(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY MARCH 4, 2019) — Apropos of nothing but dipping from everything:

  • Rico — Watching Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, it occurred to THE PLANET that he looked and sounded like former Red Sox shortstop-3b Rico Petrocelli if you took about 25 years off Rico. We had the pleasure of knowing Rico back in our days as a baseball writer. If Cohen is anything like Rico, he’ll do okay on his road to redemption.
  • #They Too — During the Cohen hearing, we got a chance to see the freshwomen in action, including Rashid Tlaib and Alexandria Ocascio-Cortez. They, along with the other ascendant, young (and youngish) women presently splitting the Democrats in two, “have come a long way, baby” in taking their place alongside the men. Forget the politics. Concentrate on the behaviors. They deserve equal rights. In this case, they’ve proven every bit as ambitious, power hungry, publicity seeking, and close-minded as the fellas. As for duplicity, pettiness, and plain nasty, they exceed their male counterparts.
  • Shaken and Stirred — Every once in a while we get the “Hey, you look just like …” bit. In THE PLANET‘s case at this stage, we hear “Sean Connery.” In earlier years, we got Dick Cavett and George Carlin among others. Funny, because we think we look like us. Well, it’s now

    Sean Connery, left, looks like Dan Valenti. So think the Syracuse Crunch.

    official. At a recent hockey game in the recently remodeled War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y., involving the Syracuse Crunch (Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning) and the Lavel Rocket (Montreal Canadiens), the camera caught us in the box and beamed our mug to a sold-out crowd. They went wild, of course. For the rest of the night, we endured an endless stream of Bond references. The recent multimillion dollar makeover of the arena — where back in the day we saw bands such as Queen nd Jethro Tull, singers such as Sinatra and Elvis — has the old barn in fantastic shape. Better sight lines, luxury boxes, and improved amenities. It exemplifies the incredible “renaissance” (to use a word familiar in Pittsfield, but with zero irony in the meaning) taking place all over town. Back to the War Memorial. Among the barn’s championship banners, we find one for the Syracuse Nationals, who won the NBA crown in 1955. Each game there, we encounter the ghosts of Red, Russell, Cousy, Heinson, Shayes, Wilt, Mikan, Robertson, Baylor, and more. It’s amazing to think a world title in one of the four majors was won there. Reminds us of one October at Hellenic College, at Celtics training camp. THE PLANET asked Red Auerbach about the toughest crowds back in the old NBA. “Syracuse,” he answered, without hesitation.

  • Speaking of ‘Renaissance’ — President Trump wasn’t kidding when he said if peace can be achieved on the Korean peninsula, the DPRNK could enjoy a prosperous future. One thinks of post-WWII Japan and Germany or Vietnam after the U.S. pullout in 1975. These countries were left ruined. Today, they enjoy great affluence. The DPRNK would be starting from scratch. All the better, blank slate and all. With global markets and technology, the country’s rise to a halcyon tomorrow could have it there among Pacific Rim leaders. The greatest obstacle would be the country’s worship of the Kim dynasty. He’d have to admit he’s nothing but a man and his father didn’t shoot 37 with 11 holes-in-one the first time he ever handled a golf club.
  • Political Wrongs Commission — For the way it has turned civil rights into partisanship and politics, Pittsfield’s Human Rights Commission should never have been revived. It foments the very racism and division it ostensibly fights. The HRC embodies and encapsulates all that is wrong with Pittsfield politics: favoritism, self-righteousness, vindictiveness,  victimization, insularity, close-mindedness. No one with a legitimate claim would go before this group, the worst city agency. That includes the Pittsfield School Committee. A decommissioning is in order. FYI, members are Antonia Buckley, Kathie Penna, Peter Marchetti, Sopheap Nhim, chair Drew Herzig, Jessica Christensen, and Marietta Rapetti Cawse. Both the clerk’s position and a membership remain vacant, which tells you all you need to know. The carpetbagging Herzig left California for Oregon in the late 2000s, booked Oregon for Pittsfield in 2016, walking out of a term as city councilor. In our book, that’s a quitter.


“Hit ’em where they ain’t”Wee Willie Keeler.



The views and opinions expressed in the comment section or in the text other than those of PLANET VALENTI are not necessarily endorsed by the operators of this website. PLANET VALENTI assumes no responsibility for such views and opinions, and it reserves the right to remove or edit any comment, including but not limited to those that violate the website’s Rules of Conduct and its editorial policies. PLANET VALENTI shall not be held responsible for the consequences that may result from any posted comment or outside opinion or commentary as provided in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and this website’s terms of service. All users of this website — including readers, commentators, contributors, or anyone else making use of its information hereby agree to these conditions by virtue of this notice. When PLANET VALENTI ends with the words “The Usual Disclaimer,” that phrase shall be understood to refer to the full text of this disclaimer.




  1. Agent 86
    March 3, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

    Have you met Pussy Galore?

    • danvalenti
      March 4, 2019 at 9:10 am #

      AGENT 86
      Of course, but modesty prevents a more detailed response. Q wouldn’t like it.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    March 3, 2019 at 9:28 pm #

    I am happy the lovely Linda Tyer is running for re-election this year of 2019! Mayor Linda Tyer is the best Mayor of Pittsfield EVER!

    • doomiedodger
      March 4, 2019 at 2:10 am #

      She certainly has done a wonderful job on the roads. While some roads have more potholes than others they are pretty much distributed throughout the city so that no one should feel left out. Perhaps the Human Rights Commission should get some credit for this.

    • Art F. Di Diehl
      March 4, 2019 at 8:39 am #

      She’s wonderful. She can walk on water, but only if it’s 32 degrees or less.

  3. Johnny Absurd
    March 4, 2019 at 4:36 am #

    Question for Barry please. Is there a federal tax on a $1000.00 winning MASS lottery scratch ticket? It was already included in federal tax filing but now people are telling me the limit is $5000.00 to report. IRS site mentions bingo, keno and other games but not specifically scratch tickets.

    Any knowledgeable info would be appreciated.

    • X-Lachs Lounge
      March 4, 2019 at 6:05 am #

      Declare it. The deep state wants every penny.

      • acheshirecat
        March 4, 2019 at 7:18 am #

        Yes claim it but you can off set it if you can prove you have $1,000 in gambling losses, like losing scratch tickets if you saved them.

        • Johnny Absurd
          March 4, 2019 at 8:52 am #

          But you need to itemize to claim losses right?

          • B. Clairmont
            March 5, 2019 at 2:06 am #


            Almost all income is taxable. There are no thrershold limits. Whom ever is telling you $5,000 doesn’t know the law. yes, the losses are deductible, but only if you itemize.


          • danvalenti
            March 5, 2019 at 7:44 am #

            Thanks BC for the info.

          • Johnny Absurd
            March 5, 2019 at 4:58 am #

            Thank you Barry. I appreciate your help.

          • LW
            March 5, 2019 at 6:38 am #

            I believe this is the 5k your friends are referring to.

            The Internal Revenue Service requires that lottery officials must withhold taxes from your winnings over a certain amount: 25 percent if you win $5,000 or more after subtracting the cost of your ticket.

  4. The school committee
    March 4, 2019 at 5:00 am #

    She’s letting her Department heads drain the budgets,The Public Works will be looking for more cash.Police and fire are always underfunded.Shes doing the elite work of getting money to millionaire apartment developers.Lenox Ma makes every developer pay for everything after they approve it.

    • doomiedodger
      March 4, 2019 at 5:35 am #

      Taking care of the donors….her opponents this fall would do well to emphasize that point. Not that all candidates won’t be connected to some special interest donor base.

  5. Pat
    March 4, 2019 at 6:06 am #

    Both Rashid and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are bad for the Democratic party if it ever hopes to appeal to moderate Democratic voters. It was the moderate Democrat voters that won the house for them in the mid-terms not the far left voters.

    • Johnny Absurd
      March 4, 2019 at 8:30 am #

      Good information Pat. So could you list 3 democrats that you do approve of? I mean, is there such a thing in your Hannity world? Just 3?

      • Pat
        March 4, 2019 at 10:21 am #

        Anybody who is a moderate…Joe Manchin is great.

        • Johnny Absurd
          March 4, 2019 at 11:55 am #

          You mean Trumps buddy Joe. The guy that is terrified to oppose Donnie in any way shape or fashion? That Joe?

          • LW
            March 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm #

            As usual, you spew BS not associated with the facts. He’s voted against Trump 40% of the time and also endorsed Hillary for Prez. But then again you do live in Mika world (that’s ones for Pat)

          • Pat
            March 4, 2019 at 2:56 pm #

            I choose Democrats Bob Casey, Doug Jones, and Joe Machin as being the only good and moderate Democrats as they were the ONLY ones to vote AGAINST infanticide. Funny, you should have me choose 3, because only 3 Dems voted against infanticide. They are my choices as being moderate and not far left Dems.

          • Pat
            March 4, 2019 at 2:57 pm #

            Thank you LW.

    • The school committee
      March 4, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

      Pat ,the country is and will be the usual destructive conservative country.Saying socialist over and over will not change our conservative nation ,but somewhere in the middle left democrats hope to appeal to those failed counties that won for Trump in michigan.Its the lies that dems must overcome.Trump is the greatest liar of all time.

      • Pat
        March 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm #

        The award for greatest liars of all time goes to our liberal media.

      • LW
        March 5, 2019 at 6:22 am #

        TSC, Provide evidence that we are a conservative country. I won’t hold my breath waiting.

  6. Mr. Fritz
    March 4, 2019 at 8:36 am #

    Former CO Gov. Hickenlooper has declared for president. He’s the “centrist” Dem blessed & ordained by the globalists. I still believe Trump will win by a landslide. MAGA!

  7. Still wondering
    March 4, 2019 at 9:17 am #

    I thought I was watching Gomer Pyle.

    • Make Pittsfield Great Again
      March 4, 2019 at 7:36 pm #

      Well Golllllly!

  8. Jonathan Melle
    March 4, 2019 at 10:05 pm #

    I dreamed a Fortune 500 company moved to Pittsfield. Hundreds of living wage jobs went to local workers. The lovely Linda Tyer said Pittsfield is “dynamic and vibrant”. PEDA got its first private tenant. BUT, then I woke up, and I realized that the opposite happened! Thousands of people have moved away from Pittsfield. Many hundreds of living wage jobs have been lost. Smitty Pignatelli wrote an op-ed in the Eagle about how working families are struggling, while he is nearing 2 decades in state government politics. The lovely Linda Tyer gave the average homeowner a 2 cents per day tax break so she can campaign on public finances in 2019. Over a decade ago, Jimmy Ruberto campaigned on his rolodex on Good Old Boys contacts. I wanted to fall back asleep and dream again!

  9. Johnny Absurd
    March 5, 2019 at 2:11 am #

    Story in todays Eagle regarding home foreclosures in Pittsfield. Fortunately the city has a large Section 8 population and they are not going anywhere. If it were not for Section 8 the population would drop another 20 percent.

    • Johnny Absurd
      March 5, 2019 at 2:28 am #

      In other questionable news IBekrshires is reporting that North st in Pittsfield is undergoing another or continuing renaissance suggesting that all is well. Is this more smoke from a controlled media outlet?

      • Pat
        March 5, 2019 at 5:46 am #

        Yes, it is more local propaganda to make us believe all is well in Pittsfield and even getting better although we know otherwise. The same propaganda we get from the national media, but in the case of the national media they want us to believe that the country is falling apart and we are all going to die in 10-12 years unless a far left Democrat is elected and we get the Green New Deal.

        • The school committee
          March 5, 2019 at 7:11 am #

          MAGA is not making the middle class great AGAIN in America, Why

          • Agent 86
            March 5, 2019 at 7:42 am #


          • LW
            March 5, 2019 at 11:00 am #

            So you don’t think having a job and paying less taxes to the Feds is good for the middle class?

  10. The school committee
    March 5, 2019 at 3:14 am #

    Mayor Tyer is in the Pittsfield 1% very much in line with regressives as she can’t connect taxes with home affordability or tax stability.For the 1% raising taxes 300 per year is meaningless.
    If you have 2 bathrooms taking 1 out of service will save money about 600 bucks a year.Remove a closet from a bedroom and go from a 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom saving more money.

    • dusty
      March 5, 2019 at 5:28 am #

      In the Sunday Feb 3rd edition of the Eagle there is an “Our Opinion” editorial imploring our governor to raise taxes in order to have more money for schools.

      Apparently there is an anonymous person at the Berkshire Eagle who feels more qualified than the governor and his staff concerning funding education. Never really understood why this paper is constantly calling for tax increases. I wonder if the teachers union would also like increases and have they talked to the Eagle about that.

      • LW
        March 5, 2019 at 6:20 am #

        I’m sure the Eagle is ‘talked to’ on a regular basis by local politicians, unions, and other very left leaning organizations.
        Controlling the media is a major tactic of fascist dictators. It’s no different here.

  11. The school committee
    March 5, 2019 at 5:14 am #

    Our president showed that when people are having a breakdown before your eyes and know one reaches out to help this man someone must try to get beyond politics to give the president the help he is begging for.Foriegn countries are surely discussing is mental status.Wake Up

  12. LW
    March 5, 2019 at 6:32 am #

    AOC and her campaign manager being investigated for 1 million dollar illegal slush fund, a campaign finance violation.
    Her top aide funneled the money into his own corporations. Read that again, into his CORPORATIONS. You know, the same corporations AOC says she is against. Have the idiots in NYC realized yet they elected a total fraud?
    Meanwhile Omar the racist is the most blatant anti-semite in Congress yet still sits on the Foreign Relations committee.
    This is what identity politics get you.

    • Johnny2Shoes
      March 5, 2019 at 7:11 am #

      AOC is no different than those who she rails against. Follow the $ it always leads back to a politician who owes something for helping them get elected. If true, this is why the New Green Deal is her payback.

      • danvalenti
        March 5, 2019 at 7:44 am #

        The oldest political rule in the book: Take Care of those who got you there.

      • LW
        March 5, 2019 at 8:32 am #

        Exactly. The New Green Deal has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with putting alot of green into special interest’s pockets.
        Same thing with banning plastic bags.

        • Pat
          March 5, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

          I agree. I use plastic bags for lots of things not just groceries and using one bag over and over is dangerous since meat juices can contaminate the bag and cause food poisoning. Really cheap environmentally friendly plastic bags tear apart because they are so weak and all your stuff breaks in the driveway before you can even get your groceries into the house. No Thank you. It’s really stupid and gets somebody else rich like with Al Gore and climate change.

          • Lenny
            March 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm #

            There is no good reason to ban plastic bags in this city, other than to drive retail establishments out of town or out of business. The city incinerates its trash.

            Many of the councilors also want to determine the price to charge customers for eco-friendly single use plastic bags. That should be left up to the retail stores, if this ban is passed.

            It’s insane. Councilor Connell is the only one with common sense on the council, as he was in opposition to the city determining the rate and very undecided on supporting a ban. You might as well consider it a plastic bag tax!

            Why impose a ban? Customers can currently choose whether they want plastic or paper bags, or reuseable totes. The city council should not be banning anything, unless it is a hazard to the general public – and plastic bags certainly are not!

  13. Truthsayer
    March 5, 2019 at 8:37 am #

    My sympathies to all the right wingers who hold all of their deep state and AOC-is-the-devil-incarnate theories and post on this site.

    I’m sure it breaks your heart that one of your folk heroes, Jerome Corsi of Infowars fame had to retract the Seth Rich conspiracy theory story. Why? Because like Corsi himself, it was an utter steaming pile of BS.

    It amazes me how you all swing right or left, believing whatever you lap out of the social media toilet, never bothering to read, study, and think for yourselves.

    I’m confident that the National Honor Society didn’t make your list of high school activities, and you’re not packing a MENSA card in your wallet.

    Must be fake news.

    • LW
      March 5, 2019 at 11:15 am #

      You are making the flawed leftist elitist argument that someone needs to have MENSA or some high education honors in order to think. This actually shows how stupid your statement is. It’s been proven that there is zero correlation between intelligence and virtue. And higher education kills critical thinking skills and advances group think, mostly along leftist lines.
      And no one here has ever called AOC the devil so you are wrong about that too. How stupid of you!
      How’s that for critical thinking?
      This is politics. This isn’t rocket science. So get off your high horse and stop sticking your nose up in the air. You are no smarter than anyone else, and no dumber for that matter.

  14. The school committee
    March 5, 2019 at 8:55 am #

    It’s hard to believe that nobody felt the Presidents CPAC speech was a cry for help.What happened to this poor man.Why does anyone think this is not a diseased brain.

    • Agent 86
      March 5, 2019 at 9:44 am #

      Oi Vey…..(e_e)

    • Pat
      March 5, 2019 at 10:21 am #

      I LOVED the CPAC speech. I was laughing and cheering the whole time. I still have to watch the first 30 minutes which I missed.

      • Johnny Absurd
        March 5, 2019 at 11:02 am #

        I think he came across as someone with 4th stage dementia. It was scary for Don and Eric to watch their father losing it on national TV. Ivanka did not care…she is looking to the future.

      • The school committee
        March 6, 2019 at 2:53 am #

        Funny crazy drunks are great to watch.

  15. The school committee
    March 5, 2019 at 12:29 pm #

    Taxes in Dalton are going to go up 650 a year to simply pay their share of a new school building for 430 kids.City and towns are dying because we can no longer afford to educate our students.Making America Great Again one school at a time.Thanks to our crazy president.The billionaires are great again.

    • Johnny Absurd
      March 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm #

      There is probably room for the Dalton high school kids at PHS. But no right minded Daltonian is going to send a loved child into the Pittsfield school system when many Pittsfield parents are sending their children to anywhere BUT Pittsfield.