Blog Archives

JP Observer: Food pantry in, by and for JP needs support

August 28, 2015
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The historic First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, whose clock looks out over the Monument Square Historic District, also houses a unique human service effort. Seventeen volunteers from JP manage and staff a food pantry there that provides basic staples for free to other local people who are in need. The church, the...

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JP Observer: Action is needed to preserve JP’s middle class

July 24, 2015
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Boston, like most major cites in the U.S., is losing its middle class, according to the Brookings Institute and others looking at demographic trends. A large middle class is what anchors and stabilizes the working life of a city. A strong middle class and a range of housing choices are important contributors to a...

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JP Observer: Networking and space-making are keys to Cultural Plan

June 19, 2015
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The auditorium at English High School on McBride Street here buzzed with excitement on the evening of June 2 as nearly all the seats were filled with artists and art supporters from around the city. The “Boston Creates Town Hall” launched the first comprehensive arts and cultural planning process for Boston anyone can remember....

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JP Observer: Construction back-up beepers need to be changed

May 22, 2015
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It’s spring. We can hear the big trucks chirping outside. (Oh, yes, and birds, too, if we listen closely enough.) With so much construction already going on in the streets and lots of JP and just starting big-time in Forest Hills, the loud back-up beepers on construction vehicles are beeping regularly and widely. The...

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JP Observer: Like buying locally? Support the state business aid budget

April 24, 2015
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Bella Luna, The Blue Nile, Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo, Mike’s Fitness, El Oriental de Cuba, City Feed and Supply, Xposure by Noél and the Tony Williams Dance Center (home to BalletRox, which produces the Urban Nutcracker)… These are just some of the popular local businesses that the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) has...

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JP Observer: Thaw reveals more work to be done

March 27, 2015
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A new exercise program is being launched here this spring. Jamaica Plain resident Vivienne Frachtenberg called me last week to ask if I want to participate. She said it’s called “Walk and Bend,” and she started the program several days earlier. I confess I didn’t get the joke until she told me the equipment...

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JP Observer: How to really deal with winter’s roof and T troubles

February 27, 2015
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Ice dam solutions Fill women’s pantyhose with calcium chloride (ice melt) and place them on your roof so they overhang the gutters. Or do the same with men’s discarded socks. You will need either a low roof and a good throwing arm or a tall ladder that you gradually move around the house. You...

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JP Observer: Tree removal needs regulation

January 30, 2015
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In what is just the latest in several tree massacres in Jamaica Plain in the past decade, the MBTA cleared the proposed Southwest Corridor Park Greenway Extension near Washington Street of most of its trees last month without informing or getting input from neighbors or groups. Wholesale chopping down of trees on private and...

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JP Observer: New law removes barriers to substance abuse treatment

December 19, 2014
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At a time when it seems government has been erecting more barriers to services for people in need, the Massachusetts legislature voted unanimously earlier this year to tear down some serious roadblocks to care for people with substance abuse problems. Gov. Deval Patrick on Aug. 6 signed into law a bill that will allow...

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JP Observer: Two for T: JP needs better service from The Ride and 38 bus

November 21, 2014
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The Ride less taken A local woman noticed that the driver of a familiar looking car labeled “The Ride” had been honking for awhile this past August, so she went out that afternoon to check. The Ride, according to its operator, the MBTA, “provides door-to-door, shared ride transportation to eligible people who cannot use...

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