NICHOLS JOINS KINNAS ON DRUG TESTING POSITION, plus, PITTSFIELD FIRE FIGHTER SPEAKS OUT … PLANET TO POLL CANDIDATES … and C’S MORAN TOSSES CG ROAD WIN
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, AUG. 16, 2011) — A second candidate for office in Pittsfield, this for the office of mayor, has declared his position on drug testing for firemen and other public emplyees.
Mayoral candidate Joe Nichols, back from his recent honeymoon, told THE PLANET that “after reading your recent columns pertaining to drug testing, I decided to respond.” He issued the following statement:
Candidate Joseph Nichols does support random drug testing for public officials. We the people deserve to have our tax dollars spent on quality drug free employee’s. It should be mandated without regard for pay raise negotiations. Bottom line is, Drug testing is not a violation of our privacy if we are not doing drugs.
NICHOLS JOINS KINNAS IN RESPONDING TO WE THE PEOPLE; MARCHETTI IS POLLED BY THE PLANET
Nichols joins school committee candidate Terry Kinnas in taking a position on random drug testing for public employees. Both are in favor. No other candidates for mayor, including Peter Marchetti or Dan Bianchi, has responded. No council candidates have taken a position, and Kinnas is alone among school committee candidates.
THE PLANET, on behalf of We The People, want to know where the hopefuls stand. In fact, just moments ago, we contacted mayoral hopeful Peter Marchetti on Facebook, asking him to give us his position. The entire PLANET is watching.
FIRE FIGHTER AMUSO ACTS AS HIS OWN MAN, UNDER HIS OWN NAME
On a related note, THE PLANET has exchanged communication with a member of the Pittsfield Fire Department over our recent postings.
Fire fighter Dan Amuso, a 28-year veteran of the force, had given THE PLANET information and response on Aug. 13, to which we responded. A productive dialogue ensued. Several messages have been sent back and forth pertaining to THE PLANET’s reporting over the details of the city’s offer of a 4% pay hike in exchange for random drug testing.
The latest exchange between THE PLANET and Amuso occurred Aug. 15. We commend fire fighter Amuso for sharing his views with us and especially using his own name. That is not easy to do in a town with the radioactive politics Pittsfield has, but Amuso told us, “I’ll always sign my name to anything I write. As ‘for the record’ I have to leave those statements to the Union President or Fire Chief. … My comments to you have been on issues already published on your web site. So I have to practice what I preach and not offer my views on these issues [in an official capacity on behalf of the department].”
Amuso said the city and the fire department “already have a drug testing policy in place.” When asked if he could share the details of that policy, he again referred us to the union president. He did say the union agreed to testing “years ago.”
He asked that we “please include the fact that I stated that I won’t comment on the current negotiations and that I left ‘for the record’ statements for the union president of fire chief. My comments were in response to issues already on your website.”
We thank Dan Amuso, and we hope others follow his example of a free exchange of views posted under rightful names.
THE PLANET MAKES THE ELECTIONS DIFFERENT FROM ANY IN THE PAST
Before long, we intend to contract all candidates for office for their views on several questions. We will publish the answers of the responders. Those who don’t respond will wish they had.
We have in mind three questions now, but there may be more. You already know one question. It’s the one we’ve asked several times now on this site. It’s the one we asked Peter Marchetti last night (Aug. 15).
Candidates should understand that for this election, with this website in operation, things will be a little different than they have in the past. In 2009, we didn’t have THE PLANET up and running. In 2011, we have a year under our belt. It’s been a year of trial and error, of tweaks and adjustments, leading to a profile of steady growth.
THE PLANET has not gone commercial nor will we, because we want what we write to be not beholden to any commercial advertisers or editorial “bosses” — unbought and bossed, as we like to put it. No one, no matter how powerful or rich they may be, will dictate policy to THE PLANET. Rather the opposite, in fact. On behalf of We The People, with whom we keep in constant touch, THE PLANET will dictate to THEM.
The candidates are temporary help asking to be hired. We intend to treat them that way.
In races that are bound to be close, THE PLANET will be a deal maker and breaker.
MORAN TOSSES CG IN COLONIALS’ ROAD WIN
By CHAD COOPER
Special to PLANET VALENTI Sports
RAMAPO, N.Y. — Pat Moran turned in his third complete game of the season, delivering a five-hitter and his mates backed him with timely hitting as the Pittsfield Colonials downed the Rockland Boulders, 5-1.
The Colonials scored the first run of the game, plating a two-out run on a Billy Mottram double followed by an Angel Molina single. Rockland would tie the game in the third on an single by Ryan Mollica to score Ryde Rodriguez.
Pittsfield would reclaim the lead in the fifth inning. After back-to-back singles by Quentin Davis and Jermel Lomack put runners on second and third with one out, Jerod Edmondson lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Davis for a 2-1 Colonials edge.
In the sixth, the Colonials would open the game up a bit as with one out, Molina singled and Peter Fatse doubled. Consecutive singles by Chris Torres and Scott Knazek scored Molina and Fatse to put Pittsfield up by three. A Jermel Lomack single in the ninth scored Knazek to round out the scoring.
Meanwhile on the mound, Moran (9-3) was in complete command. In pitching the first nine-inning complete game of his professional career, the right hander allowed five hits and one run, walking one and striking out seven. In two starts at Rockland this season, Moran has allowed just two earned runs in 17.1 innings. Ryan Knippschild (1-3) took the loss for Rockland, allowing four runs on nine hits over eight innings.
The second game of the series is on Tuesday (tonight) at 7:05 p.m. T. J. Wink (4-0, 1.87) gets the start for Pittsfield against Jon Velazquez (4-5, 4.75) for the Boulders. The pregame show on pittsfieldcolonials.com will begin at 6:45 p.m.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.