Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Killer Trees

One thing you learn in this business, is that terrible things happen to people for no good reason, like Haeyoon Miller, who was crushed by a Eucalyptus tree a couple of months ago as she drove along Irvine Avenue in Newport Beach.
Photo from the Orange County Register

People say the tree had been leaning, but no one reported it to the city. And then it fell, crushing the car and the driver.

There are tons of Eucalyptus in Newport, planted in the twenties and thirties as a wind break for the farmland once covering the area. They have a life span of about 100 years and most of the trees dotting the Newport landscape are between 60 to 80 years old. Yes, they're reaching the end.

But regardless, the city's reaction to the accident seems extreme to many, including me. Within weeks, the city cut down 140 trees, and now they're talking about cutting 33 more in a neighborhood.

Why kill more trees? Yes, I feel great sympathy for the Miller family, but that accident was just that. An accident. Like a lightening strike. The odds of something like that happening again I imagine are pretty steep. So why strip an entire community of nature?? Granted, the city promises to replant more stable trees in their place... and I get that. I really do. I know Eucalyptus are precarious trees with shallow roots, but why not monitor them instead, only removing them when absolutely necessary.  Not only would that save the city money, it would preserve the trees for a few more years, maybe even decades. A commission voted against removing the trees, but the mayor wants to open it up for discussion again. Come on! Why not trust the experts??

Uh oh. I'm expressing an opinion. I'm not supposed to do that. But... SAVE THE TREES!!!

The vote is tonight.

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Oh! And to follow up on a story from a couple days ago. Remember the fourteen year old who went missing right before Halloween?

She is now home safe and sound after spending a couple weeks with a twenty-four year old man at HIS PARENTS HOUSE. Seriously??? What the heck were his parents thinking letting him keep his fourteen year old girlfriend there??? Oh dear. I'm really ranting today, aren't I. Sorry. At least she's home.

Until tomorrow...

Later gators!

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