PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, OCT. 4, 2013) — Time once again, boys and girls, for THE PLANET‘s famous Quick Hits and Hot Lix, wherein we feature a blitzkrieg of topics and commentaries.

MAYOR PHOTO-OP STRIKES AGAINThe Boring Broadsheet yesterday “treated” readers to a photograph of Mayor Dan Bianchi and wife, the Lady McBeth of this governing pair, plus their entourage with officials and dignitaries from Pittsfield sister city in Ireland. Glad to see Bianchi working on the pressing problems of a city in dire need of leadership and vision. Bianchi and company recently enjoyed an all-expenses paid “business class” trip to Ireland. We hear Bianchi cut 25 ribbons, gave out 67 certificates, posed with teacher Katie O’Flynn‘s fourth grade science class, and received an award. For a milksop, Bianchi’s a dynamo. THE PLANET also commends the BB for sharing with readers this urgent hard-news story. Oh yes, and this just in: Bianchi is in favor of “jobs.”

VALENTI CHALLENGES BIANCHI TO DEBATES — In support of “Dan Valenti‘s” write-in campaign for the corner office, THE PLANET, at Valenti‘s request, passes along to Bianchi a challenge. Valenti has challenged Bianchi to a series of debates, as many as the mayor dares. These would live, unscripted exchanges without notes in full view of press and public. Valenti, who has a certified IQ of 187, promises to remove his brain prior to any debate to give Bianchi the glimmer of a mirage of a whiff of a wisp of a chance. THE PLANET will also be sending this challenge directly to Bianchi, who is in favor of “jobs.” We’re acting as messenger because Bianchi refuses to respond to the intrepid, investigative Valenti, who says he’s “quote ‘serious'” about this challenge. Bianchi noted in an interview with the BB that he welcomed the chance to defend his record during the campaign, this, knowing he would be unopposed on the ballot. Well, courtesy of the philanthropic humanitarianism of Valenti, the mayor has a chance to do this. Let’s go DB: DV has laid down the gauntlet.

WHAT DO WOMEN WANT? — “Who gives a shit,” came the answer of one of THE PLANET’s more outspoken members of our men’s auxiliary. His response came to mind reading the latest issue of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce‘s Berkshire Business News. Good Lord, what a bunch of deadly tripe. We mourn for the newspapers that have to give up the ghost so that this flatulent piece of propaganda gets published. On the cover, we see the C of C doughboy Mike Supranowicz posing with four women, one of whom looks rather like Irene Ryan, “Granny” of The Beverly Hillbillies. They favor “jobs” don’t you know. The issue is titled, “Celebrating Women in Business.” Inside, we see a listing of “Women in Business Month” events and an ad for the “Women-in-Business Luncheon” (TFB hosting; now that’s a snore). You’d think in 2013 that enlightened women would find such “special treatment” insulting. As one of our more astute and “liberated” lady friends said, “C’mon, that whole thing makes us look like fragile little doily cups who would get all emotional and cry.” Who are we to disagree? For your information,the Beepers “BYP Out & About” feature has five of those deadly boring “let’s stand around doing nothing and stare at the camera” photos. The photos depict 14 women and four manly men. Amazingly, not one of them is holding a drink. Meredith Nylan‘s legacy lives on!

 ANOTHER BIG “OCTOBER SURPRISE” — As THE PLANET pointed out yesterday, beware of October, for that is the month when the do-nothing local officials like to spring their little surprises to show how hard they are working on our behalf. We mentioned three of these phony happenings yesterday. Another looms: The School building Needs Commission will present a “report” later this month (Oct. 23?). This patchwork commission, one of the fastest sailing Ship of Fools in all of Shire City, will no doubt tell of all the “progress” that’s been made on the issue of the high school dilemma (to refurbish or build anew). The event will attract candidates for office, who will feign interest, and offer commission members a chance to do some old Astaire-Rogers hoofing. Astute citizens, which includes THE PLANET’s readers, will laugh it off and take their votes to the booth a couple weeks later. Then, they will write in the name of “Dan Valenti” and shock the world.

 INFINITE DANCE — That’s the name of a new sculpture being donated to the Common by the Pittsfield Garden Tour. If you want to know more about this statue, you can tune into PCTV channel 18 on Oct. 8. On what is sure to be another pulsating edition of “Mayor Bianchi Reports,” Bianchi will grant an exclusive interview to the Garden Club. Folks, we’re not making this up. Who says Bianchi is afraid to take the tough questions?! The soon-to-be vandalized statue is titled, “Infinite Dance.” It takes its name from Bianchi’s song-and-dances as part-time inhabitant of the corner office. Bianchi is in favor of “jobs.”

GREATE ‘PROGRESS’ (YEAH, RIGHT) — Pittsfield school supt. Jason “Jake” McCandless, who makes $157,000 a year plus bennies, recently updated new testing indices for the near-broke Pittsfield Public Schools. JIV (pronounced “Jive”) told a sleeping Pittsfield School Board that the horrid performance of students in city school represents “progress.” JIV is also in favor of “jobs.” Deputy Supt. N. Tracy Crowe, who measures her life in coffee spoons and makes purtnear close to $130,000 a year plus bennies, said the “progress” was due to curriculum updates (translation: “We dumbed down the textbooks”) and “teaching techniques” (translation: “We’re allowing kids to go crazy with their smart phones during class time”). Crowe is also in favor of “jobs.” Josh Cutler, candidate for school committee, told The Pittsfield Gazette, “Many of the numbers are appalling when you compare our school district’s performance to the Commonwealth.” More talk like that, and THE PLANET will be ready to give Cutler the crown and scepter now held by school committeeman Terry Kinnas. “Purtnear,” by the by, is a French word meaning, “You’re getting screwed, folks.”

GET WELL SOON, JL — Speaking of The Pittsfield Gazette, THE PLANET sends best wishes for a speedy recovery to the redoubtable Jonathan Levine. Levine is the man who has singlehandedly edited and published the Gazette weekly and nonstop since 1991. Levine was recently hospitalized after a medical setback. No one has attended more meetings since ’91 than Levine, and no one has tried to offer a more honest news coverage of the city of Pittsfield. Get well, Jonathan, from all your friends at THE PLANET.

——- 00 ——-

Folks, big stuff’s a brewing news wise, and some of it involves the corner office. THE PLANET is hot on the trail. The more they tell us “not to look behind that curtain,” the more we keep poking. The more the corner office tries to keep people from talking, the more questions THE PLANET is going to ask. There are a lot of upset people in the city right now, and that includes inside city hall. They’re upset about …

… something or three the mayor doesn’t want you to know about.

Stay tuned and remember, on Election Day Tuesday Nov. 5, write in the name of “Dan Valenti” for mayor. It’s better than not voting and way better than leaving it blank. “Dan Valenti” is not in favor of “jobs.” “Dan Valenti” is in favor of “careers.”


“Watch long enough, and you will see the leaf / Fall from the bough. Without a sound it falls: / And soundless meets the grass. … And so you have / A bare bough, and a dead leaf in the grass. / Something has come and gone. And that is all.”Conrad Aiken, “first stanza, “Watch and You Will See,” (1931)






  1. dusty
    October 4, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    If you do ever debate Bianchi be sure to state up front that there can be no filibustering. He, like Ruberto, is a master of the bob and weave technique, rambling on and on about subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with the question asked.

    • danvalenti
      October 4, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

      I have moderated many debates and have engaged in many. One thing I don’t put up with is a “bobbing and weaving” politician. I think that’s why Dan B. is afraid to take me on.

  2. CarlosDanger
    October 4, 2013 at 5:58 am #

    I really don’t think the Mayor is going to waste his time debating a write in candidate who will be lucky to get 50 votes. And the statement that he is ‘running scared’ is just plain ridiculous.
    Dan, your write in campaign has taken on a decidely negative tone. I don’t want to hear constant criticism of your opponent, I want to hear what you will do to make the city better. I also feel you are running just to feed your ego. You will not be getting my vote.
    This blog has become boring at shyte lately. How about a conversation on the gov’t shutdown?

    • Jamie
      October 4, 2013 at 8:08 am #

      Let’s be thankful we have this site, the only site that gives us a chance at the truth. Dan V has my vote.

    • scott
      October 4, 2013 at 8:47 am #

      The govt shutdown is just a scare tactic plus they`re exempting themselves from the very law they`re trying to pass so if Obamacare isnt good enough for them why should we take it? Not really much to.say its govt at its worst.

      • danvalenti
        October 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

        Government at its worst: You pegged it there, Scott.

    • danvalenti
      October 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

      Thanks. I agree. The mayor won’t debate me, because he has everything to lose and nothing to gain. If he was foolish enough to agree, he would be exposed. By avoiding me, he gets to ride in without having to defend his two years to the people. As for my ideas, I have already expressed those, many times, in many previous columns, especially on the two most important: The city’s finances and the public schools. As for boring, you can’t get duller than the government shutdown. Appreciate the thoughts, though.

      • Joe Pinhead
        October 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

        Obama care good enough for those not connected and not good enough for those who donate.

        Never eat a meal that the host and the chef’s refuse

        unless of course ” its for the children”

    • Billy
      October 4, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      A leader engages the public and takes criticism as well as accolades..the mayor is always on the defensive,he takes no criticism constructive or not.he surrounds himself with people who only eat what he’s cooking.that is not good government .when he feels afraid to answer hard questions to justify actions to the legislative branch of the city he ensembles his minions to deflect his responsibility to the people who elected him. I would remind you he won by 100 votes and half the city didn’t vote for him.the mayor said in the eagle he has made friends of his political foes by doing such a good job.omg .really? I ask anyone on here to show me what he has built as a councilor or as mayor. Dan look at his record and report back. I would harbor a bet he doesn’t have enough real accomplishments to fill a cocktail napkin. He never answers a question directly and makes every question he doesn’t like personal to deflect and divide. Sad indeed

      • danvalenti
        October 4, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

        You have presented an astute analysis. The mayor only wants the puff balls. I have never seen such a transformation in a public figure. As mayor, Bianchi can’t take ANY form of questioning. He has skin thinner and Japanese rice paper. A few columns ago, we presented the mayor’s “accomplishments” — X number of ribbon cuttings, certificates awarded, and other such mickey mouse B.S. He’s not running for mayor. At this point, he’s running from me and from The People. In a profession of phonies, he has proven to be the most disingenuous. One correction: “Half” the people didn’t vote for him. He got half of those who voted. Of the electorate, 80% or so didn’t vote for him. Years hence, when we look back at what went wrong with Pittsfield and we are writing its obit, we shall look at the Bianchi Years as the ones that actually killed any chance of the city’s recovery. Dan Bianchi has been a disaster as mayor.

  3. Bill Sturgeon
    October 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    Get well soon, Jonathan!

  4. Ron Kitterman
    October 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    Best regards and speedy recovery to Jonathan as the Sturgeon General says also…
    and, I initially thought the new ( $116,000 ) tool making machine could be used to make 40K of shovels, but seem to think scissors or a scissor sharpening tool would be more practical for Hiz Honor, as he is attending so many ribbon cutting ceremonies throughout the county .

    • danvalenti
      October 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Great idea, Ron. There are so many ribbon cuttings, perhaps we can all chip in for a new X-Acto for Hizzoner.

  5. NJP
    October 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I agree with Carlos, no need to debate someone who didn’t submit papers to run for Mayor against him. Why debate if you don’t offer a reason why you didn’t run and continue to encourage people to write you in on. Not happening!!!

    • danvalenti
      October 4, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

      Thank you. The answer to your question (“Why debate …), Nancy, is that the mayor has an opponent. The ballot makes no distinction between a printed name and a written-in name. He has also expressed the desire to defend his record during the campaign. Dan Valenti is offering him an opportunity to do it. You are right in that it will not happen, but you are wrong for the reason it won’t happen. It won’t happen because Dan Bianchi is scared to death of matching wits with and taking questions from Dan Valenti. Why? Ah, but isn’t that what were really talking about here!

    • skier1
      October 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      I agree!!!! If you were serious you would’ve taken papers out, gotten your signatures and walked the walk like any other candidate.

      • levitan
        October 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

        It’s known as “running with nothing to lose.”

        Get well, JL – your Gazette is an inspiration. More news crammed into a weekly edition than can be found in a month’s worth of Eagle headlines.

    October 4, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    Best luck to Levine. His paper is worth reading.
    DV- question- (I’m sure you already defined your intent, but I missed it) why the write in tactic? Why not a direct challenge? As you know I’m not a Pittsfield resident so I have no vote. Just curious.

    • Thomas More
      October 5, 2013 at 5:56 am #

      With that you have something in common with DV. He is not a Pittsfield resident nor does he have a vote.

  7. Ron Kitterman
    October 4, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    I was under the impression that initially Dan Valenti wanted to interview the Mayor. Then over a period of time after stating publicly something to the effect of ” why should I ” on a locally hosted radio show by Bill Sturgeon, that was the mayor’s reply. The challenge for a debate was recently ? Looks sort of odd to me that no exchange of communication would come from the Planet, or any other media outlet. That’s just me though. Does the Mayor have things he doesn’t want revealed, or is he in some way fearful of debate, or questions from Valenti or are we expected to settle for silence for the next 2 years ? That doesn’t sound like transparency to me.

    • danvalenti
      October 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      JS and RON
      It is as Ron says, pretty much. After my expose on the royal manner in which he blew Spectrumgate, costing the city AT LEAST100,000 grand, Bianchi all of a sudden wasn’t available. He dodged or ignored phone calls, e-mails, and FB messages. It was a complete 180o. See, he thought that based on our long, past relationship, I would be a rollover and not cover him objectively. That’s not how I roll. After the mayor played D&D with me, as Ron says, Bianchi went on Sturgeon’s show and said, in effect, he was above questioning, especially from me. Now why is that? He’s hiding something. I can’t say too much more, but he doesn’t want anyone questioning anything he does. In addition, he’s a wimp and affects a wimp’s version of “bully.” That’s why I repeat my challenge to Dan Bianchi: Let’s debate. You game?

  8. Jonathan Melle
    October 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    In the U.S. of America, the average working stiff makes less money than two generations ago. We are deeper in debt. Student loan debts have never been higher. Only 20 percent of senior citizens have a secure retirement.
    If you want to help working people, ensure they have good jobs that pay a living wage that supports a family, provide them with decent housing like George Bailey in the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, give them affordable, quality healthcare insurance, have good public schools that prepare students for college, and have equitable retirement plans for senior citizens.
    Jonathan Melle for U.S. President!

  9. Giacometti
    October 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

    The garden tour group that is donating the sculpture for the Common act as the only jurors for the selection of the sculpture. This is bogus as not one of its members has any professional credentials to act as a juror…unless of course Ann Pasko being married to an artist gives her credentials…the garden group merely chooses who they like and stuffs it down the throats of the community which is why no real artist will have anything to do with them….and then the community has to accept that its public murals created by nationally known and respected artists are fading and falling apart because they are not properly cared for…Stop the insanity…this community doesn’t deserve real art.

  10. GMHeller
    October 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    “Valenti, who has a certified IQ of 187….”

    Certified by whom?

    • levitan
      October 6, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      Certified by the man who is now afeard to speak Nilan’s name in public.

  11. C.J.
    October 5, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    Regarding the article in the BB, on 10/4/13 about the “search for a Career/Job works Director !!!
    What does a disheveled, W. C. Fields look-a-like in dotage; a pompous, wet behind the ears, Errol Flynn wannabe; and two city hall political suck asses; All have in common ?
    1) Some undisclosed entity named them as the search committee to recommend two finalists for the position of BerkshireWorks Executive Director. A position now held by former mayor and city councilor of North Adams, John Barrett. Barrett was appointed to this position (and others) by his long time political ally, former Pittsfield Mayor, Jim Ruberto.
    Search committee member Ole W.C. just happens to be a North Adams cronie, who works for Barrett. The dashing Errol, is a fellow board member of a related organization along with Barrett. One of the city hall hacks is a hold over from the Ruberto administration. This group recommended Barrett as a finalist.
    Coincidence ? Well,he does have a degree in elementary education. Oh, the other city hall hack oversaw the demise of a south county social services school.
    2) They all feed at the public/taxpayer and charity trough. No private sector nor capitalism here to muddy the waters.
    3) The Pittsfield City Hall employees, don’t live in Pittsfield, but North Adams is well represented. One of the sycophants may reside in the city, however..
    Kudos to Mayor Bianchi for not accepting the recommendations of this sorry committee. Let’s see if his honor can find a qualified candidate locally, who will assist in job creation and economic development.

    • Jonathan Melle
      October 5, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      Job creation and economic development in Pittsfield?
      Now that is a very funny joke!
      What is the single largest employer in Pittsfield?
      The answer is the City of Pittsfield is the single largest employer in Pittsfield.

  12. Hurdygurdy Man
    October 5, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

    Glad you see reporting with reality about the new machine at the vocational school. I attended and Planet hit the nail right on the head. All of the “superintendents” were there, $500,000 in salaries, who apparently weren’t needed to be doing actual work. Had to laugh at how the Eagle (BB) played the story on page one, huge color picture, fluff story. Keep up the good work here.

  13. levitan
    October 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm #


    Jobs are the result of policy. Careers are the product of individual orientation. The ambitious or committed within a specific avocation seek careers, others are perfectly happy with jobs. Some are even happier without jobs.

    That bumper-sticker slogan needs work.

    • levitan
      October 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      …and some with careers would rather just have a job, or retire.

  14. We Love Pittsfield
    October 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Jobs. We will hear that word and already are during the campaign, and nothing happens. The mayor has done nothing to try to improve the local economy, the opposite in fact.

    He is all about politics and not at all about people. What a big diappointment he has been.

  15. Thomas More
    October 7, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    On the bright side Gov Patrick signed into law a bill that makes 17 year olds juveniles. No more publishing their names. Now my 17 yo son, Copernicus, can feel free to shove a broomstick up a 13 year olds butt without bringing shame to his mother and me and no-one else will know it happened. Certainly hopes this applies to Galileo and his folks.