Use Common Sense With Springs

RECEIVED Tue., May 5, 2009

Dear Nick and Louis,
   Our safety is at risk. Therefore, the solution is obvious: The city of Austin must immediately cut down all of the trees on city property and immediately fill in all city swimming pools, including Barton Springs Pool.
    That might sound extreme, but that’s the logic being applied by the city to the trees at Barton Springs Pool. The city is planning to cut some 30 trees in and around the pool because they might fall, might lose a branch, someone might be underneath when that happens, and that someone might get hurt.
    Barton Springs is a major safety hazard. About 15 years ago, I was at the pool when a man drowned. I watched the lifeguards pull his limp body out of the water. More people might drown. Therefore, given the logic being applied to the trees, it only makes sense to close the pool.
    Life is full of risks. By planning to wipe out the old trees around Barton Springs, the city is leaving common sense on the tarmac. Yes, one of the trees might fall. Then again, the trees might be safe just like they are. Sure, someone might drown at Barton Springs or one of the other city-operated pools. Then again, they might not.
    Don Gardner, an arborist hired by the Save Our Springs Alliance, believes only a handful of the trees at Barton Springs need to be removed. When it comes to trees, particularly at Barton Springs, less is not more. We need to apply some common sense here. That means minimal harassment of the trees and the pool.
Robert Bryce
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