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Friday, March 27, 2009

Sidewalk damage in south Salinas leads to tree cuttings

A minty, medicinal aroma filled a south Salinas neighborhood this week as the city cut down three two-story-high camphor trees as part of its ongoing sidewalk repair efforts.

The cuttings at the intersection of Acacia and Riker streets began Monday and finished Wednesday, with repairs ongoing.

It's the old tug of war between the beauty of the area's big trees and pedestrian safety on sidewalks left cracked and heaving by their spreading roots.

Homeowners said the cutting left them with feelings of regret.

"It's a little upsetting," said Samuel Mora, who's owned a home at the intersection for 14 years. "It was a beautiful tree. My kids grew up climbing this tree."

Manny Rodriguez, a homeowner on the opposite corner, said his family misses its tree already. "It was always green, so it gave us shade all year," Rodriguez said.

The homeowners won't have to pay for sidewalk repairs, though. The city for now is continuing to cover damage caused by city trees. A Jan. 27 report to the City Council from City Manager Artie Fields and Finance Director Tom Kever suggested charging homeowners for sidewalk repairs to help make up for revenue shortfalls, but the idea has not been acted on by the City Council.

Read on
The painting is by Frederik Marianus Kruseman

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