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 news item: "Murder of Aspiring Landscape Architect Student Solved After Nearly 12 Years":

I want to truly thank you for writing this article. I was at OSU at the time and was very affected by her death and the mystery around it. Even when I moved away (North Carolina), yearly, I would ask friends in Columbus if there was any news. No one had mentioned this to me after the man was arrested so I was so grateful when you wrote about it. This actually made me cry with relief. It may seem a small thing to you but this was big for me and I just wanted to thank you. I would not have heard about it otherwise.

Carolyn Lewis
Landscape Specialist
Public Works, N.C.

In January 2006 issue: "Outdoor Rooms with a Mountain View"

This is an excellent article on regional L.S. Design solutionsby Ms. Stretch. The Inland Empire of Southern California is one the fastest growing residential housing markets and STB shows the homeowner excellent ideas. I look forward to more articles by Ms. Stretch on other design spotlights in various climatic regions of Southern California. Great job.

David J. Delgado
Capital L.S. Spec.
Chino, Ca.

In January 2006 issue: "Exotic Possibilities: Creating Outdoor Living Spaces in South Florida" by Orlando Comas, ASLA

Your work is beautiful...but I am distressed by the heavy use of exotics in your work. A Mediterranean look in Florida? What is wrong with our beautiful natives? Study the everglades, sloughs and scrublands (what's left of them). The challenge is to use regionally appropriate plantings in exciting, designed ways. Why not join the Florida Native Plant Society and promote a real Florida?

Ruth Condit
RuthCondit Interiors
Ft. Myers, Fla.

In January 2006 issue: "Bath Time in Baton Rouge" by Richard J. Hymel, ASLA

Looks like the work of a very talented and upcoming Landscape Architect. He has done a number of outstanding projects in my area and is well known here.

Karen Reisch Reisch
Mandeville, La. news item: "Alabama Car Accidents: Officials Blame Trees."

Editor's note: The Alabama Department of Transportation has scheduled removal of hundreds of trees along its roadways to protect the state from lawsuits from motorists who run into them.

Thanks for letting us know about what has happened in Alabama. This is not something new to someone that was a chairman of the Ramsey New Jersey Shade Tree Commission about 20 years ago. Along the state highway way back then I found out about the "clear zone" concept dreamed up by highway engineers. It's these same engineers and lawyers that would strip the world of any beauty. The irony was then, as it still is now, that a utility pole can stay beside the edge of the highway draped with live wires and transformers. These are exempted from the same safety concerns that rip trees out. It's so sad that we bow to these dim-witted edicts and muck up our landscapes. It's supposedly a Democratic society, but society does not get to vote on these edicts. If society were to vote I'm sure the trees would stay and the utility poles would go.

Robert K. Watrous
Robert K. Watrous, Landscape Architecture
Andover, N.J.

Small minds and self-serving bureaucrats never cease to amaze me! I'm sure an inspired and naive engineer will design a "break away tree" that can be FHWA and DOT approved!...or maybe common sense might apply?

Kevin Parsons
Indianapolis, Ind.

Where do we draw the line? Why should a community, the environment and these trees that will outlive us pay the price for poor driving? Why did it not occur to anyone that maybe there is a human factor in this? Another sad day in litigious America! I would bet a large sum of money that this would not happen in any other country.

Joy Kuebler
Wenatchee, Wash.


In the "Playground and Maintenance" article starting on p. 28
in the Feb. issue, we showed a graphic of a park design and failed to mention whose playground was pictured. It is a 100 percent, fully-handicapped accessible facility designed by Edsall & Associates, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio for the Neward Rotary Club at the Ohio State University Newark/Central Ohio Technical College campus. Deborah Edsall, ASLA, APA, OPRA, managing director of Edsall, notes the playground cost nearly $700,000 and has a $135,000 poured-in-place safety surface. The playground was fully funded by the Newark, Ohio Rotary Club, which also contributed thousands of hours to erect the equipment. Note: We presented the playground design of Edsall & Associates in the March 2005 LASN, a feature titled "Excellence in Playground Design."

American Slate Company of Walnut Creek, Calif. reports the "Golden River quartzite stone" mentioned in "King of the Hill: a Golden Hardscape Crowns Santa Barbara" in the Feb. LASN is actually the company's "Amber Gold" product, stone imported from China.

"Water-Greedy Turf"

Editor's note: Our news item, "Scrapping Water-Greedy Turf," about not being a "slave" to conventional lawns and opting instead for native plants, including prairie grasses, bushes and flowers, continues to elicit commentary.

If the prairie plants were so beautiful and the native grasses so wonderful they would still be the varieties of choice. But they were not and so long as there is money to pay for alien plant varieties and grasses they will be what is used. You know feet got us everywhere we wanted to go for many years yet we still wear shoes and drive cars now too.

Dave Jernigan
Phoenix, Ariz.

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December 9, 2019, 10:14 am PDT

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