Article

‘THE CHILDREN’ ONCE AGAIN SHORT-CHANGED, AND THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW IT … LOCKED GATES AT CITY PARKS: WHAT WOULD MR. BOSSIDY THINK? … plus … IT’S TIME THE FOR PROM TO GET BACK TO SOBER REALITY

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, JUNE 6, 2013) — We finally step away from Wadegate to bring you this head puzzler, in the form of a photo. We ask: What’s wrong with this picture?

KEEP OFF THE FIELD! Want to enjoy the park? Want to play ball? Want to see your tax dollars hard at work? Forget it. The lock at Springside Park, Benedict Road, says it all. (Photo by ES)

This photo was sent to us by one of our correspondents under the title “Wouldn’t Bossidy Be Thrilled.” The reference, of course, is to Pittsfield native son Larry Bossidy, who more than 10 years ago gave Pittsfield $1 million with the specification that it be used on the playing fields of the city. This was and is a man actually for, you know, The Children.

Pittsfield spent most of the ensuing years doing two things with The Bossidy Bucks: (1) It spent it on everything BUT the playing fields, and (2) when certain among us questioned why, it launched into a futile and utterly pointless bureaucratic discussion about what Bossidy “intended” for his gift. Thus, the city did a great disservice to the generosity of one of its greatest sons, all in the process of slapping residents in the face by the way it ignored Mr. B’s desires.

Our correspondent wrote that the picture gives evidence that “Baseball has become an elitist sport in Pittsfield. I know at different times, I have found the West LL field (where I played) locked, Springside LL field locked, and now Benedict Rd. I assume the fields are only unlocked by ‘league officials.’ No chance for a pickup game anymore. Real  baseball. No parents. No coaches. Just baseball.”

We share in this lament, as I’m sure Mr. Bossidy does.

Children can’t do anything on their own without helicopter parents hovering somewhere nearby. Which leads us to our next story: Proms.

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POP CULTURE CHEAPENS THAT GREAT AMERICAN RITES DE PASSAGE, THE PROM; BACKLASH BUILDING IN SOME SCHOOLS

Since when did a high school prom turn into a sick display of faux celebrity that more and more parents,  grandparents, and otherwise “normal” family members use to “show off” before the community? When did it become an event that now must mimic the tinny tawdriness of Hollywood instead of subtle stylishness of a more local nature?

Years ago, and not all that long ago, parents were content to take a few photos in the backyard, wish the kids well, and let them have a night of pretending to be adults in their gowns and tuxedos. Not any more.

Today, the prom has to be A Production, one that reflects the shallowness of pop culture, shrunk to skin-deep triviality by parental guilt and high school administrators who wouldn’t know class if it took them by the arm and cha-cha’d around the auditorium for the lead dance. The limos, the red carpet, the lines of photo takers, the gawkers, the Oprah-like audiences, the embarrassing screams and cheers — from the adults, mind you — It’s all too much to witness, especially when one realizes how these human cattle have turned off both their critical faculties and individuality, unquestioningly following trendy dictates that they don’t know how to question.

The locked baseball fields that preclude sandlot games … the lunacy of prom night — they illustrate the prevailing belief that unless an adult is there to officiate and verify, the kids will somehow feel shortchanged.

Perhaps this explains the gaudy, cheapened nature of The Prom in 2013. More and more, kids eschew attending the prom with a date and think it’s OK to arrive in gangs or groups. More and more, girls show up dressed more like hookers and whores. Needless to say, The Children have been gypped again. It’s obvious that parents feel lots of guilt these days with the way they have turned a once simple and lovely childhood rites de passage into a two-dimensional cut-out frivolity.

It won’t happen in Pittsfield, where the schools are out of control, but fortunately, some schools are beginning to fight back. Here’s an article about just that:

SOME SCHOOLS TRYING TO BRING BACK DIGNITY TO PROM NIGHT

By LAURA HANSEN

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

For better or worse, prom is a rite of passage for every American teenager. And there are certain hackneyed staples that help make the night so memorable — the outfit, the dream date, the limo, the dance floor. But some schools have recently begun tightening restrictions at proms and other dances, which means that festivities at some schools may be distinctly lacking in fun. (Though, it’s not all bad — looking at you, AXE Body Spray.) Here, 9 school bans that could totally ruin prom:

1. No strapless dresses

And she wondered why the school said “No!”

Girls at the Readington Middle School in New Jersey no longer have a right to bare arms… at school dances. A new ban instituted by the principal prohibits students from wearing strapless dresses at this year’s 8th grade dinner dance. The reason? Shoulder-baring formal wear was considered too much of a distraction for the boys. Lucky for any strapless-loving tween, most of the town’s parents are up in arms about the rule, with some calling it offensive. A group of parents plans to protest the ban and request that it be suspended. And this New Jersey school isn’t alone: Schools in Jacksonville, N.C., Boston, Mass., and Sparks, Nev., have reportedly also banned strapless dresses.

2. No tuxedos (for girls)
For tomboys or Diane Keaton fans at Sultana High School in Hesperia County, Calif., this prom season may be a cruel one. School administrators have banned female students from wearing tuxedos, while requiring that guys wear them. The rule, critics say, reflects a larger problem of homophobia at the school. “All students should feel safe and free to be themselves at school. I’m hopeful the administration does the right thing and creates a safe environment where we can be ourselves without fear of being harassed,” said the president of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance. Other critics note that you don’t have to be gay to want to opt out of wearing a constricting or skin-revealing dress. “Maybe it’s because it’s hard to find a prom dress that doesn’t make you look like a cast member of The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” says Jeanne Sager at The Stir. “Or, and this is just as likely, it’s because not every girl actually feels comfy in a dress!”

3. No dirty dancing
School officials around the country are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the way kids are getting down on the dance floor. The Port Angeles High School in Washington state is just the latest to ban suggestive dancing, otherwise referred to as “freak dancing,” “grinding,” and “dirty dancing.” But the rule may have backfired: Attendance at these functions, which help fund all student activities, has reportedly plummeted. “It was kind of like asking them to quit cold turkey, so that really upset a lot of students,” said a student government officer. Students say it’s just another example of adults being out of touch. “Square dancing and all those things, those were fun back in the day, but we’re a new generation and we do things a little differently,” said student Terrance Stevenson.

4. No AXE Body Spray
While this is a ban most of us can get behind, teenage boys might think otherwise. Starting in March, students at the Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Penn., were asked to lay off the AXE body spray — not because it was making boys irresistible to the girls, but because it was making at least one student physically ill. The teen reportedly had such an extreme reaction to the fragrance that he required medical attention. Prom-goers looking for an aromatic boost this season will have to rely on a hearty shower and a smear of Speed Stick instead, which, trust us, is a much better idea anyway.

5. No limos
Principal Laura Gauld was sick of witnessing the financial extremes students would go to for prom. So, in 2007, her first year as principal of the Hyde School in Woodstock, Conn., Gauld banned limousines from campus. Instead, all the seniors would come together on a chartered bus. While some students protested the idea, most came around eventually, saying the group transportation fostered a tighter sense of community.

6. No dyed hair
Prom is often a time when teenagers show off their unique personalities. Perhaps they do so on the dance floor, or with a pastel-hued tux, or with a fun hairstyle. But students in Hurricane, Utah, may want to take heed of Rylee MacKay’s experience and refrain from dyeing their hair. Earlier this year, the 15-year-old was banned from school for dyeing her hair a reddish-brown. Yep. It wasn’t electric blue or bright pink, and Rylee’s shade was subtle enough to pass as her own. However, the school claimed her hair “didn’t fit on the spectrum of natural color” and so sent her home. But Rylee’s mom stood up for her daughter’s choice, saying the school should focus on more important issues than penalizing students who stand out. “At this age, these kids are going through so much with peer pressure and trying to find themselves — look at the depression and teen suicide rates — and all we’re doing is stifling them more,” she said. “They have no leeway in how to become themselves. We don’t let them do a lot of things for their own safety, but there’s got to be some give. We’re making little clones.”

Just another night at the Prom.

7. No skimpy dresses
In 2012, a high school in Southern, Conn., put the kibosh on revealing dresses. The school rule barred plunging necklines, high slits, bare feet, and midriff-baring cut-out dresses. The principal said the school wasn’t trying to stifle the students’ sense of style, but was rather reining in the daring looks of previous years. “It’s not a dance club, it’s not a beach, it’s not that kind of a scene,” he said. And the dudes better watch out as well: You’ll have to keep that shirt on no matter how worked up you get on the dance floor.

8. No popular music
In 2009, the Women’s Health and Issues Club at Arcadia High School in Los Angeles noticed that some of the most popular songs on the radio have a common theme — they were degrading to women. It was actually such a banner year for tunes that glorified prostitution and casual sex, or just generally objectified women, that the group was able to compile a list of 300 songs that qualified as degrading. Sick of hearing tunes like Akon’s ”Smack That” or Lil’ John’s “Get Low” in heavy rotation on the radio, the group asked that these songs not be played at the prom. And so, the school complied and banned not only those two booty-shaking numbers, but also 18 others.

9. No porn stars
Recently there’s been a rash of teenagers asking celebrities to their proms, with some requests being more endearing than others. But students at Tartan High School in Oakdale, Minn., will now have to keep those aspirational dates G-rated. In 2012, Mike Stone fired off several celebrity date requests and actually got one acceptance in return. Megan Piper, a porn star, said she’d be happy to come so long as Stone paid for her plane ticket from California. But when the small town got wind of Stone’s steamy escort, school officials said, “Absolutely not.” Stone said he wasn’t heartbroken, though, because he didn’t really think it would work out. “I was just doing it to see what would actually happen,” he said.

(This article was first published in The Week, April 25, 2013.)

Here’s another article, from Gawker.com:

And what, apart from nature/hormones/the way Aaron looks with his hair pushed back (sexy) is compelling teens to dress so revealingly? According to the experts and just about any person you might ask off the street: Hollywood.

Specifically, old-ass Hollywood. The Journal singles out Jennifer Lopez (age 42), the casts of the various Real Housewives franchises (most of whom appear to be in at least their late-sixties), and teen-favorite television program Dancing With The Stars (my Nana loves it but she doesn’t know who anyone is) as major inspirations behind sexy teens’ less-is-more sartorial aesthetic.

Now, in order to get the message across to students they are not allowed to emulate their favorite premenopausal celebrities’ sexed up style of dress, administrators are putting together image-heavy PowerPoint presentations and throwing up posters illustrating banned looks.

While it might, at first, seem counter-productive to plaster the hallways with photos of beautiful models in skimpy formalwear, decorating the school with the precisely the kind of lustful imagery administrators are hoping to avoid on prom night, you can’t argue that these kids are dumb dumb dumb, dumb as doornails, dumb as their number one fashion icon Alexis from theReal Housewives of Orange County, dumber in fact, because she has an elegant line of non-couture couture acrylic dresses and they are putting a strip of duct tape over their nips and calling it “chic, prom-appropriate fashion.” And, unfortunately, these dum-dums only respond to pixxx.

As one Algebra teacher and “junior class co-sponsor” (?) from Oklahoma City put it to the paper:

“Words don’t mean much to [the students.] They had to see the pictures.”

In actuality, the rules these schools are peddling aren’t all that absurd: no fabric cut-outs below the bust line (“flesh touching flesh below the bust” to use the administrators’ own, vaguely erotic, wording), no hemlines higher than three inches above the knee, no boob-baring deep-Vs in front, no ass-baring deep-Us in back. Pretty standard stuff.

The oddest item on any of the guidelines available on the Journal’s website comes, as surely a great many odd things must, from Sunnyvale, Texas, where the local high school has also instituted a prom-wide ban on “cosmetic contact lenses of a color not natural to a person, or patterned lenses (unless prescribed by a doctor).”

Meaning that Texas’ most popular teens have only a few short weeks to sweet-talk a doctor into writing them a prescription for some tight flame-pattern contacts.

Aside from that: cover your bits for an hour and have fun at the clothing-optional after prom parties, kids.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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“Factory windows are always broken. / Other windows are left alone. / No one throws through the chapel window / The bitter, snarling derisive stone.”Vachel Lindsay, stanza 2, “Factory Windows are Always Broken”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

59 Responses to “‘THE CHILDREN’ ONCE AGAIN SHORT-CHANGED, AND THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW IT … LOCKED GATES AT CITY PARKS: WHAT WOULD MR. BOSSIDY THINK? … plus … IT’S TIME THE FOR PROM TO GET BACK TO SOBER REALITY”

  1. Darren Lee
    June 6, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    Dan,
    You are off base on the fields situation. We lock the fields (we because I Coach a team in the West LL) to keep them in playing condition for that day – we play every night. It’s simple. If there were kids who wanted a pick up game there is a perfectly good field 100 yards away with a back stop and all – NO ONE uses it – kids don’t play like that anymore – the days of jumping on your bike to meet your friends and play baseball are gone – thanks to sickos, playstations and poor parenting. Locking the fields is not a reflection of the use of the Bossidy money incorrectly, correctly or otherwise – when I played in the South LL 30 years ago the same rule applied – stay off the game fields on game day….

    • Bball8
      June 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Darren is 100 percent correct. And the league volunteers, not the city, put the labor and $$ into the fields each year, and on a daily basis during the season. In addition to what Darren indicated, those that walk their dogs have little respect for the field if they were on them, and volunteers clean up after them.

      • Joe Blow
        June 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

        I walk my dog every night in Springside and always pick up after him. I can’t stand people who don’t pick up after their dogs. It’s not only disgusting but a health hazard to other dogs and humans. I don’t think it’s fair to lump us all in with the irresponsible owners. Springside really needs a fenced in dog park like most cities around the country have. It won’t solve the problem completely but would help for sure.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      DARREN
      Thanks for the information.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

      DARREN
      Thanks for the info. Sickos, Playstations, and poor parenting is a trio nearly impossible for society to overcome. How about we execute all the sickos, smash all the Playstations, and throw unfit parents to the lions? We would favor all three.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Also love the pun, “off base”!

  2. tito
    June 6, 2013 at 9:15 am #

    A friend of mine used to take care of the field at Springside, many horror stories with vandalism, another reason it’s locked up. Thanks Darren for all you do with the kids!

  3. Giacometti
    June 6, 2013 at 10:01 am #

    in 1998 I ran ” The Studio ” a 2,000 seat performance space in the former England Brothers on North Street with famed night
    club owner Mort Cooperman of the ” Lone Star Cafe ” in New York City…the after show nightclub of Saturday Night Live in its heyday.

    Every spring we would allow the high schools to use the performance space for their proms. It was a dazzling exhibition of red carpet glamour for all the students but especially their parents. Mort Cooperman in all his showbiz know how was more than happy to allow the proms to use the space because he viewed it as a right of passage for all these high school students

    Upon seeing the outlandish approach that the prom committees and the parents put into the proms at “The Studio”
    Mort would say that it was probably the only night of their lives that these kids would ever have to experience such an event.
    saying:

    ” Sometimes it’s a short step from the limousine to the gutter “

  4. Russell Moody
    June 6, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    My son went to the Taconic prom… had a wonderful evening with his girlfriend. “Grinding” was the dance of the night. Neither my son nor his date thought it appropriate to bump ugly on the dance floor. They danced to a handful of songs and then left early.

    I have witnessed the ‘grind’ first hand. I am not a fan. My daughter is a freshman this year and is looking forward to prom in the years to come– To what does she have to look forward? In any other circumstance the ‘grind’ would get you a sexual assault charge. It’s ridiculous.

    Russell.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Thanks, RUSS, for this honest and heartfelt parental testimony. The Grind, as you say, would get you arrested anywhere else, and yet the school administration (and dead-beat parents) think it “funny” and “cute.” Until Adults begin to reassert their control over kids and classrooms, this country will continue its rapidly-gaining-speed downward slide.

    • Andrew
      June 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

      I’m not defending the dance by any means, but “grinding” has been going on for at least the last 15-20 years. Yes it’s sexual (as is all dancing ) but another reason for its longevity is that it’s simple. It’s a two-step close up.

      • danvalenti
        June 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

        ANDREW
        I agree. All dancing has a sexual origin, but The Grind leaves nothing, but nothing, to the imagination. It is not the type of dancing that should be allowed in a high school prom. It’s up to authorities to make that absolutely clear, set a policy, and enforce the policy. If they let parents and kids know they mean business, and follow through with punishment to offenders, The Grind will go the way of the Fox Trot.

  5. Ron Kitterman
    June 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    These kids are entitlement driven , lazy, narcissistic , computer and cell phone savvy individuals, we’re talking about. Wasn’t it last year they stole the prom money from the teacher’s desk and it reappeared the next week at the taxpayer’ s expense ? A prom is the social event of the year. This isn’t same bunch you’re thinking of Giacometti. Would you like fries with that ?

    • Joe Blow
      June 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      Ron, are you sure it was a student who stole the money?

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

      You got the youth profile down in a precise way, good enough for a police report. My favorite part of this story is the teacher who defends the visually explicitly posters because the kids need tosee pictures. They can’t follow words. That right there spells doom for the USofA as we know it. Oh, there will be a “USA” of sorts for a while to come, but our days as World Numero Uno are over.

      • Varsity mom
        June 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

        The money was stolen, never recovered, but the class of 1985 raised funds to replace it.

  6. Ron Kitterman
    June 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    Excellent point Joe, my gut tells me no but you know how that works.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

      And remember, this happened under Principal Tracy Benson. The crime was never solved, even though it was common knowledge within certain sections of the PSD as to what happened. It was for The Children.

  7. Scott
    June 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    “It’s all too much to witness, especially when one realizes how these human cattle have turned off both their critical faculties and individuality, unquestioningly following trendy dictates that they don’t know how to question.”

    The quoted paragraph above is though provoking, horrifying, witty and unfortunately very true. I don’t know about locked gates but man it makes me realize how much kids are missing out those pick up games as a kid are the best memories of a summer not wasted. I mean I’m only 33 but boy how much technological “advancement” has contributed to child illness such as obesity and diabetes by encouraging an inactive lifestyle is astounding. It’s been a short decline in that aspect. Letting children have these devices especially without being monitored is not only dangerous but neglectful and dangerous.

  8. Scott
    June 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    and did I mention it was dangerous???

  9. debbie
    June 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    So what would happen if a someone got hurt on the other side of that locked fence and required a medical emergency? Do the Police or Ambulance drivers have access?

    • Jim Gleason
      June 6, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

      What are they doing on the other side of a locked fence in the first place? Breaking the law, that’s what! My Dad instituted this policy after fields were vandalized by dirt bikes on infields and other mayhem that destroyed hard work done by volunteers, not the city, as an earlier poster noted. If a certain element knew how to act like humans there would be no need for locked fences but, alsa, that ship has long since sailed.

      • Jim Gleason
        June 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

        Sorry, typo, meant alas.

      • Ed Shepardson
        June 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Locked fences only serve to keep the good people out. The bad people will always find a way. And the main field at Clapp, without fences, seems serve all. Ballplayers, joggers and dogs.

      • Teecha teecha
        June 7, 2013 at 7:53 am #

        Was your dad the Jim Gleason I used to know at the CYC? Or is that you? Either way that person was a great man and has done wonders for the children and the community. I miss talking to Rosie as well, she was a peach.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

      Great questions, DEB

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

      Great questions, DEB.

  10. Ed Shepardson
    June 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    TO serve all.

  11. FPR
    June 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    Wow Dan,

    #7. No skimpy dresses

    High-carrumba!

    There is no way those girls left the house from their parents dressed like that. They took off their prom dresses at the prom or somewhere on the way.

    They look like they’re dressed for a brothel and not a prom.

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

      Exactly. My questions is: Where were the adult chaperones? This picture is the problem in a nutshell: Entitled, spoiled kids defying authority and getting their way every single time because the “adults” are afraid to be parental and supervisory. They want to be the kids’ ‘friends.’

      • FPR
        June 7, 2013 at 4:59 am #

        “Well she was just 17
        You know what I mean
        And the way she looked……”

        I believe in 1963 when Lennon and McCartney wrote those classic lines, girls didn’t dress like that but rather left much to the imagination still.

      • Jim Gleason
        June 7, 2013 at 7:59 am #

        Don’t group all kids into one category, as you, Dan, and several others on here seem yto have a habit of doing. I saw one kid and his date and both were dressed responsibly and looked great.There are good kids, in fact the majority, out in our society and please don’t forget it.

  12. Varsity mom
    June 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm #

    I am proud to say that the Taconic prom had lots of beautiful, respectable dresses and the boys were dressed just as nicely. Some girls were even on the brink of “Old Fashioned”. One lovely girl even sported a Victorian umbrella.
    I am proud of this school, despite the challenges these kids face on a daily basis. They took their prom seriously and represented their school well.

  13. Mark Smith
    June 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Hi Dan,

    You are absolutely correct about this generation. Smart phones and social media have marginalized parents. Children and teenagers are raising themselves en masse behind their parent’s backs. Parents who allow their children this technology must supervise and review what is being said and what sites are being accessed. After all, they are paying the bills. Any parent who doesn’t supervise, would be shocked at what they find out during an unexpected inspection.

    A must read article by Joel Stein was published last month in TIME Magazine. “Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation” It can be read on-line at
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2143001,00.html

    Thanks,

    Mark

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      MARK
      Right on. Kids and teens, raising themselves, will steer themselves into the wrong dead ends at an alarming rate. Unfortunately, some of those choices will end up ruining lives.

  14. outfox
    June 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Wish some of “the Children” would weigh in on this site once in a while. Maybe Varsity Mom can pass the word that we’re talking about them all the time. I’d love to hear their perspective on some of the topics in regards their lives and well being in our schools.

    • Varsity mom
      June 6, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      When Dan raises a school or teen related topic, I let my daughter know and I get her feedback. She is a popular girl and I get her friends in on it as well. They love to talk about themselves, but prefer to be anonymous (for obvious reasons, but mostly they are PAINFULLY self aware). Sometimes I let them know they might be interested in his topic du jour.
      I have faith in this generation, even though what they are exposed to is frightening to us. And to parent them is more challenging than ever. Yes, some will grow up to spend some time behind bars, but what generation hasn’t? And some will be doctors, lawyers, actors, scientists and teachers. And some will spend lots of time undoing wrongs done to them, and some will decide that they will do things differently with their families.
      I have faith that things will get better at some point. Maybe not in my generation, and maybe not even in my daughter’s generation, but there will come a time when society will be ready to do the right thing again. It will become so infected by itself that there will be no choice in the matter. It will be a need for survival that will make people say “Maybe we should go back to basics.”
      And it will take AWARE parents, like myself, that will plant the seeds for future generations that will produce THINKING people. I take away from myself to give to my children because they did not ask to be here. So I educate myself as a parent, I show interest in them by asking questions, and I don’t punish them for telling me the truth (even if I don’t like what I hear) because it’s important for me to know what goes on in their lives and in their heads. Only then can I make healthy decisions as a parent, with the hopes that they will become productive contributors to society.
      I am not perfect by any means, but I have good intentions. Always.

      • danvalenti
        June 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

        You are one of the parents of wisdom, MOM. Now if we can only get the deadbeat parents on board (or thrown overboard if they insist on being irresponsible bums), you optimism will be justified.

      • outfox
        June 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

        Varsity Mom, I wish you were my mom when I was a teen!

    • danvalenti
      June 6, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      So would we, OUTFOX. We would welcome what they have to say.

  15. billy
    June 7, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Dan
    The mayor last night at a budget hearing wants to spend 75000 dollars to expand the traffic dept in the ppd. Really? He said its a quality of life issue. Where is his mind? Can the mayor read ??look in the BB on a daily basis we are having house break in s and he wants to ticket over burdened soccer moms and who are late rushing their kids to and fro and someone grand parent late for a doctors appointment? with the drug issues and the robberies that result from them? Really????..I Also saw that he asked for 100 grand for legal settlements? We are preparing to lose? Why do we have a legal dept? why dont we put a atm outside her office or at the courthouse freshly stocked with crisp green backs!!!
    The only councilor that voted against it was councilor Yon.The usually opinionated “Mellisa is this mic on? i need to talk again Mazzeo ” sat silent? i thought her vocal chords ruptured..Dan can you please research this about both issues. i was dumfounded that this town is turning into Mayberry .

    • Jim Gleason
      June 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      You are dumbfounded all the time, Christine.

  16. tito
    June 7, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    ,,,,,,,,,Curious to see what Dan Valenti could have cut out of the mayors 4.6 million dollar budget increase,,,,,,,,,Planet?

    • Ed McClelland
      June 7, 2013 at 5:57 am #

      I met a man at a trade show who is a small manufacturer of kayacs. His Carolina plant employs about 70. He is apprehensive about expanding to the NE because of perceived overly restrictive governmental regulations, but was even more concerned about commercial Tax Rates.
      But what does he know ? He uses his own capital and plays in the dreaded private sector.
      Our mayor knows best ! Just ask the municipal union leadership !!!

      • Gene
        June 7, 2013 at 7:52 am #

        Great example of why no one is or would want to move to the Pitts. Add to all that you mention Ed the craziness and vicious nature of Pitts politics, and you have it there, no economic development, only more tax increases.

  17. Jim Gleason
    June 7, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    On a different subject, what the hell is happening at MCLA in the last few years with all the retreads from Pittsfield being hired there. First Dudley McNally, then Jake the Snake and now Squiggy ruberto being hired to teach an art class. It is, as a friend of mine said, the Island of Misfit Toys. When you hire inept people they don’t change, they remain inept and it doesn’t bode well for the future of kids under these flops supposed “leadership”.

  18. tito
    June 7, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    ,,,,,, what kind of art,,,finger painting?,,,,,,

  19. ShirleyKnutz
    June 8, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    I still can’t believe Pittsfield allows private leagues to fence in fields. The parks are for ALL pittsfield citizens. What would happen if every league started to put up fences? And just because it has been going on for 30 years doesn’t mean it is the correct way off doing things!!!

    • danvalenti
      June 8, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      This began in the 80s, with South LL, and since then has morphed into unofficial “policy.” The policy must be changed (though, of course, it will not be).

    • Jim Gleason
      June 8, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      when these “private citizens” start maintaining the fields and fix the damage they do to them after use then they should have the right to use them. Little League pays for the fences to be put up and maintained and parent and some citizens volunteer their time for upkeep of the fields. A couple of whiners isn’t going to change this, nor should they.

      • ShirleyKnutz
        June 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

        Jim,
        Private citizens do take care of the fields and parks when they use them. They also pay taxes to the city who is ultimately responsible. If the little league erected the fence who do you sue when your kid gets hurt on them?

        • Jim Gleason
          June 9, 2013 at 7:29 am #

          Can I sue you for being ridiculous? That’s the first thing that enters the mind of ambulance chasers like you. who can I sue? Maybe if some people would keep an eye on their kids they wouldn’t be climbing fences at LL fields. There are playgrounds adjacent to every LL field in Pittsfield, isn’t that good enough for you?

          • ShirleyKnutz
            June 9, 2013 at 10:40 am #

            Not really it should be open fields. Why did governments start putting parks in their towns? I’m sure it wasn’t so they could run a 10 week at best league. And you can try and sue me but the government has most of my money…and all the kids sports leagues that keep knocking at the door to sell their wares.

  20. ShirleyKnutz
    June 8, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Well I would like to start a frisbee golf league…how do I get the park land from the city to erect my fence to keep everyone off of it? Preferably I think I would like to use Burbank Park so I could swim off MY beach (ha,ha)!

    • Darren Lee
      June 10, 2013 at 8:35 am #

      If you spent one (I’ve done it 20 times this year) afternoon out of work – vaccuming water out of the puddles for an hour, then digging out the mud and putting into a wheelbarrow, then raking in some speedy dry, then mowing the outfield, then picking up the trash from the night before, then lugging 50lbs of lime to the field, then lining the field, then pitching for an hour to your team to get ready for a game, then coaching for 2 hours, then raking the field after the game, then cleaning the concession, then picking up again after the parents who eat a cheesburg but cannot find the garbage can – you would want to lock up your frisbee field for the night – believe me !!

      • danvalenti
        June 10, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

        That’s a ton of work, DARREN, and THE PLANET commends you for being involved with youth sports. We would also put this forth for consideration: Perhaps that’s is part of the problem. Kids rely on adults to make everything perfect. Without a LL field mimicking MLB, it seems kids won’t play ball. It would be better to gets the adults out of the picture, let the city groom the parks to a decent standard, and let the kids play. To do this, the city should cut the school department budget 10% and beef up the Parks Dept. We’ve let the parks pretty much go to seed. W

        • Darren Lee
          June 11, 2013 at 11:14 am #

          put it to a referendum – I’d vote a yes – twice

  21. Jim Gleason
    June 12, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    We’d need to get competent leadership at the Par k Dept. before doing anything. Tony Stracuzzi is not a competent leader.