We will be in and out with you several times today, with items of interest and breaking some news.


Fatal Car Accident

The Planet just got word of a fatal crash in the town of Monterey. Details are sketchy. It appears that the accident happened on Sandisfield Road earlier this morning. There are no details available at this time. We have a call into the Monterey Police Department. A Police spokesman, who transferred our inquiry to the investigating officer, did confirm the accident. We will update this as more information becomes available.

More on the Fatal Accident

We have more on the accident. According to Monterey police officer Michael Johnson, a 1994 Ford Explorer SUV driven by Santo S. Gambino, 49, of Otis left the southbound lane on Sandisfield Road in Monterey. The vehicle left the roadway and landed upside down in swampy terrain off the road. Responding to a 4:30 a.m. call, emergency personnel from the Monterey Fire Department arrived. Donning cold-protection wets suits, they extricated Gambino from the vehicle and immediately began CPR. Johnson said Gambino owned a restaurant in Otis.

An ambulance transported Gambino to Fairview Hospital, where medical personnel administered additional life-support measures. Gambino was pronounced dead at the hospital. Johnson said police have not yet determined the cause of the accident, which is under investigation by by the Monterey Police, the crime scene reconstruction team of the State Police Department, and the medical examiner’s office.


Cam Am Expands, Colonials Benefit with More Home Games

EXCLUSIVE!! The Planet has learned that the Pittsfield Colonials will have an expanded home schedule this season at Wahconah Park. We also got word that the Canadian-American League will be expanding by two teams this year.

BRIGHT '11 OUTLOOK: More home game for Colonials, more team for Can-Am League

The Colonials will have 54 home games at Wahconah Park, a jump of 10 from last year. Because a handful of “home” games last year were played in Ottawa in a financial arrangement that earned the C’s $7,000 a game, the difference amounts to eight more games at Wahconah Park.

As for the expansion, the Can-Am League will be adding two teams. The first is the Rockland Boulders, based in Rockland County, N.Y. The second will be a traveling team, the New York Federals. A spokesman for the league said the expansion is a “sign of stability and growth” as the league prepares for the 2011 baseball season.

More on this, and other stories, later. Remember, you read it here first.

It’s been a busy morning.


Never on Sunday

As some of you may have noticed, we did not post yesterday. That is our new policy here on The Planet. We are closed on Sunday. Even God rested on the seventh day, and we have no hesitation in joining such august company. Our final Saturday posting will be good until Monday. We thank you for your understanding. While some readers may be disappointed, others will be flipping cartwheels, and, for certain, The Planet’s wife and family will be the primary beneficiaries.


More Feel-Good Fiction from The Boring Broadsheet

MIKE SUPRANOWICZ: Attention, all you jobless and those struggling financially.. Everything's great!

You’ll enjoy the positively glowing words the Berkshire Eagle published today on its op-ed page in a column titled, “Better job picture as new year begins” by Chamber chief Mike Supranowicz and Hillcrest Ed Centers CEO Jerry Burke. If you read this column, you’d think not only is the depression over in Berkshire County but that Pittsfield streets are paved with gold.

The article dusts off the “500 or more jobs” for General Dynamics, but it fails to tell you that few of them will be physically be based in Pittsfield as a result of the new Navy contract. It then mentions the “programs” the Chamber has “implemented … over the past year in preparation for job growth.” The Chamber has always been good at “implementing programs” to prep for job that never come. Oh, by the way, our budding Hemingways somehow morph the “500 jobs” into “1,000 jobs.” We kid you not. They’re drinking doubles here.

The coauthors them put on the knee pads for place wet ones on the fannies of John Kerry, Scott Brown, and John Olver. We won’t identify those three for you. Unlike Supranowicz or Burke, to say nothing of the Boring Broadsheet, we don’t insult the intelligence of our readers. And would you believe, ladies and gentlemen, that the article makes not one mention of the failed CEDS process or how the region, for forever, has failed on economic development.

We will also invite Mr. Burke and/or Mr. Supranowicz — who undoubtedly will disagree with our conclusions here — to take The Planet on, in live debate: The subject, economic development. When the phone doesn’t ring, I’ll know its them.


In Case You Missed It, Nilan Gets Slapped

The Massachusetts Trial Court gave Cliffy Nilan, Berkshire County probabtion chief, a slap on the pinkies in connection with the probation of convicted criminal Angelo Stracuzzi. The court admonished Nilan, saying it took “significant administrative action” in connection with his role in Angelo Stracuzzi’s probation. No other details were provided.

The State Probation Department noted that Nilan “mishandled” Stracuzzi’s case “and did not follow probation standards, which require avoidance of any conflict of interest.” Nilan is still on the job.

So let us get this straight. Stracuzzi cuts a deal with Maine prosecutors to send his probation to Berkshire County. He doesn’t report for sessions with probation officers, just blows it off. Meanwhile, his best buddy Nilan — former board member and officer of Greylock Federal Credit Union who, like Stracuzzi, had to leave his Greylock post in disgrace — allows the miscarriage of justice regarding Stracuzzi’s probation.

What are the consequences? No harm, no foul. We wonder if some ordinary bloke, who had no political connections, would be allowed half this amount of thumbing the law? We wonder if zealous officials would let him ignore the courts the way Stracuzzi and Nilan evidently did? What do you think, folks.


Another Scoop Ahead!

We beat the Boring Broadsheet to three stories today: the fatal accident in Monterey, the expanded home schedule of the Pittsfield Colonials, and the addition of two new teams to the Can-Am League. We’re not done there. We’ve got work on another development they know nothing about, and we will publish this tomorrow or, at the latest, Wednesday. This is an area where the paper even has a beat writer assigned. Doesn’t matter. We got the story. They won’t have it until at least two days later.


  1. Mike
    January 10, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Good news on the Colonials. Looking forward to the 2011 season.

  2. Jim Gleason
    January 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    The Colonials could have 540 home games per year and I woudn’t attend 1. Dan, you usually tell the truth about people like the owner of the Colonials, why not tell the people here about him? He failed to pay his bills on time two years in a row, still owes the people of Pittsfield money because ruberto let him pay part of what he owed in 2009 and forget the rest, he bounced checks to high school kids who were working at the park for summer jobs and had to take him to court to get their money, he still owes money to the food vendor from the 2009 season. Where’s the story on that stuff? Oh, and his cpmpany, Nokona Sports equipment, filed for Chapter 11 last year and was bought by another company who had to pay his outstanding bills. How’s he gonna pay his bills this year? Surely not from attendance at the games, which will be just like last year. Where the story on this guy, Dan?

    January 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    Great to hear about the added games at Wahconah PArk. I started attending the games late in 2010 with my wife, and we were hooked. Well be there in 2011. The guy above obviously hated baseball or hates … I don’t know what. He’s in the minority. Ignore him dan. Nice work on getting the story on the Monterey tragedy. I’m impressed with the job you do.

    • Jim Gleason
      January 12, 2011 at 7:50 am #

      I love baseball, played for a long time. I attend Little League and Babe Ruth games every week to watch my two nephews play, very well in both cases, btw. I just can’t stomach shysters who try to make a killing off of regular people like Pittsfield citizens and their kids. This guy is not a credible person and needs to be not supported by Pittsfield.

      • danvalenti
        January 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

        All I can report is my own personal experience with the team and with Buddy Lewis. I have found the team to be solid and Buddy to be honest and trustworthy.

  4. Josh
    January 10, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    I’m really looking forward to the extra games at Wahconah Park this summer. I started last season as a bit of a skeptic myself, but after going to a few games, I got hooked on the players and the league, which is definitely more offensive-minded than previous teams. It will be interesting to see how the travel team works out, though I can’t imagine it would be easy on the players who are constantly on the move for 3 1/2 months.

    I’m really hoping that the team will enact some or many of the suggestions in the post last week, as a community must be involved to truly make the Colonials a community team.

  5. Luxor Rex
    January 10, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I will be at Wahconah PArk this year for many games. Didn’t like the music the mascot the idiots who ran the scoreboard but loved the baseball. On the Nilan deal, what a pair, angelo and cliffy, two dopes who can do what they want without consequence with the law and they expect us to have respect for the law. I’m going to know off a liquor store tonight and ask for the Nilan-stracuzzi treatment when they catch me.

  6. Wally
    January 11, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    Glad to see more pro baseball in 2011. Do they have a manager yet?

    • danvalenti
      January 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      They have selected a manager. The ball club plans an announcement for Thursday.

  7. GMHeller
    January 12, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Regarding Cliff Nilan, Angelo Stracuzzi and Mr. Stracuzzi’s self-aborted probation (the terms of which he apparently never complied with whether or not one chooses to believe he acted complicit with Mr. Nilan in that regard):

    Will Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless, newly sworn-in for his second term, see fit to prosecute Mr. Stracuzzi’s blatant probation violations (especially given that it was Mr. Stracuzzi who specifically petitioned the Maine state court to have probation transferred to Berkshire County under the Interstate Compact)?

    • danvalenti
      January 12, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

      As usual GMH, you have asked vital questions.