(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY JULY 9 & BEYOND, 2018) —  As THE PLANET continues out summer hiatus (the bees are particularly needy at this time but the honey … oh, mercy … the honey is out of and around the world), we open up a new commentary space for our dear readers.

There’s plenty of news percolating, and we’ll be back to share some with you afore long, but for now, YOU are the reporters. YOU are the agenda setters. YOU will bring your news to THE PLANET and its universe, and its universe. We take pride in being the only daily news outlet that lets you comment as freely, as openly, and as extensively. Our little experiment in this has proven a success, and it requires more of the same. WE THE PEOPLE shall never be kept silent as long as we have any say.

Meantime, enjoy mid-summer’s nights and days dreams.

And let’s hear from you.


“Iceland and Wales got into the finals of the World Cup Sixth Grade Spelling Bee. I don’t want to say Icelandic and Welsh words are loooonnnngg, but by the time it was over, the winner had finished high school” — Sir Tiberius Fruitjuice



The Usual Disclaimer


  1. Jonathan Melle
    July 9, 2018 at 8:39 pm #

    I am so grateful for Donald Trump protecting our country from 3 year old immigrant children he takes away from mommy and puts them in cages that you wouldn’t put your family dog in!
    Thank you, Donald Trump, for protecting our country from 3 year old children! You, Mr. President, are so brave!

    • 12 Gauge
      July 10, 2018 at 6:33 am #

      Maybe now he can protect us from the two year olds like you who post whiny rants.

    • Johnny2Shoes
      July 11, 2018 at 10:25 am #

      The one that stands out to me,is the infant child being ripped from mothers breast while feeding once she reached the border and agents did that. Here they made the unsafe journey with little food and water for many miles.The mother spent thousands of dollars for this journey to a coyote only to have to pay a bonus of being raped on the way. Those cages with food, water, clothing, bus trip to movies, museums are not enough to make up for Trump’s treatment of them. Obama did so much better in his years in office for these children and parents. I heard that our own children and parents who are citizens of the United States who are living in poverty for whatever reasons are upset though because they feel left out.

      • Wonky
        July 17, 2018 at 7:44 am #

        Planet is the best.

  2. dusty
    July 10, 2018 at 12:23 am #

    VERY interesting article in iBerkshires regarding the upcoming District Attorneys race. A MUST READ. Long time residents of Pittsfield will not be at all surprised by what they read. They know well the consequences of not playing ball with the suits.

    Too bad Dan is taking time off to enjoy life because I imagine he could offer great insight on this one.

    • Mr. Fritz
      July 10, 2018 at 2:26 am #

      Enjoy the break, Dan!
      Capeless did a fine job as D.A. A thankless job, as the judges let many of the perps off the hook. I’m voting for Caccaviello as he has the most experience. Will not be visiting Otto’s, nor do I have any respect for Krol’s opinions.

      • dusty
        July 10, 2018 at 3:27 am #

        Is that where we are now? Trashing a business because you don’t like something they say? This is what Trump does so I suppose that is where you learned it but you and others should know that that is a dangerous game, because anyone can start nasty rumor about any business or person and many innocents can get swept up into it.

        Politics is nasty enough without this bottom of the barrell tactic.

        • Mr. Fritz
          July 10, 2018 at 4:55 am #

          Dusty you are being ignorant of the facts. Maxine Waters has been calling for the harassment of Trump’s cabinet members and supporters. Have you not read about that? Open harassment of Trump supporters when they are out & about living their life? So it’s okay if you are a Democrat to yell & shout at people who do not share your political views?
          I do not support businesses if they openly support a liberal cause. It’s called “freedom to choose.”

          • NIB
            July 10, 2018 at 5:20 am #

            You have every right to boycott any business. At least you are not resorting to harassing people like the wacko wing of dems are doing. Krol just proves yet again what a spineless tool he is – I bet his wife made him say those things about Caccaviello and he didn’t have the balls to say no.

          • Shakes His Headley
            July 10, 2018 at 6:25 am #

            Is it okay for Republicans to yell at and harass women going to get checkups and pap smears at Planned Parenthood clinics?

            Is it okay for the Westboro Baptist Church to protest at military funerals?

            Yes it is okay for anybody to yell and shout at people that do not share their political views because this is the United States.

          • 12 Gauge
            July 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm #

            What a lie. Very few women get checkups or pap smears from planned parenthood. That’s a bookbag myth. And what evidence do you have of a Republican protesting at planned parenthood? Shaker and Fakey.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 10, 2018 at 6:39 am #

          Dust, any business owner with half a brain stays away from public controversy to avoid pissing off their customer base. If they choose to shoot of their mouth and someone doesn’t like it then that someone has every right to not use that business.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 10, 2018 at 6:41 am #

          Dust, any business owner with half a brain stays away from public controversy to avoid pissing off their customer base. If they choose to shoot of their mouth and someone doesn’t like it then that tsomeone has every right to not use that business.

      • The school committee
        July 10, 2018 at 4:19 am #

        Careless let every thug off the hook on plea deals so they could do a crime 3 or 4 more times

        • Thomas More
          July 10, 2018 at 5:59 am #

          Who has the spine and balls, the person who uses his own to state his opinion or the one who calls names and hides behind a silly made up name?

          • NIB
            July 10, 2018 at 6:17 am #

            He wasn’t stating his opinion, he was just repeating what someone else told him to say. That’s been his MO his entire career. And how is Thomas More not a silly made up name?

          • Thomas More
            July 10, 2018 at 11:32 am #

            Thomas More is a silly made up name. However, I simply asked a question, I didn’t nor will I ever call any names unless it is to someones face.

          • NIB
            July 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

            So you claim you won’t call names unless it’s to someone’s face yet say I don’t have spine and balls on this blog. Same thing. You make no sense.
            I’d also have no problem telling Mr. Krol to his face what I think of him. But I wouldn’t interrupt his dinner to do so or harass him in any way. I would be only in an appropriate setting.

          • Thomas More
            July 11, 2018 at 2:12 am #

            It was a simple question. No names were mentioned nor judgement made. The guilty flee though no one pursues.

      • danvalenti
        July 10, 2018 at 7:14 am #

        Thanks, MR. F. I am and will continue to do so!

    • danvalenti
      July 10, 2018 at 7:17 am #

      In point of fact, I got wind of this story before anyone else, shortly before the 4th. That I didn’t break this story shows how determined I was to keep to the “time off/time out” I’ve been enjoying. There is much more to this story, and it may yet come out.

  3. The school committee
    July 10, 2018 at 4:48 am #

    Fox Propaganda was against every meeting Obama had with dictators

    • 12 Gauge
      July 10, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

      Because he was on his knees at those meetings.

  4. Mr. G
    July 10, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    I know Dan is mostly Pittsfield focused on his local investigations, but I am curious if anyone here knows anything about the Searles school “hotel development project” in Great Barrington. I thought it was supposed to be finished, open and generating tons of revenue for the town by now. I stead it is becoming more blighted every day, with lots of wi dows being broken and apparently several people living in there. No work has been done ever. Anyone have any insights?

    • dusty
      July 10, 2018 at 6:56 am #

      Mr Stanley knows everything going on in Gt Barrrington….give him a jingle

    • danvalenti
      July 10, 2018 at 7:13 am #

      MR G
      My south county sources have offered a couple things. One is the local lament over the blight. Two is that the building has become a sort-of high-end crack house and drug dealing location. Three is the puzzlement why officials haven’t taken more of an interest in and notice of the situation. Does this have anything to do with the politics there. Don’t know for sure. My suspicion would be “yes.” Too bad there’s not a local daily that has an authentic, major league investigative team. No one has a “good feeling” about what’s going on there, and my fear is that something abnormally bad my happen.

      • Mr. G
        July 11, 2018 at 6:01 am #

        Hey Dan, thanks for weighing in on your time away. While what you sayislikely all true, blight, crack house, etc., the question ultimately is where is Mr. Mahida on this? It appears he has run out of either interest or money. A ton of time, money and energy was spent hammering out the compromise to allow this conversion from school to upscale hotel. It is a shame to see that all going to waste, unless this is some sort of diabolical plan to allow the building to deteriorate so completely that it is not salvageable, allowing the developer to then do whatever he wants, and originally wanted on the site rather than preserving it. The town bkards should indeed be mkre on this, as they should’ve been with the old fire house as well.

  5. The school committee
    July 10, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    School Superintendant needs to keep track of summer employees like the crosby school community coordinator….the office is very loose with working all day…..principles go in to work for 1 hour and credit themselves with a full day……..400 bucks per hour

    • Cos
      July 10, 2018 at 8:03 am #

      400 am hour is fair “

  6. CosbiesLadies
    July 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    What we need here in the City is get behind the G Man, rumor is he is locked and loaded with new info tonight at City Council. it’s time to give him our full support and stop the stupid criticism, he means well. We must also vote if he runs for Mayor. It’s Gaetani Time, real results, real solutions.

    Great choice by Trump

    • Two Cents
      July 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm #

      “Stupid is what stupid does”

  7. CosbiesLadies
    July 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm #

    Gaetani News hour Wednesday 6 pm what Petey won’t let in tonight G-Man will talk for an hour if need. Channel 1301, it is a call-in.

  8. U
    July 10, 2018 at 12:42 pm #

    The bottom. Line..Gaetani is for us and he is way smarter than what current and Clear….

  9. The school committee
    July 10, 2018 at 1:21 pm #

    Trump Cheaper And Better Medical Care is starting this Summer…..I don’t know where it is or how to sign up……Pat where is it ,12 Guage how do you get it?

    • 12 Gauge
      July 10, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

      For your sake i hope the mental health benefits are good.

      • 12 is a fraud
        July 11, 2018 at 5:09 am #

        As you type this from Jones II

        • 12 Gauge
          July 11, 2018 at 7:39 am #

          You didn’t appreciate my visit?

  10. The school committee
    July 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm #

    Williams Street is now 35 MPH, a huge shiny red dump truck followed by a long flatbed truck with both going 60 MPH about ran me off the road followed by a huge beer Truck…..the police need to do speeding overtime at 330pm to 530pm during work hours not on weekends at 7am…..When these truck hit the passenger cars everyone in the cars will be dead……

    • 12 Gauge
      July 10, 2018 at 2:29 pm #

      Agree. Williams st. Is ridiculous. Fitting that you got into it with a beer truck though.

  11. The school committee
    July 10, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

    Can we make all large trucks go 20mph on city streets,why do police never pull trucks over,I mean never….must be road ot

    • RobEM
      July 11, 2018 at 2:01 am #

      Does Pittsfield actually receive any money from tickets issued?
      Payments are sent to the State.

      • Two Cents
        July 11, 2018 at 10:10 am #

        Violation of state law means state fines that go to the state. Violations of local laws-such as parking- mean local fines that stay local. l

        • 12 Gauge
          July 11, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

          If a Trooper writes a ticket in Pittsfield , Pittsfield will receive a portion of the fine.

  12. dusty
    July 11, 2018 at 1:15 am #

    The mayors idea of a Police Advisory Committee is high comedy but considering the relationship why would we expect anything different? Trump-like politics is alive and well in Pittsfield.

    Story in iBerkshires but could be too hot to handle for the Eagle

  13. The school committee
    July 11, 2018 at 4:32 am #

    Trump was elected by 12 gauge and is implementing what his voters want.They are pro Puttins Russia and North Korea and anti Canada and Europe.They are anti SS,Medicare,Healthcare,Pro cuts,Pro wealthy tax cuts,anti public schools,anti education in general….go 12,go Trump,go Puttin,Go Beck,go Limbaugh….go Hannity,Lovin me some Fox prop….Trump is my leader,Trump is number 1

    • dusty
      July 11, 2018 at 5:14 am #

      Sure makes you wonder what these people want their future to look like.

      • 12 Gauge
        July 11, 2018 at 7:42 am #

        It’s good to hear from my favorite delusional duo.

  14. Cos
    July 11, 2018 at 5:25 am #

    Trump is telling NATO to pay their own way because it is unfair to American taxpayers, who need to pay for big tax breaks for wealthy and high cost of inflation and national debt.

    • dusty
      July 11, 2018 at 10:00 am #

      Yah that is a bit of a conundrum. I read that Ivanka s goods were spared in the tariff war. Whoda thunkit?

  15. Pat
    July 11, 2018 at 6:57 am #

    President Trump telling Germany at NATO that it gives all this money to Russia and then expects us to defend Germany. Germany and Russia are making deals over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which would give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe.

  16. Pat
    July 11, 2018 at 7:12 am #

    California is mailing everyone in that state checks for $500.00 per month. This is the beginning of their ultimate goal which is to provide guaranteed income of 30K per year to everyone in the state. No mention of the lack of motivation of people to do anything productive that will be the end result of this type of guaranteed income or how this plan would make people dependent on government. It all sounds like some sort of paradise until you realize the real reasons behind the government in California wanting to take such extreme measures rather than trying to find jobs for people.

    • The school committee
      July 11, 2018 at 9:54 am #

      Trump is the most negative citizen of the world,Puttin is his Daddy so cant wait to find out why Russia supported Trump over Clinton.Trump giving Germany the finger.Trump just loves all things Puttin.Trump supporters love Russian power over the US

      • Pat
        July 11, 2018 at 11:23 am #

        To most logical people, President Trump is warning Germany about getting so cozy with Russia which will not help Russia.

  17. u
    July 11, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    Maybe the trillions Trump gave his rich buddies was an after-thought? Trump needs the other Countries to fend for themselves so any monies saved can pay for the tax breaks….for the rich.

    • Pat
      July 11, 2018 at 8:28 am #

      Our Pittsfield, MA politicians give all kinds of tax breaks for the rich. You are getting confused.

      • dusty
        July 11, 2018 at 10:28 am #

        Awesome pivot Pat! Kellyanne has taught you well.

        • Pat
          July 11, 2018 at 11:21 am #

          Not a pivot Dusty. Just pointing out the real facts.

  18. mi
    July 11, 2018 at 8:15 am #

    Trump said Russia gives Germany 70% of it’s Energy. I don’t know about that one?

  19. Ghost Rider
    July 11, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    FACTS!!! It’s only Stockton, CA doing it, it’s only for 100 people and it’s only good for 18 months. It’s an experiment and It has been done before. I don’t think it’s right either, but kindly get the facts straight. Thank you!

    • Pat
      July 11, 2018 at 11:17 am #

      Wrong. It’s not just Stockton, CA.

      “In some politically liberal corners of the country, including Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay area, the idea of distributing a guaranteed income has begun to gain support.

      In Oakland, California, Y Combinator, a startup incubator, is giving about $1,500 a month to a handful of people selected randomly and will soon expand distribution to 100 recipients. It eventually plans to provide $1,000 monthly to 1,000 people and study how recipients spend their time and how their financial health and well-being are affected.

      Dorian Warren, who co-chairs the Economic Security Project, said the goal in Stockton is to gather data on how having a basic income impacts people.

      “What does it mean to say, ‘Here is unconditional guaranteed income just based on you being a human being?’ ” Warren asked.”

  20. UAlbany
    July 11, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    UBI has been tested in countries around the world. The idea comes from the top 1% – Stockton, CA 100 people get $500/m for 18 months and in Oakland $1,000/m – in order to facilitate other programs of oppression they will also be giving out free beer and cigarettes – no questions asked –

    • Pat
      July 11, 2018 at 11:20 am #

      What about free pot? There has to be pot to make people completely without motivation and content with their $500.00 or $1,000.00 per month.

      • The school committee
        July 11, 2018 at 12:45 pm #

        How many people do you personally know who are smoking pot all day and are happy making 1000 a month.

        • 12 Gauge
          July 11, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

          Pot heads don’t care as long as they can be stoned all the time. In addition to the free cash folks are eligible for ebt benefits and other subsidies.

          • dusty
            July 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

            I assure you 12 ga. that corporation and billionaire tax cuts sucked exponentially more money from the taxpayers than the peeps getting food stamps. You really need to have that blind eye fixed.

          • 12 Gauge
            July 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

            BUFFOON, the thread is dealing with POTHEADS no anything else.

  21. The school committee
    July 11, 2018 at 10:01 am #

    Trump turning His voters away from Europe and aligning them with Puttins Russia…right Pat…mission accomplished as his lemmings follow,Trump can do no wrong as he throws crumbs to his faithful .

  22. 12 Gauge
    July 11, 2018 at 1:09 pm #

    Europe needs to pay their fair share. Should Pittsfield subsidize police and fire protection for the rest of Berkshire County?

  23. Edward R. Murrow
    July 11, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    Let me understand this Cambridge Analytica thing.

    So, you go on Fakebook to see pictures of your relatives, grand-kids, kids, friends, their kids, etc.

    Fakebook collects your data. Then someone takes that data to feed you a giant propaganda cookie in order to brainwash you into voting for Trump.

    I mean, they absolutely take control of your mind and make you do silly things, such as watch the Lifetime network and vote for Trump.

    Do I have this right?

    Or do they teleport you moonbats from south county to states like Wisconsin and make you vote Trump there?

    Help me out here.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 11, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

      Maybe Hilary can hold another seance and come up with an answer.

    • Benigno Numine
      July 11, 2018 at 5:50 pm #

      I was on facebook before I went to Price Chopper. I don’t know why but when I got home I had Stoli vodka and Russian dressing. So I guess Putin got me.

  24. dusty
    July 11, 2018 at 3:57 pm #

    There is going to be a big balloon flying over London Friday to honor Presidents Trumps visit. Brits love Trump and you will be able to see just how much when you see the huge crowds on the streets yelling and chanting.

    Don’t miss this one Trump fans. MAGA

    • 12 Gauge
      July 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm #

      Where were they in 1776?

    • Make Pittsfield Great Again
      July 11, 2018 at 6:18 pm #

      Keep voting for democrats. They have the Berkshires in fine shape.

    • Simon Ives
      July 11, 2018 at 7:17 pm #

      The British do actually pay their share for NATO. Those in England with brains are with Trump.

  25. The school committee
    July 11, 2018 at 4:46 pm #

    Trump is mad a Germany for a pipeline deal Merkle has with Puttin.Trump has messed up…tada…Everything and his lemming love his kind of stupid.

    • 12 Gauge
      July 11, 2018 at 5:30 pm #

      Yeah we should defend Germany from Russia so the Germans can give billions to the Russians.

  26. Mr. Fritz
    July 11, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

    Good for Trump, for calling out Merkel and the rest of the freeloaders in NATO – for depending on American taxpayers to fund their defense against Russia – while Merkel cuts deals with the Ruskies for fuel. This is truly a great American President!

    • Pat
      July 11, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

      So true. Germany should be getting fuel from America. Just think what that would do for our economy and how devastating it would be for Russia.

      Excellent to call out NATO countries for NOT paying their fair share. We pay nearly 70%. That is crazy!!

  27. Ben Weldon
    July 13, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    If these foreign countries would get their act together and fix themselves, the USA wouldn’t be under so much immigration pressure. No borders=no country.