ON THE QT
Everything You Always Suspected
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Publisher and Editor
to On The QT #7. Go to Heaven. Where unsung neighborhood heroes
relocate. Like Lee Polk. In the mid 90's, Lee rented an apartment
in Jersey City. In a nabe where some buildings were lovingly
maintained. Others were slums. Some were drug warrens. And there
were chop shops, uncollected garbage, graffiti splattered walls
and pounding boom cars. Lee was a single black man struggling to
get a career going. He could have moved. Instead he started a
neighborhood association. But before continuing let's
clarify On The QT's
Not many would choose to live in a "low trust society".
that's what statistics show we're becoming. Non partisan
REFORM is needed. Corruption can't be excused just because it
occurs on "the right side". QT hopes to clarify the need for
change. But back to Lee Polk and his
BATTLES, BIG & SMALL.
Such as starting a neighborhood association. Years of empty
promises made residents cynical. Drug dealers threatened.
Some people spoke warningly of an already existent neighborhood
association. One that never seemed to meet. But the new district
police captain was supportive-- as were nearby neighbors. And
Lee conveyed tremendous confidence that people could change
their environment. An effective neighborhood association took
shape. Lee also fought the battle of
It really bothered Lee when other tenants put garbage in the
hall. He tried explaining what was wrong with a hall swarming
with flies. Lee boycotted bodegas that sold drug paraphernalia.
And when thugs parked their thundering boom cars beneath his
windows and wouldn't lower the volume, he'd counter with John
Philip Sousa. At equal volume. Lee had style and a sense of
humor. He was also
proud and very
Lee had serious health problems. He told no one he was sick. He
died alone in his apartment. After his death the neighborhood
association floundered. It hadn't been established long enough
to take root. And perhaps too many relied on Lee to do it.
you gave an anti-violence march and nobody came? Which is what
happened in Albany, New York on July 1st. After several weeks of
what some say are drug related shootings. After years of growing
GANG INVOLVEMENT in Albany's drug trade. But only a dozen or so
people turned out for the latest march. Could be no one cared.
Or they were afraid. Or the event was poorly publicized. Or
maybe people are losing faith in
Whenever a string of murders occur in Albany a public meeting
or demonstration is held, the need for healing is invoked and
someone says "The police can't do it all. We have to take back
our neighborhoods." True enough. But it might also help if more
DRUG BUILDINGS were closed by the Jennings administration. Using
laws already on the books. Drug dealers heading for upstate New
York cities aren't doing so aimlessly. Criminal networks await
them. Along with friendly buildings. Like the boarded up kind
all too often used as drug distribution centers. And the
unboarded ones where ground floor windows serve as Quik Stops
for druggies. Drug buildings-- as well as the plain neglected
kind-- are part
of why people
RUN FOR THE SUBURBS!
As increasing amounts of minorities in the USA are doing.
White flight is becoming a rainbow coalition. One in four
suburbanites are now minority. As opposed to one in five in
1990. Minorities in the USA also perceive crime as a more
serious threat. When asked how safe they feel walking after
dark only 23% of blacks say "very". As opposed to 54% of
whites. People leaving inner cities fear the destructive
behavior of other residents. And their childrens' future in
crummy dangerous schools.
New York City is the central point of heroin entry and
distribution for the entire USA. In the 70's, New York City
was known as
Current NYC mentality is perfectly captured by the
curriculum of the New York Learning Annex. Institutions like
the Annex evolved from the free schools of the 60's. Which
offered classes in things like Zen, car repair and floor
stripping. Along with "Che As God". The 2001 Annex offers
talk-to-the-dead sessions-- plus get rich quick seminars. Like,
"Get Free Money From The Government" and "How to Find a Hot
Property In Harlem". Harlem. Hell's Kitchen. Deep Chinatown.
Real Estate speculators hope to go where few sharks have gone
before. Meanwhile in the borough of Queens
on Councilman Thomas Ognibene, the NYC Republican minority
Council Leader. Ognibene serves on the committee which oversees
the NYC building department. The building department has been
looking shady. No news there. But tapes have surfaced where
Ognibene seems to be quashing investigations and accepting
gratuities to grease wheels for best bud developers. And
in Jersey City, Construction code official Mike Regan,
who helped draft the New Jersey Rehabilitation Code of The
Code, has been linked to the Genovese
crime family (and
cocaine purchases) by witness testimony in the
racketeering trial of one Elvis Irazarry. Jersey City
HIT MAN ELVIS used to test his silencers behind JC's Dickinson
High School. New Jersey has no plans to lift Regan's license.
Zipping upstate to Schenectady County, the FBI seems to
public officials of having a Rotterdam good time in
with the same name. Adjusting each others'
Back in Jersey, newly elected Passaic Mayor Rivera (once a
police officer in Puerto Rico) got the judicial go ahead to
serve-- despite his prior conviction for covering up the murder
of a drug dealer when he was a cop in Puerto Rico. In nearby
Paterson the entire city government is under investigation. But
Patterson officials are preoccupied by the murder of a Hispanic
homeless man beaten to death by a group of black teenagers. Just
for fun. Derelicts have also been attacked in Albany, New York.
Downtown and near Washington Park. Have you noticed
SHRINKING PERIMETER SYNDROME?
When people say: My neighborhood is fine. Which then becomes:
This block has no problems. Eventually: My house and the ones
next door are ok. Finally: My stoop is totally safe-- Honest!
Not. Even if the USA rates 16th of 100 nations rated for
corruption (thanks Transparency International!) there are many
like Lee Polk who are moved by something better. Here's to you,
Lee. QT is sure your new neighborhood surpasses your most
A Special Summer Sci Fi & Horror issue! Featuring:
HUD's Historic Hovels: A Journey to the Center of Your
Paycheck/I Bury The Living: Shovel Ready Development Sites/Crime
Stats: The Fantastic Voyage/Nights of The Living Dead: Sidewalk
Drunks in Plastic Chairs. And now for some
Narco News, http://www.narconews.com
is a pro drug legalization site. Edited by Al Giordino. Even
if you disagree about legalization as a solution to the drug
crisis Narco News is a tremendous website. It features solid
reporting (albeit with an agenda) on international drug traffic
corruption. Al Giordino/Narco News now faces a libel lawsuit
being brought by the National Bank of Mexico (Banamex). In 1997
the general director of Banamex, Roberto Hernandez, was named by
a Mexican newspaper (Por Esto) as a major drug trafficker.
Bannamex sued Por Esto unsuccesfully in Mexico. The Bannamex
story was picked up and run with by Giordano/Narco News. On both
the website and in joint USA interviews by Giordano and Por Estos
editor Robert Menendez. Now Bannamex is b-a-a-ck. Doing what is
called "forum shopping" by suing Giordano and Menendez in New
York. Al Giordano does the Narco News website from South America.
But Bannamex claims Narco News's loose affiliation with a New
York media watchdog group called Media Channel legitimizes the
location of the lawsuit. Bannamex's bogus case will receive its
first hearing on July 20th in room 205 of the New York State
Supreme Court, Manhattan District. Be there! And/or check out
Narco News. The Narco News situation involves important internet
freedom of speech issues. And ominous moves to silence speech
across national borders.
OPEN SECRETS, http://www.opensecrets.org
is a great source for info about who gives what to whom in
political races. Run your zip code and you'll be surprised.
Thought you lived in a hot bed of liberalism? Think again. Your
neighbors gave it up for Dubya! Seriously folks, a great site
for research related to campaign finance reform. Clearly
organized and ultra user friendly.
KEEPING ILLEGAL ACTIVITY OUT OF RENTAL PROPERTY, http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/163602NCJRS.pdf
A document of the US Justice Department. One among many
interesting treatises. This particular one runs down the
straight poop on drug traffic in rental situations. Folks lining
up outside your building's basement windows? A strong smell of
ammonia emanating from 13C? Click and see what it means. A very
fair approach to crime problems caused by both tenants and
landlords. Excellent information and possible solutions.
Zan Hoffman, http://www.zids.net
For your pleasure (artistic, that is) a website to guide you
through the fantastic achievements of one Zan Hoffman. The
creator of roughly 700 music cassettes (in the process of being
converted to CD's & MP3's) Mr. Zan is a true original. His work
ranges from rich sound collage to singer songwriter oddities.
Also a creator of imaginative mail art. And an authority on
vintage cars and masculine attire. I could
"The minions of patroonery are at work"
Broadside from Anti-Rent War circa 1839
"Isms are Was-isms"
ON THE QT is online at
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