Blog Archives

JP Observer: Local man promotes and defends artists, arts

March 24, 2017
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It was while Stephen Baird was studying chemical engineering that he began to transform himself into an arts impresario and advocate. While a student at Northeastern he opened a coffee house on campus that featured live music. In one way or another, Baird, a Jamaica Plain resident since 1989, has been providing nourishment and...

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JP Observer: Election system problems at the root of Trump’s ‘win’

February 24, 2017
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Since Donald Trump was inaugurated just over a month ago, Jamaica Plain residents are joining people around the country to take action against his appointments and his almost daily controversial actions. Unfortunately, in addition to tackling his outlandish behavior, people who are concerned need to battle the convoluted process that put Trump in the...

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JP Observer: Local resistance activities are huge

January 27, 2017
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Starting with ResistARTS performances in JP businesses through the Boston Women’s March the day after the inauguration, local folks, often led by JP people and groups, turned out in droves this month to demonstrate and express their resistance to Donald Trump’s offensive policies, unqualified appointments, and outlandish behavior. ResistARTS is a new collaboration between...

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JP Observer: Part of historic house could be renovated for better use

December 23, 2016
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Jamaica Plain depends on dozens of separate buildings to act as its “arts centers,” so it’s exciting to learn that additional space may be opening up in one of them. The Revolutionary War-era Loring-Greenough House (LGH) across from the Civil War Monument on South Street hosts many community events—focused on arts, history, and culture—that...

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JP Observer: City effort would replace plastic shopping bags

November 25, 2016
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Plastic shopping bags litter our landscape. Inflated by the wind, they blow from tree branches too high to reach. Bunched up, they block storm drains. They improperly fill recycling bins, tangle trash disposal equipment and halt operations. They clog the bellies of sea creatures and birds. The petroleum-based thin bags cause an environmental mess...

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JP Observer: Four important issues revisited

October 28, 2016
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Maybe all neighborhoods have them, but it seems like Jamaica Plain has more than its share of issues that don’t go away. Now is a good time to look at a few of the crises that have turned into problems for JP and our city, state, and nation. This column has addressed these topics...

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JP Observer: Long-needed rec facility could be built here with more funding

September 23, 2016
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A fabulous Jackson Square Recreation Center (JSRC), a dream of the community for years, could actually come true. The plan for the facility on Columbus Avenue on the Jamaica Plain/Roxbury border is the result of an incredible amount of cooperation among a variety of individuals and organizations for more than 18 years. According to...

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JP Observer: Local woman at hub of green space communications

August 26, 2016
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Everyone who knows her pretty much agrees: Sarah Freeman is a force of nature. The Jamaica Plain resident exhibits relentless energy to keep the community informed about and advocate for the outdoors. For years, Freeman, on behalf of the Arborway Coalition, has sent at least one email a week to what is now a...

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JP Observer: Translating harmony into justice takes work

July 22, 2016
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Porchfest in Jamaica Plan revealed an almost other-worldly neighborhood on July 9. Crowds of people of many colors, backgrounds and ages stood in attentive clusters every few streets, clapping for bands and singers and other performers, too. All afternoon, the grand mix of humans—some holding maps dotted with the 80-plus locations offering entertainment—paraded down...

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JP Observer: Street trees are wonderful, except where they aren’t

June 24, 2016
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Everyone wants to be a tree hugger. Trees are supposed to be good for us and look nice, too. But some trees, improperly located, can become eyesores and troublemakers, and we have examples in Jamaica Plain. Some street trees, including those on wide sidewalks at Forest Hills and at Eliot Street across from the...

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