Article

MUELLER REPORT AN ‘UGLY WIN’ FOR THE PRESIDENT

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

Before we being, allow THE PLANET to pay our respects for one of the all-time great sports figures, who, off the court, was even greater as a human being. R.I.P. John Havlicek. Bill Russell called “the best basketball player I ever saw.” 

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION APRIL 26-8, 2019) — In politics as in sports, an ugly win is better than a stylish loss. And we’re not speaking of the much-anticipated showdown to be featured this local election season between figurative mayoral heavyweights Linda Tyer and Melissa Mazzeo. That’s a topic to be much explored later this year. Actually, we speak of The Mueller Report. THE PLANET waited this long so that we could read the 400+ pages of the redacted document. Talk about earning combat pay.

“Ugly win” is perhaps the most generous description one can put on the recently released report. The redacted version of the investigation (900+ deletions) highlights the selective and out-of-context finding trumpeted endlessly by Attorney General Barr and the President, that the probe uncovered no evidence of “collusion” with Russia to fix the 2016 election. That’s the good news. Even our buddy Mitt Romney conceded that before saying Trump’s actions as described in the report “sickened” him. As a side note, THE PLANET supports calls to release the unredacted version. We no longer trust or believe in “national security” as an excuse for the government to hide the material.

“Collusion” can be a hard word to pin down. In this context, THE PLANET sees it as willful action to participate in a deceitful operation that the colluder(s) tries to keep secret. After two years and $25 million, Mueller’s team couldn’t find the fingerprints, at least not Donald Trump’s. That absence certainly cannot convict, but, as the report says, it also cannot absolve. Thieves do, after all, know enough to wear gloves when they’re cracking the safe.

Outside of the redactions, the most frustrating aspect of the report is Meuller’s inability or refusal to reach a conclusion about the President’s involvement in the 2016 electoral meddling. The report cites two reasons for not doing so: (1) Department of Justice (DOJ) practice that a sitting president cannot be indicted. (2) DOJ says a president has almost unlimited power to direct and order government employees. Successful prosecution under those conditions would be almost impossible. Prosecution itself would be easy, though it would only serve a political not a judicial purpose. Credit to Mueller for avoiding that path. Of course, he can rest easy knowing that the Democrats, notably the party’s extreme left wing, will take up the political tar-and-feathering, for example,  grandstanding calls for impeachment.

———- ooo ———-

No matter how Trump and his team spin it by cherry picking the “no evidence of collusion” bit from the rest of the document, the report roughs up the President’s vindication, his “win.” Mueller said other issues would need to be “resolved” before and prosecutions could be undertaken. What issues? Mueller leaves the question hanging like Damocles’ sabre. The most damaging words go just to the edge of indictment: “If we had confirmed after a thorough investigation that the President did not commit [an] obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.”

The language drips with the starchy precision good lawyers use to say something without actually saying it. Legal jargon has long fascinated THE PLANET. It can produce the driest verbiage this side of Furnace Creek, but realizing what’s at stake, lawyers, good ones, select every word with the deliberation of a master jeweler repairing a $100,000 watch.

Trump did not testify in the investigation. That seems incredible. Seems. As a practicality, however, Mueller realized subpoenaing the President would have triggered endless delays, Trump’s four-corner “offense” to run out the clock. At worst, it could have forced a constitutional issue. Mueller’s team did submit questions to the President. Trump supplied written answers. The report called the President’s responses “inadequate.”

Trump’s reaction when learning from attorney general Jeff Sessions in 2017 that Robert Mueller had been appointed special counsel proves fascinating: “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. … This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” After Trump regrouped and reverted to style; he began counterpunching.

The report states what most everyone knew going in: That the Russians wanted Trump, not Hillary Clinton. They wanted to help the Trump campaign however they could, and Trump was open to that assistance. You needn’t stop the presses. The Russians, Big Money, lobbyists representing a motely of foreign and domestic agents have been trying to influence U.S. political outcomes going back generations.

Allow three humble predictions: In the end:

  • Trump’s presidency will survive. It will recommit and reignite the MAGA men and women, who can use the report as evidence of the other side trying to rob America of a legitimate electoral outcome — in other words, “collusion” on the “other side.”
  • The Democrats will grow increasingly worried as 2020 approaches. Their presidential field, now numbering 21, makes the Republicans’ 16-pack from 2016 look like the showroom of the Maytag Repairman.
  • Their lack of a compelling opponent will deliver to Trump a second term, Joe Biden notwithstanding.

What this means for America THE PLANET won’t say. We’ll pull a Mueller on that one.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

——————————————————————————————————————-

“Weave a circle round him thrice, / And close your eyes with holy dread, / For he on honey-dew hath fed, / and drunk the milk of Paradise”Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from “Kubla Khan.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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118 Responses to “MUELLER REPORT AN ‘UGLY WIN’ FOR THE PRESIDENT”

  1. Johnny99
    April 25, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

    And now let’s hope there is a serious investigation into the conspiracy by the deep state to deprive a duly elected president of his office. That is the real tragedy in this case. Bottom line there was no collusion, no one on trumps team charged with helping Russians, and there was no obstruction charge.

    • Pat
      April 26, 2019 at 4:35 am #

      I agree. The big story coming up will be the corruption in government and collusion with a foreign power that led to the Mueller investigation that was all about trying to bring down President Trump. The collusion was NOT coming from President Trump. We will soon find out the real origins of the collusion with Russia.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    April 25, 2019 at 9:12 pm #

    Bill Clinton was busted for receiving a blow job from Monica Lewinsky. Donald Trump’s campaign had Russian contacts.

    • Geraldo Del Gallows
      April 26, 2019 at 10:29 am #

      JM, you are low information.

      The impeachment of Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States, was initiated in December 1998 by the House of Representatives and led to a trial in the Senate on two charges, one of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. These charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones. Clinton was subsequently acquitted of these charges by the Senate on February 12, 1999.Two other impeachment articles – a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of power – failed in the House.

  3. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 1:26 am #

    The Congressional hearings on Watergate gave you the lying to obstruct that Nixon resigned over.Trump is stuck at 36 % support .Deranged Don gets up everyday now yelling and screaming lies at reporters.He is really good at deflecting bad news about him and placing it in Hillary Clinton’s lap.Clinton was tough on Russia and treated them as a adversary. Trump wanted Russian love and we know why.

  4. Johnny Absurd
    April 26, 2019 at 2:28 am #

    Are the mayor and police chief throwing their hands up in despair over the Springside/Reid chaos? No champagne sipping photo shoots on how successful their crime fighting has been even with increased money and manpower?

    Often a gangs power can be stunted by identifying and corralling its leadership. And do you know what punks hate more than anything? Embarrassment. Made to look foolish in front of their peers. So how can we do this?

    I would suggest that they be put in stocks in Park Square and let the public toss tomatoes at them but of course some child advocate would freak out about that. But surely there is a way to shame them without forcing them to forcibly eat vegetables. Any suggestions?

    • Spagirl
      April 26, 2019 at 2:50 am #

      I would suggest that the damn Chief of Police and the Mayor stand up before the public and address their plan publicly to deal with these juvinile punks and how they are going to protect innocent people in the park, and in the schools. This is ludicrous and completely unacceptable!!

      • Johnny Absurd
        April 26, 2019 at 4:57 am #

        I think the mayors plan is to redo Tyler street in the hopes that the kids will feel good about themselves and be nice to one another. It is a little deep and twisted but maybe she knows something we don’t.

        Or not.

        McCandless is pretty sure adding a few million more dollars to his budget each year will fix everything. Not sure what he is basing that on as his schools are getting exponentially worse. We know this because so many parents are bailing their kids out into other communities.

        • LoneGunMan
          April 26, 2019 at 5:55 am #

          We need more VP of teaching and lurning

  5. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 3:23 am #

    Yon,Tyer,and department head McCandless want to throw more money at a violence and gang problem that they are not or ever have been qualified to handle.Students are putting guns to the faces of 8 year old girls.Hello,Hello,Hello ,is anybody home in Pittsfield anymore.The schools need to stop hiring. The police new to hire 50 people as soon as possible and run these gangsters out of town.Where is Harrington?Mayor Mazzeo somebody please help.We are in denial.

    • Still wondering
      April 26, 2019 at 5:23 am #

      Interesting that you would admit that you are in denial.

  6. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 3:25 am #

    Again,eight year old girls in a park with a gun in their face.

    • Spagirl
      April 26, 2019 at 4:55 am #

      The DA and the Chief of Police need to lay it out. Haul the parents of these offenders into court!! Get the hell on board . Juveniles terrorizing innocent children. Somebody step up.

    • Johnny Absurd
      April 26, 2019 at 4:58 am #

      And the kid with the gun may need to be in Jones for evaluation

      • Benigno Numine
        April 26, 2019 at 4:31 pm #

        Tip
        Massachusetts only regulates pellet guns and other air guns with respect to age. You must be an adult 18 or over to own a pellet gun in Massachusetts. Minors are restricted from possessing an air gun unless under direct adult supervision.

        Use in Public Areas
        Adults may freely own pellet guns in Massachusetts. They are not subject to any licensing or registration requirements, but shooting a pellet gun from or across public areas, including streets or roadways, is prohibited. Violations result in fines of up to $100 and confiscation of the weapon.

        Age Restrictions
        Generally, anyone under the age of 18 is restricted from possessing a pellet gun in Massachusetts. Minors who want to learn how to shoot can use a pellet gun at a licensed gun range, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and must be under direct adult supervision at all times.

        A minor may also possess and use a pellet gun if she has a hunting and sporting license, and written permission from the chief of police in the city or town where she lives. She must keep these documents on her person at all times while hunting.

        Parents are permitted to purchase pellet guns for their children. The law also exempts adult teachers or instructors who furnish the child with a pellet gun for the purposes of training or instruction in the use of the weapon. Anyone else who furnishes a minor with a pellet gun could face a fine of between $50 and $200 and up to six months in jail.

        • Magoo
          April 27, 2019 at 3:40 am #

          Bengino
          False
          Massachusetts issues firearms identification cards to anyone 15 years and older who has successfully completed the hunter safety course.

          They needn’t have adult supervision, they just cannot purchase firearms or Ammunition until they are 18

          Cheif of police is the issueing authority, not an authorization agent.

          • Benigno Numine
            April 28, 2019 at 6:51 pm #

            Section 12B: Air rifles; possession by minors; shooting
            Section 12B. No minor under the age of eighteen shall have an air rifle or so-called BB gun in his possession while in any place to which the public has a right of access unless he is accompanied by an adult or unless he is the holder of a sporting or hunting license and has on his person a permit from the chief of police of the town in which he resides granting him the right of such possession. No person shall discharge a BB shot, pellet or other object from an air rifle or so-called BB gun into, from or across any street, alley, public way or railroad or railway right of way, and no minor under the age of eighteen shall discharge a BB shot, pellet or other object from an air rifle or BB gun unless he is accompanied by an adult or is the holder of a sporting or hunting license. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, and the air rifle or BB gun or other weapon shall be confiscated. Upon a conviction of a violation of this section the air rifle or BB gun or other weapon shall, by the written authority of the court, be forwarded to the colonel of the state police, who may dispose of said article in the same manner as prescribed in section ten.

  7. Paul
    April 26, 2019 at 3:58 am #

    It’s funny that people are all upset because Russia influenced one of our elections. How many elections has the US influenced? Central and South America, the Middle East just for starters.
    This crap has been going on forever and a day and will continue to do so. Its simply the way it is.

    • doomiedoger
      April 26, 2019 at 6:18 am #

      and we do it in our own country by redistricting. Republicans like to redraw the voting maps to box out certain groups

      • Van Lingle Mungo
        April 26, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

        The party with the power to do so redistricts to their own advantage.

  8. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 5:14 am #

    The Berkshire Eagle reported that a gun in the face of an 8 year old is a shenanigan by youths.Gangs are in the schools of Herberg and Reid.Do not send kids to school in Pittsfied movement.Lets pick a date soon and close them down.

    • LoneGunMan
      April 26, 2019 at 5:51 am #

      Traversa said recent changes changes in policy have stripped police officers of authority when it comes to juveniles. He would not be more specific about the changes.

      “In responding to complaints of juveniles with BB type guns, absent an assault, we are limited [by the new policy],” he said in an email.

      • LoneGunMan
        April 26, 2019 at 5:53 am #

        So a BB gun to a child’s face is not assault… good to know. Wait til someone dies.

        • johnny absurd
          April 26, 2019 at 6:21 am #

          if the 8 year old was the child of a city official it would have been more than a shenanigan. .seriously…who said that?

          I would want to know for sure my child was never going to be near this juvenile nutcase ever again

          did anybody address if the kid was back in school carrying the next day?

    • Kermit Frog
      April 27, 2019 at 3:17 am #

      I don’t know if Eagle would have covered it if there wasn’t an up roar here. Good job Planet.
      Neighbor kid who attends Reid was telling us some upsetting things and threats and gangs there. She was terrified to go to Pittsfield High. To be honest se real folks I know liked PHS for their kids – no one seems to happy with Reid. I hear about more trouble at Taconic than PTS.

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2019 at 8:33 am #

        KERMIT
        You are correct. And that comes straight from the BB newsroom! The noise and outrage expressed here by comments led to the BB story. Wonder if they mentioned this last night on the newspaper’s conversation on investigative journalism.

    • Kermit Frog
      April 27, 2019 at 5:30 pm #

      Any one who is a gun enthusiast would tell you that you need to be trained if you want to shoot for sport (hunting or skeet) or defense. First thing about being trained is that you don’t point a gun at another person. Being half cocked with a weapon is a danger to the gun owner, as well as the possible victim.
      Someone bought those BB guns, Dicks sporting goods corporate is anti gun violence and would help with any investigation. Cops who worry about the whatever that keeps rh from doing their jobs should sake just take the guns off the kids. I can’t believe it’s gotten this far. Then trace and pursue the purchaser.

  9. Spagirl
    April 26, 2019 at 5:22 am #

    McCandless needs to take the funds that he was just given to put Resource Officers in the middle Schools and High Schools on a full time basis to protect kids who are there to be educated! Priorities!!

  10. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 6:17 am #

    Yon and department head McCandless do not mention violence in the schools.The middle school kids are being pressured to pick a gang color.Why is Cameron and Yon not speaking about this coverup.

  11. Auto Phil
    April 26, 2019 at 6:35 am #

    Has Pittsfield gotten this pathetic?

    City officials and law enforcement are now letting a group of middle schoolers terrorize parks and schools and shoot other teens in the face with pellet guns?

    What is really going on here?

    We need new leadership. It’s time for our club med Police Chief and gated community Mayor to be replaced. It’s beyind time. This is PATHETIC.

    • Wilson
      April 26, 2019 at 7:44 am #

      Strange that there is a secret “policy.” Kids must either be illegals or just “of color.”

    • Pat
      April 26, 2019 at 9:53 am #

      This is part of the new leniency program from our new District Attorney…..Berkshire County voted her in and they knew what to expect. Very sad…..let’s hope nobody is hurt.

      • Truth413
        April 29, 2019 at 7:39 pm #

        Correct!

    • Sojourner Truth
      April 27, 2019 at 3:15 pm #

      Club Med Chief….Gotta love it. So true. A tie between him and Photo Op Trish… Pitiful !

  12. CC The Maze Sun
    April 26, 2019 at 8:03 am #

    Magic: Getting people to beLIEve something that is NOT Real.

  13. Truthsayer
    April 26, 2019 at 8:39 am #

    This is my feeble attempt to stay on topic.

    Was there collusion? Define collusion. Were there hundreds of contacts with Russian operatives? Yes. Did President Trump know about them? Only he knows the real truth.

    Was there obstruction? Trump ATTEMPTED to obstruct but was it didn’t happen only because his key people refused to carry out his desires. Mueller did NOT clear Trump of obstruction. Mueller referred the matter out perhaps hoping Congress would do its Constitutional duty, take up the matter, and make that decision. Barr – acting in my opinion as Trump’s lapdog – decided Trump didn’t obstruct.

    Factually, we are now either approaching or have already surpassed Trump’s 10,000th lie. As much as any Trump supporter wants to wrap themselves in the American flag soiled by the now defunct law and order Republicans and deny his lies, the truth has to come to light at some point.

    If Trump is so great and clean, there wouldn’t be more than a dozen investigations of him that are ongoing and more than 2 dozen sealed indictments parked in D.C. alone. Trump University – a fraud with Trump having to pay out to settle. Trump Foundation – declared a fraud, Trump and his kids still facing criminal charges including election fraud for misuse of funds. Deutsche Bank turning over financial records this week which could lead to charges of tax fraud and bank fraud against Trump.

    To state that Trump is an upstanding human and not simply a wealthy mirror image of the worst in any of us, is to lie to ourselves.

    Congress should seriously consider impeachment and his own transition team leader has stated so this week.

    • Johnny Absurd
      April 26, 2019 at 8:54 am #

      It is Friday. I thought Fridays were a free for all on topics. did that change?

    • Harrison
      April 26, 2019 at 10:27 am #

      Not feeble at all. I think you just about nailed it.

    • Johnny99
      April 26, 2019 at 10:59 am #

      Trump is clearly a fraud and a phony and always has been and always will be, as they say. Tell us something we don’t know. He was and is the duly elected POTUS notwithstanding his shortcomings, and it is rotten to the core that the deep state tried to dethrone him. We are not a third world country Mr. Truthsayer. Not how about some truth to back up your “2 dozen sealed indictments” assertion.

      • Pat
        April 26, 2019 at 2:15 pm #

        So if the far left doesn’t like President Trump they are justified in colluding with a foreign power (Russia) to take him down? Amazing how the far left is OK with collusion if, in their minds, the end justifies the means. Sorry, but we are not Russia or China. Here in American, we are innocent until proven guilty and we don’t twist the law to take down a political opponent.

    • Brody Hooper
      April 26, 2019 at 11:18 am #

      You need to get over Trump Derangement Syndrome.

    • Mr. Fritz
      April 26, 2019 at 1:09 pm #

      You should change your screen name to BSspreader.

      • Truthsayer
        April 26, 2019 at 2:04 pm #

        I love all you Trumpettes. You are the biggest bunch of whining babies on the planet. Your typical lines: “Capeless is bad! Tyer is evil! Caccaviello bad! Tyer a criminal! BB guns in the parks! Dogs crapping everywhere! OH THE HUMANITY! Everybody and everything is a criminal!!!!”

        But when it comes to Trump you are nothing more than cowardly little lapdogs looking to please your master.

        Trump is nothing more than pond scum with a buck in the bank. He is a crook. Plain and simple. And by backing his crimes, you are nothing more than a co-conspirator against this country and our Constitution.

        • Pat
          April 26, 2019 at 2:21 pm #

          Hello. There were NO CRIMES. We don’t agree with Dan V. on this one. Where are the crimes?!? Now you are accusing Trump voters of treason for a crime he didn’t commit? Unbelievable!!! I’m sure we would all be marched into prison by the far left if this was Russia, but guess what, this is America.

          Instead, the far left wants to bring socialism to our country which is a system of total government control over the people with themselves in charge of course. It is a complete dictator type of system….no clear thinking coming from the far left.

        • Mr. Fritz
          April 26, 2019 at 7:17 pm #

          BSspreader – get some help for your TDS. You’re becoming unglued!

  14. Pat
    April 26, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    If you read the Mueller report, you will find that President Trump’s emotional state was highlighted throughout the report. This is because it is IMPORTANT for Americans to know that President Trump was very upset about the investigation seeing as how he was being called a traitor (punishable by death) and his children were being threatened with imprisonment. He was emotional and worried as any normal person would be and wanted to do some things to stop the investigation and protect himself and his children, KNOWING he was innocent, but also knowing that a group of Democrats who hated him were doing the investigation.

    The bottom line here is that nothing happened. Cooler heads convinced the president to let the investigation run its course and he would be found innocent. This is why a president has advisors. Sorry, far left, but you can’t convict a president for something he MIGHT have done, but didn’t for a crime that was, we will soon find out, manufactured by the friends of Hillary and even the Obama administration in collusion with a foreign power…RUSSIA!!!

  15. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 9:55 am #

    There are 5 police cruisers at Herberg School right now.

    • sistergoldenhair
      April 26, 2019 at 11:00 am #

      And the BB story on these incidents says there is no school cop assigned to Reid. Why not, Tyer gave millions more to police.????

  16. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 11:08 am #

    This is Yon and Jake’s unsafe schools and 5 million wont change anything. Kids that are unsafe need to be with their parents.

    • Jonathan Melle
      April 26, 2019 at 12:00 pm #

      This news article shows why the lovely Linda Tyer is the best Mayor of Pittsfield EVER!

      https://www.wamc.org/post/after-loss-pittsfield-s-mayor-turns-election

      • Mr. Fritz
        April 26, 2019 at 1:08 pm #

        What has she accomplished Jon? Concrete answers.

        • Jonathan Melle
          April 26, 2019 at 2:31 pm #

          The lovely Linda Tyer saved a sinking ship from the mess she inherited from the “Doyle debacle”, the “Hathaway hack”, the “Ruberto regime”, and the “Bianchi bust”. For the first time in a generation, Pittsfield is seeing real economic growth instead of loss.
          Please vote for Mayor Linda Tyer in 2019!

          • Mr. Fritz
            April 27, 2019 at 10:22 am #

            What “economic growth?” Be specific.

        • X-Lachs Lounge
          April 26, 2019 at 4:39 pm #

          Maybe Melle will let you borrow his blow up linda doll.

          • Jonathan Melle
            April 26, 2019 at 6:06 pm #

            @X-Lachs Lounge: You are off base! I respect the lovely Linda Tyer as a woman and a public servant. She has my full support! Deal with it!

  17. Mr. Fritz
    April 26, 2019 at 1:17 pm #

    Dan,
    I disagree with your column today. There was no collusion, and no obstruction as no crimes were committed! Trump may have expressed his desire to make some changes, but he did not act on them and no crimes were committed. He had every right to fire Comey and thank goodness he did. END OF STORY!
    As Johnny99 stated – let’s investigate the obvious in-the-daylight crimes committed by the deep state actors!

    • Pat
      April 26, 2019 at 1:41 pm #

      I disagree too Mr. Fritz. I left a message, but it hasn’t shown up yet. The Mueller report goes into some detail about President Trump’s emotional state during the investigation and it wasn’t good and who can blame him. I’m sure he did talk behind the scenes about ending it, but his cooler head advisers told him it was not a good idea. President Trump was being accused of treason (which means a death sentence) and his children were being threatened with arrest.

      The bottom line is no obstruction happened from these false and phony charges against President Trump. The Mueller investigation was completed.

      • Corrective Invective
        April 26, 2019 at 4:41 pm #

        I think Dan did too much research in fake news websites and newspapers.

  18. Pat
    April 26, 2019 at 1:45 pm #

    How ridiculous and outrageous that the left would even consider trying to impeach President Trump for obstruction over something he might have done, but didn’t.

    The truth is coming out very soon about just who was REALLY colluding with Russia to attempt a coup against President Trump. Hint: Hillary was involved as were many on the far left including many deep state people and possibly the Obama administration.

  19. Pat
    April 26, 2019 at 2:29 pm #

    Our economy is on fire, but the far left wants to turn us into Venezuela. The numbers came out today and our economy is unbelievably good. Great job President Trump!!!

    Too bad that far left Pittsfield can’t bring prosperity to this area, but the problem is their brand of politics….Progressives have destroyed this area. I don’t put a lot of hope in Mazzeo….just more of the same type of political agenda and after 4 years we will be wondering why this area continues to go downhill. We need leadership in this area with a practical agenda ONLY.

  20. Already Tyred
    April 26, 2019 at 4:45 pm #

    Linda Tyer, Mayor

    ***City of Pittsfield Mayor, Berkshire County District Attorney and School Superintendent Issue Joint Statement on Recent Park and School Incidents in Pittsfield***

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. – On Friday, April 26, Mayor Linda Tyer convened an emergency roundtable meeting with the city’s Chief of Police, Michael Wynn; School Superintendent Jason McCandless; and Berkshire County District Attorney Andrea Harrington to address the mounting concerns stemming from recent disturbances involving youth in city parks and on school grounds.

    “The safety and well-being of our children is priority No. 1. We will not tolerate conduct and behavior that puts the lives of our children and other members of our community in harm’s way. This issue is now at the highest ranks of city, school, and law enforcement officials,” said Mayor Tyer. “We are actively engaging with all parties to identify and implement immediate steps to curtail these disturbing actions that are taking place in our schools and in our public spaces.”

    Today, the Pittsfield Police Department has made one arrest in connection with these incidents. In order to avoid compromising this open and ongoing investigation, further information will not be released at this time.

    In the wake of school-related activity, which included a fight this past week involving Reid Middle School students off school grounds and after hours, on Thursday, April 25, Superintendent McCandless issued a communication to parents which noted a range of serious consequences for students who engaged in disorderly behavior and/or participated in other supporting capacities.

    “We just want to get across that there is nothing more important than the community concern over this activity. Please know that we are full partners with the Pittsfield Police Department, and District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and Mayor’s Office. We are working collaboratively to ensure that our students are able to be students and not fear for their safety at school.”

    District Attorney Harrington is encouraging individuals who have been impacted by these incidents to contact her Victim Witness Assistance Program at 413-443-5951 or contact BerkshireDA@mass.gov.

    “I am actively engaged with Mayor Tyer and Pittsfield Police and I have pledged the full resources of my office to ensure the safety of our children in schools and in the community,” said District Attorney Harrington.

    Looking ahead, the following actions will be taken to address this matter:
    • School officials will be meeting with the students and families who have been involved in these incidents.
    • Pittsfield Police will seize illegally possessed pellet, Airsoft, and BB guns.
    • There will be heightened enforcement of the existing Rules and Regulations for city parks.
    • A special police detail will be assigned to Reid Middle School for the immediate future.
    • Sheriff’s Office will have a mounted patrol at Springside Park (following school dismissal) starting next week.

    What to do if your child has an issue:
    • Call 911 and file a report with the police department.
    • Contact your school to inform officials of the situation.
    • Contact Victim’s Services at the District Attorney’s Office.

    • Spagirl
      April 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm #

      The heat is on. Parents are irate. Children are afraid to go to school. I am pleased to read that they will appropriate a special detail officer at Reid, and a mounted patrol at Springside Park.
      Thankyou for this accountability.

  21. Gigi
    April 26, 2019 at 5:07 pm #

    Dan,
    I also disagree with your comments about obstruction. This was and is a coup against the Trump administration.

    I believe the tide is turning on the swamp and that indictments will follow shortly. Even Rosenstein appears to be flipping

    .https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/04/26/rod-rosenstein-rips-obama-administration-for-hiding-full-story-of-russia-meddling/

    • Pat
      April 27, 2019 at 5:56 am #

      I agree with Rosenstein. Why didn’t Obama tell the American public about Russian trolls and bots? Was it to set up the basis for an investigation if President Trump was elected? So the New York Times could crow that President Trump isn’t legit because of Russian interference?

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2019 at 8:38 am #

        Good questions.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2019 at 8:40 am #

      Thanks, GIGI. Points well made.

  22. Gigi
    April 26, 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    Maura Healey seems to think that Mass. judges do not have to follow federal laws;

    https://www.masslive.com/boston/2019/04/mass-ag-maura-healey-says-indictments-of-judge-shelley-joseph-court-officer-in-ice-case-is-radical-and-politically-motivated-attack-on-our-state.html

    Hats off to U.S. Attorney Lelling! Maura Healey should be relieved of her duties!

    • Kermit Frog
      April 29, 2019 at 5:48 pm #

      Leiling is serious business. I’ve been paying attention to what he’s doing and it’s interesting. Healey has gotten into several Trump motivated suits and it seems that the chickens came home to roost for her with Leiling.

  23. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 5:45 pm #

    What’s the policy that keeps violent verbal or physical out of police custody….explain right away Mayor,Yon….I want Yon to respond to the new policy

  24. Reignbow
    April 26, 2019 at 5:47 pm #

    One of the Lenders was shaking and quite emotional at the funding process program discussion the other night at City Council, she was pulled out of the audience in a last ditch effort to bemoan a no vote to the economic funding from G E bucks. One other thing, if we fix a porch in the ghetto, the idea is to sell the home? I don’t know who is dumber Moon, White, Persip, but at least they won’t flip flop like Riviera. I’llsay a Moon.

  25. The school committee
    April 26, 2019 at 5:51 pm #

    Fox news Judge Anthony Napalitano said Trump repeatedly commited the crime of obstruction over and over again

    • Johnny99
      April 27, 2019 at 5:32 am #

      And esteemed Fox News personality and Harvard Professor Emeritus and renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz says he is wrong because there was no crime to obstruct in the first place, and where are the 2 dozen indictments you claim to have knowledge of? Or is it more fake news?

  26. dusty
    April 27, 2019 at 12:41 am #

    Seems like this Springside/Reid gangbanger problem came out of nowhere overnight. Were there no warning signs or were they ignored until things exploded?

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2019 at 8:39 am #

      DUSTY
      From what I’m learning, it was the latter. Problems were ignored, then KA-BOOM.

  27. Mad Trapper
    April 27, 2019 at 4:11 am #

    Concerning election 2016.

    When will the alphabet media and rabid liberal thugs get around to the REAL election fixers? The ones who have been proven guilty (Wasserman/Clinton)?

    That would be the DNC and Hildebeast!

    Are the liberals satisfied with the e(sel)lection process that was their “primary” “election”? Is this your vision for America and democracy?

    Lets hear about that liberals!

    • Johnny99
      April 27, 2019 at 11:38 pm #

      Yup, Bernie got burned by the DNC – inside job all the way and delegates pledged to Clinton way ahead of time, and let’s not forget Donna Brazil of the Clinton News Network feeding Clinton a debate question prematurely on the sly. Those are examples of the real collusion. And now Fox, which used to be a real news station, has hired Brazil. Fox’s heyday is over.

  28. The school committee
    April 27, 2019 at 4:23 am #

    By deflecting the point that Trump acted in every possible way to obstruct or order people to obstruct this investigation into Russian interference of Presidential election is admission that you feel he was guilty but what about the other people not being investigated.

    • Pat
      April 27, 2019 at 4:35 am #

      There is NOTHING to be guilty about since the Mueller investigation was completed. You are taking a situation that was a set-up in the first place and then trying to prosecute based on someones emotional reaction to that setup?!?

      I agree that others should be investigated like Hillary who stole the DNC nomination from Bernie Sanders and then compiled a fake Russian dossier against President Trump. Yes, there are many others to be investigated.

  29. Pat
    April 27, 2019 at 4:53 am #

    ATTEMPTED Russian interference in our election was meant to benefit Hillary. China, Venezuela, Mexico and other countries are supposedly begging Joe Biden to make sure President Trump is no longer President because President Trump is tough on these countries. He is also tough on Russia. Hillary would have been just like Obama and gone easy on Russia.

  30. Merry & Bright
    April 27, 2019 at 7:22 am #

    Wondering why it took a child being shot with a BB gun and having to have the pellet removed by the hospital for the City Stooges (Tyer, Wynn, Harrington & McCandless) to realize there was an issue! The entire City knew this issue was going on for weeks, the police officers knew yet nothing was being done. Did these officers report it at Roll Call and higher ups ignored it? I ask why it took so long? Then a taxpayer asks the Mayor’s office if there really was going to be Mounted Police with horses in Springside Park and were told No, that it just a way it was worded? The Mayor needs to be told that the Sheriff’s department does have Mounted Police and they do ride horses. If her department is going to send out a City Wide communication, they need to understand what they are communicating. I hope things will get better for our children and their parents. No parent wants to receive a message from their child stating they are scared at school and want to come home which was happening yesterday to parents of students at Herberg. The School Committee needs to stop creating made up wackadoodle positions and add metal detectors to the schools instead.

    • Mr. Fritz
      April 27, 2019 at 8:10 am #

      All politics, my friend.
      The schools have had discipline issues the past several years. Now it’s spilling over into the parks. Too many kids without a set of parents laying down the law at home.
      When the recently elected DA states that she believes in “stemming the school to prison pipeline,” that means there will be ramifications for some and not for others. The “others” are winning and they know it.
      Welcome to liberal progressive politics in the state of MA!

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2019 at 8:35 am #

        Agreed. The adminstration’s late reaction is mostly about the November election.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2019 at 8:37 am #

      MERRY
      Your first sentence says it all. Why did it take so long for an official response? The problem of violence has been going on for months. Also, this seems to be one area that the feud between the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s Department is harming public safety. They are not working together on the problem but are fighting among themselves AS the problem.

  31. Mad Trapper
    April 27, 2019 at 7:27 am #

    Here is one all can love, a parody on McLean’s “American Pie”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=RDEqn3iI_h1vg&v=Eqn3iI_h1vg

    What do you think Dan?

  32. RobEM
    April 27, 2019 at 7:44 am #

    The school violence seems to be all over.
    https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/04/ware-school-committee-vows-action-after-parents-complain-of-student-violence.html
    Maybe the responsibility is higher than the local level. What does the elected State politicians say?

  33. Johnny2Shoes
    April 27, 2019 at 8:01 am #

    Trump definitely obstructed and everyone in their right mind knows he did. His family and those in his campaign contributed to it. The biggest contribution to Trump being able to obstruct came from those who voted for him. He obstructed Hillary from being given her supposed rightful place in the oval. The establishment was the most upset that this happened. Both parties have for to long hoodwinked the voters into believing they have our best interest at heart on the issues that both have been saying for years they will fix as long as voters put them in power. The politicians run on the same issues without ever fixing those issues, so they can keep running on them every election. It has been for the most part the same old issues every election held that they play the voters on.

    • Fake News
      April 27, 2019 at 9:25 am #

      Fake news

    • Pat
      April 27, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

      Sorry, but this country dodged a bullet by avoiding Hillary as president. She would have been a nightmare of far left nonsense and government regulations. NO THANK YOU. So glad I voted for Trump.

      There was no obstruction. How many times does it have to be repeated. The investigation ran its course. People that voted for Trump are involved in obstruction? What?

      President Trump won fair and square. It’s called the electoral college and the far left only wants to get rid of it because Hillary lost!!!

      • The school committee
        April 28, 2019 at 6:55 am #

        You miss the point of this investigation.Trump obstructed to block Mueller getting everything.You should be fired Don for your attempt at a takeover so let’s not give him a 2nd chance at one or he will succeed. THEY ARE NOT HANDING AMERICA OVER TO NON WHITES

  34. As the Krol Flies
    April 27, 2019 at 9:17 am #

    Be advised that this is Massachusetts nonsense. Trump would not sign this crap into law.

    UPDATE: Criminal Justice Reform Bill of 2018 New Crime Bill for Massachusetts

    Within the past few weeks, recent legislation has been written that changes the criminal justice system in Massachusetts. The law is lengthy and detailed. I hope and expect to post more on the expansive law in the future. Until then, a summary of the many changes below.

    Criminal Justice Reform Act: Summary of Decriminalization Portion of Act

    Minor offenses for juveniles – civil infractions and first offense misdemeanors with penalties under 6 months – cannot be the subject of delinquency findings.
    Disruptive behavior in school (disturbing assembly or disorderly conduct) cannot be the subject of delinquency findings (note that more serious behavior can still be prosecuted).
    Repeal offense of being in the presence of heroin.
    Expand scope of Good Samaritan protections to youth alcohol violations and to probation violations.
    Specify that use of prescribed drugs and medical marijuana shall not constitute a probation violation.
    Repeal/Limit Mandatory Minimums for Non-Opiate, Non-Weight Retail Drug Offenses
    Limit applicability of school zone law to cases involving guns or minors.
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for second offense class B (move fentanyl to class A).
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for first offense cocaine/PCP/meth.
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for second offense class cocaine/PCP/meth.
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for second offense class C.
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for second offense class D.
    Eliminate mandatory minimum for sales of drug paraphernalia.
    Criminal Justice Reform Act: Create mechanism for judicial diversion of juveniles for less serious offenses.

    Improve and expand mechanism for District Court diversion of adults.
    Eliminate defunct requirement for probation certification of diversion programs.
    Eliminate age restrictions on diversion.
    Exclude serious offenses from diversion.
    Assure that victims are heard in diversion decisions.
    Create legal/administrative framework to expand use of restorative justice programs for diversion of both juveniles and adults.
    Require judges to make written findings before imposing a sentence of incarceration of primary caretakers of children.
    Make drug diversion more workable by making it possible for a wider range of professionals to make findings of dependence.
    Preserve power of District Attorneys to divert cases.

    • Pat
      April 27, 2019 at 11:57 am #

      OH MY GOD. This is terrible!!!! I wondered what the policeman was talking about yesterday when he said “our hands are tied thanks to the Criminal Justice Reform bill”. I thought he was talking about a Federal bill. I should have known that it’s a crazy Massachusetts bill.

      • danvalenti
        April 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

        THE PLANET will be publishing a series looking more closely into the Reid-Springside violence, the CJ Reform Bill, and the joint statement from the mayor, police chief, and the DA.

        • Ted
          April 27, 2019 at 4:53 pm #

          “There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening. The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence.”
          -A Clockwork Orange

          • danvalenti
            April 27, 2019 at 7:06 pm #

            TED
            Know it veddy well, my friend. Veddy well.

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2019 at 12:47 pm #

      ATKF
      You have anticipated part of our coverage next week. Seems there is a massive education campaign about this terrible piece of legislation. We will publish a lengthy summary of this bad law, one that judges, competent prosecuting attorneys, police, and citizens by large abhor.

  35. Rule 27
    April 27, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    Brian Marquis is a cheerleader for the failed Secretary Tire. He puts down the other candidates for mayor.maybe big mouth M should go on the news hour this Wednesday and go head to head with the host.

    • Jae Hogan
      April 27, 2019 at 1:30 pm #

      Yes, he needs to put his money where his mouth is.

  36. GMHeller
    April 27, 2019 at 11:32 am #

    For Democrats facing the most kook-left slate of presidential candidates in the party’s history, the existential question becomes: Does Trump win in a 49-state landslide — or 50?

  37. Jonathan Melle
    April 27, 2019 at 1:04 pm #

    Re: Bob DeLeo is a dictator worse the Communist countries!

    Massachusetts politics is worse than Communist countries! It happened again! A near unanimous vote (one lone no vote out of 160 House Legislators) this past week on the state House budget with over 1,300 pork barrel amendments with no debates and behind closed doors and with no transparency!

    It amazes me how Alan Chartock always praises state Rep. Smitty Pignatelli with glowing terms like “wonderful” when Smitty Pignatelli is part of a “charade”, a “joke”, and a “scam” that is the dictatorship of Speaker for Life Bob DeLeo! How can this go on? Why doesn’t anyone stop Speaker DeLeo from suppressing democracy? Why is he so powerful?

    – Jonathan Melle

  38. Dick Flimsy
    April 27, 2019 at 6:48 pm #

    April 25, 2019
    Good Afternoon Pittsfield Public School Families,
    This is Jake McCandless, Superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools.
    Recently, Reid Middle School and the Pittsfield Public Schools have been responding to unsafe activities involving the promotion of violence through both social media and word of mouth, including acts of violence taking place off school grounds, and involving bb guns or pellet/airsoft guns that look like actual weapons. This behavior is extremely dangerous on many levels, including the fact that look-alike weapons can elicit very serious responses from safety personnel.
    -ADVERTISEMENT-

    Although only a small population of students are acting in ways that present a significant risk, all students, staff, and families are impacted.
    We want to use this opportunity to remind all families that students who fight or encourage a fight to take place, or students who make threats or make threats that include weapons will receive a suspension of more than ten days and up to 45 days. Students who take and share videos or pictures of the incident will be disciplined as well to the extent that we are able to do so. This action encourages and incites further violence, and the sharing of these images can be used to intimidate or frighten others.
    None of this behavior is acceptable.
    Suspensions may include an alternative education placement in a location other than our schools.
    Additionally, the Pittsfield Police Department will be notified of any and all situations, and are involved in all aspects of dealing with this issue. Charges will be filed where appropriate.
    We will not tolerate this type of activity in our schools, on our school grounds, on our busses, or on our routes to and from school. We will not allow the actions of a few to steal positive educational opportunities from the many.
    Today we delayed the release of Reid students out of concern about reports we received regarding someone, not a student, that was coming to cause harm at the school. Thanks to the Pittsfield Police Department and district and school staff, we were able to release all students after appropriate safety precautions were taken to ensure a safe exit for all students. While this slowed down our release by over 30 minutes, it is, of course, worth that delay for student and staff safety.
    There are reports of a group of Reid students who are attempting to bring weapons to the school. We follow up on each of those reports, lockers are searched, bags are searched, and individuals are searched when called for. The PPD is involved in these efforts where appropriate and legal. No weapons have been found. We ask students and their families to continue to report to the school, district, or PPD anything that concerns you around student or neighborhood safety.

    As always, please feel free to be in contact with your questions or concerns. And as always–I thank you for your time. Together we will continue to create a safer community and safer schools.

    Jason P. McCandless

    • danvalenti
      April 27, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

      A breathtaking letter, on many levels. Thanks for sharing here.

    • Dick Flimsy
      April 27, 2019 at 7:39 pm #

      This was found on live 95.9

  39. T Rumphaker
    April 27, 2019 at 8:12 pm #

    Do u think young thugs are afraid of the little ladies or the bearded giant. Fee fi f fun, we gangs have a business to run.

  40. The school committee
    April 27, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

    There are dozens and dozens of children who wont be attending Herberg sd school on Monday wanting the Administration ,School Committee to change the environment of Herberg school that Yon,Cameron,Cyrus and Mccandless keep allowing to exist.On their defense Yon ,Amuso,and Eberwien created a bad learning enviroment.Kids need to feel secure and they like to know their are leaders in their school but when they see young kids being violent towards teachers and McCandless and Yon don’t back educators then you get what Herberg has.Forget the stupid Eberwien model and take your school system back.You adults look very very week.

  41. Grey Paint
    April 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

    Do you think Reid is the only school out of control.guess again. If Mr. Kawalski was there today these punks wouldn’t be allowed back into the school period,let alone 10 days.

  42. The school committee
    April 27, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

    Trump did obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in American werlection over and over again.

  43. dusty
    April 28, 2019 at 2:54 am #

    Is it not possible for authorities to track an individual through his or her phone? Could they disable a gang bangers phone temporarily if need be?

    Apparently there are many things you cannot do to punish a juvenile but could they pass a law where they could put an ankle bracelet on gang banger kids to track their movements? Seems harmless enough. Maybe the threat of it could curtail some bad behavior.

  44. The school committee
    April 28, 2019 at 3:03 am #

    When will Yon,Cameron,Taylor see that hiring more and more people is not the answer to the number one problem in Pittsfield.Nobody cares about testing if Herberg and Reid are being run by 12 year old children.Yon and McCandless should step down.

  45. Johnny Absurd
    April 28, 2019 at 8:09 am #

    What these schools and overseers need is mo money. Millions of dollars in mo money is the only thing that will fix it. The kids will come out smarter and better dressed and probably not even want to do drugs or have babies. Please just give McCandless mo money so he can fix the schools. Start with millions and then add a few million each year. It seems to be working so far but they need just a few million more…each year. Please give now and we promise non of it will be spent unwisely or squandered needlessly. At least we will try. Maybe we will try if the weather is good.

  46. JoePesci
    April 28, 2019 at 11:55 am #

    Perhaps one of the root causes of this latest school related trouble is the school departments’ decision to go easy on the trouble makers, and treat them with kit gloves – it’s called restorative justice- and its bullshit, and it was started under Obama, when his racist attorney general and justice department threatened to sue schools if their discipline had a “disprate impact” on certain minorities, regardless of the fact that certain minorties were causing most of the trouble. Tyer in fact, bragged about this in one of her speehes. And of course, our progressive district attorney is all for restorative justice and sheltering “emerging adults”, from the consequences of their own decisions, and if fact put Moon in charge of a juvenile diversion program. So, Dan you may want to add that aspect of this to your series of stories on this mess. Here is a quote from Tyers 2017 state of the city address, which you can read by following the link in this IBerkhires story:

    https://www.iberkshires.com/story/53691/Tyer-s-State-of-the-City-Lays-Out-Vision-of-Vibrant-Community.html

    “the district has embraced and undertaken the work of
    Restorative Justice and Cultural Competency. To date, there are two formalized restorative justice programs underway- one at Morningsideand the other at Taconic. Restorative Justice
    is a way to mediate conflict between students.
    Engagement between trained staff and students rather than strict imposition of discipline results in more compassionate outcomes for all involved so that we can get back to the task of learning.”

    Perhaps strict imposition of discipline was right all along, and this restorative justice crap is a huge contributing factor to the Riff and the Raff.

    Just Sayin’

    • The school committee
      April 28, 2019 at 12:52 pm #

      Adult training punks that there is nobody in charge of children’s school safety,There are 500 in charge of testing for MCAS that almost nobody cares about.

    • Mr. Fritz
      April 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm #

      Hooray Joe, well said!
      Restorative justice crap, for sure. Some of these kids belong in reform school or a military style learning environment.
      Ask the teachers at Reid, Herberg & Taconic about the troublemakers who are “spoken to” and returned to the classroom the following day – and the cycle of rebellion continues.
      Outright racist policies are being followed, both in hiring of school staff & treatment of disobedient students.
      More failed liberal progressive policies!

  47. Reignbow
    April 28, 2019 at 12:39 pm #

    We could use auxiliary police to patrol the parks and save on massive tired overtime.

  48. Kermit Frog
    April 28, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

    I could not get past the paragraphs of Tyler’s economic plan. Hasn’t almost every economic venture of theirs failed? I think Cafe Namaste failed or did it outgrow its location? Why is a city investing in a coffee shop anyway. Do they want milenials to move here because no one else wants to work at Kripalu or wherever for $15 an hour? The pot company in GB is going to make good money but not as much as the Beacon guy.

  49. The school committee
    April 28, 2019 at 5:56 pm #

    The schools allow young children to intimidate. Removal of all intimidation is the answer.They are selling b’s at the administration and I hope nobody on the City council is buying.Punks have no right inside our school building.We need to protect the most innocent shy student.The mayor and Yon are buying time.Ask McCandless where he sees the schools in 3 years and how much that vision will cost.