This is the first of a four-part series on the Berkshire Museum’s proposed sale of artwork. Also a program note: PLANET VALENTI TELEVISION comes back tonight at 6:30 p.m. with all new episodes. PV-TV’s shush kabob tonight skewers trash cans, gymnasiums at city hall, and the museum. Hope you can join us.


Is the ultimate goal of the effete baboons running Pittsfield to send the bedraggled city into the trash? If so, THE PLANET knows of the perfect receptacles. You can find them on Tyler Street. Look for the ugliest, flimsiest, cheapest Trashcans [capital “T” and bold face in all usage, mate!] imaginable, the ones that the mayor thinks are “hip,” the ones designed and manufactured by Lewis Lent.

That can be the only explanation for a recent series of events that have taken what little quality and class may still be there out of Benigno Numine, resigning it and them to the stocks. There it is now receiving mockery, ridicule, and scorn on an international scale not seen since Peter White last posted a picture of ham and eggs on Facebook.

The latest and most ongoing of the insanity concerns the Berkshire Museum‘s (BM) abhorrent plan to sell 40 pieces from its collection, including its marquee work, “Shuffleton’s Barbershop,” a spectacular 1950 oil painting by Norman Rockwell. The rape of the museum by executive director Van Shields and his board of directors also includes another Rockwell as well as works by Alexander Calder, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, George Inness, Rembrandt Peale, and a couple dozen other heavyweights. ‘Tis a nihilistic act caused by financial panic.

Newspapers, art journals, critics, and anyone whose anybody have roundly condemned the move, one made necessary by a decade of financial mismanagement and ineptitude bordering on criminal. Articles of outrage have appeared in media across the country and throughout the art world, making Pittsfield a laughingstock and the BM into an aesthete’s pariah. The majority of those 10 years have come under the reign of error brought in by yet another ringer, a cracker barrel with a Darren haircut named Van Shields.

Prior to running the BM into the ground, Shields fell flat on his fat wallet trying to push through a similar “New Vision” plan at a museum down in sunny South Carolina. The $60 million boondoggle failed. In the bitter wake, charges of bad management swirled. Shields escaped that clown whirlpool and found refuge in what has to be the only city in America dumb enough to see missed deadlines, conflicts of interest, violation of accounting standards, lawsuits, loose spending, and probes by SC’s attorney general as qualifications for hire, an endorsement so ringing it made Quasimodo deaf.

At the time of the hire, Mary Huth, the president of the BM’s Board of Trustees, wept prose poems over the hire. The cascade included bullshit about “the extensive nationwide search” and, of course, the obligatory “strategic initiatives.” Turns out the rhetorical wetting of panties over the hire of Shields was all Pittsfield-speak for “We don’t know what the f**k we’re doing.”

In trying to explain the museum’s inexplicable move, current BM board president Elizabeth “Buzz” McGraw out-Huthed Huth. THE PLANET shall mercifully spare you the verbiage. Suffice it to say that Buzz’s clueless rationalization for destroying a large chunk of the city’s soul makes urine in the panties appear as golden ambrosia from the gods. Buzz expects the unwashed taxpayers of Pittsfield to drink this bitter cup as she ordains it. Fat chance, sister.

Fact is, Shields, McGraw, the board, and the entire BM staff have just signed their own professional death warrants. After the wave of global scorn subsides over their unjustifiable actions, donors, funds, and support will dry up. They will lose their gig. They’ll go on to cast their poisons elsewhere. Pittsfield, however, will lose its Self, not that these rat-bastids care.

Speaking of which, Pittsfield state rep. Tricia Faraway Boola-baise (D-Country Buffet), in between stuffing her bovine jaws with fried butter helicoptered in from the Big E, defended the BM board (aside: wait ’till you hear the story on THAT one). The Fat One also blasted critics of the rape of Rockwell and company, deploring what she said were ad hominem attacks.

This legislative wide body obviously hadn’t been reading THE PLANET.

Tommorow on THE PLANET: Pt. 2, a closer look at the BM’s finances.


“Not a word was spoken, but many things were said”Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice.



The Usual Disclaimer.



  1. EddieP
    September 25, 2017 at 7:46 pm #

    Before the comments get started, the BB reports that Ernie Jordans hot dogs will serve it’s last dog this Friday. Cites no foot traffic anymore and the new parking fees has put the nail in the coffin. Fodder for a future column.

    • Diet Red
      September 25, 2017 at 8:40 pm #

      Tyer can buy his hot dog wagon when she gets voted out in two years.

      • Wilson
        September 26, 2017 at 4:46 am #

        hasn’t she already hit the jackpot for a $4 or 5 million pension?

      • War Pigs
        September 26, 2017 at 5:36 am #

        DR, why can’t she buy it now and turn it into a hip trashcan for Tyler St.?

    • War Pigs
      September 26, 2017 at 5:35 am #

      If he ran a needle exchange program from his hot dog cart he’d do just fine. You have to change with the times and ‘cater’ to the demographics.

      • Economic Injun
        September 26, 2017 at 8:33 am #

        It would be a true economic engine.

  2. That girl
    September 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

    This topic has become a source of frustration for me. I can’t believe that we have elected such close minded non-intellectuals. And they all get their photo ops with their stupid, underhanded smiles knowing whatever kick backs are coming their way. Stuff that we, as their electors, will never know about.
    If the museum leaders want a Chuck E Cheese, why don’t they just propose one?

    • War Pigs
      September 26, 2017 at 5:43 am #

      But when it comes to making themselves money they are very open minded.

      • LoneGunMan
        September 26, 2017 at 7:33 am #

        I can’t wait to see how Tricia is filling her personal trough with the art sale

        • Secret Tapes From Baltimore
          September 26, 2017 at 7:18 pm #

          Are there paintings of LHS there? Or paintings of her 40% raise?

  3. Benigno Numine
    September 25, 2017 at 8:43 pm #

    We can’t do much about the antics at the BM but we can vote new people on the council.

    • dusty
      September 26, 2017 at 12:19 am #

      Ah, but when has voting “new” people (same as the old people) changed anything? All we ever wind up with is the parallel spawn of the people already on there.

      • Spagirl
        September 26, 2017 at 2:30 am #

        Pittsfield has a tight circle, and this has created the cesspool of downward spiral for many many many years. Zero leadership across the board, zero vision.
        Greed and graft raping the taxpayers, while putting on the false front that everything is good in this seedy little town.

      • LoneGunMan
        September 26, 2017 at 6:28 am #

        Helen Moon is a “new voice” , you know a typical, activist minority progressive that claims she was repressed because of the shape of her eyes on a daily basis and all white men need to pay restitution or something of that sort. You have to stop listening to her high pitched whine at some point or your head explodes

        • Joe Blow
          September 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm #

          She came to my house and thought GE left only 10 years ago…..and her mailer is SJW nonsense.

      • 12 Gauge
        September 26, 2017 at 7:08 am #

        Don’t vote for Persip or Carmel. Peter, Peter and Melissa will win just because this election will be a popularity contest.

        • LoneGunMan
          September 26, 2017 at 7:36 am #

          Persip is just as connected and corrupt as the rest of them. I wonder what his buddies at Lenco will get out of his election win. I wonder what committee his wife Jowls McButtkiss will end up on

    • War Pigs
      September 26, 2017 at 5:42 am #

      Helen Moon will likely win Ward 1 and she’ll be more ‘progressive’ than Tully ever was. Even her flyer kisses the arse of the school system and indicates she’ll be seeking every which way to raise taxes. In Pittsfield the more things change the more they get worse.

      • LoneGunMan
        September 26, 2017 at 6:30 am #

        If he subservient man partner didnt stumble upon his sisters fortunes Helen Moon would just be another whiny nurse living in $70k poverty

        • Benigno Numine
          September 26, 2017 at 8:17 am #

          Who is she married to?

          • LoneGunMan
            September 26, 2017 at 8:21 am #

            The family that owns Fire Cider. Without those connections she’d just be wiping geriatrics instead of schmoozing the women’s caucous

        • Arial Black
          September 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

          jealous much?

  4. Len X Abhorant
    September 26, 2017 at 3:43 am #

    Who exactly comes up with Kiosk and can ideas?

    • LoneGunMan
      September 26, 2017 at 8:11 am #

      The higher ups in Boston told Tyer to use them to increase revenue when she whined about getting reduced state funds. Apparently Bianchi purchased them years ago and they’ve been sitting in a warehouse collecting dust.


  5. Paul
    September 26, 2017 at 3:48 am #

    That girl, best line ever “If the museum leaders want Chucky E Cheese, why don’t they just propos one?”
    LMAO, that’s exactly what they seem to want.

  6. h
    September 26, 2017 at 4:36 am #

    This has been a Burt Baccarat Production,gawd.

  7. Levitan
    September 26, 2017 at 5:06 am #

    The intention of the Museum board appears to abandon the museum mission and join other pursuits. Maybe they will become a CFL light disposal. Who knows?

  8. Still wondering
    September 26, 2017 at 5:33 am #

    What is happening at the BM is just plain robbery. The art vultures who scan the planet for ripe targets focused on the Pit long ago.
    The oligarchs are a patient lot. They will hang the art on their penthouse walls come hell or high water because they know that everyone has a price.

  9. War Pigs
    September 26, 2017 at 5:39 am #

    What? You mean Pittsfield hired someone who was ill qualified for the job but had connections? C’mon, that never happens.

  10. dusty
    September 26, 2017 at 5:41 am #

    Must read article on the subject in the Sept 10 Sunday issue of the Eagle. Real eye opener and ground zero look at the situation.

  11. 12 Gauge
    September 26, 2017 at 7:02 am #

    I hear Ernie will be serving commerative hot dogs on Friday. He’s looking for suggestions who should be honored by a hot dog and why.

    • dusty
      September 26, 2017 at 7:54 am #

      I nominate Trump. Biggest Hot Dog on the planet earth.

    • LoneGunMan
      September 26, 2017 at 8:13 am #

      He should make one that is dipped in the toilet and sprinkled with corn. It would be the Caccamo because it’s full of sh*t

      • The Dynamic Vibrator
        September 26, 2017 at 8:36 am #

        That sounds about right.

    • Kate Dempsey
      September 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      I think the Pittsfield tax-payer should get the “honorary hot-dog.”

      Lord knows, every year when the city raises taxes, the tax-payer gets to bend over and enjoy the City of Pittsfield’s hot dog, right where the sun don’t shine.

  12. CosbiesLadies
    September 26, 2017 at 9:04 am #

    Drive down Tyler near the old st Mary’s, trash in the roads already.

  13. mi
    September 26, 2017 at 9:07 am #

    Trump Dog.All bun no weener,with saurkraut.

    • Spagirl
      September 26, 2017 at 9:31 am #


  14. Jonathan Melle
    September 26, 2017 at 9:20 am #

    It took a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to stop politicians from selling people into slavery!
    It will take a court case to stop the Berkshire Museum from selling its historical pieces of art.
    Tricia Farley-Bouvier is defending the indefensible!

  15. mi
    September 26, 2017 at 10:06 am #

    Trish is taking the low road and marching orders. Remeber when they got the copper roof?

  16. Tricksie
    September 26, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    Jimmie Ruberto wrote a letter to the editor today supporting the sell of the assets of the museum – that’s enough for me to know that it’s CROOKED and we should not be doing it –

    • danvalenti
      September 26, 2017 at 10:44 am #

      No surprise there. He’s got buddies on the board. Could they have appealed to him to write a letter? You bet. Don’t tell anyone, though.

      • Still wondering
        September 26, 2017 at 11:01 am #

        Ah, Jimmy R. Meet the man who owns TFB !!

        • danvalenti
          September 26, 2017 at 11:45 am #

          Lock, stock, barrel, and cream cheese.

          • Roberto Del Halitoso
            September 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm #

            A pair of saints I tell you.

    • dusty
      September 26, 2017 at 12:07 pm #

      I know for a fact there there is nothing funny going on here such as kickbacks or variations there of.

      But then it has been said that not everything I say is true. Sometimes I just make stuff up and this could be one of those times.

  17. W8@
    September 26, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Has Tex done anything to help his former Texacans?

  18. dusty
    September 26, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

    I think the Eagle article about the hot dog guy says it all about North street. He said the parking kiosks put the nail in the coffin.
    So congratulations to all the politicians that had a hand in this. You put North street out of its misery once and for all.

    buh bye now…..see ya North street…would not want to be ya..or any of the business s located there who will also get sucked down the drain

    • acheshirecat
      September 26, 2017 at 1:49 pm #

      Don’t forget that Berkshire Bank is moving its headquarters to Boston very soon. They have 4 buildings downtown.

  19. grier horner
    September 26, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

    Hey Dan. Can’t wait to see
    #2, #3 and #4.

  20. Benigno Numine
    September 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm #

    See the latest PVTV here

  21. May Hemm
    September 26, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

    Where have you gone Pam DiMaggio.

  22. Pat
    September 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm #

    From the BB, “If anyone is enjoying this hot weather, don’t get used to it because a cool front is on the way”. All I can say is “hooray”. How could anyone enjoy weather this hot and oppressive? Actually this hot and humid weather has lasted for the last 2 weeks although much worse in the last 5 days. It feels like we are living in a tropical forest .I hope it ends on Thursday. Let’s hope so!!! I want the cool refreshing fall weather that we had at the end of August and the beginning of September.

  23. amandaWell
    September 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Selections for CityCouncilor
    Ward One: Moon
    Ward Two: Morandi
    Ward Three: Caccamo
    Ward Four : Connell
    Ward Five : Rivers
    Ward Six : Krol
    Ward Seven : Simonelli
    At Large: Mazzeo,Marchetti, White, Persip

    • LoneGunMan
      September 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

      Spot on !

    • Joe Blow
      September 26, 2017 at 5:55 pm #

      None of the above

    • Pat
      September 26, 2017 at 6:26 pm #

      No thank you to any of those candidates. They are the candidates that will be chosen by everyone associated with the schools because they are the ones who keep funneling money toward the schools.

      They are all hard line progressive anti-Walmart and anti anything that is good for this city. They are the ones who reward their friends and family with jobs and all the goodies while everyone else gets ignored. They are the same types who have brought this city to its knees and ignored the struggling middle class.

  24. Dilly Dally
    September 26, 2017 at 6:07 pm #

    If that is prediction, then you would give her an A. There are many however who feel like J B. I don’t like the same old faces on some of these Boards, year after year.

  25. amandaWell
    September 26, 2017 at 6:16 pm #

    These are not written in stone,Joe. After the debates there could be changes, so those that weren’t selected can move forward, no one has been endorsed yet. The Planet usually will tell us what the real Deal is. He is usually spot on.

  26. mi
    September 26, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

    Come on Joe, you have to vote someone on?

    • Pat
      September 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

      All of those candidates have been hand picked by Progressives to keep following the same tired policies that have brought this city to its knees. NO THANK YOU. These are the candidates that will be supported by all the school people because they will maintain the status quo. More money for the school employees and others in the in crowd while the needs of everyone else in the city are ignored!!!!

  27. Wild in the Streets
    September 26, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

    The Director used the word Perspect. Planet, is that a real word?

    • Sum Ting Wong
      September 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

      Remember when Lothrop used to use the word CONVERSATE? Or should I say non word?

  28. Bill Q
    September 26, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    Connell, Lee and Morandi made excellent points concerning the shell game petition,

    • Sum Ting Wong
      September 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm #


  29. Bill Q
    September 27, 2017 at 2:44 am #

    Attorney Darren Lee.