SKATEBOARD PARK: PUNKS, F-BOMBS, AND THE RULES IGNORED … BUBBA AT THE COLONIAL? … ‘THE CAPT. McCARTHY TREATMENT’ … plus … PITTSFIELD: A FRIENDLY PLACE TO DO BUSINESS, NOT
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
We are pleased to hear that the fundraiser to help Peter White, his mom, and her tenant raised almost $5,000. Thanks to all who helped, contributed, attended, and donated. Joining our roster of special honors from yesterday (organizer Andy Poncherello and Chameleon’s night club), THE PLANET toasts two special people with large hearts and lots of love for the community:
Tanya Condron Mullin and Peter Marchetti — They both worked tirelessly, in a pinch, and organized the 1,001 details regarding an event and a movement of this size and at such haste. Thanks, Tanya and Peter, for a job well done.
Incidentally, Lindsay Erichetto won “Dinner with Dan Valenti,” and Alf Barbalunga took home our package of six Dan Valenti books, each autographed. Here’s the complete list of winners:
3 Twin Hearts Afgans – Melissa Guyer, Chris Grenoble, Sue Geller
Moments House Silver Bracelet – Bill Mickle
Charland Jewelers Citizens Watch – Mike Rock – Mike & his wife Sue gave the watch to Jean White
Jennifer Kimball “Untitled” – Deb Connors
Dinner with Dan Valenti & 99 Gift Card – Lindsay Errichetto
Vermont Moonlight Cookies – Sue Geller
Vermont Moonlight Cookies Gift Certificate – Tanya Mullin (given to Jerome DelSoldato – thanks for helping!)
Tone Bones (Mrs. Svente) Paint Marker on Canvas – Jenny M.
Blue Q Bags – Sue Geller
Kitschy Kollection – Patty Brown-Charland
Bravo Wellness/One Month Health Coaching – Weslea Schmidt
Carrie Snyder Photography Session – Jenn Smith
Patrick’s Pub Gift Certificate and Sweat Shirt – Scott Laugenour
Superbounce – Rebekah Frenkel
Jane Iredale Cosmetics – Sharon Hanson
V Baird Connection Gift Basket – Clair Bosma
4 East Side Cafe Gift Certificates 2 Pizzas each – Tate won two, Steve Mendel, Candace Babor – giving hers to Charlie
Susan Geller Greylock Photo – Sharon Hanson
Arest Rock Painting – Mark Middleton
Autographed Dan Valenti Sports Books – Alf Barbalunga
2 Java Joe’s Cafe Gift Certificates – Brian Walak and Sue Geller
Mission Gift Certificate – Danielle Trumbull
2 Brenda’s Gift Certficates – Kendra Knisley and Colleen Donahue
Howard Baird Bald Eagle photo – Sue Schultheis
2 sets of 2 Berktoberfest tickets – Mike Rock and Marty Mayberry
Y Bar Gift Certificate – Scott Laugenour
International Basket from Mission & Y Bar – Michelle Lillie
Woodbrothers Gift Certifcate and a bottle of wine – Danielle Trumbull
7 Piece Kitchen Set – Sue Geller
BBQ Kitchen Towel set – Bill Mickle
This event showed Pittsfield at its finest.
Skateboards, Parks, and Punks
Last week, a friend and THE PLANET ventured unannounced to the new skateboard park at the corner of East and Appleton, adjacent to Pittsfield High School. The little darlings put on quite a show. First, though, a couple observations on the park itself:
— It looks half-baked. The concrete trick forms have been set into the northeast/west third of the former tennis courts. The other two-thirds has been left empty. There’s nothing in 2/3 of the park. There was no fence work done, no cleaning, and they didn’t even bother to remove the tennis stripes of green paint for the courts. The result looks like an ad hoc improvisation rather than the result of $150,000 of expense and planning, an eyesore, too typical of Pittsfield.
— The park is filthy. It’s already been heavy-laden with trash, which tends to accumulate along the inner fence perimeters. As of yet, the concrete forms had no graffiti.
On the mid-week afternoon that PLANET and guest visited, we counted 10 kids, all male, ranging in age from about 17 down to about eight. Signage on the fence stipulates a long list of rules, including the dire warning that, per Massachusetts General Law, all users must wear helmets. “All” and “must” — THE PLANET cannot find the exceptions to these absolute words. Thus, we were left baffled: Not one kid had a helmet.
We also noted among the rules the requirement that all kids 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. We saw three maybe four kids who appeared 10 and under. Adults, are you shocked to know, were nowhere in sight.
‘They’re All ‘Good Kids,’ or 99.9% of them, According to John Krol
Of the 10 kids, three were doing tricks, two on bikes and one on a skateboard. It seems the idea is to top the other in recklessness and endangerment. In the 20 minutes of observation, THE PLANET witnessed no cracked skulls, broken limbs, chipped teeth, or protruding femurs.
The other seven boys hung out on the launch platform. The “F” bomb could be heard in what seemed every other word. It made no difference that there were two adults there or that a lady was present. The kids were dressed in what can only be described as “nightmare parachute,” with everything too baggy and slung too low. One of the dearies even pelted a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk with a half-filled soda bottle. Oh, wasn’t that cute?
We stayed for about 20 minutes. In that time, we did not see one adult, one cop, and no indication that the rules of the park mattered. The kids spit all over them. My right honorable good friend Ward 6 city councilor John Krol said on Facebook that 99.9 percent of all the kids who use this park are “good kids.” We wonder, then, how on earth we happened to pick perhaps the ONLY day when all the kids we saw could be reasonably and charitably classified as punks?
Come the good weather and especially this summer, this park is going to draw The Wrong Element. Parents don’t know what to do or don’t care. Adults steer clear, as do the cops. The taxpayers got robbed of $150,000 for a disaster waiting to happen.
Bubba at the Colonial? or It Depends on What the Definition of ‘Are’ Is
THE PLANET got a tip from a usually reliable source, telling us that former President Bill Clinton and actor John Travolta “are coming, together, to the Colonial for a show in the near future. Don’t know exactly when, but I think it’ll be soon.”
We inquired officially with our good friends at the Colonial Theatre. Rebecca Brighenti, director of marketing and public relations, got back to us: “I have absolutely no confirmation that either of these people will be coming to the Colonial, but they are certainly more than welcome!”
THE PLANET hopes this addresses the persistent buzz about Bill and John. And no, we will not ask Becky what the definition of “are” is.
Next Time You’re Pulled Over for Drunk Driving, and They Demand a Sobriety Test, as for the ‘Captain McCarthy Treatment’
We all hear there’s two sets of rules: one for Them and the other for us. Check out this story from yesterday’s Boston Herald:
A state police captain tendered a plea in Lynn District Court this morning for failing to stop for police and failing to drive in the right lane in connection with a November chase.
The plea by suspended Capt. Thomas McCarthy was not accepted by Lynn District Court Judge Albert Conlon, who cited a pending application for a criminal complaint against McCarthy for operating under the influence. McCarthy has been cited for operating under the influence of alcohol, said Essex Assistant District Attorney Susan Dolhun
On Nov. 19 at about 10:30 p.m., an armed, off-duty McCarthy led local cops on a chase down Route 1 south in his Crown Victoria — with empty and unopened beer bottles in the cruiser — veering over the center yellow line “numerous times” before resisting arrest near Square One Mall, a Saugus police report said. McCarthy appeared indignant when patrolman James Scott asked him to turn off his engine after smelling alcohol on him, according to the police report.
State police have said Saugus police did not conduct a sobriety test.
McCarthy, 47, of Stoneham, who earned $213,474 last year, has been suspended indefinitely without pay from his post as shift commander for Troop C in central Massachusetts. He failed to show up for his arraignment on Nov. 22, when he was in a “facility” in Florida, the judge was told last month.
A pre-trial and disposition hearing is scheduled for Jan 19.
A coupla-three things:
(1) McCarthy has a pending criminal complaint against him on a charge of drunk driving.
(2) He was allegedly swerving his Crown Vic, adorned inside the cab with empties and full beer bottles.
(3) He smelled of alcohol, according to a police report. When partolman James Scott asked him to run off his engine, McCarthy “appeared indignant.”
(4) Here’s our favorite: The police did not conduct a field sobriety test. Think that would have happened for Mary Jane of Joe Kapanski?
(5) He failed to show for an arraignment on Nov. 22.
What are the odds you would be stopped under similar circumstances and allowed to leave without a sobriety test (4)? Also, substitute this scenario with local law enforcement officials. What are the odds that a city or state police captain being stopped here by a patrolman or patrolwoman would be charged, versus allowing to disappear, right quick, no-harm, no foul — and no police report?
Just asking, as Joe Pinhead might put it.
Fan Mail from Some Flounder? No, e-mail from Someone who’s ‘Been There’
THE PLANET received this e-mail, which we thought would be of interest to this audience. It comes from an entrepreneur who has had experiences dealing with the “business friendly” officials from the city of Pittsfield.
It is interesting that a downtown businessman once told me that the [REDACTED] was a big mistake for downtown when I first proposed it. (His business would not benefit from families coming downtown, I believe.) He said it needed to be on the GE property. So I inquired about it from someone in the current administration, and they said that clearly there could be nothing vending food or attracting children built on the property.
Is this a ploy to get the new mayor to fight against it then get elements of the community to say he turned away business?
A mall on GE may be better than the “big nothing zone” for somebody, but it will be the final kiss of death to ever bring anything in the form of commerce to the downtown, totally leaving it for tourists two months every summer and street folks the other 12 months. It seems that none of the other new businesses going out there have much to do with major manufacturing.
Why not just seed the place and bring back Bisacca’s Buffalo and create a prairie. If that doesn’t work, one could flood it an make a swamp.
I just love the politics of Pittsfield.
Best for the New Year,
This e-mail typifies the story of so many, who have talked about trying to do business in and with Pittsfield. It seems that if you’re not a GOB or “connected,” you have little chance.
THERE IS ALWAYS A CHANCE, AND ALWAYS OPTIONS, HERE ON THE PLANET, AND AS WE KEEP OUR EARS TO THE GROUND, OUR EYES OPEN, AND OUR MOUTH YAKKING, WE BID …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.