The second video was shot at the public meeting on June 15, 2010 in Frazier Park.
The third video is from the September 14, 2010 Board of Supervisors meeting where two mountain residents demanded action from the board.
FRAZIER PARK, CALIF. (Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, 4:10 p.m.)—The grand jury today released a report about the destruction of heritage oak trees at the Frazier Park library construction site. The Mountain Enterprise will post an annotated version of that report here shortly. In the meantime, we offer these videos to refresh our readers’ memories of some of the notable events surrounding this issue.
FRAZIER PARK, CALIF. (Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, 4:10 p.m.)—Three videos are offered here by The Mountain Enterprise newspaper, featuring Mountain Community concern about the destruction of two heritage oaks at the construction site of the new Frazier Park branch library. Though the community has been positive about the coming of the new library, they have expressed shock at the apparent disregard for the natural setting here by some county workers and the low-bid contractor. The mutilation and killing of the two heritage oaks is an apparent breach of the builder’s contract. One of the trees was 400 years old. The other is estimated to have been 200-300 years old. The need for a Kern County oak tree ordinance to protect the heritage oaks still remaining is a conclusion emerging in the community.
The first video (click here) was shot on the day the first two trees were destroyed at the library construction site. Kern County’s Mountain Communities woke to the sound of chainsaws on Saturday, June 12 at 7 a.m. as Kern County Parks and Recreation Department workers were killing two heritage oak trees without discussion or notice to the community. This was requested by Kern County Construction Services Manager Mark Russell, after mountain residents had been repeatedly promised by Director of Libraries Diane Duquette and the project architects at community meetings that the trees would not only be preserved but showcased as a feature of the library design. This promise won community support for selection of this building site. The killing of the ancient trees at the heart of the community left residents feeling betrayed and cynical about the Kern County General Service staff’s competence in supervising contractors and the supervisor’s respect for the community’s desire to retain the unique natural setting of the community.
The second video (play at right) was shot three days later at a Municipal Advisory Council meeting where an angry public demanded answers from county representatives.The Director of Libraries and Supervisor Ray Watson did not attend.
The third video (play at right) is of two presentations before the Kern County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 14, 2010, by Frazier Park resident Linda Robredo and Pine Mountain resident Katherine King, who each quietly demand action from the board to secure reimbursement from the contractor who severed the oaks’ roots. They both state that a county ordinance is necessary to protect heritage oak trees from such negligence.
This is part of the December 17, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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