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Friday, December 4, 2009

 

Charlie Brown-style Christmas tree stirs controversy

Concord's Scraggly Christmas Tree Stirs Controversy

Posted: 10:40 pm PST December 2, 2009

  Updated: 12:49 am PST December 3, 2009

 

CONCORD, Calif. -- Holiday trees are not often a subject of controversy, but this year the city of Concord's choice of the tree has many residents talking.

The tough economy is why city officials decided to use what they call their live "Charlie Brown-style" tree.

One local woman who didn't want to be identified described the tree as sad. "I think it's sad that they decorated that tree only because it had electricity when we have trees on the corner that are healthy and more the spirit of Christmas," explained the woman. She added the bareness of the scraggly tree reminded her of the economy.

Concord opted for the living tree because a getting a more traditional tree could cost of $20,000 or more.

"The expense of doing a tree at this time when we've asked our employees to sacrifice and give up pay [seemed extravagant]," explained Concord Mayor Laura Hoffmeister. "All of them have given up at least five percent of their salary, some as much as ten percent. Plus we've had layoffs."

In keeping with the Peanuts theme, there's also a blanket drive here for a local domestic violence shelter.

"They're twin blankets so that the kids at Stand Against Domestic Violence can have a blanket that is their own yo keep warm and love and cuddly," said Virginia Thomas of the Todos Santos Business Association. "And again, Linus would have loved that."

Todos Santos Plaza, where the tree stands, has other trees that might have made better Christmas trees. But a farmers market, nearby traffic dangers and the cost of stringing power were other factors that prompted this choice.

"It moves us more towards green and using living things and not cutting trees down," said Concord Assistant City Manager Valerie Barone.

Besides, where it matters most, it seems this Charlie Brown tree passed the test.

Eight-year-old Amye Kirkham expressed her approval. "It still has all the decorations and a big star on the top of the tree," said Kirkham.

City crews tested the lights and by all accounts the tree was impressive. The official lighting ceremony starts on Saturday at 4 p.m.

 
LINK TO VIDEO
http://www.ktvu.com/news/21793456/detail.html

Comments:
Those whiners are just being a grinch. I thought that tree was perfect for the occassion
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