first_imgThe 120-year-old Moreton Bay Fig tree said its goodbye two weeks ago, before it was cut down following the decision of the Frankston Council. Despite lobbying local MPs to look into how the tree could be saved through legislation or a community petition to prevent its removal, the old natural wonder was chopped down by tree loppers on 10 July. The efforts to save the famous Frankston tree, which Frankston council was praised for saving in 2004, ended fruitlessly, as the tree roots were damaging the nearby townhouse. Through a loophole in fire safety regulations, the owner embarked last year on legal measures to remove the tree. After options such as buying the properties and turning the site into a park were taken into consideration, the council decided they would not be able to save the tree. “It’s ironic that the tree was recently promoted as a model for advocacy safeguarding our natural environment when pitched against obtrusive suburban development,” president of the South Eastern Centre for Sustainability, Steven Karakitsos, told Neos Kosmos. Steven Karakitsos was one of the most vocal fighters to save the 120-year-old. Karakitsos told Neos Kosmos he was disappointed the tree was removed while he was overseas. “It was done at the time when I was incapable of arriving at a solution which the centre was working on and was in the midst of achieving,” he said. In his interview to Neos Kosmos in December 2012, Mr Karakitsos said the environmental significance of the tree was totally overlooked during the process. “The owners tried to resolve the issue and I concur with them that they were hard done by on account of the bureaucracy, which blatantly neglected their rights and those of the tree,” he emphasised. Frankston Council had been asked to stump up the $750,000 minimum required to buy the two properties whose land includes the historic tree. With the properties’ foundations being eroded by the fig’s ancient roots, the owners of the townhouses, who supported the tree remaining on the site, were keen to close a deal with the council. “The outcome – a pristine example of local council and state government failing to act decisively and implement the necessary measures that could have seen the tree saved when they had ample opportunity to do so,” Mr Karakitsos said. The ancient tree was planted before Federation, when Victoria was still a colony of Britain, and had a long life span ahead of it. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_imgState, feds won’t pursue $92M more in ’89 Exxon Valdez spillAssociated PressThe state and federal governments have decided not to pursue $92 million in additional damages from Exxon Mobil Corp., citing the recovery of ducks and sea otters in Alaska’s Prince William Sound following a devastating oil spill more than two decades ago.With $3B budget deficit, lawmakers eye oil tax creditsRachel Waldholz, APRN – AnchorageWith the state looking at a deficit next year of more than $3 billion, lawmakers face the always vexing question of what can be cut. One option on the table is reducing tax credits for oil and gas companies.Murkowski raises cash, expects a fight in 2016Liz Ruskin, APRN – AnchorageU.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is raising serious money for her re-election bid next year, despite having no serious challenger yet.APD chief Mew turns the baton to incomer TolleyZachariah Hughes, KSKA – AnchorageAnchorage has a new police chief. Earlier this week former DEA special agent Chris Tolley took over from Chief Mark Mew, who’d been with the city in various positions for more than three decades.Walker convenes tribal advisory councilJennifer Canfield, KTOO – JuneauGov. Bill Waker announced today the creation of an 11-member tribal advisory council. The council will address a diverse set of issues.Forensic psychologist doubtful of witness testimony at FBX 4 hearingDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksA perception and memory expert took the stand at the Fairbanks Four hearing on Tuesday. University of Washington psychology professor Jeffrey Loftus’s work focuses on our ability to recognize others at distance and under various conditions, including darkness.New drug reduces heroin cravings, may reduce recidivismAnne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageThe vast majority of people who are incarcerated have substance abuse issues, and that abuse is often a cause for recidivism. One solution? Get them treatment  quickly. A new program in Anchorage is trying to do just that using a new, little-used drug called Vivitrol.Aleknagik celebrates new bridge over the Wood RiverDavid Bendinger, KDLG – DillinghamThe Aleknagik Wood River Bridge is complete and was officially opened at a ceremony Tuesday. The long-awaited bridge connects the North Shore residents of Aleknagik with the South Shore, and the 20-mile road to Dillingham.Planned totem poles in Douglas mark ‘A Time for Healing’Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – JuneauSavikko Park and Gastineau Elementary School will be the future sites of two totem poles. Plans include interpretive signs in Tlingit and English, explaining the history of the original people of Juneau and Douglas: the Aakʼw Ḵwáan and Tʼaaḵu Ḵwáan. Technology also plays a part in telling the story. Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audiolast_img read more