Daily Archives: June 15, 2011

Artists Sneak Into MFA For Renegade Bathroom Exhibit

Published June 15, 2011

Last night a group of nearly two dozen Boston artists mounted an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts. Not in a gallery, though. Instead they snuck work into a pair of bathrooms for a “renegade” exhibition.

Yes, this means they installed art in a major institution without obtaining permission. But, no, they did not break in. And yes, they got caught — but not immediately.

The MFA stays open late on Wednesday nights, and last night was particularly crowded because admission was free. This allowed the art bandits to slip in casually with the other visitors.

At about 6:45 p.m. they entered the men’s and women’s rooms adjacent to a stairway between the below-ground Chihuly exhibition and the MFA’s new atrium courtyard.

Art patrons view last night's "renegade" art show in the bathrooms of the MFA. (Courtesy)

Art patrons view last night's "renegade" art show in the bathrooms of the MFA. (Courtesy)

They quickly pulled out a trove of original drawings, prints, photos — even sculptures. The works were smuggled into the MFA inside backpacks, shoulder bags, folders and notebooks.

It took just 15 minutes to install the unsanctioned exhibition, titled “Best of Boston.” The “opening” took place as scheduled, at 7 p.m. Security started removing the artworks about 20 minutes later.

As it turns out a nearly identical scene played out at the MFA exactly 40 years ago to the day.

In fact last night’s stunt was a reenactment marking the June 15, 1971, “joke show” known as “Flush with the Walls.” It was organized by seven Boston artists: Todd McKie, Martin Mull, Fred Brink, David Raymond, Bob Guillemin, Jo Sandman and Kristin Johnson. They even printed rascally invitations on toilet paper that said, “When you gotta show you gotta show.”
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Live Blog: DiMasi Found Guilty On Corruption Charges

Published June 15, 2011

The News: A federal jury found former Speaker Sal DiMasi guilty in an scheme to steer state contracts in exchange for kickbacks. His accountant, Richard Vitale, was found not guilty on eight charges. An associate, Richard McDonough, a lobbyist, was convicted on six of eight charges.

(Read the full story here.)

The defense table reacts as the verdicts are read by Judge Mark Wolf. (Margaret Small for WBUR)

The defense table reacts as the verdicts are read by Judge Mark Wolf. (Margaret Small for WBUR)

Update 6:45 p.m.: We’re closing the live blog for the evening. Morning Edition tomorrow will have plenty more coverage, including reaction to the former speaker’s conviction at the State House and in his North End district.

Update 6:06 p.m.: “Men of conviction” — that’s the dialogue bubble on the Globe’s verdict cartoon, which places DiMasi next to former Speakers Tom Finneran and Charles Flaherty.

Update 5:40 p.m.: WBUR’s David Boeri, who’s covered this whole thing from the beginning, called this a “devastating conviction” for DiMasi. He offered this debrief last hour:

Update 5:06 p.m.: DiMasi’s attorney, Tom Kiley, provides a clearer indication of his appeal strategy. He says government misrepresented the payments that his client received as a lawyer:

It involves the practice of law and one’s entitlements to work. It presents, as the court said, novel issues, and we will be pursuing those issues until everybody gets it right.

Update 4:27 p.m.: DiMasi and his team were eating lunch, trying to kill time, when word came that Judge Mark Wolf wanted to see them in the courtroom, the Globe’s Glen Johnson reported.

Leaving behind half-eaten lunches, half-drunk bottles of water, half-read newspapers, the group moved toward the elevators, uncertain of the reason.

It’s a lunch DiMasi will never forget.

Update 4:21 p.m.: “I’m very disappointed … I’m still in shock,” DiMasi told the Herald. The paper also has video of the former House speaker speaking with reporters outside the courtroom.

Update 4:10 p.m.: WBUR’s Jesse Costa has this graphic on the specific charges:

Click the image below for the full graphic.

Update 3:52 p.m.: More from legal analyst Randy Chapman, as he’ll join us on All Things Considered later on:

Chapman says the “theft of honest services charge” is likely to be the issue that will percolate in appeals, perhaps all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Jurors In DiMasi Case Struggle With Complex Instructions

Published June 15, 2011

The jury in the federal corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi and two co-defendants is in its second full day of deliberation today.

The jury instructions from Judge Mark Wolf in this case are 65 pages long. That’s even longer than the government’s indictment of the three defendants!

It took the judge over two hours, with a brief intermission, to instruct the jurors on the law Monday. Yesterday, the jurors requested the judge give them the instructions a second time. He did.

Then, yesterday afternoon, the jury sent a note asking for a written transcript of his instructions. This morning, Wolf told the jurors they will get them some time today.

You want to see just how complicated the charges in this case are? You want to see what the jurors are struggling with? Here are the judge’s instructions. You be the jury.

See the jury’s full instructions

Wednesday Morning: Do Or Die For The Bruins

Published June 15, 2011

Nevermind the road. Rubber, meet ice.

When the rubber puck drops tonight in Vancouver, the Bruins and the Canucks will decide who is crowned the NHL’s champion. The Stanley Cup hasn’t been in Boston since Bobby Orr and the Big Bad Bruins won the 1972 championship and no Bruins team has ever played in a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals.

You’ll have to celebrate a Tim Thomas save or drown the sorrows of a Henrik Sedin goal by yourself after tonight’s game, because there won’t be a Bruins viewing party the TD Garden. Boston police and the TD Garden couldn’t reach an agreement over limiting liquor sales.

Jurors in the corruption trial of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi and two others will deliberate for their second full day today. We’ll provide updates on the case as they become available.

After being labeled, gasp, a flip-flopper four years ago, former Gov. Mitt Romney is holding his ground this time around, the Globe reports. Romney is doing more sticking to his guns, even if it puts him at odds with many national Republicans.

Sen. John Kerry controls more stock in media companies than any other member of Congress. He even owns a stake in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., which owns Fox News.

The Boston police officer who was shot yesterday responding to a domestic dispute in Dorchester was in stable condition last night after undergoing surgery to control bleeding. Boston Police Officer Shawn Marando, 46, is a former member of the Air Force and Marine Reserves.

The Boston Archdiocese is getting a new vicar general. Monsignor Robert Deeley, originally from Belmont, will become one of the top aides to Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

The Mark Wahlberg movie “Ted” filmed a scene at the Somerville Theatre last night. Mila Kunis also stars in the movie.

What we’re following: As we watch for developments in the DiMasi case, we’ll continue to report on the ex-aide to the mayor of Lawrence in federal court and the student in Attleboro charged with raping a classmate at school.