PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2013) — Sunni anger boils over in Iraq. Thank you, George Bush. Something tells us we are no longer in Rarotonga.

Minaret of famed Syrian mosque destroyed. Thank you, George Bush. Something tells us we are back home.

Intelligence Lapses, Once Again, Cost Lives

The most incompetent president in U.S. history proved that power in the hands of the wrong people can cause lifetimes of grief. Thank you for that confirmation, George.

Your example has inspired our current president to err similarly, as we are learning as the investigation into the Tsarnaev Brothers, not to be confused with the Smith Brothers, continues. Word comes from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia warned the FBI not once but multiple times about the older brother, Tamerlan. The failure to share intelligence that so characterized the Bush Administration prior to 9/11/01 apparently has become standard operating procedure in Barack Obama‘s White House.

“There still seems to be serious problems with sharing information, including critical investigative information … not only among agencies but also within the same agency, in one case,” said committee member Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Conflicting stories appeared to emerge about which agencies knew about Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s six-month trip to Russia last year, according to the Associated Press.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Senate Judiciary Committee on immigration legislation that her agency knew about Tsarnaev’s journey to his homeland. But Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the FBI “told me they had no knowledge of him leaving or coming back.”

The new evidence emerging about the capture of the 19-year-old suspect also casts doubt on the story originally told by police and authorities. First, they claimed they took the young man only after a fierce firefight. Now, new information has come out that the kid was unarmed. Meanwhile, the George W. Bush presidential library opened yesterday on the campus of Southern Methodist University. No, that is not the set-up to a terrific punch line. It’s true. The library probably has books with lots of pictures, large type, and certainly a complete collection of Dick and Jane readers.

“I’m comfortable with what I did,” Bush told the Dallas Morning News. “I’m comfortable with who I am.” THE PLANET is pleased to hear that, Mr. President, since so many of the rest of us aren’t. Your presidency was a failure that set up this once great country for the inevitable end-game, sure to come within a generation.

President Bush did not keep this country safe. It was under his watch that 9/11/01 occurred when the terrorist plots had no right of ever getting off the ground. It was under his watch that two wars, costing trillions of dollars and countless ruined lives, ignited a fire in the global political tinder.



Turning to local news, our Right Honorable Friends on the Pittsfield City Council listened at length to a Boston Attorney brought in to argue for the granting of a special permit that would allow a drive-through window at a new Dunkin Donuts store that would be built on the corner of Fenn and First streets in Pittsfield. The plan would required the demolition of the former Plunkett School. The granting of the special permits requires and 8-3 or better supermajority.

Cafua Management Co., based in Andover, brought its hired guns to the meeting. Basically, the lawyers, paid mouthpieces just doing their job, threatened to sue the city if the council does not grant the permit. Granting the permit, of course, would be the entirely wrong thing to do. Councilors should learn from the mistake they made in granting a drive-through window for the donut store’s current location, just south of Fenn and First. Traffic delays stemming from drivers wanting to turn left for their morning fix have led to legendary traffic tie-ups and many cases of road rage.

Only Sensible Answer: Deny This Special Permit

That’s not bad enough. Now, the developer wants to put the bigger store at Fenn and First. Drivers there will be looking to hang lefts and rights into the store lot from Fenn Street. Already, the area is congested with traffic that backs up at the Fenn Street post office, with its front parking lot that one could pave with a handkerchief. Councilors have one duty here, and that is to vote for the good of the city and not for the good of Dunkin Donuts. The only sensible answer is to deny the special permit.

As to the threat of legal action, the council, which would stand on solid legal ground in a denial, should be: “Go ahead. We’ll see you in court.”

Cafua attorney David Rich brought up a case in Saugus, in which the state Land Court reversed the denial of a drive-through there. Rich claims that case was similar to Pittsfield’s. He presented no compelling evidence to back up the claim, but it was enough to rattle councilors. They tabled the case until a public hearing on May 28. That’s an understandable move. It will allow the council to seek legal assistance, which should convince them that they have every right to deny the special permit.

The council, after all, is the deciding body. Giving it a vote up or down recognizes the validity of a down vote. The developers attorneys ignored that point, but take if from THE PLANET, councilors: You have every right, legal and otherwise, to deny this permit, which would only lead to a worsening of an already bad traffic condition in that area.



Hang on to your wallets, my beleaguered friends and taxpayers in Pittsfield. Pittsfield deputy supt. of schools N. Tracy Crowe (50th cousin of J. Alfred Prufrock) and finance director Kristen Behnke were slated to present the school department’s FY14 budget request before their bobos on the Pittsfield school committee, a work of fiction that authorities will present as truth.

There are half the numbers of school kids in the Pittsfield district compared to a generation ago. Enrollment continues to drop, dipping below 6,000 for the first time in memory. Some 392 students opted through school choice to flee the dysfunctional district. Only 84 chose to come to Pittsfield. In addition, 106 students attend Berkshire Arts and Technology charter school. Nonetheless, despite the plunging numbers, there are three times the number of teachers and five times the number of administrators as there were 30 years ago, and don’t you know, the school department will come schlepping for more money for FY 14.

Noseworthy Accuses Kinnas of ‘Micromanaging’

In all of this, school committee member Terry Kinnas, who alone has championed common sense and reason when it comes to the schools, asked the school department for more updates on its plans during school committee meetings. Seems like a great idea, given the pulling-teeth nature of extracting information out of that secretive bunch. Naturally, interim supt. Gordon Noseworthy, a name you can’t make up, accused Kinnas of trying to “micromanage.” That’s a whole lot of gumption from a guy who’s not done much managing at all, except to collect a fat paycheck and keep a seat warm for the incoming super.

Here’s how the budget deliberations will shake out:

April 24, last night: The full budget was presented.

May 8: A “workshop” is slated for the budget. THE PLANET suggests that everyone brings band saws and other slashing equipment.

May 23: A public hearing on the budget. That’s when the apologists for the wasteful department will show up, in force, with “The Children” as human shields, and attempt to scare the committee into acquiescence. It’s worked every time in the past and it shall likely work this time.

June 12: By this date, the school committee will have approved the budget.

All the meetings as slated to begin at 6 p.m. in the library at PHS, except for June 12, which will be conducted in the Pittsfield council chambers at city hall.


 “That which her slender waist confined / Shall now my joyful temples bind; No monarch would give his crown / His arms might do what this has done.”Edmund Waller


  1. GMHeller
    April 25, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    Mr. Valenti,

    In the third paragraph above you write:
    “The most incompetent president in U.S. history proved that power in the hands of the wrong people can cause lifetimes of grief.”
    Are you referring to Barack Hussein Obama, William Jefferson Clinton, or James Earl Carter — or all three?

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

      All of them, actually, although Bush took this process to new levels, making of it a dark art. Admit it: Bush was an empty suit who had no business being the POTUS.

  2. joetaxpayer
    April 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    With 3 more years left to destroy what’s left of this country, my money is on Barry.

  3. Jim Gleason
    April 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    Sorry not to comment on today’s written material, but I couldn’t resist. The Three Stooges of local talk radio were on John Krol’s propaganda hour this AM, the local trio being Krol hosting and his two guests being Wee Willie Sturgeon and Lew Markham.WOW!! What a show, if you like dumb cracks and not funny inside jokes. Try to catch it tonight at 11 on Channel 16, the NFL Draft’s first night should be over by then.

  4. Relax
    April 25, 2013 at 11:41 am #


    While this investigation is in its nascent stages, it seems far different from 9/11 in this key sense: Bush received a briefing telling him “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” It is highly unlikely Obama was even briefed about the older brother. Moreover, although the FBI interviewed him, what more were they supposed to do? His viewing and linking to radical Islamist websites, repugnant though they are, is not criminal. The FBI had no basis to arrest him. Nor does it appear the FBI knew of his plans.

    Perhaps had the FBI developed better intelligence about him and could have identified him sooner after the bombings, then they could have apprehended him before he assassinated the MIT police officer, but that remains an open question.

    But, what’s troublesome, even with 9/11, is the placing of blame on the government instead of where it properly belongs: on the terrorists you carried out these attacks. We cannot hold our government to a standard of clairvoyance.

    And, with the recent petition about Tsarnaev the Younger, we see a similar phenomenon. It’s amazing how quickly conservatives and libertarians run away from Tsarnaev’s personal responsibility for committing these acts and instead blame it on some hair-brained false flag operation. That’s not to say Tsarnaev does not deserve a fair trial, of course he does, but this placing of blame on America’s foreign policy, on the FBI, on the DHS, in the face of overwhelming evidence that Tsarnaev placed a bomb feet away from an 8 year old child who was then blown apart does a disservice to the victims of these sensless acts.

    • Joe Blow
      April 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      It came out today the elder brother was on not one but two watch lists. DHS,FBI and CIA all dropped the ball and were warned several times by Russia. Why do you keep lumping conservatives in with Alex Jones?

      • Relax
        April 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

        How did they drop the ball, exactly? Are they clairvoyant? Is there evidence that they should have been aware of that Tsarnaev was making bombs and planned to set them off? If evidence comes to light that Tsarnaev left a digital footprint that would have led to his arrest before the bombings, then I’ll be the first in line to blame the FBI for not grabbing him. But, until that comes to light (and it’s uncertain that it will) then it’s far too soon to blame anyone but the bombers themselves.

        As for the Alex Jones issue, some conservatives march lock step with Alex Jones about these false flag operations, whether its Aurora, Sandy Hook, and now Boston. It’s part of this meme that the government stages or is complicit in these attacks so that the public is scared into “giving up their rights,” and becoming complacent with the ever encroaching police state. Well, last I checked, I can still do now what I could do before 9/11, before the Patriot Act, before the NDAA, and before Obama was elected. My rights have not been taken away.

        People simply need to take a breath and think for a minute before latching on to these absolutely preposterous ideas.

        • Scott
          April 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

          Don’t you think they could have used the tactics afforded by the patriot act to wire tap his phone, video record him and have an agent follow him around I mean isn’t that why we gave up certain rights to privacy in the name of national security? Then they would have gotten the evidence they needed to get a warrant and stop the attack. But the truth is for whatever reason they dropped the ball and failed to protect those people in Boston. Whether it was laziness, a lack of a real perceived threat or more important investigations.

          • bobbyd
            April 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

            Wait. We want to invoke provisions of the Patriot Act to conduct surveillance and then revoke provisions of the Patriot Act to make sure he gets a fair, civilian trial?

        • Joe Blow
          April 25, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

          Of course the bombers are to blame but it is clear this could have been prevented. Some liberals march in lock step with Mao Zedong , Barney Fwank and Chris Matthews,what’s your point? A lot of liberal also think 9/11 was a inside job, which I think is ridiculous. I also remember Liberals screaming about the patriot act. I also remember Obama’s buddy Rahm saying “never let a serious crisis go to waste”. Just wondering what part of the local,federal or state government to you work for? The reason I ask is you seem to think they can do no wrong ever.

          • danvalenti
            April 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

            The FBI blew this, the same way they blew the 9/11 intelligence. That’s what the new information strongly suggests.

        • danvalenti
          April 25, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

          When a foreign government sends urgent warnings to separate national security lists regarding a foreign national on our soil, they had damn well better be alert. They didn’t need to be clairvoyant. They merely had to piece together the information and then, more crucially, share it within the intelligence community. This was the very thing that the Department of Homeland Security was supposed to assure. That didn’t happen, which exposes the D of HS as a sham. They blew it, and we judge by the standards they set for themselves.

          • Relax
            April 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

            That presumes intelligence existed that would have allowed DHS to conclude that Tsarnaev posed an imminent threat and should have been detained. On what basis are you characterizing the Russian notices as urgent?

            Even under the Patriot Act, the government needs probable cause for a warrant. Does Tsarnaev’s visit to Russia furnish probable cause? I say no. Does his looking at militant websites, a protected activity under the 1st Amendment, furnish probable cause? Do these activities in combination furnish probable cause? Perhaps.

            But, let’s say the FBI had his phones, his internet, his credit cards, etc. Are they going to tail him daily after he came back from Russia? He paid cash for the fireworks he bought that he used to make the bombs. Unless some agent saw him go to the store, there’s no way to know he bought fireworks. And, unless he communicated about his intentions online, then how could the government know what he was up to?

            While these issues should be reviewed, it’s easy to play Monday Morning Quarterback.

            Again, the blame lies primarily with the bombers, just as it does with 9/11 hijackers.

          • danvalenti
            April 25, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

            On the basis of numerous press reports from credible sources that characterized it this way. Those in the intelligence community have called it remarkable that Russia, a sort-of ally of the US and once our bitter enemy, would have warned two separate branches of the US security apparatus, on the assumption that this information would be calibrated and SHARED. That was not done. The question of probable cause, as you rightly point out, is not clear cut. As for the blame, the immediate cause is, of course, the bombers. No reasonable person would dispute that. We certainly haven’t. The underlying causes, though, are numerous, and one of the primary ones is the failure, once again, of the security network. That network was beefed up to the point of fiscal and practical detriment, and yet it still failed in this case. The answer surely isn’t MORE so-called security but a better use of available information. That would actually allow less money to be spent on this foolish enterprise with an enhancement of public safety.

          • Scott
            April 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

            Dan, I read a book about how the FBI has pretty much fumbled every major investigation it has put it’s hands on in the last 40-years that’s nothing new the name of the books eludes me at this time.

          • Relax
            April 26, 2013 at 9:53 am #


            I appreciate your perspective, and, as I’ve said, issues concerning the lack of sharing between and within security agencies deserve a thorough review.

            But, we’re still quite a ways away from concluding that the FBI let these guys slip through their fingers, and that the failure of the FBI is the proximate cause of the bombing. Is it a factor? Perhaps.

            Again though, and as you well know, simply because we’ve spent billions on Homeland Security does not at mean that these agencies function with the precision of an orchestra. As one of the 9/11 panelists said “we’re safer, but were not safe.” Indeed, we will never be completely safe. That is, sadly, the way of the world.

  5. outfox
    April 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    Dan, nothing from you about the PILOT decision?!

  6. tito
    April 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    it is very clear to me anyway that Mr. Heller is posting under many pseudonym’s in here. just mention anything negative about Republicans and or Bush and he’ll appear out of the woodwork

    • Joe Blow
      April 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      I think Dan would know if he was doing that by the ip addresses of the posts. He could be using a proxy server but I don’t think he’s afraid to post under his real name. Wait did I just stick up for Heller? lol

      • danvalenti
        April 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

        I would know, Joe.

  7. C. J.
    April 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

    Pittsfield ! It’s again time for the five (5) P’s.
    1) Pander to the municipal unions and bureaucrats,
    2) Prepare the tax payers for the inevitable annual tax increase, while ofuscating the necessity for the increase.
    3) Perpetuate the long time political mentalities and all importaant status quo.
    4) Postpone addressing unfunded liabilities or any long term strategy for self serving immediate gratification.
    5) Progress must be thwarted and given lip service only with smoke and mirrors.

    And the two most germane P’s. Pittsfield is now Palookaville. Until the taxpayers rebel and take back their city !

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      Well expressed, CJ.

  8. tito
    April 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    take back our city? We do that in increments, twenty years at a time,,,,,,

  9. FPR
    April 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm #


    I know you don’t want to see Plunkett school torn down and a drive thru coffee shop put up but what do you think should be done with it as its privately owned and not used a school anymore?

    What could the owner do with the property to keep it historically intact and still see a return on his investment?

  10. Scott
    April 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    Dan, you piss and moan when these people use gov’t money to do private business now here we have a private funded venture and you have a problem with it what gives? I mean traffic is traffic and maybe it will make the traffic @ D&D better as people will be less inclined to wait in line in the middle of the road. With that said this will be the third coffee shop in that area but I don’t know I don’t eat that crap anyways but if there is a demand and these people are taking the risk with their own money who is anyone to tell them they can’t? I do work on historical buildings we can’t keep them all when the space can serve other productive purposes. Maybe do a piece on the historical relevance and importance then maybe you can sway me.

    • FPR
      April 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      Scott, I have no idea what a Dunkin Donuts franchise costs and not to mention the costs of tearing down Plunkett school. All I can say is the people of Pittsfield must really love their coffee.

      How many cups of coffee do you need to sell to make a mortgage payment?

      If you have the money to invest in this venture, where in that area of Pittsfield would be a good spot for a drive thru coffee shop?

      • danvalenti
        April 25, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

        How many cups of coffee? Lots? Of course, these days, you can pay $5 for a coffee. Back in the day, it used to be a dime for a cuppa joe.

      • Scott
        April 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

        Anywhere, “if you build it they will come!”

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      The problem is two-fold: That location cannot handle the traffic that will be generated by a drive-through window. The current DD drive-through has proven that. Second, the demolish an historical structure for such a crass, commercial, mundane use does not serve the long-term interests of the city.

      • Scott
        April 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

        Dan, what real historical value does the building have other than being old? I see the Library has a Samuel Harrison House display up way cool I helped renovate that project.

        • danvalenti
          April 25, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

          It is historical by virtue of:
          * Its architectural heritage
          * Its unique construction
          * Its importance to the history and culture of Pittsfield via the generations of students who were educated there
          * Its association with an era of Pittsfield’s past that testifies to the city’s prosperity past.
          * Its irreplaceability by current building practices

  11. tito
    April 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    ,,,,,,,,maybe we could renovate the building into a National Dunkin Donuts Coffee Museum. Dan could have Coffees’s when promoting a new book,,,,,,,,

    • Scott
      April 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

      Good comment.

  12. dusty
    April 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Make that building the new police station. They could annex part of the common for a nice size garage. And they could put a Dunking Donuts sub station on the third floor for the police folk. Heck, they could man their own coffee shop and use the profits to help with overtime.

    • Mike Ward
      April 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      I like it. But put the garage on the adjacent Fenn Street lot instead of the Common.

      • FPR
        April 25, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

        So….. take the existing Police station and tear it down for a Dunkin Donuts drive thru ????

        Will they still send Larry down to pick up the coffee and donut orders ????

        • danvalenti
          April 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

          Excellent idea. The building could be retrofitted as the site for a new police HQ. There’s room enough, also, for a Dunkin Donuts. That would be perfect, of course, putting a police HQ and a donut shop in the same building. Believe they call that “synergy.”

          • FPR
            April 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

            Actually all credit goes to dusty. His idea. I just extrapolated it over to the old Police station.

            It actually is a great idea. Would give the Police a more pronounced presence. (Which apparently everyone loves in Massachusetts).

            That old station needs to be torn down anyway — its an eyesore. Public toilets and all from a bygone era.

            PITTSFIELD POICE DEPARTMENT in huge letters on front of the old Plunkett school would work.

            Dan, you should be Mayor.

      • Scott
        April 25, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

        Mike you made a deal about the traffic during your time serving us or shortly after they had to hire a cop but I see it has gone back to the same.

        • Mike Ward
          April 25, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

          Yes, Cafua’s temporary measures were all for show, and only because their feet were held to the fire by the police departent. Cafua is the poster child for the recalcitrant scofflaw. They always have enough money to spend on lawyers to push back on the city’s pleas for compliance but they won’t just hire an extra employee on the morning shift to speed up service and keep the line of cars moving.

          • Chazz Storie
            April 25, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

            Please don’t assume it’s because of workers that the Dunkin Donuts drive thru is the way it is. The problem is that it doesn’t hold enough cars. People are lazy and will order large amounts of food and wait 15 minutes before doing so. Poor taste to blame it on the employees. To go from holding 6 cars currently, to 13 cars is a vast improvement for a drive thru.

            I think the issue with the Post Office can also be alleviated by having them hire a cop to control their overflow – especially since they have a parking lot across the street.

          • Scott
            April 26, 2013 at 3:40 am #

            That’s corporate America for you I was doing a job in JC Penny one time and while in the office in the same hour one employee wanted more hours, one employee wanted a day off and one employee quit seemed like a no brainier to me but the one who quit was the only one who got what he wanted.

          • Mike Ward
            April 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

            Thanks Chazz. I wasn’t blaming the workers though. Knowing that the stacking space is only six cars and can’t be improved in the old location, the only thing you can do is speed up service or limit customers to small orders. More people almost always means more production. You can do a roofing job with two guys over 3 days or you can do it with 7 guys in one day. To say that is not insulting the first two guys.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      Love this idea, man!

  13. Joe Blow
    April 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Dan, I wonder what you will say when someone proposes a new “quasi” public/private venture at the site. Better yet a new non- profit…maybe the new pot shop. Maybe like Clairmont says the owner will stop paying taxes on the land and the city can pay to tear it down at the prevailing wage. After watching the meeting, I see why Pittsfield can’t attract any new businesses. Who would want to relocate here and put up with the B.S.This blog has taken a strange turn the past week or so.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

      I don’t like “quasi public-private” monstrosities in most any shape, form, or location. That’s what I would say.

      • Mike Ward
        April 26, 2013 at 8:16 am #

        But sometimes a little public support is needed for a classic building will be saved. It was extremely unusual and fortunate that the Miller family preserved the Colonial Theater in amber for fifty years for it to be restored. That building is now a source of pride for Pittsfield residents, and although it had a shaky start from an operational standpoint it is now in very good hands with BTG. Without the vision of the Millers that would be a parking lot today.

  14. Pat
    April 25, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    I totally disagree with your article yesterday in which you state that we are hated by the world because of George Bush. We were hated by the Muslims big time which is why 9/11 happened in the first place only months into the presidency of George Bush. You need to study up on exactly what are the roots of the Muslims hatred toward our country and you will find that they revolve around our beliefs both political and social which the Muslims see as being extremely evil and sinful. They are shocked by homosexuality, abortion, living together without being married, women having lots of rights, and they basically see America as something like Sin City. This is the real roots of the anger toward the U.S. as well as their belief that we are trying to force our beliefs onto them.

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Thanks for the comment.

  15. tito
    April 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    ,,,,,sin city, then it was Bill Clinton who created such fractures in our fight against these cruel and Barbaric Terrorists.

  16. Gene
    April 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Woah, why is everybody asking DV to solve the problems of the world. What? he’s the messiah all of a sudden? All he’s doing is asking questions to get you and me to T. h. I.N. K.

    • FPR
      April 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm #



      • Varsity mom
        April 25, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

        You are correct. Intellectuals understand this. That’s his main goal, to get us to think, to get a conversation started. He is not exactly spewing his own opinion, rather stating a series of facts and presenting questions.
        That’s the biggest disillusionment about Dan Valenti.

  17. Mr. X
    April 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    What about the $400,000 a year taxes that DD will pay on this new building? That would certainly lessen by a lot the amount of petroleum jelly used on taxpayers as forementioned. Like Scottie said, traffic is traffic, and isn’t that a part of economic development

    • danvalenti
      April 25, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      MR X
      The $400Gs sounds excessive. Where did you get that figure?

  18. tito
    April 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Does anyone and mean anyone? Other than the jokers on the city council believe there aren’t other Dunkin Dounuts that don’t have traffic? one on citypitts (Palookaville) let them in.

  19. FPR
    April 25, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage”.
    – Herbert Hoove

    “A Dunkin Donuts on every street corner”
    – FPR

  20. Scott
    April 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    EXACTLY traffic is part of development the city better get in gear traffic is horrible everywhere so what that’s not a valid point in my mind. Plus I’m all for private business if the people really don’t want it they won’t be successful. Lot’s of time the wood in those old buildings is used for new projects. I have some nice wood flooring I’m going to put in my entry way from an old place.

  21. Mike Ward
    April 25, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    If Pittsfield as a community really wanted to save Plunkett School or the Crane warehouse or the old trolley garage (Pennell building) we would have acted a long time ago. If preserving historic buildings was a priority we would have a plan in place to monitor old buildings and identify neglect early on, well before the word ‘blight’ could be used. If an owner was no longer willing to maintain a building, its sale would become a high priority. We would actively try to match vacant buildings with programming we need. We would aggressively use TIF tax breaks to incentivize building re-use by the kind of businesses we want.
    None of these things are happening because historic building preservation is not a priority for most Pittsfield residents. Have you ever heard this come up in a mayoral debate?

    • Gene
      April 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Yes good point Mike it would come up if DV were to run but I think hes too smart than to get involved in the insanity of this citys politics. Did you make this a priority or even an issue when you were on the city council? Just wondering.

      • Mike Ward
        April 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

        Yes, I coauthored a ballot measure called the Community Preservation Act. It received 42% support from Pittsfield voters. Not enough. A similar ballot measure passed in Lenox.

    • Scott
      April 26, 2013 at 3:46 am #

      Mike, the only buildings with historical value that get saved are just that ones with real significance historical value like Samuel Harrison house and Herman Melville’s house. (that is two examples there are many in the Berkshires.) The building is old yes and may have some nostalgic sentimental value but the facts are someone who has other plans owns it. I suggest anyone who wants to keep it form a committee and buy the property from the owner at fair market value if he wishes to sell. Free market right?

      • Mike Ward
        April 26, 2013 at 8:22 am #

        That building is very likely to be more attractive than anything that will replace it. But the owner has the right to raze it. He does not have the right to install a drive-through however, without a special permit.

        • danvalenti
          April 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

          That’s the key. Without the drive-through, from what I understand, the owner will not want to put a donut shop there. No donut shop, no need to raze. What do you, as a former city councilor, think of the idea of putting the police department there?

          • Mike Ward
            April 28, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

            I like it. I don’t know if it would suit their needs but it seems big enough. Central location. Additional space next door on Fenn Street.

    • joetaxpayer
      April 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm #

      Mike I cannot support the community preservation act.We already are over taxed. Maybe if our government could cut the bloat to pay for this it would make more sense.

      • Mike Ward
        April 28, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

        That’s why it was a ballot measure, JT. It passed in Lenox because more people there value historic and open space preservation. So we move on. Another thing I advocated for was CSA farms, and I’m happy to say that Brattle Farm on Williams Street just launched a CSA farm this year. So if you like seeing working farms in Pittsfield stop by Brattle farm and buy some eggs, meat, or veggies. (a CSA is like a “season pass” where you pre-pay for veggies and/or meat at a farm and you pick up your share of food once a week) I have been a member of Holiday Farm for years and highly recommend it that or Brattle Farm.

      • Mike Ward
        April 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

        That’s why it’s disingenuous to wait until the wrecking ball shows up (like we always do) and then run around waving our arms in the air saying “what a shame, what a shame!” If you don’t plan for a different outcome, stop acting surprised.

  22. FPR
    April 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    “None of these things are happening because historic building preservation is not a priority for most Pittsfield residents. Have you ever heard this come up in a mayoral debate?”

    That is the exact same reasoning that caused the city council to destroy the old train station to be demolished and a supermarket put in its place.

    What a pity.

    Were you on the council then?

    • Mike Ward
      April 25, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      I don’t think I was born yet when the train station was razed.

  23. Scott
    April 26, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    bobbyd said “Wait. We want to invoke provisions of the Patriot Act to conduct surveillance and then revoke provisions of the Patriot Act to make sure he gets a fair, civilian trial?”

    All I’m doing is calling out the patriot act I mean wasn’t the whole idea of it to give law enforcement tools and legal leeway to catch these terrorist before they harm America but we are all worried they’d be used against Americans unjustly? Well here we have a case where they could have been used I mean imagine the headline “intelligence afforded by patriot act stops a terror plot in it tracks”. Would anyone complain if these geeks were caught through legal means outlined in the patriot act even if that included “enhanced interrogation techniques” during questioning and all their bombs found before they could ever be used? If it was up to me I’d give the go ahead to hunt down torture and kill anyone planning acts of this nature but that kind of responsibility comes with consequences and is subject to misuse, abuse and of course corruption. So Yeah now that we’re here the man get’s his day in court and I hope prosecutors seek the death penalty.

  24. joetaxpayer
    April 26, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    To change the subject Deval Patrick makes me sick. Cannot wait for him to move on and hopefully move out of Richmond. He should leave the Berkshires and go where he belongs, up Obama’s butt.

  25. Noemi Raymond
    May 4, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    Scalise said Cafua also would agree to a much different design, used only on a few Dunkin’ Donuts, to look more like the old school building. He agreed, after a suggestion from Councilor at large Barry Clairmont to add as a condition a brick facade. Clairmont’s motion was approved as a condition if the drive-thru permit is approved on a voice vote of the council.