INFO ON ‘BRIDGE TO NOWHERE’ AND MAKE-UP OF SBNC … ATTLEBORO POLICE DEPT. INTERNAL DRUG THEFT RECALLS STEROIDSGATE … PLUS … UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN SHOT AT BY THE ENEMY, SHUT UP ABOUT THE ‘GOLDEN SHOWERS’ OF THE U.S. MARINES
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2012) — We lead off today with two nuggets of information from a couple of THE PLANET‘s good friends, Mike Ward and Melissa Mazzeo.
MORE ABOUT ‘THE BRIDGE FROM NOWHERE,’ SCHOOL BUILDING NEEDS COMMISSION
FROM MIKE WARD — Dan, on the BTN subject, I heard that the bridge was built by the polo club that used to own that whole area. Might have just been for access to the club back in the day. I’m sure Donna Walto would know more. And the bridge was taken out by Hurricane Irene. The sad part is that this bridge was a nice amenity for the neighborhood allowing you to hike a circuit through Canoe Meadows, Noble Farm, over the bridge, and back to Holmes Road via the sewer line easement (which is actually a nice grassy path).
It will be hard to get it replaced.
And this from Mazzeo, on the School Building Needs Commission:
Hi Dan…The mayor appoints 11 members of the SBNC, all with term limits, the School committee gets to send one member that they themselves vote on, and the Superintendent gets nine appointments, mainly school personal, principles, members of school councils, etc. Hope this helps..Melissa
It does. In a so-called democracy (please, we know it’s a “republican” form), no piece of factual information is too insignificant. We thank Ward and Mazzeo for these items of interest.
STEROIDSGATE ECHOED IN ATTLEBORO EXPERIENCE
THE PLANET presents this story, from the Boston Herald, regarding police and drug use. Here are the first few paragraphs of a story that ran yesterday:
Chief: Drug testing key to stopping rogue cops
Monday, January 16, 2012 -
The police chief hunting for the “rogue cop” who swiped drugs from Attleboro Police Department’s evidence room said random drug testing could have prevented the theft — and he’s calling on Beacon Hill to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“The unions are going to step up and pressure them not to make any changes, but this is proof why we need it,” Attleboro Police Chief Kyle Heagney said of random drug testing, which under state law must be collectively bargained into police union contracts — meaning that many cops across the state operate free from fear of drug tests.
“I think we owe it to our citizens that police officers are drug tested,” Heagney said. “I’m appalled that we can’t without bargaining, which makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.”
———- PLANET picks up here ———-
Stout goes on to say that Heagny ordered an audit of the department in August, after he took command. Chief Heagny would not say what security procedures goverened the evidence room when he became chief, but he did reveal that presently, only one officer has the key to the evidence locker, and anyone entering the room has to swipe an electronic ID card. He also plans to install video surveillance of the room. The implication is that there were multiple keys before, no electronic swipes, and no surveillance.
The chief also revealed that when he tried to investigate the drug theft, he ran into “a code of silence,” the “Blue wall” that derails just about every internal probe. The “silence” leads to lack of evidence. Add to that union resistance, and it’s neigh impossible to ferret out miscarriages of justice committed by police.
Readers of THE PLANET will recall Steroidsgate (Go to PLANET Archives, early to mid April for our coverage). In March, federal investigators reportedly contacted acting Pittsfield police chief Mike Wynn about a probe they were conducting into the use of drugs within the Pittsfield Police Department. The probe was part of a multi-jurisdictional investigation.
Wynn ordered Capt. David Granger to begin an internal investigation. Five days later, Granger’s report issued a finding plainclothes PPD investigator, David Kirchner, who was then also a member of the Berkshire County Drug Task Force, guilty of criminal conduct regarding steroids. Granger also said Kirchner acted in a manner unbecoming a member of the PPD.
Then, by magic, everything disappeared. Sources stopped sources. Dimers stopped dropping dimes. Everyobdy got D&D. There’s been no update that we’ve seen of the various investigations. As with most of the local scandals, the Great Cone of Silence descended, and nobody was saying nuttin’.
The Attleboro situation brings to the forefront these questions pursuant to Pittsfield:
* Has Chief Wynn conducted an audit of the department — financial, evidential, and otherwise, top to bottom, stem to stern? If not, why not? If not, will Mayor Bianchi order such a probe?
* What procedures govern the evidence locker in the Pittsfield Police Department? Do multiple officers have access? Is there electronic surveillance of the room? What are the sign-in and sign-out procedures? We call on Wynn to make these policies public.
* What ever happened to the various investigations into the force around the time of Steroidsgate?
* To what extent has the “Blue wall curtain of silence” covered-up various miscreant behaviors of the PPD?
TO THE OVER-EMOTIONAL WHO GOT ON MARINES FOR URINATING ON CORPSES: ‘SHUT YOUR MOUTH’
To everyone who wants to dump on the U.S. Marines for the behavior of four Leathernecks in urinating on corpses of enemy combatants, THE PLANET says save it. War is senseless, useless, and insane, with no winners except military contractors, their suppliers, and politicians.
However, once we make the stupid decision to send young men and women into combat, the rules go away. When you’re on the receiving end of enemy fire, and constantly exposed to the possibility that due to a roadside bomb or intended bullet your next breath is your last, you play to win. In war, you win by killing. Blood makes the grass grow, ladies, and as Gen. Patton said, “No man every won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other son of a bitch die for his.”
We share this qualified view from someone who has “been there”:
“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self rightous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.
“All of these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?
“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Batallion, each personally apologizing to God, country, and Corps. Have them conclude by singing the full U.S. Marine Corps hymn, without a teleprompter.
“As for everyone else, un
less you’ve been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth. War is hell.”
We thank Congressman Allen West (R-Fla.) and former Army lietenant colonel, for his service and his views. These remarks were first published in The Weekly Standard.
COMPLIMENTS OR COMPLAINTS ON SNOW REMOVAL? THE PLANET OFFERS A FORUM
How did the city of Pittsfield do with the seven or so inches of snow that fell on Friday? Were you happy with the remomoval? Did the DPW and the city respond in a timely way? Were roads plowed and cleaned in an efficient manner?
THE PLANET and MRS. PLANET toured Pittsfield Sunday, and we can say that even two days later, Holmes Road and Williams Street were in rough shape. A two-inch, cement-hard layer of mottled, frozen ice made for a bumpy, slippery ride. East Street appeared in good shape.
If you want to pipe up about complaints or register compliments, you can do so here. All the “Right” people in city government read this site, and they will get the message.
OUR EPOCH, THE EPOCH OF THE BOUGEOISIE, POSSESSES MANY DISTINCTIVE FEATURES, AND AMONG THEM IS …
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.