Writog

Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2016 Luke T. Bush

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Location: Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Writog: writer-photographer.

Friday, December 02, 2016

BEM





Too Foggy To Fly




Friday, November 25, 2016

Reflective Demonstrator




Peace & Unity Rally: The Long View



(Click on image to enlarge.)


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Batgirl To The Rescue!







Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Dissenter






PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 11-19-16

This afternoon a boisterous but non-confrontational rally held at Trinity Park expressed progressive concerns through handheld signs: global warming, gay rights, etc.  The signs also expressed a willingness to reach out to others, trying to overcome political differences in light of Trump winning the presidential election: Unity, Love, Peace.  Drivers honked in agreement as they drove by. Someone with an opposing view across the street expressed his opinion with the classic throat-slashing gesture.


Update:  11/28/16  The man in the photo says he was provoked when someone in the Peace & Unity rally shouted "Fuck Trump."  He questioned the sincerity of the rally members regarding their message of unity.  As a Trump supporter he's against socialism and communism, for example, free college.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Racism Is Not A Plattsburgh Value




Plattsburgh City, NY - Nov. 18, 2016

(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush

A colorful sign drawn in large letters on the sidewalk catches my eye.  LOVE  ZONE.

I stop to photograph the sidewalk chalk message.  A woman -- the owner of a restaurant -- pauses to tell me the story behind the sign.  Her neighbor -- a fellow restaurateur -- has been the target of harassment by racists.

Online I learn more about the situation (see link below.)

Tenzin Dorjee is a naturalized citizen who co-owns the Himalaya Restaurant.  He immigrated from Bhutan, a kingdom in the Eastern Himalayas in South Asia.  Tenzin has felt welcome in the North Country -- that is until Donald Trump became President-elect. Since then the restaurateur has encountered racial slurs in public.  One time a car driver cut Tenzin off, shooting him the middle finger gesture.  Tenzin is concerned the harassment won't stop there.

Across the US ignorant bigots are emboldened by Trump's win.  Not surprising since the Republican stirred up so much hatred during his campaign with his Us versus Them rhetoric.

Lately Trump has taken the edge off of his extreme xenophobic rhetoric.  He stated that there should be no acts of discrimination. But his fervent white supremacist followers think: "He's just saying that for the public.  He's really one of us."

Be aware.  Amerika is rising.



Source: Harassed, afraid, a North Country immigrant fights back with love - Zach Hirsch

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/32951/20161117/harassed-afraid-a-north-country-immigrant-fights-back-with-love

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Series Kicks Off With Locally Lensed Movie




PLATTBURGH CITY, NY -- Nov. 16, 2016   The Third Lake Champlain International Film Festival opened its five day run with Frozen River, a crime/drama lensed in the North Country.  Writer/Director Courtney Hunt (pictured above) made a special visit to Plattsburgh to introduce her movie at the Strand.  

Actress Melissa Leo (pictured below) who portrayed the protagonist in Frozen River delivered a special message via a video recording to the audience.  She thanked locals who greatly helped with the film's production.



Only ten dollars provides access to all film showings during the festival. More info on the series at this link: http://bit.ly/2fXUqe5 




Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Mugger




Award


(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH, NY - Oct. 22, 2016

Saturday afternoon 30 City Community Center hosted a Harvest Party to unveil the outdoor mural created by artist Gharan Burton. The painted display covers a large expanse of wall in the alleyway behind the North Country Food Co-Op.  Outdoor Art: Plattsburgh Public Art Project sponsored the mural's creation. A master plan is set in motion to revitalize the alleyway area for outdoor dining.  During the Harvest Party Colin Read (left) gave a special award to Gharan Burton in appreciation for his work.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Cache Me If You Can


(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush




Time to find some hidden treasure.  You never know what you might discover.




My geocaching guide plans to spend the afternoon driving around, uncovering new treasure.  He's ready with GPS coordinates from online and his smartphone to aid him in zeroing in on each location.  A geocacher can be either a placer -- someone who hides treasure -- or a locator -- someone searching out the treasure.




A locator being in the general area of the treasure is only the first part. Geocachers place each treasure so that it's hard to find by searchers. The containers may be hidden inside a tree or pipe or maybe even hidden under a guard rail out in the countryside.




Geocache containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes.  Sometimes the container is hidden in plain view.  In one spot there's a few bolts embedded in a wooden post.  But one of them is not real.  My guide pops out the pseudo-bolt, unscrews the container to retrieve the list inside of others who have been there before.




He unrolls the list and my guide adds his name to previous geocaching sleuths.  Then he returns the list to inside the pseudo-bolt, caps it, and puts it back in the posthole.




After seeing how the game is played I manage to spot another hiding spot, this one concealed behind a red traffic reflector.  My guide tells me that before a container is placed on private property permission is needed from the land owner.  Sometimes there is some trouble when a geocacher doesn't follow the rules of the game, cutting across private property to get to a public area where the cache is located.  Online information tells if permission has been granted.




A container might hold little items for younger participants.  One cache contained tiny plastic toys and even an old cardboard pog.




A searcher can find a Geocache Buddy or travel bug, a metal tag that travels from cache to cache.  The tag comes in a variety of shapes and themes like a dog tag, ghost or animal.

My guide carries a travel bug shaped like a turtle, a cartoon turtle depicted on one side.  Flip “Tyler Turtle” over and stamped directions explain the Cache Buddy's purpose.  The geocacher is told to log online to www.geocaching.com and log the tag’s individual tracking number before relocating it to another cache.  This is like a game within a game, tracking a tag’s travels online.



How active is geocaching in Clinton County?  Some signature lists are long when revealed, crammed with names and dates. Looks busy to me.  

So if that guy you notice repeatedly searching in one spot it's not necessarily someone who lost his car keys.  He could be on the hunt for hidden treasure.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Just Humming Along

(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush

While the PlattInfo kiosks around Plattsburgh are supposed to offer information to tourists their screens remain blank.  Due to the agreement made to secure funds for the kiosks the units have to remain in place -- despite being dead -- for a specified time period.

Actually one of the kiosks isn't completely dead.  The one on City Hall Place near Macdonough Monument is humming, apparently drawing power.  You can distinctly hear the humming when standing behind the kiosk.  A small energy vampire wasting electricity and taxpayer money.


Just humming along, not singing a song,
bye, bye, money.


See and hear the humming kiosk with this link.

How many more useless hums will be bought with the $10 million grant awarded to the city?


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bad Layout


No  one noticed this before going to press?  A different headline or article would have avoided this problem.



(Click on image to enlarge.)

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Non-Story Story



What Writog has learned from his experience:
Need answers?  Try elsewhere.

(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Sept. 12, 2016

Is there a story here?

A key question for a journalist when someone passes along information pertaining to a possible rule-breaking/illegal activity.

There's a technical paper called Municipal Fundraising And Gifting (August 2012) published by the New York State Tug Hill Commission that outlines the limitations for a city regarding donation solicitation.  You can find a PDF copy here .  Before perusing this fascinating document I would recommend consuming a full pot of coffee or a half-dozen caffeine pills (More pharmacists recommend NoDoz more than any other brand.)

The publication details how a municipality must act independently from any non-profit group, no overlapping allowed.  Basically the Podunk administration can't directly act on the behalf of a group such as the Friends of Podunk.  There's a little problem called conflict of interest.  When Podunk municipality backs one non-profit group over all others it's giving that chosen group an unfair advantage.

So there's this letter sent out last year by Podunk to businesses asking for donations for a special event promoting the city.  Donations to the Friends of Podunk are to be mailed directly to the city hall office of a particular municipal employee.

A no-no?  Maybe.  I contact the New York State Comptroller's office to learn if a violation has been committed.

After a few emails I get a copy of a 1983 opinion about a unnamed county selling for profit  decals with the official county logo.  A no-no according to this opinion.  

I ask the NYS Comptroller's office how does this pertain to the matter of Podunk and the Friends of Podunk.  The official contact tells me that this is the best case related to the matter.  Am I to infer that a SWAT team will sweep in and shut down any decal selling operation in violation of state regulations?  ("Put down that sticker!  Up against the wall!")

I ask if the state will look into the Podunk affair.  The reply: "It certainly is an issue our audit team could examine in the future."  Or could not examine.  You gotta love tautology.

The 1983 opinion includes this disclaimer at the end:

"This opinion represents the view of the Office of the State Comptroller at the time it was rendered.  The opinion may no longer represent the views if, among other things, there have been subsequent court cases or statutory amendments on the issues discussed in the opinion."

Of course NYS doesn't refer me to any other rulings.  What they sent me might be an invalid point to write about in an article.  After 1983 a different opinion could have come along, allowing a governmental body in New York State to sell all the decals for profit it wants.  If that's the case here's my recommendation for a sticker message: Democracy = Transparency.

The question remains if Podunk overstepped its bounds. Who knows?  Is Little Nell alive?  Who shot J.R.?

The matter of Podunk and its Friends is a non-story. Dead end.

This means an Albany apparatchik can relax his office, being paid top dollar to promulgate vagueness on the behalf of taxpayers.

That's another story.


Monday, September 05, 2016

Does Anyone Sell Asshole Remover?





(C) 2016 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Sept. 5, 2016

In Plattsburgh City, NY assholes like to harass photographers.

Sometimes they like to shout stupid drive-by insults from a car. But the worse ones are those who walk up to you and want to argue, not listen.

Today around 6 PM.  I'm sitting on a bench on main street, minding my own business.  I notice my shadow falling on a large bright white crosswalk stripe in the street so I take a few shots.  No people in the frame, just my head's shadow.

Someone walks by, sees me, stops and turns around.  From his appearance and his use of English he seems to be a foreign exchange student.  He asks me if I take photographs of people out in public.  I reply yes.  He tells me I shouldn't do that.

I explain to him that for the most part if I want to photograph someone in public it's my right. I don't need permission.  I ask him if he's an American.  He dodges the question by asking me if I'm an American and whether I'm familiar with the constitution.

What seems to be at first just a discussion, an opportunity to learn something, turns into verbal belligerence on his part.  He tells me, an American citizen, I have no right to photograph anyone in public unless I ask permission.

Before he leaves he tells me: "You should only photograph things like ice crystals."

Since it's a holiday -- Labor Day -- another such incident has to occur less than two hours later.



I'm at the McDonald's down by the lake, sitting at a picnic table with a friend, taking shots of the view.  Day is shifting into night.  I converse with my friend while shooting.  There's a woman sitting fifteen feet away at another table.  She gets up and comes over, telling me I can't take photographs of people in public.  She's a local yokel, a drunk redneck. My camera was never aimed at her.

Obviously she's ignorant.  Before she confronted me she wanted to make her burger flatter by pressing it into the bare wood of her picnic table.  The same table that seagulls shat on.

My friend tells her that we were having a private conservation and she was being rude.  She leaves, saying that if I photograph her she will have me arrested.

What I need is an aerosol can of Asshole Remover.  Spray once and the problem disappears, deleted from reality.

An extra large can.

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