Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Pink Is For Breast Cancer Awareness



The old Courthouse bell tower in downtown Plattsburgh City has been lit up with colors appropriate to the time, for example, red, white and blue for the 4th of July.  Now other colors like pink can be added by the use of tinted glass plates placed in front of the lights.  October is breast cancer awareness month.

Winged Gleaners


While the bee seen above was quickly moving to collect pollen the wasps below were "sleepy."  Apparently the temperature dropped the previous day so quickly that they stayed dormant on the goldenrod until the morning sun warmed then up.



Thursday, August 26, 2021

Golden Rebirth


© 2021 Luke T. Bush


Last year volunteers cleaned up downtown, cutting grass growing through sidewalk cracks, picking up trash, making the area more presentable.

But some volunteers removed some goldenrod growing near Macdonough Monument.  Maybe they thought it was ragweed. Goldenrod is beneficial to a number of insects including Monarch butterflies.

But the goldenrod refused to die and it grew back this year, providing food to a variety of insects. This meant I could once again do closeup photography of bees, wasps, locust borer beetles, and even tiny ambush bugs.





Saturday, July 10, 2021

New Mural Growing


A community garden is growing on the back of the building that houses Campus Corner Restaurant at 90 Bridge Street.  Once again Outside Art: Plattsburgh Art Project is creating another mural to brighten up Plattsburgh.



After some modification to the original design the nature themed mural outside the Plattsburgh Public Library has been completed after four years.   On July 16th at 4 PM the mural will be dedicated to the memory of Jerry Seguin, one of the artists who worked on "Read and Grow: Dream Garden Mural."  The dedication will be held on the Brinkerhoff side of PPL where the mural can be seen.

Following the dedication there will be a memorial film about Jerry shown inside the library.  Attendees are advised to be prepared to wear masks depending upon the library's policies. 


Julius, great nephew of astronaut Michael Anderson, sits in a mini FB-111 jet 
reproduction during the Plattsburgh July 4th parade.  Michael Anderson died in 2003
during the disastrous re-entry of space shuttle Columbia.  He was born in 
Plattsburgh and at one time was stationed at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base.  
The Anderson family visited Plattsburgh to attend the dedication of the mural located
 on Durkee Street depicting the astronaut.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Art As Activity Spot

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

Les Cosgrove (yellow shirt) explains her work as part of a video documentary.


At first glance the paintings spread across the sidewalk outside 30 City Hall Place are fanciful images for young children.  But take a second look and you’ll notice a pattern in two sections.   Squares form a hopscotch layout.  The long twisty green band is a maze pathway through a school of fish.

There’s also a section with blank white fish, ready for sidewalk chalk artists to fill in with their own details.

Outdoor Art: Plattsburgh Public Art Project created the City-wellness installation through the work of primary artist Les Cosgrove with assistance by Amy Guglielmo.

The Clinton County Health Department provided funding through the Operation Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper grant program.  One aim of the program was to add activity stencils to a sidewalk or building so that people can play as they go.

Blank fish await for details to be added by young sidewalk chalk artists.

A-mazing artwork.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

​BolaWrap: As Seen On TV!

Wow.  When I grow up I wanna be a NCIS cop with a BolaWrap gun.


 © 2021 Luke T. Bush


In a previous article I discussed BolaWrap, a less-lethal/nonlethal device that fires Kevlar lines at a human target.  The lines immobilize the target by wrapping around that person, four-pronged barbs holding the lines in place.  This device is intended to safely deal with non-compliant people including the mentally ill.

Now if the barbs dig into thick clothing, no problem.  But the barbs can also dig into bare flesh.  A misfire could mean the lines could wrap around someone's neck instead of the legs.

In a demonstration video there aren’t any problems when someone walks away at a measured pace and is BolaWrapped.   But when someone is running they take a hard fall but fortunately in the video the target is on a soft lawn or sandy area. Someone slamming down on pavement might end up with a busted nose or loose a few teeth.  Is this the way to treat the mentally ill?

The last segment in the video shows a scene from NCIS: Los Angeles, a fictional TV crime show.  BolaWrap also appeared on another CBS police drama, S.W.A.T.  Talk about product placement.  And with TV production you can do a retake if the line wraps around the fleeing suspect’s neck or he takes a hard fall, breaking his jaw.  Save it for the blooper reel.

After stopping the suspect the NCIS agent observes how BolaWrap makes him feel like Batman.  Yup, let’s invoke comic book fantasy.  Some critics have called BolaWrap the Batman lasso.

Critics have observed that using BolaWrap on a mentally ill person is dehumanizing, treating them like an animal.

Coverage of an incident in Buffalo, NY shows the opposing views on BolaWrap.  In what appears to be a news article through GlobeNewsWire there was the successful use of the device when the police were dealing with a woman suffering from a mental health crisis.

"Police say they spoke with the woman for an extended period of time, asking her to get in a police car and receive medical evaluation. The woman refused, which police say prompted them to deploy the Bolawrap.

"The device allowed police to transport her to Erie County Medical Center for evaluation without anyone getting hurt, according to police.”

Note that GlobeNewsWire distributes press releases, not actual news articles that look at all sides of an issue.  GNW’s stated purpose is to disseminate press releases to a maximum audience while increasing SEO.

As for a real news article vice.com covered both sides of the controversy.  The incident in Buffalo included some extra details.

The BolaWrapped woman was only wearing a t-shirt in freezing temps.  A witness told a local news radio station the woman wasn’t given warm clothing or a blanket after she was snared.  The witness added that a mental health professional was on the scene but no attempt was made to calm the woman down, deescalating the situation.

Sometimes it’s worth the effort to read a press release to the very end.  The GlobeNewsWire has a disclaimer entitled Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements – Safe Harbor Statement.  In part this disclaimer tells readers the forward-looking statements can mean risks, the Company’s actual results might be completely different from the Company’s statements.  It goes on to cover all bases including “government regulation,” “defects,” “litigation,” and even “outbreaks of disease.”

Ever see such a disclaimer at the bottom of a news article?