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PARKING MFGR. PULLED A FAST ONE ON CITY ‘LEADERS’, & TAXPAYERS WILL PAY … plus … BUMP BUMPS BOWLER AND MSA … THE WEEKEND EDITION IS HERE!

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, JAN. 6-8, 2017) — In light of THE PLANET‘s exclusive expose of what’s behind the installation of parking kiosks in downtown Pittsfield, The Secret Squadron has added to the discussion with several key insights.

Commentators to THE PLANET, for example, have asked many of the countless questions that have not been answered for the paying public. This site raised the more Orwellian aspects of the kiosks, which may actually be Trojan Horses for the collection of electronic data that will be harvested then sold to Big Data companies that mine the input, combine it with other inconceivably large data sets, and through analysis sell it to any number of highest bidders. If so, fine, but why didn’t the city reveal this part of the plan?

Other questions include:

  • Will the date be sold?
  • To what company or organization?
  • For what purpose?
  • Who will sell the information, the city or the manufacturer?
  • Did the city even bargain for this?
  • How long will it take Pittsfield to pay for the $500,000 system?
  • Who will maintain the high-tech devices? How much will that cost?
  • How tempting will the kiosks be for desperate drug users searching for coin?
  • How much business will downtown Pittsfield lose?
  • How, exactly, does this move make downtown more friendly, or, putting it more precisely, less scary?
  • What is the overhead cost of the city’s parking operation, including salaries, health insurance, pension, cars, fuel, garaging, maintenance and so on?

Only THE PLANET dared raise these queries.

Were City ‘Leaders’ THAT Stupid?

The biggest question of all is this: DID ANY — ANY — CITY OFFICIALS PRESS FOR ANSWERS? The City Council voted 10-0, Lisa Tully absent, to perform fellatio on this dumb-ass proposal [ASIDE: “Lisa Tully absent” strikes us as a  most accurate and mordantly descriptive phrases ever uttered about official Pittsfield].

No one, in fact, brought this issue into the light of day, not the mayor, not any department head, not any councilor — not even Peter “Brainiac” White.  The manufacturer, looks like, pulled a fast one on the dumb-rumps that pose as city “leaders.” The Boring Broadsheet had this brilliant line: “The 21st-century metered parking electronic machines are similar to what Northampton, Amherst, Hyannis and other thriving downtowns have in Massachusetts.”

Any self-respecting newspaper practicing the art of journalism would never in a news story describe the kiosks as “21st-century metered parking electronic machines,” as if its readers were too stupid to know the century, as if the modifier had Jetsonian pedigree.

The other offending phrase is, of course, “other thriving downtowns.”

“Other.”

PLANET TO OFFICIAL PITTSFIELD:  Pittsfield does not have a “thriving downtown.” It has a downtown dotted by vacant stores, plagued by chaotic parking, choked by traffic too great for the number of traffic signals, terrorized by shootings and gang activity, shot-up by the drug trade, bummed out by a collection of human dregs that loiter eternally, and coated with the litter of neglect.

THE PLANET did a little first-hand research yesterday. The kiosks look innocent enough, until you get close up. Above the keyboard is a display window, presumably a screen, that appears capable of two-way input and output. In other words, the screens likely have cameras taking videos. One techie said the kiosks don’t have to be in use to be “active.” Even when the kiosks appear inactive, they could well be filming.  To the left of the screen there appear to be three tiny, clear bubbles — lenses to the layman.

The Columbus Avenue garage, as of the moment, remains free for three-hour parking. That remains the best bet for any hardy soul who has to park in downtown Pittsfield.

Bowled Over By Bump

You might have missed it, unless you read Kameron Spaulding‘s article in The Berkshire Courier. State auditor Suzanne Bump bashed Berkshire County Sheriff Tom Bowler as a member of the Massachusetts Sheriff’s Association for sloppy bookkeeping. Bump bumped Bowler and the MSA over the noggin for lack of transparency in record keeping and failure to follow state procedures. Transgressions include not posting data on it website regarding recidivism rates, inmate population, and funding. Ah, funding, or what’s a sheriff for? There were also other “technological and procedural failures.”

Bowler was “unavailable for comment” for The Courier. The sheriff was available, however, for his photo-op. Bowler ran unopposed for a second term as sheriff (he won by voting for himself). For some reason, The Boring Broadsheet found this newsworthy.

With all that, THE PLANET opens The Comment Line. Let the confetti fall and the venom spray, as you wish.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

000 ———— 000

“Hope travels through, nor quits us when we die.”Alexander Pope

“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 that violates its Rules of Conduct, and it is not liable for the consequences of any posted comment, written word, or information from any source other than PLANET VALENTI as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and PLANET VALENTI’s terms of service. All users of the services of PLANET VALENTI agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice.

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H
H
4 years ago

If Lisa was able to debate that night this could have been a totally different outcome. Aside..O J didn’t commit the murders,,,Roosevelt was never in a wheelchair…and The Donald won the popular vote and doesn’t have three sets of kids with three different Mothers perusing the White House.

Sandra
Sandra
4 years ago

Had to go downtown today. Now I know why I dreaded it. Most of the space on the even side, east, was taken up by workers and trucks. No place to park. No place. Got a ticket after having to be in an office for an appt.

Dear mayor Tyer and councilors, you can take your downtown parking, and, well you know what. I will never shop there.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

What ever happened to that last person who was mayor of Pittsfield? Does he still “give back to the city he loves”? Does he have an opinion on the shot spotter or parking kiosks?

Does he even live around here any more?

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Pittsfield downtown is a very busy and energized place to be during the day.It has a very exciting atmosphere at night if you choose to go out after 5pm .Even as a critic of many things Pittsfield does ,downtown is a huge success by many people over the last 20 years done without a college campus on mainstreet.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

North Street still has very few affordable stores for the lower and mid income people in the city which really is the majority of people who live here. I think fifty cents per hour would have been reasonable for parking for a city in the economic shape of Pittsfield. Many on here have said that even high income prosperous cities charge fifty cents an hour for parking so why is Pittsfield charging a dollar?

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Fenn & North is a good spot with much to recommend. Kudos to European foods (British Store & Maria’s). Regarding Maria’s, Great Bariington’s loss is a huge win for Downtown Pittsfield. They make a killer sandwich, and the counter redefines sausages.

Signage there is looking good too and makes evident the northern end needs updating. I’m not a fan of heavy oversight, but North Adam’s sign policy may be worth considering.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Levitan
4 years ago

A killer sandwich? That does not sound too good to me. Has the health dept checked them out recently? Is every body alright?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Levitan
4 years ago

I like Jim’s House of Shoes and loved Bagel II that’s going out, I have gone to the British Store before which has good prices. I will try the others, but overall prices are still too high for this area.

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

The prices are reasonable and competitive. Why would we want budget/economical and otherwise dull shops on North? Expensive stores are fun. Cheap stores are dull.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Levitan
4 years ago

I disagree. North Street used to have a clothing store that wasn’t cheap like a dollar store, but was a store that was priced like a Sears or Penneys that you find in the mall. That is the type of store that is needed on North Street. I love Penneys and Sears. The clothing is not dull. The clothing store that used to be on North Street was called Fashion Bug I believe. It was about 10 years ago or more. The stores need to be more representative of the income level of the people in the city.

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

Burlap sacks R us?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Levitan
4 years ago

Shakes, everyone knows you have no sacks

Painter
Painter
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Oh yeah downtown is exciting if you like shootings

Levitan
Levitan
Reply to  Painter
4 years ago

I haven’t been shot once.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

This should be noted .Great Barrington,lee,Lenox,Stockbridge have a very nasty heroin problem with it being bought in the morningside drug den (the hood).Short of the Norman Rockwell painting there’s nothing in Stockbridge but tourist walking in circles wondering why they came.

Kate Dempsey
Kate Dempsey
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

The School Committee, did you just wake up from an eight year coma? The Berkshires has an opiate problem-say it isn’t so? Your exposing an issue in the Berkshires that many people don’t know about. Wait until they realize that you can overdose on heroin and die. Wow, the local press will go crazy.

The School Committee
The School Committee
Reply to  Kate Dempsey
4 years ago

Kate Tell the story again how democrats didn’t vote for trump because Fox brainwashing station told me 645 times today that there are people who didn’t like Trump.
They at Fox do have a audience and it’s you Kate wanting to know more about why dems didn’t go Trump and you shake your head everytI me you hear it wanting to know more .

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

According to yesterdays Eagle the bar on North street in Pittsfield, where a past shooting took place just outside its doors, had several “associates” of the gang member shooter inside.

I might take this into consideration the next time I go bar hopping. No, I definitely will take it into consideration.

Rocky Creed
Rocky Creed
4 years ago

All true…the 17 year old kid who got shot showed a fake ID at the door saying he was born in 1981…how do you mistake a 17 year old for 35? Nice job door guy…gangbangers were after him…the shooters peeps saw him come in the bar then called their boy to let him have it…welcome to Pittsfield…peeps

Passing through
Passing through
Reply to  Rocky Creed
4 years ago

He might not look 35 (which is actually pretty relative), but a quick look at his FB page and you can see why ANY person would assume he was old enough to be there. He seriously looks like an average young adult…..They grow up fast in the Pitts….

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

Listening to our local radio station and the Pittsfield Cultural Director and other regulars on her show do not understand why people would complain about having to pay for parking here in Pittsfield. Other cities have done it so why should Pittsfield be the exception is their attitude. They laugh at people who question charging a dollar per hour for parking. They think it’s ridiculous that people would question having to put their license plate number into the machine. This was a show that aired about a month ago and I remembered it because of the scorn shown toward anyone who would question the new parking system.

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Could it be that there are a lot of lower income and fixed income people to whom that dollar might mean food for a day? Of course I would not expect anyone who lives in a gated community to be able to relate to that.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  heh heh
4 years ago

Who lives in a gated community?

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

Mayor Tyer lives in a gated community.

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

Oh, oh, I know…me!

I came from a lower middle class family and worked by back side off over the years to be able to live there. I don’t apologize for it and am damn proud of it.

Barry

Pat
Pat
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Living in a gated community is fine. Just don’t forget the people NOT living in gated communities who are surrounded by crime here in the city. We need smart decisions made by politicians to reduce crime so that ALL neighborhoods are safe. Keeping drugs and gangs out of the city would be a big step in the right direction.

Fugimoto Hockalugi
Fugimoto Hockalugi
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Can I get a job in the guardhouse Barry? Does it have cable?

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

The gate doesn’t work and the guard house is never manned. One can drive in there and knock on anybody’s door any time they want. Barry’s not all that safe there. Pat says the mayor lives in one too. She was most likely safer in Lakewood. Rarely does any shit happen down there.

DonRoberto
DonRoberto
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

@barry Claremont YOU MAKE YOUR MONEY AS A SLUMLORD TAKING SECTION -8 to LOWERING HEIGHTS , YOU ARE PART OF THE SOLUTION YOU HAVE DONE SO MANY PEOPLE WRONG. How about rephrasing that you made money off the backs of those that need and are entitled to benefits and deserve a nice apt. to live -in. But you could care less.

mi
mi
4 years ago

Trumpe tweeted the ratings are in and Swartzenegger got Swamp bmin blah,p. Trump is now saying Mexico will pay later concerning the Wall.

njpgep
njpgep
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

The “Art of the Deal” Negotiator couldn’t sway Mexico to pay, therefore he will settle up later, has he told one truth since he rode the escalator in 2015???

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Big data is hardly new. However, I do think the Council should explain if and how the parking meter company collects and uses any data. For transparency.

K-Man
K-Man
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

What’s new, Shakes, as DVs article has pointed out, is the amazing ability for enormous data sets to be processed. I’m in the field and can say that in the past year, the capacity of “industrial” computing power (not for home use because of expense and power that individuals or small companies wouldn’t need) has gone up exponentially.

Agree with you that the council, mayor or someone in charge should clear up the use of information from the meters, who collects it, who sells it, where does the money go etc.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  K-Man
4 years ago

Perhaps. But the non-institutional owners are not going to divulge what they are capable or not-capable of. I think the take away is that if you can imagine it, big brother is doing it.

Levitan
Levitan
4 years ago

Assuming this report that the kiosks require plate numbers (I’m skeptical), I will not be bothered to memorize mine. I have too few synapses available to spare on such useless information, especially since my plates are likely worth more than the car.

Painter
Painter
4 years ago

Peter White post on Facebook how much it cost him to park in Boston and I should care about that why . I think the mayor should start wearing about shootings on North Street instead of parking meters

heh heh
heh heh
Reply to  Painter
4 years ago

Park in Boston? I can’t even afford the gas to get there Mr White. Nor could I afford to shop there or go to a ball game there.

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

Step away from the keyboard and work more if you cannot afford $40 for the round trip.

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

I assure you Mr shakes, that my 12 cylinder Fleetwood will burn more than $40 bucks worth of gas going to and from Boston. And if I am going to take it to Boston I am going to have to have it simonized and detailed first to protect it from the road salt and mud ….all extra costs.

I really should not have to explain all the time

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

I respect a man that drives his house around town.

DonRoberto
DonRoberto
Reply to  Shakes His Head
4 years ago

Yea$40 for gas, then tolls $15 Fenway for two$150 for cheap seats. $40 parking near Fenway and nvrmnd getting souvenirs $$$$$$$$$. As a die-hard Sox fan . I know these facts and my family has to save for such a destination trip that doesn’t even leave the state. Get you facts right SHAKES!!!!

John Grogan
John Grogan
4 years ago

Hey Dan…The problem with your thoughts on the big data acquisition “scam” you think the city may be running is the sheer cost of storing and managing all that captured data. Ask any police department trying to comply with the body/dash camera requirements. The amount of data that piles up really fast is staggering and it is very expensive to keep, no less to mine.

I would be less surprised to hear that the company that installs the kiosks was trying to do something with the data, but I think even that is somewhat unlikely. They certainly COULD be used for the purposes you delineate, I just doubt they are currently.

Big data, while profoundly scary and ultimayely pervasive, is in only its infancy right now; caveman period by comparison to where it will be in 10 years. All of what you have said is possible, but the market for the overwhelming amount of data just isn’t quite to that point yet, where they can use real time data and turn it into something actionable. However, a good friend of mine, who came out of the List data business, founded one of these first parking kiosk companies. He was a REaL smart guy so I wonder if he knew going in what extraordinary value access to all this data could have? I will ask. If so, they almost ought to be GIVING the equipment away as a loss leader to acquire the data!

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  John Grogan
4 years ago

image and sound data is much more difficult than tracking data. If you have a cell phone, your location is recorded. And sold. And analyzed.

Painter
Painter
4 years ago

Parking meters 7thousand 6 hundred per, $200,000 borrowing for a ladder truck for the fire department, 19 new police who will need equipment and cars, And lets not forget the new high school, And i think there are some repairs going on at pittsfield high. And didn’t I see where Dennis Geyer said before he left that the fire houses are in need of repair . Who is going to pay for all this ? We are that who. Because we have a city goverment that just wants to spend money and dont even think of paying for it and the burden it puts on the home owner.

Two Cents
Two Cents
4 years ago

Just to clarify how license plate numbers are recorded, which they are: Plate numbers are not generated through the parking meters themselves but by the parking control officers. The meters are networked into the city’s parking control database and when parking control officers simply drive by parking areas, EVERY license plate is recorded by automatic plate scanners and will alert the officer if a vehicle is in a metered spot that does not have time paid for. So, many may not have realized that license plates have been scanned and recorded for quite some time before the meters were installed. However, this is standard procedure in most parking monitored communities.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Two Cents
4 years ago

Except in places where plate scanners are illegal.

Don D.
Don D.
4 years ago

Mayor taking $1.6 million from reserve funds in this weeks council budget. She needs to go.

B. clairmont
B. clairmont
Reply to  Don D.
4 years ago

This is one of the smartest things that could be done.

Where the money is parked now it can’t be counted as a reserve to help lower our borrowing costs. It’s the “special” fund that was required by the state when the city was broke.

It’s being transferred into a RESERVE fund that does count towards our equity and will help with our borrowing rate. It isn’t being spent. So don’t get your britches in a knot.

Barry

southeast
southeast
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

I did ask about how the scanning images and data was going to be used and was assured by City officials that the data is dumped daily and not used for anything beyond ensuring the parking spaces are paid for as required.

So the question remains the same: How long is scanned data kept? Who has access to it? What is it being used for?

the only additional question: Is it being sold?

Simple questions – all deserving of an answer.

Since I do not go downtown anymore, except to Carr Hardware – I don’t care if they charge $4 per hour for parking since I no longer frequent that area.

The School Committee
The School Committee
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Barry your not broke but the people are broke.Wake up.

Don D.
Don D.
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Borrowing rate shmorrowing rate only reason we can still borrow is because of state backing the city credit. Play with all the numbers you want but the city is going down hill and you can only screw with taxes for so long.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
Reply to  B. clairmont
4 years ago

Are you a spokesman for the Mayor?

B. Clairmont
B. Clairmont
Reply to  Joe Blow
4 years ago

No, I’m not.

In order to avoid any confusion, I’ll disappear.

Bye, bye.

Barry

Wilson
Wilson
4 years ago

Don’t know why you think the city is in the dark, the customer most interested in the data would be the city itself as it becomes a diverse Democrat utopia like Baltimore, microphones on every block, cameras in the sky

John Grogan
John Grogan
Reply to  danvalenti
4 years ago

See that’s funny! Us liberals think the surveillance state is the wet dream of the right wing war mongers. The reality is it is likely the ultimate goal of the military industrial complex which is what owns everything of value and calls ALL the shots these days. Conservatives and liberals will all ultimately be crushed or subsumed.

DonRoberto
DonRoberto
Reply to  Wilson
4 years ago

A CAMERA ON EVERY STREET CORNER AND MICROPHONES IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS. More Orwellian behavior!! You try to watch and listen but none of it cuts down the crime ridden cesspool GE left us………..

Tricksie
Tricksie
4 years ago

$1 to park on North Street, a place that has been desperately avoided by the working class since the 80’s seem pathetic. We will not be able to afford this Mayor before the 4 years are up – prop 2 1/2 over ride here we come – I sincerely hope we do what Troy did and vote NO – Doyle nearly put us into receivership – Tyer is gonna finish the job…

Dilly Dally
Dilly Dally
4 years ago

Businesses should pay the Customers to Park,you know, like a free necktie with the purchases of a shirt or something.

FloggingMolly
FloggingMolly
4 years ago

Don’t worry that company that owns the app has already sold what in formation they have. I downloaded the app on Monday to do the right thing and pay for my parking. Of course it didn’t work Mon, Tues or Wed. Lo and behold the app worked on Thursday, by 6am on Friday I had my first spam email trying to sell me something via the parking app company.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

“Bowler buck$”

Massachusetts’ 14 sheriffs get paid $151,709 each per year!

Tom Bowler’s annual salary is $151,709! That does not include his retirement, healthcare insurance, and other benefits!

Massachusetts’ 11 district attorneys get paid $171,561 each per year. They make $20,000 more than the governor, and $38,000 more than the state’s attorney general.

David Capeless’ annual salary is $171,561! That does not include his retirement, healthcare insurance, and other benefits!

Trial court judges get paid $160,000 each per year. That does not include their respective retirement, healthcare insurance, and other benefits!

Who said that crime doesn’t pay? Well, that is actually true, but it does pay to be politically connected!

– Jonathan Melle

Source: “Budget boosts pay for sheriffs, district attorneys: Lesser raises for workers on state’s lower rungs”, By Michael Levenson and Frank Phillips, Boston Globe Staff, July 1, 2014.

mi
mi
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

The pension is over hundred G Jon.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  mi
4 years ago

Here is how it works:

State Senator calls County Sheriff. Please hire my nephew. County Sheriff replies to State Senator. Please pay me a salary of $151,709 per year plus benefits. O.K., your nephew will work for me. O.K. you will be paid $151,709 per year plus benefits.

County Sheriff runs unopposed for re-election in 2016. County Sheriff remains politically connected and awaits his next 20 to 30 percent future pay raise. When County Sheriff retires, he collects a generous taxpayer funded state government pension well over “hundred G”.

Ham Anex
Ham Anex
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

Judges don’t pay into the retirement system at all.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  danvalenti
4 years ago

JM should get his facts straight. The sheriff in 2015 made $157,544 as did all sheriffs unless they got some kind of a bonus. the superintendent of the jail, Jack Quinn earned 4164,771. The DA’s salary that year was $178,160.00. Former sheriff Butch received a pension of $88,526.00 while his wife pulled in $47,599. There is no state income tax on any of these $.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

Sorry, Jack should read $164,771.00.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

My facts were off by a few thousand dollars, but my point still is that it pays to be politically connected! If you play ball with the big guys, you will get rewarded with a big salary plus benefits.
It is like a bureaucrat who gets rewarded for following orders. It doesn’t matter how unfair “the system” is to the masses! The people at the top take care of themselves. It is typical big government or big business.
The big wheels are well taken care of!

CosbiesLadies
CosbiesLadies
4 years ago

This is Nutz, people who don’t come downtown will never come now, do you think the powers that b, already know this?

The School Committee
The School Committee
Reply to  danvalenti
4 years ago

Try parking in stockbridge

Painter
Painter
Reply to  danvalenti
4 years ago

That only the beginning with this parking it going keep people away from North St I know it will for me.

P Hewton
P Hewton
4 years ago

Is the shots fired apparatus on it’s own,or does the public need to call if there is a shot fired?

Ham Anex
Ham Anex
Reply to  P Hewton
4 years ago

Call if you see Gerry Doyle doing a shot

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Ham Anex
4 years ago

They would get sick of all the calls Ham

Downtown Daze
Downtown Daze
4 years ago

Next thing you know, the money from the Community Preservation Act, will be used to sustain the lack of revenue the kiosk’s were supposed to generate.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Hopefully the shotspotter will not direct them to an old lady’s home waiting with a

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Pearing knife…oops.

heh heh
heh heh
4 years ago

Does Chicago have shot spotters on the South and West sides? How about high tech parking meters?

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

The media is reporting that jobs have been added to the US economy, but unemployment is up. The media attempts to explain this by saying that this is because more people have decided to look for work. Nobody ever questions this illogical statement. Unemployment is calculated by those who lose a job and then sign up for unemployment. It doesn’t include people who have been out of work for years, but decide to start looking for a job again. The media does this all the time and it really irritates me.

People who have been out of work for years are either homeless, on welfare, or have a spouse who is working to support both of them. They can’t decide that even though the bill collectors are beating down their door or they are about to lose their home that, “Well, there is nothing out there. I am just going to give up looking for work.” Bad things happen to people when they can’t find a job and it isn’t reflected in the unemployment numbers because once they stop collecting unemployment, they fall off the grid.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

Temdancy would leave you to believe a shot fired after midnight during fall or winter months would actually be a shot fired. Complications will occur during summer months with heavy fireworks activity,and all the gizmo will do ninety nine percent of the time, will be to confirm fireworks going off. The bottom line is, if the machine isn’t fool proof, which it isn’t, why buy it? Ask yourself, would it be more prudent to save a half million and let Covanta pay for thier own infrastructure and use that money for the gizmo, or, with a pending fire truck (used) purchase looming, also? Aside, will the used Fire Truck the mayor is considering purchasing, like a used bus, come with new tires?

Felix
Felix
Reply to  Shelly Liver
4 years ago

If the city had Covants pay for its own upkeep it would have an extra $500,00, $200,000 for a fire truck and $300,000 for the bank. But no. Our politicians know better.

Secret Tapes From Baltimore
Secret Tapes From Baltimore
4 years ago

Who’s going to the we hate Trump and all Republicans today?

outfox
outfox
4 years ago

“Other.”
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Don D.
Don D.
4 years ago

When is the march down Main Street to stop wasting my tax dollars? Oh it’s nice and all but TFB, Tyer, Marchetti, White et. al. think that this type of thing is their job. No – go make things better then march for national issues. Do nothing politicians created Trump and we are king of do-nothings!

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Don D.
4 years ago

If I still lived in good old Pittsfield, I would have marched against Donald Trump’s fascism!

I would have held up a sign that stated:

“DOWN WITH TRUMP!”

– Jonathan Melle

Akbar Fuquad
Akbar Fuquad
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

A boob like you has no idea what fascism is Jonathan.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Akbar Fuquad
4 years ago

It means that Donald Trump = Adolf Hitler!
Donald Trump puts nationalism before democracy.
Donald Trump wants to be a dictator and use military and police force to enforce his racist policies against Muslims and Mexicans.
Donald Trump is a right wing demagogue who will pack the U.S. Supreme Court with conservative Judges who will take away our rights in the favor of big government, the corporate elite, and religious moral hypocrites.
Donald Trump’s fascism will take away our Freedom!
Donald Trump’s government = billionaires, bigots, and bankers!
Down With Trump!
– Jonathan Melle

Akbar Fuquad
Akbar Fuquad
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
4 years ago

You are a buffoon

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

The waterboy’s minions surface.

Paul
Paul
4 years ago

Jonathan, please take your meds.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Barry there are many people who work very hard busting their ass making little or no discretionary money and the mayor of my city has lost touch with people who are struggling. Anybody can represent the the movers and shakers.Do you have a opinion on budgets and school consolidations that would pay for 35 cops.Watch tv …..if your spending needs discipline just do it.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

The lovely Linda Tyer will present her 2nd municipal budget in a few months. I predict yet another 5% tax hike. Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski will take it up the tailpipe once again.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
4 years ago

If they have a shot spotter in Chicago the thing has to be Lowncil out by now to to the volume of shots alone. the Mayor was overheard saying she will run again for Mayor. So get used to it.

Pat
Pat
4 years ago

So ridiculous watching all those people marching in the bitter cold today. Half of them do not even live in the Berkshires. Adam Hinds head looked really cold (not even a hat. wow!) It was ridiculous because they are marching for freedom, but not freedom from government intrusion into our lives. Oh no not that just freedom to have their progressive form of government tell us how to live our lives. That is not true freedom. True freedom is small government. True freedom isn’t ignoring threats from refugees coming from dangerous parts of the country as they have done in Europe and we see how those countries may never be the same. I believe the marchers are out of touch with reality.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Well said Pat.

Spider
Spider
Reply to  Pat
4 years ago

Agree with you, Pat. Actually it is nothing more than an “anti Trump” movement.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Spider
4 years ago

Go to iberkshires and read the comment section under the article about the so-called freedom march. The two women commentators say the march is all about hatred and bigotry,
(I thought it was freedom) but then tear into Trump for his comments about women completely ignoring that Democrat Bill Clinton actually went beyond comments and did terrible things to women, but Democratic women were silent about Clinton’s actions when he was president.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Can mayor Tyer make a plan to close PHS.There are 1700 high school student and shrinking.There are 350 personel to teach them which is where million will be saved.Consolidating 10 teacher saves 75k per teacher.Pittsfield does not need 1/2 million square feet of high school for 1700 kids but pittsfield has no plan to save substantial money.We always have plans to spend money.This city spent 8 years planning to spend 125 million but won’t spend 4 years to save 10 to 20 million.

Painter
Painter
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

I like what you have to say

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Pat please describe generally what small goverment looks like.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Small government is all about the people having the power not the government. Growing government means many laws and regulations are imposed upon us to promote the ideology of the government. With progressives, it’s all about green energy, climate change and social engineering. I don’t want Republicans to create big government either. In Massachusetts the bathroom bill is a classic example of government overreach and intrusion into our lives. Big government caused the housing crisis. Big government started messing with the used car market in Cash for Clunkers which was mercifully cut short before it created a car loan crisis. Big government is involving itself in Healthcare and we have seen the consequences of that with skyrocketing premiums for many and poorer healthcare across the board. More people have healthcare, but at the cost of other people having worse healthcare coverage.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

Trump is reporting that our intelligence group have conspired to lie to him and American people.Hes very ill.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Aren’t they the ones who told us Sadam had WsMD?

southeast
southeast
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

Actually, the CIA never made claims of WMD – Dick Cheney did

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  southeast
4 years ago

“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…”
– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003 | Source

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
– President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998 | Source

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
– President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998 | Source

“We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”
– Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998 | Source

“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
– Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998 | Source

“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Letter to President Clinton.
– (D) Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, others, Oct. 9, 1998 | Source

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
– Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998 | Source

“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
– Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999 | Source

“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them.”
– Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002 | Source

“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002 | Source

“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002 | Source

“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002 | Source

“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
– Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002 | Source

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002 | Source

“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002 | Source

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002 | Source

“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002 | Source

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

In October of 2002, 9 months before the US-led invasion of Iraq, the CIA produced a document summarizing relevant intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weapons programs. The document became the basis for the Bush Administration’s public statements about the extent of Saddam’s WMD program and was also distributed to members of Congress.

The intelligence estimate was used to support the Bush administration’s case that Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program represented an imminent threat, which became perhaps the leading justification for the US-led war.

Rocky Creed
Rocky Creed
4 years ago

BC
It’s nice that you made it to a gated community thru hard work…not really a big deal for you but when your girlfriend the Mayor moved in it unfortunately is a big deal because she is not a private sector person anymore…don’t forget to brag to the people about your $1million plus place in Colorado…hey good for you…my daughter is a CPA…great living if you can get it

southeast
southeast
Reply to  Rocky Creed
4 years ago

I have always found that there is no such thing as luck – only hard work. If BC has a ski place in Colorado, God Bless him. He is a good accountant and a smart guy. he’s also a hard worker.

Why do we criticize those who work hard and get something to show for their efforts? It’s not as though he’s a welfare cheat, scamming the SNAP program, or living in public housing after lying about his income….

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

Trump resentment.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  southeast
4 years ago

Southeast, BC is just out of the downtown and out of touch with Joe and Joan Pittsfield.

Ed McClelland
Ed McClelland
4 years ago

Driving through Dalton, I reflected on how the town manger system appears to be working well there. Although there are significant demographic differences in Pittsfield, one wonders why a city manager or even regionalization of services don’t seem to be considered nor discussed.
As a side bar note; Kenny Walto is well respected as Dalton’s town manager. He was replaced by then mayor Gerry Doyle as Pittsfield’s Community Development Director.Osentsibly because he didn’t reside in Pittsfield. He lived in Dalton. He was replaced by a relative of Doyle’s. Now a disportionate number of Pittsfield city employees don’t reside nor pay taxes in Pittsfield. Even the mayor’s Director of Administrative Services resides in Hinsdale and many live in New York State. Interesting how policies are manipulated to serve whatever end the politicians want.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  Ed McClelland
4 years ago

Even our Mayor lives about 5 steps from the Hancock border.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

She’s still in Pittsfield. Where’s she supposed live, at the corner of West Union and John, which is just about the center of Pittsfield?

H
H
Reply to  Thomas More
4 years ago

If it’s good enough for Hotel North, then it should be for the Mayor.

southeast
southeast
Reply to  H
4 years ago

She lives where she lives. It’s in [Pittsfield, and that’s all that is required.

of course, maybe we should wonder why Sweet Pete White and the CC Prez, Mr. Marchetti abandoned the hood they used to represent?

I mean, if there are no bad neighborhoods, why move?

h
h
4 years ago

I thought Pete White was homeless.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  h
4 years ago

No, just clueless.

Demetrius T. Gladiator
Demetrius T. Gladiator
Reply to  12 Gauge
4 years ago

And brainless. A yes man who’s too dumb to realize how he’s being used.

The School Committee
The School Committee
4 years ago

I want my Mayor to describe what’s it’s like paying realestate taxes in pittsfield on 16 k a year.Your turn mayor .I know you can’t respond but that is a response.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  The School Committee
4 years ago

Which of the four freedoms does that come under?