February 19th was not a good day for Santa Monica's Ficus trees: Treesavers appealed to the City Council for the Landmarks Commission's ruling to be overturned (see post Ficus Trees not Landmarked, January 22nd)- this was denied. We had an even stronger Landmarking case, having discovered a second "historical personage" involved with Jacqueline Girion's tree-planting: the first Woman Mayor of Santa Monica, Clo Hoover, another early female environmental activist. Again, our PowerPoint presentation proved the trees fulfilled four of the Landmarks' Designation Criteria. The City Council, however, have other agendas.
Ignoring public opinion- as clearly demonstrated by the great turn-out of Treesavers- Councilmember Kevin McKeowen's (our sole City Council supporter) motion to reconsider the tree portion of the streetscape scheme was outrightly rejected.
The next step is a Court Injunction Hearing on February 28th: the trees cannot be cut down before that.
I have mentioned previously that I was especially upset about the proposed culling of the Ficus trees because I had been constructing a sculptural lightbox based on one (I call it by its colloquial name: Green Gem)- well, here it is in Court on the PowerPoint presentation, backing up the fact that the trees have "artistic interest"!