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Time now for some of your feedback on our recent programs.
On Friday we talked about the controversial firing of renowned conductor Benjamin Zander. The New England Conservatory leadership dismissed Zander after it found out that he'd knowingly hired a registered sex offender to work as videographer with the youth orchestra.
Most listeners who called into the Friday show supported Zander, but an argument between the defenders and detractors has been raging all weekend at radioboston.org. "P Yang 22" writes:
"As a parent, I'm more concerned about the welfare of my child than Mr. Zander's genius... Someone who would use such poor judgment shouldn't have the power that [Zander] had. I applaud NEC and feel more secure now."
For his part, Zander has defended his actions, saying in statement that the videographer's crimes are well in the past. But listener "Brick Dauntless" isn't satisfied by that.
"People that have achieved great success in one field often assume their abilities translate into other fields when they rarely do. Zander is not trained... to determine whether a convicted child rapist will re-offend."
In his 32 years at New England Conservatory, Zander has attracted many admirers who continue to support him. Among them is Dhessan, who wrote this to us:
"The loss of Benjamin Zander is enormous for our city, and [his firing]... is an outrageous overreaction, and a misplacement of blame. I feel sorry for the children in the orchestra that they are going to lose an unparalleled source of inspiration."
"Imani Two" thinks people should withhold judgement until more information comes out.
"The fundamental issue here is whether there is any substantive evidence that [the videographer] has behaved inappropriately... since his prison release... That is really the only issue that should matter. If the answer to these questions is 'no,' then Benjaman Zander should be immediately reinstated with significant apologies."
Many of you were delighted to hear WBUR reporter Curt Nickish's story about the inaugural ringing of an 1801 Paul Revere bell at Old South Meeting House.
The belfry has been silent there since the great Boston fire of 1876 nearly destroyed the building. But James Storrow and his old-money Boston family recently paid to have the bell installed.
Argus Advocate writes:
"This is wonderful. Thank you to James Storrow and all responsible for the joy that so many Bostonians and visitors from near and far alike, will share and carry away in memory when they hear this bell."
Now, we did refer to the bell as being made of cast iron, to which listener Bill responded: "are we sure about that?"
Curt was good enough to reply in the comments:
"Bill, you're right to notice it's a bronze bell. Paul Revere opened his foundry in 1788 at the corner of Lynn and Foster Streets in the North End. At first, the foundry produced window weights, grates, and stove parts. By 1792, Revere went on to make cannons and his first church bell."
Thanks for the correction Curt, and thank you Bill for catching that. Listeners you can find all the ways to keep us honest and correct at radioboston.org.
This program aired on January 16, 2012.
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