Margarita Muñiz dies; headed Hernandez School

November 18, 2011
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Margarita Muñiz, the principal of Egleston Square’s Rafael Hernandez School, died today after a long battle with cancer, according to Boston Public Schools (BPS). Muñiz fought discrimination and opposition to keep alive the bilingual elementary school in the 1970s. She became a community icon in the process. Next year, BPS will open a new...

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Cemetery loses arts funding

November 18, 2011
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FOREST HILLS—Nearly a year since the Forest Hills Educational Trust (FHET) announced its suspension of arts programming at Forest Hills Cemetery, the organization is all but dead due to a loss of Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) funding, the Gazette has learned. The future of the Lantern Festival, the cemetery’s last surviving major event, is...

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Legislature OK’s JP Congressional split

November 18, 2011
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Despite last-minute efforts by Jamaica Plain’s entire state legislative delegation, the state Senate this week passed a new Congressional map that moves a huge part of JP into Congressman Steve Lynch’s district. The House also approved the plan and Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign it. The plan drew fire from JP Progressives...

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Occupy JP movement begins

November 18, 2011
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(Image from Occupy JP on Facebook) The flyer for the next Occupy JP meeting.

An “Occupy JP” movement is organizing as a local version of the Occupy Wall Street protest. Occupy JP began organizing at a Nov. 13 “general assembly” meeting and is still deciding its agenda—including whether it will be an actual occupation. “There was a lot of discussion about whether we would even want to quote-unquote...

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Comienza Occupy JP

November 18, 2011
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Un movimiento llamado “Occupy JP” está siendo organizado como versión local de la protesta “Occupy Wall Street”. Occupy JP tuvo una asamblea el 13 de noviembre en la cual se comenzó a discutir la agenda, aún incompleta, de la organización – no se ha decidido si será en realidad una ocupación. “Hubo mucha discusión...

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Woman lied about teen killing case

November 18, 2011
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Woman lied about teen killing case

JACKSON SQ.—A Roxbury woman named Destiny Gunn was convicted of perjury last week for lying about her role in a 2007 incident where a teen was shot to death. The victim, 13-year-old Luis Gerena, was gunned down in the Bromley-Heath housing development by two gang members in a case of mistaken identity. The gang...

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Catholics prep for new Mass

November 18, 2011
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Local Roman Catholics are preparing for a new English-language version of the Mass that goes into effect on Sun., Nov. 27. The new translation of the Roman Missal, the instructions for saying the Mass, will change some words and the ritual’s rhythm for the first time in decades. JP’s three parishes will place cue...

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Incumbents win City Council races

November 18, 2011
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(Photo by Ernesto Arroyo) City Councilor Felix Arroyo enthuses over his victory at JP’s James’s Gate on Election Night, Nov. 8

By John Ruch and Rebeca Oliveira The incumbent candidates won all of the at-large and local district Boston City Council seats in the Nov. 8 election. Jamaica Plain once again had some of the city’s highest voter turnout, and voters here largely agreed with the citywide ballot choices. In the at-large race, JP resident...

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JP resident helms Pressley’s big win

November 18, 2011
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(Gazette Photo by David Taber) Jessica Taubner.

A JP resident running her first campaign engineered At-Large City Councilor Ayanna Pressley’s stunning turnaround from vulnerable incumbent to topping the ticket in the Nov. 8 election. “We took nothing for granted. To some degree, at the beginning, we were fighting for fourth place,” said Jessica Taubner, who took a leave of absence as...

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JP Observer: Presidential race distracts from local power

November 18, 2011
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Jamaica Plain residents would be smart to pay little or no attention to the U.S. presidential race from now until next September, two months before the election. It will be hard, given the media pressure, but worthwhile. Who gets elected president is obviously important. But it doesn’t make sense for us to give much...

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Budding Ideas: Recent Arboretum research

November 18, 2011
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Living, But Not Fossils Palm-tree-like plants called cycads are often depicted as living fossils surviving from the age of the dinosaurs. But scientists have debunked that idea, proving that modern cycads are different plants that evolved much more recently. The plants with spiky trunks and long evergreen fronds indeed existed in the Jurassic period,...

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New schools moving into Agassiz

November 18, 2011
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(Gazette Photo by John Ruch) A worker repairs the roof of the Agassiz School on Nov. 8.

Despite fierce opposition from parents and City Councilor Mike Ross, the Boston School Committee on Nov. 15 approved a Boston Public Schools plan that will have two schools moving into the Agassiz School building at 20 Child St. next year. The plan moves the Mission Hill K-8 School and the new Margarita Muñiz Academy—a...

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Whole Foods gives money, gets reviews

November 18, 2011
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In the two weeks since Whole Foods Market opened at 413 Centre St., it has made a major contribution to a local nonprofit, generated animated responses from local businesses and gotten its first online reviews. On Nov. 15, local nonprofit Community Servings, which provides home-cooked meals for people who are homebound with chronic health...

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$223K to fix Arboretum wall

November 18, 2011
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ARBORWAY—Repairs to a collapsed, historic stone wall in Arnold Arboretum will cost the City at least $223,000 and probably more, according to Boston Parks Department spokesperson Jacque Goddard. “It’s pretty expensive,” Goddard said of the work, which is under way. “We expect that amount may go up.” The 120-year-old stone wall bordering the Arborway...

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City Champs

November 18, 2011
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(Photo by Patrick E. O’Connor) The English High School girls volleyball team poses with its city league championship trophy following its Nov. 1 win against O’Bryant. The English team has won the championship for four years in a row.

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Casey team debates bridge vs. no bridge

November 18, 2011
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As decision time looms near, the Casey Overpass replacement team is choosing sides on whether to ask for a replacement bridge or a new street network without a bridge. According to the design team, either option would handle projected traffic increases well, and both would improve on the current street network. Working advisory group...

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Energy upgrades to no longer be free

November 18, 2011
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A program that now offers free energy-efficiency home upgrades will only cover 75 percent of costs next year. MassSave, a state program, will continue to provide free energy assessments, products and services—including energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flow showerheads, heating system inspections and insulation upgrades—for qualified participants. But Renew Boston, the city’s energy-efficiency initiative, will no...

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Study aims to link Orange Line projects

November 18, 2011
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A new study will examine all real estate projects along the MBTA’s Orange Line with the aim of possibly linking their planning and marketing campaigns in a big-picture view. It will include major projects at Jamaica Plain’s Jackson Square and Forest Hills, along with proposals everywhere from Mission Hill’s Roxbury Crossing to Somerville’s Assembly...

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Map shows hyperlocal census info

November 18, 2011
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A remarkable new online map lets people see hyperlocal U.S. Census information about Boston down to individual streets. The “myNeighborhood Census Viewer” will soon include a vast amount of other info, ranging from police districts to the location of libraries, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), which created the map. The map requires...

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Local band signs to famous label

November 18, 2011
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Debo Band, a Jamaica Plain-based Ethiopian music group, has signed to an imprint of the famous record label Sub Pop. The nine-piece band inspired by Ethiopian dance music of the 1970s, signed last month with Sub Pop’s international music imprint Next Ambiance. It is currently recording its first full-length album, which it hopes to...

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A rock camp for women

November 18, 2011
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After two years of success with Girls Rock Camp Boston, organizer and JP resident Hilken Mancini is offering the same opportunity to rock for grown-up ladies. Ladies Rock Camp Boston (LRCB) is a condensed version of the girls’ summer camp: campers have three days to learn an instrument, form a band and perform at...

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JP Tunes: New local music

November 18, 2011
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Jamaica Plain musicians recently released the following singles and albums: Aloud, “The Cash and the Pearls” (Lemon Merchant). Allthingsaloud.com. Old New England Weather, “Knew Myths” (self-released). Oldnewenglandweather.bandcamp.com. JP musicians can notify JP Tunes about new releases at [email protected]

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Bella Luna marks 18th anniversary

November 18, 2011
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(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) (From left) Sarah Morton, Chloe Martin, Rye Gentleman and Erin Kate Ryan get into the 1920s spirit with classic cocktails at Bella Luna’s Bootlegger’s Bash.

BROOKSIDE—The Jamaica Plain landmark Bella Luna restaurant celebrated its 18th birthday on Nov. 11 with a Bootlegger’s Bash, a 1920s-themed party complete with 17-piece band, costumes and Prohibition-era cocktails. “It’s just a way of keeping things fresh, of giving people an excuse to dress up and coming up with drinks and a menu that...

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Taking a Stance

November 18, 2011
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(Photo by Patrice Flesch) JP resident Sara Castaneda of South End Yoga demonstrates yoga at the Occupy Boston protest in Dewey Square downtown on Nov. 1. Castaneda is one of three JP residents who teach at the studio—including owner Patrice Flesch and Mahendran Radhakrishnan—and are offering free weekly yoga instruction to the protesters. “They’re doing the work for us,” Flesch said of the protesters. “We felt like we should be giving something back.”

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