Thursday, December 20, 2007

Guns: Busy on Stamford's West Side

If it weren’t for the newspapers, I wouldn’t know a darn thing that goes on in this town. I know I should be out talking to strangers and finding news on my own, but it’s cold, and sometimes strangers don’t know much. I made a new friend at Towne Fair Tire today, but I bet she didn’t know about Stamford’s latest shooting. I do, because I read the papers. (Love ya, RSS feed.)

Today’s Stamford Times reports a shooting on Stillwater Ave, on the West Side. West Side, again! Don’t you ever sleep? A young man was shot twice in a drive-by. (Drive-by? Am I really saying that word?) Fortunately he's OK, as OK as you can be with a bullet wound in your abdomen, poor guy. There were two other gun-related incidents on the same night, Dec. 18. In one, a man on Hope St. threatened his girlfriend with a gun. In the other, police arrested a guy with a stolen pistol and 15 rounds in the Vidal Court housing complex.

I haven’t heard of Vidal Court, so I google-mapped it like I always do for big crimes. Google maps didn’t turn up any Vidal Courts, but on the listings near Vidal Sassoon, I saw a little link that said “West Side of Stamford - Wik...... The different sections of the West Side including Vidal Court, Fairfield Court…”
Wikipedia on West Side Stamford? I’ve read general info on Stamford, but would Wikip. have such specific info on one little ‘hood? Indeed, the info was there… but is it bad that the entry made me want to laugh?

“The West Side of Stamford, Connecticut is one of the poorest and most violent sections of the city. It is located north of the Waterside neighborhood, west of Downtown and east of Greenwich, Connecticut. The different sections of the West Side including Vidal Court, Fairfield Court, Spruce Street, Friendship Building and the infamous Southwood Square (formally known as Southfield Village)…
The West Side has had a problem with violent crime for years. "Despite efforts to curb it, the area is still a breeding ground for drug dealers, and gangs, such as the Bloods, the Crips, the Merrell Avenue Posse and the Haitian Posse," according to an April 2007 article in The Advocate of Stamford. "A shootout last year [2006] between factions of the Crips that left two people injured spurred a citywide police sweep called Operation Clean Streets."

Infamous! Haha! This sounded ridiculous to me, like it was a spoof. “Most violent-“ are we in East LA? Who wrote this? Words like “Crips” and “Merrell Avenue Posse” sound absurd to me. Then again, maybe my incredulity shows that I am disconnected from that part of the city. I’m not denying that violence happens right next to my la-la life, but I’m sorry, “infamous” is WAY over the top. If it were infamous, I would have heard the words “Southfield Village” at least one time in my five and a half years in Stamford, four of which were IN Southfield. Sigh. I guess I have to go do some Wikipedia-editing.

The Times article ends on a depressingly ominous note: “Cooney said it is unusual to have so many gun-related arrests in one night. "We are concerned," he said, "and are reminding our officers to wear their vests."

You have to appreciate the work our police do. I bet they see a very different Stamford than I do. I’d like to see more of Stamford beyond say, Margot Café and Wine Bar and my grocery store.

Yesterday's Advocate reports that on the night before October’s almost-murder near Pellici’s (also on the West Side), police had “responded to reports of gunfire in the Vidal Court housing complex on Merrell Avenue.”

West Side, you are busy, restless. In the past few months, you’ve had:
An almost-murder on Stillwater near Pellici’s
On the night before the almost-murder, gunfire at Vidal Court on Merrell Ave, which is right off Stillwater.
Last night’s arrest of a stolen gun in Vidal Court
Murder of Gregory Rowell- very sad- near Stillwater.
Last night’s drive-by… on Stillwater.

Stillwater, this is not a good fall and winter for you. And you have an elementary school on you.


Anonymous said...

Vidal & Fairfield are housing projects on the West Side. The city is in the process of breaking up these "projects" by creating a series of lower density, mixed income complexes spread throughout the city. Fairfield Court is set to be demolished and replaced with Townhouse style buildings soon. Some of the current residents have already moved into nice new Townhouses on the Taylor St of Richmond Hill. The Post House, a 5 story brick building next to the Government Center is also part of that redvelopment. I think Vidal is set for the same treatment after the Fairfield Court project is done. The idea is to break up these problem areas, intergrate them into the larger community, and give low income people a chance at homeownership and a community they cna be proud of.

Stamford Talk said...

Wow, excellent info. Thank you. I am always horrified by how much other people know that I don't, but happy to find knowledgeable people.
I guess that's why forums to share info are so important.
My only concern is that with "integrating" a lot of people will be displaced. It doesn't seem like townhouses will house the same amount of people. And, how is it integrated if it's in the same part of town? Oh, I see... adding more higher income people. But that's not adding low income people to other areas...
I guess there are no perfect solutions.

pinkyj06 said...

Stamford has change I lived on stamford waterside my whole life over on greenwhich ave just south of southfeild village I attended the camp at chester addisason called the village camp the village was a good place then it was clean and safe then the drugs came in and sum moved out and most stayed and then came the term south kill never run nerver will s.k.v v.block and the gangs murder and more crime. they consider it the waterside when I was young when I got to high school they called it they west side in the 80 s and Early 90s late 90s they called it the waterside today its still the waterside most people still call it the westside but when u have southfeild ave and southfeild park on the waterside y would u have southfeild village on the west side stamford is gonna grow and anything with the projects in stamford. Is not happening all the projects are coming down. just when the new southfeild village was complete mayor malloy did his waterside walk and did not like what he saw drugs on milton street. The strrets are filled withgabage and southfeild park. Is open 24 hours for sex money and drugs when city parks close at 10 pm. I hope the change is good