WGBH Journal; Mission Hill
Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal. I'm Marsha Hertz and on the journal tonight Mission Hill residents get the politicians out in full force today as they continue the fight for subsidized housing in their neighborhood. And members of the Boston Finance Commission worry about the development of Lafayette Place an advocate and parent look at how Chapter 7 66 has worked for special needs kids in public schools. Composer conductor K. Gardner explains to Beck you are why the New England women Symphony Orchestra is important for women musicians and Louis Lyons tells what it was like to return to school after oh so many years. All this on the journal right after a look at the local news. Two legislators claim that the public has been deceived by the Kenyan ministration stand on social services and they're taking the matter to court. The issue centers around the new social service agency that was created last year and scheduled to be operative this July appointment of a director was expected last January. But so far no action has been taken. The two legislators representative Philip Johnston of Marshfield and Senator Jack Backman of
Brookline say that the human services secretary Charles Mahoney has greatly exaggerated the cost of the program to do to delay its implementation. Although the legislators say they have been patient with the governor they have filed suit to force the administration to take action nine to five the women office workers organization inaugurated a movement yesterday against the First National Bank of Boston choosing the bank as its target for combating abuses against women office workers. The organization hopes to draw attention to the inequality of job opportunities which they say plague women workers 4:51 staff Stafford Joan Quinlan explains the selection of the bank targeted secretary take hearing last night for two reasons really. One is simply its employment practices which are very typical in companies and the second is the second largest private employer in the city. They really do set a practice according to. First
women are under 30 category. Amazingly enough the bank has already reacted today and they are that they will institute a pumping system. Now we find that very curious thing is one of our primary demands of our campaign is something that we have been raising at the first for several months now. But there is. But there are still more demands that need addressing and the organization will keep the pressure on. A rally has been planned for next Wednesday at noon outside the First National Bank's offices. In a statement promised to minority students on Tuesday and Hurst college president John Ward responded that he will not maintain separate orientation sessions for black students. This statement has been promised as a condition for members and supporters of the Black Student Union to evacuate the school's administration building that they had occupied since early Monday morning. President Ward said that his decision was based upon the school's desire to integrate its students as
completely as possible. Meanwhile the campus movement calling for divestment of stocks and companies that do business in South Africa has reached Tufts University about 50 students on the Medford campus chanted their demands outside a meeting of university trustees and were invited in to air their grievances. Topps president John Mayer told the demonstrators he favors partial divestment. The marchers said partial divestment was not sufficient and the demonstrators would continue their protest until tough sold its stock. And that's the news earlier this week we reported that the mayor and a Mission Hill neighborhood development group had
locked horns over the issue of subsidized housing for the area several years ago the city had made a commitment to the neighborhood to help finance the development of a 12 acre lot which had been left abandoned by the Lahey Clinic. The housing was to be affordable to people of average income and was to be designed to meet the special needs of the elderly and handicapped. But plans for the full funding of the project to fallen through. And today angry Mission Hill residents went to City Hall. Walker has more I think. You were right. You're not running hard on level 1. Right right right. That was school committee president and mayoral candidate David Finnegan. He appeared briefly in
front of City Hall today to pledge his support for Mission Hill people who have spent several days trying to meet with the mayor who by all appearances has been ignoring them. City Hall has taken the line that there is too much subsidized housing in the Mission Hill area and more importantly they intend to finance only the first phase of the housing originally planned. They will not go beyond a one hundred twenty five unit structure for the elderly and handicapped. This falls far short of neighborhood expectations especially after having spent nine years planning the development mayoral hopeful state senator Joseph Timothy also appeared to express his views on the issue. The question of subsidized housing. What's their alternative. It's a luxury housing that the neighborhood residents are going to be able to afford. Have we reached a saturation point where we don't need any subsidized housing in the city. This is by million dollars worth of a federal commitment. We ought to be willing to take it if it's a question of density let's work out the density but don't refuse the house. The reason the two candidates showed up for the demonstration is to demonstrate their own
concern for neighborhoods in general. That issue has become a central one in the brewing campaign. There has been a lot of talk about the gentrification of the city the continual building of luxury houses and the loss of stable blue collar neighborhoods to more expensive pockets of professionals. June how a Mission Hill community leader is wary of all the attention neighborhoods are getting. She just wants a decent place for people to live who don't happen to be rich neighborhoods neighborhoods neighborhoods that think Kevin might be one of them right. I have a petition. I've been trying to prevent a week with a thousand signatures. If he can hold in contempt a thousand people he won't even hear us. And he doesn't care for people. I want to know if in his heart it's actually in his hands. Very easy to say yes he could lend one
million one million. Lend or not spend. We want permission to rebuild mission here we want to go ahead. The housing for the handicapped and elderly. And we want what no other part of the city is asking for. The only thing we want our housing built today is luxury housing. Some cities make it affordable for people. And we're asking the city to live up to its commitment on neighborhoods not luxury neighborhood neighborhood people. An estimated five million dollars in federal funds has been promised for the housing project. But if the city doesn't make a commitment soon the funds will go elsewhere. We have to have firm commitment with in a few weeks but we will still if the mayor forces this building out of Boston in Boston those is the building we're going to see if the mayor can lose Boston. And we are going to fight to be included in the neighborhoods that can be rebuilt. And wherever he where ever he go what I
shall go with. People will be people whether on not we and for GBH Journal. This is new walker. The city also got criticized on another development issue today this time from the Boston Finance Committee released a report this afternoon stating that the city was in effect out negotiated in its business deals with the developers of Lafayette Place. The project was to include a shopping mall a hotel a million square feet of office space and a parking garage. But since the project first received City Council approval it has been whittled down considerably in its present shape Koncz chairman Jeffrey Lambert says the city is taking too much of a risk. The public is being asked to put up 30 million dollars. Versus 50 to 70 million dollars worth of private investment that in itself may be too great a public expenditure for the projected return especially since the project initially contemplated
about one hundred fifty million dollars worth of private investment. However the other part the only other problem that we see is that this 30 million dollars is being put up without adequate assurances that the developers will go through with the project so that the city could be left with 30 million dollars worth of improvements. And no private development to enhance the value of the city's expenditures. Finn come also charges that the city failed to follow guidelines on land acquisition failed to thoroughly investigate the past record of one of the developers and did not properly appraise the price of the land.
Several years ago parents and advocates of retarded children joined with parents and advocates of other special needs children to press for the passage of a state law for special education. That law is Chapter 7 66 which is now supported in federal legislation chapter 94 142. Before the implementation of Chapter 7 66 it was common to find classes for the mentally retarded in the basements of schools. And if no room was available a church basement was often rented. The question of whether education for retarded children has improved with the passage of 766 and 94 142 is examined in this report by Henrietta Davis. According to Sharon Moriarty who staffed the Massachusetts Association for Retarded Citizens Education Committee at least one of the major goals of that group's involvement in pressing for the Chapter 7 6 6 law has not yet been realized severely handicapped children can still be placed in substantially separate classrooms. She says that means a return to the church basements.
The group that we were most concerned about integrating would be the more the moderately and severely retarded who were not just retarded but the preponderance of those incidence have severe involvement. They're also physically handicapped and those are the people we felt the most important to hit with the mainstreaming principal. We need some interaction in a public school environment. That group has remained the most stubborn contradiction to the mainstreaming principle even today. It takes a very savvy parent to get a program in a public school for a child who is. Visually handicapped by that I don't mean the technical jargon but if it's a mental disability you can see such as Down syndrome. You're liable liable to be recommended for a program that substantially separate from the public school programs. Marie Cristoforo is the mother of 23 year old Kathy a severely brain damaged
young woman. Cathy went through her younger years at the same time that education services to retarded children were changing. Mrs. Cristoforo remembers that when Cathy was eight years old 15 years ago school personnel were recommending that parents take their retarded children out of the school system at the age of 12 because there was nothing more they could learn. Kathy first went to school when she was 7 and there was only three hours of school for her every day. Her classes were held in the basement of a Cambridge elementary school. Soon after Kathy entered school the Christopher started the first Cambridge chapter of the Greater Boston Association for Retarded Citizens with other parents of retarded children. The first thing we did was. Because the atmosphere you know we did not like the basement of the Roberts school so we came up with a few recommendations. And one of the recommendations was a forward day and longer hours and out of the
basement getting a longer day for their children was no easy matter for the Cambridge chapter one day Marie Christopher was called at the school because Cathy was acting up. Mrs. Christopher spoke with the teacher. So she pulls out this little book and she said well she said your parents think you're going longer hours and so forth and she said I was told she said. Now this was by the Bureau of pupil services at the time. Then I have this little book and I mak everything in this book and the kids aren't going and I says Why. While she was going to tell every bad thing the kid did that the kids did in the classroom that they could not take a C because this is the problem we've always had. Your kid can take this long day. You know the maybe the teacher can take it but the kid you know the kid all this is too much this these poor wee tatted kids you know maybe after two hours in school or something like that it's just too much for them but they can then come home and eat and
run and scream like normal kids for 20 hours you know. So she was keeping this book and every wrong thing that kids did was to be mocked in this book by getting a politician to intercede. Cambridge parents stopped the teacher with her little book and eventually won a full day of classes. Now under Chapter 7 6 6 a full day in the classroom as well as responsibility by the public school system for these kids until the age of twenty two are the law. Sharon Moriarty of the Massachusetts Association for Retarded Citizens. Mark for short says progress has been made because due process in the 7 6 6 and 94 142 law from the federal government guarantees that parents have a role in every educational decision made about their children. Mark sees its role as helping parents to be active in their children's education both in the individual education plan and in getting school systems to plan for services for groups of children. Our major responsibility is to is to build a literate consumer ship so our first
responsibility is to parents. And that involves that if you're dealing with something like a financially separate prototype. And the parent has to be tenacious when in his or her involvement development of a program and to make sure that that final disposition fits the language of the regulations. That's a lot more work than it seems because it's a terribly complicated set of regulations. Chapter 7 6 6 has not solved all the problems of educating retarded people. Advocates are looking for continuing education for them through the adult years as well as recreation programs and other supportive services for GBH Journal. I'm Henrietta Davis. Education for retarded children will be the topic of options in education airing this Saturday at noon.
Boston is famous for its Symphony Orchestra. The Boston Symphony. But December witnessed the Dubuque of another orchestra in the city. The New England women's symphony made up primarily of women musicians and dedicated to playing compositions written by women. Kay Gardner is the music director of the symphony and she explained the need for such an orchestra to Reporter Becky war. Composition by Mabel Daniels who lived in Cambridge until her death in 1071 and whose music has been performed by major symphony orchestras in this respect she differs from most of her female colleagues. K. Gardiner a musician and composer herself says that music composed by women has been neglected by symphony orchestras and it was Gardner's frustration as a composer which started her search
for an orchestra which would read music composed by women in writing works for orchestra I knew I would have no vehicle. I knew that it would be very difficult for me to write for orchestra not having worked with an orchestra. So I put an ad in Sojourner the women's newspaper here in Boston asking for those who are interested in a reading orchestra. For Fall 1978 to to write to me and a composer from Boston Nancy Barrett Thomas bit. She's. She said yes I'm interested in that too. And we got together last May and decided to plunge right in and establish an orchestra that would not only be a reading orchestra but would be a performing orchestra. We felt the time was right for that. And so the New England women symphony began and held its first concert in December of last year. The orchestra consists primarily of women and provides opportunities for women as musicians but the main goal of the orchestra is to present music composed by
women and conducted by women. Music Director Kay Gardner feels that there are district can provide a needed exposure to women's compositions. Most orchestras do not schedule works by women at all as all male composers really have their vehicles this is a vehicle for women. We certainly don't want to be the only vehicle for women. What we're trying to do is almost be a lobbying organization but a performing lobbying organization to say here listen to this. Do you like it. Good. Well make a tape available to you. You can play it here in Houston Texas. And I will give the tape to you and you can decide whether you like the work or not to make women's music available. Most people never hear it. It's a vicious circle. Most major orchestras will not perform unless they've heard it where they're going to hear it. If no one will play it I'm going to say it's crazy. So we will play it and make it available
for Marshall's contemporary composition was played at the New England women symphonies concert in December. But research has revealed that women have composed in every musical era and the New England women symphony intends to play women's compositions from several eras at each concert. Even though the New England women symphony is emphasizing the music it plays rather than the sex of the players. There is a dynamic of the symphony which differs from traditional orchestras. I think we're all interested in trying to get rid of that competition feeling that everyone in the orchestra is competing with everyone else. And that the conductor is a Goddess or God standing up there on the podium and has the last word. There's an awful lot of give and take. There's no reason in this orchestra why a cellist who disagrees with an interpretation of the conductor can't raise her hand and say. I don't think that this should be done this way. The conductor would say Oh I what do you think. But you don't see that in a regular orchestra.
There's an awful lot of give and take in the musician as it is respected for her opinion as the conductor of the orchestra is also a podium for other female conductors who need that podium and so we have at least three conductors three women conducting on each program. Next year the symphony hopes to be staffed completely with professional musicians. But Kay Gardiner feels that in a few years time the need for an organization like the New England women's 70 will have changed. This orchestra is a steppingstone orchestra in that we hope that eventually they'll be no need for our existence that women's music will be absorbed into the performances of all the major symphony orchestras to the point that we do not have to prove the point that we need to prove now. So we feel that. I would say perhaps 10 years from now that we will have made enough of an impact for major orchestras to schedule womens works on every one of their programmes and then will feel will have done what we set out to do. For GBH I'm back you are.
The New England women Symphony will be performing this Sunday night at Jordan Hall at 8 o'clock. Kay Gardner and Antonio Rico will be conducting the Lions spent a day this week visiting his granddaughters school in Cambridge. A visit which prompted him to reflect on his own education and on what some school children are learning today. We had an invitation to grandparents day at a girls school. The novelty of it was interesting and also it was a granddaughter's birthday. No need to get up early for the first course in biology she said but then we can sit in on English and Latin and math before lunch time. The
English class sent around an oval table as at a college seminar. You had to look around the table to see which was a teacher a dictionary sat in the middle of the table. They were discussing John Burns looking backward in anger. The conversation was general without formality. The thing was when the triangle story fits the pattern of the two other books that read Othello and Paradise Lost the theme of love hate passion revenge crime and remorse. The teacher started to say relationship Osbourne's three characters but she quickly dropped it. Relationship has become a cliche word she observed quietly. I had the impression that it was not the first word that had been ostracized from the table for that offense. If the only effect of the English course was to bend one cliche in each class period from the ten what would be the total result on one's vocabulary. This riddle was running in my mind like an unsolved crossword puzzle while we found our way into the Latin class.
That was very different. Hardly a handful of students and straight backed chairs against the wall of a small room facing the teacher at a desk. Same as I remember in a country high school an year ago. But there were only two of us who got as far as this class in Virgil. We too were the only ones going to college. Not at the Agricultural College required Latin and the 11 entrance exams I was able to divide between June and September. Within 20 years Harvard dropped the Latin entrance requirement despite the protests of the classes that Latin Grammar and translation made a strong buttress for English. I remember asking the then Massachusetts commissioner of education patient Smith what would be an equivalent for the Latin discipline. Oh shorthand Perhaps he said. The Latin class was translating the NEA in a line at a time. The teacher kept coaching them belabored translations into free a meaning disjointed but the same word could mean separated.
And that is far apart and curvy. Yes but as applied to a coastline the word could mean a bay or a harbor. So in the wayfarers were far from their home harbors. After a painful recitation of Venus limitations of one misfortune piled upon another. The teacher suggested. She's saying she's had enough. After the class and struggled through a literal word by word translation of a passage the teacher offers a reconstruction teacher in class to read the passage in unison pronouncing the Latin sounds together. The teacher then raises the question of the relation of an IAS to Jupiter who is hounding them so. Oh turns out he's Jupiter's grandson reasons having a special bitterness at their treatment. So a series of puzzling words shave up to a story when their meanings are related to the context to realize the flexibility of the Latin words in the full dimensions and options of that translation must stretch the imagination and resourcefulness in language.
Mathematics is in a quite different environment a big class in a large room of an older wing of the school desks in the old familiar old pattern. Their left covers disclosing the accumulations of the 10. The teacher is a wire a young man with a serious looking mustache. We've been told he was kind of a character. This meant that striving to interest teenage girls in trigonometry. His course was considered kind of fun. He was dealing that day with function using various colored crayons pointer and blackboard. He wrote out the textbook definition of function in math. When that book brought only blank stares he reassured them. That's the way textbook writers write and went on to demonstrate with patterns of dots and connecting lines that the definitions simply describe the inevitable solution of trigonometry equations. As he put the equations on the blackboard questions from all over the room peppered his back he waved them off imperturbably for this pointer.
Let me finish this first. Finally with an eye on the clock he announced there was just time to assign the day's homework groans arose as he wrote on the board a list of trig problems for them to copy then exactly 12:15 he walked out the door and impressive mathematical timing that it would have been appreciated by John Chancellor. Oh Walter Cronkite it was kind of fun. As one got into it he made drink interesting even if not quite intelligible to a visitor. I tried to think back if anyone had made mad. Interestingly my freshman year in college I might have gone on with it and been better able to handle the problems of this statistical age budgets population inflation and unemployment. Commentator Louis Lyons. And the Journal for this Thursday night the show was produced with a lot of help from Steve
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