It was shocking to learn that a religious institution was involved in the decimation of 51 trees without a permit. It was disheartening when they made a "not guilty" plea. Was it naïve to hope that a temple would take the ethical high road and take responsibility for the destruction?

Then we thought, "It is their right to make such a plea. All are innocent until proven guilty. It will be interesting to see this case go to trial and perhaps to learn what temptation the snake whispered to make the leaders of the temple try to circumvent the law."

Now, the trial has been delayed. Now, the temple will backtrack and do what they should have done first according to the law...apply for approval to put a parking lot in an area zoned residential.

The only silver lining we see here is that members of the public may be heard before the board of zoning appeals. Neighbors will be able to convey their shock and daily sense of outrage and loss when they behold the ravaged lot.

It is our hope that eventually the defendants will be required to plant mature trees, maybe even an apple tree, and turn the area into a true Garden of Eden, minus the snake.

- Carol Frank

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