(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SNOWMAGEDDON + 2, MARCH 16, 2017) — While wondering if the falling of a little snow even qualifies as a “blizzard” (that’s what The Boring Broadsheet called it), THE PLANET takes time to address a few items of here and there.

Out of Air — With its funding in jeopardy, now would be the perfect time to move the Berkshire Talking Chronicle to the broadcast studio at Taconic High School. The blind have a need for this service, and the THS facility continues what is likely the illegal broadcasting of Good Morning Pittsfield, a show hosted by city councilor John “Koral” Krol. There’s clearly a violation of intent with Krol’s show, and likely the law in the manner in which the space is employed and how the show is owned. What was meant for students interested in radio has been hijacked for blatant politicking. Better to use the space to help the sightless.

The Madd Woman of Charlemont — With news anchor Rachel Maddow doing a face-plant with her fake news on President Donald Trump‘s taxes, one wonders how much longer MSNBC will keep this supremely ineffectual yackker on the wire. We think back to the girl’s landscaping days in nearby Charlemont.  This petite, uber-liberal, self-ascribed, 5’11”, “dyke” had a fondness for dirt back then. Seems little has changed after she hit the Big Time. THE PLANET, incidentally, stands second to none in our admiration of her success, the same way we loved it when Stern and Limbaugh hit it big.

Creating Snowflakes — Remember the days when public schools were interested in education? It gave a certain security to community life to know that our young scholars were being equipped with the basic skills without which life after school becomes gangsta-ed, tattooed, and drugged. Taking everyone gets a trophy and “self-esteem” to an absurd “further,” Reid Middle School has instituted a “mediation program.” A what? Reid principal says the program will bring in “third parties” to mediate “relationships between the school and its families.” The mediators will “administer discussions” between faculty and parents on such subjects as playing hooky, bullying, and freedom of speech. Of course, the new program creates another taxpayer-funded gig, the recipient of which is Kayla Wendling. She will be “Mediation Center Coordinator.” Her job is to “help the flow of conversation.” Someone raise the white flag of surrender.

JIV Jeopardizes Fed Funding — Pittsfield currently receives $10.6 million in federal funding. Has the staggeringly incompetent superintendent of Pittsfield Public Schools jeopardized those dollars with  his March 7 letter defying Immigration and Customs Enforcement‘s order to go after illegal immigrants? JIV says agents will not be allowed to probe any “non-school related events” inside of the city’s public schools. PLANET sources say this defiance of President Donald Trump‘s new policy on illegals has put the city’s federal money “in jeopardy.” The clueless JIV got at least one thing straight when he intoned, “I’m not an expert on immigration policy.” THE PLANET gives Jake McCandless fair warning: Reverse your policy. Failure to do so may cause irreparable damage.

Putting the ‘Non’ in ‘Non-Profit’Berkshire Children and Families (BCF) has helped area families with adoption, foster care, and early education for 130 years. Pittsfield Community Connection (PCC) has been “serving” kids ages 10 to 24 who have criminal histories and gang membership. It’s been around only a little longer than last Tuesday, two years to be exact. Miraculously, though, PCC has talked BCF into assuming its mission to cuddle with the gangstas. Why would BCF infect the purity of its mission with this risky move? Uh, could it be that PCC began when the city received a $100,000 Shannon Grant and put now-state-sen. Adam Hinds in charge? As Pittsfield continues to throw public money down the drain by wasting it on dead-ends, it continues to pile onto Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, the bedraggled, “ordinary,” law-abiding citizens whose struggle to stay afloat becomes more difficult by the day.

——– 000 ——–

These are just a few of the many stories floating in the cold Berkshire air. There are as many as there are snowflakes, who, as you know, these days abound.


“I am an expert in education.”Jake “JIV” McCandless



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  1. Thomas More
    March 15, 2017 at 11:40 pm #

    Ah, the name calling. The Madd woman of Charlemont on the banks of the Deerfield River. It reminds one of a petite girl in Cummington who was a landscaper. She was 5’11” and an accomplished athlete. We often thought how many 5’4″ men would love to be that tall. “LOCK THE CLOSET DOOR AUNT MILLIE”. the skeletons are trying to get out.

    • danvalenti
      March 16, 2017 at 8:37 am #

      Actually, our editorial board thought “The Madd woman of Charlemont” had a neat, literary ring to it. As for 5’4″ men, all I can say is that we once held a Big Man’s Camp at Hellenic College in 1988 for Kevin McHale, Mark Acres, and Robert Parrish. After that, we interviewed Red Auerbach. True story.

  2. heh heh
    March 16, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    Rachael Maddow apparently is now making 6 million dollars a year. While that is not Donald Trump money she is surviving as best she can under her difficult financial times.

    • Pat
      March 16, 2017 at 5:40 am #

      Now if only she told the truth in her career instead of doing everything she can to put down anyone who isn’t a Democrat. I think we would then all be happy for her earning 6 million dollars a year. We need the media to be unbiased in their reporting. That is all-important for this country.

      • Thomas More
        March 16, 2017 at 6:03 am #

        Fortunately we have Fox News.

        • Pat
          March 16, 2017 at 6:42 am #

          FOX at least attempt to be fair while the other media sources do not. I listen to ALL stations though not just FOX.

          Progressives and conservatives could come together on so many issues if they just took the time to really see what we all have in common. We all have the same basic human needs and if we worked together our differences wouldn’t seem so impossible to overcome.

          • danvalenti
            March 16, 2017 at 8:24 am #

            I agree. Of all the networks, Fox News is the most equitable and just. I say this coming to it as an impartial observer. A couple years of content analysis demonstrated the sagacity of the point. It’s not perfect, but who is except Don Larsen on Oct. 8, 1956?

        • 12 Gauge
          March 16, 2017 at 9:12 am #

          Those who put down FNC never watch it.

          • Shakes His Head
            March 16, 2017 at 9:50 am #

            I could care less about TV news

          • 12 Gauge
            March 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm #

            I couldn’t care less about your opinion

  3. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 3:03 am #

    Did the real planet show himself today and is it blue collar landscaper should not pursue a passion of politics and succeeding that eats at you or is it that a lesbian accomplished all this.This is why people supported Trump.Thank you for an inside look at yourself.

    • danvalenti
      March 16, 2017 at 8:33 am #

      You are reading far too much into my remarks, TSC. While we are flattered that you should take our words so seriously, we would dare say that you know not what you write (in this entry, at any rate) in the same manner that you not not ME at all. I’m willing to remedy that over coffee, however! As for THE PLANET’s support for Trump, look at the alternative.

  4. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 3:07 am #

    Trump last night on Fox bail on his wiretapping charges.Such a fake fake president who follows Bannon to the edge.

  5. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 3:22 am #

    Maddow is a graduate of Stanford and has her doctorate from Oxford in political science .Her show overwhelms most Trump supporters with facts and information.She is so smart the simple way to handle her is to say she is fake.

    • LoneGunMan
      March 16, 2017 at 5:07 am #

      Maddow is the smartest guy on TV

      • Rush N Hacker
        March 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

        Get on Board, the Planet is the greatest Journalist in the country..

    • Pat
      March 16, 2017 at 5:43 am #

      She may be smart, but her news reporting is very biased toward Democrats. She needs to treat Democrats and Republicans in a neutral way.

      • danvalenti
        March 16, 2017 at 8:25 am #

        She is smart, intelligent even. She deserves all the success she has attained … but she’s hired simply to bash bash bash the Republicans, Trumps, conservatives, and those of that ilk.

    • danvalenti
      March 16, 2017 at 8:31 am #

      There’s no disputing her intelligence or her abilities, just as there’s no disputing how she sold out to the highest bidder. Notice also, TSC, that I didn’t say she was fake. She’s not fake. She’s the real deal. The way her network played up the tax story? Now THAT was from Hoaxland.

      • heh heh
        March 16, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

        FOX hammered away at Benghazi for 5 years. So they still hold the championship belt for beating a dead horsey.

    • 12 Gauge
      March 16, 2017 at 9:13 am #

      Please go back on your meds.

    • 12 Gauge
      March 16, 2017 at 4:36 pm #

      Take your trumProzac.

  6. John Grogan
    March 16, 2017 at 5:08 am #

    Oh Danny Boy…(as we approach the wearing o the green) I believe the phrase “fake news” has already outlived its usefulness, especially as utilized in your entry above. Maddow’s release of Trump’s tax documents was indeed over-hyped, and anti-climactic, but it was not fake. Those were real returns filed by der furher, and since he steadfastly refuses to release anything himself, their existence and content is, to my mind, news.

    • Pat
      March 16, 2017 at 5:34 am #

      You are right. It is news. Good news for Trump.

    • danvalenti
      March 16, 2017 at 8:29 am #

      Thanks. I agree with your take on “fake news.” What was fake about Trump’s taxes? The blatant hype, suggesting they caught Trump. In fact, it turned out he paid more taxes ($38 million) and a higher rate than almost everyone expected. He came out looking good, paying his fair share. So we agree: It is news, but news that should have been played as Trump being honorable as far as taxes are concerned. What’s not news is why this is relevant in the first place. Past behavior can be an indication, but I’m much more concerned about present actions.To me, the tax issue was a splinter issue, the kind that, unfortunately, dominates today’s 24/7, no-attention-span news cycle.

      • heh heh
        March 16, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

        Dan, do you think that billionaire, author, TV star, real estate genius, president Trump could hold his own in a debate with Rachael Maddow?

        Serious question. Be honest.

        • Pat
          March 16, 2017 at 5:21 pm #

          I think anyone could do really well in a debate with Ms. Maddow.

        • Levitan
          March 17, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

          Actually, Donald Trump has held his own perfectly through a thick primary and contest with the adept and wily Clinton. Why would Maddow,who blew her own story, be challenging?

  7. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 5:48 am #

    Trump is on top of the economic pyramid scheme and he will go higher those at the bottom will go lower on the pyramid….fact

    • Pat
      March 16, 2017 at 6:02 am #

      That is exactly what happened to the working middle class during the Obama years. Those at the top got richer while the working middle class sunk lower and lower. Trump recognized the problem. Americans need jobs and lower taxes. Companies need fewer government regulations.

    • 12 Gauge
      March 16, 2017 at 9:15 am #

      TSC. Please go back on your meds. FACT.

    • Magoo
      March 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

      Your Trump hate is showing

  8. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 6:48 am #

    Unions created the blue collar middle class.The regressive have had a war on unions for 40 years.They won and they now have you supporting them.You have been had.Unions lost and the middle-class is still losing….Trump will save the middle class and when he doesn’t he will blame fake.something.

    • LoneGunMan
      March 16, 2017 at 7:08 am #

      Because the MTA is totally saving our public education system… *rolls eyes*

      • Pat
        March 16, 2017 at 8:19 am #

        The MTA is hurting public education more than helping it as kids don’t even have basic school supplies while we get budget increases each year.

    • danvalenti
      March 16, 2017 at 8:22 am #

      The unions began at a time when workers were being exploited. There was a moment when collective bargaining brought a needed corrective and the worker-employer dance stood balanced and fair. This ironically meant to decline of unionism, since working conditions were now improved and set in place. The unions that survived, not all but some, pressed their advantage to the point where they are as exploitive as the management they once excoriated. I think here of the Massachusetts Teachers Assn. and the National Education Assn., two unions of which I am, by the way, a member. Not a proud member, but a member. I have flourished in employment conditions where I bargained for myself, as a free agent.

      • Spider
        March 16, 2017 at 8:37 am #

        Dan; You are absolutely right! The unions were a blessing to exploited workers, but then they went too far, making outrageous demands to the point that some companies folded.

        The teachers unions are a good example. The power they hold financially and otherwise over elected officials is criminal, not to mention “tenure”.

      • The School Committee
        March 16, 2017 at 8:53 am #

        Trump /Bannon want to go back in time.Dan we have Bannon Trump revisiting settled law.Trump stated there should be a penalty given to women who choose wrong at their Doctors office.So I’m guessing all other simple things like labor laws will also be explored by our President

        • 12 Gauge
          March 16, 2017 at 9:28 am #

          As I am unable to accept your kind invitation to be present on the occasion of the Twentieth Jubilee Convention of the National Federation of Federal Employees, I am taking this method of sending greetings and a message.

          Reading your letter of July 14, 1937, I was especially interested in the timeliness of your remark that the manner in which the activities of your organization have been carried on during the past two decades “has been in complete consonance with the best traditions of public employee relationships.” Organizations of Government employees have a logical place in Government affairs.

          The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.

          All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service. It has its distinct and insurmountable limitations when applied to public personnel management. The very nature and purposes of Government make it impossible for administrative officials to represent fully or to bind the employer in mutual discussions with Government employee organizations. The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives in Congress. Accordingly, administrative officials and employees alike are governed and guided, and in many instances restricted, by laws which establish policies, procedures, or rules in personnel matters.

          Particularly, I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place in the functions of any organization of Government employees. Upon employees in the Federal service rests the obligation to serve the whole people, whose interests and welfare require orderliness and continuity in the conduct of Government activities. This obligation is paramount. Since their own services have to do with the functioning of the Government, a strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government until their demands are satisfied. Such action, looking toward the paralysis of Government by those who have sworn to support it, is unthinkable and intolerable. It is, therefore, with a feeling of gratification that I have noted in the constitution of the National Federation of Federal Employees the provision that “under no circumstances shall this Federation engage in or support strikes against the United States Government.”

          I congratulate the National Federation of Federal Employees the twentieth anniversary of its founding and trust that the convention will, in every way, be successful.
          Very sincerely yours,


        • Johnny2Shoes
          March 16, 2017 at 11:21 am #

          The law is settled as far as you can get an abortion if you choose so. What isn’t settled is, taxpayers being made to pay for it.

      • Thomas More
        March 16, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

        Why are you a member of both? If you pay dues you support them.

  9. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 9:01 am #

    Trump said Obamas was tapping his phone.Trump is now broadening that to include something about survalience that can fit into his 1st statement.Such a adolescent dim president a shill for large corporations and anything or any law that get in the way.Hes doing this for the little people.

    • 12 Gauge
      March 16, 2017 at 9:30 am #

      Take your trumProzac.

      • LoneGunMan
        March 16, 2017 at 10:02 am #

        i agree. Where exactly did they drop you off to roam freely when Belchertown closed the doors on it’s nuthouse?

    • heh heh
      March 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

      Trump i9s Americas worst nightmare. The whole world is both laughing and crying at the same time. And this shit storm has a long way to go. Buy the chest high waders folks.

  10. Tricksie
    March 16, 2017 at 10:21 am #

    Back to DV’s points…Krol is most definitely violating MGL with his political radio show. Thus, he unplugs during election season – even if legal, it’s outrageous that he uses connections to pirate a local radio station meant to be used by the students – never mind the fact that the show is a regurgitation of never ending Krol rump swabs –

    • LoneGunMan
      March 16, 2017 at 10:47 am #

      Get ready for Mayor Krol in a few years. At least candidate Krol.

      Lord help us if he ever becomes in charge of running things. I’ve never seen someone so blinded by his own political biases and privileged upbringing in my life. Been that way since he roamed the halls of Taconic.

    • Evian
      March 16, 2017 at 5:11 pm #

      Why do you think he stopped inviting DV on his show? Dan mopped the floor with him every time!

  11. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    Senate intelligence committee can call Trump a liar but did because Trump is nuts.

  12. The School Committee
    March 16, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Spicer went wacky and would not shut up at the news conference. Spicer would be great on this blog.SNL everyday …he is funny

    • 12 Gauge
      March 16, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

      Take your trumProzac.

  13. Pat
    March 16, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

    The news report today is that Penneys in the Berkshire Mall may be closing, but not sure. The announcement will come tomorrow. Shopping online with all the traffic that will create with shipping all the merchandise individually all over the country will not be good. This will mean high shipping costs which average people cannot afford. Not to mention that once actual physical stores are gone, shipping charges will no doubt go through the roof. Stores offer some incentives for people to buy online, but once there are no stores, people will be forced to pay high shipping charges.

    Hopefully, Penneys will not close. I have my fingers crossed. I hate shopping online. Shopping online encourages impulse buying which is why stores are happy to let customers get rid of actual stores. Easier for the stores with less expense to run their companies, but more headaches, hassle, and overspending for the customer.