Sunday, May 27, 2012
Staten Island comedian John Freedberg entertains the audience Saturday evening at the Koffee Kat with his punny routine. He was one of the performers during the event featuring standup comedy and music under the aegis of Black CNN, a local production company headed by promoter Mark Brannigan. For more info on other Black CNN events, contact Mark at irishtwilight(at)hotmail(dot)com.
Saturday, May 19, 2012
The small bird rested on its side against the concrete, an awkward pose. I captured images with my camera for reference. (Amateur ornithologist.)
Suddenly the bird twitched. It was still alive. Maybe it was just stunned. A fledging that fell out of its nest and crawled away or a tyro flyer struck by a passing vehicle.
Now it lay in the open on the sidewalk. I wanted to improve its chances for survival. Someone racing along on a bicycle might run it over. Or a dog might see it and quickly finish its life with a couple of chomps.
I spotted some litter, a black plastic lid. I used the lid to carefully move the bird off to the side of the office building, right next to the wall in the shade. It chirped a few times.
As I walked away I noticed someone with a dog. The owner and the dog went in the opposite direction.
Before I left the area I looked back at where I had placed the bird. A dark-haired woman stood over the tiny victim. It must have been chirping again, pitiful cries. The woman decided there was a better way to help the bird. The human angel of mercy stomped on it, twice.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
This headline just caught my eye at the Press-Republican website:
"City Council to vote on returning traffic light"
Back in 2006 Plattsburgh City decided to remove the stoplight at the intersection of Margaret and Elm streets, assuming that stopsigns only for vehicles traveling on Elm would do the job.
Some councilors feel the return of the stoplight isn't needed, the expense is too great, including Councilor Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2). His reasoning is summed up this way in the PR article:
"Tiffer said that there have been no major accidents at the intersection since the light was removed, and the traffic study backs up the position of leaving it out."
Sorry, Mr. Tiffer, but I think you should look at my blog post dated July 9, 2009 entitled "Car Accident: Margaret And Elm." Below are the two photos I included with the post.
Maybe that no one died or was seriously injured in that accident keeps it from being considered as "major." But considering the damage to the car, the fact that an ambulance showed up, and that one passenger was young enough to be in a child safety seat (second photo), I don't think that was a minor event. And who knows what other accidents have occurred at the same intersection when I didn't happen to be around.
Put the stoplight back in before there is a major accident. Yes, the stoplight will cost more than $100,000 but what price do you put on a human life?
UPDATE 5/18/12: As reported on WIRY radio, a vote was taken at the Common Council meeting Thursday evening and a stoplight will be installed once again at the intersection. The councilors were split down the middle but Mayor Donald Kasprzak cast the tie-breaker vote in favor of the stoplight.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Sunday evening. Mother’s Day. I’m walking down Margaret Street when I notice of trail of dark blotches along the sidewalk into the street. I don’t know what caused the stains but I snap a few shots for my records.
Today I heard via word on the street that there was a stabbing, maybe two, in the same location where I found the trail of blotches. The incident (or incidents) occurred early Sunday morning around 1 AM in the area of Rumors bar. The stains and the story apparently match up.
According to the story a college student or students from one of Plattsburgh’s two institutions of higher learning were involved. If – and I do mean if – that’s the case, don’t be surprised if it takes a while – like after graduation – for the local mainstream media to mention the incident.
After all, the take a look at the riot at the VFW on Boynton Avenue involving Clinton Community College students that occurred on May 8th, 2011. If you go to the online version of the Press-Republican article you will notice that the story wasn’t filed until twelve days later on May 20th. Of course, maybe the PR will surprise me and get the details on this case out in the open soon.
Obviously Plattsburgh’s local colleges don’t want stories like this public just before graduation with mom and dad and other relatives visiting to see Johnny and Jane graduating from an institution they assumed was a safe place to send their offspring. Not to assume that there’s any connection between advertising dollars given by the colleges and the local media.
And maybe if the responsible party or parties are found guilty of such a violent act as a stabbing, they will get more than just a charge of disorderly conduct. Then again, if someone has connections…
UPDATE: 5/15/12, 7:50 PM. Props to the PR for covering the story. Maybe this will clear up some of the rumors and also people won't be using Facebook to track the story.
Stabbing victim improving By MIRANDA ORSO
UPDATE 2: 5/15/12, 10:40 PM. Hey, even WPTZ-TV/Channel 5 provided some info on the story even though it didn't happen in Vermont. Then again, if the incident occurred in downtown Enosberg Falls, maybe there would be more about it than just a blurb.
Two injured in retaliatory knife attack
Saturday, May 12, 2012
A PR editorial entitled "Changes at the newspaper" (5/10/12) details the downsizing and restructuring recently at the Press-Republican. Most of it is old news to readers of this blog.
It's good that the PR is discussing these changes but one gets the feeling the editor is whistling while walking past a graveyard of hungry zombies late at night.
Also, I hate it when any institution -- governmental, educational, private -- misuses a word or phase, especially when it comes to a matter of self-proclaimed standards and performance. Actions speak louder than buzzwords.
Check out the last paragraph of the "Changes" editorial:
"We continue to focus on pursuing excellence. Though we will never forget the contributions of those we have lost, we are confident the 104 people who remain at the Press-Republican will continue to work just as hard to provide the same strong news report and quality of work that you, the reader, deserve."
Well, let's check out the quality of work -- the excellence if you prefer -- with this headline that appeared in the 5/9/12 print edition of the PR (page B1) about a sport event:
Saranac Lake readers deserve better.
Please note that this blog strives for decent quality. No pretensions of excellence here. I'm just a staff of one -- but at least I use spellchecker program.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Hiya, kids, it's your ol' pal Plattsy The Clown, the spirit of Plattsburgh City. Did you know that downtown Plattsburgh has its own mascot?
Say hello to Plopsy The Pigeon. He's on display over the sidewalk where Broad Street meets Margaret. (That's not his head sticking out but his other end.) If you don't know the location, ask the school kids who walk by Plopsy's Perfect Perch every day.
Now some call Plopsy's kind "rats with wings." That's not nice. After all, Plopsy is adding to the general atmosphere of downtown with his decorative splats all over the sidewalk (or if you're really lucky, you'll be blessed on your head). Moms, take your kids to visit Plopsy; make a day of it. Your offspring can play Hopscotch Over The White Dots. Plenty of yuks, not yucks. And don't forget the educational value for young minds. You can talk about how the word guano comes via Spanish from the Quechua word wanu.
So say a big "Hello" to Plopsy. (Just make sure to wear safety goggles.)
[LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Not responsible for any diseases contracted by contact with pigeon droppings, including but not limited to: histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis, and psittacosis. ]
Saturday, May 05, 2012
Anarchists have a new weapon of protest: magic wands.
Or so it seems after reading an Associated Press article published in the May 2nd, 2012 print edition of the Press-Republican (page A9: "Stinging gas sends protesters fleeing"). Discussing protests across the US on May 1st, the third paragraph states:
"Black-clad protesters in Seattle used sticks to small downtown windows..."
OK, you might think: Why aren't the protesters smashing windows with plain old normal sticks? Well, as far as I know, there's no law against smalling windows, reducing them in size.
So what's the harm? Well, imagine you have a great line-up of merchandise in your shop's display window and now that window has been reduced to a peephole. How can you entice potential customers on the street when your panes are only one inch by one inch in size, a large wall now blocking the view into your business?
Oddly enough, when I found the AP article online, it read "...used sticks to smash windows..."
The Press-Republican must have the inside scoop on the magic wand angle, radical Harry Potter fans on the loose. After all, PR editors proofread pages before sending them to the printing press, thus maintaining the highest standards of journalistic excellence.
Word on the street: recently more PR employees have been canned, including three in editorial. Downsizing continues. Apparently the paper's owners, Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., hasn't figured out this equation: Smaller staff = declining quality = less readers = less profit.
The downward spiral continues.
Last one out, please turn off the newswire.
(Note to sticklers: Yes, the distress signal is mayday, not May Day, repeated three times, not twice. I'm just punning ya. )
Thursday, May 03, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Do you like pigeon shit clinging to your shoes? Better yet, how about receiving a plop on your head?
The empty building at 2 Margaret Street has been home for some pigeons who enjoy roosting and nesting on the Broad Street side. The mess they're making -- from the white streak down the side of the building to the pile on the sidewalk -- is obvious. An open vent should be covered with wire.
I contacted the Building Inspectors office over two weeks ago and today contacted them as a reminder. The building at 2 Margaret is up for sale or lease. Buyer beware. You might have to clean out the vents, disposing of pigeon shit and dead pigeons.
In case you think I'm overreacting, go to my bad blog, Dogtown 12901, where I crossposted this with a photo of the sidewalk mess.
Gee, could this problem be a health hazard?
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Photographic evidence over at my bad blog. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.