It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Ghirardi Oak Centurion Faces League City Demolition

page: 2
20
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 25 2012 @ 03:38 PM
link   
reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 



Maybe the sapling should be replanted in the family name in a safe place to start another tradition.

That is if you can find a place safe for it for the next couple of hundred years.




posted on Jan, 26 2012 @ 12:23 AM
link   

Does League City value its actual living history, or would people rather read about what once was part of daily life as they hustle along on the new roads?


From a Guest Column in the Galveston Daily News, Texas' oldest newspaper.



posted on Jan, 31 2012 @ 09:57 AM
link   

Our large Live Oak at the front enterance was already full grown when the "new" Clinic was being built in 1984. Dr. Marcom was very particular that the architect's plans accommodated future growth of this tree. The earth vents in the portico driveway were designed to allow water to get to the roots.


Our Shady Oak Tree

From the website of one of the clinics in League City, not one of those McDoctors you see springing up everywhere, but an actual community clinic with real doctors the people in the town know and trust.

This shows that progress can occur while also acknowledging and protecting the environment being affected by that growth.

Civic planners would be wise to learn this lesson.



posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 10:19 AM
link   
Update:

The City of League City has published a bid proposal for the moving of the tree:

LOUISIANA AVENUE COMPTON OAK RELOCATION PROJECT CITY OF LEAGUE CITY, TEXAS BID NO. 12-005 FEBRUARY 7, 2012
Direct link to 26 page bid contract

If it is moved, there is a very good chance that this could qualify as a Guinness World record for larges tree transplanted.

The Ghirardi Compton Oak has a trunk girth of a bit over 13 feet (as of the last measuring), branches that span 118 feet and is about 60 feet in height. One local tree service company who plans on bidding on the project estimates that the tree and rootball combo will weigh in the neighborhood of 1.75 million pounds. Compare that to the current world record holder for largest tree transplanted:


The largest tree to be transplanted was an oak tree (Quercus lobata), aged 180–220 years and measuring 17.67 m (58 ft) tall, 31.6 m (104 ft) wide (branch-span), weighing approximately 415.5 tonnes (916,000 lb) and with a trunk girth of 5 m (16 ft 2 in). "Old Glory" was moved 0.4 km (0.25 miles) by Senna Tree Company (USA) to a new park in Los Angeles, California, USA, on 20 January 2004.


This is the kind of thing documentaries are made from. If the tree is moved, look for national attention to this small town issue.



posted on Feb, 9 2012 @ 10:50 PM
link   
Let's look at a few things here, there is a family willing to donate land for the tree, there is a non-profit organization offering $10,000 and it's fundraising skills to raise even more money, and then there is this:

The person who currently owns the property where the tree is doesn't want the tree (he's been pushing for a convenience store at the site) and has been trying to get the city to let him cut it down (the city has a protective tree ordinance in place), but he will take $90,000 from the city for the tree.


The tree is on property owned by Ajay Jain. The owner wants $80,000 to $90,000 for the tree itself, Paulissen said.

According to the report by the city focus group, the oak tree is valued at $91,900.

Jain declined to discuss his negotiations with the city.

“What the city wants to do with (the tree), they can do it,” Jain said. “If they want to move it, they can move it. If they want to cut it, they are the ones that have to make the decision.”


And topping all of this off, it looks like the issue will be discussed on the Valentine's Day meeting of city council:


At A Glance

WHAT: League City council meeting

WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: City council chambers, 200 W. Walker St., in League City


City taking bids to move Compton oak



So here we have an issue of high importance to the community being debated on a day that is traditionally one in which people spend time with the ones they love celebrating relationships. Sounds to me like a sly way of avoiding facing potentially angry constituents.



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:18 AM
link   
Update:

City to use eminent domain to get land


By Christopher Smith Gonzalez
The Daily News

Published February 16, 2012

LEAGUE CITY —After months of debate over the fate of a tree, League City’s city council voted Tuesday night to begin eminent domain proceedings for the property on which the Ghirardi oak stands.

The city is seeking to acquire 0.896 acres, Councilman Dennis OKeeffe said.

The council deliberated the move in an executive session and voted unanimously in favor of the proceedings.


The latest wrinkle in the fight to save the tree has the city finally considering using eminent domain to acquire the land the tree grows on along with the tree itself. The landowner is asking $80,000 - $90,000 for the tree over and above what he wants for the land.

Up to this point, what he has wanted for the tree was permission to cut it down and build a strip center/convenience store at the site. Now that the city has decided that it wants the tree, he suddenly sees value in it.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 08:47 AM
link   
Update:

This will be an agenda item on the city council meeting for tonight:


‎17A. 12-0117 Consider and take action on discussion concerning donation of property
(Director of Engineering)

And

Consider and take action to award the construction contract for the Louisiana Avenue Compton Oak Relocation Project (Director of Engineering)
Staff recommends award of contract to Environmental Design, Inc.


City Council Meeting Agenda

If the donation is accepted and the contract to move the tree executed, it could be a World Record tree transplanting as the tree/rootball combo is estimated to weigh in the neighborhood of 1.75 million pounds.



posted on Mar, 8 2012 @ 02:48 PM
link   
reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 


UPDATE:

Council decides to move Compton oak


On Tuesday night, the city council voted to spend $197,500 to move the oak rather than cut it down.

...

The council also accepted a donation of three-quarters of an acre from Clarence Ghirardi, a member of the family for which the tree is named, to place the tree on.

...

OKeeffe was the lone vote against accepting the donated land from Clarence Ghirardi and said he thought the family should have donated more land to help compensate the city for the cost of moving the tree.

He would have liked to have seen the Ghirardis donate 10 acres of land instead of the three-quarters of an acre, OKeeffe said.


The original plan was for the road to go around the tree, the State of Texas decided that a detention pond was needed west of the tree.

This left only a small area available for commercial development; the current owner has been pushing to be allowed to clear cut all the trees at the site. The city has a tree ordinance in place to protect trees over 24" in diameter.

A member of the family who is related to the owners of the property when the tree was planted has offered to donate some land to the people of the city as a new home and this council member says the family is being greedy and should have offered to donate their entire property to help offset the cost of the move.


The money to move the tree will come from dedicated park fees, city staff said. Those fees are paid by developers and can be used only for park project. If the money is not used within a certain time, it can go back to the developer.


It's not even tax money which will be used for the move.

I wonder if this council member has an interest in seeing the money go back to the developers who paid these funds for park development projects.

And another local article is filled with vitriolic comments about how wasteful it is to save the tree:

City spends $200K to move tree in street's way

The first commenter even suggests drilling holes in the tree and filling them with weed killer.

Most of the arguments talk about "wasting tax money" when it isn't even tax money in the first place. If that fact ever dawns on them, they come up with "well what else could we do with the money to save one tree?"

It seems like doom and gloom fill people in "normal" forums as well as here.

It's almost enough to make me want to quit...



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 06:44 AM
link   

Originally posted by jadedANDcynical
reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 

UPDATE:

Council decides to move Compton oak


On Tuesday night, the city council voted to spend $197,500 to move the oak rather than cut it down.
...
The council also accepted a donation of three-quarters of an acre from Clarence Ghirardi, a member of the family for which the tree is named, to place the tree on.
...
OKeeffe was the lone vote against accepting the donated land from Clarence Ghirardi and said he thought the family should have donated more land to help compensate the city for the cost of moving the tree.

He would have liked to have seen the Ghirardis donate 10 acres of land instead of the three-quarters of an acre, OKeeffe said.


The original plan was for the road to go around the tree, the State of Texas decided that a detention pond was needed west of the tree.

This left only a small area available for commercial development; the current owner has been pushing to be allowed to clear cut all the trees at the site. The city has a tree ordinance in place to protect trees over 24" in diameter.

A member of the family who is related to the owners of the property when the tree was planted has offered to donate some land to the people of the city as a new home and this council member says the family is being greedy and should have offered to donate their entire property to help offset the cost of the move.


The money to move the tree will come from dedicated park fees, city staff said. Those fees are paid by developers and can be used only for park project. If the money is not used within a certain time, it can go back to the developer.


It's not even tax money which will be used for the move.

I wonder if this council member has an interest in seeing the money go back to the developers who paid these funds for park development projects.

And another local article is filled with vitriolic comments about how wasteful it is to save the tree:

City spends $200K to move tree in street's way

The first commenter even suggests drilling holes in the tree and filling them with weed killer.

Most of the arguments talk about "wasting tax money" when it isn't even tax money in the first place. If that fact ever dawns on them, they come up with "well what else could we do with the money to save one tree?"

It seems like doom and gloom fill people in "normal" forums as well as here.

It's almost enough to make me want to quit...




Greetings:

Don't quit!

Been away for quite a while and we see that there have been some bizarre twists to what was, at one time, a rather simple story of a century-old magnificent tree that happened to stand in the way of "progress."

Then we read the above.

What the hell is wrong with people?

We're really not sure which head to lop off to make a point here, but the council member that spurned the gracious donation of land for the tree and portrayed the family as "greedy" for not donating the entire property should be brought up on some sort of charges, or at least taken to the woodshed and thrashed soundly as he so richly deserves.


Councilman Dennis OKeeffe abstained from the vote. He said he was against moving the tree altogether.

OKeeffe was the lone vote against accepting the donated land from Clarence Ghirardi and said he thought the family should have donated more land to help compensate the city for the cost of moving the tree.

He would have liked to have seen the Ghirardis donate 10 acres of land instead of the three-quarters of an acre, OKeeffe said.

“We got, essentially, thrown a bone,” OKeeffe said.
He could not see using taxpayer money to move a tree, he said.

This jerk's insulting remarks should be addressed. It's not as if he was bringing anything to the table.


... he thought the family should have donated more land to help compensate the city for the cost of moving the tree.

WTF?

Even from out remote vantage point here in the mountains of North Georgia, we can readily discern that dog won't hunt.


The money to move the tree will come from dedicated park fees, city staff said. Those fees are paid by developers and can be used only for park project. [color=Chartreuse]If the money is not used within a certain time, it can go back to the developer.

And you're probably sniffing the same pungent aroma we are, wondering who's been bought-off here.


I wonder if this council member has an interest in seeing the money go back to the developers who paid these funds for park development projects.

You keep the minnow, we found a bigger fish to fry - Ajay Jain.

This is one rabbit hole that just keeps on giving.

And the City actually entertained ideas of this $90,000 extortion scam?

One would not be surprised to learn that Councilman O'Keefe was somehow connected to one of Jain's many, many companies. We're checking campaign donation records as part of our investigation from this end. There are some very interesting characters in your play.

Watch your six.



Peace Love Light
tfw
[align=center][color=magenta]Liberty & Equality or Revolution[/align]
edit on 15/4/2012 by thorfourwinds because: color



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:42 AM
link   
ROAD PLANNERS FAIL!

Why was the road planned to destroy the tree in the first place? Stupid planners if you ask me!

Why not plan a road to the White House and bulldoze it too! After all it is only several hundred years old and most likely rotten to the core. I suppose that is what you get when you hire imbeciles who have never been to the White House to plan a road through it!

The blind leading the blind is never a good idea!

The money makers care less about trees than people - so goodbye tree! The murderers are nigh!



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 06:30 PM
link   
reply to post by garygnu
 


Actually, the original plan was to take the northbound and left turn lanes along the original roadbed and then a southbound lane to the west of the area where the trees are.



At some poInt after this plan an April of 2011, someone (or several someones) in the machinery of the the city changed the road plan to its current configuration.

No one informed the citizens until a focus group was created in April and that focus group was told there were two options; cut down the tree or move it.

In September of 2011, the issue was brought before city council and a large group of people stood up and spoke in favor of going back to the original road plan (thing is, at that point no one new it was the original plan until I found it on the city website) and to create a pocket park at the site where the trees are.

The land owner got wind of the publicity and upped the price he was wanting for the parcel to a price which the city was unwilling to pay.

Sometime around that time, it was learned that the land owner wanted to build a strip enter and convenience store at the site; which would require the removal of all the trees at the site. Well the city has a tree ordinance in place to protect trees over a specific size (24", I believe) and the land owner has been denied permission on at least two occasions in which he sought to clear the site.

After much wrangling (including a sizable letter writing campaign and articles in The Galveston Daily News (one of which was a guest column I wrote)) we were able to sway the council into moving the tree rather than cutting it down.

And now the city has determined that it wants more money to be donated for moving and care of the tree. One of the stipulations for the land donation was that a protective covenant would be placed on the tree, which included care and upkeep.

Now it seems like the city is trying to weasel out of their commitment.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 08:43 PM
link   
Your cries have not been unheard in the wilderness!
What a bunch of shady characters in the council!
Keep it going strong and keep the locals involved.



posted on Apr, 16 2012 @ 12:29 AM
link   
reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 


Thank you for your efforts. Hopefully, with continued pressure, they will find it impossible to renege on the commitment.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:27 PM
link   
UPDATE:

Crew works to unearth LC Ghirardi oak


By Christopher Smith Gonzalez
The Daily News
Published May 25, 2012

LEAGUE CITY — Men in hard hats wielding shovels and jackhammers crouched in a trench digging tunnels under a 100-year-old tree Thursday afternoon.

The men, employees of Hess Landscape Construction, are preparing the rare Compton oak, named the Ghirardi Oak after one of League City’s original Italian farming families, to be lifted out of the ground and moved about 1,500 feet.


After many months of negotiations and activists efforts to save this magnificent specimen, the process of moving the tree has begun in earnest.



The ompany chosen to move the tree, Hess Landscape Construction, is based in Southern California but has moved trees across the country. This will be, I think, the largest tree they have moved and they are taking special care to see that the move is successful.



The box around the tree is a custom built box made from lumber purchased locally from a hardware store that has been in business as long as I can remember. The crew is hand digging the portions underneath the tree so that they can be sure to not damage the root structure where it is difficult to tell what is being done:



The move is scheduled to take place on June 5th if all goes well. I plan on taking a lot of pictures during the process and will post them here as soon as the move is complete.

Here is a link to a segment on the local TV news:

Historic League City tree being preserved in large-scale moving operation



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:38 PM
link   
Thanks for sharing this JC and all your efforts.
Looks like a massive project to move that oak.

Well done sir,well done.


Goes to show you what can be done with effort and determination.
edit on 25-5-2012 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2012 @ 11:31 AM
link   
UPDATE

League City sets up webcam for oak tree


By Christopher Smith Gonzalez
The Daily News

Published June 1, 2012

LEAGUE CITY — The Ghirardi oak, at the corner of Louisiana Avenue and FM 518 in League City, is set to move to its new home on June 6 and now has its own webcam.

The city has set up a “tree cam” so residents can watch as the tree is prepared for moving day.


And here is a link to the webcam:

Ghirardi Oak Tree Cam

This has been a long and arduous process fraught with many obstacles. What has amazed me is the passion that people have brought to this project, both supportive and against. Those supporting and making their views known have won the day, but there have been very vocal people who are vehemently against spending money on what they see as a worthless goal.

And that has been the main thrust of all those who are opposed to this, it costs too much money. They seem to not to be able to derive any value from the saving of such an impressive tree. No matter the amount of research I have presented which shows that large trees are a substantial benefit to a community on many levels.

Shortsightedness is rampant in so many areas of our society, I am sometimes amazed we are as far along as we are. But when you think of where we could be, it is not so surprising after all...



posted on Jun, 6 2012 @ 06:15 PM
link   
UPDATE:

League City’s Compton oak move delayed until further notice


On Wednesday, crews worked to begin lifting the tree using two cranes and the beams to place it on a steel plate that will be drug down a grass corridor to the new location. However, after beginning the lifting process, Hess decided that stronger beams, spreader bars and moving the cranes closer to the tree would assist in making sure the beams do not fail and the process will go smoothly.


It seems as though the beams initially installed as a framework beneath the tree were not quite strong enough to support the weight of the massive tree and stronger beams along with additional cranes will be necessary in order to ensure a safe lift.

I've got lots of pictures which I will upload in a bit and either edit this post wit or make a new reply.
 


Closeup of the custom-built box:



A wider view:



Me in the trench next to the box to give you a sense of scale:



The cranes setting up for the lift:



That's a lot of counterweight there:



The first lift attempt:



Alarms were going off on both cranes not too long after full tension was applied and they began to accept the load of the tree. There were 4, 2 foot high, steel i-beams as a lifting platform and apparently these were not strong enough to take the weight of the tree/rootball combination. The engineers were concerned that the steel beams would be, dropping the tree and causing irreparable damage, so the lift has been delayed so that the frame can be re-worked and additional lifting capacity brought onsite.
edit on 6-6-2012 by jadedANDcynical because: added pics



posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 02:56 AM
link   
UPDATE

Ghirardi oak finally out of ground, ready for move


By Christopher Smith Gonzalez
The Daily News
Published June 8, 2012

LEAGUE CITY — A cheer went up from the crowd of more than 50 people at the corner of FM 518 and Louisiana Avenue. In front of them, a 590,000-pound oak swayed gently in the night sky as two massive cranes pulled it out of the ground.


It was quite a site to see that massive tree suspended in the air. Steepen those two enormous cranes. The moment people realized it was free of the ground, there was a collective gasp that went through the crowd. There were quite a few more people there tonight than there were yesterday afternoon and as the evening wore on, even more gathered.

I kept catching snatches of conversation as Ioved through the gathered group and overall the impression was one of awe and appreciation of what was being done. Occasionally I would correct a mistaken assumption and when people realized I knew quite a bit about the process, I became the center of attention for a bit prior to the actual move.

I have some great pictures I will upload tomorrow so that anyone interested can see what was accomplished.



posted on Jun, 8 2012 @ 02:23 PM
link   
reply to post by jadedANDcynical
 


Here is a video produced by the city showing some highlights:



And a photo gallery on the City's website dedicated to the move.



posted on Jun, 19 2012 @ 10:41 AM
link   
The tree was moved to it's new home last week and city residents are (for the most part) quite happy that the tree was saved.

LC oak pushed 1,500 feet to new home


By Christopher Smith Gonzalez
The Daily News
Published June 14, 2012

LEAGUE CITY — After a long day under the summer sun, the crew working to move the Ghirardi oak finally was able to push, pull and maneuver the 100-year-old tree into its new home.

It took most of the day, three excavators and two bulldozers to drag the 590,000-pound tree 1,500 feet.


Here it is out of the ground in it's box awaiting the move:



Closer view of the box:



Detail view of the box and skid:



In it's new home:



And a few I took yesterday evening:









Here is a video the city compiled of the entire process:



I provided the opening picture to the city for historical reference.

I find it somewhat ironic that, for all the feet dragging the city did in the process to save the tree, they are sure going out of their way to feature this on their website and Facebook page and are acting as if this is something that they've wanted for the entire time. They have received tons of positive publicity and commentary (with a few exceptions who think it was a waste of money) from it's citizens.



new topics

top topics



 
20
<< 1    3 >>

log in

join