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Community Commentary:

City cuts in the wrong places

October 02, 2009|By Kimberly King-Burns

I could not agree more with our earlier writers. Today I witnessed the complete savaging of what had been a remarkably lovely grove of mature crepe myrtle trees along Verdugo Avenue between Hollywood Way and Buena Vista Street — the trimming (and I use this term loosely) of which could not have done by less-talented arborists with apparently no real landscaping experience.

These trees have been dismembered of more than half of their branches, and the cuts left untreated. On behalf of the many homeowners who take pride in gently trimming and maintaining the public trees in front of our properties, I am saddened that these once-beautiful trees have been ruined, and that the budget priorities of the city of Burbank appear to be so out of touch with daily reality.

Absolutely no money should be spent for the purposes of “beautification” at a time when that money could be used for other, more important purposes. I was unaware that the city of Burbank was operating at such a budget surplus, given that I regularly navigate significant street potholes, observe massive trees with dead hanging branches, am waiting for the community pool to reopen at Verdugo Park, and recently read that the food and voucher bank at the Burbank Temporary Aid Center needs more support to help feed the increasingly number of homeless people in our midst.

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We can’t seem to afford to build a seasonal (much less full-time) homeless shelter in our fair city at the moment, but we can afford to send teams armed with chain saws about to hack away at shade trees in the midst of a well-publicized drought?

I, too, would prefer to see our city funds used far more wisely, and have offered my constructive criticism to the forestry services manager at Burbank’s Public Works office, and hope that you will, too.

If enough of us take the time to make our diplomatic opinions known, perhaps we can effect real change in how our taxpayer dollars are distributed.


 KIMBERLY KING-BURNS is a Burbank resident.

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