Article

PLANET !!EXCLUSIVE!! … STATE’S SHOCKING LETTER REVEALS DOUBLE-DEALING OF PITTSFIELD’S SCHOOL BUILDING NEEDS COMMISSION … YOU WON’T READ ABOUT THIS IN THE BB!

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, NOV. 14, 2011) — John Krol, Sally Douglas, Paul Raverta, Carmen Massimiano, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Lou Costi, Peter Marchetti, Floriana Fitzgerald, Patrick Mele Jr., Cheryl Bethel, John barber, Ernie Fortini, Kathleen Amuso, Jake Eberwein, Lisa Buchinski, JoAnne Soules, Keith Babuszczak, Frank LaRagione, Guy Pannesco, Jessica Moon, Stephanie VanBramer, Warren Dews, and (drumroll please) Barry Clairmont.

These are the members of the School Building Needs Commission (SBNC), a group so vital that the membership list hasn’t been updated in 17 months. The terms of four members on the “current list” (TFB, Massimiano, Costi, and Bethel) have expired. Ten members of the commission (every name from Fortini to VanBramer in the list above), the city’s website tells us, “serve as long as qualified.” Of course, this being the city of Pittsfield’s website, it doesn’t specify what the “qualifications” entail. We think chief among them are political campaign contributions to the “right” candidates and showing up to all the “right” GOB events. An ability to “see, hear, or speak no evil” is highly desirable.

AN ASIDE: You will also note that on the city’s official website, you can’t find e-mail addresses for any city officials other than councilors. Apparently, the city thinks it’s best for We The People not be have easy access to the employees WHO WORK FOR THEM. NOTE TO MAYOR-ELECT DAN BIANCHI: REDESIGN THIS NEARLY USELESS SITE TO INCLUDE E-MAILS OF ALL CITY EMPLOYEES.

A Roster of Special Interest Types and GOB Operatives

From the discussion so far, we’ve established that the commission, as constituted, is loaded with special interest types and well-known GOB operatives. Its doubtful this commission could produce work actually mindful of the true needs of bedraggled taxpayers. Or let’s put it this way: Do you feel this group will put the taxpayers first or the Powers That Be?

This past July, councilors Melissa Mazzeo and Joe Nichols introduced a reasonable petition calling for an advisory ballot question that You The People would have voted for (or against) on Nov. 8. The ballot initiative would have measured public support (or not) for a new school building. Mazzeo’s initiative bore the signatures of 46 registered voters. It addressed the reality that voters felt the SBNC kept them in the dark about its plans (as you will soon read below, taxpayers weren’t the only ones left in the dark). Naturally, the other nine of my Right Honorable Good Friends on the council loudly complained about the ballot initiative.

They said it would confuse voters. In their answer, they mouthed their lines from the script their GOB masters sent them.

“I don’t think the superintendent needs to apologize in any way, shape, or form about the information that’s been sent out by the School Building Needs Commission,” boomed Mayor Jimmy Ruberto at that July council meeting. “I think that nine councilors at the last meeting certainly demonstrated their support for all that the School Committee, and the Building Needs group has done.”

Krol, Marchetti, and the others parroted the mayor’s remarks.

Of course, that was six week before Mayor Ruberto received a letter on Sept. 7, 2011. No, you won’t read about this letter in the Boring Broadsheet. Why? Because the GOB has been hiding this letter since then. THE PLANET obtained a copy of this super-secret document, and we find this a perfect time to release it.

State School Building Commission Gives City a Grade of “F”

The letter to the mayor is one the letterhead of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Steve Grossman, chairman, state treasurer, and Katherine Craven, executive director. The first paragraph acknowledges receipt of draft copies from the SBNC on plans for Taconic and Pittsfield high schools as well as “the Preliminary Overview of the Pittsfield and Berkshire County Labor Market Study dated June 26, 2011.”

What, you didn’t know about that study? Of course you didn’t. They didn’t want you to know. After a few formalities, the letter gets down to the business at hand. It asks questions and makes comments on the quality of the material the city sent to the state. These were many of the same questions that would have been asked, and should have been asked, by the public via their representatives — only nine reps were afraid to speak out.

THE PLANET presents a digest of the state’s eight key points:

(1) The state notes that the education plan for forth THS and PHS “have not been shared with the public or school staff. What is the timetable for doing this”? [PLANET's italics]

COMMENT: Speaks for itself, doesn’t it? The SBNC did not deem the taxpaying public — that’s only paying for $82 million for the boondoggle that is public education in Pittsfield — worthy of seeing the material. So much for all the claims by the apologists for the sub-standard performance of this urine-poor commission. THEY LEFT YOU, THE TAXPAYERS, OUT OF THE DISCUSSION.

(2) Information on programs in the plan “are not described or tied to the … the labor market analysis,”  the state says.

COMMENT: How could these details be left out? Where was the oversight? Where was “the education representative,” TFB, who appointed herself de facto chair of the SBNC? Where was SBNC member Barry Claimont, with all his CPA expertise? Why didn’t Clairmont raise these questions before the taxpaying public had to be humiliated in the eyes of the state with such shoddy work? Where was Peter Marchetti, who had visions of mayoral sugar plum fairies dancing in his head? Where was John Krol, who prides himself on his concern for the schools?

(3) The THS plan “refers to Music/Performing Art Programs at that facility, although it has been our understanding that all liberal arts programs will be relocated to PHS.Please comment on the District’s intent to relocate Music/Performing Arts to PHS.”

COMMENT: This is the state’s polite way of saying, “Geesh, you knuckleheads. You told us one thing prior, and now your documents tell us something completely different. What’s up”?

(4) “There is no specific description of how electronic technology in the proposed facilities will affect the program.”

COMMENT: This egregious lack of specificity exemplifies what many have feared about the SBNC: It’s more about political than about doing what’s best for pupils, students, parents, and taxpayers. The commission needs more independent voices, such as former member Pam Malumphy, who resigned in a flourish from the commission early last year. The SBNC, thank you Barry Clairmont et. al., have been bluffing. They have been “Bly Skying” us. We hope mayor-elect Bianchi calls the SBNC in and reads them the riot act, because if such terrible work continues, Pittsfield’s dysfunctional public education system will condemn the city to a lifetime of misery.

(5) Regarding the labor market analysis, upon which rests everything the city is asking from the state, the work of the SBNC again failed even minimal standards. The state asks, “How is the number of students proposed for each program supported by the Labor Market Analysis?”

COMMENT: The city does not answer this important question in the letter, nor do we know if it has subsequently moved to address this point.

(6) The state notes that the SBNC did not project the number of students in programs at both high schools. It asks, “Do the results of the labor market analysis support these programs or will the programs be adjusted”?

COMMENT: Again, the city failed to provide this information. How could that happen, on a board with so many allegedly astute members? Why did it happen is probably the more important question.

(7) The state notes that the city failed to provide “[d]ata regarding numbers of required classes, elective classes, or vocational programs.”

COMMENT: Any reasonable person would have expected such specificity to be a key element in the city’s presentation. It wasn’t, and this may explain why the mayor, the SBNC, and nine councilors didn’t want the public getting a sniff of what they were doing in the taxpayersd’ name. This not only smells fishy, it stinks to high Nirvana.

(8) The city fails to “describe how the student populations at both high schools will be divided (to what extent and based on what criteria).

COMMENT: No, we’re not kidding. The city didn’t provide this essential data in its package to the state.

The state then tells the mayor to “let us know when you expect to have completed your review of these programs and the Labor Market Study with the DESE so that we may schedule a meeting to review your findings.”

The letter is signed by Mary Pichetti, Director of Capital Planning. the “cc” list includes Sen. Ben Downing, Rep. Paul Mark, Rep. Smitty Pignatelli, councilor Sherman, city deputy purchsging agent Kristen Harrington, school committee chairwoman Kathleen Amuso, school superintendent Jake Eberwein, Skanska USA Building owner Paul Kneedler, and SBNC member TFB.

An $82 million Rip-off

Ladies and gentlemen, fraud has been committed in you name by the SBNC. It’s fraud of a moral variety. You likely couldn’t prosecute this in court, but taxpayers should know that the $82 million they fund for Pittsfield public schools — two-thirds of the entire city budget — is being handled by … what should we call them? Amateurs? Incompetents? Political “players;” bunglers? Non-professionals? The unqualified?

We single out my Right Honorable Good Friend-elect, at-large-to-be Barry Clairmont , because he epitomizes the state’s first complaint [FROM ABOVE] — “The state notes that the education plan for forth THS and PHS ‘have not been shared with the public’ or school staff. What is the timetable for doing this”? Clairmont, you recall, mimicked his work on the SBNC in miniature for THE PLANET. He does not want to share with the public via this address. He only wants to talk to the friendly staffers at the BB. Only if they live in Pittsfield.

Throughout his campaign for council, Clairmont touted his 25 years of accounting experience. He bragged how he would put those skills to use for the city of Pittsfield. Too bad people didn’t realize that when he said “city of Pittsfield,” he didn’t mean Joe and Mary Jane Kapanski. He meant the GOBs. Clairmont’s term on the SBNC expires on May 1, 2012. At that time, we hope Mayor Bianchi presents him with his certificate of service, a handshake, and a boot in the rear on the way out.

Clairmont has unwittingly come to symbolize everything good citizens of the city have come to distrust about their government.

NOW YOU KNOW WHY THE BB DIDN’T RUN THIS THIS STORY.

————————————————————————-

TOMORROW, WE SHARE THE DETAILS OF AN INCIDENT THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE VICTORY CELEBRATION OF BIANCHI AND MELISSA MAZZEO. IT INVOLVED A LITTLE CHAT MAZZEO’S HUSBAND HAD WITH CLAIRMONT, KROL, AND OTHERS. THE BB WON’T TELL YOU, BUT WE WILL.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LVOE TO ALL.

59 Responses to “PLANET !!EXCLUSIVE!! … STATE’S SHOCKING LETTER REVEALS DOUBLE-DEALING OF PITTSFIELD’S SCHOOL BUILDING NEEDS COMMISSION … YOU WON’T READ ABOUT THIS IN THE BB!”

  1. rick
    November 14, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    once again WOW, the ship of fools are really fools! i think what bianchi said about a transparent gov. was needed here. the more they try to hide things the more red flags are raised…. keep going dan, get some comments on the record from the players in this comedy of errors.

  2. Shakes His Head
    November 14, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Wow Dan, great job! I’m not the least bit surprised at the Commonwealth’s letter. I used to think that there was just too much work for some of these people, but I think this speaks volumes for the current administration’s incompetence. To think we were just 106 votes away from continuing the public confidence obfuscation

    • Geo J
      November 15, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      The school administration is incompetent too, starting at the top. Another example is when they released enrollment figures mistaking 2/10 of a percent with 2%! Sometimes, when people are installed by the GOB, they can’t always do their jobs.

  3. Annoyed
    November 14, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Please check out the Pittsfield Public Schools website (pittsfield.net) for a list of the actual SBNC members. The list from the city website is outdated.

    • San Simeon
      November 14, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

      Uh, isn’t taht one of the points the Planet made? He had that italics paragraph in there about that. Probably why he did it to make that point. Go Planet!

    • Joe Pinhead
      November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      So why on earth would the SBNC send to the state a document that had the wrong names? If they were correct when it was sent why wasn’t the package amended to reflect the changes? Most professional organizations do this all the time. What if the board had a question; who would or could they call? Why was the correspondence withheld from the public? You’re annoyed??? I’m pissed. We just sent a representative to Boston whose work product isn’t up to par with a third grade book report on Charlotte’s web. Why doesn’t business locate here? Could it be the correspondence they receive is just as lacking? Now I know why they so strongly opposed this question being on the ballot, they have no information to validate any position pro or con, but hey let’s spend 82 million.

  4. Joe Blow
    November 14, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    Thank’s for shining some light on the backroom of Pittsfield politics. Please keep digging,there are alot of dirty deed going on in this town and enough is enough! We the people have a right to know.

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      November 14, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

      @ Jeff Ferrin…..I love it! STEVIE I WONDER….HAHA

  5. Banjo
    November 14, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Great article Planet because it shows whats been happening in our name by the incompetents who only play to serve their masters, not we the taxpaying public.

  6. Dave
    November 14, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I am taking bets that this subject will NEVER surface in the BB.

  7. ambrose bearse
    November 14, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Should turn on WBRK right now DTR is hosting TFB – Ta Ra Ra BOOVEEAY is telling us all how smart she is and how she brought her own band to beantown last week to watch her put her right hand on the good book and promise to obey the laws as interpreted by the boys of NEWELL STREET (DELPHI)

    • danvalenti
      November 14, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      AMBROSE
      One can only imagine. The Diva doing a kiss-up interview of an empty suit, the author as de facto SBNC chair of the urine-poor report the city sent to the state on schools.

  8. Steve Wade
    November 14, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    WOW ! I couldnt sleep all weekend waiting for this!

    • rick
      November 14, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      i dont know about that steve, from the emails etc, this clairmont guy sound like a tool. we will be finding out soon about him.

      • Steve Wade
        November 14, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

        Rick Have you ever talked to Mr. Clairmont ? I have and he had some good thoughts. He isnt sworn in yet and people have him being evil and anti Bianchi. How pathetic!

        • Dave
          November 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

          Who is this Steve Wade?

          And why does he always seem angry?

          • Steve Wade
            November 14, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

            Dave Im not angry just not impressed with the thinking of some of the Blog Heads. Clairmont won’t be sworn in for 6 weeks and the Blogg Heads have him branded because he won’t talk to Valenti ! I find that nuts. Dan used to be a journalist now he only writes a blog so why should Clairmont or anyone else have to talk to him? Should Clairmont have to anwer questions from Heller? Jon Melle? or any other nut job Blogger? There wouldnt be enough timein the day to answer all of them!

          • danvalenti
            November 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

            DAVE
            He must speak for himself on this, but he does seems to be the most frustrated, angriest, and envious person on THE PLANET. He’s fortunate we let him breathe out oxygen, and we will continue to do so as long as we find his idiocy useful. He’s like an exhibit in a carnival side show, you know, the guy with two heads and four arms. People like to gawk.

      • danvalenti
        November 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

        RICK
        From his actions, Clairmont behaves likes a tool. What Steve I Wonder fails to realize is that Clairmont has to be held to a higher standard. He chose this path for himself. Now he’s walking it.

    • Jeff Ferrin
      November 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

      @ Steve The Wonder Wade

      Your still an idiot. The more I see you offer nothing more than simplistic idiocy in your writing, it makes me wonder what planet you live on. I wonder If you have something to offer other than criticism that is of no sense. You seem to have a real issue and fear with people who do there homework and ask questions or address concerns of the people. Can you offer more than, can I have another beer mentality? Come on Stevie I Wonder, can’t you offer anything that represents some level of intelect to a conversation? At least let us see that you have some level of understanding of the issues to which you seem to always mock. If you don’t like what you read then stop reading and move on to something else that suits your needs, like the peanuts or blonde comics.

      So I ask you STEVE, If you are going to continue to critisize myself, Dan and any other writers here then I ask you to please tell us your intelectual insight into the issue of the SBNC! How many meetings have you attended? What is your interpretation of the truth on this issue? What have you been able to verify as factual information? Please enlighten us with your intelegence and not stupidity and ignorant comments. Please educate myself and Dan as well as the rest of the readers and bloggers. Set us straight on the issues. You seem to have an opinion(s) so please entertain us with it (them). I want to know all you know my friend.

      Just my opinion

      Jeff Ferrin

      • Still wondering
        November 14, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

        It gets lonely down there in his (Steve Wade’s) Mom’s basement.

      • Paq Man
        November 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

        Your still an idiot.

        Come on Stevie I Wonder, can’t you offer anything that represents some level of intelect to a conversation?

        Jeff – if you’re (you are) going to insult someone about their intellect (that’s two l’s) check your (no contraction) spelling.

      • Steve Wade
        November 14, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

        My Good Friend Jeff What the heck is a highway craftsman ? I asked Dickie and he didn’t know.. By the way How is your shoulder? Hope it gets better so you can get back to work. Im sure you want to go back to work don’t you? Oh by the way my opinion is you need to get a life! You only got 33% of the vote and you ran full time for it. I hope you didnt hurt your shoulder shaking all of those hands from your voters! Best regards Dickie I mean Steve

      • Dave
        November 15, 2011 at 7:52 am #

        We need to find out what neighborhood that Steve Wade lives in. Seriously!

        We need to search that area for a toxic pocket.

    • Steve Wade
      November 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      Hey Dan were is the rest of my blog? Can’t handle the truth?

      • Joetaxpayer
        November 14, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

        You should start your own blog,Im sure you could get 2 hits off of it.You and Barry

      • danvalenti
        November 14, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

        STEVE
        We can handle the truth. We will not tolerate your rants. You have nothing, apparently, to contribute except for your anger. That doesn’t make the cut. You are one step away from being banned. That means anything you post not of a substantive nature will be trashed.

        • baby baby
          November 15, 2011 at 5:18 am #

          Now you’re acting like Clairmont.

          • danvalenti
            November 15, 2011 at 7:16 am #

            BABY
            With all due respect, Steve only did this for himself. This site has tried to deal with him on an adult basis. Unlike my relationship with Barry, I tried not once, not twice, but three times to offer my hand in the friendship of relationship. I’ve heard good things about Barry personally, and this surprised me, as well as many who know him. Thanks for keeping the site lively, my friend.

  9. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    No recount in Mayoral race per iBerkshires.com

  10. rick
    November 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    hilly, petes not having a recount , so we can be one pittsfield…………………..how gay>>>>

  11. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    If we could only be “One Pittsfield” not just in words but in action then we would have something….But look at the numbers in the election…THis City is divided….Only hope New Council and Corner Man Dan can do things differently, as opposed to divide and conquer…But with some of the usual suspects back on the Council and certainly a few suspect newbies, I’m not holding my breath..

  12. rick
    November 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    the city is divided hilly, but thats how the gobs work. your either with them or against them, you either go along or else. look at the stadium comments against bianchi this last election, they still havent moved on, they still live in the days of g.e. .. untill they move to present day pittsfield we will stay divided, its too bad because i think marchettis one pittsfield slogan was for the gobs.

  13. Jim Gleason
    November 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    Terry Kinnas stated many of the things your comments stated in this piece in front of the city council when he spoke on this garbage presented by Pittsfield the the SBC. He said it was poorly done and not even proofread by the SBNC,as there were several spelling and phrasing mistakes in the documents. Why didn’t BLT make sure this didn’t happen? Now she’s been sworn in as our state rep? What a farce. I don’t believe that Joann Soules is an active member of this commission. I expect this kind of work from people such as Fortini, who I have continually said is and was incompetent, and Clairmont, who is a ruberto stooge and nothing more. Why did Howard Eberwein III and Kathy Amuso, supposedly educated people, allow this kind of work to go to Boston? I think it is all the solo work of BLT and the current mayor wouldn’t allow it to be challenged. He is another incompetent as we will see when Dan Bianchi gets into the city’s books. This kind of work is all too typical of the ruberto administration and people like John Krol, the mayor’s puppy dog Femway. Good luck Dan, your going to need a lot of it to clean up the mess left by Squiggy and his cohorts.

    • Geo J
      November 15, 2011 at 4:10 am #

      It should surprise no one that Howard “jake” Eberwein is dissembling the tax payer once again. He is a GOB’s son (one who was reassigned due to a harassment suit) and as disingenious as they come. A meglomaniac, too.

  14. Jim Gleason
    November 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm #

    Sorry, you’re going to need a lot of it….

  15. Annoyed
    November 14, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    This letter has been up, with a response, on the PPS website (pittsfield.net) since before September 27. Breaking news? Not really!

    • danvalenti
      November 14, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

      ANNOYED)
      The breaking news is (a) you’re website at the school department is inferior and unreadable. The letter is buried, and so virtually no one knew it was there, and (b) this post explains the significance of the letter. The state is basically calling the city out for an amateurish, sloppy job. Did the vaunted school department website explain that? No, I didn’t think so. Fortunately, We The People have THE PLANET on the job.

  16. dusty
    November 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Why are you asking Bianchi to update the website? Did you ever mention this to the “current mayor?” Or is he a tad too intimidating?

    And shouldn’t the “current mayor” have been looking at any of this SBNC stuff and approved it? Was he out of town the year it took to put it together? I thought he was the driving force behind a big new shiny expensive school. Do you think you could get a comment out of him regarding this newly revealed report or maybe we would rather not want to upset him.

    I gotta believe he had more to do with all this than Clairmont did and so might get a bit more flack for it than he.

    • danvalenti
      November 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm #

      DUSTY
      I did ask him, on public, on TV, in the mayoral debate prelim that I hosted. In fact, I’ve mentioned this to numerous officials over two years.

  17. beezer
    November 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    All the Kings Men are on the SBNC, so what does that say? Talk about your Civic Authority in disguise! W

  18. beezer
    November 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    All the Kings Men are on the SBNC, so what does that say? Talk about your Civic Authority in disguise! W

  19. Tony Truran
    November 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Glad TFB is in another district.

    How about a RECALL VOTE DAN?

  20. ambrose
    November 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

    please don’t remove Bethel – Bethel is the house of God

  21. On the Q-T
    November 14, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    Went to the school website. Try to find the letter. What a joke. They hid it. But because they say it’s there, let’s believe them for a second. That means the BB should have been on top of this all along but they either missed the story, were aslpeep at the wheel or they again didn’t print it on orders, make everything look great in the school while they wring more bucks out of the people. This might be the most important story of 2011 . Citizens of Pittsfield oew The Planet thanks for shining the light on our govt.

  22. On the Q-T
    November 14, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    One other thing. Its fair game to focus on Barry Clairsmont. He made such a thing in the campaign about all his great fiduciary know-how, how his cpa skills would keep the city sharp. he’s already proven how much bunk this is by his service on the school bldg. nds. commission.

    • Joe Pinhead
      November 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

      The School department buried this on their website in an effort to not have to explain the shoddy work. Would this level of work product be acceptable to your boss? Then why should we allow it from our charges? It’s getting clearer every day the bb buried this story so the need for a new school would not be made into an issue in either the Rep’s race or the Mayoral race. Young Mr. Downing and his staff need to crawl up someone and explain that there not willing to go to bat for a district that cant clearly state, define and substantiate its own cause. Mr. Downing and others please be aware that with the internet things can be searched, saved and copied without the control of you or your buddies at the BB.

  23. Molly
    November 14, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Hmmmm – after reading the Superintendent’s response, I’m not sure that this is as big of a deal as we initially thought. It did take a little digging to find the actual letter from the state and the Superintendent’s response, but I thought it was a good response. http://www.pittsfield.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/PittsfieldResponseSeptember-252011.pdf

    - As a taxpayer, I’m not very enthusiastic about building a new Taconic. Taconic isn’t even that old (although it is in crappy shape!) – how did Pittsfield allow this “not that old” building to deteriorate to the point that it has? Can’t we fix-up both schools? Perhaps not, but I haven’t been “sold” on it yet – they haven’t even really tried to sell the taxpayers on that. And I still haven’t been shown that we really do need to have two high schools.
    - I don’t think that they’ve done a very good job of keeping the taxpayers informed of what is going on. The little Powerpoint presentation and the pamphlet JUST DON’T DO IT! Not even a little! They really must think very little of us taxpayers as these things are useless, at least to me.
    -The Berkshire Eagle’s role, and lack thereof, is just mind numbing! I will NEVER again purchase an Eagle. It’s such a waste.
    - I’m irked that Melissa Mazzeo’s suggestion of a non-binding vote was turned down. Hello??!!
    - BUT, the response was a good response! I was glad that I spent the time to find it and to read it. And it’s apparent that there has been a lot of work put into this. So as far as the letter from the state, as I started out saying, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal anymore.

    • danvalenti
      November 15, 2011 at 7:19 am #

      MOLLY
      Thank you for this measured, balanced response.

  24. beezer
    November 15, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    When the powers that be (gob’s) can figure out a way to tell us either projects would cost the same amount, that’s when they’ll sell us dummies on a new school. Right now they can’t, but thery’re trying!

    • danvalenti
      November 15, 2011 at 7:18 am #

      BEEZ
      There is a deep insight in your response: “That’s when they’ll sell us dummies on a new school.” This sentence captures perfectly how the Bested Interests think of taxpayers.

  25. ambrose bearse
    November 15, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    “WOW!” to quote sturgeon – Big Mac’s page one above the fold again – NTFB’s in the hub and getting up to speed – knowing that she hit the ground running the human eye will not be able to see her she’ll be going so fast – she’s about to weigh in on some “hot button issues” but she’s not sure how she’ll vote on the casino bill – ‘translate-they haven’t told me yet how i must vote’ – told you earlier that she brought her own band – also took her kids out of the lenox schools that day so they could watch – she was struck by the comeraderie in the state house and how much we love you – ‘translate-we all urinate in the same pot and its expected you’ll do the same’

  26. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 15, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    TFB is “Looking forward to getting up to speed”.??..don’t lawmakers go on a month and a half reccess next week???

    • danvalenti
      November 15, 2011 at 7:13 am #

      HB2IW4
      As ever, an astute observation from one of this site most welcome guests. Don’t you just love the big play the BB gave to this non-story!! Says it all.

      • Still wondering
        November 15, 2011 at 7:27 am #

        Just after the special election, I said to my wife, “I wonder how long before the TFB cheerleading begins in the Eagle.” Didn’t take long at all. We’ll be seeing a steady stream of these stories over the next year.

        • danvalenti
          November 15, 2011 at 9:21 am #

          SW
          Yes, it’s laughable … a kind of laughing to keep from crying! Think of all the trees that will die feeding Berkshire County such pabulum. Maybe that’s why the circulation of the BB continues to plummet.

          • dusty
            November 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

            Just what is the paid circulation of the BB? And I would love to know why anyone pays for this shadow of its former self?

          • danvalenti
            November 15, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

            DUSTY
            The PAID (the key word here) of the BB is probably 18,000 and falling. They claim a circulation much higher, but they’re counting promotional copies, comps, press run, etc. The BB is indeed a shell of its former shell.

  27. Banjo
    November 15, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Ambrose
    You said it. Faster than a speeding slug. More powerful than a red wagon. Able to leap tall dishes of fried chicken in a single bound, look, up in the sky, it’s a bird its a … its another lardo getting phat on us taxpayers. She’ll do nothing for us.