The City Council in One Word

Over breakfast at On a Roll Cafe recently, my guest thought it would be an interesting exercise to capture each of the 11 members of the Pittsfield city council with one word. She said it couldn’t be done. We corrected her: It could be done, but probably not done well.

City council: What's wrong with this picture?

Anyway, intrigued by the challenge, here is our attempt:

Ward 1, Chris Yon: Compliant

Ward 2, Pete White: Ubiquitous

Ward 3, Paul Capitanio: Grogged

Ward 4, Mike Ward: Ambulent

Ward 5, Jonathan Lothrop: Bobo

Ward 6: John Krol: Pretty

Ward 7: Joe Nichols: Determined

At-large Gerry Lee:  Atavistic

AL Melissa Mazzeo: Questioning

AL Kevin Sherman: Searching

AL Peter Marchetti: Wavering

You have better words? Let’s hear them.


THE PLANET: There's nothing to be afraid of, honest. For good people, anyhow.

The Planet, who neither needs nor desires any more local fame, finds it fun to note the parting of the Red Sea when it comes to the “reply” section of this post. The sea can be divided in two: those who either agree with the points we make or, if not, contribute with intelligent counterpoints, AND those who, for whatever reason, find this site a threat (could be simple jealousy or agita based on the gravitational pull The Planet is having on public affairs; these people accuse me of doing this for publicity).

The former ride their self security into interesting and often funny points. I love my dealings with them. They engage in my arguments, take them on, agree with them, challenge them, buttress them, and add to them. They teach me much. They do it with maturity and intelligence. Scott Langenour is an example.

We also point out that to allow “reply” posts and feedback remains solely the decision of The Planet. We don’t have to allow feedback. In fact, many advised against it, pointing out many examples where the reply chains online usually degenerate into the foul ranks of sewers and cesspools. We monitor the site closely, and each day have to delete the moronic syllables that come from the netherworld of cyberspace. We shall continue to allow feedback and dialogue, never forfeiting the right to change this policy.

‘Apple and Google Own Valenti’

ROGER LINSCOTT: When the Boring Broadsheet was THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

The threatened, squeezed by an infantile ignorance whose source remains a total mystery, having nothing to contribute and so resort to ad hominem attacks a la, “Valenti is afraid of free speech,” or “Apple and Google own Valenti” (one poster calls Apple my “corporate master”!), or The Planet “is a hypocrite.” One poster accuses me of taking “30 percent bribes” (whatever they are) from several downtown businesses, names them, follows with unsupported slanderous accusations against good people, and — GET THIS — wonders why the webmaster wouldn’t allow the post.

These inundated imbeciles never have specifics, and they know as much about advancing public discourse as a field mouse knows about Resphighi. Check out the one from yesterday who has installed me as ruler of a Planet with only six followers. The irony, which escapes this harmless fool, is that he or she is obviously obsessed with this site. If only six people read this site, then people such as my nervous friend have nothing to worry about. The Planet shall write for six people, then. However, if the impressive growth we see at the site continues, people like Nervous will be in for many sleepless nights.

Exponential Growth

The interesting thing about the web is that we have hard numbers on unique visitors. We have exact data and literally have been measuring a readership volume whose growth since Sept. 29, the day of our first posting, has been exponential. At present, this site of commercial-free. We are unbought and unbossed. We shall continue this way for the time being, reserving the right to change this policy as our discretion.

‘On to Something’

It has failed the community. For that, it is paying the price. Circulation is in free fall.

Fact is, this web site is on to something. We have hit a nerve. We have tapped into an undercurrent of public sentiment. Call it what you will: anger, discontent, frustration simmering under the cover of apathy. We The People know they have been had. They’ve been had by unaccountable elected and appointed officials, who play by their own rules and do what they want, from ignoring referenda on the downtown mall, lowering taxes, and Wahconah Park to the illegal municapl purchase of goods and services.

We The People have been had by relentless tax increases and declining services. They’ve been had by giveaways of their money to crooks. They’ve been had by child molesters, imbezzlers, liars, cheats, and assorted fore-flushers who have become imbedded into the fabric of this once-vibrant city, masking as pillars of the community.

They’ve been had by a daily newspaper that’s ruled from afar, with as much interest in Berkshire County as flies are interested in Voltaire. This newspaper’s management has standing orders to squeeze every cent it can out of the region and send the tribute money back to Denver.

When the Eagle lives here, it was winning Pulitizers. Now, it's losing revenue by the bucket.

The Boring Broadsheet’s managers have raped the newsroom, which is down to under 30 people (as opposed to nearly 100 in the heyday of the Miller family). The newsroom staff has lots of talent that will never be used through a combination of overwork, addiction to fluff, and a baffling tendency to be afraid of hard news and discourage enterprise. The Planet has many good friends in the newsroom. Have you wondered why they don’t come to the public defense of their newspaper? Because they know we’re right. They, too, are embarrassed to be employed by the Eagle.

Where Has The Berkshire Eagle Gone?

Where has the paper been in the big stories? Where was it in the Civic Authority, Pittsfield’s Civil War? It was on the side of corruption and darkness. Where has it been? For example, when Sugar Daddy Michael Armitage, mastermind of the EV Worldwide fraud, was convicted in federal court in October, why wasn’t the Eagle there? Why didn’t the Eagle cover the trial? Why haven’t they printed one word? Could it be that several of the “Pittsfield 100” were deposed, under oath? Could that testimony may have proven embarrassing?

This is one of countless examples of how the once-respected Berkshire Eagle has abandoned its responsibilities to the community. It does not serve as the Fourth Estate protecting citizens. Rather, it has become the enabler of a civil and cultural decay that has been eroding the foundations of democracy in Pittsfield since the day GE left town.

This is why The Planet — one man augmented by many allies and spies fighting for truth, justice, and citizen rights — has challenged the executive editor of the Boring Broadsheet, Mr. Tim Farkas, to a debate on the role of journalism in a community such as Pittsfield. Nothing personal against Tim Farkas. He is a former sports reporter and editor. He knows that field. He’s not a newsman, though.

A newsman would stand up to Corporate, Rug Row, and the bean counters at the 75 S. Church St., and demand freedom to cover the city, warts and all. A newsman would refuse to publish all the “happy” PR pieces, the daily fluff that takes up column inches in place of important stories that affect the lives of citizens. They would publish local columnists that hit hard, instead of hacks that blow bubbles.

The Planet has yet to hear from Mr. Farkas. He has six more days to accept or decline our offer.

In three months’ time, The Planet has already leveled the playing field, by the smallest amount, for the Little Guy. We feel good to close the year on that note.



  1. DJ
    December 30, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Yon: befuddled
    Jonathan Lothrop: criminal
    John Krol: lackey
    Gerry Lee: geriatric
    Melissa Mazzeo:underwater
    Peter Marchetti: egotistical
    Joe Nichols: delusional
    Pete White: simple
    Capitanio: incompetent
    Mike Ward: worthy

    • Jim Gleason
      January 1, 2011 at 9:06 am #

      DJ- dumbass

  2. Beagle
    December 30, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    If Tim Farkas, or any member of the Eagle, accepts Valenti’s challenge to debate, I will immediately cancel my subscription to the Eagle.

    I almost cancelled after Fanto allowed Valenti to steal his time on GMP.

    I pay the Eagle for their journalistic integrity. I don’t want them playing in the same sandbox as a blogger.

    If the editor of the NY Times had a debate with a representative of, all that would do is tarnish the Times’ credibility and feed the need of exposure for TMZ.

    • M wood
      December 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

      Maybe some of us would start taking the paper again if he accepts.

  3. Jonathan Melle
    December 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Dear Dan,
    Happy New Year. I don’t know what you see in Nuciforo! He has planned his run for U.S. Congress for many years now. Instead of taking on the political insiders who are opposed to his intraparty run against Representative John W. Olver, why don’t you question Nuciforo’s public record and platform for Capitol Hill? John Olver has seniority and political clout in U.S. Congress. What makes Nuciforo so great to oust Olver? How long does Nuciforo want to serve in U.S. Congress? I hope you are not a propaganda mouth-piece for Nuciforo.
    – Jonathan Melle

  4. Dean
    December 30, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    So why doesn’t the Gazette make their move, no one wants the Eagle.

    • Beagle
      December 31, 2010 at 1:49 am #

      no cajones to print a daily?

      No dinero because nobody buys it?

  5. Beagle
    December 31, 2010 at 2:06 am #

    Why won’t you print unique user info?

    There are about 100 comments.

    6 are from Scott langenoeur
    6 are from jonathan melee
    6 are from Pam Malumphy having to defend herself
    6 are from Jim glean
    12 are from Dan valenti
    50 are from me posting as someone different every time
    14 from some other guy posting as a different ID every time

    That’s 7 unique users. That’s not a bad start. Let’s even double that to 14 because his mom, dad, etc probably have posted

    And there are probably a dozen l”lurkers” that check in

    • M wood
      December 31, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

      Just wondering where you got this iinformation from? and why are you so concerned?

    • Jonathan Melle
      December 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

      My last name is spelled “Melle”. I funny have names for some of the lousy Berkshire Pols: “Bureaucrat” Bosley, “Golddigger” Guyer, “Shitty” PIGnatelli, “Lobbyist” Larkin, Jimmy Robber-toe.
      Pittsfield Politics met its match with Dan Valenti!

      • Jeffrey Turner
        January 1, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

        Oooh, an eighth grade intellectual.

    • Jim Gleason
      January 1, 2011 at 9:21 am #

      If I criticize you I have the guts to sign my real mane, why don’t you have the guts to sign yours? No cojones? Nobody cares what you say?

  6. rick
    December 31, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    i think we have to stop and think before ragging on this local goverment. we have to remember that they are in a tuff position.they come from all walks of life, and we have to give them credit for going in to a thankless job.monday morning quaterbacking is way to easy. …..some of these counsilors ran on a single issue in their wards,what ever it may be,and won. now they are overcomed with the big picture of pittsfield, are they capable to handle multi million dollar budgets, i dont think so but thats my opinion.(but opinions are like aholes, everyones got one).did they bite off to much to chew most definitly. in the future will it get better….not……..all we can do is wait it out till next election, and from the apathy im reading and seeing from people,and the lack of voters last election were screwed!!!!! so take it easy on them,their tying the best they can.remember that u need to cut the head off the snake(roberto)before the rest of it dies(counsil)…….

  7. Ktman
    December 31, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    With all due respect the job might be thankless in some regards however they asked to do it and they made promises in order to get the job. Be it voting to keep taxes in check or restoring trust in government whatever it was that they developed as there platform. It is really a question of character and integrity. It isn’t always easy following your beliefs and at times there is a price that you pay to do so, but flailing in the wind on issues or going along to get along is not what this City needs now or in the future. And it certainly isn’t leadership.
    Just one fellas thoughts

    December 31, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    This council has been overall a disappointment. Lee Marchetti , Lothrop and Sherman and Krol to an extent have been far too unquestioning of little things like budgets and contracts. Maybe it is as Rick says above, their in over their heads. nichols and mazzeo have been alone in at least pushing for discussion and asking questions when they weren’t sure. ward, i know he’s valenti’s pet, but i have to give him credit. seems to say things worth hearing. captanio, yon, are nonfactors. White I cant figure hes like a chameloen. not sure if thats a good thing or not. as for the eagle I hope farkes agrees to the challenge. Its a great topic, what is the medias job to the community. I dont agreewith everything valenti says but hes at least not afraid to pursue this question

  9. Simon Sez
    December 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Am enjoying this long-overdu economic discussion. Yeah we have the “alphabet soup” of economic dev. agencies that pay the executives fat salaries and NOTHING gets done. I smell more than one skunks/.

  10. rick
    December 31, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    you guys are right.going with rasing the tax was political suicide. when the people u send to represent u stop listening,these things will happen. i think this council is way in over their heads. people have tried to help them, and get shot down at the mike.but we have to bear with them,their all we have right now,and untill they open up their ears its buissness as usual. they just dont get it,people are realy pissed off at them, not just here on the planet but through out the city. this is what happens when independent thinking get flushed down the toilet. seen it before with doyles admin. theres a name thats going to be popping up a lot in the future with the ev scandal.lets call it DOYLEGATE.

  11. just saying
    December 31, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    @ Beagle: The fact that you believe that the NY Times has credibility makes me question your credibility. The Times is a Progressive mouthpiece, as is The Berkshire Eagle. Neither publication offers any true journalism, but, they fit your agenda so you back them up.