(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012) — Many have asked how Toby II turned out. As you likely know, Toby II was the Kirvin Park dog walk organized by Pittsfield citizen Ken Ramsdell to honor cute, little Toby Moore, the pooch hero of the sad events of Dec. 8, 2011, when his master, Peter Moore, was run down and left for dead by a driver that police later charged with criminal activity.

THE PLANET could not attend, since we were hard at work on deadline for stories, but we did receive this report from Ramsdell.

—– 00 —–

A good time was had by all who stopped in. The star of the show, Mr. Toby Moore, was present and playful. The Moore family took a walk in their park as a family and enjoyed themselves on a wonderful Berkshire day. Through out the morning some 40-50 people showed up to walk their dogs in the park that they pay for.
It was actually nice to see so many people using the park.
For some unexplained reason the pooper-scooper station was clean out of bags. I guess I should have gone through the gauntlet of the permitting process so the City was aware that we were going to have a dog walk and could have ensured it was replenished before our arrival. I guess it just further proves the process of the permiting isn’t to ensure the parks are stocked and ready. It seems as if the purpose is to ensure the City is aware of who wants to be in the park. The bag issue was overcome thankfully (I had multiple copies of my permit) and a great time was had by all.
Thanks to all that used their park and supported the cause both in person and spirit.
I am looking forward to next week as well at Springside and we do need to have a pick up game of wiffle ball in the park one of these days. I like the idea of THE PLANET  and Charlie Garavaltis being captains. Just sayin.
 —– 00 —–
Ramsdell, who himself became one of the heroes of the ensuing events in the aftermath of Dec. 8, 2011 for undergoing The Ramsdellian Gauntlet (what we call the insane permitting process in the city of Pittsfield), makes a great point here. The permitting process isn’t so much about allowing citizens to enjoy their rights as much as it is a political activity. The city wishes to know who is daring to use their own facilities — kind of like the way certain people like to photograph who shows up at events. Hmmm, you don’t think the GOB has enemy lists, do you?
As for the invitation to be a captain, THE PLANET will accede that right to Charlie Garivaltis, a man who should be the next grand marshal of the Fourth of July Parade. We will try to show up that day, however, to pitch in as one of the grunts. It will all depend on our writing and traveling schedule for the weekend. Wiffle ball? Oh yeah, Babe. We are sooooo THERE!!!
Americans do not wait well. One of The Professor’s assignments when we are studying description as a rhetorical technique is for students to observe people waiting in line at a bank, the post office, grocery story, ballpark — anywhere where that insufferable activity occurs.
Invariably, they come back with work in hand enlightened about how differently people wait. There are fidgeters, harumphers, stoics, loudmouths, readers, and practically every human reaction under the sun can be seen if you watch and wait long enough.
With that, we present this story, posted as a comment early this morning by periodic contributor Glenn Heller. We have not independently confirmed that this incident took place, although we have no reason to doubt it happened as reported. We have contacted Greylock Federal Credit Union, asking for a comment. We asked if the incident is accurate as reported or, if not, could they correct the record. We shall share what they report.

Greylock Federal Credit Union members, still seething over the GFCU board of directors’ lack of transparency regarding former CEO Angelo Stracuzzi’s sudden departure and rumored ‘golden parachute’, vented their displeasure this past Saturday at one of the credit union’s Pittsfield branches.

The following is an eyewitness account of an incident that took place at GFCU’s branch on Merrill Road.

According to the eyewitness, whose name is being withheld upon request:

“I was in the bank and customers in line were getting very annoyed. It was busy and there were only two teller windows open.

“Meanwhile, three employees, two women and a guy with obviously little to do, were fooling around putting up posters and generally clowning around.

“The guy, who’d apparently finished what he was doing, then says to the two women,’What do we do now?’

“Just then, a customers in line, a woman, addressed the three saying,’How about going behind the counter and waiting on people?’

“Another customer in line, a male, spoke up,’As long as it’s question and answer time, can any of you tell me when Greylock Federal Credit Union is going to come clean on Angelo Stracuzzi’s golden parachute? After all, we are all shareholders and deserve to know how our money was spent.’

“The place fell deathly quiet.

“The customer continued,’Oh, and one more question. When did the rest of the board of directors first learn of Mr. Stracuzzi’s legal problems? It seems to me that if they were blindsided and only found out about it at the same time as the rest of us, they would have fired Mr. Stracuzzi and his accomplice Mr. [Clifford] Nilan rather than let them resign with compensation.’

“The room stayed quiet as a church for a long moment as the three decorating employees scurried away like rats without answering.

“Then something unexpected happened. Half, maybe more, of the customers in the bank burst into applause. It was totally spontaneous!

“A teller (not one of the three who’d earlier been decorating) sat down and opened up another window, and everyone in line moved through.

“As he was leaving, I saw at least two customers take the male questioner aside, shake his hand and thank him for speaking up.

“People have NOT forgotten!”

—– 00 —–

We thank Heller for sharing that information. If anyone has reason to believe this is not accurate, particularly any Greylock employees, THE PLANET shall only be too glad to include their version of what, if anything, transpired.

Those who dealt with Mitt Romney when Mr. Mitt governed Massachusetts may remember Beth Myers. Back in the day, she served the governor as chief of staff. Today. she a senior advisor in his bid to unseat President Barack Obama. Romney, sticking with a key member of his team, named Myers to lead the search for the VP part of the national ticket.
Many names are being bandied about, and the speculation is all but worthless. The VP pick almost always involves a name from nowhere (Quayle, Benson, Palin, etc.). Romney hasn’t said when he will announce his choice. It will have to come before the August GOP convention. It will likely be in late June, so the junior member of the ticket can begin stumping that will include the July 4. In the campaign, the VP nominee usually acts as attack dog while the top dog tries to remain “presidential” and above the fray.
Myers has a long history of involvement in public issues and campaigns. In 2008, she was Campaign Manager for  Romney’s presidential race and in this year’s campaign serves as a senior adviser. Before that, Myers served as his chief of staff through all four years of the Romney governorship. She previously worked as a litigation associate at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in Dallas, Texas. Starting on the 1980 Reagan campaign, Myers has worked for a slew of candidates. Working for Market Opinion Research, she developed and implemented GOTV campaigns in California, Texas, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Missouri. She was Deputy Campaign Manager for Ray Shamie‘s 1984 US Senate race in Massachusetts and on the 1986 Bill Clements for Governor campaign in Texas. She also spent a stint as chief of staff to Massachusetts State Treasurer Joe Malone, and worked on Malone’s 1998 campaign for governor. Myers graduated from Tufts University and received a juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University School of Law. (Source: Washington Post Live)


  1. FollowUp
    April 16, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Dan, et all,
    Does Ms. Nilan need to be at the next hearing, is that hearing open to the public, and will the PLANET be there, since I do not trust the eagle to accurately report.

    Enjoy your column

    • danvalenti
      April 16, 2012 at 11:46 am #

      Don’t know on all three counts. I shall try to find out and share. Ms. Nilan’s next court date is slated for May 5.

      • Jonathan Melle
        April 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

        May 5th is a Saturday.

      • Molly
        April 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

        May 2 – Pretrial Hearing.

        • Ed Shepardson
          April 17, 2012 at 6:20 am #

          Don’t know here you plan to have this wiffle ball game but the little league field at Springside is padlocked as is the Clapp Park field. Kind of kills the prospects of pickup games making a comeback. Think that’s what Larry Bossidy had in mind when he ponied up a million bucks?

          • Gene
            April 17, 2012 at 6:37 am #

            No Mr Bossidy didn’t have that in mind. The Little League has no right to abscond the fields as their fields. The fields belong to the taxpayers, and every kid. We iused to play on the LL fields all the time for pickup ball.

  2. spectator
    April 16, 2012 at 10:14 am #

    DV, why have you stopped naming said Driver?

    • danvalenti
      April 16, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      I haven’t. It’s just that her name is well-known at this point, and I didn’t want to introduce it as a side-show in Toby II. That’s all. There’s nothing “behind” it. Thanks for the query.

  3. Chris
    April 16, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    No we have not forgotten. We never will. I think about every time that man smiled and shook our hands and touched our children, I shudder with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I picture him with that big grin saying “Tell them Angelo sent you.” he betrayed our trust in the worst possible way, through children. Who knows what else he did. he should leave this city in shame. Why don’t you come back here Angelo and get your two buddies?

  4. Joe Blow
    April 16, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    While I can’t stand Strucuzzi …I call bull shite on this story! How could you fall for this?

    • danvalenti
      April 16, 2012 at 11:43 am #

      Thanks. We said that we haven’t independently confirmed the story, though no evidence has come forward yet from anyone — either at Greylock HQ or the Merrill Road branch — to tell us it did not happen as reported. It’s not a question of “falling” for anything. It’s a question of serving as a conduit of information that at this point can be reasonably taken as true. Again, we repeat: We shall only be more than glad to correct anything in this story that is inaccurate, incorrect, or otherwise not factual.

        April 16, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

        GH put this story up on Topix early this morning. Is it true? Maybe. Should it be, certainly.
        I’m a “shareholder” with Greylock.
        I prefer to do my financial transactions with a Credit Union. They offer better rates and more accountability than banks. AS is a piece of shit. As are any who were aware of his transgressions.
        I’m a very outspoken person myself. But, to address this issue, a better outcome would be had, if an individual was to speak to someone in management. The frontline people most likely have no real knowledge of what went down in regards to AS.
        I truly hope a member did voice his concern. Let it get back those in the upper positions of this organization.
        I’m on both sides of this. I do not believe that asking tellers what happened is productive on its own, yet if the top people hear of it, perhaps we will get a bit of truth.

        • levitan
          April 17, 2012 at 6:25 am #

          Ah yes, but the sins of the father, not properly atoned for, get passed down to the father’s children and their children’s children until proper restitution is made.

          Meanwhile, the story, true or not, is worthy of parable status demonstrating the ills experienced when customer service managers poorly serve the public on a Saturday morning.

  5. Blind Justice
    April 16, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    As a FORMER, I took out all my riches from the haven of CROOKS, GreyLock Credit Union depositor, I was stonewalled when I asked the same questions.

    In fact was given the Nazi traetment as to who i was and why they should be questioned on this matter at all!!!

    I urge EVERYONE to withdraw all funds ASAP, unless the come clean on the pervert and his enablers.

    • Scott
      April 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

      I owe more then I’ll ever have there in my account.

  6. ambrose
    April 16, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Mitt has certainly grabbed a winner – Beth – Ray Shamie, Bob Clements and Joe Malone – all real winners – Shamie was a loser, never heard of Clement, and Joe Malone, give us a break – we agree on one thing, the eagle sucks as a newspaper, but it brings more news than thePlanet does. To take it to task for not reporting some loudmouth at the Merrill GFCU that you only heard second hand. Stracuzzi’s a piece of shit, everybody knows that, but to call reporting on a dog walk that played out long ago is not real journalism. Your in Mitt’s camp, no problem, see how many voters you sway. Now you’ve got the last word as usual. I could type your response but i’ll let you do it. comment #9

  7. Fan Dan Go
    April 16, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    ambrose, I’ll do the honors and say you are full of it and not full of it. Full of it = Calling out DV for not printing as much news as the boring broadsheet. Are you serious. The BB, with a newsroom staff of 30-40 had better print more news. DV has said many times, news and scoops per say aren’t what the Planet website is about, rather its about encouraging dicsussion of ideas and exchanges of info. get real, man. Thank God for the Planet. The dog walk story was about compassion and to point out the city’s crazy permit process. The BB would be too scared of that story.
    Not full of it = Yes the BB sucks, and AS is a jerk. I also don’t like Romney and will be voting for the President.

  8. Joe Pinhead
    April 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Just wondering out loud here regarding so much more than just Angelo but the whole question raised on the Planet here a few days past. (Sorry I have been out of town on a massive project just catching up) The question was does it go deeper and wider than Angelo was there or is there some perverse ring going on here? I do not know the answer to that question but it is worth asking isn’t it? There have been hints, whiffs, and statements made.
    I know the Baran case was almost 30 years ago-the cases conclusion still has never been discussed, or thought through as a community. Many of the “players” are still around today. I wonder as a community theater will either the Colonial or Beacon show the documentary Freeing Bernie Baran? From the review of the film released in 2010 “…The most prevalent issue that comes to mind is that there seemed to be more concern over the possible negative impact the truth might have on prominent officials involved in the trial. It is shocking that, considering their erroneous behavior, these individuals would be shown any leniency whatsoever, and in the end, not be held responsible for what is nothing less than criminal activity.” Think about that statement that is how we are seen as a community worldwide and will be as long as we do nothing.
    Does anyone have contacts at the Colonial theater that could help get this documentary shown there? Is anyone interested in seeing it?

    • Molly
      April 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Yes – I’ve wondered for a long while now if there is a somewhat “formal” group of these pedophiles, a ring if you will. And if there has been for years. The thought of it sickens me, but there’s just been SO many rumors about that, so many “stories”. And a little too much fear from the victims – especially during a time when the various priests were being outed, these victims still didn’t/couldn’t come forward. I understand that I can’t even begin to fathom what they have been through and what they would need to go through if they made the accusation – I do “get that” and I do understand. I guess what I’m wondering if there’s something even more than that, that is causing even more fear on their part.

      And then as I stated the other day, now the BHRSD comes to light and it is learned that this was initially investigated in 2004 and was just dropped. Isn’t that when the Baran case was heating up?

      Yes, I would like to see this documentary come to The Colonial. I think a lot of people would. And you’re right – this has never been discussed or thought about as a Community – I agree, Joe.

    • dusty
      April 17, 2012 at 12:31 am #

      Never knew there was a documentary. How did you hear about it? I would sign a petition to request its showing at the taxpayer funded Colonial theater.

      Sweat is pouring down some brows at the very thought.

      • Joe Pinhead
        April 17, 2012 at 4:01 am #

        You ask how did I hear about the documentary? I didn’t hear a peep about it from the BB that’s for sure. I’m not saying it wasn’t mentioned in the paper but I sure didn’t see it. The BB sure did cash in and it could be argued helped in whipping up the hysteria but evidently feels no responsibility past there. The bottom line is we all would learn a great deal about our justice system and our leaders from watching the movie. This didn’t happen in some far away southern town that the bb has referenced in their editorials this happened here in our city here in Pittsfield.
        The news media local and national showed interest when this case was progressing through the legal system, now not a peep. Our elected and appointed official’s stole 25 years of a man’s life don’t we have an obligation to at least understand how something so hideous could happen?

        • Scott
          April 17, 2012 at 4:41 am #

          It’s easy there was wide spread prejudice against gays and paranoia stemming from child abuse accusations in day cares around the united states the Falls Acres Day care was a big one in the 80’s.

          @ Molly I’ve heard the same rumors it is horrifying. All I can say is keep your children close. If anyone ever touches one of my kids they will know another side of evil that’s for sure.

    • Scott
      April 17, 2012 at 4:36 am #

      I think there’s enough gray area to give him the benefit of doubt even though I was there in the 80’s and two of my friends told me he touched them (later on in life.) now whether or not they were brainwashed to think that I’ll never know but I think his 20 year sentence and what happened to him in there it’s safe to say he paid his debt I bet he’ll never be around another kid as long as he lives.

  9. Jonathan Melle
    April 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Willard Mitt Romney is all talk! Romney is a do-nothing politician.

    • Scott
      April 17, 2012 at 4:44 am #

      Seems to be the norm in politics these days they’re all just looking for a pay check the days of political involvement for no pay are gone as far as politicians go and it’s up to us as citizens to get involved. I mean it is our money after all.

  10. Scott
    April 17, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    “I see in the near future a crisis approaching. It unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. The money powers preys upon the nation in times of peace and conspires against it in times of adversity. It is more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me & the financial institutions at the rear, the latter is my greatest foe. Corporations have been enthroned, and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in the hands of a few, and the Republic is destroyed.” -Abraham Lincoln, letter to William Elkins, Nov 21, 1864 (after the passage of the debt causing National Bank Act [June 3, 1864]) One thing Lincoln couldn’t possibly foresee which is a direct result of the time is corporations like Monsanto patenting seed genetics. In his day everyone grew their own food and raised their own animals. I suggest anyone who’s anti gun should at least save organic non gmo seeds it may save your live when your at the business end of a high powered riffle.

  11. Scott
    April 17, 2012 at 4:49 am #


  12. Scott
    April 17, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    nice little piece on the subject.

  13. GMHeller
    April 18, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    “‘Andrew Stevens’/ Praxis33/Solons” wrote:
    “Ask Glenn for some more made up stories about Greylock customers.”

    ‘Carl from Pittsfield’ wrote:
    “I’m Carl from Pittsfield and the story is true. I was the guy who decided to speak up in the GFCU branch. I forwarded my story to Mr. Heller. The reason the wording is similar to what Mr. Heller has asked is because I READ here but don’t post. And I completely agree that those questions need to be answered.
    “It’s because of posts like the one that I am responding to right now you that I do not bother to participate here. I’ll be happy to post this once, just to let you know you’re wrong in your assumptions.
    “If you would like to discuss this more in depth via email or in person, I can be reached at (yes, that’s my valid email address. gives out email accounts.)”

    SEE: Comment posted by ‘Carl from Pittsfield’:

    • Mark Mancari
      April 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Mr. Valenti:

      I am the Branch Manager for Greylock’s Merril Road Branch. The incident detailed on your site regarding a customer complaint about the Board of Directors did not occur. The story is a fabrication.

      In the future, Greylock would appreciate your checking with the Credit Union prior to publishing any articles about the Credit Union .

      Very truly yours,

      Mark Mancari

      • danvalenti
        April 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

        Thank you for your side of the story.

      • GMHeller
        April 19, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

        Was Greylock Federal Credit Union manager Mark Mancari even present at the Merrill branch at the time of the incident?
        Note as well that Mr. Mancari fails even now to respond to the overriding questions that were raised during the incident that I have been assured did indeed take place, and for which the public still has not heard diddly from anyone at GFCU, specifically:

        When did GFCU’s board of directors first learn of Mr. Stracuzzi’s legal problems?
        Did Angelo Stracuzzi receive a ‘golden parachute’ or other forms of severance compensation from GFCU, and if so, why?

      • GMHeller
        April 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

        Is Greylock Federal Credit Union branch manager Mark Mancari willing to undergo a lie detector test and to swear he was present at the Merrill Road branch at the time ‘Carl from Pittsfield’ claims ‘the incident’ took place?

        • Mark Mancari
          April 20, 2012 at 8:43 am #

          Mr. Valenti:

          I was indeed at my branch on the day of the alleged incident, and it did not occur. As I previously stated, the story is a fabrication.

          Again, the Credit Union would appreciate the oppotunity to comment on any allegations before a story about the Credit Union is published.

          Should any of your readers have any questions, they are free to contact me at 413-445-5555.

          And, if any of the Credit Union’s customers do have any complaints, they are free to contact the Credit Union directly at 413-236-4000.

          Very truly yours,

          Mark Mancari

          • danvalenti
            April 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

            Thank you, again, for your contributions to setting the record straight. At this point, I have both sides of the story. I would encourage any readers who wish more information to contact Mr. Mancari at the number listed. Our aim at THE PLANET is always truth.

          • GMHeller
            April 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

            Is Greylock Federal Credit Union branch manager Mark Mancari willing to undergo a lie detector test and to swear under oath he was present at the Merrill Road branch on the date and at the time ‘Carl from Pittsfield’ claims ‘the incident’ took place and to swear under oath that he was not made aware of any incident as described by ‘Carl of Pittsfield’?
            And are the other bank employees whom ‘Carl of Pittsfield’ claims were present at the bank branch that day similarly willing to undergo lie detector tests and to swear under oath that the incident as described by ‘Carl of Pittsfield’ did not take place?

          • Ray Ovac
            April 22, 2012 at 10:32 am #

            Marc Mancari, you’re being disingenuous, just like your bosses over at the bank. You write, “Should any of your readers have any questions, they are free to contact me at 413-445-5555. And, if any of the Credit Union’s customers do have any complaints, they are free to contact the Credit Union directly at 413-236-4000.”
            Yet, you still do not respond to the underlying questions: When is Greylock Federal Credit Union going to come clean on Angelo Stracuzzi’s golden parachute? When did the board of directors first learn of Mr. Stracuzzi’s criminal problems in Maine?
            Did the board give Stracuzzi a ‘golden parachute’, or buy out his contract, or give him any other form of close-out compensation upon his departure from GFCU, and if so, why was this done if he had been in violation of his contract since 2004 by not notifying the board of his legal problems in Maine?
            These are the real questions that need answering Mark Mancari, not whether some customer spoke out in line and whether other customers cheered him on.

          • danvalenti
            April 22, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

            Well played, Raykovic. Re: Their former CEO, Greylock is strictly D&D. If they gave out millions, as the word on the street had it, they have cause to be embarrassed, but not as much as the members do to be angry. No matter how anyone plays it, the member-owners were damaged by the perversion of Mr. Stracuzzi.

  14. levitan
    April 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    I find the suggestion that Mancari or his employees should take a lie detection test ludicrous. Since he says that the incident is a fabrication, then I suggest that Heller submit to the test himself to lend his story credence.

    I hazard a guess that ‘Pete from Pittsfield’ lives somewhere in the world of electrons hosted on Topix’s servers.

    Ray: at this point, the only question answered or not is if a customer service scandal took place some Saturday morning.

  15. Mark Mancari
    April 23, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    Dear Ray:

    Mr. Stracuzzi resigned in June 2010, and received no buy out or additional compensation from the Credit Union.

    Very truly yours,

    Mark Mancari

  16. GMHeller
    April 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Hey all,
    Looks like Praxis33/Solons has struck again with his aliases and proxy servers.
    According to Mark Mancari, the branch manager at Greylock Federal Credit Union, he is not the individual who has been posting comments on PlanetValenti using Mark Mancari’s name.