BY DAN VALENTI
COMING TOMORROW: PT. 2 OF THE PLANET’s 3-PT. SERIES ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, WITH CO-AUTHOR FRANCOIS ARNEAU. ALSO, BUY THE PITTSFIELD GAZETTE FOR THE PRINT VERSION OF PLANET VALENTI. WE PRINT THE EXPLOSIVE “DEAR ANDY” LETTER “DA BOYZ” SENT TO ANDREA NUCIFORO, TELLING HIM NOT TO RUN FOR CONGRESS IF HE KNWS WHAT’S GOOF FOR HIM.
BUT FIRST, A LITTLE BUNDA:
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.
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, 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’
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.
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’
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.
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.
TOMORROW: PART TWO ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT