PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, FEB. 29, 2012) — We will only write that dateline once every four years, the same way we elect a president. Welcome to hump day, ladies and gentlemen.

We are following several local stories. We can update you on one of them.

Miracle! Man Fights Monstrous City Hall Permit Process and Lives to Tell About It

THE PLANET can report that at 9:30 a.m. yesterday (Tuesday), Ken Ramsdell, the organizer of Toby II, also known as The Official Toby Moore Dog Walk, went to city hall in Pittsfield, Mass. By 9:38 a.m., he had his permit for Toby II dated and stamped.

“I then had to run throughout the city getting signatures,” Ramsdell tells THE PLANET.

TOBY MOORE: The True Hero of the Nilan-Moore Case. Toby will get his day of honor on April 15 ... or else. (Photo Courtest of Tom and Susan Moore)

“I still need more.” We’re thinking here, “My, it’s just a little dog walk. Can you imagine trying to come to this city and do business? Who would want to run that flailing gauntlet?”

Ramsdell is thinking along the same lines: “I plan on outlining the entire process to show the citizens how unfriendly the process is,” he says. “The processors are all very pleasant and professional, but the process is [needlessly] painful. One needs to travel to all three floors of City Hall as well as three outside locations on Hawthorne Street, Columbus Avenue, and the Police Department. As you can imagine, they have other duties to fulfill besides waiting on me to show up, so i “need to return this afternoon,” etc.

Ramsdell continues: “Of course, after signing, each department wants a copy. The challenging part is that no one is certain how the process works. First I was told I needed to get all the signatures in the order they appear on the application. Then I was told that I should get the signatures that I could, short of the last two, which I would get after the Parks Commission permits the item, should it do that.”

The dauntless Ramsdell, who’s definitely taking one for the team through this ordeal, says he thinks all he needs of the building inspector to sign off, “and I should be good.” Building inspector?! What, is he intending to build a Taj Mahal Canine Coop? A Mutt McMansion? There are some questions we shouldn’t ask.

Ramsdell is hoping that “if all goes well,” the signed permit will be in hand by the end of the week. Sure enough, later on, Ramsdell sent us a text that he received the final signature for his permit at 2 p.m. Tuesday and that he is on the agenda of the Parks Commission’s March 20 meeting in city hall.

Circle the Date, Folks: Game On, Tuesday, March 20, at City Hall, Parks Commission et al Representing the GOBs vs. Ken Ramsdell on Behalf of the Citizens of Pittsfield.

Folks, you will be hearing a lot about this meeting as we get closer to the date. Ramsdell just ran the gauntlet for every decent citizen who is outraged —

— over the behavior of the swells in the wake of the events of Dec. 8, 2011. beginning shortly after 8 p.m. and continuing to just about half past yesterday.

— at the mysterious last-minute worries of, ahem, a “concerned citizen” (unnamed, of course) who must have clout and was able to get practically everyone in city hall on Red Alert because good people wanted to — EGAD! — walk their dogs in Kirvin Park.

— that “They” should require this level of officious outrageousness via the permitting process to “ensure” that potential lawbreakers among an unruly mob of dog lovers are kept under their thumb (meanwhile, apparently, if you know the right people, it’s OK to ax murder three people on the steps of City Hall … somehow, you will be a “good guy or gal” and it won’t be your fault. Try for a dog walk, though, and you’re in for the Third Degree).

Circle the date: Tuesday, March 20, 7 p.m., upstairs at City Hall. Good citizens must pack the place in support of Ken Ramsdell and to make a statement to the Parks Commission, including Commissioner Nilan. 

For once, We The People have the momentum back. It’s time to keep up the pressure.



THE PLANET received the following to the point “no comment” from acting Fire Department chief Robert Czerwinski regarding our reportage of the case involving suspended fire fighter Alan Catalano.

Mr. Valenti,

I’m sorry, but since this is a personnel issue there will no statement made by this department.

Acting Chief Robert Czerwinski

We understand and respect the chief’s position on what he can say officially and for the record. THE PLANET can share that we had our information vetted by a high-ranking fire department official, who said he found it 100% accurate. That source added that in his opinion, Catalano was hired as a fireman not because he was qualified but due to

THE PLANET did hear from sources with this other piece of information related to Catalano:

— Sources say that at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, a car containing Catalano and his girlfriend was pulled over by police in front of the Family Dollar for allegedly running a stop sign at Wahconah and North streets. We don’t know if they were ticketed. The time would seem problematic for someone who is reported to have an addiction problem and in heat with the law.



THE PLANET presents the latest but not the greatest in the Paul Babeu production of, “Look, honey, I Shrunk The Career.”

Sheriff Paul Babeau (Courtesy of Pinal County Sheriff's Department)

We reprint this story that was first published on the This piece ran yesterday. As you can see, it directly involves our neck of the woods:

Disgraced Arizona congressional candidate and GOP sheriff Paul Babeu is facing yet another round of unseemly charges.

The Pinal County sheriff, who stepped down as Arizona’s co-chair for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign amidst allegations he threatened a gay ex-lover with deportation, reportedly served as headmaster for the now-defunct DeSisto School in Stockbridge, Mass. from 1999 to 2001. When Babeu — a retired major in the Army National Guard and an ex-police officer — was in charge, the Massachusetts Office of Child Care Services launched an investigation into repeated claims of physical and sexual abuse from students at the private boarding school, ABC15 is reporting.

More questionable still: Babeu’s older sister Lucy told the news station that she confronted her brother after finding a 17-year-old student from the school, which services troubled teens, living with him. She noted: “I said what is this student from Desisto doing here? He says, ‘Lucy, he’s my boyfriend. I love him.'”

Lucy claims her brother, once considered one of his state’s rising Republican stars, was clearly having a relationship with the student, who has not been identified: “I said, ‘Paul, get a hold of yourself here,'” said Lucy. “You were his teacher! You were his Executive Director! You can’t do this.”

At age 17, the student would have been the legal age of consent in Massachusetts.

Babeu, 43, has denied claims that he threatened former lover Jose Orozco with deportation back to Mexico, but has acknowledged that he is gay. “I’m here to say that all these allegations … are absolutely completely false except for the issues that refer to me as being gay,” he is quoted by the Associated Press is saying. “Because that’s the truth.”

Gaining and Blowing the Public Trust

From the moment he attained public office by his stint on the North Adams city council at age 18, Babeu has held a series of job involving — nay, requiring — the highest levels of public trust. As a councilor and Berkshire County commissioner, he represented many trusting constituents. As a soldier and cop, he was looked upon, again based on nothing but trust in his badge or bars, to protect the vulnerable from the bad guys. As a headmaster at the Desisto School, he had (literally, according to his sister) young boys in the palm of his hand, young people who were troubled and at a vulnerable set of ages that taxes even the most well-adjusted youth.

Babeu has over and over portrayed himself as righteous, but he has been shown to be self-righteous. He has pretended to be for law and order, but it appears that he has been for immorality and chaos. He has masqueraded as a genuine article but looks to be a phony baloney. This is a story that affects everyone in Berkshire County, because not only was he once one of our own, but he held positions of trust that he ran into the ground, just as he seems to be doing now.

The wheels have fallen off the Babeu Express.



We have heard from school committeeman Terry Kinnas on the matter of what THE PLANET thinks is a unnecessarily rushed and therefore premature search process for the next school superintendent. “No public input or even school committee input went into the formulation of the needs and wants for the application,” Kinnas told THE PLANET. “How can one advertise without knowing what the community is looking for? Dan, if you find out from the school committee chairman, let us all know. Why is the community being blocked out? Where is the transparency? I am very disappointed that this type of decision was made.”

We concur.

The mysterious hurry-hurry-hurry to find the new Super doesn’t add up. The job is too critical for this poor formula: (a) Keep people out of loop +  Short response time for candidates = Inside Job. Even the teachers’ contract specifies that a job be posted for 30 days. Here, for the top position of an $89 million department, the city is allowing 21 days, from Feb. 23 to March 14 at 5 p.m.

Kinnas nails the essential point via his spot-on question: “How can one advertise without knowing what the community is looking for?

Chairman Alf Barbalunga responded to our queries about the issue with this statement:

Dan — I did not hear terry on the radio, but here is what I am able to tell you:
I did make the decision to post the superintendent position, and at the end of the day i take full responsibility.  I made this decision based on:
2}My consultations with the superintendent
3} My consultations with MASC executive director
4} My consultations with the school committee attorney
All parties supported this decision to post the position.
I have spoken with Terry and I understand his concerns.  I suspect we will agree to disagree occasionally, and this is one example.  I always encourage him to speak with me personally with concerns, to speak publicly at the meetings, and of course to vote his conscience when not in agreement.  I also encourage him to challenge me, when he feels i am not making a prudent decision
specific answers.
After all consultations, it is my understanding the chair does have this authority.
In contrast to some, I do feel there is a sense of urgency, thus this timeline for optimally a superintendent hire by end of April.  There are a multitude of reasons for this, but here are a couple:
* prospective superintendent has ability to work with Dr. Eberwein for approximately two months to familiarize himself/herself on current operations.
* currently 30 plus superintended searches ongoing, just in massachusetts; 10-15 have already resolved.
My opinion is that in this climate, ‘demand’ vastly outweighs ‘supply’  for this type of professional hire.  This district started the search process late, in contrast to the majority of ‘competing’ districts.
I believe Dr. Eberwein will be employed as a Pittsfield School Department  employee until June 29, possibly longer if needed and mutually agreed upon.
I’m excited about this process and look forward to speaking about it more at the 3/14 public meeting

TERRY KINNAS: 'How come we want to keep the public out?" (Courtesy of

We would repeat this query: “How can the community know what it’s looking for until it has conducted the relevant discussion?” With all due respect to Chairmano Barbalunga, given that he does not possess have some kind of supernatural or metaphysical prescience to be able to unilaterally know what the city of Pittsfield wants and needs for this critical job, one that manages nearly 3/4s of the entire city budget of $130 million, wouldn’t it be wiser to first define the job — the PITTSFIELD job, which will differs from the other 30 seraches he mention — prior to moving ahead?

Here is the job as posted on the city’s website:


February 23, 2012


Application Deadline:  March 14, 2012 by 5:00 PM, EST

Start Date:  July 1, 2012 or as soon as possible

Salary:  Regionally competitive salary and benefits package

Requirements:  The successful candidate will demonstrate the following:  Licensed or eligible for licensure as a Superintendent in Massachusetts; Master’s degree required; commitment to academic excellence; commitment to equity; dynamic, visionary educator; strong fiscal management skills; communications and public relations skills; team builder

DescriptionClick here to download a full description of the district and the job requirements for this position.

ApplicationClick here to download the application for this position.

Application materials are available at

Applications may be completed in Acrobat but must be signed and faxed or mailed to the MASC office at:  MASC Pittsfield Public School District Search, c/o Glenn Koocher, MASC, One McKinley Square, Boston, MA 02109


We repeat a point we made yesterday: Supt. Jake Eberwein pledged to remain on the job until the school year ends. Even if the scuttlebutt is true, that he will bail out early because of a personal situation, there’s no need to rush — why else do Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski pay for an Assistant Supt. @ $109,370; a Math/Science Coordinator @ $102,518; a Special Education Director @ $100,527; a Deputy Superintendent @ $100,425; an Assistant Superintendent @ $96,048 … we’ll stop there. You mean to say that no one on this list could step in for a few months and cover for Jake should he fly to coop earlier than then end of the school year?

Nope — We’re Not Buying It

We’re not buying it, just as we’re not buying the detailed job description’s listing of Pittsfield’s population as 44,700 residents and just as we’re not buying the listing of the school department budget as $54 million. This figure perpetuates the lie by not including cost of maintenance, bus costs, and health and other benefits, which the school department “hides” on the city side of the ledger. Actual total cost of the schools for taxpayers is $89 million.

You would at least think the school committee and others who may be surreptitiously involved in this job hunt would know the correct population of the city and advertise the correct budget figure … or do they care? Would they prefer to play politics with this job search instead of genuinely wanting to find the best person for the job?

Also, check out this piece of fiction that describes the “mission” of the school system: “to serve our community [we accept that] and its children [we accept that] by creating an environment [we accept that] where learning is valued [we somewhat accept that], excellence is expected [We don’t buy that based on results] and improvement is continuous [we don’t buy that, based on performance].


Applicants must fill out the following form:




Name _________________________________________________________ Home Phone ______________________________

Address _________________________________________________________ Office Phone ______________________________

_______________________________________________________________ Cell Phone ________________________________ City State Zip

Email Address _______________________________________________________________________________________________ How did you learn about this position (e.g. Education Week, Internet, Boston Globe)? _________________________________

How may we contact you? s at work s at home s by e-mail s by cell phone Certifications Held

Certification State ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you licensed as a superintendent in Massachusetts? s YES s NO Are you eligible for licensure as a superintendent in Massachusetts? s YES s NO

If not, have you submitted an application for licensure as a superintendent in Massachusetts? s YES s NO Date of application:_______________________________________________________________________________________

Current School District Information:

Are you presently under contract to a school district? _____________________________________________________________ If yes, when does your contract expire? _________________________________________________________________________ Name of District ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Position __________________________________________________________________________________________Academic and Professional Training:

High School(s), Colleges, Universities Attended Location Degree Year ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Professional Experience:

No. Years Dates From/To Position School District ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Relevant Work Experience and Achievements:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Memberships in Professional Organizations:

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Please list below the names and addresses of three persons who have knowledge of your professional competence and character, whom we may contact should you become a finalist.

Name _____________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________ Relationship ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name _____________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________ Relationship ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Name _____________________________________ Address _______________________________________________________ Relationship ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Release of information:

Please check one box: Upon request from the media, I s do s do not give permission to the school committee to release my resumé.

A complete _____ 1. _____ 2. _____ 3.

_____ 4. _____ 5.

_____ 6.

application form includes the following: A completed and signed application form. An up-to-date resume.

A copy of the candidate’s Massachusetts superintendent license, or evidence that the candidate is eligible for licensure as a superintendent in Massachusetts and has submitted his/her application to the Department of Education.

Evidence of highest degree earned (copy of diploma, license and/or certificate). Three recent letters of reference (within the past three years preferred) from persons other than those listed

on the previous page.

The Committee requests a personal statement describing your major educational accomplishments and the specific leadership and management skills you can bring to the superintendency of the Pittsfield Public School District.

All application documents listed above must be received in the MASC office on or before March 16, 2012. Please note: MASC does not maintain an applicant file for use in future searches.

A new application and application materials listed are required for each search.

I understand that, under the requirements of the Massachusetts Open Meeting Law, should I become a finalist, certain facts of my application will become public information and that the school committee may request a copy of my transcripts.

Signature _________________________________________________________ Date __________________________________

Send all information to:

MASC Pittsfield Public School District Search c/o Glenn Koocher MASC One McKinley Square

Boston, Massachusetts 02109

Telephone: (617) 523–8454; (800) 392-6023 FAX: (617) 742 – 4125 E-mail:

For further information please contact Glenn Koocher (see above). Please do not contact school committee members or members of the school administration.


One Size Fits All, or Does It?

The form has a “one size fits all” quality about it and doesn’t reflect whatever special requirements the Pittsfield position will entail. Are there special requirements? THE PLANET doesn’t know. Does Alf Barbalunga know? Does Terry Kinnas or Kathy Amuso? Does Dan Elias? Does any committee member? Does any single person? Should there be dialogue with the school department administration, with fellow board members, and with the public?

We would deem that logical and reasonable.






  1. leekwriter
    February 29, 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Toby the dog is cute. That new picture of you is kind of jarring.

  2. Joe Blow
    February 29, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Nilan was arraigned this a.m.,the info is on the b.b. site.

  3. Dave
    February 29, 2012 at 9:20 am #


    Good practice in business is to promote from within. Nobody knows the system better than one coming up through the ranks.

    One could easily argue in agreement with your question as to whether or not the host of “assistant / deputy ” supers could carry the load while the present super bails. Anyone in a position such as that should be able to pick up any slack and easily assist acclamation of any new hire.

    One could easily argue that if these “back-ups” to the present super cannot carry the load, their position is unnecessary and therefore should be eliminated. If they cannot carry the load, then they also should not be considered to fill the position.

    If the salary figures are accurate for the assistant / deputy supers, one could wonder what Pittsfield is actually getting from these people for the $100K/year EACH.

    From first, uninformed glance, I would venture, what Pittsfield is getting is SCREWED.

  4. Richard
    February 29, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    I think the hole permit process should be review because in a lot of cases it not working.

  5. Still wondering
    February 29, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Hey, has any announcement been made about the identity of the poor soul who committed suicide on the RR tracks last night?

  6. tito
    February 29, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Krol wins the discussion, hands down.

    • Jim Gleason
      February 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      What were you listening to? Melissa kicked his ass, he had his foot in his mouth the whole time, he must have athlete’s tongue.

      • Silence Dogood
        February 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

        Gotta agree with you Jimmy. Krol was dancing around like Fred Astaire.

      • Jim Gleason
        February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

        What’s a shine? I have a shine on my bald head that’s about all the shine I have.

        • Steve wade
          February 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm #


          • danvalenti
            February 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

            When someone decides to pipe up with ignorance, stupidity, or some other flat remark that not only fails to advance the discussion but sends it off track, it encourages others to reply in kind. Keep that up, and the next thing you know is that you have an exchange of idiocy and not an exchange of information. The vast majority of posters to this site “get it.” They contribute, and that of course includes those who disagree with me and with others. We have relied on the maturity of our readers and commentators and the self-restraint that characterizes those who have much to say. We continue to do so. If you want to be a jerk, take you business elsewhere. THE PLANET doesn’t want it and we won’t accept it. Be adults, all. Love and let love. End of lecture.

        • Scott
          February 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

          you ain’t kidding!

      • Molly aka Nancy
        February 29, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

        I wasn’t home today to tune-in (even though I don’t like Sturgeon’s show, I did want to hear this debate). I’ve looked on the net and can’t find anything — anyone know if there’s some way to listen to the recording of today’s show? I’d like to hear Melissa kick his ass!!! LOL 🙂

        • Dawn
          March 1, 2012 at 6:49 am #

          Melissa played nice on the air but watch out for Tony! Just sayin!

  7. taxmano
    February 29, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    A lot of people think Malkas is more able than Jake. Just didn’t have the GOB network like he did.

    • too tall
      February 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      I have little respect for Malkas who is a snob.

      • taxmano
        March 1, 2012 at 9:06 am #

        And Jake is down to earth?!?

  8. Ron Kitterman
    February 29, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    What the hell is a commitment to equity qualification for the Superintendent of Schools ? Does this mean all students will get C’s we have to be fair….

    • echo
      February 29, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      we have to stop calling “students” children…correct wording ron!

      • Molly aka Nancy
        February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm #


        • danvalenti
          February 29, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

          This bizarre exchange resulted from one of Steve Wade’s derisive comments directed at another poster. We will not have it. We have warned Mr. Wade to desist. We add this because people will be wondering at your question marks.

          • Molly aka Nancy
            February 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

            Thanks – wasn’t sure if it was just me who couldn’t follow the conversation or not!! LOL

  9. spectator
    February 29, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Anyone know anything about the outcome(if completed yet) of Ms. Nilan’s big day today?

  10. Molly aka Nancy
    February 29, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Not guilty pleas entered by driver’s attorney in alleged hit-and-run

    PITTSFIELD — Meredith Nilan waived her right to appear in person for her arraignment Wednesday morning in Central Berkshire District Court, but a not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.

    Nilan’s attorney, Timothy Shugrue, entered the plea before Judge Michael Mulcahy. The judge scheduled a pre-trial conference for March 21.

    Shugrue said he plans to file a request to dismiss the case.

    The case won’t be prosecuted by the Berkshire District Attorney’s office because of its close working relationship with Clifford Nilan in his capacity as chief of probation. Instead, the case will be handled by Worcester-based Assistant District Attorney Joseph A. Quinlan.

    • Joe Blow
      February 29, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

      Does Quinlan have ties to Pittsfield? His name sounds very familiar..

      • Molly aka Nancy
        February 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

        No, but here’s a good article about him…

        • danvalenti
          February 29, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

          Now THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is what we mean by advancing the discussion. Molly aka Nancy has posted a link to an informative article on Prosecutor Quinlan. Please take the time to read it. He seems like he’s the right man for the job.

          • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
            March 1, 2012 at 7:03 am #

            Too bad DA Capless doesn’t follow up phone calls like ADA Quinlan

  11. Still wondering
    February 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    She didn’t appear and had her lawyer enter a plea of “not guilty”.

  12. Beacon Hill Mob
    February 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Do the dog walk on Winsap ave.

    Bring plenty of signs, then it’s 2nd amend. rights issue.

    • danvalenti
      February 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      That’s a great idea, BHM. Wouldn’t that be something if, utterly by coincidence, mind you, several city folks decided to walk their pups up and down Winesap Avenue. They wouldn’t need a permit, and they’d be doing a lot of good.

  13. Scott
    February 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    I’m glad you mentioned the sexual abuse allegations from DeSisto school I knew about this but didn’t say anything last time you reported on this guy because I had no idea he was in charge when it happened. Child sexual abuse is too often pushed aside or minimized but the damage that it causes children well into their adult lives is not. Even Sigmund Freud uncovered the prevalence of child sexual abuse and it’s relationship to neurosis and neurotic behavior but even he was shut up and forced to change his opinion.

    • Silence Dogood
      February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      redarding Freud…..even a broken watch is right twice a day.

      • Scott
        February 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

        He was ahead of his time.

        • danvalenti
          February 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

          “Copernicus lost us in space, Darwin lost us in time, and Freud lost us within ourselves.”

          • Scott
            March 1, 2012 at 4:46 am #

            Not saying he was right about everything he wrote but it’s not like the foundation of modern psychology is based on his work or anything.

          • Scott
            March 1, 2012 at 4:51 am #

            Also on Copernicus it’s obvious the universe doesn’t revolve around the sun right? it revolves around a select few here on earth and Darwin’s theory of evolution is only frowned upon because religious organizations say God does all the work but it is proven that species will change and adapt to it’s environment. Does that mean we came from apes? No I don’t buy it but it doesn’t debunk his theory and discoveries all together.

  14. Four in one
    February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Babaeu information from Desisto still sours my stomach. Gone but not forgotten and now his own sister seems to be confirming all the dredge. Excellent coverage on all these issues, DV.

    • Scott
      February 29, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      I was never able to see actual documents on what went on do you have any?

    • danvalenti
      February 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Thanks, FOUR.

  15. danvalenti
    February 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm #
  16. Molly aka Nancy
    February 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Frankly, I’m having a difficult time actually believing the absolute gall of Barbalunga to make this decision on his own — not only with no input from the Pittsfield taxpayers, but not even input/ discussion/vote from the SCHOOL COMMITTEE itself!!! Who in the hell does he think he is? This is NOT a one man show! The School Committee hasn’t even decided what it is that they are looking for in a new Superintendent! And he unilaterally decides to post this job with a 2 week deadline? What the hell??? If he, as the supposed “leader” of this School Committee has absolutely no faith that this Committee can do this correctly as a TEAM, why should we citizens think so? The only answer to that is that we’re smart enough to see that it is HE who is not a “team player” and is in no way at all, not in the least, a Leader!!!

    The School Committee vote that he is referring to was a vote to use the MASC for the search to fill this position. This, I believe, was a meeting after Alf shoved a Job Hunter firm down their throats at a huge expense, the meeting before, that got voted in. So first the Job Hunter firm, then the MASC, and then he just posts it himself with a 2 week deadline! Unnnnbelievable!! He should be impeached – he just continues to show lack of leadership ability as he has from the very first meeting!

    • dusty
      March 1, 2012 at 1:53 am #

      Giving short notice is GOB methodology. Usually bad things follow and need to be cleaned up after the damage has been done. This is a huge red flag and let’s hope somehow the people can circumvent this dictator like move. It has to be all about control of the money. Everything the GOB does involves control of the money.

      • Anytime
        March 1, 2012 at 7:17 am #

        dusty my thoghts exactly. Barbalunga comes from good GOB stock played ball kept his mouth shut about what he knew was going on in the probation department, and instead of getting canned got a promotion to southern district court. short notice is a thumbprint of the GOb. i smalle a fish rotting from the head here, hope that mayor bianchi who is a member of the school board, conant, kinnas, etc. can head this off . next mtg ought to be a doozy.

  17. Swen
    February 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    I do not understand why everyone is all of a sudden in a hurry to get a new Supt of Schools. Do we not have an Asst. Supt that should easily be able to step in until the school com.finds the one they wish to hire for the position? How many times did Asst. Supt John Kreiger take over as acting Supt,before one school committee got smart and hired him as the Supt. of Schools for the City of Pittsfield? No Superintendent coming in from outside of our school system wants to shown around by our present Supt. Everyone has their own style of running a school system. They are well educated for the job.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Dan: I knew ADA Quinlin several years ago. There will be no nonsense with this guy. He will do his job fairly under the law. He will treat this case like he would all others. No easier or harder because of MS Nilan father.

  19. Ray Ovac
    February 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    So is Shugrue doing all this work for the Nilans gratis?

    • Anytime
      March 1, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      If he is hes a fool and he ain’t no fool.

    February 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Fire Chief Czerwinski I don’t agree with you this is a personnel matter in regard to Fireman Catalano. He is an employee of the City of Pittsfield who is paid by the citizens of Pittsfield.

    The information I have heard is he had been arrested for a serious felony. I’m not saying he is guilty, because he will have his day in court. However instead of no statement I believe you should tell the public that a employee under you was arrested, charges. Is he on suspension, with or without pay. Don’t try to cover this up. Just tell the facts, they arel public record I believe. Chief remember the public is not stupid and in this day you must just keep them informed, thats all.

    • Anytime
      March 1, 2012 at 7:19 am #

      chief czer is jody phillips boyfriend and she learned under doyle and da boyz.

  21. Joetaxpayer
    March 1, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    ADA Quinlin was awarded prosecutor of the year 2008 .Was also attacked by a rogue state police detective in 1989.The detective was trying to steal $100,000 from the evidence room when Quinlin caught him.Bottom line is he is not going to give into (GOB) the powers to be.

  22. Deb
    March 1, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    I was waiting for someone to bring this up about Alf. Reading the Boston Globe the probe is still on going at the probation dept…and more heads will roll…maybe he’s pushing so hard with the hiring,because he knows his time is limited just my thoughts…

    • danvalenti
      March 1, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      Not long ago, THE PLANET carried a report on the pending findings of the investigation into the state Probation Department. There may be local fallout coming due. There have been a number of troubling questions raised about activities in the local probation department, which in the county seat is headed by Clifford Nilan. For many, that’s “nuff ced.” We’re one of them.

  23. rick
    March 1, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    i think we are finding out with all goverment that it needs an overhaul, these permits should be fast and easy to get….if bianchi dosent do something about the beauracracy that slows down a sleepy town like pittsfield we will be no better than if roberto stayed in office……. but if the” pittsfield shuffle “was being applied here then shame on city hall….. it does not take all day to get a permit for any affair, let alone a dog walk permit at a dog walk park.