Article

MYSTERY OF STONEHENGE DEEPENS … 30-YEAR LEASE … WHEN GROUP HOMES INVADE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS, WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS?

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2014) — The mystery of Stonehenge deepens. Following up on our exclusive on the group home moving into 71 Stonehedge Road in Pittsfield, the questions must be asked:

1. Why there, of all places?

2. Why was it done so quietly? This effort has been in the works since at least 2012. Why did no one in the city know about it?

3. Is the permitting process completed? If not, might this give Stonehenge residents and avenue for opposition? If completed, were the forms filled out correctly? That might be worth checking.

4. Why did the sale from the previous owners to the present ones have a quitclaim deed? Warranty deeds are the norm. Quitclaim for this instance seems odd.

5. Is it just a coincidence that the previous owners bought 71 Stonehenge from Angelo Stracuzzi, of all people? Is it just a coincidence that Stracuzzi sold to the previous owners for the exact same price, to the penny, as they sold to CIL? Is it just a coincidence that not long after the sale by Stracuzzi to the previous owners, according to CIL board minutes, the company resolved to move in a group home there? And is it just a coincidence that of all locations in the entire city, 71 Stonehenge should fill the bill?

6. Why was the mortgage from TD Bank well more than $300,000 above the selling cost of $350,000? Why the unusual figure of $664,902? Why not $650,000 even?

7. Why take a home valued at more than $371,000 off the tax roles?

8. How much assessed value will the other 15 homes on the street lose, if any?

9.  To calculate the true cost, multiply the figures in 7. and 8. above by 30. Why 30? THE PLANET has learned that Berkshire Family and Individual Resources has leased 71 Stonehenge from the Corporation for Independent Living (CIL) for 30 years, from Jan. 15, 2014 to Jan. 15, 2044.

These and many other questions are flying about.

——- 000 ——-

Over the weekend, THE PLANET heard from a reliable source in contact with residents on the street that they have met with a lawyer, contacted various reps both state and local, and have had organizational discussions with the intent of trying to fight the development. Is the process is too far gone for that to work? Consensus of qualified opinion seems to suggest that it has, although that is far from certain.

 ——- 000 ——-

How many group homes currently call Pittsfield home? The answer appears to be 45. The home on Stonehenge would make 46. What is the total population of residents of these homes? How do they break down (pun intended or not intended, as you wish) in terms of “disability” (that is, how many sex offenders, drug addicts, mentally retarded, mentally ill, and the like)? How many dollars over how many years has this epidemic cost the city after you add up the properties removed from the tax rolls plus the loss of value? [ED NOTE: THE PLANET uses the word "retarded" because it accurately describes a condition medically measured relative to the "non-retarded" population. We do not accept the politically correct straightjacket placed upon that word].

In addition to that population, what number of Pittsfield residents fit into some special category of “need” such that taxpayers have to take up the burden of supporting them in part or in full? This number would include anyone with addiction problems, Sec. 8 residents, welfare recipients, single teens girls who make a living from getting pregnant, and the like.

It doesn’t take a math genius to realize that with the overall population dropping while this special category of “needs” recipients grows, Pittsfield has a ticking time bomb on its hands demographically, politically, socially, and economically. In the end, all you will need to know if you are one of the shrinking number of  law-abiding, independent, working, taxpaying residents is that you will end up footing the bill — this while city officials and administrators keep rewarding themselves with pay hikes, especially the school department, and continuing to grow the size and cost of government.

THE PLANET has received two relevant e-mails regarding the situation on Stonehenge, which we share as Letters to the Editor. Aside from minor editing, the only thing we have changed are the names, withheld upon request.

——- 000 ——-

‘Nine Months of Abuse’

[NOTE: The links in this story are active and provide backup information on the claims for those readers who wish to learn more.]

TO THE PLANET:

CIL Realty has political power, power greater than any local town or zoning board. They have the power of the state behind them. In fact, they have the power of several states, in that they are authorized to do business in MA, CT, and apparently IL.
CIL was instrumental in bringing about legislation to deinstitutionalize the state mental hospitals in MA. Rather conveniently, their business model profits by setting up group homes for mental patients, and they’ve had the state write laws to bypass any local zoning which might otherwise stop them including ignoring wetland  or septic field laws. I could find no story of a town which has been able to stop them.
For example, in East Hartford CT, CIL purchased a home. The town temporarily stopped them initially because of zoning violations. CIL went to court  where CIL won (nice when you can have the state write laws that exempt the business from following the rules). Following their business practice, CIL leased this home to a company called Options Unlimited.
I found articles showing Options Unlimited has mismanaged these group homes and abused the residents. In one case in East Hartford (don’t know if it was the same group home), an employee was videotaped whipping one of the residents with a belt. The worker was arrested on assault charges and the state opened a further investigation of the company. This press release calling for an investigation of Options Unlimited from Sen. LeBeau in CT indicates eight Options Unlimited employees were fired over a period of nine months for abuse of patients.
CIL is a dangerous collaboration of a private company funded by the state, the dictionary definition of fascism. The company shields itself by ostensibly providing housing for the disadvantaged and mentally challenged. However when you look at the actuals, you have what amounts to a real-estate developer that can go anywhere without approval of the local town, that does not have to follow laws or review processes that normal developers are subject to, is funded by the state and Feds, and who profits from leases to  businesses like Options Unlimited.
I feel bad for the neighbors on Stonehenge who’ve had this monstrosity dropped on them. Their property value can only be negatively impacted by this development.
The state closed all the mental hospitals supposedly because of abuse and poor treatment of patients. Now the hospitals are closed, the patients are disbursed in the communities, but the abuse remains. Seems like only the non-profit CIL Realty has profited. — Hartford Harry
——- 000 ——-

THE PLANET thanks HH for his letter. The hot links are especially informative. As always, THE PLANET welcomes and encourages letters on this and any relevant topic. Opposing points of view are welcome.

Here’s another letter in a similar vein.

——- 000 ——-

‘An Odd Choice’

Looking up info on CIL (Corporation for Independent Living), I found they are a non-profit (but not without profit) operation based in CT, with a state taxpayer funded bankroll of some $12M and a revolving bank line of credit of apparently $40M with TD Bank. CIL’s purpose is supposedly the establishment of group homes for the mentally disabled.

CIL’s own mortgage of $664K+ for 71 Stonehenge through TD Bank was surprising (I used “CIL Realty” in the Land Record search criteria to find it). The mortgage appears to be secured by this $40M in revolving credit and the property. Money from the bank is to pay for the property plus renovation. When I last drove the house a few weeks ago, I saw 3 construction-type trucks and a dumpster parked at 71 Stonehenge.

Of all the places to pick for a group home for the mentally disabled, 71 Stonehenge seems to be an odd choice. Stonehenge is one of the nicer residential streets in Pittsfield. What’s next, a methadone clinic on Crofut St?

Out of all the 3 B/R ranch houses in all the towns in Massachusetts that CIL might have chosen for one of their group homes, why 71 Stonehenge? Who pointed them toward this house? One wonders if L’affaire Stracuzzi has deeper roots. Thank you. — A.W.

——- 000 ——-
 Years ago, the Aging Greek God himself, Peter Arlos, estimated there were 25 group homes in Pittsfield. Today, that number is probably between 40 and 50. An inventory is in order. If Pittsfield is to lead the state in this category, shouldn’t its beleaguered residents be informed of the size of their burden?
Moreover, why so many? Is this the price Pittsfield is paying for accepting all that “free” grant money from the state?  THE PLANET urges city officials — the next time they call a press conference to wet themselves over the latest state grant — that they also tell us the fine print.

———————————————————————-

“Everybody’s got a thing that someone don’t know how to handle.” — Stevie Wonder, “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing,” from the “Innervision” album, 1974.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

78 Responses to “MYSTERY OF STONEHENGE DEEPENS … 30-YEAR LEASE … WHEN GROUP HOMES INVADE RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS, WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS?”

  1. Spider
    March 3, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    I was told a few years ago that Pittsfield has the largest number of Section 8′s than any other city in the state. This is a result of our city agreeing to accept additional Section 8′s with each grant we receive.

    Can you just imagine what our taxes would be if we weren’t subsidizing all the “non-profits” in the city.

    • danvalenti
      March 3, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Yes. Those grants comes with a lot of fine print. Funny, The Suits never share the true cost of all that “free” money. It’s the double whammy: First, it’s YOUR tax dollars in the first place. Second, they “charge” you for receiving them — Sec. 8s, group homes, and the like.

  2. Shakes His Head
    March 3, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    Group homes are generally protected by Federal laws about housing and discrimination. The FOX news tactic of adjacent property value loss is fear-mongering…. value is based on many variables…. and the destruction of the City’s economic property base is best blamed on GE… I truly hope future columns are less hateful towards my neighbors that have special needs. They are your neighbors too.

    • Kevin
      March 3, 2014 at 8:32 am #

      Well I don’t see hate as much as concern and legitimate questions not just about prop. values but what the city wants for itseld.

    • GeoSims
      March 3, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Do I want a convicted child molester or murderer living next door to my child playing in my yard? No.
      I do.

      • shakes his head
        March 3, 2014 at 10:28 am #

        The “city” cannot choose to violate constitutional rights to assuage the bigots that inhabit this blog.

        • Johnny2Shoes
          March 3, 2014 at 10:35 am #

          Where someone else’s rights ends, mine begin.

        • Obviously
          March 3, 2014 at 11:56 am #

          Dan, I dont think that poster should be able to call everyone who disagrees with him a bigot. That is not very nice.

        • Scott
          March 3, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

          Well put on both posts “shakes his head” the only thing decreasing property values and conjuring fear is thier own minds.

          • Johnny2Shoes
            March 4, 2014 at 8:41 am #

            Scott,

            If this project goes through and then the property valuations come in, it will tell if it was in their minds.

        • Payroll Patriot
          March 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

          Maybe Shakes His Head should shake his booty while he’s getting his head out of the sand. Others have constitutional rights also. SHH, did you get out on the wrong side of the bed? Remember you call someone a name :it takes one to know one.

          • teecha teecha
            March 4, 2014 at 7:49 am #

            In the America of today, your rights end where my feelings begin.

      • Mad Trapper
        March 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm #

        At least Angelo is gone

    • Johnny2Shoes
      March 3, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      I have a son who has special needs caused from a brain injury while snowboarding. I wouldn’t hold it against anyone to have questions about a project such as a group home or would I consider it hateful.

    • danvalenti
      March 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      Our reporting of this story (while the BB was asleep!) relied on no other tactics than a neutral sharing of the facts as we were able to uncover them. We can also speak with knowledge: There wasn’t a drop of “hate” in this column.

  3. Rafael
    March 3, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    This whole group home fiasco is just another example of wealthy corporations buying off the federal, state, and local politicians to ensure they get their tax free profits.
    Why are all our taxes so high? Because there are so many people and entities that don’t pay any taxes at all! How can hard working people such as myself and others pay more taxes than CIL, the NFL, Berkshire Health Systems, not to mention all those individuals who choose not to work and live off of gov’t handouts? Because all our politicians are for sale, that’s why.

  4. Still wondering
    March 3, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    So Dan. Does Angelo profit from any of this?

    • Scott
      March 3, 2014 at 10:29 am #

      Well he could have if the asking price is the amount he recieved and it’s higher than what he owed the bank then he keeps the difference.

      • Still wondering
        March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am #

        Yes we know about that and no one could object. I’m wondering about the “double” mortgage etc.

    • Scott
      March 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      We??? An anonymous dual poster that’s new!

  5. Deb S
    March 3, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Like I have stated in previous posts regarding these homes being in small neighborhoods, first the group home that was on my street the staff that stayed in the house were unprofessional, not saying anything about the clinical side. I had to call the police on them and the main office that is located in Pittsfield to complain about their behavior, noise and using my front yard as a parking space, it got so bad that I put up a post fence to keep them off.

    • danvalenti
      March 3, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      DEB
      This is one outcome, yes: The home comes in and there goes the neighborhood.

  6. Johnny2Shoes
    March 3, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    My grandfather (Poor Nick) as his friends called him in NY, Always said,” Money will make a blind man see”. The politicians had eye laser surgery well before it was around.

  7. Scott
    March 3, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    I say if the people who need the care are getting a good quality of care there in a nice area then good for them they deserve it just as much no one asks to be disabled.

    I think it’s sickening that sex offenders and druggies are classified mentally ill.

    The comment about crofut st was humerus maybe I’ll drop the not for profit a line there us a vacant lot up there. I believe the people on that st already prevented the small family home that was there from being remodeled and it was torn down. It wasn’t big enough can you imagine a middle class family living there? Truly dreadful.

    • skier1
      March 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

      Crofut St. does have a non-profit when the large brick house (it was Dr. Galla’s in the 70′s) couldn’t sell and the owners donated it to Miss Halls, again another property off the tax base.

  8. Scott
    March 3, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    I mean disabled. Obviously druggies and sex offenders have something wrong with thier brain they are however able to get a job, work and support themselves.

  9. Thomas More
    March 3, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    I drove that street this morning. There was a truck, car with CT plates and a large roll off dumpster. The TYVEX is there and money is being poured into it. It has to be a done deal. Stonehenge is a nice street, properly developed with well kept homes. It’s sad that this can happen. My suggestion to the neighbors would be to see if CIL will buy your house. Who’s next?

    • Shakes His Head
      March 3, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Obviously with disabled persons potentially inhabiting the home it will no longer be a nice street with well kept homes.

      • ed shepardson
        March 3, 2014 at 11:55 am #

        I’m not so concerned with who my neighbors are as much as I am who among them is paying real estate taxes. I would hate to be the last person in Pittsfield to pay real estate taxes. Might cut into the food budget a bit. I’m not smart enough to figure this out but it would be interesting to know how much we lost in tax money when the GE property was handed over to the city, and how much we have lost due to the expansion of BMC, including a 2 million dollar property off Dan Fox Drive. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it is certain that a larger percentage of BMC employees live out of town and don’t pay Pittsfield RE taxes.

        • Bull Durham
          March 3, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

          I’m curious, Ed, how exactly are you “certain” that “a larger percentage of BMC employees live out of town and don’t pay Pittsfield real estate taxes?” A larger percentage than what? Crane and Company? Berkshire Life? Walmart? Price Chopper? I know a lot of BMC employees who own homes in Pittsfield, and some who don’t. I also know several Crane employees who own homes in Dalton, and some in Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, you name it. Are you saying BMC, because it’s non-profit, should require its employees to live in Pittsfield?

          We now know that one of the wealthiest corporations on the planet, Walmart, pays a pittance in real estate taxes, thanks to a fully legal loophole. I think as a result every employee of the Pittsfield Walmart should have to buy a house in Pittsfield.

          • Scott
            March 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

            Yeah except most walmart employees barely make a living wage and walmart encourages them to get state assistance in the form of heLth care and food stamps.

          • ed shepardson
            March 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

            Mr. Durham, or may I call you Bull. I should have written large, not larger. My apologies. And I think you missed my point anyway.

        • Shakes His Head
          March 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

          I think it is curious that BHS lost its surgical residency program in an unprecedented manner. I see BHS going private within 5 years. BHS is the region’s largest employer, even a small percent translates into a large number,,, that live in every Berkshire community.

          • ed shepardson
            March 3, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

            Actually, the Social Security system is the region’s largest employer. That’s part of our problem.

          • dusty
            March 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

            I am surprised that the Eagle did not mention that the local hospital was also rated very poor in the surgical category in a Consumer Reports issue last year. And not long after that their paper was full of letters about how wonderful the place is. bob and weave…the rope a dope dance.

          • MrG1188
            March 4, 2014 at 8:03 am #

            I commented on that in the Eagle. The company that they ballyhooed, and that rated them “in the top 5% nationally” is a company that is PAID to do those rankings, then takes advertising $$ from the hospitals they rank. Hardly unbiased or objective. Not at all surprised the results were different in Consumer Reports!

        • C.J.
          March 4, 2014 at 6:38 am #

          Another certainty is the disproportionate number of City of Pittsfield employees, including major department heads, executives, consultants, vendors,etc, who live out of town and don’t pay Pittsfield taxes.

      • Obviously
        March 3, 2014 at 11:55 am #

        Obivously. Property values would drop.

      • Scott
        March 3, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

        There goes the neighborhood!

  10. Rafael
    March 3, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    Instead of putting a group home (in reality a commercial property) into a residential neighborhood, there are plenty of appartment complexes in commercial and even industrial zoning areas that could be bought and turned into them. They would cost alot less in the long run than buying up a bunch of single family homes, and not be disruptive to people who’ve worked hard all their lives to buy a nice home in a nice neighborhood.
    I am also starting to believe that the people who bought this propery from Stracuzzi were in essence really acting as a holding company, and had perhaps planned on reselling it to CIL all along?
    I make no profit from my paycheck, in reality my company makes a profit off of me (which is fine). My home also makes no profits and actually costs me money ever year. Can I now call myself a non profit organization and stop paying taxes?

    • Shakes His Head
      March 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      Separate but equal right?

  11. GMHeller
    March 3, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    Mr. Valenti,
    It’s important to know exactly how long the appeal periods are with regard to any of the permits that may have been issued to CIL or BFAIR on the Stonehenge property.
    Given the recent nature of both the land and lease transactions, it might be that no permits have yet been issued by the City or State on the property.
    Usually when permits are being sought, abutters are required to be given legal notice.

    • Shakes His Head
      March 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

      I don’t think building permits for legal activities are usually sent to abutting property owners.

      • Peter
        March 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm #

        False. Permits always go to abutters to see if they have objections

  12. GMHeller
    March 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,

    Given the fact that Stracuzzi’s selling price to the buyer who then sold for the identical price to CIL, it sure sounds like this is Stracuzzi’s parting shot to his former neighbors. It sure is hard to imagine anything more destructive to a local neighborhood than introducing a Group Home.
    You’re right, Valenti: BFAIR should be saying, ‘Tell ‘em Angelo sent us!’

  13. Mike Ward
    March 3, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    The Angelo ownership seems unrelated. He sold the house to a couple who later sold it to this non-profit.

    • NJP
      March 3, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

      Mike,

      I agree, not sure why Stracuzzi was brought into this thread, especially his picture…perhaps we will see Cliff Nilan’s picture next!!! Turning into Topix!

      • dusty
        March 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm #

        I am not sure why Nilan’s name was brought into this.

    • danvalenti
      March 3, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      MIKE
      Agree. It “seems” unrelated. It may in fact be, but we don’t know for sure, one way or the other. Thus, it remains a legitimate question.

  14. Scott
    March 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    What’s it called when you discriminate against what you personally perceive as a “lower class” of people without realizing it? Our fair mayor has been accused of this recently. There’s no qualified minorities in this city! Eat the rich! Ha ha put disabled people in poor commercial urban areas already overflowing with drugs, gangs and violence don’t ruin our good neighborhoods we deserve to live in cause we work. How many people on Stonehenge are registered democrat?

  15. billy
    March 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    i agree Scott .Walmart does do that and other under handed stuff

    • Scott
      March 3, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      Yes how about our commander and chief make minimum wage ten bucks and make it mandatory all employees part time and full recieve health care options. If you work for a multi billion dollar corporation you should not be getting foodstamps and health care through the govt.

      • Rafael
        March 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

        How does one make the Walmarts and McDonalds of the world stop treating their employees like garbarge, and start making them pay and treat their employees properly? I certainly have no answers to this, but they are a huge part fo the problem. They are prime examples of greed who consider their employees nothing but cheap labor. Not sure if it can ever be fixed.

        • Scott
          March 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

          The same way they trample on all our other rights executive order.

        • joetaxpayer
          March 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

          I don’t go to Walmart or Mac Donald’s, but find it funny how everyone bitches about Walmart. This is America, if enough people agree with you they will go out of business.Nobody is forcing people to work there, I believe slavery is over.At least they pay taxes and contribute to the community.

          • Rafael
            March 3, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

            If there were better jobs available don’t you think the employees would flee Walmart and McD’s in droves? You see, that is the issue. There are very few well paying jobs anymore so people ARE actually forced to work there. I am lucky enough to have a good paying job, but my heart goes out to those who do try to find a job, and can’t find anything but garbage Walmart and McD jobs.
            It’s all about greed. I am sure you realise that.

          • MrG1188
            March 4, 2014 at 8:06 am #

            Wal Mart pays less in taxes than YOU!

          • joetaxpayer
            March 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

            Everyone has a choice, some people make good one’s, others not so much.I guess that’s what makes the world go round. Really don’t understand people who think because someone or some company is successful they owe them.

  16. joe
    March 3, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    $664K seems like a lot of money to invest for a few bedrooms for a half-way house. Doesn’t make sense.

    • joetaxpayer
      March 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      Makes know sense, but with the government hand outs and not paying taxes, piece of cake.

  17. Dave
    March 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    B1 article today in the BB. “Interim school Superintendent Alfred Skrocki has indicated the Lee School Committee will need to do some BELT TIGHTENING(my caps) when he proposes his preliminary school spendingplan next week.” Any chance we can hire this Skrocki dude and ship JIV back to Lee?

    • dusty
      March 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      I think Gt Barrington is cutting back as well. As usual Pittsfield sits in the middle of the country like a big fat Midas doll tossing gold coins in all directions. “What? Me worry?”

    • danvalenti
      March 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      THE PLANET shall be addressing JIV’s call for $2 million in additional staffing and other PSD budget absurdities later this week.

      • Johnny2Shoes
        March 4, 2014 at 6:22 am #

        Dan,

        If you keep hitting the BB with so many lefts, they will start begging you for a right!

    • MrG1188
      March 4, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      You had to read more closely Dave. Apparently Al’s idea of belt tightening is much the same concept as it is in Pittsfield. In this case Belt Tightening means only a 2% increase in budget rather than the 5% they were originally thinking of. See, in their minds, that IS a cut!!

  18. joetaxpayer
    March 3, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    If I was luckey enough to live on that street, I would definitely not want a group home, deli, fruit stand,church or any other type of facility that will generate noise and traffic. If that makes my a mean spirited hater,I am sorry.

    • Gene
      March 3, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

      Im with you Joe. I wouldnt want those types of businesses either. R zones are R zones period..except when someone smells $$

    • Scott
      March 4, 2014 at 6:38 am #

      Lucky enough or successful enough? Then again what is true success? To determine it by monatary and social standings seems a bit shallow. I am a very wealthy person I just measure my wealth and success differently.

      • joetaxpayer
        March 4, 2014 at 10:23 am #

        I’m loaded, but that usually on the weekends.

  19. Rafael
    March 4, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    I think the whole problem with this boils down to: 1) Person A works hard their whole life, and earns the money to purchase a home and live in a neighborhood such as Stonehenge, and
    2) Person B decides to do drugs or commit a sex offence, or whatever it was that gets them into a group home, and the gov’t gives them a free ride into a neighborhood such as Stonehenge.
    The only discrimination that I see here is by the gov’t. But then again, the gov’t has always discriminated against the hard working middle class.

    • Johnny2Shoes
      March 4, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Excellent Book.

      http://unclesamsplantation.com/

      People can lift themselves up if they choose to do so.

    • Scott
      March 4, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      What type of disabled people are we talking about here? The home in my neighborhood only has one person that has the ability to go out on his own in public that I see. I do agree that a home full of violent mentally ill sexual predators could be a problem. But if we’re talking about people with legitimate disability then good for them.

      • danvalenti
        March 4, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

        That’s one of the other issues. We don’t know what type of people. Could be the most harmless gentle souls all the way to dangerous sexual predators and addicts. No one has said.

  20. teecha teecha
    March 4, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    At my parents house in pittsfield there was a group home created directly across the road. This happened after I had already left for college, etc. Now understand, this area used to be a strong upper middle class area where the kids roamed the streets freely, safely and all the neighbors knew and looked out for each other.

    Upon my return, I witnessed the following at the group home:
    1. numerous police visits, at least 2 EMT/ambulance calls. These came at various hours during the day/night

    2. fist fights on the front yard

    3. screaming/arguing/fighting throughout the day in plain public view. I can assure you, the language was colorful

    4. a man in an electric wheel chair who EMPTIED HIS BAG OF URINE IN THE ROAD AT THE EDGE OF THE DRIVEWAY ALMOST DAILY

    5. Cars parked illegally on the road (it was a main road) and causing traffic problems.

    all issues were brought to the attention of the staff and diplomatically discussed. We were essentially laughed at and given the stink eye, like we were intruding on their privacy and how dare we criticize anything.

    screw the group homes. I’m sorry, but there are better places to put them as opposed to good, clean, neighborhoods.

    • Evian
      March 4, 2014 at 9:06 am #

      And this is what a group home always invites.

    • GMHeller
      March 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      teecha teecha,

      According to ‘Scott’, you are fear-mongering.

      • Scott
        March 4, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

        Yes fear mongering is a good way to put it.

  21. Also Shaking
    March 8, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    Group homes are residences for disabled people. There may be some disabled people that turn out to be undesirable because of the way the act. Undesirable doesn’t necessarily make them criminals. There are plenty of Italians, Irish, Blacks, Jews, Latinos, Christians, Athiests, etc……. that are undesirable because of the way they act. Shouldn’t we “put them” in there own separate section of town so they don’t reduce our property values. Americans with disabilities are still Americans and must be treated as fairly as you would treat any other group of “people”. Group homes of this size are treated the same as single family homes under the Massachusetts Building Code. What I’m reading here appears to be blatant discrimination in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Thankfully our local government agencies are required to abide by this Act.