Article

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.

Downtown Pittsfield has a new business: BIZZY B'S. Moms, you're gonna want to check out this great new store.

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.”

Do this on UPPER NORTH STREET at BIZZY B's. Moms, you'll be glad you did.

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.

ALSO, check out this bean emporium between Crawford Square and Steven Valenti's, highly recommended by THE PLANET's wife, who is a beader.

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.

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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

The EAgle had the story the day after: It snowed yesterday. Gosh, how did they break it?

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.

CURT PREISSER: Former bobo for Gerry Doyle, Jonathan Fleisig, Michael Armitage, and EV Worldwide. He's now PR Guru for Sarasota, Fla., and you thought everything was sunny there.

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.”

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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.

30 Responses to “PLANET EXCLUSIVE ON NEW DOWNTOWN STORE, plus, EAGLE HEADLINE: IT SNOWED YESTERDAY … and, MORE EV WORLDWIDE GARBAGE”

  1. Craig A. Swinson
    December 28, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Now next year when the tax payers have to pay for the snow budget overages that will easily exceed $500,000 for this year please do a follow-up on how happy the tax payers are.
    What so many of the people don’t get is that they pay for that cleaning via their tax dollars, that scraping down to the bare pavement over and over again only wears down equipment, increases fuel costs and fills the pockets of the drivers. The cost per person driving goes up dramatically on these big snow days, and is really not worth it.
    I would if you figured out how much it cost per tax paying household, people would be PISSED at the actual cost of the job done. Remember to factor in the ethically challenged hire of Barrett and additional wear and tear on the trucks when factoring the costs.

    • M Wood
      December 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm #

      There is a reason both snowplows and slot machines have flashing lights, both indicate someone hit the jackpot. I heard a rumor that the Eagle was working a story about downtown Pittsfield. Is it true that there will be a 4th of July celebration? Rumor has it there will be a parade and the potential exists for fireworks as well. Can you confirm this rumor? So glad I heard about the storm from the Eagle the 2 feet of snow on my steps was no indication at first I thought someone had secretly replaced my dandruff shampoo.

  2. Still wondering
    December 28, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    I can’t say that I’m happy with the plowing job done on my street. At the height of the storm I distinctly saw a small city plow go down my street with its plow up. It sat at the end of my street for about 10 minutes then drove by again with its plow up.
    As I write this, my street has a good deal of snow on it and I’m sure Barrett and the boys are congratulating themselves on the swell job they did.

  3. Joe Pinhead
    December 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Just wondering since Mr. Armitage has plead guilty and will be sentenced in April of 2011 has the City and or its legal representation presented our losses to the court in an attempt to get some sort of restitution? Granted it will be pennies on the dollar but it would be symbolic to the taxpayers? Or is the current administration and Council not going to admit we got taken to the cleaners? Has the City filed a brief with the court outlining our loses? More importantly has the Mayor, The first assistant Mayor (Deana Ruffor) or the Administrative Support Specialist Helping Out Local Executive (Barret) you figure the acronym sent a letter to the court requesting no leniency for this man outlining the impacts and setbacks to the taxpayer.
    The City on behalf of us the taxpayer has an obligation to request the maximum punishment allowed under the law. Or were the City officials unaware of this action due to a lack of reporting by the daily?

  4. Swami
    December 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Can someone ask the Councilors to provide us with a written copy of the impact statement sent to the courts on our behalf? all the Councilors except Mr. White I heard hes out bowling or fiddling or something like that. Peter you on it? fill us in please

  5. Changed jobs
    December 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    I went to school with Eric. Hopefully his wife will [succeed
    We wish them lots of luck!

    • Changed jobs
      December 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm #

      EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS ENTIRE POST HAS BEEN REDACTED FOR MAKING UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS.

      • danvalenti
        December 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm #

        CHANGED JOBS
        On this site, we play by The Planet’s rules. Get it?

        • Changed jobs
          December 28, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

          You want a substantiated claim?

          Eric Vincelette is a waiter at Mazzeo’s restaurant.

          Get it?

      • Changed jobs
        December 28, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

        Redaction made by Valenti to protect Eric Vincelette from the truth that the Primerica business os suffering.

        Get it?

    • Changed jobs
      December 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

      This post was completely modified to suit Valenti’s agenda.

      It makes me wonder how many of these posts are actual readers, as opposed to Valenti just making up names and/or changing whatever doesn’t suit him.

      The concept that it makes ME “wonder” makes this entire post factual.

      Print the facts Valenti – print the facts

  6. Evian
    December 28, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    This is a great idea. What so the current councilors have to say about this? their silence is deafening. Seriously why cant the city file an impact statement to the courts Pittsfield taxpayers were certainly impacted. Who will do this> who will do whats right? Someone, please, besides valenti, give a hoot about is dumb taxpayers.

  7. Jim Gleason
    December 28, 2010 at 5:24 pm #

    I wasn’t impressed by the plowing of the sidestreets at all. The ones in my neighborhood are still unsanded, it would have been a perfect day for that since the sun would,ve melted the remaining snow today. We had small pickup’s plowing and you can’t do that in a storm like this. All that happens is a washboard effect which ruins cars. To quote the Talking Heads, “Same as it ever was”.

  8. M Wood
    December 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm #

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the City leaders fought for our money as tenaciously as they fought to give it away to the Charlatan ? Didn’t pay or file a tax return since 1993 and in 2000 we give him money.

  9. Changed jobs
    December 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS POST HAS BEEN REDACTED. ANYONE WHO CONTRIBUTES IDIOCY INSTEAD OF INFORMATION WILL ENDURE THE EDITOR’S MIGHTY PEN.

    • danvalenti
      December 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

      NOTE: The Planet responded to Changed Jobs by the e-mail he or she left back stage. It bounced back. So not only does this person use a fake name to post juvenile comments, this person also uses a phony e-mail address.

      • Changed jobs
        December 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm #

        Eric Vincellette is a waiter at Mazzeo’s.

        That’s a fact, Jack!

      • Changed jobs
        December 28, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

        What comment do you think was juvenile? It was all facts. So what FACT did you consider juvenile?

        Post it and let your audience decide – that’s electronic medium. Get it?

    • Changed jobs
      December 28, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

      Note: Valenti is calling FACT to be idiocy. Print the facts Valenti, let your audience decide.

      Eric Vincelette is a waiter at Mszzeo’s. Report that fact, I mean if you have a shred of credibility you would report facts.

      Want an opinion? My opinion is that you are friends with the Vincellettes and don’t want your audience to know that Eric’s business at Primerica isn’t going well.

      But that’s just my opinion. Be a journalist and report the facts.

      Get it?

  10. Joe Pinhead
    December 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    Go to Mazzeos next January Roberto will be the bus boy

    • Changed jobs
      December 28, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

      Uh oh. Be careful or else you’ll be censored.

    • Jim Gleason
      December 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

      ruberto won’t be anything there except, hopefully, a doormat to wipe our feet on.

  11. No Reply
    December 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Grat post. This shows the planet has good things to say about downtown. As for the snow, a good job with main roads, side streets still so-so. As for EV, this fraud went on for years and none of the pittsfield establishment including the local daily rag said a peep they only touted the 1000 jobs and all the great news that turned our to be not so great.

  12. Voice of treason
    December 29, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    1) Mr. Valenti trashes the Eagle for covering a big story – the first NorEaster that continues to shut down NYC flights and gave Atlanta it’s first White Christmas in 120 years, and resulted in an emergency rescue for two local men from Mt. Greylock.

    2). Mr. Valenti offers an “exclusive” puff piece that is essentially no more than an advertisement for his friends as his big story.

    —the advantage goes to the Eagle on this one.

    • Craig Swinson
      December 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

      If Pittsfield were New York, like many assert the coverage would have been something. But alas Pittsfield is not Brooklyn, and since they didn’t report on the actual costs of the cleanup, the biggest story out there saying it’s snowing in the paper is like saying…well it’s snowing…day late and bfd.

  13. Joe Pinhead
    December 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Please note the link. Mr slick in his plea agreement has agreed to repay the feds there money. MR Mayor please tell us why or why not we have not requested our $275,000 with intrest

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2010/10/former_berkshire_power_co_owne.html

    • Craig Swinson
      December 29, 2010 at 6:15 pm #

      The most shocking quote in that article was that Pittsfield had a thriving club scene…

      • danvalenti
        December 29, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

        CRAIG
        The claim that Pittsfield has a “thriving club scene” is pure fiction. Anyone who says that ought to be beaten over the head with one of them clubs.

  14. PITTSFIELD (un)BELIEVABLE
    December 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    Dan looks like you got “changes jobs” goat or squirrel or whatever else it might be. People, keep your eyes on the main point here: a new downtown business has opened, valenti has covered it. The story on the Eagle telling us there was snow is hilarious. That this site alonle has told us of the skunks at EV Worldwide. Proud to live on the planet!

  15. Ktman
    December 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Some people can only support the places they are told to by the Administration. I wish I was joking but sadly its true