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!