Shattuck Hospital Relocating Inpatient Beds, Adding Housing for Homeless: Public Meetings April 12th & 26th

The Shattuck Hospital campus will see a bunch of changes in the coming months and years. The state is planning to relocate 260 inpatient beds and other programs from Jamaica Plain to the South End in 2021, while also recently approving a 99-year lease for two acres of housing for chronically homeless individuals. There are two upcoming community meetings to discuss the changes. There will be an April 12th meeting to discuss the programs that are moving. During the meeting Massachusetts Secretary of Health & Human Services Marylou Sudders will be providing an overview of the relocation project and outline of the 12-month planning process.

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Vacancy Fee for High-End Property Owners with Empty Storefronts, Apartments Proposed by O’Malley

Tired of looking at those large empty storefronts or vacant luxury residential units in big buildings? So is District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who has proposed a vacancy fee for landlords causing "high-end blight." "When properties remain vacant year after year, they create holes in the fabric of our communities," said O'Malley to Jamaica Plain News. "As we encourage investment in our neighborhoods, we must also make sure that investment benefits our neighbors. When storefronts and high rises are filled with people, they contribute to the community as well as to the property owner's bottom line.

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City Conveys Ritchie Street Property for Eventual Jackson Square Recreation Center

Another piece for the eventual Jackson Square Recreation Center fell into place last week after the city conveyed a 5,970 sq. ft. vacant parcel on Richie Street to Urban Edge to be used for the project. Last week the Public Facilities Commission provided the city's 1 Richie St. site to Urban Edge for the Jackson Square Recreation Center, according to Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development.

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District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley

Q&A: City Councilor O’Malley on Banning Plastic Bags, Gentrification, Dog Parks and More

To compost or not to compost -- District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley knows the answer. That's not the only answer Jamaica Plain's city councilor recently provided to Jamaica Plain News in a ranging interview. Q: Your ordinance to ban single-use plastics bags was approved by the city council in November and signed into law by Mayor Walsh. When will it take effect and how will businesses be informed about what they need to know? O’Malley: It’s slated to take effect one year after its passage from the date the mayor signed it into law, which was December 15th.

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Read: State Sen. Chang-Diaz’s Impassioned Speech for Criminal Justice Reform at MLK Day Breakfast

At the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast held in Boston, state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz passionately called for the passing of a bill that would provide criminal justice reform, such as no mandatory minimum prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenses throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Charlie Baker, Mayor Martin Walsh, U.S. Senator Ed Markey, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, were all in attendance, as Jamaica Plain's state senator received a standing ovation for her speech. Below is a transcript of Chang-Diaz's speech:

Good morning. It has been an intense, worry-filled, but also inspiring year since we were together last. Last year, I stood at this podium worried about the slow pace of criminal justice reform in our state.

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