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HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND TO ALL … GOOD FRIDAY OBSERVED TODAY … plus … A COUPLE OF QUICK HITS OF INTEREST, INCLUDING THE SCOOP ON THE SUCCESSOR TO TAILGATE-GATE and NEW PITTSFIELD SUPT. of SCHOOLS TO RECEIVE $200,000+ PER YEAR!!

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, GOOD FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013) —First, to everyone out there, THE PLANET wishes a blessed Easter Weekend on this holy and solemn day of the Christian calendar.

Death died.

Second, in honor of the day, we shall keep today’s PLANET brief and to the point, sharing a few quick items of interest.

Third: Go Orange! THE PLANET’s Orangemen, the men’s basketball team from Syracuse University, has done its alums proud with a late-night thumping last night of No. 1 seed Indiana. Elite Eight is a win, no matter what happens from this point onward.

Fourth, everyday, the headlines reflect it. The police blotter spills with it. And that’s just a fraction of what’s really hitting the increasingly mean streets of Pittsfield. While the mayor continues his siesta, on Monday you will want to tune in for a PLANET exclusive as we analyze the crime situation in the city of Pittsfield in a way that you haven’t seen before. Using governmental statistics, we will share the irrefutable evidence that shows not only how but where and some of the why that the city’s crime rate is increasing and expected to rise.

Happy Easter, all!

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THE ON-FIELD CONSEQUENCES OF TAILGATE-GATE

You remember Tailgate-gate, where the Taconic Football coaching staff “didn’t” take its senior footballers to a college football game and binge drinking “didn’t” occur not only with the blessing of but the encouragement and participation of the coaching staff. No one got sloshed that day. Parents did not place their children into the hands of so-called adults, only to be given a golden brew with a white head.

That’s the white-wash the school wants you to believe after its officers “didn’t” place these kids in alcoholic danger. Because none of this ever happened the way we exclusively reported, the coach and his staff were canned.

Choice Down to Three: Klein, Garvey, and Ziter

Well, the Taconic grid program looks to get back on schedule. The school has narrowed down the job of head football coach to three candidates, according to our inside source, “Red Grange.” We present the three along with a brief scouting report. Oh yeah, and don’t tell anyone. You’re not supposed to know, as the Pittsfield School Department and THS are treating this like the atomic secrets pre the Rosenbergs. It’s laughable, isn’t it, that THS handles this process like the State Secrets but the PSD will waste $1.3 million on a study of what to do about replacing the current building.

1. Ben Klein — He’s a teacher at Herberg Middle School. Young and inexperienced. Thinks #32, Jimmy Brown, was a soul singer.

2. Bill Garvey — He’s been associated with the past three THS football staffs. Great guy, according to Red,  but “wasn’t able to effectively influence the nonsense that has been Taconic football for years.”

3. Jim Ziter — Has coached youth football for eight years. He has experience running football programs. He has never been a high school head coach, but he was an assistant with PHS, Taconic, and St. Joe. Ziter works for the city as a fireman.

According to an insider, during the interview process, “Nothing was said about Tailgate-gate.” Sure. It “never happened.” The school is expected to announce the new head coach either today or Monday.

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BELIEVE IT OR ELSE: NEW PITTSFIELD SCHOOL SUPER TO PULL DOWN MORE THAN $200 GRAND A YEAR

On Wednesday night, the Pittsfield School Committee did it again. It handsomely rewarded the new superintendent-elect, Jason McCandless, who has yet to put in an official hour in the PSD. McCandless, currently the Lee school superintendent, makes in the neighborhood of $108,000. Of course, the school committee thought that the Pittsfield-unproven McCee should rate a huge bonus and thus awarded him a contract worth $157,000 — a raise of $51,000! The total compensation package is said to be worth $204,000 including benefits.

Instead of saving Pittsfield taxpayers $30,000 or so and given McCandless $120K, say, the school committee shot the works. The vote was 6-1, with Dan Elias voting against, saying the compensation package was too costly for taxpayers.

This, our dear friends, is why Pittsfield taxpayers are up spit creek:

* $100,000 give away for Spectrum-gate;

* $1.3 million to study what to do about Taconic High School;

* A $51,000 raise to an employee who has yet to serve his first day;

On and on the hit parade goes.

The end is neigh. The beginning awaits.

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“Signs are taken for wonders/ “We would see a sign!” / The word within a word, unable to speak a word, / Swaddled with darkness. In the juvescence of the year / Came Christ the tiger …  — T.S. Eliot

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

26 Responses to “HAPPY EASTER WEEKEND TO ALL … GOOD FRIDAY OBSERVED TODAY … plus … A COUPLE OF QUICK HITS OF INTEREST, INCLUDING THE SCOOP ON THE SUCCESSOR TO TAILGATE-GATE and NEW PITTSFIELD SUPT. of SCHOOLS TO RECEIVE $200,000+ PER YEAR!!”

  1. Jonathan Melle
    March 29, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    I asked the Berkshire delegation on Beacon Hill to make me an Honorary Massachusetts Sheriff so I can make a 6-figure salary with state government benefits. They didn’t reply to my request to them. Or they can make me an Honorary Massachusetts Registry of Deeds so I can make $90,000 per year plus state government benefit. Now, I want to be an Honorary Pittsfield Superintendent so I can pull down over $200,000 per year. It must be nice to be a political hack in Massachusetts. But Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski get screwed everytime.

  2. In the know
    March 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Dan Jim Ziter coached my son in pee wee football Jim taught the game well and and stressed good sportsman ship. I feel he will make a great head coach for Taconic.

  3. Mr. X
    March 29, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Billy Garvey is the best choice via his experience. HUGE difference between coaching youth and high school.

    • In the know
      March 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

      Bill Garvey is a good choice also, but Jim Ziter has also coached high school football. Jim Ziter is the best choice for Taconic!

  4. dusty
    March 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    The city could have built several homes for school department employees with that 1.3 million dollars. Perhaps they want to rethink this whole thing.

    • Evian
      March 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      And with the extra $40,000 the school committee gave the new supt they could have installed a heated pool for school dept employees only of course, not for us peons. I put this on Mr Bianchi who goes along with all this nonsense.

      • danvalenti
        March 29, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

        How about a fur-lined sink with gold fixtures?

  5. Evian
    March 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    At first I thought it was a typo or mistake, $200 large for the new supt. But then when you figure a $157K salary plus the benefits 30% (right) you are right Planet. Do-nothing school committee wastes more of my money.

  6. Ron Kitterman
    March 29, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    Doesn’t $600,000 over 5 years sound like such a good deal for income Superintendent Jason McCandless ?

    • danvalenti
      March 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Do the math, Ron: At $200,000+ per (salary and bennies) for five years, he’s pulling down a million plus.

      • AMBROSE
        March 30, 2013 at 8:26 am #

        You do the math. Pittsfield has 6 times as many students as Lee. He should be getting $600,000 per year, plus bennies. He got screwed.

  7. tito
    March 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    Planet chump change.

    • danvalenti
      March 29, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

      With taxpayers, again, as the chumps.

  8. Rick
    March 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Why a five year contract?

    • danvalenti
      March 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      RICK
      One can only presume. We take it as a measure of the school committee’s distrust in itself. This bears the stamp of a panic action taken by an ineffectual committee that fears: What if McCandless doesn’t work out? Rather than confront that possibility and offer a two-year contract, it runs away from its responsibility by giving him five. That way, it can always hide behind the duration. Essentially, it gives the school committee a five year avoidance of responsibility.

  9. Ron Kitterman
    March 30, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    http://www.berkshireeagle.com/ci_22887423/new-pittsfield-schools-superintendent-gets-long-term-deal
    Committeeman Terry Kinnas pointed out the agreement isn’t a guaranteed five years because the superintendent is subject to an annual performance evaluation.
    “The School Committee still has the option to terminate the contract,” Kinnas noted.

    • dusty
      March 30, 2013 at 2:29 am #

      Too bad we don’t have an option to terminate the school committee contract. But instead we are probably going to pay them.

      I am thinking of creating a comic book and basing it on Pittsfield. It will write itself so all I will have to do is draw the pictures.

  10. Twist
    March 30, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    We do have an ‘option to terminate.’ We can vote. Use your voice when it counts.

  11. Blind Justice
    March 30, 2013 at 8:05 am #

    The fix is finished, Thanks Barbelfungus

  12. Blind Justice
    March 30, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    To all, God bless you and happy Easter

  13. Gene
    March 30, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

    To everyone on the Planet a blessed safe and holy Easter. New beginnings, new life.

  14. dusty
    March 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    “During his tenure at The Eagle, Mick said he tried to maintain the newspaper’s long-standing status as a significant voice in the community, and he tried to keep the paper both “business- and community-friendly.” He said he is proud of the role The Eagle played in supporting the revitalization of downtown Pittsfield.”

    This is from Saturdays Berkshire Eagle. What planet does Mick live on? He is really proud of the Eagle? Talk about low expectations. I hope he does not go into teaching or mentoring.

  15. GMHeller
    March 31, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    Mr. Valenti,
    If you haven’t read it already, get a load of the puff piece in Saturday’s BB regarding the retirement Sunday (Note: the day before April Fool’s Day) of Eagle Publisher Andrew Mick.
    In re “the end of an era”, the Mick era:
    Lackluster is as lackluster does.
    And just how many weeks did it take for The Berkshire Eagle finally to report that the daughter of the county’s chief probation officer was suspected of being the driver in a hit-and-run accident which left a Berkshire Health Systems employee lying broken and brain-injured in the road on a wintry night?
    And how many weeks did it take The Berkshire Eagle finally to report the discovery that the CEO of the county’s largest credit union, a major advertiser in The Eagle, had a few summers earlier faced criminal charges for soliciting under-aged boys for sex in a resort town in Maine?
    Those are but two examples of what passes for in-depth news coverage at The Eagle under the stewardship of Publisher Andrew Mick.

    • Paul Smith
      March 31, 2013 at 8:55 am #

      Mr Heller you are correct. Lackluster would be stretching it. Lackluster mediocre tame timid– all that and more. The two stories you mention were both brought out by the Planet the first one especially. It would have been buried if not for the dogged investigative reporting of this website. As for Stracuzzi Conor Berry broke it. For his efforts Andy Mick fired him. The Planet then pounded away. The BB under Mick: When the daily newspaper died.

  16. AMBROSE
    March 31, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    [THIS MESSAGE IS REDACTED: POSTER IS WARNED OF OUR POLICY AGAINST PERSONAL ATTACKS, ESPECIALLY INVOLVING SCATOLOGICAL LANGUAGE. IT SHALL NOT BE TOLERATED]

    • danvalenti
      April 1, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      Our webmaster did a good job with this. We have our people trained to catch guttural, personal invective. It’s our effort to keep the comments section of THE PLANET from degenerating into a Topix-like cesspool. We don’t catch every one, and we do allow as much leeway as free commentary will allow — up or down, pro or con, friend or foe. Our measure is this: Does the comment in some way advance the discussion. It’s not a science. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but THE PLANET will not tolerate ignorance in the form of invective. To the 99%+ of our commentators who respect this simple guideline, thank you. To the other less than 1%, take your business elsewhere.