Terrible news for the ficus people. Yesterday a judge dismissed the lawsuit brought by activist Jerry Rubin against the city of Santa Monica, a move which paves the way for destruction of the trees. As previously discussed, the Treesavers want to save the ficus trees around 3rd St. in Santa Monica, while city officials want to replace the aging ficus (some of the trees are cracking the sidewalks) with younger ginkgo trees. According to the Times, the treesavers missed the deadline of filing a suit by April 10, 2006 and exceeded the statute of limitations. According to the Treesavers blog, it was all a matter of wording. Here's their post after the hearing: "The city did not deny that it improperly called the trees "facilities" in the Environmental Impact Report (thus bypassing special requirements relating to trees)--only that it was too late to catch them. The city's attorneys must feel very, very proud." The Times reports Louise Steiner, a member of Treesavers, cried after yesterday's ruling and now the group is planning a sit-in at Santa Monica City Hall on March 5th.
· Sit-In at City Hall [Treesavers]
· Ruling clears way for Santa Monica to remove ficus trees [LA Times]