Article

!! ADD 1: EVIDENCE OF AN OT SCAM IN PPD? !! LATEST IN STEROIDsGATE: KIRCHNER CASES DROPPED, TAXPAYERS OUT A SMALL FORTUNE, PLUS, HISTORY KEEPS REPEATING ITSELF IN PITTSFIELD, UNFORTUNATELY, and CITY COUNCIL MATTERS (WE THINK)

BY DAN VALENTI

FIRST ADD, April 12, 2011

The Planet has what we judge to be good, reliable information from  informants within the Pittsfield Police Department. We are trying to vet as best we can prior to presenting this material, but the information does raise a number of interesting and plausible questions.

A few days ago, we posted a list of the Top Nine city salaries. Eight were cops. Disgraced officer David Kirchner didn’t come close to the Top. He had to settle for a paltry $98,429 (plus 1/3 for benefits) in FY 2010, good for a miserable 27th place. You should have such misery.

Year after year, we see police officers raking in 100 Grand and more. Year after year, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, The Little Guy, Joe Sixpack, and John and Jane Q. Public wonder, as they scratch out meager livings in the service jobs that about in Pittsfield: How is that possible?

The pat answer is “overtime.” These officers put in heroic hours, are doing things according to the contract, and should be applauded for their “underpaid” heroic work.

Isn’t it odd, that these officers are able to work 80 hours a week, week after week, with no let up in performance? With all that OT, as one commentator on this site asked, why is drug trafficking in Pittsfield an epidemic on the verge of a pandemic?

If these drug investigators are indeed working these hours that they claim in their payroll records, we wonder if there are using supplements (vitamins and minerals and Wonder Bread, which “Builds Strong Bodies 12 Ways”) to help them maintain such a pace? If so, are they legal or illegal products? It’s a fair question. It’s also not only fair and reasonable but also incumbent to ask an even harder question: Are they involved in a scam? Is there and has there been for years a blatant rip-off of taxpayers?

Is there a Scam Going on with PPD OT Claims?

Is there a system in place where the drug teams aren’t working these massive, energy sapping and soul sapping hours at all? Is the system a scam because of lack of oversight? Does the lack of management and accountability allow officers, for example, to claim four hours pay for a 10-second phone call from a “drug informant,” who has instructions to phone in at set times, for example, on the weekend?

The Planet cannot and does not claim — definitively, factually, beyond ALL doubt — that the answers to such questions are yes, yes, and yes. We have studied the steroids plague that infects police departments across the country. We have seen the evidence that one PPD officer and one state trooper juiced. Moreover, we can report honestly that we have seen evidence that would convince us the answer is yes, yes, and yes beyond a reasonable doubt.

So IF that’s the case, IF there’s a system in place that allows drug investigators to scam taxpayers, that would explain the $100 grand salaries. Could it be they are earning this money without actually putting in all the OT they claim on payroll records? Again, if they are: (a) How are they able to keep going, day after day, week after week, year after year and not break down? Are they juicing? (b) If they are putting in such hours, why is there a rampant drug problem in Pittsfield?

It doesn’t add up.

What if there are PPD sources, within the building right now, who are claiming that there is and has been a scam? There are such sources. What if there are drug informants, former and otherwise, whose names cannot be revealed, who are claiming making such allegations? There are.

What are We The People supposed to do? How can we believe factual claims being made by police command staff about SteroidsGate? How can we have confidence in the criminal justice system that presents little assurance that it is managing “the system” to prevent such possible abuses? How do we explain the deafening silence of the Boring Broadsheet on an issue that is a low-handing ripe cherry, there for the plucking. How do we else explain the lack of transparency on this issue in “official” Pittsfield? How do we explains the seeming disinterest of the district attorney’s office?

A Lot of What Ifs and Other Hot Questions: No proof the Evidence Accumulates

What if there’s been a gigantic scam going on?

What if it’s furthermore true, as The Planet’s sources claim, that PPD Chief Michael Wynn, has ordered an immediate stop in such likely OT payments, payouts, and payola? Could that be cited that maybe We The People are getting too close to learning about the scam? Could it be an attempt to try diffuse the heat and hope that it blows over?

Again, we are raising questions by information that is being claimed as true by both those within the PPD (personnel who say they are upset by the corruption) and outside the department but associated with the PPD who have knowledge of current practices?

We will wait for the official press release from Chief Wynn, from DA David Capeless, and from Police union head Marc Maddalena.

We shall be waiting for a long, long time.

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Up Denial Without a Paddle

(The 1 STAR, FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, April 12. 2011) — Another small (though significant) aspect of SteroidsGate, the drug scandal that has embroiled the Pittsfield Police Department, comes this bit of intelligence from a sources within the criminal justice system.

It has been shared that criminal cases with officer David Kircher’s work “are being dropped like flies.” Sources wonder how much taxpayer dollars spent on prior work involving police department resources, courts, depositions, due process and due diligence, attorneys fees, jail costs, probations costs, follow-up and monitoring, and the like from a long list of services has been lost. These are now all “wasted tax dollars.”

We wonder if Chief Wynn might care to provide an estimate on how much the bedraggled Pittsfield taxpayers are out in just this one officer? We can’t think of a more qualified source, unless it is District Attorney David Capeless. It would also be a tad of a stretch to believe the Boring Broadsheet would try to come up with such a figure, given that it has now gone into complete denial (no, not a river in Egypt) on SteroidsGate.

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Police Chief Series Concludes with Part 3

Here is the third and final part of our series on Steroids and Cops as published in a definitive article from Police Chief magazine, June 2008 issue. Note the caliber of the coauthors.

Anabolic Steroid Use and Abuse by Police Officers: Policy & Prevention

By Commander Kim R. Humphrey, Professional Standards Bureau, Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department; Kathleen P. Decker, M.D., U.S. Air Force; Linn Goldberg, M.D., Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon; Harrison G. Pope Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School; Joseph Gutman, M.D., Practicing Endocrinologist, Tempe, Arizona; and Gary Green, M.D., University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

…continued …

Reasonable Cause: Several symptoms can indicate that someone is abusing AASs. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Visible increase in body mass over a short period of time (usually months)
  • Fluid retention (bloating)
  • Noticeable acne and/or oily skin
  • Mood swings, particularly if aggressive
  • Unreasonable emotional responses to situations
  • Voice changes (such as deepening voices in women)
  • Facial hair growth in women
  • Multiple incidents of “use of force” or complaints of improper outbursts and attitude

Testing Process: Anabolic steroid testing is expensive compared to other illicit drug testing. There are literally hundreds of variations of AASs. Local laboratories used for an initial urine screen can test for a small number of typical steroids and can also screen the T/E ratio.12 An elevated T/E ratio signifies possible abuse, as it is affected by the intake of AASs.

Proper collection and chain-of-custody procedures are critical. Agencies hiring a specimen collection service, using their healthcare providers, or collecting samples using their department personnel should ensure that sample collection procedures are standardized. Immediate testing after notification and observed collection provide the strongest assurance against tampering. Examples of collection procedures can be obtained from the National Center for Drug Free Sport as well as other agencies.

If working with a local laboratory, an agency should consider a dual notification procedure in its laboratory contract. With dual notification, the laboratory will notify the agency as well as a medical review officer (MRO) of the results. If an individual who tests positive has a seemingly valid prescription, the MRO may consider the test negative; however, the agency might want to follow through with an independent medical review or fitness testing as noted earlier and would need to know that the initial test was positive.

Additionally, using an MRO who has expertise in performance-enhancing drug testing should be considered. If follow-up on a positive initial screen test is needed, the sample can be sent to a laboratory certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency for further analysis. Currently, the University of Utah and the University of California at Los Angeles are the only certified laboratories in the United States. Their analysis consists of a full panel for AASs and, if possible, can determine specifically what types and levels are present. In addition, certified laboratories have further testing capabilities that can determine if substances in the sample are naturally occurring or synthetic drug substitutes. The expense is significant, and these tests should be used for increased scrutiny, particularly when results are disputed or can be disputed by an individual.

Conclusion

The PPD is currently working with the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training organization to consider a state rule disallowing the use of AASs by police officers unless a medical exception is granted.

Preventing anabolic steroid abuse requires a multifaceted approach. After understanding the challenges associated with testing and deciding on appropriate discipline, it is critical for agencies to educate their officers and provide alternatives for health and fitness. The challenges are many, but failure to act now could cause significant suffering for law enforcement agencies in the future and mandates for action. For the safety of the community and the health of an agency’s employees, it is essential to act to prevent the abuse of these drugs.

The authors thank Kris Arnold, M.D., of the Occupational Health Division of the Boston Police Department and member of the IACP Police Physicians Section for his assistance in moving this issue forward; S. Mitchell Harman, M.D., Ph.D., director and president of the Kronos Longevity Research Institute, for information on identifying legitimate research and treatments with anabolic steroids; Chris Nordby, director of the National Center for Drug Free Sport, for his expertise and direction in the testing field; and Robert Jones, M.D., regional medical director, Phoenix Concentra, for his work on policy development. ?

Notes:

Charles Swanson, Larry Gaines, and Barbara Gore, “Abuse of Anabolic Steroids,” FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 60, no. 8 (August 1991): 19.
David Johnson, Falling Off the Thin Blue Line: A Badge, a Syringe, and a Struggle with Steroid Addiction (iUniverse, 2007).
See Kirk J. Brower, “Anabolic Steroid Abuse and Dependence,” Current Psychiatry Reports 4, no. 5 (October 2002): 377–87; and Harrison G. Pope Jr. and Kirk J. Brower, “Anabolic-Androgenic Steroid Abuse,” in Kaplan and Sadock’s Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, 8th ed., eds. Benjamin J. Sadock and Virginia A. Sadock (Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 2004), 1318–28.
Andrew B. Parkinson and Nick A. Evans, “Anabolic Androgenic Steroids: A Survey of 500 Users,” Medicine and Science in Sports Exercise 38, no. 4 (2006): 644–51.
M. Parssinen et al., “Increased Premature Mortality of Competitive Powerlifters Suspected to Have Used Anabolic Agents,”International Journal of Sports Medicine 21, no. 3 (April 2000): 225–27.
See Ryan C. W. Hall et al., “Psychiatric Complications of Anabolic Steroid Abuse,” Psychosomatics 46, no. 4 (July–August 2005): 285–90; and Harrison G. Pope Jr. and David L. Katz, “Psychiatric Effects of Exogenous Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids,” inPsychoneuroendocrinology: The Scientific Basis of Clinical Practice, eds. Owen M. Wolkowitz and Anthony J. Rothschild (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003), 331–58.
Women can suffer from the same effects. However, because AASs are known to have noticable masculinizing effects in women (such as increased body hair and a deepening of the voice), they are considerably less likely to take excessive doses and therefore also less likely to demonstrate overly aggressive behaviors.
More information on drug schedules and related issues is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/csa/812.htm (accessed May 8, 2008).
National Treasury Employees Union v. Von Raab, 489 U.S. 656 (1989).
Guiney v. Police Comm’r of Boston, 411 Mass. 328 (1991).
Hall et al., “Psychiatric Complications of Steroid Abuse,” 285–86.
Christophe Saudan et al., “Testosterone and Doping Control,” British Journal of Sports Medicine 40, Supplement 1 (2006): i21–i24.

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History Repeating Itself: The Endless Loop that Ate Pittsfield

In the late 1960s, Pittsfield tore down most of its downtown West Side: entire blocks, the magnificent train station, hotels, restaurants, a neighborhood of nooks and crannies. It did this not because it had a plan and not because it made sense. It did it because the federal government was handing out “free” money (yeah, right) in the form of Urban Renewal bucks.

In the 1990s, it built a poorly thought-out and executed “Intermodal Transportation Center,” again, not because there was a need but because of the “free” money that John Olver “brought back” from Washington. The Planet remembers the fawning headlines in the Boring Broadsheet, about how Olver delivered. We love it when our hacks in Washington bring back our money and act as if they were digging into their own pockets. The offices and shops that were supposed to go into the building never did.

In 2010, Pittsfield didn’t sign on, then did, to a mosquito control program that committed the city to $650,000 over five years. Once more, the city acted not based on need or logic but because there was a government “program” (ugh) and “free” money was to be had. Now the city realizes it made a huge mistake and may not be able to get out of it.

Here’s the point: To a ship with no destination, anywhere is the same as nowhere. Pittsfield keeps falling for the “free” money scam, most likely because it buys the politicians good press in the sycophantic local mainstream press and because it masquerades as “progress.”

Often, such follies are disguised as “public-private joint ventures,” a “neither here nor there” animal that gives to the private the rewards (usually, one or two favored “developers”) and saddles the public with the risks. If the project goes “kerplunk,” guess who pays? Gotta mirror?

This is election season. We want readers of this site to put the candidates feet to the fire. Make them sing for their supper. When one of them touts federal or state funding for projects of the sort we’ve been discussing here (we won’t even go into PEDA, will we Corydon?). cut them off at the pass. Remind them, since they will forget when it is inconvenient for them to do so, that we are in a so-called “fiscal crisis.”

The phoney bastards.

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POLL TIME IS NEARING, COUNCILORS. WE SEE 9-2, PLANET IN A ROUT

Speaking of my Right Honorable Good Friends, notice to all members of the city council. We shall be sending another poll in pertinent issues (Silver Lake, random drug testing for PPD, and maybe one other).

We expect ALL of you to reply, knowing that Uncle Gerry will forget to take his Geritol and Jonathan Lothrup will forget to remember to forget to remember. Next time you drive up South Mountain Road and look at the desecration of the woodland, thank J-Lo for his colossal sell-out. J-Lo, you’ve got no chance at re-election. We have hope for Cappy. This will be a 9-2 response in The Planet’s favor.

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Tonight is the semi-weekly city council meeting. Here is the agenda:


Open microphone

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE MAYOR

A communication from Mayor Ruberto requesting that the City Council endorse the winning design for the City of Pittsfield’s flag.

A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the City of Pittsfield to accept a gift of funds in the amount of $6,400.00 from the Pittsfield Colonials Baseball Club to be used to upgrade the existing scoreboard at Wahconah Park.

A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor to submit the Community Development Block Grant Consolidated Annual Action Plan for the 2011-2012 program year.

A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor and the City Council President to enter into and execute subordinations of certain easements on land of the General Electric Company – Woodlawn Avenue.

A communication from Mayor Ruberto submitting an Order authorizing the Mayor and the City Council President to enter into and execute subordinations of certain easements on land of the General Electric Company – East Street Area 2.


APPOINTMENTS

Appointment of Lisa Green as a member of the Pittsfield Cultural Council.

Appointment of the following individuals as Certified Weighers:  Debora McDonald, Richard J. Cella, Angelo Carlotto, Patricia Gillespie, Clifford Twiss.


COMMUNICATIONS AND REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICERS AND BOARDS

A petition from Councilor Nichols requesting that Director of Finance and City Treasurer Susan Carmel present an update to the City Council at its next meeting regarding the status of the city’s unfunded liabilities.

A petition from Councilor Nichols requesting that Rule 29 of the City Council rules be amended by adding that regularly scheduled meetings of standing committee shall not be cancelled unless both the chair and the vice-chair are unavailable or there are no items on the agenda.

An Ordinance from Councilor Mazzeo amending the Code of the City of Pittsfield by adding that any position appointed by the Mayor in an acting capacity must be filled as a permanent position, subject to the confirmation of the city council, no more than 30 days from appointment with only one renewal.  If said acting appointment is not filled it shall be vacated and reposted.


REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from former Councilor Maffuccio and Councilor Marchetti to extend the water line from Hancock Road to the fire hydrant at 22 Waubeek Road, recommending referral to Commissioner Collingwood for an update.

A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from former Councilor Costi requesting a presentation and information by the Parks Commission regarding the proposed dog park at Springside Park, recommending that the petition be filed without prejudice.

A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Board of Health provide an update regarding the status of the PCB remediation and monitoring projects, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.

A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Mosquito Task Force present an update to the Committee on mosquito policy for 2011, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.

A report from the Committee on Public Health and Safety on a petition from Councilor Krol requesting that the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission give a presentation to the Committee on the Regional Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan, recommending that the report be accepted and placed on file.

A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from Councilor Lothrop requesting that the parking configuration at the Colonial Theater parking lot be realigned to include all short term parking to be three-hour parking, recommending that the petition be amended to change one hour parking to three hour parking.

A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from Donald J. Bercury requesting installation of solar powered flashing yield signs at the corner of East Street and North Street and at the corner of South Street and East Street, recommending that the petition be filed without prejudice until the financial situation changes.

A report from the Traffic Commission on a petition from various citizens requesting Hungerford Street be made a dead end to address safety concerns on the street, recommending that the petition be filed.


UNFINISHED BUSINESS

An Ordinance amending the Code of the City of Pittsfield, Chapter 16, Personnel, creating the position of Personnel Manager.

Appointment of Killian Flynn as the Commissioner of Public Services.

Appointment of Gregory Yon as Director of Maintenance.

Appointment of Tricia Farley-Bouvier as Director of Administration.

NEW BUSINESS

A petition from Jeffrey Ferrin for the establishment of a formal public board beyond the personnel review board that reviews applications and resumes for any job that is a department head position or has an annual salary of $50,000 or above.

A petition from Jeffrey Ferrin requesting that the complete city council packet be scanned and placed on the city’s web page for viewing by the public in advance of the meetings.

A petition from John David Sotille requesting three integrated motions regarding the official identity of Pittsfield and the official flag that is to represent it throughout the world.

MATTERS REFERRED BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER RULE 27

Referred to the Traffic Commission
A petition from Councilor Krol requesting that No Parking signs be installed on north side of West Union Street immediately west of Onota Street

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MORE TO FOLLOW LATER TODAY, IN OUR FIRST ADD. STORIES BREWING!! “OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.” LOVE TO ALL.


83 Responses to “!! ADD 1: EVIDENCE OF AN OT SCAM IN PPD? !! LATEST IN STEROIDsGATE: KIRCHNER CASES DROPPED, TAXPAYERS OUT A SMALL FORTUNE, PLUS, HISTORY KEEPS REPEATING ITSELF IN PITTSFIELD, UNFORTUNATELY, and CITY COUNCIL MATTERS (WE THINK)”

  1. GMHeller
    April 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    imagine how many more criminal cases would have to be dropped if it were discovered that there were another twenty-nine ‘juicers’ within PPD?
    Anabolic Steroids usage — ‘Juicing’ — is epidemic in metropolitan police departments, with AVERAGE rates of usage estimated to be as high as 25%.
    With Pittsfield’s 120-person force, that works out to be a total of thirty likely ‘on the juice’.
    So far one PPD officer has been identified based on a fed probe of just ONE dealer who was getting his supply shipped by U.S. Mail out of Boston.
    If the likely other juicers on PPD are buying steroids from dealers the feds do not have under scrutiny, then any claim that this scandal is over or that the juicing problem afflicting PPD is over and done with is pure fantasy.

    • Brian Gilbert
      April 12, 2011 at 5:26 am #

      “Gas Gouger” Heller did you pay your fine yet?

      • Brian Gilbert
        April 12, 2011 at 5:39 am #

        It is my sworn duty to expose “Gas Gouger Heller” as the hypocrite that he is!!!!

  2. Scott
    April 11, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Kirchner needs to get the boot!

  3. San Simeon
    April 12, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    I hadnt though about that aspect of it. Kirchner was a drug investigator. His actions of course would taint the cases he was involved with. No wonder why if there are other juicers ppd, capeless etc want to keep it shut, just from that standpoitn. For me, though, its more these guys are meant to hold up the law not break it

  4. toto
    April 12, 2011 at 6:40 am #

    Whats is gas gouger?

  5. toto
    April 12, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    We’re all being gouged. No increase in C O L A for the elderly due to no inflation?

  6. NFM
    April 12, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Who cares about steroids. This is such a nothing story.

    I guess it’s been a slow news week or two for “The Planet”. Hey, they can’t all be winners – you need some filler, too.

    • Brian Gilbert
      April 12, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      The next big story will probably be about some Mayors sick wife who got caught shop lifting. Who cares!!

      • Scott
        April 12, 2011 at 8:18 am #

        Yeah she’s sick alright. Sick of living a good life poor me let’s go steal stuff. I hope Fl nails her to bad she wasn’t charged here otherwise it would be a second offense and justice may have been severed.

        • Who cares
          April 12, 2011 at 11:27 am #

          Scott. You sure like to judge people when you don’t even know all the facts. You sure sound bitter with life. As the saying goes ” GET A LIFE”

          • Scott
            April 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

            I’m not judging anyone if you don’t want to be scrutinized don’t be in the publics eye and get caught breaking the law I know the higher ups in the Berkshires have an issue with that it seems.

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 8:07 am #

      NFM
      Yes, who cares that there likely has been a massive overtime scam that has bilked taxpayers out of millions, allowed the city to be overrun by drug trafficking, and put unaccountable officers in positions where they can profit, juice, and do whatever they wish on the taxpayer’s dime? You’re right. Such a nothing story. Thanks for setting The Planet straight.

      • Scott
        April 12, 2011 at 8:10 am #

        Dan, you have to realize who you’re dealing with these people probably don’t pay tax’s so they really don’t care!

    • Kim
      May 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      @NFM
      It’s that kind of attitude that makes the PPD look like a joke. Why should anything be allowed to slide? Lazy! People do care, and they should! Why don’t you?

  7. toto
    April 12, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    No takers on the what is gouger comment.

    • Scott
      April 12, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      Supposedly Glen Heller according to a news article was sued in court for inflating the sale of gas at his gas station. He was also involved in a stalker case which if you read it clearly sounds like an affair the woman didn’t want her husband finding out about so she cried harassment. The courts decision was overturned so he doesn’t owe anything and the stalker case was thrown out. Why waste our time on a man who had his day in court??? It’s very old news. Also I’d like to point out what is the difference between what the gov’t and oil companies are doing now? ENRON was prosecuted for it and look what we did over the price of tea yet we’re taking it in the ass big time every time we fill up.

    • Scott
      April 12, 2011 at 8:15 am #

      The man had his day in court zip it.

    • GMHeller
      April 12, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      Ask Al Gore, life is good as a joke and a fraud!

    • Josh
      April 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

      This dialogue is getting a little too Topix-y for my taste. Stick to the key points of the article.

      • Bonnie
        April 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

        I agree. That is why I come here to read and get information and opinions. Some of the Topix
        are very nasty and immature. Let’s keep them off here Dan . Not productive for some of these neo verbally abuse someone cause they don,t like them or what they say.

      • danvalenti
        April 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

        JOSH
        I agree. We will be policing it more. No pun. Thanks.

        • just saying
          April 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

          @ TG

          If I was Gov. Walker I would have done my best to fire all the union members who did not show up for work.
          Your snide reply to my comment was uninsightful, I said only good towards you sir.
          Keep towing the line Mr.Party supporter!
          You can’t see it can you? The Republican party is just as corrupt as the Dems.
          Oh well, you can’t take a compliment.
          Keep your blinders on old man, I’m sure they will serve you well.

  8. toto
    April 12, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    2

  9. Tom Gilardi
    April 12, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Dan I used to love your site, but now I am very disturbed with all of your allegations based on hear say. Why should we believe you if you can’t say from whom you recieved such strong allegations?

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

      TOM
      Again, it’s a condition of receiving the information. We would MUCH RATHER get names to publish for the record. In Pittsfield, with such a closed system, it’s difficult because of fear. In principle, I agree, all things being equal, naming sources is the way to go. All things are not, and haven’t been for 20 years, equal in the city. I cannot control your reaction to my information. The things I can’t control, I let go.

  10. toto
    April 12, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Thank you, non story.

  11. lisa
    April 12, 2011 at 9:34 am #

    Dan your right I love your Blog! Call me.

  12. lisa
    April 12, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Dan. Your right I do love your blog! Call me.

  13. Tom Girardi
    April 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

    Daniel I am the biggest Republican around here, But even I think your starting to throw rumors around and hopeing something sticks. Please stick to confirmed truths not sorces you can’t name.

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

      TOM
      You ever try getting someone on the record in Pittsfield, where there is so much inside fear? Can’t be done. My sources are real, their information is credible. Not sure what you mean by “biggest Republican.”

      • Mike
        April 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

        It means he consumes more red Kool-Aid than anyone else around here.

  14. Dusty
    April 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I could pretty much sense that anyone with any clout in the city was in on some kind of gravy train.The taxes jumped 26 million dollars not too long after Ruberto bought the mayors position and it was obvious the roads were getting worse. It had to be going somewhere besides back to the citizens.

    But if this story is true it surprises and saddens me. If you can’t trust cops who can you trust? So who would be in charge of overseeing the hours a cop works?

    (Dan you might have to invest in a blocking system for those who want to run this site off the tracks)

  15. Bonnie
    April 12, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I just do not know what to say. I am just dumbfounded by the blatant abuse by The Mator and PPD. Maybe people have the right idea and we should just leave? It seems to be getting worse and worse. I mean we really are not even a city any more. Haven’t we fallen below the level of inhabitants and should now be called a town? It seems it’s the Mayor, PPD and DA. This is very depressing and makes me so very angry. This is the only place we can come to get answers. Everybody I work with and in my social circle come here for information. It just does not seem right. It should not be like this.

  16. throwback
    April 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    We need jobs.

  17. Thornton
    April 12, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    The problem is, where are the JOBS? The JOBS are sometimes abused public sector JOBS funded by us the taxpayer. Mr. Valenti’s overtime pay points are well taken. We are a poor community, look around.The Arts will not and are not working as far as i’m concerned, most non profits don’t, and are supported by a network of thespians AND ARTISTISTIC TYPES from out of town, most wouldn’t know what real work is. We need Manufacturin and small business growth JOBS. The budget grows leaps and bounds every year in Pittsfield. Yes, of course we need revenue from taxes, but when you deflate whats coming in on the revenue side combined with zero sustainable, good paying JOBS, which the mayor said was a number one priority when asked during the campaign, then we need not be hiring any new public sector positions, qualified or not. Let the next Mayoral candidates tell us during the next campaign what he or she is going to do across the board, and make damn sure they do it.

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      Well put, and if this town does not get mfg back, the recreation and resort economy will not do what it has not been able to do for 10 years. This MUST be an issue in campaign ’11.

  18. Joetaxpayer
    April 12, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    OT scam or not,why don’t the city council and Mayor cut there overtime budget.I think having part time officers could help they would get valuebule experience and be ready for a full time position when one opens.The city can know longer afford to rubber stamp the budget,they must get creative and do more with less.

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

      We hear the chief has cut the OT budget for the drug team. It’s getting too much attention.

  19. Jeff
    April 12, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    What can we donother than showing our support of you Dan? Do we have any options as long as Ruberto is in office? Isn’t some of this illegal?

    • danvalenti
      April 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

      JEFF
      Spread the word about this site. As our readership grows, so does The People’s clout. This site is non-commercial, so no one’s making a cent off it. It’s pure. Get the word out about The Planet.

  20. eric vincelette
    April 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    I agree with some of the other posters on the fact that quite a bit of the dialogue has veered off topic & has started to be downright distasteful w/bizarre statements between fellow posters. I am as much for free speech as anyone else but not to the point of crossing the line like those idiots protesting outside of soldiers funerals? Come on, that’s riduculous. Dan, some of these posters are like plants inside a peaceful protest. they just want to make trouble & get away from the real issues…lets clean up the dialogue guys & stay out of the gutter…leave the grade school stuff for the kids

    • Scott
      April 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

      Now you guys are all off topic about being off topic this is madness!

    • GMHeller
      April 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

      Mr. Valenti,
      It’s time for Pittsfield city councilors and mayoral candidates to face the strong possibility — make that likelihood — that Pittsfield is not ‘coming back’ and not going to be able to attract the businesses and jobs it so desperately desires — at least not with the cards it is currently being dealt.
      Bad enough that six months of the year offer harsh weather conditions, but add to that a state with high business and residential taxes (outside Pittsfield’s control) plus high local taxes (within Pittsfield’s control), plus union-dominated workplaces, plus a pile of onerous state regulations, plus a bunch of arbitrary zoning regulations, and what Pittsfield and the Berkshires have been dealt is not even worth solitaire.

      The way Berkshire County can deal itself back into being a desirable business destination is by changing dramatically as many of the negative variables as possible to make the area business attractive.
      It is necessary to satisfy and address the question what do business people yearn for?
      Ideally an environment with no business taxes, no unions, and no regulations.
      So what is Pittsfield and the Mass, State Legislature going to do to attract, instead of repel, commerce based on giving business what it wants and can obtain in other locales around the world?

      • Brian Gibert
        April 13, 2011 at 10:26 am #

        Hey Price Gouger! Lets give busineses no taxes no regulation and no Unions.. Wow I want to work at that place working 12hr days 7 days a week for minimum wage. Sounds like agreat job to me.

        • GMHeller
          April 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

          Who said anything about minimum wage?
          If a business person does not have to pay high taxes or confiscatory union wages to slackers then that is that much more the business can afford to pay to selfless, hard-working, star employees like yourself.

        • GMHeller
          April 13, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

          The real problem with you Liberal Democrat union hacks is that you think like Liberal Democrat union hacks.
          Try thinking outside the box, Einstein.

  21. notho
    April 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Dan take a break, I’ll be the new ACTING voice for you the rest of the night, thank you.

  22. mailman 2 the stars
    April 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    open the window aunt millie was the famous call that hallof famer bob prince would say everytime a pittsburg pirate would hit a home run in the 1960 s and 1970s

  23. Thornton
    April 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

    Count on road jobs to compensate for the loss of overtime this summer. I saw an officer with his hands in his pockets while doing a traffic detail the other day. That is an improvement, at least the officer wasn’t on the cellphone.

  24. just saying
    April 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    @ Tom G.

    You may be the biggest Republican around these parts. And that is great.
    However the Republican party is a neocon haven. Hope you don’t align yourself with the likes of Newt, Bush, Hannity etc.
    Back when I used to read the bb, I always enjoyed your letters to the Ed.
    Today those who call themselves Republicans bring up thoughts of Romneycare.
    I fought for Scott Brown, only because he was better than Coakley. I will not vote for this man again. I went as far to defend us conservative voters by writing a letter to the editor of The New American defending the voters of this state who voted for Brown.(Yes it was published).
    The Republican party has lost its way. They spend big (like libs), pay lip service to social issues, and continue to make deals with progressives. They have become “liberal lite”.
    You have always sounded like a true Conservative Constitution loving American.
    Even M. Bachmann voted for the “patriot act”, which is a direct violation of the Constitution. We can not support her any longer.
    The party system as we know it is dead.
    Sir, your intellect and experinence is better than the Republican party can ever be.
    No disrespect meant, I value your insight and opinions, glad to see you here on The Planet!

    • Tom Gilardi
      April 13, 2011 at 7:54 am #

      @JS. After much thought I have decided to become a Independent. After what the right wing Republicans tried to do in Wisconsin I feel I have no choice.

  25. Concern
    April 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    By the way someone a while back said we never had a female council President. I do believe we did, Atty. AmeldaLaMountain. Well I do remember her sitting in that chair.

    • danvalenti
      April 13, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      CONCERN
      You are correct! You win the prize. Imelda LaMountain was city council prez, during Ann W’s term (we think).

  26. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    April 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

    Valenti is had dinner at the Red Lion Inn tonight. Main dining room. Four guests. No bill. Mr. Elite Mr Bon vivant who to drive ratings scams those he calls the Little Guy. Valenti plays the role of the crazed professor but in his private, member of the Stockbridge Golf club life is more comfortable in a blue blazer with crest. Own up, Valenti.

    • danvalenti
      April 13, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      How does one respond to such falsehood? By letting The Truth win out, and by defending my good friend’s right to spread his obsessive fibs.

  27. Mike Ward
    April 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    It’s not just your audience that needs policing, Dan. You crossed the line with the “phoney bastards” comment and it has undermined the positive work you have done. You are free to say whatever you want in this fine country and I defend that right. But for my part, I would feel pretty stupid if I continued to respond to requests for comment from a media outlet that refers to me as a phoney bastard. So don’t bother sending me your Silver Lake & PPD Drug Testing homework assignment. When the phone doesn’t ring you’ll know it’s me.

    • Josh
      April 12, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

      Mike, maybe Dan’s word choice looped some people (like yourself) into a group which might be unfair. Your one of the few people who seems to be fairly well liked by all, mostly due to your great service to your constituents. Furthermore, when watching you, I’ve never found you to be “phony” (sic) in the least bit.

      But, let’s look at the entire scenario surrounding our fiscal stability (or lack thereof):

      1) Pittsfield (and Massachusetts in general) continues to hemorrhage population and tax dollars at an alarming rate.

      2) As of now, there is no “golden ticket” (i.e. a GE employing 14,000 people) which is going to help relieve the increasing burden on Pittsfield taxpayers

      3) Unemployment continues to hover at a rate over 8% in Pittsfield and the Berkshires, with good citizens and taxpayers often having to make the choice between making choices between mortgage payments and putting food on the table

      4) Yet despite all of this, the citizens of Pittsfield are being asked to shell out even more for things we don’t need nor want. The people of Pittsfield have to face the reality that parties who hold the power of the purse seemingly have the attitude of “Ehhh, whats another $10,000 for an executive assistant position? It’s nothing! No big deal! Let’s do it!!!”, or “Ehh what’s another $5,000 a month for a consultant, big deal, give them the money”.

      There seems to be an attitude represented to the people of Pittsfield that money is essentially nothing. This is unfortunately the attitude which permeates all too much throughout Massachusetts, and we are left to wonder to ourselves “How did we get ourselves into a $2 Billion budget deficit for FY2012. It’s called fiscal irresponsibility, and it must stop, or else we will be looking at the days of the financial oversight board once again.

      So, fiscally we’re facing an uncertain fiscal year from Boston, potential shrinking funds from federal sources (like CDBG). Let’s also add in the fact that we have an upset teacher’s union who have been looking for a new collective bargaining agreement for months, and fire and police aren’t likely far off either. Let’s also put in our back burner the $300+ plus unfunded liability obligation which we conveniently tend to place for future generations to handle. The city has taken the position that we don’t have the money to cater to their demands. The administration and council have taken the public position that this year is going to be a year in which tough choices will have to be made come budget time.

      At yet, we’re giving employees five-figure raises and creating new high-paying positions? And spending $650,000 on a mosquito control program, only to find out that the effectiveness of the program sent $650,000 down the drain? How can city government spend this kind of money (THAT WE DON’T HAVE) when we’ve been led to believe that we’re in a fiscal crisis? It makes NO sense.

      • danvalenti
        April 13, 2011 at 7:58 am #

        As astute and dispassionate an analysis of the present situation as I’ve read anywhere.

    • Dusty
      April 13, 2011 at 1:44 am #

      Maybe you should not be included in the “phony bastard” grouping as well as a couple of others. But, in the aggregate ,the council IS a group of phony bastards starting with your president. The people are sick of being abused by this administration and anyone who supports it. Please do not insult me by telling me about all the wonderful things this council has accomplished in the last couple of years.

      But if you or others use that as a flimsy excuse to opt out of the survey then I think you prove his point. How convenient.

      • danvalenti
        April 13, 2011 at 7:54 am #

        MIKE WARD is excluded from the “phoney bastard” category. No question about that.

        • Brian Gibert
          April 13, 2011 at 7:56 am #

          Nice try Dan but thats not going to help. You showed how Immiture you are so don’t try to kiss ass!

          • Joetaxpayer
            April 13, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

            Whats eating Gibert Grape?

          • danvalenti
            April 13, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

            Jealousy, seems to be the consensus.

    • Brian Gilbert
      April 13, 2011 at 4:49 am #

      Mike Ward!! You are my Hero!! I couldn’t say it any better! Please think about running again for city council. But I don’t bllame you for being sick of all these IDIOTS bad mouthing every move you make.. Good Luck Mike..

    • Brian Gilbert
      April 13, 2011 at 5:19 am #

      Mike Ward for MAYOR!!!

    • danvalenti
      April 13, 2011 at 8:01 am #

      You were excluded from the comment, but you have decided to include yourself. Get some hard bark on you, man. My volcanic phrase “phony bastard” is an epithet that MANY MANY crushed “Little Guys” out there would love to tell politicians. That’s all I did. You will still get my poll. To answer or not is up to you, Mike, but it won’t be heroic to refuse (along with J-Lo and Uncle Gerry) the invite, because of you lame duck status, of course. Nonetheless, we will still invite your comments.

    • Joetaxpayer
      April 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

      Mike good thing your not running again.To thinned skinned Im sure you been called worst.Rule of thumb is what someone says to your face people are saying behind your back 10 times nastier.Mr. Ward we need a council willing to make tough choices and frakly this group has not shown that.

  28. rick
    April 13, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    lol

  29. toto
    April 13, 2011 at 3:47 am #

    Great to see Mike Ward chime in. I don’t know about the fairly well liked comment by Josh. Does that mean he’s kinda liked? I know many residents out in Ward One that aren’t on the Ward bandwagon, so your right Mike, Dan does have a right, its his blog.

    • Josh
      April 13, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      According to the each of the most recent elections, it seems like his constituents (and I’m one of them) by an overwhelming margin believe he’s doing a good job. You don’t see many 80%-20% margins in municipal elections these days. I think it says a great deal of how the people of the constituency believe they are being represented.

  30. Dave
    April 13, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    To Mike Ward
    For someone that chose to be in the public eye, you seem to have pretty thin skin.

    The city council has been painted with a broad brush as “phoney bastards”. One mans comment and perception, true or not. There might be many that agree with that statement in light of the goings on in Pittsfield.

    If you use that as a lame excuse to opt out of making legitimate replys to the very serious questions the voters want to hear your answers to, then you only lend creditable weight to the “phoney”
    designation.

  31. toto
    April 13, 2011 at 5:09 am #

    Dan, why are Scott and Josh comments out of chronological order, just curious?

  32. notho
    April 13, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    Last question until the next topic. Why did the Mayor leave last night? Was he Q’d in? If it were another tax hike he would have been there. No more free agent hirings until the election.

  33. notho
    April 13, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    Dan, liked the Hard Bark’ comment… from Richard Boone movie with Steve McQueen, Hombre!

    • danvalenti
      April 13, 2011 at 9:14 am #

      Yes. One of my fav movies. Richard Boone steals every scene he’s in. “You’ve got some hard bark on you, mister, comin’ down here like this.”

  34. notho
    April 13, 2011 at 8:11 am #

    Paul Newman, not Steve McQueen, sorry Dan!

  35. Jeff Ferrin
    April 14, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    Dan

    If you wish to send me the same questions i would be happy to reply. I understand I am not a sitting councilor yet, but would like to have any candidates who are up to date with the current status of things in Pittsfield weigh in as well. As you well know that these issues will also be facing the next sitting council and they will be undoubtedly issues many would not want to face or talk about. Tough decisions is not just a mater of cutting a school aid here or not filling a position there. It encompasses so much more to include all overtime in every department, cuts of school administrators and some other high paying positions, balance of taxes between residential and commercial rates, selling unneeded equipment to recoupe what we can as well as not starting department heads at $12,000 above starting salaries or giving 5 figure raises to select individuals while everyone else is told they will get zero. So So much needs to be done and it will take people with thick skin to take the heat on both sides to make the reeling in of our debt and budget happen.

    One thing I have said for some time now is that when this mayor is gone i sure hope that we can see a true independant outside forensic audit done of “ALL” departments to be fair to everyone to shed the light on how deep our troubles really are. It will not be cheap but will however allow everyone who has a stake in the survival of this city (TAX PAYERS) to see what we are really against financially. Based on so much I alone uncovered in Peda and DPW am confident it is the right thing to do.

    These are just some of my thoughts and opinions.

    • danvalenti
      April 14, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      Agreed. When I poll the 11 members, I shall include any candidate who requests them. They requests for comment will go out to everyone at the same time.

    • Dusty
      April 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

      Jeff what ward will you be running in? Or are you at large?

      You got my vote if you are at large..

      • danvalenti
        April 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

        JERR FERRIN SAYS HE WILL BE A CANDIDATE IN THE WARD 3 ELECTION — The Planet

  36. Jeff Ferrin
    April 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

    Dusty

    Thank you

    As Dan stated I am proudly running in ward 3. I Look forward to the up coming race and debates with the incumbant. Mostly I look forward to talking to the residence and hearing what is on their mind, to learn about what concerns them and what has and is effecting them based on the current administration and issues that have put this city in the state that it is in. I was seriously considering At Large but felt that ward 3 really needed a voice on the council while still allowing me to address issues effecting the city as a whole.

    thanks again for the confidence in me.