The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) met for its monthly meeting on October 7, where they discussed updates to previously discussed topics, as well as bring up some new ones. JPA member Franklyn Salimbene, who is also a member of the Arborway Committee for Public Transit, told the JPA that the organization spoke at a recent MBTA meeting regarding the Green Line Transformation Project. The Arborway Committee for Public Transit has proposed a Green Line Extension to the Hyde Square area, which the JPA has expressed support for. Salimbene said that the organization is meeting with City Councilors Matt O’Malley and Michelle Wu on the matter. At the recent MBTA meeting on Tremont St., he said that the MBTA talked about the New Type 9 cars, of which 24 were purchased by the agency. “They look a little different than the current streetcars but I don’t know that they’re significantly different,” Salimbene said. “People from Mission Hill were forceful in getting the T to assure that the line (E line) will not be terminated at Brigham Circle,” which he said that the MBTA has attempted to do before, but is not currently their stated plan. He said that the Arborway Committee for Public Transit advocated for solutions to safety issues with boarding the E line beyond Brigham Circle, as well as having an inspector at heath Street.
JPA Chair Rosemary Jones said that there still needs to be an abutters meeting for the proposed project at 61 Arborway, which includes subdividing the property, erecting a new two family home on the lot and keep the existing single family. It has been announced that neighborhood liaison Enrique Pepen has left the position to work as Rep. Joe Kennedy’s special assistant for his senatorial campaign. Jones said that the owners of the property are not ready for an abutters’ meeting “any time soon,” but she believes this meeting needs to happen sooner rather than later as there are a lot of neighbors with questions and concerns about the project.
Holiday Lighting Proposal for Centre St.
JPA member Michael Reiskind, also a member of the Jamaica Plain Business and Professional Association (BAPA), said that there are new plans for holiday decorations in the business district this year. The plan is proposed in conjunction with BAPA and JP Centre/South Main Streets. “We have a big push that’s ending this week to do an exciting light show at one location in the business district,” he said. “It will be moving and dynamic—“similar to the ones done in Central Square. The proposal is to purchase a projector and design an animated show that will be projected onto the building at 670 Centre St., which is the City Feed and Supply building. Reiskind said that the show would not have sound, but it would be a holiday-themed projection with lights. The color of the building was important in order for the show to be visible, he said, so that’s why the City Feed building was chosen. There is a fundraising campaign to fund the projector going on until the end of this week on the JP Centre/South Main Streets website. Reiskind said that in addition to this fundraiser, there were several grants that the organization was able to obtain to help cover the total cost of $35,000 for the project. Additionally, Reiskind said there will be another storefront holiday decorating contest this year, in which businesses will be challenged to decorate their storefronts for the holidays with displays that are visible during both the daytime and the nighttime. The JPA voted to donate $250 to the project fund.
A few months ago, the JPA heard a proposal from a representative of Soofa, a company that makes e-ink screens that can display community events and happenings. The signs are supported by local advertising. The signs were proposed for Centre St. and would be placed on the sidewalk. JPA member Kevin Moloney in particular was extremely against the proposal, saying he is concerned about the clutter that already exists on Centre St. and does not feel that it needs to be added to. “I don’t think we need any more advertising on the sidewalks,” he said. The JPA voted to send a letter to the city saying they oppose the signs; six members out of the approximately 16 in attendance abstained from the vote.