The Gazette’s top headlines from this week in JP history:
25 years ago: 1991
“Apparent drug deal ends in murder”
A JP man, Timothy Lee Bond, was shot twice in the head and killed during an argument with at least one other man in a courtyard outside his home in the South Street Housing Development. This marked the 69th homicide of the year in Boston.
A police sergeant said at the time that the shooting was drug related and that Bond and his assailant probably knew each other.
A group of residents were gathered around the antagonists just before two shots were fired.
“It was total confusion,” said one witness who declined to give his name. “Everyone was yelling and pushing and then scattered after the shooting began.”
Anne Thibeau, a resident of the project for 13 years, said she heard what sounded like firecrackers as she arrived in her car with her two children.
“We got out of the car and walked over to the courtyard,” said Thibeau, “and Tim was on the ground in a pool of blood. He was shot right there in front of everybody.”
Thibeau’s 13 year-old son Paul described the scene as “very bloody, with [Bond’s] brains coming out of his head.”
“If we had a regular police beat down here it might have helped,” Anne Thibeau reflected. “I’m not saying [the shooting] would not have happened. Who knows? Maybe they wouldn’t deal so out in the open with a regular cop around. Maybe [the police] could have been here sooner.”
20 years ago: 1996
“Support for B&B underlined”
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council (JPNC) Zoning Committee wholeheartedly supported a proposed bed and breakfast on Burroughs Street.
Committee members were dismayed that the City’s Zoning Board of Appeal recently reached no decision on a variance. JPNC Council Chair Kevin Moloney at the time said that the neighborhood supported the plans of David Elliot and Daryl Bichel, and objections related to the B&B were unrelated to the zoning code.
Some objections with the project raised at a hearing were purportedly because Eliot and Bichel are gay. City Councilor Albert “Dapper” O’Neil said “How do I know who’s coming in there for breakfast and bed? What are we running in this society?”
Eliot and Bichel’s plans had met all three conditions for bed and breakfast approval set out by the council. The local Zoning Committee voted unanimously to ask the full Neighborhood Council to write a letter to the ZBA restating and reaffirming its support for the variance.
15 years ago: 2001
“Courts crack down on graffiti”
Increased enforcement and community awareness formed a potent partnership against graffiti—once considered an easy crime to get away with.
Four young men at the time painted over their graffiti in JP as part of their community service sentence from West Roxbury District Court.
During a meeting with Washington Street business owners and E-13 police, Presiding Justice Kathleen Coffey stated that her court takes graffiti and other quality of life crimes seriously, pointing out that she had recently given a repeat offender jail time for his efforts.
Mary Hogan Sullivan, lead assistant district attorney for the West Roxbury Court, said she also treated those crimes seriously, adding, “I’m shocked at how much residential damage there is now.”
Four young men painted over graffiti in JP as part of their community service sentence from West Roxbury District Court. The young men all served between 30 and 60 hours of community service and various lengths of probation. They said they tagged because they sought respect and recognition from their peers and “because it’s fun.”
10 years ago: 2006
“Church plan saves rectory”
It was announced that the historic rectory would be preserved, moved to Creighton Street and turned into condos in a development plan for the former Blessed Sacrament Church. The plans for affordable units had been doubled from eight to 16 to 20 units.
The plan involved turning the church into condos; building a large mixed-use building on the corner of Creighton and Centre streets; building a condo building along Creighton; turning the convent into single-room-occupancy housing; and keeping the COMPASS School in its present location.
The developers had originally proposed demolishing the rectory, but were pressured by some residents and the Boston Landmarks Commission to save it. Some residents and elected officials also pushed for more affordable condo units.
The developers had maintained for several months that such changes were infeasible, possibly to the point of killing the entire project. What changed?
“We heard loud and clear that’s a big need in the neighborhood,” Richard Thal said of more affrdable units. Thal is the executive director of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC).
Elected officials told them that proposing more such units would help attract state subsidies—including enough to make rectory preservation feasible, Thal said.
“Where there’s a political will, there’s a way,” Thal said elected officials told him.
5 years ago: 2011
“Police look at Hyde/Jackson Main Street Books; Director resigns”
Boston police and the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Street (HJSMS) board of directors began an investigation into alleged “discrepancies in the financial statements” of the local Main Street organization’s books.
HJSMS Executive Director Carlos Schillaci told the Gazette he was unaware of the police investigation. He had already officially resigned his post because he and his partner were moving, he said.
In a statement emailed to the Gazette, HJSMS board president Jason LaGorga confirmed that “financial irregularities” had been identified in the organization, but declined to comment further.
The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC)—fiscal agent of HJSMS—was listed as the “victim” in a July 12 police report about the investigation. Generally, fiscal agents are responsible for the finances of the organizations they sponsor.
Schillaci said that while he had not heard about the police investigation, he was aware there had been some questions about HJSMS’s financial records.
“The only thing I know about is that they were looking at some past records. Payments [owed to] the JPNDC were not going out on time,” he said.