Second of Two Parts

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, THE WEEKEND EDITION, AUG. 10-12, 2018) — Before THE PLANET gets into part two of our museum series, let’s confirm two things, each pertaining to the D.A.’s election. First, Andrea Harrington did attend the sheriff’s picnic. Harrington, however, told THE PLANET that she didn’t “crash” the event, since it was a public affair. Donna Matoon, Sheriff Tom Bowler’s sister, confirmed that, pointing out that one cannot “crash” a heavily advertised event to which the public is invited. She said all were welcome at the event and made no mention  of any “scene.” We did get word of one from other sources, who claim that Harrington, far from being the instigator, took the brunt and did so with class.

Second, John Krol has told us without qualification that he is not in line for a position with the DA’s office should Harrington win. Krol also told THE PLANET he would not accept such a position if it were offered. Looks like we can put THAT one to bed. Keep tuned to THE PLANET for more on this race next week. You won’t get this info anywhere else. No one has that big a Rolodex … not even our Right Honorable Good Friend Jimmy Ruberto. … and ours includes buried skeletons.

Now we conclude our series.

——— 000 ———

How many people does it take for a business supposed to run at break-even to lose $12 million in 10 years? Answer: 20 trustees plus a top-heavy management staff.

If you’re the Berkshire Museum, that is.

As a not-for-profit enterprise, the Mausoleum pays no federal, state, or city taxes. As all businesses with a 501(c), it breaks even at the end of each fiscal year — breaks even on the books, that is. In point of fact, the mausoleum has been losing about $85,000 a month for the past decade. It takes hard work and ineffectiveness risen to artistic levels to lose nearly $22,000 a week for well more than 500 weeks.  Now you understand why the BM needed to launch its “New Vision” in July 2017, a plan to rob the hallowed halls of its best treasures to sell at auction, earning the scorn and condemnation of the international art and museum world.

An achievement of this magnitude requires $754,666 in annual salaries, $262,208 going to management, with top dog being the recently departed Van Shields, who clocked in at $141,500. These figures do not include bennies, nor does it include payments of $216,234, $190,620, $115,171, $43,880, and $35,196 to its top five “consultants.” Nor does it include Shields’ Golden Parachute. Shields is out, having retired, although the Berkshire Mausoleum website mysteriously says Shields “is expected to be on leave” to the end of the year. Something needs updating, because one Dr. David Ellis has been interim executive director since June 28, with the usual Nationwide Search going on for his permanent replacement. Rumor has it that Imhotep the Mummy has the inside track.

Ellis offered THE PLANET a gem about his temporary mission: “I am looking forward to working with the Berkshire Museum at this difficult time as they search for a new executive director.” The italics have been added by THE PLANET. Make of it what you will. For the exec-pro-tem to acknowledge a “difficult time” in his first public utterance suggests the worms have eaten through the coffin.

The auction brought in $47 million, more than enough to make up for the colossal mismanagement and outright misappropriation of funds, so one would think the Mausoleum’s money woes have vanished as quickly as a snowflake in July. Who knows, though? Check out how top heavy the mausoleum is in chiefs: In addition to Ellis, Nina Garlington serves as Chief of Staff, with four inmates each in Support Services and Collections; six in Engagement; five in Experience, including a Chief Experience Officer.

We kid you not — a “Chief Experience Officer,” whatever the heck that means, supervising a staff of four “associate experience officers.” Contemplate that the next time you wish to donate some of your vast free cash to the Mausoleum.

Because THE PLANET believes in full accreditation, we now list the 20 trustees who brought in Shields to execute the art heist of the local century. Look closely and see if you recognize any famiLIAR names:

  • Elizabeth McGraw, president
  • Stacey Gillis-Weber, VP
  • Ethan Klepetar, VP
  • Lydia Rosner, secretary
  • Carol Riordan, trasurer
  • Howard Eberwein Jr.
  • David Glodt
  • Jeffrey Noble
  • Joan Hunter
  • William Hines Jr.
  • Ursula Ehret-Dichter
  • Jay Bikofsky
  • Melissa Scarafoni
  • Michael Addy
  • Nancy Edman-Feldman
  • Wendy Gordon
  • Stephen Bayne
  • Douglas Crane
  • Donna Krenicki
  • Barbara Krauthamer

The museum lists their address, all, at 39 South St. Apparently, they all live together, Pittsfield version of the Walton family. Cozy, ain’t it?

See, it’s what we suspected all along, just one, big, happy family.

G’night, John Boy.

Have a great weekend, everybody.


“Make it new” — Erza Pound, poet and critic on his philosophy of art and life.



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  1. SisterGoldenHair
    August 9, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

    Jeepers Wally, maybe Pittsfield needs a Chief Experience Officer and a few deputies, to help stop the death spiral. Last one out, turn off the lights.

    Goodnight Mary Ellen

  2. dusty
    August 10, 2018 at 1:04 am #

    and correct me if I am wrong. They are still trying to sell more stuff. The 47 million was not enough to stem the tide

    It will be interesting to see how much of this is left by this time next year. Every cookie monster within 500 miles is going to be after a chunk

    • danvalenti
      August 10, 2018 at 7:35 am #

      You are correct. The $47 mill was just Phase One. There’s still Phase Two of the auction to come.

  3. Sara
    August 10, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    Looks like you’ve buried the lead, Dan. Disappointed not to see you talking about Tricia Farley Bouvier’s shady attempt to circumvent the democratic process by getting Knight to drop out. How Knight could not be trumpeting this with a press conference is beyond comprehension. This is her one chance to show the sleaziness of the Harrington campaign and the implied value of Knight as a threat and take all the progressive votes and she’s blowing it. Krol as a potential DA spokesperson (what a horrible idea) and what constitutes “crashing” a picnic and rude behavior is wagging the dog here. Come on!

    • danvalenti
      August 10, 2018 at 7:33 am #

      Thanks for the comment. First I’ve heard about this is through my correspondents here on THE PLANET. If you know of someone who wants to talk, send them my way. If you recall, a few columns back, THE PLANET did recommend for Harrington an overture to the Knight campaign. Both candidates will split the progressive vote and practically guarantee a win for the incumbent. Not saying this is “good” or “bad,” just that it’s practical politics. I would agree about a Knight press conference. If this happened, and I truly believed in my candidacy, I would have let the world know. Also agree in principle that potential DA spokespersons and crashing picnics are silly side issues — but when has ANY campaign in recent memory been about issues?

      THE PLANET appreciates your contributions to the discussion.

      • Sara
        August 10, 2018 at 7:46 am #

        So you wouldn’t just call TFB and ask for a confirm/deny? And Harrington for the same? Even if they refuse to comment, that’s something the people should know. Nothing against you but the rest of the media sure gave a lot of coverage to Caccaviello’s appointment. Are you saying no one will comment on this anywhere? What does that say?

        • LoneGunMan
          August 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

          The rest of the media is in Krol, I mean Harrington’s back pocket. They see the word progress and it’s good as gold. It’s no wonder Progresso soup take up 5 entire shelves in the soup aisle

        • danvalenti
          August 11, 2018 at 7:17 am #

          Thanks for the feedback, S. To answer your questions, in order:
          * I would only call TFB and AH if this story interested me. It doesn’t.
          * I can’t control what the rest of local media does or does not do.
          * I’m not saying “no one will comment on this anywhere.” Anyone who knows anything, willing to speak on the record of off, can contact me. As you know, THE PLANET is open for biz 24/7.

  4. The school committee
    August 10, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Why anyone want their name on the museum board when Hines and Eberwien ran this into a fiscal failure another one Eberwien did in Pittsfield School failure and working on his 3rd in Lee.
    Where are the dreaded fiscal watchdogs.Its possible to be liberal and able to handle money

  5. C. Trzcinka
    August 10, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    I love the “Art Heist” name but frankly, its a done deal. There is nothing we can do but turn our heads in disgust at these people. The over-staffing and other mismanagement was the big problem. They had no “skin in the game” and got to decide on the future of this museum forever.

    Thanks for naming them. They should be running nothing now.

  6. The school committee
    August 10, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    Republicans are now into a space force,you talk about wasted money and stupid ideas.When Trump respects women and minorities he can talk about weather NFL players respect the flag.

    • Doomiedoger
      August 10, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

      and Trump wants this Space Force ready to roll in 2 years. It would take longer than that to roll out a cartoon of a Space Force.

      P.S. Omarosa may roll out a Space Force of her own before then

  7. dusty
    August 10, 2018 at 8:29 am #

    Caccaviello is the district attorney. Seems like it might be his job to point out the dirty deed. Unless he cannot verify it or does not want to get directly involved in the mud slinging.

    • Sara
      August 10, 2018 at 8:59 am #

      It’s ethics so not his job. But of course, remember who writes these rules, the legislature. The real crime is the lack of media coverage. Will the Eagle be stripping TFB of her “politician of the year” award for influence peddling or do they just do stories on 3 year old social media rants by restaurant owners?

      • Mr. Fritz
        August 10, 2018 at 9:35 am #

        I agree with your comments Sara. I would like to know the source of the news regarding Trish trying to talk Knight out of the race?

        • Sara
          August 10, 2018 at 11:06 am #

          I would, too, but I believe the name of the person who filed the ethics complaint is kept confidential. It is certainly not necessary to a news story – the complaint has been filed, I’ve heard. Of course, the ethics filing is a bit of a sideshow to the Harrington campaign trying to get Knight to fold. Where are our local media?

          • Turk
            August 11, 2018 at 4:53 am #

            Last week it was a fantastical story about a picnic, now this. Forgive me if I wait for the fact checked version.

          • Cicero
            August 11, 2018 at 12:15 pm #

            Hi Sara,

            As I am sure you are aware, ANY Massachusetts citizen may file an ethics complaint by filling out a form on the website. Anyone.

            The notion that knowing who filed such complaint is “not necessary to a news story” is preposterous.

            That should require no further explanation.

          • Brian C. Marquis
            August 12, 2018 at 1:46 pm #

            Funny how Cicero is always and forever coming to Ms. Harrington’s aid. The fact is Mass. General Laws preclude all public officials from acting in dual capacities. Your a master of ome servant – only. TFB abused the auroa of her office when reaching out to JK by promising a job if she withdraws from the DA’s contest.

            And it’s a shame hacks like Cicero neef to shield his true Identity from us

            Last week, Dan, you reported about Ms. Harrington’s craxy-like picnic antics; and now you’re convienently backoedaling

            Actually, I heard from otters at the picnic about her (Ms. Harrington’s) behavior to be obnoxious and unruly.

          • danvalenti
            August 12, 2018 at 7:33 pm #

            You’d better go back and read my coverage of the picnic. It might improve either your accuracy or your memory, both of which seem to have failed you here. Also, THE PLANET cautions you to tone down the rhetoric. We love free speech but not irresponsibility. Would you care to tell my readers why you are sooooo intense in your objections to Harrington? I mean, the REAL reason(s)?

          • Brian C. Marquis
            August 12, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

            C-student misused your instead of you’re in an earlier post.Typo!!

        • Brian C. Marquis
          August 12, 2018 at 2:44 pm #

          I have a text message alterting me to TFB’s brazen attempts to subvert our democratic system – by using her office to bribe JK outta the DA’s contest. My source confirmed it through three other sources. It’s legit!!

          • Doomiedoger
            August 12, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

            Hey, it is probably her first venture into the world of political corruption so she gets mulligan. And she had better behave because she now only has six mulligans left.

  8. Two Cents
    August 10, 2018 at 10:33 am #

    I wouldn’t put anything to bed on Krol’s word…just saying.

  9. Roberto Del Halitoso
    August 10, 2018 at 11:11 am #

    Kroll is a super sleazeball. You can’t trust him. Bouvier has to be held accountable for her quid pro quo behavior.

    • Rudy Baker
      August 10, 2018 at 6:10 pm #

      Harrington was really dumb to get involved with Krol. Huge mistake.

  10. h
    August 10, 2018 at 11:56 am #

    Bouvier hangs out with the Mayor at City Hall more than she’s in Boston. Or maybe they rendezvous in Boston for Sox games also. Gaetani is the real deal vote him in, don’t be a chump like fritz and the gang.

    • Doomiedoger
      August 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

      Is it true that when you get elected to political office you are required to sign a waiver of your moral character? Or does it just seem that way because at least one politician a day is caught stealing, colluding or banging somebody else s significant other?

    • Norm Fernordner
      August 10, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

      After this quid pro quo thing Bouvier is radioactive toast.

      • Mr. Fritz
        August 10, 2018 at 7:32 pm #

        She can always go back to modeling underwear.

  11. The school committee
    August 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm #

    I was voting Harrington until I saw hew with Kroll Marchetti Bouvier Farley,Tyer….Voting in the man with experience…..cant have another rookie in charge….thats whats wrong with the Berkshires ,to many rookies.

    • NIB
      August 10, 2018 at 12:49 pm #

      And a rookie in bed with those clowns to top it off. It doesn’t get worse than that.

    • Diet Red
      August 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

      Marchetti used to give the appearance of having an independent streak and being reasonable. But when he chooses to associate with those idiots I have to think twice.

      • dusty
        August 11, 2018 at 9:26 am #

        Maybe, but that was a very long time ago. He is part of a machine now and wears the banner proudly. Slimy as the rest, just does it with a straight concerning face.

        • Dave
          August 11, 2018 at 1:12 pm #

          Pete doesn’t do anything with a straight face.

  12. Unwanted Carl
    August 10, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    How many unsolved murders are there in Berkshire County?

  13. Ozias Vincelette
    August 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

    I will be voting for Caccaviello. My reason is very simple: he is the only qualified candidate. I don’t know much about Knight but maybe she has actually been in superior court unlike Harrington. The DA not only prosecutes criminals but also oversees a budget of millions of dollars and manages a staff many of whom would have much more experience than either challenger. I fail to see the logic in voting for anyone else.

    • Bill Q
      August 10, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

      Then that logic applies to the current President.

    • Mr. Fritz
      August 10, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

      I agree Mr. Vincelette. Caccaviello has the experience to handle the job. Neither female candidate is qualified, in my opinion.

      • Doomiedoger
        August 11, 2018 at 9:27 am #

        Can you say “embedded experience”?

    • danvalenti
      August 11, 2018 at 7:12 am #

      Always good to hear from The Man From Mensa. Thanks, OV, for your input.

  14. Two Cents
    August 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm #

    It makes you wonder…These are some of the people that are confirmed to be Actively campaigning for Andrea Harrington, almost to the point that they make up her campaign staff….Linda Tyer, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, Peter Marchetti, John Krol, Barry Clairmont. How is it that so many who are part of the local democrat machine, are campaigning so hard against a machine candidate. Is it a progressive thing and if so are progressives splitting the party? What kind of relationship will the city have with the county’s top law enforcement official when the executive and legislative branch worked so hard to oust him from his job. Because if they think Harrington has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, then they are as deluded as someone who thinks Pittsfield is vibrant and dynamic. They better keep their nose clean because if they even run afoul of the law…they better have an attorney more qualified than Andrea Harrington.

    • Doomiedoger
      August 10, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

      and so who are Cavv guy endorsers, campaign chiefs etc? Names?

    • Cicero
      August 11, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

      “They better keep their nose clean because if they even run afoul of the law…they better have an attorney more qualified than Andrea Harrington.”

      Why, that sounds an awful lot like you endorse the idea of reprisals coming out of a DA’s office. Nicely done. You are exhibit A as to why certain people need to be kept far away from the reins of power.

      • Brian C. Marquis
        August 12, 2018 at 2:07 pm #

        Harrington as DA will wreek havoc on Krol’s and Clairmont’s enemies. Believing otherwise is showing your ignorance. I have more court experience than she.

        Cicero is a coward!

        • Cicero
          August 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm #

          You (and your multiple handles) are a gift that keeps on giving for one of the candidates in this race. And not the candidate you think.

          If and when the identity of the person who filed the ethics complaint is revealed, this comedy will kick into full gear.

          Meanwhile, please continue the great work!

    • Sojourner Truth
      August 11, 2018 at 3:41 pm #

      TC, Please just ” collaborate” and be an “economic engine” for the “renaissance”.

      • 12 Gauge
        August 11, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

        Be vibrant and dynamic

    • Brian C. Marquis
      August 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm #

      The DA’a contest is solely about aquiring power; nothong else. Ms. Harrington is beholden to clowns like Krol & Clairmont. Remember this om Election Day: a vote for Harrington is a vote for Krol & Clairmont. They can’t control Caccaviello so they want to oust him from office.

      Do not pay any attention to Cicero; he’s coward hidomg behind a pyseudenum. Coward!!

  15. Gigi
    August 10, 2018 at 8:21 pm #

    News you may have missed – RINO Gov. Baker has signed legislation implementing automatic voter registration by 2020. The DMV which has been granting drivers licenses to illegals, will now be signing them up to vote for the Democratic party. What a scam!

    • dusty
      August 11, 2018 at 12:50 am #

      Didn’t Breitbart just get the Disinformation Spewer of the Year award?

      • 12 Gauge
        August 11, 2018 at 1:22 pm #

        I thought you won that

        • dusty
          August 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

          Came in 3rd place. Did not even get a trophy. Just a small placque to hang in my den with the deer head.

          • 12 Gauge
            August 11, 2018 at 5:38 pm #

            Everybody gets a trophy now.

  16. Thomas More
    August 11, 2018 at 6:01 am #

    Paul C. is a lock – if you enjoy peace and quiet go to the polls on September 4. You’ll be the only one there.

    • Doomiedoger
      August 11, 2018 at 9:29 am #

      and remember you can get absentee ballots mailed to your home…you do not need to waste the gas

  17. The school committee
    August 11, 2018 at 7:13 am #

    What is wrong with this city that votes for Tricia Farley Bouvier and Smutty and our electric rates in western ma. Doubled.These two dont work.

    • U
      August 11, 2018 at 11:05 am #

      The City is voting but not the taxpayer, that’s the problem. Just start with the number of City employees and go from there, you have a major head start.

      Why can’t you listen to Gaetani?

  18. Fugimoto Hockalugi
    August 11, 2018 at 5:35 pm #

    New ESL teacher in Pittsfield public school system fired from her job years ago at phone company. Perfect for Pittsfield.

  19. Gobsig
    August 11, 2018 at 5:42 pm #

    When Harrington goes down in defeat she should donate the balance of her campaign money to charity. She’s just a big time loser.

  20. Jonathan Melle
    August 11, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

    I will be an honorary District Attorney! I will fight crime in Pittsfield for an annual salary of over $171k + public bennies. I will also be an honorary Sheriff. I will reform inmates for an annual salary of over $160k + public bennies. Just think, for a combined salary of +$330k/year + public bennies, I promise to fight crime and reform inmates in Pittsfield! What do you say?
    I would have to be “honorary” because I am not a Good Old Boy! Pittsfield politics only elects G.O.B.s!

  21. The school committee
    August 12, 2018 at 3:22 am #

    Cacciviello side by side with Harrington and the rookie in her would be over matched by gravitas.
    TFBouvier does nothing for electric rates in western ma.She has never developed a idea worthy of consideration as a bill.Im told she cosign bills that wont pass for PRreasons and her quest for another position is exhausting her.Why do we elect TFBouvier

  22. The school committee
    August 12, 2018 at 3:31 am #

    One day we will look Hancock Shaker Village board and ask why the hell Pittsfield gave 500 k to them as the coctail party list of people overwhelmed our City Council Members Again….Tricia Bouvier was for selling the Rockwell and Howard Eberwien Jr.was there.These people show up everywhere……Hankcock Shaker begged for Pittsfield money and got it to Remodel the administrative office and then repurposed it.

    • Doomiedoger
      August 12, 2018 at 6:12 am #

      Which just shows you what the machine is and does with your tax money. It comes close to money laundering.

  23. The school committee
    August 12, 2018 at 3:41 am #

    Rivers,Kroll,Caccamo, Moon,White,Marchetti Tyer have no thoughts About Pittsfield kids having to go learn on a chemical swamp.Please at least review how air quality testing is done.There was a scandle there about air filter testing and Ruberto squashed it….Tyer remembers it very clearly.Mayor Tyer has perfected the hand gesture s of the former Mayor.

  24. H
    August 12, 2018 at 8:01 am #

    Pittsdield South trailing 2-0 in the third rallying, bases jammed. One out.

  25. H
    August 12, 2018 at 8:03 am #

    R I pitcher has walked two in. Tied 2-2 bases stilll out.

  26. H
    August 12, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Pittsfield tied it. Going to Fourth. Good luck!

  27. May Hemm
    August 12, 2018 at 8:52 am #

    Someone ought to Inuire about the loose nase bags at the little league game, cost us the game.

  28. h
    August 12, 2018 at 9:24 am #

    Very tense situation in Charlottesville, again. Could erupt at any moment and it will be because of Trumps comments last year.

  29. The school committee
    August 12, 2018 at 2:25 pm #

    Trump is a racist and he starts this stuff.He empowers NAZIS and patriots love it.

    • Simon Ives
      August 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm #

      Belicheck is a bastard that way.

  30. Pat
    August 12, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    Very little tension in Charlottesville, in fact, the marchers on both sides look bored. People looking for drama to blame on President Trump. Very sad.

    • dusty
      August 12, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

      Don/t worry Pat, Trump will say something incredibly ignorant before morning. He hates to go a whole day without being in the headlines.

      • 12 Gauge
        August 12, 2018 at 5:12 pm #

        You love the attention here

  31. Andrew Johnson
    August 12, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    Brian Marquis….is a obnoxious, with his flaunting rumors..sad man

    • 12 Gauge
      August 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm #

      But he is right.