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Keene: Outreach failure on trees a 'mistake'

Original post made on Sep 22, 2009

Palo Alto's Public Works Department staff blundered when it cut down 63 holly oaks on California Avenue -- more than the "about 50" initially estimated -- last week without first notifying the neighborhood, City Manager James Keene acknowledged Monday night.
==B Related stories:==
â–  [Web Link Trees: City acknowledges communication error]
â–  [Web Link Canopy 'shocked' at Cal Ave tree removal]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 12:25 AM

Comments (92)

Posted by employee
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:12 am

the damage is done. CAADA is supporting the building/property owners and THEIR interests only. Ronna is their mouthpiece, not the merchants

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:37 am

Finallly someone at City Hall took responsibility for something!

The earlier statement from Public Works Director Glenn Roberts and his assistant Mike Sartor pushed all the blame downhill to a subordinate, in the Public Works Department. Like you kinow what flowing downhill.

That earlier statement was also vague about the part Roberts and Sartor had in the decision to cut down all the trees on California Avenue and why their supervision of the subordinate was so poor.

It looks like the Benest era of shifting the blame and pointing fingers is in the rear view mirror in Palo Alto. That said, Directors like Roberts left over from that time need to be replaced to fully turn the corner.

Posted by funky
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:19 am

This is reminiscent of the so called CIA torture investigation in which only low ranked operators will be investigated and possibly prosecuted while the people who designed and ordered this criminal outrage not be touched. The upper echelon of Public Works must assume responsibility and resign, since it happened on their watch. People also seem to except at face value the mantra that the "trees were diseased and therefore had to be removed". Where's the proof that the trees were diseased? Who exactly determined they were and where is that report?

Posted by Kenneth Peter
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:23 am

While I am pleased that someone made a statement of responsibility, it is a meaningless statement unless 1) true accountability takes place--meaning that the city removes those responsible for this terrible mistake; and 2) true consultation takes place, meaning merchants and residents(and not just property owners, who are often neither merchants or residents) get genuine input to fix this flawed plan.

The statement made last night to City Council did not seem to meet either of those two concerns. No discipline was discussed or suggested. And while we were told that there would be new outreach efforts, we were also told that the mistake was one of "public relations" but not one of substance. That attitude bodes very ill for future outreach, because it suggests that further consultation is more about providing damage control for public relations than it is about making substantive changes.

This issue is going to demand sustained citizen attention, or it will slip quietly away as a fait accompli. I hope we all provide that sustained attention.

Posted by Toady
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:26 am

Yep. Cutting down trees is the same as CIA torture investigations.

(reread that a couple of times to recognize how stupid that sounds)

Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:35 am

WEll, from reading these threads and the new articles it is clear with whom the blame rests;

Jim Keane--the city manager, The entire City Council, but especially Pat Burt since he is the liaison to CAADA, the head of CAADA Ronna, the city arborist Dave Dockter, Canopy and PAN and the neighborhood leaders.

Come of the people above, knew of this fiasco and did nothing. Others should have known about it but probably too busy figuring out how they can be more "green" or contemplating their political futures.

What is not surprising is that now that a big stink has arisen over this some people (i.e. Canopy, members of PAN) are claiming that they knew nothing, when evidence has been presented on this forum that they did. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by EJ
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:34 am

Did anyone see Ronna Devincenzi's email to CAADA published in yesterday's Post?

"So far all comments from merchants reflect happiness about being able to see their stores from the front..."

Gee, I guess it's true... none of us who regularly shop and/or dine on Calif. Ave. were ever actually aware of what the businesses were that we were frequenting, not until all the trees were clear cut and we could finally, plainly SEE the shops! Cafe Brioche? What a lovely name; I never realized that's what it was! Leaf and Petal - what a great little shop; why, I never knew it existed until they finally cut down those darn trees!

My God, does she really expect the public to swallow this pathetic line? And if 'all' the merchants were all so 'happy' about the clear cut, how does she explain the posting on this very forum the other day from the proprietors of the California Hotel, who expressed great concern about how this was handled and how it impacts their business? What other 'happy moments' do we all have to look forward to with this "beautification" project? I shudder to think...

Posted by Eileen Stolee
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:45 am

So, the shop owners really did know that all the trees were going at once? Big mistake on their part because I think they just lost customers! Lets see, lets make our shopping area treeless and ugly for the next 10 years and we'll have tons of new customers coming down to shop. Maybe they will come from other treeless areas outside of palo Alto!

Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 22, 2009 at 8:53 am

I am not sure why the editors removed the last part of my post.
Clearly when a group like Canopy claims that they are shocked by the event and then proof is presented that they knew about it ahead of time, to me this sounds like they are not being truthful. The same claim can be made about members of PAN.
Not sure what the problem is editor.

Posted by V
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

What is the plan (if any) for tree replacement?

Posted by j
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:21 am

I find it hard to believe ALL the merchants wanted all the trees down.
I also don't believe ALL the trees were damaged and diseased.

Posted by PJ
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:22 am

Ah yes. Of course. This now boils down to conspiracy theories about small community organizations withholding information from their constituents, supporting clear cutting of trees, and lying about their involvement. You obviously haven't read the facts, and everyone's info., if you see it this way.

Posted by Allen Edwards
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:23 am

Sounds like a total screw up. Diseased trees diagnosed in 2005 look fine in 2009 and are cut down. Beautification play involves removing trees, adding benches, adding a bunch of other stuff. Can't afford to add the other stuff but we can afford to cut down the trees. You think anyone will notice?

I was there yesterday. I didn't really notice the missing trees (hard to see something that isn't there) but I sure noticed how hot and unpleasant it was. Don't remember it being that way before.

The merchants who supported this should anti up to buy really big trees to replace the ones that were cut as they really messed up big time.

Finally, I thought that the trees were a city asset and cutting them down had to be budgeted. What happened there?


Posted by susan
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:26 am

Let's think about the future generations. If we really want to make things better for them, let's buck up and realize change is not always pretty while the change is occurring.
I think we'll make it through this transition. I really do.
I am glad City Hall is publicly acknowledging the way this was done was a magnificent PR blunder, but now let's get some positive thinking going. Please stop trying to clear cut the people who work for and with the city. Let's try and resurrect the Love and Peace generation ways.

Posted by AW
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:27 am

Considering the extensive protection required for trees when doing a tiny remodel, this seems hypocritical.

Posted by Neighbor hood Curmudgeon
a resident of University South
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

Look at the bright side. It is now too hot for Victor Frost, and he has returned to Whole Foods.

Posted by Dan
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:31 am

In the Real World (e.g. other than public employees), people get fired for making "mistakes" like this. I wonder if anyone has ever been fired from the City of Palo Alto other than "allowing" the Police Chief to leave with a hefty pension. This person who made the "mistake" is still going to get their retirement benefits that bankrupt the city.

Posted by WorldOutside
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

As I posted on the other thread of the same topic: I find it amazing that a topic like this elicits so much response in todays world.

Trees got cut down, it's sad. Really. But do you have so much time on your hands that you are honestly never going to go to that street again because it doesn't currently have trees? That's absurd.

How about this one: over 16,000 (yes that's sixteen thousand) children die from hunger related issues every day. Or, here's another one: 1.4 billion people, 1/6th of the worlds population, earn less than $1.25 a day.

And you people are calling for heads to be cut off because your street is now really, really sunny.

Seriously, there are over 100 posts on this topic between the several threads. If each of you highly intelligent, educated and well-fed people focused your attention elsewhere for just a few minutes we could make a better world. Not just a better California Avenue where it's now too hot for you to shop.

Posted by Susan
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:35 am

WorldOutside - Thank you!

Posted by new trees
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

Frankly, it doesn't matter to me who is at fault, except to the extent knowing can prevent future fiascos. My NUMBER 1 CONCERN right now is what they are putting in as replacement trees. Maples seem to be a terrible choice (dropping leaves, no shade for 6months of the year, barren look). City staff: Please reconsider and let people know what the plans are.

Posted by Robin
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:37 am

What California Ave needs more than anything else is NEW pavement. The road is a cracked mess... worse than anything I ever saw in the worst neighborhoods of NYC or outside of NYC in empty/deserted/warehouse, areas. As a cyclist... it is dangerous... the 30 foot plus continuous cracks are over 2" deep and 2" wide... it is a disgrace that this very popular and heavily used area.. doesn't get a street as nicely paved as residential areas (some of them). In general Palo Alto streets look more like those is ghost towns in the most economically deprived areas in the US.

Posted by Sara
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:40 am

PR blunder? Excuse me! That implies that the decision to cut down the trees was correct and the only problem was in the way it was carried out. I don't think "Love and Peace" is the appropriate response. I think the outrage expressed by many of the residents will ultimately prove to be more beneficial for the community.

Posted by Mel
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:52 am

I appreciate the comment by EJ. I did read Ronna Devincenzi's email to CAADA published in yesterday's Post. It was astonishing to think that she (Ronna Devincenzi) has any kind of credibility. I am not sure where she gets her information but if all the comments from the merchants on California Avenue reflect "happiness" they are as delusional as Ms. Devincenzi.
If they need a reality check they should be reading these comments. Happiness will come when the residents of Palo Alto have a checks and balances system to make sure that they are involved in the decision making process involving their environment.

Posted by Mel
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2009 at 10:58 am

World Outside has posted some very good and sobering comments. However the other comments are based on things that have taken place in Palo Alto. If we are to be concerned about the world outside the California Avenue "beautification" project should never have gotten off the ground. After all, to quote WO, "If each of you highly intelligent, educated and well-fed people focused your attention elsewhere for just a few minutes we could make a better world."

Posted by Franklin
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:01 am

Amen to the comment posted by "new trees"!

Posted by Crying for the tree !
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

Are you going kill me because I have disease?!
I am a tree. I have life!!!

Posted by Gen
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:02 am

What's done is done. I used to enjoy taking a walk over to Calif Ave and getting coffee, strolling around a bit. Now I have no desire to go there. Too depressing. BIG MISTAKE.

Posted by Capbreton
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

Cutting through the not-insignificant chaff, two things are crystal clear.

First, some members of the CAADA board wanted the trees in front of their specific businesses removed, so they disingenuously engineered the wholesale destruction of the trees so their tiny agenda would sneak through. Me? I'm thinking boycott of those businesses.

Second, it is *way* past time for city staff to finally be held accountable for the litany of errors and disrespect (to the residents) that has been building over the last few years. This is a *huge* screw-up -- one that would result in termination in private business. What it is not -- please note, City Council -- is a Kumbaya teachable moment. Time to man-up and actually fire someone.

Posted by Go to jail!
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:08 am

Are we in Milpitas or in Palo Alto?
The person who made decisions to cut the trees should go to jail!!!

Posted by Becky Sanders
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:15 am

Where is the diseased tree report. I would like to see the report that says the number of diseased trees, their exact location and the nature of the disease. Many "diseased" trees can live a long and happy life with proper care and nurture. Some are beyond redemption. But where is the written report?

Posted by reine
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:26 am

I am sad for the trees and for the many BIRDS who lived there, one of the few places that still had singing birds. California street is no longer a street I enjoy strolling, shopping, having a has become an OVEN. Choosing one of the hotest weeks of the year to cut all the trees was really brilliant. May be those who think it is no big deal should come to the famers market on Sunday

A few years ago, trees were replaced on El Camino between Los Robles
and Charleston. This did not have an impact on pedestrians and businesses, but why destroying something that looked lovely at that time? We had perfectly good mature trees and yellow lillies and functioning watering system on the ground, but someone decided to plant 30 or so new trees, so the previous landscape was all replaced trees and plants, with the benediction of Canopy. Now even the ground is totally uninteresting. I still miss the beautiful yellow lilies. Someone made money there.

On the other hand, El Camino around the crossing with University
has been a total eyesore for years and nothing has even been done.
why? too difficult for those contractors?

Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:27 am

It's particularly stupid to replace the trees all at once. That means they'll all come to the end of their lives at about the same time, creating another treeless fiasco in the future.

Why is it that people who want to cut down trees always decide the trees are "diseased" and yet the trees live on happily for years?

A fitting response to this would be for the people responsible to have to shell out for trees of a variety of maturities, including quite a few ones of substantial size to be planted in that area immediately.

This "see the shops" business reminds me unpleasantly of when a real estate agent had limbs on one side lopped off my protected tree next door so that the house he had on the market would be "more visible from the street." It was in violation of the tree ordinance, but the tree mutilators did their work before anyone was aware it was planned.

Posted by WorldOutside
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:40 am

Mel, I'm not saying to abandon local issues. I'm just saying, focus a bit. have some perspective. I love trees, totally love them. I have planted many around the state. I have a cabin up in the Gold Country nestled amoung ancient redwoods - which I have been known to actually hug.

But these trees were planted by the city, not all that long ago. They aren't ancient trees that have been grown for thousands or even hundreds of years. They were resulting in claims against the city which most of you would agree we can't afford. So a solution was agreed upon by the actual parties involved. Just because you walk down the street and look at the trees doesn't give you a say in their care. Sorry, but it doesn't. It was, in my opinion, with limited knowledge of tree care, the wrong solution to the problem. But it was, at the end of the day, none of my business.

So, all I'm saying is take a tiny bit of the passion and energy you are weilding for these now dead trees, and make someones life better. Buy a meal for a hungry child. Bring a meal to an elderly neighbor that has a hard time getting around. Drive that elderly neighbor to their doctor appointment. Pick up trash along a waterway. Whatever. Just use your energy in a manner that will actually bring about change in this world instead of using it all to complain here about something that is only relevant in your tiny slice of the world.

1.6 million children under 5 years old die from a single type of diarrhea each year. A tiny pill can save them all. Donate a bit of money to one of several organizations that have started distributing zinc supplements to these kids to save their lives. You could probably buy 100 zinc pills for what you will pay for your dinner tonight and save 100 lives.

Isn't that more constructive than complaining about some trees because a street you like to shop on is too sunny now?

Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:41 am

The see the shops comment is such hooey. Last I checked, there are many trees on University Avenue...

All that had to happen was to prune the trees, not cut them down.

We can't go back. Do I want heads to roll? No. Do I want immediate action (and budget) to fix the mess - yes. Should it happen quickly? yes.

I'm more interested in getting the entire district fixed as soon as possible than firing personnel. I think Keene will figure out the appropriate discipline --- and it's not my business what that is (contrary to many who have to stick their noses into every personnel action).

Posted by Grandma
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:45 am

Seems to me, Mr. Morton, somebody did understand the impact of cutting down all those trees, which is doubtless why it was done this way, on the q.t. Over and done with, now get on with replanting, instead of endless arguing over the project. And...maple trees? I thought somewhere I had read the replacements would be red oad? Please clarify. Thank you.

Posted by Irene
a resident of Greene Middle School
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:54 am

I think there should be a revised plan for trees and plantings along California Avenue. Larger trees and other plantings should be brought in. That will require more investment, but it is worth it to make the street attractive, inviting and green until the trees mature. We should not be left with an eyesore and an embarrassment for years and years because of poor project planning by all concerned!

Posted by WayToGoPA
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:58 am

So the trees have been cut. Cannot undo that. Replacing all the trees in kind will cost how much? Stuff like this happens quite frequently at City Hall. Brainy ideas for projects that become a blunder and end up costing more money than the original project cost. The only difference THIS time is Palo Alto is under such scrutiny due to current negotiations that a half-sincere apology was given.

How could all the policies, procedures, rules and regulations have been overlooked? Possibly a new (replacement) employee with no experience?? Possibly a contract employee who has no vested interest in the community? Citizens of Palo Alto this is an example what is to come with a contracted-out City of Palo Alto workforce.

I wonder what 'outside influence' funded this blunder. Hmmmm, let me go re-read Ladoris Cordell's article again and see who the council is aligned with.

Posted by EJ
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm

To World Outside,

Why do you make the assumption that, because so many of us are upset and outraged that five dozen seemingly healthy trees along the second busiest boulevard in the city were axed in one day, we are not capable of caring about people and humanitarian issues outside of our city? Does one emotion negate another? Does one cause invalidate another? I can assure you that I am involved in many causes and organizations that try to affect positive change in this world. My involvement in those causes isn't going to make me ignore a colossal blunder such as the one visited upon Calif. Ave. last week. What's wrong with expressing outrage about having a nice, comfortable tree-lined street turned into a strip mall in a matter of hours?

Posted by bev
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm

its easier to go ahead and do what you want (especially with the city money)and say I'm sorry later that to ask permission and get a no in response.

Posted by j forte
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

The street looks much like it did in 1956 when I first arrived in PA... weird.

spilt milk. can't bring the trees back now.

PA City Council should step up, make up for its lack of oversight on the project,
and spend more money in order to put in larger trees ASAP...

I'd chip in $100 towards bigger trees...

Posted by Rhonda
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm

People make mistakes all the time and mea culpas are not enough. There need to be consequences of these poor decisions. That is the only way we can get change. Otherwise the same poorly conceived ideas and behaviors will continue. As Bev said above, it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission but, in the case of California Avenue, forgiveness will just exonerate the guilty parties and the people who use California Avenue will suffer. We need to be involved in the rest of the project and correct the tree deficit with trees that are environmentally friendly (not deciduous trees that change color). If the rest of the project gets screwed-up we can always forgive again, right?

Posted by WorldOutside
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm

EJ, I kind of strayed from my point. Totally my fault. Sorry.

All I really meant was with so much going on in this world it's amazing that so many can get so worked up over such a thing. Life is short, and Palo Alto will continue to be here. Like I said in my original post, if someone started a thread discussing their outrage at one of those injustices I mentioned, there wouldn't likely be even a quarter of the responses. Because that's the kind of thing that happens in other places.

I just think a bit of perspective is a positive thing.

Posted by Jim
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm

They should plant bigger trees than originally planned to compensate for the poor planning.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm

How come no one ever gets fired in Palo Alto government? If some staff member screwed up, fire him. The City spends a half million on a crappy website and there are no repercussions on the staff.

At least when Gates took over as SECDEF after than incompetent Rumsfeld screw-ups had consequences.

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Anonymous is right. There have to be consequences for bad decisions, bad judgement, bad management. There is in the private sector.

The upper management of the Public Works Departmment should be fired. Future management performance in Palo Alto City Hall would benefit from this action.

Posted by Honor Mother Nature
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Take a look @ the huge tree stumps along the north side of the tennis courts on Dartmouth St. in College Terrace. The stumps remain, new trees unplanted, a very sad sight.
Honor the trees, please!

Posted by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly staff writer
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Sue Dremann is a registered user.

Dave Dockter, city arborist, told me that he was not involved in the decision to take out the trees. The decision for this project came from Public Works. The arborist there is Eric Krebs.

Posted by Res.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Ronna Devincenzi, President of CAADA should either resign on her own or be asked to leave the CAADA board. Her influence is not healthy for California Ave.

Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm

EJ, ITA in your reply to World Outside. I see he has backed off a bit. But your point was VERY valid. We can be righteously outraged at so many trees being hacked down, trees that give us carbon dioxide and shade, while still caring about the issues he mentions. Not to be too cliched but, think globally, ACT locally.

I drove down California Avenue Friday around 6:00. It reminded me of old Western movies. The bare storefronts looked like Tombstone, Arizona.

Posted by Farmer's Market Lover
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I was shocked when I went Sunday to the Farmer's Market. I'd heard about the 50 or so trees cut down, but ... the street from the train tracks end looked like some barren movie set! It was hot, and granted the Farmer's Market "dining area" had more room as the vendor's booths were placed right next to the curbs (versus more into the street before when there were trees providing shade), and the extra room gave more space for the crowds that weren't there to mill around... Well, I didn't feel like milling around too long as it was just too darn HOT, and unprotected.

I took pictures of the stumps bleeding tree sap, with the caution sawhorse gravestones above them. It'll be hard to return to the Farmer's Market except when I REALLY have to. I think the Milk Pail will be getting more of my business now - it takes care of its customers by making it pleasant to shop there!

Wonder what will "instantly" replace the "instantly" removed 30+-year-old trees?

Posted by Haha
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm

It looks like CAADA pulled a fast one and the city just went along with it. So much for the Palo Alto process. Now California Ave really looks like anyplace in California, hot dry and dumpy. It's refreshing to see how everyone in the city government is as pure and innocent as the driven snow in this fiasco.

Posted by j forte
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm

What I REALLY don't get is all the people posting in here about not shopping on Calif. Ave. anymore because of the trees... that's crazy. The shops are the same, the great restaurants are the same, the people who work there are still just as friendly. It's a WONDERFUL street to live near to, for shopping and eating and browsing-- and that hasn't changed. And the heat on Saturday was felt EVERYwhere, not just on Calif. Ave...

New trees will be put in shortly... In the meantime, don't stupidly punish the merchants.

I can't believe the mean-spirited attitudes of some people in this thread. Calif. Ave. still deserves your patronage. It just stepped back in time a little... Everyone should dress in their best '50s attire, LOL...

Posted by Calif. Ave. Tree Lover
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm

If Public Works Arborist (under the circumstances, it sounds like an oxymoron) Eric Krebs did generate this outrageous tree massacre, he should be dismissed with prejudice.

Posted by Ann
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:32 pm

In reference to J. Forte's comments; you are right, the merchants shouldn't be penalized. But they voted for and were represented by the CAADA and if there are no consequences of this poor planning without input from the PEOPLE that frequent the stores on California Avenue then a boycott, and the resulting decline in revenue, will help change things. The head of CAADA, Ronna Devincenzi, talks about how happy the merchants are with the missing trees. She is totally out of touch with reality. Totally! How else do we convince these "planners" that they made a big mistake, if not by indicating there are financial consequences of their myopic decisions.

Posted by bev
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Sorry Ann, CAADA does NOT represent all the merchants.......
Ronna represents the BUILDING owners....NOT the merchants who rent their spaces.......

Posted by Awesome
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm

It's about time someone finally broke the Palo Alto Process. It's hilarious to see all the sniveling here.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm

We were on CA Ave today and it is a blast furnace, when the winter comes it will be a bleak, lifeless wasteland.

I presume developers wanted to bypass the PA process by ramming through their massacre, what motivated the City pols and managers to go along with this scam?

You expect this sort of scam stuff in Chicago or NOLA, but in tree hugging, green Palo Alto?

Posted by Floyd
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm

At least we now know: the building owners and CAADA own California Avenue. We dumb citizens can now go back to sleep.
Does anybody ever answer for fiascos like this?

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:25 pm

It is a fiasco for PA citizens,but for developers it was a carefully planned commercial strategy.
Again my question is, as we know the developers believe they will benefit financially how do the City pols and managers believe they will benefit?
Is this the PA version of "China Town" in LA?

Follow the money--

There will be an Email, phone, meeting and financial trail if anything wicked took place.

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm

The Public Works Department culture used to be one of sincerity, competence, good judgement and honestry. That Department was highly respected by residents. Now it appears that the Public Works Department has a culture of politics, insincerity, avoiding responsibility, slovenliness, and doubtful judgement. Organizational culture begins at the top. There will have to be a change in top management leadership in this Department if it is ever to regain the trust of residents.

Posted by KJ
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm

I question the city manager's judgement in following his basic apology with just an offer to make some communication - not decision - process changes and a startling suggestion that we spend $20,000 more on the project.

Posted by Sally Keep
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I've lived in Palo Alto for 45 years. However. we recently moved because of the sky-high house rents in Palo Alto. We still shop in Palo Alto and when we came for coffee today to California Ave. we were totally shocked. It looks so UGLY! And I can't really believe that all those trees were diseased? No-one mentioned that before. I don't think we will shopping there for quite a while. It is not the cute place anymore you would choose to take your out-of-town friends to see.

Posted by I loved Mayfield
a resident of Green Acres
on Sep 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm

I saw the City workers when they were almost finished with their "deed"of removing the trees....I wanted to get out of my car and chain myself to one of the trees that were left.....the feeling was pretty strong....I could only lower my eyes and keep slowly driving away.

The area now looks like the Atomic bomb had been dropped on California Ave.

SO DEPRESSING...I grew up near California Ave. Shopped at Purity Store, Co-Op and California Ave. pharmacy; ate Ice Cream at Bishop's Creamery; watched movies at the small theater; had my shoes resoled at Gabe's shoe shop; bought clothes from Harryman's Department store; bought toys at Ben Franklin's; bought my bird and turtle from Monet's Pet shop; and put money every week from my school (Mayfield Elementary) into a savings account at Bank of America at the corner of El Camino and California Ave. Was a great friendly place to hang out. Then there was Drapers Music store and Kirk's..the list goes on.

Now the strip has to unfortunately start over for beautification as the feeling is not there took SO many years for the trees to mature. Doubt I will be around to see the trees that they are anticipating replanting reach their maturity and fullness. Humbug to the people who let this happen. You have robbed part of my future.

Posted by Bunny
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 7:09 pm

I won't go to CA Ave anymore because it is so ugly.
Since the cuttings, I do my shopping and banking
and walking around on Castro, Santa Cruz and Main Sts.
Too bad I have to drive to those places when I live one
block off California.

Posted by WilliamR
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:18 pm

A number of people on these California Avenue threads have said that the proposed red maples are a bad choice for replacement trees, but I don't think I have seen any alternatives presented. Some people have said that the holly oaks should be replaced by trees native to our area and climate. So what are some good medium-scale urban trees? More broadly, what are the criteria for selecting trees for this setting? Appropriate size, appearance, disease-resistance, drought-resistance are categories that come to mind. (Just as a personal observation, I think a mix of 3 or 4 different species would help maintain the 'personality' of the area.)

Posted by EF
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:32 pm

There needs to be a FULL accounting:
1) where is the report establishing that any tree was "diseased" and therefore needed to be removed?
2) why does CAADA have such a big influence on City planners, that is why does there recommendation that all trees should go at once carry the day? I don't buy Keene's statement that there was input from the community and all the stakeholders in CA Ave.! Certainly many merchants and local shoppers were not informed. There was property owner input and that's about it!
3) There needs to be true accountability - not a weak "apology".
Finally, I have very little desire to go to CA Ave anymore. For me the major appeal was the small town feel and sense of history - the trees had everything to do with this. Although we lost Drapers and the hardware store, I came there to support small, independent stores and cafes such as Know New Books, the Bargain Box, Printers Coffee shop and Village Stationers. In this world of chain stores and malls, California Avenue has (had?) an authenticity and feeling of place that University Ave has lost.... the mature trees were a comfort and a marker of time.

Posted by John
a resident of Meadow Park
on Sep 22, 2009 at 9:52 pm

I've read thru all the posts. Cal Ave has been changed into a strip mall by developers, some way to make money, I suppose. Clear cut now and say your sorry.

I just wonder what us it with humans and chain saws?

Is there some sort of war on trees that I don't know about?

Is this part of global warming and climate change?

It is sad.

Posted by Martine
a resident of Portola Valley
on Sep 22, 2009 at 11:47 pm

I was planning to exhibit my artwork in a gallery on California Avenue but now I can see it would be a complete waste of my time and money! Why don't you just build a big roof over the entire shopping district to protect us from the elements? All those empty storefronts will soon provide comfortable living spaces and soup kitchens for California's newly dispossessed!

Posted by Another PA Faux Pas
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2009 at 2:33 am

Editor: "Thank you" for completely removing my earlier post.

CA Ave. STILL looks like Sunnyvale - barren and baked. The few years I spent living in Sunnyvale were years constantly despairing for lack of decent city trees and their shade - it does not do that otherwise OK city any favors, IMO. There's a major reason I chose to move to Palo Alto instead, when the chance arose.

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 23, 2009 at 10:07 am

Palo Altans deserve a competent, accountable, transparent City Government. They got none of these in the California Avenue clearcut fiasco.

Posted by Andrew
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm

This is a copy of an e-mail I sent to the City Council Palo Alto:

I am horrified at the poor judgment and complete lack of forethought that went into the recent "clear cutting" of California Avenue, where I have my office. Most of what went into your Project Notification Update seems outright deceitful and incorrect. I have had an office in the neighborhood for 15 years, and not once have I noticed "sooty mold" or had issues with clients "tripping over acorns". What is actually true is that you chose to take down 50 trees which provided shade and beauty to the neighborhood, and the replacement trees will not provide the same level of shade and beauty for decades! Shame on you and your team.

You also lie when you state "The Streetscape Improvement Project was vetted with the community and business district, and the consensus was to have all the trees replaced at one time..." This is not true, and had you actually informed local businesses that you planned to desecrate the neighborhood by clear cutting it, you would have received a resounding "No!" But instead you chose to do the project quickly and without adequate notifications, including a failure to notify the City Council.

In terms of the rest of the project, I have no more confidence that you and your team will make good judgments. I would suggest that the project be put on hold for now, and that the Council and citizens be consulted on all of the proposed changes. As such, I am forwarding this email to them. It sounds like the project will greatly impair commerce in the neighborhood, and we have had enough of this over the past few months. You may not realize it, since your department seems to have a overly large budget to waste, but we are in a recession, and ripping up the neighborhood repeatedly and interfering with traffic and parking hardly helps local businesses.

I would make one suggestion. I would suggest you spend considerable extra money, and allocate that money to replanting larger trees, as large as is practical, to replace the trees that were destroyed. This would begin to restore the neighborhood to what it was, much more than replacing benches and trash cans, none of which is meaningful or even necessary. And I would suggest that if 50 trees were removed, that you plant 75 trees to replace them. This is not only important for beauty and comfort, but also for green issues and to address global warming.

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 23, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Hats off to Andrew for calling the City bureaucracy out for deception. They will not dare contradict what he has said because it is the truth.

Time to show the incompetent, untruthful managers at City Hall the door. Bring in competent, sincere, truthful people to replace them. The time to cover backsides is long over. Time for accountability.

Put Keene on notice too that he gets a pass just this one time because he's new.

Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I have to respond to the above very odd slam on the city of Sunnyvale. I found it a wonderful, well-run city when I lived there for 8 yrs. The city streets are very well-maintained and there are plenty of trees.

Posted by Irvin
a resident of University South
on Sep 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm

my first post here and I haven't read the preceding comments. I'm sitting @Quiznos....a contractor is 'cleaning up' an area where a stump now exists...I think this is termed 'stump removal'. Boy, does this place look awful (not Quiznos - great place, referring to the deserted streetscape....desertification?).

I'm not sure that public works should be getting so much blame. I feel that the onus should be placed on CADA - this wouldn't have happened without their insistence...BTW, who's footing the bill?

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm

The Public Works Department authorized the clearcut of the 63 trees on California Avenue.

The contractor would not have clearcut the trees without having been ordered to do so by Public Works.

Public Works is paying the contractor for the clearcutting all the trees on California Avenue.

Posted by Dave
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Sep 23, 2009 at 7:18 pm

This is *my* neighborhood and having been surprised/shocked/embarrassed to have seen this massacre ... I got to wondering just who would benefit from having property values around California Avenue shrink for the next decade or so, until the trees grow back to sane sizes again. (And some others presumably rise...)

Because nobody could possibly be so stupid as to think this was a good idea, right?

Then I find that the primary push for this outside yet-to-be-named people inside the city, is one "Ronna Devincenzi, Realtor" who chairs some business group.

Realtor, you say? As in, someone who works all the time with property speculators?

We need to see a real investigation here. Lots of folk feel that cutting down the trees was "criminal" in the bad/evil/reprehensible sense. It could very easily be so in the "breaking laws" sense too.

Posted by A Noun Ea Mus
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 23, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Funny parallel.

The trees are cut down and the city suffers big time for a long time.

The same bunch who oversaw this are now also attempting to cut down working people's wages and benefits. And the rampant arrogance and disdain expressed by many local right wingers is already caused long lasting resentment and regret among our workers.

If the other "cut down" plan succeeds the city will also suffer big time for a long time.

Time to reign in the incompetent chainsaw directors.

Posted by cieboy
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 23, 2009 at 9:46 pm

Bad people on "The Streetscape Improvement Project" no donut.

Posted by Really Upset
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Biggest screw-up imaginable. Ronna DeVicenzi must be out of her mind to suggest that anyone, merchants or local residents could be "happy" with the trees gone. She, and everyone involved in this stupid, stupid decision should be FIRED! NOW!

Posted by funky
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2009 at 6:48 am

I believe that some city high rank employees were doing the dirty job for real estate speculators in this case. Whether they did it out of naivete and stupidity or because of bribes is something a criminal investigation should deal with.

Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2009 at 7:52 am

Dave, as in who is working with James Keene on his New City Paid for home?

Posted by Eileen Stolee
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2009 at 8:26 am

I just want to remind all of you to keep up the pressure on the city to hold whoever was responsible for this ridiculous clear cutting debacle accountable! This is too big of an issue to brush aside with a couple of "We made a communication error", and "We are shocked".

Keep posting on this site and email the city officials. Also attend City Council meetings!

Even as we speak, Canopy and others who claim to have known nothing of the impending hatchet job, are meeting with the city without your input!! I guess we should let the "experts" make the decisions for us?

Posted by Buck Finally Stopped
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

No more "damage control". No more alibis.

Specifically which department heads and managers in City Government authorized chopping down all 63 oak trees on California Avenue?

Were proper procedures and policies followed in this decision?

Were citizens informed in a timely manner about the plan to cut down all the trees on this public street? Were citizens given a chance to object?

If not, specifically which people in City Government are responsible? How will these people be held accountable?

Posted by Tucson/Berkeley
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2009 at 4:47 pm

This sounds all too familiar.

Web Link

The link above talks about Keene's "it was news to me" defense back when he was a Berkeley. This guy is a charlatan.

Posted by an upset citizen
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 24, 2009 at 8:36 pm

One person should not have this much POWER! James Keene is who I am referring to.

This is the picture that the City Manager Jim Keene would like to portray to the public. “Supports the Council, priorities of Environmental Protection, Economic Health, and Civic Engagement for the Common Good. A primary responsibility of the City Manager is to assure that City services are performed in accordance with Council policies and within the capability of the City's resources.” This is right off the City’s website.

City Council member Larry Klein said in Palo Alto Weekly (June 26, 2008) Keene isn't perfect, but declined to discuss any of the new city manager's weaknesses. Klein also said he did not have any concerns that Keene has moved between jobs too frequently. Maybe the City Council and then Mayor Larry Klein should have checked into his weakness further! Please PEOPLE; let’s RETHINK before we ReElect Larry Klein again!

The information that I am passing is in reference to James Keene and his Tucson LEGACY… Why did he leave the position in Tucson, what kind of destruction and deceit did he leave as his “LEGACY. “ Has anyone done their homework on this man? I thought the city of Palo Alto was full of intelligent educated people? I would think that most people in this community pride themselves on our personal accomplishments, intelligence, integrity, education and common SENSE. Wake up Citizens of Palo Alto, start becoming aware of what shambles this man can leave our city in! All I know is most people that are applying for employment today, have to do everything from pee in a cup to do background, credit and reference checks. Who Checked This Man’s Credentials and References?

This man James Keene became employed by the City of Palo Alto on September 2nd, 2008. His purpose in his own words were, "I hope I'm going to carry on a tradition here as a public servant first of all, being respectful of everybody."

I find it completely appalling, that a person that has worked for our city a little over a ONE year period of time is allowed to ride rough shot over the citizens and city employees.

How can one man, not even a “REAL” Palo Altoan have the gall to cut down and remove 63 Oak Trees that have been standing for Thirty Years and then blame it on the Public works department? Then failing miserable to even attempt bringing this topic of removing these trees to the citizens for open discussion is CRIMINAL. Did anyone ever consider bring in a tree arborist to attempt to save these trees? I was in the landscape business for about 25 years, and just because trees are mis-shaped or diseased doesn’t mean that you cut them down and KILL them. It all should have been reviewed by a professional with the proper credentials outside of Keene’s jurisdiction. All the trees probably needed were the diseased parts cut out and then properly sprayed. The reshaping is a matter of maintenance.

Blaming this on someone other than himself is completely infuriating! How could James Keene state he had no idea, do you honestly believe that a Contractor is going to step foot on city property and destroy it without a contract in hand. Does it make one bit of sense that a tree company/contractor is going to CUT DOWN 63, 30- year old trees, 3 blocks long without the promise of compensation? Who signed this contractor’s check? Who approved for this amount of city’s money to be used for this for this job? From what I’ve learned in life, blaming it on the next guy or passing the buck isn’t an option when you earn $240,000 a year income, receive a $600 monthly transportation allowance and have a housing package paid by tax payer’s money. As the old saying goes, made by Harry Truman “The buck stops here.” In Jim Keene’s cases it’s always someone else’s fault.

So far this man REALLY has proven that he is a public servant hasn’t he. Just because this man, James hopped on a garage trucks and played garbage man for day as he did at the beginning of his career to impress “the community” doesn’t prove that he is a committed, dedicated individual worthy of serving the City of Palo Alto. This is the man that’s running the city? …RIGHT

What really gets me is this beautification project, which also includes repaving and restriping of California Avenue, new trash cans and news racks. Oh, and by the way the trees will only take 10 to 15 years to reach the size that we just cut down, how can you even start to justify this?

How can replacing new trash cans and new racks even start to compensate SIXTY THREE - 30 year old Oak Trees? Do you really believe that we’re buying the crap you’re selling us James? What about the extra $$$ that this is costing the city? So now you are trying to appease us by using larger trees that cost over $20,000 more than originally estimated. This is brilliant! The money wouldn’t even be an issue if you would have left the trees in their place to begin with. One more thought on this outrage… Where were you for the two or three days that this way going on?

One of the areas of interest that I find amusing about James Keene is; as a former city manager, he said that he received many job inquiries, but he always said “No, I’m not interested”, but when he got the call about Palo Alto, that was different. Well let me inform you,it was way different.

James Keene moved to Tucson in 2000 from Berkeley, California. In Tucson he essentially ran the city, and the way he did that often was controversial.

In 2002, two labor unions held a demonstration at city hall to try to convince the mayor and council to FIRE Keene for not giving pay raises to city workers at the same time he accepted a raise. How fitting.

The real reason Keene’s departure from Tucson wasn’t because, “it stems from family and career considerations, and not any complaint about Tucson or the City Council.” Keene words. It was because three Democrats–Steve Leal, José Ibarra and Shirley Scott–shopped for a fourth vote to fire him midway through his tenure.
And his last year there, he had several high-profile screw-ups, including the botched relocation of downtown’s Greyhound Bus terminal and the disastrous stab at using water hook-ups to extort pre-annexation agreements from developers in the Rincon Valley.

The water fight was an especially humiliating experience for Keene, with a majority of council members complaining that the manager slipped his plans past them in the fine print of a five-page memo. After Tucson Water officials surprised developers with a demand that they agree to sign away their future customers’ right to reject annexation by the city, all hell broke loose. The ensuing chaos–which included crowds of angry Vail residents packing the council chambers to tell them to stay the hell out of their neighborhood–left the city’s water policy in shambles and the annexation atmosphere more poisoned than ever.

Even Keene supporter Carol West, an eastside Democrat, says the water-for-annexation affair was handled horribly. And Republican Councilwoman Kathleen Dunbar, who repeatedly clashed with Keene during the fiasco, made it pretty clear Keene was on her last nerve.
Keene was just arrogant enough to alienate members of the city council and to construe the city charter’s provisions for a strong city manager as a mandate to run roughshod over elected officials. Who could blame him? He’s definitely smarter than most of the council members. Keene had monumental failures like the transportation sales tax and picked stupid fights with the media and County Manager Chuck Huckleberry.

Tucson’s downtown project and the moving of Greyhound station was also in question while under James watch while as city manager. In the Greyhound case, they thought the bus station should be moved because they didn't want poor people downtown. Leal said, "They systematically engaged in an assault on working families. It was disingenuous and mean spirited."

City Councilmember Steve Leal, stated in the Tucson Weekly August 5, 2004 “I believe the organization must comply with Keene's dreams for downtown. If they don't, he thinks it will pay a heavy price in funding cuts. They know Keene is vindictive and retaliates."
Howard Greenseth, who had served on numerous city committees focused on implementing downtown projects, agrees, "The appearance is the alliance is working as a quasi-governmental agency of the city manager's office. That's very dangerous." Greenseth was particularly frustrated by the city's failure to obtain public input about the Greyhound issue until the last minute. Instead, city staff members initially held private meetings with alliance representatives and others, including Greenseth.

Possibly sound a little recognizable? Do you see a pattern yet? The man is addicted to turmoil and discord. Is this what we want in this city?

As a Public Citizen James Keene “You’re Fired!” As far as the city council members, you need to stand up and take notice of this nonsense or maybe the citizens of Palo Alto should call for a RECALL!

Posted by mr Update
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm

This is "Bull Crap, trees give us air..... No mere man has the right to clear cut SIXTY TREES, Believe it or not, its murder. Someone will pay for this disaster.

Posted by Rob Heggen
a resident of another community
on Sep 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Although I live out of town, I work on Page Mill in Palo Alto and am shocked to see the result of your city's tree cutting decision on California Avenue. As I've read the comments my thoughts and questions are:
1) if the merchants and property owners really were consulted about this, and if they are as pleased with the result as Ronna Devincenzi's of CAADA says they are, they need to hear the community's disapproval in the one place they will notice - their bottom line. I have not seen any California St. business and property owners weigh in on this board but I'd like to know what they knew and when they knew it.
2) if California Avenue merchants and property owners were NOT notified, and if your city manager Keene thinks that the only problem in the whole tree cutting fiasco is inadequate "public outreach", he is tone deaf, insensitive and ignorant of who his employers really are. Apologizing without consequences is meaningless. This was a decision that the community is going to have to live with for many years and the consequences of his decision/mistake/lack of 'public outreach" should be commensurate. The loss of more than 60 mature trees, each at least 15 years old, in a public area should not be taken lightly. If Mr. Keene is not competent enough to notify the community, or ensure that the departments that he is supposed to be overseeing notify the community of irreversible actions that will significantly impact their quality of life (yes, trees are definitely in that category), you have to ask yourself what you are paying this guy for? If a blunder of this magnitude isn’t a reason to step down, what does it take? California Street merchants, are you listening? you are the people that a city council or manager listens to.
3) the call for making public the “diseased tree report” that Ronna Devincenzi of CAADA references is entirely reasonable. Who did this report and is there any reason the public can’t see a copy of it?
4) Who is the city’s Project Engineer that signed off on the cutting – let’s have a name to attach to this person. Can he or she justify their actions - or is finger-pointing followed by a meaningless apology, the best that Palo Alto can expect?
5) What city arborist approves clear cutting of urban tree to replace them with another mono-culture of identical aged trees? As soon as one of these new trees gets a “disease” will they all be cut down again? I’m not an arborist but common sense suggests that staggering tree removal and replacement could have accomplished the stated goals with much less disruption to the urban landscape.
6) Who exactly does CAADA represent, where does Ronna Devincenzi fit into this and what were each of their roles in the decision to cut down the trees of California Ave in Palo Alto?

Posted by Resident
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 25, 2009 at 5:44 am

I am too shocked and disgusted to comment further. I loved those trees!!

Posted by Fred Balin
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 26, 2009 at 9:59 am


Renowned arborist Barrie D. Coate will speak on tree selection for the replanting of California Avenue at noon, Sunday (tomorrow), September 27 at the California Avenue Farmer's Market in an area next to Paul's European Cobblery at Ash Street. His remarks will be followed by a question period from attendees.

Mr. Coate is a registered consulting arborist with more than 50 years of horticultural experience. He is Director of the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation, current arboricultural consultant to the J. Paul Getty Museum, author of numerous books, and regular contributor to Western Arborist Magazine.

This event is organized by citizens addressing the need for direct access to expert tree replacement information.

Please download and help disseminate the flyer at the following web link
Web Link

Thank you.

Posted by EJ
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm

The board members of CAADA need to stand before the public at a city council meeting and explain exactly what their motive is in this whole mess. I want to hear straight from Ronna Devincenzi's mouth exactly which merchants expressed "happiness" with the wholesale slaughter of 63 lovely shade trees. Clueless? Delusional? It's hard to say which term applies... perhaps both. Thanks Ronna, but we're not drinking your Kool Aid...

Posted by Dave
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Oct 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

We all loved those trees, and miss them.

Of course, in the last week they made it even worse ... the stumps are now gone, but the planting sites have almost all been filled with cement. Bye-bye forever, trees!

And the few remaining planting sites have those little grilles that tell you someone is planning to put a small bush there, instead of something like a majestic Oak tree...


Posted by Justin Cady
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 6, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Agreed Dave!

All kinda sounds like double talk when you see all those little grilles and all that concrete.

I'm with Upset Citizen as well. I just don't see how this happened. The saddest part is that I'm sure we can bounce Keene if we want to ( perhaps we should ) but those trees are gone.

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