Article

‘WADEGATE’ HAS LEGS ALL WEEKEND … WADE’S ENCOUNTER WITH BIANCHI FORCES UNEASY BUT NEEDED DISCUSSION OF RACE IN PITTSFIELD …

By DAN VALENTI

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JUNE 3, 2013) — Typically, the weekend lull works its way onto THE PLANET, because readers know that, in all likelihood, there will be no fresh content. Oh, a breaking story or a news flash will get us writing on the weekend, but more often than not, we are content to watch Friday’s story playing out like the fade of a long-playing record. The long piano chord that marks the final audible sound of The Beatles‘ “Sgt. Pepper” album (there’s a dog whistle after that) comes to mind.

In the case of Doreen Wade vs. Dan Bianchi, however, nearly regular traffic found its way here over the weekend. This tells us that Wade’s story has hit a nerve. The story of her contentions of “racist” treatment in the corner office from Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi has acted like a dentist’s probe. It struck a cavity — the nature of which isn’t clear. Was there an over-reaction because an assertive woman of color came into town to challenge  a long-simmering understanding that blacks shall forever be second-class citizens in Shire City? Is that it? Do we dare disturb the universe or eat a peach?

Have Wade and Bianchi Forced Pittsfield to Have a Long Overdue Discussion of Race?

Blacks comprise about 7% of the city’s population, roughly half the percentage of African-Americans nationwide (roughly just under or at 3,000 in a city population of a little more than 40,000). There’s no question in Pittsfield that people of color tend to be the Invisible Man types that Ralph Ellison wrote about so brilliantly in the novel of that name.  The question is why?

Wade’s contentious public introduction to the city has, if nothing else, forced discussion of that very question. Have Doreen Wade and Dan Bianchi inadvertently moved Pittsfield to confront a racial attitude that would, from a Caucasian standpoint, appear more safe and comfortable set in 1953 as opposed to 2013? Is that a possible silver lining here?

Also, would it not make sense for these two to make a joint public appearance, discuss the case, and see if rapproachment can be found. 

When she indirectly put the question to Bianchi in the form of her aspirations to move her website and business, The New England Informer, to Pittsfield, Wade not only didn’t like the answers. They flat out shocked her. Local mainstream media (read: “Old and tired” daily newspaper and radio) whiffed completely on the story. The Berkshire Eagle hasn’t said a peep about it, and what passes for news at the toothless local radio stations followed suit.

The Pittsfield Gazette published a small digest of Wadegate on May 16, burying it on page 7. On that same date, The Berkshire Beacon ran a much longer story, the accuracy of which Wade has questioned, particularly the Beacon‘s portrayal of Bianchi. Both papers at least ran something rather than nothing, however, and THE PLANET credits them for that. The fact remains, though, that only THE PLANET has dared to more fully investigate this disagreeable case, listening carefully and with interest in Wade’s version. We have given Bianchi the same opportunity, but he has declined comment, leaving us to get “his side” in an alternate way.

In THE PLANET’s coverage of this story, we have well served the public at large, as the vibrant discussion on Wadegate on this website illustrates.

—————————————————————————————–

 WADE OFFERS COMMENTARY OF PLANET’S COVERAGE AND SOME OF THE RESPONSES

[EDITOR'S NOTE: THE PLANET has three times tried to solicit comment from Mayor Dan Bianchi, who has yet to respond. We shall, of course, be glad to meet with the mayor at any time or give him his free use of THE PLANET's space for us to publish his side of the events at issue in Wadegate].

MEDFORD BUSINESSWOMAN SAYS SHE ENCOUNTERED ‘RACIST STATEMENTS, INSULTING COMMENTS TOWARD BLACKS’ FROM MAYOR BIANCHI

Editorial Commentary
Doreen Wade

June 3, 2013

My story begins. Since I have already worked with different Mayors in the state (Springfield, Boston, Medford) when I wanted to begin to work in the Pittsfield area, I followed suit. Why did I chose Pittsfield? Well I had already started connecting with business people and leaders in Springfield, and since I was going to bring my mother back to her hometown, I thought it would be nice to work with the Mayor of Pittsfield. I wanted him to be a part of my business.

I did not know the Mayor nor have I had any dealings with him, but working with leaders has always been an accomplishment of my business, The New England Informer (NEI). I contacted Mayor Bianchi, set up an appointment, met with him, and encountered racist statements, anger, insulting comments toward blacks in Pittsfield, degrading images of blacks in Pittsfield ,and a rejection of my business coming specifically to Pittsfield — also no funding or assistance for a black-owned business relocating to Pittsfield, as there is for other businesses who have relocated there.

So I spoke out. After I spoke out, here is what I have encountered from certain self-proclaimed representatives of Pittsfield. These comments came following from an article written about me on a blog called PLANET VALENTI. See below:

[EDITOR'S NOTE: WADE THEN PICKS SEVERAL OF THE COMMENTS OFFERED ON THE PLANET AFTER OUR STORY]

 —– 00 —–

Pittsfield Response:

In the know

May 31, 2013 at 10:01 am #

Sorry Dan this story sounds totally fake. I’m no Bianchi fan but it sounds like she’s looking for some cash to make this go away.

Pittsfield Response:

Joe Blow

May 31, 2013 at 10:38 am #

I agree why would you need to talk to the mayor to move a blog? Sounds like she went looking for money and was turned away. So the race card gets thrown and in comes the NAACP. A lawsuit will soon follow.

Pittsfield Response:

Still wondering

May 31, 2013 at 10:14 am #

Somehow the word “shakedown” comes to mind.

Pittsfield Response:

Mark Smith

May 31, 2013 at 10:49 am #

Dan,

I am very disappointed in your story. This story sounds entirely bogus. If I were the mayor and your story accused me of racism, I wouldn’t respond to you either.

Do some homework, Dan. Here is how Ms. Wade treated members of the Medford City Council a few years ago. It seems that she was on the city TV board and the council called the board before them because of an explicit show run on public tv.

This woman seems to be out looking for fights.

Pitttsfield Response:  

Scott

May 31, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

Well she want’s to move to be closer to family and all that is fine and dandy but it does seem she wants to do it on someone else s dime but got turned down. A white politician in the Berkshires with politically incorrect terminology not understanding why “we ain’t got no affirmative action lady blacks are uneducated (I mean why would they be anything but in an environment like PPS) generally speaking we have no need for your kind” no way not here in the Berkshires! :)

Pittsfield Response:

Mark Smith

May 31, 2013 at 4:38 pm # 

Sorry Dan,

I think you are wrong. It sounds to me that if Ms. Wade doesn’t get her way, she will play any card to her advantage. 

In my opinion, you are furthering her agenda, whatever it may be.

Once again, if I were the mayor and saw your posting, I would not respond.

Pittsfield Response:

Wilson

May 31, 2013 at 10:56 am #

Don’t think this issue has much play in an area without a lot of victim blacks or white elitists who make a show of pitying unfortunates. She should have said that he groped her.

Pittsfield Response:

Sal Bando

May 31, 2013 at 11:19 am #

Dan, perhaps your sleuthing should include an admission of not knowing Ms. Wade and your not having investigated her previous claims in other locals rather than posting hurtful assumptions about someone you know and grew up with.

Pittsfield Response:

FPR

May 31, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

I dunno, maybe if Al Sharpton is not too busy he can take a ride over from Albany with his megaphone and stand on the steps of the old post office in Ms. Wade’s behalf.

Making it a high profile case should substantially increase the settlement where he can then skim off 50% of the booty.

Pittsfield Response

tito

May 31, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

Anita Hill, where are you?

—– 00 —–

[EDITOR's NOTE: WADE NOW ADDRESSES SOME OF THE COMMENTS]

Now I do not consider myself a genius, but one thing I do know is my situation is not like Anita Hill. I did not bring up anything having to do with sexual harassment. Which brings me to the person who said “She should have said he groped her.” So are these people saying that lying is the way?   I should lower myself to stoop to lying about some type of sexual incidents? Is that what goes on in the City of Pittsfield?

And then we have the voice who said I should go to Al Sharpton. Is Mr. Sharpton the only recognized speaker for the black community? Why would anyone in Pittsfield want to make a suggestion to have someone come in to their city? And then to bring in money and a lawsuit.

Many of the good people of Pittsfield seem to think that this is about taking money and running. Is this how these individuals get their money and glory? I don’t know. I have been working for free for so may years on various community boards and with my volunteering in the community. I didn’t know that caring for your family, friends, and your neighbors was based on the almighty dollar. I thought the only thing almighty was GOD.

And since so many people want to talk about the fight, let’s look at the one brought up by one individual in Pittsfield who heard about my fight while I served on the Medford Board of TV 3. This person neglected to get the story right. I fought my own members of the Medford Board , thereby protecting the community of Medford. My life was threatened and my home was terrorized by Board Members, because I would not agree with what they did. I stood before the City Council, which is on tape, and spoke for the Community. The Mayor of Medford had to get the City’s legal department to defend and protect me. The Mayor became involved when he found Board members put up on the Internet racial and threatening words of death and the use of the “N” and the “B” word. But I guess the person who brought this out forgot to talk about that part. And there is a record of it in the Mayor’s office in Medford.

When did standing up and putting your life on the line for the Community become a bad thing?  And is this person saying that he approves of what TV 3 Board members did and the other things they did by harassing the gay community, having over 20-50 court cases against them, having to have people in the community put out restraining orders, having the City Council of Medford hire a judge to investigate them. And at no time was I involved. Maybe it isn’t my values that need to be questioned if people can use these types of people to discredit me.

If these are the opinions of people in the Pittsfield Community, maybe it is time for a racial communication and discussion. Maybe people want me to shut up and look bad, so they can keep it business as usual. And what business is that?

What are people afraid of in Pittsfield? Could it be when you walk through the City Hall, you do not see a single black employee? Could it be because there is an Affirmative Action policy that is not implemented? You tell me how long it has been sitting? Is it because when blacks go for teaching jobs, they cannot get one? These are not my rantings, as people want to say; these are the cold hard facts, seen when you visit and walk up and down the streets of Pittsfield. Look at the facts — there are more black people getting put in prison in Pittsfield than graduating. When back in the Oprah days she said on national television and stated, the best place to get drugs is Pittsfield MA (*Note:  that is not a myth, it is a fact).  If you go through the Pittsfield Cemetery there are so many black people buried from the years of drug usage. Walk through the streets. You see more blacks are unemployed at an astonishing rate. Where your Mayor publicly announces he doesn’t know if there is an Affirmative Action Policy. Well how does he set programs and policies for blacks, gays, Veterans, disabled persons, minorities, women, and so many more who fall under this category?

But what is worse, I hold my head up high and speak out openly while many of those who have written their opinions hide behind false names on blogs. Is it because they cannot stand by what they say, or they are ashamed to speak out in the open? I know I can. I am proud of who I am and I make no excuses or hide from what I say or who I say it about.

I was put in a bad situation by comments that were not befitting a political leader [Bianchi], and I believe I have the right as a woman, a black, a person, and a human being to protect those who cannot protect theirselves. And I would like to meet one person of any other race, nationality or faith who if they walked into a black political leader’s office and he began to degrade, defame and insult racially, religiously, economically or any other way about a Community they loved and believed in, would turn their head to a blind eye and not fight those ugly words.

And if any one of these people who wrote these interesting and anonymous comments through the veil of a blog, would have not fought for their families, their friends, their neighbors and their community, then there must be something wrong with me.

I have to continue on and hold my head up high, because I know it is going to get worse. However, as Ghandi said:

First they ignore you,

Then they laugh at you.

Then they fight you,

Then you win

Well here I am in the middle of the fight and the win. But the understanding that many people are missing is not that I, Doreen Wade, will win anything, but that the people of Pittsfield will win because the struggle will be for the good, it will open people’s eyes, minds and hearts and together we will make a “CHANGE”.

 ——— 00000 ———

That concludes Wade’s editorials.

As always, we invite your comments.

————————————————————————————-

“I never spoke with God / Nor visited in heaven. / Yet certain am I of the spot / As if the checks were given.”Emily Dickinson

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

53 Responses to “‘WADEGATE’ HAS LEGS ALL WEEKEND … WADE’S ENCOUNTER WITH BIANCHI FORCES UNEASY BUT NEEDED DISCUSSION OF RACE IN PITTSFIELD …”

  1. Mark Smith
    June 3, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Dan,

    If you recall – here is what Doreen replied to my comment above:

    From Doreen
    June 1, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Since everyone is so anxious to accuse me of wanting a lawsuit, my Private Investigator who is a white, gay woman from the Western Part of Massachusetts, yes up your way saw this and decided to find out who you are. She should be getting to you within the week to find out where you got the Board information, how you got your information. As I said previously I helped the city, the council and the board, you have your story wrong and I will enjoy sitting down and talking to you so you can get all your facts before you send out any false and slanderous information. Thank you so much. Look forward to meeting you.
    —————————————————-

    She is accusing me of slander? How? And now will have me investigated by her white gay investigator?

    If she responded to my comment in this inappropriate fashion, I can only imagine how she spoke to our mayor. I cannot believe you continue to further her agenda.

    • teecha teecha
      June 3, 2013 at 7:01 am #

      Welcome to Liberal America. Nothing like a white, gay woman to set things straight (pun intended). I’m not saying that Doreen is trying for a lawsuit, but her argument that by having another minority (double minority.. female and gay) as a means of proving she isn’t gung ho for a discrimination lawsuit is ludicrous. I have trouble believing that the mayor would sit in his office and say such things without any kind of remorse KNOWING what the political impact and consequences would be.

      I think people are just too damn sensitive and tend to read into things too harshly, especially minorities (I am part of a minority group myself) Call me what you will, Doreen seems out for blood because she didn’t get what she wanted. No blacks in city hall? are you sure any even applied? Maybe they weren’t qualified in comparison to the others. This isn’t the presidency where you get the job based on your skin color, not your qualifications

      • Mr.G1188
        June 4, 2013 at 5:41 am #

        Wow…stunning…”get the job based on skin color…” and you don’t think perhaps there’s a BIT of a racism problem round these parts? I suppose the president is shif’less and lazy and likes to eat watermelon before picking cotton too Teecha? Holy cats…you sure didn’t do anything to advance your argument there big fella!

        • levitan
          June 4, 2013 at 7:05 am #

          I suppose the president is shif’less and lazy and likes to eat watermelon before picking cotton too Teecha?

          TT didn’t say that – straw man argument.

          • teecha teecha
            June 4, 2013 at 8:00 am #

            Thank you Levitan. How is having an opinion that the president was elected based on his skin color racist? Claiming he doesn’t qualify based on his skin color would be. Also, It’s not racist to admit that Barack Obama had zero qualifications for the office that he holds; as he is very much so proving these days.

            All that was left was the overwhelming feeling of goodness people felt by electing the first black president.

        • joetaxpayer
          June 4, 2013 at 9:13 am #

          Would Obama won if he was white? Great question, I personally think he would of had a tough time getting elected. Does that make me racist?

    • Scott
      June 3, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      Using the Planets search feature to find this phrase DV coined “trifecta minority” that’s what’s coming after you ha, ha I wonder if Ms. Wade would consider that label insensitive and racist.

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      MARK
      Thanks for the response.I assure you, though, that I am not “furthering her agenda.” I am simply reporting and commenting on a situation.

  2. FPR
    June 3, 2013 at 4:34 am #

    My comment about Al Sharpton was somewhat sarcastic. When she brought in the NAACP and her gay white investigator it was not much of stretch to bring in Al Sharpton as this is right up his alley and I’m sure he would have no objections to furthering this agenda.

    Although Al has moved on and is busy with his TV/radio career, both he and his mentor, the honorable Jessie Jackson have made a career out of knowing how to file papers in racial discrimination lawsuits throughout the country. This has been quite lucrative for these men and this case would be in line with his roots.

    However if Ms. Wade is being truthful in saying she has no monetary interests here and will not sue the city for racial discrimination, then my apologies for making this sarcastic stretch of my imagination.

    Ms. Wade, I wish you and your business success in your move to Pittsfield. This country has a black President and a black Governor who even lives in the area. Although the racial divides are there, this country has come a long way. Perhaps you can take out papers and run against mayor Bianchi yourself. I’d say you have a pretty good chance of winning and beating him at his own game.

    • Shakes His Head
      June 3, 2013 at 7:45 am #

      My Irish Setter would have a good chance of defeating Bianchi.

    • Scott
      June 3, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      She misread greed and the willingness to only give handouts to the connected as racism.

      • Mr.G1188
        June 4, 2013 at 5:43 am #

        Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! We have a WINNERRRR!!

      • outfox
        June 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

        Scott! That’s totally it, too. When I was in high school a few towns over Pittsfield retailers would not hire you even if you outshone a local kid, just would. not. happen. So I agree, it’s not racism but provincialism at play here. That said, however, I do have to say that I lived many years in the deep south where the racism was overt and institutionalized in many areas of life, and it was still LESS racist than PIitsfield. I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear the “N” word ’round these parts, or go to a house party with both black and white Pittfsield residents, who have all known each other since way back, played on the same teams, everyone sitting around like old friends do, and as soon as the black guests leave, it’s all “Can you believe that “n”…” did, said,fill in the blank. I’ve been surprised by friends of mine who are liberal to the nth degree coming out using the “n’ word. Hate to say this Pittsfield, but it ain’t just one of you, it most of you doing this. So I believe Ms. Wade likely ran into that as well, and faced a double barrier to her business. I am white, not that that’s even relevant to this discussion.

  3. acheshirecat
    June 3, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    My only question is why wasn’t she simply welcomed to Pittsfield? The mayor could have just said welcome to Pittsfield and directed her to one of the many so called non profit business incubators. Isn’t that what they are there for. Where is the Chamber, 1Berkshire, Downtown inc., Berkshire Works ,ect..

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      A reasonable questions, CAT.

  4. debbie
    June 3, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    I smell a rat!………..

  5. Shakes His Head
    June 3, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Interesting to read a bunch of white males complaining about someone using a “card”. I’m sure since they’ve been persecuted and discriminated against for centuries they are experts in the situation. Typical New England passive bigotry.

    • Scott
      June 3, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      That was the point of my comment I was supposed to follow it up but wrote it poorly with the fact that a racist statement can be made by a white politician in Berkshire county with out him actually understanding that it’s a racist statement. I’m a white male business owner and I wouldn’t think of asking the city for money. You want to move a business here do it with your own money that’s the only way you’re going to really contribute to this community. Otherwise you’re just a leech like every other not for profit federally protected enterprise that stays afloat relying on gov’t handouts. It would be nice to get some other business contributing to the tax burden that continues to increase year after year. Also my other comment said I don’t know about racism but the mayors office is combative and defensive against anyone that questions their motives or decisions.

    • teecha teecha
      June 3, 2013 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks for assuming we are all white males. Narrow minded much?

      • Shakes His Head
        June 4, 2013 at 6:23 am #

        I should have also assumed that if you are a teacher in the Berkshires, then you are a middle aged Caucasian woman that has difficulty constructing complete sentences.

  6. The Kraken
    June 3, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    If the gov’t would just stop giving grants, subsidies, non-profit status, and underserving tax breaks (think Spice here), etc. to the private sector, none of this stuff would ever happen.
    Since when is it the gov’t's role to finance the private sector? If a business can’t run on its own, then it should not run at all.

    • Scott
      June 3, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      I agree with that but if her claims of racism have validity that needs to be looked into for sure. All jokes aside we are not racist bigots here like Degnan would have you believe I hope the mayor uses private counsel to defend him against the allegations…

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      KRAKEN
      Precisely. In a (so-called) capitalistic (so-called) democracy, it is not government’s job to engineer an economy, which it does attempting to produce false outcomes using public money for private business.

  7. Joe Blow
    June 3, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    I would like to know what Bianchi allegedly said exactly. The only problem for me is at the first meeting there were only two people in that office. So how can we ever know the truth? I’m not a fan of Bianchi,he’s a GOB just like the rest of them. If Doreen was wronged the I hope she goes after him.

  8. dc
    June 3, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    What I find interesting is the incoherent dribble in MS. Wade’s postings here compared to the editorial above. Which is the real Ms. Wade? If I were faced with the ranting, self promoting, name dropping, never making a point Ms. Wade apparent in her responses on this blog, I would want to get her the hell out of my office in a hurry!

    I’m not a huge fan of Dan Bianchi as mayor but I don’t believe for a second that it is in his character to treat someone as shabbily as Ms. Wade claims.

    Ms. Wade is clearly a person that shakes things up and makes things happen. I suspect this is quite often good for the people she champions. However, this looks like an attempt to shake things up more than anything of substance.

    • Scott
      June 3, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Can you imagine the suspense when she axed Beanchi why no African Americans held positions in city hall? He should have just guided her across the street and to the county jail there are plenty of positions held by African Americans as well as other minorities in tax payer funded jobs. There just doesn’t happen to be in city hall. I never knew 3% was the number of African Americans in Pittsfield seems pretty small and if true Bianchi had grounds in the statement that her service wasn’t a necessity. Maybe they really are trying to get business in here to create jobs as opposed to people looking for grants. There are links to grants on Mass.gov and Pittsfields website with downloadable documents anyone can obtain and apply for.

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks, dc.

  9. Joe Pinhead
    June 3, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    This whole thing begs a million questions at a minimum
    Is it standard protocol for the Mayor to meet with any person wishing to do business here in the City? Does the Mayor or his secretary not relegate this appointment to the proper department heads so the proper background information can be collected as to better help the Mayor develop meaningful questions and dialog with Ms Wade? I can only wonder if this thought went through her head Mr. Armitage didn’t complete any paperwork met with the then Mayor hat in hand and walked out with a bucket of cash how will I fare.
    Shouldn’t the Mayors then secretary have provided Ms Wade with a number of avenues and items to be completed before the meeting? Ms. Wade points out on any number of occasions the Mayors, Governors and Senators she has worked with and she submitted nothing in writing in advance? Really?
    Or was this done? If so this should be a matter of public record would Ms Wade care to post it so we can see the information that was provided? If the proper procedure was followed would the Mayor be in this spot? Think about it if all the background information was submitted and reviewed a logical assumption would be that at least one member of staff would be present to help understand what was both being proposed and requested. As well as where it fits in the guidelines for the grant or if it fits at all.
    Ms Wades question should be why was my request for funds denied? The answer would be very simple and straight forward your request was denied because you don’t employee enough people or the grant requires blah blah the issue would be resolved.
    Does Ms Wade or her investigator ever tell us the taxpayers what her request to us was? Whats her case here? She didn’t like the answer thanks but no thanks? I am not a fan of the Mayor at all but I don’t think he is a racist in the least.
    I find it interesting to say the least she openly admits to hiring an investigator to do a back ground search on a post from a blog what does she hope to find that someone expressed an opinion regarding her claims? Geez that will be earth shattering wouldn’t it?
    What does working with the Mayor of Boston really mean? Can it be said I worked with the former Mayor on his code enforcement once a week by cutting my grass and keeping it under the 6 inch requirement?

    Just sayin
    Or am I missing something here? is it for the children?

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

      JOE
      Great analysis.
      Like you, I am private sector all the way. You want to start a business? Fine. Put up the risk capital and reap either the rewards or the losses. Of course, that is not the way Big Government does it, and after years of handing away the store to assorted fly-by-nighters (EV Worldwide, Workshop Live! and the tedious like), it’s a wonder we don’t have many more requests for Big Government (and as you know, the powers that be in Pittsfield are Big Gs) for our, taxpayers’, bucks. Always a pleasure to read your insights.

  10. GMHeller
    June 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,
    Neither PlanetValenti nor any of the other articles reprinted here make clear just why Ms. Wade needed to have an audience with Mayor Bianchi.
    The answer, though, comes via Ms. Wade’s own commentary. According to Ms. Wade:
    “I thought it would be nice to work with the Mayor of Pittsfield. I wanted him to be a part of my business.”
    “…..working with leaders has always been an accomplishment of my business, The New England Informer (NEI).”
    “I contacted Mayor Bianchi, set up an appointment, met with him, and encountered …… a rejection of my business coming specifically to Pittsfield — also no funding or assistance….”

    So here, from Ms. Wade herself, is the real explanation behind those two critical visits with Hizzoner: Wade was seeking “funding or assistance” for her company, a web-based operation consisting of little more than one full-time employee — Ms. Wade herself.

    So can anyone explain why Hizzoner wouldn’t jump at the chance to work with Ms. Wade, someone who “wanted him to be a part of” her business, someone for whom “working with leaders has always been an accomplishment”?

    Shocking!

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

      GMH
      Your analysis of her comments provides a possible, even probably, reason for her visit. Good job with that. I can understand the mayor choosing not to work with a businesswoman, but the question is: What really happened? Did he do more than just politely say, “Thanks, but no thanks?” Or is there, as Wade contends, more to what he did and said?

      • Joe Blow
        June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

        Dan, we will never know what was said in that meeting unless it was recorded. It can never be proven one way or the other. I think anyone black,white or green would have got shot down for not following the chain of command. I’m against Government funding for any private business big or small. If funding was not the purpose for the meeting what was? A blog can be done from anywhere and requires nothing more than a room, computer and internet connection. This story leaves me with a lot of questions.

      • GMHeller
        June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

        Mr. Valenti,
        It’s time you sought an appointment with the Mayor in order to get a city-taxpayer-paid-for hand-out for PlanetValenti.
        Then, after Hizzoner throws you out of his office the first time, you should definitely go and demand a second appointment.
        Now tell us, after you assault the Mayor’s time a second time demanding to know why he threw you out the first time, and demanding to know upon what grounds you were refused assistance for your business, how do you suppose you should be regarded?

        • Mr.G1188
          June 4, 2013 at 5:54 am #

          GM, this is a really excellent combination of postings and everyone who reads here should take note of what you’ve done and how. You took the facts as presented, analyzed them and returned a grounded, cogent statement with not even a reference to race, gender, etc. I don’t pretend to know what happened in the mayor’s office, but if he had done what you’ve done here there would be no story. Thanks

          • GMHeller
            June 4, 2013 at 7:15 am #

            Mr.G1188,
            Like the sign hanging over the restaurant’s men’s room’s toilet says: “We aim to please; You aim too please.”

        • levitan
          June 4, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

          Now there’s patiently skinning a cat for you. Good job, GH.

    • debbie
      June 6, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      I think she was looking to open a businesses and get a big fst tax exemption! Remember “Spice” come to Pittsfield start a new business and we will give you a tax break. Really, what about the businesses that have been here for many years supporting this City. No breaks for the die hards. She’s lookingfor something…..

      • danvalenti
        June 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        Good point. This is the “slippery slope” the city created when it began giving fistfuls of taxpayer dollars to every fly by night and shyster to come into town. This penalized legit businesses, robbed taxpayers, and encouraged more “businesses” to come in and try their luck.

  11. skier1
    June 3, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    What I find amusing is even the NAACP isn’t buying her story. It’s a cheap shot to play the race card just because she didn’t get her way. Shame on you! Her blog consists of reprinted press releases. I would’ve said don’t let the door hit you on your way out no matter what color, sex, etc., etc. You need money go to a bank.

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

      SKIER
      I’m not clear what the NAACP’s position is with respect to Wade’s accusations. Also agree with the notion of private business using private dollars, the way I’ve always done it.

  12. Mark Smith
    June 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    Dan,

    You haven’t vetted Ms. Wade in the least, but yet you demand our mayor to respond to her claims on your site.

    Have you asked Doreen to provide documented proof to back up any of the accomplishments she claims to have acheived?

    She promotes on her website “N.E. Informer’s Doreen Wade – Massachusetts Small Business Person of the Year Nominee 2013″

    And here is the link to her press release from February 2013 to PR News Wire.

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-small-business-administration-recognizes-doreen-wade-publisher-and-ceo-of-new-england-informer-dba-ne-informer-newsmagazine-as-massachusetts-small-business-person-of-the-year-190786241.html

    This PR piece, written by her, has been picked up by many search engines most of which contain a disclaimer that the information has not been verified.

    Jean Sawyer, Deputy District Director of the Massachusetts SBA, reponded to me today as follows: “Doreen Wade was not a recipient of any Massachusetts Small Business Award this year.”

    If you would like to search the SBA site http://www.sba.gov , while there is mention of “600lb Gorilla”, there is no mention of Doreen Wade nor New England Informer.

    Ms. Wade is very good a self-promotion. Until I see otherwise, that is all she is good at.

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      MARK
      I vetted her claims against the mayor (not the truth or untruth of the claims but the fact that she is making them). I “requested” (not “demanded”) the mayor to respond, so I could further vet the substance (not the existence) of the claims. The mayor chose not to respond. Perhaps he is following Peter Arlos’ golden rule: “Don’t chase criticism.”

    • danvalenti
      June 3, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      MARK
      If you note, she has cleverly worded it: She announced that she was a “Nominee” for the SBA award and not the winner. Her piece on PR Newswire bears the contact of Keri Singleton, who is listed on the INFORMER’s mast as “PR Manager.” Usually, this indicates the author. As far as being a nominee, anyone can nominate anyone else for an award such as this. We agree that to tout it in that manner is going overboard.

  13. Giacometti
    June 3, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    No minority municipal employees ?
    There’s Churchill Cotton and Rosaura Roman in City Hall
    and countless others in Public Works Dept., Public Buildings,
    School Department, Police Department, Fire Department
    Water Department and Parks Department..Someone should do her homework before speaking. It’s just not fair to municipal employees who work hard to do a good job for their City.

    • Joe Pinhead
      June 3, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

      Keep in mind the city of Pittsfield is compelled by law to file an EEOC report. It can be found by using Google.
      I’m puzzled by the fact that with all the government experience she has touted she wasn’t aware of this requirement before hand.
      The report will show the make up of all city employees, male, female, Caucasian, African American, Native American , Hawaiian Asian etc. I would post a link but if I did Ms. Wade might mask her inability or lack of desire to research as something else.
      Do wonder why Ms Wade looked around city hall and noted only the lack of African Americans but was not concerned about the lack of Native American representation?

      Just sayin

  14. Rivetor
    June 3, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    I think this is a matter of miscommunication. I’m not impressed by Ms Wade and her manner but I also dont think she came into Pittsfield to start trouble. Im not impressed by Bianchi but I don’t think he’s racist not at all. Misunderstanding. But DV I agree you coverage forced a disussion about the third rail issue of race.

  15. Mark Smith
    June 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Good Evening Dan,

    I give you my permission to post the email that Doreen just sent me and had you in copy.

    I truly believe this woman is certifiable and will no longer be commenting on this topic.

    Thanks,

    Mark

    • levitan
      June 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

      A loose screw perhaps?

  16. Jonathan Melle
    June 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    If Pittsfield was a great place to do business in, then why is there no business or jobs in Pittsfield? The single largest employer in Pittsfield is the City of Pittsfield. Taxes are very high. Most workers are employed by the city government, non-profits like the hospital, and some by the state government. Take away the government plums and non-profit sinecures and there are NO JOBS in Pittsfield. What does Mayor Dan Bianchi do all day, anyways? At least he is not a Good Old Boy like Jimmy Ruberto.

  17. Charles Trzcinka
    June 4, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    On the jobs question the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 34,400 people employed in Pittsfield Ma and the unemployment rate is 6.9%.

    On the larger point, it would certainly help Ms. Wade if she explained what exactly she wanted from the Mayor and why his opinion matters at all.

    • danvalenti
      June 4, 2013 at 7:40 am #

      You are right, CHARLES. If I was looking to move THE PLANET into another city, I would not consult the mayor. I would do my homework and if I thought it was the right move, I’d make the move, using my own dollars.

      • FPR
        June 4, 2013 at 7:51 am #

        Dan,

        Are you planning to move the Planet from Stockbridge to the corner office in Pittsfield?

        My guess is that where you move to, the Planet stays right where it is.