“It’s leaning to the left. It’s Jamaica Plain water.”
<small<—Mayor Thomas Menino, holding a slightly damaged bottle of water during a Gazette interview
“If things start to deviate from highest and best use, it starts to feel a little prickly. Right now, it is going from highest and best use to, ‘Where is there money?’”
—Jackson Square community advisory committee member Dan Cruz, on the frequently changed and partly stalled redevelopment plans
“It’s obvious the Jackson Square project is a massive project. It’s been many years in planning and it will be many years in building. Different pieces will come together at different times, and we will push forward as best we can.”
—Richard Thal, executive director of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, a member of the Jackson Square Partners developer team
“Something slapped the house. I said, ‘It’s really snowing.’ I look out the window, and it’s all bright red out.”
—Rafael Hernandez, one of several victims of an arsonist who burned homes and businesses with flaming car tires. Despite being filmed in the act, the arsonist remains at large.
“It’s certainly a novel approach to setting fires. [Burning tires] may be an intimidation or warning kind of device.”
—arson investigation expert John DeHaan, on the JP arsons, which he suspects are the work of an extortion racket
—the combined name for mayoral co-candidates Michael Flaherty and Sam Yoon, bestowed by local City Councilor John Tobin, who also predicted their political team-up
“Campaign [and] political experts will tell you, you can put the name Donald Duck on the ballot and you’d get the same number of votes as McCrea…It’s sort of the ‘screw you’ vote.”
—Yoon, not helping his chances of gaining an endorsement for Floon from former mayoral candidate Kevin McCrea. McCrea later endorsed Floon anyway.
“I won’t forget where I came from. I’m a damn proud working-class kid standing on a chair in a bar in Jamaica Plain.”
—new City Councilor Felix Arroyo, a JP resident, standing on a chair to address the crowd at his victory party at James’s Gate
“Unscripted and raw.”
—what the Jackson Square community advisory committee (CAC) could not be until it voted to ban the media from its meetings, according to member Dan Cruz. The Gazette fought the ban, leading to policy changes and statements from the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council in support of open meetings. The CAC later lifted the ban.
“Why should anybody be shut out? We are not building the atom bomb here.”
—City Councilor John Tobin on the CAC’s media-banning vote
“You should be kicked out.”
—Mayor Thomas Menino, joking when asked about the Gazette being banned from the CAC meetings
“I may get foreclosed on or have to sell off.”
—Urban Edge CEO Krystal Kornegay, CEO of Jackson Square’s Urban Edge community redevelopment corporation, referring to Urban Edge’s Webb Building headquarters. Urban Edge, a key member of the Jackson Square Partners redevelopment team, remains in the building.
“A more permanent temporary facility.”
—Department of Conservation and Recreation spokesperson Ann Roach, on improvements to the “temporary” Kelly Rink on the Southwest Corridor, which has been there for a decade. A proposal for new, bigger Kelly Rink in Jackson Square is on hold.
“It’s our children. It’s not some [financial] figure or some chess game. It’s our children and our faith.”
—a parent of an Our Lady of Lourdes (OLOL) School, on the surprise closing of the last Catholic school in JP. Church officials did not tell parents or alumni of the school’s financial problems for months, until it was too late.
“That’s none of your business.”
—OLOL Pastor Brendan Buckley when pressed by parents about who paid for fancy renovations to another church building used by his Capuchin order as the school struggled. He later clarified that the Capuchins paid for it out of their own funds.
“The Greater Roxbury Court of Public Opinion.”
—the “court” in which City Councilor Chuck Turner, who is under federal indictment on corruption charges, said he will try his case. He was re-elected, which he called a victory in the “court.”
“One thing I’ve been looking at is the use of industrial hemp as the basis for a local economy.”
—Turner, on his post-politics career options
—the name of a supposed secret operation, partly conducted by a Boston group called “the Vault,” to destroy African-American elected officials that conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche claimed in a written statement to the Gazette is behind the federal charges against Turner and former state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson
“Someone said, ‘Centre and South streets in Jamaica Plain.’”
—Vineet Gupta, director of policy and planning at the Boston Transportation Department, on what Charlestown residents said they wanted in a street redesign there, during a meeting on the new program to redesign Centre and South streets
“The blood is still there.”
—JP resident Trevor Bayard-Murray, on the Carolina Avenue spot where he was beaten by a gang of teens in a mystery attack, one of several crimes that plagued the Southwest Corridor Park area
“The Hyde Square Seven.”
—the self-given name of a group of International Socialist Organization members who went to trial on disorderly conduct charges stemming from their possession inside a café of sandwiches made elsewhere. They were acquitted.
“Call the police! Call the police! He’s been shot!”
—the English translation of a customer’s cries in Spanish at JP Records after a man was shot and killed nearby on Centre Street in what police called a drug-related assassination
“Emergency response is often delayed due to the overcrowding.”
—former E-13 Police Commander Capt. Christine Michalosky in an internal report on the dangers of the police station’s parking lot. Police car parking was expanded onto the street around the station following Gazette coverage of the problem.
“We pray for a summer without children killing children.”
—Rev. Terry Burke of First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist, leading a prayer convening a City Council meeting at English High, the first ever held outside City Hall. The wish came true, at least in JP.
“No one is telling [local youths] these very same dudes [from Academy Homes and Bromley-Heath] are up here on the football team together, playing on basketball teams together, going to chow hall together. We’re not beefing with each other no more.”
—convicted murderer Mac Hudson, a former Academy Homes resident, speaking from prison on youth violence in the Jackson Square developments
“This is ‘Alice in Wonderland.’”
—JP resident David Vaughn on the confusing series of decisions made by the city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD) about the Bicon dental building in Forest Hills. Years of controversy cleared up later in the year, when ISD’s commissioner announced final decisions.
“No, don’t think that!”
—Gary Moccia, head of ISD’s building division, at a Bicon meeting when a resident said people assume that ISD’s decisions would be consistent with each other
“Part of me is a little disappointed that there weren’t a dozen developers clamoring [for the parcels]. I would hope they would see what we see, but it’s just not the [right] economic situation.”
—Francesca Fordiani of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council, on the weak response to a bidding process for several MBTA lots around the Forest Hills T Station. The local WCI Corp. was the only bidder, proposing office and commercial development on two of the parcels.
“People need to see that it can be done.”
—Andrée Zalesky, who with Ken Ward owns the JP Green House, on their attempts to make the house a totally efficient, zero-emission building
“Really, they are rusty-shovel-ready.”
—Richard Thal, executive director of the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation (JPNDC), on how “shovel-ready” various JPNDC projects are as the bad economy slowed their financing
“I think we both began to see how this could be a win-win. It was finally an idea whose time had come.”
—Boston Urban Gardeners (BUG) president Marrey Embers on the transfer of community gardens to the Boston Natural Areas Network and dissolution of BUG following years of controversy about the long-dormant BUG
“It’s like water. It’s going to find its way.”
—B.J. Ray, a local real estate and former entertainment booker, on the local music scene amid various venue changes, particularly the move of the Milky Way Lounge (and Bella Luna Restaurant) from Hyde Square to The Brewery. As Ray predicted, the new Milky Way is back in the live music business.
“Carpets are essentially reservoirs of allergens.”
—Emily Litonjua, manager of Boston Public Health Commission’s Healthy Homes program, telling the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council why hardwood floors are better
“We Support Boston Park Rangers.”
—slogan on a sticker handed out by Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council member Carlos Icaza, protesting a city proposal to kill the ranger’s mounted unit. The unit was later saved.
“The last day, I got choked up. It was people crying. It was a shame to see those bonds broken without any recognition of what it meant to people, what that relationship meant for people.”
—JP photographer Richard Wilkins, who documented the last days of the JP-based Boston Police Mounted Unit, which was a victim of budget cuts
“This is a success story and [Boston Public Schools] is destroying it.”
—Rafael Hernandez School Principal Margarita Muñiz on a Boston Public Schools proposal to revoke citywide status of the bilingual school. The proposal was later withdrawn.
“We need to start yelling ‘sex’ in church.”
—state Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz at a forum, responding to state Rep. Liz Malia’s joke that suggestions to raise the state income tax rate causes her peers in the House to “look at you like you stood up in church and yelled ‘sex’ at the top of your lungs”
“He doesn’t play the Wii at night.”
—Nick Martin, spokesperson for Mayor Thomas Menino, explaining that the mayor supports the local video-game industry, but does not play on the popular gaming console that can duplicate a player’s body movements
—the new name for the Arborway after a prankster temporarily altered a sign on the historic parkway, which is notorious for high-volume, high-speed traffic it was not designed to handle
“If the appeals court doesn’t agree, [the lawsuit], for all intents and purposes, is over.”
—the Arborway Committee’s Franklyn Salimbene on the failure of a lawsuit that is a last-ditch effort to restore MBTA streetcars between Heath Street and Forest Hills through central JP
“That’s like creating a whole new Jamaica Plain.”
—Mayor Thomas Menino, citing the 18,000 housing units built under his development programs, in part of his campaign stump speech
“JP is a very progressive community, but there’s not really a centralized voice for that.”
—Melissa Threadgill, co-chair of the new political group Jamaica Plain Progressives, which hosted influential candidate forums
“No Domino’s Pizza.”
—slogan on a prankster’s fake Domino’s Pizza box, protesting a controversial proposal to open a franchise of the chain fast-food business in Canary Square. The proposed location remains vacant.
“People elect you for what you believe in. They don’t want a computer up there.”
—Mayor Thomas Menino, who was re-elected to a record fifth term, on his support for gay/lesbian rights and his general approach to governing
“Unsafe or unsound banking practices.”
—what state and federal banking regulators said they found at Mt. Washington Bank in a routine audit, leading to a “cease and desist” order that in turn led to the merger of the bank—including the local Roxbury Highland branch—with East Boston Savings Bank. The merger essentially corrected all of the problems, and the local branch remains open.
“If you snooze, you lose. If you don’t buy, you are going to cry.”
—auctioneer Paul Saperstein, attempting to sell off the former Boy Scouts building at Centre Street and the Arborway. It ended up going back to the bank, which is seeking to sell it, with little notice or information to the many tenants.
“How to Set Yourself on Fire and Other Ways of Getting the Media’s Attention.”
—the title of a book City Council President Mike Ross jokingly claimed to have spotted on a shelf in the office of local City Councilor John Tobin, who is often quoted in newspapers, at a comedy roast for Tobin in West Roxbury
“We look like the reunion tour of a washed-up boy band.”
—City Councilor John Tobin, who recently turned 40 years old, on himself and fellow Councilors Mike Ross and Rob Consalvo, who were once touted at the council’s “Young Turks”
“Thank God for caller ID.”
—a man on Centre Street on the day of the city’s preliminary election, commenting to a friend about the many automated phone calls he had received from candidates in one of the most crowded campaigns in recent history
“My sense is it’s bad, because it has a long horn.”
—new City Councilor Felix Arroyo, drawing laughter at a candidate forum with his answer to the question, “What does the Asian longhorned beetle mean to you?”
“I’ve always believed Unitarians alone could turn the country around—until I found out how few there are.”
—famous consumer advocate Ralph Nader, making a friendly joke about his hosts during an appearance at First Church in Jamaica Plain Unitarian Universalist as part of the Jamaica Plain Forum
“I can’t shop locally because I can’t park here.”
—one of the graffiti slogans Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association president Carlos Icaza admitted writing on illegally parked advertising scooters on Centre Street. He was summoned to court, but settled the case without any charges being filed. The South Boston scooter company received parking tickets.
“These were not intended to be public meetings.”
—MBTA project manager Erik Scheier on deliberately secret planning meetings for Route 39 bus improvements, which include consolidating stops and widening sidewalks. The process is set to include a large, and public, meeting this month.
“We hit them with sticker shock with the $97 million. They were ready to jump out the sixth-story window.”
—City Councilor Steve Murphy on negotiating with colleges and hospitals on a PILOT formula, which likely will be finalized this year
“JP has a certain flair—a spirit that just doesn’t exist in other places.”
—JP artist Anthony Barrows on why he and partner Mariana Negron-Quinones chose to work in JP
Compiled by John Ruch