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By Sarah J. Schaffer

In this time of heartless corporate mergers and takeovers, where a rumor of cutting jobs can send the Dow skyrocketing, it's nice to know that some takeovers are still benign.

It may not rank with last summer's merger of Chase and Chemical, but when Starbucks Coffee takes over all Boston-area Coffee Connection stores by September, there will be sweeter reasons than a stock increase to celebrate.

The uninitiated may not know the difference, after all, both chains sport sleek black chairs, cute tropical merchandise and caffe lattes galore. But nothing compares to the deep, dark, tantalizing pleasure of a cup of Starbucks joe. It's the difference between night and day, merlot and Manischevitz, Bartley's and a Big Mac.

And people understand this; in one city we know of, there are two Starbucks located two blocks apart on the same street, and both do a rousing business.

So, Starbucks, we will lay out the red carpet for you at the Dunster St. Garage. Fly in, fly in all the way from Seattle, from your other two out-of-the-way Cambridge locations, and find your true home in the center of Harvard Square. It's about time.

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