Paint Job Raises More Concern at Maidstone Park Cottage

Rian White, who has long battled the town over property maintenance issues, is back in justice court.

Rian White's cottage in Maidstone Park looks like someone threw a bucket of paint at it — and that's because they did.

A hand-painted plywood sign out front of the Fanning Avenue house reads: "Help paint a starving artists [sic] home. Throw a pint."

White, who was the subject of a property-maintenance case between 2002 and 2009, was given a court summons this spring, once again, for allegedly failing to maintain his property. Town code enforcement is investigating further, thanks to the new paint job.

Splotches of orange and yellow paint appeared all over the exterior of the small cottage, including the windows and a door, this week.

Betsy Bambrick, the director of the code enforcement division, said her department received a complaint about property maintenance issues at the Fanning Avenue property and the adjoining parcel on Feb. 21.

"A Notice of Violation was sent for the homeowner to correct violations on March 28, 2012. When the inspector received no response - charges were drafted," Bambrick said in an email on Thursday.

Charges were filed against White on April 25 for one violation of the State Property Maintenance Code, which states all exterior surfaces shall be maintained in good condition. "Exterior wood surfaces (other than decay-resistant wood) shall be protected by painting or other protective covering or treatment. Peeling, flaking and chipped paint shall be eliminated and surfaces repainted," Bambrick said.

"To the best of my knowledge, R. White did not respond to court invitations on July 9, 2012," she added. He is due in court on Aug. 6.

In 2009, White was found guilty of five code violations, including failure to maintain his premises free of litter, after years of complaints. He was fined $5,000 on the misdemeanor charges.

A few months later, the town sent in a crew to clean up his yard of old boats and cars, tires, and other debris. He had someone digitally record the clean-up and the video was posted on YouTube. He was billed for the clean-up.

Tim Lee, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose parents still live down the block, said White is at it again. "It degrades the whole neighborhood. Everybody's property value goes down. Would you buy a house next to him?"

As an artist, Lee said he takes exception that White threw paint at his house, as if it were a Jackson Pollock canvas, in an attempt to call it art. "It gives a bad name to anyone who calls themselves an artist," he said.

Attempts to reach White were unsuccessful.

What do you think of the new paint job?

ViralGrain August 02, 2012 at 04:31 PM
LOL! Its his property not yours. You don't own everything you see. Live and let live or leave.
S.B. Bonacker August 02, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Freakin' eyesore. He's just doing this to give the finger to his neighbors - and to provoke Code Enforcement so his name is in the papers again. He doesn't care how ghetto this looks.
connie thomas August 02, 2012 at 05:41 PM
My kids loved the book Oh, Were They Ever Happy! By Peter Spier. The neighbors weren't happy in the book either.....
Kevin Gray August 02, 2012 at 06:01 PM
...and Tim Lee is the new "arbiter of art,"...please. I think it's pretty cool. It's his property and he should be allowed to paint it however he pleases.
Dana Kalbacher August 02, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I have seen much worse than this around our town..some yards I pass daily are like junk and scrap yards..leave him alone..
Penny August 02, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Just glad I'm not his neighbor...some people have nothing better to do with their time. Got him on spot on Patch anyway& I'm sure the local papers are next. Maybe Ty Pennington's available...just a thought.
Chelsea August 03, 2012 at 01:19 AM
I live directly across from Rian's backyard. His yards no longer a mess or anything after all the events that have happened in the past years. Although I don't 100% agree with him throwing the paint at his house, I can't blame him. Someone complained about his paint chipping off his house..... is this really such a big deal? Rian has been a great neighbor. His yard is cleaned up now and I think its ridiculous people are complaining over the way his house is painted. Id do the same thing If i were him. Just leave the guy alone already. I don't know what happened to Maidstone Park... lived there all my life but people are just getting plain nosey now and ridiculous. Someone even complained about leaves in my back yard that should be raked up. Get a life, whoever you are. Or leave my neighborhood.
bernette August 03, 2012 at 11:22 AM
This is noting compared to Muir bld.. Come drive up our road on a fri night nd tell me what's fair .....lines of cars men in the streets screaming ...fecies and urin smells horrible from behind a make shift plywood port a potty ..just nasty ....women giving sex favors ,,bingo games ..thefts ..on on on so this pain job isn't that bad considered to the softy of you life or children
MARTIN DREW August 03, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The code mentioned by Bambrick FAILED to imply that the painted surfaces MUST be of one continuios color. I think Im headed over to throw a pint ; Im thinking pink ; and bright neon green to jazz things up... Searching for my inner Pollack .. Freedom of expression .. Love it! Go Ryan !! Fiight the good fight ... Artisians RULE!
Walter Noller August 03, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Good to see Code Enforecement is occupied doing "something" while not taking care of the "REAL" issues that plague so many neighborhoods. After all, it's easier of offend one person than to offend an entire subculture. Guess there really IS strength in numbers. As for Mr. White, 'tis better to have notoriety as an artist than an idiot. Be the bigger person and try getting along with your neighbors. As for your artistry however, I'd suggest you keep your day job 'cause you ain't no J. Pollack. I'm just sayin'.
Enough Is Enough August 04, 2012 at 12:12 AM
She is worried about R. White's house color. When she cannot even deal with the Springs overcrowding, Montauk nightclub overcrowding and quality of life issues, and 25 complaints on a killer attack dog. Apparently her employment at a certain Montauk bar has colored her judgement as to enforcing the town code. Apparently her judgement is to enforce at the will of celebrity Supervisor Wilky & his lap dog Quigley. ALL THIS FOR $80,000 plus a year aren't we lucky to have her !!!!!
Eastend50 August 04, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Well, I did see code enforcement taking a picture of a dumpster with it's top open. the other day. Soo I guess they're planning a great dumpster sting operation. Store keepers beware!!
Mauro Filicori August 06, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Tim Ryan - Please stick to your independent way of living and to the freedom of expressing your own artistic self. You are helping our community to stay sane, viable and still rooted on the original settlers views and principles. The same way that Stuart Vorphal, Barbara Hale, Kathie Lester, Larry Penney and so many others have done and are still doing it. Thank You. Tim Lee - Why criticizing somebody else way of living and artistically expressing oneself? Because it lowers Real Estate values? Nobody ever criticized your own Photography/Art shows or the "Junk Yard Collection/Sale" you have been staging up at the Spring's General Stores. Afraid of competition? Mauro Filicori
Mauro Filicori August 06, 2012 at 06:16 AM
OOOPPSSS.....Taylor please change the first line of my posting to "Rian White" and not Tim Ryan. Thanks, Mauro
Johnny August 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Why don't the neighborhood pitch in and help the man paint his house. To help a person paint and clean up his home would help your entire neighborhood. Someone get some paint donated, make a big news story over this. You know a positive change is a better story for your town than a negative. Just a thought.
Cheryl Levy August 07, 2012 at 04:41 PM
The hardware store TRU VALU, advertises that on some saturdays thet give out FREE gallons of paint. Give him a free can and let him paint it. Or better yet...TruValu may be willing to just donate the free can instead of waiting until satrday. Make sure he has a brush!!
Lorna Andoscia August 07, 2012 at 04:44 PM
This guy needs a rude awakening! A starving artist means you're a bad artist. And I don't mean his work is crap. But a bad artist is one who is so interested on only producing the best that he forgets that you can only become great by becoming good and getting better. A good artist will produce what is necessary to survive his quest to be great. By forgoing the creation of art to sustain himself he shows that he thinks that someday he will be great without gaining the experiences that will make him a true artist. The neighbors want to see this house go away, so here's what he should do if he truly has talent: Create a couple of good pieces of work that he knows will be marketable; sell them and buy some house paint; paint a mural that looks as if it is an extension of the yard, blending it in and making it disappear. If he's not into realism then so be it. If he truly has an artistic eye he could do it. This guy's got a free canvas and an opportunity to advertise his talent in a way that his neighbors probably would be happy with. If he does not take this opportunity and prefers to rebel as a starving artist, then he really isn't an artist at all. A true artist puts art before rebellion!
Jacqui Bulkley August 07, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I currently live in Texas. I lived on the East Coast (Westport, CT) for 6 MONTHS; after 6 months I sold everything I had and ran screaming away from anything East Coast-related. I have no idea what the back-story on Mr. White's circumstance, but I can pretty well guarantee that the City Codes are antiquated and draconian. I would not want to live next to that house, but how much crap was flung around before the situation reached the point it has? How much 'regulation' has Rian had to deal with before he reached this point? I'm sorry for his neighbors, but would you prefer a very tidy pedophile instead? The City probably would.
John Jones August 07, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I live in Mt. Lebanon, PA, and the people here are as nuts as the ones in Rian's neighborhood. I went through a similar scenario, and I can tell you this: I am in full support of Rian. We have a constitution that should assure us that we are in full ownership of our property, and when somebody -- especially pompous government officials -- attempt to force us to toe their line, then it is time to make a stand against tyranny. If the neighbors don't like his sense of values, then it is time for them to move, property values or not! His rights should be inviolable. Any laws or ordinances that seek to put another's property in their hands are tyrannical and should be relegated to the scrapheap of history. Give 'em hell, Rian! You are in the right!
Forrest Burroughs August 08, 2012 at 12:50 AM
Art before rebellion? Are you kidding? Long live Enrique (Hank) Guillermo Pratz, an artist with no bounds, like our above mentioned friend. To say that a person has to "stay between the lines" to be an artist is like telling my eight year old that he has to give up his sharpie.
Walter Noller August 08, 2012 at 12:39 PM
If only it was all about art. This guy has a history of pissing people off just to be obnoxious. After having too many people and town spend way too much time and money to get his property cleaned to a healthy standard did this become his current way of sticking it in the collective faces of both neighbors and town. He's a non-conformist of the worst kind... one without talent, just a need for notoriety which he achieves via annoyance.
Steve August 09, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I watched Kevin Gray's video(s) of the removal of Rian White's personal property at Maidstone. It is overwhelming to think that the TOEH can simply remove his property because "they" deem it "unsightly" or "hazardous"?!! I saw at least three collectible autos and numerous antiques simply stolen. Very few of these items looked "hazardous" except perhaps to a trespasser, and isn't "art" a rather subjective view?I hope Mr. White has a good attorney, as this is one of the worst violations of personal property that I have ever seen by a municipality. Waht happened to the autos, antiques, etc? Does anybody care to say? I am completely astounded!!
joe hessi August 13, 2012 at 02:51 AM
chelsea smarten up. i lived on the block and had to put up with rian and his antics for years. people take pride in there property what he did with his is a joke broken down cars on bricks vicious dogs . he cant pay his bills because he is mentally unstable lets run extension cords from neighboring homes, running generators to charge his batteries. lost driving priviledges due to drinking and drugging really we are tired of the eyesore from the front yard view not the rear view maybe move around the corner and see if you would like the nonsense from an artist/ or is it an emotionally unstable person....
Gabrielle Brady August 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM
What a load of pompous drivel.
Christine M. Ruback February 14, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Good Ideas. Sometimes people can get in the mode of playing the victim, it's what they know, it's how things have been for them in the past....hard for them to move on when they feel they have been wronged. While I do think some ordinances are too strict and unflinching; we once got in trouble eons ago when we used He-Man sheets as a temporary 'curtain' for our sons bedroom window, it is expected that people conform a bit to what is around them. Personally, as long as my neighbor didn't have people coming and going at all hours of the night, or play loud, STRANGE music in the late evenings or very early on a Saturday morning (what one of our Chicago neighbors used to do!), I think I would be alright with his modge-podge Crazy- Quilt house. What is a priority for this man, guessing from the mention of generators and extension cords running out of his windows, is keeping up with the monthly Electric and Gas bill. Someone mentioned that they don't think he is a very good artist and that he should keep his day Job. Most likely he doesn't have a regular, full-time kind of job, nor the skills (GOOD Habits) to get one. Creative people have different areas of their brains that are more active than 'logically' thinking people- it doesn't necessarily mean that they are insane or dangerous, they just travel to the beat of a different drum. Being on time or doing things to schedule are not high on the radar for some creative types. People should get to know their neighbors better.
Christine M. Ruback February 14, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Jacqui- that is a Great point, it is often the people that everyone SEES as NORMAL that are the ones that we need to watch out for. Remember the normal guy, who worked at a church, had a wife and kids, and turned out to be the BTK killer!! -Really scary!


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