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Leave Trees Alone

March 15, 1994

I hope I am not the only one to protest vigorously the decision to replace the trees along Ventura's Main Street with palm trees, as well as to plant California Street with palms ("Committee Picks Items to Spruce Up Downtown," March 3).

The trees lining Main Street from Chestnut Street westerly are established, healthy and certainly help more than any palm tree to overcome air pollution. Thompson Boulevard is planted with a mixture of shade trees and various types of palms. All the palms are ratty looking; the shade trees are mostly in good condition.

Most council members are probably not aware that about 20 years ago, there was also an assessment district to revitalize downtown. (It wasn't popular then, either.) One improvement was to replace all the street signs with the present drab brown ones. The wooden beams at the crosswalks were also put in at the same time as the street signs, as were the tiled planters. It sounds like an outrageous waste of money to replace street signs and the crosswalk beams when essentially there is nothing wrong with what is there. The faded beams can be re-stained. The crosswalks already have nicely tiled planters, although the plantings may leave something to be desired.

Nothing is ever written about downtown Ventura without slighting remarks about the prevalence of thrift stores. Those who do the denigrating seem not to realize that the thrift stores are what bring shoppers downtown in the first place. If thrifts were driven out, what would replace them?

HELEN BOGUE

Ventura

The Ventura County Edition of The Times welcomes the views of readers. Letters or phone calls should be as brief as possible and may be condensed for publication. Phone your views in to 658-5546. Or dial toll-free 1-800-LA TIMES, Ext. 8-658-5546. Written letters must include signature, valid mailing address and telephone number. Pseudonyms and initials will not be used. Send letters to: Ventura County Editor, 5200 Valentine Road, Suite 140, Ventura 93003.

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