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ON THE QT

Everything You Always Suspected

Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
Publisher and Editor

WELCOME
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

MISSION.
Not many would choose to live in a "low trust society".
Yet 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

THE FLIES!
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

PRIVATE.
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.

WHAT IF
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

SYMBOLIC GESTURES.
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.

FUN FACT:
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

FUN CITY.
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

NIGHT FALLS
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 Uniform Construction
Code, has been linked to the Genovese crime family (and
cocaine purchases) by witness testimony in the federal
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
suspect public officials of having a Rotterdam good time in
the town with the same name. Adjusting each others'
tax assessments--

DOWNWARDS.
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!

FINIS?
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 idealistic imaginings.

COMING:
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

SHINING WEBSITES

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
go on...

"The minions of patroonery are at work"

Broadside from Anti-Rent War circa 1839

"Isms are Was-isms"

Abbie Hoffman

ON THE QT is online at http://mondoqt.com/ontheqt

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updated 7/8/2001