Blog Archives

JP Observer: Streetcars would bring joy to Hyde Square

November 20, 2015
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Although Jamaica Plain was once famous for being a “Streetcar Suburb” of Boston, service on the Arborway Line to Forest Hills was suddenly taken away by the MBTA 30 years ago this fall. Despite efforts to bring streetcars back to the E-Line of the Green Line, they haven’t been seen south of Heath Street...

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JP Observer: Simple changes can make housing senior friendly

October 23, 2015
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Jamaica Plain is such a great place to live, younger people are joining older neighbors to think and talk about how they can “age in place” in the neighborhood. A big consideration, of course, is housing. When the Washington Street/Columbus Avenue corridor study community process launched recently, several people, not just elders, commented in...

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JP Observer: JP can reduce its use of fossil fuels

September 25, 2015
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By Sandra Storey Special to the Gazette “Can JP Power Itself?” was the tantalizing title of a community gathering and potluck sponsored by JP NET (New Economy Transition) and JP Forum on July 29. Related questions were posed: Can Jamaica Plain transition away from fossil fuels? Reduce its carbon footprint? What would be the...

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JP Observer: Food pantry in, by and for JP needs support

August 28, 2015
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The historic First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, whose clock looks out over the Monument Square Historic District, also houses a unique human service effort. Seventeen volunteers from JP manage and staff a food pantry there that provides basic staples for free to other local people who are in need. The church, the...

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JP Observer: Action is needed to preserve JP’s middle class

July 24, 2015
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Boston, like most major cites in the U.S., is losing its middle class, according to the Brookings Institute and others looking at demographic trends. A large middle class is what anchors and stabilizes the working life of a city. A strong middle class and a range of housing choices are important contributors to a...

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JP Observer: Networking and space-making are keys to Cultural Plan

June 19, 2015
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The auditorium at English High School on McBride Street here buzzed with excitement on the evening of June 2 as nearly all the seats were filled with artists and art supporters from around the city. The “Boston Creates Town Hall” launched the first comprehensive arts and cultural planning process for Boston anyone can remember....

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JP Observer: Construction back-up beepers need to be changed

May 22, 2015
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It’s spring. We can hear the big trucks chirping outside. (Oh, yes, and birds, too, if we listen closely enough.) With so much construction already going on in the streets and lots of JP and just starting big-time in Forest Hills, the loud back-up beepers on construction vehicles are beeping regularly and widely. The...

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JP Observer: Like buying locally? Support the state business aid budget

April 24, 2015
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Bella Luna, The Blue Nile, Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo, Mike’s Fitness, El Oriental de Cuba, City Feed and Supply, Xposure by Noél and the Tony Williams Dance Center (home to BalletRox, which produces the Urban Nutcracker)… These are just some of the popular local businesses that the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) has...

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JP Observer: Thaw reveals more work to be done

March 27, 2015
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A new exercise program is being launched here this spring. Jamaica Plain resident Vivienne Frachtenberg called me last week to ask if I want to participate. She said it’s called “Walk and Bend,” and she started the program several days earlier. I confess I didn’t get the joke until she told me the equipment...

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JP Observer: How to really deal with winter’s roof and T troubles

February 27, 2015
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Ice dam solutions Fill women’s pantyhose with calcium chloride (ice melt) and place them on your roof so they overhang the gutters. Or do the same with men’s discarded socks. You will need either a low roof and a good throwing arm or a tall ladder that you gradually move around the house. You...

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