Article

NUCIFORO POURS ON THE COAL IN ANSWERING NEAL ATTACKS … SCHOOL BOARD: TRANSPARENCY TAKES A POWDER, and, CLOSE VOTE SEEN IN KINNAS PETITION … ‘BORROWED BUT UNEXPENDED FUNDS’ RAISES $$ QUESTIONS … COUNCIL APPROVES FERRIN APPOINTMENT, 7-4 … plus … SANTORUM WIN IN DEEP SOUTH WON’T STOP MR. MITT

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2012) — Congressional candidate Andrea Nuciforo came out swinging in response to the hatchet job launched against him in a double-barreled shotgun story published on page one Sunday in the Boring Broadsheet.

In an e-mail sent to THE PLANET, Nuciforo mentioned how “over the last couple of days, my opponent has used local media to launch personal attacks against me and our supporters. Reluctant to launch these attacks in his own name, Congressman [Richie] Neal instead used surrogates to bash me personally, distory my record, and try to force me out of this race.”

Nuciforo was just getting warmed up: “Sadly, we have come to expect such a strategy from entrenched, 24-year politicians such as Richie Neal. And it’s more important than ever to tell him loud and clear that voters deserve better than his brand of nasty politics, scuttlebutt, and half-truths.”

Nuciforo called Neal “desperate to avoid a primary against me.” Andy pointed out the following facts about Neal that the BB conveniently has not told its readers:

* Neal raised $5.4 million from Wall Street, big banks, insurers, and other PACS.

* From 1994 to 2000, Neal consistently supported the deregulation of Wall Street and the erosion of consumer protections.

* Neal raised $67,500 from General Electric Co., in the last election cycle alone. At the same time, Neal, according to Nuciforo, says “absollutely nothing about GE’s obligation to restore the Housatonic River and clean up Berkshire neighborhoods.”

* He has voted repeatedly with Republicans on many social issue, including votes against women.

“With that record,” Nuciforo said, “it’s no surprise that … Neal would resort to personal attacks rather than discuss his own record, and our supporters know dirty politics when they see it.”

Nuciforo says Neal’s attacks via the Boring Broadsheet and other surrogates “have galvanized our support.”

BB: Scraping the Dregs and without a Defense

The dynamic Nuciforo outlines establishes again how low the abject BB has sunk. Nuciforo says Neal’s local surrogates (he didn’t name them, but a simple reference to Ned Oliver‘s stories in the Sunday BB will do that for you) have their orders from the Neal campaign to attack him. If that’s true, then it means that local GOBs can simply order — we mean order — the local daily to carry out the orders. What else are we to conclude?

The BB is owned by the local GOB. If anyone from the newspaper wishes to dispute this claim in a public forum, we shall be more than happy to oblige. To date, no member of the Boring Broadsheet has taken up THE PLANET’s offer for a free-wheeling discussion and debate on the role of the press is a besieged city such as Pittsfield. They refuse to address our criticisms on and of substance. They won’t defend themselves because they can’t defend themselves. The once-proud newspaper knows that it’s guilty of journalism’s Cardinal Sin: Selling out to the vested interests.

In truth, the BB’s decline has been manna from heaven for THE PLANET, as our circulation continues to grow daily. From our first edition, we have relied only on the strength of our product and word of mouth to “advertise” our humble site. It’s working, to the point where The Players cannot ignore us. It’s Da Peepul who have made this sight a force to be reckoned with on the local scene, and brother, when Da Peepul begin to sense their power, they also start to flex it.

For once, Da Peepul have the GOB on the defensive.

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SCHOOL COMMITTEE I: FOUR MEETINGS, NO MINUTES … or … TRANSPARENCY TAKES A POWDER

Tonight night, the Pittsfield School Committee meets in the PHS library at 6 p.m. If you go to the school committee website, you’ll see each meeting date posted from first (Sept. 7 )to last for this school year (Aug. 22). Each meeting up to March 14 (today) has an online agenda. This being a city of Pittsfield website, though, you can bet the house it’s dated and incomplete.

The school committee has met nine times since Sept. 7. Why, then, are there minutes posted only for the first four? Why are there no minutes for the meetings of Nov. 16, Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, and Feb. 15? This means, of course, that the “new” school board has met now three times without minutes being posted in a reasonable timely fashion … or at all.

THE PLANET calls on our Rt. Hon. Good Friends Alf Barbalunga, school committee chairman, and Mayor Bianchi to rectify this situation immediately. Bianchi as well as most of the school committee ran on a platform of transparency in government. We don’t think keep the minutes secret helps anyone become a better informed citizen. Sheesh, you’d think they’re afraid of people knowing too much, or something. It’s only their government, after all.

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SCHOOL COMMITTEE II: BOARD TO HEAR KINNAS PETITION ON SUPT. TONIGHT AT 6 P.M. … CLOSE VOTE EXPECTED … YOUR ATTENDANCE IS NEEDED

Leaving aside for today the matter of the utterly inconvenient starting time of 6 p.m., which ensures, of course, that most of the interested public will not be able to attend in person (outta sight, outta mind is how Pittsfield city government generally feels about Da Peepul), we present the agenda for tonight’s school committee meeting:

agenda

You will notice item V-D: “Superintendent Search — 1. Updates 2. Salary 3. Screening Committee 4. Public Participation 5. Timeline Review.” Then, scroll down to item VI-E: “Letter from Mr. Terry Kinnas pertaining to Superintendent Search.” A couple of points to make here:

* He’s not “Mr.” Terry Kinnas. He’s “School Committeeman” Terry Kinnas. The committee’s own agenda ought to identify people properly. “Mr.” makes it sounds like Kinnas still has civilian status, and it does not inform anyone, at a glance, that he is a school board member. We don’t care if there are members of the GOB who wish Terry hadn’t gotten on the school board. “In your dreams,” we tell them.

* Why does the agenda list the discussion of the superintendent search before Kinnas’ letter, which asks that the school committee halt the search in the name of due diligence and transparency? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Wise Guys See Squeaker of a Vote for Kinnas Petition

THE PLANET called Kinnas about this: “I talked to Alf about the placement of my letter on the agenda,” Kinnas said. “It should be before the discussion on the superintendent search for it to mean much. [Alf] said if he has to, he will rearrange the agenda so that we get to my petition first.” That’s a good move by the chairman, and it will give much more impact to discussion of Kinnas’ petition.

We asked Kinnas if he had any predictions on how the committee will take his proposal: “I don’t know how it’s going to play. I hope they are open to my suggestion, because most of them campaigned on transparency.”

We agree. We talked with various “wise guys” who closely follow local politics, and the consensus is “pick ‘em” for the Kinnas petition. Most see it 4-3 up or down. THE PLANET sees a surprise tally: 5-2 in support of the Kinnas initiative.

Folks, please do your best to attend the school committee tonight at 6 p.m. in a show of support — not for Terry Kinnas — but for reason and logic in governance.

Herberg, Where Every Kid is Above Average

Oh, and allow us to sneak this one in today’s post. We note with amusement the startling fact that 41% of students at Herberg Middle School (what those of a certain age call “South”) made the honor roll. There are only two scenarios that account for this total: Either Herberg has many boy and girl wunder-scholars OR there’s rampant grade inflation (“Just give the brats some good grades ’cause we don’t know what else to do”). Which do you think it is.

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CITY’S ‘BORROWED BUT UNEXPENDED FUNDS’ RAISES SERIOUS ACCOUNTING QUESTION

This little item might have slipped by you. It has to do with budgets.

THE PLANET told you a few weeks ago that Mayor Dan Bianchi is already hard at work on the municipal budget. It will be the biggest, early litmus test for the new mayor. Bianchi’s first budget will reflect how well he puts his philosophy of government into fiscal policy. Or is it the other way around? Certainly, the budget document he submits to the council will give us a lot of clues for the remainder of his term: Is he a fiscal conservative or a spendthrift? Where are his priorities? Can he make the tough cuts that previous mayors have irresponsibly avoided, to the detriment of the commercial and private tax rate?

One tantalizing clue about Bianchi as a fiscal watchdog came in an otherwise routine city council allocation to replace the roof at Mercer School ($40,000) and to purchase two police patrol cars ($60,000). Mayor Jimmy Ruberto has asked for the spending, wanting to pay for it with new borrowing. Bianchi said no. Instead, the requests will be paid for by “borrowed but unexpended funds.” That intriguing quote is from city treasurer Sue Carmel.

It means that the city has in the past borrowed money that wasn’t used for the purpose of the loan. Carmel said that money the Ruberto administration borrowed for a fee collection system in the McKay Street Garage was not used. That money will go to the Mercer roof. The patrol cars will be paid for by money from insurance claims.

The unused McKay Street borrowing raises an alarming accounting question: Why would the city take out a loan for an earmarked project and then not use the money? Hmmmmm … all sorts of interesting possibilities come to mind. Look, THE PLANET isn’t an accountant. We don’t play on on the radio. We do know, however, that borrowing money at interest just to let it sit around — especially when the city has a “free cash” slush fund — is bad practice.

A simple mathematical audit would not flag this. A management audit would, which probably explains one of the many reasons why the city has not permitted a top-to-bottom, independent, forensic audit since Peter Arlos was knee high to Apollo.

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FERRIN WINS APPOINTMENT TO AMBULANCE REVIEW COMMISSION

Congratulations to EMT Jeff Ferrin for winning appointment to the Ambulance Review Commission. My Rt. Hon. Good Friends on the city council last night approved Mayor Bianchi’s nomination of Ferrin by a 7-4 tally.

Kevin Morandi, Chris Connell, John Krol, Tony Simonelli, Melissa Mazzeo, Kevin Sherman, and Churchill Cotton voted in favor. Christine Yon, Paul Capitanio, Barry Clairmont, and Jonathan Lothrop voted against. The Gang of Four apparently maintain their psychic abilities to read into the “character” of people. Yon, Cappy, Dancing Barry, and J-Lo remind us Jesus’ dissing of hypocrites in the New Testament.

Noting his the Pharisees were easy to find fault in others without looking at their own indiscretions, he told them to first remove the huge cross beams in their own eyes before carping at the tiny slivers in the peepers of others.

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Santorum Wins in ‘Bama and Ole Miss Do Little to Stop Romney Express

Rick Santorum‘s wins in Alabama and Mississippi, as we explained yesterday, changes nothing in the electoral math. Mitt Romney still has a huge delegate lead, and Santorum’s win in the Deep South cracker barrel won’t do much come convention time.

A look ahead shows only four “winner take all” contests. Santorum needs to take all four, most likely, to make a Dent in Romney’s leads in delegates. These are Utah (40 delegates), Delaware (17), New Jersey (50) and Washington, D.C. (17). Santorum has no chance in D.C., because he didn’t qualify for the ballot. Utah, Delaware, and NJ are states friendly to Mr. Mitt.

As for Alabama, we’re not sure anyone would even want to win there or if they did would want anyone to know. After all, Alabama is home to a state lottery that pays $3 million: $3 a year for a million years. It’s a state that criminals love because everyone has the same DNA. It’s the only state in the union where the governor’s mansion is located in a trailer park. And did you hear about the new Alabama divorce law. After a couple divorces, they are still legally brother and sister. Ah, but they sure go for Santorum.

Then there’s this one:


  • Are ya Chicken?

    A guy goes into a bar and asks the bartender if he wants to hear a good Alabama joke.

    The bartender says, “Before you tell it, you should know that I am 6-2 and weigh 225 and I’m from Alabama. See that guy at the end of the bar? He’s 6-4 and weighs 250 and he’s from Alabama, too. And see the guy at the other end of the bar? He’s 6-6 and weighs 280 and he’s from Alabama,too! Now, do you still want to tell your Alabama joke?”

    The guy says, “Nah.”

    To which the bartender smiles and says, “What’s the matter? Are ya chicken?”

    The guy says, “Nah. I just don’t want to have to explain it three times.

Ah, but they sure like Santorum.

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WE NOW PRAISE THE MIGHTY MOTHER WHO BROUGHT TO THE DRAGON’S EARS THE POTENT MUSES THAT SERVICED THE EAR OF KINGS. WE SAY HER INSTRUMENTS ARE GREAT, CALLED TO THIS WORK BY HEAVEN, GRANDMOTHERS, AND FATE.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

78 Responses to “NUCIFORO POURS ON THE COAL IN ANSWERING NEAL ATTACKS … SCHOOL BOARD: TRANSPARENCY TAKES A POWDER, and, CLOSE VOTE SEEN IN KINNAS PETITION … ‘BORROWED BUT UNEXPENDED FUNDS’ RAISES $$ QUESTIONS … COUNCIL APPROVES FERRIN APPOINTMENT, 7-4 … plus … SANTORUM WIN IN DEEP SOUTH WON’T STOP MR. MITT”

  1. Ray Ovac
    March 14, 2012 at 9:03 am #

    DV, you make a joke about Alabamians and close with the snarky comment, “Ah, but they sure like Santorum.” I don’t see Berkshire County’s best and brightest (e.g. Berkshire Young Professionals) getting any IQ awards — or any citations for honesty, either. And last I checked, prizes are not awarded for most number of pedophiles in one County (or maybe NAMBLA does, but I’m not sure). So I wouldn’t be so quick to strut around with my nose in the air when talking about ‘those rubes’ outside Berkshire County who appear at least to have the kind of common sense that rarely surfaces in these Berkshire Hills when people go to the polls. Who elected Chris Speranzo in the first place, and Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and Deval Patrick, and John Olver?

    • Irvin Corey
      March 14, 2012 at 9:12 am #

      Perhaps they might put a NAMBLA club house on the PEDA parcel.

      • Steve wade
        March 14, 2012 at 11:41 am #

        Dan Look what you’ve let your blog become. Letting jerks make fun about putting a pervert club house on PEDA site. Is this the direction you want your web site to go? And you say my blogger don’t keep the topic going.

        • Molly
          March 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

          Just tell ‘em Angelo sent them…

          • Evian
            March 14, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

            That Angelo stracuzzi isn’t behind bars is an insult and mockery. He and his buddy Cliffy are disgraces and Nilan presence alone means you can trust the system in Pittsfield.

      • Scott
        March 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

        What a disgusting organization one in which I would have no problem infringing on it’s constitutional rights as an organization or it’s members personally.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      RAYKOVIC
      Can’t argue with you there, and don’t look for us to defend the local political system, which is in many ways more corrupt that the South’s Swamp politics. As for who elected No Show and the like, it was the people who stayed away and didn’t vote.

    • Tony Dinsmore
      March 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Well said Ray! Berkshire County is more likely to be hosting Nambla than Mensa. The stagnate Western MA economy has caused a great brain drain on this area. Take a stroll through the Berkshire Mall or the local Wal-Mart and just look at the people chewing on their own ears.
      As for the snarky Santorum comment: DV has to stick by his mentor Romney (Mitt has being phony down to a science). I doubt Dan would be so critical of Santorum in his other periodicals.

      • I Care About Pittsfield
        March 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

        Valenti’s on Romney’s payroll. That’s literally not figuratively. He takes a big monthly retainer to be on call for the guy he calls “Mr Mitt.” Of course he’s going to blast Santorum. The other day someone likened Valenti to Howie Carr. Its an apt analogy: both sling mud, go for the jugular, trample on anyone and anything to get ratings, and like Rush are unprincipled. It’s all show biz to demagogues like that.

        • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
          March 15, 2012 at 4:50 am #

          Not True..

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      March 15, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Dan

      I want real and OPEN Things on ANDREA NUCIFORO

      Like his what NUCIFORO DID TO PREVENT THE CLANDESTINE CONSENT DCREE

      thanks

      GHB

      • danvalenti
        March 15, 2012 at 10:29 am #

        BHM
        Go out and get the story, boy. If it’s well done and documented, we’ll publish it.

  2. Silence Dogood
    March 14, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Andy, you wrote: * He has voted repeatedly with Republicans on many social issue, including votes against women.

    Can you be more specific? What social issues? What votes against womwn? Sounds like your playing the same negative game that you say Neal is playing. Also tell us how you won’t be a rubber stamp for Pelosi. Maybe the people of the Berkshires want a rubber stamp democrat.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      We won’t speak for Andy, but we believe he was referring to women’s health issues, particularly contraceptives and the right to choose an abortion versus giving birth.

      • Silence Dogood
        March 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        I am by no means a Neal supporter but I find it hard to believe that he goes against the pro abortion party line of the democrats. I think there are very few people in either party who object to women using contraception. I would guess however that there are substantial numbers in both parties who don’t want to fund lifestyle choices. Perhaps Andy could point to the bill that Neal and the republicans voted for that was anti woman.

        • danvalenti
          March 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

          Excellent distinction. There’s a vast difference in not opposing a woman’s choice for herself and her body … and … expecting the taxpayers to fund those choices.

        • Steve wade
          March 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

          Ben is that the only reason to vote against anyone, because they are pro choice? I’m against abortion but I believe it’s a persons right to chose. I look at the whole picture not just one part before I vote!

  3. Molly
    March 14, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Today’s BB article on the School Committee meeting tonight:
    “Today at 5 p.m. is the deadline for applications to the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which is assisting the Pittsfield School Committee in its search for a new superintendent.

    This evening, the board will learn how many people applied for the job and review the proposed salary range for the successor to Superintendent Howard “Jake” Eberwein” III.

    The committee will also discuss a modified timeline to complete the search, a public survey seeking input on the type of superintendent residents want, and the composition of the superintendent search committee.”

    SOOOOOOO, what they out and out said is that AFTER the deadline of 5pm tonight to apply for the Superintendent’s position, THEN they will hold a discussion on doing a public survey seeking input on what we want AND the composition of the search committe!!!!

    Are you kidding me? Who, in their right mind, would volunteer now to be on a Search Committee to just waste their time, when they already have all of the applications that they’re going to have because the deadline is an hour before the School Committee Meeting starts?!!!!! And NOW they’re going to do a public survey to see what we want in a new Superintendent? Really? The ONLY purpose for that is that it is very, very easy to associate vague statements with any candidate of their choosing. Can’t you hear it now? Mrs. Malkas fits every single one of these (vague) criteria that the public wants!!!

    I think that overall, it is the perception, the belief, that the public is just SO STUPID that they can do whatever they want to and we won’t know, that ticks me off the most!! As long as they make it “look like” they wanted our input and gave us an opportunity to give that input, (regardless if it was AFTER THE FACT), then all will be fine in Pittslala land.

    Although I salute Terry for his petition, and even if the committee approves it, I don’t see it as really changing anything. It will only mean that “regardless of what we say publicly, these are the candidates that applied and of them, our pick is at the top of the list. Although we’ll play the game and make it appear that others have input, it will end up being exactly who we want it to be”.

    Screw these GOB politics – I’ve had it.

    • Dave G
      March 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

      It’s called the Illusion of Inclusion

  4. Jonathan Melle
    March 14, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Nuciforo doesn’t stand a chance against Richie Neal. The Berkshire Eagle accurately described Nuciforo’s public record and burnt bridges in politics. Nuciforo is a dirty and corrupt politician. Nuciforo is not fooling anyone except Dan Valenti!

    • Steve wade
      March 14, 2012 at 11:44 am #

      Jon. I agree with you. I thought the Eagle article was well written and truthful

      • Molly
        March 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

        Article(S) – as in TWO, on the same day. And no – they were totally slanted and even you, Steve, can’t disagree with that — but that was just following the orders that were given and so for that, they did a good job. But don’t they always do a good job of following orders? I think so….

        If the BB is against Nuciforo, then he has my vote!!!!

        • danvalenti
          March 14, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

          We believe the anti-Nuciforo screed will win Andy many votes in Pittsfield. We don’t agree with our good friends Jonathan and Steve. They say Nuciforo “doesn’t stand a chance” against Neal. We disagree. He has a chance, though not a good one. Neal hopes to buy his way to re-election. 24 years is enough for one man. He’s a walking ad for retroactive term limits.

          • Jonathan Melle
            March 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

            Dan Valenti is a good friend of my family. I also respect Valenti’s work in journalism. Nuciforo is the opposite of Valenti because he has been an enemy of my family and I oppose his work in politics.

          • danvalenti
            March 14, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

            I appreciate that, JM. I respect your views on this and other issues.

          • Silence Dogood
            March 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

            Your assement of Neal is accurate but how would Andy be more that a seat warmer for Pelosi’s rubber stamp? I would however concede that he might do more for the Berkshires, but its that why we send people to D.C…..just to get more stuff?

            Andy, how would you be different? Why are you running?

          • danvalenti
            March 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

            SD
            Excellent question. We call on Andy to respond.

        • Steve wade
          March 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

          $10 says Nuciforo loses Berkshire County 2-1

          • Silence Dogood
            March 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

            $10.00 doesn’t say much SW.

          • Steve wade
            March 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

            Ben Franklin. How much do you want to bet? This will. E easy money.

        • Steve wade
          March 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

          Nancy Yes they were slanted,but they only wrote what was fact about Nuciforo. Did he not have a major fundraiser only days before he decided not to run for re-election? Did he not decide to run for Register of Deeds knowing that Sara Hathaway was running {who was his chief of staff at one time} without bothering to at least have the courtesy to inform her of his running. Sorry If he treats his friends like this I don’t want him representing me.

          • Molly
            March 14, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

            But if the voters wanted Sara Hathaway, she would’ve been elected. That being said, since you surprisingly admitted that the BB stories were slanted, I will admit that the voters can be very stupid – and many times (most times!) are! Did he and Sara Hathaway have a falling out and hence, she was no longer his chief of staff and perhaps not even friends anymore? I don’t know the whole story and really like to have all the facts that I can before I take a stance (or cast a vote or make a decision of any kind). At least Andy is from Pittsfield – does anyone really think that Neal will even remember Pittsfield after the election? And I agree with Dan – Neal is a perfect reason to have term limits.

            And whoever asked if it’s really about bringing a ton of money here, according to Barrett in the BB article about Nuciforo, that’s exactly what it is!! And anyone who contributes to a campaign expects that the candidate with then protect their interests. We all know that to be the case, but now they’re coming out in the newspapers and admiting it! And putting down a candidate because he didn’t do that. None of them “get it” yet that this country can’t afford to keep doing this.

  5. ambrose
    March 14, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Must agree that the Eagle is a terrible paper and that they did play a tune on Andy – However, it would be interesting to know how many people come to this site – The Planet says it has a very large following but will never say how many – I’ve said it before that until people have to pay for the privilege of reading this we will never know how many there will be – how many hits does the Planet get it one day? – how many are from the same people? – I assume Molly comes several times and this is my 4th trip here and its only 3 o’clock – also, is the gathering an eclectic group or is it an aging group that has tons of time on its hands – not meant as a criticism of anyone but reading the Planet I seem to get the impression that nearly all are of the same mind – probably myself included

    • Molly
      March 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

      Speak for yourself on the “aging group” — I’m still in the “young group”. And I want to see all of these GOB’s put in their place and stopped and take our city back — as well as have people in this city have somewhere else to go to get a perspective that may be different than what the BB (is told) to put out there. Lots of people logon from work, during their breaks. The word is spreading about this site as it was the only site around that exposed some truths about the Nilan/Moore case — the BB didn’t even mention the case at ALL until this site did!!! That goes a loooooong way with people!! And people are seeing the truth!! That’s always a good thing!

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      AMBY
      Our readership is an eclectic bunch. Just like talk radio and comment-active blogs, for everyone who calls in or posts a comment, there are many multiples of readers who don’t. They just enjoy listening to or hearing the action.

    • Boom
      March 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Ambrose: Check out compete.com. No data around demographics but it will give you the unique visitor count by month. Hope you get this before Dan deletes this post (as he’s done in the past) as the numbers they’re reporting don’t jive with his claim to having thousands of followers.

      • danvalenti
        March 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

        We find it funny that so many of our critics are hung up on our circulation. It’s like when I had the largest audience of any show in the region, my critics would refer to the “five or six listeners.” Of course, ladies and gentlemen, if we really WERE drawing low numbers, they wouldn’t be obsessed with our success, now would they?!!

        • Steve wade
          March 15, 2012 at 5:12 am #

          Dan Have ever heard the term Spin Doctor?

          • danvalenti
            March 15, 2012 at 5:38 am #

            Like I say, Steverino, as you prove by this post: if are audience is so miniscule, why are “They” so worried about it? Hmmmm??!

  6. Yaz
    March 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    attend the school committee meeting tonight. i wil be there.Sure its another fix thats been in the bag for a while but maybe, just maybe, for once we can stop it before it happens. Id like to know, though, who in there right mind would want to come to the pitts? The only ones who will take this job with a large salary will be those already been greased by the system. Inbred breeds inbred.

  7. dusty
    March 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Watch the school committee vote for a positive ID on the GOB members

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

      Sort of like DNA testing, eh?

      • dusty
        March 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

        Yah,and like with the city council they seem to wear it like a badge of honor.

        or maybe a badge of fear?

        dirty hands can make people do weird things

      • Scott
        March 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        yeah how come no word from you on the woman the state police are seeking charges against for not providing DNA even though her debt is paid and sentence long over? What does this mean for Joe and Mary K?

        • danvalenti
          March 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

          SCOTT If this is meant for THE PLANET, we reply that we do not cover ALL the issues that COULD be covered. Unlike popular belief, we are not Superman, even though we have a 99-year lease on the FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE. We pick and choose. Simple as that.

      • Irvin Corey
        March 15, 2012 at 7:11 am #

        DNA = Doyle, Nilan and Angello!

        • danvalenti
          March 15, 2012 at 10:36 am #

          PROFESSOR
          You are too quick today!!! Good thing it doesn’t spell DAN.

  8. Shakes His Head
    March 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Neither Representative candidate is particularly appealing to me. I think it is humorous that someone that resides Massachusetts’ Appalachia picks on southern states. West Virginia I could understand… If West Virginia chooses Romney on May 8, someone will ahve found his connection to uneducated voters.
    .

  9. Beacon Hill Mob
    March 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Sorry Dan,

    Nuciforo, was our State Senator as the “back door closed consent decree” was being forged, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

    He DID NOTHINGI!!! NADA. ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE!!!

    As a LIFELONG PITTSFIELD RESIDENT, do you think[ he was IGNORANT of the matter, or or PART of the GE GOBs?

    If he was any different from the Springdfield GOB, he would have stood up for the residents, of Berksphre County.

    Actions are louder than words . Andrea is part of the GE rubber stamp.

    Best,

    GOB

    P.S. When will we get around to Nuciforo as an Insurance Regulator, while working as a Lawyer, for the SAME Industry, he was “supposedly”, REGULATING???

    • Steve wade
      March 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Good point. What do you have to say about this Dan?

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

      BHM
      I accept everything you say, but something happened to cause a big-time fallout for Andy with the GOB. That’s enough for me.

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        March 15, 2012 at 8:03 am #

        OK What is that Dan?

        Andeaa, is SHISTER FOR THE INSURANCE LOBBY

        THAT IS A CROOK!!!!

        prove me WRONG!!!

        • danvalenti
          March 15, 2012 at 10:32 am #

          As that level of politics, they’re ALL crooks. BHM, the GOB has turned on Andy. That’s good enough for us.

  10. Steve wade
    March 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Dan Will you be working for the Nuciforo committee? I believe this is fair question seeing you have endorsed his campaign

    • Jonathan Melle
      March 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

      I don’t see how Dan Valenti would be any help to Nuciforo’s political committee. Nuciforo needs big money backers to bankroll his campaign. Money talks!

      • danvalenti
        March 14, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

        JM
        I am not on the committee of ANY political candidate, including Mitt Romney.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Answer is No.

  11. Jonathan Melle
    March 14, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Nuciforo is featured in a Springfield news article:
    http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/03/race_for_the_new_1st_congressi.html
    Nuciforo is the one making accusations against Neal.

  12. Molly
    March 14, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Sooooooo – how many went to the School Committee Meeting tonight? Did Terry’s petition get approved? I see that they went into “Executive Committee”…

    • Terry Kinnas
      March 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

      No, to your question on the petition approved.
      If you have some life in you, don’t give up. Better to look at the green grass, then to look at the roots.

      • Molly
        March 14, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

        I don’t know how you sit there meeting after meeting and not “lose it” — I have a LOT of comments to be made about this meeting, but not tonight. You did a great job, though! One quick question — how much did the taxpayers pay for a lawyer to be sitting there for the entire (4 hour?) meeting? All to protect Alf on the question of his authority to unilaterally advertise the job. I could never even have imagined anything like this meeting. I’m actually speechless (and that’s saying something!!!)

  13. dusty
    March 15, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    So what will Alf s next move be? Will he be dragging his candidate out and reveling in her qualifications? Or will he just use his almighty powers and appoint her?

    Will she be comfortable with the baggage he is putting on her back that she is special interest?

    And I think the mayor should get the school superintendents before the school committee once a month for a Q and A on how things are going. Or are they, as Alf seems to think, an entity unto themselves?

    • danvalenti
      March 15, 2012 at 5:41 am #

      This appears to be a done deal. Don’t tell anyone it’s Barbara Malkas, currently Deputy Supt at $110,425 plus bennies.

  14. tito
    March 15, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    Looks like tensions were running a tad high at the School Meeting last night. This is a kettle waiting to boil over. Kinnas and Amusing, are on a mission, for sure.

  15. Kim
    March 15, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Dan,

    I’m a little taken back by your blog about herberg and the 41% of their students who achieved honor roll. My son is part of that 41% who bust his butt every day to get those grades. It is a little insulting to parents who push their children to do good and get good grades because there are so many parents that don’t. Certian opinions should be kept you ones self unless you have more to go on then just you’re own ignorance.

    • danvalenti
      March 15, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      KIM
      Thank you for your view. I don’t doubt the hard work of your son. It’s not ME you are mad at but the school department. THEY are the ones ripping you and your son off, because more often than not, the children who aren’t working as hard as your son are still getting on the honor roll. As for having more to go on, we have MUCH more. I and most of my colleagues at BCC have experienced this with younger students just coming in from the high schools — The kids have received A’s and B’s all along for inferior work, yet their work is nowhere near that level. Now they get to college and run into professors who actually award grades as a measure of performance, not as a feel-good tool of “self-esteem.” The kid gets a D or C-, and they can’t understand it. They say, “Prof. Valenti, I used to get all A’s in high school English.” We usually don’t have the heart to say, “Kid, they ripped you off.” We say: ” We can’t speak to what other teachers have seen. We can only go by the work you’re doing in this class.”

  16. Darren Lee
    March 15, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Dan I enjoy your blog but pot shots at hard working middle school students ?? Really.

    • danvalenti
      March 15, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      There are a lot of hard-working middle-school students, but not enough to account for The Honor Roll That Ate Pittsfield. Our point is that grade inflation is rampant.

      • Darren Lee
        March 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

        I disagree with grade inflation – I have bright 8th grader who works had and only acheived honors – if they give her more homework she will never leave the house – having been around the school system for many, many years – this particular group (class of ’16) has been enjoyed by their teachers since kindergarten – just maybe they deserve it.

        • danvalenti
          March 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

          Just maybe.
          Thanks for the comment.

  17. Kim
    March 15, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    I worked in the school system for 5 years (3 years in middle school) and never worked with a teacher who just gave out A’s and B’s for the sake of a kids self esteem.

    I personally resent the blog because I as well as my son take his grades seriously. It is extememly important for my son to get on the honor roll and stay on it throughout the year. There are many parents and students who work just as hard as my son and I do to make sure they get good grades. Both the parents and students should be given more credit then the crap you posted earlier.

    Rather than making it so negative why don’t you try supporting the kids that do work hard and give them credit for doing so. Rather than cheapening it for the purpose of your daily blog.

    • danvalenti
      March 15, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      We thank you for your thoughts.

    • New to PV
      March 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

      Kim,

      Both of my children are included in that 41% and neither put a material amount of time into studying. Comparatively, if my eighth grader were held to the same standards as I was a few decades ago and applied the same effort as now, I’d see a report card filled with C’s as opposed to A’s.

      Either the “cheapening” comes from lowered standards at Herberg or some of the South County school systems had more rigorous ones; take your pick of excuses.

      • danvalenti
        March 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

        Well put, New!

      • Kim
        March 16, 2012 at 5:29 am #

        I’m sure it doesn’t help that everything is MCAS driven and with the No Child Left Behind Act kids are just pushed through.

        With that being said, no one should take away from the kids that actually do deserve the grades they get. For my son, he was extremely proud, as I was that he got on the honor roll. He is very smart and deserves the positive attention that goes along with the honor roll. He has always worked hard to get good grades and he’ll continue to do so, just like many other students.

        As a parent of a child who does work hard for the grades his gets, I was a little offended to have him lumped in with the kids you all feel don’t deserve it. But everyone has their own opinions and views on everything. Thanks for letting me vent.

        Happy Friday!!!

        • danvalenti
          March 16, 2012 at 6:13 am #

          KIM
          I applaud you and all the parents who do the right thing by their children. I have no doubt your son earned his honors. Your opinions and venting shall always be welcome and honored here on THE PLANET.

  18. New to PV
    March 15, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    A few months ago I replied to a posting about grade inflation at Herberg. Both of my children attend and they are continually given second chances at improving grades.

    When I attended middle school, we weren’t repeatedly offered second chances, so you must ask yourself, why are students given repeated opportunities now?

    My theory is that the school monitors grades, and when needed, provides students the opportunity to improve their grades so the school will meet proficiency requirements.

    I concur with Mr. Valenti’s remarks about grades in English class, as my children “earn” A’s, however my assessment is that they are performing at a B or C level. There is no question that their work and the standards of today are far inferior from 25 years ago.

    It is a difficult problem as the paramount responsibility of teachers is to parent, rather than to teach. Of course, the infiltration of liberal ideology in schools over the decades has created this problem, and now ever child must be treated as equals. The only way to do so is to lower standards and expectations, and cater to the underperforming students at the expense of those who are either more studious or inherently more intelligent. My kids are getting ripped off as they are capable of much more than public schools expect of them.

    • danvalenti
      March 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Yes, everyone’s the same. Everyone’s a genius. Everyone gets a medal. The ones who get cheated in our system our the hard workers, in short, the ones who earn it. Welcome, New to PV.