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FROM THE PLANET TO YOU: A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY NEW YEAR’S DAY, 2020) — As we close out the year and the decade, THE PLANET keeps it brief and confectionery. From all of us at this end to all of you on yours, Happy New Year.

We hope you will continue to join us throughout 2020, a year that promises to be, as Confucius might say, “interesting.” Much will unfold in the city, state, nation, and world, not the least of which will be the resolution of impeachment proceedings (late January, we predict) and the election of a president in November. There will be council races and the usual number of controversies in the city, maybe more. There will be dumb-ass moves by local and other government that will have ordinary people vexed and shaking — homeowners, tax payers, small businesses, and the rest of the shrinking group that’s pulling an inordinate load for The Suits and the gimme groups. There will even be the occasional sharp move that restores your faith in, if not humanity, at least the guy next door.

Some public officials will try their best and mean it. Others will continue to mail it in, laughing all the way to their pearled cushions. THE PLANET and its Secret Squadron will help you keep score.

On The Weekend Edition, we will present our fearless forecast for 2020. It leans on the absurd side, but truth is stranger than fatuity. For today, let is wish one and all a happy, heathy New Year. The Comment Line is open for anything you wish to report, say, or share.

We love you all.

——————————————————————————————

“A new year is a gift given to all who have lived to receive it”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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Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
6 months ago

I look forward to reading blogger Dan Valenti’s coverage of Pittsfield politics in 2020! I believe Pittsfield is in very good hands with the lovely Linda Tyer returning for a second 4-year term as Mayor. She is one of my favorite politicians!

Also, I hope Donald Trump is convicted in the U.S. Senate and removed from the Oval Office soon. I hope that our great country will stand up against the hate and evil white nationalism that Trump represents. The only winners in the Trump presidency are his fellow billionaire friends, while the growing federal budget deficit is at one trillion dollars per fiscal year.

If Trump is not convicted in the U.S. Senate, I hope the Democrat nominee for U.S. President defeats Trump on election day in November of 2020. Down with Trump! Donald Trump = Hitler!

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
6 months ago

The President lost by 3 million votes and that was before his supporters knew he was a corporate tax cutter.And that is all he is.Trump worships wealth.

Johnny99
Johnny99
6 months ago

Dan, Happy New Year to you and all Planeteers. Look forward to your Nostradamus 2020 column.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

Speaking of happy new years, how come I did not get my city tax bill? Did they mail them out or not? I am looking forward to subsidizing the less fortunate who need tax breaks so they can travel abroad with their own money.

Tax&Spend
Tax&Spend
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

First week of the new year – and you will have January, and only January, to file appeal. If you do, two of the three appraisers from the city assessors office will inspect your home from A-Z, soup to nuts, and either lower your assessment, raise it, or keep it the same, and if you appeal that, you will be tripping to Boston.

And good luck comparing valuations on line – the GIS mapping data base is from 3 years ago. Not saying that posting 3 year old data is by design, but I wouldn’t doubt it – how hard is it to post a link to the current data base? They would rather you show up and ID yourself, so they can put you in their little trouble maker data base.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Tax&Spend
6 months ago

Thank you. Back when government was invented it was largely to assist and guide people in their lively hood. Now it is often, by design, set up to feed off of the very people it was meant to be a friend of. Tor and of the people it said.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

FOR and of the people. but they may have changed it to Tor for all I know or all the good it does.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

I’ve got a bill right in my pocket for you.

Thomas More
Thomas More
6 months ago

You may keep enjoying the decade as it still has until December 31, 2020 to go,

TellitLikeitIs
TellitLikeitIs
Reply to  Thomas More
6 months ago

Not exactly. Kind of like how you live a year before you turn 1, so on your birthday anniversary, say for example your 20th birthday, you have lived 20 years, and are actually starting your 21st.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  TellitLikeitIs
6 months ago

Your right but were you ever zero? If you were born on 1/1/2020 you would be 10 on 1/1/2030. How old would we be Chuck G.?

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  Thomas More
6 months ago

You would be 10 years old, and one day into your 11th year, and the next decade.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  Johnny99
6 months ago

A decade is any ten consecutive years, regardless of when it begins.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Shakes
6 months ago

brilliant

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  Shakes
6 months ago

Yea but your personal second decade starts the day you turn 10.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Thomas More
6 months ago

Thomas, Not quite 100, but we’d be getting there.

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
6 months ago

Faster then we would like but we gotta keep going.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
6 months ago

“Another year over and a new one just begun
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The road is so long

Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear“

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
6 months ago

Nice. Might be a good time to start off with a couple of verses from the Beatles Imagine. It seems some people have lost all track of human compassion.

Tax&Spend
Tax&Spend
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
6 months ago

And let’s hope the able bodied adults of working age get a job, so we don’t have to keep paying for their groceries with these stupid, silly, and bogus exemptions, Trump is trying to rid us of.

https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/its-cruel-food-bank-braces-for-snap-cuts-as-10000-in-western-mass-stand-to-lose-benefits,593513

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Tax&Spend
6 months ago

And let us hope that Trump releases his federal tax returns in 2020! Oh yeah, I forgot, Trump doesn’t pay federal taxes!

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
6 months ago

Presidents releasing taxes is no longer a thing. There is now precedent for future candidates to keep all their finances secret. Lots of things have change for the future. For instance, subpoenas are no longer worth the paper they are printed on. Nobody has to testify anymore. Trump has modernized our federal government. MAGA

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

Donald Trump keeps his federal tax returns secret because he doesn’t pay federal taxes! Donald Trump’s business finances are funded by Russian Oligarchs who are closely connected to Putin. Donald Trump is running trillion dollar annual budget deficits to benefit his billionaire friends. The economy is on a sugar high that will eventually crash into a great recession. The billionaires will profit, while the have-nots will lose their life and retirement savings in the 2020’s. Our country is headed for a future bankruptcy, a huge national debt, high inflation, and a record-setting underclass. Our only chance to stop the predictable future crisis is to oust Trump in 2020.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
6 months ago

I think the government should conduct a yearly review of any person receiving govt. funds, whether it be welfare, ebt cards, disablement payouts, etc.

Gigi
Gigi
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
6 months ago

Jonathan,
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. News flash – the Mueller investigation found no connection between Russia and Trump. You are just repeating the dribble that you listen to all day long on CNN.
Your boy Biden is the Quid Pro Quo tool who should be investigated for corruption, and hiding his Senate activities from the public.

https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/01/01/the-biden-papers-former-vice-president-keeps-senate-documents-secret-hidden-from-public/

Spagirl
Spagirl
6 months ago

Happy New Year to all! Enjoy the peace of today.

Stooge Begone
Stooge Begone
Reply to  Spagirl
6 months ago

Cant wait until the state of the city speech.

JohnnyTwoCents
JohnnyTwoCents
Reply to  Stooge Begone
6 months ago

Look for marijuana, cigar bars, homeless shelters, and space tech to be the new economic engines

Kermit Frog
Kermit Frog
Reply to  JohnnyTwoCents
6 months ago

Ah yes, space tech. Is 3 million net or gross earning in that company? With equipment that maybe gets 10-15 people’s salaries paid. For a company as old as it is this is probably just keeping that company alive. Another dumb ass investment. Maybe Cohen with her ‘credit analyst’ experience can add common sense next time they are writing checks. I doubt she say boo. The innovation center is a real gem of a floater.

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  Kermit Frog
6 months ago

They can’t even keep the lies straight.

“We’re not going to just create a few jobs,” said Justin McKennon, principal scientist for EMA. “We’re going to build an empire.”

Then we have this;

“Consequently, for McKennon, his “empire” comment wasn’t intended to promise hundreds of jobs; he’s hoping to fill the six required in the fund agreement by the end of 2020. Instead, the passionate scientist wanted to make a statement about his company’s future contribution to the city’s “niche industry” economy as a space research destination.”

So when he was talking about empire building and job creation, he really wasn’t talking about job creation.

If we also remember, “we are not a startup, we are a company with over 30 years in the space industry”

“We will be making significant investments ourselves, we are prepared to bring an initial capital investment of $600,000 and six new jobs with average salaries of $60,000.”

So not a startup, a long standing company with assets and credit lines yet they aren’t being any of their own money, they are using grants to fund their business model. They have zero outside investors willing to help fund and in looking at some of their financials, they are barely breaking even as it is. Worse still neither of the two lead people have had any experience in this actual field or have run a division of a company.
So Pittsfield has invested in a company who’s only funding model to start a division is grant funding.
What happens if they don’t get round two funding?

Kermit Frog
Kermit Frog
Reply to  Police Report
6 months ago

Good grief. Maybe the voters can requisition a copy of Finance for Dummies at the library — provided they can get in the door for the homeless people.
Btw, I heard whispers that Rivers was asked to resign to make way for Cohen. I think her last vote might show proof that is true. When the political rewards get rejiggered it’s always interesting. Linda bought this election – I wonder how good a value she got on her (I mean tax payer) money.

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  Kermit Frog
6 months ago

The largest revenue from EMA is the rent they get from the massage school in the same building.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Stooge Begone
6 months ago

Not sure you will see one. She has been keeping a pretty low profile. Lots of folk looking at her with a jaundiced eye. People wondering what is going on behind the curtains. Why does she keep the shades down on what should be public information? Who are the bigwigs she is giving tax breaks to and what makes them better than everybody else?

Pat
Pat
6 months ago

Happy New Year!!!

Merry & Bright
Merry & Bright
6 months ago

Happy New Year to all.

Police Report
Police Report
6 months ago

It’s a good gig if you can get it.
I believe I read it here and we discussed it here that spacely sprockets planned time fund their entire space chamber in three phases, to the tune of $3 million solely by getting grants as the company was “capital poor”.

The company planning an aerospace testing chamber at the Berkshire Innovation Center has won a $225,000 federal grant.

Electro Magnetic Applications Inc. was awarded the funding through the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research program. The program awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses to turn scientific discoveries into products and services with both commercial and societal impact.
https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/pittsfield-bound-space-chamber-company-wins-225000-from-national-science-foundation,593636

That said maybe that’s why KCI spent a week doing very expensive directional boring under the road to fix mistakes from the original construction of the BIC.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Police Report
6 months ago

So what day was the story about KCI fixing the work at the BIC in the local paper? Or was this the kind of thing city hall keeps quiet?

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
6 months ago

I guess because the directional biting was unplanned and was to fix errors related to the original construction.
Why report on something that added thousands more to a budget. I don’t see the papers reporting about all the unfit problems or the flooring, plumbing, tiling, and electrical problems in this new building.
Strange that they opened up the road, randomly underground service, spent all that money, they had to spend money to fix it.
It’s the same at Clapp Park. They’ve tried to do concrete and finish work at the bathroom but it “didn’t take” -a direct quote due to the cold so they are out there again redoing some of the work. Someone else noted that it looks like there is a problem with drainage creating frost heaves.

Shakes
Shakes
Reply to  Police Report
6 months ago

Most utility installation uses directional boring. Directional boring is less expensive and disruptive than cutting an open trench across a road. Most startups are “capital poor”. If ever business idea began with unlimited resources, why would they start a business rather than investing in ideas with proven returns?

Pat
Pat
6 months ago

One of the Berkshire Eagle’s Predictions for 2020 is that the Berkshire Mall will be torn down. How can they predict that when the town of Lanesboro doesn’t even own the mall and the current owners seem to just be using it as a tax write-off? Target will remain according to the Berkshire Eagle. Well, thank you for that since retail in this area is dying and options are few. I hoped the mall could somehow be bought from the current owner by Lanesboro and returned to retail. Seems that due to poor planning on the part of so many people in this area, that ship has sailed.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Pat
6 months ago

The Eagle has always hated that mall and has disparaged it from the day the ribbon was cut to open it. Might have something to do with not getting the amount of advertising dollars they expected but also because they provided a lot of competition to the business s that DO advertise with the Eagle. And they hated the mall as well. The mall movie theater ate up Stanleys theater and is killing the retread. People really take it personal when you go through their personal belongings looking for loose M & Ms.

Police Report
Police Report
Reply to  Pat
6 months ago

I think that “look back” was from 2030, sort of tongue in cheek.
The biggest problem with anything associated with that mall is the sewage plant. The movie theater and target are both attached to a non-certified public water supply and sewage treatment facility that is out of compliance and lacks a certified operator.

In all reality, the mall, the movies, and target should all be closed by the Lanesboro BOH due to not having appropriate certifications for their water supply and septic systems.
Buy a soda at the movies, it comes with a side of high ppm coliform. Get an iced coffee at Starbucks in Target, same thing.
That would be one heck of an investigative piece, instead of a puff piece on dying malls that the BE did, find out why the BOH hasn’t revoked the occupancy permit for the businesses attached to the mall. They are WELL aware of the problems. I think you’ll find that they are in dire need of the tax revenue that still trickles in from Target and the movies. They also lack the millions needed to demolish the mall and reclaim the property.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Police Report
6 months ago

Please don’t give another store in this area a reason to leave. Avoid the drinks if you must, but Target popcorn is great although probably not good for your health. People do have to enjoy something unhealthy once in a while. Just don’t partake on a daily basis. I love Target. We need more places to walk around in. The younger generation is talking of a scenario in the future where people hardly ever have to leave their homes because everything is provided from food delivery to anything else you need. Now I really love being home and I think I probably enjoy it more than most people I know, but I get claustrophobic just thinking about the future being proposed. I like going out and exploring places other than bars and nightclubs.

The school committee
The school committee
6 months ago

The Herberg School report is that same behaviors exist with same people handing out same penalties.Staff is verbally abused and that is sanctioned by Kathy Yon and Mccandless with Teacher President Sheran allowing the conduct.It is costing more money for less results. Bullying is rampant of students.Teachers not SUPPORTED in educating your kids.They lie when they say its about children.They have no answers.Joe Curtis will show success with fake DATA inpute…garbage in garbage out.

Anderson williams
Anderson williams
Reply to  The school committee
6 months ago

Ok, so you have presented the problem now present the solution? I know hold the kids accountable please not that gibberish really because the parents could careless so what are the answers?

Johnny99
Johnny99
6 months ago

Mr. Garivaltis,

Just caught up with your replies from a few days back on Crosby. A couple of things about that – I believe the neighborhood you referred to as once having been the pines was developed by Trova into what was called at the time Westwood Park. Also, are you aware of the location on Crosby’s property of a gravestone for a dog buried beneath an old big tree, and the dog being named Pete, or Peter? And where exactly was the Owls Club, was it a neighborhood handout somewhere?

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  Johnny99
6 months ago

It was a small cinder block building located on the field next to Crescent Creamery. Whoever built predates us. Maybe Chuck has more info on the original participants. I think but am not sure that the building was destroyed when Little League was established on that field in 1950.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Thomas More
6 months ago

Thomas, You had to be there. The Owls Club was a strange building. About a 10′ X 10′ cement structure with a roof and a dirt floor.but no doors. There were 3 openings for doors but none were ever installed. In the 40’s I was told railroad built it about turn of century but never followed through with long range plans. This is probably true because about a half mile up the tracks we built a magnificent structure of marble pillars and marble floors, with 6 ft.tall urinals. You had to see them to believe it. Our city planners in all their brilliance, or should I say stupidity,tore building down during beginning of urban renewal fiasco.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
Reply to  Johnny99
6 months ago

Johnny, Next post from Thomas tells where the Owls Club was located. It was in the middle, a bit towards railroad tracks in what is now the Crescent Creamery’s parking lot. I was aware of Pete’s gravestone. It was on top of hill in area of the apple orchard. As kids we would often help ourselves to the apples. Then we would play hide and seek in the pines.

Johnny99
Johnny99
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
6 months ago

Thank you Mr. Garavaltis. After some trees fell down, I located the gravestone a few years back. It’s still in remarkabley good shape, though tilted a bit. The tree is still standing, near the stone. It’s near the teacheers lot (lot by the old apple orchard), on the tree line, between the parking lot, and the cut grass that divides the sidewalk coming up from West.

Do you recall the gravel beds down by the tracks? Aftter Cecilia was put in, there was an area by the tracks we called the gravel beds, or the dirt piles, and we played there growing up, having apple fights, riding our bikes. Now it’s a private home. In fact the area to the right of the back path, from Crosby down to Catherine, now has three homes, counting that one. The area to the far left of the path, coming from Crosby, which is below the old apple orchard, was planned for development some years back but it fell through.

Merry & Bright
Merry & Bright
6 months ago

In the past few days have both heard and read that the BIC Center flooring, plumbing, tiling, electrical and roadway has had to be repaired. Heard that tenants have moved in and wished they had waited. Clapp Park is a total mess-up, now the concrete flooring in bathroom did not set. Is this the same concrete company that the City utilized with the BIC floor debacle? The City has completely under budgeted and messed up the Mill Street dam removal to the point the City is in environmental trouble and causing issues with one of our beautiful lakes and yet Vibrant Dynamic Lovely Linda seems to be among the missing. On the other hand she seems to have secretly pull some strings and broke some laws to allow Mr. Dews to solicit for monies for a totally wacadoodle dream he has. Also noticed the City of Pittsfield website is still showing Krol, Mazzeo, Rivers, Simonelli, and police officers that have been off the force for years. No tax bills have been sent out.
Will we get extra time to pay or will Lovely Linda add a late fee? Great start to 2020. Only four more years of this folks, hope we all survive, especially our bank accounts.

Tax&Spend
Tax&Spend
Reply to  Merry & Bright
6 months ago

Your annual screwing will be in the mail next week, rest assured, with tax increase due back to 1 July, even though February is next month.

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  Merry & Bright
6 months ago

The BIC box has to be one of the ugliest buildings in the city. Who designed that eyesore? It looks cheap from the outside, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are re-doing shoddy work on the interior.

Officer Kruptke
Officer Kruptke
6 months ago

MA Gov. lic. M70 311. City vehicle, heavy pick-up truck type, just sitting idling in the beach parking lot at Burbank Park since at least 2:20 pm and still idling at 2:50 pm, January 2, 2020.

Heavy fumes fill the whole parking area. I can’t do it, Captain. I jus’ doont ha’ th’aire!

Get the hell outside today, I sez to me. Nice day. 40 degrees.

Burbank Park. Nice spot. Take a walk.

DPS/Mayor take notice–if anyone cares.

SallySays
SallySays
Reply to  Officer Kruptke
6 months ago

Are you suggesting it’s one of Pittsfield’s finest? Perhaps she is doing a report on the car computer, and keeping down the abberant sexual activity that takes place up there on a daily basis.

Police Report
Police Report
6 months ago

Pittsfield Tax bills:
I did not receive mine as mailed on December 31, 2019.
If there has been a delay, that means the following:

“In the event that actual tax bills are not mailed by December 31, then the full balance of the actual tax bill issued upon establishment of the tax rate for the fiscal year, after credit is given for the preliminary tax payments previously made, shall be due and payable on May 1, or 30 days after the date of mailing, whichever is later.“

Note that the 3 and 4th quarter bills are considered “actual” bills versus “Preliminary” or “estimated” bills mailed in the first and second quarter.

The first thing you will need to do, and I suggest ALL tax payers do this as the city has not said anything. Contact the tax collector and ask for a certification of mailing it is a form known as the “ Affidavit as to Time of Sending Tax Bills” – state form 214 filed by the collector and certified by the post office.

It is extremely important to get a copy of the form or get a letter saying the form does not exist as it has a direct impact on the payment date of the bill AND the dates you can be charged late fees AND the date your bill is due.

If the city did not mail on December 31,2019 them the earliest the bills are now due is May 1st, 2020.
That’s quite a respite from the payment of taxes.
It’s also really bad for the city as the city relies on that quarterly income to pay bills. What does that mean? An entire quarter of tax bills has been delayed so unless the city has the reserves to cover that deferred income, they will have to do a bunch of short term borrowing.
That means more Kufflinks interest only payments and more eventual cost to taxpayers.