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June 12, 2015


Hey Brian,

So sorry to hear about the loss of the White Oak. I just wanted to reach out and leave a comment. I stumbled across your blog a year or so ago and have been keeping up ever since. I've never been to Salem. In fact I live in London in the UK and my own neighbourhood couldn't be more different. Yet I enjoy looking through this window on your part of the world. I guess in a way that's what blogging is all about. Anyway I just wanted to say hi and encourage you in some small way to keep fighting the good fight. Drinking coffee here this morning I'm thinking sadly about a tree many many miles away and the small-minded, short-term thinking that killed it. I'm glad you're out there looking out for the ones that are left.



Bev Rushing and I tried our best to help preserve the Oregon School for the Blind property and the irreplaceable trees. The loss of the great White Oak that Salem Health was committed to preserve is so terribly ironic. Salem's City Council set the tone of disregard for history and the ecosystem. The construction methods used to turn the whole area into a parking lot doomed the trees from the start. i watched as the construction company removed three feet of soil inside the trees’ canopies. Earthmovers rumbled over the top of the root structures for months. There was a complete disconnect between the people overseeing the construction and the hospital public relations people. Now, the one tree that the hospital was to feature, the tree that was to be one of the historical reminders as to what was, is now gone forever. Just like Howard Hall, gone forever.

Mike and Patrick, thanks for your comments. Most interesting.

Mike, it's way cool to hear from a Londoner who reads this blog. This is one reason I love blogging -- the whole "hands across the sea" thing.

I'm envious of you for having such a provocative and Intriguing Mayor. No doubt many Londoners don't like him, but every time I across a story about him, I find his style appealing. Along with his first name, Boris.

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