Letter to the Editor: Trees marked for removal

Dear Editor:

Last week I noticed the six trees on Horley Avenue behind Griffiths Middle School were marked with an “X” and the letters “USA”; I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. I noticed Saturday afternoon that the trees were tagged with “No Parking” signs, so I took a closer look. 
Much to my daughter’s and my disappointment, the trees were tagged for removal on Monday morning. This was very upsetting and concerning to us. 

My daughters immediately created a petition letter to inform the neighbors, asking them to sign it if they agreed with our concerns. They received several signatures, in the short amount of time they had, from neighbors who were home. 

Monday morning at 6:30 a.m., I called the Public Works Department and spoke to Elizabeth to express my concerns. She was very understanding and said she would refer the information to a supervisor. 

Elizabeth, knowing the time sensitivity of the matter, suggested that I also call Public Works administration at City Hall, which I did but they were not open yet. 

At around 7:30 a.m., with the trucks lining the street ready to cut down the six trees, I approached them and spoke to the site supervisor. He gave me the business card of Grissell Chavez, Superintendent of Maintenance and Facilities, who I called and spoke with expressing my concerns. She said she would immediately look into the project. At 7:55 a.m., the work had begun. 

I called Grissell again to inform her of the progress. Within minutes I received a call from Ed Norris, Deputy Director of Public Works, informing me that Grissell redirected the crew to work on another project until further review of this project was completed. By 8:15 a.m., the trucks were gone. 

I will be meeting with the city’s Engineering Department to discuss, hopefully, an alternate way to complete their project without cutting down the six trees. 

I want to express my sincere thanks first of all to my daughters, Kelly and Candace, for having enough care and concern for their community in creating the petition and making their neighbors aware of the situation; Elizabeth from Public Works; the site crew supervisor; Grissell Chavez; Ed Norris; and the city Engineering Department for taking a second look at the project. 

Beth Gendreau


Dear Editor: 

Downey is not interested in caring citizens. 

I contacted the city and Edison about an unsafe tree in front of the administration building and opposite 9702 Tweedy Lane. The city informed Griffiths and I contacted Edison several times. No one seems to care about this unsafe tree. 

Edison does not want to take any actions and gave me some rather dumb explanations. In my opinion, this tree could cause some serious injury or death during a windstorm or earthquake. 
My wife and I walk from our home towards CVS several times a week. Should this tree cause injury or death to my wife I might be very sad or happy. Nevertheless I would sue the city of Downey, Griffiths and Edison.

This would be more expensive than trimming the tree or removing it. Maude Price took care of an unsafe tree on their property a couple of weeks ago. We are concerned about the safety of pupils and adults that could be injured.

I am amazed by the lack interest by the people I contacted. Edison takes first place in not taking my complaint seriously. Edison called me twice and responded via email. I have never encountered more uncaring if not dumb employees of any company in my 82 years.

Dieter Oltersdorf

OpinionStaff Report