Overpass decision to come this month

February 17, 2012
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The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) will announce the decision for the future of the Casey Overpass by the end of the month, the Gazette has learned. MassDOT has also posted answers online to some of the burning questions about the Casey replacement project posed by elected officials and the community since mid-November. MassDOT...

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Bromley-Heath leader retires; BHA takes over

February 17, 2012
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JACKSON SQ.—The leader and co-founder of the Bromley-Heath housing development’s groundbreaking tenant-run management corporation will retire at the end of March, and the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) will take over. The tenant group will continue to advise the BHA, but will no longer have a management role, BHA spokesperson Lydia Agro told the Gazette....

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Illicit chickens roost in JP’s back yards

February 17, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Roslindale resident Benjamin Geffken is covered in chickens raised by neighbor Steven Gag last year.

Chickens may be legally welcome back in the City of Boston soon, much to the delight of Jamaica Plain chicken-keepers. JP has a concentration of secret chickens—in back yards, basements and converted lawn furniture—as chicken-keeping is not allowed under the current zoning code. But the growing interest in urban agriculture has pushed the city...

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BHA absorbe Bromley-Heath

February 17, 2012
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JACKSON SQ.— La líder y cofundadora de la corporación innovadora del complejo Bromley-Heath, dirigido por los mismos residentes, se jubila a finales de marzo y Boston Housing Authority tomará el mando. El grupo de inquilinos continuará aconsejando a BHA, pero ya no tendrá el rol de administración, dijo portavoz de BHA al Gazette. Mildred...

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190-200 rental units planned for Home site

February 17, 2012
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A huge, high-end apartment building with 190 to 200 units is being proposed for the Home for Little Wanderers complex at 161 S. Huntington Ave. “It will extend the residential character of JP down to where it really hasn’t been before,” said Curtis Kemeny, president and CEO of Boston Residential Group, in an interview...

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New overpass group draws fire

February 17, 2012
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FOREST HILLS—As the decision for the future of the Casey Overpass lingers in limbo with no announcement date set, community members push for various options. A new group, Bridging Forest Hills (BFH), consisting of community members and Working Advisory Group (WAG) members, has formed to “share our opinion that neither option presented thus far...

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JP seeks MBTA cuts solution

February 17, 2012
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Local officials pledged to come up with a budget solution. The Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation circulated a petition. Bikes Not Bombs announced a night of political lobbying. Occupy JP held up signs saying, “Increase fairness, not fares.” The tactics varied, but the response from over 150 people was the same: a rejection of...

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Why a T gas tax doesn’t fly out West

February 17, 2012
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A gas tax hike is being pushed by most Jamaica Plain elected officials and many residents as a key fix for the MBTA’s budget woes. Rural and suburban legislators have become the villains of the piece, with local officials urging citizens to put pressure on them. But some of those Western Mass. officials actually...

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T chief: Our plan kills my ride

February 17, 2012
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The scores of T riders who complained to MBTA Acting General Manager Jonathan Davis about proposed service cuts at a Jamaica Plain meeting on Feb. 1 probably did not know that they were speaking to one of their own. The MBTA’s universally hated plan would kill the 326 express bus from Medford that Davis...

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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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‘State of JP’ talks hyperlocal issues

February 17, 2012
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Jamaica Plain showed its colors as a hyper-engaged community as residents gathered to discuss politics affecting the neighborhood and their hopes for the future at the second annual “State of Our Neighborhood” Forum held in the auditorium of English High School Feb. 9. “We’re here to ask ourselves where we want JP to be...

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BPS ‘university’ brings in parents

February 17, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (right) visits with parents at the Kennedy School on Feb. 6 while Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson (rear center) looks on.

HYDE SQ.—U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited the John F. Kennedy Elementary School Feb. 6 to observe the Boston Public School’s (BPS) Parent University program. The program, which was an initiative Superintendent Carol Johnson started in 2010, is a parent-engagement strategy. It allows parents of BPS students to attend a full day of...

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Homeless care project might return to court

February 17, 2012
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PARKSIDE—Neighbors of a proposed care and housing facility for the homeless on Walnut Avenue have begun the process of appeal for a lawsuit that seeks to halt the project, according to the defendants. A group of 11 residents filed a lawsuit against the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the developers in December 2010, hoping...

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Supreme Court ruling could affect arson case

February 17, 2012
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The federal case against a man charged with one of the arson fires that plagued Jamaica Plain in 2005-2009 may be in trouble after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Jose Baez, 38, of Dorchester was arrested in 2010 after investigators put a GPS device on his car without a warrant and tracked him...

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Flower Power

February 17, 2012
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(Gazette Photo by John Ruch) A New Hampshire car bearing an unusual paint job of colorful flowers brightens St. Rose Street on Feb. 4.

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Basketball program steers youths away from trouble

February 17, 2012
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Hoopz Excellence, a basketball program started in Jackson Square, is celebrating a decade worth of helping at-risk youths. Robert A. Lewis, a JP resident, founded the program so kids would have a safe environment to go to after school. Besides teaching basketball, the program focuses on education and keeping the kids free from gangs...

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Councilor wants improved traffic safety

February 17, 2012
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District 6 Councilor Matt O’Malley is pushing for various traffic-calming measures, including “virtual” speed bumps and glowing crosswalks. Following an order filed by O’Malley, the City Council’s Committee on City, Neighborhood Services and Veterans Affairs will hold a hearing Feb. 21 at City Hall on how to improve traffic safety. “The issue of traffic...

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Tributes to Hailey pour in

February 17, 2012
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(Gazette File Photo by John Swan) Mildred Hailey at Bromley-Heath in 2006.

Tributes to Mildred Hailey were offered by local leaders this week after her retirement from Bromley-Heath housing development’s groundbreaking Tenant Management Corporation (TMC) was announced. State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez: “She’s the mother of the tenant management movement. That’s big! She was always the first one to be angry when people tried to stir up...

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Governor’s Council seat open after death

February 17, 2012
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Kelly Timilty, a longtime member of the Governor’s Council, died at the end of January, leaving vacant the District 2 seat. That district encompasses Jamaica Plain’s Ward 19, Precinct 12 in Woodbourne. Secretary of State spokesperson Brian McNiff noted that according to the state’s 25th amendment, it is the legislature’s option to replace Timilty....

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Skate park may be coming to SWCP

February 17, 2012
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A group of young skateboarders is breathing new life into a nearly-unused part of the Southwest Corridor Park (SWCP) by transforming it into a skate park. The skaters have begun legitimizing their temporary park and hope to make it a permanent fixture. “I, and others, feel a connection with the run-down area and long...

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Homeless groups merge, won’t change services

February 17, 2012
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No program or service cuts are expected in a Pine Street Inn and hopeFound merger that was announced at the end of January. HopeFound, which primarily runs the Shattuck Shelter at 170 Morton St., and the Pine Street Inn, which is based in the South End and has facilities throughout JP, are expected to...

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Whisk whips up creative menus at Fiore’s

February 17, 2012
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Three nights a week, Fiore’s Bakery on South Street is transformed into a decadent dessert bar and bistro: Whisk. Whisk is the budding business of Fiore’s chef, Phillip Kruta. This “pop-up” restaurant offers two seatings a night for changing tasting menus. A customer makes a reservation and shows up to eat whatever Kruta and...

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Barbershop and studio to open on South St.

February 17, 2012
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(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) B’s Chop Shop’s new mural depicts the Boston skyline.

A new barbershop and music recording studio on South Street is readying its doors for opening day. The barbershop, B’s Chop Shop, will likely open in March, owner Brandon Campbell told the Gazette, while the basement studio will likely take a few months more before it’s ready. “I see so much talent in...

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How JP helped launch Occupy Boston

February 17, 2012
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(Courtesy Photo) Robin Jacks (right) at Occupy Boston last October.

Robin Jacks, whose rallying cry for an Occupy Boston launched the local protest movement, lives and works in Jamaica Plain—an experience that has informed her activism. Jacks is one of several prominent Occupy Boston leaders who call JP home. “There are a lot of us here,” she told the Gazette in a recent interview....

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