So Friday night, I visited with my friend Judith and her sister Jill, and her friend Marguerite, and here’s one of the topics that came up: cutting down ten of the twenty-five live oaks in the Los Robles neighborhood. There had been an article in the newspaper that day about it.
First you have to grasp that Tallahassee is very fond of its live oaks. It’s like our signature. And it’s a good one. But recently in Los Robles, a huge limb fell from one of their oaks in an area the neighbors had only recently vacated after a Halloween party. The City cut the tree down, and found it was hollow inside. Then the City sent in a private arborist and the public forester to evaluate the remaining oaks. Their conclusion: ten of the trees were likely in the same shape and pose a danger.
The neighborhood is in an uproar. They say if the City is going to come in and take their trees, they insist the City go evaluate every other neighborhood’s trees as well. In other words, they are being picked on. Fakename says, What? What part of “Trees don’t live forever” do you not understand? Fakename guesses that we will have to wait for a tree to fall on John Smith, at which point the neighbors will be asking why the City didn’t remove the trees when they knew they were dangerous. But not really. Because the reality is that now that the City knows they are dangerous (no more peeking through your fingers and pretending it’s okay because you don’t know about it), those trees are coming down. The City says, according to the newspaper article, that nothing will happen without the buy-in of the neighborhood. Right. Los Robles…say goodbye to your dead trees.
I kind of think this is a great example on a small local scale of the government intrusion argument. It’s what government is for. Of course an argument could also be made for the Darwinian solution. Not surprisingly, Fakename’s friends agree with her (I guess that’s why they are her friends). None of us will ever be card-carrying members of the Green Party, because we still have some skepticism.
I almost didn’t make it to this wrapup, because this weekend, I’ve been reading. Last weekend I mentioned that I reconnected with a friend who is a college professor. He’s written a book, as yet unpublished, and is sharing it with me, chapter by chapter. I can’t share anything about it, except to say that I’m completely humbled by his willingness to share it with me. Although I hate to use this word, I think of it as sort of a sacred trust. And it’s good. Very good.