PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2012) — Irony, primarily a literary term, also enjoys many uses in real life. Irony typically has a caustic aspect to it, ranging from mild to strong. We would define it as the use of language to describe a situation contrary to appearance and to what one might expect, often with a humorous effect.

Given this definition, consider if you will — as Twilight Zone writer and host Rod Serling would say — the latest e-mail blast advertising an upcoming “networking social” by Berkshire Young Professionals. BYP, as most readers knows, is an official program of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, a matter of fact that could prove to be of some inconvenience should the Nilan-Moore Case ever come to trial.

The Chamber, BYPers Might be Legal targets, Barristers Say

Lawyers we talked to say its possible though by no means certain that the Chamber as well as certain members of BYP (BEEPERS) who attended the Dec. 8 “networking social” might be what the courts call “persons of interest.” No wonder the BEEPERS all of a sudden have clammed up.

Readers will also recall how just a mere few days ago THE PLANET described a rather bizarre, then truncated, then pure-smoke telephone inquiry we placed with BYP.

To recap, we called the Chamber asking to speak with its PR flack, the lovely and talented Ashley Sulock. We wanted to ask Ms. Sulock two things: Did she attend the BYP “networking social” on Dec. 8, 2011, at Allium’s Restaurant in Great Barrington. Also, as spokesperson for the Chamber, did she have comment on the BYP gathering that night? We wondered.

No, she hurriedly told us, she was not in attendance that night. We didn’t get a chance to ask another question. All of a sudden, she put us on hold. Next things we knew, the Chamber’s Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler, Mike “Super” Supranowicz, was on the horn. We went from eye candy to a sight to induce sore eyes, from the Face that Launched 1,000 Ships to I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (sans Michael Landon). They pulled off the change so swiftly that THE PLANET suffered a figurative wrenched back. During our phone chat, Super knew nothing, of course, about no drinking or nuttion’ else.

Do You Think, Given the Recent Events, the BEEPERS  Could Have Selected a More Appropriate Site for Their Next ‘Networking Social’?

December 8: Meredith Nilan attended the gathering that night along with 59 other BYP members or guests. Later that night, of course, Ms. Nilan, according to the Pittsfield Police Department, drove a vehicle on or near the vicinity of Winesap Road and East Street that swerved, crossed lanes, and struck pedestrian Peter Moore.

Moore was walking/running his beloved dog, Toby. He suffered near-fatal injuries. Nilan’s subsequent behavior that night and after led the police to fine criminal complaints against her. We trust you are familiar with what happened next, what many suspect was “The Fix.”

Now for the irony, which, given the severe and near-fatal injuries suffered by Peter Moore, we shall call decidedly un-delicious. Tragic irony? Yes, that’s a better term, given that the Greeks originally used irony to describe what happens to a character in a tragedy “by which the full significance of [the] character’s words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character” (Mac Online Dictionary).

Next BEEPER ‘Social” to be Held at a … Liquor Store!!!!!

According to the e-mail blast the BEEPERS sent out yesterday (Thursday, Feb. 9), the next BYP “networking social” will be held 5 to 7 p.m., March 15 at (drum roll, please) Kelly’s Package Store, 653 Main St., Dalton. We kid you not, to paraphrase Capt. Queeg in The Caine Mutiny.

Given the circumstances of the Nilan-Moore Case and the many questions that have been raised about the amount of drinking typically done at BYP socials, particularly by the 20-somethings of the group, THE PLANET could not make something as insensitively inventive and as callously inappropriate.

“Tour the recently expanded and remodeled story and enjoy samples from Kelly’s new Gourmet Market,” the BEEPER promo gushes. “Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and tastings will be provided. … To register, call 413-499-4000 or email” We wonder: Will the “tastings” include an all-you-can-drink bar?

Why do we have the sneaking suspicion that alcohol will NOT be served that night or, if it is, portions shall be stingy enough to please Scrooge McDuck?

Time for some Chamber/BEEPER Leadership

BYP isn’t Junior Achievement. These are young professionals, already making their way in the wicked working world. They need to step up to the plate. THE PLANET calls upon the BEEPER Steering Committee to change the venue of the March meeting. Think of Peter Moore and his family. Think of their suffering, endured at the hands of one of your own. Moreover, why not make an appearance at THE REAL PITTSFIELD BENEFIT FOR PETER MOORE, set for 12:30 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26 at Chamelon‘s, 1350 East St., Pittsfield? That would go a long, long way to making good, showing moral leadership, and getting THE PLANET off your back.

THE PLANET doesn’t blame Kelly’s Package Store, but we will call the Chamber and BYP on the carpet. There were 60 BYP members at Allium’s on Dec. 8, and not one that we contacted is willing to talk about what they observed that evening with respect to Ms. Nilan’s behavior that night, save one. Alf Barbalunga, probation chief for the south county courts and Pittsfield School Board chairman, was man enough to speak, on the record. He said (we begin quote Barbalunga’s e-mail here, exactly as received:

i did see meredith nilan at the byp function at allium restaurant in great barrington on thur 12/8
i was there approximately from 5:15p-7:45p.  i’m not aware of what time meredith arrived or departed, or if she carpooled, commuted solo, etc.
i worked the check-in table the first half of the evening
i would say at the height of the event, there were approximately 60 byp guests attending
during my interaction with meredith when that photo was taken, i do not recall her possessing any type of drink
the byp event seemed pretty on par with my past experiences regarding alcohol use.  i would say the average age of the guests is 30-ish.  i have personally never witnessed any real heavy alcohol consumption at these events, unlike some social events with a younger age range.  appetizers, chatting/networking, and a raffle give-away are the usual highlights during these two plus hour events, and the same was true that evening
after a positive two years of serving on the byp steering committee, i had notified byp leadership in october of 2011 of my pending resignation, coincidentally effective that 12/8 night

That’s been it for comment on the record.

“The byp event seemed pretty on par with my past experiences regarding alcohol use,” Alf writes. We have been told by numerous people who have been to these BYP “networking socials” that the drinking by the 30 and under membership contingent would blow the top off of a typical Breathalyzer.

That would be one way to interpret personal testimony that the drinking that night was “on par” for such an occasion. Also, not to parse Alf’s words too finely, but he says he has “never personally witnessed any real heavy alcohol consumption at these events,” and we take him at his word, since we have found him to be a credible source in the past.

But what exactly does “real heavy alcohol consumption” imply? Also, just because one person does not witness something, we cannot logically conclude that the said something does not, or did not, occur. Moreover, what constitutes “real heavy alcohol consumption”? My Aunt Fanny would get tipsy sniffing the cork from Uncle Joe‘s grappa bottle. For her, “real heavy use” might be a swig of cooking sherry. On the other hand, I’ve known boozers who would call a dozen Guinness pints “getting warmed up.”

Brad Felix and Jackie Dolan: Show Some Leadership or Step Down

Getting back to the Chamber-BYP e-mail blast. The message lists in royal blue “The BYP Steering Committee.” After Brad Felix and Jackie Dolan as chair and vice chair, 19 members are listed as part of the committee. The names are presented in alphabetical order (how nice … no one’s feelings can be hurt that way). Would you care to guess who’s Jane Doe we find sandwiched between Jenine Moro and Bethany Pellitier? None other than the party girl herself, Meredith Nilan.

Oh, the irony! Oh, the humanity! The message does not say if Nilan will be attending the event at Kelly’s or how she might transport herself to and from should she decide for to begin a long night out.

On behalf of the Moores, the citizens of Pittsfield, and every person who believes in doing the right thing, THE PLANET urges the BEEPER Steering Committee leadership, Felix and Dolan, to act as leaders. This is your defining moment: Step up to the plate. Issue a statement on the case. Tell us, at least, that you are sorry for what one of your members did, since, apparently, that member hasn’t and won’t issue an apology herself. Felix and Dolan, your statement would go a long way in helping a family recover from the emotional toll the physical damage has caused.

Felix and Dolan: If you do NOT step up the the plate, be branded, then, as moral cowards. Let all of Berkshire County know you as that. In which case, at least have the professional self-respect to step down from the leadership role that clearly is too big for you to fill.

BEEPER Membership: A Bevy of Bonuses

The e-mail newsletter later touts the BYP:

“Renew or Get Your BYP Membership Card Today! BYP Membership Cardholders (don’t you love the capital “C” … gosh, these are Important People, aren’t they?) receive the following benefits:

* FREE access to our monthly Networking Socials (Non-members pay $5 for entrance.)

* FREE or reduced costs to BYP Special Events [note the capital “S” capital “E”]

* Discounts at participating local businesses.

* FREE access to a cheap lawyer if you are involved in a hit-and-run case following a BYP Networking Social.”

OK, THE PLANET admits: We added that last benefit. It’s food for thought, anyway.

We later learn that another benefit is “1 hour free coaching for career advancement, including resume critique, interview coaching, and career coaching.” (PLANET speaking now) Members get such career coaching as, “Make sure you have a father who’s a GOB with a lot of political pull in the courts in case you get in trouble with the law.”


Forecast for PEDA: Partly Cloudy with Rain Clouds Moving In, but Why Is THE PLANET the Only Media Outlet with the Credibility to Say So?

THE PLANET read with interest the coverage in iBerkshires of the Wednesday PEDA meeting, in which the PEDA executive board voted to OK land acquisition to create a walking trail around Silver Lake. The story, written by Joe Durwin, quotes PEDA executive director Corydon Thurston: “The lake is already looking beautiful, and once the shoreline is remediated, it really will be a lovely recreational asset.”

Durwin thought enough of us to offer his professional critique of our PEDA coverage. We can only, therefore, turn the other cheek and reply kindly, in kind.

Truly? A reporter takes a quote like this and doesn’t pursue the obvious follow-up? Read on, O, our brothers and sisters.

We agree with Corydon. The lake IS looking better than ever. However, what about what’s IN the lake? What about a five-foot-deep layer of the nastiest industrial toxins deposited there for 100 years, and still sitting there, by General Electric Co.? Does Corydon think those pollutants should be covered up with a layer of sand and left there to continue to pollute the Housatonic River? We don’t know, because, presumably, Durwin didn’t ask the hardball question. Apparently, he took, spoon fed, the words at face value.

We wonder if Joe D. is bucking for a full-time gig at the Boring Broadsheet, because with coverage like that, he’d fit right in. Durwin sometimes engages THE PLANET on this site, and has recently chided us for our fictive reportage and questioned our journalistic pedigree (which, as most of you know, would make Horace Greeley proud, beginning with a Master’s Degree at the world’s most prestigious journalism school, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University).

Reporters and Journalists Make their own Leeway

Durwin just yesterday lamented the fact that he does not enjoy the leeway in coverage that THE PLANET enjoys. We take that as his complaint that his bosses won’t let him write the story but have imposed pre-existing parameters on what you can and can’t say. Knowing Tammy Daniels as we do, we find it difficult to reconcile Durwin’s complaints about Daniels editorial integrity, which we rank as among the best. Daniels is the editorial director at iBerkshires.

Is Joe’s statement on the comments section of THE PLANET yesterday his way of saying that, unlike us, who remain independent, unbought and unbossed, he toils in dependence, being bought and bossed? That’s his excuse, we guess, for not covering the story behind the news of a subject like PEDA, Silver Lake, and the self-serving comments of Corydon. We would advise Joe, in a fatherly way, to take a stand.

Tell your bosses you want to cover the Story, not the sanitized version of the story — that is, if the situation is as you say. We would welcome clarification from Daniels, if she feels that Durwin has misrepresented her management style. In short, if that is what is happening, JD needs to make his own leeway. His bosses will love it, because that will drive leadership … and readership.

One can make the case that Durwin’s PEDA coverage is “objective,” but that’s a cop out. THE PLANET, who has been a student of this for more than a generation, suggests that when cyber-journalism assumes the meekest, most vanilla, most timid, most tame, and most white bread coverage protocols of its older brother in ink-stained print, it loses its greatest advantage, one we employ every day at this address. We speak of the need to not just report what happens but why it happens and what it means. In short, we see the need for journalists to become experts in the topics they coverage, and in the people they cover, so they can report the TRUTH of the story.

Mayor Dan Bianchi’s First True Test?

Giving credit where credit is due, we find this interesting tidbit in Durwin’s piece, that “Waterstone Development, the firm behind a controversial new shopping center plan at the PEDA site, is expected to have its plans completed by late March for presentation to the city, at which time it can begin to undergo the permitting process.”

Leaving aside the turgid prose — particularly  “at which time it can begin to undergo the permitting process” (why not simply write, “when it can begin seeking the required permits”?) — this at least puts a timetable around what could be Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s first true test. Will Bianchi get behind or oppose retail shopping (and its low-wage service jobs) as the best use the city can find for the PEDA site? If he opposes, how vigorously will he do so?

We also learn from Durwin’s piece that Corydon will be making a presentation at the Feb. 14 city council meeting. Don’t be surprised if there’s a PLANET sighting that night.


First Walk a Mile in His Guccis …

Finally, a quick note on my good friend Bill Sturgeon, yackmeister and host of the 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily show on WBRK AM-1340.

We sat in the host’s chair during morning drive at WBRK, doing our talk show, The Dan Valenti Show, for 14 years. In short, we have walked in those moccasins. No matter what you do, you won’t please everybody and you will piss off lots. So you might as well do it your way.

Sturgeon does three hours a day, an ambitious task to say the least in the small market such as Pittsfield. He runs the only show with regular caller participation. Bill Sturgeon and his show remain an asset for We the People. The People need his show, and we hope he continues on the air at our radio home, WBRK.








  1. Ray Ovac
    February 10, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    DV, what does the phrase ‘Walk is those shoes first” actually mean?

  2. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    February 10, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Told you Joe D…seems like you awoke a sleeping GIANT!

    • Shakes His Head
      February 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Syracuse may not even be the best journalism school in New York State. Maybe it was when DV went there though.

  3. Joetaxpayer
    February 10, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Dan must disagree with the changing of the venue.What does Kelly’s Package store have to do with anything.Facts are everyday people will do dumb things,drink to much and get behind the wheel.Changing the venue will do nothing to stop this,you would think these BYP people will be on there best behavoir.If it is that offensive,then the Benefit for Mr.Moore should be moved from a bar to a church hall or another location without booze.You cannot dictate stupidity.

  4. berktransplant
    February 10, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    Dan, why don’t you show up to Kelly’s to see if Nilan is there and try to get some comment from her?

  5. Beacon Hill Mob
    February 10, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    PCBs have been PROVEN to volitilize in the Hudson river muck, that is YOU are breathing them.

    These are at concentrations MUCH MUCH lower than the superfund site that is Sliver lake.

    So if if you want to die slowly, take the “Jerry Dolye walk of Death”

    If you want a quick trip to St. Peter, Take your pooch for a walk on Winsap when BYP is having a gala

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      February 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      Tell them MeriDEATH NILAN ,sent you

    • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
      February 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

      Good… Saw yesterdays post..

    • Irvin Corey
      February 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      People walking near the lake are exposed to high levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide vapor….be very, very cautious around the lake as this compound is a proven killer!!!!!

      • Nancy P. aka Molly
        February 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm #

        Dihydrogen Monoxide is another term for WATER! It is NOT a proven killer — that is a hoax! It is WATER! Why are doing this? We don’t have enough real toxic crap in there already – you find the need to do this?

        • Irwin Corey
          February 10, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

          Nancy just trying to make a point. People throw around the scientific names just to scare people into their way of thinking. I’m glad you brought up the concept f a hoax although water below 32 degrees is inplicated in fatal automobile accidents and it’s involved in 100% of drownings.

          • Joe Pinhead
            February 11, 2012 at 6:07 am #

            It is an old hoax and unfortunately a common one take a look at the link and you can see legislators, educators and City Councils have fallen for it. And also please see the great pacific northwest tree octopus ( once thought extinct) now to have been spotted and photographed.

        • Irvin Corey
          February 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

          if you drive over Silver Lake Blvd on a slippery winters day and ignore the curve f the road you will slip and slide on the frozen dihydrogen oxide and end up in the liquid dihydrogen oxide.

          • Nancy P. aka Molly
            February 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

            And if you “breathe” benzoylmethylecgonine and then swerve your car into the wrong lane, you can hit a pedestrian and possibly kill him. None of your examples, nor mine, has anything to do with intentionally leaving super toxic “garbage” in a city lake. It’s way past time to get this city cleaned up once and for all (in more ways than one…) – let’s get it done!

          • Irvin Corey
            February 11, 2012 at 7:22 am #

            I don’t disagree with you on cleaning the lake. I just don’t wan’t people to panic.

        • K-Man
          February 13, 2012 at 7:22 am #

          Nancy is right. Prof corey must have been tweaking here. Water is water. Also, the danger from Silver Lake is not in hte air but leeching from underneath which is why the toxins need to be removed.

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        February 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

        Did you accomplish High School Chemistry?

        If so, your mentor SHOULD HAVE SLAPPED YOU HARD.

  6. Mike Ward
    February 10, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Don’t forget Donna Todd Rivers. She invited me on her radio show recently for a full hour conversation about the PEDA fiasco, including call-in access for her listeners. Donna proved to be a knowledgeable host who wasn’t afraid to express opinions on the subject.

    • acheshirecat
      February 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      I believe she was called a “Ditzy Diva” on this blog. I guess she and B.S. are held to different standards. For the record I believe both shows just want to show the fluffy side ot Pittsfield.

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 10, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

      Mike,listened to you and Donna Todd Rivers talking about the PEDA site.Really thought you were point on about all the issuses concerning the direction they are going.We cannot give in to selling off our childrens furtures off for cheap retail.Must thank you and Ms Rivers for giving you the platform to express your views.

      • Mike Ward
        February 11, 2012 at 9:58 am #

        Thanks, JT.

  7. ambrose
    February 10, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    re your comment on Silver Lake looking better then it ever has
    i don’t think so – my grandfather who was born in 1864 told me of fishing in in the lake as a young man – its very deep – it was rather pristine and surrounded by small trees and bushes – you could get onto the lake from near the ice house which was located on the north shore – then william stanley came to town with his transformers – at the time commerce was America’s mantra – make money, get rich, exploit the environment and the immigrants – he told me these stories after the fire in 1939 , i think – (the surface of the lake was actually burning near pete’s motors) – i think the lake probably looked better when he was young than it will ever look again

  8. Joe Durwin
    February 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I’m famous now! Happy Friday!

    Apologies if I in any way conveyed the impression that Tammy, iBerkshires, or Boxcar Media is in any way heavy handed about what or how I cover anything. Quite the opposite. I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been directed in a way that wasn’t entirely reasonable in terms of responsibility to factuality, balance, or in or two cases legal liability.

    I simply meant to suggest that as part of a larger entity, it would be quite untenable and irresponsible if I were to simply write for the public eye like a drunken teenager behind the wheel of a semi, which is of course our constitutional right as Americans.

    I simply don’t think that any company or media outlet that had a broader reputation, other employees and livelihoods, and so forth to be considered would continue to accept freelance submissions or suggest assignments to me if I just proceeded into the fray with a junk info-procession of derogatory fist-pumping, misstatements, factual errors, mostly unattributed sources, blistering rhetorical questions that I never seemed to try very hard to get answered before running to print.

    But I wouldn’t really do that on my own (pathetically infrequent) blog [ ], either, on account of I personally just see it as totally irresponsible, whether it’s justified under the all-forgiving label of New Media or not.

    As for coverage of yesterday’s PEDA meeting, do I sometimes put out fairly mundane little news briefs that don’t cut to the bone of Pittsfield politics? YOU BETCHA!

    On the other hand, what seems to not be super clear in the discussion on this site is that nothing in the way of new news actually happened Wednesday. This walking trail is like a four year old story… I mean, I guess I could have taken it as an opportunity to push about the much broader issue of G.E. pollution and the whole history of corruption and clusterf**k that surrounds it, an issue I will gladly admit I am -despite *some* research- VASTLY less informed than many people on, including yourself.

    On the other other hand, at least I didn’t run a story full of blustering indictment on a board chair change conspiracy that never happened!

    As for this most delightful topic of journalism, I am suitably impressed by your credentials.

    But I find I have taken the words of Matthew 7:15 very strongly to heart: “By their fruits shall ye know them….”

    • jimbo
      February 10, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      Great stuff Joe!

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Joe we already have a news outlet for mundane little news briefs (Berkshire Eagle).God knows we don’t need another one.Why not stay more on point with some of the new information of the day.Mr.Thurston,in exchange for PEDA purchasing 5 acres will you tell GE to throughly clean Silver Lake,no sand cap.I know Im not a journalist,but play one on t.v

    • K-Man
      February 13, 2012 at 7:26 am #

      Give it up Joe. Your response isn’t even clever. It’s reaching but never grabbing. Face it, you have met your match and he is Valenti. You aren’t the first, if that’s consolation!

  9. Joe Durwin
    February 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

    PS- If my notation about Thurston’s presentation leads to bringing you out to the City Council Tuesday, bringing us together for Valentine’s Day… then that brief just shot up from relatively meaningless to one of my proudest moments.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    Dan must again disagree with you. You should not be going after BYP people. Where they have their affairs is their business. They have done nothing wrong. Ms Nilan and her father are the ones to go after. If someone leaves for example the Red Lion Inn and hit someone, does that mean everyone that was there that night should be brought into it, of course not. If I was Ms Sulock or anyone else there I would not talk to you either. I would say your on a witch hunt, and I won’t speak with you.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 10, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

      I agree with you, Concerned. The “Beepers” have done nothing wrong. Why would any of them want to talk to the media and get hounded by everyone? I don’t think that their names should’ve been published anywhere as they’ve done nothing wrong, and I don’t think that they should issue any kind of statement to anyone. I can’t believe that I’m going to say this, but I am because I (still) believe in our criminal justice system: Meredith Nilan has not been convicted of anything, yet! They are NOT moral cowards, and they shouldn’t be saying that they’re sorry for what “one their own did” – again, she has not been convicted of anything — yet. Doing something like that would not only be irresponsible, but would be showing poor leadership! Not to mention they could be sued for doing so!

      Their last meeting was at Crown Jewelers. This one is at Kelly’s Package Store. I’m sure these businesses do this as a means of getting at least 60 young, professional people into their business — it’s good for their business! What difference does it make if they’re at Kelly’s Package Store or Brulee’s Restaurant or Crown Jewelers? It doesn’t! IF someone chooses to drink too much and then drive, that’s a stupid decision on their part — but it has nothing to do with the 60 other “Beepers”. And again – you don’t know if she was drunk! We can speculate that she was, but there is absolutely no proof, at least that I’ve seen, that she was (and I do agree that’s likely because “daddy” took care of that for her), but the fact remains, there is NO evidence of that. One more thing – how do we know that the DA didn’t tell them to NOT speak with the media?

      Please leave these BYP’ers alone – stop printing their names, stop hounding them as they’ve done nothing wrong. I do hope they come to the Benefit, just as I hope that LOTS of people come to the benefit! And no – the two leaders should NOT step down.

    February 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    As far as the Sturgeon show, THREE HOURS is crazy.One hour would be plenty.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Personally, I have had trouble listening to even one hour… And so don’t.

  12. GMHeller
    February 10, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Assoc. Justice Wm. Hadley has rendered a decision in the Nilan appeal.
    According to personnel in the Justice’s office, the decision was mailed to the Criminal Clerk at Pittsfield District Court and should be available for public release on Monday after the parties involved are formally notified.

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      Thanks,GMHeller the wheels of justice turn mighty slow.Mr.Hadley, what took so long to decide if this is a case thats needs to be heard.A blind squiriel could have found that nut.Hope you didn’t take off your blindfold,and dropped your scale.

      • GMHeller
        February 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

        From the sounds of it, Justice Hadley has a large caseload.
        Hard to believe, but there’s a judge shortage in Massachusetts despite the fact that Democrats control all the branches of state government plus the Governor’s Council.
        That’s apparently the reason Justice Hadley is temporarily assigned to Springfield from Greenfield.
        His Clerk indicated a few days ago that the Justice needed ‘a writing day’, that’s how packed his schedule is, and that was why it was taking so long to get the decision out.

        • Nancy P. aka Molly
          February 10, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

          Judge Hadley has been temporarily assigned to Springfield?

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Glenn – you scooped them all! Thanks so much.

      • GMHeller
        February 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

        There’s no scoop yet.
        The decision is still not reported.

        • Nancy P. aka Molly
          February 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

          At least we know what’s going on with it, though…

          • Beacon Hill Mob
            February 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

            You mean the IN-Jjustice has not ben spoken, YET

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      I hope that “all parties involved” includes the victim!!

  13. Ron Kitterman
    February 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    Thank you Mr Heller for the post.

  14. Scott
    February 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    Dan, is it not true that the very club that will be hosting Peter Moore’s benefit serves alcohol? You can’t blame alcohol for the stupidity of a select few any more then you can attribute murders to guns or any other weapon for that matter.

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 10, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Scott lets not forget,cell phones,make-up,big macs,pocket rockets,horney girlfriends or boyfriends,G.P.S,and of course drugs and or alcohol.

  15. followthebs
    February 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    scott, not only does club serve alcohol, they sometimes “lose” the money from benefit events…

  16. Joe Durwin
    February 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    @joetaxpayer I’ll tell ya why I didn’t ask that- because masturbatory questions that aren’t going to get any answer or yield any new information, but are simply intended to grandstand on what’s already known, are the province of others and already well covered.

    I watched the reactions, comments and reposts of that story and I can honestly say just running Thurston’s comment by itself seemed to elicit more fury than anything I could have added.

    Sometimes subtlety is the better part of valor… but that message is probably totally lost here in the PV arena.

    • Joetaxpayer
      February 10, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

      @Joe Durwin,You have to be in it to win it! Why not take a shot at hitting one out of the park.You are right chances are it is a waste.Why not ask,maybe we the people might someday get the truth.All I am asking for as somebody willing to go the extra mile to make sure everyone is heard.Thank you what you do

    • Joe Pinhead
      February 12, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      Does the PEDA board have a clerk that takes minutes? Are they available to post on the PEDA website? Isnt it the job of whomever takes minutes at the meeting to parrot what is said and document it as part of the official record? Why not probe, ask, and push the discussion along? As you stated your not from the area that’s even more reason to dig into the background and to ensure the record is accurately reflected. If for nothing else than to ensure the public is well informed regarding the shaping of its future.
      As you mentioned a biblical reference above I am reminded of one by Jefferson “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”
      Just Sayin

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        February 12, 2012 at 8:52 am #

        If the news paper is the LEFT WINGED PARROT a.k.a. BB

      • Nancy P. aka Molly
        February 12, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

        From what’s been said, whoever is the secretary and is suppose to write up the minutes, doesn’t do a very good job. It was reported that the mayor said that he couldn’t determine from the minutes what happened at the last meeting, and it was reported that someone else said that really there are no minutes and certainly none that are published anywhere. What ever happened to PEDA being so transparent? That changed in a hurry! I thought there were rules and regulations regarding these meetings and that acceptable documentation needs to accompany them? Or do I have that wrong?

        • Joe Pinhead
          February 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

          Molly, that what I was trying to get at. If Mr. Durwin was not interested in asking Mr. Thurston any questions regarding the land use could he not at least ask about the administrative make up and the duties? I would think that with so much interest now bubbling up understanding the above mentioned items might be good ground to cover.

  17. Silence Dogood
    February 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    When this video link was first posted by the Planet it had fewer than 50 viewings as of 6:30 PM Friday there were 317 viewings. I guess folks do check this blog.

    • Boom
      February 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      So that would be a little more than a half of a percent of the population of Pittsfield. Is that supposed to be impressive?

    • Jim Gleason
      February 11, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      That’s freakin hilarious but also sad in many ways because it’s akin to what the BB prints as truth on some stories thinking the public is dumb enough to believe everything just because it’s written in their terrible rag. Good video whoever you are. Hopefully more are imminent.

      • Nancy P. aka Molly
        February 11, 2012 at 9:08 am #

        The sad thing is that there are too many people who believe everything that they read — if it’s in the BB, it “must be true!” And if The Berkshire Eagle backs this person for this public office, then they must be good! On and on and on…

        • Steve wade
          February 11, 2012 at 9:52 am #

          Nancy. Like everyone in the peanut gallery doesn’t believe what is written in The Planet as fact!

          • Jim Gleason
            February 11, 2012 at 10:30 am #

            I don’t think what you write is fact!

          • Nancy P. aka Molly
            February 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

            Not true! I’m one of the first ones to challenge him if I don’t agree, or if it’s not true. For instance, I think he was way off base on the BYP folks, and said so. And do often. But also say so when I agree as well.

  18. Silence Dogood
    February 10, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    over 350 views now….that’s 350 viewers who won’t vote for GOB hack Capeless and in this town 350 votes is a lot.

    • Scott
      February 11, 2012 at 1:47 am #


    • Hearse Driver
      February 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

      I will vote for capeless everytime

      • Jim Gleason
        February 13, 2012 at 8:43 am #

        OK Krol.

      • Irvin Corey
        February 13, 2012 at 8:56 am #

        You bust be a beholden GOB hack boot licker

  19. GMHeller
    February 11, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    The below newspaper account by Andrew Amelinckx in today’s (Saturday’s) Berkshire Eagle directly conflicts with the information I was given Friday afternoon (Feb. 10) on or about 4:10 p.m. by Springfield Court personnel.
    It was confirmed to me by court personnel contacted in ‘The Judge’s Lobby’ that a decision in re the Nilan appeal had indeed been rendered and that said decision was mailed Friday to District Court officials in Pittsfield.
    If Eagle reporter Amelinckx wishes to contact me for verification, I will be happy to provide to him the name of the individual at Springfield District Court who provided this information to me.
    Mr. Amelinckx can contact me via email at editor @ berkshirerecord. com and he should provide me with a phone number where he can be reached.


    ‘No ruling yet on Nilan crash appeal’
    By Andrew Amelinckx, Berkshire Eagle Staff,

    Saturday February 11, 2012

    PITTSFIELD — A Springfield judge has yet to make a ruling on the appeal of an alleged hit-and-run case involving the 24-year-old daughter of Berkshire Superior Court’s chief of probation.

    According to court officials, Springfield District Court Judge William P. Hadley has been reviewing the case against Meredith Nilan of Pittsfield for about three weeks. A decision was expected this week, but did not occur.

    On Thursday, Hadley asked for further information on the case to be sent to him. It is unclear exactly what he requested.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 8:13 am #

      I read this article in the BB last night — what’s going on? Is the BB trying to give themselves some additional time to hear back from the GOBs as to when they can publish it or what??

  20. GMHeller
    February 11, 2012 at 2:48 am #


  21. GMHeller
    February 11, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    I attempted to post the above information onto The Berkshire Eagle’s Disqus page under reporter Amelinckx’s inaccurately reported article, but received the message: “Sorry, you have been blocked from commenting on this site.”

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      WOW They just do not “get it”!!!

    • Scott
      February 11, 2012 at 10:09 am #

      They delete any comment that is the slightest controversial or raises any questions they either don’t want asked or didn’t think of themselves.

      • Nancy P. aka Molly
        February 11, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

        Which is why I don’t even attempt to post there any longer. I could understand if they used a moderator to filter out the garbage talk that is on Topix, but that’s not what they do – as you said, Scott, they delete any comment or question that they don’t want asked.

        They should be reporting on every City Council meeting and every School Committee meeting, along with anything of importance that comes out of any of the other meetings (Park Commission and the like) which shouldn’t be too much reporting… They should tell us what our State Reps voted on and how they voted and what items are up for vote soon. They at one time published the daily Police Blotter, but no longer do, along with the outcomes of every District and Superior court case. Instead they just continue to write about absolutely nothing! Knitting bees, and “Williams freshman starts middle school public speaking program” and “Farmers tap into early sap season” — which are fine, but not when that’s ALL we get! And when a story like the Nilan case comes along, they sit on it and don’t report anything about it for weeks. Honestly, it is an extremely awful newspaper. I don’t pretend to know anything about running a newspaper or about being a journalist, but I know what information I want to read about in my community newspaper and they just don’t provide any of it. So why should I pay for it? I shouldn’t. And I don’t. And I’m obviously not the only one, either. It’s a shame – they have no competition and they still can’t make it.

  22. Scott
    February 11, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    so what was the ruling?

  23. GMHeller
    February 11, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    That won’t be known publicly til the Pittsfield District Court’s Criminal Clerk releases the decision after the parties are notified.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 8:17 am #

      Speranzo I would assume? Has he been showing up yet?

      • Hearse Driver
        February 11, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

        Speranzo has been in court ever since hes been n the job. I see him there every time in in district court and thats usually 2 or 3 times a week. this rumor infested site started a rumor that Speranzo has been absent from court even though the blogger had no proof he wasnt there.

        • Nancy P. aka Molly
          February 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

          “Mr. No Show Speranzo”

  24. Susan Moore
    February 11, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    Scott, regarding the serving of alcohol at the Event supporting my step son Peter, my husband Tom made it clear to the organizer that we did not want alcohol to be part of the event —no open bar, tickets would not include a drink etc. We were told that the facility did have a bar and that it would be up to individuals attending whether or not they purchased an alcoholic beverage. Since this Event is on a Sunday afternoon, and we want it to be a family affair, I would hope that everyone attending would be mindful of how many beers or glasses of wine they might consume.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 9:03 am #

      I would assume, and expect, that this would not be a problem at all considering that it’s on a Sunday afternoon (vs. a Friday or Saturday night). I expect that this will very much be a family event — people of the Community coming together to show their support for Peter and his family.

      Not trying to speak for Scott, but since I had a similar post, he was just trying to make a point.

    • Scott
      February 11, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Susan, that was my point DV in his current article is scolding BYP for have their next meeting at a liquor store. I think it’s safe to say it’s a little hypocritical.

      • Joetaxpayer
        February 11, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

        @ Scott Agree 100%

  25. Richard
    February 11, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    If the board at the G E site is going to allow stores to build on that site then why would there be a need for that building that is going up know.

    • dusty
      February 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

      Do you mean the Mountain One financial building? I wonder if the future employees of that company know they will be working near a toxic dump site. I imagine the owners of that company got a bargain for the land and were not planning on working there themselves.

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

      Why would there be a need? There are numerous – as in many, different building sites there. It was suppose to be a “business park”. Now they want one of the sites, the largest site, to be home to a “big box retail store”. Is that what you mean? I am unclear as to what you meant by “why would there be a need”?

  26. Susan Moore
    February 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    Thanks for the clarification on the other topic. Molly you always say it clearly!!
    If I can add on the toxic dump site issue, the Hartford Police Department Headquarters was built on the site of the original toxic dump site for the city of Hartford. The number of cancers and other horrible illness are off the charts! The builder failed to even put a barrier down before the slab was built. Most of the women, secretaries, who stayed in the building all day have had breast or lung cancer. Far too many have passed away. The % of dispatchers who were in a small enclosed room who have died is heartbreaking. My husband is lucky and survived stage 4 colon cancer. His Dr. wrote a letter stating it was an “environment” cancer. Most of the people who sent letters of support 8 years ago are now dead. You really need to fight buildings being put up on known toxic sites. They are finally building a new police department. Nobody is doing anything for the people who have been stricken but there is a class action suit pending for some of the more recent cases. Sick Buildings and toxic waste sites are no joke and employees should be warned.

  27. Bonnie
    February 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm #


    I cannot wait to attend the benefit and meet your husband and Peter. So proud of you all for the courage you have. Also very proud of the stand the good people of Pittsfield took which DV and PlanetValenti were the catalyst for.

  28. Tito
    February 11, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

    It has been very frustrating that the Allendale School has been allowed to exist next to a toxic waste site? The area around Silver Lake smells of chemicals for years now, what apathy!

    • Nancy P. aka Molly
      February 12, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      I sent my daughter to Allendale school, playing on that play ground that was filled with toxic crap, for years. At the time, it was the best elementary school in the city and, therefore, thought that I was doing the best thing for her (and from an education standpoint, it was the best thing for her and she’s about to get her PhD). But we didn’t know until after she left there about all the toxic waste sitting there. I fear for her being exposed to all of this junk during her growing years. It makes me ill just thinking about the fact that people knowingly dumped this crap at an elementary school! And covered it up (and not literally, either!). I’d bet a lot that they didn’t send their kids to Allendale!!!

  29. T
    February 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

    I totally agree with this nonsense!

  30. rick
    February 12, 2012 at 4:16 am #

    what g.e. and other huge corporations have done to the environment is the reason why federal guidelines are in place to never let these people loose to harm communities with there toxic waste. one thing the republicans want to do if elected, is to loosen those guide lines up, its affecting capitalism, companies cant make the maximum amount of profit if they have to pay to protect people and the environment against their toxic waste. the thing with these companies is that when they get done doing their damage they just shut down and move on to an area that will accept them… mexico could care less about their people so they go there and there are no rules down there.

    • Norm Fenordnur
      February 12, 2012 at 5:30 am #

      Rick can you give a specific example of a bill filed by a republican o a statement a republican made that would indicate they want to allow harm to the environment?

  31. rick
    February 12, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    id like to know where pollution is on the mayors to do list. one would say high up on list but the eagle fluff piece dosent show it… we can all sit on pedas board , give companies tax breaks up the wazoo , but at the end of the day there is a stinky, smelly mass of toxic liquid called silver lake to live with. you can put walk ways around it, plant some trees and flowers, tie it up in a nice ribbon and bow but its still contaminated. g.e needs to make this community whole again period……. its kind of crazy to put a toxic dump next to our kids school(allendale), but hey , its a parting gift just to say thanks for the memories. we made a bunch of money , but all good things must come to an end. so in our exit we want to give to you a little reminder of the not so good times, silver lake, the dump…etc..and heres 10, million

    • Joe Pinhead
      February 12, 2012 at 7:42 am #

      While parts of your posts I agree with you seem to miss the forest for the trees. While the Corporations will go to Mexico, China Etc where there is no oversight regarding the environment, please don’t get caught up in the bb’s rhetoric. The Republican party may be interested in relaxing the standards, however please look at facts, the consent decree was hammered out in the Clinton years. Eight years 1/20/93-1/20/01 I heard somewhere he was a Democrat. Couple that with the state delegation at the time, All Democrats, at both the state and federal level and I’m only seeing rhetoric. The BB does this in an attempt to create a boogey man so as to still be invited to the cocktail parties etc. When have they held a single elected or appointed official accountable for their actions or their inactions? I will grant you possibly Capeless as of late, but that was by all standards an aberration.
      Can you imagine the horror of someone at the bb actually saying Emperor you have no clothes. They would never be invited to tea and Crumpets with the 1%ters again.
      Who handed out the tax incentives you speak about? Please refer to John Olver’s status as a Republican as he handed out checks and smiles to EV worldwide. Where is that money now? I believe Armitage was buddies with the local Democrats. So Rick nothing personal but please put more credibility on information not on the indoctrination put forth in the bb.
      Please hold them all equally accountable, our community is filled with toxic dumps (hill 78, Silver lake etc) that are both real and ongoing and you are reaching into the future with what the Republicans might do if elected? We have seen what Democrat administrations have done and are doing.
      And no I am not a Republican, I do not feel the need to belong to either party to shape my identity and thoughts. As a side note there are other parties that you might want to look at that might be more inline with your policy’s and thoughts.
      Just Sayin

      • Scott
        February 12, 2012 at 7:59 am #

        Well said I try to drive this point home often but my communication isn’t as clear or well stated as yours or maybe people just don’t get it. Look at the tea party for example a good cause high jacked by the republican party and scoffed by the left when in fact there’s people from both sides of politics involved with the movement. People will believe anything they read online of hear in the media. We need to spend more time investigating candidates and what they’ve really done before filling in that little black oval next to their name.

      • rick
        February 12, 2012 at 10:09 am #

        joe, i agree its both sides of the aisle, but the republicans use it as a tool to get elected, by the way the bb does not influence my opinions in any opinion is that a capitalist will cut corners for the bottom line and for its shareholders for the almighty dollar , and g.e. and others have proved it…. sad thing here is obama is buddies with g.e. and obama is buddies with deval patrick, so its kind of a mute point……. just look at the last eight years of roberto, nothing done about the mess g.e. left, did i fail to mention that roberto is buds with deval….

  32. Beacon Hill Mob
    February 12, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Source: Former GE “enviromental worker.”

    More toxins in just Silver Lake, than ANY SUPERFUND SITE ANYWHERE. Yes just Siiver Lake and ANYWHERE USA

    Put some sand on it Jerry Doyle, that will clean things up.

  33. tito
    February 12, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    What do people think the smell emanating from SIlver Lake is, a bed of roses?

  34. Kevin Delaney
    February 12, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I hope that the timing of the BYP event at Kelly’s Package Store is merely an unfortunate coincidence. The staff and owners of Kelly’s are great people and they operate a fantastic business. It’s a shame that the dark cloud hovering over BYP would cast an unkind shadow on such a great business.

  35. Nancy P. aka Molly
    February 12, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Why is it that the Berkshire Eagle thinks that “manufacturing is dead in Western Massachusetts”, yet I just read an article in the Springfield newspaper that manufacturing is now booming in Western Massachusetts!! And the state has numerous programs and incentives for manufacturing companies to come to Mass or to start anew. This is SO totally opposite of what we’re being told in Pittsfield, especially regarding the PEDA site!! Take a look – it’s amazing! And we’re putting in yet another Retail Store??? Hellloooooo!!!!

    And also this one:

    February 12, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    I don’t see any dark cloud over BYP. I see this incident the action of one person. Please get off BYP, as far as I can see these are a fine bunch of young people here.

    • Ray Ovac
      February 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

      Concerned, if these are such “a fine bunch of young people,” why are sixty of them kowtowing to the orders of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce as well as to peer pressure by not being forthcoming about what they observed at Allium Bar the evening of December 8, 2011?
      Are these leading Berkshire lights concerned about justice or more interested in protecting one of their own?

  37. tito
    February 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Mob mentality, concerned.

  38. Shakes His Head
    February 12, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    BYP isn’t just young people.

      February 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      oh,ok thought the Y meant Young. But anyway they are not involved in this incident MS Nilan is. It would be like you attended a VFW meeting and another leaves hit someone and leaves the scene. Are the another that attended the meeting responsible, hell no.

    • Joe Pinhead
      February 12, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

      perspective there all younger than some of us are and how others of us feel.

  39. tito
    February 12, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    What the hell is that crap they’re using on the roads, breathe it and you will know what i’m talking about. Is it me or has the new Mayor been saddled with inept projects, administrators, juvenile employees at every level, and gob behind the seen high school p around laughing at every turn. Watch the committee meeting about the parking around city hall, just watch it.. Good luck Mayor, your going to need it. The only ones that are half way professional are the tax collectors.

  40. K-Man
    February 13, 2012 at 7:42 am #

    IT’s over. Folks. It’s over. For Pittsfield, it’s over. The new mayor? Same as the old mayor. They won. We lost. It’s over.

  41. GMHeller
    February 13, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Byrnes’ Decision in Nilan Show-Cause Reversed: Criminal Complaint Reinstated

    New Hearing to be Scheduled
    by G.M. Heller

    Posted to Topix: Monday, February 13, 2012, 09:39 a.m.

    Springfield, Mass. —- Massachusetts Associate Justice William P. Hadley ruled Friday that he will allow the motion by Pittsfield Police for redetermination of the application for criminal complaint against Meredith Nilan in the matter of a hit-run accident in which jogger Peter Moore was severely injured December 8, 2011.
    The Justice’s ruling overturns a decision made in January by Asst. Clerk-Magistrate Nathan A. Byrnes.

    The Berkshire Eagle misreported this past Saturday in an article headlined ‘No ruling yet on Nilan crash appeal’ written by reporter Andrew Amelinckx that: “A Springfield judge has yet to make a ruling on the appeal of an alleged hit-and-run case involving the 24-year-old daughter of Berkshire Superior Court’s chief of probation.”
    The Eagle went on to misreport that: “A decision was expected this week, but did not occur.”

    In fact, Justice Hadley issued his ruling Friday at which time it was mailed to the Criminal Clerk at Pittsfield District Court for dissemination to the parties.

  42. GMHeller
    February 13, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    CORRECTION: Headline:
    Byrnes’ Decision in Nilan Show-Cause Reversed: Allows Redetermination of Application For Criminal Complaint

    • GMHeller
      February 13, 2012 at 8:18 am #

      CORRECTION: That headline should read:
      “Byrnes’ Decision in Nilan Show-Cause Reversed: Justice Hadley Allows Motion for Redetermination of Application For Criminal Complaint

  43. GMHeller
    February 13, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    CORRECTION: New Hearing LIKELY to be Scheduled