Article

REOPENERS AREN’T (AND SHOULDN’T BE) EASY, BUT IT CAN BE DONE … WHY ARE THE CONSENT AGREEMENT RECORDS STILL SECRET? … PLANET FORECASTS TFB WIN TOMORROW … MARCHETTI’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS AN ISSUE WITH SOME VOTERS

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, OCT. 17, 2011) — THE PLANET never said reopening the GE-Pittsfield Consent Agreement would be easy. We noted, though, that the contract has provisions for reopening.

Reopeners should be difficult to prevent easy access for casual interests to profoundly alter agreements whose every word was parsed to a minute degree, supposedly in good faith. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be so difficult as to make unprobable the redressing of grievous faults contained in one-sided language.

The most noticeable ingredient missing so far, discounting the political apathy that the Special Interests have worked so hard to create these past 25 years, has been the voice of candidates for office. THE PLANET submits that the redressing of GE’s poisoning of Pittsfield is the biggest issue facing the city of Pittsfield and Berkshire County. Candidates, though, act as if it’s not a problem. They will not admit it for some reason, and obviously, they don’t feel pressured by We The People.

The community, thus, can ignore the problem, do nothing, keep Hill 78 in place, cap Silver Lake, and move forward … but … economic development will likely not follow. What company would want to move to a city that has Pittsfield’s unaddressed toxic legacy? Even the perception of pollution will likely be enough to prevent everything except moving businesses already within the county to relocate … within the county, for example, the expansion of Mountain One Financial to Silver Lake Boulevard. This is not developmental growth. It is residual growth that would have stayed in the county anyway.

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WHY HAVE THE RECORDS ON CONSENT DECREE TALKS NEVER BEEN MADE PUBLIC?

Except for the quiet of candidates on the reopener question, here’s another troubling query regarding the GE-PCB issue: Why have the transcripts, records, meeting minutes, and other related documents on the crafting of the Decree NEVER BEEN MADE PUBLIC? If officials will not consider reopeners, then will they at least fight for access to the records so we can trace how the agreement developed? Records, documents, minutes, and supporting documents have never been released for public examination. Why?

What is being hidden? Who is being protected? Were their secret agreements prohibiting the release of this, the public’s business? If the process was on the up and up, what is the harm in letting the public and the press see the information? Wouldn’t it prove the honesty and fairness of a just decision? These are the first questions that occur to an objective and reasonable person.

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PLANET FORECASTS TFB WIN IN SPECIAL ELECTION TOMORROW

There’s a (special) election tomorrow. Pittsfield taxpayers bought and paid for it, not the vagrant erstwhile and now EX state rep, and as all elections, the results will speak for themselves.

THE PLANET offers this look ahead to 8:01 p.m. tomorrow night, one minute after the polls close.

We see a turnout of 6,380 in the 12/14 precincts that will be voting. That’s about 12% more than the primary.

We see Tricia Farley-Bouvier winning with a plurality of the vote, around 42%, with Mark Miller second (30%), Pam Malumphy third, 18%, Mark Jester fourth with low double digits.

Talking with Miller, the Green Party candidate, he is reluctant to hazard a guess: “People have been great. I have no idea how it’s going to turn out, though. It’s been an uphill battle. I can’t call it. I appreciate everyone’s support. People don’t tell you when they won’t vote for it. They wish you luck, and most of them truly mean it.”

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MARCHETTI’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION  IS A MATTER OF CONCERN FOR SOME VOTERS

Staying on the topic of elections, THE PLANET presents this letter on Pittsfield’s mayoral race. It addresses the Personal Third Rail in the race: the sexual orientation of Peter Marchetti. In March, Marchetti admitted in the Boring Broadsheet that he is gay. The paper buried the story of Marchetti’s candidacy on the inside. It obviously didn’t want to shout that fact on Page One.

Let us be clear. For THE PLANET, what someone does with their own lives, as long as it doesn’t deliberately harm anyone else, is a personal matter. So if the fact that Peter Marchetti is gay and married to a man. Predictions that gay marriage would ruin the institution of marriage itself seem to have been off the mark. Hasn’t happened. Should this be an issue in the election? No. Is it an issue? Yes?

In morally conservative blue-collar Pittsfield, especially with the elderly (who happen to vote in greater numbers than anyone else), Marchetti’s “lifestyle” IS an issue to some, as it it to this letter writer, MGR:

Comments: This isn’t going to win me any favors with the gay community but I feel compelled to write it anyway.  I’m not revealing anything that hasn’t already been disclosed by the candidate himself in the Berkshire Eagle on 03/10/2011.
I have gay acquaintances both male and female but I’ll admit to being homophobic by nature.  That may be the result of the moral and family values taught to me by my parents and my religious teachings.  I’ve often been kidded by friends that live in States that don’t share the ‘Same Sex Marriage Law’ as Massachusetts, that I live in the Gay State.
I believe when a Mayor of Pittsfield addresses a High School graduation they should be projecting traditional family values to the impressionable youth in our community and not the alternative lifestyle.  I don’t believe a gay, (same sex) married mayor could convincingly deliver that message.  I also question how a gay mayor would vote on a school committee issue pertaining to the possible inclusion of a gay lifestyle class being taught as part of the school curriculum.
In full disclosure I should say that I’ve been acquainted with both mayoral candidates for many years and consider my relationships with both to have been positive and friendly.  I’m not suggesting that a gay candidate is any less qualified to fulfill the position.  However, I do believe the voters should be aware of the realities, as well as the hypostaticals involved.  My vote for Mayor will go to Dan Bianchi, a true family man.

THE PLANET thanks MGR for this letter. We welcome views on this or any other subject for consideration.

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BUSY DAY AND LATER …

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

59 Responses to “REOPENERS AREN’T (AND SHOULDN’T BE) EASY, BUT IT CAN BE DONE … WHY ARE THE CONSENT AGREEMENT RECORDS STILL SECRET? … PLANET FORECASTS TFB WIN TOMORROW … MARCHETTI’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS AN ISSUE WITH SOME VOTERS”

  1. really?
    October 17, 2011 at 6:37 am #

    “Let us be clear. For THE PLANET, what someone does with their own lives, as long as it doesn’t deliberately harm anyone else, is a personal matter.”

    unless they make pornography and practice suspension……then it’s open for discussion huh?

    HYPOCRITE!

    • Steve Wade
      October 17, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

      You have a good point! Dan is a phoney!!

  2. Dave Bubriski
    October 17, 2011 at 6:50 am #

    If TFB prevails it will be due to the apathy of the citizens of Pittsfield. If you avoid the polls tomorrow you are voting for the Pittsfield status quo and the candidate you don’t want.

  3. Baby Baby
    October 17, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    I wonder why the writer is “Homophobic”? Maybe it is because they are afraid to look deep into their own feelings and realize maybe they have had feelings for someone of the same sex.

    People aren’t gay by choice, they are born that way. So teaching a gay lifestyle class wouldn’t harm anyone, only educate them. Maybe they would become more tolerant of others?

    It is sad to see such bigotry in todays society.

    • Jim Gleason
      October 17, 2011 at 7:10 am #

      People saying how they feel isn’t bad, it’s a First Amendment right. Would you rather have a person lie and be fake, like most people would be, rather than tell the truth? I would rather hear the truth. I also will be voting for Dan Bianchi.

      • Baby Baby
        October 17, 2011 at 9:20 am #

        I would rather hear the truth. Its just sad.

        Its not much different than using the “N” word. A group is being discriminated against.

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 8:24 am #

      I think it’s fear of the unknown, the “other.” Unfortunately, bigotry, like greed, seems to be hard wired into humanity.

  4. Still wondering
    October 17, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    The voters of Pittsfield don’t seem to understand even slightly what the damage TFB can/will do to Pittsfield’s interests in Boston. She will be the ultimate back bencher and will sit there with her eyes as big a saucers, waiting for the tid-bits the party bosses will toss her way. Then she will be praised as a hero by the BB in press release after press release.
    Re-open the CONsent Decree? Not gonna happen for as long as TFB is in office!

  5. Jim Gleason
    October 17, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    If you want ruberto and his method of dealing with people (intimidation, lying, threats) in Boston representing you, vote for BLT (Tricia) If you want an independent voice and someone who can think for herself and will rep. you in a responsible way, vote Pam Malumphy, by far the most qualified and competent candidate for Rep.

    • Steve Wade
      October 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

      Jimbo Please explain how Ruberto Intimidated,lyied or made threats to people. I want REAL FACTS not just your usual made op stories.

      • Dee
        October 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

        @Steve I believe if you wait just a couple more months you will hear quite of a bit. However, right now, people are biding their time and waiting out the reign of terror.

        • Steve Wade
          October 18, 2011 at 5:05 am #

          Dee What do you think somebody might get wacked if they talk? What is this Whitey Bulger?

  6. Dave Bubriski
    October 17, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Ward 4 Rest Of River Watch:

    Our choice in Tuesday’s special election is Mark Jester, who as President of BCLS, has had real impact on the position of the Commonwealth. Mark is far and away the most knowledgeable on the River of the four candidates. The position of the BCLS is essentially the same as the Watch’s position. We also think that he is the most intelligent and articulate of the four candidates, and stands the best chance of being able to work effectively with other legislators.

    • scott
      October 17, 2011 at 9:03 am #

      I voted today I’m out of town tomorrow but I hope I don’t regret it.

  7. Ray Ovac
    October 17, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    DV, It would be helpful to know the exact language of the Consent Decree regarding its reopening. As a party with standing The City of Pittsfield should in theory be able to appear before a federal judge and move to reopen based on the paucity of any evidence that a sand cap would or could ever work on Silver Lake and that the ground water is still being polluted under Hill 78. Likewise, if Housatonic River Initiative still has standing, that organization might be able to take legal action as well. Hopefully, Tim Gray will be able to provide insight as to what’s what.

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 8:23 am #

      RO
      agreed. The actual language would help. Maybe Mr. Gray can assist us here.

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      I have obtained an electronic copy of the ponderous ACTUAL agreement. Now I will be slogging through it to find the reopener language.

  8. danvalenti
    October 17, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    THE PLANET loves Mark’s embrace of River remedies. We would also LOVE to see another Republican in Boston to at least create the illusion of a bicameral legislature (one party rule is not good for the Berkshires). THE PLANET has endorsed the other Mark, Miller, for his apparent grasp of the issues and because we like his third-party credentials. Either Mark would be a victory for We the People. That being said, if TFB wins, THE PLANET will wipe the slate clean and give her the respect that’s due any newcomer to office: Let’s see what she does.

  9. scott
    October 17, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Jesus MGR you can’t catch “IT”. Ha,ha

    • Maxwell Edison
      October 17, 2011 at 9:47 am #

      Like

  10. Gay Lover
    October 17, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I Love Pete Marchetti he is a true stand up man …he cares for men & woman alike there are many teens these days with feelings of being gay so a class to help them better understand might just work thanks for the idea …and it doesnt matter what your sexuality if you have the education knowledge & professionalism to do the job it should be yours …I am Pete Marchetti’s Family & we love Pete ….And besides Dan Bianchi has been MIA for the last 2 Years …

  11. Richard
    October 17, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I WONT BE VOTING FOR ANY ONE WHO NOW HOLDS OFFICE OR IN THE CASE OF OUR LOCAL POLITECS ONE WHO IS BACKED BY an OUT GOING Mayor. Tricia is not going be for the working class and not for senators.

    • Maxwell Edison
      October 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm #

      do you pull your pants up to your rib cage?

  12. ambrose bearse
    October 17, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    interestingly the bb endorsed TFB_BLT double whopper while at the same time chastised massachusetts for its one party system – then they say vote democrat so we’ll have someone behind those closed doors – she’ll be there ‘working for us’ – suckers

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      AB
      Exactly. The Boring Broadsheet’s inconsistency in logic way past the point of illogic is notable … and regrettable. Did ANYONE have ANy doubt the bum kissers at the BB would endorse anyone other than TFB?

  13. Shakes His Head
    October 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Voting for someone that is gay only because they are gay is just as misinformed and prejudiced as voting against someone that is gay because they are gay.

    • scott
      October 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      I agree SHH

    • Ray Ovac
      October 17, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

      Ditto that for those who insisted on voting for Barack Obama because of his race. Meantime, it’s at least comforting to know that 90% of black people in the U.S. voted for Obama not because of race but because they undoubtedly knew he was the most experienced candidate.

  14. Concern
    October 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    Baby Baby. Think the point is that older voters will think different than you on voting for a gay married man to another man. Also some younger voters also. Right or wrong we can’t control the way they think.

    • Baby Baby
      October 17, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      I get it. I just think it is the position of bigots.

      I’ll vote for the best PERSON. Someone who can lead.

      • scott
        October 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

        I liked Marchetti before I realized he’ll be a tax and spend guy But then again aren’t they all?

      • scott
        October 18, 2011 at 4:19 am #

        Maybe we should find out if he’s the giver or the receiver but then again is it a gender role thing because there are woman on the ballot.

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

      CONCERN
      Yes, that is the point. Like it or not, agree or disagree, a substantial number of the electorate has a problem with a man married to another man. For those voters to make an informed choice, they should know that one of the candidates for mayor, Mr. Marchetti, is gay and is married to a man. This makes it a legitimate campaign issue in a democracy.

      • scott
        October 18, 2011 at 4:17 am #

        Aren’t we a republic?

  15. beezer
    October 17, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    @ Baby Face… and who is dat?

  16. Joetaxpayer
    October 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    No dobt TFB will win,people around hear vote Dem. thats all they care about.Even when Mrs. Coakley was by far the inferior canidate we still voted her in (berkshire).One of the few times I was thankfull for Eastern MA.As far as Marcheitti goes seems like a nice guy but will not be nearly as frugal as Dan.My vote is for less taxs=Dan

  17. Tim Gray
    October 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    The consent decree does have re-openers as Dan V. etc. have said. The reality is that if someone with standing were to file a motion to reopen without the parties being in harmony all heck would break loose. Re-openers so far have been agreed to by all parties and deal with very minor issues. When we challenged the consent decree with a motion to intervene, it was amazing to see the army of lawyers who came out of the woodwork. We went to Boston with two lawyers. On the other side of the table were lawyers from the USEPA, DEP, U.S.Department of Justice, Mass Attorney General,
    and others. Kind of outgunned. The judge was not at all in favor of our motion taking the position that if GE and EPA can agree on anything he was not going to stand in the way.
    This fight had been in his court for years.
    Even if an army of lawyers were to try to open the decree the judge would point out that the city was one of the consenting parties. That is thanks to Mayor Doyle. The judge might dismiss. Knowing the intense pressure put on HRI I would also assume this pressure would be put on the city. It would be a huge undertaking, cost BIG dollars, and maybe unsuccessful.
    If anyone was successful in reopening GE would probably then put their legal teams on the case. More $$$$$. There is also liability relief documents that GE receives when completing a “clean up”. I’m not saying that a great legal team couldn’t do things HRI was unsuccessful with. But it would be an uphill battle. Now if there was new information about toxic sites, failure of caps, failure of the performance standards built into the decree chances of success would be a lot better. That takes data which costs huge $$$ in the land of PCBs.

    • scott
      October 18, 2011 at 4:15 am #

      It’s sad that they couldn’t just do what’s right from the beginning and just clean up their mess. I wonder what would happen to me and my business if I was caught dumping one gallon of oil paint into a body of water. I’d never do such a thing but I’m sure the ramifications would be great. Just this past year the EPA but great strain on small business by forcing them to comply with new lead standards. It forced small business’s who actually comply to completely change the way they do business and at a cost. Why does big business always get away with murder?

  18. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    October 17, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    Peter Marchetti is a man of standing, a long-time member of the community, a long-time public servant, conscientious and diligent, thorough and polite, a gentleman and a fighter. Those are the only issues that matter in a mayor. He will be Pittsfield’s next mayor, and he should thank the planet valenti for that, because this posting today will rally in his favor, in a huge way. Combined with win tomorrow by Tricia Farley-Bouvier, this will mean positive change will continue in Pittsfield.

    • CONCERNED
      October 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      Wow are you a dreamer

    • scott
      October 18, 2011 at 4:16 am #

      Some of that may be true but it has a similar feel to something we’ve all heard before from someone else.

  19. Joetaxpayer
    October 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Well you got one right,so you lose the parlay Pitt.B,Trish wins only because she has D by her name .The next mayor of Pittsfield will be Dan Bianchi, nothing against Pete would have made a good city council pres.

  20. Shakes His Head
    October 17, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    PM would have made a good council president because he doesn’t debate the issues anyway?

  21. Unbelievable
    October 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

    We need to move this city forward and having all of the focus on a candidate’s sexuality should not be the deciding vote. Like MGR, I was raised with moral and family values which included love, acceptance and the ability to not judge people that were different from me. I was born and raised in Pittsfield and am proud to call it my home. I want a better Pittsfield for my family, and truly believe that Peter Marchetti has the ability to make it happen. I proudly endorse Peter because he has the vision and knowledge to lead Pittsfield. My vote for Mayor will go to Peter, a true family man.
    P.S. Never believe a candidate that says they will not raise taxes, it is impossible for them to make that promise.

    • GEE Whiz
      October 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

      unbelieable, so who is putting “all of the focus” on the fact that your candidatre, mr. marchetti, is a man married to a man. that has not even been raised in the campaign. that said i’m glad it was brought up today because it is an issue for me. marriage is one man, one woman. any other arrangement is a deviation from a standard thats been serving societies well for centuries. besides, i just don’t trust that peter m will be anything other than a stooge for the status quo … and why is angelo stracuzzi backing marchetti? Would you want a man like that anywhere near you??

      • GEE Whiz
        October 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

        forgive the typos, got that message off in a hurry. sorry.

        • Unbelievable
          October 18, 2011 at 3:22 am #

          Good question, GEE Whiz. I don’t see how that impacts how he would do his job. Seriously? Would you deny getting treated by a Dr. if you thought he/she were a homosexual? Do you have less respect for a soldier willing to lose his/her life to protect our freedoms because they have deviated from the standard?
          I can’t believe that you would affiliate Angelo Stracuzzi to Peter Marchetti. What a low blow.

          • scott
            October 18, 2011 at 4:05 am #

            That’s just the whole ignorance of the general public and stigmas associated with homosexuality yet they’ll still pray to statues and trust their kids around priests.

  22. Teri & Frank
    October 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    I & my husband are seniors & we are for Pete Marchetti all the way. As a matter of fact a lot of our seniors are for Pete & have friends that are gay. We believe what a person does w. their personal life is their own business.What Pete has done for the community & for the youth he will be a great leader-furthermore we need more like him. One thing we can say Pete is down to earth-more then we can say for others.

    • danvalenti
      October 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

      TERI & FRANK
      We thank you for sharing your views.

  23. GEE Whiz
    October 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    P Marchetti didn’t make a good council vice president, as far as that go. Too compliant, too much a follower, too evasive. Too everything for what you want in terms of the qualities you want in an effective mayor. My vote goes to Dan B.

  24. for the ppl
    October 17, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    As for Mr Homophobic-REALLY????? Do you live under some rock with Pittsfields good ole boys network? Do you seriously want Dan Bianchi to lead our city further into a ghost town?? He will be just as bad as Ruberto. We do not need another mayor who is powered by his puppet strings. If Mr Bianchi is elected not only will he be a part time Mayor, we can all expect his micro-managing wife to constantly put her 2 cents in. No thank -you. I prefer to have Peter Marchetti-a man not afraid to have his own ideas-to have family values that matter!!! He has a mother and a father. He has a husband. Is what you said implying that anyone who has been divorced or possible had an affair is ok as long as they are married or co-habitates with the opposite sex?? Come on !!!! Open your eyes and think forward!! Peter will bring this city into the future, make it grow and thrive. He will be our next Mayor. Stand behind a man who wants to see this city, our city, GROW!

  25. Shakes His Head
    October 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

    The mayor produces a budget, the Council approves it. No individual is responsible for ‘setting’ the tax rate. Why, if a candidate wants to concentrate on public safety and education, is that anti-growth? The City, as a community, has to pay for the decisions that these men and women make. It is not an endless cycle of tax and spend. Fiscal integrity and planning is just as important to prospective businesses as the creative economy or natural environs.

    After ruberto spends his time in Florida, Doyle spends his time at bars. Do I really wAnt to back PM, a man that is conspicuously absent from his domestic partner in social situations and is known to frequent mAny of the bars in town?

  26. rick
    October 18, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    kind of funny how people see things differently issnt it. i go by petes record on voting and independence, in which he was 99% in robertos corner along with lee, kroll,yawn.jlo etc, … who voted on taking away 20 parking spots on nort street, when north street needs to add 100 spots, we have to start thinking when pulling that lever people. roberto shuffles the traffic down north street, then plans to dig it up in the biggest tourist time (fall foliage), how many people you think got out of their cars?..instead of getting the skate boarders into their skate board park and off north street ,roberto plans the common first….where do you think the kids were going to go? skate boards need cement. so remember what peter said.” hes just like roberto” and his votes prove it…. as for the sandwich girl….twinkie girl…..blt….double whopper with cheese girl and ten with everything girl.. who cares…. shes another lard ass in that office.

    • Steve Wade
      October 18, 2011 at 5:16 am #

      When would you up grade North St? In Feb or March? They have been working on it since early spring. It can’t be done in 1 week.

      • Shakes His Head
        October 18, 2011 at 6:44 am #

        The North St. project moves at a snail’s pace. The project management is horrendous. Expect to see more shuttered businesses this January due to retail business cycles and the access disruption from the project. Clearly, the City does not manage parking.

        • GEE Whiz
          October 18, 2011 at 8:07 am #

          Drove down there today. Six cops / one or two dupities within two blocks standing there doing nothing. Pace is slow, maybe to give all the donut boys OT?

      • CONCERNED
        October 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

        We know it can’t be done in a week, but come on, Ask North St. business people what they think!!!!

  27. beezer
    October 18, 2011 at 4:10 am #

    I think we have to give Bianchi the chance. Marchetti lost me when the vote to scale down the gift to the museum of two hundred fifty from five hundred thousand. Marchetti’s response after the vote? I am still in favor of the five hundred thousand, then of course, the museum found the valuable collection of art work.