Blog Archives

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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A journalist’s view from the Menino beat

November 7, 2014
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I knew and covered Tom Menino, first when he was the District 5 city councilor from Readville/Hyde Park, and later when he was mayor—28 years. The first time I interviewed him, I asked him, a councilor, what he thought about having a neighborhood council in Hyde Park. He made a loud snoring sound, then...

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JP Observer: New ‘reforms’ could reduce families getting state aid

October 24, 2014
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Most of us like to think we have government programs and funding in place to help poor and disabled people and their children in Massachusetts. We do, to some extent, but the state, under the well-worn label of “reform,” appears to be trying to reduce the number of recipients of Transitional Aid to Needy...

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JP Observer: A second look at ‘open floor plan’ living

September 26, 2014
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Jamaica Plain tends to embrace cutting edge concepts readily. Focus on the environment and shopping locally started decades ago, for example, and has expanded. But people in JP have also been known to dismiss popular trends such as building parklets in parking spaces. In that spirit, maybe it’s time to also examine more closely...

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