Daily Archives: May 25, 2011

Artist Douglas Kornfeld Gives Jamaica Plain A Giant Hand

Published May 25, 2011

"Reach" by Douglas Kornfeld sits in Jamaica Plain's Mozart Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Doug Kornfeld)

"Reach" by Douglas Kornfeld sits in Jamaica Plain's Mozart Park. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy Doug Kornfeld)

Give him a hand!

Actually, Cambridge artist Douglas Kornfeld already has one. A big one.

It’s 27-feet tall and it has taken two-and-a-half years to get the work approved and into the ground. But today, Kornfeld and the Hyde Park community in Jamaica Plain are welcoming “Reach” to Mozart Park. The giant, stretched-out steel hand is meant to symbolize the immigrant experience.

“I feel a sense of pride mixed with relief that everything went well with the installation and that the sculpture fits so well in the park,” Kornfeld wrote in an email. “I’m delighted that the community is so pleased with the piece.”

It was critical to involve the community in the development of the public work, Kornfeld said, because the public is often left out of the public art process. He worked with the Hyde Square Task Force to organize workshops and created a website to keep residents in the loop.

A nonprofit writing organization for kids, 826 Boston, helped area youth come up with quotations that are engraved on the sculpture’s steel uprights. Their words reflect their experiences as immigrants or children of immigrants.

Some may recognize Kornfeld’s work. His “Ozymandias” — also known as the bid red man — greets visitors to the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln.

Erected in January, “Reach” will be dedicated today at a ceremony in Mozart Park at 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday Morning: Municipal Health Care On The Docket

Published May 25, 2011

The state Senate is set to open debate on a budget proposal that would allow local officials to shift municipal workers into lower-cost health care plans without union approval. Massachusetts labor leaders, according to the Globe, have accepted that some form of the plan is likely to be enacted.

A former advisor to Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration testified yesterday that former House Speaker Sal DiMasi pushed for a $13 million contract for the software company Cognos, from which DiMasi allegedly took kickbacks. David Simas will be cross examined by the defense today in DiMasi’s ongoing federal corruption trial.

Even if you’d fail them, it’s hard to fire a teacher. That means many poor teachers are still in classrooms, just shifted around the system. As part of WBUR’s Making An A+ Teacher series, WBUR’s Monica Brady-Myerov looks at the problem of bad teachers in public schools.

The number of English Language Learners identified as have a learning disability has skyrocketed in Massachusetts. According to a report, the number of ELL students with learning disabilities has more than doubled in the past decade.

Thanks to budget cuts, police officers in the embattled city of Lawrence are struggling to cope with rising crime rates and dwindling resources.

There’s a fever sweeping Boston, but you won’t need to head to the hospital. The Bruins need only win tonight to notch a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 21 years, and the city is getting behind its team. Goalie Tim Thomas will need a strong game to lead the team to victory.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the state Senate’s budget debate, testimony in the DiMasi case and the criminal charges for the founder of the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center.