by Chris Till
As everyone should be aware by now, our Village Manager is planning on nearly clear-cutting downtown Xenia Avenue from Glen Street to Corry Street in the next month or so, sparing only the two sycamore trees in front of the stained glass store. This year and next year, the trees will be replaced by some smaller, but undetermined, variety of tree.
Today, we held the second of our daily noon rallies to protest this sudden decision. The second noon rally built on the momentum of Wednesday’s first rally. Meeting on the sidewalk at the intersection of Xenia Avenue and Short Street, ralliers engaged passersby in friendly, kind-hearted, but informative, conversation. Some ralliers waved “Save the Downtown Trees” signs. Cloth petitions have been lovingly tied to some of the downtown pear trees, which many are signing. Supporters drive by honking, waving, and shouting encouragement. Among passersby, it is still rare to find a Villager who knows anything about the new plan for the near clear-cut.
One rallier consulted two more local shop owners. Neither had heard anything about the Village Manager’s plans. One was immediately against it, and the second needed to know more before making a decision. Of the five local Xenia Avenue shop owners now consulted, at least four had not heard of the new plan. Three are definitely against it; one seems to be against it; and one is on the fence. On the other hand, yesterday Ms. Curliss informed this writer that downtown shop owners were applauding her plan. Perhaps so.
One prominent downtown landowner briefly joined the rally to launch a surprisingly vulgar monologue regarding his extreme dislike for the bird droppings felled by the sparrows which seasonally haunt the downtown pear trees. After he left, we ralliers could not agree whether or not he supported our efforts.
What we are really hoping for is to find one single Village councilperson to support our efforts. Offhand, it seems that at least a significant minority of Villagers are against the Village manager’s plan. It does seem possible that at least a bare majority are against the plan. We will continue to have a spirited and polite rally every day-ish at noon-ish. Please come. Apparently, the Council is voting on the issue this Monday. At this point, I do not know of a single Village councilperson who is opposing the Village manager’s plan for the near clear-cut.