The Start of the 2nd Street Project

(Originally posted on another blog April, 2007) 

When is your tree NOT your tree?

I talked with a gentleman that lives on 2nd Street, whose large tree in his front yard was whittled down to the trunk April 16th, by Nelson’s Tree Service, at the request of the City and First Energy. He’s lived in the house for 10+ years. His son grew up in that house, and watched six generations of squirrels be born, grow up and have squirrels of their own in that tree. He’s probably skinned knees and elbows climbing that tree and falling out of the tree. But he won’t have to worry about it any more. As that tree is no more.

Over the years, as the tree grew and protected his house from the elements, the tree has also caused him a bit of trouble. It ruptured a gas line going into his house. When he contacted the City about having the line replaced, after all, the tree was on the tree lawn, which the City is responsible for, he was told:
Nope, it’s your tree.

The tree grew into and snapped the telephone line into his house. Having contacted the City to have the line repaired, he was told,
Nope, it’s your tree.

When the tree clogged his sewer lines, six times over the years, he called the City. He was told,
Nope, it’s your tree.

When the tree grew into and snapped the cable line going into his house, he phoned the City. He was told,
Nope, it’s your tree.

Now the City contacts the residents of 2nd Street, and tells them, all of the trees on your tree lawns and within 50 feet of the power lines have to come down, as they are a threat to the electrical lines along the street, and even if they’re not that close, they could damage the line if the line sags. When he told them he would sign off on whatever contract they wanted, making him financially liable for whatever damage the line did, and to have the tree trimmed yearly, heck, monthly, if they wanted, he was told,
Nope, it’s OUR tree.

So, the morning of April 16th, with video camera in hand, he watched and filmed as the employees of Nelson’s took away the protector of his house, the guardian of the squirrels, the provider of shade, the occasional vandal of his property, the only tree in his front yard.

Nelson’s had three trucks out on 2nd St that day, with a minimum of 5-6 guys per truck, cutting, feeding brush to the shredder, and loading large sections of the cut wood into the truck. There were orange cones as far as the eye could see that cold morning. Loraine Ritchey was there, watching dejectedly, as a fight that she helped wage, fell to defeat as one by one, these majestic trees fell to the earth in pieces.

By the dawn of April 17th, 2nd Street was, once again, a quiet street. It was also a street with a very different view than that of a mere 24 hours before.

But, hard as it may be to believe, there is a bit of hope to come of this. The trunks that were left, as remnants of the trees that stood there, have a better destiny awaiting them. According to Loraine, Bud Emerson, a tree carver from Wellington, has been selected to turn the remaining tree trunks into a theme of nautical carvings. He has currently been commissioned by the Mayor of Barberton, to do a wood sculpting for opening of the Barberton Hospital Cancer Center, which is slated for May 10th.

Loraine also informed me that Pat Fallor of First Energy was very cooperative with the plan to leave the trunks, and wanted to cooperate with the tree carver in regards to the landscaping. The final word will come from council, as they were to discuss what was allowable per tree lawns in an ordinance at a recent meeting.

So, where once was beauty created by Mother Nature, currently lies the desolation wrought by numerous chain saws. And out of that desolation, another view of beauty will rise, by a single chain saw wielded by a lone man, who hopes to ease the pain of the residents of 2nd Street, by creating works of art in their front yards.

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7 thoughts on “The Start of the 2nd Street Project

  1. Just think Mark if this piece had been lost in cyber space and made unavailable I would be believing that a “storm” in Lorain caused the trees to be leveled….as much as I appreciate the Journals coverage they keep getting it wrong ….as to why the trees were leveled… so for those that think having the resources of past articles denied is no big deal….in the print media and on line the for this one story the information is incorrect readers assume a storm hit those trees and not the clear cutting policy of the utility company after the 2005 blackout which hit the US and Canada ….the only proof is this article which was on “another blog” now denied……..I wish I had followed my gut and downloaded everthing and everyones articles but I followed a persons word… can you tell I am still annoyed 🙂

  2. I got burned by some in-law family some years back, so there’s not too many people I trust anymore, especially when it comes to work I’ve done. When I saw the way things were going after we were ‘pruned’, I knew the toilet spiral was inevitable. And just like that, FWOOOSH!! It’s all gone.

    I put too much time and effort into the stories I did to have them disappear with the click of a mouse button.

  3. I was just talking to someone this morning I had done an article on the Lorain Port then and now…..it was very lengthy and most of it was pictorial so even though I have the text… the rest is gone… so I couldn’t re run it ….

    I just didn’t have the time with everything else to archive everything….. I did some when I got a little voice telling me not to be so damned naive dowloaded a few things …. the Deja Vu series and Fanny Gilmore history pieces.. but life and stuff got in the way ……hard to download when you are at the clinic.. not condusive to cut and paste 😦 and of course there are links buried in those articles which are gone now too… Oh well
    not much I can do about it .when you are dependent upon the integrity of others I guess it is always wise to “back up”

  4. oops I keep saying 2005 blackout I think that must have stuck in my brain as it was 2003 the blackout but the “other blog” which is now ” blacked out ” started up in 2005…I wonder what Freud would say to my linking the two 🙂

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