PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, SEPT. 24, 2011) — So much to get to and so little time. Ah, the Sophie Tucker lament. You remember Sophie Tucker? She was the Beatles’ favorite group.

PLANET HAS THE STORY — We were in weeks ago wit hthe solid information that the police were eyeing other suspects in the triple murder, and we were correct. The fourth suspect was corralled today as an accessory. THE PLANET was pleased to render a service to the community by lighting a fire under the Boring Broadsheet and get them to do some actual reporting, instead of just printing press releases from the police and the DA. Let’s hope it continues.

Still, we wonder. With some of the new talent at the BB, part of the interchangeable bylines that come and go, is there not a true news man or woman in the bunch? Is there not a Jack Dew? Is there not a Connor Berry? Is there not someone with enterprise and nerve ready to go after the many stories to this case that are dying (no pun) to be told?

‘IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS.’ OH, REALLY? — If you read the huge Page One piece today in the BB about the Democrats’ unity gathering in support for the Sandwich Lady in the special election for state rep, you had to cringe. This Junior Achievement article was so blatantly biased, they might as well have run a TRICIA FOR STATE REP sign in its place. The pimpled reporter noted that TFB (kinda like BLT, isn’t it?) made it clear “in no uncertain terms” that she stood proud to be a Democrat.

Let me ask the Horace Greeleys in the audience: What self respecting reporter puts a phrase like that — “in no uncertain terms” — in a news piece. Worse still, what editor, self respecting or not, lets it go through the desk?

The article notes that a grand total of 30 Dems showed up in the unity chow down. We dust off the annals of history to report the last time Pittsfield had to go through a $40,000 special election because of a deadbeat Dem, Peter Larkin, 130 showed up at the unity breakfast to support Larded. Larded, otherwise known as No Show Speranzo, faced off against the Republican nominee, Terry Kinnas.

So someone tell us: Where did 100 Democrats disappear to in the intervention? Or could it be that BLT doesn’t have the support of the party? Maybe the party is embarrassed — and it takes a lot for that to happen around here — to admit that they have had to scrape the bottom of the sandwich board to come up with this cycle’s Special Election Candidate.

Now BLT faces off against independent Pam Malumphy, who’s so out for the kill that she wants to shrink BLT a couple of cup sizes, and Green Party nominee Mark Miller.

Malumphy — who no longer talks to THE PLANET because … actually, we don’t remember, though she apparently does … — has many redeeming qualities. Unfortunately, they are too well modified by an uncontrollable temper and fits of emotionalism that bring to mind the unfair stereotypes of women politicians.

Miller, go gave Larded the run for his money in 2009, returns to the fray a lot smarter and more savvy. He has quietly organized and mapped out a strategy that relies of resolve as much as resources.

The special election is Oct. 18.

KINNAS ROCKS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING — We won’t bore you with the issue, and we won’t tax your time with other details, but we will remind the curious to check out Terry Kinnas’ appearance before the school committee in its last session. It’s available at PCTV.

Kinnas, as always armed with data, facts, and plenty of pointed comments and questions, made Jake Eberwein’s eyes pop like Eddie Cantor’s. We’re going back a ways with that metaphor, so let’s just say for the younguns’ that it means Jake had Maraino Joke Shop half ping-pong balls in his eye sockets.

Kinnas is running for a seat on the school committee, and he is exactly what the moribund bureaucrats need to wake themselves up. Pity is that they want to stay asleep.

Kinnas is that rare citizen who actually pays attention to what government is doing in his name. As a member of the school committee, he will have access to the inner chambers, and it’s precisely what We The People need at this dire point in time, when, more than ever, those who act in our name must be held ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

Accountability goes hand-in-glove with public office. For too long, for too many, on behalf of too few, public officials in Pittsfield have been allowed to “make it up as they go along.” Violations of law and procedure are the norm. Public access to information is seen as a threat.  “They” view questions as bad. As we have previously outlined, this strategy is deliberate on the part of the Special Interests to drive down interest and therefore participation in government. THE PLANET endorses the candidacy of Kinnas without reservation.

THREE % PAY HIKE FOR TEACHERS — The teachers’ union of Pittsfield signed on to a one-year pact that pays them three percent more than last year, just for showing up and doing their job.

The Pittsfield school district lost more than $3 million last year from students opting other local districts. Forget MCAS and other rigged ways of creating a mirage of performance. The sure measure of the district’s quality is in the mass exodus of parents who want no part of what’s going down in Pittsfield schools.

THEY GET HOW MUCH??? $71,913.70 a year — According to the state Department of Education, 508.8 total teachers made $27,326,016 in Pittsfield, for an average salary of $53,707 in 2010. A more accurate measure looks at average compensation, which includes the dollar amount of the average benefits package. With that included, the average teacher, for a 181-day work year, makes $69,819.10 a year.

With the 3% hike, the average compensation for a Pittsfield teacher is $71,913.70. Ask yourself: Are taxpayers getting their money’s worth, let alone pupils and students?

It’s also shocking in one way and all too ho-hum in another to consider that 6 in every 10 Pittsfield students is in a special needs category. The Pittsfield School District will not begin to improve in a substantial way until taxpayers force the schools to sing for their supper. Electing Kinnas is a start.

Also, the federal government and the state government need to get out of education. If the localities cannot run their own school, then we need to privatize the public education system, where success, and not failure, is rewarded. Today with public education as we know it, the opposite is true.






    September 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Well I must say I became a Scago fan today for standing up to these demo puppets. Way to go Ryan, I will be a Scago backer if you decide to run again for some office. I’m not a democrat but I will back you or you can change to independent (better yet)

    • danvalenti
      September 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      Agreed. Scago said he couldn’t support her because he thought he was the better person for the job. He’s still green, but the kid showed some spunk. The show of support wasn’t much of one, down from 130 (Larded vs. Kinnas) to 30 (BLT vs. Malumphy and Miller).

  2. Still wondering
    September 25, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    Pam has a fund raiser at Mazzeo’s this coming Thursday. She’ll outdraw the dems easily. But do you think the Eagle will give her the same coverage?

  3. Dusty
    September 25, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Now that the teachers got their blood money does that mean they will vote in support of the GOB agenda? Was that part of the deal?

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

      For sure, that was one of the provisos. Blood money comes as a cost. Teachers will be lock step with GOB-backed candidates and projects.

  4. Senator
    September 25, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    they got the message

  5. Steve Wade
    September 25, 2011 at 5:49 am #

    Just wondering has Mr. Kinnas ever had a job? Does his wife work in the school system? How will he vote on school issues if his wife works for the schools?

      September 25, 2011 at 6:50 am #

      I thought he was a school teacher???????

      • ambrose bearse
        September 26, 2011 at 6:21 am #

        he was a teacher for a short time around 1970 and worked for GE a shorter time. H e worked a year at Hoosac and a year at Herberg in the ’90’s but no place would take him on full time. I can’t guess why the wouldn’t, he was a math teacher and they are in high demand. Can you guess why.

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      Yes. Kinnas worked for GE Ordinance and General Dynamics. His wife worked in the school system, but I believe she’s retired.

  6. Richard
    September 25, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    $ 69,819.10 is not bad for 181 days of work and they still can get a summer job. How can we give out pay like this and the kids still don’t have supplies they need for school. YES Dan we need MR KINNAS

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

      Agreed. Kinnas will be a voice of We The People.

    September 25, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    where did you find $69,819.00 figure for a teachers pay.

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      As I wrote, my figures come from the Mass. Dept. of Education website.

  8. lester smith
    September 25, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    Dan: You are such a smart guy how can you be so supportive of a “Blow Hard” like Terry Kinnas. I think most thinking people are tired of Kinnas and his often incorrect data.

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

      I support Kinnas because he is a model citizen. He takes his role of citizen in a republic seriously. Forget about his methods, his views, or his analyses. The point is, he’s INVOLVED. I love that.

    • Joetaxpayer
      September 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      Lester just because you dont like the message,does not mean the data is incorrect.

    • Joetaxpayer
      September 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

      Lester just because you dont like the message,does not mean the data is incorrect.

  9. ambrose bearse
    September 25, 2011 at 7:56 am #

    Ryan Scago’s in a heap of trouble. He was ordered (invited) to attend a unity meeting and disobeyed. The lights glowed at a Ward 3 gin mill ’til 4 A.M. with the most powerful democrats in the nation are deciding what to do with him. Here in the rural Berkshires even the cows are distressed. The Guernseys and Farliegh- Bovines won’t enter their stanchions until something is done to this recalcitrant. A letter is being composed in Sherwood Forest (ala Nuciforo) begging him recant his position and support our favorite ‘save our schools mom’. The sandwich queen actually thinks her lousy showing was due to the people’s disenchantment with the Democratic Party. She may be right. It couldn’t have anything to do wth the fat plumb she got at city hall a few months ago or that she promotes our schools while she sends her kids to Lenox. And Ryan, if you’ld like to apologize personally, show up at Wendys tomorrow when they unveil their new DAVE’S special burger. She’s the celebrity hostess.

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

      Well put. The kid, we hear, has been invited to the back room at Remo’s for a fitting in cement galoshes.

  10. Albert Prince
    September 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    Great analysis on the teacher situation. $71,000 for a half years work, courtesy of me, my wife, and all the other taxpayers (aka suckers) who fund this nonense year after yr. My vote is for Terry Kinnas. He worked for many years as an engineer and security analysit for GE Ordinace, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and whatever the heck it was called. TFb, of BLt, (baloney lettuce and tomatoe) will be a big embarrasment if she gets in .Local Dems are in a civil war I think.

    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Much appreciated. This is why governments go broke: Unsustainable spending to feather the nests of the public employees unions.

      • ambrose bearse
        September 26, 2011 at 6:24 am #

        like general dynamics and ge ordnance are’nt wpa jobs

    • Steve Wade
      September 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      He has not kept a job in about 20 years!

  11. beezer
    September 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    What really happened at Del’s,,,,,,Conigliario (usually the head of affairs for families) Yes, Mr. Scagoat, we have great plans for you. Scagoat (the future of politics in Pissfield)… I’m my own man, tell Sandwich Lady (Bouvie) to spread her own mayo.

  12. suttinouttanuttin
    September 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    I have to say today’s Berkshire Eagle article really broke my heart….we have all been so wrapped up in the stories of the accused that we have nearly ignored the victims.

    this Berkshire eagle note from Davd’s Doctor says it all.

    Thursday September 15, 2011

    As David Glasser’s physician for over 20 years I would like to clearly state that this was a kind and generous, humble and courageous man who would overcome many challenges and special hardships to stand tall among us. He leaves countless friends in our community who are deeply saddened by his tragic loss.

    He should be remembered as a tribute to Pittsfield, our home.


    • danvalenti
      September 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      Thank you for sharing this.

  13. Real Deal 2
    September 25, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    I’m still undecided with my vote for state rep. I can say with 100% honesty, it will not be for Tricia Fudgie-Bovine. I will give it to the person (Malumphy or Miller) who puts Fudgie-Bovine on the hot seat. I want them to question or tie Fudgie-Bovine on a couple of key issues: (1) Why is she such a “cheer leader” for Pittsfield schools, but sends her kids to Lenox schools? (2) Ask Fudgie-Bovine what she thought of Ruberto’s and Spurs legislation introduced and their voting record was-keep tying Fudgie-Bovine to the GOB’s, (3) if she thought Spurs should pay back the 40k and will she ask him to pony up if elected? The big key is to make Fudgie-Bovine ANSWER the questions and not veer off into some non-sensical rant like Ruberto used to do. Fudgie-Bovine will crack under pressure. I’m sure Mark and Pam read this site and others. There is enough ammo lying around to put an end to Fudgie-Bovine’s and Marchetti’s political careers.

    On a side note, is excercise forbidden by the current Pittsfield GOB’s?

  14. Hilly Billy
    September 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    I’d also ask BLT Sandwich plenty of questions about the statehouse, operational procedures, stuff like that which Miller and Malumphy know back and forward. Make the GOBs a real issue. Nonstop, all the time.
    As for school committee race heres another vote for Mr. Kinnas.

  15. beezer
    September 26, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Ryan Scago is the future of politics, anything he wants to be. This election means nothing, whomever gets it. I will agree, the candidate that can undress Bouvie will have the edge.

  16. rick
    September 26, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    after wathcing a rerun of the sept 13th councul meeting i think we keep mazzeo and throw the rest out …. no marchetti .no shermann …no lothrop.. i cant believe no body ran against yawny and the prissy boy…… thank god lees going, although he ran a good council and got all robertos votes lined up….. these fools want 4yr term for the mayor….. 2yrs has worked fine for 100plus yrs .

  17. Shakes His Head
    September 26, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    The council and mayor are embarassing. Let’s see if Pittsfield wants anything different. We now have the chance. Time to move away from the lowest common denominator and towards integrity.

    Marchetti has the GOB money but lacks a brain or spine. Interesting how the parade fell insanely short of money this year and the sandwich man keeps citing his leadership. He does not have family values, even unconventional ones.