PLANET GIVING AWAY 3 FREE TURKEY DINNERS; DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO COULD USE ONE IN THIS SEASON OF GIVING? … QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS: CLASSROOM TIME IN PPS SHRINKING shrinking … NEW LIQUOR STORE OPENING NEAR RICE SILK MILLS A COINCIDENCE?? … WHO WANTS TO COME TO PITTSFIELD? … ‘MY’ NAME IS DAN VALENTI … LEE POLICE CHIEF PROBE … EV WORLDWIDE, WORKSHOP LIVE: IS IT HAPPENING AGAIN? … SULLIVAN STATION FEUDING WITH NEIGHBORS … plus … THS SENIOR FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN UCONN DRUNKFEST??
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 5, 2012) — Recently, THE PLANET announced its Turkey of the Year Award. Today, with the help of a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, we want to help him give away three full prepared Christmas dinners. Yes, today, we giveaway real turkeys.
The dinners include a 10-12 pound turkey, cooked to perfection; potatoes (an “e”, Dan Quayle!); gravy; dressing; dinner rolls; and choice of a pumpkin or apple pie. It will all be give and served with love. They will be available for pickup at Price Chopper at Berkshire Crossing.
Our donor says he’s looking for “3 preferably eldery households who might be a little tight this time of year and could use a little rest as well. I’m looking for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski types, you know, those that have worked hard all their lives and played by the rules only to find themselves being punished with high taxes, etc. at this stage of the game.”
If you know of someone who could use this delectable Christmas gift, please respond in one of two ways:
(1) Send an e-mail to email@example.com or (2) Send a postal request to Dan Valenti, c/o Europolis Management, PO Box 1268, Stockbridge, MA 01262. In your communication, state the name, address, and phone number of the person(s) you are nominating, why you think they would appreciate this gift, and your name and contact information. THE PLANET can take nominations through Sunday, Dec. 16.
Please, no jokers. This is a bona fide giveaway meant with all the good wishes of the Christmas season. We want to get these dinners into the hands of three people or families that can use them. Thanks.
With so much happening and only so many hours of sol on THE PLANET, we can’t cover EVERYTHING … but we’ve got the next best thing as we present this version of …
QUICK HITS AND HOT LICKS
Pittsfield Schools: Why Bother? — While Massachusetts joins a handful of other states in experimental with keeping pupils in K-12 in the classroom for more hours each year, we wonder if the educational masterminds of the Pittsfield School Department think that’s a good idea. The Pittsfield school year is mandated at 180 days … or is it? In the new three-year contract the city awarded to the United Educators of Pittsfield, in addition to a 10% to 16% pay raise for teachers, the contract calls for 10 half days of professional development (the state counts these as “full days” of classroom time!). That robs students of five days of classroom time. That brings 180 down to 175 days. The first three days of school are largely orientation days, with little in the way of actual teaching done. Now we’re at 172 days. There are also two days of orientation for non-tenured teachers, where no teaching is done. 170 days. Seniors get out a week early, so for them, it’s 165 days. Finally, miscellaneous workshop days and snow days can be expected to eat five more days. 160 days. If the trend continues, the PPS would do just as well as shut down under “w” for “Why bother?”
Joe Pinhead Ahead of Everyone Else, Again — Did anyone else but Joe Pinhead make the correlation of the opening of low-income apartments at the for Rice silk mill and what appears to be a new, large, liquor emporium opening at the former site of Tyler Home Supply? “Low-income housing” is largely progressive code for “the home of free-loaders and lowlifes,” you know, the Scratch ticket, cigarettes, and booze bunch who are typically on some form of bilked public welfare. What is the wisdom in putting another liquor store in an area that is saturated with them? What does that say about the direction of the city? And how is that likely to lure new businesses and economic development?
Asking Who Wants to Come Here is to Ask Who Wants to Go There? — With all the department heads that have bailed out, with all the interim department heads, with the failure of the Pittsfield school committee to find a superintendent, and with the top applicant for head of Office of Community Development begging off, do you get the feeling the city isn’t high up on anyone’s “1,000 Places to Visit Before You Kick-the-Bucket” list? The city thought it had its next OCD chief, but the person backed out at the last minute. Must be the water. “We’ve re-advertised the position and applications are rolling in,” Mayor Dan Bianchi tells our good friend Dick Lindsay of the BB. Bring on the dancing girls.
My Name is ‘Dan Valenti.’ My name is ‘Dan Valenti’ — Do you know that at least two intrepid Halloween partiers went as ‘Dan Valenti.’ We shall keep their identities a secret, lest we cause them enough embarrassment. One proudly posted his version of me on his Facebook page, posing next to Peter White, who was going as Peter White. Word has it that when each guy went to the men’s room, the automatic paper-towel dispenser (“wave hand in front for towel”) did nothing. Apparently, the sensor did not detect the presence of a human hand.
Lee Police Chief FBI Probe — THE PLANET hears that it concerns missing funds, a prostitution ring, and monies crossing state lines. We hear the girls were from Cheshire. We hear that the night before the raid, the Lee Police Chief Joe Buffis visited the Egremont police department internal staff meeting and “disrespected” the officers. We hear that the FBI confirmed the house they searched at 131 Elaine Drive, Pittsfield, is the home of Buffis. Lee selectmen have refused to comment. Lee town administrator Bob Nason has refused to comment. The DA’s office has refused to comment. When asked to comment by Bera Dunau, staff writer for The Beacon, Buffis said, “Have a great day.” Yes, and it would seem it would be rather easy for anyone to be having better days than Buffis these days. No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made to date.
EV Worldwide, Workshop Live, and … — Is it happening again? On its website, Nuclea Biotechnologies of Pittsfield calls itself a (TAKE A DEEP BREATH HERE) “translational medicine company dedicated to the discovery of proprietary bookmarkers and in vitro companion diagnostic assays based on corresponding gene and protein expression profiles associated with an individual’s tumor or specific disease state.” Got that? On Nov. 8 2012, at the PEDA HQ, Mayor Dan Bianchi announced that Nuclea, a Pittsfield-based company, will be moving to the William Stanley Business Park at PEDA. “He never gave up on Pittsfield,” Bianchi said of Pittsfield native Patrick Muraca, head of the company. Bianchi trotted out the carrot of jobs. Each job Muraca creates will produce five other jobs elsewhere, Bianchi, said, claiming that how it works in the “life sciences” industry. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Pittsfield has heard that before. Then came the dreaded announcement: PEDA and Gov. Deval Patrick have earmarked $6 million to build a life science center at PEDA. Uh-oh, looks like we might have another quasi-public-private venture on our hands. Before that happens, Bianchi said, “Weve got some homework to do to get there.” He said the city is working on “the documents and the collaborative evidence” for the state to release taxpayer funds. Will this be another EV Worldwide, PEDA, Spice type deal or is this legit? It bears watching, but in our naivete, we wonder, up front: If this is such a great investment, why do taxpayers have to play venture capitalists for a company in the Dreaded Private sector? Where is the 100% private money? Why are commercial lenders willing to loan? Then we go back to the dense prosaic gobbledy-gook as posted on the Nuclea website, and we wonder. Why, if we didn’t know any better, which we don’t, as linguists, THE PLANET would think they were trying not to eschew obfuscation. Get it? We wish Nuclea and Muraca well. We hope he’s for real. We also wish May Jane and Joe Kapanski weller. We know they are for real.
Problems at Muraca’s Sullivan Station — Speaking of Pat Muraca, he’s part owner of Sullivan Station in Lee. Seems he’s got a problem with his neighbors, the Chambery Inn, and vice versa. The Station has an entertainment license, and Chambery owners Bob and Olga Healy have complained about the late night noise coming from its neighbors. The Healys showed up at the most recent Lee select board meeting and spoke out against the Station’s application for two events, scheduled from 9 p.m. to midnight, for four to six performers, with amplification. The Station’s license restricts them to no more than two performers. The Healys have complained about even those restricted events. According to The Beacon, Muraca responded to the Healys complaints by unleashing his lawyers on them via a “threatening … letter.” The Healys attorney, Bill Martin, told the Lee select board that Muraca, though his company Nuclea Biotenologies, “placed the Chambery Inn on a ‘no stay’ list for the pharmaceutical industry.” Another of Muraca’s neighbors, Joey Scapin, owner of Lee Hardware, also complained about Sullivan Sation, according to The Beacon: “The only reason that our parking lot is blocked off after seven years is because they [Sullivan Station] could not respect the neighbors.” Scapin then complained about broken bottles from Sullivan Station and people who are using Scapin’s property as a bathroom. Former Chambery Inn owner Joe Toole also blasted Sullivan Station, saying, “What happened to that neighborhood is a shame. [Sullivan Station has] acted in bad faith.” Toole urged the selectboard to reject the restaurant’s application. Last night, the Selectboard was scheduled to act on the matter. As of press time this morning, THE PLANET had no word of the what happened at that meeting.
THS Tailgating? — Finally, THE PLANET received this e-mail from a woman calling herself THS Mom. Mom writes: “THS football coaching staff took the senior football players tailgating at the UCONN game this past weekend. All dressed in their THS finery they proceed to buy 3 30 packs of beer and get the kids and themselves wasted. So wasted they almost got kicked out several times they were seen at the tailgating area swaying and having a difficult time walking. THEN they DROVE home. Wasted. So wasted that they had the students who had the least to drink drive them all home. THE PLANET has not confirmed this information, though it bears the tone and the deliverance of authenticity. Does anyone out there know anything about this? We would welcome anyone with knowledge of what may or may not have happened to contact THE PLANET.
ON THIS DAY SO FAIR, WE WHILE AWAY THE HOURS GAZING DEEPLY INTO HER EYES AND PICKING THE PETALS FROM HER FLOWERS.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.