Sunday, April 29, 2018

18 Vintage Olive Trees Tagged For City Buzzsaws On No. Michillinda Avenue

Mod: I received the following as an email blast yesterday. I thought I should post it here for a more thorough review. If this unhappy deed is being done just so the city can fix or install sidewalks, consider that it would be on a steep hillside that only a few people outside of housekeepers ever climb. The folks living there would be far kinder if they would just start picking up their tax free cleaning help at the bus stop and leave the trees alone.

URGENT: Protest removal of 18 old olive trees; tagged on N. Michillinda Avenue near schools.          

Dear Tree Defenders, Local Conservationists & “WalkabilityAdvocates, I just received the following message from Mitch Marich re: notices tacked to 18 mature old olive trees on N. Michillinda Avenue at the border of Sierra Madre and Pasadena. The sign in the photo reads, as far as I can decipher from enlarging the photo:

City of Sierra Madre

The Dept. of Public Works has approved the removal of this tree in the parkway on N. Michillinda Avenue. The trees will be replaced after street, curb and gutter improvements along with the installation of a sidewalk is completed.

If you wish to appeal this removal it must be submitted in writing to Chris Cimino, Director of Public Works by 5:00pm, 21 May 2018.

I am traveling and cannot investigate this matter; however, I’ve admired those old trees for years and cannot believe there is no creative means of providing pedestrian passage while also protecting these magnificent olive trees! Isn’t this situation exactly what “creative walkability design” is all about? Simply hacking these trees down to install more sun-baked concrete sidewalks and curbs is not an improvement of public space.

(Note sidewalk on west side of street)
The capricious removal of mature old trees as the most expedient means of remodeling a mall parking lot, installing a sidewalk, implementing a new “streetscape plan,” clearing power lines that might be strengthened or rerouted instead, or whatever …needs to stop. The myriad values of old trees, from beauty to providing cooling shade… carbon sequestration to nesting habitat for small birds… production of seasonal flowers to fruit and nuts… all needs to be taken into greater consideration along with soliciting the opinions of all those who live, commute, and work in proximity to such trees. Mature trees are too often treated like expendable old signs or park benches.

They are elegant, living answers to global warming and reduce urban air pollution. Surely the City of Sierra Madre can design a better option that preserves these trees?

I hope you can contact friends and officials you know in Sierra Madre and immediately adjacent Pasadena about saving these trees. Submit your own protests opposing destruction of these venerable olive trees and request a stay of execution until innovative alternatives can be explored.

Olive trees can live to immense age and gain a gnarled and sculptural stature. None of us will live long enough to see trees of this girth again growing along this old parkway, even if tiny saplings are planted. More likely, only a few wimpy species will replace these grand old trees, such the usual crepe myrtles or scraggly ginkgo trees.

Apologies for not being able to provide the Sierra Madre address for the Director of Public Works. Call the City or check the Sierra Madre website for that information. Or drive by and see the notice on the olive trees for yourself. Please share this info. with others who may be concerned.

Large old trees are living remnant of a city’s history. Together, let’s find a way to save these olive trees!

An Additional Email

Mitch: This removal form is on 18 mature olive trees and a pepper on the east side of Michillinda at Sierra Madre. The reason is no doubt to put in a sidewalk as people have to walk in the street there. This is a reasonable goal and maybe even required by the ADA but not ideal. 

It will be decades before replacement trees are useful.  The northbound lane is quite wide here and there is room to just build a 3' sidewalk outside the current curb. That would crowd "my" bike space but be within normal spacing on many streets in Sierra Madre.

I'm not connected to the "tree hugger" community but I bet you are. It would be good if someone from Sierra Madre would register a protest and there could be reconsideration of the need and possible solutions. You have any suggestions for making sure interested parties can be alerted? 

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

130 comments:

  1. The City of Sierra Madre no longer cares about issues such as mature Olive Trees. That is why the Tree Commission was combined into a Commission, it has less impact on decisions.
    Some in the Community Service Commission have stated that Pepper Trees and Olive Trees are not drought tolerant and therefore need to be replaced.
    The word maybe on ADA would suggest this is not a finding.
    Your UUT dollars hard at work.

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    Replies
    1. Beware! You are busy copying Arcadia's Tree Policy. Demolish mature tress in the public parkways and quiet the public by saying they are to be replaced. Replaced? Ha, ha by tiny little sticks of trees which will never produce a shade canopy.

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    2. Apparently the city is asking the affected residents. Like that is going to accomplish anything.

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  2. Where is the Green Committee?

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    Replies
    1. Busy protecting a very, very small number of species of trees - and these are not included. Non-native means ready to be chopped down.

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    2. The concrete they will use to lay the sidewalk. Is it native Californian?

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  3. Sierra Madre City is striving to be like all the surrounding cities, being unique is no longer quaint.

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    Replies
    1. Then why are people paying out the nose to live here? Nobody of any sophistication whatsoever wants to spend their time living in the generic idiocy of the mansionization culture.

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    2. I don't believe that helping pedestrians is the reason. I lived just north of that spot on Michillinda for over 30 years and almost no one walked there. No one walked by Alverno either and they have a sidewalk. There is a sidewalk on the Pasadena side. No sidewalks on south Lima, Ramona and many other places in Sierra Madre. There has to be another reason. Maybe the residents complained about the mess the olives make and are tired of cleaning them up.

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    3. If there is another reason they are sure keeping it a secret.

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  4. Record 129 million trees dead in California due to drought, bark beetle

    http://abc30.com/record-129-million-trees-dead-in-california-due-to-drought-bark-beetle-/2770243/

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  5. The 102 million dead trees in California's forests are turning tree cutters into millionaires

    http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-sierra-tree-mortality-20161129-story.html

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  6. Drought kills 27 million more trees in California

    https://www.scpr.org/news/2017/12/12/78804/drought-kills-another-27-million-trees-in-californ/

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  7. California's Long Drought Has Killed 100 Million Trees

    https://www.livescience.com/57124-california-drought-killed-100-million-trees.html

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  8. Study: Nearly 1 billion trees threatened by California drought

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/carnegie-institution-for-science-study-almost-1-billion-california-trees-impacted-by-drought/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rest are threatened by city planners.

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    2. It's a process.

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    3. An "Elimination Process" like the way we did it to the Indians.

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    4. You can tell that Sierra Madre is a tree city by the careful explanations given every time trees are cut down.

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  9. OK residents and City Council, get the idea? From the small amount of info above we should not cut any trees until the drought is over, makes no sense.

    SPREAD THE WORD, DON'T CUT ANY TREES DOWN UNTIL THE DROUGHT IS OVER.

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  10. Are we allowed to say that the city's "process" on this has not been very transparent? Or would that be uncivil?

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  11. 7:28, very good, made me laugh.

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  12. We have more problems that need money, don't waste it on cutting down living trees.

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  13. Do the people who want those trees cut down have grass green lush yards? The need for sidewalks is serious across the street from LaSalle on the east side. We have adults and kids being forced to cross the street illegally because there is no sidewalk there, that problem is more important than cutting down LIVE GREEN TREES.

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    Replies
    1. Why do they have to cross the street illegally? Can't walk to the corner like everyone else?

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  14. "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot".

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  15. There is no sidewalk at all, in fact, the vegetation forces people to walk in the gutter. This is a serious accident waiting to happen. If you go walk from SM Blvd. on the east side across from LaSalle you will have no trouble saying OH MY, this is bad.

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    Replies
    1. The sidewalk is on the west side of the street. It shouldn't be that complicated.

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  16. I thought Sierra Madre is "Tree City USA".

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    Replies
    1. It's a quiet boring town USA

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    2. Then stay away.

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  17. 09, because it's like 250 to 300 feet out of the way to obey the law. And don't forget these humans are in a hurry to be somewhere else on time, so they need to get to their cars.

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  18. The city had a now shut down Safety Committee, wonder how they reported on problem across the street from LaSalle ?

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  19. 7:48, be patient and speak up at City Hall. This is a Democratic process, you know, where you need to speak up to be heard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or send an email to the city manager and the city council members.

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  20. The trees will most likely not be replaced as there is no room along this area for both trees and a sidewalk. I remember that the Tree Commission had been following the health of these olive trees, taking out a few one at a time when they were in true decline. I would suggest the same now.

    People can walk along in the dirt area around the trees but there is no way a person in a wheel chair or using a walker could negotiate this area. La Salle students use the Methodist church for parking and go back and forth along this area.

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  21. EVery corner is a legal cross walk, yes? SO, no illegality is required to cross the street.

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  22. 8:50am. Anyone in a wheelchair cannot traverse Sierra Madre boulevard in the downtown area. The cafe's have tables and chairs that don't allow enough room to pass. The curbs are too high for a walker to be raised up from the street level and remain balanced on your two legs, that is, if you are fortunate enough to find a parking spot.

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  23. 8:50am. The Tree Committee tried for years to have owners plant and water scraggly oaks in front of their houses in the center street scape. There was always enough room for those trees.

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  24. 8:32am.That is thoughtful of the Methodist church in allowing free parking, why do the two schools not have their own off site parking, was this an oversight in their planning for future growth?
    The Sierra Madre elementary school simply blocks off Highland ave. from vehicles driving up and down during certain school hours; don't understand how that is fair to the homeowners in the area.

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  25. All,
    Don't worry about future city planning. You and I will be long gone mentally or physically. Just learn to relax, meditate and live peacefully.

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    Replies
    1. So your counsel is passivity because someday we're all going to die? Are you an Shmoo or an Eloi?

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    2. Can't respond to your ques. Have no idea what those references meant.

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    3. The Shmoo is a cartoon character from the old Lil' Abner comic strip. They're famous for hopping into a pot and cooking themselves when their masters are hungry. Eloi are from the movie Time Machine. They are passive creatures who willingly allow themselves to be eaten by their oppressor the Morlocks.

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    4. No, don't see myself as victims portrayed in these fictional universe.

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    5. You're advocating for a similar passivity.

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    6. In this case, yes and I'm only speaking for myself. I'm advocating that everyone should choose their own battles wisely.

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  26. Weird. Why is this a priority? Wouldn't the money be better spent fixing pipes?

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    Replies
    1. Cities should refund the taxpayers with surpluses.

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  27. Does the emergency horn sound on weekends?

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    Replies
    1. It will if we start smoking some amber mine residue

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    2. Is that illegal?

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  28. Olive trees can live for hundreds of years as proven by the olive trees in Europe. Unless these trees are dead, diseased, the city needs to find a solution to the problem. My guess is the trees were there before the sidewalks we’re installed.

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  29. Consider this: If all the people vanished from the earth the earth would breathe a sigh of relief and the ecosystem would live on. If all the trees vanished from the earth the ecosystem would collapse and us along with it.

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    Replies
    1. Very good. Thanks.

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    2. Actually, the Earth doesn't care what happens to it. It wasn't here, it is here now, and itll be gone at some point in the future. Its mostly just that we have screwed it up for us and the animal kingdom based on us all being animals, and at this point in time, we humans have won out but killing and ruining just about everything natural in the world, and soon ourselves. But, I repeat, the Earth doesn't care.

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    3. We are temporary residents on Earth.

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    4. Gaia disagrees.

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  30. 10:18am. Unless you are an Olive Tree, then you don't have a chance to remain passive, to the chopping block for you.

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  31. The excuse that the City gave for cutting down a 100 year old Oak Tree from Sierra Mesa school grounds, it was in the way of putting in a sidewalk.

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    Replies
    1. No walking, students need to be bused home.

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    2. Hey now, sidewalks have rights too you know

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    3. Kill everything.

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    4. PER BIBLE - CILLING HUMANS IS WRONG AND ILLEGAL. CILLING TREES AND ANIMALS IS NOT ILLEGAL.

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    5. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think the Bible has legal stature here in the United States. You'll have to move to Iran or the Taliban regions of Afghanistan for that.

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    6. 4:24,
      Go tell that to the US Treasurer to remove "In God We Trust" from its currency.

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    7. That whole separation between church and state thing blew right by you in social studies I guess.

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    8. So why we were asked to "pray" and pledge allegiance to the US flag in last Tuesday's Arcadia CC meeting?

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    9. Because in America we don't kiss the Supreme Leader's ass.

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    10. That's a cop out answer. Do you have a legitimate answer or not? Teacher?

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    11. No, you're the cop out for not understanding the constitution of the country you live in.

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    12. Yes. We are taught that that there is a separation between Church and State which you confirmed. So what is the reason we have to pray in City Council meeting? What is "your understanding" of the "praying business" held inside a government building?

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    13. I have no idea. Why don't you go to the City Council meeting on Tuesday and ask Sho Tay? He prays.

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    14. Thank you for manning-up and say you don't know the answer. What is this question have to do with Tay? I don't care about that SOB.

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    15. In that case definitely ask him.

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    16. I don't think he has to answer. And I don't want to talk to him.

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    17. Wrong conclusion. Don't need to ask Tay on something that can be easily found on Google. Unless you think he has authority on the subject then you can ask him yourself. I will take my chance in getting the answer on Google over Tay's anytime.

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    18. OK. Let us know how it works out.

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  32. IDK if the 3 trees on the east side of Michillinda between SM Blvd and the entrance to the Methodist church parking lot are tagged, but if so their loss may be a small price for safety if Lasalle students are parking in that lot. It's quite difficult to walk past those trees due to their surface roots without using the road.

    Crossing Michillinda at Montecito isn't the answer b/c not only is it north of the lot entrance but it's very dangerous in the morning, especially for distracted teenagers rushing to school while distracted drivers rushing to work are flying down Michillinda at 60 mph.

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    Replies
    1. The parking lot at LaSalle High School does not fill up because so few teenagers are driving these days. That is what parents are for. Plus the thought that a 17 year old cannot handle walking across a tree root is especially funny. Bubble wrap me, mommy! Cut down all the trees so I don't stub my toe!

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    2. You are waiting for a liability lawsuits to happen.

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    3. Cut down and pave everything. At least we'll still have the permanent holiday tree.

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    4. Have you ever walked there 1:18? It is possible to navigate it, but many would either opt for the street, as I do, or cross Michillinda if they're going west anyway. It's impossible to go through the roots with a wheelchair, stroller, or crutches.

      If there's a way to do it without removing those 3 trees, I'm all for it. But if not, the safety of the teenagers is more important.

      Perhaps the Methodists would be willing to allow the city to put the sidewalk a few feet to the east of the trees where there's a hedge right now.

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    5. you are scary.

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    6. Tell me what frightens you, grasshopper.

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    7. Just wait until someone gets hurt or kill and sue the City. You are wasting your time talking sense to PETA and tree huggers.

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    8. 3:07 - Stupidity. Mostly yours.

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    9. Tell us what you believe to be stupid about my comments frightened grasshopper.

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    10. The lawyers are coming! The lawyers are coming!

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    11. That's a stupid question.

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    12. What was stupid? That 18 trees have to be cut down because LaSalle HS students might trip over them on the way to school from a parking lot they don't use.

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    13. Uh, this comment thread was about 3 tree, not 18.

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    14. No one really cares or go thru things with a fine-tooth comb. You know that, right?

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    15. One should make the minimal effort to understand what one is commenting about. Otherwise, it's nothing but blather.

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  33. Anybody ever hike to the 'hunted grove' of old olive trees along the remains of the old Antelope Valley Toll Road trail towards Big Santa Anita Canyon?

    That place is magical. Someone from Nature Friends told me about it.

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    Replies
    1. THe whole world is magical dude! Just gotta believe

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    2. Disneyworld magic.

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    3. Apple Valley Toll road? You are thinking of Sturtevant Trail from just east of Alta Vista Dr in the canyon over to Chantry Flat Rd (Big Santa Anitia canyon). You can see the olive grove above Kaia Lane off Liliano.

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  34. Why does city management choose to spend the residents taxes on cutting down these particular trees at this time?
    How are the funds for repairs on the water pipes?
    With all the broken sidewalks that homeowners are responcible for, why would the city not make those repairs first on their community repair lists?
    The entrance to town will look neutered without any trees, sad day.

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  35. It's very hard to ask the City to remove public trees. It took us 10 years requesting the city to remove 2 huge honey maple trees right outside our front yard. Over the years huge branches had fallen off blocking our driveway and could have killed pedestrians or damaged your home and cars. But the city refused to do anything about it after our repeated warnings. Finally they removed the trees after they found that the trees were dying slowly from disease.

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  36. The east side of Michillinda south of SM Blvd is much more a hazard than the north side.

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  37. This is going to look like a wasteland when ALL 18 trees are cut out at once. Then how long until a sidewalk is in place?

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    Replies
    1. Cutting trees and replacing sidewalk will be completed quickly if you give them enough incentive bonus.

      In the 1994 Northridge Earthquake caused a major collapse of the Santa Monica Freeway, the original contractor estimate of earthquake repair project would take 2 years to complete. The contractor managed to finish the repair project in 3 months after the State promised them a $15 million bonus. Money talks.

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    2. Can you pay the replacement trees enough to make them grow faster?

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    3. Use steroids

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  38. 1:37pm. Are you talking about the Olive Tree groves above the damn on Chantry Flats road?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, on the ridge west above the paved road. What’s left of the mule toll road connects it to Sierra Madre.

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  39. 1:13pm. Does La Salle school pay for those parking spaces from the Methodist Church?

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  40. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
    Could it be that City Management and the Community Service Commission is doing a favor for the girls Catholic school in return for the no charge for rental space with the Wine Tastings and Award dinners that are held there?
    The school has plans for upgrades to the grounds, this would make sense that the City would give a hand, or new sidewalk.

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  41. Judging by some of the aggressive comments, is it possible there is a development project involved here?

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    Replies
    1. Shhhh! You are not supposed to say that.

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  42. Public Works will move forward on the removal of the Olive Trees, the citizen's don't count for much unless they are writing checks to keep the front doors of City Hall open.

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  43. Just drove by those trees - what a horrible loss it would be if they were gone.

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    Replies
    1. How big are the lots behind them?

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    2. Actually it's pretty big. Big enough for a Trader Joe's.

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  44. 6:49pm. I understand that many of groves of the Olive Trees in Sierra Madre were planted by the Padres of San Gabriel Mission, early exploration.
    The mouth of the Sanita Anita river at Carter One supplied water to the Lake in San Marino ( Lacy Park), then onto the San Gabriel Mission.

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    1. Do you have any literature supporting that?

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    2. From Wikipedia

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    3. Some of that sounds right. Lake Avenue in Altadena used to lead to the lake once adjacent to the mission,

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  45. No big lots behind the Olive Trees, Public Works Department and the new City Manager just decided that after 100 years of growing roots in that soil on Michilinda it was time to enact a Master Plan of healthy tree removal.

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    Replies
    1. Healthy tree removal? Seems demented to me.

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  46. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I believe that you should write more about this subject,
    it might not be a taboo subject but typically people do not
    speak about these issues. To the next! Cheers!!

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  47. Olive trees are one of the easiest to move...not cheap when they are that size, but it can be done.

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  48. Doesn't take much of a brain to figure this one out, YOU PUT UP A BOARD WALK. Let's see, put up a board walk or cut down the trees. Go figure?

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  49. Doesn't take much of a brain to figure this one out, YOU PUT UP A BOARD WALK. Let's see, put up a board walk or cut down the trees. Go figure?

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