Outraged By the Cutting of Trees on Public Property to Enhance Billboard Visibility? Here Are Some Things To Do
On Feb. 25, the Los Angeles Times published an article, “Vandals Cut Down Nearly Two Dozen Trees That Blocked View of Billboards.” The only plausible explanation for the cutting of these trees, along the rights-of-way of the 10 and 405 freeways, was to give motorists a clear view of “supergraphic” signs draped across multiple stories of an office building and the wall of a shopping mall parking structure.
A spokesman for Caltrans, the state agency that owns the land, said he was “annoyed” by the tree cutting and that Caltrans was investigating the fact that the company that put up the sign, World Wide Rush, had not obtained the required state permit for the sign. This tepid response to criminal destruction of public property was compounded by the spokesman’s admission that Caltrans had been aware of the tree cutting for almost two months. It apparently never occurred to anyone at the agency that publicizing the fact could alert people who might have observed suspicious activity, and help lead to the apprehension of those responsible before the trail turned entirely cold.
But is this outrageous criminal act actually being investigated? And if not, why? Should we let our public servants shrug at the possibility that someone believed it was okay to trepass onto public land and destroy public property to enhance the profits of a sign company, a property owner, and a corporate advertiser?
Send a message to the Caltrans director and the state legislators who represent the areas where this crime took place. Use a descriptive subject line like “Investigate Tree Cutting for Billboards!” Ask for an immediate, vigorous investigation, with the establishment of a reward for information leading the arrest and conviction of those responsible. To paraphrase a former president, WE CANNOT LET THIS STAND!
Caltrans Director Will Kempton:
28th District Senator Jenny Oropeza
47th District Assemblyperson Karen Bass:
42nd District Assemblyperson Mike Feuer:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: