(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURDAY FEB. 16, 2017) — It all ties together. That’s the notion of “interbeing.” It’s looking at a paper bag and seeing the sun that grew trees from which the paper was made. With that in mind, let THE PLANET show how interbeing works in Pittsfield.

The mayor’s office yesterday issued the following notice:

“As a reminder, property owners are required to clear sidewalks of snow and ice 24 hours after a snowstorm. Owners should use ice melt and sand as needed to ensure their sidewalks are maintained in a safe condition.   Code enforcement will be monitoring city streets to ensure clear pathways. Failure to do so may result in violation notices.   To report an obstructed sidewalk or for more information, please call the Health Department at 413-499-9411.”

This type of notice has become routine following a snowstorm, because so many property owners ignore it without consequence. That’s patently unfair to Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, who keep the sidewalks at their modest home clean and safe. Joe goes out there and does the hard work himself. Next year, he will pay to have it done because he’s getting along in years.

In either case, the Kapanskis get punished every time they break their backs or bank accounts to handle snow the deadbeats ignore. THE PLANET encourages everyone to report violations to the Health Department. We also encourage the city to start writing up citations with “demand due” notices.

Which leads to …

Painting of utility boxes. If you’ve been downtown to see the poorly executed art done the last time the city got this silly idea, you know more eyesore is the last thing Pittsfield needs. The utility-box art gave rise to a maladroit incompetence not seen since — oh, since Jason JIV McCandless last put in an honest day’s work at Mercer.

You’ve seen the electrical boxes: a black girl with fried eggs on her eyes, the Popcorn Wagon as a meth addict’s fancy, retarded  black smudges on orange day-glo … you get the idea.

“Art is always welcome in Pittsfield,” said Mayor Linda Tyer.

Art Ditmar? You bet, every time. Unskillful doodling? Not a drop. If the city truly wants creativity, how about painting the parking kiosks … with invisible ink.

Which leads to … The invisibility of mercurial meandering.

Today at 2 p.m., Mayor Tyer will escort Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on a walking tour of North Street. Michael Knapik, director of the governor’s western mass. office, will tag along. Tyer will take the pair on a whitewashed stroll to the Onota Building, the Beacon Cinema, and Hotel On North. THE PLANET isn’t sure who is supposed to impress whom.

We commend the mayor for avoiding the sidewalks in front of Methuselah Bar & Grill, the side alley between the Central Block (Newberry’s) and Berkshire Bank (England Brothers), and the denizens of Intermodal Plaza. With luck, the three will get through their official destinations without too many shootings, stabbings, overdoses, beatings, pan handlers, drunks, meth addicts, chiselers, or critters babbling about flying pink teapots.

These are politicians. They are made of stern stuff.

Which leads to …

The whitewash perpetrated Monday night in the Herberg Middle School auditorium. The do-gooders were out in force to lecture Pittsfield citizens why it’s a great idea to welcome 50 Syrian refugees to Shire City. As promised, THE PLANET had our spies there, and we’ve been debriefing the intelligence. Our early  take? The meeting showed little difference from the first one held at the library.

Attendees were dealt the same stacked deck. The do-gooders — primarily Diedre Griffen for Jewish Family Services of Western Mass. (JFS) and Maxine Stein, CEO of JFS — told us how “optimistic” they are “that Pittsfield will become a refugee resettlement community.” This despite the fact that, once again, opponents of the move were not permitted to ask questions or actively participate.

Of course Griffen and Stein want to unload human cargo in Pittsfield. It is in their vested interest. But what about city residents and taxpayers?

  • Is it in their interest to accept Syrians who won’t go through the legal immigration process?
  • Is it in their interests to accept those fleeing a country the United States has put on hold because there is no way to safely vet the incoming?
  • Is it in their best interests to have to pay for food, housing, EBT benefits, education, and the like when there is so much need already in a poor city getting poorer by the day? When their taxes are so high?

Griffen did fine hiding her spots until she uttered those words ALWAYS fatal to taxpayers: the resettlement, she said, would be a “public-private partnership.”

You know how that works out, don’t you, Mary Jane and Joe?

Yup. You get effed.

Every single time.


“Seeing how there’s no other place around the place, I reckon’ this must be the place, I reckon’.”Jerome “Curly” Howard



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  1. 12 Gauge
    February 15, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

    From iBerkshires;
    The plans were in the works for the Springfield-based organization to resettle the families here since last summer. In the fall, the organization announced its intentions publicly and held a community meeting at the library. Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which runs the federal program alongside the State Department, approved Pittsfield’s application to become a resettlement community.

    Who applied and when and by whose authority?

  2. Shakes His Head
    February 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    I still can’t imagine why a Syrian would pick Pittsfield over Mosul. That said, the alley by newberry is crumbling.

    • Richard Backer
      February 16, 2017 at 4:58 am #

      It’s been crumbling for years part of Pittsfield creed build don’t maintain it ask for more money to build it new think Springside House, Street Scape by Park Square and Old Taconic

    • Dean
      February 16, 2017 at 6:58 am #

      matt (shakes) we dont want them, and you are fake news

      • Shakes His Head
        February 16, 2017 at 6:59 am #

        Dean (dick) is that really the best you’ve got?

        • Dean
          February 16, 2017 at 8:56 am #

          matt (shakes) i dont need anything else. you and i both know it.

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 10:46 am #

            You might try by guessing a different name, or if you really think I am Matt, what is my last name?

            You are still dick.

          • Dean
            February 16, 2017 at 11:50 am #

            Matt you know

          • 12 Gauge
            February 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

            Matt Dorfmann

  3. The School Committee
    February 16, 2017 at 2:14 am #

    Hows Donald Trump doing.Does anyone else believe is lies will catch up with him or do you believe they are important to make America great again.

    • joetaxpayer
      February 16, 2017 at 7:40 am #

      Still crying about Trump? Stay focused on the subject.

  4. heh heh
    February 16, 2017 at 2:40 am #

    I have not seen all the painted utility boxes but I thought the ones I saw were quite nice.

  5. The School Committee
    February 16, 2017 at 3:44 am #

    The mayor with Marchetti should have coffee with Brendon Sheran…maybe Brendan hold the keys to higher wages through consolidation of the schools over the next 3 years.Let’s plan this disaster….please ….jobs are going away forever. Brendon needs to publicly speak to the Pittsfield economy failing and unable to support his growing union.High school history teachers should not make 75k a year.

    • LoneGunMan
      February 16, 2017 at 6:19 am #

      He makes that as a base salary and from I hear betwen 15-20k a the union president on stipend. No wonder a kid (yes, he’s young) working in public schools with a family to feed can drive around in his flashy Lexus and at the same time screaming poverty. He needs a cement bath ala Big Boy in Dick Tracy

      • Shakes His Head
        February 16, 2017 at 7:01 am #

        Maybe he just manages his money well and is smart and works hard? Are you really that jelly over a stupid car?

        I drive a nice car because it is safer than a cheap car and I value my family’s safety.

        • Dean
          February 16, 2017 at 8:57 am #

          No you dont Matt (shakes)

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 10:47 am #

            I mean, not everyone cares for Mercedes, but it gets me around town.

          • Dean
            February 16, 2017 at 11:09 am #

            matt (shakes) you dont drive that

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 11:22 am #

            ????? why would I make something up like that ?????

            you just don’t get it…. I am not whoever you think I am .

            go back to topix

          • Dean
            February 16, 2017 at 11:25 am #

            Sure matt (shakes) because you are a habitual liar and fake news

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 11:31 am #

            Dean is dick

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 11:40 am #

            trump is getting probed…. you know who else really likes getting probed?? the guy that will respond that this is fake news.


          • Dean
            February 16, 2017 at 11:50 am #

            matt (shakes) your true colors are showing. and you are fake news

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 2:51 pm #

            I’m rubber you’re glue, bounces off me and sticks to you.


      • 12 Gauge
        February 16, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

        Dorfmann, you drive a Prius

        • Shakes His Head
          February 16, 2017 at 8:38 pm #

          While I did rent a Camry last weekend, I would not buy an Asian car.

  6. h
    February 16, 2017 at 4:35 am #

    We were tagged by Blaisdell at the Health Dept.. for an unshoveled sidewalk awhile ago, the walk was taken care of after the plow pushed it back on the sidewalk and it was bone dry after that, surrounding walks were never shoveled which looked like a couple abandoned properties and many others weren’t shoveled for days. Health Director Gina Armstrong on the other hand is one hell of a find, and on any day they are very busy and helpful, quite frankly, the Health Department is probably the City’s best Dept. Aside, went down to Elm Street Hardware one storm and at the 123 or right to the right of the store is a driveway and an empty business,the snow had not been shoveled in the front and impassible for a lot of pedestrians, safety Hazzard at best.

  7. Jim M
    February 16, 2017 at 6:03 am #

    The people that run Dunking Donuts on 1st Street never clean snow from their sidewalk, I’ve complained to the mayors office over and over for many years, yet nothing was ever done to correct the situation. Apparently they are connected.

    • P Hewton
      February 16, 2017 at 11:34 am #

      Why does the state plows plow side streets after the city does it?

  8. Spider
    February 16, 2017 at 6:17 am #

    Heard that Marland Mold closed on Friday. No warning to employees. Has this been in any of the papers?

    • Spagirlfrommass
      February 16, 2017 at 8:24 am #

      It has not been reported. Marland Mold was bought out as part of an investment deal., and closed permanently.

      • Bill Q
        February 16, 2017 at 9:26 am #

        Maybe they can reopen as a marijuana or needle making dispensary.

      • Pat
        February 16, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

        It happened last Friday. The BB just reported it today.

  9. Happy
    February 16, 2017 at 9:54 am #

    Marland Mold closed? Wow that’s big. How sad. Another sign of Pittsfield we all knew and loved gone for good. I had family that worked there in the 50s, 60s, through the 80s.

    • Pat
      February 16, 2017 at 11:41 am #

      40 jobs lost and that is one of the small companies that the progressives want more of in this city.

      • The School Committee
        February 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

        Pat …a regressive 1% er bought it and will close it forever.What city what kind of people put a Super Walmart in a residential neighborhood.

  10. Pat
    February 16, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

    40 less jobs in the city for the refugees not to mention the people who have lived here all their lives, but of course all of the compassion from the progressives will go to the poor refugees and illegal immigrants.

    • Spider
      February 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

      And the big question is: do they speak English? If not, how will they get jobs. And are they willing to learn English. Also, do they expect us to adopt their culture (sharia law) or accept ours. So many unanswered questions.

      Also, is it true that Kriol and White signed the applications for them to come here? That’s the rumor.

      • Pat
        February 16, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

        I agree. People on this board put down locals without enough education skills like bachelor degrees and masters degrees. Do you think these refugees will have their doctorate?

        It seems that the refugees want to change our culture to reflect their beliefs not the other way around if you look at places like Paris or Germany or even Dearborn, Michigan.

        • Shakes His Head
          February 16, 2017 at 3:01 pm #

          Dearborn is a lot nicer place than where you live.

          • 12 Gauge
            February 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

            Give it a rest Dorfmann

          • Shakes His Head
            February 16, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

            Not even close. Go back to topix

          • Dean
            February 17, 2017 at 6:22 am #

            It is spot on matt

  11. Bill Q
    February 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm #

    Why can’t the City set up refugee camps at the PEDA site? Oh, they can’t set anything up….sorry.

  12. EddieP
    February 16, 2017 at 1:54 pm #

    So Cafua wants to tear down Royal Cleaners to put up a “restaurant”. The BB story raised more questions than answers.
    Are they taking a risk by demolishing that building? Look what happened on Federal St. when that cleaners was torn down. How deep will they have to dig to fix this one? And what is the story on Cafua’s First St. Project? Someone is keeping that one quiet.

    • Really?
      February 16, 2017 at 4:16 pm #


      Keeping what quite. They are building it right in front of our eyes. Are they supposed to take out daily billboards and radio ads to update us?

      Take some Prozac and calm down.

      • EddieP
        February 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm #

        I haven’t been down there in a few days. Glad it’s started up again. Must have been a delay in getting the steel from China.
        Why are you so agitated?

  13. The School Committee
    February 16, 2017 at 3:31 pm #

    Sheran will check out the budget this year and when he sees the financial conditions he will sign a 1 year contract at 2% plus new language as a favor to the city just buying time till next year.Everybody will say how great this is.

    • LoneGunMan
      February 17, 2017 at 6:51 am #

      Are the teacher contracts up this year? If so why aren’t people raising hell ? I for one will be calling my local ward rep/school committee members and demanding (see harassing) them to make changes and deny this absurd pay steps/raises

      #notmyschool *puts on flesh colored penis hat* Now I’ll be taken seriously!!

      • danvalenti
        February 17, 2017 at 9:11 am #

        I believe the contract does expire. The last one gave them 16-18% raises, including the steps. Average compensation is now more than $80,000 a year (salary + bennies, state dept. of ed. figure). With more than 1,200 employees, that is unsustainable. This year’s city budget will literally be the last opportunity for Pittsfield to reverse a disaster. It can only do so by taking cost OUT of the school department and at the same time insisting on low- and no-cost ed reform (uniforms, curriculum, longer hours etc.).

  14. Bill Q
    February 16, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

    Anyone hear the answer to the reason for the shot spotter from the analyst? One answer was I guess, yep, she said I guess,one of the reason’s for it.

    When is PCTV going to stop the Parking Meter Infomercials, does Donna and the Generals Daughter think we can’t comprehend it, this show has been on at least twenty times since first aired?

  15. Dilly Dally
    February 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

    Al Blumin for Mayor!

  16. The School Committee
    February 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

    Whybrid won’t mazzeo consolidate pittsfield schools

  17. mi
    February 16, 2017 at 7:26 pm #

    Everyone knows the School Block gets you elected.

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