Blog Archives

JP Observer: BPS needs more ‘pathways’ to boost grad rates

May 25, 2012
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Sit at a desk facing the front of the room with young people roughly your age. Listen. Write things down from time to time. Speak every once in while after you get permission. Move around when told, down a hall to another room that looks pretty much the same, maybe briefly outdoors or to...

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JP Observer: JP’s affordable housing is diverse, plentiful

April 27, 2012
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The affordable housing stock of Jamaica Plain is another diverse element of the neighborhood that is home to a well-known mix of races, ethnic groups and income levels. When the words “affordable housing” are used in JP, no specific picture should come to mind, because the housing is so varied. Also, thanks to the...

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JP Observer: JP has dozens of ‘arts centers’

March 30, 2012
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Fifteen years ago, Jamaica Plain’s Multicultural Arts Center had to vacate its large, prominent Centre Street space because it was having trouble paying the rent, causing much upset in the community. But no one is complaining about space for the arts in JP now. J.P. Licks later bought the former fire station and has...

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JP Observer: Has JP become gentrified?

February 17, 2012
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A lot has been said recently about the characteristics of the people of Jamaica Plain—and often with some passion. Results of the 2010 census came in last year. Whole Foods, with its hip image, moved into a spot occupied for a long time by Hi-Lo Foods, with its Latin flavor. The change gave rise...

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JP Observer: Siren noise problem shouldn’t fall on deaf ears

January 20, 2012
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Walking down Centre Street just after New Year’s, I was suddenly assaulted by a sound so loud it felt like someone had jabbed an ice pick in my right ear. I instinctively covered both ears, and I noticed some other pedestrians did the same. We were responding to the siren from an ambulance speeding...

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JP Observer: Time to spend—and give—locally

December 16, 2011
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No matter how little or how much money local folks have to spend this special month of December, the best place to do it is here in the neighborhood. Fortunately, many businesses offer merchandise and services at price ranges that match the range of incomes of JP residents. Restaurants beckon to us with food...

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JP Observer: Presidential race distracts from local power

November 18, 2011
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Jamaica Plain residents would be smart to pay little or no attention to the U.S. presidential race from now until next September, two months before the election. It will be hard, given the media pressure, but worthwhile. Who gets elected president is obviously important. But it doesn’t make sense for us to give much...

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JP Observer: Reviving, Not Retiring, in JP

October 21, 2011
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“So, how is retirement? What are you doing? How does it feel?” People, many looking ahead, ask me questions these days. I was on the radio, sort of, when I was a month old. My parents were being interviewed as the first post-WWII military couple in Southwestern Ohio to have a baby. It was...

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JP Observer: Cast a ballot, see art this weekend

September 23, 2011
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Jamaica Plain—known for its art and its activism—will be the site of two significant community-wide events this weekend, Sept. 24 and 25. One is the 18th Annual Jamaica Plain Open Studios, featuring the work of more than 220 local artists, sponsored by the Jamaica Plain Arts Council. The other, taking place only on Sept....

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JP Observer: Getting beyond ‘family’ values

August 26, 2011
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During his debate with Sarah Palin in 2008, now Vice President Joe Biden made a correction to his word choice that should have made everyone interested in accuracy and inclusiveness happy, especially Jamaica Plain residents. Criticizing presidential candidate John McCain’s tax proposal for not giving middle-class tax breaks, Biden said, “One hundred million families,...

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