(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY SEPT. 30, 2019) — “Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Ship Pittsfield, whose four-year mission is to explore new scams, seek out new hustlers, and boldly go where most mayors have gone before: Into the Kapanskis pockets.”

So might begin the latest PEDA soap opera threatening Pittsfield. Don’t look now, but mayor Linda Tyer and her director of business development, Michael Coakley, want to carve out yet another six figure chunk of GE settlement money, this to assist space research company Electro Magnetic Associates, a.k.a., a.k.a., Spacely Space Sprockets. It’s another sketchy private company looking for some of the city’s “free” public money. Let us calmly ask: If this is such a great deal, why isn’t private equity scrambling to get onboard?

Which brings to mind …

  • EV Worldwide, $250,000 and tax breaks. 1,000 jobs promised, 0 delivered. Armitage sent up the river.
  • The Colonial, $30 million in taxpayer money (first budgeted at $3 mm). Thank God for Kate McGuire.
  • $1 million in Bossidy Bux, gift of native son Larry Bossidy, wasted on superfluity. Nothing to show for it.
  • WorkshopLive! $700,000 and tax breaks. Zero jobs delivered. No guitars plunked. Only taxpayers.
  • Spice Restaurant. $500,000 and 12 years of tax relief. Kaput. No payback required.
  • The Beacon. Years of tax breaks and losses. $2.3 million owed the city. Forgiven. Stanley sells, keeps the dough.
  • Nuclea. Uncounted public money. Fake jobs. Snake oil its only product. The stripey hole for CEO.

As they say, past is prologue.

Tyer and Company made the announcement just days after Melissa Mazzeo handed the mayor a distant second-place finish in the mayoral prelims. Coakley claimed the “funding” and “paperwork” dictated the timing of the announcement, not politics. Did Coakley use Star Trek’s cloaking device to hide the truth?

For the grand announcement, EMI didn’t send its principals (who are they, by the way? Mr. Spacely? Cogswell Cogs?). They sent “chief scientist” Justin McKennon, a.k.a. The Beard, who’s been with the company for all of five months. Who is he? From his Facebook profile: “I’m Justin. I love hanging out with my friends, playing golf, building things, and lifting weights.”

Read it slowly. Let the tone sink in. Seems short in the gravitas department, or is it just the Millennial Way? And this is the Spacely front man? We’d much prefer George Jetson, James Tiberius Kirk, or Space Ghost.

———- ooo ———-

The Beard’s resume on Linked In shows he moves around a lot. The young weight lifter worked at General Dynamics for under two years, Lightning Technologies on Hubbard Avenue not even four years, moved to a brief stint with Lightning’s parent company (that part gets confusing), then on to five months at EMI. To top this impressive curriculum vitae, it seems he was not an actual employee at these firms but a “consultant.” Yes?


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.

This is the man EMI chose to appear between Tyer and Coakley at the BIC.

Ah, the BIC.

The Berkshire Innovation Center first came with a $3 million estimate. By the time the grubs in Pittsfield and Boston finished with it, the cost ballooned to $13 million. What’s $10 million among friends? Rest assured, taxpayers. Every dime of YOUR MONEY was subject to the usual rigorous safeguards, accounting, and oversight that comes with public projects of this type in the Bay State (Big Dig: estimate $3 billion; actual $13 billion) and especially in Pittsfield. To the best of THE PLANET‘s knowledge, there were no cash-filled envelopes exchanges. Then again, we don’t get around as much as we used to.

Spacely Space Sprockets (rhymes with “the taxpayer’s pockets”) proposes to build a vacuum test chamber, the only one of its kind in the world, that it claims is vital to the U.S. space effort. Gosh, wonder why NASA, the U.S. Defense Department, or any of the more well established and well financed tech companies haven’t thought of it?

Sputnik, Soyuz, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the space shuttle, the space station, the might of the superowers’ R&D, the Mars’ Rovers, Neil Armstrong, Space-X and other legit companies looking to get into space — not one of them thought to build such a chamber? Not one of the nation’s space projects of the past 50 years required such a chamber? Now McKennon enters doing a Pat Muraca on the mayor’s headstone, and we’re supposed to buy it?

———- ooo ———-

On Facebook, The Beard spilled his joy:

Still can’t believe this is real. A huge thank you to Jill McKennon for supporting my crazy ass all the time,Linda M. Tyer and Michael Coakley, Ben Sosne and the BIC, John R. Sinopoli and Synagex for helping to get this whole thing started, and every one else who has helped along the way. We’re all going to look back on this and laugh at how small this started out.

Oh, it’s real, all right. Or will be after the city council puts its rubber stamp on this waste of money. The Kapanskis only hope lies with the talents of councilors Kevin Morandi, Chris Connell, and Melissa Mazzeo to ask hard questions and send this space academy to its doom. You’re also right again, Justin. We are “all going to look back on this and laugh” — the kind of laughing to keep from crying.

———- 000 ———-

In his remarks at the public announcement, McKennon said, “We’re building an empire.” Delusions of grandeur? Tyer called Pittsfield the “hub of the emerging space industry.” Earth to Tyer: The space industry has been around since Werner Von Braun was launching V-2s over London. Longer. The only thing “emerging” here is the latest grab for the Kapanskis’ hard-earned coin. Wife Jill, if this thin request gets approved, you’re not the only one who will be supporting your hubby’s “crazy ass.”

The Kapanskis, of course, will have no say … and don’t give any crud about their council “representatives.” The only interests the council represents are the Special ones. While were at it, a few days ago, McKennon’s Linked-In page had a link to Earl Persip’s campaign fundraiser (held in The Dumpster Behind Paul Rich?). Mysteriously, by Saturday, it had disappeared. How do you think Dumpster will vote on the Spacely request? Don’t you see a conflict of interest? Maybe EMA promised The Pearl a ride in the space chamber, so he can feel weightless.

Finally, we have this from Police Report, one THE PLANET‘s most qualified and connected Z-Agents:

“The two people from EMA pushing this deal have worked for EMA for less than six months each

“McKennon has been a consultant for 6 years and prior to that didn’t even work in the “space field”. Beyond consulting at GD during his EMA “tenure” he was a software “salesman” repping EMA at trade show booths.
Neither of these individuals are principals of the company, they aren’t owners, co-owners, or on any board. They are new hire employees with a total of 6-7 years experience in the “space industry”.

“They’ve never run a company, never been responsible for any facilities they’ve owned, have extremely limited expertise in their field, and want to do something “no one has ever done before”.

“No test facility in the world has all these capabilities, let alone in a single test chamber,” EMA states in documents within the proposal.

“Maybe there’s a reason for that? If NASA and SpaceX aren’t doing this, maybe there is a reason this isn’t being done? Seems like a lot of risk for 4 jobs, two of which are entry level administration positions.”

Of course, The Boring Broadsheet and iBerserkshires gushed over what could end up as another fleecing of the GE economic development fund. The BB touted the “potential,” saying Spacely “evidently” plans to grow and prosper.


May we all “Live long and prosper.”


“What I attack is that the economic optimism which behaves as though, with the increasing expenditure of all, the welfare of all would also necessarily increase” — Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power.



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. save ourcitay
    October 1, 2019 at 10:58 am #

    Marchetti and Ruberto are clinging to whatever power popularity they think they still have. Ruberto has ZERO Class,unlike our Planet.

    Do you think the Planet would have to get promo Red Sox seats at a discount price? Marchetti does have leverage as he is the Parade Guy.

    Here are my lists of candidates that I think would really work for our City. Ward one Moon..Ward two…Morandi…Ward three Caccamo….Ward four…Connell….Ward Five..Kavey,…Ward Six Joe Nichols…..and Ward Seven,Buddy Hacket Pope…Councilor at-Large…Marchetti…Blumin…Cohen…
    Hamlng….these are dynamics picks,that I thought can work for both political equations…Mayor, I can’t vote for Tyer…Mazzeo, in a landslide.

  2. Only Kindthoughts
    October 1, 2019 at 11:26 am #

    Right on City, excellent comments. And how about the Broadsheet never reaching out to the Planet? Kevin Moron their main guy? Failure.

  3. The school committee
    October 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm #

    I cant wait for Mazzeo to ask the Schools department head Mccandless what are you doing to save money?Like in any business what would Jake do if she tells him the city is cutting its schools department by 8% next year.Does he have any plan to consolidate PHS with Taconic as the taxpayer should know this.Also has he ever ask anyone about the health of the Crosby school building.Can we please close the Hibbard building on Newell street. Can we move SPED into the Stearns building and move the 130 Stearns kids out.Crosby and Allenday must have a plan.Could Mccandless give a report on the health of Allendale school.

  4. The school committee
    October 1, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

    May Trump resign for his abuse of power before people act on his Civil War

    • Ham Anex
      October 1, 2019 at 1:16 pm #

      Give it a rest Mark

      • Ralph Biers
        October 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

        Who dat?

  5. Goveneur Bouchet
    October 1, 2019 at 12:44 pm #

    I think Jake and Mazzeo can compromise on school spending. Jake has to know the spending without results isn’t working. I believe Mazzeo and McCandless can seek such a resolution that can only heal the school department as well as city side spending by controlling certain criteria of what’s really needed,and we are talking vacant buildings and consolidating,it’s time.

    Tyer has been unable to do that, now she wants daycare for three four year olds,where does it end.

    Mazzeo will not abandoned our schools so don’t get into a fret but until we see progress at all points and angles we are just going to continue burying ourselves into debt. Fed Gov funds won’t be there because most of that money is earmarked for social security improvements and that is something that will he President probably mised.

  6. Pet Morders
    October 1, 2019 at 1:14 pm #

    You must have typeod hate that, but agree on your points…Goveneur?

  7. Mr. Fritz
    October 1, 2019 at 2:24 pm #

    I wish some of you posters would learn how to spell and string together a proper sentence.
    It’s nearly impossible to figure out what you are trying to say.

  8. Subb Mitt
    October 1, 2019 at 2:55 pm #

    Fritz is right.. Some comments are pretty good but misspelled. Take the time before hitting the submit button.

  9. Babee Day
    October 1, 2019 at 2:59 pm #

    Ty needs fed-state assistance,City dollars are spoken for and have dried up. But keep increasing.

  10. The school committee
    October 1, 2019 at 5:58 pm #

    Who will fight in Trumps Civil War?Fritz…Pat…Planet

  11. PoliceReport
    October 1, 2019 at 7:06 pm #

    This is going to turn into a nightmare.,586272

    People on social media were saying it was absolutely a hate crime.
    Some were saying there’s no evidence there was a crime, that it was staged.
    Some are saying that there are white supremacists on campus Some are saying it’s staged events and there’s a Facebook group promoting exactly how to stage these “fake crimes”.

    The police said there’s no evidence, as of yet, that it’s a hate crime and to let the investigation take its course.

    It always seems to be the same type of thing with these type of cases. Whichever voice yells loud enough, gets the press, then no follow-up.

    I’ve not seen any real follow-up on the North Adams case. That was another allegedly racially motivated attack.

    Following an investigation by the Fairfax County Police Department, Danish said Amari Allen, the student who accused three of her classmates of assault, acknowledged the accusations were not true.
    “While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict,” he said. “We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing.”

    I’m not sure how there were victims on both sides, when the entire event was fabricated. The only victims seem to be the kids and families of those accused who received death threats.

  12. Agent 86
    October 1, 2019 at 7:46 pm #

    Is the Stooge for real? I found him interviewing Tyer. Melle and him must be twins. Does BS Bill have a Linda love doll too.

    • Gobsig
      October 1, 2019 at 7:59 pm #

      Bottom line is Tyer is full of crap.

Leave a Reply