News — 06 June 2011

Principal becomes defender of trees

The three threatened trees still stand as a result of Visnick and Romero's intervention. Photo by Tommy Tran

Tommy Tran

This spring, construction workers tried to cut down trees near the portables at Oakland High. A company known as West Bay Contractor hired a tree removal company to cut down three trees, opposite to Temporary Classroom 2.

History teacher Ben Visnick said that he asked the tree remover for the reason for cutting the trees. Visnick stated that the person wouldn’t give him a reason. “Why are we cutting these trees down?” Visnick remembered wondering. “We don’t have enough as it is.”

Visnick said that he called principal Alicia Romero immediately about the situation. When Romero checked with the contractor, who said that they needed to cut down the trees to make room for a garbage compactor, Romero asked to see the blueprints. According to Romero, there was no need to cut down the trees.

Many people at Oakland High have expressed relief that the trees were not cut down.

Sophomore Jimmy Tran said, “I don’t think it’s right to cut down trees, because it’s like cutting down another human being.”

“Trees help us and our environment,” commented sophomore Christina Craner.

Science teacher Katie Noonan said that she was very grateful to Romero for protecting the trees. Noonan said, “With all these budget cuts, we really need that peace of mind from looking at a tree, which is an inspiration to people.”

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