2017 JP State of Our Neighborhood to Focus on ‘Community Climate’

The seventh annual Jamaica Plain State of Our Neighborhood (SOON) gathering will be held Thursday, April 27, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Curley K-8 School at 495 Centre St. -- and this year, organizers are planning a new format to draw in neighborhood participants. "This year’s State of Our Neighborhood seeks to engage our community in a new way. Attendees will take part in the Community Climate ribbon activity, which will transform this year’s SOON into a cultural ritual, and the event’s usual dialogue with our local elected officials will follow," according to JP SOON organizers. JP SOON's organizing committee expanded on the concept -- and the thinking behind it -- in a recent piece for the Jamaica Plain Gazette:
"Our JP community now faces a drastically changed political environment following last November’s presidential election.


Hyde Square Task Force Celebrates Newly Renovated Youth Community Development Center

The Hyde Square Task Force celebrated their newly renovated Youth Community Development Center in a grand reopening ceremony in Jamaica Plain's Latin Quarter on Jan. 31st. Hyde Square Task Force (HTSF) members were joined by donors, youth leaders, and community members who celebrated the new space with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The $2.5 million project will allow HSTF to better serve more than 1,200 youth each year through Afro-Latin arts, civic engagement and college success programs.



New Restaurant Brass Cat Cafe Proposed by Tres Gatos, Centre Street Cafe, Casa Verde Team

The restaurant team behind Jamaica Plain's Tres Gatos, Centre Street Cafe and Casa Verde is eyeing a fourth dining establishment in the neighborhood. The new proposed restaurant would be called Brass Cat Cafe and be located at 3399 Washington St., which would seem to point to the Schell Printing building near the intersection with Green Street. The proposal is scheduled to be discussed at a Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Council meeting Monday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. at Curtis Hall. According to the restaurant team, pending support from neighborhood associations related to the Washington Street corridor and the JPNC's Public Service Committee, the city's licensing board will likely decide later this month whether to approve the new restaurant's application for a wines, malt beverages and liqueurs license.

Screen shot from video of Boston Fire knocking out windows at 12-14 Creighton St. on Dec. 31, 2016.

Video: Firefighters Knock Out Windows in Fight Versus Creighton Blaze

A resident's video captured an important moment in the Saturday's 3-alarm fire on Creighton Street. The short video below shows members of the Boston Fire Department breaking windows to manage the blaze. The fire displaced nine people. A fundraising campaign is underway to help them. The below video is from a resident named Jesse.


Increased Residential Exemption Could Lower Taxes for Boston Homeowners

The Boston City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a proposal from District 9 City Councilor Mark Ciommo, and championed by Mayor Martin J. Walsh, to increase the city's residential tax exemption -- a move that would lower the average property tax bill for a single-family, owner-occupied residence by $299 a year. The City Council approved the proposal 12-0 (City Councilor Tim McCarthy was absent and thus didn't vote). Homeowners will see the lowered rates reflected in their third-quarter tax bills, which will be sent out at the end of the year. The residential exemption for taxpayers who occupy their homes as their principal residence will increase from 30 percent to 35 percent of their homes' assessed value. The average property tax bill for residential taxpayers will decrease from $3,533 to $3,234, according to the city.