So much to cover. So little time. Ah, but certainly not too little “space,” since that’s another area where cyberspace has it all over print and other physical media. First, let’s dispel couple quickies:

* Once again, THE PLANET beats the BORING BROADSHEET, aka, The Berkshire Eagle, this time on its own terms, in print, and this time by a full week. In the Pittsfield Gazette, Dec. 7 issue, PLANET VALENTI wrote about the implications of redistricting and reapportionment of Massachusetts congressional districts in terms of its effects on Berkshire County and Western Massachusetts, particularly the John Olver-Andrea Nuciforo-Richie Neal triumverate. Not only did we have more of the story, we had much more of WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU.

On the other hand, the somnambulant prose of the Eagle’s Dick Linday in the Dec. 21 edition, page one, above the fold, besides being a week late, likely confused more people than it helped.

These poor souls have just read a page one story in The Berkshire Eagle.

That’s what the Eagle does to good reporters. It makes them tame and afraid to rattle the cages of the skunks. ’tis a pity, to see what happens to our fellow scribes at the daily rag. Ah, but that’s why we are stealing their readers! Enterprise journalism doesn’t require a large staff, just a staff that’s not afraid to live up to its responsibility to the general public. PLANET VALENTI: BRINGING BACK THE 4th ESTATE TO BERKSHIRE COUNTY.

* We are working on a major story that, if we can nail down a bit more information, will be broken on this site, probably by early next week. It will be an enormous story that will have a direct effect on the city of Pittsfield and indirectly on all of Berkshire County. Don’t ask us for more, because, for the moment, we can say no more. The Eagle again will be gasping for air. They don’t have a clue on this, and if they did, wouldn’t know how to get it.


With that, and with Christmas fast moving in, we present a pastiche of our delightful day yesterday in downtown Pittsfield. We ran into all sorts of people, including retired Judge Paul Perachi, writer Paul Milenski, councilors John Krol and Joe Nichols, activist Terry Kinnas, WBRK’s Bullet Bob Shade, Queen of North Street Teddy Randisi, and many others.

We stopped at four of THE PLANET’s favorite businesses that illustrate how one succeeds along the Avenue of Sighs. You do it with great service, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and a terrific product. If your businesses can do all of this and it’s not forced, you will succeed.

ON A ROLL CAFE: This little eatery in the Central Block features the city’s best breakfast and lunch menu. Chef/owner Dave Barile puts a delicious signature on every dish, even the standards. For example, yesterday we ordered the tuna salad on sourdough with sweet potato home fries. It’s tuna done Dave’s way, unique and with flair, not one drop of hom hum to be found. The waitresses are sweet as well, and attentive. In the kitchen, how can you miss with guys like iron man Roger Ball helping in the kitchen? Congratulations to Roger and Monique on their upcoming nuptuals and the baby to be.

STEVEN VALENTI’s CLOTHING FOR MEN: I’d like to have a nickel for each time someone has asked me if Steve and THE PLANET are related. We grew up in the same area, were members of the same parish, and graduated in the same class in high school. Answer: yes, we’re 24th cousins. THE PLANET remembers when we started our businesses in the old El-Glo Mall (now Crawford Square) in 1980. Steve worked for Mod Mod World. When he went on his own in 1985, we told him he would succeed: good taste, great work ethic, and customer service. Hard to believe it’s a quarter century later. Steve, we’re proud of you.

R.J. STOHR JEWELRY: I first met Rick when he was doing pay-by-play for the Pittsfield Mets (not sure, but I think he succeeded Don Orsillo). Rick for many years worked for Dino’s Jewelers, and like Steve Valenti, I knew he was itching to hang out his own shingle. Rick did, on North Street at Dunham Mall on the corner. One of the best gifts I ever bought my wife was a ring of blue diamond from Rick. Rick, Norm, and staff have helped this clueless male on a number of purchases over the years, and they let me come up big each time. Rick is a great guy, the kind of creative dynamo that the city needs in greater supply. Rick, as you may or may not know, is the area’s leading comedy impressario under the aegis is ZipStohr Productions. The yuks are on us.

THE PITTSFIELD COLONIALS: The Cs put in a yeoman-like first year. The team got off slow but put on a great second half. During the playoffs, the stands at beloved Wahconah Park were joyous and loud in a way that they haven’t been since the 1965 season of the Pittsfield Red Sox. This off season, CEO Buddy Lewis and his staff are doing their homework. They have been marketing hard and making changes that will ensure success in Year Two at Wahconah Park. Around 14 players from the talented 2010 club will be back, there’s a new general manger, and some exciting announcements in the works. Field manager and Can Am Manager of the Year Brian Daubach won promotion to the Washington Nationals organization, where he will be managing a A team. THE PLANET will be presenting a Hot Stove League story on the Colonials in a soon-to-come posting. The words for 2011 at Wahconah Park are: BIGGER, BETTER.

There’s still time to buy a gift card at ON A ROLL, a piece of fine clothing for the man in your life at VALENTI’s, some jewelry for the sweet woman at STOHR’s, and season tickets for the best entertainment buy in the Berkshires, the COLONIALS. Stop by those stores and tell them you read about them here.

But for gosh sakes, whatever you do, DON’T tell them Angelo sent ya. Tell ’em THE PLANET sent ya. You don’t want the bum’s rush, now do you?

AHEAD FOR TOMORROW: THE PLANET’S INTERVIEW WITH WARD 7 COUNCILOR JOE NICHOLS, THE MAN WHO WOULD BE MAYOR … AND MUCH MUCH MORE, including the full, unedited text of Congressional candidate Andrea Nuciforo’s views of redistricting and the loss of a congressional district for the Bay State! The Boring Broadsheet didn’t think to give that to you today.


  1. Christine
    December 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    Awesome Dan. Steve Valenti of all people should win a “Best BUSINESS Man in Berkshire County Award”. He is true blue loyal and a really nice guy!!!!! His store is beautiful and he looooves downtown. He’s been there in the best of time and and the not so best. I met him when I was 16 and worked at Beba!!! My mom still shops there for my brother. Merry Christmas and a very blessed NEW YEAR!!!

  2. Jonathan Melle
    December 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I hope that my Blog will allow voters to see the real Nuciforo. I explain his close connections to Boston area big banks and insurance companies, including Nuciforo’s illegal conflict of interest as a former State Senator. I explain his strong arming 2 women candidates – Sharon Henault & Sara Hathaway – out of the 2006 state government election for Pittsfield Registrar of Deeds, which is Nuciforo’s $90k per year sinecure while he plots his run for Congress in 2012. I explain his failures in regional economic development, as Pittsfield is the #1 place for job loss in Massachusetts. I explain how Nuciforo is the son of a Judge/State Senator, and the nephew of a Pittsfield State Representative and his Aunt is a former Pittsfield Mayor. I explain how Nuciforo is a dirty politician who hurts people for his own political gain. I dislike Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr. (aka “Luciforo”) and I hope he loses in his 2012 run for U.S. Congress against Representative John W. Olver.

    • DJ
      December 22, 2010 at 8:22 am #

      Did they let you out of jail for Christmas?

  3. pjmh
    December 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm #

    Notes from the 3 dot lounge… I Saw you on North S. yesterday and you saw me, but you don’t know me… I am now going to check out On a Roll Cafe since I walk by there daily and have been curious… After all of these years I finally checked out Valenti’s (because of this blog) and while not for me, I’m glad I checked it out and if in an urgent pinch, I know I have an option… I really enjoyed going to Wahconah this summer with my boys and feel Buddy is doing a job, regardless of what Jimmy G will say on this thread…JM, nice to hear from you (Emeritus)… Glen Heller will be here soon…

  4. Craig's List
    December 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm #

    I heard Valenti was downtown yesterday, from one of the people he mentions in the blog. He’s done more for the people of Pittsfield in a couple months on this website than the Eagle has done since 1995 when the firesale happened and gave us the sorry bunch at the Clock Tower, Denver east. One of the reporters is a good friend. You see his byline most every day. Hates the muzzle the business, ad, and publishers side has put on the newsroom. Says that farkas, the exec editor, is scared of doing anything that nmight rile the boss of a major advertiser. We’re glad for The Planet.

  5. FAN OF them ALL
    December 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    That’s a good list of four gems. My boyfriend got me a diamond pendant at Rick’s last Xmas. Wonder if its a ring this year? If I had to pick four bisinesses, those would be it, but would put the emporium in for baseball, This is my first time at the planet. Enjoy your take on things Dan. Youre right about Eagle. My boyfriend’s best friend works in the business side. Hates it. If he complains, there attitude is, “be lucky you got a job in this environment.”

  6. Still wondering
    December 22, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    The Eagle’s problems are company wide. But when it comes to how Berkshirites view the paper, the biggest problem is the Op-ed pages.
    The editorials are insulting and toe the far-left agenda on every point. Totally predictable and a complete turnoff. The opinion pieces also follow the DNC script. The occasional column by George Will does nothing to counter the overwhelming bias of the Eagle.
    It seems that the Eagle hates anything and anyone that does not follow the script. As a result, we the people of the Berkshires, hate the Eagle. With a passion.

  7. DJ
    December 22, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    You highlight the COLONIALS? as how a business does right?
    This coming on the heels of the Ruberto Ticket Scam, the fact that one of their owners has allegedly used company money to further his own collection of stuff, one of the newest owners meanwhile is being investigated for some form of fraud and the investigation is so secret only the Boston Globe reports on it.

    Why not highlight The Highland? or did they not pay for advertising? or any of the other restaurants that have been around for decades, and not taken Ruberto handouts.

    December 22, 2010 at 8:42 am #

    The only busnesses Valenti mentions here are those who rewarded him amply with free meals and free stuff. Ask Rick Stohr how much Valenti “paid” for the ring he got his wife. Ask the Colonials how much he paid for the seasons tickets? Ask On A Roll how much Valenti pays when he eats there? Ask Steven Valenti how much Valenti pays for shirts?

    • danvalenti
      December 22, 2010 at 9:06 am #

      @ PB: THE PLANET hates to shatter your fevered illusions, but we pay full price. This site takes no advertising. We are unbought and unbossed. Counting Steve, you’ve mentioned “Valenti” five times. That entitles you to a 10% discount. Keep reading, my good friend.

      • DJ
        December 22, 2010 at 4:47 pm #

        Timothy Kushi is that you?

  9. just saying
    December 25, 2010 at 11:23 pm #

    Dan, as usual you are doing a great job. Thank you sir. Steve Valenti is an intelligent and thoughtfull person.
    @ JM can you please go away?! You drove me insane with your constant “luciforo” crap on topixs. Take it elsewhere!
    I agree with you Melle, but it gets old. You lose respect with your repeat postings of your websites. Its old, move on.

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