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Trees Bite the Dust

TimesLedger Newspapers

Trees Bite the Dust

Without notice or warning, the city cut down 32 College Point trees. The arborcide occurred along 28th Avenue between Ulmer Street and College Point Boulevard. The street is on the north border of the College Point Police Academy development, a $1 billion facility under construction.

The city Parks Department said some of the trees were unhealthy, but it wouldn’t say what the nature of the illness was or how many of the trees were sick. Nor could it explain why it allowed the contractor to cut down all 32 trees if only some of the trees were sick.

It’s just the beginning. Before it’s done, the NYPD plans to cut down 82 trees to facilitate the construction of the 3-million-square-foot training facility. Parks has to sign off on any tree removal, but in this case the agency appears to be a rubber stamp. The contractors are running this show and once again the people of College Point have been ignored.

The NYPD hired an arborist who allegedly inspected each of the trees before they were massacred. The city should make the findings of the arborist public.

It is hard to imagine how the city could have handled this worse.

Mock Debate a Learning Tool

Part of every college student’s experience should include learning how to see things from somebody else’s perspective.

The Queensborough Community College students who participated recently in the school’s mock GOP debate may not have agreed with the thinking of the politicians they portrayed, but they learned how to stand in that person’s shoes.

Four students assumed the roles of the remaining presidential contenders: former Gov. Mitt Romney, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. They took questions from classmates playing the role of journalists.

To do this, they had to familiarize themselves with the issues in the Republican debates and the positions taken by the candidates.

This exercise would prove useful in all high schools and colleges.

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