(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, SNOWMAGEDDON MARCH 14, 2017) — Considering that official spring is less than a week away, there’s been way too much hair getting mussed because of a few snowflakes hitting the ground.

Snowflakes are interesting. No two are or have ever been alike, although how does anyone actually know? They fall individually but accumulate collectively, kind of like human “snowflakes” — you know, the ones who have turned New England winter into Snowmageddon. In terms of hype, fear, and needless consternation, The Apocalypse has nothing on Snowmageddon. In the words of Franklin Delano Snowsevelt, “We have nothing to fear but snow itself.”

When did we lose our senses about weather? Was it in the mid-80s, when city council president Joe Ryan took his orders from the unions and shepherded through the uncapping of public pensions in the then-well-off-but-on-its-way-to-disaster City of Pittsfield? Was it shortly thereafter, when voting turnouts went south and the Big Three public-employee gangs, led by the educators, stole control of local elections? Was it when mayor Sara Hathaway, after fatally avoiding that pesky journalist Dan Valenti for nearly a year, showed up uninvited and unannounced on his radio show, bringing with her puppy Moxie? Each of these would make as much sense as any explanation you would care to offer.

There’s money in snow. News coverage from the “mainstream press” (MP) has mentioned the phrase “Storm of the Century” more than once. They say it occurred in 1993. THE PLANET remembers that March 12. It snowed. It got shoveled and plowed. It melted. We lived to tell about it. The MP loves “weather,” especially a little snow, because the media can cause a panic with 24/7 coverage on TV and the Internet. Panics generate viewers, readers, and listeners, and that bumps up ad rates. THE PLANET even knows a case of a local ski area sending cash bribes to a local radio station to broadcast that the weekend would include “expected snow fall” when the actual weather called for no snow. Of course, our lips are sealed.

Snow is also politics and votes. Not to be left out of the fun, government on all levels loves to may hay from the crystalline flakes. “Please be advised …” Let THE PLANET stop there. Doesn’t the phrase sound official, the connotation having that perfect tinge of forbidding and portent? That’s how the press release from the mayor’s office began.

It reads:

PITTSFIELD, Mass. – Please be advised that on Tuesday, March 14th, the city is expected to receive two to four inches of snow per hour, therefore the City of Pittsfield has declared a snow emergency. An on-street parking ban, except for North Street, will be in effect 8 a.m. Tuesday through 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 15th.

Vehicles parked on city streets must be removed to allow for plowing. Parking restrictions for the McKay Street Garage are waived as both this garage and the first floor of the Columbus Avenue Garage are open and available for parking on Tuesday.

Garbage pickup will be canceled Tuesday and all routes will be delayed one day. Please keep fire hydrants and sidewalks shoveled and accessible in case of emergencies.

The City of Pittsfield thanks you for your patience and please stay safe. — Roberta McCulloch-Dews

——– 000 ——–

When did we, as individuals, lose the common sense to know when to venture out and when to stay indoors during a snow storm? When did we need government to tell us to “stay safe?” Was it when mayor Ed Reilly gave up the ghost and walked out on radio anchor Dan Valenti election night one foggy November when Gerry Doyle won election? Was it when Doyle nearly cashed-out the city during the health insurance scandal? When mayor Jimmy Ruberto went to a World Series game in 2004 — on tickets for which he paid full price? Perhaps it came when mayor Dan Bianchi turned over his job to the late Sue Carmel and the late Bruce Collingwood?

We don’t know. Snowmageddon remains a mystery. As for THE PLANET, we will don snowsuit and venture outside to play. Snowforts, snowball fights, King of the Hill, sliding, Kill The Guy With The Ball: We have our choice of fun, for we have long ago skipped our “mid-life crisis” in favor of our “second childhood.”

We won’t tell you to “stay safe.” You’re an adult. You’re a big boy. You’re a big girl. You know what to do.


“As soon go kindle fire with snow as seek to quench the fire of love with words.”William Shakespeare.



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  1. heh heh
    March 14, 2017 at 1:42 am #

    There are no two snowflakes alike? Who said that? Who did all the research and comparison? I know for a fact, just in the last storm, that no one check the ones in my driveway because i was out there much of the day. This is the kind of rhetoric and misinformation that skews reality and confuses children. I hope someone rethinks this and comes out with a more objective report.

  2. Thomas More
    March 14, 2017 at 3:28 am #

    Don’t look good Dan. I was cheerin’ for you to be right. You know weather.
    No school in Syracuse or Schenectady either. Winter Haven looks good though.

  3. heh heh
    March 14, 2017 at 3:48 am #

    Looks like Dan is right again. Good thing cuz my back is sore.

  4. Mad Trapper
    March 14, 2017 at 5:45 am #

    Good to see the only “economic engine” in PITTSfield is still open for business, the parking meters on North Street are raking in the loot!!!

  5. Mad Trapper
    March 14, 2017 at 5:48 am #

    Why do all the “news” stations play up this “monster storm”, tell us the “little snowflakes” won’t have school, but can’t give citizens simple information like if public transportation is shut down?

    BTW, for people waiting at the bus stop, BRTA is shut down for the day……….is that newsworthy?

  6. heh heh
    March 14, 2017 at 5:59 am #

    Every time they make a huge jump in the taxes they say it is because “people want their services”. Most of their “services” I do not use or need but snow plowing I do. so I hope this is not going to be the time the mayor tries to save money. People are going to be sent home from work and they need to be able to use the roads.; Not at 6 pm but all during the day mayor.

    Make sure the people are getting the services they paid for and make sure the roads are plowed. do your job.

  7. Ghidora
    March 14, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    The Planet does NOT know weather. And as far as individuals having common sense on whether or not to venture out in a storm, one only has to observe how individuals drive in good weather to see common sense is very uncommon, if it even exists at all.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

      Once again, we were spot-on, bullseye with our forecast. Why, man, if we were on the firing range, we’d be past “marksman” rating.

  8. Johnny2Shoes
    March 14, 2017 at 6:33 am #


    Those outside activities like king of the hill and others you mentioned kept us busy for hours and outside. Today we have cupcakes who have mini cupcakes who will stay in no matter the weather and play Grand Theft Auto and the like all day long. Ask some of these kids what a shovel is and they will ask, is it some new joystick for my gaming system? I remember my father tossing my brother and I out the window so we could shovel out the doors and then we all would clean up everything else. They hype every snowstorm from 2″ to 4″ as the same as a 12″-24″ storm. They used payloaders to clean outer Pecks Rd. by the Lanesboro line on occasion. Those were storms.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

      Exactly, Johnny. THOSE were storms? This stuff? Nothing.

  9. NBI
    March 14, 2017 at 7:30 am #

    I wonder if during these emergency situations, is the real estate tax paying public allowed the privilege to park in front of the no kiosk, tax payer subsidized, HON? Might be a once in a lifetime opportunity to feel like a GOB!

    • Shakes His Head
      March 14, 2017 at 10:53 am #

      I mean, if you want to buy a property and invest a lot of money in it, you can ask for a tax break.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      I love the “silver-lining thinking” with this observation. My guess, though, is if you park there, even in this “emergency situation,” HON would send its good squad to tow your car and then rough you up a bit. Can’t have the hoi polloi thinking radical thoughts like, “Gee, what would it be like to be a GOB.”

  10. heh heh
    March 14, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    Attempt it at your own risk. Your main job is to subsidize the place by paying the share of taxes they get waived for being friendly associates of the good old boys. You get to pay your taxes and then some more for Hotel on North, Haddads car dealership, Stanleys Beacon theater(did he really by new reclining seats or was that a bunch of bullshit) and associated complex. I am surely leaving several out.

  11. Demetrius T. Gladiator
    March 14, 2017 at 9:21 am #

    DV KNOWS WEATHER!!! Just like he know just about everything else. Planet rules. Thanks for this site,DV.

  12. May Hemm
    March 14, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Dan’s not here…..he’s shoveling.

    Aside;Chuck G was right about Steve Elliot…Again!

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm #

      We don’t shovel snow. We transport accumulations of alabaster crystals.

  13. Trumped Up
    March 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    Why does the State plow some of the side streets

    • Thomas More
      March 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm #

      to clear the snow

  14. Jonathan Melle
    March 14, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    Today is Pi Day 3.14

    We have to wait until July 22nd or 22/7 for Pi Approximation Day

    Pi = 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288….

    Pi has been a known number since 2600 BCE or for the past 4617 years.

    Happy Pi Day everyone!

  15. Pat
    March 14, 2017 at 1:56 pm #

    I have 2 feet of snow in my yard at least. It’s that darn global warming.

    • Shakes His Head
      March 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

      Probably the gays that caused it.

      • 12 Gauge
        March 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

        You are a lame ass moron

        • Koz
          March 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm #

          Cmon, it was funny. Patty asked for it with that worn-out flat-Earther climate change joke.

        • Shakes His Head
          March 15, 2017 at 6:10 am #

          I know you are but what am I?

  16. Luce Ball
    March 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    Appreciate the warning from D V. Could be the new Al Roker! Just finished shoveling about one hour total.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      We would rather be either the new Howard Tupper, Bob Gordon, or Lloyd Lindsey Young.

  17. painter
    March 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    And the Mayor is picking and choosing what laws she wants to obey so I think we should have the same rights.

  18. The School Committee
    March 14, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

    Southern berkshire kids don’t have school tomorrow. I the planets day he had a 5 mins walk to his neighborhood school.Apples and Oranges.Nobody even shoveled then.

    • danvalenti
      March 14, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

      Our walk took 15 minutes, unless we stopped to watch construction, get in a snow ball fight, or play in a puddle.

  19. Don t
    March 14, 2017 at 5:28 pm #

    School should be cancelled tommorrow also, it is supposed to be a winters mix, probably will be the last storm anyway.