Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Adirondack Art House Meet & Greet

By Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - 1/25/20  Today local artists checked out a new creative outlet. Located at 131 Cornelia Street in Plattsburgh City, Adirondack Art House provides a spot to sell, share and learn. After entering underneath the misleading pickle company sign you will be greeted by an array of artwork for purchase.

When Kristine Minster (above) moved to the North Country she left behind a successful business in the Finger Lakes area.  With the Art House she hopes to reestablish Sew Surprised! which offers clothing, fashion acccesories and home decor items.  She can be contacted at sewsuprised@gmail.com .

More info about Adirondack Art House: Denise Duprey, 518-335-5753 or adirondackarthouse@gmail.com .

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Focus On Macro

Extreme close up photography -- macrophotography -- is difficult. Sometimes you're only dealing with a slender slice that is in focus, 1/16th of an inch or less. I recently purchased a macro sliding rail that makes focusing easier with a tripod, moving the camera and lens instead of the tripod or the subject. Now that I can shoot a number of photos with a progressive series of an object at different focus points and combine those images into one sharper image thanks to focus stacking software. I'm still learning this new technique but so far I'm doing OK. You can see the difference in the depth of field with the photos below, unstacked and stacked, of the eye in a peacock feather.

Click on each image to enlarge to see the difference in detail. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

City Doesn't Shovel Its Sidewalks


Some pedestrians had to walk in the street due to unshoveled sidewalks this morning. Sidewalks offer safer passage for pedestrians over streets.

The sidewalks not shoveled were adjacent to city property, Trinity Park and the parking lot on the corner of Margaret and Court streets.

Under city regulations it is stated:

295-40 Duty to remove ice and snow.
It shall be the duty of the owner of a developed or vacant lot that adjoins a public sidewalk to remove or clear snow and ice from such public sidewalk within 24 hours after the end of a snow or ice event, as publicly declared by a designated City official. Except as provided herein, the entire width of the sidewalk shall be cleared, edge to edge, creating conditions that allow safe pedestrian travel and preventing any accumulation of ice and/or snow, or impenetrable ice/snow that is not treated to prevent slipping.

Usually the city sends out a notice about the end of a storm but I didn't see any. Even then most businesses have shoveled their sidewalks bare so why can't the city do the same?

One could say today is a holiday and that gives the city an excuse. Really. Check the photo of the Court Street sidewalk adjacent to Clinton County property: the whole stretch is completely clear while directly across the street snow and ice covers the city sidewalk.

Once again Plattsburgh City leads by example.


More unshoveled sidewalks seen this afternoon: City Hall, Verdantique Park, and Smith-Weed Bridge.

If you're young and healthy no problem trudging through.  A senior citizen with limited mobility?  Tough.

For a real obstacle course check out Smith-Weed Bridge.  A passing city snowplow has clogged the sidewalks but without any shoveling to fix the problem.

Having a heart attack while shoveling snow is bad enough but how about having one while slogging through on a sidewalk piled over two feet deep with the white crap?

Monday, January 06, 2020

Cop Runs Stop Sign, Totals Civilian Vehicle, Insurance Company Won't Pay

© 2020 Luke T. Bush

That night in October 2019 Jonathan Mackenzie Parker was delivering pizza as usual when -- as he explains -- BAM!

He had the right of way at the intersection of Clinton and Marion streets. Without warning -- no flashing lights or siren -- a Plattsburgh Police Department car shot through, ignoring the stop sign, totaling Jonathan's car.

The incident was recorded by a dashcam camera in a car parked down the street. The accompanying video shows the violent impact.

The police officers were responding to the report of someone on the loose with a knife. According to Jonathan both officers were taken away by ambulance. The photos below show the extensive damage to his car.

The Plattsburgh PD told Jonathan that the police officer was at fault and that he would be compensated by the department's insurance company. He says the police report and the investigating officer stated the police driver who ran into him was at fault.

In a Press-Republican newspaper article  about the crash dated Oct 28, 2019 Police Chief Levi Ritter was quoted: "They proceeded through an intersection (with Clinton Street) as carefully as possible, but collided with another vehicle... There’s no good way to say this; the officer was at fault.”

So Jonathan thought he would be reimbursed. Working 60 hours a week at Pizza Bono meant his car provided a source of income. He says he was without a car for a week until he was able to purchase another vehicle to get back to work.

Jonathan: "I had to drop all my savings on a new [car] and it put me behind on my rent and other bills."

But the insurance money would help him out -- or so he thought.

The insurance company for the Plattsburgh PD refuses to pay out. In a letter sent to Jonathan the company stated:

"Tokio Marine HCC - Public Risk Group insures claims on the behalf of US Specialty Insurance Company (USSIC) and The Tokio HCC Public Risk Program through which the City of Plattsburgh, NY is insured. We have received notice of your above-referenced claim seeking recovery of property damage arising out of a motor vehicle accident that occurred on or about the above stated date of loss...

"Our investigation has revealed the underlying the Claim occurred during the course of a call by our insured police vehicle, and therefore, the City of Plattsburgh is entitled to governmental immunity in this matter... Our investigation found no evidence to suggested the alleged actions of the operator of the police vehicle would meet the 'reckless disregard' standard."

No siren, no flashing lights, running a stop sign. No reckless disregard?

Jonathan: "I'm kinda low on options [to deal with the insurance company denial.] To be honest this whole thing has been pretty demoralizing. Like all I did was drive straight down the street and then all of a sudden my life is turned upside down. It's been all my responsibility to get all this done. I'm the one making all the calls, filling out paperwork and doing all the work. And it's just so unfair."

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Here are previous articles I've written about Plattsburgh PD cars speeding along without sirens on.