws are intended to protect writers, not be perverted into a tool of intimidation meant to squelch freedom of  speech.

Mr. Bennett’s letter on behalf of the Bartons and our letter in response are posted at the end of this article.

SLAPP Suits and Freedom of Speech

Attorney Bennett’s letter was a typical SLAPP suit threat letter. A strategic lawsuit against public participation is a lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. SLAPP suits are illegal in many jurisdictions as they impede freedom of speech and as such are a violation of the First Amendment.

We are grateful to Herkimer’s Joyce Barton and  Douglas Barton for their SLAPP suit threat. It inspired us to find fresh case law that grants us, as bloggers writing on matters of public concern, the same protections as that accorded traditional journalists, including the protection of New York’s awesome shield law for journalists. Under the shield law, as de facto journalists, we cannot be compelled to reveal our sources. We can and will cite as anonymous and protected, tips and information that come our way and are used in our posts. (Feel free to write us anonymously at herkimerpost@gmail.com.)

A Double Burden of Proof of Libel and Slander by Bloggers as Journalists Now Lies with the Plaintiff

Those itching to hit bloggers with SLAPP suits must now meet a huge burden of proof:

In 2014, in Obsidian Finance Group LLC and Kevin Padrick vs. Crystal Cox, 12-3523, the 9th Circuit Court ruled unanimously for the Cox, who appeared Pro Se: “We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages,” wrote Judge Horowitz.Bloggers gets same speech protections as traditional press: U.S. court,” headlined Reuters.

Joyce  Barton, Douglas Barton or anyone else shrieking slander, would have to not only prove our posts were false, they would also have to prove that we had actual knowledge that a post was false when we published it, noted UCLA School of Law professor Eugene Volokh commenting on the Obsidian ruling in the Reuter’s article. This is a tall hurdle. 

And the same ruling noted that as bloggers on matters of public concern, such as crime, we’re free to express our opinions as to what our posts may imply. Did former East Herkimer Deputy Fire Chief Douglas Barton burn down his own garage? Our forensic video analysis of key moments of the fire would seem to imply that. If so, why? In our opinion, it was triggered by last winter’s huge state and federal crackdown on Herkimer narcotics trafficking, notably meth amphetamine production and distribution. As word of arrests near and far spread, panicked Herkimer meth cookers would have rushed to destroyed and remove evidence, such as garages, sheds and woodland sites. (Apparently even a meth cookery under 24/7 video surveillance. )

Were the Bartons involved in drug trafficking along Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue? Our video posts seem to strongly imply that. (Just Google Joyce Barton Hekimer.) Did Joyce Barton egg on some thug and some of her family members to harass our pregnant daughter as she walked on a public sidewalk, then revel in their depraved antics? If you don’t think this video post shows that, I’ve a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Possible New Source of Legal Advice for the Bartons: Harriett Tangorra?

As noted at the start, the Barton’s friend and neighbor Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan) has cited his landlord, Harriett Tangorra, as the source of his advice on the illegality of our surveillance cameras. Mrs. Tangorra is the Senior Court Clerk of the Herkimer Supreme Court. Maybe Joyce Barton should give her a call for legal advice?

Here’s Curtis on June 11th, quoting Harriett Tangorra to the police in yet another failed attempt to have us arrested for being on a public sidewalk, and for monitoring his yard for dangerous late night fires:

The Herkimer police were unmoved. Video surveillance continued, and more illegal fires were recorded, reported and responded to. This week Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, escalated to almost hysterical threats of bodily harm against my wife and I following a fire department and a police visit the previous night–visits in which as usual no Herkimer police or fire official cited him.

Why Curtis Cool’s overreaction and such fear of surveillance cameras? Reviewing our data and observations with new eyes, we think Curtis may have feared exposure of deeds far darker than fire. Stay tuned.

Update – 11/11/16. Shortly after this post was published, Curtis Cool, aka Curtis Dolan, cut and ran, abruptly moving to an undisclosed location. Curtis may have thought our hints of dark deed’s were related to our observations of his interactions with small children.  If so, he was right. 

Bartons’ SLAPP suit letter and Herkimer Post’s response

Stephen Ames Berry and Linda Kaidan live in Pleasant Avenue’s landmark Camera House.

 

Our Life on Herkimer’s Pleasant Avenue

by Linda Kaidan

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 March of 2014, we bought 330 Pleasant Avenue from Harriett Tangorra, Senior Clerk of the Herkimer County Supreme Court, for $32,000 in cash. She never mentioned the level of danger present on this street. (We were  told it could be noisy in the summer.) However, when we were harassed and assaulted by her tenant Curtis Cool (aka Curtis Dolan), who lives right next door at 328 Pleasant Ave., she was indifferent to our plight, recommending that we purchase the property if we wish to control who lives there.

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.

330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer Vandalism of 4/15/16
330 Pleasant Avenue Herkimer Vandalism of 4/5/16

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.

Another Bad Day for Herkimer’s Douglas Barton

by Stephen Ames Berry

Sad Sack Doll
Sad Sack Rag Doll

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:

April 30th was another bad day for Douglas Barton of the East Herkimer Fire Department. Earlier this year Barton lost his garage in a sudden blaze at 333 Pleasant Avenue, a rental he shares with the lovely Joyce Bartonanother bad day for Herkimer's Douglas Barton. Then came the Herkimer Post’s publication of a forensic video analysis of key moments of Deputy Fire Chief Barton’s fire. In it we asked what Chief Barton knew and when he knew it. (No answer yet.) We forwarded that link to New York State authorities.  Barton was returned to the ranks of his volunteer fire company. (Perhaps for a hoot they sometimes let him blow the air horn.)

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.

Dead Birds Don’t Cry

by Linda Kaidan

Fireworks Cause Bird Deaths and Blazes
Fireworks can cause bird deaths and harm many animals

Fireworks Cause Bird Deaths and Blazes

Several days ago we mourned the loss of a small bird that may have nested in one of Curtis Cool’s trees. Yesterday we found the feathered remains of a downy baby bird and its mom. Yet again last night Curtis Cool (A/K/A Curtis Dolan) and his cronies enjoyed another loud and highly explosive fireworks display about 4 feet away from the house he rents from Harriet Tangorra at 328 Pleasant Ave.

Herkimer police and fire officials seem unable to convince Mr. Cool to cease his noisy, dangerous and illegal, fire-obsessed activities, ongoing now for 2 months. Perhaps they don’t really want to? We have shared our videos that stream automatically offsite with you, the public and with Herkimer Mayor Anthony Brindisi and Fire Chief John Spanfelner. They’ve left Herkimer’s population at risk by doing nothing to stop Mr. Cool from his illegally loud and incendiary backyard actions.

In his first 1:00 AM backyard bonfire, Mr. Cool was assured by a policeman that such fires were OK and nearly patted on the back to alleviate the annoyance of their visit. Last night when we called police, all they did was drive down the street past his house. WOW!

Why is it that both Herkimer Police and Herkimer Fire Department think it’s such a good idea to let Mr. Cool play with fire and break NY State law regarding maximum decibel levels and fire laws? They are teaching adults and children alike some bad lessons.

  • Molesting animals with horrible noise – Not a Problem!
  • Breaking the law (county, state and Federal)– Not a problem!
  • Endangering neighbors’ lives and homes – Not a problem!

Dear Herkimer Police and Fire Department, it’s your responsibility to uphold the laws of our country and community. It’s your responsibility not to embolden those who break them. Mr. Cool is loudly proclaiming that he can do whatever he pleases and you are letting him get away with it. This is a problem!

Fireworks cause blazes, human injuries and fatalities

According to Smithsonian magazine fireworks can badly disorient birds. Loud noises caused by fireworks upset dogs and other pets and can cause extreme anxiety. The US Government Consumer Safety Commission reports

  • Fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,500 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during calendar year 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 7,700–13,300).
  • An estimated 7,000 fireworks-related injuries (or 67 percent of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2014) were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments during the 1-month special study period between June 20, 2014 and July 20, 2014 (95 percent confidence interval 4,900–9,200).
  • Four victims died in house fires caused by fireworks, including several where the person(s) killed may not have been using fireworks. Seven victims died from direct impacts of fireworks. Reporting of fireworks-related deaths for 2014 is not complete, and the number of deaths in 2014 should be considered a minimum.