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FOUR ON THE FLOOR, a.k.a., QUIK HITZ & HOT LIX

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27, 2016) — Time to clean up the odds and ends in the writer’s notebook. THE PLANET brings you Four on the Floor, a.k.a., Quik Hitz and Hot Lix.

IF THIS BE ‘PROGRESS,’ … — Remember the old GE slogan? “Progress is our most important product.” You might want to apply that to the city of Pittsfield, which made it an entire 23 days before it’s first murder of the new year. The over-under was 20. THE PLANET went with the over. We can now cash in, but we won’t be heading to the Crossroads, the Madison, or to Johnny’s Bleach Club (our shirts are white enough, thank you). It’s Lach’s Lounge, minus-5-Star all the way baby, in whose vicinity Pittsfield’s latest murder took place, although we might rethink that. We avoid any watering hole with the Heimlich Maneuver on the grille menu or that has the outline of a body chalked upon the floor. WE won’t even get into the armed robberies, assaults, break-ins, fights, harassments, and other assorted fun and games from the Armies of the Road.

HIGHER MATH — What to say about Mayor Linda Tyer’s new appointments? At minimum, call it addition by subtraction. Getting rid of Degnan (solicitor), Sondrini (building and maintenance), The Sheffield Shuffler (personnel), and especially Carmel (finance) in and of itself raises the collective work and capability I.Q. of  official Pittsfield. It will take a lot of screwing up for the replacements — Rich Dohoney (by contract), Denis Guyer, Michael Taylor, and Matt Kerwood, respectively — to perform more poorly. It brings to mind the old saying we just made up: “When you follow screw-ups, it becomes that much easier to look good at your new job.” At the Open Mic session, Supercitizen Terry Kinnas brought up a concern regarding the legality of the building and maintenance appointment. The job is listed that way on the city’s website. However, the revised city charter changed the position to “Director of Maintenance.” Thus, Kinnas said, the mayor proposed and the council approved the new hire to a position that doesn’t exist. Kinnas said Mayor Linda Tyer called this discrepancy “a typo” and dismissed the objection. THE PLANET wonders if, legally, this is the end of the story. One would have thought, though, that when the new charter changed the name of positions, the city would have reflected this in its official website and the city officers from mayor on down would have known this. Ah, but this is Pittsfield.

WHAT IS ART?— Is this painting Art or a painter mocking the ridiculousness of high-brow

Employees of Sotheby’s hold a $46.5 million joke.

Darrens and Colleens seeing in this jejune insult some kind of sophisticated Secret Code they don’t understand but feel they must pretend to “get.” They will give you a barrage of meaningless urbanity and polish — “The horizontals are messy, leading to the melding of primary colors to produce a third. Obvious, this indicates the universal struggle with recognition of selfhood, elusive at best, non-existent for the rest.” The artist just sold this mischievous joke for $46.5 million. Tell you what. THE PLANET will create one just like it in a week’s time for anyone who will pay us $46.50 plus expenses. The price includes a “writer’s statement” full of pretension, lifted pinkies, and finger sandwiches.

THE BUDGET BLUES — Thus far, it appears that The Lovely Linda is determined handle whatever weather comes her way. Pittsfield and Berkshire County escaped Snowmageddon this past weekend, but even with the few one and two inchers of this year, Tyer has had the city highway department scraping slush with steamrollers, filling in pock marks with cold patch, and blowtorching anything more than three flakes. THE PLANET said on TV that Tyer’s first test as mayor would be her initial snow storm. That was a statement made half in jest. Actually, the first genuine test will be FY’17 budget. Typically, a new mayor gets a full year of honeymooned grace. No more. Two reasons: (1) Thirty years, 15 mayoral terms, of financial irresponsibility — feeding the Fat Cats, Special Interests, The Suits, and the Pittsfield School Department; raising taxes incessantly; destroying the middle class — allows no room for another excessive budget. Yes, it’s that urgent. (2) Tyer is a four-year mayor, the first in city history. Counterintuitively, it puts more pressure on her, not less, to get the first budget right. If she doesn’t, she will find it impossible — and so will taxpayers — to recover. The Suits will have claimed her. Does the mayor have the courage (she’s got the smarts) to stand up to the Vested Interests and begin reeling in the out-of-control monster?

———————————————————————————————

“Put your ‘lectric eye on me, babe.”Davie Bowie, “Ziggy Stardust,” (1972).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views expressed in the comment section or opinions published within the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI 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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Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
5 years ago

So much attacking. Poor Rothko, Pollack. Seurat just put little points of paint on a canvas. Van Gogh, what a hack.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

“Smitty” Pignatelli is considering a campaign run for Berkshire State Senator. There are many news stories that Smitty Pignatelli and Tricia Farley Bouvier are both in the process of deciding to run for Berkshire State Senator.
Once again, I do not believe Smitty Pignatelli should be elected to State Senator. Smitty Pignatelli is a Democratic Party, Good Old Boy political hack! He voted for now convicted felons, Speakers Tom Finneran and Sal DiMasi. He spoke out against reforming the state Legislature through sunshine and open meeting laws. He spoke in favor of the way business is done on Beacon Hill behind closed doors where hundreds of elected officials are shut out and silenced from setting the political agenda. He is not a man of the people, and he supports the very corrupt, insider state and local politics that ran Pittsfield and the Berkshires into the proverbial economic ditch. Smitty Pignatelli even sponsored legislation to give youth criminal records if they possessed a small amount of marijuana near a youth center. His priority is not finding opportunities for local youth, but rather, he wants to make life difficult for them by slapping them with criminal records. Smitty Pignatelli is a career politician who would die of old age in political office if he could stay in politics long enough. Down with Smitty Pignatelli!

– Jonathan Melle

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Maybe snowflakes shouldn’t be having weed next to youth centers?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

If I was a Member of U.S. Congress, State Senator, or State Representative, one of my first priorities would be to find as many positive opportunities for the youth in my legislative district as possible. I would offer them internships, links to community activities, links to scholarships, links to military service, awards for good works, and the like.
I would NOT try to give them criminal records for minor mistakes. I would hope that we invest in our youth because someday they will be the ones paying taxes and supporting our communities in the future.
Smitty Pignatelli’s priorities are wrong! He is a Good Old Boy, insider, and corrupt local politician who has done nothing but contribute to Pittsfield’s downward spiral. The local Berkshire economy is in the proverbial ditch.
It is interesting that while the average family loses financially and lives in fear of top-down bureaucratic “leaders” like Smitty Pignatelli, Smitty Pignatelli is doing better than ever!

– Jonathan Melle

NEWS ARTICLE:

“State Reps. Smitty Pignatelli, Tricia Farley-Bouvier consider Massachusetts Senate runs”
By Shira Schoenberg | sschoenberg@repub.com – The (Springfield) Republican – January 26, 2016

Two Democratic state representatives are considering running for the state Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Ben Downing, D-Pittsfield, when he leaves at the end of this term.

State Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, and State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier, D-Pittsfield, both told The Republican / MassLive.com that they are seriously considering running.

Pignatelli said he plans to decide in the next couple of days. “I’m working on it with family, friends and key supporters to see what they think,” Pignatelli said.

Farley-Bouvier does not have a set time frame, but said she is considering what is best for her family and her constituents. “The compelling issues are around how best to serve the people,” Farley-Bouvier said.

While Pignatelli has more political experience than Farley-Bouvier, Farley-Bouvier has a strong base of voters in Pittsfield, the largest city in the 52-community district. She has been a progressive voice on social issues, particularly related to child protection, while he has focused on economic development and education.

The Senate district is geographically the largest in the state, covering parts of all four Western Massachusetts counties.

Pignatelli, who was first elected to the House in 2002, considered running for the Senate a decade ago. He decided not to run then, in order to get more experience in the House, and Downing won the seat.

“Here I am in my seventh term … saying if I’m going to do it, this will be my next opportunity, and I may never have one again,” Pignatelli said. “It’s foolish not to look at it.”

A decade ago, Pignatelli was raising his children. Now, his son is 26 and his daughter is a college senior. “I’m in a different time in my life. I have a different level of experience that I think could carry over nicely if I do decide to jump into this,” Pignatelli said.

Pignatelli is vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, and he serves on the committees on Education, Ways and Means, and Redistricting. But he has not been able to secure a committee chairmanship under House Speaker Robert DeLeo, D-Winthrop.

Pignatelli stresses the work he has done on constituent services and working on issues related to his district in areas such as education, job creation and health care. “I take great pride in being a district representative,” Pignatelli said.

Pignatelli’s district in the Berkshires is geographically the largest House district in the state, and he said he is not intimidated by jumping into the state’s largest Senate district.

Pignatelli grew up in Lenox and worked as a master electrician for 20 years before taking over his family’s electrical contracting business. He then worked as business development director for Lee Bank before running for the House. He also has served on the Lenox Planning Board and Board of Selectman and as a Berkshire County Commissioner.

Farley-Bouvier was first elected to the House in a 2011 special election. Before that, she was a special education teacher and had worked with English language learners and immigrants. She has also served on the Pittsfield City Council.

In the House, Farley-Bouvier has been an active member of the progressive caucus. Issues that she has focused on include criminal justice reform, pay equity for women, establishing a survivors’ bill of rights for sexual assault victims and pushing for a bill protecting the rights of transgender people in places of public accommodation.

As a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, she has been active on issues related to reforming the troubled Department of Children and Families. Farley-Bouvier said she has tried to give voice to foster families and children and others “who don’t get a heard a lot.”

She also serves on committees related to mental health and substance abuse and to climate change.

She has three teenagers, the youngest of whom is a junior in high school.

As of the end of 2015, Pignatelli had close to $90,000 in his state campaign account. Farley-Bouvier had just $7,000.

http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/01/state_reps_smitty_pignatelli_t.html

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

You dismiss minor crimes without penalty for these urchins and they we get Pittsfield 2016.

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
5 years ago

A few councilors questioned Guyer’s qualifications but they rubber stamped him anyway. John Krol air head that he is summed up the feeling of the council by in essence saying that someone who is totally unqualified can get a piece of paper after he get’s a job and suddenly become qualified. Krol is there just to carry water for Tyer. Pittsfield’s buildings are in crap condition and Tyer is going to fix the situation by putting a jack wagon like Guyer in a job he doesn’t have a clue about.

Dusty
Dusty
Reply to  Irvin Corey
5 years ago

I agree about Krol. You can see right through him. He is willing to pay his dues on his way to the promise land. He seems to be in this game of politics for himself, not the people he vowed to represent honorably. A branded GOB.

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  Dusty
5 years ago

Is there a good person in ward 6 who will run against Krol in two years? Krol the boot licker has to go. He does not represent the best interests of ward 6 taxpayers.

Distressed Cat
Distressed Cat
Reply to  Irvin Corey
5 years ago

I had to laugh at the three least qualified city councilors looking down their noses at Guyer last night.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Distressed Cat
5 years ago

Lol…….!!! The 3 Bianchi Muskateers

Dusty
Dusty
Reply to  Distressed Cat
5 years ago

At least the rest of them followed the outlined wishes of their leader.

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  Distressed Cat
5 years ago

But Krol, Cocomo and Tully were all for Guyer

Dusty
Dusty
Reply to  Irvin Corey
5 years ago

Right. And if you see these three veer even slightly from Tyers wishes I will eat my hat on the steps of city hall, in the pouring rain, naked, walking on stilts and put the video on utube.

Change
Change
5 years ago

Consolidate the high schools ,closed crosby,move Allendale school….have a 5 year plan….cut 100 prof s in the schools…that will save 7,000,000 dollars….build new police station at 2nd Street jail site….

Change
Change
5 years ago

Mayor tyer needs to put out a 5 year plan,this city is confused where it will be in 5 years..

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Change
5 years ago

The election winners had a 4-year plan that the public chose. if it wasn’t detailed enough, then maybe the electorate should have been more informed.

Dick Flimsy
Dick Flimsy
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

The plan is called pad your pension and run

Dusty
Dusty
5 years ago

OFF TOPIC

Check out the mass cash numbers for today(9-10-11-12-13)..also, there have been about 15 winners from Attleboro, Ma over the past 10 months and they are a little city the size of Pittsfield. Coincidence??? Just lucky people in Attleboro? Pittsfield may have had one or two.

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

A notorious curb in West Stockbridge is taking out about 10 tires a week, since last Summer. Yet Town Administrator Mark Webber said it’s staying.
Mr. Webber must be on “The Most Wanted List”.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Maybe he’ll follow his neighboring fellow Richmond Town Administer, Matt Kerwood to a high paying GOB position in Pittsfield. Maybe Denis Guyer’s assistant for on the job training for unqualified political hacks and Krolites.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Typical of Government. Screw up, maybe admit there is a problem – but do NOT correct the problem. So many folks think this anger among the electorate came from nowhere. Nope, it sprang from frustrations when simple things cannot be fixed.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Southeast…… Exactly.

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

Maybe people should stop running over curbs in West Stockbridge. Or is this one of hose new high tech dynamic curbs that moves in and out depending on the vehicle approaching.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

Maybe it’s a poor design…..Sherlock

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

Clearly a plot from the tire industry and Obama.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

In the case of Pittsfield, the Tyre industry.

painter
painter
5 years ago

The city council and the mayor have prove that they are not up to the job by approving Guyer appoint last night. The mayor said the license could be a professional development matter. I don’t know what kind of double talk that is. I would have though Guyer would have given some real experience for a job like that, the mayor should have appointed someone with some construction experience , This just shows that her and B C don’t have a clue of what they are doing,

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  painter
5 years ago

What license? A contractor’s license? That’s laughable. Pittsfield. You voted. 4 more years.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

A contractors license means you read the code book. it means nothing else. Guyer is actually a nice enough guy (that’s why folks vote for you I guess), but his resume has nothing to show that he understands the complexity of the HVAC, communications systems, elevators,or other systems within the City’s buildings.

His connectivity to Boston does us no good unless it means we’d get grants to do all the work necessary, and as far as I can see – that all comes from local tax dollars or State allocations in local aid – which has nothing to do with the guy in his seat!

Hack. He’s waiting for Tricia to jump in the race and will run for her seat. He needs a place to rev the motor. Look forward to campaign photo ops. Oops, I mean documentation of his prowess at managing a bunch of union hacks who will do absolutely nothing to advance his cause!!

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Let’s face it, the building code book is not exactly rocket science. He does not need to understand the complexities of those different systems. That’s what contractors are for. The Maintenance boss does not shuffle around with a tool belt.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

It would be useful if he knew what the workers are doing…..they will have him buffaloed from day one.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  Shakes His Head
5 years ago

actually, he does need to understand everything – he needs to be able to know what needs maintenance, what can slide, better ways to maintain and repair things. He doesn’t need a CSL. While he may not need the tool belt now, it helps if he wore one in the past.

UAlbany
UAlbany
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Correct – Krol’s comments about Beacon Hill and Director of Maintenance in the City of Pittsfield sheds light on the depth at which he understands how things actually work. Does he think Guyer will get state money to help maintain the local buildings ?? get a grip.

Dusty
Dusty
Reply to  UAlbany
5 years ago

Why does the job pay so much if just about anybody with a contractors license can do it?

Spider
Spider
5 years ago

After watching last nights CC mtg., I would think that the “Bianchi Squad” would want to play nice with Guyer. They may need to call him some day for a favor for their ward.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Spider
5 years ago

How will you know that it’s Denis and not Elmer Fudd?

Still Wondering
Still Wondering
5 years ago

I hope Lt. Grady can persuade the Licensing Board to close Lach’s Lounge. Another idea would be to force ALL bars in Pittsfield to close at midnight.

Change
Change
5 years ago

Another pittsfield person shot in Stockbridge last night ,looking for a red Mazda registered in pittsfield

beezer
beezer
5 years ago

What about the Little Girl that died, where does that stand. Her Mom says no one is telling her anything? Where was the Social Services Agencies on this case or were they ever interested at all?

Change
Change
5 years ago

Councilor s at morningside school must have been involved in June school was still on

beezer
beezer
5 years ago

Thanx Danno and excellent point again! change!