PLANET ENDORSES ROCHE, VINCELETTE IN LENOX, plus, MORE ON BCC’s PIT ACCIDENT, BASEBALL AT BELOVED WAHCONAH PARK, & OBAMA TRUMPS TRUMP
BY DAN VALENTI
PLANET ISSUES ENDORSEMENTS IN LENOX
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, May 7, 2011) — Thinking ahead to Monday’s town election in Lenox, The Planet issues our endorsements. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Two incumbents — Kim Flynn and John McNinch — are competing against two challengers — Eric Vincelette and David Roche for two seats on the five-person select board. The Planet recommends Vincelette and Roche.
When we moderated the final debate among the candidates, The Planet engaged in a crash course on Lenox politics. They are small town politics are their best and worst. We talked to many people mostly about issues and not people. Thus, we had a rare advantage that we hardly ever enjoy: objectivity of issues and candidates. Full disclosure: The Planet knows Vincelette. We first met him through his father, former Ward 4 Pittsfield councilor Chuck Vincelette (who’s running for the seat again after a few years off). In the past year, we have developed a relationship with him. The Planet can honestly say, though, that if EV had embarrassed himself in this campaign or clearly was in over his head, we would NEVER endorse him. We are endorsing what we feel are the two most qualified candidates.
We like Vincelette’s freshness, his curiosity (seen in the questions he’s asked of the incumbents), his service (town finance committee), and his work ethic. He conveys to attitude of someone who “wants” the job without making it a fanatical pursuit. He has a life outside of politics, and this is important. Too often, candidates are full of the wrong kid of zeal, and they try to make up in public life what they are missing at home.
Roche brings business experience with him and, like Vincelette, seems to be a “private sector” leaning man. Roche has a statesmanlike demeanor, if that is the right way of putting it. We liked how, during the debate, he spent the time when he wasn’t speaking “listening.” He showed a good command of the issues and a straightforward way of communicating his understandings.
INCUMBENTS: Lots of Ho-Hum
As for the incumbents, they didn’t convey a freshness of approach. McNinch seemed to be bored, almost sleepy at times, far too laid back and cavalier for the occasion. Perhaps that’s who he is. If so, all the more reason to make a change. If there is a Good Ole Boy in this race, it’s McNinch.
Flynn had a slow start t the debate and got stronger as the night went on. There were too many “blanks” and silences from her when pressed on questions. She came across as if she was running for class president. that’s hard to quantify, but we will point out that her skirt was a tad too short and the heels of her shows a tad too high. On policy issues, she was defensive and vague. Again, The Planet recommends voters pull the plug on Flynn.
FOR SELECT BOARD: ROCHE AND VINCELETTE.
BCC ACCIDENT: THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM
The Planet had the pleasure of being on campus today at Berkshire Community College to teach a composition class. We took the time to explore the area where an 18-year-old kid fell through a metal grate and took a 15-foot plunge into a concrete pit.
The site of the accident is the venting grate that runs along the north face of Koussevitsky Theater. The ventilation pit runs the length of the building’s north face, at hte base. It is topped by metal grate, in sections. The grate panels have been secured by a long, metal bar that is fastened at both ends of the pit. When one looks at the scene, you see a piece of plywood covering where a metal panel should be. That’s where the teenager fell in. The bar looks like it’s been broken there, which explain how the grate could have popped out of place. Here’s a key question: was the bar broken prior to the kid falling into the pit or was it broken as a result of him standing on it, causing it to snap?
Interestingly, the ventilation pit has been fenced off with fencing installed immediately after the accident. The fencing was not there prior to the kid falling into the pit. Now the pendulum starts swinging.
Who’s to Blame?
Where does blame fall? That’s hard to say without an investigation, but The Planet would dispute the statement of BCC’s PR person, Christina Barrett, that no one was at fault. If you take one look at where the pit is located and at its geometry, her statement is ridiculous. Either the kid was where he shouldn’t have been, the site was improperly secured, or both.
The pit and grating are not near the sidewalk. It’s an area of the campus where students ignore, without consequence, the No Smoking signs. Why was he standing on the grate? Was there horsing around there? Didn’t he realize that he was standing over a 15-foot deep pit? Was the metal grating not secured properly by the lock bar? Should it have been? Was there a situation that could have been prevented by routine maintenance.
These are questions for the investigators and maybe lawyers. For now, it look as if both the kid and the college share in the negligence. The blessing is that the boy wasn’t seriously hurt.
AT BELOVED WAHCONAH PARK:
79 BASEBALLERS ON THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM
It was a glorious late morning and afternoon at Beloved Wahconah Park (BWP) as 79 young men showed up for day one of a two-day tryout. There were scouts from the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Frontier League, the New York State League, and, of course, the Can-Am League.
Pittsfield Colonials manager Jamie Keefe and his pitching coach Chad Peronto led the ballplayers through their tasks. Players ran sprints then played in a marathon simulated game, where hitters squared off against live pitching. These young men were grabbing at a dream that, for some, will die on the field at BWP. For others, they will catch someone’s attention and be given an invitation to return tomorrow for Day 2 of camp. In some ways, every pitch thrown and every cut inside the batting cage dripped with a drama and importance reserved for Game 7. The pitchers knew, literally, every pitch was being charted. They had three batters against which to show their stuff. Hitters had an at bat or two. A whole lot rode on each movement.
That is drama. That is intensity. That is baseball. The game isn’t a MLB spoiled brat making $10 million a year and bitching about it. It’s these 79 young men, many from major collegiate programs and Major League organizations, paying their own way to show up at BWP, daring to grab at opportunity, standing on the threshold of a dream.
At Tim McCarver might way, ya gotta love it.
The Colonials open at home later this month, with a home stand beginning on Opening Day, Thursday May 26.
ANOTHER BAD HAIR DAY FOR TRUMP
Finally, we share this from the Associated Press.
We invite your views.
By SUSANNE M. SCHAFER, Associated Press – Fri May 6,
ORANGEBURG, S.C. – Colin Powell told graduates of South Carolina’s premier historically black university that they were graduating during a tumultuous time that saw a royal wedding, a pope’s beatification and a U.S. military assault that killed Osama bin Laden, “the worst person on earth.”
But the former secretary of state and Joint Chiefs chairman told South Carolina State University’s 400 graduates on Friday that he particularly enjoyed another recent event: “That was when President Obama took out his birth certificate and blew away Donald Trump and all the birthers!”
The stadium roared in approval of Powell’s comments on the president’s move last week to quell the doubts of those who don’t believe he was born in Hawaii. The retired Army four-star general endorsed Obama’s 2008 presidential bid
DON’T LOOK FOR US TOMORROW. IT’S SUNDAY, AND THE PLANET DOESN’T WORK ON SUNDAY. PLUS, IT’S MOTHER’S DAY. SPECIAL LOVE TO ALL THE MOMS OUT THERE.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.