QUICK HITS & HOT LICKS: ONE SUPER IS ENOUGH … BART, or, GOOD GUYS WIN, FOR ONCE … PITTS SHOULD BID FOR 2024 OLYMPICS … STYROFOAM LATHER … KINNAS ‘PAYBACK’ CONTINUES, AS HE GETS KATHeter-ized … DEMS CAUCUS, METOER MISSES EARTH
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY FEB. 27, 2013) — Time to empty out the notebook and address some issues point blank in this edition of THE PLANET‘s Quick Hits and Hot Licks. And yes: the current issue of Berkshire Magazine has an interview with THE PLANET. You’ll want to gander for the picture alone, on magazine racks now.
* One Super is Enough, Thank You — There’s talk about retaining interim superintendent Dr. Gordon Noseworthy after the school committee hires the school department’s next Head Cheese. It’s a bad idea. There are many reasons why that would be a dumb-and-dumber move. 1.) Why would cash-strapped Pittsfield want to pay two hefty salaries for one position? 2.) Noseworthy is interim. To have a transitional guy break in the new guy makes little sense. 3.) For the kind of money the new super will be knocking down (top salary in the city), taxpayers should expect someone who can come in and learn the ropes by himself (or herself, as they case may be). We should expect a big boy or girl. Of course, don’t you have the sneaking feelings that since it will give a bloated bureaucracy yet another way to waste taxpayer money, this thing is going to happen? THE PLANET urges you to contact the school committee and let them know your feelings.
Here are the addresses: Bianchi, firstname.lastname@example.org; Barbalunga, email@example.com; Amuso, firstname.lastname@example.org; conant, email@example.com; Elias, firstname.lastname@example.org; Kinnas, email@example.com; Yon, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell ’em THE PLANET sent you.
A Win for the Good Guys — You may remember our reporting on the Berkshire Arts & Technology Charter School‘s petition to the state to admit more Pittsfield students. Well, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BOSE) gave BART the go-ahead. The good guys won, and the GOB lost. It shows it can be done. We hope this portends good things for Pittsfield in this election year. BART can now add Pittsfield to its service community and include it in its official charter. BOSE also gave BART the OK to expand its enrollment from 308 to 363. This is good news because it will allow more Pittsfield parents dissatisfied with the city’s public schools to enroll them in a campus with a proven track record of achievement and success. BART, like PPS, is tuition-free. As a charter school, it has much more leeway in determining and affecting the constitution of a good public education. BART combines the free tuition aspect of the “traditional” public school with the academic license and standards of an exclusive private school. Naturally, the Pittsfield School Committee fought BART’s request. Think about that for a moment ! God forbid that we should introduce competition to the corrupt monopoly “enjoyed” by the PPS at taxpayer expense. Fortunately, BART’s case proved too conclusive for the state to ignore. GOB politics, at least this time, took a dive in the City of Pittsfield.
Pittsfield Should Bid to Host 2024 Olympics — The U.S. Olympic Committee has requested bids to host the 2024 games from 35 cities, including Rochester, NY; Columbus, Ohio; and Austin, Texas. Pittsfield should send a delegation to the USOC and make a pitch. By 2024, the population will consist almost solely of “subterraneans,” junkies, gang members, single-moms, welfare cheats, criminal lawyers, the school committee, and the PEDA board. This will allow Pittsfield to come up with a competitive edge through the introduction of new Olympic sports, such as “Hurling” (After Last Night’s Bender), Heroin Hockey, Skiing from high atop Hill 78, the Pill Toss, the grueling 1-yard dash, Speed Skating (without skates but with speed), and the like. We propose Corydon Thurston and Gary Grunin to head the delegation, with Pummelin’ Pam Malumphy to handle pubic relations. They will, by that future date, still be sucking on the public tit.
Styrofoam Lather — We have lost many a good night’s sleep thinking about the nightmarish problem of … Styrofoam. Don’t you hate it when that happens. Actually, we like Styrofoam, a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Company. With all the toxins in Pittsfield water, air, and soil, a little Styrofoam has the comparative aspects of a bushel of sunflowers and cup of blackberries. Styrofoam is fun. It crunches. It doesn’t decay, adding a sense of “permanence” to our few short years on God’s good earth. It’s white, the color of a baseball. It’s composed of 98% air. You aren’t against air, are you? My Gog, air! Styrofoam — with all the issues plaguing the city of Pittsfield, we should rank that well down on the priorities list.
Kinnas ‘Payback’ Continues — School committeeman Terry
Kinnas continues to pay for being the only member of the seven-member panel to take the job seriously. That’s how the poison politics of the city work. Kinnas, the best watchdog of taxpayer interests to hit town since Peter Arlos, found himself the lone vote on the committee’s three-member curriculum subcommittee. During a recent meeting, Kinnas, the only school committee member to proactively solicit input from the trades and small business, voted to retain the THS vocational auto body and metal fabrication programs. The other two members, Kathleen Amuso and Kathryn Yon, did not second the motion, and the move went nowhere. You might say they stuck the Kath-eter in him and administered the cyanide. Only problem is that Kinnas has 90 lives, and it will take a whole lot more than that to keep him from being re-elected. You’ll recall that Amuso and Yon were key members of the witch hunt that in effect put Kinnas in the docket for a Soviet-style kangaroo trial based on his vigilance about open meetings. Amuso and Yon thus continue a long string of unimaginative, characterless service on the school committee, mediocre on the best of days and damaging on the others. Theirs is exactly the kind of bland, colorless, status quo “leadership” that has put Pittsfield in its present precarious position.
Democrats Caucus; Meteorite Misses Earth — Pittsfield Democrats caucused in a series of extremely large phone booths earlier this month. On the agenda: Elect comrades to send to the state Party Platform Convention, to be held in Lowell on July 13. The meeting places were mostly saloons — Ward 1, Back Nine Bar and Grille at the GEAA; Ward 3, DelGallo’s Restaurant, Newell Street; Ward 5, American Legion Hall, Wendell Avenue; Ward 6, Polish Community Club. In Ward 5, we hear delegates TPd the Gerry Lee Worn Out & Overused Bar Stool in a sign of honor for the ex-police chief and ex-city council president. Lee, we are told, didn’t notice a thing. Our spies tell us that the intelligence quotients of the caucuses were a tad below the typical, Mensa-like discourse that comes out of these dives and watering holes. Not long after the meeting, a meteorite missed hitting planet earth. THE PLANET doesn’t not know what, if anything, is the connection.
It is 2013, and THE PLANET predicts: We are living in interesting times.
“Let not young souls be smothered out before / They do quaint deeds and fully flaunt their pride. It is the world’s crime [that] its babes grow dull.” — Vachel Lindsay
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE
LOVE TO ALL.