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THE CROOKS OF SUMMER GOT US WONDERING: WHO WON LAST NIGHT’S DEBATE? … WHY SHOULD TAXPAYERS PAY FOR A SECOND SET OF LIGHTS FOR GIRLS SOFTBALL? … WHY IS THE PITTSFIELD SCHOOL COMMITTEE REPEATING ITS SUPT. MISTAKES? … WHY IS IT GOOD FOR NORTH STREET TO MIX A BARROOM AND ADULT GAMING? … WHY IS LIGHTWEIGHT TFB UNOPPOSED? … WHY DID MALUMPHY AND MARCHETTI BOTHER TO SINK PHILLIPS’ SLIM CHANCES ? … and … WHY ARE A TINY HANDFUL OF LENOX SOURPUSSES FIGHTING THE BEAUTIFUL BELVEDERE MONUMENT?

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, SEPT. 21, 2012) — Hey, is it fall yet, or do polished metals on the fingers of a rake need more convincing? We might ask, along these same lines, who hijacked summer. Wasn’t it yesterday that April arrived, not at all as the cruelest month? In any case, leaf-peepers will soon descend upon The Berkshires, and the recreation and resort economy will get one last gasp before going into hibernation for the winter along with Yogi and Boo Boo, honey.

Our priorities are not in finding the Crooks of Summer (fifth cousins, thrice removed, on the father’s side of the Sultans of Swing) but in wondering a few things, such as:

*

Brown vs. Warren: The money won. (Photo courtesy of WBZ)

Who “won” the debate last night between Sen. Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren? His team says he did, and her team says she did. Conservative polling found in favor of Brown, and liberal pollsters in favor of Warren. All this means is that no one “won.” You don’t and can’t win a debate like that. A candidate can only lose, and neither Brown nor Warren made a significant blunder. The vanilla WBZ format of 90-second answers and minute rebuttals guaranteed an hour of rehashed stump speeches and well-rehearsed snippets. THE PLANET would love to host these two under our rules, which does away with the clock, frees up the moderator from behind a lectern, and seats candidates in chairs, facing each other at 45-degree angles. We also do away with notes of any kind. That type of format assures voters of learning something new. That didn’t happen last night. This is still a tight race, too close to call. THE PLANET hopes that spurs the vote in this, the single-most expensive campaign in state history. Perhaps it’s accurate to say the money has won.

*

Ya throw like a girl, but why do you need a second set of lights?

Why would Pittsfield want to prioritize a second set in playing field lights for the Girls’ Softball League at the Doyle Complex off Benedict Road in Pittsfield? One fields under the lights must remain its fill, because, in case you haven’t realized it, times are tough. Residential and commercial taxpayers in Pittsfield continue to get buried under increases, families struggle to piece together enough monthly income to keep their heads above water, and in the vast scheme of things, girls’ softball hardly rates as a priority. The logic that the lights will “keep putting Pittsfield on the map” (quote from councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo) lacks wattage. To make it worse, while other playing fields remain neglected, league officials want to his taxpayers up for $35,000 in Bossidy Bucks, a once-million-dollar fund now shrunk to $80,000, thanks largely to ill-conceived purchases that have nothing to do with improving parks and so-called improvements that did little more than waste money (a major-league type sprinkler system for Clapp Park, for example). THE PLANET urges the Parks Commission to keep the lights off.

*

TERRY KINNAS

Why is the Pittsfield School Committee committing deja vu all over again, to cop a Berraism? Committeeman Terry Kinnas says the board hasn’t learned much from its first botched search for a new superintendent of schools. “We’re doing the same thing we did before but spending more money doping it,” Kinnas said in open session. He also asked, rightly so, why the school committee isn’t asking local business people what they think the school system needs in terms of leadership. Do we sense another fiasco in the making? Of course, Pittsfield doesn’t think it has the brains enough to recruit talent, so it has hired a search firm. No word yet as to how much this one’s going to cost Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.

*

Does North Street really need a cheeseball arcade? PAtrick’s Pub seems to think so.Why does a so-called family restaurant need an game-room with 10 commercial arcade-type games, particularly when the games will be geared for adults and located in an eatery that will have a well-stocked bar? This doesn’t strike THE PLANET or licensing board chairman Carmen Massimiano as a good idea. Massimiano noted a lot of red flags in the application of the owners of Patrick’s Pub to put another restaurant in the vacant space at 41 North St., where the last two restaurant have failed (Hudpuckers and Brulee). THE PLANET admires the spunk of Patrick’s owners to want to venture into a space that hasn’t had much success, but we wonder if mixing booze and adult games fits into with all that “Renaissance” jazz we keep hearing about Downtown Pittsfield

* Why does the city of Pittsfield and the public school system treat substitutes like untouchables in the lowest caste? Counting bennies, the annual salary for six months work for a full-time teacher is $70,000. Yet, substitute cafeteria workers make $8.50 an hour. Sub secretaries pull in a whopping $65 a day. Sub teachers, who lead a life of peril at the hands of torturous classroom brats, make $75 a day. Nonetheless, the school committee turned Scrooge pre-rebirth, shooting down any pay raises for those who need it the most. The running-scared committee doesn’t want to piss off the teachers union, its master. In the understatement of the year, Kristen Boehnke, schools business manager, told the Pittsfield Gazette that “attracting qualified substitute teachers remains a challenge.” Well, uh, yeah. Tell us something we don’t know.

*

TRICIA FARLEY-BOUVIER

Why on earth is a political lightweight as anti-gravitational as Tricia Farley-Bouvier in the House of Representatives on Beacon Hill? And why on each can an empty suit of this caliber be running unopposed?

Can someone answer those two questions? Perhaps Pummelin’ Pam Malumphy would care to take a shot at it. The latter ran the last time against TFB. The GOB likes TFB (they’re into poetry, you see), and so they recruited Peter White to play stooge, split the opposition vote, and assure TFB would cruise to election.

That she has held serve and runs unopposed, we’re sure the GOB thinks, means the people are so enchanted with her job fighting for their interests that no one thought to oppose. Could be — Or maybe they’ve been beaten down to such a point where they’ve stopped caring. Not even Pam Malumphy could win under those circumstance.

PAM MALUMPHY, practicing her Tarzan yell on city hall steps.

* Why, after the recently concluded landslide victory of Patsy Harris over Jody Phillips (and to a lesser extent Scott Pignatelli) in the Democratic Primary for Middle Berkshire County register of deeds, does the Victrola needle stick on the following: “When most people in Pittsfield hear the names Malumphy and [Peter]  Marchetti, they think, “hmmmm, those two people are not crazy about each other.'” THE PLANET did not make this up. That’s how Pummelin and Peter began a letter to the editor to the Pittsfield Gazette, attempting to sway the electorate in Phillips’ favor. Talk about the dreaded vote of confidence!  They even spelled Unlce Gerry Lee‘s name wrong! THE PLANET stands in awe at the amateurish quality of the letter, its disregard for facts, and the way these two political losers (she of her last five elections and he of the most recent mayoral race) agreed to stand on the hangman’s platform together, all to help Jody Phillips get beat 2-to-1. THE PLANET hopes that we still remain ensconced on Pummelin’s Enemy List, a long line of people who, for reasons known only to herself, drive her to bitterness and frenzy. That being said, THE PLANET stands ready to bury the hatchet with her anytime she can muster the same.

*

Belvedere Monument, Kennedy Park, Lenox, Mass. (Photo by Berkshire Beacon)

Why is the battle in Lenox over the Belvedere Monument in Lenox’s Kennedy Park going to court? What is it about an impressive and beautiful monument of a grieving father for his dead son that a handful is disgruntled Millionaires don’t like? The gleaming, white monument, built with not taxpayer dollars and with proper town approval, has continued to be an embarrassment to the town — not the monument itself, but the petulant reactions to it by opponents. The disgruntled sourpusses claim the monument violates the town’s Scenic Mountain Act, an issue already put to rest by the town conservation committee. THE PLANET fails to see how a comparatively small monument can upset the balance of the vast woodland. To go against a handful of rabble rousers, the town has engaged the law firm of Kopelman and Paige to shoot down the opposition. We wish the town all good hunting in a case in which the town clearly possesses Right and Truth over the plaintiff’s (that’s a legal term describing a person or person who, while being on a losing side, give up and surrender by firing their last rounds of ammo into the ground). The monument was erected by family to honor the late Dr. Jordan Fieldman, a doctor at Berkshire Medical Center. Again, we wonder, baffled, why would anyone object to that touching action? Could the opposition have an anti-Semitic element? What else would it be?

——————————————————————-

CLOSE

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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AMBROSE
AMBROSE
10 years ago

Softball – who knows
Superintendent- Kinnas will drive off any decent candidate
Bouvier-Farley – this was the year, there may never be another – the mood of the voters to do right by Ms. Harris would have spilled over – Pete White was promissed the full weight of the Newell St. machine in his sticker race against Morandi but it didn’t work
Belvedere – interestingly you see no names such as Coakley, Connelly, Herrick, Messer, LaHart or the many others who showed up more than a century ago to help the original millionaires among the complainers.

Matt
Matt
10 years ago

It was the register of deeds race rather then register of votes.

Levitan
Levitan
10 years ago

Something there is that doesn’t love a shrub.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
10 years ago

You nailed that one too Dan the money is the winner in the Brown Warren race. It comes down to the money is the milk of politics for sure. Just seems suspicious that Granny was the self described author of OWS “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do…I support what they do” but has no problem collecting donations to run her annoying ads. Same with TFB, her most important work was convincing Pittsfield city council to support an amendment to the U.S Constitution denouncing the effects of spending on elections. Is this the same TFB that has Guv Deval Patrick running ads for her every 5 minutes on local radio stations ? Just a tad hypocritical but we love you Trish….

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
10 years ago

You nailed that one too Dan the money is the winner in the Brown Warren race. It comes down to the money is the milk of politics for sure. Just seems suspicious that Granny was the self described author of OWS “I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do…I support what they do” but has no problem collecting donations to run her annoying ads. Same with TFB, her most important work was convincing Pittsfield city council to support an amendment to the U.S Constitution denouncing the effects of spending on elections. Is this the same TFB that has Guv Deval Patrick running ads for her every 5 minutes ( when she ran last year ) on local radio stations ? Just a tad hypocritical but we love you Trish….

Still wondering
Still wondering
Reply to  danvalenti
10 years ago

Breaking news… Granny Warren may not be licenced to practice law in the State of Massachusetts. It also appears that she is not licenced ANYWHERE.

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

Brown ys Waren ????

Don’t be silly!!!!

GOB mASSSholes have it locked up

Wors’t cesspool East of Chicago, is Beacon Hill = Warenn

Go WITH COURUPRT LYING DNC/WARREN ????
Or HONEST Sen BROWN??

Dave
Dave
10 years ago

When Pittsfield hosted the 18u softball world series a few years back, the officials were very impressed with the Doyle complex. Imagine if we made a commitment to host it every year like Williamsport does the Little League world series. Walmart bailed us out with a big donation back then, and if they were given an opportunity to be the major sponsor they may jump at the chance to continue. 100k to Walmart is chump change, and the exposure for them and Pittsfield(ESPN coverage) would be money invested wisely. A second field with lights would make this scenario much more attractive. The High School teams also use this facility, so for the money I feel it would be a wise investment.

Magic
Magic
10 years ago

Shouldn’t some of Mr. Bossidy’s donation take care of the lights at the park, or was it all spent on the rest of the parks, maybe it was spent where it shouldn’t have been.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Magic
10 years ago

That;s what they are asking for.

Magic
Magic
10 years ago

Shouldn’t some of Mr. Bossidy’s donation take care of the lights at the park, or was it all spent on the rest of the parks, maybe it was spent where it shouldn’t have been.

Are We Dreaming?
Are We Dreaming?
10 years ago

As DVs story points out most of the Bossidy Bux were wasted. I like the idea of hosting annual softball World Series.

Scott
Scott
10 years ago

Dan, I’m writing your name in when I vote for state rep.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  Scott
10 years ago

Unless your voting for Dan in the Pignatelli / Laganour race it will be a wasted vote, Scott. DV doesn’t live in TFB’s district.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  danvalenti
10 years ago

Hey Dan, Are you going to pull a Hillary and transplant to Pittsfield? I’m not sure how else you could pull that one off

CONCERNED
CONCERNED
10 years ago

Bossidy”s money, What year was that donated? I believe it was a million dollars. Is there any record of the breakdown where ever penny went. A million today isn’t much, so there is more left ??? Just wondering!!!!!

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
Reply to  CONCERNED
10 years ago

CONCERNED

$i,000,000.00 was donated year 2000.

The city council labored over the meaning to preserve and improve playing fields. By year 2004 not a plting field was improved.

There is a record of the expenditures.

I think $80,000.00 is left.

Jim Gleason
Jim Gleason
Reply to  CONCERNED
10 years ago

If $1 million isn’t much then why don’t you donate that sum to the parks? I thought so.. The people from the girls softball complex are asking for $35, 000 dollars from the Bossidy donation, something Mr. Bossidy is in favor of.If there weren’t incompetents on the Park Commission there would be no question to doing this.Dan, this is a private donation, not taxpayer money.

tito
tito
10 years ago

This weeks King of the Swamp’ award goes to none other than the Planet himself, Dan Valenti. We should be paying money for some of the stuff he writes.

Giacometti
Giacometti
10 years ago

Could it be that the Belvedere Monument, in Kennedy Park overlooks an energy vortex that exists in the valley below.
There are metaphysical reasons that Kripala and Canyon Ranch
chose to exist in the valley below Kennedy Park…It is holy ground.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
Reply to  Giacometti
10 years ago

I hope you’re being sarcastic…

tito
tito
10 years ago

Every project in Pittsfield has a glitch, think about it?

tito
tito
10 years ago

Glitch field!

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
10 years ago

Dan received a write in vote for State Senator, but Trish had about 49 write in votes against her for the 3’rd Berkshire District. Pete White, Tim Kuski, Paul Baldersaro, Angela Davis, Justin Davis, Clement Nugent, Pam Mulumphy, Andrew Meisburger, Richard Drennan, Mark Bennan, Smitty Pignatelli, Andrea Nuciforo, Brian Kelly, Mark McKeever and Joe Guzzo to name a few.
We the people screwed up though by not running anyone against her. She flip flopped on Gambling, bake sales, campaign contributions, and Melissa’s Law targeting violent habitual offenders to name a few, But she will be back working hard for middle class families for another 2 years, working hard for us of course

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
10 years ago

Regarding the girls softball complex..I like the idea of night lights. It’s a cool thing for the athletic girls and they should have it. How many stinking little league fields are there in the city? Tons. I think chuck garavaltis can shed some light on the breakdown of Bossidy’s money. Typical, stupid Pittsfield wasted that most generous gift on (whatever). Who knows where it went. Equipment I think. Not what he intended at all. Bossidy has got to be disgusted.

AMBROSE
AMBROSE
Reply to  Elizabeth
10 years ago

to my knowledge there are 4 little league fields in the city and they are all maintained by the leagues themselves – as for the girls its a great program and the should have all the lights they want – that being said, there won’t be ten nights next summer when two games are played at the same time requiring both fields to be lighted

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
Reply to  Elizabeth
10 years ago

Elizabeth

I have beaten this to death and hesitate to again open Pandora’s Box on this sorry wasting of a wonderful gift from Larry Bossidy. But I will say this: we were warned about the contractor who did the main body of work and walked off with most of the money. References from communities where similiar work was done told us work was unsatisfactiry. But this is Pittsfield and we hired him anyway. This was after a consultant was paid $65,000.00 to give us a report on our parks. Yazooks!! We don’t know our parks well enough to know where to place a soccer field. What a sorry episode of incompetance from city officials and a neutered parks commission. Now, to answer your question. The initial expenditure was $182,000.00 for equipment like trucks with snow plows tractors, etc. Instructions from Mr. Bossidy was money to be spent on “improvement and preservation of playing fields”. Why in the world was this so difficult to understand. One more comment – this is fantastic. City officials twice wrote Mr. Bossidy asking him what he meant by “improvement and preservation of playing fields”.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  chuck garivaltis
10 years ago

Was this just one more area that Cliff Nilan had his hand in? this guy sure gets around.

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
Reply to  dusty
10 years ago

dusty

Cliff was not on the commission when the 1 million was given or equipment purchased. As the second baseman on PHS’s last state championship team he would have known what Mr. Bossidy meant with instructions to preserve and improve playing fields.

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
Reply to  danvalenti
10 years ago

Dan

I’m with you enjoying a laugh replaying the number of times our right honorable good friends debated the complexity of the meaning of repairing a playing field. Hold on because I have another one for you. The million dollars was placed in a ridiculously low interest bearing account and the interest earned was skimmed off and placed in the General Fund without a cent given to parks. It becomes a laugh because of the gall it takes to pull this off. Sometimes you have to laugh to not cry. And today there are rumblings there isn’t money to fund a quality parks system.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  danvalenti
10 years ago

Well then just who were the members of the parks committee when they squandered all this money meant to benefit the children? Who are/were the people involved and are they still donating their talents to help the children?

tito
tito
10 years ago

That is why we are called Palookaville Chuck. I like the new, more friendly name, Glitchfield.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
10 years ago

My greatest hope is that when they scrap the city charter they keep Section 44A the part calls for Initiative or Referendum Petitions in place. Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.will not recognize Pittsfield or the parks once the city is changed.

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

Dan,

WE THE PEOPLE, are disgruntled with the back door behind the scenes dirty deal done concerning Kennedy ParK.

Why have laws and rules, that MEAN NOTHING IN LENOX? Unless Mary Jane and Joe want a permit ($$$$)) for something?

Mr Ackroyd profited from ihis work and his vote on the grave stone, Can you say there is no conflict here? The ethicless demcRATS in Boston think this is fine, do YOU?

I AM DISGUSTED , BOTH THE POS TOWN MIS-MANAGER AND THE HOLIER THAN THOU BOS.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

I agree with you wholeheartedly Beacon…. However, two wrongs do not make a right! That area of Kennedy Park was a total mess and I think you would be hard pressed to deny it. In general, the work done there was a vast improvement to this wonderful spot. Although I will concede it was a bit overdone. To rip it out at this juncture, in the name of “dirty deal” would be going a bit too far.

Let’s stop beating a dead horse here….. We know things should have been done differently here. At this point… Do we really want to punish ourselves for this wrongdoing. Is it really going to make twelve people feel that much better by screwing they neighbor?

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
Reply to  Larry
10 years ago

Lived there LONGERDER THAN YOU, BEEN

John Kenenddy was my FRIEEND, NOT THE NRA MEMBERER, ELECTEED IN 61, the nice man whom made the park,. [REDCACTED]

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

Sorry to offend LenoX folks.

I’ve only lived here + 50 years

Current Gooberment is lacking , and yes I vote.

We got along fine without a “Town manager” ,, for about TWO HUNDRED YEARS what does he do besides collect $$$$$?????.

Larry
Larry
10 years ago

Gee Tony,

Calling me (RECTUM) names, certainly does not make you right by any stretch of the imagination. I know you…. You are a very educated individual. Sorry to see you regress to name calling. Yes Tony…. you are a shit load smarter than that.

Im not exactly sure where your coming from on the NRA??? Certainly you do not believe John Drummond Kennedy didnt make the park….. he donated it! I would have to believe making the park belongs to a higher being. Not sure just what elected in 61 is all about either…. Please fill me in.

There most certainly should be a middle ground here…. I have a connection to that park as well…. Perhaps you have lived there longer as well…. you are 7 years older!

No; I will not refer to you as rectum, my friend. I would most certainly not think you would call me that either because my opinions differ from yours!

Larry
Larry
Reply to  danvalenti
10 years ago

I agree… He is a good man and I’ve known him for decades. Funny thing is that I seem to agree with most all his views. I just cannot agree with citizens suing their own town. If I see him out I’ll certainly buy him a cold one and shoot the breeze!

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
Reply to  Larry
10 years ago

Larry,

Sorry , really am.

I am frustrated with a Town Government that lets board members profit from their votes, and other officials ignore the laws of the state/town.

Mea Culpa.

Beacon Hill Mob
Beacon Hill Mob
Reply to  Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

P.S. Mr Kennedy from Lenox, not the man whom was a NRA life member in in 1961 JFK,…… left the park WITH NO RESTRICTIONS TO HUNTING/FISHING.

This was back door deal by the Town anti-hunters I wish, Capt. Conklin was still alive to back me up on this.

Larry
Larry
Reply to  Beacon Hill Mob
10 years ago

BHM,

I share your frustration…. Things certainly have not been handled properly here. They threw us a bone when Akroyd left the park board and yet gave him the work to redesigning the park entrance. At least he didn’t give himself the job as he did last time I suppose. Something certainly stunk there!

I can recall snowmobiling in that park as a kid before Gige Darey basically kicked us out cuz he was a cross country ski coach! I can recall that pissing a few people off. Your not the only one missing Cap Conklin… He didn’t mince works and told it like it was!

Apology accepted…. Obviously you care about what’s going on in town and thats certainly admirable. We really need someone like you on the BOS! Theres too many special interest clowns in this town!

You ever get out to The HH anymore? I’m good for about once a year myself. Who the hell can afford to lose their right to drive… Better off staying home!

Hope all is well!

Larry
Larry
10 years ago

Trust me… I share your frustration…. Lets go about this in a constructive way…. That being not suing ourselves!

chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
10 years ago

As ususal jim Gleason’s comments (this blog 9/23) are right on target.You may not think it appropriate at this time time but in the near future when you hear there is no money to mow lawns or repair infieldsyou will question where the money went and what are these guys doing that parks for children are not tended to.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
10 years ago

The proposal for lights was 15k from Bossidy fund 15k from taxpayers.Why not start making the groups who receive money pay back a portion of the funds no interest.Would make the funds last longer and help more orgnizations.Same should be done with GE money.