PAINTING AND PAVING … VITAL PCB MEETING SET FOR OCT. 12 … MORE ON SHERMAN MATTER … TYLER STREET: PARADE BY DEFAULT … PLUS … PLANET AND BEN FRANKLIN: SEPARATED AT BIRTH? THE STOOLEY KNOWS
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, OCT. 4, 2011) — Hello. Thanks for checking in. Today, we present various and sundry items that have landed on THE PLANET.
DON’T YOU PAINT AFTER YOU PAVE?
Residents of Williams Street have been scratching their heads trying to figure out the city’s game plan for that key arterial stretch. What comes first, painting or paving? Seems like a simple matter, however, we can report that pavement has been dug up and the sub-layer prepared underneath, presumably for a new top coating. See if you want to play Can You Top This:
— After grinding down the surface in preparation for repaving, why did the city paint traffic lines on the grouted road? According to cZ, one of the Secret Squadron’s elite Z-agents, the lines will only have to be applied again once workers lay down the new surface. We’ve heard of double dipping, but with a paint job, THE PLANET thinks the term has been carried out far too literally.
KEY MEETING ON PCB-LACED HOUSATONIC SET FOR OCT. 12. … PUBLIC RALLY TO PRECEDE THE EVENT
Environmentalist Dave Gibbs of Pittsfield sent THE PLANET this item, which we are pleased to share with the public:
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife department will conduct a public meeting in Berkshire County on Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 6:30 P.M. at Lenox Town Hall. A public rally will precede the meeting, at 5:30.
“At the meeting,” Gibbs writes, “state officials will present their plan for the PCB-contaminated Housatonic River, which seems to align with General Electric’s inadequate plans. Ignore ecological data! The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted massive sampling and three comprehensive multi-year studies in cooperation with major universities and researchers. They have shared that data. On the other hand, we have never seen river PCB data from the state.”
“We no of no other place in the U.S. where state agencies have asked the EPA to water down a toxic clean up,” Gibbs states. “Two data sets exists: one from EPA and one from GE. Who is the state listening to? The EPA’s Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessments have been referred to as the most damning reports for PCB river contamination ever. The are available at http://www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/restofriver/reports/final_era/44909.pdf.”
Gibbs says the state agencies have stated that they don’t agree with EPA’s position to remove as much of the toxic PCBs as possible. Instead, the state wants to leave “massive amounts of PCBs behind in the name of protecting habitat and sensitive species.” But he notes that sensitive areas such as vernal pools and much of the floodplain are highly contaminated. The habitat is poisoned. For example, a wood duck tested from the Housatonic had 3,700 parts per million. This is one of the highest levels of PCBs ever found in waterfowl. Dave Gibbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONFIRMATION ON THE SHERMAN FOR PRESIDENT STORY?
THE PLANET has received confirmation of sorts on our reporting of the Kevin Sherman-Council presidency-open meeting controversy.
You’ll recall that yesterday, Sherman branded as a “lie and fabrication” the report by two of his colleagues that he had been lobbying council members returning or likely to return in the new 2012-13 governmental session that he would like their votes for council president. Sherman vigorously denied the report, saying that he is focused solely on winning re-election as an at-large councilor. He admitted “water cooler” type conversations with councilors that he would be interested in the job, but he states he has never lobbied for anyone’s vote.
One of our correspondents, picking up on the story, sent this into THE PLANET yesterday.
“PLANET: You are 100% correct in your reporting that Kevin Sherman has aspirations to be council president. I talk to a person who will be back next term (for sure) quite regularly, and this person tells me that he has brought it up with [councilors], saying he wants to be council president. This person could probably have the job but doesn’t want it because one can’t debate from the president’s chair. Sherman’s denial is a lie or fabrication, not your posting. Good info, that. Take care and it should be an exciting election season. I think Sherman should be more worried about being re-elected than being president.”
We thank our good friend for this posting. With conflicting versions of the same truth, THE PLANET takes no position in this issue. We are only trying to present the facts in the case. We leave assessment to you, the reader.
Remember, if you wish to post a comment or write a guest commentary, THE PLANET more than welcomes your viewpoint. Guest essays have but one stipulation: You must submit them with your verifiable name and contact information. We will publish that or not, as you wish, but we must have the information when you submit material.
WHERE DOES THE PARADE BEGIN AND WHERE DOES IT END?
It’s interesting to see all the hoopla about the Halloween Parade going down Tyler Street, as if the decision was made proactively. In fact, City Hall made that decision because North Street is still too chewed up for hosting anything resembling a parade. This, of course, does not include the bumper-car games held on the street each day of the week, where motorists and pedestrians try to kill each other. It also does not include the daily playing of “Can You Find A Parking Space,” a competition that will get more intense as the city’s remodeling of downtown North Street will rob the avenue of 20 existing parking spaces. Merchants are thrilled about that.
The story of the parade going to Tyler Street was so big that the Boring Broadsheet thought it was Page One news. Guess every day is a slow news day over there on 75 Church Street.
Another reason for Tyler Street being chosen: Officials worried that — given all the critters, zombies, walking dead, druggies, and other creatures of the day and night who by day and night infest downtown Pittsfield — spectators might not be able to tell who was in the parade and who just looks like that in real life.
Halloween ain’t what it used to be, for sure for certain.
DAN VALENTI or BEN FRANKLIN?
Finally, we present this item, from The Stooley. As you recall, The Stooley is our one-size-fits-all for many in our vast network of correspondents, informants, spies, gumshoes, not to be confused with our elite Z-agents or the Planet Airmen of the Secret Squadron. Our people are everywhere. If we were Big Brother, we would be watching.
I caught your reference to Kevin Sherman on THE PLANET today. He seems like one of the good guys and his response seems okay with me. What’s your take on the Wall Street demonstrators? Seems a little odd, doesn’t it, that not a mention of it from the media till it was almost 3 weeks old, then passing it off as not clear why they were there. Yeah right.
WHO AM I?
I was born in Boston, the youngest son of my father’s 17 children. As a candlestick maker, my father earned only enough money to sent me to school until age 10. Despite my limited education, I loved to read and write. At 12, I became an apprentice to my brother James, who was a printer. After several disagreements with James, I ran away to (Pittsfield, no) Philadelphia, where I would eventually open up my own (web site) print shop, publish a (web site called Planet Valenti) newspaper and become involved in politics, foreign affairs (local affairs) and science (sports and academia).
Who am I? No not Dan Valenti but Benjamin Franklin. He was an inventor (bifocals and swim fins as among his many inventions), a philosopher, politician, firefighter, soldier, cartoonist, ambassador and more. The common thread among all his endeavors however, is public service and the betterment of society. Look for these qualities when and if you do go to the polls to elect your next State Representative (3rd Berkshire) or Mayor. You won’t find a match, but maybe someone with a few of these qualities is out there pandering for your vote in the next election.
PLANET, keep their feet to the fire, and why not schedule a debate in the middle of the newly remodeled Common between Bianchi and Marchetti on the stage of city’s trailer stage? It could mirror the old days in observation of our city’s 250 anniversary. With an old fashioned debate with lighted torches from supporters.
As always, THE PLANET thanks The Stooley for his contributions. The Stooley is everywhere.
HAVE A GREAT REST OF THE DAY AND EVENING, EVERYONE, AS WE SAY …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.