PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE  17, 2014) — THE PLANET continues to shake up the city and make a difference. After a rash of what are being called “commercial burglaries,” the Pittsfield Police Department issued a report noting an “unusually high” number of robberies and break ins in April, double the previous month’s total.

Police have issued this composite sketch of TOM, based on information supplied by Mayor Bianchi (the only person who has seen TOM). Police ask that anyone with information about TOM should contact the nearest pharmacy. Use extreme caution.

Seems like TOM (The Only Man) is not only the world’s greatest criminal mastermind, but he’s the fastest working dude since Speedy Alka-Seltzer. He would have to be both if what The Empty Suit (TES) says is true. During a secret summit on crime held recently in the corner office, the mayor made the amazing statement that the current crime wave was not a matter for concern, since the work is all being done by one man (TOM). Crime will vanish when the police catch the guy. Simple.

Not even Jack Webb drew it up that fancifully clean. At least on Dragnet, the stories were true.

“Are you kidding?” That’s how one of the dumbfounded sources in that meeting characterized the mayor’s comments. Another called TES’ remarks “clueless.” The meeting included Chief Mike Wynn and others, including multiple representatives with heavy downtown interests. Needful of saying, the mayor’s head-in-sand comments struck participants as insensible, oblivious, and not at all helpful.

Police have yet to release May statistics, but a police source speaking on conditions of anonymity said May “probably doubled up again” from April. The exact number wasn’t available, but our source said s/he thought it would “top 100.” Even as we write this, we received word from a reliable source that TOM broke into Adrian’s Diner, The Graphic Shop, and “a couple other places too.” An attempt was made to break into Berkshire Fabric and Wallpaper, our source said, the “front door smashed by [a] lock.” That would place TOM in the Wahconah Street area. Perhaps a warning is due to the Pittsfield Suns to be extra careful with the cash receipts.

That TOM sure is a busy guy. THE PLANET advises the mayor to hire this guy once he gets caught. With a work ethic like that, the city sure could use him. The productivity gains alone will pay for the 40% pay raise TES is looking to award himself.

——– 000 ——–

HRC Wimps Out Again on Wade Case

The recently re-constituted Pittsfield Human Rights Commission (HRC) coughed up a hairball Monday night.

The HRC, in position after a month of evidence gathering to make a pronouncement on the validity of Medford resident Doreen Wade‘s accusation that Mayor Dan Bianchi treated her in a threatening and racist manner, decided instead to take a powder and wimp out.

Wade charges that during a meeting with Bianchi, the mayor threatened her verbally and made her feel unsafe with what amount to gesturing that Wade likened to a criminal assault. She also alleges that Bianchi used racially charged language when he dismissed her request for city help in starting a business in Pittsfield. She said that the mayor began “yelling and screaming” at her, accompanied by physically invading her personal space and shaking his finger in her face.

The mayor has denied those charges. Local NAACP President Will Singleton confirmed that Bianchi shook his finger.

 Was Bianchi “yelling and screaming?”

“I wouldn’t say he was shouting,” Singleton said, but, “He was obviously angry.”

——– 000 ——–

The HRC women dominated Chairman Josh Cutler into near-silence and acquiescence Monday, according to one of THE PLANET’s spies at the meeting. One wonders how long We the People can keep buying the excuse of Josh’s tender age for his underwhelming performance in the public sector— or is that why Bianchi wanted him on the commission in the first place, to be hen-pecked into submission?

Commissioner Susan O’Leary said, “If two other departments much higher than this commission [the state AG and the federal Justice Department, which have received formal complaints against Bianchi from Wade, according to the Medford businesswoman] are investigating it, I’m sitting here wondering why we’re investigating it also.”

THE PLANET would respond that if O’Leary has to ask that question, she probably isn’t fit to serve on the HRC.

Then Pummelin’ Pam Malumphy, one of Bianchi’s political sweethearts, chimed in: “We’re a local body, and the reason that we’re here, as volunteers, is to look seriously at the complaints to determine if they need to go somewhere else.  If we had known a month ago that you [addressing Wade] had already filed a complaint with a much higher body, with lots of paid employees who can look at that complaint, I don’t think I would be sitting here right now.”

Pummelin’ Pam not sitting anywhere where justice has to be decided in a case involving her political benefactor suits THE PLANET just fine. Malumphy’s illogic here is breathtaking. In effect, she’s taken the local governing body — which only has the most at stake here — out of the picture because the commissioners aren’t paid. Malumphy’s mercenary bent speaks for itself. Guess all the talk of payola in the city (pay raises, $5Gs for school committee members) has gone to Pummelin’s poorer judgment. Got to admit, though, that the name looks good on the letterhead and the resume.

What the women on the HRC never told you is that there’s a good reason why they should perform their own investigation, independent of the state and the feds. Do you want us to list some of  those reasons? Very well:

(1) The recently reconstituted HRC must establish its legitimacy, given the many complaints from the city’s minority communities, particularly blacks, about unfair and racist treatment. This case gave it the perfect opportunity to do so, but apparently the HRC thought it could just sail through for a while without having to deal with a thorny one. The commission is acting like it’s overwhelmed, not up to the task. It seems tentative and panicky, two symptoms of a political and not a judicial body. You’ll recall that it failed to take action on the Wade case at its May meeting, citing the need to collect and study the evidence. Right.

(2) Compared to the state and federal bureaucracies, the local commission is in much better shape to deal with this matter in a speedy, comprehensive, and just manner. Commissioners are here on the ground, where the participants in the case live and work. HRC members know their way around the community and its politics. Instead of using these qualities to its advantage, the HRC whiffed. THE PLANET hopes Cutler’s softball at bats are going better than his HRC whacks. Under his directorship, the commission has been slow, superficial, and political in its two meetings thus far. He also shows signs of having lost control of the group. That tends to happen when Pummelin’ Pam gets going.

(3) The commission members need to establish that they will not be mayoral toadies. Unfortunately, their handling of the Wade case to date suggests they are afraid to assert their authority. We shall draw our own conclusions.

——– 000 ——–


Look, there are only two possibilities here: Either Wade is telling the truth about Bianchi, or Bianchi is telling the truth about Wade when he dismisses her accounts of their meeting. If the first is true — and if the HRC is a political front — one would look for precisely the delaying tactics we have seen so far. If the second is true, one would expect the HRC to have speedily briought the investigation to a conclusion, the opposite of the way it has acted.

In addition to the complaint to the local HRC, Wade has lodged her charges of racism with the state and with the feds at the Justice Department. That gave the third-down punters on the HRC another excuse to avoid dealing with what is a politically embarrassing issue.

Remember that the HRC members are Bianchi appointees.

——– 000 ——–

She said. He said. Wade vs. Bianchi.

The local HRC was given a great opportunity to establish its mettle and determine for itself the truth. If Wade is telling the truth, the HRC has perpetuated an injustice. If Bianchi is telling the truth, the HRC has left the mayor tainted with false accusations. Either way, the HRC has embarrassed itself and the city.

“Five years have past; five summers, with the length / Of five long winters! and again I hear / These waters, rolling from their mountain springs / With a soft inland murmur.”William Wordsworth, opening lines of his classic “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798.”


  1. TOM
    June 18, 2014 at 4:52 am #

    Sounds like Malumphy already had her mind made up before the meeting ever took place – to dismiss the incidence as unworthy so that Ms. Wade would not take it higher up.

    Her comments prove it.

    Certainly does look as though there is some guilt on the Mayor’s part.

    Dan you should have Doreen on as a guest on PVTV.
    Invite the mayor there too. He will never show, but at least the public would fully see Ms. Wade’s side.

    You could have the empty suit with a mechanical hand shaking his finger at Ms. Wade sitting at the table.

    • Kate Dempsey
      June 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

      Or just an empty chair, with the heading: “The Empty Suit Hard at Work.”

      • danvalenti
        June 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

        Good one, Kate.

  2. Rafael
    June 18, 2014 at 5:34 am #

    “with lots of paid employees who can look at that complaint, I don’t think I would be sitting here right now.”
    “I am a volunteer for another do-nothing committee. How dare you expect me to actually perform any work??”

    • teecha teecha
      June 18, 2014 at 6:43 am #

      While I agree with Rafael, then again the committee is designed to decide if they should bring another, more formal agency in correct me if I’m wrong. Therefore, it could have been a huge conflict for them to make their ‘investigation’ which would more than likely have cleared Bianchi of any wrong doing. THEN possibly the feds finding otherwise. Bye bye whatever legitimacy they might have had. If any to begin with.

      So in retrospect, they kind of waived it to the proper agency AND saved their own hides. There was an open window at the jail on the wardens day off and they took it.

      • Jamie
        June 18, 2014 at 7:28 am #

        Teecha I agree with your points but would say that waiving it off to the feds and state proves they are political, as I understand it nothing prevents the local commish from making a finding of their own. Theres no conflict of interest except politically.

        As you suggest if they clear Bianchi (99.999999% likely) then the mean old feds say otherwise the commish is revealed for what we are all suspecting they are, another do-nothing group that doesn’t want ot work.

  3. Rafael
    June 18, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    On a side note, strangely enough, my ward and at large councilors have not replied to my email asking them to vote against TES’ bloated budget.
    Who woulda thought?
    As Dan would say, the fix is in.

    • Jamie
      June 18, 2014 at 7:28 am #

      Who are they?They ought to be shown up.

  4. levitan
    June 18, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    We’re a local body, and the reason that we’re here, as volunteers, is to look seriously at the complaints to determine if they need to go somewhere else.

    If the HRC step is to either decline the complaint or recommend it to a legal body, then Pam Malumphy is correct that their deliberations are rendered moot for so long as it is handled by the State.

    Personally, I believe the Mayor was set up.

    • levitan
      June 18, 2014 at 8:21 am #

      *next step

    • levitan
      June 18, 2014 at 8:23 am #

      Postscript: The Mayor should have paid attention when his astrologist informed him, back in 1984, “I see a charismatic black woman in your future.”

      • Sparkie
        June 18, 2014 at 9:15 am #

        Malumphy’s questioning of Wade gave the impression that she was on a quest to discredit Wade. Malumphy asked many question that had nothing to do with the actual accusations. It was so obvious Malumphy is on that committee to make sure she orchestrate the conversation according to the Bianchi version of the events it is sickening. How is it that Bianchi has so much control over weak minded woman like Mulumphy & Mazzeo that all he has to do is pull there strings like puppets and they do anything he wants.

        And speaking of weak minded woman what is Degnan doing representing Bianchi?

        • levitan
          June 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

          Sounds like you watched Malumphy’s questioning with the quest to discredit her. Your approval of Malumphy’s professional life or character may be important for you to get through a tough day of reading Planet Valenti, but calling her ‘weak minded’ is strange.

          Why is Degnan representing Bianchi? Because she represents the City and Wade is just about suing the City. You think this circus doesn’t cost the taxpayers?

          • Dave
            June 18, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

            If you watched and paid attention it is clear that Degnan is not representing Bianchi, and cannot share any information or questions that the HRC asks or shares with her with the Mayor. I know we all think that is a croc, but officially that is the case.
            I think the battle between Wade and Malumphy was a battle of the public sector bloodsuckers protecting their share of the pie. The many times Wade said she didn’t have the information asked of her(she was the reason for the meeting correct?) and could provide it later, and the “I sent them but they must have been lost in the mail” excuse should have been reason enough to suspend the meeting until she produced the material. It’s not what you say but how you say it sums up what I feel about the performance of Malumphy, but I have more of a problem with the HRC member that whined about being there for an hour already, and it could go on for another half hour and she worked all day?!?!?!??!!?!? You were appointed honey, you could have said no!!!

          • danvalenti
            June 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

            “Weak-minded” doesn’t necessarily mean enfeebled or “slow.” Weak-minded can refer to someone of sharp mind who is to weak to do the right thing. We can only judge by her behavior, but Malumphy strikes the disinterested observer (anyone but a fan) as shilling for the mayor on this (thus far) useless commission.

      • Jamie
        June 18, 2014 at 12:35 pm #


    • smh
      June 18, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      I too fail to see the logic in having a local Commission, Mass. AG, and Fed. DOJ simultaneously investigating the same complaint. Seems this would be especially odd if the local commission were tasked with determining if the matter should ultimately be forwarded to one of those other agencies, those which, according to Ms. Wade, now already have the complaint.

    • Rafael
      June 18, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      If all the HRC does is decline the complaint (which of course will be a politically based decision) or determine if it goes ‘somewhere else’ then they are basically useless, as any person can file a complaint with the state for feds like Ms. Wade did.
      But we all knew the HRC would be another do-nothing committee right from the beginning, didn’t we?
      This is the administration’s answer to all problems: create a committee that on the surface appears to be doing something but in reality will do nothing usefull at all in addressing the issue.

      • danvalenti
        June 18, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

        Agreed, R. The HRC must be constituted to do more than make “hand-off” determinations. Why would it otherwise be given broad powers, including the power of subpoena? The actions of the HRC all but prove that it is politically constituted and not concerned with social justice.

  5. Spider
    June 18, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    If they continued, any decision made by our HRC could be over-ruled by a state or federal agency….so why bother.

    I also agree with Levitan…..the mayor was “set up”. ‘Why” is the question. While I am not a supporter, I do not believe he is racist!

    • levitan
      June 18, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Maybe she wants to sue the City of Pittsfield for damages.

      • danvalenti
        June 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

        I would expect a lawsuit from Ms. Wade, directed at either the city, the mayor, or both.

        • levitan
          June 18, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

          Absolutely. She came to Pittsfield, was not embraced with employment, and got dissed. She is entitled to at least $300,000 of Pittsfield’s taxpayers’ money.

    • danvalenti
      June 18, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

      Yes, any decision “could” be overruled by the state or feds, but they would be differences without distinction. The local group has independent power and could legally find in a manner that is different from the other levels of authority. Of course, if what you say is true, S, then the local HRC has no reason to exist.

  6. Love me two times
    June 18, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Doreen Wade got the double whammy.

    First Mayor Bianchi blew her out in 20 mins in what was supposed to be a one hour meeting.
    Now Pam Malumphy blows her out abruptly again just because she found out Doreen had complained to the Feds and to the State.

    Hope she wins the coming lawsuits.
    $100,000.00 here and $100,000.00 there is nothing for this Mayor. He will just raise taxes to cover it with the full backing of the city council.

    I sort of believer her because this Mayor does have a hot headed temper. He does everything in total darkness and covers up his mistakes, or tries to.

    • levitan
      June 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      Love me 2x:

      So you don’t mind paying her off the tax rolls $200,000 for a bad interview???

      I’m dumbstruck.

      • Robolissimo
        June 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

        Perhaps the city can hire a paid consultant to figure out if this merits a law suit.
        An attorney who specializes in racial descrimation lawsuits. It would only cost about $50,000.00 or less.
        The next time the mayor schedules an hour meeting to meet with a minority, maybe he won’t be so quick and short tempered to throw a hissy fit after 20 mins.
        He should have given Doreen the full hour. He should have thanked her, shook her hand and then responded by letter denying in a kind manner her request for a grant.
        I guess that’s asking too much for a part-time mayor. Cutting the meeting short with Doreen gave him extra time at him other job.
        This guy is a tactical nightmare. Go shaking your finger at the wrong person with malicious contempt and let me know how it works out for ya.
        It should cost the city some money. Just to show they have the wrong guy in charge.

        • danvalenti
          June 18, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

          Both sides agree that (1) The meeting, scheduled for an hour, was cut to 1/3 of the allotted time; (2) The mayor gestured (pointed finger) at Wade; and (3) he refuted her loudly. Even if he did nothing more than that, he was courting trouble. A professional would never have lost his cool. This is all irrespective of the claims of racism.

          • levitan
            June 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm #


            A truncated meeting, material equivalent $90,000.
            Pointed finger: material equivalent – $86,000
            Verbal refutation: material equivalent: &120,000

          • levitan
            June 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

            I forgot pain and suffering for not having a good meeting. $10,000/minute – $200,000.

            Good thing the meeting only lasted 20 minutes.

  7. Jonathan Melle
    June 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    Since when was downtown Pittsfield a safe place for people to live, work, visit and play? I grew up in Pittsfield, and as long as I can remember, North Street and its surrounding neighborhoods were always places people avoided, especially after hours or at night.
    I still cannot believe that Pittsfield politics under former Mayor Jimmy Ruberto spent many tens of millions of taxpayer’s dollars — including a couple million dollars from GE’s economic development fund — on downtown revitalization.
    As for Doreen Wade v. Dan Bianchi, please let due process of the law run its course. I suggest a mediator to resolve the legal matter.

  8. dusty
    June 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm #

    I too think Wades comments were padded and fluffed up. I think Bianchi is a bum but I think he is being framed here.

    But if Wade really was treated badly she was wise to go over the head of the city because no one has gotten a fair shake here in a long time, So maybe in a round about way karma will take its due.

    • danvalenti
      June 18, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Good points, D.

  9. Foxy Lady
    June 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Something definitely happened in the mayor’s office. The job of the HRC is to determine what. It did a disservice to Wade, Bianchi and citizens.
    Malumphy in that group for one and only one reason, to control the narrative the way Bianchi wants it. That’s why Josh Cutler is the chair, in name only. I feel bad for him. I hope he realizes what’s happening.

    • levitan
      June 18, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      I doubt P. Malumphy thinks that much about the success of the Bianchi administration. Not much in it for her, and not that important for him.

      • levitan
        June 18, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

        Side point, how come no social critics here have questioned the concept of a Human Rights Commission in Pittsfield?

        Where are the killing fields, the mass graves, the walls of names & photos of disappeared people? Short of that, how come it isn’t investigating the Mayor’s affiliation with an anti Human Rights organization, MAIG?

        Bad weirdness, Dan V.

        • Payroll Patriot
          June 18, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

          levitan, are you familiar with MGL and non indemnification for civil rights violations by public officials? Just a reminder that civil rights also includes the right to due process.
          What is MAIG?

          • levitan
            June 18, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

            No Civil Rights were violated. No Human rights are even disputed. In this nation, human rights are handled by legal recourse.

            Subject A discovered confined to a box for 30 years. Perp tossed in jail.

        • danvalenti
          June 18, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

          One doesn’t need killing fields and mass graves to have a human rights commission. Actually, as constituted in Pittsfield, the city doesn’t need one, an academic point since there IS one. And since there is one, a person has a right to expect it to justify its existence.

          • levitan
            June 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

            Nah, what the City needs is a Doreen Wade Rights Committee.

          • danvalenti
            June 18, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

            The DWRC would make as much sense as the useless HRC, LEV.

          • levitan
            June 19, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

            I disagree. A DWRC would be able to determine whether Doreen Wade obtained the resources and cash that she evidently showed up for a meeting hoping to get.

            That finding then could be used in a court of law to support her civil case against both the city and the Mayor.

          • levitan
            June 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

            Side point, glad we agree that having a Human Rights Commission is silly. We have courts to handle human rights abuses in this Country.

      • Sparkie
        June 19, 2014 at 7:14 am #

        Really…. come on you don’t think Mulumphy is entrenched in Bianchi’s brain trust… O.K. Melissa

        • levitan
          June 19, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

          Have we agreed that their is a brain trust. How could that possibly be monetized?

  10. sonny
    June 18, 2014 at 5:45 pm #

    If Doreen Wade is the poster person for discrimination in in Pittsfield she has set the cause back. She is a female Al Sharpton, a race baitor. In her mind the city of Pittsfield should fund her business ideas. I would think we could find many
    nationalities who have been disappointed not getting free
    money for start up ventures. Will Singleton should be embarrassed with this he said-she said. I do not know Dan Bianchi but I think this kangaroo court is shameful!

    • Carolyn Barry
      June 19, 2014 at 10:55 am #

      I agree Sonny. Wade asked for money for her website that only employs her. Pam Malumphy was just proving a point and a very valid one at that, questioning a comment that Wade had previously stated that she had worked for the BSO. Pam did her homework with her former co-workers at the BSO (Pam DID work there) and caught Wade in a lie. They NEVER heard of her. Makes you wonder what else Wade is lying about?????????????? Goes to Wades lack of credibility. Good work Pam!!!

      • levitan
        June 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

        Thanks for offering some facts. We cleared up the fact that DW has trouble accurately describing her ‘business ventures’ plus some other material issues.

      • B Scofo
        June 20, 2014 at 7:29 am #

        This needs to be emphasized.

  11. CJ
    June 18, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Why all the Josh Cutler hating? Give the kid sometime to get his feet wet. We have to stop beating up on the few young people that get engaged in Pittsfield politics.

  12. danvalenti
    June 18, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

    We do not see any hating here. Eye of the beholder, my friend. Josh, like anyone else, has taken upon his responsibilities. Your “young people” remark is the one that does him discredit.

  13. PopKornSutton
    June 18, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    The Generlissimo might want to intervene at some point.

  14. C. Trzcinka
    June 20, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    The official crime statistics for Pittsfield are at:

    The city has low crime or the statistics are wrong. There is no other way to interpret this. The statistics show less crime than North Adams, Greenfield, and Holyoke (which is very high), just to cherry-pick a few cities. On a national scale, the numbers are in the “low” category.