More Trees Please -- I recently met with a growing number of concerned citizens led by Carrie Anderson, who is director of the Urban Forest Council and SaveOurPines.org. I became involved because of my interest in saving a vacant, treed lot in my neighborhood. The group has taken a two-fold offensive. One is to convince developers of the value of mature trees; the second is to educate homeowners.
SaveOurPines.org can help homeowners make some important decisions. Trees can cut your energy bills by providing shade in the summer and blocking cold winds in the winter. They provide habitat for our wildlife, which in turn keeps your yard bug-free. Trees remove toxins from the air and absorb excess storm water runoff. Mature trees also add monetary value to your property. If raking pine needles is a concern, find out if there is a gardener nearby who would love to have them for compost or for winter plant protection. There are service organizations such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts that can earn merit badges by helping out.
If you are considering a removal or have a concern about possible disease, the Web site can direct you to a Certified Arborist. If you do not have computer access, call the WSU/Cooperative Extension at (509) 477-2048 or the Spokane County Conservation District at (509) 535-7274.
Considering our civic slogan, "Near Nature, Near Perfect," we should encourage our elected officials to do all they can to save our urban forest. This is what sets us apart from so many other cities. Let's not lose all our beautiful native Ponderosa, which took hundreds of years to grow.
Unhappy Anniversary -- They call us gypsies, tramps and thieves all over the world. We call each other "Roma." On June 18, 1986, the sting operation stung this city and county. It worked backwards. They broke into our homes, our hearts and our church with no warrants, no inventory and no receipts. For 12 years they called it "government mismanagement" and an "oversight." We sued for $40 million and they paid, without any admission of guilt, but with taxpayers' money from the city and county of Spokane, $1,900,000. They had enough guts to say they did not do anything wrong to this community for 12 years.
It was a hate crime towards Gypsies and Roma. We didn't know how to read or write but we had common sense. Justice delayed is justice denied. They went from district court all the way to the United States District Court of America and told lies under oath. They made us out to be gangsters and racketeers. One thing they did find out is we were an unorganized crime family.
The City of Spokane has been cursed by my people and the spirits are unhappy. Look at the tragedies, the devastations, the money spent out of the city treasury like toilet paper. Eighteen years later the city has suffered and suffered and this city has suffered. They must realize that religion is very real. They violated not our rights, but our religion, by having their male police searching women. River Park Square is not a coincidence; we sued for $40 million. The lawsuit has ruled three times that the city owes the developer $40 million. This is our prayer: What goes around comes around. The old regime has left, but the curse goes on.
Quotes & amp; Notes will return next week
Publication date: 06/17/04