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CLAPP MYSTERY DEEPENS … PROJECT SCALED BACK BUT TAKING LONGER AND COSTING MORE … CITY CLAIMS ONE THING, PLANET’s INVESTIGATION SUGGESTS ANOTHER

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY DEC. 11, 2019) — What in the name of Larry Bossidy is going on at Clapp Park? Or, as Casey Stengel said of his 1962 Mets, “Can’t anyone here play this game?”

Parks are the toy box of the city. A healthy parks system — good maintenance, concern for public safety, cared for, free of trash, a variety of sponsored activity, open space for relaxation and enjoyment — indicates a healthy city. As a barometer of a municipality’s belief in itself, you can find no better than its parks. For decades, Pittsfield boasted one of the nation’s top parks systems for cities of its size. As a lad, THE PLANET practically lived at Deming Park in summers. We recall days where there were five sandlot baseball games going on at once (the sand diamond at Newell and Lyman entrance, the BRL and LL diamonds, and the two makeshift ballfields off the lf and rf foul lines of the BRL outfield). Officer Leslie was on hand to keep the order. Park directors supplied games and equipment for the ongoing carnival. In winter, we switched to Clapp Park for sliding and skating.

You knew Pittsfield had confidence in itself by those parks. These many years later, we wonder “what happened?” Of course, change is inevitable and often desirable. Moreover, there is “no change for the worse” if one has mental toughness and a prospering personal attitude. Nonetheless, one has to be realistic when making assessments, and when the Kapanskis look at what’s happened to their parks, they stand bewitched, bothered, and bewildered. They see empty lots and acres, too neglected for the invitation, too fenced and regulated for the issuance of a siren’s call.

It would be instructive to go through each park and assign a grade. Length and time forbid that

approach. Rather, let THE PLANET exemplify, first briefly and second at more length.

In Brief — Springside Park. Once the crown jewel, it resembles an impenetrable jungle. You see no sign of the good life. Venture there at the wrong time, and you risk being mugged or harassed by the gangs, squatters, and drug traffic. Springside, with the Munster mansion decaying on the hill, shows the general neglect and hopelessness one senses from official Pittsfield.

At Length — Clapp Park. For decades, Clapp served Pittsfield superbly as a home for track, baseball, softball, basketball, playground, and in winter, sledding and ice skating. But ever since an ill-advised first makeover several years ago, Clapp has lost its identity. What is it now?

THE PLANET has put questions to parks honchos Jim McGrath and Chris Evangelisto. Deanna Ruffer, head of the Office of Community Development, supplied the responses. She said everything is on track, mostly on budget, with the city pleased with the work. THE PLANET also talked to councilors, parks workers, and other city sources. They tell a different story. They say the project has fallen behind schedule, has been scaled back, and has risen in cost. We present both versions of the “truth” and leave it to you to place your bets.

Here is the unedited text of Ruffer’s information, with McGrath and Evangelisto copied in:

THE PLANET: How far behind schedule is it?

RUFFER: The project is not behind schedule.  The construction contract was awarded in mid-May, and contractor mobilization occurred in June.  It was anticipated that the project would be under construction into the fall season. We did adjust aspects of the project so that baseball could be played into the fall.   The field at Clapp is a full size, premier field and we wanted to make certain that it was available for use by multiple groups.

 THE PLANET: How many scale backs have there been?

RUFFER: There have been no scale-backs in the project since it was awarded.  As is typical of projects of this size and complexity, there were changes made over the course of the project.  For example, installation of drainage was added in the vicinity of the new basketball court and the asphalt accessible pathway for pedestrian access from Hollister St. was widened to accommodate maintenance vehicles.

 THE PLANET: How much will the final cost be?

RUFFER: The construction contract was awarded at the value of $672,750.  As with any complex construction project such as this, there have been change orders to the scope to accommodate new understandings of the site (as well as contractor ‘in the field’ recommendations) as I previously described.  The change orders at Clapp Park have increased the cost of the project by $247.95. 

 THE PLANET:How much is it over budget?

RUFFER: The project is $247.95 over the original contract value.

THE PLANET: Why does the baseball diamond need to be renovated again?

Current parks staff are not aware of any prior comprehensive renovations of the infield at Clapp Park.  While it has undergone needed maintenance to elements such as the pitcher mound and base path reconstruction over the years, it has not been fully renovated in over 20 years.  The comprehensive renovations were a high priority of the Pellerin Group as well as our own park maintenance staff – the recently completed infield renovation ensure that high-quality baseball can be played on a high-quality infield.  

THE PLANET: When do you expect it to be finished?

The project is substantially completed.  The restroom building will be enclosed prior to Christmas.  Fine grading, additional sodding where needed, and punch list items will be completed in the early spring.  Additionally, the basketball court will also be painted as soon as the temperatures allow and the backboards installed.

THE PLANET: Why is it taking so long?

RUFFER: The project is on schedule.

THE PLANET: Are you pleased with the work so far?

RUFFER: Yes.  This project was a true collaborative effort, with the Rotary Club of Pittsfield and Pellerin group very involved in defining the scope along with city staff.  The contractor – Mountain View Landscapes (Chicopee) and the landscape architect (Berkshire Design Group) have worked with the City on a number of projects and their performance has been exemplary.

With that, here is information we obtained with sources familiar with the project:

  • Budget shortfall — The price is wrong. Escalating costs have produced a $150,000 shortfall, not $247.95. To be exact, the work has come in $154,125 over budget, which now stands at $826,125. The state gave $400,000, Rotary Club $180,000, an unknown about from the Community Preservation Fund ($87,000 presumably), and Carr Harware’s $5,000. Originally, that was thought to be enough. It wasn’t. The city now wants Mary Jan and Joe Kapanski to make up the difference for what would appear to be a project that has lacked proper management and accountability. “This is not the position we wanted to be in,” McGrath told the council. Nonetheless, it is the position that has occurred. The reason why has not been properly explained. Is it the contract signed with Mountain View Landscaping of Chicopee? Councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo thinks so, saying “we didn’t negotiate hard enough.”
  • Diamond Dogs — The “renovation” includes a rest room, splash pad, and yet-another rehab of the baseball diamond. The diamond has had more facelifts than Bruce Jenner. We wonder if it includes digging up the almost-never-used by prohibitively expensive underground watering system. THE PLANET won’t bring up then-commissioner Charlie Garivaltis’ objections to the sprinklers, pointing out the park lies just off the Housie and has always managed just fine with Mother Nature’s tender rain.
  • Commish — For your information, current commissioners are Michelle Matthews, chair; Anthony DeMartino, Joe Durwin, Simon Muil, and old friend Cliff Nilan. They have had curiously little to say publicly about the budget problems at Clapp.
  • A Good Soaking — THE PLANET respectfully suggests that the design team eliminate the kiddies’ splash pad. Without it, taxpayers and their children will be plenty soaked.
  • Roof, Roof — Why does a roof for a small bathroom cost $35,000? Talk about the high cost of literal overhead.
  • Delays — Originally scheduled to be completed this fall, the work will now carry over well into 2020. Attempts to explain the repeated delays have been fuzzy at best.
  • Misdirection — Why is the cost going up, even though the design has been scaled back? Doesn’t make sense.

You can see the stark difference. When we pointed this out to Ruffer, she told us, “The information we have provided was prepared by those directly responsible for this project.  Any other source is questionable.” Fair point, which we gladly concede. In that vein, the information provided by “those directly responsible for the project” should be questioned, too. They have a dog in the fight.

If the project is over budget by a mere $247.95, why did McGrath appear before the council and request $150,000? If the project is on time, why wasn’t it finished this fall, as originally planned? If the design and construction work have been “exemplary,” why questions about the poor negotiations and slow progress (an oxymoron that in Pittsfield is no longer oxymoronic)?

Sometime in 2020, the work will be completed, but it will never be “done.” Like the airport runway project, the Clapp “renovation” will be the gift that keeps giving to The Suits and special interests.

In the meantime, we can play “Who Do You Trust.” Do you trust the “official” version or do you trust the results of THE PLANET‘s investigation? Will taxpayers have to cough up $154,125 or $247.95? The first figure is the result of our independent investigation. The second figure is provided by the bureaucrat responsible for the project.

Who Do You Trust?

—————————————————————————————————-

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly in the distance but to do what lies close at hand”Thomas Carlyle.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
10 months ago

Never trust Pittsfield politics!

This Just In
This Just In
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Bring on the gold, frankence and mhyr

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  This Just In
10 months ago

frankincense

Johnny99
Johnny99
10 months ago

Great column Dan. Great lead in about the glory days of Pittsfields Parks and so true about what it says about the state of our city today. The project is probably 247 thousand over budget. When Ruffer, a classic GOBSIGS stoolie, uses works like “contractor mobilization”, collaborative, and exemplary, you know us Kapanskis are getting screwed. Throw in some. “In the field” recommendations, “new understandings”, “substantially completed” and “punch list “, and your talking June 2020 for completion, if you’re lucky. And why couldn’t city put the bathrooms where the old bathrooms were? And note how Ruffer doesn’t say the bathrooms will be finished this year. If this is a “complex construction project” and a “true collaborative effort”, and this is the result, God help us.. No wonder our taxes are so high.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
10 months ago

“How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people?
Tuned to a natural E
Happy to be that way“

“There’s a symphony that I hear in your heart
Sets my head a-reeling
But I’m in Tune
Right in Tune
I’m in Tune” – The Who

“Church full of singing
Out of Tune
Everyone’s gone to the moon”. – Jonathan King

“And if you listen very hard, the Tune will come to you at Last”. – Led Zeppelin

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
10 months ago

Clapp Park is where I learned to ride a bicycle. My dad didn’t believe in “training wheels”. Just sat on the bike and my dad pushed from behind until I learned to balance. I still remember that day.

SallySays
SallySays
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
10 months ago

I got tired of the training wheel non-sense. I literally took them off and throw them in garbage in front of kid and told him he would have to learn without them. The next year, he learned in 2 tries. Is there a lesson there Somewhere for the government freebies, gimmies, and handouts? Because now they want us Kapanskis to buy breakfast for every kid on top of the free cash, free heat, free groceries, and free phones, and free apartments.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
Reply to  SallySays
10 months ago

Yes Sally, true. Training wheels….you don’t need them. It only took less than an hour to learn to ride. Sure, I fell a few times. So what. Once you learn, you never lose it. I remember the joy on my dad’s face once I got it. Watching me ride. Its one of them moments in life you never forget.

SallySays
SallySays
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
10 months ago

Glad you have the memory. Hold it close and cherish it.

Spagirl
Spagirl
10 months ago

I grew up at Clapp Park with my siblings. Summer and Winter activities leave an indelible mark in my soul for a lifetime. Good Times!! Really good times and memories. Sledding and ice skating, and the warming shed!! Those were the best days!!

Edward R, Murrow
Edward R, Murrow
10 months ago

Nancy finally got that much-needed drink. She’ll need a lot more in the coming couple of months.

https://twitter.com/cmarinucci/status/1204515785575673857/photo/1

The media as “guardians of democracy”?!

Delusional.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

Judging by the conflicting stories it looks like someone is talking out her ass. Was any evidence found of collusion or kick backs that often accompany such dubious projects in other cities? Why, in Pittsfield, is almost everything controlled by the same old farts that have been around since the beginning of time?

And does anyone know what the exact date is for Pittsfield’s forensic audit and will pubic be allowed to weigh in on the results? Will the DPW, Parks commission or schools system be first in line?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

I love it! – “Why, in Pittsfield, is almost everything controlled by the same old farts that have been around since the beginning of time?”

The Good Old Boys still run the show in Pittsfield politics. They should all retire now!!!!

Deep Withinyuself
Deep Withinyuself
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Or Otis Redding,still sitting and waiting.

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

What a voice he had. Chances are….

The school committee
The school committee
10 months ago

Pittsfield CC must stop all gravy projects.Finnish what you started and dont add one thing.Consolidate PHS with Taconic and go 10 11 and 12th grade.Morningside and Conte building are excellent and dont let anyone tell you different. Crosby is a horrible building so close it.Allendale is built on a problem site.Hire leaders for every position here on out.Encourage joe curtis to take another job anywhere.

Penni Pheslauhlton
Penni Pheslauhlton
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

Oh,by the way the Berkshire Museum needs your help. Donations. Why don’t they procure some more Art Works and sell them down the road. I smell a rat. Programs, they need it for Programs? I’ve already made up my mind and will never step into that place again. Haven’t been to the Springside House ever and have been to the Beacon once,felt creepy sitting in Stanley’s couch style seats. You kind of wonder? What and who are these venues for?

Jim Fixx
Jim Fixx
10 months ago

This Clapp Park Boondoggle is a joke. I walk around the track for 2 hours every day. Sometimes mornings and sometimes afternoons. Easiest money Mt View Landscaping Company ever made. They are from the Springfield area. One or two guys would show up around 9-30. Drink coffee til 10:00. Leave for lunch at 11:30 and return around 1:30-2:00. Bet the Hot Dog ranch made some good money. Then wrap things up by 3:00. It would of made sense to build the bathrooms where the old ones are so they could use the old sewer and water connections instead of running new ones. Merry Christmas To All

Police Report
Police Report
10 months ago

She is lying.
https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/parks_and_recreation/clapp_park_improvement_project.php

The original design included resurfacing the driveway and parking area, installing a parking lot at the splash pad, moving the basketball courts, making the track more normalized (oval/circular), moving the backstop and scoreboard, resurfacing the track, getting a new mesh backstop, installing walking paths, burying wires to all the electrical features. Except of moving backstop and shifting the track a bit none of those things are being done.
They always planned the bathrooms, the splash pad, but most of what you are seeing now is revisions to the original plan that was bid out. All the revisions are due to the patchwork nature of the project. What makes this all worse is that they executed change orders due to these scale backs that have dramatically increased the cost.
A couple examples: the courts were going to be moved which would have changed the drainage it would also changed where the parking lot would have gone and the handicapped accessible ramp. That change alone cost $37k (not including materials – and they are hiding the costs)
That bathroom roof, it’s part of the coverup of costs. Also they are hiding cost overruns in the DPW budget. Almost all the material for this project, Stone, asphalt, fill, sod, bricks, conduit, concrete, is being taken from the DPW budget. That money then isn’t there to pay for regular DPW work. They then use the “winter road” shell game to bury the costs. No money to pay plow drivers and overtime, then Kerwood just runs a deficit in winter roads. “We’ll just roll the costs into winter roads” “It’s the only line item we can legally run deficits in” – these are DIRECT quotes.

Another failing, this park, and the entire reason for this up fit/retrofit was to make Clapp 100% handicapped accessible. It was actually a condition of the State grant. Any monies used from the grant must provide 100% accessibility.
The crushed stone track, not considered ADA compliant or accessible. They had to put a second lot and access to Hollister St to meet the “spirit of accessibility” for the splash pad. It will be interesting to see if the state sends out an accessibility expert to certify the grant, if they do Pittsfield will owe the state $400k.
It’s absurd to think that this administration could get down to the penny on how over this park is, yet can’t account for millions of dollars in overages.

This park, and Kerwood knows it and has done the projections, will come in at $3.2 to 3.5 million when done. That won’t include the paving of the driveway or lots (which they plan to do next year with the roll up of – winter roads). You can use winter roads to buy patch to fix winter road damage, where that patch goes once you get it isn’t tracked.
The costs will inflate further as they will have to redo parts of the park they’ve already done.

Background:

https://www.cityofpittsfield.org/city_hall/community_development/parks_and_recreation/clapp_park_improvement_project.php

https://www.iberkshires.com/story/58337/Pittsfield-Finalizes-Plans-For-Clapp-Park-Renovations.html

https://www.iberkshires.com/story/59798/Pittsfield-Council-Backs-Clapp-Park-Plan.html

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

The School Department does the account money shuffle every week.Why do these departments work in secret.Pittsfield gets taken to the cleaners and they tell taxpayers they get it done cheap.When do we get the final costs on Taconic?

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Police Report
10 months ago

Wow, bombshell reporting Police Report!
Hard to believe this administration has been given another four years to mismanage the city’s funds.

Merry & Bright
Merry & Bright
10 months ago

Dan, another good piece. Who do we trust, most certainly not Deanna. Often have wondered why she got her old job back after she left the first time. Especially since she made such a mess of North Street the first time around. A bit off the subject but I could not believe that Lovely Linda was a no show at the CC last night. Here are four councilors and also taxpayers that devoted some combined 30 plus years for the City and she can’t show up to thank them and wish them luck in their futures. Instead we get PeePee Petie in his monotone voice. The bank he is Senior Vice President at should send him to some sort of Dale Carnegie course for public speaking or is he just totally bored with being a City Councilor? Meanwhile Lovely Linda has been a no show also for the Tree Lighting and the Veteran’s celebration. Does anyone know where she is? So, I would like to thank Melissa, Tony, Donna and John for their devotion to the City and wish them well in their future.

TellitLikeitIs
TellitLikeitIs
Reply to  Merry & Bright
10 months ago

Perhaps Her Honor is on a well deserved vacation out of the country, or at least somewhwere where there is no snow and ice. I too thank councilors Mazzeo, Simonelli, and Rivers. None of them were exactly looking out for The Kapanskis wallet enough, but compared to the rest they were. Simonelli really shined towards the end. I wish them all the best. Really, it’s a thankless job and although I could walk into an at large seat just standing for office, like the ole Pistol Pete, who claimed he wasn’t campaigning, just standing for office (although in reality he was campaigning like crazy), you couldn’t pay me enough to do it.

TellitLikeitIs
TellitLikeitIs
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Yes , I too applaud Krol for his service and at the end he was looking out for us Kapanskis

Auto Phil
Auto Phil
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

I agree on the appearance of Mr. Marchetti. He looks worn out, downtrodden, and just depressed. Maybe his personal life is troublesome at the moment. He looks like he has very little joy in life.

Auto Phil
Auto Phil
Reply to  Merry & Bright
10 months ago

Also, I heard Mayor Tyer is vacationing at her second home in Colorado.

Tom Betit
Tom Betit
10 months ago

Cliff Nilan is still in Pittsfield?
He should be in jail

SallySays
SallySays
10 months ago

Can someone please post what exactly this big and “complex construction project” was supposed to accomplish, besides moving a lot of dirt around, and building a new bathroom in a horrible location, instead of where the old one was, and painting the basketball court???

What exactly was the company hired to do, and why was it decided to be done? This is a classis case of why I don’t want another nickel of my hard earned money going to state, federal, or local tax.

I give Clapp Park a grade D+. Burbank a despicable D-

The school committee
The school committee
10 months ago

Watching Senator Linda Graham bad mouth every person in the United States to get that very dangerous president off the hook.Trump has taught Republicans well by repeating lies and pointing in different directions but his.Trump rallying the troops last night with his weird voice tones soft sexy wisper and highs and lows with dopey people going odd.Its the greatest snake oil sales Circus ever and hes even got normal Northeastern U S men succumbing to his gyrations on how wonderful he is and how evil United States citizens are.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

Senator Graham was a very good friend of republican senator John McCain until Donald told him he could no longer be friends with him. Graham tries to come across as a badass on Tv but when Donald tells him what to do he is like a little meek mouse. Like all the republicans they become little robotic mice waiting for that electric shock telling them how to act and what to say.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

The war criminal John McCain? Shot down while bombing civilian targets in Veitnam? Se it never botherd me he was captured, it bothered me he was murdering the innocent to begin with. Not a real “quality” friend.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Shakes
10 months ago

Donald Trump accused ted CRuz father of being involved in John Ke4nnedys murder. and then disrespected his wife. Cruz was going nuts on Trump saying no one goes after his family. Now Ted Cruz cannot get his nose far enough up Trumps anal canal. What’s up with that?

Shakes
Shakes
10 months ago

How’s the screenplay coming for the Belicheat’s new documentary, you know the one they were filming in Cincinnati over the weekend? I honestly had the Cheats winning the AFC championship, but knowing they needed to stakeout the hapless Bengals, I’m thinking that is not a safe play. Perhaps a savvy media relations department noticed the Cheats national media attention was slipping. Since they already used the Krafft RubNTug strategy this year, they turned to what the franchise is best known for…. Cheatin!

The school committee
The school committee
10 months ago

Would anyone let Senator Linda Graham and Donnie Trump babysit?The creepy couple is on fire for each other.

Acute Angina
Acute Angina
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

TDS

The school committee
The school committee
10 months ago

I remember the Bossidy money being used for a new Deming field for babe ruth and it was great until the parks under Ernie Fortini messed it up and we taxpayer had to rebuild it.Fortini was involved with PCB filters at Allendale school also a huge messup.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

It is curious that the city of Pittsfield seems to put much more value on pretty parks than functioning infrastructure such as decent roads. I wunner why that might be. Hmmmmm so curious

Lake Unseen
Lake Unseen
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

The biggest past Screw up was the fencing around Pontoosic lake

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
10 months ago

In todays piece Dan said it very well. For decades, Clapp Park served Pittsfield superbly as a home for track, baseball, softball, basketball playground, and in winter sledding and ice hockey. There’s more. In the 40’s until mid-50s PHS football teams daily practiced in middle of what used to be a quarter mile track. This is where West. Mass. championship track meets were held. In a rear wooded area where the Housie ran there was a hidden spot
– we thought – called The Cinders. This is where we skinny dipped, 12-13 years old I should add. It was a park as parks should be. Parks should be for running, playing, jumping and playing on monkey bars. This was Clapp Park before decisions were made by folks who did not know the difference between pickleball and baseball.

Let’s look at what is being done. A fortune is being spent on the baseball diamond. It is not up to high school or professional standards. This should have been the time distance between backstop and home plate was corrected. It wasn’t. The outfield is roily-poly. Good-luck to an outfielder trying to field a grounder. Better wear a face mask. Wish I was playing now. A good bunt would go for a home run over short distances now in play.

My guess is more than $100,000.00 of Larry’s money was spent on the so-called soccer field. This was in the middle of the old running track. This field was first cut with installation of the outfield baseball fence. Now it appears the soccer field can not be used for an organized game. It was seldom used anyway. I have no idea about condition of a never needed expensive sprinkler system under this field. It was never needed. What a waste of money!

Now a building is constructed at bottom of hill facing north. This is where kids used to sled. I think this building is the new toilet. What was wrong with the old one? Pittsfield has a history of park toilets not being cleaned. Is this being addressed?

Clapp is being partitioned into pieces. The city of parks is becoming the city of consultants. Isn’t there anyone around here who can play this game? Parks are for kids. That means safe open spaces for them to play.

Dawtors Headednowhere
Dawtors Headednowhere
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
10 months ago

Man,great info Chuck,always like a Chuck. Hey, Chuck,I was watching pct with a Pat Gormalley,his guest was Madeline Canterella Culpo, of ballet fame. Did you know her as a younger man. I was taken aback because someone said she was in her mid eighties to which I replied no way. The lady looks fantastic,if she was in her mid eighties. Very nice personality also.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Dawtors Headednowhere
10 months ago

DH
I don’t remember Madeline. The name Canterella is familiar to me so it is possible I knew her from long ago. I now know her by reputation only as a terrific ballet teacher.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Dan
The Cinders has changed. Now it is all grown in with shrubs and small trees. . Water flowed rapidly there and we were always careful not to dive in when the Wyndote Mill released its dyes. There’s a tree in the park I carved my name on when I was 14. So I know Clapp Park. Shame to see what they are doing to it.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Chuck (and I) know many stories of things that went on beyond the oval in the mid to late forties. These were our formative years.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Sounds good to me, Dan.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Thomas More
10 months ago

True enough, Thomas, and during our formative years a lot of time was spent at Clapp Park.

Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

My son snapped his leg in half sliding into home plate in 2013, PHS vs Mount Greylock. It ended baseball and just about everything else for him. He was a senior captain. Missed the prom, senior day, barely made graduation. He ended up with a titanium rod to hold his shin together. More than one person told us the mound of rock hard clay at home plate was to blame. Poorly groomed field. He also played in the outfield. Every ground ball was a challenge.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  Mary Murphy
10 months ago

Be a lot less expensive to cancel dangerous sports at the HS level. Kids need more classroom time and less unimportant time that doesn’t train them for their careers.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Mary Murphy
10 months ago

Mary, This is what happens when hires are made with mediocre references for job to be done. Of course, rock hard clay would be the worse material to use when players have to slide. It doesn’t give way when a player slides and the spike hits clay. This is why dirt is used when players wear spikes for their games. Similar bum repair job was made on the running track. Small sharp stones were used for track base. It was lousy for running and caused nasty cuts if one fell. Complaints were made and stones were eliminated. Replacements made with a cheap substance that soon turned to mud. You should see the track now. Nothing but dirt and mud. Your son must have been an excellent ballplayer. Pitching and playing outfield tells me he was a good hitter, too. I hope his injury has completely healed and he’s now okay.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

There are over 5k minor league baseball players in any given year. I’m sure they are all experts in field construction.

Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
10 months ago

Hi Mr. Garivaltis, yes he did recover. But he still has issues with it. It was a terrible accident. He is now playing in an adult league and enjoying that. I wish the folks that make all the decisions around here would consult with our elders who have so much wisdom and knowledge about what works and what will turn out to be a disaster. That red clay is a disaster.

Wilson
Wilson
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
10 months ago

and their master plan included replacing the basketball court with a parking lot until they went over budget! But the goal is just to get the CPA money into private hands quickly, Tyer bragged about making a mess of Clapp Park when running for reelection because it’s not so easy to see what happens to the rest of the tax money

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

The Berkshire Eagle did a highly commendable deep dive into the Berkshire museum art selloff. They could do the same for the highly dubious Clapp park reinvention if they wanted to but there are probably people who might sway them against such an expose. It is obvious to a blind man that the Eagle carefully avoids stepping on certain toes in Pittsfield.
And it is this loyalty to the special interests that makes my decision not to buy their product so easy.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

The museum was national news.

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

If you read past articles on iberkshire even those refute the lies.
The bid doesn’t include materials, it’s over budget.
They plan on doing more, in phases. It’s over budget and will be never ending.
The purpose was for 100% accessibility on everything they touched, it’s not even close.
They have issued a dozen or more change orders, those cost money. They were not small change orders either.

The school committee
The school committee
10 months ago

Our School Committee treats Mccandless Curtis Behnke the same as Republicans treat Trump and his Rat Pack of crooked politicians as they lie to the committee about everything.Not one person is accountable.Our mayor is on hiatus in the most costly season of the year.Tyer knows we were spending 600 k a month over budget last year and this year probsbly more so she left town and her 120k a year salary went with her.I have spoken with 3 Tyer voters who think they made a bad vote.She needs to review the highway budget 2 times a day.

Rocks 4 Jocks
Rocks 4 Jocks
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

TSC
Regarding President Trump, you are so wrong. The IG report showed the corruption of the Democratic Party and the FBI leadership.
President Trump is vindicated again.
Keep America Great.
Trump 2020

Geoff T
Geoff T
Reply to  Rocks 4 Jocks
10 months ago

Why doesn’t the dummy ask the plowheads where the salt went? I had to turn it off. Actually thought I could get some real information

Tu Coldshacur
Tu Coldshacur
Reply to  Rocks 4 Jocks
10 months ago

All the work that the city did to get the tree lightening event going, and the Mayors a no show. Not good.

Truthsayer
Truthsayer
Reply to  Rocks 4 Jocks
10 months ago

Look around. There’s not a hell of a lot making America great these days. I don’t care if it’s local. I don’t care if it’s national. I’m not proud of the country that many of us have fought for and defended.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Truthsayer
10 months ago

Fakesayer, maybe it’s time to move OUT of the country you so despise.
Me, I love the U.S. and the swamp- draining that is taking place. A ton of corruption is being exposed, and hopefully there will be justice for the lawless ones. Long live Donald J. Trump!

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Rocks 4 Jocks
10 months ago

Turn the channel.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Rocks 4 Jocks
10 months ago

President Trump is a great president and should have won the Times Person of the Year award instead of that poor girl Great Thunberg whose life has been destroyed by the climate change cultists. They have destroyed her childhood and are working on destroying her adulthood. The poor girl needs to go to a school where climate change isn’t thrown in the faces of the school kids everyday to convince them they are going to die in 10 years. She needs to lead a normal life for the sake of her mental health since she already has issues that are being made worse by making her the poster girl for climate change. President Trump should have won the award!!!!

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Pat
10 months ago

Trump should win for bad mental health and overall stupidity

Acute Angina
Acute Angina
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

TDS stage 4

Pistols Pete
Pistols Pete
Reply to  The school committee
10 months ago

The new phenom (overrated) will be on the Morning dive, no call in show) for many reasons. So all you will hear is how great the engineer is. After Terrorocy anything is better. Problem is the first snowstorm was a complete failure except at Parkside area of the City, according to one of Planets readers.Free parking on North Street during Christmas week. To go where?

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Pistols Pete
10 months ago

does Caccamo and some other special folk live in the Parkside area? Yah, they do

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Pistols Pete
10 months ago

Snowbanks on every corner on Williams with cars speeding at 60 miles per hour .Caccamo needs to advocate for real plowing budgets.Who is the Mauor of Pittsfield?

Aerin
Aerin
10 months ago

Police Report,
Could we trouble you for another report? Could you please explain how the maximum sentence for someone with over a half a dozen charges could be 2/1/2 years in jail? Do any of them carry prison time? Was the Eagle hoodwinked in swallowing without question this story of domestic violence success from the DA’s office?

DA: Sentences reflect cooperation in prioritizing domestic violence cases
Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2019 4:15 pm
By Bob Dunn, The Berkshire Eagle
PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is touting two jail sentences handed down last week in separate domestic violence prosecutions.

Steven Signor, 32, of Pittsfield, and Jonathan Therrien, 30, of Adams, each was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, the maximum sentence in each case, according to a prepared statement released Wednesday….

Signor pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court before Judge Mark Pasquariello to two counts each of assault and battery on a family or household member and violating an abuse prevention order, and one count each of assault and battery on a pregnant woman, resisting arrest, witness intimidation, breaking and entering and vandalism. The charges relate to four incidents over the past 18 months.
https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/da-sentences-reflect-cooperation-in-prioritizing-domestic-violence-cases,592263

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Aerin
10 months ago

Myself I don’t believe the Eagle is hoodwinked into printing anything in response to what they are given . The Eagle won’t do the work and dig into what was given them to make sure the information given to them was factually sound.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Johnny2Shoes
10 months ago

They might add a thousand customers if they rode herd on local government. People want a newspaper who is on their side, not one working behind the scenes to help others take advantage of them. If they did this then they would not have to inflate the number of readers to their advertisers.

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

JA,
So true. I definitely think a more local focus would do them well. I also believe the people on the beat need to report without as much interference from the upper echelon as they currently get on the stories they look into.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
10 months ago

There is a story everywhere you turn
The Eagle wont hire rporters to do stories.Court reporting.School committee reporting CCreporting Crime reporting.People want indepth reporting with follow up.

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  Aerin
10 months ago

It’s the maximum because they pleaded the charges down. If they were to have gone after all charges in court, it would have been 15 years. When you pleaded down the charges and half of them don’t even make it to court, that’s why you get 2 1/2 years as the maximum charge.
No justice was served here, they will qualify for release in about 19 months.
It was a success because DA Andrea Harrington got to not miss any yoga classes, she could issue a press release (the Eagle is now just printing her press releases with fluff at the top and bottom of the “articles”) and it protects her budget which is now over budget.
You need money to prosecute cases, especially when you get paid a big salary and can’t do the job yourself.
Her paying a staff three hours of labor to coach her on what to squeak out for 2 minutes of court work is not economically feasible.

Anderson williams
Anderson williams
Reply to  Police Report
10 months ago

You lost your job get over it!

Aerin
Aerin
Reply to  Anderson williams
10 months ago

The truth hurts doesn’t Deputy Dum Dum?

Aerin
Aerin
Reply to  danvalenti
10 months ago

Anderson’s response is you lost your job?! That’s his response? Not, “it’s true, no justice was served.” His compass does not point north at all. Sounds like a perfect fit for this DA.

Edward R. Murrow
Edward R. Murrow
10 months ago

That bathroom at Clapp will be destroyed/vandalized/compromised/druggified within months of opening. Check what happened the buildings they put up at the new Wild Acres entrance.

Another complete waste.

Speaking of waste, where is the DPW money going? Obviously not to proper plowing. Half inch of snow and they couldn’t clean up S. Mountain Rd. properly on Wednesday morning?

I guess Richie Rich doesn’t go that way getting to his second home in south country or to Canyon Ranch.

Geez Tee Jay
Geez Tee Jay
Reply to  Edward R. Murrow
10 months ago

So the new engineer for the city said Quote ‘’I know very little about road maintenance’’,I assume he meant plowing? A Hole Stooge has been telling us how great he is? Get rid of Stooge, pct,or you will fail. at all programmed no. Why you say,intent.

Geez Tee Jay
Geez Tee Jay
Reply to  Edward R. Murrow
10 months ago

According to Osvaldo,the powers did 1000 man hours of plowing at 150 dollars an hour plus another stipend for overtime,not sure how many hours,do the math. So, as the Greek God used to always say…more productivity. I’m always seeing these plow jockeys taking a break, long breaks. Does Osvaldo go by mileage? Because you could fix that?

Rocks 4 Jocks
Rocks 4 Jocks
Reply to  Geez Tee Jay
10 months ago

Require every plow contractor to subscribe to a mileage tracking app on their smart phone.
Mine shows my route, times, and mileage. Contractor would have to submit the electronic download for payment. Downtime could be deducted.
It could be part of the qualification to be a plowing contractor. It only costs about $60 per year, plus it documents business miles to your accountant or IRS.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Edward R. Murrow
10 months ago

Actually the plans I saw were showing the bathroom being used as a ski jump. Snow is going to be piled up on the hill side behind it so some of us geriatric pickleballers can do backflips on our snow boards from the roof of the stoolhouse.