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BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: LEAKED MEMOS SHINE LIGHT ON MESS AT AND OVER COMMUNITY ReSTART

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BY DAN VALENTI

PLANET VALENTI NEWS AND COMMENTARY

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, JAN. 25, 2016) — Through our sources, THE PLANET has obtained recent internal memos regarding The Battles of the Boards. At stake: Control of Community ReStart, a “good will” agency that has lost sight of its mission to help those in need in favor of as ugly an internal squabble you you’re likely to see short of the Kardashians, whoever they are.

The situation on the ground is far too fluid to a definitive judgment of right and wrong in this case. However, the leaked documents provide a naked look at the battle. To make better sense of all this, “Ralph” is Rev. Ralph W. Howe, pastor of First United Methodist Church on Fenn Street. He is currently head of Community ReStart Board 1CRB1. “Paul” is Paul Deslauriers, head CRB2. Deslauriers has been executive director from the group’s inception in 2008 until late November last year, when an internal shakeup left Howe as board president, this after his own brief resignation.

The civil war began when the agency lost its non-profit status because of non-compliance with federal regulations as a 501(3)C corporation. There since have been charges and countercharges of mismanagement, lax accounting, missing or owed money, and more. With two boards, here are the possibilities:

1. There is one genuine board and one rogue board.

2. There are two unauthorized boards.

There cannot be two properly constituted boards. Caught in the middle of this eye-clawing are the very people CR supposedly is set up to help. Yes, the alarming aspect of this tawdry display is how it leaves the needy and poor out in the cold — literally, apparently, since there have been allegations of tenants being forced out of “affordable housing” for the benefit of “connected” members.

THE PLANET has obtained a mountain of leaked e-mails and messages that have been circulating within the two boards and at each other. We present a selected version to help shine the light on a perverse battled that needs to be brought into the sunlight. Publicly, Rev. Howe has said the two boards are in negotiations to iron out the differences. On Thursday, Jan. 21, Howe told Jim Therrien of The Berkshire Eagle, ” … there is a constructive conversation going on.” Privately, these letters and notes depict a far different scenario.

Venture on, intrepid readers:

 ——– 000 ——–

Two Messages on Jan. 20, 2016, internal Board 2 memo, talking about Rev. Howe:

On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 8:39 PM, Joseph <eldercare@earthlink.net> wrote:

(1)

I sent Paul a modified Memo of Agreement.  Paul will circulate it shortly.  Let’s see if Ralph can get over himself and give us a reasonable counter proposal.  I suggest the new Board read what Paul wants to send and quickly vote on it. 

I would encourage all to consider the time and expense it will take to fight a war with Ralph and the outgoing Board.  If it costs us $10K we don’t currently have, and we have to let go of feeling offended and wanting justice, and we just sign and move on, it will be a higher road.  Take the hit.  Look at what we have.  5 properties and a strong sense of community that is being held hostage by all this.  Negotiate this away, but don’t give in to Ralph’s bluster.  I don’t care if Ralph “wins.”  I care that CoAct is reinvigorated.  There are people out there in need of assistance.”

Joe”

(2)

—–Original Message—–
From: Kiril Ravensong <kirilravensong@gmail.com>
To: Joseph <eldercare@earthlink.net>
Cc: Isabel Obrien <iobrien001@nycap.rr.com>; Paul Deslauriers <paulnrg@aol.com>; Ruby2sD <Ruby2sD@aol.com>; Ben Schawinsky <Touchwood@earthlink.net>; James Conroy <himselfjamesb@yahoo.com>; pneri <pneri@earthlink.net>; bruceatstage <bruceatstage@gmail.com>; John G Root Jr <johngrootjr@gmail.com>; wschaepe <wschaepe@earthlink.net>; zackeryd <zackeryd@gmail.com>
Sent: Wed, Jan 20, 2016 9:04 pm
Subject: Re: Ralph’s response

Well said Joe.

Let’s put all options on the table, agree to focus on moving forward, and get back to the actual mission ASAP.

I believe that any Christian Priest, worthy of their collar, would naturally concur: that service to those in need comes before material arguments between those who already have plenty to be grateful for.

The work is our strength. Our strength flows from our purpose. Our purpose is life and life promotes that which is life promoting.

In addition to the other comments, I encourage us to remember our power to complete our missions, by working together, as a community. This power can never be broken, nor lost. Only, from time, in moments of great challenge, be temporarily forgotten… And reclaimed in an instant.

CoAct brought us together to fulfill a simple, but noble mission. On our own, we are each Good Samaritans. Together, we are Great Samaritans.

Stay strong. Keep the faith. Keep on, keeping on. Courage.”

Kiril

——– 000 ——–

This next set of messages consist of an internal letter to CRB2’s “Core Team” from Deslauriers (3), followed by a memo sent from Deslauriers to Rev. Howe (4). Date: Friday, Jan. 22:

(3)

—–Original Message—–
From: paulnrg <
paulnrg@aol.com>
To: paulnrg <
paulnrg@aol.com>; kirilravensong <kirilravensong@gmail.com>; eldercare <eldercare@earthlink.net>
Cc: iobrien001 <
iobrien001@nycap.rr.com>; Ruby2sD <Ruby2sD@aol.com>; Touchwood <Touchwood@earthlink.net>; himselfjamesb <himselfjamesb@yahoo.com>; pneri <pneri@earthlink.net>; bruceatstage <bruceatstage@gmail.com>; johngrootjr <johngrootjr@gmail.com>; wschaepe <wschaepe@earthlink.net>
Sent: Fri, Jan 22, 2016 3:50 pm
Subject: response to Ralph and 1/25 meeting 6 to 8 pm, 213 B Francis Ave

1/25 meeting 6 to 8 pm, 213 B Francis Ave

 “Dear Core Team

We need to have an important meeting to address our finances, reputation, and completing the agreement. After talking with a potential Brien Center grant collaborator, he had to withdraw working with us  based on the negative messages which appears to be coming from Ralph to funding sources and other non profit heads. It does not harm our program as there are other alternatives. Mark suggestion is  letters to the editors, and an article that outlines what has occurred and Ralph’s role. Also making a presentation to Ralph’s church Board. Let us consider this for discussion.

If we sign the agreement we are barred from correcting the slander. Something to discuss”

Paul

(4)

Dear Ralph –

The incoming Co-Act board will be meeting early next week to “make this deal real” (not that it ever wasn’t) and come up with a satisfactory financing plan to the outgoing Co-Act board.  We have several options at our disposal, one of which you discussed with Jim.  Either way, we will send a modified Memo of Agreement and a payment plan by Feb 1.  It will incorporate your response. This financial closure will also be the closure of your involvement with Co-Act.

 In future, it would be respectful if you withheld your pejorative comments.  Ultimatums are inappropriate now that we are nearing closure.” 

In loving service,  

Paul

——– 000 ——–

The same day, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016, Rev. Howe responded for himself and CRB1 to Deslauriers with this letter:

“I have been quite restrained and was vague about your departure until you began your public defamation game.  I do believe that you are mentally ill and need help, but I doubt you would seek that. (E.g. You do not take responsibility for your actions. You do not play well with others. Although you talk collaboration I have never seen you actually do it.  You are an autocrat.  You belittle and badger your subordinants into obedience and compliance. You see the world as revolving around you.  You love to see the world as a conspiracy and and to tilt at windmills.  You cannot seem to listen to people to hear what they say, but listen to what you want to hear.  You are deceptive to yourself and others.  You do not take the time to do the grunt work of actually setting up and following proper financial systems, because, I suppose you are above all that.  You exploit people you claim to be helping making them work for nothing.  You make promises and do not take the effort to follow though on them, but leave people dangling.  You are not the salvation of anything,and frequently you are the cause of great damage to people.)

      “I would also advise that the board is not interested in a number of the clauses you propose, so as we near a financial solution we will need to talk through the other stuff.  

    “We asked you last summer to work through the finances, and you did not.  You and Jim kept us from doing it since.  Now, you come forward with no financial plan again.  So I suggested the means of getting the cash.  Presumably Conroy’s own foreclosures will not poison the waters with the Berkshire Bank and he will get some relief. You should understand that I specifically asked him to secure as much working capital as possible so that the new gang would have time to get the properties paying their way.  He did not seem optimistic about it.

     “I never wanted to be on the CoAct board and want nothing to do with it once this juncture is passed.  Your strategy will give you a victory, but it will be a pyrrhic one.  The damage done for the propping up of your ego will probably be fatal to the corporation, something I had hoped to avoid.”

+ Rev. Ralph W. Howe

Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Pittsfield, MA

55 Fenn Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201

——– 000 ——–

This prompted Delauriers to send this e-mail to his “Core Team,” in which he shares Rev. Howe’s response:

From: paulnrg@aol.com [mailto:paulnrg@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2016 6:07 PM
To: paulnrg@aol.com; kirilravensong@gmail.com; eldercare@earthlink.net
Cc: iobrien001@nycap.rr.com; Ruby2sD@aol.com; Touchwood@earthlink.net; himselfjamesb@yahoo.com; pneri@earthlink.net; bruceatstage@gmail.com; johngrootjr@gmail.com; wschaepe@earthlink.net
Subject: Ralph’s latest response

“Dear core Team

To put this in perspective Ralph has used slander, creating problems, blame, and divisiveness as his main strategy of attack to remove me and take over the initiatives. The same approach was used on Jim. It is his only justification for his destructive behavior, he will not abandon the script. I look forward to our Monday meeting”

Paul

The Friday 1/22 flurry concludes with this note from Isabel O’Brien to Deslauriers:

From: Isabel Obrien <iobrien001@nycap.rr.com>

Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 6:46 PM

Subject: RE: Ralph’s latest response

To: Belle O’Brien <IOBRIEN001@nycap.rr.com>, Ben Schwansky <Touchwood@earthlink.net>, Bill Schaepe <wschaepe@earthlink.net>, Bruce McDonald <bruceatstage@gmail.com>, Jim Conroy <himselfjamesb@yahoo.com>, Joe Jackson <eldercare@earthlink.net>, John Root <johnroot@gmail.com>, Kathy Cardella <ruby2sd@aol.com>, Kiril Ravensong <kirilravensong@gmail.com>, Pat Neri <PNeri@earthlink.net>, Paul Deslauriers <paulnrg@aol.com>, Ron Shaw <nshaw48@gmail.com>, Zacek Durso <zacharid@gmail.com>

“Paul, this is a personal vendetta against you – not the corporation.  He is  so determined to destroy YOU – he doesn’t consider the damage to so many.  I do not know how to pursue a counter for our next move – better minds than mine will have to consider a counter to this latest rant!  Thank you so much, Jim, for your determination to stay on the current Board – I’m sure it is not a pleasant experience.

I’m happy to re-look at my letter to the editor which was never published because II forgot to list my telephone number when submitting it.   I would send it out for core members’ OK before submitting.

Would it be too much to include some of his derogatory remarks within the letter.  I thought maybe something like listing his remarks and then asking the question of the readers – Would you like to guess by whom these remarks were made? – someone has to expose his vitriolic remarks.”

Belle

——– 000 ——–

O’Brien sent a draft of that letter to the editor to Joseph Jackson, LICSW, president of ElderCare Advisors Inc., asking him for his “editorial comments where you feel they are needed.” Here is that draft of O’Brien’s letter:

“As a volunteer for Co-Act/Community ReStart and a person who chaired its Development Committee, I have to comment on the vicious rumors that have been generated throughout the community and among some n/p leaders regarding the character of Paul Deslauriers and his organization.

“I began volunteering for Co-Act more than two years ago and believe in this organization primarily for the good it was doing for the community, in general, and the homeless, in particular.  As a volunteer who was daily/weekly at the former Pearl Street Center, I saw the good that was done there for those less fortunate.  Paul Deslauriers gave those less fortunate individuals the opportunity to work thru an initiative called Workforce.  He allowed the Center to be open so those with no other place to be to come together, to have an address from which to communicate whether it be for job placement, or family.   It gave them access to computers for internet use, as well as access to shower facilities.  There was also a “living room” setting with a TV and comfort that they found nowhere else.   Unfortunately, this was referred to as a “flop house” by those less compassionate to the downtrodden.

“My volunteer efforts and those of my committee members evolved around opening a safe place for homeless women.  As the former President of the Women’s Club of the Berkshires, Inc. for many years, my efforts have always been to improve the welfare of women.  This was an opportunity through Paul’s generous offer to utilize one of his properties to make something happen for homeless women.  We opened Barbara’s Place just one year ago this month.  

“Currently, we have three wonderful happy, safe, independent women occupying the facility and I am so proud of all that was done to bring this initiative to fruition.  This could not have happened without Paul Deslauriers’ unselfish act of kindness, the endless number of donations made by people in the community, and the untiring efforts of so many.  Many fund raisers were carried out prior to and after the opening of this program house.  I cannot thank everyone enough and I want to assure you that during this transitional time for Co-Act, the donations made in kind and financially are safe and sound and have been/are being utilized on this initiative only.   Please know that I personally oversee every expense as well as any income.   

“There is a transition of power taking place due to administrative over sights to the IRS.  All of these corrections have been made by an accountant.  The administrative paperwork has all been submitted and Co-Act’s non-profit status in imminent.    Unfortunately, affordable housing, workforce development, Food Net, which supplied thousands of pounds of food to those in need,  and the closing of Pearl Street Center have been halted due to the actions of the current Board of Directors, headed by Ralph Howe. The plight of the needy, affordable housing for the less fortunate, food for those who do not have the funds to purchase it, work for those who need a lift up instead of someone looking down on them, are just a glimpse into the work that Paul has done during his five years as Founder and Director of Co-Act.   

“During this process of transition of the current Co-Act Board of Directors and the installation of a new Board to replace the existing Board, (after a “no confidence vote on 12/15/15 by supporters of Paul), we would like to see the current Board President, Ralph Howe, quietly walk away and return the initiatives upon which Co-Act was founded to its rightful owner.  The excuse that he must stay in his role as President of the Board will in no way enhance the financial debts to be paid by Co-Act.  The vitriolic remarks generated by Ralph Howe have left me speechless.  Where is the compassion, and consideration that you would expect from a person in his position as Pastor of the First United Methodist Church?  Where is the Board of Trustees of FUMC who should be monitoring and reviewing his communication during this period of transition?  Have they been given a copy of his destructive communications and personal remarks about Paul which include questioning his mental stability?  Are they aware that he says “he expects the worst under the new management?”  Are they aware that over $4,000 worth of computers were disposed of as ” ancient machines” without Paul’s knowledge?” These computers were donated and brought up to working order by a dedicated volunteer and every day were used by the clientele for job search and communication.  Where did they go when “discarded?””

Those of us who believe in Paul and his vision realize that there were administrative errors and oversights made under his management.  However, no one would step up and work pro bono.  He had no professional help working with him.  When we finally found an accountant who would comply with preparing the necessary accounting work and submit the required IRS forms, we were relieved that at last the required data would be submitted and the 501(c) (3) status would be reinstated.  It is imminent.   Unfortunately, the other staff members who Paul relied on (by giving them free rent and work) were not supporting his efforts – actually, doing the opposite.   A loss of over $6K was taken from our income before it was discovered.  Maybe had these funds been put into Co-Act’s account, the organization would not have had the deficit in funding which Ralph is so determined to see paid.   They are due and will be paid.    Will the individual who allegedly took these funds be treated as Paul has been treated?   Will he be ousted from FUMC and told he cannot be allowed on the property?   Will any funds be made payable to Co-Act from this individual or will it be put under the rug and excused as a desperate act by a poor, unfortunate, individual?

Who in the community is promoting gardens, planting seeds, weeding and harvesting to provide healthy food to those who need it?   Who in the community is providing clean, affordable housing to homeless women?  Who is giving a lift up to those less fortunate by providing them with work in areas where they receive an hourly wage?   Who works 60 hours per week with no pay for his efforts?  Is the congregation of FUMC proud of the actions of their leader?  Look into this unjust treatment of a man whose only fault is trying to help others, while sacrificing himself.

I am proud to be an Advisor under what will be a successful, revitalized organization which will survive and be healthy.  It’s not being knocked down that matters, but that you get back up.  That’s what Co-Act will do and Community ReStart will be back to help the less fortunate, down-trodden individuals in our community.  If you would like to support our efforts, please email me at IOBRIEN001@NYCAP.RR.COM with your name, address, and telephone number.

Belle O’Brien, 8 Westover St., Pittsfield

——– 000 ——–

Jackson responded to the Core Team of CRB2:

From: Joseph <eldercare@earthlink.net>

Date: Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor

To: Isabel Obrien <iobrien001@nycap.rr.com>, Belle O’Brien <IOBRIEN001@nycap.rr.com>, Ben Schwansky <Touchwood@earthlink.net>, Bill Schaepe <wschaepe@earthlink.net>, Bruce McDonald <bruceatstage@gmail.com>, Jim Conroy <himselfjamesb@yahoo.com>, John Root <johnroot@gmail.com>, Kathy Cardella <ruby2sd@aol.com>, Kiril Ravensong <kirilravensong@gmail.com>, Pat Neri <PNeri@earthlink.net>, Paul Deslauriers <paulnrg@aol.com>, Ron Shaw <nshaw48@gmail.com>, Zacek Durso <zacharid@gmail.com>

Hello Belle et al –

“I read your letter to the editor.  I suggest you hold off for now.  We don’t want to blow up negotiations that are now nearing conclusion by taking the bait that is being chummed by Joe D and others.  Rise above… be patient…

“Think more about  this:

“If we are able to achieve two things now—1) Bruce and Ralph do their jobs and finish the filings with the IRS and the state in a timely fashion, and 2) the membership of CoAct is able to raise about $20K in the next several weeks, we will suddenly find ourselves in possession of a non-profit organization in good standing, 5 houses that can be utilized for various purposes, and a new lease on life.  If we don’t achieve these two things, we will have nothing.  Thus, we should all expend only that energy that helps us to achieve these two things.  Continuing with the tug-of-war with the church, with Ralph, with whoever has a chip on his or her shoulder is a waste of our time.  There  will be plenty of time for us to heal by our works.

“Don’t take the bait.”

Joe

——– 000 ———

Finally, yesterday, Sunday, Kiril Ravensong (5) and Ben Schawinsky (6) had this input on on O’Brien’s draft letter:

From: Kiril Ravensong <kirilravensong@gmail.com>

Date: Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Subject: Re: Letter to the Editor

To: ben schawinsky <touchwood@earthlink.net>

Cc: Joseph <eldercare@earthlink.net>, Isabel Obrien <iobrien001@nycap.rr.com>, Bill Schaepe <wschaepe@earthlink.net>, Bruce McDonald <bruceatstage@gmail.com>, Jim Conroy <himselfjamesb@yahoo.com>, John Root <johnroot@gmail.com>, Kathy Cardella <ruby2sd@aol.com>, Pat Neri <PNeri@earthlink.net>, Paul Deslauriers <paulnrg@aol.com>, Ron Shaw <nshaw48@gmail.com>, Zacek Durso <zacharid@gmail.com>

(5)

“Wow. This is when things start to heat up and cool down all at the same time. 

“I must acknowledge the group for staying so close knit, and pitching forth writings and research and goodwill. Makes this much easier for us all, when we communicate well internally. 

“Externally, however, there are consequences to all of our actions that directly affect the final outcome of any challenge. I would like to suggest a few rules of focus in our communications, internally and externally:

RULES OF FOCUS:

“1. Positive mental attitude. – “Focus on success in all things, beginning with your own self, and radiating outward to touch upon every aspect of your life.” Fact is, we are in the right, standing on the moral high ground, with massive public support. Our communicatins really should reflect that.

“2. Gratitude for Conflict – “Sometimes, the space right at the heart of ferocious conflict is the best place to take a stand for what is right.” The gift in this circumstance is that it has clarified exactly who is in support of our mission, and provided the very challenge that will forge the team to come.

“3. Cultivate healthy Confidence – “Begin with the end in mind – Then Work your way backwards.” Every goal we hit together, every success, both small and large, becomes a group habit, and eventually forms the every day reality of our organization.  

“Let’s avoid unfettered anger, resentment, responses to slander of any kind. Ignore it. We have no need to sling mud. This guy’s own tongue is a far worse enemy to his success, than any of us could be. Let him talk trash anywhere he wants to. Its ammunition for us. The message that I would like to hear, is one of self-ownership on the things that CoAct does better than anyone else, and a focus on helping people, actual people. 

“Our message really sounds so much stronger when it brings focus back to its actual mission of helping people. That is the place where we are strong. When we keep the conversation on the area where we are strong, there is no enemy, only opportunity to heal those in pain. My personal view is that Reverend Howe is deeply suffering, may be unfit for clergy duties, may indeed be at risk spiritually, as well as legally. He really should know better. And he may indeed get schooled for it, in a big way, but if so, it is truly his own doing.

“Hope this is helpful. Keep on keeping on.”

Blessings,

Kiril

(6)

On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 10:46 PM, ben schawinsky <touchwood@earthlink.net> wrote:

“He said and he said is all a bunch of bologna.  Anybody can say anything and often someone is covering up something to make their picture shine.  Truthfully, usually, often both sides are at it.  Yes, I know, one side is usually the villain inspiring the other side to answer back.  ENOUGH!!  

“Actual visible proof is the only thing that is real.  The proof of CommunityRestart’s  pudding is buildings and it is time to work with them and drop all the other nonsense.   Mistakes have been made and hopefully some hard lessons learned.  It’s time to acknowledge what IS,  drop all that is not, and  work with and develop the assets at hand.

“Please!!!!!!!!!!!! No smear campaigns.  Both sides end up with egg on their face with nothing accomplished!!!!”

Ben

—————– 000000000 ——————-

If Kiril Ravensong is correct in being grateful for conflict, both rival boards should be grateful to the point of wetted bliss.

THE PLANET takes no sides here. We present this information because this agency has achieved federal non-profit status. It allowed that status to lapse (did it continue to raise money after it had lost non-profit status?). This makes the story a public issue. In addition, Rev. Ralph Howe, in his letter to Paul Deslauriers, warns, “The damage done … will probably be fatal to the corporation, something I had hoped to avoid.”

The word “probably” offers a tiny glimmer of hope. By shining a light on these “negotiations,” THE PLANET hopes that the matter can be successfully resolved for the victims here: the poor, destitute, and needy.

————————————————————————————

“Today’s brief passion limits their range; / It seethes with the morrow for us and more.”Robert Browning, from “Old Pictures in Florence,” Stanza XVI, first two lines, (1855).

“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”

LOVE TO ALL.

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Change
Change
5 years ago

If it’s dark out in pittsfield and you hungry don’t go out because you could be shot.2000 bags of herion found on a 40 and 35 year old and they hang with 16 year old little girl.let’s build a 150,000,000 dollar vocational school on valentine road…let’s keep Allendale school because it really unique school on a toxic swamp….general electric monitors the site for safety…only in pittsfield

Don Vito
Don Vito
Reply to  Change
5 years ago

Change. I never knew you were against the new Taconic high school. What gives?

Expose the trolls
Expose the trolls
5 years ago

A little off topic but important.

Its becoming more and more obvious that paid government internet trolls are all over the internet:

“Their mission has nothing to do with national security, fighting terrorism, and catching criminals. Their mission is to distort public opinion and spread propaganda in order to generate a ‘consensus reality’ – and they are responsible for polluting the internet with much of the garbage in comment sections, Facebook groups, forums and bogus blog posts”.

“They jump into productive online discussions and civil debates, and undermine them, ruin them, with uninvited insulting, racist and inflammatory comments. If only it stopped there……”

Full article here:

21stcenturywire.com/2014/03/01/paid-govt-and-corporate-internet-trolls-are-real/

There is at least one here on Dan’s blog. One of the names he goes by is “Paul”. He uses many other names also.

Paul
Paul
Reply to  Expose the trolls
5 years ago

Have you lost your mind ? I post under this name only. I have no goverment affiliations at all with the exception that I am a veteran.

Miss Vito
Miss Vito
5 years ago

Change, former Councilor Caremont once said he traverses the streetsof Pittsfield and has never had any problems with crime?

A West
A West
Reply to  Miss Vito
5 years ago

SOON the entire city will be owned by legal and illegal criminals. Where is Mr. G.? He is needed more than ever in these tough times for the taxpayer.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Miss Vito
5 years ago

This time it took place right next to the building he lives in

Change
Change
5 years ago

Miss vito,barry does not work alone at night in pittsfield….if barry is safe so is everyone else

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

So why did Pittsfield recently miss out on the State Grant that pays for Narcan the overdose drug?
The Berkshire Eagle stated this…….but did not say why.
I also am disturbed that these armed robberies are happening between 6pm and 8pm, and yet the Pittsfield Police can’t get this under control? ….
Pittsfield is not a large town. This is crazy.

Dowgerhat
Dowgerhat
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Was the Dalton Ave., Cumberland Farms store also robbed, last night. Saw a FB page stating so ?

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Dowgerhat
5 years ago

I also saw that but haven’t heard Confirmation.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

I just saw that a woman was arrested shortly after robbing Cumberland Store at gunpoint last night.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Maybe it will unravel now that they caught her.

Southeast
Southeast
5 years ago

It seems that the online grant application never went through, but why even make it a grant application? Why not just provide it to every full time PD, FD and EMS operator in the State? This is a statewide problem and every public safety agency should just have the stuff. that and they should provide regional training so every officer, firefighter and ems worker can know what to do.

sometimes it seems like government at all levels just does things the hard way then wonders why nothing gets done.

between 6 and 8 is a great time to rob places. there is enough traffic on the road that if you get away to a vehicle – and don’t do anything stupid, you can just “blend in”. Later at night would draw more attention to any particular vehicle I would imagine.

Shakes His Head
Shakes His Head
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Of course in Pittsfield, they would do it with a car that had a lamp out, then submit to an illegal search not based on probable cause.

Change
Change
5 years ago

We are the heroin capital of the northeast,so build a new voc school for 150,000,000

Russell Moody
Russell Moody
5 years ago

If anyone wants to talk gardens, give me a call… we do one thing and try to do it well… Our Mission: “To provide chemical-pesticide-free, nutrient dense produce to people and households who would otherwise be unable to provide such goods for themselves and their families.” Want to help?

Russell Moody
Giving Garden
413-822-7814

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Ben Downing stepping down as Pittsfield State Senator after a decade of public service. I wish him well.
I wonder who the G.O.B.’s are going to place in this important political office? Rumors say it will be William “Smitty” Pignatelli.
I dislike Smitty Pignatelli because he represents top-down government of the banal. Rep. Smitty Pignatelli’s first vote as on Beacon Hill’s State House was a vote for Speaker Tom Finneran in January 2003. Many new state reps. voted “present”, while Smitty Pignatelli fell in line with the rest of the bureaucrats impostering as Legislators. Smitty Pignatelli openly spoke out in support for closed doors legislative sessions where a few legislative leaders decided the agenda, while hundreds were powerless or silenced. Smitty Pignatelli even hosted Speaker Tom Finneran at a Lenox fundraiser at Cranwell. In early 2004, I was gathering signatures for a would be run for Pittsfield State Senator, and I asked all the insiders like Smitty Pignatelli to sign my nomination papers. They all refused! I wasn’t an insider, corrupt Berkshire County Democratic Party political hack so I was refused all of their signatures. I knew Smitty Pignatelli was not a man of the people, and that he represented the worst of state and local politics. I read on the blogs that if you are important or a wealthy campaign supporter, Smitty Pignatelli is a complete brown-noser. But if you are someone like me, he gives you an arrogant attitude like he is someone important. Smitty Pignatelli went on to vote for Speaker Sal DiMasi, who like Tom Finneran, became a convicted felon. With all of the issues and problems facing the Berkshires and Massachusetts, Smitty Pignatelli focused on giving youth criminal records if they possessed a small amount of marijuana near a youth center. What a guy! Instead of helping youth achieve successes in their young lives, Smitty Pignatelli wants to give youth criminal records so they will have trouble getting ahead in their young lives.
I hope the G.O.B.’s don’t set Smitty Pignatelli up to be the next Berkshire State Senator!
– Jonathan Melle

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

I hate to say it JM, but one person’s GOB may very well be another person’s savior. 7 years ago, my family was having as tough time navigating a piece of State Government that needed someone to get off their ass and look at something then do something.

TFB was beyond useless. To boot she never returned any calls from any of us. Smitty, whom I knew from his years as an electrician helped me even though I was not a constituent. His staff made all the calls, helped us with the leg work and got our issue resolved.

None of us are perfect. We all support who ore what we believe in – and even though I am not a liberal Dem, he saw that I needed help navigating State Government and personally and with staff helped me.

Smitty has my vote because if I applied the rules used by many posters to this site to vet people or their intentions – Christ himself would be an SUIG, GOB, and a lazy SOB.

Government does not work the way we all want it – and the solution is for more of us to run for office and more of us to vote. Absent that, running down every person associated with government is not the way to effect change.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Smitty Pignatelli and his Office have always responded to Berkshire Citizens. I have the highest respect for him.

MrG1188
MrG1188
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Well said Southeast

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

There were actually 3 armed robberies in Pittsfield over the weekend.

Gene
Gene
5 years ago

More on topic DV, regarding Restart. I am dismayed at the infighting. Sounds to me like both sides are to blame and both sides not to blame.

As you say this should be resolved (so the poor can be helped) or dissolved because the agency can’t work out its problems.

Appreciate you sharing this information.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
Reply to  Gene
5 years ago

Paul Deslauriers is somewhat of a flim flam man…..I feel sorry for Rev Howe……sounds like he’s dealing with a bunch of moon bats.

Thomas More
Thomas More
5 years ago

Doesn’t anybody here care about the leaked memos and COMMUNITY ReSTART?

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Thomas More
5 years ago

They can’t seem to sort it out. It will eventually implode.

Southeast
Southeast
Reply to  Thomas More
5 years ago

nope – ReStart is a group of dogooders who have no training or financial wherewithal to do the job they say they want to do. The egos of those involved seems more important than the mission – which they have made zero progress on anyway.

Both sides are useless and should be investigated fo9r tax avoidance and any other criminal charges that may be proven.

Hackett
Hackett
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

Thats the part that bothers me. It appears that egos and personal empires matter more than the needy.
Rev. Howe is probably right, the group is done for. And that’s probably the best solution at this point.

Kathy Lloyd
Kathy Lloyd
Reply to  Southeast
5 years ago

I went to their reorganization meeting on January 19th, it turned out to be an attempt at a coup. This organization is beyond every measure of dysfunctional. Mind boggling levels of dysfunction. Paul seems to be a new age/ yoga/ cult leader style of snake oil salesman. The rest of them were drinking the free koolaid at the snack table (I brought my own water.)

Their lack of paperwork of any kind, with the state, the IRS, even just basic website info was chalked up to “Charity is in our hearts, not in complying with government regulations” and that’s almost an exact quote.

The best thing for everyone is that this organization is disbanded. Or at the very least they need to pay taxes to the City for 2015. The entire year they were stripped of their 501c3.

They own 300k worth of houses in Pittsfield. That’s a lot of tax money…

99
99
Reply to  Thomas More
5 years ago

What are you saying?

Are the “leaked” memos the story here
or
Are the leaked “memos” the story here

There is no privacy in this non tax exempt org.
Anything sent has the expectation to end up posted on the internet on Planet Valenti.
Maybe they will get smart and use the cone of silence from now on.

Ever get an email from a lawyer?
There are always certain legal disclaimers contained in them as to confidentiality.
This organization is disorganized it can’t even get its paperwork straight with the IRS as to its tax exempt status.

beezer
beezer
5 years ago

Gene does!

Nota
Nota
5 years ago

Did you know the Planet in another life,was Son of SAMs worst nightmare, back in the day?

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  Nota
5 years ago

I heard that he has Berkowits’s mail sack

The Outsiders
The Outsiders
5 years ago

Everyday should be off topic day, within reason.

Change
Change
5 years ago

I would love to stay on topic but I am not capable of doing that,these things all go away.bcac director was fired and they said they would give more info on that firing from the board at a later date…no internal controls there at bcac…people worked 2 hours a day there and got full days pay…..bcac is a joke and no one will do anything….the board there was not on the ball…nobody cares…..we are going to spend 150,000,000 dollar’s and you can’t get 5 people to talk about it,,, Allendale school is a white elephant. ..city is in denial about everything. …if this school gets built we are screwed. ..no one builds new schools and you can say goodbye to southeast pittsfield because lenox is just as close as valentine road

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

Ben Downing’s priorities for the rest of his term will be clean energy and transgender issues because those are our most pressing issues right now. He spends most of his time in Boston where businesses are booming while the other end of the state, specifically the Berkshires, is falling apart. He is so out of touch with what is happening here in Berkshire County. Let’s hope the next Senator is better than this one, but if we get Pignatelli it will be business as usual.

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  Pat
5 years ago

I’ll bet Benny boy set himself up with a nice hack job.

Roberto Del Halitoso
Roberto Del Halitoso
5 years ago

TFB vs Smitty in a dem primary against a good republican or indy to fill do nothing Downing’s seat.

larry
larry
Reply to  Roberto Del Halitoso
5 years ago

TFB will get beat by Smitty for the senate race or get beat by councilor Connell for the state rep seat. Either way she will lose. Thank God

larry
larry
Reply to  larry
5 years ago

I want to vomit ever time she has the Berkshires to Beacon Hill show

spagirl
spagirl
5 years ago

No change in Probation Conditions for Paul Capitanio who tested positive for drugs 3 times between Aug and Oct . This right here folks is what gives Pittsfield Heirarchy the reputation for corrupt. No further words.

Johnny Dingo
Johnny Dingo
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

Typical Pittsfield justice system. If ya gots the connections you can do pretty much as you please. There seems to be an iron clad ring of protection around SIG folk. But if you choose to stay in Pittsfield it is your own damn fault for being stupid. Some people are just more equal than others.

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  Johnny Dingo
5 years ago

Tell you what… this Judge’s integrity is on the line….along with the,Probation Dept. Capitanio was given a free pass the first time around with a suspended jail sentence and given probation. He violated his probation 3 times between August and October. This is unacceptable!!!

acheshirecat
acheshirecat
Reply to  spagirl
5 years ago

He must have told them that “Angelo” sent him, lol.

The Outsiders
The Outsiders
5 years ago

So he basically said F U to the probation conditions. Where did he get the drugs?

southeast
southeast
Reply to  The Outsiders
5 years ago

where did a bar owner get drugs? where did the father-in-law of a cop get drugs? addicts can sniff out drugs like a blood hound on the trail in pursuit.

Jonathan Melle
Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

(Sarcasm) –

I must be wrong!
Smitty Piganatelli is God! He is the 2nd coming of Christ!
He will be the best Berkshire State Senator ever!
Vote for Smitty for State Senator!

southeast
southeast
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

He is not God, nor is he the 2nd coming of Christ. But he is a decent man and does his best to represent an area that has little power by doing what he can to help those in need.

He does not let the voices in his head rule him and keep him angry and focused on the past rather than making the future better.

You could do worse than emulating him JM. You may wish to become more engaged in your current hometown rather than staying so maniacally focused on your past….

spagirl
spagirl
Reply to  southeast
5 years ago

Well said Southeast. And you are right about Smitty. He is a very good man.

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  southeast
5 years ago

can you post a picture of your Smitty shrine?

Irvin Corey
Irvin Corey
Reply to  Jonathan Melle
5 years ago

Once, while on vacation, a young Smitty traveled to Alaska and set up a canning factory for Eskimos…..He then taught them how to can whale blubber…..and they never went hungry again.

The Outsiders
The Outsiders
5 years ago

Getting hack jobs is an epidemic in this state. Ben and Trish won’t have to worry about employment.

Nycole Gallagher
Nycole Gallagher
5 years ago

Community Restart just keeps constantly digging themselves into a bigger hole. They want to help the community but they just keep hurting it. At this point with their two BOD, they should just cut their loses and end the poor organization. This is getting ridiculous.