A landscaping crew cuts down a tree on Manchester Boulevard to clear the… (Katie Falkenberg / For The…)
Re "A shuttle trip's ground control," Sept. 4
As I read the article detailing the destruction of 400 beautiful shade trees in South Los Angeles so that the space shuttle Endeavour will be able to make its way from LAX to the California Science Center, I wept — for the trees, for the residents of the affected neighborhoods and for the shortsighted city officials who approved this fiasco.
But mostly I wept for the collective heartlessness I see on display. Not one mature tree being destroyed was worth having the shuttle anywhere in this city.
Perhaps it would have been a better idea to put Endeavour in a small town along the new path of the bullet train — out in the middle of nowhere, as it was for 299 days in space, and where it belongs now.
Are the people of Los Angeles so unconcerned about the very narrow margin they have on good air (they live in the smoggiest region in the United States) that they can arbitrarily destroy 400 beautiful, full-grown, God-given trees so Cleopatra's barge can travel 16 miles to the Science Center?
Tear this behemoth apart and reassemble it at its destination. Oh no, you say, delicate sensors will be destroyed. Who cares? This monstrosity will never fly again, and replacing real sensors with fake ones can be done quickly, whereas it will take decades to have replanted trees at their maturity where they can once again provide beauty, clean air and a living partnership with every human passerby.
And shuttle reassembly could provide much-needed employment in this jobs-hungry economy.
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