From Jan.12, 2008–Open Letter To Police Chief Keller

Posted on January 3, 2011


jan-12-2008-open-letter-police-chief-keller     // Edit

January 12, 2008
Police Chief Gerald Keller
The City of Kingston
i Garraghan Drive
Kingston, NY 12401
Dear Chief Keller:
???? Allow me to take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for a happy,
healthy and prosperous 2008.?? My good wishes were rather delayed because I could not
find at email address for you, and I did not want all the other department heads to get their
copies of this letter before you did!? The police station and city clerk didn’t know your e-dress–
and then I found it in my contacts list!
????? Nine days ago I had a rather strange conversation with one of our Kingston Police
Officers, a gentleman with badge number 163, who told me his name was “Booth, like
John Wilkes Booth.”? (I thought it was strange he chose to identify with an assasin rather
?than with William Booth who began the Salvation Army or Edwin Booth the actor or Claire
Booth Luce, or any of the dozens of other bearers of that distinguished name–but it was
about to get stranger.)
?????? Officer Booth asked me why if mattered to me that the Public Works Crew surrounding
my house had just piled snow in the driveway of diminutive Niki Henck, whose husband was
not home, and who was now effectively sealed in their house with the three year old son,
with no escape route in an emergency.? Officer Booth wanted to know why it mattered
to me that the crew had (for the dozenth time this winter) sealed shut the driveway
and sidewalk for Isabella Malone, who has myasthenia gravis and who goes into respiratory
arrest without warning, and needs to keep her home accessible at all times to emergency
vehicles.? Unfortuneately, Officer Booth never gave me a chance to answer him, which I
would like to do at this time.
?????? What happens to my neighbors matters to me because…they are my neighbors.
This is a neighborhood, possibly one of the most close knit in Kingston.? We may (and
do) fight amongst ourselves, but we have each other’s backs.?? Before Barry Henck left on
his trip, he and Jose Cruz shoveled me out.? (Knowing what the plows were about to do,
I had resolved not to shovel after the New Year’s Day storm until all the plowing was done
but Barry and Jose helped me, and now I damn well was not going to let them be victomized
by the plows while their wives and children were home alone.)
???? It matters to me that Isabella Malone is prevented from getting medical care because
I, myself can look forward to getting an electric wheelchair out over the snowbank, and if
I don’t fight now, who will fight for me then?
????? It matters to me because those high school kids walking in the street because they
can’t get over the snowbanks are the next decade’s aldermen and mayors and police
officers.? It matters to me because that kid that was just grazed by the speeding SUV
might have been Officer Booth’s son.
???? Yes, it even matters to me because tall, obese men are particularly at risk for strokes
and heart attacks, and within the next decade, Officer Booth may not be able to get over
the snowbank, either.??? Disability is marvelously democratic, it can strike anyone, anytime,
anywhere.? It ought to matter to Officer Booth, too.
???? Officer Booth was too busy bullying me to care much about anyone else right then.
I found it particularly unprofessional when he called me “crazy lady.”?? I know this is the
nick name given me by some of the unsupervised neighborhood children.? It is one thing
to be called a “crazy lady” by a twelve year old whose parents don’t love him enough
to teach him right from wrong.? It is quite another thing to be called a “crazy lady” by
a uniformed policeman in the line of duty.? In point of fact, I have received numerous
evaluations in the past 65 years, and they all agree that i am not crazy, which is too
darn bad, or I would qualify for disability and I wouldn’t have to work three jobs to pay
my taxes.
???? In point of fact, I believe one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
over and expecting different results.? I think that qualifies the entire Board of Public
Works to be as nuts as Jiffy peanut butter.? When my (dear friend) Jay Hogan was
head of the BPW, I wouldn’t let them seal shut my only access in case of emergency,
and 30 years later, every winter, they keep replowing and replowing, and I keep
yelling, hitting them with shovels and ice balls and epitaphs that slander their
mothers.?? This year they are also going to face legal action to place my property
tax in excrow, so that if I have to pay five times to have my sidewalk shoveled,
the city is going to pay the last four times.? In no other community do the snowplows
keep plowing and plowing five and six days after the snow ends.? If you think I’m
“crazy” you ought to have talked to some of the uptown merchants looking out at
sheets of icy slush sealing access to their stores while the parking lots of the
malls three miles away were clean and dry.? As near as I have been able to deter-
mine this replowing custom is peculiar to Kingston and it is not in line with accepted
and ordinary practices of snow removal.? Perhaps if Kingston’s revenue stream dries
?up, they will figure out how snow is removed in the sane world.? (I can’t resist
adding parenthetically that Kingston has not yet had a real snowstorm this winter.
If the BPW can’t handle five inches of snow without endangering the lives and
property of the taxpayers, what are they going to do when we get a repeat of the
3 foot snow of March 17, 198??)
????? One of the public works workers got out of his truck to tell me this was what
my taxes were paying for.? I repectfully differ.? I am not paying so that Jose Cruz’s
children are trapped at Sunday School because a plow replowed his van into the
driveway and it took him over an hour to get it loose.? I didn’t pay my taxes
so Lew Brooks could die on the way to a hospital because paramedics couldn’t get
him over the snowbank.? I don’t pay my taxes so I had to crawl over a block on all
fours dragging my dying SharPei on a blanket because we had been plowed out
of my home again.
???? And just in case it escaped you, I don’t pay my taxes so Officer Booth can call
me crazy.? I pay his salery, I am his boss, I deserve respect.? If he truly considered
me crazy, he needn’t have said so.? I didn’t call him a big fat bully–not to his face,
anyway. Assuming the rude, unprofessional klutz knows how to write, I would like
a written apology.? (See, anyone can call names and be disrespectful.)
???? Nor did his efforts end with me.? It was a very “smooth move” to tow Joe
Rogilieri’s car.? I am aware that the rules are the rules and apply to everyone,
but in this case I would have thought it might be the part of wisdom to check
and see WHY Joe was not responding to phone calls and knocks on his door.
This proud veteran or two wars and staunch union man just had triple bypass.
His dislocated disc is making walking so hard for him that he has to crawl
up and down the stairs on all fours.?? And he is about to have cataract surgery
to restore his vision.? I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to force a
legally blind man to drive to move his car particularly when he has to crawl
down three flights of stairs to get to it.? Fortunately, his pain meds were
working, and he didn’t hear the knock, or Officer Booth would have had the
opportunity to pick on someone his size.? As it was, Joe’s sons got on the
horn, and Perry’s brought the car back with an apology and a full tank of
gas, and it was back in the space from it was towed before Officer Booth
ended his shift.?? I hope he drove by and saw it.?? if that car was injured in
towing, I have video of the whole thing, because after the Bully in Blue
ordered me back in my house, I turned on the video camera and got the
whole darn thing and the tape is in the hands of Joe’s sons.
???? Well, at least one good thing came out of this–we finally got the cops
down to LeVan Street.? I wondered if they knew where it was.? When my
storm door was shot out in 2002, they came, they looked, they drove away,
nothing was done.? When two of my windows were broken, they never
came.? When three rear view mirrors were broken off one of my cars, they
never came.?? When my wipers were broken off the car in the city lot,
they never came.?? When my snow scraper and shovel were stolen out
of my car, they never came.?? When I videotaped the children vandalizing
my cars and home, I was told videotape is not allowable evidence and
nobody came.? When my dog was tortured with water blasters and I had
witnesses and photos, nobody came.? When Jose Cruz, who is a CO,
witnessed two boys jumping on the roof of my car and called to report it,
the cops came, the cops left, and nothing happened.?? This has become a
containment ward for drug dealing, violence, vandalism, theft, and worse.
While a 15 year old girl was bing raped and sodemized in a school
bathroom, Officer Booth had nothing to do for three hours but harass me?
This is not what my taxes are paying for.
????? The police have avoided this corner for 15 years that i know of, and
I suggest they continue this practice.? I have had two decades to observe
what is allowable behavior in District 1 of Ward 9.? I’ve had my windshield
broken by a shovel (by Joe Roglieri, by the way–not a good idea to get
him angry) my dog poisoned, KIKE BITCH written on my steps, my mailbox
filled with dog excrement–and this has all been acceptable behavior.? I
have learned well, as the BPW is learning.? Since the police have been so
tolerant of this conduct for twenty years, I suggest they continue that
benign neglect.? After all–think about it–in case of an emergency, do you
really want the responders to have to climb over a five foot snow bank to
get to my property????
????? Officer Booth said several times in a very threatening tone of voice,
“We KNOW where you live.”?? They sure do, my name is right there on
the mailbox full of poop.? I’m here, and I am going to stay here for the
rest of my life, and when I leave here in a box, I don’t want to have
to be forklifted over a snowbank.?? My tax dollars buy me something
called a guarentee of peaceful enjoyment of the premises, and that
includes being able to get in and out of my house.? My neighbors have
the same right, and so do all the residents of Kingston.?
????? Hey, Chief Keller–your mom lives in the Fightin’ Ninth.? If she were ill
would you want the ambulence to be able to get to her?
Lei Isaacs

Thus far, there has been no reply to this letter–unless you count what was done to my sidewalk Valentine’s Day as a reply.

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