Activist who left the 1% writes book on inequality

March 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Chuck Collins.

Jamaica Plain resident Chuck Collins has been organizing against income inequality for decades, including giving up his personal fortune in his 20s—so when he was invited to write a book about inequality and the 99 to 1 percent divide, he jumped at the chance. “I believe we are on the brink of ecological and...

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Ex-miembro del 1% escribe sobre la desigualdad

March 30, 2012
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Hace décadas que el residente Chuck Collins ha estado organizando contra la desigualdad de salario, incluso entregar su fortuna personal durante sus 20s, así cuando fue solicitado para escribir un libro sobre la desigualdad y la división del 99% y el %1, celebró la oportunidad. “Creo que nos encontramos en el borde de obstáculos...

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School assignment review begins

March 30, 2012
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Neighborhood schools and public outreach were the topics of discussion as a school assignment advisory committee met for the first time March 19 at English High School. The advisory committee was handpicked by Mayor Tom Menino and Boston Public School (BPS) Superintendent Carol Johnson to help improve the district’s school assignment plan. In his...

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Se junta el comité para la asignación de escuelas

March 30, 2012
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Cuando se juntó la comité de la asignación de escuelas por primera vez el 19 de marzo en English High School, hablaron de las escuelas y de su alcance al público. El comité fue seleccionado por el alcalde Tom Menino y la directora de Boston Public School Carol Johnson para mejorar el plan de...

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School Pride

March 30, 2012
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(Gazette Photo By Peter Shanley) James Hennigan Jr. meets a second-grader during a celebration at the Hennigan Elementary School on Heath Street March 23 in recognition of him recently turning 85 and starting a $5,000 fund for the school. The school is named after his father, a longtime Jamaica Plain leader. Hennigan told the second-graders, “Your learning here is what is important. You can have what your mothers, fathers and friends want you to have: a great education and a great life.”

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Library Friends push for renovations

March 30, 2012
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JP SOUTH—The Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library are not giving up on a long-delayed $8.5 million renovation, despite the Boston Public Library (BPL) trustees voting earlier this month to only request $125,000 for “improvements” to the branch instead. Friends co-chairs Don Haber and Gretchen Grozier both told the Gazette they will continue...

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Casey project could be Malia campaign issue

March 30, 2012
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The debate that has surrounded the Casey Overpass project and the at-grade or bridge option could become a campaign issue for state Rep. Liz Malia. Although no opponents have declared a candidacy, some residents have criticized her involvement with the project, while others have praised it. But for her, that comes with the territory....

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Cat Care

March 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Bernadette the cat is comforted after recovering from burns at the MSCPA-Angell Animal Care and Adoption Center on S. Huntington Avenue. Bernadette was found dumped in a cardboard box outside the facility on March 18 with all of her fur and her whiskers singed down to the skin. It is unknown what happened to her, and she is now available for adoption. For more info, see mspca.org.

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Italian coffee shop to open in key spot

March 30, 2012
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HYDE SQ.—An Italian coffee shop called Caffe Aromi is aiming to open in the long-vacant storefront at 403A Centre St. in the heart of Hyde Square next month, according to executive general manager Terry Bruce. It will serve coffee drinks, light pastries and panini, and “create a neighborhood hangout,” Bruce told the Gazette. Bruce...

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T plans to trim Green Line, kill JP Loop bus

March 30, 2012
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The MBTA plans an overall 23 percent fare increase,  an end to weekend Green Line streetcar service between Brigham Circle and Heath Street, and an elimination of the Route 48 “JP Loop” bus, according to a budget summary document released March 28 following months of controversy about the T’s sorry financial state. Originally facing...

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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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Birthday for a Leader

March 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Helene Connolly Leary (left) celebrates her 90th birthday at Doyle’s Café on Feb. 26 with sister Carol Connolly Anderson and other family and friends. Leary worked for ESAC’s Housing Program and was one of ESAC’s founding board members. She also worked at Urban Edge brokering house sales and served as chair of the Mass. Mental Health area board. She was awarded a proclamation from the Massachusetts legislature, presented by state Rep. Liz Malia; two resolutions, one from the president of the City Council, Stephen Murphy, presented by Tom O'Malley; and one from Mayor Thomas Menino, presented by Julianne Doherty.

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City Life expands to national activities

March 30, 2012
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(Photo Courtesy Brandon German) A March 22 City Life/Vida Urbana anti-foreclosure vigil in Hyde Park draws protesters.

From its Jamaica Plain seeds in 1973, City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU) is making big change grow all over the country. As a result of its housing rights organizing, CLVU has been written about in newspapers all over the country, including The New York Times in 2010. CLVU has become a nation-wide model for foreclosure...

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Home, Sweet Hotel

March 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) The kitchen in the Arthouse short-term rental property.

Short-term rentals for tourists a hot trend For the price of a downtown hotel room, travelers can rent entire gorgeous, furnished condos at nearly a dozen Jamaica Plain homes. Short-term house rentals might be the best open secret in local travel, and appears to be a growing real estate trend. They essentially offer a...

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Local real estate market heats up

March 30, 2012
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(Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley) The most expensive home sold in JP last week was this $1.7 million house at 32 Woodland Road.

Time to slap a fresh coat of paint on the walls and tidy up if you are thinking about selling your home. The Jamaica Plain real estate market is bumping up, according to local realtors. “The market is very active,” said Karen McCormack of McCormack and Scanlan Real Estate. “It’s felt on the edge...

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Marathon Drinking

March 30, 2012
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(Photo by Courtney Sacco) Jim Koch (center), founder of the JP-based Boston Brewing Company, maker of Samuel Adams beer, shares a laugh and a drink with four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rodgers (right) as Boston Athletic Association Joann Flaminio (left) looks on during a Feb. 23 announcement of a new Marathon-themed beer at the company’s headquarters in The Brewery on Germania Street. The one-batch “Boston 26.2” brew, named for the miles in a marathon, will be available only in Boston, only in kegs and only around the time of the April 16 Boston Marathon.

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City offers help to buy, maintain triple-deckers

March 30, 2012
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The City of Boston’s new “3D Campaign” is offering help to preserve Boston’s iconic triple-decker apartment buildings. The $3 million program was announced March 24 by Mayor Thomas Menino. “I am proud that our $3 million investment will give triple-decker owners the support they need to renovate their homes,” said Menino in a press...

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Seaverns Ave. condos hit market

March 30, 2012
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SUMNER HILL—Two condos still under construction at a former Community Caring group home are already up for sale, according to real estate agent Stephen Lussier. “One is already under agreement,” he said. Owner Paul Donovan told the Gazette the house is being converted from a two-family group home to two condos. The Boston Redevelopment...

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Apartment project plan is filed

March 30, 2012
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(Image from Boston Residential Group filing) An illustration of the front of the apartment building proposed at 161 S. Huntington Ave.

S. HUNTINGTON AVE.—The high-end apartment building proposed for the Home for Little Wanderers site will have about 196 units and stand 65 feet tall, according to a plan filed this week with the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). The Home is moving out of its three-building complex at 161 S. Huntington Ave. this year. Boston...

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Foundation chief talks JP’s success and challenges

March 30, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Paul Grogan, president and CEO of The Boston Foundation.

As president and CEO of The Boston Foundation (TBF), Paul Grogan is one of Boston’s top policy-makers. He is also a Jamaica Plain resident who recently told the Gazette that JP embodies Boston’s urban revival, while now sharing its challenge of a shrinking middle class. “ a uniquely special place in Boston because...

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Condo building nears opening

March 30, 2012
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GREEN ST.—Residents will begin moving into the new Bartlett Square condominium building in about two weeks, while the ground-floor retail spaces still await tenants. “We will wait and be selective” on the commercial tenants, said Chris DeSisto, whose Maple Hurst Builders created the new building at 154-160 Green St. diagonally across from the Green...

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JP’s CDCs are nationally renowned

March 30, 2012
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Urban Edge in Jackson Square and Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC) on Amory Street are national standouts and are held in high-esteem in the non-profit development community, according to Frank Woodruff, director at National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations (NACEDA) in Washington, D.C. NACEDA represents more than 3,000 community development corporations throughout...

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Foreclosed property garners fines

March 30, 2012
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EGLESTON SQ.—A house at 25 Chilcott Place continues to accrue fines due to its lack of maintenance, stemming from unclear ownership. On the Problem Properties list since last year, the property’s issues stem from its disputed ownership. The list is maintained by the Jamaica Plain Problem Properties Committee—an advisory group that identifies private properties...

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Banking on Affordable Housing

March 30, 2012
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(Photo by Katherine Muhlfelder/Boston Private Bank & Trust Co.) (from left) Leroy Stoddard of Urban Edge, Sarah Lamitie of Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Noah Maslan of Urban Edge, and Peter Hollands of Boston Private Bank stand before the soon-to-be-renovated building at Columbus Avenue and Dixwell Street March 23.

How one bank’s mission helps JP The Urban Edge-owned apartment buildings around Egleston Square are easy-to-see neighborhood assets, preserving affordable housing and, in many cases, attractive historical facades. Look a little harder, and you can spot some of the renovation work that is improving them and making them greener, such as the heat-reflecting white...

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