To the editor:
As we explore new categories by which we can promote the City of Lawrence as exciting, unique and special to lure new residents, businesses and students to our lovely city, I think it’s time to move away from the “City of Trees” description and pursue a designation as the “City of Utility Poles and Lines.” The tree service hired by Westar Energy will support this effort to the max as it destroys and mutilates our tree-lined and arbored neighborhoods by cutting away at the beautiful and sometimes ancient trees of which we are so fond. These half trees (sometimes two-thirds trees) remain to remind us of our demand for failure-free electricity.
My not-so-humble opinion is that Westar’s “Reliabilitree” program is pure propaganda to convince the accepting public that all this tree-whacking is in our best interests. We all know that calling out repair crews after a storm is expensive, so should we expect our rates to decline after this “proactive vegetation management” program is complete and our trees are sacrificed to the blade? The flier included recently in our Westar bill explains the current rate increase in these terms, adding that the increase is required to “meet the expenses associated with commitments to its (Westar’s) workforce as well as to recover increased operating expenses.”
I’m enraged at the condition in which Wright Tree Service is leaving our 50-, 60-, 70-year old trees. And I’m baffled at the public’s acceptance of this travesty!