Dum-de-dum-dum: The Ware Report has Probation White in the Knuckles; Also, Godspeed, Sparky

When will the much-anticipated report of special independent investigator Paul Ware be released? My media colleagues at the  Boston Globe, who exposed the details of the “pay for play” scheme in the state probation department and much more worminess, say it will come within the next couple weeks, most likely next week. The Globe’s Spotlight Team has concluded its own investigation.

Many people connected with the Berkshire Country Probation Department, headed by Cliff Nilan, have more than a passing interest, if you get our drift. You recall the Angelo Stracuzzi mess. Convicted criminal Stracuzzi told the media that when he reported to probation, the person at the desk asked him if he wanted to see an officer, as if it’s the perp’s choice. State officials first confirmed that Nilan supervised his buddy’s probation, then did a 180 and said he didn’t, and then said it had no comment.

If what we think is in the report is in the report, batten down the hatches, Aunt Millie. We have reason to believe it will name … uh, we can say no more.

Pittsfield Cop Guns Down Dalton Man

A Pittsfield police officer is now on “light duty” after pouring multiple bullets into a recalcitrant Dalton man who, according to police, resisted their orders following an incident at the man’s house. The Berkshire Eagle has the names and addresses.

What’s of more interset to THE PLANET is that the two investigations — one by state police assigned to DA David Capless’ office and the other an internal probe put together by Pittsfield police chief Mike Wynn — do a thorough job and get to the truth of what happened.

 Investigators must go in with no preconceived notions. One wonders to what extent the Pittsfield Police are capable of doing that. The trigger-pulling officer is one of their own, and it is the tendency of militaristic, uniformed fraternities to protect their own. This isn’t to make any conclusions. This is only to say that the pressure is on the DA and the state police to assure us an honest investigation.

Paul Mark Thanks Voters; No Show Doesn’t Give a Fudge

In a nice gesture, Paul Mark, who won election to Beacon Hill in the 2nd Berkshire District, showed his appreciation to voterswith a victory stand-out yesterday. Chris “No Show” Speranzo, who barely survived Mark Miller’s underdog bid, disguised himself this time as a fire hydrant on North Street.

 That was Spurs was of laughing at those who inexplicably, robotically supported No Show’s pathetic performance in the campaign. Several dogs proved once more their superiotiy to humans by taking generous leaks onto Spurs the Hydrant. Unlike Spurs, each of them gave it all they had. They also gave it a good shake.

One of the correspondents to this website said his office has 50 days as the over-under on when Spurs pulls the plug and takes the $150K/year no-work no-need coutrhouse job. THE PLANET is going with the over, because we don’t think he’s going to get the job. With the Ware report due out, and with the negative publicity surrounding Mr. Profiles in Courage in his No Show campaign, we think Boston will come to its senses and not want this jamoke anywhere near the local courts.

Seen on North Street Today

Former Ward 2 councilor Luigi Costi, who pulled up in a pick-up truck and enviously admired THE PLANET’s pink unbrella to the point where we were, you know, wondering.  … Clothier Steve Valenti, dressed nattily behind the service desk at his clothing store. … Billy “Mailman to the Stars” Turner, who didn’t recognize The Swami. … Teddy Randisi, Queen of North Street. … Jerry Mathers, as the Beaver. … and Crawford Square, whose remodeling continues as a brisk pace. Developer George Whalen is putting serious money into the building where THE PLANET first rented offices when we moved back to the Berkshire in 1980. The building was known then as the El-Glo Mall.

RIP, Sparky Anderson

THE PLANET was saddened to learn of the death due to complications of dementia of George “Spark” Anderson, 76, longtime manager of the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers. We got to know Sparky when we were covering MLB in the 1980s. Sparky was a generous, kind, caring man. I described him in my 2008 book “Baseball Comes Home” as avuncular. He was the kind of uncle everyone should have.

Success and failure, Sparky bore both with class and equanimity. He never turned down one of my requests for an interview nor did he fail to respond to a question. He smoked a pipe, thought before he spoke, and had fun.

One of my favorite passtimes while living out a dream life as a free-lance baseball writer and broadcaster was going to Lakeland, Fla., during Tigers’ spring training and watching Sparky work with his ballclub. The veterans he let play. He stood back and let them shine. He didn’t seek the limelight from such players as Jack Morris and Kurt Gibson. It was with the young guys, though, that he did his best work, guiding patiently, as a father would.

At his request, Sparky Anderson will have no funeral or memorial service. When we heard this, it struck us as so reflective of a humble, unassuming man who wanted only to carry others and not to leave his own footprints.

Godspeed, Sparky Anderson. Give my regards to my late, dear friend and yours, Ken Coleman.

5 Responses to “Dum-de-dum-dum: The Ware Report has Probation White in the Knuckles; Also, Godspeed, Sparky”

  1. Jim Gleason
    November 5, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    The Pittsfield cops do a great job every day and if they happen to have to use force in the course of doing their duty then so be it. According to the paper this man got up and reached for something, like he was drawing a weapon. I see nothing wrong with them defending themselves if need be. This guy disregarded orders from another officer and ran into the woods, who knows if he had a weapon hidden there? I give all police credit for doing a hard job at low pay every day.

  2. Environ Green
    November 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    DAn, nice site. Just found it. Keep it running. Youre making a difference. You were right about the police shooting. Often, and Im not saying this is the case here, but often the police shoot first and ask questions later. I think the officer in question has a lot to answer for, but thats why they need an honest investigation. Also loved your political coverage.

  3. Jim Gleason
    November 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Yeah, this guy is a real plus to society, dousing a pregnant teenager with gasoline and threatening to light her on fire. I think the guy made his bed, now he has to lie in it. This whole county, especially Pittsfield, is becoming a cesspool where kids can’y een walk on North St. on a Saturday night without being assaulted by some nut, and you wonder why the officer protected himself. Lokk at what’s happening around here and you’ll see why.

    • danvalenti
      November 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

      Not knowing the facts, I had to reserve judgment. From what has been released on this, it appears the officer acted responsibly. I never suggested otherwise but only wanted to avoid a rush to judgment. The two probes will reflect the nature of the action.

  4. Jim Gleason
    November 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    Sorry, can’t even walk on North St. on a Saturday night…