Writog

Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2014 Luke T. Bush

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Location: Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Writog: writer-photographer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

ROTA: Mary Ocher


Info from http://www.maryocher.com/:

DIY musician, born in Moscow, Russia on November 10, 1986.  At age four moved to Tel Aviv, then at age 20 to Berlin.  Besides music: poetry, film, visual art, documentaries, music videos, art installations.  Started songwriting at age 11.

"She currently resides in Berlin and has no plans at all.... only WORLD DOMINATION!!!!"

*  *  *

Now touring USA and Canada (even Plattsburgh, NY).













ROTA: Liesa And The Masouda World Dance Ensemble


Info from Bellydance with Liesa website - http://mysite.verizon.net/vzeu9hmt/bellydancewithliesa/:

Liesa is the director of the The Masouda World Dance Ensemble, established 1993, Plattsburgh, NY.  World dance (Ethnic Fusion) blends various  styles: East & West,  Modern & Traditional, Spiritual & Earthy, and Theatrical & Folkloric.  Her ensemble is available for all festive occasions, celebrations, instruction and demonstrations (group, solos, duets, trios).   Email: liesabpedersen@aol.com .



















Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Dogtown Is Still Dogtown


PLATTSBURGH CITY - 4/9/13

As I explain over at my "bad blog," I've haven't been posting there lately not because the dogshit problem has improved but because I've been tired of the same old crap.  But I just added a post after a reader submitted an image.

So if someone has any images they want to share, feel free to contribute to Dogtown 12901.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Self-Publish, Don't Perish


David Monette.

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY - 3/29/14

To my left sat David Monette: dark long hair and Van Dyke beard.  To my right: John Sparks, well-trimmed light-colored hair, clean shaven.

No, this wasn't not a liberal versus conservative political debate.  In fact, despite appearances, you couldn't find two more like-minded guys around.

Topic: self-publishing.  Genre: imaginative fiction.  Both David and John prove that failure to place a book with a mainstream publisher doesn't mean The End like in the old days.

Online info: "As an illustrator, [David's] highly detailed fantasy and science fiction work has appeared in many books, magazines, board games, and collectible card games..."  The Zombie Axiom features his illustrative talent, key scenes in the novel.  Also, David uses an icon – e.g., a baseball bat, a sword – as a symbol of a character when there's a change in POV.

It was relatively easy for David to land an agent but not so with selling his book to a traditional publisher.  No go.  The agent told David to self-publish.  What was once considered a sign of low quality – think vanity publishing – had become respectable according to his agent.  If the work was good enough it would stand on its own.

That turned out to be true with David's novel which recently was picked up by an Australian publisher.  The first book in a trilogy, a powerful being called The Necromancer is transforming humans into the undead, directing his eldritch army to wipe out the last of the normal people in the world.

John Sparks.

For John Sparks self-publishing is part of his long term plan to see his story, Unearthly Tales, transformed into an animated feature.  It has already been adapted to a graphic novel, a format that has in the past served as a storyboard for a movie adaptation.

Online info: "John is an Unexploded Ordnance Technician certified by the Department of Defense."  This means traveling to various sites, a changing schedule, working in motels on his writing.  One advantage: he meets new people who share life stories, more potential material for his writing.

In contrast David has a more stable, set schedule with his home studio.  His daily routine: from 4 to 6:30 AM – work on promotion online; then concentrate on his main gig, illustration assignments; and then spend time with his writing.

The disruption caused by lay-offs at mainstream publishers and the rise of the web has meant opportunities, not disadvantages, for both authors.

The shrinking publisher staffs has led to editors becoming self-employed editors-for-hire who can help new authors create works and find outlets.  John mentioned that part of his novel is set in the 1950s, a time before he was alive.  His editor was around then and has helped John avoid any anachronisms.  (Score one for the old farts.)

Asked about their voices being heard among the countless others ones on the web, both authors agreed that can be a problem but a writer has to take an active approach, using the medium to promote and make connections.

David says that the web has helped with his promotional efforts.  It was through the web that his agent made contact with the Australian publisher.

Like David John has also used the web to get the word out.  A quick Google search reveals a number of online spots where John has left potential connections: Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google +.

For both writers making connections with readers is important, meeting new friends.  Sure, being lucky and hitting the big jackpot, money and fame, would be great but so is sharing their ideas and enthusiasm with like-minded people.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Donna Austin Exhibit



Artist Donna Austin (left) discusses her work with ROTA volunteer W.D. Gadway.  Over 60 of Donna's watercolors are on display at the ROTA Gallery, 50 Margaret Street, downtown Plattsburgh, until April 7th.  More info at  https://www.facebook.com/rotagallery .









Sunday, March 30, 2014

Talking Trash: Comedy Prop As A Litterary Device


Esquire reporter Chris Jones speaks at Plattsburgh State, not suspecting what lurks near his feet. 


© 2004 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY –  3/27/14


"It's stained with evil."

Sacrosanct Rule of Journalism (SRJ): Never open with a quote.

Chris Jones wants to be funny.

Man, don’t we all?

Esquire Magazine reporter as stand-up comedian with a podium. Trying to entertain an audience of mainly youngster college students.  Only a few oldsters in the crowd like me and a friend.

Setting: Plattsburgh State College Center, Warren Ballroom B.  Flags from various nations hang from the ceiling perimeter except for the towering wall divider to my left.  The accordion barrier with its warped chrome surface creates smeary reflections, divides the huge conference room into A and B.  Chris must be B list.

He mentions that he feels like a B-lister this evening.  He’s competing with some sort of sporting event happening that night, the Sweet Sixteen.  I don’t follow sports.  All I can envision is a young Molly Ringwald with candles.

SRJ: Never ID yourself as "I," say instead "this reporter."  Better yet, stay invisible, objective.  You don't exist.  Floss daily.

The guest speaker is dealing with some handicaps – besides being an Esquire reporter.  Lassitude hangs on him, no bright-eyed and bushy-tailed radiance.  Dressed college-student-slob chic, a black GUNS N' ROSES T-shirt, looking like he just rolled out of bed after a long night.  His hirsute countenance evinces he skipped shaving that morning.

He’s just driven all the way down from America’s backyard from a place called Port Hope (Home of the Canadian Firefighters Museum!), a trek to get here.  On the way he remembered his wife's birthday.  Guilt.  Maybe fear.

Leaning on the podium, favoring his left side, he mentions he has hurt his shoulder.  (Result of an accident while renovating his old house?)  It could be pain or pain-killers or both dull his edge.

Or possibly his house sits near a cache of radioactive waste they forgot to clean up.  Another health factor. With those big Esquire paychecks did he ever buy a Geiger counter?

But to his credit Chris presses on like the he-man sports heroes he follows and writes about as a columnist for ESPN The Magazine, his other gig.

Or maybe this laidback persona is part of his comedy persona.  Steven Wright minus the metaphysical stonerism.

Chris says he wants to keep it light but keeps slipping into serious topics related to journalism.  He has a difficult crowd because many of the students in the audience heard him earlier in the day speak in journalism class.  How do you keep your material fresh the second time around?

One story probably repeated: He got hired at Esquire by showing up with a box of doughnuts.  Funny.  That routine doesn't work for me during an interrogation at the police station.

Chris mentions he feels old.  He appears to be in his forties.

My friend and I, both in the same age bracket, look at each other, share a comment.  We both eschew Just For Men hair dye (“Find in it the MENS section!”) to conceal our gray/white hair.  And this guy thinks he’s old.  These whiny kids nowadays.

(Fun fact: Chris Jones, Class of '96, Bishop University.  Do the math.)

Despite my senior patience the talk goes on a bit long.  Running out the clock to earn his fee? With camera sitting in lap I start debating whether I should kill some time imaging the liquid abstract shapes on the wall divider right next to me, grossly distorted world flags: LSD impressionism.  But that would be rude, especially sitting near the front where the speaker can easily espy me.

But I re-focus on Chris when during Q&A he asks for questions to lighten his presentation.  Once again: too serious.

As a writer/photographer/ex-janitor I had noticed something.  While shooting Chris (photographically) I had to deal with a distraction to crop out later.  With color imaging always avoid something that draws the eye away from your subject like a brightly-chromatic object. (Sacrosanct Rule of Photography.)

I raise my hand.

Me: "From what I understand details are important in reporting."

Chris: "Oh sure."

Me (pointing): "So could you explain to me the orange litter next to the podium and your reaction to it?"

Chris: "Litter?"  A huh moment.

He looks to the side of the podium, sees the tissue ball on the floor, a crumpled up remainder of a sorority event held earlier.  He picks it up.

I ask if it's a napkin.

"No, it's a decoration," he notes while formulating a witty remark.  "Details are important."

Chris makes comments about DNA traces on the discarded decoration, the evil stain joke.

He adds: "I'm probably going to be arrested for just touching it. I'm too old."

Man, whiny kid.

I asked him if he was going to autograph the litter.

He shoots me a quick laser glance.  OK, getting into the heckling zone, back off.

At least I gave him a prop to work with.  It generates laughter.  Not as messy as Gallagher and the watermelons.

Chris mentions that when he’s writing he has to know how his article will wrap up. Me, I start at the beginning and hope to find the ending.  After all, every article has to have a point.  A Sacrosanct Rule of Journalism never to be transgressed.

But with this piece I’m stuck.  Almost.  Writing is only as hard as you make it.

Time for a standard comedy device.

A sudden blackout.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Street Harassment Victims Speak Out


Musician/singer Taylor LaValley also shared her experience as a target of harassment at the Hollaback! Plattsburgh fundraiser held at Koffee Kat.

(C) 2014  Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 3/22/14

So you're walking down the street and someone yells a slur at you like faggot.  What's the big deal?  It's just name calling.  Street harassment doesn't get out of hand.

Don't tell that to Chris Rigsbee, the target of verbal harassment that escalated into gang assault.  Chris suffered serious injuries from a brutal beating by six men in 2010.

He spoke at the Hollaback! Plattsburgh fundraiser held at the Koffee Kat coffeehouse Saturday evening.  Hollaback! is a national organization dedicated to ending street harassment.  Activist Matt Hall is creating a local group to deal with the problem in Plattsburgh City.

While featuring music and poetry the event also provided an opportunity for harassment targets to publicly share their experiences.

The first speaker, Sarah Mundy, was also one of the performers.  She said she was on the way to the event when some guy shouted something at her from a car.

A short walk from her apartment to the Koffee Kat couldn't be free of street harassment.  Ironically her story proved how it often it occurs in such a nice community like Plattsburgh.

When Sarah asked the audience if anyone had experienced such harassment almost every hand in the crowded room was raised.

One man stepped on the small stage and talked about how he didn't have a car but instead drove a scooter.  Because of his transportation mode guys in trucks yelled homophobic things at him.

More irony.  A city that elected an openly gay mayor and homophobia is still prevalent.

Among the stories shared a woman talked about a man grabbing her butt outside a downtown bar.  The man wanted her to slap him.  She declined.

Another speaker was Kaitlyn Donovan who said harassment is not limited to the street, it can happen anywhere: at work, at home, in school.

She said:

"By letting those people yell at us... it's giving them the message that it's OK to treat your fellow classmates, your co-workers, or your family that way.  So I'm hollering back, saying its not OK."

When Matt Hall was interviewed previously to the fundraiser he stated that such a culture has to change because when harassment is allowed or ignored it can lead to violent acts.

The last speaker was Chris Rigsbee who shared what happened to him one night back in November 2010.  He and his girlfriend at the time were returning home, walking down a Broad Street sidewalk when some men on a porch started a confrontation.  As mentioned in a previous article at this blog Chris was called a faggot apparently because he was wearing a rainbow design on his cap.

Chris said told the men there was no need for that.

He continued his story:

"So, of course, that immediately escalated into three men punching me, sending my [eyeglasses] flying into the grass.  I was immediately blinded.

"The three men turned into six men from the porch.  It was repetitive.  Eventually I was on the ground, they were kicking me, beating me, and eventually it escalated to the point when a young gentleman from this house grabbed the back of my head, pulled on my hair, and repeatedly bashed my head into the sidewalk, making me lose three teeth."

Chris pointed to his mouth.

"These bottom teeth here.  Every morning I have the pleasure of waking up and brushing invisible teeth.  I have fake teeth."

As difficult it was for Chris to recall and share his story he pressed on, the strain evident in his voice.

"I have a great life now, I have a very supportive girlfriend, a wonderful family that supports me.  There will be not one single day that I don't remember the assault, the violence, the inhumanity I went through, the humiliation, the anger that I felt, and the guilt for even fucking wanting to live and be a good person because what the fuck is the point if you can't just walk down the street and just mind your own business?"

Chris mentioned how the judicial system failed to render justice with his case.

As I've reported before, only one of the attackers was charged, not with a felony but with a misdemeanor reduced to a violation, disorderly conduct.  Basically the psychotic thug got off with the equivalent of a parking ticket for repeatedly slamming Chris's head into the sidewalk.

Chris thanked his friends and family for their support during the aftermath of the beating.

He concluded by addressing the event participants and organizers:

"I've been through the wringer, so there's part of me that feels we're preaching to the choir, that is sad, but I love every one of you, and the shining knight that is in my heart wishes us to keep moving forward and make this world a better place so that people don't have to experience such terrible tragedies.  I wish you guys the best of luck.  Thanks."

For more information about Hollaback! Plattsburgh you can email Matt Hall - plattsburgh@ihollaback.org  - or call (518) 310-0659.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Winter View From My Window




Why I hate a North Country winter – all six months.

One more winter month to go: April.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hollaback!: The Streets Are For Everyone


Activist Matt Hall discusses an upcoming fundraiser for Hollaback! Plattsburgh while displaying the poster promoting the event.

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 3/14/14

Street harassment?  Is that really a problem in Plattsburgh?

Yes, it is, replies Matt Hall when he hears that comment.

"I know personally it happens on a regular basis," says Matt.  "There's a lot of people who feel they can't go out downtown, they don't feel safe.  They're sick of being harassed: verbally, physically or sexually."

The harassers can pick from a variety of aspects to target someone: appearance, race, gender, sexual orientation, or class.  In Plattsburgh, Matt notes, it's not just one demographic that suffers most of the harassment.

So why is the community-at-large unaware of the problem?

"I've talked to people," Matt explains, "who feel the harassment is so frequent and so ingrained in the culture that it's not worth reporting."

Occasionally a major incident is covered in the media, he adds, but that doesn't indicate the true scope of the problem.

Responding to the local situation Matt is working with Hollaback!, an organization dedicated to ending street harassment.

According to the Hollaback! website, www.ihollaback.org, the non-profit is "powered by local activists in 71 cities and 24 countries."  Among its goals: start conversations about street harassment, give victims an outlet to share their stories, and develop strategies to deal with the problem.  One strategy has been utilizing mobile technology, cell phones, to document and share incidents.

"By holla’ing back," explains the site, "you are transforming an experience that is lonely and isolating into one that is sharable."

Matt is being trained by Hollaback through web seminars, learning about the organization's strategies and goals, to set up a Plattsburgh group.  He's also working on a local website still under construction.  Once the site is live it will offer a forum for those reporting street harassment.

One major goal is to raise awareness, he says, so that more people can deal with the problem.  Hollaback! empowers victims to speak out, empowers others to help them.

As part of raising awareness Matt has organized a music event/fundraiser at the Koffee Kat, 104 Margaret Street, on Saturday, March 22, at 7 PM.  Performers will be Sarah Munday, Taylor LaValley, and Dandersen, all volunteers.  Volunteerism, explains Matt, is a key feature to Hollaback!'s success.  He plans to form a Plattsburgh Hollaback! team with each volunteer handling a particular duty.

Fundraiser donations will be applied towards with the start-up costs for Hollaback! Plattsburgh such as creating a banner and posters.

For more information about Hollaback! Plattsburgh you can email Matt Hall - plattsburgh@ihollaback.org  - or call (518) 310-0659.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rounding Up The Unusual Suspects


"Danger, Will Robinson!  Danger!"  
(Composite of images from Plattsburgh Housing Authority website. 
Click on image to enlarge.)


(C) 2014  Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 3/11/14

"Round up the usual suspects." - Inspector Renault, Casablanca, 1942 film


November 15, 2013.  City of Plattsburgh (COP) police officers knocked on some doors and hauled in some suspects.  Drug dealers?  Terrorists?

No, just ordinary citizens, voters, and even a mayoral candidate.

Election season.  Republican candidates charged that fraud was being committed with absentee ballots canvassed by the Working Families Party (WFP).  Martin Mannix, Clinton County Democratic Party Chairman, responded in a news conference that the primary intent behind the charges was to intimidate voters in the Plattsburgh area (city and township).

Absentee ballot voters in the Town of Plattsburgh (TOP) were subpoenaed to testify in NYS Supreme Court about the matter as discussed in my previous article, "Allegations Uninvestigated After Judge's Final Decision."

Meanwhile Plattsburgh City police also looked into the matter within the COP domain.  Part of the investigation focused on absentee ballots collected from residents in the low income housing operated by the Plattsburgh Housing Authority (PHA).

The COP police station was busy, various people being interviewed in the cubicles.

Even a mayoral candidate, Mark Tiffer, a Democrat also endorsed by WFP, was brought in for questioning.  He was interviewed about what he knew which was basically nothing.  Fortunately, he wasn't subjected to the interrogation style of the good old days of policing, a bright hot lamp burning into his eyes in a darkened room, sweat-miasma hanging in the air.

Of course the Plattsburgh City police were only following orders that came from the top.  And at the top at this time was Mayor Donald Kasprzak, a Republican, a detail rightly or wrongly emphasized by those opposed to his political POV.

Besides the police investigation the Plattsburgh Housing Authority (PHA) put up notices on doors throughout the low income housing area and also posted the notification on its website.  The notification alerted residents to be on guard from people canvassing absentee ballots, that dire legal consequences could result if the voter didn't properly fill out the form.  One wonders if this warning would have been issued if the Republican Party, not WFP, was gathering absentee votes.

The results of the investigation have not been publicly revealed.  Until such results are shared it's uncertain if anyone was guilty of fraud.

WFP member William Cowan was interrogated at his home by two police detectives.  William wanted to know who initiated the investigation and was told to speak with Lieutenant Rascoe.  William called the PD, left a message for a return call, but there was no response.

One take on the investigation is that the police offers didn't have warrants, ergo, the people interviewed didn't have to comply to the extent they did, being interrogated at the police station.  But a cop at your door can be unsettling, especially when you're caught off guard.  One WFP member knew her rights: she shut the door on the police when they tried to haul her down to the station to be interrogated.

So was the COP investigation into the absentee ballots mainly an act of intimidation?

Mark Tiffer didn't win the mayor's seat.  A third candidate entered the race who took a large number of votes away from him, a three way split that allowed Republican James Calnon to gain the majority.  There's always another election but lingering in the background is the story about Mark being interviewed by the police regarding absentee ballot fraud.  And even though he did nothing wrong, some won't get the full story and negative rumors could spread.

And as for those absentee voters targeted by both the COP and TOP investigations?

WFP members heard a certain comment more than once:

"I'll never vote again."


NOTES:

Sources include an article by William Cowan to be published in the upcoming first edition of the alternative newspaper, UnderCurrents.

While checking out various details I tried contacting a potential source but that person's phone has been disconnected.  From what I heard that individual wants to forget about any involvement with the absentee ballot canvassing.  A situation that could be construed as another example of intimidation.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Allegation Uninvestigated After Judge's Final Decision


DISCLAIMER: This blog is not officially affiliated with or endorsed by Clinton County, NY.


(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 2/26/14


Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Governmental official.  Or someone who claims to be one.

Better ask for credentials.  There's all sorts of stories out there about individuals passing themselves off as official representatives to get what they want.  Did you hear the story about the private investigator who needed a urine sample for DNA testing from the target of his investigation?  He got it by knocking on the person's door, saying that he was from the Health Department and that there was a problem with the water system.

Such acts of impersonation are called pretexting.

Normally strange visitors are who they claim to be but you never know.  The urine specimen story happened elsewhere but pretexting can happen anywhere.

Locally some people have alleged that a Republican candidate passed himself off as Clinton County Board of Elections representative while investigating possible fraud with certain absentee ballots.

Backgrounder:

Election season, Plattsburgh area, fall 2014.  Controversy erupted when Republican candidates challenged the validity of absentee ballots canvassed by volunteers from the Working Families Party (WFP).  Martin Mannix, Clinton County Chairman of the Democratic Party, held a new conference on November 20th, stating the Republican challenge was more about voter intimidation than fraud.

Two separate investigations, city and town, were initiated by Republican Party members.  In the City of Plattsburgh (COP) the municipal police interviewed a number of people including WFP volunteers who canvassed for the absentee ballots.  Some are taken to the station for questioning.

Dealing with the Town of Plattsburgh (TOP) election a petition was filed in the New York State Supreme Court by Tom Metz, a Republican candidate for an open seat on the Town Board.  When the petition was refiled he was joined by another Republican candidate, Bill Brudvig, also running for a Town Board seat.

Named as respondents were Susan Castine and Greg Campbell, as Commissioners of the Clinton County Board of Elections, and Michael Cashman and Paul Lamoy, as Candidates for the Public Office of Town Council, Town of Plattsburgh.  (Cashman and Lamoy ran with endorsements from both the Democratic and Working Families parties.)

Some absentee voters were subpoenaed and had to appear in Court.  This meant taking time off from their jobs and family duties.

In his decision dated January 21, 2014 the Honorable John T. Ellis, J.S.C., ruled that some of the ballots were invalid but also found no wrongdoing by the respondents in the petition.  

(A scanned PDF copy of his decision can be found here: https://app.box.com/s/1sc0qkubq0ibc808huoy .)

He also wrote:

"Initially, the court notes that there was testimony from some of the voters to indicate the petitioner went door to door stating he was from the Board of Elections and he wanted to ask questions about the absentee ballots filed by various voters.  The information he gathered then was placed into the affidavit supporting the Petition before the Court."

Regarding the alleged activity Judge Ellis stated the Court didn't make a finding and wasn't required or requested to make one.

He continued: "Without deciding whether or not [the allegation] is true, the Court doesn't want to encourage investigations by candidates claiming to be from the Board of Elections in order to elicit information about the voters' personal lives to substantiate reasons to invalidate absentee ballots."

Besides being a TOP councilor Tom Wood also serves as Clinton County Chairman of Working Families Party.  In a phone interview he told me he heard the testimony from absentee voters and had also spoken with voters outside court who stated that a candidate was passing himself off as an official from the Board of Elections.  He added that to pursue the truth behind the allegation would have involved spending money that he and the Working Families Party doesn't have.

I find it ironical that absentee ballot voters, common citizens, had to testify in court while the candidate who initiated the action isn't required or requested to testify about his alleged pretexting.

But that's how the system works.  No $, no chance of getting to the truth, good or bad.

For example, imagine how much its costs to test DNA in a urine specimen.


*  *  *

NOTE: In an article scheduled for the first issue of the alternative newspaper, UnderCurrents, Working Families Party member William Cowan will provide more details about the absentee ballot investigations.  Email for more info on UnderCurrents: editorundercurrents@primelink1.net .

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Acoustic Music @ ROTA


Matt Hall  (Marco Polio)








Daniel Gelinas  (You, Yourself & I)





Justin Passino  (For The Kid In The Back)




Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Plattsburgh Newspaper Going To The Dogs


PLATTSBURGH NY - 2/18/14

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

Your newspaper is dying, dwindling readership, ad dollars.  What can you do to reverse the decline?

Maybe give readers a reason to pick up the paper.  How about investigative reporting?  Looking into those stories heard on the street, getting to the truth, sorting the scat from the candy.

Nah.  That would involve reporting, acting like a real newspaper.

Images found at www.pressrepublican.com .

Instead hold a Top Dog contest.  Invite readers to submit cute photos of their canine companions.  A fun feature that won't generate controversy.  Investigative reporting — that could mean hurt feelings, bad things said.  Can't have that at your sleepy paper.

Let the readers do most of the work, providing free content that could potentially be exploited for more profit by you.  Unless they click on that one link they won't know that they're signing their rights away. To wit: "If you submit any information to us... you are giving that information, and all your rights in it, to us free of charge... [the information] may be used by us for any purpose, without your consent or any compensation to you or anyone else."

So if the paper needs a goofy dog shot for an ad, no need for a pro photographer, just use one submitted by a reader.  In fact let the readers create most of the content for free and reduce your pro staff to part-time wage slaves.

But won't such a move mean a lower quality newspaper, a continued drop in readership?  Well if you keep cutting you can maintain a profit.  That's what the big brains at the Head Office and the stockholders think.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alternative Newspaper Aborning


A participant holds a mock-up of a forthcoming North Country alternative newspaper.  Coordinated by activist Mary-Alice Shemo the planning session addressed many details that had to be hammered out before publication.


PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 2/16/14

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

Planning to cover issues not reported by other local media a group of concerned citizens met Saturday afternoon at Koffee Kat to plan the launch of an alternative newspaper, UnderCurrents.


William W. Cowan (left) adds his input to the discussion.  The group made some key decisions such as the newspaper's format.  Opposing commentary would be welcome so that other viewpoints would be shared in UnderCurrents.

For more information about UnderCurrents contact Mary-Alice Shemo via email: shemogua@juno.com .

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Signs Of Conflict



(Click on image to enlarge view.)

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