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CRIME, PUN-ISHMENT, and THE APPLICATION OF ‘THE BIC FACTOR’

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, MAY 25, 2016) — THE PLANET found ourselves in beautiful downtown Pittsfield last night and thus, taking advantage of our misfortune, turned lemons into Jolt! cola. We popped in for the beginning of the city council meeting.

We heard a few comments from the open mic session, which included a lecture from The Great Gazoo. She was followed by the two “heads” of the ever-irrelevant and soon-to-be-defunct Downtown Pittsfield Inc. telling councilors how sending hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in tax relief to a multimillionaire developer to prop up the money-losing Beacon Cinema would be in the taxpayers’ best interests. The statements were full of unsubstantiated and grandiose claims, easily refuted.

It occurred to us during this procession of The Suits that their participation in the political process fell strictly within the rules of the game. More power to them. No one from the public was there to speak against welfare for The Beacon. They were probably too tired from a hard day’s work, too pressed figuring out how to stay afloat financially with more tax hikes looming, or vegging out on Pat Sajack. Citizens, once again, did not attend.

And so what?

Just Who Are the ‘Representatives’ Representing?

Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski were there. We The People did have a dog in the fight. The Little Guy could be found hiding in broad fluorescence. THE PLANET refers, of course, to our 12 Right Honorable Good Friends sitting as The People’s representatives. Right? Is that how it’s supposed to work? The Suits make their pitch, and the people’s representatives render a judgment in the best interests of citizens — not the Special Interests.

What happens, however, when the people’s representatives become pawns to teachers’ unions, developers with political clout, and others of that variety? You get a rigged game where the house always wins. We have seen that in play this week, with the city scrambling like heads with their chickens cut off trying to figure out what to do about gangs, crime, drugs, and all the rest of it.

While reports of another shooting, this one downtown, resounded through the grapevine, the echos of Monday’s “press” conference still bounced hollowly off the walls of buildings and down lonely alleys. Good, honest citizens have been squeezed into a corner by a failed local economy and mayhem taking over neighborhoods and streets. Ordinary citizens are starting to realize: There is no Promised Land. They lied to you. They are still lying to you.

Politicians and officials, doing the work of the “gimme” developers and scam artists who flock to Pittsfield, keep offering this and that latest project as the next savior. EV Worlwide would save Pittsfield. WorkshopLive would save Pittsfield. Spice Restaurant would save Pittsfield. Nuclea would save Pittsfield. All these and more failed after several years of operation and countless millions of public money stolen.

Applying the BIC Factor 

The best is yet to come, with five more years of giveaways to the failing Beacon, to the new Taconic High School, to the Berkshire Innovation Center (BIC). All these projects, “economic engines,” will save Pittsfield. The Beacon we’ve already dispatched. It’s a loser and throwing more gift money at it will hasten the city’s financial doom. As for the other two projects, we can link them. The BIC first began with a $6 million budget. That’s up to $9.7 million. Worried state officials are now peppering backers about the new price tag: Almost $13 million. The hike hasn’t been properly explained. All we can say is, follow the money.

How is that linked to THS? The Suits claim the school will cost $121 million. As bad enough as it is for a shrinking tax base and more spending, THE PLANET insists that price is fiction. Let’s apply the “magic BIC mark-up” to THS. The BIC has gone from $6 million to $13 million. That’s an increase of 120%. Applied to THS, we arrive at $266,242,000. We shall use the rounded off $262,000,000 as the new figure for THS. There. If anyone asks us again about the validity of the $266 million for the new high school, we shall refer to The BIC Factor.

Hey, the price of salvation has gone way the up, people.

You still wanna be saved? Just wait until your heroes unveil the new municipal spending plan. There will be everything for everybody — except poor Joe and Mary Jane.

—————————————————————————————————

“Certainly the game is rigged, but don’t let that stop you. If you don’t bet, you can’t win.”Robert Heinlein

“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

The lovely Linda Tyer is going to support every tax increase in the cooked books of Pittsfield politics.
The Beacon Cinema on North Street will receive its tax breaks.
The new Taconic High School project will receive its public funding.
The BIC project will receive its public funding.
After all, Pittsfield politics is a China-like one party political system where the government grows larger and larger, while the underclass chooses between rent or food.
There is NO democracy or We the People in Pittsfield politics! Rather, it is all about tax increases for the vested and special interests.
People live in fear in Pittsfield. If they speak out against Good Old Boys network of political hacks, they will lose their jobs and be retaliated against.
Pittsfield politics public finances are unsustainable. Its tax base is shrinking. Mayor Linda Tyer’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal will show her financial management priorities. I predict more of the same: Another about 5% per year tax hike.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

Your reference to the “gimmee crowd” reminded me of a show I recently watched on the discovery channel. It showed a bunch of ravenous hyenas tearing into the carcass of a gazelle.

But this was nature and their was no mayor or city council helping the hyenas.

The School committee
The School committee
5 years ago

People in those neighoods live in fear,southeast pittsfield where most decision making about crime and schools take place do not live in fear.
We are the Heroin capital of the northeast so crime will be out of control until the business of selling killer herion is made uncomfortable.Giuliani ran them out of NewYork by moving in to their neighborhoods.
They started by living with them.Its going to cost millions.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  The School committee
5 years ago

Pittsfield needs a Police Chief who doesn’t just point out problems, but solves them.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  The School committee
5 years ago

Holyoke is number #1 for all your drug needs.

the shadow
the shadow
5 years ago

Lets face it! This whole city scenario is a joke. The Beacon tiff, the BIC project, the new THS, and the past & present city crime. Money, money, money! That exactly all that the political hacks want to do is spend money. My money & your money, working tax payer money!
The funniest thing I heard from the council meeting last night, was the idiot Pete White was promoting walking north street at night after seeing a movie at the beacon. Oh that’s right, he won’t get robbed. There’s no more money left in his pocket either to rob after paying his taxes & tiff’s either?

Henry LaMere'
Henry LaMere'
Reply to  the shadow
5 years ago

O and by the shadow all projects brought to you by the Bianchi / Mazzeo administration

dusty
dusty
Reply to  the shadow
5 years ago

Wonder if he and his family were offered free movies for a year for doing that plug. Pretty good bet.

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

I lived and worked on North Street for years and never once felt unsafe even late at night walking by myself.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

I agree with SpaGirl
George Washington following the signing of the peace treaty with Great Britain after the American for Independence, stunned the world when he surrendered his sword to the Congress on Dec. 23, 1783 and retired to his farm at Mount Vernon.
My point is that Acting Chief Wynn could go back to wearing his Captain Bars, and let someone else take over the Chief’s position

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

are you sure that is not already the case?

southeast
southeast
5 years ago

Ron, you can never go backwards again. You can only move on. But it’s tough to move on if you cannot show “success”. We should all praise Mike Wynn and make him desirable to another community for all the success he achieved in Pittsfield. After all, didn’t Williams College just give him an award?

The School committee
The School committee
5 years ago

Joe Data Curtis refuses to go into the schools he worked to create with data and graphs.We pay him 2,500 a week to put data to paper a job that any secretary could do in 1 hour for 16 dollars.Joe ,get to work .

LoneGunMan
LoneGunMan
Reply to  The School committee
5 years ago

I’ve heard from numerous peers/colleagues who teach. Many of them cited refusal to work with Joe Curtis as the reason they are 1. Leaving the area for other schools 2. refuse to apply for jobs in PPS 3. Turned down offers.

He has quite the reputation around here

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  LoneGunMan
5 years ago

That, he does. Only looks out for No.1

Ted
Ted
5 years ago

Just another example of how citizens like me are gonna get stiffed again. Great piece DV. Youre the only media telling it like it is.

The School committee
The School committee
5 years ago

Joe Curtis is angry and depressed and believes people who are not angry and depressed cant teach
Very frustrated employee but now is happy making 2500 a week looking into his computer screen with office door shut.Can not interact with people always seemed very frustrated and in need of a councilor.
SMILES MORE now that people recognize his talents hope is he is hired by some other school system.
This is funny,im told most janitors think hes a moron.

Painter
Painter
5 years ago

Why is it that we don’t think twice about replacing a mayor by the way it could be time for this one to go or replacing a city councilor but cant bring ourselves to replacing a chief of police.
after last night council meting I am convince that some of our senior citizens need to run for office so we can get some representation because we are not getting it know and we didn’t get it in the passed.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
5 years ago

by the time you get rid of the section 8 and poor people housing, there won’t be that many social security recipients left.

dusty
dusty
5 years ago

Well, I imagine by now Stanley is rolling on the floor laughing at us all. He and the mayor and the council knew this was a done deal before the election. Got to admit these good old boys are very good at what they do.

If Stanley has really been losing money for the last 9 years that says more about his business acumen, and the stupidity of our city council than anything else.

And by the way, did I mention that the mall Regal theater is drawing big crowds because people really enjoy going there? No worries about getting mugged inside or outside this theater. No gunfire…plenty of parking, nobody going through your personal belongings.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  dusty
5 years ago

Plus real friendly employees Dusty.

Spider
Spider
5 years ago

Has any member of the CC been designated to watch and tell the public just when those new luxury chairs will be installed.

Don’t hold your breath!

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

Pittsfield’s version of corporate welfare at its finest.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

I wonder how many others are standing in line waiting for their taxpayer funded freebies from city hall.

Seriously, how does the mayor expect to get the citizens behind her if she does this back stabbing stuff to us? Or does she even care at all? Roberto didn’t and Bianchi didn’t so perhaps I have answered my own question.

This is the kind of shit that makes this site so popular. The people can’t get any representation from their government but at least we have a place to vent.

Demetrius T. Gladiator
Demetrius T. Gladiator
Reply to  Ron Kitterman
5 years ago

Terrible. As Dan predicted this was a done deal. The mayor and council do not care about us. They care about pleasing the big shots and giving away the store to the lowlifes.

I’m one of the remaining few of what’s left of trhe middle class.

Halo
Halo
5 years ago

How many times is White going to use that Chicken Parm story. Change the menu Pete. Kevin’s a sell out.

Quentin
Quentin
5 years ago

Tully council nonpresence lives in Florida most of the year
Morandi a barber in Lee
Caccamo works at BART in N Adams, loyal Dem waterboy
Krol uses pctv at Ths to plug his private business illegally
Connell slum lord wants to serve two masters (st. rep & council)
Rivers failed lawyer and failed N St. business owner
Simionelli getting fat school pension plus $8000 for council
Amuso at BMC and fixed the SBNC for the suits
White works @ Brien has vested interest in + lowlife population
Mazzeo dental asst gets all of suit’s sweetheart catering deals
Marchetti the hack of all hacks, bank vp, parade gay guy

Those are our leaders Pittsfield!!!
God help us all

MaryKate
MaryKate
Reply to  Quentin
5 years ago

You forgot the mayor.

downtown dweller
downtown dweller
Reply to  Quentin
5 years ago

Pete White hasn’t worked at Brien for a few years now. He’s with Mass Rehab now.

LoneGunMan
LoneGunMan
Reply to  Quentin
5 years ago

Caccamo works at the Rite Aid pharmacy in Adams

h
h
5 years ago

Missed a few Q.

Painter
Painter
5 years ago

I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ALL THE STORES ON NORT ST ASK FOR A TAX BREAK JUST TO MAKE A POINT.

Real Answers
Real Answers
5 years ago

As a home owner in one of these affected neighborhoods shouldn’t we get a property tax break untill they do something about the violence. It has further decreased our property value! You want to know how to fix downtown it’s easy. Fully move bcc downtown not just some half ass satellite classes. Every thriving downtown has a college downtown. Build a mall downtown with underground parking like mayor Smith put the kibosh on. The mall in lanrsboro is failing because of high leases and because it’s too far from everything else. Downtown is failing because people don’t want to walk 5 miles from where they parked in the freezing cold or rain. If you had a downtown mall you have both indoor and outdoor space less walking and their own security force to keep people safe.