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SHERIFF’s RACE: WHERE’S THE REPORT? … DEATH CERTIFICATE RAISES HUGE QUESTIONS ABOUT PITTSFIELD WOMAN’S DEATH 3 DAYS INTO LOCKUP AT WOMEN’S JAIL IN CHICOPEE

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

ADD 1, Sept. 2, 2022 — Here’s the latest PLANET VALENTI VIDEO from our YouTube channel. In it, I share an hour’s worth of thoughts and notes on the campaigns for sheriff and district attorney. No notes. All improv. Just THE PLANET. Give it a watch. As always, all feedback is welcome. Subscribe to our channel now. It’s still a toddler but growing fast. We will be providing much more content and viewing. You don’t want to miss it. “Hey, somebody’s gotta say it.” Our next and final film related to the preliminary election will be posted on Election Day, Tuesday Sept. 6. We will be taking our camera to various polling places to conduct brief exit interviews. Stay tuned. The fun is just beginning.

Enjoy!

———- ooo ———-

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION SEPT. 2, 2022) — On July 11, approximately three days into her sentence,  a 46-year-old Pittsfield woman died in custody at Chicopee’s regional lockup for women. There’s where Berkshire County sends its female population, which presently numbers between 12 and 14.

Shortly after, candidate for sheriff Alf Barbalunga blasted Berkshire County sheriff Tom Bowler, saying the woman’s death “is part of a pattern of what happens to Berkshire County residents who find themselves in state or county jails.” Barbalunga said that “on average, every 10 months there has been either a death or an escape” under Bowler’s supervision.

Bowler excoriated Barbalunga for using “a family tragedy as fodder for his political purposes.” Bowler said Barbalunga failed to mention that  “[t]his woman died from natural causes.” Bowler said “The medical examiner ruled that her death was the result of natural causes due to a pre-existing condition.” Hamden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi concurred. “Natural causes.”

But did she die from natural causes? This question has haunted the campaign since it first emerged in July and exploded during the August debate THE PLANET hosted between Barbalunga and Bowler.

———- ooo ———-

THE PLANET obtained a copy of the death certificate, signed by Boston Dr. Irini A. Scordi-Bello. It lists the immediate cause cause of death as “PENDING.” The form also has this: “Manner of Death: PENDING INVESTIGATION.”

Our questions:

  • Has such an investigation been conducted?
  • If so, by whom and has it been released? (If it has, we missed it)
  • If not why not?

Death to “natural causes?” If so, why does the death certificate say that the manner of death is under investigation.

 Alf Barbalunga Speech 1 September 2022 – SD 480… (Courtesy of Thieves of Light Productions)

—————————————————————–

SIDEBAR (FROM WBUR)

Hampden County Jail

Current sheriff: Nicholas Cocchi

Total deaths 2008-2018: 22

22

Average inmate population (2018): 1,165

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A WBUR investigation by Christine Willmsen and Beth Healy found that from 2008 to 2018, 195 people died in custody of Massachusetts’ sheriffs. WBUR said gathering that information (including cause of death) proved extraordinarily difficult.

“Jails are perhaps the least accountable part of government in the United States,” said David Fathi, director of the ACLU National Prison Project. “When you combine that lack of transparency, that lack of oversight, with a marginalized, unpopular captive population, it’s a recipe for neglect and mistreatment.”

The WBUR probe mentioned the case of an inmate in Worcester County who died “in agony” of a treatable type of meningitis after jail staff ignored his complaints. The sheriff’s report said the death came from “natural causes.”

Sound familiar?

So what, if anything, is being covered up in the Pittsfield woman’s death?

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The investigation found that “when people suffered from dire medical conditions in Massachusetts county jails, they were often ignored or mistrusted, with fatal consequences. The sheriffs … responsible for inmate health care face little oversight, and often have withheld the circumstances of these deaths from the public — even from inmates’ families.”

Is that what is happening in the Pittsfield case?

———- ooo ———-

Where’s the report?

From the WBUR investigation:

“The federal Death in Custody Reporting Act requires the government to collect data on the more than 1,000 inmates who die every year in American jails. Sheriffs have been required to file a form called a CJ-9, which provides the inmate’s name, age, race, cause of death and other information.

So where’s the report on the death of the Pittsfield woman?

According to WBUR, “compliance by the roughly 3,000 U.S. jails has been voluntary. The DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Statistics … has no enforcement teeth. The result is that an unknown number of deaths go uncounted, and since 2014, reports have been years late.”

Voluntary reports.

Delivered late, if at all.

Written up, according to one lawyer quoted in the report, to be “all self-congratulatory.”

Did negligence occur in the Pittsfield woman’s death? The public in Berkshire and Hampden counties, to say nothing of the woman’s family, deserve a full report.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

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Everywhere we’ve lived takes on a certain shape in our memory only some time after we leave it. Then it becomes a picture that will remain unchanged”Hermann Hesse.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

Copyright (c) 2022 By Dan Valenti, PLANET VALENTI and EUROPOLIS MANAGEMENT. All rights reserved. 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. Those who leave comments own all the responsibilities that are or can be attached to those comments, be they rhetorical, semantic, or legal. Such commentators remain solely responsible for what they post and shall be and remain solely accountable for their words. 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, but not limited to, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. We serve as a marketplace of ideas, without prejudice, and available to all. 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 and their use of/participation in this website. 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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Art Fart
Art Fart
1 month ago

Berkshire County’s performing arts seem to be suffering from long COVID. Despite attempts to adapt to the post-pandemic era – reduced budgets, discounts, or streaming performances – internal data from the county’s biggest performing arts venues show a 30-percent decline, on average, in ticket sales and attendance from 2019.

Guess who’s going to be asking for money?

BTG
Shakespeare and Company
Jacob’s Pillow.

Speaking of Jacob’s Pillow did anyone figure out how a building with no electricity turned on caught on fire?

Merry & Bright
Merry & Bright
Reply to  Art Fart
1 month ago

Maybe if they allowed Americans that chose not to get vaccinated or could not get vaccinated due to medical issues back into their theaters they might do better! Why should a person who can’t get vaccinated due to personal reasons have to divulged their medical history to these theaters to get a ticket, it is none of their business. What happened to the HIPA rule. This Biden mandated bias bullying towards those that did not receive the vaccine for one reason or another has caused these folks to lose their jobs. This stupidity has caused a breakdown of Airlines, Fire and Police departments, Educational institutions, Military, the medical field, smaller hospitals and medical facilities are closing daily, causing major problems in the USA. Meanwhile Sleepy Joe who is double vaccinated, double boosted and wears a mask and probably Depends has had COVID twice and is still coughing up a storm every time he tries to speak, then turns and shakes hands. God Bless the USA, we need it.

Mad in Great Barrington
Mad in Great Barrington
1 month ago

comment image

Idiot Stephen Bannon, Mark Town Admin, and Andrea Harrington.
While you fuckwits play politics and kick the can down the road, this is what the water looks like this morning at my Daughter’s house in Housatonic.

Andrea you’re an idiot. Keep your politics out of our water problems.

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Reply to  Mad in Great Barrington
1 month ago

Wonder if she will show up for the people suffering with the water issues after the election?

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
Reply to  Optimus Prime
1 month ago

Probably about as much as she will invite the Edgerton family to the Harrington’s 4th of July backyard cookout next year.

Schizo Marie
Schizo Marie
Reply to  Markus Aurelius
1 month ago

I’m sure she kept them a VIP table under the oak tree

Matt M
Matt M
1 month ago

I need people to understand something about the Laquan Johnson plea, and it’s very important.

There are the charges a person is arrested for, the charges the DA brings forward, the charges in the plea deal, the charges that are adjudicated and the person is convicted of.

Normally that list starts out very large and as the process runs though the system, the charges are combined, dropped, or negotiated as part of a plea.

In the case of Laquan Johnson, Harrington and her office, in a desperate attempt to get a plea because they don’t want to go to trial and lose (something that happens often with her as DA) gave Laquan Johnson a sweetheart of a sweetheart deal.
That plea deal removed all of the serious charges and left the judge with nothing to really go on.

Image if you were charged with rape and murder but instead was told you could plea to jaywalking and get times served, would you do it? Probably so. That’s in effect what Harrington’s office has been doing these last 3 1/2 years. Violent criminals will be back out on the streets sooner because of the policies of Andrea Harrington

RNtoo
RNtoo
Reply to  Matt M
1 month ago

Andrea Harrington is never going to admit her role in putting criminals back on the streets and driving families and businesses out of Pittsfield. She claims to want stricter gun laws. Because she has taken away the threat of trial and possible jail and made numerous crimes only misdemeanors with no cash bail she has made the situation so much worse. She will never say that letting inmates out due to overcrowding that does not exist caused deaths. She’ll never admit the damage she did claiming racial bias by our police. But she knows. She knows.  

Wakeupcandvote
Wakeupcandvote
Reply to  Matt M
1 month ago

That in a nutshell is why cops hate Harrington. They see her for the amateur she is. She was a laughingstock but now they just want her gone. Some are worried what she will do with certain cases out of spite when she loses.

Public Enemies
Public Enemies
Reply to  Wakeupcandvote
1 month ago

Yup, Not one law enforcement group supports Harrington.

Schizo Marie
Schizo Marie
1 month ago

I love how Kelvin Santos and his pig friend Heather (and pitbull) are in an uproar on social media because someone in the sheriffs office wore a blue lives matter shirt to campaign for a law enforcement officer. Black Lives Matter is a joke. We all know it now.

They’re offended, and claiming racism. Get outta town. You people are fools.

Public Enemies
Public Enemies
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

It stands for Buying Large Mansions. That group was in the business of scandal, corruption, and exploitation not helping people.

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
Reply to  Public Enemies
1 month ago

The best part of Buying Large Mansions (BLM), they bought the mansions in the YT’est of neighborhoods too.

Curious why they didn’t invest in the ghetto? But then again, if Cultural Competency Coach Shirley, invested her government awarded monies in Pittsfield’s “black and brown” community, how would she have been able to afford a trip to Africa to “explore her roots.”

Gotta Divida
Gotta Divida
Reply to  Markus Aurelius
1 month ago

Can you put white lives matter on youre lawns? Do they even have them?

Total Truth 2
Total Truth 2
Reply to  Gotta Divida
1 month ago

Someone would probably burn your house down.

Mad Trapper
Mad Trapper
Reply to  Public Enemies
1 month ago

Burn Loot and Murder

Edgerton Grift
Edgerton Grift
Reply to  Schizo Marie
1 month ago

Activists accuse BLM leader Shalomyah Bowers of stealing $10 million: lawsuit

The new leader of the national Black Lives Matter non-profit “siphoned” more than $10 million in fees from donors to pay his consulting firm, according to a lawsuit.

Bowers, who became head of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in April, is accused of paying the cash to his own Bowers Consulting Firm, and diverting resources from a new group called Black Lives Matter Grassroots, Inc.

BLM Grassroots was launched three months ago, records show. It claims to represent BLM chapters across the country.

“ Mr. Bowers decided he could not let go of his personal piggy bank,” BLM Grassroots charged in the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court. “Instead, he continued to betray the public trust by self-dealing and breaching his fiduciary duties. Instead of using the donations for its intended purposes, Mr. Bowers diverted these donations to his own coffers and intentionally took calculated steps to prevent those same resources from being used by BLM for on-the-ground-movement work.”

BLM Global Network Foundation paid the Bowers Consulting Firm $2,167,894 in 2021, according to federal tax filings.

The Foundation was rocked by controversy after The Post revealed in April 2021 that one of its founders, Patrisse Cullors, went on a real estate buying spree, spending more than $3 million on homes in Los Angeles and outside Atlanta. Cullors denied that the money came from donations.

Cullors resigned from the Foundation a month after The Post’s article. Later New York magazine revealed the group secretly spent $6 million on a sprawling mansion in Los Angeles to use as its headquarters, and another $8 million on a property in Toronto.

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
1 month ago

I just took a look at the upcoming business events the Berkshires Black Economic Council (BBEC) will be putting on in September and October:

No events planned.

I’m sure that the top-notch “consulting” Warren and Shirley gave to the last group, a traveling dance troupe, must have worn them out physically and mentally. They need a couple of months to unwind.

That $700,000 ARPA money given to the BBEC, sure could have benefited Wahconah Park and the many people who use it. Instead, only a lucky few POC get “consulting fees” to help wash their grift money.

Inside Her
Inside Her
1 month ago

Scumbag Andrea Harrington Strike Again

The whiny witch of empty lots and municipal and state property.

comment image

Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime
Reply to  Inside Her
1 month ago

These illegal signs aren’t going to help her one bit. She is one and done. She and fellow activists know it.

Inside Her
Inside Her
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

Oh she’s going down alright, it’s just a question on whom. Can you hear me Andy we all saw what you did.

Public Enemies
Public Enemies
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

It was a pathetic campaign capped off by these signs in the wrong color blue strewn illegally around. It is the perfect testimony to her lack of integrity and class.

Mal
Mal
Reply to  danvalenti
1 month ago

The most undemocratic and dangerous thing Harrington did was chastise Shugrue for encouraging Republicans to vote. It tells you everything you need to know about this politician. She does not want to be your lawyer or protect you, only her political allies. Andrea Harrington made it clear she wants to prevent people from being able to vote. This kind of supression effort really ought to make anyone associated with the local Dems sit up and take notice. It was an ugly move made by Harrington with no care for who the district attorney serves. It should be a crime for politicians to block voters.

Markus Aurelius
Markus Aurelius
Reply to  Inside Her
1 month ago

Where’s a paintball gun when you need one?

Inside Her
Inside Her
1 month ago

Harrington caught lying about her endorsements AGAIN!

Andrea Harrington: zero integrity

You know it’s bad when they contact the paper to say they didn’t endorse Harrington.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to remove the name of Jamie Minacci, who had been listed as endorsing Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington’s re-election. Minacci said she has not endorsed either candidate. Harrington spokesman Adam Webster said Minacci’s name was erroneously included due to “miscommunication” between the campaign and Minacci, a member of the Stockbridge Select Board.