let me not to the marriage of true minds . . . .

Mr. Yerha has brought out the big guns. Don Frantz, of District B fame, has publicly endorsed Mr. Yerha, as has Jack Smith, who represents District C. And Lori Bush, the other At-large representative, even contributed money to Mr. Yerha's campaign. Mr. Smith has served on Council for 28 years, Mr. Frantz for 10 years, and Mrs. Bush and Mr. Yerha for six years each. Together the four even constitute a majority on the Town Council.

Since all four are together in Mr. Yerha's corner, this is a good time to ask, How did the tree situation in Cary degenerate so badly? How could the first blocks of East and West Chatham Street actually LOSE leaf cover in the last ten years? [The following image-sets show the street from three vistas, with each vista having images from both 2007 and 2017.]

After Before

East Chatham St. at Walker St., facing west; 2007 and 2017.

After Before

East Chatham St. at Academy St., facing east; 2007 and 2016.

After Before

West Chatham St. at Harrison Ave., facing east; 2007 and 2017.

Why are there no noble hardwood trees in the medians of our parkways and boulevards, and why are the trees that are in those medians dying at such a high rate? Why, no matter what store we choose to shop for groceries in all of Cary, can we not in daytime find a parking place that is shaded?

This terrible destruction of trees cannot have been done purposely. We know that Councilmembers Bush, Smith, Frantz, and Yerha are committed to both a beautiful town and a healthy town. All are environmentally sensitive. All are intelligent. Two are highly intelligent.

We have a theory. This mistreatment of trees is not a process that was begun overnight, but one that has snuck into our minds over time, and without critical thought about its utility. There is both an art and a science to planting a tree correctly. However, if a tree is planted incorrectly, it does not die overnight, or in the next month, or even in the next year. Trees have strong wills to live. An incorrectly planted tree will not thrive, will not grow tall or symmetrical, but will devote the bulk of its energy into mere survival. It will usually live long enough so that when it does die, there is little correlation between its death and the reason for it.

In support of our theory we bring out Exhibit A, the Cary 2040 Community Plan. "The Cary Community Plan," we are told, "adopted January 24, 2017, is the new comprehensive plan for the Town of Cary. This plan is the result of several years of work, unprecedented community input, and dozens of meetings and workshops. It sets out a long-term vision, policies, and strategic actions with a time horizon out to 2040."

The administrative costs of compiling the Plan ran to one million dollars, which makes each of its 281 pages worth about $3,558.

The video shows what has snuck into the Plan, and what will, unless changed, provide a subtle and probably barely noticed signal that planting trees incorrectly is part of our comprehensive plan. This is not something we should want historians in the future to learn of us, and frankly, not something we should want our contemporaries to learn of us, either. The pages which contain the photos are listed:

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Objective #1

That the Town of Cary establish an office whose head reports directly to the Town Manager, dedicated solely to addressing environmental issues. The office will consist of two parts. One part will be a Skunk Works, a group given a high degree of autonomy and charged with devising ways that the Town can move rapidly towards sustainability. The second will be an inspection unit charged with ensuring compliance with sustainability measures undertaken by the Town.

Objective #2

That the Town of Cary establish within its limits a combination botanical garden, arboretum, and tree nursery.

Objective #3

That within the next decade, the Town of Cary properly plant one million additional trees within its borders and nurture them correctly.

Objective #4

That the Town of Cary adopt a long-lived and beautiful noble hardwood tree as its Official Tree.

Objective #5

That the Town of Cary re-start the now-defunct Wake County Champion and Notable Tree List, and that it be administered by volunteers using a donated program and server space.