Article

SUPT. EBERWEIN ANSWERS THE PLANET, TOUTING CITY’s ‘OUTSTANDING’ SCHOOL DEPT. … WHY STIMULUS MONEY SPENT ON SCHOOLS HURTS THE ECONOMY … and GIVE ME LIBERTY OF GIVE ME METH: KROL PETITION AIMS TO CUT METHADONE CLINICS OFF AT THE PASS

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, NOV. 28, 2011) — In case you missed it, Pittsfield School Supt. Jake Eberwein sent THE PLANET a lengthy commentary in reaction to our recent series on city schools. Several posters commented on his message, and Eberwein has, to his credit, engaged them in dialogue.

Here, we present Eberwein’s initial posting to THE PLANET. We present it without commentary, reserving our reaction to his counterpoints for tomorrow’s post.

We do this for two reasons: To better present the superintendent’s arguments in their fullness and in their clarity and to allow our readers to continue to present their own comments to Eberwein before we do.

Jake Eberwein

November 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm # Edit

Dan:

I will respond to your recent criticisms of the Pittsfield Public Schools. First, I will begin by stating that I am incredibly proud of our school system, and yes I’m very bias having worked in the system for almost twenty years. We have outstanding staff, students, and families who are very committed to advancing children in our school system and city. That said, we are a large organization, one of the biggest employers in Berkshire County, and are certainly not without flaw. We have and will continue to address our gaps – no excuses – and build upon our strengths. I believe we have demonstrated a positive return on investment for the citizens of Pittsfield.

Performance: You have charged that Pittsfield is an underperforming district and that I am lying to the public about our major performance indicators. You charge that my analysis (comments in general) is fluffy. I will respectfully ask that you read my analysis of our annual student performance, posted on our website and distributed widely. My analysis is based on real numbers and trends presented in a variety of formats. Our performance on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) has risen steadily, the numbers of students scoring in proficient and advanced has climbed, and students in federally defined subgroups have outperformed their peers statewide and are closing the gap between themselves and their aggregate peers. We also are positioned as the highest performing district, in the aggregate, among the urban districts statewide. You offer that our middle is a problem, yet Reid Middle School was commended by the state for the second straight year. Our dropout rate has declined steadily from 8.6% in 2002 to 3.4% in 2010. We have improved graduation rates and attendance rates. Our students head off to college, some of the most competitive in the country, and they are successful. My daughter, who will graduate from PHS in June, has received an outstanding high school education with a talented, highly diverse group of peers. Of course, we still have work to do. We need all kids to graduate, they need to leave better positioned to be successful in college and twenty-first century careers, and we need more kids to earn proficient or higher on the MCAS. I would like to see our SAT participation and scores rise, and more kids in Advanced Placement classes – earning a 3 or higher on the exam – each an indicator of readiness for postsecondary. Like I said, we have work to do but…I’m willing to stack our district against any in the state.

Accountability and oversight: I would challenge you to find a more regulated industry than public education. We answer to the federal government, the state government, the local government, and external accreditation organizations. We are audited for compliance with federal laws such as civil rights, special education, English language learners, and vocational education – for example. We are audited by the state for program effectiveness, teacher credentials, finances, contact time, improvement plans, professional development, and the application of all state requirements related to the conditions of school effectiveness – to name a few. We also participate in external accreditation for our kindergarten programs and our high schools. Locally, we are part of a very public process that involves program review, data sharing, and the development and adoption of a budget. Finally, we are audited independently, annually, with a report shared with the school committee in public session.

Finance: You are correct, our school system total budget is $82 million. While we develop and frame the operational budget ($52 million) with the school committee, we have not been secretive about the fact that the City of Pittsfield funds benefits and maintenance for our schools beyond the operational budget. In addition, we also apply for and receive many grants that allow us to provide necessary services to our students. So let’s break apart the $82 million so your readers have a better sense of where the money comes from:

Operating budget $52 million (of this $37 million is paid by the state through Chapter 70 funding)
Grants $15 million (this comes from federal, state, and private sources)
Insurance/Maintenance $15 million

In addition, the city receives just under an addition $7 million in unrestricted gov’t aid. I won’t argue that this offsets the insurance/maintenance line above but – it is used to offset taxpayer contribution in general. Overall, our per pupil expenditure (all totaled) is $12, 474, which ranks us about the middle of the pack, about 164 of 329 districts.

I will close out this first post, recognizing that it is hard to summarize all that we do or to respond to every criticism or argument you have offered. We present comprehensive reports to the school committee for their review on each of the many topics I have covered in this short post. That said, I expect that there are certainly other questions that you or those who read and post on PV may have. I have and will continue to be more than willing to answer these to the best of my ability.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Jake

That’ the complete statement. THE PLANET invites your reaction.

———————————————————

‘More Money’ for ‘The Children’ Actually Hurts the Economy and Academic Performance

On Friday, THE PLANET asserted the counterintuitive notion that the $100 billion in federal education stimulus money loosed upon American by the Obama Administration did not help and actually hurts economy. Obama followed the advice of his Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) that the release of this money would provide positive economic stimulus.

THE PLANET’s first objection is that CEA primarily made an economic argument for the release of this money and not an educational one. This confirms our assertion that public education on all levels — federal, state, and city  — has become completely politicized. It measures success not by academic achievement but by dollar signs.  Our second objection is that we have not been convinced that the countless trillions of dollars injected into the economy by the feds has done anything but Band-Aid over the systemic problems of an economy that operates in a gluttony of debt.

Our third objection is more substantive: Injecting $100 billion into the schools hasn’t and will not work to stimulate the economy, though it may buy the votes of the national teachers’ unions (FULL DISCLOSURE: THE PLANET WRITES AS A CARD-CARRYING MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AND THE MASSACHUSETTS TEACHERS ASSOCIATION). We base our conclusion on the evidence.

* Since 1970, taxpayer spending on public schools has more than doubled, adjusted for inflation.

* During that same time, high school achievement levels have, according to the Department of Education’s long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress, declined.

* Also since 1970, the high school graduation rate has dropped 5%.

* The one undeniable achievement of increased school spending has been to increase the taxes of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski by $300 billion in that time.

As Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute writes, “The fact that more schooling without more learning is not a recipe for economic growth is confirmed by the independent empirical work of economists Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann. Their key finding is that academic achievement, not schooling per se, is what matters to economic growth. Based on this body of research, the president’s decision to pump $100 billion into existing public school systems is likely slowing economic growth.”

We have seen the situation played out locally. More school dollars has not translated into greater academic achievement. As THE PLANET has stated, past a certain minimal level that obviously must be spent, academic achievement is not a function of politicians giving administrators and teachers unions more money. Nonetheless, that is the argument used successfully each election cycle against (yes AGAINST) taxpayers.

———————————————————————-

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Meth

Ward 6 city councilor John Krol has introduced a petition to the council pertaining to the proposed methadone clinic Spectrum Health Systems wants to establish in the Berkshire Nautilus building on Summer Street in Pittsfield.

THE PLANET, in another exclusive, present’s Krol’s petition along with the explanatory letter Krol sent to his council colleagues:

The petition “Requests that the City Council be the petitioner for a change to the zoning ordinance regarding the regulation of methadone clinics and suboxone clinics. Three basic elements to be included in the zoning ordinance are: (1) defining methadone and suboxone clinics; (2) prohibiting such clinics from the BD district and the Arts Overlay District, and (3) requiring a special permit for the establishment of said clinics anywhere within the City of Pittsfield.”

Krol wants to the council to pass a zoning law that would keep methadone clinics out of the downtown and, if a company attempts to locate such a facility elsewhere in the city, “face the highest letter of scrutiny.”

Krol’s letter of explanation to his colleagues spins the usual fairy tale of “a downtown” that is “a showpiece” (“world-class theatre, popular entertainment and cinema, a diverse mix of quality restaurants, a variety of living options, and a burgeoning creative energy that enriches our lives on many levels”). THE PLANET won’t debate the accuracy of this portrait of downtown Pittsfield. We do, however, support the notion that such a facility would be bad not only downtown but ANYWHERE in the city of Pittsfield. At least it appears — as always with a contentious issue such as this, there are two sides.

We shall make our case on tomorrow’s PLANET. In the meantime, we invite you to tell us and the rest of the world what you think by commenting below.

———————————————————–

AND SO IN DELIBERATIVE HASTE, A CONDITION WE HAVE PATENTED, WE MOVE OUR BOAT ON, WITH THE CURRENT, BEARING US CEASELESSLY INTO THE FUTURE.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

50 Responses to “SUPT. EBERWEIN ANSWERS THE PLANET, TOUTING CITY’s ‘OUTSTANDING’ SCHOOL DEPT. … WHY STIMULUS MONEY SPENT ON SCHOOLS HURTS THE ECONOMY … and GIVE ME LIBERTY OF GIVE ME METH: KROL PETITION AIMS TO CUT METHADONE CLINICS OFF AT THE PASS”

  1. Poker Boy
    November 27, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

    Schools- Definitely need an audit, hope Mr. Kinnas will light a fire under them.
    Methadone- Like it or not its a service badly needed right now in Pittsfield .. I’m for it and it looks like Krol is carrying water again for the mayor.
    Thanks for the forum and chance to have my say.

  2. ambrose
    November 27, 2011 at 11:35 pm #

    Keep it up jake – you’re giving vlenti just what he wants – if you wrestle with a pig you get all mud – the pig likes it – this blog, and thats just what it is has about ten readers, a few of whom are dv himself – he’s critical of middle schools that he’s NEVER been in – he writes on hearsay from disgruntled morally corupt teachers (his term), cutodians,aids, all of whom are smarter than the teachers they are supposed to be helping – kinnas is going to save our schools, yeah right – let vlenti charge, say a dollar week, or a month to read this blog and see how many takers he gets – dv continually tells us how much better than the eagle he is, i’m sure there are thousands out there willing to pay to read his negativity – so jake, keep wrasslin, the pig loves it and he’ll always have the last word

    • Molly
      November 28, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      Dr. Eberwein gave us all some great information and took the time to give us his perspective, which most of us appreciated very much. If you don’t like this forum, then I suggest that you don’t read it and don’t post to it! I would classify this posting as being very negative (“the pig”???). DV is merely putting out some facts and allowing us to investigate them further, share what we have found along with our respectful opinions. Nothing negative about that! Honestly, if I were him, I would ban you from posting any further negativity.

      • danvalenti
        November 28, 2011 at 8:34 am #

        MOLLY
        This is exactly it. I love the tone of your comment here, responding to the critic as if you were dealing with a petulant child. Love it. I, too, share your appreciation of Dr. Eberwein’s engagement with this site and this debate. As he realizes, no ONE person has the answers. He needs all of us, and we need him. Let those who wish to further the honest debate be invited to the table. Let those who wish simply to carp lick up the crumbs.

        • ambrose
          November 28, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

          you should love it, you wrote it

    • Joetaxpayer
      November 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

      Is that you Clairmount?

    • Joe Pinhead
      November 28, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

      Ambrose:
      What are you afraid of? The exchange with Mr. Eberwein was factual and cordial. Why would anyone dislike the exchange of ideas and ideals we took part in? I can only figure you either have something to hide or to lose. Care to tell us which it is?

      • ambrose
        November 29, 2011 at 5:26 am #

        hide

    • Joe Pinhead
      November 29, 2011 at 5:38 am #

      Ambrose:
      Not to burst your bubble but in an effort to help you understand the “new media” Dan wouldn’t charge a fee to read his blog, he would charge to advertise on it. This is done via ad-sense or google ad if you’re going to throw out stuff like that please be at least cognizant of how the game is played. Just wondering have you ever sold or marketed a product? Not sold your old Nintendo on e-bay, but created a product (intellectual content or manufactured item) marketed and sold it based upon a market determined value?
      Just sayin

  3. Jeffrey Turner
    November 28, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    Oh goodness, the Cato Institute? Have they been right yet? If you can’t outsource teaching to the Third World, you can import third world salaries for teachers, eh?

    And what’s wrong with a methadone clinic? There’s plenty of clinics on North Street.

  4. Ray Ovac
    November 28, 2011 at 1:33 am #

    DV,
    Supt. Eberwein’s own survey of Pittsfield Public School parents red flags “quality of classroom instruction” as the No.1 reason “parents gave for leaving the Pittsfield Public Schools” (Eberwein’s own words in his annual report).
    In response to my question about this, Eberwein makes reference to the “many absolutely fantastic teachers in Pittsfield”. Unfortunately, the super isn’t publicly acknowledging what his survey is bluntly telling him, that fantastic teaching is not what is leading parents to complain. Given how Eberwein appears to be responding gingerly to this delicate personnel matter, it also sounds like the teacher’s union may have the super (and the city) by the short hairs. Question: Is Eberwein allowed where he thinks necessary to play ‘Neutron’ Jack Welch or ‘Chainsaw’ Al Dunlop? Is he allowed to cut out the dead wood in the system? Or is he stuck with doing what the union tells him to do? Or does it all depend on what support he gets from the incoming Mayor?

    • ambrose
      November 28, 2011 at 5:34 am #

      so who are the parents of the kids being bussed out – the well heeled who have enough $ to drive their well scrubbed kids out to the berbs, but are too cheap to pay for private schools – the poor are left behind because they can’t get there, and Lenox and Dalton don’t want their ilk anyway – of course the parents are going to blame the teachers – do you think any one is going to tell you they don’t want their kids mixing with those less fortunate than they – do you think the likes of farlee hyphen booveea will ever give a reason for sending her offspring to lenox

      • Scott
        November 29, 2011 at 6:59 am #

        I’ll say it I don’t want my kids around the off spring of drug soaked losers who don’t care about themselves let alone their children s education or anyone else s.

  5. dusty
    November 28, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    It looks like this petition might have been drawn up by the city attorney and handed over to lackey Krol to present to the council.

    I don’t care if they put a meth clinic on North street….they can put it in one of Stanelys taxpayer funded offices for all I care.

    • Still wondering
      November 28, 2011 at 6:58 am #

      You will never go broke by overestimating the stupidity of the average dusty person.

  6. CONCERNED
    November 28, 2011 at 6:58 am #

    Believe me you don’t want a meth clinic in Pittsfield, period. It will draw druggies from all over. Then it will draw drug dealers (more). Talk to a town near us that has one. They go there for meth and go around a corner street and get heroin. Oh and once some of these out of town addicts come to Pittsfield they will stay. So for once lets stop being bleeding hearts and think and stand up for out communities here in Berkshire county.

  7. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 28, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    @ ambrose…Since you are so critical of Valenti, what exactly are your credentials to be soooo informed?

    • ambrose
      November 28, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

      I’ve been in a middle school, he hasn’t – this is a guy who is highly critical of teachers making 71 grand for 181 days of work – In ’09 he had his tatooed love, fear fingers in the state trough for $10,639.20 for 15 days of work at 3 hrs per day. extrapolate that to 181 days and you’ll come up with about 128,000 large ones. if your going to be critical of people’s salaries you should make full disclosure of your own and where its coming from – when it comes to sucking up taxpayers money he’s the same everybody else – who does he work for now? the church

      • Steve Wade
        November 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

        Ambrose Great responce !

  8. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    November 28, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Seeing as how the venerable Mr. Valenti redacted our previous post, let’s try this: I would like him to deny that he personally got Bianchi elected mayor and that he pushed Kinnas for school committee. The two goombas (bianchi and valenti) worked closely during the campaign, bianchi had valenti on speedial and didn’t make a move without running it by him. Kinnas is now wholly owned subsidiary of Valenti Inc. Bianchi won by 100 votes. The way valenti pushed him here and throughout the city, it’s why we won’t be able to trust Bianchi as mayor.
    Congratulations to Mr. Krol for his methadone petition. He is showing leadership now and is one of the senior members of the council. The city is thankful for Mr. Krol’s service.

    • Kathy'
      November 28, 2011 at 8:03 am #

      I agree with your “congratulations to Mr. Krol”, IF his intentions are solely up front and honorable; but I have been told several times that the city’s monopolistic taxi company bills the state around $30,000 a week for transportation service to the Holyoke/Springfield methadone clinics. Assuming any credibility to this, is there any political connection between Mr. Krol and the cab company owners ? Is there any special interest revenue protection involved?

    • danvalenti
      November 28, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      PB
      Your feverish dismay over the outcome of the election notwithstanding, we do thank you for your anti-contributions to this website, particularly the ethnic slur. Our Webmaster alerted us to it and asked if we wanted it taken out. We said no, since it testifies to your character far better than we can. Thus, we leave it there for all to see.

    • Joetaxpayer
      November 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

      @PITTSFIELD BELIEVER,You should only speak for yourself.Really not sure how the city feels about Mr.Krol.I am not a fan of his,but his petition may help on getting a handle on where the clinic goes.Wondering if this would hold up in court though.

    • Joe Pinhead
      November 28, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      PB:
      Just wondering since your convinced that Dan somehow rigged or otherwise controlled the election have you filed with the State and Feds? I would love to read your complaint: In this here day and age that Dan Valenti had a blog that allowed all people access and the ability to post their thoughts and opinions. We respectfully request you fine him 10,000 rubles . They would fine him but it would look bad for Al Gore inventor of the internet.
      just sayin

      • Molly
        November 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

        LOL – good post.

  9. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 28, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    @ PB, how exactly did Dan V get Dan B elected? Are you saying that the people who voted for him were somehow tricked into doing so or put under a magic spell, breathing in the air of Planet Valenti?
    And Krol should speak up seeing how the proposed location is in HIS Ward. And I’m not so sure it was all his own initiative and words..

    • danvalenti
      November 28, 2011 at 9:44 am #

      HB4IW2
      The claim of PB is beyond specious. It’s irrational. I had no more and no less to do with the two candidates mentioned that I did with their opponents.

      • Molly
        November 28, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

        Dan – maybe you should look at PB’s post as a compliment – look at the amount of power that he attributes to you — one person (you) single-handedly got Bianchi elected mayor of Pittsfield! WOW! Good job, Dan!

        I may be naive, but I just don’t understand why a few people on here are consistently negative and out and out mean spirited. It’s not a matter of disagreeing with DV or with any of us, but rather it’s just mean and hateful posts. Do you understand, PB and Ambrose, that by doing so you lose all credibility and no one even hears what your opinion is – they just hear the hatred of your words. Perhaps if you simply posted your opinion and backed it up with facts, people might take you more seriously. But just my opinion…backed up by the fact that obviously, most people here don’t take you seriously.

        • Joe Pinhead
          November 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

          like’ Dan can we get a like button? Maybe a disoike button s well? Ambrose and PB will need one to click as well.

  10. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 28, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    @ Kathy…great question

  11. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 28, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    and believe me, I’m no fan of a meth clinic downtown either

  12. Richard
    November 28, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    I would Like Mr Eberwin to give an outline on how much is funded by federal, state and city and why after all that is it that teachers are still asking kids to bring supplies from home. Also how many schools districts outside of Mass belong to unions? Why don’t teachers dress for the passion they are filling as you do Mr Eberwin? How do you expect kids to dress right when teachers don’t? And why after all this money are we so far behind the rest of the world in education?

    • Jake Eberwein
      November 28, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

      Richard:

      I’ll hit a couple of your questions.

      In this school year, we received $37 (million) in aid from the state through the chapter 70 formula. We receive $30 (million) from the city ($15 on the school operating side, $15 on the city side which covers benefits and maintenance). As I noted in a previous post, the city does receive about $7 (million) in city-side state aid, some of which may go to offset these costs. Finally, we receive $15 (million) in grants from a variety of sources (I don’t have the workbook in front of me to give you the exact breakdown) including federal, state, and private.

      All states have teachers belonging to unions, the biggest union is the NEA (National Education Association), which is the largest labor union in the US. That said, each state has different statutes which govern how unions operate – most importantly whether they can collectively bargain, strike, or…even if individuals are compelled to join. Only five states don’t allow collective bargaining. About half of the nation’s states are “right to work” which means employees can decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union. Massachusetts does allow collective bargaining, is not a “right to work” state, and does not allow public employees to strike. This link has a nice summary: http://www.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/teacher-s-unions-collective-bargaining

      As far as international comparisons – it’s important to know, first, how we’re being compared. The most frequently used assessments for international comparison are the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment). TIMSS assesses students in grades 4 and 8 in math and science, and PISA assesses 15 year olds. PISA is a more interesting (in my opinion) assessment as it measures knowledge and skills as they will apply beyond the age compulsory education – in many countries 15. Overall, we do poorly in PISA (35th out of 57 countries) but better in TIMSS (for grade 8, 9th out of 48 countries). Massachusetts, which is the top performer nationally, decided to participate in TIMSS independent of other US states. The results were strong with our fourth graders who ranked second in science and tied for third in math. Our 8th graders tied for first in science and sixth in math.

      Of course, all this must be considered in the context of who takes the test and what, truly, is a representative sample of students. For example, is it fair to compare Mass to just Germany and not a particular high performing state within Germany? And FYI: In Pittsfield we have participated in TIMSS, but not in PISA.

      That said, your question of why the US is lagging is a good one and certainly a hot topic in our profession. Maybe the better question is why is Finland #1? Culture, diversity of population (or lack thereof), approach to early childhood education and parenting leaves, teacher credentials, the classroom environment. I recently viewed a film (The Finland Phenomenon) narrated by author Tony Wagner who wrote the book, the Global Achievement Gap. Your questions are addressed in the film and in the book. The film profiles the Finnish system and how they approach teaching and learning. There are some very interesting characteristics that involve intensive teacher training, vocational education, homework (there really is none), and even dress…yes, they dress very (to my surprise) casually.

      So, not sure I answered all your questions, but hope I offered some food for thought.

      Have a good night.

  13. danvalenti
    November 28, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    On a future entry, we shall take up the issue (and it is one) of student dress.

  14. smh
    November 28, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    And here was the mayor, our State Rep.’s former boss and mentor, chiming in on the topic of school choice.

    http://www.telegram.com/article/20110204/NEWS/110209844/1116

    • Ray Ovac
      November 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

      in all those years as Mayor, did Jimmie Ruberto ever take a single action that would cause people to think he wasn’t beholden to city employee unions?

      • Tim Bartini
        November 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

        Mr. Ray Ovac As the president of the Pittsfield firefighters Union I can state that Mayor Ruberto is not beholden to us. We have been with out a contract for over 2 years. We came to a agreement in July but had the offer pulled because we waited to long . Our by laws state that we must post meetings 7 days in advance and then we would have our vote 1 week later, the offer was pulled before we could vote on it. The Pittsfield Firefighters have been the first to change the health insurance splits ,We also have given back our uniform allowance and we backed changing our health insurance to the state GIC, which saved the city millions of dollars. I would like you to get the facts before you say false things on this blog. We all know that people think everything that is written on this blog is fact

        • Ray Ovac
          November 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

          TB, so I guess you’d answer my question in the affirmative, that “Yes, Jimmie Ruberto DID take a single action that would cause people to think he wasn’t beholden to city employee unions!”
          TB, you sparks should take a page out of the teachers’ union playbook, cause it sure seems JR’s been giving ‘em the keys to the classroom if not the city. Otherwise why wouldn’t Eberwein have already eliminated the deadwood by now — the 25% not-so-fantastic teachers who still obviously plague the system?

  15. Gene
    November 28, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Let me also condemn PB for the ethnic slur. You sir do not belong here, not for your views but for your ignorance.

  16. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    November 28, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Gotta at least give Jake credit for responding to the posters..that shows a level of accountability and integrity that we could use more of…

    • Gene
      November 28, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

      I agree with that Hillbilly, we are not used to seeing this type of response from officials. it speaks very well of the superintendent.

  17. Dave
    November 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    My view of methadone clinics is narrow and dated. I once had an employee that had two sons that traveled daily to the clinic in Holyoke for treatment. They were required to visit every day, rain or shine, snow, ice or whatever. The financial burden for attendance alone was overwhelming. These two individuals could not hold a job during this period because the time alone to travel back and forth took up half the day. These two boys were court ordered to attend after they had gotten busted for use and posession of pain killers.

    I do not advocate the abuse of drugs of any kind. However, I do have some sense of compassion for those that wish to right their lives and the “System” only makes it difficult. A clinic in Berkshire county would have saved at least two or three hours of travel each day and thousands of dollars in transportation costs for the duration of their treatment. The last thing this family needed was the cost, time and money, to travel to Holyoke.

    It is easy to say, ” NO Clinic in my neighborhood!!!! “. Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, there exists among us, persons that require treatment. Would it not be in their interests to have a clinic closer to home for treatment? If money was spent on treatment and education as oposed to the big business of law enforcement, in my mind, the violence of the drug trade would fade and the reality of neighborhood clinics would be more the norm.

  18. tito
    November 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    Why not do the methadone out of a doctors office?

  19. CONCERNED
    November 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Great news Barney Fife is retiring. Maybe Coach Sandusky, Coach Fine and Barney Fife now can go to hell together,

    • Joetaxpayer
      November 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

      Barney (marble-mouth) Frank,the poster child for term limits.Thank you for the early X-mass present.

  20. Poker Boy
    November 28, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Love it how Dan Valenti rattles the likes of ambrose and others who can’t stand his heater up an in .
    And Barney Rubble Frank, ga-bye ga-bye ga-bye!!

    • ambrose
      November 29, 2011 at 5:36 am #

      whatever gets ya off poker face, glad to oblige

  21. Joe Pinhead
    November 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Call me cynical but could it be that Mr. Krol is just playing politics here? Good politics but is it a whole lotta hoopla a day late? Would the current proposed clinic be kept out? Or since they applied for a (using the terms loosely) permit before the zoning was passed would they be grandfathered in? I presume since the petition is currently being filed he wants the Council to act as a legislative body to first enable the Ordinance if approved going into effect on a date certain in the future. Then the interested parties would almost certainly make a claim regarding either “spot” or reverse spot zoning. To answer those questions the zoning board in its position as the enforcing agency would be called upon to affirm, reverse or modify the administrative decision. They would have to use the following 4 criteria:
    1) The size of the spot;
    2) The compatibility with the surrounding area;
    3) The benefit to the owner; and
    4) The detriment to the immediate neighborhood.
    Looking at each of the criteria ask yourself these questions are there other similar use situations in that area? One look at the “park” or a casual walk in that area and you rule out item 4. And all this only matters if they can find away to back date to before the initial request which I am sure is well documented in the initial pleading currently before the courts.
    Just a couple of thoughts from a pinhead
    Just sayin

  22. tito
    November 29, 2011 at 6:14 am #

    MCAU…methadone clinics are us.

  23. Ray Ovac
    November 29, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Seems to me that the presence of methadone clinics would be an open admission by the GOBs that indeed Berkshire County has some real big city problems. Isn’t it like these local dilettantes to want to sweep reality under the rug? Bad for tourism. How could such beautiful landscape be home to so many drugged-out losers?