Friday, March 25, 2005

Topic: General Electric Company -- Corporate.

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Blogger jonathan said...


Did GE use Pittsfield as a private landfill?


Saturday, September 03, 2005

To the Editor of THE EAGLE:-

Is it me, or does anyone else wonder why these buried PCB barrels keep popping up all over? Country club lakes, Silver Lake, the
dump, parking lots, etc. Was GE using Pittsfield as its own private landfill or what?

I would love to hear an explanation from GE as to how these barrels got buried in the first place. It's like we're following a serial killer wondering where the next body will be found. Why did they bury these things? Pittsfield has many retired GE employees, I wish one of them would contact The Eagle and reveal the reasons for the burials. Did GE realize it was illegal?

It seems to me that every time a barrel or barrels are found, GE should open the checkbook and pay a fine, pay for the excavation and the disposal (and any subsequent damages) that have occurred. Is anyone else fed up with GE's disposal practices?


Seattle, WA Aug. 25, 2005

The writer is a former Pittsfield resident.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...


Dear Clarence Fanto, Dan Bosley, Rinaldo, Berkshire Bloggers, Pols, News Media, & the People:

I read the news article, cut & pasted below, and I am left wondering, "What are the economic development INCENTIVES for the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation?"

The article states: "The governor spoke of a "long-term relationship" that would offer Sabic the opportunity to grow in Massachusetts."

I am left wondering, "What is the crux of the 'long-term relationship' between the state/local government and Sabic?"

The article states: "Tyler Fairbank, president of the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, emphasized to Sabic's leaders that 'we will do everything in our power ... to convince you to grow and expand in the Berkshires.'"

I am left wondering, "What are the incentives being proposed or codified by the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation to retain Sabic's presence in Berkshire County?"

The article states: "The key question on the minds of local residents who have watched the transition — is Sabic here to stay for the long haul, and what are the prospects for maintaining, or expanding, the current work force of about 425 that the Saudis inherited from GE? / The answers are very encouraging..."

I am left wondering, "What is the relationship exactly between this newly foreigned owned plastics company and the state and local government? What is the central focus of the government's economic development policies to retain and expand this business venture?"

In conclusion, Clarence Fanto is NOT an investigative reporter. Moreover, Fanto appears to have NO CLUE about what economic development is all about. Most discouraging to me is that Berkshire County's #1 point man on economic development public policies is DANIEL E. BOSLEY! Why wasn't State Representative Dan Bosley mentioned when he in the one who carries the most weight on Berkshire County Economic Development public policy issues on Beacon Hill's State House?

Lastly, where is Rinaldo Del Gallo III on this issue? All of Rinaldo's local public policy proposals on economic development issues several years ago proved to have great merits for Pittsfield and Berkshire County. Unfortunately, none of them were ever listened to. The outcome was Berkshire County being ranked the #1 region in the commonwealth in job LOSSES! Perverse Incentives ruled the last couple of years in Pittsfield, as usual.

In closing, all this news article really amounts to is feel-good PROPAGANDA!

In Dissent,

Jonathan A. Melle


Sabic joins Pittsfield for the long haul

Sunday, September 09, 2007


It was a remarkable scene at Cranwell Resort's ballroom last Tuesday morning as the red carpet was rolled out for about 40 executives and employees of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic). The worldwide petrochemical giant, 70 percent owned by the Saudi Arabian government and now employing 27,000, had just completed its $11.6 billion acquisition of GE Plastics — a watershed event for Berkshire County if ever there was one.

At Sabic Innovative Plastics, the division will be staffed by about 10,300 in 60 locations nationally and internationally, with the world headquarters remaining, and expanding, in Pittsfield.

Nearly all the area's captains of business and industry were there, along with Berkshire lawmakers, Mayors James Ruberto and John Barrett, and Gov. Deval Patrick — some 60 in all. Patrick charmed the crowd by giving a quick language and etiquette lesson so that the Sabic delegation could be greeted in unison with the traditional Arabic salutation translated as "Peace be with you."

Patrick certainly knows how to work a room, and his brief remarks had significant implications. "We're here to do whatever is necessary to ensure your success in Massachusetts," he declared after stressing the importance of the partnership with the Saudis. The governor spoke of a "long-term relationship" that would offer Sabic the opportunity to grow in Massachusetts.

The Sabic VIPs said all the right things — Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, the company chairman, told the assembled crowd that "we will work together to strengthen our business and our investment," pointing out that Sabic sells its products in more than 100 countries.

Mohamed H. Al-Mady, Sabic's vice chairman and CEO, quipped that the company had raised its offer to GE because it was "very impressed" with the people running the plastics division's world headquarters in Pittsfield during his visit in May. Later, Al-Mady told reporters that, he had awakened at 5 in the morning and strolled Cranwell's wooded grounds — clearly, the area's scenic wonders made an impression.

As Tyler Fairbank, president of the Berkshire Economic Development Corporation, emphasized to Sabic's leaders that "we will do everything in our power ... to convince you to grow and expand in the Berkshires."

That's the key question on the minds of local residents who have watched the transition — is Sabic here to stay for the long haul, and what are the prospects for maintaining, or expanding, the current work force of about 425 that the Saudis inherited from GE?

The answers are very encouraging — Sabic Innovative Plastics has a 20-year lease on the former GE Plastics campus. The company is actively hiring, especially in the human resources, legal and finance sectors, because many of the corporate functions formerly handled by GE at its Fairfield, Conn., headquarters will now be staffed by Sabic right here in Pittsfield. It's safe to project ultimate employment growth of perhaps another 75 to 100 in the near future — an expansion of 20 to 25 percent in the local work force.

As Fairbank pointed out during a follow-up interview, Sabic is "betting the farm" that its investment here will lead to further growth. There is even a possibility that the company could add new product lines down the road, which could trigger even more expansion in the region and the state.

Sabic's global training center will be here in Pittsfield, as the company's CEO Brian Gladden explained at Cranwell; GE Plastics had run that program in New York. This will inject a strong shot of adrenaline into the local economy, as hundreds of employees from the company's other facilities will need long-term hotel rooms and will be dining out and spending money right here during their training period. Sabic also will be hosting visits by current and future customers — another source of income for the region, especially during the fall, winter and spring.

As Gladden put it: "With Sabic as our parent company, we are now part of the most profitable and powerful petrochemical company in the world." As it turned out, Sabic's arrival was the best possible outcome once GE decided to shed its plastics business and leave the Berkshires once and for all — except for still-pending Housatonic River cleanups.

White knights are usually to be found in fairy tales.

But in this case, it's a reality. All indications point to a happy ending — and that's something that's sorely needed for a city and a county where doubts and skepticism persist among some people, despite impressive evidence that a new chapter of major economic expansion already is being written.

Clarence Fanto is a former managing editor of The Eagle. He can be contacted by e-mail at cfanto at yahoo dot com .

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 1:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...


Dear Clarence Fanto, et al:

Not only did I criticize your propaganda journalism, but also, I placed my comments on the world wide web for even more people to read.

When you write a real news article (not just propaganda) about Sabic explaining the economic development INCENTIVES offered by the commonwealth and municipal government to this new, foreign-owned, private corporation headquartered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts--the #1 place in the commonwealth for JOB LOSSES--then please forward me a copy so I may begin to understand HOW Sabic will stay and grow its business operations in central Berkshire County.

Clarence Fanto, you are the opposite of Mary Carey! While she explains the facts, you only relay the propaganda like a satellite to the Berkshire Eagle readership!

I am proud of my open dissent against your propaganda! I know better than those you indoctrinate.

In Dissent,

Jonathan A. Melle


Hi Jonathan:

Thanks for your kind words. Sorry you don't feel good.
The people I know at Sabic are very encouraged. So is
most everyone else involved. Of course, we'll see what
happens. Henceforth, if you have iusulting comments
directed toward me, you can communicate them
privately. I would not e-mail insulting comments about
you to a long list of recipients. Fortunately for me,
most folks know better.

All the best,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 4:16:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Sabic fox purchases hen house


The Berkshire Eagle

09/18/2007, Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The glowing euphoria with which The Berkshire Eagle, the mayor of Pittsfield, city officials and the business community have embraced the sale of GE Plastics to a Saudi government-owned company is understandable. After all, business is business.

However, it is worth taking note of some important facts about the buyer in this deal which will eventually impact the culture of that company and our region.

Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist Islamic country governed by a repressive dictatorship of the large, extended Saudi family that owns the vast wealth of the country, and controls the political, economic, social, legal and private lives of its citizens. The profits from the Sabic plant will, in time, leave Pittsfield for Saudi Arabia to further expand wealth that helps support its growing influence in Western countries, including the U.S., by funding the growth of mosques and Muslim schools, and by providing student textbooks and teacher training manuals that contain Wahabi ideology with its anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and anti-Western propaganda.

In Saudi Arabia there are, as we understand them, no human rights, no women's rights, no worker rights, no religious freedom, no freedom of speech, no free press, no right to redress.

It is a sad irony that the $11.6 billion the Saudi government paid for GE Plastics actually came from all of us because when we buy gasoline, heating oil and the myriad number of petrochemical products we cannot escape, we buy them from U.S.companies that turn these dollars over to the Saudis in exchange for their $75 a barrel oil. This creates windfall profits so vast they can outbid all companies in competition for corporate takeovers and buyouts.

Beyond those profits and far more disturbing are the unintended consequences of this powerful foothold the sale affords this tyrannical country in our local and national economies. Ultimately, that base can lead to significant pressure on our government to change basic policies to reflect Islamic values and ideology.

It seems to be the fox has just bought the hen house.


New Lebanon, N.Y.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 4:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Conference Venue Berkshire said...

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Monday, January 21, 2008 11:01:00 AM  

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