PUMMELIN’ PAM HURLS PERSON ABUSE AT THE PLANET AFTER EXPOSE … MAZZEO RESPONDS WITH LEVEL-HEADED INFORMATION … WHEN IS A $3.5 MILLION LOSS NOT A LOSS (or “DON’T TELL ‘EM ANGELO SENT YOU”) … WHY IS HERMAN ALEXANDER’S STILL DOING BUSINESS?
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012) — Pummelin’ Pam Malumphy, identified by THE PLANET‘s investigation as the “political type” behind Larry Kratka‘s decision to cancel the Bill Sturgeon’s show on WTBR, sent THE PLANET another poison e-mail. It is notable now, in two e-mails, that Malumphy has not denied that she’s the hidden force at work here.
We are the first to say that this story has been complex and many-faceted, and only Kratka knows for certain the culprit. He, however, hasn’t given up the ghost, and so we can only attempt to put the pieces of the puzzle together and to the best of our abilities attempt to identify and explain the picture. Kratka, still gripped by an icy fear only he comprehends, refuses to talk. In caving to political pressure, this “newsman” sealed his fate as journalistic whore, for sale at the right (or wrong) price.
In today’s Boring Broadsheet, our good friend Clarence Fanto delves into the subject. Our relentless pursuit force the BB‘s hand once again. Kratka repeats the incredible, incredulous claim that he felt enormously pressured, he doesn’t know by whom! Fanto, following BB policy not to mention PLANET VALENTI, only refers to “the blogosphere.” We accept the back-door compliment.
Kratka and Kratka Alone Pulled the Trigger
Let there be no question: Kratka — not Pam Malumphy, John Vosburgh, John Krol, John Wayne, Ralph Kramden, or Babe Ruth — is the man most responsible for the mess he created at WTBR, which came to a head with his actions on Bill Sturgeon. Kratka, alone, could have told those pressuring him to bug off. He didn’t. He acted in a such a jellyfish manner, THE PLANET wonder if he’s contemplating a run for public office. We also make this offer to him: If he wishes to confront us face-to-face on this issue, we shall be only too happy to appear with him live on the air, and take it up there.
In her second e-mail to THE PLANET, mailed late Sunday night, Malumphy denied she pressured WBRK or WBEC or had anyone do that. O.J. also denied killing his wife. She said she hadn’t talked to Rosanne Frieri since Bill Sturgeon left WBRK. She did not deny talking to or pressuring Kratka. In fact, she admitted doing that to Bill Sturgeon. She did not deny advocating on behalf of Frieri after veterans began speaking up about the poor job being done by the local veterans’ agent. She did not deny that she sees this story as a personal attack.
Malumphy then concluded in sad, typical fashion, hurling a personal insult of the “You mother wears combat boots” vintage, saying, to paraphrase, she did not think I was a good person and that she “and Franz” did not want me in her life.
All of a sudden, Pam has apparently obtained from Woody Allen the ability to look into souls and make moral judgments. Well, as they say, with enemies like that, we’d rather stick to friends. We celebrated her insult with Dom, ’82, for we have long learned since our days in college as a champion debater that when the other side results to name calling, you’ve won.
Being a Horses’ Rump Should Not be Mistaken for ‘Power’
People speculate on the source of Malumphy’s “power.” In fact, she has little. What she does possess, however, is the ability to nag and nip with bizarre personal attacks to the point where it makes a lot of people shrink away and not want anything to do with her. Why she is this way, we don’t know. We can’t imagine, though, that having lost her last four bids for public office (council, state rep special election, mayor, state rep) has done her confidence much good. We the People don’t want her, don’t like her, and apparently she can’t handle that. In public, she can put on a convincing “nice girl” act, but Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski have seen through that moth-eaten act four times in a row after having been fooled once.
Pam has chosen to take our reportage on The Great WTBR Flip Flop Starring Larry Kratka as a personal attack. As we’ve tried to make clear to Pummelin’ Pam many times, we write about events as the events and actions lead us. We have no personal loyalties or disloyalties to pursue in politics, whether it be local, regional, state, national, or international. This, incidentally, makes us the ideal candidate to look where “They” don’t want us to look, all on behalf of Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, the prototypical Little Guys.
We went into the Betrayal of Bill Sturgeon (aka “The Great WTBR Flip Flop”) knowing nothing except that Sturgeon wasn’t on the air at the appointed time for his debut. The situation oozed a clammy rottenness, and when Kratka clammed up, the red flags went up, all over the city. There was obviously more to this story than anyone imagined. We decided to probe. Again, we had no agenda except to venture where the evidence took us.
Durned If We Do, Durned If We Don’t (So We Did)
Prior to these latest e-mails, THE PLANET hadn’t heard from Malumphy in more than a year. She told us then never to contact her, and when we tried in pursuit of stories, she refused to answer. We therefore finally respected her wishes. We find it more than odd, therefore, that in her second e-mail, she expresses anger that we did not contact her directly. Then when we do, she gets mad at us for that.
The simple reason we did not dial her cell phone, which you shall see was passed to us as a go-between by Melissa Mazzeo doing Kissinger-like shuttle diplomacy, is that we wanted our exchanges with Malumphy in writing. We have learned from past dealings with her to get it in print. That way she couldn’t mischaracterize what was said, as she has done in the past with our conversations.
THE PLANET, in reply to her this time and in the past, has always tried above all to be respectful, professional, polite, logical, dispassionate, and have even offered to meet, in person, to try to mend the relationship. She has refused.
Apparently, Malumphy cannot take the emotions out of policy matters, and she insists on seeing everything as personal. She has trouble separating the emotions from the logic, and she wants to make fights personal. Men tend to butt heads then get over it. Malumphy’s shrill, everything-is-personal, emotions-out-of-control PMS firebrand has not only only become tedious and tiresome but stands as an insult to every professional woman. It is women such as Malumphy who give women a bad rap in politics.
Biology is Destiny
We can’t help that in politics, biology is often destiny, and we have learned in our decades performing colonscopies on the body politick that we must take politicians and officials as they present themselves to us and not try to fashion them into any other image. For our part, we shall remain open, honest, and above board, trying our best to remain accurate and truthful in our reporting and commentary.
Frieri, incidentally, did not return out request for comment.
We say the same thing about her: THE PLANET has nothing personal in mind with our expose of the feelings of the local veterans’ community on their agent. Let us not forget the vets in all this. They are the ones being short-changed by poor service from their local agent. This isn’t THE PLANET saying this. Rather, it comes from the mouths of Those Who Served, the veterans themselves, and THE PLANET will take a back seat to no one when incompetency once again tries to rip off these heroic men and women. Sturgeon, too, was a loud advocate for veterans, and that’s what set the wheels in motion for his assassination by Kratka.
We simply began our probe, determined to go where the evidence took us. Like Poe, Bierce, and Mencken, THE PLANET realizes you don’t get into this business expecting to make friends every time out!
MAZZEO SHARES HER INPUT TO THE WTBR MESS
We received this e-mail from councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo, responding to our story on WTBR from yesterday. We share it verbatim:
We thank Mazzeo for maintaining a courteous, professional, and productive working relationship with THE PLANET. That, Pummelin’ Pam, is how it’s done. As for the points, 1-4, we say:
1. We stand corrected.
2. Yes, that’s why we had “WHEN” in quotes.
3. A disagreement, then. Reasonable people should be able to disagree and still maintain friendly relations. Sturgeon told us the same thing.
4. I can’t find anywhere where I wrote that you made calls to any media outlet to have anyone fired. I reported that sources indicated that Pam, through surrogates who were not named, made calls. I never mentioned you in this respect nor anyone else, for that matter.
TO MELISSA: Yes, you did pass along Pam’s cell phone number. As we said above, we wanted to have our exchange with her in writing, however, so neither side could misconstrue or misunderstand what was being said. I would hold our relationship — that of Melissa Mazzeo and THE PLANET — up as a model. Press and politician will always be on opposite sides, but productive relationships are not only possible but required for the communal good. You understand that and so does THE PLANET. This exchange is a perfect example. You gave me your input, for the record, and we published them for the record. We both acted in a polite, friendly, and productive way.
Malumphy send her remarks not for the record, acting in an insulting, hostile, and non-productive way. That’s how a person loses four elections in a row.
WHEN A $3.5 MILLION LOSS IS NOT A LOSS (or ‘TELL ‘EM ANGELO DIDN’T SEND YOU’)
A couple weeks ago, we credited Jonathan Levine for breaking a story that, as far as we know, never appeared in the newspaper formerly known as the Berkshire Eagle and now better recognized as the Boring Broadsheet. Levine reported that Greylock Federal Credit Union experienced a $3.8 million operating loss in 2011.
In a noble attempt at damage control, Marilyn Sperling, president & CEO of GFCU (successor to “Tell ’em Angelo Sent You”), responded to Levine’s reporting (Pittsfield Gazette, May 24, 2012 issue). As spin, Sperling’s explanation would make a dervish top envious.
Spinning Sperling accused Levine of reporting the loss “without providing sufficient context, background, or explanation.” Of course, it’s always the press’ fault. She makes the point that Greylock remains well-capitalized and says the loss “was not surprising in light of the recent recession.”
She went after Levine for calling GFCU “silent” and “insular” in not sharing news of the loss, Greylock’s first ever. On that note, given that this was the first time in its 77-year-history that Greylock posted a loss, one would think the only local daily newspaper might deem that newsworthy, given that GFCU is the largest financial institution in the county. Ah, but no. The news wasn’t “good newsy” enough.
Spinning Sperling: ‘Our Board is Fantaskalicious’
Sperling goes on to praise her Board of Directors: “Our Board has consistently acted with complete integrity in guiding Greylock through a turbulent economy and through other challenges.” THE PLANET loves that “through other challenges” bit. Do you think Sperling was referring to “Tell ’em Angelo Sent You” and all the good his dalliances caused Greylock? Do you think she had in mind the “integrity” of the Board when it failed to discover for almost six years that “Tell ’em Angelo Sent You” had been busted in Maine on child prostitution charges, even though Angelo’s great buddy, Clifford “Cliffy” Nilan, served on the board and as head of probation in Berkshire County Superior Court, where York County ordered Angelo to serve his year of probation?
All in a day’s wondering here on THE PLANET.
CHARTER REVIEW COMMISH MIRED IN POLITICS
In the abstract, reviewing a municipal charter that hasn’t changed or been looked at in 80 years sounds like a lovely idea, but in the city of Pittsfield, the abstract and the reality rarely coincide.
When my Right Honorable Good Friends on City Council debated this issue, they disagreed to disagree. At issue: who gets to appoint whom to the charter review commission? Mayor Dan Bianchi, natch, wants the mayor to have appointment rights to all nine positions, subject to review by the council. The council wants an 11-member board with seven of the members chosen by the council.
The battle comes down to politics. The city charter, as solicitor Kathy Degnan said, gives that power to the mayor. Ward 5 Councilor Jonathan Lothrop claims that power doesn’t apply to an ad hoc commission (as opposed to a standing board). Barry Clairmont and John Krol agree with J-Lo. Melissa Mazzeo, Chris Connell, Kevin Morandi, and Churchill Cotton back Degnan’s interpretation.
‘It Seems Like We’re Just Going Around in Circles’
Ward 7’s Tony Simonelli, quoted in the Gazette, says he sees merit in both views, but “it seems like we’re just going around in circles.”
Well said, Tony, and doesn’t it seem that everything does in the City of Pittsfield?
As co-governors, per the city charter, councilors would seem to share in appointment powers, but charter makes clear the mayor has that responsibility. The argument can then be made that a board created to review the charter need not follow the charter for its constitution, since it can be definition be seen as outside the purview of the charter it is reviewing. None of this will matter, most likely. Can anyone imagine the mayor and 11 councilors to be able to debate the nature of city government in a productive and timely manner. Should the debate go that far, look for Bianchi to try and push a “stronger mayor” form of government and the council to back a charter that gives them more power than the mayor.
Of course, the council wants to hire a consultant to guide its charter review. Sound familiar? Another $50,000 or so will be wasted to produce a thick report no one will read.
LIQUOR LICENSE SUSPENDED, HERMAN ALEXANDER’S FACE STATE PROBE
Herman Alexander’s, the dive and alleged drug den on Lyman Street, is now in the 22rd day of the 60-day suspension of its liquor license. That penalty came after the city licensing board unanimously voted to suspend the dive’s liquor permit. The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, meanwhile, has begun its own probe. It will conduct a hearing this month.
On April 27, police and other law enforcement agencies raided Herman Alexander’s. The raid came after a six-month investigation into illegal activity there. No drugs were found at the bar. The story persists that a police dispatcher got wind of the raid and sent advanced notice to the tavern, so things could be cleaned up flush prior to the raid.
Police, as reported in the Pittsfield Gazette, say:
* They are still looking into alleged drug activity at Herman’s.
* They moved in for the raid after their probe showed the bar was a “retail center for cocaine distribution.”
* The investigation included testimony from informants, controlled buys of drugs, and wire taps.
* Police allege illegal gambling, operations after 2 a.m. closing time, customers drinking alcohol outside the bar, and
* Repeated urination on the front steps.
Why is there air? Why do fools fall in love? Why is Herman Alexander’s still open?
SIR ARTHUR QUILLER-COUCH WILl POINT OUR THAT SHE BEAT THE HAPPY PAVEMENT AND BY SUCH A STAR MADE A FIRMAMENT, WHICH NOW, AFTER OUR WRITING, NO MORE THE ROOF ENVIES!
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.