“Take me back to the Paradise City by the Sea where the trees are green and the guns are … uh… water guns?”
Concerned residents flocked to last nights City Council Meeting to address many of things: Loud bar noise, Non-ADA compliant bathrooms with offensive and misspelled wording on one of the doors, recent alleged gun violence and city-wide tree removal. Ohhhh so much amazing stuff was said, but I cannot paraphrase everything. I will touch on guns and trees because I made that terrible photoshop graphic and must roll with it.
You should watch the videos of the Council Meeting for full content. They can be found here:
- Part 1: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/49442714
- Part 2: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/49445340
- Part 3: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/48888057
1. GUNS, DRUGS, GANGS, VIOLENCE
The city addressed this prior to the public session. I guess they anticipated residents bringing the topic up. There was talk of crime being down as well as addressing all the rumors that float around. ‘Don’t believe everything you read or hear until the city makes it official’ was the general city sentiment. One example of a recent rumor was whether or not a gun was involved in an incident that started in Lido beach and ended up in Long Beach (does this bring back any memories from a few years ago?).
The city statement wasn’t good enough, as several residents raised the issue during public session:
John spoke first (watch his highlight here). His main concern was the communication between the city and residents regarding recent incidents that involved gun violence specifically. John also brought up the idea how minorities are not being properly represented in our police force.
Jessie (watch her highlight here): Sums up all the amazing residents in Long Beach who have stepped up with no intention other than making Long Beach an amazing place. Jessie asks the city to step up the same way. Not with tacky billboards (thank you!) or pay raises, but something of substance, I literally cannot paraphrase her speech at all because it was so amazing, but I will get a copy and post it on the blog later in the day for you to read.
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” Walt Disney (and Jessie at last nights city council meeting)
Todd Kaminsky, who is running for New York State Assembly, spoke and confirmed that Yes, he does indeed live in Long Beach (referring to this).Todd offered his service to Long Beach on dealing with gun violence in the city. As a 10 year prosecutor, he has a ton of experience in this field. Will the city take him up on it? My guess is no, since his opponent Anthony Eramo sits on City Council.
Long Beach responded today by posting a Police Department Community Engagement Update. Click on it for the larger image. Satisfied? Hmm..
Long Beach addressed tree removal by going over the Tree FAQ, which is posted on the city website. They cited public safety as a main reason why most city-wide tress are being removed; the majority of the trees have suffered salt water-damage. Getting rid of dead and sick trees with healthy, young ones will bring clean air to our city. I cannot disagree with that since young trees do provide more oxygen.
The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day. U.S. Department of Agriculture [Arbor Day]
A resident asked what kind of trees the city planned on replanting: “$10 trees or sycamores?” Well, I hope not sycamores. As beautiful as they are, they aren’t the best for the area and are pretty diseased as it is. Another resident brought up pruning. She said she hasn’t seen any being done, yet was told by one of the arborist how it would.
I know so many people will disagree with me on this topic, but too bad. Start your own blog and tell us why half-dead trees are better than brand new young ones.
When it comes to these trees, we have to think with our mind and not our heart. I know it’s popular to say “keep the trees,” but my house is surrounded by sycamores with falling branches. I cannot wait for the city to remove them. The reality is, native trees appropriate for Long Beach are best for Long Beach. Best for our health, best for the local birds, bugs, best, squirrels and opossums.
Did they city go to far and cut down trees that could have been saved? I don’t know. Go ask your local arborist 😉