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Letter: Save West Harrison's Trees!

A West Harrison 12-year-old is worried about the affect cutting down trees could have on his neighborhood.

The sidewalks along Macri Ave. in West Harrison are in pretty bad shape.

Tree roots have dug the walkways from beneath, leaving some unwanted—and possibly dangerous—obstacles along the path to Preston Elementary School.

But is replacing the sidewalk worth sacrificing the trees that line the quite residential neighborhood?

Baxter Martin, 12, who lives on the street says no, and decided to reach out to his local government.

"As you know, the trees on the Macri Ave curb are being cut down due to sidewalk replacement," he wrote in an e-mail also sent to Patch. "These trees help make our street one of the most beautiful in West Harrison! They may be replaced, but will take years to grow to the size that they are today."

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Baxter reached out to some of his neighbors, who agree. Alternative suggestions included using bricks and sand to replace to sidewalk, allowing the tree roots to remain, or moving the new sidewalk around the trees.

Either way, some homeowners in the area are looking for an alternative.

These beautiful trees are much more important to the beauty of our neighborhood than a few bumpy sidewalks," Baxter continued in his letter. "There are many more options than cutting down the trees."

Signs are posted on Macri Ave. indicating the tree cutting will begin this week. New trees will be planted as replacements soon after.

Do you think this is fair? Do you have another suggestion? Let us know in the comments section below.

Denise Di Biasi August 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM
The trees on Macri Avenue not only beautify that street, but, the shade they provide helps keep the homes cooler during summers such as the one we are currently having. I think the town should confer with multiple arborists to find a solution WITHOUT removing these trees. About twelve years ago, a similar action was taken downtown. An entire neighborhood was stripped of its trees. Trees were promised, yet, none were replaced. I remember that Danner Ave. was upside down over this. I know of one home owner who ended up buying his own trees. There has to be a better way...it just takes some time and creative thinking.
Gwen August 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Sadly, the trees are slated to be cut down today (Fri.). Can anyone help?
Patricia Ellis August 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Going, going, gone is the beauty of Macri Avenue. I sit here in my home on the corner of Macri and Farley waiting for the final assault. Appearances aside, the benefit of our trees; cooling, air purification, sound barrier and privacy will be gone. As for town replacement, I have only to go one block away and see what a great job the town did on Preston Avenue. Our tax dollars at work. And all for naught. Removing slabs, cutting roots, and replacing the sidewalks has been most effective in the past. I don't recall a healthy tree falling down due to that procedure. And, what about consideration of the homeowners. Is that a thing of the past too? Patricia Ellis
anonymous August 24, 2012 at 03:43 PM
best thing to ever happen its about time they cut these overgrown trees Lincoln ave. looks much more opened and clean. Also helps in the fall for leave removal.
Patricia Ellis August 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Yes anonymous...leaf removal should be MUCH easier with no trees around. And, anonymous, we are not talking about overgrown trees. And anonymous, if you really like open and clean spaces, why don't you move to the praires.
Jean Christiaansen August 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I grew up on Macri Ave and what I most loved about my neighborhood was how beautifully the tree tips met in the middle of the road, especially with the fall colors! Please save the trees so others can have lasting memories as well. Jean Tozzi Christiaansen
scared August 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
It is so sad that our government in Harrison is unable to see the importance of trees and open space in ALL of Harrison. The trees as so many already have said helps with the shade and lower bills from Con Edison as well as less carbon print in the environment.They also help clean the air, more trees cleaner air to breathe for us all. Believe it or not less asthma in children. I agree that they need to be trimmed,pruned and kept up with. There are so trees that should be cut and replanted. However our tree man in town must know nothing about trees, we need to have SLOW growing trees with roots that grow down and not out,this will help future damages to the sidewalks.They can also chop some of the roots that grow out before they get to big and that will train them to grow down. It seems to me the tree regulations we have in town suck- Our main man seems to have this notion that if someone wants a tree down,then he will sign off on it`. After all that person pays tax and should be happy. Not exactly the right attitude to have. Keep up the good fight, hope it does not fall onto deaf ears in the Town-hall.
TTH August 25, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Hey people the only person you need to thank for this is former mayor Joan Walsh.Over the past four years while she sat in her office counting pennys and looking for ways to distroy or Police Dept. the Town of Harrison fell apart around her. Roads are crumbling, Town bulidings were neglected, garbage piled up and sidewalk maintance was non exsistant. now Ron Belmont is forced to clean up her mess. But this is the sad facts, She was penny wise dollar foolish. Keep up the good work Ron.
scared August 25, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I have to mention that Mr. Malfitano was the person who got us into the mess we are in. However it is time to change for the better,I agree that Ron Belmont is trying to do the best all around. I just feel like the town board does what they want to without listening to the people that care about the town. It is so easy to blame everyone and take no responsibility for once actions. I remember everyone bitching about the tax increase,how they did not want to spend more. Well we can not have it all without paying. I do think we need to stop bonding everything or we will be back to owing way to much again.Well getting back to the trees- let them be and plan for the future....
ScorpioSr August 30, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Are they really replacing the trees that are being removed? I live in downtown Harrison and recently the town removed 2 trees in front of my house. When I inquired about replacing them I was told that they will not be replaced as it is not in the budget!!! Do we have a separate budget for "Silver Lake"?
scared August 30, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Hey ScorpioSr. I am sorry that they cut down the trees in front of your house and that they say they will not replace them. That is just not right. If I was you I would insist on being put on a list for replacements later this year or next. They could at least put one new one for you. But if you are not part of the greasing machine you will get nothing done. No Silver Lake does not have a seperate budget but the last two Mayors along with many town workers live in silver Lake so perhaps that will help with you answer. The spending seams to be done mostly up there. That part of town looks great.If you send a letter with the request for new trees you will have it in writing. Good luck...

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