Blog Archives

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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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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