Stuff Happened in Pittsfield This Week

Rough Week on Allen St

First, there was the explosive brouhaha over the sudden cancellation then un-cancellation of May’s 3rd Thursday, which saw lingering debate and concern throughout the week.  Additional discussion on this blog, on Good Morning Pittsfield, and even tawdry Planet Valenti featured troubling speculation from a variety of angles and perspectives.

Then there was the heated exchange in City Hall chambers Tuesday  night over the controversial  replacement of longtime Licensing Board member Butch Pisani.  Was Councilor Clairmont “out of line” or was Mayor Bianchi “out of order?”  While it’s still a bit murky now, this situation will ultimately have a clear resolution, a final legal determination will get made, and either way it’s going to be awkward for someone.  Maybe everyone.

The School Superintendent Search Failed  … Well, not “failed,” I guess, it just took four months and we are zero steps closer to a new superintendent and will enter next school year with an interim super chosen at the 11th hour. On the upside, the search only cost 1,000 dollars.

On a more positive note, at a press conference Monday at PHS, Mayor Bianchi and city officials gave citations to our public schools, whose recycling programs are said to save Pittsfield taxpayers about 30,000 a year now. While recycling in our schools has certainly come a long way over the last 15 notes, we’re still 2% below the state average which is in turn about 2% the national average. So we’re still in the bottom half.

From the Blotter                                                                                        

Two local bottomfeeders, Lyle Parker and Matthew Demastrie, both 26, of Pittsfield, were arrested for the theft of 200 bronze flag posts.  Quick thinking by a local businessman and swift investigation by the PPD had the flag posts back at St. Joe’s Cemetery and these two dip$#!+s facing charges in short order.

Earlier in the week, Rabies tests came back positive on a fox that plagued the Williams Street area last weekend before being put down by PPD, leading to reminiscence on previous menacing canine encounters locally over the past century.

The driver of an SUV that struck two people during a “melee” in 2010 was acquitted of attempted murder charges, then hours later one of the victims was arrested for attempting to seek revenge on him with a knife.  Yikes.

Matters of Importance

State Senator Benjamin Downing was appointed to chair a second committee for the remainder of the legislative session, State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier sponsored a Corporations are Not People panel discussion at Barrington Stage 

Among the candidates for the newly redrawn 1st Mass. District Congressional seat, Andrea Nuciforo released a statement in support of Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, Bill Shein joined Springfield residences in protesting violence in their neighborhood, and in Washington Richard Neal along with Republican cosponsor Tom Reed introduced a bill to increase the bank-qualified debt limit and index it for inflation, while in Springfield service workers union members blitzed his office to urge him to opposing cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

…On a lighter note, pick up a copy of the new Berkshire Trade & Commerce this week (not online, sadly), which has a fun feature article on our local Zombie Action Committee, who have been making an awful lot of noise lately.   Also definitely check out this touching piece in Sunday’s New York Times by local fav Rural Intelligence’s Dan Shaw.


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