PETER MOORE BENEFIT NEEDS LOCAL TALENT … PLANET’s GROWING INFLUENCE A WIN FOR THE LITTLE GUY … A VALENTINE DAY POEM FOR A SECRET AGENT OUT THERE … ODD BEDFELLOWS: 1BERKSHIRE and PUMMELIN’ PAM … OTHER PERSONNEL MOVES AT 1B, or, WHY WE GET NO MFG. JOBS … plus …
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, FEB. 14, 2012) — THE PLANET wishes to relay a word on this Valentine’s Day from impresario extraordinaire Andy Poncherello regarding The REAL Pittsfield Benefit for Peter Moore and Family.
Singers/Songwriters Wanted to Play for Packed House
Poncherello asked us to put out the call for all singer/songwriters who can donate their considerable talents to please contact him at 413-418-5783. Beside helping out with a great cause, performers will get to play a friendly, receptive, and packed room to showcase what they can do. THE PLANET also has a musical management arm via Europolis Management, and we will have talent scouts there. Who knows? Maybe this is your big break. Bottom line, though, is that we hope you will contribute your talents as a show of support to a man who was nearly run over and killed by a reckless (and callous) hit-and-run driver.
Also, any businesses who can donate products or services, please get into touch with Poncherello. THE PLANET has pledged a package of signed books of our authorship AND treating one lucky winner to lunch with us at the Red Lion Inn. Please help out if you can.
AS OUR NUMBERS GROW, SO DOES OUR ABILITY TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR THE LITTLE GUY
Speaking of the Nilan-Moore Case, this website broke most all the important movements in this story yesterday and prior, including first in with Judge Hadley‘s ruling, first in with photos of the vehicle, and first in with the Pittsfield Police Department‘s Report. That report has some hidden gems in it, and we intend to share some observations with you, likely tomorrow.
THE PLANET’s relentless pursuit of the truth here prevented this story from vanishing in thin air after a little smoke and sizzle, as leaks on so many past scandals have done. THE PLANET’s tireless work on behalf of Truth, Justice, and the American Way forced others in the media to take notice, including pushing the Boring Broadsheet to grudgingly publish its “pulling of teeth” versions of the events of Nilan-Moore. There’s no question that this site generated tremendous pressure on many fronts, official and otherwise, to see that this case didn’t disappear.
We say this simply to remind everyone the importance of a free press. We, virtually alone among media locally, choose to act fearlessly upon this freedom in pursuit of causes that help advance the Truth and give the Little Guy somewhat of a fair shake. Cyberspace has given We The People a tool by which to take back their government. The larger this website grows in numbers and in influence, the more we can act for good on behalf of righteous causes.
Our readership continues to swell, far beyond our projections for this point in our business plan. We have been approached several times by brokers who want to sell ads on this site for us, offering us a lot of dough simply for allowing our space to be used.
We have said, and continue to say no. We shall remain UNBOUGHT and UNBOSSED.
A VALENTINE’S VERSE, IN CODE, FOR A SPECIAL AUDIENCE
You can’t spell Valentine without Valenti, which is why THE PLANET has always been so popular on this day, dating back to grammar school, when we were asked a million times how to spell our last name. Appropriate, that, for a lover like us.
How do we love? Not like the jackal. More like the dove.
Let’s see … Yes, we love, like the sweetest apple that reddens upon the topmost bough’s topmost twig, which the pluckers forgot, somehow. Forgot, we say? No. They forgot it not but GOT it not, for no one could get … until now. We are speaking in code. Let those with eyes, see. Let those with ears, hear.
Yes, we love, like the sweetest apple
that reddens upon the bough,
which the pluckers forgot, somehow.
“Forgot,” we say? No. They forgot it not.
They got it not, for no one could get until now.
6-55-32-1 for the cryptographers: 3486y50i 26d65h 6m 10793kfm7 43ms cl6tg905.
POLITICS MAKES STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, or 1BERKSHIRE AND PUMMELIN’ PAM: A MATCH MADE IN WHERE?
1Berkshires, the umbrella group designed (so they say) to be one-stop shopping for economic development, has apparently named Pam Malumphy as its marketing director, THE PLANET has learned. The announcement is all hush-hush, so don’t tell them you heard it here.
The information, obtained by a reliable source and all-but confirmed later by a 1Berkshire source (though not officially and on condition of anonymity), has raised a lot of eyebrows in local political circles.
If this information bear out, we find it odd in the extreme. That being said, in the wacky world of local politics, nothing surprises us.
Malumphy, whose long enemy list includes THE PLANET for reasons which puzzle us to this day, is seen as anathema by much if not most of the 1Berkshire set, according to our source there. She has burned more bridges than Napoleon on his retreat from Russia.
Malumphy has lost four consecutive political campaigns after whiffing in her attempt for a second term as an a-large city councilor in Pittsfield (the four: at large, state rep, mayor, and state rep again). Her abrasive style has earned her the nickname of “Pummelin’ Pam.”
On its website, 1Berkshire has this job advertised:
We agree with our original source, that Malumphy has been an advocate for business and economic development over the years (though what practical good that did is open for debate). She is witty, bright, fairly articulate, and has passion. Good package, we agree, but one ultimately that unravels over her penchant for emotionalism.
Judging by past performance, which, as our stockbroker says is no indication of future results, she lets her emotions take over when the head should be calling the shots. When Pummelin’ Pam puts you on her List, there’s no getting off. She turns shrill, which, to most ears, male and female, has about as much appeal as the howl of a coyote with a foot caught in a trap.
One source openly wondered if Malumphy had anything on Stuart Chase, 1B executive director. That’s how politicians think, and it certainly would provide an explanation to a surprising selection.
Food for thought, as we might say … frozen food for thought.
We also cannot leave this story without reminding you remember that 1B took a whole lotta GE money, said to be $300,000, to push a Rest-of-the-River solution for the Housatonic River that would be decidedly easy on GE’s phat wallet. Wonder if Pummelin’ Pam now thinks the GE approach is a wonderful idea.
1B’s FRUSCIO GETS KICKED UPSTAIRS
Speaking of personnel changes, we will add that 1B’s Helena Fruscio, ex-director of the Berkshire Creative Economy Council (Berkshire Creative), got kicked upstairs, so to speak, to serve as “Creative Economy Industry Director” for the state.
We bet you didn’t even know — you who are struggling to keep your head above water these days — that your tax dollars are used to maintain a “Creative Economy Industry Director.” How could we all manage with a Creative Economy Industry Director?
We don’t know who, how, or what was responsible for the Fruscio promotion, and we don’t know of a Casting Couch in Boston (wanna buy a bridge that Pam Malumphy torched, in Brooklyn?), but we’re reasonably certain that after the usual nationwide search and much due diligence, the new Creative Economy Industry Director got the job after passing the audition, showing great, um, creativity.
Fruscio’s job from here to Boston is like going from counting paper clips for $70K a year to drinking latte mochas for $90K. You don’t break a sweat; you don’t mess up the sacred, sweep the forehead bangs; and you get invited to many more free eats, and we’re not talking Sloppy Joes.
Gosh: Did Dan Valenti Invent the Creative Economy in Pittsfield?
Let’s see: THE PLANET moved back to The Berkshires in 1980 after a five-year stint in daily newspapering. With one book just out at the time racking up floundering sales and another in our mind, we decided to stake a claim on North Street, downtown Pittsfield, establishing our beach head there. We stayed for 28 years.
We took a one-room office in the Elglo Mall (what is now Crawford Square). We furnished it, and began writing. We had no offers and no guarantees, yet within a couple years, we had a couple of literary hits, and then the offers began searching for us.
Meanwhile, we had taken on a huge amount of free-lance work. We did what all good entrepreneurs did. We hired. We did it without one borrowed cent, furnishing 100% of our own venture capital. We rolled the bones, betting the house, and we made our point — eight the hard way.
By the time we closed our Pittsfield offices on Sept. 1, 2008 for southern climes, we had employed 74 people full time, plus a countless number of free lancers. We had pumped millions and millions of dollars into the local economy through the salaries we paid, the benefits we provided, the many lunches eaten in downtown Pittsfield, and all the shopping that our employees did there. Our employees became alums who went on to even greater success on their own.
We did all of this using our wits. We lived the life of the mind. We did not attend one state-sponsored class for entrepreneurs. We didn’t join a “writers’ group.” We didn’t sit around in Schwab’s Drugstore waiting to get discovered. We didn’t take one dime of public money. We didn’t apply for grants.
We also didn’t have the benefit of the Berkshire Creative Economy Council or the state Creative Economy Industry Director. We took a chance and we acted, determined to hold nothing back and to let no one out-work us.
All along, we were helping create the Creative Economy without even knowing it.
Groups Like This Create Two Jobs: A Con Job and a Snow Job
Groups such as 1Berkshire have been the boon and the bane of Berkshire County every since our TRUE economy — the manufacturing economy — left town by 1990. The boon part comes in the way these “economic development groups” create jobs: They create big-paying jobs with fancy titles to reward “Players” (jobs like Chief Executive Officer, President, and CEO, plus two other jobs: A con job and a snow job. The bane is that, nearly a generation later, there are still no high-pay, high-benefits manufacturing jobs in Pittsfield.
THE PLANET does not question the well-meaning intentions of many of the people who populate these multitudinous “economic and marketing” groups. We do question their effectiveness. We do ask: Does not the presence of such a group signal a sign of failure, raising the white flag of surrender, in securing manufacturing jobs?
Mayor Jimmy Ruberto was smart enough to pick the low-hanging fruit represented by a recreation-and-resort economy. We would have done so, too. That’s all gone now. The orchard has done been picked dry, and that’s what Mayor Dan Bianchi is really saying when he couches his support for the foo-foo brie-and-asiago set, who suffer from a terminal case of Taking Themselves Too Seriously.
Truly, Do You Expect These People to Create Manufacturing Jobs?
Take the three “leaders” of 1Berkshire: Stuart Chase has a background in the arts. From his 1B bio:
Prior to his tenure at Berkshire Museum, he held leadership posts at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts; Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, New York; Raynham Hall Museum in Oyster Bay, New York; Museum of the Southwest in Midland, Texas; and served as president at the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Chase didn’t make his bones on a factory floor. He’s probably never gotten dirt under his fingernails.
Or take Lauri Klefos. Please.
Prior to coming to the Berkshires, she was president of the Arizona Tourism Alliance and director of Tourism Marketing for Moses Anshell Advertising in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1994 she was appointed as director of Travel and Tourism for the State of New Hampshire. In this role she was chair of Discover New England and the National Association of State Development Agencies’ Tourism Development Committee.
Prior to her career in destination marketing, Klefos worked for the State of New Hampshire’s Division of Economic Development for eight years beginning as a research analyst where she instituted the first statewide online site selection database which won national awards for innovation in state government.
is a tea-and-crumpets-at-the-Ritz person who’s plenty beholden that the GOBs for her good fortune, as is Berkshire Chamber of Commerce prez and CEO Mike Supranowicz. There’s not much private sector experience here. Perhaps that’s why Pittsfield has given up on finding good-pay good-benefits manufacturing jobs — not because they don’t exist (they do) but because the city doesn’t have the talent to get them here.
That’s why those good jobs go elsewhere.
Or haven’t you noticed how PEDA want to put a Big Box retail shopping complex in at Polluted Acres?
ON THIS VALENTINE’S DAY, TELL YOUR LOVER YOU LOVE HIM OR HER. IF SHE IS A SHE, SHOW IT. AND WHAT SIGNS HAVE TOLD YOU, NOW, THAT SHE HASTENS HOME? LO, THE WINTER IS NEARLY GONE, AND SHE IS NEARLY COME.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.