PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

EPISODE 6 of Planet Valenti Television was our most ambitious yet. It is available on the PCTV website and will be up on YouTube sometime soon. The YouTube link for all out shows is

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, JUNE 13-15, 2014) — Let’s see: Dottie’s, five break-ins and counting. Mission Tappas: Four break-ins and counting. The Colonial Theater and the Berkshire Museum Gift Store: robbed. Two more shootings in Springside Park. This is just a mere representation of the tally.

Gunfire, stabbings, and beatings the order of the day for “certain parts” of the city formerly known as Pittsfield.

Welcome to Dodge City.

The Mayor of Pittsfield, left, with her husband, TES.

You won’t find Matt Dillon in the marshal’s office. Instead, how about a chief who’s interim or “acting” standing of many years has become a standing joke. Look, either Mike Wynn is good enough to be your chief or he isn’t. That would require an intelligent executive decision, however, on the part of The Empty Suit that occupies the corner office on Allen Street.

Meanwhile, on Pittsfield’s Mean Streets …

The influx of gangs, hoods in hoodies, drug pushers, cheap heroin, and other assorted critters of the night — who come here from other cities because living off of taxpayers is so easy — has combined with the lack of good jobs, the shrinking “citizen population,” the outflow of young people, and the aging and passing of The Greatest Generation to create a volatile scene, especially in downtown and environs. We spent the morning yesterday on North Street, first for a meeting and second, spending time talking with merchants and store owners.

To a person, we heard disgust, dismay, and displeasure at the level of inaction and, as one put it, “outright deceit” that came from the mayor and from Pam Tobin, the paper pusher who most recently headed Downtown Pittsfield Inc. and did next to nothing but collect a salary. Pam, we hardly knew ye.

Please don’t lecture us about how crime  is “happening all over,” because (a) it’s not and (b) it’s irrelevant. We don’t care about “all over.” We care about Pittsfield.

Meet the new ambassador for Downtown Pittsfield.

What matters is that lawlessness and violence have become an accepted part of life in this once proud and prosperous city. What matters is that little by little, the scum have not only taken over, but the city itself invites them here as a condition of most of the state grant money that acts as municipal heroin. These do-nothings and deadbeats consume taxpayer dollars, the public resources supported by that money, and contribute little to nothing in return.

Please also don’t push for “more money for the police.” That solution won’t solve the problem:

“As hard as it may be to believe, there is no direct relationship between the number of police officers and the rate of crime in a community” (Richard Moran, The New York Times, Feb. 27, 1995). More recent studies confirm what common sense can see — Professional police departments, which are barely 150 years old in America, have not lowered, and do not lower, crime rates. Adding man (and woman) power to a police force does not reduce the incidence of crime. As Moran puts it, “[D]oes anyone seriously believe that a cop on patrol can do anything about the social, political, and economic causes of crime?”

Economics is the Ultimate Cause of Pittsfield’s Decline; Fiscal Restraint and Bel-Tightening is the Solution

Fortunately, THE PLANET is on hand to fight for The Little Guy. Here we are blowing smoke from a fine hand-made. In the background, TES blows smoke of a different kind. Why do you think he’s afraid to answer our challenge to a debate?

Of these three — “social, political, and economic causes of crime” — lawlessness in Pittsfield has as its ultimate cause the failure of a generation of political leaders to rebuild the local economy after GE packed up the left town. Year after year, politicians played a “short game,” pursuing politicies only popular for winning the next election. That amounted to blindly granting pay raises, percs, and benefits to the Big Three public employee unions: Teachers, police, and fire, in that order. It also meant what it means to this day, that local officials will not admit there’s a financial emergency, will ignore the looming unfunded-liability crisis, and will continue with the political short game until the city goes belly up.

That is certain, unless the city begins, now, this month, to begin cutting the cost of running government in a town where services, population, and jobs are shrinking while the municipal budget and tax rates are rising.

Throwing money at the problem of crime (and at the dum-dums running the city’s failing schools) hasn’t worked. All it’s done if inflate these three budgets past the point of taxpayers being able to sustain them. Nonetheless, taxpayers keep hearing knee-jerk calls for more dollars to be indiscriminately thrown to the local cops. It won’t help one bit. Almost all police work involves showing up after the crime has been committed. The number of arrests and convictions are not a measure of successful crime fighting but of failure of local offices to react swiftly enough to a social and moral breakdown.

Again, from Moran: “The number of criminals sent to prison [or jail] does not depend on how many people police arrest but on how much space there is in prison.”

Indeed, in 1992, there were 14 million arrests nationwide, even though the total space for local, state, and federal pens stood at 1.2 million. About 850,000 of those cells were occupied. In 2005, there were 2.3 million people in American prisons. Today, the number is almost 2.5 million. The U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners.

The Empty Suit: Driven to drink? Whatever it is, this guy has been the greatest (PICK WORD OF YOUR CHOICE) dud … fake … phony … incompetent … // in city mayoral history.

There’s only one proven solution: Rebuild the local economy. That could be done, except that in Pittsfield, the very people charged with doing this — the mayor, councilors, PEDA, all the various jobs think tanks, resource centers, and agencies — refuse to do it. Why they refuse is a tantalizing question. Would you believe the answer involves politics and not having the stomach, the guts, or the political will  for digging up a lot of long-buried “bodies?”

Beautiful: The City’s Head-in-Sand Mayor Thinks All This Crime Is the Work of One Man

All seriousness aside, as Steve Allen used to say, Pittsfield residents can breathe easy on crime. Why? Because we all know that every bit of the recent downtown crime wave is being accomplished by The One Man (TOM). Once we catch TOM, all the crime, the gang activity, and the drug use and drug running that fuels them will instantly go away. Take a puff, Pittsfield: It will be 1958 all over again! Pop the corks! Bring on the dancing girls! Call the roller of fat cigars!

Pittsfield, your idiot mayor has spoken.

THE PLANET can report with confidence that the Mayor actually blamed the recent downtown crime rash on one man.  He said this said at a recent secret meeting involving the police, business leaders, and politicos regarding the Wild Wild West that has become the city. We got this from sources who were in the room when The Empty Suit made the remarkable statement.

The mayor told the stunned room that [paraphrasing] that “one man was responsible for all the breaks ins.” He told Chief Wynn to “catch this guy and the problem will go away” [again, not the actual words but accurate to the gist of the words, as sources, plural, reported them to THE PLANET].

Another productive, responsible downtown denizen. Visitors: Visit downtown Pittsfield at your own risk!!

We humbly suggest to our Right Honorable Good Friend, the ostrich mayor, a crime-fighting option that may be more suited to his taste. How about he stations Nick “Ball Bag” Caccamo up on the top of the Legacy Bank building in the heart of beautiful downtown North Street. Arm him not with a Glock or assault rifles but with a big bucket of golf balls and a three-wood. When the next burglar tries to break into an establishment, Nick tees up a ball and drives it into the back of the burglar’s skull. The city is safer and Caccamo gets to work on his golf game. The mayor can propose adding Nick as “golf pro crime coach” to the police department. Let’s start him off at $100,000 a year.

 Seriousness Through Humor

Last night on Planet Valenti Television, we aired a PSA spoof. We showed a hand holding an egg labeled “Pittsfield.” The voice over intones: “This is Pittsfield.” The holder breaks the egg on the metal edge of a stove and releases egg and yolk into a small pan sizzling with olive oil. The egg instantly creates a crackle of cooking and immediately the egg begins frying. The voiceover again: “This is Pittsfield on Bianchi. [PAUSE] Any questions?”

Ladies and gentlemen: Imagine yourself as one of the following:

(a) a business owner looking for a new location so he or she can expand;

(b) a recent college graduate looking not just for a job but for a career;

(c) a responsible, clean, law-abiding family wanting a change of scenery;

(d) or almost any other case where one might consider moving into Pittsfield or becoming involved with it professionally.

Knowing what you know about the city’s politics …

… and knowing what you do about Pittsfield’s present part-time mayor and Global Montello worker…

… and knowing that, since he has a $100-a-plate fundraiser upcoming he will be seeking re-election, this time to a four-year term, in 2015 …

would you for a second consider the move? Would you come to the city?

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Until city leaders begin dealing with the fiscal vice that will, unless stopped, squeeze the economic life out of the town and into bankruptcy, the gravy train will come to a painful, screeching halt within 10 years, and maybe five.

For that to happen, of course, Bianchi must go, and in his place a Deliverer. We’ll take a Dictator at this point … benevolent, of course.

Have a great weekend!


“And I made a rural pen, / And I stained the water clear, / And I wrote my happy songs / Every child may joy to hear.”William Blake, from the introduction to Songs of Innocence, (1789).




  1. Jonathan Melle
    June 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Pittsfield politics sucks! Downtown Pittsfield is a place rational people avoid, especially at night. Pittsfield’s finances are terrible. Pittsfield’s Mayor is in denial. Dan Valenti is right about the crisis of crime in Pittsfield!

  2. Kate Dempsey
    June 12, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    TES has recently proposed that people be allowed to purchase crack and/or heroin with “Berkshares.” TES and Downtown Inc. feel there is no better way to stimulate Pittsfield’s economy and reward the drug dealers and the local gangs leaders for the fruits of their hard labor.

    The latest posters TES has rolled out promoting “Berkshares” and Pittsfield’s bumper crop of heroin: shows a hypodermic needle w/a little heroin dripping out of the end of that needle and a junkie passed out in a bus stop on North Street. The caption reads: “Buy local, buy Berkshares-and inject a little fun and happiness in Downtown Pittsfield.”

  3. dusty
    June 13, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    I heard Lothrup was going to put a tip jar in front of himself during council meetings.

    • C. J.
      June 13, 2014 at 4:20 am #

      One of the mayor’s minion sycophants dubbed Councilors Krol, Clairmont, Lothrop, et al, ” The Opposition Party”. Why are they unusually quiet and ageeable lately ?
      Has there been a significant impact on gang activity from the highly taunted, Shannon Grant group in city hall ?

    • silence dogood
      June 13, 2014 at 4:40 am #

      Here’$ a tip for him……don’t eat yellow snow

  4. TOM is the problem
    June 13, 2014 at 4:14 am #

    All they have to do is catch TOM
    Prosecute TOM
    Lock TOM away

    Then all of Pittsfield’s problems will be over

    • joetaxpayer
      June 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

      Agree TOM. Pittsfield cannot hire enough policemen to cover for all of the liberal judges, that barely even slap a wrist. I feel sorry for the Men and Woman of blue.Berkshire’s need tougher judges, not more officers.

    • Tom Sakshaug
      June 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      It’s not my fault! Really!

      • levitan
        June 14, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        Come clean.

  5. Sparkie
    June 13, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    I know a very good answer to the drug problem in Pittsfield. Let’s put a methadone clinic right smack in the middle of our downtown and give them 100k of taxpayers money as an incentive.

    After all as Mayor Bianchi said at the Crosby School informative meeting ” methadone is a good product and is good for you”

    • Scott
      June 13, 2014 at 5:55 am #

      Did he really say that dusty?

    • joetaxpayer
      June 13, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      Sparkie, We need stronger drugs, self cleaning oven.

  6. Scott
    June 13, 2014 at 6:03 am #

    Dan, good entry, I like the gangbanger with the high capacity mag in his gun. Hopefully I’ve practiced enough to ensure my safety with two Ma compliant ten round mags maybe all these laws are in place to make the good people better marksmen. Crime exists in poor areas because people who live in those communities live in fear or identify with the gangs an see that govt doesn’t really help. Since the civ war an the abolishment of slavery the give has done very little to raise the quality of life for African Americans. They were taken from the tries of privatized slavery and pushed into undesirable sections of cities an towns that have turned into ghettos infested with drugs and violent crime. Then thrown in jail and forced to labor due to breaking laws designed to work against them. Who can really blame any urban youth for taking up arms and aspiring to profit from the lucrative drug trade?

    • joetaxpayer
      June 15, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      Scott government hand outs at a all time high. Just not enough to buy all that bling and let’s not forget the rims on that cool ride.

      • Scott
        June 16, 2014 at 6:06 am #

        I hear you an I’m struggling to keep two beaters on the road. It’s like having two working cars is not an option.

  7. nostrodumbass
    June 13, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    No real jobs in Pittsfield.
    Cops will chase young ones out of anywhere they hang in Pittsfield.
    Faced with no where to go and nothing to do and no money, what do young ones turn to?

    Illegal drugs, pot, heroin, cocaine even methadone are in extremely high demand on the streets of Pittsfield.
    The profits generated from dealing in them is quite lucrative.
    Why do think saw a need to install a methadone clinic in center of Pittsfield?

    With a severe lack of jobs, users of these illegal substances turn to crime as a means to pay for them. Dealers smuggle them in and sell them on the streets to obtain the massive profits generated by them. They deal in large amounts of cash thus feeling the need to be armed to protect their interests.

    Gangs arise out of a need for yoots to feel like they belong and are accepted among their peers. Pittsfield has become Biff Tanners skewed version of back to the future.

    Pittsfield will never return to 1955 but letting business’ in to fully employ all of Pittsfield’s citizens with good paying jobs would go a long way to curbing the skyrocketing crime rates that have overtaken our streets.
    Had it not been for GE, Pittsfield would never have become a city in the first place. They are gone now and nothing exsists to even come close to the employment levels they achived.

    With the extremely high tax rates, skyrocketing crime rates and lack of good paying jobs, Pittsfield is quickly achieving third world status. This mayor and city council is putting its citizens in the poor house. The elderly are trapped here. The young ones with half a brain are moving out or have moved out.

    What you have left is the low life pond scum running the streets and the elderly living in fear.

    I dare the mayor to get in his suit and carry his briefcase and walk by himself down Dewy ave, up Linden street, down Seymore street, up Madison and Up North st toward the hospital at 3:00 am.

    I dare him.

    If he makes it that far, head over for a trek down Lincoln st and bang a left on Cherry st. He should be able to get there by 5:00 am before the sun comes up.

    • maxwell edison
      June 13, 2014 at 8:08 am #

      Wrong. There are real jobs in Pittsfield, it’s just that skills are required now. It’s been this way since the 1980’s. Get used to it.

      • nostrodumbass
        June 13, 2014 at 9:15 am #

        Wrong eh?

        So, people with skills are safe but if you don’t have any skills then you are not?

        The school system with the millions of dollars being spent on it is surely producing geniuses with skills.

        Plus it takes skills to land an underpaid job at city hall where you can steal from the city to make up your shortfalls.

        Everyone who ever had a job at GE had skills.
        Far be it from GE to ever train anyone. There was even skill
        involved with being a floor sweeper there.

      • Teecha teecha
        June 13, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        Who here pays $300/mo for cable, $$200/mo for cell phone and $200-$500/mo for a for a fancy car? The jobs aren’t the problem, it’s people living beyond heir means. Champagne lifestyle, beer bottle budget.

        • Scott
          June 13, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

          I own all my vehicles I don’t have cable and both cells are a business write off. Like I said next I’ll be asked to eat less.

          • levitan
            June 14, 2014 at 9:20 am #

            I don’t even own a cell.

        • GeoSims
          June 15, 2014 at 3:26 am #

          Basic cable $16/mon.

      • Mad Trapper
        June 13, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

        So WHAT kind of XXYYYVV favors are you supplying to the GOBs?

        Is there training available? Maybe Albany or Springfieild, New Dork, Baastun?

        Did Angelo send you?

        • maxwell edison
          June 14, 2014 at 6:22 am #

          Witness the death throes of the GE Pittsfield culture of entitlement.

    • b_ball8
      June 13, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      I’m young, run a successful business and employ 20 (so I must have 1/2 a brain). Grew up here, made decision to move back after being away. Nothing handed to me, busted my rear. My family (wife and 4 kids) is healthy , educated (yes , even in Pittsfield) and happy. There are of course many problems, but the attitude of many (particularly on this site, and particularly recently) is part of the problem. Great at pointing out all the negatives, but with no real proposed solutions. Lately, even when there is a positive, this site tries to turn it into a negative.

      • Scott
        June 13, 2014 at 8:57 am #

        I with you man. It seems a lot of people just want a magic politician to wave his money bag and poof job creation. Although, legislation that gives companies incentives to hire might not be a bad idea. But ultimately if you want something you have to go get it for yourself.

        • Bloods spokesman
          June 13, 2014 at 9:50 am #

          Cooking meth requires skill.
          Handling a firearm requires skill.
          Evading the cops requires skill.
          Don’t assume we have no skills

      • Teecha teecha
        June 13, 2014 at 10:01 am #

        It’s the same anywhere, you reap what you sow. As you pointed out, hard work, determination and perserverence are the difference. There are jobs, you need to know where to go what to do and apply yourself. It’s not NYC where there are every industry, obviously . But there’s Sabic, general dynamics, Unistress, banks, schools, the college, etc, etc. as Scott pointed out…the is no magic wand. A lot of people expect everything in the open and handed to them…search, apply yourself and work at it. Learn from failure.

      • Spectator
        June 13, 2014 at 10:26 am #

        Everyone knows that all the haters on here are just that. Haters gon’ Hate bro. Jealous because it’s not them, Jealous that they didn’t make the shrewd decisions that got the people they so despise where they are. And I bet not a single one of the haters has EVER given thought to what it’s actually like on the other side…being in the line of fire from the media and the people who you serve.

        These haters all have the same “taker” mentality they clamor against. Pot=Kettle=Black. Here’s a tip. If you don’t like Pitts. You don’t like the job opportunities. Then gather up your “skills, talents, and qualifications, and experience” and move out, and go find a job somewhere else that you’re happy with. It’s that simple. Stop complaining and do something about it.

        • Pat
          June 13, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

          “Everyone knows that all the haters on here are just that. Haters gon’ Hate bro. Jealous because it’s not them, Jealous that they didn’t make the shrewd decisions that got the people they so despise where they are. And I bet not a single one of the haters has EVER given thought to what it’s actually like on the other side…being in the line of fire from the media and the people who you serve.”

          Shrewd decisions or unethical decisons? That’s the question? Nobody would mind at all, in fact they would be happy, if people attained their position by honesty and hard work, but in Pittsfield as so many already know, its about who you know or are related to and who you can undermine or cheat that brings you success, at least that is true for many people here in Pittsfield. There are always exceptions, but overall, this is what it’s like.

        • Mad Trapper
          June 13, 2014 at 8:42 pm #


          I grew up here when there was a whole page of job listings in the BERKSHIRE EAGLE.

          Take a look in the LEFT WINGED PARROT and see what we have now.

          Unless your skills are illicit drugs, talents are thuggery, and qualifications are prior incarceration or being a section 8 welfare queen, WITH EXPERIENCE. You have no future in PITTSfield.

          And yes these SWINE are expanding “somewhere else”, and somewhere else is poorer for it too.

        • Evian
          June 16, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

          As so many are doing, spectator, or haven’t you noticed which way the population is going!

      • joetaxpayer
        June 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

        b-ball glad you and your family came back to Pittsfield. Most people on this site are just disgusted with the way our City is being run. They still believe we can do better and stop the behind the doors dealings. Pittsfield is not close to being one of the worst cities in new England to live( Johnathan). We the people think we deserve better.

      • Kate Dempsey
        June 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

        OK B-ball, besides listing your credentials, tell us your solutions to the problems. You chide people on here because they point out the real issues in Pittsfield (gangs, drugs, clueless city government), but you offer nothing in return. Turning a negative into a positive sounds great on paper, but what are your positives?

    • levitan
      June 13, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      What idiot would wander any city, good parts or bad, at 3am?

      I dare you to wander a national park in Montana alone in your undies at 3am.

      Mind the grizzlies.

      • Scott
        June 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

        I would but then again I’m a thrill seeker at times! Your best defense is shoulders back chin up, arms relaxes and smile!

        • levitan
          June 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

          And hopefully you won’t smell like a deer.

          • Scott
            June 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

            That’s a good point if you see deer or horse crap rub the soles of your boots in it.

      • Rigagetto
        June 14, 2014 at 5:32 am #

        Gang members and thugs have no problem being on the streets at 3:00 am. So, they must be crazy.

        Grizzly bears know instinctively that you are not suppossed to be up at that hour, so they will claw you to death because you are not in your tent asleep just to teach you a lesson.

      • Illogical thinking
        June 14, 2014 at 6:46 am #

        Yeah lev
        So anyone who walks down a publc street in the middle of the night minding their own business, deserves what they get.
        Its kind of like saying a girl who dresses provocatively deserves to get raped.

  8. Evian
    June 13, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    One of the best posting ever on this huge issue of concern to all of us who live and work in downtown Pitts. Thank you DV for the site and the tTV show .

  9. Ed McClelland
    June 13, 2014 at 8:13 am #

    Pittsfield is embracing the philosophy that it won’t happen here, when in fact it already has. Its major product is municipal pensions. When these lucrative pensions are gained the recipients often simply leave town as many city dept. heads and employees do every day.
    I witnesses the immediate effect and long term demise of Youngstown, OH when its steel industry started closing on “Black Friday” in 1977. check out the ramifications today;
    “Organized crime only strengthened its grip on Youngstown when the mills closed. Other crimes also increased including murders, domestic violence, drug use,giving the city the reputation of Murdertown USA”.
    Can’t happen in Pittsfield ? Check a NY Times article on 7/11/11;” A small city’s depleted pension fund. Central Falls, RI goes bankrupt.”
    It’s with great optimism that Pittsfield’s governmental leaders increase budgets and taxes annually, expecting a vibrant return on these investments. Usually there is a personal ulterior motive behind their voting and by the submitting individuals.
    It’s time to put the vested interests aside and objectively find reality.

    • Scott
      June 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Jesus just look at Holyoke.

  10. Helter Skelter
    June 13, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    The Manson murders when they occured gained the notority as one the most heinous crimes ever committed. In same ranking as the Boston strangler.

    The triple murders in Pittsfield did not.

    Just living on Linden street in the heart of downtown Pittsfield cost David Glasser his life. Having his two best friends staying with him gave him a false sense of security.
    The three men were brutely tortured, executed, decappitated, dismembered and buried in plastic bags. Seems far worse to me than the Boston stranger or the Manson murders.
    All this happened in Pittsfield.
    Anyone who does not arm themselves is a fool.
    The police are useful only after the fact. They collect evidence and pick up the bodies and piece together the clues to figure out what happened.

    Downtown Pittsfield is not safe.

  11. Jonathan Melle
    June 13, 2014 at 11:36 am #

    Pittsfield presents:
    “It is a horrible life” movie at Beacon Cinema on North Street starring Pittsfield politicians including Danny Bianchi, Jimmy Ruberto, and Gerry Doyle. The plot includes a crime-ridden downtown with violence, drugs, welfare, teenage mothers, gangs, poverty with arts and culture on the side. You will see corrupted Pittsfield politicians raise taxes above the rate of inflation every single year, while Senior Citizens on fixed incomes have to choose between food and shelter. You will see thousands of people fleeing Pittsfield. You will see thousands of jobs lost in Pittsfield. Come one, come all, and see “It is a horrible life”!

  12. Matt
    June 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    When government treats its citizens with contempt –
    * It fills positions with patronage hacks ensuring incompetent services
    * It abuses its taxing authority to create kickback opportunities
    * It ignores the needs of the people and serves special interests
    * it puts its own maintenance of power above its responsibility to serve
    * it offers propaganda to fool people into voting against their own best interest
    * it controls the media to ensure that ugly truths remain hidden

    By all measures City government in Pittsfield is treating the citizens with contempt. So long as they remain unresponsive it will continue.

    Dan is trying to wake up the sleeping . Spread the word before Pittsfield goes the way of Detroit and other ethically and fiscally bankrupt cities.

    • ShirleyKnutz
      June 14, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      For awhile I thought you were talking about our government in Boston!!

    • Sparkie
      June 16, 2014 at 10:40 am #

      Matt it seems your referring to the Bianchi and Mazzeo administration..

  13. Matt
    June 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    The Eagle has resported Berkshire Community College wants to take over Berkshire Works.. .. let’s see.. state workers, city workers, and now county workers..

    This is a classic power vacuum… instead of focusing on the enduring suffering of the unemployed we can debate who owns the resources.

    There is no shortage of agencies, no shortage of groups, colleges, committees.. what is missing is leadership and a true cncern for how to help people.. the real people.. the ones struggling to find a job..

    Did the Eagle not notice the one week posting for yet another patronage appointment?

    • Pat
      June 13, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      So true. The problem is there aren’t any jobs and for the jobs that are available, they only want young workers with at least a bachelors degree. This leaves a lot of people out in the cold. They are not worrying about anyone over age 45. There is no long term plan for helping older workers find employment and this is a crisis that is building. All Berkshire Community College cares about is cranking out students with little concern about whether they are actually educated or not. It’s all about the money. This will just be a money making thing even more than it already is if the college takes over Berkshire Works.

      • joetaxpayer
        June 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

        Pat , unfortunately all colleges care about is pumping out grads. Higher education is one of the top performing businesses. The students are product.

  14. Spider
    June 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    At the last council meeting, Councilor Connell had a petition about the lack of painting crosswalks and other lines on city streets.

    The mayor said that there was a “defect” in the line painting contract that delayed the process.

    He did not explain and no one on the council asked what the defect was.

    I have long been critical of our city’s Purchasing Dept. especially with bid contracts, and here is just another exampled.

    • acheshirecat
      June 13, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

      On Bill Sturgeons’ radio show this week Councilor Connell said that the contract for line painting signed last year was a 1 year contract. City Hall thought they had signed a 2 year contract. So this year there is no contract. Does that mean they paid way too much last year? Is there money allocated this year for line painting? What else is getting rubber stamped at the purchasing department?

      • dusty
        June 14, 2014 at 3:37 am #

        The tourist season is upon us and cars are zigzagging every whichaway adjusting lanes. A few painted lines might be helpful. Is this not one of the “services” taxpayers are supposed to be paying dearly for?

        We seem to be able to rush through pay raises, but painting road lines? No rush on this regular people item.

        • Gatos
          June 14, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

          I’m sure the lines will be painted very nicely just in time for snowplows and salt to make them disappear rapidly. By then the tourists will be gone.

      • Rigagetto
        June 14, 2014 at 5:22 am #

        Maybe they can buy a new line painting machine or two.
        Park it right next to the pot hole machine.
        Probably pick one up for under a million dollars or so.
        Pay someone $100,000.00 a year plus health insurance to paint the lines.
        Tell the people its a bargin and just raise taxes to cover it.

        That person would need No skills, not even a high school diploma. Just has to have connections to the suits.

  15. levitan
    June 13, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Ok, here’s something for you guys. And it even pertains to the conversation at hand.

    Got from Lisa Tully this flyer here, “Announcing Another New Neighborhood [crime] WATCH.” It invites me to report suspicious activity.

    Should I report to her my suspicions regarding the circumstances of my rising property taxes?

    If you see anything suspicious, email her at I’m pinning it next to my pile of bills.

    • Sparkie
      June 16, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

      Levitan I live on Oak Hill Rd. and the only crime watch on our street is watching Lisa Tully on the council.

      • Dave
        June 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm #


  16. dusty
    June 14, 2014 at 7:57 am #

    Eagle says that Pittsfield lost 653 residents during the last three years. Of course Bianchi and his spin doctors put enough lipstick on this story to make it sound inconsequential.

    The figure you see though is not the number of people who left but the number of the population drop. It does not include all the people who moved in. In other words 653 MORE people moved out than moved in. I am sure the actual number who left is MUCH higher. And wait till you see the next three year decline now that people are getting a broader picture of just what the hell goes on here.

    Was the guy who wrote this story for the Eagle a hater?

    • Jonathan Melle
      June 14, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      Facts from the Beagle’s news article:
      * Pittsfield lost more residents than any other city or town in Massachusetts between 2010 and 2013
      * Pittsfield lost 653 residents over that three-year period
      Source: “Pittsfield’s resident loss steepest of all state’s towns, cities” By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle, 6/14/2014.
      * Berkshire County’s population dropped by more than 5,600 to 129,288 residents between 2000 and 2009, according to the American Community Survey. Pittsfield accounted for almost 2,800 of those departures: There were 45,793 city residents in 2000 compared with 43,000 last year
      Source: “Census shows decline in county population”, By Dick Lindsay, Berkshire Eagle Staff, December 16, 2010.
      Conclusion: Over the past 13 years, about 3,453 people have moved away from Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

      • levitan
        June 14, 2014 at 9:25 am #

        That’s good news. The Berkshires is overrun with people, most of whom don’t belong here. If the trend continues, I may rethink my plan to move west.

        • Pat
          June 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

          Let’s put a positive spin on this. If enough people leave, maybe those who want a job can find one. Let’s actually encourage people to leave. Not everybody can pick up and move on so let’s encourage the ones who can to do so.

          • dusty
            June 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

            What would be great is if there were an agency that could help people find other cities or towns to move to. Kind of help out with the logistic end of it. Maybe the city could fund this agency with money from the United Fund or free cash. If Bianchi could move on this he might get rid of some of us haters.

  17. Pat
    June 14, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    The Mayor also refuses to admit that people are moving in large numbers from the city and who can blame them? The cost of living here gets higher and higher and I believe the ultimate goal of Pittsfield government is to have only wealthy people live here as they will be the only ones able to afford the high taxes and high salaries of school and city hall personnel.

  18. Rafael
    June 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I did email my ward and the at large councilors asking them to vote against the ridiculous budget Bianchi put forth. Of course, my words will go unheard and ignored, but I felt that I should at least try. Did I waste my time? Of course. But at least I felt better for 5 minutes. It it will be somewhat interesting to read the canned responses, that is if I get any.

    • Pat
      June 14, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      The councilors will not listen to the people until election time rolls around again then they will make a show about caring what people think until they are elected and then they are loyal to the mayor and become one of this “followers” or “groupies.”

    • Deb S
      June 15, 2014 at 5:19 am #

      I also emailed my ward councilor and at large about the raise increase and the city and school budget and they never emailed me back. These councilors vote the way they want and do not listen to the people who put them in office, with that being said I will not be voting for any of them in 2015 and they goes for our lame mayor to.

      • Deb S
        June 15, 2014 at 5:21 am #

        oops meant that goes for our lame mayor too.

      • Rafael
        June 16, 2014 at 6:20 am #

        Deb S, I am sure our efforts have only resulted in our names being added to their shyte list.

  19. Joe Blow
    June 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    I think the Judges in this area are a huge problem. I see in the paper time after time violent criminals getting off with a slap on the wrist. Liberals around here are always wanting new gun laws but what good are the ones on the book already are not enforced? It doesn’t matter how many cops we hire if the Judges don’t put the thugs away.

    • Pat
      June 14, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

      True. Just shows more hypocrisy of the liberal mindset.

  20. Jonathan Melle
    June 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

    Pittsfield politics has produced the following:
    * Very high taxes and fees
    * Thousands of people moving away from Pittsfield
    * A diminishing tax base
    * Thousands of lost jobs that are not coming back, Jack (Welch)
    * Teen pregancies doubling the statewide average
    * Very high welfare caseloads
    * Good Old Boy Pittsfield politicians
    * PCBs toxic waste pollution that causes cancer in local residents
    * Violence, drugs, crime, gangs
    * Poorly performing public schools

  21. Pat
    June 15, 2014 at 5:10 am #

    “What would be great is if there were an agency that could help people find other cities or towns to move to. Kind of help out with the logistic end of it. Maybe the city could fund this agency with money from the United Fund or free cash. If Bianchi could move on this he might get rid of some of us haters.”

    I would be one of the first to leave. It’s sad that the area I grew up in has become so corrupted. It would be very difficult for me to leave, logistics wise for many reasons, but I think it would be so great to get away from Pittsfield and Berkshire County politics not to mention the terrible job situation in this area. I have talked to many people who have moved on from this area and remember the terrible time they had here and they say leaving the Berkshires was the best decision they ever made.

  22. Pat
    June 15, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    Berkshire Eagle has an article in todays edition lamenting the fact that the Republic party seems all but dead here in Massachusetts, but are they really sorry? I, for one, am not feeling their pain. Why do I think that behind the scenes they are throwing one heck of a party complete with balloons and party favors?

    When Massachusetts finally had Republican Scott Brown in office the powers that be effectively trashed him insuring that he was not elected again after his very short term when he took over for Ted Kennedy. The Berkshire Eagle article says that other Republicans have made it here in Massachusetts so they have to keep trying, but what they really want are Democrat clones as they are the only ones who will be able to survive the political climate in this state. They mention Charlie Baker who will be running and who has supposedly begun to embrace democratic ideals which may give him a fighting chance here in Massachusetts, but everybody know that the Democratic machine is in control and will increase the spin against Baker in the upcoming election.

    They mention the minimum wage as an issue that Baker supports, but even the Democrats in this state have been slow to get moving with a minimum wage increase. The Democrats have done little to help struggling people become successful. Social service agencies have become big business here in Massachusetts, but people are kept dependent on these agencies and unable to survive on their own.

    • Rafael
      June 16, 2014 at 6:14 am #

      If the Republican Party wants rebirth in Massachusetts they need to change their strategies and spokespeople. They need more intelligent people up front (no more idiots like Palin and Perry) and stop with all the stupid stuff (he wasn’t born here, he’s a Muslim, they are going to take all your guns away, etc.) and start campaigning on the issues. The Replubilcan Party has a very good platform on alot of issues yet seem more interested in criticizing the opposition with a bunch of made up crap rather than pushing and marketing their ideas, many of which are quite good. I really wanted to vote for Scott Brown but after receiving a ridiculous amount of negative material from his campaign either via mail or robo-calls I was so turned off I just could not bring myself to do so. I don’t want to hear a bunch of silly criticism, I want to hear ideas on the issues. I want to hear what the candidate will do to fix things.
      You see, all that stupid stuff may work down South and in the MidWest, but not here in the Northeast.

      • Pat
        June 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

        Where are all the ideas from the Democrats? I’m not hearing any from them either.

  23. Payroll Patriot
    June 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Dan, I’m going to wish you a happy mother’s day. Because, you have been called a ‘” mother …” more than a father. Give my best to your DAD.

  24. amandaWell
    June 16, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Low had the Quote of the Day at a recent Budget meeting, saying 20 Police Officers were assigned to at a particulr third Thursday Event,is one whole shift? Chief Wynn quickly corrected him saying, that’s Three Shifts. Way to eschew the numbers once again, Low.

  25. Nota
    June 16, 2014 at 4:51 am #

    Good one Mandy, but ai like the Mayor’s…If we stop one guy that’ll be the end of the crime spree…that one was a classic. Let’s fix the dam at Springside for 500g to save the Pond, good one Mr. McGrath.

  26. Nota
    June 16, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    JUne 7 budget hearing is a must see. Quotes like ‘We are Dedicated to Overtime..Yup, heard that!

  27. Bill Sturgeon
    June 16, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    If may give my take on what’s happening in Pittsfield and Washington, etc. “We the people” have given-up – Rather than going to the meetings, holding our elected officials feet to the fire we complain. We sit back and grip rather than getting up and taking back our City and County! Just my opinion!

    Yesterday I read two accounts of our military in “Combat Zones” being cut back to two meals per day! Are you kidding me??

    • ed shepardson
      June 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

      You’ll know when these posters get involved in our government. You’ll see a bunch of people attending meetings with paper bags over their heads, much like the Unknown Comic.

  28. Spider
    June 16, 2014 at 5:02 am #

    The recently formed Discrimination Board will be meeting tonight to take up the complaint against the mayor by Doreen Wade.

    Does anyone know if this will be televised LIVE?

    • Downtown Dweller
      June 16, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      The Human Rights Commission’s meeting, according to the PCTV website, will air tonight at 6:00 p.m. on channel 18.

      • Dave
        June 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

        Do you think it is a coincidence that it is scheduled for the exact same time as the first public info session for the new THS? So it’s a win/win-either not enough people cared to show up for the “Donkey and the Dopes” trial, or not enough people cared to show up, so, what the heck let’s just build a new school! I love the fact that they will be breaking into smaller groups tonight…what are the odds that there will be a lackey(and not a John Lackey) heading each group.

        • Dave
          June 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

          That’s if the trial isn’t postponed, or the Mayor couldn’t be there so another meeting will have to scheduled because he needed to be at the THS forum. That would be my play, be able to listen to all the accusations and have time to formulate a plausible response.

  29. amandaWell
    June 16, 2014 at 5:21 am #

    The Tri town Health Guru wants everyone to eat in moderation. Thank you Mr. Willis.

    • Dave
      June 16, 2014 at 11:53 am #

      “What’s you talkin bout Wilutz”

  30. Bill Sturgeon
    June 16, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Next Mr. Big Government will want to enforce the number of toilet tissues you can use. I don’t know why our Board of Health need to have this guy around so much he left Pittsfield for South County let him stay down there.

    I mean look at the great job he did with Ruberto’s Blight Initiative. TOOOOOOOO much government in my opinion!!!

    • levitan
      June 16, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Yes, too much governmental intrusion and bureaucratic power, but about whom are you speaking?

  31. Nota
    June 16, 2014 at 6:15 am #

    Gee, is Mr. Willis paying for your meal, that’s why they call it, ALL YOU CAN EAT!!!!!…Good one Bill, it is way to much government.

  32. Spider
    June 16, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    Just watched the Human Rights Commission …..what a crock!

    The three ladies on the commission were very impressive with their intelligent questioning…..the men were like bumps on a log.

    And at the end of the meeting, Ms. Wade announces that she has filed a complaint with the DOJ and the Atty. General’s office which surprised every one there including the mayor and Ms. Degnan.

    She further stated that Pres. Mazzeo knew she was going to file with them. I wonder if Ms. Mazzeo will confirm this.

    You had to see it to believe it!