(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, April 14, 2011) — As we always do when we appear on “Good Morning, Pittsfield,” The Planet enjoyed our repartee with host John Krol in the first half. In the second half,we experienced pure fun talking about Stanley Kubrick with Jack Rubin of the new Berkshire Film Club.

Certs is a Talk Show Host. No, Certs is a City Councilor

Krol goes back and forth between being a “talk show host” and a “sitting city councilor” when it suits him. He’s a talk show host when he wants to play Mike Wallace with an opponent or Kissy Face with a GOB. He becomes a councilor when he fells the council has been attacked.

He became a “councilor” when he brought up the “phony bastard” plaster. Krol’s a sharp young man that we greatly enjoy in jousts on air and in pasttime as a friend. Normally we have to tie our entire brain behind our back when dealing with local pols, just to make it fair. With John’s it’s only half a brain. An aside: It’s I’m the city, I have T-shirts made up, two versions: First reads “I’m a Phony Bastard.” Second reads, “I’m Not a Phony Bastard.” Each features the city seal, twirling a beach ball on his nose.

The Planet’s long-in-research book on Stanley Kubrick found an outlet in talking with Rubin about “Paths of Glory,” the director’s second commercial feature (1957) that still ranks as one of the greatest anti-war films of all time. Our tome on Kubrick should be ready at the end of 2012, shortly after the Mayan prophecy about the end of the world doesn’t happen. If it does come true, oh, we got to watch a lot of cool films. Rubin’s film club debuts at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the Beacon Cinema, downtown Pittsfield, with a showing of “Paths of Glory.”

On Dec. 12, 2012, we shall be watching “Dr. Stangelove, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb.” If the Mayans are proven correct, when the end comes, we shall pretend the films is in 3D SourroundSound Wii when Slim Pickens as Major Kong rides the “Dear john” nuke into armageddon. The end may be near, but it shall also be a hanging blast.

To view the rebroadcast of this a.m.’s “GMP,” go to the show’s website or to the PCTV website. TV worth viewing.


Krol Favors Immediate Random Drug Testing for PPD

As The Planet told Krol this morning, we are huge supporters of our men and women in blue. Nonetheless, he presented us with a “false choice” (a moth-eaten fallacy that signals your opponent has lost the debate), because we dared to bring up the story of SteroidsGate. Follow how his illogic didn’t work:

* (A) — This story would have been would have been covered up by the compliant local mainstream media. It never would have seen the light of day.

* (B) — Unlike our commercial brethren, who have to kow-tow to the GOBs, The Planet is Unbought and Unbossed. Hence, The Planet believes in the people’s Right to Know about the behavior of their public servants. When We the People pay for the game, they have a right to know whether the playing field is level.

* (C) SteroidsGate as a story is far from finished. It still includes the reasonable question of how much use of steroids use is there in the Pittsfield Police Department, if any, beyond Officer David Kirchner’s? That A-B-C sequence then triggered Krol’s rhetorical gambit: Because The Planet is still asking questions, it follows The Planet must by inference be bashing the police. Lame and tame as rhetoric goes.

The Planet and the PPD: On the Same Side, Actually, if that Side is Truth, Justice, and the American Way

It was an absurd position that The Planet corrected. We have pointed out ad infinitum ad nauseum there most cops are good, forthright, and a service to the city. Mom, apple pie, pink ribbons in little girls’ hair, and the PPD: four of a kind. We pointed out to my Right Honorable Good Friend, as he revealed his role in playing “fetch” for the GOBs, that we agreed with him: the PPD does a good job. All the more reason, then, to root out any corruption, should it be there. Any. And to do that, one needs to ask questions.

Asking questions in Pittsfield is seen by the GOBs as treason, a seditious action that must mean you are an anarchist, the mad bomber, and an online journalist and broadcaster looking for cheap ways to drive up the ratings.


Our ratings are rising daily solely on the strength of our writing and the material we present. That and word of mouth: one tells two, two tells four, four tells eight …

The Planet asked Krol, Yes or No, if he was in favor of random drug testing for the PPD. After hemming and hawing, he said “yes.” W applaud his position. now it’s time, JK, to prove that on this issue you are more than just talk. It’s time to walk.

Will John Krol file a petition with the city council calling for the institution of random drug testing for all PPD staff? The chief, the PPD union, the DA, the mayor, and virtually everyone else you ask favors this. Therefore, we ask our Right Honorable Good Friend to join with another two or three council members to put pressure on all parties to agree to this procedure. The inncent will have nothing to fear.

Transparent or Not: Depends on your P.O.V.

Chief Michael Wynn says he and his department have been transparent with this case. Of course he does. The Planet believes the chief believes this. We, however, come at this from the side of the 4th Estate, the press and the people’s Right to Know. In other words, it’s the age-old battle of the Institution and Press. The want to keep its secrets hidden and We the People need to know what’s going on.

The media SHOULD be the catalyst in this process, but, led by the toothless, gumming Boring Broadsheet, We The People don’t have a chance in Pittsfield.

And then along came The Planet.

Savior and Messiah? Is that who we are, as some want to paint us? No. Demons and the Father of Lies? No. The Planet is a universe for truth, justice, and the American Way. The Planet is one of the lone safeguards of democracy right now in our beloved city of Pittsfield.

The Granger Memo: 1,482 Words, with Valenti Mentioned Thrice by Name

In another wrinkle related to the developments of SteroidsGate, on Monday, PPD Capt. David Granger circulated a three-page e-mail on Monday to the officers of the department. The e-mail is unusual in many respects, the first being its length: 1,482 words of body text. Our source did a word count.

The purpose of the e-mail seems to be to (a) reassure the department that the command staff is sticking up for the officers and (b) to warn the worker(s) who are sending Valenti lies and other information. As one reads the e-mail, one gets the impression that (a) is a cover for (b), in other words, using the pretext of rallying the troops, the missive seems to have as a main purpose to warn and threaten my sources.

It’s More than one Informant, or, the more they Kabosh, the More Officers are Talking

The e-mail was worded in a way that Capt. Granger isn’t sure if The Planet’s Deep Throats are one person or more. We can help him out: It’s more. The Planet was allowed to read a hard copy of the e-mail, quickly, we might add, and take notes. We also have at our disposal a near-photographic memory. We are pursuing avenues to get the actual e-mail, and we have reason to believe that will be successful.

It’s an interesting letter, full of revelations about the inside atmosphere at the Allen Street PPD. The Planet agrees totally with Capt. Granger when he writes he is all for the truth being shared regardless of whether it’s good or bad for the department. Our solidarity with this sentiment is proven by revealing the existence of the truth about the e-mail: Namely, he sent it. It exists. That is a truth we are sharing. Tomorrow or soon, we hope to present specific, actual content.

The letter to the troops says much about the department’s attitudes toward whistleblowers. command doesn’t like them. If Capt. Granger’s letter to the troops was meant to be intimidating — accusing The Planet’s sources of being gutless and cowardly by spreading half truths and twisted facts — it seems not to have achieved its purpose.

The Planet found about about the e-mail that day. We read it the next day. Troops, we can say if they were horses, were chomping at the bit to let us know of this development.

As we say, we hope to share more of the contents of this document tomorrow.

Our shorthand came in handy when we scrawled this tidbit. Here, Capt. Granger is talking about our sources: “Suffice it to say that the individual(s) has some problems and personal issues in his/her life and when the camouflage is pulled away more than likely would reveal a train wreck of a life.”

That is not how these men/women impress us.




  1. GMHeller
    April 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Why would PPD Capt. David Granger — no doubt instructed by his boss Chief Michael Wynn — no doubt instructed by his boss Mayor James Ruberto — have need to warn officers to stop communicating with Dan Valenti unless there truly is a great deal of illicit and/or unsavory activity being hidden?
    Truly honest public servants have in theory no need and no reason to hide anything.
    This pile sure smells worse every time it’s stirred.
    Does one need more evidence that these public employees are running scared.

    • danvalenti
      April 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      The Planet cannot speak for Capt. Granger or anyone else but The Planet.

  2. GMHeller
    April 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Dan Valenti, you write:
    “The Planet agrees totally with Capt. Granger when he writes he is all for the truth being shared regardless of whether it’s good or bad for the department.”

    If true, what total hogwash from the keyboard of Capt. Granger.
    Else why would Capt. Granger even bother including in his erstwhile email a ‘warning’.
    Someone interested in truth does not warn people not to speak of it.
    Mr. Valenti, please note that this Capt. Granger is the same paragon of virtue in charge of PPD’s Internal Affairs Unit and who was reported by The Berkshire Eagle to be personally in charge of investigating PPD Officer David Kirchner’s anabolic steroids usage.
    Why would the head of the IA Unit so concerned about truth and its revelation be simultaneously so concerned with keeping it out of the public domain and as far away as possible from a journalist like yourself?

  3. GMHeller
    April 14, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Mr. Valenti, you write:
    “Our shorthand came in handy when we scrawled this tidbit. Here, Capt. Granger is talking about our sources: ‘Suffice it to say that the individual(s) has some problems and personal issues in his/her life and when the camouflage is pulled away more than likely would reveal a train wreck of a life.’”

    Note how Capt. Granger uses ad hominem attacks to smear the character of those who would dare air dirty laundry — laundry the property of voters, taxpayers, and the general public.
    Is this not similar to the ad hominem venom angry posters on your Web site and on Topix spew when confronted with long hidden scandals and cover-ups they do not wish to see exposed?

  4. danvalenti
    April 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    All I can share is that the PPD informants, sources, and whistleblowers (call them what you will) that are sharing information with The Planet do not fit Capt. Granger’s characterizations. I know them better than he does because he doesn’t know who they are. I do. I will say I don’t know anything about their personal lives nor would I make a speculation on that. All I can do is judge them by the info they have been sharing. I can’t even know for sure their motives. They seems to be sharing factual matter, and facts are dispassionate, neutral, and have no emotion. They just “are.” My dealings with PPD personnel both on and off the record have been straightforward, in trust, vetting as best I can.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Boy GM are you all fired up today. What I’m gathering about you is this. “I can do what I want ( gas gate scandal involving you) and I don’t want no body talking about it.” However you want to see everyones dirty laundry so you can have your fun with it. I agree some facts the public has a right to know (illegal activities etc.) But what someone(s) is leaking out is hogwash that any business, public office or family has, internal spats. I think Capt. Granger is trying to stop this bull—- like he should, or there could be a real problem getting out of hand in the PPD.
    What I would like to know (maybe Dan could find out) is what are the rules and regulations about laking out PPD info

    • GMHeller
      April 14, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      Oh-so-“Concerned”, you write:
      “But what someone(s) is leaking out is hogwash that any business, public office or family has, internal spats. I think Capt. Granger is trying to stop this bull—- like he should, or there could be a real problem getting out of hand in the PPD.”

      Please explain to those of us who are not conspiracy-oriented just why Capt. Granger should “stop this bull”?
      Even if these, as you say, are “internal spats”, why, if nothing has been done illegally or unethically, could there “be a real problem getting out of hand in the PPD”?
      What do good men have to hide?

        April 14, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

        There was something illegal and we know about that, so I agree with that. But now it seems someone wants to leak out the internal spats and that could mushroom out of control and that what I believe the Department wants to stop. I’m sure good men and women in the department want the illegal stuff to come out and stopped but not the pretty stuff that every office, business and family has (internals spats) Thats all I’m trying to say. I still would like to hear what the rules and regulations ( if there are any) about letting internal stuff out weather legal or illegal. If illegal why isn’t this person(s) going to his/her superiors and report it

    April 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Should have read “rules and regulations about leaking out PPD info” sorry

  7. THornton
    April 14, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    GMH, He must be out getting his vitamin D.

  8. GMHeller
    April 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Glad you got John Krol to go on record (finally) in re: mandatory random drug testing for PPD (although wish you had not limited such testing only to PPD since all public employees should be included in such testing since taxpayers are expected to foot the bill for employee health care and better to know now who are using substances that might require boku future medical treatments).
    Bout time Mr. Krol said something on the subject.
    Mr. Valenti, Don’t you think it would set a good example if PPD management all volunteered to be the first group to have blood tested for anabolic steroids and the rest of the controlled substance regimen.
    This way chief Michael Wynn, David Granger, the captain in charge of the Internal Affairs unit, and others leading the force can lead by doing.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      Great idea GM and I hope this is passed along to the Chief etc.

  9. Joetaxpayer
    April 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    If this does happen,which I dont think it will.There will also have to be a list of masking agents that would also raise a red flag if detected.Not sure there would be enough votes to get this through once the unions lobby there position.

  10. rick
    April 14, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    it dosent matter if the council votes for testing, the union can block it, they have done it so far….. as for testing city employees id like to start with 8 councilors, their votes were under the influence of something!!!!

  11. toto
    April 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Many years ago there was an internal affair. Believe both resigned from the force or were fired.

  12. Still wondering
    April 15, 2011 at 1:55 am #

    Hey Glenn,
    It’s time you focused on Alan Chartock again. Remember when Alan praised Scott Ritter to the skies for opposing our toppling Saddam Hussein? Ritter was found guilty on 6 of 7 counts yesterday. I wonder what Alan has to say now.

  13. GMHeller
    April 15, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    You write:
    “But now it seems someone wants to leak out the internal spats and that could mushroom out of control and that what I believe the Department wants to stop.”

    Out of whose control?
    You make it sound like a criminal organization.
    These are public employees operating on public property.
    Every dime of their income and retirement comes from taxpayer dollars.
    The taxpayers OWN that police department along with the building within which it operates and every piece of equipment in it.

    The public is FORCED to pay for everything transpiring within the walls of that building, and the public is stuck living with, and paying for, every decision, wise or not, made by those working within.
    And there are long-term ramifications to just about every one of those decisions — including the shenanigans.
    Why shouldn’t the public know EVERYTHING that goes on in there?
    Thank you, but I’d rather know too much than too little.
    Let’s hope, as you say, that indeed things DO “mushroom out of control”.
    As I stated above, what do good, honest men have to hide?

  14. San Simeon
    April 15, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    There’s SOMEthing going on with this story. the citizens and taxpayers (i’m both, btw) deserve to know. the memo from the captain seems to be an attemptto silence the whstleblwrs

    • Jeff
      April 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

      Yes it is

    April 15, 2011 at 6:29 am #

    Well you do have the right to your opinion, however I disagree. ” a criminal organization,” wow where did that come from. I know MOST of the public do not expect to know EVERYTHING that goes on within any department. I believe you do because you love the gossip I can’t believe you would want everything to MUSHROOM OUT OF CONTROL, maybe you and a few others, but not most tax payers. I believe the Police Police Department is doing a good job, the men and women face a real tough job every time they go to work. That being said when something happens like the steriod I agree with you and others the public should and must be informed.

    • GMHeller
      April 15, 2011 at 7:27 am #

      You still don’t answer the question.
      Out of whose control?

  16. toto
    April 15, 2011 at 7:52 am #

    Concern, you’re not answering his question, clearly.

  17. Richard
    April 15, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Well Dan if the PPD thinks that there are half truths or bad information coming out then they should make everything public. As far as drug testing I had to be tested before I could work on machines so believe it should be mandatory in PPD every so offend.

  18. Concern
    April 15, 2011 at 7:59 am #

    Internal fighting, no one getting along , no one trusting anyone (dangerous in that job ) Spreading gossip to do harm to someone you don’t like. And the list can go on and on. Remember they are human beings not robots. Don’t forget GM we don’t know who is giving internal info out, I would guess a dispatcher, civilian worker first, could be wrong. Years ago I worked where a few people didn’t get along and omg it was total disruption in that business. Again I’m not saying to hide illegal acts etc. Or cover them up etc. I still have the question what are rules and regulations about talking to someone about internal subjects, both for police, dispatchers, and civilians ??????

    • GMHeller
      April 15, 2011 at 9:48 am #

      You write:
      “Internal fighting, no one getting along , no one trusting anyone (dangerous in that job ) Spreading gossip to do harm to someone you don’t like. And the list can go on and on.”

      You mean like amongst Liberal Democrats?
      Yeah, so?
      Welcome to the real world, pal.

      • Concern
        April 15, 2011 at 11:54 am #

        I’ve lived and are living in the real world Mr Heller. By the way I disagree with liberal democrats about 99% of the time. I think you disagree with them 100 % so we are close. Well this is all I will say on this subject I shared my opinion and respect yours and others. I hope to share other views on other subjects that come down the road. Thanks

  19. toto
    April 15, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    I want someone on my dodgeball team, you can be captain.

  20. Thornton
    April 15, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    It has been Helllerific the last few weeks, don’t know if the Planet’ can keep up with you. Got the feeling the Planet is going to publish that e-mail, or will the great G M get it first?

  21. Thornton
    April 15, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    Concern, thank you for being a gentleman, or woman. Also, we can respectfully agree to disagree without being disagreeable.

    • Scott
      April 15, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      Yeah but calling people names is so much fun! When I was a kid and someone tried to take your lunch money you either gave it up in fear or punched them in the face now these day’s thats called bullying and assault…

    • danvalenti
      April 15, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      Now THIS is the model for all commentators. Well done, Thornton and Concern. The Planet and our readers thank you.

  22. rick
    April 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    i agree

  23. GMHeller
    April 15, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    Dan Valenti,
    It appears there are two areas of breaking news of interest locally.
    First Kris Knutson, formerly with the Berkshire County House of Corrections, has made it known on Topix that then Assistant Deputy Superintendent John J. (‘Jack’) Quinn, Jr. (now Superintendent Quinn) was given timely notice by Mr. Knutson back when he was employed by BCHC of patently illegal activities taking place at BCHC.
    Mr. Quinn apparently failed either to take corrective action, or failed to notify his superiors, or failed to insure that corrective measures were ultimately taken.

    The second area of breaking news is brought to us by poster ‘Still Wondering’.
    One of Alan Chartock’s heroes, a ‘genius’ in the words of Mr. Chartock, was found guilty of online perversions.
    Here are two graphs from the London Daily Mail story:
    “A former chief UN weapons inspector in court for sending explicit on line messages to a ’15-year-old girl’ and then streaming a video of himself performing a sex act has been convicted.
    Scott Ritter exchanged online messages with ’15-year-old Emily’ – in reality undercover policeman Ryan Venneman – before masturbating in front of a web cam after the undercover officer stressed he was a minor, prosecutors said.”
    This is the same Scott Ridder who was championed by Alan Chartock and who appeared regularly on WAMC Northeast Public Radio for his stand condemning Pres. George W. Bush regarding Bush’s Iraq policy.
    Note that news of Scott Ritter’s criminal conviction has yet to appear in The Berkshire Eagle.

  24. GMHeller
    April 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Kris Knutson’s comment today on Topix:

  25. Concern
    April 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Whats Alan Chartock think of his hero
    Scott Ridder now. Oh don’t worry Alan will blame George for Ridder’s actions. Berkshire Eagle will bury this story somewhere.

    • GMHeller
      April 15, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

      Gee, did WAMC Northeast Public Radio, Inc. report this story?
      Did Alan Chartock give commentary?

      • Scott
        April 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

        When Alan asked the new head of Kripalu what were some of the public misconceptions on the institution I almost lost it when he only went on about the enigma of the name as well as the mystery of yoga but never touched base on the subject of being to expensive for locals to enjoy and benefit from. Well I guess thats not a misconception… but don’t you think they should have programs available for the “less fortunate” to experience the art of yoga and the nutrition???

  26. Scott
    April 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Alan’s voice is equally annoying as Rush’s.

  27. Jim Gleason
    April 16, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    John Krol is nothing but a water boy for ruberto and Lee and will stick like Superglue to administration policy as has been evidenced by his votes in council session and on sub-committee’s. Anything ruberto tells him to do he will which is why he, in my opinion, won’t be re-elected to the council if a viable candidate opposes him in November.