FIRE DEPARTMENT-DRUG TESTING ISSUES FLARES UP AGAIN; READER POSES ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO PFD UNION PRESIDENT … ALSO, BIANCHI: COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE … and COLONIALS HOLD ON AGAINST QUEBEC ON ROAD, 7-5
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, AUG. 20, 2011) — Today, THE PLANET received an excellent post in response to one of the stories in our series exposing perhaps the main point of contention between the city of Pittsfield and the fire department as they try to find agreement on a new contract: random drug testing.
As you recall, THE PLANET revealed that the city, on behalf of taxpayers, had offered the fire department a four percent pay raise in exchange for the union agreeing to random drug testing for all its members. The debate ensued. The following response from Ray Ovac raises relevant questions for the president of the local firemen’s union. Here is that post.
Tim Bartini, you claim: “We had the meeting and the members voted to have some of the language rewritten by our lawyer. There was some concern with the random drug policy language. This is a delicate policy that needs to have all of the ” i”s dotted and all of the “T”s crossed.”
Mr. Bartini, surely you can post here the original language of the random drug policy about which your union members had concerns. Also, please post beneath it your lawyer’s suggested rewrite of that ‘delicate’ policy wherein your lawyer allegedly dotted I’s and crossed T’s. Please let the tax-paying public decide whether any rewrite was actually warranted. Further, Mr. Bartini, why should the union ‘get’ anything in exchange for its members verifying that they are obeying federal and state laws regarding illegal drug use? People who do not work for city government are not given anything for having to obey the law, so why should city employees get special treatment?
As you can see, Ovac zeroes in on three essential points:
(1) The union president should post that original language, and THE PLANET, on behalf of Pittsfield taxpayers, requests that he do so here. We shall publish it.
(2) There is a need for taxpayers to know about the rewrite suggest by the union’s lawayers. As we know, once the lawyers get involved, common sense can quickly “go south.”
(3) Ovac’s final question needs an answer: Why should city employees be compensated for obeying the same laws of those in the private sector? We are a nation of laws. No one gets to pick and choose which laws to obey, and no one gets paid to follow the law. We are required to do so as one of the responsibilities of good citizenship.
THE PLANET awaits Bartini’s response. We shall keep you posted.
BIANCHI STILL MUM ON DRUG TESTING
THE PLANET is also awaiting a response from presumed mayoral candidate Dan Bianchi on whether he supports random drug testing for all city employees. We polled Bianchi several days ago and followed that up with a second query. Thus far, we have heard nothing.
Do we know for a fact that Bianchi received our inquiry? Our computers say he has, but there’s always a chance for machines to go “Hal” on us. There’s a small chance he did not get the question. We will hold fire until we clarify this.
If Bianchi HAS received the question and had not responded, that is another matter. THE PLANET isn’t messing around with ANY candidate who ducks our questions. We ask, as a member of the Fourth Estate, on behalf of We The People. They do not personally have the chance — each and every one — to hear politicians flap their gums on campaign platforms.
We know Bianchi’s supporters monitor this site. We have reason to believe Bianchi himself does as well. We ask once again: Do you support the unconditional imposition of random drug testing for all municipal employees, starting with the fire department? We shall not wait forever.
THE PLANET shall keep our readers posted.
C’s HANG ON AGAINST QUEBEC
By CHAD COOPER
PLANET VALENTI Sports
(QUEBEC, Canada, GAME OF FRIDAY AUG. 19, 2011) —The Pittsfield Colonials built a four-run lead heading into the ninth, but the Quebec Capitales stormed back, loading up the bases before the Colonials came away with a 7-5 win.
Leading 7-3 into the ninth, Pittsfield reliever Chris Rubio got the first out of the inning before allowing a single to Jeff Helps. A groundout moved Helps to second before a Seth Henry homerun closed the Capitales to within two runs. Sebastien Boucher came up next and singled. A pitching change did not immediately affect the Colonials fortunes as Rene Leveret walked and Robert Wagner was hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded and the winning run aboard, Mike Zenko got Ivan Naccarata to ground out to first base to end the game.
The Colonials broke the ice on the scoreboard in the third inning as with two out, Danny Bomback singled and stole second. Billy Mottram hit a grounder up the middle that was knocked down by Seth Henry. On the play, Bomback moved to third and, catching the Capitales napping, scored on the play, putting Pittsfield up 1-0. Later in the inning, after an Angel Molina single moved Mottram to third, the Colonials executed a delayed double steal, enabling Mottram to score to make it 2-0.
Quebec tied the game in the fourth as with two on, Ivan Naccarata doubled off the wall in right to make it 2-2.
Pittsfield retook the lead in the fifth. With runners on first and third, Danny Bomback grounded into a double play to score Jermel Lomack and put Pittsfield back up by a run. The rally wasn’t over, however, as Mottram came up and smoked his 11th homer of the season to straightaway center to make it 4-2. Molina followed with a double and was on second base when Capitales starter, Karl Gelinas, uncorked a wild pitch that catcher Matt Blazynski couldn’t find behind the plate. The confusion allowed Molina to come all the way around from second to score and push the Pittsfield lead to 5-2. Quebec followed with a run in the bottom of the inning on a Henry infield single to slice the lead to 5-3.
It looked like the Colonials would get all the runs they needed in the seventh as Bomback doubled home Jerod Edmondson, who had led off the inning with a single. Two batters later, with Bomback on third, Molina delivered a sac fly to center to plate Bomback and give Pittsfield a four-run advantage.
The win went to Tim Stronach (3-2), who went the first five innings for the Colonials. Mike Zenko recorded the final out for his fifth save. Gelinas (6-6) took the loss for Quebec. On the mound for Pittsfield, the Colonials also got two strong innings out of MacKenzie King in relief.
The middle game of the series comes up on Saturday night with David Qualben (5-6, 3.89) on the mound for Pittsfield against Bryan Rembisz (6-1, 3.01), who will be throwing on three days rest for Quebec. Coverage on 89.7 WTBR FM will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the pregame show outside of a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.
THE BOX SCORE:
2B: D.Bomback (26), A.Molina (18).
HR: B.Mottram (11).
RBI: D.Bomback (44), B.Mottram 2 (57), A.Molina (68).
SF: A.Molina (5).
SB: D.Bomback (22), B.Mottram (24), A.Molina (10), J.Lomack (23).
Team LOB: 5.
2B: I.Naccarata (3).
HP: R.Wagner (2).
HR: S.Henry (8).
RBI: S.Henry 3 (36), I.Naccarata 2 (4).
SB: S.Boucher (21), R.Leveret (2).
Team LOB: 10.
BF: T.Stronach 22, M.King 8, C.Rubio 9, M.Zenko 3.
P-S: T.Stronach 86-47, M.King 28-17, C.Rubio 29-19, M.Zenko 13-6.
BF: K.Gelinas 30, G.Duguay 6, D.Sausville 3.
P-S: K.Gelinas 102-74, G.Duguay 19-14, D.Sausville 7-5.