Article

HARRIS AS WBRK STATE-REP-DEBATE MODERATOR: THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES … PLUS … DAVE MARTINDALE EXPLAINS WHY THE GE TOXINS QUESTION ISN’T JUST LIMITED TO PCBs

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, OCT. 8, 2011) — The controversy over Allen Harris of Berkshire Money Management in a radio-debate moderator’s role continues, as a current office holder, wanting to remain unnamed, calls the decision by WBRK radio “highly suspect and a sure sign that [Harris] has bought his way into the seat to influence the [state rep's] special election.”

‘IT LOOKS LIKE AN ATTEMPT TO RIG AN OUTCOME’

Asked to comment further, the officials said, “I have major concerns, and I would think the other candidates do as well. This calls into question the electoral process, and gives it a stench. It doesn’t pass the smell test. It’s hard enough getting people interested in the electoral process, getting them to vote. Let me say it straight: It looks like an attempt to rig an outcome.”

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Harris is underwriting as sponsor the costs not just of the 3rd District state rep’s debate but all the debates on WBRK. He has done this, sources claim, so he could be in a position to demand the moderator’s chair in the state rep’s debate featuring Independent Pam Malumphy, Green Party’s Mark Miller, Democrat Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and Republican Mark Jester. Sources say Harris made his advertising dollars to the station contingent upon be able to moderate the state rep’s debate.

IS HARRIS BACKING TRICIA?

It is widely suspected though not officially certain that Harris is backing TFB, who is considered the special-interest GOB candidate. THE PLANET certainly considers her such. According to Boston sources that spoke to THE PLANET when Chris “No Show” Speranzo was up for confirmation in the controversial appointment as clerk magistrate in Central Berkshire Court, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray came to Boston in July 2010. Sources say he met with No Show and others to set up the deal, literally in the smoke-filled back room, this at Del Gallo’s on Newell Street.

In the coziness of Remo’s back room, Murray offered No Show the $110,000-a-year-plus-bennies lifetime appointment as clerk mag. The plan was that he would step down as state representative after winning re-election (not having shared with voters he had no intention of completing his term), and the GOB/special interests would appoint a stooge to win the seat in a special election. They have that much confidence, apparently, that they can control elections in this manner. That willing dupe, THE PLANET believes, is TFB.

Harris is actively supporting two other “establishment” candidates, according to sources: Barry Clairmont for councilor-at-large and Chris Connell in Ward 4. The inductive evidence makes it appear obvious that Harris supports TFB.

If this is so, Harris in the role of debate moderator brings to the top not only a huge ethical question for WBRK but also a potential legal issue with the FCC. THE PLANET calls on our good friends at WBRK to remove Harris from this role and thus restore confidence that things on what they seem and on the up-and-up. This move will prevent what could be a nasty and expensive problem.

————————————————————-

‘REST OF RIVER’ MEETING OCT. 12, 6:30 P.M., AT LENOX TOWN HALL

As part of THE PLANET’s exclusive coverage of the ongoing PCB/industrial toxins/GE issue and the upcoming “Rest of the River” meeting set for Lenox Town Hall, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, we present this guest commentary by Dave Martindale. THE PLANET will publish views on this crucial issue for Pittsfield and Berkshire County up to and after the meeting. If you wish to submit an essay for consideration, send it along via e-mail to danvalenti@verizon.net.

THIS IS THE ONE SHOT WE HAVE TO DO RIGHT BY THE BERKSHIRE ENVIRONMENT: GE MUST CLEAN THE RIVER

By DAVE MARTINDALE

SPecial to PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

There continues to be questions as to why should we hold GE’s feet to the fire and demand the best possible cleanup of the “Rest of the River.”

There continues to be the question: Why are we destroying the river to clean it?

Aside from being alarmed that waterfowl from the Housatonic River Flyway were shown to have with the highest levels of PCB of any ever tested, we need to take one step back and look at the overall picture.

The perception that the river is healthy and pristine and we should not destroy that healthy and pristine environment is a FALSE perception.  The Housatonic River below the GE plant is not healthy and far from pristine.  The river was already destroyed and forever damaged by GE dumping millions of pounds of toxins into the environment.

The reality is that the health of those living in it (wildlife), alongside of it (humans), and the health of everyone and everything downstream, are at risk.  The amount of contamination that has been deposited in the river and its floodplains downstream from the former GE Transformer Manufacturing Plant is unparalleled.

PCBs are classified as a probable human carcinogen. There are numerous studies linking PCB exposure to a host of human health problems.  I am not going to get into that part.  If you want knowledge of the health problems, do a quick search on the Internet. www.foxriverwatch.com is a good link.  The bottom line is that a lot of people smarter than myself have conducted some pretty comprehensive studies.   These studies cannot be ignored.

Yet, sadly, studies conducted to determine the “RISK” of exposure to PCBs are often flawed.  These studies seldom take into account the synergistic effect of the other “nasties” that are often found hanging around with PCB.  The nastiest of the “nasties” is Dioxin.  Aroclor 1260, a PCB compound that GE used extensively as a dielectric fluid has a remarkably similar molecular structure to Dioxin.  Scientists tend to lump PCB 1260 with Dioxin because of the similarity in molecular structure.

PCB was manufactured and shipped to customers by Monsanto, with a percentage of the material containing dioxin and furans.  Dioxin was a byproduct of PCB manufacturing.  This is a fact that Monsanto knew and hid.

We know that dioxin and furan is formed by the heating of PCB.  If we are to look back in depth at the GE transformer manufacturing history, for which the responsibility of a majority portion of the contamination in the river falls, a few alarming facts surface.

Transformer and capacitor failure was a reality of the manufacturing process.  These types of failures are high-heat related occurrences.  In the manufacture of transformers, particularly when developing increasingly larger capacity models, transformers often failed in test, often failing multiple times.

Transformers were returned to GE by customers for service after failure in the field. When a transformer failed, the failure more often than not could be traced to a meltdown of a major component inside the transformer.  A fire of high heat actually occurred inside the transformer. This “fire” potentially created dioxin and furan.  The transformer oil was then dielectrically contaminated and often of no further use to GE.

The first plan of action after the failure was to drain the transformer.  Often the oil was dumped into the plant drainage system connected with the river and Silver Lake.  Often this oil was given away for other use, like to be spread on roads to keep the dust down.  Secondly, the covers to the transformer were burnt off providing access for the repair.  This action also potentially created dioxin and furans.  The transformer was then repaired and “cleaned” liberally using the best solvents available, which is why we often find cleaning solvents dispersed through contamination deposits.

GE assemblers were the workers often charged with making these repairs.  GE assemblers were often afflicted with bladder cancer.   Do we see any correlation?

Because routine samples taken from contaminated sites and the river are seldom analyzed for dioxin, furan, VOC and SVOC does not mean they do not exist.  Any risk assessment should consider dioxin and furan and other contaminates as appreciable components.

There are only a few labs in the entire country that are willing to analyze for Dioxin.  Most are afraid of contaminating their lab.   The cleanup standards and exposure limits for Dioxin are vastly greater than for PCB.

GE continues to downplay or minimize the health risk of humans and creatures in the environment to PCB exposure.  GE continues to ignore current science and health studies linking PCB exposure to a vast array of health problems. GE’s position on the toxicity of PCB is not defensible.

Because heat can create dioxin and furans, if one was to cook a piece of PCB contaminated fish in your kitchen or cook one of those ducks tested with huge amounts of PCB in their body, the potential exists to volatize PCB into your home and potentially create dioxin.

To view PCB contamination from another perspective, Mass DEP standards for cleanup of PCB that has leached from caulk (an entirely different nightmare we will save for another day) into soil from window caulk, like at your child’s school, are in the single digit parts per million range.  Yet here we have ducks, fish and other animals in the Housatonic with hundreds if not thousands of times more contamination.

PCB is a bio-accumulative chemical.  It builds up in the food chain.  The PCB’s you take in today will take an estimated 10 years for your body to shed them. Our local pediatricians have gone on record telling us that no amount of PCB exposure is good for our children. Scientists, like Dr. David Carpenter of the University of Albany tell us that living in close proximity to a deposit or source of contamination places us at a greater risk for health problems.  Studies from the same university tell us that PCB volatizes readily from the banks of the Hudson River.  Do we think that we are immune to this hazard here in the beautiful Berkshires?

One should not be called an “envirochondriac” if they have done their homework and are informed and believe that removal of this toxin and the other toxins hanging out with PCB should be cleaned up to the best of our ability.

Does anyone remember the day when the EPA was charged with using the best available technology to do the very best job possible?

For those of you that do not want to see the river destroyed, support programs that would utilize emerging technologies to destroy this contamination in place.

There are new technologies out there that show great promise.  Demand that the cleanup program supports pilot programs that would develop these technologies.   The estimates for this cleanup schedule cover decades.  Look back 50 years and you will have a glimpse of what is possible in the next 50 years.

We here in Berkshire County, sit on one of the largest deposits of PCB in the country and we do not yet understand this toxin or its actual effect on the health of the citizens that call this place home.  Support having a comprehensive health study done so that those in power have the tools to make the proper decisions affecting our well-being.  Knowledge is power.

Right now we have the ONE chance and only ONE chance to do the right thing.  We have GE in position to do a cleanup of the river.  Are we going to support a comprehensive cleanup using the best available technology to once and for all remove this toxin from our environment, or are we going to buy into the false perception that we are going to destroy the river in cleaning it up?

We have this one chance.  We are never, ever, going to be in this position again.

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THUS WE MOVE INTO THIS TREASURE HUNT OF A WEEKEND, WITH LOVE A-TOUCHING NOW.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.


67 Responses to “HARRIS AS WBRK STATE-REP-DEBATE MODERATOR: THE CONTROVERSY CONTINUES … PLUS … DAVE MARTINDALE EXPLAINS WHY THE GE TOXINS QUESTION ISN’T JUST LIMITED TO PCBs”

  1. Boots on the Ground
    October 8, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Dan , doesn’t the Gazette usually publish campaign contributors? Can’t we see who put $ to TFB, Chris Connell, Barry Clairmont and others to see if Harris is backing them?

  2. Ron Kitterman
    October 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    @ Boots on the Ground you can get the same information on line at office of campaign and political finance. http://www.mass.gov/ocpf/ These clowns are too smart for that though, they aren’t going to dump $$ money into anybody’s campaign with their fingerprints on it.

    • Steve Wade
      October 8, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

      So you can’t own a business and be a journalist on the radio? Who owns Planet media books? And has he ever moderateda a debate ? What do you say Dan?

      • danvalenti
        October 8, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

        STEVE
        This is laughable. Beside you, who on earth said you can’t own a business and moderate a debate? No one. Harris is wrong for that debate not because he owns a business, but because he has bought his way into the seat by virtue of being an advertiser. That would be like the BB allowing its biggest advertiser to decide what news gets printed (to the extent this doesn’t already happen!). Harris is not a journalist, and there’s strong evidence to suggest that he favors one of the four in the debate. He has no experience in the job. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

        As to your smug question, Dan Valenti owns PLANET MEDIA BOOKS. He has moderated more than 100 TV and radio debates.

  3. Steve Wade
    October 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Who the hell is Dave Martindale ? and what are his qualifications?

    • danvalenti
      October 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      STEVE
      He possesses the highest qualification anyone can have. He is a CITIZEN. He owns the government.

      • Irvin Corey
        October 9, 2011 at 4:44 am #

        and I am the world’s foremost authority

    • Steve Wade
      October 9, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      Is he any relation to Wink?

      • Irvin Corey
        October 9, 2011 at 7:17 am #

        LOL

  4. Ray Ovac
    October 8, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

    Martindale says “We here in Berkshire County, sit on one of the largest deposits of PCB in the country and we do not yet understand this toxin or its actual effect on the health of the citizens that call this place home.” And GE wants to keep it that way. Decades after GE has split the scene and there’s still no peer-reviewed comprehensive study of the exotic Cancers afflicting Berkshire County. Remember the GE-paid-for Wegman study of the 1980′s? What a joke! Wegman’s study should have gotten a Nobel for the most corporate interference ever in a single scientific research project. Meantime, there have been other studies that link PCB exposure to lower IQs. I don’t claim to be an Einstein but the blatant ignorance and utter stupidity that seem constantly to plague so many different aspects of daily life in Pittsfield is lately to such a degree that it gives credence to the findings in those IQ studies. Nothing surprises anymore in the inexplicable actions either of Pittsfield-born politicians or the city’s street punks – it’s as though all of it is direct evidence of people whose brains have been chemically influenced to the max long ago. PCB’s, aromatic compounds, and a bewildering stew of other toxics have surely had a combined effect. No one really knows, but the real result has been some really stupid people making stupid decisions and doing stupid things that defy any sort of rationality or comprehension. If the answer isn’t in those long talked about long-term effects of PCB exposure (and all the other chemicals), then how else do you suppose these dimwitted people got that way?

    • Irvin Corey
      October 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      What’s more likely to cause paronoia? PCB or POT?

  5. beezer
    October 8, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    Yo Ray..by the time we go to court to fight generous e WE’LL ALL BE DEAD ANYWAY. The one thing that we shouldn’t understand is why in the hell IS that HILL allowed to sit where it is? That is INSANE!

  6. scott
    October 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    MONSANTO also made the rainbow poison during the Vietnam war for the government (agent orange.) They are most famous for round up weed killer. They used their advertising dollar pull (that really happens.) on fox news to hush up a story on bovine growth hormone and it’s link to cancer They are the leading company in GMO food. (crops that are resistant to pesticides.) DO NOT support them by buying their products.

    • Amanda Blake
      October 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

      like A-Harris used his advertising dollar pull on wbrk so he could fix the ste reps debate

      • scott
        October 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

        yeah I threw that in on purpose.

    • Irvin Corey
      October 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      why do crops need to resist pesticides?

  7. Dave Bubriski
    October 8, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

    @Dave Nartindale: you don’t like the term “envirochondriac” but voice no objection when good people are accused of accepting bribes from GE or having clouded judgemennt when presented with the same set of “facts” but reach a different conclusion. Let’s keep politized science out of the debate and focus on thee rest of the river.

    • Ray Ovac
      October 8, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      Dave Bubriski, you say “Let’s keep politized science out of the debate and focus on the rest of the river.” But that is EXACTLY what GE historically does, GE politicizes science and labels the company’s detractors as well as anyone else who does not agree with its paid-for pseudo-science. (Hence the laughably deficient Wegman study of the 1980′s). The only reason GE gives away any money, let alone a paltry $300,000 – the corporate equivalent of nickels and dimes – to a hopelessly small-time lobbying outfit like Berkshire1, is to buy local access and to spread misinformation. GE’s pseudo-science is being used in an all-out company campaign, not just locally but all the way into the Obama White House, the ultimate goal of which is to save GE shareowners the multi-Billion dollars it will otherwise cost to remediate these potent carcinogens GE dumped into the Berkshire environment. To that end GE will do what it has to in order to buy access, to buy people, and to buy public opinion to get its way. This is how the company operates and has since the firm’s founding (1888). You may be in earnest yourself but be assured that in GE’s eyes, Berkshire1 and all the other players GE is fielding on its behalf in these matters are but company pawns and stooges to an ultimate goal. That goal for GE is the bottom line. GE people are paid to do and say anything that will create value for GE shareowners and saving the Company $1.5 to $2.5 Billion that would otherwise have to be spent cleaning-up The Rest of the Housatonic River along with Silver Lake and Hill 78 and all those other Cancer-producing Berkshire chemical dumps is the same as creating the equivalent amount of value for GE shareowners. It pays to remember that GE stock is itself in the chemical dumps at a lousy $15.50 per share. Also, the dividend was cut by this current CEO Jeffrey Immelt and shareowners are naturally pissed. Thus the loyal men and ladies of GE are pushing hard to limit GE’s big exposures, and Berkshire County is one of those big question marks which could easily get out of the firm’s control and end up being a drag on earnings for years especially if the company was ever really held accountable for poisoning an entire city. So how does it feel to be an unwitting GE pawn, Dave, in a game in which you don’t even know the real rules?

      • Dave Bubriski
        October 9, 2011 at 2:52 am #

        I have no love for GE or the head of 0bamas jobs council. Perhaps Jeffrey Immelt should be named to a Jobs council in China.

        None of my comments here are directed to hill 78, Silver lake or any piece of real estate that you might find on google earth except the focus of the upcomming meeting in Lenox which is the river from the confluence to the pond.

        It’s odd that someone would object to the term envirochondriac but the same person or someone from the same camp asks the question “So how does it feel to be an unwitting GE pawn, Dave, in a game in which you don’t even know the real rules?”

        As Lewis Brandeis said “Sunshine is the best disinfectant” time will tell who has to wear the sun screen.

        By the way “Ray 0vac” whats the difference between a probable carcinogen and a potent carcinogen?

        • Ray Ovac
          October 9, 2011 at 7:54 am #

          Sunshine IS the best disinfectant but what makes you think ANY of the information you get from GE is the whole story, let alone accurate?
          You think GE gave the public the entire medical picture in the Wegman study?
          You think the Wegman study portrayed accurately the toxicity of these chemicals and the effects on mortality in the Berkshires?
          GE people are NOT interested in sunlight and transparency — only in GE’s bottom line.

          • Dave Bubriski
            October 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

            When did I say that any GE info was accurate to any degree? You are so ready to argue you make statements and try to attribute them to others. I don’t care if GE or you are interested in sunlight or transparency. I am interested in facts not speculation.

          • danvalenti
            October 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

            DAVE B
            Yes. Facts should decide this, and only facts … not emotions.

          • Ray Ovac
            October 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

            DB and DV, the Lenox meeting seems like it already has a lot of presumptions attached to it going into the meeting. For example, GE has already indicated that contaminated soil removed from the river bed would be deposited in various lined locales set aside to receive it and that these areas will ultimately be capped. But why is this scenario even accepted as a given? Why should ANY even mildly toxic soil be allowed to remain anywhere in Berkshire County? GE claims incineration of PCB contaminated dirt is just too prohibitively expensive and so is transport out of the county.. Had the company not dumped its mess in the first place it would not now be in this predicament. So if it costs more to remove contaminated soil for disposal to a faraway location outside the state, then those are the breaks. Too bad for GE, but leaving any contamination inside Berkshire County, even lined and supposedly sealed, is just kicking the proverbial can down the road. If this meeting in Lenox is truly to illuminate, then all such presumptions currently being made by GE should be set aside. The bottom line for Berkshire County should be the removal or destruction of any and all chemical toxins plaguing the Berkshire environment. If it results in GE paying 3 cents less on its quarterly dividend for the next ten years, then that’s the price for polluting a city – so be it.

          • Ray Ovac
            October 10, 2011 at 2:19 am #

            Regarding the subject of GE’s presumptions and preconceived notions. 3 cents per share per quarter (12 cents per year) times GE’s ‘float’ of 10.59 Billion shares works out to be a whopping $1.2708 Billion dollars PER YEAR that could theoretically and affordably be set aside by GE as funds to pay for the total clean-up of Berkshire County til the project is finally and completely finished including Rest of the River, Silver Lake, Hill 78, and all. And that would still leave 12 cents per share per quarter — 48 cents per year — as GE’s dividend to shareowners. At a share price of $15.50 per share that’s equivalent to an annual yield of better than 3% which is still a helluva lot better than what banks are paying for interest on savings accounts. So let’s not think for a minute that GE cannot afford to clean up its messes in Berkshire County or that the company should be allowed for an instant to get away with doing the job on the cheap aka leaving its poisons buried in Berkshire County.

        • danvalenti
          October 9, 2011 at 9:32 am #

          What this debate shows is that there are conflicting interpretations of the same objective situation. The goal of all should simply be: Find the truth and select the best option for all the interested parties, the foremost of which are the residents of Pittsfield and Berkshire County.

    • Ray Ovac
      October 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

      Check out GE’s stock price since 2000 when Jeffrey Immelt was appointed CEO upon Jack Welch’s retirement. http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=GE+Basic+Chart&t=my

    • Dave
      October 9, 2011 at 3:15 am #

      Dave
      Please correct me if I am wrong. Please go back and reread the post. I do not believe you or anyone else was accused of accepting bribes.

      It was a question: Is your judgement clouded because you have aligned yourself with those that have taken GE’s money?

      It is common knowledge that 1Berkshire took $300,000 of GE money to spread misinformation and attempt to tilt public opinion towards their view DO NOTHING. Spend no money.

      Dave are you aligned with 1Berkshires or anyone who is or was part of 1 Berkshires??

      The question is asked because you voice the GE company line.

      • Dave
        October 9, 2011 at 3:32 am #

        Dave B

        On Oct 5 at post was written in which it stated you were an organizer of Ward4Rest of the RiverWatch with Jeff Cook.

        Jeff Cook was named in the Planet blog of Feb 12 as being on the steering committee of the core of 1Berkshires.

        Where do you get your information that drives you to your convictions?

        • Irvin Corey
          October 9, 2011 at 4:47 am #

          the smart money says they probably live in ward 4 by the river

      • Dave Bubriski
        October 9, 2011 at 4:11 am #

        “It is common knowledge that 1Berkshire took $300,000 of GE money to spread misinformation and attempt to tilt public opinion towards their view”

        So where can I see the agreement between 1B & GE?

        • Joe Pinhead
          October 9, 2011 at 11:15 am #

          great question, I would have to think that GE and 1 Berkshire would enter into a deal with 300,000 with out some formal agreement in place. GE would not want its name used or be tied to some crazy org. 1 Berkshire I recall is a non profit as such its goals should be on file.
          Looking at 1 Berkshires web -site I didn’t see any mention of GE. No press release publicly thanking them -for the generous contribution. Is this the 1 Berkshires we are reffering to?
          1berkshire.org

          • Dave Bubriski
            October 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

            Dan would this money be trackable like campaing finance money?

          • danvalenti
            October 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

            I believe so.

          • Scott Laugenour
            October 11, 2011 at 5:22 am #

            @ Dave (but I can’t reply to a reply)

            1Berkshire is a private marketing and PR entity. As long as it doesn’t directly promote or attack a candidate or a political party it does not need to report on its finances through the Office of Political and Campaign Finance. That is not to say, of course, that it has no political or policy agenda that it markets.

  8. Chris Connell
    October 8, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Dan,

    I don’t know where you get your information for this blog, however had you listened to Allen Harris on WBRK, you would have learned that he stated he voted for Vincelette. As far as your labeling me as an establishment candidate, I can only state that it’s so far from the truth, it’s actually amusing. I have ALWAYS self-funded my campaigns including 2009 due to the fact that I did not want to owe ANYONE anything. You may have learned this had you taken me up on the offer to get together for a coffee going back to January 2011 when I announced that I would be running for the open seat. The offer is still there. Thanks

    • Steve Wade
      October 9, 2011 at 4:58 am #

      Mr Connell, You will find that Dan writes any thing he wants and then the bloggers think its fact. Im glad you set the record straight.

      • scott
        October 9, 2011 at 5:14 am #

        Steve for someone who doesn’t like the blog you’re sure on here a lot. I’d also like to point out that you never make any points if you disagree with something or find that it has no truth back it up it seems like you just enjoy insulting people.

        • Steve Wade
          October 9, 2011 at 6:01 am #

          Scott I just don’t like the made up facts that the Planet says he gets from his spies. He says things that are not correct just to get people to blog. Dan is very smart but he stretches the truth too much, but when people catch him on his half truths he gets very defiant.

      • Payroll Patriot
        October 9, 2011 at 8:24 am #

        What record was set straight? Mr. Connell did not finish the complete comments by Mr. Harris on brk. Maybe, Mr. Connell would like to tell the rest of the story.

        • danvalenti
          October 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

          PP
          What is the “rest of the story.” What did Connell say in the “complete comments”?

          • Payroll Patriot
            October 10, 2011 at 6:36 am #

            Dan, it relates to the exchange between Harris and Sturgeon. Connell did not take a direct part in the conversation, but he took some of it out of context. The next day Sturgeon was on, he said he was not endorsing anyone, after making condescending remarks about candidates not supported by Harris.

          • danvalenti
            October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am #

            Thanks, PP

    • scott
      October 9, 2011 at 5:12 am #

      I think candidates should fund their own campaigns if I vote for someones based on their policy it doesn’t mean I’m gonna get out my checkbook.

    • Allen
      October 9, 2011 at 5:49 am #

      Not everyone can afford to self fund a campaign Chris. Are you suggesting that Vincelette will owe favors to donors?

  9. Hearse Driver
    October 8, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    so based on what your saying Dan, then Bill Sturgeon should not be allowed to moderate any debates because he may support one of the candidates that he will be asking questions to. this is why people tune out because of all your FALSE rumors and speculations. I’d say grow up but obviously you never will. [REMAINDER REDACTED]

    • Steve Wade
      October 9, 2011 at 5:04 am #

      HD thats a answer you will never get! The real Planet is finally coming out. DAN WE DEMAND THE TRUTH !

  10. rick
    October 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    dan, what are you smoking????? lets find the truth you ask..not from g. e. not from doyle, has anyone asked for the minutes of the negtiations doyle went to with g.e , and ended up looking the fool. how about this time around with g.e. we send doyle back in to negotiate for us again… g.e would welcome him with open arms. after all these years it seems to me we are no further from solving the pcp issue them we were 10 long years ago, and if no one believes it, go take a look at that pile of crap a stones throw from our kids in allendale.

    • danvalenti
      October 9, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

      RICK
      I just finished smoking a 5 Vegas Gold maduro, torpedo, 6″ x 54. Enjoyed it with a red shiraz from Spain. Deelish.
      You make a vital point here. The Consent Agreement was signed in 1999. Almost 12 years later, Silver Lake is still toxic, Hill 78 is still there. GE’s industrial wastes are buried throughout all of Pittsfield. The Rest of the River hasn’t been addressed. NOW is the time.

  11. rick
    October 10, 2011 at 3:02 am #

    i agree dan, my point is that g.e. can stall things forever , 12 yrs and counting. hopefully we can put enough heat on them that they committ to something.

    • scott
      October 10, 2011 at 4:44 am #

      I think the EPA is pushing for such a huge invasive clean up because they know they’re not gonna get much if they don’t HRI is also pushing I don’t think ripping everything out is the answer I think they should focus on hot spots and do it the least invasive way possible. It can be done. I also think hill 78 should be cleaned as well as silver lake and any other areas in the Berkshires that need it.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2011 at 9:12 am #

      RICK
      GE can stall forever as long as Pittsfield and the Berkshires are saddled with politicians who remain forever afraid of taking on the corporate Goliath. Strong political will and massive involvement (pressure) from We The People can achieve anything.

      • Dusty
        October 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

        i know you don’t like it when your blog ties the current mayor to anything but he might be one of the politicians who remain forever afraid of taking on the corporate Goliath. Who was the last mayor who had 8 years to do something about it and did not lift a finger or even whisper an objection to any of it?

        Notice I did not mention any names. It could have been anyone.

  12. Irvin Corey
    October 10, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    A question that needs to be asked here is if GE is made to do the radical dredging of the river and spend several billion dollars, in whose pocket will this money find a home? Do those folks advocating radical dredging have financial ties to unions or construction companies who could stand to milk a cash cow for the next fifty plus years? Construction companies and unions don’t care if they did a hole and fill it back in 100 times in a row so long as the money flows in. The radical dredging advocates (RDA’s) should disclose any and all ties, financial or otherwise to everyone who stands to make a penny from dredging. The RDA’s like to hide behind a façade of moral superiority. I have no objection to close scrutiny of those who prefer a moderate approach to the rest of the river. I also believe that the RDA’s require viewing under the same microscope.

    • Ray Ovac
      October 10, 2011 at 7:42 am #

      For the record, I got no financial ties whatsoever to any unions, construction companies, or any entity that would be involved in such work. But I do own GE stock. I just wanna see every drop of these chemical poisons removed from the Berkshire environment and have all that toxic stuff shipped out of state or destroyed so it ain’t gonna plague anyone else. If any of it remains buried here it may eventually leach out, recontaminate, or cause some family or neighborhood years down the road to come down with exotic Cancers. In addition, what if future scientific research discovers that in even tinier microscopic amounts these chemicals are dangerous and carcinogenic, then are we supposed to go begging to GE and USEPA again to go back and remove those piles that were left buried and supposedly sealed? Better to take advantage of the opportunity presented now to remove all this garbage and get rid of it totally and with finality.

      • Ray Ovac
        October 10, 2011 at 8:00 am #

        Scott, and if it costs me 3 cents per share per quarter for the next ten years (or for however many years it does end up taking), then I will gladly take the hit as long as it means these substances are permanently removed from the Berkshire environment. The most aggressive clean-up possible is what is needed. The land will heal. One would barely know now that a tornado hit Great Barrington in 1995 and created flatlands where once there were tall trees, but Nature healed and regrew. Same will be so for any work done on the Rest of the River or Silver Lake. Leaving those poisons in situ is just an invitation to have more trouble down the road. The ducks and geese and fish will thank you.

      • danvalenti
        October 10, 2011 at 9:09 am #

        Well put, RO

      • Silence Dogood
        October 11, 2011 at 6:12 am #

        you sound like a car sales person….take the deal today or the world will end…..and a week later you get a call to come back in and make a better deal.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2011 at 9:10 am #

      PROFESSOR
      We hadn’t thought of this wrinkle, but it’s an interesting point. There will be lots of construction $$ thrown around if full dredging is approved.

    • Ray Ovac
      October 11, 2011 at 6:55 am #

      Irwin Corey, what’s with use of this misleading adjective “radical” to describe dredging? It sounds like a word geared solely to stir up fear. If a person builds a garden in his backyard, does he not engage in ‘radical’ digging in the process of turning the soil, getting the deep roots out, and preparing the seed beds? When home builders put in foundations and leaching fields, do they not radically dig into the property? When a skyscraper is built, are not pilings radical pounded deep enough to hit bedrock? Try drilling an artesian well 300 feet down without radical drilling. So here we got more than 100 years worth of of toxic slop and drek thrown into the Housy which then mixed with silt and moved slowly downstream extending all the way to Long Island Sound, and you propose to remove literally untold thousands of tons of this poisonous concoction with Q-Tips and white gloves? Sure sounds like your only purpose in using such dialogue is to radically inflame the atmosphere in these discussions with radically-charged hyperbole.

      • Irvin Corey
        October 11, 2011 at 9:11 am #

        Radically-charged hyperbole? You must think you’re talking to David Carpenter.

  13. Theo Luke Nellie
    October 10, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    First in on this site. I came here after recommendation from a friend. We have a mutual interest in this Ge/pollution issue. First let me commend this site for allowing this discussion on both sides. Our view is the view outlined by Dave Bubriski and Jeffrey Cook. It seems more reasonable and answers the needs of the environment, the safety of the people, the needs of the city of Pittsfield, and the responsiveness to General Electric.

    • danvalenti
      October 10, 2011 at 9:08 am #

      Thanks you, TLN. We love first comers, and we hope you stay with us.

  14. boots on the ground
    October 11, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    I thought the host of wbrk checks in on and blogs on this site…strange how we have seen NO comments by him about Harris moderating the state rep debate…whats up with that?

    • AT & T
      October 11, 2011 at 6:21 am #

      I called WBRK the day Dan Valenti “broke” this story and they had no idea what I was talking about. They said Harris was not moderating the debate. It seems as if Dan got some bad information and made a big to-do about nothing.

      Imagine, Dan could have spared humiliation just by making single phone call to ask a simple question – to either WBRK or Harris.

      What lazy and sloppy reporting on Dan’s part.

  15. Anytime
    October 11, 2011 at 6:42 am #

    ATandT
    man how naive can you get? i also talked to wbrk didnt call them didn’t have to since i have a neighbor who works there in anexecutive management role. want the real story well, after valenti broke the story a quick decision was made to pull harris as host. Everyone got word that if anyone from the press called or the public that they knew nothing, you know like the old segearnt on hogan’s heroes. “I know nothing” valenti it turns out had the story dead on and won another victiry.
    how’s that you [REDACTED: WEBMASTER WARNS POSTERS TO KEEP WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF FAIR COMMENT].

    • AT & T
      October 11, 2011 at 8:28 am #

      No. That is not the real story.

      That is a lie.

  16. boots on the ground
    October 11, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    All of a sudden no one remembers Harris being touted as a moderator??? Shame on WBRK and their droids for THEIR COVER UP…YOU LOSE TREMENDOUS CREDIBILITY