PLANET ANNOUNCES WINNER OF THE FIRST ANNUAL TURKEY OF THE YEAR AWARD … plus … SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETS TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION IN PITTSFIELD, BUT HIGHLY PAID MR. CONSULTANT AND MORE HIGHLY PAID ASST. SUPT. FRANK “FREE HOUSE” COTE SKIP SHOW
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, NOV. 30, 2012) — The day is finally upon us, when THE PLANET Editorial Board and Packed-Suitcase Marching & Chowder Society (PEBAPSMCS) announces the fruits of its most stimulating deliberations in deciding our First Annual Turkey of the Year Award (TOYA).
We approach this with a kind of Mein Kampf reverence, since, in The Little Guy‘s never-ending battle against the incompetents and scoundrels who would act in their name but not their interests, life is always about “My Struggle.” The battles rages, and Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, though outnumbered 2-to-10, can find great comfort in such a symbolic exercise in justice, as the TOYA must be.
Needless to say, we have had a ponderous time considering who we might grace with this high honor, there being no lack of worthy nominations, each in their own way raising the Gobble-Gobble factor to ever-higher levels. While God certainly seems to have cheated Pittsfield of true “leaders,” He has no doubt more than made up for it by sending the city a plague of two-legged fowl and foul, wild and other-kind.
THE PLANET thanks all who submitted nominations, the quality of which required the PEBAPSMCS to perform Herculean efforts in selecting from among them the most worthy Turkey. Ask a loving mother which child she favors the most, and you will see our dilemma. The board responded heroically, however, with the wisdom of Solomon, the deftness of Houdini, and the determination of the Missouri River eating out the Grand Canyon. Such is the duty We The People can expect from the august members of THE PLANET’s Secret Squadron.
No Lack of Turkeys
Here is a reasonably complete list of names put into nomination:
D.A. David Capeless, Lee Police Chief Geronimo en masse Buffis, the Pittsfield School Depeartment, the en masse Pittsfield School Committee Mr. T. Kinnas excepted, the en masse United Educators of Pittsfield with Ms. Yates at the forefront, PPS vocational director Frank (“Free House”) Cote, Cote’s secretary Lynn “Free House Receiver” Whitney, constitutional scholar Judge Bethsaida Sanabria-Vega, former Pittsfield school super Jake Eberwin III, Lenox town honcho Greg Federspiel, Lenoxology the Slogan, the “huge tombstone in Kennedy Park,” unfunded pensions that will kill once-and-for-all The Taxpayer, ex-OCD czarina Deanna Ruffer, Pittsfield city solicitor Kathy Degnan, Pittsfield councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo, for state Sen. Andrea Nuciforo, Pittsfield interim fire chief Bob Czerwinski, firemen union chief Tim Bartini, County Court slouch Clifford Nilan, Nilan spwan the ever-blonde Meredith Nilan, Pittsfield city council president Kevin Sherman, Pittsfield downtown czar Peter Lafayette, Pittsfield school board chairman Alf Barbalunga, Pittsfield veterans’ agent Rosey Frieri, and the usual gang of assorted idiots.
Let us put the announcement off no longer. Maestro, the envelope please. … And the winner is …
JOE PINHEAD, who nominated Judge Bethsaida Sanabria-Vega, the walking demographic judicial Trifecta (Hispanic, female, and possessor of hyphenated surname). Da Judge, you may recall, granted the ever-blonde Meredith Nilan a temporary restraining order against Yours Truly for the heinous “crime” of reporting factual truth about the little girl’s run-in with pedestrian Peter Moore and Little Toby, Moore’s canine guardian angel.
THE PLANET had NEVER met Ms. Nilan, NEVER spoke to her on the phone, NEVER e-mailed her, NEVER visited her home, NEVER went to her office, and NEVER had any contact with her whatsoever. Nonetheless, the judge thought it necessary to slap a temporary restraining order against this website, deeming that we posed an imminent threat to Ms. Nilan’s well being. The judge imposed this prior restraint without our knowledge and without giving us the benefit of being present to offer any word of defense. The following week, on July 9, in a six-hour marathon hearing, a much wiser judge threw out Judge B S-V’s order, finding no basis in the law for such a ridiculous ruling.
Joe Pinhead, in prose that peeled the petals off of our black-eyed susans, wrote to us twice:
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While THE PLANET had so many worthy entries to consider, in the end, considering this came from the pen of a pinhead, the judges held JP’s response up as the gold standard for acumen, insight, and words that best lead to giving heartburn to the right people.
To Judge B S-V, who could use a refresher on constitutional law: You are THE PLANET’s Turkey of the Year. You are invited to join Joe Pinhead and THE PLANET editorial staff for lunch at the Red Lion Inn at a time and date to be conveyed to you. We can promise great food, great service, and great holiday company. Please consider joining us.
Congratulations, Joe Pinhead. THE PLANET shall be in touch regarding for all-expenses-paid journey to Civilization, otherwise known as the Town of Stockbridge, where you shall be treated to lunch at the fabulous Red Lion Inn, where our credit is eternal and our tab doth overflow.
Again, thanks to all who participated. Congratulations to Joe Pinhead for his winning effort and to Judge S-V for her first-place achievement.
BECAUSE THIS IS PITTSFIELD, AND BECAUSE IT CONCERNS THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND BECAUSE YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS SORT OF GUANO “UP”
As few of you are no doubt aware, it having been ignored by the mainstream media in Berkshire County, this past Wednesday, while Prof. Planet was leading his intrepid composition students through the intricacies of MLA citation format and the basis of scholarly research at the BCC main campus, our Right Honorable Good Friends on the Pittsfield School Committee (otherwise known as The Ship of Fools), met in congress.
During this meeting, the school committee was supposed to take a look at the vocational programs offered by the public schools and make recommendations on which programs to keep, which to jettison, and which to add. This was to have come in the wake of a damning state audit, which excoriated the PPS overall performance and accused all involved in the administration of city schools of essentially assigning certain so-perceived “low promise” students to an academic ghetto known as the Vocational Program. In short, the state found among other dysfunction that the PPS was using the once-proud Vocational Program as a dumping ground.
The School Committee’s action during Wednesday’s meeting, of course, was predicated on the presence of two people who are, unfortunately, key to the committee moving forward and doing its job regarding Vocational Education. They are:
(A) The point man representing the city’s High Paid, Fancy, Outta-Town Consultant (we never have the in-house talent to decide upon our own needs, irrespective of the fact that education is best done when determined locally and not from afar)
(B) Asst. superintendent Frank “Free House” Cote, who only runs the vocational program in the moribund PPS and a hundred grand a year.
There was one slight problem, however: Both the Highly Paid Consultant and Cote were nowhere to be seen. Not only that, but their absence, as far as THE PLANET knows, went unexplained by board chairman Alf Barbalunga.
This being Pittsfield, and all, only Terry Kinnas had a problem with this slap in the face. Kinnas pointed out that considering the hefty fees taxpayers are shuttling to the eastern part of state for the Big Fancy Consultant from Out Boston Way, the least the company could do was have Their Man present for an important discussion.
No way. As we said, this is Pittsfield.
One could also minimally expect Cote to be on hand, all things being equal. Ah, but apparently, equality with this guy has proven more rare than a 1952 Mint Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card. In fact, according to one school committee member, Cote has not attended one meeting of the board since his good pals OKd the free house for his (Cote’s) secretary, Lynn Whitney.
We knew all this would cheer you up, Pittsfield taxpayers.
Anyhoo, as they say on Newell Street, the committee could not do its job without these two boobs present. This means that there will be another delay in the work of the School Building Needs Commission, which was counting on the school committee to have its recommendations on the future of vocational education in Pittsfield before any decision can be made on whether or not to build a new high school.
At the meeting, according to our spies and Secret Squadron members monitoring the proceedings, about 60 people, mostly from the local business sector, pleaded with the school committee to retain both the metal fabrication and auto body training in the vocation department, not that the High Paid Consultant or Frank Cote gave a rat’s rear.
When all of this finally begins to sink in, voters of Pittsfield, perhaps you will be ready to elect someone with the resolve to confront such evil.
Now THE PLANET doesn’t know if that local Svengali-Lighting Rod-Genius-Imbecile Hyponotist Poet Savant Dan Valenti is stupid enough to run for mayor (only because we know he’d win), but if he does, he will represent The Taxpayer’s last chance at the golden nose ring of equity before the City Once Known As Pittsfield, Mass., (COWAPM) gets formally consigned to history’s ash heap.
As Mr. Spock would say, “COWAPM and Prosper.”
ON A MOON-SPRUNG NIGHT, A SUITCASE-STAR MADE KNOWN ITS LIGHT. IT SENT ITS BEAMS, ANOINTMENT FROM AFAR. IT LEFT THE WINDOWS OPEN AND THE DOORS AJAR. APRIAMO LA FINESTRE!
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.