YANKS SWALLOW BITTER PILL AS BOSTON REMAINS ‘TITLETOWN’ … MONEYMAN HARRIS AS DEBATE MODERATOR PUTS AN ETHICAL AND LEGAL CAN OF WORMS ON WBRK PLATE … and … ‘REST OF RIVER’ MEETING AS BIG AS IT GETS, WITH STAKES AS HIGH AS THEY GO
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, OCT. 7, 2011) — Now we can say the baseball season is truly over. ‘Tis much worse to fail in the first round of the playoffs than not to qualify for post-season, especially when you take a team into competition that just led the league in wins. And when you have to throw a deer-in-the-headlights rookie to start the MUST win, loser-goes-home game, your plucking the strings of desperation.
YANKS COUGH UP A HAIR BALL
Alas, poor Yorick, the New York Yankees coughed up a hairball in the deciding game of the first round A.L. playoffs. It wasn’t so much THAT they lost but HOW they lost that brings delight to all but rabid Yankee fans, who today are in sackcloth and ashes, mourning, robbed of all swagger. Consider:
— For what is only THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR, they start a rookie. He gives up back-to-back home runs in the top of the first inning to fall behind, 2-0. He fails to get out of the second inning.
— For the rest of the game, the Yankees actually score more runs, 2 to the Detroit Tigers’ 1. Thus, they blow the game with their choice of starting pitchers. C.C. Sabathia has enough in him to pitch two innings. So does Soriano. So does Rivera? There were alternatives for manager Joe Girardi, but he elected the worst possible choice to take the pill to start the game. That’s a fireable offense when your boss is named Steinbrenner.
— In the 7th, the Yankees load the bases. A walk forces in a run. The home crowd goes nuts. Then Swisher chokes in the clutch. Score, 3-2, Tigers. In the eighth, Derek Jeter launches a drive with a man on that looks like it’s “going, going, gone.” He staples a Tiger outfielder to the wall to end the inning. The crowds gasps in shock. In the ninth, A-Rod ends the game by fanning for the third time. Mr. Post-Season Clutch hits .111 in five games.
So be strong, Yankees fans, and rest in the knowledge that in this decade, the Boston Red Sox have, as the only team to win multiple World Series, won twice as many world titles as your team. You will point out the Yanks’ superior numbers going back all-time, and Sox fans will patiently smile, remembering that in life, it’s “what have you done for me lately”?
In the last decade, the Red Sox (2-2), Patriots (3-4), Celtics (1-1) and Bruins (1-1) have been to nine world championship rounds. Boston has brought back seven world titles. This is an unprecedented run, the greatest decade for one city in sports history. TITLETOWN IS BOSTON!
WBRK OPENING A CAN OF WORMS WITH HARRIS AS DEBATE HOST
My former radio haunts, WUPE (two years in the mid-1908s) and WBRK (14 years doing “The Dan Valenti Show” each morning from 1992 to 2006), have either had or will have debates. In one that is upcoming, WBRK will host a state rep’s debate: Democrat Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Independent Pam Malumphy, Green Mark Miller, and Republican Mark Jester.
To moderate the debate, the station has tapped Allen Harris of Berkshire Money Management, a bizarre choice. Harris, according to our sources, has funded the entire debate series on WBRK. In other words, this man who is not a journalist and not even a talk show host literally bought his way into the host’s seat. He is the same man who faced serious charges regarding millions of dollars of business taken from his previous employer in Williamstown.
The dicey issue is the way Harris has been throwing money around, in front of the scenery and behind the scenes, in Pittsfield politics. He’s pushing for Peter Marchetti as mayor, Chris Connell for Ward 4, and, according to most of the Wise Guys with whom THE PLANET has spoken, TFB.
This, of course, raises serious ethical issues and should have the other three campaigns peeling the paint off the wall. We heard unofficially that one campaign, which asked not to be identified, may decide to force Harris out of the moderator’s role. The headlines would be ugly for all concerned, particularly a station that I still love because I have many good friends there.
Another question is legal. Unlike PCTV, which is cable, commercial radio stations broadcast over air waves. The air waves are regulated by the federal government. The FCC has rules about what is an is not allowable in a station’s political coverage. We don’t know of a precedent for a case like this: A major (in this case, sole) advertiser who has shown political leanings (in this case for the GOB status quo, which characterized the TFB candidacy) moderating a debate with three of his candidate’s “opponents.”
We know from experience that the station in the past tried to err on the side of caution when it came to the FCC and election coverage. THE PLANET, therefore, was as surprised as anyone that WBRK allowed this. We would only urge our good friends there to pull Harris from the host’s seat as a way of taking the ethical high ground and perhaps avoiding a lawsuit.
We add one final note: THE PLANET, unlike a rumor that’s going around, has not been approached by the station to sit in to moderate should a change be made. We have not been asked, and we would not be interested in doing so. We do intend to cover the debate as a media blogger.
‘REST OF RIVER’ MEETING OCT. 12 IN LENOX AS BIG AS IT GETS, WITH STAKES AS HIGH AS THEY GO
With the huge “Rest of the River” meeting set for Lenox Town Hall, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 12 on the fate of the Housatonic — and likely the economic future of Pittsfield and Berkshire County in the balance — THE PLANET continues its coverage of perhaps the most vital issue of this campaign, certainly the state rep’s campaign.
Yesterday, we wanted a question put to all office holders and candidates, particularly the state reps and those who are running in District 3, which covers 12 of Pittsfield’s 14 precincts: Do you favor a reopener of the Consent Agreement that would require GE to provide Pittsfield (and other affected towns) fair monetary compensation for leaving uncounted tons of industrial toxins in the Berkshire air, soil, and water?
We add a guest piece now, this one from citizen activist Terry Kinnas. TOMORROW THE PLANET SHALL PUBLISH A COMMENTARY FROM ENVIRONMENTALIST DAVE MARTINDALE ON THE PCB ISSUE.
BY TERRY KINNASI support the removal of Hill 78. To the best of my knowledge, only former State Senator Andrea Nuciforo supported the removal of Hill 78 from the Allendale School area. I have always been told by officials that the toxic waste is too expensive to move safely. What is “too expensive”? I started looking into taxing the hill at the value of its removal. For example, if it costs 10 million to move it safely, then tax it at the commercial property tax rate for that value. If the decision is made not to move Hill 78, then tax it and add a health- risk penalty. I have found out that tax laws do not allow this to happen as written per City of Pittsfield assessor. Will any of the people running for the 3rd Berkshire State Representative position, or any other legislator, be willing to submit a petition to the General Court to rewrite the tax law to allow this to happen
THE PLANET agrees a vigorous exploration of this novel — no, brilliant — solution. Why can’t the assessment laws be re-written under “home rule” so that all toxic consolidation points (Hill 78 being the mountainous prime example) be taxed at the commercial rate for the cost of removal? Hill 78 would stay in place, but Pittsfield would then earn huge tax windfalls from GE for the inconvenience and dangers to human life of its poisons.————————————————————–
ON AND ON AND ON WE GO. WHO SAYS LOVE IS AN EASY ROAD?“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”LOVE TO ALL.