Article

PLANET FINDS OUT MORE ON BOYS CLUB-BELL SITUATION … DISSOLVED ALUM BOARD MEMBERS MET ON SUNDAY TO FIND ANSWERS … CLUB BOARD MAINTAINS SILENCE

By DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, NOV. 22, 2013) — Despite the sealed lips of the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club executive and administrative staff, THE PLANET had learned more on the case of Peter Bell, executive director. Bell, as we reported, has been on paid leave since late October. The Club’s Board of Directors ordered Bell off the job, and it has failed to say why. The silence has left Bell and the Club’s reputation twisting in the gale.

As you read yesterday, our attempts to obtain official, on-record comments from the Club went nowhere, prompting one wag to say, “The MO of corporate America has infiltrated the Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club in the way they are responding to the community. It’s sad.” John Donna didn’t call. Peter Bell didn’t call. For that matter, neither did Jim Mooney, Fred Fahey, or Red Plough.

Despite the Club’s attempts to seal the case off from the media and the public, however, THE PLANET has learned from a well-placed source the following:

* Members of the Club’s Alumni Board — which seems to be “the former Alumni Board,” since, as we noted earlier, the alumni directorship was suddenly dissolved — met on Sunday to discuss the Club’s roiled situation. Needless today, members of the alumni board represent a qualified set. They are people who care deeply about an institution so central to the communal well-being of the city.

* The purpose of the meeting, according to our source, “was to see if there was anything we could do” about the Bell situation, including finding out what’s occurring behind the cloak of darkness and the baffle of silence.

* The source, using words carefully, said, “We were told there was nothing that the Executive Board wanted to share with us at this time.” The source would did say who conveyed that stonewalling message to the alums.

* The alum told THE PLANET that “We did learn that Peter Bell was being paid six figures in his position and that any severance package he might get would reflect that.” That’s not chump change. That’s Club change.

One Club source close to the Board of Directors, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says that Bell and the executive board have reached a standoff over “philosophical issues” and that each side is lawyering up. “They’re ‘chicken’ right now. First one to swerve loses.” Ah yes, the old “philosophical issues” excuse. What, did the board like Hegel and Bell favored Kierkegaard?

The source wouldn’t predict the outcome but conceded the possibility of it “getting nasty.” Judging by the tone, we didn’t pick up the chance of an amicable parting.

These enigmatic comments do little to clear up the mystery of why the board took the dramatic action of placing Bell on paid, administrative leave. A Club staffer offered what she called “a guess:” a power struggle manifested in split loyalties. One group has loyalties to the board, citing Bell’s “haughty attitude.” Those loyal to Bell claim the board is trying to usurp Bell’s authorities and “embarrass him.” It can’t be good for morale. Front office melodrama cannot help but trickle down to the rank and file, the day-to-day operations, and, eventually, the children and families that use the Club’s services.

The situation causes one to wonder how long the Club will keep Bell in that position and how long Bell will remain silent while his reputation is shredded by the board’s silence? As long as the “standoff” remains in place, a source said, Bell will be receiving his hefty salary without equal “productivity contributions.” That’s admin-speak for, “As long as he gets his dough and he’s not doing anything in return, the Club’s getting screwed.”

That question of paid leave on a six-figure salary has or will come into play, most likely, for all those who have donated time, talent, and treasure to the organization. They, understandably, are concerned.

Is a severance package in the works? It would seem so, since our source on the alumni board mentioned it without being asked or prompted. If that is happening and the two sides are negotiating a financial deal, how will that show up on the Club’s books? Will it have to be reported to the IRS? Do the Club’s shareholders — which is to say, everyone in the community — have a right to know if the board, for whatever reason, is trying to buy Bell off and out? If so, why? How will that impact the Club’s reputation in the community? Will that cause potential donors to back off and send their money elsewhere? Will it trigger more legal action? These are the questions that need to be asked. The Board of Directors and Bell must provide answers.

If you’ve ever wondered what a can of worms looks like, take a walk on Melville Street these days.

—– 00 —–

The Pittsfield Boys and Girls Club is one of 4,000 such associations located throughout the country. In 2012, the national governing body reported gross receipts of $255,175,720, $145,177,454 of which came from donations. It paid out $40,480,693 to its employees. The Club lists itself as a Sec. 501(c)(3) corporation. Yes, the dreaded non-profit … or is it “not for profit?” Pittsfield and its taxpayers are most familiar with “non-profits.”

On IRS Form 990, question 13 asks if the national organization has “a written whistleblower policy.” The answer is “yes.” Question 15 asks if, in “determining compensation” for the organization’s CEO or executive director, did the organization “include a review and approval by independent persons, comparability data, and contemporaneous substantiation of the deliberation and decision.” Again, the Club answers “yes.”

National president and CEO James Clark made $786,418 in 2012. Ten other Club execs make six-figure salaries averaging north of $250,000 a year. As a 501(c), the Club pays no taxes.

It takes no great leap of faith or agnostics to apply this information to the local situation on Melville Street. Here we have a tax-exempt organization, raising substantial amounts of money, paying its CEO six figures, according to our source on the former Alumni Board. Moreover, like the self-proclaimed mission of the national parent, the Pittsfield Club’s business involves the care and fostering of children.

Yes, it’s for “The Children” — this time it truly is — who are still as naive, trusting, and lacking good judgment as ever and remain potential targets for any adult who might have intentions that run counter to their welfare and well-being. THE PLANET wonders if the local club has a “written whistleblower policy.” Did the Club determination of Bell’s compensation include ”include a review and approval by independent persons, comparability data, and contemporaneous substantiation of the deliberation and decision?” Suddenly, this seems like relevant information. Who will answer, as Ed Aimes once asked in a song.

We ask these questions for no other reason than the Club Board’s silence. If there is some compelling, overriding reason why the Club can’t share the information, the board should at least provide that. The public, after all, sends the Club its hard-earned dollars with the assumption that there is fiduciary watch of the money. Bottom line: Can the Club be trusted any longer?

Without knowing specifically what’s up or what’s wrong at the Club, how can citizens of Berkshire County entrust their children to the organization? How can they continue to lend its support? THE PLANET writes this as a proud alum of the Club, having enjoyed its services for years: caroms and pool in the game room, 10-cent movies on those raucous Friday nights (“The Iron Claw” serial), swimming, basketball, woodworking, crafts, and so many activities that provided so much fun. No one has to lecture us of the Club’s local value. In fact, we use that value as a lever to attempt to pry information from those who know.

Mr. Donna and Mr. Bell, you now how to reach us.

THE PLANET asks not for ourselves but for the citizens of Berkshire County, the parents of children, Club alumni, Club employees, those who have donated to the Club, Club members, and anyone else that might be affected by the situation.

The Boys and Girls Club story is important local news because of the central spot the organization plays in the cultural, social, and moral life of the city. THE PLANET provides this obvious fact to refute the inevitable backlash of how dare we try to find out what’s going on here, especially since The Boring Broadsheet is “reluctant” to probe.

How important is the Club? From its website:

  • Approximately 5,000 boys and girls are members of the club this year.
  • Each day, approximately 1,200 to 1,400 members come into the club to participate in programs, play sports or simply hang out.
  • When you include parents and siblings who watch practices and games, or pick up their children, 3,000 to 4,000 individuals pass through our doors every day.
  • Each year, 30,000 to 40,000 individuals come to the Boys’ and Girls’ Club to watch high school games, enjoy public skating, or attend special events.
  • At Camp Russell, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club’s summer home on Richmond Pond, 350 youth attend camp during the season, with 1,600to 1,800 different children making up our summer enrollment.

The only financial information on the local Club’s website we could find is a link asking for donations. There’s no information that we could find that deals with the club’s budgets, salaries, and the like. As long as the official silence is maintained, this material becomes an important piece of the Peter Bell puzzle. Who controls the books? Are they available for public inspection?

Based on the information the Club has released, no one can assign fault or blame, innocence or blamelessness here. That does a disservice to all.

——————————————————————————-

“There are some qualities — some incorporate things, / That have a double life, which thus is made / A type of that twin entity which springs / From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.”Edgar Poe, “Silence.”

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

 

 

 

 

62 Responses to “PLANET FINDS OUT MORE ON BOYS CLUB-BELL SITUATION … DISSOLVED ALUM BOARD MEMBERS MET ON SUNDAY TO FIND ANSWERS … CLUB BOARD MAINTAINS SILENCE”

  1. Dennis O'Keefe
    November 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Dan,

    Information about the local Club’s finances may be found through Guidestar.org

    According to its 990 for FY 2011, Bell received $102,000 in compensation. For that same year, the Club took in about $2.3 in revenue against $2.7 million in expenses. The Club had a $365,000 deficit in FY 2011. It has about $19.7 million in net assets. Donations were down about the amount of the FY 2011 deficit.

    So, it’s possible some members of the Board are concerned about the decrease in donations, which could be a factor in Bell’s current status with the Club.

    I doubt you’ll get much helpful comment from the Board because personnel matters are confidential. To say Bell’s reputation is being shredded by the Board’s silence is to misunderstand how these entities function, and gives lazy lip-service to those who like to chase ghosts around Camp Russell. Report facts – not innuendo.

    Here’s the link to the 990:

    http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2011/042/103/2011-042103925-08956baa-9.pdf

    Under state and federal law, a not-for-profit’s tax returns and other financial documents are available for public inspection. I suggest that before you publish these broadsides lorded with breathless questions, you actually spend the 5 minutes it takes to look at the organization’s finances. The numbers help tell a pretty clear story.

    • danvalenti
      November 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      D
      Thanks for posting the info. We are well aware of Guidestar, of course. As for facts, we shall stick to the facts as best as we can pull them from the reluctant patient’s mouth and from them derive commentary. You surely agree that main cause of the “innuendo” is not anything from this site but from the recalcitrance from the principals in this story. When the knowers won’t talk, the guessers will guess.

      • Dennis O'Keefe
        November 23, 2013 at 9:27 am #

        Dan,

        You make my point when you write wink-wink, nod-nod sentences like this:

        “There have already been enough rumors about the alleged goings on at Camp Russell and at the Club, and a story like this … well, we won’t be drawing any maps.”

        If there have been “enough rumors,” then why say anything at all about the rumors? Given the climate, it’s likely that the uninformed (and then are Legion here in Pittsfield) will conclude that something untoward happened and was covered up regardless whether Board or Bell gives the sort of public disclosures you’re demanding.

        And, the public has equal access to the Board’s financial information. Access to it does not depend on whether one is a member of the press.

        Perhaps you should refer to what you’re doing as “partially informed speculation,” because it isn’t journalism.

        • Charles Felton
          November 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

          Your attempt to be intellectually superior falls far shot. In fact it is sophomoric.

          • Dennis O'Keefe
            November 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

            Well, Charles, the next time you try to criticize someone for their alleged intellectualism, please remember that the phrase you’re searching for is “falls far short,” not “far shot.”

          • Dennis O'Keefe
            November 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

            Dan is often lazy in his thinking and analysis. Obviously, my critique of his story provoked a reaction from you, so feel free to respond substantively rather than with sophomoric jibes.

          • Dennis O'Keefe
            November 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

            Charles,

            What are you so upset about? Bain Capital and other hedge funds are the primary investors in Dollar General, which are ugly boxes that have sprung up like weeds around the county. They are killing family owned general stores, where I prefer to shop.

            But if you’re concerned about highbrow opinions, there’s always the 5 Below store a Berkshire Crossing, which may be more to your liking.

        • danvalenti
          November 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

          DOK
          To deny the existence of whispers would not be good journalism, but to get into the details would be even worse. That’s why they are acknowledged but not detailed. Surely you can grasp the elementary point as it pertains to basic journalism. As for the public’s access to the board’s financial information, right you are. Technically, they do, but notice how you contradict yourself. You make the point about the vast number of uninformed people in Pittsfield, and in the very next sentence, you claim that same ignorant public is sophisticated enough to know how to access the financials of a Commonwealth non-profit! Astounding. If you wish, perhaps you’d like to sign up for my journalism course in the spring semester. I think it would help you.

          • Dennis O'Keefe
            November 25, 2013 at 8:21 am #

            How does that require sophistication? Accessing a not-for-profit’s tax returns? It takes about 5 minutes.

            We can agree to disagree on the basic tenets or journalism, but giving lip service to rumor-mongering is not among them.

          • Charles Felton
            November 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

            A typo. I bet you feel superior. Unimpressed. Responding to post above

          • Charles Felton
            November 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

            Sophomoric jibes? No you are simply not worth the time. You feel superior with your use of flowery language. Earlier you stated dollar stores sells items people do not need. Keep your high brow opinions to yourself

          • danvalenti
            November 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

            CHARLES
            DOK is a poser. Go easy on him.

        • Dennis O'Keefe
          November 25, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

          See, even I can admit to a typo, Charles. I should have typed at Berkshire Crossing instead of “a.” Just relax and it’ll be all right.

          • levitan
            November 26, 2013 at 7:25 am #

            Ah, the old logical fallacy of the Appeal to Ridicule. Good job Dennis in not falling too hard for it.

          • Dennis O'Keefe
            November 26, 2013 at 9:03 am #

            Dan,

            The word is “poseur,” not poser.

            And, the tactic you’re employing is argumentum ad hominem, a typical trap that high school debaters fall into when logic fails them.

          • danvalenti
            November 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

            DOK
            See my other note. The alternate spellings are both acceptable. I like “poser” because it doesn’t have the pretentious, “french” spelling. I prefer things more honest, simpler.

  2. CarlosDanger
    November 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    You see, this is part of the problem. A company like the Boys Club doles out 6 figure salaries yet does not pay taxes. This is why our taxes are so high – we have to make up for the fact they are takers and not givers.

    • Russell Moody
      November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Let us not forget that Mr. Bell pays his taxes and deserves all of the protection that he is entitled under the law… no different than you or me…

      Peter Bell has both supporters and detractors… I am a supporter.

      Russell Moody

      • danvalenti
        November 22, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        Yes, RUSS. Peter Bell has supporters and detractors. We refer to that when in the article we mention the schism that’s dividing the Club into factions. I am neither a supporter nor a detractor. I haven’t never sat down at length with Peter Bell or John Donna. I am merely following the story where it leads me. For sure, though, Bell deserves all protection to which he is lawfully entitled.

    • Dennis O'Keefe
      November 22, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

      No one puts a gun to anyone’s head and makes people donate to the Boys and Girl’s Club.

      And, the employees (like Bell) pay payroll taxes on their salaries. By the way, there is only one employee at the Club earning more than $100k. So, it’s not true that the Club “doles out” 6 figure salaries. How are the employees takers if they pay income and FICA taxes?

      It is only the entity that doesn’t pay taxes on its income, or on its property. I don’t know whether the City has a PILOT agreement with the Club.

      • danvalenti
        November 22, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

        Our statement on six-figure salaries applied to the Club nationally, not locally. I’m guessing the “taker” aspect refers to a six-figure salary being paid out with no work for it in return. As for PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes), it doesn’t appear the city has such an agreement with the Club.

  3. amandaWell
    November 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

    ifone worked for Jack Welch and profit was upside down, see ya! Bell will make out fine.

    • Dennis O'Keefe
      November 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

      Given your predictions for the Red Sox v. Cardinals series, I suggest you get out of the prognosticating business.

      • Russell Moody
        November 24, 2013 at 5:39 am #

        lol

  4. amandaWell
    November 22, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    Sorry Dennis, that will never happen again.

    • Dennis O'Keefe
      November 22, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

      We should only be so lucky.

      • Russell Moody
        November 24, 2013 at 5:40 am #

        lol… lol

  5. Evian
    November 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    Credit to DV for trying to find out and sharing what he has learned and there is much new information here. Planet has done way more than the bb has done.

    • Dennis O'Keefe
      November 22, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      One can find out information about the Club’s finances with a simple search on Guidestar’s site. And, all public charities in Massachusetts have to file their tax returns, and related documents, with the Attorney General’s office. Those documents may be viewed by the public on the Attorney General’s website.

      For someone who includes the coverage of “not-for-profits” in their “beat,” it’s breathtaking that Dan is unaware of how easy these documents are to find.

      • danvalenti
        November 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        DENNIS
        What’s breathtaking is your misinformation here. FYI, I am well aware of how easy it is to obtain such information (and have obtained it, BTW). If you will read what I wrote more carefully, I stated that on its website, the Club had no financial information other than asking for donations. While you and I know how to get documents, the general public does not. I have the information to which you refer and shared in an earlier comment (for which I thank you). THE PLANET did not include it for the simple reason that it would be appearing in a follow-up story. There’s only so much info that is productive for the retention of a story. Today’s post went on for almost 1,700 words. Today is the second story we have done on the Boy’s Club, and with the BB sitting on its royal arcanum, sound asleep, we aren’t done with this item.

    • danvalenti
      November 22, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Gratias, EV.

  6. MrG1188
    November 22, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Hmmm…Thanks Dennis. Personnel issues are almost always handled behind closed doors in most organizations; public and private, unless there is conduct approaching the criminal. I am certainly NOT suggesting that in this case. It makes sense to look at the last 3-5 years of financial records and see when they started going South. The best-run company I ever worked for had a 3 quarter and out policy. If you underperformed for 3 quarters in a row out you went. Expectations were clear and concise and it applied to everyone in any management position from a small business unit or territory to the CEO. It was fairly applied and very matter of fact. If the B & G Club board had clear expectations, clearly communicated, and they weren’t met everything should be fine. No reputations get hurt, either personally or organizationally, a nice press release is written about gratitude for years of service and pursuing other interests…and life goes on for everyone!

  7. Dave
    November 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Here we go again, another personnel position is going to be created to deal with Affirmative Action. Don’t we already have two separate personnel directors for the city side and the school side? Who was that lady with the blog who got dissed by the Mayor, she is probably the front runner for the job. Why didn’t the charter review commission deal with this?

    • danvalenti
      November 22, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      DAVE
      Here we go again, taxpayers assuming the position. The city needs an affirmative action personnel director the way it needs more potholes. That’s what happen when the government is run by tax-and-spenders allowed to run roughshod over common sense.

  8. Larry
    November 22, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Hey Dan, Off topic….

    What’s your take on the next Stockbridge police chief not being a current member of the force?

    Does it not make sense to hire the most qualified candidate?

    • danvalenti
      November 22, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      LARRY
      I’m not sure if we have the same information. Rick Wilcox, as far as I know, is chief until he retires in February.

      • Larry
        November 23, 2013 at 5:37 am #

        Get upto speed Dan…. They are in the process of finding his replacement. The four current town officers that have applied were been eliminated on the last cut. Resident John Hart has passed along a petition that currently has 82 signatures of registered voters to reconsider hiring an outsider.

        You can’t tell me you haven’t been reading this in the local papers…. Even the BB! Are you not from Stockbridge?

  9. Sonny
    November 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    Shame on the board of director members who have created this mess. Anyone who knows the history of the Pittsfield Boys Club knows the director and the board worked together for a common goal. This teamwork created one of the best facilities in the country in its day for local youth. Thank you Fred Fahey and Jim Mooney and the countless donors who made this possible, This current board of directors have created an atmosphere of dysfunction that in the long run can only hurt the youth in the years ahead.

    • danvalenti
      November 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks, SONNY. Fred and Jim were the best.

      • Thomas More
        November 23, 2013 at 7:47 am #

        Who the heck is Red Plough? There was a pretty good pitcher for PHS in 1955 named Ed Plouffe who went on to work in the Boys’ Club during the ’60′s. Is this who you mean and was that an attempt at humor? Last I heard he was at the youth center in Hinsdale but that was at least 30 years ago.

        ” I haven’t never sat down at length with Peter Bell or John Donna.” Does this mean that you have? Writing 1700 words at one sitting is an onerous task. Perhaps eliminating the shots at the Eagle would save a few words. You made your point on that subject long ago.

        • Silence Dogood
          November 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

          Red left the club in the 60′s, there were rumors why….don’t know for sure why.

        • danvalenti
          November 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

          TM
          Writing 1,700 words “at one sitting” may be onerous for most but not for me. THE PLANET shall eliminate our observations about the BB when the BB stops failing so miserably in its Fourth Estate duties. We ran that by our barristers, and they have pronounced the deal sufficiently fair.

      • chuck garivaltis
        November 23, 2013 at 8:28 am #

        Dan,

        Fred and Jin were indeed the best. There was another wonderful man before them who seems to be forgotten. Does anone remember Mr. Keegan? I do. He was before Fred and was highly respected by all..The kids at the club loved him.

        • Thomas More
          November 23, 2013 at 9:39 am #

          He was the man who groomed Fred Fahey. I remember him clearly on the stage at the Friday night movies in 1944 telling us that the camp would be open that summer. It had been closed in ’42 & ’43 because of the war. However, the price had shot up to $4.00. It was only $2.00 before the war. They did, never-the-less hold the membership rate at a dime.

          • chuck garivaltis
            November 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

            At $4.00 it was stil a bargain. For those who don’t know this was a 2 week overnight camp on the shore of Richmond Pond. What a great deal it was.
            And an anuual membership for a dime.Now this was a time when it really was for the chilfren.

        • Roman Knows
          November 23, 2013 at 11:14 am #

          Chuck,
          Mr Keegan Spoke every Friday night at the intermission during the Friday Night Movies. This was for those of us that were too young for the dances. He was the white haired father figure to everyone. I remember him well.

          • chuck garivaltis
            November 23, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

            Roman
            Friday night movies were a delight. They were child oriented – though King Kong scared us – and if memory serves me correctly the price of admission was a dime. If a child did not have it Mr. Keegan, and later Fred, let you pass through. And the next day you returned to the club for basketball, carroms, swimming, or typing lessons. This was free child care and you were looked after by Mr. Keegan, Fred, or Jimmy. I remember Walt Duda, too. I think he worked or volunteered there and he was super with the kids. All for a dime a year.Yes, it was all for the children.

  10. Nota
    November 23, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    Red was down in the gym,eh hem. Remember the badges they had back then, what the heck were they made of concrete?

  11. Rivetor
    November 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

    I remember the badges. Theyt were made of a hard, reinforced paper that did resemble stone. When you got a new badge for the new year a kid behind the desk typed out your name, and the machine would imprint into the badge with a typewriter like face.

    Anyway this is an excellent investigative piece, Planet. This is the type of story that keeps us glued.

    • danvalenti
      November 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Thank you, RIV.

  12. Mr. X
    November 24, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Haughty attitude plus philosophical differences equals cocky and arrogant. Welcome to corporate America, even the Boy’s and Girl’s Club is not immune.

  13. chuck garivaltis
    November 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    There was bad news on the doorstep this morning. Don Morehead died, and because he lived most of his life away from Pittsfield it won’t be much of a local story. but to those who knew Don his passing leaves a void in the heart of Pittsfield’s sport scene.

    He was the greatest 3 sport star in Pittsfield history. He was a natural in baseball, football and basketball. He was an all-star in the county, state, and every tournament he ever played in. His teammates looked at him as a leader,as did his classmates. He was elected president of his senior class in1948. An extraordinary accomplishment in the Jim Crow era.

    Don played center field for the PHS ’48 state baseball champions. This was the era of Buddy Sheran, Joe Lavalle, Tony Ferdyn, Bo Quadrozzi, Itch McMahon, Joe Zavaterro Al Goerlach,Rit Flynn. All signed professional baseball contracts. His football exploits were superb. He was an end who could run like a deer, and he was touchdown Tony Ferdyn’s main target for short and long range passing bombs. Only a loss to Drury prevented PHS from being ’48 West. Mass. champs. In basketball he was a playmaker. The go to guy to set up plays and the player you wanted to take the last shot in a clutch situation.

    His friendliness and winning personality,made it a pleasure to know this man. May he rest in peace.

    • danvalenti
      November 24, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      CHUCK
      Many thanks for informing THE PLANET and our readers. Our prayers go to Don and his family.

  14. Roman Knows
    November 24, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    Tony Ferden to Don Morehead reunited on Heaven’s Team.

    • danvalenti
      November 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Well put, RK.

  15. GMHeller
    November 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    Mr. Valenti,

    Get a load of the BB’s attempt in Sunday’s Eagle to rehabilitate the public image of Evan Dobelle.
    At one point reporter Jim Therrien even refers to Dobelle as “this obviously complex and gifted man”.
    Gee, under that standard should we not be paying homage to Bernie Madoff and Willie Sutton?
    Note that Therrien, in his two separate articles, avoids any serious discussion of the serious allegations of financial chicanery made against Dobelle by trustees in two separate educational institutions thousands of miles apart, Westfield State and University of Hawaii.

    Anyone want to make book that these puff pieces are the beginning of an effort by the local Democrat machine — aka Pittfield’s GOB’s — to install this disgraced public servant into some sort of position of responsibility in City government or local not-for-profit where Dobelle can then continue to exercise his ‘gift’ for spending other people’s money (and also threaten to sue if yet again he gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar).

    • danvalenti
      November 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      GMH
      “Get a load” — “a load” is how one can best characterize the piece of fluff. I doubt you’ll get takers on the bet.

  16. Gene
    November 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

    Sorry to hear about Don Morehead. Our prayers to his family.

    • danvalenti
      November 24, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      We echo that here at THE PLANET. From the stories of Chuck Garivaltis, Touchdown Tony, Itch, and Zavvy, Don was a great man.

      • Roman Knows
        November 26, 2013 at 4:24 am #

        I have a Dec.1,2002 BE sports section.The main articles are about Don Morehead and the other greats of the era. The articles were written by Brian Sullivan with quotes by Chuck and Tony. I had my daughter who still lives in Pittsfield send me a copy after reading it in the online version of the Eagle that day. for anyone that wants to read more about those times it would be worth a trip to the library.

  17. sully
    November 27, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    Dan,
    Happy belated birthday!! you probably couldn’t wait to get home from school that day and blow out the candles. But Oswald messed things up. Email me when you get a chance.

    • danvalenti
      November 27, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      SULLY
      Many thanks. It was, to understate, a subdued party. Appropriately enough, one of my gifts was a paint-by-numbers kit, a portrait depicting a sad clown, smelling a flower.