ORBITING THE PLANET: JILTED ON “GMP” BUT BIRDS LOVE IT, DIVA DIVING, DEBT, WATER TORTURE, MARCHETTI MUM, COP-acabana, DOWNTOWN INKADINK, SBNC
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, AUG. 1, 2011) — Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day, except on THE PLANET.
DON’T SHOOT ME. I’M ONLY THE PIANO PLAYER — Those tuning into “Good Morning, Pittsfield” either on the radio or TV this morning expecting THE PLANET’s guest appearance got music instead. THE PLANET showed up on time, but host Jim Campagna pulled a no-show. We took a call last night from our right honorable good friend, John Krol, asking up to guest for this morning. This last-minute, pinch-hitstuff happens on daily shows, as THE PLANET only too well knows. We happily obliged, but it wasn’t to be. All was not lost, however. We used our trip into Pittsfield to stock up on bird seed, suet, and sweet corn for the squirrels.
DIVA DUMPSTER DIVING — When Donna Todd Rivers, aka “The Downtown Diva,” took her show on WBRK, she spouted lots of big talk on how the show would be hard-hitting, address real issues, and inject some life into the broadcast seen. In fact, when the Diva came to THE PLANET for radio advice, we freely gave. In return, she promised that THE PLANET would be her first guest. That didn’t happen. Then, later, she said THE PLANET would be “a regular guest.” That didn’t happen. Then, she reassured on Facebook that after getting the hang of it, she would get away from the fairy dust chamber boosterism pabulum listeners heard in the first month. THAT didn’t happen. Looks like the Diva was all talk and not much else. We remind DTR that it’s not too late to change. Take on some real issues. Put those in power on the hot seat. Otherwise you will become just another pretty face layering on the schlock. That would be sad. Just a few more “and now, Joe Boil and Jane Fry join us to discuss the upcoming Rotary pancake breakfast” and you will become irrelevant, Diva.
DEBT CRISIS? YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT? — THE PLANET has said and written this all along. At the 11th hour, a miracle compromise would be reach on the debt ceiling crisis. Both sides would then rush in and claim they “saved the Republic.” What a bunch of sour mash. First, if you studied the officials statements of the President and his treasury secretary, no one ever said the U.S. would run out of money. They said the country would reach its limit for borrowing. Fact is, the Treasury’s own web site indicates enough cash on hand to fund the government’s obligations until at least Aug. 15. That includes making a $23 billion payment tomorrow (Aug. 2) for Social Security checks. Of course, the quick solution would be for the U.S. to devalue its currency and pay off debt in whole dollars redeemable at some predetermined fraction of their previous worth. The United States did that in 1934, when it devalued and redeemed notes from WWI debt at 40 cents to the dollar.
PITTSFIELD WATER TORTURE — It’s funny. One of two water department employees are involved in a six-figure theft of money via an ongoing overtime fraud. One of the suspects is allowed to leaves his job and gets hired to run another town’s water works. Neither the city nor the district attorney presses charges. Now, city taxpayers will have to swallow more foul liquid. According to reporting done in the July 14 issue of the Pittsfield Gazette, Pittsfield faces $24 million of emergency water improvements, a long-term bill of $32 million in upgrades, and $8 million to replace hydrants. Where taxpayers will come up with $64 million remains to be seen.
MARCHETTI HAS NOTHING TO SAY, YET — On this website, we pointed out the hypocrisy of Peter Marchetti’s stance regarding voters. He said Pittsfield voters weren’t adept enough to understand the issues involved in whether to build or not to build a new high school, but at the same time, he’s campaigning to these same voters for their support in his bid for mayor. We asked Marchetti for a clarification. Why are voters he deems not sophisticated enough to vote on spending to build a new school somehow mentally and civically equipped to cast a ballot for him, any anyone else, in the mayoral contest? He either answers this question straight up, or he shall have taken a bad first step in his corner office bid.
COP-A-CABANA — This ought to be good. In a little noticed moved at the most recent meeting of the city council’s ordinance and rules committee, members voted to reinstate Pittsfield’s police advisory commission (PAC). The PAC has been dormant for the past 11 years. The full council will get O&R’s endorsement, and it is expected to pass. Gee, do you think that Chief Mike Wynn and Mayor Jimmy Ruberto truly want ordinary citizens to share their honest concerns, such as the status of Steroidsgate, or do you think they want a rubber-stamp PAC to give the appearance of legitimacy to the PPD’s “business as usual”?
DOWNTOWN INKADINK. — Why are taxpayers funding this useless office? Is it to keep DINC president Peter Lafayette in the money? Is it to provide a lot of self-promoters their “name on the letterhead”? We don’t know, but we doubt DINK returns the $45,000 it receives from taxpayers. The city could trim this expense, and no one would notice, not even a mouse.
STAND UP AND BE COUNTED — The school building needs commission (SBNC) with city council endorsement does not believe Pittsfield voters are intelligent enough or important enough to offer their views via the ballot box on whether taxpayers should be stuck with a pricey bill to build a new high school. THE PLANET wonders: How do the individual members of the SBNC feel? And just WHO serves on that commission? Here’s the current list, from the city’s records:
School Building Needs Commission (up to 21), TERM EXPIRES
* John M. Krol, Jr. January 26, 2012
* Sally Douglas January 26, 2013
* Paul Raverta May 1, 2012
* Carmen Massimiano May 1, 2011
* Tricia Farley-Bouvier May 1, 2010
* Louis A. Costi, Councilor May 1, 2010
* Peter M. Marchetti January 26, 2012
* Floriana Fitzgerald January 26, 2012
* Patrick J. Mele, Jr. May 1, 2013
* Cheryl Bethel May 1, 2010
* John Barber January 26, 2011
* Ernie Fortini serves as long as qualified
* Kathleen Amuso serves as long as qualified
* Jake Eberwein serves as long as qualified
* Lisa C. Buchinski serves as long as qualified
* JoAnne Soules serves as long as qualified
* Keith Babuszczak serves as long as qualified
* Frank LaRagione serves as long as qualified
* Guy C. Pannesco serves as long as qualified
* Jessica Moon serves as long as qualified
* Stephanie VanBramer serves as long as qualified
* Barry Clairmont May 1, 2012
* Warren Dews, Jr. May 1, 2011
Are we then to assume that ALL of these people agree that the city should shut out voters and taxpayers on this important issue? Since Tricia Farley-Bouvier has spoken on behalf of the group, and since we have not heard otherwise from any of the other members, we shall assume so. We invite any commission member to disagrees with TFB to tell us.
FIXED, AND IT’S NOT EVEN BROKEN — Not wanting public input on the school seems logical enough, though, since the SBNC KNOWS that the overall public will tell them Pittsfield doesn’t need a new school building. The sorry state of Pittsfield public schools has nothing to do with bricks and mortar. It has everything to do with a lack of accountability. In short, this has all the hallmarks of a deal that’s already been decided … probably in the back room at Remo’s.
ENJOY YOUR DAY, EVERYBODY.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE!”
LOVE TO ALL