PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary



In answer to numerous questions THE PLANET has received about Dan Bianchi’s “Did he or didn’t he?” formally announcing for mayor last night, the answer is yes. Apparently, The Boring Broadsheet made the editorial decision not to notify the people of Pittsfield. Curious. Gee, do you think that might reveal a certain bias in the upcoming election?

Bianchi announced last night, delivering his speech to an over-flowing crowd at the Italian-American Club on Newell Street. The candidate cut his speech short when his mother fainted. Sheriff Tom Bowler, who was next to Mrs. Bianchi, called for an ambulance. Bianchi’s mom, we are pleased to report, was treated and released. A spokeswoman at Bianchi headquarters on Elm Street said that she’s “doing fine now.”

What Does Cyberspace Say? Not Much, but at This Point, for What It’s Worth: ADVANTAGE, MARCHETTI

A trip to Bianchi’s website doesn’t reveal much. Click the “Platform” link, and you get: “Coming soon.” THE PLANET assumes this refers to content that will be posted at some future date and that the words do not constitute Bianchi’s actual platform. That being said, when you think about it, “Coming soon” would be a sufficiently vague-yet-optimistic-sounding position on which to run. It even has a bit of futurism in it. Plus, it would give Bianchi free publicity every time the Beacon or the Little Cinema showed previews of coming attractions.

Incidentally, a trip to Peter Marchetti’s website also reveals a “platform” link. The difference is that when you click Marchetti’s, you actually get a platform. “Marchetti’s Vision” doesn’t have a lot of substance but at least it has topics (neighborhoods, expanding the tax base, education, and balancing community needs) with a handful of bullet points under each. ADVANTAGE: MARCHETTI

In terms of timeliness, Bianchi’s latest post as of today was dated Aug. 18. Marchetti’s wasn’t much better, but he’s more current by a day — Aug. 19. When will candidates realize that websites should be maintained and kept current? … or are they maintained simply as window dressing? FREE ADVICE: The candidate who makes the best use of technology such as the Internet will build substantially to his or her cause. ADVANTAGE: MARCHETTI.

Long Shots Only Reinforce Their Irrelevancy

Joe Nichols doesn’t appear to have a dedicated website, at least, none that THE PLANET could locate. He does have his electronic headquarters on Facebook, which might give him the edge in cyberspace, depending on how he uses it. We tried to access FB today but, because of computer problems, could not.

The long shots in the Pittsfield mayor’s race, Donna Walto and Steve Fillio, do not appear to have either a dedicated campaign website or FB headquarters. This only adds to their deserved perception as irrelevant. THE PLANET understands the arguments behind “philosophical campaigns,” but when you come down to it, gadfly candidates can’t be taken seriously and only clog up the campaign, which is too brief as it is.

Want to ID an irrelevant candidate at first sight? You look for two things: (1) Do they have an organization? and (2) Are they raising enough money to be competitive? For the office of mayor, that’s about $20,000.


(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THURSDAY, AUG. 25, 2011) — One of our faithful commentators mocked THE PLANET for solving “Signgate,” wondering when the Great Investigative NewsHound Dan Valenti was going to solve the burning question of Ryan Scago’s missing sign.

Oooooooooooooooo. Ryan Scago’s missing sign. Stop the Presses!!

We don’t object, because, in an unintended way, my critic makes a valid point.

‘Signgate’ Begone; Voters Want Candidates Doing Something They Almost NEVER DO: Like, You Know, Actually Address Issues

Yes, my good friends, “Signgate” no doubt IS insignificant in the vast scheme of things. In fact, if you go back and read THE PLANET’s opening to our “Signgate” coverage, you will see that we raised that same point. We found it interesting that the conversation around Pittsfield’s rhetorical and political water cooler since the story broke centered not on the vital issues that should be addressed in Campaign 2011 but on Mayor Jimmy Ruberto’s activities regarding put-up and take-down of lawn signs. We judge this by phone calls, e-mails, and tweets.

Trivial? Not If People Want to Gawk, Like at a Fender Bender

That people should express curiosity about such trivia is a statement in itself, a story in its own regard. This interest in such a “veneered” or surface matter suggests that the electorate isn’t ready for another campaign. The elections cycles seem endless, probably as a consequence of the 24/7/365 news and information cycle of The Digital Age. People are fatigued, yet many can’t slow down or stay away from their infernal, glowing screens.

And what do campaigns bring to these folks? They deliver people spouting the same hot air and rhetoric, making the same promises. Under this reality, two elections scenarios are the most likely (with the added footnote that anything can happen).

SCENARIO ONE — The first is that after Labor Day, when the feeling of fall finally permeates the Berkshire air on a more consistent basis, the crispness will ignite the electorate’s predominant emotion: Anger. Voters are angry at ALL politicians, and they paint with a wide brush. Angry voters are motivated voters. Under Scenario One, dark horses and outsiders will do well. Voters could put Mark Miller in the Statehouse and Joe Nichols in the Corner Office.

SCENARIO TWO — This scenario has been operating like a well-greased machine for many elections in electorally woebegone Pittsfield. It taps into the electorate’s competing dominant emotion: Apathy.  In Scenario Two, the candidates will say nothing of substance, talk about about “jobs, improving public education,” avoid controversial but vital issues, play up to the vested interests, and kiss a lot of babies. Apathy will win, turning off large numbers of the electorate. Under this circumstance, Establishment candidates, with built-in organizations and political allegiances, win. That’s how the GOBs hijack elections, by the way: By doing their best to discourage political activism among We The People. Not meaning any aspersions on the candidates, but this sends Tricia Farley-Bouvier to Boston and puts either Peter Marchetti or Dan Bianchi — the two Establishment candidates — in the mayor’s hot seat.

Anger or Apathy? That Will Decide Campaign 2011

What shall it be, then? Anger or Apathy? The voters will once again get the government to did or did not want.

* And yes, we know what happened to Scago’s sign.

* And yes, we know the other details of Signgate.

And no, we won’t be sharing them, because as another poster, “Concerned,” aptly pointed out, we solved the case to everyone’s satisfaction. Time to move on.


Colonials Again Batter Worcester, Solidifying their Playoff Chances

Last night, the Pittsfield Colonials won another important game, defeating the Worcester Tornadoes at Beloved Wahconah Park, 10-5 before just under 1,000 spectators. Here’s the game story:

Special to PLANET VALENTI Courtesy of the Can-Am League

After allowing Worcester to come within a run of tying the game, the Pittsfield Colonials plated five runs in the bottom of the eighth to put the game to bed and take a 10-5 win.

Colonials’ 1B Angel Molina led Pittsfield with three RBIs in the game. Molina went 2-for-5 at the plate with a double. Molina took over the league lead in RBI. He now has 72. Also for Pittsfield, catcher Chris Torres went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, and CF Jerod Edmondson went a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI.

Pittsfield amassed a 5-2 lead through four innings, but Worcester plated a run each in the seventh and eighth to cut the lead to a run. The Colonials responded with a five-run bottom of the eighth. Colonials starting pitcher Chad Paronto earned the win, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in seven innings. For Worcester, 3B Mark Minicozzi had two RBIs in the loss.

The victory solidifies the C’s playoff position, moving them into a 3.5-game lead over Worcester for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Can-Am League.

Can-Am League Playoff Situation

The first-place finishers in each half of the season qualify for the playoffs. The next two top finishers by percentage earn the final two spots. Going into tonight’s action, Pittsfield is in fourth place in the league’s overall standings with a 46-36 record (.561). They trail third-place Brocton by one game. They lead fifth place Worcester by 3.5 games, that edge coming on the strength of the Colonials having pounded Worcester the last two nights at BWP.

The Quebec Capitales, winners of the Can-Am’s first half, are in the post-season. The second half has seen a tight pennant race develop. That’s where the Can-Am League is going to get interesting in the regular season’s final days. Going into tonight’s action, the top five teams were separated by 1.5 games. New Jersey leads the second half, followed by Worcester (-.5 games), with Pittsfield, Quebec, and Brocton each 1.5 games out.

Suffice it to say that there will no no inconsequential games in the near future.

The Colonials — just as they did last year — are showing a knack of playing Big in big games. By the way, for those interested in the crucial attendance figures, the team has drawn 33,494 fans in 39 home openings for an average of 859 per game. That marks a 22.5% increase in last year’s average of 701.






  1. Maxwell Edison
    August 25, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    Did anyone go to Dan Bianchi’s kick off last night?

    Did he say anything like “Now that my campaign has formally started, I intend to finally answer those questions from The Planet”?

  2. Richard
    August 25, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    I would have though the Mayor would have more important things to do for the city besides spending his time taking down sings. I can’t reember ever hiring about a Mayor personally going out and removing sings no matter who requested it.

  3. Shakes His Head
    August 25, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    There are a variety of issues beyond the ones the Planet inquires about- environmental clean up, drug testing, etc. Why would any candidate say ‘no, im against drug testing of taxpayers’ employees’ or ‘no, GE left a mess and its our responsibility to clean it up’. IMHO, these are softballs. How about,

    Is it fair for taxpayers to subsidize a baseball team in hard economic times?

    What dynamic shifts in education programming to transform the next generation of Pittsfield youth will the school board and building needs committee consider so that student can be best prepared to stay and sustain the City?

    How can the City best help its seniors age in place and feel safe in their community?

    What will the City do to assist small business owners- the ones that will continue to employ more than General Dynamics- start, expand, and thrive in the Berkshires?

    Whey did PEDA subsidize the construction of an office building away from Downtown where commuteres will ahve an easy in and easy out without trickling down their income?

    How will North Street businesses be better organized so Downtown remains vibrant past 5 p.m.?

    I’m not familiar enough with the GE settlement to know if re-opening it is required to accomplish what DV asks, but I do know that the City would be best served by physically solving the problems, not throwing money at lawyers.

    I’m beginning to wonder if DV is the John Rocker of the area, throwing hard, not quite on the mark, but just enough to stir some offensive air. Maybe Kenny Powers is a better comparison.

    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 11:04 am #

      Good questions. See how many of them get answered during the campaign.

  4. Bill Sturgeon
    August 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Way to go, Dan it is not worth your ink or my sound waves.

    While driving around the city (today) I noticed a great many signs are MISPLACED on city property / tree line.

    Ryan Scago, called my show this morning and said (I am paraphrasing) that there are more important issues facing the people of Pittsfield.

    B.T.W. Ryan Scago’s sign along with others signs are back at
    the location in question.


    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

      Very good. Thanks for the clarification. The surprising thing, as I said, is how fixated some people were, mostly the Ruberto pounders who were looking to pounce.

  5. beezer
    August 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    In the case of the PPD office, I believe he had a medical condition, anyway, he seems to be a better officer! With that being said, police, fire, or all public employees should have the same rights as the private sector as far as testing on drugs go. Medical help and treatment must be given when such an employee crosses the line, a second chance if you will. When an employee flagrantly refuses to submit to such testing after a first time offense, then and only then should the subject of termination be considered.

  6. beezer
    August 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    Ryan Scago for President!

  7. JoeBlow
    August 25, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Beezer……no second chances for cops,they carry a firearm and alcohol or drugs would disqualify them.

  8. beezer
    August 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm #


  9. Jonathan Melle
    August 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I do not believe that any Mayor can solve Pittsfield’s many social and economic problems. I don’t believe that Mayor Jimmy Ruberto ever gave a “damn”.

  10. Mom in Pittsfield
    August 25, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    I remember once asking Tricia Farley Bouvier what she thought of Hill 78 and all she could say was that Allendale School is safe. Now she is a scientist too. Now I learn that she has drained many thousands of dollars from Pittsfield school students so she can send her kids to Lenox on school choice funds! Meanwhile she is trying to ram a new vocational high school down our throats — never mind HER kids will never have to go there — she has saved them from her own folly. I will vote for anyone but her!

  11. Baby Baby
    August 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    This is Joe’s website.

    • Italian Voter
      August 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

      Dan; Wake up and check the depth before you leave the diving board. In other words look before you leap and be man enough to retract when wrong. Joe Nichols was the first mayoral candidate to open a very detailed web site. He did so six months ago. It’s been on the web since March. Check it out Dick Tracy.

      • danvalenti
        August 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

        You say “The water’s cold”? THE PLANET replies, “Yeah, and it’s deep, too”?

    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm #


      • Baby Baby
        August 26, 2011 at 5:27 am #


        How deep? 😉

        • danvalenti
          August 26, 2011 at 6:30 am #

          WAYYYYYYYYY deep!

  12. Dusty
    August 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    I do not vote for candidates based on their websites, computer skills or how much clout or money they may have behind them. I will vote for the one I perceive to have the most integrity even if they have no experience. I have seen what experience and political connections can do to a city. If we can start with an honest man the city will at least have a chance…a chance it has not had in some time.

    • Italian Voter
      August 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

      Amen ! Way to say it Dusty.

  13. Robocop Steroidcop
    August 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    Glad to see Bianchi finally in.

  14. rick
    August 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    come on dan, with all that literary expertise all you can come up with is ” roberto pounder “. how about just people who are sick of his antics and voice their disgust with him….one poster stated you seem to come to his defense all to often,and im begining to see it. be like the eagle and dont tell the juicy crap thats going on…… you know its going to rile people so you inform people and get them(us)going, then decide its not an issue, time to move on to other trivial non sense that interests you. seems like you like to agitate.

    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      You are correct. Agitation is part of THE PLANET’s role in prompting debate.

  15. Italian Voter
    August 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    Dan: FYI Joe Nichols was the FIRST of the mayoral candidates to open a web site. It has been up on the web for six months and was designed and detailed in March. It even has a video and is linked to his facebook page. You may owe Joe an apology, Dick Tracy,

    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      Then again, I may not owe Joe an apology. I didn’t find his website when I googled. THE PLANET never said he didn’t have a website, so no apologies. I shall check Joe’s site out, of course.

  16. Real Deal 2
    August 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Dan, do you plan to have any debates with the candidates for Mayor and the 3rd Berkshire District?

    If so, I agree with SHH, no softball questions. You know and I know that every candidate is for drug testing and will “go after” GE w/vim vigor and vitality, that is until they get into office.

    • danvalenti
      August 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

      As of this moment, no debates slated. I will moderate and host if I’m asked. If you’ve seen past debates that I’ve moderated, you know that there’s no softballing. I believe in the hot seat, relentlessly. I have precious little time to organize a debate, but it an orgainzation of sponsor wants to to the legwork, I will be there for We The People.

  17. Beezer
    August 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Dan you is the proverbial man!

  18. Shakes His Head
    August 26, 2011 at 8:06 am #

    Thanks RD2.

    I think the issues that Dan raises are important, however, it seems like they lead to the same responses from each candidate.

    • danvalenti
      August 26, 2011 at 10:28 am #

      I think we’ve put that argument to rest with Bianchi’s position on random drug testing for public employees. See Friday, 8/26/11 edition of THE PLANET. Appreciate both of your contributions to the site.