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Court rules for legacy of Juana Briones!
Today Latina/Latino activists, feminists, historic preservationists, and archaeologists celebrated a legal victory that is a big step toward saving the house of legendary healer and humanitarian Juana Briones de Miranda.
Property owners want to demolish the historic home of the legendary Juana Briones de Miranda so they can build a modern suburban dwelling in the hills of Palo Alto. The couple has also not repaired earthquake damage the house sustained in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Today activists gathered near Santa Clara County Superior Court to celebrate a victory that is a big step toward saving the house at 4155 Old Adobe Rd. Judge Leslie Nichols ruled on June 6 that the house may not be torn down until an environmental impact report (EIR) is prepared by the city.
Judge Nichols wrote in his 10-page decision that the city of Palo Alto misinterpreted its own municipal code when it determined the act of granting a demolition permit was a governmental decision involving little or no personal judgment. The judge ruled the act was partially discretionary and therefore subject to the California Environmental Quality Act, which requires an environmental impact review when demolition of a historic site is proposed.
The Juana Briones house is the oldest building in the city of Palo Alto, having been built in the 1840's, and is recognized as both a local landmark and a state historical landmark.
Juana Briones de Miranda was born in Santa Cruz and grew up in San Francisco's Presidio. She ran a successful ranch and served the needy while she lived at her home in hills that later became part of Palo Alto. She was part of the 19th century California population of people with Spanish, Mexican and Native-American heritage, and was a famous curandera (traditional folk healer) who used native plants and remedies to help the sick. Among other things, she helped manage a smallpox outbreak in Marin County, owned and managed land at a time when it was extremely unusual for women to do so, and raised seven children.
St. James Park, across the street from Santa Clara County Superior Court, San Jose, CA
So good to see Jorge and the gang again!
On the second verse, the Raging Grannies (Las Abuelitas Enojadas) have to read the lyrics. Lucky for us, Jorge's marvelous mariachis know the second verse by heart and they played AND sang along with us.
Some of our signs say: What Would Juana Want?
...where the decision was made on June 6.
...as mariachis play....
Olga is a Juana Briones reenactress!
Granny Liz fit in perfectly with the horns and violins in the mariachi band.