PLANET MEDIA BOOKS NEXT TWO OFFERINGS FOR SALE … MEET THE PLANET and WRITER JERRI CHAPLIN ON MONDAY, 1 p.m., at KI in PITTSFIELD … SILVER LAKE and HILL 78: IN NEED OF AN EXORCISM … plus … NEED A HOUSE? THE CITY HAS A GREAT DEAL TO PONDER
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SATURDAY, OCT. 15, 2011) — Good news from PLANET MEDIA BOOKS: Our next title is now officially received, copies in hand, and beginning Monday, available for sale at the Red Lion Inn Gift Shop and on Amazon.com. You can also order at this website. Price is $17 plus $2 S+H.
The book is called VERTICALLY COASTAL by Jerri Chaplin. Jerri and her husband Peter live seven months of the year in Charleston, S.C., and five months in Pittsfield, Mass. The 110-page book includes poems that reflect these two locales (hence the title). It’s a fascinating study on how environs affect personality. This work contains brilliant writing presented in a lavish book with high production values. It would make a great gift for the lover of lit.
CHAPLIN, PLANET IN PERSON, MONDAY AT 1 p.m., KI IN PITTSFIELD
Jerri will be making two appearances locally before leaving for the South, where the book will be debuting there next month. On Monday at 1 p.m., THE PLANET has the pleasure of emceeing THE POET AND THE PUBLISHER, a one-hour presentation that featuers Jerri reading from the book. The event will take place in the auditorium at Knesset Israel on Colt Road. The public is invited. The author will signing copies. We will both be taking questions. The following evening, the two of us head to Lenox for a private party being held in the book’s honor. That’s by invitation only. Other events are being planned for the Berkshire in 2012.
THE PLANET is grateful to be in this position of publishing new and brilliant works, in small prints runs, that might not otherwise have a chance. Unless you’re Steven King or Danielle Steele, good luck with conglomerate commercial publishers. Having been published for years by two of the biggest (Viking Penguin and Bantam) we’ve been there, done that, and we vowed we would treat authors not as commodities but as Kings and Queens in our publishing company.
FYI, PLANET MEDIA BOOKS‘ third title, HOW MEN SEE THE WORLD by award-winning Dalton, Mass., writer Paul Milenski, will be coming out next month in time for the Christmas season. We will be taking advance order for that book beginning Monday as well. Our first title, SPRING’S THIRD DAY by Laura Smith Gross, Great Barrington, Mass., writer, has gone into the black and is now on our back list.
Our business model for publishing physical books in this day of Kindle proves it can be done without dumbing down to commerciality, keeping the artistic values high, and making a profit.
What a country!
SILVER LAKE AND HILL 78: PITTSFIELD NEEDS AN EXORCISM
THE PLANET has received a ton of feedback on our continuing series on GE pollution, including this one today, which likens what happened at Silver Lake and Hill 78 to a place of horror, replete with ghosts. The writer mentions the mass grave, the burial pit in Becket, where the three bodies (or what was left of them) were dumped by the mass murderers. The writer mentions the need for an exorcism.
The idea is perfect, for GE left many ghosts in its wake, and not just those who contracted fatal illnesses as a direct result of the manufacturing toxins the “Good Life” company dumped into Pittsfield’s soil, water, and air and did not clean up or remove. A total cleanup, not a cover up, of Silver Lake and Hill 78 will be that exorcism. If the politicians and officials of Pittsfield do not force a reopener of the disastrous Consent Agreement to achieve these two actions, the ghosts will remain and no meaningful economic development will take place on the PEDA site that sits in between Silver Lake and Hill 78.
Here’s what THE STOOLEY writes (and remember: THE STOOLEY is the one-size-fits-all name for a large number of correspondents, informants, tipsters, spies, agents, Z-agents, and the like who belong to the PLANET’s Secret Squadron).
By THE STOOLEY
Dan, in a way Silver Lake and Hill 78 are a little like the burial pit in Becket. Both locations will always have ghosts, and folks will avoid occupying either location no matter how much human tissue is removed from the Becket pit or how many PCB’s are removed from SL and 78.But I do think the lake and 78 should be cleaned up because regardless of the health risks, Pittsfield needs an exorcism of this issue as much as it needs remediation of PCB’s.My next door neighboor is retired from GE, and he was a purchasing agent. He to has a lot of antecdotal knowledge about GE.He purchased a lot of the PCB materials. He told me the reason GE used Pyrenol was to meet government saftey standards for transformers, and Pyrenol was the only available substance that met these standards. This reminds me of McDonald’s being coerced to use trans fats because they were believed to be healthier than beef tallow.Kind of like the Hydra from Greek mythology.
The Stooley refers to the Hydra, the fierce snake-headed creature. If you cut off one head, the Hydra would grow two in its place. It took Hercules to figure out how to kill the Hydra. Locked in mortal combat, he drove his sword through her heart. Only a reopener, putting all terms of the cleanup back on the table, can kill the GE Toxic Hydra.
Curious, though, the way Peter Marchetti, Dan Bianchi, and practically all the state rep candidates and council candidates won’t touch this issue. Why?
WHO WILL STEP FORWARD FOR BE HERCULES FOR THE CITY OF PITTSFIELD??? and HOW LONG WILL THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY ALLOW THIS SIN TO REMAIN UNADDRESSED?
NEED A HOUSE? THE CITY HAS A DEAL FOR YOU!
THE PLANET passes along this press release from the city of Pittsfield, the office of Deanna Ruffer and Justine Dodds. Look llike a great deal for someone in need of a home.
Single Family Home for Sale- 56 Circular Avenue
The City of Pittsfield is pleased to announce a fully rehabilitated, five star plus Energy Star rated, single family home at 56 Circular Avenue is now available for sale by lottery to a first time income eligible homebuyer.
The property, a former two family home, was abandoned by the former owner and acquired by the City through a lengthy tax title foreclosure. Due to the amount of time the property had been abandoned and vacant, the property required complete gut rehabilitation. The structure was stripped down to its shell and then rehabbed to new building code standards. All new plumbing and wiring was installed and the house was completely refinished, including new bathrooms and kitchen. The property has been returned to its original single family floor plan. The house has a total of 1,506 square feet of living space, three bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The first floor of the property is handicapped accessible. The maximum occupancy is limited to 6 persons, as set by the requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, Article II, Section 410.400.
The completed house meets both Energy Star standards and complies with the City of Pittsfield’s Stretch Code. Energy Star is a construction program based upon the energy efficiency standards developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. In order to receive the Energy Star Certification, home construction must pass through three phases of examination: plan review, on-site inspection of insulation and other components, and a final inspection that measures air leakage into the building. These inspections are independently conducted by the Center for Ecological Technology. The property at Circular Avenue received a five star plus Energy Star rating, the highest possible rating under these guidelines. To achieve compliance with the City of Pittsfield’s Stretch Code, the property had to achieve a HERS rating of 70 or less. 56 Circular Avenue received a HERS rating of 45, which is 25 points better than required for major renovation and 15 points better than the requirement for new construction. The property is the first major renovation in Pittsfield to receive a Stretch Code Compliant rating. The additional costs in order to obtain the high Energy Star rating and stretch code compliance are estimated to be $5,522, which is anticipated to be more than offset by energy cost savings. The energy efficiency of the property contributes to the affordability of the home by drastically reducing heating and utility costs for the future homebuyer.
Funding for this project was provided by a combination of Neighborhood Stabilization Funds (NSP) and the City’s HUD Section 108 loan funds. NSP funds, received through the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and provided to the state through HUD, must be used to redevelop abandoned, vacant or foreclosed property. The program was started to help communities with the extremely high costs of putting blighted properties that have a detrimental effect on surrounding neighborhoods back into productive use. With construction costs and materials at an all time high, the cost of new construction and gut rehabilitation are almost equal.
The appraised value of the rehabilitated property is $128,000. The property will be sold to a first time income eligible homebuyer for $108,800. The sale price represents a 15% discount from the appraised value. This discount will provide the homeowner with immediate equity investment in the property as well as helping applicants in obtaining conventional mortgage financing.
Families interested in purchasing this home must demonstrate to the City of Pittsfield’s Purchasing Department and Department of Community Development an ability to secure a mortgage. Applicants will also have to demonstrate they meet the established income guidelines and that they will occupy the property as their primary residence. The potential homebuyer will also have to have completed at least 8 hours of homebuyer counseling before purchase. Applications must be submitted by November 21, 2011. The City will then conduct a lottery among the pool of qualified applicants to select the buyer. The property will carry a deed restriction for a period of 15 years that will ensure the property remains occupied by and affordable to an income eligible household.
The City’s NSP program has used a wide range of solutions to address foreclosed, abandoned, vacant properties, including construction of rental housing, acquisition costs for large scale rental development, and opportunities for first time homebuyers.
For more information about the project, including how to enter the lottery selection process, please contact Justine Dodds at 499-9367.
AND WITH THAT, THE PLANET ENTERS THE REST OF THE WEEKEND, AS ALWAYS, ON A MISSION FOR TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE AMERICAN WAy.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.