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!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! MAYOR “STICKS” IT TO FIRE DEPARTMENT; ENGINE FAILS INSPECTION, & BIANCHI REFUSES TO FIX TRUCK … plus … MAYOR WANTS MORE SECRECY IN GOVT.

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By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

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PROGRAM NOTE: Tune in tomorrow, 7 p.m., Channel 16, Access Pittsfield, as PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION presents to world premiere of the film, Kentucky Fried Pittsfield … or … Where Have You Gone, Col. Sanders. The hour-long film shows Pittsfield as you’ve never seen it before. It’s “can’t miss” viewing.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JULY 22, 2015) — Citizen Dan Bianchi campaigned in 2009 promising enhanced public safety. He knocked Mayor Jimmy Ruberto for his record on crime and pledged he would be a law-and-order mayor. Several murders, countless shootings and stabbings, ponderous numbers of beatings and muggings, and one $400-a-night Hotel On North later, you know how that promise turned out.

This mayor has done his utmost to neuter the city’s two most important public safety offices. He has

Pittsfield Fire Engine 2 / T2 sits in the front center bay at the Columbus Avenue HQ with a nice, new “R” (rejection) sticker. When the PFD told the corner office, sources say, the mayor refused to allow the department to get the vehicle repaired. Doesn’t that put lives in jeopardy? (PHOTO FOR THE PLANET BY DAVE BUBRISKI). Double-click on photo for enlargement.

understaffed the police department and repeatedly stiffed the fire department. Case in point on the jakes: The Strange Case of the Rejected Engine. 

We all know about “economic engines,” those ploys to rob the public by pouring their money into the ventures of “connected” private businesses and having taxpayers assume the risk. Well, this is no “economic” engine. This is a “fire” engine. Fasten your seatbelts, because this story is hard to believe.

‘R’ is for ‘Rejection’

Acting on a tip from THE PLANET‘s Secret Squadron, our operatives visited the Pittsfield Fire Department‘s central station and HQ on Columbus Avenue. There, in the front middle bay, is “Pittsfield Fire and Rescue” 2. On the front, white lettering reads “T2.”  Just above and left of the lettering, one sees an inspection sticker. So far so good.

There’s a “however,” however.

The sticker displays a big, black “R“. The engine did not pass inspection.

Informed sources say when the department advised the corner office, the mayor “forced them to use the engine, despite the failed sticker. Bianchi is refusing to fix the truck. If the truck gets stopped out on the road, it’s the driver [fireman] that gets the ticket and his personal insurance goes up. The mayor is banking on them not getting stopped by the police.”

Here we go again. We have the 7-4M, with one murder and four people shot. The mayor responds by hiding. Now we have a fire truck that has failed inspection. Why, we don’t know, but this puts lives in danger.

Apparently, the lives of Pittsfield citizens mean little to this mayor. The working conditions of fire fighters mean less. The job of fire fighter is tough enough without a witless mayor sabotaging their equipment.

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Public Access? Bianchi: ‘Let “The Little Guy” Go F— Himself”

“Massachusetts has one of the worst public records laws in the country.” So says Robert Bertsche, partner in the Boston law firm Prince Lobel Tyre, where he specializes in media law.

It’s not just Bertsche sounding the alarm over transparency in government. The State Integrity Investigation, a national alliance of clean government organizations and the press, gives Massachusetts an “F” for “public access to information.”

From The Boston Globe, Jan. 23, 2015, article by David Sharfenberg: “Ask any reporter, activist, or political operative who’s filed enough public records requests, and you’ll hear a tale of an $8,000 or $10,000 bill. That sort of tab, advocates say, is a substantial deterrent — especially in an age of shrinking media budgets.”

Finally, Beacon Hill lawmakers want to strengthen the access law. The bill making its way through the Legislature “appear[s] to finally have enough support to pass this year,” writes The Globe‘s Todd Wallack. This has set off alarm bells in city hall. Wallack reports that last week, “The Massachusetts Municpial Association (MMA) sent out an e-mail blast … urging local officials to bombard Beacon Hill with objections to the bill.” Some mayors don’t want The Owners of Goverment, Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, butting noses into their business.

Fetching Water for Gunga Din

Apparently, Dan Bianchi is among the maddest of the mad bombers. City hall sources tell THE PLANET the mayor has complied with the advice of the MMA. When it comes to keeping The Little Guy shut out of government, Bianchi will gladly fetch water for Gunga Din. Sources say the mayor has urged lawmakers to leave the present law untouched, in effect telling them that citizen requests are a burden to government and that politicians know best. The man ran in 2011 on public safety (as we discussed above) and transparency. You know how both those promises turned out.

THE PLANET has contacted the mayor seeking his comment on the report. We have yet to hear. When the phone doesn’t ring, we know it’s The Amazing Transparent Mayor not getting back to us.

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“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.”Meister Eckhart, German philosopher.

“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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poor boy
poor boy
7 years ago

This mayor sent inmates up on the roof of Taconic High this past winter armed with ice picks resulting in a perforated membrance and severe leaks in the roof due to the holes.

Some would say the roof was sabotaged.

As a direct consequence of the needless move to 100 North St, this mayor hired incompetent contractors to dig a trench for cables at city hall with a direct result of flooding in the basement therein.

Now he expects the fire department to use faulty equipment on the streets of Pittsfield with a direct result of endangering the public at large.

How much more damage are you going to allow this mayor to do to the city?

Please pay your taxes because they need to repave the runway at the airport for another $3.5 million dollars of your money. Huge tax increases coming for the uneeded new high screwel you were not permitted to vote for.

Another winter is on its way with guaranteed pot holes to bust up your car and the wasteful half empty new shool busses due to neglect of basic city services.

Bianchi’s track record is a train wreck for all to see. This guy is not competent to be mayor. Your tax money is all being funneled into the wrong hands.

Mr. X
Mr. X
7 years ago

Was told yesterday that police chief got a huge raise from $88,000 to $115,000 while patrolmen and women, the backbone of the force, recently got less than 2% raises…nice

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Mr. X
7 years ago

Well i hope he “acts” like he appreciates it.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
Reply to  dusty
7 years ago

This is in addition to his new SUV, unmarked personal use car and city credit card, as well as generous perks.
He has listed part time college instructor on his resume, along with his side businesses, and leadership book authoring and publishing.
Payscale.com shows the average U.S. police chief salary at $68,570.
Indeed,com shows it at $59,000.
U.S. College Search.com shows it at $90,570.
The mean streets of Pittsfield and her taxpayers are as always flush with free cash !

urinetown
urinetown
Reply to  Dowgerhat
7 years ago

On planet earth writing a book is considered an accomplishment.

Edconnect
Edconnect
Reply to  dusty
7 years ago

He has a new blonde babe. So she must appreciate it.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Edconnect
7 years ago

Blondes always gravitate toward the money.

Bill
Bill
Reply to  Mr. X
7 years ago

Mr. X, I’m sure the patrolmen are doing just fine with plenty of details for all. As a matter of fact wasn’t one of the highest paid city employees a patrolman watching a hole?

Anonymous
Anonymous
Reply to  Mr. X
7 years ago

0, 0, and .5% three years

Pat
Pat
7 years ago

There was a second death in a year in the McKay Street parking garage yesterday morning. Will we actually get the name of who died and the details within a few days? The countdown begins to see if this information is forthcoming to the public.

I can’t wait to see “Kentucky Fried Pittsfield” tomorrow. I loved the first show.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Pat
7 years ago

I was wondering when that might debut. I think Dan needs to publicize it more.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  dusty
7 years ago

Dan, after it aired once, could you post a link to the PCTV feed of it on your site?

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  Pat
7 years ago

Pat- Tuesday’s fatality was a suicide by a very disturbed individual. No further information will be released as a matter of policy out of respect for the victim’s family. Sometimes, such as an on-going investigation that depends on police having details that the general public does not, there are valid reasons why information is withheld from the media. It’s not always about keeping the public in the dark.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  Two Cents
7 years ago

Yeah out of respect asshole! How has your comment, true or.not respected the family? You have revealed details that the family might have not wanted made public and have commented as it is fact . Yes it may be true but why defend the press for not printing the info to respect the family and then post your comment?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Dave
7 years ago

He didn’t give a name and I’m sure the press will not so what is the problem?

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
7 years ago

Didn’t the Chief put a Captain in charge as he was on a scheduled vacation? Everyone wants foot patrols, well, that costs money. The PPD does the best they can. Chief Winn has his hands tied on both sides. He has been an underpaid servant for a thankless duty, as far as I’m concerned. Make him a bonafied Chief,and see what happens? Pittsfield is out of control, but it starts at the very top and the City Council who appropriate and allow moniesto be spent for our safety. As of now a new Council and Mayor should be on the horizon.

Flogging Molly
Flogging Molly
7 years ago
Deb S.
Deb S.
Reply to  Flogging Molly
7 years ago

You are correct for FY15 but for FY 16 it is $115,000, just looked it up from your linc on page 18.

silence dogood
silence dogood
7 years ago

Does this mean that if you only drive in the City of Pittsfield you don’t have to pass inspection anymore? The $29.00 that vehicle owners save should prove to be a real economic engine.

Ed Check
Ed Check
Reply to  silence dogood
7 years ago

I don’t think the MA State Police will be as forgiving. Don’t forget the towing charge to the impound.
Does anyone know the reason it was rejected for inspection?
I also think you have a period of time to drive it legally until it can be repaired. Still, very embarrassing for the city.

Bull Durham
Bull Durham
Reply to  Ed Check
7 years ago

If the rejection was for a safety violation, the vehicle must be repaired before it can be allowed back on the street. If it was for a non-safety item (usually emissions failure), you have 60-days to have it repaired and reinspected and can drive it in the meantime.

downtown dweller
downtown dweller
Reply to  Bull Durham
7 years ago

Black “R” generally is an emissions type problem (earned several of those with a previous, cranky vehicle). As mentioned above, you have 60 days to get it repaired. A red “R” is a safety issue and has to be repaired within 7 days.

silence dogood
silence dogood
7 years ago

If you get stopped, tell em Biancho sent ya

pemetina
pemetina
7 years ago

No nonsense politics. Gaetani

Dave
Dave
7 years ago

Page B5 in the BB- 2 paragraph article by the AP regarding tens of thousands of people removed from the state’s Medicaid program being deemed ineligible. Deemed ineligilble-don’t qualify-shouldn’t be getting-etc….Second paragraph “part of Baker’s plan to squeeze $761 million in savings from MassHealth the government run health insurance program for about 1.7 million poor and disabled residents. Wow, make finding fraud or excess payments seem like a bad thing, like if you stop the ineligible payments you are screwing the poor and disable that may actually need the help.
Funny, on B4 there is a 6 paragraph article by the State House news service(sounds pretty neutral) regarding Gov Baker’s fundraising and travel schedule.

RIP Brian Sullivan–a good man

Jackasourus
Jackasourus
7 years ago

I struggle with your ideas of putting the onus on the corner office with every little thing that happens in the city, besides its a office in a old possibly sick building. I may not have the ability to read the Planet (Earth not your blog) like a boss, such as yourself, but I see that the spin in your stories is like that of most major media “news” outlets of fear and hate mongering. While be it I wasn’t at the shooting of five people in Pittsfield I believe one of the possible factors relating to the shooting is the lack of physics being taught in the high schools to all students. Firing a gun at the ground isn’t the smartest thing to do, although blaming a elected official for this is right up there. Cognitive dissonance is strong factor in all of this but the dumbing down of America is real, here and active. I figured I just had to share, Thank you for what you do.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Jackasourus
7 years ago

Blaming elected officials for insidious secretive behavior in every facet in this City is called for. Citizens are shut down and shut out. This is not normal in healthy cities and towns. Sorry. The spotlight is,and should be on the Lack of Leadership in Pittsfield. Change is needed sooner than later. Putting the onus as you say on the corner office should be escalated. For it is he who has done nothing to groom business to Pittsfield, or show promise of a future. He has done nothing but spend Taxpayer money and create long lasting debt. It is he who wants Citizens to shut up and go away.

silence dogood
silence dogood
Reply to  Jackasourus
7 years ago

Is this Irwin Corey?

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

A vehicle sticker has gone up, from $29. to $35.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
7 years ago

@ Jackasourus the idea of placing blame on the corner office, elected officials, the cops or something else doesn’t solve anything. We have an election coming up and obviously some of us may be looking for more leadership from the Mayor, Council President, Chief and DA than what we have seen. No elected or unelected official is going to solve the problem in the immediate future but physics just may not be the solution. Hiring additional police officers, walking beats, and rallies may not be the best solution either. My suggestion would be to stop using 20th century ideas and start using 21st century solutions. Things are changing in our world quickly, technology, the internet, surveillance and information gathering are with us to stay. Let’s provide the cops with a cruiser each when they are hired, top notch training and equipment, a suggestion that was given years ago by Cresap McCormich and Padget or some other consulting firm. The progressives have a pretty good strong hold on us and Ferguson, Baltimore, Detroit, and inner city problems may be here sooner rather than later. Adams is just a stones throw away from the Pitts…

Pat
Pat
7 years ago

Iberkshires has an article today with a plea from the district attorney’s office for information on the July 4th mass shootings. The article also gives more information and says there were 2 shootings that night. The first was a drive-by at 11 pm on Robbins Avenue. The second was very shortly after in the Linden Street parking lot. Apparently everyone is refusing to cooperate in identifying the shooters. This is what we suspected that they are protecting themselves and others. Not sure what you can do in a situation like this. This is why it’s so hard to bring these people to justice and the violence continues.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
7 years ago

Some new info on the shootings has been released and it’s pretty scary.

http://www.iberkshires.com/blog/2966/PoliceSeekPublicsHelptoSolvePittsfieldJuly4Shootings.html

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
7 years ago

Maybe the Police should have a secret squadron of street snitches. everyday you can see 15 to 20 small crimes and disobeyed laws such as tresspassing, loose dogs and cats,speeding, passing in double lined road, jaywalking,domestic assaults,drug deals, drinking in public. When police have a BOLO why are some only sent to the chat in the police car, citizens can help with the BOLO if it is put out on the scanner?

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
7 years ago

I was watching a Airplane Repo show on discovery, the airport looked a lot the ours. The runway made me think it might be, it wasnmt in the greatest condition.

the truth
the truth
7 years ago

failed for emissions dan!! wow imagine the lives in danger breathing in the fumes. big deal out of nothing?? perhaps?

craig
craig
7 years ago

dan saw the show–under the bridge looking just like stan laurel very finny but very sad what our city has turned into. liked your piece on al and mark belanger. i was related to them through my ex wife and we all spent many holidays at my homes.my nephews would tell thier friends at school that they spent the holidays with mark the orioles short stop and of course the kids didnt believe them but i use to tell them to make a bet with their friends that it was true.after the bets were made, they would pull out the pictures i took of them with mark and they would collect their loot .met al at big y a few weeks ago and when we realized it has been over 32 years since we shared the holidays together, we quickly realized how much older we are getting.. i hope i live long enough to see the city strive after i tear it down and rebuild it from the bottom and return the city to the rightful owners –the tax payers. it will take massive sacrifices on everyones part but it is the only way t\o turn this city around. i guess it wont be too long and we will know the answer–i know i am ready and i hope the residents of this city are also– as this might be the last chance to turn this city around. now it is up to the public—craig gaetani

craig
craig
Reply to  danvalenti
7 years ago

just watched schools building need comish–project mgt meeting–mrs. amuso like a duck out of water-smiling and approving every thing being said by the engineering people and not understanding a thing they are saying. i know the Gilbane people and DAVID TIERNEY ASSOCIATES WHO ARE GOING TO BE THE MANAGEMENT TEAM FOR THE BUILDING OF THE NEW TACONIC HIGH SCHOOL AND THEY ARE VERY REPUTABLE AND HAVE A GOOD TRACK RECORD. THAT SAID–WERE THEY CHOSEN AS THE LOW BIDDER FOR THEIR SERVICES OR WERE THEY JUST PICKED OUT OF A HAT OR ARE FRIENDLY WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE? I BELIEVE THE PUBLIC BID LAWS ARE AS CLEAR AS A BELL AND I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THESE TWO FIRMS WERE CHOSEN BASED ON THOSE LAWS. IF I WERE MAYOR TODAY I WOULD KNOW WHO THE BEST CANDIDATES WERE BASED ON MY BACKGROUND. BECAUSE I AM NOT THE MAYOR– NOW– THESE DRAWINGS AND ENGINEERING PROPOSALS SHOULD BE REVIEWED BY SOMEONE WHO IS ON THE CITY PAYROLL ALREADY—THE ILLUSTEROUS MR. BRUCE COLLINGWOOD. HE CLAIMS HE IS A PE– A PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER AND THIS NEW SCHOOL IS BASICALLY BOX TECHNOLOGY AND SHOULD POSE NO PROBLEM FOR HIM TO COMMENT ON—THIS IS WHY I SAY THAT I AM THE ONLY CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF THIS CITY– SO AS WHEN MATTERS OF THIS MAGNITUDE COME FORWARD THE PEOPLE IN THE CITY WILL KNOW THAT THEY HAVE A MAYOR WHO HAS THEIR BACK–DOES ANYONE FEEL CONFIDENT THAT THIS MAYOR OR MS. TYER WOULD HAVE YOUR BACK COVERED ON THIS PROJECT???? HERE WE GO AGAIN WITH THE BLIND LEADING THE BLIND–WE ARE IN SUCH TROUBLE IN THIS CITY AND IN THE SIX MONTHS BEFORE I BECOME MAYOR– THIS ADMIN AND COUNCIL COULD INFLICT MORE FINANCIAL RUIN UPON THIS CITY. BE REST ASSURED THAT IF I WIN THE MAYORAL RACE– I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO STOP THIS PROJECT– AS THE PUBLIC IS AGAINST IT AND I KNOW THAT, AND I WILL MAKE SURE I DELIVER FOR THE TAXPAYER SINCERELY CRAIG C. GAETANI