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erik

i want to push an old man down the stairs

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134610840_treejudge07m0.html

 

wtf????? this is absolute bullshit........fuck norm maleng and fuck jerome ferris.....a bunch of good ole boys strokefest.....

 

who wants to play golf later this week and discuss the mecedes e-class and holding down the lesser people and violating their ability to enjoy public parks and trees.......

 

fuckin bullshit

 

 

 

 

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I'd read the story but these nerds at my office are doing streaming video of the damn MacWorld keynote and messing w/my connection. Stupid nerds.

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Judge won't face charges: Tree-cutting decision creates furor

 

By Janet Burkitt and Ray Rivera

Seattle Times staff reporters

 

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Seattle parks officials and activists yesterday quickly condemned King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng's decision not to seek criminal charges against a federal-court judge whose hired crews cut down more than 120 trees in Colman Park last summer.

 

"This was an opportunity to send a strong message to the public that it is illegal and wrong to remove publicly owned trees for any citizen's benefit, and they missed it," Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent Ken Bounds said in a prepared statement.

 

Judge Jerome Farris, of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, apologized yesterday in his first public comments about the incident. He said he has "cherished and loved the beauty of the park," and planned to pay for cleanup and restoration.

 

"I could never intentionally engage in any conduct which would damage or otherwise diminish the value of any park," Farris said. "The last thing I would want to do would be to increase the burden on our parks department, which does a remarkable job with inadequate resources."

 

At a news conference yesterday, Maleng said he couldn't file criminal charges because there was no evidence of intent or malice by Farris.

 

Both Maleng and Farris' attorney described the tree-cutting as a mistake that stemmed from a series of misunderstandings, including a language barrier.

 

County prosecutors and several legal experts said malicious mischief was the only felony that could have been pursued. Malice, under state statute, involves "an evil intent, wish or design to vex, annoy, or injure another person," Maleng said.

 

"That is why the apparent misunderstanding is important here — it tends to negate the mental element that must be proven, that of maliciousness," Maleng said.

 

Maleng instead referred the case to Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr, whose office is preparing a civil case against Farris. Carr will decide by the end of the week whether to pursue misdemeanor charges as well, said Kathryn Harper, the city attorney's spokeswoman.

 

Unlike a felony malicious-mischief charge, a misdemeanor charge would not require proof of unlawful intent. It would carry a maximum of 90 days in jail and a $100,000 fine.

 

The city also could seek gross-misdemeanor charges, which carry up to a year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine, Harper said.

 

Civilly, the city can sue for up to triple the cost of the trees and restoration work, if it can prove the wrongdoing was intentional. If it can't, it can sue for the actual costs of the trees, about $135,000, and labor, about $100,000.

 

Farris, 72, said he asked his gardener to cut down some trees on his Lake Washington view property along a fence bordering the park, in the Mount Baker neighborhood, but the gardener apparently misunderstood his directions.

 

More than 120 trees were cut to stumps, Maleng said.

 

Farris, a senior judge who now fills in on federal circuit courts around the country, was out of town when the work was done and didn't return until Sunday. He no longer lives at the home.

 

The gardener, Duc Huynh, could not be reached for comment.

 

Farris also said he believed he was authorized to cut down some trees based upon an earlier agreement with the city. In 1981, the city gave him permission to trim trees blocking his view of Lake Washington, although the permit didn't authorize future trimmings.

 

"I think it's fair to say that he was careless," said Farris' lawyer, John Wolfe of Seattle. "He did not go back and look at it. He had a recollection of what the agreement said ... and he was mistaken."

 

Farris was appointed to the Washington State Court of Appeals in 1969, and he served as chief judge for the 1977-78 term. President Carter appointed him to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 1979, and he took senior-judge status in 1995. In 1998, Ebony magazine named him among the country's 100 most influential African Americans.

 

A city official close to the case, speaking on condition of anonymity, questioned whether Maleng's definition of malice was too narrow. The statute also says "malice may be inferred from an act done in willful disregard of the rights of another, or an act wrongfully done without just cause or excuse, or an act of omission of duty betraying a willful disregard of social duty."

 

"Was it reasonable for someone who had a permit to cut trees 20 years ago to think they still had the right to do it," the official wondered.

 

Kim Burroughs, president of the Mount Baker Community Club, said she found the judge's explanation "a little weak."

 

She fears yesterday's decision might lead other people to think "that if you have enough influence you can get away with whatever you want."

 

Last night, some of Farris' neighbors discussed Maleng's decision before the regular meeting of the Mount Baker Community Club. They said that Farris, given his occupation, should have realized what he was doing.

 

The community club will send a letter to Carr, asking the city attorney to find a suitable punishment for Farris.

 

"I feel like I've been ripped off. The Colman Park trees belonged to all of us," said Joyce Moty, a Mount Baker resident.

 

Of Maleng's decision, she said, "It's a judicial old boy's club."

 

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said there was "no preferential treatment at all."

 

"We did a very thorough examination of the case, and we came to the conclusion that a malicious mischief charge would not apply," he said.

 

Farris' case closely resembles one from Bellevue also on Maleng's desk. In June, police discovered a tree-cutting company cutting roughly 30 trees on a city trail in an upscale Bellevue neighborhood. The uphill neighbor, a former technology company executive, told police he ordered the cutting after getting the green light from a city official several years earlier, according to police reports. That official, however, contradicted his claim.

 

The prosecutor's office expects a decision on the Bellevue case in a few weeks, Donohoe said.

 

Meanwhile, the fallen trees remain in Colman Park, looking "like pick-up sticks," Seattle parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter said.

 

She said the city planned to recycle them for chips to use in city flower beds and shrubs.

 

"Lemonade from lemons," Potter said.

 

Staff reporters Michael Ko and Warren Cornwall contributed to this report.

 

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"Meanwhile, the fallen trees remain in Colman Park, looking "like pick-up sticks," Seattle parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter said."

 

Good to see that even though he figured it was his right to cut down the trees, he still thought it was the city's obligation to clean them up. What a dickhead. madgo_ron.gif

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aren't you guys all high and mighty? must be nice to be so fucking perfect all the time. the article is clear the judge didn't intend malice, therefore, they can't prosecute. it was just a miscommunication with his gardener, you should prosecute him for being so stupid and getting caught. what the fuck do you guys have a problem with? he's a judge and it comes with some perks ok? kinda like owning a car dealership, and repairing your own car, do you charge yourself? fuck no! you get it fixed for free!

 

smoke a bowl and relax, it'll make good firewood. smileysex5.gif

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Chepe, what the hell are you babbling about anyway?

 

to quote Zappa: "Understand, this is a dog talking"

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You can't blame the judge. He's just being arrogant and cares only about his own enjoyment and property value -- probably not unlike what lots of us would do but on a larger scale. Ever dump your yard waste over the fence? "Trim" you neighbor's branches? It is the prosecutor who isn't doing his job.

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matt, a judge should know better and also but scrupulously clean. simple as that.

 

btw: i understand he has to pony up $100,000 to cover the tree damage, and something like $30,000 to some other wank outfit. pretty expensive pruning job. hehehehe

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basically the judge gets away with it because he killed those trees "by accident". if you kill a human "by accident" they can still get you for manslaughter or negligent homocide. if trees had rights they'd be able to get the judge for "treeslaughter". fruit.gif

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/134611525_treejudge08m0.html

 

Wednesday, January 08, 2003 - 12:22 p.m. Pacific

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SCHOOL GUIDE: Find a school or see how yours compares

 

 

 

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Landscaper contradicts judge in tree-cutting case

 

By Janet Burkitt and Ray Rivera

Seattle Times staff reporters

 

 

DEAN RUTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

East of Judge Jerome Farris' home is the view Farris has tried to protect.

 

 

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Landscaper Duc Huynh says that after more than 20 years in the United States, his English still isn't great.

But he insists there was no misunderstanding on this point: The 100-plus trees he cut down in Seattle's Colman Park last summer were the ones Judge Jerome Farris told him to cut.

 

Yesterday, Huynh, 47, squarely contradicted much of Farris' explanation of the tree cutting, which provoked outrage among local residents, environmentalists and Seattle officials. Farris' account — which prompted King County Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng to announce this week that he would not seek felony charges against the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals senior judge — essentially rests on two points:

 

First, he says he thought he had permission, based upon an earlier agreement with the city, to cut some trees along a fence between the park and a house he owns with a view of Lake Washington. Second, he says Huynh apparently misunderstood his directions on two occasions, cutting down more trees than the judge asked him to, then cutting still more after Farris pointed out the mistake.

 

But Huynh said Farris, 72, "wanted to cut all the trees that blocked the view" — mostly big-leaf maples and native cherries, some of them more than 40 years old. In statements to police and to prosecutors, Huynh said repeatedly that the judge walked side by side with him pointing to the trees he wanted cut.

 

Farris told him that his property extended 10 feet beyond the fence on the park side, Huynh recalled, and asked him in April to cut trees in an area beyond that — an instruction Huynh said he questioned.

 

"I asked him, 'Is that OK?' He said, 'That's OK.' "

 

The judge said he left town before Huynh did the work and returned to find that the gardener "exceeded the scope of the work I asked him to do." Farris claims he didn't tell Huynh to cut more trees, but rather asked him to finish other yardwork they had discussed. He said he then left town again and didn't return until this week.

 

But Huynh said the judge was very clear: "He came home to look, and he said, 'Cut more.' " Huynh cut more trees in July. Huynh said the judge told him "good job" afterward and has never criticized his work in the five years he has worked for him, according to statements made to police and prosecutors.

 

Farris, in his only public statement about the incident, called Huynh "an honorable man." He claims a language barrier exacerbated the misunderstanding; Huynh's first language is Vietnamese.

 

But "if he didn't tell me to cut, why pay me?" Huynh asked. He says he charged $500 for the first cut and $650 for the second.

 

Farris' lawyer, John Wolfe of Seattle, acknowledged that Huynh was paid. He also indicated he was aware that Huynh suggested to police that he cut down only the trees Farris asked him to cut. Farris, who has publicly apologized for the tree cutting, said he expects to pay for cleanup and restoration, which prosecutors estimate could exceed $100,000.

 

Wolfe said he could not discuss the situation in detail because he's in negotiations with the Seattle City Attorney's Office, which is considering misdemeanor charges for destruction of timber on public land, as well as a lawsuit against Farris. The city could sue Farris for up to three times the cost of reforesting — about $135,000 for the trees and $100,000 for labor.

 

Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the prosecutor's office, acknowledged "that there may be some differing viewpoints (between Huynh and Farris) going on here."

 

But Donohoe said prosecutors would still have to prove that Farris acted with malicious intent to charge him with malicious mischief, the only applicable felony charge.

 

While Maleng had been looking at whether to charge Farris under state law, the City Attorney's Office would consider the case under city ordinances.

 

And Farris said he believed he could cut some trees by the fence, based on a letter he received from the city in 1981.

 

In it, the city permits him to prune up to 20 feet off the top of maple trees and willows in the park adjacent to his property. But the permit states that it was good only for up to 30 days from the date the work began. It also limited the trimming, stating "no more than a removal of one third of the total top growth is allowed."

 

According to Wolfe and prosecutors, the judge had not looked at the letter in years and apparently believed it allowed future cutting. Still, the decision not to prosecute came down to more than just the judge's word against the gardener's, said the county's chief criminal prosecutor, Mark Larson.

 

"Certainly, there are disparate viewpoints about what happened," he said. "At the same time, you've got a statute that is pretty arcane in what it requires, and I would say it's those factors that make it an impossible prosecution."

 

In order to convict someone under malicious mischief — the only felony crime prosecutors could have sought in this case according to several legal experts — prosecutors would have had to prove the judge specifically intended to harm someone by cutting the trees.

 

Malice is defined in the law as "evil intent, wish or design to vex, annoy or injure another person."

 

"This statute was never drafted with this sort of dispute in mind," said Larson. "When I go and puncture my neighbor's tires because he's playing his music too loud, that's really what it's meant for.

 

"State law does make provisions for intentional destruction of timber, but it's done on the civil side of the law, so it's not like the Legislature never contemplated that," Larson said.

 

Local officials say they've never seen a case quite like this one, although trees on public property have been recently trimmed, cut, vandalized and poisoned — apparently under cover of darkness to provide people with better views.

 

A notorious incident occurred in 1998, when two University of Washington students were charged with third-degree malicious mischief for cutting down a single tree from a traffic circle near Ravenna Park.

 

Both pleaded guilty to third-degree malicious mischief. One received a one-year suspended sentence and 240 hours community service; the other received a two-year deferred sentence and 240 hours of community service, according to court records.

 

In 2001, a valuable European silver fir was stolen from the Washington Park Arboretum. After news coverage of the theft, two people returned the cut tree and gave the Arboretum staff $500 to replace it.

 

Although a police report had been filed, the staff decided not to pursue the case further.

 

In 1993, landscaping that Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz had done near his home was found to be encroaching on parks property. Schultz had to move his driveway, which was "pretty expensive," said parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter.

 

Bellevue officials are waiting to see what Maleng will decide with a case markedly similar to Farris'.

 

In June, 30 trees along a city-owned trail winding through an expensive hillside neighborhood in south Bellevue were cut down or trimmed. Police said a former CEO for a Bellevue-based technology company told them he hired people to cut down the trees. He said two years earlier he had spoken with a city official who told him the city couldn't afford to cut down the trees, according to a police report.

 

"I had no malice intent when I cut the trees," he said, according to the police. A city official, however, said she had spoken with the homeowner about trees he wanted to cut down because they blocked his view. That official said she didn't give him permission to cut the trees, and explained that city trees can't be cut to improve views, according to police.

 

If Maleng turns down the Bellevue case, the city could pursue a misdemeanor malicious-mischief case, said Jerome Roache, an assistant city attorney in Bellevue.

 

Times reporters Warren Cornwall and Bob Young contributed to this report.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

 

 

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SERIOUSLY THIS GUY BOTHERS ME IN MORE WAYS THEN ONE...HE IS A LIAR WHOM IS ABUSING THE SYSTEM IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY....FOR WHAT? TO HELP HIM COMPENSATE FOR LACK WITH A BIG VIEW HOME??? PFFT PLUS THE OLD BOY APPEARS SO AAROGANT THAT HE IS ABOVE THIS.....

 

MAN THIS SHIT PISSES ME OFF....

 

TRASK, GREGW, MTNGOAT, FAIRWEATHER?! WHERE THE HELL IS THE RIGHT'S ANSWER TO THIS??? OH WAIT........

 

COME ON PEOPLE, I DONT LIVE IN SEATTLE AND HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THIS PARK, BUT HOW ARE YOU NOT PISSED AT THIS?? WRITE TO THE NEWSPAPER AND THE CITY AND VOICE YOUR DISPLEASURE.....

 

 

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He shoulda hired AlpineK and Biodeisel power not some Vietnamese-American clearcutter who cannot now be found.

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His honor probably enhanced the value of his home by $100,000 by improving the view. He'll have to cough up at least that amount to the city, I'll wager. It's not as though he gets off scott free.

 

Those trees were just junk trees- big leaf maple. They likely sprouted there naturally. My understanding is that the trees grow so fast and are so invasive with their roots that many communities have ordinances against planting them.

 

All the radio commentators are ranting at the prosecuting attorney for not pressing criminal charges. No one seems to understand the law. This is a CIVIL matter. It was a property crime and the judge will pay for it with his pocketbook- big time. To bring felony charges you have to show malice against a particular person or persons and that was not the case here.

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He shoulda hired AlpineK and Biodeisel power not some Vietnamese-American clearcutter who cannot now be found.

 

It never would have happened Drew. If the judge couldn't show me a current permit to cut trees I would have walked away. Also even if he had a permit for, "pruning," ie topping the fuck out those trees I still would have walked away.

 

Man that landscaper guy cut down 100 trees for $1,100. What a sucker; no wonder the judge hired him. hahaha.gif

 

The best punishment would be for the judge to be surrounded in his house with a bunch of angry ents.

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Those trees were just junk trees- big leaf maple. They likely sprouted there naturally. My understanding is that the trees grow so fast and are so invasive with their roots that many communities have ordinances against planting them.

 

Catbird you are a fucking idiot of major proportions. In the first place the term junk tree is just language used by someone who hates a particular tree.

 

You are a Junk Human and thus you deserve to be put down. madgo_ron.gif

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real justice would be making the bastard sell his home so he couldn't enjoy the view anymore!

 

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AlpineK, you sound like an unemployed landscaper to me. You sure get excited easily. I like bigleaf maples fine out in the forest. They just don't have any business growing in the big city and I certainly wouldn't want any growing around my house. They drop limbs that kill people, they knock out power lines. Their leaves block storm drains and their roots grow into sewers and tear up sidewalks. There are many other trees that are more suitable in an urban setting. That's all I'm saying.

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Catbird aka Idiot.

 

I'm an Arborist and I work as much as I want to.

 

I always try and promote the right tree in the right place. There are many times I would recomend someone remove a tree due to its location in the landscape, but there are plenty of nice BLMs all over the city.

 

All tree drop limbs and leaves. It sounds like you are too lazy to get out in the yard and pick stuff up.

 

This Judge cut trees in a city park. A city park is an ideal place for a large native tree, which a BLM is.

 

 

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BLM's provide free toilet paper to the homeless too. It's a liberal ploy to assist the poor. Liberal media refuses to air the story to further the coverup.

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Listen, I'm not defending what the judge did. It was wrong. Period. It wasn't his land. He didn't have permission.

 

I have a dozen fruit trees on my property which I prune and care for myself. I chip and compost all the cuttings and leaves myself.

 

We have a difference in opinion on trees. Some people and I'm not saying you, but some people, think that any tree is sancrosanct and should not be cut down for any reason. For example, there is a row of street trees near my office that have torn up the sidewalk and curb. The owner asked the city for permission to cut them down so he can replace the sidewalk and was granted a permit. He promised to plant new trees on the other side of the sidewalk. Public notices were posted. A week later, someone came along and tore down the notices. A statement saying that to them it doesn't matter how much property damage is done by the tree, how much cost, they don't want to see them cut down. It's easy to think that way when someone else bears the cost.

 

I live on a hill. My house would have views of the Olympic and the Cascades were it not for the fact that all my neighbors have allowed naturally seeded hemlocks and doug firs to grow to a height of 50-100 ft on their properties. There isn't anything I can do about it. Too bad though. If they were gone the value of every house on the block would double. Unlike the judge, I have no plans to sneak onto their property in the night to cut them down.

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I see your point Catshit. Your's is a frustrating situation. I'm having two large fir trees taken off my property this coming Monday. Fuck the permits.

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Trask, if it's your property you don't need permits, unless your trees have been designated Heritage Trees, which I doubt. When I bought my house, the first thing I did was hire a tree service (or arborist, if you will) to take out a huge hemlock and doug fir that shaded my entire back yard so that only moss would grow. I was also worried they might blow over in a storm and destroy my house, as they were to the south where storm winds come from. I now have a beautiful garden with 6 kinds of berries and 10 kinds of fruits and everyone on the block compliments us on how our yard looks.

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