PLANET EXCLUSIVE ON NEW DOWNTOWN STORE, plus, EAGLE HEADLINE: IT SNOWED YESTERDAY … and, MORE EV WORLDWIDE GARBAGE
BY DAN VALENTI
THE PLANET again is first, this time with an important downtown story. A new business is coming to Pittsfield, one that seeks to fill a previously ignored niche.
The business, Bizzy B’s at 6 Burbank Street off North Street on the right immediately prior to Tyler Street, is, according to owner Keri Nelson, “a boutique for mothers that, as a mother, I often wished had existed.” The consignment shop sells items of interest to moms and families: children’s furniture; clothing from brands such as Baby Gap, Gymboree, Hanna Andersen, Old Navy, and Children’s Place; plus toys, books, games, and other items.
Nelson is wife of financial planner Eric Vincelette of Primerica (son of former Pittsfield city councilor Chuck, The Man From Mensa). She says her husband “encouraged me to be a breath of fresh air to upper North Street. We want to help set an example and help lead the way to the revitalization of Upper North Street and all that the area could offer. To see change is to be the change.”
In giving the store’s full name — Bizzy B’s: An Eco-friendly Boutique of Children’s selected second hand clothing and more — Nelson describes her business philosophy: one that provides families with cost-efficient, “eco-friendly” alternatives to the full price and often less-than-stellar customer service of the big outlets. She says her store provides a solution to harried moms who know the trials and expenses of kids who grow out of clothes so soon, for families who need to buy items or to sell. Nelson says she splits consignment profits on a 50-50 basis.
Nelson describes the store at 6 Burbank as “a sweet little spot. … It seems I’m in the right place at the right time. I know in my heart.” She says she’s excited to bring “a new way of doing business” to downtown Pittsfield. Bizzy B’s makes Eric and Keri a Downtown family. Eric’s Primerica offices are located on Summer Street, on the second floor above the gym and across from the Columbus Avenue parking garage.
Nelson says her store is washed in warm earth tones and features a separate nursery: “The store is designed with children in mind. We are child friendly and have toys and activities available to keep them safe and engaged while parents shop.”
The store offers creative customer attractions: a once-a-week free story time for children 18 months to 4 years, a free stay-and-play policy, and after-hours birthing circles lead by Angelique Walls and Alisa Blanchard.
Read All About Yesterday’s Snow in the Berkshire Eagle
The Berkshire Eagle, true to its reputation of fearlessness, broke in with big headlines this morning with a story that no one knew about: It snowed yesterday. That was Page 1, Huge Headlines. The Eagle also got in first on two more cutting-edge pieces of slamming journalism: (1) Page 1, B section: Ski areas are happy it snowed, and (2) the new Pittsfield
Tourism Commission feels good about itself trumpeted in an editorialized headline how Great, Fantastic, Bigger, Brighter, Better, Goldarm Terrific, and Super tourism is going to be for Pittsfield in 2011. Trees died that that garbage.
While the Eagle told you about all these exciting developments, The Planet gave you the details of major highway robbery committed on Pittsfield taxpayers, a story that hadn’t been revealed for years until we got on it. That was the Ev Worldwide/EletroStor holdup committed by Michael Armitage and abetted by Gerry Doyle, the then-Pittsfield City Council, John Olver, the Berkshire Eagle on the taxpayers of the city.
EV Worldwide, and What a World
Those of you who missed yesterday’s expose on EV Worldwide/ElectroStor’s fleecing of Pittsfield would do well to go back and read. With all of their combined resources, the mainstream media, led by the toothless Berkshire Eagle, ignored this story for years.
When EV CEO/mastermind Michael Armitage went on trial in Springfield this year, the Eagle ignored it. When the court case ended in Armitage’s conviction for all manner of fraud, the Eagle ignored it. It took this web site, plus one of our freelance investigators, to bring you the news. We posted Francois Arneau’s story yesterday. Arneau is one of a growing number of allies we have recruited to help this website gather and deliver news, exposes, and commentary.
Curt Preisser was a passing figure in the EV drama. You may remember Preisser. He was the Dog-Awful news director at WBEC for a while. His idea of coverage was to rip and read from the Eagle. That’s like a derelict rolling a railroad tramp. Preisser kissed so much bum at city hall in his stint at WBEC that his lips turned into lip-synching the theme from “Deliverance.” This resulted in his promotion by Mayor Gerry Doyle as Doyle’s water boy at City Hall.
Against the advice of his good friend and mentor, Tom Hickey, Doyle then got involved with Armitage. Next thing you know, Ol’ Jed’s a millionaire, or Armitage, anyway, from money stolen from taxpayers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and nationwide. What did the Eagle say about all this: “1,000 JOBS!!!!”
As we wrote yesterday, EV Worldwide created but two jobs: a con job and a snow job.
When it turned out that the company went from making electric vehicles to electric batteries, questions arose. Only two media dared to ask questions out loud: “The Dan Valenti Show” on WBRK and The Pittsfield Gazette. When it turned out that the batteries allegedly being made by the company were useless, the company launched a nationwide search for the Greatest PR Guru in the World to help them get out of the jam. Fortunately, that happened to be the mayor’s bobo, Curt Preisser. Preisser joined EV/ElectroStor, which was like the Titanic taking on another iceberg.
Anyway, where is Preisser today? He’s living the good life in sunny Florida as mouthpiece for the community development office of the city of Sarasota, Fla. Not sure the city knows of Pressier’s all-star past schlepping for a convicted criminal.
Grin and Barrett
OK, so by now you know. The EAgle told you today. It snowed yesterday. Governments declared states of emergency. Panic buyers rushed supermarkets. The NFL canceled a game. It seems that everyone was caught off guard by the fact that it can snow IN THE BERKSHIRES IN LATE DECEMBER. Imagine that! I’m with the governor of Pennsylvania, who pointed out the obvious when he said America has turned into a land of weather wimps.
Peter White and John Krol felt it was necessary to break into regularly scheduled programming on Facebook to convey the city’s “EMERGENCY!!!!!” While the world as we know it was coming to an end, White went bowling. As one Facebook wag put it, “Oh, the humanity.” We recommended White for a role as Bartleby the Scrivener when The Plaet MEdia Players put on the all-star production this year at Wahconah Park.
The only one who kept his head, apparently, was city consultant John Barrett, whose new DPW systems were given what he calls “a good test.” Verdict: Most Pittsfield residents contacted this morning gave Barrett and Company two thumbs up. The city got about 20 inches of snow, and yet major roadways were kept clean and the side streets were not ignored.
Since Barrett came aboard in January, this storm provided the most stringent test of the new cross-functional philosophy he has implemented in public works. The new policy states that for a snow like this, DPW will have help from other available departments. That’s what happened yesterday, as DPW snow jockeys were augmented by drivers from Parks and Maintenance. That’s a first for Pittsfield, and give Barrett credit. Prior to this aggressive approach to snow removal, it used to be that side streets were ignored and main roadways given the “Keystone Kops” treatment. No more. Pittsfield being able to handle snow? That’s a major step forward in one year.
Where was Barrett during the white blitz? Where do you think? He was out in a city truck supervising his troops. The Planet caught up with Der Wunderbarrett this morning.
“The guys did an excellent job,” Barrett said. He gave particular credit to Tom Foody, who directed private snow contractors, and Pete Bruneau, who supervised city plowboys. “Our message to the department [all this year was one of] changing the way they do things. This was a good test for them. What I’m impressed with is that the city is getting back to public service. We’re getting back to basics.”
And what will the next 24 hours turn up? That, my friends, is for you to read in Berkshire County’s most exciting media mart: PLANET VALENTI DOT COM.