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VIGIL, BUT FOR WHAT? SO THE POLITICIANS and ‘LEADERS’ CAN BASK … plus …LETTER TO THE EDITOR: PSD NUMBERS DON’T ADD UP FOR CONCERNED PARENT

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2016) — Don’t know how the memorial for Orlando went last night in Park Square, and we don’t much care. Truly, ask yourself:  What purpose it could it serve other than allow the mayor, Pittsfield’s state rep, and “several community leaders” (from the mayor’s press release) to politicize the tragic event for a cheap headline and photo-op?

Did the vigil change anyone’s heart? Was it needed to demonstrate what every decent person already had in his or her heart? Did it have an impact other than a chance to socialize on a great late-spring night? We doubt it. Did any good citizen need “community leaders” to express the emotions associated with such an event? Were we not capable enough of feeling outrage and love on our own? Not a chance, not when you have politicians and “community leaders” looking for another 15 minutes. It’s funny. You have an outpouring under the rainbow flag in Park Square, while the previous two nights Pittsfield’s city council and  mayor were killing the sand fleas of the municipal budget while ignoring the $18 million spending hike, a monstrous beast if there ever was one.

“Hate doesn’t have boundaries.” Thank you, North Adams mayor Richard Alcombright. We didn’t know that.

“I’m not just a gay person. I’m a community leader who must stand up for all.” You’re right, council president Peter Marchetti. Too bad you have to date ignored a chance to do that by standing up for the bedraggled middle-class citizens that you and the mayor want to tax out of house, hearth, home, and happiness.

“I have faith we will stand up [and] raise our voice … for real change,” said the ever-ample Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Pittsfield’s alleged state rep. THE PLANET seconds her motion. We stand up for Michael Bloomberg to bump her bottom off of Beacon Hill. That’s real change.

And so the vigil ended, mayhem continued unabated across the land, and the poor taxpayers of Pittsfield had no vigil or “symbol of their sorrow” in their honor. They only had the pretense of  “community leaders” sucking every last drop of life out of them.

——– 000 ——–

THE PLANET presents a most interesting Letter to the Editor from a frustrated parent:

 ——– 000 ——–

TO THE PLANET:

Today I went to kindergarten preview day for my child at Egremont school. Some of things I learned were interesting to say the least.

As of today there are 47 kids registered for kindergarten and 4 classes each with a teacher and paraprofessional and other support staff for each class, smallest ever the principal mentioned. She mentioned sizes as large as 90 kids in the past. By my math at current enrolment that’s 12 kids per classroom. If there were only 3 classrooms that would be 16 kids per class, very manageable to me but I am just a taxpayer. We were told this is partly caused by changing the date at what age a child is allowed to enroll, so I would bet a similar situation in the other schools.

They were also informing us that starting this fall all students will get free lunch and breakfast if we so choose. Who is now paying for this if I am not? Is it my city, state or federal tax dollars? Is this all city schools?

Members of staff and PTA mentioned the difficulty of getting the school board to meet their needs. Cant be more specific at this time to protect the innocent.

The most concerning was the fact that they will be teaching 3 different kinds of math this fall. As a parent this is very concerning, so my child is going to learn all 3 different math kinds of math or one this year one next year etc? What if they start with one math class and change there mind again and eliminate the math that my child is taught? What then?

What ever happened to the simple math that was taught in school in my day? Never had a problem in my every day life with addition, subtraction, fractions, or making change.

I will say the staff that we met were all very professional and caring, but as a parent and taxpayer I have serious concerns about my child’s education, the school system, and the judgments of the decision makers.

And yes we have seriously thought about moving or school choice out to Lenox or Dalton.

Regards,

The financially suffocating tax payer and parent.

THE PLANET RESPONDS — Before we say anything else, get your kid out of the Pittsfield public school system ASAP. There are many good teachers, but they toil stifled by a top-heavy administration, grade inflation, phony test scores, and too many kids who simply lack the social and academic skills to be allowed in a classroom. Your example of math is a good one.

Common Core math relies on set theory, something THE PLANET learned in 8th grade (private school). Set theory is invaluable in computer programming, but it’s deadly when used as a substitute for traditional math. Common Core abuses set theory to perform simple functions such as addition and subtraction. For instance, in Common Core, to subtract you need to add and to add you need to subtract.

Here’s an example, taken from an Internet text book:

“Counting Up Subtraction Method”

“You can subtract two numbers by counting up from the smaller number to the larger number.” First, you write down the smaller number. Second, count up to the nearest multiple of 10. Third, keep counting up by 10s and 100s. Fourth, count up to the larger number.

Clear everybody? We thought not.

If you want to subtract 38 from 325 under Common Core, write “38” and count up to “325.” Circle each number you count up.

3   8

+    2 (count up to nearest 10)

4   0

+6  0 (nearest 100)

1 0 0

+2 0 0 (largest possible hundred)

3 0 0

+  2 5 (counting up to the larger number)

3 2 5

Finally, add the lowest parts of the additives in this problem in subtraction, that is, 2 + 60 + 200 + 25 = 287.

The old way did one calculation using only subtraction to arrive at the answer in five seconds.

3 2 5

—  3 8

2 8 7

When you ask the reasonable question of “why,” the answer is $$$$$. Money, baby. Billions are spent nationwide on Common Core math texts, loading the pockets of academic publishers such as Pearson. Teachers hate it, mathematicians hate it, administrators hate it. The big teachers unions love it, though, when publishers make large contributions to union coffers. Do the math, baby! Fact: The Pittsfield School Department will charge the taxpayer $110 million in FY17. Use Common Core math to figure our the per-pupil cost for 5,700 children.

—————————————————————————————————

“Math provides hope that every problem has a solution.”Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice

“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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12 Gauge
12 Gauge
4 years ago

Any talk of Sharia law at Park Square last night and how the Quran feels about how gays should be treated?

Voltaire
Voltaire
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

No, no mention of the Quran but I think I heard a reference in the Bible that homosexuals should be executed.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Voltaire
4 years ago

Democrats have already put down Christians for all of their sins, real and imagined, but they remain strangely silent when it comes to the Quran and Sharia law.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Voltaire
4 years ago

When’s the last time a Jew or Christian killed a gay person because they thought the bible wanted him to? But it’s pretty common for practitioners of the religion of peace and tolerance to do so.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  Voltaire
4 years ago

Quran mention thousands of times killing of all who don’t follow there religion. Gays, Jews ,Christians. You either follow or die.

Silent Cal
Silent Cal
Reply to  joetaxpayer
4 years ago

Just like liberals

Pat
Pat
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

No, that kind of truthful conversation makes these politicians very nervous. Far easier for them to concentrate on guns to make us believe this will solve the problem.

Muhamleg Folly
Muhamleg Folly
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

Homosexuals are beheaded, hanged and stoned in modern Saudi Arabia and Iran, where Muhammad’s laws are applied most strictly. Five other Muslim countries also have the death penalty on their books for homosexual behavior. In the past, gays were burned.

As one cleric recently put it, the only point of theological debate is not whether the homosexual should be killed, but how it should be done.

In 2016, an educated imam in Tunisia explained that while it may seem harsh, there is not ambiguity about this in Islam:
God is very straightforward about this — not we Muslims, not subjective, the Sharia is very clear about it, the punishment for homosexuality, bestiality or anything like that is death. We don’t make any excuses about that, it’s not our law — it’s the Quran

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

The violent mass terrorist shooting is nothing more than cultural conflict, which is what Hitler’s Nazi regime used to persecute peoples and consolidate their fascist political power over most of Europe prior to and during WW2.
There are 3 kinds of conflict:
1. Personal (verbal and physical assaults)
2. Structural (poverty, jobless, homeless)
3. Cultural (politics, religion, racism, hate)
Personal conflict can be stopped by the police, community, and social workers. Structural conflict can be stopped by welfare assistance and social services programs, job training, and public and affordable housing projects. Cultural conflict can be stopped by peoples and governments working together for Human Rights, diversity, and socioeconomic opportunity for all.
Cultural conflict is the most dangerous form of violence because it has been around for thousands of years. It is the most difficult kind of conflict to stop. It spreads like cancer. Demagogues use cultural conflict to gain and consolidate power at the expense of the peoples they persecute.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Politicians use cultural conflict to take away rights from law abiding citizens (gun rights) and try to justify it by saying they only want to keep us safe. Again I have no problem with removing assault rifles as was done in 1994, but for all Americans to lose gun rights. No way.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

They are politicizing it big time. They are picking on the AR-15 rifle and ignoring the 9mm handgun that can do just as much damage. The AR-15 (the AR stands for Armalite the guns designer not automatic rifle) is a semi automatic rifle and the 9mm is also semi automatic. According to the ATF, there are 3.7 million registered owners of an AR-15. If the politicians can get the AR-15 banned, that would be 3.7 million people disarmed and the 2nd amendment would still be intact.

Voltaire
Voltaire
Reply to  acheshirecat
4 years ago

AR – 15 and 9 mm are not equivalent. Muzzle velocity round type are different AR-15 does a lot more damage…. Then again if its a well aimed shot to the head … it doesn’t matter.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Voltaire
4 years ago

Both are going to do damage at close range and a 9mm is a heck of a lot easier to conceal.

Joe pistol
Joe pistol
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Yo Pat they aren’t taking your guns Just the assault rifles. People can still carry concealed weapons as long as they are registered .

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Joe pistol
4 years ago

Concealed weapons have repeatedly been banned, courts have ruled against concealed weapons and handguns many times. Stop lying

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

No of that applies to Islamofascists who have their barbaric religion pounded into them day after day starting in early childhood.

dusty
dusty
4 years ago

How much overtime for police and city personnel for the vigil?

The three kinds of math are necessary in case one of these kids gets to work for the city of Pittsfield school system some day.

Good advice to get your kid out of the Pittsfield school system. If it is not good enough for the people on the inside who run it why would I want to send my kid there? It is more than obvious, even to the blind man that this system is set up to churn money with education a far second in priority.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Stop teaching this nonsense. Mayor Yon does not understand why we do this.Mayor Behnke does use this math and Dan Elias does not use this….Maybe those 3 could on aTV show how they could start using it on their job.
They just all pretend to understand and dont ask questions.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Amuso said it,wait till next year….this council thinks that because they can afford taxes going up at this incredible pace the rest of Pittsfield can.
Lets watch these very smart people ignore what is so obvious to this blog.I have got to believe they run their personal finances the same way.
The council has moved from irresponsible to.irrational. There are two americas and pittsfield is.the example of this.
Again Amuso said it all,next year will be different.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
4 years ago

A quote from American Sniper, “There are three types of people in this world: sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs,” “Some people prefer to believe that evil doesn’t exist in the world, and if it ever darkened their doorstep, they wouldn’t know how to protect themselves. Those are the sheep.” “Then you’ve got predators, who use violence to prey on the weak. They’re the wolves. And then there are those blessed with the gift of aggression, an overpowering need to protect the flock. These men are the rare breed who live to confront the wolf. They are the sheepdog.”

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Who’s the Shepherd, Obama?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Yes, and we know what some shepherds do to their sheep during those lonely nights.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Iberkshires has a complete (except for the school department which is massive) breakdown of the Pittsfield budget. Very interesting. For example the Cultural Director earns $52,000 per year for a part time position. It doesn’t say part time, but I read the job description for this position and it is not full time. To her credit, Lisa Tully miraculously wanted to make a cut to the cultural development office, but was turned down.

Pittsfield needs a poverty director much more than it needs a cultural director.

Gigi
Gigi
4 years ago

Close an elementary school! Stearns was mothballed in the late 80’s/90’s for a time, due to declining enrollment across the city. Make some REAL cuts, councilors!

Thomas More
Thomas More
4 years ago

If you have nothing to do, I mean really nothing, go to the Eagle’s photo gallery of the vigil. Great shot of TFB eating her pen. I guess when your hungry…. Though angered and heartbroken (yeah right) LT told she” saw the vigil as a positive step forward toward reining in gun violence.” TFB shouted “raise our voice … for real change,” she said. “Be loud. Be proud.” One of the better quotes from a local leader was “Nobody should kill anyone for no reason.” I guess that means if you’ve a reason it’s OK.

Kate Dempsey
Kate Dempsey
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

I just remember the photo of TFB trying to “run” to the front door of the Old-Country Buffet, before it closed. From the looks of her, maybe the idea of comping her meal put them out of biz?

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Kate Dempsey
4 years ago

Way to body shame someone. Keeping it classy!

Economic Injun
Economic Injun
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Are you talking about two bag Bouvier?

Winchester 73
Winchester 73
Reply to  Economic Injun
4 years ago

Yes, Talkin bout Boo-vee-ay. Shes so fat that she left her house for the vigil in heels. When she came back they had turned into flats.

Silent Cal
Silent Cal
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Trust me. She has no shame.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

Good point Thomas, every killer thinks they have a reason!

dusty
dusty
4 years ago

This vigil was supposed to make you people forget about the taxes but some of you insist on talking about it.

Knock it off.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Mayor Kroll looked like this is ridiculous,why do I have to ask a fake question and fake grill the guy
Connell was worried about the interest on a 2k carryover to next budget…..hello Chris cut the budget by 3 million last years and tell the schools to get it done….not voting for him

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Everyone of them wants to be elected…resist and vote for the new guy

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Its crazy but these councilors under funded everything last year.This years council will underfund again all of this just to keep secret how bad thing are…..Amuso..Mazzeo..Tyer and of the 3 we are going broke for what Amuso said Ok to on the school committee for 10 years.
How do they balance their home checking accounts…who is bailing out these people at home?

Question Marky
Question Marky
4 years ago

Is this right ? During FY16, the PPD ended with a $740,000.00 overtime deficit, having used up the budgeted $600,000.00, plus another $50,000.00 transferred internally from other line items.
Total:$1.39 million OT for 82 actve officers or an average of $16,951.22 per officer ?
This does not include their salaries, benefits, uniform allowances, personal use autos or money earned off duty on road construction jobs ?
Wonder what they earn as reported on tax returns. (Not asking, just wondering). Wow, Why go to law or med school.
No, Not asking for their town of residency. Already know names of many that pay their property taxes to Richmond, Lenox,Dalton, Lanesborough, Hinsdale,etc.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Question Marky
4 years ago

how do you think they pay for downtown foot patrols?

Question Marky
Question Marky
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Don’t have to think knew long b4 they started.

Winchester 73
Winchester 73
Reply to  Question Marky
4 years ago

OT, the biggest racket for the kops since guard duty at construction sites.

Question Marky
Question Marky
4 years ago

See where Tyer’s newly appointed Peda board members wasted no time resurrecting Waterstone Development’s Wal-Mart store for the former GE site. This has been negotiated with consultant fees and other sorted back room deals for sometime,First it was Lowes, then with more ancllary money to be had with Waterstone, it came to the forefront. Where is Gary Grunin anyways ?
Tyer will promote this as the 2nd coming as Bianchi did Nuclea. Local businesses will suffer,the city will find ways to spend additional road and traffic monies and the present Wal-Mart will sit empty, like the Best Buy and Macy’s store. The politicians will give their hollow promises and economic engine predictions . The promised jobs will never reach the levels initially promoted and taxes, Oh the jump for joy, the additional taxes. Wal-Mart uses more loop holes than John Krol and the Dancing Bear can vacillate to reduce their actual taxes paid.
Research the promises of a tax base windfall in North Adams vs what Wally World actually paid last year.
But again something is better than nothing and more power to the connected elite who will again profit from public perception and manipulation of the masses.

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  Question Marky
4 years ago

My guess is Gary is working on his tan somewhere. He is the George Hamilton of PEDA. hehe

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Question Marky
4 years ago

Walmart should have been built on the former GE site to begin with.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Oh sure…and get pcb’s all mixed in with my Subway sandwich. Think before you speak sir.

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

Too late, the PCB’s got you already.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

You’re right and it should have had a Dunkin Donuts in it.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Question Marky
4 years ago

Didja ever wonder why they put in that new bridge off East street? Of course they had no idea that Wal mart was coming but they built a bridge so cars could get to the area. What awesome forward thinking. Its like de ja vu all over again.

C.Trzcinka
C.Trzcinka
4 years ago

Ah somebody should tell the administrators that mathematics is one field. It makes no sense to say “there are 3 different kinds of maths”. There are different ways of approaching a problem. The two means of subtraction are just different ways to acquire the correct answer. Kids need to learn a variety of methods and they can choose whichever they can remember.

Really?
Really?
4 years ago

Really?

Tully and Amuso both work for BMC and I hear they are close.

Tully proposed the cut to Cultural Development Assistant because that person used to be married to Amuso’s brother-in-law. Amuso has a strong dislike for this person.

This was about personal issues, nothing to do with the City.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Really?
4 years ago

Speaking of personal issues. Did Stanley get those new seats put in yet or is he waiting for some other theater to close so he can get the seats cheap.

southeast
southeast
Reply to  Really?
4 years ago

Are you saying that people on the CC let personal vendettas influence their decisions?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Really?
4 years ago

That may be true, but I think cuts should be made to that department anyway. Cuts have to be made somewhere and the Cultural Development Office isn’t that necessary.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

Amuso brought this city down .

Rambunctious
Rambunctious
Reply to  The School committee
4 years ago

She doesn’t do it any good

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

The Schools are strangling business.The councilors are not being honest with the budget when over 20% of our free cash 1.3 million extra money to run this city.On top of that the schools have added 5 million of new money in less than 18 months….im just not sure why we have councilors.
Then that fake dopey grilling of the dept heads….lets just get to the issues of schools killing business.

joetaxpayer
joetaxpayer
Reply to  The School committee
4 years ago

Agree, School C, when Supt. of schools says a closing of a school will not save any money, you no the deck is stacked. He needs to go, and be replaced with somebody who is willing to think outside the box. I’m not anti- teacher, think there’s a lot of cuts that would not lay-off to many.

Winchester 73
Winchester 73
Reply to  The School committee
4 years ago

Yes, no city department needs or should be cut BEFORE huge cuts are made in the school department. The kids will be just as unprepared when they graduate for $10 million less that what were spending now, over $100 million.

Dowager Hat
Dowager Hat
4 years ago

Think of the state of the art traffic control needed at the Peda/Wal Mart site. A traffic light on East St, at the new Woodlawn Ave. bridge, another one at Woodlawn and Kellogg Sts., one, two , or three at TylerSt., Dalton Ave.and Woodlawn.
Relieved one of the three developers will be paying for all city road work and utiliy upgrades, not the city taxpayer. Not !

mi
mi
4 years ago

It’s just Impossible.

The School committee
The School committee
4 years ago

You have almost 1/2 a million square feet of high schools to house 1600 students
The superintendent speak s that no money will be saved this year….he only measures things by 12 months cycles.
Where do we want to be in 5 years not 5 months.Mccandless won’t be here in 5 years.Mayor Behnke will fire him in 2 years.She runs the show with joe…

They toss and turn with janitor hatred.

Italia
Italia
4 years ago

Can anyone confirm the rumor that Mayor Tyer will announce shortly the Acting chief Wynn will be Chief Wynn?
Great wedding gift…

Silent Cal
Silent Cal
4 years ago

When will the vigil for all the Pittsfield murder victims take place?