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EXTRA!! PITTSFIELD’s WILD DAY … plus … DRUG ABUSE: THE ‘ILLNESS’ THAT’s ACTUALLY A CHOICE

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

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ADD1 (THURSDAY JAN. 26, 2017) — Everything’s coming up peaches, cream, and frozen four-leaf clovers gripped by a closed fist heading its way to the first available, random jaw. Welcome to The Mean Streets of Pittsfield.

Mayor Linda Tyer, awfully quiet these days as the public safety crumbles all around her, might want to deliver a State of the City II, this time with a bit more truthin’ to it.

For starters, she can mention the events from less than one day in the sinking Shire City. The day, yesterday for those keeping score at home, included:

— A mad-dash car-chase worthy of The French Connection, ending with the crash of a green Mercedes SUV and the police pumping lead into the driver. This took place at a kids’ park on Springside Avenue. Remember, in Pittsfield, it’s always for “The Children.”

— An armed robbery of Kirk’s Variety on Tyler Street. Suspect hightailed it down Woodlawn Avenue.

— Downed power lines on Hubbard Avenue, stopping traffic for hours because of danger of electrocution.

— A fire from an electric overload at a daycare center on Lincoln Street. That, too, was for “The Children.”

— Countless Brazen, open-air, in-your-face drug deals consummated, among several locations, at  Linden and North streets, Orchard and First streets within feet of the Mercer Building (HQ of the phabulous Pittsfield School Department), and (again) on the corner of Elizabeth and West Housatonic, on the Plaine‘s corner.

— A vicious beating and robbery on Robbins Avenue, no charges pressed for fear of retribution.

Keep in mind: This is a partial list. Meanwhile, the parking kiosks are clearing the street of cars and the people contained within them. THE PLANET heard from several concerned merchants about a dramatic loss of business since the machines went into effect. Not to worry, though. The overmatched but well-intentioned mayor, plus the collective bobbleheads on the city council and school committee, assure us that all is well! They will stick to that story of Utopia, even as they work concocting as we speak yet another huge tax increase for Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski.

Ah, Pittsfield. Ah, humanity.

Now back to our regularly running column.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY JAN. 25, 2017) — Here we go again. Pittsfield has given itself yet another not-for-profit group to fan opioid abuse. How many of these agencies can addicts choose? We  have:

  • The Brien Center, Pittsfield.
  • The McGee unit at Berkshire Medical Center.
  • Spectrum Health Systems, a.k.a. the downtown methadone clinic, which maintains addicts on taxpayers’ expense.
  • The Pittsfield needle exchange program, which will create more junkies.
  • Berkshire Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative. Preventing nothing.
  • Narcotic Anonymous, which, members say, serves more as a drug marketplace for sellers and users rather than a support group.
  • The D.A.R.E. program,  teaching kids the allure of drugs
  • The Pittsfield Board of Health, whose mascot is a giant germ.

Let THE PLANET stop there. Any more might send readers looking for a fix themselves. To that ponderous list taxpayers can now add the Central County Work Group. Has it ever occurred to the well-meaning folks behind such groups that if their agencies actually performed as advertised, we would see drug abuse go down? Instead, the more new groups and agencies, the more precipitous the abuse.

THE PLANET well remembers the 1970s, when each year more than 50,000 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents. In 1999 that number dropped to about 35,000. By 2014, the death toll fell to 29,230 (Frontline). The actions taken to reduce deaths (seat belt laws, better design, improved safety devices) worked.

It’s been the opposite for the drug epidemic. In 1999, “there were more than twice as many motor vehicle deaths as fatal drug overdoses. By 2014, those numbers had flipped, with almost 40 percent more deaths from overdoses than car crashes” (Frontline) — 47,055 in total. In the intervening two years, that number has continued its climb.

Social Engineering Can’t Penetrate the Human Heart

In Pittsfield, the agencies set up to “address” the crisis have failed or are at best reactive. They only help after the fact, that is, after a person has chosen to use then abuse. Treatment can work. Temporarily. After that, what? The addict is back at Go!, with the same stark personal choice to make. Even a program like D.A.R.E. precipitates rather than anticipates by educating grammar school kids about the glamour of drugs. In fact, D.A.R.E. is probably responsible for as many addicts as broken homes, indigence, or any other factor.

Clearly drug abuse is a national problem caused by

  • A  tripling in the number of legal prescriptions written for painkillers — 76 million in 1991 to 219 million in 2011 (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
  • The flood of cheap heroin washing over America, primarily from Mexico. Pittsfield has been greatly affected, more so because of its lack of a viable economy. From that has stemmed a Pandora’s Box of other attendant social ills, on display each and every day in the ghostly, ghastly downtown.

What’s the solution? The first step is to buy out of the mantric pounding by official sources, who tell us without evidence that “addiction is not a choice. It’s a disease.”

Our ass.

That statement has caused enormous harm by encouraging people to become “victims.” THE PLANET would never recommend Nancy Reagan‘s facile “Just Say No.” Nonetheless, we would establish that, unlike an actual disease, drug abuse can be stopped with one’s choices. Once you get Parkinson’s, diabetes, or cancer, you can’t choose or behave your way out of it. With drugs and alcohol, however, you can decide to stop the symptoms by ending their cause.

Nearly every addict who ever got clean agreed that after all the programs, counseling, and hospitalizations failed, they only got well after they grew up. As one of them put it, “I decided it was time to start acting like an adult.”

The countless programs, therapies, and treatments boil down to that stark choice mentioned above: stop or die. And that’s where drug abuse programs fail, by keeping addicts from hitting bottom.

Once you hit the sea bed, you have grow up or die. If you decide the former, you can reclaim your life. If you choose the latter, you will help society greatly. You will give the rest of us a communal solution that takes just that much pressure from the building social strain.

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“I have no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge.”Edgar Allan Poe

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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chuck garivaltis
chuck garivaltis
4 years ago

First, it is Tiffany who is registered to vote in two states. Now it’s son-in-law, Jared, who is registered to vote in two states. So what !! When I left Pittsfield to attend Colgate U. in 1953 following year I registered to vote in NY state because I lived in Hamilton, NY.Here’s the point: I voted in Mass. only. I’m sure this is what registering in 2 states means – nothing. Understand this, registering in 2 states means nothing unless you vote in 2 states. If you vote once there is no violation. So what is the big deal about this ridiculous story? It means nothing. I was registered in 2 states in the 50’s, and there were no complaints. What’s the big deal now? What a bunch of crap this story is.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  chuck garivaltis
4 years ago

Donald is the one complaining about the two state thing.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

The point was it’s not uncommon for people to be registered in 2 or more places and each state has thousands of dead registered voters that always need house cleaning to remove the names.Trump wants the investigation into what as Chuck says is no big deal and I agree.But the investigation will continue.

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

Check, check out the new Celtics Jersey’s, G E Celtics kid you not.

Bill Q
Bill Q
4 years ago

Mayor was on T V said our City is relatively safe.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Bill Q
4 years ago

Relatively? Relative to, uh, say, Chicago???? Yah she is right about that.

Dan's The Man
Dan's The Man
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

“Relatively” safe? Who does she think she’s kidding. Maybe behind the walled in gates of her mansion out on West street passed BCC miles from the city proper.
Talk about out of touch and cluleless. DV please invite her on the show again. She needs a reality check from an actual journalist one not afraid to ask tough Qs.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
4 years ago

Why is the Mayor giving details of the incident. Isn’t this incident still an on going investigation?. The detail was the speed of the Chase.

Trumped Up
Trumped Up
4 years ago

The faster the speed would be in the Officer’s favor as far as urgency, the Mayor said the car wasn’t going so fast. Aside, North Street looks dead, the area where Adlib and Jim’s House of Shoe’s needs a little touch up, both look like eye sores.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Trumped Up
4 years ago

The sneaky progressives in the Mass Legislature just gave themselves a 40% pay increase that Charlie Baker cannot veto. These corrupt progressives in Boston need to go.

H
H
4 years ago

Is there a narcotics or substance test on either of the Drivers? At what point is the driver dangerous. I would have let the guy go and pick him up later, they must have known who he was? Seems he only became a danger, if what the Mayor said was true about the slow chase,was when he was cornered?

mi
mi
4 years ago

Wait until Trump cuts off Feferal monies to States, he can do that.

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

Trump cannot disobey legislation.

Maria Corvier
Maria Corvier
4 years ago

The Planet is so smart and Handsome! Keep rockin.