Developers who cut down Fort Worth’s majestic old trees should face stiffer penalties

·4 min read

New trees are not the same thing

After witnessing the sickening massacre of old growth trees along Bryant Irvin Road, I called the city and requested a copy of its guidelines for urban forestry.

I was horrified to learn that a developer can ignore the prohibition of cutting down protected 100-year-old trees if he or she plants several smaller trees or pays a fine of $200 to $500. How can that deter a developer who stands to make millions?

Just as it’s against the law for a company to fire a longtime employee just before he or she collects retirement, it should be against the law for a developer to cut down a majestic tree that’s stood for decades, providing shade, oxygen and habitat for wildlife.

- Sharon Austry, Fort Worth

A conscious decision?

I read in the Star-Telegram recently that Fort Worth is turning off the lights at downtown high-rises to reduce the deaths of migratory birds. (March 19, 1A, “Fort Worth turning off building lights to help birds”) I’m not sure that will work. Some migratory birds mate for life. There’s no divorce in the bird community. That may be the real reason they crash into buildings.

- Hugh W. Savage Jr., Fort Worth

Isn’t a property tax hike

Northwest ISD is one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas. On May 1, voters will have the opportunity to keep the economic engine of north Fort Worth and the Alliance area roaring with job growth and excellent schools. All four bond propositions would allow the school district to sell bonds for funds to build safe and equitable schools and athletic facilities, and to provide educational technology to students like my son and his friends.

Despite state legislators’ poor decision to require confusing ballot language, approval would not increase residents’ property tax rates. I hope stakeholders in the community have enough empathy to want to see kids thrive.

- Joe Washam, Justin

Tough, right on Afghanistan

President Joe Biden must be applauded for his bold decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He is taking a big risk that things will get worse before they get better. But unlike his predecessors, he opted not to kick the can down the road.

This American social engineering project in one of the world’s poorest countries was ill-conceived and misguided, an idea doomed to failure that cost taxpayers $2 trillion, the lives of 2,000 American soldiers and those of 150,000 Afghans.

The United States has no national interest at stake in Afghanistan anymore. This war had to end someday, and Biden had the courage to pull the plug.

- Hadi Jawad, Irving

Ann Zadeh has the vision

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has yet again asked residents to conserve energy to prevent outages, and we haven’t even hit peak summer heat. (April 14, 8A, “ERCOT asks Texans to conserve electricity amid rise in demand”) It highlights the importance of how the next mayor of Fort Worth would respond to a potential catastrophic outage and prepare the city and its infrastructure for it.

Looking at candidate experience alone, Ann Zadeh has been an urban planner and a City Council member. If we have learned anything recently, ERCOT is surely not reliable and neither is our state government. The burden to weather a storm or a heat wave will fall on the mayor. Ann has the experience and vision for a better and stronger Fort Worth.

- Erin Perkes, Fort Worth

Brian Byrd a public servant

I am very proud to support and cast my vote for Brian Byrd for mayor. Byrd has the character, vision, leadership skills and strategic platform to move our city to a new level of greatness. Byrd would build a stronger infrastructure, develop a vibrant business community, cut property taxes and create a stronger, safer place to live for all the people of Fort Worth.

He is a man of faith with a heart of compassion. He has proved to be a true servant leader in our community and would work tirelessly for all residents.

- Chuck Bernal, Fort Worth

The ones to guide us in Hurst

As Hurst residents for 48 years, we have seen what makes it such a great city and want to recommend Jon McKenzie and David Booe for reelection to the Hurst City Council. They are conscientious and valuable. We also recommend John Miller, who would be a hardworking and valuable council member. We need to keep people who work hard for every resident of Hurst.

- Gerald Grieser, Hurst