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Yes, Trees

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Editor:

It does seem "somewhat out of kilter" that here in Northern California, where forests make up a huge percentage of our landscape, our cityscapes are, for the most part, devoid of trees ("Trees Please!" July 4).

I moved to the North Coast from Coronado, an island city across the bridge from San Diego. Originally there were few, if any, trees on the island of Coronado. Today, when you drive across the bridge and look down on the city, one of the things you notice is the abundance of trees.

During the six years I lived there, I served on the Coronado Street Tree Committee. We organized tree plantings each year, much like the groups are doing in Eureka. Our committee also developed a Street Tree Ordinance that was adopted by the City Council. One of the ordinance provisions disallowed the practice of "topping" trees in Coronado. The reason for this provision is that topping of trees is an extremely damaging practice. Just look at the row of cypress trees behind the Animal Shelter near the Arcata airport, the pine trees along Central Avenue on the east side of the airport, the cypress tree in front of Tony's restaurant on the west side of Highway 101 by Janes Road, and the trees in the McKinleyville Burger King parking lot. These are just a few examples of local trees that have been ruined by topping.

Kudos to those organizations in Eureka that are helping to make it a more attractive and livable place by planting trees, but I encourage the planting of appropriate trees in the space available for them to grow. This will eliminate the need for topping as these trees reach maturity.

Stan Binnie, Trinidad

Editor:

Nice column by Barry Evans about the importance of leafy greens to our streets but I think he buried the lead by not mentioning the arbor-challenged, concrete hazard called Broadway/Fifth. Every time I'm forced onto this decaying monstrosity or have to cross it I feel the need for either a shower or better insurance. 

Beautifying our main drag from the Hammer to the safety zone (and north Fourth Street while you're at it) should be one of the highest priorities of our city planning department. Beautifying doesn't only refer to more trees, it includes the removal of some of our seedier structures such as the former motels now used as "notels." How about replacing them with green areas or artist and historical sanctuaries to show off our local culture to freshly arriving guests? Maybe if the board all stayed a night in that new Holiday Inn Express on Wabash (the little box by the big box) they'd be able to figure it out. 

It's called "first impressions" gang. An economic goldmine and a sense of pride for this city awaits. Don't let Detroit beat us to it.

Jon Exley, Eureka

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