PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2013) — With spring due any minute now, we begin with one of our favorite poems on the topic, long a staple for writers and poets looking for the perfect metaphor for mankind’s eternal, embedded hope: “new life out of old.” First, allow this prologue.

—– 00 —–

Can there be a better comparison for our quest for immortality than the return of life, each year, from the shriveled death of that which has fallen from tress or has passed away into the ground, from which it sprang? That is spring, when “the nebula of early blossoms” can still face an assault. They stand resolute, however, because they have deep, hidden knowledge. They know the snows will soon be of yesterday. They are of now.

The poem, titled “Spring,” was written by Gerard Manly Hopkins. We shall present it in a moment, and be forewarned: This will be a day without politics. Such is our power, and by fiat, so we declare.

Turning Pro

As an undergraduate at Union College, we took one of our favorite classes of all time: “Victorian Poetry,” taught by the legendary Prof. Samson O.A. Ullman. Under Prof. Ullman’s didactic spell, we discovered the enthralling word mastery of Tennyson, Browning, Arnold, Hardy, Rossetti, Swinburne, Wilde, Hopkins and others.

It moved us to a tipping point from brief flirtations with medicine, law, and architecture into forsaking anything and everything but a career as a writer. We wanted to see our name on the cover of a book. We wanted to make a living by utilizing the 26 characters of the alphabet. In A-Z including Elemenohpee, we saw our future. We wanted to be able to go into a library in any city and look ourselves up in the card catalog. We had no clue as to how once went about making a living at it, but such practicalities did not occur to our 20-year-old fearlessness. Eventually, our wish came true. Anyone who could look himself up in the card catalog of a library anywhere in America would never suffer from an identity crisis, or so we reasoned. It pretty much held true, so much so that we skipped our mid-life crisis and went directly into our second childhood. Life is good.

THE PLANET was at the time of our undergraduate year in the nascent phases of our writing “career,” having been published in a handful of obscure academic literary journals (The Gauntlet, The Idol, Break of Day). These publications did not win us world acclaim but it did make of us a rising star — in the English Department at Union. It also did much to boost our seedling confidence, for, truth be told, every writer experiences deep moments of doubt and frustration. Others will always be there to discourage you and tell you the thousand and one reasons why a dream can never be realized. That’s when a person must persist, alone, in pursuit of the goal. Judging by our discussion with other artists, the same holds true for painters, sculptors, musicians, and those who turn pro.

By “turning pro,” we mean to make a decision, typically at a young age but sometimes later, to dedicate oneself to one’s art, come what may. Only a tiny few can do it. It’s not a decision to be made by the faint-hearted or those who place the majority of their self-worth on a steady paycheck. When we quit our full-time newspapering career, we gave up the security of a paycheck for the life of a writer. We got lucky, but, truth be told, luck comes when opportunity meets preparedness. When Lady Chance came knowing on our door, we were ready to ravish her.

“Turning pro” means making a living at it. It also distinguishes an artist from “the dabbler,” the latter that person who likes to play act at being an artist without having to put in the time at the University of Hard Knox. You know the kind. You know the type. He calls himself a “writer” and by that means reading from his work to the participants of a “writer’s group,” who all tell him his “stuff is great.” He remains essentially unpublished and “works” playing at being misunderstood. She calls herself a “painter” and by that means getting free rent at a subsidized studio so she and others like her can hang out and drink latte waiting to be “discovered,” as if downtown North Street is Schwab’s Drugstore. You go to her “shows” to be polite, and you must stifle a critical urge to comment honestly on drivel that you mastered with finger paints in kindergarten.

THE PLANET respects dabblers who know what they are, but we loathe dabblers who try to pass themselves off as pros. Our judgment on this must be harsh, for the Lady Muse demands it.

‘Sprung Rhythm’: A System of Meter
Hopkins was a poetic practitioner (and inventor, formally) of a literary device he called “sprung rhythm.” The discovery of “spring rhythm”  became a contributing factor in that great “eureka!” moment when THE PLANET first realized that we might, too, be able to fashion a life and a living as a writer. The rest became his story (two words).
“Sprung rhythm” is a system of meter, the “beat” in poetry that makes it a distant kin to music. The device employs lines of various lengths and syllables. The poet chooses these on the basis of subject matter and not on the preconceived template of form. Under conventional “fixed” or “common” rhythm, the poem is a priori locked into lines of predetermined length and syllabic count. The modern sensibility, just emerging in the immensely contradictory Victorian age, found the old constraints outmoded, archaic, and creatively stifling. It’s probably no coincidence, either, that at the same time, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson were at work creating American poetry, which assigned the Old World’s formalism into the drawing rooms of spinsters and school marms.
And so we begin Spring 2013 with what is for us a high note, welcoming the coming the return of New Life. We embrace the new experiences that await us, which are even now beginning their silent, perennial, and unobserved thrust into visibility. These starts and stops will finally morph into full fruition, and we shall be ever employed in the endless work of creating and re-creating our Selves. These experiences will come upon us as surprises — no “good,” no “bad” but simply a parade of occurrences each designed to teach us something specific. We need to be attentive to these life lessons. THE PLANET embraces this with a bear hug, accepting all and the All of all. Finally, then, brothers and sisters, we bring you Hopkins’ fabulous poem:



Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –         
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;         
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush         
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring         
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush         
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush         
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.         
What is all this juice and all this joy?         
   A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden. – Have, get, before it cloy,         
   Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,         
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,         
   Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.    
“The way a crow / Shook down on me / The dust of snow / From a hemlock tree / Has given my heart / A change of mood / And saved some part / of a day I had rued.”Robert Frost 


  1. Relax
    March 20, 2013 at 8:55 am #


    Not to be a schoolmarm, but any writer worth their salt knows the difference between “loath” and “loathe.” I’d double-check your last paragraph before the heading “Sprung Rhythm.”

    And, it’s “Schwab’s” Drugstore, not “Schwabb’s.”

    • danvalenti
      March 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      Thank you. We have made the corrections.

    • Joe Pinhead
      March 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

      At the end of the day it didn’t really matter to me if its “Schwabb’s” drugstore or “Schwab’s” drugstore I read the piece and asked myself if I was doing all I could on my own to leave my mark or was I counting on someone else to keep me afloat so to speak. I also thought that the timing was correct to think about how to focus my god given talents to be just a bit more self reliant. You know a little redirection and rededication in spring when all is new and fresh again. That’s what I took away from the piece. Besides at the end of the day I would much rather be a rite nice feller, than a rite nice speller any day.

      just sayin

      • danvalenti
        March 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

        Well, out of 1,305 words to that post, we got 1,303 correct. That’s a batting average of .999. That would probably win me the batting crown!

        • danvalenti
          March 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

          Also glad the piece made you think. I heard from a couple others today who expressed similar thoughts. Spring has always been a time for self-assessment and a re-doubling of efforts in pursuit of those things the soul must have. Glad you got something out of my Ode to Spring.

        • Joe Pinhead
          March 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

          Rumor has it when it’s your time to meet St Peter at the pearly gates it isn’t a spelling test you have to take.

          just sayin

  2. Pittsfield Pete
    March 20, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Attention: The Planet’s Complaint Department

    Dear Mr. Valenti

    I am writing to you in the hope that you can address a very serious issue within our little village of Polkaville. Within our sleepily little village, it has become apparent that your Tall Tales are having an adverse effect on all the established households and halls in our happy little valley. The tales you keep reporting on The Planet, which are all stranger than fiction and thus , just Tall Tales , are causing an enormous stain on the fearless leaders in our village.
    We would be appreciative if you would stop writing such Tall Tales and exciting all the Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski’s who reside in Polkaville. Their chatter and retelling of your Tall Tales result in an unbearable sound at night, it is a loud beating, not unlike the horrific drum beat of a beating heart. Of late, this sound, this unbearable heartbeat sound, keeps pounding a drum beat through the halls of our fine established houses, making any measure of sleep for our house’s inhabitants impossible.

    Thus, we kindly ask that you immediately cease filling the heads of all the little Kapanski folk in our village with your elaborate yarns. If you don’t stop, well, pretty soon, these little Kapanski folk will start believing your silly tales and may even begin thinking they can take charge of our town meetings, our schools, our city castle, and who knows what else. I am sure you can appreciate how foolish and dangerous it would be to us all to have the Kapanski folk believing they could rule our happy little valley.

    So Mr. Valenti, consider this due warning. Stop telling your stranger than fiction tales and get your Kapanski clan to get back to work and cease their mindless chatter. Our next action will not be so kind and your failure to to do as requested could result in you being charged in our kangaroo court and ultimately – hung, drawn and ‘Kinnased” in public.

    Yours Truly

    All Those In The Know

    • danvalenti
      March 20, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

      We have duly noted your complaints and have taken them up with our board.

  3. Pittsfield Pete
    March 20, 2013 at 9:10 am #


    Where would all be without your cunning , crafting, and detailed mastery of the English language. Thank goodness we can depend on you to make sure we don’t stray too far from the important issues being discussed here and by silly spelling errors. It would tragic for us all if the main message and content was overlooked while getting bogged down by an missing B or and extra E. Come to think of it- should I write ‘ an missing’ or ‘ a missing’ – I don’t know! Guess Relax will just have to edit for me.
    Thanks Relax , we sure would be lost without you.

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 9:20 am #


      The point, which you obviously missed, is that Dan spends oodles of time thumping his chest about what he’s published, how many articles he’s written, and what a masterful writer he is. Well, if words are his stock in trade, then he should know how to use them. And, he should refrain from putting up articles riddled with misspellings, poor syntax, and factual errors.

      Furthermore, your satire is as lousy as it is inane. Dan is not uncovering some heretofore hidden truths to show the local citizenry that they are being fleeced or that the local pols are corrupt. That’s a story as old as Tammany Hall. Indeed, it is quite an old story. This site is all ego all the time.

      • Scott
        March 20, 2013 at 10:27 am #

        Relax, I don’t agree with you (well maybe a little on Dan’s chest thumping…) but your post is great! Also Who cares if a man has accomplishments he doesn’t mind sharing with the world.

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 10:36 am #


          It’s Dan’s penchant for being “braggadocious” that irks me. After all, Rousseau wrote that: “The greatest braggarts are usually the biggest cowards.”

          Remember, Dan was all too happy to accept an award from Jimmy Ruberto. A true journalist would have politely declined. Again, it’s all ego all the time here.

          • Scott
            March 20, 2013 at 10:58 am #

            Relax I would welcome your take on subject matter here. Stick to things that hold weight and have relevance. even if Dan does inflate numbers he’s doing no harm as he’s not misleading potential advertisers like other media sources.

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

            We do not inflate the numbers. We have not given exact numbers because we are not selling ads. Newspapers, TV, and radio inflate more than the currency of Honduras.

          • Relax
            March 20, 2013 at 11:09 am #

            Well, any decent advertiser would ask for verification of those numbers before paying for space, yes? If you wanted to advertise on a website, wouldn’t you want to know the site’s metrics before parting with your money?

            Anyway, since the subject matter today is spring poetry, for a better spring poem is “The Wind Sings Welcome in Early Spring” by Carl Sandburg. And, a better Hopkins poem generally is “Pied Beauty.”

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

            When we open up to advertisers, we will share our numbers. The Sandberg poem is a good one and “Pied Beauty” a classic. I chose my selection because if is the lesser known. You a fan of Hopkins?

          • Pittsfield Pete
            March 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

            Oh the joys of Spring! How timely as a Spring begins to rise in Polkaville.

            Speaking of Poetry-

            “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
            Ye know on earth and all ye need to know.”
            John Keats

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

            In Feb 2008, he declared “Dan Valenti Day.” It came complete with a huge cash honorariu and a set of Davy Crockett iron ons.

      • danvalenti
        March 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

        Yes, corruption is as old as Tammany Hall, but the mainstream media in Pittsfield chooses not to “go there.” That has become part of the bread-and-butter of this site.

  4. Ron Kitterman
    March 20, 2013 at 9:18 am #

    I think it was Dusty, that had a question about the deadlines for Pittsfield 2013 election yesterday. Nomination papers are available May 1, for Mayor, City Clerk, School Committee , City Council at Large and the 7 Wards. The nomination papers have to be submitted for certification to the Registry of Voter by 5:00. The certified nomination papers then have to be submitted to the City Clerks office by August 20th for the September 24th Preliminary and the final election November 5th . If you’re satisfied with the way things are going and who the elected persons are then it’s easy just give them a vote or send in a donation to help them run a decent campaign. If you’re not totally satisfied run for one of the offices yourself and maybe you will be nominated and elected to lead the city forward, or work for a candidate you think can turn things around to your way of thinking.

  5. Joe Blow
    March 20, 2013 at 9:22 am #

    In other news…..the first art gallery is leaving north st.. I wonder if more will follow.

    • danvalenti
      March 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm #


      • In the know
        March 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

        Dan Why does this news please you?

        • Joe Blow
          March 21, 2013 at 3:52 am #

          Because anyone with half a brain knew Pittsfield was spending way too much time and effort on N. Street.

          • in the know
            March 21, 2013 at 6:37 am #

            Mr.Blow so because you disagreed with the Arts you would rather see them fail than succeed? [REMAINDER OF REMARK REDCATED BECAUSE OF PERSONAL INSULT]

  6. Mr. X
    March 20, 2013 at 9:31 am #


    Looks like you are one of those 3000 hits per day, everyday. How’s it feel to be just another number. You sound like one of those anti-Howard Stern people: They’re always bashing him yet listening to him everyday to see what they’re missing and what he’ll say next. Howard Valenti?

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 9:54 am #

      Leave it to a member of the kool-aid crowd to compare Valenti to Stern.

      Last June, iBerkshires reported that Valenti’s site averaged about 15 readers per day. My question to Dan, and it’s a reasonable one, is whether iBerkshires was wrong. Now, Dan claims to use wordpress. Well, wordpress offers a feature, for free, called Statcounter, which provides a hit counter, and other website stats. All Dan needs to do is take a screen shot of his “internal tabulator” and share it with us. If his daily numbers are substantiated by this, then so be it.

      But, there is a more fundamental problem, and that is the lack adherence to the basic tenets of journalism for nearly every article Valenti writes. For example, yesterday’s “story” about Mattoon was a farce. Dan mentions his “spies,” but never explains the reasons for their desire for anonymity. Journalists are supposed to identify sources whenever possible, and also should disclose the reasons for their sources remaining anonymous.

      Dan always teases stories, but seldom follows through. The recent “Attorney Wars” story comes to mind. I doubt Dan even bothered to go to the Courthouse to read the case files before penning the article. Then, he breathlessly promised some earth-shattering news only to never write about the subject again.

      So, you go right along believing that this site is all about looking out for the “little guy.” It is something else entirely.

      • Still wondering
        March 20, 2013 at 10:15 am #


      • Scott
        March 20, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        Relax, is it a possibility the numbers went up due to popularity since last June??? Answer yes or no.

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 10:40 am #

          Of course it’s possible, but Dan will not respond to the simple question whether iBerkshires was wrong in its reporting about his site’s traffic. And, his statements about his “hits” are just that: statements. There is no verification. Nor do I expect any verification to be forthcoming.

          It’s sort of like the Red Sox claiming that their “sold out” streak was alive and well last season. We all know the truth about that, don’t we?

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

            Is that all you want? Gosh, yes. iBerkshires was wrong in reporting about THE PLANET’s web site. They were off by thousands.

        • danvalenti
          March 20, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

          The publicity from our court victory, which made national news, doubled the traffic to the site. Many were curious just about the First Amendment aspects of the case and they were ad hoc, but surprisingly many stayed on, judging by the spike which because a mesa.

      • danvalenti
        March 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

        Yes, iBerkshire was wrong.

  7. tito
    March 20, 2013 at 10:29 am #


  8. Scott
    March 20, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    “We wanted to be able to go into a library in any city and look ourselves up in the card catalog.”

    Dan, you can longer do that isn’t it a shame??? The guy at the library laughed at me when I asked them to direct me to them and inquired where they went. Also I almost googled “Elemenohpee” then I remembered singing the alphabet.

    Thanks for your effort in your writings as they pertain to politics. One doesn’t have to agree to everything you say to benefit from this site and I don’t think you would want a following that did.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    Google the legendary Sampson P. Ullman.

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      Jeesh, you’d think Dan could get his professor’s name right. His name was “Samson O.A. Ullman.”

      • AMBROSE
        March 20, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

        Ah cyberspace, you can’t fake anything.

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

          Ullman must have meant quite a bit to Valenti, eh Ambrose? All these years, he thought his name was Sampson.

          • Magic
            March 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

            To Relax

            You should.

            I for one read this column every day and have had my eyes opened to the comings and goings on in this town.

            And may I ask, if you don’t ever like the content why are you here?

            Thank you Dan

          • Relax
            March 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

            To Magic,

            I’m perfectly calm, but thanks for your concern. And, I do sometimes find articles here informative, but the sloppiness, innuendo, incompleteness, and lack of balance with which those articles are often imbued warrant criticism.

            For instance, Dan did a decent job with the Meredith Nilan matter, but that too degenerated into a whisper campaign about Cliff Nilan’s alleged influence, pathetic insinuations about provocative pictures of M. Nilan that Dan supposedly saw, and farcical speculation about the power of the so-called Pittsfield Mafia to kill stories and cover things up. Carmen Massmiano, Angelo Stracuzzi, and Cliff Nilan have all been humiliated by their own conduct.
            They did themselves in. Valenti had no role in ferreting out their misdeeds.

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

            Then why worry about it, R?

  10. Mr. X
    March 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm #


    You have single handedly taken over this comment section, talk about tooting your own horn and chest pounding, you are the new king of the jungle. Wake up dude, the pixs of M. Nilan are very real, and on the cell phones of just about every guy in Pittsfield. She is a very beautiful girl.

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

      I understand they’re real, but why would you admit to looking at photos of someone sent around by a jilted boyfriend? That’s rather creepy of you, isn’t it?

  11. Mr. X
    March 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    You seem to know more about it with the boyfriend story, now that’s creepy. Maybe you’re the boyfriend, creep.

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

      Now you’re resorting to juvenile, personal attacks. How utterly predictable. I surmise thar the reason you’re looking at those pictures is because you can’t get the real thing.

      • danvalenti
        March 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

        Come come, sir. “I surmise thar the reason …” We assume you mean “that.”
        See how easy it is. In 25 words or less, you have a typo. Try pumping out 1,000-2,000 words daily and see.
        Also, you’re right about personal attacks, but then you commence in launching one yourself. “How utterly predictable.”

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

          There is a difference between a typo and not understanding the difference between loath and loathe. And then, you respond to “Mr. X” in a silly, mocking tone.

          Plus, you got the name of your favorite professor wrong. Come on, Dan!

          • danvalenti
            March 20, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

            We know the difference in what the “e” does to the word, R. You have to realize, though, that in cranking out a 1,000 to 2,000 word column on a daily basis, there is bound to be the occasional slip-up. Try doing it sometime, and you shall see. Also keep in mind that THE PLANET makes up only a small portion of our professional plate and none of where our moolah presently appears from the money tree. We’ve got a screenplay in its nascent stages, a couple of book projects, and more. We do thank you for pointing out the mistakes. We went back and corrected them.

  12. Mr. X
    March 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    10 and counting!!

    • danvalenti
      March 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Relax has found his 15 minutes of fame!

  13. Joe Pinhead
    March 20, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    The Planet did the correct thing by not publishing the Nilan pictures I find it simply amazing someone would allow themselves (ok themselves and Mr. Bubble) to be photographed like that.
    I am sorry but please explain to me how Angelo was not exposed (no pun intended) years before he was finally outed? Is it not reasonable to believe that as part of his bonding and reporting requirements from the credit union the underwriters of his Surety would have notified the board? Is it not reasonable to think that would trigger a rate increase in the bond? I find it hard to believe that no one at the Credit Union in terms of the Board of directors knew anything? Am I also supposed to think that not a whisper of this fell on a single ear in the local media and they failed to do due diligence? The entire Nilan case went to court and freedom of speech was turned on its head for 15 people? As one of the “15” I am thankful Dan stood his ground and held firmly to his beliefs.
    Dan does the community a service by posting every day, he provides us with a place we can see things from a unique perspective free and clear from the fear of someone pulling their advertising monies should he offend someone in a story, or say something that exposes the wrong person. He allows us the space to throw in our 2 cents worth agree or disagree. Your thoughts are posted I could only wonder if the BB would allow you to talk about them in the same manner and publish it?
    At the end of the day we all read each other’s comments agree with them or disagree with them. He has allowed us the prospective of a wide range of inputs with few requirements. 1 Have a valid e-mail address 2 be respectful of each other and advance the discussion. Is that to much to ask?

    Just sayin

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      Well, it’s all just speculation as to the reasons why Stracuzzi hung around as long as he did. He obviously didn’t inform the Board as he should have. Nilan knew about it and said nothing. But, then the Eagle broke the story in May 2010, and Stracuzzi and Nilan were gone a month later.

      And, of course Dan shouldn’t have published the pictures. No one should. It’s creepy and voyeuristic. Dan shouldn’t be applauded for doing the right thing.

      • Scott
        March 20, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

        Relax you may need a twelve step program as well… 😉

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

          Care to explain that, Scotty?

          • Scott
            March 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

            Thought you were someone else if you were you’d get it.

      • Joe Pinhead
        March 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

        Yes, when the story broke that was the end and that’s in part what’s wrong. Angelo went into schools on a routine basis both with and without the Mayor and other officials should this have been looked into for potential wrong doing? What was the age of those 2 boys if I recall they were either teens or younger at any rate school age. Nilan as you say” knew” what is his duty to the community and his duty as a peace officer or an officer of the court? Is it all ok because they were dismissed from a credit union? I would say at the least there is a lapse of judgment on the mans part. Would any other member of the community have been afforded the same considerations from Nilan as Stracuzzi was? That’s the only real question and if you answer no then there are a million things wrong. And I’m not going to believe that the secret existed solely between Nilan and Angelo for 5 years I just don’t think that’s possible others had to know but kept quite to protect Angelo. Yes that is speculation but I also don’t feel a need to put my hand in every fire to be certain it’s hot.

        Just sayin

        • In the know
          March 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

          Relax. You should run for Mayor! Great info today!

        • Relax
          March 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

          Well, it’s reasonable to conclude that other employees in Nilan’s office knew of Stracuzzi’s criminal case from Maine. But, they obviously weren’t compelled to spill the beans. And, it’s likely that reporters heard some things, but obviously didn’t investigate the matter right away.

          As I recall, there were two incidents, and the boys were between 15-17 years old. It’s obvious that Stracuzzi was out cruising, and got busted for it. The DA in Maine pled it down to a criminal mischief charge. Angelo was buddies with Cliff, and he went to Cliff and asked him to keep it quiet, which Cliff did. Now, as a Board member, Cliff should have demanded that Angelo disclose it to the Board or Cliff would do so himself. But, that did not happen. Still, whenever you hear the names Stracuzzi or Nilan, you immediately think of this sordid business. It will follow the both of them for the rest of their lives. That, in its own way, is a special form of punishment.

          So, while it may be interesting to speculate over the motivations of these individuals, the episode really had no affect on any members of the credit union in so far as their accounts are concerned. Certainly, GFCU took a hit to its reputation, but that’s all it was. Most people don’t while away their time ruminating over the fate of a local bank president.

          • Joe Pinhead
            March 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

            I agree most people don’t worry about a credit union president; my concern comes from Cliff who holds a position of public trust and also sits on public boards and commissions which opens up his judgment to public discussion. Why he didn’t do what many consider the honorable thing and tell Angelo either you tell the board or I will is open to public speculation as is what did he have to lose if he did speak out. Fair questions then add to it a few months later his daughter hitting a deer that morphed into a pedestrian as quick as she tried to morph into the victim She was then given a hearing by the magistrate that was promptly over turned by a judge and retried in a court after delays for missing paperwork, however thankfully Cliff homesteaded his house protecting himself. Pretty soon some would say that there is a bit of a pattern developing here and we might not want to place all of our trust into our elected and appointed officials. If you would like to cap it all off you can throw in the DA and his handling of a case in which a kid sells a joint and he prosecutes it like the kid is public enemy number one but says little to nothing in the Nilan-Moore case. Need I reach back further and exam the entire railroading of an innocent man by the power structure putting him in jail for over 20 years? What were they hiding? Or am I supposed to think all is on the up and up and I should trust everyone in a position of authority?
            One has to wonder if summoned to Jury duty which set of laws do I apply? The ones for the connected read GOBS or the laws that pertain to the rest of us? I suggest you ask when you go to jury duty to be sure.
            Humm I wonder why the Planet is so popular? Any idea?

            just sayin

        • danvalenti
          March 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

          Stracuzzi and Nilan got the GOB treatment all the way. The BB had a reporter who defied his bosses and went after the story: Conor Berry. They canned him shortly thereafter, on orders. They can can us. We are unbought, accept by our own sweat equity, and unbossed, except by ourselves.

    • danvalenti
      March 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Appreciate it, Joe P.

      • dusty
        March 21, 2013 at 1:53 am #

        Well said Joe. You nailed it.

  14. Ron Kitterman
    March 20, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    No wonder the Planet is getting so many hits on his site Relax scored more points from the 3 pt line than the top seed teams of the final 4 combined….

    • Relax
      March 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Anything I can do to increase the Planet’s visibility, I’ll do it.

  15. tito
    March 20, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    Relax could be used by the purple sage and bozo also.

  16. Rivetor
    March 20, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    DV excellent piece today. The writing is superb, beautiful. It’s so good I have emailed this to my relatives across the country. Thank you for pointing out the magic of spring. Too bad some jealous small minded people want to ruin it for the rest of us but you know what, it didn’t happen! Your writing prevails.

  17. Gene
    March 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    Dan, did you pay “relax” to get it going? Normally you got to pay someone for that kind of publicity. He’s giving you a lot of power if he’s that riled by your beautiful piece today.

    Id like to point out this to people: DV can’t even give us a day without politics and all about beauty and appreciation without his jealous (borrowing a perfect word of “Rivetor”) critics going all ape s–t. Thats why he’s the most powerful guy in the city right now

  18. Gene
    March 20, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    Meant to write: I’d like. and That’s why. Forgot the apostrophes, just in case some nut wants to distract everyone from my message by pointing out nonsensical irrelevancies. That’s what an obviously fearful person did today to DV. Mentioned a typo and created a big puff ball, which the rest of us popped with the needle of truth.

    • FPR
      March 21, 2013 at 4:55 am #


      Excellent comment. Yes Dan Valenti, the most dangerous man in Pittsfield politics. How do you bring him down to his knees? Point out his spelling mistakes to nullify his message.

      If Dan get this viciously attacked over a simple article about the beauty of spring time, what is the “real agenda” here?

      I think Dan has a real shot at becoming mayor and the good ole boys know it. Point out his spelling typos and try to make it look like no one reads his articles. Its quite obvious whats going on here.

  19. dusty
    March 21, 2013 at 1:57 am #

    Dan, interesting article today in the BB concerning the Lenox schools. How utterly different they see things when it comes to funding schools.

  20. Ron Kitterman
    March 21, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    Speaking of schools did you catch the story about the middle school prinicipal that canceled the honors assembly ?

    • danvalenti
      March 21, 2013 at 7:32 am #

      This one epitomizes the “best of intentions” social engineering meddling that goes on in the name of public education. It’s part of the “bubble children” phenomenon. Society has become so afraid for “The Children” that it is robbing them of a well-roundedexperience of life. As they will all find out later, not everyone is “honors.” Not everyone is good at everything. Failure teaches well.

  21. Mr. X
    March 21, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Fame, makes a man think things over.
    Fame, lets him loose, hard to swallow.
    Fame, puts you there where things are hollow.

  22. tito
    March 21, 2013 at 8:25 am #

    What is the alternative to the Planet? WBRK lite? Consider this? Megan and Barry on a channel with no reception? Valenti is the only game in town.

  23. tito
    March 21, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    ,,,,,,reception is optional on the latter.