PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, NOV. 30, 2012) — The day is finally upon us, when THE PLANET Editorial Board and Packed-Suitcase Marching & Chowder Society (PEBAPSMCS) announces the fruits of its most stimulating deliberations in deciding our First Annual Turkey of the Year Award (TOYA).

We approach this with a kind of Mein Kampf reverence, since, in The Little Guy‘s never-ending battle against the incompetents and scoundrels who would act in their name but not their interests, life is always about “My Struggle.” The battles rages, and Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, though outnumbered 2-to-10, can find great comfort in such a symbolic exercise in justice, as the TOYA must be.

Needless to say, we have had a ponderous time considering who we might grace with this high honor, there being no lack of worthy nominations, each in their own way raising the Gobble-Gobble factor to ever-higher levels. While God certainly seems to have cheated Pittsfield of true “leaders,” He has no doubt more than made up for it by sending the city a plague of two-legged fowl and foul, wild and other-kind.

THE PLANET thanks all who submitted nominations, the quality of which required the PEBAPSMCS to perform Herculean efforts in selecting from among them the most worthy Turkey. Ask a loving mother which child she favors the most, and you will see our dilemma. The board responded heroically, however, with the wisdom of Solomon, the deftness of Houdini, and the determination of the Missouri River eating out the Grand Canyon. Such is the duty We The People can expect from the august members of THE PLANET’s Secret Squadron.

No Lack of Turkeys

Here is a reasonably complete list of names put into nomination:

D.A. David Capeless, Lee Police Chief Geronimo en masse Buffis, the Pittsfield School Depeartment, the en masse Pittsfield School Committee Mr. T. Kinnas excepted, the en masse United Educators of Pittsfield with Ms. Yates at the forefront, PPS vocational director Frank (“Free House”) Cote, Cote’s secretary  Lynn “Free House Receiver” Whitney, constitutional scholar Judge Bethsaida Sanabria-Vega,  former Pittsfield school super Jake Eberwin III, Lenox town honcho Greg Federspiel, Lenoxology the Slogan, the “huge tombstone in Kennedy Park,” unfunded pensions that will kill once-and-for-all The Taxpayer, ex-OCD czarina Deanna Ruffer, Pittsfield city solicitor Kathy Degnan, Pittsfield councilor-at-large Melissa Mazzeo, for state Sen. Andrea Nuciforo, Pittsfield interim fire chief Bob Czerwinski, firemen union chief Tim Bartini, County Court slouch Clifford Nilan, Nilan spwan the ever-blonde Meredith Nilan, Pittsfield city council president Kevin Sherman, Pittsfield downtown czar Peter Lafayette, Pittsfield school board chairman Alf Barbalunga, Pittsfield veterans’ agent Rosey Frieri, and the usual gang of assorted idiots.

Let us put the announcement off no longer. Maestro, the envelope please. … And the winner is …

JOE PINHEAD, who nominated Judge Bethsaida Sanabria-Vega, the walking demographic judicial Trifecta (Hispanic, female, and possessor of hyphenated surname). Da Judge, you may recall, granted the ever-blonde Meredith Nilan a temporary restraining order against Yours Truly for the heinous “crime” of reporting factual truth about the little girl’s run-in with pedestrian Peter Moore and Little Toby, Moore’s canine guardian angel.

THE PLANET had NEVER met Ms. Nilan, NEVER spoke to her on the phone, NEVER e-mailed her, NEVER visited her home, NEVER went to her office, and NEVER had any contact with her whatsoever. Nonetheless, the judge thought it necessary to slap a temporary restraining order against this website, deeming that we posed an imminent threat to Ms. Nilan’s well being. The judge imposed this prior restraint without our knowledge and without giving us the benefit of being present to offer any word of defense. The following week, on July 9, in a six-hour marathon hearing, a much wiser judge threw out Judge B S-V’s order, finding no basis in the law for such a ridiculous ruling.

Joe Pinhead, in prose that peeled the petals off of our black-eyed susans, wrote to us twice:

—– 00 —–


Joe Pinhead

November 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm 

I nominate none other than Judge Bethzaida Vega

I will need all week to boil it down to 100 words. Words that I may speak without restraint due in large part to the Planet. Also one of the things I am thankful for this year as well.

AND (2)

Joe Pinhead

November 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm 

Why Judge Bethzaida Vega should be selected for the turkey of the year.
First we must define our definition of the turkey, I see the Judge receiving this award as a well meaning boob who put her ideal of political correctness in front of over 200 years of concrete case law.
I needn’t get into freedom of speech and freedom of the press here as it was articulated nicely in both articles and comments here on this very site. If violating those fundamental rights of every citizen granted by birth right and defended by not only untold treasures in gold and capital of a nation but as importantly through blood and anguish by so many men and women who did not live to enjoy those fundamental freedoms that they themselves sacrificed truly everything they had or ever will have to preserve those freedoms should never have been taken so out of context by anyone let alone a Judge at any level of the judicial system.
I submit that everyone of us has paid a price as the surviving benefactors of those who sacrificed for the freedoms, Yes they are granted to us at birth but they are defended every day not only by Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and Marines, but as we have seen they are valued and fought for by Journalists, lawyers, and citizens everyday from those who do not understand neither the sacrifice nor the value of those freedoms.
For her part in that whole debacle I nominate the Judge Bethzaida Vega

OK it didnt take as long as I thought and I was able to type it on my phone

—– 00 —–

While THE PLANET had so many worthy entries to consider, in the end, considering this came from the pen of a pinhead, the judges held JP’s response up as the gold standard for acumen, insight, and words that best lead to giving heartburn to the right people.

To Judge B S-V, who could use a refresher on constitutional law: You are THE PLANET’s Turkey of the Year. You are invited to join Joe Pinhead and THE PLANET editorial staff for lunch at the Red Lion Inn at a time and date to be conveyed to you. We can promise great food, great service, and great holiday company. Please consider joining us.

Congratulations, Joe Pinhead. THE PLANET shall be in touch regarding for all-expenses-paid journey to Civilization, otherwise known as the Town of Stockbridge, where you shall be treated to lunch at the fabulous Red Lion Inn, where our credit is eternal and our tab doth overflow.

Again, thanks to all who participated. Congratulations to Joe Pinhead for his winning effort and to Judge S-V for her first-place achievement.



As few of you are no doubt aware, it having been ignored by the mainstream media in Berkshire County, this past Wednesday, while Prof. Planet was leading his intrepid composition students through the intricacies of MLA citation format and the basis of scholarly research at the BCC main campus, our Right Honorable Good Friends on the Pittsfield School Committee (otherwise known as The Ship of Fools), met in congress.

During this meeting, the school committee was supposed to take a look at the vocational programs offered by the public schools and make recommendations on which programs to keep, which to jettison, and which to add. This was to have come in the wake of a damning state audit, which excoriated the PPS overall performance and accused all involved in the administration of city schools of essentially assigning certain so-perceived “low promise” students to an academic ghetto known as the Vocational Program. In short, the state found among other dysfunction that the PPS was using the once-proud Vocational Program as a dumping ground.

The School Committee’s action during Wednesday’s meeting, of course, was predicated on the presence of two people who are, unfortunately, key to the committee moving forward and doing its job regarding Vocational Education. They are:

(A) The point man representing the city’s High Paid, Fancy, Outta-Town Consultant (we never have the in-house talent to decide upon our own needs, irrespective of the fact that education is best done when determined locally and not from afar)


(B) Asst. superintendent Frank “Free House” Cote, who only runs the vocational program in the moribund PPS and a hundred grand a year.

There was one slight problem, however: Both the Highly Paid Consultant and Cote were nowhere to be seen. Not only that, but their absence, as far as THE PLANET knows, went unexplained by board chairman Alf Barbalunga.

This being Pittsfield, and all, only Terry Kinnas had a problem with this slap in the face. Kinnas pointed out that considering the hefty fees taxpayers are shuttling to the eastern part of state for the Big Fancy Consultant from Out Boston Way, the least the company could do was have Their Man present for an important discussion.

No way. As we said, this is Pittsfield.

One could also minimally expect Cote to be on hand, all things being equal. Ah, but apparently, equality with this guy has proven more rare than a 1952 Mint Topps Mickey Mantle baseball card. In fact, according to one school committee member, Cote has not attended one meeting of the board since his good pals OKd the free house for his (Cote’s) secretary, Lynn Whitney.

We knew all this would cheer you up, Pittsfield taxpayers.

Anyhoo, as they say on Newell Street, the committee could not do its job without these two boobs present. This means that there will be another delay in the work of the School Building Needs Commission, which was counting on the school committee to have its recommendations on the future of vocational education in Pittsfield before any decision can be made on whether or not to build a new high school.

At the meeting, according to our spies and Secret Squadron members monitoring the proceedings, about 60 people, mostly from the local business sector, pleaded with the school committee to retain both the metal fabrication and auto body training in the vocation department, not that the High Paid Consultant or Frank Cote gave a rat’s rear.

When all of this finally begins to sink in, voters of Pittsfield, perhaps you will be ready to elect someone with the resolve to confront such evil.

Now THE PLANET doesn’t know if that local Svengali-Lighting Rod-Genius-Imbecile Hyponotist Poet Savant Dan Valenti is stupid enough to run for mayor (only because we know he’d win), but if he does, he will represent The Taxpayer’s last chance at the golden nose ring of equity before the City Once Known As Pittsfield, Mass., (COWAPM) gets formally consigned to history’s ash heap.

As Mr. Spock would say, “COWAPM and Prosper.”






  1. outfox
    November 30, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    Congrats, Joe Pinhead!

    • Blind Justice
      November 30, 2012 at 11:22 am #

      I forgot about the IGNORANT (of the law) Judge.

      Congrats Joe, and to Dan for his fight against the tyranny that is the Berkshire County Injustice System

      • Blind Justice
        December 1, 2012 at 9:12 am #

        Dan, Who is the vice-Turkey?

        Lots of qualified lowlife/misfits/scum/leaches……on the list

        • Blind Justice
          December 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

          Capless? Nuciforo? Fedespeiel?

          Whom gets 2nd?

  2. Teecha teecha
    November 30, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Closing the vocational program or even considering it just shows how farup their own asses the school committees heads are. Can I swear on here? There is very little else to say about these a**hats

    • Scott
      November 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      I agree those greedy morons won’t make cut’s or sustain their salaries but they’ll cut something that is beneficial to the students.

    • Blind Justice
      December 1, 2012 at 11:49 am #

      I’ve lots of friends/classmates that benefited from the VOC programs.


      • Blind Justice
        December 1, 2012 at 11:51 am #


  3. Evian
    November 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    Great choice DV, congratulations to Mr Pinhead and to the judge.

  4. joetaxpayer
    November 30, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    It is so easy to just tax and spend.The Mayor must start to make tough decisions and stop taking the road most traveled, by other Mayors. The people of Pittsfield must put a stop to business as usually. We need someone who has the balls to cut the budget and to qoute Barney Fife “nip this in the bud”. If anyone out there has the stomach for this please run, you will have my vote.

  5. joetaxpayer
    November 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Oh forgot congrates Joepinhead, you would make a great Mayor.

    • danvalenti
      November 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      JOE THE T
      I agree that Joe Pinhead would make a great mayor. I may make that suggestion to him during our lunch.

  6. dusty
    December 1, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    This Alf Barbalunga guy that over sees the school committee…what is his claim to fame? What ever made him qualified for that position in the first place? He has not done one thing yet that would make me admire him however he has done many things that make me sad. I am sad for the children that this guy would use his high power to line pockets instead of leading the charge to better educate children. It is all just very sad to me.

    I believe the only reason he was pushed into this position was to help steer money.

    • Scott
      December 1, 2012 at 5:11 am #

      It’s who his daddy is.

      • Blind Justice
        December 1, 2012 at 8:04 am #

        Daddy was a Judge

    • Blind Justice
      December 1, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

      VERY Appropriate and the TRUTH.

      Big PIG doleing out the PORK, ALFY SWINE

  7. Piedmontese 1228 East
    December 1, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Has anyone considered that Joe may be a woman in disguise. A big congrats to our most astute nom de plume, Josey P who has seen things so very clearly. Hope your lunch is great.

    • Scott
      December 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      I personally have always wondered what a $40 cheeseburger taste like. One day I will make it there to have dinner or lunch.

  8. Layla Lady Lay
    December 1, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    I am happy for Joe Pinhead and his winning selection. i follow Planet Valenti closely and have long read and listened to DV, just about he only man that makes sense when it comes to politics. I also love Joe P’s comments when he contributes, he makes great point of good sense. Great selection, DV Joe P and Judge Vega.

  9. Sonny
    December 1, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I think the real turkey of the year was Clifford N. If this man with his lack of ethics and character had not tried to engineer such a pathetic coverup for his dangerous daughter this equally inept so called judge would never have been in the picture.

    • dusty
      December 2, 2012 at 1:40 am #

      So Cliffy kind of helped to expose her for her inadequacies in performing the job of being a judge. In his own back ass Cliffy way he has done a good thing.

      • Scott
        December 2, 2012 at 5:28 am #

        I would think that just about any judge would issue a restraining order if a woman comes in and say’s she fears for her safety. They have a responsibility to hear both sides because who knows how real her fears are until you get the person she is afraid of in court to weigh what is actually happening. Once the evidence was presented the order was tossed. I think the Nilans are the bigger turkey’s.

        walking demographic judicial Trifecta: What are you saying with that statement?

        • danvalenti
          December 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

          Hear both sides? Yes. In this case, though, Judge B S-V issues a restraining order based on only one side. Dan Valenti was neither informed of the action nor allowed to present his case. A week later, we proved how preposterous the whole thing was.

          • Scott
            December 3, 2012 at 3:13 am #

            If a judge didn’t issue an order and something did happen we’d all be wondering why she didn’t listen to the young woman’s fears. That’s all I’m saying. Vega made her initial decision on a one sided complaint that was fabricated and exaggerated. (how was she to know?) I would imagine if she saw both sides in the beginning she may have came to the same conclusion the second judge did. It’s the Nilans that abused their position and used the system in a way for which it was not intended.

          • danvalenti
            December 3, 2012 at 6:08 am #

            I understand what you’re saying, how the judge erred on the side of caution. That’s understandable, but in this case, it would have taken one phone call to have me and my defense present at the hearing. Judge Vega would have found out that there had been NO contact between Dan Valenti and Meredith Nilan: no phone calls, no e-mails, no visits, no nuttin’. It amounted to accusations with the presumption of guilt, which violates one of the basic tenets of our judicial system.

    • danvalenti
      December 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      It would be hard to argue against this!

  10. Joe Pinhead
    December 2, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks all for the kind words and thanks to the Planet editorial staff for selecting my nominee.
    I truly hope the good Judge can make it to the lunch I promise not to ask about the Nilan case but I would love to hear her thoughts on freedom of speech, what she sees as the role of the media and blogs in an informed society. Should we be like Syria and shut down the entire internet when we (read establishment) doesn’t agree with what’s being reported?
    Ms Nilan was never nor ever will be a victim of the press the young lady is a victim of herself and need look no further than a mirror to see why she was spoken about in the media. I contend that had it been someone of normal lineage we would have seen ALL (excepting the Planet) handle this differently. I contend the DA’s office would have acted differently mind you the MADD vigil in which the DA’s office in conjunction with SADD speaks every holiday season about the tragedy of drinking and driving was only 3 days before this incident. I am aware alcohol has never been proven but it hasn’t been disproven either.
    A member of our community was injured, another was silenced and the entire community was treated to a pathetic display from the judicial system. Bear in mind this country is founded upon the principle of treating everyone equally there is no special treatment in the societal contract and I fail to see the Nilan exemption in the motor vehicle code.
    On the upside the Planet and its readers did not stand by and rallied around the real victim and his family as a community should, it was a proud moment in this city.
    Once again thanks for the kind words
    With kindest regards

    • danvalenti
      December 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      Well spoken, as always. Looking forward to dining. Hope the good judge joins us.

  11. Hurdygurdy Man
    December 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm #

    Good job of it Joe Pinhead and DV. You are both assets to our community, make it feel as if we have at least someone trying to balance things out for the ordinary hardworking taxpayers of which Im one.

    • danvalenti
      December 3, 2012 at 6:09 am #

      Thank you, HGM

  12. Heyjude
    December 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Seriously Dan, there are so many issues in our County more worthy of the award than a Judge who shut you down for a day! I forgot, it is always about you! If you run for Mayor, you won’t have to worry about Silver Lake, if you haven’t noticed, people are working many hours a day to clean it up!