Letter to the Editor: 701 Centre St. Project Proves Organized Design Review Process is Needed

We are licensed architects practicing for over 30 years each, long-standing members of the Jamaica Plain community, and were chairpersons or members of the former Jamaica Plain Centre/South Main Street's Design Committee. We are writing to express our disappointment, dismay and disbelief over the recent storefront alterations at 701 Centre Street (former Bukhara, now to be Chase Bank) and to raise concerns over what we perceive to be a breakdown in permitting processes and architectural design review in our neighborhood. As volunteers to the former JPCSMS Design Committee, we were privileged to lead and work with a team of enthusiastic community volunteers who cared about design, were curious about understanding what makes "good" design versus "bad," and were always looking for ways to translate that to the district streetscape. Our design committee always sought to work in close coordination with the city, other community groups and the BPDA to encourage not only adherence to Main Streets design guidelines, but to design guidelines embedded in the city of Boston Zoning Code (many of which are the same, or are generally just good practice). Typically, projects requiring design review under zoning that occurred in the district would be referred to our committee for review, and we would be asked to review any project seeking Main Streets funding in the district.

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JP Restaurant Week Returns to Support Immigration Justice Starting Nov. 10

Six of JP’s favorite restaurants and local activist group Boston For All are coming together again for an exciting week of fundraising for legal defense of immigrant children starting Nov. 10. From Nov. 10 through 15, through participating in ‘Dining For a Difference 4’ – the fourth such collaboration – customers
of the restaurants will be directly supporting the work of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND). KIND’s work to provide legal support for immigrant children in the legal system informs the stated mission of all involved to support immigration justice.

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Community Servings Appoints Four to Board of Directors

Jamaica Plain's Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals living with critical and chronic illnesses and their families, recently announced the appointment of four new members to the board of directors. The new board members are:

Lyzzette M. Bullock, Associate General Counsel of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Brian Lagarto, Chief People & Strategy Officer of SharkNinja Operating LLC
Sharon McNally, President of Camp Harbor View and Chief of Staff in the Connors Family Office
J. Kirk Smith, former Executive Vice President of Frontier Capital Management

“The new additions to our board have tremendous backgrounds in healthcare, business and philanthropic endeavors, and they share a passion for serving the community,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings, via press release. “We are thrilled to welcome them during this exciting time for our organization, as we near the completion of our expanded kitchen and new building that are designed to help us meet the growing demand for medically tailored meals.”

Bullock has years of experience as a litigation attorney and with healthcare-related legal issues. She currently serves as an associate general counsel at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Bullock is active in providing pro bono services through Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston University School of Law Clinics, Kids in Need of Defense and other legal defense organizations.

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Halloween Parade & Festival in Latin Quarter on Oct. 31

Get dressed in your best costume for a parade and trick-or-treating on Centre Street in Boston's Latin Quarter on Halloween. Then enjoy a free Halloween Festival with games, a haunted house, crafts, treats, and more! Parades:

There will be two parades, with one meeting at Jackson Square MBTA Station at 4 pm, and the other at the Connolly Branch Library (433 Centre St.) at 3:30 pm. Both parades will be led by percussionists down Centre Street and stop at local businesses for candy. The parades will end at the Blessed Sacrament Plaza (631 Centre St.) for the Halloween Festival.

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17 Chihuahuas Taken From JP Home, Up for Adoption at MSPCA-Angell in Boston and Cape Cod

On the heels of last week’s surrender of 45 Ragdoll cats -- the MSPCA-Angell’s largest single-home cat surrender in five years -- the organization is now the temporary home of 17 Chihuahuas taken from a Jamaica Plain home after their families were forced to leave, the MSPCA announced Wednesday. The dogs, six males and 11 females, range in age from one to four. They are described as very active and in good health, but not without their challenges. “Our sense is that these dogs may never have left the apartments in which they lived and, as a result, will need time to learn how to walk on a leash, obey some basic commands and so on,” said Anna Rafferty-Arnold, associate director of the MSPCA’s Boston adoption center. “But we’re committed to working with them -- and their new owners -- to ensure they become excellent canine citizens,” she added.

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