FOR SALE: LONGER BLANKETS … KINNAS ACTS TO HALT PREMATURE SCHOOL SUPT. SEARCH … HOW DIFFICULT CAN IT BE FOR NO SHOW TO SUPPLY A SIMPLE 8-TRACK TO THE POLICE? … PEDA BOARD MEMBER ADMITS HIS CREW IS USELESS AND TOOTHLESS …
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
FOR SALE: LONGER BLANKETS
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2012) — Having sprung forward into Daylight Savings Time, we still laugh at the concept. By changing the way our human instruments measure the cosmos, we pretend the world has adjusted to us rather than the opposite (“The hubris, to be humankind not elf; yet each does hate his neighbor as he does himself”).
We find Daylight Savings Time an absurdity and have since forever. This tempts THE PLANET to launch into a long segment on our theory of “time,” but we will spare you the lecture. Rather, we will tell the story of the Old Indian, who, when told the reason for DST, said ”Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”
We invent clocks, parcel up the day, and make agendas that have led us … where? The second decade of the 21st century? My, what progress!
KINNAS SUBMITS PETITION WOULD HALT SCHOOL SUPT. SEARCH
School committeeman Terry Kinnas has filed a petition that would, if approved, halt the school board’s mad-dash search for a new superintendent. Kinnas wants the position “better defined” before it is re-advertised. He also calls for public input sessions and a determination of what the position will pay before it is advertised again.
Kinnas’ petition is on the agenda of the school committee meeting slated for Wednesday, March 14, in the PHS library. THE PLANET urges members of the public to attend this important meeting. The petition should draw some interesting discussion that could reveal much about the political loyalties of the seven board members. Key vote to watch will be Kathy Amuso: Does she vote against the petition, as the GOB wants her to do, or does she support the petition as a political slap in the chairman’s kisser?
Here is the full text of what Kinnas has filed:
To the School Committee of the City of Pittsfield:
The undersigned respectfully requests that the present superintendent position search be halted and that all applicants for the Superintendent of School position have their applications and the accompanying materials returned to them with the understanding that the individuals may reapply when the position is better defined and re-advertised.
As a result of the unilateral action of the School Committee Chair, all public input has been blocked out. The general public, taxpayers, parents, students, educators, businesses and members of this committee were not given the opportunity to provide any input. This must be done at least to give some direction to the applicants as to what the community expects. Public input sessions will help develop valid preferences for the position.
Before we advertise, we should at least figure out what the position will cost the taxpayers.
Terry M. Kinnas
School Committee Member
March 7, 2012
A Question for Alf: What Statute or Provision Gives School Board Chairman Authority to Act Unilaterally in Advertising for New Superintendent?
Kinnas’ petition is a much-needed first step in correcting the misstep taken by chairman Alf Barbalunga in unilaterally authorizing advertisement for the superintendent’s job. Barbalunga claims the chair has the power to do this, but he has not cited verse and chapter for the claim. We call upon the chairman to share the statute that spells this out.
The school department accounts for 70 cents of every dollar the city of Pittsfield spends on its entire budget. The hiring of a new superintendent allows a relatively rare opportunity to have a discussion about to the job. What, exactly, are the general and specific (to the local community) skills this new person must have? Now is the time for that discussion.
THE PLANET urges the school committee to support the Kinnas petition. We also again invite citizens to attend in support of or in opposition to the Kinnas petition. The hiring of a new superintendent is too important for one man, or even seven people, to have in isolation. Ordinary citizens should jump on this chance to have a say.
ANYWHERE BUT IN PITTSFIELD, WE GUESS
It would seem, on the surface, to be a simple request. The police in Anytown, USA, charge a driver with two criminal charges related to an alleged hit-and-run. A magistrate conducts a show-cause hearing. The magistrate dismisses the police charges, but the Anytown Police Department appeals. The appellate judge overturns the magistrate’s ruling and sends the case to trial.
Prior to that, however, the APD requests a copy of the audio tape made of the magistrate’s hearing. Why? The police have a vital need for the tape, since — up and prior to the appellate judge’s ruling — the police were the prosecutors in the case. A neutral observer — FRONAB, a superior being from a planet in Galaxy X-417N — would describe the APD request of the clerk magistrate “simple, reasonable, and straightforward.” [ASIDE: Having seen just about every cheese-ball Sci-Fi movie ever made, we know that FRONAB learned how to speak English by "monitoring your primitive earth radio broadcasts" (couldn't resist that one, folks)].
It suddenly dawns on FRONAB: We are in Pittsfield, Mass.
In a wisdom endowed by his enlarged brain of the future, FRONAB also observes that the courthouse and the APD are physically located within a couple minutes’ walk. It would be so easy to make an attested and notarized copy of the tape and walk it over the the police, especially if the clerk magistrate is in any kind of shape to walk 200 yards without sucking wind. But …
… that is when FRONAB realizes this isn’t Anytown. This is Pittsfield, Mass.
* This is Pittsfield, Mass., a once-proud place where members of the GOB revere systemic corruption the way a miser respects gold.
* This is Pittsfield, Mass., where, according to sources within the criminal justice system and the Pittsfield Police Department, clerk magistrate Christopher “No Show” Speranzo has “sontewalled” their request for a copy of the audio tape of ringer Nathan Byrnes‘ hearing in the Nilan-Moore Case.
* This is Pittsfield, Mass., where in this case, the head of probation is Clifford Nilan, best bud of Angelo “Tell ‘em Angelo Sent You” Stracuzzi. Nuff ced.
* This is Pittsfield, Mass., where fraudulence mocks honesty, where double-dealers cheat the law-abiding, and where sleaze tries to slime decency.
* This is Pittsfield, where the GOB has of late receded into panic because they no longer control the flow of information, which is the only reason why, ladies and gentlemen, who got to know about ANY of the vomit-inducing action and inaction performed by key individuals since the evening of Dec. 8, 2011, shortly after 8:15 p.m.
Incidentally, THE PLANET is not clear whether the records of the county courts are covered by the Freedom of Information Act for cases in the process of adjudication. If anyone has definitive information, we would welcome this. The FOI act is a federal statute. We are not sure how it applies to state and local jurisdictions. Also, are active court documents exempted? We do believe, though, that an agency of record in a case — such as the Pittsfield Police Department is in Nilan-Moore — has a right to the information and that if the clerk magistrate’s office stonewalls an official request, it is obstructing justice.
Our good friend and colleague, ace reporter Conor Berry of the Springfield Republican and masslive.com has told us that he will be checking into the availability of records. That’s good enough for this blues master.
With that, we share a letter on the case:
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: NILANS NEED THE NEW VOLVO
I have a great suggestion for the Nilans. It’s the New S60R Volvo. This amazing new car” can sense when a pedestrian and/or a deer or dog! comes in front of the car and, if the driver does not react, can apply the brakes fully to stop car.
I guess this is what becomes of a corrupt system! I hope the people can use the same line when standing in front of a judge, that maybe their paperwork can also get lost or eaten by a dog.
What a disgrace! Clifford Nilan and his good ole boys most likely at work AGAIN! Just keep telling “The people” to call Martha Coakley’s office and get rid of the Dirt in Probation. Clifford Nilan is no role model for that position and should get tossed! It should have happened in 2010! another BS story with Angelo. Didn’t the police report get lost? But, some had already read it before it got lost!
THE PLANET thanks Debbie for expressing her view. You can have your say on the issues that matter to you by dropping your letter to the editor into THE PLANET mail bag at email@example.com.
PEDA: BIANCHI SCORES AGAIN, BUT BOARD MEMBER WHALING INADVERTENTLY ADMITS PEDA GOBs CAN’T CUT THE MUSTARD
“You have to prove your case.”
Mayor Dan Bianchi spoke these words to his fellows members of the PEDA executive board in referring to their desire to erect a $6.5 million “incubator” building on the PEDA campus.
These are good, tough, and sensible words. We’re not use to hearing such words of common sense coming from “official Pittsfield.” In the past, no one would have thought anything out regarding the incubator building, and there would have been a blind rush to blow $6.5 million of taxpayer money without a clue. No marketing plan. No unifying vision. No strategic impulse. No problem.
Not this time. Score one for Bianchi.
‘Somebody’s Got to Be Our Expert’ — That’s as Pathetic as It Gets
The mayor insisted that PEDA produce a “competitive-type proposal.” Fellow board member George Whaling then suggested, according to an article by our good friend and colleague Tony Dobrowolski in the Boring Broadsheet, that “PEDA hire someone who could work to assist the quasi-public agency in crafting an effective proposal.”
What, you mean we don’t have the in-house talent to do that? Isn’t that what the PEDA board is supposed to do, provide the expertise in crafting such directive documents and thrusts?
Whaling, we’re sure, means well, but so did Benedict Arnold. Isn’t this the same old response to an innovative suggestion that has kept PEDA mired in a quicksand of GOB slime, tired thinking, and timid “bureaucratise?” Tony Dobro quotes Whaling as saying, “I know I don’t have time, and I know [PEDA executive director] Cory [Thurston] doesn’t have time. I think this is a great opportunity … Somebody’s got to be our expert.”
Stunning. Read that quote again, ladies and gentlemen, out loud and slowly. Let it sink in.
Whaling’s quote reveals everything about why PEDA has gone nowhere and, despite the progressive influence of Bianchi, will go nowhere. Look at what he’s saying: Whaling is basically admitting what THE PLANET and other observers have pointed out for years: The PEDA board is next to useless and completely toothless. They can gum their oatmeal but they can’t take a bite off a chunk of beef and chew.
Whaling says he doesn’t have time? Then why is he serving on the board? Who else on the PEDA board doesn’t have the time to do the job? Step forward, take a deep breath, and take a dive in Silver Lake. All those who don’t have the time, fine, then get off the board and make way for others who do. More incredibly, Whaling “knows” that Corydon Thurston doesn’t have the time?
What Does Corydon Do to Earn His $100,000 a Year (or Whatever) Big Bux?
Excuse us!?! Corydon doesn’t have the time? Then what in blue blazes does he do to earn his $100,000 a year, or whatever huge amount of taxpayer dollars they pay this useless GOB? What, does Corydon blow his time reading comic books? Playing solitaire on his computer? Listen to Rush Limbaugh on WGY Radio 81? Trying to find Waldo?
Corydon doesn’t have time? Whaling doesn’t have time, and by his other admission, the PEDA board lacks the expertise? Then why even maintain the charade. Why not close the PEDA offices and let the land be overtaken by the pigeons and rabbits, who, by the way, will be much better stewards of the land than human beings have ever been.
“Somebody’s got to be our expert.”
That inadvertent but frank admission explains everything about the failure of PEDA. They lack the talent. Rather than develop a creative strategic plan and pursue it aggressively, they are waiting for the Second Coming, for that savior “expert” out there who’s going to come in, take a huge chunk of money, and leave PEDA with a thick report that can be used as a doorstop or toilet paper.
Here’s a better suggestion: Fire the whole sorry crew and punt.
YARD WORK BECKONS AS WE WATCH A ROBIN WREST A WORN FROM THE GROUND. LIFE IS GOOD.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.