Article

MALE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING, or THE LONDON OLYMPICS ARE ALL WET … STATE FINES REP. PIGNATELLI FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATION … OUR MAN AT THE MEETING GIVES A REPORT ON AIRPORT GATHERING (IT A’INT PRETTY) … plus QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS DISCUSSES SIAMESE BILLBOARDS, DOWNTOWN PITTSFIELD INC., AND OTHER SUNDRY ITEMS

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, AUG. 2, 2012) — A couple days ago, Charley Garivaltis sent a comment to THE PLANET with which we agreed in total. The redoubtable CG, one of the best athletes ever to come out of Berkshire County and THE PLANET‘s vote for Best Hitter (baseball), pointed out the utter vacuousness of the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic Games. Frankly, we have also found the subsequent competition to be overblown, overhyped, and tarted up with so much slick commercialism as to be unwatchable.

With that, THE PLANET shares this story from YAHOO! Sports:

—– 00 —–

The London Games are a celebration of equality. For the first time, women will compete in all 26 sports, including boxing. It’s not total equality — women still compete in 30 fewer events than men — but it’s part of a larger trend towards gender equity on sports’ global stage.

So what happens if you’re a male athlete that feels discriminated against, based on gender?

According to Belinda Goldsmith of Reuters, there are two sports in which men are shut out of competition in which women compete for medals:

Men have called for action after being ruled out from competing at two events at the Summer Olympics, synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, even though there are growing numbers of men participating in both sports.

A lobby group of male synchronized swimmers wrote to the IOC and swimming’s governing body FINA in June to argue that men should no longer be excluded from this event at the Olympics.

Men’s rhythmic can resemble a different sport than women’s. It’s a strength-based competition that incorporates martial arts; power is emphasized as much as artistry. It’s born from Japanese stick gymnastics, and the Japan Gymnastics Association is helping to lead the charge in an attempt to get the sport recognized as an Olympic sport.

Like male synchronized swimming, men’s rhythmic faces a participation issue: Are there enough athletes around the world competing in these sports to warrant Olympic inclusion? This eventually enters a chicken-or-the-egg argument: How do fringe sports become mainstream without validation from the IOC?

Photos: Synchronized swimming secrets revealed ]

But male synchronized swimming faces other issues to speak to the sexual politics in organized sports.

Male synchronized swimming has had a charming existence in popular culture. It’s lampooned on cruise ship comedy nights. “Men Who Swim,” a quirky documentary about an all-male swim team in Stockholm, premiered on PBS this year.

The sport was immortalized by Harry Shearer and Martin Short on “Saturday Night Live” in this inescapable sketch:

But in the last decade, men have started participating in synchronized swimming sans irony. Kenyon Smith made headlines in 2008 as an 18-year-old star in the sport, competing on a team called the Aquamaids with, and against, women. He attempted to become an Olympian for the 2008 Beijing Games, according to a profile in Details magazine.

Some male athletes compete on majority-female teams, there are also all-male synchronized teams around the world, including the San Francisco Tsunami —  “a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight-friendly masters-level swim and synchronized swim team.”

Billed as Britain’s only men’s synchronized swim team, they’re kicking-mad about being unable to represent their nation at the London Games.

Stephen Adshead, manager of the team, told Reuters that the barring of male synchronized swim athletes from the Games was “blatant inequality and unfair,” having sent a letter to the IOC that read in part:

“… in at least one sport, it is men who are victims of this discrimination, which is no less intolerable than that aimed at women.”

From the Independent, on the team’s struggle for acceptance:

Last year the Angels took home a gold medal at the Eurogames in Rotterdam, but they want the next generation to have a chance at Olympic glory. Richard Snow, 34, an interior designer and founder member of the team, said:

“Originally there weren’t many sports women could compete in, so having synchro for women only was about letting them have more sports [of their own]. But times have moved on and the rules should be reversed. I feel sad that men can’t compete. Bit by bit we hope we can break down the barrier for men. Hopefully that will mean teams start including boys from a young age.”

There are far greatest gender equality issues in the Olympics than male athletes feeling shut out by sports viewed as women-only; it’s hard to equivocate the plight of the male rhythmic gymnast with that of a Saudi woman who finally earned the right to compete in the Summer Games, for example.

But as female boxers smash the glass ceiling in London, swimmers wonder when their passions in sports will sync with the policies of the IOC.

—– 00 —–

THE PLANET‘s Commentary:

(1) Leave the synchronized swimming to the girls. They move better on that finesse jazz.

WOmen's "Boxing": No hitting above the belt, ladies.

(2) Eliminate Women’s Boxing. The sport is not Lady-like. What’s next: No hitting above the belt for women boxers? Women’s boxing is an embarrassment of paucity.

(3) With the possible exception of gymnastics and figure skating, women-on-women competition is simply not as accomplished as men-on-men in team sports. In individual sports such as track and field, weightlifting, basketball, hockey, soccer, and such, women are less interesting than men, since the competitive bar is lower. They are slower, weaker, have less lung capacity hence endurance, and don’t have the Competitive XYZ Chromosome the way guys do. For guys, every battle from the finals of competition to winning at darts in the local pub, is all-out war. Of course, women playing women is relatively the same, but in absolute terms, the female athlete will never outperform the male athlete. Give it up. The public is not interested.

Ladies, we expect your angry cards and letters as the confirmation of our better judgment.

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STATE FINES PIGNATELLI CAMPAIGN FOR FINANCE VIOLATION

SMITTY: Campaign Finance Law Has Rep Wearing Rabbit Ears.

The state has fined South County State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli $250 for violation of campaign finance laws.

In a letter to Our Right Honorable Good Friend dated July 23,  Michael Sullivan, director, Office of Campaign and Political Finance, told Pignatelli he violated M.G.L. c. 55, sec. 13. The law prohibits public employees from serving as committee treasurers. Sullivan fined Pignatelli for employing Marge Pero as treasurer. Pero became a public employee in 2011 (acting town accountant, town of Lenox) while at the same time holding the position as Pignatelli’s top money person. That’s illegal under campaign finance law, and it is up to Pignatelli, as head of the campaign, to know the rules.

THE PLANET asked for a comment from Pignatelli’s November opponent, Scott Laugenour of the Green Party. Laugenour said, “I would not want to be found in violation of campaign finance laws.”

Neither would we.

——————————————————————

AIRPORT MEETING: OFFICIALS REPLY TO CITIZENS’ QUESTIONS, ‘DUH, I DUNNO’

KEEP ON TRUCKIN': Dump trucks continue their steady, dusty, noisy, and unrelenting assault on Pittsfield neighborhood.

THE PLANET could not attend the recent meeting on the bogus airport expansion project because of other commitments. Be sure, however, that we had our eyes and ears in attendance. Of the many reports we received, we wish to share this one, filed by SCOTTY B. Scotty is a resident of the affected area, and he writes:

—– 00 —–

I attended the airport meeting. I am also shocked that the Eagle reported it somewhat accurately. But, of course, you don’t get the full picture.

Speaking of picture, the best Mark Germanowski (Head of Airport Plowing, HAP) could do for the only aerial view (or any other view) was a Google pic from a year ago! The AIRPORT has PLANES that can fly overhead and take a picture, duh.

Why couldn’t you get a more recent view?

“Duh, I dunno,” came the answer.

Screen was much too small, also.

No one seems to be in control of this airport destruction project. Mayor isn’t. City Council isn’t. Airport Commission, nope. Head of Airport Plowing, nope. Contractor(s)? Union(s)? Getting closer.

The people getting paid have more control than the people who pay them!

Magner said that the 4th of July construction was a “union-negotiated contract.” People jumped out of their seats at this.

Some questions from the audience:

Why couldn’t you inform us?

“Duh, I dunno.”

Can we expect further holiday construction?

“Duh, I dunno.”

Restrictions could have been put in the specs of the contract concerning things like Sundays and holidays, couldn’t they have been?

“Duh, I dunno.”

Did the contractor get a special permit to do holiday construction, as I was required to do in my many years of construction?

“Duh, I dunno.”

Who knows? No one, apparently.

Head of Airport Plowing seems to think this is all a game.

First resident to speak told of @$30,000 worth of damage to her house from water run-off that comes from the removal of trees that used to hold the water.

The response: HAP says to fill out a form to lodge a complaint with the CONTRACTOR!–”Rifenburg Contracting Corporation (518) 279-3967. Ask for Stacie or Pat.”

HAP must have whipped this up minutes before the meeting. The form is pathetic and looks like a mimeo from the machine off the 6th grade classroom at Pontoosuc Elementary.

Ms. Crane’s quote is taken out of context. The full-day, 10 hours of noise behind her house, and mine, comes from a sand/rock machine, not trucks necessarily. If you out to the sand yard on East St. you can hear it–sort of a rapid-fire, machine-gun sound. ALL DAY LONG.

This is actually the third and highest level of noise. Three levels:

(1) Trucks rumbling and beeping constantly. This is enough to drive me inside after about 10 minutes.

(2) Pile driver. Inside, close all the windows, get into the basement.

(3) Sand machine. Leave the property for the day.

“Airport officials said they had nothing to do with the decision made by the CONTRACTOR and its UNION employees to work on July 4 in exchange for another day off, in part to save money.” This quote from the Eagle is by Magner, I believe.

Not explained was how exactly this saved money. He also said they wanted to speed things up because the UNION rates go up on October 1 (?). They why did they even take Friday the 6th off?

And, I’ve been waiting for someone to say it, HAP finally said out loud that they could work seven days a week if they wanted.

As noted in the Eagle, councilors Mazzeo, Lothrop, and Clairmont were in attendance–they all subsequently have told me they will get the holiday construction to stop. We’ll see.

Mazzeo was on fire and received applause, twice. Lothrop and Clairmont also did their best to grill HAP on behalf of the residents.

Who’s in charge here? Who will do something to compensate homeowners for damages caused by this boondoggle?

 —– 00 —–

The airport expansion project has been questionable from the get-go. Now, as the damage is being done, the good people of Pittsfield are beginning to see the extent of this exercise in unnecessary meddling on the part of government — federal, state, and city. At all levels, the bedraggled citizenry of Pittsfield continues to get pounded.

The runway extension, as THE PLANET has covered previously, has, according to a veteran commercial airline pilot, made the airport more dangerous. The extension will accommodate large private jets favored by rap singers and A- and B-list celebrities, who find it convenient on occasion to jet into The Berkshire via Pittsfield. Few or no members of the general public will benefit.

For this privilege of getting ripped off, taxpayers have simply to (a) pay the bill and (b) keep their mouths shut.

Welcome to Pittsfield.

——————————————————————–

QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS

Siamese-Twin Billboards a Bad IdeaLamar of the Berkshires, a name that

Twice the size, half the sanity.

sounds like that of a peddler of $5 bottles of  Bambo’s Wonder Elixir, wants to place double-sized billboards in the Village of the Damned, otherwise known as the city of Pittsfield. The company wants to take the two  billboards over the Highland Restaurant and make them one, ala Siamese Twins. Bad idea times two.

The community development board rejected the plan. That’s good.  Board chairman Remo Del Gallo, along with Floriana Fitzgerald and Sheila Irvin, opposed to the monstrous 50-foot wide billboard. Precent city code limits billboards to 25-feet in width.  The “however” comes from the support of the board’s two other members, former Ward 2 city councilor Lou Costi and Alf Barbalunga, school board chair who also serves on the community development board.

THE PLANET agrees with Remo. These gigantic billboards are not only an aesthetic disaster, they smack of Big Brother in sheer size. With all the outdoor advertising that assaults people, we don’t need The Amazing, Colossal Billboard.

Rearranging the Deck Chairs on the TitanicDowntown Pittsfield Inc. has moved to 33 Dunham Mall. DPI, which eats many tens of thousands in taxpayer money only to replicate services that should be offered fully by the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, aka the Berkshire Chamber of Rah Rah, occupies a space overlooking the hideous sculpture that for years “graced” the mall. The hunk of junk now sits growing weeds in a forgotten area of the BCC main campus.

On its website, a work of cloudy fiction, DPI describes Pittsfield as “a dynamic urban center with a growing arts district at its core.” That’s a virtual admission of the failure of the city leaders to create a legitimate economy.

Two days ago, THE PLANET has sent the following e-mail to Pam Tobin, DPI director:

PAMELA

Can you please tell me how much money Downtown Pittsfield Inc. receives from the city, how much money you are paid in salary, and the positions and salary of all employees. I would also welcome your statement as to how and why this money is justified. Thanks.
DAN
Short and sweet. THE PLANET will share Tobin’s answer, when — and if — she responds. We have not yet heard back from her. When the phone doesn’t ring, we’ll know it’s Pam Tobin not getting back to us.

Co-op Names Marchetti President of Vice — Congratulations to Peter Marchetti, on his promotion to vice president of branch operations and administration at the Pittsfield Co-op Bank. If he can’t be mayor, he might as well be a president of vice.

Good Luck Hal and Brian — THE PLANET wishes good luck and much success to the new owners of a long-time city-based business, Berkshire Plate Glass. The new owners are Harold Boland and Brian Gingras. Our good childhood pal, Ray Gregory, worked at BPG for many years. Glad to see entrepreneurship, at any level, in the city.

Levine Writes of Herman Alexander’s: Pull the Plug — In a must read editorial published recently in the Pittsfield Gazette, Jonathan Levine calls on the city to put Herman Alexander’s tavern out of its misery. Levine points out:

* The joint has been “a bad bar for a very long time.”

* “Management has tolerated and even encouraged unacceptable behavior.”

* The dive is “an incredibly disruptive neighbor.”

* “The place smells and appears to be in terrible disrepair.

* The owner, Mitchell Grossjung, “has ignored repeated warnings” from the city.

* Drug charges are pending against the bar.

No question: The licensing board must end HA’s once and for all. Too bad, because THE PLANET remembers Alexander’s in a better time. In fact, we once took our staff at Media Services Group (then known as Literations) there, along with several clients, to celebrate our office Christmas Party in 1982. That’s when it was a respectable joint. No more.

Be gone, we say.

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END

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

64 Responses to “MALE SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING, or THE LONDON OLYMPICS ARE ALL WET … STATE FINES REP. PIGNATELLI FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE VIOLATION … OUR MAN AT THE MEETING GIVES A REPORT ON AIRPORT GATHERING (IT A’INT PRETTY) … plus QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS DISCUSSES SIAMESE BILLBOARDS, DOWNTOWN PITTSFIELD INC., AND OTHER SUNDRY ITEMS”

  1. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    August 2, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    I wouldn’t want to be in violation of campaign finance laws either DV, but I wouldn’t want to be the overmatched opponent whistle blower of Smitty more. It reeks of desperateness!

  2. Former Pittsfield Resident
    August 2, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Dan,

    Thanks for all this info on Pittsfield. So much better than reading about it in the Eagle.

    I’ve given the carousel project a lot more thought. As an outsider looking in, I know nothing of the current logistics of such a project.

    Here is my 2 cents:

    I think people of Pittsfield should embrace the project. Instead of putting it in some crappy corner of Pittsfield, put it right in Park Square. Revamp the whole circle. Spare no expense — this is not to say that they should overpay any contractors but rather make it something for Pittsfield to be proud of. Within a 200 mile radius of Pittsfield people should be in Awe of it.

    Have a very close-by Parking area and make entry into it very pedestrian friendly. Perhaps tear down the Police Dept. and the City Hall for parking. As those buildings are a such a waste.

    Seriously though, I think a Carnival atmosphere in Pittsfield will do more good for the attitude of the people than any other thing. Having in right smack dab in the middle of town with the people driving by should keep crime out of the equation.

    Kids growing up actually NEED this Merry-Go-Round mechanism for good emotional growth. Its the same as a swing-set. A baby or a child requires this swinging motion for mental stability. Make this a landmark and give the kids some really good memories.

    Remember John F. Kennedy? Everywhere he went as President was a Carnival type of atmosphere swirling around him. Riding in an open Limo – the people loved him and felt really good just being there.

    Pittsfield has always taken a hard line attitude toward street vendors, but how about changing that — what the hell would be wrong with vendors selling balloons or hot dogs?

    The gentleman who donated Park Square to the City such a long time ago, donated it with the stipulation that it always remain a park. Surprisingly the City of Pittsfield has always honored that stipulation. In his honor, placing the carousel in that park would make him proud.

    (Of course in Pittsfield, the powers that be always manage to screw up any good idea. Tearing down the old Train Station on West St. was the worst decision the council has ever made. People actually cried when that was torn down and for what? – supermarket?)

    • eddiep
      August 2, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Can anyone remember when the old library on Bank Row was redlined and the front wall was supported by toothpicks?
      Mayor Don Butler wanted a new library.
      Well, he got his new library, the sticks came down and the courts moved in.
      Another GOB project.

      • danvalenti
        August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am #

        EDDIE
        I remember it well. I haunted that place in my youth.

    • levitan
      August 2, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      FPR:

      I agree – I remember how my daughter looked forward to this carousel years back and how it would have served as a small comfort in her time of difficulty.

      She has since outgrown it, but it would be an important resource to Pittsfield residents, and to think we here understood it would be sited in town – it’s a terrible shame.

  3. danvalenti
    August 2, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    FORMER
    Thank you for these well-presented ideas. Quick comments:
    * The plan assumes that Pittsfield can do anything without letting dirty politics mess it up. That is an overly optimistic assumption, as we have seen time and time again (downtown mall, civic authority, supporting failures such as EV Worldwide and the failed online music school, in addition to the examples you cite and the many more for which we don’t have room).
    * Thus, letting Pittsfield have the Carousel would be, in our view, a far too risky proposition for this magnificent work of art.
    * JFK did indeed inspire lots of people, and he rode in an open limo. That didn’t turn out so well.
    *Again, though, thanks for this thoughtful contribution.

    • levitan
      August 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      Dan,

      You don’t suppose Lanesboro and other towns here have dirty politics too? But, to the quick of it, don’t let your focus on politics divert your attention from the patient. What do the residents here in Pittsfield get in benefit after all these years if the carousel locates in the Mall, inconvenient and surrounded by vendors.

      It belongs in a park and we should try to make it a success.

  4. taxmano
    August 2, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    “Piggy” Pignatelli came up dirty?!? Why am I not surprised?

    Care to comment Jonathan Melle?

  5. Evian
    August 2, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    Love the tweaking of the “femaleization” of sports in general and Olympics in particular. This trend is ridiculous and as you have the courage to day, the ladies can’t cut it when it comes to competitive sports.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 10:24 am #

      EVIAN
      Like we say, no hitting above the belt!

  6. AMBROSE
    August 2, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Both men’s and women’s boxing should be thrown out. Any activity (its not sport) whose sole purpose is to injure someone else is stupid. If you went to the middle of Park Square and did it you’ld be arrested. Fencing, synchronized diving, kayak racing, archery and shooting are also dumb sports but they’re not hurting anybody so let ‘em do it. Did I mention the equestrians. If you want to see how good these millionaires are on a horse let ‘em jump on the stock ponies that are already grazing in England. I’ll betcha there aren’t any kids from lower East St, on those nags. What I would really like to see is the running of the bulls like in Paloma – right down Trafalgar Square.

    • Scott
      August 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      People get hurt in the running of the bulls I’m sure it doesn’t feel nice to get thrown by an 800 pound animal. Why do you guys hate woman so much???

      • danvalenti
        August 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

        SCOTT
        Weel said, except, speaking from a personal perspective, I am merely observing the factual nature of athletic competition: faster, stronger, and bigger plays better than slower, weaker, and smaller. Having any two of elements of of the first will exceed as a draw and two or three of the second. That’s all. There’s also a point being made of the attempt by television to sexualize the Olympics to get more women viewers.

        • Scott
          August 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

          Woman compete against each other, although it may be impossible to get a woman in the 200 pound range to match males in weight class but I’d be game to see woman in the lower weight classes compete against men of equal stature. Dan, would you fight a woman your same weight?

          • danvalenti
            August 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

            SCOTT
            Yes, I would. Arrange the match, set it up for charity, and I will box … and win!

          • AMBROSE
            August 3, 2012 at 5:41 am #

            Scott – please arange this fight – get Pam Malumphy so Dan could call her names like Mohammed Ali did with Paterson – what’s my name chump? Dan was a world class boxer at ‘cuse you know – WORLD CLASS!

          • danvalenti
            August 3, 2012 at 6:39 am #

            We stand ready, Marquis of Queensbury.

    • levitan
      August 2, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

      Ambrose,

      Boxing is fun to watch and admirable to perform.

    • levitan
      August 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      Also,

      Are there any other activities of skill and coordination that you would like to prohibit? How about we replace one of them with credit card swiping at the supermarket? Now, there’s a neat trick that should take the place of archery.

  7. tito
    August 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Ambrose is there synchronized diving, I don’t know?

  8. tito
    August 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    …..yeah you’re right a usual Ambrose. What’s next synchronized cigarette inhaling?

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      The women will compete in synchronized cigarette inhaling, the men in synchronized cigar inhaling.

      • levitan
        August 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

        I’d actually kind of enjoy that sport. I may even make the team.

  9. Scott
    August 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    “Women’s boxing is an embarrassment of paucity.”

    Some of them woman are real tough and have real good fights especially in mixed martial arts.

    “Woman will never outperform male athletes”

    You seem too certain of that. Next time make a joke about their menstrual cycles or how giving birth is no big deal you didn’t come off snide enough this time.

    • MaryKate
      August 2, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Never in my lifetime will I believe that a man could handle a couple minutes of giving birth, never mind the amount of time a woman endures giving birth! Also would never like to see a man go through monthly menstrual cycles, it is bad enough when they are sick! However, there are situations in a man’s life that a woman is not capable of accomplishing as well as the man.

      Men and women are made to complement one another, not to compete. When people come to full realization of this, maybe then this “battle” between men and women will end.

      I enjoy Dan’s writings. He writes to stir the pot, he makes his readers think! Today’s writing being no different. Thank goodness he doesn’t write a dull article, then we would all be back in that complacent place the GOB would like us to be.

      • danvalenti
        August 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

        MARY KATE
        Beautifully expressed. Men couldn’t handle childbirth and the monthly cycle. They would be in the emergency room once a month. Women deal with it as a part of (their) life. Women are 10X stronger than men in that regard. Men use sports as surrogate toughness.

        • levitan
          August 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm #

          Bah. We like sports because they are fun. Reference Scalia’s opinion in So-and-so Vs. the Golf Consortium (I think that’s right.)

        • levitan
          August 2, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

          Except for runners. They don’t like sports at all, but feel crummy if they miss a day.

  10. Demitrius T. Gladiator
    August 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    As a veteran of the ring I love this view of the Gender Olympics. No matter how much they try to flog it it boils down to this: Fans want to see men competing against men. Ladies boxing is a joke.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      DTG
      Curious about your experience in the ring. Professionally, as a boxer?

    • Scott
      August 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      That’s your opinion there’s people out there that enjoy it.

  11. Demitrius T. Gladiator
    August 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    Semi-pro. Club fighting in the Philly area back in the late 70s early 80s. Mostly used as a sparring partner for heavyweights and light hevyweights.

  12. Dave
    August 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Downtown Inc was given $50,000 in the city budget the first year of its existence to help start things rolling. It was supposed to be self sufficient after that. What a surprise that it has been a budget line item ever since. Another example of once you put something on the government dime you can’t get rid of it. I don’t know what it is this year as a budget line item but last year I think it was $45,000. I also remember the year the reidents had to fight the Mayor to restore funding to the Library, but Downtown Inc’s funding remained the same. Downtown Inc also charges its members to belong. If not enough business think it is worth the money to sustain its operation, I think that says it all and taxpayers need not subsidize a section of the cities businesses.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      DAVE
      We have more on DTI coming up. This is a 50 grand albatross that needs to be put to sleep.

  13. ShirleyKnutz
    August 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Does anyone remember the Feb 29th Berkshire Eagle article on how the airport manager and contractor were going to be more open and communicate with the neighbors? Seems like they kept their promise!!!(ha!ha!) If I lived near there I would be calling daily, taking pictures and recordings, showing up at city hall for council meetings and let them listen to it during their whole meeting!

  14. ShirleyKnutz
    August 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Does anyone remember the Feb 29th Berkshire Eagle article on how the airport manager and contractor were going to be more open and communicate with the neighbors? Seems like they kept their promise!!!(ha!ha!) If I lived near there I would be calling daily, taking pictures and recordings, showing up at city hall for council meetings and let them listen to it during their whole meeting! How come the posts don’t go up as fast as they use to? I keep getting error messages.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      SHRIL
      That issue was the BB keeping its masters happy. The airport manager, aka Director of Plowing and the contractor are simply doing the bidding of a $30 million project without a lot of oversight. I don’t want to say bribes and kickbacks … but it looks like I just did.

  15. CONCERNED
    August 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

    Wow some of you are not being politely correct on the gender matters. So therefore you didn’t lie you just told it like it is, the truth Being Politely correct most of the time makes you tell lies and not your true feelings.

  16. Scott
    August 2, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    LONDON (AP) — A Massachusetts resident has become the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo.

    Kayla Harrison took the women’s 78-kilogram title Thursday at the London Games by defeating Britain’s Gemma Gibbons in a final she dominated from the start. Harrison got a stronger grip on Gibbons and threw her twice.

    The 22-year-old Harrison is originally from Ohio but is currently living in Marblehead and training in Wakefield under two-time Olympic bronze medalist Jimmy Pedro.

    Her medal is the U.S.’s second in judo this week: Teammate Marti Malloy won a bronze in the women’s 57-kilogram division.

    Harrison is ranked No. 4 in the world and is a former world champion.

    She said she was focused on the gold from the start.

    I don’t even watch this stuff or any tv for that matter but in my search for a woman who can kick your butt I saw this, pretty cool.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

      SCOTT
      Thanks, but a woman hasn’t been born that can kick The Kid’s butt!

      • levitan
        August 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

        Dan,

        You are attempting to deprive women of taking their rightful place on the mantel of human accomplishment.

        “Put plainly, wouldn’t it be simply magnifico if Mike Tyson, that violator of womankind, that embarrassment to visible-minority persons everywhere, could be challenged and beaten for the heavyweight title by a womyn contender? Surely this would be a landmark in HERSTORY.”

  17. gEE Whiz
    August 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    Well, Dan has made it clear. He’s willing to take it to the ring. no one had accepted though DV calls their bluff once again.

    • Scott
      August 3, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      I really didn’t take him seriously I will keep my eyes open and the money raised can go to a charity that benefits woman and children abuse victims here in the Berkshires.

      • danvalenti
        August 3, 2012 at 6:40 am #

        SCOTT
        We are serious about the offer.

  18. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    August 2, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Can you guess where VAlenti will be tomorrow night? Dining with the Guv and First Lady, only they waved his $20,000 price. What’s Valenti, the little Napolean, up to? He’s on Romney campaign retainer ($1200 we week, rain or shine, thorugh the end of ’12) yet he get in with the First Lady. He’s not worthy of kissing the hem of her dress. It might have somethingto do with his cell mate at Austen Riggs, the toney psychiatric hospital in toney Stockbridge, where DV and Jame Taylor where buddies.

  19. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    August 2, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    i know this, BTW, from one of the caterers, who is my wife. She got me a copy of the guest list.

    • danvalenti
      August 2, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

      Seriously?????

      • Larry
        August 3, 2012 at 3:36 am #

        Have fun dining with The Guv, JT and what’s her name, Dan! LOL

        • danvalenti
          August 3, 2012 at 6:41 am #

          JT and I are teaming up on several numbers.

      • Scott
        August 3, 2012 at 4:59 am #

        Dan can you get me in I want to see what a 20k per plate dinner is like. I doubt it’s better then Tratorria Rustica.

        • danvalenti
          August 3, 2012 at 6:39 am #

          I doubt it will be better than Lach’s Lounge.

    • Levitan
      August 3, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      I hope you ran that post by your wife prior to printing it. I’d hate to see you fall prey to a charge of tortious interference.

  20. tito
    August 3, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Woman..Boxing…got Mo Cuishle?

  21. Giacometti
    August 3, 2012 at 4:03 am #

    Chairman of the Board of the GOB is also Head of Downtown, Inc.
    EVERYTHING is directed by him as he also runs the Berkshire Foundation…..He’s the most powerful person in Berkshire County

    • Payroll Patriot
      August 3, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      Remember to stay thirsty, my friends.

    • danvalenti
      August 3, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      Would that be my good friend Peter Layfayette?

  22. Payroll Patriot
    August 3, 2012 at 6:06 am #

    Congratulations to Dan. If you can get paid $1200. a week from Romney and a 20k dinner freebie from Obama’s campaign, then you are the godfather of all the GOBs.

    • danvalenti
      August 3, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      PP
      Right, but don’t tell anyone, OK?

  23. tito
    August 3, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    Gail Granchamp still around, she could handle herself very well.

  24. Giacometti
    August 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Dan…you are correct….he calls all the shots

  25. Elizabeth
    August 4, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    Hmmm how is it that I kick my husbands butt in golf yet he’s bigger, stronger, more athletic and CLAMER than me? Guess it’s called COMPETITIVE!

    • danvalenti
      August 4, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Yes … and it could be he sucks at golf.

  26. Elizabeth
    August 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Haha no! I’m just better. He’s an athlete. He should be able to beat me. I’m just more competitive. But I wouldn’t be stupid enough to take him on, or any man on, in boxing. I like my face the way it is!