Thursday, December 03, 2020

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.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Bewitching Ms. Zee


A Real Problem

© 2020 Luke T. Bush


Around two weeks ago someone called the Plattsburgh Police Department regarding a weapon spotted inside a bag. When responding the officers found a BB gun that looked like a real weapon. Fortunately there was no confrontation where officers had to defend themselves. It's understandable that a cop can't second guess whether a weapon is real or fake when someone is threatening to shoot.

Political Facebook Post Stirs Up Trouble

© Luke T. Bush 2020


Plattsburgh City Democrats committee spokesperson Rachelle Armstrong alerted me via an email press release about a fake Facebook post endorsed by mayoral candidate Scott Beebie. In the post Scott thanked “Plattsburgh City Democrats 2.0” for looking beyond the party line and voting for him instead. The controversial post has been deleted.

In the email press release Rachelle stated: "This is a page from the Trump playbook being used in our own backyard.” She added “...the [Democrats 2.0] group provides no transparency as to who manages it nor is it an official committee recognized by the NYS Board of Elections or Clinton County Democratic Committees.” She explained the city Democratic party was behind mayoral candidate Chris Rosenquest who won the Democratic primary.

In a telephone interview Rachelle explained that in her criticism of Scott Beebie didn't blame him for the creation of the page. The problem, she said, is he saw the post and shared it on his own page without checking to see if the post was real. By not being skeptical misleading misinformation has been shared.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Michael P. Anderson Mural Completed

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

Despite too many rainy days artist Brendon Palmer-Angell was able to complete the Michael P. Anderson mural on time.

Located in downtown Plattsburgh City, NY the mural honors the memory of the astronaut who died in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003. Anderson and six other astronauts died when their shuttle disintegrated on re-entry.

Anderson was born in Plattsburgh City in 1959 and returned to serve at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base before joining NASA.

The mural was created under the auspices of Outside Art: Plattsburgh Art Project. This group has also helped to create other murals in the downtown area.

The mural is located in the park that straddles Durkee and Margaret Streets. Roughly measuring at 20 by 40 feet it's hard to miss.

Artist Brendon Palmer-Angell adds stars to the space background.

(Left to right) Artist Brendon Palmer-Angell talks about the mural
 during a reception while Julie Devine and Amy Guglielmo, 
co-directors of Outdoor Art, listen.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Challenged Again For Using A Camera

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

I'm walking down a sidewalk when I notice some tiny flowers at the base of a hedge. While taking a few shots someone interrupts me, stopping his car in the driveway next to me.

Stranger (sternly): “What are you doing?”

LTB: “I'm photographing flowers.”

Stranger: “For who?”

LTB: “For myself.”

Public sidewalk, hedge and flowers not on his property. So what's with the interrogation?

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Artist's Tool: Cardboard

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

While working on the mural to commemorate astronaut Michael Anderson artist Brendon Palmer-Angell relies on a very important tool: a long piece of cardboard.

Creating an image with spray paint is tricky. Brendon explains that he has more control with a cardboard stencil, blocking an area as needed. Using this improvised tool made from clean trashcan scraps he can also feather the spray to provide more precise detail.

Moon & Mural

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

On February 1, 2003 the space shuttle Columbia was returning to earth when it disintegrated, killing all seven astronauts. One of the crew was Michael Anderson who was born in 1959 at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base. To commemorate his memory spray paint artist Brendon Palmer-Angell is creating a mural in downtown Plattsburgh City based on a photo of the astronaut.

What Do You Call A Camera With Four Propellers?


© 2020 Luke T. Bush


This morning drone-video hobbyist Sadie Stiles stopped by to document the work by Bredon Palmer-Angell on the Michael Anderson mural. Despite a sudden tense moment – a too-close encounter with a speeding flock of pigeons – she maneuvered her drone to show Brendon at various angles and distances.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Advocate's Voice For The Disabled Falls Silent


Advocate For The Disabled Debra Buell shows a keyboard after an inexpensive fix that makes it more usable for someone with vision limitations.

© 2020 Luke T. Bush


The news arrived late to me. Debra Buell, a dedicated advocate for the disabled, passed away on August 26th.

I first met Debra at the Plattsburgh Public Library in October 2012 when she gave a presentation about making the building more accessible to the disabled. She was concerned that the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) passed in 1990 was being ignored in some areas.

She delved into research, finding what had been written as law were empty words, no enforcement. When in contact with a governmental agency or community service group she backed her arguments up with facts that couldn't be ignored.

Debra suffered from a number of illnesses but she dealt with them. She was losing her vision and had to push to get the special optics she needed to keep doing her advocacy.

Some officials hated her. She was bringing up matters they wanted left in dark silence. If they followed the law and regulations it might disturb their untroubled perfunctory positions.

One setback was when an individual infected her computer with malware, her research avenue, hoping that she would give up. But she kept on.

There was an incident with a local restaurant owner whose sidewalk seating area blocked the way for her and other people with wheelchairs. In her video the owner acted rude, didn't care if people with disabilities had to use the street.

She also advocated for Plattsburgh City to clean its own sidewalks from snow instead of forcing property owners to take the responsibility. This issue was more than dealing with an inconvenience, it was a matter of safety. One winter a college student was forced to walk in the street due to a snow-blocked sidewalk. A car struck her, killing her.

Debra was a valuable voice in the community. Her voice is still needed.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

The Eternal Hum: PlattInfo Kiosk


Years ago a number of informational kiosks were placed around Plattsburgh City and now they're obsolete, half-dead.  The screens are blank but this one keeps humming and rusting away.  A reminder of taxpayer dollars wasted.

Balloons Raised Corner To Corner


© 2020 Luke T. Bush


Red balloons floated in the air above the Durkee Street parking lot during the noon hour. Down below protesters and counter-protesters displayed their signs, two sides of the issue on redevelopment of the parking lot.

Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition (PCC) raised the helium-filled balloons to demonstrate approximately how tall the proposed Prime Plattsburgh LLC building will be if built. Positions were taken at each spot where a corner would sit.

PCC is not against redevelopment. They think that citizens haven't been given enough voice in the choices made with the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant money awarded by New York State. They believe the building project being pushed by the city is a bad fit downtown, too big and taking up too much space.

Each balloon was raised by string coiled around a tube. Each tube was marked where the balloon should be raised and how high a corner would be.

PCC members displayed their VOTE NO ON PRIME placards that matched their red shirts. The counter-protesters held up their yellow signs: Support Progress VOTE YES ON PRIME. City employees and councilors were among this group.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Goldenrod Gone And Also Visitors

© 2020 Luke T. Bush


Last weekend some volunteers joined together to clean up downtown, removing weeds from sidewalk and curb cracks. A commendable job but in one case the cleanup went too far.

For weeks I've been photographing various insects visiting the goldenrod flowers at Macdonough Monument. The other day I went back and the goldenrod was missing.

I suspect a cleanup crew tore up the goldenrod thinking it was ragweed or that goldenrod caused allergies. Ragweed produces allergens, not goldenrod.

A variety of insects were visiting the goldenrod cluster for nectar and pollen. Now that source is gone.

So check out a plant before you uproot it. And when it comes to nasty plants that should be removed watch out for wild parsnip. The plant creates a sap that when mixed with sunlight on bare skin produces severe burns. Have someone familiar with the plant remove it.

And leave the goldenrod alone.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

The Flock Keeps Growing

Today saw another sunny afternoon, perfect for local artists to keep adding to the bird mural in downtown Plattsburgh City.  More info: