Monday, February 22, 2021

Pop For The People


© 2021 Luke T. Bush

Inspired by the works of Andy Warhol the Plattsburgh State Burke Art Gallery has exploded with pop art by local artists. The exhibit will be on display until March 12.

Due to the pandemic Plattsburgh State Art Museum is closed to the public but faculty, staff and students may visit at reduced capacity. If you belong to that listed group you can visit from at Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m in the John Meyers Building.

M.I. Devine curated the exhibit. Saranac Central High School students under the mentoring of art teacher Amy Guglielmo have contributed works.

For more information call 518-564-2474 or visit


Friday, February 12, 2021

Project Peacock


© 2021 Luke T. Bush

The pandemic added to the insufferable winter weather has forced me to spend more time than usual in my apartment. It’s bad enough frigid temps wear and tear on me when I’m outside but also my camera has a rough time. And with my comorbidities I have to avoid hanging around most places so I don’t catch something in the air or on a surface.

I’ve been getting back into closeup/macro-photography, the art of making the small big. One main problem is greater magnification means less depth of field, the area in focus with a subject. DOF can be narrow as a millimeter or less. A shallow part of the object is sharp while the rest is a big blur.

Enter focus stacking. I carefully take a series of shots, focus “slices,” meticulously working from front to back. Then I open that series of images in a focus stacking program that combines the sharpest part of each image, magically making the area of sharpness deeper.

A friend used to raise peacocks and he gave me some feathers. Now with focus stacking I can now really explore their color and details.

 (Click on each image to enlarge.)




Wednesday, February 10, 2021

No More Rusting And Buzzing

© 2021 Luke T. Bush


An information kiosk that has been deteriorating for years – a symbol of wasted taxpayer dollars – has been removed from City Hall Place.

As I have detailed in a previous post the kiosk and others like it were installed around around the city as the PlattInfo project. Visitors could walk up to the kiosk – it roughly resembled a chrome coffin standing upright -- to check the viewscreen for details on local restaurants and other businesses.

Two major problems with the project. The software was proprietary, meaning the city had to go to the original coder to update or make changes. When the kiosks started to fail the city would probably have to pay the coder to make fixes. The other problem was new technology made the PlattInfo service obsolete. Visitors could get the same info more conveniently on their cellphones and tablets.

The City Hall Place kiosk stood next to the Verdantique Park plaque, creating a study in contrasts. While the plaque stood the test of time rust ate through the kiosk’s chrome exterior. Repainting the kiosk didn’t help: the rust returned. The viewscreen was usually dark. On occasion ghosts would appear, advertisements floating up, in some cases for businesses long gone.  You could hear electricity still feeding into the unit, a constant buzzing. 

Estimated cost for each kiosk ran from $2500 to $20,000 dollars.

The last time the City Hall Place kiosk attracted any attention was when a little girl was amazed by a giant spiderweb spread across the viewscreen hood..

So add PlattInfo to the other grand mistakes the city has made without enough forethought.


Sunday, January 03, 2021

Blinking Lights: Alien Manipulation?

 © 2021 Luke T. Bush



The other evening after sunset I noticed some of the downtown streetlights were
 flashing on and off. Mysterious. Alien manipulation? The reason why I thought of
 aliens was the Twilight Zone episode “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” 
A strange object is seen in the sky during daylight.  The power to the neighborhood
 goes out.  At night unnerving events drive the neighbors into mass hysteria. Maybe
 one of them is an alien. Below is a trimmed copy of that episode’s conclusion. 
I highly recommend watching the entire episode.

Plattsburgh City's new mayor provided a more probable explanation.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thursday, December 03, 2020

No Reply

I contacted Police Chief Levi Ritter about my article but so far no reply. I wanted to get his side of the story.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Repeat: Cop Runs Intersection, Totals Civilian Car


© 2020 Luke T. Bush


October 2019: Nighttime. A Plattsburgh (City) Police Department officer runs his car through an intersection, totaling a civilian vehicle.

October 2020: Nighttime. A Plattsburgh (City) Police Department officer runs his car through an intersection, totaling a civilian vehicle.

One would think the first crash would have impressed upon PPD officers to obey the law and safely check intersections for oncoming cars.

Juliette Wray Lynch explained online her daughter Bianca Lynch was driving the civilian vehicle on October 13th. Bianca had a green light, the right of way, at the intersection of Pine, Broad and Margaret streets. She was traveling west on Broad Street when a police car driven by officer Khristopher Minogue ran through the red light, entering from Pine Street. Juliette says the police car had no lights or siren.

In the police report the civilian vehicle is referred to as vehicle 1, the cop car vehicle 2.

Juliette said the officer was apparently responding to an altercation between two cars ahead of her daughter. One car cut off the other, both cars beeping at each other before they turned onto Margaret Street. Juliette regards this altercation as relatively minor, no need for a sudden response by the police.

She explained her daughter tried to swerve to avoid a collision. Even though both vehicles were totaled no one was injured in the crash.


Unlike the previous crash I haven’t found any news articles or references to this latest one. Last time the Press-Republican ran article that mentioned a problem with the city’s insurance company.

With the first crash the civilian driver had to suffer the consequences. The city insurance department refused to pay out, saying the police officer was performing his duty and can’t be liable for the damages. It seems history will repeat itself.

Juliette wrote: "My frustration lies in not having several phone calls returned by the police chief,my insurance and $500 deductible needing to bear the full brunt of this, and that officers can impulsively put city residents who are minding their own business through this without any visible consequences, and without any real need to. That was a very dangerous and IMHO unnecessary decision on that officer’s part.”

Juliette explained that no response from the police chief doesn’t leave her with a great feeling.

Juliette wrote: “Probably what is the worst feeling is that instead of being served and protected, my daughter was essentially put in danger when the situation really didn’t warrant it.”

She appreciates the officer apologized to her daughter. At the same time she expects more of police officers who should have a better sense of judgment and even temperament.

They say the third time is a charm. I hope there’s not another a third time. Disability or death might result.


NOTE: 2020 hasn’t been a good year for the Plattsburgh (City) PD. Besides the second cop-civilian crash the department is being sued by someone who says he was mistreated while under arrest back in 2017. More recently an officer was cleaning his supposedly-empty gun at the police station when it went off and damaged a computer monitor.