Blog Archives

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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JP Observer: Shop locally at businesses that make decisions locally

May 27, 2016
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Construction of new storefront and business spaces in Jamaica Plain is now underway. And in March, the City of Boston released a report saying it wants to boost small businesses in the neighborhoods, partly by making the variance and permitting process easier for them. A common cry from the JP community since the 1970s...

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JP Observer: CPA would bring needed benefits to JP

April 29, 2016
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Riddle 1: What would likely raise millions of dollars for the three core areas of affordable housing, historic preservation, and outdoor recreation and open space in Boston through a minor property tax surcharge and matching state funds? Answer 1: The Community Preservation Act (CPA), if put on the November ballot by the City Council...

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JP Observer: You saw it here: Trump is not very popular

March 25, 2016
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In the 19 states that have held popular vote primaries for both parties so far this year, calculation of the raw numbers published on the New York Times website reveals that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has earned 19.9 percent of the total votes cast. Here in Boston he got 16.6 percent, 16.9 in...

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JP Observer: JP has experienced ‘accidental security’

February 26, 2016
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When Jamaica Plain economics are discussed these days, especially regarding housing, the phrase “accidental security” comes to mind. That concept goes a long way toward explaining changes that seem beyond our control in the neighborhood and might help us deal with some of them. No wonder we as a community feel so anxious about...

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