hypocrisy doesn’t fall far from the tree

Water

Adlai E. Stevenson said that “A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”

When it comes to trees, politicians and conservation, here in Aurora this couldn’t be more true.

Recent hoopla about the maybe/maybe-not “Blacksmith” tree in Aurora is yet another shining example of the hypocrisy that this council has demonstrated to both environmental and heritage preservation.

Back in 2007/2008 the tree was designated a “Heritage Tree”, there was some notice of its fate in The Auroran – Nov 11 – 2008 page 13:

 

V09N04P13.pdf
Download this file

Now only 2 years later all of a sudden the tree is no longer a “Heritage Tree”.

How?

I’m very confused.

Does the Heritage Advisory Committee not do any due diligence in assigning heritage designations?

If you read the “accomplishments” of the Heritage Advisory Committee as outlined in this report to council back in 2009:

HAC01-PL09-012_20090107142204.pdf
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There is much self congratulation regarding the 10 properties they designated in 2008 including “Aurora’s first Designated Heritage Trees” including as listed the “Blacksmith’s Tree”

and now what, they’re saying “whoops, my bad”

Who fucks something like that up?

Regardless of the status I was appalled to read the comments that were submitted to G.C. see attached:

addons-GC June 1.pdf
Download this file

especially #10 : “This particular tree has no cultural significance at all”

Who ever had a lawyer draft this up, or even partially believes that trees do not have cultural significance have only illustrated their ignorance to both trees and culture.

I guess both the property owner doesn’t agree with Sara Ebenreck’s belief that “Trees outstrip most people in the extent and depth of their work for the public good.” 

Further Hipocracy lies in points #18 and #20.

First it reads “our clients do not intend to cause this tree any harm” which is immediately followed by “consideration should be given to its removal”

WTF!

If the tree is diseased and needs to be removed that’s one thing but to make the statement as in point #17 :“this tree is just a tree and has no special identifiable cultural value or interest” couldn’t be further from the truth.

The tree can be seen from the street, it is an old tree and located in a historic part of the town and would continue to be enjoyed by those who frequent that corner, myself included.

Henry Ward Beecher was correct when he said “No town can fail of beauty, though its walks were gutters and its houses hovels, if venerable trees make magnificent colonnades along its streets.”

I would be very saddened come June 23rd to peer into the Aurora Promenade study and find a redevelopment of our downtown core that does not incorporate existing trees such as this one.

But that’s exactly what is happening isn’t it?

History is being plowed under, especially if it exists around our core.

Earlier this year large mature and possibly protected trees were unlawfully cut down around 15086 Yonge St.

Councilor Buck brought attention to it on her blog here:
http://evelynmbuck.blogspot.com/2010/04/all-is-revealed.html

It was immediately noticeable for anyone traversing that stretch of Yonge St.  Gone are the branches, gone is the shade, gone is the history.

Oh well for the best I guess, after all this tree must not have had any cultural signifgance either.

Luckily there is a good photo record of this tree which I was able to obtain from Google Streetview here:

6-16-2010_11-43-07_am

Seems like when it comes to trees Google Streetview does a better job of historical preservation than does our council.

This is not an isolated incident.

There are mature trees that are being ripped out over on #63 Nisbet Drive to appease another single resident who didn’t want a sidewalk to cross his driveway.

Some friend to the environment this ass-hat is.

So with all of the buzzing of chainsaws what is happening on the flip side regarding planting new trees?

Recently we’ve heard about a ridiculous notion to transplant mature trees for the sole purpose to obscure the view of a small portion of a light standard.  Regardless of the price tag to appease a single whiny resident, did anyone stop to think about these trees?  Would they survive a transplant?  Would they prosper and grow where they were intended to be planted?

Of course we all remember that Neighborhood Network were denied permission to plant trees because it fell on the same day as the “Mayor’s anti-litter day”, and yet again Phyllis’ and petty nature stood in the way of the environment.

Regardless of these vain and politically motivated actions 900 trees were planted in Aurora and Newmarket.

By comparison The Arboretum’s Tree planting event that our Mayor was so eager to get her picture taken with only planted 350 trees.

But no worries to make up the difference I understand there is a tender for a vendor to plant 496 trees at the small cost of only $150,000.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but in Aurora it can certainly buy them.

The only real tree of interest by our mayor seems to be “self-proclaimed artist” Deborah Campo’s hat-rack, which in my opinion when compared with the Blacksmith tree is the one that has no cultural significance at all.

Just like our Mayor, who obviously can’t see all the hypocrisy for the trees.

 

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