It's a struggle for me to keep profanity out of this blog post, after taking photos today of Salem Hospital's willful, needless, unfeeling corporate destruction of a precious urban forest.
One fucking day (see, I couldn't help myself) after we got word that Oregon's Land Use Board of Appeals had told Salem Hospital and the City of Salem that a ruling granting the hospital permission to cut down trees for a parking lot was in error, and needed to be revised by a hearing officer.
So today the chainsaws and logging equipment came out. Salem Hospital's message:
"Try to save those ancient, beautiful, large trees now, suckers! They're dead and gone! Screw the neighborhood; screw the legal system; we've got the money and power in this town, and we just showed you that we can damn well use it."
Yeah, I know...
Salem Hospital's high-priced legal team, the same guys who are threatening an elderly blind woman in an attempt to get her to stop with her efforts to save Howard Hall, the historic School for the Blind building where she was a student, almost certainly will be able to cite chapter xyz and ordinance 123 to justify their killing of these trees.
To which I reply wordlessly: just look at the photos I took today, mostly with my iPhone held up over the top of a blue-tarp clad fence which Salem Hospital hoped would hide the devastation.
These photos speak much more eloquently -- and profanely -- than I ever could. Each of these trees, according to Salem Hospital, supposedly is "insignificant." Yeah, to a money-grubbing nature-hating corporate monster.
But not to human beings with an ounce of humanity left in them.
Jim Scheppke took some photos today also. You can see them in a Facebook post by Salem Community Vision.