Article

DECISION TO LOCATE METH CLINIC NEXT TO DWYER’S FUNERAL HOME, ON PROPERTY OWNED BY CITY DOC ADAMO, RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, JUNE 19, 2012) — THE PLANET uncovered the news. THE PLANET broke the news. On THE PLANET, there has ensued a beneficial, community discussion. While the Boring Broadsheet pretended it wasn’t happening or, worse, didn’t know, and while all the other local media outlets, including radio news, took a snooze, we had our antennae up and searching the skies for the decision that has regular folk scratching their heads.

We speak of the surprising decision to locate the Spectrum methadone clinic next to a Pittsfield institution, the Dwyer Funeral Home.

This is a horrible choice, and citizens have a right to be skeptical that it was made on the basis of the facts as opposed to the basis of what’s good for the GOB.

PLANET Hosted an Important Community Discussion

There ensued on THE PLANET these past few days a great discussion about the appropriateness of locating the Spectrum Health Systems’ meth clinic next to Dwyer’s. We heard from Debbie Dwyer, who confirmed our information and the veracity of our reportage.

DR. PHIL ADAMO: GOB Ist Ranker and owner of the property next door.

The subsequent discussion revealed the likely answer to the question of “Why there?” The property on which the clinic would be located is owned by a GOB Player of the first rank, Dr. Phil Adamo, city physician, key figure in the mysterious decisions relating the PCBs and industrial pollution left by GE, principal of Occupational Medical Services, owner of a medical degree not from Harvard or Johns Hopkins but Universidad Del Noreste in Tampico, Mexico, medical director of Griffin Hospital Occupational Medical Center, member of the Pittsfield board of health, member of the state Sharps Injury Prevention Advisory Committee, and former clinical director at GE Plastics.

That’s a whole lot of curriculum vitae to digest. Before you experience an upset stomach, realize that the only important part of the resume is that Dr. Adamo is Connected. That’s what all those jobs and memberships reveal. Now, it doesn’t necessarily follow that Adamo’s 1st Tier GOB status is the reason why the city selected his property out of the many other alternate locations (Fourth Street, Nautilus Building on Summer Street, to name two), but this is Pittsfield, and, typically, that’s how the deal goes down.

Dwyer Confirmed Meeting with Asst. City Solicitor, to Whom She Registered a Loud ‘No.”

We also bring up the testimony of Debbie Dwyer of Dwyer Funeral Home. She confirmed on THE PLANET that her company owns the parking lot. She confirmed, as we reported, the meeting months ago with assistant city solicitor Darren Lee. Dwyer says said “no” to the idea that Spectrum be allowed to use the Dwyer parking lot. We can only presume that Spectrum will provide for parking in another manner.

Dwyer also says the city did not get back to her after that one meeting. She then assumed the matter was over, until the news broke about the pending deal between the city and Spectrum — a deal, mind you, that without this web site the community and probably even Dwyer Funeral Home would not have learned about.

We ask: How is this type of secret dealing possible? The city will say it was under confidentiality agreement with Spectrum. That only begs the question: Why, then, did the city solicitor’s office agree to confidentiality? Not having access to the out-of-court settlement, we cannot speculate further. THE PLANET does represent, however, that who stood as a safeguard to the city’s best interests in the negotiation of this deal? What were the terms? What did the Bianchi Administration, in the name of We The People, agree to with Spectrum Health Systems?

Surely a matter as serious as locating a methadone clinic in the city involves the entire community. Surely, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski deserved a place at that table. We wonder how this fits in with Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s pledge of transparency and openness in government.

Technically and legalistically, there’s nothing to indicate the deal breaks any law. Spectrum is a privately-held, not-for-profit affair. The Adamo property has been on the market. The city acted as a go-between. All of that is legal, but was it proper? Did Adamo in some way unduly influence the decision because of his connections inside of city government? We do not say he did. We only ask what is a reasonable question. If the answer is “no,” then fine. What can the city do to provide the convincing evidence? Does it even need to do so?

The Deal Is ‘Imminent’ and ‘All But’ Done

THE PLANET has been in touch with city sources who asked that their names not be used. [SIDE NOTE: We share the frustration of having to keep the names of sources out of it, but that's often the only way you can get people with knowledge to talk in a city where the political climate is ruled by fear and loathing.] They cautiously tell us that:

* The finalization of the deal is “imminent.”

* The deal has been structured so that the city council will have no legal say. My Right Honorable Good Friends on the council can only file a formal protest that will have no legal teeth.

* Dwyer was not contacted again for the simple reason of the business’s objection to Spectrum locating literally next door. The city took her “no” as “no” and apparently felt no further obligation to inform her of what was taking place.

METH ADDICTION: Not a pretty picture.

THE PLANET asked one city source who would have reason to be familiar with the terms of the city-Spectrum deal if the fact that Dr. Adamo owned the desired property had anything to do with the compromise agreement to site the clinic there. Answer: “What do you think?” We followed: “So is that a confirmation that Adamo had the inside track because of his city connections?” Answer: “Well, it doesn’t hurt, does it, but no, I can’t say that?” We could not get a straight answer.

Many Unanswered Questions

THE PLANET recalls driving past that location on upper North Street many times, and our memory informs us that the Adamo property has been on the market for years. He certainly has the right, as any other citizen, to market the property to prospective buyers. We would like to know, though, on behalf of Pittsfield citizens, how his property entered the discussion? Did Dr. Adamo or his representative lobby for the selection? If so, was such lobbying on the level? Was there any kind of “insider trading” going on? Why wasn’t Spectrum’s original location, Summer Street, not considered?

This doesn’t even address the question of the suitability of a methadone clinic at that location or any other within the city. Meth addicts are certainly not a desirable calling card for any self-respecting city.

A Tale of Two Properties, plus, Garivaltis and Dwyer, On the Record

Considering the two properties — Adamo’s lot next to Dwyer’s vs. the Nautilus building on Summer Street — reason would suggest the latter location. Dwyer’s is in a residential area, with lots of children, many of whom use the parking lot for play and to get to school. Summer Street is next to a parking garage. Dwyer’s is one a major artery; Summer Street is tucked off that same artery. Advantage: Summer Street.

A METH ADDICT'S ARMS: Do you want this in Pittsfield?

Then there is the matter of the clinic itself. As former councilor and respected civic leader Charles Garivaltis has pointed out in his PLANET discussion, clients at meth clinics tend to “hang around” after treatment. Would the location become an informal “social watering hole” for drug addicts? What kind of security does Spectrum have in place to prevent that?

Here is Garivaltis’ full comment, which we republish to give its importance the full exposure it deserves:

FROM CHUCK GARIVALTIS:

Folks needing a methadone fix don’t receive their treatment and go home. They hang around and the grounds of the treatment becomes a meeting ground. Doctors, clinics, treatment centers know this and that is why this business is not pursued.Do you see PEDA chasing after it as a job producing business? It won’t happen.This program is not to treat Pittsfield kids who have made a terrible mistake and need help. Because it is federally approved and sanctioned by Mass. state it would, by law, be available to any drug addict in America. And we know from experience that when drifters come to Pittsfield for services, incarceration, or treatment, many of them stay followed by their honeys.I know we would like to attract a professional class of people but many of our new residents are not professionals but folks in need of professional treatment.Where is the leadership and concern about placing a drug treatment center in a residential neighborhood where children play and traffic, near a school, next to a park, and literally on top of a 100 year old family business that is owned by the enterprising Dwyer family that has been a credit to the community.Pittsfield:What Went Wrong? It wasn’t only because GE left for reasons related to globilization. It was also beacuse of a brain dead political center. And here we are again. Where is the political outcry? Where are the savoirs of Tyler Street? Where is the concern about a resurging North Street? Where is the ward councilor? Where is any concern from government? I thought we had a friend in the state house. Or are we once again going to roll over and play dead while our quality of life becomes less safe because we’re afraid to speak out.

I know there are policies enacted through our government officials that tell us this is the law. But this law is a detriment to Pittsfield.We make these policies through our elected representatives. What we make we can unmake. That is, if we have the will.

Then there are the comments of Debbie Dwyer, who was not given the opportunity to have her say while the city was in the process of negotiating a deal that will certainly not be good for her business. She left a series of informative posts:

FROM DEBBIE DWYER:

When I first heard that Spectrum was planning on coming to Stoddard Ave. I questioned why the neighborhood hadn’t heard anything. Not one word. I contacted the City Solicitor’s ofice and was she agreed to meet the next day at 11AM and was going to ask Ward 1 Councilwoman Chris Yon to be there. Not only did she not show up but she never called to cancel. I called her in the afternoon and talked to her staff who knew nothing of the appointment. I tried to call the Mayor and was told he was only taking calls from Department Heads because of the budget meeting that night. The Mayor did call back later in the day and when asked why none of us, including the City Council, were not notified, he said it was all because of the confidentiality agreement between the City and Spectrum. I tried to explain that the parking lot we own is busy everyday with school children cutting through for either Morningside Community School or Reid Middle School and after school, when the lot wasn’t used for parking by us, the kids would play there and rides their bikes. It was during that call I was told the Clinic would expect 150 people between the hours of 6:30AM – 8:30AM to get their Methadone. That’s the time all the children are passing through and/or funerals are being lined up.
Darren Lee did call about parking and was told absolutely no! That was a few months ago and we never heard another word from anyone and thought if was over. Little did we know. I am more than willing to speak to anyone who may have questions. The Dwyer Funeral Home is 5th generation and has been there for 109 years. Does that mean anything? We have some great neighbors and some of the sweetest children around. Please don’t ruin the neighborhood by bringing in a Methadone Clinic when there are many areas in the city that would work better for both sides. Why won’t they talk to us………or the City Council.
FYI……..there are only 8 psarking places on that property. Where are all these people (and employees) going to park? Please let your voices be heard. Call the Mayor and ask for transparency. This is our City.———————————

Councilwoman Yon has been right here since I first heard about this. She is behind us 100% and doing a very good job to represent Ward 1. She was the first one here yesterday for the rally.

——————————–

The Dwyers own the parking lot next to the Adamo building and told Assistant Solicitor Darren Lee that there would NO parking for tenants of the Adamo building. That was 2 months ago. We never heard a word after that until last Thursday.——————————–

Thank you so much for your comments. There has to be a way to undo what has been done. Why won’t government listen to us instead of blaming the former administration? Poor excuse!

We thank Dwyer for her remarks, which have added a much-needed voice to this community discussion.

What Can Be Done, If Anything

In answer to her comment-cum-question: “There has to be a way to undo what has been done. Why isn’t government listening to us …?” We reply: What can be done at this point?

THE PLANET hears that the deal is “all but” done. Another source called it “imminent.” “All but” and “imminent” are different than “closed.” There may still be a small opportunity for action.

THE PLANET suggests that Ward 1 council woman, our Right Honorable Good Friend Christine Yon, call a press conference, inviting Dwyer Funeral Home, to address this issue openly. Other councilors who wish to show support for Dwyer could also attend. We also would like to see city solicitor Kathy Degnan at that conference to answer questions from the city side. Perhaps Degnan and a Spectrum representative could appear in a similar but separate press opportunity to address concerns. The public deserves a straight answer to the question: “What the Stoddard Avenue location next to Dwyer Funeral Home selected solely or primarily because it is owned by Dr. Adamo?” and “Why is that location better than Summer Street?”

THE PLANET welcomes further comments on this vital community issue.

—————————————————————–

FAR FLEETER THAN THE FLEETEST STORM OR STEED, OR THE LIFE AND DEATH THEY BEAR, MOVES THE PLANET, WITH A HEART CLOTHED IN TENDERNESS, LIKE THE DOVE, FLYING ON THE WINGS OF CARE. WE DO, YOIU KNOW!

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

98 Responses to “DECISION TO LOCATE METH CLINIC NEXT TO DWYER’S FUNERAL HOME, ON PROPERTY OWNED BY CITY DOC ADAMO, RAISES SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT OPENNESS AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT”

  1. Levitan
    June 19, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    Dan,

    I question the journalistic merit of those photos. They have no attribution nor dating, nor do I even know what they illustrate. Is number two a bad case of poison ivy. Sometimes my skin looks like that if I eat the wrong food. They don’t even appear to illustrate meth treatments.

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

      Thank you.

    • bobbyd
      June 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

      There seems to be some confusion regarding the distinction between methadone and methamphetamine. Sores like the ones illustrated in the photo are characteristic of methamphetamine addicts.

    • Scott
      June 20, 2012 at 4:49 am #

      The second one is from puncturing one’s arm too much with needles the first one is from methamphetamine which is different from Methadone which is a synthetic opiate used to treat heroin and other opiate addictions.

  2. Still wondering
    June 19, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    Dan, I think you should take a closer look into the effects of methadone use versus the effects of methamphetamine use.

    • Scott
      June 20, 2012 at 4:50 am #

      load your gun and say your prayers the day methamphetamine lands here.

      • Molly
        June 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

        You don’t think it already has?

  3. Ron Kitterman
    June 19, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    State Representative Paul Mark on WBRK this morning didn’t have a clue who Spectrum Health Systems was. The new host felt the Debbie Wong’s would be a better location for this enterprise. Mark stated it wasn’t even his district and placed the blame on Councilor Yon. We are in trouble here for sure.

    • Levitan
      June 19, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      I believe Mark is correct – this isn’t his district. Thank heavens.

      • danvalenti
        June 19, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

        Uh, and that means he should not be informed on an issue of this importance?

        • Levitan
          June 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

          Nah, I’m expressing some dissatisfaction with Mark. The further from here the better, Dan.

          We have the sorriest lot representing us in Boston.

    • Magic
      June 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      Debbie Wong perfect place for the clinic

    • Debbie Dwyer
      June 20, 2012 at 4:19 am #

      Our State Reps should be aware of what is going on even if it’s not their District, BECAUSE, it could be! This could have happened anywhere, and now we will be the watchdogs so it doesn’t happen again.
      .

      • danvalenti
        June 20, 2012 at 6:07 am #

        DEBBIE
        We totally agree. That Rep. Mark says it’s not in his district is no excuse for his ignorance in such a key matter. He does have representation in Pittsfield, and he would be doing well to stay informed on all city matters, not just myopically on the ones that take place in his district. The heroin addicts who will visit Spectrum to get hooked on methadone will include those from his district.

        • Molly
          June 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

          Wait – Rep. Mark is running against Nuciforo for representation of this city and other cities and towns in Berkshire County in the U.S. House of Representatives, correct? So has anyone contacted Andy Nuciforo to see what he knows about it and what he plans to do about it? And yes, also Rep. Mark should be aware of this as he’s asking us to vote for him! If he’s not even aware of this issue, then that’s a problem and if he merely just blames Councilor Yon without knowing the issue at all, then that’s also a problem. But both Mark and Nuciforo should be asked about it, and asked what they plan to do about it, and if re-structuring the “not for profits” that are way too plentiful and are nothing but a scam, is something that they would consider doing.

  4. Bull Durham
    June 19, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it Dr. Phil Adamo who a few weeks back ridiculed pharmacies and supermarkets and Walmart for selling cigarettes when he considers them to be ‘health centers?’ He told us this was because, you know, we need to eliminate legally available tobacco products from the eyes of ‘the children…” and yet now he’s fine and dandy with ‘the children’ being witness every single day to heroin and meth addicts in their own neighborhood? Just goes to show… if a dollar is involved, Dr. Phil Adamo never refuses. Maybe Rite-Aid and CVS should have offered to replace their cigarette sales area with a meth clinic.

    • Wilson
      June 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      They are recovering addicts. All of the venues serving alcohol, with their flashy lights and pretty decor are way more dangerous to kids. Yet they are considered the backbone of the economy and community. Like the funeral business, which may be family-owned, but it’s a family-owned racket.

      • Bull Durham
        June 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

        Sorry, but Herman Alexander’s isn’t located on Stoddard, is it? As for ‘recovering addicts,’ you seem to believe that all ‘recovering addicts’ actually recover, when reality is far different. But, hey, if you believe that, we have a bridge in Brooklyn up for sale if you want to buy it… or a building on Stoddard. And really???? You think a funeral home is ‘dangerous to kids?’ Yeah, wouldn’t want them exposed to people dressed in nice clothes gathering respectfully and a bunch of limos… very bad for them.

      • Scott
        June 20, 2012 at 4:52 am #

        I will agree to a point like alcohol is way worse then say marijuana but I’d say heroine addicts are way worse then both.

        • outfox
          June 20, 2012 at 10:05 am #

          The behavior of heroin addicts is way more predictable than that of alcoholic; disagree, Scott, though I usually do agree with you.

          • Scott
            June 20, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

            Drunks, dopers, they both have the tendency to try and rob maim or kill you for one reason or the other.

  5. Dave
    June 19, 2012 at 10:59 am #

    The Sinai Academy building on South St in Doctors Park is for sale. Plenty of parking, mostly businesses in the direct vicinity, on the bus line and right next to Attourney Shugrue’s office.
    It’s got it all!

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      A great suggestion.

  6. Kit
    June 19, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    It is my understanding that several locations were available for Spectum to consider. It was their decision where they wanted to locate. While everyone is screaming about this being a residental area, it has had a physicians office there for quite a long time. Additionally, it is across the street from the hospital/medical complex.

    This is just another example of Bianchi having to clean up the mess that Ruberto left for the City. It you read what has been put out in the last few days – there is a “settlement” in the works as well. There is a confidentiality agreement that Ruberto signed, as presented to him by Rich Dehoney (sp). One would imagine that if Bianchi violated the confidentiality agreement, there would have been further repercussions i.e. financial. If that were the case, everyone would be screaming that the Mayor is be flippant with the finances. Notice how slick the original players managed to pull out of this mess – Ruberto and Dehoney.

    So, to all the arm chair quaterbacks out there – where would you like to see this located. Summer Street is out as I believe the space now houses a physical or massage therapist.

    • Levitan
      June 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Good call Kit – you hit my points.

    • Bull Durham
      June 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      There is a very big difference between a physician’s office and hospital and a meth clinic. When the kids are out in that neighborhood, as they often are even in this day and age of everything-electronic, a physician’s office location and the hospital are pretty much thought of as ‘safe’ places for them to be near. I wouldn’t categorize a meth clinic as safe and sound for kids to be around.

      Since you asked, here’s where I’d like to see it located… next to Kit’s house.

      • Levitan
        June 19, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

        Ok, but you didn’t answer Kit’s argument. Spectrum has an interest in Stoddard Avenue, they appear able to acquire it, and attempting to block it or break the confidentiality presumably will cost the city even more money which of course we will have to pay.

        So, back to the question, what would you have your mayor do that you are willing to pay for and will be happy to read about in the next week’s edition of the Eagle (which we now know is very fast to report anything that may reflect poorly)?

      • Jim Gleason
        June 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

        I say they put it on Spadina Parkway near His Squiggness’s house.

        • Bull Durham
          June 20, 2012 at 6:09 am #

          My point is no one pointed a gun at Adamo’s head to sell the building to Spectrum. If he had put the people in the neighborhood above his desire for a buck, Spectrum would not be able to open there, could they? They have the ‘right’ to open in the city, but if no one is willing to sell them their property or lease to them, then that ‘right’ is pretty much a word and not a fact.

          And before you say it, yes, Adamo has a right to sell his property and we’re not in a seller’s market, but that doesn’t involve the city at all. It was his decision and as the city’s health czar, he should stop being hypocritical. He whines about cigarettes being sold in pharmacies and twists the wrists of retailers who are not doing anything illegal, and yet he’s fine with kids being exposed to a meth clinic because of HIM and no one else.

          • levitan
            June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am #

            But, Bull, what would you have our Mayor do that you would be willing to pay for and would feel good about reading in the papers down the road?

            Pointing fingers at sellers doesn’t settle the question.

          • Molly
            June 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

            DV – perhaps the mayor should start by asking where 150 cars in 2 hours are going to park? Oh – you don’t have enough spaces for this? Sorry – we can’t allow you to do this as we can’t have cars parked in the street blocking traffic! Sooooo sorrrrry!

            And perhaps then the mayor could ask them to justify their “non-profit” status on the basis of Education. “Show me the paperwork that justifies this! Show me the educational materials!”

            There’s two quick ones that I would like to see our Mayor do – it shouldn’t cost us a single thing and I, for one, would feel excellent about reading this in the papers down the road!

            One more thing – pointing fingers at THIS seller is very appropriate considering his current position in this city and the decisions he has made while in that position! And our Mayor should also be asked about this, too – he’s allowing it to happen. I thought he wasn’t one of the GOB’s??? Apparently, he knows how to play their game pretty good, right?

          • Levitan
            June 21, 2012 at 9:59 am #

            Molly,

            Would you like to see the mayor spend his ‘capital’ in this conflict with Spectrum by

            A: toothless denial of occupation based on parking (highly uncertain that would have legs in any scenario.)

            B: Challenging their educational status that for all you know does have proper documentation.

            I suppose you’d enjoy reading about the mayor looking foolish, but the only option with Spectrum is to convince them of a better location.

            We tried the courts, and that put them in the driver’s seat, didn’t it?

  7. Gene
    June 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    Dan thanks to you this story got out, it wouldn’t have otherwise. We all know you again delivered a story to the Eagle that the paper was too lazy or too scared to print until you published your story. Great job from the areas greatest journalist.

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      GENE
      Much appreciated.

  8. Ron Kitterman
    June 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Well the difference is Dr Phil’s property is for sale for $239 K down from $300 K, Drs Park is listed at $699 K so you have to think of this a little bit like it’s your own money…

  9. dusty
    June 19, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    again please…why was there a confidentiality agreement involved with this? Who requested it? Spectrum or perhaps Adamo?

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

      These are fair and important questions.

  10. K-Man
    June 19, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    I don’t understand why the city fought so hard about locating the meth clinic on Summer st. Could it be this was a set up so Adamo could sell a property hes been trying to sell for a long time ? Wasnt John Krol the main advocate for the lawsuit the city filed that it would have no chance of winning? This whoile thing stinks and I’m disappoined in the deal as done and also at Mayor Bianchi for being so wishy washy on this.

  11. bobbyd
    June 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    One respondent to a letter in the Eagle noted that it could be mobile, like BMC’s blood mobile. It could then visit several affected communities in the Berkshires. That would be a win-win for everyone. Except for Phil Adamo, I guess.

  12. jake h
    June 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    I read the Planet almost daily, but have never posted. Does anyone here understand what is being proposed, and what is heading for pittsfield? This isn’t breaking bad. Methadone treats opiate addiction and that is a problem in Pittsfield. Where do you live? I have watched friends die because of it, and think that they are just the tip of iceberg. You live in a cloudy reality…keep blaming the GOB while your city goes down the T-U-B-E-S.

    Google methadone clinics and learn something. I am disgusted by the lack of journalistic integrity on this site today. You should be ashamed, as most in this pcb clouded region know of NADA.

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

      JAKE
      Thanks for the post. We agree to disagree.

  13. outfox
    June 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    The medication that will truly help addiction is called Baclofen. While much of the evidence is of the frowned upon by the academy anecdotal type, time and again it has reversed addiction. Pierre Amuissen is a physician who used this drug on himself to treat his alcoholism, and then went on to try it with other people and addictions, with great succsess. He wrote a book called “The End Of My Addiction”; yeah I was skeptical, but he proves it. And there’s more up to date info available on the Internet.

    Sadly, the war on drugs employs too many people to ever be won.This methadone clinic discussion, while it hasn’t been phrased like this, is focusing on what the true problem is with addiction—it’s a public health issue. Having accompanied people to the clinic in Holyoke, which is based in a hospital, I can tell you that many addicts use the methadone line to make connections for more drugs, or to sell the methadone they are receiving. These are sketchy people due to the nature of addiction, and sketchy things happen around sketchy people. As for Sinai Academy as a possible location, NIMBY!!! Plus, Clinton Ave. is teeming with children and Redfield House is a block away, also teeming with children. Debbie Wong would be a good location, meets all the criteria of the Sinai suggestion, (except for the lawyer).

    What kind of security presence will Spectrum provide in and around its clinic? Oh, wait, they’re not taking calls right now…

    Interesting solution to the clinic issue in a letter in today’s BB. My only question about the letter is about the writer: Is that a nom de plume?

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

      OUT
      The “war on drugs” will never be won. It exists only to provide cover for politicians, to make it look like they’re doing something. There’s too much money involved for the “war” ever to be won. If people make the bad choice to indulge in drugs, that is their problem. If they need help, they should try cold turkey. If they truly WANT help and are willing to do what it takes to kick it, that’s another story. Unfortunately, few addicts fit that latter category.

      • outfox
        June 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

        Like kicking diabetes cold turkey, DV, but you do epitomize the overall tone of most Americans with your comments—that addiction is a moral choice and a human failing. It is the morality argument that has led the USA to have the highest incarceration rate in the world, but as we both agree, “crackonomics” dictates the behavior of our so-called legislators,as most convicts are behind bars due to opportunities that addiction gave them to make bad choices. And just look at how many jobs those prisons provide!

        America is now about to be inundated with convicts whose sentences are ending (the term ex-con is an oxymoron) with no employment available. Will we see a correlation between release rates and increased crime as a result? What if all the cons were put to work manufacturing the stuff that America used to make as a parole condition—would it be possible that some would form their own businesses and employ other people? Would that reduce recidivism? Help the economy? And what if they unionized?!

        As for the difference between methadone and methamphetamine, a few years back I was told by a “known associate” that methamphetamine will never be allowed to come into this area because it would wreck the cocaine trade. Small comfort, huh?

        • Scott
          June 20, 2012 at 5:02 am #

          You make good points and I don’t agree one can detox from heroin or other opiates cold turkey as Dan suggests but it is a personal choice and there is already help here for people like the McGee unit where one can detox safely in a medical environment.

        • danvalenti
          June 20, 2012 at 6:31 am #

          LARRY
          I respect what you say, but isn’t the decision to mess with drugs in the first place, and to continue the addiction even to the detriment of one’s health and life, a choice? My mom and dad, now in their 90s, were both smokers, as were most adults back in the 40s and 50s. I’ll never forget this: When the surgeon general first started putting warnings on the cigarette packs in 1964, they both quit, cold turkey. What is it easy? No. It was extremely difficult, but they did it because they wanted to remain healthy and live a long life for themselves and their three boys. I know of alcoholics who have quit, through an act of will. I know of drug users who did the same. I don’t know what the personal dynamics are, for instance, are some people capable of this and others not? I only know that cold turkey is the simplest, most direct, and most challenging way to kick an addiction. That comment in the last paragraph is enlightening. Methamphetamines are not being allowed in the area? Who makes that decision? Who controls the drug trade? How does it work. That would be an interesting investigative piece, wouldn’t you say?

          • outfox
            June 20, 2012 at 9:31 am #

            Addiction is the only disease for which a moral cure is prescribed—can you imagine telling a cancer patient to accept a higher power and thus find remission? Sadly,the Mcgee unit and other substance abuse providers in the Berkshires still promote this outdated and ineffective modality and it’s abstinence only, or you are thrown out of their programs. Punitive *and* primitive.and immoral, in my book.

            Harm reduction approaches to addiction treatment are often effective, and while methadone does fall under the heading harm reduction, it is a case of the cure being as bad as the disease. Many countries have found ways to address their addiction problem humanely and without punitive measures such as incarceration, which again, reinforces the moral approach.

            I once read that if the FDA had to approve twelve
            step programs as a treatment for addiction it would not because the numbers are too low to meet federal criteria for approval, yet due to the amount of money,i.e., how many people are employed by the war on drugs, our politicians are reluctant to allow effective drugs treatment programs in the USA.

          • danvalenti
            June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

            OUT
            Most cancer victims are indeed victims. They didn’t seek cancer.I’m not talking about someone who keeps smoking like a chimney or refuses to eat intelligently and with care. I’m talking people who otherwise did the rights things and still contract the disease. Addiction comes down to a person’s choice to ingest and inject or not. Every day an addicted person chooses to remain that way is a another day of failure, morally, physically, ethically, spiritually, and otherwise. If a person continues the dangerous habit so that they become physically “ill,” then great. They got what they were asking for when they decided to play that foolish game of high risk. The fact is this: Once a person decides to make poor choices, there are no easy answers for the rest of us. Their selfish pursuits them become society’s problem. Perhaps a more humane treatment is a Kevorkian type assisted-death. If people can’t muster the drive to get well, why should society play a part in sustaining their misery?

          • levitan
            June 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

            “’m not talking about someone who keeps smoking like a chimney or refuses to eat intelligently and with care. I’m talking people who otherwise did the rights things and still contract the disease.”

            Dan,

            I believe that it is part of living that we enjoy things that are not good for us. Do you cut all the fat off your meat? Do you abstain from all alcohol? Do you refuse grilled food (charcoal.) How about donuts? Fried eggs?

            Please don’t tell me you want to go to heaven in the beautiful body G-d gave you and join all the dull folk up there drinking organic juiced veggies.

          • levitan
            June 23, 2012 at 11:15 am #

            “Perhaps a more humane treatment is a Kevorkian type assisted-death. If people can’t muster the drive to get well, why should society play a part in sustaining their misery?”

            Dan,

            Now you appear to advocating murder as a form of treatment. Very sad.

  14. Dissing Dan
    June 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm #

    Holy Quotes, Batman, did I read it right. Mitt Romney, responding to an ABC report on vice presidential selection process, shot down ABC report on campaign’s vetting of Rick Rubio. Mitt said, “There are only three people in this country who know who are being vetted or not: And that’s Beth Myers, Dan Valenti, and myself. And I know Beth and Dan well. They don’t talk to anybody. The story was entirely false. Marco Rubio is being thoroughly vetted as part of our process.” How does this square, DV, with your being voice of the little guy? And where were you this weekend? On the campain trail? And was it you who dreamed up the “Every Town Counts” gimmick. Pretty lame.

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      DD
      Normally, we throw nonsense such as your post into the porcelain commode, but in your case, we’ll keep it around to let others know of the absurdity that some will go to to avoid discussing the issues and instead engage in these types of ridiculous attacks.

    • Larry
      June 20, 2012 at 2:08 am #

      While I’m not sure sure who Mitt Romney is going to choose as a running mate….. I am certain that’s who I’ll be voting for in November. Four more years of this clown we have now will certainly break this country and be the final nail in the coffin for the middle class.

      Let’s not forget Obamas opposition of the Keystone Pipeline….. We now have the capability of becoming independent of foreign oil with the oil rich Bakkan fields in the Dakotas. If not for our presidents back room deal with the Saudi’s to temporarily ramp up production prior to his election, energy prices would be screaming just as it has for all of his first term in office. You can bet your bottom dollar they will sky rocket again if he wins again!

      If indeed it’s true DV indeed has some connections with the Romney campaign; I say, great for him! Hopefully, for this country’s sake he’s with the winner!

  15. Pat D
    June 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    I take offense to Wilson’s comment about a “family-owned” racket in reference to Dwyer Funeral Home. A racket is defined as an organized illegal activity and or extortion of money by threat or violence; a dishonest scheme or business activity. A funeral home provides a service to help families go through the grieving process. Grieving is part of the healing process all people need to go through when they have lost a loved one. For thousands of years funerals have been a means of expressing grief and paying tribute to loved ones; acknowledging the passing of a loved one in a way meaningful to a person’s healing. Funeral homes and directors are trained professionals that help people through their most difficult time. As someone that has lost a loved one and utilized the services of a respected funeral home – I hardly consider that a “racket.” Shame on you.

    • danvalenti
      June 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

      PAT
      We agree.

    • Jim Gleason
      June 20, 2012 at 4:52 am #

      Dwyer Funeral Home made the proceedings after the loss of my Dad as comfortable as could be. They are a great organization and Rob and his Dad and staff make a hard time easier. Don’t call them a racket because they’re not. They’re being imposed upon here and deserve better from ruberto and his Minion Adamo who set this all up.

  16. Chet Hunter
    June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow nIce read. Too bad Dan will take this down because you don’t agree with him

  17. Chet Hunter
    June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow nIce read. Too bad Dan will take this down because you don’t agree with him

  18. Chet Hunter
    June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow nIce read. Too bad Dan will take this down because you don’t agree with him

  19. Chet Hunter
    June 19, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Wow nIce read. Too bad Dan will take this down because you don’t agree with him

  20. Giacometti
    June 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    In the 1990′s the Aging Greek God spoke of Buprenorphine as being a humane treatment for opiate addiction in the Netherlands.
    Today it is widely used to treat opiate addiction in the United States because it can be dispensed through doctors offices thus
    eliminating the stigma associated with clinics. Opiate addiction is
    a sickness that reaches all levels of society. The Aging Greek
    spoke of understanding the addiction and treating the addict with compassion.

    • levitan
      June 20, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Thanks for that, Giacometti.

      I never thought I would be thinking compassion for those seeking treatment, and then the malice hit the fan.

  21. Rick
    June 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Why are so many appointed people given so much power?

  22. Not buying it
    June 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    Debbie Wrongs has the same problems as Dwyers. Maybe even worse because there are younger elementary school kids walking to Allendale and a it is residential neighborhood.

    On 6/15 NBI correctly identified the clinic location for PV. Check the comments. Now I’ll state that a great location would be the Berkshire Oncology building off Dan Fox Drive. It will be available early next year thanks to BHS. There is plenty of parking, no schools or neighborhoods to worry about and it’s already configured / zoned for medical use. Some may say it’s too far out of the way. But it is on the B line and for years, many folks had to drive to a clinic in Holyoke.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      NOT
      Yes, on first examination, that would be a great location. Accessible by major artery and public transportation, out of the way, modern facility, lots of parking, not residential, no kids or schools. Great suggestion. That’s what is puzzling about the Dr. Adamo building: It seems the only reason it’s there is because Adamo is a Player. If that is correct, that stinks. It likely explains why a “confidentiality agreement” was put in place.

    • Molly
      June 20, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      You’re absolutely correct – that would be a GREAT choice!! It’s already setup perfectly for everything that they would need. But Pittsfield doesn’t work this way — one of the GOB’s needs to profit from this! And leasing the BHO building would not provide any GOB with any profit!

  23. Joe
    June 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    What a major mistake, What going on in this City? My sympathy goes out to the Dwyer family, and all those people who own property near a methodone clinic, good luck with selling that property, I mean who would buy it. Can you imagine 150 or more addicts in that area, never mine the drug transactions, that will be occurring in and around the clinic. I don’t know at this time, what can be done, but I’m gonna be pro active, with this, and I’M GONNA STAY TUNED IN TO THE PLANET.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      JOE
      Right on, 100%. Thank God there are those like you, good people, who care about the city. God bless.

    • Debbie Dwyer
      June 20, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

      Please join us at Park Square tomorrow evening (Thursday) at 5PM as we rally to let people know how upset we are. We can discuss what we know, which is more than the City is doing with us.

  24. Molly
    June 19, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Spectrum is expecting 150 people at their clinic just between the hours of 6:30am and 8:30am? And exactly how can they provide any kind of quality counseling to 75 people/hour? Obviously, they can’t and don’t plan to. Isn’t the counseling suppose to be a very important part of this “treatment”? And where will 75 cars/hour park? Our city doesn’t have the “power” or the right to ask that question? What is with that?

    And what is with this “settlement” that was frequently referred to in the BB article? It sure sounds like the settlement included the location on Stoddard Avenue, does it not? Any “agreement” like this we KNOW has to include one of the GOB’s profiting from it! And there it was! Dr. Adamo!!! Give me a break!

    Why don’t our State Legislators step in and ask how is it that Spectrum is listing itself as an “educational facility”? They REALLY need to crack down on this anyway as The Barrington Stage and The Colonial Theater are listed as “not for profits” because they list themselves as an “educational facility”. And now a Meth Clinic does the same thing. This needs to STOP! And this is very possibly one great way to stop this Meth Clinic from going into Stoddard Avenue!! Yes people, not only will they be IN your neighborhood and using the parking of Dwyer’s, they will be doing so without having to pay ANY taxes to boot!!! Nice, ehe? Mrs. Dwyer – you might want to put some pamphlets outside your door that discusses the meaningfulness of having a funeral, etc., and declare yourself as a “Not For Profit” – hey, if a Meth Clinic can do that, if theater companies can do that, then why not you? In fact, I think I’ll start a small at-home business and get myself declared as an “educational facility” and won’t have to pay any real estate taxes at all — why not?

    I think we need to hear MUCH more about this “settlement”…

    • Debbie Dwyer
      June 20, 2012 at 4:27 am #

      Thank you for your comments and to answer your question……..we would like more information but no one is giving it to us. Keep the pressure on, please.

      There will be no parking on Dwyer property for the Methadone property. They were told that 2 months agon and we continue to repeat that statement.

      • danvalenti
        June 20, 2012 at 6:05 am #

        DEBBIE
        We shall keep the heat on. What makes a bad situation worse is the way no one will give you the information you want, need, and deserve.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 6:13 am #

      A perpetuation of the “non-profit” scam and scandal that has taxpayers reeling and having to foot the bill.

  25. Molly
    June 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    From today’s BB: “Spectrum maintains that because it’s a nonprofit educational corporation, state and federal laws exempt it from certain zoning restrictions.” As I said previously, there ya go! That’s your way out of this — our State Reps should be involved and even threatening to investigate their “educational corporation”, making it be a “non-profit” should be enough to put them in their place and pull out of here as this would affect them state-wide! They are NOT, to my knowledge, an “educational corporation”!! They are a “Meth Clinic” that makes a LOT of money distributing meth, that we pay for, to addicts , and they don’t even need to pay any taxes – either on profit or real estate! Nor do they need to follow zoning laws! Time to look into that “educational corporation”!!!

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 6:12 am #

      MOLLY
      Great post. What Spectrum claims and what the law would agree to may be two different things. Our state reps, all of them regardless of district, should present a united front and question the point you just made.

  26. Molly
    June 19, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    I went to Spectrum’s website and from there, you can find a treatment center first by looking at Massachusetts and then Pittsfield. It was there that I found the following:

    Mental Health and Subst Abuse Servs of Berkshires/Keenan House
    202 Bradford Street
    Pittsfield, MA 1201
    (413) 499-2756
    http://www.mhsab.com

    Did anyone know about this?

    • Sam
      June 20, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      It is a half-way house.

      • levitan
        June 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

        Sam.

        Please don’t confuse me with the facts.

  27. dusty
    June 20, 2012 at 1:36 am #

    Do you think it occurred to Dr. Adamo that the citizens around Springside who have children who walk to school in that area, might freak out if a Meth clinic was put in that area? Of course it did.

    So did he take care of number one and say to hell with the kids? Or was he just trying to help?

  28. nomorebill
    June 20, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    Do you think Dr.Adamo cares?

    Adamo’s appointment to the Health Commission was a conflict of interest from day one. The fox was hired to guard the hen house. Adamo worked for G E. He was to oversee HILL 78, the health of our children. The environmmental clean up.

    If I were Mayor Bianchi, I would not honor that confidentiality agreement. He didn’t sign it, and it harms the citizens of this city.
    Ruberto didn’t give a damn about the citizens, only those who padded his paycheck, and his ego!

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 6:09 am #

      NO MORE
      You raise an excellent point. Bianchi didn’t sign that agreement. Is he bound to it? The “office of mayor” didn’t sign the agreement. The person who occupies the office did. That person is no longer mayor. As for Adamo, you are correct. It was ridiculous to have him, as a GE doctor, in charge of the health of the city, especially where it concerned the company’s filthy pollution of a city we love.

      • levitan
        June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

        Dan,

        I would assume (risky words) that the agreement is between the City and Spectrum. Or further, that Bianchi became attached to the confidentiality clause at the time he became apprised of it’s existence.

        Law is complex, and identification of parties is not the simplest concept.

  29. Bull Durham
    June 20, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    According to the boring broadsheet, the realtor on the property in question says no agreement has been reached and no closing has been set. That means Adamo can still do the right thing and back out, or maybe the co-owner, Dr. Lehmann will do the right thing and put the kibosh to this once and for all.

    I also wonder how the DPH has the authority to order a community to allow a meth clinic to operate within its borders. This is the same agency that dictated no bake sales at school functions and was quickly sent packing by the legislature, which told them they had gone far beyond their authority. Maybe it’s time for our lawmakers locally to step up to the plate and demand that DPH withdraw its mandate for a meth clinic.

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 7:34 am #

      BULL
      That would be up to Dr. Adamo and Dr. Lehmann. They would certainly become community heroes if they did that, but, then again, that property has been on the market for nearly three years. It would be asking a lot to ask them to turn down a buyer, especially one with deep pockets.

      • levitan
        June 20, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

        Now, you’re talking. We live in the USA, and markets are king.

        You buy stocks and property for profit, not for civics.

  30. Ron Kitterman
    June 20, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    We can zone Dollar General out of a residential neighborhod but not a methodone clinic ?

    • danvalenti
      June 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      Apparently, yes. I would first, however, go over the zoning regs with a fine-tooth comb and examine even more closely Spectrum’s claim to be a “non-profit educational facility.”

  31. Scott
    June 20, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    “Most cancer victims are indeed victims. They didn’t seek cancer.”

    Dan, aside from environmental causes one has no way of knowing about the way we eat and treat our bodies can have a dramatic effect on the chances of getting cancer. We should be taking more personal responsibility for our health as society in general.

    • levitan
      June 20, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

      Scott,

      I hate to break it to you, but unless you are a medical miracle, we will all one day perish from a heart attack. Each and every one of us.

    • Molly
      June 20, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

      It is not known, or proven, that environmental factors in Pittsfield cause cancer to the citizens of Pittsfield, or not. No one knows the cause of most cancers! What makes you think that any of the literally a hundred+ people who visit BHO every single day didn’t take personal responsibility for their health and take very good care of themselves? How dare you assume that they did not!

      However, I do often find myself asking, after looking at the absolutely packed huge waiting room there (no matter what day or time of day from 7am to 7pm!) – is anyone checking our water? Really! I’m serious – there are SO many people who go there and I wonder if anyone (other than Collingwood) checks the water or our environment at all? Does anyone look at the number of people living in Berkshire County who have cancer and has this number increased? I’m sure it has increased by huge amounts but no one is watching. Because that might cost some GOB’s some money or loss of power!

      • Levitan
        June 21, 2012 at 10:05 am #

        Molly, by your post, it seems the GOB community just experienced an exponential growth, from doyle and Nilan to an international conspiracy to poison Pittsfield.

        The waiting rooms at BMC are likely comprised of: hangovers, infections, injuries, and things that go wrong in the body that even you have not discovered.

        By the way, every year we get a report on the quality of the water. Whether it tests for the things that enter it from Montana and Japan, I wouldn’t know.

        • Not buying it
          June 21, 2012 at 11:22 am #

          Lev,
          Molly was commenting on the waiting room at BHO not BMC. That’s Berkshire Heamatology and Oncology otherwise known as the “Cancer Mall”. I suggest you stop in and check it out for yourself. No doubt you’ll bump into someone you know, but didn’t know have cancer.

          • danvalenti
            June 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

            NOT
            On tomorrow’s PLANET, we shall share some startling news about BH&O.

          • Levitan
            June 22, 2012 at 6:19 am #

            You got me, Not Buying It. I’m well familiar with the services they provide. ;)

            Beyond that legitimate correction, cancer is a scourge that can rarely be tied to just the water. The problem begins with the immune system, and stress from products we eat and use, and environmental insults whose origins can be traced a great distance from here.

          • danvalenti
            June 22, 2012 at 7:10 am #

            Excellent post.

  32. Debbie Dwyer
    June 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    Tuesday night will be the City Council meeting. Please join me to let the Mayor and the CityCouncil know that we are not against a Methadone Clinic BUT we are against a Methadone Clinic in a residential neighborhood…………..a
    nywhere in the City of Pittsfield. If you haven’t signed the petition, please go to my facebook page and link to it.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

      DEBBIE
      The Tuesday council meeting is a chance for people to express their sentiments on the clinic. We The People can reverse this “decision” if they get active and take back their government from the government.