!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! ‘WILL IT GO ‘ROUND IN CIRCLES?’ … ROUND AND ROUND SHE GOES, AND WHERE IT STOPS IS LANESBORO, NOT PITTSFIELD. QUESTION IS WHY? WHY DID PITTSFIELD TURN ITS BACK ON A MILLION-DOLLAR GIFT HORSE? OUR FOUR-PART SERIES EXPLAINS WHAT HAPPENED … PART 1 TODAY!
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, OCT. 30, 2012) — Now that Sandy didn’t do anything around here, not even muss up anyone’s hair, THE PLANET presents the inside details on how Pittsfield blew it again, this time coming full circle on missing out, this time on the Berkshire Carousel. This is the first of a four-part series to run all this week.
This is a story with the intrigue of a spy novel, the mystery of a whodunnit, and the suspense of Boris Karloff‘s Thriller. It is a story that hasn’t been told.
It Reads Like Fiction
If one were to present this as a work of fiction, a writer couldn’t ask for a better symbol for Pittsfield futility: A device with no practical purpose, one that spins in a circle, leaving a person continually passing the places already traversed only to return to the beginning, accomplishing nothing. The irony drips from the horses’ mouths like the foam of hard riding. Our novelist could write with implicit meaning from a speaker that greatly differs from the statements he or she ostensible asserts. Our hero would start off and end up on the same exact spot, the Eternal Beginning and Endless Ending, one and the same.
The carousel would function as a literary device intended to symbolize the duplicity of meaning — how the city of Pittsfield pretended to want the project only after it was too late.
We spoke to several persons involved in the carousel project, both from the carvers’ side and the city side. We talked to sponsors, donors, politicians, and volunteers. Each requested that their names not be used, a request that’s standard issue in a town where fear prevails. THE PLANET shall honor that request. We shall use horse names for our sources: Mr. Ed, Trigger, Pegasus, and Seabiscuit. You get the idea.
Even after the fact, those who had to deal with the situation express trepidation: “I’m a bit uncomfortable bringing up all the things Pittsfield leaders did to discourage the carousel project,” says Pegasus. “We have remained very positive, and we don’t want the project or the town of Lanesboro to suffer from ‘repercussions.’” Obviously, Pegasus is a steed who knows how The Game works in Pittsfield. Play Ball or Be Ware.
Positive Action, Nasty Comments
Let’s be clear from the outset. Pittsfield could have had this fabulous project without much effort. It said “no” then cried after the carousel directors decided on Lanesboro. After the decision had been made, there appeared to be an orchestrated effort to blast the selection.
Trigger, a carousel source, said, “Throughout the history of the project, we have been careful to stay focused on the positive aspects of the carousel and now, how much the Town of Lanseboro understands and appreciates it. In the past few weeks [since our decision], we have received a lot of negative comments, some rather nasty, over the decision to locate in Lanseboro over Pittsfield. However, people writing on the net and in the Eagle or commenting publicly about the decision have no idea that the city leaders in Pittsfield blew it and really had no interest in this project, even today.”
That’s an amazing assertion, one THE PLANET knows to be true: “”City leaders in Pittsfield … really had no interest in this project, even today.”
Why? Why Would Pittsfield Not Want this Great Project?
Question is, why? Why would two administrations be so averse to such a fun, joy-inducing, morale-lifting people magnet? It would be funded with private dollars. It would not be a financial or management drain on the city? Why would any city not want this?
In the city of Syracuse, N.Y., if you go to the Carousel Center-Destiny USA — the second largest mall in the country — you will find a spectacular carousel that draws a continuous stream of people, mostly parents and kids. You can’t put a price on the value of such an attraction. Yet, despite having one practically fall into its lap, Pittsfield said, “No thanks.”
There were many people instrumental in this decision to shut out this gift from Mr. and Mrs. Jim Shulman, for reasons that still have not been made clear. They are, according to several our our equine sources, Deanna Ruffer, Peter Lafayette, Megan Whilden, Rob Proskin, and Richard Stanley. To a lesser extent, one would add Mayors Jimmy Ruberto and Dan Bianchi, though, as we shall explain, the two CEOs had less power in the situation than most realize.
TOMORROW: PART TWO — WHY THE CAROUSEL DIRECTORS CHOSE LANESBORO AND WHAT FEW PEOPLE UNDERSTAND: WHY THE CAROUSEL WAS SUCH A 5-STAR GIFT HORSE FOR PITTSFIELD, ONE THE CITY DECIDED TO LOOK IN THE MOUTH.
AS WE WALKED OUT ONE EVENING, WALKING DOWN TYLER STREET, THE CROWDS UPON THE PAVEMENT WERE FIELDS OF HARVEST WHEAT.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.