City Commits $2 Million to Future Jackson Square Rec Center

A long-sought Jackson Square Recreation Center got a funding boost recently when the city pledged $2 million to the project. But the project still needs millions more to start construction. The project is estimated to cost $30.6 million in total to complete, according to a city press release, and has now reached its public fundraising goal. Proponents for the recreation center are now working to secure another $6.8 million from private funders. Boston Mayor Martin Walsh joined nonprofit developer Urban Edge, elected officials, community advocates, and local youth in announcing the city funding on Nov.

New Speed Humps Part of Slow Streets Program in JP’s Stonybrook Neighborhood

Reducing the speed limit to 20 miles per hour, installing speed humps and utilizing lane markings to help bicyclists are several methods that are part of the city's new Neighborhood Slow Streets Program that debuted in Jamaica Plain's Stonybrook neighborhood on Wednesday. "This is an active neighborhood, filled with families and residents who want to take advantage of our location near Franklin Park and Jamaica Pond," said Danielle Cerny, Stonybrook resident and neighborhood association steering committee member, via press release. "Walking or riding a bike, taking your kids to school, visiting a neighbor -- all of those should be pleasant experiences the neighborhood is built to encourage. But in the past, these types of activities could feel stressful and unsafe because of how many vehicles sped down our streets. With the implementation of this new program, we're looking forward to having safer and quieter roads, and to continuing to work with the city to learn from and expand this initial pilot."

Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, D-Jamaica Plain, represents the Second Suffolk seat.

Sen. Chang-Díaz Calls Out DA Comments on Criminal Justice Bill

State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz let it be known she doesn't agree with several district attorneys' comments regarding a state bill that would decrease the amount of people in the criminal justice system. She is strongly in favor of the bill while some DAs do not like that some mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses would be removed. "The knee-jerk reaction of some district attorneys to the (Massachusetts) Senate reform package smacks of entitlement. They want to talk about accountability? Over the last forty years, we gave huge power to DAs in sentencing – and with it they oversaw a system that grew into a costly, ineffective, and racist mess," said Chang-Díaz to Jamaica Plain News.

JP Resident Appointed Budget Director for City of Boston

A Jamaica Plain resident, who most recently served as the budget director for the the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means, is now the budget director for the city of Boston. Justin Sterritt has more than six years of experience in government finance, administration and policy, and spent the last three years working in the House Committee on Ways and Means. As budget director for the committee, Sterritt directed a staff that reviewed, analyzed and recommended funding for $40 billion in state spending and revenue. "I am thrilled to be joining the Walsh Administration and the tremendous budget team that's in place," said Sterritt via press release. "It is an honor to be a part of an administration with a proven track record for bold new ideas, innovation in government, and fiscal responsibility.

City Councilors to Massport and FAA: Plane Noise is ‘Unbearable’

Much to the frustration of Jamaica Plain residents and those in other Boston neighborhoods, there has been a noticeable increase in airplane noise in recent months. Several Boston city councilors recently wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration and Massport to express their own concerns, as well as their constituents' reported vexation. Seven city councilors representing Jamaica Plain, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury penned the letter to Amy Lind Corbett, the regional administrator of the New England region for the FAA, and Thomas Glynn, CEO of Massport. "Nearly every morning, planes begin to fly overhead at or before 6 a.m. and often continue essentially non-stop for hours at a time. This can negatively impact an individual’s sleeping pattern, acuity, and quality of life," says the letter.