Following the journalism mantra of "comfort the afflicted, afflict the comforted," LA Times columnist Steve Lopez turns his attention to Glendale residents Ann and Mike Collard, who received a $347,600 fine from the city after inadvertently trimming a native tree last June. Apparently, the Collards, who were expecting a baby, didn't read the fine print. "The [couple] now admits that had they read the Fire Department notice closely, they would have seen in small print that a free permit was required to trim oak and sycamore branches larger than 1 inch in diameter." Fast forward to October and the Collards are hit with a nasty bill, charged "two times the value of the damaged tree(s)." Thankfully, there's a happy ending for the Collards, who will now be able to afford orthodontic work for their child. They also launched a web site to talk about the whole mess.
· Out on a limb over trimming fiasco [LA Times]