PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

ADD #1 MONDAY 3/5/12


We have an unconfirmed report that Greg Yon, acting head of the maintenance department, has left his position with the city of Pittsfield. Yon was appointed acting director of the department last year by Mayor Jimmy Ruberto.

THE PLANET doesn’t know any more at this time. Calls to city hall and to the Yon residence were not returned.

If the news is true, it means that Mayor Dan Bianchi will have an opportunity to put his stamp on a key city department. It also means he will be presenting the new council with another appointment, this one in the high-profile category. It could serve as a further litmus test for determining the political loyalties and disloyalties on the city council.

Stay tuned.


(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MARCH 5, 2012) — First off, congratulations to our Syracuse Orangemen, #2 in the nation, who capped a brilliant 30-1 basketball season with a win Saturday. Excellence in any endeavor is to be commended, but 30-1, with the distractions and media circus that have pounded the team this year, is unconscious. We have been following SU hoop since our days as a graduate student, when Roy Danforth was the coach. This is by far Jim Boeheim‘s greatest coaching job. THE PLANET PREDICTS: The Orange, NCAA Division I Champions when March Madness subsides in early April.



Copies of the papers in the case are missing, so claims Meredith Nilan defense attorney Tim Shurgue. This claim, if true, indicates a level of corruption in the Pittsfield courts far worse than even the most jaded among us would guess. If not true, it suggests a shameless desperation of the defense in keeping a guilty party from justice. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for those who expect truth and justice to be part of the American Way.

Putting the “missing” papers aside, for the moment, THE PLANET is working on a new development in the Nilan-Moore Case that, if true, will be a significant addition to understanding the extremely odd occurrences that have happened almost from the moment the driver of a vehicle ran down, nearly killed, then heartlessly left Peter Moore to his fate. You’ll recall Toby Moore, Peter’s little terrier, showed more humanity than the driver of that vehicle by staying with his master so long that his fur froze into the spilt blood.

The events, well known by now, have defied belief, from Miss Nilan’s claim that she wasn’t sure what she hit, to the initial attempt to keep this news from getting out, to the closed kangaroo hearing conducted by the ringer from Westfield.

We received a tip Friday from a person we have in the past known to be a reliable source. This source has connections to both the police and the courts. The information has to do with the inner workings of the courthouse in the handling of this case. When and if we confirm what we’ve been told, we shall, of course, share with the world. On THE PLANET, we believe in transparency.



Speaking of transparency, we remind Mayor Dan Bianchi of his campaign promise to run an open and above-board government. Bianchi’s position as both mayor and school committee member gives him a ideal opportunity to demonstrate if his pledge was the usual hocus-pocus politicking or if he actually meant it.

We think he meant it. The process of hiring a school superintendent gives him a definable, measurable issue upon which he can demonstrate his belief in transparency. He needs to use his influence and bully pulpit to take the job search off the fast track for the sake of due diligence.

With Jake Staying on the Job Until June and Beyond, and with a Wagonload of Associate, Assistant, and Deputy Superintendents, There’s No Rush to Fill this Position

As most of you know, Pittsfield is in the market for a new superintendent. Despite the fact that Supt. Jake Eberwein has pledged to remain on the job to June and beyond, if needed … and despite the fact that the taxpayers in Pittsfield supports Assistant, Associate, and Deputy Supers at 100K per year as if they were so many M&Ms in a package … school board chairman Alf Barbalunga — after consulting with the state, Eberwein, and Carmen Fanzone, Carmen Basilio, Carmen Miranda, and George Bizet — made a unilateral decision to launch a hurried search for applicants, giving the world 14 days to apply for the job.

The rapid time frame and the unilateral action have invited the inevitable speculation that The Fix is in. THE PLANET keeps hearing one name, herself already lucratively ensconced in The System, who is the Anointed One. From what we know, it would be best for taxpayers to see that she doesn’t become the Appointed One.

After all the analysis is in, the move by chairman Alf Barbalunga to go solo and advertise for the position without involving the other members of his committee, the public, the business community, or other shareholders in our public education system begs for intervention. As a general rule of thumb in the Game of Pittsfield Politics, when “They” want to hurry-hurry-hurry, it’s best to slow it down. When “They” want to wait-wait-wait, it’s time to speed it up.

This is a perfect opportunity for the community to have a long-overdue discussion about the Pittsfield public schools. We need to do this first before we can select the person who will be the new leader. The community must make noise, telling the administration, the school committee, and the school system that we want the politics taken out of the classroom, as much as humanly possible.

Let’s Remember Who’s Reporting to Whom

In the up-is-down world of Pittsfield procedure and politics, a peculiar and dangerous reversal has taken place over the years regarding the job of superintendent and the school committee. It didn’t happen all at once. Rather, it has been an osmotic and gradual decline, one unnoticeable from day to day. The dangerous devolution has resulted in today’s “given”— the accepted wisdom — that the school committee works for the superintendent.

It’s the other way around. It’s about time this relationship assumes its proper formation, for it does matter who’s on top.

NEWS FLASH: The superintendent of schools is a direct report to the school committee.

He works for them, and they represent us. This simple, protective mechanism that safeguards the checks and balances over public education has broken down through as series of weak hires by the committee. The school committee has compounded this by essentially playing enabler to a school system that has lacked imagination, performance, and excellence.

The committee has historically given token approval to year after year of wish-list budgets presented by the administration. The public, equally to blame, has stopped paying attention. Parents have become part of the problem and not the solution. The city council and mayor have also been complicit, again, through the rubber stamping of virtually every money request made by the schools.

If we’ve learned one thing in all this, it’s that money is not the problem. LEt me spout some heresy that is truth: We are OVERFUNDING public education in America in general and certainly in Pittsfield, where the schools consume 70% of the entire municipal budget.

The Rx for Public Schools Is Not More Money; the Answer is Accountability

Despite this huge chow-down of taxpayer money, year after year, administrators, teachers, politicians, parents, and others perpetuate and then fall for the fable-turned-fib, that if only we pumped more taxpayer dollars into public education, things would magically get better.

This is a lie perpetuated by the Special Interests, notably, the public education employees unions.

Things don’t, and won’t, get better unless the schools begin to focus on results and get serious about the job of education. Students must be required to meet high standards. We must get rid of the silly notion that school must be “fun.” We must abandon half-hearted measures such as MCAS and costly pandering such as the worthless but expensive D.A.R.E. program, which not only fails in its mission to keep kids from drugs but likely produces the opposite effect.

Feel-good programs such as computerization of classrooms, school centralization, and wishy-washy progressive educational experiments have failed. The solution is to revamp the curriculum to focus on basics and hold individual pupils and students accountable for their performance.

Currently, this does not happen in the Pittsfield schools and will not as long as the various educational constituencies work not for what’s best for children but what’s best for their isolated constituencies. We speak of such educational lobbies as teachers unions, lobbyists, administrators, and the politicians they have tucked neatly away in their pockets.

Meanwhile, businesses and higher education have to deal with the inferior product of the public schools. The cultural trends in the Pittsfield public schools, as we have examined in previous posts, have worked to destroy education. Children aren’t ready for school because too many parents have stopped caring about their kids. Single-parent households, plus an overrun of deficient subpopulations (ethnic and minority, special education, illegal immigrants, English as second language, addicts, etc.) have left classrooms ill equipped for doing much more than baby sitting those who do not wish to learn. The good kids who do wish to learn have to suffer as the least common denominators among them spit Superglue into the machinery.

Classroom discipline has been destroyed, improper use of technology has shredded attention spans, and there is no moral basis for what students are expected to learn. Boys and girls dress like every class day in Halloween, drugs are awash in the corridors, and “everything is OK.” Perform a test: Ask any pupil in middle school if he or she knows where they can get drugs that same day. Practically all will say yes.

Unless We Get Serious About the Disaster of our Pubic Schools, the Great American Experiment is Over

America’s world ranking in education continues to plummet. For example, only 8 percent of 11th graders can solve problems with more than one step requiring algebra; 91 percent don’t know what the Federalist Papers are, and almost 90% do not know when Abraham Lincoln was president; on the other hand, virtually 100% of the little darlings know who Snooki is). In sum, American students leave high school without enough knowledge and without the ability to think in an adult manner. They lack the communication, rhetorical, and computational skills needed to succeed either on the job or in college.

You can introduce all the well-intended reform you wish. Nothing will change unless we begin to hold individuals — parents, students, teachers, administrators, politicians — accountable for their individual decisions. More than anything else, what The Individual decides will determine the quality of public education.

This brings us back to the important individual decision each member of the school board will make on the hiring of a new superintendent. When it comes down to it, the seven members of the school committee must make an individual decision: Do they stand for improvement in the public schools and reel in the hasty superintendent search or will they bow to the wishes of the GOBs, who want an insider elevated — not to achieve greatness in the schools, but to ensure that the bodies will remain buried.



THE PLANET received notice from the Nuciforo for Congress campaign that it’s moving into a more spacious campaign headquarters in the 1400 block of East Street, just past Teo‘s. We’ve got a feeling that before his darkhorse campaign to defeat Richie Neal in the redrawn 1st Massachusetts Congressional District is over, Andy will have Teo’s hot dogs coming out his ears.

The campaign is looking for desks, chairs, and other office equipment. If you have any to loan or lend, give the campaign a call at 413-281-3302.

THE PLANET endorses Nuciforo in this race because he is the best candidate to represent the interests of Pittsfield and Berkshire County in Washington. On his website, we found this nine-point outline for how Andy will “follow a consistent approach to developing policies and positions.” We found it to be one of more refreshing pieces of campaign literature we’ve seen in a while, and that includes the presidential campaign.

Here’s the method:

1. Facts matter. We will gather facts and data before forming opinions.

2. Listen to other points of view.

3. Consult with experts and practioners.

4. Focus on ideas to promote economic growth.

5. Stop wasting time, money, and energy on ideas that cannot possibly advance.

6. Include citizen input. The government belongs to the people.

7. Understand the costs and benefits. No plan makes sense unless we know how it costs and how we’re going to pay it.

8. Put the plan on paper and share it widely.

9. Build the consensus necessary to get it done.

We love the use of the active voice, a condition for verbs equivalent to predicate bliss.






  1. Jim Gleason
    March 5, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    I’ve watched every Cuse game that was on TV this season. My niece is a sophomore there studying music education and loves it. Go Orange and Boeheim.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      You niece is in a GREAT school. Give her my best.

      • Jim Gleason
        March 6, 2012 at 8:04 am #

        She not only studies music education but is a violinist in the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra .Pretty, smart and talented. A product of the Pittsfield Public Schools also

  2. Steve wade
    March 5, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Dan Sorry I can not vote for Nuciforo. He screwed over Sarah Hathaway for the Register of Deeds position. He also had a big time fund raiser in Boston just before he announced he would not run for Senator.again. I voted for him every election, but not this time.

    • Joe Blo
      March 5, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      I usually don’t agree with you Steve but I do on this. Nuciforo is a g.o.b. of the worst kind.

      March 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      @ SW-
      First time I have agreed with you.
      I could never support Nuciforo.

    • Jeff
      March 5, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      Perhaps, Sarah Hathaway now has her shot at the register of deeds position???

      From what I’m hearing I wouldn’t bet on it!

  3. Berkshire Ex-pat
    March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    DV– excellent screed on the sad state of public education. Your POV will be terribly unpopular among mail-it-in teachers, irresponsible parents, and stoned kids texting with their pants half-off. You and those of us who agree with you are so outnumbered that we will never win this one. This problem is a microcosm of the larger problems that afflict society. We have a huge deficit because a majority of the AMERICAN PEOPLE regularly vote (through their representatives in DC) to live beyond their means. Likewise, the kids seem to be running our classrooms.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Thank you. When it’s terribly unpopular among the constituencies that you mention, it means we have done our job. You are spot-on with your comment about deficit spending (at all lives of life) as a major causative factor. And yes, kids DO run the classrooms. I have too many stories from my teacher friends to even begin to share. Public education in Pittsfield is a disaster unfolding. The opportunity to bring in a new superintendent is a chance to make progress.

        March 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

        @ DV-
        Must agree public education is in fact a disaster. Not just here. Nation wide.

  4. Beacon Hill Mob
    March 5, 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Can’t vote for Nuciforo due to his crooked dealings with the insurance industry, he was supposedly overseeing, as a State Senator.

    On top of that, the dubious way he walked into his registry of deeds job.

    I don’t trust him at all.

    I don’t like Neal either, we have a choice of bad and worse from the democrats.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      You can vote for Bill Shein, who’s also in the Democratic primary.

      • Beacon Hill Mob
        March 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

        Dan, I’m an independent, the democRATS won’t let us in on their primary party

        • Bull Durham
          March 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

          Not true, Mob. In Massachusetts an independent (called unenrolled) can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary, unless you are a member of the formal Independent Party, which I am just assuming you are not based on your comment. Been that way for many years.

          • Molly
            March 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

            Yep, it’s true – I’ve done it for years.

          • Beacon Hill Mob
            March 5, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

            Dan, I’m an independent, the democRATS won’t let us in on their primary party

            In Lenox?

            TRY AGIAN

  5. Andrew
    March 5, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    If a discerning reader was to review your rant about public education, they would find that you succeeded in not mentioning one substantive change to the system. Not one. Instead, you break out that tired trope of “accountability” without ever going into detail about what such accountability would look like.

    I also hope I wasn’t the only one to notice your mention of “deficient subpopulations”. At first I was thinking “well maybe he chose the wrong words to make his point”, but then you go on to immediately clarify that your idea of deficient subpopulations are ethnic minorities an special needs students.

    Now I’m sure people will come on and defend this tripe as being something other than racist, and I’ll be surprised if those defending the idea of “deficient subpopulations” don’t indict themselves as being themselves bigoted. But rationale minds will realize that, despite some valid points Valenti makes from time to time, his writing his littered with these types of reprehensible and idiotic screeds.

    • Dawn
      March 5, 2012 at 11:04 am #

      Search the archives for his specific ideas. You may not agree, but they are well documented.

      • danvalenti
        March 5, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

        Yes, we have outlined on several occasions specific remedies for the disaster that is public education. They are, as you point out, well documented. The cornerstone is the immediate implementation of school uniforms.

    • Scott
      March 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      in a perfect world the parents could help by being involved with their children’s education and then the parents as well as the student could take responsibility on how children conduct them selves at home and in school this would then in turn put more pressure on the teachers to do a better job. A teacher can be rewarded or punished by salary shifts meaning if your students are doing bad it will reflect in your paycheck this would then hopefully make teachers put pressure on the superintendents and school committee to have the proper materials necessary for them to do their job adequately. This way the circle will ultimately cycle back to the tax payers who’s tax is funding the product. that’s what accountability and transparency in the school department would mean to me anyways. We don’t advance our populations intelligently with class warfare.

      • danvalenti
        March 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

        When parents and students, as well as teachers and administrators, opt out of their responsibilities, the job of the schools at that point is to baby sit kids and provide them with meaningless diplomas.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

      See Dawn’s reply to your message.

      • Andrew
        March 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

        She didn’t talk about your racist comments.

        • Fan Dan Go
          March 5, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

          That’s because there were no racist comments made. Open your eyes, better yet, go back to your books. From your posts, you will need to do lots of studying!

  6. Shakes His Head
    March 5, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    Dan, I’ll bet you lunch at the RLI that the Orange don’t snip the national title nets. UK and UNC are better teams day in and day out, but there are many talented suqads that will pick of these three powerhouses before the Dance is over.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Kentucky is a brilliant team, and to take the best, you must select YOUR choice to go all the way. I’m saying the Orange. You tell me who you want, and we’ve agot a deal. If neither wins, we go with the team that finishes higher in the Big Tournament. I like the way the Orange passes the ball, plays D, and uses a 10-deep bench. They don’t have superstars. They have a team.

      • Shakes His Head
        March 6, 2012 at 7:04 am #

        Dan, let me pick a team this Sunday after the selection. I want to see how UNC and UK play in their tournaments. If UNC plays like they did in Cameron, they might be my horse in the race. I also thin UNC might match the Orange in a key factor should either make it to the F4- playing in volumnous venues.

        • danvalenti
          March 6, 2012 at 7:07 am #

          Your on, Shakes.

  7. taxmano
    March 5, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    How come nobody objected when it was obvious that the current superintendent was a well-connected Annointed One?

    • Steve wade
      March 5, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      What makes you think Eberwien is a GOB

      • Slence Dogood
        March 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

        what makes you tink he isn’t?

  8. Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
    March 5, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Jeez Steve, Do you know who his dad is? Have you just fallen off the turnip truck?

    • Steve wade
      March 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

      Yea He was special ED director So?

      • taxmano
        March 6, 2012 at 3:54 am #

        And now he is the head of the JRC. Do you know why he is no longer the special ed director?

        • Steve wade
          March 6, 2012 at 6:04 am #

          Yea He is a horn dog.

        • Molly
          March 6, 2012 at 11:15 am #

          Since you brought it up, please tell us — why is he no longer the special ed director?

  9. Chuck Garivaltis
    March 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Dan, Though it’s not a football game I can’t join Jimmy G. and you in rooting for the Syracuse Orangemen. The 61 – 6 Syracuse victory over Colgate with Jim Brown scoring 6 touchdowns and kicking 7 extra points still makes it difficult for me to cheer for your alma mater. The Orangemen were Cotton Bowl bound and had a great team in 1956, but the humiliating defeat they gave Colgate remains a clear memory.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      From one of the greatest athletes ever to come from Berkshire County, I take this with all the gravitas it deserves, which is MUCH! Chuck, were you in the Colgate secondary for that thrashing. Jim Brown, as you know, was and still is my football Main Man. I still treasure that picture of you tackling Jimmy in an open field.

    • Slence Dogood
      March 5, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Love Jim Brown……he is head and shoilders above the clowns who seek to act like buffoons when they score

  10. Richard
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Rumor has it Mayor B will have another problem trying to fill the Maintenance Directors job Greg Yon has just quit.

    • dusty
      March 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

      Alf can help the mayor on this one. He has a sure fire plan for finding the right guy (or girl as in the case of the superintendent)

  11. Jonathan Melle
    March 5, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Dan Valenti is for Willard Mitt Romney for U.S. President, and Andrea Francesco Nuciforo Junior for U.S. Congress. I could not disagree with Dan Valenti more on his political picks. I am for Barack Obama for U.S. President and Richard Neal for U.S. Congress. But, it is a free country so we can agree to disagree with each other.

    • Scott
      March 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      What progress do you feel Obama has made during his presidency so far?

      • Slence Dogood
        March 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

        he has played several rounds of golf…..I wish I had the time to play as much golf….he is the mashie and chief

        • Molly
          March 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

          Not just played golf frequently, but played golf in Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine, etc., etc., etc., and brought along an entourage of over 100 friends, too! And they’re too busy to be able to synchronize his and his wife’s flights – Michelle usually takes her own plane on her own schedule, with her own entourage.

          • Scott
            March 6, 2012 at 5:16 am #

            Talking about where Obama plays golf and with who is as ridiculous as talking about where DV eats lunch and dinner.

          • danvalenti
            March 6, 2012 at 7:10 am #

            Thank you, Scott.

          • Molly
            March 6, 2012 at 11:24 am #

            No it’s not! People in this country can no longer afford vacations – they’re having a hard time affording groceries or gas for their car. With all of the problems going on in this country, he all too frequently is off again on another vacation and golfing instead of working on getting this country turned around. It seems that if he’s not vacationing, he’s campaigning. It costs us all a big bundle every time he does, too! I know that almost all presidents often went on vacations or to their own homes and I understand the pressures of the job likely require that. But this President seems to bring it over the top especially when Americans are having such a difficult time.

          • danvalenti
            March 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

            That is the job of every politician who is up for re-election: Endless campaigning. At least the POTUS has term limits.

      • Jim Gleason
        March 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

        The economy is slowly recovering under Obama and we’re out of Iraq, where Bush, a.k.a. GW BLUNDER, out us in both cases. GM is hiring and Chrysler and Ford are both doing better and other big corporations are starting to hire again. Seeing the colossal mess he was left I think he’s doing very well.

        • CONCERNED
          March 5, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

          Jim your in dreaml land this guy is the worst ever. Talking away your rights day by day. Another 4 years and you won’t have any and we all know how you yell about your rights, and rightly so.

          • Scott
            March 6, 2012 at 5:15 am #

            He again signed the “patriot act” but that’s very vague what other rights did he take away?

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

      Well put, Jonathan.

    • Slence Dogood
      March 5, 2012 at 4:23 pm #

      I always took you for a free spirited libertarian Jon… sad that you back the statists

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      March 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      Sorry Jon,

      Obummer is a BAD THING for America.

      His AG is a racist.

      Hillary is running guns too, MSM, ignores this

      He has run guns to drug cartels and criminal gangs, operation fast and furiious, he should be impeached.

      Do that BEFORE he can pardon Holder et al.

    March 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Now Jonathan Melle is against Romney and for Obama (worst President EVER) boy I’m for Romney. Actually Jon I would vote for you than Obama

    • Molly
      March 5, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

      Me too, and that’s saying something!

    • Beacon Hill Mob
      March 6, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      I’d vote for Charlie Manson , before Obama or Nuciforo

  13. Chuck Garivaltis
    March 5, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Dan, I was in the Colgate secondary during the thrashing Syracuse gave us. At the time players went both ways. Fans of the past 50 years may not understand this but it means one had to play offense and defense. It was memorable, but no fun, playing against an awsome Syracuse team that gave Colgate a historical loss. This Syracuse team went to the Cotton Bowl and lost to Texas Christian 28 – 27. It was Jim Brown’s senior year and he did as well in the Cotton Bowl as he did against Colgate. We were no pushovers. That’s how good they were. Colgate QB Guy Martin was all-east and drafted by a Canadian team. End Bob Jamieson played for the Houston Astros and Jack Call was drafted by the Baltimore Colts and played in the same backfied as Johnny Unitis, Alan Ameche, and Lenny Moore. Two years before Colgate guard Milt Grahm played in the Canadian League and Boston Patriots. So we had a very good team but were no match for the Jim Brown led Orangemen. That’s how good Jim Brown was. Best ever running back.

    • Slence Dogood
      March 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      And JB refused to act like a clown as so many of today’s players do

      • danvalenti
        March 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

        Jim Brown was class all the way. As Charlie Garivaltis, who played against him, said: The greatest running back of all time.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

      Great testimony. What position did you ;play on “O.”

      • Chuck Garivaltis
        March 5, 2012 at 7:08 pm #


        We used the “T” formation and I was left halfback.
        You are correct that Brown was class all the time. Whether he ran over or around you he never danced or spiked the ball after scoring. Just tossed it to the ref.
        Four years of college football and nine in the pros, I don’t think he missed one minute of play because of injury.

        • danvalenti
          March 5, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

          That’s amazing, Chuck. Tells you how well he took care of his body, to play all that football and take all that pounding and never miss a minute. Your expert opinion, CG. Just as in baseball I would advocate return of a four-man rotation and groom starters to go nine (heresy!!), I wonder, as a thought experiment: Could the T work again. I know with the NFL being pass happy, and college too, it would be unthinkable, but maybe, just maybe, it would be so old as to be new and revolutionary, kind of like when the Dolphins ran the Wildcat. It was a gimmick, but it worked for a little bit. I see the T as less of a gimmick. Why not bring back the role of the fullback, and line him up with the two halfbacks. Not every play, but here and there. I don’t think today’s sophisticated NFL defenses would know what to do.

          • Chuck Garivaltis
            March 5, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

            Jim Brown was an all-american lacrosse player and a basketball player who was good enough to be drafted by the Syracuse Nets or Nationals, not sure of the name, who were in the NBA at the time.In my opinion, he is one of our all time great athletes. Would love to see a return of a four man rotation who made the majors because they can pitch nine innings.And got paid acordingly.Heresy,indeed.The T could work again and it would make for a better game. After all, it is football. I know there are 11 men on a team but now it all depends on the QB. Look what happened to the Colts this year with Peyton injured. Few know the names of the running backs from any team. With today’s game even Jim Brown would be playing a secondary role. And what’s more ridiculous than a scrawny soccer player being a football hero, and making a bundle, because he kicked the winning field goal.

          • Dave Bubriski
            March 6, 2012 at 4:16 am #

            The heck with the T. I want a Dr. Frank or Lou the toe to play again.

          • danvalenti
            March 6, 2012 at 7:13 am #

            Lou the Toe Groza, one of the all time greats. Dave, we went from Lou the Toe kicking FGs for the Browns to Lee Duc To raining fire on our troops in Vietnam.

          • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
            March 6, 2012 at 5:56 am #

            What number was Chuck G?

      • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
        March 6, 2012 at 6:16 am #

        Dan, What number was Chuck G? Trying to find that picture to post…

        • Chuck Garivaltis
          March 6, 2012 at 6:27 am #

          hilly billy

          I was number 49

          • Hilly Billy 2 in Ward 4
            March 6, 2012 at 6:57 am #

            Thanks Chuck…trying to search for that picture of you tackling the great Jim Brown

          • danvalenti
            March 6, 2012 at 7:08 am #

            Can you scan that picture and send a copy. We shall proudly display on THE PLANET. It’s a classic, from the players (you and Jim B) to the uniforms and helmets.

  14. Slence Dogood
    March 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    I think our local GOB’s deserve a musical interlude

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

      Yes, but what would be the song: “Killer Queen”? “Crazy”? “She’s Actin’ Single So I’m Drinkin’ Doubles”? C’mon all: If the GOBs has a signature song (like Tony Bennett has “I Left My Heart in SF”), what would it be?

      • Silence Dogood
        March 6, 2012 at 4:31 am #

        if we could change this one to The Eve Of SELF Destruction this would be perfect.

        anbody good with a parody?

        • Gall Ball
          March 6, 2012 at 7:03 am #

          Perfect, silence. Here’s one: “We Must Have been out of our Minds” (Geo. Jones).

      • Scott
        March 6, 2012 at 5:13 am #

        I bet the Nilan’s would have used dynamite with a laser beam if it was available to cover up.

        • danvalenti
          March 6, 2012 at 7:11 am #

          Great phrase from “Killer Queen.”
          “She keeps the Moet and Chandon in a pretty cabinet. ‘Let them eat cake,’ she says, just like Marie Antoinette.”
          Perfect for the GOBs, wouldn’t you say?

  15. Jim Gleason
    March 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm #

    If Hreg Yon is leaving it’s a banner day for Pittsfield. There were guys in the department who deserved that job and are much more qualified for the job and didn’t get it. He got his job in a crooked way and should’ve been gone a long time ago.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

      We confirmed it with Greg. He resigned.

      • Molly
        March 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

        And? Did he say why? He sure does have a lot of staff…

        • danvalenti
          March 5, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

          We’ll have it tomorrow.

  16. Sandy
    March 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    So great to see Chuck G.’s comments in here. Our city was a much better city when he served us so very well on our school committee and on our park’s committee. Thanks again Chuck for all your hard work. There are many of us who have not forgotten how hard you fought and spoke for the real citizens of Pittsfield, who love our city and not out for personal gain. We could use many like you on our committees today.

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

      Agree, Sandy. Not only was Chuck pound-for-pound the greatest athlete the city ever produced, he was also one of its best public servants, as a councilor, school committeeman, and parks commissioner. Chuck has long been one of my local heroes.

      • Silence Dogood
        March 6, 2012 at 4:32 am #

        Not no stick Belanger?

  17. Chuck Garivaltis
    March 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm #


    Thank you for your kind words.

    March 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Sandy and Dan you are so right about Chuck Garivaltis. And Chuck let me say “thank you” also

  19. Molly
    March 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

    In looking at the “Building Maintenance Dept” web page under “”, this city dept. takes care of all of the schools and the sports fields, etc., all city buildings, parks, etc., etc., etc. Yet Maintenance was a good chunk of the Pittsfield School Budget (I commented on this last week). Now I’m confused — there’s a Building Maintenance Dept that consists of a Director (was Yon), Assistant Director, LEA/Environmental Compliance Coordinator, TWO Superintendents, admin clerks, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, boiler repair craftsmen, HVAC craftsman, Parking Control Officers (I thought they were under the police dept!), municipal custodians, park maintenance men, park maintenance craftsmen, and an MEO-2 (whatever that is). This department must have a budget – a very big budget I would guess. Yet both maintenance and custodians were listed on the School Dept. Budget as dollar amounts and employees. What??

    • danvalenti
      March 5, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

      The city has TWO maintenance departments, school side and city side … at least that’s how we understand it. You would think one could do the job, but this is Pittsfield.

  20. Molly
    March 5, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union has released a statement related to the arraignment of one of its head tellers in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday morning.

    Felisa Kazimierczak, 43, of Adams was charged with embezzlement for allegedly stealing $58,000 from Greylock. According to the Berkshire Eagle, she also faces charges for allegedly lying to police about a threatening note targeting her teenage daughter.

    Officials at Greylock declined to speak on the issue. Greylock’s statement reads:

    “Greylock Federal Credit Union is among a number of local businesses that have been victimized by the recent criminal activity in Pittsfield.

    I can’t believe that Greylock would issue a statement like that – in the past, they never would’ve done that!!! Is it because Jimmy R. has now left and, in their minds, can’t be blamed?

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2012 at 7:15 am #

      Great place to do business with, from the company that brought you Angelo “Tell ’em Angelo Sent You” Stracuzzi!!! Nuff ced.

  21. dusty
    March 6, 2012 at 2:45 am #

    Lots of stuff is leaking out these days. Perhaps they wanted to try to get out in front of it before it leaked and opened a couple of other cans of worms they managed to seal up.

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      The Internet, in general, and this web site, in particular, have been game changers in the Land of GOB.

  22. Scott
    March 6, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    Rush is finally off the air and I’m glad although I enjoyed his show sometimes I was really put off by his views on certain subjects most recently his birth control views. Now if we can get wmac to can Chartock they can move in together and live happily ever after.

    • Ray Ovac
      March 6, 2012 at 6:14 am #

      Rush is NOT off the air. WBEC has opted not to broadcast his program. It was one of the few programs that was making WBEC any money. Typical Berkshire move — shoot yourself in the foot and display the foot proudly.

      • danvalenti
        March 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

        Well done, RAYKOVIC. It’s a stupid move by WBEC, a knee-jerk reaction to a non-crisis.

  23. Ron Kitterman
    March 6, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    Funny how Rush Limbaugh’s comments take on a life of their own, personal attacks name calling, letters to the editor, comments by State Rep.TFB. But, when a local Probation head’s daughter leaves the scene of a personal accident and and gives the appearance of a cover up not one letter to the editor or mention of it on the local airwaves.

    • Ray Ovac
      March 6, 2012 at 6:11 am #

      Mr. Kitterman, wwhy should you be so surprised?
      The Berkshire Eagle lost all credibility years ago.
      People read it to find out what the GOB and Democrat party line is.

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      Yes, precisely. We will have a comment or two on Rush and WBEC tomorrow.

    • dusty
      March 7, 2012 at 3:20 am #

      Anyone know who makes such decisions?

  24. Ray Ovac
    March 6, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    DV, in re the City Maintenance Department.
    If as you say this is a good time for Mayor Bianchi to put his personal stamp on the City Maintenance Department, should not that also include a program for mandatory drug testing of city employees in that department?

  25. Chuck Garivaltis
    March 6, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Dan, Yes, I’ll get the picture to you. Using my minimal computer skills I will try to scan it. If it fails I will mail.

    • danvalenti
      March 6, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      That’s tremendous. It’s one of my favorite all time sports pictures, since it has two of my heroes.