PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 11, 2012) — Before we begin wading into the muck, let us share a story of the Power of The People. Several weeks ago, Dave Bubriski of the Ward 4 Rest of the River watch group contacted THE PLANET about The Bridge to Nowhere, the mysterious span crossing the Housatonic River behind Eric Drive.

We still don’t have a clear picture of why the bridge was put there in the first place, though old timers talk of the span being used to truck and dump industrial waste from GE. The bridge had collapsed at some point, and there it rested, clogging the river, a nightmare of abandonment and waste, perfectly symbolic of the city’s post-GE condition.

Sen. Downing Goes into Action

Of Dec. 12, THE PLANET contacted Sen. Ben Downing about the Bridge to Nowhere. On behalf of We The People, we pressed for action shortly after personally meeting with the senator for 90 minutes. Downing contacted the city, state, and GE. The three parties began talks to determine the next steps.

Those steps have arrived. The Bridge to Nowhere is being removed and the river cleared of the wreckage. There are still questions: Who owns the bridge? Who is paying for the cleanup? How and when did the bridge come down (accident or deliberate)? What was it used for? Nonetheless, THE PLANET sees the removal of the mess one positive sign, that when We The People begin to speak up, good results can happen.

THE PLANET thanks Dave Bubriski for his stewardship and vigilance, the readers of this blog for pressuring to get this done, and Sen. Downing for responding in such a timely and forthright manner.


Does ‘Big Wind from North’ Have a Job or a ‘Job’?

As readers of this blog know, we designate the appellation THE STOOLEY for any number of forward thinking citizens who have information or views to share but wish to do so anonymously. This can be matters of hard news and fact (such as the Bridge to Nowhere or the Case of the Mysterious Hit-‘n-Run on Winesap and East) or speculations based on experience and observation (what we call inductive reasoning). With that, we present this from THE STOOLEY regarding Big Wind from North:

“Good morning. As an interesting sidebar to the state of the Pittsfield/North Adams political conncetion, it seems incredulous that former North Adams mayor, [current North Adams city councilor], and Pittsfield consultant John Barrett has ostensibly disappeared from the Central Berkshire scene. I understand that Barrett is still listed as the interim director of BerkshireWorks, an appointment of the former mayor [Jimmy Ruberto]. FYI, there have been recent attempts to contact Mr. Barrett at BerkshireWorks, and all have been unsuccessful, as he was “out of the office.” Also, try and ring the Berkshireworks receptionist via their automated answering system. It rings without answer. It seems to me that the employment situation in Berkshire County needs aggressive attention and proper management. There may be more to this than John Q. Public is cognizent of (attendance). Simply, a potential new front to investigate.”

THE PLANET did try calling BerkshireWorks. It rang, and it rang, and it rang, and it rang, and … Gee, you don’t think that after der WunderBarrett‘s consultancy with the city of Pittsfield expired that Ruberto appointed the Barretmeister to a no-show job at a make-work agency, do you? We don’t.

Its website describes BerkshireWorks as “a partnership between [the] Berkshire Training & Employment Program and the Massachusetts Division of Career Services, chartered by the Berkshire County Regional Employment Board Inc.” No chance of bureaucracy sneaking into that morass of layered government, is there?


Council’s Big Box Blustering Has an Ironic Ring

Does anyone find it ironic that  just as several of my Right Honorable Good Friends on the Pittsfield city council were bemoaning the injustice of a Big Box retailer — Walmart in this case — getting tax breaks, a group of qualified GOBs, a.k.a. the PEDA Executive Board, wants to bring Big Box shopping to the former GE campus in the PEDALS (the PEDA Land Swindle).

Due to a trick of accounting (changing from a limited partnership to a corporation, M.G.L. Chapter 59), Walmart in Pittsfield will be paying a lot less in taxes on personal property to the city of Pittsfield. The tax-year 2011 bill of $211,464 will be dropping to $24,510.

Our Right Honorable Good Friend, Ward 5 councilor Jonathan Lothrop, quoted by the BB‘s Dick Lindsay, made the point that “Mom and Pop stores [pay] their personal property taxes and Walmart not; that creates iniquity.” J-Lo is mistaken. It isn’t that Walmart will not pay personal property taxes, just that it won’t be paying nearly as much. Nonetheless, Ward 6 councilor John Krol was right submitting the petition asking for Walmart’s execs to come in before the council and “don some ‘splainin.'”

The council should keep this in mind when the PEDALS comes before it for approval later this year. You can’t blame Walmart for playing by the rules, but you can blame cities and towns who invite the voracious Big Box retailers in to eviscerate the “mom and pop” stores trying to hold on for dear life.


Do Electronic Petitions Mean Anything?

THE PLANET received this Letter to the Editor from our “Dalton Correspondent. DC writes:

Couldn’t agree with you more about the misuse of the PEDA property. To me, it is a no-brainer. BAD USE. I can not put my name to a petition though. It’s Pittsfield property and Pittsfield’s problem. I do not know how or if I should contact Mike Ward, but I have received numerous emails in the past informing me about electronic petitions and their value. It seems they are not acceptable and I believe it has to do with the signatures needing to be originals. It makes sense that virtually anyone could submit one containing anyone elses name.

I wonder if Mike wouldn’t be better off placing petitions in key location around the city. It would be too bad to see a well intentioned effort go for naught.

We thank our good friend DC. We honestly don’t know the answer to the question. At minimum, though, we would think that any petition, electronic or otherwise, that is done legitimately (as Mike Ward’s obviously is) has intrinsic value on registering We the People’s views of such a key issue. We would hope to hear from Ward, for his view of this and what the status is of his petition.


Is PEDALS Big Box Anchor Dollar General? Clues are There

Speaking of Big Boxes, the word on the street has it that Lowe’s is the anchor for the proposed PEDALS. Think again. Could it be Dollar General? We heard the name whispered last week, from one of the PEDA board members. Then, we dug up this Jan. 4 article from the Boston Herald. (Sorry for the code glitches)


Dollar General draws up expansion plans.
Chain to march into Mass.
By Donna Goodison
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 – Updated 3 days ago

The largest of the so-called ���dollar stores��� plans to expand into Massachusetts this year.

Dollar General ��� which has 9,800-plus stores in 38 states and claims more locations than any other U.S. retailer ��� will enter the Bay State and California amid a 625-store growing spree, the Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based company announced yesterday.

The discount retailer sells a third of its merchandise for a buck or less. It���s known for its strong selection of private-label products in addition to well-known brands of those that shoppers frequently use and replenish, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic clothing, housewares and seasonal items.

���They���re really at the low end of pricing,��� said Mark Montagna, an analyst at Avondale Partners. ���Their No. 1 competitor is Walmart, and they actually have equivalent pricing to Walmart. On a per-ounce or per-unit basis, their prices are the same, but they carry smaller packages than Walmart so you end up putting out less cash to buy what you need to buy.���

Dollar General will open a handful of Massachusetts stores this year starting next spring and is targeting locations in the western half of the state, according to spokeswoman Tawn Earnest. ���Dollar General distinguishes itself with small stores that are designed to draw from a three- to five-mile radius,��� Earnest said. ���Shoppers pull right up to the door, and get in and out in an average of about 10 minutes.���

The publicly traded Dollar General posted $13.04 billion in sales last year and has performed fantastically in terms of sales, margins and profit since 2008, according to Montagna.

���It���s due to the guidance from the CEO, but also the economic downturn has caused more people to shop at Dollar General,��� Montagna said.

Dollar General will join its smaller rivals, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree, when it opens here. Family Dollar has 105 Massachusetts stores, along with leases for six new locations this year in Easthampton, Worcester, Chelsea, Boston, Haverhill and Framingham.

���(Dollar General is) a great competitor, and we co-exist in a lot of markets,��� Family Dollar spokesman Josh Braverman said. ���It���s business as usual for us, and we���re growing and expanding by hundreds of stores as well.���

Western Massachusetts? It would be Pittsfield’s speed, wouldn’t it, and PEDA’s sense, to bring in a Dollar Store whose top competitor is Walmart.


Melissa: Remember that a Promise is a Promise

THE PLANET presents this reminder to our Right Honorable Good Friend, the esteemed at-large councilwoman from Pittsfield, Melissa Mazzeo. Prior to the November election, Mazzeo told THE PLANET: ““Since reading on THE PLANET about the issue of the PCB cleanup and Hill 78 etc., I attended the Lenox meeting and have been getting up to speed, so when the New Year starts, if I am re-elected, I will push for new talks and a re-opening of the Consent Decree.” Mazzeo also pledged to do “whatever else needs to be done” on the matter of GE toxins still in Pittsfield. That would be led, of course, by the fight for the reclamation of Silver Lake: Don’t Cap It, Clean It.”

We respectfully remind our Right Honorable Good Friend that the New Year has started. The clock has started ticking. We shall hold you to your promise.


Cops File Misdemeanor Citation Against Cliff Nilan’s Daughter in Hit-and-Run Case

Finally, THE PLANET sees that a two-count misdemeanor citation has  been filed against Meredith Nilan, 24-year-old daughter of central Berkshire Probation Chief Cliff Nilan‘s daughter in connection with a hit-and-run accident on East and Winesap in Pittsfield on Dec. 8.

In that accident, Peter Moore was almost killed by a hit-and-run driver while jogging with his dog. Meredith was driving her old man’s Subaru Forester on that day. Police say she swerved into the wrong lane and hit Moore, who was seriously injured.

Police filed two misdemeanor counts. The pressure will be on the courts to see that Ms. Nilan receives no special treatment because of who her daddy is. Pedro‘s Daddy was the New York Yankees. Meredith’s Daddy is Cliffy. As the world found out in 2004, that didn’t make any difference for the Yankees in 2004. It should not make any difference for Meredith in 2012. Let the show-cause hearing fairly and honestly determine if there’s enough evidence to file charges in court.

“We have a driver, we have a victim, and we have a vehicle,” said city police Capt. John Mullin, quoted in Andrew Amelinckx‘s story in today’s BB.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is in part why this website exists. To poke and prod, and get the county’s dominant (and the city’s only) daily to begin to do its job.






  1. Scott
    January 11, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    I thought leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury was a felony? #1 there’s no way now to tell if alcohol was a factor and #2 the guy could have died. Anyone else would be arraigned by now not facing a magistrate to see if there’s enough evidence because clearly there is. I hope Moore goes for their wallets and wins. also I know when you go in front of a magistrate the victim has a big role in whether or not he want’s to proceed with charges where as in front of a judge the state picks up charges and it doesn’t really matter if the victim is willing to cooperate at that point. So to me it looks like strings are already being pulled and favorable treatment dolled out. But then again they really do think the average citizen (tax payer) is this dumb to buy this story. Think about this guy covered for a man who has an appetite for young boys this is nothing just a little bump to smooth over she’s really sorry and feels horrible I’m sure blah, blah, blah I mean wouldn’t anyone with a half of heart?

  2. Scott
    January 11, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    Tell me all the parameters have not already been met? The ONLY reason anyone would leave would be if they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol any clear thinking person would be worried about what they hit not getting themselves away from the scene. That’s my opinion I could really care less what happens if it was me I’d sue for damages.

  3. Ray Ovac
    January 11, 2012 at 11:32 am #

    It sure appears as if Meredith Nilan is being given preferential treatment by prosecutors. Nilan is being charged on a “citation” and no hearing date nor arraignment date are being released by prosecutors. Compare that to the “application for a criminal complaint” filed by Lee police against the Lenox 18-year-old whose negligent driving a few days ago caused the death of his passenger. The Lenox kid’s arraignment date is already set for Feb. 2. Meredith Nilan’s hit-and-run took place Dec. 8 and all she’s gotten is a citation in the mail.

    • Molly
      January 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      You’re absolutely correct, Ray! If this were ANYONE else’s daughter (short of one of the other GOB’s), there would’ve been an indictment already. This is just SO not acceptable! I hope they know what they’re doing because if she gets off of this, people will be protesting in the streets! And I will likely be the one leading them! We just cannot put up with this kind of stuff any longer!!! I, and many, many others, have HAD IT!!! I hope they know this, as well…

      • dusty
        January 12, 2012 at 2:29 am #

        If she gets off I hope they realize that it sets a president. (sp) So the next person who finds themselves in this situation can point to this and dance away down the street as well. And remember folks, it is OK to drive away and concoct a story because the court has to prove that you had been drinking and well…the stuff wears off if you can put off the cops for a while. Use this as a learning experience kids.

        • Ray Ovac
          January 12, 2012 at 3:26 am #

          You’d think the Pittsfield cops would question the people with whom Nilan was partying in Great Barrington earlier the night of the accident. The Berkshire Young Professionals were having a Happy Hour event at a Railroad Street hangout.

  4. Ray Ovac
    January 11, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    ‘Lenox 18-year-old charged with vehicular homicide’

    Link –

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      January 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

      hEY THANKS Heller

  5. Mike Ward
    January 11, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    DC is correct, adding your name to an online petition is not the same as a signature. But in this case I’m only using the petition as data that I will share with the city council to inform their votes.

    • Molly
      January 11, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

      Understood – and for that, this can go a very long way. Thank you! One thing to note, however, is that an online petition isn’t considered legal because, in theory, I could logon and sign many other people’s names (although that could be traced to the same IP address…). Yet it’s ok that I could walk into various voting locations and give another’s name and address and vote as many times as I want to!

  6. rick
    January 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    mike ,i dont see any problem in the electornic age that it cant be the same as written signatures. thanks for your time on this subject.

  7. joetaxpayer
    January 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Dollar General will not be the anchor.Although they might be one of the stores in the plaza.There stores avg.7,000 to 10,000 sq. ft. Much to small to be a anchor,same goes for x-mass tree shops there stores are not big enough to be the anchor.170,000 SQ FT Is alot of retail who knows maybe they will go with a bunch of mid-sized stores and big y.

    • Molly
      January 11, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

      Trader Joe’s…

    • rick
      January 12, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      i was once told that you can tell how our local economy is by the amount of dollar stores there are, and were they are, and renta centers. wow 1 dollar store on north street and 2 renta centers on the main thoroughfare. so i really think we need the king of dollar stores to show our progress.

  8. Concern
    January 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    I’m more interested to see what they do with little Cliffy if he indeed covered up evidence and lied about where the accident happened.

    • Merrimack
      January 11, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Do you think the monster Cliff Nilan is being questioned by anyone on this? You’ve got to be kidding. They’re giving his daughter a special ride, they won’t bother the monster. He’s a GOB, remember.

  9. Dave Bubriski
    January 11, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Dan, during the rule of the bridge process several shoreline supervisors from the neighborhood and me began speculating on the history of the area. The son of George Noble told me that way back when the bridge was erected for horse and buggy traffic. Also in close proximity to the bridge was the polo acres now it’s residential area. Another person told me that Ms. calls owned property on the Holmes Road side of the river in the area of the bridge. One man said that the current Canoe Meadows, which is also in the area, was part of a Crane state. This is the same family of papermaking fame. Someone else stated that the hayfield behind Eric drive is part of the polo grounds so perhaps the entity that operated the polo grounds, which I understand frequented by well-to-do polo players from all over the world use the bridge to allow access to a polo field on the Eric drive side of the river. We are all quite intrigued with the history of the area and we would appreciate any information that anyone might have on the history of this area. I suppose I should make a trip to the local history section of the library.

    I doubt General Electric had anything to do with the establishing the bridge. It certainly was not designed for really heavy duty traffic and the stones I need to make that supported it were cut stones perhaps granite. I think it is safe to believe that stone cutting was abandoned early in the 20th century. But if anyone has any good information I would love to hear from them.

    As far as when the bridge fell into the river, it was sometime during or shortly after hurricane Irene. I think many large trees were unrooted by the storm and the water was high. Because the water was up to the level of the bridge the extra resistance created by logs and other debris was just too much for the old bridge to handle and it was knocked off its footings. Many who use the area for by cycling and hiking would like to see the new bridge. So we will be mounting an effort to get a new bridge built. Once again anyone willing to help in this effort please post here. Thank you

    • Molly
      January 11, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

      So where do you want this “bridge to nowhere” to be? What two pieces of property did it/will it connect? I thought that’s how Dan named it, “the bridge to nowhere”–it didn’t go anywhere!? How wide was the bridge – was it just a foot bridge or did it accommodate cars/trucks?

      GE still owns 2 pieces of property off of E. New Lenox Road-Rear, and The City Of Pittsfield owns a piece of property behind Eric Drive (Joseph Drive-Rear):


      It might be good to know the history of these properties – when did GE and Pittsfield purchase/acquire these properties? If the City purchased the property, did it go through City Council Approval? What was the reason for purchasing for it?

      • Dave Bubriski
        January 12, 2012 at 4:09 am #

        Molly, I was told by a person in the area that the land behind Joesph Drive is parlkand and was designated as such for years.

        The bridge went back to the late 1800’s or early 1900’s and was built for horse and carriage. I’m bot sure who put it up but I will try to find out.

        Until it was swept into the river it was used by cyclists and pedestrians.

  10. Dave Bubriski
    January 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Forgive my typos in the previous post. I just installed Dragon on my computer and it doesn’t quite recognize the words I say. Thank you

  11. Dave Bubriski
    January 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I think when using Dragon voice recognition when there is an error in transcription they should be referred to as talkos not typos.

  12. danvalenti
    January 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Thanks for the information. As for typos, THE PLANET knows only too well the plague. With our work schedule, hunt-and-pecking a daily blog of this length and involvement sometimes means we resort to meatball surgery and spellcheck. Like weeds in a garden, typos spring up, up, and up. We do out best, and that is all anyone can do.

    Great job on this issue and on PCB story in general. Silver Lake and Hill. 78 are the two big ones that need to be addressed, in Pittsfield favor this time.

  13. Hearse Driver
    January 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    technically speaking, Nilan’s daughter didnt leave the scene she chekced the area where she thought she hit something. she went home and told her dad who contacted the police. Mr Moore is just as much as fault as Ms Nilan. i mean who really goes jogging outside in Dec at nite and does not wear some sort of reflective vest. And what are you doing in the road thats what we have sidewalks for. If Mr Moore had any sort of intelligance instead of going right home and going to bed, he should’ve gone to the ER immediatley instead of waiting until the next morning.

    As far as Melissa Mazzeo is concerned. I think she is a show horse and not a work horse. She puts on a good show for the tv cameras on PCTV. I am a voter who pays attention and I am definately not impressed with Mazzeo at all. I did not like her when she was involved in WHEN (women helping empower nothing)

    The new mayor has taken over and I have seen little so far. He’s only been in office for a week now. I can already count 1 campaign promise that Mayor Bianchi has broken. I reacall him saying at a debate that he would not make any appointments political and would not partake in cronyism. Well he appointed and was confirmed by council Kathy Degnan as Solicitor and Darren Lee for assistant city solicitor. Now if you check campaign finance reports you will see that Kathy Degnan dontated money to the Bianchi campaign. on 9/14/11, 9/21/11 and 10/11/11 for a totaly of $145. that seems political to me.
    Darren Lee also donated money to the Bianchi camp. on 10/17/11 he gave $200. Sure sounds like some promises were made to both individuals.

    Now lets see if Dan Valenti has the balls to ask Mayor Bianchi for the truth.

    • joetaxpayer
      January 12, 2012 at 4:31 am #

      Hearse Driver if she was such a resposible adult, (24 years old) why did her father call the police.Could it be her speech might have been alittle slurred and dad was worried she might say to much.

    • New to PV
      January 12, 2012 at 8:02 am #

      Hearse Driver (most likely Nilan’s brother, the funeral director). Cliff Nilan’s daughter did leave the scene of the accident. I don’t believe that she ever stopped in the first place. You’re telling me that Nilan hit Mr. Moore, whose impact left a head sized hole in her windshield, stopped her car, got out, looked around and failed to see Mr. Moore lying on the ground? Then supposed that she hit a deer, went home and waited several hours (just long enough to sober up?) to call the police. Please, no on is buying your BS.

      There is no fault on Mr. Moore’s part. After being struck and badly injured by a most likely drunk driver, he probably was in a state of shock and went home not fully understanding his sitaution or actions. The only parties lacking intelligene are you and the other Nilans.

    • rick
      January 12, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      hey h.d. bianchi is a cheap buy with those donations, i wonder if they gave a thousand or so what job they would have gotten….lol .. get a life. if your going to do conspiracy theories you need to do better than that. wait till you see whats comming out about roberto.

    January 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Hearse Driver are you kidding me!!!!! Mr. Moore is a victim. He has every right to be out walking at night. How many people are out walking at that time, a lot I seen many teenagers walking home from work or coming from a friends out, or what ever. REMEMBER she was driving on the wrong side of the road. So stop the bullshit!!!!!

    Melissa Mazzeo is a work horse out working for the people. Ask some older people at the Senior Center.

    You sure are one of the GOB and Im sure a close friend of little Cliffy

    • Molly
      January 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

      I don’t even bother responding to his absurdities (under various names) any longer…

      • Steve Wade
        January 12, 2012 at 6:31 am #

        Molly 7 out of 28 responces have come from you on todays subject. Time to get a life or at least get off the computer and get some exercise!

        • Molly
          January 12, 2012 at 8:45 am #

          Is my telling the truth bothering you, Steve? Am I hitting a few nerves? Who do you think you are, telling me, or anyone, what/when/how often it is ok to comment?! Don’t have a good comeback for us and so you resort to that… Pathetic, really. Take care of your own life – it appears that it needs a lot of care… All that drinking just isn’t good for you, Steve! At least your arms get exercise bringing those shots to your mouth! Dan had at least 4 different topics posted – geeee, I think that took me a total of 15 minutes to comment on them all (although I’m sure it would take you much longer…). Is that an acceptable amount of time for you? Too long? Too short? Should I check in with you before I comment on each subject the next time? Which bars should I call to check in with you tonight?

          • Steve Wade
            January 12, 2012 at 9:42 am #

            Molly Im just concerned that your arse is getting bigger sitting in front of the computer nstead of getting some exercise. LOL

        • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
          January 12, 2012 at 10:33 am #

          @ Steve Wade…And your commenting and counting on Molly’s comments don’t demonstrate to a greater extent that YOU need to get off the computer and get a life? Come on Wade, just when I thought you were adding value to the blog with some of your observations you go back to kindergarden.

    • Gary
      January 12, 2012 at 12:13 am #

      Councilor Mazzeo is a unique woman of integrity, strength and courage who rises to many challenges in the community. she is not easily bullied or inimidated by others.

      I especially find her to be an effective and incredibly passionate leader.

      But most importantly, she is honest and cares about people in the under served communities, which is extremely rare to find in Pittsfield government.

      • Molly
        January 12, 2012 at 8:46 am #

        Agree! Wish we had more like her!

        • dusty
          January 12, 2012 at 9:56 am #

          Mazzeo is the best public representative the people of Pittsfield have had in a very long time.

          And Molly keep the posts coming hard and fast. i think you are the straw that stirs the drink here. Of course the GOB tribe will try to knock you down a peg but keep the info coming.

    • Hearse Driver
      January 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      let me set the record straight…I am not a friend of Cliff Nilan and I can assure you that I am not his brother the funeral director. I am not even employed in anyway shape or form in the funeral business. I drive for a living tho. I am also not a GOB…. I vote for who I think will do the best job.

      Im just waiting to see who else has donated money to the Bianchi campaign that gets some appointments.

      Just because Ms. Nilan’s dad called the police does not mean she is not responsible. i didn;t say that Mr Moore should not have been out walking his dog or jogging. I’m just saying he should not have been in the road…there are sidewalks on winesap rd i just dont get why people would walk in the road at nite with out any reflective clothing. thats just stupidity in my opinion.

      I’m curious to know, when the police showed up if there was a breathalizer test administered? can they prove she was drunk or even driving on the wrong side of the road? with what i’ve read in the paper i dont think they will be able to prove she was drunk or under the influence of anything.

  15. Molly
    January 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    RE: Walmart paying a lot less taxes:
    How much do you want to bet that whatever “big box store” is coming soon to PEDA has been promised a BIG TAX BREAK for doing so? So of course the GOBs are trying to get out ahead of this and condemn a “big box store” for not paying as many taxes as they did last year! They are already here and likely aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon! I can hear it now, “I went after WalMart big time! It’s just not right that they aren’t paying their fair share! But in this case, this “big box store” is going to hire 25 people and so for that, it was worth it and in this economy, it was the right thing to do for our wonderful citizens!” I’m willing to put dinner on it that something very close to this will occur!!! So please don’t praise them too much yet — there is a method to their madness!

    And WHY bring in the WalMart Executives to explain themselves? This is just a big dog and pony show!!! As I said, to show “how concerned they are for us taxpayers!!” Give me a break! What are they going to explain to the “Certified Public Accountant” – that they were well within their rights and well within the law! That they paid what they owed! Period! It is our idiotic state laws that allowed it! There is absolutely NO reason to drag them in there and if they do, I will be there laughing at our City Councilors making an ass out of themselves!

  16. Molly
    January 11, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    I didn’t see anything about Ruberto appointing former N.A. Mayor Barrett to that position! Has anyone asked Bianchi if he plans to keep him on OUR payroll? Where are you, Berkshire Eagle??

  17. Tom Sakshaug
    January 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Regarding the payment for the bridge removal:
    General Electric is fronting the money up to the estimate of $50,650, which includes about $3000 reimbursement to the City of Pittsfield for staff time involved in the project. The Mass. Dept. of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has committed to share this cost with GE, though GE has put up the money and will work out the sharing details later.
    This was all covered at the Jan 5 Conservation Commission meeting.
    I’m not a defender of GE: I’m sure that repeated exposure to concentrated PCBs contributed to my father’s Parkinson’s disease, and of course the distribution of PCBs throughout our area is criminal. But I do appreciate GE stepping up to the plate to get the bridge removed.

    • danvalenti
      January 12, 2012 at 8:04 am #

      Thank you for this information. As a member of the conservation commission, THE PLANET appreciates your input, which is authoritative and factual. We share your sense of appreciation that GE did the right thing with the Bridge to Nowhere.

      • Ray Ovac
        January 12, 2012 at 11:24 am #

        $50,650 to remove a bridge abutting property GE is alleged to own and GE get plaudits and praise. Imagine the accolades were GE to actually dredge and clean-up Silver Lake.

        • Tom Sakshaug
          January 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

          Ray, if my faint appreciation for this one positive thing is what you consider plaudits and praise, then I suppose that if GE actually cleans rather than caps Silver Lake you will imagine that I am setting off an hour-long fireworks display in appreciation.

  18. route66
    January 13, 2012 at 1:26 pm #

    A couple of observations; Is the definition of a GOB anyone who has more power and influence than we do? It seems to change
    as the readers need it to.Melissa Mazzeo means well I think, but
    she should be careful who she aligns herself with. Joe Nichols and Jeff Ferrin are not going to help further her political aspirations.
    What ever happened to presumption of innocence in this country , or doesn’t that apply to those presumed to be GOB’S.
    Molly- you’re free to write as often as you like, unless of course you wish to be taken seriously.