Article

PLANET CAPTION WRITING CONTEST (WAIT TIL YOU SEE THE PICTURE!) … HARRIS, PIGNATELLI, & PHILLIPS TANGLING IN A DOOZY FOR REGISTER OF DEEDS … RATE BIANCHI’S BUDGET … GUSHING STUDY ON ARTS $$ IMPACT FULL OF HOT AIR … plus… GUITAR MUSEUM LOOKING FOR NEW HOME (WOULD PITTSFIELD BE A GOOD FIT?) …

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, JULY 17, 2012) — Some pictures are priceless because

WRITE A CAPTION for this picture. From left, Scott Pignatelli, Gerry Doyle, and Jimmy Ruberto. (From Pignatelli's for Register FB page)

of their circumstances, such as Joe Rosenthal‘s immortal photo of the Marines raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima, in 1945. Other pictures lack the historic dimension, but we cherish them for who they depict, for instance, a photograph of your beloved, deceased grandparents.

Then there’s a photograph like this one, priceless for the conveyance of  civic surreality.

What’s Up with this Picture, or, Worth 1,000 Swigs

If ever there was a picture in need of a caption, it’s this one, snapped at the recent fund raiser help by the Scott Pignatelli for register of deeds. We see a dapper and Connected-looking Pigantelli, left, with two of his buddies, my Right Honorable Good Friends, former mayors Jerry Doyle, middle, and Jimmy Ruberto, all a-yucketing-yucking, as celebrators at these affairs are wont to do.

THE PLANET, having been to a few of these back-slapping good-fellow-well-met gatherings, we can imagine the conversation just seconds before the picture was snapped. But we digress. If you have a caption you’d like to submit to this classic, THE PLANET is open for business. Keep it clean. Keep it above board. Most of all, keep it funny!

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REGISTERS RACE TO BE DECIDED ON SEPT. 6

Patsy Harris

Speaking of the register of deeds race, it’s one of the most interesting on the ballot this year, with three strong and what we might call “legitimate” candidates, each claiming they are best qualified for the job.

The race will be decided on Sept. 6, in a primary runoff among Patsy Harris, Pignatelli, and Jody Phillips. The three are Democrats, and — barring an act of God — the winner attains office, since there are no other candidates that qualified for the ballot.

Each candidate possesses a set of qualifying skills unusual for a job like this, since typically, at least one of the three in races like this provide only token opposition, running for 15 minutes of fame or perhaps to split the vote. That latter possibility has been suggested as it applies to this race. This line of thought has Phillips, as what one observer calls “a GOB moll,” being put up by the “Bosses” to split the “women’s vote,” bumping off Harris. This would help ensure a victory for Pignatelli.

It’s an interesting line of conjecture. Two factual observations would seem to suggest at least some plausibility: (1) Pignatelli’s fundraiser drew a Who’s Who of the GOB and minions. (2) Phillips, by virtue of her years as City Clerk and as main squeeze of Pittsfield’s acting fire chief, Bob Czerwinski, could certainly be construed as having strong GOB connections. THE PLANET doesn’t know enough about the dynamics of this race to assign much truth to this scenario, but we would not discount it. We simply need to learn more, and we shall. In the days ahead, we shall be in touch with the three campaigns, to learn more about who they are and why they are running.

THE PLANET will be endorsing a candidate for this race at we get closer to the Sept. 6 date. We would even be open to moderating a debate, PLANET-style, on PCTV, if someone is willing to do most of the leg work.

As a quick, snap-shot analysis, we observe that:

* Pignatelli has the golden last name. He’s Smitty’s brother and sone of one of THE PLANET’s all-time favorite politicians, a man we place up there with Peter Arlos and Stockbridge’s Mary Flynn. That would be Da Man himself, John P. Big Jawn used to call me up weekly, privately, when I was hosting “The Dan Valenti Show” daily on WBRK. I plied him with questions, wanting to take advantage of every drop of his wisdom and experience. Pignatelli doesn’t have a website. He does have a FB page promoting his candidacy. Pignatelli must convince voters he has more than a name and well-connected friends.

Harris has the golden qualifications, having worked in the registry for 11 years. Prior to that, she had extensive experience as a legal secretary for the law offices of John Barry. She has worked as a self-employed title examiner, searching titles and deed in all three county registries. Harris is also certified as a paralegal through the American Institute for Paralegal Studies. Harris’ website is patsyforregister.com. Harris is the only candidate with a dedicated website that shares links with information on her qualifications, view of office, and other useful information.

Phillips can tout her years as city clerk. She seems to be benefitting from a strong organization, getting up a lot of lawn signs almost overnight. Her previous tenure as city clerk in Pittsfield made her a lot of friends, and, as these offices do, some enemies as well. She doesn’t have a campaign website, at least one we could find. She does have a FB page, but there’s little to nothing about her qualifications or her view of the job. Her task in the campaign: Explain why being city clerk is directly relevant to being register and how that tops 11 years experience.

On this limited basis, THE PLANET decides: Advantage Harris. We shall reserve final judgment on the basis of what we see in the campaign.

The position pays $90,000 a year plus benefits.

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HOW DO YOU RATE BIANCHI ON THE BUDGET?

On June 27, with all the commotion regarding THE PLANET’s court-ordered muzzle, you may have missed it, but  our right honorable good friends on the city council passed Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s $133.1 million budget in a unanimous 10-0 vote (Melissa Mazzeo was absent).

The dollar amount sets another budgetary record, much to the chagrin of Pittsfield taxpayers, who have been conditioned with negative reinforcement to accept tax hikes the way Pavlov’s dog salivated at a bell.

Thus, the death by 1,000 cuts continues for bedraggled taxpayers.

The budget is expected to result in a 2.5 percent tax hike (the exact rate won’t be fixed until much later this year).  This means the average single-family property tax bill for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski will get larger. Mary Jane and Joe will have to dig almost $70 deeper each year to pay tribute for diminishing services. Coupled with the increase in water and sewer charges, the Kapanskis will be coughing up almost another $100 bucks extra to Caesar. Now a hundred bucks might not mean much to the Muckety Mucks living the good life, but to the average working man and woman in the city — trying as they are to desperately keep their heads above water — a C-note is a big deal.

Do You Believe Anyone in Government Feels Your Pain?

The tax hike includes the use of $1.7 million in so-called “free cash.” Last year, under the just expired FY12 budget of Jimmy Ruberto, the city kicked in $1 million in “free cash” to moderate the tax rate. The Pittsfield tax rate, which won’t be set until the end of the year, will come in at about $16.83. The Kapanski’s will be paying just under $3,000 in FY13 to the government for the privilege of living in their domicile. Want to start a business in Pittsfield? Good luck. You’ll be paying a ruinous $35.39 for each thousand of value.

So how would you rate Bianchi’s performance in this year’s budget?

THE PLANET liked the use of free cash to lower the tax rate, the $1 million Bianchi asked going-going-gone school superintendent Jake Eberwein to remove from the school budget, and that the mayor seemed genuinely concerned at keeping the tax rate in check. We didn’t like that there was a tax increase at all. Bottom line is that taxes are going up, and it didn’t have to be that way. We didn’t like the mayor’s compromise with the school department, that put in $300,000 more than Bianchi first proposed. Our grade for Bianchi’s first budget: A gentleman’s C. What is yours? THE PLANET invites your assessment.

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STUDY ON ARTS QUESTIONABLE IN ITS CONCLUSIONS

Pittsfield brought out the dancing girls when a study by the non-profit Americans for the Arts claimed that the recreation and resort industry that keeps Pittsfield mired without a sustainable economy generates $25.3 million in annual economic activity. This is up, the study claims, by 40 percent since 2005. The mainstream media in the county, led by the Boring Broadsheet (aka the Berkshire Eagle, for those who are newer to THE PLANET), printed the story as it was spoonfed to them. THE PLANET dares print an alternate take, one that far better aligns with reality.

The Arts generate $25+ million for the local economy: How are we to take such a claim? With a drop of butter for your popcorn.

Consider:

Most of that money comes from tourists, who have the discretionary income to drop on expensive theater and performance tickets, hotels, dining, and entertainment. Locals have the privilege of serving these visitors, turning down their hotel beds, putting butter on their popcorn, and bussing their tables. They get to perform this labor for minimum wage of close to it, often without benefits.

As long as Pittsfield remains content with a Recreation & Resort Economy, the more it will hasten its economic day of reckoning. Sadly, the local Establishment has bought into the death wish that says good paying manufacturing jobs and other high-paying jobs cannot be had. Our business and political leaders remain content with this poor substitute for real jobs.

Arts Study Had Many Flaws, But They Didn’t Tell You That, Did They?

Other problems with the study:

* Americans for the Arts is itself a non-profit, with a dog in the fight. The organization profits by painting a healthy picture. The group subsist much better if it can manipulate data that support the “need” for its own existence. It bills itself as “the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education.” Yes, it is “nonprofit,” but how much money does the group pay its top-heavy administration? There are 36 members on its board of directors and 35 members of its executive board. That’s a lot of mouths to feed, so, one would expect the group to issue issue glowing reports. In fact, we searched to group’s website, and ALL the news was good news, about how boffo fabulous the arts were, especially when taxpayers support them against their will, such as National Public Radio and PBS.

* The study must also be considered inclusive. Of the 51 nonprofit arts and cultural organizations recognized by the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development, only 30 participated in the study. As a sample size, leaving out nearly 40 percent of an easily identifiable and reachable universe is a poor return that will lead to inconclusive data?

* Was the study, the data, and the analysis independently reviewed? If so, by who or whom?

* Nowhere could we find how the study was designed, who designed it, who wrote the questions, how and when the study was administered, and what set of statistical overlays were imposed on the data to yield the results. Without this information, the “$25.3″ million can be considered little more than a “guess, with bias.” Long ago in graduate school, we took one of the best courses in our long academic career: “Statistical Programs for the Social Sciences.” Essentially, the course taught us how to design and run polls. We learned the inside and out, including the tricks to design polls that would lead to the results you wanted.

* By not including all non-profits, the study fails to account for large amounts of tax dollars that “not for profits” such as Berkshire Health Systems and others do not pay as their fair share to the community. The tax impact of non-profits, overall, through fair-share of taxes NOT PAID, is surely to Pittsfield’s overall economic loss.

* Finally, the study includes such organizations as Berkshire Community College, the Berkshire Athenaeum, Berkshire Brewing Heritage (whatever that is), the Cultural Resource Foundation, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., PCTV, the ITAM Lodge, and WTBR radio in calculating the dollar figure associated with the arts. Really? Would you consider the organizations just mentioned primarily “arts” related? No way. That’s how the study makes the specious claim, with a straight syllable, that 90 percent of the arts attendance in Pittsfield comes from Pittsfield residents. Again, no way.

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WOULD GUITAR MUSEUM BE A GOOD FIT FOR PITTSFIELD?

With the Carousel site controversy in full bloom, — Pittsfield or Lanesboro’s Berkshire Mall? — THE PLANET has learned that there’s another entertainment venue, a museum, looking for a home. Given Pittsfield long history of producing music and musicians, and given how many good axe pickers have come out of town (Mick Valenti, Dave Grover, Nicky Soldato, and so many more), would it make sense to talk guitars? Here’s a story that presents the background:

By Kevin Bagos

Special to PLANET VALENTI Arts

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Like a rolling stone, a traveling guitar museum is looking for a new home.

The National Guitar Museum features ancient stringed instruments from Persia, the first electric guitar, and ultra-modern experiments that would be at home in a sci-fi movie. But the recession of recent years hasn’t been kind to museums and nonprofits, so the founders decided to go on tour before putting down roots.

“Our initial plan was to take it on the road for five years, and then kind of find out which city was the most hospitable,” said H.P. Newquist, a Connecticut writer and former editor of Guitar magazine who is director of the traveling museum.

The question of where the collection will end up is still evolving, Newquist said, adding that they want to find a spot with “a thriving arts community, a thriving musical community.” The exhibit is scheduled to travel to Virginia, Massachusetts, Idaho and New Jersey over the next three years, and possibly more places, he said, and has already been seen in Connecticut, Orlando and Louisville. Experts on museums say it’s an unusual model for finding a home.

The exhibit is currently in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Science Center, where on a recent afternoon young children scampered over the world’s largest guitar, a 40-foot version of the famous Gibson Flying V from the late 1950s. Other visitors plucked at an amplified Diddly Bow, a one-string instrument used by some blues musicians in the South that traces its origin back to Africa.

One visitor was ecstatic over the experience.

“Simply amazing,” said Derrick Weyand, who is based at Hanscom Air Force Base outside of Boston, and was visiting Pittsburgh with his family. Weyand, who played guitar as a youth, watched as his young daughter fawned over a guitar that’s available to hold. “She’s never really seen a guitar and now she’s all over it,” he said.

The exhibit features famous rock-n-roll classics like an early fender Stratocaster, but also many surprises. There’s a 1931 Frying Pan aluminum guitar, considered to be the first electric steel guitar ever produced. The inspiration? Guitarists in popular Hawaiian music bands of the era who needed more volume to be heard on stage.

Dennis Bateman, who’s in charge of exhibits at Carnegie, said the center decided to try the show in an attempt to reach a different audience.

“It was sort of fusion between art and history and science,” Bateman said, adding that more people than usual are attending on their own, without children.

Ford Bell, president of the American Association of Museums, agreed that guitars are of great interest. But he added that every successful museum needs a strong base of support from corporate and individual donors, and that state, federal and private donations have dropped in recent years.

“The question is, what’s the sustainable model? Every idea does not deserve a museum,” Bell said.

Newquist said there are about 200 instruments in the collection, with a wish list of about 50 more. About 70 are on display in the traveling exhibit.

“What we really wanted to do is show how the instrument itself evolved, and what its impact has been on the culture,” he said, whether that be through country western, heavy metal, pop, classical or jazz music.

And it’s a hands-on exhibit.

“Guitars are meant to be played. In some cases you’ll see guitars that are incredibly beaten up. It was intentional from my standpoint. I didn’t want this in any way, shape or form to be a memorabilia exhibit. It’s important to us that it not look like some kind of showroom floor.”

Weyand said he thinks the home for the exhibit is obvious.

“Pittsburgh would be the place. Has a little grunge to it. I like it here,” he said.

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WRITE ON, RIDE ON, RIGHT ON, IN THE QUEST. WE RAISE THESE ISSUES NOT IN JEST BUT WITH HUMOR AND A SMILE, THAT THEY MAY, WITH OUR HEARTS OF LIGHTS, TRAVEL THE MILES.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

78 Responses to “PLANET CAPTION WRITING CONTEST (WAIT TIL YOU SEE THE PICTURE!) … HARRIS, PIGNATELLI, & PHILLIPS TANGLING IN A DOOZY FOR REGISTER OF DEEDS … RATE BIANCHI’S BUDGET … GUSHING STUDY ON ARTS $$ IMPACT FULL OF HOT AIR … plus… GUITAR MUSEUM LOOKING FOR NEW HOME (WOULD PITTSFIELD BE A GOOD FIT?) …”

  1. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    July 17, 2012 at 7:36 am #

    Conversation during the picture..

    Doyle out loud, “gimme another drink, hey look at that blonde over there!”
    Jimmy to Gerry’ “No more for me Gerry, look at me, I’m hammered!”
    Scottie to himself, “Get these Pittsfield jokers away from me Smitty, don’t I look dapper thou?”

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 7:39 am #

      “A priest, a rabbi, and a lawyer were at a bar…”

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 11:24 am #

      You’re ahead in the contest so far, Hilly. Good one!

      • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
        July 17, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        Looking forward to being crowned King Hilly of the Hill!

  2. Levitan
    July 17, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Bianchi lowered the school budget by 750K. If he went after the other $300K as he started to do, the City Council would have approved the entire $1,000K. It’s a win for the taxpayers and the School Committee lost, and was caught on the lie of attempting to conceal a ‘rotating budget’ from a perceptive and astute mayor.

    2.5% increase is reasonable given it matches inflation. What would be the cost to taxpayers if the Mayor dug in and the budget missed the deadline?

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      I’ve put my two cents in. Let the Dismay and Outrage begin.

    • Wilson
      July 17, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Sure, if the budget was at its proper baseline–50% lower–a 2.5% inflation adjustment would be reasonable. Bianchi should have started with a modest $15 million reduction and seen how far the Council could argue it upwards.

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      Yes, but when you take into account the “ability to pay” in a city like Pittsfield, even this type of “modest” tax hike will mean the difference for a lot of folks, who lack discretionary income despite working two jobs or more.

      • Levitan
        July 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

        That is true, and I am one to resent any increase at all in city taxes and fees. Maybe Wilson is correct and the floor could have been lowered, but that assumes that the Mayor’s end of the budget did not present reductions that were not accepted by City Council.

  3. Berkshire Ex-Pat
    July 17, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    An arts economy is the frosting, not the cake. I lived in Northampton during its great arts renaissance, watching it evolve from a moribund downtown into a thriving arts mecca. But unlike Pittsfield, Noho and its surrounding area has the economic equivalent of a strong manufacturing base– the Five Colleges, which employ many thousands in well-paying jobs as they release new graduates into the world every year. Take away the colleges and jobs, throw in a large and growing dependent class, crips, drugs, bloods, hell’s angels, and the GOB’s, and you have Pittsfield.

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      You left me out.

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      An Arts Economy has never succeeded. Arts, as you say, EX-PAT, provide excellent ancillaries to augment an existing and thriving economy, making that economy stronger. No matter how much one proclaims a “renaissance,” it takes the kind of jobs you mention for it to occur. Even in The Renaissance itself, the arts flourished only because of the thriving guild and merchant economy at the time. Economy First, Arts Second.

      • Spectator
        July 17, 2012 at 11:43 am #

        +1

        • Levitan
          July 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

          You also left out a vast swatch of Pittsfield off Dalton Ave, Willilams St, Elm St, West St, and a few more I can think of.

          I watch my back closer in Gt. Barrington than I do in Pittsfield.

  4. tito
    July 17, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    Looks like Pignatelli just got made. Dan, you out did yourself this time! Thanks for the chuckle!

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Now, that’s funny!

  5. love pittsfield
    July 17, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    My caption is” why did you crop out the other 2 mayor’s from this photo: Mayor Bianchi & Mayor DelGallo”…Mayor Bianchi was the one who has everyone laughing”!!!!!

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 11:19 am #

      No cropping was done on this photo. You’re referring to another picture.

  6. silver price
    July 17, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    The citizens of Pittsfield are discovering that our City’s administration is out of touch with the average taxpayer. On June 14, 2005, the Mayor was in Boston urging the Legislature to create an Artist Zone in Pittsfield and asking that the artists living in the zone be exempt from paying state taxes on the first one- hundred thousand dollars of income per year that they earn. Is this Mayor so out of touch with reality that he doesn’t realize that most hard working people of our City make less than one- hundred thousand dollars per year and get no tax breaks? I wonder if he sees the irony of his seeking tax breaks for these ‘artists’ while at the same time asking the taxpayers of Pittsfield ‘to make sacrifices’ by paying significant tax increases for the past two years, and paying an imposing a fifty-two per cent increase in water and sewer fees. It seems that this Mayor is so impressed with the ‘world of art’ that he has completely lost sight of the rest of us. He needs to know that, we the people, the citizens and taxpayers of Pittsfield, not just the ‘artists’, need a state tax break so that we can afford to pay our escalating real estate taxes and the significant increase in our water and sewer fees.

  7. Richard Arnold
    July 17, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Pignatelli with Ruberto that is enough for me not to vote for him. J Phillips yes she has experience but she gave her life time appointment away and went to work some place ells so no vote there. That leaves Harris I will give her my vote.

  8. Newcomer
    July 17, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    THE THREE AMIGOS

    Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms, Ned Nederlander

  9. Suzy-Q
    July 17, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    I’m voting for Patsy Harris. Nothing beats more than a decade of experience in the register’s office doing the register’s job.

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 10:23 am #

      When it comes to appointments and elected office, decades of experience is the last thing that counts, if at all.

  10. tito
    July 17, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Still laughing Planet, it certainly is, a one of a kind photo.

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 11:18 am #

      A human serial comma if we ever saw one!

  11. Spectator
    July 17, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    ” Three Stooges.”
    “Triple Threat”
    “Three strikes and you’re out?”
    “Third Time was NOT a charm.”
    “Three’s Company”
    “Thrice bitten always shy”

    • MaryKate
      July 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

      “Three Stooges: Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe”

      • levitan
        July 17, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

        ‘Dem laiars?

  12. Diogenes
    July 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    “C’mon, Scotty, drink up! To be in our club, ya gotta be a drunk!”

    “Hey, Scott, did you hear the one about the court official’s daughter…?”

    Doyle: “If I could only get my eyes opened, I’d bet that you’re a real cutie, Honey”

    I don’t know, too mean?

  13. Still wondering
    July 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    “Hey Cliffy! It’s your turn for a round!”

  14. Jim Gleason
    July 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Doyle to ruberto: Let’s go down to Paulie’s after this for a few more.
    ruberto to Doyle; No, I need a pick me up!
    Doyle; I know, we cam go to Herman’s and get whatever we want.
    ruberto; No, dumbass, that place is closed. Carmen and Butch shut them down.
    Doyle; I thought Bianchi kicked Butch off the board?
    ruberto; No, I got him back on through Deval.
    Doyle; The things you miss when you’re passed out!

    • Scott
      July 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

      That’s good Jim.

  15. Diogenes
    July 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    The Three Muscatel-eers

  16. Hoppity
    July 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    Back on the Arts issue, so true. Pittsfield did it completely in reverse. Gave the Arts everything, taxpayers nothing, and the city for a couple decades did no substantial work in rebuilding the economy. You can’t count PEDA for anything but a flop. Good piece, DV.

  17. Scott
    July 17, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Love the idea of a guitar museum (I’m a picker myself.) also love the reference to pavlov’s dog.

  18. Scott
    July 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    Pignatelli inquires “Can we really afford a night out like this?”
    Ruberto replies, “don’t worry the tax payers will pick up the tab!” Then they all burst out in laughter end of scene.

    • Levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Yeah…it’s good.

  19. Jonathan Melle
    July 17, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    The Good Old Boy network is backing Scott Pignatelli! That means the people will vote for one of the 2 women running for Registry of Deeds.
    Pittsfield politics forever!

  20. PITTSFIELD BELIEVER
    July 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Typical comments from this site’s typical readers. Gerry Doyle brought new business to the city and fashioned the historic agreement with GE and EPA to address PCBs. Mayor Ruberto brought an unprecedented era of new growth and culture, leaving Pittsfield with a revitalized downtown, as people will enjoy tomorrow on Third Thursday. Thank you Mayors Doyle and Ruberto for a dozen years of exemplry service.

    • levitan
      July 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      Er… Having once ran a successful art business, I don’t see the ‘arts economy’ as one that revives a city or lifts boats. It does present the opportunity for grant writing, non-profit bonanzas, and annoying signage.

    • Scott
      July 18, 2012 at 5:33 am #

      Yes Doyle sold the city out to GE and let them skip town leaving one of the biggest toxic legacy’s since love canal and Ruburto just kept paving over and putting in new lights and attracting non profits who are tax exempt while the average person has to pick up an extra job just to stay afloat in this Superfund site.

      • Levitan
        July 18, 2012 at 5:44 am #

        Love Canal is a very close analogy, right down to the toxic playgrounds.

        It’s been a while since I’ve referenced that name.

        • danvalenti
          July 18, 2012 at 6:32 am #

          It does have some evocative similarity, but Love Canal was ordered abandoned, the toxicity was so bad. What is the current level of exposure in Pittsfield?

          • Levitan
            July 18, 2012 at 7:01 am #

            It was also much more acutely toxic. Kids were getting burns on top of long term illnesses.

          • Scott
            July 18, 2012 at 11:52 am #

            Love canal was way worse but people have died and similar cancer clusters are here. Also there’s no telling what will happen in a hundred years.

  21. tito
    July 17, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    @Pittsfield believer,what time is the main event?

  22. dusty
    July 17, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Pignatelli to Ruberto and Doyle.

    “Are the people of Pittsfield really as stupid as you guys say? Will they really vote for me having seen me in the company of genetically confirmed good Old Boys? ”

    Ruberto…”Oh yeah, I ran roughshod over them in my first term and still managed to back in a few more times. Bona fide idiots they are.”

    Doyle…”I should not have been elected the first time but they elected me and I was able to smoke them another time as well. These lemmings are clueless…they love misery. me and berto took them for millions…it’s your turn now.

  23. Dawn
    July 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

    “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

      DAWN
      Who?

      • Dawn
        July 17, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

        ;-)

  24. joetaxpayer
    July 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Bianchi=F City Council =F.All of these talented people and no one can figure out how to trim a budget.Everyone accepts all of the overtime, and do not try to figure out creative ways to save.If they truly want to get a handle on this annual tax increases,they should be meeting with the dept. heads through out the year.Really nothing we can do about it the cast of characters change but the results are the same.

    • Hurdygurdy Man
      July 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

      Agree with everything Joe the taxpayer says here.

  25. Giacometti
    July 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Cultural Economic Impact Studies for Americans for the Arts are generally done by the Arts Extension Service at the University of Massachusetts / Amherst…funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts…studies are generally done prior to July 1st the beginning of the State fiscal year

    The arts were never meant to be a sole provider of employment in a community but rather the magnet that attracts business to a community, Trend analysis shows that business leaders are more apt to establish a business in a community that has a strong cultural presence.

    A cultural impact study is just a measure of the impact the arts has on a community…and it doesn’t happen over night…it takes years…be patient Pittsfield…five years ago the majority of the community had no interest in the arts…today we critique
    its place in the community…remember…Art is long / life is short

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      GIA
      THE PLANET thanks you for your measured, obviously informed comments.

  26. The Kraken
    July 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Here’s some for ya:
    “The Evil Trifecta”
    “3 Liberals and a Tax Hike”
    “3 Blind Rats”

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      KRAK
      Good things are supposed to come in threes, eh?

  27. Hurdygurdy Man
    July 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Patsy Harris in a landslide, if we get any kind of a decent turnout. She’s clearly the best qualified.

  28. Diogenes
    July 17, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    “Three horsemen of the pittsfield Apocalypse”.

  29. Demitrius T. Gladiator
    July 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Ruberto has just told Doyle, “And do you think …” Scott P stops Jimmy R: “Jimmy, your talking to Gerry Doyle. ‘Think’ C’mon, man. Don’t ask a porpoise to climb a tree like a monkey.” Ruberto adds: “Think Duquette can score me some Orioles tickets.” Doyle responds: “3erl6 wlag’j4 sdgl’;ke4t.” Or gibberish to that effect.

    • danvalenti
      July 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

      GLADIATOR
      We just plugged Doyle’s comments into the Universal Translator. Even it was baffled.

  30. Ray Ovac
    July 18, 2012 at 1:52 am #

    Caption: Hey, let’s go over to Cliffie’s and see if it’s deer season.

  31. Deb S
    July 18, 2012 at 3:34 am #

    Pignatelli, Doyle and Ruberto

    3 of the 7 dwarfs…clueless (Pignatelli) sloppy (Doyle) and bossy (Ruberto)

  32. tito
    July 18, 2012 at 4:13 am #

    Scott Pignatelli is not out of this race, if Jody controls the Pittsfield vote, she’ll win, if not, Pignatelli with a strong showing in South County and reasonable showing in Pittsfield, could pull this off. I don’t think anyone from Hinsdale has ever won county or regional election before, and this won’t be any different.

    • danvalenti
      July 18, 2012 at 6:38 am #

      Pittsfield, with the most people, is key. Harris and Phillips each have what appears to be sizable constituencies there. Edge goes to Harris. She’s well liked, admired for her competency, displays well on the campaign trail. Jody is hurt by several factors: The ballot goof as city clerk that invalidated an entire election, leaving the clerk’s position midstream, costing taxpayers yet another election, and her perceived ties to the GOB by virtue of her stink as clerk under Doyle etc. and her current romantic relationship with Pittsfield’s acting fire chief. Pignatelli will play strong in South County, but with the two women taking care of Pittsfield, he needs to clean up everywhere else.

  33. silence dogood
    July 18, 2012 at 4:19 am #

    Isn’t the Registers job pretty much a no show job? Word is that Nuciforo is hardly ever there and not just this year. It’s been that way for his whole tenure. I wish somebody would ask these candidates why this job isn’t just political welfare. What would they actually do in office? How much time will they spend each week at work? What is the Registers salary? What is the salary budget for the rest of the workers in the Registers office? Is it tme to reform the entire structure of this office? Do tax payers want status quo? Let’s end the Hackarama.

    • Larry
      July 18, 2012 at 4:35 am #

      Amen!

      Silence… You are Spot on!

      • Levitan
        July 18, 2012 at 6:10 am #

        Yes. These candidates come off as professional public service hunters making their living seeking easy jobs that require no presence and pay a huge salary.

        Beggars should have more dignity.

    • danvalenti
      July 18, 2012 at 6:34 am #

      That’s a question I intend to put to all three: I want a pledge of being in the office, everyday, full day, if this is what they say: a real job with real duties.

    • Wilson
      July 18, 2012 at 9:09 am #

      There was a proposal to eliminate the positions, and it seems that no one can really defend them, which is probably why Nuciforo jumped ship. But this is Massachusetts so we should be grateful that they don’t add more of them…

      • Levitan
        July 18, 2012 at 10:01 am #

        But this is Massachusetts so we should be grateful that they don’t add more of them…

        Don’t even think it!

      • danvalenti
        July 18, 2012 at 10:34 am #

        The position could be eliminated without a sweat being broken, but this is hackerama.

  34. tito
    July 18, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Three sheets to the wind.

  35. tito
    July 18, 2012 at 4:27 am #

    @silence dogood..exactly, and Candidate Harris knows this, why didn’t she run against no show when he quit the Senate.

    • Levitan
      July 18, 2012 at 5:52 am #

      I could care less about this race, mostly for the above reasons. I see three people, forming a linear progression on the IQ scale trying to win the lottery.

      I also think you should win the headline. “Sen. Pignatelli, to left, seen at arcane mafia ritual attended by notorious gangsters, from left, Doyle and Ruberto.”

  36. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    July 18, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    And the winner is, in a squeeker, ???

  37. tito
    July 18, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Dan I will disagree on your Pittsfield vote analysis, no way Patty beats Jody.

  38. dusty
    July 18, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    until someone can give me a reason not to vote for person with know capabilities and competence, as opposed to GOB freeloaders I will be voting for Patsy Harris…it just seems logical to me though I do realize logic does not enter into politics very often

  39. Julie
    July 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Let’s not paint Jody with a “no-show” brush, please. She was an active, full-time working City Clerk for ten years. She was always in that office – and not hiding away in the back office either. She made sure that folks were being helped always, and was often in the front rolling up her sleeves, as well as taking care of the management aspect of the job.