Blog Archives

JP Observer: A New Year’s wish list for the new mayor

December 20, 2013
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Dear Santa: Here’s what I want for Christmas. Er, no… Dear Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh: Here are a few wishes for Jamaica Plain (and environs) in the new year under your new administration. Please: 1. Keep the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services and Jullieanne Doherty, its Jamaica Plain Coordinator. They are both unique and...

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JP Observer: One small neighborhood, many major issues

November 22, 2013
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Wow! I knew JP’s Stonybrook neighborhood was active, but I was shocked when I moved to this dense, friendly neighborhood between Forest Hills, Franklin Park and Washington Street. I had heard and read about the issues facing my new neighbors, but I didn’t realize how large and complex they are until they were in...

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JP Observer: Bikes are nice, but there are limits

October 25, 2013
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I like bicycles. I think it’s great we got a bike-share program in Boston, and bicycle rental stations came to Jamaica Plain last month. I am in favor of the tidy bike lanes and of drivers watching out for riders. But there are limits on what bikes can do for Boston. Bicycle use, at...

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JP Observer: Three things to make JP’s great restaurants better

September 27, 2013
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Jamaica Plain’s restaurants and cafes are really something, aren’t they? We have quantity, quality and great variety here. JP’s eateries help make shopping districts and sub-neighborhoods into destinations, so they increase and promote business and lively activity. The number of restaurants seems to be expanding. If you count coffee shops that serve food and...

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JP Observer: How JP activists created the Southwest Corridor

August 30, 2013
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No wonder Jamaica Plain residents speak and act as though they can have some control of what happens in the neighborhood. Starting 49 years ago, local people along the Southwest Corridor banded together to stop a highway from splitting the neighborhood. Then they persuaded government to move the elevated Orange Line from over Washington...

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JP Observer: The secret of a beautiful parking lot

July 19, 2013
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It took me a while to realize why going to Stop & Shop in Jackson Square put me in a good mood almost every Saturday. Finally, it occurred to me that it’s good to get groceries, but it’s the parking lot the supermarket shares with Martha Eliot Health Center that makes the experience remarkably...

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JP Observer: Health policy advocate turns focus to mental illness

June 21, 2013
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Attorney Steve Rosenfeld has had an incredible career spanning decades practicing law; working at the top levels of the executive branch of Massachusetts government; creating and working with ground-breaking nonprofit legal efforts and teaching law. The Massachusetts native and Harvard Law School graduate was chief legal counsel to Gov. Michael Dukakis and his chief...

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JP Observer: Keeping business district clean requires group effort

May 24, 2013
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Trash in public spaces has, no doubt, been an issue since cave-dwellers met in clearings to exchange goods and news. The issue of litter still exists in every business area in the world today. Discussion about what to do about dirt and litter can easily deteriorate to finger-pointing. After all, every member of the...

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JP Observer: Popular history walks reveal marvels in many areas

April 26, 2013
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Jamaica Plain has a rich and varied past, and people here seemed more fascinated with local history than residents of other places. For the past 17 years, local interest has been evidenced every spring by the appearance, not just of flowers and leaves on the trees, but of small crowds of people walking and...

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JP Observer: Pond view in danger until the public owns it

March 29, 2013
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The natural area that forms the backdrop of Jamaica Pond on its western side appears eternal. It’s true that Hellenic Hill’s history reaches back to the time when Native American Kuchamakin, Jamaica Plain’s namesake, ruled the area—even back to when the bowls that formed the pond were dug out by glaciers. The natural area...

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