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HAPPY EASTER, TO ALL!

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, EASTER SUNDAY WEEKEND, 2016) — THE PLANET wishes all visitors to this site every good wish and will for this, the holiest weekend in the Christian calendar.

May it be a time of hope. Let our hope be a design and not a dream. Let all religious claims claims recede. May all of our fatuous distinctions be dropped momentarily. Let us come forth as fellow human beings sharing a marble planet, who for one day may refrain from arbitrary politics, debates, divisions, and the other cares and worries of the world.

They are many. “The Dead March wails in people’s ears.” This we know too well. But this cannot be left to define us. This is not who we are. We are not our moods, our impulses, our traits, or emotions. We are something much less pluralistic. For one day, two days, three days — may we all enjoy the greatest gift of all: peace of mind. It is there for us, waiting, in our ability and capability, needing a grasp no more renown that the one that comes when we lay our earthy fancies down.

THE PLANET leaves you with the stanza from Tennyson:

A glimmering shoulder under gloom

In cavern pillars; on the swell

The silver lily heaved and fell;

And many a slope was rich in bloom.

Happy Easter, everybody.

————————————————————————————————

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock …”Revelations

“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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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Happy Easter & Happy Passover & Happy Spring!

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

A Happy Blessed Easter to you and yours. Our Country and the World needs some divine interception. Our Presidential Race is an embarrassing trainwreck. It makes me not Proud.

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

intervention.

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

Happy Easter!

Gigi
Gigi
5 years ago

I agree Dan, Easter is the holiest day in the Christian calendar. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” from Revelations 3:20. Happy Easter to all those on the Planet who earnestly seek the truth!

mi
mi
5 years ago

It took me over two hours to read the School Budget this morning. One glaring tid bit right off the bat was the was the single family home assessment average of 176,000? Who did that assessment? Looks like the G-Man laid an egg his Show, sorry but you have to call them the way you see them, no compromise. And that is why the Planet is number one.

Donna M
Donna M
Reply to  mi
5 years ago

Did you see the same show that I did. Although gracious to his guest it was very clear to see who the GOB was and that was not Gaetani. Old No Klew sat in stunned silence and got schooled in a few things. I hope Gaetani has guests on from time to time. Maybe NKL will have him on Consider This.

Already Tyred
Already Tyred
Reply to  mi
5 years ago

I’d like to see Markhem have some non GOBSIG guests on his show. Enough of Lothrop and Dick Flimsy from the Eagle. And that Hickey guy-forget it…….come on Lew, Let’s have Gaetani, Valenti and Kinnas on the show once in a while. We need to hear people tell it like it is and Lothrop, Hickey or Dick Flimsy never will.

painter
painter
Reply to  Already Tyred
5 years ago

that is why he wont have them he doesn’t want people to heir what they have to say

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
5 years ago

mi, a previous administration raised the valuations thought he roof on home assessment, for that reason to add more tax revenue, it’s not that complicated. How much did the abatements cost our coffers later on? The Bottom Line is the Schools are the voting Block and are currently way bloated to sustain fiscal clarity this year, next year, unless there are drastic ( not fluff ) cuts. In the end the homeowner ( or who’s left ) will pick up the tab, as we all know.

johnny dingo
johnny dingo
5 years ago

I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating should they do another evaluation. The last time, several years ago, the city hired a professional company to do the reassessments. And apparently part of their compensation was tied to how much extra money they could raise through higher evaluations. So when I checked to see why my evaluation was jacked up I found out that I was now being billed for an enclosed patio which did not now,then or ever exist at my address. When I went to the assessors they agreed to send someone out and they agreed with me that I had no enclosed patio and they amended my evaluation. My guess is that if everyone in the city got a copy of their evaluation a high percentage of them would find that they are being billed for improvements that do not exist. I am sure I was not the only one but maybe the only one who went to city hall and looked it up. Go check and see what may have been added to your last evaluation and you may save yourself some money.

Ed Check
Ed Check
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

Also check comparable sales in your neighborhood. Based on that my home is worth about 20% less than the tax valuation. I filed an abatement with city, and was denied. Then filed an appeal with the state, still waiting for a hearing…was told the backlog on appeals is over a year. I may eventually get some relief.

The city knows that the home valuation is a pandora’s box. Once people realize how overvalued properties are for tax purposes, Pittsfield will probably be over its levy limit. They do not want that genie out of the bottle.

RobEM
RobEM
Reply to  Ed Check
5 years ago

Is there a limit to how often a home can be re-valued? Mine went up last year.

southeast
southeast
Reply to  RobEM
5 years ago

Every three years. My house is probably about right. Several smaller houses near me on smaller lots went for about $5K less than mine is valued at, and I have a larger garage and a larger than normal lot.

The key though is that the average tax bill (which tracks close to mine) may rise 4% this year. My pay raise = 0%. My health insurance co-pay will rise 5-6%, utilities will do what they do, and other living expenses will do what they do.

But the key statistic in the school budget presentation is that since 2006 the average tax bill in the City has gone up 46% (about $1000).

Since 2006, my wages have gone up 17% – and that may be better than many County residents, let alone City residents. But my healthcare costs (just the part I pay out of my check) have risen 200+% – between Romney and Obama. other necessities have risen by double digits and the 17% pay increase over 10 years still leaves me another 5% in the hole.

THAT is why I cannot afford a new THS or the constant growth of Government. Even if the system were making wine from water and turning out geniuses by the day.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  southeast
5 years ago

I completely agree with you. A 46% increase is outrageous and what do we get for it? Certainly not a community that helps citizens by creating a thriving economy. All they know how to do is raise taxes. It’s all they care about doing.

Donna M
Donna M
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

JD –The G man mentioned on this site that EVERYONE should
seek an abatement on their property taxes for over assessment.You people had better start paying closer attention to what he says as his reason for going through all this is to help the taxpayer and he has demonstrated this over an over again.

Major
Major
Reply to  Donna M
5 years ago

Yeah, that guy is a model for how to negotiate with city departments.

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

That’s guy is a model of how to lie through your teeth. Maybe he’s educating trump on how to be a lying ass.

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

Troll

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

Trollup

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

I also had problems with the evaluation. It said I had 110ft garage. The assessor came out and asked where my garage was. I pointed to a motorcycle with a cover on it and said “right there”. The funny thing is a don’t even have enough property for 110ft of anything.

James the Great
James the Great
5 years ago

Let me join in with the spirit of the post and wish everone here on the Planet a Happy Easter.
We are blessed to have this site and a man of DVs talents who daily offers them as a public service.

Local Yokel
Local Yokel
5 years ago

The Master’ didn’t have No Klew on for congeniality today, but to expose him for the GOB SIG he is. They come in all forms. Happy 0 Easter 0 0 0.

Donna M
Donna M
Reply to  Local Yokel
5 years ago

I’d love to see some of the school committee and city council on his show as well as the mayor. Are any of them up to the challenge?

Demetrius T. Gladiator
Demetrius T. Gladiator
Reply to  Donna M
5 years ago

They won’t go on with Valenti. That much we know. Cowards theybe.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
5 years ago

I would say Jonathon Levine hit it out of the park with his assessment of Pittsfield’s opposition to increasing cap on number of Charter schools. Must read in opinion section of Gazette. Also like to add that the increase of school budget is 2.9 million. There was $600.000 in savings on electricity and natural gas, this doesn’t include savings on fuel for buses and other school dept. vehicles.

AlaskanBushClowns
AlaskanBushClowns
5 years ago

Anyone catch the Ron Reagan Jr. Commercial on C N N , he states he’s an avowed atheist, with tongue in cheek says he’s not afraid of burning in hell. Have a nice Easter Ron.

Donna M
Donna M
5 years ago

10pm tonignt on 16 The King of the GOBSIGS and the King of the
NON-GOBSIGS. watch and decide for yourself who’s who and who is for the taxpayer.

Hammered
Hammered
5 years ago

I think he speaks for a very large group of our country. Atheists just don’t feel the need to shout or try to convert anyone. The truth will lead you there. Or pedophile priests.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

NEWS Article:

“Berkshire leads state in 2015 population decline, census figures show”
By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle, March 25, 2016

PITTSFIELD – Berkshire County’s population has been declining since 1970, but the region is currently losing more people at a higher rate than any other area of Massachusetts, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures.

A total of 737 people left the Berkshires in the 12 months ending on July 1, 2015, a drop of 0.6 percent, according to population estimates that were released Thursday by the Census Bureau.

Both those figures are higher than in any of the state’s 13 other counties over that same time span.

“You always need to keep in mind that these are estimates,” said Berkshire Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Nathaniel W. Karns, who has not seen the most recent figures. “They’re based on a survey, not the decennial census.

“But it wouldn’t surprise me,” Karns said, referring to the 0.6 percent drop in the county’s population. “We have an aging population, and we have fewer kids. I think that’s understood by most people who are paying attention to what’s going on in the region.”

Berkshire County has one of the oldest populations in the state, with higher percentages of people over age 65 and between the ages of 75 and 84 than the rest of Massachusetts. During the 12-month period that ended last July, 502 more deaths than births were reported in Berkshire County, according to the Census Bureau figures.

Berkshire County’s total population is now 127,333, a decline of 3,400 residents since the 2010 decennial census. In Massachusetts, only Dukes, Franklin and Nantucket counties have fewer people.

Franklin County has the second-highest percentage of population decline (0.5 percent) during the 12 months that ended in July, but Barnstable County has lost the second most residents (332).

On the plus side, Suffolk County, which includes the city of Boston, is the state’s fastest-growing county. Suffolk added 8,312 residents during the 12 month period that ended in July, an increase of 1.1 percent.

However, Suffolk is the only county in Massachusetts with a growth rate higher than 1 percent. The state of Massachusetts added 39,298 residents, an increase of 0.6 percent, in the 12 month period that ended in July.

Middlesex is the state’s most populated county with 1.6 million residents, including 12,616 who arrived during the period covered by the census figures, an increase of 0.8 percent.

“Statewide we’re being pulled along by Boston, which is doing well,” Karns said. “The rest of the state is sitting in basically the same place since the Great Recession started. Economic improvements haven’t filtered into the rest of the state.”

In the rest of Western Massachusetts, Hampden County added 1,124 residents, an increase of 0.2 percent, while Hampshire County added 186 residents, a 0.1 percent jump.

Karns said efforts to try to increase the state’s population base have been slow to take hold.

“The efforts that are going on to try to reverse that (decline) are just really in their beginning stages,” he said. “When you have a big ship it takes awhile to get the thing turning in a different direction. This is one of those big ship issues.”

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413-496-6224. tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com @TonyDobrow on Twitter.

johnny dingo
johnny dingo
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Is that how many left or the difference between those that left and those that moved in? Because my guess that a much larger number actually left Pittsfield. The population did not drop so much because of other naive people who moved in.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

Pittsfield/Berkshire County’s population is declining because there are no living wage jobs. If you live in Pittsfield, you are either wealthy and don’t need a living wage job, or you are on welfare or disability and you don’t need a living wage job.
If you want a living wage job, you have to be part of the G.O.B. If you speak out against the G.O.B., you will lose your living wage job and be blacklisted from employment in Pittsfield/Berkshire County.
Pittsfield’s decreasing population means its tax base is shrinking, while its taxes are increasing. That is NOT a good formula for financial management!

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

Jobs are one factor. Crime and below acceptable schools are the other two driving factors.

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

Yeah, we need to add more GOB hack jobs in the school department and collect ore tax money from those on social security so PSD employees can live the good life.

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

Our Opinion: “Addressing Berkshires’ population loss”
The Berkshire Eagle, Editorial, 3/27/2016

The continuing population decline of Berkshire County isn’t surprising, but that doesn’t make it any less worrisome.

The Berkshires lost 0.6 percent of its population (727 people) between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015 according to US Census Bureau statistics (Eagle, March 26), These figures are estimates, but there is no reason to doubt their veracity, and the decline is the largest of any of the state’s counties over that span.

Berkshire County has the oldest demographic in the state, and in that time frame there were more deaths than there were births. The county is struggling economically, and the lack of good jobs makes it difficult to retain young people after they have left high school or college.

However, it is not as if efforts aren’t being made to reverse this trend. Berkshire Community College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts are working with Berkshire employers to help tailor courses so students are prepared for the high tech jobs or jobs requiring specific skills that are being offered. Communities are finding ways to attract new businesses and, as important, keep businesses and help them expand. New high schools in Pittsfield (Taconic) and serving Lanesborough and Williamstown (Mount Greylock) will ideally attract families, sustaining and building the population and the tax base.

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All of these efforts are long-term, of course, and in the interim communities must find ways to address current reality. One of the most important involves sharing services to reduce government and school costs. The consolidation of school districts must be explored even if it means — especially if it means — tossing aside traditions and thinking patterns that have grown counterproductive. Reversing population trends of 40 or more years won’t be easy but it can be done.

Student Clown
Student Clown
5 years ago

Final Score: Syracuse Valenti’s 63. Gonzaga 60.

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

Well played game.

Student Clown
Student Clown
5 years ago

Happy Easter…North Carolina!

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

Tar holes at UNCheat. Where I actually took graduate classes.

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

They have a graduate degree in being a troll? No wonder you’re so good at it.

Romen
Romen
Reply to  Donna M
5 years ago

Trollup.

Donna M
Donna M
Reply to  Romen
5 years ago

The Wiz was waiting for you Wednesday–you didn’t show. Everyone on
this site should disregard anything you have to say- as you are
nothing but cowards and confirmed liars. Posters take note. Two trolls who have posted under many names in thr past and jave been redacted many times.Typical of the GOBSIGS they are.

Major
Major
Reply to  Romen
5 years ago

Thanks Yoda.

painter
painter
5 years ago

Just think of those people who live on unaskable streets there taxes go up just like the rest of the city and they are lucky if the street gets plowed and they are expected to keep there mouth shut and pay up. May be since the home owners own those streets they should shut down all traffic to people who don’t live on those streets. May be then when the city get some complaints from the general public they will do something. It doesn’t seem to be very important to them know.

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
5 years ago

North Carolina all the way, Roy Williams

Donna M
Donna M
5 years ago

Good article in the Gazette regarding the G man. For one person
-he is everywhere always looking out for the taxpayer. Good job Wiz.

Bar Coll
Bar Coll
5 years ago

Hi,, this site is so awesome. This Planet guy rules.

mi
mi
5 years ago

Lanesboro Mall is requesting millions in assessment reduction because two of It’s stores are leaving.

Why can’t there be a reduction for home assessment’s as many neighborhoods are ridden with crime, for one,jobs are leaving, our seniors are struggling and a lot of them can’t, won’t sell, at the assessed rate currently.

johnny dingo
johnny dingo
Reply to  mi
5 years ago

No matter how many people bail on the city, no matter how many business may leave, the pigs still will demand to be fed. And fed they will be..

Pat
Pat
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

I agree. This area needs a psychological intervention to wake people up. The GOB’s know what is happening, but they have the financial cushion to ride out the serious problems facing this area. Many in the city are living very well on the high taxation like those in the school system. The rest of us are not.

I remember someone from the Pittsfield school system got on this board and commented that we should get an education and work for the school system instead of complaining about it. Yeah, right. The Pittsfield school system is reserved for the connected people and their friends and relatives since it is so lucrative to work there. It’s almost like city politicians want the city to hit bottom. Remember that progressives see big government as the answer to everything so maybe they will continue to spend wildly and think they will get a bail out. The new Taconic will be Pittsfield’s Big Dig that pushes everything over the edge.

Ryan
Ryan
Reply to  johnny dingo
5 years ago

New to the Planet. I heard about this site through word of mouth. I love it. Finally a place where the truth can be told.

Johnny dingo your comment about the pigs demanding to be fed is all too true. “Fed they will be” until citizens wake up and begin to push back and flex our power

johnny dingo
johnny dingo
5 years ago

How much does the city of P8ittsfield have out in loans? And how much interest is it paying every year? Money it gets nothing in return for.

amandaWell
amandaWell
5 years ago

Easter Council Grades as follows: Krol A
Marchetti A
Amuso B
Morandi
Caccamo
Connell B
Simonelli A
Mazzeo A
Tully A
Rivers A Plus
White A

Benigno Fiasconi
Benigno Fiasconi
Reply to  amandaWell
5 years ago

Krol, did the best he’s ever done at the last meeting. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

larry
larry
Reply to  Benigno Fiasconi
5 years ago

Kroll did not even show up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Benigno Fiasconi
Benigno Fiasconi
Reply to  larry
5 years ago

He did not. That’s why I gave him high marks.

Donna M
Donna M
Reply to  larry
5 years ago

That’s when he’s at his best

johnny dingo
johnny dingo
Reply to  Benigno Fiasconi
5 years ago

If he did his best ever he would have offered a vote on the school? Did he offer ways to cut taxes? Because if he is going to be the next mayor he needs to cut the fat. A lot of the fat.

Benigno Fiasconi
Benigno Fiasconi
5 years ago

Time for those on this site to actually act and get involved in getting rid of the hacks and improving Pittsfield.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Benigno Fiasconi
5 years ago

I have done everything I can except run for office which is impossible for me to do at this time. I constantly try to spread the message to anyone who will listen about how bad things are here in Pittsfield. I have offered to help with the campaigns of those who were running for mayor like Gaetani, but he didn’t take me up on the offer.

We need to start grooming a candidate right now for the next mayoral election. The GOB’s are already prepping Melissa Mazzeo. She goes to all of their events and is in tight with that crowd. When she runs she has lots of friends and neighbors who are all progressives who will vote for her not to mention those who go to her restaurant, many of whom are also progressives. It will be an unhill battle, but it’s the only way to fight these progressives. They have lots of money and we don’t or I least I don’t so, again, it won’t be easy to take back this city.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  danvalenti
5 years ago

Sounds good to me.

Harlan Rinklenutts
Harlan Rinklenutts
5 years ago

New GOB SIGS are being created as we speak…Happy Easter.

Bill Q
Bill Q
5 years ago

GOB SIGS are a birthright.

Harry the Hatchet
Harry the Hatchet
5 years ago

Informative transparent issues and information, impressed with Planet and Terry Kinnas for great research, as well as the many contributors, rarely off!

amandaWell
amandaWell
5 years ago

Mayoral Easter Grade : Mayor Tyer A
And Council Grades
Caccamo : A
Morandi : A……….from previous omission. Happy Easter to all and thank the Planet for my little gig. These grades are not Officially endorsed by the Planet or it’s readers.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
5 years ago

If Mayor Tyer wants to be a great Mayor, she has the wrong people to take her there. Happy Easter.

Benigno Fiasconi
Benigno Fiasconi
Reply to  Trumped Up
5 years ago

It’s no brain surgery…… You just can’t spend more than you have. It’s tighten the belt or bankruptcy.

Romen
Romen
5 years ago

Happy Easter everyone! Welcome to new readers and posters Ryan and Bar Coll.

Benigno Fiasconi
Benigno Fiasconi
Reply to  Romen
5 years ago

Three in 1….just like oil.

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

Toll takers at Pike are being replaced by automatic pay. Won’t be long before toy have cameras for speeding red light violation in the cities, and is dispatcher calls will go directly to the squad cars and fire personnell as well.

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

Centralized dispatch would be more effective and a cost savings. There are legal rulings that prohibit red light cameras in MA. Till takers union had the choice between job retraining or raises for the final three years. They took the raise.

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

Where do you get your misinformation?

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

Easter egg nog Halo?

mi
mi
5 years ago

To much ham.

Student Clown
Student Clown
5 years ago

Syracuse Valenti’s Going to the Final Four..

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

Jim B is a class act.

Student Clown
Student Clown
5 years ago

How Sweet it is!