Article

!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! SHOULD COLUMBUS AVENUE BE RENAMED FOR REV. SAMUEL HARRISON? RUBERTO WANTS IT, BUT DO CITIZENS? LONG-OVERDUE HONOR OR A BOW AND SCRAPE TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS? THE PLANET RAISES THE QUESTIONS

BY DAN VALENTI

‘He Gone Find Ray Charles’

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, APRIL 29, 2011) — The great comic Flip Wilson used to have a routine about Christopher Columbus’ journey to America in 1492. As Flip relates it, Columbus got on that boat not in search of continents but in search of soul. As Flip put it, in his “Charlene” voice: “He done got on dat boat. He gone find Ray Charles!”

In Pittsfield, The Planet repeats the bit, except with the punch line: “He gone find Martin Luther King.”

Should Columbus Avenue be renamed for Martin Luther King? Should the explorer and discoverer of America be tossed over the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria for the seminal figure in America’s quest for racial equanimity? That’s the question at hand for my Right Honorable Good Friends on the city council. If someone can wake Uncle Gerry Lee and Paul Capitanio out of their comas, the matter — referred by the august body to committee at the most recent meeting — will occupy the attention of these 11 of Pittsfield’s best and brightest.

Here’s Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s case for the switch, made in an exclusive interview with The Planet. We share the vital exchanges and snippets of a wide-ranging one-on-one:

THE PLANET: Why are you proposing this move now?

MAYOR RUBERTO: I’ve been considering it for years. I waited until now because, well, first, there were a large number of other challenges and tasks that as mayor I had to address first. But also, Dan, it’s because I never wanted any racist type to say, ‘The mayor is doing this to court favor with the black community.’ If I had done this in my first term, the objection might have been thrown in my face. You know how this city is. Some would raise that, and it would become a sideshow. I know my motives. I know my heart. They don’t.

The mayor then goes on to talk about his favorable relations with African-Americans, his genuine respect for and friendship with the community’s black people. Ruberto’s family has had strong historical ties on the West Side, living there, working there. We also think more recently how the Gospel singers from Christ Memorial sang at his wife’s funeral. The mayor has been a regular at events honoring black leaders, has included African-Americans in fashioning policy, and has appointed African Americans to heading the police (Chief Michael Wynn), schools (Trevor Benson, PHS principal), and fire (Stan Ceasar in the Fire Department command).

PLANET: Certainly, this move isn’t “necessary,” the way passing a budget is or having a washed-out bridge repaired, yet you talk about this as somehow urgent. Why?

RUBERTO: As I said, it’s been something in the back of my mind for years. Every idea begins as a seed. It needs the right conditions to sprout. The idea’s time came when the-city councilor [now city clerk] Linda Tyer brought to my attention the significance of the Samuel Harrison House on Third Street [down the hill, directly opposite from the former Mt. Carmel Church on Fenn Street]. The house had been neglected, and Linda filled me in on the significance of [Rev. Harrison's] life. I understood we had to act to save this piece of history. We immediately got in touch with Rev. Harrison’s granddaughter and got the restoration effort under way. A couple weeks ago, I announced that I wanted to name a street for Martin Luther King in honor of the Rev. Harrison. [SEE HARRISON BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION BELOW from samuelharrison.org WEBSITE].

PLANET: Why Columbus Avenue?

RUBERTO: Because it connects to the center of downtown. It’s literally the main artery that links the West Side with downtown Pittsfield. I had thought of Linden Street, but it’s too far north. I wanted something more for center city. The second reason is the Second Congregational Church on the corner of Columbus Avenue and Onota Street. Dr. King was a member of the Second Congregational. That provides a natural “connect.”

PLANET: What do you say to those who see this move as a show of disrespect for Columbus?

RUBERTO: I can understand why people say that. I’m am of Italian ancestry, and Columbus is a giant figure in our cultural heritage, but I don’t think Christopher Columbus would have an issue in having the street named after Martin Luther King. Both were courageous, forward-looking people. No one, though, has had a greater impact on present-day America than Martin Luther King. This country changed, for the better, because of that man’s courage.

Ruberto rejected the notion that this was a move engendered by political correctness — that is, ditching the white, European for the black son of the Jim Crow South. He also dismissed that his proposed move was aimed at courting favor with Gov. Deval Patrick and a rumored job for Ruberto once he leaves office. Ruberto rejected naming King Street after MLK because the street is an insignificant by way and, basically, a dump. Ruberto added that he was in favor of “Columbus Avenue” being used for the name of another Pittsfield Street, to keep the Columbus name part of Pittsfield.

————————————-

Third Street to be Named after Samuel Harrison

The Planet has heard through sources other than the mayor that when the Harrison House restoration is completed later this year, Ruberto will be looking to have Third Street renamed after Harrison. The mayor would not comment on that, up or down. He seemed surprised that we learned of this, which suggests that it is true. Certainly, the restoration of the Harrison House will be part of the mayor’s legacy, since it brings to the site the respect and honor it deserves.

Here’s Why ‘Columbus Avenue’ Should Remain ‘Columbus Avenue’

Ruberto makes a convincing case for naming a street after Martin Luther King, but The Planet disagrees that it should be Columbus Avenue. Our objections:

* The move is unnecessary

* Columbus Avenue is a major thoroughfare, with many people and mailing addresses, including seniors. Seniors depend heavily on federal checks (Social Security, Medicare, etc.). They generally don’t use computers. They receive the checks and most information by mail. When mail addresses change, you’re tempting fate. The Planet recalls the renumbering (not the renaming, which is more problematic) of East Center Street in Lee. It caused much chaos with the mail delivery.

* Every printed document, label, and list that has “Columbus Avenue” as an address will have to be changed. How will seniors know about this? One can’t assume they are paying close attention to city hall and city council initiatives.

* What do the citizens want, first, residents of Columbus Avenue, who will be the most affected, and second, citizens overall in the city? There is a petition circulating objecting to the mayor’s plan.  By Tuesday, 70 had signed. Listen to the people. If they object, the move shouldn’t be done.

* There are less obtrusive ways of honoring Martin Luther King. Naming opportunities abound in public life. Why does it have to be one of Pittsfield major arteries?

* The objection can be raised also that Ruberto waited until now because he knew it would create a howl of protest. As a lame duck, he has no need to worry about what voters will think or do.

—————————————-

Who Is Rev. Samuel Harrison?

Here is information about Rev. Samuel Harrison. You will see the man’s historical signifiance not just to Pittsfield and New England, but to American itself.

This materials comes from the website, www.samuelharrison.org.

Samuel Harrison, was born into slavery in 1818 and found his way toPittsfield in 1850 to become the eloquent pastor of the Second Congregational Church. His congregation was small but his work for black equality put him on the national stage. He lectured and debated in cities up and down the East Coast and as far away as Seattle. For the most part, Rev. Harrison’s weapon was the pen rather than the sword. For more than 50 years he wrote passionate essays, pamphlets, sermons and books condemning racism on every level. In an age of lynchings and violent bigotry he feared no man and no man or institution was too big for him to challenge.

During the Civil War he went head to head with Abraham Lincoln over equal pay for blacks serving in the Union Army. He won. And in June 1864 Congress granted equal pay for the 180,000 blacks who fought on the side of the North. Rev. Harrison knew first-hand how badly blacks were treated in the military. He served as chaplain of the famed Massachusetts 54th Regiment, the first all black infantry to fight in the Civil War. The exploits of this unit were dramatized in the movie “Glory,” which, coincidentally, had as its hero another Berkshires man. Robert Gould Shaw, the 26-year old colonel who commanded the 54th, lived in a house that stood on the site in Lenox where Ventfort Hall stands today.

Born: April 15, 1818 in Philadelphia, PA to enslaved parents.  Samuel and his mother were given their freedom 3 years later.

Age 17 – felt a strong calling into the ministry while working for his uncle as an apprentice shoemaker.  He had an equally strong desire to educate himself to fulfill that calling.

Age 18 – began attending Western Reserve College and Prepatory School (now known as Western Reserve Academy) from 1836 -1839.

Age 22 – married his childhood sweetheart & later moved to Newark NJ to operate a shoe shop while training as a minister under the tutelage of a former pastor of the 1st Congregational Church.

Age 32 (in 1850) – moved to Pittsfield to become the 1st pastor of the 2ndCongregational Church that was founded 4 years earlier in 1846 and located 2 blocks from the current site of Over the Rainbow restaurant.

Age 34 – purchased a building lot for $50 and had this house built 7 years later at a cost of $300; borrowing $50 from each of 3 abolitionist friends and securing a $150 mortgage from what is now Berkshire Bank. One of the 3 abolitionist friends was George Nixon Briggs, the Governor of Massachusetts from 1844-1851. Here Samuel Harrison lived with his wife Ellen and their 6 surviving children.

Age 44 – Resigned as pastor of the 2nd Congregational Church and was employed as an advocate and fundraiser for the National Freedmen’s Relief Society to aid the Freedmen of the sea islands of SC.

Age 45 (Aug 1863) – Mass Gov John A Andrew arrived by train from Boston to visit the widow of Colonel Robert Shaw who died during the assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston SC. Colonel Shaw led the 1st and most famous all black infantry to fight in the Civil War, the 54th Mass Infantry that was immortalized in the 1989 Academy Award winning film “Glory”. During the Gov’s visit he called upon Rev Harrison and asked him to go to SC to express the sympathy of the Commonwealth over the tragic death of Colonel Shaw and that of nearly half the members of the regiment who died during the disastrous assault on Fort Wagner. Just 2 days before the tragedy a letter was sent from Gov Andrew’s Military Sec’y to Colonel Shaw citing a “strong and unanimous” endorsement by the Governor of Mass, the President of Williams College, and highly respected clergy and laymen of Western Mass for Rev Harrison as the 1st Chaplain of the Mass 54th. Rev Harrsion reported for commissioning and duty at Morris Island, SC and states in his autobiography that he was treated “in all respects…same as other chaplains of a fairer hue.” But when payday came around “the paymaster refused to pay the men of the regiment the same amount paid to white troops because they were of African descent”. Harrison wrote, “Three months passed and no pay. I knew that my family’s means were nearly used up… My wife and six children, a debt of three hundred dollars on my house, and grocery bills. I had a hard burden to carry.” Chaplain Harrison filed a formal complaint to his superior officers, but to no avail. Harrison wrote, “I grew sick under the pressure.” So sick was he that he requested and received a medical discharge during his 4th month of service. He thereupon complained to Mass Gov Andrew at being declined equal pay on account of his African ancestry. Gov Andrew vigorously and repeatedly petitioned President Lincoln to honor Harrison’s claim for equal pay and that of all servicemen of African descent serving under an enlistment contract issued by the Sec of War acting under the orders of the President of the United States. In June 1864 legislation requiring equal pay, retroactive to Jan 1864, was passed in the army appropriations bill. Harrison states in his autobiography that it was suggested during his brief military service that he was “the victim” upon whom the whole matter of equal pay would turn and, as a consequence of the relationships he’d established with men of influence, that indeed was the case (At the bottom of this page are links to documents concerning the case of equal pay located at the Library of Congress).

Age 48 (1866) – Rev Harrison filled the pulpit of the Sanford Street Congregational Church (now St. John’s Congregational Church) in Springfield, MA.  Rev Harrison served there as pastor until 1870.

Age 54 (1872) – Rev Harrison returned to pastor the 2nd Congregational Church where he continued to serve faithfully until the time of his death in 1900.

Age 64 (1882) – Rev Harrison began serving as Chaplain of the W.W. Rockwell Post of the Grand Army of the Republic.  He served until 1884.

Died: August 11, 1900 in Pittsfield, MA

Rev. Samuel Harrison, Historical Timeline:

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MANY PEOPLE WANT A PIECE OF THE PLANET TODAY, AND SO WE BID ADIEU FOR THE MOMENT.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE”

LOVE TO ALL.

55 Responses to “!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! SHOULD COLUMBUS AVENUE BE RENAMED FOR REV. SAMUEL HARRISON? RUBERTO WANTS IT, BUT DO CITIZENS? LONG-OVERDUE HONOR OR A BOW AND SCRAPE TO POLITICAL CORRECTNESS? THE PLANET RAISES THE QUESTIONS”

  1. GMHeller
    April 29, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Regarding the renaming of a street in Pittsfield, Mayor James Ruberto says:
    “I’ve been considering it for years. I waited until now because, well, first, there were a large number of other challenges and tasks that as mayor I had to address first. But also, Dan, it’s because I never wanted any racist type to say, ‘The mayor is doing this to court favor with the black community.’ If I had done this in my first term, the objection might have been thrown in my face. You know how this city is. Some would raise that, and it would become a sideshow. I know my motives. I know my heart. They don’t.”

    So if the Mayor wants to honor the City’s black community, why not instead name the street/avenue in question after the man who has surpassed Martin Luther King in political and national achievement?
    Why not name the street after the nation’s quintessential black political and spiritual leader, the man who has succeeded in bringing all the diverse peoples and cultures in America together in harmony and Kumbaya: Barack Hussein Obama!

  2. John
    April 29, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    If the citizens want the change, go for it. Of course Christopher Columbus wouldn’t mind Mr. Mayor, he’s been dead forever. It’s the heritage of the Italian people that would have or maybe not, a problem. And what does Firefighter Stan Caesar have to do with the Mayor attending an event, one would like to think this fine Fireman earned every honor that he recieved, as well as Mr. Benson and Chief Wynn. That is part of the Mayor Ruberto’s job, like a proclamation… Achievement is earned and not given, Mr. Mayor. Another problem that has arisen is the hint of some kind of racism, only two citizens have spoke of this in the media, the Mayor and Bill Sturgeon, haven’t heard why these comments were necessary?

  3. Josh
    April 29, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    While the Mayor’s intentions are clearly good, I don’t see Columbus Avenue as a proper fit for renaming. Especially on Pittsfield’s 250th anniversary, I don’t see it appropriate to strip so much of the neighborhood’s history away.

    Here’s a more equitable solution: If Mayor Ruberto is adamant about naming something central in the city after Dr. King, why not the Pittsfield Common! It’s a wide open park in the center of the city, unnamed after any person or family, and is currently undergoing a major renovation. What better way to re-dedicate the new landscape at the common than having a ceremony to honor Dr. King as well? Furthermore, it doesn’t create the logistical concerns involving changing stationary, checks, etc. for any people whatsoever. I wouldn’t be opposed to naming the part the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Common” if it were proposed as an alternative.

    • rick
      April 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

      excellent idea, and this is why this site is needed, to add idea to a happless bunch of politicians with ulterior motives…. if no one thinks that a name has not already been chosen for common then roberto was a great mayor!!!!

    • Kris Knutson
      May 2, 2011 at 8:10 am #

      Josh,
      You said the mayors intentions are clearly good. I disagree. I say they are clearly bad.
      We see it all the time in the mainstream media. It’s an attempt to shift the focus away from the issues that are more threatening to the status quo. It’s a classic case of smoke and mirrors. You simply bring to the front and center an issue that is rather meaningless in and of itself but one that will create a lot of controversy. And poof, many people bite on it, hook, line and sinker. If the focus was on criminal activity amongst law enforcement, it’s now on Columbus ave. Is this not transparent to you?
      Perfect example right here. Last September 11th, a body comprised of 1300 arcitects and engineers attempted to garner attention to their cause which was simply a message. That message being that in their professional opinion, all three buildings that collapsed on that dreadful day could not have collapsed the way they did without the use of controlled demolition techniques. But at that same time, the mainstream media kept looping the same story over and over. That story had to do with someone who was hell bent on burning a holy book. But not a mention of the arcitects and engineers. Mmmm. And every day it’s something new. Now Osama Bin Laden is dead. Yipee!
      Can I have another helping of Columbus ave please? Oh yes, it’s so tasty. More please. Thank you.

  4. Ron Kitterman
    April 29, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    My feeling on it is No. A few year ago, I petitioned the city council to rename Third Street in honor of Rev. Samuel Harrison. Oh course it was tabled. ( Surprise) . This is part of the problem with Pittsfield, in my opinion, a petition from a citizen table it. One from a former sitting councilor to rename Wahconah Park, or to rename Columbus Ave, we should all jump up for joy. A government that is inclusive and not exclusive, is my goal. Hopefully we can see some candidates that will represent our views, instead of their own in 2011.

    • Concern
      April 29, 2011 at 10:26 am #

      Like I said Mr. Ruberto just ride in the sunset. And Ron I hope your not thinking of returning. Just keep riding in sunset also. Please

  5. danvalenti
    April 29, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    RON Kitterman makes an excellent point. It seems that when a private citizen petitions my Right Honorable Good Friends on the city council, said petition is treated like a joke if not totally ignored. The “Phony Bastards” on the council, and people know who they are, have had the cumulative effect of making citizens unwelcome in their own government! But when Boyle, Barry, and Doyle want to resurrect barroom politics and rename the field at Wahconah Park in honor of a guy who wanted to demolish the same park, it’s urgent, One Giant Leap for Mankind, and reason to bring out the marching bands. Ron, you did introduce the petition for The Rev. Harrison. The Phony Bastards did table it. Praise to you. Pitts to them.

    • rick
      April 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      dan, did the cheif phony bastard give ron credit for bringing it to the council…….or is he taking the credit for some one elses ideas…hummm in your world its called plagiarism…. roberto is one slippery guy.

  6. rick
    April 29, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    roberto wants a centralized street to honor mr.king, then the most centralized street befitting mr. king is north street. i think it would be a great honor to rename north street in memory of mlk. and i think sense roberto is in such a rush then im sure the city council would approve it….11 zip.

  7. Joe Blow
    April 29, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    With all of the problems in Pittsfiled he is wasting time on this. How much will the name change cost the tax payers?

  8. San Simeon
    April 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Columbus Ave to MLK Avenue? I can see doing something for Dr. king but not columbus avenue. As planet says the change of address thing will cause chaos. A close relative works for the Post Office and saus the address change will result in many and much mis-delivered mail. Like the idea of ‘martin luther king park at The Pitts Common” tho.

  9. r ALLEN
    April 29, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Joe Blow, great point. What’s the cost going to be. Bec. taxpayers will be paying the bill. Think one of the councilors will dare ask?

    • Guy N
      April 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

      Wow! It will cost millions The city will have to make 2 new street signs cost unknown.. Joe Blow get a life!

      • Scott
        April 30, 2011 at 5:19 am #

        I think the cost is passed along to property owners on the street to change their address but I’m not sure but who cares about them anyway right?

      • Joe Blow
        April 30, 2011 at 6:04 am #

        I have a life…thank you very much! If you think that will be the only cost,I have some swamp land in Fl. for sale.

  10. Obie
    April 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    PRediction on council vote–
    yon, yes marchetti, no
    white, yes lee yes
    capitano, no mazzeo no
    ward yes sherman no// council shoots it down six to five
    lothrup yet
    kroll no
    nichold no

  11. Still wondering
    April 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    All this will give the holier-than-thou’s out there yet another reason to call the rest of us racists.

  12. GMHeller
    April 29, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Why are Liberals here shying away from naming the road after Barack Hussein Obama.
    One would think that Democrats in Pittsfield would want to honor this great president.

    • Scott
      April 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

      You categorize too much open your eyes we’re not all partial to one party or system and you should not be either. I bet your wealth of knowledge we be far greater appreciated and accepted. You’re holding yourself back with this way of thinking.

      • GMHeller
        April 29, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

        Sorry, but this is how we Conservative Republicans think; we’re narrow-minded thinkers who think small.
        We think if Barack Obama is as great as Liberals believe him to be, that monuments should start being erected early, similar to Obama’s being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize which he so richly deserved within weeks of being sworn into the Oval Office.

        • Scott
          April 29, 2011 at 7:17 pm #

          Now you just sound like Beck and Rush all though I like some of the points they make I cant stand it when they’re condescending.

          • GMHeller
            April 30, 2011 at 10:33 am #

            Are you saying you don’t think Barack Obama deserved a Nobel Peace Prize?
            With Obama’s wars in Afghanistan and Libya winding down, is not the world a safer place?

          • Scott
            April 30, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

            @GM I think Obama has done none of what he said he did but since you like to revert back to the Constitution whats up with the “Patriot Act” Bush signed in and Obama is trying to renew? They’re all the same the sooner you realize that the better. And no the world is not a safer place see with a renewable energy push we wouldn’t have to be involved in civil wars or invasions to secure natural resources. We could still do those things but for the right reasons.

          • GMHeller
            April 30, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

            @Scott,
            You write:
            “…with a renewable energy push we wouldn’t have to be involved in civil wars or invasions to secure natural resources. We could still do those things but for the right reasons.”

            So you really think the US went to war in Iraq for oil?
            Afghanistan too?
            Where’s all that Iraqi oil that we supposedly went to war there to procure?
            Do you see Iraq giving the US any free oil right now?
            And where is the Afghani oil?
            What natural resources in Afghanistan are we supposedly there to obtain?
            Further, to what “right reasons” do you refer?
            Your arguments sound like a bunch of incomprehensible leftist mantras combined with the malarkey of the so-called Green Party.
            None of you Greenies have yet answered my simple questions posed here the other day.

          • GMHeller
            April 30, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

            @Scott:
            Here are my questions yet again:

            How can single-payer health care work, let alone be ‘fair’?
            Propose a federal tax rate the Green Party considers ‘fair’ and which will be the absolute top rate?
            How do Greens propose to deal with the inequity of double taxation of corporations on profits and separately on shareowner dividends?
            Are Greens in favor of oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and if not, why not?

  13. rick
    April 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    gotta give roberto credit, for a little guy hes got some big balls… he dosent ask for a key to the city for a 1.50$, he goes for the big ticket items like street name changes…. heres whats ive had in the back of my mind about diamond jim for a few years now….he likes to spend our money…. he should ride off….most likely though on one of our horses…….

  14. CONCERNED
    April 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    No street has to be renamed at all. We honor MLK with s holiday every year. Someday all this madness most stop. And please rick ride off with your hero James nerdo. And Ron, I only kidding, know you are know living in Lee

  15. Randy
    April 29, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    I propose renaming the street Glenn Muhammad Heller.

    • GMHeller
      April 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      We spell it Mahatma, thank you.

      • Scott
        May 1, 2011 at 6:21 am #

        @ Glen I do not know and I never said I was a member of the green party all I know is we need better health coverage for all Americans. Theres obviously more to why we went to war In Iraq and Afghanistan (The war on terror? WMD’s) I don’t really know because they are very vague. I do know that since we have not become anymore safe and our rights are slowly being stripped away. I’m not trying to “convert” you to my way of thinking I want you to continue thinking on your own I just want you to stop being partial to one party because in my opinion it’s whats hurting america now. Also if you read Paul Hawkins book you would see that the real cost is not included in manufacturing and corporations should be paying more. They are creating products and excluding the cost of their impact on local economy, humanity and nature.

        • GMHeller
          May 1, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

          @Scott,
          You really want good health coverage?
          Then buy health insurance from a private insurance company you trust, one in which you can buy stock and receive dividends.
          If you cannot afford that, then pay cash for doctor visits and medical treatments.
          By paying cash, you’ll save about 50% over the cost of what that same doctor likely charges the health insurance companies.

  16. John
    April 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    First time got to view the 250th anniversary flag, gawd awful.

  17. John
    April 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    …for those who finished in second place ect. you got screwed.

  18. John
    April 29, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    The Mayor gave some clever performances over the last few weeks.

  19. Joetaxpayer
    April 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Not a good idea.All the people who live on this street should have the final say,it is there street.There should be a better alternative in the city for the nameing.Is it me or is diamond Jim trying to get the most of his lame-duck Mayoral swan song.On another note why dont the nurses be honest and hold sighs that say fair wages keep it the same,instead of safe staffing now.The sticking point appears to be the 40 hours pay for 36 hours work.Sounds like money to me,because if staffing is a issue I would rather my nurse only work 8 hours per shift.

  20. Ron Kitterman
    April 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    @Concern No you don’t have to worry about me running for office. I rode off into the sunset for sure. How about you though sticking your name on a ballot and putting yourself up to the challenge ?

  21. CONCERNED
    April 29, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    No no no I know my limitations Ron. By the way I thought you did an honest job when you were there

  22. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    April 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    And guess with who Gov. Patrick privately dined the evening a couple sundays ago when he signed books at The Bookloft story in Great Barrington. Thats your first clue South county. Second clue, he’s the messiah. Or thinks he is. Or some girls who throw their panties at him think he is. His first name is Napoleon his middle name is Planet his last name is Valenti. Can you guess who it is? Why is valenti so popular with the guv lately do you think?

    • GMHeller
      April 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

      @Pittsfield Believer,
      Let’s guess: For the same reason Clarence Fanto is so popular with James Taylor?

      • Joetaxpayer
        April 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

        Same reasom GM is so interested in his own BS

        • danvalenti
          April 29, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

          Nice one, Joe T. We file it under “z” for “zinger.”

    • Scott
      April 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

      Why do you hate the truth so much? If you work in city hall it’s no wonder this town is crap.

  23. fan Dan Go
    April 29, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    DAn why do you allow that moronic PB to post such trash? You should ban him from the site. Thanks.

    • danvalenti
      April 29, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      @ FAN DAN GO
      We allow it for a few reasons:
      1. We believe in free speech, as free as possible. That is our guiding principle.
      2. The posts have little to no truth to them. They are harassment posts and harmless against who I am and for what I stand.
      3. The idiocy of PB’s posts speak for themselves and demonstrates that we on The Planet are on the higher ground.
      4. “PB” is several people who apparently are threatened with We the People finding their voice and demanding that the GOBs start hearing them.
      5. We shall leave PB a long enough leash for now. We have the power to punch his lights out anytime, on no notice, here on the Planet, where it is always 72 and sunny.

      • Kris Knutson
        April 30, 2011 at 8:55 am #

        Dan,
        Which parts of what pittsfield believer said above have truth? You said, “little to no truth”. I can guess what parts are not true. I’m sure you don’t think you are the messiah and we all know what your real name is. And as for the panties, only you know that. So did you have dinner with the governor?

        • danvalenti
          April 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

          None.

        • danvalenti
          April 30, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

          KRIS
          But let me also be clear, and on the record, that having a meal with the governor, private or otherwise, is not against the law, does not depress the stock market, doesn’t cause panic in the streets, and is not unethical. Just so we’re clear.

          • Kris Knutson
            April 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

            Dan,
            Of course, I agree, no big deal. I was just curious and I’m sure others were too.

          • danvalenti
            April 30, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

            No problem, Kris.

  24. Dusty
    April 30, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    when Ruberto gets through with all the name changes I hope he has time to address the sign clutter problem. In the Coltsville area they are constantly bombarded with these ugly furniture store signs stuck all over the place. They look like hell and suggest a business that is desperate beyond belief to rope in a customer. They are not “going out of business”. They are not “renovating”. They are not “relocating”. And I doubt there is any “sale”. The only thing that is true is that they ugly up the city. It looks like litter that is standing up.

    What say Jimmy? Got a couple of minutes for sign litter? Does Barret ever make it to Pittsfield to check things out anymore or does he just come to pick up his check?

    • Scott
      April 30, 2011 at 5:23 am #

      I know how do you land a “consulting” gig like that I mean isn’t one mayor good enough?

  25. Obie
    April 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Valenti didn’t eat lunch with me today!

  26. Bonnie
    May 1, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you Dan

  27. Kim
    May 4, 2011 at 7:04 am #

    Give me a break! Who cares what the name of the street is?? Goodness! I wish I had time to sit around and think of ways to create drama! Leave it alone. The street will end up with two names, because it will always be Columbus Ave. Save your money. Fix one of the four thousand pot holes that makes me spill my coffee in the morning…Peace!