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DOES PITTSFIELD NEED A POLICE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, OR IS THAT AN ‘IMPOSSIBLE DREAM?’

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY AUG. 20, 2018) — Apropos to nothing but in some tangential way related to everything, THE PLANET 51 years ago today sat in Fenway Park, rf-line boxes and watched in disbelief as The Impossible Dream Red Sox swept the contending Angels in a doubleheader (anyone out there remember “single-admission doubleheaders?”). The sweep stamped the Sox “for real” as pennant contenders but was also notable for several other reasons:

  • Reggie Smith, two years out of Pittsfield, became the first Boston player to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game (opener, 12-2, Lee Stange getting a complete-game win … anyone out there remember “complete games?”).
  • They came back from an 8-0 fifth-inning deficit to win the nightcap, 9-8, winning in their last at bat on a homer by Jerry Adair.
  • THE PLANET, early in our movie-making phase, filmed a great shot of a three-run HR by Carl Yastrzemski to bring the team back into the second game. It’s still the only known footage of that hit, one of the most important in the history of the franchise, for 1967 turned the fortunes of Boston baseball 180 degrees by making the Red Sox relevant again and the 8-0 comeback win was crucial.
  • It came only two days after the near-fatal, career-ending beaning of Tony Conigliaro at the hands of Jack Hamilton.

We remember waking up the next day, eager to ride along with my beloved father on his delivery routes in South County. He drove a truck for Dearstyne Brothers, a Pittsfield-based company that served many local businesses in their requisite supplies of candy, snacks, smokes, and what that lovely term “sundries” represented (anyone out there remember “sundries?”).

We couldn’t wait to buy the Boston Record-American to read about the games and gaze at Bob Coyne’s great cartoons. As the young PLANET rode shotgun in dad’s red van, we had our movie camera. That day, we filmed in Lenox at Eastover and Stockbridge Bowl, and also took a shot of the front page of the Record. The front page had a photo of game action, but the headlines told the story. America was ablaze.

A month earlier in Detroit, the Summer of Love exploded when police raided an illegal bar called The Blind Pig. When they got there, 82 blacks were inside after hours, celebrating the return of two local men from the service. Police attempted to arrest the bar owner when his son, Walter Scott III, threw a bottle at one of them. The police left, but after they did a huge crowd began to loot the neighborhood in what became known as the 12th Street Riots. The mob, composed almost exclusively of blacks, started 483 fires and stole a countless haul of clothes, furniture, appliances, TVs, and other items. Their plunder also relieved sporting goods stores of 2,498 rifles and 28 handguns. It took all of the Detroit police, 360 state troopers, 4,700 Army paratroopers, and 8,000 National Guardsmen to quell the riots. It was post-Watts and pre-assassinations (King, RFK) and an even worse summer in ’68.

This roundabout traipse on America ablaze brings us up to the present. In Chicago Friday, 38 people were shot in 24 hours, mostly black-on-black violence related to drugs and gangs, which are, anyway, one and the same. The local police-community situation in Pittsfield isn’t as flash-tender at Detroit in 1967 or Chicago today, but it’s not good either, which is why the matter of creating a local Police Oversight Committee may yet burst into flames.

Some local citizens, led by Igor Greenwald, want to establish an independent POC. The police unions representing officers and brass shot back with a letter disparaging Greenwald’s efforts. THE PLANET shall present our take on Wednesday, but we want to hear from you first. The readers of this board represent a significant sample of citizens, officials, and other interested parties, and we put the question to you seeking input:

Yes or No and Why? Should Pittsfield establish a POC? If so, how many people would serve? How would they get on the committee? Election? Appointment (if so, by whom)? What powers should they have? We invite any and all input, including those of the police.

————————————————————————————

“Old age is when your regrets outnumber your dreams” — Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.

 

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THE school committee
THE school committee
2 years ago

The cities were burning across America as civil rights met poor whites and blacks fighting a war the rich and connected would not fight…….Nothing ever changes 2018 and the fight continues on a new refrained question oh race and poverty.

THE school committee
THE school committee
Reply to  THE school committee
2 years ago

Trump again is worried that the Mueller investigation if not justified in getting to the bottom of the Russian influence on our elections……why ,maybe the board could explain

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
2 years ago

Pittsfield politics does a disservice to the people/taxpayers! To illustrate, thousands of people have moved away from Pittsfield over the decades. Many businesses have closed and hundreds of jobs have been lost, too. Once a living wage is gone, it ain’t comin’ back, Jack (Welch). Pittsfield politics response to all of this bad news is to raise municipal taxes, increase its debts, and run the state and local politics with a “China-like” one political party system where they all compete for the title of “biggest political hack” for “progressive” causes. To illustrate, a majority of residents do not even bother to vote in so-called “elections”. If you speak out about all of this, they take away your job, if you are lucky enough to have one. If you ruffle their feathers, they retaliate by spreading vicious rumors against you. All that matters in Pittsfield politics is that they can shakedown taxpayers for the almighty dollar. The vested interests, including the school, police and fire unions, always win, while the taxpayers always lose.
Now, Pittsfield politics is pondering a Police Oversight Commission so the people can regulate the Pittsfield Police Department and hold local law enforcement accountable. This is after the revived Human Rights Commission in Pittsfield. In theory, these kinds of commissions would give the people a say in their state and local government. However, in practice, Pittsfield politics has a long history of marginalizing the people from participating in their community. The entrenched resistance is predictable!

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  danvalenti
2 years ago

Pittsfield politics is about one thing and one thing only: Shakedown of the taxpayers! Everything else is a done deal! My dad was a Pittsfield area politician 2 decades ago in 1998 when PEDA was born, the Consent Decree was signed, the Civic Authority was defeated, and Mayor Gerry Doyle misplaced millions of city government dollars that are still unaccounted for today. Pittsfield had big wheels like Jack Welch, Ted Kennedy, and others wheel and deal. For what? PEDA is a vacant toxic wasteland 20 years later. The Consent Decree let GE cap a majority of its cancer causing industrial chemicals called PCBs. GE got off the hook for pennies on the dollar. Over $2 million from the GE fund was spent on the arts and the so-called downtown renaissance. Local taxes and debts increased, while population decreased and jobs were lost. The doomed Civic Authority was a boondoggle supported by the Good Old Boys. After the Doyle debacle, Pittsfield went into state receivership to avoid municipal bankruptcy. It all boiled down to the vested interests shaking down the taxpayers, while Pittsfield failed, failed, and failed over and over again.

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
2 years ago

If appointed such a committee would be just one more cruel joke foisted on the citizens of Pottsfield. If elected they’ll just drag washed up sacks of crap out of the bar rooms and put them on the ballot.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  danvalenti
2 years ago

Without naming names do either of you have anyone in mind who might be good candidates? If asked, the best qualified, those with a spec of intelligence and no irons in the fire would say no without even thinking about it.. Pittsfield has 47 commissions. People are not standing in line to get on a commission.

dusty
dusty
2 years ago

No organization with the enormous power of a police force should be doing its own oversight especially in a situation like Pittsfield where it is directly and personally tied to the mayor’s office.

Brian C. Marquis
Brian C. Marquis
2 years ago

One reason Pittsfield PD is linked so closely to the mayor’s office is largely due to Mayor Tyer’s other role as police commissioner. It’s spelled out in the City Charter if you choose to read about it.

Art Seller
Art Seller
Reply to  danvalenti
2 years ago

Dan Chief Wynn is as useless to this city as his wife?e is as vice chairwoman of the the peda board. Is her position a paid position? Who appointed this very unqualified individual. Pittsfield is a sinking ship simply because of the unqualified sailors at the helm. Honestly who would ever hire Tyer for any thing other than general support at the most basic level She is no leader and marches and bows to the special interest groups In the next city election , the public would be justified in voting out Tyer and three quarters of the council. None of these individuals have a single accomplishment that they can point to.They have a great record of fleecing The taxpayer and no record of trying to help the taxpayer.I feel very sorry for people living on a fixed budget. These people could help themselves by voting out dead wood candidates but for some reason many don’t vote and the special interest groups get to the polls in droves to vote into office their puppets .Look what Rivers did to her constituents. Wait until the taxpayers see what will happen with their water and sewer bills. I predict their will be a taxpayer revolt but it will be too late. Many NewYork buyers will be looking to buy your home for a song when you are forced to sell because you can’t afford to live here any longer.Do you think I am kidding you? We will see.The prognosis does not look good.

Shakey
Shakey
Reply to  Art Seller
2 years ago

The problem with Pittsfield is mostly the garbage that cannot afford to live there.

Turk
Turk
Reply to  danvalenti
2 years ago

Looks like Dan figured out how to shut up Brian.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Turk
2 years ago

Turkey, did you read the charter?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Brian C. Marquis
2 years ago

That may be one reason.

Sonny
Sonny
2 years ago

The real problem in this town is the lack of a respected chief. This Chief is in the mayors back pocket. Under Wynn crime has
has soared and punishment is weak with the help of the judges. How many officers have won lawsuits in the last 5 years, with more to come. Lack of leadership is blatantly obvious. Overtime for the PPD is thru the roof and the City Council just keeps on approving it. Time to bring in a new sheriff to clean up Dodge not another liberal do nothing board.

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

looking for trouble. They are enjoying ruining people’s lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side – the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more! Mueller’s Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!

Art Seller
Art Seller
Reply to  Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Bill_I agree with everything you say. You describe Trump and the republicans to the tee.

Trump Derangement Syndrome
Trump Derangement Syndrome
Reply to  Art Seller
2 years ago

You would benefit from a good dose of ex- lax

Doomiedoger
Doomiedoger
Reply to  Trump Derangement Syndrome
2 years ago

You gotta be a riot around the dinner table. Ex-lax…so funny.

Hipster
Hipster
2 years ago

The police commission will work if Krol gets a few hipsters on it.

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

I hope John Brennan, the worst CIA Director in our country’s history, brings a lawsuit. It will then be very easy to get all of his records, texts, emails and documents to show not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt. He won’t sue!

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Where’s the Collusion? They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed). If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!

Art Seller
Art Seller
Reply to  Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Bill. Why don’t we just wait for Mueller to finish his case. What he finds will be based on facts. On another note, saw the DA debate.Andria Harrington is another Linda Tyer.Loud and clueless. She is sadly lacking in experience and she embellished her trial experience . She is definitely the darling of the city’s gobsig.and for that reason alone she doesnt have any business even tuning for a position she isn’t qualified for. For me it is a toss up between the other two.

Sum Ting Wong
Sum Ting Wong
Reply to  Art Seller
2 years ago

Art, are you going to vote for fantastic Fred Rutberg’s girlfriend?

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
2 years ago

Maybe they can name it the Pittsfield Industrial Police Complex

THE school committee
THE school committee
2 years ago

So far Trump got 1.5 trillion out of our economy and gave it to his supporters all 4.50 a weeks for 9 years then its gone again corporation got all of it forever……vote trump

dusty
dusty
Reply to  THE school committee
2 years ago

and he and his kids got money rolling into their off shore bank accounts from a dozen different sources.

MAGA

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Mueller like Harrington is nothing more than a swamp turd .

Doomiedoger
Doomiedoger
Reply to  Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

If you are any example Cavv has a pretty good hit squad. Hope I never cross him.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
2 years ago

The people are the most valuable resource in a community because they work, live, and pay taxes. But in Pittsfield politics, the people are marginalized from participating in their government. Any committee in Pittsfield is always made up of the usual “Kangaroos”! Good luck to the poor bastard who is tried before Pittsfield’s “Kangaroo Court”! See: “Twilight Zone” or “Kafka”!

Sojourner Truthl
Sojourner Truthl
2 years ago

The good reverend and VP of audience development of the local broadsheet, Warren Dewes, is pursuing his version of a police oversight entity.
BTW, rumors are that there are now five members of the Dewes clan employed recently by the city.

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Sojourner Truthl
2 years ago

sounds like collusion

h
h
2 years ago

Heard a rumor again Planet, that a certain city employee, will,or is,to be employed in South County. This one might be a good career move.

Two Cents
Two Cents
Reply to  h
2 years ago

Any job out of Pittsfield is a good career move!!!

Dave
Dave
2 years ago

Ok, it’s official everything is offensive. Animal crackers have changed the box so the animals aren’t behind circus cages, but now roaming free in the grass and open fields. I am offended when I see kids eating off the limbs one by one making the cookie animal suffer an inhumane death, at least when you eat off the head they don’t suffer!

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Dave
2 years ago

and how come you see all these pictures and emblems of American eagles carrying arrows in their claws? Like that was their idea. I don’t think so

U
U
2 years ago

Tell the idiot who fed the Llamas.

The school committee
The school committee
2 years ago

Mueller makes Don Trump sick to his tummy.By the way Trumps man Rudy is not helping him and guessing he cant get anyone else.

Doomiedoger
Doomiedoger
Reply to  The school committee
2 years ago

They are both suffering from dementia and providing lots of laughs for the night time TV crowd. Actually it is kind of rude to laugh at people who can’t help themselves but I have to admit sometimes I roll on the floor laughing my freaking head off when Trump says the stupidest stuff. And that is almost every day. So as you can imagine, omg he is at it again hawwww haww hee unreal

Harrison
Harrison
Reply to  Doomiedoger
2 years ago

It’s not really rude to laugh. Sometimes the demented say crazy things and laughing at (with) them makes them happy. Sad that both of them could have had a great retirement but chose to feed their egos. I doubt either of them are in it for public service.

CLICK HERE FOR LINK
CLICK HERE FOR LINK
2 years ago

For those of you that thought the Glorious Gaetani was right about the EPA waters of the United States delay by Trump, looks like the federal judge in SC didn’t agree.

Roberto Del Halitoso's Rolodex
Roberto Del Halitoso's Rolodex
Reply to  CLICK HERE FOR LINK
2 years ago

case headed for supreme court

Shakey Shakey
Shakey Shakey
Reply to  Roberto Del Halitoso's Rolodex
2 years ago

Not for a while, but since you don’t study the facts you wouldn’t understand that would you?

12 Gauge
12 Gauge
Reply to  CLICK HERE FOR LINK
2 years ago

Even if the courts disagree with Gaetani they don’t insist that Pittsfield gets fleeced by consultants. But the mayor and Krol are too stupid to figure it out.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
2 years ago

Trump is starting tho sound like an old whiny Maid. Agree, dump Giulianni, sometimes he make no sense. hire Timmy Shugrue,(super Lawyer.

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Censorship is a very dangerous thing & absolutely impossible to police. If you are weeding out Fake News, there is nothing so Fake as CNN & MSNBC, & yet I do not ask that their sick behavior be removed. I get used to it and watch with a grain of salt, or don’t watch at all..

u
u
2 years ago

And FOX Included, talk
about B I ASS.

u
u
2 years ago

Admitted MSnbc and CNN are against trump 100 percent,but FOX is More Guilty on the bias end,as they think trump is 110 percent correct. An extremist Station if I’ve ever seen.

Bill DeWahl
Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Who on fox?

dusty
dusty
Reply to  Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Cohen is lying thru his teeth again. He was bestest friends with Donnie Trump but now he is making stuff up. OMG why why why? Cohen is joining the fake news crowd saying stuff about, well just bad stuff. and you know he is lying cuz he is doing it with a straight face. and Donald didn’t even do anything so don’t bring his name into it

MAGA

u
u
Reply to  Bill DeWahl
2 years ago

Bill O”Reilly u dope.

U
U
2 years ago

I don’t believe Cohen either. He has implicated an innocent man,.

mi
mi
2 years ago

Its a fricken Witch Hunt. How can you believe this Cohen? The President was given bad advice.Where’s Rudee?

H
H
2 years ago

Cohens not lying, he took a plea deal,trumps done. The fish rots from the Head.

Uwanted Carl
Uwanted Carl
2 years ago

Thank you Michael Cohen, for telling the truth.

Unwanted Carl
Unwanted Carl
2 years ago

Why would Our President direct a flunky to help to become President. Trump is an innocent President. Fake Fake News!

Bill Q
Bill Q
2 years ago

This is awful, saying these things about an honest man like Mr. Trump

h
h
2 years ago

Don’t worry, Rudy will sort all of this out.

Bill Q
Bill Q
2 years ago

Paul Manafort is also a good man. Fifty One Percent of Americans believe Michael Cohen, Fake News.

u
u
2 years ago

Donald Trump jr.Has been practicing questions and answers with Rudy on Wednesday and Thursday Nights for six hours at a time, just in case.

Doomiedoger
Doomiedoger
Reply to  u
2 years ago

Trump caused little children to be put in cages. Now his own children may be put in jail. sad MAGA (and karma)

Pat
Pat
2 years ago

Sweet innocent Mollie Tibbets killed by an illegal immigrant. President Trump has been RIGHT from the very beginning about these sanctuary cities that the dummy far left politicians insist are wonderful.

Open borders are wonderful, ICE is bad, white people are racists, pour in anybody to this country, and let’s impeach Trump. That’s the only message from the far left. Who in their right mind would vote for these people?!?

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Pat
2 years ago

Trump is absolutely right – we need a wall and we need to put an end to sanctuary cities/states.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Mr. Fritz
2 years ago

So true. The left only cares about the innocent young as victims if they think it furthers their political cause. When faced with actual people being murdered by their policies, they turn cold as stone.

Housekeeper
Housekeeper
Reply to  Pat
2 years ago

That’s why the planet is great.

Shelly Liver
Shelly Liver
2 years ago

Let’s really Crucify Trump.let him finish out his term.

Pat
Pat
2 years ago

The hatred from the left of “letting Trump finish his term” just shows their arrogance and how drunk with power they became after 8 years of Obama. Can you imagine the level of arrogance if Hillary had won?!? You think they try to silence voices that don’t agree with them now?!? Vote them out in November!!!

Halo
Halo
2 years ago

The walls are crumbling around him. Seems Melania was cheated on more than once.