Thursday, December 24, 2009

Delivery Stick Ups

Troy and other areas are becoming hot spots for Deliverymen becoming victims of Crime. Usually they only end up losing all of the money that they have collected for the food delivered and/or the food that they are currently delivering, but someday one of them is going to lose their life! In times past more frequently you would hear of Cab Drivers being robbed,and we have had some murders involved in this, and to solve that problem bullet proof shields were installed in the cabs separating the Driver from the Passengers,and Passengers were to only ride in the back, but unfortunately, some drivers still allow pick-ups to ride in the front and are robbed.

Now deliveryman are a different victim, they have no way of protecting themselves from these creeps. These are innocent people trying to make a living and these creeps robbing them are the scum of the earth with no morals or values. A lot of my readers of this BLOG know me, and I have to apologize for some of the words I use to describe people or actions, but being in volunteer Community service as long as I have, I have learned these words are the only way to describe these Hoodlums.

How are the businesses, mainly Pizza and Chinese Food establishments to protect themselves? I have thought long and hard about this. Perhaps the Businesses could have a registry of their regular delivery customers. If you are someone new who would like to use their services and has not ever had delivery to your home, you could go to this business and tell them you would like to be able to partake of delivery and register your address and show your Drivers License number to be recorded to prove you actually live there and are legitimate. Then Drivers will only go to these safe locations. Food delivery brings more income to these businesses as many people are not able to go pick it up. It has nothing to do with being lazy, some people just don't have cars, some are elderly Folks who won't drive at night, due to vision problems or just being afraid to go out at night.Others may be a Parent home by themselves while the Spouse is working and just can't pack all the kids in the car for a pickup and can't leave the kids alone at home, so it is a great convenience.

What else could you do besides send a Cop out posing as a Deliveryman of which we don't have the available Police personnel to do this or positioning a undercover unit occasionally at a unknown request for delivery that seems questionable, perhaps the street crime unit. It is an easy crime for these thugs to pull off and I welcome comments, views and suggestions on solving this problem.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Action Jackson!

Wow, so “Action Jackson” is coming to the RECORD! I think this is a great move for this Kid’s career. How many out there have caught his segment on Capital News 9 on the weekends? I do occasionally and think he is a mixture of talent, knowledge and hilarity! He really is funny on top of knowing his movies. We are usually accustomed to some older funky boring type person giving his reviews of movies and now along comes ‘Action Jackson”!

I am not sure of his age, he appears to be somewhere between 10-12. He is a short, cute kid with freckles, a nice looking and very well spoken. BUT inside the ‘kid’ body is somewhat of an ‘old man’ lurking in there. Have you ever heard someone describe their child as 10 going on 50? Well this is “Jackson”. He speaks as though he were 40 years old, went to the School of Hands for sure and has all of the facial movements and actions of any well seasoned TV Commenter. He really is a riot. I was very sorry I missed his show for the Halloween weekend. I caught the advertisement for it but was busy during the day and never did get to see it, but he sure had a cool get up on for the advertisement of the segment.

Sometimes you laugh watching his antics and sometimes he acts so old you want to “grab him and stuff him back into his KID body” but he is so enjoyable you are just stuck watching him and can’t turn away, his reviews are right on also, not just his opinion.

Well I want to wish him all the luck in the world with his young career. I can remember being his age and having all the ideas going through my head of what I wanted to ‘do’ or ‘be’, something we don’t see many of the kids doing today, they are just coasting, but he is acting on his ideas. Hurray for his Parents for encouraging him and not holding him back, or telling him he is ‘too young’ or wait until you are older. Let him to continue to run with this and all those other ideas floating around in his head, I think he should also branch out into TV advertisement he certainly has talent and a way of making people pay attention to him.

I don’t know if just having a Review column in the RECORD is going to be as interesting as watching his “act” on TV, but maybe, just maybe the RECORD may want to tie in a video segment of his reviews on their ‘online’ edition, I am sure there will be a lot of advertisers wanting their product info tied to his video segment. IF you have never caught his review, make an effort to do so. You will be mesmerized watching him and come away laughing.

Let me know what your opinion of ACTION JACKSON is, I am sure I will enjoy reading those, and also maybe ‘Action’ will too and get a feel for what the public thinks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Troubled Sixth Avenue

We all have been aware of the summer problems in Troy and even more aware of the problems that have plagued 6th Avenue on the Boulevard between 101st and 102nd Sts. It has been a real replay of the Hatfield and the McCoy’s for quite a while now.

The problem had been largely ignored by the Police Dept. per complaints at the Neighborhood Assn. meeting until the situation boiled over a few weeks back and 8 arrests were made out of one big brawl. NOT amazing was only one arrest was a person who actually lived on the block. Much of the crisis was coming from outside interference, but not all.

To try and rectify the problem, Nina Glandz, (co-chair Friends of the combined North Lansingburgh and South Lansingburgh Neighborhood Assn.) took it upon herself to hold 2 separate meetings with the group. The first was held with the Parents only at the North Central Community Police Station. Most of the parents on the block attended as well as Chief Kaiser, the Street Crime Unit (Officers Adam Mason, Chad Klein and Marty Furciniti), Chuck McDonald (the Community Officer for that district) and Dominick Comitale. Also in attendance was Councilman Mark McGrath, Pastor Willie Bacote, Jeff Pirro and myself.

The parents sat in a circle and one by one in rotation; they spoke of their problems as a group and individual either with each other or the situation. A lot of frustration was aired and problems alleviated and hopefully friendships that did not exist before extended. Plans were made to meet with each other and discuss how they were doing on each others porches and a BBQ get together. All left feeling much better.

A week or so after that, Nina held a meeting with the children and Teenagers at Pastor Willie’s Church at 101st & 6th, who was in attendance there but no one from the Police Dept., and she spoke and they conversed about their behavior that led to the problems and what they do that so irritates others that live on the block. The lights seemed to go off in the heads of those gathered. All left this meeting feeling better about themselves and each other also. Lately it has been a Model block with no need to call the Police.

THIS is Community, THIS is how problems should be solved before they blow up into something bigger than could be imagined and the Police need to intervene.

OK, just so WHO is Nina Glandz? Besides being the Co-chair of the Neighborhood Assn. she is a resident who lives on Florence Place. You can see her regularly, out sweeping and cleaning and picking up the street. Originally she came as a Guest to my Bed and Breakfast when her daughter was coming to this area to go to college. She fell in love with Troy and came to live, first renting an apt. and then later purchasing the home on Florence Place. Within the first 6 months of moving to Florence Place some very unusual things happened including a murder right behind her house in the alley, things that just aren’t acceptable mostly based in the problems of Absentee Landlords.

Nina at that point decided to jump in head first to improving the Community and the quality of life issues in her area and has been working her butt off since. If we all could put just half of this effort into our neighborhood blocks and areas, my God what a transformation in Troy we would see.

Let’s give an A+ to Nina and a huge THANK YOU, to the energy she put into solving a problem and making a problem block as trouble-free as possible.

Let her know how you feel, because THAT’S THE WAY WE ARE!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Has No Lesson Been Learned?

With the recent tragedy of a 5 year old who lost his life while crossing a busy street that has been very well written about, I have to wonder if any lesson has been learned?

2 days ago I observed a Mom sitting on her porch while her ‘about’ 2 year old rode her little “Big Wheel’ in the middle of Glen Ave. Glen Ave is not a high volume street but does get plenty of traffic. It is also a one-way street which has PLENTY of people who do not take notice of the fact it is, and zoom down the street the wrong way. If they don’t notice that sign, will they n notice a little girl in the middle of the street on her toy? This also shows the lack of responsibility of the Parent to teach the education of the respect of the street to the child? How is the child to know this street or ANY street can be dangerous, when she is allowed to do this?

This morning I observe 2 kids on a bike riding down the middle of Sixth Ave. a very busy street. One was standing on the protrusions of the back wheel while the other was steering with one hand while talking on his CELL PHONE with the other!! Geez…….I want to go CRAZY!!

Other problems are the parents putting the Pools out on the sidewalks and tons of kids playing on them and running around, another tragedy waiting to happen. The BBQ’s out on the sidewalk with hordes of people eating, dancing, music blasting and kids running around unsupervised. These homes ALL have backyards, big ones in this area; a child in a backyard is less likely to become a victim as our last little boy than one on the street.

We need to have common sense and if we don’t the blame is all our own. Our Police force on patrol should stop and tell the irresponsible people to take it to a safe place. Backyards and parks are there for these purposes.

Let’s hear from those who would like to add or comment on our problems.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Very very sad

Such a tragedy that has occurred in South Troy this week. Nothing can be worse than losing a child, for the whole family, extended family, neighbors and friends.

Children are innocent and very unaware of dangers about them. There is no blaming anyone in this situation, Officer John Wright, I am sure is in a very sad emotional state. I can speak on both sides of this issue. In my early twenties I was in So. Lansing burgh, coasting to a light at 102nd St. when a child playing tag with many other children in front of Mt. Moriah Lodge ran out from the sidewalk and right into the side of my car. I had no idea of what had happened, just that I heard a loud bang on the side of my car. There was a Wedding going on inside the facility, all the Parents were inside and the children outside playing. This young man was 6 yrs. Old. I don’t believe he even knew what had happened as he was involved in his being chased by others. I was sick to my stomach with worry. A mob came out and surrounded me hurling accusations over something they hadn’t seen. I was alone. Upset emotionally and scared. Troy Police came, we all went up to the hospital with the child and thank God no injuries. I never forgot it.

Jump ahead 8 years, my Son was coming home on the bus from the Lansing burgh Boys and Girls club and departed from the bus and crossed in front, and a car decided to go ahead anyway from behind the bus and clipped Michael as he was crossing right into the path of a truck coming the other way. Michael was severely injured, he was 6 also. Later that night after he was transferred from Samaritan Hospital to St. Peters, I was taken aside by the Dr’s and told there was a very good chance he wasn’t going to make the night. They would do all they could to relieve the pressure and fluid on his brain, he had a huge clot on the side of his head filled with fluid and blood that made his head look 1-1/2 times the size it was. I went into the bathroom and threw up. I know both sides and the pain is horrible.

Day in and day out in North Central we complain about people not using the sidewalks, we put in new sidewalks and people still walk in the middle of the road, blocking cars trying to get by. Mothers push their little ones in the “umbrella strollers”, they don’t realize when walking across a intersection against the light, those little ones are 5 to 6 ft. out in front of them in flimsy little strollers. How is a driver to see them?

We had a little boy hit on 6th Ave. just south of 101st St. He ran out from between 2 cars, and I believe he was about 6 yrs. of age. They are too SMALL to see! Adults have to watch these poor little ones. This fellow was severely hurt too, and no one could locate his parents. My God the memories flooded back!

The family of our latest little victim are heartbroken, the Community is upset. Officer Wright is devastated. The Family is demanding ANSWERS. There are none. Just facts of what happened, never, ever to be changed. The poor little guy was in the street unsupervised, way too small to be seen. If he were seen Officer Wright would have stopped. No one can change this; all we can do is pray for the little one and all those involved. Pray that in the future also, these children will be kept in a safer place, and the Parents and other Guardians remember this tragedy and protect the rest of these precious little lives.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Community Police Officers

Some of us are familiar with Community Policing and others are not. Generally residents who reside in an urban setting are, though many are not. Perhaps they don’t have problems in their area that make them become familiar with this type of Policing or they are just not aware.

Community policing is a whole different breed of Officer. Community Officers are full fledged members of the Police force and have worked both sides of policing, but deal mostly with the Social problems in the Community. They focus on the little problems to prevent them from blossoming into larger problems thus, hopefully, saving a situation from becoming much more serious. What problems do they encounter you might ask? Well in Troy, Absentee Landlordism probably fills their slate during the day the most. Part of the problems that stem from this new breed of Entrepreneur are garbage issues, overcrowding of apartments, illegally breaking down on larger houses or apartments, code violations, noise and a variety of other issues that can make residents life miserable.

Anyone who attends their monthly Neighborhood Assn. meeting knows their Officer personally and seeks their help with the issues that are brought to the forefront at the meeting. Not only do you get to know your Officer first hand but we tend to “bond” so to speak with them, they become our ‘friends’ and not just a Cop. So where am I going with this? Well this week our Officer for the North Central area, Kevin Sessions, was injured while on Bike Patrol. He was biking on Fifth Avenue, when a women opened her car door into traffic and right into the path of Kevin. Yes, Kevin got whacked, he was injured pretty well, he was knocked off his bike and his arm and knee were quite damaged. He has a good injury on his upper arm and this could have been much more serious then it was. What if Kevin had been thrown into the path of the car following him? What if the other cars in the road hit their brakes and swerved to avoid him and then hit another car or pedestrian and most folks were injured? None of these things happened but poor Kevin is on the injury list. He is new to Community Policing and we feel badly this happened to him. We miss him.. So let us all let him know we are thinking of him. A card can be sent to him at 55 State St. Troy, NY, OR you can leave your ‘get well soon’ thoughts or comments here on the BLOG for him.. Let’s make him laugh and see the humorous side of this, because that is the way we are!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Neighborhood Associations

Throughout the city of Troy we have all different types of areas: residential, commercial, and mixed use. Each area has its own personality and its own problems.
Over the past 12 to 15 years community organizations that we refer to as “Neighborhood Associations” have popped up. With the advent of Community Policing, and organizations such as TRIP, there has been a lot of help starting concerned groups and working on their problems.

Our groups are composed of a wide selection of residents in the area. Some are young, some old, some lifetime residents, and some are dubbed “newbies”. Whether they are white, black, working, or non-working they all have the same mission: to improve their living environment. These groups meet in a variety of areas including Community Police Stations, Church meeting rooms, The Lansingburgh Boys & Girls Club, and wherever they can find an accessible and easy to find space.

What goes on at a meeting? Where do they meet? Well, if you are not aware of an association in your neighborhood you could either ask a neighbor if there is one, watch the community listings in your local paper, or call City Hall. The City of Troy website has a ton of information on what the city has to offer.

At a typical meeting new folks are introduced to each other, your area designated Community Police officer, your Council person, or perhaps Bob Mirch the Commissioner of DPW may also be there. Frequently our Mayor Harry Tutunjian is there and we always try to have a key speaker in relation to concerns for the area or perhaps a new project coming such as a business or improvements to the area. Great emphasis is given to “getting the word out” to our neighbors regarding important news they should know.

After speakers have their presentations there are a question and answer period and a problem solving session. We highlight the importance of staying connected to each other, knowing your neighbors and area, and reporting unusual occurrences.

Do you belong to a Neighborhood Association? If you don’t - why not? If you do - is it working for you? Do you have any suggestions or other area problem solving concerns that may need to be covered during the meetings? In what other way could a Neighborhood Association help you or your area? Would you want to start one in your area?

Let’s hear your opinions on how well or poor our Neighborhood Associations are doing. Opinions are valuable, everyone has one, and we want to hear yours. Why? Because that is the way it is!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Troy Police Awards Ceremony

Troy Police Awards Ceremony

Yesterday, the Troy Police Dept. held its annual awards ceremony at the Franklin Plaza in Troy. The Chiefs honored and praised a number of its fine Officers ranging from investigation to heroic acts while on duty. The Neigborhood Assns. and other Committees in the City work closely with the Police Dept. and many of these officers, some we know, some we don't. But there are many residents in our Community who do NOT know their Police force, some by name in the paper others only by face. I have always felt that the Community and Taxpayers should be included in this Award Ceremony, to witness, and offer our congratulations and to be able to SEE and meet those honored, who serve our neighborhoods. My question is: if there were a small fee charged to cover the cost of the meal at the venue where the ceremony is held, would you attend? Right now there is no avenue for the general public to attend because......THAT'S THE WAY IT IS!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Where has all the Respect gone?

We all know that living in a City can be hard, and particularly hard when the weather is warmer. But in the last few years we have noticed more and more that in general the Human Race has less respect for each other than I can ever remember. When I was a Child, we were taught to say "Please" and "Thank You" and to respect our elders, and so on, but nowadays, that has all gone out the window.

Issues we have living in the City are particularly rough. Kids, some Teens, many younger and a LOT older are just out of control. Sometimes their Parents are more out of control than the kids. For instance, I think there is a huge portion of the residents of the City of Troy, that don't know what a Sidewalk is, they walk right in the middle of the road and they don't get out of the way for anyone. If you happen to give a little beep to remind them you are trying to get through, they will either walk much slower or turn around and bang on your car. No Respect.

Also, no one seems to think that folks 'sleep' anymore. They are hanging around outside your house, sitting on your steps and under your windows making all kinds of noise to all hours of the night.Sometimes drinking their Beverages out of their Brown paper bags Notice I said hanging outside YOUR house, what is wrong with THEIRS?? Obviously they aren't aware of the fact you need your sleep as you have to get up in the morning to work. Must be they don't do that.No Respect.

Ah, and now let's also go to the Convenience store and buy something, then eat it on the way home and throw the papers on YOUR property, sometime even when there is a waste receptacle right close by, such as at the Bus stop, just throw it on the ground, I guess that is easier.Or smashing their bottles on the Sidewalks or into the street so folks can get a flat tire. No respect.

This is my first BLOG..Let me hear from you with your thoughts on where all the respect has gone and what you think we should do with these people, and experiences YOU have had with NO RESPECT! Let's let them know what WE think..........................why? ..Because THAT'S THE WAY IT IS!!!

Welcome to THAT’S THE WAY IT IS!

My name is Tina Urzan. I was born and raised in beautiful Troy, NY and will be contributing to the RECORD’s Blog section of the online News. We live in a City flowing with past History, Wealth and Architecture and have a beautiful future ahead of us. One of the greatest Treasures Troy has, is its people. We are a melting pot all on our own and I am hoping to hear from everyone. Groups here in Troy share the passion to bring back and keep the great Town we once had. We are happy, we are sad and we can get angry! A person with a voice is one who cares and I want to hear your responses!

We will be chatting about Local, State and National issues. Discussing what is happening on your block. What problems you are having, how to solve them. Who is good for Troy, who is standing in our way, raise some rabble if we need to and praise the people and their deeds on our road here. In other words I want to hear everyone’s 2 Cents worth and more………….because THAT’S THE WAY IT IS!!