Article

‘You won! Your site is no longer blocked.’ — PLANET PREVAILS … FREEDOM OF THE PRESS TRUMPS POLITICAL PARANOIA

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014) — “You won! Your site is no longer blocked.”

That was the best (for being the briefest and most to the point) among a bunch of communications we received yesterday morning after THE PLANET fought its way back from digital exile at city hall.

PLANET VALENTI: Circling the globe to bring you the truth.

Yesterday, THE PLANET shared some thoughts about an issue that captured the local imagination after first being placed on the public agenda when we shared the news — that Pittsfield mayor Dan Bianchi, also more popularly known as TES, The Empty Suit — blocked PLANET VALENTI DOT COM from city hall computers.

Of course, TES did it in the dark, in secret, hoping that it would not be discovered. With our sources, however, not much remains secret in city hall these days, and the mayor’s actions brought about a swift and virile, if not violent, protest from the rank and file in the building. THE PLANET also received much interest in the story as a story from members of the local press, and interest in the story as a case, from several constitutional lawyers who monitor this site because of our slam-dunk victory for the First Amendment in July 2012 in Nilan v. Valenti.

That case made international news on the web. This one would likely have done the same thing, depending on its twists and turns, if the mayor had held onto a ban that could not be enforced. The only thing that happened as a result of Bianchi’s desperate attempt to stop city workers from visiting this site is that he drove many new viewers our way, something reflected in the traffic spike since last last week, when we first reported on it.

In addition to our explorations into the legal ramifications of the mayor’s actions, THE PLANET also sent a communication to Bianchi in the evening of June 21, one that we now make public. We wrote to him:

DAN
You have blocked THE PLANET? That’s the best you can do in the face of my honest criticism?

You have heretofore been a disappointment as mayor, as my coverage has reflected since the day you decided to stop talking to me after I didn’t print “the company line” following your mishandling of the Spectrum case (the methadone clinic). In that case, you gave away the store, needlessly, and cost taxpayers $100,000, needlessly. When I printed the truth after following where the evidence led me, you decided to “shut me out.” I got word from former administration members of your actions then and there, which were termed “deeply troubling and petty.” 

You’ll recall, prior to the Spectrum, while on your “honeymoon” for the first six months or so of your first term, my coverage was largely favorable.


As you yourself told me after you narrowly won against your opponent, Peter Marchetti, in 2011, I made the difference with my official endorsement. You won by 106 votes, which translates to a swing of 53 either way. Whether it’s true or not that I won that election for you, I believed you were the better man. That’s why I endorsed you. 

You made one big mistake, though. You thought that my endorsement meant that I would essentially “shill for you.” I wouldn’t and couldn’t do that. As a writer, broadcaster, and journalist, I have but one responsibility: Truth. Granted, “truth” is an elusive commodity. Nonetheless, every contentious issue contains it. It’s my job to go into the story objectively, get whatever information I can, analyze it, and present it. As a reporter, I present the facts as I have learned them. As an analyst, I present the truth as it reveals itself, again, without bias or preconceptions.

—– 00 —–

Since you first got on the council, and for your 10-year stint there, we ha[d] a good working relationship. I thought you could handle the spotlight. I was wrong. Some people are meant to be understudies. They choke in prime time. That, I’m sorry to say, has been the story of your days thus far as the CEO of the city we both love. You have let yourself, and your electorate, down. You reacted to my tough but fair criticism by “taking your football and going home.” By “hiding under your desk.” That came as a surprise to me, although your political opponents are now having a good time saying to me, “I told you so.” 

My professional career goes back to 1975. It encompasses newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, movies, speaking, books, and almost any other medium that uses words. The journalistic part of that career, the bulk of it, has been driven simply by a belief that the writer’s first obligation is to the truth. His second obligation is to “We The People.” Yes, I believe strongly in the role of the press to be the Fourth Estate, serving as a watchdog over the three branches of government. Do you share that belief? If so, why would THE PLANET be banned? Why do you refuse to engage me?

As you know, I have managed to work around your refusal to return my calls, emails, and FB messages — handily, in fact — by simply getting comments from other people involved in the various news stories that have occurred with regularity on your watch. These sources include both your supporters and opponents, although the former have become harder and harder to reach after you apparently sent them orders that they are not to contact me, return any of my requests for comments, or in any way talk to me. You will be proud to know, however, that you have several good people “on your team” who have defied your orders and who have no problem speaking to me. Of course, they do so under conditions of strict anonymity, because they know how spiteful you are when people dare to defy you — even when you are in the wrong. The stories, much to everyone’s dismay, have been all too frequently detrimental to the health, welfare, and well being of our beloved city.

As you are probably aware if you have consulted your crack legal team, your actions have “opened yourself and the city up” to some tough responses that are at my option now. This is due to the fact that neither The Berkshire Eagle, nor, as far as I have been able to determine, any other “news and commentary” website (Slate, Drudge, Huffington, MSNBC, Fox, etc. etc.) has been blocked at city hall. It appears that you have singled out PLANET VALENTI DOT COM.

Are we that much of a threat? Answer that realistically, not politically.

I am honored, naturally, that my site has taken such root in city hall. I have some of my most loyal followers there. Your actions, moreover, have driven a whole lot more traffic to my site. For that, I suppose I should thank you. 

I would ask you, however, to reconsider your actions. A democracy is only as good as its ability to allow and encourage a free debate of ideas, including (and especially) ones that may be unpopular. My site has been extremely popular both at in the city large and in city hall, but I realize not so much with you. That’s fine. As I have done numerous times, if you have a problem with anything I say, broadcast, or publish, I am more than willing to give you “equal time” to respond. You have chosen not to accept that invitation, which only suggests that my comments about your administration have been largely spot-on. Nonetheless, once again, I invite you to share your differences with me — preferably in public. If you prefer, we can do it in private.

This invitation is extended in earnestness, resolution, and, if I may, friendship.

There is no reason we cannot have a productive, if adversary, relationship. Remember that I am a member of The Fourth Estate, a role I take seriously. As such, I am inherently pre-disposed to be skeptical of official government pronouncements. In my long career, I have found that to be the best attitude “going in” to any story. If the story has truth behind it, it will stand up to hard questioning. If it doesn’t … well, we know what happens then. At that point, official actions get treated to a healthy dose of sunshine. We dare pull back the curtain, and We The People are the better off for it.

We shall continue to do that while renewing our efforts, once more, to engage you in debate, discussion, and dialog on the issues and actions relevant to the city of Pittsfield, the county seat.

Give this some thought. It’s your choice, my Right Honorable Good Friend.

Cordially,
DAN

——– 000 ——–

You may now judge for yourself on this case. The response our readers took and the pressure they put on the corner office played a role in the mayor reversing course.

See what can happen when enough people participate in the government THEY OWN!

—————————————————————————————–

“That’s my last duchess painted on the wall, / Looking as if she were alive. I call / That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands / Worked busily a day, and there she stands.”Robert Browning, “My Last Duchess,” (1842).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

45 Responses to “‘You won! Your site is no longer blocked.’ — PLANET PREVAILS … FREEDOM OF THE PRESS TRUMPS POLITICAL PARANOIA”

  1. About Face
    June 24, 2014 at 3:38 am #

    Dan,

    This mayor should explain his actions.
    Why did he do it and why did he reverse it?
    Staying silent only makes us think he got himself into some kind of trouble by blocking the site and reversing that is to save himself.

    I really liked your honest, heartfelt email to him. You did surely help him get elected and can surely help him out of office. Even Ruberto as bad as he was, never shunned you or your site.

    Yes, if people ban together against this budget it will be slashed. Unfortunately thats what its going to take.
    Representative government is supposed to do what the people want.

    Is it too late for this mayor to turn himself around and be transparent and for the people as he promised in his campaign?

    Interestingly John F. Kennedy was immature, riding his daddy’s coat tails in his political career. However, once he won the Presidency he became a man. He stood for the people. Pretty much the entire world loved the guy. World opinion of USA was at an all time high under his Presidency.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

      So true. When Ruberto disagreed with me, he told me. I can remember many a time when I would get off the air from my talk show (10 a.m.) and two minutes later, Jimmy would come over. I could tell by his pace if he was pissed or pleased. We ALWAYS talked it out, and I’ll tell you, he could take a punch, unlike the present occupant of the office. It is not too late for the present mayor to turn himself around and fulfill his campaign promises. It will require a massive dose of dining on humble pie and admitting to some of the wisdom of many of his critics. As for JFK, I agree with that assessment. He was on the verge of disbanding the CIA and getting us out of Vietnam, two examples of fierce, ballsy, and great leadership. I would recommend to you and all, “LAST WORD” by Mark Lane.

      • Jonathan Melle
        June 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

        Jimmy Ruberto campaigned for the job of Mayor of Pittsfield over one decade ago promising to bring jobs back to Pittsfield. Jimmy Ruberto said he had a “roladex” filled with networking business contacts. The following is former Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s record on bringing jobs in Pittsfield from January of 2004 throught December of 2011 (It is not pretty!) –
        ALL FACTS – “Remembering former Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s Record on Jobs” –
        * On December 8, 2008, Sabic Innovative Plastics laid off 40 of its 300 local employees. On December 11, 2008, KB Toys filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in four years with the intention of liquidating the entire company. The 225 full-time employees at KB’s Pittsfield headquarters will all be laid off by May 2009, company officials have said.
        * “Berkshire County unemployment rate soars”, By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff, January 28, 2009, Berkshire County’s unemployment rate reached its highest level in 13 years in December…Berkshire County is now outpacing the state.
        * Berkshire County’s unemployment rate hit a 16-year high in 2009. Source: “Berkshire County Unemployment: Job outlook uncertain”, By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff, January 3, 2010.
        *”Jobless rate now at 10.4%: Unemployment in Berkshire County is at its highest level since the early 1990s.” By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle Staff, March 11, 2010.
        * Berkshire Health Systems, facing a decline in patient visits, told employees on Wednesday it will cut the equivalent of 65 full-time positions.Source: “Berkshire Health Systems shedding jobs” (By Jack Dew, Berkshire Eagle Staff, June 18, 2009).
        * Berkshire Health Systems, the parent company of Berkshire Medical Center, announced today that 124 full- and part-time employees — or 3.7 percent of the workforce — have received layoff notices. “Berkshire Health Systems announces layoffs.”, By Dick Lindsay, Berkshire Eagle Staff, August 5, 2010.
        * 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.
        * NEWS ARTICLE:
        “Bump looks to address job losses in Berkshires”
        2/19/2007 , By: Karen Honikel, (Capital News 9 out of Albany, NY covering the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts)
        Governor Deval Patrick’s new Executive Director of Workforce Development isn’t wasting any time getting down to business.
        Former State Representative Suzanne Bump is working to introduce herself to the local business communities and let them know she will make sure the Berkshires are not forgotten on Beacon Hill. She says a major concern right now is addressing the loss of jobs in the Berkshires.
        Currently the Berkshires have the highest rate of job loss in Massachusetts. Bump says this can be changed with the right policies in place. She says she will be meeting with the Governor once a week to work on bringing skilled workers and higher paying jobs into the area.
        Bump says a key part to local job growth and development will be finding a way to keep the younger workers in the Berkshires.

        • Jonathan Melle
          June 25, 2014 at 10:35 am #

          “Berkshire County jobless rate lowest in 6 years”
          By Tony Dobrowolski, Berkshire Eagle, June 25, 2014

          PITTSFIELD — When North Adams Regional Hospital closed in late March, it was expected the loss of one of the county’s major employers would create havoc with the local unemployment rate.

          Instead, the opposite has occurred. Berkshire unemployment has been slowly descending since January, and has now reached its lowest level in six years.

          The local jobless rate fell almost a full percentage point in May to 5.4 percent, according to state figures released on Tuesday. It’s the first time the Berkshire unemployment rate has dropped below 6 percent since November 2008,when it was 5.5 percent. It is the lowest the local rate has been since it hit 4.9 percent in October 2008, according to Heather Boulger, the executive director of the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board.

          Berkshire unemplyment is still slightly higher than the seasonally unadjusted state rate of 5.2 percent (the state’s seasonally adjusted rate is 5.6 percent), and almost a percentage point lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.3 percent. The numbers released Tuesday by the state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development are not seasonally adjusted, which means they take into account seasonal construction jobs and positions in the travel and tourism industry.

          The good news, according to Boulger, is that May’s Berkshire unemployment rate is almost a point and a half lower than the 6.8 percent registered in May 2013. However, Boulger said last month’s numbers also show a drop of 1,300 workers in the county’s total labor force during the last 12 months, which signifies that more county residents have either dropped out of the employment system entirely, or have moved out of the Berkshires.

          “The number of long-term unemployed and underemployed are not being counted,” said Boulger, referring to the Berkshire County numbers. Citing figures from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Boulger said the country’s underemployment rate, those taking either part-time work or jobs outside of their fields, is 12.2 percent. Those figures aren’t broken down by county, but Boulger said based on the national figures she believes the underemployment rate in the Berkshires is around 10.8 percent.

          “That’s only a guess though,” she said. “It’s not a solid number.”

          Boulger said the impact that NARH’s closing had on the local unemployment rate is reflected in the state’s latest numbers, but added, “something is offsetting it.”

          “Either more people are dropping out of the labor force, or they’re becoming employed,” she said. “Construction and travel and tourism tend to hire in May. They may not be all hospital employees. …The majority of people have either been hired for seasonal employment, or through growth with local companies.”

          Boulger said no Berkshire job sector showed an unusual increase in jobs last month.

          Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi was encouraged by the numbers, but said he’d like to have a better understanding about what they really signify.

          “It’s hard to dive into them with any sort of certainity,” Bianchi said. “I think we have do just that.”

          “We want to know where the movement has been. What sectors are doing really well and why.”

          The number of Berkshire residents collecting unemployment benefits, which is how the state calculates the number of unemployed county workers, is 3,791, the lowest figure in at least 13 months. The county’s total labor force and number of employed also increased in May. The number of employed county residents rose by 1,129 workers in May, after falling by 227 employees in April.

          Unemployment is also down in the North Adams, Pittsfield and Great Barrington labor market areas. Unemployment in the Great Barrington and North Adams areas dropped a full percentage point in May to 3.6 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively. Unemployment in the Pittsfield area fell to 5.7 percent in May from 6.5 percent.

          The jobless rate in the Berkshire’s two cities also dropped in May, but not as significantly as the county rate. Unemployment in North Adams dropped half a percentage point to 7.9 percent, the lowest number in over a year. In Pittsfield, the rate dropped to 6.0 percent from 6.6 percent, also the lowest rate in more than a year. In May 2013, the jobless rate in North Adams was 8.9 percent, while the unemployment rate in Pittsfield was 7.8 percent.

      • Silence Dogood
        June 25, 2014 at 6:54 am #

        the mayor can go to the hokey pokey clinic, a place where you can turn yourself around

      • Silence Dogood
        June 25, 2014 at 6:55 am #

        the mayor can go to the hokey pokey clinic, a place where you can turn yourself around:))

  2. Thomas More
    June 24, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    Wonderful – now who or what was the business the was paying off Mike DiCenzo?

    • Spider
      June 24, 2014 at 5:29 am #

      Yes….who was the businessman? Or is this going to be swept under the rug like the $10,000 missing from PHS…. the money taken from the Water Dept.,….. and what happened to the guy who stole from the City Clerk’s office. These are just a few.

      And why was the one name mentioned on this blog suddenly removed? Was there a threat?

      • danvalenti
        June 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        SPIDER
        No threat. We redacted because it was based upon speculation. We prefer taking leaning on the side of caution when such serious charges are involved. This must take its course in the courts.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

      TM, this both a reasonable and pertinent (if not urgent) question. Assuming the charges against Mr. Dicenzo are true (and keep in mind the standard of “innocent until proven guilty”), the businessman should (must?) be identified. He’s apparently doing lots of business, and I know I would sure want to know about any shady dealings regarding someone with whom I was doing business, especially big-bucks projects that typify construction and real estate.

      • dusty
        June 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

        I would think someone with five construction companies would be bidding on the mega million dollar Taconic High school project. Of course it might be a problem if he was a bad guy…though this is Pittsfield where passes are given freely.

        • Downtown Dweller
          June 25, 2014 at 9:32 am #

          Guess legal issues are a family affair for the DiCenzo family. His son was recently sentenced. From iBerkshires:

          Michael Dicenzo Jr., 37, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of larceny from a building, intimidation of a witness, larceny over $250 and violation of an abuse prevention order.

          He was sentenced to serve concurrent two to three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the larceny and intimidation charges. He was give a concurrent two year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the violation of an abuse prevention order charge.

          The charges stem from incident in Pittsfield between March 22, 2013 and July 15, 2013.

          http://www.iberkshires.com/blog/iBerkshiresBlotter/2602/Superior-Court-Briefs-June-17-June-19.html?source=blogs_block

  3. Legacy
    June 24, 2014 at 6:10 am #

    Of all the mayors who served, Ann Woitkowski has been one of the best as far as being for the people.
    Dan, you should have her on as a guest on PVTV.
    She can tell you things of the deeds of the corner office that noone else can.

    Of the Presidency:

    Obama: Has already been hospitalized with a nervous breakdown. His pants are on fire and his nose is growing longer by the day. Prediction; he will end up losing his mind.

    George W. Bush: Having a huge problem with alcoholism. Thee most hated man to ever occupy the office.

    Bill Clinton: Looking back, not such a bad President after all. I think the people would vote for him again if he could run.

    George H. Bush: One term President. Failed to gain the respect of the people.

    Ronald Reagan: Did his best. His campaign promises were the best any candidate has ever given. Served honorably.

    Jimmy Carter: An honest man. A lame duck Presidency as he could accomplish nothing with the house and senate on his watch.

    Gerald Ford: Finished Nixon’s term. Was never elected by the people.

    Richard Nixon: Resigned the Presidency in disgrace. Changed forever the way the people view the office.

    Lyndon Johnson: Died a broken man with mental health issues. Not the worst President but by far, the worst man to ever occupy the office.

    John F. Kennedy: Not the best President but the most popular man to ever occupy the Presidency. Died a Martyr while still in office.

    What will mayor Dan Banchi’s legacy be?
    He should give some thought to that.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

      Excellent and enjoyable. I loved reading your “takes” on the the presidents since JFK. As for Bianchi’s legacy, if it all ended right now, it would be one of failure and wasted opportunity.

    • levitan
      June 24, 2014 at 4:05 pm #

      Oh sure, Hillary Clinton would be delight. 8 more years of Bill.

  4. Rafael
    June 24, 2014 at 7:17 am #

    Dan, congrats on getting your site unblocked at City Hall.
    I also wanted to let everyone on this site know that when Councilor Clairmont posted an excerpt from an email I had sent him on this site yesterday, he did so without my permission. I find it very concerning that an email sent to a city councilor would find it’s way onto a public forum when I never gave my permission to do so. Because I had also sent that email to other councilors they all now know that I post under the name of ‘Rafael’ and can now tie in my real name to all my posts. I now feel that I cannot email my at large and ward councilors anymore, as who knows where those emails may end up? I guess this is what I get for trying to be an involved citizen. This will also be my last entry on this blog, so I just wanted to thank Dan for this exceptional website and all the other posters here.

    • Scott
      June 24, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Just change your name an post under something else.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

      Thank you, R, for your contributions to the site. I would suggest what Scott does, below: Post under a new nome de plume.

  5. Shakes His Head
    June 24, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    The swelling of self importance in these here parts is alarming. I believe I will be re-relocating to more practable pastures somewhere in America’s heartland. Only so much room in the cesspitts.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      You are wise in your discretion, SHH. Pity though, since you brought a lot to the city, a good dose of intelligence, work ethic, experience, and ability that is, was, and will be (as long as you remain) under-utilized. Pittsfield’s loos will be another community’s gain.

  6. levitan
    June 24, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Congratulations! Now City Hall employees can get back to the hard work of reading Planet Valenti on public computers on public payrolls. Excellent.

    Curious, what was the First Amendment slam dunk in Nilan V Valenti? Was there such a trial? I thought it was a harrasment hearing.

    • levitan
      June 24, 2014 at 8:39 am #

      Actually, I thought the bones of that blocking story was about City Hall employees complaining about not being allowed to slack off.

      • dusty
        June 24, 2014 at 8:50 am #

        I think if the mayor can leave his office and go work another job any time he feels the urge then perhaps you might cut the grunts in the trenches some slack.

        • levitan
          June 24, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

          Why cut anyone slack? If public employees have more time than they know what to do with, they should be part time, mayor included.

          • dusty
            June 24, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

            Many of these people got their jobs as a result of connections in the system. I don’t think anyone ever expected them to put in a full days work. Most city jobs were probably never posted beyond the bare minimum and were filled before the ink was dry on the copy.

            Not to mention, some of these jobs are make work jobs and only exist to give a paycheck to an anointed one. Some people don’t even need to show up except to grab a free cup of coffee on their way to the links.

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

      LEVITAN
      The “slam dunk” was when the judge that gave the initial granting of the temporary restraint order us to take down all of the relevant posts about the case in NILAN v. VALENTI. The judge improperly ordered the censorship and prior restraint, since the plaintiff had based her case solely on our writing. After the case hit the news, we were contacted by a gaggle of attorneys, bloggers, writers, and others whose work involved defending the First Amendment. Our vindication occurred because the courts agreed with our defense of protection under the First Amendment (free press and free speech). Here’s a good link that summarizes the case: http://www.dmlp.org/threats/nilan-v-valenti.

      • levitan
        June 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

        I thought the Judge simply decided that close as it may have came to harrassment(1), the protection order, granted in emergency condition without a hearing did not need to be upheld by the time it reached his desk. That makes it a Harrassment argument, not a Constitutional argument. Now, if the argument had been no content changes to the site are acceptable regardless of the plaintiff’s assertion, it would have been a First Amendment case.

        I recall Heller having a conniption because it was not argued as a Freedom of Speech but simply handled in the normal course of Harrassment cases. He was correct to identify the flaw in casting it as one for defense of protected speech.

        1) I understood it was harrassment protection order, not a Restraint Order which is harder to get and more damaging to the defendant. Also, I avoid gaggles. Lawyers are so plentiful these days that they often coalesce into unsightly gaggles of bats flocking to and fro sushi bars, courtrooms, and other public places.

  7. Jonathan Melle
    June 24, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Pittsfield politics sucks. Dan Valenti rules!

  8. Magic
    June 24, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    Glad your site was unblocked. However, really annoyed that my tax dollars pay the salary of these people so they can follow your blog. I might be wrong but I bet it’s not just during their lunch breaks. My company blocks everything unless it is between 12 and 1

    • danvalenti
      June 24, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      MAGIC
      Thanks. If the city as an employer wants to improve the productivity of its employees by blocking access to non-work-related sites, it must block ALL the sites. The mayor ordered a blockade only on THE PLANET, which raise a tar pit of constitutional issues for him. He was wise to reverse his decision.

      • levitan
        June 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

        Ok, that is interesting. Who can reliably state that only one site was blocked. And if so, could it be that certain people were addicted to it during paid hours and needed some soft disciplining?

        • levitan
          June 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

          Plus, it couldn’t have been a blockade. I posted on the site from my home during this controversy.

          However, if he did single it out without employee abuse, I agree that would be amusing.

          • T-bone
            June 24, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

            From city hall: Yes, DV’s site was singly blocked. No question.

          • levitan
            June 25, 2014 at 7:14 am #

            T-bone – thanks for clarifying. Next question would be under whose orders and why.

  9. N. Hale
    June 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Some questions to think about:

    How did Bianchi intend to enforce the block on the website?

    Was he going to monitor traffic of all computers or do so with some type of program, chip or other administrative function?

    If so, would that mean that he can follow the Internet usage of City Hall workers?

    • Tim
      June 24, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

      It would mean they enjoy the same rights as any other employer.

  10. amandaWell
    June 24, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    This City Council has turned into a bunch of Puppets.

  11. amandaWell
    June 24, 2014 at 4:22 pm #

    Low showed us all tonight at the City Council meeting the person he really is. I’ll be voting for this budget,although..blah, blah. Why don’t you and the Mayor just leave politics.

    • dusty
      June 24, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

      Since acronyms are becoming popular on this site I would like to propose one for Lothrup. B U L L S H I T T E R ! For those of you having trouble deciphering it it is short for Bullshitter.

  12. amandaWell
    June 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Council Grades: Clairmont F
    Connell B
    Simonelli A
    Caccamo 0
    Amuso A
    Cotton C
    Krol A
    Morandi A
    Mazzeo A
    Tully A
    Low -6

  13. Nota
    June 24, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    I think it would be way cool to see the D V at the desk, at the City Council Meeting.

  14. Lenny
    June 24, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Kudos to Tully and Morandi for voicing the concerns of the taxpayers. A 5% increase is huge. The councilors are not responsible for suggesting cuts, that’s the administration’s job.
    The councilors are responsible for the people’s money. Clairmont and the mayor need to understand that.

    • levitan
      June 25, 2014 at 10:30 am #

      Tully voiced her concerns? Is she establishing a pattern for doing that?

  15. Silence Dogood
    June 25, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    The elephant in the room question is….is the planet blocked from the larry global mondello computers?

    • danvalenti
      June 25, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      SILENCE
      Gotta love it! I think I shall read this comment on my TV show Thursday night. BTW, it begins at 8 p.m., not 7 p.m., one time only.