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Letters for March 2009

Editor's note: On Jan. 19 2009, Calif. Gov. Shwarzenegger's proposed eliminating the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC) to save the state $1.1 million That has not come to pass. If it had, the licensure duties would have gone to the Architecture Board. The governor has, however, issued executive order S-16-08, which decrees: "Beginning in February 2009, the LATC will be closed the first and third Friday of each month until further notice."

The LATC notes on its website: "The continuing uncertainty is a huge challenge for us, but it is our goal to provide excellent services, while striving to minimize the negative impact of this budget process to our consumers, candidates and licensees."

Re "Lapsed License, Loss of Confidence" in which a design for a school by a landscape architect was put on hold because his license had expired. Local officials considered having the plan evaluated by another landscape architect who could then, possibly, sign off on the design.

I do not believe that another landscape architect can simply "evaluate" another's plan and then put their stamp on it. In order for the plan to be stamped, it is supposed to be "prepared" by the licensed professional. Stamping another person's work is a violation of our code of ethics.

Douglas Nemeckay
Landscape Architect
Douglas Nemeckay & Assoc. Inc.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

"some of the finest modern landscape architecture"

Re the interview with Tom Oslund, FASLA, FAAR, principal and design director of Oslund and Associates ("Grounded in Light and Stone," Feb. issue,

This is some of the finest modern landscape architecture I've ever seen. Certainly this is a reflection of his experience and acquaintance with Dan Kiley and Peter Walker (who I have always admired and consider the greatest living landscape architect).

Jim Somers
Landscape Architect
CDFL, Ltd.
Jackson, Miss.

"Children's Garden Offers Lessons in Sustainability, March issue

Awesome, inspiring and the forefront of where our society needs to go for future generations and as soon as possible in the present scenario of using renewable resources and doing more with less. Thanks for being a visionary!

Beth Wignot
Katy, Texas

Awesome article and this will be a wonderful addition to the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens. Kudos to Shane and his staff for a well-planned adventure for the children.

Patricia Tye
Cheyenne, Wy

National Mall Out

Re the removal of the National Mall provision from the stimulus bill ("ASLA Response to Nat'l Mall Provision Drop"

"...embarrassment for our country"

The deterioration of the National Mall in recent years has become a source of embarrassment for our country. Next to Arlington National Cemetery and other such cemeteries for our hallowed dead there is no more significant piece of real estate in the U.S. Try as they might, the National Park Service and a few dedicated volunteers and nonprofits such as the Trust for the National Mall and National Coalition to Save Our Mall cannot adequately maintain "America's Front Yard" without significant support of Congress. Congress employs 2,000 maintenance workers to tend 300 acres where 535 lawmakers and their staffs come to work. The park service employs 300 workers to care for 700 acres where 25 million visitors come to play. Does anybody else see anything wrong with this imbalance?

Ed Klaas
Southern Sprinkler Systems, LLC
Roswell, Ga.

Also re: "National Mall Out"

I do agree the national mall has witnessed some of the most significant events in our history, but it does not create an economic stimulus to our entire country. I believe it was a good move to remove it from the bill. How would it have created thousands of jobs? The landscape would still be maintained by the city as it is now. It would have only created a short-term job for the people re-doing it. It is not a career long-term job provider. It is a short-term work solution. The national mall does need to be redone but for the dollar amount and purpose of providing economic stimulus, it would not have qualified

Sarah Doyle
JBI Partners


I love that you include a scripture reference in your publication! It reminds us that we are all stewards of God's creation.

Pam Newcombe
PJC Ecological Land Care
Vice President
Rowley, Mass.

Re "Design Pros and Academics Weigh in on Landscape Architecture Education" in which leading firms were asked what university programs they considered best for preparing students for professional success, and to cite the programs best for educating and training for specific skills.

This is a very good topic to discuss and review for several reasons. Perhaps there should also be a list from those active in the field, as it would contain business issues such as wage and salary levels, job opportunities and public service.

There is very limited "reaching out" to other professions and collaborative problem solving. I do not believe the issues listed can be dealt with without understand the economic impacts, which are not part of the education offering.

Universities have a broad array of important and related subjects but few schools take advantage of the related subjects.

The one subject of importance to the future is the ability to use, understand and develop complex "models" that would help students understand interdisciplinary issues.

(Hon) Alberto Trevino
Managing Director
Trevino Advisors
Laguna Beach, Calif.

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