(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY JULY 1, 2019) — Until the late 1830s, daily newspapers were too expensive to build mass circulation. The Sun, New York City’s largest paper, for instance, had a circulation of about 2,600 and sold for six cents (source: The Atlantic), a prohibitive cost for ordinary folk. Then Sun publisher Benjamin Day got a brainstorm. Don’t rely on paid circulation. Put the paper’s financial health in the hands of advertising.

He sold his paper for one penny, not enough to cover production costs. Losing deal, right?

Not so. Day, unlike his competitors, thought strategically rather than tactically. His long-term vision:

  • Sell papers cheap
  • Build circulation
  • Sell space to advertisers at great markup, which
  • Advertisers would pay for at a premium.

Day’s brilliant move created what he called “the resale of human attention.” Later, legendary publishers such as Joseph Pulitzer and William Hearst refined the model to excellence.

From that time until the early 1970s, papers relied on rising circulation to attract more advertisers. It was sure money not even the most bumbling owners could mess up. Radio and TV ate somewhat into the newspaper stranglehold on advertising, but they were different media. That, plus the growing U.S. population, kept publishers fat and profitable.

———- ooo ———-

THE PLANET will skip the rest of Newspaper 101. Suffice it to say, we personally saw the writing on the wall in 1980, leaving full-time daily newspaper employment for good after a five-year stint at two dailies. Papers began to court advertisers. They ignored readers. Chains bought out local publishers. The business side ran editorial and emasculated content. The greedy fools didn’t realize that dropping circulation would give advertisers pause. The internet came in with the coup de grace. It was the matador putting the final sword into the dying bull.

Today, newspaper advertising is a buyer’s game, and that game is dying.  Ask the newspaper formerly known as the Berkshire Eagle.

Since its beginnings and under the Miller family, the paper grew into one of the best in the business. Then came a botched real-estate deal, a fire sale to Media News Group, insolvency, another sale at 2 cents on the dollar, and today’s current ownership headed by Stockbridge’s Fred Rutberg. The group purchased on the cheap at just under $1 million, creating reasonable expectations of profitability. Local vs. chain ownership gave renewed hope.

The Boring Broadsheet, however, took a fatal turn when it embraced the now-fatal Day business model. It was a rookie mistake. You don’t buy a paper, ignore the online product, and expect advertisers to make you a fortune. Today, they don’t even pay the bills, not with Amazon and Google eating 60% of every ad dollar and sites like Craigslist, BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post, Breitbart, Drudge, and countless others gobbling the rest. Those sites began as online creatures. They know how cyberspace works. They are not weighed down by a physical product that almost no one under the age of 50 purchases.

———- ooo ———-

Newspapers are dying. From 2000 to 2015, print advertising dropped from $60 billion a year to $20 billion. Figures aren’t available for the most recent five years, but analysts say the drop has been about three times worse, at under $7 billion. To put it into perspective, 2000’s ad dollar has shrunk to about 10 cents.

Reliable sources at The BB say the paper has suffered “double digit” losses each year of the new ownership’s tenure, continuing a DiMaggio-like streak of at least 10 years prior. Business this year alone, they say, is down 25 percent. A source familiar with the paper’s business side told THE PLANET, “We have falling circulation, and we can’t hold on to advertisers unless we give it away.”

You can see this archaic “print will save us” philosophy on the paper’s website. The free version remains unnavigable and wafer thin. The paid version isn’t worth it. The digital crowd does not and never will pay for content.

Newsroom sources say panic has set in among management, which explains publisher Rutberg’s “rah-rah” editorial on page one recently, where he pulled what one source called an “Adolph in the Bunker” — ignoring impending doom and telling the people the war will be won. Newsroom sources said the piece “went over like dysentery.” The room is full of buzz about impending layoffs and cutbacks. Resumes are flying.

The paper recently dodged a potential plagiarism scandal not for cause but because The BB doesn’t matter anymore. Who cares?

THE PLANET cares. We still love the business and the paper. We know how to fix The BB: aggressive content and a fearless investigative team. That’s the only thing that will make the Berkshire Eagle matter once more.


Justice is served on a platter of petals and tears” — Author Paul Kocak, from his book People, Place, and Things: Letting Go and Living Now.



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. The school committee
    June 30, 2019 at 6:23 pm #

    In a City of stories all they have to do is report what goes on and do followups.Dont let the story go until the story is over.The Eagle could save Pittsfield from itself and in Turn people would want to read it.The city is a cover-up and there is great interest as to why Pittsfield pays tens of million to have 2 high schools.The Eagle became a PR division for Pittsfield.

  2. Jonathan Melle
    June 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm #

    Would the World stop spinning if The Eagle endorsed a Republican for high political office?
    Why is the Eagle always in bed with the GOB’s that run Pittsfield politics?
    Why did the Eagle push for the doomed Civic Authority? They even wanted to name the then would be new ballpark “Eagle Stadium”.
    Why did the Eagle push for the flawed “Consent Decree”?
    Why does the Eagle always let go of its best journalists?
    Why is iBerkshires beating the Eagle with its online coverage?
    Why is the Eagle the only daily newspaper in Berkshire County?
    Why doesn’t the Eagle sign the editor’s name to its editorials?
    Why was the Eagle criticized by Bill Moyer’s on PBS years ago?
    Answer: Because the Eagle is a RAG!

    • ProxyDate
      June 30, 2019 at 7:27 pm #

      They don’t let go of their best reporters, their best leave because of the horrible working environment.
      All that’s left, old timers too short to do anything else and people that either don’t know any better or are just horrible st what they do.

    • Still wondering
      July 1, 2019 at 6:42 am #

      The Eagle has endorsed the occasional Republican candidate. The last state-wide one was Mitt Romney when he ran for Governor. (He won) You could tell by the writing style that the usual editorial writer/editor did not write it. And wow did the liberals have a fit !

  3. Johnny99
    June 30, 2019 at 7:57 pm #

    Even the greatest investigative journalism won’t save them now, Millennials and under won’t read the paper, even for free, not this one or any other. All the main hotels are giving away the USA Today paper in their lobby and each year there are fewer and fewer takers – they get their news from Facebook, etc. it’s really sad actually, on many levels.

    • Johnny99
      July 1, 2019 at 4:10 am #

      Sorry that was supposed to be “Fakebook” – damn auto correct.

  4. Johnny Absurdo
    July 1, 2019 at 1:48 am #

    And consider the Pittsfield population has large numbers of poor, poorly educated folk and probably more than your average number of illiterates or those who cannot read English. And based on what I see as I go about the city I could get the impression that there may be large numbers of people who really do not even care about news or anything that goes on outside their own neighborhoods.

    So it is possible that there just is not enough of a customer base to work with in the first place. Or am I just being harsh?

  5. Gutts
    July 1, 2019 at 4:49 am #

    The only thing is I know is the Stooge says the Eagle has never been better. Also, what is the practice concerning City health care once someone no longer is employed in the city. Like an elected official. Is Donna Rivers is so concerned about her mom what is she doing with her time on the stoogeon show,and her own show? Was she employed by the city while sitting on the Council? Who pays her salary over at e s

    • Ben Weldon
      July 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm #

      I know Rivers once had a show on WBRK. Does she now? I’m not sure what e s is.

      The Eagle will fail because its left wing is heavier than its right wing.

  6. CC The Maze Sun
    July 1, 2019 at 4:57 am #

    “Dear Wheeler: you provide the prose poems. I’ll provide the war.”
    – Citizen Kane (film 1941)

    • danvalenti
      July 1, 2019 at 7:59 am #

      One of the best lines from a great film. I love the part where Thatcher asks Kane what he knows about running a newspaper. Kane replies that he doesn’t know how to run a newspaper, but he’ll try everything he can think of. This film and Kubrick’s 2001 are 1 and 2 on the all-time list.

      • CC The Maze Sun
        July 1, 2019 at 8:11 am #

        Yes Dan, Citizen Kane is rated thee best film of all time (debatably). 2001 reveals much. Lest we not forget the Wizard of Oz.

        • Mr. G
          July 2, 2019 at 5:24 am #

          I have never been able to finish 2001. I have seen polls rating Citizen Kane the all-time #1 film, but the justifications are usually technical in nature. It is filled with groundbreaking, innovative techniques. More often though Casablanca takes the #1 nod.

          • danvalenti
            July 2, 2019 at 7:52 am #

            MR G
            These are all matters of personal taste, of course, but the consensus among critics and film historians would be Kane and 2001, 1 or 2. The technical innovations in Kane are breathtaking when you consider Welles knew nothing about filmmaking. As an artist and innovator, however, his naivete allowed him to do things he didn’t know couldn’t be done. Like 2001, the film open up possibilities that other directors would incorporate into film grammar. The amazing thing about 2001 is that Kubrick and his team had to rely on analog techniques to get the effects. No computers back then in the film game (first scenes were filmed after Christmas 1965 — the Tycho moon set). Welles and Kubrick had a lot in common: a disdain for the film establishment, perfectionism, a cerebral approach to both technical and content problems, and so on. As for CASABLANCA, good film and memorable, but in my view overrated. I love watching it, but I wouldn’t include it in the Pantheon. Bogart’s performance, though, does belong there.

  7. Guffy
    July 1, 2019 at 5:05 am #

    Off topic. Should state employees be involved in local politics? Why isn’t it a conflict of interest Especially if it’s a local budget or a union vote?

  8. CC The Maze Sun
    July 1, 2019 at 5:06 am #

    NEWS = North East West South
    Which direction do you want “Your” mind pulled in?

    • CC The Maze Sun
      July 1, 2019 at 8:13 am #

      “The Lunatic is on the grass
      The Lunatic is on the grass…..
      The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
      And everyday, the paperboy, bring more….
      Got to keep the Lunies on the path”
      – Pink Floyd

  9. ProxyDate
    July 1, 2019 at 5:28 am #

    My problem with the Eagle is that they wrong most of the time.
    In their editorials, in their actual news coverage, and in their desire to spin things.
    I’ve been to events, seen the event with my own eyes, and then read the reportage from the Eagle and it was so biased and so wrong, they actually changed the content of what was said.
    Standing there I heard a reporter as a question, the person clearly said “No, absolutely not”. What did the reporter report? “absolutely”.
    It fit their bias.

  10. Charlie
    July 1, 2019 at 7:19 am #

    For the last I don’t know how many months, every time I open the digital edition I see a half screen photo of marijuana. That spot could be sold instead of promoting drug use. Aggressive content is important but this is a business and they appear to have none. I suggest handing it over to a bunch of recent digital marketing grads.

  11. CC The Maze Sun
    July 1, 2019 at 8:07 am #

    “The Eagle flies on Friday,
    Saturday I go out to play”
    – The Allman Brothers Band

    “The nest is full of nothing,
    when the bird has flown”
    – Jethro Tull

  12. ProxyDate
    July 1, 2019 at 8:23 am #

    Talking to a person today who works at the Eagle, it seems they have a new online content editor who has made thing much worse for the Eagle.
    The guys name is Noah Hoffenberg seems he has a degree in fine arts and has mismanaged online content and alienated staff and customers alike.
    It’s really bad when your web guy is clueless

  13. Truthsayer
    July 1, 2019 at 8:28 am #

    I pay for the Eagle. I dropped the daily delivered version and went for Sunday delivery with daily online content. I went back to them after missing a relative’s obituary and funeral. I read it now for the national commentary, obituaries, and comics.

    I read the obituaries of people that I don’t even know. Why? Some are pretty amazing, even written to draw a laugh. Many of these people led pretty amazing lives, some not so much. Some were well-loved, others just a passing footnote.

    The comics? Well, I remember sitting with my father many decades ago in his red easy chair while he read them to me. He read the comics every day until his death. No matter how bad the day, it’s good to find one thing to laugh about to start your day.

    As for my paid subscription, I have no answers as to how to fix the Eagle. However, I do know that we need a local newspaper, and if that means me giving up a buck or two that I’d blow on a lottery ticket or over-priced coffee so that I get the Eagle, I’m doing it. Whether I agree with the reporting or the editorial content or not, I need all the info that I can get to make my own decisions. Like it or not, I hope the Eagle survives. The online alt-right and alt-left crap are too often parroted by ignorant gullible people. THAT we need far less of, and the Eagle is a local part of helping us reach reasonable conclusions.

    • Pat
      July 1, 2019 at 4:47 pm #

      I disagree. The Eagle only offers one side and that is the far left side. They avoid stories that make President Trump or Republicans look good or they certainly do not put those stories on the front page and they go out of their way to make even the far left Dems smell like a rose.

      So you are really not being given information to make any kind of educated decision especially if you get all of your news from the Berkshire Eagle. It’s no better than this younger generation who get their news from very far left sources on the internet. They are only getting one side of the story.

      • The school committee
        July 2, 2019 at 2:00 am #

        Name something Trump has done that you believe is a story about his Presidency that the middle of the country can appreciate.Right now Trump is 1 year late on his promise to America that he would have Cheaper and Better Healthcare ,he lied to you pat.Trump is a mess

        • Pat
          July 2, 2019 at 4:30 am #

          Thank you President Trump because I have a job and so do many other middle Americans that I know. Most were on food stamps during the Obama administration. If another far left Dem becomes president, middle American will be back on food stamps.

          Thank you for creating a booming economy in which people from all races and economic levels have the highest employment ever in history!!!!!!

        • Trump Train
          July 2, 2019 at 5:23 am #

          He has made health care less hazardous to the unborn. If he does nothing else on the health care issue, that alone is a great achievement. For that alone he will be blessed, and his enemies will be confounded.

          • Johnny Absurdo
            July 2, 2019 at 9:11 am #

            and I would like to thank Trump for putting all those kids in cages. That is about 1000 less of them I don’t have to worry about walking on my lawn. MAGA

  14. Mr. Fritz
    July 1, 2019 at 8:54 am #

    Why would anyone pay for the Eagle?
    I agree with Proxy’s comments. The only time I look at it is out of boredom while waiting at Jiffy Lube. Editorials are outrageously leftist. Stories are plagiarized. Little local news. iBerkshires does a much better job with local news – great article today about the parking meters. Would love to hear your opinion, Dan, regarding their financial analysis of the meters.

    • Truthsayer
      July 1, 2019 at 9:04 am #

      As I said, obituaries and comics. Miss a funeral and find out what banning to Siberia feels like.

    • driving naen
      July 1, 2019 at 12:48 pm #

      Exactly,what a bunch of delusional Hippocrates. I Remeber when Shitock was the star over there,what a joke,Valenti could write circles around that one !

    • ProxyDate
      July 1, 2019 at 3:05 pm #

      That was an excellent article, and goes into the depth that the Eagle should be reporting but they routinely just skim the surface.
      A couple observations, you CAN ask for the total insurance cost for a group of employees or a subset of employees without violating their rights.
      IBershires should have asked for the total for those employees in benefits. They could then average the cost per employee.
      Proof positive this is allowed, the school’s have budgets that include a line item for benefit costs per school.
      That aside there isn’t a reason in the world to do interest payments only. If the project is doing so well, pay off the debt. Give the taxpayers some relief and build a maintenance fund.

  15. Johnny Absurdo
    July 1, 2019 at 9:21 am #

    Speaking of funerals and obituaries…why does the Eagle take such advantage of people devastated and in mourning by nailing them huge bucks for an obituary?/ Seems sleezy and immoral to take advantage of people in pain like that.

    Of course if there is a legitimate reason for the exorbitant cost I would love to hear from them now.

    • Ted
      July 1, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

      Especially when that’s one of their most read sections and it’s easy content.

    • Johnny2Shoes
      July 2, 2019 at 4:48 am #

      I have a feeling the obituaries section is keeping the Beagle afloat? When the Eagle dies I can imagine what the obituary will say about the hard hitting journalism.

      • danvalenti
        July 2, 2019 at 7:43 am #

        Obits, comics, and coupons. Even there, online is eating them up.

  16. Noah Direct D
    July 1, 2019 at 10:48 am #

    They charge for online? Wake up Eagle, let it be free,shut down the presses and charge for advertising exclusively. Make up the coupon difference at the stores.

    • ProxyDate
      July 1, 2019 at 3:07 pm #

      Some people turn on airplane mode to not see adverts and to block the pop up others turn off java script.
      It’s the best ways to get it for free.

  17. fugiee
    July 1, 2019 at 2:22 pm #

    Matey are you a song writer? Cool lyrics.

  18. Dick Flimsy
    July 1, 2019 at 3:33 pm #

    The Eagle cares more about being left wing than being a newspaper.

    • Pat
      July 1, 2019 at 4:38 pm #

      I agree.

    • Trump Train
      July 2, 2019 at 5:38 am #

      Great example of bias, editorial the other day positively confirmed President Trump was guilty of collusion with the Russians.

      Maybe the idiot who writes the editorial s should understand collusion. Talking and getting information is not collusion. Discerning what to to with that information is wisdom. Something the editorial staff has no clue about at the Berkshire Buzzard.
      If President Trump could have been charged the deep state globalists would have done it. Also prosecutors don’t exonerate, they only charge if the evidence allows.

      Why has health care and some other issues languished? This false charade has hurt effectiveness of a duly elected President.

      Also amazing they have shut down online anonymous feedback, yet it’s alright for them to pen anonymous editorials. Pen your name to that biased bull feces.

  19. Merry & Bright
    July 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm #

    Off Subject. Just read that Dan Ostrander is now working as a Janitor for the City of Pits. They state this new position pays less than $15.00 an hour. Quite a cut in pay if he is actually being paid less. Oh the secrets of Vibrant Dynamic Lovely Linda’s administration!

  20. Jonathan Melle
    July 1, 2019 at 4:45 pm #

    The lovely Linda Tyer is both vibrant and dynamic, and she is the best Mayor of Pittsfield, EVER!

    • Roberto Del Halitoso
      July 1, 2019 at 6:16 pm #

      Jon, only with AA batteries.

      • Jonathan Melle
        July 1, 2019 at 6:45 pm #

        Prior to the lovely Linda, you had the “Doyle debacle”, the “Hathaway hack”, the “Ruberto regime”, and the “Bianchi bust”. Mayor Linda Tyer inherited a mess!

        • Roberto Del Halitoso
          July 1, 2019 at 7:05 pm #

          She wanted the job and hasn’t changed one thing for the better. Time for Pittsfield to move on to a mayor with backbone.

          • Johnny99
            July 1, 2019 at 7:53 pm #

            And who would that be?”????????

          • The school committee
            July 2, 2019 at 11:05 am #

            Mayor Mazzeo will try next to consolidate schools for saving millions

  21. Drew Z
    July 1, 2019 at 7:07 pm #

    Maybe that’s the reason for the trash cans.

  22. Ben Dover
    July 1, 2019 at 8:04 pm #

    So much for the Bard of Avon. He should have tried pickle ball.

  23. Jonathan Melle
    July 1, 2019 at 8:41 pm #

    Pittsfield has been on a more than 4 decade long downward spiral of high taxes, huge debts, population loss, job loss, political corruption, Good Old Boys, 21 years (& counting) of PEDA problems, overpriced and underperforming public schools, economic inequality, and the sad list goes on and on!

    Conclusion: Blame Linda Tyer for it all! The lovely Linda Tyer didn’t change how Pittsfield does its business. She continues to raise taxes and increase debts, and worse of all, she is part of Jimmy Ruberto’s G.O.B. network of corrupt insiders.

    It is all her fault! If it wasn’t for Mayor Linda Tyer, Pittsfield would be a utopia of low taxes and debts, PEDA would have at least 10 fortune 500 companies, there would be substantial gains in population and jobs, the public schools would produce the best performance results, there wouldn’t be economic inequality, and the Good Old Boys would be a footnote in the sad history of Pittsfield politics.

    – Jonathan Melle

  24. The school committee
    July 2, 2019 at 2:04 am #

    The only jobs PEDA brought to the PEDA site are from North street.The other proposal was for Walmart Coltsville to leave there and go PEDA.

  25. Ron Kitterman
    July 2, 2019 at 4:01 am #

    Be careful out there Dan they’re beating the snot out of conservative journalists in Portland, might not be too distant future they start milk shaking here.

  26. Pat
    July 2, 2019 at 4:38 am #

    President Trump should intervene to combat homelessness in all of these liberal cities across the country. It’s a dangerous situation for everyone and is spreading disease in many areas. Newspapers should be reporting on this crisis, but it is not being reported on in many liberal cities. Pittsfield has a homelessness crisis too, but it also is being ignored.

    • Info
      July 2, 2019 at 5:26 am #

      Pat, if there are “liberal” cities then what cities are considered “conservative” and do they have less homelessness?

      • Trump Train
        July 2, 2019 at 5:47 am #

        Just claim to be an illegal alien and all your problems are solved. Just don’t claim to be a veteran, then you are continually fighting for benefits.

      • Pat
        July 2, 2019 at 9:18 am #

        Not on the scale of the liberal cities what with tent cities all over and disease spreading. I mean, have you seen the pictures? No, you probably haven’t if you rely on the liberal news sites as your only source of news.

      • Pat
        July 2, 2019 at 9:19 am #

        Not on the scale of what is happening in California and even in Portland.

        • The school committee
          July 2, 2019 at 10:51 am #

          Pat The Bible says there will always be the poor and impoverished people .There but for the grace of God go I.Your commanded by God to see God in every sick poor person and you want Trump to clean them out as an eyesore.You and Trump are the same.

        • The school committee
          July 2, 2019 at 11:01 am #

          California is a state with 40 million people.

          • Pat
            July 2, 2019 at 1:35 pm #

            The far left wants to pour millions of illegal immigrants into the country on top of all of the poor people we already have all at taxpayer expense.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      July 2, 2019 at 9:15 am #

      At least Trump kids and grand kids got nice homes and food. He does not even make them live in cages.

  27. Pattern No
    July 2, 2019 at 6:26 am #

    What the is going on on west house
    Atomic helter shelter traffic pattern? They still haven’t clear it correctly for cars going through,where is the Mayor? Can you say nightmare.

  28. ProxyDate
    July 2, 2019 at 6:31 am #

    The hypocrisy and stupidity of the Main Street media.

    Anderson Cooper is the poster child of the MSM and it’s war on the Trump Presidency.
    Cooper made a huge deal about how he had to “come up” on his own, how there was no safety net for him, how he would never get an inheritance.

    Of his parents’ insistence that he make his own way, Cooper told Cagle, “I was always very appreciative of that because I never – I always looked at people who inherited money and they never seemed to really accomplish much on their own and it seemed to sort of change the person they were.

    “I’m glad I never had that expectation hanging over me or that safety net to fall back on,” he continued. “I always thought, ‘I’m on my own and that’s the way it should be.’ “

    “And the star took initiative at a young age, working as early as age 11 or 12 as a child model for brands like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. In addition, Cooper saved money from lemonade stands and worked as a waiter in high school.”

    Poor little rich boy. His life was funded by his parents, his college paid for, his apartments and cars paid for, his modeling career given to him at the behest of his mother.

    And now this

    He’s inherited $200 million from his mother. He’s the second executor on his mother’s will, her will in 2000 reflected that he would inherit her fortune, he was a witness to the codicils that carved out portions for his brother.
    He’s a privileged white guy who tries to pretend he isn’t and acts like he’s self-made. No Anderson, your parents bought you every opportunity you’ve had.

    • The school committee
      July 2, 2019 at 11:00 am #

      So is there a difference between he and Don Trump

    • Johnny Absurdo
      July 2, 2019 at 11:57 am #

      and yet the man goes to work every day and works hard when he could be languishing on a yacht. Sounds like someone might be a tad jealous.

      • ProxyDate
        July 2, 2019 at 4:24 pm #

        No just pointing out the hypocrisy of a hypocrite.

  29. ProxyDate
    July 2, 2019 at 6:34 am #

    Parade Committee President Peter Marchetti said in March that if the community did not donate at least $85,000, the 2019 parade would be the last.

    As of Monday afternoon, the committee had raised $88,202.

    But Marchetti emphasized he hopes those donations will keep coming in.

    “This year’s efforts were to raise enough money to put on this year’s parade, and get back to the old days when we were fundraising for next year’s parade this year,” Marchetti said.

    This year’s parade will cost about $60,000, he said, meaning the committee can bank anything in excess of that for next year.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      July 2, 2019 at 9:17 am #

      Did some of that money magically appear from a taxpayer conduit?

    • Joe Blow
      July 2, 2019 at 12:25 pm #

      They say the same thing every single year……I would never donate money for that shit-show.

      • ProxyDate
        July 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm #

        The interesting thing, the parade costs $60k. They require $85k….guess where that extra $25k sits?
        Also why does it start at $0 if they have surpluses every year?

        If the city can waste $20k on a Pickleball study flawed from the start, why can’t the city fund the parade?

  30. Doe C Doe
    July 2, 2019 at 7:09 am #

    Well into a second hour and the traffic nightmare at west house near Oswald and Essex,is still not correct. Mayor may need to throw another million for re-training. Maybe we could use some of the Planets Algorithm up there.

    • Ted
      July 2, 2019 at 3:04 pm #

      I’m sure the dead motorcyclist is sorry he inconvenienced you.

  31. ProxyDate
    July 2, 2019 at 8:39 am #

    Huge problems at the Beacon, the flawed jewel of north street.
    Even with summer tentpole movies, attendance is barely tracking.
    They’ve cut staff and have moved most to part time as a money saving measure, contrary to the original agreements of mandatory job requirements.
    Worse still, the building is now crumbling at a structural level and is in risk of requiring substantial repairs. There are a number if flaws in the original design and the basement is flooding and those floods are destroying the foundation of the building. It has also impacted the movies experience as the control room for the network has flooded a number of times shutting down operations and canceling movies. Flooding was so bad recently that they have closed emergency exists on the McCay street alley and have started sandbagging the doors at the threat of rain.
    This flooding has been exacerbated by a collapsed grey water drainage line installed in combination with the city.
    It’s estimated that the repairs will be in excess of $400k and if left unfixed, it could run into the millions and disrupt operations for months.

    • Johnny Absurdo
      July 2, 2019 at 9:20 am #

      I think the taxpayers need to step up and fix the damage immediately. It is the taxpayers duty to bail out local millionaires and they better get to hopping.

    • The school committee
      July 2, 2019 at 10:55 am #

      A roof drain is going to cost 400k ?

      • ProxyDate
        July 2, 2019 at 11:41 am #

        Has nothing to do with the roof. It’s a ground level/underground water line as well as the “tilt” of the foundation. The water from the alleyway is running into the building and has eroded the foundation pillars.

        Compounding this is that the areas are heavily salted walkways and it’s begun to erode where the steel meets the concrete.

    • Joe Blow
      July 2, 2019 at 12:26 pm #

      They need a new promoter and stop booking 4th rate acts

  32. The school committee
    July 2, 2019 at 11:10 am #

    There are less than 700 students at Taconic built for 950 kids for 121 million WTF we did not need Taconic.When will the mayor’s say what’s up.Is she still out of town

    • Canusaydolla
      July 2, 2019 at 11:48 am #

      Oh,your going to get those extra 200, just gotta wait for overseas to ship them in. Can you say stemeducation Guatemala. If if we don’t take them,Bart, Hillcrest will.

  33. doomiedodger
    July 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm #

    Did the mayor just give the museum Community funds for a new roof right after they sold the Norman Rockwell paintings for millions? Did I misread that? Don’t they now have an endowment in the tens of millions? wtf

  34. James
    July 2, 2019 at 1:27 pm #

    They’re smoking something innovative here, that’s for sure.
    Does the Berkshires have what it takes to be an innovation hub like Seattle and Boston?
    As construction of the Berkshires Innovation Center comes to a close, an innovation revolution could be near
    Posted Friday, June 21, 2019 1:18 pm
    Once the Berkshire Innovation Center, or BIC, opens this fall, the county will have what some people consider the right ingredients to become a center for life sciences and other high-tech development.”
    By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle
    When people think of the Berkshires, they tend to focus on the region’s natural beauty, arts and culture, fresh food and outdoor fun.

    But this region also has a long history of manufacturing innovative products, a trait that, at times, can be overlooked.

    For a variety of reasons, innovation is beginning to make a comeback in the Berkshires. So, that begs the question: Could Berkshire County become an innovation hub?

    As construction of the $13.8 million Berkshire Innovation Center on Woodlawn Avenue in Pittsfield nears conclusion, the county is on the cusp of what could be an innovation revolution.

    Once the Berkshire Innovation Center, or BIC, opens this fall, the county will have what some people consider the right ingredients to become a center for life sciences and other high-tech development.

    The four key elements of a successful innovation hub requires businesses that already are making products in those fields, a business incubator to help establish startups, an environment support innovation and a facility to spearhead all these efforts, according to economists.

    The Berkshires already has several established advanced manufacturing firms; Lever, a five-year-old small-business incubator that has assisted more than 100 entrepreneurs; several small high-tech startups; and soon, the BIC.

    “I think the Berkshires and Pittsfield have the opportunity to be an innovation hub,” said Patrick Larkin, deputy director of MassTech and director of the company’s Innovation Institute.

    “There’s a lot going on already,” he said referring to the Berkshires’ existing plastics and advanced manufacturing establishments. Some of the largest employers in the area are in these fields: Sabic Innovative Plastics, Cavallero Plastics, Neenah Performance Materials, Pittsfield Plastics, Amaray Plastics. and Hi-Tech Mold & Tool.

    Innovation hubs often develop around major research universities, where STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — research and development efforts often spin off into nearby high-tech startups.

    Although there are several major research institutions within driving distance of the Berkshires — eight within an hour of the county — none are situated within the county lines. This doesn’t concern BIC Executive Director Scott Longley. In addition to advanced manufacturing and plastics, the Berkshires is close to or has innovative medical facilities such as Berkshire Health Systems, Baystate Health, Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital.

    Longley, an international operations executive with over 25 years experience in supply chain management and manufactuting, said he took the job with the BIC in October because he saw the area’s economic potential.

    “A lot of hidden gems in the Berkshires,” he said.

    Believing that an innovation hub has to be built around a university is a “traditional way” of thinking, said Lever Executive Director Jeffrey Thomas. What is essential, though, is a community of forward-thinking businesses that can contribute to, sustain and attract people to the local economy. Healthy development activity around tech institutions — such as Silicon Valley around Stanford University and Cambridge around Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — are what make those areas well-known, not the institutions themselves, he said.

    “Those innovation hubs are not innovative because of their research institutions, it’s because of their innovative firms,” he said. “And these innovative firms are attracting talent and other innovative firms to the region.”

    The four legs of economic success

    Thomas said he started Lever in 2014 because he saw the county’s potential to do more.

    The county is chock-full of small plastics manufacturing firms that were established by former employees of General Electric Plastics, which maintained its world plastics headquarters in Pittsfield until 2007. At its peak, GE employed 13,000 people in the 1940s.

    “That’s the story of innovation here. It is largely companies that spun out of other innovative companies in the region,” said Thomas, who named General Electric, SABIC and Sprague Electric as past major employers who spurred the creation of other innovative businesses.

    Lever’s goal is to develop an economic ecosystem in the Berkshires, Thomas said, a place where “entrepreneurs will thrive.”

    To do this, Lever holds annual business challenges that award start-up funds to support intriguing businesses, hosts industry meet-ups, places interns and provides guidance on business development. The nonprofit has helped launch 46 companies since its inception six years ago, according to company data. Travis McCready, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, calls Lever the “fourth leg” of the county’s innovation hub — the other legs are innovative environment, existing businesses and the BIC. The Life Sciences Center along with MassDevelopment, Mass LifeSciences, Pittsfield Economic Development Authority and the City of Pittsfield raised the funds to build the BIC. The Life Sciences Center has also provided funding to Lever.

    Lever “is the organization that will help develop new startups,” McCready said. “Those four combined start to create the possibility of an innovation hub for the life sciences in Western Massachusetts.

    “I’m actually, really, really bullish on some of the possibilities that can emerge from this environment.”

    Environment is key

    Pittsfield is about a three-hour drive from New York City and two-and-a-half hours from Boston — that is close enough for some people and too far for others. But Berkshire County is also located within an hour’s drive from Albany, where the center of that’s state’s cutting-edge nanotechnology program is located. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, is already establishing a working relationship with the BIC.

    Ira Moskowitz, director of advanced manufacturing programs at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, said the BIC and other related innovation efforts provide the state with a gateway into New York state.

    “The national photonics epicenter is at SUNY-Albany,” said Moskowitz, adding that state officials are interested in having a center for advanced photonics located in the Berkshires area.

    “So, we would have a pathway to connect it to Albany,” he said. “That’s just another role that the Berkshires can play along the I-90 pathway.”

    The BIC, in particular, could be a connection to upstate New York. The 20,000-square-foot workforce development/training center, a project that had been in the works for 11 years, is the most crucial element in making the Berkshires an innovation hub that gives industry people a place to congregate, McCready said.

    “[It’s] getting that community of manufacturers to have a bat cave, if you will, to both advance and develop participation in the life sciences,” he said.

    Whatever form an innovation hub might take in the Berkshires, Larkin said it should be different than what is being offered in Boston, New York City and Silicon Valley. Trying to replicate efforts that have been accomplished elsewhere is a “false challenge,” Larkin said.

    “For Berkshire County, the idea is to organize its assets and build capacity that offers unique solutions on a global scale,” he said. “If they do that, they don’t need to be compared to Boston or Cambridge.”

    Reach Tony Dobrowski at

    • C. Trzcinka
      July 2, 2019 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks for posting this article. It starts with a description of the Berkshire Innovation Center and then jumps to Lever which looks like a private equity fund. The later is much more interesting than the former. I hope it has a real effect. What’s missing? A response from government to reduce its influence. Taxes rates need to be trending down, even if slightly; regulations should be streamlined; communication needs to be improved. All will have a big effect.

      Indiana is now a center of high-tech manufacturing and not because of “Innovation Centers” or government financing. Because of good universities, lower taxes than our bordering states, a healthy pension system and good infrastructure. Pittsfield needs to learn this lesson– the sooner the better.

  35. Mar Shetti
    July 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm #

    I thought the Museum had a copper roof from a decade ago,should still be in good shape. Remember Marchetti saying wish he could give double.

  36. Drew Z
    July 2, 2019 at 2:31 pm #

    what happened on west housy,why no mention of the accident,,,,,names?

    • ProxyDate
      July 2, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

      A city man was killed Tuesday when his motorcycle collided with a jeep in a crash that closed West Housatonic Street for much of the day, according to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office.

      Michael Lanphear, 54, of East Housatonic Street, died of his injuries, said Dennis Yusko, a spokesman for the office.

      • ProxyDate
        July 2, 2019 at 3:49 pm #

        The driver of the jeep, Abigail Hunt, 25, of Pittsfield, was not injured. No charges or tickets were issued.

  37. dannzig
    July 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm #

    Rumor has it a local connection was involved in the accident this morning, similar results probably pending.

  38. C.Trzcinka
    July 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm #

    Here’s how to save the Eagle–compete with the Planet! Have a lively, multi-sided discussion of everything under the sun. Become a center for information, gossip, opinions and outright b.s. Tolerate and discipline the small percentage who try to destroy discussion. You have the skills, the information and insights to inform and guide it. People will subscribe because they feel this is the only way to be part of the community. I already subscribe but I miss the opportunity to comment.

    I’m not holding my breath for this to happen…