PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 2014) — THE PLANET thanks everyone involved in the lively discussion of The Trio Trial on yesterday’s post. In it, we explained why we are not covering the trial, mainly because we cannot be in the courtroom, in person, every day. In our judgment and experience, without actual presence, coverage would be hearsay and second rate, at best, precisely because this is an important story.

It’s interesting to note how the discussion of our decision not to feature daily accounts of the case morphed into a hearing on the case itself. THE PLANET takes pride that our forum has served the public good in that way for such an occasion. We noticed that the remarks were done at a high level, the rejoinders pointed, and the tone generally respectful. The leader of the opposition in this case, a person who posts as Levitan (an acronym for “Valent,” and no, Lev is not DV) has made excellent points and has contributed mightily in moving the discussion forward.

It does not appear the Boring Broadsheet cares enough about its readers to send its reporter, the eminently capable Andrew Amelinckx, all the ways to the end of the earth known as Springfield, all of 56 miles from Pittsfield. That shame lies on the BB management and not one drop on the reporter.

A note from one of our newsroom plants: “When the managers had a meeting about coverage of the [Hall] trial, editorial was largely kept out of it.” The Stooley told us that the “business side” made the decisions. Apparently, that included not paying room-and-board for sending their guy to Hampden Superior Court. That’s how much the BB cares about its readership.



Speaking of the ever-thinning Boring Broadsheet, the rag ran a non-plussed editorial last week about city council president Melissa Mazzeo‘s lopsided subcommittee assignments. The BB noted that Mazzeo did not choose either John Krol, Jonathan Lothrop, or Barry Clairmont to act as chair or vice chair of any of the council’s subcommittees (Ordinance and Rules, Community and Economic Development, Buildings and Maintenance, Finance, Public Health and Safety, and Public works), despite the fact that the three are veterans with J-Lo the most senior council member.

Mazzeo named herself and her vice president, Chris Connell, to chair three committees apiece. Mazzeo’s predecessor, Kevin Sherman, on the other hand, did not appoint himself to chair a single subcommittee. Rookie Kathy Amuso received a chairmanship, with Kevin Morandi and Tony Simonelli chairing two subunits. Moreover, all councilors serve on three commiittees except the Unholy Three, who were, are, and for the next two years shall be on the Bianchi-Mazzeo Enemies List.

As for the BB‘s coverage of this predictable situation, we bring out Peggy Lee to sing, “Is that all there is?” Or how about Rudy Vallee to croon, “You’re Kidding, Right?”

The BB acted as if it was shocked — shocked — that the victor would assign the spoils. Apparently, the poo-bahs at the newspaper did not take Western Civ in college and skipped history altogether. Even the most cursory knowledge of how power works suggest that when one side prevails over the other in politics and war, the winner dictates the terms.

When the Allies prevailed over Germany in WWI, they imposed draconian terms of peace. These included forcing Germany to pay for the costs of the war and disarming. The first caused horrendous economic problems, vast unemployment, and planted the seeds for the rise of Adolph Schiklegruber.

THE PLANET isn’t comparing the new council subcommittee assignments to this, except in one small respect: The predictable assignments will likely plant the seeds for robust contention over the next two years of Pittsfield politics. That can be a good thing … or not.

Mazzeo’s Choices: No Surprise at All

THE PLANET could have drawn up these committee assignments in advance and come close to nailing it. The BB acts surprised over Mazzeo’s actions, as if the paper is a waif in its understanding the doings of politics. Of course Mazzeo is going to reward her people and punish the opposition. That’s politics. Anyone who talked with Bianchi, Mazzeo, and the team knew going in there would be no quarter shown to the Unholy Trio of Krol, Clairmont, and Lothrop.

The three men “on the outs”get that, expected that, and, as Clairmont told THE PLANET, “respects it as well.”  In reponse to our questions, Clairmont said, “While I was pleased to remain on Finance, I felt I was the most qualified to be the chair of that committee.  I did ask President Mazzeo to be the chair, but she obviously declined my request.  I also asked to remain on Ordinance and Rules, but was moved to Buildings and Maintenance.  I’ll do my best to dive into any issues we have with buildings and will do my best for the citizens of Pittsfield.

“My biggest disappointment,” Clairmont added, “was the treatment of Councilor Lothrop.  For the most senior member of the council not to be given either a chair or vice-chair, while giving a chair to a rookie councilor [Amuso] was a true slap in the face and a waste of talent.  Whether one agrees with Councilor Lothrop’s political opinions or not, I think everyone would agree he runs fair and balanced meetings.  The lack of using his talent is a true loss for the citizens of Pittsfield.

“President Mazzeo made a speech at the inauguration talking about how we all need to get along and move the city forward.  Her actions speak louder than her words.  I understand that to the victor goes the spoils, and have no problem with that.  But, the real losers here are the citizens of Pittsfield; not the three councilors.”

That’s the “Big Boy” approach, and it all-but-assures that the punishments of petty politics will take generally precedence over cooperation and diplomacy in the present council session.

Krol told THE PLANET, “Naturally, I was disappointed, particularly with my removal from the ordinance and rules committee, where I had served since the beginning of my first term in 2010. Here, I believe I was not only a fair-minded contributor to several well-crafted ordinances, but I was also a member who worked respectfully and effectively with Chairwoman Mazzeo during the past two years. However, I respect the president’s power over committee assignments and respect her decision.”

Interestingly, Lothrop did not respond to our requests for comment.

——— 0-0 ———

Mazzeo told THE PLANET she was “not sure about ‘The Big Story’ here. I do not recall President [Kevin] Sherman or President [Gerry] Lee having to explain their assignments.” She then shared with us her protest she sent to The Boring Broadsheet:

MAZZEO TO THE BB:  “I read with disappointment the editorial in The Berkshire Eagle  (January 18) regarding City Council subcommittee assignments.

 “When I began the first regular meeting of the 2014 City Council, I meant it when I said that it is important for the Council to work together.    Council subcommittee assignments reflect changes that will allow councilors to be exposed to new assignments, therefore allowing them to share their strengths and experience in other areas, instead of continually remaining on the same committees throughout their tenure on the Council.  Why is this not considered a positive thing?  I also felt it was important to rotate chair/vice chair posts, again to allow some councilors to develop their skills leading a subcommittee.  Councilor Amuso, as you know, has past experience chairing the School committee, and I am looking forward to seeing how she will transfer those skills to the Council.  Unfortunately, reading the editorial insinuates that these councilors are not up to the task of chairing a committee, which could not be further from the truth.

“Again, it was very disappointing and surprising that the perception would be that these decisions were politically motivated, and it continues to label individuals as supporters or dissenters of one group or another instead of what we all are – City Councilors.  Contrary to what The Berkshire Eagle may think, sometimes change is necessary to grow and move forward.”

——- 000 ——- 000 ——-

In such an atmosphere, the  back-benchers can serve best by providing the opposition necessary to sharpen proposals, whittle them down, flesh them out, and keep things honest. The majority can serve best by realizing that “strength in numbers” can sometimes be a misconception when it comes to politics and to seriously include the opposition in all policy matters.

As for the BB, no wonder the writers don’t sign their editorials. Ask yourself: Would you want your name attached to that?

“All the councilors hate the waiters, and the lake has alligators.”Allan Sherman, “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,” (1963).


  1. mike r
    January 24, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Politics aside, this is just a disappointing outcome for the city. Three very talented individuals put on the sidelines over some very petty issues. She’s a disgrace.

    • Crystal Clear
      January 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

      I agree Mazzeo is a disgrace. Not only is she disrespectful to the unholy three by not assigning them any committee chairs; wasting their talent, but she has separated the three from serving on any of the committees together, guaranteeing no dissenting conversation on any Bianchi agendas. She has set up a clear majority of Bianchi pocket votes on each committee. The lack of open opposing debate does not make for good government of the people. After all the people spoke when they elected Krol, Clairmont and Lothrop; slap in face to all, the unholy three and the voters.

      I would respect Mazzeo more if she admitted her politically motivated intentions regarding her manipulative and unfair committee assignments instead of playing the clueless female. Let’s face it she actively campaigned against Krol,and Clairmont. Her statement, ” Why is this not considered a positive thing?” Well for one, generally good leaders put the most qualified people in positions that best suit them, and don’t offer on the job training in a $137,000,000 municipality/business. It’s crystal clear to me she’s petty and unqualified to do the business of the people.

      • levitan
        January 25, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

        Talent??? You mean rubber-stamping Ruberto’s drive to designate North Street as Tax-Free real-estate for which the residents (and other businesses) still subsidize is Talent.

        Let’s make it ‘talent’ with a small ‘t’ and say thanks for keeping them far away from policy that goes beyond their districts.

      • Sparkie
        January 28, 2014 at 8:26 am #

        CC I agree with most of what you have stated except; Mazzeo playing the clueless female card….. she is clueless..

  2. levitan
    January 24, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    Amazed that the Eagle made a ‘business decision’ not to cover the trial. It opened the window on how evil insinuated itself into the lives a a large community not a mile from Eagle headquarters.

    Too bad.

    • levitan
      January 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm #


      “…insinuated itself into a large community not a mile from Eagle headquarters.”

  3. Mad Trapper
    January 24, 2014 at 11:33 am #


    It was so cold , I actually saw a mASSachusetts Democrat, with his hands, in HIS OWN POCKET! Not Mine!

  4. Jonathan Melle
    January 24, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    The Berkshire Eagle’s Editors defended every move made by Mayor Jimmy Ruberto. During the Ruberto regime, thousands of jobs were lost in Pittsfield. And when jobs are lost, they are not coming back, Jack (Welch). KB Toys went bankrupt, GE Plastics sold its unit and left town, and the Hospital laid off hundreds of employees. But to the Beagle, Jimmy Ruberto “made Pittsfield a better place”. But now the tables have turned with Mayor Dan Bianchi and Council Prez Mel Maz. Everything is going wrong in Pittsfield now. Let me let you all in on a secret: Pittsfield politics is on a never-ending downward spiral!

    • Jonathan Melle
      January 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Re: My synopsis of Dan Valenti’s blog on Pittsfield politics

      Dan Valenti bitches and moans about Pittsfield politics every weekday on his blog. The following is a synopsis of what Dan Valenti vents about.

      In Pittsfield:
      * Taxes are very high with a weak tax base
      * Tens of thousands of people have left Pittsfield and Berkshire County over the past several decades
      * Pittsfield and Berkshire County is the #1 place in Massachusetts for job loss
      * There are more people on welfare assistance than have private sector jobs
      * Teen pregnancies and welfare caseloads double the statewide average
      * The public school system is overpriced and underperforming
      * Tens of millions of dollars were spent on North Street and the dowtown area is still dead and place to avoid especially after hours
      * Crime, drugs, violence, gangs are real problems
      * The Good Old Boy network runs Pittsfield politics and serves the special interests instead of the common good
      * The Good Old Boys consist of multi-generation, inter-related Pittsfield families that derive from two camps: the Del Gallo political machine and the Wojtkowski political machine
      * Pittsfield’s finances have many millions of dollars in unfunded liabilities or debts that today’s Pittsfield politicians are not adequately addressing
      * Pittsfield has gone into state receivership before after the Doyle administration debacle and may go the way of insolvency like the Detroit bankruptcy
      * The number one employer in Pittsfield is the City of Pittsfield
      * Thousands of local residents work for the city government and the public school system
      * Many people and entities, such as the labor unions, depend on the system and control the Pittsfield politicians
      * After the public payroll patriots, non-profits, such as the Hospital, depend on taxpayer dollars and employ thousands more Pittsfield residents
      * The above vested interests make Pittsfield unaffordable to the little guy (the “Kapanski” family) who is not politically connected to get a city, school, or non-profit job
      * Pittsfield needs new Pittsfield politicians who will take on the special interests to regain control of city finances
      * PCBs left behind by GE have polluted Pittsfield’s air, water, and ground
      * Thousands upon thousands of Pittsfield residents have suffered through and died of cancer caused by Pittsfield’s toxic waste PCBs
      * GE left Pittsfield behind for Wall Street

      • Jonathan Melle
        January 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

        The problem with local politics isn’t partisanship. We have a former mayor [Jimmy Ruberto] whose brother was DA [the late-Anthony Ruberto]. We have a DA [David Capeless] whose father was Mayor. How many votes did Jerry Doyle Sr. buy [Mayor] Jerry Doyle Jr. with driveway aprons and apartments in public housing? [William] Smitty Pignatelli’s father was County Commissioner. [Chris] Speranzo’s grandfather was a Democrat mover and shaker and union thug. Ben Downing’s father [Gerard Downing] was DA and his father enough of a political hack to have an industrial park named after him. [Andrea] Nuciforo’s [II] father [Andrea Nuciforo I] was a [State] Senator [and then a Judge], Uncle [Tom Wojtkowski] was a State Rep and Aunt a Mayor [Anne E. Wojtkowski]. [Kevin] Sherman’s mother is a Del Gallo. The problem around here isn’t partisanship so much as nepotism and incest.

        • Jonathan Melle
          January 24, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

          I love Pittsfield politics. I follow the people, politicians, events, and issues from the Granite State. I miss eating Teo’s hotdogs. Yum! I wish I was the Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I would ask Jack Welch to drink the tap water in Pittsfield. I would provide birth control to all of the teenage girls getting pregnant in Pittsfield. I would ban nepotism in govermment. I would tell Jimmy Ruberto to move out of his late-mother’s home. I would build a new baseball park for a minor league baseball team. I would cut taxes. I would have opposed Nuciforo’s efforts to win a seat in U.S. Congress. I would tell Jack Downing he is a Good Old Boy who never served our country in the military yet makes his living off of homeless Veterans. I would kick out all of the social services agency from North Street. I would grow the local economy so that thousands of people would stop leaving the area. I would change the fact that the #1 employer is the city of Pittsfield. I love Pittsfield politics and I would make a lot of changes to Pittsfield, Massachusetts if I were Mayor.

          • Jonathan Melle
            January 24, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

            Jimmy Ruberto told me that Pittsfield is a negative place to me.
            At least I did not contribute to its teen pregnancies, welfare caseloads, joblessness, social services, crime, and other social problems.
            Pittsfield is a negative place for many poor people.
            That is how Pittsfield works. It makes life miserable for disadvantaged people.
            Jimmy Ruberto is a corrupt, Good Old Boy Pittsfield politician.

        • Thomas More
          January 25, 2014 at 6:34 am #

          Nick Speranzo was not a thug.

          • Jonathan Melle
            January 25, 2014 at 10:41 am #

            I didn’t know Nick Speranzo. I know Chris Speranzo. He is very intelligent.

  5. levitan
    January 24, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    In it, we explained why we are not covering the trial, mainly because we cannot be in the courtroom, in person, every day. In our judgment and experience, without actual presence, coverage would be hearsay and second rate, at best, precisely because this is an important story.

    Thank you for that; I am comfortable with that.

    • Levitan
      January 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

      But, that being said, you dismissed this story as ‘sensational’ and somehow irrelevant.

      I suggest that the next time you come to a fork in the road, just take it.

  6. dusty
    January 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I am not at all disappointed that Krol and especially Lothrup were somewhat hamstrung. They may know how the system works but I feel they use it to benefit the special interests more than the average Joe. And that is not acceptable to me. But I want Clairmont to have whatever advantage he needs to go after the school committee budget and any other wasteful spending the city might be involved in.

    Having said that, I do think Mazzeo made her appointments based on politics. Either that or she did as Bianchi ordered her.. I was a huge fan of hers but if she is going to let Bianchi lead her around by the nose then she is going to lose me, and probably a lot of others, as supporters.

    • levitan
      January 24, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

      Power ought to be separated – but collaboration between Councilmen and the Mayor’s office has never been proved. That would be the source of frustration – you see it, but can’t prove it.

  7. Nota
    January 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Lothrop is and was a lame duck. And a new Madame President has been elected. While Low languishes after a narrow win against J B and then an unapposed lackluster victory. Ward voters must have thought he would be some kind of political hired gun, against the grain if you will. For all intents and purposes Low wields no power and it will be an uneventful next two years.

    • Tim Bartini
      January 24, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      Nota. I live in Mr. Lothrop’s ward , and I find him to be very helpful and aggressive to our concerns . Have you ever had a chat with him? If you have you would find him to be open to your concerns. He is willing to listen to both sides of the issue.

  8. Ron Kitterman
    January 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm #


    Better check the mail box for the royalty checks. They should come rolling in pronto. “ The Bridge over Troubled water “ , intended for Pittsfield Mayor Bianchi was stolen faster than a 5 cent candy bar off the lower shelf, and used by the Christie haters. And Now Mrs . Clinton is stealing your Planet Valenti and making it hers for Planet Hillary for her 2016 run…

    • joetaxpayer
      January 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      Ron anyone but Hillary, she showed her true leadership with Benghazi.

  9. Thomas More
    January 25, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    It’s Schiklgruber and for the sake of history that was never Hitler’s name.

    • levitan
      January 25, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

      Good catch regarding ‘history.’ I don’t understandi the author’s concern regarding peace terms for Germany. After the horror of WWI which they owned, peace wasn’t coming cheap for them. Oh, but the depression, you say? Let’s talk about internal policies apart from reparations (which were never paid.)

  10. Bill Sturgeon
    January 25, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    I love you ”
    brother, but I can’t remember when I bought I 5 cent candy bar!
    Jonathan: Take it easy!
    I don’t of Melissa is going to be a “step-and-fetch-it” for the Mayor!

    • levitan
      January 25, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

      True. Mazzeo stands as the senior member on City Hall compared to the Mayor. He has more to ask from her than vice-versa.

  11. Mr. X
    January 25, 2014 at 6:48 am #

    All is fair in love, war, and most of all politics. To the victors go the spoils…c’mon man! Everybody knows this!

  12. Bill Sturgeon
    January 25, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    Mr. X
    While I know you are right “All is fair in love and war, and most of all politics”. The shame is it is “We the People” the “Tax Payers” who suffer while the politicians play the childish games.

    • ed shepardson
      January 25, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Was opening Good Morning Pittsfield with “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” for a week or so after the inauguration a childish game or an astute political move?

      • levitan
        January 25, 2014 at 9:23 pm #

        Silly move. The song can and should only be sung by the S & G duo.

        Mawkish any other way.

      • danvalenti
        January 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm #


        • shakes his head
          January 27, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

          Did Mazzeo get more votes than Bianchi in the last election? It is her choice not to be mayor of Pittsfield right now.

  13. Billy
    January 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm #

    It is very funny how on the surface what Council President Mazzeo states seems very reasonable but doesn’t it have any common sense .I have watched other council presidents not share her view on many issues but they did not delegate her to Siberia or stifle her endless rants at a council meetings that went into the wee hours of the morning due to her repeating the same statements over and over.
    Those men and women understood that a one sided discussion was not a discussion but a decree and was unhealthy in the democratic process . I. Can offer several examples of what seems like. “working together” but in the end Goes wildly off the rails. Because of its insulation from the minority opinion.
    1). The Republicans of President Clinton term in office.They came in with their contract for America promising open dialogue and reform in budgets that were crippling the country and effectiveness. Instead what resulted from that Time period was the the perception from this freshmen group that they had been elected and they new what was best for the country. They chose not to listen to the elected president or the minority party,they stacked the deck and only one homogeneous Opinion was heard . In the end what was resulted was are first government shutdown .
    2). The plight of Gov.Chris Christie the Bridge issue almost seems funny on the surface but tragedy could have resulted.,and commerce was slowed and money was lost as well as misappropriation of resources of men and equipment . It seems quite obvious that it resulted in a insulated environment lacking checks and balances that would have stopped a decree and those involved from engaging in such rogue behavior. 
    3). The Tea Party – these individuals came into power with the noble purpose reducing our national debt and the endless spending. But what resulted was a endless attack not only on the opposing minority. But a systemic effort to remove Fellow republicans who did not share their ” your with us or against us mentality”
    They removed countless moderate members. ” opposing voices ” in their own party and it resulted in our second government shutdown. 
    Those examples. Can easily be translated to what we witnessed in our last. City election unchecked power allows for all sorts of bad things
    I would advise those temporarily In power to remember from history that If all voices are not heard at a table all citizens are not being well represented.
    When you don’t use a person talents that are available because you can’t control the results it shows not only a lack of leadership but also a lack of good ole common sense. The city has huge financial out lays coming and a shrinking population not only in households but in school population.Mazzeo chose a person that gaurenteed no real discussion of controlling the school budget and sizing it to our population. Amuso her tenure never controlled spending .It does not take a brain surgeon to raise spending but it takes a professional to weed out waste and pork spending as well as getting the pension system to reflect reality. Barry Clairmont. As well as past and present councilors were that voice that was marginalized And we are starting to see the negative results

    • joetaxpayer
      January 25, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Billy, all of those words and no mention of Bengazi.

      • Billy
        January 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

        History will judge that. I’m talking about what our council and the mayor and Mazzeo inability to work with anyone.Two years and nothing at all to show for fact business is going to Lenox and Adams or Dalton.

        • joetaxpayer
          January 25, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

          Then why talk about Christie and bridge gate.

          • Billy
            January 25, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

            Cause it not the person it’s the lack of unchecked power Joe.

        • levitan
          January 25, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

          Actually, I’m prepared to judge that right now. Incompetence from the State Department lead to the deaths of the Ambassador and others.

          It’s in the Senate report.

          • Billy
            January 25, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

            It not that easy in the post Arab spring environment

          • levitan
            January 26, 2014 at 11:21 am #

            Nope, the State Department made it clear they can’t handle Post 2008 election Africa/Asia Minor.

    • levitan
      January 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

      They [teparty] removed countless moderate members

      And for that they have earned my Independent respect. Removing even one ingrown toenail is admirable.

  14. Nota
    January 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm #

    GIVE Mel a chance for crying out loud. Low is not the prez and Mel is THE Madame President, and should be addressed as such!

    • B
      January 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Maybe she should be called dictator Pres.

  15. joetaxpayer
    January 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    I really don’t give a rats ass what anyone is called or assigned to. I just want them to cut my taxes.

    • dusty
      January 26, 2014 at 2:50 am #

      Absolutely! And they could do this if the will was there. I think millions could be saved if their was an audit of what goes on in the Mercer building. And I really don’t care if they have to get rid of 15 people who’s jobs require them to sit around and pretend to be busy all day.

      And how about city hall? Any no show jobs over there? Besides the mayor I mean.

      • Billy
        January 26, 2014 at 5:55 am #

        Till. The budget reflects reality and is well balanced and lean. No industry of any type is coming here. Industry also looks at the present leadership on the council and in the corner office,with the ” say one thing do another environment. Nobody is going to risk capital on a Jekyll & Hyde government. Ex…. Marriott, CraneStationary, the Merry go round, those towns are getting it cause they are listening. And a bunch are getting their fiscal ship in order as well as making changes in their school set up,if you Can’t make necessary changes in bad times when it’s required to to get out of fiscal quick sand than were doomed .open up your paper every day and see the states and counties that are finally smelling the coffee. In clouding a few of our own local towns.

        • Billy
          January 26, 2014 at 5:58 am #

          Oh yea Waterstone. ,any town that says we don’t need 800 grand in tax revenue. From what I just mentioned scares any sane business person away

        • Billy
          January 26, 2014 at 6:11 am #

          I mean Bekshire carousel,Dalton is proudly displaying the artwork in local businesses. And working on fundraising for a permanent home. Lol we just don’t get it in Pittsfield .

          • dusty
            January 26, 2014 at 8:05 am #

            I think is is disgraceful that a man with a vision such as the carousel, a thing for children of all things, was not good enough for the politicians of Pittsfield. How in the hell could they have screwed something so simple up? Please tell me.

          • danvalenti
            January 26, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

            Ruberto gave the guy a hearing but decided it was a pipe dream. That was early in the project. Jim Shulman’s project was far from a pipe dream. He did it with private money — his own! He literally laid this in Bianchi’s lap. Bianchi’s response was to impose conditions, including that the city take over the carousel board. That was the deal breaker, and JS took the project to the waiting arms of Dalton. Pittsfield’s loss of this one is on Bianchi, not Ruberto.

          • skier1
            January 29, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

            Dalton can have the carousel. They need to be careful especially how the carousel committee treated the town of Lanesboro. The selectmen had to learn the carousel jumped ship by reading it in the Eagle. Not very considerate with how the town went to bat for them. Also when it was to be in Pittsfield they looked for donations to keep it in downtown. When they moved to Lanesboro the money wasn’t returned to the donors. One woman who gets around by motorized scooter donated so she could take her grandchildren there (close to her home). Not a good track record.

        • Billy
          January 26, 2014 at 7:55 am #

          meant including

          • Billy
            January 26, 2014 at 11:08 am #

            Ask him why he didn’t. Come here and you will get The reason nothing else will be here anytime soon

          • levitan
            January 26, 2014 at 11:20 am #

            I thought you guys had opposed the carousel. Word here was that it was a white elephant.

      • danvalenti
        January 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

        Such an audit has been long overdue. The school committee has the power to order one, but the early returns tell us this will be a meek, rubber-stamp panel that will give the PSD everything it wants.

    • danvalenti
      January 26, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      Well stated, JOE THE T. For your grief, though, you know what they will do, don’t you. They will RAISE your taxes again, along with those of MARY JANE and JOE KAPANSKI. Bianchi will be the leading culprit. He will submit another bloated budget, calling it “lean,” the the council won’t cut a penny of it.

  16. Billy
    January 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    Like I said one voice heard is a decree not a discussion and definetly not healthy for the democratic process . I think we’re seeing the fruits of it.

  17. amandaWell
    January 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

    The three left out of the process Low, KroL ClAir will do as told.

  18. Billy
    January 25, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Ah. No

  19. Billy
    January 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    They will represent

  20. Mr. X
    January 26, 2014 at 6:40 am #

    Right on Sturge

  21. Bill Sturgeon
    January 26, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Every member of the City Council has certain talents and it will be awful if members’ are not allowed to use their talents for the betterment of the City.
    If the people of the City of Pittsfield believe that it is gotcha politics being played I believe they will “clean house” in 2 years!

    I do believe that there are people in this “Administration” who are playing to their friends rather than selecting the best people for the job, but that is just me!

    • Dave
      January 26, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Bill, the last administration played to their friends also (Can you say Barrett, Hines, Thurston) . It seems the game stays the same, only the names of the beneficiaries change. I share your frustration but “gotcha politics” is as imbedded in Pittsfield as is tax increases, the Superintendent of schools sacrificing his raise in a meaningless almost slap in the face gesture to taxpayers, the BB lamenting the defeat of the civic authority in an editorial as the new season starts at Wachonah Park, “peace is restored” in the daily police log, etc………..

      anyone have any etcs?

    • danvalenti
      January 26, 2014 at 6:05 pm #

      Many share that view. The proof will be in the actions taken during this term. Too early to tell at this point.

  22. scott
    January 26, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    @ Billy how about Cuomo over in NY saying people with different views from his isn’t what NY stands for and are not welcome i.e. those who oppose assault weapons bans, gay marriage and abortion. I dont need more than 9 roinds to kill a deer sure actually I only need one but thats besides the point.

    • Billy
      January 26, 2014 at 11:05 am #

      He had told the public before he got elected. What he was going to do to fix what was killing New York,so they gave him latitude to go in there and do it, but the honeymoon and his latitude Are gone and I’ve seen polls saying people what tax relief and job creation. ,and the only way he’s going to do that is find middle ground or he will spend his term running in place on all the issues you just mentioned.

      • scott
        January 27, 2014 at 5:01 am #

        You can create jibs and cut tax without trampling on peoples freedom.

    • levitan
      January 26, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Please please don’t tell me you pepper deer with 9 rounds…

      • scott
        January 27, 2014 at 5:00 am #

        I think I was pretty clear on that Lev. Plus when I go hunting I only have room for ONE round.

        • levitan
          January 27, 2014 at 8:41 am #

          Stand corrected!

  23. scott
    January 26, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    The second amendment is not about hunting I’m so sick of these idiots using that as a comparison the second amendment is to keep a large govt from controlling and ruling unjustly over a population. We’re over the curve I feel in that regard almost but I find solace in the rising number of conceal permit applications.

  24. joetaxpayer
    January 26, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    The lack of unchecked power allowed the Obama administration to lie to the American people about Benghazi. The attack by by terrorist’s leaving 4 Americans dead, not possible dead. Our coward President makes up a lie because he thinks he might lose his election they lame stream media goes with it. Really, a attack :on a American ambassy on Sept 11th. Just a bunch of people unhappy with a video. Nothing to see here.

    • levitan
      January 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm #


  25. Dave
    January 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Barrett to write a book about Mass MOCA…. published by Planet Media Books? Don’t miss out Dan, it is a can’t miss best seller! I’m sure public money or a grant is involved somehow.

    • danvalenti
      January 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Only if it told the REAL story … which it won’t, of course.

      • levitan
        January 26, 2014 at 7:48 pm #

        To get the real story, you must talk to Tom Krens, M. Govan and locate the horde of disgruntled interns.

        • outfox
          January 26, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

          They were known as the Williams (college) Art Mafia

          • levitan
            January 27, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

            The ones you want didn’t get made.

          • levitan
            January 28, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

            The WC Mafia goes back at least to the ’70’s, and is tied closely to the Rugby team.

  26. amandaWell
    January 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Stop dissing the former Mayor, he’ the one with the brilliant idea of mixing salt with sand for our roads, brilliant?

  27. outfox
    January 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Mazzeo’s reasoning for switching things up looks good on paper. We’re all on here bitching about how we’d like to see profound changes in the governing of Pittsfield; kudos to Ms. Mazzeo for trying to do that. It does make sense to spread the wealth of available experience to other committees, and as for the appointments of rookies to chairs, as Mazzeo points out, these arepeople who are not inexperienced with civic service. Perhaps, hopefully, a year from now we’ll be calling her visionary.

    As for trial coverage, the Scott Muir trial is a big one too, yet no complaints about the Planet’s lack of coverage…anyway, two trials would be a lot to cover for a one man planet.

    • scott
      January 27, 2014 at 4:56 am #

      Re Scott Muir Trial — lets hope the young woman testifying are heard by the Jury seems like a lot of people dropped the ball at the school which resulted in the continued abuse of child very sad if found guilty

    • levitan
      January 27, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      Muir is a big one, but not comparable to the Hall trial which has festered for three years and reflects on callous indifference of our DA.

      • outfox
        January 27, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

        Can’t decide if the DA is so blinded by the politcking he seems to feel is the primary role he has to perform that he cannot perform his legal duties adequately, or if he is just dumb. Wait… let me amend that: Obviously he can perform adequately enough as an attorney: I guess I expect the *District * attorney should be a person who excels at their job and at balancing the political with the prudence that is found in the word jurisprudence.

        • levitan
          January 27, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

          I would say he is likely smart, since he’s DA. That takes some brains to get

          Where a few of us eschew good for great, this DA is happy prosecuting low level offenders and failing to either understand the strength of unbridled malevolence or care for it’s victims. Or both.

          Capeless’ presentation to the judge appears fine, but he is a political animal. Which means, he care more for personal appearance than he does for the common good. Political DA’s are known to cause harm; think Lacrosse players, a certain walrus from Trenton NJ, and this thing masquerading as the protection of law with an office downtown.

  28. outfox
    January 28, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    Ah, but the presentation by our DA to the judge in the Adam Hall case is all circumstantial, so far as the case has been presented thus far. A political animal he is, but not the most astute man when it comes to the feelings of his local constituency…or, to be less assuming about feelings, perhaps it’s better to say that he is rather ignorant when it comes to the general zeitgeist re: his role.

    • levitan
      January 28, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

      He can convict with circumstantial evidence given the preponderance of it and the presence of first-hand witness testimony. They have the motive, the bodies, the history of conspiracy and they have witnesses testifying they heard them joke about it.

      These criminals are remarkable in their brutatlity as they are in their abject stupidity.

      However, Capeless was supposed to convict Hall and his collaborators with kidnapping and battery and the subsequent framing. This case should never have happened.

      • outfox
        January 30, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

        Good to know, thank you, Levitan