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steve1840
03-06-2011, 10:07 PM
Thought I would add my experience to what seems to be a growing list of posts about encounters at the mounds.

I showed up to the mounds at about 7:30 in the morning and stayed in my truck for a while due to a brief rain shower. I headed up onto the mounds about 8:00. I was snapping off pics for about a half hour and I saw an NYPD van drive by slow but never stop. I continued to take pictures for about 45 mins and got hold of KAZ to come out since the skies were clearing up. After about another 15 mins of photos I saw the same NYPD van approaching again. This time it stopped. I noticed it said "School Safety" on it. The officer came over the wooden rail/fence and started to approach so I decided to come down off the mound. The conversation went something like this:

Officer: Excuse me, sir
Me: Good morning.
Officer: You can't be on school property like this. You can't be up there video taping the planes.
Me: I'm sorry, I didn't realize that. I'm sorry.
Officer: Yeah, this is school property.
Me: You want me to leave?
Officer: Yes, please.
Me: Ok. Not a problem.

I start taking my gear off and put it in the truck and...

Officer: Where are you from?
Me: Conneccticut
Officer: Why are you taking pictures of airplanes?
Me: I like airplanes. I have ever since I was a kid.
Officer: Ok.

The funny thing is that it wasn't just one officer. There were about 4 others that got out of the van. The others were all wearing sweatshirts with NYPD logo on them and they looked like teenagers. I was later told by someone that they (not even the one wearing the uniform) were "real cops".

I used my better judgement, eventhough I was well within my right to be taking pictures and was in a public area, but just cooperated and left as not to risk a good spot for the hobby.

eric8669
03-06-2011, 10:14 PM
I don't believe that park in considered School property. It is actually called idlewild field/park

threeholerglory
03-06-2011, 10:17 PM
glad you didn't get arrested and handled it well...I personally wouldn't volunteer to leave but would if it looked like the situation couldn't be diffused. I think you may have been down in the trenches with Manny, Kaz and Mark at the time but one of the soccer coaches came over to us and actually told us he should join us and that he shoots aviation too. Very nice guy who would have been great to have around. Ohwell, at least we can chalk it up to a casual encounter and leave it at that!

PhilDernerJr
03-07-2011, 12:03 AM
That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.

NIKV69
03-07-2011, 12:47 AM
That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.

If that is still part of the Idlewild preserve it's a NYC park. Not school property. May be time to go have that chat with the school huh Phil? Seems this will only continue.

gonzalu
03-07-2011, 12:53 AM
Interestingly, you were not asked for ID? Hmmm... and they need to be wearing their badges and you have all the rights in the world to jot down their names (from the tags) or if they verbally tell you as well as their shield number. I have never heard of an officer not proudly displaying their badge and name tag.

When I was a kid, my friends and I would get harassed by detectives all the time. My dad and a few others went to the local precinct and complained. Never happened again. While respect for PD is my number one rule, it must go both ways. For the good of the hobby, if I ever feel harassed or disrespected, a local precinct visit is in order... if for nothing else to be on the record! One incident not, but once they pile up, the record is public and kept around for a while and it will show wehave nothign to hide and can actually be an asset instead of a threat.

I wonder if living under the flight path is illegal too...

Also technically if it is a public school, I am a city resident and taxpayer, I should technically be allowed to use the facilities :-)

gonzalu
03-07-2011, 12:57 AM
When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.

Cary
03-07-2011, 01:08 AM
If that is still part of the Idlewild preserve it's a NYC park. Not school property. May be time to go have that chat with the school huh Phil? Seems this will only continue.

The soccer field should definitely be a part of Idlewild Park, as Eric's mentioned. The first line on the NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation confirms it: "Idlewild Park is bounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Springfield Boulevard, 149th Avenue and Brookville Boulevard."

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/idlewildpark/highlights/8737

Soccer-related pages also call it Idlewild Park: http://www.southbronxunited.org/directions.html#idlewild

If someone has a problem with taking pictures of planes from there, it's kind of ironic that the NYC Parks site has a photo of a plane for Idlewild's page: http://www.nycgovparks.org/photo_gallery/full_size/14409.jpg

Not saying any of this info should be used to argue over with LEO, but "the more you know".

Cary
03-07-2011, 01:09 AM
When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.

Well, plane spotting is a crime, therefore using a scanner in conjunction with plane spotting is technically illegal :tongue:

NIKV69
03-07-2011, 01:17 AM
When we were all there en masse in the afternoon, no one showed up. And I have been there many many times where officers saw me and just acknowledged me up on the hill. Once another spotter from out of town was asked about his "illegal" scanner (which was NOT confiscated) and after which I told him it is NOT illegal to posses and use as scanner as long as it is not used to commit a crime. So, only if you commit a crime and they find a scanner, can it be considered illegal.

The law is very antiquated and vague in NY. As the law reads you can't have a scanner installed in any vehicle capable of monitoring police frequencies. So hand held should be ok and if your outside your car you should be within the law.

RomNYC
03-07-2011, 02:02 AM
I want to know why there are so many discrepancies in our encounters with the men and women of the law... The law is the law, and the book is the same for everyone, citizens and police forces. I guess some of them just don't read it.

steve1840
03-07-2011, 11:11 AM
That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.

The last thing I wnted to do was have a confrontation and chance being the "out of towner" that ruined a good spot for the hobby.

I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.

NIKV69
03-07-2011, 12:45 PM
I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.

Can I get an AMEN!

You being out of town also probably led this guy to believe he could scare you off with the made up laws as well.

fk6065
03-07-2011, 04:58 PM
According to the NYC Tax records the soccer field is part of the park and not NYC Schools.

megatop412
03-07-2011, 06:08 PM
The last thing I wnted to do was have a confrontation and chance being the "out of towner" that ruined a good spot for the hobby.

I am actually glad that I was asked to leave the mounds in the morning on Saturday though since it opened my eyes up to N. Woodmere Park which is better that time of day anyway for good light. I now know not to go the the mounds in the morning because it seems as though they are patroling that more in the morning hours and also because if it hadn't been overcast, I would have had horrid back lighting on everything.

I'm glad that ended up working out for you and, I have to say, that was very unselfish of you to have the whole group of us in mind in guiding your actions. While I agree we shouldn't always tuck tail and run if there is the opportunity to potentially educate someone, I believe you showed good judgement in avoiding a confrontation. Because it looks like that's what they were looking for. This doesn't really feel the same as a cop driving up, having a chat, checking the ID's, etc.

Personally, however, I would have broken out the portfolio and asked who wants to buy a print, everyone gets my card, offer info on how we're actually FREE help, the works. But I don't expect everyone to be like that.

What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?

mattdueck
03-07-2011, 06:16 PM
So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?

Thanks
Matt

NIKV69
03-07-2011, 07:29 PM
What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?

People have been shooting at the mounds in the winter and early in the day which nobody has never done before, for what reason I am not sure. For the ideal light is summer and right before sundown. Now you can argue the light all you want but now the school seems to not want spotters there. Which they really don't have a say. So at some point someone will have to take a stand or go talk to the school because these encounters will only continue.


So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?


Transceivers (pilot radios) can not monitor police so they are fine in NY. Haven't researched the federal law but I will be willing to bet they are fine as well.

steve1840
03-07-2011, 10:13 PM
People have been shooting at the mounds in the winter and early in the day which nobody has never done before, for what reason I am not sure. For the ideal light is summer and right before sundown.

I went to the mounds in the morning since I had forgotten about N. Woodmere Park. Now that I have had this experience and have found that I can get good shots from Woodmere Park, I definitely won't be hitting up the mounds in the morning hours when on the 22s. From now on its either Bayswater (if open) for departures or Woodmere Park for arrivals for me in the mornings.

gonzalu
03-07-2011, 10:52 PM
So quick question as reading through this thread. Are ATC scanners illegal in the US? Or could you guys bring more light into what is illegal?

Thanks
Matt

"Scanners" in general are ONLY ILLEGAL if used in commission of a crime. At least NY State Code. Federal Govt. leaves this to the states. It has not been tested in Federal court as far as I know and the only ruling body are FCC regulations none of which deal with criminal possession of a scanner and deal mostly with emissions and interference etc. for manufacturers (and if you make your own)

The one thing that IS a federal crime is listening to Cellular Telephone Calls of ANY kind on ANY device at ANY time.

gonzalu
03-07-2011, 11:00 PM
What the heck is going on with the Mounds lately?

All,

Let us not forget that each and every day, someone is doing something for their very first time!! First time on a computer, first time behind the wheel, first time on duty on the beat (PO), first time a rookie officer encounters spotters, first time a seasoned officer encounters spotters, first time on The World Wide Web, etc.

William, am in the same camp... I first become very friendly, smile, approach them first, act confident, hide nothing, cards out, chat, etc. Always with the diffuse button on high. All while feeling out the situation and judging if I am going to be welcome or escorted... as I feel the tension in one direction it will guide my legs in the direction of my car or back to spotting.

Always point out that you are not doing anything wrong and are actually openly displaying what I am doing in the open for everyone to see and being covert about any of my activities.

SMILE SMILE SMILE and be friendly, chatty and polite! Be engaging, and speak with conviction that what you are doing is NOT WRONG even if you are asked to leave. Leave with politeness and also with a position of strength by reminding the officer that what you are doing is not wrong. But only if you feel the situation is diffuse enough to do so. If the officers are really upset, leave quickly and say "Have A Good Day Officer"... use words like Yes Sir, Yes Officer, Yes Ma'am, etc.

Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.

I also try to end all the encounters with a strong thank you. Especially if it goes well.

PhilDernerJr
03-07-2011, 11:28 PM
All,

Let us not forget that each and every day, someone is doing something for their very first time!! First time on a computer, first time behind the wheel, first time on duty on the beat (PO), first time a rookie officer encounters spotters, first time a seasoned officer encounters spotters, first time on The World Wide Web, etc.

William, am in the same camp... I first become very friendly, smile, approach them first, act confident, hide nothing, cards out, chat, etc. Always with the diffuse button on high. All while feeling out the situation and judging if I am going to be welcome or escorted... as I feel the tension in one direction it will guide my legs in the direction of my car or back to spotting.

Always point out that you are not doing anything wrong and are actually openly displaying what I am doing in the open for everyone to see and being covert about any of my activities.

SMILE SMILE SMILE and be friendly, chatty and polite! Be engaging, and speak with conviction that what you are doing is NOT WRONG even if you are asked to leave. Leave with politeness and also with a position of strength by reminding the officer that what you are doing is not wrong. But only if you feel the situation is diffuse enough to do so. If the officers are really upset, leave quickly and say "Have A Good Day Officer"... use words like Yes Sir, Yes Officer, Yes Ma'am, etc.

Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.

I also try to end all the encounters with a strong thank you. Especially if it goes well.

Best post of the year so far.

Derf
03-07-2011, 11:40 PM
The law is very antiquated and vague in NY. As the law reads you can't have a scanner installed in any vehicle capable of monitoring police frequencies. So hand held should be ok and if your outside your car you should be within the law.

Kind of Nick.... That means you can not have a Ham Radio installed in you car, Handheld is within your right... The hand held unit can not be capable of transmission on Police, Fire, or ambulance frequencies unless your Aries Races or for specifically allowed official reasons.

This law was put in place to cut down the amount of people running to an accident or fire. It is not illegal to listen if it is removable from your car and still functional. You can have a mount for it and an external antenna, as long as you do not put a car type radio under your stock radio.


The law as you wrote it does not exist. Your version makes it sound like my little 2 meter Ham radio in my car plugged into a cigerette lighter and using an external antenna with a magnet on my trunk is illegal, It is Only illegal if someone key's up on Police freq's.

gonzalu
03-07-2011, 11:58 PM
Kind of Nick.... That means you can not have a Ham Radio installed in you car.

Fred, I am a HAM ( N2MAV ) and have every right to have a HAM Radio installed in my car :-) ... never heard of NY State making it illegal. Just look at my plates for proof. Imagine the contradiction if they sold Amateur Radio Plates but you were not allowed to use a ham radio in your car?

gonzalu
03-08-2011, 12:00 AM
Best post of the year so far.

Thanks Phil! :cool: This hobby does more for my stress than any prescription drug. Without it, I would be a wreck! hahahaha.

moose135
03-08-2011, 12:49 AM
Here is the applicable VTL that covers radio scanners and vehicles...

397. Equipping motor vehicles with radio receiving sets capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use.
A person, not a police officer or peace officer, acting pursuant to his special duties, who equips a motor vehicle with a radio receiving set capable of receiving signals on the frequencies allocated for police use or knowingly uses a motor vehicle so equipped or who in any way knowingly interferes with the transmission of radio messages by the police without having first secured a permit to do so from the person authorized to issue such a permit by the local governing body or Board of the city, town or village in which such person resides, or where such person resides outside of a city or village in a county having a county police department by the Board of Supervisors of such county, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

Nothing in this Section contained shall be construed to apply to any person who holds a valid Amateur Radio Operator`s License issued by the Federal Communications Commission and who operates a duly licensed portable mobile transmitter and in connection therewith a receiver or receiving set on frequencies exclusively allocated by the Federal Communications Commission to duly licensed radio amateurs.
The key words of the first paragraph are "equip a motor vehicle" and "capable of receiving signals". In a 1974 court case, it was decided that a defendant who had a radio receiver in his vehicle capable of receiving police frequencies when the radio was plugged into cigarette lighter socket, the receiver was "capable" of receiving signals even though receiver was not plugged in when defendant was stopped by police. So your portable scanner, if it can pick up police frequencies (which most of them can) can be deemed illegal to use in your car. I usually keep mine in my bag in the trunk when I'm not out spotting. And the reason they are illegal to use isn't to keep you away from accident scenes, it is to prevent their use to monitor police broadcasts while committing a crime.

Manny, the second paragraph is what allows you to have a Ham Radio in your car. As long as it only operates on frequencies designated for Amateur Radio by the FCC, it is legal to operate in your vehicle.

RomNYC
03-08-2011, 01:03 AM
Also remember that if you are doing something illegal, you will be arrested. No arrests are a constant proof that what we do is NOT illegal and it is simply officers responding to harassing phone calls by uneducated or timid or oversensitive citizens or similar.

Manny, I agree with everything that you said, and I do apply all of this myself.

But weren't some people on these forums "detained" (to me, that's "arrested") for practicing their hobby? So either the argument of yours that I quoted doesn't work, or they were actually doing something illegal (which should therefore encourage me to stay AWAY from the various locations mentioned in the spotting guides)...

Again, what is the ACTUAL deal?

NIKV69
03-08-2011, 01:20 AM
Manny, I agree with everything that you said, and I do apply all of this myself.

But weren't some people on these forums "detained" (to me, that's "arrested") for practicing their hobby? So either the argument of yours that I quoted doesn't work, or they were actually doing something illegal (which should therefore encourage me to stay AWAY from the various locations mentioned in the spotting guides)...

Again, what is the ACTUAL deal?

Yes spotters were detained but this was very long ago shortly after 9/11 when the country was still in a state of hysteria. No they weren't doing anything illegal. As for yourself you have to know what spots are public and which ones aren't. If you are asked to leave private property such as the Panera lot or Costco you really don't have much choice and once in a blue it will happen and as long as you comply and don't go back right away the spots stay viable. Again it's just using your head. The mounds are public and nothing is really stopping you from shooting there. So it's up to you how you handle it. I suggest you guys don't go there until at least 3pm. That seems to be when school is out and when the light is really suitable to shoot. This will alleviate the captain America encounters and then in June when the spot is really good for shooting you don't have to worry about the school since they are out for summer. Other alternatives would be to approach the school and say the park is public and we are breaking no laws and are not engaging in anything they need to be concerned about. Short of that you will be looking at the same cycle of getting a visit and asked to leave once in a while.

moose135
03-08-2011, 01:33 AM
I suggest you guys don't go there until at least 3pm. That seems to be when school is out and when the light is really suitable to shoot.
The encounter that began this thread happened on a SATURDAY. School wasn't in session...

RomNYC
03-08-2011, 01:35 AM
Thanks for your insight. I do try to use my head as much as I can!

I do believe that some kind of exchange with the school should be in order at some point. And like I said before, maybe involve the kids in this as a way to teach them something they may not learn in the classroom.

After all, we all are enjoying what the community gives us (free public spaces), we could maybe question ourselves as to what we give back to the community...

NIKV69
03-08-2011, 10:44 AM
Thanks for your insight. I do try to use my head as much as I can!

I do believe that some kind of exchange with the school should be in order at some point. And like I said before, maybe involve the kids in this as a way to teach them something they may not learn in the classroom.

After all, we all are enjoying what the community gives us (free public spaces), we could maybe question ourselves as to what we give back to the community...

Approaching the school could yield results though you would probably get further talking to NYPD. The school may or may not want to deal with it but local police will have to account for why people doing nothing wrong are being lied to about phantom laws and being asked to leave public parks. At that point they will see that simply lying to citizens to prolong a coffee break and get them out of doing their job isn't the best course for them.


The encounter that began this thread happened on a SATURDAY. School wasn't in session...

Which was a direct result of the previous encounter which happened WHEN SCHOOL WAS IN SESSION

Derf
03-08-2011, 10:50 AM
Fred, I am a HAM ( N2MAV ) and have every right to have a HAM Radio installed in my car :-) ... never heard of NY State making it illegal. Just look at my plates for proof. Imagine the contradiction if they sold Amateur Radio Plates but you were not allowed to use a ham radio in your car?

KB2VVT here...tho I think I let my license lapse... It is not illegal... it is only illegal to listen to police frequencies with a car mounted unit.

moose135
03-08-2011, 10:59 AM
Which was a direct result of the previous encounter which happened WHEN SCHOOL WAS IN SESSION
So how does your suggestion of waiting until after 3pm when school is out any different???

NIKV69
03-08-2011, 12:50 PM
So how does your suggestion of waiting until after 3pm when school is out any different???

Actually my initial suggestion was to not visit the mounds for a few days. At this point the School and or NYPD will be keeping an eye out but visiting during school will probably only serve to guarantee another visit from law enforcement. If someone did decide to go to the mounds simply waiting for school to be out would have given them a better chance at avoiding this.

steve1840
03-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Actually my initial suggestion was to not visit the mounds for a few days. At this point the School and or NYPD will be keeping an eye out but visiting during school will probably only serve to guarantee another visit from law enforcement. If someone did decide to go to the mounds simply waiting for school to be out would have given them a better chance at avoiding this.

Well, being that I had come down a week after the other confrontation, and being on a weekend, I did not expect to be bothered since school would not be in session. Had this been a weekday, I would not have gone there in the morning. I simply went there since they were on the 22s and I wanted a place where I could stay in my truck and take pics while it was still lightly raining.

mattdueck
03-08-2011, 02:04 PM
So from everyones replies I take it that the PD's down in the states dont use digital frequencies. Here in my city they switched to digital frequencies quite some time ago so people cant monitor police activity. All in all, I dont care to listen into the police, all I care about is that plane on finals for RWY XX and catching its touchdown.

PhilDernerJr
03-08-2011, 02:09 PM
I think the two incidents are completely unrelated and will not have any joint and additional NYPD effect or visibility. One was School Safety that happened to see it, and the other was a random call that rare, unknowing NYPD officers came to supposedly because of a principal call. If people behave just like Manny suggested, we'll be fine.

megatop412
03-08-2011, 02:51 PM
'Captain America', that's friggin hilarious, sums it up exactly

ch2tdriver
03-09-2011, 02:35 PM
So from everyones replies I take it that the PD's down in the states dont use digital frequencies. Here in my city they switched to digital frequencies quite some time ago so people cant monitor police activity. All in all, I dont care to listen into the police, all I care about is that plane on finals for RWY XX and catching its touchdown.

I do most of my scanning/listening from home of the FD and PD, which is on Long Island. Suffolk County is digital, trunked and whatsmore recently they rebanded the Motorola units. I had to upgrade my trusty Pro-97 this Xmas to the latest incarnation (looks the same though) which supports the rebanding. Nassau County however just recently completed the transition to the new Encrypted system. So effectively no more NCPD scanning. I can't speak for NYPD as I'm out of range.

If I do take my scanner on the road it's to an airshow or FRG and then I only have time to listen to the airband anyway.

megatop412
03-09-2011, 07:09 PM
That's what I would say to anyone challenging me about my scanner, that it doesn't have the ability to pick up the 'new' digital frequencies, only the planes, end of conversation

Gerard
03-09-2011, 09:27 PM
Nassau County however just recently completed the transition to the new Encrypted system. So effectively no more NCPD scanning. I can't speak for NYPD as I'm out of range.

I'm still picking up all the NCPD frequencies on my scanner (BC72XLT). Listening right now. And I still pick up the SCPD 2pct on the 154.845 freq and their Countywide (basically their Special Ops, Sheriffs, Parks units) on 155.685.
If the original incident happened on a Saturday why were School Safety officers there? Do they work on non-school days?
And when I carry my scanner in the car when out by myself I keep in between seats and on low if listening. When outside I always have my Ipod headphones on and the scanner safely
tucked away in a jacket or in the summertime under an untucked shirt. Dont have to worry about being questioned AND even more important its easier to hear over the outside noise of
aircraft, cars, annoying people :biggrin:!!!

fk6065
03-09-2011, 10:13 PM
I was kind of surprised to read about school safety being there on a Saturday. School safety generally only work during school or school event hours when a facility is open. As an aside I know they are Peace Officers as defined by the NYS Crimminal Procedure Law, but I wonder what their powers of arrest are and I am sure they are limited to "persuant to their special duties."

Nassau PD recently moved to their new communications center in New Cassel and are slowly making the transition to digital encryption. Until everything is changed over they are simulcasting on the old system.

Speedbird1
03-10-2011, 05:59 AM
I was even harrassed by Parks Dept. workers at Coney Island Pier for taking photos there. He claimed that I needed a permit and threatened to confiscate my camera. I wrote a nice letter to the Parks Dept. Commissioner and got a nice letter apologizing and saying I could take photos. After that, I was no longer harrassed. Plane spotting is another matter. Since 9-11, we look suspicious when we stay in 1 location for more than just a few minutes so they tell us to leave. I gave up spotting for that reason. Too much aggravation worrying about getting harrassed. In the "golden age of spotting" in the 80's and 90's I perched on the hill by Rockaway Blvd for 8 hours, took hundreds of photos and the only annoyance were the mosquitoes and finding a taxi since I had no car. These are the memories they can't take away from me. Sad to hear that new spotters cannot enjoy the hobby.

NIKV69
03-10-2011, 01:16 PM
I was even harrassed by Parks Dept. workers at Coney Island Pier for taking photos there. He claimed that I needed a permit and threatened to confiscate my camera. I wrote a nice letter to the Parks Dept. Commissioner and got a nice letter apologizing and saying I could take photos. After that, I was no longer harrassed. Plane spotting is another matter. Since 9-11, we look suspicious when we stay in 1 location for more than just a few minutes so they tell us to leave. I gave up spotting for that reason. Too much aggravation worrying about getting harrassed. In the "golden age of spotting" in the 80's and 90's I perched on the hill by Rockaway Blvd for 8 hours, took hundreds of photos and the only annoyance were the mosquitoes and finding a taxi since I had no car. These are the memories they can't take away from me. Sad to hear that new spotters cannot enjoy the hobby.


That parks dept trick was tried at Bayswater too. It's old. Again the situation at the mounds is new and unique because so many spotters have used it in winter and morning hours which nobody has never really done. The School took notice and a couple of officers have decided to take the path of least resistence instead of checking ID and finding out what is going on. Hopefully this will subside once the prime shooting months and late day hours come since the school will not be in session. At some point someone will have to stand their ground which has even happened in the summer when civilians with the soccer group have questioned (sometimes forcefully) spotters on the mounds. Unfortunately it's a nuisance that may never totally subside as a result of those planes hitting the WTC.

DHG750R
03-18-2011, 12:46 AM
That's pretty lame, but you avoided confrontation at least. School Safety cops on a serious power trip....lame. That is NOT school property.

Thats for sure, as an example last summer I had the pleasure of having one tailgating me as apparently the morning rush hour traffic wasnt moving fast enough. He apparently thought his siren was going to make me and the traffic move faster, when it didn't he managed to pulled up next to me to yell... very lame