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SALARY, TERMS FOR DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF PPS CONTINUES TO DRAW COMMENT … KINNAS JUSTIFIES CHOICE … 1954 & THE GE-PITTSFIELD HALLOWEEN PARADE: DID THOSE DAYS REALLY HAPPEN? … CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS AND OBAMACARE: WHERE’S THE BEEF? … plus VIVA! CUBA! CASTRO SPEECH OPENS THE DOOR FOR SANITY ON US POLICY

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2012) — We start off the weekend an item that ran yesterday on THE PLANET. We included it as the last piece of several, and the amount of interest in this subject prompts its reposting today, to keep this alive for the weekend. Several readers commented on the contract the school committee signed to hire Deputy Supt. of School N. Tracey Crowe.

DAN ELIAS: Voted against the contract for deputy superintendent.

THE PLANET had fun with the pretentious J. Alfred Prufrock format of her name, but the exceptional contract she signed is no joke. We don’t blame Crowe, who recognized a soft touch in the Pittsfield School Department Administration and, more particularly, the school board. We do question the board members — Chairman Alf Barbalunga, Terry Kinnas, James Conant, Chris Yon, Dan Bianchi, and Kathy Amuso — for agreeing to this deal. You notice THE PLANET does not include Dan Elias. Elias alone called this back breaking for the Little Guy, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.

The committee discussed this pact in executive session, neatly keeping We The People from the details. No wonder, given what we were told at budget time was a time to eliminate unnecessary spending. THE PLANET credits Jonathan Levine of The Pittsfield Gazette for discovering the details of Crowe’s deal. We present what Levine uncovered yesterday, and the redux we hope will keep a robust discussion of this issue alive.

FROM YESTERDAY’S PLANET:

Finally, we present these important observations of Jonathan Levine in the Pittsfield Gazette on N. Tracey Crowe, the new deputy superintendent of the Pittsfield Public School System and winner of THE PLANET’s first annual J. Alfred Prufrock Award (known by insiders as “The Alf”).

Levine points out:

* Crowe has “no applicable district-wide experience,” yet she will pull down an $18,283 raise in the budgeted salary for the position.

* Crowe receives a city-paid (i.e., “taxpayer paid”) life insurance policy with an annual premium up to $1,500.

* Crowe will get a relocation bonus of up to $3,000.

* Crowe will receive a “technology package” for a personal iPad and a smart phone, again, with taxpayers picking up the bill.

* Crowe will get more paid vacation time this year than any other city Pittsfield employee. Keep in mind she has yet to complete one day on the job.

* Crowe will receive a 10 percent annual pay bonus, 20 paid sick days, and the ability to convert unused sick days and vacation time into C$A$S$H.

This is a ruinous contract for taxpayers, and it will open the floodgates when new administrators are hired. The only school committee member to vote against this awful contract was Dan Elias.

We wonder if school committee Chairman Alf Barbalunga might himself qualify for an “Alf” for masterminding this dumb deal. THE PLANET also wonders: Is there a “casting couch” in the city of Pittsfield for new hires such as N. Tracey?

—– 00 —–

Kinnas: ‘We got the best person for the money’

THE PLANET caught up with Kinnas, who defended his vote for Crowe. Kinnas, coincidentally, had just emerged from a two-hour meeting with Crowe on school business.
“I feel very comfortable with her,” Kinnas said. “At this point, she’s far ahead of anyone else we have hired.” Kinnas said a similar position at other school districts goes in the range of $140,ooo to $160,000 a year. We got the best person for the money.” He said the clincher for him is that Crowe will not be accepting city health insurance. She is covered through her husband’s plan. Kinnas estimates this will save taxpayers $20,000. If that figure is reliable, the contract becomes more justifiable. “If I have made a mistake, I will be the first one to stand up and admit it.” The proof will be in Crowe’s performance.
Kinnas also sent me this statement:

TERRY KINNAS: Justified the Crowe contract (Pittsfield Gazette photo)

Dan, I am writing in response to the article on The Planet about the Deputy Superintendent contract for the Pittsfield Public Schools. My rationale for voting for the contract was based on need, job market as it related to cost, and real effect on payroll, which includes all benefits that are not included in the school budget. From my perspective, the Pittsfield School Dept. needed some change and both the Interim Superintendent [Gordon L. Noseworthy] and Deputy Superintendent [Crowe] provided for that opportunity; sometimes you get what you pay for. The School Committee was provided with 18 pages of wage/benefits reports of comparable positions throughout Massachusetts. We are at the low end of the scale. Additionally, a point of clarification: the Deputy Superintendent did not take the city’s health insurance. This was the deal sealer for me as it did not cost the city’s taxpayers $21,268.53. Also, the Deputy Superintendent did not get a 10% bonus deal, to the best of my knowledge. Some additional observations: both the Interim Superintendent and the Deputy Superintendent spent about a week here on their own dime, before the former two people in those positions left.  My editorial note: I have met with both people for about two hours each. I am comfortable with the Deputy Superintendent’s operational perspectives. The Interim Superintendent has a good grasp of some of his challenges, me being one of them. — Terry Kinnas

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THE HALLOWEEN PARADE FROM THE 1950s: DID THOSE DAYS REALLY HAPPEN?

THE PLANET continues with some light fun, conjuring the dim and distant past that eternally remains alive in memory, a region that exists beyond the confines of space and the ravages of time.

Check the attached photograph, one of our serendipitous discoveries while fishing through the well-stocked waters of a website devoted to the history of GE Power Transformers in Pittsfield — at one time, believe of not boys and girls, the greatest, most advanced PT facility in the world.

A two-crane lift in Power Transformers, GE Building 100.

Many of our readers may have worked there, had family members that once worked there, and certainly friends in the employ of Father GE. It was a time, in the hay day, when a kid could graduate from high school, march down to the personnel office on Woodlawn Avenue, and get a job offer the same day. Next thing that kid knew, he or she was making a good salary with great benefits. It made the middle and lower-middle class in Pittsfield, and the beneficent results spilled over into every aspect of civic life.

It could be seen in the way people dressed, the cleanliness of the streets and public ways, the personal care that went into personal property, the quality and caliber of people who ran for public office, the decency you literally met with everyday of your venturing out.

Once Upon a Time …

GE was a good corporate citizen. Sure, the pollution it left in the air, ground, and water doesn’t  bear that statement without a lot of wobbling, but we cannot judge history from the ethics and values of the present. History is a story that, when written situationally and absolutely, necessarily produces distortions. The proper historian detaches him- or herself from the values and mores of his or her present society and enters the past “clean,” as best as can humanly be done, as a member of that past and not his or her own present. To accurately report history, the writer must learn so much about the epoch in question that he or she can answer questions as a virtual member of a time long gone. For this reason, we have much shabby history, particularly when revised to fit the political correctness of the present.

Fortunately, in personal memory, we need not be confined with the limitations of history. Personal memory does not fall into the “trap of the historical,” which is to say that our personal pasts remain much alive and continue that way as long as we are taking breaths in and out on God’s great earth.

William Blake‘s observation has proven accurate time and time again: The child is the father of the man.

With that, we present this photograph, taken of one of the exhibits of the 1954 Halloween Parade made possible largely through the GE’s contributions and the toil of its employees. GE assigned its best draftsmen, engineers, and production workers to conceive, design, and build the most elaborate floats. Young people cannot imagine the city hosting such an elaborate, sophisticated, and spirit-raising event as the Halloween Parades, circa the 1950s.

Alien Invasion, 1954 Halloween Parade style.

This picture depicts a silvery flying saucer, a big topic back in 1954. The many UFO stories and scares, most pertaining to alien invasion, masked as a mythic substitute for the irrational fear the government tried to instill in citizens during the Cold War.

In the picture, we see a well-articulated mechanical man rising out of his spaceship, aiming a ray gun. The robot bobbed up and down out of the hatch. The gun emitted a strong light, and the barrel of the weapon glowed in various colored lights. It could have come out of one of them classic Poverty Row serials we used to enjoy on those riotous Friday nights at the Boy’s Club. Radar Men From the Moon comes immediately to mind.

Thought, Care, Craftsmanship

If you examine this photo, you can see the thought, care, and craftsmanship that went into this fabulous creation. It’s hard to judge the massive scale of the ship, but the baffled sound room in the background, particularly the door in the lower center portion of the picture, gives you some idea. Keep in mind, also, that in the typical Halloween Parade from the 1950s, such an exhibit would be just one of a series of similar floats and displays.

The PLANET’s dad, our first and still our best hero in life, captured the glory of the parade in 8mm color film that several years ago we had digitized. Perhaps they might make a nice show here. We shall see.

The point of this thought exercise? We have lost appreciation for the more wholesome chapters of the city’s past. We see this phenomenon not only in the sad state of the downtown, particularly the creepy crawly critters who looked they’ve just stepped from a zombie movie, but also the way the memories bring up accusations of “wallowing in nostalgia.” Appreciation of the past is not to be confused with maudlin sentimentality on THE PLANET.

The accusers engage in one of two heresies:

(1) Those days are over. They can never come again. Don’t even try, for example, to build a genuine, functioning economy. Don’t go after manufacturing. It’s impossible. The Arts: Let’s build on that.

(2) It’s not 1954. The Renaissance has happened. Bring out the dancing girls! We can rest, now. Everything is great! Then you get the litany: The Colonial, the Beacon, the restaurants, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

THE PLANET rejects both these heresies. A genuine, functioning economy is possible, with hard work, smart management, and political will, all three of which have been missing for 25 years. The Renaissance has not happened downtown. The city has created a vacant, urban moonscape when, for two months of the year, tourists might pay for theater and dining tickets ordinary citizens can’t afford. The rest of the time, the Celanites (the creepy crawlies mentioned earlier) dominate the scene.

Not good enough, by a long shot.

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IF CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS CAN OPT OUT OF CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES, THEN WHERE’S THE BEEF WITH OBAMACARE COMPROMISE?

Catholic Bishops: If Catholic institutions can opt out of contraceptive services, where's the argument?

OK, here’s what we don’t get about the Catholic Bishops deafening protest against Obamacare. The Bishops are claiming the federal government is violating the Church’s First Amendment rights by forcing Catholic institutions to pay for family planning, contraceptives, and abortions. It makes a compelling issue.

When you look at a case in point, however, the Bishops’ position doesn’t add up.

THE PLANET obtained this memo from a Catholic healthcare organization that provides health insurance for its employees. The HR department sent this to employees:

—– oo —–

Recent Federal Health Care Reform concerning Contraceptive Services and Religious EMployers has resulted in an amendment allowing certain non-profit religious employers offering health coverage the option to exclude contraceptive services which [sic] are not consistent with their beliefs.

The NAME OF ORGANIZATION … chooses this exclusion.

This exclusion is an amendment to our INSURANCE COMPANY’S NAME HERE coverage (effective July 1, 2012) and removes coverage for the following services: Family Planning, Contraceptives, Abortions.

To verify any insurance benefit under our Group Health Plan please call (800) 000-0000.

—– 00 —–

If Catholic organization have the freedom to bail out of offensive coverage, where’s the beef? Do the Bishops want it both ways, or do they have a point? Something doesn’t add up.

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VIVA! CUBA!

Finally, the opportunity for sanity with the U.S. foreign policy toward Cuba. We share this opening to a wire service story on the island nation 90 miles off Florida.

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban President Raul Castro said Thursday that his government is willing to mend fences with bitter Cold War foe the United States and sit down to discuss anything, as long as it is a conversation between equals.

Cuban President Raul Castro

At the end of a Revolution Day ceremony marking the 59th anniversary of a failed uprising against a military barracks, Castro grabbed the microphone for apparently impromptu remarks. He echoed previous statements that no topic is off-limits, including U.S. concerns about democracy, freedom of the press and human rights on the island, as long as it is a conversation between equals.

“Any day they want, the table is set. This has already been said through diplomatic channels,” Castro said. “If they want to talk, we will talk.”

Washington would have to be prepared to hear Cuba’s own complaints about the treatment of those issues in the United States and its European allies, he added.

“We are nobody’s colony, nobody’s puppet,” Castro said.

The Obama Administration, which has dropped the ball on Afghanistan and Syria, can get this one right by drop the stupid embargo, that goes back to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and restoring full diplomatic relations with our neighbor to the south.

THE PLANET will not entertain false hopes. We like the view of writer Arturo Lopez-Levy, who notes: “When U.S. President Barack Obama announced his decision this month to ease restrictions on Americans traveling and sending money to Cuba, he did it late on a Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend — a old trick from the White House playbook, used by presidents hoping to make controversial policy changes with as little uproar as possible from the U.S. Congress and the media. But Obama shouldn’t have been so quiet about the move — it is the best Cuba policy decision the United States has made in years.”

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HEFT, HARRUMPHS, and HAPPINESS HAVE SWAY, FOR IT IS THE CUSP OF THE WEEKEND. ALL WILL BE WELL IN YOUR WORLD IF YOU REALIZE YOUR POWER TO MAKE IT WELL.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

31 Responses to “SALARY, TERMS FOR DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT OF PPS CONTINUES TO DRAW COMMENT … KINNAS JUSTIFIES CHOICE … 1954 & THE GE-PITTSFIELD HALLOWEEN PARADE: DID THOSE DAYS REALLY HAPPEN? … CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS AND OBAMACARE: WHERE’S THE BEEF? … plus VIVA! CUBA! CASTRO SPEECH OPENS THE DOOR FOR SANITY ON US POLICY”

  1. Jimmy Rustle
    July 27, 2012 at 2:39 am #

    Great find on the Halloween photo, Dan.

  2. Rivetor
    July 27, 2012 at 7:30 am #

    Great set of articles DV. I don’t know how you do it everyday to come up with so much fresh content but enjoy it much. My daily fix. I like Kinnas rationale for his support of deputy supt. It shows he’s not lockstep “no.” Hope she works out. Also I agree on Cuba. The embargo has long lost its purpose.

  3. Joe blow
    July 27, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    guardian.co.uk
    July 27, 2012
    Russia is talking to Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles about housing Russian navy ships, its naval chief has said.
    Vice-admiral Viktor Chirkov told the RIA Novosti state news agency Russia was in talks with the three countries about setting up maintenance and supply facilities but would not give further details.
    Russia’s only existing naval base outside the former Soviet Union is located in the Syrian port of Tartus. A squadron of Russian navy ships, including several assault ships carrying marines, is heading to Tartus in a show of support for a longtime ally that Moscow has protected from international sanctions and continues to supply with weapons.

  4. Ron Kitterman
    July 27, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    The Halloween floats were buried behind Allendale School just south of where the monkey bars were located, they are now covered by tons of PCB’s, better known as hill 78….

  5. Joe Durwin
    July 27, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    I have some great old pics of Pitt the Dragon, the massive float G.E. built for the Halloween parade back in the day. It required several flatbeds and had multiple operators inside it turning the head and body. It did everything but breathe actual fire. Epic.

  6. Scott
    July 27, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    The last time we went to the Halloween parade we thought wow that was quick.

  7. chuck garivaltis
    July 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    We’re no strangers to squandering time and money but who would have thought the English, with a billion TV watchers, would have put on such a boring, overdone, expensive, ridiculous opening Olympic ceremony. After 2 hours I switched to Dick Tracy the movie.
    Why don’t we do away with a ceremony that involves a cast of thousands, costing millions, proving nothing, as every 4 years each country tries to outdo the previous host.
    This foolishness is not and never has been in the Olympic tradition. The 4 year event should be from beginning to end about jumping higher and running faster.
    England would have been better off paying down their debt instead of putting on a forgettable extravaganza. Get on with the games. If I want to see Harry Potter and Mary Poppins I’ll go to a movie.
    What a waste of money!
    Of all people one would think the English would know better. What an awful ceremony. I hope the games are better. So far Romney is right. And it’s only the first day.

    • Jim Gleason
      July 28, 2012 at 7:06 am #

      Chuck, it’s the only thing Romney has been right about in a while.

      • chuck garivaltis
        July 28, 2012 at 7:50 am #

        And he’s being roated for it. Some folks don’t take well to criticism.

        • Larry
          July 28, 2012 at 11:58 am #

          Seems to speak his mind…… I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing!

  8. Martha Thompson
    July 27, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    CUBA.. Here are some facts about The US embargo, before Castro the money that was made in Cuba was automatically deposit into US Banks. about 90 % of the Cubans had no schools,medicine or money.[ no food] . Fact Cubans were coming here in the 50s, before Castro.Miami politician Rubio’s family came here in 1956, Batista was the dictator at the time.
    Cuba was Paradise to American politicians, celebreties & mafia.
    Castro was able to overthrow Batista because 95% of the Cubans supported him,I could go on & on..
    The embargo is all about Money & Greed..
    Thank Dan for VIVA CUBA.

  9. tito
    July 28, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    This weeks “King of the Swamp” goes to the residents surrounding the Pittsfield Airport reconstruction. Cracked foundations and far from pristine views from Barker Rd. Has been brought out in the latest lament against the expansion. The question in hand is, how can a City this size have so many internal problems, and will they ever end.

  10. Jim Gleason
    July 28, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    I heard the airport manager was blowing people off like their concerns were nothing until Councilor Mazzeo spoke up and told him to pay attention to what was being said. Good thing for Pittsfield we have her to watch out for us.

    • chuck garivaltis
      July 28, 2012 at 7:45 am #

      Agree with you, Jim. Councilor Mazzeo has an admired combination of guts and brains.

    • skier1
      July 28, 2012 at 8:32 am #

      Pittsfield residents are lucky to have Melissa Mazzeo in their corner.

  11. Scotty B.
    July 28, 2012 at 7:59 am #

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

    Speaking of picture, the best 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.

    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?

    • Jim Gleason
      July 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      Another example of a mess left by ruberto on the people of Pittsfield. He should nave been required to be there to answer questions, it all went into effect under his “leadership”. He almost put several North St. businesses in the dumpster and the confidentiality agreement with Spectrum and the increase in taxes for empty lots , plus this mess. When will his disastrous effect on Pittsfield end? Probably not for years.

      • dusty
        July 29, 2012 at 3:01 am #

        Amen Jim.

        And don’t forget that boondoggle on First street. That park/sitting area thingy abutting the common facing a parking lot. I go by there often and have only seen one person sitting on a bench in months. The concept seemed like an asinine waste of taxpayer money at the time and now it seems factual.

        I guess the saving grace is that some connected contractors made a bunch of dollars and maybe some of it made its way back to the people who dreamed it up…I dunno. Why else would you do something like this.

  12. joetaxpayer
    July 29, 2012 at 6:30 am #

    Dusty,the real sad thing is that this is only phase 1.Still wondering why one park deserves so much money.The city has almost 30 parks and could spread the money out.Like to see some of the city councilors try to put a stop to this waste of money.I know alot of this is grant money, but its still tax dollars.Should go after grant money for other parks in the city.

    • dusty
      July 30, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

      Ironically enough if you change the letter N in your word grant to the letter F you more accurately described the sad fate of those tax dollars.

      By the way, is it just me or do I seem to be seeing for sale signs on lawns all over the city?

      • Shell Game
        July 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

        Currently for the city of Pittsfield there are 1,642 residential listings in MLS. The total for all types of real estate listings, again, these numbers are only for the city of Pittsfield and would include commercial/land-lots/and residential is 2,887. These “numbers were taken from a local realtors website. Is everyone getting out of “Dodge?”

        • Shell Game
          July 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

          ERROR in my above comment. After I posted I returned to the website where I took the MLS numbers in the previous posting and they now read as follows: residential listings for Pittsfield 278 and combined listings 472. I have no idea why the posted numbers changed. The website I referred to in both instances is A.Perras Century 21.

  13. GMHeller
    July 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Mr. Valenti, you write:
    “GE was a good corporate citizen. Sure, the pollution it left in the air, ground, and water doesn’t bear that statement without a lot of wobbling, but we cannot judge history from the ethics and values of the present.”
    Hogwash!
    GE has NEVER been what anyone in any context in the past 109 years would call “a good corporate citizen” with respect to Pittsfield.
    Neither was G.E.’s local predecessor, Stanley Electric.
    It’s not as if no one knew the Housatonic River was being polluted and that the land was being poisoned with industrial chemicals.
    And this is NOT a case of judging “history from the ethics and values of the present.”
    The fact is there have been laws against polluting the waterways of the United States since before General Electric Company bought control of Stanley Electric in 1903, and certainly before G.E. became a factor in Pittsfield’s future.
    The management at G.E. knew damn well that the company was violating federal law; they just did not give a damn.
    SEE:
    ‘Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899′ — Sections 10 & 13
    (United States Code TITLE 33, Chapter 9, Section 403)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/33/403
    (United States Code TITLE 33, Chapter 9, Section 407)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/33/407
    ALSO SEE:
    http://www.hudsonwatch.net/fyi.html

    • Scott
      July 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      For once a helpful contribution from Glenn thank you.
      Yes of course they knew the tab for disposing the material properly was far more then if they did it illegally.

  14. ShirleyKnutz
    July 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I still can’t figure out how the school committee is going along with this new Asst Sup’s salary. This is her first year. If they combined the 2 Asst Sup’s then they would have an argument for the higher wage. Just look to Westfield which is close to us and they have similar numbers, ie students, High school and their budget is smaller. How can that be?

  15. ShirleyKnutz
    July 30, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    I still can’t figure out how the school committee is going along with this new Asst Sup’s salary. This is her first year. If they combined the 2 Asst Sup’s then they would have an argument for the higher wage. Just look to Westfield which is close to us and they have similar numbers, ie students, High school and their budget is smaller. How can that be?

  16. ShirleyKnutz
    July 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Also just recently in Cuba a dissident who was attempting to move Cuba towards freer speech was just killed reported to be run off the road by a truck. Do we really want to get involved with this type of government/dictatorship? Besides supposedly they have better health care than we do so we seem to be helping them out with this embargo.

  17. Former PIttsfield Resident
    July 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I think that whatever Percentage of their taxes the residents of Pittsfield are forced to pay for that new airport, they should just deduct from their taxes and refuse to pay.

    A Boston Tea Party of sorts.

    If one or two people did it, they would have a problem, but, it everyone in Pittsifled did it, the City of Pittsfield would have a problem.

    I say the people of Pittsfield should Unite and tell them to shove that new airport where the sun don’t shine.

  18. Rivetor
    July 31, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    The airport is another example of a great swindle, where contractors and certain pols got rich and everyone else got the shaft.

  19. yogi
    August 1, 2012 at 6:16 am #

    They should have hired Christine Canning. She would have been the real best candidate. She wouldn’t have charged the tax payer. She is the most qualified, and did her internship under the new Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Department of Education. Instead, they call Dupre and get her out of the pool. All I can say is, TYPICAL PITTSFIELD.

    • danvalenti
      August 1, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      YOGI
      THE PLANET agrees, and we recommended Canning for the job while the search was still on. Actually, the search is still on, given that the convoluted process of hiring a new Superintendent could only produce an “Acting” Supt. Canning deserves a fresh look.