Thursday, October 17, 2019

Irate Citizen Confronts Mayor: Not News?

© 2019 Luke T. Bush

As seen on TV but not in the newspaper.


Something's wrong when I end up getting news from Facebook, not the newspaper.

Dr. Sylvie Beaudreau is an Associate Professor, Northern American History, at Plattsburgh State University. Also she is a member of the Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition that is challenging some decisions made by city government regarding the use of DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) grant money.

On the Facebook page Save Durkee Street Parking Lot (post dated 10/3/19) she shared what she had observed earlier in the evening at the Plattsburgh City Council meeting.

One topic was a budget problem that could mean the closure of the public recreation gym at the old Air Force base property. At the end of the meeting Mayor Colin Read invited citizens to share comments by stepping up to the podium.

In her FB post Sylvie mentioned that Jeanne Clark, former owner of Zuke’s Subs, walked up and stood across from the mayor, not at the podium. As usual the meeting was video recorded and the incident can be viewed here.

After others made suggestions on how to save the base gym Jeanne challenged the mayor on what ideas they had. Why should only citizens have to come up with solutions? In a loud voice she observed: "You're the mayor... You should have a gazillion solutions on how to save the gym."

City Councilor Rachelle Armstrong told Jeanne she was out of order, that Jeanne could only address the mayor at the podium. (Cynical observation: "Damn rabble! Stay behind the barricade!")

From the podium Jeanna asked her question again. The mayor calmly replied that at the moment it was a city council driven process. So Jeanne asked: "So you don't have any solutions at this point?" The mayor calmly repeated his statement about a council driven process. That left it open to interpretation that the city didn't have squat for ideas.

I think such a confrontation is notable because it shows some citizens have anger towards the mayor, the frustration they feel with his leadership style. But the next day Press-Republican article about the meeting listed a number of comments by citizens but omitted the one by the angry citizen.

Some could argue that it wasn't newsworthy.

While watching the video I noticed a reporter from WCAX-TV from Burlington, Vt. (WPTZ-TV, once based in New York State, wasn't there. The news team probably rushed to Enosburg Falls, Vt. to cover someone's front lawn crabgrass problem.) So I checked online and found the WCAX News story that included a clip of the confrontation. At least they thought it was worth mentioning.

The purpose of a newspaper is to publish news.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cut! That's A Wrap

Despite the rainy weather artist Brendon Palmer-Angel (left) was able to finish the Jean Arthur mural in time for the evening unveiling and ribbon cutting. The mural is 40 feet high, dominating the back wall of the old Merchants Bank seen from Protection Alley.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Mural With A Message

© 2019 Luke T. Bush


Artist Dennis Smyth of Body Art Tattoo holds the reference sketch for a new painted mural on a Durkee Street building wall. He explains the mural is being created for Stop Domestic Violence, the design a mandala that will include a hotline telephone number.

With the sunny weather Dennis thinks the mural will be completed in a couple of days.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Am I Slipping?

© 2019 Luke T. Bush 10/5


In the Thursday, October 3 edition of the Press-Republican newspaper there was a Letter to the Editor concerning photography (see accompanying image. Click on it to enlarge.) I glanced over the letter assuming it referred to a city employee. At one time Plattsburgh City was going around taking photos of hedges intruding over public sidewalks. Using these photos the city would contact property owners to trim back their hedges.

Today someone pointed out that when they read the letter they thought it referred to me. She mentioned that I was known for taking photographs of problems in the city.

After a second read it sounds that the letter writer was referring to me. Gee, I didn't know I was the official photog in charge of documenting municipal trouble spots. It appears I've been slipping in conducting my duty.