PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, FEB. 22, 2013) — Okay, now that THE PLANET has your attention on the massive amount of money — at least $330,750,000 million — taxpayers owe in future pension and OPEB obligations to public employee retirees, we share another way in which Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski are getting hosed.

This example is from California, but you can be sure similar outrages occur on a daily basis right here in the beautiful Berkshires, particularly in Pittsfield, where the only “growth industry” is in caring for the denizens of the dank subculture that has emerged in the absence of good paying jobs. These are people like drug addicts, who will soon be served by their very own methadone clinic; single moms with multiple kids from multiple daddies, who benefits from every sort of public assistance; criminals housed in the county jail and their families, who qualify for a host of freebies; illegal aliens who immediately can begin receiving welfare, uh, we mean “transitional assistance;” and the rest of the “gimme groups.” At the other end of the transaction is usually a plastic card, loaded with money — your money, that is, if you work for a living and support yourself.

Check out this video. In less than three minutes, it will may just motivate you to get involved, big time, with that is being done in your name by our elected and appointed officials, our so-called “public servants.” If this doesn’t motivate you to “hold they feets to the fire,” we don’t know what will. The time for revolution may be fast approaching. If left to the politicians at all levels of government, it will only get worse for the persecuted middle class.

Subject: welfare vacations

Pretty good scam, wouldn’t you say?



Is the city about to sink $6 million into the former Hibbard School?

When the city of Pittsfield wanted to move its Adult Learning Center from its long-time location in Phil Massery‘s Lyman Street building because of excessive rent, it looked to North Street. The original location was ruled out by a judge on a technicality, and today, the offices and classrooms are ensconced at 141 North Street, a location that is more centrally located, cheerier, and less costly.

At the time it gave Massery the heave-ho, we wondered if the old Hibbard School might be an alternative for the Adult Learning Center in the near future. One the plus side: Taxpayers own the building and the city would not have to pay rent. On the minus side: The building has been vacant, except for storage, for a dozen years. It would need a lot or repair, renovation, elbow grease, and money to bring it back. Money: You knew it would get around to that.

Bianchi: A Look-See at Hibbard

Amid all this, THE PLANET has learned that the Bianchi Administration is evaluating the building for possible restoration. We heard from a reliable source that Sue Carmel‘s office has estimated the work to come to approximately $6 million. This would seem to be an exorbitant amount, suggesting that the building was beyond the investment, especially with other buildings (the DPW garage, Crosby School, and others) that need work and are currently in use. Also keep in mind that based on projections that say Pittsfield’s population of pupils and students will continue to decline, the state is recommending that the city shutter one and possibly two school buildings. It would make the question of a $6 million investment a hot one.

That said, THE PLANET agrees with evaluating the condition of the building to let taxpayers know where they stand. We’ve always loved the architecture and facade of the old building. If there’s a way for reasonable restoration coupled with a dynamic use, THE PLANET could support such a project.

Having got wind of the Hibbard look-see, we posed a series of questions to Mayor Dan Bianchi, his director of public affairs, Donna Mattoon; head of buildings Peter Sondrini, and Carmel. Mattoon responded on behalf of Bianchi. Sondrini and Carmel did not return our inquiries.

Here are the questions we asked, and Mattoon’s replies:

I have heard through a reliable source the following information:
* That the mayor has authorized Mr. Sondrini to solicit bids for a refurbishing Hibbard School. NOT TRUE. At this point, Dan [the mayor] doesn’t know the exact condition of Hibbard School. That information will come at a meeting scheduled for Friday. There are many steps required before an RFP can go out on any project. At this point, city officials do not yet have enough information to discuss what  the next steps – if any – will be for Hibbard.
* The estimate is about $6 million. Is this true? NOT TRUE. No idea yet what the estimate will be. As I said, meeting is Friday.
* What is the justification or rationale for this project?  While structurally sound, Hibbard School is showing serious signs of disrepair. The mayor is in the process of gathering information about options and costs associated with keeping Hibbard from reaching the point of no return. The city has a responsibility on behalf of taxpayers to protect what it owns.
* When will the RFP process begin? Too far down the road to say.
* Why would the city want to invest in Hibbard instead of other in-use city buildings needing repair? No one has made any  decision yet about investing in Hibbard. City officials have an obligation to be good stewards of city property; in essence, to take care of buildings owned by the city and built with tax dollars. Creating a Municipal Facilities Plan to stabilize and maintain city buildings is included among Mayor Bianchi’s 2013 goalsPriorities include the Highway garage, Springside House, Tyler Street Fire Station and Hibbard School.
* Will the money come from city side, so that council will have input, or will it be tucked into school department, beyond council scrutiny? If the mayor decides to proceed with an option for Hibbard School, the amount required will go in the budget for Capital Improvements, requiring approval from the City Council.
* Can you describe the condition of Hibbard? A review of Hibbard School was prompted by news that the roof has a significant leak, and there is a crack in the southeast corner of the building. Either of these conditions has the potential to cause major deterioration and eventual loss of the building. The city hired Barry Architects to determine the exact condition of the building and asked the firm to provide the city with thecosts associated with the following three options: complete renovation; partial renovation, or stabilizing the building so that it is not lost to disrepair. Mayor will meet with Barry Architects on Friday. In addition, the city Building Inspectors and Fire Inspectors have also looked closely at Hibbard and will chime in with their reports.
* Does it relate to the recent situation with Mr. Massery’s building on Lyman Street? I have no idea. Mayor is away today.
—– 00 —–

Several points to be made:

* This information would suggest that Sondrini has examined the building in sufficient detail that he could give a meaningful report to the mayor on the condition of the structure. This makes sense.The question for Bianchi becomes: On a cost-benefit basis, is the building worth saving? It would also suggest that Carmel would have some basis for issuing an estimate. Again, she did not respond to our inquiry.

* The denial of the $6 million estimate differs with information passed along to us from Carmel’s office. The $6 million figure would be a hard sell during the 2013 campaign.

* THE PLANET agrees with Mattoon: “The city has a responsibility on behalf of taxpayers to protect what it owns,” the part about “being good stewards.”

* The idea of a Municipal Facilities Plan is a good one. In the past, however, such plans have existed only on paper and not in actuality. It would be nice to have a plan and implement. As it is, the city tends to let its structures (Columbus Avenue and McKay Street parking decks, Hibbard, Wahconah Park, Springside House, and the like) for into severe disrepair rather than perform routine but far less costly maintenance.

* THE PLANET fully supports the decision about the money, if Hibbard is to be refurbished. This should be a capital expense, which would give my Right Honorable Good Friends on the city council input. If the money was put in the school budget, the council would have no say. It would fall to the school committee, which does not know how to evaluate such a request neutrally and with a modicum of objectivity. In fact, one gets the feeling that one most matters left up to the school committee, Pittsfield taxpayers are without de facto representation.

* As for our last question, about the problem with Massery’s Lyman Street location, we appreciate Mattoon’s forthrightness (“I have no idea. Mayor is away today”) though we cannot accept that as a the last word. The mayor isn’t permanently in exile. He could send a message or call.



Don’t look now, but from one of our spies on the Charter Review Commission, word is that the panel will — repeat will — recommend compensation ($$$) for the members of the school committee. The salary would exclude the mayor, who, as you may know, is already pulling down $85,000 a year for running the shooting match.

THE PLANET thinks compensation for school committee members and city councilors should be equal: Both should serve on a volunteer basis. It would thus spoil a situation that at least is half right to give the school board pay for serving.

Who would want to make the case, on the basis of the facts, for awarding compensation to the school committee, based on that committee’s performance for the past several election cycles? Champion debaters as we are, this would be one position we would not have to defend.



Back in the day (the 1980s and 90s), THE PLANET spent a lot of time in Detroit city. We had clients in Motown, and we probably went there on average of a half a dozen times a year. We were regulars at the Michigan Inn in nearby Southfield, one of our favorite all-time hotels, and even once copped a suite at the Detroit Hilton that the week before has been part of a suite occupied by no other than The Rolling Stones. We knew maitre d’s by name and lived well in The Land of Big Auto.

Back then, Detroit had 1.8 million people. Today, it’s down to 717,000. Back then, the city was in the black. Today, it is stuck with $14 billion in long-term pension and OPEB liabilities. Its population is 83 percent black, and the once-proud town now finds itself littered with empty lots, boarded-up homes, derelict factories, and huge foreclosure rates.

A City Beyond Saving

A review team appointed by the State of Michigan has finished its report: The city is beyond saving, the report says, and there’s no evidence that Detroit can solve its own problems. The report goes to Gov. Rick Snyder, who has 30 days to act. Snyder can reject the recommendations and leave Motown alone, he can appoint an emergency financial manager (state appointed), or he can declare bankruptcy.

The same could happen to Pittsfield. Granted, the Berkshire capital isn’t plagued by Detroit’s scale of problems, but the underlying factors bear eerie similarity:

* Population drop. Pittsfield has lost one third of its population (from 60,000 to 40,000).

* Loss of industry. Detroit lost the car wars. Pittsfield lost GE, Sheaffer-Eaton, Sprague, Beloit-Jones, the woolen mills …).

* Lack of evidence that the city can solve its own problems.

* Out-of-synch with the rest of the state. Detroit is 83% black. The rest of the state is 80+% white. Detroit  is Democratic. The rest of Michigan is Republican. Pittsfield? Boston doesn’t even know it exists. Since the rest of the state is under hegemonic rule of the Democrats, party matters not. To those in Boston, who don’t need our votes, Pittsfield and Berkshire County don’t matter. For those in Pittsfield, however, you had better be a Democrat, if you have any idea of receiving the crumbs of political favor.

This isn’t “chicken little” clucking. This is a neutral, hard, dispassionate look at the facts. Fortunately for Pittsfield, it still has a window of opportunity to save the day. We outlined solutions to the looming pension-OPEB problem in our Wednesday-Thursday columns. That window, however, won’t remain open for long. There’s a gigantic bill due. It won’t go away, and, while it came easy, it won’t go the same way.

Have a great weekend.


“What is this I hear of sorrows and weariness, / Anger, discontent, and drooping hopes? / Degenerate sons and daughters, / Life is too strong for you — / It takes life to love Life.”Edgar Lee Masters 




  1. FPR
    February 22, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    Hey Dan,

    Quite an array of subjects today.

    Hibbard School in my opinion probably sits on toxic waste dump left behind by General Electric’s dumping of PCB’s and other chemicals in that area.

    Not sure if it would be worth 6 million $ to restore that building. However its only money and Pittsfield taxpayer have plenty of it.

  2. FloggingMolly
    February 22, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I hope for your family and friends sake you never have anyone you know suffer from addiction. I really tire of your continual bashing of people with addiction problems that seek relief thru use of methadone and other means. I have dealt with reality having a son and another very close relative suffer from addiction and have turned their lives around with methadone. Unfortunately my child became addicted to opiates due to the wide spread availability at Taconic High School of just about any drug you want. It all started out with pot (which of course people deny is a gateway drug but I have living proof) and escalated to an opiate problem. My child struggled thru his high school years because of this and finally quit and refuses to go back to complete his education because they don’t want to be exposed to drugs on a daily basis. Secondly its not really helpful that we tried to get him help thru counseling in Pittsfield only to have him told well pot isn’t that bad so we’ll work on the opiate addiction and worry about pot later. My child freely admits now that he is sober and cleared headed that this is flawed and inappropriate treatment. Dan, this methadone clinic is the best thing to hit Pittsfield to help turn around our epidemic opiate problem. It was pretty disheartening to take my child to a rehab program down east and find out that Pittsfield is one of the leaders in Massachusetts, a leader in opiate addiction far beyond most other communities. It is time for this community to do something other than hold forums and do feel good things that don’t help a problem that is devastating people and killing this community.
    Dan try having a little compassion and realize this could happen to you or someone close to you in a heartbeat.

    • danvalenti
      February 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      I appreciate you views. They are spoken with courage and honesty. One must respect that. Thank you for your input. Points well taken.

      • outfox
        February 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

        I have seen one friend completely turn his life around by being able to go to the clinic every morning. He went from being wholly unreliable to showing up for everything in his life. Hard to argue with results. Don’t even get me started on how bad the Brien Center is at addressing substance abuse problems in their clients…

        • Downtown Dweller
          February 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

          I know some people who are currently going to the methadone clinic each day and are turning their lives around. Much easier for them to get this treatment now than trying to get to the Springfield area. However, I also know people who are receiving treatment at the Brien Center and are also turning their lives around. Am curious to hear what you find lacking.

          • outfox
            February 25, 2013 at 8:49 am #

            Downtown, I have a soapbox that’s as big as a house on this subject. I suspect the people you know at the Brien Center will find temporary relief, and a good starting point, but for treatment of long term chronic addictions my family has found the Brien Center to be about 20 years behind the times. There have been many changes that Brien will not give the time of day to, as they are unwilling to try anything but abstinence only twelve step treatments—I don’t deny this is a good place to start, but it is also ineffective over the long term. Methadone clinics are what is considered a “harm reduction” treatment approach, and are fairly effective for the population they serve, as are most harm reduction approaches.

    February 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Pay for the school committee would probably bring out more candidates. If compensated they, like their counterparts on the council would be eligible for benefits, such as insurance and a pension after a few years. Now, any councilor who does not have their insurance covered by his or HER employer is can be covered, along with their families for the whole city package. About $15,000.

    • danvalenti
      February 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      I agree. It would bring out more candidates, but what about more “quality” candidates. It will also bring out more who will want the extra $8 grand a year (or whatever the figure is) for pin money.

  4. Jonathan Melle
    February 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Pittsfield spent millions of dollars on renovating North Street under former Mayor Jimmy Ruberto. Detroit should call Jimmy Ruberto on pseudo-economic development policies.

  5. outfox
    February 22, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Bekshire County convicts are not entitled to much of anything post-incarceration, other then to recycle themselves back into prison, as, even if there were jobs in Pittsfield, due to most employers insisting on a CORI check (Not saying this is right or wrong; it is how it is) this becomes an automatic disqualifier for ANY type of employment. There is no such thing as an ex-con; once convicted, a person spends * at least* the next decade as a con. After 10 years without new offenses it is possible to have one’s record closed to anyone but law enforcement, thus enabling a person to seek work, but what happens in the interim. The prison industrial economy of Berkshire County depends on recidivism, and Mass. is an incredibly punitive state in which to live upon release, as apparently one’s debt to society isn’t paid just by serving one’s sentence. Makes for a really unhealthy community overall.

  6. Scott
    February 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    “Pittsfield, where the only “growth industry” is in caring for the denizens of the dank subculture that has emerged in the absence of good paying jobs.” Excellent line.

    You should not be able to get food stamps if you are a single male/female with no children. You should not be able to use food stamps to buy booze. Period.

    With that said you have to realize that accompanying the people really on hard times will be people who abuse. I take pride in doing it for myself and helping others. Work harder millions on welfare depend on you. I’ll take working any day. Don’t forget about all the lazy bum politicians and others who bleed the system dry. Welfare for the rich is a reality now too. Jesus Allegrone is doing it by using tax payer money to fund their private business ventures.

    • outfox
      February 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Scott, I challenge you to take the Food Stamp Challenge—for real. Stamps are a supplement, and the reality of economics these days is that many people NEED that benefit, single, married, with or without kids, even if they are working. So man up, and tell us, for at least a week, what YOU were able to purchase and eat on about $4 a day. That’s about $4 for all three meals, btw. Food stamp challenge Scott. I double dog dare you.

      • Scott
        February 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

        No thanks I grew up with a mother on welfare.

        • Scott
          February 22, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

          Plus in my post I said people who really need them should get them. (you know single moms who made poor choices and struggling working class families.) Also do you think it’s OK to buy beer with them? How about my brother who went to jail in Maine for 6 months and got out with $600 on his food stamp card? 3 kids don’t pay for any of them lives the bachelor life should he get food stamps? I say no. Re read my post. Also I take pride in my liberty and that I contribute to helping more than just my family.

      • joetaxpayer
        February 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

        Outfox your missing the point. Ma.
        has already reported 24 million in EBT card fraud.Nowsome lawmakers have tried to pass laws to put a stop to this. Unfortunately are Berkshire delegation and others voted it down. With less fraud the ones who are in need of assistance would get more than 4 dollars a day.

        • outfox
          February 22, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

          I think that what is sometimes perceived as food stamp fraud is due to the cash benefit also being on the EBT card, so it can look like someone is using their stamps to buy a forbidden product, but there are no restrictions on what one can use the cash benefit for. That said, wherever there is money, there will be fraud. And also, if a local proprietor accepts stamps (not the cash benefit) for diapers, which are not covered by stamps, that’s fraud yes, but isn’t it this also a charitable act? This is the Jean Valjean dilemma, I guess…

          For me, if it’s something necessary like toilet paper or diapers, I say fraud away until the system is changed. Beer, cigs, etc., well, that’s just wrong.

          And Scott, I don’t know the circumstances your brother faced upon release, so I can’t speak to that experience. When incarcerated in Mass. all benefits stop as it is assumed that the state is taking care of those needs for a person; they can be reinstated upon release. I would imagine many people do need a helping hand after being released, as there are no reintegration services here.

          And trust, most people I know who get state aid would much rather be working every day, there just aren’t. any. damn. jobs. Thanks GOBs.

          • Scott
            February 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

            @ outfox a single person can feed, cloth and house themselves it’s not that hard. You can find work doing something. I have more sympathy for people with children because those kids need parents around as much as possible but a single person can work any hours anywhere. Leave it to Mas to make an issue out of a non issue 19 thousand welfare recipients missing. Oh no here’s what you do close the files and make them re apply.

          • Scott
            February 22, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

            @ outfox a single person can feed, cloth and house themselves it’s not that hard. You can find work doing something. I have more sympathy for people with children because those kids need parents around as much as possible but a single person can work any hours anywhere. Leave it to Mas to make an issue out of a non issue 19 thousand welfare recipients missing. Oh no here’s what you do close the files and make them re apply.

          • Joe Pinhead
            February 22, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

            Mr. Outfox a couple of thoughts regarding the B bus funding. There were a few of us concerned enough to write to our rep in congress a few years back regarding cash for clunkers. My fear before it passed wee and are that after passage a large number of vehicles would be removed from the open market making it difficult for many to obtain an entry level vehicle, that charitable contributions of those vehicles would have a negative impact on those charities, (have you seen any billboards lately with the little girl asking you to donate your car) it would also impact repair facilities and training centers. We also requested info as to the funding shortage and how those monies would be replaced from both the clunked and the hybrid vehicles. To bad we couldn’t use cricket chirps for fuel. Regardless the best answer to your question regarding bus fares is to vote for solutions not affiliations.
            Just sayin

        • Joe Pinhead
          February 22, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

          Mr Outfox I know of the challenge you speak of a Mayor from Jersey took it and a few morning TV hosts. The challange so high and mighty but it is nothing more than a cheap publicity stunt.
          1. Food stamps are meant to supplement your food purchases not become your sole source. If $4 a day isn’t enough well hers an idea get a job or some of that taxpayer supported education and do what many have done struggle up.
          2 please add all handouts for a total rent subsidies, ma health, daycare, head start, fuel assistance Wic,etc
          No I don’t think you will be eating and living like a politician but you will be living
          3 Remember this is the government who encourages you to sign up and get every entitlement (handout) you can, then prints signs at Yellowstone requesting you not give the bears handouts as they become dependant upon them.

          Just sayin

          • outfox
            February 22, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

            JP, I already commented on the supplemental aspect…love your bears at Yellowstone; it’s true, but how do we undo this? What I’m really ripped about right now is the corporate welfare, specifically the BRTA fare hikes that are about to go through… once again, the Berkshires are paying for Boston. Seriously, I can get a bus pass, 20 rides, for $21, and use them when I need them, no expiration. Incredibly good value there.Now they want to bring the Boston pricing schedule here, $140 for a thirty day pass, expires whether you’ve used $140 worth of rides or only $5 worth. A fare increase, sure, we probably need one to run The B, but an unfair increase such as this? What’s really goin’ on?

  7. joetaxpayer
    February 22, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Mayor Dan please cool your jets. We need to consolidate are buildings and resources. If they build a new Taconic we should keep the garages for the school department and some of the class rooms to be made into offices for the Administration. Sell both Mercer and Hibbard to a developer and get them back on the tax rolls. Who knows maybe Allegrone will want them.We need more effort on looling for ways to save and less tome on styrofoam cups.

    • Scott
      February 22, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

      Are you paying attention??? Developers are using your money for private business ventures now too! Some under the guise of “affordable housing” and others just because they have friends in high places and know all the processes involved in getting free money with zero risk.

      • joetaxpayer
        February 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

        Allegrone comment was a joke.I want someone who is going to pay taxes in those buildings.

  8. tito
    February 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Are the Chater Review Committee recomendations to be voted as separate items, if so, how is Grandma going to sort all this out?

    • dustys
      February 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

      Can’t wait to see Clairmont, the self appointed financial watch dog, chime in on paying the school committee. Lothrop would shock me if he did not support a gob initiated issue. Krol, with his mayoral aspirations, is also going to follow the gob thought process if he wants their support.

      But I think the very idea of paying school committee members is ludicrous. And why now? Does the person whose idea this was feel that we are getting crappy representation and need to compensate to bring in some real talent? And does anyone know, by name, just who first came up with this proposal. I would like to know the name, if that person is not ashamed to reveal it.

    • danvalenti
      February 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Good question. The recommendations are passed along. The council will vote. I am not sure of the process. Perhaps one of our Right Honorable Good Friends can enlighten us.

      • Dave
        February 22, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

        I believe it is an all or nothing vote by the people. I think that if they push the pay for school committee, it will make all the time spent on this a waste of time. People are sick and tired of the city not cutting back, rather finding new ways to spend money, Funny how Alf, and at least one other member stated that in order to get more qualified candidates there needed to be pay for the school committee. Are they calling themselves and their counterparts not qualified enough? I will definately be voting apainst the changes if compensation for the school committe is part of the deal.

        • dusty
          February 23, 2013 at 4:03 am #

          Did I miss something? The people are going to get to vote on this? I can not imagine an informed public supporting this. I had assumed the folk who came up with this idea know this and had plans to keep it away from the voter option. I was looking for a mayoral decree or such.

          • danvalenti
            February 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

            Yes. This will go to the people for an up and down vote.

        • danvalenti
          February 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

          You are correct. Thanks.

  9. tito
    February 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    I will become a nun if Lothrowup votes against a S C stipend.

    • In the know
      February 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

      Welcome Sister Mary Martha ! Please don’t scrape my knuckles against the brick wall I think all of the sisters should be able to get married instead of being pee one in the church.

  10. joetaxpayer
    February 23, 2013 at 9:05 am #

    Sister tito, has a nice ring to it.

  11. Blind Justice
    February 24, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    $4 will nearly buy a 50 ib bag of potatoes that will last you a couple of weeks. : )

    Fried baked boiled mashed french fries home fries………..

    • danvalenti
      February 24, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      Potatoes, one of the super foods, can alone keep a person alive. History shows us the importance of this humble plant in the Irish potato famine. With wise purchases, people can have healthy, nutritious food for little money. Avoid processed. Eat fresh!

      • outfox
        February 25, 2013 at 7:29 am #

        OK, so the money I save by solely eating spuds—solely, because I bet no one will join me for dinner!— I can use to purchase a $140 bus pass that expires after 30 days, but hey, it will be good for rides on the Boston bus as well!

        We are due for a fare increase, no question but going from a $21 pass with no expiration to the proposed Charlie card is really wrong—the Berkshires subsidizing Boston. Again. Interesting that this was approved on Nov. 29, 2012, well before the governor’s state of the state speech where he said we’d see increases in the cost of transportation. I don’t mind paying a fair fare, but not this.

        • Scott
          February 25, 2013 at 7:43 am #

          It’s almost as unfair as private motorist paying more in fuel tax to fund public transportation. I used to ride the B all the time when I was younger. If I had a job where I worked at the same place everyday that was on the bus route I’d take it even if I had a car of my own it’s a steal no matter how you look at it. $25 a week isn’t bad to get reliable warm transportation to and from work. My van doesn’t really have heat and both vehicles need new tires and other repairs…

          • outfox
            February 25, 2013 at 8:01 am #

            I understand we need to share the burden here, but this is like what? a 500% increase? As it stands now, fares are probably too cheap, and the B has done their part: micro busses, hybrids (Hybrids are the ones that run one cricket chirps, right?) so I don’t mind stepping up… but the proposed increase is too much for us locals.

      • Scott
        February 25, 2013 at 7:48 am #

        Dan potatoes are not a super food. Squash, kale and lentils are though. Diabetics have to be careful on their potato intake as well as they have a high glycemic load.

        • Scott
          February 25, 2013 at 7:49 am #

          I wrote this I hope you don’t mind me sharing it on your blog.

        • danvalenti
          February 25, 2013 at 8:12 am #

          Depends on how you’re measuring it. Go to

          • Scott
            February 25, 2013 at 8:23 am #

            I eat potatoes the fact is if you’re healthy any fruit or vegetable is superior in nutrition over processed crap that most people eat on a daily basis. Poor nutrition and lack of exercise is an epidemic and causes more deaths a year than gun violence and drug addiction combined. Then there is booze…

          • Scott
            February 25, 2013 at 8:28 am #

            Stop calling me “S”!

          • danvalenti
            February 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

            Cool your jets, my good friend.

    • Kevin
      February 25, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Tell me the Store on Sunday I purchased 4 potatoes it was $4.86 for the four

  12. tito
    February 25, 2013 at 6:06 am #

    Lowthrowup wants to keep Noseworthy on as a consultant when his contract expires, to keep the ball rolling? So he’ll introduce the new Super to all the players as part of this costly idea. By the way, the good Dr. doesn’t know of this idea, and who is to say he would even want it. To Lowthrowup…we have a Deputy Super to escort the newbie around, we don’t need another layer of bureaucracy.

  13. tito
    February 25, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    le pomme de terre..Planet!

  14. Scott
    February 25, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    @ outfox we will see hyperinflation sooner than we think. Remember when sim city was economic and you ran the city you built? Now it seems like it’s all about guilty pleasure and lack of financial responsibility. The American people are at war for control of our own minds liberty and individual freedom are all that is at stake..