Article

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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

Pittsfield Quebec
7
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pittsfield 0 0 2 0 3 0 2 0 0 7 14 0
Quebec 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 2 5 9 0
5

Game Info

  • Winning Pitcher: 6 – Tim Stronach
  • Losing Pitcher: 34 – Karl Gelinas
  • Save Pitcher: 23 – Mike Zenko
  • Date: 08/19/2011
  • Start Time: 07:12 AM
  • Duration: 3:00
  • End Time: 10:12 AM
  • Plate Ump: Chase Edmondson
  • Field Ump #1: Yves Lamontagne
  • Field Ump #2:
  • Field Ump #3: Sean Hicks
  • Location: Le Stade Municipal
  • Attendance: 4193
  • Weather:
  • Comments:


Batting Stats

Pittsfield
# Batter P AB R H RBI BB SO AVG
11 Edmondson, J CF 5 1 2 0 0 1 .295
13 Bomback, D 2B 5 2 3 1 0 1 .347
10 Mottram, B 3B 5 2 3 2 0 0 .322
45 Molina, A 1B 3 1 3 1 0 0 .321
17 Fatse, P RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 .274
14 Welch, J DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 .304
8 Knazek, S C 4 0 1 0 0 2 .248
4 Nandin, M SS 4 0 1 0 0 1 .266
5 Lomack, J LF 4 1 1 0 0 1 .235
38 7 14 4 0 7
Quebec
# Batter P AB R H RBI BB SO AVG
16 Tomlinson, G CF 4 0 0 0 1 0 .235
17 Henry, S 2B 5 1 3 3 0 0 .264
18 Boucher, S RF 4 0 1 0 1 1 .323
28 Leveret, R 1B 3 1 0 0 2 1 .301
10 Wagner, R LF 4 1 1 0 0 2 .244
11 Naccarata, I 3B 5 0 3 2 0 0 .360
26 Delaney, M DH 4 0 0 0 0 0 .270
30 Blazynski, M C 2 1 0 0 1 0 .300
7 Gorang, B PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .241
2 Helps, J SS 3 1 1 0 1 0 .258
35 5 9 5 6 4
BATTING
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.

FIELDING
A: A.Molina (51), P.Fatse (91), M.Nandin 6 (97), T.Stronach (2).
DP: 1 (P. Fatse(RF) – A. Molina(1B)).
PO: J.Edmondson (230), D.Bomback (144), B.Mottram (121), A.Molina 12 (518), P.Fatse 4 (87), S.Knazek 4 (381), M.Nandin (47), J.Lomack (37), M.Zenko (9), T.Stronach (3).
SBA: S.Knazek 2 (76).
TC: J.Edmondson (246), D.Bomback (368), B.Mottram (172), A.Molina 13 (572), P.Fatse 5 (185), S.Knazek 4 (428), M.Nandin 7 (148), J.Lomack (68), M.Zenko (15), T.Stronach 2 (5).

BATTING
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.

FIELDING
A: S.Henry 5 (220), J.Helps 5 (180), K.Gelinas (18).
DP: 2 (S. Henry(2B) – J. Helps(SS) – R. Leveret(1B),S. Henry(2B) – J. Helps(SS) – R. Leveret(1B)).
PB: M.Blazynski (2).
PO: G.Tomlinson 2 (169), S.Henry (121), S.Boucher (92), R.Leveret 10 (570), R.Wagner 2 (122), M.Blazynski 7 (30), J.Helps 3 (104).
SBA: M.Blazynski 4 (6).
TC: G.Tomlinson 2 (173), S.Henry 6 (353), S.Boucher (99), R.Leveret 10 (602), R.Wagner 2 (165), M.Blazynski 7 (33), J.Helps 8 (291), K.Gelinas (29).


Pitching Stats

Pittsfield
# Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO ERA
6 Winning Pitcher Stronach, T 5.0 4 3 3 3 2 3.42
63 King, M 2.0 2 0 0 1 1 7.35
27 Rubio, C 1.2 3 2 2 1 1 2.70
23 Save Pitcher Zenko, M 0.1 0 0 0 1 0 1.40
9 9 5 5 6 4
Quebec
# Pitcher IP H R ER BB SO ERA
34 Losing Pitcher Gelinas, K 6.1 12 7 6 0 6 3.97
27 Duguay, G 1.2 1 0 0 0 1 2.76
23 Sausville, D 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 5.88
9 14 7 6 0 7
PITCHING
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.
PITCHING
BF: K.Gelinas 30, G.Duguay 6, D.Sausville 3.
P-S: K.Gelinas 102-74, G.Duguay 19-14, D.Sausville 7-5.

PLAY BY PLAY: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Top of 1st Pittsfield
#11 Jerod Edmondson Ball, Ball, 11 Jerod Edmondson putout (fly out to right field) for out number 1
#13 Danny Bomback Called Strike, Called Strike, Foul, Ball, Foul, 13 Danny Bomback putout (strike out) for out number 2
#10 Billy Mottram Ball, Ball, Foul, 10 Billy Mottram advances to 1st (single)
#45 Angel Molina 45 Angel Molina advances to 1st (single), 10 Billy Mottram advances to 2nd (45)
#17 Peter Fatse Ball, 17 Peter Fatse putout (fly out to center field) for out number 3
Runs: 0, Hits: 2, Errors: 0, LOB: 2
Bottom of 1st Quebec
#16 Goefrey Tomlinson Ball, Called Strike, Ball, 16 Goefrey Tomlinson putout (1) for out number 1
#17 Seth Henry Ball, 17 Seth Henry advances to 1st (single)
#18 Sebastien Boucher Ball, Ball, 18 Sebastien Boucher putout (fly out to left field) for out number 2
#28 Rene Leveret Swinging Strike, Swinging Strike, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Foul, 28 Rene Leveret putout (strike out swinging) for out number 3
Runs: 0, Hits: 1, Errors: 0, LOB: 1

26 Responses to “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”

  1. Allen
    August 20, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Bianchi is doing it HIS way. Not like that craven Kinnas.

  2. danvalenti
    August 20, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Allen
    True, he’s doing it HIS way. But EVERY candidate does it HIS or HER way, by definition. Voters want more than a candidate doing it HIS or HER way. They want responsiveness to We The People.

    • Baby Baby
      August 21, 2011 at 6:34 am #

      Who died and made you “We the people”? “We the people” don’t even live in Pittsfield, do” WE”.

      • danvalenti
        August 21, 2011 at 8:59 am #

        BABY
        Thanks for the feeback.
        I was made WE THE PEOPLE by virtue of my role as a journalist, a member of the press, who takes his role in The Fourth Estate seriously. The First Amendment made me WE THE PEOPLE.

        • Baby Baby
          August 21, 2011 at 10:11 am #

          I disagree. Any journalist could claim that. Do you think the same of the main stream TV reporters? How about the reports at the “BB” as you call it? Are they also “We the people”?

          If not, who makes the decision on who gets the title? And, what are their qualifications to be making such decisions?

          Are these not fair questions?

          • danvalenti
            August 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

            BABY
            Yes, these are fair questions. Great questions, actually, since it gets to the heart of what THE PLANET is all about. Not everyone who is “press” is a member of the Fourth Estate. Mainstream TV reporters are blow-dried stiffs looking pretty and doing the work of Da Man. Every TV station is owned by a conglomerate, and they are not about to tell the truth. As for the BB, it’s an individual thing. For the most part, the long-timers there are settled into a comfortable groove, and they know they better not piss off the “wrong” people. The young ones are eager, too eager, and will do anything to please The Massas. The one who gets the title are the ones who report the news fearlessly and interpret it honestly on behalf of the oppressed and those with office or access to office. Right now, that means THE PLANET and Jonathan Levine of the Gazette. That’s it.

          • Joe Pinhead
            August 21, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

            “we the People” are we the people by birth right. Reporters just like others in every walk of life are free to engage to the level and the extent they wish. If a reporter or journalist chooses to report the happenings IE pancake breakfast or even as spectacular as a hostage standoff that’s their choice. However if you read Jefferson and Paine it would be clear to both the function and the importance of the fourth estate.
            “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.”
            Please see the following link regarding freedom of the press.
            http://famguardian.org/Subjects/Politics/ThomasJefferson/jeff1600.htm

            And here is the interesting one to me anyways, even back in the day
            “The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.”
            Nuff said

          • danvalenti
            August 22, 2011 at 5:56 am #

            JOE P
            Precisely. Thanks for this brilliant post. In fact, this is so good, I want to feature it in my remarks today.

  3. Dee
    August 20, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    Not to hijack the subject matter today, but…. who knows what happened at Pitt Park this afternoon. City police, state police as well as officers literally speeding in from Lanesboro and Dalton.

  4. Shakes His Head
    August 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    I’d guess a hostage situation on second st.

  5. A Vet
    August 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

    I heard it was a stabbing or slashing. Lots of blood, and Pitt Park is not that far from downtown. As for the story I like the quetion put to Mr. Bartini of the drug clause in the contract. The taxpayers deserve an answer and I don’t think this would spoil any secrecy fo the negotiations, c’mon, Tim, we’re waiting for answers.

  6. Evian
    August 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    Well, I think that all public emplyees should agree to random testing. As is mentioned it’s the law and why should anyone be paid to keep the law. If no one is doing drugs, no one will have to worry.

  7. CONCERNED
    August 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    whats up with Peter White ???? His face book comments pictures etc. would have me believe he is running social director of something not for public office. Peter get off North St. once in awhile and talk to all the people not just the loves that love the arts. Start being yourself and get some back bone

    • danvalenti
      August 21, 2011 at 9:00 am #

      CONCERNED
      Fair point, although, in the end, every candidate for office runs the type of campaign he or she chooses.

  8. CONCERNED
    August 21, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Your right Dan and we get to vote for the one we wish

  9. Shakes His Head
    August 21, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Don’t you think it’s a little insensitive and inflammatory to craft a metaphor between BEagle reporting and slavery?

  10. Aclu
    August 22, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    I think the police should be able to pull you over and search your car and go into your house and look at all your things… Wait no I don’t that would be a violation of your right and constitute an illegal search just like drug testing without cause.

  11. disappointed
    August 22, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    Dan,
    Why has your blog become just a rehash of the comments left by your readers? I can read the comments and don’t need them interperted for me. I have admired your writing and journalistic skills in the past, and hope you find your journalistic mojo again soon. You should be doing the legwork on your stories instead of letting your readers do all the work.

    • danvalenti
      August 22, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      DISAPPOINTED
      We have featured comments that we fell made vital points about highly relevant issues. That, too, is a journalistic function, one of gate-keeping and agenda setting.
      Thanks for the feedback.

  12. Ray Ovac
    August 22, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    DV, in addition to asking Dan Bianchi what he intends to do about keeping the PFD and PPD drug-free, what exactly does this Mayoral candidate, if he wins, intend to do about the insidious air pollution coming off Silver Lake, emissions from tons of aromatic chemical poisons dissolved in the water (deposited by G.E. and Stanley Electric before that) — the fumes especially bad lately with the waters warmed up from summer heat. Odorless, these fumes can cause dizziness (which can last hours) to anyone driving by with open windows. Even the Boring Broadsheet is covering up on this public health issue despite losing one of it own longtime employees, a resident of a Silver Lake neighborhood living less than a thousand or so feet downwind of the lake and directly in the path of the odorless cancer-causing aromatic poisons.
    This is deadly serious stuff, check it out for yourself with open car windows if you don’t believe it.

    • danvalenti
      August 23, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      RAY
      Do you have any more substantive information on the fumes?

  13. Ray Ovac
    August 22, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

    With the car windows wide open, try driving the length of Silver Lake Blvd. past the vast array of solar panels to your right, then merge left onto 4th Street, then left at Fenn St., left at East St., and then left again back onto Silver Lake Blvd..
    Breathe normal the whole time.
    That dizziness you likely begin to feel (and which can last HOURS) is the effect of the aromatic chemical poisons in the waters of the lake doing a number on your braincells.
    Is it any wonder folks (like the Eagle’s employee) get ‘rare’ Cancers throughout the neighborhoods surrounding Silver Lake (especially those downwind – the female Eagle employee lived just north of the lake)?
    You really think 14 inches of G.E. sand is going to stop these odorless and highly poisonous emissions from coming off Silver Lake?

    • danvalenti
      August 23, 2011 at 8:22 am #

      RAY
      You have re-introduced the issue of remedial efforts in light of GE’s poisonous pillage of Pittsfield. This issue should be inserted into the campaign and candidates made to take a stance: Are they in favor of reopening the Consent Agreement? Are they in favor of pressing GE much more aggressively? Are they in favor of exploring the full range of options that Berkshire County towns and Pittsfield have in addressing PCBs?

    • Steve Wade
      August 23, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      Ray
      Are you related to Ben Dover? Or how about Dick Hurtz? or Phil Meup?

  14. Aclu
    August 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Mr. Bartini although I would like to see the original I understand you not posting it. It is not a legal document as it was not signed by ether party and should not have been. I would not sign a document with writing in the margins. I would love to be able to say sign the contract now and we will fill in the particulars later if we could do that our city budget could be cut in half.

    • danvalenti
      August 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

      Many readers have noticed Tim Bartini choosing not to answers the questions we put to him.