PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, DEC. 23, 2013) — First, happy birthday to one special lady, to whom we sent our love.

Second, it’s time to dip into the mail bag with a couple of letters sent to THE PLANET. The first is from outgoing school committee member Terry Kinnas, who sent us his version of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” The second deals with Mayor Dan Bianchi‘s outside employment situation, which THE PLANET mentioned on Friday (See Friday post for details on that and on our exclusive coverage of thefts in and about city hall).

Kinnas put in the most memorable two-year term of any school committee member in recent and distant memory. Not since Peter Arlos, The Aging Greek God himself was tearing it up as a member of the city council have We The People had such an outspoken, dedicated, and fearless advocate of their interests vs. The Special Interests.

THE PLANET takes this occasion to salute the job Kinnas has done for the city of Pittsfield. If he had received even a modicum of support from his colleagues on the board, the Pittsfield Public Schools might be heading in a positive direction today. Instead, for the most part, his committee colleagues sided with the Special Interests, the Suits, and the GOB, and the descent into the maelstrom continues. As we have seen, the answer to the problems plaguing public schools is not money, which has been supplied in huge quantities by politicians picking the pockets of taxpayers. The problem is policy, and Kinnas consistently advanced initiatives that would have led to true positive uptick.

No one did more preparation prior to meetings than Kinnas. No one did more research or worked harder to educate himself on applicable state and local law than Kinnas. He came to each meeting so far ahead of everyone else that often he had to spoon-feed people like the superintendent, assistant superintendent, associate superintendent, assistant-associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, assistant deputy superintendent, assistant deputy associate superintendent, alternate assistant deputy associate superintendent, and the rest of the gang of idiots so they would have a chance of staying with him. Even with that, Kinnas operated five steps ahead of everyone else.

On his Open Meeting Law filings, Kinnas batted a perfect five-for-five. THE PLANET calls upon the members of the incoming school committee to take this example. Kinnas knew the law. Pittsfield didn’t and often doesn’t. Who among the school committee will serve as this watchdog? (Josh Cutler, the city turns its lonely eyes to you).

Job well done, TK!

Here is Kinnas’ version of “The 12 Days,” sent to us as a Letter:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Pittsfield gave to me
   12   principals dancing
   11   councilors fudging
   10   half-days’ buncombe
    9   thousand stolen
    8   v.p.s & deans a-milking
    7   crew shells sinking
    6   School Committee members nodding
    5   instructional days lost
    4   shops a-rescued
    3   (assistant) superintendents a-swimming
    2   high schools rebuilding
    and 1 superintendent up a tree.

Our favorite? Number nine, the $9,000 stolen. Funny how that just disappeared, just about as fast as the former PHS Administration and the former superintendent. The investigation went nowhere, and neither the schools, the police, nor the city gave citizens any accounting of the crime.

Hope you enjoyed “The 12 Days” as much as we did.

—– 00 —–

Here’s a letter we received over the weekend dealing with the mayor’s employment status. We have edited only for mechanics and not content.



I work [in] downtown Pittsfield at 100 North St., the same building where Dan Bianchi has his office for Global [EDITOR’S NOTE: Global Partners LP, a publicly traded limited partnership, distributes gasoline, distillates, oils, and other fuels to customers in New England and New York state. It is No. 151 on the Fortune 500 list. Bianchi is still listed on the company’s website as an employee, indicating he still works there]. You question if the mayor still works out of the Global office. The answer is yes. A lot. I work full time at a salarly less than half of what the mayor makes [$87,780 plus benefits]. My wife also must work a part time job because we need the extra income. 

I voted for the mayor to my great regret. He promised to work for us as a full-time mayor not moonlight at another high-paying job.  This makes me so angry that the mayor pretends to be a full-time mayor. I hope Mr. Bianchi has honesty to admit what he’s doing and then stop it. Close the Global office and work for the people, as a full time mayor. Thank you. 

— Hard Working Dad

PLANET RESPONDS: Thank you, HWD. We agree. The mayor needs to come forward on this ever-growing concern. This is why we want to mayor to sit down with us, on live TV, and take our questions.



Finally, THE PLANET brings you this exclusive. We were first to report Melissa Mazzeo‘s intention to runs for the council presidency when the new government gets sworn in on Inauguration Day early next month. For a time, it looked like her reputed rival, Jonathan Lothrop, might not mount a challenge. In fact, J-LO all-but told us as much. He looked at the political makeup of the new council and questioned if he could find the six votes needed to win.

Now, after what he said was much thought and great deliberation, Lothrop tells THE PLANET he’s in the hunt. Has he found the votes?

We will have much more on this fascinating story of backstage politics later this week or early next.

Don’t look for such coverage in The Boring Broadsheet. They don’t dare. Fortunately, WE DO!


“I get high when I see you walk by, my oh my. When you sigh my insides just fly, butterfly. Why am I so shy, when I’m beside you? It’s only love, and that is all. Why should I feel the way I do? It’s only love, and that is all, but it’s so hard loving you.”John Lennon, The Beatles, “It’s Only Love” (1965).



  1. Mr. X
    December 23, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Mel Maz wins 7-4. The 7 votes are herself, Tully, Morandi, Connell, Simonelli, Cotton and Amuso. She may even grab Cacc’s.

  2. dusty
    December 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    You are so right about Terry Kinnas. Even if only one of those other school committee members really cared about the kids we could begin to turn things around. Too much money and too much power behind the scenes though. Where you find large sums of money you always find corruption.

    Bianchi should go before the council and ask their forgiveness. And then apologize to us idiots who voted for him. And then resign.

    I never believed Lothrop was not in the running, not even for a moment. He just did not want his detractors digging up dirt on him. If he gets to be council president we might as well bring Doyle back as mayor so we can sink the city and get it over with once and for all.

    • Donald
      December 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Dusty, you seem to have all the answers. Rather than wasting your talents as an anonymous commentor, why don’t you run for office?

  3. Jonathan Melle
    December 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I disagree with Dan Valenti’s praise of the late Peter G. Arlos. I do not believe that Pete Arlos was a reformer of Pittsfield politics. My experience with Peter Arlos was that he played both sides of the fence on issues facing Pittsfield. He was both my friend and my enemy in Pittsfield politics. Peter Arlos was a public payroll patriot. He received a big public salary and then a generous public pension. On top of his public largesse, Pete Arlos was a millionaire from owning “Henry Potter” Section 8 properties that make North Street a place that most people of Pittsfield avoid for their personal safety. Peter Arlos told me that he did not want me to receive my Veteran’s benefits, even though I served our nation Honorably in the Army. Pete Arlos wanted me to be a homeless Veteran who would have had to live in one of his “Pottersville” projects. When I think of Peter Arlos, I think of Pittsfield’s downward spiral.

    • EddieP
      December 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      For the un-initiated, who is Henry Potter?
      Any relation to Harry?

      • Bull Durham
        December 24, 2013 at 7:16 am #

        Henry Potter was the miser who owned all of the dumpy homes in It’s a Wonderful Life… for the uninitiated… no relation to Harry.

        • danvalenti
          December 24, 2013 at 9:22 am #

          Ah, thank you Bull. Once again, the youngins’ get saved by one of several like us, who have been around and have such experience as to inform us of the identity of “Henry Potter.” He was played in the film by Lionel Barrymore … again, as you say, for “the unintiated.”

    • joetaxpayer
      December 24, 2013 at 10:34 am #

      Pete Arlos served 28 colorful years on the City Council. Most either loved him or hated him, but no one can dispute his love for his City. He put in countless hours researching and preparing himself to go into battle in City hall chambers. When he saw something he thought was wrong he tried like hell to make it right. If Pittsfield had more people like him, we would be better off. God bless you Pete.

    • joetaxpayer
      December 24, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      If you lived in a pottersville project, I don’t think you would “homeless.

  4. Terry Kinnas
    December 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

    Just a little glimmer of hope: the Superintendent has agreed to freeze his salary for two years from the date of hire.

    • danvalenti
      December 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Merry Christmas to you, Mary, and your family, from all of us here at THE PLANET.

  5. Silence Dogood
    December 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

  6. Giacometti
    December 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    As we used to say to the Sisters of St. Joseph as we were leaving school on the last day of classes right before the Christmas break

    ” Merry Christmas and Happy Underwear “

  7. GMHeller
    December 24, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Mr. Valenti,
    One could do a lot worse than to invest in Global Partners L.P.. (NYSE: GLP) GLP Common closed today at $34.52 and pays a generous dividend of $2.40 per share, a yield of nearly 7%.
    Try getting that from your CD or Money Market fund.

  8. dusty
    December 24, 2013 at 3:40 am #

    Did I just read that the guy that broke into the city vault and was caught red handed has already been to court and his case dismissed? Really? Why? Is this the kind of crime that is no big deal? Does not require punishment of any kind? Is this the penalty your kid or my kid would have gotten?

    I would like to wish a Merry Christmas to all the other thieves in Pittsfield as well.

    • Jim Gleason
      December 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      The boys Club gym could be filled 10 times with all the thieves in Pittsfield, starting at the top.