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CITY OFFICIALS ARE SUPPRESSING INFO ON SHOOTINGS, BUT WHY? … PLANET SHARES WHAT WE’VE HEARD: Nothing but STREET TALK, BUT IT’S A START … plus … ‘InCITYous’ A ‘SMASH HIT’ … & THE COMMENT LINE IS OPEN

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, JULY 10-12, 2015) — Secrecy. Lockdown. Furtiveness. The dark, damp shade. The moldy, black cellars. This is the state of Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s #1 promise of transparency. Blindfold the people, pour hot war in their ears, and duct tape their mouths. Though he has no power to do so, and though it in fact goes counter to the oath of office he has now taken once time too many, Mr. Mayor has kept you — The Private Citizen, the owner of government — out of the loop.

Once again, he spits in your face. You, though, can extract the ultimate payback on Election Day.

Lots of Questions, No Answers for a Jittery Community

The latest and perhaps “greatest” (must be used in quotes, of course) example is the lockdown on information on the five shootings and one murder that took place on the evening of July 4. Questions to the mayor’s office are ignored or referred to the police. Questions to the police are thrown the the District Attorney’s office. The DA tells you the case is under investigation and there is nothing new to report.

Extremely odd. Even for Podunk. As one of our commentators put it, “Something smells rotten.”

— Do the cops have any suspects? … They’re not saying.

— Is there a killer (or killers) loose? … THE CITY: “None of your fucking business.”

—  What about witnesses? You talking to anyone? Have people been told to clam up? … “Next!”

— How many and what kind of firearms were used? Did you find shell casings? … “Who do I look like, Joe Friday?”

— Was the gunfire drug-related? Drunken youths having “fun”? … “Beat it, little man.”

There are many more questions, and the city is on edge, but the mayor doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t want the $400-a-night clientele at Hotel On North questioning their choice of getting nicked. Even though the shootings happened .2 of a mile from the hostelry. Or is it hostile-ry?

News from Up the Street

THE PLANET through our Secret Squadron has been in contact with our West Side sources, including the Air Jordon‘s in and on the street. Here’s what we have learned, but first this cautionary note: None of this information has been officially corroborated. This is just “words from up the street.” They are shared for what they’re worth. They could be worth a fortune. They could be worth the price of The Boring Broadsheet from last week.

* Some insist there were at least two guns, maybe three; there was an exchange of gunfire; there were two shooters.

* There was only one gun, one shooting, goes another line of equal insistence.

* The incident was — take your pick — a set-up or an argument that, fueled by alcohol, spun out-of-control. Depends on who you’re talking to.

* There’s also different views on whether the dead man was or was not  “an innocent bystander.”

* The victims — a 25-year-old man, a 26-year-old man, and a 20-year-old woman — were known to each other. The five involved in the mayhem were dark-skinned, either all black or a combination of black and Hispanic. This raises the question of the subculture of race and the issues of assimilation, personal responsibility, and victimhood.

* The incident involved drugs, although it wasn’t a “drug deal gone bad.”

* It was not gang related.

* The killer left Pittsfield, heading to the New York City area, soon after the incident. But he “has to return.” In fact, one report has him coming back to attend the “Stop the Violence” rally set for today at 5 p.m., Robbins and Linden. Again, THE PLANET adds a cautionary note: None of this information has been corroborated by authorities. This information is raw. THE PLANET is not evaluating it; we are merely presenting it. For example, we have trouble coming up with a scenario where the killer would attend the rally (intimidation?), although we could envision other reasons for him to return to Pittsfield.

* As to the killer, there’s a strong line that says he doesn’t live in the city, that is, officially — that he’s from the NYC-area, staying with “friends” in Pittsfield.

* The witnesses aren’t talking out of fear. There’s pretty much agreement over that. This would, we think, hamper the investigation.

* The second incident of gunfire on Robbins Avenue, the one that occurred the morning after the July 4 shootings, was related. Perhaps an effort to intimidate?

* The timing of the violence wasn’t random. It was planned to coincide with the plethora of home-made fireworks that plagued the area all night long.

* More ominously, there’s fear on the street that another “hit” is on the way. Does that explain the official reluctance to say anything?

* No one wanted their names used. We can also report a definite edge in the voices and body language of those who did talk.

——– 000 ——–

Take that information at face value. THE PLANET relays the same message to you that we are telling everyone: If you have pertinent information: Call the Pittsfield Police Department at 413-448-9700. There are people in the city who know a lot more than they’re telling.

———————————————————————————–

‘In-CITY-ous’ is a Smash Hit

THE PLANET is delighted with the reception of our film InCITYous: Pittsfield’s Crisis of Confidence, which had its world premier last night on PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION. We received several communications after the showing. Critics highlighted their favorite parts:

* The bit we filmed at the City Hall courtyard outside the mayor’s office.

* The Milt Plum National Museum and Archives.

* Garbage on Wendell Avenue Extension

* The Howard Building — “Larry, Moe, and Curley; hilarious myth that will certainly persist around town.”

* “Visitors from New Jersey” exploring Dunham Mall. This was where THE PLANET hired two trained actor ants to play the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Sheckner.

* The invention of Pocket Pool as America’s National Pastime, right here in good old Pittsfield, and the 1791 document. So much pocket pool was being played on Park Square back then that the town fathers had to write an ordinance. Photo of the mayor, on Park Square, playing pocket pool.

* Pesip Park architecture.

 Filmgoers will be excited to hear that plans for the second movie in the InCityous series is already under way.

———————————————————————————————

With that, we now declare The Comment Line open. All views, all topics are welcome. Just stay out of the gutter. Say it with smarts, with sass, with darts, with class.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

—————————————————————————————————-

“What in the world ever became of Sweet Jane? She lost her sparkle you know she isn’t the same. Living on reds, vitamin C, and cocaine — all a fellow can do is say it’s a shame.”The Grateful Dead, “Truckin’,” (1970).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in any comment section are not those of PLANET VALENTI or endorsed in any way by PLANET VALENTI; this website reserves the right to remove any comment which violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service.

 

 

 

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Who owns it
Who owns it
7 years ago

What ever happened to that state of the art Command Center on wheels? Did they not used to drag that out for situations like this? Does the city still own it? Is someone using it to tour the country in style?

If there isn’t cameras on every telephone pole on the West side, why not?

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Chicago’s infamous, and one of the nation’s vilest shootings was the St. Valentine;s Day massacre. Seven people were shot fatally. Pittsfield’s Fourth of July day massacre wasn’t far behind with five shot, one fatally. In both instances, the victim’s knew each other. A major difference is that in 1929 Chicago’s population was 3.4 million and Pittsfield’s is 43,000. Per capita, Pittsfield is more extreme.

Who owns it
Who owns it
Reply to  Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Can you spell D E S T I N A T I O N?

FJlowry
FJlowry
7 years ago

Sorry Dan I tried watching your video , but I got dizzy from the bouncing camera shots.

Silence Dogppd
Silence Dogppd
Reply to  FJlowry
7 years ago

Try Dramamine before watching the next movie

Southeast
Southeast
7 years ago

some of the “word from the street” kind of validates my perception that this is the start of a gang war. this is how they start, a slight, then retaliation – then more retaliation, then tit for tat shootings or killings. they occur in places larger ands smaller than our burg, and eventually the shootings are more brazen – and can happen anywhere, say even at the Lee OUTLEETS OR Berkshire mall IF THAT IS WHERE THE TARGET IS AT THE moment

unfortunately, when this starts – it takes on a life of its own that 1,000 cops can’t stop until the people who are calling the shots (no pun intended) get arrested.

this is part of the problem of people coming to “stay”: In Pittsfield (OR ANYWHERE ELSE). We are susceptible as are any community within about 4-5 hours of NYC to the fallout of that City. All these old mill towns with excess housing stock – and landlords who will fill them because they own them. and even getting at the gangbangers themselves is tough because they are the brothers/sisters/nephews/fathers/etc. of the folks you are talking to. and blood really is thicker.

the City’s role in this is more a complacency issue. Lack of a rule to do rental inspections, lack of pro-active housing inspections by the health dept., etc. in fact – here is where the City needs to elevate the standard, take bad actors to court, and keep doing it until those landlords either upgrade or sell.

I am less concerned with tenants on section 8 than tenants who pay their rent in cash – without subsidy or records. those are the folks who have infiltrated this community. the social service consumers also are here because the housing was available – and by making the landlord business more difficult, maybe we can get landlords to rip down 1/3 or 1/ their slummy units, build smaller buildings with adequate parking, and maybe start attracting people who want to live quietly and peaceably.

it’s easy to believe the City has 70% bad actors like one poster keeps saying. he is probably way wrong, but it only takes a few – if it’s 1% that is still 400 idiots making the other 43,000 live in fear.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Southeast
7 years ago

I agree totally. This city has become the wild wild west. People want to live in peace and quiet and with respect for their neighbors. End of story. People who don’t want to live that way should leave.

Southeast
Southeast
7 years ago

it was a bit bouncy – it had that Michael Moore vibe going on. Next time, maybe you should use a GoPro mounted to your hat!!

those things are cool.

Nota
Nota
7 years ago

UNFORTUNITTLY MOST PITTSFEELDERS FEEL WRITE AT HOME WITH TRAS IN THE GUDDER.
,

Mark
Mark
7 years ago

Where is mayoral candidate Craig G?

urinetown
urinetown
Reply to  Mark
7 years ago

Someone should go down to the station and bail him out.

FJlowry
FJlowry
Reply to  urinetown
7 years ago

10 bucks he was taized!

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
7 years ago

Probably on his Yot.

Discreet Cat
Discreet Cat
7 years ago

YOT…. sorry.

CosbieslLadies
CosbieslLadies
7 years ago

Better put a polo out one the Wiz. Planet on the lookout.

Pat
Pat
7 years ago

Ever since David Capeless has been in charge as District Attorney especially in the last 5 years or so it seems like the local crime reporting is getting more and more secretive. We have to struggle to get the details of local crimes. They want help from the public in solving crimes, but they are unwilling to share what they do know. I think he has run unopposed in at least the last 2 elections. I liked him at the beginning, but like any public servant I think they can be in office too long and get too comfortable and we need a change of the guard somebody who is much more transparent with the general public in letting us know what is going on.

Demetrius T. Gladiator
Demetrius T. Gladiator
Reply to  Pat
7 years ago

Capeless is a politician, a failed lawyer masquerading as a crusading DA. For balls, nothing. He can look to a crusading DV for them.

Spider
Spider
7 years ago

Why haven’t we heard from all the candidates (mayoral and city council) questioning the lack of info on the shootings?

The ones already elected represent us and should be demanding transparency on our behalf.

In my opinion, this is a BIG issue….and the lack of communication is disturbing.

Tammy Ives
Tammy Ives
7 years ago

We should be hearing from our current sitting city council about the shootings and instead everyone one is left to come up with their own conclusion. According to Iberkshires right after the shooting there was a discussion between the mayor, Granger, the sheriffs office and Melissa Mazzeo for her to be included I don’t know why but any way even she hasn’t come out with a statement.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
Reply to  Tammy Ives
7 years ago

We think there is a suspect ? No arrest ? Has an arrest warrant been issued ? A person of interest ?
Perhaps the powers to be are waiting for the police chief to return from vacation. We should hear something then; After Labor Day perhaps ?

urinetown
urinetown
Reply to  Tammy Ives
7 years ago

Never mind that Tammy Ives where’s your boy LOL

Who owns it
Who owns it
7 years ago

They want the public’s help such as eye witnesses but the eye witness folk apparently do not trust the DA any more I wonder why.

Did he do something to make them lose faith? Or do eye witness people come out on the bottom of the pile in Pittsfield?

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Who owns it
7 years ago

When Values and Ethics from Top City Government become a disconnect with Citizens , it is more than concerning.

Nota
Nota
7 years ago

All politicians are like that spa.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
7 years ago

We need a big change in Pittsfield. Not the same old same old. Who has a plan that will keep our property taxes the same yearly, my income is not rising.

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

Driving down Merrill Road today. Now we have water just after Plastics Ave. on the surface. It’s all catching up. Years of neglect and taking the money. Because We can all see there is nothing to show for it. Not even the basic needs.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

That section of Merrill Road routinely floods. The city does not comply with EPA stormwater standards.

Joe Pinhead
Joe Pinhead
7 years ago

Did we ever get a final and accurate reporting regarding the “Duck” and his high speed crash at the High School? Was it just a joy ride at 100 mph? Being chased? If so by whom? Why? If I recall there was a candle vigil for these guys as well. Social media was a blaze about how these two upstanding pillars of the community were going to be sorely missed. I guess I missed the extensive coverage. I am certain a tragedy of that caliber in that location has led to something more than a possible fence. Or has it all been chalked up to an “unpleasant” situation?

just sayin

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Joe Pinhead
7 years ago

You got it right….another unpleasant situation here in Pittsfield.

Nota
Nota
7 years ago

Anyone know when Hess Gas Station became a Forest?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Nota
7 years ago

Perhaps the mayor is going to turn it into a wildlife refuge to further enhance the area as a destination mecca.

Not to be confused with the already existing wildlife area on John st.

K E Double L
K E Double L
Reply to  dusty
7 years ago

Forests are green. Green is in. Another economic engine fer sure.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Nota
7 years ago

Lol…..Nota. along with KFC property and that fine gutted hole on West Housatonic Street across from McDonalds. Bianchi’s Destination Fantasy.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  spagirl
7 years ago

Don’t forget old Burger King on Merrill road.

downtown dweller
downtown dweller
Reply to  joetaxpayer
7 years ago

Please correct me if I’m wrong but, I believe that all of those decrepit properties mentioned are privately owned and not city property. I agree they do nothing to enhance the city but I think legally they (the city) can only send notices out to the listed owners to take care of the situation.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  joetaxpayer
7 years ago

Just read owners of Stop& Shop plaza bought BK want to knock it down put a new larger building.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Interesting reading on the Craig C. Gaetani for Mayor facebook page. No comment on the posters comments..Omerta”.

downtown dweller
downtown dweller
Reply to  Dowgerhat
7 years ago

Is there another FB page? I checked it out and there was nothing there.

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

Can you imagine the Berkshire Eagle is just reporting the water leaks in the City Hall basement? Dan Valenti reported this a month ago. And what is the determination going to be after they have hired Barry Construction to look into it. …..Exactly what Dan Valenti reported. Mar Bianchi should have to pay this bill out of his personal pocket.

spagirl
spagirl
7 years ago

Mayor.