PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, DEC. 11, 2012) — Tailgate, or, if you prefer Taligate-gate continues to occupy much conversation around the water coolers and subterranean corridors of the bedraggled city of Pittsfield, and rightly so. The Pittsfield Public School system makes much of its zero-tolerance policy on alcohol and drugs. The PPS is so serious about it that, as everyone knows, virtually any middle- and high-schooler has E-Z access to a variety of drugs (heroin, crack, grass, meth, etc.) and booze. If you gave a kid an assignment to come to class the next day with a quantity of crack or some other substance, they would deliver an A+ performance.

Give them liberty, or give them meth!

A Serious Joke

The fact of the matter is, like so much of the business of what passes for quality education in Pittsfield, the enforcement of the policy amounts to a serious joke, one without a punchline, except for the many lives ruined by the indifference from the people in power, the Suits. Officials will trot out a glorified PR stunt such as the D.A.R.E. program. It gives them good headlines and puff pieces in mainstream media such as the Boring Broadsheet, but it does nothing (and some experts argue it has actually increased drug experimentation on the part of young people) to keep kids away from substances they cannot handle.

What Was the Role of the Head Coach?

The Taconic High School head football coach, Vinnie Barbarotta, double dips as a city employee (painter, maintenance department) and head football coach (does he receive a salary or stipend for this? Presumably so). What was his role, exactly, in the presence of alcohol and drinking by high school senior footballers? What did he do? What didn’t he do? What did he know? What didn’t he know? Did he encourage or discourage this? Should any of this be a consideration in terms of his employment by the city? Because he comes from what one reader calls “a prominent local sports family,” does that make him automatically immune from consequences?

We don’t know, but we can say that it would not surprise us in the least, since that is the way of things in the den of corruption known as local politics: The GOBs and Vested Interests get taken care of, while the taxpayers get screwed. The Nilans of the world walk, while the Kapanskis take up their burden.

“The blooming bastards.” as Col. Mustard so elegantly telegramed today.

THE PLANET knows that’s true. You know that’s true. They know that’s true.

Other questions abound: Was the trip to the UCONN game a school-sponsored activity or not? What defines that? Who will say, definitively? One would think, along the norms of common sense, that a coaching staff taking senior footballers to a college football game would qualify as a “school-sponsored event.”

Were waivers signed? Did parents know what was going to happen? What were the liabilities in the event the drinking led to tragedy? Were taxpayers on the hook? Why have the interested parties been silent? Where are the statements of Barbarotta? The school committee? Doctor Noseworthy? Chairman Barbalunga?

When will this bullspit stop? When will We The People finally step up and, in an act of defiance and revolution, take back THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT?

Information from a Well-Placed Flounder

We also share this information, from a well-place, inside source who has knowledge of the situation:

—– 00 —–

It’s important to note that not all of the coaches participated.  Bill Garvey was not involved, did not attend and would not condone this behavior. He works as an assistant to Barbarotta for football.  Garvey does not even take the stipend for coaching football (at least in the past.)  He is also the Head coach of the Taconic Lacrosse team.  This may also be true of other coaches on the staff.

—– 00 —–

If this information is accurate, as we have reason to believe, THE PLANET applauds coach Bill Garvey and the two students who said “no.” They should be rewarded. We want more MEN like Mr. Garvey. We want fewer of the enablers who know their own name. The rest of this story still stinks with the stench of vomit and alcohol.

This is the type of situation that, in years past, before this website, would have been quietly swept under the rug. There is, though, one huge change in the dynamics: “They” no longer control the flow of information, which has the GOB and the Vested Interests terrified, defensive, and on the run. It won’t amount to squat, in the long run, as long as people fall to apathy and let these scoundrels commit theft in broad daylight.

The game is slowly changing. Anyone with knowledge and access to a computer is now a PLANET source, and many are sharing what they know. The Little Guy is still getting run over, but at least now, good, honest, and involved citizens can say, “THE PLANET told you so.”

THE PLANET is present everywhere, through, our vast network of spies, Z-Agents, Secret Squadron members, and assorted informants, STOOLEYs, and Gumshoes. We have our agents in the most intimate places of power. We shall report.

The line is drawn.



The inept Pittsfield School Committee is in its second stab at finding a successor to Jake “The Snake” Eberwein III as Pittsfield School superintendent. Super Jake fulfilled the Insiders’ dream to a tee for a PPS boss: He had a connected family, he was compliant, he would not rock the boat, and he would be a willing confederate in the effort to perpetuate the myth of accomplishment in a rapidly decaying school district.

Enter Christine Canning Wilson. She is an internationally respected expert in education. She has more letters after her name than a bowl of Campbell’s alphabet soup. She has the reputation as a no-nonsense, sharp-as-a-razor educator, precisely the kind that could get the Pittsfield schools singing arias. All things being equal, a school district as desperate as the PPS would grovel to get such a person.

But no.

She’s Eminently Qualified, so Naturally, the School Committee Goon Wants No Part of Her

In a previous employment in the Pittsfield schools, Wilson sided with taxpayers, her “big mistake,” as one member of the school department establishment put it to us. She blew the whistle on the corruption she saw. For that reason, the Pittsfield School Committee wants no part of her. She’s too smart, too able, too capable, too honest, and doesn’t possess the “Roll over and play dead” compliance that the GOBs want in their next superintendent. Is that the reason school board chairman Alf Barbalunga has refused to let Wilson’s application for superintendent to be entered in the mix.

On Nov. 19, 2012, Wilson sent the following letter to the Pittsfield School Committee. In another exclusive, THE PLANET publishes it here, for the first time anywhere. Remember: THEY don’t want you to see this. She wrote:

—– 00 —–

Dear Pittsfield School Committee,

     As you are aware, my application for Superintendent was pulled from the applicant pool during the last round so that you could not see my education, expertise, and qualifications.   As the former administration has left due to “unpublished rumors”, I would request you review Superior Court Civil Action Case 06-00352, and you will see that the whistleblower statute of the Commonwealth was applied as I was retaliated against by a ‘good old boys’ network for protecting the health, wealth, and safety of children.   It was my interpretation that I agreed not to teach for the district, and Dupree’s interpretation that I don’t work for the district in any capacity.   As you are a school committee, you have the power to review, and overthrow this decision — in the best interest of the public and the children you are entrusted to serve.  Please note, that before my experience with PPS and after my experience with PPS, I have had OUTSTANDING evaluations.  In fact, while working for you, my evaluations were superior — my sin was that I exposed corruption, and violations that showed lack of compliance which endangered children by people under older regimes.

So why consider me?  Good question, so I will give you a good answer.

What will stand me out from your other candidates, besides me being a licensed Superintendent:

1.   I did my Superintendent licensed internship in Springfield under Dr. Alan Ingram, second in charge at the DESE after Commissioner Mitchell Chester.

2.  I have four other professional licenses in high needs areas such as ESL, and am eligible for the new Special Education license

3.  I have taken and passed 5 educational law classes in different areas with top marks

4.  I have worked for two turnaround school districts that have moved forward towards moving out of Level IV to Level III.   Note: PPS has schools in Level III that are a mathematical equation away from being Level IV and once you are entangled in that mess, you had better hope you have someone who can be solution based to pull you out.

5.  I was educated at Oxford University in England, the University of Massachusetts, West Virginia University, Salzburg College in Austria, and Cambridge University in England.

6.  I have two top books on Education for teachers and administrators with publishing giant McGraw Hill, and one different book that won the Teaching and Excellence Award

7. I have served on two state boards for the Commissioner of Education and helped write the reports that form many of DESE’s Decisions (RIAC and MATSOL)

8.  Been praised by two different superintendent’s for my improvement of students’ in subgroup MCAS and MEPA scores on teams 

9.  Hired for almost a decade by the US State Department, Peace Corp, US Embassies, Ministries of Education (Foreign), UAE Presidential Court, and other organizations to train teachers as their Specialist in the areas of Testing/Evaluation/ Second Language Acquisition in the area of English.

10.  My evaluations have been stellar for 21 years.  I have won numerous teaching awards.  I have also been nominated 3x for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year preliminary rounds, and once for a Pioneer Valley Excellence Award.

11.  In my current position, I was selected by the Educational Management Organization, CES, for the state, to work with Dean Technical which has now left potential level 5 status and has gone into the yellow of Level 4 towards the green overturn at Level 3 which will be determined over the next two years of scores.

12.  I have presented original educational research at top universities around the world including University of Moscow, American University in Cairo, Sharjah and Kuwait, Cambridge University in England etc…(I have over 100 professional world wide presentations to date and 63 academic publications in refereed works)

13.  I have experience with money and budgets through my company work with grants and contracts.  I was SOMWBA Certified with the Commonwealth and the Comptroller’s office, and taken the Grant Writing Courses with the Foundation Center in Manhattan, NY.

14. I am all but dissertation on my new doctorate in Education Policy and Research, in addition to all my other degrees.  My ability to guide you with proper information will offer you a solution based center on how to fix things so you are not in continuous scandal after scandal after scandal.    You have had too much negative publicity, incestuous hirings, waivered individuals,unions, and no one around who is willing to go against the grain and clean house — until now, because I will do it as to best serve the public education interests of children.   I will take on issues and follow through until corrected.

15.  I know the new state evaluation system, the new RETELL Certification requirements, and Race to the Fund Top for Interventions — and I have worked with your union.   These are upcoming things, that you need in your new Superintendent.  

Plus, you can not afford another sexual or financial scandal, bullying incident, or otherwise — and I can guarantee that I have never been in any scandal. You would finally have the ethics I know you seek.
And what you can’t see on paper is that I am popular with teachers, parents and students.  I have a fabulous public presence that move people to do things and to listen to me.  But most importantly, I have integrity and a true honest character, that emulates by example and not just by word.  My top notch recommendations attest to that.

I highly suggest, that you again review my case, and make me eligible to apply for Superintendent of PPS.   I look forward to your written response as soon as possible, as a deadline is looming.    Remember, I can make you look good and form your decision making with high end answers that can make the state and city happy.

Thank you,

Christine Canning-Wilson, Ab.D, D.RSA, CAGS, M.A., B.A., Ed. Licensed
—– 00 —–

She heard nothing. On Dec. 6, Channing wrote this reminder to the school committee:

Dear School Committee,
I am still awaiting your answer to my question of whether or not to forward my materials for the new deadline.  If I hear no response by Monday, I will assume there are no objections to my application for the Superintendent’s position.  Please note, I was just notified and congrulated that I am the recipient of one of the Race to the Top bonus checks for raising student test scores.
Christine Canning Wilson, Ab.D, D.RSA, CAGS, M.A., B.A. Ed. License
—– 00 —–

Finally, THE PLANET obtained through a confidential source the reply of the school committee to Ms. Wilson’s attorney, Michael Hinckley of Donvan and O’Connor, sent through the committee’s attorney, hired gun Russell Dupere, Esq. :

Dear Attorney Hinkley,
I have been advised by Chairperson Barbalunga that he is not placing Ms. Canning’s request on the Committee’s meeting agenda.  Therefore, the existing agreement remains in place.  Therefore, we expect that Ms. Canning will not submit an application.  Please so inform your client.  Thank you.
Sincerely, Russell J. Dupere, Esq. 

This means that a most qualified individual — and likely the most qualified person to have applied for the job — will not even get five seconds before the Goon Squad.

When THE PLANET had a two-hour lunch sit-down with Barbalunga months ago (at the fabulous Red Lion Inn), we told him we’d call them as we saw them. Alf said he would want it no other way. We remind him of that now. [CORRECTION: We initially reported that THE PLANET picked up the tab. That is incorrect. Barbalunga paid for the meal and left the tip. We add this in the interest of accuracy and for the record. That being said, we have bought many a meal for many a public figure, and made a hasty assumption that we did so for Alf, who is a “pick up the tab” kind of guy, which THE PLANET respects]. If there is another reason why the school committee can’t take her application, the public needs to know what that is.

Folks, here’s the real deal, one that the BB or no other local media source will tell you about the Pittsfield Public School system: There are too many people riding the gravy train for a reform superintendent to come in and clean house. Barbalunga and the majority of the committee don’t have the stones to stand up for the Little Guy here, the Mary Jane and Joe Kapanskis, who, though they no longer have children in the public schools, continue to be robbed blind by those who would nefariously act in their name.






  1. GMHeller
    December 11, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    So a bunch of high school jocks led by the coach head off to a UCONN game and it ends up a big tailgate party — what football event doesn’t — and not one parent felt the urge to tag along?
    Remember, this took place on a weekend afternoon.
    Mr. Valenti, you can blame school employees all you want, but just where do parents fit in on all this, and where lies parental responsibility?
    If any parents are expressing outrage now, then where were they the afternoon of the big game?
    Did parents really expect that much Berkshire beef not to end-up getting sauced?
    Come to think of it, this being Berkshire County where the motto is ‘You are what you were in high school’, that tailgate party will be the high-point of many lives!

    • Twist
      December 11, 2012 at 6:55 am #

      A head football coach and his staff, one of whom is a Taconic High School teacher, decide to take the seniors on a season ending football game, the kids are given a senior gift that they wear with pride. What parent would think that they would have to worry about their kids being given beer by their coaches? Parents were not invited to this event as they are not invited to many other school events.

      As parents we know that students may be tempted to indulge in consuming alcohol on the sly and parents may question the whereabouts of their children and with whom they may be spending time on a Friday or Saturday night, but there is an implied trust given to those adults who lead our athletics. Surely a properly vetted applicant who has been given the responsibility of implementing a football philosophy and program by the Athletic Director and School Principal does not have to be reminded that he should not give alcohol to his student athletes while on a field trip.

      You can’t make this stuff up. Who could have foreseen the stupidity, poor judgement and criminality of the adults in this situation?


    • Scott
      December 11, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      Although I don’t agree with your comment you raise a good question were there in fact parents there at the event. Personally I wouldn’t let any of my kids go out of state/town with out me but that’s just me I know most would so if they trusted their kids with these people they have every right to be upset at any adult that was present. I bet there would be more outrage if they were smoking weed.

      • Wilson
        December 11, 2012 at 8:14 am #

        High school seniors are usually legal adults (though this doesn’t include drinking beer for mysterious reasons)

  2. dusty
    December 11, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    If Christine Wilson is so damn smart why does she want to work in Pittsfield? What possible rewards could she find working with the likes of Barbalunga and his tribe of lackeys? And where is Bianchi in all this? I want to hear a public statement from him as to why this woman is not front and center on the list of candidates.

    My guess is that there is a multi million dollar budget that is being spun off for non school uses and the last thing they want is an honest eye looking at it. If Pittsfield got this ginormous bloated school budget on track property taxes would plummet.

    Dan I hope you ride this story until the piggies squeal.

    • billy
      December 12, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      I was disgusted with the behavior shown by the superintendent and the head of the teachers union by their refusal to show up at the city council last night to answer questions in regard for voting down applying for the 20 million dollar grant. I believe the city councils eyes were finally opened to the fact that both parties believe they are above being both a responsible fiscal partner in city finances of which they comprise a lions share of the budget and that they are above answering to the ruling body of the city who represents the citizens they say they serve. I see the city teachers going down the same path as the G.E unions did in their hay day and with their reckless and arrogant behavior will most likely meet the same demise. I beleive it has escaped most of those so called educated people that they work for citizens of Pittsfield.I hope both parties witnessed what happened in Michagan with the ” right to work” law that passed” showing that the public has lost patience with unions and their in ability to adapt and compromise for the common good instead of their own.

      • danvalenti
        December 12, 2012 at 9:40 am #

        THE PLANET thanks you for this report. We weren’t on hand last night, and so we didn’t know the teachers did not show up. Shame on them. I wonder how Councilor Krol and President Sherman reacted to this snub of them, particularly, and their colleagues generally. The president of the teachers union had the obligation to be on hand. We don’t know the reason for her not being there, but we wonder: Cowardcice or perhaps the inability to defend the indefensible.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:56 am #

    Dear Reader,

    Above, the person asked if I was so smart why would I want to work in the PPS? First, I am in the county for 8 more years as it would be unfair to remove my children from their school and friends, as their father died of cancer when they were little I want stability for them… — so, as a resident the position is local and I am here.. Second, I was born, raised, and educated in Pittsfield, and believe in giving back which is evident when in 1983 I won the DAR and in 1995 I won the CYC Volunteer Youth Award. Third, I worked for PPS and saw inequity in education. I believe all children should have the curriculum be guaranteed and viable. Fourth, I am all about kids and getting them to where people in my life got me. This is why I will not let this go because too many lives are affected. I hope this answers your question.
    Chris Canning

    • danvalenti
      December 11, 2012 at 7:17 am #

      THE PLANET thanks Chris Canning Wilson for this response.

    • dusty
      December 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      I thought my sarcasm was obvious but I am sorry if it was not. I want to know from our leaders exactly why you are not in the running?

      • Bain hater
        December 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

        Hello. She signed a agreement not to seek employment with the city of Pittsfield . I’m sure she would have been a good candidate for the position.

    • billy
      December 12, 2012 at 8:27 am #

      I believe an individual who seeks the job to run the schools no matter how qualified , should allow the elected body put in place for that to do the job it was intrusted to do. running the city schools is not to be decided by a popularity contest on the blogs. I also believe the mayor has too much on his plate all ready that needs attention such as the crumbling infrastructures of city schools and building as well as the sewer system and roads above them. He has to start focusing on that and stop deflecting everything to someone else and take a leadership role in something constructive instead of division.

  4. Ron Kitterman
    December 11, 2012 at 5:11 am #

    I find myself in total agreement with Mr. Heller, if parents don’t know where their kids are at, what they are doing, who they are associating with, and take that responsibility . We will find someone to blame, when things turn wrong. the schools, the coaches, the teachers, t.v. , video games you get the idea . The good news here is at least 2 of the kids acted responsibly and will probably pay the price . it’s all okay till somebody gets their eye poked out…

    • Dave
      December 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

      “if parents don’t know where ……and take that responsibility??????????????????? The parents knew where(Uconn), what (Football Game) who(Their COACHES). Ron, you are way off base. If the parents can’t feel their kids are safe in this situation, then we should never let them out of the house.

    • Ed Shepardson
      December 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      First, this story is still in progress. A lot of facts still lacking. But wouldn’t it be a fair to assume that when a parent sends their children to school, they expect, rightfully, that the school would do everything to protect their safety? Even an off campus event? That is not shirking parental responsibility. It is passing that responsibility to those who have agreed to accept that responsibility. By, law we must send our kids to school and I doubt very much if any administration would allow a parent to shadow their children every hour of every school day..

  5. Piedmontese 1228 East
    December 11, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    How very very sad that the most qualified individual will not be considered for our sinking ship, Pittsfield Public Schools. As to Dusty’s question as to why Christine Wilson would want to serve here; perhaps it is because she is able to see the possibility of positive change and she is committed to the place where she grew up. I would hope that most readers could relate to that. As for the Football Tailgate Gate situation, I only see this as one more indication of how far this district has fallen. Will the powers that be really look the other way because the person responsible is a connected previously recognized athlete?? if this is true and no action is taken, what message are we giving to the students?

  6. THS Football Dad
    December 11, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Tailgategate clarifications
    I was told by several of the parents that they were not asked to sign waivers for the trip. The trip was organized by Head Coach Barbarotta as an end of season thank you to the seniors becuase they did not have the traditional banquet.
    The parents were told that they would tailgate (i.e. hot dogs, hamburgers and soda) and watch the game. The parents had no way of knowing that five coaches would allow and accomodate underage drinking.Believe it or not not all tailgate parties involve providing alcohol to minors.
    Given there were five coaches and seven players going there was no need for additional chaperones. I know at least three of the parents were most likely working the day of the day game. P.S. not everyone is lucky enough to work one job or to work Monday to Friday.

    • Scott
      December 11, 2012 at 7:38 am #

      I agree blaming parents who trusted the coaches is a ridiculous cop out. Of course no one takes responsibility for their actions these days. We’re living in an age where McDonalds makes people fat (which it does but no one forces you to eat it every day heck I never eat there anymore.) And gun’s have decided to start killing people at an alarming level. (even though homicide/killing is at a historical low even with the current wars all leading back to the civil war.) We should just cut out all the middle men in this and blame the real culprits who produce alcoholic beverages.

    • Thomas
      December 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      All these acquisitions are false and I can prove that cause if that actually happened there would be charges. But where are they I don’t see any. Also why did 5 out of the 7 students that were involved deny the fact that he gave the children the alcohol. Huh? I say you and everyone else are just attacking him cause he is a Barbarotta and that is just wrong and very cheap too watch.
      Who cares who he is but pointing fingers at someone probably not knowing what truly happened is also very wrong.

      Also if you are so sure that all the parents are mad about this ,why haven’t I heard anything about it? The only parents bitter about this are the parents of the kids that didn’t drink. So where do you get a right too comment if nothing even happened too your kid. Another fact is a parent that is involved, his kid isn’t even on the team. He is just doing the same thing all you are doing and attacking him because he is a Barbarotta.

      Enough said.

      • THS senior Mom
        December 14, 2012 at 4:53 am #

        Thomas…I’m a parent of a non-drinker on that trip & I am far from bitter. I’m well aware of what happened on that trip & hold nothing against the coaching staff. I think some poor choices were made but really haven’t we all made poor choices. I’m more annoyed with how some adults are using this for their own personal vendetta & causing my child undo stress. I can guarentee you that if anything criminal happened I would feel totally different & do something about. But I can honestly say that the Taconic football program was on of the best things that ever happened to my son (minus this little drama).
        Funny how when ever Taconic students cross some line everyone jumps all over them. Yet a couple of weeks ago they had the Mr. Taconic pageant & there was zero coverage!! That speaks volumes with how some people view these kids.

        • Thomas
          December 14, 2012 at 5:59 am #

          I don’t see any of the parents of the kids who actually drank coming out with a statement of anger. The only reason they are angry because outside sources are coming in when it should be the schools decision on what happens.

          • danvalenti
            December 14, 2012 at 8:35 am #

            Could be, but a more likely explanation is that they are afraid to come out. That would be reasonable and logical behavior, given that the PPS operates (as does Pittsfield politics in general) in an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, and sadly, retaliation. Why do you think so many of my sources will only talk anonymously? Tell me: What do you know definitively and factually about Tailgate-gate? I would like to share that with my readers.

  7. yogi
    December 11, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    In 2005=2006 there was a similar scandal at Taconic, but an administrator’s daughter and a teacher’s daughter at the school were involved and it was covered up too. This has gone on for years the alcohol and smoking on school grounds. The ceiling at Taconic in the Voke wing and the bathroom in graphics used to hold the kids’ drugs. They know — there was even question on an European trip about behavior and nothing was done.

  8. Han
    December 11, 2012 at 7:39 am #

    I have known Chris Canning for years and she is awesome. She is a very pricipled person. She calls it as it is. She has integrity and if I know her, she will always be there for kids. I remember once in high school how she shook us down for money for the poor and didn’t let us spend it on the candybar machines. I think she made Mr. Antil’s African cause a fortune. She and her family have always been Pittsfield and Berkshire county people and educators. If the school committee thinks she will go away — then they have better chance of breaking in Fort Knox on a Sunday. Go Christine, we support you in anything you set your heart too. We know only good will come for kids if your name is attached.

  9. YBB
    December 11, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    She has helped so many kids around the world. She has a great sense of humor and just is a good person. Look at all the people from the outside that have destroyed our schools, and have been here for a paycheck. Here we have someone who wants to do the job, and I doubt cares much about the salary, because I have known her to do a lot of charity work. She is all about children and education, and yet — the egos that be, won’t give her a shot because she exposed them. We just had two more scandals, and I think they fear she would clean house. This nonsense, the lawsuits, and incestuous promotions would stop under her. That is the reality. They are scared. They let it go to long and now, where can they go? Why pretend they want a superintendent…what they want is a puppet. It is sooo sad that these elected people can allow this to happen.

  10. Shakes His Head
    December 11, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    No doctorate, therefore, not the most qualified…

    Who really lists their BA in a signature block??? Or even a MA??? I’m always reminded of a coworker of mine that as an adult professional, listed that he had been an eagle scout in his signature. If you aren’t a doctor, initials are bush league.

    P.S. Pittsfield should hire a superintendent with superior grammar.

    • Ed
      December 11, 2012 at 10:55 am #

      With all due respect, this is not the time nor place to dwell on pomp and circumstance nor pretension. We need accountability, reform, and results. We should hire a hot dog vendor with a GED if they can get the job done.

      • danvalenti
        December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

        Well said!

      • joetaxpayer
        December 11, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

        Ed couldn’t agree more. Maybe we need someone with less schooling and more learning.

    • Chris Canning
      December 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      I am currently finishing a doctorate. I do use the different degrees as they represent different fields and licenses. Sorry for your confusion.

    • Chris Canning
      December 11, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      I am currently finishing a doctorate. I do use the different degrees as they represent different fields and licenses. Sorry for your confusion.

  11. Teecha teecha
    December 11, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Maybe they couldn’t afford someone with her qualifications? It’s universally agreed upon… She uncovered corruption. Too bad she couldn’t take her findings directly to the DESE and launch an investigation .

    My best goes to Chris, bravo for your experience and talent

    A former pps teacher and current charter school one.

  12. Teecha teecha
    December 11, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Good ol alfie…lest we forget

    • Chris Canning
      December 11, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

      Thank you. This explains a lot.

    • GMHeller
      December 11, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

      Teecha Teecha, You make a valid point.
      Who died and made Alfred E. Barbalunga His Majesty the King of Berkshire County?
      How did this political hack from North Berkshire become so critically involved in running so many aspects of Berkshire County and why do the citizenry stand for it?

    • Scott
      December 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

      I didn’t vote for him.

      • dusty
        December 12, 2012 at 1:56 am #

        I am sure he had the backing of the connected fund raising and voting block

        • danvalenti
          December 12, 2012 at 6:31 am #

          Yes. And “Connected” is the operative word, Dusty.

  13. Downtown Dweller
    December 11, 2012 at 11:42 am #

    Perhaps if people feel this strongly about Ms Canning Wilson they might consider attending the School Committee meeting tomorrow and speak out during the public comments section.

    I find it curious that the committe would out-of-hand dismiss someone who is highly educated, from the area and have the skills the PPS need to move ahead. But then again, it’s the same committee who considered Dr. Darlington a prize.

    • taxmano
      December 11, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      “But then again, it’s the same committee who considered Dr. Darlington a prize.”

      And they absolutely swooned whenever Slick Jake (the snake) III was in their presence.
      I remeber one of them saying at Jake’s coronation: (and I quote): “He [Jake] has no faults…”
      ha ha ha

  14. stanley
    December 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Dan,Im hearing beer,and liquer were bought at a local package store .Before the trip began.Also i believe that the head of school committee ,and said coach are related.Was this trip funded from booster club?Im hearing it was?Also who drove home?The intoxicated?

  15. GMHeller
    December 11, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Dave, if Berkshire County’s illustrious District Attorney, David Capeless, were to impose a strict interpretation of Mass. State law, wouldn’t a Grand Jury legitimately be able to indict all five coaches with transporting minors across state lines for purposes of engaging in illicit behavior?
    It’s no wonder parents were not asked to sign waivers for the UCONN trip.

    • Kevin
      December 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      Yes he could

    • Kevin
      December 11, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

      Yes he could

  16. Joe Pinhead
    December 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    It would seem the Chris Canning is by far the best suited candidate for the job, I wonder what is the reason she is being kept from applying. One can only surmise that she has ethics, and the courage of her convictions. It appears as if she uncovered some sort of wrong doing by those from previous administrations and pressed all the way to an out of court settlement. Doesn’t this sound like the tenacity both the children and taxpayers of the district need?
    I refuse to believe whatever agreement was reached between the parties that it cannot be reopened or it terminates at a date certain. Remember even the Consent decree hammered out between the City and GE can and has been reopened somewhat 14 times? Then I am certain both parties agreeing to reopen would get the ball rolling.
    Alf do the right thing and motion for reopening to address the clause and or provision that is claimed to be baring the candidate. When does this agreement sunset? It’s that the reason to hurry and fill the position? Just a question.
    In regards to the coaches issue, the parents are not to blame here they entrusted their kids to the coaches; these coaches represented the established and implied trust between the School district and its pupils and parents. If this was a school function or not!

    • dusty
      December 12, 2012 at 2:00 am #

      Maybe the mayor could shed some light on this. Unless he would rather just turn his head and let Pittsfield politics continue to repeat its floundering, bumbling, embarrassing, asinine path to nowhere.

      • Joe Pinhead
        December 12, 2012 at 4:56 am #

        I left the Mayor out as he has shown us that change is something to be talked about on the campaign trail and what taxpayers should be left with. Unfortunately I feel from watching the Mayor he is more interested in playing it safe than doing what’s best or ethical.
        I submit if someone connected to the Mayor or other elected official was somehow barred from applying heaven and earth would be moved to eliminate the issue. I mean look what he did during house gate A leader takes a stand on what is right and principled, not on how to best avoid heat from a situation.

  17. Gene
    December 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    Good point joe P. If Ms Canning has superior credentials then at least it would be worth exploring if as Joe suggests the agreement she and the city signed can be reopened or modified or has an expiration date.

  18. billy
    December 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    i dont agree a signed agreement is just that. If she says she wont work here than do what you agreed to and go to another system and share your skills there. but your word should be your word, that would explain the issue of the school commitees reluctance.

  19. Thomas
    December 13, 2012 at 10:12 am #

    All these allegations are false and you clearly don’t have enough information too point fingers.

  20. Thomas
    December 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    I also disagree with some of the comments and information from the outside sources such as ” Russell” because the students and the coaches were the only ones in attendance and also know the real truth.

  21. Jack
    December 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

    I strongly agree with “Thomas” that you are going off allegations and not facts. All of your stories, Mr.Valenti, seem to be targeted to expose some kind of “secret” that may or may not be in existence. You feed your followers, who are labeled “The Planet”, a sum of allegations that you hear from secondary sources. As we all know stories change from the passing of one to another.

    I feel as if you need to find some more facts before you verbally attack these coaches and children, as well as labeling Pittsfield Public Schools as criminals and drugies.

    As for you commenters that call yourself “The Planet” you must recognize your ignorance for believing everything you hear, especially from a source as unreliable as Dan Valenti.

    P.S Mr.Valenti,
    That was quite audacious to reference the Nilan case on your part.

    • danvalenti
      December 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks for your views. I would respond this way:
      1. At least two of my sources are primary, not secondary.
      2. The information I have received from various secondary sources has, for the most part, agreed with the primary.
      3. You need not inform me about how stories change from the passing of one to the other. I am well versed, through a lifetime of professional training and experience, on the nature of information, the manner in which it is communicated, and the means by which reasonable (and determined) people can ascertain the truth.
      4. I appreciate your feelings on “needing more facts.” Every journalist has this need in pursuit of stories establishment types are trying to keep hidden.
      5. THE PLANET has not verbally attacked anyone nor have we labeled anyone in the manner that you suggest.
      6. As for the readers and followers of THE PLANET, why be so concerned about what they believe?
      7. Audacity in the pursuit of truth is a virtue.
      8. Finally, there is no information that has surfaced that disputes anything we have reported as fact. If you know of any, please feel free to share it with THE PLANET.

  22. Mr. Football player
    December 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    I was at the game with the boys, all of these are false, you have it all the wrong way. Some adults in this city may not think we know right from wrong but we do and would not cross that boudry.

  23. Thomas
    December 13, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    All this information is coming from a primary source that experienced it first hand so I think we know what we are talking about.

    • Thomas
      December 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      We are just looking to bring out the truth

  24. Mr. Football player
    December 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    I also strongly agree with “Thomas” and “jack”. I can personally say that they know what they are talking about. Your “sources” wether primary or secondary are a bit off. Two of the parents have totally made false accusations because they are bitter. That’s all.

    • THS senior Mom
      December 14, 2012 at 5:11 am #

      Not bitter just fustrated!! Unfortunately there are some who would’nt know or believe the truth if it bit them in the butt because it makes them feel better to drag people down! But everyone involved knows the truth & at some point it will all come out. Be strong & know I hold no bad feelings to any of the coaching staff.

      • Mr. Football player
        December 14, 2012 at 7:30 am #

        I just feel like some of the facts are being made up to fill the voids that some people don’t know. I understand why you are fustrated but when every kid that drank said the coaching staff didn’t give them the alcohol then there’s something wrong here.

  25. Bill Nye the Science Guy
    December 14, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    All you parents’ arguments are invalid and asinine…
    P.S. the children were found NOT GUILTY so “NECK”

    • Mr. Football player
      December 14, 2012 at 9:22 am #

      Thank you bill you got it, LEMME GET MINE

    • Thomas
      December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      I agree with Bill because all the parents don’t know what they are talking about. Some times when kids are pointed on the spot and tend too lie and try to protect themselves from the truth. You can say whatever you want but if you do it should be straight facts.

      Check yourself before you wreck yourself

  26. Mike Hunt
    December 14, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Taconic high school prides itself on classy and well rounded students. We are the pride of Berkshire county

  27. THS Student
    December 14, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I’m a bit appalled that you consider everyone who goes to a PPS school a druggie and can produce crack on demand Mr. V. I’m not sure how much time you spent fooling with heroin and meth during your time in high school but not every student is like you. Do kids drink? Yes, but that’s happened for years and will continue to happen, it’s worldwide and did not begin with the kids on this football team. Journalists like yourself spend so much time tearing apart the reputation of an entire city based on single incidents. Where is your or the Eagle’s articles on the Mr. Taconic pageant? How about the kids in the Business department who participate in BPA or in the Science department who work hard for their annual science fair. The sports teams? The arts programs? Or maybe the kids who graduate from a PPS school yearly and carry their education further in colleges across the country? Or perhaps you only believe that the activities that occur in these schools are cracking open a beer in the morning for 1st period and hitting the crack pipe for 7th. I’m highly disgusted with pessimistic people like yourself who only think of themselves on their high horse and everything that seems to be below them as the scum of the earth. By the way when you can find that middle schooler that can score a bit of crack, maybe that is a more blog worthy article than the nonsense you argue about on here.

  28. Bill Nye the Science Guy
    December 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Valenti!? It’s audacious how you can come to a conclusion will out all the facts, I’m sure Mr. Sherlock Holmes would be very disappointed in your “detective” skills. And pg.899 section 14 paragraph 3 in the “handbook or Bible” states the following “it doesn’t say anything about underage drinking soo I’m gonna go with god and say its a disgrace that you would consider arguing with these children!!!!!!?????!!!?!?!