Roberto Mighty wants Fisher Museum visitors to leave his art exhibit on Sunday with a reverence for the central Massachusetts landscape and a few modern lessons based on how Puritans and Native Americans viewed the land 400 years ago. The exhibit, “First Contact,” focuses on the period roughly from first Colonial contact to the generation before King Philip’s War, from 1600 to 1650.The exhibit is the culmination of Mighty’s yearlong artist residency at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass., supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research Program. Over the course of a year, Mighty has used several types of cameras and recorders to gather high-definition video, high-resolution photographs (including tree canopy and underwater images), and surround-sound audio throughout the forest. “First Contact: Puritans, Native Americans, and the Clash over Land in 1630” combines those elements with historical text, music, and professional voice-overs to portray how religion and economics led to land use clashes between Puritans and Native Americans.A tremendous amount of research underpins his work. “ ‘First Contact’ has occupied my thoughts every day and night for close to 18 months,” says Mighty, who lived on the Alaskan frontier as a boy and now teaches visual and media arts at Emerson College and Boston University. “It was exciting to spend months reading the letters, sermons, books, and court records of the early English Colonial settlers.”To construct the voice-overs of historical text for the exhibit, Mighty recruited top British specialists in original pronunciation of Elizabethan English. “Besides providing outstanding voice-overs, they gave me cultural context that I couldn’t readily get from the history books,” he says.The Native American perspective was also not easily found in books, so Mighty consulted with a linguist and cultural specialist from the Nipmuc Nation. “I was surprised at how deeply I was touched by the history,” said Mighty. “I sometimes found myself crying as I worked my way through the historical accounts. In the very beginning, the Puritans and the Native Americans tried to coexist. But gradually, it became obvious that one group would have to go. Most people can see the sadness in this. As an Afro-Latin descendant of former slaves, I found it particularly resonant.”David Foster, director of the Harvard Forest, describes the exhibit as “a truly engaging work of scholarship and art that conveys a deep understanding of our landscape and its history while also motivating a desire to care and conserve it for the future.”Mighty hopes visitors will find modern relevance in the exhibit. “Issues of land use, ethnic cleansing, and theocracy continue to affect our world today,” he said. “The land use piece is particularly important in Massachusetts, where we need to be thoughtful about managing our wild lands while also providing for economic development. We can take many important lessons from the people who came before us.”The exhibit’s public opening event will take place on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Fisher Museum at 324 North Main St. in Petersham, Mass. The event will include a one-time film screening, an artist presentation, and a light reception catered by the Millers River Cafe. A continuing exhibition of a seven-minute film and fine art photography will remain in the Fisher Museum through the month of October. The Fisher Museum is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 4 p.m. Learn more about the exhibit, watch the film trailer, and read a full interview with the artist.
The master lease the commission and the university agreed to is still pending approval from several state agencies. Under the lease agreement, USC would manage the facility, although the Coliseum Commission would remain the landlord.Additionally, the Los Angeles Times and the first amendment group Californians Aware filed a lawsuit in July calling for a new vote on the deal. The suit claims that the Coliseum Commission did not comply with state laws requiring it to hold open meetings and release certain public records.The time frame for approving the lease remains unclear. Kristina Raspe, vice president for real estate development and asset management at USC, gave the conservative estimate that an agreement should be ironed out in about six weeks.Melissa Figueroa, deputy secretary of communications for the State and Consumer Services Agency, one of the bodies reviewing the lease, said that there is no timeline for a decision and that negotiations are ongoing.The state must approve a handful of contingencies, including the lease of six parking lots. Raspe said they are also negotiating a 57-year extension of the lease option and a non-disturbance agreement, which would allow the contract to remain in effect if the commission dissolves.Figueroa said the agency is evaluating the lease by determining if it is in the state’s best interest.“You have to make sure everything is legal and accounted for and, like I said, in the best interest of all parties, mainly the party that’s looking out for themselves, which is the state,” Figueroa said.According to Raspe, the other bodies that will review the lease are the Department of General Services and the Sixth District Agricultural Association, the formal name for the California Science Center.As officials in Sacramento pore over the 93-page master lease, the agreement between the commission and USC faces questions closer to home.On July 18, the Los Angeles Times and Californians Aware filed a lawsuit against the Coliseum Commission. USC was not named in the lawsuit.The suit claims that the commission violated California’s Ralph M. Brown Act by negotiating the lease in closed sessions and the Public Records Act by not releasing certain public documents. The Brown Act provides the public with the right to attend local governmental meetings.“In the face of a strong public interest and in the wake of the recent scandals, the Coliseum Commission restricted public access to information about the deal, conducting nearly all of its discussions about the lease behind closed doors, in violation of the Brown Act,” Nancy Sullivan, the Times’ vice president of communications, said in an email. “In addition, the Commission delayed its responses to the Times’ public records requests, often for months at a time, and refused to release other records in violation of the California Public Records Act.”Sullivan also said that the Times attempted to remedy the alleged violations before pursuing litigation, but the commission was unwilling to do so.Don Knabe, Los Angeles County supervisor and Coliseum Commission president, said he believes the negotiation process for the master lease did not violate the law.“We have three different attorneys looking at us all the time, so we feel very comfortable that the lawsuit has no merit,” Knabe said.Los Angeles Councilmember Bernard Parks, the only commissioner to vote against approving the master lease, said more could have been done to involve the public in the negotiations with USC.“The general perception of those on the commission was that it was sufficient public access to rely on the L.A. Times story and the information that was placed on their website,” Parks said. “Admittedly, no one ever looks on their website. And admittedly, most community people couldn’t find the Coliseum Commission office with a map.”Knabe, however, said the commission included the public during negotiations.“Clearly there was a public record, public testimony and public options,” Knabe said.Thomas J. Faughnan, legal counsel for the commission, responded to the lawsuit’s claims in a letter dated July 3. He wrote that the public had an opportunity to comment on the lease at every commission meeting since October 2011.“Assertions by the L.A. Times not withstanding, the Commission has always intended this process of considering to amend and restate the USC lease to be transparent and public,” Faughnan wrote. “The Commission’s actions demonstrate this intention.”According to Terry Francke, general counsel for Californians Aware, the lawsuit calls for a new public vote on the lease.“The idea is to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, let the community know what the discussion was that led up to the first vote, give the community the opportunity to react and comment and then take another vote,” Francke said. “It may well be the exact same outcome. But at least it will be a decision based on disclosed deliberation.”A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court said a trial setting conference to set a hearing date for the lawsuit is scheduled for Oct. 25.Raspe said the lawsuit has not affected the university’s negotiations with the state. To the cheers of students, alumni and administrators, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission voted 8-1 on May 14 to approve a new lease that gives USC control of day-to-day operations for the 89-year-old facility. The agreement, however, still faces several challenges.Obstacles · A master lease agreement, giving USC operational control of the Coliseum, is pending state approval and is the subject of a lawsuit. – Razan Al Marzouqi | Daily Trojan
COMMENT Last Updated: 6th August, 2020 07:25 IST Francona Still Not Managing Indians Due To Medical Condition Indians manager Terry Francona remains absent from the team to get rest while dealing with a gastrointestinal issue that he’s battled for months WATCH US LIVE Written By Associated Press Television News LIVE TV FOLLOW US Indians manager Terry Francona remains absent from the team to get rest while dealing with a gastrointestinal issue that he’s battled for months.Francona will miss his fourth straight game Wednesday night when the Indians return home to play two straight against the Reds. The two teams just wrapped up a two-game series in Cincinnati while Francona underwent tests and exams for three days at the Cleveland Clinic.Team President Chris Antonetti said Francona will likely be sidelined for a few more days, but the hope is he’ll return to the team “in the not-too-distant future.”Antonetti did not provide many details about Francona’s illness. He said the 61-year-old manager “is in the process of feeling better.” At this point, the objective is for Francona to feel well enough to get back in the dugout.“Mostly right now it’s getting Tito to a point where he’s just more comfortable, where he will resume the duties that he has as manager,” he said.Until he returns, the Indians will have third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh move into the dugout to help interim manager Sandy Alomar, the team’s usual first-base coach, with managing duties.Tony Mansilino will fill in for Sarbaugh at third. He’s been working at the team’s alternate site in Lake County.Francona was forced to miss a couple of spring training games in Arizona with his medical condition. He’s in his eighth season with Cleveland, which has made the postseason four times and won the AL once under Francona.Image credits: AP First Published: 6th August, 2020 07:25 IST SUBSCRIBE TO US