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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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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City Life expands to national activities

March 30, 2012
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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BPS grad rates don’t tell the whole story

March 30, 2012
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Boston Public Schools (BPS) recently touted its “all-time high” four-year graduation rate of 64.4 percent. But the Gazette has found both the measure and the context are coming into question. The BPS’s graduation rate report included a 100 percent rate for the Kennedy Academy for Health Careers. But the Gazette has learned that at...

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Bike racks to be redesigned

March 30, 2012
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Jamaica Plain residents will have to wait a little longer to secure their bikes to racks in the shape of a lock after concerns about their design. Three such bike racks have already been installed in Mission Hill. Similar racks were next slated to come to Hyde/Jackson Squares and Central JP. But when Randace...

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Workshops teaches kids photography

March 30, 2012
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Jenny Connelly felt there were not a lot of after-school activities for middle school children. That’s why she started running workshops to teach them photography last year. “It’s just great to have kids work in small groups and think about art,” she said. “They can develop their eye for communicating in pictures.” The workshops,...

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Festive Welcome

March 30, 2012
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Editorial: The Casey criticism

March 30, 2012
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Bridging Forest Hills, the group opposing the Casey Parkway plan in favor of a new bridge, is engaged in the sort of dubious public process it aims to criticize. Slanted meetings misleadingly advertised as objective ones. Flyers with a casual treatment of known facts and rhetoric that stirs emotion rather than marshaling evidence. It’s...

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