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TRASH IN THE CITY, PART 2: IS ANYTHING HIDING IN THE PILES OF GARBAGE?

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

Second of Two Parts

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY FEB. 12, 2020) — The first thing noticeable about trash collection in Pittsfield is change: Covanta, Republic Services, Casella Waste Management, Springfield Materials Recycling, and Community Eco Power. Is the Pittsfield trash contract that lucrative or that much a dog? Does it make or lose money? Both would invite such flux. It also  raises a concern about the financial aspects of garbage, since such frequent movement can be used to hide money the same way a shell game hides a pea.

THE PLANET has seen no hard evidence of illegalities with garbage in Pittsfield. Of course, if there is something afoot, it would be hidden, in this case under piles of refuse. Our goal in this series hasn’t been to judge the legal legitimacy of garbage services but to do what no local medium has done: to explain the details: the players, the plays, the costs.

Casella Waste Management of Rutland, VT currently holds Pittsfield’s collection contract. Last August, it bought out Republic Services’ Albany and Cheshire operations. The deal included Pittsfield. Community Eco Power has the disposal contract and operates the resource recovery plant at 500 Hubbard Ave., which it bought from Covanta last year. The facility has gone from (1) Vicon to (2) Energy Answers to (3) Covanta to (4) Community Eco Power (CEP), the most recent three moves coming in a short time under rush-rush/hurry-hurry circumstances — not exactly Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance in its efficiency.

CEP’s purchase from Covanta  leads to the question of the $500,000 the city gave Covanta in 2016.  Covanta used the old “squeeze play,” and the city fell for bit. Why would Covanta, which on its website  boasts of a “world leadership … in environmental solutions” — hit taxpayers for this infusion of cash? Shouldn’t the “representatives” of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski have required this privately held “world leader” to provide its own capital improvements? The Covanta ploy amounted to a shakedown. The city ponied up taxpayers’ dough without a whimper, the evidence to be found in your tax bill.

Mayor Linda Tyer and the city council approved the Covanta payment. However, three years after getting the half million and operating at a profit, Covanta sold out to Community Eco Power. How did the $500,000 figure into the deal? What was the city’s role, if any, in the switch? The Springfield-based CEP bills itself as a “responsible” waste manager. At the time of the sale, Tyer — who had no problem giving away Kapanski cash to Covanta — turned purely capitalist, saying on May 4, 2019, “I consider this an all-private business transaction between two business entities. These things happen in the normal course of the economy.” Talk about your death-bed conversions.

Although the city doesn’t handle trash collection, it still has as a DPS “Garbage Division” headed by Jeff Howes, according to the city website. The site tell us that garbage detail has 200 city vehicles and pieces of equipment (excluding police and fire vehicles). Given the job-out garbage services, this is misleading, unless it included the paper clips on Howes’ desk.

The Facts and Figures

  • The city signed its current garbage pact in 2015 (Republic). It was to expire in 2017 but was extended to 2022. CEP holds the remaining run of the deal.
  • The contract was not put out to bid. City finance director Matt Kerwood told THE PLANET, “Trash collection is not subject to bidding, so it was not bid prior to the signing of the 2015 contract more the signing of the 2017 extension.” Question: Even though bidding wasn’t a requirement, isn’t it “best practices” to get multiple offers when negotiating for  service? Don’t homeowners do it when they need a driveway paved or gutters installed?
  • According to Kerwood, with a tax levy for FY20 of $89,799,244, “solid waste/recycling collection and disposal costs are 3% of the tax. That is, 3% of the Kapanskis tax dollar goes to garbage.
  • Prior to the adoption of Prop. 2.5, the city of Pittsfield ran its own garbage collection and disposal operations.

In Pittsfield, 17,479 households use city garbage services– 11,332 single-family households (65%, $1,219,100.72), 3,544 two-family (20%, $381264.82), 807 three-family (5%, $86,817.36), and 1,796 four-family (10%, $193,214.34 … figures as of Feb. 7, 2020 for FY18). These homes generate 14,884 tons of trash each year, plus 1,896 tons of recycled materials. This amount to .96 tons per household per year. It costs taxpayers $112.33/per ton for trash collection and $86.10/ton for disposal. Recycled disposal costs $93.50/ton. The disposal service includes transportation costs.

Total collection costs: $1,880,397.24, 56%.

Total disposal costs: $1,281,512.40, 38%.

Processing costs: $173,536.00, 5%. (ED. NOTE: The percentages add up to 99. The city provided no explanation for the missing 1% — $33,354 unaccounted for dollars.

Total costs of municipal waste management service: $3,335,445.64.

The late action in this story is the council’s approval of a contract extension with Springfield Materials Recycling Facility. The new deal will cost $1.5 million (up from $1.3 million in 2019 and $996,000 in 2018). The extension is for 15 years, with an option for the city to renegotiate every five years. The “gotcha” in this is the rising cost, expected to be 2.5% a year for the length of the deal.

THE PLANET will allow the number crunchers to play around with these figures, the city’s official public numbers. Are they accurate? Are there hidden costs?

THE PLANET makes no assumptions either way. Coming on The Weekend Edition: Snow … or snow job?

—————————————————————————–

“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it”Terry Prachett.

“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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JoeSixPack
JoeSixPack
1 year ago

Saw a black and white movie a long, long time ago. Think It was a mob movie. Last scene – and old man well dressed with cane walks out of his house and down the street. Garbage truck comes up from behind and slowly passes, blocking view of man, then continues on. Man is no longer in scene and credits roll.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
Reply to  JoeSixPack
1 year ago

The man was recycled.

“To the Moon Alice”
“bang zoom”
– Ralph Cramden

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  JoeSixPack
1 year ago

I think I saw that movie. Does anybody know the name of it?

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Hello blogger Dan Valenti, I hope you write a blog post about the EPA and GE’s settlement. Why was working class Lee (Massachusetts) chosen for an industrial toxic waste dump instead of wealthy Stockbridge? Why should anyone trust GE’s accounting methods and future unofficial payments when GE has a history of accounting fraud to the tune of tens of billions of dollars that are being investigated by the SEC? GE has a huge debt load – some of it “toxic debts” – and its financial growth projections are highly questionable. What if GE files for bankruptcy in 5 to 10 years from now? Why hasn’t GE officially stated how much money it will pay to clean up the 6 town area of the Housatonic River from Pittsfield/Lenox on south to Sheffield? Will GE use “overlapping” cost accounting to bake in the around $500 million it already spent on the Pittsfield cleanup after the fraudulent 2000 Consent Decree signed by Gerry Doyle and Jack Welch? Why has it taken 20 years for this proposed settlement? Did GE drag its feet in “a court of law” on purpose? Why are cancer causing PCBs capped in dumps in Pittsfield and a probable future dump in Lee when the caps only work for a limited time and must be monitored from day 1? Where are Berkshire County’s elected officials on all of these healthcare, environmental, and financial issues? – Jonathan Melle

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

GE should have put up a trust fund to foresee certain additional expenses , sure to be. Even with the corrupt and clandestine “consent decree”.

GE is screwing pensioners now too. Jack Welch, Doyle, and Devillars, and their families, should be force fed fish, “from pristine” Silver Lake. I mean the the lake is “pristine” , Dan said so!!!

P.S. wasn’t Mazz going to re-open this agreement………….

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

There is a poly liner 1foot of sand then another liner.If you go in it you would be considered as goner.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

Tell Your Grandkids that , Dan.

What is underneath, “the baggie” ? NOTHING? I thought so……….

And what separates the “pristine” lake, dark under belly, from the groundwater, and the “now cleaned up river”?

NOTHING? YEP!!!

PEEING into the wind, as Pittsfield decays……..

What is geology of that area? Glacial till/gravel /sand (ROFL!!), certainly impervious, PCB proof!!! GE said so!!!

Let’s drill a well next to Silver lake and have it tested……want a drink?

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

GE is a Karma based company that took 20 years to go to Fred Garner Park about a mile.Good luck with a cleanup as it will take 80 years to get to the lenox line.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

It is only millimeters thick.and looks very much like a floor underlayment

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

GE’s “Trust Fund” is full of toxic debts and unrealistic financial forecasts. GE is promising hundreds of millions of U.S. Dollars to cleanup the 6 town Housatonic River, but it will really file for bankruptcy protection within the next decade, and ultimately nothing will be done in Berkshire County. GE is insincere and not to be trusted on its fiscal promises. The people of Berkshire County will get screwed over again and again and again by GE. This is a horrible settlement by the EPA bureaucrats and GE power-brokers. The Berkshire Eagle is terrible for not explaining the “Devil in the details” to their local readers. Gerry Doyle and Jack Welch signed the fraudulent Consent Decree in the year of 2000. Pittsfield has capped PCBs toxic waste dumps that should be monitored everyday. The caps only last for a limited time, and then the PCBs toxic waste dumps needed to be cleaned up and re-capped every 20 to 30 years. Allendale Elementary School abuts Hill 78, which exposes school children to industrial cancer causing chemicals called PCBs. It is a huge injustice that Pittsfield politics lets stand. Silver Lake is still totally polluted because the capping of it was a joke. Pittsfield has a distressed local economy, which is one of the most economically unequal areas of the state and nation. Most of the near poor and poor people in Pittsfield are trying to survive with heat, food and a roof over the heads. They don’t understand what is happening to them. The Berkshire Eagle is on GE’s side, so the Eagle is no help to Pittsfield. I really dislike The Berkshire Eagle for enabling GE to scam Pittsfield and Berkshire County with their “pennies on the dollar” settlements over the years/decades. I still believe blogger Dan Valenti is Pittsfield’s only hope to stop this newest settlement from happening.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Out of town humans are not allowed to use the one basketball court in Stockbridge with wooden backboards.The 2300 residents have not taken one shot on it in 15 years.

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

Dan Are those backboards really wood?

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

I would not trespass in Stockbridge ma.but did a doubletake on the wood backboard.I was wondering who is considered the best athlete from Stockbridge ?I I think troys garage played by the bridge there.Must hsve had a couple of town players?

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Why all the thums down here. Mr Melle is spot on!!!

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
1 year ago

My senior house hold produces at most 20 pounds of garbage per week including recycling which totals less than half what the city says is average. I would submit that with a very large senior population the seniors are once again subsidizing the general population. Also, someone told me that if you took a mattress to Covanta in January 2019 it would have cost you $10 to dump, but that if you took one today it would be $45. Is that true and where did that increase come from?

And I wonder if all the trash brought personally to the waste management is weighed in with the total household average. Cuz if it is, and it probably is, then that greatly screws the city figure as that is paid for separately out of pocket by the person bringing it in.

Wilson
Wilson
1 year ago

So recycling now costs more than trash? Guess it makes sense that the councilors are constantly babbling and scheming about charging fees for trash so that there is more recycling, every every dollar spent by someone who earned it is “waste”

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Wilson
1 year ago

It’s not easy being “GREEN!”. – Kermit the Frog

It seems recycling is another SCAM!!!

They get to sell what is recycled.

Save the city money! THROW IT ALL IN THE TRASH!!!

juicylucy
juicylucy
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

do the drug dealers recycle? Asking for a friend.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  juicylucy
1 year ago

Welfare momma baby cribs, syringes, crack/heroin Hos

Perrier Masoneti
Perrier Masoneti
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Danul? There are a couple problems as I see them with the council Member on the LicenseBoard. First she is appointed by the Mayor helllloooo? Second,she frequently asks Lawyers questions at the board, as she works in a D A office that would be the conflict if the D A had it in for a certain lawyer representing a client at a board,thus a conflict. Another is, you have a bar owner on the City Council? That’s a conflict also.

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  juicylucy
1 year ago

Yea, the crack whores.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
1 year ago

“Of all the love I have won or have lost
There is one love I should never have crossed
She was a girl in a million, my friend
I should have known she would win in the end

And I lost someone who’s near to me

Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown
My tears are falling like rain from the sky
Is it for her or myself that I cry

What have I done to deserve such a fate
I realize I have left it too late
And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall
I’m telling you so that you won’t lose all”

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
1 year ago

“Only LOVE is Real
Everything else illusion”
– Carole King

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
1 year ago

More Deep State Swamp Critters….

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/video-rep-ratcliffe-gets-failed-fbi-chief-chris-wray-to-admit-fbi-tampered-with-evidence-and-conducted-illegal-surveillance-on-trump/

The cocky FBI Director delivered a unemotional and unconcerned response to the accusations in the IG Report that confirmed the FBI was spying on the Trump Campaign, his transition team and the Trump administration.

This spying took place based on lies that Trump was colluding with Russia. The FBI knew this was not true before they pushed a warrant to spy on Trump in 2016 and later in 2017 after his inauguration!
No one has been criminally punished for this attempted coup — the greatest political scandal in US history!

During last week’s testimony Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) questioned Wray about the FBI’s illegal surveillance on the Trump campaign and administration using FISA warrants based on lies.

What is most shocking is that Chris Wray does not seem concerned at all that the FBI was using the tools the government uses on terrorists to spy on the US President and his administration!

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

https://www.redstate.com/stu-in-sd/2020/02/12/the-vindman-caper-lee-zeldin-and-vdh-nail-the-obama-fomented-subterfuge-in-the-national-security-council/

“The Democrats and the legacy media continue to propagate the false narrative that the firing of the Vindman twins – and now the projected reassignment of at least 70 other staffers – from the National Security Council is either witness retaliation, retribution, part of the “ongoing cover-up,” or just “pure cussed orneriness” on the part of the President in the aftermath of his acquittal-for-life. Here’s an example from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer:…………

First of all, as explained in detail here, every single person at the NSC serves at the President’s pleasure, and he can fire any of them at any time for any reason. But there are more reasons to clean out the NSC than the insubordination, subterfuge, and sedition manifested by the Vindmans. Some of those were explained during a Q&A with Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) and historian and author Victor Davis Hanson on the Ingraham Angle on FNC Monday night. Let’s pick up the dialog:”

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Trap,
Obama interfered with investigations but of course…. Crickets.

https://pjmedia.com/trending/5-times-barack-obama-protected-his-allies-from-justice/

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Johnny2Shoes
1 year ago

Are you saying Trump did try and bribe Ukraine.

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
1 year ago

Dan,

Here is an alternate mix that you may not have ever heard. I think you will enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Ujexj9YGs

ajay Okayj
ajay Okayj
Reply to  CC The Maze Sun
1 year ago

Thank God Campoli is on the License Board because the other four have no clue.

The school committee
The school committee
1 year ago

Trump is King

Neeriachonce
Neeriachonce
Reply to  The school committee
1 year ago

Wate a minute. Obama is doing commercials with Bloomberg? Vote Trump

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Neeriachonce
1 year ago

Barry was the problem with racial/class division. He set unity back in America to the 1800s.

Bloomberg? Might as well vote for Soros ( who can’t be POTUS).

Tiny tyrant.

And the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of tyrants – not my quote, a founding Father

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Why do you refer to Obama as Barry and Soros?

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Neeriachonce
1 year ago

Who is more qualified to be president based on success in business. Trump or Bloomberg Trump is s 6 time bankrupt private citizen and Bloomberg made 55 billion.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
1 year ago

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/02/trump-national-security-advisor-obrien-on-dismissal-of-vindman-brothers-from-nsc-us-not-a-banana-republic-where-lt-colonels-dictate-policy/

Well UCMJ they should both be in Levenworth making big rocks little for > 20 years…

Just remember the Bird Dog Bergdal, that Sotero set FREE for being a Taliban

Violated oath, circumvented chain of command, sedition, ………….. Sedition is a CAPITAL OFFENSE!

Have a look at how many sections of UCMJ , Vindman violated!!!!

A Military court he deserves.

There is a HUGE military SWAMP, that Sotero created that needs a flush

Allive Coil
Allive Coil
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

I thought a Amused So was retired from politics. She’s turning into the biggest hack in Pittsfield History.

gollyvanizedred
gollyvanizedred
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Sec of State wants more money for elections. He can start by saving tens of thousands eliminating Doyle’s no show job,consultant?

Thomas More
Thomas More
Reply to  gollyvanizedred
1 year ago

$28,748 + bennies

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  Thomas More
1 year ago

What does he do and where’d ya get the figure and why’d Doyle get the job?

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Trump admires Putins power to do what he wants

Trash man
Trash man
1 year ago

I know of at least 20 businesses and a dozen or so apartment buildings that get trash collection in the dime of the tax payers. I’ve worked in this field for 23 years. I’ve seen it all. I could out those that use the service illegally but I’m sure you can get that yourself Dan.

Daterashmin
Daterashmin
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

You could call your next movie,Pittsfield Woggs. I render this guy putting all his construction,including paint,all over the road when the trash truck crunched it.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

Let me tell how it will be

Dump one bag I’ll charge you three

Cos I’m the trashman, yeah, I’m the trashman

Just Give me bags I’ll take some more

Then tax you your a peon whore

Then Barry C will ask for more!

If you take a dump I”ll tax by the sheet

If you have warmth I’ll tax the heat

If you want a bus I’ll tax the stop

If you want anything the tax won’t stop!

TAXman!!!

Cos I’m the taxman!

Don’t ask what the school committee want’s it for

JIV is a grubbing whore

The City Council is a sham

They are more pork than a ham!

Now to you whom might be wise

Move away before You die!

Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman…..

And You’re working for Linda and JIV!!!!…………..

Hung Wang
Hung Wang
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

I just write script for best picture.

Daterashmin
Daterashmin
Reply to  Trash man
1 year ago

Take it you don’t want to be a whistleblower?

Be The Change
Be The Change
Reply to  Daterashmin
1 year ago

Whistleblower protection is yet another lie. Same as confidentiality.

LOVE is the TRUTH – if a tree falls in the forest & no one’s around….. It doesn’t really matter.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Be The Change
1 year ago

It matters to the poor squirrel who has made its family home there. Everything matters to someone or something. But Karma can be cruel and does not care about the tree, or the squirrel. It only cares about its own sick perverse fulfillment. And there ain’t nuttin we can do about Karma cuz it can come out of nowhere and instantly take what is dear to us. Kind of like the mayor when you think about it.

Be The Change
Be The Change
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
1 year ago

This comment makes me want to watch Bob Ross & put ketchup on a hot dog …… Nobody but nobody !

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Be The Change
1 year ago

Trump slso has gotten rid of the whistleblower law that Republicans hate.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

The Berkshire Eagle just published a letter to the Editor from a former Berkshire County resident in Milford, New Hampshire, which borders my town of Amherst, New Hampshire. Why won’t the Eagle publish one of my letters to the Editor? I want my letters published in the Eagle, too!

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

When the theme and content of your letters aligns with those of the Eagle and Pittsfield special interests they will get published. They are not Fox news but they do vet their content to serve a certain purpose.

Pat
Pat
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
1 year ago

Just like MSNBC and CNN do the same. The content of the story must fit the far left agenda that they are trying to push onto the American people.

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Pat
1 year ago

The media is the real cause of division amongst the citizens .

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Pat
1 year ago

Fox wont report bad Trump

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  The school committee
1 year ago

And the other media wouldn’t report anything negative Obama. Like I said, the media is the problem,

Yerassets
Yerassets
Reply to  Johnny Absurd
1 year ago

And FOX doesn’t need charity to run their operation,like zee eagle. I don’t read the eagle anymore and never watch pctv or t b r. Why you ask? Propaganda. You ave to love it when Stooge has to drive out to coltsville and do his show. Rumor has it less than ten people listen to the show on t b r. P C T probably less..

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Black Balled again? They are all connected. People may not like what you have to say, but you have a right to say it. Unfortunately the Eagle can pick and choose because they have that power of who’s in and out. Keep trying.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Johnny2Shoes
1 year ago

You might say they are the heart and soul of the special interests. If city hall wants public opinion swayed one way or the other it draws up a draft and sends it forward. For instance, if you wanted public opinion dampened on a forensic audit of Pittsfield city finances you might get a quote from a favorable source and have the media turn it into what looks like an authoritative and knowledgeable opinion denouncing it.
And usually many of the ignorant masses buy into it.

Johnny2Shoes
Johnny2Shoes
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

Dan,
I hope and pray you keep doing what you do for the citizens who wish to be truly informed, I like the both sides of news and stories you put out that we can decide where we are on anyone given issue.The bonus is you allow us to vent,discuss and even allow some back and forth.The time and other outside things you have going on, are much I’m sure. Thanks for doing it.

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  danvalenti
1 year ago

Thank you Dan for being the voice of us Kapanskis.

Closet Skeleton
Closet Skeleton
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Believe me, the Eagle doesn’t want any truth coming out that isn’t in alignment with their mission or would taint their reputation. Even if an editor was personally writing false stories to benefit a friend in pursuit of bids and contracts, they’d snuff it when they found out.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  Closet Skeleton
1 year ago

“taint their reputation”? Funny stuff right there….

The school committee
The school committee
Reply to  Closet Skeleton
1 year ago

Eagle needs follow articles.Schools higher 36 people and the Eagle should be calling and interview what the jobs are that pay 70 k per year and how successful each job was.

Ron Kitterman
Ron Kitterman
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Jonathan If the Berkshire Eagle doesn’t publish your letters to the Editor consider that a sign of success of badge of courage.

James
James
1 year ago

In other garbage news, step right up, get yourself a progressive district attorney who won’t protect the public from a masked 18 year old robbing people at gunpoint. It’s just a kid with an unformed brain. Note connection to marijuana. Wasn’t that supposed to go away with legal weed? Now we have violent crime connected to weed connected to people who need not fear the criminal justice system. Serious question: Were those 4 people in the car less afraid because he was 18 not 20?

Prosecutors relent, release teen robbery suspect, with conditions
Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2020 5:54 pm
By Bob Dunn, The Berkshire Eagle
PITTSFIELD — One week after prosecutors argued that there were no conditions of release that could ensure the safety of the public from Taylor Bartlett, they agreed to release the city man on his own recognizance.

On Wednesday, Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Dillian Hecht also walked back his earlier assertion that the state would be seeking to submit Bartlett’s case to a grand jury for indictment and transfer into Berkshire Superior Court.

Bartlett, 18, has entered a not guilty plea to a count of armed and masked robbery with a firearm in an Oct. 23 incident at the Onota Lake boat ramp.

He was ordered held without the right to bail after a dangerousness hearing before Judge Mark Pasquariello in Central Berkshire District Court on Feb. 5.

Hecht argued for the detention, noting the seriousness of the charge.

Bartlett’s attorney, Joshua Hochberg, called the state’s case against his client weak and noted that detaining Bartlett appeared to contradict the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office’s stated position on how to deal with youthful offenders.

ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THESE ADS
At Wednesday’s hearing to appeal the district court decision, Hecht said that, after further review of the case, the state agreed to release Bartlett on personal recognizance, with conditions. Those include submitting to GPS monitoring, residing with family and observing a curfew.

Hecht said it also now appeared more likely that Bartlett’s case would remain at the district court level.

Bartlett is accused of robbing a group of four people at gunpoint in a parked car Oct. 23. Police believe Bartlett suspected that at least one of his victims previously had stolen marijuana from him.

The firearm was not recovered.

Hochberg has pointed out contradictory information provided by witnesses regarding Bartlett’s whereabouts during the robbery. He also suggested that the one witness who put Bartlett at the scene during an interview with police about three months after the robbery might have had their own motivations for providing that information.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  James
1 year ago

Um Rutberg , The Parrot, Justice Harrington……

Mr. Fritz
Mr. Fritz
Reply to  James
1 year ago

Bartlett should be doing time in the slammer. Gun, marijuana sales, attempting to rob FOUR people in a car – pretty brazen. Asst. D.A. Hecht should do some ‘splaining about his decision.
This is what a vote for Harrington gets you – perps walking free.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

BREAKING NEWS ALERT: Wayfair lays off 550 employees, including 350 in Boston
The Boston Globe, February 13, 2020

Wayfair, the city’s fastest growing tech company, announced on Thursday that it was laying off 550 employees worldwide, saying it “recognized a critical need to more efficiently align our teams with the business priorities that most directly and significantly impact our customers.”

The e-mail to employees, obtained by the Globe, speaks of Wayfair’s need to “tighten our focus and increase efficiencies.” The company said it was laying off 350 people in its Boston headquarters, and a total of three percent of its global workforce.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

The fast-growing online retailer Wayfair Inc. landed $31 million in tax incentives from the state Thursday [Dec 13, 2018] to help the company add thousands of jobs in Boston and hundreds in Pittsfield. The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved a plan to dole out the incentives to the home-goods seller over 10 years.

The Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved a plan to dole out the incentives to the home-goods seller over 10 years. In return, Wayfair pledged to add a total of 3,300 jobs.

A spokeswoman for the council said this is the state’s second-biggest tax-credit award since 2010.

The average annual salary for the Pittsfield jobs would be $37,000, according to documents filed with the state, compared with $120,000 for the Boston jobs tied to the incentive package.

Of the $31.4 million in tax credits that Wayfair is on track to get over 10 years, $10.3 million is deemed “refundable” and will be essentially reimbursed as cash. The rest can be counted against the company’s corporate tax liability with the state. If Wayfair fails to meet its hiring goals, it would risk being decertified by the state, which would cut off future tax benefits. These credits generally ramp up over time, though, starting with just $250,000 in 2019 and growing to $5.1 million in 2029.

Source: “State gives Wayfair $31 million in tax breaks for 3,300 jobs in Boston and Pittsfield”
By Jon Chesto, Boston Globe Staff, December 13, 2018

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Re: Open letter to blogger Dan Valenti 13Feb2020

Hello blogger Dan Valenti,

Please Wayfair to your long list of failed companies who took lucrative state and local tax breaks in Pittsfield, but failed to deliver on its promises to add hundreds of jobs in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Best wishes,

Jonathan Melle

Merry & Bright
Merry & Bright
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Thank for posting this JM. Not surprised at all, their online reviews are terrible. I am sure the BB will never print this information in their paper. Thanks again.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
Reply to  Merry & Bright
1 year ago

I have a Master of Public Administration degree from U Mass Amherst, I learned that the most valuable resource in a community is the people who live there. That is because the local residents pay taxes, shop at local businesses, and invest their hard earned money into their property. Without the local people, the municipal tax base shrinks, the small businesses close and move elsewhere, and the personal property becomes blighted.

Pittsfield politics does everything but invest in the people who live in Pittsfield, Massachusetts! Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski always get the shaft with high taxes and fees, and huge public debts/liabilities, and their voices are systematically shut out of City Hall by a one party political machine that rivals Communist China’s authoritarian regime. If you speak out about how out of town millionaires get millions of dollars in tax breaks, you will lose your job in Pittsfield in “a New York minute”. If you complain about being blacklisted, they will spread nasty and vicious rumors against you and your family. That is what happened to me and my family for the past nearly 24 years of my +44.5 year old life.

In closing, Pittsfield politics always and systematically screws over their most valuable resource, which is the local people, through retribution and fear. Only the ruling elite, who are called the “Good Old Boys”, and their vested and special interest win in Pittsfield, while the people, who are called the Kapanski family, always lose!

– Jonathan Melle

The school committee
The school committee
1 year ago

Wayfair is laying off 500 employees.They are restructuring and Im guessing 300 employees in Pittsfield is up in the air.Just reported on the business channel.

Johnny Absurd
Johnny Absurd
Reply to  The school committee
1 year ago

When you read about this in the Eagle it will sound like gold was discovered somewhere nearby. Read carefully and see if you can pick out the key words that make the lemons look like chocolate covered cherries on a Valentines day platter. It is fun.

PJMH
PJMH
Reply to  The school committee
1 year ago

Trending on Twitter. A few interesting reads breaking it down. FY18 market valuation at $6B with $31M in tax break from state.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  The school committee
1 year ago

But Linda and City Council vetted them and loves them. What could go WRONG????

Um, how is that offal running the PEDA site doing?

Sue Dx
Sue Dx
Reply to  Mad Trapper
1 year ago

Anyone know what the school bus drivers here make. Do they get same benefits as teachers and paraprofessional. I though I could get a job at Wayfair but haven’t heard anything.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Hello Patrick Fennell,

History is full of contradictions. The Founding Fathers fought for classical Liberty, but most of them also owned Slaves. Karl Marx wrote about Communism, but he never lived in a Communist country. Ayn Rand wrote about Social Darwinism or “Swim or Sink”, but when she was a Senior Citizen, she collected both Social Security and Medicare benefits. President Donald Trump is adored by the evangelical Christians, but he was married three times and openly cheated on all of his wives, including with a porn star and a Playboy model. Governor Bill Weld prosecuted people for marijuana violations, but now he is invested in Massachusetts marijuana industry. BUT, I guess we should pick on poor mothers in Berkshire County for receiving free diapers for their infants. That will help solve all of history’s contradictions.

– Jonathan Melle

Buff Lea Odumdonbich
Buff Lea Odumdonbich
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Comedienne Totie Fields always talked about being fat,but never went on a diet. What’s your point j Mel? Another classic, Trisha advocation for a new school and how great educators here in Pittsfield are,but sent her kids elsewhere. And the latest is Your contribution, The former Mayor buying a Condo out of town, and tells us how great it is here.

JoeKapanski
JoeKapanski
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
1 year ago

Damn straight. Why don’t you donate to the diaper bank Mr. Melle.

Chuck Garivaltis
Chuck Garivaltis
1 year ago

Good one, Jonathon. Good history lesson. How did you forget my hero, FDR? When he died in Georgia (meaning the state, not a lady) he was with mistress Lucy Mercer, not his blabber mouth wife, Eleanor.

Daffney Sonobobbey
Daffney Sonobobbey
Reply to  Chuck Garivaltis
1 year ago

Excellent comeback. How about Obama now doing advertisement with Billionaire Mike. What ha
Penned with Joe? Barack. Sounds like a highest bidder grab.

Charles Trzcinka
Charles Trzcinka
1 year ago

The population of Pittsfield is north of 45,000 (Wikipedia says 45,591) and only 17,479 households use city garbage service? What does the majority use? Are they paying for garbage service themselves?

CC The Maze Sun
CC The Maze Sun
Reply to  Charles Trzcinka
1 year ago

Hey Chuck, population is how many “people”. “Households” consist of Mommy, Daddy and Johnny. So 45,000 people becomes roughly 15,000 households. So the figures do look right. Of course not every single household had 3, some are single parents, some are fatherless with the mother raising 5 or 6 children. Others have families of 3 – 7. No more families of 15 anymore like in the Great Depression of the greatest generation.

I hope this sheds some light on the matter.

ClrassLeechmind
ClrassLeechmind
Reply to  Charles Trzcinka
1 year ago

Parks and rural areas.Chuck T

Police Report
Police Report
1 year ago

Wayfair jobs in Pittsfield are low paying customer service jobs, call center operators that either take orders or help with returns.
The jobs that Wayfair is downsizing are mostly H1B and US programmers. This has been in the works for months, at least since November if not earlier.
Wayfair doesn’t make a profit, they like to say they “reinvest to help drive expansion” it is a bit of a lie.
All Wayfair is doing is manipulating stock prices, they already know they have lost the furniture and logistics market, but they are making motions and putting on a front to keep the stock price up.
They will lay off more programmers, they will lay off more staff, they will consolidate and centralize their call center operations and it won’t be in downtown Pittsfield.
They were unable to meet minimum hiring quotas for expansion because of lack of skilled employees.
They are in talks with the State of Maine to relocate call center operations to Lewiston. They have already hired some of the laid off call center trainers in Lewiston. They are in Pittsfield now.

Tom Betit
Tom Betit
Reply to  Police Report
1 year ago

What’s the property tax rate in Lewiston?
Cost of living?
Safe city policy?
Pittsfield seems to be falling a bit short of the utopia Wayfair is looking for.