PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

ADD 1, SATURDAY, EARLY A.M.A source close to the situation tells THE PLANET that Rosanne Frieri‘s legal team “is planning a big press conference for Monday.” More to come. Stay tuned.

——– 000 ——–

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEEKEND EDITION, AUG. 22-24, 2014) — The hearing to fire Pittsfield veterans’ agent Rosanne Frieri was scheduled to happen today (Friday, 8/22), that being a postponement of the previously scheduled “termination hearing” of Friday 8/15. However, by 10:30 Friday morning, Frieri as veterans’ agent was already three days dead in the past tense.

Now the fun begins.

Step by Step, a Methodical, Pre-Arranged Plan

The entire sequence leading to Frieri’s dismissal must be suspect by any objective, reasonable person only looking for the truth in due process and civil rights. As THE PLANET has argued previously, this matter isn’t about Frieri’s standing with local vets. That is an outside evaluation. The issue concerns the mayor’s actions against a respected department head. That is an internal evaluation and as such, one that puts the business squarely in the lap of concern for citizens and taxpayers — not that the mayor cares a whit about those two bedraggled groups.

Two years ago, American Legion Post 68 and the Disabled Veterans Chapter 15 commanders in Pittsfield submitted letters of protest against Frieri to Mayor Dan Bianchi. The letters draw immediate concerns:

— Veterans’ sources tell THE PLANET the two letters came at the request of the mayor. The mayor could not be reached for comment on this key assertion.

— If the mayor prompted the letters, it would explain why he didn’t act against Frieri at the time and strongly suggest that he had these letters written to be used in a future time, when it became convenient to dump the vets’ agent.

— The letters contain no specific incidents against Frieri, only vague, unsupported generalizations. That, apparently, was good enough for The Empty Suit and his nefarious purposes.

— It can also be fairly asked: Were the signatories to the letters (Thomas Landry from Post 68 and Thomas Van Wert) part of a GOB network that had problems with Frieri because she’s a woman or for some other discriminatory reason? THE PLANET doesn’t raise this question, but the query has been front and center, at attention, in the marketplace of local talk.

Choosing ‘the Chicken’s Way’

TES and his henchman, John “The Sheffield Shuffler” DeAngelo, waited until Frieri left for a vacation to send her a certified letter informing her of the mayor’s displeasure and the fact that she would be subject to disciplinary action up to firing. Neat, isn’t it? We mean the cowardly business of waiting until the target isn’t around to mount a defense.

The day after Frieri got back, Bianchi sent DeAngelo up to Frieri’s office. He told her the mayor would like to speak with you. Again, TES chooses the chicken’s way by having his bobo handle the dirty work. Frieri said she would not meet with the mayor unless she had a third party present.

Now think about this, folks.

With a job on line, wouldn’t you consider this not only an unusual request by a department head but also one that would not be done lightly, one that had a truthful (and fearful) experience behind it? The experience Frieri claims is a previous visit in the corner office in which TES launched into what has become, at least judging by the public and private testimony of at least a half dozen reputable people, his M.O. when he’s hot: Finger pointing, screaming, invasion of personal space, intimidation, and bullying.

In fairness, we include TES’ now infamous Nixonian protest, given to The Berkshire Eagle: “I am not a bully.”

Right. Got it.

Frieri’s refusal to meet with the mayor won her an immediate suspension without pay. One can almost see TES in his office, sneering and cackling, over the brilliance of his plan. In hindsight, Frieri should have met with the mayor. If he lit into her in an unprofessional manner, it would only have become more evidence to use in what looks like an inevitable legal action Frieri will pursue personally again Bianchi.

Source: Eagle Editorial Drove Mayor ‘Ballistic’ 

The suspension without pay took effecct 8/12/ (note that the three chaps who ripped off the DPW were suspended with pay, and so was The Count of Monterosso after he was relieved of his duties — all four men got weeks, maybe months, of a free ride). The first termination hearing for 8/15 was postponed.

City hall sources tells us then of an incident that occurred Monday, 8/18. On that day, our good friend Bill Everhart wrote an editorial in the Eagle that concluded with this paragraph:

The Eagle has printed letters to the editor from local veterans defending Ms. Frieri and praising her job performance. It has received no letters from veterans praising the suspension, criticizing her performance or explaining the past “no confidence” votes. The issue here is between Mr. Bianchi and Ms. Frieri, and her relationship with veterans, which appears sound, is not significant.

Our city hall spies (veddy well placed, and speaking on strict terms of anonymity) report that when Bianchi saw the editorial, “He went ballistic. [He] started shouting and cursing and [on the spot] changed the [new] hearing date. The man isn’t fit to be mayor.” In other words, sources say, the mayor unilaterally decided to move Frieri’s termination hearing up from Friday, Aug. 22, to the next day, Tuesday, Aug. 19. With less than 24 hours now to prepare, Frieri’s team would face the showdown caught off guard.

Aug. 15 postponed to Aug. 22 changed at last minute to Aug. 19. — Nice due process, wouldn’t you say?

After the mayor’s tantrum over Everhart’s editorial, have you noticed the many references in Eagle news stories how to mayor did not return requests for comment. In that regard, our good friends there, including scribe Jim Therrien, are starting to feel right at home within the frigidity and sterility of the “corner office orb.” Unless they publish more of his propaganda and feel-good PR (e.g., the Morningside Fitness Walk), he’s cut them off too.

The Enemies List Grows

Thus TES’ enemies list grows, and thus, Frieri as city agent lives in the past tense. It is an honor for a journalist to make the enemies list of a politician. It is not an honor for an otherwise regarded department head to have her reputation and honor dragged through the mud, as the mayor has done to Frieri? Was there just cause? THE PLANET will take a lucky guess and say the mayor will have his day in court to prove it.

Frieri’s future, according to what we’re hearing, is to “drag [the mayor] into court and sue his butt off.” THE PLANET might put it less ragged-right, but we would grant the likelihood of this happening.

* [ED. NOTE: THE PLANET would dearly love to name our sources, but as you can appreciate, with these kinds of investigative pieces, finding people (especially current city employees and other local public figures and “players”) to go on the record is like trying to learn the definitive fates of Judge Crater and Ambrose Bierce (you young’ns in the readership might want to look up those references). Are sources are real, and they are beginning to open up more about what is going on in the city, from their privileged perspectives. We shall continue to ask, even if just as a formality, if we can use names, but THE PLANET will ALWAYS respect a source’s right and entitlement to anonymity and protection. We have not only a professional obligation but a moral one as well.]


“Why is it no one ever sent me yet / One perfect lilmousine, do you suppose? / Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get / One perfect rose.”Dorothy Parker, “One Perfect Rose,” (1937)





  1. Ron Kitterman
    August 22, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    Thanks for shedding light on the subject Dan, like cockroaches afraid of light the administration runs and hides from the truth and runs for the cover of darkness. In spite of the promise of transparency and openness.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    August 22, 2014 at 10:04 am #

    The issue should be the Veterans who need the help of the city of Pittsfield’s Veterans’ agent Rosanne Frieri. It should not be about Mayor Dan Bianchi’s power trip and big ego. Pittsfield politics finds new ways to suck every day!

  3. Sparkie
    August 22, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    So let me get this straight. If you are a DPW employee and you get caught red handed stealing fuel, a plow, and several thousand dollars worth of auto parts from the DPW garage you get suspended from your job WITH PAY until there is a hearing and due process is completed.

    If are a Department Head that has been harassed by your boss and you want to be represented in a meeting with him to stop the harassment you get suspended WITHOUT PAY.

    Well that seems logical.

    • Craig Swinson
      August 25, 2014 at 8:26 am #

      I think it would stand to reason if you are a man in the Bianchi admin, you get treated better than a woman does.

  4. Question
    August 22, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Can a mayor be declared incompetent and mentally ill?

  5. dusty
    August 22, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    And I am not sure but when the mayors safe was cracked he did not push to have the guy prosecuted. So I gather from the paper. It might have been a friend of a friend thing. So, she must have really pushed his buttons somehow.. of course all the rest were male Hmmmm

  6. Still wondering
    August 22, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    Look Dan, she’s a screwup and she’s got to be let go. Accept it and move on.

    • Jonathan Melle
      August 22, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      I find this comment to be so ironic! Pittsfield politics is on a 3 decade long and counting downward spiral. Everyone who has participated in Pittsfield politics is a screwup at this point.
      * Thousands of people have fled Pittsfield/Berkshire County
      * Thousands of jobs have been lost in Pittsfield
      * There are more locals on welfare than have a decent job in Pittsfield
      * Teen pregnancies double the statewide average every year in Pittsfield
      * Pittsfield is known as an unequal community with a few wealthy people and a boatload of welfare people
      * Pittsfield spent millions of dollars on downtown revitalization and the area is still overrun with crime, violence, drugs, and gangs
      * Pittsfield politics is totally corrupt and ran by the Good Old Boy network of insider political hacks
      * GE Lobbyist Peter J. Larkin makes 6 figures by selling Pittsfield’s PCBs down the Housatonic river
      * Pittsfield public schools are underperforming with hundreds of children using school choice

      Oh wait…It is all Rosanne Frieri’s fault because non-Veteran Jack Downing and his cronies in City Hall don’t like her.

      • ouch
        August 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

        Well said Jonathan….this is all about the GOBs.

    • ouch
      August 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

      In that case we should take a look at all the screw-ups in City Hall.

      • Jonathan Melle
        August 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

        Pittsfield is a post-industrial American town. All of the blue collar jobs went overseas in the 21st Century. All of the Wall Street jobs went to the Corporate Elite in big cities like Manhattan, London, L.A. Museum exhibits of downtown Pittsfield have been shown to the upper classes in these same big cities: Manhattan, London, and L.A. Pittsfield is left with little fish in a big pond called Pittsfield politics. The Good Old Boy network are comprised of political hacks who come from multi-generational, inbred/low gene pool local families. Pittsfield politicians have huge ego’s and ambitions. Pittsfield’s current State Senator Ben Downing wanted to run for U.S. Senate! His dad was a District Attorney. His uncle is a non-Veteran who makes 6-figures running a homeless shelter for Veterans. His predecessor, Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., was the son of a State Senator then Pittsfield son, the nephew of a Pittsfield Mayor, and the nephew of a Pittsfield State Representative. Nuciforo had Congressional ambitions like Ben Downing. Nuciforo lost by 40 percentage points to Springfield Congressman Richie Neal in 2012. My point is that Pittsfield politicians are all the same. They come from multi-generational Pittsfield families and have big ego’s and ambitions.

        • Jonathan Melle
          August 22, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

          A post by “Eric”, on August 22, 2008:

          “The problem with local politics isn’t partisanship. We have a 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.”

          • Donald
            August 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

            Interesting take on the incest/nepotism angle. I thought he was going to end that with “success breeds success.” Maybe he meant their was too much incest in the community??? The majority of these folks did get “voted” in after all, right.

    • Sillence Dogood
      August 22, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

      Bianchi is the screwup….the lawyers will carve him up like the rump roast that he is.

    • joetaxpayer
      August 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Still wondering was that a typo. Did you mean he’s a screwup and he’s got to be let go. (by the people) God willing that man will be out of our lives, and his true employer can have him FULL time.

    • Skip the formalities
      August 24, 2014 at 7:22 am #

      Its Professor Valenti to you Allen.

      Show a little respect.

  7. Jamie
    August 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Have to agree with Jonathan. The verteran ‘old guard’ didn’t want Rosanne from the get go. When Bianchi became mayor they made their move. Bianchi complied. Not man enough to stand up to the GOBs.

  8. ed shepardson
    August 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    So how many vets is a vets agent allowed to mistreat? 1? 2? 10? 100?

    “The abrasive candor I felt that day towards me was horrible. I felt unwanted, minimalized, and further more unwelcomed by her rude tone. She was nothing more than an administrative bully to me that day, citing that she was a combat veteran just like me and I needed to respect her authority. Mrs. Frieri, you are NOT a veteran like me and I wouldn’t wish my pains upon anyone. I am a true combat veteran. I had no answers and quickly realized I would not get any help from this lady. It took every ounce of being that day not to close her door and show her what we call in the infantry “wall to wall counseling and attitude adjustment.”

    I left that day feeling hopeless, empty and bullied. There is a Glock .45 handgun that sits about 40 feet out from the Onota pier at its 11 o’clock that can attest to that. It has my saliva on the barrel and my tears on the sight rail. No one deserves those feelings. I’ve witnessed her callous and rude attitude with other veterans with so much empathy for their pain. For her to hide behind the cowl of being a victim and advocate she’s being bullied is an absolutely shallow act as a veteran who has bullied so many REAL soldiers.

    I am now receiving much mental support from the VA in Pittsfield and their caring staff. I’m also a respected student leader at Berkshire Community College. I am proud of my resilience. I am proud to stand as a veteran today and say to Mrs. Frieri, you are not the victim you claim to be. May Karma be kind unto you, because I would not.


    • MrG1188
      August 24, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

      They searched for hours…and never did find the glock… Makes ya wonder

  9. Pussy Galore
    August 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    Didn’t know Bianchi was from the good ol boy gene pool?

  10. Jonathan Melle
    August 22, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    I wish I wasn’t born and did not grow up and spend a majority of my life in Pittsfield. I know all about Pittsfield politics because I come from a political family. Pittsfield politics makes me so mad inside. When I read the Berkshire Eagle online and Dan Valenti’s blog on Pittsfield politics, it is all so predictable. And it all SUCKS! It is the same group of insider political hacks pulling the same crap every year. In the case of Rosanne Frieri, she is not a Good Old Boy like her counterpart, non-Veteran Jack Downing, whose brother was the District Attorney and whose nephew is the State Senator with a huge ego and even bigger ambitions. Jack Downing pulls down a 6 figure salary running a not-for-profit homeless shelter for Veterans in Northampton and Pittsfield. He comes from a long line of political hacks in Pittsfield politics. It is no secret that Jack Downing does not care for Rosanne Frieri. Dan Bianchi is beholden to the Good Old Boy network — even though he campaigned against them in 2011 — and he is the hatchet man who will fire Rosanne Frieri as Pittsfield’s Veterans’ Director. It so predictable to watch all of this happen. As a side note, I thought it was strange when Jack Downing brought over billionaire John Kerry to talk to the homeless Veterans at his Pittsfield shelter. John Kerry is a made man who comes from centuries of the political establishment. John Kerry was the wealthiest member of U.S. Congress before becoming Secretary of State for U.S. President Barack Obama. John Kerry and George W. Bush represented Yales’ Skull and Bones in the 2004 presidential election. The fix was in for Bush in the disputed 2000 presidential election where Pat Buchanan received more votes that Al Gore in the disputed farce that was the Florida election. The fix was in for Bush in the 2004 presidential election when John Kerry took a dive on Iraq and for his fellow Skull and Bones chum Bush. I am a disabled Veteran, and if John Kerry talked to me, I would tell him it must be nice to be a billionaire political elite. If Jack Downing talked to me, I would tell him to stop being a political hack under the false pretense of helping homeless Veterans. Jack Downing pays GE lobbyist Peter Larkin tens of thousands of dollars per year out of his not-for-profit budget for homeless Veterans. I find that so wrong! Jack Downing doesn’t give a crap about Veterans. He just likes chumming with billionaire John Kerry, paying his crony Peter Larkin big bucks in lobbyist fees, and doing the bidding the Good Old Boy network in Pittsfield politics!

  11. ed shepardson
    August 22, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

    6 out of 16.

  12. Gene
    August 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    I agree with Ed about Pittsfield veterans agent not being a good advocate. But I also agree with DV from a taxpayers p.o.v. The issue is between the mayor and Frieri, not the veterans and Frieri.

  13. joetaxpayer
    August 22, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Change of subject, sorry Dan but I was wondering why would one of the bloated projections for renovating and putting on a addition be for a 320,000 sq. ft building. The existing school is 240,000 sq. ft, already handling 1,000 student’s. Why put on a 80,000 sq. ft addition. The more cost effective approach would be to take down the least efficient parts of THS and then build the addition. Long meadow a town with a lot of money used this process and spent 78 million. There school is very state of the art. Look it up, you can’t believe what you read in these blogs.

    • ouch
      August 23, 2014 at 7:31 am #

      I understand that you don’t want to talk about this subject any more but do you realize who going to pay the Mayor’s legal bills? We are. The tax payers will be paying to defend this case and any other way until the mayor is no longer. As long as they know that the money is not coming out of their pocket they will not care. Now think about that.

      • Linda
        August 23, 2014 at 8:05 am #

        If the mayor is sued personally or for an alleged civil rights violation I don’t believe taxpayers are required to pay.

        In these two circumstances the mayor would be personally liable civilly, criminally, and financially. I’m pretty sure. Perhaps Mr. Kinnas knows for sure, since no one is up on process like he is.

        • ouch
          August 23, 2014 at 8:17 am #

          Any lawyers in the house?

        • Terry Kinnas
          August 24, 2014 at 10:12 am #

          There are at least 3 sections in MGL that reference the non indemnifications of public employees and elected officials in actions related to civil rights’ violations. To the best of my knowledge ; Sections 9 and 13 of chapter 258 and one in the chapter 40’s. This is a quick off the top response. However, life could get interesting if two or more people conspire to violate someone’s civil rights as it falls under RICO violations.

  14. Giacometti
    August 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    The grave of Kitty Lichtenstein has been robbed and the City has failed to tell anyone about it because it might look bad for the downtown.

    In 2013 the ashes of Kitty Lichtenstein were enshrined at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts on Renne Avenue. A head stone of copper leaves and roses celebrating her life was erected on the wall above where her ashes were laid to rest. In the past month the those copper roses and leaves were stolen from the site and the City has failed to even mention it. A real
    insult to a woman who sacrificed so much for the people of this
    city to have the robbery of her final resting place never even

    RIP Kitty Lichtenstein

    • Linda
      August 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      That is terrible. The mayor is at fault, because I personally have expressed my concern at the condition and security of what should be a peaceful tranquil, beautiful garden on the side of the building.

      The mayor ignored my request. His office took my message. Too busy to talk to me. Said he would call me back. Nothing.

    • Scott
      August 24, 2014 at 6:16 am #

      That’s awful most likly the work of some junkie looking for his next fix. With hunting season on the horizon I can’t help but think of how much more gratifying it would be if we could hunt down the scum of the city as opposed to ambushing wild game. It would be much more gradifying. I have more respect for the deer than the animals walking the streets of Pittsfield.

  15. Jonathan Melle
    August 23, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    I have been doing google news web searches about what happened with case of Rosanne Frieri v. Mayor Dan Bianchi. I haven’t seen any new news articles about it. What exactly happened?

    On another subject, Mayor Dan Bianchi is holding a community meeting on Monday (8/25/2014) evening from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria at 100 Burbank Street in Morningside Community School concerning a recent shooting involving two teenagers who are suspected of being under gang influence. City, community, police and religious leaders are expected to lead the community conservation. Panelists will include the mayor, Police Chief Michael Wynn, the Rev. Warren Dews Jr., Karen Tracana of the Department of Youth Services, Pittsfield Schools Superintendent Jason “Jake” McCandless and Seed Network CEO Eddie Taylor. Moderator will be Adam Hinds, the Shannon Grant coordinator.


    • Scott
      August 24, 2014 at 6:12 am #

      Will they be able to answer the question of why with all our gun laws a 15 yet old urban youth is able to obtain a gun? Nope they’ll just pay some lip service. And encourage you to eat on your neighbors. A 30 year police force veteran even had the audacity to claim shes never seen a case of severe witness intimidation ha, ha ha.

      • Evian
        August 24, 2014 at 8:24 am #

        Scott is right, this group will be more of the ‘usual suspects’ talking a lot of b.s. that will look good in the papers but not saying or doing anything. Have Valenti moderate this event then we might actually have some ansewrs.

        • Evian
          August 24, 2014 at 8:25 am #

          “answers’, sorry

          • Scott
            August 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

            Yeah and mine was supposed to be *rat on your neighbors! Ha ha eat on your neighbors, for a “smart phone” this phone is pretty F’n DUMB! I still call my phone dumb right???

  16. Pussy Galore
    August 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    Don’t mess with Kitty!

  17. Last King of Scotland
    August 24, 2014 at 5:05 am #

    The mayor has said he cannot comment on this because its a “personal matter”.
    Its personal.

    Its a love/hate relationship.

    Mayor Bianchi loves to hate Frieri and she hates to love Dan Bianchi.

  18. Last King of Scotland
    August 24, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    One solution to the declining population of Pittsfield is to fill the city with illegal aliens.

    The new very spacious Taconic High School for instance can be filled with illegal alien children. This is one way to justify spending 200 million on this new indoctrination hub despite the diminishing population of residents in this city. There could be new Spanish speaking cell blocks incorporated in the plans.

    The crime wave by TOM (the mayor) can be stopped by a simple recall.

  19. Mold removal bus lacks clients
    August 24, 2014 at 7:54 am #

    Here is an excerpt from IBerkshires posted in the public domain:

    ” PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Building Commissioner Gerald Garner says his nose can block out the pungent odor that hits him the moment he starts the descent into the City Hall basement.
    He hasn’t put his finger on exactly what the smell is — some mixture of moisture, mold and poor air ventilation — but it has been strong enough that contractors looking for permitting have refused to go into the basement, where most of the inspectors have offices.

    “We’re kind of used to it,” Garner said on Thursday, as he led a tour around the building inspector’s offices.

    Garner said he doesn’t know everything about radon but he knows the detector the state installed in his office shows more than double an acceptable level.

    In another office, he points to black mold growing on the ceilings — likely from the basement flooding so often. He knows there is asbestos in the walls and throughout the air system. Nearly all of the pipes drip. The bathroom has basically become a custodian’s closet because of the poor condition.

    “I’ve never had a sinus problem in my life until I started working here,” Garner said. “It is just not a good environment.”

    Commissioner of Public Utilities Bruce Collingwood says his office has flooded twice in recent years, destroying supplies and leaving moldy walls and ceiling tiles in its wake”.

    ” He doesn’t quite know yet what to do with the vacated basement space but says there is a significant need for more storage. Currently many of the basement rooms store legal records and supplies.
    “I think it would make sense for storage space,” Bianchi said, adding that there are some other opportunities such as offices for board or commission meetings if needed or temporary workers such as accountants.”

    So, the basement in City Hall is infected with every disease carrying virus and bacteria known to man……..
    Axe yourself one question:
    Isn’t this the ideal place to store legal documents and supplies?

    How fortunate for the taxpayers of the city of Pittsfield that there was plenty of office space available and Scarafoni Realty was the only one who responded to the mayor’s request for such within elevator distance of Global Mondello.

    • Dave
      August 24, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

      Curious how the Mayor used as an example of who he would put in the basement as “temporary workers such as accountants”. It is to the point where Mayor Bianchi cannot help himself from saying something without a backhand slap to those who disagree. If it has gotten to the point where it is unsafe for the offices to be in the didn’t happen overnight, why wasn’t a plan put in place to move the offices using a building we own? This is bad Government! The other facts that deal with 100 North St and how this deal is being done is worse than bad Government-it is Pittsfield politics.

    • Craig Swinson
      August 25, 2014 at 8:40 am #

      Just because something is posted on the internet does not mean it is in the “public domain”. Websites, articles, pictures are all subject to copyright. There’s a byline, there’s a website, there is a website that generates some revenue by people actually looking at the page.

      The wholesale copying of news articles and reposting them can really hurt media companies. I would sort of think and hope Dan would be on board with an excerpt and a link (fair use)…not the wholesale copying and pasting of articles like this.

  20. Spider
    August 24, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    If radon, mold and other air problems can be fixed in other bldgs., then it can surely be fixed in City Hall. Give me a break!

    This is nothing but a scam and a very expensive one. I don’t buy it for a minute.

  21. Pussy Galore
    August 24, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    Seems like another way for a Department Head who just got a raise to justify a big bucks move to 100 North Street? Like someone said before, he’s the Building Inspector, all of a sudden it’s an unhealthy environment? He just stumbled on that?

    • Scott
      August 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      These “inspectors” we pay for are a joke.

  22. More fleecing is on the way
    August 24, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    The basement floor at city hall has fallen in disrepair from long standing neglect. The city has no money to fix these problems.

    The city policy is not about upkeep of existing buildings but build new and rent/lease new ones. Its not their money they’re spending, its yours.

    Just raise taxes and fees and borrow. Its foolproof and the people are powerless to stop this gravy train!

    The original reason given by the mayor for the move to 100 North St. was to save contractors a few steps but now its morphed into the basement at city hall being a toxic waste hazardous area.

  23. Concent Decree in a non-issue
    August 24, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Is radon gas more toxic than the PCB’s casting their cancer causing fumes into the air and water in all of Pittsfield?

  24. Jonathan Melle
    August 24, 2014 at 11:54 am #


    Stay off of:

    North st.
    Tyler st.
    Lincoln st.
    First st.
    Second st.
    Linden st.
    Dewey ave
    Cherry st.
    Burbank st.
    Kent ave
    Madison ave
    And Seymore st.

    And you might survive.

  25. Kathy
    August 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    What a crazy city

  26. Giacometti
    August 24, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    City employees who worked in basement of city hall continue to die from radon….something must be done. Former mail room in basement killed former mail clerk,,,sink in voters registration office in City Hall is full of radon. Vault in City Clerks office is full of radon City has attempted to fix problem yet workers continue to die from radon…something has to be done. City hall is full of radon and mold and should be totally emptied of all offices. Radon and mold are silent killers that cause lung cancer. I personally would never work in Pittsfield City Hall because it is a very sick building. We have to get everyone out of that building as it has been a sick building for over 30 years and more city employees die each year.

    • Spectator
      August 25, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with cancer caused by your work place? Call the law office of James Sokolove now and we’ll SUE SUE SUE!

  27. Dave
    August 24, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Another laugher-did the building inspector get one of those raises that were just passed? Good thing if he did because now all raises are performance driven, so if he had everyone working in a space that was so toxic, what does that say about his job performance?

  28. Lenny
    August 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    Off topic, but can anyone confirm the rumor I hear that John Krol announced his candidacy for mayor on Bill Sturgeons show last week?

  29. Jonathan Melle
    August 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    Re: open letter to Clarence Fanto

    Dear Clarence Fanto,

    I read your news article about GE’s cancer-causing PCBs that have caused the suffering and death of many thousands of Pittsfield/Berkshire County area residents. I felt like your writing was part of the long-running propaganda delivered by GE and its lobbyists like Peter Larkin. Nothing in your journalistic writing offered the truth about the farce that is the “clean-up” of GE’s toxic waste in Pittsfield and Southern Berkshire County. You are part of the Berkshire Eagle’s corporate viewpoint that favors big government and the corporate elite (in this case, General Electric Company), which is a top-down view of politics. Please consider my comments about why GE is wrong about the “clean-up” of its cancer-causing, toxic waste PCBs. The first issue is that the “clean-up” is a band-aid or short-term solution. GE is capping a great majority of its pollution. The problem with capping is that the cap may be faulty from the beginning. The cap may only last one day, one month, one year, or one decade. The lifespan of an average cap is about 2 decades. Caps must be monitored every single day. That means that every single cap in Pittsfield and every single future cap in Southern Berkshire County must be monitored every single day. This leads to the second issue, which is who is going to pay for the so-called “clean-up” every single day, and then a generation from now, and then the next generation? The Consent Decree that GE’s former CEO Jack Welch signed with former Pittsfield Mayor Gerry Doyle in 2000 paid for the first round of “clean-up” and capping. It did not address the newly found pollution sites. It did not address the critical need to monitor all of the caps. It did not address the need for cleaning-up the pollution once the caps expire and who will pay for that and the re-capping of the pollution. Who is going to pay for all of this once GE’s obligations are met? Is Pittsfield going to be a Superfund site in the year 2030? Why don’t you offer any real investigative journalism instead of toeing the corporate/epa line? The sad reality is that thousands of human lives have suffered and died from cancer as a result of GE and its toxic waste PCBs pollution. I grew up and lived in Pittsfield for a majority of my life. I have read a lot of news articles about this sad reality. My mom was born and raised in Pittsfield. She had cancer twice in her life. Once when I was 14 years old in 1990. Again when I was 30 years old in 2006. Her friends had cancer. My neighbors where I grew up in Pittsfield had and died from cancer. I know what I am writing about. This is serious business without serious news journalism. Vindicate yourself, Clarence Fanto, and write a real news story about what GE did to the people of Pittsfield and Berkshire County!

    Best regards,
    Jonathan Melle


    “Housatonic River cleanup preparations underway”
    By Clarence Fanto, Special to The Berkshire Eagle, 8/24/2014

    LENOX — With a sense of urgency, the Select Board and Town Manager Christopher Ketchen are moving to stake out the town’s position on a proposed $613 million cleanup of the Housatonic River.

    Ketchen recently took an informational tour of the GE-EPA cleanup of the upper Hudson River PCB removal project at Fort Edward, N.Y., with officials from Pittsfield and the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.

    He told board members he gained some insight on the challenges Lenox could face after the Housatonic cleanup begins within the next three to five years.

    He urged scheduling of a public forum specific to Lenox within the next several weeks. In addition, the board will plan extensive working sessions to prepare the town’s formal response on the cleanup plan, with input from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission.

    “It’s important for the public to fully engage and make their voices heard,” he said.

    PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, leached into the river from the former General Electric transformer plant in Pittsfield for many years. The chemical, a suspected carcinogen, was banned by the U.S. government in 1977.

    Cleanup already has been completed on a 2-mile stretch of the river south of the Pittsfield plant. The EPA has been working on the next phase of the cleanup, known as the “Rest of River” plan.

    The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal calls on GE to remove through dredging and capping up to 90 percent of the chemicals from designated “hot spots” from southeast Pittsfield to Woods Pond in Lenox, which would be drained, excavated and then refilled.

    Selectman Warren Archey urged a “logical sequence” of cleanup activities from Pittsfield to downstream communities, instead of overlapping work. The location of truck routes, loading areas and potential rail transport of contaminated PCB material dredged from the river and Woods Pond are among the high-priority concerns, Archey said, in addition to impacts on roads and bridges.

    He also questioned whether the EPA proposal takes into account the meandering course of the Housatonic and the effects of storms.

    “We’ve got to get it right,” Archey said. “What we do or say on this is literally going to affect generations.”

    Selectman Kenneth Fowler pointed out that the plan indicates PCB debris would be “hauled through Lenox.”

    “The thing that worries me most is the staging area, where they’re going to bring this [contaminated material] and who they’re going to use to do that,” he said.

    “A lot of the big unknown is the means and methods that will be employed,” Ketchen said, noting that barges that transport contaminated material along the upper Hudson River could not be used on the narrow, winding Housatonic.

    “I’m hearing time is a real issue here,” Select Board Chairman Channing Gibson said.

    Ketchen and Archey agreed to begin drafting a formal town comment on the cleanup proposal.

    “When it’s all said and done,” Selectman Edward Lane noted, “common sense says the biggest impact is going to be around Woods Pond. I think Lenox should be a little selfish, look out for themselves and really get our act together.”

    Rest of River information

    What’s next: The EPA will host a formal public hearing on the project at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, in the Duffin Theater of Lenox Memorial Middle and High School.

    On the Web: The government’s proposal can be reviewed at and at some Town Halls along the river. Additional details are posted at

    Where to write: Members of the public who wish to submit formal written comments for consideration by the EPA can mail them to Dean Tagliaferro, EPA New England, Weston Solutions, 10 Lyman St., Pittsfield MA 01201.

    Comments can be e-mailed to or faxed to (617) 918-0028. Final comments from communities and the public are due at the federal agency no later than Oct. 1.

    To contact Clarence Fanto: or (413) 637-2551.
    On Twitter; @BE_cfanto

  30. Giacometti
    August 24, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Dave: The building inspector who died was one of the best…Bob Pomeroy…who died a terrible death from lung cancer…I’m only saying that City Hall has been a sick building for a very long time and there are too many deaths from lung cancer.