As a lifelong resident of Port Washington, as well as a local business owner, I write to express my extreme displeasure with the inaccuracies and insinuations contained in the June 6, 2008 article "New Policy ... Too Late to Save Five Oaks." The breadth of these inaccuracies requires nothing other than a retraction as well as an apology to me and to my family. One of the premises of this article is that "Knowles Funeral Home wanted them [the five pin oak trees] gone," and the Town of North Hempstead simply followed orders. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. As many people are aware, a portion of the sidewalk had buckled, causing an obvious safety hazard. As a result, we wrote to the Highway Department to request that this public safety hazard be repaired. There was no request either to cut down or remove the trees. The decision to remove the trees was made bilaterally by the Town of North Hempstead.

Unfortunately, the Port News' article glosses over these important facts, in the hope of playing to sympathies. If, however, the reporter had exercised adequate diligence, perhaps she would have learned the truth and not resorted to tactics utilized by tabloid-style "journalists." After spending our lives in Port Washington and raising our children here, surely we deserved better treatment - or, at least, accurate reporting of the facts.

Martha M. Knowles, Pres.

Austin F. Knowles Inc. Funeral Home

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