PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! CRANE WAREHOUSE IN PITTSFIELD WILL NOT BE RAZED … ‘COURTHOUSE KATIE’ SUPPORTS MIKE DASCANI OVER PATRICK WALSH; ANON. ‘PATTY’ HAS IT JUST THE OPPOSITE … GEORGE CARLIN ON ‘CHILD WORSHIP’ WILL EXPLAIN THE UPCOMING SCHOOL DEPT. LAMENTATION: ‘IT’S FOR “THE CHILDREN”‘ … LARRY KRATKA: BLOWING HOT AIR AGAIN
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013) — Don’t tell anyone you heard it here, but THE PLANET has learned that the Crane Warehouse, which we discussed last week, will not — repeat not — be demolished.
Reliable sources tell us that an agreement is in the works between the city council and Jim Scalise that would result in the building being retrofitted for development and re-use. We also learned that there may be another building built on the property to increase the site’s use and adaptability to various potential uses, but the main building, the historic warehouse, is staying put. That’s good news. True, the building doesn’t rival other long-gone Pittsfield landmarks in aesthetics and historicity, but it has undeniable character and charm that would not be matched by a new structure.
History Preserved for the Future
As you recall, we put the spotlight on this building last week. Not many people were pleased with the proposed demolition, as it turned out. Enough people conveyed their sentiments to the parties involved, and guess what: You helped them see the light. This demonstrates that when enough people mobilize, they can affect positive change in local government.
THE PLANET also commends Scalise for realizing the mistake he had made. He proved big enough to admit it. That’s a good man.
THE PLANET will have more details as this story progresses, but chalk this up as a small win for The Little Guy. Together, we managed to exert enough pressure to get a change for the positive. In public life these days, especially in the city of Pittsfield — where the decks are perpetually stacked against Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski — there are no such things as “small” victories.
Now, if only the parties involved can see the wisdom of not razing the historic former Plunkett School in favor of a donut shop. The old school is a fabulous building, and the city will ultimately regret tearing it down. The equivalent here is the Palace Theater on North Street. The city foolishly torn it down to City Savings Bank could have more parking. Soon after, the bank moved across the street. The parking lot became superfluous, ironic because of the horrible parking situation downtown. Today, that lot is for sale. Asking price: $399,000.
It would be the perfect Pittsfield joke, of course, should that fatuous action — the demolition of Plunkett School — come about. It would also serve as an apt metaphor for the present priorities of this once-great and now wayward city. Finally, what message does it send to others who may be entertaining a move here, that the business and real estate markets of the city find it preferable to tear down this lovely structure and put up in its place a donut shop.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
EDITOR’S NOTE — In response to yesterday’s item about alleged nepotism in the hiring of Patrick Walsh as facilities manager of the Pittsfield courthouses, we received this letter. Walsh, 25, is the son of John Walsh, District Court’s chief probation officer. Walsh was hired over Mike Dascani, long-time maintenance man at the court and, for the past six years, acting facilities manager.
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‘Mike Dascani is a Man with Integrity’
Michael Dascani is a man with integrity. He stepped up to help the Trial Court when it was needed and after a few years of asking for an upgrade to at least a supervisor, Mike was he told on several occasion to look at the big picture. He continued to do the facilities manager job for the pay of his senior maintenance tech. All the responsibilities and none of the benefits, that is, pay or up grade.
So for the last six years, Michael did this job, like he does everything, with passion and dedication. He would go on weekends during the winter months and make sure that the old boilers were on and running so the buildings didn’t get cold and pipes freeze. He took care of the buildings as though they were his responsibility and wanted to have as little down as possible during the winter months.
He did the best he could to try and make everyone on the complex comfortable, but you cant please that many different personalities. Michael cared about the buildings and what was going on in them and took good care of the old systems that there. He was, in my opinion the best candidate for the job. — Courthouse Katie
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THE PLANET thanks Courthouse Katie for her letter. Another comment on Dascani came in yesterday from a courthouse source who calls herself “Patty” [See yesterday's comments section; THE PLANET published an edited version of her letter]. Patty made the point that “many complaints” have been filed against Dascani, and speculates that those complaints are probably why he was bypassed in favor of Patrick Walsh. Patty did not say who made these charges, why they made the charges, when they made the charges, or to whom they made the charges. If she wishes to share specific information, we are open the hearing it, but she most come forward openly to us, as did our other sources for this story.
‘CHILD WORSHIP’ AND THE PITTSFIELD SCHOOL DEPARTMENT
For the soon-to-be-heard Pittsfield School Department fiscal lamentations that the $90 million+ it presently receives from bedraggled taxpayers is not nearly enough, we present the following clip.
Come budget time, you can be sure the school department administration and teachers union will make its emotional, “oh, woe is us” case to the city council, the school committee, and the mayor by citing “The Children.”
And once again, in all likelihood, the jellied politicians will cave, this being an election year. Of course, this being an election year, if somehow we could rouse a gigantic turnout at the polls, the move would backfire, because the majority of citizens know the truth: That the school department is an obese cash cow; that it wastes an egregious amount of money, if we define “waste” as a bad return on investment; and that it operates pretty much free of accountability on the local level.
Is it “for The Children?” Take a look and listen.
This is a hilarious clip of comedian George Carlin, telling us about the recent, bizarre phenomenon known as “child worship.” Enjoy.
This explains it all, doesn’t it? THE PLANET wonders if ever we shall ever see the day when we put kids into proper perspective, at least until they turn 18, when they will be well equipped to provide a good life for themselves, since they are, at that age, invulnerable and know everything.
‘THAT’S UNBELIEVABLE’ KRATKA SAYS. … IT SURE IS