Article

PLANET LEARNS IDENTITY OF OFFICER BEHIND ORCHARD STREET CRASH … POLICE CRUISER CRASH HAS AN ODD FEEL TO IT … PLANET’s REQUEST TO CHIEF WYNN FOR COMMENT UNANSWERED … BBs SULLIVAN RIGHT-ON RE: TT, BUT COPY DESK LETS HIM DOWN … FED LAWYER CALLS CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT ‘STUPID’ … ROMNEY SCORES ON EDUCATION … plus … LT. AMUSO PROVIDES INFO ON PFD NYC TRIP

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, MAY 25, 2012, HOLIDAY WEEKEND EDITION) — THE PLANET has learned the identity of the police officer who crashed his cruiser on Orchard and Second streets, hitting two parked cars and ramming into the back end of a pickup truck. According to our sources, the officer’s name is Rob Najimy.

Our sources provided the information on condition of anonymity. THE PLANET received no answer to a call placed to the office of acting police chief Mike Wynn seeking official comment on the incident. Sources say this is Najimy third incident due to blackouts.

Frequent Blackouts, and He’s Still Allowed to Drive?

“Well, three strikes and you’re out, no matter where the ball park is,” says Source A, “but thank God he didn’t kill a child or innocent JRC student or something. [Ex-Mayor Jimmy] Ruberto must of been covering for him through the years or whatever. One of my [friends] had an unfortunate incident where he blacked out and is still without the privilege to drive to and from work for years.  I looked at the damage. [Najimy] sheared off the telephone pole by Orchard Street pretty good. I heard this on the local radio in the AM, and then the story sort of disappeared, so that set off a sort of alarm that something was up.” (PLANET’S emphasis)

If this information is accurate, and  we have no reason to believe it is not, we wonder why Najimy still retains his driver’s license? Why was a ticking time bomb like this allowed to be on duty, driving a ton and a half of metal on city streets at road speeds? Where is the oversight that would allow such a dangerous situation to continue unchecked?

We again ask Chief Wynn for comment, confirming or denying what we have. If the information is correct, please confirm and amplify. If and of the information is incorrect, unlikely given the proximity of our sources to the case, then get on board and give us the goods.

Step back and think about it:

A driver heads eastbound on Orchard Street, at 1 p.m., in good weather. There’s no snow, ice, rain, wind, or other environmental factors that could reasonably be considered a problem for motorists.

The driver sits behind the wheel of a well-maintained vehicle, when, for some reason, the car bumps into two parked vehicles before rear-ending a pickup truck making a left turn onto Second Street. The car and pickup receive heavy damage, with the car coming to a halt in front of the old Second Street jail, now the Juvenile Resource Center. Both drivers are taken to BMC, with the one who caused the accident held overnight.

Would the Names Have Been Withheld If the Driver Who Caused the Crash Wasn’t a Cop?

The crash gets reported the next day in the Boring Broadsheet, but it has no details on what caused the crash and it withholds the names of the two persons involved.

The driver is the out-of-control car is a Pittsfield Police Officer.

We ask you, my dear friends, would anyone else receive such treatment. BB scribe Trevor Jones writes: “The cause of the crash remains under investigation, and police did not release the names of the individuals involved.” This sentence prompts a few questions:

* Why didn’t police issue the name of the officer who caused this crash?

* Why didn’t police provide any information, other than stating that “the crash was not the result of police action, and the officer involved is not suspected of any wrongdoing”? Since the officer wasn’t responding to a call, we must assume that he was on routine patrol. Cruisers don’t suddenly lost control for no reason. Something caused the officer to drive erratically, which leads to the odd admission, hastily volunteered, that “the officer involved is not suspected of any wrongdoing.” Why say that, after the cops just got done saying the crash is now being investigated?

What are They Holding Back, and Why?

We learned that the cruiser had major front-end damage. Jones writes, “The city is expected to be held at fault for the accident, according to police. The department declined to comment further.” Strange. THE PLANET would think, based on our experience, that in a “routine” case like this, with no extenuating circumstances and everything innocent and above board, the police would have no problem giving out the info.

We make one final point: A respectable newspaper in a small city such as Pittsfield would have a dedicated reporter assigned to the police beat. That reporter, if he or she knew his or her stuff, would have cultivated a relationship with the department and would have had sources that could provide information about an event like this. Jones apparently does not have such sources, or he does, and the BB did not allow him to use them.

In our inquiry, we contacted the police, looking for an official, on-the-record statement. We gave the department that professional courtesy. Since we did not hear from the PPD officially, we attempt to find the information another way, and we did.

The unusual situation of this case — an officer subject to sudden blackouts — needs a full investigation and a public report. Mayor Dan Bianchi, you need to be more proactive in cases like this. The secrecy and the attempt to keep vital information from the public leads to the cancer we see now eating away at official Pittsfield. Mayor Bianchi, call a press conference with Chief Wynn and take our questions, live and in public.

——————————————————————————————

BRIAN SULLIVAN FOLLOWS THE PLANET IN ON THE DISSECTION OF THE NOW-DANGEROUS THIRD THURSDAY

in his regular column today in the BB, our longtime friend and colleague Brian Sullivan had a personal reaction the the Third Thursday Riot. Sully’s take on the TTR is notable and would be worth reading.

Essentially, he laments that people of this city can no longer get out for an event like this without fear for their safety. It’s a point we made yesterday. A seedy element has infected and infiltrated TTR, an unavoidable adjunct to the cheapening of the event itself, with the cheesy food, the carnival-like atmosphere and attractions, and the trappings that attract lowlifes.

As we did, Sullivan says the only way TT can be conducted in the future with a reasonable chance of success is a beefed up police presence, but, as he points out, that defeats the purpose. Short of that, he offers the option we explored more pointedly: for Mayor Bianchi to cancel the event.

One of our correspondents, Dee, has a promising alternative to the two options of installation of a police state on the one hand and cancellation on the other. She advises that the TT organizers go back to its roots, with a simpler, scaled-back, and family oriented event. Get rid of the cheese and bring back the class. Without that, TT shall remain a ticking time bomb. It can be considered a minor astonishment that no one was maimed or killed in Pittsfield in the May 15 TTR.

Sully’s editors managed to soil the bed by putting this headline on the jump page of his column: “Sullivan on unruley crowds.”

Ouch. How in the name of Spellcheck and the most minimal amount of editorial attention is a mistake like this possible. The correct spelling is “unruly.” Moreover, the correct usage of the plural collective noun in this instance is “crowd.” That’s the type of headline that’s unconscionable for a daily newspaper. If they can’t even get spelling and usage right in a simple jump headline, what other errors slip by the copy desk?

——————————————————————–

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: THERE’S STUPID, AND THEN THERE’s STOOOPIT

“Most employers aren’t that stupid, but this one [the City of Pittsfield Fire Department and the office of mayor]. We call it a slam dunk.” — Samuel Wright, for attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor, referring the the City of Pittsfield and the acting fire chief.

In 1994, Wright helped draft the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Act. This law prohibits employers from retaliating against soldiers who miss work because of their deployment. The Feds fined the city of Pittsfield on the actions of acting fire chief Bob Czerwinski and former mayor Jimmy Ruberto taken against Pittsfield fire fighter Jeff Rawson. Rawson spent a year serving with the Navy in Iraq.

For Czerwinski’s goof, taxpayers had to cough up $22,000 in back pay for Rawson for the promotion the chief denied him. Czerwinski is the live-in boyfriend of Registrar of Deeds candidate and former city clerk Jody Phillips.

———————————————————————

ONE REASON WHY ROMNEY IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT

President Barack Obama has done some good things in office, but one of his biggest domestic failures is in education. The presumptive GOP nominee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, sees vulnerability in the President record with public schools.

This report from Reuters gives one food for thought. We especially like Romney’s spot-on analysis of the negative influence the big teachers’ unions have had on the political process and on keeping American schoolchildren lagging far behind the rest of the industrialized world.

ROMNEY: Big Teachers’ Unions Have Stranglehold on Education and Democratic Party

By Sam Youngman and Laura MacInnis

WASHINGTON/REDWOOD CITY, California (Reuters) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney opened a new front on Wednesday in his fight against President Barack Obama, accusing him of presiding over a failing U.S. education system in the grip of union bosses who refuse to accept reforms.

In a rare diversion from his campaign focus on the weak economy, Romney laid out an education plan in a speech that represented his most overt appeal to date to Hispanic voters who have largely sided with the Democratic incumbent.

Although he trails Obama by a huge margin among Hispanics, Romney’s address to a Hispanic business group avoided mentioning a top priority for them: how to overhaul the country’s immigration system.

Romney said millions of American children are getting a “third-world education” and offered proposals that he said would reward teachers for their results instead of their seniority. And he would give parents greater choice of where to send their children to school and take other steps to reduce the influence of powerful teachers’ unions.

“I believe the president must be troubled by the lack of progress since he took office. Most likely, he would have liked to do more. But the teachers unions are one of the Democrats’ biggest donors – and one of the president’s biggest campaign supporters. So,President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses – and unwilling to stand up for kids,” Romney said.

The article confirms what most objective observers say about public schools in America: Public education is not about educating children but about politics and money. Public education, as it stands now, especially in the city of Pittsfield, is a giant financial scam perpetuated by special interests against children, parents, and taxpayers.

Oh, what power and money will do to people.

———————————————————————

SOME FIGURES FROM FIRE FIGHTERS ON TRIP TP NYC

We present this information as received, to place on THE PLANET record. It comes from Pittsfield Fire Fighter Dan Amuso:

—– 00 —–

Comments: Hi Dan, I am the firefighter, Lieutenant actually who planned the trip to the 911 Memorial in NYC. I started the planning last December. I went to my Union and our Association for the funds. A vote was taken and the funds approved. ALL of the funds came from the members Dues, not monies raised for our charitable causes.

$1,600.00 total  $800.00 from union, $800.00 from assoc,
The bus (King Ward Coach lines) $1,550.00. that left me with $50.00 to spend on coffee and donuts for the ride down, We left @ 7:00am

Morningside bakery: $38.50
Dunkin donuts (coffee) $24.00
         total $62.50
Dan Amuso put in the $12.50

This trip was for us to pay our respects to our 343 F.D.N.Y brothers. Yes after the memorial we had lunch, raised a few pints and enjoyed each others company. I had my son,an Air Force trained Firefighter with me. Another had his father with him. My retired uncles had their grandsons with them.

WE payed for everything!! Tax Payers Payed ZERO. Your source is not wrong, he or she is a lier.
                          Sincerely;
                       Dan Amuso 

—– 00 —–

We thank Lt. Amuso for this information. Our source within the department insists that the bus contained six cases of beer and that there was excessive drinking afterward. THE PLANET makes no judgment here. We present both sets of claimed “facts” and will let our readers decide.

 —————————————————————-
INTO ITS WEEKEND THE DRAGON GOES, BRINGING JOY TO ITS FRIENDS AND BREATHING FIRE ON FOES. ONLY ONE CAN TAME THE DRAGON. ONLY ONE. HAVE A GREAT MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND. NO PLANET ON MONDAY! BYE FOR NOW.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.

121 Responses to “PLANET LEARNS IDENTITY OF OFFICER BEHIND ORCHARD STREET CRASH … POLICE CRUISER CRASH HAS AN ODD FEEL TO IT … PLANET’s REQUEST TO CHIEF WYNN FOR COMMENT UNANSWERED … BBs SULLIVAN RIGHT-ON RE: TT, BUT COPY DESK LETS HIM DOWN … FED LAWYER CALLS CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT ‘STUPID’ … ROMNEY SCORES ON EDUCATION … plus … LT. AMUSO PROVIDES INFO ON PFD NYC TRIP”

  1. CONCERNED
    May 24, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Is it Ron or Rob?? I knew a Rob

    • danvalenti
      May 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      CONCERNED
      It is Rob.

  2. Jimmy Glesin
    May 24, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

    Dan,
    We can hope that Officer Najimy is doing well, but it does beg the question, how the hell was he allowed to be a police officer with multiple seizures? … Now this? Chief Wynn and the person in charge of patrol officers Captain Granger need to be held accountable. Officer Najimy will loose his job, but so should Wynn and Granger. Those two “leaders” played russian roulette with the citizens of Pittsfield allowing Officer Najimy drive a police car.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      MR. GLESIN
      Please contact me privately at danvalenti@verizon.com with a VALID e-mail address ASAP. Failure to do so may lead to being kicked off the PLANET. Thank you.

      • Jimmy Glesin
        May 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

        Dan,
        Email has been sent confirming my identity. As far as your views go Jim Gleason, you can keep your views and opinions. I don’t think anybody wants them any way. From reading this for a while, you seem to spew vitriol and then bad mouth people who disagree with you. I’m not sure if you are just a mean and bitter person or if it’s the verbal abuse the kids put you through as the school janitor? I know back in the day we were peaches to the lunch ladies or the school janitor, so if it helps your cause, I offer you an apology years later.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

          JIMMY
          Thank you. I shall check the address out. I shall ask you the same as I ask of all my posters: Keep the discourse as biting as you wish, but please do so in a reasonable, civil, and discussion-forwarding way.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

          GLESIN
          If you sent that e-mail, it never arrived. Unless I receive an e-mail with a valid return address and phone number, consider yourself uninvited. We are in earnest, sir.

        • levitan
          May 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

          I’m not sure if you are just a mean and bitter person or if it’s the verbal abuse the kids put you through as the school janitor?

          “Jimmy glesin”

          No Jimmy, it is you at the moment spewing vitriol and verbal abuse. As usual, accusations fly the wrong way.

          Anger is a legitimate feeling and political forums are just the place to express it.

    • Jim Gleason
      May 25, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      This person is NOT ME and has no connection to me and his or her views are not mine.
      Jim Gleason

  3. rick
    May 25, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    wow dan, another person you pissed off (amuso). keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:32 am #

      rick
      Of course, the other point to raise with Lt. Amuso: Were the firefighters being paid for this outing? Also, Where to the association dues come from? From their pay. Where does their pay come from? From the taxpayers. Whether this was a trip done mainly for 911 memorial or an excuse to have “friendly and boozy” get-away with the boys is open to interpretation.

      • bobbyd
        May 25, 2012 at 8:42 am #

        What they do with their association dues is really none of your or the city’s concern, even if they are paid from money that is earned from the city. Once they have earned it, it is their money to do with as they see fit.

        While you can have an opinion about how the association spends it’s money, they are no more accountable to the public than WalMart would be if the firefighters spent their money there.

      • dan amuso
        May 25, 2012 at 9:21 am #

        Dan, are you kidding? All who attended were on their day off. All the fire stations were open! All of us earn our pay. We don’t “take” anything from the public. How we spend our money and who we are with when we spend it is none of anyones business. By the way, all the fire fighters in their gear last Dec.14th in front of Stop&Shop merrill rd ringing the bell for the Salvation Army where off duty. Just there to help, and we didn’t ask the Salvation Army how they spent the cash we helped raise.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 11:39 am #

          DAN
          Thank you for moving the story forward and clarifying the PFD’s involvement in the NYC trip.

      • levitan
        May 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

        Sounds to me that they went to NYC. Paying tribute to the fallen is a worthy reason to go. Drinking beer is also worthy. It’s American, it’s good, and there is nothing wrong with drinking it. Even a lot of it.

      • Andrew
        May 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

        Wow. Once a man (or woman) gets paid it is their money to do as they see fit. Do we want to live in a society where taxpayers get to dictate just exactly how salaries are spent by government employees? If you’ve earned it you get to do whatever you want with your money. It’s truly the sign of a busybody and a newsmonger that somebody would keep blogging about this subject.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

          “Newsmonger” I will gladly accept! Thanks heavens that we are them, for the community’s sake. Or do you have a problem with keeping them honest, and if so, why? Care to say, or do you want THE PLANET to reveal it?!

          • Andrew
            May 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

            I have a problem with gossip that can serve only to embarrass people without any constructive motive. This isn’t newsworthy, you’re actually wrong and yet you can’t simply say “Hey you’re right Lt. Amuso. I’m sorry that I didn’t double check my information before I published it in online so that the words will never be erased from public knowledge.”

  4. Eric Vincelette
    May 25, 2012 at 4:58 am #

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Probably the greatest speech ever made by a US politician, and it’s only a little more than 250 words (258, if memory serves). I try to read each year, anew: 1. The Declaration of Independence, 2. The Bill of Rights, and 3. The Gettysburg Address. These seminal documents remind me what America is supposed to be about but, sadly, no longer is.

      • Bull Durham
        May 25, 2012 at 10:16 am #

        When Lincoln said those words, and when he wrote them on the train ride to Pennsylvania, we knew they were really his thoughts and words, which is so different from anything we see today out of our politicians in DC. The ending of his first inaugural is also quite powerful…

        In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.”
        I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

        • levitan
          May 25, 2012 at 10:32 am #

          Persuasive language directed at common citizens. Perhaps today’s politician’s arguments are for other ears, such as those that are come from the corporate world and pollsters.

  5. Eric Vincelette
    May 25, 2012 at 4:59 am #

    Should have had ” at the beginning and end, I apologize

    • levitan
      May 25, 2012 at 6:04 am #

      Thanks Eric V. I work in marketing find the commercialization of Memorial Day a sorry state. It’s a pleasure to read those words.

      • Eric Vincelette
        May 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

        @ Levitan..Thanks. I actually read it on a suggestion from one of my right honorable good friends on the City Council and I was glad I followed his suggestion…It gets to the heart of the matter

        • levitan
          May 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

          Eric,

          I passed the words on to my coworkers (having spent the last month selling stuff branded with the holiday.

          It felt like washing my hands. Anyway, you made my day a better one.

  6. AMBROSE
    May 25, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    I fail to see what Czerwinski’s love life has to do with him not appointing the high scorer. You mention who his girl friend is every time you mention his name.
    Despite your denials of being bought and paid for, you are being bought and paid for by Romney.

    • Silent Majority
      May 25, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      Better than being bought and paid for by Barack Hussein Obama

      • levitan
        May 25, 2012 at 6:28 am #

        SM:

        I have rarely heard Bill Clinton referred to by Frederick, and I still don’t recall what W. stands for in GWB.

        So, referring to the POTUS as Hussein, it seems you are trying to resurrect issues of identity that was settled last time. Your audience is largely Independent, otherwise Democratic Party – you need to do better than that.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 7:20 am #

          LEV
          Yeah, the “Hussein” bit is speaking in code. Cheap shot, no question. Go after the guy’s record, not his heritage. I also agree: “birthing” is an instant admission that you have no arguments against the President.

        • bobbyd
          May 25, 2012 at 8:44 am #

          Walker.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:27 am #

      AMBY
      Fair criticism, and I asked myself that question as well. However, since the acting chief is a department head, and his girlfriend is a long-time feeder at the public trough now looking to get there again, that is the connection, tenuous as it may be. Both feed off the taxpayers, once lucratively and the other going for a $90K job. One benefits the other in terms of political connections. Even with that, I accept your criticism as a good one. It was a tough call, and in such cases, we lean to sharing information with the public. That’s all it is: information. People can make of it what they wish.

      • ambrose
        May 25, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

        She was not slurpping at the public trough. She was elected by ‘we the people’,the Kapanski’s if you will. That being said, after we the elected her she quit in the middle of her term causing a special election. The hell with you people who voted me in. She ran off to the private sector and found one has to work out there so its back to the voting booth to fatten up that pention that’s only a few yards down the road.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

          AMBROSE
          Yes. She did just that. Quit in midstream. Quitters who betray the public trust do not deserve another shot at it.

      • Hilly Billy in Ward 4
        May 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

        Who are you supporting in the Registar of Deeds race DV?

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

          I haven’t reached a determination on that yet, Hilly. I don’t know enough about the candidates.

          • levitan
            May 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

            It’s a multiple choice test. You eliminate the ridiculous and take a stab at what’s left.

  7. levitan
    May 25, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    I recall Obama issuing his threats to the Teachers’ Union, only for those words to fade away.

    If Romney will and can weaken their stranglehold, I very well may vote for him. Meanwhile, this article from the New Yorker provides a good picture how the Union affects the schools.
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/08/31/090831fa_fact_brill

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      Mitt has a great issue with education. You’re right: The President early on said the right things then quickly dropped that line when the Big Unions spoke. Politicians in general, but especially the Democrats, are deathly afraid of pissing off the teachers’ unions, who are adamantly opposed to authentic ed reform. That is why the US continues to trail the rest of the industrialize world.

      • levitan
        May 25, 2012 at 8:27 am #

        Agree with you regarding the strength of the unions. The article quotes the head of the Union “we don’t want to defend the indefensible.”

        But to discipline even the most worst offender requires a huge undertaking taking many years. The teacher being investigated is coached by the Union how to window dress throughout the process and the end consequence is a $200 fine if found at fault (teaching standards, abusive behavior.)

        To get fired, a teacher has to practically murder a student.

        • AMBROSE
          May 25, 2012 at 10:44 am #

          Levitan, you may be right. Sadly, teachers have rights. They shouldn’t have. If it takes many years to discipline the worst offender its because that teacher has many years of excellent evaluations. Everybody can’t teach and control kids. Some from the day they walk in the door are disasters. Yet they last for years being told their doing the job. Those who were a real problem were transfered. Some try to blame gutless administrators. No way! The teachers your talking about should have known enough to quit, despite that the were told they were doing a great job. But I agree, teachers, cops, firemen or any public worker should be stripped of their rights the day they take the job.

          • levitan
            May 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

            Ambrose,

            Is this sarcasm – I don’t get a clear read on you.

            I’m not adding a lot in rejoinder, but first, I think you should read the article I linked which deals with Joel Kline’s efforts to reform the NYC Public Schools.

            The challenge involved in addressing poor performers was so great, and the options for disciplining them was pennies out of the teachers’ pockets. So, the only effective way of getting a bad or dangerous teacher out of the classroom was the ‘Rubber Room.”

            You can’t strip people’s rights in the USA. We are born with them, and we carry them into the grave. Entitlements are another thing, however.

          • levitan
            May 25, 2012 at 12:37 pm #

            I think there is a case to made for busting unions for public employees however. Somehow the public employee makes out like gangsters while us in private sector scrape by.

            Not too different from the Soviet Union.

          • danvalenti
            May 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

            LEV
            A case can be made for that. It will become a winnable case, as opposed to an arguable case, the moment turnout in local elections tops 70%-75% again (as it used to be in Pittsfield back in the day).

    • Joe Blow
      May 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      You shoul watch John Stossel’s special “Stupid In Amerca”

  8. CONCERNED
    May 25, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    R/E to Officer Rob Don’t think you can blame Chief or Capt. I would say some doctor(s) cleared him. If that is the case the department would have no choice but to put him back to work, or the union would have sued to get him back and a judge would have ordered him back to work. That would be my guess!!

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      CONCERNED
      I agree. Don’t know for sure, because the the chief never returned my inquiry, but it would make sense, if only from a CYA standpoint, that the department had the medical “paperwork” saying the officer could get behind the wheel. Given his apparent history of multiple blackouts, he’s a ticking time bomb if he is allowed to continue driving.

    • Coverup
      May 25, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      Granger has been covering up for his boys for years. He knew about the situation and did nothing!

    • Ed Shepardson
      May 25, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      We all know that Pittsfield is fast becoming a lawless community. Now, even the officer’s HIPAA rights have been violated, or so it would appear.

      • bobbyd
        May 25, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

        And publishing by the press of protected health information which was release unlawfully is actionable.

        • danvalenti
          May 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

          Tell your lawyer to call my lawyer. We will rest our case on the First Amendment and the truth of our information. And what will your case be, bobbyd? Not that it matters, but we released no information on anyone’s medical condition. Smell the roses, lad!

          • bobbyd
            May 26, 2012 at 7:31 am #

            I’m not saying it WAS protected health information or that it was released unlawfully. I’m just putting the facts out there. The readers can decide.

        • Joe Pinhead
          May 26, 2012 at 6:33 am #

          First, I sincerely hope the officer makes a speedy recovery and that his long term prognosis is good. To the HIPPA question- stating that he suffered from a seizure is nowhere near discussing his medical history. A seizure is a transient symptom of “abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain”. It is not his medical history, his medical history would be discussing for example his course of treatment drugs prescribed Test prescribed and the results of those tests etc. How many times have you heard on a broadcast “star X suffered a heart attack”? Once an incident occurs (be it a seizure or heart attack) on a public way and I might add while carrying out public duties it is just that in the purview of the public.
          To suggest that it is unlawful to discuss the issue because it was a “medical incident” is baseless.
          To throw HIPPA into the mix is ridicules as we all know HIPPA was enacted in 1996 to ensure health care providers take precautions with a patient’s medical records. While I openly admit reading the Planet is good medicine for the heart and soul Dan is not a healthcare provider.
          http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/index.html

          Just sayin
          :-)

          • Gene
            May 26, 2012 at 7:07 am #

            Joe P excellent reply, all 100 percetn correct. HIPPA is protection of employees medical history. Even football teams have to be careful when discussing treatment for injuries. DV is as you say good medicine, it’s also good medicine to see him rile up the right people (GOB)and bring truth and honest to the right people (nonGOB)

          • bobbyd
            May 26, 2012 at 7:34 am #

            HIPPA coves far more then just previous medical histories.

          • Joe Pinhead
            May 26, 2012 at 8:42 am #

            Bobbyd
            Yes it also covers his current course of treatment as well- however there is currently no one in a position to know his particular case and its course of treatment discussing it. I am not certain where you are coming from with the actionable items etc. but your way off base on the HIPPA deal, just wondering where it is you draw your conclusions regarding HIPPA? Are you certified yearly with all portions of the law? Are you a healthcare worker? Have you ever seen a case in the courts or administratively adjudicated based upon someone outside of a healthcare provider indicating the same broad terms of having a seizure?
            If this is so why does the BB publish things regarding injuries after other car crashes? Ex Mr. Smith suffered a broken leg and was transported from the scene? Or what about radio communication between say a dispatcher and a rescue crew? Ex reported Heart attack on 1313 Mockingbird lane? That is the persons current condition not his medical records, course of treatment or personal medical history etc.
            just sayin

          • danvalenti
            May 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

            JOE P
            We honor your generation of experience in this field. Comments such as bobbyd’s are sent in by GOB shillsters who are following their marching order and their talking points. Also, love the reference to 1313 Mockingbird Lane. One of best friends (HM) lives there!

          • levitan
            May 26, 2012 at 11:46 am #

            Joe P.

            I believe the question of HIPPA pertains depending on where the information comes from. If the information was uttered by a health professional, the information is protected. If it is passed on from heresay that doesn’t come direct from a restricted source, it likely isn’t.

            Example of non-HIPPA: If I tell a friend my wife had a surgery, that would not be HIPPA since I am not one of the institutions affected by that law.

            HIPPA: I cannot call my daughter’s school and ask the nurse, principal, or teacher a medical question pertaining to another student.

          • Joe Pinhead
            May 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

            Levitan,
            Precisely the information was not obtained from someone who either had access to the medical records. It is essentially hearsay, that is and was my point to bobbyd. This October will mark some 30 years I have been in the healthcare industry-when I read the comments I wanted to be sure that the record was as straight as possible hence the links.
            :-)

          • Ed Shepardson
            May 27, 2012 at 5:06 am #

            Where does it state that the information did not originally come from a healthcare worker? Did I miss that? All I read is that information about the seizures came from “sources.”

      • Joe Pinhead
        May 27, 2012 at 7:37 am #

        Ed,
        Where does it say in the story that healthcare sources are quoted or information came from them? Sorry did I miss something? Always being so negative
        :-)

        • Ed Shepardson
          May 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

          YOU stated the the information was not from a healthcare worker. How do you know this? Your words…
          “Precisely the information was not obtained from someone who either had access to the medical records”.

    • levitan
      May 26, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

      Dan,

      I question your calling Bobbyd a GOB shilster. Why would anyone bother to take marching orders from anyone in this forum.

      Any of us working for an employer spends most of the day following marching orders; why would we do that here?

      • danvalenti
        May 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

        The question contains the answer, if you look closely enough.

        • Joe Pinhead
          May 27, 2012 at 7:39 am #

          Does one really ever stop working?
          :-)

  9. Dan Amuso
    May 25, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Dan, the figures I provided you on the PFD trip to NYC are facts. I have the receipts. The info that I and Union Pres. Tim Bartini provided had our signitures. Anyone who makes claimes (especially negetive ones) and is AFRAID to sign their name is simply a coward and their so called facts should always be suspect.

    Remember all of our Vet’s this weekend, past and present.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 11:40 am #

      DAN
      I, too, would much prefer sources who go on the record agreeing that their names be shared.
      Also, I agree with you on our veterans.

      • Ed Shepardson
        May 29, 2012 at 8:15 am #

        The legislation, which has been proposed both in the State Assembly and Senate, would require New York-based websites such as blogs and the online hubs of newspapers and other media outlets to “remove any comments posted on his or her website by an anonymous poster unless such anonymous poster agrees to attach his or her name to the post.”

  10. Craig
    May 25, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Third Thurday really needs to be evaluated on three points; cultural impact, economic impact and goodwill/image.

    In my view, Third Thursday’s have had a significant positive impact on the city. Sometimes there are so many things happening at once or so far apart you can’t see them all. This supports maybe scaling it down, and maybe extending it – I would like to talk about that later.

    The economic impact can be figured out, for the day in some simple ways. Ask the vendors, street and retail shops. Do the retail shops see an increase in revenue on a third Thursday? Does Spice turn over more tables faster, does Valenti’s sell more product, does Persnickity Toy’s bring in more money? Any retail shop should be able to compare any day to any other and get a clear picture of the positive or negative impact of a Third Tursday by looking at net profits.
    Street vendors also have a track record if they have had a stall the year before or if the have stalls that the run at different events.
    They know how much a stall costs, they know how much they make, goss and net, so it should be easy.

    The goodwill/image proof is harder to calculate and isn’t objective it is more subjective. It impacts the cultural and economic factors and as a whole is about putting a positive image forward to the public at large.

    Even if a retail shop doesnt add dime one more to the till on TT does it help them build future relationships with new customers? Does the walk-in traffic translate to future sales?
    Does the stall vendor who is trying to raise awareness for their product or charity make those needed connections on TT?
    Some of these things can be very subtle or direct but hard to capture; a parent and a child seeing some young children doing a dance recital and then learning the school is just around the corner, visiting it and signing up for a class. It could also be seeing a stall for a charity, getting a pamphlet and half a year later donating some money or time. It is hard to track back delayed responses to some of these incidental contacts. The same could be said for the cultural impact, what is the longterm impact on a persons appreciation for the arts when they attend these events. We all can agree, I think, the arts are underrepresented in schools, having free cultural programs and events in your face on one of the busiest streets in Pittsfield probably has a postive impact on the appreciation for culture.
    I agree the press from the last TT was not good, but really who did that serve? Probably the Eagle because dirty laundry sells and maybe the police looking for a budget bump?
    But consider the 25+ other Third Thursdays that have gone off without any real problems, no one is going to report, another Third Thursday came and went, a lot of people had fun? But slowly and surely the word trickles out, people do know to come the crowds get bigger. It’s not big news, it’s not calling a street fight between two little girls a melee and a rumble and a riot, but that sells papers, and the mundane truth that thousands of people have had a positive experience with TT doesn’t. It’s like a photo editor told me, nothing sells papers like pictures with prison orange and red blood.

    I do have some solutions, that if done properly should either prove or disprove the worth of TT and maybe help alter its direction a little more.

    Survey the vendors and the retail shops
    Ask them for objective information like revenue along with the subjective what should we do different. This can then be part of a year end presentation to the city council by Cultural Pittsfield.

    Survey the public
    This is a partially tax payer funded event so why not ask what the public wants? It doesn’t mean you have to do everything they want but you might get some good ideas.

    Make it smaller (an idea others have stated)
    Maybe it should be smaller, I remember some years it went from Carr Hardware all the way down to the Berkshire Museum, that was too much. I believe part of trying to stretch it out is related to trying to help retail shops and trying to better control traffic into the area. Maybe that can change.

    Make it more family friendly (an idea others have stated)
    If more of the events were participatory it and geared to children and teens, it MIT draw a different crowd.
    There are lots of artists, musicians, performers, and creative people in this area. I would like to see less of what they do and maybe have them share how they do it.
    A Kung-fu demonstration by Sifu Carter is great, having him teach a group of a participants some moves would be fantastic.
    Watching Step perform is inspiring, seeing them teach hundres of kids a simple routine, that would be majestic.
    Imagine what a sing along with some of the local musicians would be like, even a silly song like row your boat. Replace the “cheesy (your term) with the corny.

    Change the day
    I appreciate the history behind third Thursday, paychecks and a night out on the town, but those where the old days. Maybe we should all wax nostalgic for them but build our own new traditions.
    What if it was Second Saturday? From 12- 3PM or 3-6PM. There would be less traffic concerns, more parking as all the business lots would be “empty” of downtown workers cars. Most stores are open on Saturday at those times and drawing people to downtown on a saturday is better, I think, then doing it on a Thursday for the sake of nostalgia.

    Some post scripts
    I had a chance to talk to a person who was involved in TT as a shop keeper and he brought up some points from a vendors perspective.
    More people in the shop, if they are not buying or even worse are stealing is not good. The quality of the person coming to downtown has to be higher if they want to stimulate economic growth. Foot traffic for foot traffic’s bragging rights to say 4,000 people is not enough.
    If he can’t recoup his costs, for him it is a failure.
    If he can’t build those relationships with new customers because the people are just browsers and not buyers, he’d rather not spend the money.

    I know first hand how that is because we frequent certain shops, on Third Thursday sometimes we can’t because they shops are “too busy” and maybe not with buyers but with lookers.

    Security
    This is the hot button topic right now, personally I think it has been blown way out of proportion. Melee and riot sell papers, two girls fighting on a side street. Six misdemeanor arrests in a crowd of thousands, small potatoes. Maybe with changes we won’t need extra police,

    • Michael Hitchcock
      May 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Craig, I appreciate your thoughts and writing. We are in line on this enough, I haven’t felt much of a need to weigh in. You are hitting all the important notes:

      -Profit is only one of the items we use to calculate value
      -A fight between kids is being blown out of proportion.
      -Secondary effects are harder to measure.

      I don’t agree with you that it necessarily should be scaled down, but I am indifferent. I just want it to be the right size to be fun and crowded.

      Good writing, Craig.

      • Hilly Billy in Ward 4
        May 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

        Agree. good points Craiger

  11. Silent Majority
    May 25, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Craig you make some good points but must disagree with the last one, security. Its the ‘hot button’ as you call it but it was way more tha two girls’ fighting. That was the trigger event but more than 100 kids go into it several jumped the police. One kid admitted having a gun. Only a miracle prevented disaster, I drove down N St. today my wife asked out loud ‘Who would want to come here and stay?’ I couldn’t answert.

    • levitan
      May 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

      today my wife asked out loud ‘Who would want to come here and stay?’ I couldn’t answert.

      I for one. It’s closer to work, good family neighborhoods, fun restautants, an excellent hospital so I’m told, good downtown resources, and excellent elementary schools.

      Worried about crime? Mr. Hall lived in Peru. The bodies were in Becket. The victims lived near Linden St.

  12. Craig
    May 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    I was just trying to illustrate that one persons riot, melee or rumble is another persons kids fight.
    If the paper can stretch a couple of girls fighting and some kids acting out into a riot, I can reverse that trend.

    I called it a hot button issue because, until last TT, and except for a few naysayers, no one really brought up security at Third Thursday as an issue.

    One of the police officers involved, who was “assaulted”- reported by the Eagle, said he wasn’t, said the number was way over estimated. I wasn’t there, he was, I’ll take his word on it as he was in the middle of it.

    A kid saying he was carrying a gun, may be true or it may not. With nothing to corroborate it and even DV’s questioning of it being true, I’m not convinced.
    Who would want to stay on North Street? The hundred or so merchants trying to make Pittsfield a better place, the people that think North Street and Pittsfield are worth something.
    I go with my son, who is 3.5 years old, every week to North Street in the spring, summer and fall.

    Dan if you want the real pulse of North Street, maybe an interview with Ernie of Grampie’s Hotdog cart, he is in touch with every part of North Street and the Downtown scene.

    • danvalenti
      May 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      CRAIG
      Ernie’s is a great source and a great asset to the downtown!
      As for the kid who bragged he had a gun, I wasn’t convinced in that 15-year-old lad’s particular case, but subsequently, I heard that it’s not far-fetched for young men (16-20-ish) to be carrying lethal weapons, including guns.

    • levitan
      May 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      Your proposal for economic analysis could be helpful, but I fear it may end up inconclusive in the way Tax Holidays are tied to high revenue but deferred spending.

      Next, how do you balance Spice’s gain versus a retailer’s loss due to theft? Does a TT become a marketing campaign for eateries?

      But the real problem I have is your characterization of the fight. It was a kids’ fight, but unruly kids are what kill a town.

      • Mayor Barrett had to forbid sidewalk benches because they attracted crowds. Kids roaming the sidewalks on bikes wasn’t enough to make you walk the other side.

      • Great Barrington had to lure the teenagers with drugs and sting them to make the town hospitable to shoppers. One merchant putting up speakers to ward them away.

      • Pittsfield appears to have an image problem (which I agree is exaggerated); this brawl killed off about three months worth of goodwill.

      Tacky or not, let’s just move it to the new park, sitting there empty, and keep the streets moving. It’s a no-brainer.

      • Craig
        May 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

        I see your point bad kids can certainly ruin a town. From my view two kids beating each other up and a bunch acting out is much less of a problem then if it were some teens accosting an adult, two adults fighting and a group of adults acting out.

        I think Third Thursday is partly a marketing vehicle for downtown, the shops and the eateries. It’s not limited to one or two, it really is for all of them. If they sponsor, they get better placement in flyers, if they host an event they get a little more press but TT is really focusing on the “down town” experience.
        The retail shops have to make their own judgement on the value of the TT crowd. Is it worth it to stay open, same thing with the eateries.
        Some may find more people mean less profit or sales.
        My personal experience was we went into Persnickety toys, it was so crowded, we did an about face and left. We spend about $20 anytime we go in there, we did not that time. Hopefully other people we spending money and not just wearing out the toys or stealing things.
        I know a retailer that actually quit staying open on a third Thursday’s because he found it wasn’t worth it.
        We go to Spice, when we do my wife, son and I don’t get out of there without spending at least $100. On Third Thursday we never dine in Spice, the last one I spent $24 buying spring rolls and chicken on a stick. Maybe they made up what would be my normal $76 difference in volume maybe they didn’t only they know.

        Mr. Hitchcock, I suggest making it a bit smaller for a few reasons.
        There has been a little too much to see all at once with two and three and even our stages/venues running at once. I remember one year we missed a couple things because we had friends performing at two ends of the street, wanted to see something at the museum, and had a contest to be in with my son. It wasn’t poor planning, it was just too many things to fit into the three hours.
        Some people are complaining about cost. A smaller area means less need for police, less need for cleanup, less disruption to traffic. If economics become a major problem with the need for more police after the last TT, less events might mean TT being scaled back to pay for more police overtime anyway.

        Levitan I think moving it to that park is a mistake for a few reasons.
        Part of the Third Thursday experience is to train people to visit merchants. “I saw that new store, it was busy but I’ll come back on the weekend.” The retails stores are a reason to go too, some run specials, I personally like them and think they add to the whole TT experience.
        The city has geared the street scape for it, the big sidewalks the electrical outlets every 20 feet, the trees. I would be less inclined to go if it were over at that park area because you are missing over 100 embedded vendors, many of whom help pay for the event. The park might be valuable for the art show although that might want to stay where it is to enhance the Fenn Street office but Third Thursday should stay on a main street like North.

        In trying to factor in all the things that might impact Pittsfield negatively, unruly kids may be a little further down on my list then others.

    • levitan
      May 25, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

      “Kids roaming the sidewalks wasn’t…” should read “Kids roaming the sidewalks on bikes was…”

  13. Craig
    May 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I don’t disagree it is even possible for younger children to have guns, illegal, but possible.

    One kid admitting to having a gun is bragging, maybe lots of people were carrying guns – legally and illegally no weapons were involved in this fight, brawl, rumble so I think it is just bragging.

    We can’t live in fear or base far reaching city planning on what maybe might happen someday sometimes. We can be alert for it, we can minimize it, but to wholesale shut down TT, just like the mayor if it is to be canceled, we need good reason before we as a community just roll over.

    They have an arts event and sale once a year on a weekend, in the parking lot in front of Cultural Pittsfield and down the street in front of it. Maybe a try of Second Saturday there and that first block of North Street might be a nice compact alternative to Third Thursday?

    What Pittsfield needs are solutions, griping is good, venting is OK up to a point, but solutions, being willing to work on things, knowing all the work you do might e sent down the tubes by the actions of a few.

    Megan and the Cultural Pittsfield staff work very hard, for very little money, with rediculous swings in funding that’s almost entirely outside their control. Dan you have asked tht we believe in you, have faith in you, I ask that everyone here have a little more faith in some of the good trying to be done in Pittsfield and in the arts community.

    I know it’s hard sometimes, you can’t trust the paper to be forthright or accurate a lot, the specter of the good ole boys network is out there, but we can fix these things.

    I read that thing about Kroll, do people really think he woke up one day and wanted to take over a kids basement radio station so he could control the hearts and minds of the Pittsfield voting public?
    Anyone can have a show, the kids get first crack, many don’t care to be on radio so why not use it? Dan you could have a show, as you know, you could be on PCTV too. I don’t think you want to but you could, so could anyone. To me hat seems fair, do it or don’t no one is denied, it is just those ht take the risk or opportunity that are then hated or vilified.

    We can all do better, the city, our home towns, the “county” and our future depend on it. Let’s be the solution!

  14. Ron Kitterman
    May 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    @ Eric V thanks for the Gettysberry address post. I think of Miss Hart from North Jr High when I read it. She made us memorize it in the 7th grade. She was a History teacher that is fondly remembered. Brian Sullivan did a piece on her for his 250th collection. She was one of great ones for certain. http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_17003222?IADID=Search-www.berkshireeagle.com-www.berkshireeagle.com

  15. Jonathan Melle
    May 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Willard Mitt Romney is a phony! He is a very rich man who is out of touch with the lives of most people. When Willard was Governor of Massachusetts, he cut funds for public education. Willard also cut local aid. I could not disagree more with Dan Valenti on his support for both Willard Mitt Romney for U.S. President and Andrea Francesco Nuciforo Junior for U.S. Congress.

    • Scott
      May 26, 2012 at 5:10 am #

      I agree you talk about track records for politicians and Mitt’s isn’t very good.

  16. Jeff
    May 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Dan,
    Maybe the reason that they are not publishing more about the medical condition is that it falls under HIPPA and the Officer is the only one who can make the decision as to if it can be released or not. As far as the firefighters trip, if it was monies used from a union that they donate to from monies that they have earned what business is it of yours. That is money that they have earned and if they wanted to use it to go to a circus then they should be allowed to.

  17. Jeff
    May 26, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    If they were indeed drinking….. Good for them they are responsible adults harming no one.

    Three cheers to the Pittsfield firefighters….. I myself and the vast overwhelming majority out there support your efforts to keep our city safe. People do truly appreciate everything you do for your community.

    A Lenox supporter from Lenox

    • levitan
      May 26, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      Amen.

      Beer is proof G-d loves us. – B. Franklin

      • GEE Whiz
        May 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

        I love it!! Many beers into the holiday weekend!

    • dan amuso
      May 27, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

      Thanks Jeff. as I said , we did have a few. We also had a designated driver,”the bus driver” The truth is that we went as a group to pay our respects. We had a great time. NO Appolgies.

      thanks for your kind words.

  18. Outfox
    May 26, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Unruly kids are not what kill a town; having a major employer pull up stakes is what kills a town. Having a local hospital enter into a contract with NY state to provide drug rehab services for its overflow, and having the out of state recipients of those services then remain in town because it’s a shorter wait in the welare line, that’s what kills a town. At the same time, three strikes you’re out drunk driving law is passed. This is the weird syncronicity of events that brought a population of urban young men experienced in the crack game face to face with a disillusioned population that was no longer hitting the bars, that’s what kills a town. If nostalgia is a drug, well, I for one am using it regularly, and if nostalgia is the province of old men, I guess I’ll have to look into gender reassignment. As for Pittsfield’s downtown being dangerous at night, there’s nobody there, so I ask,Dangerous for who?

    • danvalenti
      May 26, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

      OUTFOX
      Beautifully executed comments. We thank you.

    • Scott
      May 27, 2012 at 5:19 am #

      When I said nostalgia is a drug I didn’t mean it in a negative way. There are violent gangs and men/woman around Pittsfield I don’t think it should stop anyone from enjoying the out doors but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of your surroundings.

      • Outfox
        May 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

        Seems like most of the violence that is reported in the paper takes place in people’s homes, behind drinking, not on our main street. The most dangerous thing I see at night when I’m out and about are skunks foraging in the trash. Now while the skunk may be an appropriate mascot/metaphor for Pittsfield politics (e.g. Those varmints! or Something stinks around here), I think what really upsets us about the headline making violence here in the last year is that both incidents are such a radical aberration from our daily way of life. Oh, the other dangerous thing about North St? Bicycling on that torn up mess…Sidewalks here I come

  19. I'M Not Mitt Romney
    May 26, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Dan Valenti is on hefty retainer from Mitt Romney’s campaign. Valenti doesn’t write Romney’s speeches, he “punches them up” kind of a glorified version of editing. Valenti wrote Romney’s ridiculous campaign slogans. But you know what? Valenti is a gun for hire. A mercenary. He no more supports Romney than he does Joe Biden.

    • levitan
      May 26, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      Good for Dan Valenti. I’d love to write both Obama’s and Romney’s speeches.

      I fail to see the shame in it.

    • danvalenti
      May 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      NOTE: Lads, your tiresome needles on this subject have out lived their usefulness. We shall permit no more such posts. Yes, we have done shows with Mitt Romney, but we do not work for Mitt Romney. This shall be the last such post.

      • Andrew
        May 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

        Censorship on PlanetValenti?

        • danvalenti
          May 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

          Sure. As any editor, we reserve the right. We have a light screen. Those who cannot abide by our minimal rules shall be banished. Simple as that.

  20. tito
    May 26, 2012 at 12:30 pm #

    Is Valenti responsible for the Mitt quote ” I’m not worried about poor people”.

    • Chet Murphy
      May 26, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Touch’e

    • joetaxpayer
      May 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      I believe it was the left winged media which took that out of context.

    • danvalenti
      May 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      No.

      • Scott
        May 27, 2012 at 5:20 am #

        It’s like Obama’s birth certificate some things folks just won’t let go.

  21. tito
    May 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    Godspeed, Jim Henneberry and all the veterans!

  22. rick
    May 27, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    dont forget “corporations are people too my friends”, and i like firing people, mitt stands for what has happened to the 1 %.. they are cold and calculating in their quest to be rich, people who stand in their way get squashed…mitt has to be aloof and distant from the common folk because of his disgust for the lower 99% that he helped make….he wont talk to any press except fox news…. every time he opens his mouth he proves how above everyone else he is. his own party cant stand him, and no one else wants to go up against an incumbent prez. basically he is all the repubs. got.

  23. Beacon Hill Mob
    May 27, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    While we are on OBAMA.

    Has he proven CITIZENSHIP? I think NOT

    Cal me a “birther”, Fine

    If the I MPOTUS is not a Kenyan, Britan, or Indonesian. COUGH UP THE PROOF! Hard to DO????

    The DNC and RNC should have vetted Barry.

    Come on Dan, Barry is more full of feces than my septic tank!!!

    • Scott
      May 27, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      He did produce the copy and you still don’t believe it! Not saying I care for any of these puppets but I am sick of hearing about it let the guy at least try an accomplish something while in office when GW stole the election it wasn’t talked about for this long and look at the damage he did to this country.

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        May 27, 2012 at 10:37 am #

        STILL NO OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS . Copys and such…..

        I could not get a drivers license with what Barry has provided

        As far as GWB i’m no fan, but not a SORE LOSERMAN either

  24. rick
    May 27, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    got that right scott.. the repubs said they were going to get obama out of office the day he was sworn in.. if you listen to hannity..beck..limbaugh, and trump they come across as bigots,its to bad that they get paid be bucks by rich repubs. to be the mouth pieces for the rebub.party. its sad that all these red necks still believe in the birther issue, and even sader that they think hes a muslim…. what a dirty world politics is,,,,,,, who said if you tell a big enough lie over and over people will believe it? i think it was hitler…………….

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      May 27, 2012 at 10:43 am #

      Barry has been lying since his lips moved. [REMAINDER OF COMMENT REDACTED]

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      May 27, 2012 at 11:33 am #

      P.P.S

      want HOPE or CHANGE???

      Ron Paul

      • levitan
        May 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

        BHM:

        As I said to someone else, you’re addressing a largely Independent or Democratic Party crowd (at least statistically likely); your rhetoric is more suited to the choir.

        To convince anyone here, you will have to bone up on Persuasion. I recommend abandoning trash talk, conspiracies, and the irrelevant.

        Hope that helps, and let’s not forget our vets.

        • Scott
          May 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

          The vets for sure they have been victimized in all this too. But let’s not forget Obama is keeping Afghanistan going and putting a strangle hold on Pakistan. Hope sure but change that’s his biggest lie yet. But you’re right Mass is predominately liberal most would be fools not to be.

          • levitan
            May 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

            Scott,

            i wasn’t clear – sorry – I meant to pay regards for those who sacrifice(d) life and limb for us.

            The poster on this thread is not worth the air or words in response.

            It was fun electing Obama to office. I look forward to electing someone new to office next time.

  25. tito
    May 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Would rather vote for Rue Paul.

    • Scott
      May 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      I would vote for someone who would promise a term defined by renewable energy progression, sustainability of our own resources lessening our dependence on out side sources and accountability for bankers and larger corporations. The last time America suffered a depression a larger percentage of America was involved in agriculture.

      • levitan
        May 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

        Scott,
        I’m voting Roemer. The only candidate to run on the paradoxical statement that our votes no longer count, and our nation is facing a crisis of alienation of voters from the elected.

        There’s a promise for hope and change!

  26. Hilly Billy in Ward 4
    May 28, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Gotta agree with you on Buddy Roemer Levitan….too bad his message is so tuned out

    • danvalenti
      May 29, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      HILLY
      How too out is his message. An otherwise astute friend of ours asked, “Who’s Buddy Roemer?”

  27. Payroll Patriot
    May 28, 2012 at 1:39 pm #

    Fed unemployment report: Jake will be working for state farm in order to get “Jake, from State Farm, what are you wearing; at 3 am ?” Dan, check your stoolie report about Hillcrest..

    Tomorrow, bottom feeder show starts at taxpayer expense. Mr. Bottom Feeder Hypocrite used to complain that the students weren’t doing the shows. Hope the schools are ready for more.

    Had to bring in F15′s today to keep North Street under control.

    Glad the west is getting the snow in May. If this is global warming, bring it on.

    What happened to the big red pothole machine for 250k? Any sightings?

    Big Wind from North in charge of workforce development, the Oxymoron of the Year Award. Look at North Adams– no, don’t.

    God Bless ALL those in the military so I can write the stuff on here. We need more days like this.

  28. levitan
    May 29, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    What happened to the big red pothole machine for 250k? Any sightings?

    I wonder about that too.

    I propose making a stink about City Council’s blatent disregard for the current Charter and process by insisting on packing the Charter Commision with their own picks.

    The Charter states that the Mayor gets to choose the panel.

    • danvalenti
      May 29, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      LE and PP
      Fancy, Magic Big Red Pothole machine sits rusting away in the the city yard. We hear, though, that it will be the vehicle upon which the 4th Parade grand marshal rides. The machine was the biggest waste of a quarter of a million since the city council gave that amount to EV Worldwide and its “1,000 Jobs.”