A WORD ON ‘THE PUBLIC GOOD,’ CHIEF WYNN RESPONDS, MORE QUESTIONS on STEROIDsGATE, and THE PLANET CHALLENGES TIM FARKAS TO A BOXING MATCH
BY DAN VALENTI
‘Phony Bastard’ Apparel, Items: A Sensation Waiting to be Born
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, APRIL 20, 2001) — SECOND ADD — We have slapped a copyright (C) on “Phony Bastard,” and have our second fortune lined up with PB T-Shirts, Mugs, Keychains, and the like. There will be a Phony Bastard float in this year’s parade. We will license Phony Bastard stemware.
For example, the T-Shirts will come in a variety of colors and sizes. Each will feature the city’s famous checkerboard seal. There will be three basic wordings, depending upon who wears it or, if a gift, who is the intended recipient:
Model 1 — “I’m a phony bastard.” Perfect as a gift for Jonathan Lothrop, for example, or, if you are upset at that, Dan Valenti.
Model 2 — “I’m NOT a Phony Bastard.” Perfect for Mike Ward, because he told us he was not. The Planet will receive lots of these as gifts. Joe Nichols, Melissa Mazzeo, and kevin Sherman also come to mind.
Model 3 — !NEW! Added to the line for The Planet’s fashion consultant, Da Gen. This one reads: “I’m with Phony Bastard” with an arrow pointing to your side. Perfect for when you’re walking with someone like Lothrop, or, again, if you are one of The Planet’s many critics, Dan Valenti.
SEE YA TONIGHT, CHAPTERS BOOKSTORE, AT 6 PM FOR BASEBALL, GOD, & OTHER NON-SEQUITURS. “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” LOVE TO ALL.
Wynn, Granger, PPD, and Planet: We’re All in It for The Public Good
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, APRIL 20, 2011) — FIRST ADD — Busy morning on The Planet, with media commitments, a deadline just met, and other fun stuff. We again thank Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn for his response to our recent postings and questions raised.
The Planet is second to none in respect for Wynn, both as a man and as a cop. We know him mostly in the latter capacity, through personal interaction and from reading his book on leadership (a topic which interests us greatly, since we have often spoken on it to businesses and conferences). We take the chief’s information at face value, realizing that as #1 command, he must balance a slew of interests that few realize. These interests involve many “audiences”: His officers, citizens and taxpayers, the mayor, city hall, home and family, the criminal justice system and courts, and others. It reminds us of the great Cuban righty, Luis Tiant, who could throw five different pitches from four different release points and six different moti0ns.
We also realize that Captain David Granger, as the man in charge if the internal investigation into SteroidsGate, has as a main loyalty the best for the men and women under his command. We fully understand why he would be concerned that there are leaks coming from the department. Every official agency reacts this way to leaks. It’s all about the flow of information. In a free society, and without compelling reason, information belongs to the public. The agencies generating that information, especially when it involves security and law enforcement issues, have a responsibility to control the information flow.
Information becomes a medium of exchange, a coin of the realm, that pays interest, can determine fortune or debt, be used to gain access or not, and, like other “coin,” be used as a measure of deciding the value of the objects to which they attach.
The Planet remains open to both and all sides of this story. We would love to sit down, on or off the record, with Chief Wynn and Capt. Granger, and we will do our best to make our time available if they think that will be helpful for the public good.
The Planet assumes that the chief, the captain, and the entire PPD shares the public good as our overriding, and practically ONLY, interest in the relevant topics.
Chief Wynn Responds
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, APRIL 20, 2011, THE 1-STAR) — First in with Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn’s reponse to our phone call of April 19. The chief responded by e-mail, which is great, because it is in writing.
Here’s what the chief wrote in an e-mail sent and received at 2:49 p.m. April 19:
Got your message, left at the office this morning. Sorry for the delay in responding. I think this response fully states my position on these issues:
1. The “investigations”: Neither of the investigations identified on your site has a known connection to the PPD. The local LE agency investigated a steroid “importer,” who subsequently identified two local LE personnel. The Federal investigation targeted the alleged source of the steroids. We have no information that either of these investigations has any Pittsfield connection, beyond that already identified.
2. OT: I haven’t stopped all Drug Enforcement OT. I have asked all command staff, across all divisions to monitor and limit discretionary OT spending. We go through this process every year, as we closely monitor our budget, in order to stay within budget.
3. Road Jobs: All sworn personnel below the rank of Lieutenant are eligible to work outside overtime details. Many plain clothes personnel do so regularly. The decision by Investigators to work details is probably based more on scheduling changes, than any lost OT.
4. I have not issued any order to the Drug Unit to stay in Pittsfield. Our unit’s members are assigned to the Berkshire County Drug Task Force and have the authority to work county wide. Drug traffickers don’t respect jurisdictional boundaries and our investigators go where the cases take them. These operations generate leads which often develop into Pittsfield cases. The Drug Unit’s supervisors did request that they be allowed to temporarily focus their efforts closer to home and cut back on the number of operations they are running. This request was based on the demands presented by current investigations. I approved this request.
Much of the cost associated with our investigators working extra-jurisdictional cases is reimbursed through our Task Force agreement. The benefits to the City from participating in the Task Force far outweigh any other costs.
5. We have experimented with different schedules for the Drug Unit and many other personnel. We’ll keeping doing so until we find the schedules that work the best for everyone.
The Questions Won’t Go Away, and Neither Will the Story Until there are Believable Answers
The Planet thanks the chief for this response. There are, of course, many outstanding questions:
* The two investigations into steroids, the chief says, have no “known connection to the PPD.” On the other hand, that does not say there is no such connection. There may be a connection that is unknown to the PPD and to The Planet.
* What does Chief Wynn make of the Granger Memo? He does not deny the veracity of the memo, with good reason. The veracity of the Granger Memo is beyond all reasonable doubt. For example, does the chief think it is an appropriate memo in content and tone?
* Does the chief share Captain Granger’s opinion that Planet Valenti is a “malicious and self-serving” website?
* Is the chief satisfied with the extent and scope of Capt. Granger’s investigation — five days long — into steroids that “nabbed” officer David Kirchner?
* Why did Granger’s investigation take only five days, when routine matters of far less importance often take up weeks and months of internal probe?
* Did Kirchner get favored treatment compared to other officers, who — according to PPD inside sources — say were railroaded because they didn’t have the right connections. If so, why? What, if anything, makes Kirchner special? Does he know too much? Having been cut a huge break in the slap on the wrist he apparently received, does that make him less apt to spill the beans on compromising information he may know pertaining to command rank within the PPD?
* Why did the actions of officer Kirchner come as a surprise to the PPD command?
* If Kirchner was involved in illegal drug activity and the PPD didn’t know it, what is the assurance to the public that Kirchner is the only PPD staffer involved in such activity? In light of this, does Capt. Granger recommend an independent top-to-bottom internal probe?
Boring Broadsheet: A Lack of Balls and a Challenge in the Square Circle: Tim Farkas, Will You Accept The Planet’s Offer to a Match?
Many more questions remain outstanding. SteroidsGate as a story will not stop until they have been answered. And where, in all this, is the Boring Broadsheet, that emasculated shell of its former shell. Tim Farkas, man up. Show you got a pair. Wait, on second thought, we can’t ask the impossible.
OK, so here’s the deal. Since you won’t debate The Planet on the role of journalism in the era of cyberspace and the media’s responsibility to the citizenry, The Planet makes this offer, of our own free will:
*We challenge you to a boxing match at Beloved Wahconah Park, three rounds, as the undercard when Jose Canseco and celebrity boxing comes to the ballpark. We have been working out on the heavy bag. You have the advantage of size and reach. We have the advantage of speed and stamina. The Planet vs. FarkMan? We box for our favorite respective charities. What say?
And riddle me this. A dog licks its balls because it can. Why doesn’t the Boring Broadsheet doesn’t lick its balls?
Answer: Because it has none. Phony Bastard.
FIRST ADD LATER TODAY. UNTIL THEN, “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” LOVE TO ALL.