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.


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..

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.



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

By Matt Stout
Monday, January 16, 2012 – 
EmailE-mail   PrintablePrint   Comments(110) Comments   LargerSmallerText size  Bookmark and Share Share   

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 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.



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.







  1. Dave Bubriski
    January 17, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    Mike, it makes sense that the polo club put the bridge up. As it was being removed several of us neighborhood supervisors gathered at the river bank and speculated as to the history of the bridge and surrounding area. One neighbor said he had heard that the polo club had polo fields on the Eric Drive side of the river.
    Anyone who might have any historical information on the area please email me at

    • ambrose
      January 17, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      FYI – Pittsfield was home to one of the U.S.’s greatest polo players, Zenas Colt. He was a ten goaler who played with and against George Patton. Sadly he was never named to the Eagle’s top fifty Berkshire athletes nor was Jack Chesbro from North Adams who was among the best major league pitchers in the early part of the last century.

      • Dave Bubriski
        January 17, 2012 at 11:56 am #

        Did Colt and Patton ever compete in Pittsfield?

        • ambrose
          January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

          i don’t think patton ever did tho i wasn,t a big polo fan so i don’t know who did and who didn’t. i just used to hang around down there when i was a kid and when you do that stuff things stick in your memory. that was in 1946 and those people were very rich and my parents weren’t. they were really nice to me tho.

          • Dave Bubriski
            January 17, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

            Did they Have a polo field on the East New Lenox side of the river?

  2. Silence Dogood
    January 17, 2012 at 8:49 am #

    I see some cops sitting around a lot. Maybe they should be tested for Preparation H.

  3. joetaxpayer
    January 17, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    In this day of drug abuse across economic lines, I would like to see ALL public employees tested.Addicted employees cost taxpayers money and put people in danger.

    • Tony Truran
      January 17, 2012 at 11:17 am #

      The PLOITICIANS should be tested too, at before every vote they make.

  4. Ray Ovac
    January 17, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    DV, in re Mike Ward’s interesting history of the bridge.
    The Polo Club provenance still does not explain GE’s reputed ownership of a parcel abutting one side of the bridge.
    What use would GE have for such land?
    That GE land and the State Fisheries and Wildlife parcel should still both be tested for industrial chemical waste.

    • Dave Bubriski
      January 17, 2012 at 9:45 am #

      GE bought up the land along the river bank in what’s being called the rest of the river area from the BTN area to at least Eastover. I think this was all done in the last 10 years or so. They already owned the land where they have their High Voltage complex on East New Lenox Rd.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 17, 2012 at 10:18 am #

        DB, has GE’s land at the High Voltage complex on East New Lenox Rd ever been tested for chemical contamination?

        • Dave Bubriski
          January 17, 2012 at 11:38 am #

          I don’t know what if any work was done with PCB’s at the East New Lenox Ave facility. Perhaps Dave Martindale knows???????? Not sure how much work of any kind they do there now.

          The EPA wants to do extensive dredging to the river corridor from the Canoe Meadows area to Woods Pond in Lenox. The Commonwealth was a much less drastic cleanup.

          • Dave Martindale
            January 17, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

            I think the facility on East New Lenox Road was once owned by GE but was sold to the entity that owns it now. I am not sure of the mission there now. I understand that once upon a time, the purpose was to develop electrical transmission technology.

            As for contamination at that site, I have no knowledge of any spills or transformer ruptures. I would speculate that a spill is not out of the question but I would assume that contamination from that facility would be of minimum impact to the river.

      • Dave Martindale
        January 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

        If I am not mistaken, the State of Massachusetts is one of the larger land holders along the banks of the river.

    • Tony Truran
      January 17, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      GE buys up parcels, so they don’t have to fight any owners with cleanup, of their foul spoor.

      E.g. the Devos farm in Lenox.

      They had to shutdown due to PCBs in dairy milk.

      • Dave Martindale
        January 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

        It is common practice for GE to purchase contaminated parcels. By owning the parcels and putting up signs keeping people out is an easy way to limit liability.
        Costs a lot less to purchase the property than to clean it up.

  5. Bull Durham
    January 17, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    With all due respect to Congressman West, I disagree with his notion that if you haven’t “been there” you should not have an opinion. All that’s missing is the “You can’t handle the truth” speech by Colonel Jessup.

    Saying “they did worse things to us” does not excuse bad behavior by our military personnel. We’re talking about the minority here, as well, as most serve and sacrifice without these kind of incidents, and every day I thank them for their service. “They” have done horrible things, and we all know that.

    To imply that “we” and the media were not outraged by the horrific acts of the Islamic extremists is also offensive. I certainly have been, and I’m sure Daniel Pearl’s friends and colleagues can attest to their outrage over his senseless death.

    In short, our servicemen and women are better than the militants – they don’t need to act out in the way these few Marines did in order to make that point. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    I agree with the Congressman in one area – let’s not overreact. The punishment should fit the crime, and in this case it was a minor crime and should be handled that way by the military. But… we the people, all of us little guys, have a right to speak our minds on issues like this and all things related to our government. The military reports to an authority called the Department of Defense, which is headed by a civilian, and reports to a civilian commander in chief. When our founding fathers established that chain of command, they knew what they were doing.

  6. joetaxpayer
    January 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    The men and women of the millitary are trained to kill and are sent to hell.What do expect that to do to there minds.I would actually have to walk in there boots before I declare myself a saint.As my grandfather use to say “better to be pissed off than pissed on”.

  7. Joe Blow
    January 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I still don’t understand how officer Kirchner is still carrying a firearm. Conviction under any law regulating the use, possession or sale of controlled substances as defined in Section 1 of Chapter 94C. He is disqualified from carrying a weapon under the law!!!

  8. Joe Blow
    January 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I guess he wasn’t convicted??

  9. Molly
    January 17, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Melissa’s note was a bit confusing as that would add up to 22 people and the total is 21 – so perhaps it was Kathy Amuso that the school committee voted on, leaving 8 additional for the Superintendent to appoint. SBNC members are as follows (as well as term end date for those appointed by Ruberto – web site says for the Superintendent appointments that “All serve as long as qualified”):

    Mayor Appointments (12): John Krol, City Councilor Jan, 2013, Colleen Hunter-Mullet Cert. Public Purchaser Sept 2014, Patrick Mele Business Mgr Local 473 May 2013, Carmen Massimiano, Jr. former sherriff Sept. 2013, Paul Raverta President BCC May 2012, Barry Clairmont CPA (now also Councilor) May 2012, Peter Marchetti City Council Jan 2012, Warren Dews VP Circulation Berk. Eagle Sept 2012, Tricia Farley-Bouvier Jan 2012, John Barber Controller Petricca Jan 2012, Floriana Fitzgerald Comm. Dev. Board Jan 2012, Greg Yon Director of Maintenance as qualified.

    Superintendent Appointments (9): Kathleen Amuso School Committee, Jake Eberwein Superintendent, John Vosburg Principal Taconic High, Frank LaRagione Parent, Guy Pannesco Parent, Jessica Moon student, Ariana Cardillo student, Vacant (Keith Babuszczak) professional staff, Vacant (Lisa Buchinski) professional staff.

    Note that for Mayor Appointments, 7 of them have a term end date this year with 4 of those 7 ending this month; Superintendent Appointments have 2 vacancies, 1 change with the School Committee and did those 2 students graduate, needing to be replaced? So a possible total of 12 changes to the SBNC this year. I know (hope) that Mayor Bianchi will give lots of thought to these appointments.

  10. Molly
    January 17, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    There is a VERY interesting presentation created by the SBNC and given by Dr. Eberwein to the City Council – date on presentation is 10/11/11. Prior to the presentation, some of Dr. Eberwein’s comments were as follows:
    “The MSBA replaced the former school building assistance program previously administered by the Department of Education. This program had accumulated substantial debt, which had stalled school construction across the state. The MSBA was provided a guaranteed revenue stream of one penny of the state sales tax. This enabled the MSBA to pay off $11 billion in debt and invest over $2.5 billion in new projects. To date the MSBA has distributed $8 billion”. So when our state sales tax went up 1.25%, we now know that it was to pay off this debt and to build us a new Taconic High School, with an additional large chunk of money added to our property taxes for 20 years!

    I encourage EVERYONE to take a look at the presentation located at: At minimum, look at the 3 different cost models (used as examples) that show costs of 3 different scenario’s (remodel THS, remodel & expand THS, build a new THS) with cost projections to each taxpayer based upon the value of their property and going out TWENTY YEARS (term of city’s loan for this) – on pages 16 thru 18.

  11. joetaxpayer
    January 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Meridth Nilan gets off it was just a accident?Would not even name the clerk who heard the evidence

    • joetaxpayer
      January 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      They did name the clerk magisrate,he was from westfield.That is such a long way from Pittsfield theres know way Cliff would have meet him before.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

        All this means is that ‘No-Show’ Speranzo didn’t want to take the political heat on this, Cliff Nilan called in some favors, and the GOB’s or Cliff’s friends in the Mass.Probation Dept. found him a hack in the Westfield District court willing to sign off on what can only be described as ‘Cliff Nilan’s Latest Fix’. Welcome to the Massachusetts system of GOB justice which protects Democrat insiders — at all costs.

        • Ray Ovac
          January 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

          Incidentally, the last ‘Cliff Nilan Fix’ of which we are aware involved helping Angelo Stracuzzi to cover-up out-of-state criminal convictions involving paying under-aged boys for sex.

        • Molly
          January 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

          Extremely disturbing to say the least!

    • Joe Blow
      January 17, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

      Nothing has been filed as of this [Tuesday] afternoon to my knowledge,” said Shugrue. “This should be the end of it.”

  12. Concern
    January 17, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Bill Durham. The only thing these servicemen did wrong was take a picture and let the world see this.

  13. Molly
    January 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Dan: Regarding your great comments today, I fully agree that there should be a complete audit of the PPD – financial and otherwise and the “evidence room” needs to be locked down. In addition, there were tons of rumors going around during “steroidsgate” that implicated other Officers and numerous Jail Guards. The budget for the Berkshire County House of Correction is much more per prisoner than our school budget is per student! According to their website, their annual budget is more than $14 million (how much more?),staff of more than 200 (how much more?) and an avg. daily inmate population of 300. And do we REALLY need a Sherriff, a Superintendent, AND a Deputy Superintendent? BOTH the schools and the jail budgets really need to be looked at closely (yes, I know that it’s a Berkshire County wide jail…). Add to these the house being refurbished at a cost of $300,000+ and selling for a tad over $100,000, our giving away millions of dollars to Barrington Stage and The Colonial, our owning 99 North Street, on and on and on, not to mention the (supposedly) non-financial issues like Cliff Nilan and his daughter – I’d really like to see a complete and thorough audit by an independent auditor of the entire city done! And I agree that we should do random drug testing on every public employee.

    I agree – unless you have been shot at by these Taliban insurgents and watched your buddies brutally murdered, there’s no way that you can know what they have been through. Punish them, internally – yes. But to make it so public and have our Secr. Of State and head of Dept. of Defense come out in public making statements of it being “absolutely horrific”, is putting down our entire country for the actions of a few. I’m sick to death of these politicians putting down the USA to other countries! Especially to the likes of Taliban Insurgents!!! WE ARE AT WAR WITH THEM! Why give them fodder to hate us even more? As I said, punish these soldiers to send the message to other soldiers that it is wrong and why, but to put down the USA publicly is “absolutely horrific” in my mind. I think their statements were worse than what these marines did… You can rest assured that if this was a scandal by one of these politicians, it wouldn’t have been made public!!

    Snow removal/maintenance of roads was terrible, leaving the roads in Pittsfield actually dangerous. Yesterday, I drove on Forthill Ave, Hungerford Street, Lebanon Ave, Barker Road, Tamarac Road, Dan Fox Drive, Holmes Road, Williams Street, Dalton Division Road, Hubbard Ave, Center Street, Wahconah Street, Peck’s Road, Onota Street and West Street – all were horrific. East St and South St were somewhat better. Especially with the temps going up somewhat yesterday and certainly today – get out there and salt these roads to melt that ice! They are truly dangerous. And as I said, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that salt & sand will help make these roads less slippery and help to melt the mess of ice that is there. Another example of “doing the bare minimum” at your job… This snow plowing was sloppy at best and unacceptable.

    Thanks for allowing me to share my opinions and starting out with great topics!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    We take teens and 20 somethings, train them to kill, to protect their own at any cost. Then, we send them into battle and expect them to act civilized?
    Never been in the military, but a few friends of mine are combat vets.
    Anyone who hasn’t had live rounds fired at them, watched their friends die in front of them etc, ought to shut their mouths.
    The current ‘wars’ we are in, we shouldn’t be. That’s no fault of the troops sent there. Support those who have served. Support those that continue to serve.
    Sure it is wrong of them to piss on enemy dead. But really, they just KILLED these enemies, a little perspective is required.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm #


    I agree with you almost always.
    But no punishment is due these men,
    internally or otherwise. I believe seven of their brothers were killed in this action. That is punishment enough.

    • Molly
      January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

      I didn’t realize that seven of their brothers were killed in that action… Good point and yes, that IS punishment enough!

  16. Terry Kinnas
    January 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Just a few answers and comments to some information presented here over the last few days.

    The Sturgeons gave me a $25.00 contribution in 2005, when I ran for state rep. against Speranzo. That is the only contribution I have received from the Sturgeons. Additionally, I have not been invited to be on the show, nor have I spoken to Mr. Sturgeon in about 18+ months, even though he has had an opportunity to do so.

    Confusion about the School Building Needs Commission membership: the school committee gets “at least one member” according to Ch. 71 sec. 68. The updated list dated 12/6/11 handed out at the SBNC meeting included Mrs. Amuso as a mayoral appointment. On 1/12/12, the superintendent told me Mrs. Amuso was misplaced on the list. She was the school committee representative. Other new names on the list from the school department side are Frank Cote: Administrator and Mike Tweed-Kent: Community Member.

    I do have a call into Mrs. Mazzeo for the reference point.

    • ambrose
      January 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      sturgeon thinks you are exactly what you are. so go figure.

  17. Molly
    January 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Regarding Meredith & Cliff Nilan — absolutely HORRIFIC!!! The GOBs get away with almost murder this time! These people are the scum of the earth.

  18. Tito
    January 17, 2012 at 5:32 pm #


    January 17, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    I think any drug testing by an employer is a violation of privacy. Certainly the 4th protects us against such intrusion (at least by the government).
    However, if the private sector is going enforce such rules, well, let the public employees suffer too.
    Also, the ass sitters/system suckers should be subject to mandatory testing. If you don’t enough money to pay your rent, bills etc, you certainly shouldn’t have money for street drugs.

    • Molly
      January 17, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      I totally agree – if the private sector is allowed to do drug testing, then certainly public employees need to be drug tested, too. And YES – anyone receiving public assistance should also be drug tested — actually, we should START with them, and if they test positive, they lose their public assistance.

      • joetaxpayer
        January 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

        Not a bad idea to start with people on public assistance.Then maybe we can stop them from selling there EBT cards for 50cents on the dollar,to buy drugs.

      • Steve Wade
        January 17, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

        So Who pays for the testing at a cost of well over $300 a pop?

        • danvalenti
          January 17, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

          Excellent point. The unions have a stranglehold over timid politicians. If the city wants to put in testing, the union’s going to try to extract every last red cent in pay and wage concessions. Common sense has no chance with collective bargaining run amok, as it is in Palookaville.

          • Molly
            January 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

            Why is everyone so afraid of the unions? It is way past time, especially in this economy, for some union concessions on numerous things. And way past time for our city leaders to stand up to the unions. Let the teachers strike and then have to make up the days during their entire summer off and if needed, all the other days per year that they get off!

            But don’t forget – the School Committee who can’t hold a meeting without it being confrontational, is going to utilize a new method of negotiation that is not confrontational…

      • Gary
        January 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

        There seems to be an emerging double standard going on here. How about we go to every mortgage company and ask that all home owners have their mortgage rescinded when they fail the “mandatory” drug test.

        Drug testing without suspicion of drug use violates the 4th amendment protection against unreasonable searches and there is no evidence that public housing residents are more likely to use drugs more than anyone else.

        Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of public housing tenants, including many that are seniors and those with disabilities, are law abiding citizens.

        • Molly
          January 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

          If I were addicted to drugs, I would likely have my mortgage rescinded as I would spend my mortgage payment on drugs. There is a large percentage of people who receive food stamps and instead of buying food for their children, they trade them to be able to buy drugs. Hence we have a school breakfast and lunch programs all 12 months of the year since for many of these kids, this is their only way to get a meal! That is just blatantly wrong!

          I do, for the most part, agree with the 4th amendment argument; HOWEVER, the Supreme Court has upheld private companies requiring drug testing of their employees. So if I’m making the money that these people receive and I go through drug testing, then so should the recipients of my contribution! If you’re not abusing illegal drugs, then what’s the problem?

          • Gary
            January 18, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

            Molly, in order to make this fair and reasonable, ALL recipients of government monies, from the President, through the Congress, the Supreme Court, all federal, state and local government officials and employees, as well as all contractors should be forced to prove that they are drug-free.

            I wonder how many of our so-called representatives and their cronies on the government dole would pass such a test?

            Let’s see – did the corporate boards and shareholders of banks that received a $700 billion bailout, followed by a $185 billion AIG counterparty kickback deal – did they and their employees have to take a drug test before getting that no-strings-attached money?

            No, they did not. Nor would they agree to it. So why should poor people in need of assistance have to go through such a degrading process?

          • Molly
            January 18, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

            Gary – in theory, I agree that everyone you listed should also have to be drug tested, and especially the politicians! Right now this country is over 5 TRILLION dollars in debt and we have to do something to lower that. In addition, there are SO many people who are severely addicted to drugs and so many very sad ramifications to that – number one being these people’s children who suffer the most. What if we require drug testing to get any public assistance and if they fail, they HAVE to go to an in-house re-hab center (or some other suggestion to help these people and their children). And again – I, and most other working people, who provide this money to them have to go through the degrading process of being drug tested, so I just don’t understand where you are coming from on this? They are NOT being singled out!

  20. Tito
    January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Well,the PLanet did say the Magistrates moniker was no show!

  21. Bill Sturgeon
    January 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Terry, I never told you that you were barred from coming on the show” that was your choice. If you want to come on just give me a call. I don’t know the protocol of your committee – do you have get permission from your new Chairperson? I know in the past I had Mrs. Yon on without her getting any special permission from the then chairperson.
    As they say the “The ball is in your court”.

    • rick
      January 18, 2012 at 5:07 am #

      mr.sturgeon. i would like to see terry accept you invitation. he has always had good ideas and has been a watch dog for the people, kind of like his own man, but since elected it seems as if hes been muzzled, i do think your right about terry having to get permission to go on your show, if he does agree to go on, i wonder if he will tell you what you can talk about , pertaining to the school committee?

  22. Amanda Blake
    January 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    I hope Mr. Kinnas takes up Mr. Sturgeon’s invitation and does the show.
    Snow removal in Pittsfield for this itty bitty storm: terrible.
    Mr. Nilan = Daddy Gets Babs Out of a Jam.

    January 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    @Molly and JTP,

    Several states have pushed for, and a few have enacted laws to test those on the public theft program.
    I doubt that will happen here in liberal loony land.
    If I remember correctly there was legislation introduced to provide for this. Of course it went to trash heap.

    • Gary
      January 17, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      You would like the state of Massachusetts to enact law that singles out certain people because of simply being poor?

      • Molly
        January 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm #

        Singled out? I get drug tested! All of my co-workers get drug tested! We’re the ones that are contributing to their public assistance. How are they being “singled out”?

      • joetaxpayer
        January 18, 2012 at 4:28 am #

        Lets be fair,Police,Firemen,D.P.W. and Teachers.Lets not single out the poor.

        • Steve Wade
          January 18, 2012 at 6:08 am #

          Like I said before. Who pays the fee for the test? Im pretty sure this would increase your taxes. These test aren’t given for free.

          • Molly
            January 18, 2012 at 9:31 am #

            To use a GOB standard answer, in the long-run, we’d be saving money as we wouldn’t be paying for their drugs – if they use, then they no longer receive public assistance. Lots of dollar savings there! AND, the tests don’t cost $300/each unless you’re testing for every possible drug in the world. Testing for coke, crack, heroin and a few others would likely suffice.

    • Molly
      January 17, 2012 at 10:50 pm #

      Yeah – unfortunately you’re right…

  24. acheshirecat
    January 17, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Ok no criminal charges. Does that mean a civil suit is off the table now too?

  25. Unchy
    January 18, 2012 at 4:47 am #

    No witness, no charge.

  26. joetaxpayer
    January 18, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Just wondering how any intellegent person can believe that she actually got out of the car and looked for what she hit.Mr Moore had extensive injuries and am sure he didnt just pop up and run away.I guess thats why they went with a ass.Clerk Magisrate.

  27. Scott
    January 18, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    I could care less about troops pissing on dead insurgents it’s a little unethical but I don’t hold anything against them if you want to be mad at someone be mad at the gov’t and their conspiracy to fuel the industrial military complex and maintain control over other parts of the world because at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. unless you’re there and faced with death watching other men die as well as innocent woman and children you can’t judge just be thank full you never had the balls to join. I personally enjoyed the video leaked by wiki-leaks showing an Apache chopper fire that 30mm cannon on enemy combatants it’s amazing what that thing can do.

    Cops should be drug tested if the general public has to be drug tested an a regular everyday job then why not the police? Especially with all the propaganda on drug use whether it has substance or not that crap changes your brain right? Should one heavily addicted to marijuana be given a badge and a gun and the authority to use it? Shit federal law bans OUI offenders from receiving a pistol permit.

    • rick
      January 18, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      about the troops urinating on dead Taliban, to their defense ,i think they had to pee and the dead guys got in the way…. when you gotta go you gotta go…

    • Molly
      January 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      Scott – by most of your comments, I would assume that what you mean to say is that you “could NOT care less” or you “couldn’t care less”. If you could care less, that takes on a whole different meaning than the rest of your post – in this case, that you DO care about “troops pissing on dead insurgents”. So I guess I’m a tad confused – do you care about that or no? Just sayin’…

    January 18, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    Nilan case what a joke. You don’t think that they bought in a clerk from Westfield who would find no cause, it was a set up. Now lets see if the Police appeal that idiots decision. They have evidence from car, they have her father calling, they have Mr. Moore (if they had him testify) All he had to do is find proable cause, are you kidding me. Another Joke with the demo’s, let the good people keep electing them.

    • GMHeller
      January 18, 2012 at 6:48 am #

      Not to be forgotten in this entire judicial charade and cover-up at the Pittsfield courthouse (since when are show-cause hearings closed to public and media in the case of non-juveniles?) is the active role played by The Berkshire Eagle, which delayed FOR FIVE DAYS reporting that the show-cause hearing involving the daughter of Berkshire Superior Court’s Probation Chief had ever taken place.
      The hearing on Meredith Nilan’s police citation for ‘hit-and-run’ of jogger Peter Moore took place Thursday morning, January 12th (after a citation had been issued by Pittsfield Police Tuesday, January 10th — was that citation sent first-class mail or hand delivered?) and The Eagle only finally got around to reporting on the matter late yesterday January 17th at 6:12 PM.

      • Molly
        January 18, 2012 at 9:38 am #

        Because that’s when they were told to print it. They needed time, don’t you know, to have the BB write a draft article, then get it out to all the approvers, make the changes they were told to make, and then printed it when they were told to!

    January 18, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    The verdict of in the case of Ms. Nilan, a wonderful young woman, shows that we can have confidence in our judicial system, despite the rush to judgment shown here.

    • GMHeller
      January 18, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      PB, if Ms. Nilan is the “wonderful young woman” you claim, why did she leave Peter Moore in a pool of his own blood and drive off?
      If something or someone had just gone through your windshield, on a lighted street no less, would not you stop long enough to take a good long and hard look to find out just exactly what it was?
      Deer try to run off (if they are able), humans do not.
      Peter Moore did not.

    • joetaxpayer
      January 18, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      Thank You ,Teddy Kennedy!

  30. GMHeller
    January 18, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    According to the unnamed reporter for The Berkshire Eagle who filed this story (how often does The Eagle file stories with no attributable byline on matters of intense local interest?), “The clerk who heard the case was not familiar with anyone involved, according to Shugrue.”

    This is according to the attorney for defendant Nilan.
    How does defense counsel know just who the clerk from Westfield, who was brought in special to hear this case, is “familiar with”?
    Note, also the article contains no comments whatsoever from the hit-and-run victim, his lawyer, nor from members of the accident victim’s family.
    Plus, where is comment from DA David Capeless’ office on the DA’s opinion of the Clerk-Magistrate’s decision?
    Does the DA believe that a miscarriage of justice just took place?

    • Dave
      January 18, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Any of us common folk would be looking out through iron bars if we were involved in this hot and run.

      I for one have absolutely no confidence in the local judicial system.

    • Molly
      January 18, 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Exactly! It all just further points to what I said above – the BB is TOLD what to write and when to print it. And there’s no way that Capeless wants his name anywhere near this case – hence the “show cause hearing” — didn’t have to get anywhere near him! And it took the decision to pursue criminal charges away from him. And they think that we’re all stupid enough to believe that the Mag. they brought in from Westfield was impartial and didn’t know anyone involved in the case? Hahaha I wonder if Mr. Moore was given a “nice settlement” to keep his mouth shut and to not push this any further? I can hear it now — “You won’t get anything from the insurance company because there will be NO charges brought against Meredith, so this is your only chance to recover some of the monetary loss associated with this – i.e., co-pays and deductibles for hospital stay, ER, doctors, etc., and loss of time at work, so we strongly suggest that you take what you can get with the only stipulation being that you keep your mouth shut!”

      • GMHeller
        January 18, 2012 at 11:51 am #

        Steve Wade,
        What specifically did Molly say that causes you to believe her judgment is impaired in what she wrote?
        With what specifically do you not agree?

  31. Molly
    January 18, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    What if we all start flooding the DA’s office with calls complaining about this and insisting that an appeal be filed immediately? If they actually receive a flood of calls, they can’t ignore it!!! Welllll…… But still worth a try!

    • GMHeller
      January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am #

      Yours is an excellent suggestion!
      In addition to whatever else you might want to say and ask, be sure also to inquire of the DA’s office just why the show-cause hearing was closed to the press and public in a matter dealing with an adult involved in a traffic accident, and when the last time a show cause hearing in a matter involving a non-juvenile was closed to the public?
      Also, ask the DA office when he expects to make a final decision whether or not to appeal the magistrate’s decision.
      Also, ask the DA’s office when is the final date by which the DA’s office must legally file that appeal before the time runs out in which the DA may legally file that appeal?

  32. RomanKnows
    January 18, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    In the late fifties early sixties Bill Ginn was the VP and GM of The Transformer ans Allied Products Division of GE. Until he was indited and found guilty in the price fixing scandals. He was married to Zenas Crane Colt’s sister. There is the connection to the Polo Club area.

  33. Molly
    January 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    DA’s office telephone number isn’t published (Unbelievable, ehe?) So here’s the telephone number: 443-5951. I’m late for a meeting right now, but will be calling soon – I encourage EVERYONE who thinks that this is just not right, to call the DA’s office!

  34. I care
    January 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    January 18, 2012 at 9:50 am#

    Exactly! It all just further points to what I said above – the BB is TOLD what to write and when to print it. And there’s no way that Capeless wants his name anywhere near this case – hence the “show cause hearing” — didn’t have to get anywhere near him! And it took the decision to pursue criminal charges away from him. And they think that we’re all stupid enough to believe that the Mag. they brought in from Westfield was impartial and didn’t know anyone involved in the case? Hahaha I wonder if Mr. Moore was given a “nice settlement” to keep his mouth shut and to not push this any further? I can hear it now — “You won’t get anything from the insurance company because there will be NO charges brought against Meredith, so this is your only chance to recover some of the monetary loss associated with this – i.e., co-pays and deductibles for hospital stay, ER, doctors, etc., and loss of time at work, so we strongly suggest that you take what you can get with the only stipulation being that you keep your mouth shut!”

    No- HE DID NOT and if offered would NOT

    • Molly
      January 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

      Thank you – very glad to hear that Mr. Moore would not. I do very much hope that in the end, justice for Mr. Moore is realized (although there is no amount of punishment for Ms. Nilan, nor anything monetary, that could take away the suffering that I’m sure he’s still going through and will for a very, very long time. My heart goes out to him and his family.