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THE PLANET DOESN’T ENJOY BREAKING BAD NEWS, BUT WE WON’T SHY AWAY FROM TRUTH TELLING; ONLY THE STAUS QUO HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT; PLUS, COLONIALS CLUB CAPITALES, 9-4 … WELCH HOMERS TWICE

By DAN VALENTI

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, June 4, 2011) — One of our commentators, Bizarro, brought up an interesting point when he disputed my statement made in connection with the young kid who may have severed his arm punching out a plate glass storefront on Union Street. I said I did not enjoy reporting on such stories. Bizarro claimed the opposite, that I took pleasure in it.

I answered that since I alone know my intentions, motivations, and desires, my declaration has to be taken as the definitive one. In short, he’s wrong. We’re right.

Don’t Blame Us, We’re Only the Messenger

The claim is a variant of an old one that has been used against me personally and historically against investigative journalists as a whole by the apologists for the status quo. The claim can be stated in the elegantly pithy expression: Blame the Messenger. You saw that in action yesterday when Sarah Palin blamed a reporter for her shockingly ignorant knowledge of Paul Revere’s Ride.

Since Pericles was running circles around the Greek Senate, politicians and Establishment types — generally defined by those who hold power and are making out well financially — have a vested interest in having the people they govern believe everything is well.

In his brilliant essay, “Politics and the English Language,” writer George Orwell eviscerated this phenomenon. “Political lanaguage” tries to make murder acceptable and from the whispy wind pretends to have solidity. Thus, the powerful try to hide unpleasant truths. Orwell’s lesson will be a major part of my advanced composition class at the college this summer semester.

For example, part of the myth of the “downtown renaissance” in Pittsfield requires that those who perpetuate it deny most any evidence that would refute the claims that the central North Street an environs hum like SoHo in Greenwich Village. No one can doubt the progress made in the past decade. Barrington Stage moved its HQ onto Union Street. The Triplex Cinema nicely fills up the Kresge Building. The Colonial Theater, resplendent in its architectural glory, responds to the new management of Kate McGuire in a joint venture with the Berkshire Theater Festival. More artists live and work in the downtown. Fixture shops and stores (Steven Valenti’s, Paul Rich) coexist with newer enterprises (Dotties, On a Roll Cafe). … However …

The Long List of ‘Howevers’

However, how long do we recite this litany? Do we do it until it becomes a cliche, a knee-jerk defensive response aimed to shut out the truth. There’s also the big “however” called jobs. Pittsfield doesn’t have them. Much of household discretionary income has dried up. GE retirees are dying off, and when that wave works itself out of the economic mix and into the cemeteries, the city will see a profound, negative fiscal result. The CEDS program has been a failure for a decade. Not one significant large manufacturing company has moved into the area. Taxes continue to rise and the cost of government keeps slipping out of the corral.

A large minority population has moved into sections of the city. Drug trafficking has grown exponentially, with some of the biggest customers the high school students of Berkshire County, including PHS and Taconic. Social standards continue to erode, and the popular culture, driven by a vapid need to be distracted from thoughtful self-reflection, has electronically drugged our kids (who claim zombies as role models) into a type of despair that  bodes disastrously for the near future.

Thus, when a story comes along such as the drunk 18-year-old man-child punching out the window at 25 Union Street, just up from Barrington Stage on the other side of the street, and perhaps severing his arm, The Planet has an obligation to report on it.

The local daily has not, does not, and will not fulfill its role as the Fourth Estate. It will not act as protector of We the People by providing them with the truth of what’s happening in this county (and particularly in Pittsfield). The BB has apparently bought into the apathy of hopelessness wrought by a municipal environment that has lost its self-confidene and resolve. Pittsfield no longer knows who or what it is. How, then, can it figure out who or what it wants to be?

Reporting The Truth is Not a Choice but a Reposnsibility

The Planet, acting on a tip, tracked down the information of an important story. One teenage enraged enough to propel his fist and arm into a plate glass window — especially when it comes literally steps from one of the downtown cultural gems — is a serious story. The kid nearly died from a loss of blood. And what if in that enraged state he had been approached by a couple of innocent theatergoers who were walking past him? Would there have been an attempted murder?

The point is we did not enjoy having to report this. The Planet grew up in Pittsfield in the 1950s and 60s, when the town boasted the type of energy, industry, enterprise, cleanliness, standards, and stewardship that today seems like a “Leave It to Beaver” rerun. Yes, Mayfield existed. We called it Pittsfield.

Those of us old enough to have know the city’s glory days can best measure the extent of its decline into the 21st century morass. We have the benchmarks. The young do not. The apologist old do not. We would much rather be reporting on a genuine return to “the way it was.” We would rather be telling of an AUTHENTIC renaissance. This isn’t nostalgia or wishful thinking. This is fact.

In fact, if there is ANY hope of Pittsfield making a recovery, it lies in recognizing the truth of our situation — a city with a declining tax base, increasing taxes, greater lawlessness, a breakdown of the social fabric, the destruction of neighborhoods, a declining population, an aging population, poor school, a lack of jobs, and political timidity.

That’s why The Planet — every word of this website, every word we broadcast, every column we publish, every book we write, every class we teach, every syllable in every speech we give or talk we make, every book we publish — will always tell the truth. When the news is bad, we won’t enjoy breaking it, but we will not shy away.

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COLONIALS LAY THE LUMBER ON LES CAPITALES, 9-4; WELCH HITS TWO HRs, EDMONDSON ONE

BY CHAD COOPER

Special to PLANET VALENTI Sports

The Pittsfield Colonials hit three home runs, two off the bat of Johnny Welch, and got good starting pitching from Pat Moran to record a 9-4 victory over the Quebec Capitales. The win, first on the road this year for the team, evened the C’s season record at 5-5

Fast Start Propels Colonials

Pittsfield got the game off to a good start. With one out in the first, Danny Bomback singled, followed by a Jerod Edmondson double, moving Bomback to third. Angel Molina stepped up and lefted a single into center, scoring both runners for a 2-0 Colonials lead. Two batters later, Johnny Welch beat out an infield single hit toward short. On the play, no one covered third for Quebec. As Molina ran towards third base, Capitales pitcher Bryan Rembisz went to cover the bag. Rene Leveret threw the ball over the head of Rembisz, allowing Molina to score for a 3-0 Pittsfield advantage.

The Colonials defense opened the door in the bottom of the third, when Quebec scored four runs, three unearned. Two of the runs scored on a play where there was defensive miscommunication by Pittsfield, resulting in a throwing error as the Capitales took a 4-3 lead.

Pittsfield wasted no time in coming back. Leading off the top of the fourth, Welch homered to right to tie the game at 4-4. In the fifth, Bomback led off with a single. Edmondson came up and launched his first homer of the year to right to put the Colonials up 6-4.

The Colonials put the game away in the eighth. With Molina on third, Billy Mottram lifted a single over the drawn in infield to plate the runner and put Pittsfield up 7-4. Welch came up next and hit his second homer of the night, a towering shot to left to create the final margin.

Moran Goes seven innings in Victory

Pat Moran (1-1) picked up the win for Pittsfield, going seven innings allowing just one earned run on four hits. He walked three and struck out eight. Bryan Rembisz (1-1) took the loss for Quebec.

The series finale comes up on Sunday afternoon with Tim Stronach (1-0, 3.60) on the mound for Pittsfield against Matt Rusch (0-1, 1.26) for Quebec. Coverage on pittsfieldcolonials.com will begin at 12:45 p.m. with the Pittsfield Colonials pregame show in front of a 1:05 first pitch from Stade Municipal.

BOX SCORE

Pittsfield Quebec
9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsfield 3 0 0 1 2 0 0 3 0 9 10 1
Quebec 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 5 2
4

Game Info

  • Winning Pitcher: 44 – Patrick Moran
  • Losing Pitcher: 4 – Bryan Rembisz
  • Save Pitcher:
  • Date: 06/04/2011
  • Start Time: 07:10 AM
  • Duration: 2:33
  • End Time: 09:43 AM
  • Plate Ump: Yves Lamontagne
  • Field Ump #1: Matt Criss
  • Field Ump #2:
  • Field Ump #3: Mike Jadach
  • Location: Le Stade Municipal
  • Attendance: 2912
  • Weather:
  • Comments:


Batting Stats

Pittsfield
# Batter P AB R H RBI BB SO AVG
3 Davis, Q CF 5 0 0 0 0 1 .278
13 Bomback, D SS 5 2 2 0 0 0 .378
11 Edmondson, J 1B 3 2 2 2 0 1 .300
27 Molina, A LF 4 2 2 2 0 0 .310
10 Mottram, B 2B 4 1 1 1 0 0 .385
14 Welch, J 3B 4 2 3 3 0 0 .282
8 Knazek, S C 4 0 0 0 0 1 .212
20 Torres, C DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 .067
63 Pagliarulo, C RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 .158
Quebec
# Batter P AB R H RBI BB SO AVG
16 Tomlinson, G CF 5 1 1 0 0 0 .345
11 Henry, S SS 4 1 1 0 0 2 .250
18 Boucher, S RF 2 1 0 1 2 0 .192
21 Thompson, M 3B 4 0 0 0 0 0 .313
39 LaForest, P C 4 0 2 2 0 2 .267
28 Leveret, R 1B 3 0 0 0 1 3 .233
10 Wagner, R LF 3 0 0 0 1 1 .222
30 Barbero, D 2B 3 1 1 0 1 0 .400
19 Vallieres, M DH 4 0 0 0 0 1 .100
BATTING
2B: J.Edmondson (5), A.Molina (3).
HP: J.Edmondson (1).
HR: J.Edmondson (1), J.Welch 2 (5).
RBI: J.Edmondson 2 (5), A.Molina 2 (5), B.Mottram (7), J.Welch 3 (11).
CS: B.Mottram (1).
Team LOB: 2.

FIELDING
A: D.Bomback 3 (34), J.Edmondson (5), B.Mottram 2 (4), J.Welch (18).
DP: 1 (D. Bomback(SS) – B. Mottram(2B) – J. Edmondson(1B)).
E: J.Edmondson (2).
PO: Q.Davis 2 (23), D.Bomback (13), J.Edmondson 8 (72), A.Molina (11), B.Mottram 3 (41), J.Welch 2 (6), S.Knazek 9 (59), C.Pagliarulo (9).
SBA: S.Knazek (16).
TC: Q.Davis 2 (24), D.Bomback 4 (51), J.Edmondson 10 (79), A.Molina (11), B.Mottram 5 (45), J.Welch 3 (26), S.Knazek 9 (66), C.Pagliarulo (19).

BATTING
2B: S.Henry (2), P.LaForest (1).
HP: S.Henry (3).
RBI: S.Boucher (2), P.LaForest 2 (9).
SB: S.Boucher (5).
Team LOB: 7.

FIELDING
A: S.Henry 3 (23), M.Thompson 3 (6), D.Barbero 4 (4), R.Oliveros (2), B.Rembisz (2).
E: R.Leveret (1), D.Barbero (1).
PB: P.LaForest (1).
PO: G.Tomlinson 3 (15), P.LaForest 4 (13), R.Leveret 15 (72), R.Wagner 3 (11), D.Barbero (1), B.Rembisz (3).
TC: G.Tomlinson 3 (15), S.Henry 3 (37), M.Thompson 3 (12), P.LaForest 4 (20), R.Leveret 16 (79), R.Wagner 3 (11), D.Barbero 6 (6), R.Oliveros (2), B.Rembisz 2 (5).


Pitching Stats

Pittsfield
# Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO ERA
44 Winning Pitcher Moran, P 7.0 4 4 1 3 8 4.26
39 Ibanez, Y 1.0 1 0 0 1 0 15.43
2 Lyons, M 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 4.50
Quebec
# Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO ERA
4 Losing Pitcher Rembisz, B 6.0 7 6 5 0 1 3.75
20 Oliveros, R 2.0 3 3 2 0 2 4.91
27 Duguay, G 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00
PITCHING
BF: P.Moran 29, Y.Ibanez 5, M.Lyons 4.
P-S: P.Moran 118-73, Y.Ibanez 21-10, M.Lyons 20-15.
PITCHING
BF: B.Rembisz 26, R.Oliveros 9, G.Duguay 3.
P-S: B.Rembisz 95-61, R.Oliveros 34-23, G.Duguay 11-8.

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INTO THE EVENING NOW WITH LIGHT THAT ILLUMINES THE STARS.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL

11 Responses to “THE PLANET DOESN’T ENJOY BREAKING BAD NEWS, BUT WE WON’T SHY AWAY FROM TRUTH TELLING; ONLY THE STAUS QUO HAS A PROBLEM WITH THAT; PLUS, COLONIALS CLUB CAPITALES, 9-4 … WELCH HOMERS TWICE”

  1. Jeffrey Turner
    June 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Lurid voyeurism as a higher calling. What a riot. You’re a legend in your own mind. A tawdry tart who thinks she’s the Queen of England. Good night, Dan, hang it up.

  2. Dee
    June 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

    Please don’t, as J Turner says, hang it up. Keep reporting. Keeping turning over the stones. We may not like the slime that resides beneath it, but we need to put these undesireable things into the light of day.

    Like you, I remember Pittsfield in some of it’s finest. The 70s and 80s. GE was booming, North Street on a Thursday night was the place to be. As a parent you could send your child uptown without worrying, about anything. I may be naive, but I miss those days. Innocence lost perhaps, but I still have a glimmer of hope that Pittsfield can once again return to it’s former self, even if it’s just a shadow. But, unfortunately until the gangs and drugs are driven out, all will be lost. You can polish an apple, but if you cut into it and find rot, it’s still a rotten apple.

    I don’t go to North Street anymore. When I’m challenged by baggy pant-wearing bangers just driving down the street, you can bet you ass I’m not getting out of the car and risk a stroll through the shops. I love Barrington Stage but unfortunately it seems that ever time I go for a show there’s a ‘happening’ either on Union Street or North Street. While some may find the intermission entertainment enlightening, I find it unacceptable.

    Dan, please keep turning over those stones. Maybe the more news coverage that these incidents get, perhaps more attention will be paid to the problems in Pittsfield, like the drugs and gangs. Thank you and keep up the good work. We are listening.

  3. Dusty
    June 5, 2011 at 3:46 am #

    The fact that a story like the broken window/severed arm tale is hidden by the newspaper, police chief and mayor says a lot about the leadership of the community. And none of it is good.

    It says that some people are controlling information and it says that other people are allowing themselves to be controlled. How pathetic Pittsfield has become.

    And the irony of it all is that the story gets out anyway and it backfires on the business on North street because the unofficial version is probably much worse than the reality.

  4. pjmh
    June 5, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    2,900+ at the Colonials vs. Capitales game. Nice.

  5. Demitrius T. Gladiator
    June 5, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Dan, love your mix of fun coverage, baseball, and news. Ignore the first poster up above, he’s a groupie of yours whos jealous that he’s not in the inner circle. Dee and Dusty have it right. we need you, respect you, and know you make our community a better place.

  6. Dave
    June 5, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Dan
    Please keep the faith and continue uncovering and telling the truth.

    Above you state a laundry list of the negatives that have become Pittsfield’s face. On to that list one must add the toxic legacy left behind by GE. One could argue that an even greater insult than GE leaving and taking some 14000 jobs out of the economy of the area, is the insult that GE has left behind a toxic legacy that we still to this day, do not know the extent of, or the actual impact on the health of the people in the area. No one has ever done a comprehensive health study to determine that impact.

    I am a believer that until the mess that GE has left behind is cleaned up , not covered up or piled up next to an elementary school, actuallyremoved from our environment, this city willnever prosper. This toxic legacy will continue to hamper recovery. Those in a position to create jobs and move their business here’re informed. They will do their homework. Why would they want to move here, when those in charge of this city choose to ignore the problems or continue todownplay them?

    • danvalenti
      June 5, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

      DAVE
      Yes. That was indeed an oversight. Thanks for bringing to life the rape of Pittsfield GE performed via chemistry, and then was allowed to skip town, essentially intact and free of responsibility. We are hoping to drive the cleanup of Pittsfield in the upcoming election. Let’s see where candidates stand.

  7. Joe Pinhead
    June 5, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    Dan,
    Please keep up the great work. The first poster is free to start his own blog and either cheer for or question anything he so desires. Remember Dan those whom complain the most contribute the least. Why would you expect blogging to be any different? What kind of person would think anyone would cheer for or be happy about a young fella who’s life is now changed forever and I suggest not for the better. Massive amounts of therapy healing and learning to go through life with a disability. Not to mention having to look over his shoulder and have to look no further than the mirror to find the cause.
    How sad anyone might use this as a means to trash the messenger, But then again there are those who suggest anything to elude dealing with harsh reality.
    Thanks for all you do and I enjoy the Baseball coverage any other sports in mind?

    • danvalenti
      June 5, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      JOE P
      Thank you. Great suggestion for poster to start his own site, he seems to have so much to say!
      Your sobering thoughts on the young man who handicapped himself for life provide deep wisdom.

  8. Payroll Patriot
    June 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

    Dan, good work as usual most of the time. However, I am making a change in your investigative personnel by replacing Paul Drake with Gibbs; remember what the second b stands for. Jack Webb did file a grievance because of his seniority, but this is the dreaded private sector and LAPD is out of jurisdiction.

    Back to the PHS $9000 PLUS heist .
    Facts The desk and room were locked. The desk was broken into.
    A student had a master key? There are two class advisors,one connected, so to speak.
    The principal made an assumption (according to BB) and remember assume makes an xxx of himself and the city school system. Some kids at Taconic knew what happen. Read the Gazette for a good story. NOW to the readers, WHO do you think took the money?

    Dan, would you offer a 13% raise to a goup of people that helped lose 3 MILLION BIG ONES? Dan, you don’t have to answer; the group of people turned down the 13% raise but the 3 million is gone.
    SHOULD PEOPLE WHO KEEP $9000 IN THEIR DESK, TURN DOWN A 13% RAISE OVER 3 YEARS AND LOST 8 MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE LAST 3 YEARS BE CLASSIFIED PUBLIC SCHOOL EDUCATORS?

  9. Bizzaro
    June 6, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    Dan I stand by my posting. Ive talked to many people who believe the same.