(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY NOV. 15, 2017) — Garbage collection promises to get a lot more interesting when, not if, the new proposed “tote” system goes into effect. Please though. Before you read any further, don’t let anyone know that you know that this is another of those proverbial Pittsfield “Done Deals.”

It’s not the long arm of the law that rounds up the human trash among us, for politics has rendered the law in Pitsfield a hyena picking over the bodies of evicerates. Rather, it will be the long arm of the claw that collects the actual garbage.

Word from our Z-Agents and confirmed by city hall sources tell of a meeting involving the GM/CEO of the private company that holds the contract for trash removal, mayor Linda “Trashcan” Tyer, and city finance director Matt “Kufflinks” Kerwood. Stop THE PLANET if you’ve heard this one before, because meetings like this rarely turn out well for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, the city’s taxpaying “Little Guys.”

At the meeting, sources say Mr. CEO asked Trashcan and Kufflinks to implement toter trucks. The trucks come equipped with long arms on the right-hand side — automatic side loaders — that the driver operates from the comfort of his or her cab. The system does away with the need for actual trash collectors, those shotgun-riding jockeys who jump off the truck, empty the garbage containers, and throw the cans in the middle of the street. Bottom line: More jobs lost, less money circulating in the local economy.

Under the toter system, the city will limit the amount of trash residents can bring to the curb, cutting it to one 35-gallon tote. More than that will require people to pay for additional receptacles, which we imagine will not go down particularly well with bedraggled citizens, being crushed as they are with punishing taxes.

This trash change already emits the redolence of a fly-covered mound of raw sewage. The timetable reveals how, once again, “the fix was in.” Attend carefully.

* In 2015, Ward 3 councilor Nick “The Caddy” Caccamo introduces a petition asking for “solutions” to the city’s trash issues. This is his tacit way of admitting what he dare not utter clearly and publicly: The city’s a veritable trash heap, with garbage everywhere and responsibility nowhere.

* July 2016: Kufflinks suddenly announces the emergence of a “re-energized” Resource Recovery Commision. The Suits hold a celebration. Ordinary citizens hold on to their wallets.

* Early 2017: The mayor grants more than a half a million public dollars to Covanta, a private company. Hmmmm …

* February 2017:  On orders from his masters, The Caddy submits a petition to institute a toter system. The Suits claim it will save taxpayers $87,000. You know what that means: Taxpayers will get creamed.

* Recently, within the last three seconds, Trashcan, Kufflinks, and Mr. CEO meet in the former office, hush hush.

Connect the dots. See the picture emerge: Another win for the special interests, another beating for the Kapanskis. THE PLANET has learned that the new system will charge taxpayers $1,797,760 for collection, $532,619 for disposal, $320,000 for transportation of recyclables to Springfield, and $114,713 in bonding for the totes. Kufflinks confirmed these figures, which he points out, correctly, amounts to $87,000 less than the current trash removal fee.

However …

There’s always a “however” to any “good news” announced by Pittsfield’s crooked public officials.

What Kufflinks conveniently leaves out in the calculation is the $400,000 needed to buy the tote receptacles. Adding that, seems the new system will (a) cost $313,000 M-O-R-E while (b) greatly limiting the amount of garbage households can throw away. Kufflinks says the city will ask the state to pick up the cost of the totes in the form of a grant.

Great. 1. Grants will come with conditions such as more beds for junkies. 2. Grant money goes away. Replacement costs will be eaten by taxpayers. 3. Most any program dealing with a private company that depends on public grant money is a loser, which leads to this Quote of the Year from Kufflinks, pertaining to the projected costs: “These are numbers based non a particular scenario and a particular set of facts, so there will be nuisances, too.”

See? Don’t worry, folks. The screwing the city is about to give you on trash pickup is no big deal. It’s a mere “nuisance.”


“I am the doubter and the doubt”Ralph W. Emerson.



The Usual Disclaimer.



  1. Dilly Dally
    November 14, 2017 at 8:06 pm #

    Is State Forest and the Lakes set for the onslaught of strewn garbage. The Tyler street receptacles will be full after two days.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    November 14, 2017 at 8:58 pm #

    They should rename politicians “shake down artists”!

    • Chris P. Bacon
      November 14, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

      Sha krol down artists.

  3. acheshirecat
    November 14, 2017 at 9:06 pm #

    Lots of questions. How are the elderly going to handle these totes? And how is this going to work when it snows? Where will the totes have to placed on pick-up day? Gutter? Sidewalk? Will it disrupt on street parking? Who replaces the totes when broken?

    • dusty
      November 15, 2017 at 8:21 am #

      At least the homeless will have shelter and a place to store their belongings. Instead of stealing a shopping cart they can steal someones trash can and use it for a mobile home.

    • laws
      November 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      And the Mayor cites Agawam as an example. We used 65-gallon totes and most people thought they were too small. Tyer is saying we’ll have even smaller ones, only 35 or 45-gallons!

      So as people jam and compress their trash into those tiny totes, it will be fun to watch the mechanical arm banging your totes to try an empty it.

  4. Gobsig
    November 14, 2017 at 9:10 pm #

    How many toters can a taxpayer have?

  5. None Of The Above
    November 14, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

    Since 77% didn’t vote I think I won every council and school committee seat. Awesome job if I say so myself.

  6. None Of The Above
    November 14, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m the new City Clerk too yipee.

  7. dusty
    November 15, 2017 at 1:02 am #

    and since the taxpayers already pay a bundle for trash collection, which is included in their property taxes, what happens to that money? Are we going to add more to that or were we supposed to conveniently forget about that hidden charge?

    • Wilson
      November 15, 2017 at 8:26 am #

      They’re likely setting the stage to charge a separate trash fee outside of the prop 2 1/2 restriction. $100 a month is a small price to pay for “modernization” and “environmental stewardship”, taxpayers just need to skip couple of coffees a day or maybe lunch, spending most of the money you earn on yourself is greedy!

      • dusty
        November 15, 2017 at 10:15 am #

        True enough. As a senior citizen on a fixed income I do feel kind of selfish eating two meals a day when I would probably stay alive if I only ate one. At least for a while.

      • Richard Baculum
        November 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm #

        City employees back in the 50’s and 60’s actually used to go to your back yard and bring your trash cans to the curb but those days are long gone.

  8. dusty
    November 15, 2017 at 1:03 am #

    By the way what ever happened to the south county newspaper? I have not seen it in any of the stores in several months.

  9. Spagirl
    November 15, 2017 at 4:38 am #

    Super Walmart will not be coming. This defines Pittsfield on a bottom line level.

    • Pat
      November 15, 2017 at 5:05 am #

      If that is true then Melissa Mazzeo stopped it dead in its tracks. She and her fellow Progressives did not want a Super Walmart. This at a time when stores are closing right and left and soon Walmart will be the only low cost store in the area. A Super Walmart would have provided some help for the lower income in the county. Will she and the rest of the Progressives drive Walmart out of the city next?

      Melissa Mazzeo and many Progressives in this area are very wealthy and have many places to shop here in Berkshire County and outside of the county not to mention on-line shopping. When will the struggling middle class revolt against the lack of concern shown for them in this area?

      • The school committee
        November 15, 2017 at 5:15 am #

        Pat,progressives will always bring conservatives along as they kick and scream about thoughtful logical thinking.By the way progressives have not made much of an impact over the years except some social change.Blue collar middle class wages have gome down 22% and unions are gone as Corporations and the wealthy in the conservative party got you focused on democrats as they pick your pockets on healthcare and taxes…..stick with them as they steal another 3 trillion from America.

        • Spagirl
          November 15, 2017 at 7:12 am #

          The taxpayers really have a hard decision. Letting these political hacks walk all over you, or make that move. … this crap is getting old.

          • Pat
            November 15, 2017 at 10:53 am #

            I attended the first meeting in this city for a Super Walmart. Progressives were in full attendance doing NOTHING but asking negative questions about the impact of a Super Walmart in this city. Melissa Mazzeo did NOTHING to encourage a Super Walmart to come here and everything to discourage it.

            These same politicians here in Pittsfield have no problem paying high shipping charges for online shopping. It’s the struggling people in this community who can’t afford to shop online.

            WOMEN need to lead the charge in this city to save our shopping centers and to bring in new stores. WOMEN do the majority of the shopping and our choices are getting fewer and fewer. The wealthy politicians in this area COULD CARE LESS. The sooner everyone realizes this, the better off this city will be.

          • Mr. G
            November 15, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

            But wait Pat, weren’t all the politicians who WANTED the Super WalMart also Progressives? As is usual around here, it’s 2 sides of the same coin, the sides being those getting greased, for the moment, and those that ain’t.

          • Pat
            November 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

            No, Mr. G., there were not many politicians in this city who wanted a Super Walmart and, if they did, they didn’t speak up very loudly in favor of it.

        • Ed Check
          November 20, 2017 at 7:22 am #

          The big flaw in your comment. The progressives have been in control, and many of the so called conservatives are really progressives.

          In Pittsfield, progressives have controlled things as long as I can recall, and I have been here some 35 years.

          As they say, the chickens have come home to roost.

      • dusty
        November 15, 2017 at 5:35 am #

        Can’t Walmart just grease a palm or two? That is the game after all. Pretend you are against something and hope somebody slips an envelope into your pocket.

        • Len X Abhorant
          November 15, 2017 at 5:42 am #

          Watch the Player endorsing it.Or, F T M.

      • Ed Setera
        November 15, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

        If MM is so rich why does she rely on city health insurance. I guess in a way the citizens of Pittsfield subsidize the restaurant.

  10. LoneGunMan
    November 15, 2017 at 6:31 am #

    Wait until you see hundreds of totes in the middle of the roads this winter. People wont pick up a small bag, you think they are going to move a 95 gallon plastic drum?

    Caccamo, you are a useless hipster schmuck. We all know you’re a pawn, ever since Paul “pills” Capitanio endorsed you

  11. Len X Abhorant
    November 15, 2017 at 9:02 am #

    Yeah, but he got a lot of votes.

  12. GhostRider
    November 15, 2017 at 11:32 am #

    Even under IDEAL conditions, e.g. flat streets and no snow, there are problems. In our gated community, even people over 65 are able to maneuver the wheeled totes in and out. But, in the City, there are inherent problems and #1is on street parking. Add snow piles, antique New England thoroughfares and hit or miss snow removal, it should be interesting to say the least. First, a 65 gallon tote is more than enough for a 2 person home. If they are put out 1/2 empty or less, on a windy day, the tote will tip making it a smorgesbord for 4 legged critters. Next, given the nature of people not read the No Parking logo on the side of a container, and boxing in beween 2 cars, the grapple is unable to reach the tote lest it damage the car(s) and it is left there, prompting complaint calls. 3rd, sometime the lids remain open after a dumping. On a rainy day they become quite heavy. I can imagine what a good dumping of wet snow would do! 4th, empty totes like to blow away, just like shopping carts. Finding your own can be daunting. (I’d suggest marking yours with a splotch of bright paint)! 5th, As was stated very well by Dusty, they will/are subject to theft by the homeless and the desert here bears testimony to “tote condo cities!” 6th, back on the rain issue, did you remember images on TV news of people using them as boats and wooden boards as oars during flooding? Lastly, if YOU don’t take care of them, the liquid drippings of milk, meat, soda, etc congeal and act as a smelly super glue to keep stuff stuck in the tote. You can only imagine the smell, esp in the summer! You can buy plastic can liners, but that adds up quickly. I have to clean mine monthly with concentrated Lysol, a long handled brush and a hose. And we all know that not all of the righteous, civic minded residents of the Pitts are as conscientious. (As an aside, we have 2 totes; one for everyday garbage and one for recyclables, picked up on 2 different days a week). Glass you have to bring to a dumpster @ a City facility on your own. And again, human nature being as it is, Elmer sees the word “recycle” and the few bottles he has is outnumbered by cans, boxes, plastic bags, etc. This keeps the Dept of Corrections’ clients busy during the week, sorting glass from trash. And here’s the BIG problem! Many residents, either being frugle or or limited means, do not subscribe to this system. THEY prefer to use the free “Tyer-type” street cans, OPs’ (other peoples), grocery or gas station dumpsters, City owned dumpsters (kind of ironic, eh) or, sadly, the great outdoors! Good Luck with your new endeavor! Maybe someone will lose Kuff-Links in a tote some nite!

  13. Two Cents
    November 15, 2017 at 11:59 am #

    Great Contrib Ghost….Very informative!

  14. CosbiesLadies
    November 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm #

    Agree, Ghost is the real deal and enjoy everyone on here,especially,the GHOST……

  15. The school committee
    November 15, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    Who is in charge of maintaining the new 120 million dollars school building with 1/4 of a million square feet.The biggest problem in this city is under maintained property.It fall apart the day the open the building…..Curtis does not like paying for building custodians which is bare bones crews.He wants that money for new software

    • Cos
      November 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

      Make the Berkshire County Sheriffs inmates maintain it after hours, come on Yawn?

  16. Len X Abhorant
    November 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

    I was watching a local show today the guests were being idolized, and told how great they were,and that one of them was to be credited for getting up so early in the morning,it was the Krol Show, hecean’t there,the Host was falling all over the woman, who looked like she woke up from a long sleep,and the gentleman with her, said nothing.Isn’t that’s show supposed to be for student programming and why is it still on?

    • Benigno Numine
      November 15, 2017 at 8:53 pm #

      Ask McCandless why Krol owns the morning time slot and if you can have a show at that time and if not why not.

      • Two Cents
        November 16, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

        What bothers me the most is that Larry Kratka and other volunteers donated hundred of hours to rescue WTBR from the abyss to provide a training ground for students interested in Broadcasting. While Larry was involved, he maintained that focus and recruited and mentored students. As a result, it had great student participation and again was training future broadcasters. When Larry retired it was left in the hands of Krol, who decided it was his own personal radio station(See Copyright graphic on show) and he could care less about students whom he discouraged from participating to advance his self-promoting propaganda machine. Bottom Line-He single handedly destroyed the station at the expense of “the children”. He’s like a child performing a skit in front of his parents in their living room, while wondering why Spielberg isn’t calling. Grow-up dude and get a job!

        • dusty
          November 16, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

          And that just shows you what kind of person he is. Just imagine what kind of public servant he will be if elected to a higher office.

        • Benigno Numine
          November 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm #

          The school committee and JIV allow this crap to go on.

  17. Bill Q
    November 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

    At last nights City Council Meeting,President Marchetti refused to shut down one of the speakers trashing Mr. Krol. Maybe it’s time for Krol to be the Prez?

    • Shelly Liver
      November 15, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

      Yes, seen that . At least Councilor Amuso tried to stop the
      Nonsense a couple of times, it is clearly stated, Council Members are not to be verbally attacked.

      • dusty
        November 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

        didn’t Krol attack someone recently? He started it Mom!!

        • Benigno Numine
          November 15, 2017 at 5:07 pm #

          As brash as he is the guy who dressed down Krol, Amusso and Tully was right even if he wasn’t delicate.

      • None Of The Above
        November 15, 2017 at 4:47 pm #

        Was it Amuso or Tyer who tried to shut him down. Since when can’t a citizen tell a councilor what they think? Let’s face Amuso, Tully and especially Krol are no prizes and when Amuso was on the school committee she basically gave the store away, and let’s not forget her work on the school building needs committee.

        Amuso and Krol should both be removed from the council for their childish outbursts.

        • Richard Baculum
          November 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

          Here, here. They are both overgrown babies who have done nothing positive.

    • 12 Gauge
      November 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

      Bottom line. We all know Krol is a buffoon.

    • 12 Gauge
      November 15, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

      The only thing Krol should preside over is his fake business.

  18. The school committee
    November 16, 2017 at 5:29 am #

    Walmart gets what Walmart wants,this City of unqualified people in every official position does not stop a Walmart in the hood.

    • Pat
      November 16, 2017 at 5:56 am #

      It seems that these very unqualified people have stopped a Super Walmart from coming here. Certainly their lack of enthusiasm for the project and their rude behavior toward the Walmart representatives during the community meeting I attended didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for a Super Walmart.

      Also, if a Super Walmart did move into the “hood” as you call it, it might have a chance of improving the area with the revitalization that a Super Walmart would have brought to the Tyler Street area. As usual, however, we have NO intelligent leadership in Pittsfield. They think giving a ribbon cutting for new trashcans is a big deal and that is their idea of progress in that decaying neighborhood.

      • The school committee
        November 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

        Melissa Mazzeo cant stop herself or the Mayor,Yon AmusoTaylor Kroll …name anything Mazzeo stopped .PHS will be the best condo building in the berkshire.restaurants, hotel…sell it and reap the reward of new ownership on east street.

  19. Rocky Creed
    November 16, 2017 at 5:57 am #

    Krol sits up there like he’s the King…looking down on his peasants…go to a meeting in person and you’ll see what I mean…your not a Congressman Krol…The Water Wizard put the pretty boy never worked a day in his life little brat in his place. If you want to sit up there Mr. high and mighty then you better be able to take it.

  20. Jonathan Melle
    November 16, 2017 at 6:20 am #

    So Wal-Mart did not relocate. They did not want to build a new store on a toxic waste site that needed tens of millions of dollars in pollution remediation.

    • acheshirecat
      November 16, 2017 at 6:46 am #

      Walmart is not the builder. They would have been a tenant of Waterstone Properties.

      • danvalenti
        November 16, 2017 at 11:21 am #


        • The school committee
          November 16, 2017 at 2:37 pm #

          I believe no Walmart changes everything….200,000 square feet of deals.You will be able to walk over from elm street….Amuso,Masimiano, Eberwien,Bouvier build a undersized building for only 900 when the entire city is at 1600,stupid,stupid,stupid

      • 12 Gauge
        November 16, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

        I understand the Jon Krol factory outlet will have a storefront there. You’ll be able to find all sorts of fake products there.

    • Ed Check
      November 20, 2017 at 7:31 am #

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the new Berkshire Mall owner is courting a Walmart supercenter. Would make more sense, and a town that would even welcome them.

  21. h
    November 16, 2017 at 11:48 am #

    Something going down on Dewey Ave.sounds serious, PPDon the job!

  22. h
    November 16, 2017 at 12:11 pm #

    False alarm, it sounded serious because the officer who was chasi g was out of. Reach, evidential.y out of shape.

  23. H
    November 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Greatness starts with Crime enforcement, listening to the Police Scanner the last couple hours seems PPD is starting to kick ass and take names, it’s about time.

  24. The school committee
    November 16, 2017 at 2:42 pm #

    NEVER FORGET,,,,Behnke and Curtis make 125k each to throw away your hard earned money….they barricade themselves in their offices

  25. gocometti
    November 16, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

    Bloomberg b\Business Report says that in cities where Walmart does not build Dollar General and Family Dollar stores thrive…its a sign that those cities are not ever going to grow out of poverty. So
    I guess we can expect more Dollar General and Family Dollar stores in our future. Pittsfield just isn’t wealthy enough to invest in and the General Electric property will remain undeveloped.

  26. CosbiesLadies
    November 16, 2017 at 3:14 pm #

    It was intriguing to hear Wal Mart proposed 9 – 13 million in job salaries?

  27. Tricia and Trasha
    November 21, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Valenti is the greatest.