PLANET ENDORSES NUCIFORO FOR CONGRESS … WHY DOES BB RUN NILAN STORIES ANONYMOUSLY? WHAT’S IT AFRAID OF? … THE PLANET VISITS MANY, INCLUDING MAYOR BIANCHI, WHO SHARES BUDGET PLANS … MATOON APPOINTMENT RAISES QUESTIONS … plus … LETTERS THE TO EDITOR ON NILAN-MOORE CASE
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, FEB. 15, 2012) — We trust you had a cozy, romantic Valentine’s Day, as did the PLANET and MRS. PLANET. We cannot give the details, except to say that poets have felled many trees for the reams of paper needed to describe such delight. Now let us clear out the notebook of some items, stray and in line.
BORING BROADSHEET SANDBAGS NUCIFORO — For the few of you who actually read the BB (aka the Daily Fishwrap), did you notice the over-the-top coverage they gave to congressman John Olver‘s endorsement-cum-anointing of Richie Neal? They splashed the front page with a huge color photo of the two Insiders chumming it up at a local restaurant. Olver, after 21 years in office, still needs directions to find Pittsfield. Neal’s just learning that there’s a city called Pittsfield and that it might assume some importance in his bid to be the congressman in the redrawn 1st District. The BB’s Ned Oliver, who but for a lone “i” would be Ned Olver, dutifully stressed Neal’s longtime service on “the powerful Ways and Means Committee.” Translation: Both these guys are Insiders. Neal is a lot smoother than the “uh, um” Olver, but slicker should signal “Warning, warning. Danger, Will Robinson” for many free-thinking 1st District voters.
“OLVER” and “ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT? IN THE SAME SENTENCE?? — From Oliver’s story: “Olver said that committee assignment will allow Neal to continue pursuing the kinds of economic development projects Olver has championed across his district.” Such as what? Wasting $12 million dollars on a white elephant bus/train station? Blowing millions of taxpayer dollars on the “1,000 Jobs” EV Worldwide never created? Witnessing the PEDA property languish for 14 years? Olver may have “pursued” all sorts of “economic development projects,” but one look at the district shows he hasn’t cashed in on much of them.
PLANET ENDORSES NUCIFORO — Olver’s endorsement seals it for THE PLANET. We endorse Andy Nuciforo for Congress. Andy is the only credible alternative in the Democratic primary. Compared to Neal, Nuciforo has an enviable advantage: The right amount of youth and energy, the freshness of perspective, and the solidity of his legislative experience in the state senate. Unlike Neal, Nuciforo isn’t Mr. Insider. Unlike Neal, Nuciforo doesn’t have a gajillion dollars to buy his way into this seat. Writer Bill Shein, described in kiss-of-death fashion by the BB as “an activist affiliated with the Occupy movement,” only eats into Nuciforo’s chances. Shein appears as the “anybody but” candidate. It might be fair to wonder: Did Shein, as some have speculated, decide to put his name in nomination after a friendly visit from Neal’s people?
Nuciforo not only knows how to find Pittsfield, he’s lived here most of his life. Of the the three candidates in this race, which do you think will fight the hardest for Pittsfield, Berkshire County, and the district? THE PLANET thinks it’s Nuciforo. He’s not Don Larsen on Oct. 8, 1956. He’s not perfect, but he’s the best man in this race.
WHY IS THE BB AFAID TO POST BYLINES? — After six weeks of playing dead and dumb, all of a sudden the Boring Broadsheet has “discovered” the Nilan-Moore Case. Bully for them, and for THE PLANET, for forcing them into it. The latter is not our assessment but that of a good number of wise guys we ran into yesterday in the Naked City. We are perplexed, though, why their story online yesterday (“DA considering outside prosecutor for Nilan case”) ran without a byline, except for the generic “Berkshire Eagle Staff.” Any theories, anyone, as to why the BB would refuse to identify the author(s)?
MEREDITH IN HER SPACE — Yesterday, for a brief while, it appears, Meredith Nilan‘s “myspace page” had been active. A live link purported to reveal interesting tidbits about her personal life was later abruptly changed, apparently. Those clicking on the hot link got this message: “This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted.” Perhaps Tim Shugrue, her attorney, told her this type of Aria will not help her defense. Her Linked-In page was still up as of last night. She describes her job at Berkshire Bank as a “Risk Analyst.” Recall at this point of definition of irony from a few days past. Ms. Nilan lists her “Groups and Associations” as Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, Berkshire Young Professionals, and the Isenberg School of Management, UMass, Amherst. Of the latter two affiliations, we cannot speak, although we cannot imagine Isenberg wanting to feature the young woman in any of their advertising and promotional literature. Of the first two, we file under “U” for the Usual Suspects.
VISITS, PLANNED AND UNPLANNED — THE PLANET has a rousing series of meetings yesterday in the land of Benigno Numine. Some were the result of Brinks Robbery-type planning, and others were serendipitous as the crocus in February. We met with Berkshire Health Systems PR guru and MCLA prof Mike Leary, renewing a friendship that stretches back to the mid-1980s. The two profs exchanged many pleasantries, including how culturally and historically ignorant our students have become, a product, we concluded, of high tech and social networking. Brinks Robbery? Not one of our students would get the reference. Later, we exchanged sagacious hellos and goodbyes with Probation Department retiree Alex Carnevale and novelist Jimmy Ciullo, and city cultural affairs czarina Meghan Whilden, who told us about the city’s exciting plans to honor Herman Melville this year. Then we wondered about the “two pipes in the bedroom” with neck specialist Billy Turner, Mailman to the Stars — all this, while downing enough Joe to keep Juan Valdez in business for the next year.
THE MAYOR AND THE PLANET IN CONFAB — Meanwhile at city hall, we dropped in on Mayor Dan Bianchi. It was mostly a social, private, and unofficial call, but we can share one portion of our discussion, and that is the mayor’s plan for his first budget. Mayor Bianchi hopes to get a first working draft of his inaugural budget completed and ready for review by early April. That would be remarkable, and quite unlike the “wait, wait, wait … hurry, hurry, hurry” budgets of both recent and dim memory. Bianchi also shared a most refreshing desire: He said he intends to seek “non-governmental” critique of his budgets from business leaders, private sector types, and ordinary citizens. This would mark the keeping of a campaign pledge of transparency. Bianchi also agrees with us that the honest number for the school department budget is not $52 million, which the school department (and the Boring Broadsheet) touts, but the $82 million THE PLANET has been using. Our number included the schools’ costs which are neatly hidden in the city’s ledger sheet. The mayor, who says all the department budgets are in except for a couple, appears determined for an honest budget discussion. That, alone, is worth the price of admission. THE PLANET applauds the mayor’s stance.
FLIP FLOP — Last night, our Right Honorable Good Friends on the city council pondered, and likely approved Agenda Item 9, the appointment of Donna Mattoon as director of administrative services. We say likely, because, no, we did not make a personal appearance in chambers last night, we being all lovey-dovey and all enjoying St. V’s Day. You’ll recall the hornet’s nest this position became when Mayor Jimmy Ruberto circumvented the city council by appointing Tricia Farley-Bouvier (now 3rd Berkshire state rep) to the newly created position at a $15K raise in an acting capacity. Three members — at large councilor Melissa Mazzeo, n0w-council president Kevin Sherman, and ex-Ward 7 councilor Joe Nichols — vigorously opposed the creation of the office. THE PLANET wonders: How did Mazzeo and Sherman vote on the appointment this time around, having had such a problem with creating the post last year? We would welcome a response from our Right Honorable Good Friends.
TO THE VICTOR BELONGS THE MATOON — Donna Mattoon, incidentally, is Sheriff Tom Bowler‘s sister. Mattoon, who once toiled the Boring Broadsheet when it was still known as the Berkshire Eagle, runs a one-person PR agency, and in the most recent sheriff’s race, served as her brother’s campaign manager. THE PLANET does not doubt her ability to serve the mayor in the new position, but we wonder: Is this not a political appointment of the “To the Victor Belongs the Spoils” Department? It’s no secret that Mattoon campaigned heavily for Bianchi in his race (narrowly won) against Peter Marchetti. We wonder if Mattoon plans to keep her PR business, and if so, will she disclose her client list to assure We the People that there will be no conflicts of interest with that list and her position as director of administrative services? We invite her comments on this.
MORE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ON NILAN-MOORE
To date, amazingly (well, not so much if you consider who’s not doing it), the Boring Broadsheet has yet to post a single letter on the Nilan-Moore Case. Meanwhile, we continued to get buried. Here are a few more:
A ‘Circus of Events’
im a pittsfield native, a few years out of college and now reside in [CITY AND STATE REDACTED, AT SENDER's REQUEST]. however, i still observe from afar, with morbid curiosity, the circus of events that go on in berkshire county.
i know meredith from high school, and know her to have done what I think are some pretty lousy things to some of my good friends.. when i saw her name in your articles and the eagle, it didnt surprise me whatsoever that the shit had finally hit the fan.
with all that said, i still try to take a completely objective look at what transpired that night. i dont doubt that she was probably (drunk or not) operating her vehicle recklessly. possibly texting while driving…but whats the chance that maybe peter moore was not looking while jogging? that he possibly had some fault in the accident, and thats why he didnt go to the hospital that night.
it just seems strange that a man who sustained such serious injuries would go home and just go to bed. his wife was home, and i assume witnessed his condition. looking at that picture of him in the hospital, he either had to assess and clean some ghastly cuts and scrapes, or he slept in a puddle of blood!
im just trying to make sense of everything. it makes sense that she fled..it makes sense that she went to her dad..it makes sense that they talked to her attorney before reporting the incident..it makes sense that cliff is pulling the strings he can to clean it up..but it doesnt make sense that peter didnt call 911 right after, or at least had his wife take him to the hospital. just sayin.
on the flipside, with that giant head sized hole in her windshield, she is full of shit to say that she didnt see what she hit. if she didnt see a head smash through her windshield, then she wasnt looking at the road. the likely crime we’re talking about here is leaving the scene of an accident, and the reality seems indisputable that she left that scene. it doesnt matter if you dont know what you hit – ignorance is no excuse! —NAME WITHHELD UPON REQUEST
Then we received this:
‘Don’t Think It Is Right’
Don’t think it is right what is happening to Moore and just wanted to be better informed. Someone told me about the picture [of the damaged Nilan vehicle]. How can you not see that you hit someone with that hole in the windshield. If she gets off……………Wow!!!
I just hope the police followed up with getting the evidence from the car and the scene of the accident; otherwise she will get off. — JH
Finally, from the mail bag, we heard from MD, who appears to directly refutes what Ashley Sulock of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce told THE PLANET. Sulock flatly denied that she attended the Berkshire Young Professionals party on the night of Dec. 8 at Allium’s Restaurant in Great Barrington. He writes:
Disputes Ashley Sulock’s Denial She was at Dec. 8 ‘Networking Social’
Comments: As I wish to remain anonymous. Ms. Sulock WAS IN FACT at the BYP event at issue these days with the Meredith Nilan incident.
As I myself and another mutual friend have known Ms. Sulock since high school, she sends out text messages asking people to attend all events. Not only that, as the director she is almost to a point mandated to attend these gatherings as she is the head honcho in charge.
Do not be fooled, Sulock can’t be believed. She will do anything if she thought it could improve her image.
We would invite Sulock to contact THE PLANET if she wishes to respond.
‘TIS THE DAY AFTER VALENTINE’S DAY, AND WE HAVE STILL NOT LOST THE LOVE. WE HOPE YOU WILL ALWAYS RETAIN IT, WITH A SMILE ON YOUR FACE AND A SONG IN YOUR HEART.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.