(ADD 1, APRIL 25, 2019) — THE PLANET has word from sources in the know that Melissa Mazzeo will take out nomination papers for mayor tomorrow at 10 a.m. in the city clerk’s office at city hall on Allen Street in Pittsfield. Mazzeo made the decision after a trip to Italy with her family and after long deliberation. This will open up an at-large seat on the city council. The new, published here first by THE PLANET, all but assures a November showdown between Mazzeo and incumbent Linda Tyer.

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(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY APRIL 24, 2019) — “Investigating Berkshire County.” That’s the latest “Conversation Series” for The Boring Broadsheet, the paper once known at The Berkshire Eagle.

THE PLANET gladly offers the plug. It’s free to the public 7:30 Friday April 26 at The BB, 75 Church St.  Doors open at 6. BB executive editor Kevin Moran hosts the “conversation” with investigations editor Larry Parnass and scribes Heather Bellow and Haven Orecchio-Egresitz.

According to a BB house ad, “[t]he conversation will explore what local investigative journalism is all about and shed light on what it takes to report out stories like the Berkshire Museum, nursing homes, deteriorating bridges[,] and the women’s jail in Chicopee” [ED. NOTE: we didn’t know Chicopee was located in Berkshire County].

You can register at or 1-800-245-0245.

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It would fill a Domesday Book if THE PLANET were to list the stories we broke that The BB either missed or was too timid to pursue. We could cram another such volume with the current stories — scandals, graft, corruption, pedophilia, bribes, shakedowns, embezzlements, you name it — going unreported locally. Why doesn’t THE PLANET go after them? Alas, we are but an empire of one. We don’t have an entire newsroom on call. And though it may come as a surprise to you, investigative reporting isn’t this site’s prime directive.

We began THE PLANET in 2010 as an online writing exercise. Gradually, this site emerged becoming an experimental, interactive column that would provide “The Little Guy” — Mary Jane and Joe Kapanski — with a voice. As the site grew, we became the “go-to” stop for those wanting more truthful reports and views than what they were getting from local media. Our investigative skills then kicked in, almost by habit. That said, we still don’t consider muckraking as our first mission.

It is, however, the duty of the local daily to venture into the dark lands authorities want to keep secret. Problem is, The BB has long shied away from such work. The newspaper is too embedded with city hall, The Suits and Skirts, and advertisers to dare actually roll up the sleeves and start respectable journalism whose backbone is hard-hitting investigative reporting.

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Investigative journalism reports facts that reveal truths others, particularly those in power, try to keep covered, usually to mask wrongdoing. You might wonder how THE PLANET can singlehandedly get stories the local daily misses. We have decades of covering the local scene, and not the pancake breakfasts of the Rotary or the Junior League’s plant sale — the puff-‘n-stuff The BB, local TV and radio, and the other online outlets love. Over those years, we’ve developed sources in just about every office and center of power. Our sources know us to be reliable, trustworthy, and good for our word. Mostly, they come to us. That’s how one guy, part-time, gets stories.

A good investigative reporter cultivates sources. Period. In every office, business, or concern, there are secrets. The tighter The Suits and Skirts guard or prevent access, the more there is to hide. In each office, you will find people who dare not speak in daylight but know what’s going on and want to drop a dime.

The BB‘s investigative problem lies in (a) frequent newsroom turnover, (b) failure in developing sources, (c) over-reliance on sanitized official information, (c) lack of management, and (d) business side control of the newsroom. THE PLANET, unencumbered by nervous executives, remains free to pursue. We can make decisions on a dime. We don’t have to appear before committees for the OK. We get tips and investigate. Sources spill. We act. Next thing you know, old Jed’s a millionaire, and we’ve got the story.

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A good investigative reporter is like a detective. He looks for clues, applies reason and logic, and gathers facts. He assembles those facts and testimonies into a coherent picture from which he draws conclusions. He goes where the evidence takes him.  He can’t be intimidated. Mess with him, and he gets tougher and more determined. If he gets you in his sights and you’re holding the goods, you’re as good as gone.

Because THE PLANET does not rely on advertisers, we can laugh off pressure. The BB doesn’t do this. It’s too scared, wants to play it safe to please anyone with power of the pocket. The BB long ago lost its edge, and it continues to blunt what’s left of the blade. In doing so, it has walked away from its first obligation, which is to be a voice for the voiceless among its readership and, in a larger sense, the entire local population.

If you attend the paper’s conversation on investigative reporting, ask them what they think of this piece. It should provide a good lesson in human behavior.


“It is a joy to be hidden but disaster not to be found”Donald Winnicott.



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  1. Already Tyered
    April 25, 2019 at 5:53 pm #

    Linda and her crew better start packing their bags. Its over.

    • Johnny99
      April 25, 2019 at 7:27 pm #

      She will be very hard to beat. Has a great organization, and has the power of a 4 year incubmency, and has spread millions of Kapansi cash around so lot of people will be beholden to her. All the establishment will back her – Faraway Farley, Hines, Harrington, Ruberto, etc, ad nauseum.

      • ProxyDate
        April 25, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

        This is the truth. She also is good at the optics of politics. Her tax rate reduction, her free home money for the poor all play into the optics of those too dumb to know better.

  2. ProxyDate
    April 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm #

    Kerwood will be out of a job

  3. Johnny99
    April 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm #

    As Walter Mathou would say, “Holy Moly” – Mazzeo pulled her papers this morning, according to the BB, and her photo is on the BB website, in the city clerk’s office. Prepare for a 12 round fight to the finish. This will be the race for the ages. Two female, feminist WHENers duking it out. Get your tickets now on Pay Per View.

  4. Magoo
    April 26, 2019 at 5:29 am #

    Unfortunately mazzeo has damaged her credibility ,
    backing now disgraced former district attorney, who lost a rigged in his favor election twice.
    That kind of corruption and hubris leaves a major stain.

    Go with the independent outsider business man Scotty Graves
    Recycling politicians is how it got this bad.
    Any change is a good change

  5. Brian C. Marquis
    April 26, 2019 at 5:37 am #

    Melissa “phone call HOAX” Mazzeo thinks she can overcome a voter deficit that Bianchi and Cacc couldn’t? Hardly!!

    This is it people: Mazzeo either wins this one or she and Bowler are outta jobs.

    We tossed around her bid for mayor last year during Cacc’s write-in effort; but only if Cacc prevailed would she run. Since Cacc lost every ward and precinct in Pittsfied (in the general), as did Bianchi, I am not sure where her core base is situated to put her over the top. Remember, she was bounced from top voter-getter, and hence the Council presidency, after Bianchi was humiliated in 2016.

    Unlike Mayor Tyer, Mazzeo only interacts with those who are in a position to do for her, or advance a political agenda. Other than obstructing each of Tyer’s initiatives, I’m unsure where her schedule of accomplishments are. She had none!!

    When it’s all said and done: People should know when they’re conquered!!

    Voters must reject:

    Make Pittsfield Bianchi-Mazzeo Again.

  6. Kermit Frog
    April 26, 2019 at 8:26 am #

    Mazzeo doesn’t inspire generally except I suppose for those still mad about the DA race. (And if AH focused on her current job she might do a service to public and silence complainers – not surw that will ever happen.)
    Mazzeo v Tyer seems like two entrenched systems battling for dominion – voters lose.
    Plano has a good economy and good weather. Wayfair will deliver you furniture there too.

  7. Truth413
    April 26, 2019 at 7:40 pm #

    Brian are you living in the same world as the rest of us?

    Cacc not in the DAs office has hurt Berkshire county beyond measure. Harrington is a joke. She is the punch line to every joke in the legal community. Cacc landed on his feet and it’s our loss.

    Mazzeo is much more suited to be mayor than Tyer in my opinion. But neither is unqualified like AH!

    • Magoo
      April 27, 2019 at 3:54 am #

      Think Brian is firmly entrenched in reality
      Your grasp on it is questionable

      While Ms. Harrington is not the ideal choice, Caccaviello was knowingly and willingly corrupt. Anyone was better than Paul
      Look at the mess he’s creating in Hampden county !
      He is the gift that just keeps giving

      Ms Harrington has an opportunity to become quite famous and further her political career, by eradicating the corruption in her office. But she must clean house of those still loyal to former regime and facilitated much of the corruption, Retaining the former secretary and detectives assigned to the office is naïve at best.
      She will either change the dynamics or she’ll be the second shortest serving Districk attorney and Berkshire County.

      I’ll agree with you that she Seems she is choosing the second path. Which is sad as she seems to be a popular and efficient leader. Perhaps she is just a puppet being handled by others like aoc. Time will tell.

      • Truth413
        April 27, 2019 at 9:57 am #

        Magoo- check your sources. Cacc is not corrupt. Do you know him? Are you basing this on facts? Let me give you some facts:

        Awarding winning ADAs were replaced by ADAs that were LET GO for poor performance all over the commonwealth. ADAs all the way to Cape laugh at the current make up of this office.

        Support staff that has served our community unconditionally for decades in classrooms, as victim advocates, admin assts, etc have been let go so that unqualified individuals that are friends of the AH campaign could get jobs. That is corruption.

        Judges, court officers, people in probation, the sheriff dept all say that AH puts our community at great risk. Ignorance of people in this county has put us all in a position to have worry about our streets being less safe.

        I respect you have a different opinion but do some real fact checking. Talk to people in the trenches doing the work everyday. Then open your eyes. It’s clear that we have taken 3 steps backwards to promote the most overused word in polictics today: a “progressive” agenda.

        • Magoo
          April 28, 2019 at 8:13 am #

          Yes I’ve known him since 2006

          Caccaviello covered up more than just sexual assaults at Williams college. The office is currently vilifying and intimidating several more victims of sexual and physical assaults.
          With or without Harrington’s knowledge is questionable.

          One is a now young man assaulted by his mother 8/17/17
          For not wanting to attend st Agnes academy. He’s know this kid since he was 3 years old.

          When I attempted to get an explanation as to why he would not prosecute, Caccaviello through his MSP assets began harassing and intimidating myself, having me arrested in March 2018 by using false evidence.

          This is after the office covered up for his mother attempting to blind the father 12/9/2014,in an attempt to illicit a physical response from the father to gain advantage in a divorce.
          She had just left her attorneys office, a former ada.

          Ms Harrington was contacted by myself to reopen the case , which was met by MSP lt culver calling and threatening myself. Culver is one of many corrupt carryovers , attempting to keep thier criminal acts concealed.

          Those are facts all verifiable by information provided by the commonwealth and local police.

          Truth there are far too many victims, the ramping up of violence in the area started prior to Harrington being elected. Most feel it’s due to lack of trust in law enforcement.

          Who wants to be the next David Glaser, who capeless and Caccaviello allowed to be slaughtered for bigger headlines?

          • Truth413
            April 28, 2019 at 10:09 am #


            So….. in short.. you have an axe to grind.

            Do you also wear a red hat that says “Make Berkshire County Great Again”

            To elect and put in power an unqualified DA has already been a disaster. Let me tell you the family of the victims in Sheffield are wishing they had Cacc in office. He wouldn’t have been more concerned with a photo op than justice.

            You are blinded by your personal issues so much so that you aren’t being objective.

            By the way your claim about Williams college is 100% false. You have no idea about the laws in the Commonwealth and why things weren’t handled. It is Williams Colleges policy on SH that should enrage you. AH fooled you all into thinking she was going to address it.

            Talk to objective people and you find the answers. NO coverup at WC… read there policy on SH cases and there lack of requirements to report. Read the commonwealths statues on prosecuting these cases with victim cooperation.

            Ask Judges why cases cant be heard because this office drops the ball over and over and over again. They are incompetent.

          • Truth413
            April 28, 2019 at 10:30 am #

            The current office is doing this? They are all AH people!!! That’s Cacc’s fault too?? There is no one left. I think she fired the janitors because she thought that they liked Cacc better than her!

            So the MSP are corrupt too?? Conspiracy theories are a defense for the crazy.

            You are not informed on the WC cases.

            Look at WC sexual assault policies. There is the issue. Ask WC why those assaulted never filed all paperwork. Look at thE number of times Caccs office tried to get them to come forward. No cover up my friend. Not by the DA!

            Look at the Commonwealths laws on prosecution of these cases without cooperating victims.

            Further more you speak of an arrest that he was behind. So clearly you are blinded by your own agenda

            As for AH, I would prefer a qualified DA over someone looking to make each tradegy in the county a stump speech for future political aspirations. My stomach turned as she used the horrific situation in Sheffield to pose for pictures and spread false information.

            I am sorry you live with anger torward Cacc. But as the saying goes: careful what you wish for!!

    • Canem Bonum
      April 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm #

      Magoo is not a reliable source of information.