Posts Tagged ‘Hyde Square’

Here is the video of  that “same white lady” who talks about her support for Whole Foods in Jamaica Plain. Seems that Twitter protesters forgot that this “same white lady” also said “passion is good, rudeness is not.” No wonder that the Whose Foods? campaign is losing major credibility in the ast 48 hours, to the point that even Mayor Tom Menino is speaking out.

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Boston Mayor Tom Menino said on June 3 that he supports Whole Foods coming to Jamaica PLain.

Maybe it had to take a fiasco Whole Foods Town Hall Meeting to FINALLY have Boston Mayor Tom Menino to publicly comment about the new Whole Foods store that will open in the Hyde Square section of Jamaica Plain, and we want to commend Mayor Menino for doing so.

At his weekly roundtable session with reporters, Menino, who has been facing criticism by JP residents for not making a public comment about the new Whole Foods store, clearly stated his support for the company’s arrival to the neighborhood. As reported by the Jamaica Plain Gazette:

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino today told the Gazette that he wholeheartedly supports Whole Foods’ planned move to Jamaica Plain and that local opposition to the store is the work of “a few [people] trying to make it an issue.”

“I think Whole Foods is great for the neighborhood. They have done a lot to work with the neighborhood,” he said.

Referring to the arrest of three protesters at a meeting Whole Foods hosted June 2, he said, “The folks who caused the problems were lashing out.”

In an apparent joke, the mayor suggested that the commotion at the meeting had been caused by agitators from outside the community. “We are trying to figure out if they are from Philadelphia, Chicago [or] Washington D.C.,” he quipped.

At least one of the people arrested, Peter Blailock, told the Gazette he lives in JP.

Menino said Whole Foods is going to be a vast improvement over Hi-Lo, the grocery store that formerly occupied the 415 Centre St. space that Whole Foods is moving into.

He praised Whole Foods for working closely with the city on reaching out to former Hi-Lo employees and hiring many of them after Hi-Lo closed in February.

Hi-Lo “did not do its duty, they were disrespectful to their workers,” he said.

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This banner led to arrests at the June 2 Whole Foods Town Hall Meeting in JP

It was indeed a sad night for the Jamaica Plain community as what was billed as a opportunity for positive, civil dialogue with Whole Foods, the Boston neighborhood’s future tenant in the Hyde Square section of JP, turned into a night filled with shouting, disrespect, disruption, arrests, and eventually an early shut down by Boston Police.

Later today, JRV.com will be posting RAW video of the first hour of the event to give it the context it deserves, since Whole Foods representatives did indeed show up to the event with the best of intentions. We will also be getting comments and statements from several interested parties, since it is clear that the level of discourse regarding this debate reached a new low level as members of the Whose Foods? organization were more interested in creating havoc on the event that actually trying to voice their concerns against the new Whole Foods in civil manner.

We did receive a statement last night from JP for All/JP para todos founder Rick Stockwood:

There were a great number of us in the room tonight that were excited to hear that issues such as parking, traffic, public transportation, after-hours parking, providing healthy foods to children, and product availability are being addressed by Whole Foods. It’s unfortunate that a community meeting designed to address neighborhood concerns and solutions to address those concerns was hijacked by a group of people who have no other plan than to cause a distraction. We look forward to hearing more about Whole Foods plans and how we can work together to build a long-term partnership that will benefit Hyde Square and Jamaica Plain.

We also emailed Whole Foods, We Are All Foods, Whose Foods? and other parties last night for a statement and once we receive them, we will share.

One final note to add: we want to THANK Boston Councillor Matt O’Malley for being the ONLY BOSTON ELECTED OFFICIAL to attend the event. This issue has become hugely important for several residents of JP, and it is a sad statement when elected officials like Boston Mayor Tom Menino, State Representative Jeffery Sánchez, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, and Boston Councillors Felix Arroyo, Tito Jackson and Ayanna Pressley chose not to show up.

For more coverage of last night’s event, see today’s JP Patch and Boston Globe.

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