PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2012) — With all the “deeds of the children of the night” being exposed on a regular basis from THE PLANET‘s work on behalf of The People of Berkshire County, let us step back, breath fresh air, and cleanse ourselves with the rhetorical refreshment of poetry.

Tomorrow will come soon enough, and we shall be back, sharing an amazing testimony from a courageous woman who tells the story of how her brother died of an overdose from methadone — “legal” methadone that was not used for its intended purpose by its intended user but absconded and sold on the street. Her cautionary tale warns of what may happen, again, is a methadone clinic sets up shop in Pittsfield.

Methadone Clinic Protest Slated for Council Meeting Tomorrow

Let us also share, quickly, that on Tuesday, Debbie Dwyer of Dwyer Funeral Home will be at the city council meeting tomorrow to spearhead her protest against Spectrum Health Systems locating a methadone clinic in any Pittsfield neighborhood. THE PLANET urges anyone who wishes to make their opinion heard on this matter to attend the council meeting. It can be to speak or simple to show support by physical presence.

It seems the council has no legal standing in this dispute, though that is not entirely clear. However, this is no reason for any one of my 11 Right Honorable Good Friends not to state their position on the matter. Take a stand, up or down, for or against. The ocuncil could, for example, take an informational vote on the issue to advise the mayor.

Fact is, the council is co-governor along with the mayor. If the council asks only one question, this should be it:

* How, when, why, and by whom did the 15 Stoddard Ave. address — a property co-owned by city physician and Player Dr. Phil Adamo — enter the city’s discussion with Spectrum?

Adamo’s presence here looks suspicious. Knowing how “The Game” is played in the moribund city of Pittsfield, one is more reasonable to assume this was the result of “insider trading” that mere chance or the innocent and/or efficient workings of the local real estate market.

Don’t Tell Anyone, Because You’re Not Supposed to Know, but …

On a related note, THE PLANET has learned that the Visiting Nurse’s Association is in discussions on a move that — if talks are successful — would bring it to the present Berkshire Hematology & Oncology building on Dan Fox Drive. That would preclude Spectrum locating the meth clinic there.



Now on with the restorative of poetry.


Our first poem is a little-known sonnet from one of our favorite writers, the Divine Edgar. That would be Edgar Poe, of course. In this poem, Poe reflects on the inevitable fate of all of us. In his last four words, he provides the solution.



There are some qualities — some incorporate things,

     That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of that twin entity which springs

     From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —

     Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

     Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore

Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.”

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

     No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

    Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No foot of man), commend thyself to God. 

—– 00 —–

We shall not explain the poem. We invite readers to read it, wrestle with it, and experience the pleasure of this gem giving up its meaning.

This next poem is one by Dan Valenti. You may have heard the name.


Valenti, known more for his books, essays, and criticism, got his start as a writer of verse. In his collegiate days, he won numerous campus literary accolades for his poetry. Publication in the nation’s literary press followed. These days, he returns to poetry for fun, relaxation, and therapy, but he publishes little of his own verse. His publishing company, Planet Media Books, has produced two volumes of poetry by two excellent writers with Berkshire connections.

The first is Spring’s Third Day by Laura Gross, who lives in Sheffield. The second is Vertically Coastal by Jerri Chaplin, who lives in Charleston, S.C., and, from June to October, in Pittsfield.

Valenti’s new poem stems from a recent experience from weeding in and around his yard. He notes how weeds flourish, though no one does the planting or caring.



A weed grows upright and true,

dropped in a random act, finding root

in a wayward spot

loving its chance at life,

grabbing without ego

the unselfish hold

in a riot of delight.

—– 00 —–






  1. Debbie Dwyer
    June 25, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Lets come up with some alternate sites for the Methadone Clinic that we can suggest to the City Council. Anyone with suggestions can reply or comment to this site. ( Anyplace on a bus route not in a residential area) Drive around and send us the address. We’ll check it out. Thank you all so much for your concern.

    • Levitan
      June 25, 2012 at 9:07 am #


      Shouldn’t those suggestions be sent to Spectrum?

      • Molly
        June 25, 2012 at 9:18 am #

        Yes, if you want them lost and gone forever…

        • Levitan
          June 25, 2012 at 9:20 am #

          Please explain.

          • Molly
            June 25, 2012 at 9:38 am #

            In my opinion, Spectrum won’t do a thing with anyone’s suggestions of places for them to locate their business to other than put them in the trash can, as they already have the place they plan to locate to… Hence, “they will be lost and gone forever”. Did this really need an explanation?

        • Levitan
          June 25, 2012 at 10:06 am #

          Ok, you don’t see any reason to pass suggestions to Spectrum. That means to me you do not see any other location that could appeal to their self interest.

          Therefore, following your logic, Stoddard Avenue is optimal for them and as a result, you must be wasting your breath, which admittedly is not something that you hold precious.

          • Molly
            June 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm #


            That is not what I said, nor what I meant. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

            My opinion (if that’s ok that I have one) is that the Stoddard Ave deal was part of the settlement that we know nothing for certain about, but that it obviously has benefits for both Spectrum and for the good doctor. Spectrum, I’m sure, wants to open as soon as possible and this was “the deal” that was made and so they’re happy. However, again in my opinion, if the mayor of our city gets behind a different location for Spectrum to set-up shop, and it has benefits to sell it to Spectrum (i.e., you can open very soon, you will get no delays from the city, etc., etc., etc. – whatever the selling points of a particular location are), then yes – I would expect that our Mayor would be able to “sell” a different location to Spectrum. But I don’t believe that they’re just going to do it on their own without our Mayor doing the work that he needs to do to sell it to them.

            Also, oh but I do, and will, consider “my breath” to be very precious… Not a problem at all!

          • Levitan
            June 26, 2012 at 6:28 am #


            It appears Spectrum is already delayed. Though neither you nor I know what is in the settlement, I would presume that we got the best deal we could get.

            Hopefully, no more court costs associated with stonewalling them.

      • Debbie Dwyer
        June 26, 2012 at 6:33 am #

        We will provide our Ward 1 Councilwoman Chris Yon and the Mayor with a list they can pass on. I’m sure they also have some thoughts on alternative sites. We’ll see what Spectrum does with the list. We’re trying to help, knowing the DPH has mandated Pittsfield as a site. Lets hope they accept our willingness to work with them. We’re not the enemy, only very concerned residents who care about our neighborhoods..
        Hope to see you all at the Council meeting tonight!!!

    • Molly
      June 25, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      877 South Street (or at least a portion of it) – (GE Plastics had their Data Center there and their IT Department, Geary Corporation owned it and sold it to Berkshire Life and I don’t know who owns it now) but it is secluded, an excellent and modern building with Security throughout the building, lots of parking, is available and is on the bus route.

      Patriot Suites Hotel – 8 Dan Fox Drive, Pittsfield (or at least a portion of it). Lots of parking, is available, and is on the bus route.

      The National Archives Building – Conte Drive, Pittsfield, MA – Just down from the current BHO Building. Lots of parking, secluded, should be available as National Archives are moving out, and is on the bus route.

      Rent a few offices in the Federal Building on Center Street. Centrally located, Security and metal detectors already on-site, on the bus route.

      • Molly
        June 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

        The old Geary “compound” – directly across the street from 877 South Street (which by the way currently (I believe) holds Hospice). The Hillcrest Education Center Administrative Offices are currently located there but there are numerous different buildings on the property.

    • Sam
      June 25, 2012 at 11:12 am #

      How about, renting a space in BMC or Hillcrest Hosp.

    • Tom Sakshaug
      June 25, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

      Downing Industrial Park.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    The Wm Stanley Industrial PArk.

  3. dusty
    June 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Would anyone be surprised to see at least one councilor stand up and laud Spectrum for its honorable and charitable work and then go one to say Pittsifled is lucky they are willing to service us? My guess is that Spectrum has already heard about the council meeting and its agenda and has cut a check or two for the right people who might stand up for them.

    I am looking for Lothrop to be one of them. Maybe Krol as well.

    • Levitan
      June 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      My guess is that on account of the financial repercussions of last year’s dust up, the Council will not likely have a lot to say.

    • skier1
      June 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm #

      Yon would be my 3rd guess.

    • Levitan
      June 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      Why does Spectrum need the support of City Council and why would it need to break the law to secure it’s site?

    • Molly
      June 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

      My bet it Lothrop… Sounds like something he would say.

  4. Scott
    June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    The infamous weed so hated but only doing what is has been programmed to do over billions of years (or more.)

  5. Ed Shepardson
    June 25, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Interesting. This weekend, Mr. Garavaltis and I had an interesting exchange about the condition of the baseball field at the Doyle complex and today, Dan posts a poem about weeds. When my dog and I were there this morning, in violation of all laws of Man & God, I noticed that the only improvement made to the field in the past 3 years, the NO DOGS ALLOWED sign, would soon be obscured by-you guessed it-weeds.

    • danvalenti
      June 26, 2012 at 6:29 am #

      Great connection. It was not in my mind when I wrote the poem, at least consciously. Knowing how the creative unconscious works, though, it was probably “there.”

  6. tito
    June 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Speaking of no dogs allowed,Ed, it is very disconcerting to see dog owners and cat owners let the animals crap and piss all over your lawn. I was at St. Marks bingo the other night and stepped in dog crap,why don’t establishments and all parks and venues all use signs.

    • Ed Shepardson
      June 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm #


      The signs mean nothing if there is no one to enforce. I pick up after my dog as do the other dog owners that I know. I promise you, you did not step in my dogs crap.

      • Ed Shepardson
        June 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

        Mr./Mrs. Tito,

        Is this crapping and pissing, as you so eloquently put it, occurring on church property?

        • Sam
          June 26, 2012 at 5:04 am #

          Yes, it is happening on the St Mark’s School property. I live bt there and whenever i catch someone doing it they don’t care.

          • Ed Shepardson
            June 26, 2012 at 8:43 am #

            With the plethora of issues we all deal with in Pittsfield, drugs, murders, armed robberies foreclosures, lack of family sustaining jobs, a methadone clinic coming to a residential neighborhood and more social ills than I think of, where should we rank them in order of importance against the growing canine and feline pee and poop epidemic?

          • danvalenti
            June 26, 2012 at 9:01 am #

            Right on, Ed, or the page one stories in the BB on a poetry slam and a one-car accident where no one is hurt? Pathetic. THE BB presents mostly meaningless stories meant to distract people. The paper continues to shrink, meanwhile, in circulation, employment, and influence.

  7. Heyjude
    June 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    The Doctor’s offices on South Street next to St. Theresa’s Church. Lots of parking and plenty of space inside..

    • Molly
      June 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      Yes, good suggestion. Also, St. Theresa’s church!!! One more would be “Doctor’s Park” on South Street.

  8. Heyjude
    June 25, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    The Doctor’s offices on South Street next to St. Theresa’s Church. Lots of parking and plenty of space inside..

  9. tito
    June 25, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

    @ Ed….Thank you for the grammar accolade, it was on the school property of St. Marks, quite frankly, the folks at St. Marks have allowed this property to be used as a canine poop party for years, as there have never been any signs to deter, such as NO DOGS ALLOWED! cat owners think the cat is immune from any rule concerning pissing sprees on other peoples property.

    • levitan
      June 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      One man gathers what another man spills.

      (Ask Hilly Billy if you’re scratchin’ your head)

    • Ed Shepardson
      June 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      You’re concerned about pooping and pissing on property owned the Roman Catholic Church? That’s a laugh. The RCC was and is party to the most heinous crime and coverup since the holocaust. If I had my choice of crimes, dog poop or pedophelia, I’m going with the poop. Responsible adults pick up their dogs poop and they don’t rape children. How about we put up a sign that says NO DOGS ALLOWED and another that says DON’T RAPE CHILDREN.

      • Scott
        June 25, 2012 at 6:15 pm #


      • Molly
        June 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

        I’d love to see a sign that says “Don’t Rape Children”!! Nice response!

        • Scott
          June 26, 2012 at 5:22 am #

          Molly, the majority of people don’t need a sign to tell them that fortunately.

  10. tito
    June 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    You win the argument Mr. Shepardson.

    • Scott
      June 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      How do you stop an out door cat from pissing on someone else’s property? I can’t even keep my cat out of my own front flower bed I’ve tried everything pepper, coffee grounds some crap that home depot said worked squirt guns I don’t have the heart to use the .22 but yeah people deliberately letting their dogs do it sucks.

  11. Debbie Dwyer
    June 25, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Thanks for the suggestions of locations for Spectrum. We are compiling a list and will provide it to the Mayor. We have offered to work with Spectrum to find them an appropriate place for their Clinic, away from residential neighborhoods. We’ll see if they take us up on our offer.
    Hope to see you all at the City Council meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

  12. rick
    June 26, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    on the spectrum issue , all you are doing is moving it to another neighborhood, the best idea was downing industrial park. its out of the sight of productive society members , they cant really bother people over there….out of sight out of mind…… dont try pushing them over to other peoples neighborhoods. and debbie if you think about it these are future customers you are turning away….. kind of bad business …. dont you think?

  13. Shakes His Head
    June 27, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Why doesn’t the Community Development Department provide a map of all the locations where the clinic could legally petition to locate?