PITTSFIELD’s FREAK FLAG FLYING LOW IN BEACON HILL’s GREAT HALL, or ‘PALOOKAVILLE GETS THE RAG” … plus, TIPS — LIKELY TRUE — FROM THE PLANET’s SECRET SQUADRON
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2011) — We present, verbatim, the first item from the desk of Sen. Ben Downing. THE PLANET likes the way Downing sends these briefings on a regular basis. Sure, they’re self-serving. Sure, you don’t find out the nitty gritty. However, as a journalist, THE PLANET finds ALL information useful.
Officials sources such as a senator provide much-needed pieces of the puzzle that is public service and the public like all of us share as members of the community (in this case, Berkshire County). Downing’s press briefing begins:
Pittsfield’s Flag now flying proudly in the State House!
On Thursday, July 30th Senator Ben Downing, Rep. Paul Mark and Mayor Jim Ruberto celebrated the raising of Pittsfield’s new official flag in the Great Hall of the State House with artist Shaun Harris and his family.
Pittsfield’s flag depicts four landmark buildings on Park Square, surrounded by an elm tree leaf, all against a solid green background. “City of Pittsfield” is written above and “1761″ below the artwork.
The Great Hall is the largest function room in the Massachusetts Statehouse. In 1992, the agency tasked with managing state office space, the Bureau of State Office Buildings, began collecting official flags from the 351 Commonwealth communities and hanging them throughout the Great Hall to improve the acoustics of the room. Earlier this year, a renovation of the Great Hall was completed, and the 320 town flags currently in BSB’s custody were re-hung and arranged according to dates of incorporation.
Click here to view the Senator’s photo album of the flag presentation.
Thus, the item ends. A few comments are in order.
(1) Dazed — The senator needs to call in his flacks on Rug Row and read them the riot calendar. Thursday, yesterday, was July 28, not July 30. Downing needs to tell his staff serfs: “Chisenbop, baby, or simple math, you morons.” THE PLANET and other Berkshire County taxpayers fund our state reps, their offices, and their staffs with a small fortune of OUR money. Is it too much to ask that they know what day it is!?
(2) Accuracy Issues — The headline says that the city’s flag in flying “proudly.” This bit of personification might be allowed for a flag of distinction and accomplishment. “Proudly,” however, stands on the summit of Mt. Bald Face Lie. A flag that generic, that computer-done, that boring, can only fly “ashamedly.” Of course, Downing can’t say what he really thinks about the green monstrosity of a flag. It looks like a banner suitable for the Pope of Fools or Simpleton, Mass., yet he must make it sound like Old Glory that flew on Iwo Jima.
(3) Cheat Cheat — In a story the Boring Broadsheet sycophantically spiked as it was giving head to the advertisers that supported the flag competition — a story uncovered and exposed exclusively on THE PLANET — the winning entry used social media to cheat to victory.
(4) Throw It Back, It’s Too Small — In the photo on Sen. Downing’s website, Pittsfield’s phlag rag looks like Amateur Hour as it hangs in the Great Hall alongside much more accomplished flags from other Bay State towns and cities.
Pittsfield deserved a much better flag than the rag it received. Then again, it the city needed a flag that says, “Palookaville,” it got the creme de la creme.
Tips from the Secret Squadron
While THE PLANET enjoys the summer with a relatively light schedule (summer semester having just ended and no columns due for print anytime soon), many tips continue to come in via e-mail, text, twitter, snail mail, carrier pigeon, and smoke signals from a plethora of sources. This usually happens when campaigns are nigh.
In case you didn’t know it, four elections will assault the senses of Pittsfield between next month and November (preliminary elections for special election and municipal elections, plus finals for both). Natives get restless, and the vested interests find THE PLANET as the ONLY local media outlet with a reputation for fearlessness and truth.
As far as tips go, especially those of the anonymous variety, we’ve been around long enough to dismiss the duds right out of the gate. They stick out like sore pinkies. That being said, we also know that when members of the Secret Squadron file reports, official and otherwise, the information takes on the patina of substance. Thus, we present snatches of intelligence gathered by THE PLANET’s SS. These items have not been verified nor discounted. We present them as reasonable candidates for truth:
(*) ROAD WORK — “Anyway,” one member writes, “they are doing a scrape and paste job on Holmes Road. I have a friend who used to work construction. He told me this method will only last a few years. To do it right, all the layers down to the gravel must be removed. So why does the city do a Michael Mouse job? I don’t think they are saving much in the long run.” THE PLANET loves it: “Michael Mouse.”
(*) NO SHOW’s A NO SHOW — We hear from our spies inside Central Berkshire District Court that No Show Speranzo, that larded lout who bamboozled voters and sucked up to the right Big Shots to secure his lifetime, $110,000-a-year-plus-benefits “make work” job as clerk magistrate, has yet to report. Our gumshoes say No Show began his life-long love’s labor as clerk mag with an extended vacation!!! We hear he did so because of stress. Seems he’s been given a taste of the chilly atmosphere inside his new workplace. No Show has earned little to no respect inside the courthouse walls, according to our sources. Tell us, No Show, is 110 thousand smackers — or 110 million for that matter — worth the destruction of your peace of mind? We await your answer, because we know how diligent you are in meeting your responsibilities to the electorate and the press.
(*) DRUG TESTING FOR PPD OFFICERS? — Our moles from deep inside the Pittsfield Police Department claim that the police union has agreed to testing for illicit substances. Someone described the testing procedures. According to this account, the method can detect drugs such as steroids from months prior. Don’t know when testing is to begin or why the union agreed to it, but it’s reasonable to assume it came out of the horse trading done in light of Steroidsgate, a PPD scandal exposed by this website and wall-papered over by the Boring Broadsheet. Speaking of which, we hear different version of the two investigations that were initiated into Steroidsgate. Dueling sources alternately claim (a) the probes have been quietly ended after the Right People pulled some strings and (b) the probes continue and are pursuing bombshell allegations. Take your pick.
(*) OPERATION: BATON — A source close to developments in the upcoming campaign for 3rd Berkshire District rep — the $40,000 special election made necessary by No Show when he stabbed Berkshire County in the back — has outlined what (s)he says is “The Secret Plan.” We can’t verify all the info or present the bulk of it, and we caution that in campaigns, those vested say all sorts of things. The Secret Plan, dubbed “Operation: Baton,” goes like this: The Good Ol’ Boys have anointed Tricia Farley-Bouvier as The Chosen One. It was done in the back room at Del Gallos, at the very table Lt. Gov. Tim Murray set up No Show Speranzo for life one year ago in a Top Secret Meeting. TBF is to be “handed the baton” that The Larded Lout dropped in the mud, the same one he received on a golden pillow from Peter Larkin. For those scoring at home, it will be Larkin-to-Larded-to-TFB. “It won’t happen,” our Gumshoe says, “Not if we have anything to say about it.”
THUS WE VENTURE IN THE HINTERLAND OF A BUCOLIC BERKSHIRE WEEKEND, BIDDING:
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE!”
LOVE TO ALL