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Island Recovery: July 2009 Archives

This should prove to be a...hot...subject. Pun obviously intended.

As most of us know by now, the smoking ban has passed in Galveston for a January 1, 2010 debut. We IBC'ers are a good mix of smokers and non, in fact I think the non-smokers are the minority (not to point towards the 3 smokers in our lovely group of course). In various reports and word of mouth it looks like this is a very comprehensive ban and I wonder if it might be a little too comprehensive. I've read where it applies to patios connected to restaurants which seems really heavy handed to me. I can understand the need for people who do smoke to still want to be part of the social interaction.

I've never smoked. Growing up with a dad dealing with lung cancer scared the hell out of me to ever try them (side note - dad's great and had a full recovery). But it's never bothered me that others do. I might not agree with it but it's their business to smoke if they want. As a business owner though I've mulled over the personal / professional reasons for supporting or not supporting a ban. Ultimately, I believe it's the business owners right to decide what is in their best interests. Selfishly though, I couldn't be more ok with the ban. I don't know if it's so much for health reasons as it is for general comfort and enjoying not smelling like a cigarette when I go home.

I've not spoken with the other IBC'ers on this and look forward to their contributions to this conversation, as well as our readers. So all that being said - what do you all think about the ban?
 
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The tree replacement team certainly has their work cut out for them (did anyone ever win the naming contest for that committee??).  In the meantime, crews have begun the removal of thousands of the Island's trees left dead or dying (paging Dr. Kevorkian) in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.  Officials have estimated that nearly 11,000 trees located on the City's right-of-ways, property owned by the city and in/around city parks will be removed.  Some streets or parks might be closed temporarily for safety reasons while the trees are cut and removed, so here's a list of those areas in case you run into a detour, that's probably what's up:

  • Lindale Park - 4th Street and Marine
  • Adoue Park - 12th Street and Ball Street
  • San Jacinto Park - 19th and Avenue K
  • Shield Park - 33rd Street and Church Street
  • Lasker Park - 42nd Street and Avenue P
  • The grounds of the Wright Cuney Recreation Center - 718 41st Street
  • Alamo Park - 51st Street and Avenue N
  • Jones Park - Jones Drive and 71st Street
  • Schrieber Park and adjacent ball fields - 83rd Street area near Scholes Airport
  • Sandhill Crane Park and soccer complex - Stewart Road and 7 Mile Road

Good news?  Okay, I have some.  The cost of the tree removal IS 100% reimbursable from the federal govt under the current emergency declaration until September 12th.  AND, we WILL get new trees - who knows what type, but the City will probably have to foot the bill for those.  I believe the timeline for replanting is not until next fall, though.

Check out the City's website for more info about the tree program at www.CityofGalveston.org or you can call the Parks&Rec Dept at (409) 621-3177.  You can also email trees@cityofgalveston.org.  My guess is the trees themselves will not be the ACTUAL ones responding to your emails, but what do I know?

One last piece of good news for Galvestonians.  If you have a dead/dying tree due to Ike on your private property, you may be eligible for free removal through the City's program.  Call Beck Disaster Services at (409) 974-4243 to pre-register and get on the list.  Surprise!  You will have to meet FEMA's assessment/eligibility requirements to qualify for the free tree removal but give it a shot anyway, folks - don't take a chance and risk your property to a potentially dangerous falling tree.

Be safe out there.  Stay out of the heat - go shopping downtown!  :)

PS.  A friendly reminder from our fantastic PIO Alicia that "bonafide" tree removal techs will not ask you to sign anything or to pay any money to remove trees if they are in front of your house.  You WILL however need to move your vehicles to avoid getting towed while the removal is happening.  Beware of fake tree people and don't park in front of an orange-spotted tree!
 

Check it out - Shriner's just decided they will reopen the burns hospital here on the Island which is great.  "Everything's comin up Milhouse!"

Galveston Daily News: Shriners vote to keep isle burns hospital open

 
 

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