JP BAPA joins chain café opposition

July 18, 2014
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Following in the footsteps of other JP business organizations, the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (JP BAPA) has penned a letter of opposition to the opening of a U.K.-based coffee franchise on Centre Street. Caffè Nero is planning on opening its second American location at 733 Centre St., the former home of the...

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Hyde Sq. residents weigh in on improvement plan

July 18, 2014
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The City held on July 8 its second meeting on the Jamaica Plain/South/Hyde/Jackson Design Projects, which focused on the Hyde Square portion of the project. Attendees’ suggestions for improvement ranging from raised crosswalks to making the area the entryway to the Latin Quarter. About 15 people attended the meeting at the Kennedy Elementary School....

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First Thursday is booming

July 18, 2014
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The monthly “First Thursday” neighborhood art walk has reached its highest level of participation ever, Centre/South Main Streets (CSMS) Executive Director Andrew Zarro told the Gazette. Participation is up to about 50 businesses from 12 when Zarro took the helm in late 2012. “The program was dead,” and there had even been conversations about...

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500 Arborway demo delayed

July 18, 2014
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Demolition of the recently vacated MBTA building at 500 Arborway will not happen this summer as previously announced. Instead, bids for the project will go out in the fall, according to MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo. No specific demolition dates are yet known. The MBTA usually takes two to three months to select a contractor,...

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JP Observer: In traffic, a little kindness makes a big change

July 18, 2014
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Anyone who has lived here a while has got to have noticed that traffic has increased immensely in JP. Cars and trucks and buses line up for blocks on our main boulevards, leaving vehicles on side streets just yearning to get into the flow. In mid-December, in line at Stop & Shop in Jackson...

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Washington/Green project dropped from agenda

July 18, 2014
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The status of a proposed development along Washington and Green streets is unclear, as it was supposed to appear for the second time before the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council’s Zoning Committee on July 16 before being pulled from the agenda. The project is scheduled to appear before the City’s Zoning Boards of Appeals (ZBA)...

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VA seeks brain donations for ALS project

July 18, 2014
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The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital at 150 S. Huntington Ave. wants veterans’ brains. As the home of an ongoing national research study on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, the VA Biorepository Brain Bank (VABBB) is collecting vital information on living vets, both with and without ALS. And yes,...

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BLC imposes demo delay on Lamartine house

July 18, 2014
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The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) voted unanimously on July 8 to impose a 90-day demolition delay on a proposed redevelopment project at 213 Lamartine St. The developer, Paul O’Connell, has plans to demolish the existing two-family house dating to the 1800s at 213 Lamartine St. and replace it with a three-unit building. He did...

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Senator’s father faces Mars rocket debate

July 18, 2014
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While local state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz has an electoral challenge this fall, her astronaut father faces a debate of his own—over his plans for a rocket to travel to Mars. Dr. Franklin Chang-Díaz is a former Space Shuttle astronaut who tied the record for most spaceflights at seven. He teaches physics and astronomy at...

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Stage Star

July 18, 2014
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Stage Star

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Sights and Sounds, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014
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The deadline for listings is noon, Tues., July 29 for the Aug. 1 issue. Send listings to reporter@jamaicaplaingazette.com. Note: 617 should be dialed before numbers below, unless another area code is given. Special Events Hyde Square Task Force Summer Nights Out, Blessed Sacrament Church Plaza, 365 Centre St., 6-7:30pm. Tues., July 22: Latin Dance....

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Local dry cleaners abandon toxic process

July 18, 2014
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Local dry cleaners abandon toxic process

HYDE SQ.—J&P Dry Cleaners is undergoing the costly process of abandoning toxic dry-cleaning chemicals. J&P, opening a third storefront at 300B Centre St. this month, is part of a local chain owned by JP resident Myra Vargas and her family. Decades into dealing with toxic chemicals, Vargas decided to go green. Tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), or...

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Obituary: Howard F. Lehr; JP resident and electrical contractor

July 18, 2014
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Obituary: Howard F. Lehr; JP resident and electrical contractor

Howard F. Lehr, 73, passed away unexpectedly while on vacation in Dublin, Ireland on June 25, 2014. Beloved husband of the late Nancy G. Lehr, he leaves behind his daughters Virginia G. Lehr-LaGanke, of Bellingham, Mass., and Cynthia J. Holden and husband Thomas, of Arden Hills, Minn.; his grandchildren Matthew J. LaGanke and Nicole...

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DA: Hit-and-run driver crashed into house

July 18, 2014
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PARKSIDE—A police chase following a Dorchester hit-and-run incident on July 10 ended with the suspect crashing into a Jamaica Plain house, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. Manuel Afonseca, 32, was being held on $10,000 bail on various charges, including two hit-and-run counts. The incident began around 8 p.m. when witnesses in...

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Local rep. helps pass state budget

July 18, 2014
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Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez recently joined his colleagues in passing a $36 billion state budget that included a number of initiatives that he advocated, including improving public health practices and ensuring youth safety, according to a press release. Gov. Deval Patrick signed the state budget into law on July 11. The state budget...

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One local official faces challengers

July 18, 2014
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One local elected official will face a challenger in the Sept. 9 primary election, while three other officials are running unopposed. Democrat state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz (2nd Suffolk District) will face Roy Owens, a regular candidate for elected office, in the primary. The winner will face in November’s general election David James Wyatt, another...

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JP Regan Youth League concludes 45th season

July 18, 2014
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JP Regan Youth League concludes 45th season

By Harry Smith/Special to the Gazette The 45th season of the JP Regan Youth League has come to a close with another great year of tight pennant races, thrilling championship games, and friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. The League continued to reflect the diversity of the neighborhood, with 850 boys and...

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First Church UU divesting from fossil fuels

July 18, 2014
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First Church UU divesting from fossil fuels

First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist (UU) is taking steps to completely divest itself from fossil fuel stocks. “It’s a moral statement. That’s what we’re trying to make,” Church trustee James Michel said. “We see ourselves as part of, hopefully, a rapidly growing movement.” “The idea of divestment is simply to weaken political...

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Housing Help

July 18, 2014
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Housing Help

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JP Agenda, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014
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The deadline for listings is noon, Tues., July 29 for the Aug. 1 issue. Send listings to reporter@jamaicaplaingazette.com. Note: 617 should be dialed before numbers below, unless another area code is given. Meetings Crime discussion meeting, to discuss shootings at Stony Brook T/Egleston Square, organized by City Councilor Matt O’Malley, Mon., July 21, 7:30pm,...

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Famous graves, historic gardens: 165 years at Forest Hills Cemetery

July 18, 2014
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The stone gate at the entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery. (Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira)

Right in the heart of the Forest Hills section of Jamaica Plain, nestled between Franklin Park and the Arnold Arboretum, one of the nation’s first garden cemeteries can be found: Forest Hills Cemetery. The 195 Forest Hills St. landmark was established in 1848 as a municipal cemetery for the City of Roxbury, then a...

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JP History: How swimming in Jamaica Pond became history

July 18, 2014
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JP History: How swimming in Jamaica Pond became history

On those sultry summer days, some people might eye that crystal-clean body of water known as Jamaica Pond and ponder the prohibition that prevents them from taking a refreshing dip. For centuries, generations of sweltering Bostonians swam in the pond. Swimming was shut down only about 40 years ago. The City says that that...

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JP History: This Week in JP History

July 18, 2014
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The Gazette’s top headlines from this week in JP history: 5 years ago: 2009 City Councilor and mayoral candidate Sam Yoon called for the creation of a city “Department of Neighborhood Associations”; a city budget process that includes extensive community meetings; and the formation of a charter commission to consider fundamental changes to the...

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Editorial: Lack of public bike park is the real crime

July 18, 2014
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The carving of off-road biking trails into the Francis Parkman Memorial parkland was an irresponsible act of vandalism. But plainly it was also a labor of love for a valid sport. The underlying cause is not some wanton criminality. It is the City’s and the state’s long failures to provide public facilities for such...

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Best of JP 2014