Bowing to public pressure, WBZ-AM 1030 is bringing back longtime broadcasters Steve LeVeille and Lovell Dyett, both of whom were let go in January. Their dismissals prompted legions of upset listeners to petition the station and threaten to boycott advertisers and picket. LeVeille, a WBZ talk show host since 1991, credits the "power of the people" with his return. He said program director Peter Casey called him in the past few days and asked him to come back. "I never expected to get a call like that. . . . It's not how the business works . . . totally out of left field," said LeVeille, quoted in the announcement posted at www.wbz1030.com. (The Steve LeVeille Broadcast returns Monday at midnight.) As for Dyett, he's returning to do a public-affairs show, which will air Sundays at 4:30 a.m. Casey said the economic downtown has taken a toll on the radio industry, but "we always knew that the radio audience in New England and beyond has held WBZ to a higher standard."
MIT List curator leaving Bill Arning
is out of here. The acclaimed curator of the MIT List Visual Arts Center is leaving town to become director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. "I've been ready to make the director move for awhile," Arning told us yesterday. "It was really a question of finding the right institution in a city that I knew somewhat and that knew me." A onetime punk rocker who's been called the "cowboy curator of cutting-edge, contemporary art," Arning has been at MIT for nine years, and before that was director and chief curator of White Columns Alternative Art Space in New York. Arning said he loves Boston and would stay, "but there's not a next move for me here." In a statement, Reggie Smith
, the chairman of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's board of trustees, said: "Mr. Arning impressed us not only with his experience and scholarship but also with his infectious energy and love of contemporary art."
Brady on the block Tom Brady
's skipping the Super Bowl this year, but his likeness is making the trip to Tampa. A portrait of the Pats QB painted by Somerset artist Brian Fox
will be auctioned at a Super Bowl shindig Friday. Proceeds from the sale will benefit Fourth & Goal, a nonprofit that helps retired NFL players in need. Fox, who's also done portraits of Curt Schilling
, Josh Beckett
, and Jackie Robinson
's widow, Rachel
, has no idea how much his painting of the drop-back passer might fetch. "But being as popular as Tom is, I figured it'll raise some money for these former players," he said. Fox has never met Brady, but he says the signal-caller is aware of his work. He said the Krafts once bought one of his paintings and gave it to Brady.
A man with a cause
So what if he grew up here, why would Matt Damon
leave his manse in Miami and return yesterday to Siberian Boston? Because he's got a big heart. Jason Bourne's alter ego joined Partners in Health cofounder Paul Farmer
, Haitian-American Representative Linda Dorcena Forry
, and Brian Concannon Jr.
, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, for a wide-ranging talk at the JFK Library about the problems plaguing Haiti. Damon, who was in Haiti with Wyclef Jean
last fall after Hurricane Ike touched down, said the country is in shambles, but getting anyone in the United States to notice isn't easy. "It's a lot easier to get on the news if you're promoting 'Bourne' than if you're talking about people dying 600 miles away for no reason," said the actor, admitting that his celebrity status has helped only minimally raise awareness about Haiti. Damon said it was heartbreaking to watch Haitians react to Jean, who's a local hero. "Wyclef represents hope for a lot of people there," Damon said. "There were people literally clinging to the UN truck, holding on, saying, 'Let me just stay close to you a little longer.' " Yesterday's forum attracted 1,200 people, an overflow crowd that included Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard
and Senator John Kerry's daughter Vanessa. Damon, who grew up in Cambridge, has three new movies in the can and will soon start work on the fourth "Bourne" picture. In an interview in the Miami Herald over the weekend, he called his action hero the anti-James Bond. "They could never make a James Bond movie like any of the Bourne films," Damon told the paper. "Because Bond is an imperialist, misogynist sociopath who goes around bedding women and swilling martinis and killing people. He's repulsive."
Cambridge paid tribute to Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz
the other day, raising a toast to the MIT prof and author of "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" at the Central Square Theatre. Among those saluting the second US-born Latino to win a Pulitzer for literature were City Councilor Ken Reeves
and state Senator Anthony Galluccio
Uh oh, Michael Schlow
was fixing a fish dish at the New England Aquarium last night. Relax, it's not what you think. Schlow, the chef and co-owner of Radius, Via Matta, and Great Bay, kicked off the Aquarium's "Celebrate Seafood" dinner series, intended to educate the public about sustainable seafood. "It's a little ironic that I'm cooking at the Aquarium," said Schlow, who was working with Aquarium executive chef Tim Ridge
. "But the fish are safe for tonight. I won't be fishing in the tanks."
Helping South Africa
"ER" actress Gloria Reuben
will be in Boston Saturday, joining some 300 other supporters of South Africa Partners at the Cyclorama. The event will honor those who've led the effort to build democracy in post-apartheid South Africa, notably AIDS activist Dr. Helene Gayle
, CEO of CARE USA. We're told civil rights activist Albie Sachs
will also be there.
Taking Celts to school
As part of a Modell's promo, Celts guard Tony Allen
picked up the captains of Newton South's basketball teams the other day, and then took them to the school, where Allen was introduced to the senior class. Meanwhile, Celtic Leon Powe
read excerpts from a book about Barack Obama
to kids at Horizons for Homeless Children in Roxbury yesterday. Powe was there with the C's Women's Group, including Esta Epstein
, Ellie Svenson
, and Llorren Cook
Keaton at Simmons Diane Keaton
will be among the speakers at Simmons's leadership conference May 2. The "Annie Hall" actress will join journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault
, Build-a-Bear Workshop CEO Maxine Clark
, and former US Surgeon General Antonia Novello
at "Vision to Voice: Leadership in the Global Age." The conference, now in its 30th year, attracts an audience of 3,000 business and professional women annually.
Names can be reached at email@example.com or at 617-929-8253.
Come on down
'I'd like to issue a public invitation to the Obamas that if their daughters would like a private tour of the "Harry Potter" set, I would be honored to be their personal tour guide.' Actor Danielle Radcliffe to the Daily Beast
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