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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY OCT. 7, 2019) — Myor Linda Tyer’s Ode to Pittsfield, in the form of a political announcement disguised as an “economic engine,” has more odor than ode to it.

A closer examination of the packet presented by the city (mayor Tyer, community development director Deanna Ruffer, director of business development Michael Coakley) on behalf of space research company Electro Magnetic Associates reveals two revealing yet overlooked facts, plus one large, unanswered question.

The packet is not comfortably numb — more like uncomfortably dumb.

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As you are probably aware, Tyer is asking the city council to approve a $140,000 gift from the PEDA-GE settlement account to EMA. The request has been plagued by controversy, especially since THE PLANET broke the news that EMA budgeted radioactive Strontium-90 in its testing. The financials reveal a line item, in tiny type, of $50,000 for the dangerous isotope,  a byproduct from fallout after a nuclear explosion. It is extremely hazardous to human health.

The $50,000 for Sr-90 represents more than a third of the requested gift from Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, the bedraggled Pittsfield taxpayers — 35.71428% to be exact, but who’s counting? Despite the proven hazards of Sr-90, neither EMA nor the city has articulated safety or containment plans. It leaves both scientist and laymen dumbfounded and worried. The proposed use of Sr-90 is the first and most important uncovered fact in this problematic request, one the principals tried to hide judging by their actions in the EMA rollout.

Neither Tyer nor EMA spokesman Justin McKlennon mentioned Sr-90 in their press conference. When the fact slipped out in a meeting of the council’s Economic Development Committee, EMA implausibly said it might not use the $50G purchase after all. Right. The $50G line item was just for fun. That set off alarms to everyone but Tyer and the vested interests.

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The potential danger of Sr-90 is well explained by a most qualified commentator, MHD, a radiologist.

MHD wrote to THE PLANET:

“I have an undergrad in Physics (BS), a Masters in Nuclear & Particle Physics, and an MD (radiologist) with a Ph.D. in Radiobiologic Modeling. I’ve spent 12 years working for NASA examining the impacts of cosmic radiation on astronauts, equivalent analogs, and equipment.

“I’ve worked at facilities that have dozens of these types of test chambers, at NASA, at universities, and at my present employer, a defense contractor.

“Not once have I seen one of these just placed in an office building. They are placed in either specially built mobile containment buildings or in specifically designed permanent facilities. These facilities are designed to contain errant particles and, in the case of a fire, contain all radioactive fallout and effluence. If that is what the BIC is, then I don’t have a problem. I will say that the equipment listed and the prices make no sense. I understand ”budget numbers” but these are so far off, they are either lying or don’t know what they are buying. Since the city is expecting to secure payment against these items in the event of a failure of the business, they can’t because the numbers are so wrong.”

One of the workers who helped design and build the BIC tells THE PLANET the BIC is not designed for radioactive containment. Does EMA raise a  radioactive risk to the entire city? Is that worth four measly jobs?

This danger, apparently, doesn’t bother Tyer, Ruffer, Coakley, or councilors Helen Moon, John Krol, Earl Persip, and Nick Caccamo of the economic development committee. In spite of their self-admitted ignorance on the technical aspects of the EMA request, they voted to send a positive recommendation to the council as a whole. THE PLANET considers this foolish in the extreme.

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The second notable fact to emerge from a study of the packet centers on location. Namely, it appears the main reason the Lakewood, Colorado-based EMA wants to establish a satellite operation in Pittsfield isn’t for business reasons but because two of its most recent hires live there.


One of them is the “empire building” McKennon.

In a letter McKennon sent to Ruffer, he writes: “EMA is considering Pittsfield for its permanent secondary location due to the current location of its two new[est] employees.” He’s speaking of himself.

Within the packet, every time anyone explains Pittsfield for the location, they first cite the residencies. This hardly inspires confidence that business factors figured in the move. It makes one wonder: What’s REALLY behind this?

By the way, a quick usage lesson for young McKennon — A “principal” in a company is spelled that way, not “principle.” McKennon incorrectly uses the word several times. “Principal” is a leading  person in an operation or enterprise. “Principle” refers to a law, doctrine, or philosophical assumption expressed in a generality.

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“We share EMA’s belief that the presence in Pittsfield opens up a virtually unlimited number of opportunities to attract other related companies and innovation to the city,” Tyer writes in the packet.

That’s a “belief,” Madame Mayor, not a reason. A belief doesn’t cut it for releasing $140,000 of taxpayers funds, especially not given your secrecy in the matter.

Ruffer writes, “A Pittsfield location is desirable to the company [because] of the desire of the two staff members to be located in the Berkshires.”

A taxpayer outlay of $140,000 where private capital fears to tread for four new jobs in five years and a radioactive risk for good measure? With tax forgiveness of $65,774?

It doesn’t add up.

There’s only one proper vote: No!


“One if by land. Two if by sea. Three if the EMA request goes through”Paul Severe.



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You need a crime analyst like you need a Thanksgiving Ham. If you don’t know the crime hot spots by now you’ll never know. Another waste of taxpayer money.

PoliceReport,586802 A professor resigned because the school isn’t taking “racism seriously”. To date there hasn’t been a description of the alleged assailant. I’m guessing if there ever is, it will have to be a white male who is a neo-Nazi or a member of the KKK because it’s already a racially motivated hate crime, if you listen to the NAACP. More telling is that the school has hired an outside private investigator. When a company or a school hires a PI, it’s not because they believe the story of the attack. They hire a PI to protect the university and to add a “cut out” as they believe the findings and evidence presented will be controversial. “Also on Monday, the administration announced it plans to hire an independent investigator to “review the incident.” Get ready for a real mess as this attack will be… Read more »


So why is everyone so got damn afraid of telling it like it is? If the “victim” filed a false report, is that not in and of itself a crime PR? The cops better come down hard on her but I get the since they will be dancing around this and giving “victim” and nice soft landing, because God forbid, we offend a person of color that made up a fake hate crime.

Planet Valenti