Letter to the Editor

Shaking in their roots

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dear Editor,

If I were a tree in Kelly or Barnett Park, I'd be trembling in my roots.

In my opinion the decision to cut down 44 trees in Norris Park has been made hastily and I question the qualifications of those recommending we sear our city for the next 15 years.

I want the city to give us the botanical education of those on city staff and the Parks and Trees Advisory Board. I would also like the name of the "local arborist" referred to and his or her qualifications. Planting or cutting down trees no more makes you an arborist than standing in a river makes you a fish.

The branch that fell shortly after Heritage Days was probably broken by the December ice storm, remained lodged in the tree's canopy until winds loosened it, allowing it to fall to the ground. Had the city properly checked each tree as they began to leaf out, they should have discovered this potential hazard and removed it.

With no trees, the park will be unusable most summer days, it will simply be too hot. Gone will be the football games the kids play daily. Gone will be the young mothers taking their children to play in the park. The Hot Summer Night concerts will have to be re-named Heat Stroke concerts, attendance will plummet.

Without shade, the summer heat will make participation in the Heritage Days flea market unpleasant for both vendors and patrons. This event will dwindle and possibly die.

The city proposes to buy new playground equipment for the park. I didn't know you could buy refrigerated playground equipment That''s what it will have to be, otherwise with no shade it will be too hot to play on.

Let's not over look the he mental anguish Norris Park clear cutting will cause our dogs when they discover their favorite trees for the hind leg salute have disappeared.

Mr. Potthoff said to determine if some trees are OK or can be saved "would be difficult." Fact is, the city and their advisers lack the expertise to handle the problem.

The logic justifying clear cutting to eliminate the chance of a limb "falling on kid or a car" is weak at best. If that logic applies, all city vehicles should be eliminated. Chances of a vehicle accident are thousands of times more likely than falling limbs. Let's get real folks.

I feel we should immediately stop cutting down trees in Norris Park, close the park and hire a degreed arborist to assess each tree and make recommendations for each. If the solutions require expertise beyond a chain saw, experts must be hired to complete the recommendations,

This will cost more than cutting them down. The city has the money.

The city is spending thousands for a "walking trail" that will probably be used by less than 15 percent of us. (Gee we better cut down all trees along that trail just to be safe.)

This city just spent $200,000 for a snail vacuum. We all really wanted that didn't we? They must spend what ever it takes to save as many Norris Park trees as possible. McCook has a $5,000,000 reserve. We just approved more sales tax which will give the city an additional $325,000 a year.

Happy Arbor Day!

'Nuff said,

Bill Frasier


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  • Where were you when the City was discussing this at the open public meetings? People need to start getting more involved prior to decisions being made. No, I don't like this decision either but what are we going to do now?

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 1:06 PM
  • Seems to me, we went through something like this in the 50's or 60's. Many of the 'old' trees in Norris park had to be removed, and yes, it took some years for the new trees to regain some of the lost stature and elegance of good shade trees. There is a problem. The problem is being addressed. Perhaps, the remody is more harsh than it need be, but the people making the decision were elected by the people. Let them do their job. Give them councel, if one has it to give. The new trees will grow, like children, and much sooner than expected, shine with a new beauty, all their own. Don't forget, Arbor day was invented in Nebraska.

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 5:42 PM
  • Mr. Frasier, just a conservative estimate, but counting the Parks Board, Tree Board, City Staff, the Volunteer State Certified Arborist, the Nebraska Forest Service, and the McCook City Council you have managed, along with Mr. Lyle Wilcox and the poor decision makers at the McCook Daily Inquirer, to insult the good people who actually contribute to the community. I have yet to read or hear anything good that you or Mr. Wilcox have to say about ANYTHING in this town. Yes we know you just can't get away from home, for good reason, but that is no excuse for you and Mr. Wilcox to make such ridiculous and uninformed diatribes against the people who actually participate in running this city> how about an apology?

    -- Posted by mwc on Thu, Feb 28, 2008, at 7:43 PM
  • When one of the trees falls on someone and they sue the city for millions, people will be wondering why the trees were not cut down. How about some positive comments like, "wow, I am glad they are taking care of this now so no children in the park get hurt

    -- Posted by president obama on Fri, Feb 29, 2008, at 1:03 PM
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