Governor Announces $2.6 Million in Brownfields Funds, Including $277K in JP

Governor Charlie Baker was joined by a host of local and state officials on Heath Street to announce that two Jamaica Plain projects are among 16 state projects receiving more than $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Funds. Baker made the announcement on Jan. 23 at the Hattie Kelton Apartments at 61 Heath St., in JP, which is Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation's (JPNDC) newest building. Brownfields Redevelopment Funds help transform vacant, abandoned, or underused industrial or commercial properties by providing money to pay for the environmental assessment and remediation of the sites in “economically distressed areas” in Massachusetts. The JPNDC is receiving $250,000 for its housing developments at 25 Amory Street and 250 Centre Street.

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Community Servings Completes $25 Million Renovation and Expansion Project

Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, celebrated the completion of a $25 million kitchen expansion and three-story addition project at its longtime home in Jamaica Plain.  

With the opening of a 31,000-square-foot food campus, Community Servings plans to double the number of people involved in its volunteer programs and triple production of its scratch-made meals. The nonprofit is now well-positioned to expand its service footprint statewide and will soon begin feeding even more critically and chronically ill individuals and their families across Massachusetts. Community Servings is now prepared to meet new demand from a state-led initiative that will provide health-related nutrition supports to certain patients beginning in January 2020. “For 30 years, we’ve been focused on bringing nutritious, scratch-made, medically tailored meals to our neighbors in need.

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Governor Signs Education Funding Equity Bill Into Law at English High

With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years. Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26. The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities. “This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth.

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Jamaica Plain Election Info: Candidates, Ballot Questions, Where to Vote and More

Tuesday's Election Day is going to be extremely tame, at least in Massachusetts, compared to the fireworks of September's primaries, which already decided all of the major races. Not sure where you vote? Click here to find out where to vote. Races Already Decided

Jamaica Plain encompasses two congressional districts and there is only one candidate in the final of each. At-Large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley is headed to Washington, DC after defeating 10-time incumbent Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary for the 7th District.

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Sánchez Unhappy with Baker’s Veto of ‘Cap on Kids’ Repeal, Vows to Help Most Vulnerable Families

Governor Charlie Baker has signed the upcoming fiscal year's state budget, but he vetoed a signification section that would stop the state from denying welfare benefits to children conceived while their family is already receiving benefits. Jamaica Plain's State Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, D-15th Suffolk, has fought to "Lift the Cap for Kids" and vowed to continue his fight. “I appreciate the governor signing the FY19 budget in a timely manner and am currently reviewing his vetoes. At first glance, I’m disappointed that he did not accept the section repealing the family cap. This is a regressive policy that unfairly denies Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) benefits to nearly 9,000 children in Massachusetts simply because of the time they were born," said Sánchez to Jamaica Plain News.

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Chang-Díaz ‘Thrilled’ by Governor’s Signing of Bilingual English Instruction Bill

Governor Charlie Baker signed the LOOK Bill into law on Dec. 5th, which recognizes the value of bilingualism by encompassing the best practices for serving English learners. State Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz fought hard for the bill to pass, particularly because she knows bilingualism is an essential skill for career growth, college readiness and to enable students to be competitive in the global economy. "I am thrilled to see this bill signed into law. All children in our schools deserve to learn English, and now parents and educators will have the tools to serve each student’s needs and make sure no child falls between the cracks," said state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, co-chair of the LOOK bill conference committee and Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Education.

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Q&A Part II: State Rep. Malia on Gov. Baker, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Health and More

State Rep. Liz Malia, D-Jamaica Plain, sat down with Jamaica Plain News and tackled questions about what she's working on, Gov. Charlie Baker, substance abuse and more. This is Part II of the interview, click here for Part I.

Q: What is the most common thing you hear about from constituents? A: We do a fair amount of intake around city services. There’s a rep I knew from the south coast and she used to tease us about doing city council work, too. But it comes with the territory -- basic access to services, to state services, housing, housing advocacy.

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A protester holds up a sign at a May 7, 2015 meeting on the Casey Arborway.

Baker Admin: Casey Arborway Project Should ‘Proceed as Planned’

Residents who want the state to rethink not rebuilding a bridge over Forest Hills recently learned the new Baker Administration backs the existing, at-grade scheme. The advocacy group Bridging Forest Hills posted to its Facebook page on Thursday a letter from Mindy d'Arbeloff, deputy chief of staff for Governor Charlie Baker. Below is a copy of the letter:

Dear John and Edward,

Thank you for your visit on Monday. A lot of important issues were raised and your groups’ involvement in this project is commendable. We have spent the past couple of days engaged with MassDOT staff, gathering all relevant documentation and evaluating the planning and design processes.

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