Letters: Feb. 6, 2009

Nothing average about organic Joe
It has been said that America runs on coffee. In fact, Americans consume one-third of the world’s coffee, but few of us are aware of the connection between coffee and birds, one of our other great loves.
Most Americans love birds. We feed them in our backyards and parks. We enjoy their singing when we wake up. We watch them through our windows, and many of us are avid birdwatchers, spending much money and time on the enjoyment of observing birds.
The connection between birds and coffee is strong. As agricultural land and residential, industrial, and commercial building spreads across the planet, birds are losing the habitat they need to survive. Many migratory birds, after flying for hundreds of miles, are arriving on their wintering grounds only to find the trees they need are gone. Shade-grown, organic coffee can help our migratory songbirds on their wintering grounds. The canopy of trees growing over the coffee bushes can provide suitable habitat and organic growing conditions can protect the birds from the toxic effects of pesticides. Choosing fair-trade, shade-grown, organic coffee can provide a living wage for coffee growers, protect them from dangerous pesticides, and provides cool shade for them to work in.
As organic, shade-grown, fair-trade coffee makes up less than 5 percent of the world coffee market, consumers have a tremendous opportunity to effect positive change and help to save our beloved migratory songbirds. You can help workers, the environment and birds by asking your grocer to stock organic, fair-trade, shade-grown coffee and your local coffee shop to stock and brew it.

Sue Castle
Carlsbad

‘Road to Nowhere’ the real concern
The “birds” aren’t Carlsbad Unified School District’s biggest concern with plans for the new high school at Cannon and College — a four-lane divided arterial road with center median, bike lanes and a 120-foot right-of-way is. Going back to 2001, the district raised concerns about the city of Carlsbad planning to put Cannon Road right through the high school site. Since then, the city of Carlsbad has identified three alternative alignments for this potential future road — and all are on the district’s land for the high school. This $37 million “Road to Nowhere” doesn’t really benefit Carlsbad residents and makes planning for a high school on this site a nightmare. If you care about this new high school, tell the City Council to take Cannon Road off their Circulation Element. Let the district decide how to best use their land — and let the residents of Oceanside and Vista pay for the “Road to Nowhere” if they want it.

Diane Nygaard
Preserve Calavera
Oceanside

Tree lovers’ voices not heard
The smooth running of Encinitas is desirable, but “form” isn’t more important than function. Public officers should listen well to the will of the citizens, and consider dissenters as well as staff and associated government contractors. Public officials are public servants!
The only “martyrs” involved are the trees, which have been cut down without good reason and without considering public sentiment or interest. Councilwoman Teresa Barth is correct in observing that people love the trees, and that council, as a whole, could have been consulted before removal of trees in a much appreciated, much visited park was pushed through without opportunity for public input. The trees are important to us, to the children, and to most neighbors and residents. They are far more than merely “disposable landscaping,” as Councilman Jerome Stocks has implied. Council needs to establish new policy on tree removal, which includes adequate notice and opportunity for public input.
We will all miss the shade, the beauty, and the extra oxygen the trees, now cut down in Orpheus Park, had provided. Any act or decision that the city takes is “political,” because it involves the power of the people shifted onto and exercised through governmental authority. The citizens of Encinitas want our council and staff to be sensitive to community concerns. We don’t want to be bullied, or to be ignored. Democracy should be a vehicle for the “little guy” to have a voice in these kind of community decisions. We don’t want the “machine,” to mow down more and more trees so that Leucadia continues to lose its precious canopy.
When the public is prevented from expressing our voice, public officials continue to erode the goodwill and trust of the people. Rather than “micromanagement,” this could have been a meaningful local opportunity for democracy in action.

Lynn Braun Marr
Leucadia

Give more thought to tree removal
We lost 10 trees in Orpheus Park on (Jan. 30) because the city (that does not have a view ordinance) decided to honor an agreement made with an ex-city official years ago about maintaining the views of eight condos adjacent to the park. Initially, they requested that the city trim the trees. Without any discussion with the community who use this park, the city decided to take out the trees and replant new ones. Unfortunately, they planted too many, too close together and they will eventually obscure the views of other people in the surrounding neighborhood. One tree in particular that was removed was very well-placed to give shade to a bench near the tot lot. This is a questionable expenditure of taxpayers’ money. People choose to live in this city because it is so beautiful, trees included. At a time when the community of Leucadia is fighting to get trees replanted to replace trees removed by the city, it seems odd that the removal and replacement of trees in Orpheus Park happened so quickly.
There needs to be better communication with the citizens of Encinitas and more thought given to the removal of trees in a public park.
Rachelle Collier
Leucadia

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