For the last few months, there’s been a lot of construction work just over our back fence. The pipes that carry water from the Sierras to San Francisco run right behind our house, and those pipes are being replaced. So we get to see earth movers and gigantic, 6 foot-diameter pipes from our back window.

DSC_0096

A few houses down the block, there’s a 300 year-old oak tree that the pipes run under. On Friday, we heard– three houses were given notices at 4:45 pm– that the tree would be taken down Monday morning. Fortunately, a couple of the neighbors went into high gear, made lots of phone calls, and so this morning there were news trucks and people from the county planning commission saying, “Maybe you should just hang on a bit.”

DSC_0104

The SFPUC claims that there’s an arborist’s report that says the tree can’t be saved, but they haven’t released the report (or an executive summary, or anything else). As someone who works in a field that combines both expertise and a certain potential softness in conclusions, this strikes me as notable. And the fact that there was such short notice seems suspicious.

DSC_0122

Anyway, early this morning we joined a bunch of other neighbors at the tree, to make clear that we want a better accounting of why they think the tree has to come down.

DSC_0148

The kids were interviewed by the local TV and radio stations, and I think they found it an interesting experience.

DSC_0203

It looks like we’ve bought a couple days’ respite while the SFPUC and county work on a deal. And it’s not like there aren’t tons of other places they can keep digging in the meantime….