Blog Archives

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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JP Observer: On public issues, let’s not overlook the intangibles

August 29, 2014
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“If donors had their way,” an out-of-state college administrator told me in confidence years ago, “this campus would be crowded with benches. Everywhere you look you would see benches, many with plaques with people’s names on them.” The crowd stared out the windows, apparently imagining the scene. “So many people want the money they...

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JP Observer: In traffic, a little kindness makes a big change

August 1, 2014
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Anyone who has lived here a while has got to have noticed that traffic has increased immensely in JP. Cars and trucks and buses line up for blocks on our main boulevards, leaving vehicles on side streets just yearning to get into the flow. In mid-December, in line at Stop & Shop in Jackson...

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JP Observer: In traffic, a little kindness makes a big change

July 18, 2014
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Anyone who has lived here a while has got to have noticed that traffic has increased immensely in JP. Cars and trucks and buses line up for blocks on our main boulevards, leaving vehicles on side streets just yearning to get into the flow. In mid-December, in line at Stop & Shop in Jackson...

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JP Observer: Curley House needs to be open again

June 20, 2014
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Outside, with its white shutters with cut-out shamrocks, the red brick mansion across from Jamaica Pond is eye-catching. Inside, James Michael Curley’s former home is gorgeous. Unfortunately, few people have entered in recent decades to take in the dramatic winding, open staircase and the glittering chandelier in the foyer. Few members of the public...

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JP Observer: Join JP activists to expand the Bottle Bill

May 23, 2014
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The Massachusetts legislature failed to pass the “Updated Bottle Bill” by May 7. According to the rules, advocates now have just over a month to collect 12,000 valid signatures (or 22,000 total, to be safe) to put the issue on the general election ballot on Nov. 4. Right now, consumers pay 5-cent deposits on...

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JP Observer: Bus yard belongs on the highway

April 25, 2014
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Looking into details of a proposal to put a new MBTA bus maintenance and storage facility on American Legion Highway (ALH) instead of on Washington Street at the Arborway makes me pound my forehead with the heel of my hand. Of course! It’s such a good idea. At first, I was dubious just because...

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JP Observer: Commissioner search launches new City focus on arts

March 28, 2014
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When the mayoral candidates, including now-Mayor Marty Walsh, touted the importance of arts during the campaign last fall, the rhetoric was refreshing for people and organizations in Jamaica Plain. Many of our residents work in the arts. The neighborhood is home to myriad musical, literary, visual and other arts events, venues and educational programs....

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JP Observer: Major media’s bad election coverage habits

February 28, 2014
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You can feel them warming up all over the state, as well as here in Jamaica Plain. The creaky gears begin to turn, fuel starts to flow… The political machines are getting ready for the election campaigns that will lead us to fall. If it’s 2014, it must be time for state elections in...

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JP Observer: Student playing field funding down to the wire

January 31, 2014
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Parents and students at the Curley K-8 School on Centre Street, as well as friends and interested community members, have been working very hard since last May to raise money for a new schoolyard. They deserve to succeed, and the larger Jamaica Plain community should come forward in the next few weeks to insure...

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