Article

INAUGURATION DAY IN PITTSFIELD: NOT SO ‘SPECIAL,’ AS SCHOOL COMMITTEE WILL FIND OUT … plus … SHOPPING CENTER FOR PEDA COULD PUT ENTIRE SITE IN JEOPARDY; PEDA SECRECY BLASTED

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and commentary

INAUGURALS AND INTRIGUE: ONLY IN PITTSFIELD

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, DECEMBER 30, 2011) — On Monday, Jan. 2, at City Hall, Pittsfield hosts a swearing in ceremony for its new officers and elected officials. At 8 p.m., the same evening, the city swears in its new school committee in the library at PHS. There’s just one problem. Monday, Jan. 2, is a legal holiday, made so by New Year’s falling on a Sunday.

Question: Does this mean that all of the workers who will be needed to open, maintain, and close the buildings will be on double time or time-and-a-half? If so, would it spoil some vast, eternal plan to put off the inauguration until Wednesday, thereby saving Pittsfield taxpayers a good chunk of change?

Officials will argue that the city charter determines when inaugurations are conducted, but since when is following the rules or obeying the law a requirement for official conduct in the city of Pittsfield? Charter, law, and procedure are ignored or violated on a routine basis. Why can’t they do it in this case? Besides, a legal holiday trumps the language of any local charter.

MEmo to Mayor-elect Dan Bianchi: Want to get off to a fast start? Have the swearing in the day after, on Jan. 3. THE PLANET seriously doubts that anyone will file an complaint with Secretary of State Bill Galvin, except, perhaps, Gerry Doyle.

Does ‘Special’ Make it Illegal? It Sure Does Look So’

There’s also one other small inaugural matter. Will the school committee swearing in be legal? Pittsfield, Mass., may be the only city in America that could screw up something as seemingly innocent and innocuous at an inauguration.

The agenda calls the school committee inauguration a “Special Meeting of the Pittsfield Public School Committee.”

“Special”? If THE PLANET understands procedure correctly, “special” meetings are different from regular ones. A “special” meeting can be called to handle an ad hoc issue or in an emergency. Except where emergency would make it impractical, the school committee must vote and approve the calling of a “special meeting.” The question then becomes: Did the outgoing school board issue such a vote? We can’t find a record that it did. It would appear likely, then, that the meeting — if held without a constituting vote — will be illegal.

Folks, these things matter. The word “special” has a extra-ordinary meaning when used by the city, officially, as a modifier. Procedure exists to prevent yahoos from doing a lot of freelancing when it comes to handling the business of We The People. Once you breaking the law on little things, the big things come next.

The school committee agenda includes the oath taking, the election of the chair and vice chair, and the drawing of seats. THE PLANET hears that Kathleen Amuso will be looking to retain her role as chairwoman. We also expect to see a vigorous opposition bid by incumbent Alf Barbalunga.

Oh, yeah, and Terry Kinnas will be in the building, this time as a duly constituted officer. The meeting might be anything but routine. That’s all we’ll say.

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PEDA: IT WON’T BE PRETTY; AN EXPLORATION OF THE ISSUES AND THE IMPLICATIONS

Speaking of ignoring the law, let’s turn again to the decision by Corydon Thurston, Gary Grunin, et. al. to violate the original PEDA enabling documents and pursuing a prohibited use for the site: Waterstone Development’s proposed shopping center at the former GE campus.

Community opposition has been building. The former publisher of the Boring Broadsheet (Martin Langeveld) and one of its former editors (Lew Cuyler) have blasted the short-sighted PEDA action. What’s to like about taking a centrally located industrial site, next to water and rail, and dumbing it down for retail? The area tax base continues to shrink, with fewer consumers (we hate that word!). Shoppers will be left to cannibalize existing retailers in a kind of economic Darwinism, where survival will only go to the fittest. Expect more mom-and-pop stores to close. It won’t be pretty.

To sum it up for those who haven’t been following, there are two issues at stake:

(1) The PEDA move to retail indicates they have given up on the site as a manufacturing campus.

(2) The PEDA action to pursue an illegal use of the site means either that it is doing so illegally or that it has amended its rules. If the former, enough said. If the latter, this must have been done in secret, for there seems to be no record of this change being sought, much less permission given, by the interested parties.

Shopping Center Will Be a Long Time Coming

The shopping center project, though, probably will never get off the ground. At minimum, the proposed 2013 opening date seems wildly optimistic. We also hear that Waterstone Develppment, apparently unaware of the restrictions at the PEDA site, is getting increasingly nervous about doing business there. If that’s true, can you blame the company? Does Waterstone have an airtight, legal assurance that the PEDA board has received all proper clearances to pursue this otherwise illegal use of the property?

And isn’t it interesting how the Boring Broadsheet has completely shied away from the story, after having told you on Page 1 how the Waterstone shopping center will usher in a new economic dawn for our fair city. The BB’s coverage on local issues of import is as reliable as news releases from press agency of the People’s Democratic Republic of North Korea.

The BB, for example, will never tell you about the implications of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA, Massachusetts General Laws, c 30, ss. 61-62H), in the same way they haven’t told you that PEDA (a) took its master plan off line on its website in the vain attempt to keep the prohibited-use sheet hidden and (b) that PEDA has made its website as user-UNfriendly as possible, as we’ve learned from several PLANET correspondents.

Does Prohibited Retail Shopping Use Violate the MEPA Notice for the PEDA Site?

The state issued MEPA environmental notification the PEDA site on Sept. 24, 2005. The notification covers Phase I of proposed PEDA development: Up to 26,000 sq. ft. on 26 acres of the 52-acre site. The state granted the MEPA notification based on PEDA’s founding documents, including the list of prohibited uses, a long one that includes shopping centers. PEDA’s unilateral change in the rules during the middle of the game could well void the environmental certificate for the site.

Under the assumption that PEDA would follow its own rules, the state granted a MEPA. Stephen Pritchard, secretary of environmental affairs, said on Sept. 24, 2005, “Based on a review of the information provided by [PEDA] and after consultation with the relevant public agencies, I find that the potential impacts of the project as proposed in the ENF (Environmental Notification Form) do not warrant the preparation of an EIR (Environmental Impact Review) and can adequately be addressed by the state agencies in the permitting process. No further MEPA review is required.”

This is a profoundly important declaration. The state gave its environmental OK based on “the potential impacts of the project as proposed” [THE PLANET's italics]. Did PEDA throw all that out the window by pursuing a prohibited use? They are certainly not proceeding with the development of the site, “as proposed.”

Does PEDA Action with Respect to Waterstone Jeopardize All Existing and Current Projects?

The proposed shopping center project could throw a money wrench into all development on the site, especially if an EIR is required. An EIR could have to take into account the exposure of the general public to hazardous industrial toxins, which they would risk patronizing a shopping center on the site. The EIR could take forever. In the meantime, all work at the site could be ordered halted. …

… unless, of course, there’s a secret deal going on that would, you know, uh, look the other way and pretend all is OK. Construction projects require lots of money. Just a question: How much of a “vig fund” would be required to satisfy the “right people”? To be clear, THE PLANET is not suggesting or implying that this type of “secret deal” is going on. We are merely suggesting that the manner in which the Waterstone project came about appears to violate the Authority’s own vow to be more open, more honest in the way it does business.

We would expect that MEPA will identify any state permitting issue that have arisen since the Waterstone-PEDA announcement. Thus, it would seem that before the local permitting process can begin for the Watersone development, the state will have to issue a new environmental certificate, with a new list of conditions.

In Order for PEDA: Regular Updates Before the City Council

Where is the new transparency that PEDA executive director Corydon Thurston promised when he took over for Bill Hinds? When will Dan Bianchi, the incoming mayor, go public with what’s going on at PEDA?

The key question is this: Does the “revised” proposal, to include an otherwise prohibited use (shoppingcenter) at the PEDA site trip any of the regulatory thresholds set by the executive office of state environmental affairs?

One practical step can be taken to force PEDA to live up to its promises: Require the PEDA board to present an update to, and take questions from, the city council. This will help share information and, via their representatives, give We The People a chance to put questions directly to key PEDA officers.

PEDA has been anything but transparent. This continues to be run as a secretive feifdom, rife with political stench, suggestions of funny business, and the appearance of favoritism. A monthly report to the council will go a long way to end this and to restore people’s confidence in the agency.

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HERE ON THE PLANET, OUR ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT IS NEGLIGIBLE. OUR GREENS ARE GREEN, AND DAILY WE COMMUNE WITH TREES. THEY TELL OF THEIR SECRETS, AND …

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

80 Responses to “INAUGURATION DAY IN PITTSFIELD: NOT SO ‘SPECIAL,’ AS SCHOOL COMMITTEE WILL FIND OUT … plus … SHOPPING CENTER FOR PEDA COULD PUT ENTIRE SITE IN JEOPARDY; PEDA SECRECY BLASTED”

  1. Ray Ovac
    December 30, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    DV, is PEDA’s land taxed? As I suspect it is not due to its ‘brownsfield’ status, then will any retailer who leases or buys these parcels from PEDA be subject to any local real estate taxes? The point in asking is this: Wouldn’t any retailer setting-up shop on PEDA land have an unfair economic advantage over retailers on regular commercial property throughout the city who are obligated to pay local real estate taxes and whose prices on goods and services therefore reflect that added cost of doing business?

  2. rick
    December 30, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    mr.bianchi ran on a transparency platform on his successful bid for mayor, so i see no reason why he shouldnt let the people in on what roberto and peda have been up to while the city sleeps.we need to find out what roberto was up to behind the closed doors of city hall. just the web sites that have been altered show peda is not a trust worthy entity. politics in pittsfield have shown proof positive that the people we put in office or on boards are out for themselves……. keep digging dan, maybe we can get some of our self respect back as a city…if anything roberto did do was take that away from us.

  3. Hoppity
    December 30, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    PEDA’s land is not taxed.

    • Molly
      December 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      OH MY GOD!!! Unnnnnbelievable!!!

      • Ray Ovac
        December 31, 2011 at 5:46 am #

        At least if GE still owed the land, the company would still be paying taxes on it.

        • Hoppity
          December 31, 2011 at 9:29 am #

          My theory has always been that was part of the deal. GE negotiates the consent agreemtn, 99.9% in its favor, and part of it was transferring property so it wouldn’t pay taxes. So that’s about $4 million in taxes gone and Berkshire Health Systems is another $3 million beciase it’s a “nonprofit”. There are also other “funny” arrangements regarding assessments. It’s a gigantic rip-off scheme, and us taxpayers have to pay for it.

    • Molly
      December 31, 2011 at 12:53 am #

      So other than creating jobs, how would any business going into the WSBP be an asset to our fair city? I don’t see any, except the jobs, which are the most important. Yet with a retail store going in there, as we’ve said – these will, for the most part, be part-time, no benefits, low paying jobs. And at that, if this business survives, it will be at the expense of other businesses needing to go out of business. So no net gain on the jobs front either. So then why do it at all?? Why don’t they pay taxes, do you know? Between the City of Pittsfield owning a minimum of 314 pieces of property totaling $245,629,741.00 and taxes that would total almost 4 million, BMC owning (I can’t remember the totals but it was a few million in taxes if they weren’t “tax exempt”), plus ALL of the other “tax exempt” corporations in this city, no wonder our taxes are so high!!!

  4. joetaxpayer
    December 30, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Pittsfield loves its overtime,look at the budget line items,OT is a big chunk of the budget.It is time to look into some common sense approachs to getting this under control.

    • Scott
      December 30, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      They already figured it all out they just raised our property tax again man they’re good!

  5. Scott
    December 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    These are my questions to the former mayor and if Bianchi would like to reply what his take will be that would be great.

    Q: Why did you continue to let GE off the hook on the clean up of toxic chemicles left here by them? And how do you feel knowing that there is still a superfund site next to a school in the middle of a residential neighborhood?

    Q: Was your decision to not allow a methadone clinic here a personal one that was in the best interest of the city or one funded by BHS?

    Q: Do you really believe that the “revitalization” of downtown has created real jobs to support people in our area and is there anything you could have done differently with the PEDA site that you regret?

    Q: Why did you hire a consultant to do your job, what was the actual cost to the tax payers? what did you get for our money and do you feel it was worth it and looking back do you really think it was necessary? I mean could you not have done it yourself?

  6. Max
    December 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    WOULD LIKE SOME OPINIONS ON THIS PLEASE:

    The other day I received an email from Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director at Barrington Stage Company, requesting a contribution from me. I recalled that I (and each of you along with every citizen of Pittsfield) has already contributed to them this year, to the tune of $500,000.00 that was given to them from The City Of Pittsfield from the “GE Fund”. My reply to this email stated just that and asked for an explanation of why they are asking me for more contributions. The following is the response that I received:
    “Thanks for your message. Like all nonprofits we rely on donations from individuals, foundations, government and corporations to stay in business. Donations not only support the work of the theatre, but also support important educational programs that serve our community, including our Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP) which serves at-risk youth in Pittsfield and North Adams. PMP serves over 60 students per year and has received national attention (and a distinguished award from Laura Bush) as a model program for teens in need.

    In 2007, Barrington Stage was awarded a loan of $500,000 and the Colonial Theatre was awarded a loan of $1M through the City’s GE Fund. Let me clarify that this was not tax payer money–it was actually given to the City by GE. There were many conditions that we had to meet in order to be forgiven from this loan, including remaining in the City for over five years and giving back to the community through educational programs for youth. Also, our award was a very small percentage the total given to the City by GE. According to a 2008 article published in HomeStyle Magazine, the total amount that GE gave to Pittsfield included $250 million in cleanup funds, a $15.3 million redevelopment fund and a gift of $10 million payable over ten annual installments.

    We are very proud that the City invested in us through the GE Fund and we have worked hard to make sure that investment is paying off. Each year, BSC draws thousands of people downtown Pittsfield to shop, dine and stroll before they attend our theatre productions. We feel that we have made a big impact on our downtown and continue to take pride in being a good neighbor to this community.

    Thanks for attending our productions and we hope to see you again next summer. Happy holidays to you and your family.

    Warmest regards,
    Michelle Clarkin
    Director of Development
    Barrington Stage Company”

    Remember, this is a “Tax Exempt Corporation” (yes, another one – this time listed under EDUCATIONAL) who doesn’t pay any real estate taxes. Although I really like Barrington Stage, understand the value of having quality theater in our city, have enjoyed going to see some of their plays, and would certainly be greatly saddened if they had to close, I thought the tone of this letter was poor to say the least and as well, I didn’t like the attitude!! The “City’s GE Fund” belongs to the CITIZENS OF PITTSFIELD!! Just what the heck does she mean “Let me clarify – This was not tax payer money – it was given to The City by GE”!! Holy Cow – I can’t believe that statement! And also the statement “This was a very small percentage of the total given to The City by GE”!!! Oh well then, we should’ve given Barrington Stage MUCH MORE money then! That money could have been spent on not giving us taxpayers yet another tax increase this year! In addition, although I enjoy going to the theater, I can no longer afford to go to the theater! The per ticket price of seeing “Guys & Dolls” on a Saturday evening was $60 for Section A seats, $54 for Section B and $40 for Section C. However, it is extremely difficult to get a Section B or C seat as by far, the majority of seats are in Section A (61%) compared to Section B (25%) and Section C (14%). And Stage 2 tickets are $39. Who can afford to bring their family to the theater at those prices? I can’t any longer as my real estate taxes have gone up EVERY SINGLE YEAR for the past 8 years! By contrast, I can see “Les Miserable” via “Broadway Across America” (superb top-notch production!) in Boston for a price range of $30 to $125, with the majority of the seats in the Orchestra Section for $42.50.

    As I said, they are yet another “tax exempt corporation” who doesn’t pay any taxes and who’s income last year was 3.1 MILLION. In addition, they received a State Grant (TAX PAYER MONEY) for $390,000.00 in 2009 (2011 Grants apparently haven’t been published yet). Colonial Theater’s income was 1.94 million and Berkshire Theater Festival’s income was 2.8 million. I’d say that they’re doing just fine and my contribution this year has to go to The City Of Pittsfield to help me pay the increase in my property taxes! How many of us have ever had a $500,000.00 forgiven?

    What’s your opinion?

    • dusty
      December 31, 2011 at 10:14 am #

      and how much did the Stanley Beacon theater get? Does he pay taxes? What is his income from the property the taxpayers paid 99% of?

      It is almost like they have a sense of entitlement….the working guy is supposed to support the wealthy

    • Richard
      December 31, 2011 at 11:42 am #

      When G E gave the city that money it became tax payer money because we are the city of Pittsfield with out us there would be no Pittsfield and you and the others at Barrington would not have a job.

      • San Simeon
        December 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

        That’s quite a letter. I don’t know who Michelle Clarkin of the Barrington Stage is, but she sure is tone deaf, especially her comment on the GE money. She’s probably a young 20-something who has no clue or is not from Pittsfield and doesn’t know a thing about its history with GE. Barrington Stage should be embarrassed that one of theirs sent this out with that in it. This might be an example of the chi-chi crowd being out of touch with the regular working stiffs.

    • Dave G
      December 31, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

      That money was paid in lieu of taxes [ge property] , who is making up the difference that ge paid WE THE PEOPLE that’s who. Is the PEDA property not taxed?

    • Max
      December 31, 2011 at 7:36 pm #

      Also, the 62 kids who participate in the PMP, do so for 2 hours, once a week, for 7 months. Although I’m sure this is a great program for those kids, remember also that Barrington Stage received their “not for profit” and “tax exempt status” by being listed as an EDUCATIONAL charity. So I’d venture to say that they’ve made quite a chunk of change on this program by not having to pay ANY taxes… One of the requirements for the $500,000 loan forgiveness was that they had to enroll 50% of the “students” from Pittsfield. Why only 50%?

      In addition, according to their website, this program is also sponsored by:
      The Ruth P. and Nicholas Boraski Fund to benefit BSC’s Educational Programming. Alpern-Rosenthal Foundation Fund, Berkshire Bank Foundation, Berkshire United Way, Elayne Bernstein & Sol Schwartz, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Mary & Peter Levin, Leon Lowenstein Foundation, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Bessie Pappas Charitable Foundation, Robbins de Beaumont Foundation, Ungar Foundation.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 1, 2012 at 7:35 am #

        Nicholas Boraski, now there’s a name that should raise some alarm bells. He’s the guy GE had running the Pittsfield operation for years. If anyone knows where every ounce of poison is buried it would be Boraski.

  7. rick
    December 31, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    i would like the books opened to the public from the last 8yrs. any thing roberto had his grimy hands on should be checked by a cpa and results opened to the public. we need to understand why councilors voted with roberto on controversial issues. it seems there is still dead weight on the council.2 incumbents who ran unopposed should make this their last term. its sad to see nichols go, melissa and joe were the only councilors who dare ask questions, actually come prepared to help the feeble councilors to use their noggins. i will always remember what a good ole boy told me , and that is”melissa asks too many questions” my reply was”‘ are you guys nervous ‘ to which he walked away, my question was answered.

  8. Diana
    December 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Dan,

    What say you about the hit and run on Winesap? Was the driver Clifford Nilan’s daughter? seems like a really big cover up from BE, PPD, Ambulance Service and BMC.

    • Joe Blow
      December 31, 2011 at 3:40 pm #

      I have been hearing alot of rumors about this one.

    • Scott
      December 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      if he don’t care about his buddy liking little boys I can only imagine he probably high fives his daughter for this type of behavior.

  9. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    December 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    So, you drugged pathetic followers who worship Dan Valenti, do you want to hear how your hero has been the “voice of the little guy.” Valenti’s writing speeches and putting his words into the mouth of Mitt Romney. Romney’s campaign has hired Valenti as Romoney’s speechwriter (all seceret and hush hush), and when ROmney came out attacking our President, who’s done a great job by the way, it was VAlenti. He won’t deny itl Valenti met Romney when they did radio shows together. What a couple of phoney B$%^&*(). The way you all take his drivel is pathetic.

    • Joe Blow
      December 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      Obama…great job? Step away from the cool aid.

    • joetaxpayer
      December 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

      @Pittsfield Believer,Obama SUCKS so did Bush so what! If anyone is on drugs, my money is on you.Maybe you could have Dan write for you.

      • Scott
        January 1, 2012 at 5:56 am #

        that is true they both suck a fact left and right wing extremist alike can’t wrap their heads around.

    • Scott
      December 31, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

      you’re an idiot.

    • Molly
      December 31, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

      Sounds to me like you’re jealous of Dan’s new job!!! That’s quite an honor for him to be a speech writer for the next President Of The United States!!! And poor Barry being “attacked” by Romney (and DV)… tsk, tsk, tsk. How could ANYONE do that to him?! Especially after “the great job he has done” continuing to ruin our country!!!

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      January 1, 2012 at 7:41 am #

      Did Valenti give Mitt the “Lucille Balle at the chocolate factory” joke at the expense of Newt? If so, good one DV

  10. Concern
    December 31, 2011 at 5:35 pm #

    Pittsfield Believer. Are you kidding me!!! Obama doing a Great job. You are living on Mars. I can not believe anyone in this country believes this but they are out there, way out there. This is the worst President in history, I’ll even put Carter ahead of him.

  11. Unchy
    December 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Betcha Miz Boyd gets the free car, also!

  12. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    December 31, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    Valenti hasn’t denied this and he won’t, because it’s true. Romney’s new attaack mode on Obama comes because his people believe he’s got the nomination wrapped up. Valenti did a few communication “favors” for the governor when Romney was here, and Mitt loved it. Valenti’s first job was the attack on Obama. What a phoney, VAlenti, the voice of the Little Guy, my A**.

    • Molly
      January 1, 2012 at 1:51 am #

      How would Dan writing speeches for Romney make him a phoney? I’m not getting your correlation here — perhaps you’re trying to say that Romney isn’t for “the little guy”? And Barry is?? Barry is out for Barry – period! And he’s the biggest phoney that I’ve ever seen! He has GOT to go!! Let me make sure that I completely understand what you are saying — there should be no “attacks” on Obama? WHY would you think that? Like I said, “poor Barry”…

      Really – keep typing because you’re just making an ass out of yourself and your total jealousy of Dan is showing loud and clear! Actually, thanks for the laughs!!! So keep on typing!

    • danvalenti
      January 1, 2012 at 9:28 am #

      PB
      I’m not sure what this is all about and why you bring up these outlandish matters, but keep doing me the favor, will you? It’s good for business. On behalf of James Taylor, Gov. Deval PAtrick, Mitt Romney, Lady Gaga, Roy Rogers, Trigger, the Man in the Moon, and Barack Obama, here’s wishing you a Happy New Year.

      • Molly
        January 1, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

        LOL

  13. Shakes His Head
    December 31, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Pittsfield Believer wouldn’t be hired to write speeches for the student council election at Reid Middle.

  14. dusty
    January 1, 2012 at 3:39 am #

    looks like someone figured out how to change the subject and divert attention from a sensitive issue

    Ruberto was good at that too

    • danvalenti
      January 1, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      DUSTY
      Thanks for this note of perception. The crazy e-mails about Mitt Romney etc. diverted everyone away from the two issues, namely, inauguration day and, more importantly, the questions and concerns regarding the PEDA site.

  15. rick
    January 1, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    with some of the statements that come out of willars mouth he needs dans help….”corporations are people”, and, ohio picks corn, new hampshire picks presidents, the great flip flopper romney is a professional politician who would do and say any thing to be prez, and i will bet you 10k im right…. obama will kill him with romneys own words, even his own party dosent want him. got to love the names of the republican, newt, willard, jeb etc….. any one google a santorum lol lol lol …….

    • joetaxpayer
      January 1, 2012 at 7:37 am #

      Rick you seem to be describing any politician,including your teleprompter boy Obama.

  16. rick
    January 1, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    very true joe, too bad these politicians have a set way to play their profession, its all an ego trip for all of them… just look at the mess were in the u.s… romney had his hand in that and now he says he can save our economy. they are all part of the problem, and untill they break the politician mold it is going to continue.. like i said they will say anything to get elected, only romney has perfected it…. dan should write a book:”the art of the flip flop” with romneys picture on the cover…… happy new year….

  17. CONCERNED
    January 1, 2012 at 7:57 am #

    Rich: Look at some of your own names Weiner, Barney, Obama etc. I don’t care if Donald Duck runs against the worst President ever, I’ll vote for Donald. Oh and they are all politicians

  18. CONCERNED
    January 1, 2012 at 8:00 am #

    Happy New Year to all. Hope “2012″ is a good year for everyone.

  19. Steve wade
    January 1, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    If mitt Romney is the best you guys got then good luck enjoying obama. For four more years! Go democrats!

  20. rick
    January 1, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    got that right steve,i feel sorry for willard romney, his own party cant stand him..they are still begging christie and jeb bush to get in… they just dont want him…. hes way to liberal to be consevative….. and if you dont have a kkk hood in your closet you are not a true republican consevative..

    • Joe Blow
      January 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

      When all else fails throw out the race card…pfffftt!

      • Molly
        January 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

        I agree – pfffffffft!!! I think Obama has CAUSED a divide in this country that wasn’t there, for the most part, prior to his running for President as he’s always throwing out “the race card”. Did you see last week David Axelrod saying that the Republicans have intentionally made the economy tank so that Obama won’t get re-elected. OMG!!!! Is that all they’ve got? And Steve Wade doesn’t think that Obama is in trouble? hahahahaha

  21. CONCERNED
    January 1, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

    Im not worried about the voters in Mass. I know they will vote for Obama They always voted for losers. Just look at you elected officials in this State. Steve Wade would fit right with them. Run for office Steve

    • joetaxpayer
      January 2, 2012 at 6:25 am #

      Lets not forget Berkshire Co. Martha Coakleys only win.

    • Steve Wade
      January 2, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      Concerned, If it ssucks so much in Mass why don’t you move to Ohio where you would fit like a glove? Who says I have’nt run for office? Mitt , Newt , Ron P HA HA HA Obama is shakeing in his boots!

  22. Scott
    January 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

    I heard Romney was worried his Mormon beliefs would be an issue during his campaign. Which I don’t see why that would be an issue unless there’s Mormon stereotypes I’m not familiar with.

    • Molly
      January 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      The Evangelicals in the South along with any other far right-wingers don’t like the Mormon’s — they don’t consider them to be “Christian” — it basically goes back to the mid-1800′s when Brigham Young “ruled” both The Church of Latter Day Saints and the State of Utah as a theocratic leader, and began publicly supporting “plural marriages” or polygamy. I didn’t know until recently that there was a “Utah War” in 1857 and 1858! Learn something new every day!!! But the Mormons haven’t practiced polygamy or preached it since 1904 when the Church President disavowed it and began excommunicating any members still practicing it. (Also, the US Supreme Court ruled against their polygamy practice in the late 1800′s, too).
      I used to work with numerous Mormons — they were “former Mormon Missionaries” and they were ALL wonderful and truly nice-to-the-core people. And all extremely smart. And every person that I’ve met since that is a member of the Mormon Religion has also been a truly kind and wonderful person. This is merely holding on to the past – the long-ago past, and is ridiculous. “Freedom Of Religion”! But it was also difficult for John Kennedy to get elected as he was Catholic – and our first Catholic President. Stupid.

  23. dusty
    January 2, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    OK, looks like we have declared the PEDA issue dead and are moving forward to the election. Pittsfield Believer and the PEDA commission thank you

    • Scott
      January 2, 2012 at 6:30 am #

      Didn’t you read the Eagle they said stopping the process isn’t gonna happen and they’ve waited long enough and nothing else is gonna come so deal with it and be lucky we have something. They know whats best for us and if that don’t work they will just raise tax’s aren’t they genius?

    • Steve Wade
      January 2, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      Dusty, PEDA Issue is not dead but how long can you beat a dead horse? boring…..

      • Molly
        January 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

        It’s not a dead horse, yet! We have a new mayor and council that will be fighting back!

    • Scott
      January 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      “Pittsfield Deceiver” strikes again!

  24. Mike Ward
    January 2, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    I’ve started a petition opposing PEDA’s wrong-headed shopping center plans. Over 130 names so far. If you agree, please add your name here:
    http://bit.ly/sB8VAc

    • joetaxpayer
      January 2, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Great idea Mike,sorry to see you go, enjoy being away from the insanity.

    • Molly
      January 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Thank you, Mike Ward. I’ve added my name – it literally takes 10 seconds. I hope everyone who agrees takes the 10 seconds to also add their name.

    • dusty
      January 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

      link would not work for me

    • Dave G
      January 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

      nice to see action . I signed how about the rest of WE THE PEOPLE lets load that petition. HAPPY NEW YEAR

  25. Hoppity
    January 2, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Anyone notice how the planet forced the BB into addressing the issue. They were (the bb, that is) were going to ignore it on orders from the GOB. The planet kept hammering and they had to cover it although in a me-too fashion and with far less meat on the bones. Planet 1, bb 0

    • Molly
      January 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Agree. But their coverage wasn’t anywhere near as thorough as it has been on here. And also the pittsfield.com website gave us much more info than the BB did. In fact, I took the BBs article to be a slap to Bianchi – they’ve aready come out and said how wonderful this retail shopping would be and then were quick to print that Bianchi wants to slow it down and allow himself time to look into all aspects of it as he’s not agreeing with it. Personally, I say “you go Mayor!” but they are counting on the fact that they’ve already set the stage for all the followers and “Pittsfield GOB Believers” to be in favor it — hence I take it as a put-down to Bianchi… Stand your ground, Mr. Mayor, stand your ground!!

  26. Richard
    January 2, 2012 at 10:44 am #

    I think that the PEDA board should be replace if this shopping center goes through. All this would do is to take people who would shop down town and draw them to the shopping center. What a slap in the face to the stores who have invested in down town.

    Richard Arnold

  27. rick
    January 2, 2012 at 11:46 am #

    seems to me that we have the wrong people on the peda board..they need to get out there and sell this city, just like roberto said he was going to do 8yrs ago. if you remember he said if elected he would be the best saleman for pittsfield…now that hes gone lets get rid of the other dead weight over at peda and get someone in there that can sell these sites…grunin says he cant do it, so resign and let someone else give it a go. we need to have the right people in the right places not hold on toos from the roberto days..i would like to have waited to fill those positions untill bianchi got in… now the peda boys are going to give up and take the easy road to low paying jobs..why dont we get another water bottling plant at 10,11,12bucks an hour , they cant shop on north street, in fact they cant shop at all on that low pay. they cant buy houses at that rate either……so expect higher taxe next year and the year after that and so on………………………………………………………………..

  28. rick
    January 2, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    i think the making of a good manager is being able to put qualified people in positions that would compliment himself as a good judge of professionals…. i think ill give roberto a big fat F on that. and thats not just the peda fools…hes leaving a bunch at city hall….. should have waited for bianchi……..

  29. CONCERNED
    January 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Obama may not be shaking in his boots, however he must be worried some what. If not why is he campaigning so early and not doing his job!! I didn’t say it sucks to live in Mass.However some these Demo politicians suck (not only Barney) The republicans have some too, but there are so few, we can’t blame them. And we don’t have them for 40 years plus .

    • Molly
      January 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      Oh I think he knows that he’s likely not going to win, but he really doesn’t care! He’s set for life, now! And can continue in his lazy ways (by his own admission) and when he gets bored, go golfing or play some hoop and if the money starts to get a tad low, just read some more from a teleprompter somewhere and make a bunch more money (by the way, do you see him sharing his wealth at all? Nooooooooo!). Also way past time for John Kerry to go, too!
      p.s. I love the way he tells you that if you don’t like it, move to Ohio where you’d fit in like a glove! hahahaha These far left wing-nuts are always the first to jump on anyone that says things like this! I would say if he hates our country so much, he should move to China or Russia or Iran!!! But I won’t – instead I’ll say, “what happened to getting involved and changing the things that are wrong with our wonderful state?!” ;-) And I have no doubt that not only has he run for office, he’s one of the GOB’s.

      • Steve Wade
        January 3, 2012 at 6:30 am #

        So Molly your idea of getting involved is by BLOGGING? I am a Democrat . I think our welfare laws are insane, but I also think there is a middle ground we can be at. I also think these bible thumping Republicans are full of Shite!!!!

        • Molly
          January 3, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

          Just one of many ways. It’s one way to educate other people as to the truth and what is really going on, it’s one way to educate myself, it’s one way to get other’s opinions and viewpoints. There are many other ways as well – just a few examples would be attending City Council meetings and voicing my opinion when appropriate, sitting on various boards that are important to our city, on and on and on.

          I am registered as an Independent and I, too, think there is a middle ground where we can agree. I, as well, don’t care for the “right-wing whaco’s” NOR the “left-wing lunatics”!!! I consider myself a “Moderate” but I do lean heavily toward the Conservative aspect of that. And I think that’s where the majority of U.S. citizens are at – even if they don’t want to admit that sometimes. When I discuss various issues with people, they totally agree with me and will even cite their own experiences and observations — on SO many issues. When I point out that we basically agree on most things, then it’s, “no way – I’ve been a devout Left-wing Democrat for years and always will be!”. OK – call it what you want!! ;-) What scares me about that, however, is that I find a lot of people don’t take the time to look into who they vote for — they either vote for whoever the Berk. Eagle endorses (or the mainstream media for national politics) or they vote their party line as “these things must be safe and I don’t have the time to do otherwise”. Upsetting. And that’s true on BOTH sides! One being Barack Obama and the other being how in the hell could Ron Paul be leading right now???? People don’t really look into the person they are voting for…

  30. joetaxpayer
    January 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Speaking of Demo politicians, lets not forget Teddy Kennedy.Kills a woman leaving her for dead,then easily wins re-election.He would still have his seat if it was’nt for that tumor.We need term limits.

    • Molly
      January 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

      Agree – it’s unbelievable! And embarrassing!

  31. Joe Blow
    January 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    Good Luck Mayor Bianchi!!!

  32. Molly
    January 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    From pittsfield.com:
    - “Pittsfield Economic Develop Authority Executive Director Corydon Thurston said he’s “disappointed” that some are “taking a hard-line, negative positions before the project has even been fully revealed, or brought forward and discussed.”
    Perhaps if PEDA had been “transparent” as they had promised, told us about this a year ago when it first came up, asked for our input instead of being sneaky and taking down the Master Plan, and totally throwing out the Master Plan without ANY input from city residents, then they’d have more chance of our support. Give me a break! The gall of these people is beyond belief! How about at least FULLY REVEALING the plan now?

    -”Yes, it was prohibited as a general use, but that’s a very broad category”. Broad category? It SPECIFICALLY banned RETAIL! VERY specifically!

    - “In the case of Waterstone Development, rather than simply a new tenant like MountainOne Financial or Action Ambulance, the developers of this new project are anticipated to have a more active role in the future development of the rest of the transferred property.” Mark my words – there is some ugly, dirty, larger deal going on here that none of us will like.

    -”I’m very excited because they have that experience, they have the contacts that will help broaden our marketing efforts, and maybe find one or two of those mysterious companies that are so hard to find in the last decade in the Northeast.” Sounds to me like he’s admitting that no one on the PEDA board has any of the needed experience, and so now we’re turning this over to Waterstone Development???? OMG – just wait and see what that brings us… Perhaps a school or a nursing home or a grocery store or any of the others that were SPECIFICALLY BANNED.

    From berkshireeagle.com:
    - “Bianchi, who plans to appoint himself to the PEDA board, said he’d like the city to stop moving forward on the project until he’s had a chance to fully evaluate it. PEDA board members say that’s not going to happen.” To me, that’s saying that Bianchi has no power over this at all. When PEDA was created, we turned over ALL the power and authority to PEDA, and the Mayor nor “we the people” don’t have any say? This is just SO unacceptable!
    - “Thurston and Brunin said the board has no plans to halt negotiations in the face of criticism. But they noted that the public will have the opportunity to weigh in on the project when it comes before City Council later this year for permitting”. First, the “Brunin” instead of “Grunin” throughout the article made me laugh, so thanks at least for that BB! Basically, what Thurston and Grunin are saying is “oh well, ‘you the people’, you citizens of Pittsfield – you have absolutely NO SAY! Yeah, we’ll eventually have to let you vent, but it isn’t going to change a thing!!” I SOOOO hope that Bianchi and the new City Council will hear what they said here and put a STOP to any building permits!!

    I just signed Mr. Ward’s petition at http://bit.ly/sB8VAc – it took only 10 seconds! Please consider also signing this petition.

  33. dusty
    January 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    Wonder if Grunin asked for his named to be misspelled because he is embarrassed by what he has NOT been able to, or has not tried to accomplish during his gravy train ride on the PEDA board.

    Seems like he has always tried to hide in the background since his Civic Authority championing days.

    • Steve Wade
      January 3, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      Dusty just for your information Grunin is a Bianchi backer.

  34. rick
    January 3, 2012 at 4:36 am #

    if peda was my business and i had these folks running it, they would be on the unemployed line right now… they throw their hands in the air and give up….wow people is this the best the berkshires have, no wonder why we dont have tenants on the peda site, it all adds up now….. they hide , they dont want to give updates,and have absolute power…. and ill bet some deep credit card perks to go with it…….. how do i get a job like that?seems like they are still feeding off g.e.money.

  35. rick
    January 3, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    dan, or anyone out there. 1berkshire is a non profit group,,,,,,how are they paid? does any of the g.e. money go their way?… i know that non profits like to pay the officers of the company big bucks and perks. does anyone know what they are paid? i see lothrop likes them, so i figure were giving them somethig.

  36. Molly
    January 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Good questions – I would also like the answers to your questions — how are they funded and how much is each “officer” paid. I’ll dig around a bit in the next few days, but if anyone out there already knows, please let us know!!