Article

TAXPAYERS BEWARE: IS PEDA RAIL-CAR PITCH A “TROJAN TROLLEY CAR?” … GOB WANTS $1 MILLION OF YOUR MONEY, BUT FOR WHAT AND FOR WHOM? … AFTERMATH OF THE COACH BOBBY MELODRAMA … ‘BORING BROADSHEET’ PRICE GOUGE HAS READERS LEAVING IN DROVES … plus … HAS BB NO SHAME? MORAN STORY SEEMS TO ANSWER: ‘NOPE’

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, JAN. 31, 2014) — Kissing January goodbye means we’re that much closer to spring, although if truth be told, THE PLANET is immensely enjoying this winter. The hard cold, the right amount of snow, the crispness in the air, the translucent blue in the sky, the diamond facets in the white blankets, the transformation of the leafless woods — we would miss them terribly if they weren’t part of our daily experience.

PEDA Pitch for MBTA Pact a ‘Trojan Trolley Car?’

Earlier this week, THE PLANET reported on the meeting held at BCC Tuesday supposedly for an airing of PEDA‘s plan to make a play for the $850 million contract from the MBTA (Boston’s famed “T”) to build trolley cars. Our spies were there.

1Berkshire touted this meeting as an opportunity “to obtain a better understanding of both the breadth and depth of the regional supply chain capabilities.” Clue #1: When “They” start talking in mumbo jumbo” (regional supply [no hyphen for compound adjective!] chain capabilities”), you know they’re trying to snow you.

The 1Berkshire website informs us that “To accomplish this, we invited local manufactures [sic] and business owners to meet with us for an information exchange” on the Jan. 28 date. They present such illiterate information and then expect to be taken seriously?

Part of the attendance for the comic-book presentation. That’s Terry Kinnas standing behind the back row, left, Melissa Mazzeo upper right, and Jonathan Levine, front row, bottom right. (PHOTO: 1Berkshire)

Anyhow, as we reported, the meeting was nothing more than a pep rally. The rah-rah, sis-boom-bah from David Curtis, introduced as “resident economic development specialist” (whatever that is), consisted of little more than pretty pictures. Essentially, where one had reason to expect at least a modicum of sophistication, attendees were “treated” to visuals — the “comic book” approach with graphics straight from the best high tech the 1980s could produce.

Pittsfield taxpayers, via the city council, are being asked to approve a $1 million incentives package as a bribe for the MBTA to award PEDA the pact. There are only a few problems:

(a) Our sources, including those with heavy-duty connections to the Boston political scene, tell THE PLANET Pittsfield has “no chance, zero” of landing this contract. PEDA knows this, 1Berkshire knows this, Mayor Danny Do-Nothing knows this, and Ed Caveny (wherever he may be) knows this.

(b) There is not an available building in Pittsfield, let alone the PEDA site, with enough crane tonnage required for rail-car manufacturing. The nearest building that comes remotely close is the old Beloit-Jones facility in Dalton.

(c) No one has adequately addressed the transportation problem. How can Pittsfield, 120 miles away, pretend to compete with manufacturing within a chaw’s spit of Boston? The cost to build, then have to ship, rail cars 120 miles will be astronomical.

(d) If this is such a good investment of $1 million taxpayer dollars, with such great returns, why is any private capital looking to get in on the deal? You know why: Because the deal is fake. It’s a loser.

So what gives? If the “Powers Behind the Scenes” know there’s not a chance of landing this pact, why bother. There seem to be a couple competing theories:

* This pitch for a contract is purely political. It serves its purpose by making it look like PEDA and company are actually doing something.

* This pitch, which the hurlers know will fail, is actually a “Trojan Trolley Car.” In other words, when the bid fails, PEDA will have $1 million approved by the city council to award to a company said to be “waiting in the wings.” The company will magically appear at the proper time, and the ever-inept Corydon and Friends will try to ram through the million bucks to the Chosen Company, which, according to the theory, has played ball with “the right people.” THE PLANET has no more information than this, but we are sharing it because if there’s even the slightest chance the “Trojan Trolley Car” theory is correct, we want to smoke it out and have it running into the open, as all liars do, with its pants on fire. The idea is to kill it with fresh air and sunshine before it gets any farther.

—————————————————————————

AFTERMATH TO THE COACH BOBBY M. MELODRAMA

In the aftermath of the Bobby Moynihan experience, THE PLANET has received several notes for our work in exposing the story, especially after the Boring Broadsheet spiked it and, from what our sources tell us, played deaf-and-dumb in order to perpetrate a conspiracy. Chalk it up as another great piece of “Jell-O Journalism” from the BB.

Here’s one of the letters we received:

——- 000 ——- 000 ——-

‘They Wanted Coach Moynihan Out of the Way’

[TO THE PLANET]:

Thank you, sir, for your crusading on behalf of Coach Moynihan. Let me be honest. We have not often been on the same side of issues. We may disagree many times to come. But the work you did in revealing how the school system was trying to get rid of Coach needs to be applauded. You acted with the highest journalistic standards going underneath the story to dig out the truth. 

They wanted Coach out of the way because there was a[n] “favorite son” ready to take over the coaching duties. He was someone with political connections wit[h] the present administration (mayor etc.). This attempt to take Coach, a man who’s given a generation of his life to teaching and coaching young men, has to do with his age and that he bucked (stood up to) certain people who have political pull. They though they would easily dispose of Coach and put “their boy” in. 

Dan you have earned my respect and I can see now why you are so good at what you do. You are read by everyone with an interest in government. This includes the ones who try to pervert it to serve their own selfish ends. They fear you the most. That is a high compliment. Keep at it.

Respectfully,

PHS Booster

PLANET RESPONDS: We thank PHS Booster. One of the side effects of what we do here has been to show how good journalism should be done. Our first obligation is to tell the truth. Our strongest loyalty is to our readers. We believe we must remain independent of those we cover. We want to provide a forum for public ideas, including criticism of policy, politics, and government. We want to make our coverage entertaining. We want to keep our coverage proportional. We will exercise personal conscience. We will not be bought or sold. 

——- 000 ——- 000 ——-

Speaking of the Boring Broadsheet, have you noticed the exorbitant price increase they are demanding from their ever-shrinking number of readers?

THE PLANET shares two letters from readers:

GAD! Just received a bill for the Eagle. Two days of the print version and full online version. Last year, I paid $57. The bill for this year, $208. I’ll bet you can guess what I will do … — JB

And this one:, from a former BB editor:

TO THE PLANET:

Just a note for your Boring Broadsheet files…

I was “sticker shocked” but not entirely surprised this morning when I received my subscription renewal notice from the Eagle. 

HOLY CRAP!

Since the last billing cycle, the 52-week subscription price jumped 65% (from $205.50 last September to $312 now); the 26-week rate 43% ($118.04 to $169) and the 13-week rate 30% ($69.29 to $89.70). 

Sure looks like Digital First is taking steps to discourage long-term subsciptions to the “paper” by geezers like me who prefer the print edition on my doorstep. — DASH 30 DASH

THE PLANET RESPONDS: JB and Dash, does anyone need more proof that the current “business plan” at the BB is to run it into the ground, take the tax write-offs, and then completely fold — yes, abandon Pittsfield. They have taken prices through the nine spheres of the stratos, drastically reduced content, loaded the paper with fluff’n'stuff, and become the dying definition of “irrelevant.” For all that, they want you to pay anywhere from 30% to 300% more. People are responding in droves the way you guys are: Telling the BB where to stick its offer.

Then there’s this. You may have noticed The Boring Broadsheet‘s Kevin Moran bragging about an “honor” that no self-respecting journalist would ever want, an “honor” no decent newspaper would allow. Moran had a self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing piece on the front page of the BB (“All the News that Quits”) about how he accepted Congressman Richard Neal‘s invitation to attend the President’s State of the Union Address.

THE PLANET laughed in derision and scorn at the piece, privately giving it our best Matt Foley “Well whoopdie-friggin’-do.”  Even we didn’t have the heart, though, to pile on after the BB had so humiliated itself. Leave it to a fellow scribe, however, to take up the true honors.

——- 000 ——- 000 ——-

TO THE PLANET:

Not sure if you caught this: Rep. Neal’s “honored guest” at the SOTU was the Eagle’s VP of News, Kevin Moran. Can’t say I remember everything I learned in Journalism 101 a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure that news organizations are supposed to report fairly and transparently on elected officials and ask them tough questions, rather than be “honored citizen guests” who snap publicity photos of members of Congress and ask them no questions.

http://www.berkshireeagle.com/news/ci_24979101/news-vp-kevin-moran-waxes-historic-state-union

There was, as far as I know, no news report by Moran in the Eagle itself after the SOTU.

Call me old-fashioned.

Hope all’s well,

Mr. Mug

PLANET RESPONDS: My good fellow Mug, you have once again nailed it. This type of acumen tells us that you are not only a better journalist that Moran but would be a better congressman than Richie Neal. 

Have a great weekend, everybody!

————————————————————————–

“The wine is warm in the hearth; / The flickers come and go. / I will warm your limbs with kisses / Until they glow.”D. H. Lawrence, “December Night,” (1917)

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

68 Responses to “TAXPAYERS BEWARE: IS PEDA RAIL-CAR PITCH A “TROJAN TROLLEY CAR?” … GOB WANTS $1 MILLION OF YOUR MONEY, BUT FOR WHAT AND FOR WHOM? … AFTERMATH OF THE COACH BOBBY MELODRAMA … ‘BORING BROADSHEET’ PRICE GOUGE HAS READERS LEAVING IN DROVES … plus … HAS BB NO SHAME? MORAN STORY SEEMS TO ANSWER: ‘NOPE’”

  1. Ron Kitterman
    January 31, 2014 at 12:29 am #

    The reason Pittsfield doesn’t have a state of the city address is we couldn’t get more than a half dozen folks together to applaud.
    The PEDA bucks seems like it’s fuzzy math to me , should be worth rating of a few Pinocchios at least…

  2. dusty
    January 31, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    Perhaps the city should take that one million dollars of start up money and use if to start up a new newspaper. Ask Mr Levine if he is interested and we can start a campaign right here on the Planet.

  3. amandaWell
    January 31, 2014 at 6:23 am #

    Watched the real deal on GMP this morning,caught the bisexual thumbing and the trashing of the Boring Broadsheet. The Planet at it’s best!

  4. Nota
    January 31, 2014 at 6:26 am #

    The School Committee has to be loving this Show.

  5. C.J.
    January 31, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    MBTA is an electic transit railway; isn’t it ? Why not eliminate the “third” rail and power it by EV Worldwide/Electostor batteries and offer guitar playing as commuter entertainment with troubadours trained onlline by Workshop Live. ??? That would be a return for the taxpayers. lol.

    • MrG1188
      January 31, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      Ouch C.J.! And Dan…That DH Lawrence is still capable of making a grown man blush even almost 100 years post mortem.

      What I don’t get is how transparent this apparent scam is on PEDA’s part. I mean, I am none too bright, and the first thing I thought when I heard about the possibility of manufacturing/assembling rail cars here for use in Boston was…why would anyone put a factory like that here then have to ship the things over 100 miles, when they could be made in Newton or Framingham and put right on the tracks. No chance! Then the Million dollars comes up and I said, Ahhh HA, no one ever intended to manufacture/assemble rail cars here, someone just wanted access to a million dollars! Do the powers that be really have that little respect for their electorate?

      • Billy
        January 31, 2014 at 9:16 am #

        One word. YES!!,l

  6. Billy
    January 31, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    I bet the business is Nuclea. I would love to see if that is the scenario . The council is so scripted and phony. Morandii calls up the mayor to ask a question that is tilted in supporting him or defending him against any opposition on a issue then the rubber stamp comes out., I look at it and it makes you not wanna vote its so shameful. I miss when the true debate happened from Clairmont ,Yon, JLo ,Krol. I knew tough questions were being asked cause the mayor head was either sweating or as red as an apple in anger, Instead of the proverbial cake walk we are treated to now. The rail car issue will be one of many smoke and mirror issues that used to get exposed to the light by those four and occasionally Simonelli but I guess if you can’t beat um join um. Hey it’s only your neighbors that are paying for your lack of leadership with higher taxes and less opportunity for their kids.

    • joetaxpayer
      January 31, 2014 at 7:15 am #

      They should save the 1 million. Wait until a full time company wants yo come in. There only will be here 2 years tops. If Berkshire County is lucky enough to land them it will probably by in Dalton
      Pittsfield workers will still be able to land those jobs.

      • levitan
        January 31, 2014 at 7:57 am #

        Two years is a long time for a new business, and if it leaves skilled workers and infrastructure in its wake – it presents opportunity for future endeavors.

        Remember GD is a resource of highly accomplished and skilled craftsmen that makes it difficult to relocate.

        • joetaxpayer
          January 31, 2014 at 8:28 am #

          Lev, remember the Kawasaki Railcar Co. assembled double-deck cars for MBTA in the early 90′s. in Pittsfield. Once the contract was up, they left. All I’m saying is the Dalton site already has a building and is the better Berkshire site. It will still benefit Pittsfield if they go there. Although the Pittsfield politicians won’t be able to pound there chests, look what I did!
          !

        • Billy
          January 31, 2014 at 9:19 am #

          Lev. Gd. Laid off most of who they hired years ago. 100 I believe

          • levitan
            January 31, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

            Thanks, Billy – I’ll have to do some research.

    • Billy
      January 31, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      Dalton has the set up

  7. Spider
    January 31, 2014 at 6:53 am #

    Good news that Moynihan’s back! Now what’s the story with Taconics’s wrestling coach (Chamberlain) being placed on leave?

    • Dave
      January 31, 2014 at 8:33 am #

      Wrestler got left behind in RI.

  8. Jonathan Melle
    January 31, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    The Good Old Boy network doesn’t want jobs in Pittsfield. Instead, they want teen pregnancies, welfare caseloads, people in jail, and control of Pittsfield politics. Pittsfield is such a nice place to live, which is why thousands of people move to Pittsfield every year. (Sarcasm)! The opposite is true. Pittsfield sucks with thousands of people leaving Pittsfield every year. Pittsfield has very high taxes that drives businesses and residents far away from Pittsfield. Pittsfield spent millions of dollars on North Street or the cultural district. Pittsfield politics is a case study for all of what is wrong with a local economy with political corruption to boot.

    • joetaxpayer
      January 31, 2014 at 8:37 am #

      Jonathan think I already saw this episode.

    • mike r
      January 31, 2014 at 8:58 am #

      Well lets stay positive why don’t we.

      • Jonathan Melle
        January 31, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

        I wonder if Pittsfield built a new version of the old “Berlin Wall” if it would help keep people from moving far away from Pittsfield?
        Pittsfield’s “Berlin Wall” could have billboards full of propaganda saying “Pittsfield is a nice place to live”, “PCBs are good for your health”, “Find and retain a living wage job in Pittsfield”, “The Good Old Boy network is a paradigm model for Pittsfield politics”, “High taxes helps you with achieving financial security”, “Teen pregnancies and welfare caseloads are normal”, “Pittsfield public schools are the best in the state and nation”, “North Street is a cultural mecca”, “Teo’s hot dogs and Kool-Aid make you grow strong”.

        • mike r
          January 31, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

          This is way off topic. How is this allowed all the time.

        • Donald
          January 31, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

          Or “attention police officers, Jonathan Melle left town. It’s safe to cross the street.”

          • Jonathan Melle
            January 31, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

            Once jobs are lost, they don’t come back. It is sort of like losing a finger, toe, or tooth. Pittsfield has lost thousands of local jobs over the years, along with thousands of residents. But the statistics that went up include high taxes, teen pregnancy rates that double the statewide average, welfare caseloads, crime, drugs, substance abuse, and gangs. Pick on Jonathan Melle all you want, but I am just pointing out all that has happened in Pittsfield politics under the top-down control of the Good Old Boy network.

        • joetaxpayer
          January 31, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

          Jonathan, time to up your meds. Maybe you can look into the secret tapes of Baltimore.

          • Jonathan Melle
            January 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

            I am proud of who I am and I reject any and all stigmas with mental health. I am a Disabled Veteran who served our nation Honorably in the U.S. Army. I am educated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from U Mass Amherst. I am a good man. I am proud to be the one and only Jonathan Melle, a native of Pittsfield and a critic of Pittsfield politics.

          • levitan
            January 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

            Good man, J.M. I don’t see the horror in Pittsfield politics. It’s hardly different than anywhere else.

  9. FloggingMolly
    January 31, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    BINGo Billy. The handwriting is already on the walland being laid out with the threats of leaving Pittsfield if they don’t get financial assistance to expand.

  10. Nota
    January 31, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Keep CoryDon working, threaten us with jobs.

  11. outfox
    January 31, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    The BB is almost impossible to find on the newsstand in north county now that the Transcript is gone. Whether deliberately or inadvertently, they are not providing enough single copies for purchase.

    • levitan
      January 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

      I’d presume that the population of parakeets and lovebirds are high up there.

      • outfox
        January 31, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

        No birds, we were hoping to wrap yesterday’s fish in it.

  12. Dave
    January 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    I don’t have a problem with the million dollar incentive. I do have a few concerns. If I am not mistaken, during the council meeting Thurston said that he visited other sites not on the PEDA property with companies. As the head of PEDA, I feel he needs to focus on that property only-that is what he is paid to do. I wonder if a company had an interest in a non-PEDA site, and that is why the other million is being asked for, because I don’t think PEDA will give their million dollar incentive if it falls off the PEDA property—but I could be wrong.

  13. Bill Sturgeon
    January 31, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Jonathan: We get it you hate Pittsfield, Ruberto, Doyle, maybe even Mayor Dan, the City Council, School Committee, etc.

    So would you give us poor, stupid, followers who still live here in Pittsfield a break. I am sure that you can find something wrong with your current community.

    I appreciate your service, education and concern. It is the “same old thing” that beats me done!
    Thank You For Your Service!

    • levitan
      January 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

      Nicely stated. I’m sure J.M is a good soul. It’s just that I live in Pittsfield and I like it here. I got my pond, my back-40, some decent fences – all a man needs to be happy.

      • Jonathan Melle
        January 31, 2014 at 7:35 pm #

        I love Pittsfield. I grew up in Pittsfield and I enjoy reading Dan Valenti’s blog on Pittsfield politics. I think that former Mayors Jimmy Ruberto and Gerry Doyle were terrible leaders. Under Doyle, Pittsfield went bankrupt and went into state goverment receivership. Millions of municipal dollars are still unaccounted for 15 years later. Doyle also signed the flawed and illegal consent decree that did not adequately address the toxic waste PCBs pollution left behind by Jack Welch’s General Electric Company. There is a public school in Pittsfield that still abuts Hill 78. The caps do not last forever. Once the caps do not work properly, the toxic waste sites have to be cleaned up and re-capped. The consent decree Doyle signed capped a majority of the toxic waste sites that cause cancer in people. Doyle was a Good Old Boy, and like Jimmy Ruberto, ruled Pittsfield for the special interests instead of the common good. During the Ruberto regime, thousands of jobs were lost in Pittsfield. Thousands of people moved away from Pittsfield, too. Ruberto raised taxes above the rate of inflation every single year of the 8 years he was in political office in Pittsfield. Ruberto did nothing to address the toxic waste pollution in Pittsfield, but he did spend millions of dollars from the GE fund on revitalizing the downtown area from the Colonial Theater to North Street. Ruberto’s investments into the arts and cultural attractions did not create any jobs for Pittsfield. Moreover, North Street is still dead, and people still avoid downtown Pittsfield after hours. Mayor Dan Bianchi inherited the mess that Doyle and Ruberto left behind. As far as I know, Dan Bianchi is not doing enough to help or change Pittsfield for the better. Taxes are still very high in Pittsfield, people are still leaving the Pittsfield area, the consent decree is still law and in effect, and the special interests still work through the Good Old Boy network in Pittsfield politics. Pittsfield problems include teen pregnancies doubling the statewide average, high per capita welfare caseloads, poverty, low median incomes, high taxes, job loss, poorly performing public schools, especially in depressed areas of the community, a dead downtown area known as “Social Services Alley”, crime, drugs, substance abuse, and gangs, a corrupt political system ran by the Good Old Boy network, hundreds of millions of dollars in unfunded liabilities or long-term debts, the #1 and #2 employers in Pittsfield are the City of Pittsfield and the Hospital with along other non-profits who rely on taxpayer dollars, and toxic waste, cancer-causing PCBs with the flawed consent decree. It makes me sad to follow Pittsfield politics and read Dan Valenti’s blog every weekday because it seems like no one cares anymore.

        • Donald
          February 1, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

          Mr. Melle, where exactly did you serve?

          • ed shepardson
            February 1, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

            Mr. Melle, flawed, as we all are, at least has the courage to use his real and full name. If he used a fake name, as most do, it would be harder to ridicule him. He should not, however, be allowed to dominate this blog.

          • Jonathan Melle
            February 1, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

            I served at Fort Jackson, S.C., Fort Lee, Virginia, and in Germany. I do not wish to dominate Dan Valenti’s blog.

        • levitan
          February 2, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

          John,

          North Street is stronger than ever. I have some nice new hats from Valenti’s, all the herring and hunter’s sausage for a man’s delight from Maria’s (Gt.Barrington’s loss, Pittsfield’s win), chutney from the Brit store, and Mike’s bike shop. Plus Soda Chef where you can grab a lunch, and if you stick around learn what’s going on anywhere.

          Tip for your writing ill’s: learn to use the paragraph. It’s your friend, and people will love you for using it.

  14. Nota
    January 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    John is just upset cuz Russia doesn’t have a team in the a Super Bowl.

  15. Billy
    January 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    And off topic Lenox is following the lead off Lee and get their school dept and finances in order, way to go,,,,,, only if we could get our. $*** together.

  16. Billy
    January 31, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Meant of

  17. GeoSims
    February 1, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    Who was the “favorite son”?

  18. Larry
    February 1, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    I recall years ago proposals for a high speed bullet train linking The Berkshires to Boston via the Massachusetts turnpike median. This proposal would make far more sense to me than paying out millions of dollars to the owner of the Housatonic Railway….. The owner of The Housatonic Railway has already extorted millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts to upgrade his rail line for passenger service. The Berkshire Scenic Railway’s use of the tracks (between Lenox and Stockbridge) has once again been denied by this gentleman (turd) until the state ponies up the money to upgrade HIS tracks for passanger rail service! Hopefully, the group of volunteers at Berkshire Scenic can survive this and once again provide this worthwhile tourist attraction.

  19. GMHeller
    February 1, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    “Pedestrian killed in Pittsfield crash” by man driving “a Toyota Camry with Massachusetts license plates stating ‘BERKSHIRES’”

    Was it a local real estate agent, a GOB, a member of the chamber of commerce, or what?

    • Donald
      February 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

      Or a tourist??? I’m pretty sure you can get those at Tanglewood, Glen.

  20. ctrzcinka
    February 1, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

    A few facts from an outsider who grew up there:

    In 1990 Pittsfield’s population was 48,781. In 2012 Pittsfield’s population was 44,168

    So Pittsfield lost 4,613 people in 32 years…

    In 2006, Forbes ranked Pittsfield as number 61 in its list of Best Small Places for Business.
    In 2008, Country Home magazine ranked Pittsfield as #24 in a listing of “green cities” east of the Mississippi.

    In 2010, the Financial Times proclaimed Pittsfield the “Brooklyn of the Berkshires”, in an article covering its recent renaissance.

    I am not seeing the disaster that I read in the above comments..

    • levitan
      February 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

      ctrzcinka

      I am not very surprised by your reports. I have lived in Berkshire County over two decades and in Pittsfield 3 years. It’s a good place to raise a family, it’s convenient, and it’s good value.

      There is room for legitimate complaints about the bloat in the city government, but it’s hardly cause for obsessive nitpicking.

      I find it odd how so much emotion is wasted on the predictable conclusion that the school budget will be big this year and the city budget will expand according to inflation; whereas few from Pittsfield proper showed up at BCC to voice opposition to DEP plan to make the region even more green by industrializing the ridges/. That’s an issue that is heading our way and stands to threaten our economy, health, property investments, and enjoyment of our landscape.

      Oh, except how many writing here actually still live in Berkshire County?

      • dusty
        February 2, 2014 at 8:14 am #

        Levitan, I think the difference between your optimism and some others pessimism regarding city politics has to do with what they have seen go down. There is a very real perception that not everyone in Pittsfield is treated equally or fairly. And when you pay high taxes and watch much of it being squandered it makes you somewhat bitter. I count myself in this group.

        • levitan
          February 2, 2014 at 9:31 am #

          The issue of fairness is reasonable, but I look at policies in Gt. Barrington or Stockbridge as far more troublesome. High fees to connect to water infracstructure, periodic movements to build new schools where current ones stand – all projects designed to attract ‘high value’ (as a colleague once said) residents (and drive out the current brand.)

          I reserve my bitterness over the things that have large impact and can be changed. Such as Boston’s intention to dump their special interests here.

  21. Dave
    February 1, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

    While we pat ourselves on the back, let me relish as being the one who first asked Dan into looking into the railroading of coach Moynihan. If no one knows, no one asks, so pat,pat,pat,pat….good job me!

    • Dave
      February 1, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      and thanks Dan!

      • Vin
        February 1, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

        Dave, sorry to burst your bubble but the Eagle had everyone beat. One of the few times an organization with some accountability (?) beats a blog.

        • Gene
          February 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

          Vin that’s just a line being put out by the BB. DV had the truth of the story first, DV laid out the GOB plot to have Coach Bobby dumped, DV then broke the secret meeting (exec session) school board that made the deal to get Coach Bobby back again. Planet beat the pants off the BB again and we all love it!!!!! Daves got it right.

      • Thomas More
        February 2, 2014 at 6:12 am #

        Sorry Dave. You’re all wet on the wrestling coach issue. The real story is as amusing as the one you told. I’m not going to be the one to let it out but I’m sure the planet’s sleuths can dig it out. It’s pretty well known and it’s worth a laugh.

  22. Gene
    February 1, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

    Oh yeah Vin sorry to burst your bubble!

  23. Pittsfield Patriot
    February 1, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    Mr Valenti, off topic but please allow. When Pres. Obama defeated Romney there was a rumor going round saying you wrote for Mitt. You denied it, right?

    Well we watched “Mitt” on Netflix, documentary of the losing campaign (therefore a loser). There’s a scene where you, or it looks eerily like you, and Romney are seen, briefly. You going to deny it again? I think we “gotcha.” Yes?

    • Scott
      February 2, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      It’s none of your f’n business who anyone other than yourself votes for.

      • Dave
        February 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

        PP said wrote, not vote Scott. You don’t need to blindly defend Dan on every issue—he is capable of defending himself if he feels the need.

    • levitan
      February 2, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      MItt is a good man, PP. Too bad he lost, but then again, it’s too bad either of them stood to win. I was a Buddy Roemer voter.

  24. Mr. X
    February 2, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    About the pothole problem…a good friend of mine has 35 years and counting in road construction experience, not as a supervisor but as an actual hands on get down and dirty worker. With this crazy weather pattern of bitter cold, warm up, bitter cold, warm up, the frost is going up down up down. Frost is like a mini earthquake, plowing, pushing, and breaking anything in it’s way. There is 3-4 feet of frost in the roads right now. You think the roads are bad now, wait until the Spring thaw and all the frost comes up and out for good. It’s highly unlikely that the sand salt whatever road material treatment mix is causing any the problems.

    • levitan
      February 2, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Sounds like someone tried to unload a excess load of mollasses “It’s good for the roads!” It’s also likely that Pittsfield sees more plow trucks and traffic than Stockbridge.

  25. Mr. X
    February 2, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    Oh yeah…Broncos 24 Seattle 20

    • Dave
      February 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Mr X, please predict a Hilary victory in 2016!

    • levitan
      February 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Oops. I smoked my cigar alone on the porch, Mr. X.

    • Larry
      February 3, 2014 at 5:41 pm #

      You were remarkably close!!!! LOL

  26. Scott
    February 3, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    Man the broco’s lost bad I enjoyed it I mean hey if they won good for them but at the end if the day they played pretty crapy just like the pats in the division championship game.