Mr. Shimonski advises that “V-pruning of trees located directly beneath utility wires is now an accepted practice,” and he notes that the “directional pruning” practiced by FPL “doesn’t look very natural but is much better for the tree and allows for a longer pruning cycle.” These are misleading observations which may unfortunately lead the layperson to buy into them.
The notion that any public utility has the inherent right to visually pollute our communities with unbridled overhead power lines, ugly concrete or tar-stained wood poles, and disastrous pruning techniques are anathema to sound residential planning and the highest standards of community design.
And the idea that the pruning of trees by FPL’s “tree assassins” is “now an accepted practice” could not be further from the truth. Such action may be accepted by FPL, by Asplundh Tree Company (the “pruners”), and by the uninformed, but it is highly unlikely that even the most novice gardener would support the argument that FPL cares about trees, or about how they are pruned.
One need merely observe the myriad examples of unprofessional, damaging pruning being practiced by FPL’s minions to understand the significant degree to which our tree canopy and our community aesthetic are being sacrificed for FPL profits.
Ted Baker, landscape architect
National chains (retail and casual fine dining) will only locate in malls, big-box centers, and corner pod sites. They will not change their floor plan requirements no matter how affluent a neighborhood may be.
Our village fathers would be better off convincing the Village Place landlords to incubate their empty shops with deeply discounted rents that would allow very small entrepreneurs to establish a foothold on the avenue for the first year or two. As a small business owner, I can tell you that my rent is my biggest concern. Surely it is better to get $500 a month for 500 square feet, for the first year, than nothing.
Keep up the good work and thank you for a paper that is a treat to read.
Name Withheld by Request
It gets me all fired up when I read about our wonderful, brilliant local politicians. In my 62 years, I have never seen a community with such a dysfunctional governing class as Miami. They are greedy, thoughtless, uncaring, lack any common sense, and don’t seem to ever care about the opinions of the residents. Can you sense my disgust?
I read Erik Bojnansky’s article about parks advocate Steve Hagen (“You’ve Got Mail...Lots and Lots of It,” March 2009) and would like to say that, personally, I want to see Bicentennial Park remain as an open green space. Between the city officials and the developers, they would take all of our parks and turn them into concrete.
Here’s something else: I’ve noticed not one tree has been planted along Biscayne Boulevard since about December. They stopped somewhere around 62nd Street during the holidays. They were cutting the openings in the sidewalks and planting trees and then boom! Nothing!
What’s going on? Has the city told the state that from 62nd Street to 87th Street they don’t think trees are necessary? Excuse me, but I’ve always hated the way the boulevard looks south of Miami Shores and down past 79th Street. This is the section of the Boulevard that needs a face-lift the most. Come on, Miami, get off your dead ass and finish the project you started. We want to see more trees.
It’s about time you brain-dead politicians started listening to the people of Miami.
I have to add I was a bit surprised when the article made no mention of solar as a method of heating a pool. While heat pumps are certainly the next best alternative to solar, an average 400,000 BTU heat pump still produces more than 38 tons of CO2 emissions a year! Heat pumps use electricity, and as you may know, most electricity in this country comes from the burning of coal.
Solar, on the other hand, produces zero toxic greenhouse gas emissions. With no operating costs (solar energy is free and require little maintenance), pool owners typically see a payback period of two years or less. Most solar heaters available today carry at least a ten-year warranty, and systems have been known to last more than 20 years. For pool owners already heating their pools with a gas, electric, or propane heater, solar can be installed to work as the primary source of heat, with the existing heater as a backup.
The bottom line is this: Heating a swimming pool with fossil-fuels is a luxury this country can no longer afford.
Aquatherm Industries, Inc.
Lakewood, New Jersey
Cheers for suggesting tough and beautiful varieties such as the colorful crotons, the loyal and everlasting silver buttonwood, and the feisty clusia. The whitefly will not feast on those and it will make for more interesting gardens. Thanks for this article.
Other people exist, and you are accountable for the consequences of your actions.
We Americans regularly purchase hundreds of items because they catch our eye or seem to be a bargain, without ever asking ourselves whether we truly need them. The environmental movement is often regarded as being made up of holier-than-thou, goody-two-shoes people, but really, many of the modest practices they (and Harper’s article) espouse are in the consumer’s best interest. Purchasing less-than-necessary items costs money and emotional energy, and it requires one to have ever-larger (and more expensive) dwellings to store things.
I’m hoping that the silver lining to the current economic crisis is that people begin to evaluate their true material needs and priorities, financial and personal. The burgeoning frugality-simplicity-environmental movement is not just good for the environment and the pocketbook -- it’s great for the spirit, too.
Volume 15, Issue 2, April 2017
Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible