Article

NOW PLAYING AT THE BEACON CINEMA: ‘THE RAPE OF THE KAPANSKIS’

BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY NOV. 26, 2018) — Got your popcorn? In your comfy, $1500 recliners? Good. The feature is about to begin, although we tell you now that it’s a rerun, seen in this once proud city countless times in the last 30 years. What, you were expecting Stanley Kubrick?

Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski, assume the position. The City of Pittsfield is about to give you the greased pole once again. You’ve known it all along. You know it will happen when The Boring Broadsheet assigns one of its fifth-columnists to write about what a great idea it will be to let Three-Card Monty walk away with the millions he took from the public treasury. As an inducement, they offered the fifth- columnist in question the chance to sniff James Taylor’s underwear the next time Sweet Baby sneezes at Tanglewood. C’mon down, Beacon Cinema, where Shady Rest developer Richard Stanley prepares to walk away from the $2.5 million he owes the Kapanskis taking the profits after Michigan-based Phoenix cinema chain buys him out.

But wait. It gets worse.

According to one downtown developer with close ties to city hall, speaking in confidence to THE PLANET, this deal was long in the making. According to our source, Office of Community Development director Deanna Ruffer, with the approval of mayor Linda Tyer and the knowledge of the Purchasing Department, has approved the proposed sale to Phoenix without soliciting competitive bids. Our source, who knows the players and isn’t happy with Stanley, says the deal has been in the works almost since the day Tyer brought retread Ruffer back to OCD. Coincidentally, THE PLANET received an e-mail over the weekend from another developer who has been a key part of downtown, alleging the same scheme.

Single-source procurement is against the competitive bidding laws of the Commonwealth, but the law doesn’t apply to Pittsfield. Otherwise Tyer and at least six compliant councilors would not have “met” in secret so that the mayor could line up the votes for Stanley. That’s another part of this story that The BB and its crack city hall reporter won’t mention.

———- 000 ———-

THE PLANET and everyone else with a working brain has reason to suspect this sale. Beyond the alleged sole bidding and vote rigging, we first saw the red flag back when Stanley came to the city for another five-year extension of his nine-year tax break and again looking for “help” to remove the Beason’s 700 seats and install 350 Laz-Z-Boy recliners for $500,000 ($1,428.57 a tush). Guess who was the “consultant” for the decision to cut the number of seats in half and keep the same pricing? Phoenix. The same company these many months later that stands to get the property for next-to-nothing. Is it just us, or does anyone see a conflict of interest? Does anyone else smell Biggie Rat? Does anyone suspect price manipulation and kickbacks?

When the Beacon had its grand opening of the new butt benches, the mayor referred to a brick given to her by Jimmy Ruberto taken from the $23 million restoration of the Kresge Building: “I keep [that brick] on my bookshelf s a reminder of what renaissance is.”

Ah, the “R” word again. With all due respect Madame Mayor, that’s not what “renaissance” looks like in Shire City. In that miserable burg that you help keep in misery, “renaissance” looks like Pat Muraca and Richard Stanley. “Renaissance” looks like Nuclea, EV Worldwide, WorkshopLive!, Spice, and the boatload of other companies the city artificially propped up with Kapanski money. “Renaissance” looks like a trash-strewn, unsafe downtown populated by low-life. “Renaissance” looks like the constant stream of shootings, drug dealing, and violence that have turned downtown and neighborhoods into no-fly zones for good, law-abiding citizens. “Renaissance” looks like all the small shops, restaurants, and stores that gave it a go but failed.

Fittingly, when the Beacon’s new seats debuted, the public wasn’t invited, only the Barney Fifes. You know the type: Her Wrinkleship Kathy “Lady Boots” Yon, Ty “Kiss Up” Jackson, and a sprinkling of “Players” and councilors, including our good friend John Krol, who had this to say of the project: “It was a true partnership between the private sector and the city that made this happen. This is a great day for the Beacon.”

Yeah, and a lousy day for the Kapanskis.

We wonder if Krol still thinks it was a “great day,” especially given his growing political animosity toward Tyer and his interest in the corner office for 2019? He will answer with a vote when this matter comes before the council.

The proposed sale to Phoenix should be halted. Stanley should be forced to pay his debts. Ah, but this is Pittsfield. You’ve seen this film in reruns countless of times: The Rape of the Kapanskis.

————————————————————————————————————-

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept” — George Carlin.

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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130 Responses to “NOW PLAYING AT THE BEACON CINEMA: ‘THE RAPE OF THE KAPANSKIS’”

  1. GMHeller
    November 26, 2018 at 1:27 am #

    Even at the $644K Phoenix Theatres is offering to pay for the Beacon Cinema property, Phoenix is likely overpaying for the financially troubled North Street location.

    • doomiedoger
      November 26, 2018 at 1:54 am #

      and that begs the question. “why does he want it so bad and why is our mayor bending over backwards to make sure he and no one else gets the property?

  2. B. Clairmont
    November 26, 2018 at 4:32 am #

    Two things Dan got wrong in today’s article.

    First, the city doesn’t own the theatre. Therefore, it isn’t subject to bidding. It is privately owned and therefore they can sell to whom ever they want. And, if there was a higher bidder I’m sure they would take it. The banks are losing close to $3,000,000 on this deal. If they would get another $500,000 and only lose $2,500,000 I’m sure they would do that. Contrary to what some people think, the banks don’t like losing money.

    Second, the vote before the council requires 2/3 of the councilors participating to be in favor. Since Marchetti can’t vote because he works for one of the banks taking the hit, 10 will vote at most. Which means they need 7 to vote yes, not 6.

    I must admit, I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

    Barry

    • Wilson
      November 26, 2018 at 5:09 am #

      You realize that is worse? That the government gives all this money out without any getting any ownership or obligation in return. Even the money “owed” to the city is never really owed since it can be wiped out with no consequence, while the money owed to the banks is real debt that they can foreclose on.

      But of course you don’t see any problem or “conspiracy” in that, just like you think you earned the money you take from taxpayers

    • Brian C. Marquis
      November 26, 2018 at 6:14 am #

      Bankruptcy. Let Stanley file for bankruptcy protection. Skip the sale and go straight to B-court.

      Assign this convoluted matter over to a U.S trustee – to sort through. That’ll put all these “conspiracy theor[ies]” to rest!

    • doomiedoger
      November 26, 2018 at 6:17 am #

      If one of Marcahettis banks was involved from the beginning that must mean Marchettis was either involved or aware of the way the whole thing was set up with the city holding the mortgage?

      The city owns the mortgage but Stanley owns the building? Why would the head of a city council, being a long time banker well aware of how mortgages work, put his city in the path of this potential mine field?

      And I apologize for being confused but this thing is a rubiks cube to the average taxpayer who would never, evah, be offered such a sweet cherry privately owned publically funded opportunity to make money.

    • The school committee
      November 26, 2018 at 6:18 am #

      This stuff means nothing as our President is attacking people on our borders,America is not great or good it committing evil and violence against unarmed innocent Christian human beings.How do we keep denying this Presidents mental problems as no normal American would do this .Trump is a sick,sick,evil human being.Fox news will love it.

      • Chuck Vincelette
        November 26, 2018 at 7:00 am #

        Again I ask you what do you think we should do about the several thousand people massing at our border trying to enter our country illegally? Unarmed innocent Christian human beings? Some yes all absolutely not.

        • Kate Dempsey
          November 26, 2018 at 8:49 am #

          Not to mention many of these young men seeking asylum from the country they are fleeing, are proudly walking and displaying flags from their home country…

        • The school committee
          November 26, 2018 at 9:10 am #

          Try not to see these people as Fox news or Trump sees them.You want me to start referring to these people as armed ms13 or rapist and murderers.This is a desperate group,tell me what you would be like after your journey considering you have Nothing.Americans must believe Trump lies so they can sleep at night.Iwould start in Honduras with our tough guy Leadership

          • Chuck Vincelette
            November 26, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

            So again I ask what should be done with 6,000 people that want to come here illegally? And the next 6000? And the next 6,000? And………

          • Bill DeWahl
            November 26, 2018 at 4:57 pm #

            Build it and they won’t come.

            Rocks and stones are indeed deadly weapons.

          • Ed Check
            November 27, 2018 at 8:39 am #

            Try to see them as President Obama saw them in 2012-2013 when he tear gassed them and fired rubber bullets.

      • Village Knight
        November 26, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

        Reply to school committee:
        You are obviously Liberal Dem/Regressive since you used their method of switching the subject immediately.
        This article is about City’s corruption–deal with Rich Stanley, who used public money to fund his private business and make illegal profit even in face of bankruptcy.

    • Village Knight
      November 26, 2018 at 5:57 pm #

      Reply to Councilor, Barry Clairmont:

      We respected you because you were honest person…
      How come Private business was funded by Public money/tax-payers money with Millions in Loans without any collateral in the first place?
      And you don’t see any Corruption/Conspiracy here?
      City has the right and obligation to ask money back and place the lien against his building!
      Then everything comes in place! Rich Stanley fails for sure.
      Then bidding of the building shall be done by MGL.
      After that you may enjoy a good conspiracy theory.

  3. AgentSmith
    November 26, 2018 at 6:29 am #

    Dan I think you’ve really missed the mark on this one.

    The city doesn’t own the theater so the talk of bidding, isn’t even an issue. Which then makes anything that follows a bit suspect.

    What is true is this deal has been two years in the making and that there’s been a lot of backroom dealing. The fact that TIFs have been extended, that new TIFs were issued (for the seats as an example), that this had been known for well over a year (22 months to be exact) and the shoe dropped after the $10 tax credit for Joe Blow. That as Kerwood was touting how fiscally responsible the city had been they knew there was a $2.55 million gift coming up they planned on giving away.
    It’s almost like a “set up”.
    The problem here is that the city, knowing this was coming, acted in collusion to help further the sale, prior to really getting any authorization. They did so because they knew people would be outraged and rightfully so. The public has a vested interest in knowing when a debt will fail, a debt funded by tax payers, and this has been a substantial debt, especially weighed against other obligations the city has; underfunded and staffed police department, sewer projects, school debt, road projects, 75 teachers and staff gone from schools, and just wait until OPEB comes home to roost.
    Where the investigation should start, if anyone cared, would be with the “redirection” of debts and funds from to Beacon to the Triplex. The problem, the city already knows what’s going on but doesn’t care, they don’t care about the siphoning of money from the Beacon to Mr. Stanley’s pockets because the fix was in from the get go.

  4. H
    November 26, 2018 at 6:46 am #

    I seem to recall at some point during the TIF process, someone or ones, saying Stanley and the banks take all the risk upon receiving his T I F? Where does, or did it say if the Business failed, the City would be required to forgive anything? What was really said during the process that allowed the mayor and City Council at the time, to approve the project? Just sayin….

    • AgentSmith
      November 26, 2018 at 8:20 am #

      TIFs (Tax Increment Financing) typically have a performance “clause” when they are directed at a single institution.
      The problem is Pittsfield doesn’t follow through. They didn’t for Interprint, Ice River, Spice, and now the Beacon.
      Most TIFs are directed at economic development areas or regions as a way to incentivize investment and redevelopment. In the case of the Beacon, the city was to forgive certain taxes for s period of years which would, in theory, allow the Beacon some breathing room to get to making a profit.
      The basic justification is that the property tax (real or personal) the city forgoes is made up for in increased sales tax, an increase in property values of surrounding businesses, more sales tax from other local businesses, more jobs, etc.
      Sort of the tide that lifts all boats but in this case it’s the tsunami that’s wiping out tax payers.
      The theory, as the business grows, the city forgives less of the tax burden. Typically year 1 there’s no taxes on an agreeded upon market valuation, year 2 it’s 20%, year 3 40% out to year 5.
      That said some TIFs follow a 7 year plan, six years and 1 day of the seventh year as it aligns with other federal programs.
      If all things work out, the business is thriving, can pay its taxes, and the investment is good. If you’re the Beacon, your owner has funneled off money, the banks are on the hook for a mortgage well in excess of the value of the building and good will, and the city is forgiving loans and extending TIFs to the new buyers.

      The way this will go down, the city will forgive the $1.05 million because the banks will not go through with the sale if the city does not. The banks want the city to forgive the $1.05 mil because not one of the lending institutions wants the building because they’d be on the hook for taxes on a building that has no value compared to the lending that’s been given out.
      The city desperately wants the deal to go through because this will be proof positive that the city is blighted, which it is, and not commercially viable. This was part of the reason the museum plan was so heavily endorsed by Tyer and her minions.
      They are beginning to see that without proving up all of these larger institutions, they will fail. North street is only in a renaissance if renisance means public dollars to support bad ideas.

      • Johnny Absurd
        November 26, 2018 at 9:35 am #

        This sounds like an honest up front assessment of the situation. you will not be getting a Christmas present from the Tyer administration this year.

        I personally think 50 million dollars of the money collected for taxes is a slush fund for connected special interests.

      • X-Lachs Lounge
        November 26, 2018 at 5:00 pm #

        Public dollars support bad ideas because private dollars are owned by people with brains.

  5. Kermit Frog
    November 26, 2018 at 6:50 am #

    Well said Agent Smith.

    Question – if the mortgage holders owned the property after foreclosure would they then need competitive bids (ie. City part owner once foreclosed.)

    Is there a suggestion other parties wanted to buy this business? Did I understand the Phoenix is only paying $675k?

    • Johnny Absurd
      November 26, 2018 at 7:12 am #

      and they may get continuing tax credits did I hear that?

      • AgentSmith
        November 26, 2018 at 8:31 am #

        The city is not an owner of the property, they have not initiated a tax title taking, so there is nothing in this that would require a bid because it’s not a city property.

        If a bank decided to forclose, they can go through the process, fight it out in court, fight any creditors that have leins and end up owning the property basically free and clear, as they say.

        My argument against this is as follows;
        None of the lending institutions want to foreclose because IMMEDIATELY they would have a property that can’t satisfy the debt. Most of the fixtures (the seats, the projectors,) the personal property isn’t owned, so those don’t come with the building. The bank would end up with a building that can’t satisfy the debt and would be difficult to repurpose.
        In looking, I think they even owe money on the actual escalator.

        I think the cries that the banks would forclose are just a leverage to allow what is basically a short sale with the assumption of debt on the part of Pheonix.
        That also part of this includes a series of TIFs that will be never ending granted to the new owners.

        • AgentSmith
          November 26, 2018 at 8:35 am #

          One other thing, the bank that forecloses also would be responsible for the taxes on the building and whatever personal property is left. Along with keeping heating going, lights, minimum maintenance.
          Think of the Beacon like the mall, empty and just costing money, and taxes.
          Banks don’t want to own property and banks surely don’t want to pay taxes on property that isn’t revenue generating.

        • Kermit Frog
          November 26, 2018 at 8:44 am #

          Thanks agent smith!
          Taxes are always a priority security interest. A mortgage is an ownership interest even if the mortgage is subordinate. There still seem to be two interests – tax and mortgage. Just because what one owns isn’t worth the mortgage debt doesn’t mean that you don’t own it. Having a subordinated interest doesn’t mean you don’t have an ownership, it just means you get peanuts.
          What is the tax bill on a 675k sale? Is Stanley getting money from the personal property part of the sale?

          • Kermit Frog
            November 26, 2018 at 8:46 am #

            I agree – an empty building is worse. If there are parties that want to pay more they should make themselves known.

          • Kermit Frog
            November 26, 2018 at 9:04 am #

            I should add any secured interest could only be ‘repossed’ on a contractual event event of default. I don’t think the Beacon has defaulted so right now Stanley owns the Beacon.
            It only changed on event of default or foreclosure when secured interests can become real interests, depending on priority.

          • AgentSmith
            November 26, 2018 at 9:10 am #

            Excellent question. I don’t know what that money is for,
            I’d imagine it’s profit taking for Stanley (of course he’d be made whole) or it could be for personal property, although I had heard there’s debt on the seats to the projectors…
            was there a TIF that was $65-$67k that ran 10 years. Is Stanley getting paid a TIF value? I’d need to see the deal, the committee should require a full disclosure.
            I also worry that the deal is being structured so there’s no real value to Stanley but he’ll be kept on as a manager or consultant in a side deal.

            A kickback for help in securing $5.55 million in debt forgiveness. Imagine that, Stanley gets them $5.55 million in forgiveness and he gets a kickback.

    • B. Clairmont
      November 26, 2018 at 7:59 am #

      Kermit,

      If there is a foreclosure the banks, and the banks alone, would own the property. The city would own nothing because their debt is subordinated to the banks debt. The only way the city could own the property would be if they bought the banks debt for full price. I assume no one here wants the city buying the banks out.

      So to answer your questions, no bidding if there is a foreclosure. Also, no one has come forward with another bid anyway. No one has offered to buy at a higher price than Phoenix.

      The paper is reporting the sale price at $675,000. I assume they are correct.

      Barry

      • Kermit Frog
        November 26, 2018 at 8:49 am #

        I think that is incorrect – every one with a secured interest would own part. The city may not see any money for their interest but that does not mean they do not have one. Their mortgage is by definition an ownership claim on the title.

        • Chuck Vincelette
          November 26, 2018 at 9:27 am #

          Sorry k f Barry is correct. The only way the city would get anything would be if the banks got paid off completely and there was something left over. Of course we will get paid any real estate taxes owed and any water and sewer assessments owed.
          However Stanley should not get any funds from the sale, and the city should not make any new commitments to the new owners. I say new because I believe the TIF goes with the property. Stanley himself is not responsible for the debt unless he personally guaranteed it.
          I understand why people are upset but facts are facts. The money is gone,gone,gone. Given that councilors should vote to keep the theatre open.

          • Kermit Frog
            November 26, 2018 at 10:21 am #

            Two points – 1) I agree the city gets nothing be wise the asset is in negative equity but 2) no economic value does not mean no ownership interest on foreclosure. There are two separate issues – the city would have an interest on foreclosure and could press that interest for competitive bidding, which might up the pot of money and mean that they get enough in the sale to get something.

            There are lot of Bankruptcy type issues without bankruptcy.

            I doubt there is a better offer coming – but that is a diffference of what the secured interest gives you on an event of default and subsequent foreclosure.

          • danvalenti
            November 26, 2018 at 11:07 am #

            KF
            The fact that there are so many unanswered questions, so many uncertainties, is perhaps the most distressing aspect of this foolish project. It’s clear: This entire project, from the beginning, has been an unmitigated disaster for the city — for everyone but Mr. Stanley. It has not been sufficiently explored, this “sudden interest” by Phoenix for a money loser. There are too many sources of stink to this deal. Cut the losses: Clearly the best option. Our good friend Barry C and others argue that if the city doesn’t go along with the sale, the banks won’t, either. Yet they claim this the property is privately owned, and not subject to bidding. These two statements cannot be honestly reconciled. If it is correct, that the sale is or was not subject to competitive bidding, how does that square with the city owning a mortage. See the problem, now, with these dreaded “public-private” partnerships. The public takes all the risks, the private assumes none of it but all of the gain. THE PLANET asked an attorney specializing in real estate law, who says that the mortgage, all things being equal, means ownership, which brings the process under bidding laws. Are all things equal here? No. Something’s missing. Something’s hidden. As for the “price” of the project, we have a source familiar with the “negotiations” who says it’s “somewhere south” of $675,000. He wouldn’t say how south because, apparently, the price hasn’t been finalized. THE PLANET suspects (and this is just us, now) that if it gets that far, it will go for a shade under half a million. Imagine that: getting a $23 million investment for two cents on the dollar. We have every reason to believe that will be the final price: Two measly cents on the dollar. So you see, Barry, we also enjoy good conspiracy theories, especially the ones borne out by the facts of the case, as this one is.

            Another issue. Barry says a supermajority will be required by the council. So far so good. Then he brings up an aspect we didn’t think of — Council President Marchetti’s problematic position in this. Barry says Marchetti can’t vote, which means his bank, Pittsfield Co-Op, has a piece of the mortage. Question: Did Marchetti vote on ANY part of the Beacon, going back 10 years? If so, we have a huge CONFLICT problem, perhaps enough to get him tossed, should anyone care to explore it. So ten votes. Two-thirds of 10 is 6.67, or seven votes (assuming that Earl Persip is a full person and not .667 of one). Seven votes. If our good friend will read more carefully, he will see that we said the mayor has six votes wrapped up. THE PLANET has multiple council sources who confirm that claim. We don’t specifically know which ones, but we could guess: Moon, Caccamo, Rivers, Persip, White are five presumed to be with the mayor. Morandi, Connell, and Mazzeo presumed the other way. That leaves our good friend John Krol and Tony Simonelli unaccounted for by this tally. The mayor would need both. We hear Tony is leaning against the sale, which would defeat the proposal. If he votes with the mayor, it would come down to Krol. His political future could rest on his vote. Now, another point: If the city is not bound by bidding laws, why does the law require council OK? Isn’t this a private property in a private sale? Doesn’t add up. Finally, let’s assume BC is correct. No bidding required. Wouldn’t if behoove all parties to put the building up for grabs and play multiple offers off each other, especially at two cents on the dollar?

          • Kermit Frog
            November 26, 2018 at 10:46 am #

            This explains commercial foreclosure, generally.

            https://www.lawyers.com/legal-info/real-estate/commercial-real-estate/foreclosure-on-a-commercial-property.html

            There is a receiver and junior lien holders (the city) are asked for release for Sale. MA is a non judicial foreclosure state I believe. I think a lender can ask for a deficiency judgement to be repaid.

            The details would need to be public then.

          • AgentSmith
            November 26, 2018 at 11:00 am #

            Where you are wrong is in the TIF statement. They plan to extend TIFs that have already expired. They have previously extended TIFs that have expired, and have issued new ones against new equipment.
            The money isn’t gone because no one is gorclosing on the property. Further, if they did, they would immediately be on the hook for EDUs, real and personal property tax. But now, the hemorrhaging will continue as the TIFs will continue.
            At least if the bank foreclosed the city would start getting tax payments.

      • Kermit Frog
        November 26, 2018 at 11:12 am #

        I don’t know anything about TIFFs, that is certain!! If I said something about them it would be inadvertently – I am only talking about interests that can be secured.

        I don’t know what a TIFF is, a parent from a vague tax incentive.

      • Village Knight
        November 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm #

        Reply to B.Clairmont’s reply to Kermit:
        Sorry, but you are still wrong!
        We do want to buy out this building since bank’s debt will be foreclosed and bank’s bidding will be low, so we can buy it and then we can have City’s owned Cinema!!!
        City’s owned and operated with no Private business involved.
        Then everything comes in place!
        Historic renovation by state grants!
        We can run City’s owned Marijuana shop with you as manager/accountant—-movie theater and marijuana!
        That’s absolutely legal. Plus City owned drug clinic upstairs.

        • Johnny99
          November 27, 2018 at 2:33 am #

          Throw in a police substation, along with the movies and the marijuana and you’ve got an economic engine that will make Ruffer and Roberto proud and bring 200,000 downtown.

  6. Thomas More
    November 26, 2018 at 7:52 am #

    The sad part of all of this is our city government would forgive as little as a parking ticket to any business north of Union St. except perhaps Dotties where nice people go. The wouldn’t offer a dime of help to the Lantern when the PFD shut them down. The Lantern brought more people to North St. in a week than the Beacon did in a year. This was a restaurant that paid its taxes on time for a hundred years and asked for nothing but to be left alone. Our city fathers and mothers couldn’t do that even.

    • B. Clairmont
      November 26, 2018 at 8:01 am #

      Thomas,

      PERC offered to help the Lantern. They didn’t want the money. The wanted to close. This is another false narrative.

      Barry

      • Joe Blow
        November 26, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

        Are you speaking for the mayor? If so is it a paid position?

        • Johnny99
          November 27, 2018 at 2:30 am #

          Joe,

          Please, agree or not with Mr. Clairmonts posts, he is enlightening us to an extent we otherwise would not be. Please hush.

      • Economic Injun
        November 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

        What are the details on PERC offering to help the lantern?

        • B. Clairmont
          November 27, 2018 at 4:15 am #

          We didn’t get to the point of talking details. They were told that PERC had grant funds available to help. We had at the time up to $25,000 we could have granted to a single business. I believe the hood issue was around $20,000. They were told to apply. They mentioned they were thinking of retiring. That is the path they choose.

          Same went for Reba’s on Tyler street.

          Sometimes people aren’t honest when they give a reason for closing. I’ve had many a client lie to the public over the years when they give a reason for closing. They don’t want the public to know what is really going on. Which is their right.

          Barry

  7. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 9:15 am #

    The worst part of the Beacon deal is the lack of anyone knowing the answer.Mrs Rudder needs to tell us everything about her original deal so you can understand this failure.Hoping former mayor and councilors at the time would explain what went down

  8. U
    November 26, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    Agent, if the condos,offices were paid for out of said owners separate account, could there been funneling by collusion through the other project? And that could be done with the help of a contractor very easily. Twenty plus million is a hefty sum.

  9. doomiedoger
    November 26, 2018 at 9:48 am #

    If the Beacon theater is so poison why does the potential buyer want it? He must know the odds of making a movie theater there successful are slim and none. So what is his real plan and is the mayor in on that too? Will anyone from city hall guarantee that this guy is not really aiming for condos after doing a cute little dance around a movie theater plan which will mysteriously fall apart for some unforeseen reason?

    I still want to know who signed off on the original deal that put the taxpayers on the hook for a business that a millionaire businessman would benefit from. Who thought this was a good idea for Pittsfield taxpayers?

    • AgentSmith
      November 26, 2018 at 10:53 am #

      This is the $22 million question

      The company runs a set of theaters in an active mall with triple the seating and double the screens.
      It runs the same pricing structure and has the same amenities.
      The only value in the theater is the concessions, which to the credit of the Beacon, were relatively inexpensive and with refills.

      As I stated in another post, I think there’s money in the Beacon and I know Stanley was taking profits, and I’ve been told, money from the Beacon was used to buy supplies and movies for the Triplex. So there’s probably some money to be had but not $22 million in money to be had.
      This might be a “kick it down the road deal”. Come in get tax credits, take profits. They are only buying if for under $700k and seem to have lopped off $5.55 million in debt from the get go. That’s not a bad “investment”.

    • danvalenti
      November 26, 2018 at 11:08 am #

      What is the REAL plan? DOOMIE, that is T-H-E question. Neither the city, Stanley, nor Phoenix is speaking.

    • Spagirl
      November 26, 2018 at 11:16 am #

      Exactly. Citizen taxpayers balked in the very beginning about giving millionaire Stanley a free ride on taxes.

    • Village Knight
      November 26, 2018 at 6:20 pm #

      Reply to doomiedoger:

      I attended subcommittee meeting.
      Michigan company people said: ” We are not buying Beacon Cinema business. We are buying the building and assets.
      We will not carry any previous owner’s obligations.”
      Very honest statement.
      Buying the building they can do anything Zoning allows there.

      • AgentSmith
        November 27, 2018 at 9:04 am #

        Then they’ve gotten the best deal in the world. Sorry I missed this earlier.
        So no debt, a several million dollar building and assets, for $700k.

        So does that mean someone else will run the Beacon and who gets the $700k?

  10. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 11:20 am #

    Pittsfield is always in a hurry to move on.What will be exposed if Pittsfield does not move forward.Maybe for once we should not move on this and watch what shakes out .The 650 k for a 22 million dollar project seems extremely low for the property.Lets see what happens .I think Councilor Ward was there at the time.Nothing ever passes the smell test in this city.We always feel like something is always withheld.

  11. Jonathan Melle
    November 26, 2018 at 11:35 am #

    I would trust a used car salesman over Jimmy Ruberto! He once said he would work with Jim Bouton to redo Wahconah Park. That tanked! He said he would revitalize downtown Pittsfield and create a cultural renaissance. That cost millions of dollars from GE’s settlement fund for “economic development”. Downtown Pittsfield is still dangerous, as it ranks #5 in all of Massachusetts for violent crime!

    During Mayor Ruberto’s reign, Pittsfield lost thousands of residents and hundreds of living wage jobs. Mayor Ruberto raised taxes, increased municipal debts, and spent other public money like a drunken sailor. Jim Ruberto even said he had a “rolodex”, but it proved to only consist of Angelo Stracuzzi and Carmen Massimiano and other useless Good Old Boys.

    I strongly believe that Jimmy Ruberto was the worst thing to happen to Pittsfield! He represents everything that is wrong with local government! He left Pittsfield with a sad legacy of population loss, job loss, high taxes, huge municipal debts, and wasteful spending on so-called “economic development” projects like the Beacon Cinema bailout. The Beacon Cinema is top heavy with millions of dollars of debts. It will collapse under its own weight.

    Also, the lovely Linda Tyer is proposing a 20% fee increase to the water and sewer enterprise fund beginning on January 1st, 2019. In essence, she is asking the local taxpayers to again bailout an out of town millionaire Richard Stanley, while hiking their fee to use water and sewer services. Moreover, Mayor Linda Tyer’s 2.5-cent per day residential tax cut is a joke, which will be paid back with higher taxes after she may be re-elected next year of 2019.

    – Jonathan Melle

    • Johnny99
      November 27, 2018 at 2:39 am #

      Holy Smokes Johnathan,

      You have been awoken!!!!!!

  12. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 12:17 pm #

    Did Mayor Tyer work for ex mayor Ruberto?

    • Halo
      November 26, 2018 at 12:48 pm #

      That’s a pleasant way of saying it.

  13. dusty
    November 26, 2018 at 12:25 pm #

    The Berkshire Eagle had one of their A team investigative reporters delve deeply into the museum folly. Is this person available to, or allowed to, do a deep dive into the Beacon Theater collusion escapade?

    Jim Bouton wrote an awesome book about his experience with the city of Pittsfield when he tried to bring a baseball team to Waconah Park. He exposed the rotten underbelly of Pittsfield politics and it looks like some of the same people could be involved in this caper. Who amongst you would like to write this book?

    • Stacey Elin Rossi
      November 27, 2018 at 9:23 am #

      I am planning on writing a book about my experiences with politics in the Berkshires over the past 15 years.

      • Two Cents
        November 27, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

        Stacey: you will have a hard time convincing any publisher that it is a work of Non-fiction!!

  14. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

    The Trump economy sucks,Wall street think it’s a loser and the 1.5 trillion was a gift.Corporations have 9 trillion in debt so Hope you Trumps have the bailouts ready.

    • Pat
      November 26, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

      The stock market is booming today. People are spending like mad for this holiday season. It will set new records. President Trump’s economy is booming!!!! You are so wrong School Committee.

  15. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    401k went up 500% under Obama and 7% heading down under Trumps giveaway welfare for the wealthy program…nobody believes in Trump but the sheep

    • Joe Blow
      November 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm #

      Where’s the sauce to back up all of these claims you make? Have any links to this info?

    • Ed Check
      November 27, 2018 at 12:00 am #

      This is an absolute lie. My 401k tanked during President Obama. It has recovered nicely during President Trump.

      If you actually had a 401k, or 403b (government employee), you might actually have a clue.

      • acheshirecat
        November 27, 2018 at 7:25 am #

        Same here Ed. Pretty much flatlined from 2006 to the end of 2015. It has almost doubled since the end of 2015.

        • RobEM
          November 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm #

          You all got me curious about my 401K. I could only go back to 12/31/2011. My balance has been higher every year since. 2015 was the lowest increase. This year is up also.

  16. H
    November 26, 2018 at 12:54 pm #

    We are headed for a crisis Nationally and locally here. Don’t let Pete White continue with his Downtown Inc. rhetoric as great, it’s not. Pete,no one watches Movies anymore, why do you think the BeaCon is losing its shirt, at our expense.

    And will someone take a look at 120 Linden Street area,garbage all over the place?

    • Johnny Absurd
      November 26, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

      Just because words come out of Whites mouth does not mean they came from his own brain. I think he gets a wordy cheat sheet to pass on his own thoughts that were thought up by someone else.

  17. doomiedoger
    November 26, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

    So when I read in the paper awhile back, whenever. that the mayor was going to give Stanely another tax break so he could upgrade with new seats…was I being mislead? Was Stanley misleading the mayor because he knew he had a potential buyer? And or did the mayor mislead the taxpayers because she knew he was going to scram out of dodge but led us to believe he was serious about staying?

    This whole house of cards was built with the help of city officials and some of them had to know it was bogus. I would suggest that these people are or were top tier personnel. And I think they need to be exposed.

    • AgentSmith
      November 26, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

      All information indicates that there was a known problem in 3016, that the tax break for the seats was part of a deal between the mayors office and Stanley to use public funds to make the upgrades and eventual sale more palatable.

      EVERYONE knew it was bogus, even the numbers they were claiming from the get go.
      They claimed this would bring 250,000 people to downtown (one wary number was 500,000)
      So if we do the numbers 250,000/365 (days in a year)
      That would mean 685 people a DAY would go to the movies at the Beacon.
      Not one reporter, newspaper, elected official balked at that number or even blinked.
      When they were saying 500k people got the word out to “tone it down” and they cut it in half.

      I leave you with this link. Watch the promotional video from the powers that be. Many of these same people are still conning Pittsfield.

      https://youtu.be/NucUQBHKGhQ

  18. H
    November 26, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Well, the sears were put in so the next buyer wouldn’t have to invest in seating,carpet cleaning,that’s another story. And did I hear the Detriot Spokesman with the overly large suit jacket say staffing would be increased? Wasn’t that required of P T?…..just sayin.” what we are dong here is invest for failure down the road and set the next buyer,to change the entire venue,all paid for.

  19. AgentSmith
    November 26, 2018 at 3:18 pm #

    Oh the irony of this one, it didn’t age well.

    https://youtu.be/jBLEQIcO97Y

    • Mr. Fritz
      November 27, 2018 at 5:31 am #

      Wow – thanks for posting this, Agent!

  20. Mike Ward
    November 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm #

    I take my kids to the Beacon fairly often and I’m glad to see there’s a financially doable plan for this new guy to operate it.

    • Village Knight
      November 26, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

      Reply to Mike Ward:
      Dear Mike!
      Do you take your kids to Beacon on bicycles or walking?
      Why don’t you file a Petition to build bicycle parking there?
      Do you think because you and 12 more people came to Beacon, then the whole city must fund it using tax-payers money?
      Michigan people buying the building, not business.
      They openly said so on subcommittee meeting.

  21. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 4:06 pm #

    Do any of the councilors on this board know who the councilors were at that time?and was Mayor Tyer a councilor then or working with Ruberto

    • Village Knight
      November 26, 2018 at 7:03 pm #

      Reply to The school committee:
      Ms. Linda Tyer was hired by then Mayor, James Ruberto as a City
      Clerk. I should say she was a good clerk, knew paper work OK.
      John Krol was Mayor’s Ruberto administrative assistant.
      Daniel Bianchi was Councilor. Others were Barry Clairmont,Lothrop, Lee, Marchette, Paul something(drugs story), Melissa Mazzeo–you can reach to ex-Councilor Lothrop and ask him. He knows all old boys:))

      • B. Clairmont
        November 27, 2018 at 4:17 am #

        I was not on the council when this deal was done.

        Barry

  22. The school committee
    November 26, 2018 at 4:51 pm #

    Donald Frumpy is the most dangerous man in America as we are experiencing what Germany did before WW2, Wake up sheep.

    • 12 Gauge
      November 26, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

      You want to explain that statement?

      • Art Seller
        November 26, 2018 at 5:49 pm #

        This Beacon project has many unanswered questions that we need to have clarified by the secretary. She should have the city attorney put together a full report in plain English detailing all the specifics of this project. We are all guessing as to what this project entails and the secretary must asap get the taxpayers this report so we can chime in after we are fully apprised of this seemingly pink elephant. I seriously doubt tyer herself understands this as she had no clue how shot spotter worked. Not understanding shot spotter how can we expect she would understand this relatively complex situation. She is the city’s top elected official and we should hold her feet to the ground on this pink elephant

        • Village Knight
          November 26, 2018 at 7:06 pm #

          Reply to Art Seller:
          Please do not abuse our Secretary! We love her because
          she moves Pittsfield forward!
          She is the best secretary of all times! So, please be nice.

      • Art Seller
        November 26, 2018 at 5:59 pm #

        12 What don’t you not understand in TSC’s post? It is crystal clear to me. Are you going to stick with trump when he is prison?? I think your smarter than that. I hope. Just saying.

        • 12 Gauge
          November 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm #

          Maybe you can explain his statement

        • 12 Gauge
          November 26, 2018 at 6:09 pm #

          Explain in detail this stupid statement ” we are experiencing what Germany did before WW2″

          • Art Seller
            November 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm #

            The republican candidate for Senate Cindy Hyde smith in Mississippi is a old school donosaur who is hoping her ring kissing of scump will get her elected. At any other time a republican could coast to election but she is facing a stiff completion from mike espy. This is a very interesting election which will be decided tomorrow.I hope she loses as no one that stupid belongs in congress. No one.

          • Mr. Fritz
            November 26, 2018 at 7:55 pm #

            Obviously TSC & Art skipped World History 101. Neither can explain TSC’s moronic statement.

          • Mr. Fritz
            November 27, 2018 at 11:23 am #

            Art,
            Mike Espy, former Agri Head, is so corrupt even the Clintons want nothing to do with him.
            Why would you support a well-known corrupt politician?

    • Ed Check
      November 27, 2018 at 12:14 am #

      Unlike Germany, where people were fleeing before Hitler clamped down on emigration, people are trying to illegally immigrate here to this “horrible“ economy.

      Thanks President Trump for standing up for America. We finally have a president that is taking on the new world order globalist agenda. Why is he hated so much? In the media, every major media group is controlled by a bilderberger member ( a major globalist group ).

  23. Dilly Dally
    November 26, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    Wow, just seen history 97 yard t d run by Miller of Texans,took handoff in the end zone,cool.

  24. Art Seller
    November 26, 2018 at 8:52 pm #

    Try!p disapproval rating at all time high60%. A certain one term president and most likely not even a one term president. The most despicable human on planet earth. He certainly ordered the gasing of those poor immigrants. Women and children. He took away their legal procedure to seek asylum. This is why I hate this monster. He doesn’t have a bit of empathy or decency and those that condone his lieing are people I want nothing to do with because more than likely you have no empathy for others and are as indecent as this sob. 12 and fritz are two who fit this catagory

    • Ed Check
      November 27, 2018 at 12:20 am #

      Art,

      You forgot me in that group, a proud President Trump supporter.

      You are so uninformed and clueless, stick to sewage plants, you are so full of feces in your comments, I can see why you are an expert in that area.

      • Art Seller
        November 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm #

        I haven’t forgot you as h. I just dont respond to idiot any more it ISNA waste of time. 6500 lies doesn’t bother you but it does me. Go back to your cave.

  25. mi
    November 26, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    You can’t fix trash, red necked,and stupid Art.

  26. Grant Tiff
    November 26, 2018 at 9:38 pm #

    The.Museum needs to write a five million dollar check to the City of Pittsfield.

  27. doomiedoger
    November 27, 2018 at 1:39 am #

    So if the Pittsfield taxpayers wanted an open honest detailed explanation of the Beacon theater rise and fall who might they go to? Does Pittsfield even have such a person on the payroll? Someone overseeing there well being?

    It sure as hell is not the mayor. Is there one city councilor not terrified to get their hands dirty and do a thorough colonoscopy on this chicanery? Are the citizens of Pittsfield, Ma. just adrift at sea as far as having any government oversight?

    Is the local newspaper interested in explaining how or why the original legal documents were drawn up? And who the key players were/are?

    Are there people actively trying to move this sale past the point of being scrutinized? Are all documents available to the public and if not why not?

    • Johnny99
      November 27, 2018 at 2:55 am #

      And did any accounting firm actually audit the 22 plus million to see where it really went? And did Stanley ever make a payment on the 2.55mil? What were the real terms of that “loans?

      As Dan wrote, this thing stinks six ways to Sunday. The consult hired by Beacon recommends new chairs and citizens give up more tax revenue so Beacon gets new chairs, to help make pre-planned sale to consultant more do-able. This monkey business has been in the works for some time.

      Let the beacon boondoggle go belly up.

      • Kermit Frog
        November 27, 2018 at 9:09 am #

        To the person who said they loved the Beacon and took their kids there – we love it too.
        But this is crony capitalism – maybe if the Beacon was a charity it would have to account for its spending.
        When the 4th position ‘mortgage’ was approved they must have looked at the books – otherwise I suspect they would be violating many regulations.
        If someone approved the 4th mortgage – whoever that is – should have seen the books – let the public see them.
        The Colonial got similar money and they aren’t belly up (please do t report next week you are going belly up) – they are a loved cultural institution.
        People are indignant – and should be – because it’s not ethical in any way shape or form.

    • Art Seller
      November 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm #

      Doomie I detailed what the city should do regarding the beacon in a earlier post on this thread today There is only one person who fights for the taxpayer and you will see him tonight in action T the Cc meeting. Too many posters and too few doers.

  28. The school committee
    November 27, 2018 at 1:43 am #

    The history of Germany is that a fear was created.A threat is created of course there is a bit of truth.Trump supporters feel safe and he only lies and acts like a person who’s insane to keep you secure and confortable,he knows you have already turned your life over to his care and you fear everything you don’t know.

    • 12 Gauge
      November 27, 2018 at 8:46 am #

      Random meanderings from a nitwit.

  29. The school committee
    November 27, 2018 at 5:09 am #

    Sounds like Councilor Clairmont and Mayor Tyer should invite a few councilors at the time to bring some notes they took at that time.Ask Rudder what she put together for councilors at that time.Bring in the banks to ask them what they did,what went on,what they were told….SLOW DOWN,SLOW DOWN lets make time for Kerrwood to talk about what he was told at that time….Mayor Tyer could bring in River to to ask him what went down with he and Stanley then bring in Stanley……Everyones in a hurry ,let’s revisit that time so we don’t make mistakes

  30. Puppets
    November 27, 2018 at 6:29 am #

    This has Jimmy the Gent written all over it.

  31. Johnny Absurd
    November 27, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    There is no evidence of money laundering so I hope no one is thinking along those lines. And Deutch bank is not involved at least to the best of my knowledge. Let’s keep our imaginations under control.

  32. Johnny Absurd
    November 27, 2018 at 6:53 am #

    My cat just asked me if I knew what kind of noise was made when email servers were being scrubbed. He heard a funny noise as we drove by city hall.

  33. Kato Basenji
    November 27, 2018 at 8:23 am #

    If only all these civic minded Chicken Littles actually supported downtown businesses. This article was just a bunch of conspiratorial what ifs thrown together, apparently as a result of the writer not being invited to the opening. SMH

    • Johnny Absurd
      November 27, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

      I think the taxpayers have supported downtown business s to the tune of tens of million of dollars…wittingly or otherwise. City hall has reinvented North street a half dozen times configuring the street, sidewalks, lighting, parking blah blah. Don’t blame and business failures on Chicken Little cuz he makes a very poor scapegoat.

      • danvalenti
        November 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm #

        THE PLANET is in agreement with your comment, JOHNNY.

  34. Kermit Frog
    November 27, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    I support downtown business – nice try. While a $12 marketplace wrap is a bit of a robbery it’s not the 22 million dollar kind.
    Also, what happened to Red Apple Butcher? The new people in there are great.

  35. Kermit Frog
    November 27, 2018 at 10:20 am #

    I would spend more money at marketplace but the cater to man-bun crowd and only open at 10 it 11. I need my coffee early since I ha e to work … I should have opened a movie theater.

  36. Two Cents
    November 27, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    Just a question…The council is being asked to approve the FY19 water and sewer rates tonight. Didn’t we read that they will include the 1st increase to pay for the wastewater project. If so, doesn’t that that make the project a done deal and therefore makes Gaetani’s presentation on December 5th a total waste of time?

  37. X-Lachs Lounge
    November 27, 2018 at 2:05 pm #

    Mr. Clairmont is there any chance that Mr. Gas tank will be given a fair chance to change minds?

    • X-Lachs Lounge
      November 27, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

      Mr Gaetani not gas tank. Dam auto correct.

      • Two Cents
        November 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm #

        LMAO at Gas Tank….Thanks auto-correct!!!

        I realized after post that the matter will likely be referred to committee, where the presentation is scheduled. But, if they wanted to chop gas tank off at the knees, they could waive committee referral and approve the rates tonight. Wouldn’t put it past them.

  38. Cos
    November 27, 2018 at 3:47 pm #

    Does that require an 8- 3 they don’t have the votes.

    • Art Seller
      November 27, 2018 at 4:31 pm #

      Cos. The Gman won the right to give a presentation on DEC 10. The Cc oted 6 to 5 to allow him to give the presentation. That being said the city at the present moment has no plan to establish rates. Perhaps the wiz will speak about this tonight at cc.

  39. Cos
    November 27, 2018 at 4:37 pm #

    You can bank the BeaCon on It. The G Man will be In Attendance, G Man has attended more Council Meetings than Most Councilors.

  40. Johnny Absurd
    November 27, 2018 at 4:38 pm #

    Bigwig at Berkshire bank stepping down immediately.

    Was Berkshire bank involved the Beacon financing thingy whatsit?

  41. H
    November 27, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Many Banks I volved. Remeber the last fa ous words of Ruffer at the first giveaway. Stanley and the Banks take all the risk. To the City Councilors, she owns that, and that alone should absolve any more TIFS and debt forgiveness, otherwise you are just as phony as the rest.

  42. The school committee
    November 27, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

    There were 5 banks that loaned 250k each so a very small amount per bank.Probably a CAD loan which they are obligated to invest in the Community.Its not about the banks.Something is fishy….keep asking questions Mayor Mazzeo because you will inherit this as our next Mayor.You are the only councilor with guts to get answers

  43. The school committee
    November 27, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    The whole Trump family knew about The Russians dumping emails on democrats.Trump is desperate to take over

  44. H
    November 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm #

    Leave no doubt about what the G Man was talking about tonight concerning the Beacon and water-sewer tonight. I think the best way to go with BeACon is the original first deal,one TIF,they received two, foreclose and see if this Mi. company wants it without taxpayer funding.

    Private Businesses and Banks should never ever expect the taxpayer to sudsidize any more funding and certainly no forgiving of monies. The City is not a Bank,and we lived up more than double to our obligation.

  45. H
    November 27, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

    I’m all for the Beacon being sold,but let them do it without any more TIF or cancellation of debt.

  46. Cos
    November 27, 2018 at 6:36 pm #

    If the Beacon did great numbers why are they disolving? Or did they do great numbers? Where arethe F.C.ing numbers. Fuzzy accounting if you ask me

  47. Bill Q
    November 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    So why wasn’t Beacon cleaning the carpets? Pete White says we are going to get more money from the Beacon? We are giving millions away to pay their debt,are you stupid?

  48. Kermit Frog
    November 27, 2018 at 11:47 pm #

    So the Beacon was in default – influential people on this blog have been quite misleading.
    Eagle reporting missing mention of missing 22 million dollars.
    City could have influence a receiver position – at the Sale price Marketplace rent would probably cover a 675k mortgage or close.
    Note – it included all personal preoperty (if Eagle can be trusted which is dubious) so a complete scam job by e wryobe who voted yes.
    22.5 million disappears so Allegrone condos across the street aren’t worthless. What a bunch of crooks. I don’t go to the museum and I’m not shopping/eatingbout on North St.

  49. He can’t win
    November 28, 2018 at 5:01 am #

    What is up with Connell?

    Two years ago he had a conflict voting on the tiff because he one bought property from Stanley. Now that conflict suddenly went away? He still bought the property from Stanley.

    He took a vote and threw the taxpayers under the bus. Thanks Chris. What a putz.

  50. Kermit Frog
    November 28, 2018 at 6:32 am #

    What does Downtown Pittsfield do? What was there role in this debacle? I ask because they packed the meeting with groupies to vote yes and there Board include Allegrone III. If they administered money to a board business that would be questionable. The Eagle (which let’s face it stinks and is bought sold and pad for) and quoted their director, as as for it and also for it somebody who lives in one of the flats across the street (also a board member.) Of course the Eagle doesn’ mention the connection. Except for a few connected places most North St businesses are a shabby group according to the list. I feel like this is going to linger like the museum problems.