Friday, July 29, 2011
Picking Up Trash and Watching 4th Street
Post and second photo by the Hawthorne Hawkman. First photo contributed anonymously.
Earlier this week, two neighbors and I took time out of our day to pick up trash along 4th Street North from 26th Street down to 24th. We brought along 3 heavy-duty garbage bags usually reserved for Clean Sweep events. Two of the three bags started to rip from the collective weight of liquor bottles we picked up. This, unfortunately, is not an exaggeration. But a funny thing happens when you walk around picking up garbage. You have a convenient excuse to spend a fair amount of time watching a block and gathering details. Heck, some of the people hanging out on the streets just assume that if we're picking up garbage we must be with Sentence to Serve or some such agency. Since the only conceivable reason to pick up litter is getting caught breaking the law, then maybe, in the eyes of the thugs, we're all right.
In the top photo, we see a crowd gathered at 326 25th Ave N, which seems to bolster the claim by Michael Bell that people at that address are part of the problem too. That contributed photo, however, was not taken during the time of the garbage pick-up. I just like the juxtaposition of the squad car in the rearview mirror.
What we did see was a slew of problem properties, owned by some familiar faces - starting with...
...2520 4th St N. This one is complex enough to deserve its own blog post.
Then we have what could be a beautiful brick house, if it were properly maintained. 2518 4th St N is owned by Paul Bertelson. He'll be getting a call in the morning.
There was definite activity coordinated between people at 322 25th Ave N and a property across the street, 315 25th Ave N. 322 has been documented as owned by Michael Bell and Kausiliya Sarjoo, and their property management company is Hamline Property Management. (Full disclosure again, my landlord briefly used Hamline, but dropped them because he was unsatisfied with them as a management company.) As Mr. Bell pointed out in a comments section, city and county records indicate that my landlord is the owner of 315 25th Ave N. However, I have been told that the property was lost to foreclosure. That claim has not been verified, but if it's true then a mortgage company likely has no rental license and the occupants should face a swift eviction.
The last place where suspicious behavior was noted was at 2416 4th St N, owned by Wendy Sullivan of Wenrich Property & Development LLC. I keep on meaning to get around to these folks because Wenrich/Sullivan are also worthy of the Hawkman treatment. Alas, there are only so many hours in the day.
Finally, I've spent a few evenings watching activity on a neighbor's porch. Noteworthy events will appear on my Twitter feed under the category #4thStreetTweets. On Tuesday night we sat out and watched at least six squad cars respond to a congregation of thugs at 25th and 4th. Or maybe they weren't thugs at all; let's not be too hasty in our assumptions here. They could have been people who are really, REALLY concerned about...avian flu! Yes, that's it. Because even a block away, we could hear them expressing their concern for the police, explicitly warning them of something that sounded like "duck cough."