Letter: Overeager pruning effort detracts from downtown Kennewick

August 16, 2013 

Can someone please explain to me the logic behind the city of Kennewick "pruning" (butchering) our trees here in historic downtown?

When I asked the city employee why he was doing this full-scale slaughter with his buzz saw, his reply was, "Because the owners don't want the trees against the building." A lie. We are the owners and requested no such service.

Next, he said, "Because trucks will get hit by the branches." Really? And this is a problem?

We are trying to encourage people to come downtown and stroll along our sidewalks, shop, seek original art, eat and drink. In more than 90-degree heat and under a blazing sun, this is a lot to ask.

The trees and their much-needed shade certainly help. They cool the sidewalk and the buildings, and provide shade for the windows, helping to cool our interiors.

I don't understand why we don't have more trees, much less why we are thinning their branches. More thoughtful thinking please, city planners. What you have helped achieve with the sidewalk and lighting improvements can yet be enhanced. Let's not lose sight of the reason we are making these much needed improvements.

DEBORAH WATKINS, Kennewick

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